Graduation: 30 Weeks! YOWZERS!

Wow! 30 Weeks! I can hardly believe that I started this journey 30 weeks ago and that tonight I graduated from the Kaiser Medical Weight Management Program- 57 pounds lighter! Wahoo! I did not think this day would ever come.  It is actually quite bittersweet. I remember day one, sitting in the waiting room on the 4th floor of the Fabiola building waiting to be weighed in for the first time, looking around at everyone there and thinking, “I wish I knew someone here, this will be so lonely.” Little did I know, that group of people would become my strongest support, my mentors, my listening ears, and most importantly my friends. This motley crew, ended up having so much more in common than I could have ever realized. 

Tonight, things came full circle. I sat in the waiting room, this time waiting to be weighed in for the last “official” time. I was surrounded by 25 new participants. They looked nervous, but excited. They awkwardly talked to each other trying to seek out someone they could find a connection with, someone they could take this journey with. They occasionally asked me questions as I sat waiting, all the questions I remember having. In a way, I longed for that moment in time. The newness of this all, the desperation I felt to do anything my support providers asked in order to conquer this tremendous struggle I had. All in all, the meal replacement/fasting part of this program was the easiest part, yet it is the part all the newbies dread, the part they have so many questions about. What you do not consider at that time, is that this is a lifelong journey- so much more than those first 30 weeks. Who could have ever anticipated that it would be so much scarier leaving the program, than entering it?

As the rest of my cohort, team 56, arrived the room erupted in excited, friendly, giddy noise. The connection my team shares is rare. We hear stories of other cohorts that come to meetings and go home after. They have not found the secret we found day one. That secret being, this is a long, difficult, draining, seemingly impossible experience. Without a support system of people who are actually in it, it is very hard to stay focused and be successful. Day one, we all exchanged emails, joined a group on Whats App and started spending time outside of class together. Because of this, our team is one of the most successful teams they have had in a long time. They actually have to kick us out of the waiting room when it is time to go to class, because we are so busy catching up, checking in, sharing ideas, etc. Tonight, as I looked around at my crew I felt so grateful for the experience we shared and thought about the profound impact they all had on this journey and my life. 

We received a certificate and two photographs tonight. One was from the first week of meal replacements and the other was from the last week of meal replacements. WOW! Everyone immediately started passing around their photos, hugging each other, shouting “OMG!”, the room a buzz with excitement. Some of the people were barely recognizable. I didn't remember them as they were. I stared at mine for a good long time, more than many others did. I was struck with an overwhelming emotional response. 

For me this journey has helped me lose weight, yes. But I feel like it has been more about the emotional journey for me. Sure that was able to happen because of the weight that I have lost, but that is the thing that most surprised me about the whole experience. To anyone looking at my two pictures, they would say they saw a girl with a big smile in both. As I sat there, looking carefully at my before and after, all I could do was feel sad for picture one and thankful for picture two- and it had nothing to do with my weight. 

As I looked at my before picture, I saw a girl smiling, but a girl who was very sad, uncomfortable, and struggling to love this version of herself. It brought back a flood of emotions that I didn’t expect to feel. The Erin before this journey was shy and afraid of being herself. She avoided social situations because it was too painful. The simple act of going out with friends meant thinking about what to wear. No matter what I chose I wouldn’t be happy with it because all I could see was a fat girl. All I could think about was how great my friends would look without even trying. I would always feel under dressed or not as well put together. They would be put together, people would compliment their cute outfits and I would just sit back and smile to cover the pain. I often just wouldn’t go out at all, it was easier they way. It was less scary, less painful. The Erin before, looked in the mirror and only saw negative. No matter how hard I tried to look for something positive, I just couldn’t see it. My self esteem was at an all time low. 

