Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Well, let’s not beat around the bush. It’s Monday. It’s officially weigh-in day. I could call my scale a bitch, but it’s not fair to shoot the messenger. I weighed in at 202 pounds. That’s up from 200.8 last Monday. Yes, I GAINED.

That means the odds of hitting my goal of 199 by May 1st (TOMORROW) are slim. (ha! “slim!”)

How did I gain? I ate under my calories. I worked out  hard Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I spent Saturday up and about at the park.

So, if weight loss is just calories in/calories out, I’d have lost weight. Except, it’s more complicated than that.

Here’s what I think happened:

  1. Not enough sleep. My body simply didn’t get enough rest. I kept saying “I’m going to go to sleep early tomorrow night.” “I’m definitely going to go to sleep early tonight.” UGH.
  2. Not enough nutrition. Overall, my vitamin and nutrient levels were too low because I wasn’t balanced enough in my eating every day.
  3. Not enough calories – I think in some cases I under eat. I find it challenging to hit 1200 calories some days. Not good especially on days I work out.
  4. Not enough water.
  5. Too much sugar. I noticed bits of sugar creeping into my diet in things like the delightful gluten-free bread I was eating or the vanilla extract I found in the cabinet at work and USED only to find out that it contained corn syrup. Note to manufacturers: it is not okay to label something “PURE vanilla extract” and then add shit like corn syrup. And I had alcoholic beverages on Saturday.
  6. Not enough prep work/ pre-planning of meals. The time planning and prepping is so well spent when it means I’m able to balance my diet and have non-processed and non-restaurant prepared foods. (not that I did a lot of restaurants or processed foods, but it was a lot by my standards.)
  7. Not enough regulation of eating. I went long periods without eating.
  8. I officially totally cut gluten. Maybe this had some sort of impact? All I know is my stomach feels less tight. I’m generally less nauseous.
  9. Maybe my tracking was off somewhere. I measure everything I cook, but if I don’t do the cooking…

Unfortunately, this means I don’t get to open my box from Macy’s. No iron skillet. No food processor.

*sigh*

So, I’m taking all of the things above and trying to focus on making myself better this week. Eating my snacks. Sleeping. (Today should have been a workout day, but I am tired. I am going to rest. And then I am going to come up swinging.) Avoiding sugar. Avoiding added salt. Getting enough water.

Since tomorrow is the official “goal date” I’m going to weigh myself so I can accurately check off my weight for the goal. Don’t. Shoot. The. Messenger.

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Also, I’m currently using MyFitnessPal to track and log all my food and exercise. I used LiveStrong MyPlate for a year (and SparkPeople before that), but found a lot of food missing and their app was not as good as the MFP app. Anyhow, feel free to add me as friend on MFP if you also use the site. I need more friends. Any my journals are completely public so you can creep what I’m eating.

TRMNDSBLNDTTE on MyFitnessPal

Tummy Roars: A fairytale

You know what’s awesome and comforting? Finding out that the gastroenterologist you are seeing in less than a month has 42 years of experience, having graduated from KU in 1970 and is in fact, old enough to be your parent, and is NOT in fact, a hot, sexy, single workaholic doctor who has just needed to meet the right woman to break him free of his workaholism and that woman, is of course you and you have to tell him during your first appointment that you are simply too uncomfortable having him as your doctor because he’s adorable and bending over and having him scope your colon is a trifle embarrassing and he immediately refers you to his colleague, a grandfatherly type gent who makes you giggle while talking about your gas, which makes you pass gas, which makes him chuckle and say, “you’re a hootin and a tootin!” And then the hot, sexy, RICH, doctor takes you out for coffee or drinks because he never read your medical history and found out that caffeine and alcohol make your tummy unhappy because he liked you so much and then he asks you to marry him and you get married and your “stomach” never hurts again ever!

Right?!

Drumroll Please…

If you’ve been following along the last week or so you know today was a very important weigh-in for me.

(if not, read this and read this and this and you will be caught up! Also, this is a particularly important post, but not 100% relevant, but since I have your attention, you know, why not throw one more link at you?)

First, let’s recap some highlights of my day.

Normally, I workout with my trainer, Cheryl (HIIIIII!!!!) on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before work. Due to my grand jury duty schedule we’ve had to rearrange some of my sessions because, of course, the grand jury meets on Tuesday mornings. This is one of those weeks.

