Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dusting Off the Cobwebs

Well, hi there, Internet people!  I have been gone from this blog for a long time, and one or two of you may have even noticed this.  Last year, I had some major privacy concerns and decided blogging about my shortcomings was not the smartest thing I'd ever done.  Well, I had a change of heart, along with a bunch of other changes, so let me catch you up.

First and most importantly, my stupid hip is 100% better!!!  The happiness of that last sentence can never be overstated.  After two years on crutches and almost three years of rehab, I am finally mobile, have no pain and don't even have a limp.  In fact, for the most part, those years of being stuck in bed or stuck hobbling around on crutches in a painkiller cloud seem like a bad dream, or scenes from someone else's life.  Then I see lovely pictures like this one:

And it all comes flooding back to me in technicolor.  I am so happy it's over and so grateful that I can walk.  I will never take that ability for granted again.

Okay, here's another big piece of news: in 2013, I lost a hundred pounds.  Surprise!  

You're probably wondering how suddenly, after three years of blogging about trying to lose weight and gaining pounds monthly, I lost a ton of weight and didn't tell you.  Well, a big hurdle jumped was when I was cleared to exercise.  I had been doing slight resistance training in rehab and was doing laps at our park district pool- and please remember that by laps I mean I was walking back and forth in shallow water with bunch of senior citizens- but last Spring I was finally allowed to go to the gym and get to work.  Just going from having to be bed-bound to moving slightly helped me lose the first ten pounds, without a doubt.  It's very easy to pack on pounds when you're sedentary, and there was nothing more sedentary than my long ass recovery at my mom and dad's house.

A friend shared a book with me that was pretty eye-opening.  It's called "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" by Michael Moss.  It's an interesting book in a lot of ways, but one of the sections that really pissed me off was reading how food companies use psychology and chemistry to get us addicted to processed foods.  I am not a good science summarizer, but you should read this book.  It's good, and it'll make you want to cook your own food.  (Note to Michael Moss if you're reading this: I will never stop eating cheese.  EVER).

So, yeah, I started cooking and not eating processed foods.  I didn't give up any food groups- I ate sugar, carbs, meat, the whole shebang- but I didn't eat any diet foods.  No fake sugar, no crazy salad dressings, no Snackwell cookies.  AND, for the last 100 days, no Diet Coke!  Crazy crazy.  I used MyFitnessPal to keep track of what I was eating.  It works great.

I also started working out.  I had a partner for the first half of this, and the two of us would go to the gym.  We would do a very small amount of cardio- like a half an hour- and then do weight training.  We did this about four days a week on average.  Every once in a while, we'd take a Spin class, and I loved that.  I could feel myself getting stronger and my endurance increasing, and I started getting more confident about putting weight on my bum hip.  That was a big mental hurdle to climb too.  

Here's the thing about the gym and the treadmill: it is boring.  A friend told me to try yoga.  I laughed out loud, as I am the least graceful human on the planet.  Well, I ended up really loving yoga.  In October, I started doing Bikram Yoga, which is the craziest yoga of all.  It's done in a room that's heated to 105 degrees and it's intense.  Finishing a class makes me feel like a jock.  Speaking of jocks, I did thirty classes in thirty days and got this t-shirt with the smug look thrown in free.

That was the athletic accomplishment of my life.  By far.

Anyway, the weight came off pretty quickly and effortlessly with yoga.  I am really kind of crazily toned.  My stomach (you might remember I had a tummy tuck in 2008 and then gained all the weight back except for 17 lbs) looks really flat.  I can see some flab on my thighs and, as always, I have a droopy ass, but I am okay with both of these.  Overall, I am kind of shocked by how great my body looks after gaining 100 lbs and losing it in five years.

So those were my secrets- no  processed food, no fast food, yoga four times a week, lots of water and the motivation that only comes from knowing what it's like to suddenly find yourself immobile.  That's the winning combo for weight loss success, although I'd recommend skipping the last one, or at least just spraining an ankle or something.

Now, I'm 101 lbs down and I'd like to lose 25 more.  Right now I'm a size 14 for the most part, but in some jeans I'm a size 12.  I'd like to finish a size 12 in everything, maaaaaybe a size 10.  I want to keep my amazing rack, so getting much smaller than that probably isn't in my future.

Right now, I weigh less than I did at my lowest weight of my last "I lost 100 lbs" diet, and that one was a lot more work, with diet food and running and feeling completely obsessed with dieting.  This time around has been low stress, and effective.  Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.  

And look what I can do!  Yay yoga!

Those shots are for my extensive list of male readers.  You're welcome, fellas.

So, yeah, All of that happened.  I have a big entry coming about the ways losing this much weight changes you, and changes the people around you.  It is a little whiny, so maybe read it when you're in a good mood.

Thanks for bearing with me (especially those RSS subscribers who were flooded by my old posts yesterday.  Whoops!)  I'm going to slooooowly start restoring four years worth of posts on here, so you never know what might show up.  


  1. So happy to have you back! I know I'm not just speaking for myself when I say this- we missed hearing from you! I am so overjoyed about your hip being 100% better and I am so proud of you and all that you've accomplished. You truly are my idol and someone I truly look up to. You are such an inspiration and an amazing person. Not to mention you look absolutely stunning. As always :). Keep up the great work Barb, I am so proud of you :).


    your number one fan.

  2. Nancy Cavallo BawolekJanuary 31, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Glad your back to writing your blog, I've missed it. Taryn, you look MAAAARVELOUS!! I am so proud of you (and so jealous). I'm sure that last 25 will come off with no problem. It's amazing all the changes for you in the last year, I'm so glad your hip is better and you've been able to throw out the crutches. Now just stay away from any rotten spots on decks! Keep up the great work!

  3. Taryn, You're such a good writer. I'm so pleased that you've been successful. I'm also trying to get less sedentary as I approach the big 5-0. It's a huge time commitment, but losing my mobility is even more scary. Not trying to talk about me. What you've done is really amazing and gives me hope. Lots of love to you and Coop. Jean

  4. Glad you're writing again! I'm glad you're feeling good! You always look great, no matter what. Love you! We should yoga together.

  5. Yay Taryn! Oddly enough, I've been making some of the same changes. Slow progress, so maybe yoga will be my magic bullet? I may have to give it a go. Glad to see you writing again!