Weightloss Weekends

May 11, 2013
So it's Weightloss Weekend again, and I haven't really updated anything. To make matters worse, I haven't been to the gym in a long time. Bad Chris, bad!

I do need to pat myself on the back a little though. I have been going to physical therapy three times a week for my shoulder and those spiffy bulging discs I now have thanks to a previous job, and frankly, they've been kicking my ass. They've got me doing a lot of resistance work so I've been getting some of the muscle tone back into my shoulders and arms. Beyond that, I've honestly been in too much pain to even go to the gym to go tanning. *Yes, I know. Tanning is bad for you, lets save that for another post though because its the weekend, crazy!* Back to the back patting though, because this is big. Hold on to your shorts - my love handles are almost completely ... gone! Oh yeah. I've never been so proud of me for something so silly. I lucked out in the I never really got a "muffin top" or a "spare tire", but I did get really awful love handles and man were they the bane of my existence.  My shirts are also getting bigger on me and Adam keeps telling me how he can't believe how much I'm shrinking.

My lower half is still pretty gargantuan and disgusting, and my head still feels super tiny compared to the rest of my body, but I really needed to share this. Just the fact that my handles are almost non-existent and that my shirts are getting bigger makes me super happy and pushes me to keep eating healthy and exercising when I can.

Which brings me to my next point. In an effort to keep moving and going even though I can't make it to the gym right now, I've instituted a squat program for myself. I keep telling my husband I wouldn't mind stepping on the scale and seeing that big awful number anymore if things just didn't jiggle anymore. Yeah, being super tiny again would be amazing, but on the off case that I never see that person again I'll settle for toned and defined. I keep hearing people talk about these squat challenges and how either they've helped them to gain mass or to lose weight. Because I danced in college for the mother of all plie'ers and made the mistake of getting over-enthusiastic at the gym one summer, I now have a habit of bulking instead of toning and making my legs look leaner whenever I work on them as a muscle group. However, Libby helped me stretch everything back out over the course of a semesters hard work in a pair of Bloch's - apparently big boned classically trained Russian ballerina's do not want to see more ... stockily ... built dancers.

I digress.

Squat challenge! Because of Libby's kick ass plie's I've started myself out at 100 squats a day - legs parallel. I keep increasing things by 25 squats a day, tossing in at least 20 lunges on each leg and massive amounts of stretching to help reduce the bulk. I'm up to 175 today and I've already started to notice more muscle definition. I can't say if there is less jiggle or not yet - I definitely think it's way too early for that. My goal here is to be comfortable in a pair of yoga pants within the next few weeks, and ultimately by the end of summer to have nice enough legs again to not feel self-conscious and proudly take my sisters to Water Safari while rocking a bikini.

While it's not running (how I do miss it) it is a start to finding my Skinny-Christen again. Hopefully after a few more weeks of physical therapy I won't feel like a cripple in the mornings and I'll be able to test the running dealy out. My ultimate dream, aside from not being a chunker anymore, is to find a way to fix this shoulder and be able to take Zoey running in the mornings. She deserves that - she needs to expend her pent up, balled up energy just like I need to remove the extra poundage! When we make our first mile, or rather when she drags me my first mile, I'll make sure to have Adam take pictures for everyone!

April 21, 2013
For everyone who knows me and sees me regularly, you all know about my struggle with weight loss. For everyone who remembers me from high school and hasn't really seen me since then - this may all come as a shock.

The "Freshman Fifteen" never found me. The "Senior Seventy" did however, and then some.

