Tag Archives: weight loss

No Goals* this Year

Well, no goals that are married to targets, but lots and lots of process/habit goals. I’m over goal setting right now. It hasn’t worked for me, so I’m just going to try and do healthy things and reap the rewards when they happen to happen.

I’m employed now, so that’s cool. It’s nice to have money and goals and sort of a schedule. And really good free lunches. Is that a good thing? I’m still not sure, because on one hand FREE, on the other, OUT OF MY CONTROL But along with the rotating main dishes which could be anything, there’s always a salad bar, soup and some cold cuts on the sandwich table. So, if the main dishes are not on plan, I can cobble something together.

I recently reached my highest weight ever, 300 lbs. I’ve since lost a few pounds. My strategy has been really simple and disconcertingly easy: instead of “I can’t,” I tell myself “I don’t,”  and I focus on eating for mental clarity, energy and reduced hunger. This has worked well. I went from 10 mochas a day (when at work, where mochas come free out of a machine) to 0 overnight and without stressing. After Christmas, I cut out all processed carbs and sugar…. except for one meal, where I couldn’t think of anything healthy to eat and decided to eat a large plateful  of Christmas cookies and fudge and candied nuts. This proved to be very educational. The next day I was noticeably starving. After just a few days of eating clean, I had become used to not being starving. I finally had personal proof that what everyone says about simple cards is true for me too. I mean, I always believed it, but I also believed that I’m just a grumpy, sleepy, sad person regardless of what I eat.

I’m also trying to incorporate more movement into my days. I’ve already started a program I call PomPomPlank, where I do two Pomodoros and then I give myself a longer break during which I try and move. It’s a little different depending on where I am. If I’m at work, I walk up 3 flights of stairs and go to the “Wellness Room” (a little room with a lock for nursing mothers or naps I guess). Once there I do two minutes of stretching, one minute of trying to do a plank (40 seconds is my record, but I realized my form might have been off). Then I am supposed to meditate for one minute, but I don’t know how successful that has been. The whole routine takes about 15 minutes, including the time it takes to get back to my desk.

I hurt my back this week, and while I was recuperating, I became obsessed with the idea of learning to dance. A few days before my back spasm, I had the realization that I could use the speed adjustment on youtube to make dance tutorials more “my speed.” I tried it out and loved it, although it’s still hard. At least with this innovation, dancing seems possible. I’m even thinking that I’ll use short dance step instructional videos in my PomPomPlank long break routines, like maybe a couple minutes of body rolls instead of stretching sometimes. I usually wear sneakers, leggings and a dress at work because none of my pants fit and I only have one pair of shoes that is supportive enough to, well, support my new efforts to walk properly. My point is, I’ll be in the right shoes.

My goal with dance is to find dances that I personally think look better on big girls. I tried googling for that, but it seems no one in the whole wide web thinks that’s a thing. Fuck them all. I think that jiggling fat can be a great way to accentuate certain moves (I mean, twerking obviously, chest popping or whatever it’s called, shimmies, that sort of thing).

My body-positive stance on dance relates to another habit I’m trying to nurture: self acceptance love. It’s hard even to write it down, it feels so wrong. Anyway, I’m perfectly capable of seeing another fat chick dance and being impressed at her sex appeal, so I want that for me.

I want self love to be a strong habit well before I lose the weight because I want to know my love is real (not conditional on my body looking a certain way) and because I think it will help me lose the weight. I mean, you’re not going to casually hurt/kill someone you love, so when I’m on top of my self love game I’m more motivated to do right by me. those of you who are keen readers of grammatical cues might have noticed: I have sometimes been on top of myself love game. That’s something I can sometimes pull off now. Not 100% of the time. If I’m even slightly sleep deprived I hate on everything and everyone, myself included.

One of my proud, self lovey moments actually happened at a plastic surgeons office. I was someone’s ride home. I looked through the before-and-after books on the table, pages and pages of breasts and noses, and realized I’m ok. I’m actually ok with how I look. I think I would even be ok with being fat if it didn’t represent so many health problems for me. So I took self-love celebratory selfies in the surgeons office, and you know what? I look great.

