I would like to do something for myself as I reach the little and big goals along the way, something to keep me motivated and I'm trying to organize the possibilities.  One of my problems is (and it's a significant contributor to my weight problem, anyway) I'm an indulger. I don't wait for the things that I want, I don't put things off, I just do them/buy them. This usually means that the pleasure is short-lived. I'm hoping that the fact that we are going on a fiscal diet this next year as well will mean that some of these indulgences will feel more special, really mark the occasion that I'm celebrating.

My first will be a manicure/pedicure. I'm thinking once I lose 15 lbs. I am horrible to my hands and feet and absolutely love getting mani/pedis. Man, I really hate saying that. As much as I may love the event, the word makes me gag a little bit. Anyway, it's not too pricy, but it's something nice I can do for myself.

Some of my other markers require me to have lost wait before I can indulge them anyway. For instance, I have always wanted a pair of Frye boots, but my calves are much too large. When I thin out, and my calves are small enough, I will make the purchase, and I'm so excited.

I really love these, but I may have to modify what I want, because even when I'm thin, my calves are mighty, so they still may not be doable.

I also yearn for JCrew. I'm going to be the preppiest prep that ever prepped a prep when I reach my goal weight.

**note: we are not independently wealthy. I have a 401k that doesn't have a ton of cash in it,  but enough that it will let me indulge some of my more shallow urges without great cost to the family budget. When I quit my job after having the baby I decided that I would use that money for just this purpose.

A delicious day

I'm thinking I need to up my caloric intake. Right now I'm eating around 1300-1400 per day, but I'm also exercising, which some days means my net intake is only around 1000-1200. I think I will aim to consume around 1500-1700, but also make sure I'm exercising every day. This way I won't be so hungry/feel so overwhelmed by trying to make such low calorie meals.  Three 450ish calorie meals is not much food. I mean, it is, if we're like, comparing ourselves to starving villages in Africa; by those standards I'm doing awesome. So, if I eat 1700 calories and work off 300-400, I'm back to where I need to be to lose 2 pounds per week. Oh, math, you delightful minx.

Breakfast today was Wasa crackers with Justin's chocolate peanut butter and raisins. Do you know about Justin's? It's all the awesomeness of Nutella, only no added sugar! They make almond and hazlenut (the true Nutella maker) as well. It's a bit of a splurge (ok, a lot of a splurge) but it was definitely a nice treat. I also ate my caveman style grapefruit. I hate eating grapefruit with a spoon, so I peel it like an orange and then peel away the pith and skin and just shove the tasty bits in my mouth. It looks much like a bear eating salmon in a river. Gross to watch, but fun for the bear.

Lunch was an attempt at faux tuna salad. I have some modifications I will make in the future (add TVP to the chickpeas, use less veganaise as it ended up a little bit wet, try hajiki instead of kelp powder for the fishiness), but overall I was delighted. I also had one of my last remaining apples from my CSA stash. I long for the days that Jacob's Cove is back up and running.

I had pictures of my lunch and dinner, but I've apparently exceeded my photo limit w/ Google. I purchased some more storage, but it isn't processed yet. Imagine very well-lit, artistically composed pictures of my comestibles.

For dinner, I pretty much blew my own mind. I made a big salad with roasted veggies (eggplant, haricot vert--or green beans for you non-foodies, garlic and butternut squash) and topped it with a recipe I saw on Everyday Italian yesterday. So easy: boil potatoes and when they are done and dry, you smash them and pan sear them in garlic oil. The dressing came from the same episode and is pretty much why I'm in such a pleasant mood. Zest and juice of 2 lemons, 1/2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, 3 Tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. I zipped it all in the Magic Bullet and, man, was my life made.

I really needed more protein today, as it was approaching nil, and I can feel it in my bones. I'll have leftovers of the salad tomorrow for lunch (probably) and will probably add some tofu or something to get a little protein in me. I should probably have a tofu scramble, too, though I dread making them.

Tomorrow I have such a feast planned. We have a few friends coming over for dinner to ring in the new year, and I have a vegan mediterranean feast planned: crudite and pita w/ baba ghanoush and hummus, spanakopita, falafel, chicken shawarmas (for the omnis), mushroom shawarma (which I think I made up), israeli couscous salad, and a veganized baklava. I don't think I will worry about calories tomorrow and just enjoy myself in moderation. We must let ourselves relax every now and again, right?

