Whoa Nelly

Today’s a big day.

introducing_____the_number_200

I have officially lost 200 pounds. 364 to 164.

I’m so excited to start the part of the journey where I can now say “I’ve maintained a 200 pound weight loss for X number of years!”

I’m still officially overweight by 19 pounds (145 is the highest “normal” weight for my height). But I’m wearing size 10 jeans today, and I feel incredible, and I’m healthy. Any weight loss now is just an added bonus. Any weight loss now is just wiggle room for me to maintain my 200 pound loss!

And with his huge milestone, it’s reward time! I’ve totally earned that pedicure and massage! Unfortunately, I’ve got two major conference presentations this weekend so I’m cramming like crazy to get those done, I’ll be traveling all around Florida this weekend, and then maybe I’ll get to squeeze my reward in the beginning of next week.

Whew! What a ride lately. Life is nuts.

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Reward System 2009

It’s time for Reward System Reloaded / Part II / 2009 Edition! The original reward system was a smashing success, but losing weight is harder now and the rewards are fewer and far between.

Here’s the new amped up version that I’ll be using all the way to GOAL!

My vision for the year is this: by end of spring semester / summer brachioplasty, I want to be at about 155 ish. After surgery, the whole plan is DON’T GAIN over the summer. Then next fall I’ll focus on losing my last ten pounds. That seems like a reasonable progression. Of course, getting down to my goal of 145 by May would be nice too, I just don’t think it’s doable.

174.4: Hooray!! Bye-bye, obesity! done! Woohoo!

170: Shop! Use your birthday coupon and gift certificate to buy a little somethin’ at Old Navy! Celebrated a little early at 172.

164: 200 pounds lost! Get a pedicure and a massage!

160: Shop! Spend Ross gift card!

155: You’ve met a personal weight goal! Schedule a day at the beach no matter how busy school might be.

150: You’ve met a personal weight goal!

145: GOOOOOAL! Welcome to “normal!” Take yourself on a hot air balloon ride to celebrate! Get your metabolic rate tested! Set to work on a maintenance reward system!

* I reserve the right to switch this up however I darn well please.

Happy 2009!

I tore into a fortune cookie last night and it read:

You have had a good start.

Work harder!

Uh, little cookie, you are beyond wise! Now I must eat you.

But isn’t that exactly what this year is for me? The final lap, the big push, the grand finale? Time to go for the gold.

I know everyone is excited during New Year’s, but it’s always a tiny bit sad for me. I loved 2008. I made excellent decisions in 2008. I had an awesome year! Let’s review the successes of 08:

  • I had gastric bypass surgery on January 22, 2008. It wasn’t a hard decision or a trying experience; it was totally and completely the right thing to do and I knew it.
  • I presented at my first professional conference just a few weeks after surgery.
  • I started the year at about 307 and ended the year at 177. This is exactly what I had hoped from the surgery: to get me through the 200’s so I can fight this battle in the 100’s.
  • I got a job offer at another University and used that to secure a substantial pay raise in my current position. I went to a 4 day workweek. Said goodbye to a boss who wasn’t liked.
  • I started a PhD program. I started a PhD program. On a fellowship. On a fellowship. This is a huge life-long ambition being fulfilled right before my very eyes!
  • I became aware of how much I really can trust my husband. With me, these things are only built over time. I’m amazed by how he has loved me no matter what I look like, how he’s always honest with me, and that he’d give anything he could to make me happy.

That said, I wave a fond farewell to 2008 and look forward to 2009 when I will:

  • Reach the goal weight of 145 and maintain somewhere in that area for the remainder of the year.
  • Get my arms and boobies fixed, paid for free and clear through savings.
  • Continue surviving the work-life balance that is taking care of myself, excelling at my job, and managing school. Keeping all three going is a big enough goal for the year!

And I’m going to stop there. I’m  not resolving to do anything amazing this year, I’m not going to make myself a list of crap to stick to, I’m just going to take care of me and keep plugging along.

And if 2009 is anything like 2008, I’ll look back on the year with wonder!

Photo Time

So when I say “I’ll take pictures and post them asap,” that might mean two days. I’m just fast like that.

To celebrate reaching 199.2 (198.8 now!), I went out and got a pedicure with my sister who was in town this weekend. And she surprised me with a $50 gift card to Old Navy. Apparently, she got it for my birthday or something, but it was stuck in a side pocket of her purse. So double surprise! The only rule is that I can’t use it until I’m a size 12.

Rachel took some pictures of me at my mom’s house while we were getting ready to leave for the pedicures. This is not what I look like on a typical day. I never, ever, ever wear dresses. But this black cotton dress is an XL from Old Navy, and I bought it a couple weeks ago for a mere $6.99. It’s too low-cut for work, plus it’s just plain t-shirt material, so I thought I’d better wear it on the weekend while I had the chance. Anyhow, here’s what I look like these days (click on the photos to view larger if you dare):

And I have to be honest. When I saw these, I was like, “dang! I still look so fat!” It’s true, I still have a long way to go. I also thought, “Holy Crap I NEED A BREAST LIFT.” Also true.

But I can look at the pictures. And that says a lot.

CELEBRATION!!!

Just when you think it’s never going to happen…

BAM! Onederland is onederful! (Yes, that’s lame, but I’m excited, mmkay?)

