November 26, 2010-present weight loss

2012 weight loss

Monday, January 30, 2012

How My Perspective Has Changed

My lightest weight as an adult was 188lbs-- 12lbs less than I weigh now.  I was in law school and had a healthy appetite for Adipex (doctor prescribed, for all of you who just gasped).  Even with the drugs, it was impossible for me to maintain that weight.  I held below 190 for a couple of weeks, and then I never saw a number starting with 18 again.  I was able to stay in the 190s while I kept popping Adipex, and then POOF, I got up to 324.6lbs.  Ok, ok, it wasn't quite that fast a gain, but yes, it was that dramatic.
I was on the phone with Kenny last night (the bum is enjoying Florida while we are experiencing painfully cold weather in London), and I mentioned how my perspective regarding my weight is much different than it was the last time I lost.  In 2004/2005, I felt HOT when I was around this weight.  I was on the top of the world.  I was also in my 20s, which might have had something to do with the opinion I had regarding my hotness.  I feel much different this time around.  I know I look good, but I feel that I still have a long way to go.  And while I am comfortable saying that I look good, I am realistic enough that I have not elevated myself to the level of looking hot. 
I feel that this change in perspective comes from different places.  Some stems from the reality that I compare myself to others much more than I ever did before.  I spend a lot of my day at the gym next to women who are in much better shape than I.  Then I come home from the gym, log onto blogger and read about all of you successful bandsters-- most of whom weigh less than I do.  I was bigger than most of you when I had surgery, and the sad reality is that I do still have a journey ahead of me.  A lot of the change is probably that I know I can lose more this time around.  I am not starving myself to lose this weight; I am working out and eating a healthy diet!  I don't know what my final weight will be, but I do know that I am not at the end of the road yet.  I never want to get overly obsessed with my weight, so I will continue to take my weight loss in 10lb increments.  
Now back to my conversation with Kenny.  I pretty much said the above to him (and said that I still see myself as fat), and he was kind of stunned.  He is so proud of/pleased by my drastic transformation and made it abundantly clear that he would be fine if I never lost another pound.  He is fine with me continuing to lose if that is what I want to do, but he doesn't think it is necessary.  He also said that he just wants to make sure the I am healthy, lose weight in a healthy manner and that I really see how far I have come.  I think he was a bit freaked out that I might be getting some sort of body dysmorphia or other condition where I see myself as much heavier than I am.  This is certainly not the case, but I am still obese.  I won't be for much longer though:)  
Anyway, it is funny to see how I now view myself much differently than I had.  I'd like to think some of this is because I now have the confidence to know that I can do better than my 2004/2005 low.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Plans That Weren't

Kenny is in Miami for work and won’t return until Wednesday, and a university friend living in Dubai was supposed to come for a quick visit on Saturday.  Everything was planned- and everything was cancelled.  My friend’s passport got held up at the Italian embassy, so he won’t be landing here until Monday.  I almost booked a flight home to see mom for a few days.  I almost booked a flight to Miami.  Instead, I decided to stay in London (remember a few months ago when I blogged about how I always have theme songs for my life?  This weekend’s song is, not surprisingly, All By Myself).  I didn’t want to spend so much money on a flight for such a short trip and miss two or three days at the gym!  Who am I???  I skipped going somewhere because I didn’t want to miss the gym! 
Yesterday I saw Phantom of the Opera for the first time.  It was an amazing performance and was such a nice way to spend a few hours.  Many shows start in London before making their way to Broadway, and I didn’t know until yesterday that Phantom is one of them.  It has been playing here for 25 years!  London is known for the theatre, and I really don’t take advantage of the great access I have.  I will try to go more frequently this year! 
Last night my gym buddy and her fiancĂ© (who also works for Kenny) adopted me.  We went out for drinks and dinner with a group of their friends and had a great time.  One of the many wonderful things about being smaller is that I am so much more comfortable meeting new people.  I am social by nature and have always been more confident than many, but things are just so much better now.  I blend in, and I actually fit in the seats/around the table.  We were at a popular Notting Hill pub and did a fair amount of drinking.  Getting to the bathroom required a lot of maneuvering around people at the bar.  It was great to be able to squeeze through groups of people without completely displacing them.  Now when I shimmy behind a guy, I know my boobs will hit him rather than my belly (and not too many guys in a pub have an issue with a woman’s boobs knocking into them).  I still need the belly to shrink, but it is heading in the right direction.
On the subject of getting the belly down, I had a great week at the gym.  I went to Body Pump on Monday, Wednesday and Friday AND did Spin on Tuesday and Thursday.  This is in addition to my normal cardio routine.  I am going to try to keep to this schedule.  The classes are a way for me to push myself and do exercises that I would never attempt on my own.  Several women attend these classes every day, and I am slowly becoming friendly with them.  I think this will help keep me going, as they will notice if I slack off and skip a class or two.  Another great thing for my accountability is my new Polar monitor.  I can accurately chart how long I have worked out for and how many calories I’ve burned.  Gone are the days of saying that I worked out for about an hour when I only completed 45 minutes of exercise.  When I combine the classes, the cardio, the women, and the Polar monitor, I am pretty convinced that this is going to be a great gym year for me!  More importantly, this will be my goal yearJ       