Then I looked at the second picture, my after picture. Sure only 30 weeks have passed, but that smile, it is genuine. I smile because I am happy. That day, I didn’t freak out that I was having my photo taken, I was excited to do so. I can look in the mirror now and recognize not only my physical success with weight loss, but that I have come leaps and bounds in my emotional health. I can recognize and celebrate the positive things about myself. I know that I am so much more than this body that I live in. However, because I am learning to love myself as a person, with that comes the desire to treasure this body that I live in. The two go hand in hand. I didn’t expect all of these emotions to come flooding in simply from being handed two pictures. What a journey! 

I still have a ways to go in this journey. I am about 40 lbs away from my goal still. However, I feel more confident in my ability to get there in a healthy and sustainable way. Our class now moves on to lifestyle. From here on out, we can attend as many lifestyle classes as we want to sit in on lectures, continue to receive support, and have the accountability of the program to either continue losing weight or maintain our weight loss. There is one lifestyle group that is focused on continued weight loss for an additional 10 weeks. I am excited that many of my cohort members are choosing to do that one too. The day we all go our separate ways will be a sad day indeed. 

I am not done with this process, I will never be done. This journey is a life long journey for me. Because even if I meet my ultimate goal, there is a separate journey in maintaining it. However, I am proud of the success I have had thus far and thankful for the people who have supported me in this crazy journey. You all know who you are. Thank you, I truly could not have made it here without you! 


I know I am incredibly behind on my blog. I am so sorry. I will be back as often as possible to fill you in on how things are going. I just wanted to be sure to let you all know I was still here. 

I do have one bummer of an update though. Remember how in a previous blog I was complaining of severe heartburn and downing TUMS to try to ease the pain? Well, I ended up in the ER one weekend and discovered it was not, in fact heartburn, it was a gallbladder attack. I have gallstones that apparently I have had for years that are causing quite a ruckus. So, I will be having gallbladder surgery in 10 days to remove my gallbladder. Good times! 

Another thing to update you all one is that I LOVE to run! I have always loved running, but have not done it much since college. I started running again 2 weeks ago and am in love. I am not good at it, in fact I have a tank top I often wear that says "Slow runners make fast runners look good. You're welcome!", however I enjoy it. I am excited to continue it as this journey progresses. 

Week 17: Food, TUMS, and Personal Trainers...

Quote of the Week: " my Active Wear!"

Journaling the Last Week:

That quote is for you team NextLesson! Hahaha Check it out, my pic this week is of me standing in my active wear! ;) 

I feel like I am getting into the swing of this cooking thing. I am starting to try out new ideas for food. Today, I got to have non-fat Greek yogurt and berries for the first time since July. Let me tell you, it was amazing! :) As difficult and time consuming as meal planning and prep is, I am really feeling the pressure to not mess this up. So I am doing pretty well. I still have a ways to go in my weight loss journey and need to be smart about what I eat, now that I have more control over it. 

Unfortunately, the downside of eating again is that my gastro esophageal reflex disease has decided to show its ugly face again. I have not had issues with it since High School. Sigh. I am trying hard to stick to things that are not acidic or too spicy. I think it is just my stomach is working over time to build up acids it has not needed to create for the last 4 months. My body is not enjoying that much. The last 3 nights, I have woken up in so much pain I was in tears. I even tried to nap while standing by learning my head on my arms against the bathroom counter. Laying down just made it all so much worse. Sigh. Tums will be my new best friend for a while. Hope it calms down soon! Fingers crossed. 

I will say, I have not been very active these last 2 weeks. I have however, been sleeping much more than usual. As much as I enjoy my freakish ability to live on very little sleep, I am also realizing I need to get better at sleeping more to maintain my health. Since setting my sleep goal a few weeks back, I have only failed to meet it once. :) All this sleeping though, means I have been going to bed earlier and getting up later, which means the gym has not been happening. I will do my best to get back into workout mode next week. Hey, I will be kicking it off with the Great San Francisco Santa 5K! I am really excited to be doing this race, even if I have to do it in a very warm Santa suit. 
I am totally loving my new fitbit. While I have to admit, I do not use the HR feature much, it is interesting to track. My favorite addition is the ability to track flights of stairs. I have been challenging myself to go more flights than the day before. Luckily, if you have seen my house, I have a great head start to my day just running up the 3 flights of stairs several times getting ready each morning. Also, I no longer take the escalator at BART, ever. I hardly feel it now. In fact, often times the stairs are much faster anyway. 

