TT Thursday : self-portrait with Midnight for Feline Friday; my Weight Loss Challenge Week 31 & 32

TT Thursday : self-portrait with Midnight for Feline Friday; my Weight Loss Challenge Week 31 & 32

TT Thursday Part 2: self-portrait with Midnight; my Weight Loss Challenge Week 31 & 32

I skipped a week so this week is just a progress report and a bit about me.  I am ecstatic! I hit 200 and then under 200.  As you all know I started this whole thing at 250, well 251.2 but who’s counting?  Me!  (laughing)

I wanted to share a before and after pic with you but then I realized the shots had no head!  I am trying to get over being shy and share more of myself because over the last year or so I felt like I’ve moved from strangers to acquaintances and even to friends with you. So over time, I no longer feel shy with you and no longer feel like my words are going out to strangers.  So three days ago, I did a portrait shot with Midnight.  I posted it first on Instagram back then because it wasn’t Thursday or Friday yet.  Today I am writing my Thursday & Friday post together.  Also on Instagram, I get large swings of people adding and dropping me for no reason I can figure out.  So if lots of people dropped me, I’d probably reconsider sharing my portrait here.  So yeah, I’m shy and chicken.  I much prefer taking the photo to being in one.

So here is my portrait and a bit about Midnight and myself (some of you follow me on IG too so you would have seen this 1/15/19. If you’re curious, I did get dropped by a few but it was within normal IG attrition levels):

Midnight is a rescue cat. I got him a couple of years ago when he was 12. When I got him, he had been returned twice. I think he used to be an only cat with his first owner who passed away. There was a note in the chart he doesn’t get along with dogs. Well, yeah! He’s a cat.

Nowadays at age 14 his favorite hobby is eating and napping. He’s a chowhound. He’s still playful though. I wish he wouldn’t play with his claws out. When he catches something, he wants to keep it! I’ve learned to use a string or something that keeps my fingers safe. He loves crawling into my lap, especially when I’m on the computer. He adores being petted under his chin, across his cheek and over his forehead and purrs and purrs and purrs. He’s a good cat.

II’m working on breaking out of my shell. So this is me with Midnight.

I am your typical American Heinz 57 mix. My mom is from Okinawa and I get most of my looks from her. My dad, born in Lowell Massachusetts, gets Norwegian from his mom and French Canadian from his dad which includes Native American. My dad remembers his grandmother as only speaking Norwegian. Of the tribal heritage, I think one of my aunts said Blackfoot but I can’t be sure of that. I get my height, weight and dimples from my dad. I am 5’7″ so between my 5’1 mom and 6′ dad.

So that’s me and Midnight. (and no I am not choking Midnight.  I am holding him back from trying to lick the camera.  He licks everything! He loves rubbing his cheek against my laptop corner too.  He’s a strange cat but I love him.) Thus ends my Feline Friday half.

Comedy Plus does a great Feline Friday! If you love cats, come join the blog hop!


Back to TT Thursday: my weight loss progress

January 7th, I hit 200!  So happy.  I put my original pic with the January photo for a before/after composite.  Since then the lowest I’ve hit was199.1 and I’ve been fluctuating between 199 and 202.   I admit I’ve been celebrating the 200.  I had bacon with my omelette and tiramisu with my latte.  But I’m ready to go back to normal eating habits — veggies and fruits mostly.  Who knew that my so-called “diet” would be become what I consider normal.  I actually miss the veggies when I don’t eat them.  Veggies and fruits are my main food groups now instead of rice, pasta or meat.  Shakes my head.  Seems kind of weird because in the past I had a nodding acquaintance with veggies.  I’d nod at them as I pass them by on the buffet table.  I knew what they were to look at but really they were side dishes that I didn’t think much about or they were sprinkled in  my pasta. I think that’s what has changed the most in the past seven months, I’ve gotten to know veggies and like them a lot better than I expected.  I am still doing intermittent fasting with mostly no carbs, sugar, fat or salt. Those do exist in veggies and fruit I know but I’m not adding them into the cooking. The carbs I avoid are white rice, pasta and potatoes.

The other thing is that I’ve joined a few HealthyWage6% challenges around the same time three months ago so I’ve done weigh out on 4 and they’ve begun their payout.  January 9th, I received $111.86 for the Falling Pounds Jackpot Challenge. As you know these are potluck challenges.  I and 532 other people paid in $60. HealthyWage gets 25%  off the top to pay for their staff and website and the 220 participants who succeeded in losing 6% of their weight split the rest $24,525. On this challenge, I started at 219.9 on October 3rd and had to be down to 206.7 by December 26th. It’s been pretty consistent that about half succeed but I find the smaller 3-month goal more doable for me. HealthyWage works for me on these challenges because it has 4 things going for it.

