In which I take a weight-loss victory lap …

I have an announcement — not one that you may even care to know, except I care, and if you knew me, you’d know what a big deal this is.

As of today, I have now lost 25.6 pounds!

This means that I have crossed a minor milestone. That’s some significant weight, people. I still have a long way to go. Obviously. But I feel transformed enough by this achievement that I will break my silence about it.

What prompted this: Although I have a heart condition, I have not had a weight-related heath issue. I am no where near being diabetic. I have the lowest cholesterol in my family practice. My blood pressure has always been low. I have had, until last year, no reason to lose weight except for cosmetic reasons. Then last year, I was diagnosed with esophageal ulcers. I had to have not one — but two endoscopies. Even now I’m sleeping on a wedge pillow and taking additional medication, and in December, I had a bought of gastritis that had me in the Orlando hospital for nine hours. I mean, I’m in my 30s! This is ridiculous! So January, I started the year feeling fairly low. My mother, who was on the fringe of high sugar levels, asked me to do this diet with her. So, I agreed.

Some of you already know about my diet, as you’ve seen me eating a bar at lunch instead of a meal. I started this in mid-January, and now it’s May. I go to the Diet Center in downtown Cary to weigh in twice a week, and — full disclosure — my meal plan involves:

  • Breakfast: Shape Up shake, 12 oz of water, coffee
  • Lunch: Shape Up bar, 12-16 oz water, 100 calorie yogurt
  • (Exercise: 16 oz of water)
  • Dinner: 4 oz of white meat (or 8 oz of any shell fish), as much veggies as I want, small potato or sweet potato, 12 oz of water, coffee
  • Snack: Fruit, Shake Up shake, 12 oz of water
  • 12 oz of water to take my pills

So essentially, I have one real meal a day.

I’ve been saving tons of money on groceries, as I only skirt the perimeter of the store. What I mean is that I only pick up fruit and salad stuff from the produce aisle, hit the dairy section for coffee creamer, eggs, and yogurt, and then occasionally pick up frozen vegetables. That’s it.

Here are a few of my revelations since being on this diet:

Food: It’s really, really, really difficult to find a healthy meal. As in, forget about Italian, Indian, and Chinese food. Sushi, which I thought was very good for you, is wrapped in rice … which is a carb. I’m only officially allowed to have 4 sushi rolls, so what exactly is the point? With the exception of the shakes and bars I eat, I have had absolutely no processed food since January.

  • Favorite meals out: Grilled chicken salad at Red Robin, grilled chicken salad at Chic-Fil-A which I get every Friday, grilled chicken salad at Cheesecake factory (are we seeing a theme here?), snow crab legs at Red Lobster — sans any garlic cheese biscuits.
  • Favorite meals I make in: 4 egg omelet with veggies and tomatoes (the key ingredient), BBQ shrimp and green beans, air-popped popcorn with Parkay butter spray.

Purchases: So, I got a treadmill for my birthday which is revolutionizing my life. I’ve discovered that I am a treadmill reader, and I get antsy if I don’t get my 30 minutes (at least) of uninterrupted, quiet reading time. That means I’ve been blazing through my to-read novels. I read 3-4 chapters in one session, so I’m hoping to maybe read 2-3 books a month. All while sweating profusely. Ha!

Additionally, Mom and I have gotten to the point where our clothes are too big. We’re on a “too big” watch-list. If I see her in some saggy pants or tops, I tell her to toss them. Same for me. For instance, I had to go buy some new pants, because I was getting desperate. Next up (which may be TMI for people) are new bras. I can now put my fist into my bra while wearing it, and according to my measurements, I’m down two whole sizes.

Compliments: So, it’s only been recently that acquaintances are starting to say, “Wow, you’ve really lost weight.” I read someone’s post about how someone telling you that you look great having lost weight is a double-edged sword, because if you start to gain it back, does that mean you don’t look great anymore? But I don’t view this as, “You’ve lost weight, and now you have more value.” Instead, I view this as, “You’ve lost weight, and I’m recognizing your hard work.” While I have longingly looked at cute clothes that I’ve never been able to wear, I have never been someone who has focused on physical appearance. Maybe that’s to my ultimate detriment, but I do think this has instilled me with a healthy appreciation of what it means to look healthy. I don’t want to be stick thin; I just want to look and feel great.

That’s already happening. I have a LOT of energy, much more than I had last year. I’m taking the “grand tour” of bathrooms of everywhere I go. For instance, I was at Memorial Auditorium for a concert and hit the facilities three times. Nuts!

I still have a long way to go, but I’m definitely on my way. I’m going to look and feel completely different by October-December of this year!

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