Week 17: Making changes

The bane of my existence for as long as I can remember has been physical activity or exercise. I mean seriously, why run? Why go lift heavy things for FUN?

I was told when I started my OptiFast journey that exercise and activity were key to not only losing weight, but making the habit of working out was key to maintaining. Damn.

I half-assed the physical activity as soon as I felt up to it, starting with basic Pilates and a class here and there, mostly doing YouTube videos at home. Then, my friend Michele asked me if I wanted to take a boot camp with her, and I figured “sure, why not?”

We bought the LivingSocial deal for a boot camp type place near my house, and went to our first class on Saturday morning. It was a circuit-type workout, and I successfully completed three rounds! I flipped giant tires, I did planks, chest presses, squats, and I ran on a treadmill. RAN!

I felt awesome. Today, I decided to start the Couch to 5K program, and I’m starting Zumba on Thursday. I managed to walk a couple miles with my sister downtown today, and am looking forward to another bootcamp tomorrow!

WHO AM I!? I don’t hate physical activity. I just hated physical activity when I was heavier. I’m wicked sore though. Advil here I come…

The benefits will be worth it though. I’m loving feeling so much better, and definitely loving being smaller…and the clothes are a nice benefit too!

Week 14: Then and Now


On my first week of eating real food one meal a day, I managed to lose 4.8 pounds. I’m officially down 52.8 pounds in 14 weeks. I’m still in shock and I weighed in on Thursday.

Winter break has been the relaxing time I’ve so desperately needed, and I’ve spent each dinner time (my chosen meal) slightly indulging the cravings I’ve had since I started this program. When I say slightly, I mean slightly.

I thought I’d go through a few “then and now” comparisons.

Then: sushi dinners out would consist of 5-6 big rolls shared between Adam and me, usually full of tempura, mayo, and other delicious yet horrible for me ingredients.

Now: 3-4 ounces of sashimi and cucumbers or daikon.


Then: Dinner at Wildfire would be half of a chopped salad with dressing, an 8 or 10-ounce filet crusted in bread crumbs and horseradish and wrapped in bacon, a huge baked sweet potato or creamed spinach, and then dessert.

Now: One small plate of chopped salad with less than a teaspoon of dressing, half of a petite filet (so about 3 ounces) and about a cup of steamed broccoli.

Then: Chinese food out would be an egg roll or crab rangoon, followed by Mongolian beef and white rice, and then probably a trip to the fro-yo place afterward.

Now: Shrimp and broccoli, steamed, with brown sauce on the side.

Then: I’d leave most meals stuffed beyond comfort, and still wanting more. My clothes would be uncomfortably tight, and I’d repeat the same behaviors over and over, wondering why I couldn’t lose weight.

Now: dinner out is remarkably freeing. I’ve spent more time talking and less time eating, and am surprised at the end of each meal as to how little I need to be satisfied. I’m used to the sort of “empty” feeling I’ve had while on OptiFast, and I’m finally familiar with the feeling of being satisfied instead of being full.

I’ve had a few milestones this week besides hitting the 50-pound mark: I purchased a sweater at Ann Taylor Loft, something I haven’t done since 2008. On a whim, I went to the sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods to look for a new winter coat, assuming I’d have to buy something from the men’s section. I ended up with my first non-plus-size women’s coat since 2007 (on sale no less!) I booked a trip to Phoenix for spring break,and I’m looking forward to hiking and being active rather than dreading every bit of physical activity.

I’ve been long-winded enough!

Here’s to a great end of the year, and a happy new year to all!

Week 7: Days 2-4

Goodness, I didn’t even realize that I hadn’t written since Friday evening! Time’s fun when you’re having flies, right? (My favorite Kermit the Frog quote)

Today was an interesting day. I took a personal day today to catch up on a project that I’d been sort of kind of working on for months. I’m really lucky that I have a great teammate who co-teaches with me, so sub plans were extremely simple. Anyway, I was home all day. It would’ve been a perfect opportunity, in the past, to treat myself to a big breakfast, Jimmy John’s for lunch, and a decadent dinner because, you know, I had the time.

Instead, I stayed on plan, and my big “splurge” for the day was that I opened a new bottle of sugar-free syrup (salted caramel, super delicious) and made a blended shake for breakfast. And I was able to eat at the 3 hour mark instead of when I had time. It was lovely.

Then I hit a roadblock: my new iMovie update made every single last clip I imported turn a lovely shade of green when it was exported. It took me half of my day to figure it out, and the other half to let the darn thing re-update. I wanted to throw my beloved Mac across the room. But I didn’t I only got about a third of the project done…but I know what I’m doing now. And I didn’t stress eat! BAM!

Week 5: Day 5

Well, a student noticed today.

She came up to me, and said “hey, Mrs. R… can I ask you something?”

I never worry when they say that. Usually it’s a silly question like “Can I go to the bathroom?” or “Um, do you have a pencil?” Sometimes, it’s a girl asking me an absolutely mortifying question also involving going to the bathroom but having to stop at their locker first.

So anyway, this sweet girl, an 8th grader, came up to me today and said “I don’t want you to get mad, but have you lost weight? Not that you looked bad before, at all, but I mean, you look great!”

A 13-year-old-girl who already has a 99% in my class said she could tell I’ve lost weight. It reminds me of that scene in Sex and the City when Samantha is talking to Smith. She says “First the gays, then the girls, then the world.”

For me, first it was my friends. They noticed that I was working at it, that my clothes fit better, that my face looked deflated. Then the students. Pretty soon, the world!!!

I’ve got this ridiculously long day tomorrow…a nearly full day of school, plus 3 hours of parent-teacher conferences from 5-8 p.m.

Oy vey.

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 2

I’m giving myself a major pat on the back for today.

I went to my good friend’s birthday party, just a get-together to watch the Blackhawks game, nothing too fancy. I went with a plan. I had a bar and ready-to-drink shake in my purse, and ate the bar as soon as I got there. This helped me avoid the munchies table (full of bacon-cheddar-ranch dip, chips, queso, and cookies. And liquor.) Dinner was then a grill-fest of bratwurst and Italian sausage and grilled peppers. Sausage and peppers are among my favorite foods.

I held strong. I drank a glass of water, played with the 3-month old puppy, and the hubby and I left not long after that. I came home and ate my soup. PHEW!!! That was some serious self-control to not say “screw it” and eat everything in sight.

I’m noticing little things as I lose bits of weight. My jeans don’t hurt my belly at the end of the day. I haven’t had a headache in almost 2 weeks. Something I’m looking forward to? Wearing heels again without feeling like death after a couple hours.

I’m off to bed… I’ve got a busy day tomorrow!