Steampunk Transformation

Jié Xī

Full Member
I want to create a image (some call it a brand) -- a smart casual look with a steampunk flair. But I refuse to buy cute steampunk clothes until I hit goal. I've never been able to maintain in the past, so I know in order to do so this time around, I have to fix more than just dropping 4 stone. I have to figure out how to stop emotionally eating. How to not binge. How to make exercise a regular activity instead of something I just do when dieting.

So . . . I decided to start a WeMITTS diary. Not that I haven't meant it every other time I've gone on a diet (too many to count, probably 2-3x a year for 25+ years), but this time my approach is completely different than it times past and something clicked that that might just mean this will be the one.

Usually, I reduce calories or carbs so low that I lose about 10 pounds a month (I have ADHD and won't stick with a diet if I can't see fast results). Only 3 times (1998, 2012, 2018) did I ever actually make it to goal (138 from 170, 129 from 160, 150 from 190 respectively), and I gained it back (150, 155, and 183) within 2 months, a year and a half and less than a year, respectively).

My plan initially for 2020 was the same old same old except that I wasn't going to cut carbs drastically until I got under 170 (to reduce burn out). I hit 169.8 a week ago, but decided that I wanted to see if I could keep eating a decent amount of carbs and use exercise to lose until I got under 170 and then I would cut carbs drastically. I didn't lose weight last week (but I over-indulged over the weekend and my protein was inadequate all week for my intense strength training).

Anyway, Thursday night I watched a documentary called FAT, all about living a low carb lifestyle. I've read tons of books that have said make it a lifestyle, yada yada, it's the only way to maintain, yada yada, but something just seemed to click this time. I eat super low carb and lose weight then go back to unlimited carbs and gain weight. Year after year. Losing the same 15 pounds over and over again (except for those 3 times I actually stuck with it long enough to actually reach goal) and maintain by "dieting" all week and then "binging" all weekend (and eventually gaining it back when the weekend binge turned into eating all week as well). But Thursday night, it occurred to me, what if I just ate a moderate carbs all the time?

Could I use exercise (6x a week strength training sessions) to lose weight? Could I then maintain that weight by eating the same amount of carbs I had been and just dropping down to 2-3x a week strength training sessions) maintaining the muscle mass / higher metabolism that the 6x a week strength training got me?

I don't know. This is an experiment. This will be my first week attempting this. Instead of a goal of 10 lbs per month, my goal is 5 lbs every 3 weeks (1.5 versus 2.25).

But if it works, it would be a seamless transition into maintenance.

I didn't wait a week to see if I actually lose on this new plan because I'm feeling very optimistic that it will be the plan that works.
I spent the weekend transforming all our favorite meals into lower-carb versions (open-faced burgers to cut the bun intake by half, mac and cheese with half the pasta and broccoli or cauliflower mashed in to make it the same volume, etc.) My husband has agreed to do this with me (he has about 20 pounds to lose) because he is pre-diabetic and horrified of needles so does not want to have take insulin. He usually gets takeaway for lunch (burger, soda, and fries), but is good with me making him some high-protein lunches to take to work (I made him chili for tomorrow).

We even started this weekend (rather than waiting until Monday). Of course, we are keeping our favorite weekend indulgences (drinking, 90% cocoa chocolate, and thin crust pizza) but instead of making every weekend a meal "treat" (i.e. tons of carbs) the rest of our meals were low carb.

Hubby's carb target is 70 grams a day.

My carb target is 50 grams a day.

Dinner Saturday night was Cheesesteaks, but in stead of it being a full roll, mine was open-faced and we skipped the onion rings or french fries that we usually would have had with. To make up for that, I added an entire onion and package of mushrooms to the steak meat.

Tonight's dinner (instead of pizza or General Tso's), we had cheesy brussels sprouts chicken casserole with bacon. It was delish. Even hubby said he would want it again.

brussel sprout cassarole.jpg

Initial Goal: Get to 12 stone ASAP, like this week if possible.

Next Goal: Get to 11 stone by the summer.

Final Goal: Get to 9.5 stone by September.

