Friday, September 28, 2012

NSVs & Separation

Some NSVs:

-My computer chair was always a bit tight, and the arm rests would dig into my legs. It's comfortable now.

-Brent's computer chair wasn't even an option. I always had to perch on the very edge since the arm rests make it so narrow and I didn't even have a prayer of sitting back in it. Last night, I was able to sit in it comfortably.

-I kept two of my tops that haven't fit for a couple of years because I love them so much. Last night, they fit, but they don't fit quite well enough to wear in public yet. The arms are still a wee bit tight, and that pulls on the fabric above the chest a bit. They just look a little weird. I don't want to wear them until they're comfortable and lay properly. They should fit just fine once I lose another 10 pounds. (I bought them when I was just over 300.)

-One of my co-workers stopped me in the hallway this morning to tell me I look "noticeably thinner". This is the first time someone has made a random comment. I've had friends tell me they can see a difference, but they know I'm losing weight. It's nice to know someone who isn't looking for a difference can see it.

-I remember being shocked when I'd look in a mirror and see how much I weighed. My mental image still had me around 300 pounds. Now I'm happy when I see myself in a mirror because I'm still a bit shocked and pleased to see how much trimmer I look. I find myself experimenting with clothes to see which ones flatter me the best. I never used to do that when I weighed 300 initially, but now I enjoy it because I'm losing instead of gaining.

-I find myself seeking out chairs that used to be too tight, just so I can test them, instead of shying away from them because I'm worried they'll be too small. Brent is amused because I have a list of places I want to go, just to sit in the chairs. He refuses to cover the $25 admission to Adler Planetarium just so I can run into the theatre and sit down for a second. ;)

Also on the list: outdoor patio chairs at some of our favorite restaurants (like The Cheesecake Factory, pictured above) and those stupid seats at Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, I won't be able to test either of those until spring.

-I keep waking up on my stomach, which hasn't happened since I got up to my max weight. My belly was always too big to lay on it comfortably (it would crush my ribcage and cut off my breath).


Brent is driving to Detroit after work tonight. He's going to see Anthrax and some other metal bands at Harpo's. He's been gone so much the past couple of weeks. It's kind of funny because he never, ever goes out, ever, and now he's out all the time. He was in Detroit last Friday for the Tigers game, which got rained out, and then back in Detroit for the make-up game on Sunday. He went to a metal show in town a couple weeks ago, and before that he was in Chicago on a Friday night to see a concert. Before that weekend, I was up north for Labor Day weekend while he stayed home and worked.

I like having the time apart because we need that breathing space. We aren't one of those couples that has to be attached at the hip; quite the opposite, actually. We're very independent people. I just can't get over how quiet it is when he's gone. I miss seeing him in his office, but it's nice to have the quiet. ;) Plus, now I have the new kitties to keep me company. It's very relaxing and reminds me of when I lived alone with my two kitties, Gomez and Morticia.

We were talking about how I should start going to Chicago on my days off to do things he wouldn't want to do - like historical tours, Shakespeare plays at Navy Pier, and anything involving heights or water - because I need that enrichment in my life. I don't get a lot of culture or fun around here, and he knows how much I love "escaping" Kalamazoo. So now I'm making a list of all of the things I want to do in Chicago. :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Image courtesy of Ampersand Seven

Today is my official weigh-in day: I'm down to 316!

I am firmly and most assuredly out of the 320's and into familiar territory. This is definitely my "comfortable" weight. The old clothes I kept fit again, and I'm buying the same sizes I wore for years. What's strange is that I still feel heavier than I did when I weighed this much previously, even though I weighed this much for years and years. Getting down to 316 is much different than being 316. I still feel like I'm through the looking glass.

I've been between 310 and 320 since 2008, and I was just over 300 pounds for a few years before that. I did lose about 40 pounds in 2008, only to gain them back (and then some) a few months later, so now I feel like charging ahead, breaking that 300 barrier, and never, ever seeing it again. I want to get out of the "comfy zone" I've been in since 2004.

I have my monthly check-up with my doctor later. He should be pleased. He keeps telling me he'll be perfectly happy if I lose just one pound, or even maintain, but it's so nice to get that pat on the back when he sees the scale go down 5-10 pounds. :) We're also going to evaluate if he wants to keep seeing me every month or if it's time to switch to every three months. I haven't had any issues with the new medication (Metformin), so I have a feeling he's going to tell me to come back every three months from now on.

I really don't mind the monthly appointments, though. I love my doctor, and seeing him every month gives me even more incentive to stay on-track; not that I wouldn't, but there's a world of difference in being accountable to yourself when you step on that scale and letting someone else down. Know what I mean? Having this blog helps a lot too. I cringe whenever Wednesday rolls around and I haven't lost anything (or gained, ack). It forces me to take a look at my food diary and figure out where I took a wrong turn.

For that reason, I'm really glad I created this blog. I like having a journal again. I used LiveJournal every day when it was popular, but then Facebook took over and I lost that "journal" aspect. It's not like I can go through all of my Facebook statuses (statusii?) and read them like journal entries, and I didn't always have my camera with me, so I don't have pictures of some things and have to rely on my memory. (Score another point for finally getting an iPhone.)

Anyway, even when I reach my goal, I plan to keep writing this blog. I'm sure the format and style will change, and it will be about maintenance, strength training, and (possibly) 5K training instead of weight loss, but I'll still have a bunch of stories about Brent, the kitties, and life in general. :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

40 Pounds!

I hit the 40-pound milestone this morning. 317 pounds on the dot!

