Monday, February 17, 2014

The 100th.

One hundred posts.

A year and a half of my life.

Over 600 miles clocked on the treadmill.

Countless egg whites, cauliflower florets, and boneless-skinless-chicken breasts.

And, of course, hundreds of gifs.

All for this:

I have no idea why, but I just feel like this is the end of Caddyshack when Bill Murray blows up the whole golf course; it's just absurd and glorious all at once.  I can't believe how far I've come.

This is going to be my last post.

I've loved this journey and I love everyone who has followed this blog.   I can never truly express how grateful I am to those who've supported me this whole time. I especially owe a huge thanks to my mom for offering the Big Carrot.

At the beginning, the Carrot was really what kept me on track and  I am beyond grateful for the powerful motivation and am very much looking forward to my weekend in New York City.  However, I am much, much more excited about becoming a legitimate WOP and truly caring about fitness than I am of reaching an arbitrary number on a scale to win a prize.

My new lifestyle is the best gift that I've ever given myself.   I've finally found that happy place where I can actually eat what I want and still look and feel good. 

Eat better. Exercise more. It sounds so easy.

It's not.

It's simple, but never easy.  Even though I love it, it's still difficult to get motivated to go to the gym because I love the activities that I could be doing instead of working out (socializing, happy hours, sleeping) even more.

But despite it's challenges, I am hopeful that by doing this the right way (finally), it will be a lifelong change.   This blog was fun, but--as a wise friend once said about living in the dorms at college--"It was the most fun that I never want to have again."  

I hope that this blog has been a source of humor and inspiration for anyone out there who has their own struggles with food and body image. 

I would love to keep blogging indefinitely, but I think at this point I'm ready to close the Chunky Bride chapter of my life and see what the world holds for Svelte Me.  

There will be pizza. There will be cheese. There will be wine.   There will be treadmills.

And, above all, there will be gifs. 

Always gifs.

Signing off,



Friday, February 14, 2014


Okay, at this point if this doesn't count, it's like being a contestant on Jeopardy and getting the answer right, but forgetting to put it into question form.

Me: "126.6!"

Alex Trebek: "Oooh, sorry.  That should have been 'What is 126.6" 

In all seriousness though, I know this doesn't count.  A deal is a deal and a goal is a goal.  And narrowly missing the goal does not count.  But god I wish it did.

In other news, Chunky Husband is getting on the fitness bandwagon too.  He gave me permission to blog his experiences.  Let's just say....he's off to an interesting start.  He started at 208 (he said to say 210 because "it's more dramatic" but I am all about honesty on this blog so that's not going to happen). 

In just the first week he is already down 7 pounds (9 according to his "more dramatic" version of what has happened).

Which is a bit infuriating because it takes me, like, 2 months to lose that kind of weight.

But, putting aside my jealousy at his ability to shed pounds like Miley Cyrus sheds her clothes, I am really happy for him and I wish him nothing but the best in his diet journey.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Allllllllllllmost there.......

34.6 pounds of total weight loss so far.   1.2 pounds away from the Big Carrot.  I am so close I can practically taste the "good bagels" now.

But I gotta say, these last three pounds have been the WORST.   And I am not alone in my frustrations. All you have to do is Google "the last 5 pounds" and you'll get literally hundreds of hits of blog posts, articles, and weight loss forum threads worth of people frustrated to reach a plateau towards the end of their diet journeys.

According to The Internet, the reasons for the "phenomenon" of the stubborn last few pounds are varied. 

Some dieters reach a plateau because their goal weight may simply be too low for their body type. For those people, experts recommend stopping at the plateau because they're likely to gain weight back once they reach the too-low goal and that can fuel a weight-gaining-frenzy. I don't think this is my problem; I am still very comfortably in the normal weight range and I could probably stand to lose about 10 more pounds before things get too unattainably low.

(Which is more than we can say for this season's Biggest Loser winner....)

Some dieters reach a plateau because of what I've decided to call "portion creep."  Portion creep is the natural tendency to gradually--even imperceptibly--increase portion sizes of familiar foods over time.  For instance, the 6 ounce glass of wine that the dieter used to painstakingly measure with a measuring cup can become a 9 ounce monster glass with way more calories than the dieter is counting.....and by the dieter, I am definitely not referring to me.....

Really. Definitely not me.

Okay, fine, maybe I've allowed happy hour to extend a little longer than 60 minutes lately.....(figuratively speaking). The remedy is simple enough.  The Internet recommends temporarily getting back into the habit of measuring foods as a reminder of what the proper portion size should be.  Looks like I'll be whipping out the friendly food scale again.....

