On the ever elusive dieting “click” moment

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That moment I’m talking about is when some number on the scale, or incident — a stinging comment, pants that won’t zip, seeing myself in a photo — propels me into action, pushes me past my inertia point to change something I’m doing that I know isn’t working.  This time for me it was a combination of seeing a number on the scale I’d passed going down many moons ago and feeling my pants getting tighter and tighter (my thighs felt like sausages in my jeans, yikes).  And I won’t say that I haven’t been seeing a bunch of numbers again that I’d thought I’d left in the past for a while now.  And yep, I noticed but ignored how much less roomy my pants had become — they used to slide down, and I’d constantly be pulling them up.

My diet wasn’t completely out of control at all; still, I had let extras start to creep in (chocolate, for one).  I was still exercising, though not 3 times a week at the gym the way I used to.  It’s not like I was losing at a stellar rate when I had been going 3 times a week.  I had a fear of eating less — that, with bf aggressively telling me I didn’t need to eat less, and that I’d get hungry, was enough to keep me in a state of denial that led me to gain over 20 lbs from my lowest weight.  I was afraid to eat less.  I was afraid I’d be hungry, that it would lead me to binge, that I’d feel deprived on top of all the other stresses in my life, and that I’d have to let go of using food as a stress reliever — and where would that leave me??

Two weeks ago I just said enough, I cut out a couple of items from my daily food regime, and focused on not eating anything extra.  During work that’s much easier for me.  I bring my lunch, and am there 9 to 5.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t that difficult to ignore the candy dish boss keeps.   I still had more trouble with the eating on the weekend, but the 5 days of good eating made a big difference.  I finally have been able to see the numbers drop — and fairly quickly.

I think the weekends will continue to be a challenge.  We go out a lot, and I have a difficult time resisting.   But I’ll keep the momentum moving forward and downward.  I love that amazing and wonderful feeling of “future hope” — this is working, and I can do it, and I can achieve what I want to achieve weight wise.  I can have a difficult time getting into that groove.  When I’m there, the view is good indeed.

NYC skyline

Meals, diet cookbooks, the gym, and the farmers market

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I’m continuing on my quest to be more more plugged into the meals (bf does most to all of the grocery shopping and cooking).  I pulled out my Jenny Craig cook book last weekend and color tagged several recipes.  I handed him the book and said:  anything you make from here is ok.  He made a fish with red onions that was DELICIOUS (thanks, Jenny!), some creamy potatoes (ate that with chicken), some chicken nuggets with honey mustard sauce.  Was a good thing.

farmers market

We’ve been going to the little neighborhood farmers market after church on Sundays (went today), and that’s a very good thing too.  (This pic is actually from a couple of years ago, we don’t have these fall colored leaves yet this season.)  Not that I don’t think the supermarket veggies wouldn’t work as well, it’s more that we do it together, pick out things we might not have tried yet (variety has been a problem with the meals; I go crazy eating the same things again and again), and I do some of the cooking.  Today I bought a bunch of carrots and several types of apples.  I roasted the carrots with some red onions and potatoes (left the skin on), added coarse salt, pepper, fresh rosemary and oregano, tossed it all with olive oil.  It smells FANTASTIC.

Saturday I went to the gym after spraining/straining my knee and being out of commission gymwise for a couple of weeks.  It felt great to get on the treadmill again and sweat.  I did a couple of resistance machines too.  I decided to take it easy, since I’m just getting back up to snuff walking wise and definitely DO NOT want to re-injure it.  I miss the gym when I don’t get to go.  I’m so happy to be getting the leg back into working order, though it did still feel a little stiff this morning.  Guess I can’t expect it to heal overnight.