Also, my new jeans are finally comfortable. They were a biiiit tight last week, but now they're fine. I think dropping 5-6 pounds of water bloat really helped (go figure). ;)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tigers & Kitties

I've named the boy kitty "Sherlock". That name came to me when I saw how inquisitive he was, with that little head-tilt and assessing gaze. He also gets into everything and has to know everything. I absolutely adore Sherlock Holmes; I was an English major, focusing on Victorian Lit, so this is perfect.

He follows us all over the place. It's so cute and funny. I mostly call him "baby bear" and other things. It's funny how you can name a cat something and never call them that. Brent always calls Winter "Little Miss Meow".

She's definitely his cat. She is completely attached to him. She likes me and lets me pet her, but you can tell Brent's her favorite. She sits on his desk and follows him around all the time. She spends most of her time in his room, whereas Sherlock is usually out here with me or sleeping on a dining room chair. Sherlock tends to sleep on my bed, and Winter stays in Brent's room most of the night. (Brent and I are fine; we have separate rooms because he snores and I'm a light sleeper.)

The Tigers game did, indeed, get rained out on Friday, so they've rescheduled for today. Brent told me they had a really swanky box, courtesy of his company, and he has a ticket for me if I want to go. Some of the guys who went Friday aren't going again today. I've been back and forth on that.

On one hand, it would be really cool to say I've been in a swanky box at Comerica Park, and I do love baseball games, road trips, and Detroit. On the other hand, I called into work yesterday because I still wasn't 100% and skipped my friends' wedding. I'd feel awful if I went to the game today; plus, I'm feeling a lot better (except for this cough), and I'm worried I might relapse. On top of that, I don't feel like being social, and it's supposed to be 50 degrees during the game. Not exactly great weather when you've been sick. I keep hearing my parents' voice saying, "You didn't go to school yesterday, so that means no hanging out with friends today." Haha. :)

I'll probably stick around here and watch yet another marathon of "Law & Order: SVU". Is there really anything better than covering up with a blanket, snuggling with kitties, watching "Law & Order", and trying to beat your boyfriend's score at "Angry Birds"?

Yeah, didn't think so. Plus, that would mean having the house to myself again. Double score.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kitty Pics

Holy man am I sick. I have some sinus/chest crud that started on Wednesday, got worse on Thursday, and attacked me full-force all night last night. I woke up around 8:00, told my boss I wouldn't be in, and then called the doctor for an appointment. I was so glad they had an opening.

I was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection and acute bronchitis. If I had a dollar for every time I've come down with that particular combo... I knew what it was the second I woke up because I used to get this every couple months as a kid and still get it every several months as an adult.

I didn't get to see my regular doctor, since he was super busy, but they did weigh me. I've lost five pounds in four weeks, according to their scale, so even though my weight loss has slowed again, I'm still losing. I have my official weigh-in and check-up with my doctor next Wednesday. It's kind of nice not feeling like fail when I step on a doctor's scale. I used to dread it, but now I bug the nurse for my weight. ;)

I got to see his PAC, who is a big sweetie. I really liked him. We joked around for a while. He gave me a prescription for steroids, a Z-pack, cough medicine w/ codeine, and a refill on my inhaler and told me to buy some Mucinex-D. Sheesh. The door at Walgreen's made a "CHA-CHING" sound when I walked in. Good thing I have insurance!

When I got to the counter, I was setting a bunch of stuff on it while the pharmacist asked for my name. I was messing with everything when I gave him my last name, so when he asked, "Sarah?" before he even got over to the outgoing prescriptions, I looked up. There was a neighbor from high school, all grown up and wearing a white pharmacist's coat. It was pretty awesome, small world and all that. Our fathers are good friends, and he'd come over every so often while our parents played cards. It was pretty funny.

I'm so glad I wasn't wearing a ratty hoodie and pajamas with flip-flops or something. Score one for always brushing my hair and putting on real clothes before I run errands. I always say, you never know who you'll run into. Too bad I had a chapped nose and trucker voice, but I think he understood since I had a pile of Puffs Plus, Mucinex, ice cream, Vicks, and my prescriptions. THANK GOD I wasn't picking up wart cream or Valtrex or Monistat or tampons or some other embarrassing thing.

(Mental Note: if I ever require embarrassing things, GO TO RITE AID.)

Brent is at a Tiger game tonight (they're totally going to get rained out), so I'm chilling with the kitties. Winter finally came out of her favorite hiding spot, and Yet to Be Named has been snuggly as usual. I really wish I could come up with a name for him. He's so cute and clingy, and he has a great personality and facial expressions. Every time I call him something, though, it just sounds wrong. I went through the same thing with Gomez. I was convinced I was going to name him Sebastian, but then I got him and it was all wrong. It took me a week to come up with his name. I'm sure if I relax, it'll come to me. I just feel weird that I can't refer to him by a name yet.

Anyway, here are some pictures:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Today was a huge, emotional day with lots of ups and downs.

I found a Russian Blue on the shelter's website last night and decided to go adopt him today. I've been wrestling with getting a new kitty (or two) since I lost both of mine. I'd had them for years, and I still miss them. It's strange not having a kitty around, but I didn't want to feel like I was replacing them.

