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!