Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Assessing the damage...

Settling back into reality after 10 days in Hawaii is hard.

Really hard. Much harder than I anticipated.

Today was my first day back at work after more than 2 weeks off. I nearly cried. There are still suitcases stuffed with clothing cramming every corner of my bedroom. It's almost as if I've told myself, "If you don't unpack, you aren't home yet."

Denial at its finest!

However, there has been one thing I actually hopped right back into without even a second thought--my diet and exercise routine. Weighing, measuring and counting my food has not been a chore. Dragging my rear end to the gym hasn't been nearly as torturous as I imagined it would be.

How can that be? After 10 days of eating whatever I wanted (including desserts that would make you drool!), you'd figure it'd be hard to get back on track. But I've done it.

Because even though I'm not due back at WW until Saturday, I stepped on a scale--just to see where I stood. And now I know.

It's not a great place.

The first scale--at my mom's house--was immediately after getting off the plane. When I knew it wasn't a good idea, but I couldn't resist. It said I was up 7....and I am not talking ounces.


I can only hope it was some plane bloat after a 12-hour flight. I know I barely had anything to eat or drink on said flight so I could avoid the bathroom (hate hate hate plane bathrooms!) so I tried again the next morning to see if there was any improvement.

After trying the scale at the gym, I fared a little better--up 3. That seemed a little more realistic and reasonable.

I say reasonable because while I ate whatever I wanted--including dessert--I didn't do too badly. The food on our cruise ship was far from perfect and the buffets were barely worth the trouble. So what did that mean?

Lots of small-portioned meals from the dining rooms or room service. And because the dinners were far better than breakfasts or lunches, I told myself, "Enjoy dinner. Be more reasonable early in the day." So I did.

And for the first time in ages, I actually used the workout gear I packed. Yup, you read that right--I exercised. In an actual gym. In Hawaii. You're stunned, I know. Mr. CCC was! And not only did I exercise, I was the one who suggested said exercise.

Our cruise was pretty port-intensive--we had only one afternoon at sea--so we didn't get to exercise as much as we the gym.

But we walked everywhere. We swam. We did a 1.2 mile hike up and down a volcano crater. (And I dare anyone to say that wasn't exercise. That was the most intense workout I've had in months! And yes, I'm counting Pilates!)

Taking all of that into consideration, I figured I'd have a small gain, but nothing I couldn't handle. That was why the 7 pound-gain on my mom's scale stunned me and why the 3-pound gain at the gym didn't phase me.

Whatever happens Saturday when I get to my "official" weigh-in, I'm trying to keep it all in perspective. Hawaii was an incredible was the honeymoon Mr. CCC and I wanted three years ago. The scenery was breathtaking. The ocean was unbelievable. Most of the food--including at Duke's and La Mer in Waikiki if anyone is heading over soon--was worth every calorie.

How often do we get trips like these? It's taken me 28 years to get to Hawaii...while I know it won't be 28 years before I go back, I know it isn't the kind of trip we can take annually. So why stress about what I was eating or how much gym time I logged?

I didn't. And whatever happens on Saturday, happens. If I did gain 7 pounds, I'll deal with it. I'll take it off again. Seven pounds, or three pounds, or whatever is a small price to pay for 10 days I will never forget.

The moment I got off the plane, it was a new day. A chance to start fresh. So I did.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Perils of Plumpy Pampering

I may be fat, but there is one place where I have absolutely no body shame.

I believe in the good life. I believe in pampering. Unlike some who battle their weight, I have no problem stripping down to my skivvies if I know there's a fabulous massage or incredible body wrap waiting for me.

I love spa days.

I think I got this boldness and this love of the good life from my mother, a woman who herself, has fought the battle against extra pounds. But she's never been one to deny herself the right to look and feel beautiful. When I was a little girl, I used to spend Saturday afternoons at the salon with her, begging for nails painted just like hers or for fancy haircuts. By 7, I was getting full manicures and pedicures. At about 15 I had my first spa day.

I was hooked. And I don't let the fact I've got a little chub deter me from frequent indulgences. Sure, the moment I take my robe off and get on the table for a massage I wonder if the therapist is just a bit horrified by all the extra flesh she's going to have to work on, but any worries I have slip away the moment the massage starts.

So to prepare myself for Hawaii, I called up my favorite spa and decided to treat myself to a full-body exfoliating scrub and a self-tanning treatment. After all, the citizens of the South Pacific do not need to be blinded by my pale skin that would make Casper the Friendly Ghost proud.

