Welcome

Welcome to my blog. The purpose here is simple: to chronicle my thoughts, actions, plans, and goals in getting healthy in the year 2017. Feel free to look around and offer encouragement or suggestions.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Breaking 300

I'm not a believer in shame. It does more harm than good and rarely generates a positive outcome. The things I'm ashamed of can be counted on less than a hand. My weight has come to be one of them.

Here's a confession that is difficult for me to make. At my heaviest, at the beginning of this study, I was 330 pounds. There. I said it. 330. Which is even higher than my last great shame and the point at which I stopped looking at the scale. Because my response to shame has always been avoidance.

Besides, 330 felt a lot like 315, which felt a lot like 300. Same fat, different number.

I weighed in today. The scale read 136kg even. For my non-metric folks that's 299.89 lbs. I've once again broken the 300 threshold. In doing so I realize it's not the same fat as 330. I mean, I'd be lying if I said I could notice a difference in the mirror. I can't. But I DO notice the difference in my legs, my knees, and my back. The little aches that had built up over time and became normal, everyday sensations without my notice are a little father and a little fewer between.

And that is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Bad Week, The Expectation of Failure, and Unexpected Success

So my week goes from Wednesday to Wednesday with this study and last W to W was....shall we say, less than structured. I tried to stick to the diet. I really did. But I may have had an apple fritter...and a sliver of cake...and a couple cans of coke...and some snack size candy bars...some wine.... You get the point.

Needless to say I was not expecting my Wednesday morning weigh in to go very well. I was feeling like a bit of a failure, but determined to shake it off next week. This is not the first time I've slipped when trying to stick to a diet. I've never had a diet quite so restrictive, but the basics are the same. I know the value of shaking off the slip ups and moving forward.

So I weighed in. And to my surprise, I've lost. Still. Considerably. It felt wonderful to know that a little nip of something I desperately wanted didn't sink my goals.

Which I guess brings me to the importance of indulgence. Hear me out here. Remember last post when I was willing to throat punch someone for a doughnut? That craving was pervasive. No matter how many carrots I ate, or how much water I drank, the craving remained. For days. It became all I could think about. Literally, on my route between walking dogs I was thinking about where the nearest doughnut was located. For days. And so I broke and drove out of my way to stop in at Whole Foods for a little taste of baked good. It. Was. Glorious. Do you know what I haven't thought about since that afternoon? A doughnut. So I'm not saying go crazy and order a dozen whatever. I'm saying that a craving that sticks is one you should indulge reasonably. Give yourself ONE and savor it. Trust me the satisfaction you get from your indulgence is it's own reward. Then afterward, once you've finished indulging, shake it off and get back to the grind.

Just be sure you aren't giving yourself too many treats, though. And indulgence at every meal is not indulgence. It's exorbitance. Keep them few and far between, but don't be afraid to have them.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Enduring Food Purgatory

I am not a violent woman. That said, at the moment, I would happily throat punch anyone you set in front of me if the reward were a doughnut.

Now that I'm more than two weeks into this Nutrisystem thing I have far fewer moments of vicious hunger. But just because I'm not hungry does not mean I am not wanting. The diet, by it's nature, means I'm eating an abundance of savory selections. This is problematic to my sugar addiction, which I fully acknowledge. Proteins very rarely tickle the sweet buds and veggies, which I am allowed to gnosh on at will have the same issue. The exception is possibly tomatoes and carrots and they are far from sweet. My one relief of my relentless sugar cravings come in the form of the Nutrisystem snacks. They are the ONLY part of the day I actually look forward to eating and actually enjoy. And it is over in five minutes.

I have a five minute culinary bright spot guys.

I can't even take refuge in fruit. I'm only allowed one fruit serving a day and more often than not the fruit serving is mixed into a yogurt for convenience. And some of my favorite veggies, peas, corn, and sweet potatoes are considered smart carbs and I can really only have them once a week in my flex meal. 

So I find myself in food purgatory, a place where I can eat what I have, but enjoy none of it, and I cannot have what I enjoy. Pretty much the joy has been sucked out of every meal. I love a good meal. And I won't get one for several months. I can't help but find that incredibly disappointing.

I know that there is a whole subset of "eat to live, don't live to eat" people who would say that this is a good thing. That I'm being liberated from my dependency on food. But nothing about this feels like liberation. In fact, I feel more shackled than ever. When I was doing my own thing I managed to lose weight AND enjoy the foods I made. Admittedly, I had to work harder, but I wasn't miserable at the thought of every meal, so I know diet and enjoyment are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps that is why I'm struggling. I know that there is a better way.

On the bright side, there are only 7 1/2 months left. Maybe by then I won't feel the need to maim someone for baked goods.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Call Me Yo-Yo

Hello Blog, it's been a while. So long I may have lost the knack of it. Kind of like I lost the knack of caring. A lot has happened since I last set my fingers to tapping keys. I met someone. We got serious. We fell in love. We got engaged.

We got fat...ter.

For reasons that could probably (and by probably I mean definitely) be its own post, I have also spent the last year and a half or so battling with depression. I only mention this because depression and weight gain almost always go hand in hand. While I have been slowly healing, I have not been watchful of my weight.

Long story short, I am heavier than I have ever been. I am getting older, which means I feel my weight in my body in ways I never have before. I'm constantly fatigued and cannot tell if it's my body craving nutrients or my depression lulling me back to bed. My once sunny disposition finds itself overshadowed by stress and frustration and anger far more frequently than I am comfortable admitting.