One more thing: there is a woman named Summer. She has lost, I think, over 200 lbs. I find the content she produces comforting and inspiring and she has a good heart. Therefore, as one of my non-food rewards to myself, I’m going to semi regularly (that is once a month unless I’ve already exceeded my budget) give to her goFundMe campaign, so that she can finally be rid of her excess skin. I could give her $100 all at once and then forget about it, but this is better. The way I see it, I used to spend that much money on binge food very regularly, so if I was comfortable wasting money on that, I have no right not to invest in this. I’m inviting anyone who is interested to join me in giving regularly. We could be a sort of support group for each other, if you reach out to me. Just the amount you would once have wasted destroying your health. If all her fans did that, she would meet her goal so quick! Here’s her blog and here’s her YouTube.


Happy New Year indeed!

This new year, I’ve decided to be changed.

I no longer believe in goals. I believe in strategies.

Scott Adams convinced me in his book “How to Fail at Almost everything and Still Win Big” in the chapter appropriately titled “Goals Versus Systems.” I found the book hugely encouraging, but if you choose not to read it here is the gist of that bit, filtered through my horrible memory.

Goals can result in feeling like a loser most of the time, because up until you meet your goal, you kinda are. Systems, that is things you do that move you in the right direction, continuously improving your situation, can make you feel like a winner every time you use your system.

That was not a good explanation. Too bad for you. 
So no fancy, exciting goals for me. I’m keeping my head down and developing systems that will lead me to achieve what would have been a goal. No “new years resolutions” just “this is what I do now.”

My inspiration, Elizabeth Benton, talks about something she calls “the fruits and the roots.” Imagine you have a beautiful apple tree, which you love and and fuss over often, caring for everything above the ground like it was your baby. You even shine the apples daily. That tree will die. You aren’t tending to the roots. It doesn’t get water or nutrients, maybe there’s even a critter down there chewing through the roots.

Goals are like the apples. They might look great, and you love them, but they are only the effect of a healthy system. You might get a few apples without caring for the roots, but not for very long. By contrast, if you care for the roots, apples will just happen, whether or not you stop and polish them.

What is represented by the roots in this story? The emotional work. The maintainable habits you build as well I guess, but mostly the emotional/psychological work you do for yourself.

I signed up for Elizabeth Benton’s Fat Loss Fast Track 12 week online group coaching course. It starts on the 8th, and while I’m convinced this is the path that will lead to permanent weight loss, I’m not getting too excited. Head down and do the work. I’d rather be content to work hard for a long time than over excited at first, followed by despair. No more dreaming and scheming, because that has never worked for long. Sure, in the past full of dreams, I might drop 20 lbs in the first month, but those pounds were just taking vacation: they were never gone for good.

EB’s system promises sustainability and a focus on the roots of the issue.

The only thing that makes me sad about this approach is that my husband doesn’t seem to be fully bought in. Theoretically, that shouldn’t matter, especially since he promised never to talk to me about my weight again (more because he’s given up hope than because he respects my ability to pick out a plan for myself). He says it sounds slow, and that sometimes people who advocate for taking things slow are just trying to make themselves feel good. Translation: Katrina, you aren’t pushing hard enough. If only you had started to run intensely for an hour everyday and eating nothing but veggies when I told you to the first time you wouldn’t be hating yourself today. He would probably debate that translation… or maybe not. I can’t even pretend to understand him, and that hurts too. So he’s keeping quiet, mostly, but he’s also said he doesn’t expect this plan to work, and I think he feels vindicated because all my past attempts that he didn’t think were extreme enough have failed so far. It’s really hard not to let that view get to me, especially since I think about it whenever I talk to him. I often try and hide my efforts from him, much like I hid my binges from him, because I don’t want him to see me trying something he thinks isn’t enough.

Anyway, this is what I do now. I’ve started tracking what I eat and how I feel afterwards. I’ve also been making huge pots of soup because 1) soup is delicious and 2) it means I have 6 meals ready to go for those times (all the time) when I don’t know what to be eating. Plus, I love listening podcasts while I cook a bucket of soup. I’m using the Sleep Cycle app to get a better sense of my sleeping patterns, and I’m keeping track of all the meds I take daily and my moods. I hope to eventually be weened off the pills.