I'd never had either treatment before so I wasn't sure what to expect. When making my appointment I asked what I needed to wear; the lovely receptionist told me it didn't matter. They had disposable clothing for me to wear during the treatment so I wouldn't ruin my goods. Disposable clothing. Okay, I figured maybe a little paper dress or something similar to what you get at a doctor's office.

I was okay.

Until the therapist pointed out the the provided "clothing".

Lying on the table was a little strip of muslin and something the size of a piece of gauze wrap. You know the kind, that you pull out of a first-aid kit to stop some bleeding. It ain't tiny, but it ain't big either.

She explained the strip of muslin was a disposable bra and with the flick of her wrist, opened the little gauze thingie to reveal a paper thong.

I could not contain my laughter. Seriously? A paper thong? Oh. My. Heavens. And the paper bra? Please. I think it strained on its own at the site of my boobs. I had to laugh. It was the oddest thing I could ever imagine putting on my body.

I took one look and shook my head. I don't wear real thongs made of cotton or lace. I believe the only place floss serves a purpose is when used on your teeth. Not on your rear. So I happily told the therapist I'd keep my own undies on. Hey, they were the cheapie cotton kind from Victoria's Secret. If I ruined them, no harm, no foul.

And surprisingly enough, I was able to wrap the paper bra around the girls. Oh, it strained. And I had to kind of hold the bra in place with my arm to keep my boobs from sliding out but it worked.

But I can't lie. It was embarrassing. For the first time in a spa treatment, I was absolutely horrified. I felt truly exposed. The only people that have ever seen me more naked are my mother (Back when she had to diaper my tush!), my doctor and Mr. CCC. And none of them have ever oiled me up from head to toe, scrubbed me down and then rubbed self-tanner on every nook and cranny.

It felt like the longest hour of my life. Worse than my Pilates class, actually. My mind couldn't stop working and I kept wondering what the therapist thought of me; if she was laughing internally and wondering why this fat girl wanted a fake tan. Fake tans are a dime a dozen here in SoFla but I'm willing to bet most of the women who get this treatment at this posh spa are teeny tiny women who spend their weekends on the beach. You know, the Beautiful People.

To her credit though, the therapist was great. As she scrubbed me down and painted me with tan-in-a-bottle, she made great conversation. She kept me from focusing on how exposed I was and for that, I tipped her generously. It's been about 10 hours since my treatment and my skin looks pretty and sun-kissed and subtle. (No orange pumpkin Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton faux glo here!)

It was far from the relaxing treatment I was expecting, but part of me wonders how much it had to do with my own body hang up. I mean, this woman saw my stomach. My thighs. My spare tire. I do a pretty good job of hiding all of those from the man I married. Awkward doesn't even begin to describe it.

The whole experience was a reminder of how far I still have to go, but of how much is at stake. Yes, losing weight is going to make me healthier and give me a new physical lease on life. But I wonder how much more comfortable I'll be. I wonder how exciting it will be to not worry about what anyone else thinks of my body. I even wonder if maybe one day I can pull off wearing a paper thong.

Well, let's not go that far. I don't think I can ever pull off wearing a paper thong.

Aloha! See you soon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's just a number...

To know me is to know I am a certified shopaholic.

Even with my excess weight, for me, shopping is always a great way to pass the time. I love to hunt for a good's like a sport. I love to try and find things that highlight the parts of my body I do love (like my legs!). And don't get me started on shoes, bags or beauty products. (I love love love makeup shopping!)

So if anyone thought my pre-Hawaii shopping would be limited to a bathing suit, oh you were so sorely wrong. (And you really don't know me!)

As Zanitta pointed out on my bathing suit post, losing 20 pounds is a tweener stage. Sure, you've lost weight but maybe not enough to make some changes in your sizes. EEK! Did I get to experience that firsthand yesterday. I tried on a pair of shorts in two sizes--neither fit right. The larger one was too big...saggy and loose. The smaller size? It buttoned but it wasn't exactly flattering. (One small consolation: there was no muffin top. I hate muffin top!)

I'll admit--I was truly bummed by looking at some of the numbers in the tags. You'd like to think you're losing weight and your body is changing but as I kept poking through the racks, I started to see sizes as nothing but numbers. They weren't consistent. In some things by some designers, I fit into a 16. In others, I was an 18. And in some slightly disturbing cases, a 20. But there was no rhyme or reason. I wore different sizes in different items by the same designer. The little tag in the back started to become just a number--not a tormentor.