Next, my gym has 3 locations. The location where we usually meet  (and where I usually workout on my own), is getting laid (hehehe) [wait, new tile is getting laid] in the women’s restroom this week so the bathroom is off limits. This means no shower. So, as a distance compromise we are meeting at each of the other two locations this week for squngnes* and ouch-my arms**.

Which leads me to this: the shower tried to drown me.

Note: I'm wearing 4 inch heels in this picture so that shower head was even higher; or I was lower. Whatever! I'm short! It's tall. The booger was on the wall opposite the shower head.

Like, I literally had to keep myself from having a panic attack in the shower because I couldn’t get my face out of the water. The shower head is SO high up and so NOT adjustable  that my 5’3″ frame could only get my face out of the water if I crammed myself and craned my neck into a corner. Also, there was what I believe to be a booger on one of the walls. Ahh, the joy of uni-sex bathrooms. If anything, the take-away is that I think adjustable shower heads should totally be on the list of things to consider upgrading. (I’m not complaining. Please note. Sure, I almost DIED taking a shower, but I didn’t, and I was grateful that one opened up and I didn’t have to try to bathe in a sink so I wouldn’t be sweaty and gross at work.)

Anyhow, I survived the workout and the shower!(and took a bad picture of myself to commemorate the experience!)

 

Also, I promised you a lolcat. I’m way too lazy to rip one off or to add text to a picture of one of my cats, so here’s my cat Gracie on her back showing off her fluffs.

 

And by-the-way…I’M ALMOST THERE.

This morning, I weighed in at 200.8 lbs.

 

*Squnge: squats + lunges = squnges. Let me use that in a sentence. When you train with Cheryl, squnges are prevalent. And you will be really proud of how strong your ass has become and how you can do all kinds of things better – like running, chores, yoga, and just living.

**ouch-my-arms is a very loose term. In general, I consider it many sets of push-ups (which is really only like 4 actual sets). Also, lots of bicep curls because I always try to Pooh Bear my stomach (stick it out like Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh, Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff.He’s Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh. Willy nilly silly ole bear.) This could also be called the skinny girl pretending she’s fat or pregnant pose.

Under 200 Pounds 50 Pound Weightloss Reward

So, I posted last week about being very close to being under 200 pounds and weighing in the 100’s again. It’s been years. Probably 6 years since my weight started with a 1 and not a 2. And before that it was years.

In my post I asked what I should give myself as non-food reward for hitting this first big goal. (I have mini-goals along the way and I give myself non-food rewards 3-4 times a month.) There were a lot of great suggestions of things to pamper myself and make myself look pretty. I think I’m going to save some of these for my giant goal of hitting the 150 lb weight mark. Why 150? Because it puts me back in the normal weight range for my height. From there, I can figure out what I should do next and how much I still want/need to lose. I’ve always wanted to weigh 125 lbs, but that might not be the right number for me so I’m trying to be cautious with that final number. [Side note: Weight is not the be all end all. I know this. But when you are at a point where you are obese and more than just festively plump, it matters. I don’t just judge my success on weight, but I use it as a tool.]

Anyway, I chose something for my “Back in the 100’s”/Halfway!/Lost 50lbs mark:

I bought a food processor and an iron skillet. Things that will make cooking easier and more fun. When I lose another 25lbs, I am going to have someone come in and clean my house. And when I reach 150, I am going for that spa day with the facial, massage, and mani/pedi.

My non-food reward is a gift to myself, and yes, it’s a practical gift, but it’s also sort of a splurge. Something to make my kitchen happier and exciting. Even though I haven’t hit the goal, I went ahead and made the purchase – because I’m that confident – and because the really good sale ended today, so I wasn’t going to be able to get as good of deal if I waited.

Tomorrow’s weigh-in is going to mean a lot. I’m pretty sure I’m at least halfway to my goal. I’ll post an update tomorrow. It may be in the form of a lolcat, but you know, whatever.

My (soon to be) pretties!

Cuisinart Food Processor

Reg. $149.99
Was $99.99
Sale $69.99

Iron Skillet

Reg. $54.99
Sale $27.99  + an extra 15% off

Almost 100 Pounds

I am very close to my first big goal. I am 3.4lbs away from weighing in the 100’s again. Dizzymomma on Workin It Out wrote a concise and perfect post about this a week or so ago- as she calls it One-derland. (a play on words, how could I not like it?)

It’s challenging to be a woman and feel like a woman when you weigh as much, and sometimes more, than a lot of men. The questions you ask yourself, the self-hatred, the shame, the simple fact that you can’t pretend you’re just a little curvy and ba-boom.

