Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's Time to Lose Weight--But How?

When you're losing weight and getting into shape, every morning you wake up feeling just a little bit skinnier. You pull on a pair of jeans you haven't worn in a few weeks and they slide on more easily (sometimes too easily in fact). Each time you walk up a flight of stairs, you feel a little stronger. Each time you meet someone you haven't seen in a while, you feel a new sense of security--you most likely look better than you did.

It's all enough to make you smile, make you feel a renewed sense of confidence. Every step you take towards getting healthy brings new rewards. I remember feeling downright amazing at 200 pounds (after I'd lost my first 40) because all of a sudden I had more energy, fit into normal sized clothing, and could climb on top of roofs (I mean that literally).

As we all know, gaining weight brings the opposite effects. Squishing yourself into too tight clothes is enough to bring on a temper tantrum. Seeing distant relatives/ friends who may notice your weight gain is enough to spoil a party. Flights of stairs and long walks can seem daunting. I could go on, but I think you get the gist.

From my recent posts, you can see which side of the spectrum I'm on. And no, it's not pleasant. Although (rationally) I know that being in the 160s is not the end of the world and I'm much lighter than my heaviest weight (240), it still doesn't feel good. So, I've resolved to take action--do something about this problem. At the very least, stop this weight gain in its tracks. And, hopefully, get back down to 150--a weight that I really enjoyed.

The question comes to mind: What do you need to lose weight? In the past, I needed specific foods and meals. Oatmeal in the morning. Beans and a tortilla for lunch. Cottage cheese with strawberries for a snack. And something vegetable heavy (like a stir fry or salad) for dinner. And of course Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. I needed water bottles, gym clothes (heck a gym membership) and no junk in the house. I needed an all-out battle plan.

And herein lies the problem. We have no money for these extra expenses, and one of Nathan and my favorite activities is to cook a meal together over a few glasses of wine. How do I incorporate that into my strict diet regimen? I don't even own a scale at the moment, so I'm not sure how to monitor my progress. And I can't afford a gym and it's crazy cold in Syracuse for running. In other words, how do I lose weight without having complete control over my food and exercise?

I know that it's certainly possible--I just need to find a new way of going about losing weight. I need to really and truly incorporate healthy habits into my lifestyle. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Admissions...A Few

I have something to admit, and it isn't pretty.

My size 8 jeans no longer fit. And the same goes for my size 8 dress and my size 8 black pants.

For some ungodly reason, I thought I had evolved past the days of outgrowing my clothing. I thought I had moved beyond the embarrassing (and potentially painful) moments of squeezing my stomach in order to zip my jeans. Or angling my face just so to avoid the double chin on camera. Or feeling my inner thighs bounce into each other when I walk naked in my apartment.

But, alas, it's true. I've gained weight. Fourteen pounds to be exact. The last time I weighed myself, I was hovering around 164. And since then, I've managed to eat half a batch of chocolate chip cookies and nearly a loaf of Nathan's delicious focaccia bread. Not to mention the chocolate chip pancakes I enjoyed this morning, smothered in syrup, or my coffee with cream with enough sugar to kill a diabetic. So, God only knows what my weight is right now.

Needless to say, I am not in anything close to diet mode right now. Nathan and I just moved into a brand new apartment in Syracuse, NY. Yup, you heard me right, I said Syracuse. Home of the snow, home of my alma mater, and home to a particularly obnoxious shade of orange that is plastered all throughout the city. Our apartment is completely empty, aside from a jumble of clothes and huge stacks of books.

The cats are going completely insane. Leo has decided, with a vengeance, that he hates the new apartment. So, he waits until 4am to wail as loudly as possible, while simultaneously attacking the air mattress. At night, we have been forced to lock him in the (big) closet--the only room in our apartment, besides the bathroom, with a door. During the day, he finds weird spots to hide (behind the fridge/ next to the litter box) and when you find him and plead with him to cheer up, he scowls at you. He's ready to trade his parents in, I can tell.

Fanny, my sweet yet clumsy cat, has taken to doing acrobatics in the middle of the night. She sprints across the entire apartment and then takes a running leap (roughly four and a half feet) onto the windowsill. Sometimes, she makes the jump and other times she crashes to the floor (usually on her head). Unlike her brother, she seems delighted with our empty, echoing apartment.

And Nathan and I? We're surviving. On the upside, I started my new job on Monday. I have to say it because I'm so damn proud. I am officially the Assistant Editor of CNY Woman, a magazine targeted towards woman in Central New York. We have our own place (no roommates!). Nathan has some great career prospects in management. And we're engaged to be married. We haven't set an official date yet, but we're thinking either a year from this coming May or a year from August.

On the downside, we are completely, flat-out broke, which means we're living on pasta, chicken, frozen vegetables, eggs, and whatever we can make with flour, sugar, baking soda, and yeast. We have no money for our two favorite vices--booze and cigarettes--which means that tensions are a (wee bit) high in the Katie/ Nathan household. We're also massively sleep deprived (thanks to Leo) and Nathan has begun criticizing my parenting skills. He insists that if I hadn't of coddled Leo, Leo wouldn't think he was a human, and wouldn't be having these temper tantrums in the middle of the night. I, on the other hand, believe that all Leo needs is some love and furniture to hide under and he'll be okay.

But then on the plus side, I'm in love, living with my favorite person in the whole world, who makes me chocolate chip pancakes before work.

So, I can tell that you're probably waiting for me to address this weight gain of 14 pounds. Well. I don't have much to say. I simply cannot diet right now. I can't afford it and I can't deal with any additional stress in my life. When things become more normal (i.e. we are not stressing about how to pay rent), I'll re-evaulate. But for the time being, it's not the most important part of my life. I still have to say that I haven't binged since last April--so that's nearly 8 months of being binge free. Pretty damn awesome, if I do say so myself.

But, one thing I am going to do is start walking to work. The walk is roughly 1.5 miles, so that means I'll be walking 3 miles a day. That's a good amount of exercise, and I think that it will help me maintain, as well as help me get back into shape.

Another goal that I want to work on is to STOP the FAT TALK. I hate that I've slipped back into calling myself names (disgusting/ hideous/ fat/ gross) and that needs to end. I wasn't any of those things when I weighed 240 pounds, and I'm certainly not now.

Do you struggle with "fat talk," and if so, how do you combat it?

It's Been a While--Bullet Updates

I seriously believe that you could write a novel about the past four months of my life. Well, if not an entire novel, at the very least a short story. But alas, I am busy and don't have much time.

So, to sum up, the following has occurred since my last (consistent post) in August:

-I hit my Weight Watchers goal weight

-I moved out of my apartment in Richmond and moved back home to my parents' house in Northern Virginia

-I lost my Weight Watchers goal weight (and am currently over 10 pounds heavier, grr...)

-I quit my job of two years and accepted a better paying job in DC.

-I fell in love.

-I quit my higher paying job.

-I got a new (lower paying job) in Richmond.

-I moved in with Nathan.

-I lost my lower paying job.

-I started working as a Freelance Writer.

-Nathan and I got engaged.

-Nathan and I moved to Buffalo, NY to look for better jobs and live with my extended family.

-I landed my dream job, Assistant Editor of a magazine, in Syracuse, NY

-We found an apartment in Syracuse NY

-We moved into the new apartment and I started my job.

-Nathan got an interview for his dream job.

...And that's where I am right now.

I'm debating about starting another blog. Please let me know if you think I should continue with this current blog or start something fresh. I appreciate feedback =)


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ramblings of a Lunatic

Since I hit goal last August, one question I've been asking myself is, How do I define healthy? Is my journey complete now that I've hit a certain weight or a dress size? What does health mean to me now that the weight is gone and I'm left with a lingering feeling that my journey is far from over?

At the moment, my stomach is feeling full after eating a huge bowl of failed stir fried rice. I hadn't eaten since morning (an egg with toast), so by 5pm my hunger level had reached a level of desperation that prompted me to throw rice, chopped onion, and oil in a pan and then dump two eggs on top. And to complete that meal, I ate a burned peanut butter cookie and a cigarette. Needless to say, my rushed dinner was less than satisfactory. But it did the trick--I'm no longer hungry.

Can you tell I'm in a rotten mood?

I was supposed to be writing today. I wanted to get back to this blog. I wanted to write an article for Richmond.com, and I wanted to send out my resume to prospective employers (oh, the joys of being unemployed), but what did I do instead? I entertained friends, got called ugly by a woman at Target (don't ask, I know it sounds ridiculous) and I spent money that I don't have on a burnt cup of coffee. My head hurts and I'm feeling lousy. Nathan is at work, killing himself to work a double shift to support us and pay our bills, and I'm wasting time.

Why am I wasting time?

