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.