Thursday, November 14, 2013
Well, all, it's time for me to move on. WW has literally been a life saver for me but I've reached a stage in my efforts to improve my health where it's time for me to go in another direction. I'm no longer using the tools here and even my blogging has dropped dramatically as my focus has changed. I'm taking a long, maybe permanent, break from actively trying to lose more weight. My focus now is to maintain my loss and work mainly on my mental health and well being for a while. It just doesn't make sense to me to continue to pay for tools I'm no longer using so in a few days, I will close my account here.
I shall miss you all.
Take care, friends. Take very good care. I wish you all well.
Sunday, November 03, 2013
It's been a while since I've written a blog here. I'm still focused on applying Intuitive Eating principles and therefore have not been tracking my food intake for quite a while now. My weight has crept up, as I've been given to expect while I learn this new way of eating. I am up a total of 10 pounds from my lowest weight that I hit in July for just about a minute. I hit that weight for one weigh in and have not seen it since, even when I was meticulous about counting points and calories. I was getting a little alarmed about my weight gain as last Sunday, I hit a number that I really did not want to see again. The good news, though, is that this week, I'm down 2 pounds. I'm OK with that.
Physically, I am feeling better. I am still colder than I've ever been in my life but I'm not chilled to the bone with my fingernails turning purple. I'm not struggling near as much with hunger. When I'm hungry now, I eat instead of waiting for an arbitrary time on the clock. I've also been reintroducing "forbidden" foods. That is one of the reasons I've gained some weight back. I really can't make a habit of having New York style cheesecake, dripping with hot fudge. But I'm learning that I can have it every once in a while. I'm also learning that when I have a treat like that, I really don't have to devour the whole thing like I'll never have it again and make myself miserable from being overly full. I'm still struggling with that second part of eating past my satiety point but the episodes are getting fewer and further between.
Emotionally, I am doing much better. The notion of giving myself permission to eat has released a surprising amount of tension and anxiety. I'm no longer fretting over what I can have within my points allowance. When I go to a restaurant now, I order what I like when I get there instead of pouring over the menu in advance to figure out what I'm allowed to eat. One of the discoveries I've made about myself is that not only have I gobbled mass amounts of food to self-medicate, I've also gobbled mass amounts of food that I really don't like very much. That simple discovery has been powerful. I am, for the first time in my life, figuring out what I really like to eat. It has been astonishing. For example, throughout most of my life, I've gorged on greasy potato chips. But I've discovered, by giving myself permission to eat them, that I don't like them. In fact, they nauseate me a bit. I much prefer plain tortilla strips with some salsa. I've also discovered that I really don't like most white hamburger buns. Since I've given myself permission to have a hamburger when I want one, I've found that I only want high quality burgers and that when I encounter a bun I don't like, I strip it off and just eat the innards. Oh, and french fries? Yeah, don't care for them much either unless they're made from real potatoes and not dripping in grease. I shan't bore you with the whole big list of things I've discovered that I don't really like much. What I have discovered is that when I listen to my hunger and I eat only what I really like, I tend to gravitate towards higher quality food. I also tend to be satiated faster and longer when I eat what I really like.
On a completely different subject, last week, I received a small bonus from work. Since I've decided that I'm not going to work on losing weight for quite a while, I used that bonus to replenish my ward robe. OMG, FUN! Clothes shopping is something I really enjoy now and I went on quite the spree! I got a boat load of brand new, pretty sweaters for work. Having clothing that I like and that fits has been quite a boost for my ego.
So, I'm doing well. I'm learning a lot about myself and my relationship with food. I'm also more content than I've been in a very long time.
Sunday, October 06, 2013
This week, I have been focused on applying intuitive eating principles. I shan't go into detail about them because, as I've mentioned before, I don't think WW would be too happy with me if I did. Some of the IE principles work hand in glove with WW; others don't. I am cautiously optimistic about this new path I'm taking.
