Day 17: An Ode to Frank’s Hot Sauce

Dear FHS,

Who ever thought that a bottle of fiery, orange sauce could bring one girl such happiness? As I vigorously shake out your contents, slathering every bit of food I have with your delicious juice of the gods, I can smell the heat and the flavor from what feels like miles away.  You’re with me through my toughest times, slapping me on the back and screaming that “IT WILL BE FINE JUST SUCK IT UP YA DUMB BITCH” (you’re rough, but only when necessary).  You comfort me while I push forkfuls of chicken or turkey in my face hole, spanking every corner of my mouth with your beautiful, spicy wave of flavor.  You make everything better…

-Chicken   -Turkey   -Eggs   -Veggies   -Rice   -Pizza   -Fish   -Loneliness   -Anger   -Frustration

I just cover it with you and my mind goes numb, basking in the sweet and tangy glory that is your sauce.

So thank you for all that do, you’re making this journey a lot easier than it would be if I were without you.  Don’t ever change.  Please.  PLEASE.  please.  

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Love Always and FOREVER,

E Daly


Day 15: Atonement

Honesty is a tough thing to balance.  You can promise honesty to a person and completely mean it, and then find yourself telling little white lies to either spare their feelings or save yourself from confrontation or fighting.  Honesty is easy with some (your best friend, a trusted partner) and difficult with others (your parents, strangers).  I think the hardest part of being honest is how scary it can be.  Being truthful means you are completely exposing yourself, hiding nothing from the judging eyes of others (I know this isn’t how it always is, but isn’t that where our mind automatically goes?  To the worst possible scenario?)

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Honesty is easy when you’re giving good truths.  It’s simple when your weight is down.  It’s amazing when you’ve gone to the gym every day in the week and when you’re clothes are fitting better.  When is honesty hard?  When you had a terrible week on a health plan.  When you didn’t get to the gym once or even go for a long walk.  When you indulged far too often on two different trips and then ended the week with a Grub Hub order that did not include one piece of vegetables.  When you woke up feeling every bite of fat, sugar, and caffeine sitting in your body like a ton of bricks.  And it’s REALLY hard when you get on that scale on Monday morning and realize that your weight went UP yet AGAIN.  So here it is, pals.  Just imagine me cringing as I type this, because I am.

Current weight: 254.5.  Up 5lbs since last week.

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Yea yea yea yeayeayeayeayeayeayea I knoooooow it’s my body gaining water weight with the salt I ingested, and that not working out led to many more calories, and blah blah blah I still feel like crap about it.   My dad and I were talking about it last night and he asked me why I went so far off track, and at first my mind raced with every reason I could think of “I had no time between travelling, work, and rehearsal to work out”, “I was on vacation, I wanted to indulge a bit”, “I had no way of packing multiple meals because I couldn’t chill them.”  While much of that is true in some sense, looking back at this week, I realized that there were many areas I could’ve improved upon.  I could’ve taken the little free time I had an either gone for a long walk with my dog or done a small workout at home.  I could’ve eaten the meals that I DID pack instead of going straight for the fast food I’ve been actively avoiding.  I also could’ve been writing about my struggles instead of pushing them down with food and laziness.

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But that was last week, and a new one has begun.  I’ve already been sticking to the food plan to a “t” these last two days and I’ve planned out my gym time.  I’m not leaving the state for the near future so I’m able to focus on my meals, my workouts, as well as the emotions that come with all of it.  And as easy as it is and as much as I want to beat myself up over last week, I have to focus on all the good I can do this week to live a healthier, happier life.  It would be unfair to me and the work I’ve already put in to dwell on my past mistakes or let them affect my future decisions.  I just have to let it go and proceed with the knowledge that I can do this and that it is a battle worth fighting.

