TWO-YEAR CROSSFITAVERSARY!

Well, good lord, this year has gone by awfully fast.

As you’ll be able to see in the table at the end, I’m approaching a pretty humongous weight-loss milestone, so unlike last year, this year’s Crossfitaversary will not include before-and-after photos. I’m saving that for later. 😉

While this year I’ve definitely become more comfortable in my Crossfitting skin, looking back, I’ve made leaps and bounds since last year. It’s pretty amazing, actually. Especially because, when you get comfortable doing something, it’s difficult sometimes to actually see the improvements you’re making.

Let’s take a look at my list of goals from last year:

  • Move up from the 6″ baby box for box jumps
  • Move up from 35# kettlebell for American swings
  • Continue to PR Olympic lifts; get past 220# deadlift
  • Practice the overhead squat; stop falling over with 45#
  • Nail a double-under
  • Do WODs with a band-assisted pull-up
  • Make it a point to attend at least one WOD that includes running

So…what did I do this year?

  • I’m doing box jumps on a 12″ box now
  • I’m still doing most KB WODs with 35#, but I have done a few with 45# (lower volume reps)
  • I have had significant Oly lift PRs, and I hit a new deadlift PR of 235#!
  • I have yet to nail a double-under, but damn that needs to happen soon! I’m constantly doing 100+ single unders unbroken
  • Nobody at our box does band-assisted pull-ups, but I’m werkin’ my ring rows
  • I’ve started running. Period.

And since goals are very important, here are my goals for the next year:

  • Make it to Lifetime at Weight Watchers (yeah, I said it!)
  • Get an unassisted pull-up
  • Nail that damn double-under
  • Work up to the 18″ box for box jumps….
  • Keep on inspiring people

Big goals. But I think I can do it. Right?

Now here’s a little recap of my year in photos:

I spoke at WW Success Stories Live, after getting my 75# ring.

Success stories!
Success stories!

I hiked the Cliffs of Moher!

Atop the Cliffs of Moher
Atop the Cliffs of Moher

I competed—and did awesomely—in a partner competition.

Long live Team Nevernudes!
Long live Team Nevernudes!

I wore a bikini!

Gettin' scandalous on Hampshire Beach.
Gettin’ scandalous on Hampshire Beach.

I ran a 5k!

WHAT IS THIS!?
WHAT IS THIS!?

I ran another 5k!

Color me happy!
Color me happy!

Two years ago, did I ever think I’d be living this life?

Hell no.

Two years ago, did I ever think I’d still be Crossfitting?

Hell no.

But I am. And I’m happy for it. And I’m proud of it. And I’m…

I’m…

I’m…really, really excited. And changed. I’m a changed woman.

And, without further ado, here’s my yearly poll. Please answer it, and let me know what you REALLY think!

Really…I have so much love and appreciation for Crossfit and all the people I’ve met because of it. Thank you so much for being a part of my life, and here’s to another awesome year!

Movement Baseline 2011 2012
General WOD Weight 25# bar 45–55# 60+ (closer to Rx)
Front Squat 75# (5RM, 01/24/11) 110# (5RM, 11/09/11) 135# (1RM, 9/17/12)
Back Squat 1RM=90# 1RM=160#, 10RM=115# 1RM=165#
Overhead Squat 25# 45# 2RM=90# (8/20/12)
Deadlift 1RM=195# (02/23/11) 1RM=210# (10/22/11) 1RM=235# (11/2/12)
Power Clean 45# (01/25/11) 2RM=90# (11/08/11) 2RM=100# (10/18/12)
2k Row DNF at 12:00 Sub-10:00 8:23.1 (11/1/12)
Clean & Jerk 65# 85# (11/15/11) 2RM=100# (11/5/12)
Back Squat 1RM=90# 1RM=160#, 10RM=115# 1RM=165#
5k Run Not performed Not performed 31:28 (8/29/12)
Grace 3:27 @ 45# (02/15/11) 3:10 @ 55# (10/15/11) 4:54 @ 75# (9/21/12)
Diane 5:56 @ 85# (01/21/11) 3:39 @ 85# (11/07/11) 5:53 @ 155# (10/8/12)
Fran 6:52 @ 25# (12/8/10) 4:57 @ 50# (11/18/11) 7:17 @ 65# (8/24/12)
Pull-Ups Jumping Transitioning to black band Ring rows/Blue band
Kettlebell Weights 8kg, period 35# American Swing WOD weight, 45# Russian Swing 35# American Swing WOD weight, 53#+ Russian Swing
Competition Row for the Red Cross 5k Row (03/05/11) Fall Face-Off (10/29/11) Strongman Competition (December 2011), Xs & Ys Garage Games (March 2012)
Attitude “You always have a crappy attitude.” —Dean “STOP SMILING!” —Kevin (11/09/11) “You’re killing it! Bodies everywhere!” —Dean (11/12/12)
Weight Lost 69.8# 96.4#
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…and then there was this time I lost 3.4# and cried on the scale

