Hopping back on the wagon

Here we are, week 2.  Had a couple of challenges in here and failed with flying colors.  Not that this is anything new.  I fail all the time.  The difference this time is that I’m not going to let those failures define me.  I’m not going to let them pull me into a slump again.

First obstacle was our monthly knit night at Jim’s restaurant.  First of all, it cut into the time I would have spent at the gym.  Boo!  I actually did really well with the dinner choices, but then decided to get dessert… and ate the whole thing.  That could have easily been overcome except for today.  Mother’s Day.  And Mother’s Day on it’s own didn’t have to be too bad…  started with a not great, but not horrible breakfast of migas (eggs and tortilla chips with cheese and salsa) with chorizo beans and a tortilla.  But then I had to go to the mall for an eye exam.  Ended up there for about 4 hours, again cutting into my gym time.  I was still pretty full from breakfast, but the kids wanted pretzel bites, and how can you say no to pretzel bites???  When we got back to the in-laws’ house I had a small bit of turkey salad and crackers…  and 2 pieces of strawberry shortcake.  And then polished off the candy I had gotten at the mall.  So, I’m figuring I’m not going to have a good weigh in tomorrow at all.  So, I’m about to go have some wine and whatever else I want (not that there’s much in the house) and start fresh again tomorrow.

Enough about my fabulous failures and on to some other ponderings of the week…

I did manage to make it to the gym twice this week.  Once for BodyCombat (yay!) and once for yoga.  Those two classes got me to thinking and making some connections and wondering about a few things.  BodyCombat is a really intense cardio kickboxing class which will burn a crap ton of calories in a 1 hour class.  At my current weight I get over a 900 calorie burn.  I learned the hard way that you really don’t want to go into that class with much in your stomach.  I come out of the class with very little appetite as well.  The reduced appetite lasted me through the next night after yoga and beyond.  The day after that, however, I was ready to down an entire side of beef and a jar of Nutella for dessert.

That got me to thinking about things.  If you’ve ever used an online food diary you’ll know that you have a calorie goal or range to hit for each day.  They get worried about you if you don’t eat enough calories (making sure you aren’t anorexic).  But with that intense workout and the severely reduced appetite after, followed by a hunger surge a day or two later, it makes me wonder if I wouldn’t be better off eating below my range on those days and allowing myself some more leeway on the hungry days.  If it averages out I should be ok in theory.  And honestly, I much prefer the idea of eating 900 healthy calories in a day rather than 1500 crappy calories just to make it in my range.  After my class this week I ended up having fried cheese sticks and a milk shake to make my calorie goals.  Then two days later I was starving and trying to keep myself from eating so I wouldn’t be above my calorie range.  I think I’m going to take some time this week to research the benefits and drawbacks of eating this way.

I’m going to leave you for now and go have that glass of wine.  I hope you all had a happy Mother’s Day!

Much love,
Shannon, the not quite so fat girl

And then I was inspired to write again…

If there’s anyone still out there, boy do I have a lot to catch you up on in my life!

First of all, no, I have not maintained my weight loss.  With Nutrisystem I lost about 75 pounds over the course of 2011.  As of today, I have gained back about 40 of those.  Not a total loss.  I did keep off the other 35.  But I’ll get to the weight issue in a bit.  You need to know what’s been happening in my life to get me back here.

About a month after my last post here I lost my husband in an accident while he was on his way to work.  That’s fighting for first place of hardest life situations I’ve had to deal with along with my son being a micro-preemie and losing my mom while I was pregnant with my first child.  Yep, I’ve had some sucky stuff happen in my life.  I’m very fortunate that I was raised to be a strong and resilient woman.  I’m mostly at peace with the loss of DH.  It’s a scar that will never completely heal, but it’s about as good as it will get.

I quit my job as a teacher.  I wasn’t able to emotionally support myself there for a while.  There was no way I was going to be able to support a bunch of high school math students.  So I decided to follow my passion and open a yarn shop!  I went into it with absolutely no business experience, but I’ve learned a TON in the 2 years my shop, Inskein Yarns, has been open.  The shop has a good reputation, and I’ve met a wonderful new group of friends who I couldn’t live without now.

The problem with it is that I work very long hours and have erratic break times.  I’m almost never at home between work and spending time with the kids (they basically live with DH’s parents because of previously mentioned schedule).  I can’t find time to cook in there, and there are a ton of restaurants, mostly the fast food type, right by the shop.  Not a good combination for someone who likes bad foods to begin with.

Well, I was out to dinner with one of those new friends about a week and a half ago, one who is in a weight loss program (although I think she looks great and I’d love to have her figure).  Over the course of conversation we discovered we belong to the same gym.  That led to discussion about attending a couple of classes together each week, you know, to stay motivated.  Somehow that triggered my need to get back to “fighting weight.”

I had been trying to keep track of what I was eating, and trying to get to the gym for months.  I even gave my log in information to my long-distance BF so he could keep tabs on me.  But none of it was sticking.  But the idea of going to the gym with my friend really got the health juices flowing.

