Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fishing in The Dark

Posts have been sporadic and I take full responsibility but I’ve been out there choosing happiness, y’all! I’ve come to the realization that my soul mate is not waiting for me at Publix. He’s also not at Target or at my mailbox or at Midtown (bars!). As of last Thursday, I’ve officially rejoined the online dating world. Please pray for me. As a repeat Match.com-er, I decided to go a different route this time and join POF (Plenty of Fish). I was busy making my profile by answering questions and filling in the blanks that I’d almost forgotten my fear of that one particular qualifier, “Body Type.” Ugh. My options: thin (hahaha), average (hmmm), a few extra pounds (preach), BBW (big, beautiful woman for those unfamiliar). In the past, I would have selected “a few extra pounds” and shamefully it should have read, “a hundred extra pounds.” Here’s a fun fact, the average size of an American woman is a 14. Ta-Da! This girl is now considered “average.” I prefer “spectacular” but that’s not an option. Tsk, tsk, POF. My about me section states that I go to the gym 4-5 days per week and need someone on my fitness level. Admittedly, when I see a heavier person with gym stats like that I kind of wonder how truthful they’re being. In order to combat these naysayers, my profile reads, “I'm at the gym 4-5 days a week (you should see my before picture!) and need someone who also lives an active lifestyle.” BOOM! I should start walking around in a before picture T-shirt. Well, dear reader, I’m not sure if it’s my slimmer figure or my “average” status but I blew up. I was flooded with messages and notifications from the app. I’m legit not bragging here, as most of them went unanswered for multiple reasons (most were creeper status). So, I’m out there. I’m giving this thing a try.

The thing I still struggle with is when to bring up old Sarah and new Sarah’s blog. This blog is like a diary and has SUPER personal information and I’m not sure I want someone reading it all here first. Your past inevitably shapes you but it doesn’t have to be the first line of your story. Could you imagine me showing up to meet a date for a drink, sitting down and saying, “Hi. I’m Sarah. I’ve lost 90 pounds and I write this blog that’s sometimes funny and sometimes really sad slash raw.” Uhhhh, no. With every new contender comes the peeling back of the layers. Layer by layer, the blog will expose itself. The right person will think it is awesome, run home immediately to read it and text me that I’m so cute and hilarious.

For now, I’m keeping date details close to the vest but will keep you posted of any progress and funny anecdotes that I can share without jeopardizing anything. Always, always, always CHOOSE HAPPINESS!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What's Gonna Come Poppin' Out?

I heart Melissa McCarthy. Serious girl crush going on over here. When you put her with the incredibly talented Sandy Bullock in The Heat, you get one of my favorite movies. You also get me in unavoidable tears during the bar sequence. “You’re covered in nuts. This is just a dream.” If you haven’t seen it, go rent it right now and invite all your best friends over for Skinny Pop and pajamas. It’s hilarious, I promise. Another memorable scene, SPOILER ALERT, is when the two characters are in the bathroom discussing Spanx. Most women, sorry dudes, know what Spanx are and have probably worn them or a similar brand in their adult life. Spanx is the Q-tip of undergarments, as in they’re what everyone refers to regardless of brand (ala cotton swab). I’m not even sure what you’d refer to them as…fat holder inners? Cellulite streamliners? Oh, wait, I actually think they’re called control-top panties or shape wear. OMG, I can’t believe I just used that word on my blog, y’all. In case you aren’t versed in Sarah, I HATE the word panties. Gross. I could probably write a 10-page essay on all of the words I loathe. Panties. Moist. Chunky. Tits. Dump.

Holy moly, tangent. While there are many times that Spanx are 100 percent necessary, what no one tells you is how badly they suck. They’re tight, even when you buy the correct size according to height and weight. They’re hot and sweating just makes them more impossible to get on and off. Remember when Ross from Friends can’t get his leather pants back on in a date’s bathroom? It’s like that. They’re a nightmare when you pee often or are in a rush to pee. You have to hike them up when you want to wear anything a little bit short. You’re self-conscious walking up stairs, praying that they’re not peeking out the bottom of your hemline. As an overweight girl, wearing shape wear was just a part of my life. For as long as I can remember I’ve been wearing spandex shorts under dresses in order to avoid the dreaded chub rub. In college, I went through this phase where I wore a corset thing that would help control the muffin top overhanging on my jeans. I remember being terrified that my friends would feel the ribbing through my shirt when we would pose for photos or dance closely. Well, dear readers, I have finally been set free! Thanks to my weight loss (and probably all those leg days), I am no longer constricted by my undergarments! I’ll admit, I was a little nervous the first time sans Spanx and worried if a roll was detectable under my dress. I was calmed by constant mirror checking and reassurances from friends. Let’s not get crazy, Spanx are still a necessity when wearing body-hugging dresses as they do help smooth everything out, but I can sport a bunch of my wardrobe with new-found ease.