By now, you’re used to my TMI moments.

And by now, you remember that I was SO CLOSE to being under 200, and then sabotaged myself with bacon toffee.

Well. THIS WEEK. THIS happened:

198.4
198.4

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the little Weight Watchers stickers they give you at weigh-in, this is what that means:

  1. Man Wt = Current weight
  2. +/- = Amount weight lost or gained since last weigh-in (for me, that’s last Thursday)
  3. Total = Total weight loss to date
  4. DPT = Daily Points Target (i.e., how much I’m allowed to eat)

Ignore the fact that the total line reads 91 (hooooly shit!), but, um, do you see the number on the Man Wt line?

198.4

I. Am. Under. 200. Pounds.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!doifsdfjsdlfkshgorwhiwr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, not only that…it’s the first time I’ve been under 200 pounds in my ENTIRE ADULT LIFE.

Yup. Now y’all know EXACTLY how much I weigh, but at this point, I don’t really care. (TMI moment brought to you by DK Gets Fit. You’re welcome.)

But, let me backtrack just a bit.

After Bacopalypse (aka, Bacon Toffee Terrorism), I knew something had to change. That’s when I sat down with Dean, and we worked out a new fitness and nutrition plan that I could live with (more on that coming up!!). And when I commit to something, I’m all in. So after a full week on Dean’s plan, I actually gained half a pound, and was piiiiissed. But I stuck with it for another week, and I lost big—to the tune of 3.4#, which rarely happens with me at this point in my weight loss. Now, I know 3.4# probably isn’t a sustainable rate to lose in the long-term, but damn if it didn’t make me happy yesterday.

I knew I had lost some weight, but I wasn’t sure if my scale at home would match up with the scale at the WW center.

So I get to the WW center, and immediately make Jennifer come over and weigh me in. I was trying to decide if I wanted to do the DK sexy striptease at the scale (sometimes, when we get soooooo close to a goal, it’s okay to take off your bra, and maybe your top layer, too…). I decided not to. I had gotten up early to go for a run and get my sweat on pre-weigh-in. So when I got to the center, whatever happened happened, and I knew I had done everything I could have done that week.

I hop on, and the WW scale matched my home scale, and I had a huge smile on my face before Jennifer could even record it (she knew I had stepped on the scale, and kept saying “asshole!” under her breath…I think she wanted it to be a surprise for me, hahaha!). Of course, when I saw that number, I didn’t even realize how much weight I lost that week, but that the number was in the HUNDREDS. There’s a ONE at the beginning of my weight now, not a TWO!

Victory fist pumping ensued.

Then a big hug from Jen, where I started laughing, and then cry-laughing, and then full-on crying.

And then I made all the other receptionists there cry, too.

I did NOT think I would be THAT emotional. Good lord.

But then all through the meeting, all I could really think about was telling Dean how I finally accomplished that goal. I didn’t have his phone number, so I couldn’t text him. And his schedule at ACF on Thursdays was spotty. I took a chance, and went directly from my meeting to ACF to track him down. He was there (thank god!), and I told him and Kevin (who was also there), and we had a mini party in the ACF office. It felt really awesome to share that with him.

And then later that evening….

Gold star!
Gold star!

