Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #20!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 198
Current Weight: 196 (-2)
Total Weight Loss: 29 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining: 51

Wow, I can't believe that it's my 20th week.  I don't know if I'm more shocked by how quickly the time went or the fact that I've actually stuck with this for once in my life.  But look!  Down 2 pounds!  One more pound and I'll be at 30 pounds lost.  30 pounds!  I honestly barely believe it myself.  Even better, I only have 6 more pounds to go until I reach my next mini-goal of 190! :)

I really tried to beef up my exercising this week.  I ran a lot and also did work out videos when I was stuck in the rain.  In the near future, I plan on writing a post about all the various Internet resources I've personally found to be helpful for weight-loss or fitness, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 29, 2012


I'm sure you've heard of the monster storm attacking the East Coast by now.  Here's a visual aid:

That, my friends, is currently what I'm experiencing.  Somewhere under all that white is my state.  You wouldn't believe the rain and wind!  My job closed for the day, so at least I didn't have to drive in it.  There's a high likelihood that it'll be closed tomorrow, too. 

While I truly do appreciate the day off from work (but still getting paid, woo!), it does put a damper on my exercising.  I've run in a bit of rain before, but running in a hurricane?  I don't think so.  But it's still Operation October, and more importantly I've been basically laying around doing nothing all day, so I really needed to get some sort of movement in.  Enter, the workout DVD!

So envious of that body!
Personally, I'm a huge fan of all of Ellen Barrett's DVDs.  This one in particular, called Skinny Sculpt, is one I have done many times.  It's fairly easy for beginners and offers modifications in case you aren't able to do the full workout quite yet.  In the beginning, I used all the modifications and no weights.  Now, I do the full thing, weights and all.

What I really like about her DVD's is how she somehow makes you feel pretty while you're sweating your butt off.  She talks about elongating your lines and using foot positions from ballet.  And she's very encouraging in a way that doesn't feel fake to me, which is something that really bothers me on other workout DVDs.  To help distract you while you're exercising, she also talks a good bit all the way through.  Sometimes it'll be explaining why a certain move is good for your or exactly what muscles you're targeting; it's all very interesting.

So, if you're in the market for some DVDs to try whilst being kept inside due to Frankenstorm, I do recommend Skinny Sculpt.  Her DVD's aren't that expensive either, which is definitely a bonus.

*Once again,  I was not asked to endorse this product, nor was I given anything to do so.  This is a review of my own free will**

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Book That Started It All...

Half-Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir by Jennette Fulda
If you've been reading this blog from the start or went back and read all the entries, you know that I started this blog in April of 2011.  By Winter of 2011, I was done.  I had a lot of issues going on last year that depressed me.  Keeping up with a new diet and exercise plan wasn't something I thought I could spend time on.  Which was stupid, because in the end I just ate and ate and ate to cover my feelings but all I ended up doing was gaining more weight and getting more depressed.  So stupid.

In May of this year, I posted my first entry of starting to live a healthier lifestyle again.  I never said it at the time, but one of the biggest motivators for this was reading the book pictured above.  Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir is an autobiography that covers the journey of the author, Jennette Fulda as she goes from weighing 372 pounds to being within 15 pounds of her goal weight (160 lbs). 

But this is not your typical weight-loss book.  What really amazed me as I read was that while this book was about losing weight, very little of it was focused specifically on food.  She never mentions what specific diet she is following.  She rarely mentions meals she prepared.  There's a good bit about figuring out what's good and what's not-so-good and how to navigate the supermarket, but even then I wouldn't say it's the majority of the book.  Instead, she focuses a lot on her physical activity and her mental health.  This was not a manual for how to lose weight, but a true autobiography about the strength and will-power it takes to accomplish a mighty goal.  And what really got me was how much I related to the things she wrote about.  Literally, there were moments where I wondered if the author somehow knew me.  She talks about playing the "Am I Fatter Than Her?" Game, which I play way too much.  Or how she pretended to forget her swimsuit at a party, which I've done more than once.

And she was forceful in her beliefs, which can be rare in overweight women who are often plagued by low self-esteem.

