Friday, 31 January 2014

A kick a** January is in the books


This month was the first full month of working out and eating on plan since I recommitted myself just before Christmas, and I was really curious to see the results.

Well, the results are in, and they're fantastic. 

I lost another 2 pounds this week, for a total of more than 10 pounds down for the month - - officially one of the larger monthly losses I have experienced in two years of working out.  I am down 148.1 pounds overall, to 185.8 pounds.  That's right - - mid-180s.  This is the girl that thought she would be trapped in the 190s forever.  Maybe it just felt like forever (it did, it really did).

You can definitely see where things fell off the rails in the chart above, but also where they got back on track.  My cardio + weights program has really been working now that I have reduced my wanton snacking, thereby reducing my daily calories to around 1,600 - 1,800 (from 1,900 - 2,200 when I am in snacking mode). 

I am frankly losing a bit more than I was expecting for someone 2 years into their workout program, but my current routine is pretty intense, and I am being moderately-to-very virtuous in the eating department, which is 80% of the battle.  I'm not an angel every day (that would be impossible), but I am pretty good most days, which is really what the goal is here. 

And no, I am not looking a gift weight loss in the mouth or trying to sabotage myself - - I have earned every damn pound of those 148 pounds in sweat equity, thank you very much. 

As for my measurements, I think I am right about where my body is going to end up, around a size 12-14 (depending on the clothes) - - well down from the size 26 I started at.  I have lost more than 5 and a half feet worth of inches since I started working out, which still just blows my mind. 

I tested my cholesterol this morning and all my readings - HDL, LDL, triglycerides and cholesterol - - were normal.  It's nice to see those numbers staying green.  Likewise, my fasting blood sugar readings have been really great this month, with many readings under 5.0 mmol/L (in other words, solidly normal, rather than high normal).  Wahoo!

After this month, I am sooooo close to reaching my next goal of being a middleweight - - less than a pound to go! 
And only 17 pounds to go to a normal BMI - - that's just fantastic.  Another 2 or 3 months and I may be there!

In the spirit of celebrating these great results, I got a haircut:
It's a little tough to see in this angle and crappy lighting, but the new cut brings out my cheekbones.  We'll see what the matriarch thinks tomorrow at shopping - - I didn't mention a haircut the last time we met so she may be surprised. 

For comparison, here's what I looked like last year at this time:

I was 53 pounds heavier in this photo, and I can definitely see it.  I love visual reminders of how far I have come!  I only wish that I had more "before" photos, but, alas, like many Class III Obese people, I shunned cameras.  Bigfoot has more pictures than I do from my heaviest.  Ah well.  Them's the breaks. 

We'll see what next month brings!  I predict more sweat, but that's hardly a stretch...

Monday, 27 January 2014

Recap - 2 years of working out (photo heavy)

Today is the second anniversary of my first workout.  Yep, that's right.  January 27, 2012 was my first tottering (and achy!) step on the path to fitness.  And although my body is still not yet the perfect temple and I am still a long way from my goal weight, my lifestyle and habits have changed enormously over the past 2 years - - overwhelmingly for the better.

In the spirit of focusing on where I am now and what I have done to get here, I thought I would look back at some of the many milestones and stepping stones along the way. 

The first 6 months:

After the first 6 months I found that working out was a regular part of my daily routine.  Eating consistently healthy was still a struggle until I started tracking my food with MyFitnessPal in July of 2012. 

The second 6 months:

The back half of 2012 really laid the foundation for the wins I would see in 2013.

One year down, the third 6 months:
 This was by far the period with the most dramatic change.  I did so many things for the first time in years - or even in some cases, ever -  during this period and I finished it off by reaching size 14, which meant that I would go shopping anywhere I wanted for the first time in 10 years or so (except Abercrombie & Fitch, ha ha).  I had some huge wins in this period.

The most recent 6 months:

I won't lie to you - - the last quarter of 2013 was a tough one for me, but I managed to regroup and get focused back on my healthy eating and strong workouts once more, and I am seeing results.  I am once again at my lowest weight in years, and have completely eliminated the weight gains of last autumn. 

From now my plan for the next 6 months is to keep focusing on my goals: do a pushup (or 10), run 5K, and reach my target weight.  All of these things should be possible within the next 6 months. 

