Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Farewell to the season of temptation

PHEW!!!! That was a giant sigh of relief as Christmas comes to an end. Don't get me wrong... I love Christmas as much as the next person. I might even love it more. I love the warmth and the atmosphere, the time with family and the friendliness of strangers, the celebration of the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the singing of carols, dressing up for all the festivities, the spirit of generosity, the giving and receiving of gifts... if I wrote my list on a roll of parchment, I could probably wrap it around the world a couple times before I ran out of reasons why I love Christmas. Okay, maybe not the world, but at least a smaller replica of the world. Like a globe. My list could absolutely wrap around a globe at LEAST twice! I know, I know... my Christmas zeal is impressive.

I really do love giving gifts, too. Often I will make people open their presents early because I just can't wait until Christmas day! My cousin Gillian is due to have a baby girl on March 1st and I bought her some clothes while shopping for Christmas gifts. I almost wrapped those clothes and gave them to the unborn Avery, or "Choo Choo Woo Woo" as her brother Eli has dubbed her, for Christmas. To calm my urge to give, I brought the clothes with me on Christmas Eve and showed them to Gillian, and now she will get them for her baby shower, and I won't feel the need to buy more stuff since I already have her shower gifts. I have a problem.

I also have another problem. It's called "I ate way too much in the last couple months, AKA the Season of Temptation, and gained ten pounds back."

Yep. Ten pounds. Do you have any idea how many calories that is? 35,000. Thirty-five thousand calories above and beyond the necessary calories one needs to survive each day. Holy bajillion calories batman! Is that even possible? What did I eat, a literal cow? Two cows? A cow and a giraffe? A zebra with icing? My GOSH! How am I not in a food coma right now???

Let's just do some math... (Oh, and speaking of math, I totally got 98% in my math class this semester. Yeah, I'm awesome at the calculations. Shout out to all you math nerds out there, one of whom is pictured below.) I started giving in to the food and sweets deception in the middle of October with the introduction of Halloween. What can I say, I love candy corn! So, two and a half months of indulgence. That is approximately seventy-five days. 35,000 calories *shudder* divided by 75 days is 467 calories/day. Broken down like that, it's not as sickening, but still disturbing. And I can see how I wracked up all those extra pounds.

The good news? I hate how I feel, and I have no desire to continue to exist in this calorie induced state of grossness any longer. My digestive system longs for healthier fodder, and my energy level is begging to rise back up to meet its potential. I have been lethargic as a hyper sloth these few months, and it's driving me insane.

The REALLY good news? I know I can lose these extra ten pounds in no time. Much less than it took to gain them, even. I am not overwhelmed at the task before me, only excited! My small immediate goal is to lose what I have gained back, but then right after that is my goal of reaching 199 pounds. My brother and sister-in-law gave me the digital scale I requested for Christmas and now I can track my weight down to the tenth of a pound. This is an important aspect of weight loss for me.

I've been saying that I'm gonna start running for over a year now, with no actual running having taken place. I keep saying, "I'm gonna start running and then I'm gonna do a 5k." Ha. I need a change of strategy. I need to just sign up for a 5k and then I HAVE to start running to get ready for it. There's a color run on February 4th that I want to register for, but it costs $40, which I don't have. So I am on the search for a free or cheap 5k that I can do to get me running. Meanwhile, I really do have to start running because I signed up for a soccer class for nest semester. It will kick my butt. It will be wonderful.

So farewell, Season of Temptation. You were fun. You tasted delicious. You provided opportunities to dress up and eat lots of junk with my friends.
The Bel Air Christmas tea with my friend (and fellow math nerd) Andreawesome. Or just Andrea, but she is awesome, so I'm not really sure you can leave that part out. I ate WAAAAYYYY too much at that tea.

Even with the return of the evil ten pounds, I have continued to get compliments about how skinny I look. I don't feel like it right now, but when I look at pictures of myself, or catch a glimpse of myself on a security monitor at Target, I know that I do look thin. Not necessarily according to world standards, but in comparison to my previous self. I look at myself and think, "Wow! That's ME!"

Because the LAST time I went to the Bel Air Christmas tea, in 2006, I looked like this:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Large and in charge

I can't hear the phrase "Large and in charge" without thinking of my grandpa. What a character that man was! In my family, we often quote him, and laugh at the funny way he would say things.

I got to spend the last two years of his life living with him, and in that time I certainly brought him new experiences. I taught him how to "yoink" something if he wanted to steal it from me (mostly licorice), we did "Kateflix" where I would leave DVDs for him to watch on top of his tv which he would then put on the hallway divider when he was ready for more, and I brought the term "large and in charge" to his attention. He could never quite grasp the fact that the term was really just something dumb to say and didn't mean anything on a deeper level. So he would ask, and I would try to explain.

Grandpa: "Large? And... In Charge??? What does that mean?"

Katie: "It doesn't really mean anything. Just like, if something is big and commands attention, you might say that."

Grandpa: "But... IN CHAAAARRRGGGEE???" (long, drawn out emphasis on "charge", like saying it in that way would bring some clarity or something)

Me: "ummm, yeah, it's really just more of a saying than anything. Because it rhymes. It's really just kinda dumb."

Grandpa: "But WHAT does it MEEEAAANNN???"

Me: "Nothing, Grandpa."

See, I wish that my Grandpa was alive today, because I would tell him about the new jacket that is my early Christmas present from my parents, and I would say that it is large and in charge. Inevitably, he would ask, "But what does that MEEEAAANNN???" and I would answer, "it means that this jacket is a size large. And it is in charge of making me incredibly excited!" And then I'd probably add a "Boom!" for good measure, because that's how I roll.


Now to make this jacket too large...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Downsizing one's wardrobe is a complicated matter. Especially when one is aware that one will be in one's current size only temporarily before further downsizing is required, and one does not have massive amounts of money to spend on clothing.

Okay, enough with that ridiculous formality. Winter is here, and I am facing an interesting dilemma. All of my jackets and sweatshirts, with the exception of my very thin pink one that I bought and flaunted in this post: Out with the old, are hilariously big on me. I keep this huge pink snow jacket in my car for emergency coldness, and had to bring it out the other day when my aunt and I were having a garage sale and freezing our butts off. It was a 3X, and really looked quite comical. I should have taken a picture, but I didn't. I think I need to go hunting around at the Salvation Army and the Goodwill for some cute used jacket that I can spend a minimal amount of money on and then do the same thing when I need a new one next winter, until I am the size I want to be, and then I'll splurge and spend money on something I know I'll be able to wear until it's unwearable.

I have, however, been thinking about investing in a good new sweatshirt that will maybe fit me snugly now and then be a decent looseness in the future. I've been eyeballing different sweatshirts here and there, but on Friday at Disneyland, I found the one. I had a coupon for 20% off, and they have a Jack Skellington sweatshirt that I had admired for quite some time, so I was able to save some money on something I love! My friend Andrea (whom I call Andreawesome... because she IS!) has the same sweatshirt, and wore it that day, so when I bought mine that night, we matched. I might be a dork, but I still think it's fun to match with my friends sometimes.


I love my new sweatshirt, but the best part of it is the size. I used to have to buy men's sweatshirts in XXL. Well, this is also a men's sweatshirt, because that was all they had, but the size? A SMALL!!!! I was expecting to fit into the Large, and when that was too big, I tried on the Medium. I was a bit incredulous that even that one had some room in it, so I tried on the small, and then I tried on a different small just to be sure. But it fit! Small was the right size!

