Wednesday, December 28, 2011

W52, Day 2: Christmas

Weigh day was actually yesterday, but things are a little different on vacation so I'm going to count today as the actual day.  We arrived back at home to our lonely kitties and while it felt blissful to sleep in our own bed, the scale tipped in at 199.6.  It was startling and a jolt to realize I was so close to hitting that 200 mark, a place I hope to never see again.  This morning the scale resettled at 196.6, but the first number helped me refocus myself today and remember my goals after a five day food rush over Christmas.

Christmas was lovely and it was wonderful to spend it with family.  And of course, there was lots of tasty food.  I realize that I am a grazer, constantly picking and munching at this and that.  While I greatly enjoyed all the different, rich stuff, I was sort of ready to go back to our normal routine today.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and joyful week.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

W51, Day 3: Christmas Presents

So last weekend I ordered some Christmas presents for myself.  I know, it's the season of giving, but I wanted to give myself a reward for the progress I've made this year.  Besides, there was a sale--a really, really good sale--at Lands End.  They were offering 60% off their dresses, plus another 40% with an online promotion code.  I bought three dresses for $78, which was an incredible deal since at regular price, I'd only have been able to buy one at that price.  Pretty exciting!

I'm not sure what's with the jazz hands in this picture. I like this dress a lot, though it's a bit loose.  It'd be great for work or any event that requires professional dress.  It's actually sleeveless, but I sort of liked pairing this sweater with it because the dress is a heavy material and it seems odd to have bare arms.   And damn if my legs don't look pretty good in it too.  :)

This dress is a bit more form fitting, though it's hard to see it in this picture.  I like it, although I feel a little self-conscious because it hugs my waist a bit.  I like that the skirt flares out a bit though.  And apparently my kitty likes it too since he came over to visit.  Maybe he just wanted to be in the picture  :)

Lastly, I bought this one.  I'm holding the straps because I need to shorten the top by a couple inches, or I'm in danger of a wardrobe malfunction.  It also needs a good ironing, but you can see the shape of the dress and get the general idea.  I was going to order this dress in black, but at the last moment I switched to purple and I think I like this color better.   Maybe I could fill in for a sugar plum fairy if there's a vacancy on Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

W51, Day1: Feeling good

This morning I dragged my sorry butt off the couch (I gave up on sleep around 4:30 a.m. when my Sudafed ran out and watched early morning t.v. for a couple hours) and went to my training session at the gym.  I'd wanted to cancel the appointment, but I forgot to actually do so in time to avoid losing the session.  I hate to waste money so with a black cloud over my head, I pushed myself to go.  And I'm glad I did.

Sure, I had to go with a pocket stuffed full of tissue.  And I only did a ten minute short stint on the treadmill with no elevation (usually I do the uphill mode) instead of my usual 30 minute warm-up before the weight training stuff.  But that's okay, I got there and I moved around a bit and I was feeling pretty good.  When I met with my trainer, I really didn't want to be measured, though she insisted because it's been a couple months.  I was afraid the tape measure would be my enemy since the scale this morning said 195.0, up 0.4 from last week.  Heck, I'm really lucky that it was only that much because I went a bit crazy with chocolate and sweets this weekend in an attempt to self-soothe and provide relief from my cold.  It didn't work, but then it never does, I suppose.  So anyway, I was fine with the scale, but I didn't want to be measured.  But we did and it was okay.

Since the beginning of November, I've lost an inch off my calves, which is pretty cool, and small amounts off of everywhere else, except my upper arms, which is what we worked on today.  I expected to hear negative stuff because the scale hasn't improved, so it was surprising and nice to hear that I'm still thinning out (even in very tiny increments).  That's never happened during a holiday season before.

Honestly, I'm pretty proud of myself so far actually.  Today I worked out with my trainer and pushed myself hard even though I wasn't feeling my best.  I've trimmed down a little.  Even if I have gained a slight amount of weight so far, it's been nothing like the 8-10 pounds I always gain.  I'm doing pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!  :)

This is my most current Christmas picture.  

This is me at Christmas time last year.  

And finally, this was me at Christmas two years ago.  Again, with a kitty (sort of mandatory for most Christmas pictures.)  I can see a difference in my face now because it's a little more narrow towards the chin.  I still love my husband's Snoopy Christmas shirt.  :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

W50, Day 4: In the media

Okay, I take offense with the way media sources like the news on t.v. and the internet and movies often portray overweight and obese people.  I've come across the same picture used in two different articles and it's included in the slideshow link I've listed below.  The picture is the front of a fully naked woman (from the waist to the neck), obviously obese, with a doctor's scalpel in front.  The caption reads, "Obesity is a risk factor for developing arthritis in the knees, hips, hands and ankles."  Why on Earth is it necessary to include what most people would consider a humiliating picture with a caption like that?  It's demeaning to whoever's headless body is being shown in such a vulnerable way and the caption makes absolutely no connection to the picture. 

Honestly, I just find this slideshow very offensive in the offhand way they toss out degrading pictures:

I think a lot of people--thin, regular, overweight, obese--would be uncomfortable being shown topless in any health slideshow, but somehow it's okay to do it when the person's fat.  Sometimes I get the idea that people think overweight folks just don't care about how they look.  In the same slideshow, I noticed this picture:

When I see this, I can't help but think, "Yeah, sure, because most overweight people walk about with their shirts bulging out like this because we all just love to look like slobs."  Please note the sarcasm.

And many a time I've seen a news story on t.v. about weight were some enterprising camera person films obese people walking about, capturing and focusing on their most painful areas, their waists and butts, while cutting off their heads (for privacy's sake, I've heard).  I imagine there are few people, healthy weight or not, that would feel comfortable with a camera focused right on their rear end and then broadcast on the local news.  Why is it okay to do this to overweight people?  Are there no stock photos or clips of obese people looking well dressed, respectable, and presentable?  An example might be the way Queen Latifah always looks amazing and well put together.  There's nothing to say that obese people don't take pains to look attractive and dress well.

If you go to plus size websites like, you'll view many models dressed in plus size clothing who look fashionable and neat. In the picture on the left for example, the woman looks beautiful and comfortable (and hey, you can get 50% off).   I would like to note, however, that sometimes I feel sites like Lane Bryant and the Avenue select models that are too small to truly portray their clothing.  They need to get some larger women in these pictures since that's who's going to wear their clothes.  I guess they feel smaller women sell clothes.

My ultimate point is that we should stop and think about the images we see of overweight and obese people on t.v, in movies, and on the internet.  How are these people being portrayed?  How does it affect the way we think of obese people?  There are certainly more positive ways to depict overweight people that wouldn't make them seem like less than human beings.  Overweight and obese people can be just as brilliant, funny, lovable, beautiful, etc. as everyone else--why not picture them that way?

If you're interested, here's an  interesting slide show of the different ways obesity is portrayed in movies:

This article is a lot more information about weight bias in the media:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

W50, Day 1: Middle of the Road

Week 50?!  How the heck has fifty weeks gone by?  Well, weigh day was fine today at 194.6, putting me at -1.4 for the week.  I'm definitely glad for the loss and pleased it's more than a pound, especially after I regained a bit over the weekend with some crazy eating out.  Looking back at previous entries, it's a little vexing to note that I weighed in at 194.0 on November 1st.  That means that for the last month and a half I really haven't made any progress.

I'm not sure why the holiday season (for us defined as the time from the weekend before Thanksgiving through our wedding anniversary, January 3rd) always leads to so much gain.  Maybe it's just easier to blame gain on the holidays than on lax self control and poor eating behavior.  In any case, I'll restate my goal for myself:  this holiday season, instead of driving myself crazy trying to lose weight or losing all control and just going food crazy, I'm just going to try to maintain my weight at about 194 pounds.  No major losses to try to reach, no absolutely crazy behavior leading to massive gains.  I guess I just want to shoot for the middle of the road.  We'll see how it goes as we get nearer to Christmas.