Here are some of my favourite experiences/memories over the past 2 years of lifestyle change:


As I look at these photos I am struck by something that is completely new for me - - many of these photos involve something physical that I was able to do that I either could not do before or hadn't done before.  Swimming, kayaking, walking 5K, cycling ... I was excited to do these things and had fun to boot.  I just never thought of myself as someone who does physical stuff for fun.  Who knew that a semi-active person was trapped in a fat girl's body when I started out on this journey?  Not me!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Tough Workout This Morning

Today was the kind of workout that makes you really happy when you're finished, but the entire time you are doing it your brain is trying to come up with excuses to stop.

It did not help that we were under a time crunch, so I could not dawdle - - we were expecting the Matriarch's call to go shopping around 9:30 am, so I needed to push my workout from one element directly to the other with as little time lost as possible (and as little rest as possible) in between so as to be ready when the call came. 

This meant that I went directly from 45 minutes on the elliptical to 30 minutes on the treadmill for W1D3 of my C25K program, then right back to the elliptical machine for a 20 minute cool down. 

Maybe it was feeling the time crunch an not taking more than a minute's rest in between the different elements, but this morning's workout was just plain grueling.  I didn't want to start the C25K program at all, and then all the way through I had to force myself to keep going through the running intervals.  Today was another 8 minutes of running broken into 1 minute intervals with 1.5 minutes of walking in between and I knew that I could do it, but man, it was tough this morning.  I basically psyched myself up 8 times before each interval, telling myself that I could do it.  I was wobblier than usual with my hands-free running, and had to really focus to bring my running back under control for the last interval.  When I was finished my whole workout, I was just exhausted, completely blown, and dripping with sweat.  Trust me, I looked super glamorous. 

But boy oh boy did it feel good to be done.  And just in time for the Matriarch's call ... cancelling shopping due to dangerous driving conditions.  D'oh!

Tomorrow will be a workout day because I took last Wednesday off (I had to present at a meeting and didn't have enough time to work out).  It will be a weight day, so back to the upper body work.  And then Monday it is back to C25K, week 2.

Still, I feel fantastic now that the workout is done, and the results since I have gotten back on track have been fabulous.  No snacking + tough workouts = weight loss.  I am down another 0.3 pounds from yesterday's low, for a new low of 187.8 pounds.  I sincerely hope that I am done with the 190's forever, because those 10 pounds basically took me 4 months to lose.  

Back to it tomorrow!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Achievement unlocked - down to my lowest weight in years!

As you know, the fall of 2013 was a difficult one for me, and my snacking (and eating habits generally) took me completely off the rails.  I had reached a low of 188.5 pounds back in September and then got complacent and thought I could eat anything I wanted.  Surprise, surprise, this was not the case (as if I even thought this could be the case.  But I got really complacent, which has much the same result).  I ballooned up to 199 pounds (and at times even higher, I know, although I was down to 199 by the time I stepped on the scale again).

I finally put my foot down right before Christmas, and got back on the program of healthy eating in sensible portions, and stepped up my exercise routine by re-integrating weights and adding the treadmill for walking and a C25K program. Sure, it was a tough time to start a re-invigorated workout program, but I figured if I could stick with it over the holidays, everything that followed would be a piece of cake. Not that I planned on eating cake... or not much.

The results have been positive.  I have started losing weight again, and lots of it.  This week was no exception - - I lost 2.3 pounds, bringing me down to 188.1 pounds.  That's right, lower than my previous lowest weight! (does a little dance)  I am now back to breaking new trail in this weight loss adventure of mine, as it has been more than a decade since I was last at my current weight.  I am no longer simply trying to re-lose weight that I already lost, I am losing weight that I have been carrying around for years.  I am down 145.8 pounds overall, and that feels good.  Really good, actually.

You can see my Q4 disaster in the above chart - - I went from a pretty nice linear downward slope to a pretty wicked 4 month plateau / slight increase.  It is only with 5 weeks of consistent working out and eating well that I have resumed my regular weight loss, bringing me finally back to where I was when everything went off the rails - - and a bit lower, besides.

I still have a ways to go to hit my goal:

...but the trend is once again positive.

 In terms of those pesky goals, I am getting very close to my next goal, 185 pounds (or middleweight) - - I might get there in 2 or 3 more weeks!  And I am less than 20 pounds away from achieving one major goal, normal BMI.  That may be reachable in around 3 months, if I'm lucky.  I am going to have to think about how to celebrate that huge win - - celebrate in a way that does not involve consuming my body weight in cupcakes, that is.