169 -- Press-on French Nails ✅
164 -- Happy Planner recipe book
159 -- Dye my roots and treat myself to a this hair braiding contraption I saw on Amazon. (And most of my clothes will fit again. Yay!)
154 -- steampunk purse and/or magnetic lashes
149 -- pedicure & leather sandals in black and/or brown (My thin clothes will fit again -- super yay!)
144 -- steampunk accessories
139 -- steampunk outfits :classic_big_grin:
134 -- more steampunk outfits (including corset vests)
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Just squeezed in a mini workout.

3 sets of 8 reps OHP with 30lb barbell.
2 sets of 15 and 1 set of 10 delt raises with 10 lb dumbbells

40 crunches
40 oblique crunches (per side)
40 reverse crunches
Eating was really good today.

Breakfast: Creme Brulee coffee with sugar-free Sweet Italian Cream
Snacks: Protein shakes
Lunch: Jalapeno Chicken Bacon Ranch on a low-carb wrap
Supper: Cheesy Tuscan Chicken Casserole.

tuscan chicken.jpg

Also did a killer lower body workout.

Activation Exercises -- hydrants / bridge / frog bridge

3x15 Kick ups (with ankle weight and band)
4x15 Kick Backs (with ankle weight and band)
30 step ups (15 per leg)
30 side squats with band (15 per side)

2x15 Calf Raises

2x12 Leg Raise (50 lbs)
Did my upper body workout.

3x8 Overhead Press 30 lbs
3x12 Delt Raises 20 lbs
3x12 Tricep Dips
2x12 Push Ups
3x12 Lat Pull Down (w/ band)

40 crunches
40 oblique crunches (per side)
40 reverse crunches

I'm getting so impatient with the rate of weight loss. I'm pushing so hard during my workouts but have so much fat that I could have really toned, nice muscles even though I can't see them -- but the can't see them is what is making it hard to stay motivated and keep doing them. I know if I stop I'll never see them, but I took pictures yesterday and compared them to 10+ pounds ago and the difference wasn't really enough to make me feel good about my progress. I know that the next 10 will, so I'm trying to just stay with it mentally, but it's hard right now. Probably because I'm trapped in a house with two toddlers (one special needs) and I just really want to get out and breathe / do something for fun. I'm starting to go a little stir crazy.

This is me in mid-February and yesterday (mid-April). The difference is so slight I'm really feeling discouraged.

back before.jpgback mid1.jpg

That's about a 13 pound difference (183 and 169). I think what is so frustrating is that this one below was me just one year ago (151 / Christmas 2018). I worked so hard to get there, and then just ate myself right back up again in less than a year. I'm really trying to get to keep my head in this and do it again, but it feels impossible -- which I know sounds stupid since I obviously can do it. But in 27 years of dieting I've only mentally stuck it out 3x (1998, 2012, 2018).

Loving your approach - and seriously I can see a huge difference in the two top pics.

I'd love to go low carb, I know bread is my major weakness (and all bready things like pizza!), but will need to wait until we're out of lockdown and I've used all the carby stuff up in the kitchen. learning a lot though by following some Keto UK FB groups.

Good luck hun, you got this x
Loving your approach - and seriously I can see a huge difference in the two top pics.

I'd love to go low carb, I know bread is my major weakness (and all bready things like pizza!), but will need to wait until we're out of lockdown and I've used all the carby stuff up in the kitchen. learning a lot though by following some Keto UK FB groups.

Good luck hun, you got this x

Thanks and thanks for stopping by! I have carby stuff in the house too. What I've been doing is cutting the serving the in half and doubling the protein. So instead of 1/2 plate of mac&cheese and 1 fillet of fish or chicken, I've been doing 1/4 plate of mac & cheese and 2 fillets of chicken of fish. Or I'll make open-faced burgers so I only need half the roll and instead of making chips from 2 potatoes (one for me and one for hubby), I just split the potato so we each have 1/2 a potato's worth.

Keto of course would be no bun and no potato at all. I've done that in the past but then went right back to unlimited carbs once I was happyish with my weight loss. I'm thinking 1/2 carbs (as described above) will be a better happy medium for me, and hopefully the key to maintaining.