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-E Daly

Day 11: Vacation is OVER

Well, I’m back from trip 1: Provincetown.  I’m running on 9 hours of sleep over three nights, no caffeine, and memories of silly times and lovely people.  And what a trip it was!  The show sold out and we had incredibly receptive audiences (except for one old cranky geezer that assured he wouldn’t be back next year because our sound was way off.  No problem, sir, we’ll be happy to not have you!), and we got to spend the night out on the town as well as most of yesterday exploring the area.  I’m back today, at work, in my Sunday best, trying not to sneak off to nap.  I WILL MAKE IT THROUGH.  I WIAn

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And the diet.  Oh, the diet.   DIET DIET DIET.  How did the diet go… well, I will say this: on vacation, you are allowed to treat yourself.  On vacation, especially one where you fly there and can’t pack meals for the few days you’re there, you have to make choices at the few restaurants you have.  Sometimes those choices are great, some of those choices aren’t as great.  On vacation, you’re stuck at an airport with three options, one of them being Auntie Anns and the other being a Sbarro.  On vacation, especially in New England, they will have fresh lobster.  You will want that fresh lobster because you’re never on the east coast and you rarely eat shellfish and you hear rave reviews of this lobster.

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Here’s what happened.  Tuesday started great: I woke up early, got some oatmeal and a single chorizo burrito from McD’s (I took the filling out of the flour tortilla wrap and ate it by itself…. my willpower game was strong, y’all).  Then I had some almonds I had packed myself (wish I could’ve done this with all my meals but whatevs) and a salad from a local Stop ‘N Shop (which I picked the bacon and bleu cheese out of… again, STRONG).  And that night, before the show?  I skipped past all the quick food cafe’s and burger joints and got a fajita salad with grilled chicken and as many veggies as I could muster.  Good so far!  One day down!  Yes, that night I did have a single slice of pepperoni pizza from the hot spot pizza joint in PTown (which wasn’t even very good so imagine my disappointment that I splurged on that) but let’s also keep in mind that I drank soda water all day and night, so not only was I saving money but also CALORIIEESSS YEAYAAA

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Now Wednesday… that was a different story.  We started the day finding out the pool was closed until later so a few of us headed to breakfast.  At this point, I knew I would try to eat healthy today, but that I would allow myself to splurge a little thanks to the hard work we all put in the past few days and also due to the fact that it was vacation time.  Breakfast ended up being an egg sandwich with some italian sausage patty (I think?) and cheese.  Not the greatest, but workable.  The day progressed and my friend Casi and I ended up going to lunch at this cute place that had sandwiches and wraps.  See, I’d heard so many good things about Lobster Rolls in Provincetown, but they usually run $15-20 PER ROLL (which is ridiculous… gimme some fries with that or something), so when we found a place with fresh lobster for a cheaper price, we dug right in.  We split two different sandwiches (I got a seltzer water, which is super popular in P-Town, those skinny bitches) and then headed back to start getting ready for our flight.  This is where it starts to go down hill.  I stopped in a convenience store for water for the car ride and saw a bag of Cheez-Its.  And that thought popped into my head “you’re on vacation, it’s a cheat day!”  So I bought it.  We got in the van and shared both the Cheez-Its and some Starbursts, which I also enjoyed (“it’s vacation!”).  Then we got to the airport and instead of going with a salad at the “fresh” area of the food court, I went with a Reuben from Friendly’s accompanied with some fries and the rest of my friend’s cookies ‘n cream milkshake (“it’s a cheat day!”)

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All these splurges, all these treats, and I ended up waking this morning feeling bloated, dehydrated, and, using the scientific term for it, feeling like crap.  The food had tasted good (not even great) in the moment, and I went for it because I had done so well for so long.  But I overdid it, and now I’m paying the price.  My body feels slower and sadder, filled with food that is pumped with unnatural chemicals and fried garbage, and it’s almost longing to be treated well again.  To be fed green vegetables and juicy baked chicken, spicy turkey and a soft sweet potato.  Which is amazing to me, because I didn’t think my body would change it’s tune so much over the course of a week!  Yes, I still crave all of those sugary, crunchy, salty treats, but I know my body doesn’t need them, and that fueling it with good, healthy food will help control what I do eat when it comes to splurging on less-healthy options.

So now I’m back on track.  And I can almost hear my body thanking me for giving it fuel to run on instead of junk to clog it up.  This is the part of the journey where it becomes more about taking care of yourself and treating your body right instead of just wanting to lose weight.  This is an important turning point.  So I’ll remember that and keep it in my back pocket for those moments where I want to go bananas on a Nutella and PB sandwich.  Or down a bowl of popcorn.  Because my overall, long-term health is worth more than just a few moments of enjoyment with junk food.