I spent some time this week going through my closet. I had already gotten rid of a ton of stuff that no longer fit. This week I tried every item on. Things I thought might still fit, did not. I got rid of 5 paper grocery bags full of clothes. It felt good to free up space in my closet, neatly hang the things that fit, and think about a small shopping trip in the near future. 

I have been thinking quite a bit about the next goal for myself. I think I have decided. When I hit -60 lbs. I will get a personal trainer for a few sessions. I want to work with someone to learn which exercises and machines are best for me and how to do them in proper form. I should be stepping up my weight training now and this will be a great way to ensure I am doing it right. This is an exciting reward. I am glad too because it will for sure better prepare me for the Insane Inflatable 5K I signed up for in April. :)

End of Week Stats:

Steps Taken Last Week: 46,302 steps
Steps Taken Total: 962,187 steps

Distance Walked Last Week20.1 miles
Distance Walked Total: 426.54 miles

Weight Lost Last Week2.1 pounds
Weight Lost Total: 52.2 pounds

Inches Lost Last Week: 4.75 inches
Inches Lost Total: 36.55 inches

BMI Decrease Last Week: 0
BMI Decrease Total: 8.9

This Week Compared to Week 1:

My Weekly Progress in Pictures:

Week 15 & Week 16: A Lifetime Commitment...

Quote of the Week: "Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you."

Journaling the Last Week:

This has been a VERY big 2 weeks for me… where to even begin?

Sorry I did not post last week. I was really enjoying the quality time spent with the ones I love and figured I would save up for one BIG crazy post! :) I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was wonderful. I was able to spend 6 days hanging out with my parents, siblings, and extended family. I always treasure this time together and am so incredibly thankful for them. 

As you all know, I had been eagerly awaiting my reintroduction to food on Thanksgiving. Our whole cohort had been talking about it for weeks; imagining what food we would eat first, how it would feel to sit with family and actually eat something, and what the food would taste like. Well, on the Monday before Thanksgiving we were told, “Actually, no you do not get your first meal until the day after.” WHAT?!?! So, I would say about 98% of the group decided to ban together, be rebellious, and enjoy our Thanksgiving first food meal. After all, it was perfect timing to celebrate all the hard work and success. For some, it was the first Thanksgiving healthy in a long time. For my first meal of real food in 4 months, I opted for 4 oz of white meat turkey and a cup of steamed broccoli. Boy did it taste amazing!!! Who knew sauceless, saltless, seasoning less, oilless, gravy less, cranberry sauceless food could taste so good? However, after so long without eating anything but protein shakes, it was a bit hard to swallow and I barely made it half way through before I felt as if I would pop!


Throughout this first week back to food, I have been navigating my way around the foods that sit well with me now, weighing everything out, measuring, cooking healthfully, ditching my favorite flavors (butter, salt, oil), and trying new things. Some of the recipes I tried, failed miserably (omelette in a bag), others were a huge success. Here are a few I captured before eating...

1. (151 Calories) First meal out- $15 turkey sandwich (minus the bun, cheese, avocado, aioli, 1/2 the meat, fries, and couldn't eat the salad).
2. (158 Calories) chicken, spinach, tomato
3. (109 Calories) tuna in water, dill, green onion, tomatoes
4. (214 Calories) steamed broccoli, egg whites hard boiled, tomato
5. (192 Calories) It was supposed to make "bread", but was a bit more pancake like- cauliflower, broccoli, low fat mozzarella cheese, green onions

As I got dressed this week, another exciting moment occurred. My pants were too big, again! Thankfully I have been purchasing at least 2 pars each time I buy new pants; one my new size, and one a size smaller. So I grabbed the smaller size I bought last shopping trip and thew them on. On average, I have been dropping a size every 10 pounds. This was my 5th pant size down since August! Yep, you calculated correctly… that means I have lost FIFTY POUNDS!!