I’m so excited, in fact, that I’m posting this picture despite my nasty toes. I haven’t had a pedicure since February and it shows. But today? Today I’m going to treat myself!

Obviously, it makes sense that I would post a picture to show you what 199.2 looks like on me. But, alas, I’m home alone and the best I can do is upload a couple photos Lee has taken of me in the last couple weeks. Neither of these were at my exact current weight… these are more like 207 and 205 I’d guess.

But since this is a pretty momentous occasion, I hereby solemnly swear to actually have somebody take a picture of me today or tonight and I’ll update asap.

In the meantime:

Here’s me in the kitchen slicing onions with red eyes. And I’m wearing my husband’s jeans (woot!):

And here’s me checking my email one night in my pajamas. This hairdo is how I wear my hair 80% of my life: in bed, at the gym, etc. My ass looks ginormous here, but whatever. At least I have a jawline!

And the numbers:

I’ve officially lost 165 pounds.

100 pounds since surgery.

Exactly 25 pounds until I’m no longer obese and just plan “overweight.”

54 pounds left until “normal.” (Crap… 54 pounds is nothin’. I’ve already lost that 3 times!!)

Wheeee!

Beautiful weekend!

I’ve had an awesome last few days. I skipped work Friday to go to the beach with my mom for a reward, but we got there and it was too freaking hot to stay. Seriously. And you know how much I love the beach. But it’s July and we’re in that July-August-September trifecta of burning Florida heat that makes you want to permanently attach an air conditioning unit to your back. It’s the “don’t get your oil changed because it’s too damn hot to sit in the car without a/c” time of year. So anyway, the beach was fine for a while but neither of us could handle an entire day of sweltering heat. So, we left the shore after 3 hours, took showers, and went shopping instead. Which was much, much cooler!

And shopping was phenomenal. We went to one of those discount-type stores where you either find NOTHING or way too much, and I was having an “on” day. Naturally, I went over to the Plus department and began checking things out. Since my size 18 Old Navy jeans were falling off, I figured I could try 16’s. I was right.

But then my mom, genius that she is, realized that if I wear a 16, I don’t have to stay in the Plus department necessarily. So she dragged me to the JUNIORS section where I ended up buying a size 15 dress (it’s so cute!). (By the way, where were the size 15 juniors clothes when I was teenager?? I distinctly remember 13 as the biggest size.)

But the dress was sleeveless and I simply cannot do sleeveless, so I needed a cardigan or shrug or something. So mom dragged me to the MISSES department. Where I got a size XL misses petite cardigan that was perfect for the dress.

And then we went to the athletic wear section, and as I headed for the plus-sized rack again, mom steered me back to regular sizes. I ended up with 4 pairs of workout pants in size XL. I wouldn’t try the Larges even though mom wanted me to.

I am struck once again with the sheer number of CHOICES available to me clothing-wise right now. I mean, I literally can shop in THREE departments. How cool is that??

At the beach, mom said she doesn’t think I understand my size right now. She said, “I don’t think you realize you’ve crossed over to normal-sized. I don’t think you can see how different you look.” I explained that I’m still 220 pounds, I’m still obese, and I’m not anywhere near “normal” or “healthy weight.” But I guess she’s right… I don’t stand out as being especially over-fat anymore. I’ve started noticing people who are bigger than me when I’m out and about. It’s strange because I remember always being the biggest one in the room.

Anyhow, that was Friday. The beach and shopping and smaller sizes. I know, right?!

On Saturday, I went cycling with my dad again, but my Uncle George joined us. He’s trying to lose weight and thought that since I was going, he wouldn’t slow anybody down. Problem is? His perception of my fitness level is a bit off! He was really struggling, but he did finish 10 miles. So I didn’t get much of a workout on that ride, but it was a lot of fun! It was nice to finish and not be exhausted.

Then the entire family had dinner at a really nice steak house that cost a stinking fortune, but the food was incredible. Over a few hours, I had salad, onion soup, grilled chicken, some mashed potato, two bites of carrot cake, and coffee. It sounds like a lot, but of course we’re talking about nibbles and bites of everything.

This morning, Lee & I went to church (which we haven’t done in ages because of his work schedule). Then we cleaned the house, and I made fresh salads for lunch. I ate a plum for the first time since surgery. Mmmm.

A really, really great weekend. I’m loving my life!

Megameggs: Swimsuit Edition

First of all, props to Lacy for the banner. She’s my hero!

Secondly, props to Lane Bryant for putting my swimsuit back up on their website (it had disappeared for a few days). This saves you all the trauma of seeing ME in the suit, and instead viewing their tanned and relatively lean model.

So here she is, this summer’s swimsuit:

swimsuit.jpg

With this little coverup number at my mom’s suggestion:

coverip.jpg

And the beach on Wednesday? GORGEOUS. I so love the beach. It was really warm (85ish?), but the freezing cold water cooled us off when we got too hot. The rip currents were bad and we saw a lifeguard rescue someone, but otherwise it was a glorious, peaceful day. I didn’t even get sunburned! And the bathing suit stayed in place all day, no shoulder strap slipping, no riding up, no stretching out… I was happy with it. In fact, my little sister Rachel is going to get the blue version of the same suit.

So now I’m just counting the days until I can go back to the beach.

And today? I’m off to check out my reward system. I hit 258.8 pounds today, so I need to see what my reward is for getting under 260!