Well, I went to the shelter today, and I pretty much lost it when I walked into the kitty room. There were so many of them, in cages just big enough for their litter, food, water, and a place to lay down. They were all looking at me, pawing at me through the bars, and head-butting the bars. I was in tears before I even got to the one I'd picked (Blue Moon).

Right above Blue Moon's cage was this beautiful grey tiger kitty who kept looking at me with this hilarious head tilt, like an owl. I pet him, and he glommed onto me, but I was there for Blue Moon. I felt horrible leaving him.

I went to the desk to fill out the application for Blue Moon, and it turned out payment was due right away, not when he was fixed and given shots (the website was wrong). Ack! I had a half-hour to give them the money, or it was going to have to wait until Brent got out of work at six. I called Brent three times, but he was in a meeting. The lady said they'd keep my application, but if someone else paid for him, I'd lose him. Okay, no biggie. It was only a few hours, so what were the odds?

I sat in my car crying for a long time. It was heart-wrenching to see all of those kitties and hear the dogs barking. Plus, the last time I was there was the day Gomez had to be put to sleep, just over two years ago. Brent finally called back, and I told him what had happened and did that gulping ugly-crying on the phone for a bit. Then I came inside and cried some more. Thank goodness it was my day off.

Brent came home just before six, and we went there right away. Since the shelter was having a "two for one" special, we decided to get Blue Moon and the kitty above him (Axel). When we walked in, the lady told me, "Murphy's Law. Someone adopted Blue Moon this afternoon." I really wanted a grey kitty, so I was a little disappointed, but then I said, "I'm glad he got a good home, and this means THREE kitties will be saved today." So that was good. :)

Brent went into the cat room with me, and I was still a bit shaken, but it was better having him there. He was talking to all the kitties as I pet Axel. Brent laughed at the owl-ish head tilt and said we definitely had to get him. I noticed a lot of the cats were missing, though. As I kept petting Axel, Brent was petting and talking to a really sweet long-haired black cat. She was beautiful. Her name was Winter, and that pretty much sealed it (we love winter nights). I saw someone else looking at Axel and talking to him, so I ran to the front of the shelter and gave the lady their cage numbers so she could reserve them immediately. ;)

She told me Axel is a staff favorite, and he's been there for 55 days. That amazed me! He's so wonderful. It made me feel like he was meant for me. Plus, he's already neutered, so they just have to give him his shots and then Brent can pick him up tomorrow between 2:00 and 3:00. (Thank goodness Brent has a job where he can leave if need be and then just work from home or go back to the office later.)

I told her the cat room seemed sort of empty. I didn't see one of the other grey cats in there either when I went back, a pretty manx I'd seen earlier that day. She said it had been a busy afternoon and told me they'd done five adoptions (including mine) since 5:00. Holy cow! That made me feel a little better, even though I hated leaving all those other animals.

The vet does rounds at noon every day, so he's going to check both of them for upper respiratory infections. If Winter is sick, she'll come home tomorrow too so we can take her (or both of them) to the vet. Then, once she's over it, the shelter will coordinate with the Humane Society to have her spayed (since that's part of the adoption fee). If she's fine, then the shelter will bring her to the Humane Society to be spayed and given shots, and then we can pick her up there on Monday. Both cats get microchips too.

After we left the shelter, we went out to dinner. I hadn't been able to eat all day, and I still wasn't hungry, but I needed something. Then we went to Meijer to get two cat carriers, two litter pans, litter, food, treats, and toys. It feels so good to see cat toys on the floor again. ;)

We're going to keep Winter's name, but we're renaming Axel. I'm not sure what it will be yet. I want to snuggle with him and try some out. That little owl look he does is so funny, but I don't want to name him Owl. We'll figure it out together. :)


A 1.8-pound gain this week.

I'm pretty sure I know what caused it (very little water, some regular soda, ice cream, and Mexican food over the weekend). I was five pounds heavier on Monday, so hopefully I'll be back to last week's weight next week. It's a miracle I didn't gain ten pounds of water weight. I'll gladly take this little bit - much easier to lose. ;)

At this point, I'm not so sure I'm going to hit my Thanksgiving goal (I'd have to lose 2.5 pounds per week), but I'm going to try to be as close to 300 as possible. A loss is a loss, and I'm not going to let that depress me since any weight lost by Thanksgiving is a Good Thing, whether I'm 315, 310, 305, or 300. It appears my body is hitting one of those reset points, which always happens after I lose a bunch at once. I should be back on-track pretty soon, and I can always change the goal to "under 300 by Christmas" if Thanksgiving comes around and I'm still a few pounds away. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

NSVs & Overestimating

Mary and I were "talking" about how, even when you lose the weight, you still feel like your old, fat self. I've been feeling that a lot lately, which leads us to the newest NSVs.


I grabbed an old t-shirt out of my closet, thinking there was no way it would fit.

It fit.


I put on this gorgeous winter coat I bought in 2008, that I only wore for a couple months because I started gaining weight immediately. I couldn't bear to give it up because it was brand new and looks great with my figure. I couldn't even get it on last year because my arms were so heavy. I kept it because I knew I'd want to wear it someday.

It went on, and I could button every button but the bottom one (I couldn't button it in 2008 either). It's a bit tight, and would be even tighter over a sweater, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to wear it by the time I need a winter coat.