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another First

In case the new gym and new Body Pump haven't been enough for my system, I tried out Spin yesterday.  My girlfriend invited me to her gym to try the class, and I enjoyed it much more than I had expected to.  I really didn't think I would be able to complete the class in the beginning-- it was SO intense-- but I got into a good grove and was very proud of how well I did!  I was able to keep going the entire time and didn't take the breathers that some of the other spinners took.  I was sweating like a pig, but most of us looked like we had fallen into the pool by the time the class was over.  So... I am going to try a class at my gym tomorrow.  I went back to Body Pump today (even though I have a cold) and think that Spin could be a good cardio addition to my routine.  My one issue with Spin is the smaller than small and harder than hard seat.  There is a very little piece of my tush that is in no way looking forward to the prospect of another encounter with said seat.  So for you spinners out there, do you just deal with the seat (and build a very unfortunate callus perhaps)?  I know some people use the gel seat covers or the gel bike shorts, but is this overkill?  My bum and I welcome any suggestions.  As a side note, the girlfriend I worked out with is not the girlfriend who got me to join my new gym.  I have had two girlfriends invite me to two gyms for gym dates.  How cool is that?  This would have never happened last year.  It is especially gratifying that even though I remain big, my friends are comfortable inviting me for pretty intense gym sessions!
I have been working out like a mad woman, but my weight is all over the place.  I made it down to 203.6 at the end of the week but was up to 208 this morning.  I KNOW that is not all 'real' weight gain, but it is still VERY annoying.  I am eating well with the exception of a few indulgences during the dinner parties we host.  Even these indulgences are small- a little piece of key lime pie and maybe 6 corn chips- not the gigantic quantities I would have eaten in prior years.  Given that I am working out for 2 hours a day, 5 day a week, I should be losing.  For now I am thinking that some of this fluctuation might be due to Body Pump.  Rather than just burning calories on the Vario, I am attempting to build muscle.  I have read that this can slow weight loss temporarily.  Maybe my body is protesting and I will have to hang out around this weight for a couple of weeks (much to my dismay) until my body and my muscles catch up with my new workouts, sigh.  If I don't start losing by the first week in February, I will consider a slight fill during my next trip home.  I hope it doesn't come to that.  I don't like relying on fills.  I am so NOT a fill junkie and am happy that I haven't had a fill since September.  Still, the fill is a tool that I might have to utilize again down the road.  I am probably overreacting to my recent weight fluctuations, but they are terribly disappointing considering the effort I am putting into my training.        

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Small People and Space

Have you ever noticed that small people take up a disproportionate amount of space?  They walk through areas without a care for the people or objects around them, leaving unsuspecting victims in their wake.  They don't pay attention to their bags and coats, which wind up being used as weapons of mass destruction.
My husband is a prime offender.  He is completely clueless when it comes to how much space he takes up.  Last week when we went out to dinner, he knocked over a water glass on the table next to us when he walked past with his work bag.  At a Christmas cocktail party he stepped backwards (for no apparent reason) and right into a very unhappy server.  He seems to have no awareness of his surroundings and how he fits into these surroundings.  I find that this is a common occurrence with people who have always been small.  They just kind of do what they want without a care. 
Bigger people, on the other hand, tend to be hyper aware of their surroundings.  Because they are accustomed to squeezing into small spaces, they are cautious.  They make sure their coats are off before walking past diners in a restaurant and pull in their bags to make sure they don't whack other diners.  At parties, they make sure to walk around groups of people rather than squishing through them.  When I was at my heaviest, I was SO cautious of how I handled myself in public.  I knew that I would always be the fattest gal in the room, but I refused to be the fattest gal who also caused unnecessary disruption and annoyance.  
As I get smaller, I realize that I am still a big person when it comes to space.  I walk with my pocketbook in front of me when in a tight area, even though it is not necessary.  At cocktail parties I always know not only who is next to me but whether people are behind me.  I never back up without first taking a peak over my shoulder to ensure that the coast is clear.  It's not that I view myself as being bigger than I am; it is just that I have carried over some habits from my former life.   
Do any of you feel that you still have this fat radar even when at a more 'normal' weight?   

