Meh

I don’t have much to say.

This winter has been a bit on the brutal side (ok… a lot on the brutal side) and I’m still plugging away as best as I can.  Luckily, the light box seems to be doing its trick and I’m not horribly depressed.  Though seriously, I thought I might be headed that direction when I finally weighed in.

Ok – let me back up the train.  In one of my last two posts I was all “I’m staying away from sugar!!”  And then I babysat my nephew and the stupid candied popcorn I’d bought from my other nephew months earlier was delivered to me and I totally ate some.  I don’t know how many servings I actually ate that day/night but I do know the first thing I did when I got home was weigh out the servings so I knew exactly how much I was eating (seriously, buying a kitchen scale is marvelous).  There was a serious part of me that considered just eating the rest of the popcorn and moving forward.  You know, eating it all in one day.  HELLO SUGAR!  I didn’t do that.  I did, however, eat some when I got up in the middle of the night and (luckily maybe) I woke up with stomach flu and blamed it on that stupid popcorn and so I threw the rest of it away.

And that is why I hate candied popcorn now.  I’m happy.

Anyway,  I’d been doing the whole calorie counting and food logging thing on MFP for about two weeks before I finally had the courage to weigh myself.  But I finally did and was all like “ok, I can move on from here.”

And then I had a rather brutal week and I didn’t exercise but I was still confident I should have lost weight.  And when I weighed myself it would seem as though I had.  And here’s the thing…. I like to be a week behind in claiming my loss to be “official” – meaning I don’t put it into MFP until the next week.  Why?  Because I’m crazy and also scared of reporting something that isn’t true.

AND THE VERY NEXT DAY I WAS UP THE POUND IT SAID I HAD LOST.

So I chalked it up to a crazy scale the day before and figured I hadn’t lost any weight.  Which was sad for me.  It made me feel bad about myself and it made me lose a bit of willpower and motivation.  I did exercise a couple of times last week but nothing like I should have… because, you know… I was just sad.

And then I weighed myself today and I appear to be down two pounds.  Which is just freaking awesome. 😀  So now I’m happy.

But I only recorded ONE pound lost on MFP because the one from last week obviously stayed and so I have to wait another week to see if this pound stayed gone.

See my logic there?  No?  Yes?  Fine, I’m probably just crazy anyway.

I don’t have a real point in all this – I’m just catching you guys up on what I’ve been doing with my time (obsessing about food).  I would like to report that I have genuine muscle fatigue in my legs again – which is nice.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt that and I feel like I could get back in the game so to speak.

So yeah… thank goodness my tried and true methods are proving to still be effective.  I don’t know what I’d have done if it had suddenly just stopped working.  Scary.

 

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At what age?

There’s a lot of hate out there for the overweight.

I recently read a blog where the blogger was voicing their opinion of charging more for health insurance for those who are overweight and smokers.  There are a lot of people clamoring for an increased health insurance premium for the overweight.  I’m always struck by how fiercely those people speak out against the overweight – such animosity!

And let’s face it… in our society…. being overweight is something which is seen as shameful.  In fact, shaming the overweight is a common daily occurrence in every town in America.  Every.  Single.  Town.

Add to this that I’m back to tracking calories and so I’m perusing the MyFitnessPal message boards just to get my mind into the game of weight loss and already I have to step back from the message boards because there are so many incredibly fit people there degrading others who ask for advice.  Now most of them don’t mean to be anything but helpful but some of those people cannot possibly fathom what it’s like to be very overweight and just starting out.  You’re new, you’re scared you’re going to fail just like every time before, and you’re looking for advice.  Just today someone posted that they couldn’t find where to enter their walking as exercise and someone posted back that it was rubbish to log your walking anyway as that wasn’t a real workout.  (Trust me, I had to hold myself back from finding the medical article which stated real facts where walking was better for your overall health than running.)

See… there was someone looking for help on weight loss and exercise and instead of help… they faced what they’ve been facing for a while now… ridicule.

What I’d like to know is… at what age does it become acceptable to shame the overweight?