I saw some cute flats at the store tonight, size 8W. No way my swollen, fat foot will fit in those. I can't even wear an 8WW. My foot's going to look deformed and hang over the sole.

They fit perfectly. (I probably would have scored this one a lot sooner, but I've been in flip-flops since May.)


Lane Bryant had Right Fit jeans on sale for $29.99. THIS NEVER HAPPENS. My current size is too loose, and I've been cinching my belt tighter. No freaking way will the next size fit, though. I just bought these a couple months ago.

They fit.


My 42C bra is too loose, and the cups are freaking huge. Maybe I can wear a 40C.

The 40C is a biiiit too tight in the band, but the cups are good. A-ha! Time for bra math. Try a 42B (same as a 40C).

It fits, and my chest finally looks normal (and perky!) again. I bought two. I wouldn't count losing boob fat as a "victory", but at least my shape looks good and I'm not swimming in the cups anymore.

Also, this means that once that 40 band fits more comfortably, I can buy bras at Victoria's Secret again. YES. I cannot wait. Their bras are expensive, but they last for-ev-er, and they're really comfortable.


My friends are getting married this weekend. I saw a super cute jacket/top combo I could wear with dress pants or a skirt and decided to give them a try.

OMG Lane Bryant tops fit again!

The two items together were $110, though. No way. I could wear the jacket and top for all types of occasions, but I'm not spending $110 on stuff that's already borderline too big. (Not only could I get the top and jacket on, the 26/28 top was loose. I couldn't even get my arms in their tops four months ago.) I very nearly bought them simply because they fit, but yeah... Brent would have killed me.


Another friend suggested wearing one of my old Holy Clothing skirts. Yeah, right. The green one is perfect for a casual fall wedding, but it's too tight.

I'm wearing it right now because I can't believe it fits. (I'm so glad I didn't take it to Goodwill. This has always been my favorite skirt.)


The green skirt requires the black boots I couldn't even get my fat, swollen feet into last year.

They zipped up just fine and actually have some wiggle room around my calf.


Brent: "Let's go to Theo & Stacy's for breakfast. We haven't been there in two months."

Two months ago, I had to suck it in to get into the booth, and my belly touched the edge of the table and hung over a tiny bit.

When we got there, I slid right in. I looked down, straightened my t-shirt (the one I thought wouldn't fit), and noticed there was a 1 to 2-inch gap between my stomach and the table.


The point to all of this is: I still feel like I weigh 356 pounds. I sit in chairs expecting not to fit, and they're fine. I expect shoes to be too tight, clothes to be too tight, booths to be too tight. Even when I'm wearing the clothes or sitting in the chair, I feel alien. It's like an out of body experience. There's no way I'm wearing this shirt or those shoes or that jacket. For so long, I'd put something on expecting it to fit, and it would be too tight. Or, we'd go somewhere to eat, somewhere I'd been a million times, and I wouldn't fit in the chair.

I got used to that, and now that I've lost 37 pounds, I can't get past it. I guess I feel like 37 pounds isn't enough to make a difference, even though I have the pictures and measurements to prove it. Brent pointed out that I should be used to this weight, since I weighed between 310 and 320 for several years, but I'm not. I don't feel like I'm in my old-old body; I feel like I'm in the old body I was in just a few months ago.

I wonder if it's going to feel this way all the way down to my goal weight, especially when I get to weights I haven't seen in 8-12 years. I got down to 265 in 2008 and shot right back up to 310 within a few months. I'd been around 300 pounds since 2002, when I weighed 240. It's been ten years since I was under 300 pounds for a considerable length of time. Twelve years since I was 220. Fourteen years since I was under 200.


Now I understand what Mary was talking about. Even when I get to a size 14 and weigh 165 pounds, I'll probably hold up a pair of size 14 jeans and think, "There's no way my ass is getting into these."

And then they'll fit.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chicago Plans

We finally picked a hotel and made our reservation. Here are some pictures of the Club Quarters Hotel on Wacker in Chicago. It's the best deal I could find in the Loop ($179/night). Other hotels in the Loop can cost anywhere from $275-$1200/night. I showed Brent Trump Tower and the Waldorf Astoria (both $525/night for the smallest room), and I thought he was going to swallow his face. We rent a 1700-sq ft apartment for $825/month. ;)

I'm even more excited for our trip now. I requested an upper floor room with a view of the river. I hope they have one available.

Photos of Club Quarters Chicago -- Wacker at Michigan, Chicago
(courtesy of TripAdvisor)

Photos of Club Quarters Chicago -- Wacker at Michigan, Chicago
(courtesy of TripAdvisor)

Photos of Club Quarters Chicago -- Wacker at Michigan, Chicago
(courtesy of TripAdvisor)

Photos of Club Quarters Chicago -- Wacker at Michigan, Chicago
(courtesy of TripAdvisor)

We're still "working on the itinerary", which means I'm looking up places to go and things to do while Brent waits to approve everything.

Don't get me wrong; this is what works best for us. He honestly does not care what we do, so I look for fun things, plan it out, and then present it to him. He makes suggestions every so often, and then I re-calculate and re-formulate. He knows I'm a control freak, and vacations where he wanted to play everything by ear sent me into a tizzy, so this is how we do it now. Whenever he has a specific need/want, he lets me know so I can work it in (for example, we're going to the concert Saturday night, and he wants to head up to The Alley to shop for some new shirts).

