A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Time To Purge

It's time to get a bunch of stuff off my chest and out of my brain that I've been carrying around for several weeks.  I'm tired of letting it weigh me down.  I wasn't able to share any of this during the challenge because I wanted it to be upbeat w/o any depressing stuff.  I thought if I kept it to myself it would just go away as time passed, but instead, it seems to be festering.  Using the therapeutic qualities of blogging it out always seems to help when I just get it out....makes it easier to move past it.  It's nothing too major, just a a few little irritating things that bring me down and make me feel bad.

Quite a while back I posted my bat wing pics, telling you that I was starting out with arms that were 17.5" around at the droopiest point.  I set out to improve them by doing tons and tons of arm exercises in the gym, with the main concentration on the triceps.  The trainer at the gym measured them when I joined, and then measured them again with the same tape a month later, and told me they were now 16".  I was unbelievably ecstatic that it looked like there was actually going to be hope for shrinking up my arms.  I worked them out like a mad woman after getting that 16" reading...working 2x as hard as I did the prior month.  About 6 weeks later (which was a few weeks ago), I had the main trainer, Kyle, re-measure them.  He used a different tape measure.  He told me they were 19" around.  WHAT????

He finally found the other tape measure the other trainer had measured them with, and it has a little "snap back" feature, that cinches up part of your arm, giving you a terribly inaccurate reading.  Kyle used that one, and my arm measured 16"....same as it did 6 weeks prior.  Two depressing things here.  Number one....going by the normal tape measure, and not the one with the "snap" feature, my arms were 20.5" when I STARTED...not 17.5".  Number two....I had lost ZERO inches in the last 6 weeks, despite having worked them out at least 2x as hard.  I was shocked, stunned, my heart was in my throat and I was choking on it.  I thanked Kyle for measuring me, then turned to walk out of his office.  He could see I was dying inside.  He said, "Hey...."  I turned to look at him....he patted me on the shoulder and smiled, saying "Cheer up Tammy....it'll happen." 

My eyes filled up with tears immediately and I turned quickly and ran out the door.  I wanted to keep running, straight out the front door, never to return.  I wanted to scream out loud, "NO!!  NO, it WON'T HAPPEN.  I'm going backwards for God's sakes!!  After all this work, after all my effort...I was so deflated.  I trudged over to the treadmill....making myself get on that thing was the hardest thing I'd done in a long, long time.  I really just wanted to go sit in my car and cry and feel sorry for myself.  But I got on the treadmill for 45 mins of cardio...and the tears streamed down my face the entire time.  I couldn't stop them.  I was defeated.  And I'm still feeling defeated over my arms.  I feel like I've got such a huge loose skin issue that no matter what I try to do, nothing's going to fix them except surgery.....a surgery I truly don't think I'll ever be able to afford.  And I've got this problem ALL OVER my body....not just with the arms.  The arms bug me the most because I've never been able to wear short-sleeved shirts or tank tops in public.  It's too embarassing.  I took a pic of my arms this morning to show you just how bad it is.  They're 19" around.  After you look at this....I'll tell you another "arm" story that happened about a week after the gym story.

Now for the next story.  About a week after findout out my TRUE arm size at the gym, I went to Cato's to find a white, summer sweater to wear over my tank tops when I went to the beach.  I've been in this store several times before and have chatted with the always-friendly manager that was working that day.  She has a very bright personality, always smiling and chatting up the customers, constantly laughing out loud, and seems very comfortable in her own skin.  I used to weigh 340 lbs., so I'm a pretty good judge at what certain weights look like, and she has to weigh every bit of 375 lbs. if not more, and I've always been a tad jealous at how comfortable she seems to be with herself at that size.  I wish I could be that way.

So anyway, I walked in and she greeted me the way she always has and I told her what I was looking for and why I needed it.  She was saying, "Oh honey...don't worry about your arms!  You're going to the beach!! Be comfortable and have a great time!!  Besides, it's not like you're ever going to see those people again, so just let loose and enjoy yourself!!"  Well....I let loose right there in the store.  I pulled up my sleeve to show her why I was so self-conscious, and let the big, fat, droopy part fall out of my sleeve and hang there.

