Week 4: Day 7 (So close, yet so far)


Again I say, HOLY CRAP!!! I lost 3.8 pounds for a total of 19.9 in 4 weeks. I really should’ve gone to the bathroom again to hit that 20 lb. mark, but at least I know I’ll hit it next week!

I’m really really trying to not get hung up on how far I still have to go in this weight loss journey. If I continue losing at this rate (which will likely NOT happen, it’s just the way it is) I’ve got at least 20 MORE weeks to go. I know that I won’t lose at this rate, and will likely have at least a year.

At least.

I have 120 pounds left to go.

But I’m not going to focus on that…

I’m going to focus on the fact that 4 weeks ago, I had 140 pounds to lose. And taking that first step is harder than the whole journey.


Week 4: Day 6 (Fishing…for compliments)

I’m a slave to the trendy when it comes to technology.

I’ve been on Twitter since 2006, and instagram since 2011. These newer trends of theme day instagram hashtags (#transformationtuesday, #throwbackthursday, #flashbackfriday, etc.) are just up my alley. I love digging out old pictures.

I wasn’t going to do progress pictures per se, but I do take pictures here and there, and if I happen to notice a change, awesome.

On a whim, for #transformationtuesday, I posted this yesterday:


The left photo is from my trip with my sister to Florida in mid-August. The right is from Saturday. Once I posted it, my instagram and Facebook BLEW UP. I got comments, likes, thumbs-ups, and each one was motivation.

And this is from today:


I’ve lost a few chins already. I wore a 2-year-old cardigan today that I couldn’t button last winter. This is only a 16 (or maybe a few more) pound change. I can’t wait to see what is down the road…

Week 4: Day 4 (On Consciously Doing Nothing)

For the past, oh, nearly 3 years, I’ve spent most weekends doing very little.

Ok, that’s not true. I did a lot of eating, cooking, baking, grocery shopping, futile clothes shopping, ridiculous shoe shopping…you get my drift.

So much of our weekends before were centered around food. We’d go out for breakfast, maybe run a few errands, sit around until it was time for lunch, then more sitting around until dinner, or dinner and a movie.

Suddenly, with less food focus, I’ve found myself with all this free time. I can come straight home after school, no grocery shopping. Weekends, while still “OMG time to eat”, I can just bust a bar out of my purse and be good.

Today was my first day off since Labor Day. We spent a lot of the weekend out and about; I walked for a good 30 minutes at the outdoor shopping center, we looked at adoptable pets, went to a trade show, and saw Gravity in 3D IMAX. (That movie deserves a post of its own…likely tomorrow.) I made the conscious decision that today, my first day off since Labor day, I would do little to nothing.

So that’s what I did. I didn’t get dressed. I tidied the living room and kitchen. I crocheted 12 rows of my blanket. I made one delicious shake and one meh one. I drank lot of water and watched like, 9 episodes of Supernatural. I played with the dog, and took photos of my mom’s dog who we are puppy sitting. Her name is Stella and she’s the fluffiest and sweetest Goldendoodle I’ve ever met!


It was nice to make the decision to not do anything, as opposed to HAVING to do nothing because I was so tired.

Week 4: Day 2 (Bullet Points)

I’m a big huge fan of bulleted lists… I seriously use them so often that they’re in my lesson plans, on my whiteboard, and all over my cooking blog.

So, in no particular order, bullet points about OptiFast so far:

  • Powder shakes in the blender > ready to drink shakes
  • Ready to drink shakes > “blender bottle” powdered shakes
  • Strawberry shakes taste like my childhood… in that “when I had strep and had to take penicillin” kind of way.
  • A squirt of lemon juice makes the tomato soup truly tasty.
  • A shake of parmesan cheese would make it better
  • Whoever said that mixing vanilla powdered shake mix with root beer to make a “root beer float” must never have had a root beer float from Oberweis.
  • I wish I could say that my extra time that’s not being used cooking or grocery shopping was being used for something productive, like exercise. Nope. Extra time means more crocheting. Giant granny square blanket, here I come!
  • Fruity-smelling Yankee Candle melts keep me sane. McIntosh and Meyer Lemon in particular.
  • I get to school much earlier now that I don’t stop at Starbucks.
  • I can wear my jeans for much longer now since they actually FIT.
  • I’d still really love some salmon sashimi and some roasted vegetables
  • I have a new yoga app on my iPad that I may actually bring myself to try.
  • I still can’t handle more than 2 fiber gummies.
  • My favorite bar is the chocolate one, closely followed by the berry one, and lastly, the chocolate peanut butter one. This is shocking to me too since peanut butter is a food group.
  • I drink between 70-100 ounces of water a day, yet I’m not always running to the bathroom. Thank you Teacher Bladder!
  • I get a little thrill every time I look at my progress graph… it’s over there —-> in the “progress” page.
  • I may have made 7 different progress graphs before I was satisfied with that one.
  • I’m truly grateful that this program exists, that the staff of my center is so awesome, and that I have such supportive family and friends. Adam has been particularly patient with this whole thing!
  • Ok, I think that’s it now.

Week 4: Day 1 (My first “Dinner”)

Many weeks ago, we were invited to attend services at my mother-in-law’s synagogue, followed by a dinner.