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-E Daly

Day 8: Progress Has Been Made

Well, it’s safe to say that my first week was a success.  Even though I didn’t follow the plan to a “t”, weight loss was achieved, and even better than that, I feel healthy and happy!  

It was a great week in general, as well.  We began rehearsals for Triassic Parq with some of the most talented cast and creative team I could imagine (I’ll promote the show more in the future, don’t you worry) and I’ve made some great advancements at my day job. All in all, things are running smoothly.  

Isn’t it amazing how life starts to kind of fall into place once you start really taking care of yourself?  The universe has a way of lining all the good things up.

Alright, let’s get past the sappy crap.  Here’s what you really came for…

Current weight: 249

Loss: 8.5lbs (while that is great and I feel incredibly accomplished, please remember that this is a lot of water weight and I’d just come off of a gluttonous weekend with my family)

And the journey continues!

-E Daly

Day 6/7: Lessons Learned

And now, a list of everything I learned in the first week of my new healthy life:

  1. Ground flax seed looks and tastes like dirt (but it apparently does wonders for your GI tract)
  2. Multiple squats will make you walk like a cowboy for at least 2 days straightdog animated GIF
  3. If you spend about $100 on groceries and give yourself a good 3 hours, you can make enough meals to last…. 4 days.
  4. Setting aside time for the gym and packing your gym bag ahead of time makes you want to go to the gym! (it’s like magic, people)
  5. You don’t have to stick to the program 100% if it doesn’t work for you. If you’d rather go to a Cardio Jam class instead of lifting weights that day because it’s more fun for you and it makes you sweat, then do it!  Just make sure that the alternative isn’t sitting at home doing nothing.                                          working from home animated GIF
  6. Your friends and family will you show more love and support than you’ve ever really thought was possible.  Use that to push yourself to be better.
  7. Hot Sauce makes anything taste good.
  8. Sweet potato pancakes are something you should be having every morning.  All the time.
  9. Cheat meals are okay.  Just make sure they’re limited and they don’t make you fall off the wagon.   friends animated GIF
  10. Blogging not only makes you accountable, but it gives you an outlet for feelings and emotions that you really only ever discuss with your therapist, and since she’s out of town this week you’re really going to be needing it.
  11. People will stare at you when you’re sweaty and purple.  People will also stare at you when you’re a beautiful woman who takes care of your body.  People just love.  to.  stare.
  12. This really isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.

Next week, I’m going to Provincetown with mah gays for two days and then Des Moines for a beautiful wedding that weekend.  So while I will do my best to blog as much as possible, especially since it will be a tough week to stay on track, I may skip a day or two.  But know that I am with you, wherever you are.

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-E Daly

Day 4: Secrets Secrets Are No Fun

When I began this journey and this blog, I made a promise to myself to let honesty be my guide.  I didn’t want to do it or write about it without being fully open because to me, keeping it a secret means that I feel shameful about it, and that’s not what it’s about at all.  Now, that’s not to say that those who are private about their health journey are shameful about it, but for me, shame has been the reason why I have been private about my struggles in the past.  I was ashamed of my body, but I was even more ashamed that I was trying to change it because I was unhappy.  I was sad that I didn’t look like everyone else, that I couldn’t eat like my brothers and not gain weight, that I didn’t get excited about exercising every day like some athletic people I know, and that I wasn’t happy in my own body, no matter what size it was.  At that point, I would lie about my weight (on my drivers license), I would hide my diet food from friends and just not eat when they were around, and try to exercise while making it all look like it’s not a big deal.

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And let’s face it, there is a stigma out there that going on diets and working out when at the weight I’m at is a joke.  That it’s something to hide from people.  That kind of activity is saved for the strong, the thin, the athletic people who look good on a weight machine, not the heifer who’s sweating all over the equipment and thiiiiiiiis close to puking.  Which is funny, because there’s also a stigma that if you’re fat, you should be unhappy and always dream of a thinner body.  That you should be in the gym every day, eating like a rabbit, because you should be unsatisfied with your fatass until its a tight ass.  So we can’t win, no matter what we do?!  WHO THE FUCK DECIDED ON THAT??

