Starting Over


At my best, I weighed 231 and had lost approximately 160 pounds from my highest weight. However, despite SWEARING that I would never, ever weigh that much again, I gained it all back (in pretty short order).

The beginning of the end was hurricane Florence in September 2018. I have severe storm anxiety even on the best of days and Florence sent me in to complete panic mode as she spend days switching tracks from one side of me to the other. I couldn’t eat, wasn’t getting restful sleep, and was barely functioning for a couple of weeks. The few times I felt like eating, it was all straight high-carb/calorie comfort food. We ended up leaving town, even though it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, by the time I got my appetite back, the damage was done. Whatever amazing mental state I’d had the last year and a half that had fueled my epic weight-loss journey was completely gone.

I struggled for most of the next year, and though I was still going to the gym at least once a week (mostly to try to shame myself into keeping on track), I was over 300lbs again by the time September 2019 rolled around. Then some idiot slammed her car into me while I was stopped at a traffic light.

Overall, the accident wasn’t a bad one. We were both stopped at the light—when it turned green, I didn’t even have time to take my foot off the brake before she’d jammed her foot on the gas pedal of her car and floored it. Obviously, she didn’t get very far. There was only minor damage to the back bumper and liftgate on my van, and I didn’t even get any whiplash—instead, for whatever reason, the entire impact of the collision hit me square in the middle of my back, just under my shoulder blades. No visible injuries though (I did go to the doctor to check), but in any case, the immediate (and then lingering) pain in that area put any thoughts of working out on hold for several months (and not gonna lie, for a “minor” accident, my back is now permanently screwed up in that area, because I never had issues in my mid-upper back before and now it hurts there frequently… it really sucks).

In any case, about the time I might have thought about going back to the gym… COVID hit, and between that and the political situation, 2020 was a massive hell void that one really could only make it through by stress-eating (thank the gods for Instacart and DoorDash… you ROCK!). But eating that much Ben & Jerry’s has consequences, so here I am—right back where I started in 2017.

At this point, my goal is to drop at least 100lbs, as I know being “skinny” isn’t an attainable goal. My metabolism, even when I’m exercising regularly (which I’m still not because COVID is giant ball of suck) is terrible and the only way I consistently lose weight it by eating around 1200 calories a day and, as I have found, that just isn’t sustainable. So for now, I’ll be content just not weighing as much as I do. Because I’m back at a place where even if I could leave the house, I don’t want to, because I’m so out of shape, and I don’t like that.

So starting back with meal replacement shakes for as much as possible, then just eating a bit as a jump start to see how that goes. Then I’ll make a more cohesive plan from there.

Starting Weight: 401

Pounds Lost This Week: n/a

Total Weight Lost: 0

Things Discovered: 34° Crisps


I love cheese and crackers and one of the major things that I’ve missed over the last (almost) two years is – you guessed it… cheese and crackers. Not that cheese is bad for you, most of the time it’s not, but it is calorie dense and so if you eat too much of it, you’ve blown a whole day’s worth of calories before you know it. Crackers are the same, though of course some are better than others – but it’s the carbs and salt that get you here and the fact that you can pop crackers into your mouth one after the other and before you know it, you’ve eaten the whole pack. So, what to do (until now), but avoid – if you want to keep on track?

So, the other day I was at my local Harris Teeter and came across 34° Crisps. It’s all the taste and crunch of a crack, but WAY less calories. Seriously… only 50 calories for 9 crackers!! I’m rather fond of the Rosemary ones, but as you can see they come in a variety of flavors, so there’s bound to be one you’ll like.

I do suggest pairing it with something – cheese, or some sort of dip, etc… (my go-to is low fat mozzarella cheese) because they are very dry on their own, but other than that it’s a great way to satisfy your cracker cravings without breaking the calorie bank.

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 100


Week 100 Current Weight: 262

Pounds Lost This Week: 0 (I was at 262 last week as well, but I forgot to post it)

Total Weight Lost: 128

So, because I’ve been struggling these last few months, I’ve decided to change my calorie goals a little bit. The original goal was definitely an aggressive one (1200 calories a day, aiming for 2+ pounds lost a week) and though it worked well for the first year and a half, obviously, it hasn’t been lately. So probably more than due for a little adjustment.

