Well, it's been quite a long time since my last blog post. Over 6 months in fact. Never fear, I didn't disappear. I just had a lot of changes in my life that took me away from SP.
Let's start with number one: I started working full-time as a ride operator at the Columbus Zoo. I ended up working two jobs, as I kept my pizza delivery job through the middle of May. Between a full time and a part time job, there wasn't time for internet. In fact, I spent days at a time, or even a week at a time without even opening my laptop. However, I left the pizza gig in May because they weren't giving me any hours. In the end that ended up working out well, however. I was able to pack my lunch and therefore maintain my diet plan through May and did hit my next goal of 200 lbs. I never dropped officially beneath 200, but I did reach it. I think completely removing exercise from my routine (I was too exhausted from work - plus I walked an average of 10 miles a day) kept me from dropping further.
Number two: In the last week of May, I was working at the family wooden coaster at the zoo when I got my shoe caught on a bolt and fell on the platform. My foot was caught in the bottom of the train as I fell and I ended up stress fracturing my fifth metatarsal, spraining my foot in two places and spraining my ankle. I spent the next six weeks on crutches and another week using a cane for balance. I went through physical therapy to regain the strength in my foot that helps keep me upright (I couldn't stand on one foot once I could start putting weight on it - I'd just topple over) and finally got clearance to return to full duty. In the middle of all of this, I went on an 8 day coaster vacation for the annual American Coaster Enthusiasts Coaster Con. Luckily I have amazing friends that were all willing to take turns on wheelchair duty and push me around three different parks.
Number three: In the six weeks on crutches, I came to really hate my job because I was basically banished to playground babysitting every day for 10 hours. I couldn't walk so I couldn't work on one of the rides but they weren't willing to send me to another department where I could sit all day and not deal with playground babysitting. Between my fiance hating his job, and me hating my job, and neither of us being able to find new ones in the area, we decided to take a huge leap of faith. We moved from our respective locations (him in east-central Indiana and me in Columbus Ohio) to eastern Tennessee. He went down first week of June and started working at his new job and moved into our apartment in Sevierville, and I followed the second week of July when I started work at my new job.
Number four: Between Coaster Con and moving to Tennessee, my eating habits went down the hole and kept going. My new job is at Dollywood, which just won an international award for best park food. And we get a very nice employee discount on said food. It's often cheaper to buy food at the park than I could pack a lunch for (and simpler) so I ate on park a lot.
All of these things combined together, during the time I was on crutches I gained 8 lbs. As soon as I started working at Dollywood (I'm in rides still, so I'm constantly in motion) I lost several and then it fluctuated back and forth a lot. At last check, I'm at 205 lbs (5 more than my lowest on this journey) but still very solidly wear a size 18 in pants.
My wedding is now only two weeks away. A size 16 dress is waiting for me. I know I fit (barely) into it at 202, so I started hitting the diet hard this week. I'd like to get back to that 202 by October 7th and I with how quickly I've dropped in the past, I think that's very possible. I don't own a scale right now (it's on my Walmart list) so I don't know exactly where I am, but four days into the diet my body is still getting used to the nutritional change. I'm hoping to shed the water I'm retaining soon and see where I really stand size-wise. My final dress fitting is on Tuesday and I want to rock that 16 like never before!
Current pics will be posted soon. I don't have a 200-lb T-shirt comparison, but I do have a few pics that have been taken this year where you can really see the change. I've dropped a total of around 30 lbs from last spring until now, 25-ish since January. After I get back from my honeymoon (where all food restrictions will be gone) I want to try and get back in the groove and finally make it down to my goal weight of 165. My fiance and I are planning to start a family in the next 2 years and I'd like to be as healthy as possible before adding any complications to my body.
Edited to add: I found a picture that I really feel I should include that shows my progress. This was taken in late July here in Tennessee. I wanted some photos of me with my camera to use on my photography website and Facebook page. I mentioned several blog posts ago about a pair of finger-tip length size 18 shorts I was hoping to get back into over the summer. Not only did I get back into them, they're my favorite pair of shorts and are actually a little too big now. I'm wearing them in this photo (along with a Mystery Mine t-shirt, which is the ride I work on) and showing more leg than I ever would have shown at any time in the past 8 years.