Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crunch time!

I had a moment yesterday when I realized, after looking at my calendar in week view, that I'm getting married... NEXT weekend. I freaked out a little. Lol. I feel as though as far as errands go, I'm not ready. I'm ready to be married. I'm ready to be Dan's wife. Heck, I've almost come to grips with the idea of being Mrs. Kacie Brown. There's just so much more to do! Or at least if feels that way... Maybe it's because we've been planning this event for over two years.

It's finally becoming real. I'm trying to enjoy the days leading up to the wedding as much as I can now. Granted, I'm getting married midway through the Fall semester of my final year of law school, and school work is piling up. AND, I hunting for a suit for interviewing for jobs next year. AND, I have to stress about what I have to get done before the big day and what the important members of the wedding celebration need to do in time. I'm really feeling like we should have just eloped and went on a fabulous vacation-- just because it's just SO MUCH work for one day. I pray it is all worth it :)

I've spent practically every free moment I've had doing wedding stuff. I've been sending TONS of emails to my wedding vendors to confirm things. I love my reception venue, but there were lots of details to iron out last minute. Details = stress. Blah. We've done the same with our photographer, DJ, pastor, etc. Now. we're making sure our bridal party and families all know where to be and when. I've done the seating chart but I still need to send the place card "replacement" to the printer. Dan has been busy assembly programs. It's my job to tie the ribbons on them, but I was just too frustrated the other day. This is not the time to be a perfectionist. lol.

Again, I'm trying to enjoy the days leading up to it. I wish I had time to go out for a mini-bachelorette party in NH this weekend with "school friends," but it looks like I have too much to get done. Blah. I just need to keep breathing and moving forward. I can't lose sight of what this is all for-- WE"RE GETTING MARRIED!

PS- In weight loss news, I lost another 2 lbs this week, putting my overall weight loss total to 70 pounds!

Less than three weeks!!!



My mother came to visit us two weekends ago. We had a really good time. She came for my final dress fitting, which went very well. I love the way it looks. The bustle is an amazing concept. I can't believe it hides all that train. I still have to learn how to walk in that beast... As of right now, I still look a little awkward.



I tried out a new photo-specific foundation and waterproof mascara. I think that the foundation makes me too white, and the mascara really lengthens my already long lashes. We'll see how it goes. I have to try it out a few more times before I make a final decision. My mom also pointed out that my Spanx were no longer working for me since they were too big. I forgot that they were from before I lost weight. Oops! So, my mom took me to buy new ones. OMG! If this is how tight they are supposed to be, the old ones TOTALLY didn't fit. I can barely breathe in the new ones. 


My mom found a dress, finally! I was very pleased with it. She looked nice and seemed like she felt comfortable. Needless to say, we spent an entire day shopping. We spent the other days touring the beautiful sites of NH, going on a picnic, walking through the woods, going to dinner, and making DIY wedding projects. I'll post pictures of the projects soon. For now, here's a picture of the card box my mom made back home.


Friday, September 17, 2010

To have and to hold...

The past few weeks, our pastor has been requesting that Dan and I send her our vows. She has assured us that we aren't sending them to her for approval. Instead, she want to: 1) make sure we complete them in time; and 2) incorporate some of the concepts into her sermon. Luckily for me, I drafted my vows while I was interning in NJ and away from Dan for months. I feel bad for Dan. I feel like it's not easy to write them on the spot... you have to be feeling it. Needless to say, we're waiting on him. 

I'm worried about the length of mine. Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy public speaking. Dan, on the other hand, does not. I haven't counted the words or timed it, but I'm worried it's too much. The tough part is cutting them down. I like it all! Lol. 

I wish I could post them on here, but just like my concerns with my dress, I can't because Dan reads this. I can give you an idea of the structure. I start of discussing how our relationship has grown in our 7.5 years together. Then, I go into what I love about him. Finally, I end with my many promises to him (alternating between serious ones and funny ones).