I’m thinking of recalibrating my ratings of hunger, fatigue and cravings so that 5 is neutral and 0 is exceptionally good, but since I haven’t done that yet, read ‘0’ as ‘nothing much’

I Love Ya, Tomorrow

So, #operationVisibleDifference is in full effect. I can’t remember if I explained it already, so I’ll just expain now. My hubby is away, so while he’s gone I want to make a visible difference in my body composition to surprise him. I mentioned this plan in a Facebook group and someone put the number sign in front of it, and that looked right to me, so that’s how I’ll write it from now on. Not being a tweeter (Twitterer? Twit? Twat?), I don’t really understand hashtags. Is there already a tag of #operationVisibleDifference? If there is, is that a problem? 

So the operation is in effect, I’ve had a couple days going to bikram and doing a regular workout every day, and now 3 days of rest (although I probably shouldn’t have taken today off). I lost 3 pounds in 3 days. I ate a little recklessly yesterday, but I don’t think I actually did any damage. I went on an 8 mile hike the day before. I feel really good about this whole idea. It feels good to have a goal and to work towards it. 

Unfortunately, I have not been as proactive about my JavaScript study and job search. But that ends now. And by “now” I mean “tomorrow.” I’ve drawn up a schedule for myself, or more precisely, a list of things to do in order. 

For those who can’t read my handwriting (can I have a show of hands for those who can read it? No one? Oh, ok then), that list is:




Bird –15 min (I’m trying to get my parakeet to like me. Have any tips? I don’t know what I’m doing)

Shower (damn right I have to schedule that in, otherwise I’ll just be gross all day)

Job search

Anki –1 hr (that’s a flash card program, free for desktop, that I recommend)


Room cleaning –1 hr (a sort of side project included in #operationVisibleDifference, because I know he’ll like to see the room looking nice)

Bird –15 min

Headfirst JavaScript (a book I’m working through) –1 hr

Swahili flash cards (also to impress my husband, who is a native speaker) 

Headfirst –1 hr

Movement (a few body weight squats or whatever, I haven’t picked yet, I just want get blood moving again so I don’t fall asleep)

Headfirst –1 hr 

…And repeat the last two until it’s dinner time.

This will be hard for me, as I am very lazy. I will want to stop and sleep for hours. Often I’m too tired after my workouts, such that even taking a shower seems insurmountably daunting. But that shit ain’t gonna fly no more. I’m becoming a new person. I kind of need your help though, because if I don’t put this out on my blog, I will lose steam and stop trying, take a nap. I need to imagine that there is someone out there who has read this and who is really hoping I pull through tomorrow, that I executed my plan flawlessly and who will be disappoint if I fail. Then once I’ve done it with your help, proving I can do it, maybe I can eventually do it alone.

In other news, I took a before pic! 

A bit sunburnt from my 8 mile hike.

And here is one compared to a month ago. Although my weight is technically higher in the photo on the right, I think I actually look visibly better.

And, because those are so ugly, here are some pictures I feel good about


A million things I haven’t done

Hello, again. It’s been too long, again.

Last post, I was trying to start a meetup. There wasn’t good attendance for the first two meetups, and that discouraged me from scheduling another one. But just now, between writing “It’s been too long, again” and “last post…”, I decided, what the f, just try again and scheduled a repeating meetup every Saturday at 9 am. Wish me better success this time! I’m hoping that every week will pick up more people. I’m super nervous, tbh.

My dog, Hobbit, died, but I don’t want to talk about that. My parents already got a new dog, which took some getting used to.

I’ve been really struggling to maintain motivation. I have very little trouble getting motivated, but it doesn’t seem to last the full day, so that’s minimally useful.

I took the leap of buying my friend a bikram pass so that I have someone to go with, so that I actually go. I figure it’s better to pay double but get the benefits than it would be to pay the normal price and get nothing because I lack motivation. This friend is good at getting going, unlike me, so it is a lot easier to just tag along with her than to get myself moving all alone.

