Category Archives: Weight Loss

New Me Week Eight: The Gift Giving Edition

This week was okay–more holiday parties creeping up and getting in the way of a pitch-perfect week.  While I find this frustrating, the thing that’s really been getting to me is the total lack of thought put into some gifts.  The holidays are coming and I understand that many people want to buy their friends, coworkers, and special-someones a gift, but please do so thoughtfully.  To help all of the confused or clueless, I’m going to explain buying gifts for your health-conscious fat friend!

When you’re getting ready to buy your fat friend a gift for their birthday, an upcoming holiday, or just because, you need to stop and really think for a second about the person you’re buying for.  Are they watching what they’re eating?  Have they come to you and expressed frustration about food, or anxiety about meals before?  Do they have a food allergy?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to make sure that whatever gift you’re about to buy your friend is not food.

I repeat: Do not buy your fat friend food.

You may think you’re being kind and getting them a special something that they can snack on later, but a lot of the time, buying someone who is getting over an eating disorder or building a new relationship with food something sweet or unhealthy is one of the most selfish things you could do.  You’re surprising them with trigger foods, with body shame, with disappointment and anxiety.  Not cool.  It’s equivalent to buying your friend, whose legs have been amputated after a traumatic accident, running shoes.

Your friend is going to open a gift they can’t or shouldn’t use, and smile gratefully at you and thank you wholeheartedly.  Meanwhile, as soon as you leave the room, they’re either going to give their gift away or binge on their forbidden snacks.  It’s the ultimate dick move.

Even if you decide to buy your fat friend something healthy, think about the spotlight you’ve just placed on them while they open up their awesome bushel of green apples in front of everyone.  Any food that isn’t planned for is stressful, even when it’s healthy.  I know that as soon as I’m alone, I am going to eat the whole bushel, plus whatever I was originally planning on eating because feeling so full that I’m in physical pain is what I’m addicted to.

Yes, the twelve apples I just ate are better for me than twelve cookies, but don’t pat yourself on the back quite yet: your gift is enabling me to self-harm.

If you found something food-related that you really want to give your friend, but you’re not sure if it’s going to trigger them into a bad situation, then you have two options:

  1. Eat it while thinking about how two-dimensional the image you have of your friend is–so two dimensional that you couldn’t think of a single good gift outside of this snack.
  2. Ask your friend if this is something they would be able/want to eat.  Be prepared for kind lies–no one is going to want to make you feel bad about your crap gift.

Instead, really stop and think about the things your friend likes: things they talk about, or things you’ve seen them doing.  Buy them some yarn, get them a coloring book, buy them a durable tote for their traveling or shopping needs.  Literally buy them anything that they can’t eat.

When you buy your health-ready fat friend food, what you’re saying is: I’ve heard you.  I know you’re struggling to get your eating and your life under control.  I don’t care, and I don’t love you.  Your struggle and your comfort are not important enough to make me think outside of my usual gift registry.

Though we smile and throw our arms up while we graciously thank you for your thoughtful and generous gift, inside we’re internalizing this message, and while we finger the wrapping on the sweets we’re holding on our lap–ones we haven’t decided yet whether we’ll eat or give away–we’re nursing hurt feelings and the crushing feeling of how insignificant and unwanted we are.

Starting weight: 210.2 lbs

Current weight: 199.8 lbs

Total loss: -10.4 lbs

New Me Week Six and Week Seven: Emotional Exhaustion

These two weeks brought on a ton of extra work (professional and personal), and a lot of stresses.  During week five, I worked really hard to get myself on track and experienced a lot of success.  The night before the weigh-in though, I went to a party and after misunderstanding what was going on, overate by a lot.  The result was a gain the next day.

I was so upset–I felt like all my hard work during the week meant absolutely nothing and that I had wasted all that effort on a misunderstanding.

During the following week I found it so hard to focus, to say no, and to get back where I needed to be mentally.  I spoke to Alex about how discouraged and frustrated I was, and he suggested I might be emotionally exhausted.

And then everything made sense.

