Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mad at myself

I started writing this post saying that I have been "stuck" for the past several months. I guess this is what they call a plateau? Or is it just complacency? I reached my goal of getting back to my high school weight. But the fact of the matter is - I wasn't HAPPY at my high school weight. In high school, I was constantly beating myself up for being one of the bigger girls in school. I was always stuck in the double-digits for pants size: 11, 13 (juniors sizes). And I hated it.

When I reached the 200+ mark and kept heading up, I kept saying I'd do anything to get back to that "high school weight" and that it wasn't so bad.

Now I have reached it... and stopped working so hard. But I don't want to be this weight!!

I will admit that part of me thinks this weight might be what works (best?) for me.... but I want to know that for SURE. I want to lose this extra weight and get down to the slimmest I can be... and decide from there. Because maybe 140 pounds would look even better on me than 160. Maybe 130 pounds would look even better than that! Maybe 130 would make me look sickly - or maybe it wouldn't! But I want to get down to that weight first and decide for myself.

Going back to my first paragraph - I started writing this post complaining that I have been "stuck." Because that's what I perceived. But what I am actually doing - is heading down a slippery slope. Because when I looked back at my weight progress to say that I have been steady at 161 pounds - that's not what my last weigh in said!!!!! I was 159.5!!! Well I am sad to say that I have gained 2 pounds, because my weight fluctuates between 160-162.5 pretty regularly, many times stopping at 161.5.

And seeing the previous weigh-ins... that's really NOT OK.

On a positive note, yesterday was our first day at the YMCA. Our local one offered a "groupon" for half the price of a month's membership. My hubby and I each purchased one so we will have 2 months (for the entire family).

Yesterday I spent time on the treadmill. Spent 1 minute walking, 1 minute running, 1 minute walking. Walked at the treadmill speed of 3.0-3.2 and ran at 4.7. Not sure if that is something to be proud of, but I AM. Because to be able to spend essentially 10 minutes of a 20 minute treadmill session RUNNING - is not something I have ever been able to do before. I know I could have run for more than the 1 minute interval, but the machine was automatically setting it for me since I pressed "weight loss mode"on the treadmill. Next time I think I am going to manually do a workout. Those pre-selected ones can be annoying.

I also found my favorite piece of gym equipment from back in high-school. I have been looking for it for a long time.

The YMCA has this equipment. I think all gyms do, lol. But anyway I love it. It works out your back, and I could use some back strength. It also helps with the back love-handles....and I've got those.

So today is our resting day since we don't want to overdo it on the exercise and then be too sore for the next week. I am feeling pretty good today and I felt great after the workout yesterday (which was more than 20 minutes - 45 total but I'll work my way up to an hour).

So I am setting my goal now: 1 month from now, I need to be at least 4 pounds thinner. I don't think that's unrealistic at all. I'd like to be much more than that but I'll keep it at 4 since that SHOULD be easily attainable.

Not heading down that slippery slope. Not me! No. No. No!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Picture heavy post

I have made probably 10 "draft" posts but never take the chance to finish and publish them. Life has been busy lately. My baby girl is over a year old now. My oldest son just finished flag football so that FINALLY frees up some time. Time is just flying by. And now we're less than 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving, and less than 2 months until Christmas! Craziness. My weight hasn't really dropped, but I will admit I haven't been working very hard at it. I need to get my mojo back and lose this 30 more pounds!!!

 Anyway here are some recent pics (not in order apparently):

My baby cow! :) (One of two halloween costumes)

September 2011

Sep. 2011, Mommy and Daughter

Sep. 2011

Mommy and the Birthday Girl!

K's 1st Birthday!

Me and my hubby (Sep 2011)

Me and my baby girl (Sep. 2011)

Walking around the neighborhood (Oct. 2011)

Happy Halloween! 2011

Walking around the neighborhood

Add caption

Posing (again) for a picture (Oct. 2011)

Halloween 2011

My cute little Minnie Mouse!

....And this was 1 year ago (Sep. & Oct. 2010):
Oct. 2010

288 pounds (I had only gained 5 pounds during my pregnancy!)

Yes, this was me! Brand new baby girl Sep. 2010

Sep. 2010

October 2010

Oct. 2010

Sep. 2010

And these pictures were from the same time of year (Sep./Oct. 2009)

Highlighted hair

Dyed hair

Oct. 2009

Dancing with my son Oct. 2009

I liked this picture (still do) because I felt it masked my weight well. I was straining my neck out (to avoid double-chin) as much as possible. Oct. 2009

Oct. 2009 - notice the majority of pictures are only face-shots

Sunday, October 16, 2011

::Sigh:: (information heavy post)

I promise I am not going to give up on blogging. But I haven't posted in awhile, I know that. :(

So my most recent update (in regards to the last post): Probably not going to dress up for Halloween. Would love to(?) but since my hubby and I don't really have anywhere to go.... and we can't seem to decide what we'd want to dress up as... I'm skipping this year. I'm disappointed, but I've got other things to worry about.