I shocked her to bits.  Her eyes grew wide and she started stumbling all over herself.  She said, "OH!  Well...ok..um...hmm...let's see here...(stumbling for something coherent to say)...then says Well you must have lost a bunch of weight!"  I said yes, I've lost over 100 lbs from my highest point.  Her eyes grew wide again, and then they immediately got this "knowing" look in them and she said, "Oh ok...you had gastric bypass" with a smile on her face.  I simply said "no", and smiled back.  She looked puzzled and questioned, "Lapband?"  I said, "No, I did it the old-fashioned way.  I counted calories and started exercising..mostly walking."

Suddenly, she pulled back from me and the smile was gone from her always-cheerful face.  She just said, "Oh, I see." and she wandered away!  Without helping me look for a sweater!  She was suddenly completely disinterested in me and I couldn't believe it.  I felt like she slapped me in the face.  I was almost a little pissed off.  I was PROUD of what I had accomplished the "old-fashioned" way.  I've put in a lot of friggin' hard work to get where I am, albeit I still have a long way to go.  But I didn't say it in a prideful way to her.  I'm just not like that.  I was being as meek as I could, because it was obvious she was nearly 400 lbs. herself, and I didn't want to seem like I was gloating in front of her.  That would have been rude and hurtful to this sweet woman.  But she's the one that shunned ME!!  So after feeling horrible about her reaction to my fat arms, I now couldn't even feel good about the way I lost the weight.  It was almost like she thought I "should" have had weight loss surgery...either the bypass or the lapband.  Almost like that was the "cool" way or something.  As Sheilagh would say, I was gobsmacked.  I wound up finding a sweater and she had another cashier ring me up.  She wouldn't even look at me.  I left the store in a heap.

Next story!!  About a week before I left for the trip, I went to Belk's to look around and see if I could find anything on the clearance racks.  I have VERY few clothes and didn't even have enough shirts to make it through a whole week, but with such a tight budget, I needed to find some cheap stuff, and I wasn't about to go back into Cato's after this last experience.  So I went into Belk's and headed straight for the Plus Size section.  Talk about defeating.  It seems like the closer I get to somewhat normal sizes, the more hideous the plus sizes look to me.  I'm talking about the styles and patterns.  I feel like I'm a 30-something yr. old shopping in a store for 70-something's.  Nothing against the elderly ladies, but you get what I'm saying.  How many granddaughters purposely dress to match what their grandmothers are wearing? 

I was staring across "the aisle", gazing longingly at the "normal" size clothes.  I bit the bullet and crossed the aisle, just to see how far I had to go before I could fit into some of them.  I skimmed the clearance racks and pulled off 4 XL tops.  I went to the dressing room and tried them on, not expecting any of them to fit.  To my surprise, and also my chagrin, ALL of them fit!  I started crying, for a couple of different reasons.  For one, I just never thought I'd get into a size of clothes that didn't have a number in front of the X.  I did post a while back about fitting into an XL gym shirt, that they gave me when I joined....but I thought that was just one shirt and some kind of fluke.  I was a little overwhelmed that all 4 of these XL's fit.

But the 2nd reason I was crying was more overwhelming.  When you get into smaller clothes, it's supposed to be a wonderful, accomplished feeling.  For me though....not so much.  You see, when the clothes get smaller, they also get shorter.  I've stated before that my body shape is like a potato on stilts, and it's the truth.  I have this huge, round, floppy, low-hanging torso/abdomen, and legs that look a lot thinner in comparison.  These tops were fitting around my chest and arms and waist, but they're short, so my stomach hangs out below them.  The ironic thing about this, is they make me feel even MORE self-conscious about my looks than when I was wearing the tent-like 26/28 shirts that were much longer and would come down past my stomach.  I've got a couple of pairs of denim shorts right now that are a size 20.  They're too big in the waist and legs, but I wear them because they don't cling severely to my stomach.  They "just fit" in that area around my stomach and hips.  With these shorter shirts, the shorts look even more hideous.  Here's a pic of one of the XL shirts I bought and one of the size 20 shorts.  I hate the way I look in this outfit.

People keep telling me that if I'll buy tops that actually fit, instead of the too-big ones, then I'll look smaller.  Looking at how this top clings to my tire stack of fat rolls, I'm not so sure I believe that logic.  It makes me feel very self-conscious.  I'm with Sean.  He's always talking about how he can't get past wearing an overshirt, because that's what he's always done for security purposes.  Even though he's lost a ton of weight and looks fantastic....he still has the same mental issues with his clothing.  I'm right there with him...I fully understand. 