I'm still hoping that the key to my food sanity this year is two doable objectives:  maintain weight and keep exercising.  So let's trim that tree, deck those halls, and do a solid jog on the treadmill too.  :)

W50, Day 1:

Week 50?!  How the heck has fifty weeks gone by?  Well, weigh day was fine today at 194.6, putting me at -1.4 for the week.  I'm definitely glad for the loss and pleased it's more than a pound, especially after I regained a bit over the weekend with some crazy eating out.  Looking back at previous entries, it's a little vexing to note that I weighed in at 194.0 on November 1st.  That means that for the last month and a half I really haven't made any progress.

I'm not sure why the holiday season (for us defined as the time from the weekend before Thanksgiving through our wedding anniversary, January 3rd) always leads to so much gain.  Maybe it's just easier to blame gain on the holidays than on lax self control and poor eating behavior.  In any case, I'll restate my goal for myself:  this holiday season, instead of driving myself crazy trying to lose weight or losing all control and just going food crazy, I'm just going to try to maintain my weight at about 194 pounds.  No major losses to try to reach, no absolutely crazy behavior leading to massive gains.  I guess I just want to shoot for the middle of the road.  We'll see how it goes as we get nearer to Christmas.

I'm still hoping that the key to my food sanity this year is two doable objectives:  maintain weight and keep exercising.  So let's trim that tree, deck those halls, and do a solid jog on the treadmill too.  :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

W49, Day 5: Jeans!

Yesterday I stopped by Kohl's intending to run in for one small thing.  In the usual way of such ventures, however, I lingered in the women's clothing section, idling browsing the shelves and racks when I came across the jeans section, my own personal no man's (woman's!) land.  On a whim, I pulled out pair of Levi's, size 16, and held them up, scrutinizing the waistband before deciding that they were still far too narrow for my waist.  I almost put them down, but I decided to try them on anyway so I'd know how far I still had to go.

I read once that on average women try on over twenty pairs of jeans before buying one, and I know that's certainly true for me.  I've tried on plenty of size 16s in my lifetime and with the exception of when I was in high school, they've never fit.  I took two different styles in the same size into the dressing room with me and you know what?  Huzzah!!  They fit!  One pair was a snugger fit and there was some muffin topping going on, so I set them aside.  The other pair was a "Comfort Fit" (they put stretchy stuff hidden inside the waistband) and I thought it looks rather flattering so I splurged and bought them.  I was just so thrilled to be able to buy jeans from the "regular" sizes, something I haven't done in more than twenty years.  I'm not a true size 16 yet, but I just felt so good about my efforts.  As the year is coming to an end, I've been reflecting on what I've accomplished.  I may not have my 50 pound goal, but I did lose 35 pounds, dropped multiple sizes, and even better, I'm starting to feel better about myself.  I still have moments of all that negative stuff associated with my body, but I'm in a different place now than a year ago.  And I'm so thankful for that.

I tried to carry that thought with me to the staff Christmas party last night, but I still overindulged.  Ah well, onwards and upwards today.

*For any gentlemen reading, the next paragraph might be a little too much info.*

Boosted by my success at the jeans table, I even went bra shopping, something I absolutely hate.  It's odd because I love to shop, but not for underclothes.  Maybe there's just not enough fabric and the mirror is too large and I have to see myself too clearly, I don't know, but I strongly dislike it.  Honestly, I'd rather look at power tools.  However, today I confronted it because I've been needing some smaller bras since mine hang loosely around me, doing little to offer support in swimmingly large cups.  And you know what?  It wasn't that bad.  I found a couple I liked and fit well without being uncomfortable and emboldened by the jeans, I splurged and bought a bright colored one just for the fun of wearing something cute and pretty underneath.  Surely I deserve it, right?  My weight tracker says "Yes!" though I'm sure my pocketbook will disagree!  I've got to be careful because losing weight can be costly!

I'll post pictures of the jeans later on tonight.  :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

W49, Day 4: Real hunger vs. fake?

I'm hungry.  Very hungry.  I recently ate dinner, and an after-dinner snack, and I'm still so hungry.  The last two days my stomach has felt like it's been burrowing out of my body.  I've been eating my usual breakfast and lunches (yogurt, fruit, frozen SmartOnes meal, granola bar, pretzels, veggis, cheese, etc.) and for dinner last night I had a cup of rice with 7 ounces of meal stir-fried with a good quantity of veggis.  And I topped off the meal with some dark chocolate and a cup of tea.  I'm not starving myself.

Yet I felt a voracious hunger yesterday that was not abated by meals or by the time I went to bed.  I lay in bed wishing for a handful of carrots or a chunk of apple with some peanut butter.  That's how I know I'm really hungry--when I'm wishing for cupcakes or chocolate or sweets in general, I know it's not real. One of my WW leaders once mentioned this, saying, "If you are willing to eat plain green beans or other vegetables, it's probably real hunger."  Isn't it funny that sometimes it's hard for me to tell real hunger from fake?  I mean, I've done a lot of eating throughout my life, you'd think I'd know how to feel hunger.  Or maybe I don't.  Maybe that's part of the problem.  My brain desires, but maybe it doesn't understand what's truly necessary.  Maybe most hunger in me is simply the stirring of my body wanting the physical stimulants of addiction, rather than the nourishment of the body.

In any case, when I woke up this morning, I was ravenous.  I've tried to eat filling foods today to cut down on the empty ache, but it's still within me this evening.  I guess I'll have a cup of herbal tea to try to help fill up this bottomless pit.

This would be my cats' solution to the hunger issue.  They especially make 
themselves known early on a Saturday morning.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

W49, Day 1: Weigh Day

Tuesday already?  Somehow it seems like the week is divided into three parts:  the hungry days following weigh day, the indulgent weekend days, and then weigh day all over again.  I was thinking about this last night: it doesn't make sense to go hungry for most of the week, make good progress by Friday, and then overindulge and backtrack all weekend.  Monday is my recover and pray the weekend weight will magically melt off day.

The weekend is so much harder than workdays to stay on a food schedule, probably for a couple big reasons:  1) There's so much more structure to a workday.  I can't just sit around and eat because I am simply too busy running around like a crazy person.  2) Food is fun.  Food is enjoyable and when I am not working, I want to enjoy my time.  I want to have fun.  And coming back around, food is fun.  Hence, it's easy to fall into bad habits.

And speaking of bad habits, last night I raced home to put up Christmas lights and after climbing up and down the ladder, I was pooped.  I had planned on cooking dinner before going grocery shopping, but that went right out the window, along with my willpower, and we went to get Chinese food.  It has been so long since I've had any and damn if it didn't taste good.  After the Chinese food, well, I'd already fallen right off that wagon, so I followed it up with a cupcake.  *Sigh*  Why is it that I can't just make myself do what I need to do?  It's just so easy once I've fallen, to jump right off the hill.  The splat at the bottom is when I step on the scale the next day.  Fortunately, it's not too bad of a splat this week.  The weigh in was at 196.0, which isn't great, but at least it's -1.0.  Now hopefully for a little more control this weekend.  We'll see.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

W48, Day 6: Groceries

Okay, so you know it's time to go grocery store when you are almost out of chocolate.  Can't have that!

I was doing pretty well at getting back into a food routine after Thanksgiving up until the weekend.  I was really hungry all the way through Thursday, but by Friday things were starting to get back to normal.  I even made it to the gym four times this week, which isn't perfect, but is better than I've done for the last two weeks.

This weekend we had company and rather than cook, we ate out for the last three days.  Eeek, right?  Add on a rather large quantity of beer and it was an excellent weekend.  In reflection, if we'd had more groceries in the fridge, I might have been more tempted to cook our meals, but an empty refrigerator automatically seems to mean restaurant time.  Does this happen to you?  I try to keep a full fridge most of the time, but we didn't go shopping last week or this weekend.  Scrounging the cupboards is always risky!