I am fully aware that I am not a size small in women's clothing. I am also 100% content with the fact that my body will never be a women's size small. My build is large and muscular, and I am perfectly fine with that. It's not about comparing myself to other women and what sizes their bodies are. I look only at myself: the way I looked in the past, the size I know my own body to be capable of achieving, and the way I feel. I know that I still have a lot to lose, and I will work on losing it until it's gone, but I am happy with my body for now. And every pound I lose makes me feel better, which is the real goal anyway!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The dangers of association.

Last week I went to visit my parents in Tucson: the land where I become paralyzed to exercise and always gain a few pounds. Whenever I'm there, I can feel the inactivity creeping over me, like a straight jacket holding me down while someone shoves Eegee's down my throat. Okay, so the person feeding me the Eegee's is myself, but if you've ever had Eegee's and then lived away from Tucson and couldn't have them anymore, you would understand why that's something I don't stop myself from having the few times a year I'm there.

You know how songs and smells can bring you back to a specific time and place? I can never hear Crazy by Aerosmith without momentarily becoming my 13 year old self, riding my bike around the block with one of the girls that lived down the street, singing at the top of our lungs with our arms above our heads, the wind blowing through our hair, and feeling so cool... until I needed to grab the handlebars to keep from falling. I never completely got the hang of that hands-free thing. In the same way, there is a certain mixture of smells that, when duplicated, allow me to close my eyes and feel the presence of my beloved grandmother, if only for a moment. Those associations are strong. They're powerful. Magic, even.

But sometimes associations can have a negative affect. Let's go back to the year I moved to Tucson. I was 13, and had been playing soccer for years. I was good. I was in shape. I was a normal active kid. The week we moved, it was 117 degrees. That is a bit hotter than normal, but with temperatures regularly around 110 in the summer, you can imagine that the most appealing place to be was inside. Inside the refridgerator, that is! So my level of activity was still high at first, but it started declining pretty quickly. I joined an AYSO soccer team, and that turned out to be a joke. My coach regularly showed up to practice in heels and a mini skirt. It was like Soccer Coach Barbie. I wasn't being challenged, so I didn't improve. By the time I started high school and went out for the soccer team there a year later, I was already out of shape and too hot to stick it out, and I quit before the season had even officially started. That was the beginning of a lifestyle of laziness that certainly wasn't challenged when I gained 150 pounds over the following ten years. I moved back to California when I was 23, and it wasn't until I lived here again that I started exercising and eating healthfully. So the entire time I lived in Tucson, I was lazy and ate whatever I wanted. When I go back to visit, I have to fight the urge to act that way again. And the weather doesn't help. So yeah... bad association.

This trip, however, was wonderfully different. It probably helped that it was the end of October and cooler than those dreadful summer months, but there was also an element of exercise that I wish I could maintain all the time. I got to see my dear friend Courtney, whom I have loved beyond explanation ever since we first met during my sophomore/her freshman year of high school. We have always had the strongest bond, and we completely adore each other. She lives in Belgium half the year, and it is rare that we are in Tucson at the same time, but this happened to be one of those times, and I was so happy to be able to see her. It was an especially precious time, because in just a few months, she'll be having a baby girl, and I love getting to see the people that I love when they're pregnant.

Here we are my senior year.

We spent an evening together, shopping, eating dinner, talking, laughing, crying, and swimming in her amazing pool! We didn't keep track, because we were talking while we swam for quite some time, but Courtney estimated that we swam 80 to 90 laps. It was a wonderful workout, but the best part was the company and the fact that it didn't feel anything like a workout! If I could exercise with Courtney all the time, I would have already lost the remaining 60 pounds I want to lose! However, she is back in Belgium, and I am in LA. That makes exercising together quite difficult! But this inspired me to find workout partners. If exercising with a friend can beat the powers of association that make me lazy in Tucson, they can certainly kick butt here in LA where I like to be active!

Who wants to work out with me??

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sink or swim? It turns out I sink.

But sinking is a good thing. You see, back in the days of extreme fatness, or "The Dark Ages" as I just decided to call them, swimming just wasn't the same. Not only did I sport shorts and a tank top in the pool because I was too embarrassed to wear an actual bathing suit, but due to the floating fat factor, I couldn't even sit on the steps without floating up. I was like a human buoy, and I was mortified about that. I would hold onto a rail to keep my feet on the floor or push myself down using the wall, and pretend like there was nothing wrong. Not even my arms would stay down. Horrifying.

Last week, I house sat at a place with a pool, so I went swimming several times. I have been wearing a normal bathing suit for the last several years, but last weekend I had to go get a new one because my bottoms kept threatening to fall down. The top, which I bought years ago never expecting to wear because it was too small at the time, fits now but is much too inappropriate to wear around anyone of the opposite gender, so buying a less revealing, better fitting bathing suit was a necessity. The new one is still kinda hoochie in the top, so I did a little fun editing for the picture I'm bravely putting in this post.


Inappropriate cleavage revealage aside, I feel awesome in this bathing suit! I wore it around the house one day because it makes me feel thin! And it's cute! I realized I had a problem though, when I kept finding myself in swimsuit model poses, making pouty faces at the dog. Hahahahahahahahaha!!! Completely joking. But my incredibly blunt friend stopped by while I was hanging out in my bathing suit, and she totally looked me up and down and said with big eyes, "Katie, you have lost so much weight!" This same blunt friend has no scruples in telling me to lose weight every time I tell her about a new guy possibility. There is no filter there. It's kind of refreshing!! If you want a brutally honest opinion about something, I'll introduce you.

I know my body is by no means in the shape I would like for it to be yet, but for the first time maybe ever, including childhood, next time I go to the beach, I won't feel self conscience about being seen in a bathing suit. Also, I'm suddenly motivated to tone my upper legs! I'm gonna start running tonight! My new tennis shoes from Kohl's arrived today and are waiting for me to break them in.

Oh, and I climbed the ginormostairs twice today. My legs felt jello-y and appreciative!

Monday, August 27, 2012

An old friend and possibly some new

Today was the first day of the fall semester, and I am back at Pierce. Yes, I received my AA in June, but I got a D in my math class, so I have to take another math to earn the credit at CSUN.

Let me just defend myself for a second here. I know that I am probably the only one who cares, but I don't just go around flippantly getting Ds in classes. I am a Dean's list student, and I have always been good at math. However, last semester was SO work intensive that none of my classes got enough of my attention, and math suffered the most. You see, I hadn't taken any math classes since I graduated high school, so it had been 13 years, and let's just say that there were a few things I forgot in that time. Formulas especially. Add to that the worst teacher I've ever had in my life, who is no doubt brilliant, but greatly lacking in teaching skills of any kind. He would simply do problems on the board. If I had time to go home and teach myself what he failed to teach, I would have been perfectly fine, but I didn't have the luxury of time. I sat with a group of 4 or 5 other students who were all good at math, and each of us was scared that we would fail the class. We would get to class, look at each other, and the moaning and grumbling would commence. It was comforting, though, to have some comrades to share in the misery. We thought this class would be the death of us.

Anyway, I feel a little better having explained myself, so now you understand why I have to be at Pierce this semester. I would like to take advantage of the financial aid that I was offered this year, so I am trying to fill my schedule this week with classes that will benefit me in different ways. Thursday night I am hoping to get into an English Literature class with the same teacher I had last semester, which will go toward my BA, and this morning I crashed a Photography class. I would like to learn how to use the manual settings on my camera and how to work with light so that I can take amazing pictures when I work with orphans someday, and those will be part of my books. If I get those classes, I still need three units to be full time.

Enter Physical Education. Everything is full, so I will be crashing and trying to add Yoga, Swimming and Soccer. If I get all the classes I want, I will be at school Monday through Saturday, and every day from Tuesday through Friday will begin with a workout of some sort. And don't forget those stairs!! This morning I was so happy to be back to my original workout, and smiled all the way to the top as I felt that familiar burn in my butt.