Here’s to undergarment freedom! Not underwear and bras though, those are necessary in like 98.9 percent of situations!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Blame it on The Juice

As I took a bite of the 3rd cupcake on my NY trip last month, I decided I might need to do some serious detoxing when I returned back home. Usually, a binge roller coaster is the hardest to get off of. I started researching juice cleanses as they are growing in popularity and have been described as an excellent “reset” for your body. I departed for NY at 203 lbs., returned home at 208 lbs. and was, surprisingly, back at 203 lbs. after a little less than a week. Getting back on the wagon wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined because I was so eager to get back to my routine. I was craving my boring food and wasn’t threatening to commit crimes for a sugar fix. I fell back into life quite seamlessly but was still entertaining the idea of juicing. I haven’t been able to break the 203 lb. wall since I was plagued in January and didn’t eat. Juicing seemed like a great way to get me over this hump. I don’t own a juicer and they can be pricey so I determined that I was going to do a bottled cold-pressed juice cleanse. I didn’t have plans for Easter and had busy work days ahead of me on that Monday and Tuesday. Juicing is the best when you’re busy and short on time to think about food. I landed on a great review of the Suja brand (sujajuice.com) cleanse. They offer a variety of products and programs and, honestly, greatly appealed to me because you get a “dessert” juice at the end of every day. I did the Original Fresh Start program for 3 days. It’s a series of 6 different juices a day repeated for 3 days. I found 2 one-day kits at Whole Foods and was able to piece my 3rd day together with the exception of 2 juices (of course the dessert juice wasn’t in stock as an individual bottle). I substituted 2 juices from the line for those unavailable. Whole Foods was having a sale on the Suja products so I was able to get my 3-day supply for about $92. Normally, online it’s sold for $162. A few things I was sure of, 1. No exercise during juicing as I was already going to be at a high calorie deficit, and 2. I would drink a bottle of water before every juice to help with fullness. It’s important to note that on this cleanse you can have as much water and tea as desired. Luckily for you, dear readers, I kept a diary during my 3-day stint on the juice. I would like to apologize to my friends, parents and Oliver (the dog) who were in contact with me over the course of those days and regret anything I may have said out of hanger (hungry anger).

Day 1: Sunday, April 5th
Weight: 203.6

I slept in this morning and woke up already hungry (awesome). Prior to my first juice, and recommended by the Web site, I drank some warm water with apple cider vinegar to start my day. After the water, I waited for more hunger signs from my belly. The first breakfast juice is green and has mint tea. It’s not horrible. I’ve decided not to drink water during my juices as I want to absorb all the nutrients from the juice as possible. I’m going to try to wait at least 2 hours between juices. Mid-morning juice is orange and primarily carrot but also has turmeric (this will be my favorite juice with the exception of “dessert”). When lunch rolled around, I was excited that my lunchtime juice was red because I thought that meant fruit base.
FALSE BEYOND ALL FALSE. It’s beet. This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. It’s like drinking dirt so I chug until I can’t, take a minute break, chug until I can’t and repeat until it’s gone. Holy moly it was terrible. I did offer to buy a friend a golden retriever puppy if she would bring me a double cheeseburger, fries, 3 piece chicken tenders and a strawberry milkshake. Low point. The worst part about today has been that I’m at home. I just keep thinking about how easy it would be to go to the kitchen and eat every last thing in my cabinets and refrigerator. I miss chewing. The best part about today was the dessert juice. Change your life goodness. The dessert juice is called Vanilla Cloud and is made with almond milk, water, honey, coconut meat, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s not from a lack of anything that this juice tastes so good, it’s just genuinely heaven. I didn’t have any “symptoms” of detox today besides hunger. The stomach’s growls couldn’t be ignored but I drank a ton of water and am going to bed early.