On a side note: Costumes run RID-FREAKING-DICULOUSLY small!!!! Talk about a kick to the ego! I have tried on several costumes.... and besides the SuperGirl costume pictured below.... pretty much every one that I tried on... XL was TOO small. So ironically.... I go and lose over 100 pounds.... yet I'd still need to buy a plus-sized costume (which, in one outfit.... the XL was too small, but the 1x available in plus was too big.... go figure).

Anyway.... I want to add a TON of pictures as soon as I get a few minutes. I feel like I can never get a grasp on time.

And on a more serious note.... I am beginning to wonder if this is related to other issues I have been having.

To make a long story short, after I had my daughter, I didn't feel quite right. One of the most notable things I dealt with was an extremely flushed face. It was hot to the touch and it bothered me. Here's a pic of me when it was close to being at its worst (this was taken Dec. 11, 2010 - a month into my diet, but the face flushing had started before I ever started the diet). Not sure it looks as bad as it felt (and this is a HORRIBLE picture, makeup smearing and all lol) but it was very uncomfortable all of the time!

My doctor ordered blood work about a month after I had my daughter since I was complaining of these symptoms. Turns out my LIVER enzymes were elevated (AST & ALT levels). Strange, right? Especially strange considering my blood taken just days before I delivered showed my AST & ALT levels were completely normal.

So that was clue #1 that something was off. Doctor did some other tests, including tests for certain antibodies... and my "Smith" antibody came back high, as well as my cardiac C-reactive protein. GREAT. 

My doctor's first guess was lupus. Sjogrens was thrown around too. By this time I had started going to my diet doctor, and she thought it could just be some weird post-partum hormonal thing. My body was attacking itself. The antibodies showed that my immune system was attacking itself.

Anyway, the readers digest version (I'm trying here lol): After a while the face flushing wasn't *as* bad. Liver enzymes inexplicably returned to normal. I've been seeing a rheumatologist ever since the doc though I had lupus. Although I showed *some* markers for lupus, I was missing a lot of them, especially key ones, apparently (in terms of blood tests, etc). So she ordered more tests.

In the meantime.... this whole time I have been losing weight, I have been waiting to feel better physically. And I do... overall I feel great! But some of my lingering issues (that have been present since BEFORE I gained all the weight... and actually have been there for as far back as I can remember) never went away.

One thing that has plagued me since  I was a child is what I had once referred to as "growing pains." I would get these horrendous pains in my arms and legs. I suppose the pains were coming from joints? But the pain radiated to such a degree that I couldn't tell you exactly where the pain started from... just that the whole leg or arm would hurt. When I was little my parents chalked it up to growing pains. The ONLY - and I mean ONLY - thing that ever relieved it was ibuprofen, and sometimes tylenol. My parents tried everything before resorting to meds. I began to believe this wasn't just a "growing pains" issue when I was in my late teens/early 20's and still had them. No rhyme or reason to them really. At that point, I started looking for answers, and my doctor at the time said it sounds like fibromyalgia. But the only place I ever had the pains really was my arms and legs. Sometimes my hips, but very rarely.

So for  about 10 years, I thought I had fibromyalgia. Well it turns out it's not fibromyalgia.

My rheumatologist diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis.

I guess my rheumatoid factor numbers came back high, so she believes this is what I have.

The name can be misleading (at least, to me it was!) because rheumatoid arthritis doesn't just affect your joints. That's typically it's signature, so to speak, but it doesn't just affect your joints. It (as in, your own immune system) can attack your organs. Wonder-effing-ful!

So to make a long story short.... I am beginning to wonder if time flying the way it is - (flying by moreso for me than even my friends who also have 3+ kids and crazy busy lives) - could be something neurological. Something going on in my brain. Perhaps my immune system is beating up my brain. I'm not entirely off-the-wall for thinking this, and here's why:

My memory continues to decline. It has gone from the occasional embarrassing moment because I forget a detail here or there.... to me forgetting lots of details, forgetting important events and dates, forgetting a LOT. I cannot begin to tell you the AMOUNT of times I have been on the phone with a friend, telling them the same story as if I had never told them before, only for them to remind me that I have told them at LEAST 4-5 times before, each time forgetting about the previous times. More than 1 of my friends has flat out stated they are worried about me because my memory issues have gotten redonkulous. It goes beyond just repeated conversations, or forgotten memories of events (most especially short-term).... I also feel like I have lost my ability to speak without sounding like an idiot! I am constantly at a loss for words, for remembering certain words or forming sentences properly. I will use words in the wrong context or jumble them. It happens a LOT. And it keep happening more and more often. For someone who was/is a total grammar nazi... for someone who used to read the dictionary to expand my vocabulary... this has been upsetting to say the least.

