Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Y2, W4, Day 1: HUNGRY!!!

It's weigh day and I weighed in at 196.6, putting me at -0.8 for the week, which really wasn't too bad a place to end the week considering how off track I was with my food.  So good.

Here's my two problems or considerations for this week.

I'm hungry.  Very very hungry all day for the last few days.  I wake up hungry.  I eat breakfast and go to the gym.  I eat a snack upon return, but I'm still starving.  I go to work and try to ignore the rumble until snack recess, after which I try to hold out till lunch.

Today at lunch I ate my sandwich and working on my apple and veggis when I looked in my lunch bag for the sandwich I'd already eaten.  I felt keen disappointment to find that my sandwich bag was empty.  My handful of pretzels didn't make up for the want of a second sandwich.

I get home from work incredibly hungry and eat an early dinner, ensuring that I feel hungry again by the time I go to sleep.  I am in no way withholding food from my body and generally eat 1900-2100 calories on the days I exercise (most days) and 1650-1750 calories on the days I don't.  You'd think by now my body would have adjusted to the amount of food it gets.  I'm eating plenty of protein, but I'm going to boil some extra eggs tonight to have as a snack for the next few days.  We'll see if it helps.

Okay, the second thing that I've spent way too much mental energy on is a potluck at work tomorrow.  I hate work potlucks.  I love work potlucks. This probably mirrors the way I hate food because I feel such a dependence on it, and I love it for how it makes me feel good.  I always go into potlucks with a sense of determination and self-control, and a couple of plates later, I leave with a sense of failure and shame.  WW used the term trigger foods to represent foods that you truly cannot control yourself around, foods that set off negative behaviors--pretty much most of the foods that I generally deny myself--and so much of those foods are on display at potlucks.  My control flies out the window, not to mention my progress that week.  I'm skipped out on them before, but it feels so lonely and forlorn to be sitting alone in my classroom at lunch.  I know it's a childish way to think of it, but it feels like I'm being punished.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow.  Guess I'll find out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Y2, W3, Day 6: Keep Calm, Eat Chocolate

So I'm going to admit something to you:  I haven't been great at sticking to my food plan this week.  *Phew* There I said it, I dropped the ball--though if it had been a donut ball, I would have grabbed that sucker right on up.

On the good side (it's always better to begin with the positives, right?), I went to the gym four times this week, worked in my garden for several hours yesterday, and I'm going on a long walk in just a little bit.  So I've truly been quite active for the last couple weeks.  On Friday as I was lifting weights upstairs at the gym, I glanced and noticed that my arm appears to have narrowed and has a little muscle ridge.  It may be pretty hard to see that definition, but I know it's there.  I will say that I've been sore most days of the week for the last couple weeks and I could do without quite so much muscle soreness.  Maybe I need to be stretching more.  Anyway, that's the good.

Okay, the bad.  I am struggling to stay within my calories.  On Tuesday I ate too much tasty, but unhealthy stuff at and a teaching meeting.  I was careful for the rest of the day, but still ended up going over.  Then I saw nothing happen on the scale all week.  Weight Watchers used to say that you shouldn't weigh more than once a week because it can drive you crazy and I do understand because that was me this week, but I have to look.  But then I get frustrated too.  I want to see that number edging downwards, but this week it flipped back up and stayed there.

Normally by Friday I see some progress, but when the scale moved upwards Friday morning, I lost control.  It's ridiculous because if I'm not losing weight, that's when I should be at my strongest and push myself hardest, but the opposite actually happens.  I give up that day.  So bad food things happened on Friday, namely a donut, wine, Cheetos.... And yesterday I skipped lunch (which isn't good because the body needs steady levels of fuel, especially when you're battling rosebushes in the backyard) and being really hungry after, I went out to eat with my husband for Mexican food, followed up by half an ice cream sundae.  I'm embarrassed to write that, to admit that to anyone.  I think some of the hard part for me is to admit that I'm not perfect, over and over.  To tell you what I'm eating when we all know I shouldn't be.  I say I lack control.  It's silly that I'm worried about what others will think of me, that people will judge, when I'm also convinced that everyone struggles with something in life.  We'd all like to be better at something, right?  Warrior on people.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Y2, W3, Day 1: Defying Gravity

