Down 10, do it again!

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I weighed in at 252 Friday morning, which is 1 lb away from where I left my ticker at 3FC, ha.  I did that during a heat wave too, which makes me feel extra proud of myself.  I expect to fluctuate a little next week due to the extreme weather, and because I didn’t exercise (walk) as much either (Thursday and Friday).  I’ve managed to find that diet and exercise balance to see weight loss at a good pace (10 lbs in about 5 weeks), a very fast pace for me, the snail loser.  I also lose in a jagged line way — three of the weigh ins had me at 255, then whoosh, 3 lbs came off.  I think it had to do with TOM.  As long as I’ve been doing this, I still had that doubt in my mind that I was screwing up somehow and needed to change something I was doing.  It’s mentally tough keeping the faith when my calories are low and I really feel like I’m focused and my weight basically stays the same.

I am dying to be back in the 240s again, and when I see the 3 lb-loss it feels eminently possible.  I hate that I let that hope and confidence plummet when there’s a little backtracking, due to indulging too much, or the weather, or both.   I do feel healthy, physically and basically with my outlook towards food and eating and exercise.  I just have to plow forward and keeping finding success.  A picture of cygnets becoming swans fits well in here!

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

March begins — lions, lambs and head colds

Filed Under Emotional, Patience, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Ho, boy, so I get down to 252 (yes, down, I’ve been experiencing weight creep for a while now, then I’d go down, they creep up, down, etc.).   Perimenopause has entered my life in the last few years, this month I got all the symptoms of TOM, including a 4 lb weight gain, but no TOM.  This week, the lbs have already been falling off (official weigh in: Friday morning), but guess what, I caught a head cold.  I’ve been sick since Monday, took today off and haven’t exercised at home.  I feel stuffy and achy, yuck.  Even though my appetite has dwindled, I know the way of colds and weight loss (the two aren’t pals), at least for me.

I don’t have an interest in “giving up”, I’ve changed a ton of habits, eating and exercise wise.  I value being healthy.  I have problems getting bored with the foods that I know help with the weight loss.  BF does all the grocery shopping and 90 percent of the cooking, that makes it a negotiation.  He doesn’t need to lose a pound, and has a taste for junkier, higher calorie foods sometimes (and is a chocoholic).   Of course, I’m 100 percent responsible for everything I put in my mouth.   All the stress from changing jobs (got laid off from a job I’d been at for 9 years), starting a new one, upping the hours, losing income, having a commute — that’s all calming down now — AFTER a GAIN of (SHIVER!) 15 and sometimes more lbs.  I was down all the way to 237.  No question about it, I’ve struggled to get back in the weight loss saddle.

When I’m not losing, I don’t feel all that comfortable about posting at 3FC, which you’d think would go against its purpose, being a support.  I read, but post much less.  I’ve stopped feeling like a weight loss “success” or “doer” and that I’ve drifted into the “gained back some” category.  I’ll tell you, too, I NEVER thought that would happen.  I thought I had all the routine down to the point where I might not lose as fast, or even stall, but I wouldn’t GAIN.  Hey, it was possible, and I did it.  I’d say, during the work week, I eat and exercise well; on the weekends, I get the gym in and home exercise, but I overindulge with the food.  Not seriously, enough to slow or stall things.

The bottom line, I’ll keep going and find a way.  I’ll get over my cold, get exercising again, tone down the weekend eating, and plug away.  Not such a profound conclusion — well, hey, maybe it is.

Wintery days and ups and downs

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Ok, it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post.  I’ve been going up and down with the weight, having a good batch of days, then having problems on the weekends with overeating.  I weighed in at 252 on Friday, which I don’t consider bad.  I am having trouble committing to losing this weight.  I have so much on my mind, and have been stressed out.  That plus the close proximity of Valentine’s Day candy hasn’t helped.  I want spring, and I feel it coming.

snow on tree in backyard

Carbs, fats and sweaty Sundays

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I found this article in Scientific American about refinded carbs being found to be worse for us health wise than saturated fat.   Maybe now we can loosen up this crazy obsession with cholesterol levels (that are not as indicitive of heart problems and we’ve been led to believe), which I think has mislead people diet and health wise.  I’m not saying people should watch the level of fat they eat.  I do think doctors perscribed serious cholesterol lowering drugs to people to who may not have needed it.  Heed my words, in the near future there will be a battle in the medical and public health communities over this issue, and in the further future a general acceptance that fat levels in the diet and cholesterol numbers aren’t as important in terms of future health problems like heart disease and diabetes as “once believed.”  Which brings to mind the scene from Wood Allen’s Sleeper where he finds out, as a (mostly) vegan, when he travels into the future, that that scientists and nutritionists have come to the conclusion that cheeseburgers are the healthier food choice.  Like the guy says in the (Verizon? AT&T?) commercial to his mom who’s spilling the fine print to the potential customer:  “You’re not, you’re not helpin’!”