In other news, the Warriors lost and my husband and I had a bet going. Had they won, he would have had to listen to the whole Hamilton soundtrack with me. But they lost, so now I have to go to the gym 5 times a week for a year, starting tomorrow. Can you tell he drives a harder bargain than I do? Sigh. I think I’ll try the workouts recommended in the book Strong. I made tables in word with the first set of workouts, here’s what that looks like.Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 11.21.56 AM

Maybe that’s all I have to say today, but I’m going to commit right now to posting again on… Tuesday. Why not? See you then!


Anxious, tied in knots

My dog has a very large tumor in her tummy. The vet thinks it could be a cyst or stage 4 cancer. If it’s cancer, they expect her to live only up to three months. If it’s a cyst, she might be ok for a while, but it could rupture any time and she would die of internal bleeding. For a couple days, she wouldn’t eat and barely moved. My heart is in knots.

My contract is up on the 15th, so I need to be looking for a job. That scares me very much, because I don’t know that I’m qualified to do anything. I look at myself and see only incompetence. Possibly it’s “imposter syndrome,” but it’s extremely real to me. My stomach is in knots.

Meantime, a tiny, two person start up that I did some visual work for back in the autumn has contacted me because they are in an accelerator program and need more work. My husband is convinced that this is my opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something that could be big. My parents think it’s an opportunity to never be paid and waste time that I could otherwise spend looking for a proper job. I think nothing. I have never felt less bold or decisive, and my entire life has been a litany of timidity and indecision. My mind is in knots.

The only things that seem to make me feel temporarily better is my facebook group and when I go out for my run/walks and can immerse myself in audiobooks, physical discomfort and beautiful nature. Today, I saw a hawk perch in a tree, take flight, and land–unexpectedly clumsily–on the other side of the path, then fly away on strong wings. I heard a chorus of frogs. I saw the Golden Gate bridge looking blue in the distance. I saw a man on a horse. I saw three orange and black butterflies spiraling up a sunbeam under the shady trees. Last week, I heard a pack of coyotes yelping and wailing, echoing across the hills.

I have been eating not quite so triumphantly well for the past 4 days. I don’t think I did terribly today, although I was sloppy with tracking so it’s hard to be certain. I’m so worried about my good dog. Sometimes, I just lay on the floor, staring at her, trying to be as close to her as possible, to appreciate her as much as I possibly can.

I just want everything to be ok again, to stop hurting. Eating doesn’t help, it just begets more and more eating, but it’s still my first thought when I feel this bad.


New year, new scale

My special Lose it! scale came today! It measures body fat and hydration and syncs to my phone via Bluetooth. So far, I’m super excited about it. I know many people consider it psychologically unhealthy, but for the past week I’ve been weighing myself nearly daily. 

I’m excited because I feel that tracking these descriptions of my body will help me control my health and move in a positive direction. 

Today, I started listening to an episode of Half-size Me, a podcast about weight loss and maintenance. It was this episode 

and the interviewee said something that stuck with me, “How would I treat myself, how would I act, if I loved myself? What would I say when I talk to myself?”

That may seem simple, but it gave me an idea. This may sound horrible, but I’m going to try pretending to love myself. Yeah, not as good as actually loving myself, but I think it’s actually a step on that path. Even if I can’t make myself feel something I don’t feel, I can make myself treat myself differently, and I can try to keep a better leash on my thoughts.

A month or two ago, I was at a very low point. I had disappointed my husband again. We were driving home, and when we got there we just sat in the car together, silently. I was dry eyed. My husband asked me what I was thinking.


He insisted.

“Please I don’t want to tell you.” I can’t tell him, that would be so manipulative, abusive even. You melodramatic bitch. Keep your mouth shut.

But he never gives up. I couldn’t think of a lie, so I started crying as I told him “I was thinking how much better off you’d be if I killed myself.” 

I explained how he’d be sad for a while, but he’s tough enough, he’d get over it. Then he could marry someone better. I was thinking of the kind of woman I’d want for him. I was wondering if I had the strength and courage to kill myself for his sake. And I didn’t cry until I was forced to tell him. The idea didn’t even seem sad to me. That’s how deep my self loathing runs. 