I re-started C25K this week with proper running, and I have done the first two sessions bringing me up to 8 minutes of actual running time in 1 minute intervals.  It is definitely more challenging to run without hanging onto the treadmill for dear life, but I am really pleased to have re-started the program the right way.  My knees are in a constant state of twinge-iness, but not painful as such, so I don't think I need to change anything up right now.  Tomorrow morning will be another C25K morning to wrap up week 1 (again) if all goes as planned.

Coming up next week is the 2-year anniversary of my working out and getting serious about my health and fitness.  That would make it around 2 years ago now that I broke that chair.  It's interesting what gets us started on these life-changing journeys.  In my case, it was a cheap IKEA chair.  But without that chair I would not have had the motivation to keep pushing myself at the beginning, when it was painful just to walk to the corner, and even staying on the recumbent bike for 5 minutes was agony.

But that's a recap for next week.  For now, I am just trying to stay the course and keep focused on working my plan.  I think I will switch up the weights to 4 sets of 10 reps next week, as the 3 sets of 15 reps are challenging, but a little too readily do-able.  The rebooted C25K will continue, as will the endless hours on the elliptical (thank god for books on my iPad!).

Monday, 20 January 2014

Starting C25K again, now, with actual running

Yesterday the Nerd and I spent an absolutely grueling day cleaning and organizing the house.  Lots and lots and lots of scrubbing and washing and scraping...  I woke up this morning barely able to move, almost crippled with back pain from all the bending and pushing and hefting.  Thank goodness for muscle relaxants and bags of frozen peas. 

I definitely did not need to work my upper body today after all of that, so today after loosening up my back I decided to go with the elliptical + C25K + elliptical cardio sandwich.  I will work my upper body again tomorrow, once my muscles have had a chance to recover somewhat from the beating I put on them yesterday.

This morning I decided to start the C25K program again, from the beginning.  Only this time, instead of hanging onto the treadmill for dear life during the run intervals, I was determined to actually run, like a normal person, without hanging on.  Big girl running.  I knew it would be challenging because I had not properly run for more than a few minutes the last time I did the C25K program, but I think there's an opportunity here to work on my stamina, done properly. 

I had some knee pain last week so I did not do the C25K, in the hopes that my knees would recover somewhat.  This seems to have worked.  I had minor twinges on the 5th interval this morning, but nothing significant, and overall the run was comfortable.  Today's set was 6 intervals of 1 minute running + 1.5 minute walking.  I did all 6 running intervals properly (i.e. without hanging onto the treadmill), which officially makes the 6 minutes I ran today the most I have ever run in my life. 

I was surprised at how challenging I found the running intervals this morning.  I do a lot of cardio on the elliptical, and yet the cardio of running on the treadmill is a different animal entirely.  It definitely makes me sweat, but it also makes me pant like I haven't panted since I first started working out.  It's like I am exercising for the first time. 

All in all, today's workout was a success.  I did the planned runs and I still had something left in the gas tank when I finished, which is more a moral triumph than anything else.  Tomorrow it will be back to the upper body workout - - hopefully I will have recovered sufficiently from my travails yesterday. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Review: Withings Pulse Activity Tracker / Health Mate app

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I am readily distracted by shiny things (Look!  A baby deer!), and that I have an almost unnatural love of fitness apps and gadgets.

It is in the spirit of the latter that I picked up the Withings Pulse activity tracker last year.  I am a long-time Fitbit user since my first Fitbit Ultra back in January 2012 (when I first started working out).  Along the way I have also tried the Fitbit Zip and now the Fitbit One (after my Ultra sadly gave up the ghost last year).

But that's not to say that I cannot be in a plural tracker relationship.  Just because I use and love my Fitbit One doesn't mean that I can't also love another activity tracker just as much.  Or so I thought. 

I already use and enjoy a couple of other Withings products, notably the Withings wireless scale and the Withings blood pressure monitor, both of which I picked up in July 2012.  I have not had any problems with either of these products (although I have heard from other people that the Withings scale is plagued by reliability issues), and I was eager to try the Withings Pulse activity tracker when it came out.  "Eager" is perhaps the wrong word. "On the waiting list" is more accurate.  I couldn't wait to try out this new fitness toy.

