Weight Maintenance, Part 1

by Christine on December 29th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I have been thinking about weight maintenance, and I’ve been mulling over the following questions in my head. I have few answers to these questions at this point, and hopefully I can start to develop answers in the weeks to come.

1. What prompted me to lose weight in the first place?

2. Why did this version of weight loss work for  me when other diets failed?

3. Why was I fat in the first place? What self-destructive or bad habits did I partake in that got me to 225 pounds?

4. What’s my gameplan for keeping the weight off? Will I need to journal my food intake every day, as I have been doing for years? What will be my calorie limits, fat limits, carb limits, exercise plan?

5. What is my weight maintenance range? What will I be happy at, in terms of a weight range?

6. What kind of support system or a checks and balances system will I put into place in order to ensure that I don’t gain the weight back?

7. Will I/should I continue to obsess over food, calories, exercise, weight? Or can I allow myself to focus on other interests, passions, hobbies, etc?

8.  How often can or should I weigh in?

9. How has my weight loss affected my relationships and friendships, and how will (or should) those relationships and friendships change as I progress into weight maintenance mode?

There’s an organization called the National Weight Control Registry that studies people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have kept it off for a year or more. According to their studies, they have discovered that people who are successful with weight maintenance:

  • Exercise an average of an hour a day.
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Weight themselves at least once a week.
  • Watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.

In non-weight maintenance related news…it appears that I gained about 1.5 or 2.0 pounds while visiting my parents in Illinois. The scale this morning read at 125.2. I am perfectly happy with that number, especially considering that I’m probably bloated from the airline travel. My gameplan today was to eat plenty of salads (ordered a grilled chicken salad for lunch and had half the leftovers for dinner. I still have enough for a third meal!) and lots of liquids. Overall, I think 1.5 pounds is not too bad considering how many M&Ms I allowed myself to have while I was out of town. I feel much better having control over my own kitchen and own meals.

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Having a lovely time in Illinois!

by Christine on December 27th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I’m having a great time visiting my parents in Illinois! I’m still here, and man, it’s been nothing but an eating festival. We’ve had bratwurst, ham, more ham, Chicago-style beef, snickers, cookies, M&Ms, etc. We special order our Chicago beef from Serrelli Street deli in Chicago (Allan, I’m talking to you now….order this sometime! You’d make a fortune selling this in NYC.) and my mom doctors it up with garlic pepper and garlic. Oh my god, it’s orgasmic! My mother also makes the world’s most amazing salad on the planet, and the one day she made it I had three helpings!  I’ve been trying hard not to eat too much food  (portion sizes) as a way of counter-balancing the quality of food being offered. Oof.

My Christmas tradition, since I was born, is that on Christmas day we have an open house, and everyone stops by. It’s always a house full of people! Some years we’ve had 20 people, and some years we’ve had 200 people! This year we had few groups of people show up, but it seems like everyone has kids, so if you count all the children flying around the house, it was a housefull! And noisy, too! To me, Christmas is all about the people — NOT about presents or food.  I always look forward to coming home and seeing people I haven’t seen for a year or more. I was particularly delighted to meet my “little brother’s” (family friend who is really like family to me) new fiancee, Julia. She’s absolutely fantastic! I love her to pieces immediately, and I’m positive that’s a brilliant match. I’m SO happy for them! I seriously got warm and fuzzies when I met her.

We leave to go back to New York tomorrow evening, and I hear that we have a foot of new snow waiting for us in our driveway. That means we’ll have to lug our luggage across a long driveway covered in snow! I sure hope our snow blower works. Hubby never tested it out to see if it works, so cross your fingers for us!

Before we left, Hubby and I exchanged presents with each other. I got hubby a Nook E-reader for Christmas which he has yet to use (hmmm) and he got me a fancy pen and a snuggie. We also got each other a ton of board games that I am sure we will put to good use in the coming months!

Here are some pictures of my Christmas get-together with my family! And yes, that’s my sexy-assed hubby wearing an ugly Christmas sweater at the end. Pure sexiness there! HA!

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Trying on my wedding dress

by Christine on December 22nd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

One of the things I have been looking forward to is trying on my wedding dress to see how it feels on a much-thinner body.

Buying a wedding dress was an absolutely horrible experience for me. I went to every single wedding dress shop in the entire Upstate New York area and never found a dress that looked okay on me. Part of the problem is that most of the try-on dresses are only in a Size 6, and I was a Size 18 at the time, which means that the dresses wouldn’t even get past my boobs or hips. It was impossible to see if the dress would work for me or not.  David’s Bridal had dresses on the rack in a Size 18, but they all looked hideous on me. I ended up buying an okay dress at a consignment shop (for $150), but every time  I took self-pictures of me in the dress, all I saw was how fat I was. I bought a total of three wedding dresses (all very cheap, don’t worry), and hated every single one of them. I reached the point where I was more than willing to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a dress, just so long as I loved it and loved how I felt in it. I started going to really expensive wedding dress stores, but since I couldn’t even get the dresses over my head, it was impossible to see if the dress was nice on my body or not.

It didn’t help that I did all my wedding dress shopping alone. Every single one of those 10,000 stores I went to, I went to alone. I didn’t have anyone there with me to hold my hand, be a voice of reason, to tell me that “well, that wedding dress might work for you.” I was all alone, and I think that compounded the sadness of the wedding dress shopping experience.

In short, wedding dress shopping was an utterly miserable experience. I cried more in those few months than I have in my whole life. I put off the wedding for as long as I could. I thought about canceling our wedding plans. I talked to my soon-to-be husband about the idea of eloping in Vegas so we could wear Jeans and T-Shirts, anything to prevent the horrible wedding dress thing from happening.

