Category Archives: Weight

Before and after photos ~ Rachel and Dave

Sorry I’ve been MIA since we left for vacation. I can’t seem to get back into the swing of blogging…Dave is always reminding me to post and then I forget to do it!

Anyways…as Dave will tell you down below, we are going to my cousin’s wedding at the end of the month. I assumed I needed to go shopping for a dress, because I didn’t think I had anything in the closet that would work. Well, I peeked in the closet and saw a dress that I bought years ago and have never worn. It never really fit me…and if it did fit me, I (for whatever reason) didn’t feel confident enough to wear it. Well, I tried it on. It fit. In fact, by the end of September, it might even be a little loose…but I will work with safety pins if I have to. I was so excited that I could wear this dress because I seriously love it. The thought of shoe shopping for it didn’t thrill me, but I would deal with it!

That whole dress situation…coupled with Dave trying on (and getting rid of) all of his clothes…made me want to do before and after photos. I knew my physical changes weren’t quite as dramatic as Dave, but they were still something. So I dug up a couple of pictures and tried on the old clothes. With my weight loss, the most dramatic change is in my butt and legs. I put on the size 22 jeans I was keeping as a frame of reference and they were, um, a tad LOOSE. I had some serious droopy drawers. The dress was a bit big too. So all in all, I felt pretty good about all of that! Check out the evidence below.

I can’t wait to wear my fancy dress and the awesome shoes I got to go with it and stand next to my handsome husband who is going to be stylin’ at my cousin’s wedding in a few weeks. Just wait until you see THOSE pictures!

Oh yeah…as of weigh-in this past Saturday, I’m down a total of 58lbs since the beginning of February!

Rachel before and after

And now it is my turn!!!  Alright so this past weekend we went through all of my clothes in the closet.  The reason being is I had a fair amount that were too big and people kept telling me as such.  Plus in Weight Watchers they tell us not to keep the too big clothes for that “in case you need it again” way of thinking.  All that does is give you an excuse to relapse.

So we were going through everything.  Rachel’s cousin is getting married at the end of September and that meant I had to try on dress clothes as well.  Now first off, I HATE dress clothes.  I get to work in t-shirts and jeans and I could not be happier.  But I digress.  So it was time to try on the dreaded dress clothes.  Everything was a bit large which was not bad honestly, it was a nice confidence booster.  Then we go to the suit and shirt I wore to Rachel’s step brothers wedding in 2009.  If you look at the picture the suit and shirt were tight back then.  On that note I will let the picture speak for itself.

Dave before and after

So needless to say it does not fit anymore.  It also means I had to go clothes shopping which always sucks.  But Rachel and I came up with a really cool outfit for me that I am excited to wear and will share once pictures of it surface!

Also this past weigh in I was down 3.4 pounds for a total loss of 82.2 pounds!!!!  Rockin!

Vacation is over ~ Dave

So Rachel and I made it through the insanity of our vacation and the few weeks leading up to it.  And as nice as it was to not be at work and to be relaxing, I am also glad to be home.  But let’s recap.

Rachel’s dad planned a vacation for his family which included her dad and step-mother, biological brother and his daughter, her step-sister and her husband and daughter, her step-brother and his wife and their son and daughter and us.  We got in our car and headed down to St. Augustine for the first leg of the trip where we met everyone but Rachel’s brother who was flying.  It was a long drive and a bit stressful especially when Rachel was behind the wheel.  She is a bit of a crazy driver but is much less vocal than myself.  Then the next day we hit the “outlet” mall before the final leg of the trip to Palm Beach.  I put outlet in quotes as it no longer means what it used to.  Most if not all the stores are just regular stores with a small clearance section.  When I was growing up an outlet mall meant it was all close out specials and sales.  We did pick up a few things, Rachel found some new clothes at Lane Bryant and she learned she was a smaller size than she thought!!  I got a new Star Wars t-shirt in my soon to be smaller size (it is so close to fitting) and of course we hit up Yankee Candle and grabbed some Coconut Bay candles though one broke in transport.  I also had to hit up a 7-11 for a slurpee which was a childhood favorite.  I got the Strawberry Lemonade and the first words out of my mouth were it tastes like Sugar and Diabeetus!