I have not been tracking my food intake for about a month now. I've been eating when I'm hungry and trying to stop eating when I'm full. That last bit, stopping when I'm full, has been the most difficult. In fact, that's been my biggest issue my entire life. I've been using food mostly for self-medication instead of feeding my hunger. Anyway, what were the results weight wise for the week? Despite the fact that I over ate a few times, I maintained my weight. I'm good with that.
There are some positive things coming out of this. The biggest one is that I'm not obsessing about when I get to eat next. My rigid feeding schedule has gone out the window. I eat when I'm hungry instead of according to a clock. By giving myself permission to eat when I'm hungry, I've found that I really am a grazer. I eat all throughout the day and I feel a LOT better when I do that instead of trying to limit myself to certain times.
I've also found that when I pay attention to my fullness, even though I eat frequently, I don't eat as much over all. I'm also less inclined to eat when I'm not hungry. For example, yesterday hubby and I went to the zoo. We really enjoyed it! Towards the end of our trip there, hubby got hungry. So we went to the snack shack. When we got there, I did an internal check. "Hungry?" The answer was, "No, not at all. Thirsty, though." So I got hubby a sandwich and a bottle of water that we shared. A few weeks ago, I would have gotten something to eat regardless of whether or not I was hungry because... I don't even know why.
Another good thing is that I'm warming up. Yes, I still feel colder than I did before bidding 75 pounds adieu. But I'm not shivering and miserable. My fingernails have remained a healthy pink instead of blue or purple. This is manageable.
One of the things that I'm learning about myself, and it's rather surprising, is that for most of my life I've eaten a large volume of food that I really didn't like. One of the IE principles is to discover the satisfaction factor which means to enjoy not only what you are eating but the atmosphere in which you eat. I've discovered a few things about myself. While I really like hamburgers, I don't like most of the buns! White bread is just not something I enjoy much anymore. I also don't care much for greasy potato chips. Another discovery is that I really do hate work celebration cakes. You know that ones I'm talking about? It's usually a sheet cake with tons of sugary, dyed frosting. YUCK. I've been pressured to eat those things for years because it's a celebration and considered rude to refuse. Well, blech. There was a celebration at work last week and even though I refused the cake, I was handed a piece anyway. I smiled and said, truthfully, "I really can't handle the sugar in this," and handed it back. The person who handed me the cake, even after my initial refusal said, "Oh! I'm sorry!" and took it back without any further bru ha ha.
This way of thinking about food and eating has been quite a process of discovery. There's a lot more going on than what I've talked about in this blog entry but I'm running out of space and I'm probably boring the stuffings out of everyone. :) I will simply say that I'm finding comfort in this process. I've been giving myself permission to eat what I want, when I what but not to gorge and stuff my emotions. So far, so good.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
In mid September, I rather abruptly stopped tracking my food. Then, last week I went on a vacation. I knew before I went that I would likely gain some weight and I was right. I'm up 4.5 pounds from my pre-vacation weight.
Am I in a panic? Is my lizard brain bouncing around my skull bones screeching about buckling down, putting my nose to the grindstone and tracking every bite of food again? Am I excoriating myself for gaining weight? No, no and no.
There are some rather titanic shifts in my thinking going on right now. The root cause of these shifts is that this year, I really haven't lost weight. I've been hovering within the same five pound range for nine months now. Further, eating at a caloric deficit has caused both physiological and psychological problems for me. One physical problem has been feeling constantly cold. Not just chilled, but blue-fingernail, shivering cold. I've been thoroughly checked out by my doctor and the only explanation is the weight loss. Another physiological issue is that even eating at a calorie deficit i.e. at 31 WW points, I felt rotten and was hungry all the blasted time. Psychologically, this was making me grouchy and I was struggling constantly with feeling like a failure. The ugly voices in my attic were getting very, VERY loud. The result was that I was slipping into one of my blue, anxiety ridden states.
