Thursday, August 13, 2009

Moving in the Right Direction

Progress this week was slower than I would have liked. I lost a half a pound, which brought me down to 226.0. At least I'm moving in the right direction.

At first, I blamed my cousins wedding on Saturday for the slow down. But honestly, just how evil is one slice of wedding cake. I didn't have any alcohol and I ate sensibly at dinner. I went back and reviewed my food journal and found that I had eaten much more than I should have almost every day last week. I didn't binge like I used to in days of old. Just knowing I have to write my food down prevents that, but I wasn't as controlled as I would have liked.

So I'm shaking things up a little. I'm making it my policy to only eat something after I've written it down. This will force me to see the numbers and make a more informed choice.

Life is good. The weight is coming off. I just need to tweak my approach.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't Wait to Feel Beautiful

Monday was the first weigh in for August and I'm happy to report that I'm down another 1.5 pounds to 226.5. I can hardly believe that I might actually see the 210s by the end of summer. I don't know when I saw them last. Senior year of high school? Maybe.

I'm running out of clothes that fit. I bought four new pairs of pants for work, which was a painfully expensive and impossibly irritating (thanks to vanity sizing) proposition, but I have precious else that doesn't hang off. This is a nice problem to have, but it's a problem nonetheless. I complained about it to my mother. I told her that I was an 18 on the bottom and an 14/16-18 on the top (I'm a pear). She told me to come over and she could hook me up.

Let's rewind about four years. Back then, my mother was a little thinner than she is today (like so many of us). I used to make any excuse to buy her clothes, lovely clothes that I didn't think I had a right to wear. Pretty feminine things that I thought should never come in my size. I bought her matching shoes and purses, skirts and floaty shirts. I bought her things I always dreamed of wearing. She always looked beautiful in them. I called her my life-size Barbie, and while I loved that she had nice things to wear, I always felt sad that I could never look the way she did.

When I went to my mother's house this weekend, she brought me upstairs to her closet and started to pull out the lovely skirts and blouses. I said, "Whoa, these are too small." She said, "I bet they fit." I selected an outfit that used to be my favorite. I slid up the skirt and was surprised that it zipped. I pulled on the blouse and looked in the mirror. I thought I'd be squeezing out all over the place. I thought I would wish I was wearing Spanx. I thought I would be too embarrassed to let my mother see me, but, for the first time in my entire life, I felt pretty in an outfit. A feminine outfit. When my mother saw me, she cried.

The crazy thing is that in when I was a sophomore in high school, I only weighed 165 pounds. I was at least 60 pounds lighter than I am today. I don't have any pictures from that time. I avoided cameras at all costs, but I had mirrors. I never saw anything I liked looking back at me. I don't remember looking anything but obese. I never felt pretty and now, I can't even picture what I looked like at that weight.

Because of the way I felt about my body even when I was much thinner, I didn't have any hope that I would ever lose enough weight to feel pretty. That wasn't the goal; my health was the goal. Here I am, far short of my goal and miles away from the size 12 jeans I wore as a sophomore and I like what I see. I feel lovely. Maybe no one else (besides my mom) thinks I am. Maybe no one else ever will, but that doesn't matter. Only the way I feel counts.

There is no right size. There is no perfect weight. Don't wait to feel beautiful.

Friday, July 24, 2009


It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I've been maintaining my discipline. My hard work has paid off in a big way. As of Monday, I'm down another 4.5 pounds, which means that I'm finally down my 50 pounds!!! I couldn't be happier.

This week has presented some dietary challenges. I ate dinner with my parents on Wednesday. Fried chicken was on the menu. Luckily, I brought my food scale and measured out 3oz than ate that plus a plate full of vegetables. Yesterday, we had a friend over for a Christmas in July celebration. I didn't give into temptation quite as much as I do on real Christmas, but I still wasn't at my best. I brought all the leftovers into the office today so I wouldn't be tempted by baked goods tonight.

I'm trying to be realistic going into Monday's weigh in. I'm hoping to lose 0.5 pounds. I know that whenever I lose a lot one week, I usually lose less the next, so I'm not expecting a ton of progress.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monday Weigh In

I hope everyone is having a smashing week. Mine's going great, but things are hectic, which is why I'm posting the results of my Monday weigh in on a Wednesday. I guess I'm not the most disciplined blogger...

Anyway, the scale read 231.5 which means that I'm down another 1.5 pounds and am only 3.5 from my original 50. I was super psyched to have a loss after my dissappointing weigh in the previous Monday but part of me imagined that I would lose more than usuall because I felt like the scale totally owed me. Any loss is good, though!

I've been meaning to reflect on how different life has been these past 37 days. I've been thinking a lot about how I'm different and how I keep changing in ways big and small. I will do all of that soon. But right now, I think I should just be proud that I'm continuing to lose and that I'm making some time to post the results!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Case of the Moooondays

It's Groundhog Day. I got on the scale this morning and it said 233.0 which means a total change of zilch this week. I was a little taken aback because I didn't expect to hit a bump so soon. In the past when I've "plateaued" it's always actually been because I wasn't being honest. I was telling myself that I was "dieting" but I was really eating cake or not measuring my food or something like that.