  • Negative reinforcement : I don’t want to lose my $60
  • Positive Reinforcement : I want to win a share of the pot
  • Short-term time limit : Three months
  • Well-defined target goal : 6% weight loss (13.2 pounds)

Reporting weekly on the blog adding a 5th component:

  • Accountability : reporting in my weekly progress to a group of people who are positive in their feedback.  I think this last is so important because you are generally fighting your own negative thoughts as you lose weight especially in the beginning.

In setting any goal, I think creating those 5 components will make most goals attainable.  Maybe you can skip the negative reinforcement component. As you succeed at the short-term goals, I find it builds confidence as you move towards the big goal. It’s not so much that HealthyWage made me succeed because I do do the work.  It’s more that HealthyWage makes it easier to build in the first four components: reinforcement, defined short-term time limit, and defined target goal. Sure I make up my own list of reinforcements but I like winning the money.

(Note: Healthywage has a friends link where we can share each other’s progress as we lose weight. This friends link adds a $40 to your HealthyWager award and $40 to my HealthyWager award but not the other challenges like the 6% ones. Joining through the friends link also lets you view your friend on the dashboard: you’ll see their name and what % they’ve lost so far but not the actual weight. That’s private unless you make it public for your friends. If you want to lose weight, I highly recommend HealthyWage as it pairs negative reinforcement (don’t want to lose the money you are paying for the bed) with positive reinforcement (you win money if you succeed during your time period). I’ll be happy to cheer you on if you join as my friend. The other HealthyWage links are affiliate links. If you join on an affliate link, I won’t see you as my friend. I do benefit but you won’t get the extra $40 to your main HealthyWage wager bonus. I’d love to be your friend on this journey but I know some people prefer to lose weight privately especially when they are beginning.)
Falling Pounds Jackpot Challenge

You can join up to 10 challenges so feeling my oats and to be sure I didn’t fall off the wagon during the Christmas season, I also joined Big Buck Losers which ended 1/2.  That one was a toughy.  You have a two-week window for the final weigh out which meant for this challenge you can weigh out between December 19 through January 2nd.  I like weighing out on the first few days of a window because then I’m safe.  This time I was sweating it and didn’t drop below 202.3 until January 2nd!  So close.  I ran out to buy the paper so I could do my weight out at 201.7 which I showed you in my post on January 5th.  The lucky thing was that it was also the two week window for Healthier Holidays and Scale Watchers  which I had also joined so the one final weigh out video covered three challenges.

This week Big Bucks paid $155.25 for the $100 bet on January 16th. With this one my start weight was 215.2 and my goal was 202.3.  Out of 412 participants, 197 succeeded. I am not saying I didn’t have any holiday sweets but knowing I had a weigh out coming up did help keep me more or less on target even though I did push it to the final day.

Big Bucks Losers Jackpot Challenge

I joined a couple challenges on January 2nd. One started on the 1st but you can join challenges up to a couple weeks after they start.  It’s tricky though because you’re playing catchup and if you’re joining a week late, that’s a lot of catchup because they start the clock ticking from the day the challenge starts, not the day you join.  A day late is no big deal though. I’m a little worried because I’m going out to California for a bit and it’s harder for me to control my eating when I’m not at home.

Hopefully joining these two will help me stay more on track.  I rolled my winnings over to pay for the next bet from my previous winnings so that I’m not really paying money in any more.  I am happy I’ve lost the 50 but I’m a little worried about now that I’m under 200, if I will keep losing or not. I know that these little challenges really help keep me on track. But will I keep losing? I’m not so sure. My big goal?  It was 187.1 but I like the idea of 175 as a nice round number or even 150. 150  especially would be nice because then if I gain 10 pounds back, I won’t mind.  I’ve heard that when people stop focusing on losing weight, they sometimes gain a little back. However, 150 just seems like a dream.   I think I weighed that once in my 20s when I was eating watermelon for lunch and playing racquetball a lot.  I’d be happy with 175.  Actually I’m very happy now just being under 200.  I’m a little dazed I reached that …. but I have got to stop celebrating that fact, lol.