…and any of you who are part of the ACF Facebook group, now you all know what that gold star was for. 😀

So my next goal is to not gain it back next week. I’m under 200, and I intend to stay there.

Also, 100 is JUST around the corner. So I’m not going to do a before and now retrospective at the moment…gotta save that for NINE MORE POUNDS!!

This one time I made Bacon Toffee; or, This week I gained 3.4 pounds

What kind of baconry is this?!
What kind of baconry is this?!

You guys ready for some massive oversharing? You ready to read your face off? Because this one’s a doozy.

Where do I begin?

So, last week, I reaped major benefits from my new nutrition regime. Recently, I’ve been doing carb-cycling lite. Essentially, that means that I switch high-/moderate-carb days with low-carb days. Every other day is like that. And it works really, really well, but it takes a lot of discipline. The idea is similar to the idea of Crossfit—maximize your benefits by confusing the crap out of your body. Doing this not only kicked me out of a plateau, but it also got me losing at a really satisfying pace.

Anyway, so last Thursday, I go to weigh-in, and I had once again dropped a satisfying amount, bringing me that much closer to my immediate goal. (Here’s where the oversharing comes in: Last week, I got within 2 pounds of being under 200 pounds for the first time in my adult life. Yup, now you know how much I weigh, and if you are sitting there judging me because of that number, go f yourself.) And because I had lost consistently over the last few weeks, my Daily Points Target (i.e., the number of Points I’m allowed to eat each day) lowered by one. Not a huge deal, but enough to notice.

Simultaneously, after three weeks of carb-cycling, I’m supposed to take what is called a “Slingshot” week, during which I eat high/moderate carbs every day, confusing my body further, before getting back on the alternating high- and low-carb days again. This was just perfect because Labor Day weekend was coming up, and I had a lot of fun things planned. (Do you see where this is going?)

I had already planned out my weekend. Sunday would be my cheat day, since I was going to Bacon Fest, and I was 100 percent ready and willing to eat my face off in the name of Pork Belly.

What I hadn’t considered was everything before and after Bacon Fest.

Immediately after weigh-in, knowing that it was a week full of carbs, I decided to kick it off the way any carb-loving lady would: with popcorn and ice cream (duh). The next day, I grabbed lunch with a friend; we had originally planned to go to New World, which I had pretracked a delicious, delicious salad, but the restaurant ended up being closed for lunch. Instead, she took me to the Fountain so she could get a burger. I’m generally pretty good about finding healthy things on menus, but for the life of me…there were NO vegetables on the menu at all! Not to mention the fact that I was hangry, hangry, hangry. So what do I do? Order a pizza, OBVIOUSLY! And then, what? Eat how much? I had a hard time stopping myself at about six pieces. Smallish pieces, but still. Really?!

Then there was Bacon Fest. And granted, as many of us in the area know already, Bacon Fest was pretty much a bust. It would have been a stupendous event, but vendors ran out of bacon by around noon, so I really honestly didn’t eat much there. And I was hanging out with friends, so later on, OF COURSE I’m going to share an appetizer of bone marrow, followed by some tasty, tasty jerk chicken, wine, and then beers around a fire pit. OBVIOUSLY.

And theeeen…and YES, there is ANOTHER then…there was the Labor Day barbecue. Which would have been fine, but…

…I had to bring something, right?…

…and my friend was already bringing a salad, so…

…I had bacon on my mind since I missed out on Bacon Fest…

…and I kinda-sorta…

…decided that making BACON TOFFEE would be a good idea………………………………………..

Yeah.

The recipe for those with strong wills is at the end of this post, but I pretty much immediately regretted this decision as soon as I tasted it.

Because, you see, it’s not a joke when people talk about how the combination of fat and sugar releases the same chemicals as crack in your brain. It’s…addicting.

Now granted, I’m not blaming my poor decision-making skills on some g-d kitchen wizardry or sugar and fat. But it would be a convenient scapegoat.

