Thursday, November 29, 2007

Feeling Grabby

I've been neglectful of my blogging duties the past several days. Well, actually, I think it's been a whole week. Wow - It started with Thanksgiving Day and just sort of unrolled from there. I ate a TON on Thanksgiving Day and then struggled to get back on plan for several days afterward. I went from 152.0 on Thanksgiving morning to 156.4 the next morning and then slowly dipped back down to 150.8 by this Tuesday morning. How's that for some water weight? It just goes to show that when you indulge, your weight will soar temporarily but ultimately, if you keep exercising and get back to healthy eating, it will return to its original place or, as in my case, continue to go down. I still struggled mightily, though, to get myself back on track food-wise.

And today, I am still struggling. Last night I had a bit of a food freak-out. I have discovered that the absolutely WORST time for me, stress-eating wise, is the time between 5PM and 7PM. I am rushing home from work, picking up my son, arriving home and trying to feed myself and the kid, waiting on my husband to get home, worrying about when I will get to work out - the list goes on. By the time Wyatt is put down to bed at around 7:30PM, I am just starting to feel some relief. I know it is a tough time for me and it doesn't help that we have a bunch of crap food left over from the weekend - chips, pretzels, and these really nasty pink sugar cookies that I kept thinking would be marvelous with chocolate ice cream stuffed between two of them... (Note to self - rid house of all ice cream NOW).

So this morning I weighed 151.6. Big deal - I will take care of it in a few days time and will be in the 140's - a weight decade that I have not seen in at least 3 years. But I am still worried for myself - I don't like my frame of mind. I am letting stress get to me - making me feel the need to reach out and stuff myself with food. Last night, I obsessively looked through one of my favorite books called "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp because there was a sentence or paragraph in there that explained exactly how I am feeling right now. After about an hour, I found it - Knapp called this feeling "grabbiness" - A desperate feeling of needing mixed with the fear of not getting enough. Seeking something external to fix something internal. Well, she says it much more eloquently, of course, but that word "grabbiness" had come into my head and I could not stop thinking about it. I feel WANT.

I have a lot of fear right now about money and security. I have MOUNTAINS of student debt (both my husband and I, actually) and a gigantic payment is coming due in December that we have never had to deal with before. I am fretting, worrying and stressing about this thing and it makes me crazy. What it really makes me want to do is eat pizza or the absolute worst thing in the world that I could do - drink. I know neither of these options is going to help matters but man, sometimes it just helps to be numb, if only for a little while. I have to just keep in mind that numbing myself (not to mention sabotaging and abusing myself) is not the answer. I just have to keep moving forward, praying for God's guidance and asking that the desperate, grabby feeling of fear be removed from me. I have to trust that God will take care of us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shedding

As I have been shedding weight over this past month or so, I've noticed that I am also "shedding" in other areas of my life. It is as if by losing the pounds from my body, a weight has been lifted from my heart as well and I feel ready to begin delving into other projects that involve getting rid of things - things that are weighing me down, emotionally, spiritually and even physically.

There is my nightstand drawer, for example. I have ignored my nightstand drawer for, say, at least a year. Probably more, actually, because when we moved, we just wrapped plastic wrap around it and I left everything intact - "everything" being a bunch of CRAP. My top drawer is filled with old receipts, random pills and keys, pens, scraps of useless paper, magazine articles I am "saving," pieces of used dental floss - the list goes on and on. (Recently, my husband had to go into the drawer to find a nail clipper and wanted to know why I had a ramekin of peanut butter in there - well, I was just too lazy to take it downstairs, of course). Among all of this crap, there are a few meaningful things, too - my son's dried up little belly button (yes, it is in a wee baggie, not floating around collecting lint), pictures to go in his baby album (he is turning two tomorrow and I still haven't finished the damned album), cards from my husband, and other mementos I want to keep around but just haven't done anything with - in YEARS. The only thing that is kept in that drawer that I use on a daily basis is a Burt's Bees lip balm. Other than that, I would probably never open the drawer, unless it was to just add more CRAP.