This week was different. By the numbers (calories in/out) I should have lost 2.24 pounds this week. This just shows what an inexact science this is (or does it have to do with my nutritional deficiencies that I mentioned in my last post?). I guess that sometimes you can do the right thing and get garbage results.

Another time, I would have thrown my hands up and hightailed it to the nearest bakery for some baklava. This time, I'm giving my body more time. I know that if I stick with it, I have to lose weight eventually. That's just the way it is. At least, even if I didn't lose weight, I grew stronger in the habits that will help me reach my goal. A week spent remaking myself is well spent.

Here's to a healthier week!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Feeling the Difference

Since I rededicated myself on June 1, I've challenged myself to go beyond just counting calories to focus on nutrition. There are a lot of great nutrition tracking websites out there; as I mentioned before, I've been using SparkPeople. I've tracked every bite I've taken and tried to stay within my calorie range. I've been trying to make sure I get the right amount of water, fiber, protein, fat and carbohydrates.

I honestly always felt like people who said good nutrition made them feel better were full of crap. I thought it was just one of the lies people told themselves when they can no longer cram pizza in their mouths. I imagined that the deprivation had made them delirious or something. That's why I was surprised that I actually did feel better after I started trying to eat healthier. I had way more energy, didn't feel half as bitchy as usual and felt more clear headed and focused. However, I denied that this could be a nutrition thing until this week.

It's been a busy week for me and I've felt like I was constantly rushing so I could fall behind. I've remained disciplined about tracking and exercising and I haven't gone over my calorie allowance once this week, but a lot of calorie dense, nutrient poor foods have creeped into my diet. I honestly think that there's room in my diet for a cookie a day or a half a cup of frozen yogurt, but this week, junk food has taken up at least a third of my calories. This means I'm not leaving enough room for real nutrition and to tell the truth, I've really felt the differnce. I've been dragging and I've found it so much harder to get through my day.

Today I'm back to a focus on real nutrition. I'm worth the effort it takes to plan and I'm craving that energy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

New weight: 233

Change: -2.0!

Sorry about the short post. It's late and I'm exhausted but I wanted to check in.

Monday, June 15, 2009

There's Never a Good time

In 2007 I lost about thirty pounds. It's the same thirty pounds that I've kept off through holidays, and tough semesters and Ben and Jerry's pittyfests. I lost it when I was really scared for my health and had three miraculous, stress free months during which to focus myself.

But then in the fall of that year, a long brewing problem with my parents blew up. Things got bad and I needed to find a new place to live in a hurry. It's not that it wasn't about time I was out on my own, but it was the way it happened and the terrible hurt it created that set me back. I gave myself permission to stop trying "for now" and went back to the chocolate chip self medicating.

Then Christmas of that year came and I was stressed out about the rift in my family that continued throughout the holidays. I just couldn't diet then! Then in January, my cat died and I was devastated. How could I say no to pizza? Then I had a tough semester. Then I went on a conference. Then I took a summer class. Then I was robbed. Then more conferences, holidays, heartaches; then more challenges with grad school and work. Then I had a car accident. Then I bought a new car. Then someone hit my new car.

The point of my list of major stressors is not that I want sympathy. In fact, if this was a contest, I bet that each of you could come up with a list that would put mine to shame. Actually, my point is that easing my expectations of myself seemed to make sense each time. It seemed like a smart idea to wait for a "good time". Why complicate life? What I didn't realize until recently is that there will never be a good time. That's life. There will always be some drama and heartache and if I only use the times in between to work toward my goals, I'll never reach them.

That's why, even though I'm in class five hours a day after work this month, I recommitted myself to my weight loss efforts on June 1st. I wanted to shout it from the roof tops. I wanted to tell all of those people who checked in on me while I was waiting for the "right time" these past three or four months that I was back, that I missed them too and I was ready to do it this time, but I thought it might sound hollow after all of my past false starts. I needed the words to be 100% true and I needed to have some success under my belt.

So I'm back and am officially on my 17th day of badass discipline. I'm tracking every last bite and sip on SparkPeople and I'm making exercise a priority. I'm staying within a calorie range of 1600-1950 which is allowing me to lose weight at a modest pace without turning into a chocolate craving beast.

How am I doing? I started the month hanging my head at 243 lbs. I had gained some wait while I was waiting for life to be perfect. I weigh in on Mondays, and this Monday I was at 235.0 lbs. This time around, I am focusing on nutrition: getting a balance of fiber, protein, carbs and fat. I'm eating enough fruits and vegetables and drinking enough water. And you know what? I feel amazing. I have so much energy. Normally, I would be dragging myself through class, but I feel energized and purposeful. So really, by rededicating myself, I've turned this into the "right time" for positive change.

So don't wait! Come with me if you haven't started yet. We'll weather this together and come out happy and better able to handle those bumps in the road. If you've been going strong, thanks for blazing the trail. I've been so inspired by so many of you along the way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weigh In!

I'm late again. I won't even bother with the cute graphic. I weighed in (on Sunday--I can't believe how long it took me to log in and report it) and the scale said 237 and I said "thanks, scale." That's down .5 pounds from the previous week.

