July 29, 2011

Celebrating a Weightloss

Last week I celebrated my 55 pound weight loss by going to my friend Annie's house and we played my new favorite game, Model and Paparazzi.

What is this game?

It's when I bring over my favorite new clothes and have Annie take pictures of me for my blog!!  So here they are...

Rather sassy in this one, aren't I?

These are just my favoite four and I am very grateful for Annie humoring me by spending her Saturday afternoon taking my pictures.

July 26, 2011

How I fell in love with Yoga.

First there was Power Stretch.  I stumbled onto yoga when I joined my studio.  They had some yoga classes but they looked way too hard for me.  I could not touch my toes.  There was nothing, absolutely nothing, flexible about me.  The studio began to offer a summer  series class called Power Stretch, a 30 minute class designed to promote flexibility and also, as a kind of baby step towards yoga.  I liked it.  It was hard and stressful at first but the payoffs were quick.  I used to say 'Well, I can't really do any of the stretches so all improvement is a milestone.'

Then there was Core Flow.  I began going to yoga classes at the studio, they were designed around Vinyasa Flow, which means that the you would work quickly through the postures and poses in order to keep your heart rate relatively elevated.  They were an hour long and I began to go three or four times a week.  I was really progressing. 

Touch my toes?  You bet?  Hold a crow pose?  Most days, yes.  Inversions?  Not yet, but someday.

I loved it and my schedule changed a bit so in addition to going to classes at my studio I started to go to a Sunday evening class at Journeys in Yoga.  This was what I call my introduction to 'real yoga.'  These classes had a real focus on controlling and manipulating, yet always respecting, the body.  90 minutes, pose to pose to pose, ending with inversions and partner yoga.  Partner yoga is when two people do poses together, sometimes holding someone else over your head.  Intense, but amazing.

All of this love was fostered by a great teacher.  Jessa met me at every important point in my yoga journey.  She worked with, instead of against, my body.  She worked within my limitations but still pushed me to new places.  Jess is a magnetic person, drawing energy and people towards her at all times.  Eventually she graduated, moved to NYC, and is teaching Yoga at Equinox Fitness, an elite studio in Manhattan. 

I have found the rest of the yoga community to be just as inviting and supportive.  In general this group of people is not exclusionary, they do not look at my suspiciously as some other in fitness classes sometimes do, they only push me to expect the best from myself, knowing that somedays the best is more or less than other days.

Now I take classes with a young woman named Emily.  Emily, too, is about to move away so I'm sure that my yoga is about to transition as I find a new teacher. Emily is caring, gentle, and in all ways, charming.

I love yoga.  I do.  I love that it always challenges me.  There are always news poses to try or even just trying to get better at ones you're been doing for years.  I love that while it always changes, it is also unchanging and timeless.  It shows me in the most concrete way, other than the scale or my clothes, how my body is changing.  That as my muscles strenghthen and get longer, as my joints open, poses that were once not even approachable become do-able.

Yoga is one of the sincerest ways I show my body love.

July 22, 2011


Yes, this is a picture of my feet.  I felt it was necessary to include this picture of my feet because yesterday I reached a goal: 55 pounds!  I told myself that when I hit that goal I would get a pedicure and here is the proof.

55 pounds.

Crazy, awesome, amazing.  It took me about six weeks to lose 5 lbs.  I really wanted to honor my mini goals because I've worked hard to lose those 5 pounds.

When I reach my next goal, 60 lbs, I am going to Lane Bryant to buy myself some underwear- glamorous right?  However, when I think about all the things I could reward myself with (and I don't want to use food) underwear is the only thing I really need and want right now.  That might change between now and the actually loss, but that's my new goal.

Also, I still can't get my comments to work quite right, which I am trying to fix, so I wanted everyone to know that the comments I get on here, FB, or in person are very much appreciated.  Thank you to everyone who is sharing this with me.

July 18, 2011

Scratching an itch.

::from here::

Lately I've had an itch.

An itch to run.  To get outside and create a draft.  To make my own music out of the various rhythms of my breath, heart beat, and feet pounding.