Here is how I’m doing on my current HealthyWage challenges. (ontrack versus weight of 199.1). January 9th the winners and winning amount will be announced for Falling Pounds.

name end date goal expected ontrack?
Falling Pounds 12/26 206.7 206.7 paid $111.86
Big Buck Losers 1/2 202.3 202.3 paid $155.25
Healthier Holidays 1/6 202.3 202.3 done, weighed out
Scale Watchers 1/16 202.7 202.7 done, weighed out
Winter Winners 2/20 197.6 202.6 yes
Pound Droppers 2/27 197.6 203.6 yes
WeightLoss Takeoff 3/3 197.6 204.2 yes
Shrinking Scale s 3/6 193.5 200.4 yes
New Year’s Slimdown 3/26 189.8 199.4 yes
Get Lean in 2019 3/27 189.8 199.6 yes
Healthy Wager 6/4 187.1 211.6 yes

These are my past awarded challenges

My past HealthyWage challenges.

name end date goal lost bet won net winnings
Big Losers 12/3/18 209.7 13.4 lbs $33.33/mo $143.25 $43.25
Poundshedders 12/3/18 209.7 13.4 lbs $20/mo $96.59 $36.59
Going for Goal 11/9/18 219.7 14 lbs $20/mo $92.94 $32.94
Slimming & Winning 8/27/18 237 15.1lbs $20/mo $151.40 $91.40
Totals 53 lbs $160 $484.18 $204.14

Oh yeah, I meant to show you my before and after picture.  I know it’s not great but you can see how my tummy has shrunk from 250 to 200. I know I still have a belly but it’s a lot less.  Honestly one thing I am grateful for is maybe because I lost weight slowly but I don’t have tons of skin hanging on me. I’m definitely plump, my thighs look ripply from the weight loss  but while I don’t look like a model, I think I look okay all things considered for a 58 year old woman who just lost 50 pounds. (yeah, i’m tucking it in at the end because it’s a little embarrassing but I’m sharing anyways.  The bikini bottoms I am wearing got stretched out at 252 so now I have to use a safety pin on the other side to keep it up for the photo.  I don’t know where the top went but it’s just as well. I wouldn’t have worn it anyways.)

So that’s it.  My first before and after pic. Maybe my last, lol.


Thanks again everybody for hanging in there with me!




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30 Replies to “TT Thursday : self-portrait with Midnight for Feline Friday; my Weight Loss Challenge Week 31 & 32”

    1. Thank you Theresaly. Midnight says thank you too. I appreciate the lovely compliment especially as I was nervous to share it.

  1. I am doing some blog catchup today. Super congratulations on breaking the 200 barrier! I know it is just a number, but it has psychological power. I truly believe you will reach the goal you desire. You have gone too long and hard to fail. Like your portrait. I will tell you I felt much better once I began plastering my face all over my blog, and I am not George Clooney! It helps people connect with you and think of you as a real person. ( I say this, mind you, only for my blog. I am not on other social media.) I also think it is good of you to have before and after photos of your weight loss as well, to remind you where you came from. You never want to go back there! Never! I bet you are feeling better physically as well, am I right? Got to move on. Keep hunting those metal snakes and spiders!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement on posting the portrait. Several people commented that they liked it including Chris so it went over way better than I thought it would. I agree with the before and after. I didn’t realize how much my circumference went down until I saw that as I still have a bit of a pot. Hard to see changes when you see yourself everyday. I guess that’s why I like the scale so much because at least I can see the numbers goign down. Just found out I went down two sizes in clothes. Lori said my clothes look way too baggy and gave me a L that she could not fit into. I said I’m not a large but she insisted I try it and the pants fit. That’s a good surprise. Being back home will make it easier to get back on track.

    1. Thank you Mary. I appreciate the lovely compliment. It’s harder to see the changes for me cuz I live with it but just realized I dropped down two sizes. Midnight says hi back.

  2. Midnight is beautiful and so are you. I’m so proud of your weight loss. I know how hard it is to lose weight.

    Thanks for joining the Feline Friday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous weekend, skinny. Scritches to Midnight. ♥

    1. Midnight purrs thank you for the scritches! he love the attention. Thank you too for the positive reinforcements with your encouragement. It helps a lot.

      Hope you’re having a great Feline Friday.

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment on the photo of me and Midnight. He says thank you too. I really appreciate the support on my weight loss journey too. It helps a lot to keep going.

    1. it got through. I moderate to avoid spam but also to avoid losing comments from real people by being mistaken for spam. For some reason, I often end up in people’s spam folder and have no clue why. When I was doing RDP, I noticed some people also would end up there. Thank you for the lovely compliment. It was a big step for me actually so it helps.

  3. Oh, I am so so happy and proud of you, Mary! Congratulations on all your achievements, weight loss, and confidence and everything! I love your self-portrait, and other photos, too, thank you for sharing!
    I have not been on IG so it was nice to see your post today, and learn about MidnightI and a little more about you. I am looking forward to reading your posts this year!

    1. Thank you Irene. I’m glad the self-portrait was ok. I’m going to try to open up more this year. We’ll see. Shy is still shy which I know is kind of an oxymoron since I enjoy blogging so much. I’m also going to try to cook more this year. I love your posts about food and all the history. I’m planning on trying the pickled ginger one as I’m going away for a bit and I have a bit of ginger left that needs to be used up. Those are my two main resolutions for 2019.

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