I doubt many of us would blame a 2 year old child for being overweight.  Rather, we would blame their parents.  So how about a 6 year old?  Do we want to explain to a 6 year old that they are overweight and begin giving them body issues which may develop into an eating disorder?  12 years old?  15?

Let’s face it folks, even if you wait until the age of 18 you’re being an asshole.  Someone who was raised in an unhealthy eating/living environment has developed their unhealthy relationship with food early on – and has lived with those disordered eating habits for years by the time they are 18.

Let’s look at my life.  I was never exposed to the concept of moderation.  You want it?  Eat it.  It never occurred to me that desserts shouldn’t be a regular part of life.  You know what wasn’t a regular part of life?  Vegetables.  I was pretty certain I hated vegetables.  And salads.  Gross.

When I went off to college I continued my disordered eating.  There were plenty of others around doing the same and so it just never clicked.  And when I moved out on my own?  I made the foods I grew up on.  Fried potatoes.  Lots and lots of fried potatoes.  I ate fried potatoes nearly every night growing up.  And yes, they are delicious.

My point here is that I find it absolutely ridiculous how easily people feel it’s perfectly find to shame the overweight.  They like to oversimplify as well.  “All you have to do is exercise and eat less.”  It’s really not that simple.  My dysfunctional relationship with food is a permanent part of me.  Habits are hard to overcome.  Many of us have deep seated emotional roots in our eating.  How dare anyone think it’s just ok to point a finger and call me fat and lazy?  Where was DCFS swooping in to rescue me from the eating habits my parents were teaching me?

If you wouldn’t do it to a 5 year old, don’t do it to an adult.  Have the common sense that these behaviors were learned and practiced for YEARS before that person became an adult.  Nested in those behaviors are there stress coping mechanisms, their depression coping mechanisms, their memories of their parents and their home… It’s not simple so shut your  mouth and offer support – not shame.

I hate you, sugar!

I threw away a cookie last night.

I’ve been what I call “on the wagon” since Saturday.  I’ve been logging my calories on MyFitnessPal and making sure I exercise (even if it is just walking) every day.  On Monday I went into work for interviews and staring at me on my desk was a cup full of M & M’s left there carelessly when I went home on the 19th.  I didn’t eat them.  I didn’t eat any of them.  I was totally proud.

As someone who has an incredibly unhealthy relationship with sugar, I know I need to greatly rework the way I view sugar in my everyday eating.  What was once mostly restricted to an unhealthy love of ice cream has branched out into other categories.  The cookies I decorate, chocolate, peanut brittle, caramel sauce, sugary Starbucks beverages… you name it… I have a weakness for it.  It needs to stop.  I need to put sugar back where it belongs: as an occasional treat.  I am not one of the lucky ones with the metabolism/genetic makeup/natural intuition who can moderate my food intake inherently.  I am not one of those people who just don’t get hungry later if I have a big meal at noon.  Eating sugar any time of the day just makes me crave more sugar.

When I started logging my calories again and making an effort to eat healthier, I didn’t set out to go through a sugar detox.  But I did notice that I didn’t go over the grams of sugar goal MyFitnessPal set for me.  In fact, there were 3 days in a row that I didn’t go over that goal.

I have to admit, I was pretty shocked.

That sugar goal has always seemed incredibly low to me.   As a person who lost 50 lbs eating mostly what I want (which included a mini ice cream after dinner every day), I was always over on the sugar.  I would look at the stats and just be dumbfounded as to how anyone would ever be able to stay at such a low sugar goal.  I mean…. sugar is EVERYWHERE, isn’t it?

Yeah, apparently not.

I did go over on sugar the other day – due to a sweet potato… but I’m not going to sweat that at all.  I have also had two squares of dark chocolate sometime in the past few days.  I’m not going to sweat that either.  In fact, I think both days I had the chocolate were days I didn’t go over on sugar.

So last night, my body started to retaliate.  I’d eaten dinner.  I even had stomach cramps though I’m still not certain why.  I almost never have stomach issues (I swear, it’s one of the perks of eating horribly for most of your life… your stomach can handle all sorts of junk).  Even as I sat there with my stomach feeling uncomfortable I began to daydream of sugar.