Obviously he objected and made me feel better, as I knew he would if I told him. He told me that he needs me. That’s why I felt I couldn’t tell him. As long as the idea stayed in my head, it was noble, but as soon as the words left my lips, it became self-serving melodrama designed to change his disappointment to concern.

To be clear, I’m not able to kill myself. Not at all. 

So I decided that the better idea was to become the woman I want to be, the woman my husband deserves. To live a better life. I only just made a proper start of it recently, but it seemed to have flipped a switch in me. Changed my perspective.

So, that happened. And, awkward and awful as it was, it seems to have been for the best. 


Not a New Years Resolution

I determined I would not have a New Years Resolution. I would not start my new life on the first day of the new year. I would not.

No, I would jump the gun. I have seen my mother get excited, year after year, about her resolution, only to let them slip. I have become superstitious. My resolution has nothing to do with the New Year. My resolution is about life, not about timekeeping.


Really though, it is about life, my life and the lives of my as yet unconceived children, our shared health and the quality of my life with my husband.

So I started a few days early, a bumpy start, but solid enough as a place to start. I’m trying to come in under calorie budget as much as I can, within reason, and get exercise regularly. I have been scheduling my days, starting at 5 am (though I haven’t managed that wake up in a week or so) for a while now, and it seems to make everything easier. I put everything into the calendar on my phone, and then it gives me reminders on my apple watch, and that way I can stay on track. Sort of. Driving my husband around at unpredictable hours sort of has ripple effects throughout the day.

IMG_7244Today, I’m somehow 600 calories under budget, despite chocolates and coffee with half a cup of irish cream creamer. I did accidentally skip breakfast, so perhaps that helped me stay under. I also went to personal training this morning. So. Many. Squats. Sumo squats, jump squats, etc. ad nauseam. But I love finishing and knowing my exercise is done for the day, that I’ve accomplished that much before 10 am. It feels good (afterwards).

Those of you who read my last post may be wondering about the bird situation. No, my old bird has not returned. But I’m slowly making progress with Raindrop. I can put my hand in her (I don’t actually know the sex, but it’s easier this way) cage and she doesn’t freak out unless I get too close or move too much. She will eat spray millet tied to a stick that I hold. She chirps at me and fluffs her feathers. I say her name when she looks at me so that the sound of her name and of my voice become familiar. She has such big black eyes, so much more innocent than the golden eyes of Jasmine.

Some of the feathers on her back are slightly yellow. Sadly, when I first saw that I thought it was some kind of stain, but one of the feathers was laying on the table the next day, and I realized that she has yellow and grey stripped feathers. It reminds me of a pale sun breaking out of the clouds. Like a real raindrop, Raindrop holds many colors if you look closely.

Kale is becoming a staple food again. I can eat a whole bag of kale on my own, cooked with onion and dressed with soy sauce. I’ve discovered that a large amount of whipped cream is not very high in calories, and is delicious on raspberries, so that has become something of a staple treat, if that makes sense. Sometimes I go overboard and eat too much whipped cream, but it’s so much air that it’s not easy to really do a huge amount of damage like it would be with, say, chocolates, or all of the other things I might reach for.

I seem to have run out of things to say for tonight, so here are my favorite christmas tree ornaments


Fit Book (subtitle: I’m back!)

I’ve been gone a while, but I’m getting up early tomorrow, so I won’t spend time talking about that. I ate a lot. Oops. It’s over now, whateves. 

A few days ago, my husband wanted pens from target. While he was looking at pens, I looked at blank books, because I love blank books. I never fill them. But I keep getting them. Then I saw it: “fit happens” …”that’s dumb,” I thought, and opened it. And somehow, as I flipped through and read tips and quotes and saw spaces to write, I started to want that book. I have a new (though possibly temporary) job that pays more money than I feel I’m worth, so I decided to get the dumb book. I have, in the past, spent $30 on a single binge, so why not spend less money on something that would last longer and possibly be a good thing? That’s how I convince myself to buy things, I think about how much money I’ve wasted making myself extra obese, and then suddenly $.99 for a song to workout to seems like a stupid time to be stingy. I realize that “I’ve wasted money in the past, so it’s ok to spend more” is flawed logic. Therefore I’m careful to only use it to justify buying beneficial things. 

