Thank you, Old Navy

“The other day I realized that some of the new pants I ordered from Old Navy recently (during a 50% off Labor Day sale online) were feeling loose. Not like I’ve lost a full pants size yet, but I might be getting there. Will I be disappointed if all of my brand new pants don’t fit in a month? A little, but I’ll be much happier being smaller and lighter than I’ve been in about a year and a half. And running will be easier too.”
10/2/16 webpage post

“It’s official – my pants are too big. This morning as I was getting dressed for work I slipped on a pair of my favorite pants – olive green skinny jeans from Old Navy. I ordered them just a couple of months ago, about a week after I started my Nutrisystem diet. I was so excited to have started losing weight that I treated myself to some new clothes to celebrate. What I didn’t think about was those new clothes being too big for my shrinking body a few short weeks later. Even though I knew I’d been making great progress, I was still shocked when I buttoned my pants this morning and discovered how loose they are in the waist. Really baggy everywhere but the legs (this runner’s legs are muscular!). Not quite unwearable yet, but they’re getting close.”
11/9/16 webpage post

A couple of weeks ago Old Navy was having a 50% off sale on jeans. Based on the fact that most of the pants from my pre-diet days no longer fit me properly I figured it was the perfect time to restock my wardrobe. It was so satisfying selecting a smaller size when filling up my shopping cart. I’ve lost 17 lbs (and counting) since September and I look damn good. Especially now that I’m a size 4 again. Due to the very timely sale I went a little crazy and bought six new pairs of Rock Star jeans and pants to replace the ones that I can’t wear on a regular basis anymore. About a week later they finally arrived at my door I eagerly tried on every pair. The purchases were mostly a success because I decided to keep five of the six pairs. I’m so excited to have more items of clothing that fit me at my current size rather than pulling the same couple of pairs of jeans out of the drawer day after day. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Last night I tried on all of my old size 6 pants to decide whether any of them were worth keeping. Due to the less than superior construction of Old Navy garments every one fits a little differently even though the tags all have the same size printed on them. I’m not quite ready to donate all of the old pants yet, especially my beloved corduroys (winter will last a while longer here in LA), so I’m going to try throwing them in the dryer to see if I can shrink them just a little bit. Not that I have any place to store both the old and new pairs, though. I know it’s a first world problem, but I’m really going to miss my favorite purple pants if I have to get rid of them!

Late 2016 resolutions

I only made four official resolutions in 2016, and my adherence to some of those has been less than dedicated. But that’s a post more suited to the end of the month when I admit how much of a slacker I’ve been over the last 365 days. Luckily I actually satisfied two draft resolutions that I made at the beginning of the year, but never seriously committed to. This happens so rarely that I wanted to take credit for these successes while I can!

New Year’s Resolution #5: Weight training/cross training
At the end of last year I realized that running had become my only form of exercise, and I wasn’t even doing that with enough consistency. Going to my weekly spin class (when I actually made an effort to get there) wasn’t really helping because I needed something besides another form of cardio. I knew that if I wanted to be stronger and overall healthier that I needed to diversify my workouts. Unfortunately this wasn’t something that I was motivated to improve on my own. Luckily in June my running buddy invited me to try a class at her gym and I’ve been going to a couple of classes every week since then. It’s amazing! Not only have I changed my body’s shape (a combination of diet and exercise), but I’ve also changed my body’s composition. Over the summer I got a fancy Withings scale that sends data to my phone and tracks my statistics in an app. Since September not only have I gotten lighter, but my muscle mass has increased and my body fat has decreased. I am so pleased with my progress and I hope I can keep it up in 2017.

