Category Archives: Non-Scale Victories

Amazing August

I think my Report Card for July Goals is a big fat Zero.

July Goals:

1. Heal! Be 100%.

2. Make Sun Tea.

3. Train for Hood to Coast.

4. Have a picnic.

5. Try Trail running for the first time.

I suppose I’ve technically been training for Hood to Coast with every single workout I do (even workouts that don’t involve running)….but for the most part, I accomplished nothing in July. My July Goals SHOULD have been:

1. Heal.

2. Survive House Guest-Palooza.

3. Finish installing the kitchen floor.

4. Train for Hood To Coast.

If those had been my goals, I think I’d be in better shape right now. So in light of that, I’m going to be very easy with my goals for August:

August Goals


2. Survive Hood to Coast.

3. ENJOY Hood to Coast.

4. Recover from Hood to Coast.

Noticing a theme here? 😉

QUESTION: What are you goals for August?


Pregnancy and Weight

Photo by Mercy McNab

Photo by Mercy McNab


Age: 39

Pre-pregnancy weight: 157 lbs

Height: 5’2

Size: 12

1. When is your due date?

The doctor said August 20th and my midwife used a calendar of my actual cycles and came up with August 29th.

2. Before you got pregnant, were you worried about the weight gain involved with being pregnant?

I started out overweight.  I wanted to lose 15 pounds before I got pregnant but it happened much quicker than we had planned. I was very worried about the weight gain. My sister had put on a lot of weight during her pregnancy and had a hard time losing it after. She also had gestational diabetes so I worried about that too. But once I got pregnant my concerns were more on the health of the baby.

3. How much weight did you gain during your pregnancy?

So far I have gained about 25 pounds. The last three pounds I gained recently. I actually have been worried about not gaining enough weight. The first trimester I did not want to eat. I didn’t have morning sickness; I just couldn’t stand the idea of food, especially vegetables. I worried my baby wasn’t getting enough nutrition, but the doctor told me it was normal during the first trimester to have strange eating habits.

4. Did you have any secondary issues arise because of the weight gain?

I had health issues before getting pregnant which include arthritis and IBS. Doctors warned me that pregnancy would aggravate these issues, but I had no problems with either the first two trimesters.  Now my knees are really hurting me. I cannot kneel or bend down too much. It is painful to take stairs. I am having digestion issues because the baby is bigger and my stomach is being pushed up so high.  I also hit the borderline of gestational diabetes. I didn’t have it but I was close so I changed my diet. Now I try to avoid sugar and when I eat carbs I make sure I eat protein with them. I’m back in the safe zone now; I don’t have diabetes.

Aside from health issues I am uncomfortable with the extra weight. I can’t cross my legs, I get easily short of breath, and my feet are very swollen. I went up a whole shoe size, from a 7 ½ to an 8 ½.

5. Are you worried about losing the weight after the baby is born?

I am actually not too worried about losing the weight after birth. The pregnancy has forced some good eating habits on me. I gave up caffeine from the start of my pregnancy and that has actually made me more energetic and focused. Watching my sugar intake has helped me see how much sugar is in everything. Since I have cut back on sugar my moods have been more stabilized and I feel calmer. I plan to breastfeed and I hear that will help my metabolism and help burn off the extra weight. If I keep eating the way I do now I think I’ll probably end up better off than I was before pregnancy.

6. What kind of physical activity did you do during your pregnancy? Was it difficult?

I am embarrassed to say I did very little physical activity other than working (I am a kindergarten teacher). I joined a gym before I got pregnant and after I found out I was pregnant I had big plans to work out through out my pregnancy, but, I had no idea of the energy a growing baby would take. I was exhausted all of the time. I think if I had a habit before pregnancy it would have been fine.

A few weeks ago my husband and I joined a community swimming pool and I started swimming. I plan to have natural childbirth and I heard that you should work out in some way not so much to control weight but to have endurance. I wish I had started swimming sooner. It feels really great, especially on my joints.  I tried long walks earlier but the pressure my baby had on my bladder made it hard to go far without having to use a bathroom. Swimming is the ideal form of exercise for me. We try to go three days a week.

7. What were the most surprising changes your body went through?

I am from a family of seven, all girls and one boy, I’m the youngest. I’m the last to have a child so I knew very well my body would physically change. I think the most surprising changes my body went through were internal. I imagined when I got pregnant I would eat everything in sight and my change of appetite was surprising. I also expected to have problems with my IBS and arthritis, and not only did pregnancy not complicate these issues but I actually lived the first two trimesters as though they never existed. I have a skin condition on my face and my dermatologist warned me I’d get brown spots on my face known as “pregnancy mask” but I didn’t. I think pregnancy has made me a healthier person.  I am shocked because like I said I couldn’t eat as well as I had planned, got little exercise, and started off with health issues.