Ok....those were all of my pre-vacation issues.  Now it's time for a small vacation re-cap.  I avoided this after I came back....just posting pics for a couple of days so I wouldn't have to actually talk, lol. 

The first night we got to Panama City and were staying in the cheapo hotel, Dwayne actually suggested we make a comprehensive grocery list of things that we could fix for meals in the condo since we knew we weren't going to eat every meal out at a restaurant.  He wanted to find things that were healthy enough for me, but things that he would still eat.  I was so shocked that he was being so pro-active and considerate of me that I nearly fell off the bed!  Especially after he told me he did NOT want to hear me mention the word "calorie" the entire time we were at the beach.  So we cheerfully made our grocery list.  I knew we were shopping at Publix, so I picked up their sales flyer earlier that day when we got in town.

We laid on the bed and looked at the flyer and made our list.  The condo listing said they had a public grilling area, which was just PERFECT, since we both love grilled food.  We were going to grill 2 different nights, and have enough food cooked up to cover 4 days...steaks, chicken, chicken sausages, shrimp...we had it all planned out.  We decided on turkey and ham bagels for breakfast....I was going to use the Thomas Bagel Thins for 110 calories each, and he was going to use the regular Thomas bagels that were on sale BOGO that week.  We were going to get some fresh pineapple, strawberries, and watermelon...fruit that we both like....etc, etc.

The next morning we checked into the condo, put away all of our things, and headed straight back out the door to go to Publix and stock up our kitchen.  I was excited...we had a plan that I could live with!  As we were walking out the front of the lobby, I turned around and said, let's ask them where the grills are so we can go look at them.  We went to the front desk.  They informed us that they didn't have any grills....at all.   None. 

You know how emotional I am, so my heart sank right there.  4 days of planned food right out the window.  Dwayne doesn't really care for broiled or baked meats too much....he was only as positive as he was towards my eating plans because it was going to be grilled.  I didn't say a word, but he knew I was upset.  We got in the car...the store was only a mile away.  No time to make a new grocery list, and I wasn't in the frame of mind to do it anyway.  I was pissed and upset.  When we got to the store, I was flying blind on what to fix for lunches and dinners now, and didn't have much input into what went in the cart.  I did try to get the bagel thins for breakfast.....sold out.  Completely sold out.  But they had a gazillion full-fat bagels that were on sale buy one get one free that week.  He got white, I got whole wheat.

We checked out the fresh fruit.  The pineapple was ruined.  Had brown spots all over it....Dwayne remarked out loud that he couldn't believe they even put it out in the case for sale, it looked so rotten.  The watermelon wasn't even close to being ripe.  It was a whitish/light pinkish color.  He said he didn't want something that was going to taste like rind, and I didn't either.  We ended up with strawberries, bananas and navel oranges.

Anyhoo, the eating sucked.  There was spaghetti, Stouffer's lasagna...and more restaurant meals than we had planned on.  It was bad, and my attitude towards eating was worse.  The alcohol intake wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  We had 3 Corona's one night...3 Killian's another night...and 1 frozen raspberry margarita one day at lunch.  That was it.  However, the water intake wasn't nearly what it should have been either.  In fact, it was nearly non-existent.  Almost like I had totally forgotten what water even was.  Quite the opposite from the gallon a day I normally drink.  There was a lot of Coke and tea and coffee....all caffeinated, which is something else I rarely have these days. 

I came back home on Sunday afternoon and jumped right on the scale.  241 lbs.  I'm in a fog...not back to where I need to be....but I did have the presence of mind to pick Friday after my weigh-in to get back on track.  I don't care if I cry all day long trying to get back in the groove....Friday is the day.  I got back on the scale again this morning.  Still 241 lbs.  Haven't lost, haven't gained since I've been home.  Just maintaining.  Yes...this is the EXACT same weight I was when I started my challenge on April 1st.  Yes, the 4 weeks it took me to lose those 15 lbs.....I gained every single one of them back in 9 days flat.  True...some of it is probably sodium, so when I get back to my gallon of water a day, I expect a big drop in weight my first week.  I think NEXT Friday's weigh-in will be significant. 