If I don't write something down, it is forgotten. Sometimes even if it is written down it is STILL forgotten about. For instance, yesterday there was an open-house at my son's ABA school (my son J receives ABA therapy twice a week.) They "highly encouraged" all parents to come check out the new classroom, meet the new teachers, etc (basically we NEEDED to go there). Guess who forgot? And it was written down in my planner. Good going, mom. :(

It's been an ongoing joke that I am scatterbrained or have pre-alzheimers (not something to joke about, but it's been suggested lightly by friends/family). It's gotten to a point that none of this is funny anymore. The level of frustration I feel is so high I can't even put it into words.

The other possible-neurological thing that has been going on: My sense of taste and smell has changed in a very drastic way. I don't believe it was gradual. It started pretty suddenly, at least that's how I remember it. My husband and I had Applebees for dinner. It had been awhile since I had Applebees. We ordered the 2 for $20 meal deal.

Earlier that same day (in late July of this year), I remarked that there was an overwhelming "smoke" smell throughout the house. It is one of my most hated odors - I hate the smell of cigarette smoke something fierce. My parents are both heavy smokers so I remarked to my hubby: "Did my parents move in or something!? Where is that god awful smell coming from!?" He thought I was crazy. Then that night, having Applebees - it didn't taste right. I remarked that they must have changed their ingredients. Doug said "tastes the same to me."

I tried ignoring these changes. Figured maybe it was sinuses, or maybe it was something I had recently done or changed. Was it the new volumizing shampoo/conditioner I started using? Was it the multivitamin I started taking a few months prior?

Anyway the smell/taste thing is still a big issue. When I mentioned it to my rheumatologist, and asked if that could just be sjogrens related (because yay, I have that too along with rheumatoid arthritis) - she had a split second look of concern, then went back to doctor mode and said she didn't think the changes were sjogrens related - not the way I was describing them. She then said she wants me to see a neurologist, and when I call, tell them she's sending me over there (even though my insurance company doesn't require referrals to see specialists).

SO... I have a neurologist appointment on the 19th.

Scared. Just hoping that there isn't something even more serious than RA going on! :(

As far as treatments for the RA, the doc wants me to take methotrexate. This drug is extremely heavy duty. So much so, that it is essentially a toxic poison. I don't like having the choice of "pick your poison" - either let the RA do what it's going to do, or take the methotrexate and deal with the host of problems that represents.

I have decided that methotrexate simply isn't an option for me right now. It's not an option I am willing to take. I told the rheumatologist this. She said I could try plaquenil, which is usually something she prescribes in conjunction with methotrexate when methotrexate isn't enough.

When I see her in 2 weeks, I think I may go ahead and try the plaquenil, which is generally well tolerated and not many side effects. It is not as aggressive at treating the RA, but my thought is let's take the most conservative method possible and see how that goes.

So to sum up:
  •  It's been a hell of a few weeks
  • I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • It could be attacking my brain, causing various symptoms
  • Appointments are upcoming.
There are probably a lot of lacking details, so feel free to ask me any questions if you have even read this much! Sorry there aren't more pictures - they usually help break up a post and make it more appealing to read.... at least for me, lol.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Friend Makin Mondays

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
FMM: What’s your favorite holiday? And why?

It's hard to say, really. I have always traditionally loved Christmas. Growing up I had always loved the family get-togethers at my Grandma's house, with my cousins and aunts and uncles. It was a little slice of heaven for me, really. Sadly, those days have been over since the 90's. They will always be in my memory and I will always yearn for that. At this point, we don't have family we are close enough with to have the sort of get-togethers from days past. I still enjoy Christmastime, but it's not the same. My family is still young, and we are still creating our own traditions. I love Christmas, but I think I am beginning to equally love Halloween.

I love Halloween because it's a fun time of the year. The kids get to dress up in their favorite costume of choice.... we get to pick pumpkins and decorate the house.... it's fun!

.....And for the first time in my adult life - I can say - I love Halloween because it's an opportunity for me to DRESS UP in a way I would not usually dress. ;) I have not dressed up for Halloween since I was like, 12.

Now... I'm not saying I am going to intentionally dress.... provocatively. No, screw that. Yes, I AM saying that. Here it is in bold: I intend to wear a sexy costume. Because for the first time in my life, I feel like I finally CAN.... and maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to "get away with it" (aka not get horrified looks when I walk by).

The funny thing is, I don't even know how to dress sexy! I mean, not really?! I have spent my entire adult life trying to "hide" as much as I can. The thought of showing off anything is a little scary.... yet exciting!
A "marine?"
A sexy cop?

A vixen pirate, maybe?
Or maybe a nurse.....

Of course, anything I decide on will probably still be on the more conservative side. And I'm short so the skirts will not ride up as high on me as they do on the models.  But looking around at all of the options out there is definitely amusing. I'll let you know after October 31st how I feel about Halloween. But I'm thinking it could be my new favorite...if only because it is the most fun! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Shocking Confession and a setback

Hi. I'm Laura......

And I'm addicted to food.

Shocking, right?? Maybe not to you, but to me, saying this, and admitting this is a big step for me. Because I didn't think I had an addiction problem.

