December 24, 2010

Roses and thorns

Happy Christmas Eve! (And if Christmas isn't your thing ... happy Friday! Everyone wins today.)

This has been quite a week, for sure. I've generally been enjoying myself and having a good time with my family - like finishing C25k (go me!), playing Wii Fit with my siblings, or going to my kid brother's chorus concert (he sang like a baby angel, it was totally precious!).

pierson playground
And, as expected, there has been lots of note taking for future blog posts. Looking back on all the worrying I did before getting to Connecticut, I feel strange - not because I worried too much, but because I had a very singular focus with my concerns. There are so many difficult challenges that I face here, and not all of them are about food. (For example, hearing from Scott. Serious yikes, with details to come later.)

It hasn't been terrible - though there have been snickers and sneers at what I choose to put on my plate, whether related to the food itself or the quantities I've chosen. It seems that there is a double standard: there's criticism if I choose more veggies and less meat, but if I reach for a cookie, they condescendingly ask if that works with my diet and then joke that I've "rejoined the Dark Side".

seriously yum
Also, my family is not big on meal planning, and in the seven days that I've been here, they've had at least four fast-food/takeout meals. If they bring it home, it's not too bad, since I can find other things to cook for myself - but the other night we were out late doing some Christmas shopping and they decided to go to Wendy's. Before I left Chicago, I had scoured restaurant menus to plan out better choices for these inevitable situations, and I had used the guide that I had prepared when we went to Taco Bell - but more fast food twenty-four hours later? It wasn't about calories, I just didn't want it.

I've kept a strong resolve, though, and I'm very pleased with myself so far. I have been doing well with maintaining a sense of balance, which is totally key. One thing that has helped a lot is this trick I read about in the Weight Watchers magazine:

i am so cool, right?
Before a holiday party or occasion, put on some bangles (I had these plastic ones laying around from my angsty teen years - you could definitely go fancier). When you have a "treat," move a bracelet to the other wrist. When you're out of bracelets, you're done! It's really helped me with keeping in control - even though it's not even Christmas yet, there have been an abundance of baked goods around, and I just can't play my usual role of official taste tester anymore. I chose six bracelets, with no significance other than having six different color choices, and most days so far, I've used only three or fewer.

How have you been?

December 19, 2010

Drop dead gorgeous

When I first read about the Drop Dead Gorgeous by December challenge, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I was still really new to both weight loss and blogging - only a few weeks and about thirteen pounds in - and the idea of challenges really appealed to me. This seemed like a great way to ease my way into the world of blog challenges, since I felt so new and still very restricted at the time.

from isaiah zagar's magic garden - south street, philly
Fast forward four months.

I'm just a shadow of the girl I was then. I've lost quite a few pounds, but the now-and-then weight comparison is, I feel, really insignificant next to the things I have discovered I am capable of.

In August, I could walk around the block a few times. During this challenge, I started walking 5k's - and in two weeks, I'll be running one.

In August, I was wearing size 28 work pants from Lane Bryant. During this challenge, I bought a pair of size 20's for the first time since middle school - and next week, I'm going to the store and I'll be buying 18's.

In August, I knew only a handful of healthy-ish recipes (read: could be healthy but I either did something while cooking that detracted from the health benefits, or I ate waaaaaay too much of it). During this challenge, I made over a dozen new recipes - many of which I will definitely be making again ... if I haven't already! Zucchini boats and black bean burgers were definite favorites.

In August, I was dissatisfied and generally unhappy because I was facing a two-hundred pound weight loss goal. During this challenge, I have worked my tail off and took care of over a quarter of that goal loss - and I'm still working hard. And, amazingly, with taking better care of myself came other perks. I'm not dissatisfied. I'm no longer profoundly unhappy. I have my share of troubles and difficult days, but in general, I'm loving life and feeling healthy, beautiful, and just absolutely incredible.

(Drop dead gorgeous, you might say.)