Friday, January 20, 2012

My New Love

I have a new love, a love named Body Pump. While I was very committed to the gym in 2011, I mostly avoided classes. I did take 2 yoga classes. I promised myself I would take 5 before deciding that it was/was not for me, but after two classes hearing about my Third Eye, I was 100% over yoga. My new gym has TONS of classes, and I figured it was finally time to try one or two out. Aqua Tone is OK, but I feel that it is too easy. It might be fine for days when I need to recuperate, but it isn't enough for me.
This Monday I tried Body Pump, figuring that I really need to tone this year. So I walked into the studio, and everyone was grabbing weights, steps, pads, and so on and so on. I enlisted the aid of a very fit and pleasant American woman to help me get sorted, and off I went. The trainer came in and asked if any of us were new to Body Pump. I raised my hand, and she was like "Never, this is really your first class-- EVER?". Great start to the class. Just in case answering that I was new to BP wasn't enough, I had to again clarify that this was in fact my first class. Then she looked over, and I think she figured out that I still weighed about 50lbs more than the other class participants. For the rest of the class she referred to me as New Lady, as in "New Lady, you doing OK" and "New Lady, you hanging in there". Even the American commented that the trainer really didn't have to single me out quite so much (or could have at least called me by name)! Even with the odd trainer, I really enjoyed the class. My heart rate was elevated, I worked out my upper and lower body and really liked the vibe. The American mentioned that she does Body Pump three times a week, and I thought that sounded like a great move. I have now done body pump three days this week- Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am sometimes slower than the others in the class and might only get in 5-6 reps when the others get in 8, but I am doing it! Tuesday and Thursday were cardio only days, and I did (wait for it) 2 hrs per day. I know working out for 2 hours a day isn't sustainable, but it is a good way to get my butt in gear for 2012. Plus, I refuse to give up my nightly vino, so spending more time at the gym is the price I must pay for said indulgence.
Some of you asked that I post pictures of the shoes I bought last week, so here you go...
 Nora needs a pedicure:(
My Blackberry takes really bad pictures, so here is the picture from the website (with much better angles).  I bought these shoes in red as well as in blue. The red pair is still hidden in the closet, as I haven't quite told Kenny about them yet.  They are pretty big and obvious and won't remain a secret for too long.
I couldn't find a picture of these online, so this will have to do.
They are surprisingly comfortable!
Lastly, I stole some pictures off of Catherine's blog of our dinner.  Most of you have probably seen them already, but at the very least my mom can see them now!  We had such a lovely evening, and the four of us looked pretty stellar together! Now I just need to keep my eye on losing more weight so I can get close to her very petite size:)

Monday, January 16, 2012

How I Spent My Friday

After returning home from a very late dinner party on Thursday evening, I immediately arranged for a car service to pick me up at 6:45.  Craziness, one might say.  Apart from another vacation, what could possibly get Nora up and ready to go at such an hour?  Well, I hear that a picture is worth a thousand words, so without further ado, I submit my picture:    
Two words make me more excited that just about anything, and they are- Hermes. Sale.  So yes, I woke up at 6:15, packed myself up with a Fage yogurt and some agave nectar, a bottle of water and my Kindle and headed to Mayfair to queue for the sale.  The sale was scheduled to begin at 8:30, and I arrived just before 7.  It was cold, and it was dark.  My Under Armour spandex came in very handy beneath my jeans.  I was #6 in the queue- very exciting!  About 30 minutes before the doors opened, it looked like this:
The queue was a few hundred people deep by this point! 
We all received plastic bags to put our goods in while shopping:)
The doors opened, and Nora was off.  The sale itself was MADNESS!  The idiots running the sale let EVERYONE in at the same time, and it was like the running of the bulls (in NYC we have rules, and only so many people are allowed in at one time).  Within 2ish minutes, the hundreds of people from outside were now pushing and shoving their way through the aisles.  I knew that this location did not discount the traditional Hermes scarves that I like, so my game plan was to look at shoes for me and ties for Kenny.  Because I was the one who stood outside for more than 90 minutes, I felt that I had earned the right to shop for me first.  Boxes of shoes were piled high, and I found out that they were arranged by style rather than size.  Not good when you are a size 41 and are battling with the crazies. 
I decided to forego the shoes in the beginning and instead focus on ties.  Kenny is the one who has to dress nicely every day after all.  I made it to the ties less than a minute before everyone from the queue entered (so I had maybe been in the venue for 45 seconds or so), and I got there at the perfect time.  So many people pushed behind me that there were elbows thrown, display tables pushed and I expect that I have bruises on my back.  The pushing was so bad that security had to intervene as the modular display tables were being pushed into the saleswomen standing behind the tables!  People were going completely crazy.  I usually inspect all of the ties, line them up next to each other and take my time.  Not here folks.  I know what Kenny tends to favor, so I just pushed in and grabbed-- and grabbed-- and grabbed.  Seven ties later, and I decided to finally head over to the shoe area.  I found three fantastic pairs of shoes (though I told Kenny I only bought two pairs, so it will be our little secret) and made it to the checkout.  Bags in hand, I made it to the Underground by 9:30.  
The DAMAGE!!!      