I don’t think I’d ever been so thankful to see a family-style meal. While everyone else ate their baked fish and cous cous, I ate my berry bar, drank diet soda and chit-chatted. It was a very nice and calm evening, and it was SO great to see my in-laws; it had been a while!

I noticed something on the way home though: I was hungry. My normal “soup for dinner” routine had been interrupted, and the bar just wasn’t as satisfying as a bowl of soup. What was interesting, honestly, was that the hungry feeling wasn’t in my stomach. It was in my mood. I was crabby as all get-out, exhausted, and made the decision once we got home to just go to bed before I ate anything else.

Hence the morning post.

But I survived, and here I am with my morning shake (with coffee and sugar free caramel syrup!) proud to say I stuck to plan.


Week 3: Day 7 (On Self-Affirmation)


Holy. Crap.

SERIOUSLY HOLY CRAP! I lost 5.2 pounds this week for a total of 16.1 in a little over 3 weeks! This is officially more weight lost than the last two times I “dieted” combined.

We talked in our class today about self-affirmation and self-confidence. People are always so surprised when I tell them that I’m not very confident. Sure, I can teach to a room full of kids, or jump off the high dive at camp, but when asked about myself, I’m pretty negative.

I’m working on it, and I realized today in the context of this class how much something a friend of mine said really resonated with me. (Did that sentence make ANY sense?)

When I first went to the doctor and saw that my weight was as high as it had ever been, I said to a friend that I felt like a “big fat failure.” Her response? “Hey, be nice to my friend!”

She wouldn’t have talked about me that way, and I wouldn’t have talked about her that way…why was I being so mean to myself?? I’m working on being nicer to myself… it’s not easy, but I’m trying.

We talked about other positive self-affirmations that we can have on repeat while we’re in the program. Mine was this:


I may not be perfect at this… but starting and trying is half the battle.

Week 3: Day 6 (On really being hungry)

Oh I thought I knew hungry.

You try working 14-hour days with groups of five year olds outside in the Chicago sun for 10 weeks. I swear, I knew hungry.

Really, what I knew, was bored, stressed, tired, happy, sad… now though, now I know hungry.

What I had felt before was an annoyance more than anything. It was a “I feel like eating” pang, rather than a true hunger pang. In the last nearly 4 weeks, I’ve felt real hunger. And I’ve felt the satisfaction of being not hungry anymore.

I’ve counted it out, and 21 weeks brings me through Valentine’s Day. I cannot wait, really and truly, to feel that satisfaction of hungry to just barely not hungry when eating clean, real food. I can’t imagine how much farther I’ll come in these weeks…

I seriously cannot believe I’ve been at this 3 full weeks already, and I haven’t had one “cheat” or one “break” in the program.


Week 3: Day 5 (On feeling, but not looking better)

This is going to be a bit of a word dump… please excuse my ramblings.

It’s an odd thing being significantly overweight when you have a personality like mine. I’ve never been one that’s quiet, one to conform, or one to keep my mouth shut when I have an opinion. It was adorable when I was younger (so I’m told).

When I was barely talking, I knew the names of the Beatles, precious gems (my dad was a jeweler), who the “queen of soul” was (Aretha Franklin) and could bop along with any song on the radio. I knew what I wanted, and being the teeny tiny kid I was, it was cute.

In middle school, my opinionated and loud ways got me bullied. I was annoying, laughed too loud, and was always that ONE kid that had a question after everyone else had started working. I never had to work too hard to get noticed by teachers, but I wanted people my own age to notice me.

Fast forward to high school. I had friends that liked me for me and all my weirdness (Monty Python anyone?) and we spent hours upon hours watching crazy movies, eating frosting straight out of the can, and being ridiculous together. I finally had friends and needed to learn to be comfortable with myself. That wasn’t easy for me, so I started to eat… far too much.

Fast forward to college and post-college. I continued finding comfort/amusement in cooking and eating.

Yadda Yadda Yadda, here I am.

Now here’s where things get different, and I really noticed them today. I tend to forget my own size. I’m a little bit like a large-breed puppy that has no idea how big I am. Now, I do know enough to wear clothes that cover me up and loos mostly decent on most days. But, when I’m out in public, I tend to forget that I’m, as a little kid once said, “that fat lady.”


It’s even weirder now, since I’m feeling so very much better than I have in years. I forget that while I can tell I’ve lost a bit of weight, no one else can. I’m still “that fat lady”. I was at Target today, and got ran into three times, cut off twice, and someone literally stood in the doorway, blocking my way, and didn’t move even when I said “excuse me”. I’m still the invisible chubby girl.

But that will change, because I’m not giving up on this. Someday, sooner than later, I’ll just be “That girl with the great smile”, or “that smart girl”, or heck, even “the Spanish teacher”.

My friend Kristina once put it best: I’m a skinny girl stuck inside a way-too-padded body. And I’m finally doing something about it.

Week 3: Day 4

Just an average day here in OptiFast-land… i’m learning to love the monotony, since everything is so predictable and takes so little planning. The biggest inconvenience I may have in a day is that either my blender pitcher is dirty or my soup mug is dirty.

I really didn’t sleep well last night. I’m thinking that it had something to do with the giant iced tea I drank, and the fact that I slept in yesterday morning. It used to not bother me, but it’s this whole getting older thing. I swear… one day of sleeping until 9:30 and I’m thrown for two days!

Ok. Enough rambling. I’m off to relax a bit before heading to bed too early.