And then I started having fun!

I tried on a pair of tops, dresses, pants...and happily, I can say a lot of them looked great! Maybe to others I still look the same, but losing weight gives you confidence. You start to see yourself in a better light. Or maybe you do look better--because you're now actually the size of the clothing you've been squeezing yourself into. Who knows?

But I bought a dress that seriously looked good (A complete contrast to the dress I bought for Mr. CCC's 3oth a few months ago. OUCH to those pics!), I found some great black shorts. And get this--I was able to buy more shorts and some great tops at NY & Co. and Gap.

Did you read that? NY & Co. and Gap.

No Lane Bryant. No big-girl stores. It was fabulous!

Do I fit into everything into Gap and NY & CO.? Not yet. But I fit into enough things that made me feel good, made me feel like I was making progress, made me feel like soon I would be able to buy anything in there! It was just what I needed after my junk food bender from this weekend. Seeing one weekend didn't throw all the other work to the curb was huge.

It's about 48 hours now til Aloha time and I'm ready to get scooting. I have a feeling I may love these vacation pictures a lot more than last year's! (And I can't wait to see next year's vacay pics cause I know it's just going to keep getting better!)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm not doing that again!

Nine weeks on Weight Watchers, 9.8 pounds down. 23.5 total since I first started to trying to lose weight last year.

Not too shabby, huh?

I've been making progress. I'm exercising. I'm loving my new healthy habits.

So can someone tell me why for the past two days I've put nothing but junk into my body? Pizza, cheeseburgers, movie popcorn. Just looking at the words makes me shudder. (My only consolation is that I exercised twice during this binge-fest so there is one positive...)

Actually, maybe two.

In all truth, while I've eaten junk, I've done it according to my weight-loss plan. I haven't gone over my points and I've made far better choices than I was making nine weeks ago. Yes, I had a cheeseburger, but I passed on the fries. Yes, I had pizza. But it was a thin-crust pie topped with veggies. Not the deep-dish, extra cheese, extra meat extravaganza I was "enjoying" before.

So yes, better choices overall and I'm proud of myself for making them, but let's not kid ourselves. Weight Watchers gives you flexibility and the option to eat whatever you like--in moderation--but I don't think it's supposed to be two days of buttery popcorn, cheeseburgers and pizza. In those two days, I've had one healthy meal, thanks Applebee's. But one healthy meal in 48 hours?


To drive the point home, my body rebelled. In a big way.

When we got home from the movies last night, my stomach was topsy-turvy. I was nauseous. All that grease hit my stomach like a ton of bricks. It's been a few hours since I still feel a little "off."

I truly believe our bodies respond to what we give them. When I gave it junk, it wanted more junk. Before I was trying to lose weight, multiple McDonald's and Taco Bell runs were not unusual. No wonder the pounds came flying on. But for the past two months, I've been giving my body the good stuff.

Veggies. Lean meats. Fruits. I've measured my portion sizes. I've cut back on desserts and alcohol. Yes, I know I can enjoy them--and I have--just in moderation I didn't have before. My body got used to the good stuff and when I gave it junk, it wasn't happy. I wouldn't wish this stomachache on anyone.

Lesson learned.

And ultimately, isn't this what this journey is all about? I didn't want the junk, but because I didn't plan well, it was the easiest option for me and I took it. The pizza came after a late night at work where I didn't want to cook. And because it was pouring rain, Mr. CCC and I weren't in the mood to go anywhere. Pizza delivery it was. The cheeseburger? Scarfed down while driving from one errand to another.

But I also know part of me wanted the food. I could've had a grilled chicken sandwich instead of the burger, right? And I didn't need the popcorn at the movies. I wanted it...

Fortunately, after this stomach ache, I don't think I'm going to be wanting the junk anymore. I think actually I'm going to go out of my way to avoid it. Progress...not perfection.

I'm happy that this morning, while Mr. CCC scarfed down some cold leftover pizza, I had my healthy breakfast. I've been drinking gallons upon gallons of water to try and flush the junk out of my system. I'll get to work out again in the morning.

I'm doing my best to move forward and maybe this weekend is exactly what I needed. Mr. CCC and I leave for Hawaii on Friday. At this time next week, we'll be on a cruise ship. Surrounded by food and I'm going in knowing my body is not going to be happy if I don't take care of it.