We got to the Marriott in Palm Beach and got checked in and moved in.  We were sharing a 2 bedroom villa with her dad and step-mom and the siblings with kids all shared a 3 room villa.  From our room we could see part of the pool and a sliver of ocean but from the 3 room it had a full ocean view.  Thankfully this was also the party room as once the little ones went to bed they would sleep through near anything!  Here is a picture of the view from the party room.


The rest of our vacation went like this.  Wake up, workout or jog, breakfast, pool, lunch, pool and beer, dinner, drinking and games.  It was a hell of a routine to upkeep I will say that.  All hat lounging at the pool was tough.  For the most part Rachel and I stuck to our points as best we could.  Beer got the best of me though and once I got drinking I also got snacking.  But we were on vacation so I was not sweating it honestly.

As for exercise we did the following.  One morning we went to the beach and walked and did jog a little bit in the surf.  It actually was not too bad and we did not hate ourselves for it.  The next day we went to the resort gym which was very very hot.  There was little moving air and it just got stuffy in there really fast, so we went the one time only.  I started the Couch to 5k program I downloaded: Zombie 5k.  It is a cool game as not only does it train you for a 5k, but it also has a story to it.  I was able to finish two days of the Zombie 5k and each day walked and jogged 2.3 miles average.  Two other days Rachel went out walking and jogging with me and that was fun.  The only downfall to this outdoor activity was that come 7am it was close to 90 degrees outside and probably 85% humidity or higher.  I would come back soaked from head to toe.

One night Rachel’s dad and step-mother watched the little ones so all of the siblings could go out together.  We walked down the street to Johnny Longboats.  It was a typical seafood bar/restaurant on the beach.  It was fully opened to the air flow from outside and the decor was your typical “fancy” dive.  The food was also rather good and I did okay.  I got a boil which was tasty except it was drowned in some thick butter sauce which actually detracted from the taste.  Rachel had the grouper in a bag and she loved it and we ended with a key lime tart which was good except for the neon green sauce that was on top of it.

dinner out

Thursday we had to check out and our trip took us to Orlando for a night to see some old friends.  We met everyone at Raglan Road which is our favorite destination in Downtown Disney.  It was great to catch up and see people, but sadly our trip was at an end.


Friday we drove back and here is where things got interesting…  First off traffic was a steady nightmare, no one could figure their head from their ass and they surely showed it while driving.  Second off, our lunch meat had gone south a day or two previous so we had to toss it.  This meant food on the road.  We toyed around in the Weight Watchers app to look for something that was okay that sounded good.  We settled on Popeye’s as I loved it when I lived in Florida and you can’t get it in NC.  Plus the points value was not horrid.  Keep in mind it had been about 9 months since we had fast food and it was tasty, but so salty!  Well my body rejected it once we got home.  I thought we had just visited Mexico and I drank a few gallons of the water.  Never ever ever again!  I will say my body is happy to be back to our normal food intake.

Happily our lives are back to normal.  We did weigh in and I was up 3.4 pounds.  For two weeks that was not bad and it all ended up being water weight as that plus more has since dropped off.  I have also completed week 1 of Zombie 5k but the GPS on my phone can’t handle the track at the gym and therefore my total mileage is rather off.  If I had to guess I would state I have hit just over 7 miles in the 3 days I did the program.  Rachel is promising a post on Friday so here is to hoping.

Zoom zoom zoom ~ Dave

I had a hard time thinking of a post.  My brain is mush recently and our vacation is less than a week away.  I need this vacation!!  I have busted my ass this year at work and in life and I need some me time.  Granted my me time will involve running on the beach in the mornings.  That should be fun though both of my older pairs of Brooks are about to have holes in the bottom, so it does not matter which one I ruin.  (Goodbye shoes, you served me well!)  And I am going to do as much as I can in our room with my core and legs, squats and planks here I come!!!  But I digress.

