Countdown to Onederland Feed

Hi! It's me! How long has it been?

To be completely honest, being a weight-loss blogger with 10 or so lingering pounds left probably isn't an interesting read or write, for that matter, but if you're as snoopy as I am, I'm sure there are people who read my blog and wonder "I wonder if she's gained weight?" Because I am that bitch, and you may be, too.


There hasn't been a lot going on since I last posted in January (!) to necessitate any blog updates. My weight has been pretty much the same since then. I s'pose you can call that maintenance, which is a good thing, albeit it's 15 pounds from where I ultimately want that to be, but like many of you, I've been hanging out at home WAAAAY more than I have the rest of my life, and after decades and decades and decades and decades (that's 4 decades) of being on some sort of "diet," NOT being on one is pretty damn nice.

Despite the Dalgona coffee, homemade bread and DVR binging, my clothes still fit. The size 10 Athleta jeans still zip up, but there's a 'lil bit of fluff around the waist that wasn't there in January. Still not enough to raise my size but, ugh. 

So back on the bandwagon!

I celebrated 48 hours without an oatmeal cookie, so hooray for me on that! I'm substituting more "real" foods like fruit, almonds, cheesesticks or yogurt instead of oatmeal cookies for my afternoon snacks. Since I still have a tiny tummy, it tends to fill up better and faster with "real" food instead of tortilla chips, cookies and other emptier carbs.

I can't seem to commit to one particular online/streaming/DVD workout "system" because I have the attention span of a gnat, but when I find an instructor I really like I tend to follow longer than a few days. Lately that's been Sarah Kusch, who I first discovered on Grokker. Last year I was searching for all things Sarah and I found a Prevention DVD set called The Toning Transformation and so far I really like it. The workouts are pretty short (20 minutes), which is something I can totally commit to before I start work in the afternoons. 

(There's a link for ya.)

As for the food, I signed up for Beachbody's 2B Mindset after buying her book You Can Drop It. The book is great, but watching the videos on Beachbody on Demand and being a member of the Facebook group is far more interactive. I love that her plan isn't a diet because I am DONE with those. Instead, it's more about having the right mindset to do the right things, which is planning, tracking, drinking more water and filling up on more vegetables. No foods are "good" or "bad" and you're not cutting out entire groups, which can be CRAZYMAKING. If you like eating carbs (and who doesn't?) you kinda "frontload" them during the day, for when you need them the most.

(Don't worry, I am not a Beachbody coach and I'm not tryin' to get you to sign up. I'm just a big fan.)

(Another link for ya.)

One drawback to working/shopping/working out at home is that no one gets to see your cute workout outfits (or any outfits, for that matter!). Anybody else plan their once-a-week grocery shopping outfits? It's like going to prom! Anywhoooo, here's one of my favorite pairs of workout leggings that I matched with my shoes and yoga mat recently.

View this post on Instagram

Submitted for your approval: Queen Matchy Matchy's workout gear.

A post shared by Gail Gedan Spencer (@ggspencer) on

And with that, I'm outta here -- until next time!

Coming to a teevee near you (maybe) -- me!

A few months ago, a TV crew visited my sister and I to do a story on weight loss. We basically talked their ears off (as I am wont to do), but the story was ultimately boiled down to a 2-minute healthy living segment for local news.

I knew it would be airing in February but wasn't sure when. Then I got an email that some people had signed up for updates through Mailchimp and figured the segment was starting to air around the country. 

I don't know exactly where or when it'll air on any given station because TV stations throughout the country subscribe to this syndicate (Ivanhoe). 

But you're in luck! Here's a link to the piece from a station in upper Michigan. My sister (and my dog) are in the piece, and my sis is down more than 60 pounds since April.

The producer had asked me for "before" photos, and to be honest, it was kinda hard to find any. As most "fat moms" know, we're the family photographer, always volunteering to take photos and grudgingly appearing in a few, hiding behind the kids. But I found a few. 