For example, "And even if I had been the laziest, weakest-willed person on the planet, being fat did not make me a bad person. Fat wasn't good or bad. It wasn't a scarlet F of shame written on my elbow. It was just fat. I deserved as much respect as any thin person and I shouldn't have to live under a cloud of shame." (pg. 48).

Exactly!!  I am fat, yes, but that does not and should not define me.  I am more than the fat on my body, it just happens to be that that's what you see first.  But if you take the time, you might find that I am so much more.

The author writes in such a way that I delighted in her triumphs and was saddened by her lows.  Her book truly touched me with it's wit and blunt honesty.  Before I even finished the book, I was inspired to start exercising and eating better myself.  This blog and the successes it has chronicled is directly a result of reading that book.  I'll think, "Man, I really want to just sit on the couch and watch TV," or, "I can have that doughnut covered in chocolate and sprinkles, right?"  But then I remember the blog and how much I really don't want to have to report weight-gain.  It keeps me on track.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that this is a good book!  A really good book!  And I definitely recommend you purchase a copy if you're looking for a new read.

**I would like to note that I was in no way asked or paid to say these things.  I have never met or spoken to the author.  I gave this review of my own free-will and received nothing for it.**

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #19!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 198
Current Weight: 198 (-0)
Total Weight Loss: 27 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:53

I'm the same!  Shedding the pounds has definitely become more difficult.  I recently read an article that says as you lose weight, your body burns less calories to operate, which is why people often have plateaus.  It really just comes down to the fact that I need to step up my game and exercise a little harder than I have been.  Honestly, I think my food habits are really good now, so I'm not too worried about those.  I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, not too many carbs and what I do have are whole wheat.  I don't eat a lot of dairy products because I'm lactose intolerant, but I do drink skim lactose-free milk and reduced fat lactose-free cheese on occasion.

So, here's to trying even harder!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Body Image... Again

It seems that women are constantly being assaulted from all sides to be thinner.  Mainly, I think we're all used to it because of consistently seeing ads with already-thin girls photoshopped to be even thinner.  But sometimes the media goes a little too far.  Has anyone seen this?

Photo: WWD/Barney's/Courtesy Photo
As this article explains, Barney's of New York is going to be running a holiday ad in which Minnie Mouse dreams of herself in Paris, with various other Disney characters joining her as models.  The picture above is how Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck will appear.

Let's all remember what Minnie Mouse usually looks like:

Traditionally, this icon from Walt Disney has been presented with a rather curvy figure.  The Barney's advertisement team has somehow felt it necessary to make her stick-thin.  Frankly, I find the new versions very creepy.  They're beyond runway model thin--they're more anorexic thin.  And in the world we live in where anorexia, bulimia, and body dismorphia are frequent problems for impressionable girls, is it really wise to be taking a beloved curvy children's figure and turning her into an impossibly thin version?

Minnie Mouse is not even fat, she's simply curvy.  The message it seems to send is that when you have curves, one of your biggest dreams should be to be thinner.  And I take issue with that.  Let's teach our children to be happy and healthy.  Being too thin can be just as detrimental to health as being overweight. 

The article also has a link to a petition to stop Barney's from running this ad on  If you go there, they list some shocking figures about children and body image:

•47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.

They're all pretty sad, but the third bullet point about 1st-3rd grade girls really depressed me.  At that age the only thing you should be worried about is if it'll rain and you can't go outside for recess.   I hope Barney's realizes the negative effects their ad could have on girls who view it. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #18!

Now, I know what you're thinking.  It's Thursday!  You forgot to weigh yourself yesterday!  Actually, I did remember.  And I really was excited too, since I finally lost weight last week.  So it's early morning, I just woke up.  Stumbling sleepily into the bathroom, I do my business and proceed to step on the scale... and it's dead.  Yep.  Batteries died.  And my scale takes those weird little flat round batteries that I don't just have lying around.  So, this post had to be delayed a day until I had a chance to go to the store and grab a couple.  Now, without further ado:
Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 200
Current Weight: 198 (-1 pound)
Total Weight Loss: 27 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:53

Yay!  I'm finally done being on that awful plateau I wrote about before.  I cannot stress how awful it is to exercise your butt off (unfortunately not literally) and eat really well only to step on the scale and have it show you the same number for a month.  So I'm super excited to be on the downward slope again.  And look!  Only 8 more pounds until I achieve my new mini-goal! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Running Update!