What a difference a year makes! It was the same week last year that I climbed those stairs for the first time and literally thought I was going to die. I was sweating and panting and gasping for air. I had to stop and drink a bunch of water halfway up, and I sat there for ten minutes before I got up again to continue that trek to the top. I was so embarrassed by my lack of breathing ability, and by my obvious out-of-shapeness. Today, my heart rate was high when I got to the top, but I wasn't panting or wanting to die. If I can make the same amount of difference in this coming semester as I did this time last year, I will be elated! So I am praying that I can add those classes and amp up my workout. I have been wanting to swim, but I don't have access to a pool in which to do laps. I have been wanting to try yoga, and even have a pink yoga mat, but I haven't been able to drag myself to one of the classes at the gym because I don't like trying new things alone. Soccer is the biggest one for me though, in that I used to play and I loved it. I quit shortly after moving to Tucson because it was too hot, but I have regretted that choice ever since, and I have been dying to get back on the field! I think I am finally in good enough shape to at least try to get started again, and this would be the perfect way to do it!

After climbing the stairs today I hung out in my car for a while, checking on information and figuring out my week. I reclined my chair and put my feet up, while a nice cool breeze flowed through my open windows. I noticed that my legs look thin now. My family is very muscular so my legs will be never be THIN thin, but for me, they are thin. I am happy with my muscular build, and I wish I knew in high school what I know now about different body types. It would have allowed me to feel much better about myself.


If you pray, please pray along with me that I am able to get into these classes that I want. What a cool and exercisey semester it will be with my thin legs!! Thanks, friends!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm a regular Forrest Gump!

I have mentioned many times that I want to start running, but I haven't really done it yet. Here and there I've done a little jogging, but I have this strange fear. Of what, I'm not entirely sure, but it's there. I guess there's a little apprehension about the enjoyment factor, but I never thought I would like the gym and I was wrong about that, so I don't really know what the hold up is. Maybe I'm just afraid to do it by myself.

I do have an aversion to doing things alone. A friend once challenged me to go to the movies by myself, and I actually did it! It was super weird, and it felt a little bit like I was there with my childhood imaginary friend Labebo (not even kidding, I named my imaginary friend Labebo, and he got hit by a bus and died. Maybe I should go to counseling.) because I kept turning to the chair next to me when there was a funny moment to share the laughter, but then I would remember that no one was there. When people looked at me funny I should have just said, "What? I'm on a date with Jesus."

Anyway, the running hasn't started yet. Miraculously though, after the weekend I had, the fear is gone! One of my best friends, Rocio, had a birthday party on Saturday that included a water balloon war. This sounds fun in theory, but then you factor in my abhorrence of getting wet outside the shower, pool, or ocean, and my incredible propensity toward ankle and knee injuries on uneven or slippery surfaces, and suddenly this doesn't seem like the best party for me to attend. It's not like anyone is gonna let me sit back and be a spectator. I avoided the first round of balloon tossery by video taping. My friend Rebecca took this picture, and look at the hesitance to join the fight written all over my face!


I escaped most of the second battle by talking to an emotional woman in the parking lot for a really long time. She told me her life story and she cried. I guess she just needed someone to talk to, and Rebecca and I prayed for her. We came back just as the last balloons were being launched, and Rocio's sister Sandy did get me with a couple balloons. That was okay, but then the bucket full of water came out. They were determined to get me wet, so Rocio's brother told Sandy and Rebecca to take my phone away so he could pour the water on me.

That sounded like nothing short of torture, so I took off running toward the parking lot. I thought for sure they would catch up with me and I would end up looking like a drowned rat, but it turns out that I'm a much faster runner than I expected to be! I was running quickly enough on the grass, but once I was on the pavement and there was no fear of uneven ground to trip me up and sprain my ankles, I took off like a bullet! I had my car keys in my hand, and my plan was to lock myself in my car if I could get there without being caught, but I thought for sure they would catch up with me. However, I was running so fast that they gave up! I used to be a fast sprinter when I was a kid, but I don't think I have even tried to run fast for over ten years. For some reason, I didn't think I would physically be able to.

I did more than outrun Rebecca, Sandy, and a soggy evening. I took off full speed and left my fear in the dust! Now say it with me in your best Forrest Gump: "Ah was ruh-ning!"

Monday, August 6, 2012

A pair of bright pink pants with nobody inside them

I love writing this blog. I like being able to document my successes, vent about my frustrations, and be held accountable when I'm slacking. It's so great that, when I didn't write for a month, I had people asking me for posts, because it pushed me to get back on track when I was being lazy. The fact that my story encourages other people is so rewarding and such a cool bonus! As an overweight person for so many years, I know that I had to come to a point where I was ready to lose weight for myself and not because I should or because other people wanted me to, or because it would help me find a husband. It had to be for me alone. It took a long time to be ready, but I finally got there, and I am so much happier. But the thing is, as much as my mindset has changed and I am happy doing this for myself, at the very core of my being is still that person who lives to serve other people. I will do anything within my ability for pretty much anyone who needs my help. Because of this, I LOVE getting emails and texts from people and hearing that I have inspired them to start getting healthy, exercising, and/or losing weight! It gives me a reason to keep writing when I just don't feel like it. A reason beyond my own self, which is a more important reason in my opinion. Plus, knowing that I'm not alone in this makes it so much easier!

Someone who has consistently been one of my biggest encouragers in my weight loss and in writing my blog is my dear friend Regina. She is a family friend, and has known my mom forever. I grew up with her kids and her oldest daughter Cora has been my best friend since we were babies. Regina is really more like an aunt to me, and I love her as such. She tells me all the time how much I inspire her, and she also encourages me in school, and in what has turned out to be this horribly long wait for my future husband. She prays for me and she loves me, and I am so blessed to have her in my life.

A few weeks ago, I posted a status on facebook asking if people had any size 16 pants of which they were no longer in need, because the size 12 motivational pants I have are not an immediate enough goal, and I was in desperate need of motivation. That next weekend when I was in Tucson, my friend Kristi gave me 3 pairs of jeans that are too big for her now(Woohoo! Go Kristi!!), and then this morning I got a package from Regina. She bought me the best pair of motivational pants I could possibly imagine!! They are bright pink and I can NOT wait to wear them! I hung them up on the back of my bedroom door to keep my eyes on the prize and keep me motivated to get down to that next size! School starts up again at the end of this month, and I want to wear them on the first day! Those pants are what got me to the gym today, where I burned 450 calories and sorified (clearly that means "made sore") my muscles! I think those pants have magical powers!


That lovely pair of bright pink pants with nobody inside them! They won't be empty for long! Thank you, Regina!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Back to attack the fat!!

I've been feeling like such a bum lately, but I just haven't been able to drag myself back to the gym for some reason. I haven't been motivated. I was justified in not spending as much time exercising while school was going on, because last semester truly was insane, but it has been two months since school ended and in that time, I have just been lazy. No excuses. Once you stop a good routine, it IS hard to get started again. Why is it that the bad habits are the easy ones to keep? Someone's gotta do something about that. God???

I still found little tidbits of awesomeness over which to rejoice during my gym hiatus, and those at least made me want to get back to Fitness Kate status. Here is a small list of victory tidbits:

*last week I went to Tucson for my amazing dad's 70th birthday! While I do bring my pillow with me when traveling, I do not include my own personal (and much larger than normal) towel in my luggage. My mom's towels are the standard towel size, and I could never get them to close all the way around me before. This time was different! I did a celebratory post-shower-heck-yes-I-fit-in-a-normal-towel!!! dance, and then almost lost the towel, which was fine because I didn't think it would close anyway so no one was around.