Well, back to the routine tomorrow...and maybe the grocery store too!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

W48, Day 2: Return of the Gnawing Dino

I'm just going to come clean right off the bat and say that last week was crazy food-wise.  Rather than tell you what I ate, it'd be easier to tell you what I didn't eat:  my normal food routine.  I don't regret it, not really, but I did make big gains.  I weighed in yesterday at 197.0, which while only +1.0 for the week, really means an official gain of +3.0.  More than that, unofficially, a week and a half ago I was seeing the scale at 192.0, so it means a +5.0 gain over all in only about nine days.  That's the holidays, right? 

Gaining five pounds at Thanksgiving and perhaps another five or six at Christmas is completely on par with my normal holiday routine.  So I started to readdress the question, what is going to be different this year?  Obviously my eating is the same, even though I tried to cut down on the mindless scarfing.  Well, one thing I can say is that I'm going to be exercising these next few weeks.  I went back to spin class on Monday evening since my knee finally seems to be in better shape.  Yesterday was the first time that the alarm went off at 5 a.m. and I turned it off and went back to sleep, but I made it there today and it felt good to be working out.  That's going to be one key difference this year.  I'm not going to hope to lose a bunch of weight between now and New Years, but I'm just going to try to maintain my weight around 194.0 and then continue get back on track at the beginning of the new year.

In the meantime, that angry internal dinosaur has been gnawing away at the inside of my belly.  Rawr, rawr, RAWR!!!  I feel so very hungry this week and on Monday, my stomach was growling so loudly that it was audible to my students.  Rawr!  It's funny how in one week my eating can get so far off my normal routine that I feel hungry all the time just behaving normally.  The first week back on track is always the hardest and here's to being hungry and back on track! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

W47, Day 1: Self-Image

Okay, so I'm at a low point.  Bad weigh day, you wonder?  Well yes, that too.  But my despondency is over something even more silly and pointless:  choosing what to wear.  I'm heading home today for Thanksgiving and I'm super excited to see my family.  I'm packing my clothes as we speak.  The problem is what to wear for Thanksgiving.  I have plenty of work clothes and I recently purchased some new weekend kick-around-in clothes too.  But I don't have any thing for special occasions.  Who cares, right?  The holiday is about enjoying the privilege of spending time with family.  They won't care what I wear.  My brain knows this.  My family members are awesome people and very supportive.  But as I slip into this dress and that shirt which doesn't fit me at all, I feel hideous and ashamed of my body all over again.  Now it doesn't help that I've gained weight the last two weeks, but really, is anyone going to be able to distinguish a couple pounds?  Not likely.  I know they are just happy to see me, so why do I let myself get all worked up?  I look in that mirror and see not a woman who's made some mistakes along the path this year but who's made 35 pounds of progress, I see someone who's outwardly repulsive.

Maybe that's why I'm still stuck here in WeightLoss Land year after year.  I get mired in the shame and guilt and self-anger.  I don't know how that fits into eating exactly, but I'm sure it's a piece.  In the meantime, I just have to get my brain to move on.  I'm not perfect.  I will never be perfect.  My family, friends, husband, cats love me anyway.  Why can't I love myself???  Obviously that's a bigger question than I can answer today, but it's food for thought.

As for weigh day, it's 196.0, up +1 from last week and +2 from the week before that.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

W46, Day 6: Early Thanksgiving

Last night we had our small annual gathering of folks willing to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with us a little early.  This tradition of the early meal stems from our college days as a way for my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I to celebrate Thanksgiving together when we spent the actual day with our separate families.  It's also a chance for me to get to try my hand at cooking the various holiday foods (though I do make rather dry turkey) and cooking for other people is one way that I show my love and caring.  It's a lot of work, but I enjoy the warmth, food, laughter, (wine!), and good company of others.

So as we start out the holiday season this week, I wish everyone a warm, joyful, and loving holiday.  Thank you for those of you who attended last night and I hope you had a good time.  Thank you too for your kind words, my favorite of which was one friend who said, "I hardly recognize you!"  That made my day because I see little change in the day to day, but when I see it through other people's eyes, I can see how far I've come this year.  Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

W46, Day 2: Weigh Day yesterday

Okay, yesterday was weigh day and it wasn't great.  I weighed in at 195.0, which is +1.0 from last week and it's really worse than that since I had been a couple pounds down before the weekend hit and I went a bit food crazy.  Actually, I've been thinking about the imminent holidays a lot and I've been putting off writing about it because I didn't want to admit that they're coming.  I love the holidays:  the cheer, the friends and family, the food.  Of course, the food.

Every year from this weekend onward until New Years is a bit like a giant food fest.  I always gain 8-10 pounds without fail, even the year that I was terrified I wouldn't fit into my wedding dress and I was desperately trying to not gain (I packed away 10 that season).  I love the holidays and they fill me with dread at the same time.  I just don't want to gain weight.  I even skipped a luncheon today at work just to avoid all those temptation foods knowing that we're having an early Thanksgiving this weekend and are going to have lots of food around.  Eeek!

So what's going to be different this year?  Maybe that's the reason why I've been avoiding this entry.  What is going to be different?  To be honest, I don't know.  I'm exercising, which is different.  What else?  I do try to avoid trigger foods while all that stuff is out and about....fudge, cookies, candies, oh my.  What if I can't do any better this year?

Monday, November 14, 2011

W45, Day 7: Oversharing

I read an interesting article on about how people shouldn't talk about weight loss with other people.  The article gave two main reasons for secrecy:

1)  That obese people tend to congregate together and by losing weight and talking about it, you make the others around you feel threatened, and they consciously or unconsciously try to undermine your success.  The article continues that obese friends will drift away from you if you lose significant amounts of weight.

Honestly, this feels like poppycock to me.  First of all, everyone with whom I have shared has been incredibly supportive.  People have gone out of their way to be helpful and kind about the whole thing.  This idea doesn't seem very respectful of your friends and family either.  Seriously, anyone who'll leave you because you've lost weight and become more healthy can't be a very good friend to begin with.

2)  The second reason, the article continues, is that if you state to others that you have the intention of losing weight, you will consider the action of stating the intention as deed.  In others words, if you say that you are planning to lose weight, that counts in your mind as doing a good job and since you did such a good job, you might as well have another piece of pie as a reward for a job well done.  You might lose 20 pounds, for example, and then after hearing the praise of others, decide you don't need to stay focused on a healthy lifestyle anymore because you've already done such a good job.  Out pop the donuts.

This reason may have a little more validity to me because I've often dieted to a point, felt I was doing a pretty good job and then slowly fallen off the path because I figured I'd mastered it.  However, I really don't think hearing the praise of others or stating my intentions to others was to blame.

The article recommends that if you must tell anyone about losing weight, tell only a few people at most and have them hold you accountable.  To a large degree, that's why I continue this blog, so that I can be held accountable to you all, but I really can't understand why so much secrecy would be necessary.  I've received so much support and I hope that in turn I can offer support to others.  Losing weight is not a crime or something wrong that should be hidden.  Telling people to hide it like a dirty little secret is makes people feel like being fat or losing weight is shameful.  I'd like to stay that I don't feel any shame, but that isn't true.  What I can say, though, is that I'm proud of my efforts and progress and I think other people are too.  I'm glad to be able to go tell it on the mountain.

Here's the article:
"Want to Lose Weight?  Shut Your Mouth"

Friday, November 11, 2011

W45, Day 4: Shopping Confidence

I love shopping.  Love it.  Clothes, home accessories, garden items, etc., it's all fun to look at, touch, or try on (though I hasten to say I rarely buy, lest you think me a horder or anything).  It's just fun to walk around and look at things.  I do it so often my husband has termed it "shoppercise" and to some degree that's true, though at least I'm moving my buns as I meander around the aisles.

Only lately shopping has become more fun and intimidating all in one.  Intimidating, you ask?  How can that be since you've lost weight?  I'll tell you.  Things are beginning to fit me better, a lot better, than ever before.  I'm out of the plus size and that awkward gap between normal sizes and plus sizes.  Now when I walk into a department store, a large or extra large will fit.  It may not look flattering, but it will fit.  That's wonderful and I'm thrilled because it's a lot better for my self-image.  The problem is that I don't know where to shop.