Am I afraid that I'll fail as a writer? Am I too damned lazy to get off my ass and write something? Am I too damn anxious? I know that I want to be a writer but I'm afraid that I don't have enough to cut it in the field. Maybe my vocabulary isn't big enough? Maybe my sentences aren't sophisticated enough? Maybe my writing is just too damn egocentric for my own good. On the plus side, I applied to Target today. Do you think I might be overqualified with my B.A. and M.A.?

If you've made it so far through my self-absorbed ramblings, I give you credit. I bet you would like to know how the maintenance journey is going. Well, it's going all right. Nathan hid my scale for about two weeks, but I finally weighed myself yesterday: 152.5. So, I've lost a little bit of weight this past month. But then I weighed myself later in the day, after a run, and my weight was back up to 158.5. So, I have no idea what's going on. Nathan hid the battery to my scale this morning, so I couldn't weigh myself today to check out what's going on.

He thinks I'm obsessed. Obviously, that's ridiculous ;)

So, in a nutshell, weight management is not my top priority right now. I need to find a way to do what seems impossible right now--become a writer. And at the very least, I need to find a job so that I can contribute to our income. The weight is essentially staying off without too much effort on my part. Some days I eat too much. Some days I eat too little. And in the end, it all evens out. I think that as long as I don't binge, I won't gain it back. I'm trying to exercise more. Nathan and I went jogging two days this week, and we're trying to walk more and cut back on cigarettes.

I'm sorry for this awfully scattered post. I hope that I don't come off as a psycho--I'm just stressed right now.

If you made it all the way through, thanks for enduring my stream of consciousness rambling. If you have any advice, feel free to send it my way.

Friday, October 14, 2011

And the Verdict is...

I know that Friday afternoons at 5pm are the ABSOLUTE worst time to post on a blog, because if you're anything like me, you're racing out of work, throwing on your sweat pants, and eagerly awaiting a weekend free from the glare of the computer screen.

Or, then again, maybe not.

But regardless, I promised I would post an update of my weight and here it is:

157.5

Well, seeing 157.5 this morning was possibly the cold, harsh slap that I needed to understand that this journey is not over--and perhaps it never will be--and that I can't eat anything I want, whenever I want and not gain weight. It's really just that simple. Maybe there are people in the world who don't love food as much as I do OR maybe there are people in the world who respect their hunger signals better than I do OR maybe there are people in the world who can eat as much as they want and not gain weight.

However, none of that matters to me. I happen to be the type of person who loves food, has trouble hearing/ respecting my hunger signals, and who can gain weight. Unfortunately, I will have to monitor my eating for the rest of my life. And yet, I truly believe that good habits bring about more good habits, just as bad habits solidify bad habits. In other words, when I'm eating well and exercising consistently, it's easier for me to stay on track and see rare indulgences as what they are--out of the norm. And, likewise, when I'm eating poorly and hardly exercising, I look at each meal as a chance to indulge and see healthy days as rare.

Well, it's time to switch the cycle. And it's also time to go home from work--thank goodness! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maintenance is not as easy as it seems

Well, it's official. I jinxed myself.

Just as I was getting good and cocky about my ability to eat whatever I liked, the tides turned. After countless nights of endless glasses of wine, ice cream, chocolate chip pancakes, too large servings of delicious, buttery foods, I saw what I had been dreading for some time: a gain on the scale.

You know, you'd think that the girl who struggled with weight for the past 2o or so years wouldn't be surprised when, lo and behold, overeating leads to weight gain. But I have to admit, the first time I stepped on the scale and saw 152.5, I thought the scale must be broken. I wracked my brain for an explanation--PMS, salty food, not enough water. I figured there had to be some other reason than the obvious.

At first, I stayed calm. But then I weighed myself the next day and saw an even higher number. And the next day after that. And after a while, I became a teary mess of pre-menstrual nerves...crying about my weight gain three times a day. Crying about my lost cat Leo (we found him, thank goodness), crying about god knows what. Mostly, I cried because all of a sudden my confidence was shaken: I had proven myself incapable of doing what so many others do seemingly with ease: maintain their weight.

As soon as I believed that I had failed, I felt this overwhelming loss of confidence in myself. Every outfit I tried on felt like second best. In my mind, I'd figure, this would look better if I were smaller/ tighter [insert body part here]. And I know that my reaction wasn't completely rational. No one can see a weight gain of five pounds. No one noticed. Except for me. And I took things more personally, became more self conscious about people, and increasingly thought of myself as a "fat girl," even though I know that I'm not.

So, the moral of the story is that I need help getting back on track. I'm not sure what getting back on track means for me. Does it mean counting points? Exercising more regularly? Becoming a lifetime member? I missed my last weigh in because I knew I was up and I didn't feel like starving myself the days before to get to my goal weight. I didn't want to reach this milestone in a fake way.

So, here are my goals.

1. Tomorrow morning I'm going to weigh in (and post the result here) and I'm going to have weekly Wednesday weigh-ins. I don't need to be weighing myself three times a day. It's not good for me, and I think even Nathan, the most patient boyfriend in the world, is getting a little tired of my thrice-daily crying fits.

2. I'm going to resume my daily lunch jogs at work. I'll pack my jogging clothes and ipod with me to work and I'll start jogging for 15-20 minutes every day. If nothing else, I know that the exercise will make me feel better and more confident in myself.

3. As for food, I'm going to stop eating 'til the point when I'm stuffed. I'm going to try to eat a well-balanced diet, without having to count points, because there is no way that I'm going to count points for the rest of my life. Now, I know that some people enjoy the structure of point counting, but that's just not a sustainable plan for me. I'm not going back on what I said in my previous post--I am finished with dieting. Since I am at a close to healthy weight now, I'm focusing instead on living naturally and eating intuitively. If my "natural weight" is 160 by eating pretty much what I like, well then so be it. I don't want to have to stress about weight and counting points for the rest of my life. For right now, I'm going to focus on drinking more water, cutting down on cigarettes (I'm up to a pack a day now, yuck!) and not eating past the point of contentment.

Well, these are my goals. Oddly enough, I actually feel better writing all of this down. I will be back tomorrow to post my current weight (cue scary music here) and I'll let you know how the lunch jog goes.

It's possible, just possible, that I may have underestimated the difficulty of maintenance.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The End of Dieting

For the first time in my adult life, I haven't had to worry about losing weight. I feel like this bears repeating, for the first time in my entire adult life, I have not felt any pressure (external or internal) to lose weight.

I remember the first time I went on a diet. I was 12-years-old and I had just gotten home from my first date ever. Of course, it wasn't much of a date at that age--as I recall, we went bike riding and stopped by the Asian grocery store and bought sushi. Anyway, I remember that I got home and walked into the house, still glowing from the good time I had. I was wearing a tight, stretchy red shirt that I liked, when my dad walked into the room, looked pointedly at my bulging stomach and said, "Hmm...what's going on with your weight?"

I never wore that shirt again.

I remember walking upstairs that afternoon with my dad and stepping on the scale, and seeing what was then a very scary number: 150 pounds. As soon as I saw my weight, flashing in red, I started to freak out. I panicked as I realized how much bigger I was than everyone around me. My younger sisters were nine and seven, neither of them even close to 100 pounds. My own mom only weighed 130 pounds. Most of my friends weighed around 100 pounds. At age 12, I realized I was bigger and heavier than most of my family and most of my friends.

I stepped off the scale, completely and utterly horrified. My dad, the scientist and rational thinker, had a plan. He decided to put me on his version of Weight Watchers (my mom had recently lost some weight with the program). He created a spreadsheet with weekly weigh-ins (Tuesday evening) and I started the diet right then and there. I think that the diet basically consisted of fewer snacks and fewer seconds at dinner. It was a fairly reasonable plan. Every Tuesday, I would weigh in, my dad would track my progress (and I lost pretty much every week) and then we'd get pizza for dinner to celebrate. It all worked well for a while.

And then, I started to realize that if I ate less, I'd lose more. I started to skip meals, and then step on the scale, and lose multiple pounds in a week. I remember how proud my dad was of me. Nearly everyone complimented me, and I felt thin for the first time in my life. I had this desire to get to 128 pounds, and I remember trying like crazy to get lower than 134. The only problem: I felt hungry all the time. I remember going to bed hungry and waking up hungry. I remember watching my siblings with envy as they ate the treats I enjoyed, while I forcefully deprived myself. I started to resent the diet.

I don't remember the first time that I binged. But I do remember regularly going into the fridge when my parents weren't looking and taking two yogurts and two chewy bars and eating them quickly in my room before anyone noticed. I remember hiding containers and wrappers under my bed. And surely enough the weight started to creep back on. My dad, the scientist, didn't understand it; my weight gain didn't add up. At first, he truly believed there was something wrong with my metabolism. And then he started to realize that I was sneaking food, which led to our first conflict over my weight--when my mixture of emotions, guilt, shame, anger, made it nearly impossible for me to discuss my weight in an unemotional and non-defensive way.

