The time has come…

…the walrus said, to talk of many things.

Well. It’s been a long time. How long? A very long time.

Many months ago, I decided to end this blog. 2016 was, to be frank, the worst year of my life. Issues with work, with friends, a broken heart, family issues, my father’s health, my own health…it all just became too much.

But now I’m back, from outer space. I am on a new journey of weight loss. I no longer weigh myself, as I decided that the scale is not my friend and the number is not important. I no longer have a goal weight. Rather, I am going on how I feel. I have learned to love exercise and I am currently working on making it a habit, thanks to my gym buddy, my brother. I quit my job and went back to school, pursuing a career that I love. And I am much, much kinder to myself than I once was.

I picked, long ago, an arbitrary number that was “ideal” for me. This number was based partially on the outdated and inaccurate method of BMI. I no longer believe that my life should be ruled by a number. As long as I am healthy and fit and I feel good about myself, I no longer care what that number is and I refuse to let it dictate my happiness and my self-worth any longer. I will need to be weighed occasionally, like at the doctor or if I were to have surgery, but I do not want to know that number ever again.

I WILL be tracking my measurements, but mostly just for my own curiosity, to see my progress. I do not have any “goal” measurements, I just want to reduce my body fat percentage, increase my fitness and feel better, both physically and mentally.

Here we go friends…happy losing!

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Progress Update – as of April 28, 2014

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 273.3 lbs
Loss: 1.7 lbs
Current BMI: 42.8
Loss: 0.3

As I thought it would, my loss has definitely slowed down. However, a loss is a loss is a loss, so hallelujah for that! Let’s hope that I continue on this downward slope.

What I Did Really Well This Week:

1) I have been eating very well, for the most part. As I mentioned last week, I am currently staying with my aunt and uncle and my uncle is a health nut. He has all kinds of um…interesting beliefs about nutrition and health, some of which I agree with and some of which make it very difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. But that’s another story.

Anyway, I have been eating well. Lots of salad and fresh, organic food (and he makes amazing smoothies, which he has been sharing with me every morning, yum!). And NO sugar. Sugar is persona non grata in their household. I will confess that I went to the grocery store and bought myself some sugary treats, but I only bought the “snack size” variety of some amazing cookies called Toffee Pops (and the snack size is mini cookies) and then another little snack packet of orange and chocolate cookies. So I didn’t go bananas, good job self. It made it quite obvious that I’m addicted to sugar though. Sad…

What I Can Improve On:

1) My walking routine has come to a bit of a halt this week. I have done some, but not nearly as much as I did previously. And then yesterday I was going to go outside but it was kind of grey and dreary so I didn’t, and then today I wished I had because it poured rain all day long. But oh well. I will try to make more of an effort to do more exercise this week because I don’t have a car and frankly, being cooped up inside all day today drove me a bit loopy.

2) I should get more sleep. I have been staying up later than I normally would, mostly because I have been engrossed in reading some good books lately and so often I’ll read into the late hours of the night (or sometimes the wee hours of the morning) and thus, my sleep is being compromised.

How I Feel:

Pretty good, in general. I am super happy about the loss so far (although I need to buy more pants now, because mine are practically falling off even with a belt) but I am conscious that it could easily creep back up again, so I can’t slack off just because I’ve had a great couple of weeks. Onwards and upwards!

Progress Update – as of April 14, 2014

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 284.4 lbs
Loss: 9.9 lbs
Current BMI: 46.1
Loss: 1.6

WOOHOO!!! As you can probably tell, I am super ecstatic at this number. I haven’t actually been able to weigh myself for 3 weeks, but boy it is nice to get on the scale and see that!¬†Since the beginning of this journey, over 5 months, I have lost 18.8 lbs. I am disappointed that it isn’t more overall but¬†I haven’t been consistent with my efforts over these 5 months, so that’s to be expected. At the end of the day, I am thrilled to be down almost 20 lbs and it makes me want to go more more more!!!

What I Did Really Well This Week:

1) Well, over the past several weeks, I have been walking a lot. I do take public transportation, but most of that doesn’t drop you off exactly where you need to be, so I’ve had to hoof it around a lot. I’ve also chosen to walk for monetary reasons. For example, the hostel that I was staying at for a while did not have free wifi, so I opted to go to the library instead. Walking there, a 15 minute walk, saved me the bus fare and meant that I could come and go as I pleased, instead of waiting on a bus schedule.

2) I have also been eating as well as I can. I have been staying at hostels and due to my intense germophobia the thought of actually cooking in a hostel repulses me (I don’t trust anyone to clean dishes properly, especially not with the dish brushes that appear to have been sitting out since 1993, gross), so I have been relying on staples like PB&J sandwiches and ramen noodles. Ramen are not that nutritious, I know, and neither is PB&J (although I have only been using good, whole-wheat bread, natural peanut butter and no sugar added jam) but I have had access to a fridge, so I’ve also been eating fruit, yogurt, veggies and milk. It’s not an ideal diet, but I’m attempting to make it work anyway. And when I go out to eat (which I have been trying to avoid doing, because it’s ridiculously expensive) I have been trying to make better choices, like having sushi or a sandwich over a cheeseburger.

3) I have been getting lots of sleep. I don’t drink or smoke and I find that a lot of the activity that goes on at hostels later at night tends to be of that variety, so instead of participating, I will usually read and go to bed early. I like going to bed early when I’m travelling, actually, because I like getting up in the morning and doing stuff, instead of sleeping until noon like I often do when I’m out really late. And bonus, it’s good for you!

What I Can Improve On:

1) Getting in more fruits and veggies. I was really good for awhile about eating apples and carrots and veggies that don’t need prep, but I’ve slacked off a little in the last week or so and not done that well, so I’m hoping to get back to my earlier, better habits.

