Uncategorized

Making Changes

Hi!

I am so excited to write today’s post because it includes some more before and afters and knitting!

A year or so ago I knit a sweater called OWLS by Kate Davies. I made it out of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky in this gorgeous heathered blue and I cranked it out so quickly that I even surprised myself. I was in love with this sweater and couldn’t believe that I was so lucky to have been able to knit this thing and it fit well. I was at my heaviest at around 270 pounds. I thought it fit well and was pretty darn good looking on me with a 44″ bust. I wore it a couple more times but our winter was very mild and I didn’t wear my knit sweaters much at all during the season. They were put in the cedar chest for the summer and I only recently pulled it out to wash them up and get all my sweaters ready for the winter and fall. Perfect timing, because the last couple weeks have really started veering toward fall and I’m loving wearing the knits every day!

So. This past week I wore my OWLS for the first time all season and I enjoyed how warm I was and how drapey and luscious the fabric was. The only problem was that the buttons wouldn’t stay closed because they had no pull on them from my body being in the way. The sweater was almost sloppy how large it was compared to my new frame. I found myself falling even more in love with this sweater, especially at the prospect that it was a little too big. I spent the entire bus ride home debating if I could install a zipper instead to give myself a little more of a form-fitting sweater.

I went to Joann Fabrics and poured through their selection of zippers, matching my sweater up with a beautiful charcoal colored zipper of the perfect length. For a mere $5 I had the tools in hand to change my sweater forever.

I went home and waited for husband to come home. I spent some time ripping out the button bands and cutting the buttons off so I could continue ripping. When it was done, the edge laid so nicely and I knew this would work. I found my sewing supplies and pinned the zipper in place before hand-sewing the zipper down through the selvage edge I had created with the knitted button band. This proved to be much easier than I anticipated and, though I could have simply zipped up and down with my sewing machine, I found the gratification much higher with the hand-sewing.

Husband came home shortly after I finished the first zipper and was pinning in the other half. He said it looked really good and I got even more excited to try it on when it was done. See, I had no idea if this would work- I wasn’t sure if I’d lost enough inches for this sweater to fit properly when I was done sewing in this 28″ zipper, but I had to try something. I kept sewing and eventually finished. I took a deep breath and tried on the sweater, getting the zipper up with absolutely no trouble. I was so happy that I practically threw my phone at my husband and made him take photos in the middle of my dimly lit living room.

So here’s a before and after. I am still not quite to 50 pounds (muscle soreness from Monday night’s 9/11 hero WOD has me stuck at one pound shy of 50), but I feel amazing whenever I put this sweater on. I noticed how much lighter it was without the extra weight of the button bands, and the neckline fits like it’s supposed to.

It’s been two days since the hero workout and my hamstrings do not want to work and neither do my arms for that matter. I’m not wearing any knits today but I’m hopeful that in a couple weeks I’ll be able to wear my sweaters every day and be cozy warm all the time.

Weight Loss

Self-Talk and Self-Sabotage

This is a difficult post for me to write and it’s taken me the entire day to determine if I want to even admit all of these things to myself.

I’ve finally hit a plateau in my weight loss and it’s hitting me really hard. I have gotten no lower than 235 pounds and can’t seem to get past this little divot in the plan. I’ve been at this since December 1 of 2016. We’re coming up on a year and I’m only 40 pounds down out of 90-100 pounds of desired weight loss.

This past weekend we went to The CrossFit Games in Madison, and I thought I was eating pretty well only to realize that the ‘awesome’ food we ate nearly every day was actually full of sugar and carbs simply from its original state. It was organic and gluten free and vegan even and it probably had nearly 100 grams of carbohydrates just because it was fruit-based. My stomach has not rebounded from that weekend yet and I can’t figure out how to make things right. I avoided gluten and bread throughout the whole weekend but still had far too much gluten-free snacks and enjoyed far too many sweet things. I was also on my period this past weekend so my desire for chocolate was extremely high and I didn’t fight it at all.

I’ve tried eating well all weekend long, discovered chicken salad at work that is great with a salad or two pieces of gluten free bread like I had today. I’ve fasted three times this week so far, and I’ve been trying to castor oil each night but I’ve really only done it once since coming home from The Games. I went to the gym on Tuesday and will go again Friday.