Considering that I didn't get my butt in gear until my somewhat whiny post from late in the week, I'm really happy with .5 pounds. Considering the damage I could have done, I'm glad to have a loss to report.

I appreciated the support and advice I got from Bloggerland. You'll be pleased to know that I was super motivated after my last post. I've been tracking every last bite of food on The DailyPlate. Thanks to those who suggested it! I love seeing what percentage of my calories I've eaten and it helps to know if 75% of my calories have come from fat! It's really keeping me honest and giving me some good insight on this process.

I've also been working out a lot. I'm still on a fitness team where I work and I'm pretty proud to say that we're kicking a lot of butt. Presently, we are in 4th place out of over 100 teams and we're .2 points away from third. I've never realized how competitive I can be, but I'm not about to question a good thing. I'm just glad I found some additional motivation to move.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Processing the Problem


Thanks to all who commented in response to my post yesterday. I appreciate all the advice and tough love that came my way. I really needed a kick in the pants and some tips and I knew I could count on my blog buddies.

I wish that keeping junk food out of the house was an option for me. I live with my sister who is most definitely not on the same page as I am. She's shorter and is carrying a little more weight than I am. She also faces a lot of the same potential health problems as I do since we both come from a long line of tpe II diabetics and have a very strong family history of heart disease. However, while I bite my nails considering what could happen if I don't change my ways, she maintains a belief in her own invincibility that is as zealous as it is foolhardy. She loves fried food and chocolate and dammit, that's what she's going to eat.

I've said before that it wouldn't be so hard to change if I was living with someone who's not on the same page as I am, but the trouble is that she's reading a whole other book. She resists the changes I'm trying to make in my own life. She scrunches her nose about my attempts to eat healthier and she pressures me to eat things I shouldn't eat. I mean really pressures me. Last night, for example, she got out the Pazcki. She held the box under my nose and I said no thank you.


"Because I don't want one."

"Sure you do, they're good. I'll get you a plate. Here eat it."

I resisted and resisted and got angry and gave in. I wasn't hungry. I didn't want it. But I ate it. I was so disgusted with myself that I cried. I don't know why I couldn't find the strength to walk away. Afterwards, I confronted my sister about being a food pusher and she defended herself by saying that she didn't make me eat it. This was very true and I know that the responsibility for my decisions rests with me alone. Why shouldn't it? It's my knees that have to carry around the extra weight. But I haven't been feeling strong lately and living with someone who is threatened by the changes I'm trying to make makes life really difficult.

So keeping foods I have difficulty resisting out of the house isn't really an option and I obviously can't count on my sister to be supportive enough to keep her assorted goodies out of my sight, so I need to find a way around this barrier.

Ria's suggestion about journaling everything I ate struck a chord with me, mostly because I felt so repelled by the idea. My reaction seemed odd to me. I know it's good advice. In the times in my life when I've dropped weight, before my recent slow down, I always tracked what I ate. So why was I so resistant to it now? I think part of me is in denial. I recently read a post by Chubby Chick in which she talked about the fact that she was angry that she can't eat like a "normal person" and that her desire to be "normal" has quite ironically contributed to a 100 pound gain in the last 2 years. Her anger really resonated with me. I wish that eating properly could just be second nature for me. I wish that I didn't have to think about it. If I write everything I eat, I'm acknowledging that I must be constantly mindful. But not writing down points or calories, not acknowledging what I eat and how much of it I eat won't negate the consequences of all my munching. It will just enable me to avoid responsibility and awareness and will lead to unpleasant surprises and ultimately a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. I'm tired of that feeling. There may be a time in my life when I can "eat like a normal person" without measuring and counting, but as Yoda said, "you must unlearn what you have learned" before you can adopt a new way of being. ("Try not. Do or do not. There is no try." Might also be an appropriate Yodaism at this point.)

So thanks, Ria. It should have been so second nature for me to decide to return to recording what I eat, but it wasn't; I really needed someone to say it!

In addition, I think I can work to combat the temptation of living with a food pusher by being better prepared. I'm going to try to be proactive and have healthier options that we both like. The theory here is that she will buy less garbage and if she does try to push something that will break my day, I can have something else to turn to to stave off temptation. I've been kicking around some options. Sugar free Jell-O is like a Godsend. With only 10 calories a serving, I can turn to it when I'm having a sweet craving without feeling guilty. I also find the sugar free pudding helpful for the same reason. Fresh berries feel like a splurge since I'm on a budget, but they also make a delicious dessert when I mix them with fat free vanilla yogurt. Finally, I'm really digging on sorbet and No Pudge brownies. I just need to stock my shelves with these items as defense against all the other crap I might consider putting into my body.

Any way, that's where my head's at today. I'm journaling every bite and have been strong enough to resist the brownies in the office. I'm planning a walk on lunch though I'd much rather curl up and read.

Thank you all for being my Yodas!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Weigh in


I'm late! I'm late! I know I usually check in on Mondays, but I'm running late this week. At least I have some good news to report! The scale said 237.5 which means I'm down 1 pound.