How I Feel:

Pretty awesome!!! I have been feeling really down lately, to be honest, because I have kind of been stuck in one city for awhile and I was really missing home. However, this weigh-in certainly boosted my spirits (as well as Skype sessions from home, I love you Skype!) and I am hoping that it continues!

Progress Update – as of March 12, 2014

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 296.0 lbs
Gain: 1.0 lbs
Current BMI: 46.4
Gain: 0.2

This week was even more stressful than the last two weeks and it apparently got the better of me. But no matter, because I am now on my way to New Zealand!! I am sitting in the Vancouver airport as we speak, waiting for my flight out. It is very exciting.

What I Did Really Well This Week:

1) I got a lot of sleep, so that’s something. But that’s about it, I didn’t track or eat well really, nor did I exercise.

What I Can Improve On:

1) Everything, in a nutshell.

How I Feel:

Hopeful!!! Very, very, very hopeful. Why, you might ask? Well, because I have a lot of bad eating habits. I have been working hard to conquer those, but like anyone, I am not perfect. In New Zealand, I will not have access to a vehicle, so I won’t be able to run out late at night to grab a burger or whatever. Additionally, eating out in New Zealand is expensive, so I plan to cook as much as possible to save money and that, of course, means that I can pick exactly what is going into my meals and thus ensure that I am eating lots of nutritious food. I also plan to do a lot of hiking and walking around NZ. It’s a gorgeous country and going hiking or walking is a great (and free!) way to see the country. I bought myself a new camera recently, so I’m looking forward to going on nice walks and getting some great snapshots.

Note: I do not know if I will have access to a scale from now on. I will be staying with family for a bit, then hosteling about, then hopefully getting an apartment, but I don’t know if there will be scales at any of my relative’s houses or if my potential roommates will have one. I doubt I will buy one myself, so it’s possible that I won’t be able to actually weigh in regularly. However, I will continue to update and measure every week (or more) so no worries!

Progress Update – as of February 19, 2014 – The Uphill Battle…

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 294.6 lbs
Gain: 2.0 lbs
Current BMI: 46.1
Gain: 0.3

So this week, I gained. Again. And to be honest, I am getting really frustrated. I am trying hard to think positive, but it’s really annoying to see the scale go up and down so much. (Although I’m not going to quit, don’t worry about that!)

I am mostly frustrated because there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. I got sick again this week, so doing exercise is really difficult for me because it hurts to breathe very soon after I start. I have read in multiple places that 90% of weight loss is eating well and that you can lose weight without exercise if you adjust your diet, but apparently my body needs both exercise and eating well in order to lose weight.

I want to exercise. I do. It feels weird to not have done a true workout routine for so long, but my lungs can’t handle it yet. It’s infuriating. Any suggestions about alternative workouts that I can do that won’t aggravate them? I walk with my dogs for 20 minutes every day, at least twice a day, so that’s something I guess. But anything more strenuous than that leaves me gasping for air and in pain, so I’m hoping to find something to replace running until I can fully recover. Swimming, maybe? Anyway…

What I Did Really Well This Week:

1) I think I did a great job with eating well and I’m irritated that the scale doesn’t appear to reflect that. I know that you cannot map your progress exclusively by the scale, but it’s discouraging to see it go up and down and up again.

2) I did very well at tracking again this week, which is great so me. Tracking is the best thing for me to ensure I monitor my portions and don’t overindulge.

3) I also did pretty well at eating Power Foods this week. Power Foods, on Weight Watchers, are low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Basically, the healthiest foods you can eat are Power Foods and I did really well eating a lot of those this week.

What I Can Improve On:

1) Exercising. I hope that I can find an alternative to running until I fully recover, so that I can at least get back into some sort of routine.

How I Feel:

Frustrated. I pretty much covered it earlier, I’m just frustrated that I’m going up and down and frustrated that I can’t exercise to try to offset it. Maybe this week will be better.

Update and something embarrassing

Weighed myself this morning: 301.8 lbs

So I’m up again, but I’m not sweating it. I enjoyed myself over the holidays and I don’t regret it, I would rather have an extra 3 pounds to lose than not let myself indulge in things like eggnog, gingerbread etc. that I don’t normally have. It’s all good.

Now, for the embarrassing thing.

I used to frequent Denny’s at night A LOT. I went through a period of unemployment and in that time, I got up later in the morning and I wouldn’t usually eat until late afternoon, by which time I was starving. (Terrible habit, I know.) SO, because of that, I would be too full to eat supper at the normal time, so I would get really hungry late at night. I didn’t really want to dirty a bunch of dishes by cooking at that late hour, so I would often take my favourite book and head to Denny’s.

After I got a job and had to stick to a schedule, I stopped going. However, I recently left my job because I am moving to another city (in another country!) so until I go, the only schedule I have to stick to is my packing one, which I determine myself. Last night I was out at a friend’s until late and when I left her place I was starving. I had a book with me, so I pulled into trusty old Denny’s for something to eat. (I know I shouldn’t have, as Denny’s is literally one of the least healthy places to eat on the planet, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.)

I went in and the waitress said “Well hello there, haven’t seen you in awhile!” and showed me to my table etc. etc. At the end of the night, she gave me my bill and I noticed that she hadn’t charged me for my Coke. When I mentioned this to her, she said “Oh, I know. You’re a regular, I never charge regulars for drinks.”

Maybe embarrassing is too strong a word, but it certainly made me think about my life choices. She doesn’t know me outside of Denny’s, nor does she know my name, but she knows me by sight well enough that she can recognize me after months of being away. And she considers me to have frequented Denny’s enough, despite not having set foot in the place for months, to deserve a free drink for my good business.

I’m thinking I should stop going there…