A couple of weeks ago, after one of my weekly "fashion shows," (this is when I take out several pair of pants that are too small for me and try them all on to gauge my progress) I was especially thrilled because a pair of jeans I've been trying to get over my hips finally went over my hips and I was able to button them. After peeling them off and vowing to wear them by Thanksgiving (WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG POST FOR AN IMPORTANT BULLETIN - TODAY IS THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING AND I AM WEARING THE JEANS) , I was sitting on my bed and was suddenly gripped by a need to clear out that nightstand drawer. I threw it open and of course, was immediately overwhelmed by the prospect of "going through" everything. And then it hit me - save for the few mementos I mentioned above, I didn't need to "go through" anything. I was just going to let go of all that crap I'd been storing like a greedy squirrel and just throw it out - clearly, I wasn't in need of any of these things, as I had not looked at any of it in ages. I resolutely trashed a vast majority of the CRAP without even examining it. I stuffed a gallon baggie FULL of stuff before dropping it with a satisfying 'plop' into the garbage can. And you know what? I haven't missed a damned thing.

Now the drawer is not perfect just yet, but the liberating feeling I derived from clearing the crap out was extremely exhilarating. I felt freed, like my life was actually changing, and that I wasn't just this stagnant, middle-aged person waiting to get old and die. I know it sounds weird that I should have such deep and meaningful feelings from throwing away old receipts but I really did. After thinking about it, I believe that it was because the act of cleansing was change in my life and an affirmation to myself that I was ready to move on from this complacent resting point I have been at in my life for the past year or so. I was, in fact, changing.

And it didn't stop there - I have begun cleaning out other drawers, like my clothing drawers that are filled with shirts with stains and holes, pants that are too big, and bras that haven't fit these melons in decades. As my pants grow too big, I chuck them - I've never felt better than the day that I took an awful pair of Levi's that made me look like a beachball from the waist down and tossed them into the garbage - I further relished putting more stinky kitchen garbage on top of them, as if doing so made the hideous mom jeans even more gone. Again, the feeling of letting go of clothes that remind me of my past (parts of which were truly heinous) is so freeing - I am letting go of my past and am ready to move forward creating the life I want, instead of the one I used to feel I was stuck in.

I don' t know if that makes sense to anyone but me but I am still enjoying the feeling of "shedding" on a daily basis. I don't have to hang on to the old anymore - I feel free to move ahead into uncharted waters, pushing myself toward true satisfaction by tossing more little bits of crap each day. Try it - you'll be amazed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quickie Update and a Weekend Cheer

I lost another pound, putting me at 153 today - that rocks. More bloat water releasing? Perhaps, but I like to think it is due to my amazing mastery of eating well. The weekend is upon me yet again (man, time goes fast!) and I promise that my next post will be about something other than my personal weight loss of the day - a diatribe of annoyances, maybe? I am thinking more along the lines of the motivations that I am currently having for cleaning up other areas of my life, now that I am taking care of myself better. Please come back Monday (or maybe Sunday) for that little nugget of insight. Otherwise, have a fabulous and well-managed weekend. That is, try to keep your shit together diet and exercise-wise, but if you should falter a little and eat something not on plan, don't stress, do your exercise and do not say, "well, I already screwed up so I might as well blow it all weekend." Stay the course! We can do it! Rah Rah Rah! (Shake pom poms, perform high kick in skirt so short I show my cash and prizes to the world). I'm sorry - was I fantasizing again about being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader? Forgive me. It's that show on CMT.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

There May Be Something to That Period Excuse

So I got my period this morning (this shouldn't be a TMI moment for anyone who read yesterday's entry, okay?) and what do you know - I lost 1.4 this morning and weighed 154.0. Yesterday was a lower calorie day, of course, but still - I think maybe I was retaining a little bit of water. Certainly not 5 or 6 pounds worth, though. My theory on that weight gain excuse still pretty much stands, give or take one or two pounds that should disappear as soon as you begin to flow, ladies. And on a completely unrelated note, I discovered today that I am the only member of my all-female office that still has a period. Not an important fact at all, but I felt special. And young, even at 38.

Tonight I am exhausted. I have get up early to give a friend a ride to work and then on to my own work, but at least it is Friday and hey, next week is a short week, only three days! My husband is going to start pouting in a minute for sure because I am going to tell him that I am going to bed. No exercise tonight - I work out 6 days a week but I leave that "off" day kind of up in the air and take it when I actually feel like I need to. Tonight is that night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let's Just STOP With the Excuses

I am stalled out at 155.4, it seems. Now, I s'pose I could use the old "my period is due" excuse, but I hate it when I hear women using that as an excuse for weight gain or even weight stall, as if just because your period is imminent, you've suddenly blown up into one of those giant balloon creatures (usually an ape or a loaf of bread, in these parts) you see flying from the roofs of used car lots. I hate it when I read comments on other weight loss blogs that say things like, "I gained five pounds this week...it must be because my period is coming," or "I weighed six pounds more than I did yesterday - it must be that my period is coming." Whatever, ladies.