I get on the scale each morning and am constantly disappointed. I put on clothing that doesn’t fit any looser. I look at myself in the mirror and don’t even look at my pretty eyes, or how nice my hair looks that day, or even how nice my boobs look now that they’re a cup size smaller. I look at my giant ass or my belly that looks like I’m 8 months pregnant (I’m definitely not pregnant, people. Don’t even think that!).

I don’t think about how the clothes don’t fit looser because I JUST bought them and they’re a size smaller than they were. I don’t think about how I need to wear thicker socks so my Danskos fit better. I don’t think about the fact that my stamina is higher and I’ve only had ONE heart palpitation in the last month. I don’t think about the fact that I have run a mile TWICE in the last two weeks when I hadn’t run a mile in about three years. I don’t think about how many squats went into my quads looking as strong and fierce as they do. I don’t think about my workout clothing fitting better and even being too loose on me. I don’t think about how my hormones are so much better that I actually get a period each month. I don’t think about how my glucose levels haven’t gone over 100 since starting Candida, so long as I don’t eat a ton of sugar.

Instead I look at how big my arms are, my belly is in constant need of hiding and my shirt isn’t ever long enough to cover up my huge ass. I look at the wiry black hairs that grow on my chin and upper lip. I look at the ugly stretch marks on my belly, my thighs, my ass. I think about the four starbursts I had the day before and how that likely ruined everything I have done over the last 9 months. I think about how much water I drank last night and how 60 oz isn’t flushing my system, but I should have chugged another 40 last night before bed. I think about how long I fasted the day before and how I should have let it go another couple hours. I think about my portion control and how I feel like I have none. I think about how many times a day I say “I’m enormous/fat/disgusting” and how I sometimes actually think it’s true. Overall, I think about how all this work is going to be for nothing because I’ll just get fat all over again in a few years, just like what happened in 2012.

I don’t do well with self-talk. I don’t think I am beautiful or desirable or sexy. I think I jiggle.

I don’t avoid sabotages. We go to a restaurant and rather than saying ‘we can’t eat here’ I suck it up and get something I shouldn’t really eat.

I allow my emotions to get the better of me and I therefore self-sabotage. I indulge in the sweets because my hormones tell me it’s what I should do and I give in.

Maybe I’m just impatient. I guess this is all a roundabout way of saying I’m frustrated and I wish that this roadblock could just get out of the way so I can keep succeeding.  I see my naturopath tonight and she will hopefully have some insight for me. I know this isn’t going to be an easy road. I know that in order to succeed at this, I need to stop feeling so sorry for myself and stop letting my emotions get the better of me. I need to trust that what I’m doing is right and that it’s going to work and that eventually I’ll be able to meet my goals and feel better about myself. I know that if I stick with my plan, I will be able to keep the weight off and even continue to lose more weight.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll have some good news next week.

Weight Loss

Two Little Pounds

I got into the elevator with hubs this morning on our way to breakfast and thought about how I’m super close to the weight I was when I started my CrossFit and Paleo journey all those years ago. I wondered how different I looked today than I did then, because my life is so much different and everything I’m doing to lose this weight is different than what I did in 2012. I started Paleo and it was a shock to my system, so I lost the weight really quickly. This time around, It’s taken 8 months and I’m still working on getting that first 50 pounds out of 90 or so that I want to lose. Logically I know weight distributes itself in different ways when you lose it or gain it, so I know that I won’t be the same, but I was excited nonetheless to find a picture that I could use as a comparison. I chose the original weight loss image and paired it with a picture from a couple weeks ago when I hit that blessed 40 pound lost mark.

Admittedly, that’s a poofy shirt on the right, but I filled it out pretty significantly, if memory serves. I threw that shirt out a few years ago, too. I did NOT want to look like that again!

I feel it is very important to show this comparison to prove how important it is to fuel your body properly and get exercise and how, while we focus so hard on the number the scale displays, the way we treat our bodies is so important to make that number mean something. The picture on the left is from 2012 or so and I was 234 pounds. The picture on the right is from a couple weeks ago when I hit 236 pounds. Two pounds heavier and look how different I am today.