I can't wait until I get to hear his. He's not always the most eloquent, but I can't wait to see what he comes up with.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I've come a long way


I jogged around my neighborhood today. I had the idea to wake up early and go jogging with Dan, but when the alarm went off this morning, he quickly reset the alarm. I went without him anyway. I could have gone to the gym, but I would have been really strapped for time because I was dragging this morning. Plus, I really just wanted to run outside. I started a new level of the Couch to 5K program where I had to run for 8 minutes, walk for 5, then run again for 8. I had been putting it off because I thought there was no way I could do it. As it turns out, I could! I didn't die! I'm stressing about my next workout because it calls for me to jog for 20 minutes straight. Going from 5 minutes to 8 minutes was a big step... I doubt I can complete the 20 minutes. I don't want to fail :( I've been doing so well. I'll let you know how it goes.


I stepped on the scale again this morning (unofficial weigh-in). At this point, I've lost 70 lbs. over all. That's a lot!  Unfortunately, I still have a lot more to go, but I'll get there eventually.

We're 24 days out from the wedding. We're flying my mother to NH for my final dress fitting. For a little while, I was stressing that I would have to go alone. I'm not going to lie, I'm nervous that the dress won't fit right. When I was there last, the seamstress told me that I had to lose a few more pounds in order for the dress to fit perfectly. Although it zipped up fine, the back was being puckering in the back. I want that thing to fit like a glove! lol. I'm determined. AND I'm determined to do it the right way. No crash diets or hunger strikes, like some brides have done. I'm going to eat right and exercise because, although my weigh loss started because of this dress, I'm going to continue to get into shape well after the wedding. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A prayer for those who spread lies...

I promise to update soon on my wedding plans and weight loss progress. School has started up again, and the wedding is less than a month away. Needless to say, I've been very busy.

I plan to talk about my mother's upcoming visit for my final dress fitting, my weight loss rut, finalizing wedding details, and even my not-so-ordinary ring sizing experience. Stay tuned.

Before I return to my homework, I'd like to ask everyone to pray for my Great Aunt Kay, who has been suffering from heart and renal failure recently. My thoughts are with the whole family. I'd also like everyone to pray for those who spread lies at the expense of others. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there comes a point when statements become defamatory. Thanks to some investigation, we now know the responsible parties. So long as we can provide evidence that the false statements were made maliciously, we will proceed with harassment and defamation charges.  I won't stoop to your level because I am a stronger person than that. I hope that you look deep inside yourself and look to God to help you become a better person for your foiled attempt at ruining someone's day. Legal action speaks louder than words ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weekend of wedding festivities

Family
Dan and I left NH around 3:30 am on Friday morning after only sleeping about three hours. I was excited to see my family and spend the day with them. My youngest sister, Jaimie, has grown SO MUCH since I've seen her last.

I spent the day with my mom, sisters, and Dan running my mom around to do last minute shopping for my bridal shower. It was nice just spending time with them, even it it was sitting in a car, or standing idly at the grocery store.

That evening, Dan and I took Jaimie out to go roller skating. Dan and I were the oldest people there by far, but we still had a blast. We laughed so hard, and no one fell the whole time. By the time we left, we were sweaty and out feet hurt. It made a great opportunity for ice cream. I indulged in peanut butter TastyKake.

Bridal Shower

My bridesmaids threw me a bridal shower early Saturday afternoon with the help of my mom. It was a little awkward for me at first. I felt like a dog on display. LOL! I didn't know what to do, and the entire room was watching me. I didn't want to eat for the same reason, but the food looked so good! They decorated the hall with red roses and polka dot and damask prints just like I like :) I'm so grateful for all the hard work my girls put into it. Things went great. I am very thankful for the many generous gifts I received. I couldn't wait to show Dan. (He was just as excited and thankful when we went through the gifts together on Sunday afternoon).

I socialized, opened tons of gifts, and even embarrassed myself playing a trivia game thanks to Dan's sneaky tactics.... jerk. Lol. Throughout the course of the shower, I wore a light up tiara, a sash, the crazy bow hat("business in the front, party in the back"), a bride t-shirt, and even a basket of fake flowers! I had a great time, and I can't thank everyone enough for their help putting it together and for the friends and family who attended.