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Barcelona, Baby!!!

Well, we are almost half way through January and I have yet to blog about our long weekend in Barcelona.  I am finding it very hard to blog recently and have just been avoiding it.  Blogging is like the gym- once I get into it I am golden, but it is hard to pick it back up after a hiatus.  Luckily my 2012 gymming is going MUCH better than my blogging.  I promise, I will get better.  Now onto our little New Year's celebration. 
Kenny and I returned to London from Christmas in the States early on the morning of December 29.  Within 25 hours we were back at the airport and had boarded our flight to Barcelona.  Not like I am complaining, the travel is phenomenal, but... we were a bit tired when we got to London and almost let out a groan that we had to unpack, repack and return to the airport in under one day.  We are lucky that we have learned to minimize the effects of jet lag or we would have been miserable.

Our hotel was right on La Rambla (Las Ramblas), the main pedestrian street/walkway in Barcelona.  It is lined with kiosks selling all sorts of knickknacks and is a tourist magnet.  It is also in the heart of the city, which meant that we were able to walk just about everywhere we wanted to see.
We hadn't been to Barcelona since our first visit in 2006 and were a bit worried that we would wind up repeating many of the main attractions and be bored.  We could not have been more wrong!  The city is gigantic, and there was SO much to see.  We could easily go back for yet another weekend without ever revisiting what we have already seen.
Barcelona has become one of the culinary centers of Spain, so we did our best to successfully eat and drink our way through the weekend.  Between this and hopping around Barcelona to see much of the amazingly creative acthitectural designs of Antoni Gaudi, we were busy bees.
A local bar we visited for a glass of cava and cured meats
Touring a UNESCO Heritage Site- not quite sure a hard hat works for Kenny...
Not really my look either
La Sagrada Familia- one of Gaudi's most famous buildings
La Padrera- by Gaudi as well
Top of La Padrera

 Dancing (Magic) Fountain
One of the highlights of our trip was booking a wonderful 10-course New Year's Eve dinner at G.e.l.o.n.c.h.  It is no secret that Kenny and I are foodies and thoroughly enjoy our meals out.  We critique the food, compare courses, discuss how our wine pairs with the food, and on and on.  We also get to chat.  Kenny has an obnoxious work schedule, and these meals are one of our only times to sit and relax together.  The restaurant I chose was heaven for foodies, and it was funny to see how many diners were taking pictures of the courses as they were presented.  I was prime among the photo-obsessed just so I could share each and every course with you.  So here we go... 
 Oyster with grapefruit gin, tonic and mint
 Micuit of marinated vegetables in escabeche
Creamy potato, egg sous vide and sea urchin cappuccino
Escudella broth with spider crab ravioli and Iberian ham d.o. Extremadura
Red prawn with pisco, baked in garlic sauce, with chard and hibiscus
Red mullet with squash gnocchi, baby carrots and veal sweetbreads
Suckling pig (24 hour sous vide), sunchoke sauce and cashew viniagrette
Assorted cheese with honey-banana cream, caramelized endive and baked eggplant sorbet
 Black truffle and white chocolate ganache, macha tea spongecake and cocoa snow
Olive oil cake, apple sorbet, coconut foam, mint granita, and black olive
Of course Kenny took this picture... please enjoy the view of my girls!