I was always super skinny in high school. I could step on a scale fully clothed and soaking wet after a marathon eating contest with one of my younger sisters, Angela, and never tip it past 125. I absolutely LOVED to work out. I marched in the drill teams for ROTC, I played soccer in school, I danced ballet after school at a studio and even made time to go to the gym with friends through it all. At any given time you could find me stretching on the floor while I was doing my home work, or doing sit ups and reading from a propped up book at my knees. I planked during movies and flat-out wrestled with a close friend who was in the military. I was crazy super active.
Super-Skinny Me on the right and two pretty amazing friends - Ingrid (l) and Mayu (r)
Wells Semi-formal in 2007

The summer going into my senior year at college is when my PCOS caught up to me and made the scale become my worst nightmare. For people who aren't familiar with it, PCOS really screws up your body. Long story short? It causes the body to not use insulin properly, which in turn causes your body to really crave and need more sugar. We all know too much sugar not being properly used will cause weight gain. What most people don't realize is that once you hit that point, its crazy super hard to get it all back on track. Some people just can't. Thankfully, so far, I haven't been one of those people.

At a not-so-regular check up with my Ob/Gyn, we realized I was going to need surgery and during that surgery my doctor did a biopsy on my ovaries because he thought there might be a problem. Turns out the man knows his PCOS. We sat down and talked about it, and he said this explained my sudden eighty plus pound weight gain. Yeah, you read it.

Eighty. Pounds. Best part? I gained it all in three months. You probably think I'm pretty crazy right now, but I promise you I'm not. My whole diet changed going into senior year - more pasta and potatoes, less veggies, more fried food. My body just NEEDED it, and I was SO crazy hungry. It's what PCOS does. I finally stopped stepping on the scale when I hit *gulp* 204. I convinced myself it had to be wrong and I just put the stupid thing away where I didn't have to look at it anymore. I didn't feel that big. Could I really be that big? Yeah, I really could and I really was.
Super heavy, 200-Pound Me with my older sister, Gina.
NYC, 2009

As if it wasn't bad enough, this caused a probably genetic degenerative tissue disease to kick in and major weight bearing tendons and ligaments began to tear. The first one to go was a tiny little guy that connects the pecs to the rib cage. I swear to you it felt like I was having a heart attack. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't move. Even just turning too far in one direction caused that little bugger to pull and tear. It took months of doctors appointments and seeing specialists to diagnose this. After a trip to the ER via ambulance because breathing became so difficult that I had to pull over on the side of the road, my doctor was convinced I needed to see a cardiologist. The guy she sent me to was not so nice, but at the same time, very helpful. HIs words to me? I kid you not - they are forever burned into my brain. "I don't think it's your heart, but even if I'm wrong, jumping on a treadmill once in a while wouldn't hurt anything. Do you know your BMI is in the "obese" range?" I left his office crying but soon realized the man was right.

I was big. Too big. Things needed to change and they weren't going to do it without major work on my part. I changed my eating habits - mostly - and started trying to get back out into my crazy work out routines again. No matter what I did, it wasn't enough. The PCOS stood in my way no matter how hard I pushed at it, and when it wasn't in my way a torn tendon was. No matter how hard I tried, I could never get the scale to go under 175. Not so long ago, my Ob/Gyn put me on Glucophage to try and help things out. It's a medication for Type II Diabetes and people who are insulin resistant. (IE me and my PCOS.) It was the kick in the pants that my ovaries needed. I spent months trying to acclimate to it, months of being horribly sick to my stomach and forcing cupcakes out of my life. If you aren't aware, this medication really doesn't "like" anything with high sugar or starch content - it will cause you to become violently ill in an effort to rid the body of it before the pancreas needs to spike insulin levels. After about seven or eight months on the Glucophage, massive diet changes, and and increase in physical activity, I'm proud to say I've lost over fifty pounds. The scale kind of hovers around the 150 mark now and I'm pretty damn pleased with myself, if I do say so. I'm not completely satisfied, but definitely very proud.

Since I'm no longer on the medication I fall off the weight-loss wagon ... admittedly a lot ... so I'm working on my accountability. I want everyone to be a part of this with me. Hold me responsible. Don't let me eat that damn cupcake, I tell ya! It's Weightloss Weekend, pal, and with your help I'm going to find Skinny-Christen again and she's going to stay this time. Are you up for the challenge? It's going to be tough, but I'll stick to it if you'll stick by me.

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