Bachelorette Party
My girls did a fabulous job planning the party. I had such a blast! We went to Philly, stayed at a nice (and very welcoming) hotel. While we waited to enter the hotel, cars honked at me wearing my tiara and sash and some passersby congratulated me. The hotel front desk gave all my girls complimentary breakfast and shared in our excitement. When I got to the room, I discovered that the girls had decorated the door with hot pink caution tape (which caused some guests to woot as they passed by during our stay). I was so embarrassed! Lol. The room was FILLED with decorations. It was awesome. They gave me lots of inappropriate gifts, many items that I had to use or wear throughout the evening. We partied a little, went in the hot tub, got ready, and headed out to the nightclub. We danced the night away, even on the catwalk suspended above the crowd! I completed most of the tasks on my scavenger hunt that made me and others around me laugh so hard. We stayed until the club closed, and socialized with other club goers on our walk back to the hotel.

We played some games when we got back to the room. I don't remember much else. We eventually crashed around 6 am only to wake around 7:30 thanks to Dani and her grapes!!! LOL! The next morning we cleaned up, enjoyed our complimentary breakfast at the restaurant, and headed back to NJ, tired and hung over, but still in good spirits. I had such a good time! I really love my girls. Thank you guys for a great time. I really appreciate all your efforts. It was just what I wanted and so much more. Love you guys! 

When I got back to NJ on Sunday, I picked up Dan, and headed to my Uncle's house to wish my family off. It was sad seeing them go, but I wasn't as upset as usual because I know I'll see them again in less than two months. Can't wait! I miss them so much. I told Dan we're going to have to give them grand-babies so they come back to NJ for good ;)

Dan and I headed back to his mom's, checked out our gifts together, and accidentally fell asleep at 5 pm. We then proceeded to sleep through the entire night... lol.  

Wedding Errands 
On Monday, we went to the bakery to order our wedding cake. We had a few complications with the bakery since our contract was really under the reception venue's account. There was debate over what was covered and why a PLAIN cake is considered "fancy" and thus more expensive. Thankfully, Dan called our event coordinator, and she remedied the situation. We finally decided on square a three layer, vanilla cake with butter cream icing with one layer of rasperry filling. Yum. It will be finished smooth. Then, our venue's pastry chef is going to apply black satin ribbon and pearling. The rest of the decorations are already covered.

Then, we went to the church's florist to pick out the arrangements for the urns at the alter during the ceremony. It was hard deciding on something without pictures to choose from, but with Dan's help, we chose to go with red red roses surrounded by white flowers.

Next, we headed to our primary florist to give them the black urn I want to use and pay our remaining deposit. I can't express enough how much I really like the company we're working with. I honestly believe that Classic Floral Designs in Cinnaminson is the best in the area. The women there are wonderful.

Finally, we went to lunch with Dan's father and stepmother. We talked for HOURS. We ended up getting out of there far behind schedule, but we had a good time talking. I definetely feel like things have changed for the better with that side of the family since the wedding planning process began.

We got back to his mom's, and Dan packed the car with as many gifts as would fit in the car. Thanks to his strategic packing, we only had to leave behind two small empty laundry baskets that we'll take back next time. We got back to NH around 1:30 and quietly unpacked the car. Now, we can't wait to find places for all the new gifts!

Cigna/Elliot 5K Road Race

Dan and I before the Cigna/Elliot 5K race in Manchester, NH



Well, I survived the 5K! Dan and I were almost late due to traffic, but we made it just in time. I wasn't as fast as I had hoped, but considering the race had it's share of hills and large crowds of walkers, I think I'm happy with my performance. It was my first race; hell, I'm glad I completed the thing!

I found the results online. Please, don't laugh as my pitiful time. Keep in mind, Dan was loyal enough to stay beside me as I chugged along.

