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!



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.

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


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!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

In yo' face!

Well, I was never sure this day would come. I especially didn't think it would come this soon. But my dedication has paid off. I tried on my dress at a friend's house yesterday to prepare myself for going to the seamstress next week. I had to have an idea of how much I was letting the dress out, etc. So, yesterday, at the three-month mark before the wedding, I put the dress on, and it fit. IT FIT! I swear to God, I wanted to cry the moment my friend said it. Granted, there was a part of the dress that felt as though I might stretch a seam if I sneezed, but regardless, it fit.

14 months before wedding- when I bought the dress

6 months before the wedding

3 months before wedding

I'm sorry I don't have the time to update all of you on our progress with the wedding planning. We've been keeping very busy and have made lots of wedding purchases. I have been scoring some sweet deals that I can't wait to tell you all about. Unfortunately, I'm too busy to get into it all right now. I promise to update soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Run, fatty, run!

If you had not noticed, I didn’t update earlier this week regarding this week’s weight loss. You always know what that means; avoidance is bad. As you may have already figured, I did poorly this weigh-in… so bad that I GAINED one pound. I was disgusted with myself because I haven’t gained in many weeks. I was a bit easier on myself after I realized I threw my weigh-in off by not following my typical morning pre-weigh-in routine, which includes, among other things, weighing myself when I first wakeup. This Tuesday, I weighed myself after breakfast. Boo. I know it sounds so minor, but things like that make a difference.

I’m not denying that I made poor food decisions this past weekend either. Dan and I had a very fun weekend shopping at the outlet stores in Maine (eating a two-inch square of fudge for lunch) and seeing the fireworks in Portsmouth after great food and spirits at an authentic British pub (including hard cider, sausage rolls, falafel, and almond tart). Then, July 4th involved kayaking, fireworks from a boat on Lake Winnipesauke, and a meal consisting of pasta salad and various mayo-based salads. That’s not mentioning the AWESOME veggie and grilled chicken pizza Dan got from a place in town during the week that we ate for days. God, thinking about that pizza makes me want more. AND, on top of a week of eating all that, I didn’t hit the gym or going running once. The point is, I gained a pound; I’m disappointed, but at least I know where I went wrong. Moving on!

Despite the scale moving in the opposite direction on Tuesday, I think I’m making good progress this week. I have been finishing each day just below my daily point allowance (being sure not to consume too few points because that can do more harm then good in the long run), and I’ve hit the gym once this week. Okay, writing it out doesn’t make it sound like I am doing that well, but I feel like I am. I have the intention of going to the gym each morning this weekend.

I’m still serious about training for this 5K on August 12. Dan even bought me a watch so I can time myself more easily. I honestly will be so impressed when I can run an entire mile. I know there are people that compete in marathons where they easily run 26.2 miles, but for me, a mile is a long way. Here’s a brief story for you: In high school, we used to have to do the Presidential Fitness Test in P.E. Well, it was like hell for me. Seriously! I couldn’t do pull-ups or even the flexed arm hang. It got to the point after three years of working with me, my gym teacher didn’t even make me attempt these tests. He let me touch the bar and save myself the humiliation. There were tests like the 400 m relay and the 100 yd. dash. I remember there was a girl who was so unfortunate as to trip and fall right on her face during the 100 yd. dash. It’s more than six years later, and I still remember that. Poor, Vanessa. But I digress—the beast of this series of tests was the mile. It was always such a degrading time for me. I would walk the entire thing because if I even attempted to jog (a measly quarter of a lap), I’d be so winded that I’d walk the remainder even slower than I was before. Then, since I walked the entire thing, I always came close to not completing it before the 25 minute class period ended so I’d have to hear the gym teacher’s humiliating attempts at encouragement that evolved into threats if it meant tapping into his/her personal time. So, one year, I managed to beat the system. I had been with a faster group of jog/walkers twice when they crossed the “finish line” where the teachers were timing so my teacher thought I had finished when I was with them again on their final lap, which was really only my third! I was thrilled. Now, after all this time, it will be so rewarding for me to be able to job an entire mile. I’m not going for speed, I’m going for completion. Wish me luck!

Thinking about the horrors of high school reminds me of how I was going through some old photos to make our photo guestbook. I was ashamed by my appearance in all my high school pictures. I was so gross. For real! I'm no head-turner now, but hell, I've come a long way... or at least I hope. I'm so embarrased of those photos that I don't want to include them in the book... it's like I want to forget they happened. I wish everyone could forget about me in high school. Bah! I think I'd rather remember myself when I was cute... and at my thinnest...
That's right-- I was about three years old. Those were the days ;) lol

Friday, July 2, 2010


Just a brief note--

Yesterday, on two separate occasions, I saw two of my fellow law students. I probably haven't seen them since December when I last attended class. They both complimented me on my weight loss. While I am flattered that they noticed, my low self-esteem causes me to question their intentions. I know it's such a miserable thought, but I can't help but wonder if they are only trying to make me feel good because they know I'm losing weight. In other words, I think because I don't really see a difference, that they're just complimenting me to boost my confidence. I don't know if I'm making sense... I think I need to take some new pictures of myself. I haven't taken pictures in awhile. I hate my camera. Maybe if I take some new photos, I'll see a difference and feel a little better. I see myself everyday so it makes it harder for me to see a difference, but 60+ pounds is a lot of weight. You'd think I'd see a noticeable difference. Blah.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Little by Little

This week has been going slow, yet fast. In other words, my days have been swamped with work, thus passing slowly; however, my week is going fast in the fact that I have felt like it’s almost Friday and I can’t even keep track of what day it is anymore. As a result of my work load, I haven’t made it to the gym (or even exercised at home) this week. I’m kind of disgusted with myself, but I’m seeing how I need to adjust my schedule next week to fit the gym in. To make up for my lack of exercise thus far this week, I plan on going all out this weekend: biking, jogging, swimming, and hopefully trying kayaking (or at least canoeing).

This past Tuesday was weigh-in day. There’s nothing too exciting to report. I lost yet another pound. I was a little irritated because days before, the scale showed that I had lost at least two pounds. I blame it on always eating out the day before weigh-in. It happens every time.

I’ve been riding Dan about his eating habits recently. He’s been eating in extremes, either: “drop dead any moment, I can’t believe I just consumed that” or “all I ate today up until dinner was some celery and cheese, dangerously low.” I’m trying to get him to understand nutrition (making sure he eats a vegetable) and the concept of providing one’s body with adequate fuel. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s worth it. Last night, we went grocery shopping after I got out of work. That’s right; we went from 9-10:30pm. Here are some of my favorite foods I’ve been buying a lot recently:
  • Red, seedless grapes

  • Baked cheetos

  • Cranbran VitaMuffin tops

  • Kashi granola bars

  • Lean Cuisine Asian Potstickers

  • Chicken enchiladas

  • Corn on the cob

  • Sutter Home-- Moscato wine

  • Laughing Cow single serving ice cream

  • Veggie burgers

  • Ginger salad dressing

This past weekend, Dan and I accomplished a lot of wedding related things. For example, we bought stamps for our invites, printed the invitations and all related parts, assembled them, addressed them, and slapped some postage on all 60 invites. We went out and bought perfectly sized black favor bags from Michael’s, which reminds me that we have to return there this weekend to purchase the rest so long as they got a new shipment. We tried to buy the special pens for the guestbook and the labels for the favors, but we may have to order them online due to store supplies. Yesterday, we made our second deposit (a big one) on our reception venue. More wedding tasks lay ahead in the near future, especially now that we only have 101 days left! I’ll post pictures of finished products soon… as soon as I get something exciting.