I'd rather have learned that lesson here, than to have a nasty tummy ache on our dream trip. So let's move on. Let's keep going. And let's remember what two days of junk can do.

(And for the record--I found a quasi-flattering, rather stylish bathing suit this week...all hail the swimsuit pros at Nordstrom. Woo hoo!)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Yay...and nay.

If you've been reading my ramblings for a bit now, you've got to know I'm a certified Chocoholic.

I love love love chocolate. I'm addicted to chocolate. Mr. CCC loves to giggle every night because before I go to bed, I must have some sort of chocolate, with skim milk.

So you can imagine my delight when last week, I made a stop at Walgreen's to buy some water before working out and saw a box of these so-called, "100-Calorie Brownies" made by Glennys. (You can find 'em at

Intrigued? You bet I was.

And I bet a lot of other people were too because there were only three left. I bought two.

That night as bedtime rolled around, I figured it was time to try. At 100 calories and with 7 grams of fiber, the WW pointage was not bad at all.

Well guess what--neither was the taste! No, it's not your typical ooey-gooey fudgey goodness that you'd get from a fancy bakery or even a Betty Crocker box but it was good. (It doesn't have all the calories and fat those have either, if that's any consolation!) And well worth the 2 points I spent on 'em.

Absolutely perfect with a cup of skim milk. It wasn't too sweet and just chocolatey enough. Even borderline-cakey. I could totally imagine warming it in the microwave and dropping a dollop of vanilla ice cream on it...

I ended up finding a health store near my WW meeting that also carried them, so I bought more. And the health store also carried the Glenny's blondies. Well count me in for those too...

Hate to report the blondie (Which is only 1 point) is not as good as the brownie. In fact, I took one bite and spit it out. It tasted like nothing, absolutely nothing. And the texture was downright gross. I threw the whole thing away, tossed the other one I bought and dug into a brownie instead.

So Glenny's gets a thumbs-up for the brownie and an EWWW YUCK! for the blondie.

Chocoholics, enjoy!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

This is why I love shoes...

It's amazing how quickly one can go from being so proud, so determined, and so empowered to feeling so low.

With t-minus 11 days before Mr. CCC and I leave for a belated Hawaiian honeymoon, I finally faced up to the fact I needed to go...(insert scary music here)...swimsuit shopping.

The horror!

Despite the fact that I live in South Florida, I have managed to avoid this traumatic shopping experience because, well, while I love the ocean I don't go to the beach. Not here, in this place where tanned rock-hard bodies are de rigeur and I have a body that is neither tanned nor hard.

The last time I bought a new bathing suit was 3 years ago right before Mr. CCC and I went on our real honeymoon...back when I looked good and more importantly, felt good. So that experience wasn't traumatic at all.

I didn't think this experience would be either.

I was down some weight. I was still on a high from the exercise endorphins and the Saks Outlet made shopping practically a mandate, sending me a coupon for 30 percent off any item in the store. Considering I was eyeing those rather expensive "MiracleSuit" types of suits, I was game to use the coupon before it expired.

Well, that was my first mistake. Never limit yourself when trying to find a swimsuit.

Not only did I limit myself to one store--I limited myself to a 30-minute window (Mr. CCC and I were out running errands and I told him that would be all I needed. Not a wise move on my part.)

But we got to the store and I was still determined to find a nice suit at a reasonable price. Being an outlet, they didn't have the options you'd likely find in a regular department store. Not in terms of style, sizes or colors, but they had about five suits that looked promising on the rack. So I dug in.

I grabbed suits in three sizes--the one I didn't want to be at ( ie, the same size I've been wearing since starting this journey), the one I figured I was at (ie, one size smaller), and just for craps and giggles--one I would have been thrilled to be at (two sizes smaller). What can I say? Pilates and my weight loss left me optimistic.

Let me make one thing clear--optimism doesn't last long when you're a fat girl trying on bathing suits.

The dream suit (two sizes smaller) wouldn't even get any farther than my hips no matter how much I pulled and yanked. So there went that option.

But I wasn't disillusioned yet. That had been a dream scenario and well, as long as I was down one size, I'd be happy. So I tried that one and sure enough, I could pull it on even though my tummy area (still sore from Pilates) screamed in pain.

My stomach was sucked in, pulled tight and it Looked. Like. Crap.

I stood there for a minute under the flourescent lights and bit my lip in frustration. How was it possible? How could I have lost more than 20 pounds, upped my exercise so much and still look like a pale beached whale?

