Saturday, October 23, 2010

Five Month Hiatus ... & a Lot of Changes

It's definitely been awhile since I've blogged, but I'm determined to get back into a regular routine. The last time I wrote I talked about my gall bladder surgery and the complications that came with it. Since that time there's been a true cornucopia of events in my life. Instead of boring you with all of the details, I'll offer a quick synopsis and maybe even a few photos!

May: surgery, last day at my job at Imagine Marketing, bachelorette party during a trip to Minnesota.
June: pre-wedding preparations, wedding & beginning of honeymoon in London.
July: honeymoon in London & visit with family in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Mike also had to work a lot of overtime while I adjusted to life without a job & searching for a new job.
August: the job
hunt continued, I struggled to keep a regular schedule.
September: Trip to Minnesota to visit family and friends, this also included a trip to the Minnesota State Fair! More job interviews and applications.
October: My birthday! I also interviewed with local companies including The Cosmopolitan,
but still no word on job placement.

Basically my life has been a blur from May until now. Every moment of every day leading up to our wedding and honeymoon was spent thinking about or preparing for the big events. And every ounce of preparation was
well worth it. The event was beautiful and exceeded every single expectation that we had!

As for my weight and how that has played into my day-to-day life, well, it's been a struggle. I maintained my weight really well leading up to the wedding to be sure my dress fit flawlessly, but I didn't give myself any restrictions during the wedding events and honeymoon. I figured that after a year of dieting, I deserved to enjoy our time in London!
Since I wasn't working I vowed to myself that I would keep a routine and pay close attention to my diet, but
it didn't always work out that way. The job search has been stressful and disappointing and for me, and that has led to stress-eating. I've always always always eaten my emotions. I have been good about getting to the gym, however. I think all of the work I'm doing at LVAC is being undone by the time I'm putting in, in front of the television.

So, this is my recommitment to myself. If I don't get my weight-loss back on track and keep with a plan then it's just going to lead to lower self-esteem and a greater struggle, right? I'm already struggling to find a job and so I don't need to continually feel bad about the way I look as well.

Today my husband (haha I'm married!!!) and I are enjoying a super relaxing day at the house. We'll watch a little college football and enjoy the fact that he's not working. I think as soon as I finish writing this I'll head to the gym so I can enjoy the rest of the day with him on the couch. Now that I have my determination back it's time to figure out what I want to do as far as the "diet" goes. Should I return to using the Lose It application on my iPhone religiously? Should I just cut out dairy and carbs? Any thoughts? I think I know that using the app is my best bet,
after all it helped me all last year right? I'm completely open to ideas!

I've added several photos throughout this blog from my wedding to my amazing husband Mike. We were married on June 26, 2010 in Oakdale, Minnesota and had a truly incredible reception in St. Paul. The best part about it was that when I looked in the mirror before the ceremony, I actually thought I looked beautiful! It's been a long time since I'd thought that about myself!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Recovery Project

I woke up this morning exhausted. After a night of restless sleep, waking up at 3 am to watch TV and a lot of painful movements, I got out of bed for my first full day without all of the organs I was born with.

My gall bladder removal surgery didn't exactly go as planned, but in the long run, it was taken out and I was sent home to recover.

The day was a real whirlwind, but I was thankful to have my parents and Mike, my fiance, with me at the hospital yesterday. We were all at the out-patient surgery location by 8 am for my 10 am surgery. My mom came back to pre-op while my dad and Mike stayed out in the main lobby. I was only able to have one person by my bedside.

10 am came and went, the nurses went through a shift change, the anasetheologist came to see me then grabbed his lunch box and left, and my mom and I were left with a lot of questions while patients were shuttle in and out and released.

A nice RN named Bill finally gave me a straight answer, one that my surgeon has yet to cop to, and that was that my surgeon's office forgot to file the paperwork with the hospital, so I wasn't even on the books.

It was finally time to wheel me into the OR and the anasetheologist announced that he doesn't have approval from the insurance company to administer anasethia....and again we waited.

A new anasetheologist was assigned to me that was allowed by insurance and FINALLY it was time to go. I was in the OR by 3 and at recovery by 4. Mom, dad and Mike brought me home around 5:30 and my very very long day at Spring Valley Hospital was complete.

So .... Here I am, in a fair amount of pain and up 5 lbs from the anasethia and ingested gas, and I can't wait to eat normally again.

There were a few complications along the way -- the saline line was improperly placed causing my wrist to be filled with saline and go 100% numb -- amongst other things but it's all done now. I just hope that 5 lbs disappears!!!

Thanks for all of the support and well wishes!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:My Couch

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good Bye Gall Bladder

It's official, my gall bladder is coming out.

I visited with the surgeon at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas yesterday and he said that it's absolutely necessary that I have my gall bladder removed. My surgery is scheduled for next Monday, May 10.

Although it's not an imminent threat (I could put it off for up to six months), he said it's the best way to combat the serious tummy issues I've been having for 12-18 months. Also, he said some of the things that trigger gallstone attacks could cause problems in the next couple of months. As it turns out, flying can trigger a gallstone attack if there's a pre-existing problem, and changing your diet can also cause problems. I've been flying a lot and will be flying a ton in the next couple of months and I've lost 40 lbs since August! Now I know why the problems have caused so much pain!