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That’s why I decided that I would not only be completely honest with myself, but I’d also let others in on it.  I was going to post my true weight, I was going to post actual beginning pictures (clothed, because as of right now, I wouldn’t even show them to torture victims [yes, I’m completely aware this is me shaming my own body.  I get to do that every once in a while.  back the fuck off]), and I was going to update with completely honest posts, pictures of my food, and even photos of my sweaty ass workin’ it in the gym.  Not because I wanted praise and love and to be noticed for the “great job!” I’m doing, but to keep my accountable.  I needed to know that, even if NO ONE read this blog or listened when I rambled on about this “bullshit journey” I’m on (if you’ve seen me in the last four days you know this is how I refer to my life now), I will still have evidence out in the universe that I am trying.  That I am working to change my life and my mindset.  And that I have, in part, succeeded because I crossed the starting line.  I’ve pushed “play”.  I’ve entered the ring.

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Now what came out of it?  Mountains and mountains of support.  People I know and love, and who I may not have spoken to in a while, have reached out telling me how proud they are.  They’ve been letting me know that they’re on a similar journey, or that they’ve been there before (and will show me before photos, which fill me with such admiration, awe, and love that I cannot even explain it).  They’ve given me so much love and hope and support that I no longer feel like I’m doing it alone thanks to all these hands gently lifting me towards my goal.  And with all that help, I know that, even when this 30 days ends, Because this journey is life long, and so are these friends.

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-E Daly

Day 3: Giving Myself a Break

One thing I have noticed during the first three days of this challenge: I cannot, though I wish more than anything, push myself hard when it comes to working out.  Don’t get me wrong, I will follow the workout plan as best I can (when I actually know what the exercises are THANK YOU GOOGLE) but when I get tired or worn out, I will give myself permission to do a few less reps than required, or skip on set because my leg is sore, or not do cardio at all because my ass is screaming from the thousands of squats I just grunted through.

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Yes, that’s exactly what I looked like.  Don’t worry about it.

It’s difficult for me to accept the fact that I can’t push myself as much as I’d like.  I want to be one of those people that doesn’t take excuses, who pushes through the pain and focuses on the goal.  Those people inspire me, make me feel like anything is possible, that all I have to do is envision what my life will be like when I’m living healthy and happy.  I can’t help but watch them, admiring their stamina and self-control.  But truthfully, when I’m that tired or sore, the only thing I can think of is how GOOD it will feel to walk down those stairs to the locker room and sit in the sauna.  And like I’ve said, this tendency has found a way to sneak into other parts of my life, especially with eating.  If I find it too hard, then instead of pushing through and dealing with the difficult part and reaping the rewards after, I let go and quit.

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But that’s exactly what I have to do: LET GO.  If I wasn’t able to do all of my squat exercises yesterday, that’s okay.  If I skipped my cardio because I was sore from the previous day, that’s alright too! We’re all so hard on ourselves when we can’t do something perfect right away.  I’ve always been a perfectionist, so when I don’t get something right away whether it be a workout, a song to sing for a show, or even a simple concept that I can’t wrap my brain around.  We get ourselves down, say we’re not good enough, that if it’s so easy for others than I should just be able to DO it.  What if our friend was having trouble with these problems?

“Yea, you just started lifting, and if you can’t get it right away, you should probably just stop.  You’re never going to get it anyway, mine as well just leave.  Wanna get some Potbelly?” 

NO!  We wouldn’t say that!  We’d probably be a little more encouraging (unless you wouldn’t be, which would make you an asshole).

 “Hey, that’s okay.  It’s a hard exercise, especially to do four times.  And you just started this on Monday, so your body isn’t used to working that hard.  Plus, you’ve just revamped your eating, your body is adjusting to all these changes.  If you take a break and a few breaths, I’m sure you can do it.  And if not, if the pain is too much or you’re too tired, we can find something else to do.  What about that lift you saw earlier?  That looks like something you can do.  Or there’s a water HIIT class later that you might like, and you’ll still get a good work out, yea let’s do that!”