I was getting to a point where whenever a person offered me food I wasn’t planning on eating, I was answering with frustration and with a “Ugh, fine, you win, whatever–just give it to me!”  These weren’t even food pushers most of the time–it was just average people being nice and asking if I wanted to have something they were eating.  I mean, I couldn’t even bring myself to write my regular blog post, because the idea of devoting any more emotion and thought on how things were going made me want to cry tired tears.

Recognizing the exhaustion was key to me taking a little bit of time to acknowledge the problem, and make a better plan for week seven, which went really awesome and resulted in a weight loss.

I think it’s important to check in with our bodies every now and again, and acknowledge what’s going on, even when the answer is just, “I’m really tired and can’t deal with very much right now.”

Sometimes this means pulling out of social engagements that might not put us in a safe spot or may not allow for us to take the best care of ourselves.  Sometimes this means that we have to communicate a little better with those who love us and are helping us on this journey.  Sometimes all it takes is one person making a decision for us to help recharge that self-love energy.

That being said, week seven was much easier.  I could talk about how I was feeling, and I even identified a time when looking for a place to eat was making me tired of saying no.  This was my greatest accomplishment of the week–learning when things made me start to give up and asking for help to stop the process.

A place to eat was eventually picked, I was able to get a healthy meal, and I even planned ahead enough to have some prosecco!

2016-12-11-19-47-53_reducedUnrelated to my week: I’ve decided to move recipes and exercise to their own posts on the blog–if you’d like to read up on what I’ve been making, check out the main page of thedailydani.com!

Starting weight: 210.2 lbs

Current weight: 200.0 lbs

Total loss: -10.2 lbs

New Me Week Five: Another Thanksgiving Bites The Dust

This post delay is brought to you by NaNoWriMo.  Which I finished.  So I guess it’s a good thing I delayed writing this post?

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winnerSomehow, even after Thanksgiving, I was able to lose this week, which speaks volumes.  It was only two tenths of a pound, but boy was I excited to see it!  I tried really hard to make sure that I tracked every sliver of food that passed my lips, and I said no to a lot of things.  Sorry stuffing!

There were a lot of struggles, like being surprised with a trip to a candy store that smelled like heaven, and a soup course I hadn’t excepted, but overall, I was pretty well prepared.  This is the first holiday that I found out the menu beforehand and made sure that there was a lot of options for me to enjoy so I wouldn’t be stuck with something I couldn’t or shouldn’t have.

Preparation is key, and I’m learning that I can expect people to make space in their plans for me to safely exist and leave the party/event/vacation healthy.  Again, like I stressed last week, anyone who tells you that you are asking for too much when you ask for help, space, or understanding is someone who doesn’t deserve the gift of your presence in their lives.  This is about your health, not about their comfort.

Food

For food this week, I want to share with you my Thanksgiving plate!  I’m pretty proud of it.

2016-11-24-18-51-43I overloaded on protein and veggies.  I made that Brussels sprouts recipe (which came out better than the first time) and I made a mushroom/green bean mix with breadcrumbs, and some mashed acorn squash.

I allowed myself a little bit of stuffing because I wanted it, but this was it!  I was pretty full after all this food, and it was the healthiest I could have hoped for my dinner to go.  I’m proud of myself, but also, I’m realizing I’m a damn good cook!  Well, I guess I always knew this, but now I’m giving myself chances to cook for others, which makes my stomach and my heart feel full.

Exercise

This week I essentially was either sitting and writing for NaNoWriMo, or I was enjoying being away from the city by a copious amount of sitting and coloring.  Not great choices, but expected.

The cool news is that I can now deadlift 80 pounds!  In addition to that, I went to personal training the day I left for Thanksgiving fun.  We did a lot of one leg sit/stands and tons of lunges.  I couldn’t actually move my legs for the entire Thanksgiving break, haha.  I walked around like a penguin all day, every day.  It was painful for me, but funny for everyone else, I’m sure.

May this week be filled with relaxing moments!

Starting weight: 210.2 lbs

Current weight: 201.4 lbs

Total loss: -8.8 lbs

New Me Week Four: A Gain in Perspective

This week was filled with days when food was beyond my control.  There was a lot of surprise trips to restaurants, and a lot of surprise foods that made their way to me.  It was really hard, but I did the best I could with what I could control.  I gained weight this week as  result of it.  This weight could be the natural cycle of weight loss I tend to follow (three losses and a gain), which means next week is a definite loss, but the gain made me think of something that’s been bothered me for a while.