Now obviously that's not a huge problem in the greater scope of world issues, I know, but since this is a weight loss blog, I claim the right to be superficial at times.  So, anyway, back to the shopping question:  where do people like to shop?  I'm comfortable with department stores like Macy's and JCPenney because they are safe.  They are large and anonymous and no one takes any notice of me as I wander around from rack to rack.  No one looks at me as I walk into a dressing room carrying a whole armload of things that I will not end up taking with me on the way back out (I usually try on a whole bunch of things, but don't buy anything).  In my plus size days, I used to shop frequently at Lane Bryant and Torrid, smaller chain stores in the mall, and I was never intimidated because they were intended for women like me (round but still wanting fashionable clothes).  Now all those small chain stores just seem so intimidating.

I guess the fear goes way back to when I've weighed a whole lot more.  It's stupid, but I feel fear that I'll walk through the doors of some trendy little shop and the sales people will take one look at me and know I'm too fat to fit into anything in the store.  They'll smile and be polite and be wondering to themselves, "Who is this woman trying to fool? She doesn't belong in here."  Now, obviously, it shouldn't matter what anyone thinks and my rational mind knows that sales people probably have a lot more things going on in their lives to be thinking anything much about any random shopper.  Yet my irrational side won't let go of its nervousness.  It's crazy for me to be afraid of shopping, but I am.

I'd really like to go into one of those shops, like maybe New York & Company, Express, Gap, ect. but for now I guess I'll stick with the basic department stores.  It's one of those things I ponder though:  I've lost weight, where's my new-found confidence?  I must have misplaced it under my couch or in the garage or something.  Maybe it's time I went looking for it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

W45, Day 2: Weigh Day yesterday

Yesterday was weigh day, but I was so tired that I didn't get around to logging it here.  I weighed in at 194.0, which is +/- 0 pounds.  It wasn't a surprising outcome, though it's never really excited to find out you haven't lost weight, I guess I should be glad that I didn't make gains.  I'm a little nervous about the weekend because we are headed out of town to stay with family and it's always harder for me to control myself when in a different food environment, maybe because there are different temptations all around, but I'll try to do my best.

Monday, November 7, 2011

W44, Day 6: Voracious

Sometimes you just have one of those days.  You wake up, tired and only vaguely alive, and you realize that you are deeply, voraciously hungry.  Or maybe that's just me.  It's the type of hungry that no amount of yogurt and apples, peanut butter or low-fat cheese sticks will fill.  Why does this happen?  I've been working on this lifestyle change for months, almost a year and I eat more calories now than ever before while dieting.  Yet all I wanted to do yesterday was eat and eat and eat as if I would never be full.

Much of this was self-soothing behavior, I'm sure, since I was feeling so tired and weighed down (figuratively here, the literal is a given).  But I wanted to eat everything under the sun.  Yesterday was one of those days when I rail against the confines of my calorie limits, when I feel the overwhelming frustration of the constant need for control.  What's up with that?  I mean, really, I understand the need for control and I feel happier with myself and my body as the scale tips downward, so why would I let myself sabotage that?

Recently I read an interesting newspaper article "Maintaining Weight Loss After Dieting--A Ghost of a Chance" about how weight loss triggers hormones in our bodies (see link below).  Researches found that when obese people lose weight, they produce hormones that stay in our blood for up to and over a year and cause hunger.   (How crazy is it that the body doesn't like us to lose weight even though it's what more healthful for us??)  I was rather discouraged to read that in a study mentioned in the article, people who had been dieting for a year reported that they felt as hungry or hungrier than when they began.  What the heck?! I guess that's frustrating because I can identify with it.  I don't want to be fat and I don't want to eat, but there are times when I yearn for food, heart and soul.  It makes me angry at my own weakness and lack of will.  Maybe that's the positive part of this article, the 'it's-not-really-your-fault' absolution that we all want to hear.  If one can't control what their body does, are they really to blame for its weight gain?  To quote the article:

This new study may dishearten many people hoping to lose significant weight, or anyone venturing on yet another diet. But it may also allow some frustrated dieters to feel a little saner and less self-judgmental, given the known hormonal sabotage at work.
The new findings may also promote a more compassionate and educated understanding about people who struggle so hard -- and unsuccessfully -- to lose weight.
As the researchers suggest, " ... the high rate of relapse among obese people who have lost weight has a strong physiological basis and is not simply the result of the voluntary resumption of old habits."

In the end, it doesn't really matter if I'm to blame for my weight or not because it's up to me to change it.  I have to do better, one day at a time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

W44, Day 5: Thank you

I'd like to start with thanking you the readers of this blog.  This week it hit the 3,000 views mark (not including myself or my husband's views) and I have been pretty floored because when I started it, I debated ever making it public because who would want to read it?  My purpose for doing the blog was for me to be held accountable for my weight loss and so that I could talk about all the things that swirl about my head and it's been that, but it's also been so much more because of all the support from readers like you.  I've said it before (and meant it) and I'll say it again, thank you so much because I literally couldn't do it without you.

Switching gears, this picture made me laugh:

Bad muffin!  Bad!  I picture a bran muffin who just soiled the carpet or clawed up the couch.  :)

In other news, I'm a bit concerned about my loss this week.  I've been pretty worn out with work stuff and admit that I've been turning to food, especially sweets, to self comfort myself when I'm feeling tired.  It's a bad habit to be in and I'm trying to note when I do it, but I may not lose anything this week.  I feel like this is all right though since I've dropped four pounds in the last two weeks.  A week to consolidate isn't going to be the end of the world, but I'm so glad it's the weekend and that I'll have a couple days to relax and refill my soul.  Dramatic?  Yes, but eh, it's my blog so I can say it as I want.  :)  Seriously though, I need to improve my habits in this week to come and on that note, I'm off to the gym!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

W44, Day 1: Now and Then

It's Tuesday and that means weigh day.  I weighed in at 194.0, putting me down -1.4 for the week, -35.0 total, and 43.6 pounds to go.  Slowly as the weeks crawl by the 'to go' number is climbing downward.  It was so intimidating when there was closer to eighty pounds for me to lose.  I mean, I know I've only lost 35 pounds, but that feels like a lot.  When I lose another five pounds, I'll be halfway towards my goals.  That's sort of a strange thought in a way because I feel like I've been doing this for a long time and at the same time it feels like it's hardly been any time at all, possibly because I've seen the most loss in only the last few months.  With an optimistic hope in my head, I planned to lose 50 pounds this year (or one pound per week) and I knew that it would take more than one year.

In another three pounds, I'll beat my previous weight record from three years ago before my wedding. (It was a short lived 191 because I gained back immediately---I'm going to hold onto the loss this time!).  In another four pounds, I'll be the lowest weight I've ever been as an adult.  That's amazing, isn't it?  I mean, obviously, 190 isn't a great weight, but I haven't been there since before I was eighteen years old.  Wow.

Oddly, I remember being a sophomore in high school and weighing in at 179.  I was so upset because I knew I was so fat.  Funny though, when I look at the pictures of me then, I looked amazing.  I see that me with different eyes.  Two years later, by my senior year, I'd gained more than twenty pounds and I've been on that path for the entirety of my adult life.  I'm going to bring it around, and if I can't redo those years, I can do the rest of my life better.  Onwards!  Ever and ever onwards.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

W43, Day 5: Oh those holidays...

Halloween is just around the corner and you know what that means:  kids in costumes, cute ghosts and goblins, and yes, that dang candy.  I'll admit to you that after I bought our Halloween candy for the big day tomorrow, I had my husband hide it from me.  I do not want to be tempted by that bag of candy.  It'd be fine if I could control myself to just take one small piece of candy and leave the rest alone...but let's just be honest, that's not going to happen.  The holidays are always difficult on a food level because we tend to celebrate with food.  It's just not the holidays without eating, right?