But the heat here in Tallytown has kept my indoors.  I've moved all of my exercise inside: that's Zumba five days a week, plus pilates, plus yoga. 

But I miss running.  I miss jogging.  I miss being outside and for weeks I've been craving a run but thinking that the heat made it too dangerous, not to mention miserable.

Well, tonight I went to Zumba, came home and walked my dog, and felt like it was just cool enough to try one lap.  One small lap.  I was nervous: I hadn't jogged all summer, I knew I'd be slow, I knew it'd be challenging, I knew that I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone. 

It was great.  I only did a half-mile, it took 7.5 minutes- so slow but I started up hill.  Tomorrow I'd like to do a whole mile after pilates. 

I love running and I'm hoping that if I do little increments now that when fall comes I'll be ready to let some zumba classes go and transition to jogging workouts four to five miles, 2-3 times a week.

I feel great.

July 15, 2011

How I ate healthy (and cheap!) on vacation.

This week my mom and I loaded my car and headed over to Mexico Beach.  Mexico Beach is on the Gulf, a small town without a McDonalds, Wal-Mart, or chain store of any kind (that I could find).  Vacation can be a difficult time for anyone prone to overeating, especially a dieter, because the entire free-for-all feeling of the trip can get carried into mealtimes. 

Often I come home from vacations feeling slow, bloated, and uncomfortable and it takes me days to get to feeling like myself again.

Not this trip.  On this trip I ate well, I enjoyed great food, ate nothing 'diet,' enjoyed the local faire, and came home feeling like I had really achieved something great and here's how I did it:

1) Share and share alike.  One thing that I know contributed to my overall healthy eating was for every restaurant meal I ate I shared my meal with my mom.  The first place we went to was a local restaurant called Captain Anderson's.  This restaurant was a steak and seafood place with great specialties.  My mom and I shared a surf and turf meal that included shrimp and a 10 oz steak, a side dish (we had sweet potato casserole), a starter salad, and rolls.  In addition we orded a special local dish of fried crab claws, which we did not finish and then gave to the unending belly of a teenage boy.  My mom and I split the steak and everything else, I also ate two rolls.  I stuck to club soda to drink.  As we left we walked through their dessert bar (you have to walk through it to exit the restaurant!) and my mom got a slice of chocolate silk pie and I got an 'ooey-gooey cookie' which is two chocolate chip cookes, half dipped in chocolate, with a slab of icing between them.  We took our desserts home with us.  I left the restaurant feeling full but not stuffed (a 6-7 on my fullness scale).  When we got home mom shared her pie with me and I saved the cookie sandwich for later, which we also shared.

The next day we went out to breakfast and again my mom and I split the meal.  She orded toast.  I ordered a waffle, two eggs, and two strips of bacon (it was a breakfast meal).  My mom and I shared the eggs and bacon.  I ate half the waffle and ate the other half a few hours later as a snack.  Again, I left feeling full but not slow.  Not overwhelmed by the sheer mass of food.

2) Yes you're on vacation, but eat some meals like you would at home.  Not every meal is really worthy of the epic indulgence like I enjoyed at Captain Anderson's.  Breakfast, especially, doesn't need to be a big to-do.  What my mom and I did was bring breakfast with us.  I brought cereal, milk, fruit, yogurt- just the kind of thing I would eat at home.  Not only does this save calories and cash but it helps your body stay on its schedule so that when you get home you're not spending days trying to detox a lot of fat, salt, and sugar. 

3) Enjoy amazing, holiday and vacation worthy meals at your hotel.  While my mom and I stayed at a hotel for just a couple of nights, the people we were with rented a home for their ten days on the beach.  They had a full kitchen and regularly cooked amazing meals.  Not meals they might make on any ol' Tuesday, but special meals that were for guests and holidays.  As an example, one night we enjoyed pork roasts, rice with field acre peas, sliced tomatos, corn on the cob, and ice cream.  I ate well.  I ate a lot- more than I normally would.  But again, I felt great.  I left the meal knowing I ate beyond my hunger cues but it didn't feel heavy, greasy, or fat-laden.  It felt like a celebration, all of those people there, my family, their friends- it did not feel inappropriate to eat a lot like that at such a great time and I also made a point to not get carried away.