*Again in Tucson, I put on my mom's apron that I made for her from my Katydid apron collection and noticed that it fit much nicer than it used to, and I felt thin and girly and swishy. If swishy isn't something you can imagine, click on the link and look at the apron. Check out the ruffled bottom, and then imagine wearing it. You want to swish, don't you? Even if you are a man. Don't lie. When I had a giant belly and no waist, I loved my aprons on everybody else, but I never thought they looked cute on me. No more! I rock the apron and want to wear it continually as a cute accessory!

*I went to Travel Town with the School of Awesome (which consists of my Aunt Jo, cousin Gillian, nephew Eli and me) yesterday, and when we needed to get to the train ride as quickly as humanly possible because the last train of the day was leaving in four minutes, I picked up the child and ran like the wind! Being able to do stuff like that is so important to me!

*A bathing suit top that I bought years ago because it was cute and inexpensive actually fits me now. I honestly thought it never would! Buying it was wishful thinking.

There are more, but I'll save them for another time. It was a combination of those moments of victory and a little prodding from my friends and people who read this blog that got me into the gym today for the first time in months. One of the big reasons I started writing this blog was for accountability, and thanks to many of you who read it and count on it for motivation and notice when I haven't written in a while and ask me to write, I want to make sure that this blog and my struggles and successes continue to be a good source of motivation for you. I know that it can be so hard to stay motivated sometimes, but it's nice to know that none of us are in this struggle alone! I'm also incredibly happy that I didn't gain a bunch of weight back, which proves that I can maintain my weight pretty effortlessly after losing. I was right to not adopt any crazy unsustainable diets!

So as this new month begins, I am ready to get back on track and continue evicting the fat from my body. My goal for the month is to fit into size 16 jeans, and to weigh 199 or less. How exciting to know that soon I will be able to wear the size clothes I wore when I was a junior in high school. I can't wait to try my green prom dress on at the end of the month!I also have a really cute skirt that fits quite snugly now that I can't wait to wear when I'm down another size. That was another wishful thinking purchase years ago, but I will be able to wear it soon!!

One more thought to end this post: Last month the School of Awesome went to the Getty museum, and we found a sculpture that is the perfect representation of my weight loss journey. I am at the middle stage right now, with the heavy past being shed, and the hope of a lighter future springing out of the top. This is my new mascot. A true picture of "Tomorrow is a Lighter Day!"


Friday, June 22, 2012

A sneaky stalker

Inactivity: that beast which follows me around, seeking to conquer and destroy.

I don't mean beast in a good way, like when my friend Rey says with admiration, "Kate, you're a beast!" but in a scary monster sort of way, with sharp fangs, giant stomping feet, and a surprisingly agile spiky tail that will whip me in the face! Once you're in its clutches, that's pretty much it for you! Inactivity suddenly seems synonymous with the Jabberwocky. Stay away from me, please!

I'm having a hard time being motivated to get back to the gym right now. I feel the need to go, and I'm already sick of being this size 18 that I was so excited to be a few months ago. I've been here too long! My friend just gave me some new motivational pants that are size 12, and it's so crazy to think that I may actually be able to fit into those soon if I just get going! Part of me is like "WOOHOO!!! 12 is only three sizes away!! Let's DO THIS!!!" while another part of me is still stuck in the "I'm fat and always will be" mentality. Sometimes I think there's no way I will ever fit into those pants. Because I haven't been very disciplined in my exercise and eating recently, I have this irrational fear that I'm gonna wake up one morning and weigh over 300 pounds again. Then I weigh myself and see that the number hasn't increased even though I feel like it should have, and I calm down. I have to remember that even if I eat a crap ton of junk one day, I may gain a few pounds, but I won't automatically shoot back up to ginormokate weight. It's not even bad to indulge every once in a while, as long as I'm not eating like that all the time, like I used to.

Regardless of how I'm eating, there is no excuse for staying away from the gym, especially now that school is out and I'm not overly busy. So no matter what, I'm going back tomorrow. Elliptical machine, please go easy on me! You know, once I'm back on track with the exercise, the eating discipline should follow suit pretty quickly, because I don't like to undo any of the hard work I put in at the gym by making poor food choices.

Though I am mostly lamenting my current lack of motivation in this post, I would like to add a nice cheerful note and end it with a picture that makes me happy. Cheerful note first: this morning I was at my cousin's house, and her very-nearly-12-year-old daughter and I were standing with our arms around each other. I was struck with the realization that Abby's arms went around my waist with her hands clasped on the other side!! While that has been the case for a while now, stuff like that still makes me really happy!

I have reached the point where I actually LIKE side shots! I never would have thought that was possible!

It's time to push past this inactivity monster. I'll take some advice from Nike, and just do it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Time Flies

I haven't written a post in an entire month. May came and went, and I lost all of three pounds and barely exercised at all. However, as long as I get at least a C on my math final, on Monday I will have my AA and be able to breath again. Or be out of breath again, as the case may be. Because I plan to hit the gym like a madwoman! And madwomen generally don't breath. Trust me! It's a fact I just made up!

The month of June brings a weight loss competition that I plan to win, not only for the lovely stack of presidential flashcards presented to the winner, but because my body is starting to feel fat to me again. It's strange, really, because I haven't gained anything, but it makes sense in my mind. You know how they always say, "Lose just ten percent of your body weight, and your health will improve, and your chances for Diabetes will go down drastically."?? Well, how long do those health benefits last? I have lost close to 35% of my body weight, but it has been a while since I've lost a good amount, so I think my body has just gotten used to this new level of weight, and this is now the new normal. And I still need to lose about 55 pounds. So now I'm sort of back at the beginning... "Lose just ten percent of your body weight, and your health will improve, and your chances for Diabetes will go down drastically." Sounds like a plan.

Ten percent of my body weight right now would be 21.5 pounds. That will be my goal for the month, but I'll be happy if I just reach the 100s again. Maybe I'm not strict enough with my goals, but I've come this far, right? So something's working. Maybe it's the lack of strict goals that works for me. Maybe I don't get along with strict goals. Maybe I want to punch strict goals in the face! Hint... I do.

Side note: I totally just poured water on myself because apparently I don't know how to drink out of a water bottle. Classy!

You know what's fantastic? When I started at Pierce College, I had to really squeeze into the desks and I was always uncomfortable and self-conscious about how I looked to those around me. Now, not only do I fit just fine in the desks, but I cross my legs underneath, which was physically impossible before! I'm almost a normal-sized person now!

So now that I will no longer be at Pierce College, I must take a moment of silence for the ginormostairs... That monstrous beast that was the initial kick in the butt I needed to get in shape. I will miss those stairs, and the burn in my buttocks and thighs as I neared the top every day. The feeling that my legs have turned to noodles will be missed. Or achieved in other ways. But I deeply appreciate the simplicity of the stairs and their contribution to my new health and happiness.


Thanks, stairs. None of this would have been possible without you.

Monday, April 30, 2012

I wish I could be magically thin

I love when people find out that I've lost 112 pounds and they ask, "What's your secret?" There is no secret. Trust me, if there was some magic way to get skinny and stay that way, I'd jump on that train in a heartbeat! But radical diets and pills and all that other hoopla just doesn't work. Or it doesn't work in the long run at least. Nope... you have to put in some good old fashioned hard work.