As soon as I tasted my concoction, I knew I had created a new trigger food. Because I couldn’t get enough of it. And I brought it to the barbecue, and nobody else could get enough of it, either. But unfortunately, there weren’t enough people AT the barbecue to make it immediately disappear. So what happens? I eat more of it, OF COURSE. I eat more of that, and I eat some ribs, and I eat some spider dogs (long story). Oh, and I also eat the salad and my sparkling water (‘cuz I am watching my waistline, after all). And overall, I have a fun time.

Well…next morning is Tuesday, and that’s when I decide it might be a good time to check myself. I hop on the scale, and I almost pass the f out at what I see. I told my leader/friend Jennifer that I had gained five pounds, but in actuality it was 5.8—I was just choosing to round down. She tells me it’s probably mostly salt, and I need to sweat and drink water. Check. I go and work out (and by the by, I never skipped a workout this entire cheat week), followed by walking a 5k (admittedly, stopping halfway for coffee…), and hope for the best. I eat super-duper clean the next two days, and I had definitively decided that I would go to my meeting, but skip weigh-in (OBVIOUSLY).

Then what happens? I wake up on Thursday, and decide to, as my dear bestie Jim would say, nut up, and just weigh in anyway. The bad news was, I gained weight. The good news was, it wasn’t as bad as my check-in on Tuesday morning. This time, the scale indicated I was up by 3.4 pounds. Slingshot week seemed to only slingshot me further away from my little goal, now putting me 5.4 pounds away from it. But I got the sticker, put it on my little weight tracker (yes, I have one), and had my Daily Points Target increased back to what it was the previous week. It was like a punch to my gut.

But I was thinking about it, and this extends far beyond CHEAT WEEK OF DOOOOOOOM, and it extends beyond the pattern of me being pissy every time my Daily Points Target is decreased (historically, every time it is decreased, the next week I gain weight, almost in defiance of the new number, like I’m not ready for it or something, and it’s almost always brought back up for another week or two). And it goes beyond me being irritated that I’m now below 85# net loss (marginally, but still).

This week’s meeting theme was “Believe.” And you know what? I’m not sure where it came from, but I started dropping truth bombs on that meeting, and I almost made myself and Jennifer cry (not because I was bitching anyone out, but because of what I had to say, I guess):

Here’s the thing…I believe I can lose this weight because I’ve already lost a lot. Yeah, that’s not necessarily indicative of the future, but it’s definitely indicative of what I’m capable of, and the fight I have inside of me. So it’s gotta be something else.

Several years ago, I saw a therapist for a few sessions. One of the things we talked about was how I was unhappy being fat, and how I didn’t know the first place to even start because I had so much to lose. We talked for a while about how I should just say no to office treats (this therapist proved to be not very helpful…), but she did ask me one question that’s sort of stuck with me throughout these years: Are you afraid to lose weight?

At the time, I thought to myself, What a seriously stupid and insensitive question. But if it was a stupid question, I wouldn’t still be thinking about it.

My weight, for me, has been used as a shield; it’s always been easiest for me to blame things on my fat.

I don’t have a boyfriend because I’m fat, and all guys like skinny girls. (Or, XXX guy doesn’t like me because I’m fat.)

I don’t like going shopping with friends because none of the clothes fit me, and I don’t want them to go into Lane Bryant with me.

Etc., etc., etc.

Right now, I’m getting to a point where I can’t really blame my fat for the shit that happens in my life. It’s forcing me to deal with things directly, instead of tragically triaging things. It’s requiring me to put on a brave face and pretend to be normal.

And you know what?

I’m fucking scared.

There, I said it.

At the beginning of this post, I said that I’m almost below 200 pounds. Well. Imagine if you had been fat your entire life. The kind of fat where, in grade school, the school uniforms wouldn’t fit me, so I had to get special permission from the principal to shop at a store with similar styles that would fit properly. The kind of fat where you’re given Disney or Nickelodeon workout videos as a kid. The kind of fat where, even at 12 years old, you didn’t want to wear a swimming suit because of the way you thought you looked in it. And the kind of fat where you’ve been over 200 pounds—a lot over 200 pounds—your entire adult life.

I want to put Brave Face on, but let’s be real: I’m scared to be under 200 pounds. I BELIEVE I can get there, but I’m scared to, because I have absolutely NO idea what’s to come after that.