Is there an end date for your lockdown? Ours keeps getting extended.
I am STILL too sore to do an upper body workout. Apparently, my body is NOT ready for push ups on the toes, lol.

So did abs and 200 calories worth of pedaling (4 miles).

Breakfast: Coffee

Snack: Protein Shake.

Lunch: Protein Shake

Supper: 1 Large Swedish meatball, 3.5 oz chicken in low carb Swedish meatball sauce with half a package of Brussels Sprouts.

Hubby had 6oz lean Sweedish meatballs (-1 meatball), low carb sauce and 1 serving pasta (3/4 cup dry), and the other half of the Brussels Sprouts.

Kids had 1 Brussels Sprout eat (they did not like, lol), Ham and 1/2 Sugar Baked Beans. Last time I cut up the Brussels Sprouts and put hid it in their mac and cheese. Will have to do that again next time.

I have to add that I have never made meatballs, let alone Swedish meatballs or the sauce, let alone a low-carb version, but it came out FANTASTIC. It's one of hubby's favorite meals (he would get it as a Frozen microwave meal), so I am very pleased. I would have made mine with meat as well, but I only had 6 oz thawed beef and needed to ensure hubby got enough protein since I'm keeping the pasta serving small.
Meals sound lovely! Sorry about the aching muscles though, hope they ease up soon.

I've been thinking about your low-ish carb approach and think keto might be too tough for me as a bread addict - but Slimming World (which I did really well on three years ago) has a low carb plan I could follow, but it still allows for limited bread - so think that might be the best approach for me for now.

Breakfast: Coffee
Snack: Protein Shake
Lunch: Protein Shake
Dinner: Grilled chicken bacon ranch on low-carb wrap
Snack: Low-carb wrap w/ veggie cream cheese & 2 blocks 90% cocoa chocolate

Workout: Shoulder Workout -- delt raises, rear delt raises, front raises, overhead press

Breakfast: Coffee
Snack: Protein Shake
Lunch: Atkins Snack Bar:
Dinner: Cheesesteak sans the bun

Workout: Should've done a lower body workout, but feeling really lazy so cycled a 10K / 316 calories.
So I haven't updated in so long not because I gave up trying but because it would have been months of posting STS, STS, STS. I was stuck at 162-165 all summer long, but have finally reached 159.8 last Saturday. How much of that was due to not realizing my thyroid medication needed to be slightly increased, I don't know. But at least I'm starting to lose again.

I'm also remodeling/redecorating/organizing my entire house. I'm on a huge minimalism kick right now. Read every book my library had on the subject. Now I'm reading wardrobe/style books and am putting together a capsule wardrobe. I'm probably donated about 80% of my wardrobe (full of things I've never worn or worn once that were bought because it was something I was "suppossed" to wear, even though it wasn't me, or I wasn't comfortable in it. I've also figured out what my "colors" are, bought myself makeup, and am actually wearing it a couple times a week.

I've spent the last 4 years pretty much hiding / trying to be invisible in baggy black clothes and T-shirts or hoodies due to being heavy (190+). It's ironic that I spent most of my whole life int he 150's and on a diet trying to reach that elusive 120 and now I'm just trying to get back to the low 150's, finally recognizing that that is not fat.

I also think I'm getting to a point where I am accepting my age. That one was a bit harder, not so much because of vanity, but because the career/business I set out to accomplish at 25 is only now starting to come to fruition and I'm 42. My audience base is teens and young adults and so I always imagined myself as one of them. And now . . . well, at 42, I'm definitely not. And while I don't feel 42 (or act 42) and some even say I don't look 42, I still don't look 25. Or even 29. So, it's been more reevaluating how to interact with my audience and still seem relevant or relatable to them as well as be taken seriously by their parents.

Organizing and redecorating my house plays a role in all this because I've never gotten the hang of adulting. And it means looking for my keys (and chap-stick, and sunglasses) every darn day under piles of clutter. Most of this is because of ADHD and never having a routine and being hyper-focused on my career-related studies and research while the house gets neglected. But as I've been working on the house, and actually keeping it clean and organized and getting rid of everything I don't regularly use (minimalism), I've found that I am more relaxed and able to focus. This surprises me, because I didn't think I "saw" the clutter. I just kind of tuned it out.

