Seeing the loss, but the road’s been up and down

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I’m finally back to my 3FC tracker weight of 251.  I let it sit at that number for all the months that I went up into the 260s, wavered there, dipped into the 250s, went back up, etc.  Then, when I finally hunkered down, stuck to the exercise and cut out many calories, I didn’t see those dramatic drops, like you see in the weight loss shows (that I overwatch).  No, I saw a couple of pounds drop in one week, it would go up slightly, 1/2 lb the next week, stay the same for a couple of weeks, then drop a couple of lbs in one week.  It added up to about 1lb loss a week, which is GREAT in my book, but mentally I had to get past those gain/non-loss weeks without letting it derail me.

Logically, I knew my TOM and the heat were affecting my numbers.  Emotionally, I just wanted to see some scale results from all the efforts I felt like I was putting into it.  I feel like when I look in the mirror, I can SEE the thinner me waiting there, when I’ll look better and feel better.  I need to work off this weight and be patient and trust.  I did go back to fitday and calculated my calories again, and then to the Mayo clinic site to get a good sense of my nutrition.  Those are great tools.  For me, my own head is my toughest obstacle — my cravings and emotional eating.

Getting back to my ticker weight is a real victory, and I’m going to savor it and keep moving forward.  Backsliding gets to be a big waste of time and effort, the more I can fix that in my brain and remember it, the better, I think, I’ll be able to stay with my plan and keep losing.

My body, myself…??

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A topic of conversation that struck a cord with me at 3FC had to do with body image.  I’ve posted on this here blog various pics of my body and the weight loss progress I’ve made over the years.  I have more in my computer.  Not a ton more, I’m not super obsessive about it.  I find it bothersome, depressing, sad, annoying, boggling (all those things at various times), how differently I see my body at different times — I’m not talking different weights necessarily, either.   I want to feel comfortable with my body, and approach my weight loss in the most positive way possible.  I don’t want to feel insecure about my looks all the time, or need constant reassurance that I’m attractive.  I hate the obsessive, desperateness of that.  And I think it makes me focus too narrowly on myself and only brings unhappiness.  I will never be perfect with my looks.  I feel sometimes like when relationships or other parts of my life become a struggle, I narrow my thoughts and obsessiveness to my looks and weight.  I’ll even start to weigh myself obsessively.  It’s a bad combination, since I struggle with emotional eating, all that ball of unhappiness makes me want to eat.  Then when I eat, I maintain instead of lose, and I feel unhappy.  It’s self perpetuating.

Stop the madness.

Honestly, there’s lots more to me than just my looks.  I have interests, spirituality, brains, humor.  Love animals.  Have goals and dreams.  I’m generally kind and thoughtful.  I care about the world, my neighbors, my family and friends.  I love my bf, through all our many ups and downs.   I care about my health, and I exercise and eat healthily.  My body is PART of myself, and it has to take it’s proper place in that hierarchy, for the sake of my mental health. 

Summer trips…um…trip ups? and insensitive comments

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I’m back from my 3-day trip to Providence.  I wouldn’t say it was an eating free-for-all.  I also wouldn’t say it was a diet conscious experience.  I did plenty of walking, I also had my fair share of goodies.  Ok, I’ll admit that I’m afraid to step on the scale.  I’ll wait until Friday when I get a few days under my belt of eating on plan.  Here’s The Breakers, the Vanderbilt’s home in Newport, we took a tour of it on Saturday.

The breakers

One evening we all went to a buffet dinner.  I was sitting with my sister-in-law and a young woman in her twenties, slim, tanned blond.  The young woman made a comment to my sil about having three boys (I have three newphews in their 20s, one of them currently playing college football, one just graduated after playing football, and the third who played football and is working now).   My sil replied, in front of me, well, you don’t want to have a 300 pound girl!  The young woman said back, “That’s true!”  And I sat there with my mouth hanging open, ha!  I don’t think my sil meant to be purposefully mean, but I think she could use a little sensitivity training.

