My body is NOT. MY. ENEMY.

I started this have a lower number on the scale, lose fat, and be healthier. Nope, I was sick of how my body looked. I wanted to look good naked*  and look hot when clothed. (*not sure if Mark Sisson of Primal Blueprint has TM’ed that phrase, he should!)

However in the process of this vain quest, I’ve discovered a few not-so-vain things. Eliminating grains and grain products solved or greatly eased a number of “little” problems: 3 different skin conditions, stiffness in my knees, mental fog, and morning lethargy among others. (Fear not. Evangelizing about reducing/eliminating grain will be the topic of a future post. Heh.) I loved the feeling of power, strength and ease I felt when I was briskly walking up a long incline on the way home, while carrying a 10-15 lb back pack.  I’ve encountered some interesting, wonderful people who I’d never have met had we not been following the same program to our goals at the same time.

And, I’ve been spending far too much time reading weight loss forums and dietary blogs. I’m choosing to “press pause” instead of “infinite shuffle” on that habit.  I’ve got my list and I’ll stick with that for a few months. New rule: no new sites or programs or …

One thing that is setting me off these days is the ubiquitous and inevitable desperation and urgency of dieting. I find my craziness starts to hum along when in the presence of other people’s craziness. I guess I’m writing this to reconnect with some compassion for all of us.

The truth is that underneath my irritation, my heart breaks a little for people obsessing about having a shred of carrot in a salad because of the carbohydrate grams. (I did that.) Or feeling that “I. MUST. EXERCISE. TO. EXHAUSTION. at least 5 days a week even though I’m eating only 800 calories a day and my program advises against it.” (Wasn’t my bag, but I have my flavour of it.) We wage war on our bodies — beat it into submission with near-brutal exercise, starve it, tell it we hate it when we look in the mirror, tell anyone who’ll listen what’s wrong with it.

Here’s the thing: Did you know that storing excess food as fat is probably the healthiest thing your body could do in response to the situation? All the other options lead to, ummmmmmm, death. Think about it. Your body did the best thing possible for your survival given the conditions it faced at the time. Again, your body responded perfectly to the conditions at the time. How do I know that? You’re here now reading this. Got that?

I actually felt a tremendous amount of relief when I finally “got” that. My body was doing exactly what it was designed to do. In fact, I had a wee moment of glee thinking about how well those extra pounds of fat might have me live longer than the skinny-minnies should there ever be food shortages. Long live the efficient fat-storers!

So if my body responds perfectly to the conditions I give it, what is there to do next? Take on the adventure of discovering and creating the conditions that will create the response that I want — burning the excess body fat while taking care of that wonderful, miraculous body that does so much more than just carry me around. I’ve decided I’m going to pay attention to how my body responds to ways of eating and exercising. If I don’t feel good, I’m going to adjust the food and the exercise rather than force myself to eat or move my body a particular way because some program or concept or theory says it’s a good idea.

What if it’s not your body that’s not working, but it’s the diet or the exercise that’s not working for your body?

Out of the svelting express lanes, into the collectors

After an absence of undetermined, but determinable, duration, I’m back.

ScooterMan and I call my July - September dieting “the express lanes.” A few weeks ago, I moved over to the collector lanes, more food, more exercise, slower weight loss but hopefully maintaining or building lean muscle.

A couple of updates:

  • I didn’t start the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) in October.
  • I’ve switched my eating to Perfect Health Diet or Primal Blueprint. That means for continued, slower weight loss, I’m eating approx. 75 g carbs (counting only the starchy carbs and the dairy sugars), approx. 100 g protein, and the rest comes from fat to make up 1500-1600 calories per day. Oh, BTW, HIGHLY recommended!

The off-ramp is about 25-30 lbs away.

Diagnosis: Diethead.

Sometimes as the “official” weekly weigh-in approaches, I get an acute attack of dietheadus severis.  Rather than just accept the number that shows up on the scale, I think about how to game it. Drink more water! Have some extra salad! Drink less water! Eat only after the scale visit! Take a few fibre capsules!. Wear lightweight clothes! Brew and drink some completely unnecessary “get things moving” tea!

I know what the number is on my home scale when I weigh naked first thing in the morning. Why do I care what the number is hours later after having eaten, trekked to work, had litres of water and put on clothes?