First let’s start off with the weight loss.  I weighed in without Rachel this past weekend as she was in Bethesda for a conference.  It’s a shame she wasn’t there.  Because I lost 3.8 pounds. That brings my Weight Watchers total loss to 41.8 and my overall total to 75 pounds even!!!  Woo go me!!  And I am slowly catching up to Rachel for weight lost on WW, muahahahah.  Though I will say she is amazing and keeps kicking ass and taking names on her weigh ins.  I am noticing a trend where I have a big loss one week and the next a very small loss, rinse and repeat.  Annoying yes, but at least I have recognized the trend and am not getting flustered by it.

As I was reading my daily sites today I cam across this image:

Look at that folks and let it all sink in!  Really think about what the diet industry has trained people to think and eat!  It’s ridiculous and infuriating!  On top of it there was an article about how fast food could be healthy and I think Rachel wanted to post on that.  But then I found this damn OP-ED about how the Double Cheeseburger from McDonald’s is the best thing ever!  NO NO NO NO NO!!!  And some of the topics this hits on are true and maybe I do get on my high horse about fresh produce and foods.  But one thing it infers is that the average person does not have time to prepare dinners from fresh food.  This is not true.  Rachel and i both work and she finds time to make our dinners ahead of time.  I make breakfast in the morning after getting up early and taking the dogs out.  Now yes there are some cases where there is not time, I will admit some people really do have it hard, but there is always a point in time where you could pre-make some meals and have healthier options.

Okay off the high horse and on to the title.  I will make this quick as I do not have all the details.  So I had an idea and told Rachel about it.  She likes the idea.  My goal is once I figure out my goal weight and I reach it, we go on a trip somewhere awesome with a jungle or mountain forests and we find a zip line place to go through or over said forest/jungle.  Heights scare the crap out of me when standing, but sitting it’s not an issue and being strapped into that harness sure will help.  So that is my goal!

Have a great week folks, I know i will as we get to go to Beer, Bourbon and BBQ on Friday night!  Woot!!

Uh oh! ~Dave

First off Happy Birthday Rachel!

But wait, what’s this?


What is that you say?  Why is there a big 10% image over here?  Because I have now lost 10% of my starting Weight Watchers weight!!!  That’s right as of this past Saturday I have dropped over 36 pounds on Weight Watchers for a grand total of over 70 pounds lost!!  I really don;t have much else to say right now as work is busy and I am also spending a lot of time on the loseit subreddit.  I find it inspirational to read people’s stories.

But I just wanted to stop in, share the good news and thank the Academy and my Mom and Dad and of course God and Charles Darwin and my wife!  Longer post later this week when I have some more time.

Who the, what the, where the? ~ Dave

So this place has been silent since March 3rd. I am only here to fill in some small gaps for those of you that actually read this and are not spammers.

1) In blog news, I now require all comments get approved.  There were a few spam comments and I am trying to avoid that.

2) Rachel is still hard at work on her dissertation.  She has turned in the first draft of her fist article, now she just needs to fine tune it and submit it then begin her second and final article.  She is looking at being a PhD before the year is out. (Bout time.)  I feel like I will need a shirt that states “My wife finished her PhD and all I got was this lousy shirt.”

3) Weight loss has been null and void.  After the honeymoon and with things getting busy we both gained.  We had stopped weight watchers and tried things on our own.  This went okay except we, especially me, have no willpower.  So in an effort to fix things we have actually cleared out almost all processed food out of our house.  I am now doing protein shakes for breakfast, going to the gym 3 – 4 times a week and have started eating green things like lettuce and spinach.  Weird I know!  Rachel is trying her hardest to get moving again, but she got turf toe!  All she did was go to BodyFlow a few times and she got turf toe.  I knew I was marrying a gimp, but geez.

