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Facing Facts

There are certain things that I have to accept as facts (again!) about my weight loss and maintenance efforts. I have known these facts for a long time, but I seem to have forgotten or denied them over the course of the last few months. These facts are not rocket science, but I have to spell them out for myself once again. Lest I forget. Again.

1) I need to count calories and measure portions. If I want to lose or even maintain weight, there is no alternative to counting and measuring for me. As much as I’m annoyed with it sometimes and as much as I’d like to be an intuitive eater: counting and measuring is the only thing that works for me for now and the foreseeable future. I don’t have an off switch and I don’t have the discipline to eat right without accountability. If it ain’t broke – don’t try to fix it.

2) Overeating makes me feel horrible in the long and short run. Whenever I binge, I start an evil cycle of moodiness and overeating. Also, my digestive system is not happy with it at all, and my workouts suffer. And even my gums are sore from all that cereal (my weapon of choice these days). Overeating is the worst way to combat stress because in the end, it only adds to it.

3) Exercise is my most important ally. It does everything that overeating does not. It provides stress relief, empowerment and an all-important change of perspective. If I slack on my exercise, it directly affects my mood and my productivity. If  think I’m too tired or achy to do yoga – that’s precisely when I should do yoga. On the other hand, I must learn not to overdo it – that’s what happened last month, and the resulting injuries set me back a couple of weeks. Exercise must be my source of energy – it cannot be my punishment for overeating.

4) When I’m in control of my eating and exercise, everything else tends to fall into place. In the past weeks, I’ve used my stressful and busy life as an excuse to not work out and eat right. But this only added to my stress and unhappiness. When I eat and exercise right, my productivity, my mood and my whole outlook on life is completely transformed. I’m more productive, optimistic and stress-resilient when I’m on track. This is what I need to remember the most.

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Just rambling…

It’s Saturday, it’s gloriously sunny, and I’m stuck (for now) at the computer, catching up on some work. Blergh. Later, we’ll go to a barbecue, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Now that summer is coming, we’re at one or two barbecues almost every weekend (tomorrow we’re invited to a graduation party as well). While I’m not dreading these events in terms of overeating like I used to, I’m aware of how they can (and usually do) set me back. I’ve accepted that I’m not good with controlling my eating in social situations and try to adjust my overall intake accordingly. The way things are going, though, I’m going to end up scrimping on calories all through the week only to save up enough for the weekend. And I’m not even that keen on grilled meat anyways. Oh well. I’ll fill up on veggies and fruit, nurse a beer or two and then switch to water, and give the pasta salads a wide berth. And run an extra mile tomorrow.

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Again and again…

This has not been a good year for weight loss, so far. In fact, I’m eight pounds over my red line weight and farther away from goal than I was same time last year. Le sigh. There are reasons for this, but I’m not willing to use them as excuses. My injured shoulder does not get better by binging. My stress and anxiety and whatnot are not relieved by binging.

Sometimes, I’m just so tired of all of this. I just want food to not have so much control over me. Whenever I’m in the groove, eating healthy seems relatively easy and doable, but at the same time, it occupies SO MUCH of my mindspace. And then, whenever I lose control, I really lose control in a big way. In these phases, I’m still obsessed with food, but I can’t make myself care about my weight and health. Will I ever find the middle ground? I felt like I’ve come so far – and in a way, I have. Before, I used to gain everything back. Now, I seem to be able to catch myself earlier. And I continue to work out even through my binges, albeit not with the same intensity.

Losing control, it scares me. I have read and learned and experienced so much already. I’ve spent years and years learning and meditating and worrying about this stuff. Without a doubt, I devoted more time to all this than I ever did to my master’s degree – or anything else, really. And that’s just sad. And even sadder is that all that knowledge and experience and energy still can’t prevent my binges from happening.

Well. I’m back for now. Giving up is not an option. Gaining all this weight back is NOT. AN. OPTION. Not fitting into my clothes is not an option. Hiding from the world because I feel fat and bloated and hideous is not an option. This is what I’m stuck with, and all I need to do is make it work again. Like Beckett said. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

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Waiting for the whoosh…

So, I’ve been off plan for a while, gained some back, found out once more that calorie counting is an absolute must for me. Fine, great. I’ve been back on plan with exercise and very disciplined eating for about two weeks now. And the scale is not moving. I’m not overly concerned about that because that’s how it’s always been – the first two or three weeks, there’s little or no movement and then there’s usually a “whoosh” of three to five pounds. So I’m waiting for that whoosh now. Hope it will come soon.

Funny thing is: I feel perfectly fine and fit. My yoga practice is yielding very nice results (side crow! headstand!), and I feel stronger and “leaner” than at my lowest weight that I had in February. Go figure. Yes, I want to go back to 155lbs. I want to go even lower than that. But I like myself now, too. It’s all good. As long as I don’t go higher – that thought really terrifies me and keeps me from going off plan right now. The last two months have shown me how very, very, easy it would be to pack on all that lost weight in a very, very short time.

Luckily, summer is coming, which makes me crave strawberries and melons rather than muffins and granola bars. I’ll get back to running more regularly, and the sun will help stabilize my mood. Good stuff! Things are looking up, with or without the whoosh.

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OK.

No more fooling around.

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40 Days of Lent – Day 1

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do for lent this year. Today, I finally decided I won’t give up anything but instead focus on mindfulness and awareness – food related and otherwise – and about how I am spending (wasting) my time.