What we need to do is give ourselves a break.  Nothing will come perfectly the first time, I guarantee it.  We will get frustrated with ourselves, beat ourselves up, and want to quit.  Sometimes we WILL quit.  But that doesn’t mean we’re done.  We will still get up the next day, throw on our gym shoes, and hit that gym again and again.  Because going back and giving it your all day in and day out is the only way we’ll grow and change.  And who knows, in a month’s time I’ll probably look back at this day as I’m easily getting through multiple sets of squats and lifts and wonder how it was so hard for me to get through it all.  But I’ll also be able to appreciate the struggle I went through to get where I am.  I just need to remember to be a friend to myself first and give myself a break.

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-E Daly

Day 2: Put the Kid in the Corner

I woke up around 4:45am this morning with one thought:


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This mentality is normal for me.  If I find something to be difficult, unpleasant, or inconvenient,  I immediately want to give up on it.  Why go through it when life is supposed to be fun, full of delicious food and hours of non-exercising?  I’ve applied this negative mentality to make health-ventures in my life: Weight Watchers, P90X, step class at 5am, Nutrisystem… if doing it means it has to change my day-to-day routine even a little, or that I can’t every thing I want to eat when I want it, then I end up giving up and going back to my old way.  And you know who else has that mindset?

A fucking three year old.

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Guess what?  I’m a 27-year old adult. My “routine” has not worked for me.  My “diet” has not worked for me.  My “but I want it THIS WAY” mentality has NOT WORKED FOR ME.  In fact, it’s worked against me in a very big (excuse the pun) way.  The choices I’ve made in the past have made me who I am today, both good and bad.  They’ve also informed the way I look.  I wear sunscreen religiously, so my skin isn’t burned or damaged.  I cut my hair recently, so it’s healthier and bouncier.  And I’ve also eaten poorly and haven’t visited the gym consistently in a while, so I’m overweight.  And unhappy.  And if I let that little adolescent voice in my brain that’s screaming “FUCK THIS SHIT I don’t wanna eat these healthy foods and I don’t wanna go to the gym and do workouts I’m unfamiliar with and I really DON’T WANNA stick with this for a whole 30 days uuugggghhh MOOOOOMMMMM COME ONNNNNN” win, then I’ll continue to be heavy, unhealthy, and most importantly, unhappy.

So I need to buck up, put that kid in the corner to think about what she’s done, and live my life the way I need to.  Because I’m THE ADULT, DAMNIT.

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And thank you all for your support.  It’s been incredibly helpful and has encouraged me to continue trucking.

-E Daly

Day 1: When Will I Eat Next?

That is the question that racks my brain every minute, and it’s only 9:30am.  Hooooo boy this will be tough!  But after a hearty breakfast of sweet potato pancakes with honey, I’m feeling pretty satisfied already.  I’m also chugging water like I’m getting paid for it (1-1.5 gallons a day) so that’s keeping me occupied!

I also weighed myself and took pictures as my “before”.  And I’ll be honest, it was worse than I thought. I knew I’d gained weight since starting my new job in March (we get a catered lunch every day and free breakfast options/snacks throughout the day, and I definitely took advantage of it), but I didn’t think it was this bad.  BUT as I stepped on the scale, I heard myself say out loud, “It is what it is,” and that could not be more true.  Yes, I’m overweight, and yes, it’s much more than I’d like. But there is no use getting upset over it because im finally deciding to do something about it.  I could bitch and I could moan and complain that it’s my company’s fault for providing high-calorie lunches, that the gym is too far, that I don’t have time to exercise… I could point the finger at plenty of people, but the blame will always come back to me.  As does the responsibility to make it better and get healthier.  No one else can shove healthy meals down my throat, drive me to the gym, or keep me accountable every day (though this blog and your support really does help).  I need to do it for myself.  And this is the time for me to finally step up and take control of my life and my health.

And now for the ugly truth.  

Starting weight: 257.5

I’ll post measurements when I take them later today.  As well as my other meal so.  If they look good, maybe a photo.  But for now, I’ll just keep downing water and dreaming of my next meal.

-E Daly