I mentioned in one of my status updates that I've been reading about intuitive eating. I'm not going to say too much about it here as I reckon that WW wouldn't be too happy with that. The book I read, and have been re-reading, is anti-diet and there is a brief section that isn't very complimentary of WW. Regardless, while there are some things in that book that do send my lizard brain bouncing off my skull bones (No, I'm not going to stop weighing.) I find most of the principles really speak to me and are precisely what I need right now.
So, that's the path I'm going to follow for a while. I am already emotionally happier and because I'm engaging in behaviors like honoring my hunger and respecting my fullness, I am feeling physically better. I will tell you this. Following intuitive eating is not easy. But if I can do it, if I can change the way that I use food, if I can find that balance between gorging to stuff my emotions and restrictive, deprivation behavior, it will be worth it.
This all may well mean that I'm done losing weight. Yes, I know, that's blasphemy. But at this point, I'm just not willing to feel rotten, cold and hungry for the sake of another 50 pounds of weight loss. I've always said that my primary goal in this effort is to get healthier. Well, right now getting healthy for me means that I need to break completely from my focus on weight loss and work more on my mental health and a different kind of physical well being.
My weight loss
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I'm writing this from a hotel room in Milwaukee, WI where my husband and I chose to go this year to celebrate our birthdays. His 58th birthday was on the 6th and my 50th birthday was yesterday, the 21st. Our primary reason for coming here was to go to the Harley Davidson museum which we did yesterday. It. Was. Awesome! We had a wonderful time and both of us were on our feet for a little over 2 hours. This in itself was a victory! A few years ago, I could not have walked as much as I did yesterday and enjoyed myself. It would have been very painful not fun. If I had tried, I would have pretty much been crippled for the next few days. While I am a little sore today, I've still been able to get out and walk around a bit.
We went back over to the museum today to have lunch in the restaurant there. We enjoyed that so much yesterday we decided to repeat the experience. We also made another trip back through the gift store and got a couple of things we had talked ourselves out of yesterday. We are living proof that HD doesn't just stand for Harley Davidson, it also stands for a Hundred Dollars. :)
We are heading home tomorrow. Instead of driving all the way from Milwaukee to Lansing, we've decided to take the ferry across Lake Michigan. We are both looking forward to that new experience. Hubby and I both love being on the water and it will be nice to avoid the traffic around Chicago!
As for weight. Bleah. I know that I've gained this weekend. I've eaten a LOT of rich food. I don't know how much as I don't have access to a scale. I can tell from the way my pants are fitting that I've got quite a bit of bloat and very likely some real fat gain. To be honest, I don't care all that much. It pings on my radar a little bit but not to the point that it's spoiling the good time I'm having.
It's a beautiful day here and it's supposed to be nice again tomorrow for our lake crossing. This little trip has been a wonderful break for both hubby and I. If anything, this has reinforced my notions that we need to do more fun stuff. So happy birthday to me and hubs and hopefully more to come.
(The pic is of one of my favorite displays in the museum. That is the 1903 serial number 1 Harley Davidson motorcycle..the very beginning of it all. The white box on the floor represents that size of the shack in which the first prototypes and this machine were made. It was a 15 X 10 shack.)
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
For many years, I've avoided having my picture taken. I had a set of glamour shots taken on my 30th birthday that I really like but since then, nada. I was also the person that blasted near ran from the room any time cameras came out. I've never considered myself to be photogenic. Not to mention, photographs really showed me how obese I was. I hated them.
Right around the start of my weight loss effort, I read an article written by someone who also avoided having her picture taken because she was heavy. I can't remember the particulars of the article now. What I do remember is that it really struck an emotional chord with me. I started taking and posting monthly progress head shots on my profile here.
I've also stopped hiding from other cameras or dreading having my picture taken for other reasons like access badges or my driver's license. Some time ago, I posted the picture that was taken for my badge here. It wasn't a bad picture at all! This month, I got a new driver's license photo and again, it wasn't bad.