4) In going back through the blog, I noticed my weight loss was all over the place.  Small amounts, large amounts, up, down and stagnant.  Now we might know why.  Went to my doctor for a yearly physical and he made me do a blood test.  I HATE needles and acted like a 5 year old the whole time.  But two weeks later the tests came back and I have hypo-thyroidism.  So I am on a daily synthroid.  Last weekend I ate like “crap” due to a weird funk I was in and I lost 2.2 pounds over the weekend.  So I am excited to see what this does in the long run and how effective it might be.

5) On that same note I hate my doctor right now.  I found out via my pharmacy calling to tell me I had a perscription waiting that there was an issue with my Thyroid.  I called my doctor and left a voicemail for him and then an hour later I get the email with all of my test results.  That was a tad unprofessional to say the least.

6) My two year goal is to still run in the Run for Your Lives 5k or something like it.  MY one year or less goal is to get my bike and teach Darwin how to run next to it.  That way I can take him and go for longs rides.  I started jogging, which at 376lbs is not an easy thing on the shins and when I do jog, he LOVES it!  He gets real excited when I ask him if he is ready and his tail goes bonkers!  So I think biking will be good for him.

7) And finally, in breaking and shocking news, I LOVE QUINOA!

I might post more often than we have been.  I am not sure yet as it all depends on my free time and how I use it.  And who knows when Rachel will begin posting again, but she will when she finishes.  Then we can all call her PhD Ranch!

Climbing Everest ~Rachel

Lori over at Finding Radiance was just at Disney with her husband and is sharing her experiences and photos with all of us. She recently blogged about Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. While that coaster was not their favorite, Dave and I LOVED it! We actually went back to Animal Kingdom on our last morning, just to ride Everest before heading over to Epcot. Unfortunately, the ride wasn’t operational so we headed over to Epcot. We were disappointed but we did get to ride it 3 times in a row on a previous day. Anyways, I figured I would share a couple of pictures of us on Expedition Everest…we knew where the camera was and tried to ham it up when they snapped the photo:

High Five!

Rock on!

Right now, I feel like I’m climbing Everest…and base camp is still in my view. I think I maybe need to change my point of view so the summit is in view and base camp is far behind me. Between weight loss and the dissertation, I have a helluva climb ahead of me. I have the plans in place…executing them is a little tough. I’m still getting the hang of putting work aside after 10 hours per week so that I can focus solely on my dissertation. The OCD researcher in me is uncomfortable doing that. I’ve already had people respond to my auto-response to ask, with lots of sarcasm because it doesn’t work for them, how it’s working out…my auto response says I am checking email once per day and will respond within 3 business days. I definitely need to stick to that a little bit better! Right now, my email is always up…I tend to see all the emails I get, get overwhelmed and then ignore them for too long. Anyways, I’m going to work on my system this week!

Weight loss has been mostly easy lately. I was down 0.6lbs at weigh-in this week.

After that though? Good grief, I’ve been eating everything in sight since Thursday. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I think you know what is coming but still…

So, this week, I’m going to do 2 things:

(1) Actually keep my email closed except for one two-hour period of time per day

(2) Stop the eating frenzy and get back to tracking everything.

I hope you all have a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday! I hate the Patriots so I’ll be rooting for the Giants!

Stress ~Rachel

I had a really horrific week last week due to unnecessary chaos surrounding my job and dissertation. I met with the chair of my dissertation committee to talk about everything…he, of course, was awesome and supportive and helpful. We decided on a timeline with lots of intermediate deliverables. That kind of structure and accountability, in general, will help me be successful. It will also help him enforce the fact that I’m a student first. When I emailed the plan to everyone, it wasn’t really received as well as I would have hoped. Only one person actually agreed to it…I haven’t heard from anyone else. I also had someone tell me he/she worked 70 hours per week in the last year of grad school to get everything done and that I should be putting a lot of time into my dissertation. Well, yes, I agree…but when you are donating a lot of time to a job, it’s tough to do that.