Starting this week, my new goal is 1500 calories a day. This puts me on track for maybe a little over a pound a week weight loss, but at this point, I’d rather lose something rather than nothing. So far, even though I broke even for the week (I was at the same weight last week, but that is due to overeating last Friday after weigh in, which put me up a lot higher – it shouldn’t have, but it always does), I am doing much better with this goal. And was able to stick to it without any major issues.

It’s weird how much of a difference having an extra 300 calories makes. Before I spent my days barely eating because I’d be afraid of using up all my calories – for a typical meal I’d aim for under 300 calories (better if it was under 250), but now if I eat 400 or so calories at a time, it’s not the end of the world. Which makes it less likely that I will go off track the rest of the day, because before, if I screwed up early in the day, I’d just be like – oh well, might as well eat whatever I want to and start again tomorrow –  and not that this isn’t a good philosophy, but when you start doing it every day and never get back on track, it’s a recipe for failure. But this week, I’ve felt satisfied and not felt the need to overeat, so I’m hopeful that I’ve got this back under control.

Onward to next week and beyond!!

Things Discovered: Chilly Cow


My love for Halo Top is well known, and anyone who follows me on MFP knows I eat that stuff, if not everyday, pretty darn close too it. But I’ve been a bit frustrated with the lack of lower calorie options–I like to stick to under 300 calories per pint. I know it’s hard, because you definitely want it to taste good, but still… my choices are pretty limited at this point. Generally speaking I almost always eat the Caramel Macchiato, and when I really need a change, Birthday Cake. I like the Oatmeal Cookie flavor, but not the actual oatmeal chunks, so I don’t eat it much at all. I did try the Lemon Cake one, and it’s good, but it’s hard to find in my area.

Which brings me to Chilly Cow. Technically, it has more calories in it, BUT since it’s sold in packs that have two 1/2 pint tubs instead of a whole pint, I have the option to eat more flavors, but still have it be less of an impact on my daily calorie goals. I know, I could just eat half a Halo Top, but honestly, I don’t have that kind of self-control. It’s why buying Oreos is always a bad idea, I can never eat just a couple.

So far, I’ve only eaten the Sweat Cream Peanut Butter one, but it was really good (and it was only 190 calories). I need to see if I can find some of the other flavors in my area, because they also have a Brown Butter Salted Caramel which sounds freaking amazing (that and the Chocolate Brownie Batter).

In any case, it’s definitely nice to have something else to add to my ice cream arsenal that is diet friendly and tastes super yummy!

Things Discovered: Noom


Last week, in a desperate bid to gain some control over my out of control eating habits, I decided to try the Noom app. I’d gotten some sort of email for a 14 day free trial and a massive discount off a yearly subscription, so I figured why not?

TL;DR: This app could be useful for those who really need a lot of direct support and benefit from daily tips and tricks and other psychological motivation. However, for those who already have a good grasp on the basics, it’s kind of annoying, especially if you are already using something like MyFitnessPal.

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One of the benefits of Noom is it offers a personal coach. The problem that I had with this (and in looking around, I see I’m not the only one), I honestly couldn’t tell if my coach was a real person or simply a bot. To be fair, I didn’t interact much, and she didn’t contact me all that much in the week or so that I tried the app, but when she did it was very scripted.

One of the other benefits is that you are supposed to get group support as well. The coach is, after your trial, supposed to be a weekly check-in, but your group is supposed to be your all-the-time support. Too bad they don’t give you access to it during your trial, so there is no way to tell, beforehand, how it works in practice (or if it too, resembles bot support). This right here was the number 1 reason why I ended my trial, by the way. If you want me to check out something, you have to actually give me access, otherwise… bye-bye! I might have stayed if I’d gotten a good group, but I wasn’t willing to pay for the app only to find out my group sucked (there are no refunds once you’ve paid).

The app also offers food logging, which is something that I think everyone who is trying to lose weight should do. The problem with Noom, however, is that their food database is pretty abysmal. I was constantly having to add things, which was a pain in the ass. Honestly, it would work in their favor if they could just find a way to sync the app with MFP, since MFP already has a much larger food database and makes it much easier to log foods (and create recipes and meals, etc…)

Ultimately, I had an issue with the price as well. First, it’s not clear on their website exactly what the price is. I mean, there are prices listed if you dig through the FAQ, but those are completely different from what I was given and, after I quit my trial, I was given another offer with a way different and much lower price as well. Which leads me to think that there are many different people paying vastly different prices for the same app, some of whom are being seriously taken advantage of. The price I was given wasn’t horrible, but I’m not sure the app was worth that price either, especially since a lot of the features weren’t really all that useful to me. It certainly wasn’t worth paying simply for access to the group support, since there are plenty of places one can go online for free to talk with others who are on their own weight loss journey.