My doctor recommended that I have it removed as soon as possible so I am fully recovered and can eat, drink and be merry on my wedding day. What a splendid idea! I will have six and a half weeks to fully recover, which is plenty of time since the surgery is going to be done laprascopically. I may have to watch my fat intake and other food-related issues, but I'll be ready to dance the night away with my new hubby!

Thanks to everyone for showing care and concern, and for offering words of advice. I'm really grateful that my parents are flying out to Vegas on Sunday in order to be there for me when I have surgery and help take care of me when I come home. It'll be nice to have Mike and my parents around!

I'll let you all know how it goes. I'm hoping for a quick recovery!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dieters Beware!

I know I haven't been around in awhile, but it's because I haven't had much to say. I feel like I hit a rut or a period of time when all I wanted to do was take a step back. With work and the wedding creeping up on me, I made it more of a priority to take time for myself. As far as weight goes, I'm still hanging around 195 lbs. Up a few times and down a few times.
On April 9 I had my first bridal gown fitting and the dress looked great! Now I need to maintain this weight until the wedding so I don't need any major alterations!

What I really wanted to address today is an ailment that has recently affected me, and the doctor said that a lot of it could be related to weight loss. On Friday morning, Mike brought me to the ER for severe abdominal pain. It turns out I have gall stones, and have had them for an estimated 12-18 months. I have an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow to discuss the removal of my gall bladder.

As I've been researching gallstones and gall bladder removal, what I've learned is that gall stones are found most commonly in people who are overweight and people who are losing weight. Not only was I/am I overweight, but I've lost 40 pounds in 8 months. I'm a prime candidate! Since most people don't have symptoms, it took until just recently for me to notice that they were even there.

Some signs to look for include: pain in the pit of your stomach or upper right portion of your stomach/abdomin, pain in your upper back/shoulder blades, fever or chills, and yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.

I had no idea that losing weight could cause a problem like gallstones, or cause the gallstones to become more apparent. My mother had emergency gall bladder surgery when I was in elementary school. She told me that she was trying to lose weight when her gallstones became a problem as well. On top of that, it appears to be genetic to some extent.

I'm looking forward to the visit with the doctor tomorrow. I'm afraid that if we don't remove the gall bladder that I will have another "attack" in mid to late June or in July when I'm on my honeymoon in London. If I have another attack then it's pretty much guaranteed that the gall bladder needs to be removed, and if it's too close to June 26 then I really won't have enough time to properly recover. What a pain!

I'll let you all know how the visit with the doctor goes. In the mean time, here's a photo of me snapped today. I didn't step on the scale this morning because my body is pretty messed up from the various medications I'm on due to this most recent issue. I'll jump on the scale again tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Minnesotan Adventure

To be fair, Mike and I also went to Wisconsin during our trip to Minnesota this past weekend, but I figured it would make the title far too long.

Last week I was busier than ever planning our wedding planning trip to Minnesota. It felt like such a long time coming since I've been arranging appointments, answering questions about bridal shower guest lists and coordinating meet-and-greets with friends for weeks on end. When the time finally came to board the flight back to the Midwest I was ecstatic, and then all of a sudden it was over again.

All in all, however, we had an amazing trip. On Friday we had wedding appointments galore and spent the entire day with my parents, wedding coordinator and maid of honor. The dress fitting went swimmingly and I looked great in the gown (if I do say so myself) and the hair and makeup run-through went well also. I'm not quite sure it was the best idea to do the food tasting for the reception just hours before the gown fitting, but it all worked out for the best. Hehehe.

I know this blog isn't about my weight or food today, but there was just too much going on over the weekend to focus on just food. I ate WAY too much between the food tasting, bridal shower and family dinners, but every single calorie was well worth it. Now I just need to get back on track and maintain my weight so I look perfect on June 26 in my gown.

A few weeks ago I told you all about the dress I bought for my shower and although I don't happen to have a photo from the shower yet (I didn't have my camera), I am wearing it to work today and I've posted that photo here. I have images of me in my gown and veil and with my hair and makeup done, but you'll all just have to wait for the big day to see those details!

So here's my plan to get back on track starting today: A shake and banana for breakfast, subway for lunch and Progresso soup with oyster crackers for dinner. I suppose I should hit the gym too! Wish me luck, I could use a bit of motivation!

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm getting old!

On Saturday night, a group of friends got together at Dino's (an off-the-beaten-track, local's karaoke bar) to formally say farewell to our friend Heather. Heather left this morning to move back to Ohio.

Normally, Mike and I are home by 11 p.m. or midnight and watching TV on the weekends like a good old married couple. "Super late" nights for us are pretty rare, and so when they happen it usually doesn't take too long to recover or phase me all that much. I mean, what's one night of losing sleep? This weekend was not like that at all!

We left Dino's at nearly 1 a.m. and Mike had to get to bed immediately when we got home since he had to work at around 6 a.m. the next morning. This meant that I got charged with staying up with our pets and watching some TV while the animals wound down for the night. I finally crawled into bed at 2:30 and fell asleep somewhere closer to 3:30 a.m. Mike left for work and the dogs woke me up at 7 a.m. leaving me with little sleep, and what sleep I did get felt fairly restless.

I was shocked that when I woke up I felt nauseous and had a headache and was sore. Mike didn't drink at all and I didn't even finish my one glass of vodka 7Up. I think I drank less than half of that drink because it didn't taste quite right and then drank Mike's Coca-Colas the rest of the time. Have I really gotten to the point where any alcohol and late nights ruin me for days?!?! I must be getting old!