I got my bloodwork back for my big one-year bariatric checkup, and once again my blood kicks butt. My total cholesterol is a swanky 146 with an HDL (good stuff) of 55, LDL (bad stuff) of 71 and a ratio of 1.3, which supposedly gives me half the risk of heart disease of the average person. My triglycerides are 100, which is big news for me because they've always been a little high (hello, carbs!). 

And, no, my eating is not particularly stellar. It's kinda boring, still pretty toddler sized, but the occasional fistful of tortilla chips or square of dark chocolate makes it into my day. 

Did I mention I joined WW before Thanksgiving?

I wanted to see what the hubbub was all about with its new focus on wellness, and I'm really enjoying it. There's not that old focus on weird low-point dessert recipes and overprocessed snack foods. It really does get more into activity and mindset, and WW has teamed up with the fitness app Aaptiv and the meditation app Headspace, and offers abbreviated selections on the WW app. I've lost 14 pounds with WW's help and I like the accountability of having someone other than myself weigh me once a week, because this weight is NOT. COMING. BACK.

As for the number on the scale, last Saturday I was at 174, which is nine pounds away from an even hundred.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever be able to lose 100 pounds -- even after having gastric bypass. The amount just seemed so overwhelming. I didn't think I needed to lose 100 pounds, and to be honest, I probably could stop here and be fine. 

But, c'mon! Who doesn't want to hit a hundy? 

I'll fill you in next week on how the one-year anniversary checkup goes.

Burnin' my butter

Hey! Quickly popping in with a tale o' the tape -- more precisely a printout from the hospital dietitian's fancy Tanita scale today.

I meet with the dietitian every couple months to go over my eating, make any adjustments to my plan, and step on the high-tech scale. I have a pretty high-tech home scale in my Withings/Nokia/Withings Again Body Cardio scale, but this one is hospital grade, so I tend to trust it a bit more. 

I've been kicking butt in fat loss -- my April reading showed that out of the 17 total pounds I lost from February to April, 11.4 pounds was pure fat, 1 pound was total body water, and only 1 pound was fat-free mass. I know that doesn't completely add up, but I'm going by what the printout says. Apparently the more fat you lose, the more accurate the scale readings get.

Today's reading -- from April 10 to June 13 -- showed that out of the 17.8 total pounds I lost, 17 pounds was fat with just under a pound of fat-free mass lost.

All this to say ...


 I am burnin' the butter, which is a phrase Denise Austin used to say in her exercise videos. I used to cringe when she said it, but now that I am burning actual human butter, I'm kinda digging it.

I have been exercising more (but am totally behind on it this week), but I'm not going nuts or anything. I make sure my meals are protein-forward, but not every meal is stellar.

I mention this because THIS is exactly why I had weight-loss surgery. The times when I could pound off a few pounds I was making myself absolutely NUTS, doing workouts I hated, obsessively and neurotically tracking my food and watching the scale slowly creep down, bounce back up or flatline. Now I can exercise and eat without making myself crazy, and the scale moves down. 

My waistline is moving down, too. That's the only measurement I'm taking. At the beginning of the year my waist was around 42 inches. Today it was right around 35, a number that I've kept in my head ever since Dr. Oz used 35 inches as a marker for increased chronic diseases. So you can say I passed a big milestone this week.

Other notes from today

  • She's really happy with my weight loss, even though I intentionally slowed it in May to try out new foods and calorie levels. According to her scale I'm at 203.8, which is tantalizingly close to Onederland.
  • She wants me to increase my daily protein from 60 grams a day to 80 grams, so I'll be throwing protein powder in everything and chugging protein shakes until I can tolerate more solid proteins (STILL having an issue with chicken!).
  • She'd like me to keep my total calories to around 900 a day. I wasn't really sure how much to increase it from the initial 600-ish but I knew I had to once I started exercising. 
  • And I really need to do better with water. According to my Tanita printout, I'm on the low end of the hydration scale, so I'm breaking out the big Hydro Flask again and making sure I drink two of those a day. When you can't eat and drink at the same time it can get frustrating to get both your water and your protein in when your stomach is the size of an egg.