New Year’s Resolution #6: Fit into my old clothes
I’ve already written so much about this one that you’re probably tired of reading about it! In the past three months I’ve bragged about how some old clothes (and some new ones too) are now too big, and others are finally wearable again. As another example, today I wore a favorite blazer to work that I haven’t fit in to for about two years. And the jeans I wore with it have also been sitting in a box for the same amount of time. They are even a little big! My winter wardrobe is now much larger and I didn’t have to spend a dime! However, I have made a few apparel purchases over the last month as a celebration of my diet/exercise success. Clothes are actually fun when you don’t hate your body! My mom and I had a blast shopping in Tallahassee at Thanksgiving, my Cyber Monday shopping was heavy on clothing, and I found several other items for myself at the Ontario Mills Outlet Mall over the weekend. ‘Tis the season for consumerism! But it’s even more satisfying when I can easily wear items that I haven’t dared try on for years due to my weight. At this rate 2017 is going to be amazing.

Just say no to sugar

When I started Nutrisystem on Labor Day I also gave up sugary sodas. I was seriously addicted to them at that point and I knew that my habit was adding a lot of unnecessary calories to my daily intake. So on September 4th I quit cold turkey. It turned out to be a perfect time because I was already suffering so much due to the severe dietary restrictions that I didn’t have any extra capacity to miss my daily Coke. In order to fill my stomach in between the meager Nutrisystem meals and snacks I drank a lot of water and some diet soda as well. Coke Zero worked just fine when I needed something with flavor, but without the calories that were derailing my weight loss. Since Labor Day I have broken my ban on sugary sodas only twice – once at the chili cook-off on Halloween, and once at a service anniversary lunch. At the chili cook-off one of my co-workers brought a bunch of specialty sodas from a store called Rocket Fizz so I absolutely couldn’t pass up a cherry cola. And it was totally worth the calories. That day was a diet-breaker already with all of the chili, chips, side dishes, and desserts so one soda didn’t make much difference! Then this past Monday I had a Coke while eating a catered lunch from Chipotle to celebrate a co-worker’s 25th anniversary with Boeing. That one I should have avoided. (Actually, I should have avoided the lunch altogether because I ate way too much! I had fun eating with my co-workers, but I would have been better off with my boring Nutrisystem food!) To my surprise, the soda didn’t taste as amazing as I remember. Usually with sweets once I get a taste I crave more. That wasn’t the case with that can of Coke. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t make me want another one. No more empty calories from soda! I’m free!

It’s official

It’s official – my pants are too big. This morning as I was getting dressed for work I slipped on a pair of my favorite pants – olive green skinny jeans from Old Navy. I ordered them just a couple of months ago, about a week after I started my Nutrisystem diet. I was so excited to have started losing weight that I treated myself to some new clothes to celebrate. What I didn’t think about was those new clothes being too big for my shrinking body a few short weeks later. Even though I knew I’d been making great progress, I was still shocked when I buttoned my pants this morning and discovered how loose they are in the waist. Really baggy everywhere but the legs (this runner’s legs are muscular!). Not quite unwearable yet, but they’re getting close. As of today I’ve lost 13 lbs since Labor Day and I couldn’t be happier. The number on the scale this morning was a bit of a surprise because I ate quite indulgently while I was in Arkansas over the weekend. My cousin is a great cook and we also went to a couple of delicious restaurants. Luckily I didn’t gain any weight while eschewing my diet for a few days. Phew! The above photo is from the Rock N Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon on October 30th. Don’t I look great so far? Seeing results makes sticking with my plan so much easier. Looks like I’ll be buying some new pants for my thinner self on Black Friday!

P.S. I started a post regarding the results of yesterday’s election, but it’s not ready yet because I haven’t fully processed my feelings on the subject. Today I’ve alternated between anger and sadness, but I think I’m still basically in shock. I simply cannot comprehend how our country got here. Maybe I’ll be able to put my thoughts into words more eloquently soon.

Gator apparel

Written at LAX this morning:

I’m at the airport getting ready to fly to Arkansas. Why Arkansas, you ask? For Florida football, of course! I have cousins who live there (Razorback fans, but that’s OK) and they offered tickets to the game tomorrow if I could make it. How could I possibly refuse? It was a lucky break that I wasn’t registered for a race this weekend otherwise I would have been stuck watching on TV from the West Coast again. But this weekend, which is sandwiched between the Rock N Roll Los Angeles half marathon last Sunday and the Avengers race weekend at Disneyland starting this Friday, was surprisingly open. So I’m thrilled to be heading to Fayetteville, AR for the weekend!

