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.

 

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.

Typical New Year’s Post

2014 headerThat’s right, that’s a cookie.  Well, two of them anyway.

Before I make myself sit here and think of my goals for 2014 I’m going to force myself to think of all that occurred in my 2013.

  • Probably the biggest thing is my sister Shelly having a baby and me being there for everything in the hospital.  That’s a major first for me and a major first in that I’m learning how to deal with babies which I’ve never been very good at.
  • I started a cookie business without really thinking much about it or meaning to.
  • Half of my department at work (that’s 2 people) didn’t come back this year and neither did my old boss as he retired.
  • My aunt moved in with me for about 6 months during which time she slowly started driving me insane and during which I ate copious amounts of chocolate.
  • I began to hate my new boss.  I began to resent my school administrators for not caring how much work they dumped on me.
  • I exercised less than I have in probably two years.
  • I gained about 15 lbs.
  • I relapsed on a lot of bad habits.

All in all, 2013 could have been better but it could have been much worse.  What I really want to focus on this year is getting back to a healthy weight, exercising on a regular basis, and finding some time to be present in my life.

Getting back to a healthy weight means a change in a couple areas of my life.  For one, I need to start exercising again and this means finally throwing in the towel on the whole running thing.  My body just isn’t the same since the accident.  I cannot seem to get back into it without a bunch of aches and pains which just make me take days off.  Walking and cycling will be my new things.  Once I start exercising, I typically start eating better (why oh why are they sooooo closely linked?).  I need to be mindful of what I put into my body.  It’s no coincidence that I feel like crap all of the time when I’m eating crap all of the time.  Balance.  I need to be sure I take some time for ME and actually do something which betters ME.

I started this paragraph thinking I had something else in my list but I guess I don’t.  Taking care of my body pretty much encompasses everything I feel the worst about right now.  Must fix!

What about you?  What are your goals for the new year?

 

Looking Ahead: 2013

I never used to make resolutions at the New Year.

There were always things I thought I’d do in the upcoming year, and most of the time, it was lose weight.  However, it just seemed as though resolutions never worked for anyone.  They were a source of self-disappointment, something I think most of us could do without.

My attitude on resolutions has changed dramatically (likely due to my new love of goal setting) and while I certainly hope to lose weight this upcoming year, weight loss is not a resolution of mine.

What is?

Exercise.

Plain and simple: Exercise was a pretty big part of my life for a little while there and I’ve never fully come back from my car accident.  Old habits die hard and it was all too easy to fall into laziness again.  Throw in the extra back pain I now have and boy is it ever easy to find a reason not to exercise.

The problem is… I felt better when I exercised with a vengeance.  I felt empowered and alive and at peace with my body.  My body was never perfect, it was always overweight… but I didn’t hate my body… I took pride in it.  Sure it was a work in progress… but I’d made so very much progress!

I want that back.  I want that drive and dedication back.  I want to feel that way about my body again.  I want to climb a mountain one small step at a time.

So there you have it. I resolve to rekindle my love of exercise in 2013.

What’s your resolution?

I Make Faces

Yes, I know I haven’t been around.  And yeah, I’m making the obligatory “I’m sorry I haven’t been around” statement.  And I really am sorry.  I get preoccupied with things and sometimes, when things aren’t going quite the way I want them to be, I internalize so I can figure shit out.  And then, also, when I’m very happy… sometimes I just lose touch with the other stuff in life which isn’t my focus of happiness.

I think I’m going to call myself absent minded, of singular focus, or possibly even scatterbrained when it comes to connecting with other people.  Trust me, when I’m not posting blogs, I’m also not connecting with people in my life, either.  It doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it should.

Anyway, I don’t have anything profound to say to you today, I just wanted to reach out and say “Hey there!  I remember you!  Do you remember me?”  And I also wanted to share pictures.  Since getting my iPhone, I have noticed that I seem to have a profound enjoyment of taking photos of myself making faces.  I then text these photos to my friends (mostly Beth and Sarah) just so we can chuckle at how weird I am.  In going through my photo stream today and deleting photos I don’t need to save I came across these lovely gems.

