Monthly Archives: August 2012

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247.7. Woot!

I forget how quickly the weight always comes off when I begin. I was terrified to step on the scale this morning. Last night, I made orange chicken (from Trader Joe’s, so I’m using the word “make” loosely). The plan was to saute some chicken breast for myself and use some of the sauce with it, but the calorie count on the package was of course, not broken down. Understandable.

After checking my tracker, I had room for the dish as prepared for my family, so I went for it. Of course, then I was done for the day. No TV snack for me. (sad face)

I laid there in bed and beat myself up, thinking about yesterday’s post and how stupid I was going to feel when I stepped on the scale this morning and was back up to 250. The anxiety, people! Do I blog about it? Do I just not step on the scale tomorrow, knowing that the sodium in my meal was probably the culprit? Or do I face my demons, accept the consequences of my decisions, put on my literal and figurative big girl panties?

Well, it’s pretty obvious what I did. And I’m glad. Glad I checked my tracker pre-dinner to see where I was at. Glad I wasn’t a chicken. Glad I didn’t assume I had blown it and used that as license to binge.

WHY???? Why is it that when I make a misstep, I decide to compound it by a binge? I wish I knew. Anyway…

It’s a workout day. Gonna try to make 30 minutes on treadmill today. That means there’s room for Cake (the band) and AC/DC on my playlist. New rule: When I add 5 minutes on to my elliptical time, I get to buy a song off of iTunes.

I like that rule.

Beyond the Scale

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First off, in defiance of my title, I’d like to share that I’ve officially said goodbye to the 250s. Standing on the scale, seeing 249, felt pretty good, but also a bit deja vuey. Because I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve achieved that particular milestone. More than 3. Less than 10. But this is the last time. It’s a 3 pound loss and I’m happy, but mostly just girding my loins for the next 7 and making a lot of internal vows that this is absolutely the end.

Anyway. On with what I meant to say.

I’m coming out of a rather lengthy bout with depression. It’s been a weird cycle, not low enough to incapacitate me, but longer than my usual week or so. As always, when I emerge, blinking and stretching from the winter of my discontent, I have a heightened appreciation for my life and the individuals that make it so special. My beautiful children. My devastatingly sexy husband. My talented and lovely friends.

I’m blessed beyond words, chickens.

I’m laughing more and taking true joy in music, art and television. (If only Netflix would add some more Dr. Who. *sigh*) I’m writing and exercising and gardening. I have that particular restlessness that accompanies the planning of a trip. And so making wise choices with my food is easier.

That’s what all of this verbosity is about, you know. When everything is grand, I don’t need the excess. Sure, I want it. But I don’t need it like I do when the world is gray. But then here is the question; how to hold on to this, against the inevitable tide of sadness? I have a theory that the act of committing this feeling to a page, be it digital or paper, is the answer. Taking pictures. Creating memories for myself, mental places to revisit when it seems only several pastries will dull the edge of anger and despair.

Because they don’t. They never do. In fact, they make it worse. Those assholes always invite self-loathing to the pity party. Ugh. I truly hate uninvited guests.

I wish there were a way to bottle the laughter that happens when my normally proper and dignified friend ruefully shakes her head and says, “Oh, Matthew McConaughey. You sexy bastard.” Or when my normally improper friend buys blood spattered zombie sheets off of Etsy. The joy in my children’s eyes when we discover something together. My husband’s sigh when he falls asleep. Those would be the best sort of diet pills.

Current Workout Playlist

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It’s short because I’m 250 lbs and 40 years old. 20 minutes on the elliptical is a minor miracle for me.

American Boy – Estelle

7 Nation Army: White Stripes

Welcome to the Jungle – Guns and Roses

Wrong Way – Sublime

Cocky – Kid Rock

I like terrible, horrible, no good, very bad music. The raunchier, the better. I’m not a raunchy person in real life and more than one person has lifted a brow at the CDs in my car. Why? Why do I have to groove to Sublime or Kid Rock? I don’t know. Probably something to do with not being allowed secular music for three years, in my early teens. Kind of backfired, Dad. Sorry. At least I don’t let my kids listen to it.

I like more typical tunes as well. P!nk frequently gets me through a workout, as does Kelly Clarkson. And I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but Earth, Wind and Fire is excellent for doing crunches and my no-knee ab and butt workout. Love me some, “September.” Fo’ realz.

What do you listen to while exercising? I’ve tried audio books, but I need music to keep me going. I slow down during the interesting bits of tv shows as well. Do you use music or tv for workouts or do you just power through and become one with your mind? I’d love to do that, but my mind is almost as messy as my house.

Shut up.

It’s The Little Things

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I have sort of a “thing” against artificial sweeteners. I also have a sweet tooth. Can you see how this is a bit of a conundrum?

I’m not a stickler about it. I DID drink Diet Pepsi and Diet Dr. Pepper for three decades. But as I gave up soda (for the last time), I started paying attention to the research on artificial sweeteners and how their attempts to trick the body actually backfire. It makes me a little nervous. I mean, the goal is getting healthier, isn’t it?

As a result, I’m trying to keep things as natural as possible. I try to stay away from overly processed food, I try to cook and not rely on packaged meals and I try very hard to squeeze in 7-9 servings of fruit and veggies every day. I’m still eating towards the high end of my range and that is hindering me. I’m examining my past trackers and pinpointing things I can cut or substitute. Boy, is my morning coffee due for an overhaul!

I like my coffee strong, light and sweet. I have an unfortunate weakness for flavored non-dairy creamers, but my preference is half & half with sugar. You can see how the am java is an issue. I made a fortunate find during a trip to Trader Joe’s, fat-free half & half. Is it natural? No. It’s close though and doesn’t have nearly as many additives as some other brands. I’m comfortable with it for now.