Instead of a slippery slope, it's more like a raging waterfall.  Every time I've hit the holidays, I've had major weight gain even though I've been on Weight Watchers and had every motivation to do well.  Three years ago  when I was desperate to look good for our wedding, I still gained ten pounds over the months of November and December.  I'm bound and determined to do better this year.  But how?  Sheer will power doesn't seem to be enough because it erodes away.  More posts on this topic are bound to follow.  But in the meantime, I think I've navigated Halloween pretty well (plus or minus a few fun size kit kat bars).

As a reward to myself for doing so well, I bought myself some new tops.  A lot of my shirts are baggy and I wanted some that show off my more curvy and sexy self.  I've still got a long, long ways to go, but I want to show off the progress I have made too.  Besides, shopping is a lot more fun when you know things fit.  :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

W43, Day 3: Costume Pics

I'm taking a break from work here to show off some pictures of my costume that I made.  At my school, we're doing our costume parade on Friday so my sewing machine has been humming right along this last week because of course I waited till nearly the last minute to get the thing done, even though I've had the pattern and material for months.  Anyway, I wanted a costume that would flatter my shape and be appropriate for school.  I love dressing up for Halloween.

I always have and since I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday, not because of the candy (though that was a definite selling feature), but because of the dressing up.  There's something magical about shedding oneself for one day a year and donning a new persona as a princess, nurse, scarecrow, "Halloween thing", or whatnot.  Perhaps I've always loved the escapism of it all, and, as I said, I love costumes.  Costumes don't really love me though and for years I've had trouble finding anything that would a) fit me, as most women's costumes only go to a large or a size 12, 14, or 16; and b) not look too unflattering.

Women's costumes in "regular" sizes seem to exist primarily in the role of naughty/sexy and that's certainly not the side of me that I'm willing to show the public at large, even if I could fit into them.  Women's plus size costumes are often bulky and unflattering, or plain (for instance, there are tons of plus size witch costumes out there).  I guess the inner girly-girl in me wants my look to be pretty.  So I made my own costume.  It's still bulky, but at least it was made to fit my body.  The hat was a pain in the butt to make, but I rather like the overall look now that it's done.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

W43, Day 1: Whoa!

Weigh day today and it's pretty awesome this week, but I'm also pretty confused about how that happened.  So, I'm at 195.4 as of this morning, which puts me at -3.4 for the week (really a banner week) and -33.6 pounds today, with 45 pounds more to go.  Okay, so here's the celebration time:  whooooo!!!  Three pounds in one week is amazing.  Excellent.

I will admit though that I'm completely baffled about how that loss happened.  I'm not trying to be modest or negative or anything, but I'm truly not understanding.  On Monday of last week, I totally went off my calories and I had two donuts and other assorted goodies on Boss's Day.  Regardless, the scale slid steadily downwards all week, but I knew I was going to eat freely this weekend and I figured I'd gain weight.  I did eat a lot on both Saturday and Sunday (and I truly mean a lot) but the scale stayed steady.  I only exercised three times last week, so it's not like I burned a ton of calories or anything.  Oh well, maybe sometimes there's no clear reason why the loss happens--but gee, I really wish I knew what the winning formula because it'd be great to be able to replicate it week after week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

W42, Day 5: Exercising to eat?

I did make it into the gym this week.  We only went three times, but that's better than nothing and I made sure to avoid things that strain my knee or back.  Last night I also bought a knee brace so I'll try that out on Monday and see if it helps.  I have been pondering things this week as I'm chugging along on the elliptical (it's  dull and my mind wanders) about how I work out.  

Generally we work out for 55 minutes and I do 25 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training.  In all honesty, I do the cardio because I want to burn calories and the weight training because I want to be stronger and build muscle.  Is that wrong?  I mean, obviously, it can't be wrong to exercise, but I've been perusing articles online about how you shouldn't focus on cardio because you're not really doing anything towards building muscle (and you need to build muscle to boost metabolism and get your body to burn more calories).  

Maybe I would get more bang for my time if I focused primarily on weight training.  My gym time is limited by time more than any other factor and I know I should be making the most of it.  But I rely on the cardio to burn calories so that I have a little more leeway during the day.  Do other people do that too?  Exercise to eat?  Is that okay?  I know that I use food as a tool to help me deal with the stresses of the day and I'm trying to be more aware of that, but I'm not going to deny that I've been a lot more stressed at work than usual and I come home craving sweets to make me feel better.  Lately I've been buying those Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters with are chocolately goodness (the only downside of the treat is that it's a small portion, but I guess that's how it should be, eh?) and having one after dinner every night.  If I cut out the small treats like that, I could do less cardio and stay in my daily calories.  I just don't know if I'm ready to do that.

*These are pretty good.  You get about five little chocolately, chewy clusters.  I don't know about "dreamy," and they are a little pricey for what you get, but tasty none-the-less.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

W42, Day 1: Weigh Day

As I look back on my blog I wonder, where did the week go?  I haven't written all week.  I think this mirrors my lack of motivation this week as well.  I've had a hard time being focused on my goals and staying within my calories.  My weigh day today is at 198.0, which isn't horrible, but isn't making any progress either.  Some of this is coming from a lack of gym time this month.  I missed a week of gym time when we went to camp and I was all ready to come back strong last week, but my knee hurt so much that I skipped a few days and treaded lightly the days I was there.  While my knee is still slightly tender, I feel ready to get back in there, except... my back is killing me.  What the heck??  On Saturday it just started hurting intensely in my lower back, and though I loaded up on the Motrin, I was seriously not ready to go to the gym.  I skipped both yesterday and today and while my back is gently aching tonight, I think I'm going to go tomorrow morning.  If I can't do a whole lot while I'm there, maybe I can just gently walk the treadmill or elliptical.  It doesn't really matter if I'm not pushing myself hard, I just need to get in there and get my routine back on track.  I feel like I take more pride in my self--both mind and body--when I'm working out and that helps me skip the foods that aren't good for me.  I can't wait for both knee and back to heal though because I'm missing the spin classes a lot (they're a bit too hardcore for body parts that aren't working right).  C'mon body!

Okay, this next section is really for the ladies only (no offense guys), but I've noticed another interesting side effect of all the gym time is a very irregular and random monthly cycle that started when I began exercising daily.  I've missed many of my gym sessions this month and noticed that my cycle returned to normal, so I'm guessing that it's the exercise that's caused it.  It's sort of relief to know that my body isn't just going crazy!  I wonder if that's normal for folks who exercise?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

W41, Day 2: Weigh day yesterday

Yesterday was weigh day, which, while not very thrilling, wasn't too terrible considering how I ate in the last week and a half.  I weighed in at 198.8, which puts me at +0.8 (with another +0.4 the week before).  Two weeks in a row of gain is not exactly thrilling, but I've been back at the gym this week and tracking my calories again, so I hope to be on the right path towards loss this week.

I've splurged (and splurged) and now I'm ready for normalcy.  On that note, I'm headed for an early bedtime because going to the gym early sure tuckers me out!

Monday, October 10, 2011

W40, Day 7: Refocused!

Today I've tried really hard to get things back on track.  I went to the gym for the first time in a week (most of last week was not my fault since I was in the woods, but I could have gone on Saturday and chose not to) and did a pretty good job on the elliptical and with the weights.  Walking onto the main floor, I was struck by a display of what five pounds of fat versus five pounds of muscle.  What a difference in size!  So far I've lost roughly 30 pounds and I stood there trying to imagine how big a mass that is.  Pretty cool.

I felt pretty good about my gym time, but I notice that my left knee is twinging like crazy--actually it's pretty hard to not notice--and it's worse after working out.  I'm not sure if a brace would help or do anything at all, but since I don't want to cut out my workout time, I guess I'm just going to have to try to ignore it and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on it (like doing squats, which always hurt).