For.... ever... I never thought food addiction was my problem. I didn't think food ruled my life. I mean heck, I could go an entire day without eating anything at ALL.  I would just have a big dinner and sometimes a late night snack.

So if you're only eating once in a day, that demonstrates all by itself that there is no "addiction."

Right?? Oh wait, you mean that's WRONG???

While losing weight, I discovered, much to my surprise... that yes, I am indeed addicted to food. Just like alcoholics are addicted to their booze, just like druggies are addicted to their drugs... I am addicted to food.

The varied periods of time in my life where I would only eat once a day - that one meal was always a good one, and it was always whatever I was "craving" that night.

My husband and I have always been big on going out to eat.

Often, the topic of dinner was brought up hours before. Sometimes my husband would bring up dinner before he even had lunch! We fattened the wallets of chain restaurants - Olive Garden, Outback, Red Lobster, Applebees, Bennigan's (before they closed down), Friendly's, and on and on. Our monthly totals from dining out were staggering! But the whole "going out to eat" problem is better left for another post! The point is that food and where to go, what to have... was always on our minds.

For the past few days I have been giving in to my cravings in a big way. I even ate ice cream for two nights in a row, and tonight I had a generous sized bowl. I am DISGUSTED with myself. I am angry at myself.

My husband wanted Outback last night. So what did we have? I ended up having about half of a 6 oz steak, some green beans, a salad (at least I used 0 calorie Walden Farms salad dressing), and then probably about HALF of that darn loaf of bread!!!! So even though I don't consider the majority of the meal TOO bad (though probably more calories than I should have had) - the bread killed it. And yes, I used the whipped butter. WHY did I do that!? Why did I do that, knowing it would sabotage my diet?

And then to add insult to injury, I had ice cream shortly after. I also ate like, 2 *boxes* of Fruit Loops in a matter of a day and a half. Seriously!? I am so mad at myself right now!! What is my problem!? And WHY have I been feeling so hungry that I'm just giving in to my cravings?

I REFUSE to be the yo-yo dieter.

I REFUSE to be the girl who loses a ton of weight....
...only to gain it right back.

Ugh. These past few days/weeks have been a setback. I am absolutely dreading my weigh-in at the clinic tomorrow. My last weigh in (2 weeks ago) I only lost .8 pounds. So in my opinion, I did not lose weight. Because let's face it, I could have just been wearing .8 pounds less of clothing for all I know!

Anyway will update when I can. I need to end here and publish otherwise this is going to sit in my "drafts" for ever. The first half of this post was actually in my blog drafts for months! :X

Monday, September 5, 2011

Friend Makin Mondays

I would really like to update with a more bloggy-type post, but my brain is fried and I am exhausted. So what else is there to do when exhausted, than a survey? Really though, I appreciate that blogger Kenlie creates these every week. When I participate, it means at the very least that I am visiting my own page! Which is good because it reminds me not to forget about it!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
We’ve talked about this topic before, but this week the questions are different so take a few minutes to think on your answers. And if you have any ideas for FMM, feel free to pass them along! And if we use them, you’ll be sure to get the credit! :)

FMM: Favorite Things

1) What is your favorite food?  Oddly enough, I don't really have an all-time favorite. I go through phases of craving different foods though... and since I have been actively losing weight, my biggest nemesis has been cereal. Yes, cereal. And of course, I don't crave the healthy stuff. No. Give me a big ol' box of Apple Jacks, or Fruit Loops, or Frosted Flakes, and I can polish it down in a short amount of time. And these aren't the "reduced sugar" variety either. ::sigh:: Those and Reese's Mini-cups. Stupid cravings. And carbs. Ugh. I guess my favorite food group, generally speaking, would be sweets and carbs. Yeah. And I wonder how I managed to gain all the weight I did over the years!

2) What is your favorite childhood memory?  Spending Christmases and the 4th of July at my Grandma's house, playing with my cousins and just generally having a wonderful time and feeling loved.

3) What is your favorite way to burn calories?  The wii!! I love Dance Dance Revolution and Just Dance. And it's even better when my kids play too. Or even Wii Active. The best way to burn calories is when you're having a good time!! Dancing is definitely a great calorie burner.

4) What is your favorite mode of technological communication? Phone? Text? E-mail? Tweets?  Over the years this has changed. For a while, I preferred email, hands down. Now I prefer the phone. I like to talk to the person I'm communicating with, and it's also much less time consuming than sitting down preparing an email. And it helps bonding more.

5) Who is your favorite actor/actress? Honestly, I very rarely think about actors and actresses and I think the celebrities out there get paid an absurd amount for essentially playing make-believe. I definitely like several out there, but I'm too tired right now to think about who.

6) What is your favorite lip color? Honestly I have no idea? For EVER I wore Revlon's Mocha-something-or-other. But it was clearly too dark for my complexion. I got away with it from 16-23 but think I would look ridiculous with it now. But I'm completely clueless in this area. I really need to sit down with someone who has a good eye for flattering makeup (and clothing, and hairstyles, and everything else I didn't pay attention to for 10+ years) to show me what looks good on me.