After that first failed diet, I dieted on and off for my entire time in high school, fluctuating between 155-175 in those four years. After I left home to go to college, I completely rebelled, and as you know, my weight skyrocketed to the morbidly obese category--240 pounds. And then of course, for some reason at age 24, I joined Weight Watchers and, well, you know the rest of the story ;)

And now, at the age of 25, I have finally gotten back to what I feel is a natural weight for me. For the past month, I have not been on any sort of a diet. I haven't thought about points. Instead, my philosophy has been to eat when I'm hungry and (try) to stop eating when I'm full. I weigh myself every morning--to monitor my progress--and do you want to know the absolutely amazing thing? By listening to my body and my hunger signals, I have been able to maintain my weight. I am always somewhere between 149-151 pounds, no matter what I eat or what I do. How could this be? Is it really and truly this easy to maintain one's weight?

All I know is that it feels absolutely amazing to not have to worry about my weight, to be able to enjoy food completely guilt-free, and to be able to step on the scale without any fear of judgment. Somehow, throughout this journey to health, I've learned to trust myself. I am at a natural weight and as long as I live well and listen to my body, I know that I will be able to maintain it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Updates....A lot of Them

You know, it's kind of funny. Just a few months ago, I wrote a post, Weight Loss Fairy Tales, where I wrote about how nothing extraordinary happens when you hit that magic number: goal weight. And then I hit goal and my life does a complete 180, just when I wasn't expecting it.

So, let me take you back to when it all started. And this is going to be difficult to do because (a) I have 20 minutes before my lunch break is over and (b) there is so much to say. The last time I wrote a post, I was packing up my apartment, preparing to move back to Northern VA, save money, and start a new life. Today, just one month later, I'm back in Richmond, I have a new job as a Marketing Assistant, and I fell in love with an amazing person, N. I'm sure that he'll be popping up in the blog now since we're living together in Richmond now and trying to figure out how to build a happy and healthy life.

Since losing 90ish pounds, I know some tricks. Fruits and vegetables, constant exercise, limits on junk and alcohol are all ways to stay healthy. But this new phase of my life isn't just about food. It's about figuring out even bigger issues--how to live, how to save money, and how to find a career that's rewarding.

I'd like to share this new phase with you, if you don't mind my somewhat spasmodic ramblings. It's yet another journey, but, as always, writing will help to sort it all out in my head. And I've really, really missed writing this blog.

Last night, N and I picked up my two cats from my parents house and drove them back to our apartment in Richmond. As we were sitting in the car, listening to the Phantom of the Opera on high blast, singing along to all the lyrics, I looked at the road, and back at my cats, and I had this overwhelming sensation of being home. N smiled at me, and things just clicked: We're a family now: N and I, and my two psycho cats.

Needless to say, it's been an amazing month. I promise I'll update more consistently. Things are finally starting to calm down in Katie Land =)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

GOAL!!!!

Longer post to follow, but I officially hit my goal weight at my meeting this afternoon. I weighed in at 148.6 =)

YES!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

End of An Era

I apologize for my lack of blog posts as of late. To say that I have been busy would be an understatement. I have spent the last few weeks apartment hunting, looking/ applying for jobs, going on interviews. The good news is that I was offered a new job in Northern Virginia. The bad news is that my new job starts on August 29, just one week from today.

Which means that I had to resign from my current job, pack up all my belongings, sell my furniture, and say goodbye to a city that I have fallen in love with these past two years--all in the span of two weeks. It's been rough, to say the least.

While packing and moving and dropping boxes of clothes off at Goodwill has been physically demanding, the hardest part has been saying goodbye. I went to my favorite restaurant, Joe's Inn, for brunch and realized that this might be the last time I go to Joe's in a while. I went to my WW meeting on Thursday and had to tell all the members who have cheered me on this past year and half that I was leaving and I wasn't going to reach my goal weight. I said goodbye to all my close friends, and then my friends at the coffee shop, my friends at my bars, my friends in my building, etc...I think it's hard to realize just how much of a life you've created for yourself until you have to leave it.

My house is empty and bare now. In a way, it's a relief, because I don't much left to move this coming week. On the other hand, it's depressing and inconvenient as hell. I miss having a bed and sofa and dining room table. My television is currently propped up on two stacks of books with a board, and my bed consists of an air mattress on the floor. Leo, my sensitive cat, has taken to hiding under the claw-footed bathtub. Fanny, my precocious cat, has decided that knocking over random objects--such as glasses, nails, hammers, books--is an amusing game to play at 3am. Generally, it's a madhouse at my apartment.

So, with all of this going on, it's been harder than usual to focus on my weight loss journey. I am disappointed that I won't be hitting my goal weight in time for my last meeting in Richmond, but I know that I've come a long way, and it doesn't *really* matter that I'll leave my meeting being roughly 3 pounds from goal.

Living in Richmond has been such an amazing experience for me. I've lost weight, gotten healthy, built up my self confidence, made friends, and learned how to survive on my own two feet. I've grown a lot in the past two years, and I'm little anxious to leave the city that has helped me to accomplish so much. On the other hand, I know that it's not the place that has enabled me to do this--it's me. And I know that moving back home with a better job will enable me to grow professionally and economically. I just hope and pray that I'll be able to continue my healthy lifestyle without my own apartment and city. I hope that I won't be too lonely in Northern VA. I hope that I won't revert back to the old habits that made me 90 pounds overweight.

I don't think I will. I have enough faith in myself to know that it doesn't matter where I am, these changes are permanent. I'm excited and scared to start a new chapter in my life. I know that I've made the right decision, it's just hard to leave.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Katie Needs a Pep Talk

Today is my weigh in day. I am up two pounds on my scale and I anticipate a similar result for my official weigh in this afternoon. This is the second week in a row (I gained 0.2 last week) where I'm seeing a gain. I have wracked my brain for reasons to explain this.

Have I gorged on ice cream and cake? No. In fact, I turned down a slice of birthday cake yesterday.

Have I stopped exercising? No. I ran on Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I also did Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred on Saturday and did two Southern Bell workouts on Tuesday.

Have I stopped tracking points? Stopped weighing and measuring food? Nope, still using my measuring cups, still using my food scale.

Have I eaten within my points? Yes, I still had eleven remaining WPs and did not touch my APs.

Have I eaten a lot of fruit? Absolutely. I am in love with fruit right now. Yesterday, I had a banana with my oatmeal, strawberries with my lunch, a peach for a pre-dinner snack, and a mango with my RF ice cream. Yes, a lot of fruit. But hardly worth a 2 pound gain on the scale.

Have I eaten a lot of sodium? Not an unusual amount.

Is it that Time of the Month? Yes, it is. Can that explain a 2 pound gain? Yes, I suppose so.

There's a law called Occam's Razor that says, to paraphrase, the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one. Therefore, because my diet hasn't changed all that much in the past month or so, it makes more sense that TOM is the culprit for my unexpected gain.

Even though I feel mostly confident that my gain is a result of hormones not calories, it's hard to keep going when you follow the plan and see a gain two weeks in a row. I could get all dramatic, swear off Points+, storm around my apartment, and swear that for the next four months I'm going to live on nothing but black beans and oatmeal...but why? Having a temper tantrum will only irritate my neighbors (since I have a tendency to stomp my feet) and ensure that I'll annoy anyone who's willing to listen to me rant about the evil scale.

Instead, I think I'll go the opposite route and focus on what I have been doing right, non-scale victories so to speak.

Last weekend was a challenge, food wise, for me. I ended up going out on Friday night (for drinks), I went to a baseball game on Saturday, and I went to the epic Watermelon Festival on Sunday. Overall, I made really good food and exercise decisions. I limited my drinks on Friday, only had one light beer at the baseball game on Saturday (no soft pretzel), and only had fresh watermelon at the festival. I skipped many treats, including junk food at the baseball game and funnel cake at the Watermelon festival. I also did JM 30 Day Shred on Saturday and walked (roughly 1 mile) to the baseball game.

Throughout the weekend, I made the best choices I could, while still enjoying the activities I love.

This week has also been a challenge as I am actively apartment hunting, which has been fairly stressful since my lease is up September 1. I am proud to report that I exercised two days and I stayed within my Daily Points target every day. I didn't allow the stress of the move to sabotage my eating and I managed to squeeze in workouts (plus a yearly physical exam) into my unusually busy week.

All of this shows that I am learning how to juggle being healthy with the normal stresses of life.

So, my goal for today is to not lose sight of these positive victories when I go to weigh in this afternoon. I will not give my Weight Watchers receptionist evil eyes. I will not sulk and cry during the meeting. I will instead remain cool and focus on making this day a healthy one.