I tracked all my calories today and am well within my total.  My stomach was growling off and on throughout the day and I snacked on several fruits and vegetables to help fill it, but the first day back on after several days off is always the hardest in terms of hunger.  In a few days, my stomach will have adjusted.  So, all in all, I'm feeling pretty good about the day:  I'm refocused and back on track.  Now I just need another cute kitty picture and my day is set.  Here we go...  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

W40, Day 6: Falling off the wagon

Okay, I'm having trouble starting this entry because I'm a bit overwhelmed with everything I have consumed in the last week.  It's been bad.  I tried to control myself at camp and if I am going to find any successes this week, it's the knowledge that I did better at controlling myself there than I ever have in seven trips.  However, that doesn't mean I did a good job either.  On the worst camp food day, I went over by 1200 calories, putting me over 3,000 calories for the day.  Whew!  So obviously, eating at camp wasn't great and I expected that.

What I didn't expect was my reaction to being home.  I ate everything under the sun on Friday night and Saturday.  I know for certain that Friday night's binge was a bout of comforting and self-soothing.  I ate and ate and I figured I would get back on track on Saturday.  For the first time since I started using, I didn't record my calories. On Saturday, things seemed to be going better, more normally, except that we spend a long afternoon in the backyard and when we came inside in the evening, I remembered that there was a very empty fridge.  Tired and hungry, we went out to eat and I picked unhealthily, throwing my calories out the window again.  After dinner, I snacked because I figured I was already lost for the day.  And again, I didn't record my calories, maybe because I didn't want to really acknowledge just how far off the mark I truly was.  I know from past experiences with Weight Watchers that not recording points/calories is the first big step off the path.  It's so easy to miss a day, then two, then a week....such an inconvenience to record everything...and pretty soon I've lost all accountability.

Today we are going on a social outing with friends to an apple farm with the usual assortment of treats there.  I plan to indulge with them, but I'm going to record everything.  I had a healthy breakfast and I will cook dinner tonight because we went grocery shopping last night.  It may not an overall healthy day and I may not stay in calories, but I'm going to do better than the last two days and I'm ready to get back on track with my goals.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

W40, Day 1: Weigh Day

Weigh Day today and a rushed one at that since I am off to fifth grade camp in literally five minutes.  My weight today was 198.0, a small gain of +0.4 since last week.  To be honest with you, I got off easier than I deserved for my food performance last week.  I had three days where I ate way, way over my calories:  1) on Wednesday at a staff luncheon (too much food around, too many trigger foods), 2) on Friday night (emotional/self soothing eating), and 3) on Sunday (eating for fun/enjoyment).  With all of those extra calories, it wasn't a good food week and I'm worried about the one to come.

I'm packed some healthy snacks and a couple of yogurts for breakfast for the next couple days, but we'll just have to how it goes.  I'm going to try my utmost to stay strong around all that "kid food", but we all know that sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men go astray.  I'll let you know on Friday how it went.

With that, off I go!  Wish me luck!  :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

W39, Day 5: More photos

Today instead of writing, I thought I'd share a few pictures.  I was digging out my winter clothes from under the bed this morning and I found these pants that I used to wear to work all the time.  I saved them so that I could see my progress and why I never want to go back to where I was.  Check 'em out:

I'm nowhere near my ultimate goal, but it's still fun to see and feel progress.  Hooray for clown pants!

Friday, September 30, 2011

W39, Day 4: Just thought I'd share

I'm stepping out the door this morning in a size 16 pant and a large top and darned if I don't look cute while doing it.  This is a change from the size 18-20 pant and 1x top I've customarily worn for years. Gotta get out there and strut my stuff....just not too much since I work in an elementary school.  It'll be a mental strut.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

W39, Day 3: Change of environment = trigger tempations

I have no idea where this week went.  So often that seems the way of things, the time just flies by in a whirl of mostly busy nothings and a few busy somethings.  Next week I'll be heading to fifth grade camp with my bunch of kids and somehow it's hard to believe that it's almost time to go.  Camp activities aside, I'm worried about the food aspect.

Traditionally, I gain 3-5 pounds during camp week.  Part of this is because that a lot of the food served there is "kid friendly" stuff like chicken nuggets, pasta, pizza, pancakes, etc.  Obviously these are foods that I generally avoid or keep to a minimum, so four days worth of them is a bit much.  The second problem is portion control.  This sounds like it would be easy to deal with--just don't take much of anything, right?  But when I see that assortment of 'forbidden' foods all there with everyone eating them, well, things sort of fall apart.

An example of this was our staff luncheon yesterday.  I knew it was coming and starting mentally preparing myself to pick my lunch with moderation and care.  "Moderation and care, moderation and care, moderation and care...." went my mental mantra.  And then I saw the mountains of goodies and tasties.  Moderation and care flew out the window.  Nearly a couple of thousand calories later, I wanted to feel remorse but it got lost somewhere too.  Deep down, I feel anger at myself when I lose control so completely because it reminds me that I'm not fixed, or cured, or really in control over my mind.  Instead I just put my head down and take it day by day, calorie by calorie, compromise by compromise.

Anyway, getting back to the camp thing, it's just mentally overwhelming to be around so many trigger foods.  I'm trying to prepare myself now so that I can get through next week successfully---here's hoping for mental strength!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

W39, Day 1: Weigh Day

Weigh day today and the scale showed at 197.6, which is -1.8 from last week and -0.4 from where I was a few weeks ago, so I'm making the loss in small increments.  I'm also getting back into the workout routine after having a shaky exercise week last week.  I'm starting to feel my strength returning after last week's dratted cold and I pushed myself at the gym both yesterday and today (and I can really feel it in the muscles by my ribs every time I breathe in too deeply).

I'm trying out a new workout plan of different times for particular days.  Instead of going to the gym twice on Mondays and Fridays for both weight training and spinning, I'm going to sleep in the extra hour those days for some added rest and to try to hold off some of the exhaustion and do the spinning class in the evening (though I missed it yesterday because when I got there at my normal time fifteen minutes prior to class, it was already full).  Then on Tuesday through Thursday I'll hit the gym at my normal early time before work for a mix of cardio and weight training.  Saturday and Sunday are optional depending on how energetic I'm feeling, what our plans are, and what I want to eat (hey, gotta exercise to burn some of those calories!).

We're going to give it a try these next couple weeks and see how the new schedule goes.  In the meantime, I'm off for an early bedtime since I'm meeting with the trainer in the morning for measurements and hopefully some cool new exercises--bring it on!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

W38, Day 3: Falling

Whew, somehow this has felt like a crazy week!  Part of this is because I've been so tired that I haven't gotten done everything that needs to be done, putting me further behind and adding to my sense of being overwhelmed. Maybe it's also due in part to not really working out much this week too.  Normally in a week I work out every weekday, and on Mondays and Fridays twice.  This week I just have had no strength for any of that.  I went to the gym on Monday and Tuesday, but yesterday when I dragged myself out of bed to go to the gym, I think my sick body would have been better served sleeping in because I barely managed 20 minutes on the elliptical when I stopped I felt like I was going to be sick and I couldn't breathe because my lungs were full of gunk (exercise generally involves breathing).  Normally I feel re-energized after a workout, but that took everything out of me and sapped me of any energy I had.  Today I just stayed in bed for the extra hour.

You may be wondering to yourself, "Why doesn't this fool girl just stay in bed if she's sick?" And if you're not thinking it, I have been off and on to myself this week.  I'm feeling almost normal tonight--less like an asthmatic long-time smoker--but maybe I'd have healed quicker if I'd just given into it and spend my time resting?  I guess it was fear that pushed me onward....fear that I'm going to be fat forever, fear that I was letting my mind take me down "the slippery slope" to laziness and giving in to everything.  I've lost and gained so many times that I know how easily it is to fall off for what you think is a day and find the slump lasted for months or a year...  If I'm exercising, I know that I'm not letting my mind and body lose control. I'm doing what needs to be done.  If I'm just laying on the couch, what if I'm just letting myself fall?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

W38, Day 1: Weigh Day

Weigh day today and I'm going to keep this short because I'm still not feeling on the up and up...obviously the chocolate the other day didn't do it's job--maybe I should demand a calorie refund!  :)  Anyway, the scale was at 199.4 today, which is still up from two weeks ago, but at least it's back under the 200 mark so I'm satisfied.