I have been working hard to set myself several small goals, usually around the amount of weight I needed to lose, or the amount of exercise I needed to get. My rewards for meeting these goals have been things like new pants, new shirts, a pedicure, a shopping spree, a movie night, nail polish, etc. It feels really good meeting these short term attainable goals. However, it was also important for me to set some bigger goals to continually push myself toward. The first BIG milestone I was aiming for was to lose 50 pounds. When I set that goal back in August, it felt nearly impossible. I have never lost that much weight in my entire life. How on earth was I going to accomplish this? What I found was important to me, was to not fixate on the end goal. The end goal was a long ways off. If I continued to set my focus on the smaller more easily attainable goals, I would feel success and that success would motivate me toward my end goal. Before I knew it, it had arrived. It feels so good! :) The reward for hitting my 50 pound goal was to upgrade to a Fitbit Charge HR. While it is not incredibly different from my Flex, it’s new and shininess has already reinvigorated me in this process. 

Something that has been really weighing on my these last two weeks is the immensity of the task at hand; the fact that this is not a temporary journey, it is a life-long commitment. I have realized I cannot allow myself to get in the frame of mind of saying, “When I get to eat that again…” I have had several people ask me, when will you be able to have (insert not so healthy food of choice here) again? The answer I am beginning to fully comprehend is that it is not so much that I will NEVER have that again, but its the decision I have to make of “is it worth it?”. For the rest of my life I will need to be making these healthy decisions, deciding if ditching a huge plate of protein and vegetables for 5 french fries is worth it, if sampling that sauce or eating that sees candy is worth the calories I will have to record and take away from a more nutritious, filling and satisfying meal. Does this journey mean that I will never enjoy these things again? Of course not. But you better believe I will be thinking much more about it and weighing the pros and cons. When I think about this, it overwhelms me. It scares me at times, because we all know how easy it is to let yourself just enjoy it, to say, no big deal, it’s just this once, tomorrow will be better. But then tomorrow you say the same thing and before you know it, you are spinning out of control. I fear that. I fear the level of discipline it will require to not allow myself to go there. Like I said, immense. 

Last week we gave up one product and replaced it with one meal. This coming week, I will give up 2 products to replace them with 2 meals. I never thought I would say this, but I kind of miss the simplicity of the product. Wish me luck! 

End of Week Stats:

Steps Taken Last 2 Weeks: 105,516 steps
Steps Taken Total: 860,638 steps

Distance Walked Last 2 Weeks: 47.74 miles
Distance Walked Total: 382.1 miles

Weight Lost Last 2 Weeks: 6.3 pounds
Weight Lost Total: 50.1 pounds

Inches Lost Last 2 Weeks: 1.5 inches
Inches Lost Total: 31.8 inches

BMI Decrease Last 2 Weeks: 1.2
BMI Decrease Total: 8.9

This Week Compared to Week 1:

 My Progress in Pictures:

Week 14: Support is the Key to Success...

Quote of the Week: "Flirt with your perceived limitations (without ambulances)."

Journaling the Last Week:

The quote above was spoken by a guest cardio fitness instructor tonight. While it gave the group a good chuckle, it got me thinking. Over the past 4 months, I have proven so much to myself, especially in respect to my physical abilities. I had/have all these perceived limitations. While I am gradually becoming stronger in the gym, I always hit a certain point and tell myself I have hit my limit. It is interesting though. Because when I get to that point, if I am honest with myself, that is probably only 60% of what I am actually capable of. Just because it gets hard, does not mean that is my limit. She encouraged us to "flirt" with or push what we consider to be some of our limitations. However, she strongly advised do so in a way that will not require an ambulance being called. I tend to go all out and push myself farther then I probably should at times. But in general, there are many ways I could push myself more and not make excuses. For example, my arm strength (or lack there of). As soon as I feel the burn, I call it quits. Limit hit. In reality that is just my arms saying, "Girl you never use us, this is gonna burn a bit." HAHAHA As I continue this journey, I hope to continue to, in a safe way, flirt with my limitations.