I seriously had several internal conversations with myself that went something like this:

“You are 230 calories under your goal today, you could totally eat 1/3 of that extra cookie out there.”

“You’re right… I totally could….. no… wait… I’m trying to only have desserts and stuff on special occasions.”

“You realize that eliminates Starbucks from your life.”

“Ouch.”

“How about making a mug cake?  How many calories in that?”  *Google search*

“Only 80 calories?  I can totally make one of those!  Heck, I could make two!”

“And THAT is exactly why I shouldn’t.  I went from having one to having two within half a second of realizing I could fit it into my calories.  NOT COOL.”

“Fine, just take a BITE of the cookie then.”

“You know what?  I’m going to have some peppermint tea.”

The whole time I drank the peppermint tea I was wondering how long I’d have to wait after I was finished until the peppermint taste wouldn’t ruin the taste of the cookie.

“Maybe half the cookie…..”

At which point I ran out into the kitchen, picked up the cookie, and hurled it into the garbage with enough force to knock it down toward the bottom of the trash…. because had it landed on top on a piece of relatively clean looking paper… I’d still be in danger.

After that, it was just over.  No idea why the mug cake wasn’t still calling my name but the simple act of me throwing out that cookie told my brain NO.  And let me tell you, when I was running out there to throw out that cookie I knew there was a distinct possibility I might lift it to my mouth instead.

I also may or may not have emitted some sort of battle cry as I threw it in the garbage.  I cannot confirm or deny.

The Two Sides

I have my period.  It’s not anything necessarily noteworthy except for a couple of things:  First, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to see a loss for my weigh-in tomorrow (we all know TOM lovingly gives us some additional water bloat) and that really kind of sucks because I kicked ass this week with my exercise and my calorie counts.  All things being equal, I should lose at least a pound from last week… but I’m pretty sure I’m going to wake up tomorrow at 176.6 yet again and even though I know I’ll be down a whole bunch all at once… blah.  The second thing about my period is the hormones make me emotional and introspective and melancholy.

And with the hormones surging through my system, I’ve been sitting here all morning sort of thinking of all the things I miss.  This is when you expect some sort of message about how much I miss my grandmother, right?

Did I mention my period hormones make me shallow as well?

I woke up this morning craving breakfast.  Not an ordinary breakfast – but a meat lover’s skillet from the local diner.  YUM.  I have no idea how many calories such a thing contains.  An entire day’s worth?  Quite possibly that and then some.  And it got me to thinking about my weight loss and the things I miss.  I won’t list them all but let me spout off a few:  Obviously, eating a meat lover’s skillet without knowing how many calories it contained and not really caring.  I miss the way I had no idea eating 5 cookies was bad for you.  I mean, I knew they were sweets and thought it was mostly the sugar content that was bad.. not that eating 5 cookies meant you’d just inhaled 1500 calories or better.  I miss the solace and comfort I could find in food, coming home at the end of a stressful day and finding comfort in a bag of chips.  I miss staring at a quart of Ben & Jerry’s and not thinking that I should probably just forego the ice cream altogether.

See… stuff along that line.  Self-pity brought on my period hormones.  Seriously, I’m not this big of a whiner.

So then, as I was switching out a load of laundry and my side ached as I bent over into the washing machine, I began to think about the things I did not miss.  You know, like hating the way I looked in every photograph.  I don’t miss that.  I don’t miss feeling worried I won’t physically be able to do something.  I don’t miss feeling winded when I try to keep up walking with my friends.  I don’t miss gasping for air during a lecture.  I don’t miss feeling ashamed of my body.  I don’t miss how ugly I felt in the eyes of the public.  I don’t miss shopping at plus sized stores.  I don’t miss the lack of new experiences I had.  I don’t miss drifting through life without goals.

And really, aren’t both paragraphs up there filled with negative things?  I mean, who needs to find solace in food?  No one, that’s who.  Who needs to be ignorant of how many calories 5 cookies contain?  No one.  And I certainly don’t need to miss anything in the paragraph of things I don’t miss.