It’s easy to feel lost when it comes to knowing what to eat, what to believe is healthy and less healthy and not healthy.  And then once you have that feeling like you have a something of an idea, or grip, actually doing it consistently.  Then there’s getting past the psychological barriers, the bad habits, the stress and any laziness (I worked all friggin’ week with a boss who harangued me constantly, I just want to lay in a hammock and drink a beer and eat my dang Doritos!).  Many times I’ve said to myself, Man, I’m such a lazy schmuck, other people are doing this! (and it only takes one half of one percent to be successful for me to feel like I must be the massiv failure because I’m struggling.)

I don’t write this as an excuse.  I just would like to use it as a tool to figure out how I can be better at my weight loss efforts.  Sometimes I wonder how serious I must be, if I’m dragging my feet so much to watch my diet better and exercise more.  I am really tired and stressed out.  So are a lot of other people.  Rest assured, I’ll never give up.  With that thought in mind, it’s time for me to go out into this sweaty Sunday and get my gym workout done.

The moment of change is the only poem

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(That’s Adrienne Rich — quite a beautiful quote)

My boss this week told me he’s closing my office, which means after ten years of working for him I’m now unemployed.  I have about three weeks.  I have a home office, so I’ll have to pack everything to send back to him.  He’s had ongoing health problems for a while now, but I didn’t realize how serious they’d become.  He didn’t tell me everything either.  I do have an interview suit, an updated resume, a couple of good references.  It’s only been 2 days, so I’m still experiencing some freak out.  Ten years is a long time to be at a place and to work for one person.  I’ve had it cushy and easy.  The times, they are a changin’.

At the same time, I’ve pushed through the 240 barrier, this morning my scale read 239.2.  Part of that result I feel comes from the stress: lowered appetite, being more physically active from being hyper and freaked out.  Part of it is the swoosh from the end of my TOM.  Part of that is the result from my plugging at the diet and exercise.  I’ve been wanting to see the 230s for several months now.  It kind of took my breath away to see that number.  I’m entering new territory.

Yes, this is the moment of change for me, and it is the only poem.

Saturday, every day is a new day

Filed Under Exercise, Patience | 2 Comments

It’s a chilly, lovely Saturday.  In about ten minutes I have to head out to the gym.  I’m not weighing in again until next Friday.  Instead of focusing full force on the scale numbers, I’m going to concentrate on eating on plan and keeping up my exercise.

I walk quite a bit, living in NYC.  I go to the gym three times a week too, I do the treadmill for twenty minutes, then I do either the arc or elliptical for another twenty.  On the days when I have time, I even take a mile walk before the gym (the gym itself is located six short blocks away, about a ten minute walk).  That all means that I go through tennis shoes fairly quickly, I’d guesstimate two pair a year.  If I lived in the best of all possible worlds, I’d have a foot orthotic because the muscles in the back of my feet start to bother me if I don’t 1) stretch them every day in the shower, and 2) wear shoes with good support.  Instead, I wear good tennis shoes.  Will this change as I lose weight?  I don’t know.  I’ve had it for quite a while. 

I thought I could hold out until Christmas, have my new tennies be a gift.  I couldn’t do it.  My foot started to bug me (once the tennis shoes wear out, it strains the muscles in a weird way, I don’t think I walk correctly).  I went into Manhattan with bf around 42nd and 34th Streets to shop, couldn’t find what I wanted, so I ended up ordering them online.  Not such a bad thing, since shipping when I bought them got thrown in for free.  It would have been the same had I bought them in a store.  They came Wednesday, and today they get their first gym workout!  I love getting new shoes! 

new sneakers

 

 

On the Cusp…

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Being on the cusp of 240 feels downright painful.  I weight in at 241.2 on Thursday, then my weight shot back up to 241.8 on Friday — and Thursday I ate spot on and even did extra exercise.  I wanted it, I really did, to see that 240.  This for me, has been a fast “decade,” I got in the 240s in June.  To see that 241.2 did something to my brain, it made me feel successful, like I was doing it, and I could imagine actually getting down under 200.  I know it’s silly, seeing myself going up not even a pound on my official weigh in day, I let that turn my head all around to where I had trouble envisioning my reaching my goals.  Worst of all, I let it effect my eating yesterday.  I didn’t go hog wild, but I let myself eat off program.  I ate from stress too.  BF had a fight with his dad in the evening, I grabbed a bag of microwave popcorn and chowed down. 

Since this coming week is Thanksgiving, I wonder to myself how well I’m going to do staying on program and weight wise.  I’m dang sick of yo-yo’ing in the 240s.