Weigh day today and it wasn't great at 197.4 (down 0.8) since I was hoping for a full pound, but seeing as there were a couple days where I went well over my calories, it wasn't a bad total for the week.  I'm hoping that this week I'll get in a workout every weekday, but I already missed going to the gym yesterday due to a cold.

Happily, except for a little congestion, I'm feeling a lot better today and I was back on that elliptical early this morning.  I can tell that I'm going to be in a bit of pain tomorrow since my biceps are feeling pretty tender right now when I lift up my arms.  My trainer had me use my arms on the bench to do some seated dips after doing a bunch of reps of other arm weight exercises.  I was supposed to be lifting and lowering my rear and legs using just the power of my arms and shoulders.  Now I'm not being modest or facetious when I say that my posterior and legs are not light...that's quite a load for my arms!  Just as I was pondering mentally renaming the exercise to something like "butt bane" or "defying gravity" (in honor of the musical, Wicked), my trainer said, "Don't be thinking about gravity now."  It was like she was reading my mind.  Maybe that's a trainer thing?
This lady makes the seated dip look good.  Easy, right?

Regardless, I'd just like to point out what a virtuous exercise morning I had since I totally blew all my hard work at a conference that served an extensive (and tasty) breakfast.  The pastries called to me as strongly as they ever have and I admit to overindulgence.  Surely the two events equal each other out?  Ah well, that's life!  Back to yogurt for breakfast tomorrow.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Y2, W2, Day 5: Strong

This week I focused on getting my exercise routine back in place.  I went to the gym four times and for a long, relatively quick paced walk today.  I would have gone to work out, but I feel sore up and down, so I decided to give my body a rest.

One morning while I was plowing away on the treadmill, I noticed a show on one of the t.v. screens called "Scouted," about girls that are chosen at random to see if they could be models.  It seemed a bit silly as shows go, but easy to follow while I was trying to focus on keeping my legs moving quickly.  However, I noticed one girl, who to my mind was incredibly vibrant and lovely, was been criticized by the judges for being too athletic looking.  The problem wasn't that she wasn't thin enough or was too bulky or anything, but that she looked toned rather than waifishly, softly thin.

It sort of got me thinking about what I could envision my own body looking like.  I want to be thinner, but not incredibly thin.  I want curves in my hips and my chest.  It's funny to me how I used to imagine my body being the soft incredibly thin way I wished it could be.  But now after eight months at the gym, I envision the perfect me with toned muscles, including strong calves and biceps.  I guess perceptions change and after all my time invested in working out my body, now I want something different than I did a year ago at this time.  It's not enough to be thinner anymore, I want to be strong too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Y2, W2, Day 1: Baby Steps

Weigh day today:  198.2.  This puts me down exactly 3.0 pounds, which is pretty awesome.  I'm still above when I was before Christmas by four or five pounds, but I'm under 200 pounds and three pounds is a great loss for a week, especially because I went overboard each day this weekend.

I am finding it more difficult to stay motivated this time around, but I'm excited about this week's loss and I'm hoping to see my body return to what it was pre-Christmas.  I was wearing a pair of older slacks today that felt pretty tight around the waist, so I know the extra weight is still sitting around my middle (as if I couldn't see it).  In a few more weeks, I think I'll be right back on track.