To put it simply, even though I’m whiny today and feeling sluggish because I’ve taken one day off exercise this week… I’m able to realize that my life has a lot less negativity in it these days.  I’m not perfect.  I don’t have all the answers.  I have so much more to learn… but the big deal here is… I’ve come so far from where I was.  My life is better now.  I am happier now.  I fear less.  I live more.

I hope you do too.

Reeling Myself Back IN – Food

Food.  Exercise helps, but it doesn’t really mean much unless you start looking at what you eat.  I know this.  I know that exercise helps me to be able to eat more but I also know it’s not going to do crap unless I stop shoving food in my mouth every time I feel like it.

And yeah, it had sort of gotten to that point.  Mind you, I tried to be reasonable about it.  I would usually keep a running calorie count in my head… you know…. until I ate something I didn’t know the calorie content of, like a cupcake.  And even a single cupcake every now and again isn’t awful.  It’s when you have that occasional treat….say… every other day, or even every day…. that it starts to make a difference.

I’ve already mentioned I’m up 8 lbs from my pre-accident weight and that’s not bad at all.  What’s bad?  I think most of that weight is right in my middle.  It’s horrible.  I want it gone.

And it’s not like I don’t know what I have to do to get rid of it.  I did it for two whole years.  And perhaps there is something about exerting that much control for so long that made me reluctant to come back.  I’m pretty sure I only remember the hard parts.  The initial shock of eating 1800 calories when who knows how much I was eating before when I weighed 230 lbs?  The initial need for extreme self control or you’ll fail right at the beginning… that’s what I think my psyche remembers.  That’s why it’s taken me so long to focus on my food again.

But I’m doing it! (Finally)  And I really have to thank Beth and Sarah (who never blog here) for motivating me to do it.  I’ve had the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone forever.  I’ve even logged my calories occasionally.  I don’t know how many times I’ve logged a partial day or gone months without logging but it’s been a lot.  Dieting with friends is easier.  And, since they’ve started using MyFitnessPal, I decided to start logging my food again.

Before I show some photos, let me begin by saying that I have lost absolutely all of my weight on an 1800 calorie a day diet.  Why so high? (You know, because doctors routinely put women on 1200 calorie diets.)  Well, for one, I didn’t want to diet – I wanted to change my eating habits.  Dieting means I’d have to change my eating habits… and then change them again to maintain whatever weight I reached and wanted to stay at…. not the best of situations.  I’ve heard so many people say that maintaining was harder than losing…. and I believe it.

So I did some soul searching and decided that I could reasonably eat 1800 calories a day for the rest of my life.  Some of you will think that number is really high and you’ve got to understand that I don’t necessarily want to be skinny.  I want to be a size 12.  I want to be able to do things without worrying that I might be too fat.  I don’t want something I’m going to have to work terribly hard at maintaining because that scares me.  And my idea of “hard to maintain” may change over time… and I’m open to that.  I’m open to going lower if it seems like something I can do without making my every waking moment about calories and food because you know something?  I am so tired of my life being about food and how hard it is to climb stairs.  (Ok, so it’s not hard to climb stairs anymore.)

So yeah, 1800 calories.  Anyway.  MyFitnessPal lets you put in your current stats and it also asks you how much you’d like to lose per week.  I had to play around with this to find a calorie count around 1800.  It wound up being about half a pound per week…which is pretty awesome, really.  It does tell you to eat your exercise calories, so it would add anything I burned off during exercise to my daily calorie goal.  I don’t always eat my exercise calories…I go with how my body feels.

 

The interface is pretty easy to navigate.  Also, it’s pretty easily customized if you go to the website.  You can change the names of the meals if they don’t suit you and your eating patterns.

 

The database has a very large amount of foods in it.  I can find almost anything I want.  There is also a barcode scanner, so if you have the package, you can just scan it.  It will also remember meals for you.. like my breakfast smoothie which I eat nearly every morning.

And, for motivational support… when you complete your entry for the day you’re met with one of these.  Now, don’t worry… it doesn’t tell you that you’d weigh MORE if you go over your calorie counts.

But yeah, I’m finally tracking my calories again and having an app to do it with is really nice.  Also… having friends is super fun.  It makes me feel more accountable AND… I can look at what THEY ate that day… which is fascinating… kind of like food porn.