I have to confide that am having some difficulty lately, though. You could probably guess by watching me lose and gain the same 5 pounds for the last few months. It's hard for me to name my difficulty. This whole thing should just be so simple. Don't eat too much, don't gain weight. I know what I'm supposed to do and I start of doing it, but then there's some part of me that convinces myself to make bad choices. It's like I bump my head and get temporary amnesia. Sometimes when I'm staring at a plate of cookies, I don't even have an internal struggle going on. I don't think, "these are the pros and cons of scarfing that cookie." Instead I think, "Lalalalalal....oooh look a cookie. I've been good today" even if I haven't, or "those are only like 1 point, I can eat 6."

I don't even know how to begin to combat this. I've often wished I could hire someone to follow me around and give me a jolt of electricity or a slap or something just so I'll THINK before I make a bad decision. Because that's the problem, I don't even think, I just inhale. But I know that I need to learn to make good choices on my own and even in the face of serious temptation.

This weekend I struggled with that problem (despite my reasonably good news on the scale) and if I tried to estimate how much I'd eaten, I probably wouldn't even come close. I don't know how to explain it. It's like I go temporarily insane and start munching. I can chock some of it up to mindlessness which could be avoided if I hadn't had a bowl of candy on the coffee table (I know, DUH!). I also think some of it was slipping into old comfortable habits because I was upset about/with my parents.

The good news is that these bouts of insanity don't last nearly as long as they used to. Before I began this process, they would last days, weeks or months. I was surrounded by people who were doing the same thing so it seemed OK. I need to get past this so that I can move on. If I eat chocolate cake, I want it to be because I thought it over and decided it was worth it, not because I didn't think at all.

Does anyone else struggle with this? Any suggestions of what I can do? I'm so tired of constantly being on a diet but never achieving my goals and I would really love some advice.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Movin' and Shakin'

It's been a super busy week, but I've really committed myself to activity. I don't know how the scale will react this week, but I do know that I'm proud of the way I've juggled my schedule.

Part of the reason that I've been able to be more active this week is that I've been flexible and creative. With class or meetings far into the evening, I knew that there was no way I would hit the gym or do a ton once I got home. I tried to get in a nice long, brisk walk on my lunch hour most days this week. I've also taken advantage of the little opportunities for activity. If something needed delivered, I did it myself instead of asking one of our assistance to do it. If I needed to talk to a coworker, I went to their office instead of calling or emailing. I parked further from the building than I normally do and I made an effort to take the stairs.

I also took advantage of fitness activities at work. Specifically, I made an appointment to try out the Wii Fit for the first time. I got a half hour to play around with it and had a really great time. I tried skiing, hula hooping and running. It was so much fun, I forgot that I was exercising! I wish I had an opportunity to do more with it, but it's definitely out of my price range right now.

I know that loosing weight will involve sustained physical exertion, not just taking the stairs or parking at the opposite end of the lot. However, in a week where time is limited, "all or nothing" thinking can be really damaging. All those little calories that I burn will add up, but if I think that if I can't spend an hour exercising, I shouldn't bother, than I'm going to have a very sedentary week. Instead, I sought out opportunities to move. I feel like I'm managing my stress level really well despite some really heavy family difficulty and extra pressures at work. I really attribute my improved coping skills to my boost in activity.

So my message today is JUST MOVE. Even if you only have ten minutes to spare today, take a quick jog or walk. Try out a new activity or do some quick sculpting exercises. Put on some upbeat music and dance or try out Wii Fit (so awesome!). Whatever you do, make it a good weekend!

Movin' and Shakin'

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

I was procrastinating writing this post, but I'm committed to being accountable to myself and to the people who support me. So here it is: I'm up 0.5 pounds this week.

I could over think this and brainstorm the reasons for my non stellar week, but I'm not going to. It's just going to be the same issues that I face all the time. I didn't do what I needed to do. I wasn't active and I didn't always eat what I was supposed to eat. I didn't binge; I wasn't completely off the wagon, but I ate to much and moved way too little.

For a minute after I got on the scale, I kind of freaked out. I started doing that mental math that gets me into so much trouble. How much do I have to lose this week to stay on track? But I stopped myself. My goal is still 1 pound. Totally doable.

To get me there, I'm going to try to be more mindful of my goal this week. I'll do this by blogging, reading other blogs and recording every bite I take. I'm also going to focus more on exercise. I've joined a fitness challenge at work. I'm on a team so I know I'll work harder because I don't want to let my coworkers down.

Finally, while my blog is called Hide Those Cookies I actually very infrequently request that my loved ones hide food from me. I feel like I need to learn to make good choices in the presence of temptation. However, this week, I'm making it easier on myself. I'm having my roomie stash all the good stuff so I can't even feel tempted to chow down.

I hope everyone had a good week!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Down 1 pound

The scale says 237 so that must mean I'm down 1 pound. I pretty glad about that. Slow and steady and all that jazz.

Things are somewhat hectic, but I wanted to check in lest everyone think I chucked my scale out the window. I'll write a more substantial post soon.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Taking Out John Shooter

Have you ever seen Hide and Seek or The Secret Window? (Spoiler Alert if you haven't!) In both movies, the protagonist is plagued by menacing, murderous characters who spend the lion share of the movie wreaking havoc; in both movies the protagonist discovers that he has multiple personalities and has been committing murders and creating general mayhem all by himself. In other words, the protagonist is his own worst enemy.