A few points of note.  First, the Withings scale and blood pressure monitor speak with the original Withings Wiscale app.  The interface is user friendly and clean, and provides me with both a snapshot in time and historical look at my weight, resting pulse, and blood pressure values in a convenient table.  I love this app and love how it works with the scale and blood pressure monitor.  And in a year and a half, I have had no issues with any of them - the app, the scale or the blood pressure monitor.  Perhaps I am an outlier, but so far, all my devices have functioned as advertised, and I love them to pieces. 

Last year Withings launched its new Health Mate app.  The new app is intended to give a snapshot of even more values, including exercise and sleep.  The Health Mate app, like the Wiscale app, talks to the Withings wireless scale and Withings blood pressure monitor and provides users with charts showing readings from each device.  The graphs are clear and easy to read.  They do not provide the same tabular historical view as the Wiscale app, although it is possible to click on past readings to see where you stood, say, last month.  I found the Health Mate interface less useful and certainly less user-friendly than the nice tables provided by the Wiscale app, but I could work with it. 

Where the Health Mate app falls down in my view, and falls down badly, is in its exercise tracking.

The Health Mate app will track your exercise and summarize it, just like it tracks your blood pressure and weight.  But it only tracks information from one of the partnered devices/apps, like Runkeeper or Bodymedia.  If, like me, you don't use one of those services regularly, you get no credit for your workouts.  In my case I work out using the elliptical and treadmill indoors 6 days a week.  There is nothing for Runkeeper to track, and I don't want to subscribe to Bodymedia.  An armband is not really a great device for me.  My primary complaint is that there is no way to manually add exercise into the Health Mate app - - it's either use the partner apps/devices, or nothing.  Other trackers, notably the TactioHealth app and even the DigiFit app permit users to manually add workouts.  Not so the Health Mate app.  No thanks. 

Where does the Withings Pulse fit into all this?  The Pulse is an activity tracker much like the Fitbit.  It tracks steps, elevation, distance and calories as well as hours slept.  What really caught my eye, though, was the heart rate sensor.  The way the sensor works is that you press one of your fingers up against a light on the back of the unit, and after a brief interval, your pulse will be displayed.  Except when it doesn't.  I spent many a frustrating morning trying over and over to get a pulse reading with this device - - often it would simply fail or it would return a garbage reading like 150 bpm resting pulse rate.  My normal resting pulse is between 40 bpm and 49 bpm, so 150 seems a tad high.  Ludicrously so, actually.  But mostly the device would simply not record a reading, and I would have to start the process over. 

As a result, battery performance on my Pulse was very poor.  It apparently takes a lot of juice to repeatedly not record my resting heart rate.  I was lucky to get 5 days' tracking out of a single charge, but depending on how often I tried to record my pulse each morning, this number could decrease significantly. 

When it tracked my pulse perfectly (which was seldom, in my experience), the pulse tracker was a really neat idea.  But the pulse tracker was simply too buggy and frustrating for me to keep using it.  After all, getting increasingly frustrated by my inability to record my resting heart rate tended to increase my heart rate. 

Another frustration was the Pulse's interface with the Health Mate app.  As I mentioned above, the Pulse only talked to the Health Mate app, not the Wiscale app.  No problem, I thought.  The tracker was advertised as automatically syncing with the app whenever it was in range of its bluetooth receiver.  Not in my experience, sadly.  My Pulse never automatically synced with the Health Mate app, never, not once.  In fact, when I first got the Pulse tracker, it wouldn't sync at all with the app, and Withings customer service was singularly unhelpful.

Eventually I could get the tracker to sync with the app, but only when I forced it to sync.  That's not the way the tracker was advertised, and it certainly is not convenient.  More significantly, it is not like the bug-free performance of the Fitbit, which has always synced with my computer without fail. 

On a head-to-head basis, in my experience the Fitbit is far superior to the Withings Pulse activity tracker.  While both devices track many of the same metrics, the Fitbit does so accurately, and with minimal intervention on my part.  The Fitbit app is easy to understand and works well, every time.  The Fitbit battery life is at least 7 days on a full charge.

The Pulse does offer features that the Fitbit does not, like the pulse tracker.  When it works.  Which is seldom (with my device).  The Health Mate app is less user-friendly than the Fitbit app, and certainly less flexible.  The Fitbit app imports my exercise from MFP, even the stuff I do at home (which is almost all of my daily exercise).  As far as the Health Mate app is concerned, I am a completely sedentary couch potato who magically achieves 10,000+ steps a day while simultaneously doing zero exercise. 