Last time I wrote about running, I was up to 2 miles without stopping.  Now I can run 3!  However, I must say that it's really hard.  I feel like I moved from 1 mile to 2 miles fairly seamlessly.  For some reason, that third mile is a killer.  My legs and thighs hurt a lot by the end and I'm way more tired than after just 2 miles.  Still, it's very exciting to know that I could finally enter a 5K and not make a fool of myself.

As an interesting side note to this, the road I run on has undergone a transformation.  A few weeks ago, they took away the road's surface and paved it with small rocks instead.  I have no idea why they did this instead of repaving it.  And it was really annoying because I couldn't use that road to run on for awhile.  Now, the rocks on the road also happen to correspond with the sale of what used to be a golf course on the one side of the road.  It's now just park land and is no longer carefully mowed.  The grass and other vegetation has grown up significantly.

I mention this because apparently, now that the golf course is wilderness again and the road is less road-like, animals feel more okay with trying to go across.  However, just as many cars are still traveling down this road.  Because of this, I have now dubbed this road The Road of Death.  So far, I've seen two frogs, three snakes, a couple squirrels, and many fuzzy caterpillars that have met their end on this road.  It's very morbid.  I actually saw a live snake slithering across the other day and I totally cheered him on.  I did the same with the caterpillars I saw today.

Anyway, just wanted to do a running update!  Hopefully, I can get used to this 3 mile thing, because it's truly painful at the moment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #17!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 200
Current Weight: 199 (-1 pounds)
Total Weight Loss: 26 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:54

Do you hear that choir of angels?  You'd better, because I HAVE MET MY FIRST MINI-GOAL.  Woooo!!!  I'm under 200!!!  I never want my weight to begin with a number 2 again.

I have also learned my lesson, and for my next mini-goal I will not set it so far.  17 weeks is a little much.  So!  My next mini-goal will be: 9 pounds!  Why 9?  I was going to make it 8, but if it's 9 that makes my weight 190, which is a nice, even number.  Also, my mini-goal after that will be 10 pounds, at which point my weight will be 180.  This is an important number, because it means that I will officially leave the ranks of the obese and just be regular old overweight. :)

Monday, October 8, 2012


This video has been lurking around the internet for awhile, so I'm sure most of you have already seen it--but for those who haven't:

I actually got a little choked up while watching this clip.  It brought back all the memories (some quite recent) of the times I've been called fat, huge, mountain, even a beached whale.  And while I certainly agree that we should teach our children to be healthy, it's not okay to berate overweight people. 

All the bullying never inspired me to lose weight, in fact it did the exact opposite.  I felt more depressed and even less self-confident, so I would eat to take away the pain.  I wore huge clothes and for years, I mean quite literally, years, I refused to wear anything but black. I don't know that there's a picture existing of me from my high school years showing me in color. And it wasn't that I was some emo kid, at least not more than any other normal hormonal teenager.  Black was safe.  People don't notice you as much.  And that's what I desperately wanted--to simply be ignored so I wouldn't be made fun of.  It's only been within the past two years or so that I've begun to wear color and frankly I still find it a little odd. 

A friend of mine posted this video on his facebook, and I'm going to paste a person's reply.  A warning, though, it does contain some explicit language:

"That was really something. I want to take a minute to point out something that you probably already know, but that many people who see this may not understand. Anyone who reads this and knows me also knows that I've literally been overweight my entire life. I was over twelve pounds at birth, and I've only gotten taller and larger as time has gone on. This year, I have changed my life in some very profound ways and dropped nearly 60 pounds as a result. The ability to keep with a commitment like this for an entire calendar year is new to me, and bodes well for my future. For the first time in nearly three decades of life, I am 100% certain that barring serious physical injury or disability, I will be hold weight that can be considered "normal" within a year from this date, and that I'll weigh less than I did at my highschool graduation in just a few more months. 

