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I'm looking for the joke with a microscope.



SW: At least 270 pounds (122.47 kg) and quite possibly more; I didn't own a scale until I was three months into the process and although I estimated 270 based on where I was when I started weighing myself (252 in April 2005) and how much I lost per month after that, I think the 270 could be a conservative guess. It kind of sucks that I'll never know, but what can you do?
CW (1/08): 175 pounds (79.38 kg)
GW: 150 pounds (68.04 kg).
Height: 5'4".

I'm Nicole. I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband and our cats. Nice to meet you.

In January 2005, I started getting serious about eating healthfully and exercising. I didn't start this blog until seven months into the process; I didn't want to be all gung-ho for a couple of months only to give up (as I had so many times in the past) and have the blog just sit and sit and sit as a monument to my failure.

It didn't. I'm still here. Still posting. Still working out. Still slimming down. For 2008, I'd like to get down to around 150 pounds. I had a pretty rough time with things in 2007, so I'll consider 2008 a success if I can stay on track with my workouts and healthful eating.

My first post, which summed up a little about my weight loss history and where I was when I began, is here.

A post describing the home exercise equipment we have is here. Since I wrote that entry I bought a bike, which is far and away my favorite thing. It's so fun that I feel like it's cheating to even consider it exercise.

Anyhow, that's where the "home gym" part of my blog's title comes in. (A note about that: We joined a local rec center in October of 2006, so that "home gym" title doesn't completely apply anymore.) The "dumbbell" part is me and how I felt when I was starting out on a healthful eating and fitness program yet again, trying to sift through all the wildly conflicting information I'd heard from various books, websites, and TV shows and cobble together something that worked for me. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I'm not sure I do now either, but I seem to be managing anyhow.

A (somewhat) brief history of the major diets I've been on in the past is here.

In the previous version of this page I failed to mention that as far as I'm concerned, exercise has been the most important factor in my weight loss. People don't always like to hear that, but sorry: you really do need to exercise. The good news is that it doesn't have to suck: start slowly, pick activities you like, and before you know it you'll be one of those types who gets twitchy if you *don't* work out. My goal for 2008 is to get back to doing five good daily workouts a week. We also go on bike rides and long hikes on the weekend when weather permits.

It's not easy for me to sum up my current diet because although I watch my calorie intake, I don't consider myself to be on a diet. I try to stick to healthful fare on a daily basis -- fruits, veggies, lean meats and complex carbs -- but I've also been known to indulge in a slice of cake at an office birthday party, and I always have a nice little stack of Scharffen Berger chocolate bars in the pantry. Yes, I can control myself around them.

Early in 2005, I made the decision to start eating in a way I could live with for the rest of my life, and that meant not cutting out all the foods I find pleasurable. I still eat out in restaurants quite frequently and I no longer classify food as "good" or "bad" (or myself as "good" or "bad" depending on whether or not I resist temptation). Instead I watch portion sizes and I also make a real effort to stop eating when I'm getting full. It's not always as easy as I made it sound here, but it's gotten me this far.

Everything else you need to know about my efforts can be found in the archives.