We got married on a cruise ship, so it was a very low-key ceremony. I eventually found a dress that I thought looked tolerably okay on me. It was a prom dress from JC Penny ($60). When I see photos of our wedding, all I can remember is that horrible wedding dress experience, and how terribly unhappy I was with my body.

There are two things I couldn’t wait to do when I lost all this weight. The first thing was to try on that Size 18 JC Penny dress again and see how it looks on me now!

The second thing is…for our 10th wedding anniversary, I want to renew our vows, but I want to buy a real wedding dress to wear, and I want to feel pretty and sexy in it!

We got married less than 3 years ago, just a few months before my gastric banding surgery. 102 pounds later…what a difference it has made! Here are some pictures from yesterday!

(That picture above is me trying to bunch the dress up so it seems to fit a little better!)

Man, that felt REALLY good. I think I finally won the war with the wedding dress. Sure, a bit belated, but I finally did it. Take that, evil wedding dress!

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Getting ready for Christmas!

by Christine on December 21st, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

First of all, I want to say thank you for everyone that has left such wonderful comments on my last two posts as well as on my facebook page.  Hearing “congratulations” is really what I wanted to hear, and it filled my heart with happiness. I actually saved every single one of the comments in a special folder in my email, so if I’m ever feeling down again, I can re-read the comments and get lifted up. Thank you very much!

The last few days have been uneventful but good. On Sunday my in-laws came over. We have an hand-made advent calendar that my husband’s grandmother made a lonnng time ago. We had his parents come over to hang the next ornament on the advent calendar. I made a nice dinner and decorated the table. Dinner was a pork loin cooked in a red wine sauce, along with steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, and chocolate cake for desert. I had bought my in-laws a Peppermint Pig to break (read the story here; breaking a peppermint pig brings you good luck in the coming year!)  and we had a little bit of that as well. Even my cat Arya dressed up for the occasion!

Despite the fact that I’m trying hard not to count my calories and grapple with “maintenance,” I have lost even more weight! I weighed in at 123 yesterday!

Today and tomorrow are laundry and packing days. We are preparing to go to Illinois to visit my family for Christmas. My cat seems to understand that the suitcase means that we are going away, and she has been glaring at me all day.

Yesterday’s intake:

Breakfast: (slept late) Coffee with cream (60 calories)
Snack: Almonds (100 calories)
Lunch: Some salty onion soup (watered down pork loin marinade, really): (50??)
Dinner: Not-quite half a salad from the Outback Steakhouse with honey mustard (350), 1 margarita (150)
Snack: 1 small Turtle chocolate (70)
Total Calories:  780 calories, pretty much right on target

I will update again soon!

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More VICTORY pictures!!!

by Christine on December 18th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

I woke up and weighed myself first thing. I saw 124.6 on the scale. I’ve lost 100.4 pounds (I’ll round up and say 101 pounds.)

I promptly took a shower and had a nice long cry. Lots of emotions floating around in there….

I decided I would actually do my hair and makeup and try to look decent for the big day.

I went out to run some errands.I wanted a cup of coffee, so I stopped at McDonalds and got myself a free Mocha with a coupon.

I wanted to try on some dresses, so I played dress-up at JC Penny. (I bought a pair of blue jeans, on sale. They were a size 4 because apparently JC Penny doesn’t sell sizes lower than 4. I think a size 2 would have fit better.) These dresses were size 2s.

It was after lunch, and I was hungry. I decided to go to Wendy’s for a cheeseburger. I hadn’t had a cheeseburger since August!  I ended up eating about 1/3 of it.

I came home and put together that snazzy, silly video I posted the other day. Scroll down to watch it!

Then I went out to pub trivia with hubby & friends. Up to this point I hadn’t told anyone that I had met my goal weight. So, for our trivia name I chose “I lost 101 pounds today!”  When the Trivia DJ announced our team name at halftime, Hubby said, “Hey, congrats!” but then immediately went back to his conversation about computers or whatever.

I felt very dejected. Unimportant. Like my achievement meant nothing to my friends or family. I was very upset. I still am.

I had dinner at the pub and had a small cup of creamy mushroom soup, very very salty. And a diet coke.

When we came home hubby and I went into our hot tub and I told him that I was feeling sad and dejected. He was sad for me, and since then he’s made a better attempt to say “congrats” to me.

And that was pretty much it. My big Victory day.  Having such supportive messages to my post the other day meant A LOT to me. It’s really weird and horrible that my friends and family have been like “whatever” to my victory. I think I was expecting a reception akin to The Biggest Loser finale…you know, the contestants come home, and all their friends and family are there to pat them on the back and say “wow” and “we’re so proud of you.” Yeah, none of that for me. I shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of reaction, but it still hurts my feelings. It reinforces that I’m doing this for ME, not for anyone else.

My goal for reaching my ultimate goal was a trip to Vegas, which I will do, but later when I start my job and have more money. So, as a consolation prize, yesterday I went to the local casino (there’s one up in Saratoga) and I pissed away $20, then went out for some drinks with a new girlfriend. It was fun to go out, and I felt a little better about my victory.

It just didn’t play out the way I wanted it to or expected it to, you know?

This morning I weighed in at 124.0.

I’m going to have to wrap my head around this idea of “maintenance,” now.  That is going to be quite a challenge for me; I’ve been trying to lose weight for so many years, it’s all I know how to approach my self-image and relationship with food.

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