I get so frustrated by reading other people's excuses for their inability to lose weight, depsite the fact that I've probably used every one of those excuses myself at some point or another. One of my favorites is "I just don't have time to exercise." Really? Do you have time to DIE? Because that is what is going to happen to you if you don't lose some damned weight and get healthy. You know, I don't really "have time," either, if I am not willing to haul my lazy ass out of bed in the morning before the kid wakes up or pry myself from the television in the evening when the babe has gone to bed. Or wait - "Obesity just runs in my family." Yeah, why not break the cycle? What are they saying really? Fat people create little fat people that become adult fat people? Okay, so - stop being fat! DO something about it - stop talking about it, for God's sake and change it.

I'm not saying it is EASY to change or that it is a simple process to go from fat to healthy. It takes hard work, planning ahead, and above all, discipline. I've been watching "The Biggest Loser" lately and man, I just love that show. Those people work their asses off to lose that weight and yes, they are in a special situation and have special food and doctors and all that but you know what? They are still the ones doing the work amazingly, when someone gets kicked off and they show them several months later, they have all kept up their quest to lose weight and become healthy. They realized how UNhappy they were and how it was affecting their lives and they decided to change their lives, not just their weight. It's incredible, really.

On a final note, I hate it when I hear an obese person say, "I am happy this way," or "I accept that this is who I am." I do not believe they are happy and that if they were truly introspective and examined their lives and relationships, they would realize that they are not happy at all. It is one thing to accept your current state and learn to be patient as you make healthy changes but it is another thing entirely to say that you accept that the fat you is "who you are." Your body is not who you are - what is inside is who you are. But your body is an extension of you and a billboard to the world that says, "this is what I think of myself - I am not worth anything more."

I just wish more people thought better of themselves and knew that they deserve so much more than living in a fat, unhealthy body that makes them hate themselves even more. It is such a nasty cycle. However, once you decide that you deserve better and that you're not going to do this to yourself anymore, it is amazingly liberating. Through my decision to change, I realized that I don't have to hate myself anymore and that I don't have to do hateful things to myself anymore (like intentionally overeat garbage foods to make myself fat, abuse drugs and alcohol, and other self-abusive behaviors). I have a choice - it is not just "something I do." And that knowledge is helping me reach my goals, little by little.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A New Look...

Not that anybody actually reads my blog other than me and my mom, but I thought I might change it up a bit, spread out the words so nobody is having to read these long, skinny entries that go on for miles. Now, my entries will be much fatter, spreading across the page. And they will be backed up by a hot red and pink theme. I love red and pink.

After all of my glowing statements in my last entry, it turns out that I gained a bit yesterday but truly - only a bit. From 155.2 to 155.4. I might just have to gain a little to get my metabolism back into the flow of things but oh well - my pants are still loose, so there. And frankly, if I gain a half pound because I am eating more vegetables and protein, I am not too worried about it. Eventually, by abstaining from pizza, pasta and cinnamon bears and by working my ass off while working out, my body will be FORCED to drop pounds. It will just have to happen, no question.

I don't have much else to share about today. I've been thinking of some cool topics to write about here so that every entry is not just about what I ate yesterday and how much I weigh. That might be a nice change and would get me actually doing some real writing, instead of wasting all of my amazing insight and words of wisdom commenting on other people's blogs. So I am working on my list of topics - that is the extent of my writing for now. Check back later for further details - I'm sure you are just breathless with anticipation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

These Mysteries...

I had another weird thing happen with this whole weight loss gig. Okay, remember when I ate all the candy on Halloween and then the next morning I had LOST a half pound? Well, on Saturday I had another experience like that. I went to dinner with girlfriends, ate a filet mignon, a spinach salad with bacon dressing and half of a chocolate decadence dessert, plus cream in coffee, etc. Now granted, I had eaten extremely well all day and had exercised earlier in the day, too, but when I weighed the next morning, I lost almost an entire pound. .8! Totally bizarre, in my book, but more confirmation for me that my theory of "not eating enough calories" is more than likely right.

