Monday, October 25, 2010


Hi guys, same stuff as usual - life is busy, blog takes a back seat.

Things are going ok.  Weighed in yesterday at 236.4.  I have been at 235 +/- 5 lbs since late May -- we are going on 6 months now.

Part of me is proud.  Even though I haven't tracked much of anything in awhile, I am able to maintain this weight.  That is evidence that my lifestyle has changed.  I can peel off a 5 mile ride like it is nothing.  Today I did one actually and was surprised when the odometer said I'd gone five miles; I thought it was more like 1.5.  Yesterday I rode my bike to go see a musical at our performing arts center.  Biking and more generally being active are just part of my normal life now.  So are fruits and vegetables and vitamins.  I am working on my abs and am making progress on my gun show even though I haven't blogged much about it lately.  I have maintained this weight while working on (and, I am optimistic, overcoming) bouts with SI joint issues, a herniated disc, sciatica symptoms and depression.  I didn't let physical problems derail me.  I am not letting busy-ness derail me either.  Yay me.  Huge props for the lifestyle change.

On the other hand, part of me is annoyed at myself.  I keep getting lapped by people online and in real life.  In the last six months I've seen people heavier than me sail by 235 and are now in the 210s.  One of my coworkers has lost 25 lbs and looks AMAZING!  She has done this all in the last 6 months where I have lost 0 lbs (actually, if we want to be technical, I've probably lost about 20 lbs, and gained it too -- yoyoing with this small window).  Now, I am so so so delighted for these folks.  I am proud of them, and I know that they have worked very hard to accomplish these amazing feats.  I'd be lying, though, if I didn't admit I was at least a bit jealous of them.

I feel like I am not even the tortoise in the tortoise and the hare story; I feel like a sloth who is getting her tail whooped by even the tortoise.  I am a huge proponent that you have to do what feels right, though (ie, forcing yourself to stay on a plan that doesn't feel right or like something you can do forever and resenting it seems like a recipe for disaster, and for undoing whatever progress you manage on said plan).  I think on some level my brain needs time to wrap its head around this weight loss for some reason.  Today I started tracking for WW again.  I tracked even the burger and fries I had for dinner.  If it feels right, I will continue.  

The good news that life and weight loss are not foot races.  Even if sloths are directed and determined, they will make it to the finish -- just like I will, even if I am 40 when that happens (I am currently 31).

Can anyone identify with this and/or share some motivation/WL mojo?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Multitasking - aka, I haven't arrived yet

Right after I wrote the "woe is me, how can I possibly function in normal society around food" post, I got sick and ended up not even going to the potluck that I was simultaneously really looking forward to (I like the people in my group and I am excited to get to know them better) and dreading (I hate to handle myself around food when the choices are not really ideal). I was disappointed not to be able to go.

All of last week, I was sick.  It was that mid-level sick where you feel like crap and are tired and just want to sleep and do nothing, but you're not so sick that you can actually justify staying home or missing work.  I had an almost cold that made it hard to use my neti pot (too stuffed up but eventually it worked and now I can use it easily again) and just brought me down -- my attitude and my energy.  Last week contained a lot more sleep and a lot less exercise than I am used to these days.

Feeling sick also made me want to eat like crap.  I was just not up to cooking or preparing much myself.  Other than that I have no idea why I wasn't really feeling the healthy eating thing.  I was not too strict on myself and I actually did eat like crap for awhile -- i.e., I crossed the "I want to" line and went to the to the "I'm going to" side.

I was really upset and disappointed about all of this.  Not disappointed enough in myself to actually change things, mind you, but disappointed in myself nonetheless.  That is the perfect storm for a binge or for feeling down and planting the seeds of depression, but neither ensued.  I am proud of myself for that.  And grateful to modern pharmacology (Wellbutrin FTW).

I think the reason I was disappointed in myself was mostly because I realized that even though I thought my healthy choices had taken root and were full fledged habits, I realized as a result of being sick that they were not as habitual as I thought.  Alas.  I am back in control, though, and am making healthy choices again.  It feels good.

As a result of this sickness, I have realized something about myself.  I can really only handle one big thing at a time.  What I mean is that I (usually) can keep most of the balls that I juggle in my day to day life in the air and from crashing down.  However, I can only focus on one huge new initiative at a time.  Although I thought healthy eating was now just one of the balls that I juggled, I was disappointed and even a little surprised that it is not.  It is still in the "major initiative" category for me and as such requires a lot of thought and planning and effort.  Being sick and focusing on getting better displaced my effort to get healthy.  I will continue to work on living a healthy lifestyle and I will get better at it, but for now I am not to the point where it is reflexive.  Sigh.  

The good news is that I am not sick anymore and thus can focus on the broader picture of health that I have been working for for awhile now.  I will continue until I get there.  I will.  I am.


I'm still around.  It is the part of the semester where life is so crazy, hence no updates.

There for awhile I was feeling like I was in food freefall.  The scale kept creeping up and up and up.  When I reached 239, I freaked out.  240 is my new "no really, this has to stop" number.  I am back down to 235.8 as of this morning.  I would like to get down to my low that I reached this summer (231) and then past that.  I think that, slowly, I am getting mentally ready.  For some reason I just have not been willing to do the work that I know it will take.