I cleaned out my fridge and left it bare before we went to the beach, so I re-stocked it with healthy stuff when I got home.  I've been eating better these last couple of days, but Friday I'll be hitting it full force.  Which brings me around to the topic of whether or not I should post pics of everything I'm eating again.  It helped me 150% in the accountability department....losing 15 lbs in 4 weeks is proof of that.  But I happened across a blog a couple of weeks ago and that said blogs that put up pics of everything they eat in a day are "obnoxious and annoying", lol.  Hmmmm.  I realize that's their opinion, but it definitely made me stop and think.  I wonder if it bores the hell out of a bunch of other people, too.  So I'm not sure about the pics yet.  Still thinking on that one. 

Also, the weather has been gloomy and overcast with a little rain since I got back.  It's hard enough coming back to "reality" with no job to really force you back into a routine....but this crappy weather after the glorious beach weather isn't helping a damn bit, lol.

My brother-in-law came over a couple of days ago and tilled up a little garden spot in the back yard for mom (this is my parents house, I'm renting from them).  My mom doesn't seem to have much more than a couple of tomato plants and maybe a pepper plant to put out there though.  The sun is peeking out today...FINALLY...so I'm considering going to buy some vegetable plants and putting them out there myself.  I think that kind of productiveness will make me feel better.  I've grown a couple of gardens in the past, and the harvest is really a fun time.  It's a great feeling to grow and enjoy your own veggies.

So...I'm slowly coming back to life.  It felt good to vomit out all of those issues I talked about in the first half of this post.  I was tired of carrying them around and keeping them all to myself.....so thanks for listening.  Dwayne is coming over tonight to help me tweak my resume for what seems like the 50th time since I've been unemployed.  I'm still on an extension check, and there's supposed to be another one after this one runs out in June...but I think it's finally time to take my chances with the temp agencies.  This is an even more uneasy feeling than the unemployment checks, because at least those are somewhat guaranteed income....as long as Congress isn't screwing around.  But with temp agencies, there are absolutely NO guarantees on how long a job will last or whether or not it will go permanent.  So a new level of stress is about to ensue, but what's new??  One of these days things have got to get on an even keel.  I've just got to hang in there until it does.  :)


  1. FYI - the girl at that Cato's store is jealous - and rightfully so - you've accomplished SO much doing in the "old-fashioned" way - which is the only way proven to be effective. I know that it's sometimes hard to be proud of your own accomplishments, but you look fabulous a have worked really hard to get there - try to appreciate that! Congratulations on your success!

  2. Thanks so much Tammy, for dumping out all that burden you've been carrying. I'm going to send you an email so I don't write a whole post of my own here, but just know we love you and are behind you 150%. And we know you can get back on track. A lot of that rapid gain is water weight and will go quickly.

    The whole arms and body thing I relate to also. You have great courage to take the pics of them - I posted pics about 6 months ago and haven't changed one iota in the big picture. I need to repost them and become more truly accountable here. I think the gal at Cato was probably shocked that you lost all that weight the hardest way there is, and given that she also has a problem she just couldn't deal with it or you. Had nothing to do with you. Nothing! See, this is why I need to email you...I'm going on too much!

    You're enduring so much with not working, time on your hands, financial uncertainty. Put those strong arms that bear the evidence of your amazing accomplishments of weight loss around yourself and give yourself the biggest hug possible from me. You can do this - I can to. I swear we should do some kind of collaborative effort on kicking it into the high gear we both need! Love you!

  3. I'm sorry about all of the crappy things you have gone through lately. Amy E. is right...that lady at Cato's is just jealous. You have done so much and come so far, you are my inspiration.

    You'll be back on track before you know it and losing weight like crazy again. I know we are our own worst critic but your pictures with the fur baby are beautiful. I think you look great!

    And please don't stop with the food pictures. I like seeing them and even get some ideas for my own menu. ;)

    Keep up the good fight!!!

  4. I'm sure it felt good to get all that off your chest. I enjoyed the challenge posts but kind of missed the "what's going on in real life" honest stuff.

    I saw your comment on Lyn's blog (I think) about your experience with the girl in the store. My opinion is she wanted to believe you did something extreme like gastric bypass or lapband to lose that much weight to make herself feel better. It was her issue, not yours. Lots of overweight people don't want to hear it when you say "eat healthy foods and exercise" because they are still looking for an easier way. Thankfully we've learned that it's not easy but it can be done and you are proof of that.

    I know how frustrating it must be to have lost so much weight and still not be comfortable in your skin. I think it would be good for you to focus on all you've accomplished and how far you've come in this journey. I think you look amazing and you inspire me every day no matter how much skin is hanging from your arms. Having excess skin may be the price we have to pay to get our lives and bodies back. It's still better than carrying around that 100 pounds, right?