Kacie
Place:  4117th (out of 5330-- so I wasn't last!) 
Net time:  44:10
Pace:  14:13
Gun time:  48:53

Dan
Place:  4118th
Net time:  44:09
Pace: 14:13
Gun time: 48:53

Before the race
Sweaty and irritable after the race

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wedding Survey

***How long did you date before you got engaged?***
Just over 5 years

***Did you get the ring you wanted?***
I got what I was hoping for and more. It's lovely. He did well :)

***Kind of engagement ring?***
It's a round solitaire diamond with a white gold Tiffany setting (set high in 6 prongs) 

***Are you buying his wedding band for him?***
Not quite. We picked ours out together. While his ring wasn't my first choice, I wanted him to get something he'd love because he's the one wearing it forever.

***Kind of wedding bands?***
His: simple wide Tungsten band

***Was the proposal a complete surprise?***
For the most part. He was so adamant about going out that I knew what he was up to. But he fooled me-- he didn't propose until we got home, and at that point, he had me fooled. 

***Do you wish you had a bigger/smaller diamond? If so How big or small?***
It is absolutely perfect.

***Did you cry when he proposed?***
yeah... I teared up a little :-p

***Was the proposal romantic or creative?***
It was very "Dan." It was personal and low key.

***Where do you want to go for your honeymoon?***
Want? Italy
Practically? I want to go somewhere I've never been :)

***Have you gone over your original wedding budget?***
Yes, but not by much at all, which is fantastic considering we had such an unrealistically low budget for our expectations.

***What day of the year will your wedding be?***
Sunday, October 10, 2010

***What kind of weather?***
October is typically one of the driest months. The Farmer's Almanac says it will be even drier than usual. I hope all the foliage isn't dead as a result... but I'll be relieved if it doesn't rain. It rains on every major event in my life.

***Inside or outside?***
Inside

***Church/justice of the peace/other?***
The ceremony will be performed by our pastor at Dan's childhood church in our hometown neighborhood.

***How many people will be there?***
Approximately 100 

***Time of day?***
Late Day. The ceremony starts at 3pm.

***Any kind of theme?***
classic with a modern twist

***How many bridesmaids? Who would they be?***
Melanie Pulley (MOH)
Dani Faulkner
Katelyn Posik
Jessica Hubbs
Robin Brown
Jaimie Hubbs (Jr. BM) 



***What are the bridesmaids wearing?***
3 different styles of black satin cocktail dresses, all with a rouched ivory belt except MOH and sister

***What kind of cake/what will it look like?***
It's a cake from L & M, a local bakery back home. It will be their tasty vanilla pound cake with their popular buttercream icing. It will be square, with black satin ribbon, and large pearl accents.

***Are you going to be neat or messy when feeding him the cake?***
Neat-- but we have a plan to keep in interesting... let's just say, he LOVES cake.

***Where will you have the reception?***
Cafe Madison, Riverside, NJ



***What kind of dress will you have/color/material?***
It's a one-of-a-kind dress by a Turkish designer (Hala's Designs). It's ivory, French taffeta, tons of hand beading, flattened pickups,deep v-neck, stunning train, etc. I can't tell you more because Dan often reads this ;)

***What kind of flowers in your bouquet?***
All sorts of different red ones. The goal is a fluffy texture with a black feather trim (rather than greenery) and a polka dot handle.

***How will you wear your hair?***
Curled and mostly down, just pulled out of my face. Later into the reception, I hope to have it pinned up loosely so I don't overheat.






***Who will be important to be there?***
Lots of family and close friends. 

***Will the reception be big or small?***

Small-- around 100 guests
***What will the groom wear?***
Calvin Klein shadow stripe suit with a tuscany vest and striped euro tie in apple


***How long on Honeymoon?***
No idea. 

***What will you do?***
We're thinking about doing a few smaller trips: Montreal for a long weekend, close to a week at a resort in Mexico, then maybe road trip the country, tour California (redwood Nat'l Forest, Napa Valley, the beach, etc) , or visit ruins and vineyards in South America.