Now I'd just like to shed this cold because everyone hates a stuff head and it's interfering with my workouts.  I had to smile today when I noticed a note from a student telling me that she was enjoying my class and that I am a "force of energy".  I'm certainly not feeling it these last couple days!  Maybe I need some more chocolate--perhaps the dosing wasn't quite right.  Oddly, I do notice that I've been much more hungry these last few days as if it's more than the mental comforting behavior, but that my body truly is more hungry when I'm ill.  Interesting...and now I'm off to crawl into bed in preparation of another day tomorrow, hopefully with a renewed sense of strength and energy to keep inspiring younglings.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

W37, Day 6: Comforts

I'd like to start with pointing out that I did make it to the gym today and had a good workout, though I was pretty wiped out for the rest of the day.  There's something pretty lame about being ill over the weekend, because I feel like I had so much to do and no energy to do anything.  Another day off would be great because I'm still so tired, but oh well, that's how it goes.

I notice that being ill makes me want to comfort myself with the usual things:  chicken soup, cozy blankets, lots of liquids...and food.  Yesterday I woke up with the thought, "I'm sick, I want food."  I stayed on track with my calories, but all day I just wanted to eat in between the bouts of sleeping and lazing about.  Somehow my brain just makes the connection that food = feel better, even if it really doesn't.  I had some chocolate tonight though, just in case it is the feel better cure.

Some of this was tonight's prescription for good health.  Hope it kicks into effect before tomorrow so I'm revitalized and ready for work.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

W37, Day 5: Gym avoidance

Well, I need to admit that I never made it to the gym yesterday or today.  I didn't go on Thursday because that is my normal rest day, but I was so wiped out on Friday that I just decided that it wasn't going to happen and I'd make it up today.  All well and good, except that I woke up today with a stuffy head, runny nose, and a sense of fatigue larger than my waist.  I dragged myself out of bed and vaguely watched my Saturday morning house shows, hoping I'd pull it together and go to the gym after my shows were over.  My shows ended and I crawled back in bed and slept for another couple hours.  The nap and subsequent shower still didn't get my body rolling.  I decided I'd do something fun to get me going and then get myself to the gym--I'd go to the mall to cash in an excellent coupon.

So, ventured out to the mall, but I still felt so much drag.  Just walking from one end of the mall to the next was enough to totally poop me out.  What the heck?  I went to two department stores, looked around, and called it done.  Now, please note that normally I'm an endurance shopper, but not today!  On the bright side though, Sears carries the Land's End brand and I have been waiting since spring to fit into their size 18 jeans.  This would be significant because it crosses the line from plus size to regular sizing.  Every time I've tried them, I haven't been able to get them to fit around my waist.  I figured today I'd be able to button them up since even with last week's gain, I've lost about ten pounds since I'd last tried.  I put them on and.....they didn't fit.  They were too big.  How cool is that?  I tried on the 16 and while it was a bit snug, it fit.  I almost bought the pair because they looked awesome, but they were fifty bucks and I shouldn't spend that much on such a non-necessity.  But it was still awesomely awesome.

On the not so awesome side, I never made it to the gym and I just feel like crawling in bed and staying there in a warm, dark cave for a few days, but I'm sure I'll be more perky tomorrow and I'll drag my butt to the gym tomorrow, full strength or not.  In the meantime, I'm just going to go with the tired for today and let it be.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

W37, Day 3: Sugar Bliss

I've been so tired this week.  Today was my sleep-in day, but that extra hour did nothing to take the bags out from under my eyes.  Good thing tomorrow is picture day at work so I can showcase my lovely brown, puffy eyes.  I've been feeling sort of run down too.  I don't want to be lazy, but when I woke up this morning, the thought of going to the gym early tomorrow morning made me feel incredibly sorry for myself.  This is a strange reaction because most times I feel good about going to the gym...tired, yes, but willing.  I think it's just the tiredness in me talking because I know that I need to go and work my body if I am going to reach my goals.  But, damn, I feel old when I'm falling asleep on the couch at 7:30 p.m.  Obviously, I'm a major party animal!

On another random note, I asked to start tracking my daily grams of sugar for me and it's not pretty.  There's no way that I'm going to fit in the stringent 34 grams of sugar limit that the website first assigned me.  I'm not ready to publicly admit just how much sugar is going into me on a daily basis, but I will say that I was surprised at the biggest sources of my sugar:  my apple at lunch, yogurt at breakfast, the frozen pre-made lunch, tomatoes, and (not too surprisingly) my chocolate chip Fiber One bar.  Sugar is apparently everywhere.  Maybe that's why I'm so sweet...and fat.  Still, I love my sugar and I'm not ready to give it all up just yet, but maybe I could stand to cut down a little....maybe.

Here's another plug for!  It's fast and easy to use and I plan out all my calories in the morning so that I have a good idea of where I'm headed all day and how I can best use my calories to work in foods I enjoy and avoid being hungry.  You can also track your exercise and get reports on your nutritional information.  Anyway, it's great.  If you're checking it out, you can add me as a friend--my username is eilonwychade.  See you around!  :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

W37, Day 1: Weigh Day

Weigh day today....*sigh*  It was definitely a gain, which is a bummer, but expected.  Even so, I hesitate to write this because it wears on my heart as well as my thighs.  Okay, here goes, 200.8.  Yuck.  That's a gain of pretty much everything I lost in the last week.  It's always hard when you feel like you've worked hard and it hasn't paid off, but that's how it goes.  Ah well, I'll keep working it with week.  Onward and upward.

Monday, September 12, 2011

W36, Day 7: Athletic

Went to spinning tonight, for which my sore bum can attest.  I like the calorie burning potential and the feeling that I have accomplished something, though I'm totally wiped out afterwards.  The exhaustion is definitely worth the virtuous feeling of having hit the gym twice in a day.  Wooo!  Wooooo.....zzZZzzzz...

Anyway, I like the instructor a lot because she is super enthusiastic (and er, crazy) about cycling and she constantly shouts out for you to push, push, push yourself to do more.  One thing she said today made me mentally laugh though, because she pointed at the main part of the gym and shouted, "Those people are here to work out (indicating everyone else in the gym), you are here to be an athlete!!"  Oh yeah, that's me.  I think we can just look at me and see that I'm not inclined towards athleticism.  Just this morning I was staring at my calves, fascinated by the weird and separate jiggling up and down my legs.  I swear my legs are more muscular than ever, but I've never noticed so much jiggling and wiggling before....weird.

On another random note, weigh day's not going to be good.  With the exception of last week's weigh day, my weight for the whole week was a bit up, even though I continued to carefully note my calories and exercise daily.  Maybe that's just how it goes some weeks.  I did go over my calories this weekend (even though overall I should be at a calorie deficit for the week), so that will impact the weigh in.  Also, things haven't been 'flowing' well lately, if you get my drift, and anyway, I'm just going to take the number tomorrow as it comes and then move on...and on and on...every step, tread, and cycle makes me stronger.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

W36, Day 5: Noms

Okay, I'm just going to state for the record that I've gone way over my calories for today, but it's been a very tasty food day.  We've been visiting family in the Bay Area and have sampled several yummies today.

The first item on the list starting out today was one of my all time favorite, a pork bun.

Mmmm.  Steamed or baked, these are soooo good and it's been at least a year since I've had one.  Today's bun was straight out of the oven.  Hot and delicious.  To top it off, we had a sesame ball for dessert and it was definitely fried goodness.

I know, I know, you may be thinking, "What?  What are you doing?  What about your goals?"  Yes, I know that it's important to be focused and determined and I am most of the time, but sometimes I also have to balance that with eating for enjoyment---and I definitely enjoyed this.  This kind of eating is not sustainable all the time, but I think every once in a while it's gotta (okay grammarians, replace "it's gotta" with "it has to") be okay to simply enjoy food.  At least I hope so because I continued this trend at dinner with my in-laws.  

We had shrimp lettuce wraps, pork sticky rice, spicy broccoli, beef chow fun, and sweet red bean soup.  Yum.