So I did a bunch of research today about metabolism, basal metabolic rate and caloric needs. I've determined (after putting my stats into several calculators) that my BMR is about 1450 calories, meaning that just for my body to live and breath, in a resting state, it needs 1450 calories. I burn about 300 calories when I exercise (discovered by working with several other calculators) for 35 minutes and I expend about 350-ish just moving about during the day (found by other calculations I performed). SO - what all this means is that if I wanted to just maintain where I am, I would need about 2100 calories coming in. If I want to lose weight, I need to reduce that amount.

It is up to me to determine how much to reduce it. A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. If I reduce my caloric intake for the week by 3500, I will lose one pound. 7000, 2 pounds, etc. The other side of this is, though, that if I drop below my BMR of 1450, my body will slow the metabolism because it senses impending deprivation and begins to hold on to the fat its got stored. So - the diet I've been following has easily been keeping me below my BMR but I've had some weight loss success, clearly (I was at 155.0 today). But I think that I am going to step away from the strictness of the diet and begin to supplement with significantly more protein, fruit and vegetables to increase my calories to 1400 some days, 1200 other days to keep the body guessing. This will mean that the loss may slow even more at first and it will also mean that I will come out of ketosis, the fat burning state that arises when a person eats very few carbohydrates. But I think I am okay with this - this past week or so I've added quite a few more protein snacks and veggies and have still lost weight.

I learned a lot today and will continue to research these things. I think it is important to educate yourself about health and diet and I have to admit, I've never taken the time to actually learn the formulas related to metabolism that could help me determine the proper amounts of food to eat for maintenance or weight loss. And you know what else? I am really enjoying eating all of these damned vegetables and finding interesting ways to add them to my diet. Really. I never in a million years thought I would say something like that!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Ten Pounds of Blubber GONE

Today I weighed in at 155.8. So, since my most recent spurt of weight loss (or my decision about monumental proportions - see Oct 30 post) I have lost 10.2 pounds - Yay! It has been about a month - that is a pretty good loss for a month, though I think the few pounds were water weight! Oh well - I am feeling good and still losing and that is what is important, right?

Going into another weekend - will try not to lose mind with stress. Tomorrow I am going to go shopping and out to dinner with a group of women - all lawyers. It will be a blast - my friend Santana is coming and she is such a fun person. I stopped by her office this week to visit with her and we were like two school girls acting silly and giggling. Even though I am 38, I still enjoy acting like a child A LOT. So I should have a good time with the chicks tomorrow night, though I will have to be careful when they bring the dessert tray at dinner, lest I spring at it and shovel all of the sweet bits into my gaping maw.

Last night we went to a social event in the town where my husband works, Columbia Falls. It was really fun and I enjoyed socializing with a bunch of people I don't know at all. I particularly enjoyed visiting with my husband's boss, Eric and his wife, Mary. They are very nice people and Eric is a real character. The food was somewhat lackluster, but I did managed to snag a bunch of ham and turkey pieces - and (gasp!) I ate a piece of cheese. Also had a bite of a lemon bar and a bite of an awful eggroll that I suspect was filled with long shoots of dry grass. Oh - it was so NOT worth the calories. Anyway - we met a lot of cool people - a few really weird ones.

There were a number of drunks wandering around, clutching their free wine and beer, sweating and slurring, and just being downright LOUD. Justin said he didn't notice but it's just because he is not a drunk. Whenever we meet a drunk or I scope one out I tell Justin - "He/she is one of my people." Drunks always recognize other drunks - I recognize them wherever I go. Like gay people can always pick each other out. We drunks just seem to send out a signal to all other drunks - actually, I think we just easily recognize and relate to the silent desperation emanating from an active drunk. It is highly depressing for me to see that and just reminds me of what is sleeping inside of me and how it can still wake up on occasion and make me feel (and look) like a complete idiot loser. Wow - did I just say all of that? Hmmm - reflections.

I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately. Succeeding in my weight loss and feeling good about myself has brought a lot of other issues and feelings to the surface that I was not expecting. But that is going to have to be for another day, another post. I must go eat my chicken and spinach now. Spinach is wonderful, you know - Popeye had it right, although my forearms have not expanded into gigantic pillow-like balloons just yet.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What a Slacker - But Getting Results!

It has been several days since my last entry. Work has been a little crazy and I've just not taken the time to do my thing (waste time by creating blog posts) for the last couple of days. As a result, though, I've gotten a little off and have been having a lot of cravings and urges to stuff my face with nasty foods that will not help my weight loss goals.