Many fat-allies tend to focus on the physical weight as both the issue and the celebration.  They assume I’m the happiest, proudest, most motivated when the scale tells me I should be, but this is a very damaging kind of thinking to fall into.  The support feels like a double-edged knife.  I get the message that they are proud of me for all of my hard work, and that they think I’m strong and amazing.  But the flip side of this is that they think these things because I am becoming less fat.

This then causes a greater problem.  If my friends are proud of me because I was able to lose weight, what does it now mean that this week I didn’t lose weight?  Whether or not they meant it, I can almost feel their cringes in the background.  Failing feels like I’m not able to human well enough, rather than something I should accept, grow from, and move on.  I’m already heavy enough–I don’t need to carry the unrealistic and unfair expectations of those watching me from the sidelines.

To truly be a support to your fat friends, I think it’s essential for people to forget the number.  Remember the person.  Ask them questions and really listen.  And if you’re not ready to change your life to better fit your fat friend in it, then don’t ask to begin with.  They may need something from you, and will be hurt when you don’t provide it.

Treat your friend like you would someone with a food allergy or someone with a special food restriction, like a vegetarian.  You wouldn’t turn around and tell your friend who has a severe peanut allergy that you’re throwing a peanut butter party, but they’re welcome to bring something they can eat.  And you wouldn’t treat them like they’re broken and need to learn to deal with the situations you’re throwing at them.

Being fat is not a sign of weakness, and it is not something that needs to be fixed.  We all, fatties included, need to stop treating it that way.  If your fat friends needs something, and you cannot or will not provide it, you need to tell them to their face so that they can find better friends.  They deserve good friends.

For me, my journey is partly about weight and partly about health.  I want to feel good in my body, which to me means getting stronger at the gym and having my hip pain stop.  Getting stronger isn’t related to the scale.  My hip pain may be.  Perhaps my hip pain is a result of me being heavier than I was when I started running–who knows?  My success, however, is going to be measured by whether or not I can start running again, not what I weigh.

This has been on my mind for a while, and I think gaining weight finally made it possible to start opening this box.

Beyond this, here’s a quick recap of my week.

Food

Guess who didn’t forget to take photos of her meals this week!  This fatty right here.  This week’s chosen recipe is:

2016-11-20-19-35-20Mustard Brussels Sprouts and Acorn Squashed Potatoes!

What you’ll need:

Lots of Brussels sprouts
1 acorn squash
2 chicken sausage links
1 jar of whole grain mustard
Parmesan cheese
Butter
Flour/Corn starch

First, cut your acorn squash in half and butter the halves up, then stick it in the oven.  Use your usual roasting time and temperature.  I had it in at 425 for 40 minutes.

Next, shred your Brussels sprouts.  What I did was cut each in half, then into strips vertically.  Then I manually separated the layers.  I put the sprouts in a pan and mixed in a little bit of butter.  As they cooked, I took out a bowl and mixed together 3/4 cup water, 1/2 tbs of flour (or corn starch).  After those are mixed, add in 2 tbs whole grain mustard and mix together.  This should be pretty liquidy, so you’ll want to put it in a pan and simmer until it gets thicker.  This took about 2-3 minutes for me.

When the Brussels sprouts become tender, add chicken sausage that has been cut into tiny chunks.  I cut each link into slices, and then each slice was cut into quarters.  Add these to the sprouts and cook until the sausage is well done.  Before serving, add in the mustard glaze and mix into the sprouts and sausage.

By this time, the squash should be done.  Take it out of the oven and using a glove and a spoon, scoop out the meaty inside into a bowl.  It should be so soft that it’s pretty instantly “mashed potato” status.  Add Parmesan cheese to taste.

Finally add servings of both to a plate and enjoy!