Others of us find those last few pounds more difficult to lose because our bodies have entered starvation mode. I can only imagine this happens most frequently with people who eat a teeny tiny number of calories and don't exercise at all.  I don't think this is my problem.

My biggest problem now is that it sort of just feels, well, trivial to fret over just 1-3 pounds.

Much like a spoiled kid with too large an allowance, I've lost sight of the value of a pound and haven't been trying hard enough to lose the last few.   After losing nearly 35 pounds, it feels like "Oh, two pounds left? Psh....that's nothing."  It makes it a lot easier to say yes to skipping the gym for a happy hour or having a second or third slice of pizza when it's "just" 3 pounds to go.
But I need to remember how hard I fought for each and every one of the pounds I've lost so far. Just because it's close to the end doesn't mean that the work stops here.  
This weekend is going to be a bit of an exception to the rule because I have some pretty large events happening and the gym might be difficult to squeeze in, but after this weekend I need to double down and get this thing done. 

Friday, January 24, 2014


Guys! Guys! I got a pedicure!  And, also, apparently a halo.

Hello again, everyone!

I just couldn't stay away. 

Even though I've reached the original goal of this blog, I've decided to keep updating until I reach 126/The Big Carrot because it played such a prominent role in this journey that it almost feels like it should have been the original goal all along. 

....Of course, when I decided to keep blogging until reaching the Big Carrot, I kinda figured it would only be one, two posts tops.  But I am afraid I might be sorely mistaken: this morning's weigh in--128.4.   Gah!! Still 2.4 pounds away from my Big Carrot.. I was hoping to be there by now.  The suspense! It's killing me!

Patience.  Patience.

Even though there hasn't been a lot of movement on the scale these last two weeks, I reached another pretty stellar milestone: size 6 jeans (down from a size 14).  I also think my legs might be in the absolute best shape of my life.  I attribute it to my workout of choice which is a brisk walk on the treadmill at a very, very steep incline.  

My abs and arms....well, that's another story.  I think it's time to start working my upper body just as much as I've been working the lower half.

You know....I should start weight lifting.

I should try Jillian's Shred again now that I'm in good cardiac shape.

I should train for a half marathon.

Hell, a WHOLE marathon!!

Okay now I am just getting carried away. Is this how body builders get started?  At first it's just a simple, "Hey my shit doesn't fit! Let's lose some poundage, bro!"  And then before you know it you're slurping down raw egg whites by the dozen and mixing protein powders out of insanely large jars with all of your beverages?!

Is this what happens before you become "that guy" that posts gym selfies on Facebook!?!!?

(You know who you are).

Maybe I'll just focus on the last 2.4 pounds for now. 

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Goal Attained. Reflection and Lessons Learned

One goal down ("130 in as long as it takes") and one goal a mere 3.5 pounds away (126 for the Big Carrot).   Technically, my goal all along was simply to get to 130.   126 was purely going to be Lagniappe--a little something extra.

Now that I've accomplished what I originally set out to do and the Lagniappe is so near, I want to compile a list of my biggest take-aways from this in case they help anyone else who is considering losing a bunch of weight (and to have something for me to read if I am ever feeling like I am losing the resolve to continue this as a lifelong change).

1. Exercise is Awesome. Diet foods are the suck. 1200 calories is ridiculously and unsustainably low.

I've lost weight a couple times before. Most notably I lost about 20-30 pounds the summer before I went away to college and I lost 18 pounds for my wedding in 2011.  Both times before, I accomplished the feat by dieting almost exclusively.  I did a little low-impact walking the second time around, but I was definitely a whore to the 1200-calories-a-day trap.

You wouldn't have caught me dead at a gym.

Both times, I subsisted on diet largely comprised of highly-processed, single-portion, "diet" foods (think Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Progresso soups, and the like), fruits, veggies, and relatively guilt free snacks like reduced-fat Cheez-its when I felt the urge to "splurge." 

The incredibly restrictive food choices were necessary.  It was the only way to stick to the insanely low number of calories I was allotted when trying to lose weight through diet alone.

It was effective in the short term. 

But it was also stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

No one can live like that forever.  No one.  It's a life of dreading any special occasion. 
"Birthdays?  Oh my god, there might be cake there!  Work functions?  I hope they have a salad! With no cheese. And dressing on the side.  Football games? Sigh...I guess I'll bring the veggie tray so there's something I can have.  Family dinner at a fancy restaurant?  I hope they have plain grilled fish on the menu....."