Day 2: Monday, April 6th
Weight: 200.4

Well, it’s nice to wake up 3 lbs. lighter! The hunger was a real struggle last night. I didn’t sleep very well and my stomach was growling loudly around 9 p.m. It’s so strange to have gone over 24 hours without ever having that full feeling. I was really dreading drinking that lunchtime juice today because it was so terrible. I was SLAMMED at work today and actually had to remind myself to drink a juice. You’re supposed to drink your last juice 3 hours before bedtime to allow for proper digestion. I also don’t start my first juice until after I’ve finished a bottle of water and a glass of tea in the morning. I have to fit the 6 juices in 12 hours, essentially, so I have to stay on schedule of every 2 hours. Research told me that day 2 of a cleanse is usually the “honeymoon day.” Well, that’s a fact! I feel so AWESOME today. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I saw results on the scale or the juices but today was incredibly easy. The Vanilla Cloud at the end of my day was such a treat and I am so sad that tomorrow doesn’t end this way. I’m lying on the couch and am in extreme awe at how thin I am (for me). My stomach is completely flat, there’s no bloat or discomfort in my gut. Again, I’m flooded with water and going to bed early.

Day 3: Tuesday, April 7th
Weight: 199

HOLY SHIT, you guys! I finally broke the 200 lb. barrier! I stepped off the scale, did a dance and stepped on again to double check. Besides the scale victory, today was terrible. I’m not sure if I was feeling the side effects of the detox but I felt like absolute crap all day. I read a lot about the following days and how to return to normal eating. Basically, lots of fruits and veggies, taking it easy and no dairy or protein for a few days. Yikes. I’m leaving for Orlando tomorrow for an extended weekend with my friends to celebrate my BFF Kate having a baby! Therefore, eating needs to be a thing. I could barely stomach the juices today. My mouth and body wanted to reject them upon unscrewing the bottle caps. I couldn’t finish my last 2 juices of the day because I thought vomit would follow closely behind. Instead, I had ¼ cup coconut milk yogurt, 3 blueberries, 3 raspberries and 4 almonds. Smallest. Dinner. Ever. I haven’t been sleeping well because my body is so hungry at night. I’ve been busy tonight with packing and organizing for my trip and for the baby shower I’m hosting. It’s a nice distraction and I was waiting to see if the non-liquid dinner decided to be vengeful. So far, so good. I’m never juicing again.

I took it easy the next 2 days by eating really small meals throughout the day. I didn’t have any issues transitioning back into normal eating. The worst part about the after phase of a juice cleanse is the lack of bathroom trips. Your digestive track has been in hibernation for 3 days and you have to be REALLY careful not to shock it. Then, it takes a few days for it to get back to functioning. It took me 3 days. Overshare but these are things you need to know. Another side effect that might be from the juice is my skin exploding in breakouts. I can’t 100 percent say it was definitely the juicing but I would bet my body wanted to rid some toxins by way of my face. Looking back, the juice was a good experience. I learned what TRUE hunger felt like and will use this experience to reset my portion size moving forward. It’s amazing how little your body can survive on. I did miss my workouts so I’m excited to get back to the gym. Obviously, I indulged this weekend at the party and over some leftovers but I’m back on track today and eating small portions in 2 hour increments. I was a tad heavier this morning but I’m hoping to get that back down by Thursday as I have to go weigh in at the doctor this week.

I’m really glad I did the juice cleanse because I proved to myself that I could and now I know that there’s nothing I’m missing out on by NOT doing it. If every day were like day 2 then I would juice a lot more but day 3 was miserable. I would definitely recommend the Suja program because that Vanilla Cloud made it ALL WORTH IT! I tried some of their smoothie juices (more fruits, thicker texture) in the transition off the juice cleanse and they’re delicious. These can be found at local grocery stores like Publix, Lucky’s, etc.  Reach out if you had a positive or negative juicing experience as I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In This Skin

I decided to have a #lovemyselfie celebration this past weekend.  Friday and Saturday marked two huge milestones for me, I was comfortable with myself.  On Friday night, I was going out with a friend and decided that I wanted to wear a dress.  A sleeveless dress.  Without a cardigan.  The rare times that I do go sleeveless are usually because of some formal event.  Everyday sleeveless or strapless dresses are always worn with a cardigan in order to hide my arms.  I'm usually super self-conscious about my flabby arms and going out sans sleeves was a huge deal.  Especially since we were at several college-crowd bars.  Sure, my arms still jiggle more than I would like them to but I'm not over here doing the wave or anything.  I'm 100 percent positive that the swarms of girls in cutoffs with their cheeks (not face) hanging out were getting more stares than my arms.  On that note, girls, put those away!  Crack or cheek are NEVER a fashion statement.