I've really missed good Chinese food since we moved out of Davis so it was nice today to sample favorites.  Tomorrow I'll be back to paying attention to each bite I take, but it was a nice change for today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

W36, Day 1: First Goal Met

Week 36.  Nine months into this trip.  Somehow it seems like both a long and short amount of time.  My final goal is to get to 150 pounds, which is 79 fewer than my starting weight of 229.  My plan for the year was that I would lose one pound a week, which would (in a perfect world) total about 50 pounds.  

So, on to the good news--I've hit one of my first big goals for myself:  cross the 200 pounds mark.  It means a lot to me to see the first digit of my weight to switch from a 2 to a 1.  It's hard to explain why it's such a big deal, but just take my word for it, it's important to me.  This afternoon I weighed in at 198.0, for a loss of 3.4 pounds this week.  Woo hoo!  By itself, this would be a great loss, but the fact that it puts me solidly under the 200 mark, well, double woo hoo!  This is week 36 and I've lost 31.4 pounds.   Pretty cool.

To celebrate this month's progress, I decided to try something crazy:  I bought cookies.  I love Pecan Sandies.  I love them so much that I literally have not purchased a pack in ten years because I know that I could not trust myself around them and they represent pure food evil.  Yet I know that healthy and "normal" people can buy and eat cookies in acceptable proportions.  I must have looked like a crazy person because I stood there in the grocery store with a package in hand trying to decide if I could handle having cookies in the house.  Looking at the package, a serving size is two cookies.  The last couple days I have had a serving of cookies each day.  Obviously it's not great to eat cookies every day, but this is about pushing myself to deal with the temptation and exercise control.  I'm not going to lie, I don't know if I would buy cookies again because I know they are there in the cupboard and I really want them, but I want to control myself more.  I am better than bingeing.  You're going down, Sandies! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

W35, Day 6: Confusion

I find myself very confused.  Things seem to be flowing much better this week and if things continue for the next couple days, I should be pretty happy come weigh day, so I don't want anyone to think that I am complaining.  But I am legitimately confused.

Here's why:
I am functioning under the impression that calories in = calories out.  What I mean by that is I've heard many times from general dieters, Weight Watchers, and websites that the number of calories that go into my body determine a gain or loss.  It's as simple as that, right?  If you eat more calories, you gain weight.  If you eat fewer calories, you lose weight.  There have been many instances in the last few years when I have wondered if that is true.

For example, several times I've indulged in rich foods and stayed under my daily food points and not lost weight or actually gained.  How could this be if I ate fewer calories than I was supposed to?  Oh how I railed at the diet gods that week.

Further, last week I ate under my calories every day except Saturday.  I am allotted 1,750 daily calories and  also get an exercise allowance on the days when I worked out, taking me up to around 2,000 total, but I tried to eat around 1,400-1,500 calories those days.  In theory, I should have lost two pounds that week because I was already eating about 500 calories less than I burned plus the extra 500 calories from exercise.  Instead I lost nothing.  How could that be?  I swear I counted my calories as faithfully as possible.

This week, in rebellion, I ate almost every single one of my calories, including my exercise ones and even had a way-over-calorie-crazy-food day.  The day after my binge lunch on Wednesday, I expected a gain on the scale and was shocked there was nothing.  The scale has been sliding down in small increments all week.  How can this be??  I eat so much more, (so much!) and yet I've begun to lose weight again.  Potentially, I'm looking at a relatively large loss this week after eating like crazy.  In truth, while I love eating more food, I also feel uncomfortable.  As if I am letting myself slide slowly out of control.  What if I'm tiptoeing my way into fueling my addiction?

I know that in the month that I've dropped Weight Watchers and started eating more, I've lost about ten pounds after four months of plateau.  That should be evidence enough, but I just can't seem to accept the idea of eating more.  I guess deep down my biggest fear is that I'm going to make myself more fat.  What if I wake up one day and I'm so much worse than I am now? Obviously you can't gain weight that quickly, but I'm just afraid of losing the control I've worked so hard to build these last seven months.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

W35, Day 5: Hungry!

I awoke this morning to a growl.  Rawrr!  I looked around, a lost dinosaur?  An angry cat?  Nope, my stomach.  I felt the inward pinching that says, "Excuse me brain, I'm really, really hungry and I think you ought to take care of this so I'm waking you up at 5:30 a.m."  What the heck?

This is annoying on two levels:
1)  Saturday is my day to sleep in and catch up after waking up way too early every morning to hit the gym.
2)  I ate a perfectly normal dinner last night, consisting of two pork chops, a handful of baked sweet potato fries, a bowl of cherry tomatoes, a stick of pepper jack cheese, and a Skinny Cow mint "ice-cream" (more like ice-milk) cone.  I also had a perfectly normal lunch, breakfast, and snack and consumed more than 2,000 calories during the day.  Obviously there was no starving myself going on.

But I have been ravenously hungry the last few days.  The unhappy stomach dino is back.  Rawr!  Rawr!  Rawrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Yesterday I ate my granola bar that I had packed for my after work snack as soon as I parked my car and walked in the building in the morning.  I have been cutting back on carbs and trying to eat more protein, but that is been my focus for the last couple months and besides, it's supposed to cut down on hunger, right?

I don't know what's going on, but I wish that dino would just hush up already.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

W35, Day 3: Bosu ball fun

Whew, I'm so glad that tomorrow is Friday.  I feel like I am dragging every night, as if my body is ready to shut down at 6 p.m.  I greatly enjoyed the sleep in morning today, but I sure wish it was every morning.  I guess I never really appreciated sleeping till 6 a.m. until we started getting up at 5 a.m.  Hopefully our bodies will adjust soon so I won't feel so draggy by dinnertime.

On the plus side (whoa, I just typed 'plus size', apparently it's a Freudian slip or my brain is really tired) I'd like to mention that my husband and I have been going to the gym faithfully for exactly three months.  Woo hoo!  This is also my fourth week of being back at work and so far we've been able to keep it up.

Yesterday I met with my trainer and I am really excited about (and sore from) the new exercises she gave me.  My favorite is standing on top of the upside down bosu ball while doing squats and weight curl ups.  I've seen other people doing these and it always looks like so much fun.  It reminds me of something that should be marketed to kids.  Even better, the trainer said that she was surprised because I have such good balance and coordination.  *Laughs*  Oh yeah!  I'll take any exercise praise--I may not be fit, but I'm sure trying my very best.  Bring it on!

Just imagine me looking like this guy, but with weights in my hand and not dressed in tights.  :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

W35, Day 2: Weigh Day

Okay, weigh day was yesterday, but I'll go ahead and update it today:  201.4, which is +0.2 for the week.  Obviously that's not the number I was hoping for, especially after I'd spent the week going to my gym and eating carefully, faithfully noting each and every calorie.  But that's how it goes sometimes I suppose.  Sometimes I feel like weight loss is a magical, undefinable process.  You do all the required steps, but nothing happens.  Perhaps I'm missing some mystical ingredient.  In the meantime, I was disappointed to step on that scale, but I knew it was coming because I weigh daily and for whatever reason, the number just refused to budge.  I can accept that and try again this week with a bit more patience (and just as much hope).

And well, it's going to take a lot of patience after today.  I completely and utterly forgot that there was a potluck today at work.  Without real time to mentally prepare AND after a week of a lot of effort and no results, well, things fell apart.  I binged.  I know, I know, that's awful, but it's just what happened.  I ate a lot:  lumpia, pulled pork, salad, chips, and desserts, desserts, desserts.  I put desserts thrice because I had a lot of dessert.  Cookies, cake, ambrosia.  What happened?  I've walked away from donuts and Friday treats for three weeks at work.  I would stop and look and steel myself to walk again.  But not today.  I had literally thousands of calories.  Oh well, all I can do is try to understand why I acted this way and move onward. But damn, that cake was so good it probably touched my soul.

On a happy note, tomorrow is "sleep in" day and an extra hour of sleep sounds incredible.  I'm making up the missed workout by substituting spinning classes on other nights.  I can't wait for some zzzzzzzzzz!