In 2012 I ate like shit and claimed I was healthy. Today I eat super clean and work out regularly. In 2012 I did virtually nothing to help myself lose weight and claimed it was hopeless. Today I know if I eat right, treat my body well and exercise, I will see results. It’s amazing how different things look when you see them side by side. I learned that food is medicine and the food you put into your body serves different purposes- if you put shit in your body, you’re not going to get any good results.

I may not be my goal weight yet, but I am damn proud of the number on the scale this morning and am going to take a moment to be really fricken proud of myself. I’ve worked hard and put a lot of money, time, effort and thought into my health and my journey. I am going to allow myself to gloat a bit and say that, regardless of the high BMI or whatever standard western medicine tries to shove on me, I am happy with my health at this moment. And I will be for the next 50 pounds. I can’t wait to continue this journey.

Weight Loss

Forty for the Second Time

I’ve been hovering around this number for a couple of weeks, not really able to get below it because I’m a weak willed individual who really likes to follow where her hormones are wrongly telling her to go, so I figured if I post about it, I’ll have more onus and actually stick to my diet and continue the weight loss.

July 8, 2017. I stepped on the scale and saw 236.5, bringing my down a hot 40 pounds! The pictures I took later in the week proved that I’ve been losing weight and it’s showing, it just takes me some time to figure it out every time I tell people I’ve hit another milestone.

I have to look at myself every day and I see the flaws most of the time, rather than the successes. I know I need to work on the self-talk and make it more positive, and I struggle with that on a daily, hourly and momentary basis. It is only when I see the images put next to one another that I truly notice the difference. Like this one:

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Or this one:

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This was an interesting comparison because I almost never wear the same clothes over a long period of time- most of the stuff I own hasn’t fit in a while or it’s so big that I’ve gotten rid of it, or I’ve worn it so much that it’s ruined; the only exception is the workout tops I have because I like them to be big and unencumbering on me. The picture on the left is from the 2016 Central Regionals. I took a picture with 4-time Fittest Man on Earth, Rich Froning and I thought it was an OK picture despite being all sweaty and gross from volunteering for Rogue all day. Then the day I took the picture on the right, Coach Maggie said “I can’t believe how big that shirt is on you” and I decided to find out just how big it was on me.

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I wore jeans for the first time in over at least two years. I was going through a handful of clothes from home in preparation for moving and downsizing, and I found four pair of jeans. The 14s definitely didn’t fit, the 16s almost made it over Thunder and Lightning (my thighs) and the stretchy 18s fit but required a belt to fit without falling down. I felt pretty accomplished. The jeans also made their way into my clothing rotation.

I have been 236.5 before; Actually I was 234.5 in 2012 when I started paleo and CrossFit, but I’m making the changes again and now I’m seeing much better results this time around than I did last time. This time it’s coming off glacially slow, but it’s actually staying off. I keep myself as accountable as possible and manage to keep myself in check so I don’t fall off the rails every time I eat.

I’m able to get to the gym a little more. Hubs and I bought a house and we close in a few weeks, and our nights are almost always full with something, but it’s nice to know that hubs and I still want to keep CrossFit a priority in our lives. He goes during his lunch hour and I typically squeeze in at the end of the day. The coaches at CrossFit Waukesha and Delafield are fantastic and so helpful and I’m thankful every day I can make it.

I have to remember to drink more water; I’m supposed to drink 100 oz per day but that gets difficult especially if I’m in meetings all day, so I have to be really conscious about it. Currently I’m at just under 60 oz today and have another 40 sitting on my desk waiting for me. Today this is my only goal.

Food has been a struggle for me lately. I’ve been doing Candida and gluten free for a while now and the constancy of salads at lunch is getting really grating. I also accidentally subbed out soy sauce for balsamic vinegar a couple weeks ago and it’s kind of put me off salads. The cafeteria at work is amazing and I’m thankful for that, but then I accidentally ingest some bad Barbeque sauce with a couple brats and I’m running to the bathroom with a stomach bug. It was anything but entertaining. I need to find that balance and manage to find the healthy foods while also managing the expectations of my body in that I need to avoid process sugars (sugar at all, really) and find a way to stay interested in the food options.

This being healthy thing is tricky! I just hope to find what works best for me one day. It’s all trial and error in the end, isn’t it?

