Saturday, October 11, 2014

106.5 pounds gone in under 14 months

I'm still losing very slowly, getting 'monthly drops' rather than weekly like I used to, but I'm doing my best not to let that frustrate me. I've been mixing things up - lot of walking, sometimes jogging, strength training with FitnessBlender and recently added Callanetics into the mix. That, and of course making sure my eating is always on track. I still tend to do a bit of intermittent fasting on the weekends. I'm hoping that winter had something to do with the slow progress and things might pick up speed now that warmer weather is here, but if it doesn't I can assure you I will not use this as an excuse to throw in the towel. Those days are over. I've come way too far to let frustration send me back up the scale again. Nope, I'm going to let my body do its thing and go at its own pace.

Having said that I did get a nice drop as expected this week, weighing in at 82.0 kg (180.78 lb) which is a drop of .7 kg (1.54 lb) from last week and brings my total to 48.3 kg (106.48 lb). Now I'll probably start the roller coaster ride again, as my weight goes up and down a kilo or two from week to week until I get another drop in a few weeks time. That seems to be the way of it these days.  The frustration now is that I need to drop less than 400 grams (.88 lb) to get to 179.9 pounds - getting into the 170s will be wonderful. At 175 pounds I'll officially be just overweight rather than obese so I'm really looking forward to that day. I'll get there.

I really enjoyed adding Callanetics this week - I haven't really done it since the 90s and I really enjoyed it. I remember in the 90s taking progress photos from one week to the next and you could really see a difference in just a few weeks.  So even if the weight doesn't drop dramatically, hopefully things will tighten and lift in any case.  I definitely felt it the next day, too, it's a workout that really delivers, though it's very slow, relaxing and almost meditative while you do it. I like that, as I rarely find the time to actually meditate, much as I enjoy it, and this is an evolution in body, mind and spirit after all.  Anyway, have a lovely weekend everyone and I'll check back in again soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The reaction has been great!

Well I am happy to report everyone has been very kind and supportive of my new look. There were a few who said nothing, a few who asked if it was real, but mostly everyone just said it looks amazing.  Only one tried to run her hands through my hair but I stopped her in her tracks lest it come off. Now that would have been embarrassing!

I am still adjusting and trying to get used to it.  Some days I can attach the topper easily and comfortably,  and other days the clips seem to be pulling uncomfortably despite several attempts to readjust it. I guess I'll get better with time. I am looking forward to getting the styling head so I can try other looks.

Weight-wise despite expecting a gain this week I had a tiny drop, so I expect a bigger drop in a couple of days. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Facing fears again ... let's get personal

Sorry I haven't been blogging much - the last few days have been a shocker. A very dear friend of mine has suffered a ruptured aneurysm, so I've been worrying and praying for her a lot lately. She's come through surgery but there's still a chance she could suffer a stroke, so I've been praying for a speedy and full recovery. She's uppermost in my mind right now -- my issues and fears pale in comparison to what she and her family are going through.

But I have been filled with anxiety for another reason as well. I'm sure I've mentioned before that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. It causes, among other things, fertility issues and weight gain, as well as male pattern hair loss. My hair has thinned over the years considerably, but in the last five years or so it's become noticeably thinner at the scalp in particular. I had hoped weight loss would alleviate PCOS symptoms, but even with 105 pounds gone it's not getting better. So what's a girl to do?

In the past couple of months I've been exploring my options. I visited two salons that specialise in hair replacement. The best option is a hair topper, which is basically an extension that covers the scalp and blends in with the rest of your hair. You can get a clip-in topper like this one, or you can go with a bonded topper which is basically the same except they actually shave your scalp and use surgical adhesive to bond it to your head.  I've had so much anxiety even thinking about this - hair loss isn't something women like to talk about but it was time to face reality.

If I do nothing I'll continue to lose hair and balding is very hard for a woman to deal with. On the other hand, people will notice if I suddenly have thicker hair and might wonder if I'm wearing a wig. Good quality, real human hair toppers are very expensive - especially in Australia where everything costs more. So I weighed the options carefully. The bonded toppers I saw looked really good. They even brought in a customer willing to let me watch how hers was reattached (as you have to do every 6 weeks or so) and I got to ask her questions. She was honest with the pros and cons -- it can feel awkward to sleep on, your scalp can itch and you would have to lift the glue to get at the itch, and it can sometimes loosen up if you take a hot shower, but overall was very happy with her decision.