About a week ago, I was asked to go to a water park in Orlando on Saturday.  My immediate reaction was, "Hell no!  I'm not walking around in my bathing suit all day."  After much debate and a severe case of not wanting to miss out (FOMO!), I decided to go.  My bathing suit is a bit big in areas as it's from last year but I made it work and didn't give anyone a show (that I know of).  I didn't wear shorts.  I didn't walk around in a cover up or T-shirt.  It was just me in my super cute orange suit.  A few years ago I wouldn't be caught dead walking around comfortable in my bathing suit.  Remember when I said I was the girl who wouldn't even take her shirt off for the doctor?  Today, this girl didn't give a rats about what she looked like.  Sometimes I wish I had a shirt that said, "You should see my before picture."  Strangers might not know how far I've come but I sure as shit do and I feel so much better about myself.  Sure, there were cute girls in bikinis who would make anyone feel bad about what they looked like but I didn't care at all.  I was having so much fun that I forgot about any qualms I had about my exposed body.  Also, how awesome is it that I didn't have to worry about weight limits?!?  Most rides had a 300 lb. max and not too long ago I was severely close to that marker.  Another comfort I have now is me without makeup.  I have blonde eyelashes and eyebrows.  Most people don't know what I look like without makeup.  I was the girl who, at minimum, always wore mascara.  Even waterproof couldn't survive the water park so bare face was my only option.  Again, it didn't bother me!  I never wear makeup at the gym and have become so much more accepting of the way I look without it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not without insecurities but I am becoming more comfy in this skin.  I'm slowly learning that people will accept me and love me regardless of my imperfections.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Knee Bone's Connected to The

Hey, collar bone!
A new discovery has been made, I HAVE BONES!  I know, it's crazy, right?  Okay, sure, I knew they were in there somewhere but now I can actually see them!  I have a collar bone, hips, wrists and hand bones.  I can trace the outlines of the bones in my knees, shoulders and down my sternum.  I finally have the ability to count how many ribs I have.  I'm seriously concerned about the size of my rib cage.  It seems abnormally large.  Maybe I am just big boned after all?

Now that I'm less squishy, I'm obviously not a very good pillow.  I think my dog, Oliver, is offended by my bones, which are in the way of his nestling place.  A friend recently rested her head on my shoulder and complained that I was super bony now that I'm not fat.  My marshmallow exterior is gone and I'm developing a frame.

Make no bones about it, progress is progress.  I still have a long way to go but I'm loving these new developments!

Traveling (Wo)man

Look how much seat belt is left!
This past year and a half have been completely insane and I've been traveling so much for weddings, work and getaways.  It's amazing how traveling can help quantify how far I've come as new Sarah.  I'll never forget my first plane ride after starting my weight-loss journey.  It was nearly a year ago and I was flying to my best friend's wedding.  I was flying to an extremely small airport in Virginia and small airports mean small planes, which means even smaller than normal seats.  For the first time in my adult life I was, relatively, comfortable on an airplane.  I boarded, took my seat and couldn't believe how roomy it was!  Fitting in that seat really put into perspective how far I had come.  Present day, I've doubled my weight loss since that flight and have so much less anxiety about flying.  A few years ago, I would dread the center seat and when I lost a bet with karma and got stuck in one I would have to cross my arms the whole flight in order to not spill over onto the people next to me.  My hips (and ass) would pressure the arm rest upward and I would fight to push it down hoping the strangers didn't notice.  Don't even get me started on the seat belt, which was always maxed out and still cutting off circulation to my legs.  It is such a relief to be an average size now.  Flying takes on a whole new outlook because I don't have the stress over being jammed into a seat that I didn't fit into.

Have you ever noticed how small hotel towels are?  Nope, you probably haven't if you're not overweight!  I used to pack my own towel on every trip I took.  It didn't matter where the trip was to or how long I was going for, I had to make room to pack a towel.  All because I couldn't fit in a normal size towel.  It was basically like trying to dry off with a washcloth.  It's so embarrassing to admit to you guys but it's the truth.  I now have more room in my suitcase for clothing and shoes because my BYOT days are over!

I'd like to tell you about how I'm able to pack lighter and bring a smaller suitcase nowadays but that's 100 percent false.  I convinced myself that on this last trip to NY I would be able to have a smaller bag because my clothes are so much smaller now.  Ha!  What a joke.  I was still at max capacity with my 48 lb. bag.  I guess it had nothing to do with the size of my clothes, I just over pack.  I think it's hereditary.  Listen, a girl has to have her essentials.  I will NEVER be the girl who just travels with a carry-on bag.  I can't even fit my hair products into a quart size bag let alone all the liquids I need for a trip.  It takes a lot to look this good, okay?

I'm searching for my next getaway destination as I usually like to have something to look forward to.  For now, I'll celebrate my travel victories and continue to discover why life as a lighter person is so much better.