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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sometimes I need a reminder...

"You only fail when you give up."

I have no idea who said that. Usually, inspring quotes just infuriate me. But it was a really good reminder today.

It's been a rough couple weeks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Health at Every Size, and the Scary Truth About My Relationship with Food

Food is infuriating.

We need food to live, but it can also slowly kill us. There is no other basic life source that has the ability to wig us out as intensely as food. Like, I don’t get upset with myself if I breathe too much oxygen while drunk at a party. I may hate myself a little for sleeping too much, but I don’t obsess over it and I can just stay up later if I need to get stuff done. No biggie, right? But with food, there is a CONSTANT battle between loving it and being afraid of it, and it is fucking exhausting.

So when I heard about Health At Every Size through Stephanie at The Louthmouth, I was intrigued. The first lines you read on the front page of the website are, “Let’s face the facts. We’ve lost the war on obesity.” How daring and thought-provoking! HAES promotes accepting natural diversity of body size, but also respecting your body by feeding it what it needs, but enjoying food, and exercising in a way that makes you feel happy and healthy.

I love the idea of the movement, but it makes me feel weird. I am making a very conscious decision to lose weight. I am dedicating myself to this goal 100%, which is SO RARE for me, but more about my laziness in another post. Should I do that? Should I be making the decision to essentially obsess over food for the next year (or so) until I reach my goal weight? After reaching goal, I still plan on eating well, but I obviously won’t need to adhere to such a rigid system. I DO obsess over food. I obsessed even before I gained weight, but in a very different way. I try not to. I know it’s not healthy to hate myself for eating a cookie, especially if I have the points saved up for it. That’s one of the beautiful things about Weight Watchers, or any program that teaches you to healthily lose weight: You can eat whatever you want, but moderation is essential

I do believe that I’m doing the right thing by trying to lose weight. Though there are many reasons I want to lose weight (again, topic for another post), I know that I need to in order to feel good about myself again. My goal is not to be “skinny.” I want to feel good, healthy, strong, and happy with myself.

I’m not happy with myself now. I try to be, but I am unfortunately a very negative person. It is something I am trying to change about myself, but it requires constant, conscious effort and I will not become Suzie Sunshine overnight (or ever, because people like that make me want to kick puppies). Now, if I overeat, I beat myself up. I do move on from my blunder, but only after a few tears and hurtful words towards myself. Even though "overeating" to me now is different than it used to be. A few months ago, I had a girls' night with my friends at my house. During that five hour time frame, I ate three slices of Pizza Hut pizza, drank wine, ate several breadsticks, and some candy. The next day, I made the huge mistake of weighing myself like a sadistic idiot, and proceeded to cry on the bathroom floor for, like, twenty minutes. 

Today, I split a Valentine's cookie with Joel in the morning and then my normal, healthy breakfast. I went to the gym and had a 45 minute workout, and I was really proud to push myself. But, I hadn't eaten since breakfast, and I was starving. We went searching for Valentine's cupcakes because I've been looking forward to one all week. At the bakery down the street, they sell really good thin crust pizza. I was planning on going home and eating some chicken, veggies, and yogurt, but the pizza was there and I was starving and I scarfed two slices before we even got home. 11 points. It would have been A LOT more if it weren't a local bakery who makes quality pizza with thin crust and small slices. But, that left me with a whopping four points for the rest of the day, and I was (am) very upset with myself. I cried like I did after the Pizza Hut and candy binge-fest, which was obviously way worse. Joel was planning on making pad Thai (a Weight Watchers recipe) for our Valentine's dinner, but I can no longer afford the points. After reading inspiring articles on How Not To Hate Yourself After Making a Mistake, I feel better. I know that tomorrow is another day. I won't starve myself the rest of the day, much as I am tempted to. I'm having light soup and veggies for dinner, but I will still probably dip into my Weekly Points for the cupcake, because it's Valentine's Day and I want to celebrate. We're having the pad Thai tomorrow and I'm going to get back on track for the rest of the week. I am thankful to have an amazing husband who understands and supports me, and is willing to be flexible. 

I don't always want to feel this way about food. I truly believe the general population has a bad relationship with food, but typically in the opposite end of the spectrum. Most people don't think for even a second about what they put into their bodies. I used to be that way, and I don't want to be that way again. But I know that I need to find a happy medium between not caring and obsessing to the point of insanity. I need to be mindful, but I need to enjoy food, and I need to forgive myself if I don't reach my goal, daily or otherwise. 

So, I am reading more about HAES, pledging my commitment, and learning more about their resources. I am still trying to lose weight. I am learning how to find that happy medium in my relationship with food. I need to incorporate more positive feelings into this epic journey of mine, and I need all the help I can get.

By the way, this is the cupcake I will be enjoying tonight while not hating myself:

Thanks, Nantucket!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just Say You Didn't

My motivation to do anything ever has taken a severe nosedive into the depths of hell, which I've decided looks like a Michigan winter.

I don't want to exercise. Even if I do, it doesn't feel like enough.

I don't want to track my points for Weight Watchers. I do anyway, because I have to in order to plan my next meal, so I guess I should get a gold star for that. But I whine about it the whole time because everything is the worst!!!!