Exercise

I was able to get to the gym this week.  My hip was hurting a lot, which I think is a result of all the sitting I’ve been doing for NaNo writing.  I did manage to snag these cool pictures of me doing a Romanian dead-lift:

2016-11-14-18-11-51-1-1And here is me lifting up a ball and about to throw it really hard on the ground:

2016-11-14-18-22-47All the other photos from this series make me realize I have active scary face when working out.

This week is going to be a bit of a hard one with Thanksgiving coming up.  However, perhaps this year will be a surprising–I’ll make sure to take photos!

I’m wishing you patience and love this week.

Starting weight: 210.2 lbs

Current weight: 201.6 lbs

Total loss: -8.6 lbs

New Me Week Three: Stumbles and Near Misses

This week was definitely interesting.  The election caused some major feelings of helplessness, which tends to be my big trigger for eating.  As soon as things get out of control, I shovel some stuff into my mouth and I’ve magically got control of it all.  Solid logic.

I felt the wave of nom noms coming on, so I stocked up on apples and plums and veggies so I could emotionally eat things that were a little more healthy for my body.  The problem wasn’t completely dealt with, but I did make one baby step towards not doing the wrong thing.

One pretty awesome thing that happened this week though was that on Saturday my best friend came over in the morning to help me record a video for our Kickstarter.  I was really nervous and I wanted desperately not to look stupid on camera.  I mean, this could potentially be seen by one trillion people–all I wanted was to look passably attractive and sound like someone who has as many degrees as I do.

Nick sent me some screenshots of from throughout the video.  Some of them look questionable, like this one:

2016-11-12-11-59-41And some of them look really nice.  Like this one:

2016-11-12-11-59-44-2This second picture made me feel really pretty, even though I’m also making a stupid face.  I think it captures my personality really well, and I can see that I’m having a lot of fun.  Photo win.

Beyond this, here’s a quick recap of my week.

Food

Of course I forgot to take photos of the deliciously healthy meals because I was too busy shoveling them into my face while they were still lava hot.  One photo-less recipe I can offer you is this:

Healthy Parmesan Chicken and WTF Veggies

You’ll need:
As many chicken breasts as you want to eat
Bread crumbs
Two eggs
Low-fat string cheese (I used Weight Watchers brand)
Tomato sauce
All the veggies you want to eat (I used one sweet potato, one head of broccoli)
Garlic
Butter

First, chop up all the veggies and the garlic.  Put the veggies in a pan with half the garlic, and cook until toasty.  Then add a tiny bit of butter and continue cooking.

While the veggies are doing their thing, you’ll need to set up a little station.  In one bowl, put about two cups of breadcrumbs in, and in a separate bowl, beat two eggs well.  Next, wash and cut your chicken breast to preference.  Dunk the chicken breast into the eggs and then right into the bread crumbs.  Put them on a baking sheet.

When all of your breasts are covered and ready, stick them in the oven.  I put them in for about 20 minutes at 375.  Honestly, I have no idea about the science of food in ovens, so I just make it up and pray.  This gave me crispy brown cooked breasts, so I’d give it the thumbs up.

When they’re done, take them out and use a spoon to spread tomato sauce around the tops of each one, and sprinkle some garlic on top–I heaped it on, but use the amount that you like to eat.  Next, break up your string cheese and lay your cheese layers on top of the tomato sauce and garlic.  Stick these birds back in the oven for another 5 – 10 minutes.

If you time everything right, your veggies and chicken should be done at the same time.  I threw some breadcrumbs into the veggie mix to give it a little texture, but this is optional.

Serve up together and enjoy!  I managed to recognize when I was full and saved a whole breast for lunch the next day–food win!

Exercise

NaNoWriMo has made getting to the gym really hard, and the one day I was set to go, I had a CPR class.  Sunday night I was ready to lift some weights–I even got as far as changing clothes and getting through my warm-up.  A comment someone had said to me earlier in the day finally caught up to me though, and when I saw someone using the machine I needed to use, I lost all steam and decided I needed to go home.  I’m going to try again this week to do this particular work-out, but that’s going to be a bit hard.  I’m feeling pretty deflated and quite honestly, ashamed and angry.

Even though I’m having a hard time regaining the drive and enthusiasm I had Sunday morning, I’m hoping that in the space it takes for me to write this and for it to be published, some magic will happen and I’ll be ready for this new week.