The second place does bonding, but also offers clip-in toppers. It wasn't a lot cheaper to be honest, but you wouldn't have the cost of reattaching it every 6 weeks. You can take it off when you work out so it doesn't get messed up and just pop it back on again later.  But sometimes the clips can be irritating and they can weaken your hair. Some women don't like the idea of taking their hair off at the end of the night and letting their husband see their real hair. I have no problem with that, my wonderful husband loves me at any weight, with or without hair.

I decided to try a clip-in. It wasn't as big a commitment, I could take it off if I didn't like it. Once you shave your head, if you don't like the bonded topper you'd have to find another solution while you try to grow your hair out again. Having made the decision and paid the deposit, I have been very excited over the last few weeks waiting for it to come in. It finally did, and I spent yesterday afternoon learning how to attach it and care for it. It was cut and styled to blend with my own hair, and ended up much shorter than I had planned but I now think that's a good thing. Instead of having basically the same hair style only suddenly thicker, it's a total and complete style change - the drastic change in style might take attention away from the thicker hair. I left feeling fabulous.

As I walked down the street, no one was looking at me as if I was a freak or wearing fake hair. And in fact a nice-looking guy on the train gave me a lingering look and a smile as he passed by. That gave me an amazing self-esteem boost. I looked good!  But I began to worry. These are strangers. People who are used to seeing my thinning hair -- that's a different story. It's a long weekend and I was grateful to have a few days to get used to it and be sure I can live with it before anyone I know actually sees me in it. Hubby asked me to stop into the store on the way home for something and so naturally I ran smack bang into a good friend and co-worker who did a double-take and stared at me. The moment of truth. She exclaimed, "You look amazing! Oh my God you look so good! It looks thicker!" I braced myself. Will she make the connection?  If she did, it didn't show, she really thought it looked great.

So now I worried again. How do I change my mind now if it's uncomfortable or I have any issues now that she's seen it?  I'm feeling anxious trying to figure out what I'll say when the inevitable questions come on Tuesday.  My husband thinks I'm worried for no reason. 'So what if they say anything, tell them it's a hair extension -- it is, after all.  If you had cancer or androgenic alopecia, no one would think it odd you wanted a hair replacement -- how is PCOS any different?' He's right. But I'm still afraid.

Then I found this blog called and in particular this post about her 'coming out story' and why she decided to go public about wearing wigs. She had spent years hiding her hair loss problem and didn't want to hide anything anymore. She said after she came out she felt so free. She could now wear different styles whenever she likeed without people finding it suspicious.

I'm still scared of seeing friends, family and coworkers for the first time with this new hair, but I've decided that if they do say anything or ask uncomfortable questions then there's no point in denying it. I can just say I got a total makeover that included a hair extension, cuz that's really what it is. It's just that this type of hair extension covers the top. What else can I say?  I'm happy with the results. The picture on the left shows how noticeable it was in photos. On the right is my new look.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Outlandish Obsession ...

Haven't had much to post about as I'm still exercising, still eating right, still maintaining a steady weight. Like I said previously, I seem to be having monthly drops rather than weekly now. That's ok. I'm not obsessing about weight drops right now; rather I just keep doing what I'm doing ... this way of eating has just become natural, it's just who I am now, for life.

What I am obsessing about lately is Outlander! Have you been watching it? I am a huge fan of the books, half way through the eighth book as I write this. I don't read much fiction but I do love these books, these amazing characters of Claire and Jamie. And Starz has done them proud, what an amazing cast! If you seriously haven't heard of it yet, here is a promo that will give you an idea what it's about.

Much more than a romance novel, it's a historical drama with a time travel element and a fascinating story that appeals to both sexes. My nephew has read all the books and my husband is enjoying the TV series with me. Apparently the viewing audience is 45% male.  What an amazing Jamie they found, Sam Heughan is fabulous.