***How old will you and the groom be?***
I'll be 24 and he'll be 28.

***How long will you be engaged before you get married?***
2.5 years!

***Live together before or wait till married?***
We live together now 

***Take a long time to plan the wedding or will it be simple?***
I'm taking my time to find exactly what we want for the best price... plus law school and multiple jobs really fill my time

***Will you do it yourself or with family or hire someone to plan the wedding?***
It's basically just me for the wedding planning. I will have help for the set up though-- or else I might die. lol.

***Will you write your own vows or use something pre-made?***
We've written our own. None of the pre-made ones really expressed who we are.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Look at her go!

This morning I jogged 1.5 miles (and walked an additional 1/2 mile). I ran it in 1/2 mile increments! I really had to push myself, but I did it! Just think, it was only days ago that I was so excited for jogging 1/4 mile (1 lap). I'm making great progress with this Couch to 5K program... and from what I hear, my legs are showing my time spent running and shaping up nicely ;) If only the rest of my body would follow through.

I've been keeping busy with wedding planning. In the past few days, I've designed the wedding programs, table numbers, and menus. I've selected all the candy and treats for the candy buffet and where we're going to buy them. I've finalized more details with the caterer and reception venue. I've even worked on finalizing our ceremony music with the organist. This weekend, I hope to get Dan fitted for his tux, finally contact the DJ, buy card stock for the menus/table numbers/programs, contact my hair stylist, and write out the thank you cards for the gifts we've received already. It's crunch time! Plus, Thursday is the 5k, and afterwards, we're driving down to NJ for my bridal shower and our bachelor/bachelorette parties! While we're in NJ we need to order our cake and finalize a few more details. We're going to be busy, but it's so exciting! I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Milestones


On Saturday, Dan and I went jogging at the local school track. I'm still following the Couch to 5K program, and during my longest jogging interval, I was able to practically complete a full lap around the track. If the interval was a tad longer, I likely would have finished the entire lap. Instead, I was about 10 feet shy... BUT STILL! I'm very proud of myself. And I don't do that just once. It's intervals that alternate between fast walking and jogging. I never give up, and I've really seen my endurance grow since I started this program. I won't be able to finish the program by the race, but I'm definitely going to stick to this running plan even after the 5K next Thursday. I can't wait until I can jog a full mile! I'll get there one day.

Later that day, I decided to break out the Wii Fit for 25 minutes rather than watch tv. Apparently, I lost 34 pounds since I had Wii Fit last (more than a year ago). I was too disappointed that my Mii still looked just as fat to notice that it classified me as "overweight." I had been so used to hearing the chipper voice announce, "That's obese." Dan had to point it out to me and I stood there in disbelief for a few moments. So, according to my Wii Fit, I'm overweight. I think this is the first time I've been proud to be overweight. LOL! I think I have another 30+ pounds until it tells me I'm normal. But hey! I'm fighting the good fight. I'll get there eventually.

I spent most of Sunday at the Premium Outlets in Wrentham, MA. I could have bought most of the inventory at my favorite store, White House Black Market. I walked out of there with lots of black and/or polka dotted pieces. LOVE IT! I also bought a few things from Ann Taylor. I'm still too flabby for light-colored pants. I just can't pull them off. I've noticed that because my chest is persistent and NOT shrinking, I still have to get larger tops than bottoms, especially if they're button ups. I was able to squeeze myself into a size smaller for a few pieces. The great part of that is that I know I will have them longer since it will take me longer to outgrow them. It may sound strange, but I found myself thinking harder about the clothes than usual. I'm finally hitting the point where I can wear what I like, not just what  fits. I'm now starting to find my sense of style. So far I know that I like to modernize things like 40s looks... kind of. I like a very classic look. I'm a "black cocktail dress with bold accessories" kind of person most of the time.  I love black and white with a pop of color. I'm slowly finding it. Now, the trouble is that I can't justify buying clothes if I know I will only wear them for a season due to my constant weight loss. Seriously, it's always something...  

