Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry everything

Today is my last day of work until the New Year. I am so excited for a much-needed break. And because of that, this will be my last blog of 2010.

When I think back to beginning of the year, I think how different everything was for me. I wouldn't be where I am today without your love, support and endless cheerleading. Thank you for walking with me on this journey.

I wish you all a happy holiday and send wishes for a most properous and healthy 2011. I'll be back the first week of the year with lots of new ideas for this blog.

For now I'll leave you with some before and after action. I shared this photo last week at the Children's Human Resources Division meeting. This was taken almost exactly a year ago at a holiday party with some friends.


And wearing the same shirt (I ordered it online and they sent me the wrong size. But I managed to squeeze myself into it, anyway. Now it's a little too big) last month.


Thanks for everything, my sweet readers. See you next year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Big, flat reward

As I’ve mentioned, I started my weight loss journey by joining the first Points4Pounds Challenge. For those of you not at Children’s, we have a program called Celebrations, which allows us to earn points through work- and wellness-related accomplishments. We can then use the points to buy fun stuff.

By participating in Weight Watchers at Work, along with the Strong4Life Program, I earn five points for every 5 pounds I lose. I’m also dually enrolled in Points4Pounds, which is a six-week weight loss challenge. At the end of the six weeks, you’re rewarded with points based on the number of pounds you’ve lost. There have also been a few times where they’ve doubled, tripled or even quadrupled that number for Points4Pounds.

So I’ve been raking in the points. Woo.

I joked when I first started that because I had so much weight to lose I was going to earn a flat-screen TV. Then, as I started losing weight and earning points, it stopped being a joke and became “holy cow, I’m totally getting a flat screen.”

Sunday morning, my new TV was delivered. A 42-inch HD Panasonic Viera. It’s truly a thing of beauty for this obsessive TV watcher. I’ve been perfectly happy to reap the physical rewards of my weight loss. But I’ve got to say, this makes it so much sweeter.
Cue the Hallelujah chorus.

And I promise, in addition to my weekly must-sees of Vampire Diaries, Chuck, Modern Family and The Soup (among others), I’ll use my gorgeous reward to do at least one or two workout videos. Hmm, I wonder how Billy Blanks will look in HD? Hi-yah!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does this make my liver look fat?

I mentioned in an earlier post that I haven’t been feeling great lately. I’ve had some strange stomach pain and have been to the doctor a couple of times. Last week I had an ultrasound to confirm I wasn’t having any issues with my gallbladder.

Yesterday I heard from my doctor’s office. The nurse said I had fatty liver disease. Fatty. Liver. Disease.


I have been fortunate that even when I was most overweight, my blood pressure and cholesterol were in normal levels. I am well aware that my weight could lead to complications like hypertension and diabetes, but I’ve been lucky so far.

My stats from the Strong4Life health fair this year show I’m still high risk, just because of my weight. Sometimes it feels like I’m running in place. As much weight as I’ve lost, I’m often reminded how far I have to go. So fatty liver disease isn’t exactly a welcome diagnosis.

The nurse told me that the condition is reversible. But if something isn’t done about it now, it can lead to later complications, like cirrhosis. It’s treated with diet and exercise. Oh, and weight loss. Check, check and check. She said it was probably damaged from my former diet. Sigh.

On the other hand, it’s most likely not the cause of my initial pain. We’re still working on figuring out that one.

In the meantime, I’ll continue working to lose fat all over my body—not just my liver—but that will just be a healthy side effect.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lazy eater

You know what I’ve been slacking on lately? No, not blogging. Very funny.

Cooking. And food shopping for food for cooking.

I’m not sure if I’m just lazy or busy lately (perhaps a combination of both) but I have been hitting the drive-throughs way too much.

Rest assured I’ve been making good choices. With as cold as it’s been, I’ve been obsessed with Wendy’s chili. And of course, my weekly trips to Taco Bell for a fresco taco fix are continuing.

Still, I always feel so much better when I cook for myself. Even though I’m making healthier choices when I go out to eat, I know that they aren’t the healthiest options. Vegetables are severely lacking, as are fresh fruit and lean meats. I’m ashamed to say that even most of my beloved produce basket went to waste last time.

My goal is to really plan my meals. Because I’m single, a couple of meals can get me through an entire week of lunches and dinners. You don’t realize how much a $5 or $10 lunch can add up. And I’ve got a cruise to fund.

Speaking of which, it’s been a while since I’ve given you guys a weight update. This week I lost 2.2 pounds (even after a Ronald weekend!) for a total of 85.6 pounds. I think I’ll tell you when I get to 90, but after that I’ll let it be a surprise when I hit my 100.

For now, though, I could really use some recipe inspiration. Does anyone have a good, easy dish to get me back into cooking? I've got to make going out to eat the occasional treat and not the everyday expectation.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tied ball game

This weekend, I filled in at the Ronald. As those of you have been reading for a while know, I’ve been on a leave of absence as of late because I can’t seem to control my food there. The sweets and homemade casseroles baked by our generous donors are just too much for me, and I end up walking out of there disappointed.

My weekend manager gig is a paid position. And even though sometimes physically I can’t afford to be there, financially I can’t afford not to go.

So this weekend I went in determined to survive. When I first started Weight Watchers in January, the Ronald was no match for me. I fought pizza and candy, brownies and chocolate chip cookies. But slowly, my iron will began to weaken. And as I told you guys recently, my focus has been a little off lately. So I was nervous to go.

I’m happy to report that today, I’m feeling good about my weekend. I brought my own food and ate it when I needed to, and only indulged once (a small piece of cheesecake).

Now I’m remembering how empowering it feels to have overcome an obstacle.

My focus is back in a big way. Huzzah!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Me versus the Brangelina pant

Sporks. Brunch. Bennifer. TomKat.

We love our name mash-ups, don’t we? If two things or people can be put together, then so can their names.

I learned the hard way that one such hybrid may not be for me.

The jegging.

In case you haven’t heard of these, they are leggings made out of denim. Jeans + leggings = jeggings. Jeanius (Har, har).

The first time I heard about these double-duty items of clothing, I honestly thought they were a joke. I questioned them. I mocked them. And then—I had to have them.

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago. I knew I’d be going out with friends. And I had the perfect outfit picked out. In my mind. Jeggings. Boots. A sparkly top or jacket of some sort. Add some Erika sass, and I would be ready to ring in my new year.

I took the day off and set out shopping. I searched high and low for the perfect jegging. I went to one store and tried on a pair that were about the size I think I am now. Not pretty. They hung in all the wrong places. Bunched up where they shouldn’t. I actually giggled at myself in the mirror.

“Girl, you need a smaller size,” the salesperson told me.

"No, no. I don’t think so. That’s way too small for me,” I protested as she brought the next size down.

It turns out, we were both kind of right. I shoved myself into those things, squeezing my giant foot through the tiny ankle hole and falling into the mirror as I hopped around on one leg. Holding my breath as I buttoned them. I was sweating when I finally got them all the way on.

I looked like a sausage ready to bust out of its casing. It was laughable. Sweaty, red-faced and bursting at the seams. So much for my perfect birthday outfit.

I haven’t completely given up the idea of jeggings. But I’m also prepared to fully realize the hybrid pant may just not be for me. Yet.