The good news is that I have been at 156.4 for the past two days and so I lost about a pound over the weekend. I've been working out like mad and shaking it to the HHA. But I feel weird and like I just want to EAT, overeat, and eat more. Today I tried eating several small doses of protein (more than the usual) trying to keep my metabolism up and my hunger and cravings in check. It didn't really help but we'll see how my loss is tomorrow.

I am not going to work out tonight and I am not going to feel guilty about it. I had some crazy asthma-type attack thing as I was leaving my friend's house tonight. I called Justin as I driving home to tell him to get my inhaler and have it ready - I wheezed all the way home. That is a bizarre and scary feeling, when your breathing is just not right and it feels labored. I started having this problem about a year ago and a doctor prescribed an inhaler to use prior to exercise, which is generally when it happens. However, when I am in the presence of certain irritants (it was fertilizer at Home Depot once, tonight it was a vanilla-scented candle, I think), I just get all restricted and my chest gets tight and I get scared. So - I shall not labor my lungs anymore tonight...and besides, I am tired as hell.

Hopefully tomorrow I will see another drop... especially if I avoid eating that stupid mini-Hershey bar that is hidden in my bathroom drawer and calling my name every hour on the hour.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Another Drop, Another Weekend Upon Me

It's Friday and damn, I am happy about that. Not that work has been a drama lately - it hasn't been too bad. Busy, but not AWFUL. Busy is actually good - it makes the time go by much faster, getting me home and into my bed faster, which is really where I would like to just stay most of the time. That sounds depressing, but really, I am not depressed. Just lazy.

So I am now at 157.6. Yay - got beyond that dreaded 158.4 - for days and days it was 158.4. I'm not sure why the bod is being so resistant to dropping but I read a few things last night that made me think that perhaps I am not eating enough food, which is causing my body to resist losing. On Lindora, you eat less than 1,000 calories per day - and some days, I would say I end up around 750 or 800, which I know is not especially healthy but man, the diet usually works. However, with such resistance to loss, I am thinking I need more. For instance - was it totally bizarre that I finally broke that plateau of 158.4 when I ate a bunch of candy the night before? Or that I lost again by adding more protein snacks yesterday? I am going to try adding a bit more protein to my meals, trying to get myself to at least 1,000. We'll see how that works this weekend and if it is no good, I can always go back. Something tells me this will work, though. I am doing a lot of working out and that increases the caloric need so - even at 1200 - 1400, I should still be losing weight. It's an experiment...results TBA.

Tomorrow is Justin's b. day (36th) and we are all going out to dinner, which should be fun but somehow, all family "fun" events have a certain amount of stress involved. I am going to try and be relaxed, despite the fact that I will have to watch everyone else indulge in pizza and other outrageously fattening pub food. We are going to Tamarack Brewery in Lakeside, which is a new joint. I've been there for lunch and it is fabulous - even the chicken breast and side salad were delightful so - it is totally do-able, diet-wise. Now if only I can manage my stress around handling the toddler at a restaurant, I will survive easily. Nobody ever told me that when you have kids, you will probably not want to eat at restaurants anymore. Oh, the calamity.

A fabulous weekend to all.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Chocolate Detour and An Unexpected Result

Last night we took Wyatt trick-or-treating. He was so damned cute as a little fireman. He can't say "trick or treat" but he was too adorable as he would take candy from people's hands and then say "byyye." It was a joy to watch him be such a big boy. I can't believe he will be two years old this month. My baby is a little boy, it seems!

So I was downright militant about my eating all day and made sure I brought a healthy dinner with me to my sister-in-law's place where I had heard a rumor that pizza would be available. But once we got there, the call of the m & m's became deafening and so I had a mini pack of them. Over the course of the evening, I also had a few other mini-bars and a half a twizzler (which really wasn't worth the calories, I might add).

When we got home, I had that dumb thought "Well, since I've already had some crap I might as well have..." WHOA, NELLIE! Wait - I haven't worked this hard for the past several weeks to blow it now. So you know what I did? I put on my workout clothes and went downstairs and shook my ass to a little HHA. I completed my workout and drank a bunch of water and guess what?

This morning, the scale finally moved. DOWN - only a half pound, but still... that was highly unexpected. I thought for sure it would go UP. So I feel good - I am not beating myself up about last night's little detour and I am not lost in a binge mindset, thank goodness. So I had a treat - big deal. Now it's back on the weight loss train, which apparently is moving right along. Happy Thursday and November 1 to me - it's a new day!