Why was there still dimply skin? Why were there still lumps and bumps and things spilling over? How come I couldn't breathe?

Before I knew it, I was in a rage, tearing at the suit, yanking it off in exasperation and trying not to cry. It was the exact opposite of how I'd felt just 24 hours earlier. How could the pendulum swing so far so quickly?

I'll be perfectly honest--even though I didn't want to, I tried on the largest suit and it fit well--from the chest down. But it had absolutely no support for the girls so I wasn't about to get it. If I'm going to get a bathing suit, it's going to have to fit well everywhere and because it was the only one in that size, I was done.

I put all the suits back on their hangers and stalked out of the fitting room to find Mr. CCC waiting. I didn't say a word other than "Let's go" before the questions started.

"What happened?"

"You didn't like any of them?"

"They didn't fit? But I thought you lost weight!?"

I know he was honestly curious and being a man who has never had a weight problem, he didn't understand how upset I was. I couldn't find a way to tell him that all the work, all the effort, all the exercise still wasn't paying off for me, appearance wise.

I couldn't find a way to tell him I looked worse in those bathing suits than I ever imagined possible. So I pulled my sunglasses on (to hide my quickly-watering eyes) and whispered, "This is why I love shoes. This is why women love shoes. This is why fat women love shoes."

I have a bit of a shoe obsession that in the course of our eight years together, Mr. CCC has not been able to figure out. He can't understand why I have countless pairs of black heels or why I need more than one red stiletto. In the course of our marriage, my shoe collection has tripled--while my wardrobe has stayed pretty much the same.


Because shoes don't make you look fat. Shoes don't have buttons that gape. They don't have zippers that won't go up. And the numbers on shoes tend to be a whole lot lower than the numbers on my pants. I can grasp having to buy Size 10 shoes...I can't grasp having to buy Size 18 pants. (Who am I kidding? There are even some Size 20s tucked in the depths of my closet).

Shoes don't mock you. The only pain they inflict is physical if you wear them too long or walk too much. I can handle that. It's the emotional pain I don't do well with.

For the most part, barring pregnancy or significant changes in your body, the size of your feet doesn't change. Shoes (and purses) are the only things I've cared to buy in the past 3 years because they haven't forced me to deal with the fact I was gaining a ton more weight than I had any business gaining.

Suddenly, all of that came pouring out. And Mr. CCC, bless his heart, just took my hand and asked if I wanted to go use my coupon to get some shoes. I smiled through the tears.

But I turned him down. I still need a bathing suit. And I have a feeling the one I'm going to end up buying--with industrial-strength spandex and the tightest lycra humans can make--won't be cheap. I also know I'm going to need to get off the plane with a tan to try and make myself look less ghostly, so I've booked a self-tanning appointment at my favorite spa.

Apparently, when you're fat and facing the thought of wearing a bathing suit, deceptive tricks must be employed.

And we all know deception ain't cheap. I'll take my shoe money for that, thanks.

Wish me luck....11 days to find a swimsuit that is half-decent.

I have no idea where to start.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

I'll take the epiphany, with a side of awe, please...

Okay, so there's still plenty of chub hanging on to my hips, my boobs, my butt, my arms, and okay--yes, my back.

Physically, even though I'm losing weight, I still look like the same person. But today I finally recognized that I am changing and I can't even begin to describe how amazing it feels.

The realization hit me like a tidal wave of in all places--McDonald's. (Read blog below for insight on why I was even there...)

I haven't had good ole fashioned junk food in forever and this week, all I could think about was having a Big Mac. I didn't care that it was bad for me. I wanted one. Very, very badly.

I made a deal with myself--get through the week, go to my weigh-in, exercise at least four times in the course of said week and I would let myself have the two all-beef patties with special sauce, lettuce, and cheese...

Needless to say, I woke up today with a spring in my step. A week after my disappointment at the scale at my last weigh-in, I knew today was going to be good. Real good! And I was gonna have me a burger to boot!

I'd exercised. I'd counted my points. I'd dodged more nutritional bombs than I ever imagined I could (I had two--yes, two!--meals at The Cheesecake Factory this week. Both were for work-related functions and meetings I couldn't get out of. So I stuck to appetizers and small salads. Not too shabby!)

I got on that scale knowing the weight was going to come off and I would be back on track. Sure enough--I was.

I lost the pound from my gain and a little bit more. I was ecstatic! And inspired. I called Mr. CCC and told him I was finally going to go and try that new Pilates class I'd been eyeing for weeks. And we agreed to meet for cardio afterwards.