Let me tell you all something. I’m not willing to work 15 hours/week for my job plus 70 hours/week on my dissertation. I have a husband…and 2 dogs…and my health to worry about. I need to sleep…around 7-8 hours per night. I need to eat healthy…that means meal planning grocery shopping, prepping meals and cooking. I need to exercise…that means spending some time at the gym. I need to have down time…that means reading for fun, seeing friends and family, and watching tv. I need to be a wife to Dave…that means actually communicating with him, instead of only having conversations with my computer screen.

My plan is to defend in early/mid September at the latest. If I can under promise and over deliver, I’ll be happy. So will everyone else for that matter. After all, the best dissertation is a done dissertation.

Anyways, the stress didn’t end there. My work laptop went kaplooey right before a seminar on Tuesday. I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon waiting for the IT guys to fix it but they were understaffed and couldn’t get to it. So I handed it over to them and left for the day around 3:30pm. I’ll pick it on Tuesday. However, in order for me to do my job and my dissertation, I needed to have my statistical software up and running on a laptop. So instead of selling the refurbished replacement laptop Dell just sent me for my other laptop that died (that happened in mid-December), Dave got it up and running with everything I need. Looks like I’ll be holding on to that laptop until my dissertation is done. Just in case.

The stress didn’t end there either! Let’s just say that the unnecessary chaos continued with my job. There was a lot of me yelling this week. Dave didn’t quite know what to do with me.

I’ve decided to set my boundaries and stick to them. I’ve decided to stop emailing with the people who make my life a living hell. I’ll email what I have to and let them dig their own holes because they don’t pay attention to things. My dissertation chair told me to stop the codependent relationship with my job and the people I work for. I am going to do just that!

So this weekend I enjoyed a night with friends playing A Game of Thrones card game, an evening with Dave and his Mom at the restaurant where we held our rehearsal dinner, and I took care of my emails so that I didn’t feel completely overwhelmed when I turned on my computer.

It’s time I get things under control and take back my life.

And since this is mostly a weight loss blog, let me end this whiny post with this: Even with the obscene amount of stress I dealt with this week, I still ate healthy, counted all my points (and stayed within what I was allowed to eat), and tracked everything. That includes dinner out from my now favorite restaurant…cracklin’ pork shank, blue cheese grits, sauteed spinach, pear brown betty and a piece of fudge. It was the best pork I’ve ever had in my life. That pear brown betty was pretty awesome too. And it didn’t even break the points bank because I had saved so many of my weeklies.

Weigh in was Thursday morning…I was down 1.2lbs.

We’ll see what this Thursday brings 🙂

I’m Going Down, Down, Down, Down ~ Rachel

That blog post title is in reference to a Bruce Springsteen song from his Born in the USA album. Bruce has a new single that dropped today and his new album comes out in early March so I’m quite excited. My mother raised me on Bruce. I was not your typical kid in the 80’s…there was no Michael Jackson or Madonna…just lots of Bruce, some new wave and a lot of oldies & classic rock (that part was from Dad). And that’s the music I still prefer to this day! I’ve seen Bruce with the E Street Band 3 times and it was worth every single penny every single time. Bruce is one of the few musicians that I would spend triple digits on for a concert ticket!

Here’s a picture of me and my Mom dancing to Bruce at the wedding. It was sort of a mother-daughter dance because I made sure to drag her on to the dance floor.

Photo by Stephanie Spencer Photography


Anyways…the whole reason for this post was to let you all know I was down 2.4lbs at weigh-in this morning. So, yes, I’m going down, down, down, down! I’ll post some recipes very soon, I promise!

And on a more serious note…if you’re the praying kind, send some prayers up for Biz’s husband Tony…poor guy can’t catch a break and is back in the hospital. Hopefully, this will be his last hospital stay in 2012!


Weekly Weigh In ~ Home Alone Edition

Hi, my name is Rachel and it’s been three months since my last Weight Watchers meeting. This is me on Weight Watchers:

This is me after 3 months of not following Weight Watchers:

Let’s just say that I had A LOT of fun putting on the pounds since the wedding and that they most certainly won’t come off as quickly as they went on. Good grief!