This was the first time I left a vacation knowing that I had enjoyed everything but not gone too far beyond my limits.  I think I really achieved something here, finding some kind of balance and I'm proud of myself.

PS- all those dresses from my previous entry are on their way to my house!

July 11, 2011

New Clothes

One amazing thing about losing weight is the new clothes you get to buy.  Smaller people might take for granted that they can walk into a store and wear the newest fashions.  Most heavier people cannot do this for a variety of reasons: plus size clothing is crazy expensive, most plus size clothing is made for an older market, and most plus size clothing is incredibly unattractive.

Now that I'm getting smaller and more athletic looking better clothing is becoming available to me; not only that but clothing just plain looks better on me these days.

Here is a current 'wish list' of new clothes that I would like to have before I start teaching again in the fall:

::from here::

::from here::

I must have a thing right now for dresses because those are the only things I want to shop for lately.  I love that I can be more fashionable now.  Also, while I have not lost much weight since I hit the bit five-oh, for a variety of reasons including parties, eating more in general, and other things, I know that more weight loss is coming and it is coming before the end of the summer.

Things are looking great right now.

July 6, 2011

Not really much to report...

Not much is going on so far this week.

I spent the 4th reading and writing for my summer DIS.

This weekend I did have an awesome time with my family, but I'll post about that when I have more time to give it the attention it deserves.

See you soon!

July 1, 2011

Loving My Mistakes

Isn't this picture beautiful?  From here.

This week has been hard.  There has been a lot of work to accomplish for school and a lot of emotional unrest.  Last week I saw my therapist (yes, I see a therapist at FSU because I was having anxiety issues about my safety and I check in once every 6-10 weeks) and it was awful.  Usually these are casual visits, really a conversation about what I've doing in those weeks, how I've been, and other things. 

This week was different.

This week she wanted to talk to me about my ex-boyfriend, K.  K and I broke up in December, for the third time, when we both understood that we loved each, wanted to be together, but for whatever reason K did not think we had a future together.  A Capitan D.B. if ever I knew one.  It had been months and was I moving forward?  Was I accepting the situation? 

I admitted that I was angry and did not want to see K at all.  I dreaded going down Monroe Street in downtown because I knew he frequented that walk between his office and the capitol building.  I also told her how when I took my brother out to dinner a few weeks ago to a place that K and I used to frequent, I told my brother that if K was there then my brother and I would have to either get our food to go or go somewhere else.  The idea of sitting there and eating pizza with him across the room turned my stomach.

I admitted how frustrating a very sterile, cold text from him had made me feel.  How we weren't speaking at all and how much that hurt me.  

We also talked about how angry it made me.  How absolutely furious I was and that was one of the reasons I did not want to see him- because I actually worried I might hit him or create a scene.

Or worse: cry.

Being angry is easier then being sad and I am choosing to be angry right now about K and our relationship.  

Well this conversation stuck with me all week.  On Friday I stayed up until after 4 AM thinking about him and how angry and sad it made me.  Thinking about how angry her questions made me.  I mean, how dare she bring these things up out of nowhere?  How dare she force me to examine this when I clearly wanted to forget them?  Thinking about things that I had not even considered in months.  This ruined my sleep schedule and it made me physically ill; whenever I pull an all-nighter I get sick. 

And the discomfort of those feelings encouraged me to eat.  And eat.  And when I was done eating I thought about what I would get to eat next.  It was not pretty.  It wasn't the worst I'd ever been but it had been months since I done something like that.

When it was over I felt ashamed and guilty and incredibly frustrated.  It was a weekend, but still, the shame of what to eat or not eat still gets to me.

Love the part of you that binges.  Love the part of you that fails, that torments you with regret, that haunts you.  This blog post really touched me.  It focused on how overeating and binging, as much as we are inclined to hate it, needed to be loved the most. 

"...Except for one thing– the part of you that binges needs especial love. Even more care & compassion, even more patience & gratitude & support."

I'm going to try and do that.  Offer myself some forgiveness, try to move on, do better.  This may always be a part of my life, I just have to try to make it less frequent and if I do so, love myself anyways.