Sound cliche to you? Well it is for a reason. While we often think we have the best intentions for ourselves, many of us are constantly committing little acts of self sabotage and looking for John Shooter to saddle with the blame. This, I believe, is my most frequently and consequentially committed offense. Whatever the root cause of my difficulty--fear of success, failure or change--I have a tendency to stand tall in my own way and then paste an acceptable label failure. I have learned to weave such a tapestry of excuses that I am frequently left feeling blameless or even victimized.

I couldn't lose weight this week because of work or the holidays or bad weather or oral surgery or an alien invasion. The truth? I didn't lose weight because of my choices. While all of those other things may have made it more difficult to make good choices, they did not make it impossible so they can't be blamed for my setbacks. The solution for me, the way out of this mess I've made of my body, must lie in reframing my world and changing my thinking. It seems to me that I have always been the sort of person who viewed all hurdles big and small as insurmountable obstacles in my path. Within seconds of learning about a bump in the road, I've brainstormed an inclusive list of all its potential repercussions and have determined that it is impossible to proceed.

I noticed this most recently with regards to my educational goals. I am unbelievably fortunate enough to work for an employer which pays for every penny of my graduate school tuition up to six credits a semester. I've taken advantage of that and have been working to earn an MS in rehabilitation counseling for the past three years. I've worked hard and sacrificed a lot of time in my evenings to make this happen. However, I've now reached the point in my program at which, starting next week, I have to begin meeting with actual living, breathing clients and putting what I've learned to use.

While this should be an incredible moment for me, I've been absolutely petrified. I've been acting like a caged animal and have actually very seriously considered quitting graduate school or taking a semester off. I'm so painfully aware of my own shortcomings that I'm terrified that I won't be able to help people or rather that I will do some serious harm. I've been absolutely paralyzed with fear, certain that after all this time and energy, I'll discover that I don't like counseling or worst of all that I'm not capable of doing it.

However, cooped up in the house yesterday because of an ice storm, I had a lot of time to think. My first instinct was to dive into the fridge to divert my attention from my problem, but I new that would only make me feel worse. I tried to set aside my fears and consider the situation logically. After a lot of reflection, I realized the following:
  1. Even if I'm not the best at counseling, I know I'll improve with a semester of supervision;
  2. With a genuine interest in helping people it's unlikely that I'll be as bad as I expect;
  3. Even discovering that I am incapable of being a competent counselor would be valuable because I would have an opportunity to rethink the direction of my life;
  4. If I run from this now, it will just become harder to face frightening situations in the future.

I know this is exceptionally long winded, and you're probably thinking, "this is a weight loss blog; what the hell does this have to do with weight loss?" so I'll get to the point. Deconstructing my problem and looking at it logically has had an incredible calming effect and has stopped me from making a huge mistake--quitting so I won't have a chance to fail. Instead, I'm now viewing something that had so completely terrified me as a challenge that, regardless of the outcome, will make me a better woman than I am today.

I know the value of this. Being able to alter the way you think and, in doing so, alter the way you feel can give you the power to change your life. Therefore, I'm resolving to shine a light on all the dark corners of my soul and to dismantle my excuses for not losing weight and living the life I want to live!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Blah

I wasn't surprised in the least when I hopped on the scale to see that I hadn't lost a blessed pound all week. Most people would enjoy a boost to their progress if they were unable to consume solid food, but I think it's obvious that I'm not most people.

The trouble is that since Wednesday, I've been either asleep on the couch or asleep in bed and I've essentially eaten whatever people brought to me without question. Apparently, Vicodin and I don't mix (I don't know how you do it, Dr. House...) and I'm glad to be back in my routine and able to trade the hard stuff for plain ibuprofen.

I'm still not quite on solid foods. I really appreciate the suggestions people have left in the comments and am glad to have options that don't include ice cream and tomato soup. Thanks for sharing your ideas and lending support.

In the past, this would be a dangerous time for me. It takes so little to break down the healthy habits that I've established. Another time, I would probably think, "what's one more day" and put off my return to healthy eating indefinitely. As it is, sugar seems to scramble my brain cells and erase my memory. It makes it easy for me to forget how great I feel when I'm doing what's right for me. Keeping this blog won't let me forget and reading your blogs and comments won't either.

If I am to succeed, I need to be able to remember that when I slip up, I don't start over tomorrow, I start over right now. In fact, I don't need to restart. That suggests that I stopped in the first place. I just need to continue and to shake off a hiccup in an otherwise successful process. So back on track and hoping for a loss this week!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Oral Surgery Blues

I've probably mentioned before that I have braces. I got them in the summer as part of my effort to start putting myself first. I've long been self conscious about my smile and finally got the nerve up to take the plunge in June.

It actually hasn't been so bad except that it takes me a ton of time to get my teeth clean between meals. My treatment has been progressing well, so on Wednesday, it was time to get some oral surgery. My two top adult incisors never came down, so doc had to go in and make them. The woman who made my appointment convinced me I wouldn't need anesthesia. She said, "seven-year-olds get this done with Novocaine all the time!" I acquiesced.