Note: Activities usually performed in another order ;)

I never know how or when diethead is going to appear. I’m following this food program to change my biochemistry and improve my health. Why do I get sucked in by diethead and her “number on the scale” fixation? Who is really being fooled by the games?

What are some of the silly games diethead has you do? What do you say or do to move past the diethead/sillyhead ideas?

Hi ho, hi ho, I don’t know the goal to go …

So I just “got real” with my weight data (means I actually looked at the numbers) and see that I’m down 48.8 lbs since June 28.  When I recommitted to following a diet plan for 13 weeks, I never would have dreamed that I would actually lose 50 lbs. It was an unsayable goal, something so ridiculous that I wouldn’t speak it because it was so unlikely. Also, I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment, or worse, feeling crushed that yet again I didn’t succeed.

Well, I’ve done it! I’m more than halfway. I don’t know where I want to end up, but I know it’s less than 50 lbs more.  I’ve been scale averse for much of my adult life and could refer to less than ten “weigh-ins”– doctor’s office, start of a fitness program — in the last 25 years. There were 2 stints at Weight Watchers, but I’m now below the weights at which I stopped attending.

It’s probably far too early to spend much time thinking about this. However …

Maybe I should target a BMI = 22, which would be 170 lbs. The last time I was at that weight I was 16. And, I was still carrying one or two extra meals, if you know what I mean, when I was 16 at that weight.

Face pixelated to protect the identity of a minor.

Not that I wouldn’t be delighted to see that number on the scale, and that body. Well, let’s be realistic, there are +/-  25 30 (ack! I’ve lost my ability to subtract) years worth of gravity that’s got to be accounted for.

How did you set your goal weight? What suggestions do you have for someone who wants to get back (Thanks Leanne!) to somewhere she’s really never been?

Every other day oddity

I just noticed something today. It seems as if I’m not hungry one day and the next I am, lather, rinse and repeat.  I wonder what drives that. The meals I have aren’t that different one day to the next. Certainly my breakfast and lunch have been exactly the same.

I recall reading something about the amount of sleep affecting appetite and/or  weight. A quick web search on “lack of sleep and weight” turned up interesting articles on the role of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin. FYI: one is from the NY Times, April 26, 2010.

My simplistic understanding: Leptin is made in my fat cells and signals the brain when I feel full. Ghrelin, made in the gut, stimulates appetite. Lack of sleep creates a double jeopardy situation; it decreases leptin and increases ghrelin. Yikes, this means with reduced sleep I feel less full and want to eat more. Sleep is definitely something to pay attention to, then.

Guess I better post this and go get some beauty sleep!

Update in 127 characters

On program yesterday, except no snack.

Bar with friends, perrier only.

Weight no change

No snark today, don’t be sad.

Haiku tomorrow?

^^^ 127 characters, count ‘em friends

Tonight, tonight, I’ll see my love tonight

All day long, I’ve been dying to snuggle up to an Ideal Protein chocolate pudding. You thought there would be some romance here of epic proportion à la Maria & Tony ? Sorry to disappoint, shark’s on my plate, not my date!

Any road, craving milk protein concentrate, etc. How crazy is that? Let me tell you how crazy that is (I am?)

About chocolate, a snob I am. I’ve been seen and heard to tell people in the latte line that there’s no such thing as white chocolate. If they want to call their “flavour” of choice sweetened cocoa butter, that’s okay, but using the name of my rich complex BFF chocolate? Don’t insult her! You didn’t know chocolate was a woman? She is, and we’re very good friends.

Oh, back to the crazy, or was that simply a different crazy? (Tell me in the comments!)

When I started eating the astronaut food (two shout-outs in a post, come on — you know you love me!) I couldn’t stand the chocolate pudding — even traded in a few packets –  and much preferred the butterscotch and the vanilla versions. Slowly the sweetness of the butterscotch lost my favour and the vanilla pudding began to remind me of cake mix batters of my youth.

Not that I haven’t loved cake mix batters and cake batters in any stage of their existence all my life — I am here on 3fatchicks.com posting about losing weight.

Today I found myself daydreaming of IP chocolate pudding. I’ve been rationing my packets because I only have 3 left before my next trip to purchase.  Sooooo… upon arriving home, this little miss smarty-pants considered her supplies and the time remaining to packet shopping day. She decided to mix one of her precious chocolate pudd packs with a DrB chocolate pudd to extend existing supply so that a day wouldn’t pass without the longed-for treat before the fresh stock is acquired on Saturday.