It amazes me daily what an incredible support team I have. My family encourages me every day and supports this positive change in my life. They check in and cheer me on and I am so grateful for them. My friends build me up and genuinely take an interest in this crazy process I am going through. My cohort, team 56, has become a group of people I am so incredibly thankful for. I still recall the first day we were gathered in the basement for our meeting. I thought to myself how different everyone seemed from me and from each other. How would we ever all bond in that way I knew I needed. It didn't take long. At all. I look forward to Thursday nights all week. I look forward to seeing the progress my friends have made. To listen to their struggles as often they echo my own. I know that no matter what is going on, they will make me laugh. They have become a support system I needed in this process and I cannot imagine being without. If only you could be a fly on the wall when we are catching up and chatting in the waiting room each week before meetings as we are all getting our med checks. We know what is going on in each persons life. We share stories, articles, recipes, joys, struggles, success. We laugh, boy do we laugh. When I began this program, honestly I was a bit annoyed the group available was so far from home. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I was meant to be in Oakland Team 56. Without my family, friends, and team this would be a very difficult and quite frankly impossible journey. Thank you!

I have been struggling this week with some severe hip pain. Everywhere I have gone the stench of menthol has followed. Thank goodness for IcyHot patches! :) Thankfully, it is feeling much better right now. I really stepped up my exercise this week and I think it was just my body's way of saying, "Be careful, take it easy." I keep thinking to myself, it can only get better as I continue to lose more weight.

A week from today I will begin Phase 2: transition. I am really looking forward to real food again. Many of my friends have expressed fear of transition to real food and that they worry they will remember how good something tastes and over do it. I have been reflecting on this quite a bit over the last week. I have come to realize, that this process truly has changed my attitude and my behavior toward food. While I know it will not be easy, I don't know if I share the same fear as them. I keep thinking about how I have made it 4 MONTHS! If you know me, you know how much I love bread. In the last 4 months I have not had a single bite of bread (something I would have thought was impossible). Yet, I did it. And you know what, I am still alive. It didn't kill me. When I think of transition, I do not find myself fearful. I find myself encouraged. It is no different than this phase 1 I have been in. The fuel I am putting into my body might change, but why would my attitude? I have been able to refrain, say no, make smart decisions for the last 4 months and I am fine. In fact, I am better for it.

At the beginning of this process, there was a period of mourning. Seriously, you mourn food. It is hard at first. You wonder if you will ever survive without some of your favorites. You are convinced that you are missing out when others eat delicious (unhealthy) things around you. But slowly, you stop missing it so much. You can eat with others. You realize that yes you are not partaking in the food with them, but that is ok. It doesn't define you. In fact, you begin to realize in these 4 months, you are happier then you have ever been. You forget about the good friend food used to be and realize your attitude and relationship with food has completely changed.

It is a wonderful realization. Am I fearful the next phase will be tricky, sure. I will have to carefully weigh, measure, and count everything that I eat. However, I am not fearful of my ability to continue with this new found relationship with food. I have proven to myself that I am capable of change, that I am strong, that I can put mind over matter and learn to appreciate food in a different way. This process for me has not been about learning what is a good food choice, how to track or count calories or deal with portion sizes. I have always known that. Maybe I didn't follow it, but I knew. For me, this process has been an emotional one. It is proving to myself not only that I can make a change, but that I am worth it.

End of Week Stats:

Steps Taken Last Week: 54,537 steps
Steps Taken Total: 810,369 steps

Distance Walked Last Week29.91 miles
Distance Walked Total: 358.7 miles

Weight Lost Last Week: 3.8 pounds
Weight Lost Total: 43.8 pounds

Inches Lost Last Week: 2.75 inches
Inches Lost Total: 30.3 inches

BMI Decrease Last Two Weeks0.6
BMI Decrease Total: 7.7

This Week Compared to Week 1:

My Progress in Pictures:

Week 13: Wow, Holy Cow!