Knitables

What I’m Obsessed With Today

Surprisingly, despite the fact that I have virtually no time to do anything, I have gotten a LOT of knitting done in the past few weeks! I spend time knitting on the bus to and from work, I get some knitting done while driving somewhere with the husband, I knit at home to wind down from my day and I knit when I should probably be doing something other than knitting. Ya know, like cleaning and doing laundry.

So what’s on my needles?

Linebreak! I’ve already made one of these, but I felt like the custom yarn from Three Irish Girls that I got at the Cream City Yarn birthday party was just meant to become a linebreak. Sprinkles on Top is a short-stripe repeat that is short-rowing up perfectly. I have yet to see a pool and I’m loving every single row. I’m into the fifth (and technically the last) wedge and I can knit about two rows in 45 minutes of my drive home from work, but it’s working up so beautifully that I’m OK with it taking longer than I’d personally like. I just started the second skein so I’m a little worried that I either did the pattern wrong or if I just have that much extra yarn. I may consider making an extra wedge…

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Hudson Shawl! I found this shawl while randomly searching through Ravelry. Someone had knocked off the pattern and was trying to sell it exclusively as a kit using Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok. I just wanted the pattern, not the whole kit because I’ve got a hookup to getting the yarn anyway. Then I looked at the comments and saw that they had ripped off the pattern from poor Shannon Cook. So I found her pattern and purchased it instead, knowing that I simply had to make it out of Woolstok. I did some minor changes to the pattern, especially at the end and I’m so happy with the way it came out!

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Dice bags! I have so much leftover sock yarn that I don’t know what to do with so I am making dice bags. I’ve got a few of these made already, but my DnD group is in need of bags for their constantly growing pile of polyhedrals. I use three strands of fingering weight yarn and a size 8 needle, use Judy’s Magic Cast On and start working in the round right away! When I finish, I thread some ribbon or braided yarn through the live stitches so it closes up really easily.

Georgetown! This gorgeous sweater is my newest obsession and I wish I could work on it more but it takes up quite a bit of space. I started this a while ago after basically finishing a flax light, but hated everything about it, so onto the winder it went. I then grabbed some charcoal grey (That was once a cobblestone!) and decided to put it together to make this scrumptious sweater. I finished the back in what felt like no time, then dawdled a bit on the fronts, finally cranking them out in a few afternoons after a few weeks of forgetting about it. I seamed it up into what I think is my best mattress stitch to date, and then started on a short row sleeve cap which I decided I didn’t like, so I ripped it out yesterday and decided to do it just as the pattern is written. Hannah Fettig knows best. I haven’t really taken any pictures of this, so I guess I’ll have to get on that.

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I’m so close to finishing a Camilla Kid sweater, but I never took pictures of it. I’m sure I can photograph it when I’m finished with it, but until then it’s just sitting in the bag.

 

 

 

 

Randomly on a... · Weight Loss

Thirty

I stepped on the scale this morning and saw an amazing number: 246.5. I’ve lost 30 pounds. In 7 months, I lost 30 pounds. Roughly 4.5 pounds per month.

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On the left: 276.5: September 2016. On the right: 246.5: June 7, 2017

But the number isn’t what’s so amazing: The fact of what I look like is so amazing to me. The last time I lost a ton of weight (50 pounds in 2012/2013), I didn’t see anything change in my body until I hit 50 pounds and finally went shopping. 50 pounds was significant, but I had a lot less muscle definition than I do now. I couldn’t lift, move and function as well as I can now. Five years of CrossFit later and it’s taken a lot more for my body to actually lose the weight, but once I started losing it, I noticed a lot more a lot faster. My clothes are loose on me, I have to wash clothes a lot more often in the hopes they shrink up, my bras aren’t rolling up because they’re too small, my wedding ring fits properly and actually comes off my finger without the assistance of lotion or water and I actually don’t mind looking in the mirror.

I went through a lot of hell to get to this point: A naturopathic doctor who didn’t understand dietetics and how what you eat affects the body so significantly, who prescribed upwards of 56 supplement pills every single day forcing my liver to function at such a high level that I couldn’t sleep and the constant threat from said doctor that she would put me on Phentermine, a drug known to cause Pulmonary Hypertension, kept my stress levels at such a level that my body wouldn’t release anything. As someone with prior pulmonary issues, this doctor completely disregarded my needs and body and was simply determined to pump me full of supplements in the hopes that something would work. When I took matters into my own hands and started researching and applying the Candida diet, things drastically changed and I became shockingly aware of the perils I was doing to my own body and decided to make a change for the better. I am seeing my new naturopath tomorrow and I can’t wait to tell her I’m down 30 pounds from December 1, 2016.