I'm off to re-watch episode seven  again ... yeah, it's that good. Especially episode seven! ;)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Almost 105 pounds gone in less than 13 months

So yeah my Greek night out was delicious and while I avoided the obvious carbs I'm sure there was hidden sugar in sauces and too much fat and sodium in everything, but it was a rare night out with some fabulous ladies and I had a great time. Not only no gain the next day, but a drop today. Can't beat that!

So I was 82.8 kg (182.54 lb) this morning, which is down .9 kg (1.98 lb) from last week and 47.5 kg (104.7 lb) overall in less than 13 months. Gotta run, busy day today but I had to check in quick as I was thrilled with today's result. It's a beautiful day, feels like spring is finally here. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dining out Greek style

I know absolutely nothing about Greek food, but I'm dining out with a group of friends this weekend at a Greek restaurant.  Now restaurant fare is rarely low-fat or low-sodium, so I generally just worry about staying as low-carb as possible as I so seldom dine out. It's served yum cha style, so basically they bring out small plates of the various menu items and you pick what you want to try, all you can eat for one price. I can eat just from one or two choices, or try a bit of everything.

Here are the choices for the evening:

  • Mixed Greek Dips
  • Vienna Bread
  • Greek Salad (traditional)
  • Pan Fried Haloumi (Sheep and goats cheese)
  • Flash Fried Calamari (baby calamari lightly dusted and flash fried)
  • Tiropites (Fetta and Ricotta filo parcels)
  • Grilled Chicken (marinated in salt, pepper and oregano)
  • Saganaki Prawns (in a tomato and fetta cheese salsa)
  • Spit Roast Lamb (sixteen hour slow roasted lamb shoulder)
  • Baked Vegetables

What do you think? Some of those sound like they could be fairly low-carb and most are available in gluten free if you ask. Gluten free doesn't necessarily mean low carb, but it couldn't hurt to ask anyway. The bread and dips are out, not sure what's in a Greek salad. I don't eat calamari and obviously filo parcels are out. I'm thinking the last four menu items sound like my best options.

If anyone is familiar with Greek food and can identify the best low-carb options, I'd love to know if I got it right. Obviously the baked vegetables will depend on what kind of vegetables they are. Low-carb or not, I'm thinking fried cheese might be a bit too high fat to include but it does sound good.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I really felt like a run tonight ... did I still have it in me?

I've been focusing on strength training workouts but as the weather gets a bit nicer (and there's a break in the rain) I've tried to get in a good walk or two as well.  Those Fitness Bender 'weight training for fat loss' moves are definitely challenging me, I can feel it everywhere, but I'm loving it. I haven't actually run more than a few minutes now and then since winter started. But tonight when I got home from work I really wanted to run.

Firstly, just feeling that totally amazes me. I am not someone who has really enjoyed exercise, but these days I find not only do I enjoy it but even look forward to it.  Wow, who'd a thunk it? Since I'm doing strength training tomorrow I thought tonight was perfect to give running a go, but I didn't want to just jump in too hard after this long break. I knew it might get dark before half an hour was up, and could even rain, so I decided to go in a circle around the neighbourhood so I wouldn't be too far from home at any point. I used to walk the same circle when I was a lot heavier and each lap took me at least 15 minutes. Whichever way I go, there is an incline on the return, so since I wanted to try running I thought I'd go down the steepest way rather than up.

I left the house and started a gentle jog down the first incline, then walked when I got to the bottom. Just when it started to go up again I started running until it started getting very steep again. Then I walked and repeated the cycle. Overall I was jogging about half the time, first downhill then uphill. I finished three laps in 27 minutes. The first uphill stretch felt so easy, I thought - I can do this! The second one was a bit tougher, but I still felt strong. By the third one I was thinking, just hang in there - only four more driveways to pass. But I did it. It really felt good!

Weight-wise, I'm just past the usual monthly weight gain, and have returned to my lowest weight again, but I'm very much hoping for a drop this weekend and a new low weight. I'll let you know how I go. It feels like I have monthly weight drops now rather than weekly, as I always go back up again with my cycle, but if I'm moving downward overall, however slowly, that's a good thing. :)