What I didn't realize was that the bone in a seven-year-old's face is much softer and peels away from the teeth easily. However, once I hit my twenties, everything hardened up. Consequently, I laid in the chair for three hours while doc ground down my bone with a drill and said that in twenty years he'd never seen such badly impacted teeth. Awesome.

Days later, I'm still in a lot of pain. I can eat solid foods, but since I also had to have two bicuspids removed from the bottom, eating is complicated. I'm finding that tomato soup and sugar free jello cups aren't doing much to fill me up and I'm struggling to resist an ice cream binge.

I'm also on Vicodin which is making me incredibly loopy and tired so I'm cutting this short. I hope everyone has a great weekend! And just a word of advice: if you're an otherwise healthy adult getting oral surgery, spring for the anesthesia!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Post Work Out Munchies

I first decided that I really wanted to lose weight when I was about sixteen and around 80 pounds lighter than I am today. I had known I was fat since a boy told me so on the playground many moons earlier, but I had always shrugged my shoulders assuming it was out of my hands. Being a sophomore in high school changed everything. I could see prom looming before me, and knew I needed to drop some serious lbs if I didn't want to go alone.

I didn't know the first thing about diet and nutrition and wasn't really sure how to learn. My textbooks for health class just talked about the food pyramid, but I had a feeling that eating 6-11 servings of bread a day was not going to be to my advantage. I decided to start exercising because that's what all the skinny people I knew did. I was in terrible shape, but the concept of building up my fitness level escaped me. I set my alarm for 6:00 am and took off for a run. Each time I would be out of breath and weezing by the time I made half a block; I'd be on my way home after a single loop around. Regardless of how little I did, I would come home as hungry as a grizzly and set to dismantling the fridge. Needless to say, I didn't stick with it and I actually finished the summer discouraged and much heavier.

Part of the reason I got into this mess in the first place is that I have long harbored the belief that working out gives me the right to eat pie. Lately, I've been going to the gym. It's just been too cold for my usual walk. I despise the gym with every fiber of my being. I hate the treadmill, elliptical and bike. It's incredibly boring, but I've been doing it and really pushing myself. The downside is that I come back to my office absolutely ravenous. If I don't eat my lunch before I go, I don't have the energy to push myself, but if I do eat it before I go, I'm starving for the rest of the day. How am I supposed to keep the Goulets away? Any ideas on what I should eat before or after a work out? I'm open to suggestions that won't send me rummaging through the fridge.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Right on Track

I'm down another pound today which means I'm still right on track. I have to keep reminding myself that. I have to stress patience. I'm happy to be on track. If I continue on this way, I'll reach Onderland by the time I'm picking out my Halloween Costume and remembering my messy break up with Jack.

I've felt so incredibly strong these last few weeks. Which is one of the great things about having a blog. If I didn't constantly pour out my life to the Internet, I would never remember that things haven't been all roses. I feel this great today because I've pushed through some incredibly strong cravings and I've worked really hard to forge healthier habits. I've had the same temptations that I battled all year last year, but this time I'm finding ways to overcome.

I've completely avoided eating out this year, but my sister and I promised to take my grandmother out for her seventieth birthday. We let her choose out of any restaraunt in the area and she decided on her favorite Chinese buffett. Grand. In the past, trips to Chinese would mean plates of golden fried chicken smothered in sweet and sour sause, mounds of pork fried rice and vegetable lo mein and at least a dozen crispy cheese wonton. I thought it would be my undoing, especially since it was the night before my weigh in. However, I felt determined to succeed. I took just enough to taste of the things I love on a plate and then filled another with delicious fruit. I felt satisfied because I got the chance to have a bite of my favorites, but really successful because I didn't pig out.

February through May will be really hectic for me. I have my fulltime job (or at least I hope I still will), classes, and at least eight hours a week of supervised counseling practice (which means I'm almost done with my degree, YIPPEE!). I can either struggle during that time and lose and gain the same five pounds over and over or come out much closer to my goal. There will ALWAYS be obstacles. I don't live on The Ranch with Jillian and Bob. I need to make sound choices in the real world no matter what's going on in my life. It really is a struggle for my life and I know it's worthwhile.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fake it Till You Make It

Sometimes when I read a success story or a weight loss blog or talk to a person who's dropped six dress sizes I'm so driven to lose weight that I feel like I have super powers. Who's that on the treadmill? Is it superwoman? Is it an Olympic athlete? No, it's just me. Able to resist cake no matter how many times it's offered. Able to get off the couch even when there's something great on TV. Able to cook a nutritious dinner instead of ordering pizza.

I don't have many days like that and so I shouldn't be surprised that yesterday was definitely not a super hero day. It's been cold enough here to freeze the...well, you get it--it's been cold! I didn't even want to get out of bed. I didn't want to eat my egg whites and turkey sausage for breakfast; I wanted a donut or two (or eighteen). Once I got to work, part of me was convinced that the chocolate cake across the hall would help me make it through the day. I thought, "if I have just a small piece, I'll be motivated to continue my diet." I wasn't able to work out on lunch like I usually do and when I got home I thought about just taking the day off from exercise. In fact, I was pretty married to the idea. I had planned to bake flounder, but I had this great coupon for pizza that was set to expire. It's like I was meant to have pizza last night.

