Friday, April 29, 2011

W17, Day 4: Little birds

Well, only a few days left until the dreaded 30.  Ick.  I've been pretty busy this week with various busy nothings at home, in the yard, for work, etc.  And all the while, in the back of my mind is the thought that the last days are slipping by, little lost birds scampering off into days past.  So what is it I fear so much?  I suppose many of the things I fear are common for many people, and I recognize that many are shallow and selfish, but they keep popping into my mind anyway.

*Am I old?  Is my youth at an end?  Am I at the halfway mark of my life? I worry that I am at times, another incentive to get my weight and corresponding high blood pressure under control.

*Have I made good use of my twenties?  Did I enjoy the time that I was granted?  This is sort of a silly thing to worry about when one can't go back and re-cage those lost days.  I start to second guess myself.  I think I have been happy, but have I???

*Am I happy with where I am in life?  I have many blessings.  I love my husband and he's loving and kind in return; I love my family; I marvel everyday that we are blessed with a house and yard, I feel lucky to be employed full time.  There are things I want of course:  to be lovely (okay, I warned you, it's shallow) and good, a baby (too expensive right now), more cats, a dinner date with Orlando Bloom (that's probably not going to happen!), music, books, a new career path perhaps?  But overall, I feel satisfied with my life.  But what if, what if, what if.  I guess at some point you just have to live with the what ifs.

But in a few days, I'll be thirty.  And yup, I'm still fat.  I want so much to win through this.  But what if ten years worth of little birds fly by and I'm waking through the dream to find that I'm turning forty, and yup, I'm still fat.  I don't know whether to hope, or not to hope, that I have bigger problems to think about then. Until then, I'm dragging onto these last few days, opening the cages slowly before my birds can fly out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

W17, Day 1: Gain, gain, go away, don't come back another day....

Okay, today's weigh in didn't go well.  By Saturday morning, it was looking really good.  Then we went out for dinner and ice-cream on Saturday night.  That would have been okay, except that the next morning was Easter, complete with Easter brunch.  And, yes, I'd like to further admit that for dinner on Easter, we had frozen pizza *gasp at the unhealthiness of it all*.  I'm sure by now you're clucking your tongue in a 'tsk tsk tsk' pattern, but hold on to your salivary glands, there's more.

On Monday, I did well during the day, but then went out to dinner at Chevy's with friends before going to book club (where I also ate two small cream puffs).  Yeesh.  If I had eaten like this on any one of those days, the scale today would have been all right.  But three days out of seven is not very good, especially in a row.  So, the damage:  I gained +1.0 pounds, putting me at 209.4.  I seem to be bouncing around in these few pounds, and in truth, I feel I'm struggling with focus.  I know what has to be done, but I've lost some of the fire.   And yet, I still want the same things.  I want to be healthy.  In control.  And (I'm not gonna lie, shallow though it may be) I want to be pretty.  I don't think I'm going to make the 207 goal by next Tuesday (my birthday), though I've been there last weekend before the splurge, so I'm not crazy disappointed because I know I'm close.

I'm so anxious though about not gaining more in the next two weekends, but in my heart of hearts, I think it may happen.  Next weekend we're going to celebrate my birthday (Yes, we're celebrating both's my 30th b-day and I should get to be a diva) and we'll have family staying with us and I'm worried I'm not going to want to resist food and I'll gain.  Then, the next weekend I'm going home for Mother's Day and a new food environment is tough too.  I just need to get through these next two weekends and then I can turn it around and really focus.  I realize that sounds like an excuse and I really don't mean it to be, but rather simply an acceptance of the challenges before me and permission to not be perfect for the next two weeks.   Meh.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

W16, Day 5: Love and Ice-Cream

Today we spent our usual Saturday afternoon working in the yard.  We were so hungry afterwards and there was nothing in the fridge (always a bad combination), so we went out for chicken udon.  It's a relatively healthy choice when eating out and I even gave half the noodles in the bowl to my husband.  Afterwards though, I suggested getting a scoop of ice-cream.  I had been craving ice-cream for awhile and it just seemed so fun:  going out to dinner with my husband, window shopping...getting ice-cream seemed like a next logical step.