Quote of the Week: "Don't wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of each step you take toward reaching that goal."

Journaling the Last Week:

Silly side note: two weeks ago, I was talking about finally being able to enjoy looking at photos of myself. This week I found myself goofing around with the alien filter in Photobooth. Hahaha I must say, it was quite entertaining. :)

For the BIG news! I cannot believe the milestone I hit tonight!!! WHAHOOO!!!!! While I still have a ways to go, I reached a big goal today. FOURTY, 4-0, pounds lost!!! That means I am only 10 more pounds away from hitting my first major goal of 50 lbs lost and getting my reward of an upgrade to the Fitbit Charge HR. I am hoping that by transition week (2 weeks away) I will earn it. It would be an awesome way to start off phase 2 of this crazy journey!

Funny how gamification is just as rewarding for adults as it is for kids. I sat anxiously waiting for my badges to update! Just want to take a moment to brag about my loss and show off my fitbit badges!

In order to get as close to the -50 lbs goal as possible by phase 2: transition, I have set the following goals for myself:

1. I will hit AT LEAST my 10,000 step goal every day
2. I will drink AT LEAST 120 oz of water (160 oz is optimal) every day
3. I will do AT LEAST 10 reps of all of my resistance training exercises every day
4. I will sleep AT LEAST 6 (trust me that is A LOT for me) hours every night
5. I will go to the gym for AT LEAST 45 minutes every day


I made an observation today at the gym that was somewhat of an ah ha moment for me. When I first started this program, I would get the treadmill up to about 2.4mph and walk. While painfully slow, I still found myself tuckered out after about 45 minutes. About a month later I was able to go up to 2.8 comfortably and then shortly there after 3.2. I have been stuck at 3.2 for almost two months now. This morning I wasn't really paying attention to what I was doing. I was focused on the morning news on the TV above and slowly started increasing the speed to get my walk going. I hit a place that felt right and stopped increasing the speed. I looked down and realized that I was at 3.5mph! I have even been getting a little running in each workout too. I don't know why, but I have always loved running because I love that adrenaline rush you get. It reminds you that you worked hard. I cannot wait until I can actually jog/run longer distances.

On that note, I registered for the 2015 Great Santa Run in SF. I am so excited. A bunch of my team members from Kaiser and also some of my coworkers are signed up for it as well. Everyone is given a 5 piece Santa suit and runs the 5k as a mob of Santa's. Hahaha! It should be a lot of fun. I am also considering signing up for the BaHumbug run again this year too. Anyone want to join me?

Well, I should actually start getting ready for bed. I don't want to mess up on goal #4 above on the first day!! Nite all! Until next time...

End of Week Stats:

Steps Taken Last Week: 53,578 steps
Steps Taken Total: 755,832 steps

Distance Walked Last Week22.84 miles
Distance Walked Total: 328.79 miles

Weight Lost Last Week: 4.6 pounds
Weight Lost Total: 40 pounds

Inches Lost Last Week: 0.5 inches
Inches Lost Total: 27.55 inches

BMI Decrease Last Two Weeks0.9
BMI Decrease Total: 7.1

Week 12: Walking, Walking, Walking...

Quote of the Week: "Sweat is just fat crying."

Journaling the Last Week:

Been traveling for work and a bit late in posting this, but here it is! Better late than never!

First note: I survived Halloween. I had a blast celebrating with friends and family, and didn't die because I couldn't have a Milky Way or Starbursts. YAY!

Second note: that quote made me giggle. Go ahead and have a good cry fat! Embracing my sweaty workout self. It means I am working hard!

I have to say, something I enjoy about working in the city is that I can make the shortest distance between my BART station and my office (less than a 30 second walk) turn into the longest, absurdly out of the way, most beautiful morning journey. I am enjoying those morning walks along the water and benefiting from the extra steps it provides!!