All day long, I kept reminding myself how much I wanted this. I kept visualizing the moment I'll step on the scale and see 199 flashing up as if blowing kisses. I tried to engage in positive self talk, but I just couldn't make my heart listen to what my mind has known forever. I kept thinking things like, "but I've failed so many times before. Why should I think this time will be different? I'm going to be losing and gaining the same five pounds forever. This is so out of my control." In a nut shell, I was incredibly and apparently irreversibly unmotivated.

But while this kind of negative vibe would normally send me diving in front of the TV with a tub of ice cream, a voice in my head kept saying, "while you may not remember it right now, you want and need to succeed at this more than anything else in the world." So I quit complaining and ate my eggs and ignored the chocolate cake. I baked the fish and rode my exercise bike. I did it sans motivation and I hated every single second of it.

Do you know what I discovered when I woke up this morning? The world continued to turn without cake and pizza and hours on the couch and it seemed like a decidedly brighter place. I discovered that by winning the moment yesterday, I generated my very own motivation for today. I did. Me. I created that spark for which I usually look to other people. I have to say that it feels pretty damn good.

Here's to a day of continued strength! Here' to being your own super hero!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mary Lou's Weigh

When the folks at Mary Lou's Weigh asked me to check out their weight loss platform, I clicked on over to their site and was instantly struck by how Seinfeldesque it seemed. Initially, I thought a scale that doesn't weigh you is a lot like a show about nothing, but I'm always up for something new, so I was glad to give it a try. Here's the low down.

What it is and how it works

Mary Lou's Weigh is a weight loss product endorsed by 80's Olympic gymnast, Mary Lou Retton. The program centers around a weight loss platform which is meant to forever replace the bathroom scale in your life. The platform won't tell you what you weigh. Rather, it records a starting weight in its memory and then reports how much you've lost or gained from that starting weight. It's meant to be used daily and in conjunction with a tips booklet and the Mary Lou's Weigh website. The platform reports progress and celebrates and encourages in the bubbly voice of Mary Lou Retton herself.

The Positive

  • I wasn't sure how I felt about the concept of never knowing exactly how much I weigh. It's not as if I feel entirely consumed with the numbers on the scale, but I find the awful truth to be the best motivator. However, I've know a lot of people who really wanted to lose weight but never had the courage to step on the scale. Those numbers can be daunting, especially if it's been a while. Without a way to quantify progress, it can be difficult to know if you're efforts are producing good results. You can certainly use the fit of your clothes or improved fitness as benchmarks, but knowing exactly how well you've done can be very reaffirming. Also, I've noticed that it can sometimes take a pretty significant gain before I notice it in my clothes. I'd rather not chance it. This product provides an opportunity to measure success even if you're not quite ready to know your weight.

  • I found the product to be very user friendly. It can store information for two users. I tapped the left button and waited to be prompted to step on. In a few moments some fairly cheesy music played and informed me that my starting weight had been recorded. Easy. All I had to do was tap that button, weight to be prompted and get on every morning. As a plus, the volume is adjustable so if you'd rather Mary Lou didn't announce your progress to the entire house, you can turn it down.

  • The literature that comes with the platform provides a quick read with good solid tips and motivation which can help people get ramped up to start making healthy changes. It also comes with a DVD to provide additional help.

  • I believe that some people may feel inspired by Mary Lou Retton and may find her messages motivating and helpful. I was too young when she won gold to remember much about her now, but I understand that she was a symbol of perseverance and achievement for many. Even if you don't know who she is or identify with her past, her tone is positive and upbeat. Therefore, this gets slotted under the positives.

The Negative

  • On the flip side of the to know or not to know debate, you might argue that if you're not ready to face that number on the scale, you're not ready to change your life. I talked to women in my office and a number of them said that it would be too easy to deny their weight issues if they didn't have to know precisely how much they weighed. Others thought this would be freeing and wonderful. I'm interested in hearing what other people think, so weigh in (pun intended) in the comments if you'd like.

  • The platform automatically sets losing ten pounds as the same first goal for everyone. I feel like that's a mistake. People who lose weight slowly and require gratification to stay on track may get discouraged and give up because even ten pounds seems unattainable. Others may not actually need to lose ten pounds. This is a minor issue, though, since most people would probably set independent goals.

  • Only two people can use the platform. That's not an issue for me, but it's a negative nonetheless. Additionally, because it only reports results audibly, it won't be useful for the hearing impaired.

  • While I placed the fact that the scale reports progress in Mary Lou Retton's voice as a positive, I also need to be fair and balanced and place it in the negative. Some people that I talked to said that they'd take the bridge if they had to listen to Mary Lou's perkiness every morning and they were irritated by the prospect of someone as petite as she is overseeing their weight loss, even if it is only virtually. So if your kind of grouchy or if perkiness makes you want to drive a fork into your eye, then this product isn't for you.