Weekend outtings, the farmer’s market, and mindful cooking/eating

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Last weekend bf and I went to the Intrepid, which I LOVED.  Tons of walking.  It’s located on 12th Avenue, a good distance from the Time Square train lines.  Plus, once we got there, of course we walked around looking at everything and ended up being on our feet for hours.  When we got there, my hands shook from low blood sugar (I’m hypoglycemic).  They have an Au Bon Pain, I got a healthy chicken salad, coffee, and we split a small bag of vinegar chips (yes, I could have gotten a piece of fruit, my bad).  I did leave some of the bread.

On the flight deck of the Intrepid Since I spent last weekend as a fun mental health day, this weekend I wanted to concentrate more on diet, exercise and health, getting back to the basics.

Yesterday, I got in a nice two-hour work out at the gym, and got a good nap in in the afternoon.  I went on the computer and looked through 3FC and other places to find new recipes, showed them to bf (he does almost all the cooking), and he was very agreeable about varying the diet and trying new things.  I made sure to pick out dishes I knew he’d like, that didn’t call for a trillion ingredients that we’d have to go out and specially buy.

After church today, we stopped at the local farmers market and I picked up beets to roast, we got fresh basil, and small potatoes to roast to go with the 3FC basil chicken recipe.  Bf made fresh pesto with the leftover basil.  I sauteed the beet greens with garlic, onions, a little olive oil and pepper flakes (ok, maybe I did overdo it with the pepper flakes, doh!).

I can’t even tell you how good that food smelled roasting in the oven, wow!  And we have a nice amount of leftovers for next week.  I’m patting myself on my back, because I’ve been complaining that bf makes the meals, makes meals that really aren’t the best choices for my eating plan, and I passively sit there and eat it (it’s good, just too many calories, and I know it).  Then I whine when I get on the scale and I haven’t lost any weight (well, duh!).  He’s sabotaging me, kinda sorta!, I say.  So, at least I can say now that I took the bull by the horns and took responsibility for what I put in my own mouth.

I also watched the season premier of the Biggest Loser on the pute today, to give myself a mental boost.  I find it tough to stay on plan during the weekends, these past two I did much better, I’m proud of myself for that.  I’ve also been working on doing exercise in the evenings at home, since it’s been tough for me to crank up the energy to go to the gym after work.

Here’s to chucking passivity out the window!

What I thought was an end…

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What I thought was an end turned out to be a middle.   
What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel.   
What I thought was an injustice
turned out to be a color of the sky.

–From “A Color of the Sky” by Tony Hoagland

I promised, to myself, that I would post my Friday weigh in weight at this blog.  Ok, here is the painful truth, I’m at 248 now.  I’m in the middle of TOM which accounts for some of that gain, but I must take responsibility for my vacation eating and letting gym and eating slip since I started my new job in February.

It goes on and on, this work on my weight, to make my body healthier and better, to get my brain in the right place to do what I need to do. I went to the gym on Saturday, did the elliptical for 20 minutes (my legs felt a little rubbery), then did the treadmill for another 20.  Hit the resistance machines.  Today walking through the neighborhood felt like a bit of a chore, it’s hot and muggy.  Eating felt weird today too.  We had salad for dinner, with apples, chicken, goat cheese, orange pepper strips, cucumber and tomatoes.  And slices of demi baguette.  I never saw the word “demi baguette” before, it’s a small white bread loaf.  I got it at the farmers market on Fifth Avenue (where I got the goat cheese).  We drank homemade ice tea with it.  Breakfast was oatmeal and a piece of low cal wheat bread.  Lunch was a cinnamon raisin bagel with butter and grape jelly.  Lunch was not OP.  My weekdays are relatively structured time and eating wise.  It’s the weekends when I’m running around and doing stuff that’s more difficult.  And this past Friday I got together with several people and there was food and beer involved.  Truth is I don’t do a tremendous amount of socializing, and the food was delicious.

 BF says I’m afraid to be thin and all the things I’ll feel like I’ll have to do if I get to that point.  I think he’s afraid of me being thin too.  That puts us somewhat at an impasse, one that only I can break through because ultimately I choose what goes in my mouth and how much exercise I do.