I took a longish walk today in the neighborhood (a couple of miles).  The weather is gorgeous.  I even sat in the little playground park for while, then headed back home.  Eating was good today, except I did have potato chips with dinner (part of Memorial Day dinner).   This Stella needs to get her groove back, weight loss wise.  I’m very frustrated with myself that I begin to do it, then something comes up and I let myself get thrown back to my starting place, or worse, a few pounds above my starting place.  Up five, down two, up five, down three.  I’m in the 240s again, I don’t have the heart to change my 3FC ticker.

I’ll report my Friday weight, and start keeping track of my exercise efforts.  I’ll do it here, on this blog.  That will be a good start.

 

New Jobs and the weight loss challenges they bring….

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I’ve been at my new job for about a month now.  My schedule has changed dramatically, eating, sleeping, exercising.  I eat breakfast at home (the same breakfast), eat my mid morning snack on the way to work, bring my lunch and eat it there.  Eat dinner later.  Don’t have time to eat the afternoon snack, eat part with lunch, and drink a V8 on the communte home.  I’m eating dinner later, so don’t feel like having the same evening snack, now have a lighter one.

My boss and her husband a lot of times eat breakfast in the office (there’s a breakfast nook).  They make me coffee often (cappuccinos).  And they invited me for lox and bagels Friday, then a beer in their apartment (upstairs from the business).  It was my boss’s daughter’s birthday, and I ate a miniature cupcake, took home some for bf (of which I ate another two, sheesh).  Once I start to indulge, it can snowball for me.

I’ve had a harder time making it to gym now that I’m working 40 plus hours a week.  I’ve been going once on the weekend (went today), and for a shorter session during the week.  I want to get back to 3 days a week.  I do have more activity in general, taking the subway to and from the office.   Boy, I miss the gym!

I’m maintaining my weight, not really gaining or losing.

I do deal with a lot of people on the phone.  One of the people who works for us is a young guy, nice sounding voice.  Yesterday he said to me, I’ll have to stop by the office and meet you.  I got that sinking feeling (yet again) after a guy makes a comment like that to me.  He has an image of a 140 fantasy woman (or a woman who fits into his hot fantasy realm) and then is confronted with chunky monkey me.  Even though I’m not looking for a relationship (I have a bf), haven’t flirted with him, nada.  A guy has thought about me (from my voice), and will be disappointed when he meets me.  I’m honest to goodness truly sick of that scenario.  It’s tough on a chick’s ego, especially this middle aged chick, who does want to feel attractive.

Letter to My (Sort of) Former Self: The Long Goodbye

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Fitgirlygirl at 3FC posted this idea from an Idiot’s Guide to Weightloss:  Write a ”dear john” letter to your fat self.   Write your fat self a letter, thanking it for the good things it has done for you, explaining why you no longer need it, and saying a final goodbye.

I’ll give it a shot.  PFM = Previous Fat Me

Dear PFM,

You had the idea in mind to protect me, I get that.  Men can be scary creatures, you drove away most of that overwhelming attention.  You kept me sheltered, so I felt like I didn’t have to do things that might have proved too challenging.  I wouldn’t have to disappoint myself or other people as long as you were around making me feel like I had an excuse to sit on the sidelines.  You allowed me to stay away from the challenge of competition and comparison.   You made me the invisible woman in many ways.

It’s hard to let go of you, I still carry around some of those old fears, and you know that.  We’re playing something of a game, you and I.  I shut the door, push you away, but you linger, lovingly and protectively; I have to confess to you, I think we’re getting closer and closer to the time where you really should go for good.  I need to feel healthy, and happy about myself and my body.  I’m getting older now, guys don’t frighten me so much, emotional and physical closeness isn’t the big scary monster it used to be when I was a teen and in my twenties.   I’m in charge now, and perfectly capable of making sound judgements regarding my relationships.

It’s time you left the building, and let me enjoy being more active and to do fun physical things, I need and want that.  Bike riding, hiking, rollerblading.  Maybe kayaking, who knows.  I don’t have to do them, but I want the choice.  Go, go, go, PFM!  I don’t want to have to shop in stores that cater to larger sized women for my clothes; taking an escalator up 7 or 8 floors to reach the chunky woman department.  I deserve to have that girly joy of buying lots of regular sized cute chick threads!