A few years ago, I’d tell people, “Oh yeah, I need to lose weight, but I wouldn’t want to lose THAT much…I think I’d look healthiest as a size 16—12 minimum.”

Well…I’m not a 16 any more, and I’m fitting into 12’s easy peasy. And it’s not good enough.

I’m scared because I have no idea what I’m going to look like and how I’m going to change. I’m only now beginning to know who I am without the extra 85 pounds. Who will I be once I lose another 40? How will I deal with rejection? How will I deal with attention?

And that’s what I dropped on my meeting. I don’t know WHY I said all that stuff, because certainly most of the people there must have been freaked out by my TMI, but it felt right. And it felt good to sort of get it out. It was really emotional, and almost freeing in a way. However, this is still stuff I’m going to have to deal with.

I don’t have a warm-fluffy ending to this blog post, but my point is, I’m scared, and I’m allowed to be scared. What I’m not allowed to do, however, is to sabotage myself, consciously or unconsciously. So I guess that means no more Bacon Toffee….

Bacon Toffee (not for the slight of character)

Ingredients:

• 1 pound (or more) of bacon
• 2 cups butter
• 2 cups white sugar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 2 cups chocolate chips (or, you know, an entire bag)

Directions:

Cook bacon until it’s crisp. Depending on how bacony you want this toffee, you might want to cook a pound and a half or two pounds. Once it’s cooked and drained, cut or break up into small pieces. Spread pieces of bacon out over a cookie sheet that’s covered in waxed paper.

Next, in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir occasionally.

As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet, covering the delicious and crisp bacon. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin even layer once it is melted.

Place the cookie sheet and toffee in the fridge to set. This might take about 45 minutes to harden. Once it’s hardened, break into pieces, and try to control yourself.

For WW people, don’t even go here. It has a lot of points. Even if you make 32 servings.

Milestone: 75

Finally! A welcome addition to my trophy keychain.
Finally! A welcome addition to my trophy keychain.

By now, most of you who follow me on Facebook already know. After literally MONTHS fighting with the same freaking five pounds, I finally, finally, finally made it to my next major milestone: 75 pounds.

SEVENTY. FIVE. FREAKING. POUNDS.

That’s, like, the most weight I can even get overhead. And I. LOST. THAT. MUCH. WEIGHT.

Excuse me for a moment.

YEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!

🙂

Okay. I’m good. Really.

Since you’re pretty good and updated on where I am fitness-wise and nutrition-wise, I don’t think it’s necessary to rehash how I’ve changed. (But if you’re interested in other milestones, please check them out in my archives!)

Now for the fun part. And then a story. More before and now photos! Yay! Get ready for this.

At college graduation. See below for a story about this.
At college graduation (2003). See below for a story about this.
Around 2008, at a farmer's market/pumpkin patch.
Around 2008, at a farmer's market/pumpkin patch with good friends Brandon and JW.
Summer 2009, at Niagara Falls.
Summer 2009, at Niagara Falls.
At a holiday party, with James, Sarah, and Zuzana.
At a holiday party (December 2011), with James, Sarah, and Zuzana.
Me and my Bearosaurus shirt (February 2012).
Me and my Bearodactyl shirt (February 2012).
Photographing a competition at Albany Crossfit (February 2012).
Photographing a competition at Albany Crossfit (February 2012).

It’s not easy to shock and horrify the coaches at Crossfit, because I’m pretty sure they’ve seen it all. But I will say, I’m pretty sure I shocked, and maybe horrified, Kevin yesterday when I sat down with him to talk about Weight Watchers and Crossfit. He got on his computer and started looking at my photo archive on Facebook. And the “whoas” and “holy craps” that came out of his mouth were multitudinous.

It’s hard to see change when it’s gradual and you see someone almost every day.

But it’s pretty obvious when you look at photos like the ones above.

The funny part is that I have always carefully filtered which photos of me end up tagged on Facebook. And what we now see as horrific photos were, at the time, what I considered to be pretty damn good photos of me. Weird, right?

You know what else?