I used to think about how I was a normally-weighted child with no effort, and then I would wonder why that can't be the case today. But then I remember that, although it may have felt effortless, I was always running around, playing soccer, riding my bike, climbing trees, swinging around on monkey bars, jumping on a pogo ball, karate chopping my brother... oh wait, no. That last one was just in my mind. But all the others are accurate. And also my mom made sure that I ate healthfully. Also exotically, because sometimes she thought she was from Africa and would make crazy dishes that I liked to refer to as monkey brains. I'm not even kidding. We have a friend who married a girl named Amina from Kenya, and Amina taught my mom some pretty crizazee recipes. And as a child, it's not that I was picky so much as that I just didn't like ANYTHING. One time, it was my turn to pray before dinner, and I started off with head bowed and eyes closed: "Dear God, thank you for today. Thank you for Mommy and Daddy and Amanda and me and Brian. Thank you for the..." eyes open, quick glance around the table, eyes closed again, "...milk. In Jesus name, amen." True story. Just ask my mom.

Anyway, so one day it hit me that the reason I wasn't overweight as a child is because I was super active. Moral of the story: you can't be physically fit if you're sitting around on your butt all day. Sometimes I get frustrated (aka: right now) because while I'm in school I'm too busy to go to the gym as much as I would like to, so I'm not losing weight as quickly as I think I should, but as long as I throw in some good activity each day, I won't start backsliding to my old couch potato ways. I hate couch potato ways. They make me miserable.

So activity it is!! I'm not opposed to, let's say... jumping into a game of frisbee golf when in the past I would have sat by and watched, even if I'm wearing a cute dress that probably prohibits normal movement. That's just how I roll. Photobucket

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Collarbone check and that jacket again

I need to talk about my collarbones again. I love them. It has been so much fun watching the definition increase over the last several months, and I constantly catch myself touching them. I just did a side-by-side comparison picture with the picture I posted back in November:


And maybe I went a little crazy on the picture taking and the goofy faces:


Excuse my insanity.

Another thing I would like to revisit is my post entitled Why do I want to eat crap?, in which I lament the craving of sugary items and other healthfully detrimental habits. I was re-reading this post recently, and I suddenly became aware of just how far I have come. While I definitely still have a desire for sweet things now and then, it is no longer something I think about all the time, and beyond that, if it is sitting in front of me and I am not hungry, I don't automatically start to eat it anymore! I also stop eating before I am full, every single time. I know when I have had enough, and I no longer have an irrepressible urge to keep eating. I also now tend to favor the taste of more healthful foods.

This is a GIANT breakthrough!!! Food has become a non-issue for me! I can't even remember when that was the case before, and it doesn't make sense to me why it was the case for so long. Why, when there were issues to deal with on the inside, did I turn to food? I don't get it, and yet, it ruled my life for the last ten years or so. But food always masked whatever problem arose for a short time before just adding the misery of being fat and self-conscious, and not being able to control my eating. How could I have let that deceptive "comfort" be what I ran to instead of relying on God to bring me through? As I have deepened my relationship with Him, I have come to depend on His comfort and grace to get me through life. Not that all of life is hard... a lot of the time it is quite fantastic! But there are always difficult times to deal with, and they will continue to occur.

For instance, my biggest struggle is the fact that I am still single. More than anything else in this world, I have wanted to be married and have a family since I was a little girl, and I never imagined that I would still be single at 31. And I also don't understand how I hear from a large majority of the people I know how awesome I am and what a great wife and mom I'll be, and yet, here I am, alone. That was a huge driving force in my eating in the past, and not only did it not help, but it made the situation worse as I became incredibly unattractive and miserable. Nobody wants to be with a miserable person! At some point, I started turning to God instead of the food, and that has made all the difference in my contentedness. I know that He has an amazing plan for my life, and as He is the one that made me the way I am, with this incredible desire for a husband and family, I believe that He will bless me with that in the future. And I'm guessing, since God has been filling my heart with a desire to go visit different countries to work with orphans, that the man God has for me will have a similar passion, and that is so exciting to me! I wonder how much of my life I have wasted, when I could have being working in that field already, all because I was focused on myself and food! Being miserable really sucks the life out of a person. So now when I start to get overwhelmed with sadness that I am not married yet, instead of having a pity party complete with a mound of junk food, I pour my heart out to God and let Him deal with it. And I have peace. And visible collarbones.

So to lighten up this suddenly heavy post, I will end with a fun story and my new favorite picture. You know my green jacket that I wrote about here? Last Friday it was pouring rain, so I wore it. I was at my brother Brian and his wife Sarah's house, and when I put the jacket on to leave, I zipped it up and pulled it away from my body to demonstrate how much extra room there was. I said, "I feel like Sarah could almost fit in here with me!" so she tried. At first she wanted to see if she could get in while it was on me and closed, but she shimmied up as far as my waist before there was a pause followed by, "Oh. I forgot about your boobs." We all cracked up and we tried again, this time by opening the jacket. I believe there was only a space of about four inches that prohibited the closing of the jacket, and it used to fit me perfectly. Now that's what I call progress!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Sitting pretty

The other day I was sitting on my bed doing who the heck knows what... probably playing Draw Something or contemplating the delicious Pineapple Stuffing I would be making for Easter, or thinking about all the guys that I think are cute and would make good husbands someday, and wondering who will be mine... when I realized that I had my knees drawn up to my chest.

So what, right? Yeah, not so much. More like, WOOHOO!!! My giant belly used to get in the way of my legs coming anywhere CLOSE to my chest! So, as you may have suspected, I took a picture of myself that way. Welcome to the way I look in the morning (although I totally have mascara on from the day before) and the awesome fuzzy warm pajama pants my mom bought for me when it was 40 degrees in my room at night. I know a certain Jennifer who will be super jelvis (yes, jelvis. Definition: a) Jealous of Elvis, or b) Jealous of something Elvis would have liked. He clearly would have mistaken my pants for blue suede, and therefore would have liked them.) because the pants have ladybugs on them.


So that's all I wanted to say. It's exciting every time I find something new that I couldn't previously do!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Move it or lose it!

Nothing motivates quite as well as a little friendly competition, especially when money is involved. Since January 1st, I have been part of a weight loss competition group on Facebook, which has been a great source of motivation, with weigh ins every week, and a buy in of $5, to be paid to the winner at the end.

Our first 90 day challenge just ended on Sunday, and I didn't meet the goal I set at the beginning, which was to lose 40 pounds. I did, however, lose 21 pounds in that time, which was the same amount the winner lost, but since she started out 72 pounds lighter than me, her percentage lost was obviously higher. I didn't mind losing to her, though, because she's really great! That was one of the best parts of this group: I met some really awesome girls who are now my friends, and I'm excited to hang out with them again soon!

Part of the reason I didn't lose as much as I wanted to during the last challenge is that I didn't go to the gym very often in that time. School is keeping me extra busy this semester, but starting now I will be making more of an effort to work out several times a week. I just reconnected with an old friend from Tucson who now lives ten minutes away from me, and she also happens to already have a membership at 24 Hour Fitness, where I go. She has a lot of experience with personal trainers and she's gonna help me whip myself into shape! I love having someone to go to the gym with, and I'm happy to be able to spend time with this friend again. When we got together on Saturday night, we hadn't seen each other in ten years! We have gym plans every day this week while I'm on Spring Break, and that should be a really great jump start for the next challenge, which started on Sunday when the last one ended.

The goal I set for this challenge was to lose 31 pounds. I know that with the help of my group and my new gym buddy, this should be a breeze! I'm even gonna try to beat my own goal and lose more than 31 pounds, but it won't bother me if I don't. I know that all of this extra weight will be gone soon, and the most important thing is that I'm getting healthy and that I feel amazing! My life has changed so much in the last six months, and I go around with a perpetual smile on my face. I have always been a pretty happy person, but the joy I feel now that I've broken free from this stronghold that my weight had over my life is incredible!