I am still not doing WW or anything formal.  I just don't feel up to it.  I have to say, though, I have eaten (mostly) clean the last few days and it has been so great.  I am really enjoying my food.  It is so flavorful and delicious!  I feel ridiculous saying this but after eating more chemicals than I am used to for awhile, the fruits and vegetables taste amazing.  One of my favorite foods lately (I've eaten it 4 times out of my last 6 meals) is a take on huevos rancheros.  Delicious, fast, easy, and filling.  Also balanced - carbs (tortilla, salsa, and usually I eat with a side of fruit), fats (avocado and some lowfat cheddar), and protein (an egg, some lowfat cheddar).  It takes about 5 minutes to make.  I LOVE IT!

There are lots of posts I've had milling in my mind.  I hope that they will make it online soon.  Just wanted to let you all know I am fighting the good fight.  I am just busy and this blog has taken a back seat to my real life for awhile.  My healthy living (for the most part, more to come on that) has not.  It is really important to me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Food = Fun?

I have shared that I am getting involved with a community group through the church I have been going to. While a part of me is guarded and hesitant to trust too much due to past bad experiences in other churches, a larger part of me is enjoying the group and getting to know the people in it. They are nice and I am enjoying it.

This group is causing me problems with food though. And it's not just this group, I think it would be any group I got involved with. First of all, the group takes place on a worknight, as would most groups I could get involved with. NO PROBLEM...except that I go to the gym after work and so trying to work out, find something to eat, and get to the group on time is a challenge. I usually sacrifice the healthy eating and get a $5 pizza to eat on the go. This has to stop. It is counterproductive toward meeting my goals, yet I see no healthy option unless I forgo the working out. The second problem is that every week, we have snacks at the group. To me this is so unnecessary. It is burdensome both for the snack providers (who has time do easily do this on a weekday, especially if your snack needs refrigeration and you have to stop home to get said snack?!), and it is a little hard for me to be around. I usually deal by passing on the snack altogether, as they are rarely healthy.

This week we are having a "fun" week instead of study for community group. While I usually shudder at the idea of scheduled, scripted fun, I am actually looking forward to this. However, it too may present a food problem for me as it is a potluck picnic. I usually bring fruit or a fruit salad to events like this, but I can't see any way to do this without being able to refrigerate it. (I leave for work around 8 and the picnic is at 6:30). This weekend, they are also planning a girls' night. While I am looking forward to it, it too is a "please bring something tasty and preferably unhealthy" event.

I have such mixed feelings about these types of events. I feel a little like a recovering alcoholic who is meeting friends at a bar. It just seems like a bad idea. Yes, being around bad food choices gets easier. However, the easiest thing is just not to be around it. For example, last night I really wanted to binge. REALLY badly. However, I had no unhealthy groceries around, which was a big part of my being able to avoid it. Equating food with fun needs to become a thing of my past, however it is hard with so many bad choices and so few good choices around at these type of events. None of these people know my past (and to some degree current) issues with food. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer or a food Nazi and ask them to please be considerate of me and my desire to live a healthy life when planning "fun", and ask that not all fun events involve food. For instance, we could play mini-golf and grab dinner on our own, or go to a restaurant where everyone could make his/her own selections -- and I could get something healthy. However, I also don't want them to think I have an eating disorder or am too good to eat their food. That seems bad too.

Bottom line: I am not sure how to handle myself in many social food situations yet. And I am a little resentful that our society equates food with fun. It makes it harder to succeed, but it is something I just have to learn to deal with if I want to be successful at living a healthy lifestyle.

Facing the Music

This week I was up 4.8 lbs.

I could say that it is because I haven't been drinking much water. I could say that the reason was that I am likely to be retaining water because it is TOM. I could blame it on the fact that I couldn't exercise much this week because of how much my tooth hurt and because I have been sick (having a lot of head stuffiness and/or the beginnings of a cold and just generally feel tired and crappy). I could say that because I've been feeling gross I've been eating out more.

All of these things are true. But it's also true that my eating has sucked and that I accept responsibility for this gain. That's the more honest thing to do.

Although I am really disappointed -- disappointed in myself, not just in the number on the scale -- I have to say there are some mixed blessings in this gain...some things that actually make me feel normal. Let me share two.
  1. I have never understood when magazines or people talk about wanting to lose 5 lbs. It always seemed so insignificant to me at almost 300 lbs. "Ooooh, you lose 5 lbs! Then you weigh 295." It just didn't compute to me. This week, after gaining 5 lbs. I saw how it could make a difference. My clothes are tighter and I just feel bigger, especially my stomach. I don't like it. However, it is nice to feel like 5 lbs. matter. I guess I can start to see where "normal" sized people feel like that, even though I still 50+ lbs. overweight.
  2. I also never understood water retention. As I have been losing weight, I can recognize it when the scale goes up by 2-3 lbs. when my eating has not been bad that it is probably water weight or fluid retention. I understand it on a cerebral level, but I have never actually felt the water weight. Now that I am more conscious in my appearance, I notice that rings fit more tightly when I am retaining water. I can also tell that my face appears slightly puffier. Although I am not a fan of water weight, I am a fan of being more in touch with my body and small enough to notice changes due to a couple lbs. instead of having that be so insignificant at a larger size.
So, that's my report for the week. It is not really great news. In fact, I think I have passed the "disappointed in myself this week" point and gotten to the "ashamed and seriously disgusted with myself" point. That is always dangerous because it makes me want to binge. And I seriously almost did today. And yesterday. However, I talked myself off the ledge both times. My eating was still poor and I'm not proud of it, but I did not eat bags of candy, chips, and cartons of ice cream and I am extremely proud of that -- especially considering how close I was to doing it not once but twice (as in, into the car both times and on my way to get binge food). I count the small victories when they are hard to come by.
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