Again, I wonder at the relationship between the expression of love and food.  I felt great joy at being in the ice-cream shop with my husband.  I was literally bouncing around, glancing from flavor to flavor, eager as a pre-schooler. I actually sampled a couple flavors (something I never do since I almost always pick strawberry) before picking a different flavor.  So good.  I felt so much joy as I slowly licked my cone.  I know, not healthy, but I don't eat ice-cream often and it just felt worth it.  I'm worried about Easter tomorrow and I don't want to gain weight this week--or even stay the same again--but it may happen.  I still have to go with that ice-cream cone as being worth it, though at the same time, it still concerns me that food makes me so happy.  A date with my husband is lovely, but add something tasty and it's wonderful.   Yet, we're still the same people, the feelings and understandings between us are the same, but food enhances life somehow.  I've got to learn to enjoy life first and food second.

In the meantime, here's me enjoying my ice cream:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

W16, Day 3: Will Work for Peanuts

This week my students have been taking state assessments and it makes me think back to my days as a student.  I loved the testing time of year.  Yes, I know, I'm weird, but I don't really mind taking tests so much.  Besides, I had a major incentive to enjoy testing time--peanuts!  Oh, and raisins too.

When I was in primary grades, the teachers would get big bags of peanuts and raisins mixed together to pass out to each student in these little plastic cups on state test days.  I don't know what they did about kids who had peanut allergies, but I just loved it.  Of course I did, it's food, right?  Every time the little plastic cup emptied, the teacher would come by and give me more "brain food".  Loved it.  Isn't it crazy the things you remember from being little?  I remember those peanuts.  I don't know if it made an impression on the other kids, but hey, obviously, I'm totally willing to work for peanuts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

W16, Day 1: Weigh Day

Weigh day.  <---------- Notice there's no exclamation point, so you can probably guess what that means...Well, it's not all that bad because I didn't gain, but I didn't lose any weight either.  So, weighed in today at 208.4, which puts me at +/- 0.0 for the week.  Ah well, at least I didn't gain anything, right?  This weekend I will do better and hopefully see some loss next week.  This is always a hard time of year for me, weight-wise, because it's a combination of Easter (I avoid the candy, even though I love jelly beans), my birthday (gotta celebrate with food, right?), and Mother's Day (a trip home with exposure to different foods).  To be entirely truthful, last year I just gave up on my diet for a good month during this stretch last year.  I'm not going to do that this year, but I'm also going to be a little forgiving to myself in the next three weeks.

Still, I'm already looking past 207 and towards the 203.  Workin' it, workin' it, workin it.  I notice that lately my resolve is slipping a bit and I need to refocus myself to stay within the boundries of a normal food day.  But why does everything look so much more tempting and interesting when I don't have any points left?  After four months of 'lifestyle change' (not supposed to call it dieting), my self-control muscles are getting tired already.  I can't wait until there's more of the summer fruit available for a reasonable price.  It's so much easier to stay on track when there is a plethora of ripe, fresh fruit to fill up on.   Peaches, plums, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, apricots, and honeydew melon...mmmm, dreaming of nature's bounty.  Too bad it'll be a year or two before my little trees take off with their own fruit!

Monday, April 18, 2011

W15, Day 7: Cheesecake

Okay, I want to say outright that I'm not looking forward to this weigh day, but I'm ready for it to come so that I can move forward for a new week.  I have to own that I made some poor food choices this weekend.  It's going to sound awful in the black type as I write this, but I can only say that I truly did try to limit the amount of the poor food choices I made, but I was in a different environment with temptations outside my realm of ordinary.  So, this weekend I had two absolutely delicious pancakes, a good deal of caramel kettlecorn, a carnitas burrito, and a good deal more cheesecake than was good for me.  Oh, and some chocolate frosting on a spoon tonight.  Yeesh.