A few extra things:

1. I'm taking a friend to get his driver's license in a few weeks, and at the same time, I think I'll get a new license picture and change my listed weight. When I got my license, I weighed 60 pounds more than I said I did, and now I weigh 19 pounds less than what is listed! So I'm gonna lie again and say I weigh 180, because pretty soon, I really will!

2. I put on the red dress again a few days ago, and I think I need to officially retire the dress. I had to hold onto a handful of material at the back to make it tight.


Compare that picture to this one of me wearing the dress on Christmas day. Alex and I decided that we needed to dress formally for Christmas last year. Haha!


I think I should go try on beautiful dresses this week. I can't afford to buy one, but it will be fantastic to try on dresses that they have in the store because now I'm actually a size that they carry! I love that I still like to play dress up as much as I did when I was a little girl. Some things never change. Wanting to feel beautiful is something that is built into girls, and that desire will never go away, no matter how old I get.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Out with the old

Just to be cliche: Out with the old, in with the new! And also pretty soon it will be: Out with the old, in with the really old.

Let me explain. I have this thin pink sweatshirt that I used to wear constantly. It's perfect for cool weather, it's not too bulky to shove in my purse, and hey... it's pink. I'm not gonna lie, I love pink. A lot of my friends make fun of me for it, but I'm embracing my girlyness and there's not really much that anyone can do about it. I also like to cook and bake and watch extremely girly movies, through which I will most likely cry while I endure more mocking by my friends. Tonight I was with my friend Rocio and I mentioned something about a guy that I think is particularly cool and Jesus-loving, and also cute, and I could physically hear her rolling her eyes. I also happen to be wearing pink today, so I'm sure that added to the element of disgust for her. Oh yeah, pink! That was what I was talking about!

So anyway, this sweatshirt has sort of been through the ringer, and my mom has been trying to get me to get rid of it for years. She hates that it looks perpetually dirty, and that it's all stretched out. It doesn't even really look pink anymore, but I have been putting off throwing it away until I could find something similar with which to replace it. I never wear it anywhere except the gym anyway.

I was at Target recently, and found one I was gonna buy until I saw the $30 price tag. I am quite marvelous at finding good deals and not spending a lot of money, and in my mind, $30 can get a whole lot more than one sweatshirt. A few years ago, I bought an entire summer wardrobe for about $120, and I still wear those ten dresses. So I continued on my quest for a replacement sweatshirt, and found the perfect one at Walmart the other night for only ten dollars! I tried on the 16-18, which fit, but I didn't want to buy something that would fit now and be big in another few months, so I tried on the 12-14, and although it was a little snug, it looked fine, and I decided to get it. I also found a pair of size 18 jeans for $15, so I got those, and I'm super ecstatic to be in a size 18!! I haven't been able to wear an 18 since I WAS 18! In fact, this was the first time I have been able to shop in the regular section of a store in a really long time. I almost cried.

Here's the old sad dull pink stretched out sweatshirt:

And the new one. I totally feel thin when I wear it:

The size 18 jeans:

And there you have the "in with the new" segment. As far as the "in with the really old", perhaps you remember the post with all the pictures of how fat I used to be, which you can read here if you haven't seen it. I claimed there that my goal was to fit nicely into my high school prom dress again, and while it still doesn't zip, it does sit on the right place on my waist, which is a huge improvement over the last time I tried it on.

Here's what it looks like now:

So there you go! I'll try that dress on again in a couple months. In the meantime, I'll keep claiming "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13), because I know that it is only by His strength that I have come as far as I have. I could never do it on my own! Believe me, I tried.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I was inspecting myself in the mirror the other day to see what new changes have occurred. My waist is smaller, my collar bones are more defined, my chin is just a chin and not a chinny chin chin (like that of the little piggies. It totally used to be), and my pants are continually getting looser. These are all things of which I was already aware, but I was pleasantly surprised when I sucked in my stomach as far as it could go and found something I had not seen in probably twelve years:

I actually saw the shape of my ribcage!
Not that I could see the individual bones, like on my cousin Jack who I am convinced could go as a skeleton for Halloween with no costume whatsoever, but my stomach was actually concave in the middle up by my ribs! Definitely not lower down, but that flab will be a lot harder to get rid of. I think I'm just gonna have to cut it off with a chainsaw. :/

There is no way I'm posting a picture of my bare stomach on here so that you all can see my ribs. I'm definitely not ready for that. However, I did take a sideways shot while sucking in, so I'll post that.

First, here's one where I'm not sucking in:

And then the sucking-in one:

And one from the other day of my profile, which I usually hate because of all my chin fat, but that's almost completely gone!!

I currently weigh the same amount I did when I got home from Germany on this very day twelve years ago, and that fact feels amazing! I'm down 108 pounds from my heaviest weight, and I would still like to lose 62 to reach my ultimate goal. My next mini-goal, however, is to be in the 100s again, which I plan to accomplish by the end of April. I was 18 the last time I weighed less than 200, and the other night when I saw my friend Rebecca who has known me since I was eight, she said I look like I'm 18 again, so I guess it truly isn't that far off!

It's time for new pants again.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Diet Shmiet

I don't believe in diets.

People probably think, "No wonder you're fat!" but I say to them: you are clearly oblivious to the fact that I have lost 105 pounds without cutting a single thing completely out of my diet. Go right ahead eating your twigs and berries, and while I admire your discipline, I'm gonna go eat that cake. And some macaroni and cheese. Because it's delicious and I love it and I would miss it too much if I never got to eat it, and then I would go crazy one day and go buy a giant amount and eat too much of it and gain 10 pounds in one sitting, and then it will have been so delicious and I will have been deprived for so long that I'll continue to eat that way until I'm orbiting the sun as a mini planet because I will have gotten so ginormously fat and we can just start calling me Pluto and I can replace the sadly de-planeted Pluto because I will be larger than the orginal and classify as an actual planet. I can keep going with that run-on sentence scenario if you'd like, but I think you get the point.

That's not to say I eat that stuff all the time. And I definitely don't eat as much as I think I want. That's how I DID get fat in the beginning. It was like, "Oh look! A giant bag of delicious candy! I think I'll eat the whole thing today and buy another one tomorrow!" Ew. How did I not continually make myself physically ill? I suppose I did, just not in the barfing my guts out way. Instead, I more than doubled my size and drowned myself in misery all in the name of my taste buds and a lack of self control. Also it was a defense mechanism to cover up stuff going on inside me that I finally learned to deal with as I gave God control of my life. Aaaah. Can you hear the relief? I feel so much better!

So yes, if there is a big family meal or a birthday celebration, or a day where I just really want some ice cream, I eat that stuff without a second thought! I just eat a small portion, and make sure I have lots of healthful options to go along with it!

Some food routines I follow: (I almost called them rules, but they're not. I don't like to break rules, and I need to be able to break out of these habits every once in a while)

*I drink a ton of water. I used to have at least one soda per day, but when I got serious about becoming healthy, I decided not to drink my calories. I'll still have a soda now and then, if it's part of a meal that I buy somewhere, or if I really want one, but I usually just stick to water. This cuts down hugely on sugar and calories, and even if I had done nothing else different in my diet, I believe that change alone would have brought about some weight loss. I carry a water bottle with me everywhere, and try to fill it four times a day. When I don't drink enough water, I feel very bloated.