 

The first two probably need to be explained.  In the first one I’d been crying and I was so angry/pissed/upset at the person who had made me cry that I documented that shit so I could send it to them later.  Yeah.  I don’t know.  I never sent it because… who does that?  The second photo was when I had pneumonia.  I think I look like I have an abnormally large head in it.  It cracks me up.  Again, who finds waiting in a doctor’s office in a hospital gown a document-worth occasion?  Apparently, I do.

What became obvious to me as I looked through these photos is that the 11 pounds I lost this summer really show in my face.

Yeah.  I lost 11 lbs this summer.  🙂  I’m totally happy about it considering my goal was 5 lbs.  I’ve been logging my food on MyFitnessPal every day for 70 days now (as of today) and I have made exercise a more regular part of my life (it’s been less regular and more haphazard since school began but I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to readjust).

 

So yeah.  Here’s my face.  The one on the left was taken at work on Friday and the one on the right was taken… probably April/May.  All in all, I’m calling it a good deal.

I hope to write some more.  I’ve been through some ups and downs and I’ve had some interesting thoughts I’d like to share (if I ever get them written down).  But for now… gaze upon the power of 11 lbs!  Yay!

 

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.

What am I resisting?

So I’ve been calorie counting for nearly all of June.  I’ve logged in to MyFitnessPal faithfully every day except for 3 days when I got together with my sisters (and ate about a full pound of extra calories).

And you know something?

There are days when I really scare myself.  Days when I get the urge to just sit down on the couch with something incredibly unhealthy – or even not so incredibly unhealthy – and NOT log it.

And it’s really incredibly strange because it’s not as though I’m only eating healthy foods – I’m not.  I eat my fair share of ice cream and chips – I’m just doing it within my calorie limits.  And honestly, I may not even eat all that much of it.  The feeling is there because I’m resisting being controlled…. or controlling myself… I don’t know.

I didn’t feel this way before, when I’d sit down at the beginning of the day and plan out my meals and tally up the calories.  I never felt like I wanted to rebel against the rigor.  I think the difference is that I’m doing it on my phone and I”m logging as I go.  Thus, every time I put food in my mouth, I’m forced to log it.  And I think it’s making me think more about they WHY of when I’m eating.  There are times when I know I’m not actually hungry and I’m eating because I’m bored and that is truly annoying to log.

So yeah, I’m feeling the urge to rebel and I’m fighting against it.  I’ve plenty of calories, I don’t feel deprived of food, I’m rarely hungry… there is no reason to change what I’m doing.  I just have to struggle through the discomfort of looking at the whys behind what I eat and when I eat it.  And I have to absolutely look into the eyes of the knowledge that I absolutely COULD eat less most days and own that.  No more can I sit here and think that I can’t be smaller than a size 12 because I could never sustain that low calorie eating for a lifetime…. It’s looking like I COULD… and that’s pretty scary.

It will never cease to amaze me what a journey weight loss is.  The numbers on the scale have always only been a small portion of it.

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.

It’s like Jenga… only with your life

I ran into someone I sort of know recently.  I say sort of know because she used to be the receptionist at my chiropractor and while we are friendly, I wouldn’t say we are friends or anything.  However, she too went on a lifestyle change and lost a lot of weight a while back.  When I ran into her I told her she looked great and she admitted she’d not been doing so great lately and had gained 5 lbs.  I told her I could relate and joked about how, the moment you stop exercising… you suddenly start hating your body again.  And those 5 lbs?  Doesn’t matter if you used to weigh 50 lbs more, those 5 lbs make you feel like the heaviest woman on Earth.  We giggled and I told her Id’ recently found my workout groove again and told her she’d find hers again too.