I felt sluggish all day on Sunday, but have thankfully recovered just fine today. I'm still a bit tired, but that's pretty standard for a Monday morning! This just makes me wonder -- how am I going to be the morning after the wedding? Interesting thought, isn't it?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It Had How Many Calories?

I have lost three pounds this week. Now, granted, I had gained a pound or two and lost a pound or two and went up and down over the past couple of weeks so the three pounds weren't that significant, but it's been a good week to say the least. I've really stayed focus on eating the right number of calories and I've even made it to the gym.

Today I had a banana for breakfast and had a low-calorie meal at Jason's Deli for lunch. I'm on a roll! Well, I was on a roll until PayPros sent our company a beautiful fruit and chocolate-dipped fruit bouquet. I could literally hear the horns blow wah wah ....

I indulged in a chocolate-covered strawberry and a chocolate-covered banana as soon as I got back from lunch. I just couldn't help it! The fruit looked amazing and fresh and how can I resist a chocolate covered strawberry?!?!?! The answer is -- I can't; I am physically incapable of resisting a chocolate-covered strawberry.

So, against my better judgement, or maybe because of my better judgement, I went online to track down the number of calories in the goodies I just consumed. Here's what I had to figure out: one strawberry, one large banana slice and the chocolate that both were dipped in. And, here's what I determined:

strawberry - approx. 45 calories
banana slice - approx. 25 calories
Edible Arrangements Chocolate - approx 120 for 2 tablespoons (I ate about 3 tablespoons).

Total: 250 calories.

It had how many calories? Two-hundred and fifty calories in one banana and strawberry?!?!? That's outrageous, but maybe that's why they were so damned delicious!

I guess I won't be having that after-dinner snack or fattening dinner. Maybe I have to do a little extra cardio at the too. Oy vey.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Checking In ...

Hey everyone, I've spent a lot of time talking about me and my journey, but I was wondering how all of you are doing? Over the past seven months I've received e-mails, twitter messages and blog comments about individuals who are on their own path to losing weight. Please send me updates on how you're doing so we can lean on each other!

I also wanted to say congrats to Jamie, a friend from Vegas who's living in California now and who weighed in this week to see that she lost 4 lbs! That's amazing. Keep up the great work!

Also to my mom, best friend and her parents who are on the Seattle Sutton program. I know it's working well for you all and I'm glad you found a program that fits! Keep me posted. Also -- Steph, you are far more dedicated than me if you can wake up at 5 a.m. to hit the gym before work! I couldn't do it!

Anyway, if any of you have an update on how you're doing or if you're just getting started, share your story with me either publicly as a comment or privately in an email. Good luck everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Little Black (& White) Dress

Yesterday I went shoe shopping. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal in the least, but I was shopping for that supposed "perfect" pair to wear with my wedding gown. The shop said I must, must, must have my shoes before my first dress fitting on April 9 and so I finally decided to buckle down and buy them. The problem was ... I couldn't find any shoes I liked, and so I turned my attention to clothes.

After scouring DSW, some random shop at the Galleria at Sunset mall and Macys, I left the shoe department and came across the misses dresses department in Macys. I haven't been able to shop in the "Misses" department for more than two years, but not only did I find a dress from that area yesterday, but I tried on six, and all six fit! Granted they all didn't look that great on me, but I did find one that was amazing.

I have this problem of pigeon-holeing myself when it comes to dresses and colors. I now own four dresses that I love and would wear at any given time and all of them, yes all, are black and white. I think I have a serious problem! I tried on a great Jones New York dress that was navy blue and draped, but it didn't fit my figure quite yet. I was close to buying one that had yellow flowers on it too, but guess what, it was mostly black and white too.

I ended up buying a dress that was a size 14, yes a 14!!!!! In August I was buying clothes that were size 20 and 22. This dress is slightly form-fitting with a cute bolero. I'm planning on wearing it to my bridal shower in April. Hopefully now I can find something to wear for the bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner! I must say though, so far, going shopping is way better than it used to be!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Better Than a Treadmill

This week the international sheet metal competition is in Las Vegas, and since ITI (the contest's host) is one of my company's clients, I've been spending a fair amount of time on-location taking photos of the event and glad-handing with everyone.
Yesterday, we went to Caesar's Palace on the Las Vegas Strip for registration. We were actually hoping to talk to one of the only four or five females in the competition. When we got there, we got more than we bargained for! I knew Caesar's Palace was big, but I discovered that it is actually ginormous, and a giant maze at that!

We needed to find Octavius Ballroom 24 and that turned out to be a challenge in and of itself. With my handy iPhone in tow keeping track of our distance, I calculated that we walked almost three full miles round trip from the car to the ballroom and back to the car in the two-hour period we were at the convention center. We followed the signs and checked the maps to find the ballroom in question and had the most difficult time tracking it down. It wasn't until we saw a tourist who had already visited the ballroom that we were able to figure out where to go! What kind of place needs more than 100 ballrooms?!?!? I was seriously astonished.