The creamer brought my calorie and fat count down, but not enough, so sugar has gone bye-bye and stevia has taken its place. I’m opting for actual stevia extract from my buddy, Trader Joe. I wept at the price, but once I saw how tiny the actual serving size was, I made peace with my inner accountant. And once I saw the results? Well, let’s just say it’s worth the money.

Those two substitutions save me 144 calories and 7 grams of fat, every day!

Lessons of the day: Little things matter. A lot. *and* A food journal can be a massive pain in the patoot, but it is an invaluable tool.

What little things have you changed?

Dry

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By far, the hardest part of cleaning up my act is forgoing wine.

Wine. *drool*

I love wine. Red, white, rosé, sparkling…all of it. Love. So, so much. I could write an epic Nicholas Sparksian novel about my love affair with wine. It would have a sad, tear-jerker ending, much like my current state of mind. Yeah. I love wine. Which is why I have to let it go. *sob*

Now, you can absolutely incorporate wine into a healthy life style. I encourage you (of the over 21 persuasion) do so. But moderation is critical and as someone who struggles with moderation in every area of my life…

Well, you get the idea.

One glass usually leads to another. And then I feel hungry. My inhibitions are low, so I eat crap. Lots of it. The extra calories from the wine become a free-for-all binge. It’s a stupid way to crash my progress, but I’ve done it many, many times. So, for now, I’m  all sober and stuff. It’s a blast.

That was sarcasm. It’s not a blast. It’s a blast’s polar opposite, affectionately known as a drag. And not the fun kind of drag. The other kind. The no wine kind.

Be thankful you’re just reading me and not hanging out with me. I’m told the twitches are off-putting.

I kid. I’m not twitching.

Visibly.

Yet.

Oh God. Am I skinny yet?

Aside

When you are fighting the good fight, a blog that details someone else’s battle is a tremendous help. I stumbled across a wonderful blog called Can You Stay For Dinner? I found the blog via Pinterest, while checking out a recipe link. Funny and warm, the site feels like coffee with a girlfriend. What really captured me was her story, the weight she lost and how she’s maintaining it. I read through her bio and a really amazing post called, “What I Miss From 135 Pounds Ago” that resonated, even though I have yet to lose (ok, keep off) even 5 pounds. Her struggles spoke to me. Her victories informed me. It’s been a while since a blog helped me do anything but laugh. I found myself reading through her archives, motivation burning in my veins. Too bad it was midnight.

My second great find has been Runs For Cookies. I found this blog through a SparkPeople profile and what a gift! Katie’s journey has been just as compelling as Andi’s, but she’s also had a lower body lift. She is brutally honest about the procedure and recovery, documenting her ups and downs faithfully. She bares herself, both physically and emotionally even though it’s uncomfortable, and it was fascinating for me to get into a glimpse of what I hope will be my future.

Let’s face it. I’ve had 3 kids and two decades of being  overweight. I’m not expecting my skin to snap back. I’m expecting it to shrug and say, “eh.”

There’s more to Cookies than surgery. Katie shares her journey to lose the weight, her exercise regimens (she’s one of those crazy runner chicks) and recipes. Though I’ve not made any yet, they looks great. She’s very real, no pretension, posturing or preaching, which I find very refreshing. I hate those blogs that have a false sense of bonhomie, while all the time assuring you that someday, if you work hard and are very, very lucky, you too can be just like the author. Blurgh.

Anyway. There’s my current inspirations. I’m still using SparkPeople and still love it, I just need to keep with it. Tracking your food gets old. I start to feel tethered to the computer and I hate that feeling. I have my brother’s upcoming wedding to motivate me and a trip to the Big City for our anniversary, but I’m not going to lose enough before either of those events so that other people will notice. It’s discouraging. I should be doing this for myself, not for other people, so why is it such a spirit sucker?

I wish I knew.

Wow. Took a dark turn there, Jen. Navel gazing doesn’t really burn any calories, so let me ask you: Where are you finding motivation these days?

Finding Inspiration

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I’ve reached a point where I’ve just got to lose weight. For me obviously, but now for my kids. It’s breaking my heart.

My oldest is okay. She’s tiny, an actual size zero, but there are still struggles. For several years, I’ve watched her for signs of an eating disorder, but I finally came to the stunning realization that she simply has a different relationship with food than I do. It matters, sure, but she isn’t compelled to eat. Amazing. I wonder what that’s like. I’ll never know that. Ever.

I must be the only mother in America that encourages her daughter to wear less clothing. I had to coerce her into a bikini this season. She’s a 17-year-old size zero. Dear lord. It’s not that I want her to pay for college on the pole or anything, but I do want her to enjoy her amazing body at its peak. I worry that watching me struggle with food affects her body image. Does she see what others see?

My younger kids are now being asked why their mom is fat. I want to die. Their peers aren’t being cruel, they’re just curious. But it’s a little embarrassing for the third grader and I’m the reason. I’m hurting my kids. Because I won’t make good choices about food.

Typing this is making me cry.

So I’m making a concerted effort. Again.

I hate that again. It sucks ass. I have a pretty dress that was a screaming bargain, ordered for my brother’s wedding at the end of September. It’s perfect. I love it. And I think it’s going to have to stay in my closet because I didn’t lose enough weight to get into it. What the hell, self? Was the extra ice cream bar worth it? How about that cheeseburger? Nope. Not even a little.

It’s probably time to seek some help and figure out why I’m not making better choices.