8. What does your husband think about your body changes?

My husband is beyond wonderful when it comes to the changes in my body. I think it is just natural for a woman to feel less attractive when she has an extra 25 pounds on her and her body is being reshaped.

First of all, my husband loves curves on a woman and is always telling me how great I look. That is so wonderful to hear. I’ll be blunt, my breasts are changing shape and just looking very different to me, but my husband has this great attitude that my breasts are for the baby now and are being shaped for what they are naturally intended to do.  He has helped me find a different view of my body. Up to this point I related to my body physically as a sexual part of me. Now I see it as functional-almost as an object detached from whom I am inside. It is a bit freeing. I am about to turn 40 in a few weeks and I think this helps, accepting my body is just going to change no matter what. My husband is more accepting of it than me.

I went most of my pregnancy without stretch marks but recently they appeared and I was sad about it. My husband said “They will be there to remind you of this time when you carried the baby.” As I approach my last weeks of pregnancy I am beginning to feel a sense of loss, of not having the baby in me after all of this time. I love feeling the baby move and kick. It truly is a magical feeling for me, and seeing the stretch marks as a souvenir of this time puts a positive spin on things.

9. Any advice for women expecting, or wanting to become pregnant?

My advice to women who are expecting is, your body is going to change. Embrace it. I met a woman who told me she hit 300 pounds in her pregnancy and a friend talked her into having a photo shoot dressed as a belly dancer. She thought this was crazy but did it anyway and she loved it. Get a henna design put on your belly, wear clothes that show off your new breasts and belly, pose for a life drawing, or hire a professional photographer. Take pictures of your belly, your swollen feet and double chin, they are all part of having a baby.  Celebrate these changes.

To people around a pregnant woman, please be positive about our physical looks. We know we are “getting so big”. Tell us how great we look, that we glow, look happy, focus on the baby and not the extra weight.


Thank you Rae for answering these questions so honestly! I think a lot of my readers can relate to this. Many gained weight with pregnancy and are trying to lose it, and I’m sure there are others like me who want to have kids someday and worry about the body changes.

QUESTION: Moms out there, do you have advice for new moms about losing weight?

Marina Walk and Contemplation

Today is my rest day–and well deserved one at that. I did an intense 6.5 mile hill run last Friday, an intense stair-master/weight workout Saturday, Swim on Sunday AND Monday. Plus all the walking I do. So today I decided to take it easy.

I walked part of the Waterfront (where I run at lunch) but instead of crossing the Hawthorne Bridge (pictured above) I kept walking on the Westside of the river. I’d forgotten that the Marina had a walkway that kept going passed the bridge!

There were a bunch of nice restaurants on the Marina that I honestly hadn’t known about, or had forgotten about. I will definitely be going back for dinner there sometime.

It was a brisk walk. I could see the Sellwood Bridge in the distance and at first I thought I could maybe make it to the bridge and then back. However, the path stopped short at a beach. 😦

I had been plotting a new running route that took me over the Sellwood Bridge and through Sellwood, back towards downtown on the OMSI side. Plans thwarted. Oh well! Maybe when they someday finish the Marina path I can try that.


While I was walking, I tried to think about all the things that I am thankful for with my weight loss. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how far I’ve come and get too wrapped up in those “last few pounds.” So I reminded myself of all the things I hated and then listed all the things I LOVE about my new body.

Things I Hated When I Was Fat

  • Underwear: No, thongs and bikinis did not look good on me at 250 pounds. Nothing like Granny Panties!
  • Pantyhose: Nothing like buying a a humongous size of pantyhose and STILL feeling like a sausage. 😦 And calling it a “Queen” size doesn’t make it any more flattering.
  • Chairs at School: I remember one of my “I am DONE being fat” moments happened in college. One of my classes actually had those chairs that are connected to the desk. And it was tiny. And there was no way I could fit in that chair. But I also didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that I didn’t fit so I squeezed into the desk. And could barely breathe.
  • Going to concerts and movies: Having to see “the look” of strangers who are annoyed about the fat girl getting up to use the bathroom and attempting to squeeze by them to get to the isle.
  • Going to the beach: Seeing cute girls in bikinis and I’m wearing shorts and big t-shirt. Seeing the attention the girls in the thongs get, and feeling like seaweed that just washed ashore.
  • Doctor’s Offices: Being weighed in public and having the nurse make a face when seeing the number. Or having the doctor nag yet again that you need to lose weight, or that your blood pressure is too high.
  • Big Thighs: Yes, it’s called chafing. The act of thighs rubbing together when walking. Evident by the worn-out holes on the inner thigh of pants. Which, by the way, are impossible to patch.
  • Stretch Marks: Despite what infomercials say, NOTHING really gets rid of stretch marks. Even if you lose all the weight. I once had a boyfriend say it looked like Freddy Kreuger clawed my stomach. Thanks. Guess what? He wasn’t a boyfriend much longer.
  • Victoria’s Secret: Getting dirty looks from the size double zero girls that work there. And of course, having to buy the “lingerie dresses” because the REALLY sexy stuff didn’t really fit.
  • Riding the Bus: Never being offered a seat by anyone on the bus. Just because I was fat. Then seeing a guy give up his seat a few minutes later to a petite little blond in heels.
  • The “Muffin Top” Look.
  • Eating Out: Walking into a restaurant and wondering if I could fit in a booth or should I request a table (which also happens to be in the middle of the restaurant of course).
  • “When Are You Due?”: Being mistaken for being pregnant. When you’re not. In fact, you’re not even dating someone. “But thanks for asking.”
  • Crossing My Legs: The first time I was able to cross my legs when sitting in my chair was a SHOCKER! I hadn’t been expecting it, and boy was it awesome. 🙂