I know that if I continue to have healthy days, I will eventually hit goal.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Friday

Happy Friday. Hope you all have a great weekend =)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Then and Now

I remembered vaguely that I took a similar dressing room shot this time last year, and it turns out I was right. Here's a comparison pic!

I weighed roughly 200 pounds in the photo on the left and weigh roughly 155 pounds in the photo on the right.

Thanks to Beth for creating the side-by-side comparison photo!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Delusional Thinking

Warning: This blog post may contain some paranoid thoughts. However, if you can't voice your own neuroses in your blog, what is the point of having one?

At this point in my weight loss journey, I feel weird about telling people I *only* have four pounds to lose until goal. I fully expect most people to glance at my undoubtedly imperfect figure and think, "Hmm...looks more like 20 to me." Of course, most people won't have the balls to say that; instead they'll grin and say, "Oh, that's great."

In the past, I've always had the opposite reaction. I remember telling my aunt and uncle (at the beginning of my weight loss journey) that I needed to lose 85 pounds. Their reaction was, "Certainly, not that much! That's crazy!"

I remember last summer when I finally broke into Onederland and I was 50-ish pounds from my goal weight. I was out with my then-boyfriend and one of his friends. I remember we were getting a little tipsy (it was around 2am) and my boyfriend decided to pick me up. I was so afraid that he'd realize right there and then that he was dating a "bigger girl" but he didn't flinch when he picked me up and set me down on the counter. I remember telling him soon afterward that I wanted to lose about 40 more pounds, and both my BF and his friend were skeptical--40 pounds, really?

They both didn't think I had that much to lose. I remember how wonderful that felt; for a moment I felt skinny.

So this weekend, I'm hanging out with my friend, smoking and listening to music. All of a sudden, I start wondering, "Why is he hanging out with me? Why would he hang out with a big girl? Doesn't he have anything better to do on a Friday night?" We decide to walk to the corner shop for some wine and I keep expecting the clerk to say something unpleasant to me, because WHO am I to be hanging out with a cute guy on a Friday night? But the clerk acts perfectly pleasant and even makes small talk with me. Then I catch a glimpse of myself in the store camera and realize, "I'm not big. I look like a normal, attractive 20-something year old." All of a sudden, I realize that I'm not hideous.

But then the next day, I'm at my favorite coffee shop, talking to a few guys I know, and I feel the same sense of paranoia: I feel like the token fat girl in the room. I wonder why anyone would bother talking to me. I feel this insane urge to tell crazy, entertaining stories to compensate for my lack of attractiveness. But of course my shyness/ paranoia/ insanity is making it difficult for me to talk at all. Which makes everyone else act funny, which then validates my insane thoughts: They are acting weird towards me because I'm gross.

Instead of, They are acting weird towards me because I'm acting weird towards them. Which makes more sense in a rational world.

But, unfortunately, I do not necessarily live in a rational world.

Believe it or not, these feelings have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with reality. I weighed in on Thursday and I am 154--not FAT by any means. I went to the mall yesterday and fit into size 10 express pants and a size 8 Banana Republic skirt. Not fat, by any means. I went for a 3 mile run/ walk yesterday and I know that I couldn't have done that a year ago.


And yet, I allow the crazy part of my brain to run rampant.

I need to work on this. These feelings are completely and utterly negative and worthless. Would I think these thoughts about anyone else? No, never, not even if she weighed 400+ pounds. I think people are beautiful, regardless of their weight. Why then do I attack myself so rigorously?

Can anyone identify with this? And if you can, have you come up with any positive solutions?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

And the verdict is...

Down 3 pounds to make it 154 on the WW scale. Officially 4 pounds from goal!!

I've Converted

I have to admit that immediately after I posted my last post, The Fat Girl in the Room, I worried about whether someone would comment, "Yes, of course I see a fat girl in those photographs--it's you!"

I am quite relieved that did not happen. Thank you for being so kind, you wonderful people who take the time to comment on my little blog ;)

Moving on, I guess you might be wondering why I haven't been talking about my Weight Loss Journey lately. Cast your fears aside! I am not holed up in my living room, in a Gilmore Girls induced trance, chowing down on raw cookie dough.

To be honest, my weight loss journey has been so easy these past few weeks that there hasn't been much to report. I have continued to lose weight steadily (roughly a pound a week) and I am now officially, according to the WW scale, seven pounds from my goal weight. I have been exercising consistently, mixing my cardio up with more strength workouts (which I have started to love). I have not binged in over three months. Generally, I've been craving fresh fruit--peaches, mangoes, strawberries--more than ice cream and cookies. And I've been craving a sweaty workout more than watching a two-hour-long movie. Oh, summer, how I love thee.

And I will definitely be reading this post and hating my ebullient self come November. Count on it! So, if you're struggling, go read some of my depressing posts from December 2010/ January 2011 ;) This just goes to show that I am incredibly affected by seasons!

The only downside to this summer magic is that it makes me more social than ever, which means too much splurging on booze and other goodies (pizza, homefries, biscuits) over the weekend, which I'm sure is slowing my weight loss. But so far I have managed to stay within my 49 allotted WPs...which brings me to some actual news...

I successfully switched to Points+ a few weeks ago and it hasn't killed my weight loss.

Long story short, my WW Leader, WW friends, and random people on the street all convinced me to give Points+ a shot. And clearly I have no willpower ;) Now that I've adjusted to the program, I refuse to switch back. I feel more satisfied with Points+ and I like having the option to grab a piece of fruit if I'm hungry. Also, the first few weeks I tracked my calories on SparkPeople while I was on Points+ and I'm still eating the correct amount of calories to lose weight (usually 1400 calories a day). So, there you have it, I am now a converted Points+ WWer.

Don't worry, I won't get all preachy and start knocking on peoples' doors with Points+ handbooks. At least...not yet...

So, today is my weigh in day. These days, I have an, admittedly, screwy weight tracking system. Essentially, I've been keeping two separate trackers for my weigh-ins (my morning, post-pee, naked weigh ins) and my afternoon weigh-ins at Weight Watchers (fully clothed/ after breakfast). I record my AM weigh in a spreadsheet my Excel savvy friend created for me, and I record my official weigh in on my WW e-tools tracker/ the Receptionist puts the sticker in my book.

This morning, I weighed in at 153 on my home scale. As I opened up my spreadsheet to record my AM weigh in, I realized that I've officially lost 20 pounds since May 5th. I will let you know of my WW verdict later, but last week I weighed in at 157, so hopefully I'll be down some (although you never can tell!)

Can I just say, it was amazing seeing 153 on the scale this morning =)

Happy Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Fat Girl in the Room

Can you spot the "fat girl" in these photographs?



You know what, I don't see her either. As critical as I can be about myself, I don't see any "fat" women when I look at these photographs. Instead, I see a group of young, pretty women, enjoying a Friday night out in the middle of the summer.

One of the side-effects that no one tells you about when you set out to lose over a third of your body weight is the following: Once the weight is gone, you will have no idea what you look like anymore. Everyone else gets to see the transformation, but all you see are glimpses through mirrors and snapshots taken from a wild Friday night.

Which often results in me feeling like the biggest girl in the room. I was at a bar last weekend (shocker, I know ;) and I started talking to this guy. At one point in the conversation, he referred to me as a "cute blond." I literally laughed in his face. Those adjectives couldn't possibly describe me. But then he pointed across the bar to a thin, blond girl, and said, "Yeah, you and her. You're the cute blonds at the bar."

His words do not match up to my self image of myself. Half of the time I feel like the hulk, with huge shoulders, huge boobs, huge thighs and crazy, messy hair, and the other half of the time I feel glamorous like Marilyn Monroe, especially when I wear my little black dress, tan heels, and huge sunglasses. Clearly, my self image is somewhat distorted.

A friend from Syracuse came to visit me this past weekend, and when I stepped out of my car, it took him a moment to recognize me. He kept going on about how "great" I looked, but all I could think about was the fact that he didn't recognize me. It's surreal losing so much weight that you look like a different person.

Like loose skin and stretch marks, hopefully in time, my self image will firm up and become more accurate. In the meantime, I'm going to try to keep these photographs in my head and remember that I am no longer the fat girl in the room.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weight Loss Fairy Tales

As someone who has spent the majority of my life overweight, I have often thought, "One day I'll lose the weight and everything will be perfect." I imagined that the excess weight was to blame for a multitude of problems in my life--everything from my perpetually unruly hair to my knack for loudly saying the wrong thing in every single social situation. No joke, I emphatically told a comedian that I did not find him funny a few weeks ago. (I blame my mother for this trait. At parties, she is known for loudly proclaiming that the music is horrible [haarable--pronounced in her Long Island/ Boston accent]).