Currently, we're planning to work a half-day on Friday and take the 2:25 train to Chicago. It gets into Chicago at 3:58. The new high-speed rail section west of us has cut that trip by a half-hour, which means it's now just as fast as driving, if not faster (and a lot less stressful; plus, no parking!)

Right now, the only firm plan (besides the TKK concert at 9:00 Saturday night) is to visit the Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday. There are a couple of train exhibits I really want to see, and Brent will have fun running around like a kid. He loves to touch things and play with exhibits, even when he isn't supposed to touch them.

This was taken at Adler Planetarium last year

The restaurant choices are up in the air. We'll probably just eat in whatever area of town we happen to be in. We love discovering new places, especially if they're well-loved in that neighborhood but not necessarily "famous". My Urbanspoon app is going to come in handy. :)

We really want to visit Sprinkles Cupcakes. I learned about Sprinkles when everyone got on the bus with them during our day trip in December, and we haven't had a chance to go there yet. They even have a cupcake ATM so you can get your fix if they're closed.

We also want to visit Hoosier Mama Pie Company. We learned about Hoosier Mama during an episode of "Sugar High" last year. Duff Goldman featured the "Fat Elvis Pie", made from bananas, peanut butter, pretzels, graham crackers, and chocolate cream.

Our train leaves at 6:00 on Sunday, so we have to be at Union Station by 5:00 to get into the gigantic line that always forms for the Wolverine. Since we'll be checking out of the hotel around 11:00, we're just going to find something chill to do for a few hours after storing our bags at the station.

Why Amtrak hasn't added a later departure to the Wolverine, I'll never know. I'm sure they'd get just as many customers for a 9:00 departure time, and it would allow more time in the city. Granted, that would mean arriving in Detroit around 3:00 AM, and a LOT of families take the train to Chicago for the weekend, but there are just as many students and night owls like us who would love that option. Oh well. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thrill Kill Kult - Chicago, IL

One month from now, we will be at the Thrill Kill Kult concert in Chicago. We are VERY EXCITED. We love industrial shows; plus, I haven't seen TKK since 2000, and Brent hasn't seen them since 2009.

They're playing at the Bottom Lounge on October 13. I wrangled getting that Saturday off so we could spend the weekend there. I haven't been to Chicago since we took my dad to Wrigley, which didn't involve any walking. Before that, it was a day trip in early December.

And here we come to the point of my story.

My company sponsors a bus trip to Chicago the first Saturday of December for "Christmas Shopping". They hire two charter buses, and for $10, an employee and their guest can ride the bus to Chicago. It's a very good deal. The bus leaves at 8:00 AM and drops everyone off at the corner of Michigan Ave and Chicago around 10:00 AM. You have all day to do whatever you want (the focus is shopping, since you arrive on the Magnificent Mile, but some people go to museums and landmarks).

We were with a friend who had never been to Chicago, so we were really excited about taking her to all kinds of places. This trip would end up being the last straw for me (physically).

We decided to eat as much as possible and visit Shedd Aquarium. I was super excited because I LOVE water and everything in it. I cannot begin to tell you how stoked I was.

We started out by walking to Gino's East.

I have no idea why this came out so hazy

I forgot there was one on Superior, so we ended up walking to Wells. It was only a mile, so my feet were okay, and I wasn't feeling winded. I was pretty happy about that. When we got there, however, we noticed they weren't open. Cue standing around for a half-hour. After eating, we had to walk back.

By the time we got back to Michigan Ave, my feet were screaming. I'd been walking and standing for a normal amount of time for most people, but I was dead. Instead of taking a bus to the aquarium and taking a chance on standing, we decided to get a taxi. My friend had never been in a taxi, so that was kind of fun for her while I got to rest my feet.

When we arrived at the aquarium, it was 1:00. The line was out the door, all the way down the steps, and almost halfway across the plaza. Oh. My. GOD. We couldn't think of anything else to do, though, since it would have taken us all day to go through the Field Museum (same campus) and the Art Institute (another bus ride). We decided to stand in line and tough it out.

45 minutes later, we were halfway up the steps. My feet felt like they had knives in the arches. I kept trying to shift my weight, but it was no use. Brent suggested I sit on the steps, but we were packed into a weather tunnel, and everyone was squished in. There was no room to sit, and I didn't want to embarrass myself by asking people to make room for me to sit.

We finally got inside, and it was another long wait for tickets. The lobby has benches, but every time someone got up, another person would take their spot.

Once we had our tickets, we walked into the main part of the aquarium, and I managed to nab a seat. Brent went to get me a drink while I sat there like a lump. Our friends decided to go to the Jellyfish exhibit (I told them not to wait for me). Once I "recovered", I hobbled to each exhibit and sat down as often as possible. Honestly, I would have loved to have Brent get a wheelchair for me, but OH MY GOD I WAS NOT GOING TO BE THAT PERSON. That's when I felt defeated. It was official. I could not enjoy a day in Chicago anymore. The trip in September was bad, but we sat down so often that I didn't realize how bad it was. By the time my feet would start to hurt, we were already sitting at a restaurant, or on the L, or on a bus, etc. I wasn't tested like this.

Instead of enjoying the aquarium, I kept my eye out for the nearest chair. As I sat in that chair or on a bench, I thought about how much Brent must loathe me at this point. I had gone from the lively, exciteable girlfriend to an invalid he had to babysit. I am positive that is not how he felt, but I wouldn't blame him if he did. I told him as much, and he just kept rubbing my back and telling me he loved me and wished he could help me.