I’m wishing you tolerance, love, and safety this week.

Starting weight: 210.2 lbs

Current weight: 199.8 lbs

Total loss: -10.4 lbs

New Me Week Two: Hipsters

This week I ate a lot.  There’s no real way to get around that one.  If it was dead and warm, there was a fair chance I was putting it in my mouth.  I stayed within my frame of healthy eating.  Mostly.  And I tried to incorporate more exercise to counter my inability to stop eating.  Luckily, whatever I did worked.  Danielle: 1; Compulsive Overeating: 0.

There’s a lot of work to be done in the managing-the-eating department, which this week did a really great job of reminding me about, but I’m determined to get to the root of the problem and just stop it.  Or do it less.  Less do is good.

Here’s a quick recap of my week.

Food

There was just so much of it.  I cooked a few healthy meals this week, but I tended to overeat even those.  The week started with pizza, which was a bit of a fail even though I chose to eat it.  From there it was just one fall after another.  The good news is that after each fall, I was quick to undo the damage with positive physical changes.  That counts, right?

One great recipe I made was what I am going to call: Lean Burger and ALL THE VEGG!

2016-11-05-19-55-09To make this dish, you’ll need:

4 ounces of lean ground beef (92% lean or higher)
1 Weight Watchers string cheese of your choice
1 light English muffin
1/2 of an acorn squash, sliced thinly
1 small sweet potato diced
1 red pepper cut into slices
1 head of broccoli, cut small
2 chopped scallions
Grated Parmesan cheese (I used 1/4 cup)Light butter, to rub on pan for no-stickies

First, add all your veggies (except for the scallion) onto a tray you’ve first rubbed down with butter.  I put the acorn squash flat on the pan while throwing all the the other veggies wherever there is room.  You might have a better method.  Put the pan in the oven at 375 for 25 minutes.

When the time is up, take it out and throw the chopped scallions along with the Parmesan cheese on top.  Stick them back in the oven, same temp–another 25 minutes.  While they’re going at it in the oven, heat up a pan and slap your burger patty on it.  I like to gingerly toss some spices on my burgers–do what makes you happy.  While that sizzled, I put the English muffin in the toaster oven with the string cheese chopped up and on each half.

Once your cheese is melted and your burger is done, get it together and on a plate–take the veggies out of the oven (they should also be done) and add those to the dish.  Delicious!

Exercise

This was a hard week for the gym.  My hip ached all week post-training, so I resigned myself to lots of cardio and rest.  I should be back to the gym this week, and let me tell you–when you don’t go, you miss it.

This month I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m grateful for–and having a strong hip without pain may top the list.  Here’s to a grateful and happy week to come!

Starting weight: 210.2 lbs

Current weight: 203.0 lbs

Total loss: -7.2 lbs

New Me: Week One

So my first week wasn’t so bad.

I mean, I spent way more time than I thought I would trying to talk about how hard eating is for me, and I spent way more time than I thought I would planning out my meals, but that’s how growing works, right?

Let’s look at the week.

Exercise

I got to do really cool things in personal training, which includes, but is not limited to: front squats.  I’m always trying to learn what the exercises are called, but sometimes I’m not so great with the memory.  Basically, this is me saying I hope they’re actually called front squats.

2016-10-30-18-14-582016-10-30-18-14-52They were pretty tough at first because I was so scared of dropping the bar, but once I got over that fear, they were pretty cool.  I mean, look how cool I look doing them.

pumping-iron

Food

I made some yummy dishes at home, and of course did not take any photos of them.  Instead, I want to tell you about a victory I had outside of the apartment.  I went to a party on Saturday that I was really worried about.  It was a nighttime party, which meant it would most likely happening after I ate all my points for the day.  And it would probably be filled with temptations.

After a brief freak out, I settled on bringing a vegetable platter with me to the party, and made sure I sat near it.  Crisis averted.

Also, check out how awesome I look in my Halloween costume!

2016-10-30-07-41-57

Nick made the backpack from scratch.  I got a million compliments on the subway—not such a bad thing, gotta be honest with you.

Now onto my second week, ready for whatever comes!