At the end of week 1 I’ve tracked my food every day (not all perfect, but logged) and made it to the gym for classes or cardio all four days that I’m able to make it in.  I’m very excited about that.

What inspired me to post this update was the class I took today.  I was back in my favorite class ever.  BodyCombat!  The class that inspired me to write a letter to my former self just over 3 years ago.  Looking at myself in the mirror I could see the way I really look now (ugh!), but more importantly I saw the same person I had seen back then.  Somebody getting hot and sweaty in a gym, suffering, but enjoying it!  Well, maybe not enjoying it, but meeting the challenge.  I made it through the class without stopping.  Had a couple of very short breaks and then got right back into it.  I had to do all of the “old lady” modifications (lol) but I did it!  And it’s only my second BodyCombat class in about 3 years (the first one had me feeling like I was going to throw up for half of it – my own fault for bad food choices before).  I’ll keep going, and I’ll keep doing better, and I’ll keep getting stronger (and start doing less modifications).

The plan right now is to post here once a week.  Minimum will be my progress for the week, logging and exercise.  But the hope is that I’ll share my thoughts and experiences of the week.  So we shall see how it goes.

Remind me to tell you about My Fit Foods.  😉

I hope you are all well and that we can reconnect on this never ending journey!
Much love,
Shannon, the currently chubby former fat girl




Hi to anyone who is still reading…

I had to come and post an update about what has been going on in my life and my plans for this blog…

First of all, I may have been having a difficult time with it, but I have been maintaining my weight within 5 pounds of goal.  🙂  I am feeling a nag to start getting more fit.  I’m still too giggly and wiggly in the mid-section!  I think DH and I are going to start the Insanity workouts soon.  Wish me luck!!!

Second, and most exciting, is that a few weeks ago I was invited to do a photo shoot for Nutrisystem‘s new ad campaign!  It was the most amazing experience and I met the most AMAZING people!!!!  While I didn’t do as much as others, I still appreciate the opportunity to play any part I can in helping others lose weight and be healthy!  And after meeting some of the muckety-mucks of the company, I know they feel the same way I do…  It’s an amazing feeling to accomplish so much, to be healthy, and to be able to share that with others keeps that feeling going strong!!!

On another note, I went to my doctor for a well check yesterday and he was impressed with my weight loss.  Even so, he’s checking out my thyroid, thinking it may be functioning on the low side of normal.  Makes me wonder if it could have something to do with why I’m having a hard time getting out of the 160’s.  Looks like I may have an answer in about 2 weeks.

Finally, I do plan on keeping this blog going, although I think I may cut back on how often I post to probably about once a week.  I do plan on keeping up with my healthy recipe series (I had some I wanted to post for July 4th, but no time).  I know that anything I can do to help anyone else may just be what they need to take that first step…  and it IS worth it!!!

Much love,
Shannon, the Former Fat Girl


Tracking goals

So I was taking a few minutes tonight, looking over some old posts, and I was reading one from about 2 months ago, right after I had my tooth extracted.  at the time I was 175 thanks to medications & such.  At the end of that post I made the commitment to be 160 by the end of school.  (Really glad I re-read that.  I had completely forgotten!)

Next Friday is my last day of school.  My results?


And actually a bit beyond.  I was down to 157ish about 2 weeks ago, and then TOM and a few bad choices got the better of me.  However I’m quite happy to say (as if you couldn’t tell from my happy dancer there) that I am back to 160 and should be even lower by graduation day next Friday!  😀

Setting goals is good.  Meeting goals is good.  Remembering some goals is difficult!  LOL!

Much love,
Shannon, the Former Fat Girl

Me vs. Me

Yesterday I was putting my slacks on for work and I had a moment of brief disgust with myself as I struggled to button them. I thought something along the lines of, “Ugh! I feel so fat!”

Then I did a double take.

OMG! I’ve become “that girl!” You know, the one you overhear at the grocery store, or the one at work that is completely oblivious to people’s dieting struggles, who wears a size nothing and complains, “I’m so bloated! I gained TWO pounds. I’m going to have to work out for at least an hour to get rid of it!” as she shovels a humongoid chocolate chocolate chip muffin in her face…

Ok, so I exaggerated some. But old me wanted to kick new me’s a$$ yesterday. Fortunately new me is a lot stronger than old me. =D

I reconciled that with some of what I’ve been seeing pop up here and there about being happy with who you are, the way you are. While I agree that it’s important not to be harsh with ourselves & to look at any type of self-improvement objectively, there has to be some seed of unhappiness to drive the need to improve in the first place, no matter what it is you’re trying to improve.

So, old me can do something else with that a$$ she was trying to kick. emoticon I’m about to go Jillian Michaels up in here!!!

(Ok, so I exaggerated again… but I am working on more toning & definition! LOL!)

New beginnings

The last few pounds is always the hardest.  We’ve all heard this.  It’s engrained in our knowledge of the world.  You can lose 10, 20, 50, 100 pounds so easily, but the last 5, 10, 15 always takes forever!!!