Even though they’re not all tagged on Facebook, I have carefully downloaded and saved every single photo that Albany Crossfit has ever taken of me and posted in their albums. They’re in a folder that I labeled “Ew, Crossfit!” because for the first several months, or even year, I was absolutely horrified and disgusted by a lot of the photos. Now, I’m thinking about changing the file name to “FYEAH, CROSSFIT!” because I really don’t think it’s gross anymore. In fact, I laugh every time I see the file name. Weird, right?

Wanna hear a story?

I’ve made a lot of excuses in my life. I’ve justified my unhealthy lifestyle in myriad ways, and it helped me perpetuate the cycle of junk-food-eating and weight gain. There were a lot of hints before I took this journey (often pointed out to me by my mom…thanks, Ma!…with the hopes that I would change something).

The major one that happened a few years before I ever walked in the door of a Weight Watchers awesomely happened on the day of my college graduation—what should normally be a super happy milestone in anyone’s life.

When most people look back on their college graduation as a time full of excitement and happiness (and probably booze), I look back on it with shame and embarrassment.

Do you see the photo of me wearing the red robe?

See how everyone else’s is zipped up?

Do you see where this is going?

Like everyone else, I went to Jostens to buy my robe. I even anticipated that fit might be an issue, so I asked them if they had plus-sizes or extended sizing for the robes. The salesguy looked at me, and said that I wouldn’t need a different robe.

Being the dumbass that I sometimes am, I believed him, didn’t take the robe out of its bag until the day before graduation to iron it, and even then didn’t try it on until the day of. And my whole family is standing there in my dorm room, and the robe zips. But damn if it isn’t tight. And really horrible-looking.

My mom points this out to me and tells me that I have a problem.

I start crying.

She starts ripping part of the zipper to loosen the part around my butt. With my dress underneath it, I look absolutely ridiculous.

And I’m pretty sure I walked like that. Embarrassed and self-conscious and really depressed. My friends say nobody noticed, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case. I immediately unzipped the robe for the rest of festivities and tried not to think about it.

But the fact of the matter is, it’s this moment that’s stuck with me, five freaking years later. The hurt and the embarrassment and the shame.

That could have been my turning point, but it wasn’t. After graduation, I was just filled with a depressed rage for how things went down, blaming it on Jostens for giving me the robe or on my mom for using it as an opportunity to tell me to lose weight. But in reality, it wasn’t either of their faults, and I should have used it as a wake-up call.

The fact that my fatness has gotten in the way of me having good memories of milestones, now, is what pisses me off and drives me now.

Because you know what?

I’m never going to be that girl again who can’t wear a robe at graduation when I get my Ph-freaking-D. I’m never going to be brought to tears in a department store dressing room because nothing fits. I’m never going to have to ask a flight attendant for a seatbelt extender.

And I thought all of these things were just things I’d always have to deal with forever.

I guess not.

Weird, right?

MILESTONE: 60

Sundaes
Yeah, I still reward myself.

Gosh, just like back in June, I can’t really believe that I’m writing this right now.

On Thursday, I went to weigh-in, and discovered that I had not only made the 60-pound mark, but exceeded it by more than a few pounds. I’m down 63.4 pounds since last November. Crazypants!

What’s an even bigger travesty, I think, is that I don’t have any super-recent photos. (The photo above was snapped after a day of working in early September.)

I have to say, I didn’t think that this was EVER going to happen after the summer I had. Seriously. It’s been almost FOUR months between 50 and 60, but I have to say that it’s better than going the opposite direction. I feel renewed and empowered. (So much so that I got a real domain for my blog! How do you guys like it? http://www.dkgetsfit.com!)

Since I don’t have any great full-bod shots, here is a before and now face shot from my webcam (Glamour-ous shots are good for something, right?).

August 2010
September 19, 2011

I have to say…I feel marginally unstoppable.

Fitness update! So…y’all already know I didn’t Crossfit over the summer. I’m getting back into the swing of things, and am going to ACF as often as I can. On days that I don’t go—presuming that the weather is nice—I bribe myself with the promise of coffee and walk/run to the Ultraviolet and back (just shy of 4 miles). I doubt that will be able to continue for much longer with the seasons changing, and all.