7) Who is your favorite historical figure? Well I enjoy learning about the Tudor Dynasty, but I can't say that any of the particular people (Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, etc) are my "favorite." It's hard to say which historical figure is my favorite. I could also be having a difficult time with this because it is now 3:19am :X

8)  Who is your favorite athlete?  Mike Alstott, definitely. Not only was he a great football player, but he is also an amazing person "IRL." And he's a huge supporter of LEO's (law enforcement officers) and their families, which is big in my book.

9) What is your favorite TV network? Whichever network has Modern Family (abc?), also a fan of HLN, TLC, A&E, NatGeo

10) What is your favorite site on the web? I'd have to say The Nest/bump. I've gone there (for the message boards) since 2003 and think I will continue to go there for years to come. There are others sites I love too, but at this point, I've got to hit the "publish post" button and get the heck to bed. I am starting to nod off!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Friend Makin' Tuesday

Yesterday was a crazy day; my boys started school! So I didn't have time to partake in the "Friend Makin Monday" post ON Monday, but better late than never, so I am doing it now, Tuesday morning. I am feeling pretty good about the school year; I think the routine and schedule will be VERY good for me. I really do believe that part of the reason I haven't had a grasp on time (and it keeps flying) is because I haven't had any sort of set schedule. I think I need that.

Kenlie over at All The Weigh started the Friend Makin' Monday posts, and I think they are great!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: The Last Thing
1) What is the title of the last book you read?  "500 Things to Do With Your Children Before They Grow Up"
2) What is the last movie you saw in a theater? Bridesmaids - Love Love LOVE that movie! Oh, and Cars 2 with the kids.
3) Briefly describe the last person you saw today. I just saw my hubby and daughter about 2 minutes ago.
4) Which store did you most recently shop in?  JcPenney and I'm planning on a Home Depot trip later today.
5) Who’s the last person you spoke to over the phone? My mother-in-law
6) Where’s the last place you vacationed? I suppose it was in NJ; went up there for a wedding.
7) When was the last time you kissed someone of the opposite sex?  An hour ago.
8) What’s the last thing that made you laugh?
9) What’s the latest app that you downloaded on your phone? Word Feud 
10) What’s the last kind thing you did for someone? I created a short video highlighting my cousin's wedding vows. Edited and snazzed it up a bit (put music to it, etc). She loves it.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! I hope you like them! If you have an idea for FMM, please e-mail me, and it could be featured! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blog Failure 2011

Ok, so this isn't really a failure, but I have two other posts I called "blog failure" because they were my previous attempts at blogging and (half-hearted) losing weight and.... well.... I failed!

Here are a handful of entries from yet another blog I started and didn't finish. Except this time, the only reason I didn't finish on that blog is because it was connected to my familiar gmail account - the one many of my friends, acquaintances, and family know about. And I'd prefer to keep this aspect of my life separate. Not private necessarily... just separate. So here are some of those entries (from November 2010 to January 2011):

(The Blog's Title was "Getting my Smile Back")

Monday, January 17, 2011

Getting some other things back....

So.... some things are coming "back" to me now..... coming back into my grasp. As the weight comes off, I have noticed:

1) I can buy airline seats without worrying that I might have to purchase 2!
2) I have more ENERGY
3) My limbs and body feel more limber. I can sit indian-style again. I can get around easier again. My back doesn't ache the way it used to (not 100% better yet, but getting there!) I can reach down my back again (something I had lost the ability to do!).
4) I am beginning to feel more confident and happy with myself!

I still have a LONG way to go. But I'm getting there.

"The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a first step."
It really does!

Where has the time gone!?

Eek! It's now January 17th!! Where has the time gone!? I have been super busy. My busiest time of the year starts with Thanksgiving and ends on January 31st. I feel like I blinked and it is now mid-January!! My oldest just turned 6, and my baby girl will be 4 months old in a few days!! And my other son will be 4 before February!

So obviously I haven't been updating as much as I would like... life has taken over, lol. Just some quick stats:

WEIGHT: 232.6 lbs.
BMI: 42.5

WEIGHT: 231 lbs.
BMI: 42.3

WEIGHT: 225 lbs.
BMI: 41.2

My next weekly appointment is tomorrow, 1/18.

Honestly, I am AMAZED that I have lost the amount of weight I have in such a short period of time. When I started all of this I thought it would take YEARS to get all of this off. After all, it took me a long time to put it on!

If you take me from my heaviest point EVER (288lbs when pregnant): I have lost SIXTY THREE pounds since then! So, essentially, since September 22 or so - 63 pounds! But even before I was pregnant, my weight fluctuated on a daily basis between 278-283. So even at 278... I have still lost 53 pounds. That is still more than the current weight of my 6 year old son!

At this rate, I believe I can reach my goal of being under 200 pounds.... maybe even before April!! That would be amazing!! I haven't been below 200 pounds since 2003 (ugh it is so shameful to admit that!)