All I can say is WOW.  We were seated at 9 and didn't leave the restaurant until after 2!  Each course was amazing, and the evening was perfect.  Our table was opposite the kitchen, so we were able to salivate over everything coming out of the very little window.  Every time the chef opened the window to peer out into the dining room, I was right there.  Thankfully I liked the food.  It would have been quite embarrassing for both of us had he looked out in time to see me gagging!    
New Year's Day and the following day were very relaxing.  We walked around, queued outside of La Sagrada Familia and basically relaxed.  And of course, we sampled some more food and wine whenever possible.  We finally made it back to London on the evening of January 2nd.  After eating only 4 home-cooked meals between our late-November trip to Marrakesh and our January 2012 return to London, all we wanted was fish and vegetables.  Eating at home has never felt so good:)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Interesting Article On Obesity

I read this article online last week and expected that everyone would be blogging about it.  If any of you have posted about it, mea culpa.  If not, please take a few minutes to read it.  It addresses why so many people who are obese gain back weight after dieting and goes through the physiological and metabolic things our bodies do to keep us fat.  For those who are able to keep the weight off, they have some things in common according to the National Weight Control Registry: THEY MUST EAT FEWER CALORIES AND EXERCISE MORE than a person who maintains the same weight naturally!  These people exercise for at least an hour a day- every day-, they weigh themselves- every day- and they don't cheat on weekends and holidays.  Even years after losing weight, they are vigilant.  The article also discusses how formerly obese people have caloric disadvantages due to post weight loss changes in their bodies.  In one example a 190 lb woman needed 2,300 calories to maintain her weight, even though the typical woman in her age and weight category could consume 2,600 and maintain.  I can't possibly summarize the entire article and won't bother to try.  But please take a look folks.  It really shows that losing weight is a lifelong commitment and something that we will always have to focus on.  We might have to work out harder or eat healthier than our friends who weigh the same amount, but when we KNOW this, we can't use it as an excuse.  "... but we all ate two slices of pizza, I am not doing anything wrong..." and "... Suzy barely exercises, and look how skinny she is..." won't fly for us.  That is not our reality! 
And my reality is that I still weigh more than the typical obese woman in one of the studies referenced in the article, le sigh.