I guess I am of two minds about my food transgressions, calling to my mind the famous introductory sentence, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..."  And so it was.  It was wonderful to see family this weekend and to be home and just to take a break for the severity of my daily food grind (I really gotta get back into looking for new recipes to take some of the dull out of the diet, but that's another post!) and eat like a normal person, but it also reminded me that I don't eat like a normal person and that's why I'm at the weight I am.  When I am exposed to tempting, different food, my brain kicks into high gear with a big, "WANT!!!  GIMMIE GIMMIE!" in huge neon letters.  I tried to be wise in the portions I was eating, if not the foods themselves, but that doesn't necessarily mean I really did a good job. 

 But it felt so good to eat good tasting things again.  So good.  Too good.  I'm so frustrated on a deeper level.  Beneath the food satisfaction is an anger at myself that I can't control my relationship with food, my wanting.   My inability to resist temptation exposes the true fact that what I am doing with WW is really only controlling behaviors in a superficial way, it's not changing the underlying problems that have made me fat to begin with.  Or, I can't say 'begin with' since I feel I've been this way for forever.  WW says that if you go on long enough this way, the true change will happen in the brain as you build new pathways, replacement behaviors, and experiences.  But I'm afraid.  Deep down I'm afraid it will always be this way.  I see this struggle tunneling down through the years of my life.  Almost makes you want to run out for a piece of cheesecake, doesn't it?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

W15, Day 5: Shrinking??

Yesterday evening, I asked my husband to measure me with the tape measure.  It's one of those things that you really need someone else to help you with for exact measurements.  It also really requires a certain level of intimacy with the measurer, not just because of physical proximity, but also because of the embarrassment factor to the huge numbers getting marked down in my WW book.

Recently, we watched Gone With the Wind and there's the scene after Scarlett's had her baby and her waist is measuring in at a disappointing 20 inches...oh heavens!  How can she ever be considered a lovely example of womanhood?  Of course, she is wearing a corset, which certainly makes a difference, beauty of course being worth crushed ribs and organs.  Corset or no, a small waist is a sign of beauty.  I've heard it said that a small waist and large hips is ideal because it draws back to the subconscious idea that such a woman will be good at childbearing.  Regardless of the reason for small waists, let us just say that my waist is nowhere near 20 inches.

The worst part about measuring is that it makes me feel like I am going no where.  It's been a month and a half since my last measurement and I've only lost five pounds, so it's not like I can expect huge losses.  But still, I was disappointed.  Apparently, in the last month and a half, I've only lost those five pounds in one spot because my measurements were all exactly the same except for two areas, one a decrease, one an increase (Increase??!  Really?!  Argh!!).  So, I gained an inch and half in my stomach and lost an inch from my bust.  In my opinion, that's a double affront.  It reminds me of those old Slimquick commercials where the lady loses her boobs while dieting (link posted below).  Really though, sometimes progress seems so slow.  It wouldn't be so bad if the weight was leaving my waist.  Too bad a person can't spot choose weight loss!  Maybe I need to do more sit-ups to tighten up my belly?  I'd certainly prefer not to lose any more chest if I can help it!

Slimquick Commerial:  "Now we're both unhappy."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

W15, Day 2: Baking disasters

I have a confession to make:  I cannot bake an angel food cake.  I love angel food cake.  It's so fluffy, wonderful with strawberries and cool whip, low fat, and relatively healthy as cakes go.  Sounds great, right?  Except that I can't make it worth a darn.

Okay, I'll admit, I've only tried making angel food cake twice.  The first time, it exploded in the oven.  And caught fire.  No seriously, that really happened.  I wanted to make a treat to celebrate a special event for my husband so I decided to make him a cake.  But I wanted to be healthy too.  So I mixed together the cake and popped it in the oven, only to hear popping and cracking.  Soon I smelled smoke.  Opening the door, I saw bits of cake literally flying out of the pan and into the oven.  What the heck is that??!  I couldn't pull it out of the oven because it wasn't cooked yet.  In the end, I ended up with a gooey, scorched pan full of "cake".  My husband came home, walked through the door, and immediately asked, "What burned???"