You keep hanging around, this is getting to be a really LONG goodbye,  it’s almost embarrassing.  You sense my ambivalence, don’t think I completely sincere.  Well, you can understand that, you’ve been here a long time, I’m facing so much that’s new.  Of course, I’m anxious.  But like anything new, I have to face my fears and move forward.  It usually is never as bad as the fear makes me believe it is — that “fuzzy wuzzy under the bed scary creature” fear, bigger and more threatening than reality.

Don’t worry.  I’ll be ok.  I’ll remember you.  It’s just that, it’s time for you to let go of the reins, and let me take over my own life.

Love, Marge

Rainy Saturday, Gym day

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I got a yen to update my pic, even though I’ve only changed maybe about 10 lbs since the last one (I don’t really think the 10 down shows to any noticable degree).  I took it in my exercise get up, a red tee I got at DD’s for something like $5 (was a men’s large), and my Land’s End sports pants that I wrote about before.  I posted it on my photos page too.  I’ll be heading out to the gym in about a half hour.  Part of this blog entry is my way of procrastinating with my gift wrapping, they’re waiting for me in the other room, those naked presents, and the tape, and the paper, and the scissors.  Plus, it’s raining, yucko.  Me no want to go outside!

Vacation’s All I Ever Wanted…

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I’m back from vacation!  Actually, I got back Tuesday night.  I’d given myself a 5 lb leeway, thinking I’d be with relatives who liked to cook, and we’d be going out to fairs, amusement parks, etc.  Well, Friday weigh in I was DOWN a pound.  I’m amazed at that, I admit, since I ate a decent amount of goodies.  A couple of things saved me.  1) my cousin and her husband are thin and eat like thin people who want to stay thin: ie, they skip meals, or eat one main meal then something small (I’m so used to eating a lot of small meals, this was tough on me; they also almost don’t eat veggies or fruits, my main staples); 2)  we walked constantly and I played with the kids (I exercised in the morning a couple of times too); 3) I really did stay conscious about not going crazy with the high calorie foods, and even though I ate ice cream, I also turned it away a few times (along with a few other things, like a fresh made donut).

Cows at the county fair.

I did ride rides, like rollercoasters and the ferris wheel, the log ride, the whip.  Except for the merry go round I didn’t let myself feel self conscious about my size.  On the MGR I just wasn’t willing to put my big behind on those small wooden horses(!)  My cousin’s husband has a nice digital camera, he took tons of shots each time we went out, mostly of the kids.  A few had me in them.  So, the family got together a couple of evenings and we did a slide show on the 40 inch tv.  Nothing like seeing your size 16/18 bod on a big screen to shake up your (body image) equilibrium!  I definitely felt self conscious, and my cousin told me she worries about her weight (she’s about 5′1″, in good shape — I didn’t see any extra pounds on her), I know that must effect how she reacts to me sometimes (and eating).

 

I will give myself credit for getting right back into my good eating habits pretty much the minute I got back.  Traditionally, vacations have thrown me off eating wise and it can take a period of time to get back on the wagon.  I went to the gym yesterday after a week and a half hiatus, I was in better shape than I thought I would be.  I skipped a part of the routine, but didn’t feel bad at all (I thought it would be more of a struggle).  On Wednesday and Thursday I took long walks, since I didn’t feel up to the gym yet (still pretty exhausted from traveling and getting used to being back at work).

No, I didn’t lose weight on vacation, some people do.  I did maintain, not entirely due to my efforts, I owe a good deal of the credit to circumstance.  That said, or rather admitted, I am happy to be back to 242 and getting nearer and nearer to being out of the 40s, which will be a great thing for me mentally.