So anyway, my entire life has sort of been undergoing transformation -- weight, makeup, wardrobe, house. It's pretty cool. Hoping maintenance comes naturally, or if not, at least, is realistically manageable.
Also, I don't think I can realistically create a steampunk look that doesn't look costumey. In other words, I don't think I can add enough steampunk flair to actually look steampunk and still pull off business casual. My goal had been to wear nothing but brown and black with some steampunk jewelry but I realized that I will basically just be trading in my all-black baggy/sloppy look for slightly tailored/polished black and brown look. It would look the same everyday, and instead of it being a signature look, I feel like it would look like I was wearing the same thing over and over again and be constantly dark and overwhelming on my 5'5 frame. I'm disappointed, because what I imagined would have been cool, even if not realistic.
Well, the entire wardrobe/closet project has been put on hold due to a rather large fuzzy brown spot of mold on the ceiling in the corner. I hadn't noticed it because there is a shelf there and I had a rather large box on that shelf. I was going to fix it today but I am feeling rather light headed so suspect I am getting the cold that the kiddos have had since the weekend. And spraying bleach or borax and vinegar over my head followed by scrubbing over my head did not feel like the thing to do. So, tomorrow maybe, if I feel better (though I suspect if the cold is just coming on, I will feel worse).

Overall though, building a capsule wardrobe has been a lot of fun. I have a list of a few pieces that need to fill in the gaps, which means I'm must less likely to buy something I don't need since I actually know what I do need. It's weird but it's like I didn't realize there was a middle ground between looking like a slop and completely dressed up. For instance I don't have (nor have I ever owned) a pair of nice dress shoes that were flats. So if I don't feel like wearing heels (which I rarely do, especially toting around 2 kids under 5 and a diaper bag), I wear sneakers and sweat pants. Because who is going to wear tailored pants with sneakers or flip flops? So the books were talking about loafers and I had to google loafer just to see what it was, and my first reaction was why would I buy that when I could wear heels, and then FINALLY it occurred to me, so you can look nice AND be comfortable!!! So you can walk out of the house wearing a fitted blazer and comfy slacks and look good rather than like a slob! Goodness, I'm 42 years old and just figuring this out. Ugh!

Whatever. At least I will look nice from here on out. Well, I will after I go shopping for loafers, lol.
I'm not sure I'm going to keep up on 2 different journals here. I'm basically posting the same type of things. Just not sure which one to let go. I'm not active enough to get a lot of replies, lol, and I'm mostly just doing it to journal my thoughts/progress.

So, I guess I'll just ask . . . anyone following this thread? And if so, would you just follow me at my other one or do you only visit WeMITT's diaries?
Loving all the hard work you're putting in to the transformation to beautiful butterfly!

Re the diaries, "if you post there we will come" :D - up to you whether you use one or both love, but two do get a bit hard to keep up with. For my part I usually only come on Wemitt, but see what the others say x.

And good luck on adulting, I'm nearly 60 and never managed it :D. And don't get het up about thinking you're 42 and only achieving what you wanted to achieve in your 20s - so what? You've done loads of other stuff instead!
Well, I am cool with keeping up two, but I'll probably just copy and past a lot except for replies of course.

Right now, it looks like I'm heading out to eat with some friends. Going rather stir crazy with the kids (hubby's been working 12+ hour days for the past week -- it's only for this week, last week, and next Monday). So going to post my Friday Weigh in weight now: 158.4. So 1.4 pounds for me.
I am just getting round to checking on diaries since I got back but I use the follow function once I "know" someone on here so am not fussed about where a diary is.

I am always fascinated by the idea of a capsule wardrobe - i am a compulsive buyer (and unfortunately a hoarder) of stuff so i wouldn't know where to begin - that said since 2020 happened and I've been working from home i mostly live in pyjamas so why i try and source nice plus size clothes i don't know!