You know, it’s one thing if the exercising stops.  However, what I’ve found is that once the exercise stops… the healthy eating slowly slips as well.  Folks, my eating over the past year has slid backwards in horrific ways.  That is… until I found my groove with this April exercise challenge.

Let me backtrack first.  Last week I clocked in at 10.5 hours and when the results came in…. I was a full 2 hours ahead of the closest competitor!  I was completely surprised and also completely thrilled.  I am determined to match last week’s time and, while I’ve had 2 days of short workouts, I haven’t taken any days off this week (and I did last week) so, I’m looking like I CAN get there… which is awesome.  I’d like to be the overall top competitor.

What I found this week has been really surprising:  I am craving good foods.  My breakfast has improved, my lunches have consisted of mostly fruits and veggies (and I’ve thrown in Greek yogurt which is totally yummy).  And dinner?  I craved salad all week long.  I didn’t have the stuff on hand to make a salad, mind you… but I wanted it badly.  I finally got my salad Thursday night in the form of a Wendy’s salad which included grilled chicken, pecans, apples and was so yummy I was in heaven.  Last night?  Same deal, I was craving salad again so I got another fast food salad, this time from Burger King.

So, as I’m sitting here right now I”m reading through my salad books (I’m horribly unimaginative when it comes to salads) for inspiration because I believe I should plan on eating a few salads for dinner this week.  It’s been a while since I’ve craved a good salad.  It’s been a while since I’ve looked ahead at the menu to see what kind of salads a restaurant has before agreeing to go out to eat, but I remember once doing so.

It’s amazing how everything sort of fits together.  If you remove one thing, it can all come toppling down.  Put that piece back in… and everything stabilizes.  I feel good about myself again.  I’m not thrilled with the extra weight, but I’m not throwing a girlie hissy fit in the morning when I get dressed, either.  I just feel GOOD.  And that’s the big difference, isn’t it?  When you’re working out there is no guilt to feel for not working out.  When you’re working out, your body craves the good stuff.  When you’re eating well and working out… life feels good.

And that, my friends, is where I am right now.  (Until my next post when I update you on the job search and rant and rave about crap I’m frustrated with.  haha.)

So I Didn’t Cry….

Today was the day… the dreaded day of weigh in.  I don’t remember the last time I’d stepped on the scale (ok that one time at the doctor’s office about six weeks or so ago and we all KNOW those “weigh heavy”).

I have been dreading this day for ages.  I bought batteries the first week of January.  I put the batteries in yesterday…. and I wasn’t even remotely tempted to step on the scale and see how much damage I’ve done in the past year.

And then this morning I really tried hard to forget about it.  I’d showered, gotten half dressed, and was putting product in my hair when I realized I hadn’t weighed in.  I nearly decided to put it off another day… until I realized I was making excuses…. LAME excuses.  They were gems such as:  Well maybe I want to weigh myself naked, and I already have pants on.  Maybe I should wait until my period is over.  And my personal favorite What if my tampon adds weight?  Say what?

So I stepped on the scale and while I have only gained 8 lbs over my all time low of 170, I still cringe a bit at the number 178.

Backwards.

I’ve slid backwards and no matter what way I slice it, it is my fault.  I can blame the accident and I can blame the way my body still hurts when I try to run, and I can blame any other thing out there but the truth of the matter is this is my fault.  I let this happen.

And that is ok.  I will survive and I will recover.

The best thing about today?  Weighing myself has given me back my old mentality.  I am once again someone who exercises.  I am once again someone who has goals.  I am once again holding myself accountable.  And you know, the last time I did all those things… that was the last time I loved my body.  See, it doesn’t matter that I still have a fat roll.  It doesn’t matter that my nose is too big or that my thighs have dimples.  What matters is that this is the body I’ve worked for.  It is not the body that has “happened to me” which is how I felt all through high school, college and my 20s.

It’ll be nice to have that pride back.