The beginning of august, and body acceptance…

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I bought a cute orange blouse at Macy’s a couple of weeks ago ON SALE.  I highlight those last two words because I’m so bad at shopping well, and get thrilled when I’m actually able to find a bargain.  Drum roll please, $7.  Yep, seven dollars.   Along with the cute orange blouse, I bought a brown cardigan (which was closer to $30 and less of a deal).  Why, you may ask, in the middle of July did I buy a cardigan?  The answer, the blouse has very short sleeves.  Yeah, and???  And I have fat upper arms! duh!   OK, Margie.  It’s AUGUST IN NYC (hot, humid), you’re going to wear a cardigan??  No, that isn’t a practical choice.  So I wore the short sleeved shirt all by its lonesome, and I accepted that I have fat upper arms, not only accepted it, but flaunted them in public.  AND I saw several people from the neighborhood that I know today, me wearing said shirt.  Guess what, no one noticed or cared. 

In General Chatter, a thread started about More To Love (the tv reality show), and the comment came up from sharongracepjs:  How sad for those people who think losing weight will make them like themselves - imagine somehow getting your extra pounds off, then being skinny, and still hating yourself! Where do you go from there?!

Great question!  There’s no better time for me to start liking myself than now.  About a week ago, I stumbled on a thread in the maintainer’s section (which I don’t usually go to), and the topic was short sleeved shirts and how that particular item of clothing struck fear in the hearts of women.  It may be a long time before I’m “skinny,” and even then I will most likely have the dreaded “wings.”  I have them now, and am 45, and unless something wonderfully magical occurs, I will have to deal with them to perhaps a greater degree when my body is thinner.  I’m going to accept them and allow my body to be what it is.

I bought a bathing suit a few years ago, that I’ve only worn a few times.  I don’t go swimming that ofen.  It’s cute and a flattering style for me (sort of a hi, H neck).  It has a short skirt that covers my upper thighs (I carry a lot of weight in my upper legs).  Now that I’m down about 9 lbs, it actually fits better.  I won’t say it’s not a struggle for me to put it on and go swimming.  Whenever I do, though, I feel a real sense of relief that I’m making an effort to overcome my physical self consciousness, which in a way is self hating, because it’s like I’m saying to myself that my body is so embarrassing to me that I can’t stand it.   Ok, Margie, get over it.  I’m going to take it with me when I go visit my cousin in Pennsylvania this August, in a couple of weeks.  They have their own pool, and I really think I should push myself to wear it.  They’re family, and I would love to let go being so paralyzed by my girthitude, because I have a feeling this will be an issue for me even as the pounds come off.

Thoughts on Body Image

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I’ve been reading lots of posts about body image lately.  I find the topic interesting, since emotionally I can be so all over the place on how I feel about my body.   Probably with the exception of the first few years of my life, I’ve been overweight, then obese. 

Here’s me, in the blue, at age 5, a little chubby…

 

 

Looking at the BMI calculator (which I personally believe has it’s limitations and only should be used as a general guide) at the at the NIH site, to be classified as overweight, I need to be 200 or under, to be in a normal weight range, I need to be 170.  So, once I’ve lost a little over 40 lbs, I will be “overweight.”  I wonder what my mind will think of that body?

Sometimes I look at myself now, at my obese 243, and I think I look hugely fat (probably during times of PMS and when I’ve gained any weight).  Other times I feel I look attractive, even sexy (when I’ve lost weight or bought something new to wear that I think looks cute on me).  Other times like a large woman working on losing weight (when my brain is in a calm place).  I don’t know how much change in my mental image of my physical self from being over 300 to now has really taken place.  I know I feel different physically, tremendously different.  And socially I feel much more comfortable, I’m much less sad/depressed too.  I feel calmer and more centered.

I’ve read posts by woman who say sometimes they still see that woman in the mirror they were at their heaviest, will that be true for me?  I do take pics, and have one posted here on my blog, of me at a much heavier weight.  I really do want to know what it feels like to be at a normal weight, and to have my brain go there with me.  It will be new territory for me, which is exciting and scary.  I wonder if I’ll ever get to the point where my feelings about my body, and how I see it will take more of a back seat in terms of my life focus, which I think it should.  The whole weight loss process takes so much effort, and work, and mindfulness (at least for me now), that I really have let it become a big slice of what occupies my brain.  I think as I go along, I would like to work away from that.