Unexpectedly, the book seems to be helping a lot. I’m way more positive about my ongoing weight loss struggle than I was without it. And, though today is my first perfect day with the book, the previous two days were still way better than the days before the book. So I call it a win. An upward trend. Or a (hopefully) downward trend, if you’re looking at the scale, I’ve been remiss about weighing in. I’ll start tomorrow. 

Here’s my day, as viewed through the fit happens book (no caps on the cover, so no caps here):

I expect you can’t read my handwriting, so here’s the most important part all neatly typed: 

***this inspires me***

Rachel the Red-Nosed Reindeer! 

See This blog post for an explanation. She’s been losing for a long time, plus the whole time I was here blogging my losses, and the whole time I stopped blogging and started regaining. And nows she’s done a race, painted up like the cutest reindeer ever! Here’s a screen shot from her blog, which you should read 

So cute! So inspirational!

I need to go to bed, so go read Rachel’s blog post while I go to bed. 


April can’t end soon enough…

….not that it was a terrible month, I just want the feeling of freshness a new month will bring. I’ll start my color in calendar yet again, and this time (like all the times before) I intend to stick with it. This time I’ll keep it in a different place, and hopefully that will make the difference. Sometimes it’s the small things. 

In other news, the class I’m supposed to be in right now was cancelled, leaving me in the city with a choice: go back and go to the (by now crowded) gym, go home or go to the French pastry shop. But Katrina, you might say, the answer is obvious! Go to the gym, you’ll be so happy you did afterwards! And you’d be right. Want to know what I did instead? You already know, if this weren’t something I’m prone to doing, I wouldn’t need to lose weight in the first place. 

I had four pastries and a sandwich. I had water too, but I’m hardly going to give myself points for choosing what is in all honesty my favorite drink. 

So that was super lame. I don’t do well with unexpected, I think. Maybe that’s just an excuse. I think I still have time to go to the gym, but I might not do too well with my over-full (of garbage) belly. I will try in a little while, when I feel less vomitous. 

So I think I need to plan things more carefully. Plan what to do when, when and what to eat, and what/how much to do at the gym. 


I saw the personal trainer on Sunday. Like I think I mentioned, he will be gone throaght May. He refused to give me an in the meantime workout (which I guess makes sense since I could probably have rolled with that for a while without needing to hire him), but gave me a detox plan. I feel silly, but I kind of do believe in it, even though I usually think of detoxes as sort of made up by the industry. This one is just using normal things, not things he’s trying to sell to me. So why would he lie about it? So I will do it. He gave me a fitness assessment that left me sore, so I think I’m going to really benefit from his workouts. And twelve times a month should do a lot for me! 

If I’m going to the gym, I’d better go, gross or not



I got behind in my color in calendar (color-coded depending on whether I stayed on plan, stuck with just diet or just exercised or whether I blew it). I hadn’t colored anything in for the last few days. And my eating has been a mess since Easter, in that I haven’t logged some transgressions of mine. Some sick part of me refuses to count chocolate peanutbutter malt balls stolen from the bulk bin at the market. I never keep track of my kleptomaniacal malt ball bingeing. I just sort of orbit that isle, stealing as I go. I’ve never stolen in my life, except from bulk bins. 

Anyway, I had to decide how to color those days, since I didn’t remember which days were or were not full of malt balls and other sins. But also because I went to the gym like a champion, every day, and I want credit for that. I decided to give them the “exercise saved the day” color. 

Now, I have to work on making today worthy of the “perfect day” color. I’m off to a good start. I had an apple for breakfast (mostly because my husband was running late) and I’m now in the gym parking lot, preparing to go in. So, now I make and publish my gym plan, so that I stick to it. 

I want to run 20 minutes again. I’ve done it a few times now, but never gotten in a good amount of weight machines after. So that’s today’s goal. 

1. Stretch

2. Treadmill

3. Stretch

4. Do as well on weight machines as I did on Easter 

5. Update blog

But before any of that, I want to walk a couple blocks to buy myself headphones