I know I said I wouldn't post before/after pics until I am ALL done with this diet. But I think I am feeling OK enough now that I will post them. If for nothing else.... when I come to the page and see the picture(s), it will be a reminder of what I have accomplished so far!

Not going to post today - possibly tomorrow. I'll take a "during" picture since I am still on my "journey."

Friday, December 31, 2010

You must meet your threshold

In order to lose weight, you have to be committed to do so. In order to be committed, you need to reach your threshold. At what point is enough - enough? Some people don't reach that threshold ever. Some reach that threshold at 400 pounds. Some reach it at 120 pounds. Everybody is different. My threshold was 278/283 pounds. It was at that point that I decided something MUST be done. Of course, I was newly pregnant back then, so really doing something about it wasn't an option. I swore up and down to myself that once I had my baby and was done breastfeeding, I would get serious about losing weight. And I did.

Life at 278 pounds was very difficult for me. I noticed many different things.

1) My arms got smaller (well my body got bigger, so my arms "appeared" smaller).
2) I was losing some of my dignity.
3) I could not - would not - get on my knees, for just about anything.
4) I no longer felt feminine whatsoever - not even a tiny bit. I felt... asexual.
5) I was NOT able to make friends easily - not at all.
7) Some people even treated me differently.
8) I was no longer able to find clothes in the overwhelming majority of stores. I outgrew most stores "plus size" sections!
9) I avoided leaving my house.
10) I was always - ALWAYS in pain. My body ached.
11) The day always started off by dreading getting out of bed - because it was quite an exertion just to pull myself up and out of the bed!
12) I felt like I was the WORST mother in the world because I very rarely participated in anything physical.
13) When I did participate, I tired within minutes! Sometimes within (1) minute.
14) I was constantly "catching my breath" and many times felt like I was short on breath.

The list can go on.... and on.... and on.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Doctor visit 11/30/10

Sooo.... today was my weekly check-in.

WEIGHT: 248.2lbs
BMI: 45.4

But if you want to count the weight I was at right before getting pregnant (and right after being pregnant) - that would be 278, so I'd really be down 29.8lbs. And if you want to count my absolute heaviest, whcih was during pregnancy, then I'm actually down 39.8lbs, lol. Considering I was 288 as of September 15th or so.... I'd say losing 40 or so pounds isn't bad at all!!!

Considering last week was Thanksgiving, I guess I'll be happy with a 4.3lb weight drop. Although... my mother-in-law's food wasn't overly appetizing. I don't know why - she didn't mess anything up (well, ok, the candied yams looked more like baby food, lol) - but other than that, everything was fine... but... I just wasn't as ravenously hungry as I had anticipated I would be. Thanksgiving was the first "real food" meal I'd eaten since November 9th, so I surprised myself! I definitely did not over-indulge.

I had one weak moment two nights ago though. I was hungry - like "tummy growling" hungry. My husband wanted to get McDonalds for the kids and himself. I started to tell him to get me just a small fry and 4 pc. nugget, but I stopped myself.

I'm not ready to give myself an inch. Because I can't guarantee that I won't take a mile.

Although.... meh, I WAS good on Thanksgiving. Still though, I don't want to "cheat." And if I had eaten McDonalds 2 nights ago, I would have been cheating!! Thanksgiving I was explicitly told that I was ALLOWED. But I was never told OK for Mickey D's. Well anyway, I am certainly glad I didn't indulge.

As far as exercise, I haven't been doing much of anything this past week. We did - however - go to Busch Gardens on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving... and I "wore" the baby in a Baby Bjorn the whole time..... and we were there for most of the day, so I guess that's some exercise, right? We also got season passes, so we'll be able to go back other days and get the exercise (and have some fun too!) :)

Uh-Oh, baby girl is crying...... I knew I'd only have a small window in which to get a post in....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So today I had my doctor visit to assess my progress. After losing 11 pounds last week, I was hopeful that I would lose quite a bit this week too. I didn't expect to lose 11 pounds, but I was hoping for at least 8-10 pound drop.

Instead, I only dropped 4.5 pounds. Some people would be happy about that - but I was hoping it would be more. After all - I do have such a LONG journey ahead.....

So here are my stats:
WEIGHT: 252.5
BMI: 46.2


These next 7 days are going to pose a challenge - Thanksgiving is this Thursday!! I have been told I can replace 2-3 "meal replacements" with Thanksgiving goodies. I will try my best not to over-indulge. I cannot deny that I very much look forward to eating some real food - even if it is just a little bit! Each meal replacement is 160 calories - so that's 480 calories I can eat... I think? Well regardless, I'm not going to count calories - I'm just going to try and keep it as little as possible... without drawing too much suspicion.

As far as people knowing - I DO NOT want my husband's family aware of this. My main reasoning is that I don't need to feel like everything I am - or am not - doing, is being judged. The more people that know you are on a diet, the more people are "watching" you. They scrutinize everything you do, and they judge... whether good or bad, they judge. I'm used to having the already bad judgement that I am a fatass. That's fine, whatever. But I don't need to be judged "along the way" while on my journey toward taking my body back!