Having been several years, I thought I'd try it again.  First, I'd like to note that despite following the directions on the box, I think I overcooked it.  But here's what it should look like:
Someone, obviously a not-angel-food-cake-challenged person, made a lovely cake here, crispy and golden on top, but it still looks light and fluffy.  Yum.  Okay, so mine doesn't look too far off.... :

Oh for goodness sake, it's just pathetic.  Apparently I should stick to cupcakes, but darn, I was really craving some angel food cake.  Okay, okay, yes, I did eat some of it anyway, despite being pathetic's still cake, right?  But it was hard on the outside and gummy on the inside.  The solution?  Obviously it's slather on some chocolate frosting and hope for the best.  *Sigh*

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

W15, Day 1: Here it comes again

Yup, Tuesday, Weigh Day.  So, on day one of week fifteen, I'm at 208.4, which makes me down 1.6 and puts me at -20.6 pounds total, with 58.4 to go.  Ugh, 58.4 seems like a long way, but at least that number is under 60 pounds.  And of course, I am getting closer to the 207 mark.  My personal weight goals are completely idiosyncratic, but my goal after that number is 203.  I've noticed that there are certain weights that my body seems to rest on for some period of time.  It's almost as if my body feels most comfortable at particular, random weights.  Is that possible?  Maybe I'm just imagining it, but I've noticed that my body gravitates around 203, in a comfortable orbit within a few ounces of the number.

After 203, my next goals are simple:  200, followed by 199.  There is something profound about stepping on the scale and seeing that first number register as a one, to be on the one hundred side of things instead of the two.  Beyond that, I'm shooting for 190, the lowest I ever reached since joining WW and the lowest weight I'd been since high school.  It all seems like such a long way away.  But, as I'm fifteen weeks into this project and I've no intention of stopping yet, all I can do is put my head down and keep on trudging onward, pausing occasionally for a cupcake.  (Well, nobody's perfect, right?)

But for today, being down 1.6 pounds this week is a small matter for rejoicing in and of itself.  Sometimes I forget that I need to stop and enjoy the little triumphs....and try not to celebrate too freely with the cupcakes.  So, with my bottle of water held high in the air, a toast to the little things!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

W14, Day 6: Food Rewards

I love to reward myself with food.  Little rewards for a day well done.  Or a day poorly done, to cheer me up.  Or a tiring day.  Or a wonderful day, leaving me brimming with positivity and optimism.  Obviously, I like to reward myself with food regardless of the day.

My favorite reward?  Candy.  Hands down, that's my number one preferred thing.
I thought this picture a fitting visual.  It's just so true for me (and probably other people out there too?).  I could easily eat candy every day.  In fact, I would love to eat candy everyday because I get a feeling of deep satisfaction and even relief from rewarding myself that way.  Sadly, that's not really a healthy, daily option.  Throughout the years of doing WW, I've found some food and drinks that are suitable replacements as reward foods, but I thought perhaps in this post, I'd ask the audience if anyone else has any foods that they really enjoy that are low in calories or fat.  Reward foods need not be anything especially special or exotic, but simply foods or drinks that bring you a momentary smile or pleasured sigh, a brief moment of satisfaction or joy.

 For instance, my reward foods are:
*Snapple's diet peach or raspberry tea
*fruit salad (fruit of most any kind...)
*a cup of strong, plain coffee (I don't drink coffee often, so it's a bit of a treat)
*A light frappuccino
*low fat chocolate biscotti
*Go Girl drinks
*Cool whip and jello
*A slice of angel food cake

I'd really like to know what your favorite treats or snacks are.  Do you have something that you come home and sink into with sigh or a grin of delight?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

W14, Day 3: Appreciation

This post is a bit of a repeat of a post from week 8, but I wanted to take a moment to give thanks.  I look at my progress from last year (recorded perhaps less than faithfully) and compare it to this year and I can see not even just more loss, but a much more positive attitude and a feeling that yes, I can do this.  So, what's the difference?   You are.  This project.

I am different.