Birthdays and Good Weather Gauntlets

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I celebrated my birthday Thursday.  Lots of well wishing in the high caloric sense:  my boss bought these amazing (small) cupcakes from a Williamsburg bakery.  (Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg below.)

Bf decided to get a pound cake at the beginning of the week (what WAS he thinking??).  I had two slices, then told him he had to eat the rest or throw it away.  Then in-laws gave me a box of cookies and big brownie (none of that passed my lips, happy to report).  Bf bought me a square of cake on the day itself as well.  Whew! 

Yesterday, as part of the celebration, we went to the Bronx Zoo, what a blast!  We did a ton of walking, including getting there.  I thought we could (easily) take the 2 or 5 train, but, as happens with the MTA, they decided to do weekend repair work and neither line was running past 149th Street.  We had to get on a shuttle bus (standing; full of people and lots of kids), for about 5 or so stops.  Then walk a couple of blocks to get to the zoo entrance.  Once inside, we covered most of the park (the tram wasn’t running).  We took the express bus to Manhattan home, I couldn’t believe the luck we had — it arrived just as we walked up to the stop.  That took us to 59th and 5th Avenue, then we had to take the R train to get to Brooklyn.  LOTS of walking, and a good amount of up and down stairs and standing.  My feet and legs still ache today.

I did have some slushy (blue raspberry) at the park, and a gorilla butter cookie (split that with bf).  Then on 59th Street I got a soft ice cream.  I was not goodie free that day, no. 

Today walking home from church we walked through a street fair.  Good thing we ate before we did that!!  The deep/fried and sweet treats abounded, as well as alcoholic beverages (which I try to keep at a minimum due to calories).  I’m happy to say I only bought some glass jewelry.  I managed to pass by the sausage and peppers, Brooklyn lager, candied apples, et al.  Ha!  Boy, summer in the city can be tough eating wise.  Surrounded by all that stuff.

I’m still struggling getting back to the gym too.  I didn’t put too much pressure on myself last week, since it was my birthday week and my schedule busier than usual (as well).  I have gained a few pounds back, and I definitely want to nip this in the bud.  Friday was  a good day eating wise.  And it felt good to eat that way.  This has been an extremely difficult transitional time for me.   Needing to get my energy back to start exercising again; trying to stop eating emotionally, to comfort myself; worrying about the future.  I know I’m not alone in this world with those things, especially these days.  

You know what’s funny?  I’ve gone to Macy’s and bought a couple of blouses and pants, and like the way I look in them.  That’s not to say I don’t want to loose weight.  I do very much.  Anyone who says this weight loss journey is simply calories burned versus calories taken in, is just completely on drugs.  I find it to be extremely complex and confusing and aspects of it not at all easy to deal with.  Well,. I won’t give up.  I’ve come this far.

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.

Because It’s Christmas All Over Again, Yeah, Again!

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(That’s Tom Petty)

Ok, I weighed in today at 241.6.  Groans, claps, neutral nods.   The day BEFORE Thanksgiving I weighed 243 point somethin’, so it is a loss of 2 lbs after Thanksgiving week.  I haven’t gotten to that ever elusive 240.  I did have a talk with bf, and another lady friend of mine about this topic.  It’s Christmas month followed by New Years, I will be surrounded by goodies and temptations, how do I plan on handling it?  I know I don’t want to end up back tracking, but to expect myself to see serious losses now?  is that realistic?  People at 3FC post goals of losing 5 lbs plus this month, and I think to myself, wow, are they really going to be able to do that?  I’m sure some will.  Some people lost over Tday.  Hmmmm.

I think for myself, it makes more sense to plan on maintaining.  I don’t have any desire to pig out, or go crazy with candies, cookies, etc.  I do see the holidays as treat time, I’m perfectly comfortable keeping it in moderation.

What do I know I will be able to do?