So, for the next forty days, I commit to the following:

  • eating without distractions – especially no eating in front of the computer
  • eating slowly and mindfully
  • turning off the computer before dinner and spend my evenings offline

That’s it, but to be honest – I feel like it’s going to be ridiculously hard…

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Changes

I’m just coming off a horrible, out-of-control, completely unexpected two day binge that really rattled me, because I hadn’t experienced this degree of compulsiveness for a very, very long time. AND the scariest thing was that it happened at home, not while staying at my parents’ or other peoples’ homes, and there was no big stress or anything going on. I don’t know what happened.  I was pretty shaken about it yesterday, but today I seem to have found my footing again.

Today I’ve eaten regularly, no compulsions or cravings so far, my mood is back in neutral again. The only thing I haven’t gotten back to so far is calorie logging, and I missed my exercise class today (I might still go for a run though). The not logging calories, yet eating on plan and with controlled portions, feels good, though. Maybe I’ve been pushing too hard lately, become too obsessive with numbers on the scale and on DailyPlate. I want to try for a little while to eat healthily and mindfully without counting calories and with only weighing once a week. I just want to find out if it’s possible for me to make sane choices and control my portions without this external corset of counting calories. Call it intuitive eating if you will – I know that that is not the way for me permanently, that I must go back to counting as soon as I get serious about those last 15 pounds or so. I also realize that my weight might go up a bit. However, I am going to keep up with my exercise and I am still going to measure/weigh my food for portion control. I might even write down what I ate in a day. I just want to get away from the numbers for a while, because they’ve been messing with my head.

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Terrible Thursday Check-in

156 and a bit (I knew it wouldn’t last – but I’ll be back there soon!)

OK, so Thursdays are not that terrible – more like inconvenient and awkward, scheduling-wise. I have an evening meeting, an empty fridge, a 9am yoga class that I’m now already late for (so scratch that, I’ll just have to exercise at home), and two important projects to finish by the end of the week. Tomorrow’s not looking much better either. Hrgh.

At least I started the day right by writing two important emails that I had been kind of procrastinating about. Sounds pathetic, but there’s my day’s first achievement. Others to follow? I just need to cut through all this sluggishness…

  • B: banana oatmeal with flax seed, coffee
  • S: string cheese, coffee
  • L: omelet with pepper strips
  • S: apple and peanut butter
  • S: sf jello and yogurt
  • D: couscous veggie salad / turkey meatballs?
  • S: sf jello and yogurt

OK, I think I’ve decided now: exercise at home, focus on my projects, go grocery shopping tomorrow. Hm. OK. Good.

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Midweek Musings

155. Goodie goodie!

Yeah, I’m a bit obsessed with the scale numbers these days. It’s just so nice to see some definite downward movement after such a long time. I’ve been more or less maintaining / zig-zagging since last summer, and while that in itself is an unprecedented success for me, who was always going either up or down – it’s nice to be going down again. Thrilling, I guess.  Let’s hope it doesn’t end up being a roller coaster again. I’m optimistic, though – this is by far the longest I’ve stuck to a lifestyle change (oh, I’ve never ever called my past attempts “diets”, even when they clearly were – diets are icky!). I’ve been at this (with short disruptions brought on mostly by travel) for more than a year now. I’ve been calorie counting and working out, and I fell a couple of times, and then I got up again and continued walking.

I’m still not sure what’s different this time. In the past, I tried to be perfect. When on a diet (yes, now it can be said) I was always tense, waiting for the other show to drop.  One little misstep was an excuse to throw myself into binge eating again. And when that happened, I turned from nutrition-and-exercise-obsessed to full-blown denial. Lose, regain, rinse, repeat.

This time around, I’ve had my share of “missteps”, only I’ve learned not to see them this way. They are just steps, too, steps to the side, steps that don’t necessarily bring me closer to my goal weight, but they don’t lead into the abyss either – if I don’t let them. They are little detours, sometimes happening by accident, sometimes by design, sometimes because the main road has become too boring or because there’s a nice vista that is too good to miss. Losing weight and getting healthy is not a race along a tightrope for me anymore. It has become a truly enjoyable path, intertwined with the other paths in my life.

OK, that’s enough metaphors before breakfast. Speaking of…

  • B: banana oatmeal with flax seeds
  • S: string cheese, apple, coffee
  • L: leftover potato soup, turkey frank
  • S: egg and tomato
  • S: coffee, jello
  • D: chicken and spinach stir fry
  • S: rice cakes, applesauce
  • Exercise: not sure yet – cardio weights class?

Lots of work to do today! Have a great Wednesday, chickies!

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Tuesday Check-In

Gah, I’m not good with the early check-in these days. If I don’t do it first thing in the morning I’m just too busy.

Anyway. Offical weigh-in: somewhere between 155 and 156. Yay, yay, double yay! I love to see some sliding numbers on the scale after such a long time of stagnation or up-2-down-2 zig zag. Stayed barely within my calories yesterday.

Today’s plan:

  • breakfast: yogurt, protein powder, applesauce
  • snack: coffee, string cheese
  • lunch: tomato salad with egg and hummus and pita bread
  • snack: coffee, banana and peanut butter
  • workout: 60 min yoga, at least 30 min cardio
  • snack: edamame
  • dinner: creamy potato carrot soup with turkey franks
  • snack: rice cakes and applesauce, hot tea

One more mission today is: buy new earphones. My old ones are nearly dead and awfully tinny. I need some entertainment on the treadmill, or I might just pass out from boredom. My iPod shuffle seems to be sort of broken, too, in that it doesn’t recognize Podcasts anymore, which sucks so much because I found some really good ones recently. I kind of sort of dropped some hints towards DH that I’d like a new one – mayyyybe? Hm. Earphones first!

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