Last month, my employer offered professional photographs done for all of $9. So, as you can see, I had one done. It's not great; it's not bad. I was disappointed in the brown background because that color really washed me out. Also, I'd gotten my hair cut the night before and my salon gives a scalp massage complete with oil. Unfortunately, the oil dripped into my left eye and burned like crazy. In this picture, my left eye was still showing the after effects and was a bit more swollen than my right eye which was also swollen. What I do like about this picture, though, is that it was the day after I got my hair cut. I really like this style. I also love the colors in my hair. My silver is coming in nicely. :)
I've often remarked that this weight loss effort is just as much about emotional healing as it is about physically losing weight. This is one area of my life in which I feel healed. I no longer run from the camera. I turn to face it and smile. I shan't leave a legacy of invisibility for my family and friends.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
I lost a pound this week which puts me back down to 220.5. I'm still struggling with diet fatigue and food obsession. The truth, as whiny as it sounds, is that I'm just burnt out about tracking every bite of food I eat. I'm tired of being anxious over my food choices and watching the clock for when I can eat next. I'm tired of being cold and I'm tired of being hungry. So what did I do this week?
I didn't track. That's right. Me, the woman who tracks every bite twice (both on WW and My Fitness Pal) didn't track a single thing this week. I also did not rigidly adhere to my eating schedule of breakfast by 7:30 am, 10:00 am snack, 11:30 lunch, 2:00 pm snack, 3:00 pm bag of veg, dinner between 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm, chocolate at 8:00 pm. If I was hungry at 9:00 am, I ate my fruit snack then instead of making myself wait. If I wasn't hungry, I skipped it. If I wanted my bag of veg at 2, I had it then. If I didn't want the second fruit snack, I skipped it. If dinner was going to be a little late and I was hungry, I had a piece of fruit instead of white knuckling until I could eat. Some days, I didn't have two servings of fruit. Some days I had more than two servings. Some days, I skipped my bag of veg. Other days, I had my bag of veg but not quite on schedule.
In the past, not tracking meant that I went on week long binges, landing face first in mass amounts of food. That is not what I did this week. I focused on eating when I was hungry instead of the rigid schedule that has gradually evolved over this weight loss effort of mine. I also had an exceptionally decadent dessert last Sunday of a slice of chocolate cake, drenched in hot fudge and served with a scoop of ice cream. Last Sunday, we got dinner from Applebee's and they very badly messed up my husband's order. In addition to comping our entire dinner, the gave us the dessert for free. I could not resist that one. I did not look up the points or calories. I simply enjoyed it.
One of my lifelong struggles has been black and white, all or nothing thinking. It's either right or it's wrong. It's either full throttle or dead stop. It's either good or bad. It's either the whole family size bag of chips or nothing. It's either a dozen cookies or none. I can either do something really well or I don't do it at all.
I've also got a ton of weirdness going on up in my attic about setting rules myself and engaging in deprivation behavior. I think that stems from my anxiety disorder. That whole eating on a rigid schedule thing is part of that. Somehow, in the recesses of my brain, it became a bad thing to eat when it wasn't time to eat, even if I was hungry. I've been making myself wait for food when I was hungry or, conversely, eating when I wasn't really hungry to adhere to an arbitrary schedule I'd set for myself. This is also manifesting in self deprivation in other ways, and not just what I'm eating.
I'm not precisely sure where I'm going with all this. I know that what I was doing no longer works. Hell, I haven't even lost 10 pounds this year! By this time last year, I was down over 60 pounds. I'm having some niggling thoughts that maybe I'm done losing weight. That my goal isn't really attainable, at least right now. That the last 45 pounds I want to drop may not be worth what I have to do to lose them.
Regardless of all that negative yadda, yadda, I do understand that I need to change. I'm just not precisely sure where that will land me. I shan't be tracking again this week or even the week following. In fact, at the end of next week, my husband and I are going on a short vacation. We're going to Milwaukee to visit the Harley Davidson museum. We've not taken a trip together just for fun in many years. We are both looking forward to this.