I don't want to go anywhere. It usually costs money, involves putting on makeup, and it is cold and snowy and unpleasant outside:

If you live anywhere warmer than this, go outside and worship the sun we never see, you asshole.

I don't want to clean the house. It's cold when you're not on the couch under a Snuggie and a dog.

I am unmotivated, uninspired, uneverything. I am just un. That is how I feel.

So basically, I am Eeyore. 

I didn't go to my meeting last week because on Tuesday I didn't want to and on Thursday there was a blizzard. I had a fabulous time at a party on the previous Saturday night and was convinced that I had gained weight because of it, even though it was probably the best I've ever done tracking points while in an inebriated state of mind. I even saved up points for it! I ate more than I intended, but I counted everything I ate (I think), and owned up to my mistake. The next few days, I stayed within my allotted points, however, I ate ALL of my 49 weekly points, which I try to avoid. So, I didn't go, because I didn't think I could handle another gain week after the previous two. 


Good NEWS, everyone! I had a weigh-in today, and I lost over three pounds, putting me at a total loss of 6.8 pounds in six weeks. It's still not as fast as I want, but I FINALLY got over the five pound mark that has felt impossible since OCTOBER. Which means either I lost 3.4 pounds in one week (unlikely), or I would have gone to that meeting and realized that I had actually lost after all. But I will never know, and seeing a number over 2 on the "lost this week" line does feel good, even if it is kind of a lie. 

I feel better, but still pretty Eeyore, which is a verb now, get over it. Winter has always bummed me out, but according to the woodchuck who comes out on February 2nd, spring is "just around the corner." Everyone knows that's a lie, but for some reason it's comforting to the masses, desperate to cling to something when February rolls around and we are all slowly beginning to go dead inside. The whimsical woodland creature will give us hope! 

"When someone says 'how-do-you-do,' just say you didn't." --Eeyore

Just like Eeyore!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Putting It Out There

I am really tired of finding inspiration for a blog post and then scrapping it because it doesn't feel good enough. Many things inspire me - many things I never thought would. I am changing in a lot of ways and I'm happy with those changes. But I'm still me: I'm an exceedingly insecure person who is unhappy in her own skin. I have amazing people in my life, and sometimes I wonder why they bother to put up with my negativity or my tendency to push them away. But they DO put up with me, and I'm grateful for that, because I'd be lost without them.

Do I want to be a "blogger?"  Sure. I have always enjoyed writing and this is a good place to start. I may not be the best writer in the world, but I know there are crappier writers out there with very popular blogs. My goal isn't to be popular. It's just to get my thoughts out there, even if no one reads them. I have so so many goals for myself and my future - way more than on my previous post. Sometimes I think I have too many, and that I'm setting myself up for disappointment in the long run.

But, a goal I've made for myself this year is to lose 40 pounds (though I certainly wouldn't mind losing a bit more). This goal has suddenly been pushed to the forefront of my life. I have so many reasons for wanting to lose the weight, which I hope to explore in another blog post, provided I don't decide it's too mundane for the Internet. I have been overweight for about two years now, and it took me about a year and a half to realize that it had become a real problem, and another six months before I got really serious about what must be done. Something in me has snapped and I have realized that this is something I need to do in order to be the person I want to be. In order to be content with myself. I haven't felt content with myself for a long time, though not all of that has to do with the extra weight.

I'm on Weight Watchers and exercising more now than I have since I was on my high school track team (though with much less intensity than back then). Before that, about a year ago, I attempted to count calories myself using a website, but I became obsessive and didn't want to eat anything, because everything has calories, even if they're good for you. With Weight Watchers, some things are "free." All fruit and most vegetables have zero Points Plus Values, which is a huge relief to be able to eat things without guilt. I got a personal trainer who turned out to only exacerbate my food anxiety (more on that later). At first, I joined Weight Watchers using only the eTools. But I did it at a stupid time - about two weeks before my wedding, which was a week before Thanksgiving, and then came Christmas, New Year's, and my birthday. Needless to say, I didn't lose much those first two and a half months. When all was said and done, after I had made the decision to start attending meetings and got weighed for the first time, I realized I was two pounds heavier than when I started back in November. Since starting meetings (and keeping eTools, of course), progress has been slow, but it's there. I have lost four pounds in four weeks, which is typical. I try not to compare myself to some meetings members who are losing 3 pounds a week while my body seems to be losing at a glacial pace thus far - every body is different, don't compare yourself to others, blah blah blah. But I'm frustrated and sometimes downright angry, while other times excited and determined and inspired.

I need to let it all out somewhere, so I can stop unleashing my crazy on my poor sweet husband. Thus, a blog. Because my hands cramp up if I write in a real journal. And because every single person in our generation thinks we have something important to say. I don't think I have anything important to say. I don't even know if I will keep up with this blog (though it will be a goal - one of millions). I never thought I'd be a "weight loss blogger" or whatever, but I hear to be a good blog you have to have a theme. I want to write about a lot more, but I'm not ready to wear cute clothes and take pictures of myself, or write witty and hilarious commentary on pop culture and my zany life (I don't have a zany life). This is what I need to write about now. So I'm going to try and do it.

But I'll lose the weight, whether I write about it or not. :)