  • While the website offers recipes, the platform doesn't really come with any nutrition plan. Therefore, it's only one tool in a weight loss toolbox. It could be a much more comprehensive product if it provided nutritional information on weight loss and not just a way to measure it after the fact.

Overall, this seems like an interesting approach to weight loss. I can see that it could be very helpful and I appreciate that it doesn't pretend to be for everyone. In the end, I went back to my scale. I felt the need to know the number, not just to measure my success but also because I post specific relevant stats here on my blog. Don't let my experience be your final word, though. If you're interested you can click on over to the Mary Lou's Weigh website and check out a complete product description as well as some success stories and videos featuring the product.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weekly Weigh In: Down 1 pound

This week, I'm at 239 pounds. Down 1 pound. It's an inauspicious start to my New Year, but it's squarely in line with my goals so I have no room to complain.

I spent a lot of time staying with my parents in the last two weeks. It was wonderful to have so much time together, but it also really made me grateful for my own space and my independent life. I found it very hard to stay focused on my nutrition and fitness goals in their house. These are the people I grew up with, the ones who helped me forge the habits I'm trying to change today, the ones that routinely eat cake and ice cream for dinner. Fruit and vegetables are never worked into the meal and all activities are sedentary. It was very difficult to resist all the temptations and to work in activity.

I found that I needed to make a huge effort to be more conscious of what I was eating. It's hard enough when the person/people that you live with isn't/aren't on the same page; it's even worse when they aren't even in the same book. To further complicate things, I celebrated my birthday last week. I'd asked my sister to only purchase enough cake to feed our small gathering, but she bought a half a sheet cake covered in mounds of dairy whip icing. I don't think she was deliberately trying to sabotage me, but it made life harder having one of my favorite indulgences around for days.

To make matters worse, I was unable to use the Internet most of the time so I was cut off from my only source of support. It was hard not being able to check in on my favorite bloggers.

With all that going on, I'm thrilled to be down 1 pound and on my way to fulfilling my goals. Thanks to all who stopped by and shared words of encouragement and support.

P.S. Laura, you talked about hating the scale; i'll be discussing an alternative tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year

Awww! I love that new year smell. Shiny and new. Full of possibilities. Awesome!

I had a wonderful holiday but I unfortunately packed on a ton of holiday fluff. I jumped on the scale on New Years Day and discovered that I had gained a whopping 9.5 pounds. My first reaction was denial. I got off the scale and got back on. The smug little read out still said 240.0 lbs. I got off again and moved the scale. 240.0 lbs. I got off and took off my earrings and glasses. 240.0lbs.

Next, I entered the rage stage. First I became furious with my scale. Seriously, this is the first time it ever produced consistent data. Usually, a sneeze will change it by a half a pound, but in the fresh light of the New Year, my scale must have resolved to be more honest with me. I thought I could threaten it or intimidate it with curses, but it blinked those same numbers up at me without hesitation. Realizing that it was ridiculous to scream at a plastic box filled with batteries and microchips, I became enraged with my body. "9.5 pounds in like 2.5 weeks?!!! Are you shitting me?! How long would it take you to lose that much weight? AGES. The answer is AGES. But you're all to accommodating when a couple of cookies want to take up residence on my hips!! Stupid body!"

But I wasn't nearly as angry with my body and scale as I was with my family for wanting me to bake all those cookies or those bloody evil elves for bringing me good things to eat. I wanted to swing those little bastards by their tiny pointed shoes. But the truth is, I realized I can't blame other people for my actions. I think I would feel put out if the people in my life treated me different around the holidays just because I'm trying to lose weight. And what about those elves? They were just being nice. When I got the box of chocolates, it didn't say eat immediately upon opening or this box with self destruct. Instead, it provided me with nutrition information advising me of an appropriate serving size. I was the one who chose to shovel all the holiday treats in my mouth. I made the bad choices.

Then, I have to say that I felt like absolute crap. I trudged around in sweats thinking the whole world was going to point at my expanding ass. I also felt like a failure. Being 240 pounds means that I only lost a total of 6 pounds all year in 2008. I feel like I talk constantly about losing weight. I set goals and talk about the work I need to do to reach them, but then I just don't do it. I felt like a wind bag and a hypocrite.

I have reached the acceptance stage. I do talk about my weight loss goals a lot, but I never said I was perfect or even close to it. In fact, I would imagine that anyone who reads my blog expects me to skin my knees a lot on this journey. What is so beautiful about the weight loss blogging community is that while so many of you have enjoyed wonderful success, I have never once felt judged for my imperfections. Instead, I feel supported in a way that I never felt possible. Thank you to everyone who checked in to see if I fell off the face of the earth. You are all so wonderful and inspiring and it's a bright spot in my life to know that you care!

So, I'm back. I feel clear headed and actually sick of cookies for the first time in my entire life. I also feel more sure of myself and more motivated than I ever have. Sometimes, I need a fresh start. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2009 will bring.

My goal for this year is modest. I want to lose 52 pounds. 1 pound per week. I will weigh in every Sunday morning and post my results on Monday. I have no doubt that I can do it. Good luck in the New Year!