On Sunday night, I was talking to Dan about how I can't wait until he can carry me "over the threshold" style. We joked about it for a bit, and he thought that with all the weight I've lost that he may be able to carry me now. So, we both hesitated to try, and despite my request for a helmet and elbow pads, we tried. Success! It wouldn't take much for him to drop me, but the point is, he did it. I'd call it an accomplishment for both of us :) 

I guess you can say that it has been a week of milestones for me :) Let's keep them coming!

Weigh-in:    - 3 lbs
(the three pounds I gained last week)

Total weight lost:   66 lbs

Friday, July 30, 2010

Long Time No See

You haven't missed much in the past week and a half since I last posted. I spent most of last week out of work (the unpaid day job at least) because I "threw my back out." I'll spare you the details, but due to back and hip problems, my back locked. I was pretty useless. It got really bad on Thursday, and I thought about going to the Emergency Room... yup, even without insurance; it was THAT bad. Fortunately, I recovered enough to celebrate Dan's birthday at the beach. However, no exercise for more than a week did not help my weight loss, but either did the drinking, fudge, gelato, and greasy bar food. Blah. The week before, I lost a pound. On Tuesday, I weighed in 3 pounds heavier. Gross. Although I haven't had the opportunity to exercise yet this week, I'm already seeing the scale go down. I think a lot of it has to do with my water consumption. I definitely didn't drink enough last week. I'm trying to get better. Right now, I'm heavily dependent on my liter bottles of "flavored" sparkling water.

In wedding news, I had a slight bump in the road with my bridesmaids. There are six of them so it is easy for drama to ensue. I think things are better now. Now, I just have to pray that my bridal shower and bachelorette party go off without a hitch. I'm so glad they doing that for me so I don't have more to stress about. I love my girls :) Dan and I are also starting to get RSVPs back. I wish we were getting more each day. It seems we're only getting about 1per day right now. I was really surprised by the first responders. Surprisingly, my immediate family and most of our wedding party has yet to respond. They still have plenty time. I'm just getting excited now! We're already thinking about seating arrangements. I'm kind of surprised by the meal selections thus far, too. We offered guests filet mignon or chicken saltimboca. Thus far, the vast majority of people has chosen beef.

I'll post pictures of more wedding things (like my candle votives) soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wedding updates

First fitting
My "twin" (a close friend from law school) came with me to my dress fitting at Olga's Bridal in Nashua. It was a great experience. Olga was very helpful, honest, and reasonable. She is only shortening the straps, taking up the bubble hem, creating a bustle, and fixing some lose beads and an eyelet hook. She thinks I have a few more pounds to lose until my dress is fitting ideally. We agreed that we will wait until September to decide if she needs to let it out a tad. As per her suggestion, I'm going with a French bustle so my backside does not appear as large as a Mac truck from behind. It's the best bustle for a pickup skirt and for hiding 4+ feet of train.
French bustle on a pickup skirt

Invitations went out
That's right; just after we passed the three month mark, Dan and I sent out our wedding invites. It's so exciting. I can't wait to start getting the RSVPs back. Rumor has it that the bridal shower invites have gone out as well. I can't wait!





(Michael's)

Purchases

Our unity candles (Walmart) and their stands (Crate and Barrel)

Platter for cookies in the candy buffet (TJ Maxx)



Garter (Fredrick's of Hollywood)



My bridal shower/rehearsal dress (JC Penny)



My Bachelorette Party dress (Express)


Bridal party gifts
We finished purchasing all our gifts for our attendants. I'm so glad I got that done. Now, I'm trying to wrap them all so it's one less thing I have to do while school is in session. I wish I could share with you what we bought, but I know some of my bridesmaids read this. Let's just say we tried to get them gifts personal to each of them.

DIY
I made the toss bouquet the other night while Dan played video games. I could not find black feathers (like the florist is using in the bouquets for our wedding) so I had to use the leaves. I think it will work for its purpose.





