Adios, Playa Mujeres! (Weigh-in #4)

I’m back from Mexico, and, miraculously, I managed to get a significant (for me) tan and an insignificant (also for me) number of mosquito bites. Huzzah!

As I think I mentioned, Sean and I headed to Playa Mujeres this past weekend to celebrate two of my wonderful friends getting married. This was my first destination wedding, and it was a ton of fun! It also helped that my brother and sister-in-law were the wedding photographers, so it was like a family vacation wrapped up in a friend vacation wrapped up in a wedding celebration. So, pretty much all of my favorite things combination!

My friendship journey with Kim and Jon has been such a testament to how many wonderful changes came about from me changing careers and starting to work at Yelp. See, I met Kim at one of my very first Yelp events. You know that feeling of just straight-up clicking with someone when you first meet them? Well, that was how it was. Kim has such a warm, friendly, and welcoming spirit, I knew I wanted to be friends IRL right away. And when I met Jon a few weeks later, it was the same thing. They’re such fantastic people, both individually and together, and it was such a delight to get to see these two lovebirds tie the knot.

Speaking of tying the knot, attending this wedding also did great things for my own post-wedding sanity. It showed me that whether you’re planning a destination wedding in Mexico or a winter wedding in Alexandria, Mother Nature’s gonna show up to crap all over you and things are going to go wrong. So while I feel for Kimmy that it poured cats and dogs on her wedding day, it really did provide me with a little bit of peace with regard to my own blizzard wedding, hahaha.

Either way, we still had a great time celebrating with the bride and groom. This was the first destination wedding that I’ve ever attended, and I gotta say, I definitely get the appeal. In addition to the vacation life that attending a destination wedding pretty much comes with, it was also just really nice to be able to meet and get to know so many of the wedding guests before the big day!

The resort that we stayed at (Finest Playa Mujeres) probably deserves an entire post to describe my, well, complicated feelings towards it, and I can’t say that I’m 100% sold on all-inclusive resorts after this (my first) experience. The short version of the story is that the resort was beautiful and very clean and the staff was like 95% wonderful, but the food was legitimately terrible and Taylor and I both came home to find out that staff stole money from our wallets in our rooms. But! Overall we still had a good time celebrating with friends (and making new ones!) and genuinely could not be more thrilled for the new Mr. & Mrs. 🙂

I guess the good thing about the food being awful is that, despite being at an all-inclusive (and, therefore, all-you-can-eat) resort, I barely gained weight while being away! So, I’m still pretty much sitting at my pre-Savannah weight, but here’s my official post-vacation weigh-in for those of you who are keeping track.

Starting Weight: 254.2 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 241.8 lbs
Current Weight: 241.9
Difference: +.1 lbs
Total Weight Lost: 12.3 lbs

Between all the traveling and vacationing and ignoring MyFitnessPal over the past few weeks, I’m honestly not feeling discouraged right now. In the past, a few weeks of non-losses like this would have likely sent me into a shame spiral about not doing enough, not doing it fast enough, etc. But if anything, it’s actually been encouraging that all I’m dealing with is a couple of ounces here or there (which, frankly, if it’s less than half a pound, I’m barely counting it anyway.) Either way, now that I’ve returned home, I’ll be getting back into a regular schedule and be able to start whittling myself down again. Onward!

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth (Weigh-in #3)

So, yesterday I saw a friend asking about Invisalign on Facebook, and it occurred to me that it’s been a really long time since I’ve given an update about my teeth (aside from the temporary crown situation that I reported on a few weeks ago). For those of you who might not have been following my braces saga, lemme ‘splain:

I was a regular ol’ brace face in 7th grade:

I had something like 14 months of braces (I don’t actually remember how long I had them, only that they were off by the time I moved from Falls Church to Taiwan the summer before 9th grade.) I was good about wearing my retainer until halfway through my freshman year of college because I was an ungrateful child relishing her first taste of parent-free living, and I did not (and still don’t) appreciate all the things my parents did for me.

And so, eventually, my teeth slipped back into a state of… relative disarray.

Sure, they weren’t the worst teeth ever, and certain angles showed them in a much better way than others. But I wasn’t happy with how they looked and eventually, it got to a point where I wanted to do something about it.