I don’t normally lose more than 2 lbs per week – and it’s often less. I am setting a goal to reach THIS goal ( being back in the hundreds and joining Dizzymomma in One-derland) by May 1st. If I hit it before then? Well, that’s just a happy bonus. I’m not going to starve myself, over work myself, or go off the deep end but I sure as heck am going to push myself.

And when I reach this, my very first big goal? I’m giving myself an extra special non-food reward. I just don’t know what it should be!

I need suggestions! Please feel free to leave ideas in the comments.

Before & After (with pictures): I’ve Lost 40 Pounds (Again)

…and I’m Still Going…because this is more than my story. But this is my story.

Pictures are powerful truth tellers. The frequency with which we take our own pictures these days is incredible.

fishy-facebook-kissy-face
Me taking a picture of myself with my iPhone in an attempt to make fun of teenage girls. Because as an adult there is such simple joy in mocking youth.

Mobile technology, web cams, and digital cameras have made it easy to primp, pose, and snap – hundreds of times until we get just that right angle, lighting (heck that doesn’t matter that much if you can use an app or software to edit the picture), and expression. We make ourselves pouty, amused, mysterious, and innocent.

But the fatter you get, the harder it is to find that angle. And the fatter you get, the harder it is to hide when someone else is snapping the pictures.

Here's an outtake from 2010 when I took the picture that ended up as my profile picture on this blog. Out of about 20 pictures that I kept for review, only 2 were decent. One was actually pretty cute. Most are awkward like this one.

I’m not new to the ups and downs of weight loss. My trouble didn’t start in early childhood. I was not a child of fast food, restaurant dining, or permissive parenting. My mom didn’t allow sugary cereal, but did allow pop. She didn’t allow candy or regular ice cream. She cooked healthy meals, showed her kids how to cook healthy meals, and didn’t overload the house with junk food.

But I was industrious, a picky eater, and shy. After moving from Kansas to Alabama to Georgia to Oregon to Missouri within the first 6 years of my life and attending as many schools by 2nd grade, I wasn’t very good at attaching to people and places. As a natural introvert, it was easy for me to withdraw into solitary activities indoors: reading (oh books how I love you!), television, and eating. I hoarded and gorged on treats whenever they were available. Maybe it was a combination of being a picky eater, not knowing how to express myself, and well, I don’t have a third. It was probably simply that. Sweets and fatty foods made me feel good. I ate too much of things that are perfectly fine and healthy – in moderation. I’d say a good 10 lbs of the fat I put on in my double digit years was from cheese. If there was a candy selling fundraiser at school I ate the product…covertly. Shamefully.

After Weight Watchers age 16 - isn't fake velour sexy? This size didn't last long because apparently, weight loss isn't a magic bullet in fixing your life.

After attempting an all girls Catholic high school for I don’t know what reason, something in me broke. I couldn’t take the adjustment. I couldn’t do “new” again. I was a sophomore and cliques were already in place. I was already overweight and to top it off, I’d cut off my hair that summer so I probably looked like a lesbian. (no offense) I transferred back to my old school and after a few months, I confronted my weight by joining Weight Watchers. I started eating healthier portions and thinking about nutrition. I started exercising. I lost 26 lbs in a summer and went to registration feeling like a new person. High school was finally going be like it was on TV and the movies.

I was wrong.

I was still awkward. I was still me. I was just thinner. And hungrier.

Late that year (ahh 1997 I do not miss ye) I deflated and ballooned and landed in a terrible, life altering depression. As a perfectionist and nerd, I always did well in school. Sure, I procrastinated (because I could) but I still cared to get the work done. My junior and senior years of high school were very different. I routinely fell asleep in class. I didn’t do assignments or papers and I failed tests. I ate nothing but sugar and junk all day. In short, I was an adolescent mess.

Life was totally NOT like television. Also, stalking boys you like who don’t like you? Totally not as cool as it was in Felicity. Very different results.

So, by the time I turned 18 I was really pretty. But college really changed things: I got to start using alcohol to feel better and be more social. I gained more weight. Then I lost some. Then I gained some.

And then I graduated. Oh the Five Year Plan. I got an extra one just for all the Captain Morgan, well rum, and Busch Light I consumed. But I was finally learning how to be social.

My last semester of college.

Home from college, newly minted as a qualified adult, I started job searching (and I got a cat!) I was so big by now that I didn’t have a lot of clothes, let alone interview clothes. I felt like an old lady as I donned by “nice” outfit for interviews. And then one night while I was eating M&Ms on the loveseat I realized I had to change.

I joined the North Kansas City Community Center with a friend. She’d also struggled with her weight and was seeing success. As a perfectionist I’m also somewhat competitive. If she could do it, so could I! Slowly, I started exercising. I noticed changes in my legs. But I wasn’t losing weight. I had to start eating differently. No more Junior Mints and M&Ms.

Look, they lace up!

All-in-all, I lost about 70lbs. I went from a size 24 to a size 14. Sadly, very few pictures exist of this achievement. Except for some stupid webcam pictures and these weird pictures of my legs in cheap, strappy shoes. And a close-up of my face.

Anyhow, life happened. I got a full-time job. I got friends. I got lots of drunk. And I ate, became a workaholic, and stopped exercising. I devoted myself to my job. I was going to be a career woman! Love wasn’t happening, so why not? Why not establish myself as a strong, intelligent, independent woman? See also: perfectionist, over-achiever.

I gained the weight back. Bit by bit. Bad habit, by bad habit. And then suddenly I was the age I thought I’d be when I got married and had a baby. How had that happened? How could I still be fat and single at 28? Oh by God that was practically 30 and oh dear God my chances were going to be even lower. And I still couldn’t even talk to cute boys. What about my eggs? What about that thing called actually having a life? I’d somehow put aside all of the goals I had for myself. All of the things I hold truest in my heart. And I tried exercising. And I got hurt and depressed and stressed.

And then I was turning 30 in an airport on the way to see the most warped client ever. I wasn’t with family and friends. I wasn’t celebrating. I was in a chain bar and grill in Florida – with co-workers. And then I was truly desperate.

At that point, I’d already been writing on this blog, chronically my feelings and actions. I pursued lap-band surgery, but it felt like quitting.

And so now at 31, the last year and 4 months I’ve been trying. I think about what I put in my mouth. I drink water. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol. I exercise. I try. A lot. And sometimes I want to quit – I want to lie in bed. I want to not have to think about “is there enough protein, can I pronounce the ingredients, are there enough vegetables?”

But here I am in June 2010 when I proclaimed June to be a Fat Month:

And here I am the next month (July 2010), trying to learn how not to be afraid of something:

My top weight (that I even know of) at that time was 252 pounds. I was wearing a size 22. I am 5’3″ and some change with a medium build. I am about 100 lbs overweight. Technically obese. Never able to find clothes that make me feel good. Chores are hard to do – especially if there are stairs involved. I’m tired a lot. I’m sad a lot. I’ve lost hope that I will have a normal life.

And here I am last week. The dress is an XL from Target. I wear a size 16 right now. I weigh 205 lbs. (lost a couple extra last week thanks to my awesome stomach!)

And here I am tonight, with no make-up in my pajamas and excited to see that I’m starting to have more of an hourglass figure. God help me I might just reach my goals. (And I’ve stayed up entirely too late writing this which will make my 5am wake-up and 6:15am workout extra fun.)

I'm a girl taking pictures of herself with her iPhone in her messy closet! Yes!

Thanks for reading this long post (or just scanning the pictures.) For more pictures of me from fat to fatter to fattest to less fat and less fatter check my Progress and Pictures page. It’s taken a lot for me to feel like I could share these pictures and these thoughts and feelings with the Internet. But it’s not just the Internet: it’s people I’ve worked with, gone to school with, grown up with. Family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances – this place is about finding a way to express who I am because sometimes I’m just that awkward girl over there who can craft a good one-liner and who likes animals too much. But I’m so much more. (and so much less.)

Lately

I’ve been watching the West Wing a lot lately. It’s one of the things I do when I’m feeling depressed and withdrawing. I curl up in my bed and just attach to a fake world.

Depression and anxiety have been part of my life for as long as I can remember being alive. I tried pharmaceutical treatments and found that they weren’t right for me. That leaves me with holistic and cog native-behavior treatment. Basically, eating right, exercising, sleeping, and controlling my thoughts and actions (thinking before acting.) My symptoms get worse at a special point each month, often driving me to find I can barely tolerate being around other humans. Forget about multitasking because no matter how simple, I will only feel flustered irritation.

So now I’ve set the mood. I’ve been having stomach troubles – more than normal. Sometimes the thinking just becomes too much. The rules, too much. The doubt, the contentiousness, the calculation – too much.