  • Being able to cross my legs when sitting in a chair.
  • Finally fitting into that size “Small”.
  • Not yoyo-ing sizes.
  • Being able to swim a mile and a half without stopping to rest (or breathe).
  • Being able to bike 55 miles in Reach the Beach.
  • Doing active things for fun–like hiking, biking and running.
  • Running an 8k without walking or stopping.
  • Inspiring others to lose weight.
  • Shopping in Victoria’s Secret–without the dirty looks, and being able to buy exactly what I want instead of what “fits.”
  • Being known in my office building as “The Runner” (even by people I don’t even know). This one is my favorite. 🙂
  • Actually being able to complain that clothes in the store aren’t “small enough” so I had to go to the Junior sizes.
  • Wearing a sexy dress in public and being CHECKED OUT! 😀

QUESTION: What do you love about your body?

Hating Your Body

Do you ever hate your body?

When I was 250 I went through weird stages where I’d love my body and flaunt it, then I’d go through stages where I hated my body. The stomach rolls. The thighs rubbing. The big arms. The double chin.

I lost weight because I became stuck in that “I hate my body” phase and realized there was a different way of living out there. I lost weight because my body HURT all the time.

Well last week I was hating my body again. I was so damn MAD at my body. Thoughts like “I didn’t lose 110 pounds to still hurt!” My injury deflated me. I felt betrayed, I felt broken. I felt really pissed off at my body like it was the ENEMY.

Many times in my weight loss journey I looked at my “fat” as the demon I was trying exorcise. I wanted to get rid of that and never see it again.

Last week was the first time since I was “fat” that I felt like my body was the Enemy. I kept thinking, “How could I lose so much weight and be soooo healthy and still get injured?” And I thought, “How can so many other people run and not get injured?”

I did everything right. I didn’t increase my speed or distance too fast. I gradually increased my speed over MONTHS of training. Yes I added stairs to my routine recently, but I had been doing that damn stair-master all winter long. Doesn’t that count for something? Sheesh!

I still can’t answer any of these questions. My hope is that I am healing and healed soon. I don’t want to injure myself further. But I also don’t want to be sidelined for the entire summer season. I have Hood to Coast in 2 months and I want to be 100% for that!

I woke up this morning wondering if I would be in pain from yesterday’s run. I wasn’t! There were no twinges, no aches, no strains. I felt okay but I wanted to take it easy anyhow.

Today is my Rest Day and I’m taking it easy.  I want to be able to heal. So far today I’ve been pretty upbeat and happy. Not being in pain changes your outlook drastically and I am crossing my fingers that the healing has begun!

July Weigh-In

This month’s weigh in isn’t very exciting. I haven’t lost much of anything…maybe about half a pound. I was disappointed when I got on the scale and saw no change. 😦

No change could be from a lot of things…getting into an exercise rut, being injured and taking it easy, over-indulging at events and vacations, and…..

…..drinking more alcohol (why is it that summertime = alcohol?).

I measured and saw a change, however. I lost about 1/2 an inch around everywhere except my waist where I lost a whole inch! Sweet! I’ll take it. My hope is that I heal quickly and can get back to training. Maybe next month I will see a change!

QUESTION: How do you change your thinking when it goes to the negative side?

Vanity Sizing

“Size Zero is the new Size 6!”

Have you ever heard of something called “Vanity Sizing”?

Times Online has a good article about Vanity sizing here. Basically, manufacturers mislabel their clothes to make us shoppers think we can fit into a size we really AREN’T. “Vanity sizing” [is] defined as “a ploy in which stores flatter women by making clothes bigger so they think they are buying a smaller size.”

There is no way I can walk into any store and just pick up “my size” and walk out. I have to try on everything. Recently, I had to buy a new pair of jeans. I went to Kohl’s and grabbed a bunch of different brands off their clearance rack and tried them on. With many of the brands–including the Kohl’s brand–I was a size 4! Size 4! I was surprised. Then I tried on a pair of Levi’s jeans. In those I was a size 6 and it was a tad snug. How does that happen?