1)   I will be able to keep up my exercise routine and go to the gym 3 times a week, exercising at home on the days I don’t go to the gym.

2)  Work days, Monday through Thursday, I don’t think I’ll have any problems sticking with the eating plan.

3) ok, here’s my commitment, folks:  any eating out will be done with the thought in my mind that I will make healthy, low calorie choices that fit into my plan. I’ve put it on the table, and I’m sticking to it.

I have no desire to have to work off 10 lbs after the holidays.  Period.  End of sentence.

Gasp, head shake, sighs of disappointment:  I do plan on indulging in a few holiday treats, maybe some egg nog with rum; a cookie or two; panettone (light and I like it much better than fruit cake). 

While I’m on the subject of food, I wanted to interject here that I’ve been eating more fish.  Bf started cooking and making talapia.  We eat that once a week now, he makes it with a mustard dressing, carrots and green beans, and rice.  Sooooo gooooood.  I made salmon a few times too; we like the talapia better.

I went to Lane Bryant today and bought myself a new pair of jeans.  Maybe because my weight loss has been slow, ok, really, really, slow, heh heh, I actually felt pretty happy seeing myself in the size 4 Venezia’s (which I believe is 18).  I am willing to have a 4 thrown at me rather than an 18, go ahead, play with my head to make me feel better.  I actually do appreciate it.   But rather than having that shocked at my fatitude reaction (that some women losing weight get because they’ve all of a sudden started seriously focusing on their bodies after ignoring their vessels of flesh for so long), I found myself noting how much BETTER I look.  I remember being at those bigger sizes — yes, it’s been a few years, the image (ie mirror reflection and pain induced therefrom) still lingers.

The jeans will be wrapped by bf and put under the tree, as will my new Land’s End sports pants for gym use, love those things.  I went the route of getting cheapo sweats at DD’s (a resale store), $5 a pop.  I’d run through them fairly quickly.  The sports pants last, and I feel like I look good in them.  Tee shirts are ok from DD, I’m wantin’ the fancier pants, I spend enough time in them, heh heh.

 Ok, I’ve now whittled down my gift wrapping time to about 20 minutes working on the pute here.  Happy Holidays all.  And to all a good night!

Thanksgiving Come and Gone

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I got het up this Thanksgiving.  I put so emotionally into what I might eat this one day, I lost sight of the Big Picture.  I talked to BF about this, before and after we cooked and ate that ONE MEAL.  I’d started weighing myself sometimes twice a day.  Sheesh.  He said to me, if a single dinner is break it or make it for you, you’re in trouble.  I realized he was right.  Losing the weight wasn’t going to depend on what I did for Thanksgiving, it depends on all my choices all those other days. 

This was our Thanksgiving Day bouquet.  Disclaimer, the chocolates and brownies are strictly for bf’s consumption only (though I have eaten the chocolates now and again, have to be honest, this is my blog). 

tday flowers

 

My thinking has to change.  Not that I haven’t been working on that, and not that my thinking hasn’t changed tremendously.  I confess that there’s a part of me that still feels like picking the lower calorie, better for me foods in certain situations — like when we go out to eat — is a deprivation.  I want to treat myself.  Sunday after church we went to the local diner and I ordered whole wheat pancakes.  What was I thinking?  With Tday coming too.  I wanted to feel like I was treating myself.

I stopped with the scale (still weighed in on Thursday).  And I made decisions about what we’d cook for Thanksgiving — it would have a special feel to it by the dishes we made, but not be the all out splurge we’ve whipped up in previous years.  No yams with eggs, orange juice and a pecan, brown sugar topping.  No stuffing with pecans and dried fruit.  No baking pies.  I bought a small pie that we shared from a local bakery.  No bottle of wine, we got a half bottle of champagne.  I made a special side of swiss chard with mushrooms that someone here gave the link to, was delicious!  I did eat seconds and felt a little overfull after dinner — I’m used to eating much smaller meals now.  Today, I’m back on program. 