Not only was weigh in BRUTAL this morning, but WW made some changes to the program that I need to figure out. They are adding more flexibility in that you can choose what your daily points target is going to be (lower for days when you don’t need it or higher for days that you do). I think the intention is for folks to make minor changes to accommodate normal fluctuations in life….BUT….it just sounds like a way to set oneself up for failure. I’m pretty sure that I will be sticking to the daily points target that the computer spits out at me and if I find that weight isn’t coming off as well as it could, I might lower the target by 1 or 2 points. Other than that, I need the structure. Rigidity is a good thing, at least right now when I’m trying to get back on track.

Speaking of…I think I really am going to make some baby steps to get me through the holidays rather than go gung ho at a time in the year when I have to make my annual fruitcake and Christmas crack (don’t worry, I will post recipes). So, here is what I am going to do. Each Thursday until 2012, I am going to set baby goals for the week and post them here. I’m not going to get psycho about points right now. That will come in January. For now, I just need to get back my good habits! So for the next 7 days:

(1) Write down everything I eat with points values: This isn’t hard…I just have to dust off my tracking notebook!

(2) Informally attempt to stay around my daily points target: The only thing on the schedule that could derail this a teeny bit is lunch at a wings place tomorrow and breakfast at the farmers market on Saturday morning. I can make better choices at each of those places but I’m not going to focus on the points as much.

(3) Hit the gym on Friday, Sunday and Monday: I will do my strength training routine on Friday and Monday and probably just cardio on Sunday.

That’s it. Baby steps. It’s all about making BETTER choices. The BEST choices can come in January when there isn’t fruitcake around!

16 Days ~ Rachel

There are 16 days to go before I get to marry Dave. 

8 days before I try my wedding gown on again. The dress fitting wasn’t a disaster and there were no tears thankfully. The dress is tight and doesn’t fit in 2 spots but between me losing some pounds and the tailor letting it out (thank God there was room to let it out), she said it will be just fine. I tried that dress on October 3rd. I go back on the 21st. She will then do the alterations over the weekend and I will pick it up early in the week for our wedding on the 29th. How crazy is that? The tailor wanted to give me as much time as possible to lose a few pounds.

I had just started my period so I was quite bloated at that dress fitting. I’ve kept an eye on my scale at home and tracked everything going into my mouth…I’ve seen the numbers come down. I’m gonna knock this week out of the park and hopefully lose 5lbs by really sticking to the plan. The numbers haven’t come down as much as I would have thought so I am going to limit my fruit snacks to one per day. I’ve been doing 2-3 per day….usually a banana and an apple and sometimes a second apple. I really think too much “free” fruit might be a problem for me so I’m going to aim for more veggies instead.

And since my little check-ins on the blog are going to get even more sparse, let me leave you with a recipe. I found a new blog called emily bites. She posts easy recipes that are WW friendly (with points plus calculated)…lots of them are portion controlled (mini muffin/muffin tin servings) which is nice. The first recipe I tried was the Pumpkin, Cranberry and Apple Baked Oatmeal.

In the words of Biz, HOLY SHIZ! This was FANTASTIC. I’ve been eating it all week. I simply measure out my serving (I do 6 servings for 8pts+ per serving instead of 8 servings), splash some half & half over it, nuke it for 2 minutes and then enjoy. I will be making this, probably every week, through the fall and winter months. I think next time, though, I might play around with the spices. This recipe is screaming for pumpkin pie spice instead of just cinnamon. And I might throw in a bit more apple.

Oh…and for those of you who don’t have wheat germ in your pantry (I didn’t), you can replace it with an equal amount of ground flax seed or just more oats (which is what I did). I might get some ground flax seed for the next batch.


So click on over to the recipe and enjoy 🙂

I’ll be back next weekend to tell you about my final dress fitting.

And if you’re lucky you might get to hear about my bachelorette party!