After the aquarium, we caught a cab back to Michigan Ave and walked to a nearby hot dog place. We sat there until it was time to get back on the bus.

From that trip, I was rewarded with a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. If you've never experienced this particular delicacy, don't. Do everything in your power to avoid it.

Every time I took a step, it was like someone had shoved a hot knife into the arch of my foot. Even while resting, I had heel pain and tightness in my arch. I had to wear a wrap around both feet, and the only shoes I could wear were my extra-wide boots that had support in the most painful areas (it felt like a massage). It was still so bad at Christmas that I could hardly enjoy our trip to Albuquerque. Brent took me to this gorgeous light display at the zoo, something he would normally hate, because he knew how much I'd love it. I kept protesting and begging, stating that I couldn't walk (at this point, my right knee was giving out on me too). He told me we could take it easy and sit as much as possible, which we did. For the millionth time, instead of enjoying something really awesome, I was in pain and wanted to cry because I felt like I was a burden.

That is no way to go through life.

The plantar fasciitis eventually cleared up shortly after New Year's Day. I started this blog on January 18, our second anniversary, with the entry "This is Just Stupid". I haven't looked back.

Which brings us to next month.

Since we are going to Chicago for the entire weekend, I want to spend Saturday and Sunday walking around enjoying things. We haven't made an itinerary yet, but I want to use this trip to prove to myself that I can live a relatively normal life again. I'm right where I was when we first started dating (319), so he's accustomed to this weight. Since this trip is four weeks away, there's an excellent chance I'll hit 311 by then, just one pound over my weight at the doctor's office two days before I flew to Albuquerque for our first date. This is the weight range he's used to and the weight range I was in for 2.5 years, so I'm used to it too.

Additionally, my feet and knees don't bother me anymore, and I have much more stamina. (If you had told me I could run in place for eight or nine minutes at this time last year, I would have laughed in your face.) I'm really excited to see if I can handle walking around the city, standing in front of exhibits, and climbing the stairs for the L.

I'm not sure where we're staying yet. We like the Heart O'Chicago motel for its 1950s kitchy-ness, not to mention the price, free wireless, free parking, and proximity to the Red Line. I kind of want to splurge and get something in the Loop, though. I know we'd be spending another $200 or so, but I really feel like I've earned this. We haven't spent a weekend in Chicago since, well, exactly one year ago, and it was horrible because that was the trip I spent the entire time crying because I was too fat to do every single thing we'd planned - see a pattern? I want to turn that around this year, and that means a treat in the form of a hotel in the Loop - nothing fancy, just something in the Loop. I want a view of the river and skyscrapers and maybe a pool. :)

This got really long. Thank you for sitting through it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tickers & NSV

Someone sent me a private message and asked why, sometimes, my tickers don't match up with my published weigh-in. I replied to them, but then it occurred to me that some of you may wonder as well (if you even noticed).

I weigh myself every morning, as soon as I wake up. I've found this is the most consistent time to weigh myself, as my weight fluctuates so much throughout the day. Sometimes I weigh myself again at night just to compare and see how much food/water affects it. It can vary as much as 2-5 pounds! Now you see why I weigh myself first thing in the morning. :) Even doctors agree this is the best time to get your "true" weight, as you haven't eaten in approximately ten hours and your body is slightly dehydrated.

As soon as I weigh myself, I update MFP and the tickers. This way, my weight is always current. LilySlim saves your tickers if you create an account, which makes it really easy. The tickers are linked to that account, so you don't have to copy/paste the code every single time. Anyway, even if I gain, I change everything in the interest of being accurate. I love tracking data to see trends, and this helps. (I have a chart separate from the one on my weigh-in page.)

Weighing in every day doesn't work for some people, so I don't recommend it if you're someone who gets obsessed with what the scale says. For me, it's as routine as brushing my teeth, but for others, it can be a source of panic and stress. If you're one of those people, I recommend weighing yourself once per week, or even once every two weeks since some people don't see a change every week and can get depressed.

Most people I know pick a day mid-week since they tend to eat more on weekends. I actually eat less on weekends, but I use Wednesday as my official weigh-in day since that's when I have my monthly doctor appointments. It's also the weigh-in day for my Thanksgiving Goal group on MFP. My Thintopia group's weigh-in day is Friday, though, so that's another reason I like to keep track throughout the week. I swear it's not as confusing as it sounds!

Additionally, I've created a new "Measurements" page. Measurements are a good way to stay encouraged when the scale isn't moving. It also helps me keep track of which size to purchase since it varies, depending on the store.

Speaking of sizes, that's today's NSV. Last November, I had outgrown my size 26 jeans from Avenue, so I ordered a size 28. When they came, I couldn't get them over my hips. Once I did, they were a good four inches from buttoning. I had a meltdown. I did not want to order a size 30. I had never, ever been that big, and I refused to believe I was in "special sizes". To make matters worse, Brent got an email from his sister while I was struggling with the jeans, asking what size I wore because she wanted to get me a hoodie for Christmas. I said, "4X," knowing damn well it would probably be too small, but I could barely get myself to say anything with an X at the end as it was. When he sent the email back, I was standing near him, and I saw him type, "She said 4X. I'm pretty sure that's correct. Make sure it's big." I wanted to die.