However, the day went pretty long and as I was finishing up at work I debated with myself about going to the gym or going home to rest my feet (I was wearing dress shoes that aren't the best for meandering around a giant casino). I looked up how far we walked, entered that into my LoseIt! application to get a calories-burned reading and decided that I did, after all, get a decent amount of exercise! I burned more than 300 calories just doing my job!

I don't get to rest on my laurel's today though. I'll be heading to the gym right after I'm done with work to get in some cardio, back strengthening and maybe even a short weight-lifting circuit. It's time to break 195 and stay below that mark!

On a side note -- My skin is getting better now that I dropped ProActiv. Time to get a facial and start anew!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Crunch Time

Yes it's true, I'm blogging while walking on a treadmill at Las Vegas Athletic Club. New high or new low? I mean I know my iPhone is like an extension of my right hand but this is extreme - even for me.

I must have discovered a new layer of motivation though. I woke up, "feasted" on a diet shake and headed to LVAC for a workout. Can you say breakthrough?

I've still been doing really well lately eating right, but I haven't been exercising. I'd love to reach 185 or even 190 by my April 10 wedding dress fitting, but at this point I'd be happy with seeing any movement on the scale (down of course). My weight's been so stagnant!

So as proud as I am of my Sunday motivation, I really need to keep myself moving in the right direction. Gym tomorrow after work maybe? Could I make it 3-4 times this week? I hope so. Wish me luck!

Location:Treadmill at LVAC

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The "I Do" Morph

I have been engaged since Christmas Day 2008. It seems like forever ago that Mike popped the question, but really the past 14 months have flown by. Now, our wedding is less than four months away, or precisely 114 days from right now. At this time in 114 days I will be putting the finishing touches on my hair and make-up and having my bridesmaids slip into their dresses before helping me get into mine. What an ordeal I'm imagining it to be, but really, I know it's going to fly by quickly. Next year at this time I'll probably be wondering where the time went and sad that I wasn't able savor more of it. But anyway, the point is, there are only 114 more days before I'm determined to look "my best."

I've always taken decent care of myself and been right on top of hygiene, etc., but I've taken measures never taken before by me to make sure that on the day that I don the white wedding gown that I'm looking better than ever. Lose 20 lbs -- check (down 35 actually and still dropping), whiten teeth -- check (in the process at least), find consistent skin regimen -- well, that's the one I'm struggling with ....

I really thought that my biggest hurdle during this process of being motivated to become a better version of myself would be losing weight and being happy with my body. Although I'm not 100% thrilled with my body yet, the losing weight, eating better and exercising part of this "new me" is one of the easiest changes yet! I've never had the greatest skin, and I can probably chalk that up to the crap I shoved in my mouth along with every other reason in the book, but I've always washed my face in the morning and evening, etc., etc. I decided to try to control my skin once and for all and bought Proactiv. Let me tell you, my skin has never looked worse. I swear my face is exploding from the inside out and I'm terrified that I'm going to look like a 15-year-old boy in the middle of puberty on the day of my wedding!

I'm going to stop using Proactiv, but what should I use instead? I tried making an appointment with a local dermatologist on my health care plan and they are scheduling 16 weeks out --- that's four months or approximately my wedding date! Man this sucks.

Why can't transforming yourself come easy? I've said from the get-go that any changes I'm making to my body or myself are not for my wedding, and I'm still sticking with that. Whether I have a pimple on my chin or my hair is out of place or I only lost 35 lbs instead of 45 lbs on my wedding day, it's still going to be one of the best days of my life. It simply took me until I was 25-26 to decide that I want more from myself and damn it, I'm going to get it.
By the way, my new find for weight loss cuisine is Progresso soups, and I'm not kidding. If you want a good low-calorie but filling dinner grab a can of soup, it really does work!

And for shits and giggles, Here's a picture of me today (On the Right) and I threw in a photo from September (On the Left). Any difference?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm Back & Stronger Than Ever?

So it may feel like I abandoned my blog, but in truth, I didn't feel like I had anything to say so I took a month away to recharge. And now I'm back.

During February I didn't stray at all from my diet, even though I wasn't blogging every day. I logged into my blog daily to update my weight, and I even added a couple of photos, but I didn't want to write just for the sake of writing.

I figure now is a good time to get back to the writing since something recently invaded my house, and it's my diet's worst nightmare: Girl Scout Cookies!

I went to the grocery store on Saturday and ended up coming home with six boxes of cookies and I told myself they were "just for Mike," of course. Well, that plan of action didn't last. I bought one box of Thin Mints, one box of Peanut Butter Patties and four boxes of Samoas (Caramel Delights). Samoas are both of our favorite so I made sure I got plenty. In hindsight, that seems stupid because I didn't want to eat them so I should have just bought one or two boxes to set aside for Mike and been on my way. I have no will power against those little girls in green get-ups!

Now this next part is not for the faint of heart: I kid you not, on Sunday when Mike was working I ate an entire box of Samoas. Not just one or two, not one little row of the delicious cookies, but the entire freaking box. I ate the entire box, by myself, while sitting on my ass watch the U.S. vs. Canada Olympic Gold Medal hockey game. I told myself before I bought those darned things -- Girl Scout cookies will be the demise of me, and boy was I right!

Unfortunately the insanity didn't stop there! As Mike and I were watching TV on Sunday evening I decided to break into the box of Thin Mints. I ate an entire sleeve! I mean, COME ON BETH! This is just horrible.