I am beginning to realize that losing weight is like shedding the blanket that obscures you from the world. It exposes your features and shows your insecurities. You can no longer harbor the illusion that underneath all the bulk, you are a fairy princess. Once you've shed the weight, you can no longer run home after a bad day and numb your pain with macaroni and cheese and ice cream. This is fundamentally a good thing. It brings you closer to people. It connects you to the world. At the same time, it makes you more vulnerable. People can decide they don't like you when you put yourself out there. People can decide you're not cool enough, pretty enough, [insert feature here] enough. And you can't think anymore, well I'll show them when I lose weight and walk up to them, looking like a supermodel.


Because all of a sudden you realize that looking like a supermodel is not in your cards. Because, drum roll please, there are no more huge transformations in your future. Yes, you may lose 10-15 more pounds and that will be fantastic, but you don't have another 80 pounds to go. You are essentially at a normal weight. People will still recognize you when you get to goal. And that's okay. In fact, it's better than okay.

I'm starting to realize that weight loss fairy tales never come true. But perhaps the reality is better. I certainly hope so.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finding new confidence, a few recipes, and weigh in results

When I first started Weight Watchers, I remember how unsure of myself I was. I had no idea what to eat and how much/hard to exercise. I remember eating a sausage with penne and marinara sauce the first week and wondering skeptically if I could *really* lose weight eating this way. I remember walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes at 3.3 mph and wondering if it would *really* get me in shape.

I doubted all of my habits (for good reason!) and started the program with Socrates' famous truism, All I know is that I know nothing. I knew my past habits were unhealthy, so I looked for new ones. I experimented with new food, some of which I learned to love (beans, asparagus, oatmeal, sweet potatoes) and some of which I never quite got into (brussel sprouts). I experimented with a bunch of activities--running, Zumba, Body Pump, workout tapes, Jillian Michaels (she deserves her own category), Pilates, biking, and swimming. And from all of this experimentation, I've learned a few things about myself.

I like moderate exercise. In particular, I love walking. Lately, I've been walking a lot more and it's so much easier now. Without my excess weight, my stride is long, and I enjoy the feeling of stretching my legs, walking with purpose. My dad and I used to walk more quickly than the rest of my family, and some of my best memories are walking alone with my dad during the summer, stopping occasionally to wait for my mom and younger sisters. I like repetition, fresh air, and having a chance to think (or talk out-loud to myself). I like being self sufficient.

I also like running. When the mood hits, it's wonderful to go outside and jog. I love getting in a rhythm, where my feet tap the ground and I feel the exhilaration of pure speed. I love the way my breathing gets more shallow and sweat trickles off my neck, but I don't feel like I'm going to die. I've learned to appreciate a good workout. I also know that I can ALWAYS stop. That's important to me. In the beginning, I felt this obsessive desire to finish each workout and match (if not beat!) the intensity of the previous workout. These days, I listen more to my body. If I feel good, I keep going. If I don't, I walk. Walking is okay; in fact, it's more than okay =)

When it comes to food, I've learned that I like big breakfasts. I used to typically skip breakfast and now the first thing I do when I wake up is think, 'What am I going to eat?' I like big bowls of oats with a banana and peanut butter. I love poached eggs with an English muffin. I like a nice omelet with green pepper, cheddar cheese, sliced turkey/ ham, and mushrooms.

Oh and in case I haven't shared my oats at work breakfast recipe, here it is:

Ingredients:

1 packet low sugar instant oats (any flavor you want)
1 small banana
1 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter

Mix the oats in a big microwavable bowl with roughly 3/4 cup water.
Put on high for 1.50 minutes
Add sliced banana for 30 seconds
Add peanut butter for 30 seconds

Voila, you have a good bowl of oats.
6 points

I also love big, veggie-heavy dinners. In case I haven't shared, here's my easy, low point stir fry recipe:

Ingredients:

Food:
Chicken breast (3 ounces)
Half a can of mushrooms (or fresh)
1 green pepper
1/2 can of pinto or butter beans

Sauce:
1/8 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of ground ginger

Or, alternate sauce:
1/8 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon of canola oil
1 tsp of sugar

Directions:
Make the sauce
Marinate the chicken (chopped into bite sized pieces) in the sauce
Chop the green pepper into bite sized pieces
Spray non-stick cooking spray on a frying pan
Add the pepper--cook until tender
Move the pepper to the other side of the pan, and dump in the chicken with some of the sauce (the pan should be hot)
Let the chicken cook (don't move it until the chicken is 3/4 way cooked--should look golden brown on the bottom)
Once the chicken is mostly cooked, toss it with the pepper
Add in all the other ingredients including the rest of the sauce
Cook for approx. 3-5 minutes.
Eat and enjoy

Depending on the sauce, the entire recipe is 5-7 points. You can also add other vegetables to bulk it up. Green beans and spinach make a good addition.

***Note: Do not make this meal the evening before your weigh in, since it's fairly sodium heavy***

Well, I hope that you enjoy the recipes. I know that they are easy and fairly obvious, but I've always liked reading about different takes on simple meals.

In other news, I weighed myself this morning and I'm down to 157.5 =) Happy Thursday everyone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Emotional Baggage

This is a really hard post to write...mostly because it doesn't present me in my best light. But, heck, I've shared the Sex in the City cookie dough tales with you. So I figure I might as well spit out what's on my mind.

So, here it is: I struggle with being overly concerned with my appearance. I am constantly defining myself by the number on the scale and the size of the clothing that I'm wearing. Since starting this weight loss journey, I have lost roughly 80 pounds. Now, I know that many others have lost more and that in the grand scheme of things maybe 80 pounds isn't so epic. But it's been a major change for me.

I spent most of my early adult-hood, defining myself by my weight. On my better days, I thought of myself as pleasantly curvy--and with a 42DD chest, large hips, and solid thighs. On my worse days, I felt like the hulk. I remember screening men by their reaction to me. Would they like a bigger girl? Did they seem interested in me? And because I didn't value myself enough, I felt that all men who were interested in me (at my current weight) were obviously inferior to the "cool" guys who passed me by, hardly glancing in my direction.

I used my personality as a consolation prize. I laughed a lot, gave a lot, and generally tried to compensate for my too large frame. I let guys treat me badly because I didn't feel I was worthy of anything better. Of course, there were a few exceptions. A sweet, brief summer romance before college. A nice medical student I met before graduate school.

In my head, my weight was my defining feature--the only thing that really mattered.

You would think that if weight was so important to me, I would have done everything in my power to lose it--way before I hit 24 years old. But it's not so simple. At the time, I honestly believed I was doomed to be overweight forever. I felt powerless over my weight, incapable of changing my habits. So, I ate more and more. The more unhappy I got with my weight, the more I binged. It was a vicious circle.

For some reason, I decided to join Weight Watchers in March of 2010 and that decision has been life changing for me. It's been a fantastic ride of learning healthy habits and losing weight.

But I still have the same issues--just the reverse now. I am finally close to being a "normal weight," for the first time in my adult life, and it's amazing. These days, I walk into a bar, and I'm not the fat girl. I no longer feel compelled to compensate for my body. I can smile and flirt with the lead singer of a band, and most likely he'll smile and flirt back. I can wear short skirts and clingy dresses. Random men like to buy me tequila shots. I suddenly feel like an attractive woman in her mid-twenties. With a decent figure to boot.

But now I feel like I've lost sight of who I am (or maybe I never knew). I find myself doing the exact thing as when I weighed 240 lbs--defining myself in terms of my weight. I look to men to validate that I'm "not fat" and end up being more promiscuous that I'd like. I find myself flirting and behaving with men as if they are a ruler of my success: If every man desires me, than maybe I'm desirable. But of course, even the most beautiful women aren't universally beloved. And it's not just because people have different thresholds for beauty. It's because looks are just a small factor of who a person is.

I need to place more value on the inner Katie.
I thought that losing the weight would rid me of this problem, but unfortunately I still carry some of the psychological baggage I had with me throughout my life. I need to focus on losing weight to be a strong and confident person--inside and out. I need to stop obsessing about the labels, fat and thin, and focus instead on being happy and healthy. I need to focus on the deeper issues and be less concerned with the superficial.

Can anyone relate to this? I'd love to hear your feedback.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

And the verdict is..

Down 0.5 pounds to make it a solid 159. Not too shabby =)

Sidenote: I haven't been paying for WW these past few weeks and I've been weighing in at home. It seems to be working so far. Do you think I should suck it up and pay for WW again? My plan is to go back sometime before I hit goal, so that I can become a lifetime member =) Does anyone know the rules of this? Do I need to lose a certain amount of weight to become a lifetime member?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cheating the System?