Fast forward to this week: my Lane Bryant jeans have gotten too big, and I hate their new jeans, so I decided to try Avenue again. I ordered a size 24 and crossed my fingers.

I got them in the mail yesterday, and they fit! They fit perfectly! I'm wearing them at work right now, and they're neither too tight nor too big.

Additionally, that 4X hoodie I got for Christmas last year WAS too small. I managed to wear it that winter with a bit of stretching magic, but it was still a little tight through the belly and thighs. I love that hoodie because it's so soft and comfortable, so I was excited to wear it again last week when the weather got cold at night. I put it on, straight from the dryer, with no stretching, and it was almost too big! The band at the bottom doesn't even touch my thighs, and it's comfortable in the belly. It's starting to get that "I borrowed my boyfriend's clothes" look. When she asked Brent what size hoodie to buy me this year, I said, "3X," knowing it will fit.

I'm kind of kicking myself for getting rid of all of my 3X shirts. I had a LOT since I was in that size for so many years. Even though they were starting to show signs of age, at least it would have been something to wear. I only have a few 3X tops now, so I need to drop some money on new shirts and sweaters for the next few months. At least it'll be about six months before I'm in a 2X, so it's not so bad.

(I can't believe I'm borderline complaining about having to buy smaller clothes... ha!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Image courtesy of Ampersand Seven

Today is my official weekly weigh-in. I'm pleased to say the scale read 320.6! That's a 2.4-pound loss since last week.

If I can keep this up for just a few more weeks, I'll definitely hit my Thanksgiving goal. I have to lose 2.05 pounds per week to get there, so it would be nice to skew that average a bit and give myself a little wiggle room for those inevitable weeks where I might only lose one pound (or nothing).

Edited (9/13): Someone pointed out that this means I've lost 10% of my body weight. Whoa! :)

Part of me is thinking I should change the name of my blog. I love the title and tag line because it's such a great play off "The Hunger Games" and the famous phrase from the book ("May the odds be ever in your favor"), but "The Hunger Pangs" gives a false impression of weight loss. If you're hungry, you're doing it wrong. Weight loss isn't about depriving yourself; it's about learning to incorporate the foods you love, eating those foods in moderation, and making better/smarter choices as often as possible. A lot of people think weight loss is going to be difficult because they'll have to eat nothing but egg whites and celery, consume no more than 1200 calories per day, and exercise for an hour every day. That could not be further from the truth, and I hate to think people looking for weight loss inspiration will find my blog and see that discouraging title.

I will probably change it to "Drawn to Scale", the URL I use. It satisfies my need for a play on words and doesn't create a false impression of weight loss.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

35 Pounds!

I know my official weigh-in is tomorrow, but I hit 35 pounds lost this morning and wanted to give myself the badge. ;) I weigh 321.4 pounds.

The current issue I'm struggling with is this: do I share on Facebook? I posted when I lost 25 pounds (August 8th), so I don't want to come across as an attention whore; however, that was a month ago, so maybe it wouldn't be AW-ish?

I have a friend who lost a bunch of weight recently, and she posted at 25 and 50. I wouldn't have minded if she'd posted at 35, 40, or whatever, though.

Someone told me I should stop mentioning it and let people notice or wait until I've hit "a really big number, like 60 pounds lost, something awesome like that". I told them 25, 35, and so on is something big to be proud of, especially since they and many other people in my life have always lectured me about my weight, even when I was 165 pounds.

(Yes, I made it a point to say that when I'm back to that weight, I will flip out on anyone who lectures me because I spent all that time thinking I was fat and hiding myself in photos, when in reality, I looked really good.)


Post or not?

I think I'll post. If people don't like it, they can hide me from their feed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

NSV & Pictures

It was really cold this morning, so I wore a hoodie to work. Mistake. It was 77 by lunch time.

I went out to cash a check and almost died. Since my bank is in the same strip as Catherine's, I decided to bop in there and grab a new shirt I could change into.

Hypothesis: Perhaps I can wear a 3X from regular stores now? I weighed in at 322.4 this morning, and I was just under that the last time my 3X shirts fit, so... maybe?

Result: YES

Finally, I can go clothes shopping with friends again. We'll still have to go to plus-size stores for me, but at least I can go to stores again. I hated ordering clothes online. Not only does the shipping suck, but the two stores I ordered from have sent me the wrong color 50% of the time (no exaggeration there), and I hate paying for shipping without knowing how something will look.

Anyway, when I tried the shirt on and grabbed a pair of pants in a smaller size, I could finally see how much weight I've lost. I'm still big, so it's subtle, but now I can see what other people see. Listen to Stacy and Clinton when they tell you FIT is very, very important.

I put all of the comparison pictures on the Photos page. Take a gander. :)

Wii Fit w/ HRM

I did the Wii Fit again last night. This time, I wore my HRM.

In 22 minutes, I burned a little over 450 calories! That's accounting for my BMR (what I would burn even if I were just laying in bed).

I did the regular Hula Hoop again and then did the advanced Hula Hoop. That one was much harder because I had to rotate to the right, and then it switched to the left. My left knee was bothering me, so I had to stop halfway through the left rotation. I probably could have finished, but I really don't want to screw up my knee. Given the way I have to stand on the balance board while I rotate, I should probably skip the Hula Hoop until I've lost more weight.