That was Sunday, and on Monday came intense feelings of regret and remorse. On Tuesday came the realization that I can get past this little hiccup and move forward. Today is Wednesday, and today is the day that I admit my little breakdown to the world and move forward.

I haven't had a single Girl Scout cookie since Sunday evening. Although we have several boxes still sitting in the pantry, including a half-eaten box of Thin Mints, I haven't eaten a single bite and haven't really been tempted by them ether. (Maybe it's the guilt that's kept me in check.)
I think I needed to get the temptation and indulgence out of my system. Who knows. Thank goodness it didn't cost me a single pound !

At lunch today I ate a sandwich from Subway along with a bag of Baked Lays potato chips. After eating those chips I always crave chocolate. I was thinking of running to the vending machine, but instead I've decided to save those calories and have a Girl Scout cookie when I get home. I'll have one, or maybe two if the calories allow it, but nothing more. I guess I'll have to report back tomorrow as to whether or not I stuck with my convictions! Maybe I'll play it safe and have some low-calorie, non-fat chocolate pudding instead.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Super Bowl Slam

Yesterday the Cinderella Story was complete with the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl. However, since I was rooting for neither the Saints nor the Colts to win, I turned all of my attention to the delicious goodies that spoil my diet.

I went into the weekend last Friday a bit hesitant about food in general since I knew it was going to be next to impossible to eat well every meal of each day. Mike's dad was in town, and with our families visiting it's a given that we will be eating very well and at some of our favorite restaurants. I can't pass up the opportunity to enjoy the tasty desserts at a buffet or Chicken Royale at Grand Luxe Cafe at the Venetian ... I just can't. Will power goes completely out the window!

So, instead I do what I always do and allow myself to indulge a little bit and pay for it later. That's right. This weekend I enjoyed a few servings at the buffet at M Resort and I scarfed down Chicken Royale at Grand Luxe Cafe. On top of that we had pizza from Papa Johns plus chips and salsa during the Super Bowl. I even had a Belgian waffle with sugar free syrup on Saturday morning. And guess what? It all tasted amazing!

Now before any of you get concerned for my well being, I will add this: I did control myself when indulging in these goodies. I didn't have helpings upon helpings of chocolate cake and mashed potatoes at the buffet, nor did I eat my entire meal at Grand Luxe. On Sunday I had a couple of slices of pizza and some chips, but didn't eat the entire bag by any means. Today, however, I am not only seeing the difference on the scale (up 2 lbs from last week, but still under 200!), but I'm also feeling the difference. I feel a bit sluggish today, and it no doubt has to do with the fact that my diet over the weekend was less than balanced. It's time to hit the ground running again and be good this week. I need to drop those two gained pounds and many more!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Results are in the Clothing!

This photo is proof that what you wear can definitely affect how people see your weight! I just threw on jeans and polo this morning and the fit makes me look tubbier than my last photo!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Revisiting my BMI

It wasn't until I saw an infomercial last night that mentioned Body Mass Index (BMI) that I realized that I haven't even checked what my current BMI is since starting this process. I wrote an entry back in August about being obese and having an awfully high BMI, so I think it's important to see what my process has earned me on that scale.

In August I calculated my BMI using the following guidelines:

Female (yes they ask you to specify)
Age - 25
Height - 5'6"
Weight - 230 lbs.

My Body Mass Index was 37.1.

Here is what the BMI tells you according to your number: You are underweight if your BMI is below 18.5. You are normal if your BMI is 18.5-24.9 and you are overweight if your BMI is 25-29.9. You are considered obese if your BMI is over 30. In August, my BMI clearly put me in the obese category.

I used the same application on my phone (BMI Calculator) to find out what my BMI is today after losing 31 pounds.

Age - 26
Height - 5'6"
Weight - 199

My Body Mass Index right now is 32.1. Although my BMI has dropped five points, I'm still in the obese category. I can't wait to drop below that level because (and I think others can agree with me), realizing you're categorized as 'obese' is a very frightening thing. The word itself sounds horrible.

My dad asked me yesterday what my upcoming goals are and I told him that I would like to be 185 lbs by April 10 (the day of my first wedding gown fitting) and 170 lbs by June 26 (the day of my wedding). That would give me a BMI of 29.8 and 27.4 respectively. Both fall into the overweight category, but my mind accepts that a lot easier than obese!

My goal weight in this process has always been 145-150 and that gives me a BMI of 23.4-24.2. Now that is something I can definitely live with!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome to One-derland!

I can officially say that I am no longer in the twos. After a weekend of eating really well and drinking copious amounts of water, the scale rewarded me this morning by showing 199.4!

For more than two years, although I'm not sure exactly when I tipped the scale, I have weighed more than 200 pounds. I let the weight creep on during and after college until I was no longer in one-derland, and in turn, no longer even content with my body.

It's been quite a long process since August, but I have finally reached my first true milestone of dropping below that 200 mark, and DAMN DOES IT FEEL GOOD!

As I've reminded other people all day today, I have a long way to go until I reach my ultimate goal, and even until I'm happy with the way I look, but I'm down more than 30 lbs now and that's a monstrous accomplishment in and of itself.

It sounds ridiculous, but after I got showered and dressed this morning I immediately sent a text to my sister, best friend and dad, and emailed my mom in order to share the news with the people who have been along the journey with me. It felt really good not only being proud of myself, but receiving such kind words from those around me and those who love me.