Dancer Butt

You. Guys. Ashley and I have been doing The Bar Method for a couple of months now, off and on. It is awesome. Tonight, we did the advanced DVD and only skipped one ridiculous exercise. I really like liking exercise, and this one of the first things in awhile, exercise-wise that I have enjoyed.

Wherein I learn about vegetables

I don't think I'm a stupid person. In fact, it's one thing I can always be pretty certain of, that I'm smart, that I get things. However, when I miss things I really miss them. For example, last night when I was reading the latest Krakauer book I realized that my entire life I thought the Washington Redskins were from Washington state. I was certain of it; then I realized how off I was (just the other side of the country). I don't care about football or sports, but it was so representative of how I view the world. I am so certain about the things I think I know it's rare that I take a different perspective or even entertain the thought that I don't have the full story.

I suppose that's a rather convoluted way of getting to my point: today I realized just how awesome vegetables are.  After going to bed rather hungry last night I knew I needed to make some changes if I were going to keep this up. As I looked for the most bang for my caloric buck I realized that I can eat sooooo many veggies before it ever becomes a caloric problem. Fill up on veggies and there's room for deliciousness, too!

A big part of this is the fact that I've never counted calories before. I've counted carbs, but now that I'm starting to realize the very simple math of weight loss (take in fewer calories than you need = weight loss!) I understand why eating vegetables works so well in losing weight. It makes me a little sad that it took me so long to understand this. I'm smart, right, so why didn't I understand?

I'm a little bit obsessed with my iphone app. I plug in exactly what I eat (most of the foods are already on file so it automatically populates the nutritional information) and then gives me a balance. It's like banking for my booty. For instance, I've hit my caloric cap today, but I think I'd like a little treat later on, so I need to do some exercise. Such a basic concept that alludes so many of us.

I also really love the whole food diary thing, especially when I take pictures. I feel so much more accountable for the food choices that I make.

For breakfast today I had steel-cut oats with raisins, slivered almonds, a spoonful of almond butter, a tablespoon of chia seeds and some almond milk. It might not be pretty to look at, but it was exactly what I needed. Filling, healthy and low-cal (well, enough that I didn't have to starve for the rest of the day).

Lunchtime came the epiphany. I was pretty hungry by the time I made lunch, so I really wanted to be able to fill up and have it last. Welcome, veggies. I had 2 pieces of toasted Dave's bread (seriously, dudes, get your asses to Costco and buy some. You're welcome) spread w/ hummus, a Boca chikn patty and about 2 cups of sauteed spinach (I just threw it in a pan with some garlic for a few minutes) all smashed together in a mighty sandwich. I also had about a cup of broccoli with a little bit of lemon juice sprinkled on it.

Dinner was so good (mostly because I didn't make it). Ashley made a delicious sweet-potato, black bean chili. I topped mine with a little Sour Supreme and avocado and cilantro. I think the beans will have me going for the rest of the night (not farting/pooping, just you know, energy).

I've had about 1335 calories today, right on target!

I'm feeling really proud of myself for doing this. I haven't ever felt this committed to the weight loss process before, so I'm hoping that's a good sign.

day one

Today was not as bad as I thought it would be. I've downloaded the myfitnesspal app on my iphone, and it's pretty great for keeping track of calories and exercise. I'm pretty motivated by seeing how many calories I have left for a day after working out and watching what I eat. I'm trying to net around 1500 calories (which is a lot more doable if I get in a good workout). I think I exceeded it by a little today, but I'm not taking things too seriously until after New Year's Eve (I have a party planned and am making quite the spread. I'll still stick to my plan as much as possible, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I end up eating 2,000 calories either).

Today's breakfast was Dave's Awesome Bread (it's truly awesome. So full of grainy goodness!) with almond butter and bananas.  I snacked on a Trio bar. The Trio bar was DELICIOUS, but also kind of a waste of 260 calories. I'd have much rather had something more filling.  I feel the same way about breakfast. Tomorrow I will go for some steel cut oats or a tofu scramble to up the filling power.