I also did the advanced step a few times. I skipped the basic because it's so slow and easy. I managed to beat my high score, but it still wasn't very challenging. I found the step platform on Amazon last night. I'm going to order it so the step is more of a workout. I really need to tone my thighs. I promise to take it easy if it bothers my knee.

This time, the basic run was much easier. I did so well that it unlocked the longer run. The short run is three minutes, but I'm not ready to do the longer run yet. Maybe in a few weeks. I want to get through the short run without feeling like I'm going to die first. Eventually, I'll be able to do the free run, where you pick an amount of time (I believe the max is 20 minutes).

I realize "running" with the Wii is nothing like running outdoors. For one, I'm not propelling myself forward. I'm mostly running in place, with little bouts of running around the balance board to keep it from getting boring. Secondly, the living room floor is flat hardwood, which is probably easier on my feet than concrete.

It does give me a chance to work on keeping my arms in the right position, though, and it's helping to condition my heart and lungs. I don't know if I'll ever start training for a 5K, but I think it would be fun to do it just once to say I did it. (Plus, it's on my 101/1001 list.)

I'm really looking forward to doing this workout every night. I don't think I've ever said that about scheduled exercise before! :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wii Fit

This is not Mii.

After the Wii Fit weighed me under 330 a couple weeks ago, I didn't play because we were on our way somewhere. I can't believe it's been two weeks! Gamer fail. Girlfriend fail too. Brent bought this for me several weeks ago! He understood why I didn't touch it when I was too heavy for it, but now that I'm under the weight limit, I've been feeling bad that I haven't played.

Anyway, Brent went to Chicago for a concert last night, so I had the house to myself for the first time in forever. As soon as I got home from work, I loaded up the Wii Fit. It weighed me 3.75 pounds under the last time. /flex

The first game I played was the basic step aerobics. It was really, really simple. I did it a few times to try and beat my high score.

Then I moved onto the basic Hula Hoop game. That was kind of fun, but I felt really stupid doing the movement. It was a decent workout for my butt and thighs, though.

The next game I played was the basic running game, shown above. Holy cow! I tried to stay on pace as best as I could, and I kept watching the little slider move closer and closer to the end.

This is where game psychology works.

I was tired and didn't want to keep going, but I could see my little Mii moving closer and closer to the finish. I didn't want to "lose" the game or score super low, so I kept running and running and even increased my pace a few times to try to stay even with the pacer. I probably looked like a moron, flailing my arms up and down and running around the living room, but it was a great aerobic workout!

Once I finished that, I moved onto the more advanced aerobic step. That was a lot more fun. It was a little more challenging than the basic step but wasn't hard. It just had a few additional movements, and they speeded up near the end. I did that a few times too. I kind of wished the step was a little higher so I'd get a better workout. Apparently, I'm not alone. Today, I found some listings for a modification you can buy to raise the balance board and get a better workout. I haven't looked at safety ratings or weight limits yet, so I'm not sure if it's feasible.

Every time I finished a workout, it would show how much time I'd spent on it and my calories burned. The Wii uses a formula to calculate the calories, and I doubt they're accurate, so I'm going to wear my HRM next time. It assigns a certain number to each workout, depending on its intensity. This allows you to choose a workout based on how "difficult" it is. Then, it uses that number, your weight, the workout time, and (I think) something else to calculate the calories. Again, I'm not entirely sure it's anywhere near accurate, but the game does state that via a little blurb during the tutorial.

Not my data

The Wii provides you with a graph and summary of your weight change, BMI change, "actual age" change (it determines this using several balance tests along with your weight), time spent working out, and calories burned. I really like this. I'm already tracking my weight and such on MFP, but it's nice to see it on the Wii too. I'll take as many pats on the back as possible. ;)

I was pleased to see my "actual age" has already changed from 46 to 44. Here's hoping I can get it to my real age (35) or lower within the next few weeks.

I'm going to move the Wii into my bedroom tonight. I feel really self-conscious working out in front of Brent, even though I know he loves me and doesn't care about how silly I look. I always get self-conscious when someone is watching me do anything, though, whether it's working out or something more simple, like playing a video game.

I miss some of my old exercise DVDs, but I'll probably stick with the Wii Fit for now since it's low-impact and a LOT of fun. I need to incorporate some actual strength training in there again, though. I can tell I'm getting "flabby" where the inches are coming off. I'll probably do the Wii Fit every day and then do The Firm's "Upper Body" workout every other day since the Wii works my lower body. Building muscle will not only help with shaping those areas, it will also give me more core strength and keep me healthy.

Bottom line: I definitely recommend the Wii Fit (get the Plus for more games) for anyone just starting out, especially if you're over 300 pounds. It's easy on the joints, easy to follow, very encouraging, and it puts a lot of fun into exercising since you're "just playing a game". If you're a gamer, it definitely plays on the psychology of beating your high score and doing things perfectly (it displays a "Perfect!" when you do a move exactly on-time and on-form). If someone else in your house plays, you can try to beat each other's high scores. I have a feeling Brent is going to start working out with me. He cannot stand to have a lower score than someone. ;)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


325.8, a 0.6-pound gain.

I'm not worried at all. With Labor Day weekend in there, I'm just happy I maintained. Hooray for making the right food choices. It was pretty easy since we have some diabetics in my family and half of the dishes were healthy. I ate a lot of veggies and beans and skipped the bun for my hamburger.

Let's hope it's just water weight since I weighed 323 before I left. If so, I'll be back to 323 by Friday. :)
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