Tomorrow I may step on the scale and it may start with a 2, and that's ok, because I've jumped the hurdle. Every step of this journey has been about taking two steps forward and one step back because the body fluctuates, but the one thing I am absolutely positive of is that I can do it. I am doing it. Welcome to One-derland!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Donts of Going to the Gym

After almost getting impaled by a pair of flailing arms attached to the strange little man "running" on the treadmill yesterday, I started compiling a list in my head of all the things you shouldn't do either in the gym or the locker room at a public athletic facility. Now as I've brought up this topic with other people, I realize that an entire book could be written in list-form going from one to a million about what you shouldn't do when waiting for a piece of equipment or proper shower etiquette, but here are a few of the every day items I run into at Las Vegas Athletic Club.

  1. Never pretend to wildly box or flail your arms around when on the treadmill -- those treadmills are usually stacked fairly close together and even if you don't actually touch the person next to you, I guarantee they're noticing you invading their personal space.
  2. Never, ever, under any circumstance ask the person nearest to you in the locker room to grab something you forgot by or in your locker when you're in the shower. I'm not your friend, and if you do that I will never be your friend. If you forgot your shampoo or loofah, please just turn the shower off, wrap your towel around you and grab the forgotten item(s) on your own. Being in a locker room in a public facility is nothing like being in a sorority girl's bathroom on Revenge of the Nerds or any other teenage angst and cult classic.
  3. Don't engage in casual conversations when you're naked. This is another big locker room pet peeve of mine. If you just hopped out of the shower and are naked and preparing to get dressed and ready to leave, please put your clothes on before complimenting my top, asking about my iPhone or casually commenting about how packed the gym was today. Congrats if you're comfortable enough in your own skin to be a nudist, but that doesn't mean the people you're approaching want to see everything you're letting hang out.
  4. Unless absolutely necessary like all machines are taken and you're in a time crunch, don't ask someone to "work in" with their sets on a machine or ask when they'll be finished with an elliptical or treadmill. There are so many exercises that one person can do and enough equipment to use that you can adjust your routine slightly or wait your turn for someone to finish using the machine you want to use. If you ask to "work in" with them, it becomes more time-consuming and a bigger pain in the ass to coordinate changing weights back and forth and adjusting the seats and rests that it would be for you to wait an extra five minutes. While I'm at it, don't hover either, it's just really rude and annoying. If you want the machine next, just tell me briefly and I promise I'll let you know when I'm finished.
  5. My last "don't" for this short list is this: Don't loiter and make other people wait to use machines when you aren't really using them properly or at all. There's nothing worse than watching two teenage girls flirt with the guys while barely trotting on the treadmill while there's a line of people waiting. Or, watching some dude do 15 sets of two with too much weight on a machine because the chick across the aisle from him is really working hard at what she's doing. Believe it or not, some people want to get into the gym, get done with what they want and go on with their day.

When I go to the gym, I'm usually on some sort of time constraint. Although I may not have an important meeting or something to get to after I leave, I usually tell myself that I want to be home by such and such time so I can have dinner and relax. For instance, this afternoon I'm heading to the gym after work, but I want to be home by 5 p.m. so I can eat dinner, finish some housework and still have time to relax before bed. If I get to the gym at 3:20 and have to wait 15 minutes at every machine for people lazily doing what they're doing then there's no way I'll get everything done I want to get done and make it home by 5. Not the end of the world, but that's when etiquette comes into play.

I know there are a lot of little annoyances that people come across on a daily basis, but these are just a few things that I seem to see a lot at the LVAC I go to. I think it's all about being considerate. After all, this is a public place with people of all shapes, sizes and walks of life using the same facility.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

Yesterday Mike and I got an early start from our house to drive to Primm, Nevada to pick something up at the outlet mall that we couldn't find at the outlets in Las Vegas. Just like every morning, Mike needed coffee from Dunkin Donuts down the street and so we stopped through the drive-thru on the way out of town.

As we sat in the drive-thru waiting to order Mike's regular coffee with cream, sugar and a few ice cubes, I kept dreaming about a delicious donut or a grilled cheese flat bread. It was at that moment, the few seconds before placing our order, that I realized how many times a day I attempt to come up with "legitimate" excuses to eat something or indulge or go outside my diet.

I grew up hearing the phrase "excuses, excuses" over and over again when I would say something to legitimize not cleaning my room or not eating all of my vegetables or to get out of being in trouble for my latest shenanigans. It certainly didn't get me anywhere then, but over time I've allowed myself to indulge in those little excuses and basically get away with eating a donut when we stop at Dunkin Donuts or not go to the gym because I had a "long day."

Thinking about this yesterday really made me look at the bigger picture and how many times I either make excuses and accept them or attempt to make excuses every day. It's really ridiculous, but I do it all the time. Through this process (going on six months) of changing my eating patterns and losing weight I've gotten better at not buying into my little excuses and not rationalizing why I just have to stop for an Egg McMuffin from McDonalds for breakfast, but from time to time my incredible skills of wordplay and legitimate excuses get the better of me and I indulge. And what do you think is the aftermath of those little lapses? Regret, sorrow and sometimes even tears for allowing myself to get tied up in the excuses.