There is no consistency between stores. I remember when I was overweight and I’d shop for clothes I kept thinking “This XXL is really small!” At Target it was an XL, at Wa-lmart a similar short was a L. Now if I go to a Wal-mart and pick up a Small or Extra Small I’m swimming in it. So what size am I? I have no idea.

We shouldn’t care about the number, or be influenced by the number. Instead, we should care if they fit right. But we are obsessed as a culture with the numbers. The number on the scale, the size on the tag, it’s what we focus on. A tip my aunt gave me once: cut out all the tags after you buy them.

So does vanity sizing work? Do you find that you shop at the stores where you’re a size 8 as opposed to the store where you’re a size 10? Is your self-esteem attached to the number on the tag? And even though the Size 6 Levi’s fit the same as the Kohl’s Size 4, why didn’t I buy the Levi’s? I admit, I bought the Kohl’s ’cause it was a size 4. I am guilty of buying into vanity sizing.

Especially when it comes to SPANDEX. Can we all let out a collective groan please? Spandex bike shorts are an evil necessity. I want the support. I want the extra padding for my butt. But dammit why are they in European sizes? For months I refused to buy a Large in bike shorts. Michael nagged me and told me I’d be more comfortable and not to pay attention to the size because it’s “Italian Sizing” blah blah blah. In my mind I kept thinking, “I did NOT lose 100 pounds to wear a LARGE in anything!” I just couldn’t do it.

I now have that pair of Sugoi bike shorts that was sent to me. They are a large and YES they are more comfortable and bit more flattering than my mediums. I admit it.

QUESTION: So how do you shop? Do you buy the size or the fit?

Body Image Stuggles

My post yesterday seemed to touch a nerve with a lot of readers. I got a lot of really great comments and private emails:

Lori at Finding Radiance said:  “I really struggle with body image. Sometimes I see myself as size 8, other times I think I look closer to the old me at 250 pounds. It does seem to be getting better with time, but not sure if that will ever go away. You have to shift your focus to the positive. If you dwell on the negative, then it breeds upon itself.”

And one of my favorites from Lisa at Bike, Bake Blog: “What a refreshing post……it can be so easy to focus on the negative sometimes – but I consciously try to turn it around and focus on the positives instead. Such as – instead of “argh I have put on weight” – I remind myself that “I have done 10 races in 6 months and have never been fitter”. A little extra weight is not the end of the world?!

I took Kelly’s advice from My Healthy Passion: “I allow myself to wallow for a few days. I almost think it is healthy to allow myself to be in a bad mood. Then after some good wallowing (and usually a few tears…crying ALWAYS makes me feel better) I make myself focus on the positive things.”

I wallowed a bit and feel MUCH better today. I think having a great run yesterday helped that. It reminded me that my body does great things.

So why ARE we so hard on ourselves? Upbringing, media, poor parenting, blah blah blah…

I plan on changing that. As I stated in my post about June Goals, I’m going to think positive thoughts.

Some other things we can all do:

1. Be realistic. My body type/genetics is never going to be a size Zero.

2. Appreciate what my body can do at it’s current weight and size.

3. Don’t punish myself for overeating by overexercising.

4. I only weigh myself once a month for a reason: it’s to NOT obsess about the number on the scale.

5. Test yourself. Try something new. Be impressed with your abilities.

QUESTION: Did I miss anything? How do you think positive thoughts?

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Lastly, I want to profile another weight loss success story. Please email me at 110pounds at gmail dot com.

Monthly Weigh-In

This morning I did my monthly weigh-in and measurements.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped on the scale. It’s a about a week before I’d normally weigh-in but the timing for this month fell that way.

I thought for sure I’d be down quite a bit since last month’s weight in. Michael and I had been biking an insane amount in preparation for Reach the Beach. Every weekend for over a month we biked. Saturdays were our long bike ride days.

April 2010

But I also didn’t factor in that because of all the intense training and the Reach the Beach ride, I was also eating a lot more to fuel my body.

The result? I did not lose inches this month. I think I lost about 1/2 an inch around my waist but everything else measured the same as last month.

I did, however, lose 2.6 pounds! A loss is a loss. I don’t mind that it wasn’t a massive loss this month. I felt great during Reach the Beach, I recovered amazingly fast, and my running has become faster! Those are all Non-Scale Victories that I can celebrate!

Monthly Weigh-In: 151.2 pounds

Check out my Current Weigh In and Measurements Page.

December 2009

Since I stopped taking those pills in March, I’ve lost a total of 8.3 pounds. And not only that, I had to buy a new pair of jeans on Sunday. I’m down from a size 6 to a size 4! I’ll take it!