Toss bouquet (materials from Michael's)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cinco!

It’s weigh-in day! I couldn’t be happier because the scale stayed consistent, and I expected the number I saw this morning… I lost five pounds! :does a little dance: I haven’t seen such a big number in awhile. Now, after 24 weeks, I’m still losing. I must be doing something right. However, this weigh-in is bitter sweet because, alas, I've lost another WW point.

This morning, I woke up and hit the gym. I still haven’t perfected my new morning schedule so I can go to the gym and make it to work on time. I’m working on it. I’m just glad I managed to go to the gym. I’m trying to get Dan and I to go to bed earlier. We stay up too late for how early we have to get up. I want like eight hours of sleep a night. That would be so awesome. Alas, I doubt it will ever happen for me on a weeknight. Anyway, I started my next week of interval training at the gym today. It involved me running for double the time I was running before. Going into it, I thought I would never make it. In the end, I slowed my pace a little and managed to successfully finish the long intervals.

I’m excited for this weekend. Friday, one of my good friends from law school will be visiting. We’re going to do dinner (likely hibachi), and on Saturday, we’re going to my first dress fitting with the seamstress. Yay! I’ll try to take pictures.

Here’s a list of some of the wedding things we’ve accomplished:
  • Purchased most wedding party gifts, most parents’ gifts, ceremony program basket, all reception candles, materials for DIY toss bouquet,
  • Decorated the cake topper 

  • Finalized wine cocktails
    • The Leaf Peeper (red wine sangria)
    • The 609er (peach)
    • The Shoebe (cherry-pineapple)
  • Picked out linens
We're renting these damask table squares and runners to go over the white linens.

  • Made an appointment for my first dress fitting
  • Filled out our marriage license application
  • Decided on transportation
Dan's father is driving us in "his" 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe
  • Sent the first of the wedding invites (to parents) to make sure they survive mailing

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tips from a perpetual dieter

People have been asking me about my weight loss. Lots of people want to know what I am doing to get such big results. I think some of them think I have some secret or something. I'm not taking any weight loss supplements. I haven't had surgery. I don't even depend on things like Slim Fast. As a matter of fact, I don't even think I'm on a diet anymore. To me, a diet implies that it is only temporary. This has been a lifestyle change that I can see myself living by for years to come. Not everyone is the same, but I hope you can find something to take away from this. Here's what I can offer: 

You have to want and I mean REALLY want it.
It can't just be another diet. You have to want change and be willing to fight for it. Two years ago, I hit the point where my fattest fat pants no longer fit. Finally, something clicked, and I was disgusted with myself. While I have been obese all my life, I had finally had enough. I wanted to get healthy. I wanted to be able to wear clothes I liked rather than the clothes that were offered in my size. I wanted to be free of "fat-phobia" and no longer worry about fitting on airplanes, turnstyles, roller coasters, etc. Well, I had lost about 37 pounds that time and slowly gained over 10 pounds of that back. Last August, I bought a gorgeous wedding dress at The Running of the Brides at Filene's Basement that was my pant size (not my jean size) for some extra motivation. I've now lost over 65 pounds, but I have a lot more to go, so, here I am.

Learn your weaknesses and how to cope with them.
Unlike alcoholics and drug addicts, people with food “addictions” have to face food everyday. We have no choice but to eat. Abstinence is NOT an option. So, you have to learn coping skills. I’m sure I sound ridiculous, but I had to learn how to handle being around food. Hell, I’m still learning. It took me years to realize that I have limited self-control around food. I’m ashamed to admit that in my life, I have made myself SICK (literally vomited) from overeating at a buffet. I love the way something tastes, thus I want to eat more despite being beyond full. Part of the problem comes from growing up “poor.” We had to “eat our money’s worth" at the buffet. Similarly, I have a very hard time saying “no” to free food. I could have just had lunch, but if someone brought in brownies, pizza, and sometimes food that I don’t even like, I would feel compelled to eat it. It took me awhile to notice this, but now that I’m aware, I’m learning how to fight it.