So in January 2014, I got lingual braces on my top teeth. Lingual braces are like regular metal braces, except they go on the back of your teeth, so you can’t see them. I had them for just over a year — the picture below on the right is the day I got them off.

 
Then, because apparently I have to do everything the hard way, I later decided that I also wanted to fix my bottom teeth as well. This may or may not have been a month or two after Sean proposed… but anyway. I went in for a consultation at Smiles at Fairfax Corner, and it turns out that straightening my teeth one row at a time doesn’t really work. I could work on the bottom (which were still pretty messed up), but I’d also need to work on my bite, which meant putting braces back on the top as well. Le sigh.

So, for the sake of science and curiosity, I decided to look into Invisalign this time. It turned out to be much more affordable than the lingual braces I had already sold a kidney to do, so I gave it a shot. I think most of you know what Invisalign is, right? It’s braces by way of removable aligners instead of having metal brackets affixed to your teeth.

Invisalign boasts its “invisibility” as one of the main reasons to go that route instead of traditional or lingual braces. It also offers the “flexibility” of being able to remove the retainers so you can still eat anything you want. Well, on those two claims I have some opinions, but in general, I’ve been just as happy with the results netted from IL as I have from the lingual braces before. Still, for anyone who might be considering IL, let’s talk about them in a little more detail:

 
As you can see in the above photos, in which I am wearing my aligners, Invisalign is most decidedly not as invisible as you might think. Perhaps when the technology first came out, you could get away with folks thinking your teeth are just a little shiny, but now getting IL involves getting “attachments” — little enamel bumps strategically adhered to your teeth to better help the aligners grip and move them.

Now, I’m all for efficiency, but the unfortunate side effect of the attachments is that they make the aligners even more visible when they’re in your mouth. The good news, however, is that the bumps truly are tooth-colored, so when you don’t have the liners in, you really can’t tell unless you’re basically staring someone straight in the teeth.

You can kind of see one of my attachments on the left side of my mouth in this photo — it’s sticking out a little bit. But I actually have multiple attachments all across my front teeth as well that you can’t see. (Just in case, however, I did have my attachments removed for the wedding and then put back on after I returned from my honeymoon.)

So, what this extreme dichotomy in “invisibility” ended up meaning for someone like me (coughvaincough), is that I really have only worn my aligners at night, and have gone bare-toothed during the day. I want to emphasize that this is NOT the recommended way to do it. In fact, Invisalign encourages ideal weartime of 22 hours a day. However, I am a very conceited person who takes a lot of selfies, so I just couldn’t do it.

The aforementioned “flexibility” was also a factor here. See, you can’t eat or drink anything except water with the aligners in. So, for a chronic snacker like myself, that meant taking out my aligners, eating, brushing, flossing, and shoving ’em back in like, 6 – 10 times a day. Not the most fun. Then again, maybe if I’d actually stuck with it, I’d have curbed my snacking habit instead. And maybe my extraordinarily excessive oral cleaning would have prevented my weird crown cavity thing. Or, maybe it would have made it worse because I’m terrible at flossing anyway and would have just half-assed it and ended up smooshing more food up against my teeth every time I popped my aligners back in. #whoknows

ANYWAY. All this to say that I’ve basically been operating for the past year with only wearing my Invisalign at night, and it’s worked out for me. But, I reiterate, I am also not saying that others should blatantly disregard the instructions of professionals.

So, here we are! Two and a half years have passed since my original foray into lingual braces, and another year since diving into the world of Invisalign, and I’m very nearly done! I’ve just a few more aligners to go at this point, and have some nice straight teeth — top AND bottom — to show for it.

So there you have it! A much longer, more drawn-out story (and process!) than I initially intended, but just like with all aspects of my life, evidently I really just have to do things my own way. 🙂

And speaking of those other life aspects, I owe you guys a weight report!

Starting Weight: 254.2 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 241.6 lbs
Current Weight: 241.8
Difference: +.2 lbs
Total Weight Lost: 12.4 lbs

Well, this should come as no surprise if you read my post yesterday, which recapped the stuff-my-face tour of Savannah that I took last week. And I’m not sure if next week will be much better, since I’m headed to Playa Mujeres on Friday, heh. But, hey! Life is for living, food is for eating, teeth are for straightening (I guess), and I’m just happy that I didn’t put the 12 pounds I have lost back on. ‘Til next time!