So I need a change.

I was driving along and heard an add on the radio. They were looking for overweight women to participate in a study. I fit the qualifications, so I joined. The study is basically comparing weight loss from increased activity vs. caloric restriction and increased activity. When I was told I would be randomized into one or the other I knew that there was a group I wanted to be in and a group I needed to be in. I WANTED to be in the group that got a Fitbit and a fancy scale and a step goal. I wanted to keep my freedom to do what I wanted, indulge as I wanted, all the while claiming I tried. I NEEDED to be placed in the group that still got the Fitbit, fancy scale, and step goal, but also a dietary supplement, a Nutrisystem subscription and a very strict diet to follow.

I was disappointed to be randomized into the latter group...until I realized that this is exactly what I need. I wouldn't have done well on the other plan. I know myself well enough to know that I'd do the bare minimum required of me and call myself participating. This way I have rules and I'm forced to eat less.

Not that I'm not kicking and screaming. I've been on the Nutrisystem diet for almost a week now and I'm about ready to punch someone in the throat. It's not my ideal. I'm constantly hungry. Almost every meal tastes like some variation of Chef Boyardee. If you've read the blog before you know how I feel about processed foods and now that's ALL I'm eating. You also know I prefer to work my way down to a restricted diet gradually and this was literally an overnight change. I've slipped up more than a handful of times this week. Have I mentioned I'm constantly hungry?

BUT it's effective. I've already shed about five pounds. Much of it is water weight, I know, but it's better than no progress. AND I can't think of a better way to reboot once the study is done. Following this diet will break all my worst habits. When the study is over I'll have no trouble taking the best parts of Nutrisystem, the focus on balanced macronutrients and a vegetable heavy diet, and incorporating it into a clean  diet for myself and my fiance.

So I'm working on remaining positive. I'm working on recognizing my hunger based anger...and boy do I get hangry...to reel back my crankiness when it gets the better of me.

And hey, if my future husband can love me through a very stringent diet, when I KNOW how unpleasant I can get, the rest of our lives will be a cake walk.

See....positive!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Reconnecting

At first all I felt was trepidation and a bone deep surety that I'd be judged and found wanting. They mingled together, culminating in the dull throb of my heartbeat at the base of my throat. After all it had been years. What if I had forgotten how? I wrestled with the idea of turning around and heading home, but I was already at the front desk and Virginia, the woman behind it,  was smiling at me expectantly. After a brief internal conversation where I reminded myself there was absolutely no reason to feel nervous I tentatively told her why I'd come. I wanted to use the pool.

I thought the pool would be a good alternative to dry cardio,  which lately has left my legs aching. My logic was that alternating between aquatic and cardio workouts would spare my legs some pain.

I hadn't done more than splash about in the pool for years. I slipped into the water and took a deep, slow breath, unsure of what would come next. When I struck out with my first few strokes it felt just slightly less awkward than I expected.  I'm by no means a pro but I wasn't floundering. I made my way from one end of the pool to the other.  It was slow and left me gasping, but after about three goes I realized something.

I remembered how much I loved to swim.  I had forgotten how peaceful I found the world of pulse and breath that I've only found with my head submerged. After each pass I felt a bit more accomplished. I ended up staying until the center closed.  Even then I was totally willing to do more swimming. In the end I've reconnected with a live I'd forgotten and got a good workout all at once. 

We'll have to do this again sometime.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sweat-tastic...twice a day.

The picture is me all shiny after my first workout of the day.  Thank goodness I don't get gross sweaty.  I've decided to do the workout thing twice a day for a while. I've also taken to using a couch to 5k program.  This means I'm running.  I hate running,  but I have a goal to do a color run this year. Running is a means to an end. 

I also chose to increase my exercising because I've totally slacked off for my first few weeks in the fitness challenge.  I disappointed myself by not getting into the spirit of it,  which was the entire point.  So here's what I've done.  I wrote up a calendar for the next five weeks that has a checklist on it for each of my workouts.  This way if I skip it's staring at me instead of being easily forgotten. So far it's a theory that works.  Of course this is only the second day. Let's see how long I can keep it up!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Challenge!!!

I entered a fitness competition.  I have  eight weeks to lose as much as possible.  The competition is run but Herbalife, but I see an opportunity to push myself back into the healthy lifestyle I had attained. I weighed myself today and lost a pound which ain't nothin' but it's also not enough.  I originally signed up because my friend is doing it and I figured I could at least use it as motivation to hop back on the health train. Now I want to win. I need to at least give it my all.

Long story short I have gained all but 20 of my lost pounds back. I feel like everything in my life has spiraled out of  control. I no longer even pretend like I'm living a healthy life. I'm not sure when this slide started but it has to stop and it has to stop today. I've never been a sit and wait kind of girl,  so why do I keep waiting on a perfect moment of readiness to change?  The truth is there is no perfect moment. There is no switch that flips off the urge to eat cookies and drink soda and take a nap instead of a walk.  Jump starts require an electric jolt and a sudden change and a little bit of pain too.  If it were easy everyone would do it. If it were fun it wouldn't be so hard. 

I have a new motto: don't make excuses,  make changes. 

So right this moment I'm making a change.  I'm taking a walk instead of a nap.  And I'm not waiting for any perfect moments to do it.