I am trying not to be psycho.

Every day, I find myself aspiring to undercut my points. I take a strange pride in being able to exist on less than 22 points (roughly less than 1100 calories a day). I try to outsmart hunger in any way I can--voluminous low point foods, cigarettes, countless diet cokes. Social events are more difficult than ever, as I feel self-conscious turning down food and alcohol that the former Katie wouldn't have thought twice about accepting.

Lately, this strategy has been failing. I simply lack the self-discipline to ALWAYS turn down food, alcohol, and ice cream (a separate category, if you ask me). And the scale is reflecting this weakness. Last week, I weighed in at 159.5 and this morning I weighed in at the same weight, 159.5. And it will probably be worse tomorrow since I indulged in a huge stir fry tonight (green pepper, mushrooms, pinto beans, and chicken--5 points of goodness) and a skinny cow ice cream sandwich. Notice, how I said indulged? Of course, that stir fry and ice cream fit into my 22 point day. But for some reason, I wanted to eat 2o instead of 22.

People say that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. Well, I might have to take issue with that. My mom's homemade lasagna, cheesy and crisp from the oven. tasted pretty damn good. As did the homemade ice cream cake that I ate at my brother's graduation. The crust was simple goodness--crunched Milano cookies and butter--and the ice cream, Breyer's vanilla with chocolate chips--was pure joy.

So here it is, hard and simple, I am unwilling to starve myself to get skinny. I am unwilling to deprive myself of the foods and drinks I love in order to get to a certain ideal weight (ideal for whom?). But there has to be a way to achieve both. I look at my skinny sisters, with similar genetics as me, and watch as they strike a balance between indulging and restricting. They eat cake and wear bikinis. If they can do it, so can I.

I have to keep reminding myself that I did not reach 240 pounds by eating normally. Back then, I ate with utter abandon, hardly tasting the foods I consumed in quantities that made me feel sick to my stomach. I remember not even liking a lot of the junk I was eating. I ate because it was there. I ate because it was habit. That is not the case anymore.

Whenever I feel like my diet is out of whack, all I ever have to do is ask myself: Are you following the plan as Weight Watchers intended it? And the answer is always no. These past few weeks, I have tried to undercut the plan, and lose weight more rapidly than the plan allows. But, as usual Weight Watchers designed the plan as it is for a reason. They allotted the minimum number of points because your body needs that number of points to function. And they give out weekly points because it's no fun to have to turn down every homemade dessert and glass of wine.

So, my goal this coming week is to follow the plan as written. I will make sure to get my 22 points and I will use my WPs freely to avoid feeling deprived. I will get to goal. And if it takes a little longer to lose this last ten pounds, so be it. I want to stay thin for the rest of my life. I don't want to turn around and gain the weight right back.

Do you ever feel like you try to "cheat" the system? And do you ever feel irrationally guilty for being full or eating the maximum of your points?

Friday, June 17, 2011

How I've Lost Weight (Recently)

A few people have commented on my recent weight loss and wondered what I was doing differently to lose weight. To answer that question, I think that it's difficult to maintain a steady motivation when you're losing weight for a long time. It's only natural that you go through more motivated times when weight loss is a priority and other times when weight loss is more on the back-burner.

This recent burst of motivation all started at the beginning of May. As you might recall, in March and April I was flirting with OA and torn between following Momentum/ Points Plus. I was struggling with binging--succumbing to binges on a weekly basis--which was keeping me from losing weight. In the beginning of May, I talked to a friend and we decided that we were going to LOSE this last 20-25 pounds. We developed a weight loss spreadsheet and decided on a Weigh-In Day. In addition, I went out and bought an electronic scale so I could stop fretting about the inaccuracy of my weigh-ins. (I checked that electronic scale with my regular WW scale and they are very close).

At that point, I made a quick decision. I opted to go back to Momentum. The logic behind my decision: 1.) I know Momentum very well; 2.) I already have all the Momentum tools and it would be cheaper to follow Momentum by myself, rather than pay to use Points Plus; 3.) I don't trust Points Plus (disclaimer--I'm not saying this is a rational distrust; I just intuitively don't trust the new plan) which means it's more difficult for me to follow.

So, once I had decided to go back to Momentum, I adjusted back to the old plan. At first, I was terrified at the lack of points and the sudden cost of fruit. In fact, I almost quit the first week, because I thought I was starving. But instead, I adjusted back to Momentum. I re-learned how to stretch points and found an amazing (and HUGE) chicken-stir fry that only cost 4 points. I settled back into the Momentum groove and started losing weight immediately.

In addition, I upped my workouts. No, scratch that, I started working out more consistently. I started walking 1.5 miles during my lunch break, five days a week, and I started doing a 20 minute strength training exercise DVD every day, as well.

So, basically the answer to my weight loss is fairly simple: I've eaten less and moved more. A few specific things I'd like to mention about how I'm following Momentum:
  • I hardly use any weekly points.
  • I mostly reserve them for alcohol, and I've cut down on the alcohol quite a bit lately.
  • I've increased the size of my breakfasts and reduced the size of my dinners.
  • And occasionally (if I feel satisfied) I don't eat all my DPs (by a point or 2).
  • I never even think about AP points, since I'm not exercising that intensely.
That's about it. I hope this helps! Do you find that you hit motivation peaks and valleys throughout your weight loss journey?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A New Decade

It's official. I weighed in this morning and saw a number I haven't seen in a very long time: 159.5.

I was kind of stunned when I saw the number, so I walked around my apartment, made some coffee, and checked a second time. Yup, still there =)

I am officially in the 150s!!!

While I am definitely excited about my weight loss and being less than 10 pounds from my "goal weight," a couple of less happy thoughts keep popping up in my head:

  • My body is nowhere near perfect. I thought I'd feel really "skinny" when I got into the 150s. Sadly, that is not the case. First of all, realistically being 5'5'' (and barely that) and 159 pounds does not equal skinny, in anyone's book. I guess, when I was in the 200s, the 150s seemed really small, but that is no longer the case.
  • My life is nowhere near perfect. I thought losing weight would radically change my life and make everything wonderful. While losing weight has been terrific, it has not made my life perfect or solved any of my other problems.
  • The right guy hasn't magically shown up on his white horse to take me to his castle. I guess I thought that my weight was holding me back on the guys front, and well...unfortunately my guy problems were not a direct result of my weight issues.
  • Lastly, I think I'm going to need to set a new goal weight. I'd like to be thin, and yeah, I know this last 9.5 pounds will help, but I think I'm going to need to reset my goal weight. Which is kind of a downer...

Okay, okay, okay. I know what you're thinking: Katie why are you being such a Debby downer? Why are you deliberately looking at the glass as half empty? Well, there are a couple of easy answers...read: PMS, guy problems, and sleep deprivation.

But, it's also, a tiny bit anticlimactic hitting the 150s. The evil part of my brain says, "Yeah, so?" But the other part is thrilled =) Can anyone else empathize with having conflicted feelings about hitting weight loss milestones?

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Own Worst Bully

It's tempting--awfully tempting--to look back on older photos of myself with a critical eye. Lately, I've noticed that when I look at older photos, my gaze hones in on the extra chins, the rolls of my stomach, my chunky arms. I find myself reveling in how large I used to be, because it shows how much I've accomplished throughout this weight loss journey.

But why go there? Why use my old self and those old photos as a way to make myself feel thinner and prettier? Have I become my own worst enemy?

I was talking to a good friend today, and I mentioned that it was crazy that I still got hit on at bars when I weighed 240 pounds. Her response: "You were model-y in a plus size way back then, with your big features, wavy hair, and big boobs." Her response surprised me. I had gotten so used to disparaging my former, larger self that I forgot how special and lovely I was, even at my highest weight.

I firmly believe that it is a mistake to hate on my old, 240 pound self. Because, like it or not, I am the same person I was then. Yes, now I've changed my eating/ exercising habits and I look different, but I'm still the same old Katie. The girl who gets lost driving around her own neighborhood. The girl who trips when wearing high heels. The girl who can cook addictive (and awesome!) chocolate chip cookies. The girl who reads books over and over again, savoring each scene, each piece of dialogue.

Even at my highest weight, I still had a certain something. A well proportioned figure, pretty eyes, curly hair. A nice smile.

I like the way I look better now--there's no denying that. But the last thing I want is to hate a part of myself. And that 22-year-old Katie did some amazing things. She graduated from two great schools (undergraduate and graduate), she moved to two new cities all alone, she made a life for herself in Richmond. And she made the rather epic decision on March 25, 2010 to join WW to lose the weight and get healthy.

I owe a lot to the former Katie, and I shouldn't forget it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hit 75 pounds!