What I want to point out about this is what it took for me to get to a place, mentally and physically, where this was possible. See, people like the man who wrote the letter in that video clothe their bigotry, hatred and disgust in concern. They pretend to be worried about your health, or the model you present for "the children", or the supposed healthcare cost impact on the country, but that's not the real motivation behind their actions. The true reason they do what they do is the same as it always is in cases of bullying - you're different, I don't like it, and tearing you down makes me feel better about myself. Everything else they say is simply justification - either to themselves, or so they look like less of an asshole to the public.  I'm here to tell you that ain't the way it fucking works. 

I've endured far more than my fair share of bullying in my lifetime and, while I'm prepared to admit that it did make me stronger in some ways, the one thing it never, ever did was to help me lose weight. It did not motivate me to work out. It didn't make me eat better. The bullying, the anger and the pain caused three things: drinking, self-destructive behavior, and several nights on which I came embarrassingly close to suicide. At no time did it help me make a positive change in my life. 

So what did? Well, the exact opposite, of course. Being around people who think highly of me, gaining some self-esteem, and living in an environment where I'm not spending every ounce of my energy fending off attacks and just trying to survive the day-to-day tragedy of my existence were all instrumental in creating a person that was capable of change. Oh, and education, too. Motivation to change is nothing without the knowledge of how to actually make said change.   

So let me make this clear just one more time. Bullying does not help people change. It doesn't make them better, it won't motivate them, and it won't make them stop being what you dislike. Nothing is more important to me than freedom of expression, so if you want to say some hurtful bullshit, that's your prerogative, but stop fucking justifying it, and stop acting like you're anything but an angry, intolerant prick when you get called out on it. Targeting fat people doesn't make you any less of a dick- it just lets you pretend you are."

Strong words, and I agree wholeheartedly.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Operation October

I have a new goal for this month, and I am giving it the unnecessarily epic name of Operation October.  I was inspired by a fellow blogger that I admire who has decided to make a blog post for every single day in October.  So, I have decided that I am going to exercise every single day in October.

Usually, I exercise between 4-5 times a week, sometimes more, sometimes less.  This month, I'm going to try for every single day.  Whatever activity I do doesn't have to be running a marathon, but has to last at least 10 minutes.

I haven't had the time to go running recently, but I have made sure that I at least get my ten minutes in.  If you haven't heard of Spark People, it's a great website and resource for those wanting to lose weight.  I like to refer to it as the Facebook of Weight-Loss, although it's really so much more than that.  Anyway, they have exercise videos to do that are usually 10 minutes and sometimes longer.  There are a lot and so far I've tried a cardio video that kicked my butt and also a Qi Gong video that made me sleepy at the time but that also made the muscles in my thigh sore the next day.

A couple of days this week I was able to use my job as my exercise.  How, you ask?  I have a part-time job giving tours in the evening in my historical town.  I dress up in a big civil war gown and walk for about a mile and a half.  It's actually very good exercise, especially since I'm wearing so many layers it adds weight.

Today is October 6th, and I have exercised for at least 10 minutes a day for 6 days straight!  25 more days to go!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday #16!

Starting Weight: 225
Last Week's Weight: 200
Current Weight: 200 (-0 pounds)
Total Weight Loss: 25 pounds

Goal Weight: 145
Weight Remaining:55

Believe it or not, I am still the same.  It's really depressing.  I weigh myself periodically throughout the week, too, in vain hope.  I range between 200-202 in the mornings.  A 2-3 pound variation is normal.  I just wish I could sometimes look down and see I've had a 2-3 pound variation in the downward direction.

However, my new resolution to take it a bit easier has been doing me well.  I've seen improvements in my mood and attitude already.  Being on this plateau last week may have killed me--this week?  Not so much.  It's nice to not be so stressed about it all the time.  I do still hope to lose weight this week and finally break through this horrible plateau.  It would probably raise my spirits tremendously.