You need to know that on earlier samplings I liked neither the taste nor the texture of the DrB product. To a hungry deluded mind, this qualifies it as an OH-SO-EXCELLENT choice to mix with something I love and am craving.

I had my ersatz, adulterated IP chocolate pudding and DID. NOT. LOVE. IT. My attempt to stretch one of my favourites has resulted in pouring half of a precious packet down the drain. [rolls eyes at self] Now only 2 left, cue the weeping and increased cravings.

The remaining DrB stuff crap is going down the chute tout de suite. So heinous, tragic and fearsome is this event, that henceforth it must be referred to as “The Voldemort of packet mishaps.”

Veggie self A.W.O.L.

On work days I usually find it easier to follow the program. Today was no exception, with my usual “colouring outside the lines” — an afternoon and an evening snack, and an egg mixed in with the omelet packet without reducing the evening protein portion.  I refuse to consider this cheating, even though officially I have “gone rogue.” Ranting now about that would stir me up out my sleepiness. You’ll have to tune in another time for the rant, it’s full of extra-juicy ranty-ness.

Back to today: Tonight when I arrived home, there was a marinated steak waiting for me to grill, which was delicious with some sautéed mushrooms and a big salad.

Maybe tomorrow night Veggie self will appear, or you know, I’ll just honour my word and my commitment to my health. Or, maybe ScooterMan will prep some veggies for me. Forget I said that, I sent him the link to the blog. Don’t want him to think I only love him for his kitchen skills.

Must. Eat. Vegetables.

Happy to report another weight loss this week of 4 for 45 total since June 28. Hey, I’ve almost lost my age — cool! FYI I’m aiming to lose more than at least a 20-year member of AARP/CARP, under the new eligibility rules. Why do I know this trivial bumpf? (BTW: Google the word “bumpf”. The definition/derivation is snort-worthy!)

ARRRGGGH! I’m still having a hard time getting in all 4 cups of vegetables the Ideal Protein Phase 1 program requires. I definitely feel better when I have them. I get all the other components of the program in, water, oil, salt, supplements, and some protein that either walked the earth or swam the sea.

My lazy-ass self asserts herself almost every morning — “I don’t feel like eating or packing vegetables.” and “I’ll just pick some stuff up at the deli or the grocery store near to work.” That whining is very seductive and far too often dictates what happens.

The trick that’s worked before is to invite thinking, strategic self and competitive self to outwit the lazy-ass self. So last night I borrowed Tonight I will borrow from many IPers past and present, and prepped a week’s worth of lunch and dinner veggies & salads in “go bags” and “go boxes.”

Lazy-ass self dropped in last night for a visit.

Out of the fat girls’ section

A pair of pants I purchased only a month ago now slide off without unbuttoning  or unzipping OR stretching the fabric. It is a source of amusement and raised eyebrows for ScooterMan, but that kind of fit doesn’t work too well outside the bedroom, or the living room, or  …

Someone on the 3FC board advised that skirts might be a better interim choice. Shopping in my closet I found 4 skirts that fit;  I’ll wear those until it starts to get cold. When skirts + tights just aren’t warm enough, then I’ll shop for more pants or, if possible, have the current pairs taken in.

Although a few Ontario women fought for and won the right to go topless in public in the early 90s, I’m not a stripper so that would be a career-limiting move.  What I desperately need then, is tops. I figure I won’t be wearing anything I get now for more than 4-6 weeks and I don’t want to spend a lot of money.

Saturday I was in Winners, an end-of-line labels-for-less store. Much to my surprise, many of the smallest plus size tops were too large and I had to shift my attention to the XL section of the regular clothing racks. There I found sweaters and blouses that fit — both body and my taste style. So for a little over $100 I’ve got some attractive good-fitting choices for the next month or two. When I’m too small for those, I’ll take them and my baggy pants to my favourite consignment store, Curvaceous Consignments, on Yonge Street in Thornhill.

I do like the costume jewelery in the plus size stores — the pieces are generally more dramatic. Delicate, demure and subtle isn’t really a look I can carry off. Imagine your surprise.

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