 

The Fall Equinox and weight loss goals

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This year the autumnal equinox falls on September 22.  What, you may ask, do I mention that?  Well, I signed up for the Fall Equinox Weight Loss Challenge at 3FC, gave myself a 10 lb goal (which many others dwarfed with their goals).  I have 6 lbs to go, and I have to admit (ok, I don’t have to, but I’m freely admitting it here) that it doesn’t look as if I’ll make that target.  I may lose another 2 or 3 lbs, 6 strikes me as highly unlikely.

What happened?  you ask.  Nicely, but with a note in your voice, something like criticism, or disappointment, a little shake of the head.  Right after I got back from vacation in Pennsylvania, my weight, miraculously to my mind, actually had stayed the same.  A week later, the scale showed a 3 lb gain (!)  I had a delayed upward blip!  So, I’ve been riding on this see saw for a bunch of weeks of up a couple, down a couple.  It’s not that unusual for me, but I had in my mind to be more focused, have a blog, post and read at 3FC as much as possible; that I would really do it!  Not that I’m not doing it, I just have really continued in the weight loss way I’ve most always had, and can’t honestly say I’ve stepped it up all that much.  I made Friday my official weigh in day, I may get it down to 241, which would be a nice mental boost for me.  I went to the gym today, and ate well.

I’m not sure why I don’t do well at challenges.  Maybe if I hadn’t gone on vacation.  Am I being excuse laden?  Am I not engaging myself enough in this battle?  Do I not want it enough?  Thoughts to ponder.

On Exercise, Injuries, and More on Patience…

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Since I was writing yesterday about patience in the weight loss process, it flows that I touch on another connected topic that has to do with exercise:  the exercise injury (pain; soreness; etc.).  The reason being, for the past couple of days I’ve had a very sore muscle in the arch of my left foot that’s been slowing me down going to the gym and walking, two key areas of my current regular exercise routine. 

I started this latest weight loss adventure at over 300 lbs, and from the beginning I wanted to incorporate exercise.  I want to say first off:  (1) I was a big baby and did want to exercise, heh heh; (2) I was in HORRIBLE shape and almost any exercise felt like a big chore; (3) I had never been an exerciser or sporty person, in fact I’d actively avoided sports (I’ve been heavy since I was a kid), and had a certain mindset that I was too big to do most exercises.

I began walking in my neighborhood, and at home doing routines like marching in place, side bends, leg lifts, etc.  As to walking, I didn’t have to go far before I’d suffer from lactic acid build up in the muscles of my legs.  Painful and discouraging!  Marching in place, after a time, made my knees sore (to the point I had to stop for a while).  Plus, I grew to the point where I hated marching in place.  I think it’s a good exercise, but man, I got so sick of it!  I moved on to other exercises that I enjoy more, and I since joined a gym.

So let’s talk about the gym! 

I signed up at my neighborhood Y when I weighed 270 pounds (mid 2005).  I was a big scaredy cat about it, dragged my bf with me the first few times.  I thought I’d be the hugest person there, that everyone would look at me, that I’d embarrass myself, etc.  Wasn’t true, and didn’t happen.  Despite my exercising at home and my walks, I still was not in very good physical condition.  I could barely do 3 minutes on the elliptical, and after a short work out on the treadmill and some resistance machines, I’d feel ill walking home (even called bf to walk me once).  I started going one to two times a week, upped it to three.  Slowed increased the time on the aerobic machines, tried different machines.  Learned how to use the resistance machines and slowly increased the weights there. 

I was too self conscious to really ask for any help with it (luckily, bf has a good knowledge, I relied on him).  Over time, I dropped about 20lbs.  A little aside, I thought the fat would melt because I was GOING TO A GYM.  Au contraire, since I didn’t have the diet consistently where it needed to be.  My stamina increased, my body toned, I felt mentally better.  On the one hand, going slowly I have stuck with it and still enjoy going after all these years.  On the other, I’ve had to be patient about the fact that I’d been going all those years and wasn’t closer to my goal. 

In January 2009, I made the decision to hire a trainer, since I’d been in the 250s for about 3 years, up and down with the same 5 lbs or so.  I didn’t lose weight at first, since I still wasn’t cutting out the extra eating, but I got into better shape, increased my upper body strength, learned new exercises and how to build my core, increased my confidence and motivated myself to do better with my diet.  I’m 242 now, and feeling very positive.

Back for a sec to the original topic, I’ve had physical and life setbacks that have kept me from going to the gym from time to time, and I do have to push myself sometimes, in those instances, to get back into it.  Sometimes I’ve gone to another Y just to have change (plus, the other Y has a nice pool). 

I can’t express how nice it is to feel these physical differences, less weight, better stamina, better shape, built up tone and muscles.  Wow, and my work did it.  I need to acknowledge that, and stop criticizing myself for not doing more faster; maybe, too, I can be less afraid to challenge myself.

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