In an effort to make my trip preparations as smooth as possible, I laid out the clothes I planned to wear today before I went to bed last night. My brain has trouble picking an outfit in the morning. It’s like writer’s block, but with fashion. Not that I’m fashionable, but that’s another story. But when I was throwing on my clothes at 4 AM (when my alarm went off it took me a good 30 seconds to remember why I was getting up so darn early) I changed my mind about which shirt I wanted to wear. I was obviously going to wear Gator apparel for my flight (that’s basically my wardrobe for the entire weekend), but rather than the one I originally selected, I grabbed something different from my drawer. I think I bought this particular shirt in Tallahassee at Christmas in 2014, but I’ve never actually worn it. I can’t believe it’s been almost two years! After I hurt my knee in January 2015 I put on some weight and the shirt was too small. Since then it’s just been sitting in a drawer, along with a number of other too snug shirts, on the off chance that I lost enough weight to squeeze myself into it. Thanks to Nutrisystem and a strict workout plan (and losing about 12 lbs) I figured that time has finally arrived!

See, yesterday I optimistically slipped on an old pair of jeans that I used to wear when I was at my thinnest (i.e., before the knee injury) and they actually fit. It was a miracle! Knowing what my scale read that morning I would have never guessed that those jeans would be wearable because I’m still 9 or 10 lbs heavier than I was back in early 2015. It seems my body is about the same shape as when I was 120 lbs, though, because the jeans fit perfectly. That’s a win for my boot camp/strength training classes at the gym, for sure. So based on my success with those jeans yesterday, this morning I was brave enough to try on the Gator shirt that still had the tags attached. When I slipped on the Gator shirt this morning and it fit and looked great it I was so happy. I’ve definitely made a lot of progress since Labor Day when I started my diet. And my clothing options have expanded too! My next goal is to get into some jeans that are a size smaller than my current ones, but that will take some more work. For now I’ll be cheering on the Florida Gators in my favorite orange and blue apparel!

Old shorts, new pants

Last Sunday I decided to go to Disneyland. I hadn’t been to the parks since before Labor Day (pre-Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend) and I was beginning to suffer from withdrawal. I was hoping that September meant I could wear some jeans, but unfortunately the forecasted high for Anaheim that day was 104 deg! It was going to be the hottest day we’d had all year (after our mostly mild summer). Since long pants were out of the question I pulled out a pair of shorts that I bought earlier this year instead. But when I went to put them on I was thrilled to discover that they are way too big! I had to dig deeper in the drawer for a pair of shorts from last year (pictured in the above photo at EPCOT last November), and even those were a little baggy. That was an amazing feeling. I knew I’d definitely been more comfortable in some of my old clothes recently, but the shorts were a surprise. I didn’t realize I’d changed that much already.

On Labor Day I started Nutrisystem. In spite of lots of exercise (obviously a lot of running and, more recently, the addition of weight training) and what I thought was a relatively healthy diet (except for my soda addiction) I hadn’t had any luck dropping the weight I gained last year when I hurt my knee. My body was just clinging to the extra pounds and none of the small changes I’d tried seemed to make any difference. I knew I had to do something drastic to jump start the weight loss process. So one day I took the plunge and place my first Nutrisystem order. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I started the meal plan the day after the Disneyland Half Marathon and started getting results immediately. I won’t lie, I was hungry ALL THE TIME, but I lost a pound a day during that first week. It was like a miracle. The weight loss has slowed a bit since then, but I’m keeping at it. Based on how much I exercise I eat a little more than the system allows, but I think it’s necessary. The other day I realized that some of the new pants I ordered from Old Navy recently (during a 50% off Labor Day sale online) were feeling loose. Not like I’ve lost a full pants size yet, but I might be getting there. Will I be disappointed if all of my brand new pants don’t fit in a month? A little, but I’ll be much happier being smaller and lighter than I’ve been in about a year and a half. And running will be easier too. We’ll see how it goes!