I would rather be one of those people that others start to notice... "Oh wow, she's looking slimmer than she did last time I saw her....." or have people wonder "Is she on a diet? I thought she was larger the last time I saw her..." instead of being one of those people that others are thinking "Wow, she only lost 16 pounds? She's got so much more to go..." or "Wow, she's been dieting for x amount of tiem and she doesn't look any different at all! It must not be working...." etc etc.

Anyway I will end here - we have plans to take the kids to a theme park tomorrow and right now I am utterly exhausted, so I better get some rest while I have a few hours to do so!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The meaning behind the title

The title of my blog is "Getting My Smile Back." The meaning behind the title is literal. I guess it is figurative, too.

I used to have a very nice smile. When I smiled, it was very evident - nothing was in the way. My eyes were open, I would smile, and I would look good!

As I gained weight, my smile started to shrink. My cheeks got fatter and fatter. My face grew larger and larger. And as that happened, my eyes and my smile grew smaller and smaller. Take a look at these pictures of me - you'll see what I mean:

This was me in late November 1999:

And this was me in late November 2009:

From 18 years old to 28 years old - and over a 100 pound difference. I chose a picture from last year instead of a more recent one because this picture was one of the last pics taken of me before my pregnancy. And we all know pregnancy tends to do weird things to women (for me, it was extra swelling... I think even my nose grew temporarily, lol) - so I felt this was the best representation of how I look today.

The thing with this most recent picture: I am TRYING to smile the way I did in that first picture! This isn't me giving a sly "I don't really want to smile" look. I remember my husband taking this picture. And I wanted to look pretty - and this is how it turned out.

My smile is not as prominent as it used to be. My eyes are not as happy as they used to be. They look squinted everytime I smile naturally. And if I make the extra effort NOT to squint, and instead open my eyes as wide as I can so they don't look so squinted.... I look deranged, lol.

My face has swallowed up my features!

No haircut is going to bring those features back. No "jutting my chin out" (to "lessen" the appearance of the double/triple chin goin' on!) is going to get those features to stand out more. Nope. I've got to lose the fat in my face, in order to gain my face back. I need to lose the weight.... in order to get my smile back.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 16, 2010

My 2nd visit! I can tell you honestly that I had not cheated - not even once!!! I stuck to 5 meal replacements per day, as instructed, and drank lots and lots of water.

And when I had my weigh in, these were the results:

November 16, 2010
BMI: 47

11 pounds in ONE week!!! Granted, that may all be water weight, but hey, a drop of 11 pounds? In a week? I'll take it! That's more than what my 7 week daughter currently weighs!!

November 9, 2010

November 9, 2010 was the start of a new beginning for me.

I walked into the Weight Loss clinic. I was recommended by my primary care doctor, as well as my obstetrician, to see Dr. H. She used to work solo, helping patients lose weight, but now works with the  Clinic. So I went in for my 10am first appointment - my initial consultation.

The first thing they did was put me on the scale. This is a cool scale - it tells you everything! I'm not going to include everything though, just the big 2 numbers. I took my socks and shoes off, and stepped on.

NOVEMBER 9, 2010
BMI: 49

Next, I had my initial consultation with Dr. H. She discussed the different options with me, and asked me about my own habits regarding eating. After some discussion, we both determined that going on the Meal Replacement Program (designed by The Center for Medical Weight Loss) would be the best option for me at this time.

Next we discussed costs. The consultation was free. If I wanted to start the program (which I did), the initial visit would be $175 - however - I had a coupon from their website, so it knocked that price down to $125. $125 included getting my weight and blood pressure taken, as well as some bloodwork to be sent for labs. This blood work included my cholesterol, liver function, thyroid function, and a CBC.

Next was the food. For now, I am on a complete meal replacement diet. Eventually, and gradually, we will start introducing "real" foods back into my diet. But I'm not sure when that will be. I need to feel "ready."

The instructions are for 5 meal replacements per day. 3 shakes, either in powdered form that you can mix into a shake OR a pudding - or a ready-to-drink one. 2 solids - whether those are nutrition bars or crisps - and they come in several different flavors.

I am also to drink as much water per day, but at the very minimum, 64 ounces.

The meal replacement plan - for a week's worth of meal replacements - costs $100. However I negotiated 10% off, so every week it will cost $90.

Then comes the visits. To me, this is wonderful. I am to have an appointment every single week (at least for now). The cost is $45 per week. So per month, that is $180. At each visit, I get weighed, I speak to the doctor, I get a week's worth of appetite suppressant (phentermine 37.5mg) and also b12 injections and some kind of fat-burner injection.

The wonderful part about weekly visits is ACCOUNTABILITY. I have to be accountable to the doctor. Not just some random person, but a doctor. And I want to make her proud! And not just the doctor, but the entire office. I feel accountable to all of them.