Now before you assume what happened, I didn't get anything at Dunkin Donuts yesterday morning and we actually didn't get fast food anywhere on our little adventure, but that didn't stop the scale from escalating more than a pound today. I know, I know, there are a lot of factors that come into play every single day before I step on the scale like water weight, simple bloating, the fact that I've felt ill for two days, etc., but I still hate seeing the numbers increase instead of decrease.

I'm almost there though, I'm almost in the one-hundreds and not two-hundreds, and I can't weight, no pun intended! I can't help but wonder though, is anyone else still trying to lose weight out there? Is anyone who has been with me since September still on their own journey? I hope you are, I hope we can keep pushing forward.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This morning I was realizing that I'm literally less than two pounds from finally being out of the 200s. I was so excited that I jumped up and down a little bit and applauded myself for the progress I've made. It was after that point that I realized just how pathetic this whole thing actually is.

When I moved to Nevada two and a half years ago I weighed 170-175 lbs. and swore to myself that with this new location, job, life, that I would drop the weight I gained in college. Well that obviously didn't happen! Contrary to that, I gained 50-60 lbs. like it was my job. The pathetic part is that I let that happen to myself and I was okay with it for so long! Why in the world did it take someone else inspiring me or a mini epiphany to make the decision to lose weight. My weight was unhealthy, and it still is unhealthy, it's as simple as that, and that should have been enough to get my eating, exercising and growing waistline under control!

Today I stepped on the scale and saw 201.8. Today was the first time in more than two years that I weighed 201 lbs. That, to me, is pathetic. I can't sit here and swear up and down that I will never gain weight again or I won't ever reach 210, 220, 230 again because I don't know what life has in store, but I'm really praying that all that I've learned since August will stay with me and help me keep a better perspective on my life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Hurdles

As I went back and re-read a few of my blog postings, I realized that I have a few hurdles that I really need to work hard on to overcome in 2010. I've been stagnant in the 201-205 lb. range for almost two months and my first hurdle is to hit that 200 lb. mark and push past it. At this point I'm about ready to throw myself a party when I hit 200 lb. since it's been such a long time coming!

Last night I thought a lot about what other hurdles I have to jump over before I can continue on to the finish line, and I thought I'd share those. The hurdles, I think, are a bigger part of the process than eating right and exercising because they play more into the mental aspect of the journey and are less calculated than reminding myself to go to the gym or not eat chocolate whenever I want.
Here are five hurdles I'm working to overcome in 2010:

1. Eating my emotions: Although I've gotten better at not grabbing a bag of potato chips when I'm feeling blue, I know that I still have an overwhelming feeling to eat junk food or eat large quantities of food when my emotions are getting the better of me. This is my #1 hurdle to jump over this year. I want food to be less important than my well-being.

2. The gym takes all my time: For some reason I have it set in my mind that the gym=all my time. I dread going to the gym a lot of the time because I equate it with eating up a large portion of my day, when in reality I'm only there no more than a couple of hours.

3. "Cheat Days" are good: When I started this weight loss journey back in August, I told myself that I wouldn't have any "cheat days" during the week where I allowed myself more calories than normal. I've realized now those special days are not only okay for the diet if they are spaced out and a supplement to eating right, but they're actually beneficial to my diet and to my mind frame. Having a day to indulge in mashed potatoes eases my mind of being so stringent and worried about calories, AND I get to enjoy some of the foods that I love that I put aside due to my weight-loss goals.

4. Exercise does not always mean the gym: I always equate exercising with going to the gym and using the equipment. I haven't been the type of person to go on long walks or take a hike in Red Rock since early college when I was an avid rock climber, so with my goals to exercise more it's been all about going to the gym or watching exercise videos. So many people that I know go hiking or biking or play football in the park and burn calories that way. A real goal for me this year is to exercise more not only at the gym, but using out-of-the-box techniques as well.

5. Self-perception: Although it isn't listed as #1, possibly my biggest hurdle in 2010 and in life is the way I view myself. I've lost 30 lbs., I'm proud of what I see in the mirror, and yet I still don't view myself in a positive light. My biggest hurdle is self-criticism and low self-esteem. It's time to change that. Actually, changing my self-perception is WAY past due.

These are only a few of the hurdles I want to overcome in the next few months, but are only a handful of the hurdles I've come across on this journey. I have a long way to go before I'm happy with myself, but sometimes even I'm surprised by my progress and by the change in my everyday life. Eating is no longer the most important part of the day, but instead it supplements my actions and activities. I said it once and I'll say it again, I think 2010 is going to be a great year.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Photo!

Today's been an odd day. I haven't had a chance to write a new blog, but here's a very recent photo -- taken this morning!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Planning Ahead

I knew today was going to be a rough day when it comes to eating because before I even woke up, I knew that I was going to eat out twice. With plans for lunch and dinner already in place, I decided to do as much research as possible before going out so I stick to my calorie count and don't over indulge.

Since I know a lot of people struggle with eating out and choosing right, I thought I'd share my diet today with anyone interested. I still ate and will eat the things I really like so eating out is still a great experience.

For breakfast I started as I usually do with a shake. I've been buying and drinking the slim fast-esque shapes from Target. Each can is only 170 calories and they come in similar flavors to Slim Fast. I also compared the ingredients and nutrients and found that they are practically identical. However, at this point in time, I'd say Target is the better option since it's lacking bacteria!