Last week I only hit the gym three times, which isn't great considering that before Christmas I was going 4-6 times a week, but I'm going to try for at least four times this week.  Baby steps, right?  From my experience this last year, I guess I've learned that this process is a marathon, not a short sprint.  Unfortunately, I'm not going to lose all the weight in a few months.  But maybe that's okay.  Even if that magically happened, I don't think I would be ready to maintain that weight because my mind's not ready.  I think my huge gain over vacation shows that I still struggle with food (or my nightly need for chocolate might be an indicator too).  Baby steps.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Y2, W1, Day 6: Dressing up

The first week of my yearly restart is almost over.  As I type this, I'm still hungry, but that's just par for the course.  Today I wore one of my new dresses that I bought for myself at Christmas for the first time and I felt pretty good about that.  It was sort of a reminder of why I'm struggling through this process on a day to day basis.  I mean, obviously I want to lose weight for many important reasons, but the process of carrying that out can get lost in the daily "why me?'s" and "it's too hard's" that frequently slither into my head.  I have to remind myself of my goals constantly and look for progress and small rewards, in this case, wearing a new dress with heels (very short ones) out in public.

Years ago, a friend once asked why I never wore skirts, shorts, or dresses.  He comically phrased it as, "What, you got tentacles or something instead of legs?"  And in a way I do...mental tentacles that I didn't want anyone to see.  Okay, I'll just admit it:  my legs look nothing like the image of beauty we see in magazines and on t.v.  They've got lumps and bumpy bits, veins, and discolored spots.  In other words, they're probably like a lot of people's legs, normal, but not perfect.  At any rate, while I still feel self-conscious showing off my legs, I'm trying to see how they could be sexy.  They're smooth and I'm seeing some definition in my calves, and by golly, why shouldn't I show them off?

So to wrap this meandering post up, I wore the dress and I felt good in it, but I'm definitely not used to the feel of these types of clothes.  I found the heels tricky to drive in even though they were only like an inch tall and the hem of the dress fell just above my knee, which was fine except that that when I sat   down it felt like the skirt rose alarmingly high.  I kept my legs crossed and folded tightly under me to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions.  Getting in and out of the car without flashing anyone was a little tricky!  Still, it felt good to dress up a little.  It's one of the fun reasons to lose weight.  Now I can't wait to try out one of the other two dresses I bought at Christmas time.  I just need a reason to wear them!

Here's a repeat picture of the dress, posted from an earlier blog entry.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Year 2, Week 1, Day 1: I'm hungry, what else is new?

All right, let's just jump in with weigh day to get that right out in the open:  201.2.  Not good after I was looking at the low 190's a few weeks ago, but it's just the starting point for the new year, not where I'm going to be forever.

Yesterday I got back on my food routine and it was totally and absolutely fine...until the evening.  I didn't experience much hunger, probably because I felt all out of whack with sleep and eating.  I ate a solid dinner and felt good afterwards for about an hour, after which I was desperate for something more to eat.  I wasn't hungry, but I wanted more so very deeply.  I resisted, but felt unsettled and finally went to bed unsatisfied.  I didn't go to the gym yesterday, but I figured going back to work and restarting my lifestyle change was enough for one day.

Today I hauled my sorry carcass out of bed at the 5 a.m. toll of the alarm clock and went to the gym.  It was very difficult, but I did a good workout and I stayed on my food plan as well, but I've felt hungry all day.  By dinner tonight, I was ravenous.

I'll admit though that when I came home, I noticed immediately that my husband had brought home some chocolate from work and it seriously took everything in me to not rip into it.  As soon as I saw it, I felt like I couldn't go on without it.  I'm not exaggerating here, I needed that chocolate.  I took a single square of Ghirardelli chocolate from the cupboard instead and ate it slowly and with relish.  It was rather disturbing to me how much better my body felt as soon as that substance was ingested.  Two days without the chocolate and processed sugar and I'm like a junkie going through withdrawl.  I literally got a boost from that one little bit of chocolate and felt noticeably better.  I need sugar.  Not good, eh?