*I make sure to eat breakfast. I hate getting up any earlier than I have to, so for about ten years I completely skipped breakfast, but that is detrimental to a metabolism. In order for your metabolism to work as intended during the day, it must be awoken with a good breakfast. I often eat 1/2 cup of oatmeal with raisins for breakfast (and I add a little brown sugar and milk), or some scrambled eggs, or a grapefruit and some string cheese. None of those things are difficult to make, although eating a grapefruit is ridiculously time consuming. I always lose more weight when I'm on a grapefruit kick, though, although I'm really not sure if it's because it's a great weight loss tool, or because it just takes so long to eat and I burn more calories cutting the stupid thing up! Either way, though, awesome breakfast.

*I don't really have a set lunch, but I try to be smart about it. I love getting a $5 footlong sub at Subway and eating half for lunch one day and the other half either for the next day's lunch or for dinner that night if I'm gonna be gone all day. I load it with spinach, tomatoes, pickles and olives, and just a little mayo. So many people cut out all condiments and salad dressings when trying to lose weight, but it's important to eat your greens with some element of fat. You need fat in your diet!

*I always try to start my dinner off with a salad, and I stay away from iceberg lettuce, which has absolutely no nutritional value. Dark leafy greens are the best for you! And eating your salad first aids in digestion. I never use diet dressings, because they taste horrible, but I don't use a lot of whatever I decide to have. It does not need to be saturated in flavor for me to enjoy my salad, and I am very thankful for that fact. I know there are lots of people out there who hate salad!

*I stay away from white flour. It is really bad for you, and wheat options are pretty good! Maybe not at first, but it doesn't take that long to get used to them. I was actually raised on whole grains, so it's a natural choice for me. But again, if there's a food with white flour that someone is serving me, or that I want to eat, I'll have it every once in a while. No big deal.

*I consciously take smaller portions than I think I want. If you have more on your plate than you are hungry for, you'll probably end up eating it anyway, but if you don't take enough to begin with and you're still hungry after eating what you've taken, you can always get more. My stomach has shrunk a LOT, and it took me a while to get used to taking smaller portions, but now I do it automatically, and I almost never go back for seconds.

*It is so important to eat small snacks during the day to keep your body from freaking out and going into starvation mode (storing your food as fat just in case you don't get enough calories), so I like to keep a bag of almonds with me at all times. A serving size is 21-22 almonds, and while that seems like such a small amount, it is actually the perfect thing to tide you over until your next meal. I also like to have a string cheese or an orange as a snack. Or some popcorn, popped on the stove with just some salt.

*I stop eating three hours before going to bed.

These eating routines are easy to follow, and bring excellent results without much effort. In losing weight, it is actually more important to watch your food intake than it is to exercise a lot. Exercise is still important, but if you want to start making life changes and you currently don't eat well AND don't exercise, just start to make changes in your diet, and add the exercise in a few weeks down the line. Too many changes at once can be overwhelming. I know people who have made major food and diet changes all at once, and admire their self control, but it never stuck when I tried to do it that way. I stepped up my activity level when I started eating healthfully, but I didn't go to the gym and become the Hard Core Fitness K8 (you're right, Nicky, K8 is way more tough!) that I am now until I had already lost some weight and I was ready to step up my game.

Speaking of games, today I'm wearing the sweatshirt from my 8th grade AYSO soccer team, and it fits normally. Not that I was this size when I was 13... It was big on me back then.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I took some pictures of my progress the other day, and among them was a dreaded sideways shot. Those are usually the ones that make me want to curl up and die, but I was shocked at how grossed out I was not! To show how much my body has changed, I put the new side view picture next to one from mid-September:


And a front view:


I feel like I'm not losing weight fast enough though. I lost forty pounds so quickly, and then it has been sort of slow going since November. I did give in to the Christmas Fats, and then re-lost those twelve pounds, and I have lost another five pounds since then, but I am a little discouraged, to be honest. I want it to always be easy and quick, and when it's not, I feel like I'm letting myself down. So here's a pep talk for myself:

Self. You're not gaining. You're not even at a plateau! You've just slowed down a little because you're SO BUSY this semester and you can't go to the gym every day. And that's okay, because it's just for a season. You're very active now, and after you ran across that field yesterday you were breathing almost completely normally! You're STILL MAKING PROGRESS!!! It's actually better to lose weight slowly and keep it off than to drop a giant subcutaneous chunk all at once and then regain because you can't maintain your crazy methods of loss. Trust me (or you, we're the same person), you're still doing a good job, and you look FANTASTIC!!! Also, although your weight is only down 5 pounds more than it was before Christmas, with the gaining and re-loss of the Christmas Fats, you have actually lost seventeen pounds since January 1st. So that's not as slow as it seems!!! Oh, but you need to drink more water. You're totally slacking there. End Pep-talk.

Okay, I feel better.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

To the top!!

This weekend, my nephew Jackson turned one, and his grandparents threw him a big Chinese shindig in celebration. Yes, my tall blonde Scandinavian sister has a son who is 1/4 Chinese, so he had a traditional Red Egg and Ginger party. (Sidenote: I took home a bunch of red eggs, and after making a giant amount of egg salad yesterday, my fingers are still pink from the dye.) My parents/Jackson's non-shindig-throwing grandparents came out from Arizona for the occasion, and as they always do when visiting in San Luis Obispo, they are staying at my brother-in-law's grandma's house. We all, including my mom, just call her Grandma. Grandma owns llamas, who roam the hill on which her house sits, and graciously deliver an unequaled landscaping service simply by doing what llamas are made to do... eating the grass.

I have been to Grandma's house several times and have always enjoyed seeing the llamas, but in the past I wouldn't even try to climb the hill. On Saturday, however, without thinking twice, I went straight to the top of the property with ease and would have continued if the fence wasn't there to stop me. Apparently, it's time to start hiking again! A few years ago, my friend Diana and I went a couple times to a great trail not far from my school, and it always left me breathless. Not just from the gorgeous views, although they were quite nice. See?


I would be panting and sweaty after a climb that seemed like it should have been much easier for me, even at the time. I am suddenly very curious to see how much easier it would be now! Who wants to go hiking this weekend??

Some pictures from the llama hill:

This one shows the steepness of the hill.

Here's the fence that stopped me from climbing to the top.

Me at the top, with a llama. My cousin Jack named it Tina, and called it a fat lard and told it to eat some ham.

Halfway up, with my cousins Abby and Vicki.

At the red egg and ginger party, my sister's mother-in-law complimented me regarding my weight loss, and gave me permission to go off my diet for the day to partake in the very delicious party food. I explained that I'm not actually on a diet, as I don't believe in them. I'll be writing a food post very soon, and addressing that controversial issue... the "diet". Or the "non-diet". Or "why I won't say no to cake."

A special shout out to two of my good friends: Tessa and Laura... Happy birthday, girls!!! And congrats to Tessa on the birth yesterday of her perfect baby boy Seth!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Maybe it's better that nobody loves me

Valentine's Day just passed, and I heard people talking about having all this candy lying around and being tempted by it. I didn't have that problem because nobody loves me.

I suppose that's not entirely true, but I like to pretend I'm all sad and lonely to get attention. Hahaha just kidding. I know that so many people love me, it's not even funny. I have the best family ever, and they all love me a ton. And as my mother once said, "Katie has more friends than a rich man giving out free breakfast at IHOP." It's true. The difference between the rich man and me, though, is that I'm not buying anyone breakfast at IHOP or anywhere, because I'm as broke as they come! No one could ever accuse me of buying my friends. People just love me because I'm so pretty. Hahahahaha!!! Just kidding again. But really, I have a million friends, and I know they love me, and I love them. The people who love me are a huge part of why my life is so great.