So my love affair with the Fitbit will continue to be a monogamous one, at least for the foreseeable future. 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Week 103 - 142.9 pounds down

Week 103 of working out is in the books, and I lost another 1.8 pounds, for a total of 142.9 pounds down overall.  Yes, that's quite the hockey stick I have going in my graph, but it's coming back down now, with effort. 

The net of my little Q4 snackfest is that my goal timing has been pushed out from the end of January to the end of May.  But that's OK, because I am back on track, eating well, and keeping up my exercise.

Speaking of which, C25K was a bit challenging this week because I had sore knees for the first time this week - - sore enough to make me take a time out on the running for 2 of the planned run days.  This is making me reconsider the way I have been running.  I know I can run like a normal person for short stretches of time, and it is easier in many ways to run normally than to run hanging onto the elliptical.  I may try re-starting the C25K program from the beginning, but running normally from the outset, and see how that works. 

With this week down, I am only 6 pounds away from hitting middleweight - - getting close now!  And just over 22 pounds to go to normal BMI.  I can't wait. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

I ran like a big girl today ...

... for all of about 60 seconds.  But you know what?  It felt GREAT! 

So you know that I have been working on a C25K program for the past 3 weeks, yes?  I have worked up to intervals of 2 min run - 2 min walk - 3 min run - 3 min walk, for a total run time of 10 minutes and a max run interval of 3 minutes.

Up to this morning, I have "run", if you can call it that, holding onto the treadmill arms or handle with a death-grip.  The treadmill is set to 4.5 mph, and I am performing movements that may eventually be running, but for now, are mostly like a strange bouncy part run-part shuffle hybrid. 

Today, just for shits and giggles, I decided to let go of the treadmill.  I had already completed about 7 minutes of running intervals by that point so there is a very real chance that I was oxygen starved and hallucinating, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  So I just - let - go.  And then there I was, running.  Just like a normal person, arms pumping.

I ran for all of a minute before I realized what I was doing and completely forgot how to run all at once.  Then it was back to my death-grip on the treadmill in a flurry of arms and legs while I tried to comprehend what had just happened.

I know it is baby steps to running, but you know what?  It actually felt much easier and better to run like a normal person than what I have been doing holding onto the treadmill.  I enjoyed it - - at least for the brief instant in time when I was able to do it.

I can't wait for next time to see if I can run for a bit longer before spazzing out. 

I can't believe I just said that.  Who are you and what have you done to my brain??

On related news, I was able to lose another 2.1 pounds this week, thanks in no small part to the above-mentioned running (and all the other workouts I did this week).  This brings me back down 141.1 pounds, and less than 8 pounds away from middleweight.  Slow and steady is the way to do it, right?  Well I certainly have the "slow" part down - - and now that I've gotten back on my program, the "steady" part seems to be back on track too. 

I now weigh 192.8 pounds, and as you can see from the above chart, my lean mass and fat are starting to inch ever closer to the normal range.  Hitting a normal BMI will be such a triumph when it happens, as I have been overweight (or obese, or super-obese) more of my life than I have been normal. 

Something feels different about this time, though.  I feel like I am more consistently making healthier choices, and I am choosing an active lifestyle not because I have to do it to lose weight, but because it's fun / easy / better than being inactive.  I walk places I would previously have taken transit to, or, god forbid, taken a cab.  I walk when I don't need to.  I take extra trips because, hey, incremental steps.  This mindset is a completely new one for me. Before, working out was a necessary evil to be avoided as much as possible.  Now, I look for opportunities to work being active into my lifestyle, from working out on the elliptical and treadmill, to walking to work, to taking the stairs, to walking to shops rather than driving...this attitude change has taken 2 years and it just blows my mind, I have to tell you.

I feel like "yes, losing weight takes a long time and you have to work at it every day, but look at all the benefits and all the new things you can do".  I believe that I will reach my weight goal, it's only a matter of time.  I like this spirit of optimism - - it makes me think I can do anything, given enough time.

Maybe even one damn pushup one day. 

Speaking of pushups (!), for next week I think I will stay the course on my routine and keep doing 3 sets of 15 reps on the 8 exercises I have been doing to work my upper body, along with the usual 45 min - 60 min elliptical routines plus the C25K workouts.  This program is working for me so far, and I feel strong and good.  No injuries yet, touch wood! 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

C25K Update - 30% complete

Well, I am officially done the first 8 C25K workouts using the 5K Runner app, and I am still alive, with two functioning knees.  That's much better than I thought I would be doing, frankly.  I will take that as a win, thank you very much.