Many of my coworkers are joining in on the fitbit step obsession. The last few weeks have been so much fun. We have been challenging each other to daily showdowns, goal days, workweek hustles, and also weekend warrior challenges. If one of us sees the other get up, suddenly we pop out of our seat to match their steps. If we have to throw something away, get something from the printer, etc we take the longest route possible. I am so lucky to have such incredible coworkers who not only encourage and support my journey, but motivate me to continue pushing on and doing my best!

Last week we were told we could finally begin some weight bearing exercise / resistance training. We had a guest speaker in our class who brought along therabands and gave us some exercises we should start doing in addition to our walking. Sad to say, I have not been super good at getting it in this week, but am looking forward to a workout this evening.

I learned that each theraband color has a different resistance. Blue provides the most resistance. We were cautioned that if we chose blue, we should be especially careful of any shoulder exercises as to avoid injury. Green is the next highest resistance, followed by Red, and then Yellow. I chose the green band as it felt the most comfortable to me. The following exercises are ones we will be doing over the next few weeks with our theraband:

Upright Rowing, Extension, Deltoid Side Arm Raise, Hip Abduction, Hip Extension, Toes and Heels, Wall Push Ups, Resisted Shoulder Blade Squeeze, Partial Chair Squat, Plank (on feet and knees), Biceps, and Triceps.

I have already started counting down the days until my "first meal". Hahaha I remember counting down the days until my "last meal" a few months ago. I am not hungry, but I am missing the flavors and textures of real food. I am most looking forward to eating broccoli on Thanksgiving day, even if it has to be cooked until mushy, essentially baby food texture. One of our group members constantly jokes about this process like being a baby all over again. He refers to eating product as his "feedings" and it always makes me chuckle. Its true. We have been eating the same milk product on a schedule for the last several months. In a few short weeks we graduate to solids (mushy solids). Soon after that our bodies can begin to handle real food again. Its a crazy process.

Despite the jokes, I have really appreciated the simplicity of my daily "feedings". I do not have to decide when, what, or how much to eat. I simply pop a straw into a milk box and sip away. Simple. I think that is the thing I am most worried about. I am not so much worried that I will struggle with continuing this healthy lifestyle (because I really do love healthy foods and being active), but that it will be so time consuming to measure, weigh, prep, cook, package, and store my 6 daily meals. I will persevere!

3 more weeks to go before Phase 2: transition begins. I am not sure if I am excited or nervous yet. We shall see. In the next 3 weeks, I plan to be as active as possible and drink lots of water. My goal is to strengthen this routine I have developed so I can go into phase 2 successfully.

End of Week Stats:

Steps Taken Last Week: 50,269 steps
Steps Taken Total: 702,254 steps

Distance Walked Last Week: 24.34 miles
Distance Walked Total: 305.95 miles

Weight Lost Last Week2.2 pounds
Weight Lost Total: 35.4 pounds

Inches Lost Last Week: 1.25 inches
Inches Lost Total: 27.05 inches

BMI Decrease Last Two Weeks0.3
BMI Decrease Total: 6.2

Week 10 & Week 11: Those Little Ah Ha Moments...

Quote of the Week: "Courage is being afraid, but going on anyhow."

Journaling the Last Week:

Woah, check it out!! Love comparing each week to week one! :)

I am super excited about how progress is going. At times I find myself wishing it were faster, more. But then, like tonight, I see my photos side by side and am genuinely proud of what I have accomplished so far and what I will continue to accomplish in the days/weeks/months ahead.

I'm gonna get real here tonight. Never assume people who struggle with their weight are lazy or just eat poorly. This is often not the case. They know they have a problem and it runs deep. They wish with everything in them that things were different. They often don't have the courage to make a change. Yes, this change requires courage. Because choosing to lose weight means making yourself visible again. It means breaking down the walls and tearing off the masks you have made and worn to hide from the world. It takes a kind of courage far greater than one could imagine. It means allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It means taking risks. It means learning to love yourself, regardless. My weight is something I have struggled with for many years, but am only just now realizing how paralyzed I had become because of it. I know this might sound trite, but never assume anything about a someone who struggles with their weight. It is so much more than pounds or appearance. Thankfully, I have begun to find the courage to love myself again and make a change.