But somehow I have never been on the receiving end of the chocolate, roses, and general mushiness that make February 14th what it is. I think that for the longest time, it was because I was so uncomfortable with my body, that my identity was wrapped up in being fat and I didn't think any guy could ever like me... like THAT. So I put up the friend persona and then lamented yearly that I was alone and nobody loved me on Valentine's Day.

This year was different, though. While I still have a lot of weight to lose (68 pounds to be exact), I have realized that "the fat girl" is not who I am. I have a TON to offer somebody, and besides all my inner qualities that rock, I'm looking pretty good on the outside these days too! I feel conceited because I look in the mirror so much, but I can't help it: I look like a new person and I'm not used to seeing this pretty girl. My sweet friends tell me that I was always pretty, but when I looked in the mirror, all I could see was the fat. It's hard to ignore, and incredibly painful.

On Valentine's Day, there was a knock on the door as I was getting ready for school in the morning. I was in the middle of putting on deodorant, so I went to the door with the stick still in my hand. It was my cousin Alex, her arms full of all those things a girl could ask for on a day devoted to love, and while the words that came out of my mouth were, "Nice. You're holding flowers and a balloon, and I'm holding deodorant," there were actually no bitter thoughts in my mind. It was a funny scenario, and I said the obvious joke, but immediately, I was aware that I was thankful to be single this year. I couldn't be happier to have escaped the guy I thought I would be with, and I'm not afraid that I will be alone for the rest of my life, so a Valentine's Day on which I am single is no longer a source of pain. It's just another day, and one that I am confident I will get to celebrate with an amazing man in the future. And the fact that I have never been able to celebrate one before will make it all the better when I finally have someone. And we'll go out on a date, and I will look amazing and thin. But just like the fat, those things will not be what define me. First and foremost, I am a child of God, and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God has gifted me with a lot of talent, a fantastic sense of humor, and a big heart capable of loving unconditionally. And that's just a little bit of who I am.

So at the end of that day, I didn't have any candy lying around tempting me. I did, however, go to a church service where all the ladies were given roses. I had my flowers after all!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The return of The Ginormostairs

I have decided that The Ginormostairs is the official name of the large set of stairs at school. They need a title that presents them to the public as the formidable foe of the out-of-shape that they are, and a name like The Ginormostairs demands a certain amount of respect and awe that one does not automatically grant at the mention of mere stairs.

Upon my return to school this Monday, I was glad to be greeted by this friendly giant that kicked my butt into gear last September and inspired the exit of the forty pounds I have since lost. I smiled knowingly and with compassion at those out-of-breathers lugging themselves up as I descended gracefully and swiftly down the 185 stairs (I used to park at the lot at the top of only 138 of the stairs, but now I park at the very top). I knew I wouldn't be quite so swift on the way back.

I haven't been at school since mid-December, so the trek up the stairs would be a good indication of my fitness level. It's not like I climb that many stairs anywhere else, so there hasn't been a whole lot of stair climbing since school ended. I was pleased with how easy it was. I was still breathing heavily at the top, but I was thinking about that first day last semester and how I had to stop halfway up and drink a bunch of water. It was also over 100 degrees that day, but still. I was horribly out of shape. This week, I DID have to the stop at stair 132, but only to take a picture of this sign that made me laugh rather loudly:


Today, as I neared the top of The Ginormostairs, a skinny girl was only a few steps behind me, breathing quite heavily, and when I flashed her the "these stairs are NUTS!" look (it's a universally understood look at Pierce College), she said, "This is a workout!" I agreed, and decided not to tell her how much I appreciate said workout and how it changed my life. Not everyone wants to hear my story, even though I want everyone to heed my message: LET'S ALL BE HEALTHY!!!! If I can do it, so can you!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The gym is betta with a brotha

Thanks to my brother, I have begun to incorporate strength training into my gym routine. And it's fun! Brian knows what he's doing, and he's teaching me the ropes so that I'm not a totally clueless loser, although I'm pretty sure all the people around me think I'm ridiculous whenever I roll off the exercise ball onto the floor and crack up while trying to keep my shins on the ball and my elbows on the ground. I swear, one of these days my core will be so tough and strengthy that I won't even need the exercise ball... I'll just levitate! Take THAT, guy who was looking at me like I suck at fitness. I DON'T suck at fitness!! I've lost a hundred pounds! Some people even call me Fitness Kate! And by "some people even call me Fitness Kate", I mean my brother-in-law once said he didn't like this "Fitness Kate", when I wouldn't go get some greasy food with him because I had to go work out instead. But I'm pretending that he meant it in a good way, and taking that name to the gym. It sounds fierce. I don't even GO by Kate most of the time, but Katie sounds kind of weeny in comparison. Kate is more hard core. Like a gangsta. Or a fitness guru. I like the word guru.

Anyway, Brian (he won't let me call him Sweaty B) and Fitness Kate have been hitting the gym together a couple times a week, and I'm hoping to make it happen more often, which will be easier once school starts next week and I'll be in his area all the time. Then we can rock out together on the regular. Like this:


Two sort of random things:

1) I still haven't started running and I'm weirdly scared about it, but I really want to do it! I need a running buddy.

2) I was out the other night for a friend's birthday, and I went into a bar. The guy at the door looked at my license for a LONG TIME before letting me in. It makes sense though... I've lost seventy pounds since that picture was taken, and I look really young, so I could totally have a fake I.D. I don't though. I'm thirty, I swear. Here's my license picture compared to a picture I took just now:


I guess I should get a new license picture taken, although I'll probably wait until I've lost another 50 to 70 pounds.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I gave in to the Christmas Fats

I made a decision when it came to what I now call "The Christmas Fats". I decided not to deprive myself of candy and desserts, and let myself eat what I wanted. I knew that I would gain weight, but that I would easily re-lose the extra weight after the fact, so I wasn't worried. It was an interesting experiment and I'm glad I did it. Without thinking, I ate less than I had the year before, by quite a bit, but still felt totally disgusting after the fact. I felt heavy and like my intestines were full of lead, which was a horrible feeling, and one I will go to great lengths to avoid in the future.

The Christmas Fats graciously donated twelve pounds to my body, but I am proud to say that all twelve of those pounds are gone again. They were Christmas guests, and they have vacated the premises. I will not be inviting them back next year.

When my cousin Alex, who has always been thin and in great shape, came back from Germany weighing twenty pounds more than she ever had, she made this statement that I thought was funny at the time, but didn't understand: "It's not MY fat!" After the Christmas Fats staked their claim on me, however, I understood Alex's logic for the first time. It wasn't MY fat! It felt weird and unnatural, and I knew it wasn't here to stay. I was just holding it temporarily. And now I'm back down to 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest weight. And I had to buy new pants!! Here they are:


I shopped at the Salvation Army because I knew I wouldn't be wearing these pants for too long. I will be frequenting the thrift shops until I am in the healthiest size I can be, at which point I'll shell out the big bucks for pants. You know, twenty-five whole dollars! I'm a big spender, I know!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Little victories take flight

As a person who was once vastly overweight, I worry about things that most people probably don't think about... like whether I'll fit in an airplane seat without spilling over onto the people next to me. I realize that I'm smaller than I was, but I still worry about that stuff, so on Wednesday when I flew to Omaha to visit my friend Kelli, I was pleasantly surprised when I got into my seat.

Every time I've flown for the past ten years, I have had to pull the seatbelt out all the way and it barely buckled around my giant bulging stomach area. Once I was in, I would tuck in my arms and sit tight, trying not to move so as not to bother the person next to me by entering their space. It was mortifying, and every time I had that experience, I would vow to lose all the extra weight and never feel that way again, but I haven't actually done anything about it until now.

Imagine how great I felt on Wednesday when this was the case:

What an incredible push to keep going!