Lunch was pretty stellar. 2 Boca chikn patties (could have done with one, I think and had another potato) 2 small red potatoes smothered in hummus (a much better topping than margarine, no?) and some cucumber slices. This was really filling, but I think I might opt for baba ghanoush in the future (though I have a lot of hummus, so it may be awhile) because I prefer the flavor and it has about half the calories.

Dinner was AWESOME! We went to Mazza with one of my best friends and her husband and I had tea w/ cardamom (I could have cardamom in pretty much everything), a falafel sandwich, 2 dolmas (which I'd never had before, but loved) and some fattoush (also something I'd never had).

Overall, I stayed under my calories today, consuming 1,775 and burning 404.  I'm really proud of myself, and I want to keep it up.

My exercise wasn't great, but I still ran/walked for 30 minutes. I signed up for a couch to 5k on my phone and will try and use that as my cardio motivator. I'd like to be exercising for an hour or more, but I need to come up with more realistic ways to do it with the baby in tow, walking w/ her in the stroller needs to become a daily endeavor.

As I get ready for bed, I'd like to eat a little something, but am going to try and hold off until morning. I'm not used to eating foods that are so light, which is giving me something to work through. I've upped my water intake to compensate, but I've also been peeing more than I'm used to (I used to be a real water hog, so I hope to get back to that).

I feel good. I hope I can keep this up. I know every day won't be as easy, but it was a nice way to start.

the long and disturbing one

I've been a fat kid my entire life. Okay. I take that back. I had a few years in my late-teens/early-twenties where I rocked a fairly hot bod (though never thin); anyway, I'm tired of being fat. I'm tired of my body hurting all the time, not working right, and just looking gross, and it's time I did something about it.

Like most other fats, I'm great at making excuses, but what I know (as does everyone else) is that all of these excuses are just lies. Lies I tell myself to keep me down. Lies that make it okay for me to be unhealthy and to continue feeling bad about myself.

I should say that I'm not an anti-fatty. I'm totally down with fat activism, body acceptance and all the other body positive movements out there, but I'm not healthy and that has to stop. If I could be this size and have happy, healthy pregnancies (I have struggled with infertility, and had a very difficult pregnancy with my first, and only child), if I could do the kind of physical activities I enjoy without struggling, then I don't think I would have a problem being in my body in its current state. But, the fact is, none of these things are true. Before I have another baby (and I really, really want to) I need by body to be in a place where I'm not at risk for pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes. I need to be strong and healthy enough to attempt a VBAC. I want to be able to run a marathon one day. I want to take my family on long hiking/camping trips. Basically, there are a lot of things I want my body to do that it currently cannot.

I've hemmed and hawed over whether or not to create this blog, wondered if I wanted to share this struggle with God knows whom. I finally capitulated that if I am going to be successful, I need to be accountable for my actions, and I need there to be some risk involved in that. That means posting pictures of myself in a bikini knowing that someone I know could possibly see/find this. It means talking openly and honestly about how big I've really gotten. It means not hiding behind layers of fat and fully admitting what I would like to do and the real changes I need to make. So, here we are. Moderately embarrassed, but fully committed.

Which leads us to the numbers. Numbers that bring me to tears, numbers that mortify me beyond my capacity right now.

I am 5'4" tall. I weigh 260 lbs. (even). Yeah. I'm closer to 300 pounds than to 200 pounds. I weigh more than professional football players. I can't even imagine how tall I would need to be to make this weight acceptable. There are few men in my life who weigh more than I do, and that kills me. I'm Biggest Loser fat. I have a BMI (which I don't necessarily agree with this as a measurement of health, but nonetheless) of 44, or "Obese" possibly "Morbidly Obese". My fat could/might kill me. And I'm done. Done with all of it.

My ultimate goal is to weigh around 125 pounds. At my smallest, I was 145 and a size 8/10, and I know I would feel good at the lighter weight. I know that losing that much weight in a year is unlikely, but I think that losing 100 lbs (putting me at 160) in a year is feasible, and I want to make it happen.

I plan on staying accountable to this goal by daily posting my food and exercise journal. I also plan on posting things that motivate me toward success (rewards for mini-goals along the way).