As I planned my exercise-filled morning, I even thought to myself, "Well! I'll really get to enjoy that Big Mac this afternoon! It's going to taste soooooo good after countless (okay, 8) weeks without one!"

I called the Pilates studio only to learn the last class they had for the day was a beginner/intermediate class. I was scared as all hell. Intermediate? I'd never done Pilates before. Could I hang with the non-newbies?

The instructor asked how fit I was (gulp!) and I explained that I was overweight, but I'd lost 21.5 pounds and that I did cardio at least 3 to 4 times a week. She told me I'd be challenged, but that I certainly could fit in with the class.

I told her to sign me up and off I went.

There are no words to describe the kind of excruciating pain the next hour brought me. It was pure torture. Stretching, crunching, muscle-shaking pain.

I was by far, the most uncoordinated person in the room. Poor instructor parked me on a machine right in front of her and had to keep guiding me through all the positions and exercises.

Most of them I could only do halfway, some not at all. But I tried, and I tried, and I sweat like a crazy person. In that hour I realized that all that exercise I'd been doing for the past weeks was nothing compared to this.

I left the class in pain, out of breath but get this--completely interested in trying it again.

Are you amazed yet? I know I was!!!! I signed myself up for another class (extreme beginner this time, please!) and while I filled all the paperwork out, one of the ladies in the class came up to me and asked how I had enjoyed it.

I told her not very much--that it was painful, that I'd physically never worked that hard in my life but that despite that, I felt good. And then I apologized for holding up the class and monopolizing the instructor.

At which point everyone still in the studio turned around and looked at me as if I was crazy. Another lady said, "Are you kidding? For a first-timer, you were amazing. It took me 3 months of beginner classes to work up to what you were doing on your first try. I hope you're planning on coming back!"

It was the kind of encouragement and motivation I needed. Here were these virtual Pilates pros telling me I could do it. And I believed them. I believed in ME!

So even though my body was pushed to its limit, Mr. CCC and I had a deal--some cardio after Pilates so I dragged my sore self to Bally's. I couldn't put myself through my normal routine, but I did enough to get my heart rate up, sweat some more, and earn a pretty impressed look from my fitness-obsessed husband.

When we finished working out and it was time for lunch, I headed to Mickey D's, my mouth still watering at the idea of my burger. Finally. I'd get my burger. I had the points, I'd worked out...once every eight weeks ain't bad for a junk food run, right?

Then the moment I pulled into the parking spot it hit me like a tidal wave.

I didn't want the Big Mac.

I didn't want the french fries.

I didn't want the jumbo-sized Coke.

I had worked so hard all morning. I'd pushed my body to a limit it really has never, ever felt. I was proud of what I'd accomplished, of the week I'd had and I was about to reward myself with a HAMBURGER?


My mind flashed back to the buckets I'd sweat in Pilates just an hour and a half earlier. I thought about the feeling of pride I had when I'd stepped on the scale first thing in the morning to see that again, the weight was coming off.

No burger would make me feel as good as I'd made myself feel. And just like that, I started to cry.

They were tears of amazement, tears of joy, tears of relief because finally--FINALLY!--I was starting to see the new me. The me that wants to be healthy. The me that wants to be happy. The me that finds happiness and bliss and contenment in things other than food.

For 28 years, I knew that me was there. I knew buried under layers of fat and hidden after years of self-doubt, she was somewhere deep inside.

Seven weeks of countless workouts, counting points, and one excruciating Pilates class, I got a glimpse of her. And I heard her say, "You don't want that burger. You're better than a burger. You deserve better than chemicals and additives and fat. You WANT better than that."

And the new me was right. So I listened.

I pulled out of that parking lot, wiped the tears of awe from my still-chubby cheeks and drove somewhere else for lunch. I filled up on chicken with veggies, steamed rice, and a spring roll. (Okay, so the new me wanted a spring roll. It was 80 calories and 1 WW point of pure indulgence.)

I was full. I was happy. I was content.

It's been three hours since my lunchtime epiphany. Three hours for me to sit back and realize I did something amazing today. By the time I ran through the front door to tell Mr. CCC what had happened, I was crying again.

I was so proud of myself I couldn't stop. For the first time in my life food made me cry for all the right reasons.

And I was proud that the new me is finally, finally, finally starting to come out of her shell.

I'm going to treat her right and make sure she sticks around for a very, very, very long time! (Forever sounds about right, actually...)