When I rejoined this January, I did it because I felt lost and hopelessly trapped in my body.  I know that sounds overly dramatic, but it's true.  I wanted to make changes, but it just felt too hard.  I'm not saying that it's all over and I'm cured and everything is going to be ginger peachy from now on, but my attitude truly has shifted.  Don't get me wrong, this is a difficult endeavor, still (and always?), but I feel I can make a true change.  For now, I can do this.

So, to my readers, thank you so much.  This week, the blog reached over a thousand total views and I am just grateful that so many people pop on over.  It makes a difference to know that people are reading because it makes me feel accountable, as though if I let myself fail, I'll be letter other people down too.  Thank you too for all the kind words of support and encouragement that I have received over these last months.  I know it may not seem like a big deal, but it really has warmed my heart to know that many people care.

I will say that when I started writing this blog, I felt rather embarrassed and self-conscious about the whole thing.  Writing this blog, though, has taught me that it's okay to talk about weight issues and to *gasp* state my weight aloud without fearing that people will publicly shun me in the streets.  I've learned that so many wonderful, beautiful people feel that we are less worthy than we really are.  I've also learned that I use a lot of commas, independent clauses, and parenthesis in my train-of-thought writing style, but I guess that's off topic.

Additionally, at the risk of sounding like an over-talkative actress with an Oscar in one hand and the curtain coming down, I'd like to thank my family, with whom I've been staying for a few days, for helping me stay on track with my food plan.  It's always difficult to adjust to a new food environment, but it's been easy to keep within my points thanks to your thoughtful consideration.  This week is looking good and I'm hoping for a decent loss next weigh day, provided I keep it up.

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout-out of love and appreciation to my wonderfully understanding husband.  I wouldn't be able to do it at all without his help and support.  Sometimes it's hard for me to understand how he can love both me and my body as one because it's what I struggle to do with myself, but he does it as a matter of course.  I feel such love and appreciation, thank you.  :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

W14, Day 1: Getting to 207

Yup, it's the day of week again...Tuesday, you wonder?  Well, that too.  But for me, it's weigh day.  Oddly, weigh day is a day I look forward to and dislike at the same time.  It reveals my triumphs and hopes, as well as my disappointments and failures.  Despite a rocky beginning to this week, all the exercise of the last three days has paid off because I weighed in at 210.0, for a total loss of 19 pounds, with only half a million to go.  Progress, eh?  Next week, if I reach 209.0, it will be a marking place both because I'll be weighing in at less than the 210's, and because I'll be at a solid 20 pounds of loss.

I'm also getting closer to my goal of 207 by my birthday, which is good since my birthday is now just less than a month away.  It's hard to explain why it's so important to me to be that number, but I'll try briefly.  First, it's important to note that numbers in and of themselves really mean nothing, but it's the emotional feeling that goes with the number that makes it worth anything.  So, why 207?

1) The first time I reached this number, I felt a brief moment of such joy, feeling proud of my body that I still remember it.

2)  I stayed on that number for several weeks (rough diet patch) that if felt sort of natural to be there.

3)  That was the weight I was on the day my husband proposed to me (I was so nervous I lost two pounds that day, emerging at 205 the next day and kicking me out of that rough diet patch).

4)  That was my weight on the day of our wedding.

207 certainly isn't the lowest weight that I've been since joining WW, but it's a place that I could begin to feel comfortable with....but not too comfortable!  I don't want to get stuck and stop there by any means, but it will feel good to reach my first goal.  That would definitely be a good birthday present, though some dark chocolate pretzels wouldn't go amiss either.  :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

W13, Day 7: DMV

This morning I grabbed my book, jumped in the car, and headed down to our local DMV to get a license renewal.  I needed to take a new picture this time and take a vision test.  I will admit that I spent some time before I went sprucing myself up.  It's vanity, I know, but I didn't want to take an awful picture.  My previous picture shows me at 17 years old wearing an old t-shirt with a rather silly, awed smile on my face.  My seventeen year old self was so surprised that I had passed the driving test the first time (I absolutely expected to fail it the first time) that I was in a daze as the woman behind the counter directed me to the picture screen. Not this time!  So, I gussied up with make-up and a hair toss or two, feeling that I'm entering my 30's now and the picture should represent a more adult looking me.