As a child I always ran (when pursued by wolves or some other predator) in a galumphing, ungainly, frankly thudding manner.  No gazelle, me.  As an adult I never had occasion to run for my life, what with wolves and other predators being scarce in the big city, and it certainly never occurred to me to run for fun.  Have you ever looked at the typical runner's face?  It does not scream "I am having fun".  Mostly, it just looks like they are in pain, or trying to work out some complex math problem in their head.  No thank you.

But I have recently signed up for something that would require me to run 5K, so it was important for me to gentle myself into this running thing.  Everyone recommended C25K as a good program for the rank beginner, and I have to say that so far, I have been <whispers> enjoying it more than I expected </end whispers>.

What's that?  I am having fun running?  Nooooot exactly.  But I am not hating it.  And I feel absolutely amazing when I stop running, which may be the entire point of this runner's high that I keep hearing about. 

I am also impressed with this 5K Runner app, which, like most of these C25K programs, works up the increments in stages that are challenging, but manageable.  I am not looking forward to some of those later sessions when I will have to be running 20 and 30 minutes at a stretch, but I am hopeful from my experience so far that I will be able to do it when the time comes.  The intervals appear to be chosen specifically to gradually increase the running time in manageable pieces - - at least until weeks 7 and 8 when it's just "run the whole time, sucka!". 

I still have to hold onto the treadmill when I run, and I am sure I sound like some kind of brontosaurus thundering across the plain, but each day I am more comfortable with the physics of running, and I am getting (gradually) used to the idea of running, which is a big part of the whole program.  Eventually I may even run like a big girl, arms pumping like I see people do on the street.  Not yet.  Perhaps when I have finished 60% of the program.

And it does feel kind of good to actually run in my running shoes, rather than merely use the elliptical.   It is also doing wonders for my mileage, which means I will have to replace said shoes earlier than my last pair.  It's worth it, if at the end I can hold my own against a 5K run. 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Chugging along - 139 pounds down... again

This week was a good week so far as sticking to my program went.  I have finished week 2 - or should I say, I have survived week 2 - of my C25K program, and I did weights 3x this week focusing on my upper body.  Gotta keep those sculpted arms, after all.

My eating was under control, too.  Not a lot of snacking, and no "off the record" meals or treats.  What I ate, I logged.  The snacking was much better this week than before Christmas, and last night when I caught myself trying to rationalize a scoop of peanut butter before bed, I just went to bed instead of snacking.  So far, so good, in other words.

My cholesterol and A1C numbers were solidly green when I tested them this month, too.  I have had generally normal fasting blood sugar numbers for months now, but in December I was seeing a few slightly elevated numbers creep in there, likely due to the complete deviation from my normal workout routines and eating habits.  Since I have been back on track, however, the blood sugar numbers have been solidly normal, and that is reflected in my normal A1C numbers.  Whew!   

And the result of all this hard work?  I have achieved the impossible, and turned back time to the end of August.  That's right, I weighed in at 194.9 pounds this morning, down 2.5 pounds from last week at this time.  The last time I weighed this was at the end of August, before the wheels fell off.  That's 4 entire lost months down the drain.  In other words, instead of hitting my weight loss goal in January, I will be lucky to make it in May or June. 

But you know what?  That's OK.  I am happy with the progress I have made so far, and I am very happy with the results of all my hard work.  Am I disappointed that I have given up some of those hard-fought losses?  Sure I am.  Will I let that stop me from working my plan and trying to get back to where I was, and move on from there?  No way.  I have come too far.  And let's be honest, 139 pounds lost is nothing to sneeze at.  That's still a full person, and I am going to celebrate that victory for what it is. 

With that spirit, here's a recent photo in the sparkle dress:

And here's a photo of the Nerd and I looking fabulous (taken New Year's Day 2014):
Lets compare to September 2003:
Or July 2007:

Yep, I would say that the Nerd and I are looking pretty fly this year.  Even with giving back a little bit of ground in the weight loss department. 

With this week's 2.5 pound loss (1.4 pounds down from New Year's Eve alone), I am less than 10 pounds away from being a Middleweight, and less than 30 pounds away from my goal weight.  If I continue on my 1.5 pound a week average, I will now reach my target sometime around the end of May or early June.  Just in time for summer bathing suit weather again!  Bring it on!