    It sucks to regain weight on vacation but hopefully the good times and happy memories will make up for having to lose those pounds all over again.

    I think if posting pictures of what you eat makes you stay on track and more accountable then you should do it but I'd still like to hear about everything else is going on and not just look at posts of what was on the menu for that day.

    I hope the job market starts looking up and you are able to get something that makes you happy and pays enough for you to live on.

    I'm sending good thoughts your way and would love it if you could just see yourself as others see you .... inspiring and beautiful.

  5. Here's some unsolicited advice from a fat woman whose lived long enough to have learned a thing or two--don't think of yourself in such demeaning terms. When I saw the photos you had posted, I thought what great legs that woman has! Nothing about your top being too short or the rolls around your middle--didn't even notice those! On a closer look, I still can't see them. As far as your arms go, okay a little loose skin but who has a perfect body? Still way better than pre-weight loss, I'm sure. Accept the things you cannot change and change the things you can. BTW, you have the cutest little face. Don't be so hard on yourself...

  6. The lady at Cato probably felt adly about herself, not you. You may never know what struggles she is going through in her own life but telling her that you did this all on your own hit a nerve somewhere with her. She may be considering lapband or other surgery and feeling guilty about it. She may have told herself that it's not possible to lose weight without surgery and you held up a big ole mirror and showed her that it is possible. Don't take her reaction personally. The way she acted was because of her own issues.

    I know your arms are bothering you. I don't know how to shrink the skin. I wish had some piece of sage advice. All I can say is to love yourself for who you are right at this moment. Seems cliche, I know. But it's true. I have a big belly roll that sags. Too much weight and two pregnancies. It's just the way it is.

    Youhave done amazing. And I can't believe you think that you look so bad in that shirt in those pics. I think you look great! It fits you nicely.
    It's funny how we see ourselves compared to how other people see us.

    I love reading your blog because you constantly impress me. :)

  7. You want to know what I think is "obnoxious and annoying". Nitpicking other people's blogs. If posting pictures helps you 150% with accountability, then I don't see the downside. This blog is an inspiration and joy for others to read, but when it comes down to it, this blog is for you. Don't let somebody's comment about food pictures deter you from doing what helps you on this journey.

    The girl at Cato: seeing your success was a reflection of what she wanted to believe was impossible. It is hard when you convince yourself that something is just not possible unless you have the thousands of dollars for surgery and then seeing someone blow that theory out of the water. Not an excuse for her rudeness, but definitely a reason.

    Thanks for sharing your ups AND your downs with us Tammy! I'm excited to watch you continue your journey :) :) :)

  8. Tammy, I'm sporting bat wings too. Not sure about the surgery because of the scarring it leaves behind. I guess the best we can do is continue to work those tri's and hope to be blessed in some way that they'll go down. I honestly don't think I'll ever have the balls to wear a sleeveless shirt or dress, but hell, floppy wings on a skinny body is way better than wings on a fat one.

    And screw the Cato chick for walking away after you told her you lost the old fashion way. I agree with Amy and she was probably jealous.

    Loved your vacation pics, btw.

  9. Great catching up with you Tammy. Glad you had a great vacation. I'm sure some of those lbs will come back off. I SOOOO understand the arm thing. I guess we need to learn acceptance of them. I am with the woman at the store though about we should just enjoy ourselves and not worry. I'm not there yet but maybe someday we will be. I sure hope so.

  10. Tammy, I know you probably won't believe this, because I didn't when others told me the same thing, but your arms and that excess "hang" will shrink. Last summer I was so upset at how my upper arms looked, after having lost what...80 pounds AND I was working out like a fiend. Cut to a year and about 25 more pounds later (and of course another year's worth of workouts) and guess what? They HAVE shrunk. The overhang that used to go below my elbow is barely there. They look pretty good from most angles, although if you look at the workout pics I posted on my blog today, you will see one shot where they look very flabby. But most of the time we aren't making those poses, and you can't see it. So there is hope for your arms. Don't be discouraged and don't let that saleswoman project HER issues onto you.

    And as for your eating...you were on vacation, hon. You deserved to enjoy yourself. And now that you're back home, you are back to normal with your eating and the vacation weight will fall back off - it was only temporary, anyway.