I’ve had to step down some of my weight training a bit from what I used to do before I took off for the summer. I’m scaling down some of the reps. Last week, two workouts included an accumulation of 100 thrusters. I used a 25# bar for both of these WODs. A few months ago, I may have attempted to do this at 35# or 45#.

However, I have also seen several positive changes: I still hate burpees, but they’re getting easier (the other day, I somehow did 50 in 5:45 minutes…a damn miracle!); the other day I warmed up with an 800 meter jog, with NO walking OR stopping; I’m not skimping on squats…I’m getting below parallel each time; I still had enough power to PR a 1RM deadlift (205#!).

The last few weeks have been crazy hard and crazy incredible. I’m excited to see what happens in the next few weeks!

On to that 75# Olympic ring!

MILESTONE: 50

Last week, on the beach.
Last week, on the beach.

I can’t believe I’m writing about this.

When I decided to write this blog publicly, I decided that it would be about fitness and health, and not exclusively about my weight loss, which I try not to bring to the forefront of these sorts of conversations (it is a humility thing, and I don’t necessarily like to draw attention to THAT).

But, this week I am celebrating, and I really can’t help but want to share this excitement.

As of Friday, I am officially down 50.8 pounds, and I can hardly believe it. Back in November when I began this journey, I never would have guessed that seven months later I would be here. Sometimes, it feels like it’s taken forever, but I guess we know that this is something that you fight slow and surely, not quickly, with higher burn-out chances.

For your visual pleasure, here are some before photos, and some in-progress photos. I reckon it will still be a while before we have some after images….

In Madrid, November 2010.
In Madrid, November 2010.
On Mount Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands, November 2010.
On Mount Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands, November 2010.
Rafting, August 2010
Rafting, August 2010
My darling dear Kim and I, June 2011
My darling dear Kim and me, June 2011
My darling Ron and me, June 2011
My darling Ron and me, June 2011
At Ocean Shores, June 2011
At Ocean Shores, June 2011
You can really only see my butt, but I still like the photo....
You can really only see my butt, but I still like the photo....

Now, let’s talk about fitness.

I bow my head in shame because I have not joined the Crossfit near my family’s home. I couldn’t get myself to do it, and I fear of losing muscle mass and completely sabotaging my efforts.

What I can say is that I’ve been back in Portland for about a month now (and have lost about 8 or 9 pounds in that time), and I have not neglected exercise. I work out almost every day. On slow days, I will either do circuit training on-demand, or I will use my mom’s elliptical (like I ever thought I would say that). Even though I’m really not a fan of the elliptical, it’s actually helping me achieve some of my non-scale fitness goals. Remember how I said I wanted to become a better runner? Well, even though the elliptical is a lot lower impact than actual running, it is definitely helping my endurance outside. Last week, I walked up to Sellwood (the day the train photo was taken), which is 1.7 miles from my home. I ran for a bit more than half of it. Granted, a good portion of it was downhill, but it was really good practice, and I felt great.

On really good days, I’ll get in a workout, and then get to go frolic around a park (or the Eastbank Esplanade AND the Westside Waterfront!). It’s on a super-secret longlist of summer things to do to use my bike more, too.

If I’m at the beach (like I was this weekend), I’ve been able to get in at least 90 minutes of walking and frolicking in the sand, which always makes it more fun.

To put it in a nutshell, exercising has become a lot less of a drag than it used to be. I’ve started to enjoy being outside, and I’m not afraid to do some of the things that I used to be afraid of. Walking to Sellwood last year? Pshaw. I would have either hopped a bus, or walked one way, and then begged my mom to come pick me up and take me home.

This weekend at the beach, I noticed that I didn’t get winded climbing the sand dunes back to the exit trail. I’m doing things that normal people can do, and I’m thinking that it’s worth giving up a few beers or deep-fried apps for.

While 50 pounds (okay, 50.8) is a milestone accomplishment, it’s good to remember that it really is just another small step toward a much bigger (err…slimmer?) goal, and the celebration won’t stop here.