So, here's a question for you out there in the audience.  I think my husband and I were both surprised to find that we disagree on the answer.  Is it okay to fudge the part on the driver's license that asks for your weight?  I don't mean, I'm 210 pounds so I say I'm 115.  But I guess I'm still ashamed of my weight.  It's silly in a way that I am comfortable sharing that number on a website for the world to see, and not be comfortable with the random check-out guy at Best Buy seeing it when I hand him my license to buy a dvd (not that anyone looks or cares about a customer's weight in a retail store).  What's the difference, right?

Anyway, my old license weight said 145 pounds (which was about 25-30 pounds untrue when I got the card), so obviously that needed to be updated.  But to what?  I'm losing weight, so I don't want to write down 210.  200?  What about 190 (my lowest weight in recent years)?  What about my goal to get to 150? 175?  It's not like I'm going to get a new license when I get to a goal weight, I don't want it to misrepresent me--after the loss, of course.  So, I settled for an obvious untruth--185...A high enough number because I'll never be really thin, but low enough to salvage my misplaced pride.  So, that's the explanation in case you're wondering about the poll on the right side of the blog,  I'm just curious about other people's opinions.

Was it wrong of me?  Either way I suppose, it doesn't really matter since it's done, so now I'll just have to work to make it true.  Off to go mow the lawn!  :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

W13, Day 6: Work it Girl!

Another day spent in the garden.  Who needs a gym membership when one can spend hours and hours doing hard physical labor?  And yet there really is something good and true in the feeling of a completely exhausted body--after I've taken a couple Motrin, of course.  I ate more the last couple days that I've been working hard outside because even though I wanted to burn all those calories without eating any of them up, my body felt empty and hungry.  So, I ate them in extra cheese, a bit more oatmeal at breakfast, a larger piece of meat with dinner tonight.  Oddly, I'm hungry again.  Maybe heavy exercise is stimulating my hunger--or maybe my brain is doing it because it knows my body worked more.  In either case, I'm headed to bed so I'll skip the trip to the fridge anyway.

So excited to have the garden starting to take shape.  It makes me feel more positive about everything in my life, including my body.  Ah, spring.

P.S.  I'm starting to see a few curves in my body, though that tummy bunch is still there.  How about them striped slippers and sweater, eh?  Oh yeah, very sexy...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

W13, Day 5: Growing Things

As I write this, I am enjoying a good sized glass of red wine.  Breathe in, breathe out in satisfaction.  No, I may not clear my points exactly today (I didn't total my dinner points, but it was roasted chicken, cantaloupe, and blackberries--nothing too crazy there), but it's okay.  Today I worked my body really hard in the backyard.  I pushed myself (maybe a bit too much since now my arms and shoulders are throbbing like crazy), but I feel good too.

As a kid, I'd always hated yard work, but somehow it's different carving out order in my own space.  This afternoon we tilled the backyard by hand (yeah, maybe next time it might be worth renting a roto-tiller, but oh well, I'm sure the work burned a bunch of calories), laid out grass seed and watered it thoroughly.  I'm oh so hopeful that those little seeds will take root and grow.  I'd never, EVER, guess that I'm a garden person (just ask my mom), but I find myself returning again and again to peer at a little bud willing it to open, or feeling joy at seeing my little bitty rose bushes come out of their dormancy and reach out for the life of spring.

Somewhere, maybe, there's a metaphor for me.  Being out there, outside in the breeze and sun and dirt, I feel a little piece of myself unfold, coming out of my dormancy.  Who knows?  Maybe I'm that little (er, or not so little) rose bush opening up to reach the sun.  Metaphors notwithstanding, in the yard I feel so good that I am moving and exercising my body and doing something worthwhile and productive too.  I feel as though I've earned my glass or two of wine, even if I go's different than what happened earlier in the week because my mind is in a different, more joyful place.  A wish for my little garden (and for me): Grow!

Friday, April 1, 2011

W13, Day 4: Made It

Made it today within my daily points.  Whew.  Donuts in the staff room again, but I avoided them, just.  Repeat tomorrow (minus the donut temptation).