Anyway, today's been a bit rough but I'm sticking to it and hopefully tomorrow will be a little better.  Step by step to get back on track.  But oh geez, I really want something, anything more to eat tonight.  *Sigh*

***On a random note, I'm going to reset the weeks when I post each entry, so it'll look like Y2 (year 2), W1 (week 1).  It's just easier for me to keep track of the weeks if I start over at one.  ***

Monday, January 9, 2012

W53, Day 7: New Goals

Well, obviously I'm missed a blog entry or two.  I entirely meant to write an entry on January fourth and I've even started mapping out what I wanted to say, but I've been so busy bouncing all around this last week that somehow I just didn't get to it.  Ah well!

My meandering journey towards Weigh Loss
Worse though, I let myself eat all over the map for this last week.  I knew I shouldn't.  It's not like I don't know what I'm not supposed to eat, but once I get off my routine, it's so very difficult to return and to get my brain in check.  This morning I weighed in at 201.7, but I'm hoping it's a bit lower tomorrow on weigh day as I total the final effects of this holiday season.

Today as I walked through the door at work, I knew I was also walking through the door back into my healthy lifestyle.  It scares me how easily I fall back into old patterns of behavior.  We ate out a lot in the last three weeks, and worse, I almost constantly grazed and munched.  I ate dinner, and then dessert, and then snack, and then topped it off with alcohol.  I love wine and I allowed myself to drink it freely without regard to calories.  I had copious amounts of sugar throughout the day.  I skipped out on the gym (in my defense, we were out of town for a big chunk of the time).  I gave up any pretense of control.

On the other hand, maybe sometimes that's needed.  Obviously, it's not okay to gain eight pounds in only a few weeks.  But I've read that constant control and self-discipline is like a muscle, it tires over time.  It's part of why diets don't work is because people can't exercise that control forever and it explodes on them in the form of binges or falling off the wagon...or cheesecake.  I'm not trying to excuse my behavior, but I can understand how this could be so.  I get so tired and having to be on my guard around food, to have to be so very careful.  Sometimes it feels good to let things go.  Regardless, I didn't meet my goals for this holiday season, but I'm still ahead of where I was last year by a significant amount and I'm going to let it go at that.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it, but rather focus on getting back to my goals, one day at a time.

So, it's definitely time to set some new goals.  Last year I wanted to lose 50 pounds and ended up at around 30, which is probably more reasonable.  I began my blog with the first weigh on January 4th in at 229.0 and ended up in the 190's by the last week of the year.  This year I would like to lose another 30 pounds from the 200 mark, putting me at 170 pounds.  That doesn't really sound that ambitious, seeing as I'll still be overweight at 170, but I don't envision myself as super thin or a size 4 or anything.  I just want to get out of the obese range, build muscle, and be healthy (and getting off my blood pressure medicine would be great too).

To sum it up, this year's specific weight goal is a loss of 30 pounds from my current weight of around 200, or a weigh in of 170 pounds.

I feel this is an attainable goal and it would be amazing.  Bring it on, year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

W52, Day 6: Resolutions

Okay, I have a confession to make:  I can't seem to stop munching, grazing, consuming.  There is just too much change to the normal routine and too much food all around me.  We returned home from another family visit yesterday and after more snacks to ring in the new year, I stepped on the scale this morning and weighed in at 199.2  Wow.

It's almost like there are two of me:  one person is very alarmed at the big gains and is scared to fall back into old patterns, especially around sugar for which I have such feelings of constant need; the other person inside me just can't seem to handle herself, she lacks control.  It's not like she wants to gain weight, but it's almost light she's in a fairy land of thought, that somehow she can continue her behavior without any consequence.

And the consequence is, my pants are feeling decidedly snugger.  It's not just me imagining things either, I had to loosen my belt a notch!  I've noticed that when I gain sudden weight, it sits upon my waist like an extra inner tube.  Eeek.  I feel fat.

As this is the first day of the new year, it's tradition to think about our resolutions.  Here's mine:

I will strive to be a kinder, more active, healthier person.  And maybe even to try to think better of myself.

Do you have a resolution for yourself this year?