Overall, my goal over the next few weeks is to eat when I am hungry instead of adhering to that arbitrary schedule. I'm also checking a book out of the library about intuitive eating. It will be interesting to see where this all may lead.
My weight loss
Sunday, September 08, 2013
Despite not behaving at all well this week with my food choices, I managed to drop 2.5 pounds of my 3.5 pound pickle weight gain. Weight comes back so quick (in this case, literally over night) but doesn't drop off near as fast. *sigh*
In other news, hubby and I went to a local reptile show today. We've been talking for years about getting a snake and today we did! It's been a very long time since I've handled a snake and I'd forgotten how pleasurable it is. The snake we picked is a male ball python. He has lovely markings, some that look like alien heads, others that look like skulls. He is also very mellow for his age. Hubby and I have handled him a lot today and he didn't even once try to strike.
I think we're going to enjoy him for a very long time. Right now, he's a little over 18 inches long. We're thinking that he'll get to about 4 or 5 feet long when he's an adult. We're pondering names at the moment. Maybe we'll call him Skull because of the way his spots are shaped.
(Pic is of Skull the snake peeking out of hubby's t-shirt pocket.)
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Can someone 'splain me to me?
Last Saturday, I had fried pickles. I had planned for them and they were well within my points. In fact, they were only 5 points. I gained 3 pounds in one night after having them. Well, I've been pouty and childish about that all week. Yesterday, I went to Applebee's for lunch. After my meal, I got a wild hair and decided to have a dessert. A big dessert. A dessert I neither planned for nor knew the points. I had one of their blondie brownies with a scoop of ice cream.
I looked up the points when I got back to my office and HOLY MOLY! That dessert was 31 points! I stepped on the scale this morning with some trepidation and...
I am down a pound from yesterday.
I just don't get this gig sometimes.
My weight loss
Sunday, September 01, 2013
I am up three-bloody-and-a-half pounds this week! Gah! So what in the h-e-double-toothpicks did I do to myself this time? (Any men reading this blog might want to move on now. I'm'a talk about woman stuff for a bit.) I've been on depo prevara for 13 years now to stop my periods. My periods were so bad that I was missing work every month due to heavy bleeding, headache, horrible cramps, bloat, gas, diarrhea and the fact that my personality changed to that of a barracuda. My periods were seriously debilitating; it was like getting the flu every single month.
This past week, I had an episode of spotting. For days prior, I had been bloated, crampy, gassy, head-achy and was having poop problems. In fact, I felt so rotten that I took Wednesday off work. I had chalked it up to having some kind of bug until I started spotting. Well, that sent my lizard brain bouncing off my skull bones! All I could think about was how horrible it would be if the depo had stopped working and I went back to having those gawd awful periods again. I have calmed down about that a bit. I spoke with my gynecologist about it and she said that occasional spotting is normal, even for someone like me who has been on depo for years. She advised me to try not to fret (HAH!) and that I really didn't have anything to worry about just yet. If this becomes a regular thing and I actually start having full periods, then it's a problem. As an additional bonus to the spotting and other symptoms, I gained a half a pound.
Yesterday, I was feeling much better. I didn't have any spotting and the other symptoms, with the exception of bloat, had gone away. That bloat thing, though. Ugh. The jeans I was wearing felt tight in the waist band all day. Last night, my husband and I decided to go out to dinner. I looked at the menu prior to going and selected grilled fish tacos and also decided to have a treat of fried pickles. I'd looked up the calorie/points count. I had more than enough points/calories.
Yeah, about those blasted pickles. They. Tasted. Wonderful. I really chowed down on them and enjoyed them thoroughly. While I stayed within my points (I had over half of my WP left) I didn't even consider that fried pickles with their high sodium and nitrate contents just might not be a freakin' good idea when I was already bloated.
I gained three pounds over night.
Three bloody pounds.
I see a lot of vegetables, fruit and water in my future. Not to mention, NO BLASTED PICKLES!
My weight loss