And while being accountable to them is important - the most important aspect - is that I feel accountable to MYSELF.

I am ready for this. I have spent the first 29 years of my life doing nothing but indulging. I very rarely ever paid attention to what I was eating, or how much of it. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. And look what has happened! - I have become a prime example of gluttony. I'm done with that. I am ready to limit myself (regarding food) for the sake of my health.

I have also decided.... that while I plan to post pictures here and there, maybe of my family, maybe even of me - I do NOT plan to post specific before/after pictures until there is a SIGNIFICANT weight loss. I just don't see the point in humiliating myself (even if it's just... "to myself") week after week. I'll post when there really is a difference you can SEE. In the meantime, those pictures stay hidden away on my computer.

That's all for now..... :)

The beginning

Ok, so I've been going back and forth about how I want to set up this blog. But I've decided: I'm just going to set it up FOR ME. I don't even know if I'm going to make this "public" or not. It's for me. It's by me, for me. It's my thoughts, my feelings, and whatever the heck I want it to be. I may make no sense at times, may sound rambly much of the time, and maybe this is a huge waste of time... but it's my time... and this blog is for me. Sooo... there.

I'm going to start off saying that I'm probably going to focus *A LOT* on my weight. Maybe the entire blog will be about my weight, I don't know.

On November 9, 2010, I finally made a change in my life. I went in to see a doctor to discuss going on a medically supervised diet. Because at this point, it's either that, or surgery. And I'd really prefer NOT to go the surgery route.

I cannot honestly say that I've even tried many other diets out there. I've always been very half-hearted about it. I tried Slim Fast for a brief time, then stopped because the results weren't immediate. I've tried pills - each time hoping that it will just magically melt my fat away and make me skinny. And lo and behold! - that never worked out. I've tried Zantrex 3, Xenical, Alli (the lower-dose, OTC form of Xenical) - I've tried Stacker 2, Stacker 3 (quite awhile ago) - and countless other diet pills.

And nothing worked.

Nothing worked, because I never put my heart and mind into it fully. I just expected that I would see results and that would be that. And then when I didn't see results within days, I would give up.

And so.... within 12 years (wow, I thought it was 10 years, but apparently the 10 year mark came 2 years ago!).... anyway, within TWELVE years... I have put on a whole 'nother person. 12 years ago - 1999, I weighed 155 pounds. I remember telling myself "I'd kill myself" (not literally) - if I ever reached 165 pounds. Well, by January of 2000 I was 165.... and gaining.

By the end of 2009, I was 278 pounds. What??

And I still managed to get fatter. I got pregnant in January of 2010 - and at my first checkup in February, my weight was 283. I went on to gain 5 pounds during my pregnancy - not bad, but the number on the scale was staggering (Well, even *more* staggering than the other numbers).

I had my 3rd child, a beautiful, healthy baby girl ("Kay") September 23rd, 2010. She is my first baby girl. I have two little boys. Alex is 5 - he will be 6 in January. Jay is 3 - and will be 4 in January. I am happily married to the love of my life - and we have been inseparable since we met in college - December 1999.

I have very long term, semi-long term, and shorter-term goals regarding my weight.

My *very long term* goal - my ultimate goal - is to reach 130 pounds. That way, my BMI would be within the "normal" range. I would be at a BMI of 23.8. This is close to the "limit" of normal, but I think this would be a good spot to be in. It would certainly be the first time I've ever been within the normal limit. If I can ever make it to this goal - then I'll give myself a further goal of reaching 115-120 pounds and leave it at that. That is apparently my ideal weight according to my height, but I need to see how 130 pounds looks on me first.

My semi-long term goal, and what I believe to be a very realistic goal - is to reach 155 pounds. This was where I "started," in 1999. I didn't think that was thin back then, but from where I'm standing now, 155 sounds like a good goal to aim toward!!! It's a hell of a lot healthier and thinner than 278 pounds!!

My shorter-term goal is to reach 199. I would like to reach this within the next 12-18 months.

I realize that this is a LONG journey ahead of me. It took me 12 years to put this weight on. It is NOT going to come off overnight. The only way to lose the weight is good old diet and exercise. I strongly believe a person MUST reach this point of realization before they can really put their heart and soul into losing weight.

I have finally reached that point. And so on November 9, 2010 - I "began."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Powerful Quote

"If you don't accept it - change it!
If you don't change it - accept it!"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back from the Wedding

A few pictures (other people are blurred/edited out for privacy reasons)

Had a great time! Will give more details when I get some *uninterrupted* time to write!

So I'm not so great with splicing or combining images... so it looks really choppy and is probably not entirely to scale, but I put a side by side of me. The picture on the left was taken this past Saturday (August 6, 2011) approximately 163 pounds. The picture on the right was taken during a wedding we attended in September 2007. So almost exactly 4 years apart... and I *think* I was somewhere in the 240 range in that pic. So there's about an 80 pound difference in the picture.

Have a great day and weekend! It's hard to believe summer is almost over!