Less than while being more than

Y'know all those motivational platitudes about moving out of your comfort zone, or living life outside of your comfort zone?





Lemme give you a different way to look at the phrase.

Pretty much all my life I have felt uncomfortable. 

Chosen last at kickball, made to wear the matronly ballet costume because it was bigger than all the other ones, being the youngest kid in the "teen" Weight Watchers meeting.

Being called Gail the Whale.

That's a pretty uncomfortable childhood. 

The discomfort shifted as an adult. 

Having the armrests dig into your hips at a theater, having a theme park employee shove the safety bar into your gut until it clicked, getting stupid "atta girls" from people at the gym because they thought I had never worked out before ("I'm a regular and I can squat you under the table, old man!").

Postponing routine bloodwork because if I give it a couple more months I can turn it all around with extra fish oil and walking and kale.

So I've been out of my comfort zone for quite awhile now, always feeling bigger or slower or lumpier or somehow "less than" while being "more than."

* * *

A couple weeks ago we went to a baseball game and I realized that I could stick my purse next to me on the set. 

Next to me on the seat!

I wasn't hip-checking my neighbor or having the armrests nudge into my sides. I was comfortably sitting in the seat, bumping into nothing and no one.

I didn't feel the dread of intruding on someone else's space. My space was my own.

Comfortable in my comfort zone.

And now, some updates!


I deliberately added in more calories and carbs in May because I had been walking around lightheaded all the time, and I didn't like the feeling that I was going to fall over at the gym. I also have been trying and retrying foods to test my tolerance, and chicken and tomatoes are still on the naughty list. I just can't stomach them - literally. But some prepackaged protein shakes are back on the nice list, which is great because I have a lot of them. I had read that your tastes will evolve, and they really have. Stevia-sweetened things are still WAY too "aftertasty," but monkfruit sweetener is kinda nice. Overall, though, I do better with unsweetened stuff or just a touch of the real thing, like honey or agave. 


Here's my progression from Feb. 1 of this year to June 1. The front view doesn't really show a lot of change in my eyes, but the side view really has me stoked. I'm a lot flatter in the midsection, and my upper arms have deflated a lot (but holy jiggles, Batman! Those things are wobbly!). Total weight dropped from the beginning of the year is 59 pounds. I am around 6 pounds away from Onederland.

And now, a song for the weekend!


I think I found a great meal-planning app for my tiny new meals!

This is not a sponsored post. I just really think this is a great app and want you to know about it.

When I first had my weight-loss surgery back in February, and for weeks afterward, I averaged around 600 calories a day, which is TEENY-TINY, but believe it or not, that's the average. 

Now that I am 3 months out and exercising more regularly, 600 calories simply does not work. I discovered that when I started my stint with a personal trainer. I was wobbly, weak and lightheaded, and I knew that I had to get in more calories. 

Over the past couple months I've been working my way up in calories, and now I average around 900 to 1,000 calories a day and my weight loss is still plenty speedy. 

(Did I mention I'm 10 POUNDS AWAY FROM ONEDERLAND??????)

But planning a protein-heavy 1,000-calorie meal plan can be time consuming, and often I just wing it and end up not hitting my protein target.

Another problem I face is that in logging my food in My Fitness Pal, the app freaks out when I attempt to complete my food for the day. It throws up a red-lettered warning if my calorie is too low for its algorithm. 

So I don't know where I found this, but clicking around the web yesterday I discovered Eat This Much, which is an automatic meal planner app, which you can use on your phone or on your desktop. 

I can tell it to make me a 1,000-calorie day and it doesn't scold me! I also can tell it what foods to exclude, whether I want to try paleo, Mediterranean, or vegetarian, how much protein I want to get in my day, what size meals I want and how many of them I want. It's really customizable.