Candida diet is hard. It’s super difficult to avoid all the processed foods in this world, all the bread and cheese that comes with basically everything you don’t make yourself. When Husband and I went to Nashville for Regionals last week, I came prepared with 4 pounds of chicken salad, a handful of jerky bars and a ton of options for snacks. I still succumbed to the chocolate and sweets they put out in the staff area. I suffered greatly for the week following- feeling lethargic and generally crappy overall. For some reason this knowledge doesn’t deter me from cheating and justifying it saying it’s OK, that I’ll just make up for it the next day. The truth is, when I drink enough water, eat Candida-approved foods, take my supplements at the right times and finish the evening with meditation and Castor Oil Packs, I lose weight. You’d think it’d be easier to follow this path knowing what the end result is, but I am a weak-willed individual who has a terrible relationship with food and that’s why I cheat meal on a semi-regular basis. I like to say I only have two cheat meals per week, but really I include little cheats: A sprouted grain wrap, honey roasted nuts, etc. and call them fine.

So it’s taken a really long time to lose the weight. I step on the scale every single morning and am sometimes disappointed, most times apathetic knowing that I did this to myself when I gave in to my hormonal cravings and ate all that chocolate the night before, and occasionally very happy when the number goes down and I can put my new weight into FitBit and MyFitnessPal.

As a CrossFitter, I shouldn’t be focused on the number either, but I have a ticking timebomb here with the potential threat of healthcare reform. Pretty soon I may not be insurable because of my weight, the PCOS and whatnot. Health insurers don’t care about your overall health, they care about the number on the scale and how it relates to your height. If I were simply doing this to get fitter, I wouldn’t worry about it. For now, the scale rules my bathroom.

Bottom line: I’m very happy with the fact that I’ve lost 30 pounds so far. I am officially under the weight restriction for my camp chairs, my trampoline and a whole host of other items around my home. I’m able to fit into a lot of the clothing I wasn’t able to fit into previously and a lot of my more recent clothes are baggy and loose on me, so loose sometimes that I can’t see keeping them around much longer. I am very close to switching to the small band on my fitbit and, with hope, in 6 months or so I can size my wedding band down.

I have 60 pounds to go until I get back to my 2012/13 low weight of 180 pounds. I have 47 pounds to go until I am under 200 pounds again and I know exactly what to do in order to get there. I am not going to just focus on today’s victory and forget about the ultimate goal. I have many more victories to go and I will not let anything get in my way. I just need the willpower to execute the goal and get to the finish lines.

Uncategorized

Just 10 Minutes

I only have a few minutes to post an update, but I want to keep to my word that I will write more often. So here’s a few random notes as we come to the end of the week.

  1. I haven’t knit since Monday night and I finally get to tonight, while teaching a class. The 1999 sweater is in desperate need of a set of sleeves, so I think I’ll get that finished up tonight.
  2. I’ve lost a few more pounds over the last three days; I am officially UNDER the weight restriction for my trampoline and camp chairs. I may have done a happy dance while in the bathroom today.
  3. I enjoyed breakfast probably more than I should have this morning- the Intermittent fast I decided to do last night was really difficult and I was very hungry this morning.
  4. Parking in Milwaukee is very expensive as of late- I have to pay for parking each day I work (Which is 5 days per week) so my bank account is a little surprised, at least until my first paycheck comes in.
  5. I have run out of size 8 needles; I have to pick up a new set tonight before work so I can actually finish the sweater. I can’t figure out where they keep going, but I apparently don’t use 8s as much anymore.
  6. I dropped my phone, face-down, in the bathroom the other day. Luckily, only the shield I have on my phone was cracked and not the phone itself. I stupidly forgot to save said shield and subsequently had to buy a new one. This one is black matte instead of silver, so it looks like I got a new phone, except the leather case is still pretty gross-looking.
  7. I’m looking forward to the day when I can see my husband during daylight hours.

That’s all for today. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I actually have the whole weekend off, so I’m very excited for sleep and working on freelance stuff and then doing a lot of nothing.