I’m calmer now.  I’m not going back to weighing myself constantly.  I want to do it once a week.  I want to concentrate on not making those pancake type choices and being more consistent so I can get on the right path again and get my weight down.  I do believe I can do it and that I deserve it.  I’ve lost a freakin’ amount of weight already, this is a matter of making a life choice and sticking to it.

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.

When life steps in…and revisiting family dynamics

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I read a thread today posted by a woman who’s family and friends wanted to celebrate her birthday by taking her out to eat and cooking for her — it was just piling up into not one, but THREE days of “celebration”, which was making me a little upset — as she put it.  Tomorrow my sister in law and nephew plan to visit me, we’ll go to a local bar and have a drink and chat.  Maybe eat, who knows.  I’ll have to miss my regular gym visit, since I won’t have time between the end of work and meeting them.  That stressed me out because I want to get back down to the 242 this week (I’m at 245 right now).   Both situations I present above put into my mind that life constantly steps in with this weight loss process.  Eating is a social event; no, it’s not always possible to get to the gym 3 times a week.

I could order a spritzer, or carbonated water at the bar.  Seems unlikely I’ll do that.  I’ve had a very good eating week, stayed on plan through the weekend, skipped going out to eat, didn’t eat the “Friday popcorn” I let myself have.  Also seems unlikely I’d have more than one drink, I’m not a big drinker, and it’s hot (meaning the alcohol will go right to my head).

So if I were to face up to it, how many times have I let special and social occasions be a good excuse to eat what I wanted.   Many.  I deserve it, it’s fun, eating is fun, I shouldn’t deprive myself, weight loss is a life long effort, right?  I’ll go back to the program after X holiday is over.  Which I usually do, but how’s that workin’ for me?  Well, it slows down the process.  When I say process, I mean the rate of weight loss.  And when I say the rate of weight loss, I mean I’m extending the amount of time that I’m at this weight, 245 lbs.  I think that has to start be less ok with me.

My sister in law believes in eating healthily and being at a healthy weight.  She’s had 3 boys, and after each, worked most if not all of the extra pounds off.  She goes to the gym, goes to the track.  Watches her diet.  My brother, her husband, has no impulse control with his eating.  He’s gone to famous weight clinics, and even had gastric surgery, years ago.  He’s still quite heavy.  He has to take insulin shots, has a bad knee, a bad disk in his back.  All those things combined makes it so he can barely walk.  He’s 10 years older than me.

I know SIL will compliment on my weight loss; I don’t see her that often, so gym work and some lbs off since last year will be noticable to her.  You know what’s funny?  She’s usually the only one in my family that does comment on my progress.  My dad, sister (who’s heavy too) and brother more often than not stay mum on the topic.  And if I bring it up, it gets dropped fast, or else dad will say something like:  your sister did well when she saw a nutritionist, she should do that again.  Somehow the topic of my weight has always been that of which naught is spoken.  

My other brother used to tease my sister with some choice names: thunder thighs (she was thin and cute in highschool, when she was married; carried a few extra lbs in between, would lose them, then when she had her three kids, she balooned to where’s she heavier than me — that’s a mind boggling thought, I was always the big one).  He never called me any names. 

Maybe I just seemed too delicate and desperate to them.  Maybe the whole family had a type of denial around it, I’m not sure.  No one ever commented on how much or what I ate, my exercise level, or on my ever increasing girth and unhappiness/depression around that.

BF and I joke about my weight and body all the time (he’s nice and supportive about my weight loss efforts I should add).  I’m not sensitive to it now; yes, I guess I was super sensitive about it at various points in my life.  I guess I feel more in control of setting boundaries, and I’m more self assured.  Boy, it has taken work.  I hope I have the happiness and contentment about myself that other women here have when I reach my goal.  I’m still digesting that idea.

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