For lunch I went to Pei Wei with coworkers and for dinner Mike and I are meeting friends of ours at The Yard House. Here's how my calorie count (1,439 total for the day) works out for today.

Breakfast: Diet Shake - 170 calories
Lunch: Pei Wei - Mongolian Chicken with Brown Rice (whole serving) - 560 + 130 = 690
Dinner: The Yard House - Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with dressing on side - 365 + 75 = 440

Total Calories - 1,300 calories.

I'm doing what I always aim to do and that's to eat my largest, most calorie heavy meal, in the middle of the day so my body has more time to digest it. Now, since I haven't gone to dinner yet, I've also planned an alternative meal in case I get there and the salad sounds horrible. I also looked up the nutritional information for the Margherita Pizza. I can have 2 slices for 285 calories or 4 slices for 570 calories. Even if I eat four slices my total calorie count would be 1,430 for the day and that falls right into where I need it to be.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Feelin' Good

I think it's safe to say that 2009 is behind us and we are well in the thick of things for 2010. Yesterday I spent more than enough time organizing files and making sure the loose ends of 2009 are wrapped up and I'm prepared for what's to come in 2010. I've even found that even though I'm back to not snacking or enjoying a chocolatey treat whenever I want, I'm relieved to be eating healthier.

During the holiday season I enjoyed eating cookies and having a piece of chocolate that was delivered to the office, but I didn't feel well overall. My stomach seemed perpetually upset, I felt sluggish and tired all of the time. I forgot that along with eating well and exercising regularly comes an overall feeling of good health and being refreshed.

I'm only back in the game a couple of days right now, but my body feels better. I think it also has to do with the fact that I've instantly cut back on the amount of Diet Coke I'm drinking and I've been consuming water like we're about to run out forever, but whatever the reason, I can already feel the positive impact.

Here are five simple guidelines that I'm sticking to this New Year, in lieu of a "New Year's Resolution":

  1. Always take the stairs.
  2. Drink more water than anything else / always carry water with me.
  3. Never deprive myself of sleep, if for some reason this happens, make time to catch up.
  4. Go to the gym every week without fail (obviously a more regular goal is in place, but this is a generic guideline).
  5. Never deprive myself of something sweet, just be sure to take it in moderation.

What are your little guidelines for 2010? Care to share, leave a comment here!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Schedule - I Miss You!

Although I did alright throughout the holiday season with maintaining the weight I'd lost, the one thing I realized is not only the importance of having a routine or organized schedule, but just how much I missed having one. I'm a fairly organized person, and I've always been the type to plan ahead so when my schedule is a muck, I feel out of control.

From Thanksgiving through New Year's, my schedule has been crazy! Between days off at work, visitors from out of town and traveling to see my family in Minnesota, it feels like we've been running ragged for weeks! I've enjoyed almost every second of the holiday season, but there's something soothing and refreshing about getting back to the daily grind this week. I like knowing that I'm going to wake up at 6:30, work from 8-3, hit the gym after work and then go home to have dinner with Mike and relax until bed time. I like having that routine because it's comforting, and above all else, it helps me keep my weight loss routine as well.

When my schedule isn't crazy I find it easier to eat according to plan, go to the gym as often as I should and not snack. As soon as random events come up or dramatic things happen to change my schedule I tend to use it as an excuse to eat differently, not go to the gym, and snack if I'm feeling stressed. So, 2010, here I come! I'm back on track, back to my normal schedule and ready to continue dropping the pounds!

What I need, however, are tips on how to roll with the punches. Any ideas on how I can stick to my plan when curve balls throw my schedule for a loop? Should I bring more healthy snacks with me or do exercises at home when I can't get to the gym? I need some advice!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Here are two photos taken in December.

Let's Do This

Hey Everyone! Happy New Year and welcome to 2010.

This year is going to be a big one for me with my wedding in less than six months followed by a honeymoon to my favorite place on earth, London. I can't wait to see what 2010 brings, and with that, I'm looking forward to continuing the journey I started 4.5 months ago.

To date, I have lost 30 pounds and I'm well on my way to my ultimate goal of weighing 145-150 pounds. I decided to stop "dieting" during the holiday season in order to allow myself to enjoy a delicious Christmas cookie now and then, and to not add a whole lot of stress to an already stressful season. Instead, I made the decision to maintain my weight loss during the holidays and hit the ground running in the new year.

I'm happy to report that during December, I gained exactly one pound, nothing more and that is something I'm proud to let you all know. Today I weighed myself and I'm at 202.6 pounds. I still haven't reached that solid 200-pound mark yet, but I've come a very long way from just over 230 pounds and not gaining it all back was my first accomplishment in knowing that maintaining is the hardest thing to do!

Tomorrow, it's back to my normal routine including shakes for breakfast and usually dinner, and watching my calories meticulously using the LoseIt application on my iPhone. It also means it's time to hit the gym regularly again (along with 10,000 other people with "new year's resolutions). Now that I'm back at it (and within six months of my wedding!) I'm definitely going to need some words of encouragement.

For all of you just getting back to the weight-loss routine, I wish you all the best! Don't make "losing 20 pounds" your resolution right now, but instead make it an attainable, daily-routine changing goal for years to come. I don't want to lose weight as a resolution in 2010, but I want to continue dropping pounds and being healthy this year to prepare myself for many years to come.

Happy New Year everyone! I promise that I'll post a new photo soon!