    Big hugs to you, my friend. Hang in there.

  11. Listened. Held your hair. I hope that you feel a little better, now. :D

    Boy, do I ever know how much it sucks to re gain already lost weight. Then have to frakkin' lose it, AGAIN!!! Bleargh! But, you have the tools and the know how. You will dump it toot-sweet.

    The manager of that clothing store was a bit rude and cold. I do feel tho that it wasn't altogether intentional. She was probably feeling some shame and envy and wasn't quite sure how to or even if she wanted to face you. Being substantially heavier than someone else in the face of their accomplishment can be overwhelming and cause a pretty strong emotional response. She may also need time to think through the whole "You did it the old fashioned way" thing. Perhaps she has reached a point where she feels that WLS is the only true answer to tackling and conquering obesity. (I personally believe that we all have to do what works best for us... Kick it old school or have surgery. Just get it done. :D)

    Or perhaps I am koo-koo. lol

    Your food pics weren't at all obnoxious. Actually, I am really grateful that you did post them. I got some great ideas from those pics, ideas that are now a regular part of my menu. So, if posting pics of your food works for you, and you enjoy doing it, I say snap and post that food. It's your blog. Post what you danged well want to. :D

  12. Big Bear Hugs My Dear Beautiful Brave Sister across the Pond. I am so glad you have let this all go today, you are going to feel so much better for it.

    Everyone who has commented before me tells you what a Fabulous Woman you are. That woman in the shop really had issues and projected on to you. Let it go. Carry on with the food foto's, I love them. You got me thinking tonight, I need to start posting my food again.

    You look great in that phot you don't like, cracking legs, and I can't see any rolls of fat!!
    You are a gorgeous looking woman, getting gorgeouser by the minute.

    love you


  13. Hi Tammy. I agree with many other commenters who've said that the shop manager was jealous. She obviously feels that she could never lose weight the traditional way. I understand her feelings of helplessness. In a way it just shows that you are doing a great job and achieving something which is beyond many people.

    You are brave to post pictures of the upper arms. I know that I can never wear a sleeveless top in public. Or a swimsuit. Or any shorts which don't come as far down as my calves. But at least if I can lose weight then I will be confident with a covered up body rather than not confident at all ever.

    I think your food pictures were a great idea. Some people might not like that sort of thing - but people who are supporting you will be happy for you to do anything that helps you to your goal.

    Thanks for sharing this stuff Tammy. LOTS of us have major body hangups which will never go away - well, I'm hoping I'll get over it when I'm 80 LOL!

    Bearfriend xx

  14. Hey Tammy, Just wanted to say that I agree with everyone else that the saleswoman was projecting her jealousy and shame onto you, don't take it personally! You are doing a fabulous job and are looking wonderful! Don't know what to tell you about the arms except I believe they will eventually get smaller if you just press on! I personally loved that you were posting pictures of your food. It was interesting and it gave me some ideas. You are truly an inspiration to many of us!

  15. Tammy,

    I'm with Ice Queen. She held your hair, I bathed your face with a wet cloth.

    If I had your legs, I would own the world!

    And please keep it up with the food pics. Your blog has been the first I checked every day for the past month!

    You know what to do to get back on track. You have lost over 100 lbs, girl! Chin up!

  16. Gotta say I also am J E A L O U S as HELL about your legs girl! Dang! Don't sweat the small stuff - your batwings will shrink. I've heard the same thing from someone else that over time the skin will shrink - just give it some time. And hell's bells! Girl you have accomplished so much! Give yourself some props and stop beating yourself up. Love your blog and you go right ahead and keep posting those food pics - I thought it was awesome! You've given me some great ideas!

  17. Many of the other comments I think have all given great advice.

    I think you did a very healthy and cathartic thing so all I can say is that I'm very proud of you and know that you'll get to where you want to go.

  18. Hi Tammy! I came over here from Lyn's blog, after I saw your comment about gastric by-pass, or rather the fact that you chose to do it through diet and exercise only, at the advice of your dad.

    I love how real you are, and will be back. Too many weight loss blogs only highlight the great part about losing weight, and not the psychological struggle. Like I said, thank you so much for keeping it real. :)

  19. Hey Tammy! Thank you for being so honest, it really helps knowing that other people go through struggles too. You keep it very real. Have faith! :-)

  20. You are such a beautiful woman. And I mean that in more ways than one.

    I understand the bat wing issue for sure. I think eventually they will go down... but if they don't it does not make us any less. It is just a battle scar.