Christmas Shenanigans

Our trip back home was great.  We were in the States from December 16-28 and had a whirlwind visit.  Between seeing our families and catching up with friends, along with balancing Kenny's work commitments, we were utterly exhausted!  We landed late on Friday night and hosted a dinner for friends at my mom's home the following evening.  Not the best planning on our part, but we didn't have other options. 
We spent four nights at the Palace, which is still a favorite hotel of mine.  Sure, it is a bit dated and in need of some TLC, but it is beautiful (and the service is just about perfect).  On our first night in New York we had a lovely dinner with Catherine and her mom at G.r.a.m.e.r.c.y.T.a.v.e.r.n..  Catherine and I frequently catch up when I am in town, but this was the first time we have added others to our nights out.  It was great to meet her mother and see what a close relationship they have, though I had a pretty good clue that this was the case through reading her blog.  My mom and I are definitely girlfriends, and it is wonderful to see other women who have close relationships with their mothers.  Her mother is very sweet, and I hope I will have the chance to see her again.  I also loved having Kenny join the mix.  I had shown him some of Catherine's progress pictures when I was trying to sell him on Lap-Band surgery-- it was pretty much a session of hitting him over the head and saying LOOK, it CAN work!  I don't know for sure, but I think that seeing her pictures was very helpful to Kenny.  Over our dinner he was able to meet one of the most successful bandsters out there and see how fantastic she is (band or no band).  Anyway, we all had an amazing night with great company, food and wine.  Catherine's mom has the only picture from the night, but if she gets her hands on it, one of us will post.  
The following evening I met up with a girlfriend from law school.  She was my matron of honor, and, for those of you have followed my blog from the beginning, the only person I have told about my surgery other than mom and Kenny.  She was supportive of me having the surgery initially (or at least seemed to be) but hasn't been all that complimentary about the progress I have made.  I am not sure whether she feels that I am cheating, is jealous that I am now smaller than she or actually believes that she IS being supportive, but it is a bit awkward.  We met at the Palace to exchange gifts before our reservation at my favorite Thai restaurant.  I opened the door, and she made a passing comment that I looked good-- then NOTHING.  Very strange.  We headed down to the restaurant, and the strangest thing happened.  I walked into the place, spoke with Shaun, the waiter I have known for years, and he had absolutely NO CLUE who I was.  Another woman walked in behind us, and he asked whether we had a reservation for three people.  I said that no, it was just the two of us, and he just looked at me blankly.  I finally caught on that he didn't recognize me, and at about the same moment he looked at me and figured out who I was.  He put his hands out wide up by his shoulders, then moved them closer together down by his waist and said something like "I had no clue who you were- you have lost SO MUCH WEIGHT".  Then he pretty much spent the evening chatting with my girlfriend and me.  At one point I actually felt terrible for my friend.  Shaun asked me what made me finally want to lose weight, and I mentioned health, being able to get pregnant, looking good for Kenny, etc.  He was so positive about the progress that I have made-- then looked at my friend, put his hand on her shoulder and said "it's alright"-- I guess referring to her weight.  I acted like I didn't hear what he had said, but she must have been less than happy at that moment. 
I won't bore you with day by day progress of our trip, but I did have one other experience with not being recognized that I'd like to share.  Before our wedding, Kenny and I registered at Bloomingdale's and Williams-Sonoma.  I then found a local china store that carried our pattern and registered there as well.  My family owns a small company, and I feel strongly that I should support the local stores whenever possible.  We gave this store a lot of business around the time of the wedding, and now I go there for all of my china/hostess gift needs.  The owners know that I have been losing weight given that I buy something there just about every month, but I was busy during my November trip home and hadn't been in since September.  I walked into this store, and nobody acknowledged me other than a cursory 'hello'.  The daughter walked right past me.  I finally said hello and asked a question, and the mom, daughter and husband stopped in their tracks.  The mom said that she heard my voice in the store but couldn't find me and that none of them recognized me at all.  I get minorly grouchy that I am now treated like a stranger at places I have frequented for years, but it is really reassuring to know that I am in the process of a true transformation.            
Speaking of this transformation, it is even apparent in the gifts I received for Christmas.  Mom gave me a new 16 gig iPod for the gym to replace the one I sweat broke last month.  Among other things, Kenny gave me a heavy LL Bean fleece jacket to wear on my way to the gym.  If mom and Kenny had given me these gifts in prior years, I would have been offended.  How DARE they give me gifts that push me towards the gym.  Now I am so thankful to have a new iPod full of high energy music (well, not that full- I am still taking gym music recommendations) and a really warm jacket to wear rather than sweating on a coat that requires dry cleaning.  In catching up on your blogs, I see that so many of us now get gym clothes or something that will help keep us warm (yeah, Kenny gave me new shearling slippers as well).  Isn't it great when we have supportive people in our lives who enable us to get and stay healthy rather than enable us to eat sweets while lounging on the couch and gain weight!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fresh Start for a New Year

Happy 2012!  I hope that everyone had a fantastic end to 2011 and is thoroughly enjoying the first few days of January.  I had such a great time being back in the States for Christmas and celebrated NYE in style in Barcelona, but I will blog about all of that another time. 
Today I want to write about starting from scratch.  Yesterday marked Day #1 of Nora's New Beginning.  Last year was amazing.  I lost an incredible amount of weight and ended the year on such a positive note.  But I cannot rely on last year's success to get me through this year.  If I begin to dwell on the 115+lbs I have lost since surgery, I am concerned that I will not take the initiative I need to lose the rest of my excess weight.  I could get complacent with my weight loss and remind myself of how well I have done OVERALL, rather than noticing that my weight loss is beginning to stall.  I don't want that to happen!  Hence, I am starting from scratch in 2012.   
So what does this mean?  Nora's New Beginning started with a weigh in.  As of yesterday, I weighed 207.8.  If you scroll to the top of my blog, you will notice that I now have a second weight loss ticker to follow my 2012 success.  I will continue to update my cumulative tracker as well, but I want my focus to be on what I am doing NOW.  I also started a membership at a new gym yesterday.  I've been going to the same gym since we moved to London, and I really needed a change.  The new gym is where the beautiful people in my area go-- hello, incentive to work out harder.  It is popular and trendy, and people are always working out there.  I really enjoyed my gym date there last month, and I am looking forward to getting into a groove there (plus, the crazy lady doesn't go there).  I also bought a Polar heart rate monitor recently and started using it at the gym yesterday.  It will help me to more accurately chart the duration of my workouts along with how many calories I have burned.  Lastly, I am starting a new monthly gym photo routine.  Please don't gag at the spandex pants... the shorts were getting too baggy, and I find that long pants make working out easier.  Plus, they are less forgiving in photos.  Now I can really see my size and follow my progress.  So here we go-- 
Perhaps I can learn to take a photo without cutting off part of my head in the new year.  We shall see:)