Eat what you want/need will little consideration towards cost.
I know this sounds crazy, as if I have lots of expendable money, but I don’t. The truth is that losing weight is expensive. If you want to exercise, you will likely put money towards a gym membership, workout videos, workout clothes, equipment, etc. Healthy food is also expensive. There are far less fillers in healthier food… hopefully. Point is, know that cost comes with it, and don’t let it control your decisions. Panera costs more than McDonalds, but that’s were I’ll pick for take-out because I have more options and my “points” go further. Yes, I’ve griped about the cost of grapes, Vitamuffin Tops, Al Fresco chicken sausages, etc. But you know what? It is worth the cost to me because I snack on red grapes every morning rather than splurging on the free office doughnuts or hitting the vending machine for candy. And I will make yummy dishes with those chicken sausages that make me crave them until I eat them again. The cost of veggie burgers is almost double that of those heap “beef” burgers, but are they exponentially better for me? Hell yes. Sure, Oncor frozen entrees, chicken nuggets, and Kraft macaroni and cheese make cheaper dinners, but they also make me fat. It’s a choice I have to make, and I chose ME. I put MY heath and MY happiness before the cost. So, I might not be able to spend money on clothes and entertainment as often, but I am worth it. And don’t be fooled, I shop around to find those healthy foods at the lowest price I can, even if it means going to three grocery stores in a week. It’s time consuming, but I’m on a budget and I “need” this. This way, I don’t feel guilty picking up something healthy that actually sounds appetizing while I’m out because happiness has been key to me keeping this up for so long.

Retrain your taste buds.
 As I said before, I grew up “poor” and overweight. As a result, I have “fat kid tastebuds.” I love foods like mozzarella sticks, fettuccine alfredo, cheese steaks, pork roll, cheeseburgers, you name it. If it’s horrible for you, I probably love(d) it. Seriously. I hate salads. I kid you not, I have lost over 65 pounds while still managing to not eat very many salads. I just don’t love lettuce. A salad has to be exciting, like the ones you get when you’re out. So, I had to figure out what I like about those. The dressings? Fine, I bought them. Was it the array of toppings? I bought those too. Whatever it takes to make me enjoy eating lighter. Truth is, I’d rather have something loaded with veggies than a big bowl of lettuce. For many of the “bad” foods I like, there are no healthy substitutes so I was forced to expand my food horizons. It was the best thing that could have happened. This week, I tried Poland Spring Sparkling Water. I’ve never liked sparking water, but the Mandarin Orange flavor was surprisingly nice. It smells more than it tastes (it’s nothing like a flavored water because it’s more like a zest of orange), but for some reason I can really drink that stuff fast. I have difficulty drinking the daily requirement of water, but I will drink this stuff with ease. I wonder what it is about it… I also love eating Mexican and Greek food. Mexican has strong spices and flavors that don’t add a lot of fat. Plus, I can easily substitute my recipes with low fat or fat free dairy products to make the dishes healthier. Now, we have some sort of Mexican food once a week. Our current favorite is pulled chicken enchiladas. I also love Greek food because the dishes I like provide a twist to something ordinary. Take Chicken Souvlaki for example. It’s grilled chicken, diced and thrown into a pita with lots of raw veggies like lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion. Sometimes it has feta cheese. Then, it’s got a cucumber yogurt sauce called Tzatziki sauce (don’t knock it until you try it). It’s like eating a chicken salad on a pita but much tastier. Believe it or not, you’ll get to the point when you crave healthy foods! Sure veggie burgers aren’t the same as their beef counterpart, but they’re worth experimenting with. Try different brands and flavors. You will be surprised. Dan and I even prefer mini veggie corn dogs to their meat counterpart! Don’t be afraid to try new things.

That's enough for you to mull over now. Next time (between wedding posts), I'll discuss tips on getting active, eating what you "want," and knowing where you're going wrong. If you have any questions or topics you'd like me to discuss, please feel free to leave comments. Feedback is appreciated!