    I love how the top looks on you BTW. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts. They're helpful to me as I ponder my own feelings. Sending you hugs and hoping you find peace and comfort!

  21. I think you look really good in that picture. I don't know why you hate it, really I don't.

    I love reading your blog, if you want to post pictures, then do it. If people don't want to see food pictures, they can just skim by them.

  22. Hey.
    I agree. The minute you opened your mouth and said Diet and exercise was the minute that woman turned and ran.
    It had nothing to do with you. I didn't notice your 'fat rolls' either.
    You look good.
    YOur arms. You have loose skin.
    Someday maybe you could get it taken care of with skin removal surgery...but exercising your arms..Not a waste of time...it's a good thing to do.
    Here is the question to ask yourself.
    Are you happier. Are you healthier?
    I am glad you got this off your chest. and When I look at you I think you look a ton better and a ton happier.

  23. Wow Tammy. All of my blogging friends seem to be going through things!!! That lady in Cato - pray for her since it is obvious that she isn't as happy with herself as you thought. It really is sad that she reacted that way to you, but when you are constantly shielding how you really feel about your own weight and someone tells you they've lost 100 lbs through hard work and discipline, it knocks that shield right to the ground and dang near buries it!

    I pray you find employment soon. The stress of that has GOT to be draining. I can only imagine...something will happen for you soon!!!!

    Yes...now you already know your body and you know half those 15 lbs are sodium!!!! Don't get too upset, plus you lost the weight so that you could enjoy yourself on vacation right? So it'll be off again in no time flat!

    As for your arms...Tammy I must admit I was shocked also. But I'm lady at Cato (her 1st comment that is) - WHO CARES! Honestly...most of us have that one part of our body that when it is not covered by clothes people would not BELIEVE how big it is!!! People find out how much I weigh and they nearly topple over onto the floor. My calves NEVER EVER EVER fit into regular sized knee boots, even when I am at my goal weight. I won't lie to you, your arms are larger than I thought when I was just reading about it, but girl....when you look at all you've accomplished...no need to get depressed over YOUR ARMS! And as your trainer said, it will happen. It may take months or even a year or 2, but keep at it! It will happen.

  24. Oh girl...I really relate to how you feel.

    The girl in the store...was probably more upset that she is heavy and knows that she will have loose skin if she ever loses weight. There is a misconception out there that if you lose weight without gastric you will not have loose skin. Not so. When I lost my 160 lbs...people didn't believe me about the skin. They would say...but you didn't have gastric. Ummm...yea...so....it still happens.

    Keep your chin up. You are more than your arms. You are a beautiful person.

    I relate to the weight gain too. A lot of it is probably sodium, but it's still frustrating. Just keep plugging at it. One moment at a time.

    You never cease to amaze me. You fall and get back up and tell us about it. You are really one of the reasons I continue to blog even when I'm stinking at the whole weight loss thing. You are one strong woman!!

  25. It's good you got that all off your chest. That's what this blog is for. :)

    I'm sorry you had that negative experience at Cato's. The woman probably reacted the way she did because, even if she seems very comfortable in her skin, I'm willing to bet she's tried to lose weight a few times and wasn't able to do it. So seeing someone who did lose a significant amount of weight, and without a doctor having to alter your stomach to do it, probably upset her and she didn't know how to react to it. I think it's awesome that you have lost that much through will power and smart choices. You're an inspiration, Tammy.

    As for the new clothes...I think that outfit looks great on you. First of all, your legs look great. And the top doesn't look bad at all. It might cling to you more than you're used to, but it's definitely not too tight. I think you'll get used to it in time. :) But yes, it is annoying how the smaller the shirt is, the shorter it is. I have a long torso, but am also small, and I don't know why designers assume that if you're a small size, you're also very short. I mean, all the models out there are tall! Just doesn't make sense to me.

    And about posting pictures of your food everyday, I don't mind at all. Your blogs is one of my favorites, and even when you were doing that I still looked forward to reading your posts. This blog is supposed to be something that helps YOU be accountable and lose weight. So if people don't like that you need to post pictures to do that, then that sucks for them. I'll still follow. :)

  26. Just found your blog and wanted to send you a quick comment. You look great in the outfit, I have no idea what makes you think otherwise. Just an outsiders opinion.