January 22, 2016


I'm down another 3 pounds this week - and oh, does it feel good! I ate well, I stayed hydrated, I was active most days - and there's movement in a good direction. It puts me in a new decade for weight, which is always exciting too.

Best of all, I'm proud of how consistent I have been. No days spent overcompensating for off days, nothing extreme. It's been fairly well balanced, which I feel is a terrific success.

Probably one of the best side effects of consistency is having a regulated appetite. Part of it may be that the size of my stomach (the organ itself) is shrinking back to normal as a result of not being stretched beyond capacity on a regular basis anymore. But also, I eat at fairly consistent intervals, so there are never any sharp hunger pangs. I'm hungry, but I am never starving.

When I binge, it's almost always at night, and then I wake up in the morning with a strong hungry feeling - crashing after such a high calorie (and usually high carb) volume of food. Now, I am hungry when I wake, but not extraordinarily so. And I eat just enough - to satisfaction but not to painful fullness.

This morning, as I got dressed for work, I put on a dress I got with a ModCloth gift certificate my sister Katie sent me for my birthday. When I got it, it fit, but it wasn't super flattering - my stomach protruded in a way that the black ribbon accents around the middle weren't visible, they were tucked between my chest and my belly. And today ...

Incredible. And there's only 13 pounds between then and now. I'm excited to see how much better my clothes look and feel as I continue to make progress.

It feels good to reclaim milestones. On January 1, I was only 13 pounds shy of my 2010 highest weight ever - how depressing it was, to have worked so hard once and to have been so close to the top of the mountain, only to find myself back at the base a few years later. Now, it's been 3 weeks, and I'm able to reclaim the 25 pounds lost milestone. (26, actually!)

I'm a big fan of mantras and themes, and I think my word for 2016 is going to be reclaim.

There is so much for me to take back this year. I want to reclaim the losses I was once so proud of, and I want to reclaim the healthy body (and healthy habits) I worked so hard for. This summer, I get to reclaim my peace of mind when the divorce is finalized - and I am so, so completely excited to reclaim my maiden name. Even when I was content to be married, I didn't want to change it - after such a tumultuous few years of huge identity changes, to lose my last name felt like the last straw, like there was nothing left of me that I recognized. I'm so ready to be me again - in actions, in appearance, in name.

Jill commented that my voice sounds different, in the best way - that it sounds like my California voice. Here, offline, in my daily life, it feels a lot like my old life. Some of the details are different - I have Noah, for one thing, and the scenery has changed. But the motivation, the hope - they're back. The goal-driven tenacity, too. Without the lingering judgment of someone who wasn't here for the first round of struggle, I am free to work on myself in the ways I know work for me.

What about you? What is your one word goal/theme for the year? What are your weekend plans?

January 19, 2016

Non-scale victories

Yesterday, an electrician came out and fixed the problem that we'd been dealing with for the past few weeks (power flickering throughout the front half of our apartment). We hadn't been able to use the microwave, range, washer, dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, or any of the lights in the kitchen, bathroom, hallway, or Noah's room. Incredibly frustrating, but at least once the electrician figured it out, it wasn't too long 'til it was fixed.

When the electrician left, I took Noah for a walk (we did 5K at the park), then came home to catch up on a week's worth of laundry before my night class.

Two great NSVs in all of this:

  1. When the landladies said we couldn't use the range/microwave for five days, my first thought was well, now we need to go to the grocery store and get stuff for salads and sandwiches since we can't cook - instead of what I've often thought in the past, which is jackpot! an excuse to order pizza and go out to eat!
  2. After doing the laundry, I put on a shirt that fit well fresh out of the dryer - no tightness, no stretching it out to loosen it up.

I'm really proud of the progress I'm making. It's tough in the beginning, because you have to be so strong for yourself. You feel fantastic, you can feel the progress of every pound. But friends, family, co-workers ... it may take a while for them to notice. (When I first lost the weight, my boss didn't notice [or didn't comment, anyway] until I had lost 75 pounds.) So you just have to keep working, keep chugging along.

I remember once, when I was in grad school (maybe 2009?) ... I was probably around 330 pounds, and I'd managed to lose down to 307, and I felt incredible. It wasn't a ton of weight, but it felt like it - I had more energy, I wasn't binge eating so I didn't feel all bloated. And so I decided to try and go out on a date. I met a guy online, Jerry, and I was entirely upfront about my size - I wanted him to have reasonable expectations. We went to a movie, and he was visibly uncomfortable being with me. I should have just left, but it was late and he'd driven us. I tried to make conversation, but he gave these awful dismissive one-word answers, and when I asked him if he wanted to get a drink somewhere so we could talk after the movie, he said he was busy, he had to work the next day.

I went home and cried. Not for him - he wasn't interested in getting to know me at all, so it wasn't a loss. But I cried because I felt so good about myself when the night started, but by the end, all I felt was like I wasn't enough yet. Like my hard work didn't matter, because no one could tell.

So I gave up. It was easier than facing how much work I'd have to do before people would notice. And I regained everything, plus some, before I had my rock bottom, this is it, now or never moment.

If only I'd realized then that it doesn't matter if/when people notice! Do this for YOURSELF, not for anyone else. People come and go. Compliments will be showered while you're losing the weight, but they taper off in maintenance. Eventually, it's not a new thing, it's just your life. And you have to find everyday reasons to keep making the best choices. You can't let the compliments be the only motivation.

Interestingly enough, that awful night at the movies was not the last time I heard from Jerry. I got a message from him in 2011, on a different site than the one we'd met on a few years earlier. He had no idea who I was - and I don't quite blame him, because this time I was 150 pounds lighter. He sent a pretty standard message, saying he was looking to meet someone in the city, that I was gorgeous, and that he'd love to go grab a drink some time and get to know me.

I never wrote back.