 You know what sucks a million times less than that?   Exercising.  In fact, exercising doesn't really suck at all. It feels kind of awesome actually. 

This time around, instead of being so restrictive with food, I committed to going to the gym for an hour most days.  Sometimes I go longer if I know that I want a particularly decadent food that day.  The trade off is that I can pretty much eat what I want (within reason).  I still track calories because I tend to overdo it if I don't keep a food log, but I am proud to say that I have not eaten a single pre-packaged "diet food" this entire time and I don't plan to ever eat one again.

I am not approaching my goal weight with the mindset that "I can't wait to get back to eating like normal," because I am already eating like normal--just in moderation.  I think that will make a huge difference for keeping the weight off.

2. I wish I had taken more pictures.

I have lots of pictures of my toes on the scale---in vastly varied levels of grooming--and I am glad to have those.  But I don't have any other pictures showing changes in my size, shape, and muscle tone. I am regretting that in a big way.   Come to think of it, I don't even have a toe/scale picture of the heaviest weight: 161.8.  I really wish I had that so I could "bookend" this experience.

3. While we're on the subject of pictures.....I regret ever being afraid of the camera.

When I was at my heaviest weight, I avoided the camera like the plague.   Come to think of it, on my journey to my heaviest weight I avoided the camera like the plague. I've been avoiding cameras "at my heaviest" when I was 138, 130, 125 pounds (and so forth).   As I came down from 161, 150, 145 and reached those previous "heaviest weights" I remember feeling great and looking forward to having my photo taken.  It's foolish to be afraid to be photographed because of size. It might be hard, but I am committed to leaving that fear behind.

4. I wish I had taken body measurements.

People always say that "weight is just a number" and it's not the best measure of health or fitness.  They cite a ton of different reasons why people set too much store on the number on the scale (muscle weighing more than fat, weight not taking into account cardiac health, water retention affecting weight, etc.).  They are correct.

In the last 3-4 weeks my weight has not changed much at all, but I feel like in the last 3-4 weeks I have seen the most actual change to my body than at any other point in this progress.  All of a sudden, my size 8 jeans are completely baggy. I am suddenly fitting back into the clothing I wore back when I got married at 123 pounds.

It has been a little discouraging seeing the number on the scale barely move, but I know that at this point it's because I am sculpting and toning my legs, butt, and arms.   I seriously regret not taking regular body measurements because while the weight hasn't budged much in the last couple weeks, I know that my measurements surely have. I just wish I knew how much.

5. Harry Potter is the best gym buddy ever.

I've done lots of things to try to pass the time on the treadmill. Television. Surfing the net on the iPad.  Listening to music. You name it, I've tried it.  For some reason, the thing that made the time pass by the fastest was reading the entire Harry Potter series straight through.

6. I'm glad I got rid of my bigger clothes, but I wish I had kept the biggest thing for reference.

I was cleaning out my closet this weekend. I got rid of everything that's too big.  I figure it will be a lot harder to justify gaining weight back if it means buying a completely new wardrobe.  While I was cleaning I found a pair of pants that didn't end up in the bonfire the first time I purged my wardrobe of my big clothes.  These pants were by no means the largest, but they were close.  When I tried them on they looked comically large. I couldn't even believe they used to fit.   It made me wish I had saved the absolute largest pair to always be able to look back on how far I've come.

7.  I will always love fettucini alfredo and pizza and cheese. And I will never live in a world without them.

I don't care if it means I have to walk 8 miles a day on the highest incline ever.  I will have my favorite things because life just isn't as good without them.  And I will not apologize for that ever again.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Start Spreading the News.....

Start spreading the news.....

I'm leaving today.

I wanna be a part of it.

New York, New York.

So close. So close. So close.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Alright. I did something stupid.

I hosted a New Year's Day party.   The theme was death-by-fast food......and gumbo.   I didn't weigh myself this morning. I was too terrified of the damage.  The salt from the gumbo and chicken nuggets alone was probably enough to cause the most nasty of upward fluctuations.

I am not sure I ate enough calories to do any permanent damage, but the salt......oh, the salt.

Normally if I indulge like this, it's on the weekend and I have almost and entire week to de-salinize myself and get back on track for the weekly weigh-in.

Well, it's Thursday and I don't have the time I normally do to repair the damage that has been done before tomorrow.

I think that in honor of the NFL post-season, New Year's Day, the end of 'the holidays' in general, and just in the interest of keeping my insanity.....I might go ahead and take a "bye week" from the weekly weigh-in this week. 

.....I guess the bright side was that at least I've been great about going to the gym this week. o_O