It also tracks steps (which I had synced to my Misfit tracker), though I think you could also use your phone as a tracker as well. I didn’t try that, so I don’t know how that works exactly.

Along with all that you also get daily healthy lifestyle/dieting tips, and other motivational info, that can definitely be of use to many people. This was one of the good things about the app, but also one of the things that I didn’t really need, because a lot of it was stuff that I was already aware of , so again, not worth paying to get access to it. So, similar to my Hungryroot experience, it’s not that Noom doesn’t have potential usefulness, it just wasn’t something that worked out for me. But if you are curious, it may still be worth trying if you think it will help you on your journey.

If you want, you can also check out the 14-day plan that they sent me, to give you a better idea of what you’ll get, since the website is not very forthcoming with the info.

QUICK UPDATE: I did eventually get a paid membership for a time and the group function isn’t bad, but I was out of sync with the rest of my group—which ultimately was a deal-breaker (and I still never did figure out if my coach was a bot or not). Like, they typically try to group people who started around the same time, so that prompts and tasks are similar, but I was slightly ahead of everyone else in my group, so I’d get a topic or thing to post about, but most of the time, the topic hadn’t even been created yet. So if I actually wanted to talk to anyone else in the group about it, I’d have to wait a week (or more) for everyone else to catch up. So again, it’s a good feature in theory, but just didn’t work for me.

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 93


Week 93 Current Weight: 250

Pounds Lost This Week: 4

Total Weight Lost: 140

So far so good. At least I’m hanging in there. Not totally keeping to exactly 1200 calories per day, but close enough. Also been eating a lot more fruit (mostly apples and grapes). So at least when I’m over, it’s not total junk food (though I did eat salted caramel oreos today).

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 90


Week 90 Current Weight: 257

Pounds Lost This Week: 1

Total Weight Lost: 133

Still struggling a bit.

I didn’t make 1200 calories any day this week, but for most of it I didn’t do too badly (stayed under 2000). However, yesterday and today were totally off track, and I know tomorrow will be as well (have a girls dinner/movie night). Today wouldn’t have been so bad, but hubby wanted Krispy Kreme and… yeah….

But still, I didn’t gain weight, so I’m ok with it. At this point, I’ll take “not gaining” as a win.

New Year… New Me: Beyond Weeks 87, 88 and 89.


December was a total lost cause and I ended up (mostly water weight to be sure, but still not happy with it) almost 20 pounds from my last “official” weekly weigh-in. But I am not giving up and now that the New Year is here, I’m going to get back on track. I do not ever want to be as overweight as I was before.

I am still aiming for a 1200 calorie per week goal, but since my current TDEE is around 2200 calories there is definitely a little wiggle room there as well. So, especially on the days where I exercise, I might eat a little more, which is ok (as long as it’s not junk). I still have my small group training once a week and for Christmas I bought myself a TRX system to use here at the house.

Have I mentioned how awesome TRX is? Well, it totally is. Everyone should do it!! (seriously – all skill levels and body types – it’s freaking amazing!!)

And if you aren’t in a place where you can do a particular exercise, there are plenty of ways to modify (such as changing how far you lean back – farther is harder so less of an angle makes it easier) so it really does work for almost anyone. Also, even though it may not look like you are doing much, depending on the modifications, it can be as intense or low-impact as you need it to be.

Anyway, when 2018 started I weighed around 285, so overall I am still down almost 30 pounds for the year (currently I’m at 258), so that is something positive. I still have a long way to go (and in truth, this is a life-long journey, make no mistake about it), but I will get there.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and prosperous New Year!! Like they say… aim for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll still land among the stars!! We got this!!

Weekly Weigh-In: Weeks 85 and 86


Week 86 Current Weight: 244

Pounds Lost This Week: doesn’t really count

Total Weight Lost: 146

I was out of town for Week 85 and still not making very good food choices, but the good news is that I stuck with it this week and managed to drop closer to where I need to be, to be back on track. Hopefully I can keep up with it, even though I still have to get through the bulk of the Holiday season.