So what to do?

I’ve decided that I’m not looking at it as the end of my weight loss.  I’m looking at it as a new start.  I’m following my same food plan, but I’m looking for support in different areas.  I’m joining different discussions on different websites, I’m looking for local buddies to be active with, and I’m changing my focus from healthy me to healthy family.

I know this is a sure-fire way to make the loss take a long time, but I also know this is the best way to make habits that will stick for everyone and make permanent change, which means permanently maintaining a healthy weight!  And isn’t that the way it should be?


Much love,
Shannon, the Former Fat Girl

The expense of losing weight

The biggest obstacle I faced when I knew I needed to lose weight was money.  I’m sure we’ve all been there.  And for me this is an ongoing issue since we’re raising three kids.  It wasn’t just a matter of being strapped for month and I can do whatever I want the next month.  The finances had to be carefully planned out… or at least as planned out as things get in my family.

I’ve tried less expensive programs in the past, but was never able to see them through to the end.  Maybe I didn’t feel like I had to make it work since I wasn’t paying as much.  Maybe I didn’t value it as much.  Maybe you really do get what you pay for.  Most likely, it was a matter of what program worked best for me…  made the most sense to me and was easy for me to follow.

So, after trying other programs, going it on my own, giving up, etc., etc., DH and I decided that we could manage the cost of Nutrisystem in our budget if we made some changes to everyone’s habits.  And an amazing thing happened…  we spent less money on food every month!  We weren’t going out to eat nearly as often, we were shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, and we were saving money!!!

To make matters even better, I found other ways to save money on the Nutrisystem program too…  $10 coupons on the website, gift cards through Costco (that anyone can buy, although there is a small charge for non-members), buying discontinued foods at Big Lots, some insurance companies even offer discounts! 

Has it been cheap?  At nearly $2300 (which averages out to ~$125 a month since I don’t order every month), no it’s not cheap.  Is it worth it?  Every penny.  And honestly, you gain so much while you lose.

Much love,
Shannon, the Former Fat Girl

10 reasons I’m SO happy I lost weight

1)  I can have a “race” with my kids and not get winded.

2)  I can wear a dress in the summer & not get a heat rash on my inner thighs where they rubbed together & got all sweaty.

3)  I can put on my gym clothes & go to the gym (even for some light cardio) and not feel like a poser.

4)  My libido is up.  😀

5)  I can sit comfortably in ANY chair.

6)  I’m a happier person in general.

7)  I’ve made awesome friends on the NS discussion boards.  (Ok, not a reason directly related to being thinner, but still a damn good thing!)

8)  My family is getting healthy with me!

9) I actually ENJOY working out!  (That still sounds crazy to me, but it’s true!)

10)  I’m able to “give back” and share my tips & experiences & hopefully inspire others to lose weight too.

If you’re thinking about losing weight, or if you started and have lost the drive to go on, do it.  It just feels so good, not just for the sense of accomplishment, but your body treats you better too (not as many minor health issues, less impact of bigger issues).  If you you’re unsure & want someone to talk to, feel free to leave me a message and we can find a way to chat about it (email, chat room, etc.)

If I can do this, anybody with the determination can do it too!

Much love,
Shannon, the Former Fat Girl

Malicious Medications

I’ve been sick for the last several days and it reminded me of the first time I got sick after starting Nutrisystem.  Even though I was staying on plan I still gained weight!  What did I do?  I went to the message boards and poured my sob story to a group of women who had been supporting me along the way so far.

Well, I found this out…  medications can mess with your weight!  They cause you to retain water.  Wow!  That made sense with what was going on!!!  Of course, this in no way means that I recommend not taking medications.  If you need them, take them.  Just realize that your weight will probably go up a bit while you’re taking them, but will go right back down soon after you’re done.

On a related topic, I have to put out a theory I have…  now this is just my theory.  I’ve found that while I’m sick I seem to need a bit (by bit I mean a small bit) of a calorie boost.  My theory is that your body is working harder trying to fight off whatever ails you and needs the added calories to continue the fight & still function properly.  Now, those extra calories should still be healthy food…  this is not an excuse to “pamper” yourself with junk food.  Have an extra protein with an extra fruit or carb and that should do the trick!

Disclaimer – I have absolutely no proof to back any of this up other than what I’ve observed in my own life and the bits of information I get from other people online.  😉

Much love,
Shannon, the Former Fat Girl

Contest Submission

Every year Nutrisystem has a contest to select people who have been successful following the program for their yearly advertising campaign.  This contest (and the possibility of being 1 of 8 winners of $5000) has been motivating me lately.  I’m not quite where I want to be weight-wise, or shape-wise, but I figured the last couple of weeks wasn’t going to make a whole lot of difference in my before & after shots, so I submitted my entry this past week.

I was able to send 2 before shots and 2 after shots.  My weight difference between pictures is 78 pounds.  I also had to submit an essay about myself & my weight loss journey, so I submitted my previous post “So I got this letter today…”

Here are the before & after pics I sent in…