Recently I have found myself, stoping dead in my tracks and taking in the moment, feeling victorious. These ah ha moments keep me going when the road ahead seems still so long and difficult. A few ah ha realizations I have had over the last week or two:

1. Apparently I have dimples. I have enjoyed looking at pictures of myself over the last few weeks and seeing dimples in my smile. Who knew? Either I had dimples all along that I have somehow forgotten about, or the skin on my face is sagging from the weight loss in such a way that it has created dimples. Either way, I am liking it.

2. When you are overweight, arms are just awkward. You sit in a chair without a table in front of you and you do not know what to do. You can't quite relax them in your lap cause your stomach gets in the way or the width of your upper ams prevents you from being able to join your hands in your lap. And due to the extra weight in your backside, the arm rests are always just out of reach for resting arms on. So you end up folding your arms across your chest which just makes you look like you are in a perpetual state of disinterest. I can happily say now, I can sit and place my arms in my lap. I know, it's the little things that are cause for celebration.

3. Much like the arm scenario, when you are overweight, chairs are awkward. The extra weight being carried in your backside tends to elevate you in your chair a bit more than intended. This makes sitting at a table awkward. You cannot relax your arms (see above) and you cannot lean on the table because it is just too far below your reach. So again, you are left folding your arms, looking all disgruntled. At class tonight, I shared with my cohort that I was celebrating in the fact that I realized this was the first class session I felt comfortable sitting at the tables. YAY!

4. New job new me. It occurred to me this week that this is the lowest weight I have ever been since taking this new job a little over a year ago. Kind of exciting to think all my new coworkers and friends are actually seeing a "new me".

5. Can we look back at the second sentence in #1 above? (just now I had an ah ha moment!) I actually said, "I have enjoyed looking at pictures of myself"!! WHAT!?!?! Truthfully, I have avoided taking pictures of myself for the last several years (I know, it is suddenly clicking and you are now thinking, "Oh, that's why all the photos of her feet"). I have really struggled being comfortable in my own skin. Every picture I saw of myself, I had a long list of things I was unhappy about. I changed social media settings so that I had to approve any pictures people posted of me because I was terrified of what I might look like. On more than one occasion, I have cried over a photo wondering how I could let things get this far out of hand. And tonight, I actually said, "I HAVE ENJOYED LOOKING AT PICTURES OF MYSELF!" Huh, taking a moment to let that one sink in. It is truly a happy evening, one I didn't think would ever happen.

6. I am laughing and enjoying social situations again. Much like with photos, I have avoided or not cared much about being in the social scene. During such situations I would spend the entire time VERY uncomfortable. Instead of enjoying the company of friends, I would spend the entire time wondering what people were thinking, if they were judging me, feeling uncomfortable in my clothes, feeling underdressed or not fitting in (due to my size), worried someone would want a group picture, etc. Basically, what should be an enjoyable, fun and fulfilling experience was essentially my worst nightmare. While I do still need to find that courage to take a risk, I am doing it and it is much more enjoyable.

Grateful for these little/big ah ha moments. They motivate me to continue on, be courageous, make a change, and love myself. Until next week...

End of Week Stats:

Steps Taken Last Two Weeks: 122,973 steps
Steps Taken Total: 651,985 steps

Distance Walked Last Two Weeks53.1 miles
Distance Walked Total: 281.61 miles

Weight Lost Last Two Weeks: 4.9 pounds
Weight Lost Total: 33.2 pounds

Inches Lost Last Two Weeks: 3.75 inches
Inches Lost Total: 25.8 inches

BMI Decrease Last Two Weeks0.9
BMI Decrease Total: 5.9

Photo Progress: