Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A bad week

This week was rough for me. I have my weigh-in tomorrow and I'm just hoping that I lost something--even just 1 pound. Why was it so rough? A combination of things. My mother's birthday was Thursday and Mother's Day was Sunday. I had final papers and presentations and exams to take care of. So I would say that it was a combination of environmental (I was surrounded by cake) and emotional(I was incredibly stressed out) factors.

I seriously considered not posting this week and avoiding my Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow. Then I realized how self-sabotaging that would be. This week wasn't that bad! Most days, I did a good job counting my points. I may have used flex points, but I wrote them down and held myself accountable. My worst day this week was still fifty times better than my best day during most days over the past six years. Just the fact that I knew enough to feel a little guilty about cake and ice cream says something about how far I've come.

I realized that if I avoided posting and attending my meetings, I would be establishing a very dangerous precedent for myself. I would be saying that it just didn't count when I didn't feel like doing what I was supposed to do. It would be like pretending that my actions didn't have any consequences.

So here it is. My pre weigh-in post. 100% present and accountable.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not ready to be a poster child

As I've mentioned before, I'm in love with my pedometer. I wear it every single day, and I depend on it to encourage me to move. It never lets me down. Usually, pedometers suck. They're usually incredibly unreliable. You could walk 10 miles, and your pedometer will tell you that you've only take 875 steps, but the vibrations from riding in the car make your readout look like you just completed the Boston Marathon. Irritating!!!!

The one I've been using for the past year is actually very different. It measures very accurately, has a jogging strap so it doesn't fall off and can even record from a purse or pocket. Because I hate having anything digging into my muffin top, I often let it dangle upside down from the jogging strap (it measures upside down too! Cool, huh?).

Consequently, people in my office started asking me what I was wearing. I shared my enthusiasm. I also let people in my "active living" and "healthy eating" groups know about them. As a result of my unintentional saleswomanship, at least 30-40 people have purchased the model I have been using. Those people sang the pedometer's praises so loudly, that there is now a mini Omron pedometer-wearing sub culture at my university.

My university is really trying to promote wellness. To that end, they invite all full time faculty and staff to come to health-related presentations. That's the reason why on Friday a photographer showed up at my office door. She said that she heard that I was known for pedometer wearing (interesting thing to be "known" for) and that she was hoping to take my picture. It would be put into a PowerPoint presentation for one of the wellness presentations.

I paused to consider: My full body picture, blown up to about 3X bigger than life size, on a massive screen in front of a few hundred people. I was suddenly filled with terror. I didn't want to leave her hanging, but I definitely wasn't comfortable, so I had a coworker stand in.

My sister was completely ticked off when I told her about it. She said that it's a repeating pattern in my life that I step back from opportunities, especially opportunities for recognition. I disagreed whole-heartedly, but afterwords, I wondered, is it true?

Mental list:

I skipped my induction into the Jesuit Honor Society, I skipped my graduation ceremony for both my bachelors and masters, I "lost my voice" when I was supposed to sing on stage in high school, I decide against going for my PhD or joining the Peace Corps.

She's right. Most of the major decisions I have made in my life, I have at least subconsciously made with safety in mind. Whenever I consider doing something new, I also consider how weight will influence the way I am perceived and my ability to succeed. This was a very sad realization for me.

It's stupid to wait to live until I'm at my goal weight. True, I will gain confidence as I progress, but why hold off?

Nevertheless, I'm not ready to be a poster child just yet.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Low expectations and lower numbers on the scale

I'm always astonished when things work as advertised. I think this means that I have consistently low expectations. I'm hard to disappoint, but I can also come off as a total Eeyore.

I usually enter every new situation as a skeptic. I don't know if it's just more palatable to disbelief than to be fooled, but I can't help myself. The great thing is that I don't buy into the get thin quick infomercials that play on my TV at three o'clock in the morning. The bad thing is that my negative attitude can derail my weight loss efforts.

For the six months between October and late April, I kept gaining and losing the same five pounds. I never made any headway at all. In retrospect, I know that this is entirely due to the fact that I failed to make an prolonged organized effort. I would count points or calories one day and sort of do OK, but then the next day I'd go out for a burger, chili cheese fries and an ice cream sundae.

However, when I analyzed the data of my life, I ignored the gorging and thought to myself, "Gee, counting points just doesn't work for me anymore. I'll probably never go below 240." Duh.

I probably would have continued on this way forever if the university I work at didn't offer a ten week Weight Watchers at work. The other women in my office were awesome about it. They agreed to switch lunches with me. I signed up thinking, it won't work, but I might as well try. I should say that I felt completely unmotivated. My first meeting was April 23. I hoped on the shiny silver scale with discreet remote readout. I started off at 246.0.

Since then, I've stayed within my points every day and have written every last bite down. The first week, I lost 2.2 pounds, but I was still above 240, so I still believed I would stop losing soon. However, I got on my bathroom scale this weekend, and the readout said 235.5. Ever the skeptic, I got off and got back on. Still 235.5. Bitchin'!!!!

Hooray for exceeded expectations and hooray for convenient meeting locations and hooray for awesome coworkers!