Starting weight: 210.2 lbs

Current weight: 206.6 lbs

Total loss: -3.6 lbs

New Me: The Start

I decided to hit reset.

What I was doing wasn’t working, and so I’m switching it all up again.

Here’s a chronicle of my journey—a new start towards finding a balance between who I am right now and who I want to be.

Before I tell you where I want to go, let’s look at where I am and where I’ve been.

On May 28th, 2010 I graduated from college at 264 pounds.  I have very few memories of that day except that I hated how I looked so much that I have few surviving photos of me.

34084_550150212485_4276144_nOn May 29th, 2010 I joined Weight Watchers.

I did really well for a while—I lost 87 pounds by October of 2012, and a few more pounds into April of 2013.  And then things started to fall apart.  I started having issues with my family, and issues with my job.  I was single, and unhappy about it.  I was mad that I had lost nearly 100 pounds and nothing was getting better.  Because that’s how it’s supposed to work, right?  Your weight is why you’re unhappy, and when it’s gone, everything is sunshine and roses.  Someone had lied to me, and I was mad I worked so hard for “nothing.”

In September of 2013, I started dating someone who was as toxic to me as he was to himself and every person he came in contact with.  I was working with a narcissistic coworker who sabotaged my joy at work.  I felt like I had failed at being an adult.  The weight started to creep on.  I held strong though—I wanted to do well, even if the people I co-existed with made that impossible.

In September of 2014, after a disaster of a break up, I started running.  I loved running–I raced every weekend and ran in the park 3-4 times a week.

2014-11-16 10.13.50And then in February of 2015, I injured myself.  I couldn’t run, and I felt like I had finally lost everything.  So I self-medicated with Netflix and Chinese food, and slowly but surely the weight came back.

In January of 2016, I started personal training with a really fantastic woman who can basically bench press me with her pinky finger.  She helped me improve my balance, and work on getting over a fear of injuring myself again.  I started strength training, and everything seemed to be going great.

Except I couldn’t stop eating.  It was a real and serious problem.  I was eating when I was happy, I was eating when I was sad, and I was eating when I knew I should stop.  I was still punishing myself, and no amount of hugs from my (newer and nicer) boyfriend, or kettle bells, or baggy sweaters was going to fix it.

So I rejoined Weight Watchers.

Today is day one of getting myself back to healthy.

Do I want to lose the weight?  Of course.

What I really want though, is control.  I want control over my eating again.  I want to feel normal and proud of myself again.

So here goes–at 210.2 pounds, I’m starting over.

I will share my work with you.

The good, the bad, and the frustrating will go here, and hopefully, it will all come together.

Week Two Hundred and Twenty-One

I weighed in while I was in Ohio and FINALLY had a loss.  Phew.  Talk about taking forever.  I kept all my goals as well, which means that I have to update my goals and make them harder (or new).  I’m still far away from getting everything completely under control, so for the next week (and most of September) I am going to work on these goals:

1. Go to the gym at least twice a week.  Even when I only want to stay for a little while.  Take gym clothes with me to work.

2. Drink soda only twice a week.

3. Always have fresh fruit in the apartment.

Work is about to kick up again and I’m determined to always have fresh fruit available as a snack.  I’m going to have to rework my days now that I’m going to be spending most of it outside doing work-things.  Here’s to working on the problems and having another loss!

Week Two Hundred and Twenty

I gained again this week, but I suspect it has to do with the renewed gyming I’ve been doing.  Next week will be the true tell whether or not I’m still messing up.  I kept up all my goals as well, which I’m really proud of.  I drank mostly water each day, and I think I’ve finally got to a healthy amount.

I started ordering from Fresh Direct, which counts as my kindness to myself each day.  Lots of fruit coming in means healthier choices and less stupid snacking.  I may or may not have also gotten two dresses for myself.  Kindness?  Check.

And lastly, going to the gym twice a week.  Surprisingly, I went three times last week, and walked there and back!  I even went one night that I wasn’t feeling well.  I stayed for 15 minutes, then went home.

I’ll be on vacation this week and so my goal is to keep these three things up even though I won’t be home.  Give me all your positive energy–I’m going to need it.