The verdict is in. I went to my Weight Watcher meeting and weighed in at 163 pounds today, which means that I have officially lost 77 pounds =) Things are good in Katie Land. I am officially 13 pounds from my goal weight, which is an amazing feeling.

In other news, I got featured on the Weight Watcher Weekly =)

I am trying to rise above fretting over the odd angle of my face and the bold stripes of my sweater. In retrospect, it isn't the most flattering photo...and it was taken when I was 15-20 pounds heavier, but regardless, this is a good thing =)

Sorry for the short post! Work has been crazy and I'm so sleepy I can barely see straight. I just wanted to share the good news =)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Debunking the Top Five Weight Loss Myths

It's hard not to feel a little superstitious about weight loss.

I mean, when your body goes from this:
To looking like this:
It's hard to believe there isn't some sort of magic involved.

And when the scale acts like a scale--a twitchy mechanical device that is just as likely to show you a two pound loss as a two pound gain--it's difficult to not start thinking absurd beliefs:

(Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert and I barely passed high school biology. Please do no not take my opinions as anything other than the thoughts of one girl who has lost weight.)

1. Artificial sweeteners (and beverages/ foods with artificial sweeteners) do not hinder weight loss. Now (disclaimer), I honestly don't know how 30 packets of Sweet and Low would impact your body, but, when used relatively normally, these items will not hurt your weight loss. And believe me, I should know, since I routinely drink unsweetened tea with Splenda and I'm addicted to Diet Coke.

2. Processed food will not make you gain weight. Yeah, I know food with ingredients you can't spell is not healthy, but it won't magically make you gain weight. As long as the nutritional value of the food checks out (meaning it's low calorie, low fat, low cholesterol, etc) just the fact that it's processed won't make you gain weight. (It might, however, contain a lot of sodium, which will make you retain water and gain "false weight," but that will come off as soon as you replenish your water.)

3. Eating the same thing over and over again won't make you gain weight. You might, however, bore yourself (and anyone you cook for) to tears, but it won't make you gain weight. (The same applies to exercise routines.)

4. Eating the majority (or all) of your points in one meal will not make you gain weight. It might, however, make you incredibly hungry when you're not eating and incredibly full after that meal. But it will not make you gain weight.

5. Eating right before you go to bed will not make you gain weight. It might give you a tummy ache/ bad breath though.

I'm curious to know if you agree with this list. And do you have any additional weight loss myths to share?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Change in the Season...

I'm not sure how to start this post. I feel like an apology is (again!) in order. I'm sorry friends, I've been a terrible blogger. What can I say? Work has been busy. Life has been busy. And I don't have internet at home. All of which leads to fewer blog posts.

I will try harder to post more regularly, because it helps me to refocus on this journey. And most importantly it gives me an outlet to talk about weight/ health related issues, thereby giving my (very tolerant) friends and family a much-needed break from the saga of Katie's weight loss journey.

And I'm dying to share some good news--I finally found my weight loss mojo again. See, I'm even smiling...


I'm not exactly sure how I got motivated again (there were a long string of months where I was fighting to stick to the program), but somehow I did. I've been counting points (on Momentum), sticking to my points, and have even started to follow through on some sort of exercise regimen. And the crazy thing is--it's showing up on the scale. I started weighing myself on my home scale and I started at 173 (on May 5th). I weighed in last week (June 2nd) at 165.5. That's 7.5 pounds in a month. Not bad!

It's the first significant loss I've had in a while. And there's really no secret to it. I ate less. I drank less. I moved more. Now, finding the motivation to do that...that's not so simple.

Oh, and I found an exercise dvd that I can actually stand. It's been ridiculously hot in Richmond these past few weeks, so I needed an indoor activity. I'm poor (per usual) so I decided to go to the Goodwill and check out their tapes. Lo and behold, I found this prize:


The workout is called Stephanie Huckabee's Power Fit, 5 Day Workout. Stephanie has quickly become my new best friend. The workouts are divided into different target areas (thighs and shoulders, butt and abs, etc...) and each one is 20 minutes long. The workouts are not that difficult--nothing like Jillian Michael's 20 minutes of torture--but they do exercise the key muscles and I definitely felt sore afterwords. The competitive, type A part of my brain says I should be doing more. But the realistic part says that 20 minutes a day, five times a week is SO much better than my haphazard, more strenuous exercise routine.

Plus, the workouts are moderate enough so that I'm not completely starving afterwards. Which is a good thing, since I only get 23 points a day.

Speaking of points and Momentum, it took a while to adjust to the new plan. At first, I was absolutely starving, but after a while I started developing some tactics to help keep me content:

  • Protein in every meal is ESSENTIAL. I started eating an egg for breakfast as opposed to my oatmeal and that's really helped to keep me full longer.
  • You can add beans to stir fries. The other day, I was cooking a stir fry and randomly decided to add half a cup of pinto beans. Not only did the beans add protein, but they also eliminated the need for rice. It was a win-win.
  • Saving all your points until the end of the day is a recipe for disaster. You get too hungry and end up overeating at dinner.
  • High fiber/ low calorie tortillas are great to keep in the house. You can use them for sandwiches, homemade pizza, wraps, etc. Lately, I've gotten obsessed with a wrap with almond butter, jelly, and sliced banana.
Anyway, things are going well on the weight loss front and I hope this motivation continues until I get into the 150s (at least!). I think that it might have something to do with the weather--my appetite really diminishes when it's crazy hot outside. Winter, on the other hand, tends to make me want to eat heavy things (bulk up). What do you think? Do any of you notice a change in your diet/ cravings with the change of the seasons?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guess What...

I weighed in this morning at...drum roll please...167.5.

I really believe that the Weight Watcher God waits until I get so frustrated that I've complained about my plateau to my family, friends, blog readers, random people on the street, and then, just when I have started to garner sympathy, the God decides to spite me with a significant loss.

Not that I'm complaining or anything ;)

Boy, 167.5. I honestly can't remember when I weighed this little. I think it was during my senior year in high school when I went on a crash Subway diet and jogged a mile each morning before school. I'm pretty sure that weight was fleeting though, as I went off to college weighing about 185 pounds.

The last time I was really in the 160s was in the eighth grade. I remember because I was completely horrified. At the time, I thought 160 was obscene. One step below a circus freak. I think that was also the year that I chopped off all my hair, got glasses, and bought my first size D bra. Not a pleasant time for me, let me tell you.

Now, I am back in the 160s, a number I haven't glimpsed in over seven years. It feels terrific--not that far from a normal weight. And yes, you can quote me on that when I complain about not reaching the 150s fast enough ;)

Okay, with that said, I will give you my word: I will put the scale away until next Thursday. I will stop weighing myself mid-week and just wait to see what happens when I weigh in.

And I guess I can't complain anymore that I've hit a plateau =)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scale Obsessed? Not me.

I know that I should have anticipated this. In the back of my mind, when I first joined Weight Watchers, I fleetingly considered that I'd probably hit a plateau somewhere in my weight loss journey. But I figured by that point, I would have lost so much weight that I'd no longer care how quickly the remainder came off.

I am here to tell you, that is not the case.

When I foolishly imagined how cool I'd be when my weight loss slowed down, I failed to consider the fundamental truths of human existence:

Number 1: We ALWAYS want more. So what that I've lost nearly 70 pounds, I want to lose all 90. Heck, I could even go for an even 100. I want to be thin NOW.

Number 2: It's hard (no, make that downright impossible) to work at something for a long time and not receive positive reinforcement. It's frustrating to count points for an entire week, exercise religiously, pass up on all sorts of delicious treats, and step on the scale and see that you stayed the same. Or even worse, gained. After that happens for a couple of weeks, it's very, very tempting to give up, drive straight to the closest McDonald's and order chicken nuggets, fries, and a large vanilla milkshake.

All this is to say that I am going through a tiny little plateau right now. No big deal at all ;) Remember how I mentioned that I bought an electronic scale? Well, I'm obsessed with it. I weigh myself, my cats (Leo needs to lose a few pounds, by the way), my friends (those who dare to enter my household), my family members. Basically, everyone who enters my house is at risk. I have morphed into this crazy scale-obsessed excuse for a human being. Clearly, I need an intervention. I think some of my friends are planning to steal my scale.

All I can say is, let'em try!

I digress. I am currently hovering around 169.5 and 172. And let me tell you, there's a big difference between those numbers. 169 means that I'm officially in the 160s decade, less than 20 pounds over my healthy BMI weight. Evil 172, on the other hand, means that I've got over 20 pounds to lose and I'm really, really fat.

Well, I may exaggerate a little...

But seriously, I have been in the 170s decade since November. It's time to move on. I'm so sick of the 17 showing up on my scale. So, for the past three weeks, I've worked my butt off, stuck to my points, and what do I have to show for it? Not much, since I started at 173 and last week I weighed in at 173.5.