Quick Update (Weigh-in)

Not a ton of time today (as has been the case every day this week), but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to pop my results up on the blog today. So here we go, quick like a bunny:

(Re)Starting Weight: 236.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 223.7
This Weigh-in: 222.2 lbs
Difference: -1.5 lbs

And the train just keeps on rolling! Huzzah! Let’s just hope that this isn’t some kind of weird streak of stress-related weight loss due to my crazy schedule right now, hahaha.

See you guys on the flip!

Making Progress, Seeing Results (Weigh-in)

All right y’all, I’m cutting straight to the chase today. Allow me to PROUDLY present the following:

(Re)Starting Weight: 236.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 228.7
This Weigh-in: 223.7 lbs
Difference: -5.0 lbs!

Ta-daaaaaaa!! Guess all of that stress not-eating over Passport to Mosaic is finally working in my favor! Ahahaha. No, I kid, I kid, I have really been working on changing my eating habits this week, and am working hard at getting back into the swing of things. I guess this is proof that it’s working! (Of course, the lack of french fries in my current Lenten diet may also have something to do with it…)

I’ve officially re-lost the weight gained from my weeks in San Francisco and Macon, and then some! I am a very happy camper, and it’s true what they say, seeing results is honestly the best motivator in keeping my spirits up and goals in mind. FIVE pounds, bitches!

I’m hoping that at this point, my weight loss is starting to manifest itself with physical results too. I’ve mentioned before that because of my body shape — being tall and big-footed and large-framed and whatnot — weight loss can be very difficult to discern in tangible ways until I’ve lost a really significant amount. It often feels like five, even ten pounds here or there hardly makes a difference in how I look, which can be discouraging.

Luckily, I’ve got this totally awesome five pound loss to keep pushing me forward! And whether it’s from the power of suggestion or it’s my body finally catching up to the poundage I’ve tossed thus far, I do think my pants were a little looser this morning. 😉

And in other news…

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Say hello to my new hair color!

I feel like a beautiful mermaid, all thanks to my main man Linh at Be Scene Hair Studio. It seriously takes on a different shade in every light, and I loveloveLOVE it!

Man, every time I dye my hair, I love it so much that I swear I’m never going to another color. “I’ve gone purple and I’m never going back!” “Viva la pink forever!” And then I inevitably change it because it fades and I’m fickle like that and I fall EVEN more in love with the next one! I’m gonna have to have a poll once I’ve finished going through the rainbow so you guys can help me pick the one that looks best, hahaha.

Anyway, that’s all for today, folks! Have a great weekend, and think positive, happy thoughts for me as Passport kicks off on Sunday! I’ll see you when it’s over — provided I’m still alive, ‘course.

YBL 2014 Final Weigh-In

Well, my complete and total lack of posting this week is indicative of the fact that I very nearly went totally insane from how busy I’ve been. I leave for San Francisco on Sunday for CM Week — the annual Community Manager summit over at Yelp HQ. And while I couldn’t be more excited to get to spend an entire week with some of my Yelpy cohorts who I thus far have only known online (and most of you should know how much I love turning online friends into real life friends by now!) getting things tied up in a semi-respectable bow before I leave has been a little bit stressful.

However, not so stressful that I was unable to remember to tally up for my final Yelp’s Biggest Loser weigh-in! That particular challenge ends today (though obviously I still have many personal challenges and goals still to come!), so let’s get on that, shall we?

(Re)Starting Weight: 236.6 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 226.2
This Weigh-in: 225.1 lbs
Difference: -1.1 lbs

Heyyyyy, I’ll take it! I’m the first one to admit that my eats this week were NOT exactly on point (there may have been an evening spent at Red Lobster somewhere in there…) so I’m actually kind of shocked I was able to lose anything at all. I consider that a definite win.

So this brings my YBL Challenge totals to 11.5 pounds lost and a 4.9% change. Which almost definitely means I didn’t win any kind of prize as the grand poobah of weight loss (we have a guy who’s lost like 9%!) but I still consider it a valient effort that I’m certainly proud of. After all, hey! I’m 11.4 pounds lighter than I was when I started.

And now? Well, you know! Onward and downward and all that good stuff… after a probable bit of relapse given that I’m headed to San Francisco, the land of the Sushiritto.