It'll generate a day's worth of meals, and if you aren't fond of a meal or a meal component, you can replace it with another one. If you're dining out, you can choose a restaurant meal from its database that'll fit in with your macros. And if you're thrifty, you can direct the app to give you dinner leftovers to eat for lunch or dinner the next day.

Now, I'm only a day into using this app but it looks like it'll help a lot with my meal planning and won't have me lunging for the protein bars and cottage cheese all day. And as you can probably tell, this app is great for anyone on any type of eating plan. 

The plan is free, but there is a premium version that allows you to plan a week in advance and make more modifications. The first two weeks of premium are free. 

Here's a super cute video that explains the program:

And here's a deal!

Any time someone clicks on my link ( and signs up for a subscription, you AND I will automatically receive $9 in credit. 

Let's dance!


Countdown to Onederland!

Countdown to onederland

Hey, everyone! I haven't been around here much -- I've been catching up on work that had taken a back seat to getting myself feeling and eating somewhat normal. Some updates:

  • I've been working at the gym twice a week with a trainer because I really, REALLY don't want to lose muscle with all this weight loss. And so far so good: At my 2-month bariatric checkup, out of the 19 pounds I lost from the last time I was at the doctor (6 weeks), 18 of those pounds was fat and only 1 pound was muscle (or technically "fat-free mass") ... which is GREAT! There's really no way to lose 100 percent of your weight in fat; a little muscle loss is to be expected. But my goal is to try and hang onto every pound of fat-free mass that I currently have (which is currently 119.4 pounds) and perhaps gain even more. 
  • Looking more at the printout from the super high-tech Tanita scale at the doctor's office (which is super cool because I love gizmos!), my my target body fat has been adjusted down from 30 percent in February to 25 percent now, and my predicted goal weight went from 172 to 159 pounds. Apparently the scale has a lot of faith in me! Point of reference: I weighed that in college and I THOUGHT I WAS FAT. Yeesh. 
  • My weight loss was fairly slow the past couple weeks because I haven't been working out all that much, and I've been testing my pouch with more calories and different foods. The trial and error can be, frankly, nauseating as I find what foods work and what don't. So far, Tiny Tum-Tum really doesn't like solid animal protein but it does OK with ground-up ones, like ground poultry and even ground beef. I also think that it really doesn't like bread very much, so I should probably knock that off. It loves protein bars, cheese, yogurt and smoothies.
  • I've found myself starting to stay up too late again and wander into the kitchen. But since I have slain the angry polar bear, there's not a whole lot of damage I can do, save for maybe a cheese stick or a quarter of a peeled apple. Still, I need to work on getting to bed earlier and staying away from the kitchen, just to clean up my habits.

But I've officially started my Countdown to Onederland because I'm only 17 pounds away!

(So, yes, that means I'm revealing my weight -- 217.1, as of today. It's been a while since I said how much I weighed.)

And here's a photo update that I did at the beginning of the month -- I'm actually 9 pounds lighter than that now:

Feb to april

 And if you're digging the workout capris in my "before" photo, I'm selling them on Poshmark right now.  They're by Fabletics, size 2X and incredibly comfortable.

The bulk of my too-big stuff usually gets sent to online consignment shop ThredUp because it's a lot easier and the site is desperate for plus-sized clothes, but I thought I'd give Poshmark a try for a few items.

Here is some free money for clothes!

When you join ThredUp through this link, you get $10 to spend on your first order.  I also have a $5 credit for you at Poshmark when you sign up with my username (GOGOGAIL) as your personal invite code on your own device. To earn credit, you will need to enter username GOGOGAIL as the referral  code at the time of registration directly within the Poshmark app.

I've been doing a LOT of closet cleaning, and let's just say my empty hanger collection is now huge. The purging has also extended to my bookcases, and I've been hauling boxes of diet books to the local library. Ain't nobody got time for them!