I am not quite at the McDonald's breaking point. But I'm close. Very close. And a vanilla milkshake sounds pretty good right about now.

But I am going to dig deep and try to have faith in Weight Watchers, in my body, and in the universe that it is possible for Katie to be thin. I know I've never seen it. I know that it's not coming easily. But I have to have faith that my body works like others. If I create a calorie deficit, the weight will come off.

And in the meantime, I'll try to appreciate how far I've come and stop weighing myself three times a day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some Photos I Dug Up

So, as I might have mentioned I've been living by myself in Richmond for the past few years. And, as you might guess from the utter lack of photos on this blog, I'm absolutely terrible at bringing a camera/ taking pictures of major events.

So, as a result, there are very few photos documenting my life at age 23-25. But, miraculously, I found a few. If you're interested, here they are:


This was a full length shot that my friend took of me, during the fall of 2009. I assume I was at my peak weight (approx. 240 pounds) here. I like that I'm wearing make-up and dressed nicely here. In fact, a friend saw this photo and wondered why I "let myself go," haha, and stopped doing my hair/ wearing make-up.


This photo was taken during the afternoon, sometime in August of 2010. I was pretty tired that day and rocking the glasses. I felt really skinny when that photo was taken because I had just broken into Onederland.


This photo was taken a few weeks ago at a picnic. Yes, I realized in retrospect that my outfit was a little ill-suited for an afternoon picnic, but oh well. I weighed about 172-173 in that photo. I like how my purse is always falling off my arm, haha.

So, those are a few photos I dug up.

And I'll admit. I've procrastinated a bit on the much-needed updates I need to share. Without further delay, here they are:

1. I got two wisdom teeth pulled out on Thursday. Prior to the extractions, I got an infection, in one of the teeth and I was basically on painkillers from Monday-Sunday. I am so glad that's over with.

2. I've switched back AGAIN to Momentum. What can I tell you I love my wine and fake ice cream sandwiches, haha. I've been fairly good with the plan, and I'm at an all-time low now at around 170 pounds.

3. I've cancelled Weight Watchers (for ONE month) due to financial reasons, but I still attend meetings.

4. I broke down and bought an electronic scale so I'm still doing Thursday morning weigh-ins. (AND I trust my scale now, haha)

I think that's about it for the updates. It's good to be back!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where Have I Been?

I suffer from a serious problem. I sometimes (I blame the [dyed] blond hair) fail to realize that my actions can lead to unfortunate consequences. In the case of this blog, I've been unbelievably naive.

I type words, I read them over in my head, I click "Post Blog," and I expect that some people might be willing to read through my text-heavy blog. I hope that some readers might be motivated by my story. And by sharing my story with all its rough patches, I hope that I might be able to connect more with others. I see this blog as a sort of Catholic confession (I'm not religious at all), where I wipe away my guilt with the mere act of sharing my failures. I also see this blog as a brag board, where I can share my successes as loudly and triumphantly as I want and no one will call me out for bragging ;)

Naively, I never imagined that when I posted embarrassing/ potentially shameful information on my blog, people would read it and think badly of me. For a while, I assumed that the majority of my blog readers were members of the Weight Watchers community and family members (who I guilted into reading my blog). But I was wrong.

Because blogs are, by definition,public documents, some of my real-life friends and acquaintances caught wind of the blog. And they were less than impressed by my "human foibles." Which, after I found out about it, made me feel...well...uncomfortable. Especially considering that my blog is just a tiny glimpse of who I am as a person.

Some people warned me that the blog made me look bad and that I should immediately delete it. Throw away the evidence, so to speak. For a few weeks, I listened to their advice, made my blog private, and contemplated starting a new, more attractive story of my life. A life without cookie dough binges and Gilmore Girl marathons. A life without depression, anxiety, and fear. In my new fictional blog, I'd write about the amazing dinners I've cooked, describe my latest exercise routine, and gloss over my love life issues.

Now, I realize that the smart and politically correct thing to do would be to kill this blog and start a new, more anonymous blog. But the truth is, I've never been much good at politics or much good with technology (haha--laziness is a factor here). And more importantly, this blog IS a part of my journey towards becoming a healthier, happier Katie, and I'm not about to quit now.

So, the gist of this long post is, I will be writing more posts. I will keep writing this blog (at least) until I reach my goal weight. Thanks for being so patient with me. And thanks for accepting my story, with all of the good and bad. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Katie Returns

First off, I want to apologize for being such a sporadic blogger these last few weeks. And I'd like to calm any concerns you might have had. I have not been hibernating in my living room, watching endless episodes of Gilmore Girls and eating raw cookie dough. Nor have I been partying like a maniac, spending my time drinking mojitos rather than writing my healthy lifestyle blog.

The answer is, broadly speaking, I've been busy--guess you never would have guessed that, right ;) What with traveling to my parent's house for Easter (I'm always tempted to say home but that's not home anymore) working harder than usual at my job, spending time with friends, and generally trying to get my life in order, I haven't had much time to write this blog.

And I miss it. I really do.

I'm going to make a strong attempt to post more regular blog entries in the coming weeks, so that you'll know exactly who I'm dating and which television show I'm obsessed with these days ;) And maybe you'll have an inkling of an idea of whether I'm following the Weight Watchers plan, exercising regularly, and generally living healthy--haha...supposedly the point of this blog.

So, without further ado, let me provide some updates. I am following Weight Watchers. In fact, I've done pretty good this week tracking my points. (By the way, can you believe how ridiculously expensive alcohol is? I freaked out when I realized I used nearly 60 points this weekend after going out for two nights.) I am dating. I don't really want to go into the details for fear that one day this guy will read my blog and be horrified by the contents and dump me immediately. Suffice it to say, I'm having a good time. My exercise has been haphazard at best, but yesterday I went for a 1.5 mile jog, which was pretty damn hard but felt great.

Oh, and the biggest news ever, I got myself to do the 30 Day Shred. Twice. I may take back my post about Jillian Michaels. Maybe.

My house is a wreck, with piles of laundry buried in my closet, blocking my shoes. But my pantry is full and I've been enjoying the hell out of strawberries. Strawberries with cottage cheese, strawberries with ice cream, strawberries with English muffins. Strawberries are amazing.

Oh and yeah, I'm writing this post at the library during my lunch break and there's a very loud (and cute!) three year old trying to steal my attention. And oh yeah, I've got three minutes before I have to be back to work.

Sorry for the rushed post! And I'm sorry if I've bored you with all my rambling. You probably didn't need to know about my love for strawberries. But what can I tell you? I've always struggled with over-sharing. Until next time! Bye bye!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not Sugar-Coated

Lately, I’ve been darting around, trying to latch onto some program—any program—that will help me lose this final 25 pounds. For a day, I’ll decide that Overeaters Anonymous is the way to go. The next, I’ll decide to see a nutritionist. Then, I’ll go back to Weight Watchers. Then, I’ll decide what I really need is a good shrink. And finally, I’ll chuck all of that, pour a stiff drink, and complain about it to my friends, who all assure me that I’m looking great.

Clearly, I need help.

Logically speaking, it doesn’t really matter what plan I choose, as long as I stick with it. No matter what particular plan I choose, all of them will involve eating less and moving more which guarantees (you guessed it) weight loss. But I keep searching, anxiously looking for the perfect plan that will solve all my neuroses, make me feel full 100% of the time, and make me magically thin, without breaking a sweat.

Even in my deranged state, I realize that such a plan doesn’t exist. You have to give me credit for that, at the very least.

You know, during the winter of 2009 (when I was at my heaviest weight), I remember lying in bed, imagining scenarios where I could magically become thin. I imagined my parents sending me to a year-long fat camp, where all I’d do was focus on losing weight and getting active. I imagined living in a place where my food and activity was out of my control, where I’d get thin no matter what, because I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I imagined how I’d emerge from that camp--130 lbs, tanned and fit, a whole new person. Then, everything in my life would be perfect.

Instead of waiting around for my parents to send me to this mythical camp, I joined Weight Watchers and began the process of losing weight and getting into shape. I have to say, while my experience has been a lot less glamorous than my fantasy, there have been a few magical moments. Being mistaken for my adorable, petite sister at Easter. Fitting easily into a size 12 jeans. Being carried by a guy. Wearing high heels without pain.

So, I need to re-learn my lesson from last year: No one is going to send me to fat camp. If I want to lose this weight, I need to do what it takes to get there. That means buying healthy groceries, preparing good meals and sticking to my points. It also means making activity a regular part of my life. It means that making peanut butter cookies and eating the whole batch can’t be a regular Sunday afternoon activity and that a pint of ice cream is not a serving size. Unfortunately, there’s no way to sugar coat this.

Haha, yes, I couldn’t resist the pun.