My stomach problems have really been troubling me.  Is it all stress? Is there really an underlying illness in my small intestines?  Am I going to spend more nights with terrible pain and disgustingness that I’ve experienced twice in 3 weeks?

The stress of change has been high over the last year, particularly the last 6 months. I quit a stressful job without having another job lined up, I “cleaned” up my diet (mostly, not completely), all that workout stuff I write about all the time, and my mom died just as I was getting into the scary zone on finding a new job [I got 3 job offers the week of my mom’s services (in fact, the day she died I got a call for a second interview for the job I really wanted and had on the last night I saw her alive told her I thought I wasn’t going to get.)]

If I want my healthy lifestyle to remain healthy and for all life then I have to find ways to cope. I used food and alcohol to medicate myself. I can’t do that any more and I’m struggling. In addition to all the stress of  all the normal stuff I’m stressed about how to feel better.

Lately, exercise feels like punishment instead of therapy.

Based on all of this, I quietly made two changes: I stopped drinking caffeine and I stopped eating meat. Caffeine because it isn’t good for my stomach and it doesn’t help with the anxiety. It wasn’t that hard to give it up last year, but it’s a little harder this time. Particularly when one finds herself falling asleep in a meeting at work. Meat because the thought of undigested bits of chicken lingered with me and meat is not at all appealing. Prior to my last episode of “what’s wrong with my stomach – OMG I think I’m going to die!’ I had been contemplating giving up meat because of my fondness for animals. It was getting harder and harder to eat animals when I was finding so much joy in seeing them out in nature.

Today as I write this I have had a mixed day. I started off anxious – have to get to the courthouse on time for jury duty! (it was a Grand Jury day.) Get through GJ duty (which I actually enjoy.) Come home, take ibuprofen, get in bed, watch The West Wing, nap. Get up and do some dishes and think about how I’m not going to follow-through with my workout plan because I don’t feel good. I have cramps, and I’m depressed, and shouldn’t I get this one day of the month to do whatever I want?! Convince myself that I should at least walk because it’s nice out and exercise is supposed to help with all the things I was complaining about mentally. Convince myself to try. Do Couch-to-5k Week 1 Day 1. Add extra minutes. Realize I’m better than Week1 Day 1 and know that next time I should start at Week 4. Bathe. Vacillate about dinner. End up eating something tasty and healthy. Eat blood orange sorbet and dark chocolate. Write rambly, incoherent post about my health and wellness – lately.

Not Madonna’s Song

36 seconds. That’s how long it took me to bear crawl from one end of the mat to the other. Nothing quite evokes the negative self talk and overall crappy attitude in me quite like the bear crawl. Maybe it’s because it’s awkward. Or it could be because my ass is in the air. Or may it is simply because it is HARD.

I dislike complaining. I also sincerely dislike having a bad attitude. All it does is make it harder to finish, harder to break new records, and harder to breathe. (Yep, the negative thoughts breed anxiety which breeds a problem with breathing.)

Also? I don’t feel like dumping that negativity on someone else who’s just trying to push me to achieve my goals. I don’t want to dump on anyone about anything EVER (small issue I have that prevents me from sharing at times and often leads to me being a hermit for an undetermined amount of time.) Anyhow, no one wants to hear someone bitch and moan. And isn’t it a waste of time? It feels half-assed to me.

I got into this to challenge myself – to improve myself and become stronger in mind, body, and spirit. And the work pays off. The burning weight that used to be my lungs after cardio is non-existent now. My heart is stronger. My breath is more controlled.

So, I’m going to try something new. Any time I start to have a negative thought or feel like I’m struggling, I’m going to call upon a few special images and sayings that I can use to flip my focus and my attitude. I’ve successfully used a trick like this before when I was trying to forget about a crush in college. Any time his name would pop into my head I would think of something else (funny, I don’t actually remember what it was anymore!)

So, here are a few of my “happy thoughts.”

*The song I’m referencing in the title of this post is 4 Minutes. It happens to be a pretty decent workout song.

It Started with Barbie Girl

Tonight’s cardio brought to you by: I saw a hare!

[picture would go here if it had turned as more than one tiny glowing eye in a field of darkness]

Here are my stats:

Walk/Jog/Run Combo

35:47 Duration
16:39min/mi Avg Pace

How I felt: felt sluggish starting; I was COLD. And hungry. Mostly the cold fact was tough. And my thighs felt tight. But once I got warmed up it was okay. Had a few really good running moments where I felt like I was really running.