Friday, September 22, 2017

23 Days Later

I am back in the land of the living! Hooray!

Maybe that is a bit dramatic, but not entirely inaccurate. I was feeling pretty close to dead quite a lot in the past month, to be honest. Depression has really been hitting me hard, and I have been stressed out for various reasons... for someone like me who tends to eat her feelings, it's not a good recipe. As a result, I found myself back up to 312 at my highest yesterday.

I'm not going to do this to myself again – I am not going to be the person I was when I started three years ago at 372 pounds. For one thing, may I be totally frank/TMI? My greatest motivator right now is bathroom hygiene. Going over 300 pounds does not bode well for easy cleaning, if you catch my drift. I feel like this is something no one ever really talks about, but it is a reality for some people! It's amazing to me how suddenly it came to that, how a few pounds in the wrong direction can make it an issue. But it's true!

(No, I am not walking around with a dirty butt. Seriously.)

I remember at my heaviest actually considering getting one of those devices made for people who can't reach for whatever reason. Oh man.

So anyway, more than clothes, more than being able to do all the things... I have discovered that THIS is my greatest motivator. It's a good one, I tell you what!

I'm back to 310 this morning, which is a small step in the right direction. I have decided to take a couple solid actions for now:

• A cup of green tea and 24 oz. of water when I get to my desk at work

• If I want something to eat for breakfast, it's going to be oatmeal and/or fruit

• Lunch will be fairly loose still. I will try to make better choices overall and aim to stay within my calories each day, eating most of them midday (1800–2000 to start)

• At least one more 24 oz. of water before I leave the office

• Depending on how lunch went, either no dinner or a very light one (yes, really)

• If I do eat dinner, no snacks after that

Generally, I prefer eating most, if not all of my food before 6pm. It doesn't always happen, but that is what I like to do.

Anyway... these are my goals for the next little while, and I am going to focus on these for now and not worry too much about other things like meditation and exercise. I know from experience that trying to make too many adjustments at one time usually ends in disappointment. My list now has things that I like to try to abide by anyway, but just haven't been, and I won't feel restricted. I'm not cutting out any certain types of food, only making sure that I don't eat too much, which has been my big problem the past month or two.

I'd also like to shout out to the readers who have taken the time to write some really lovely comments on the last couple posts – it means the world to me, and has definitely helped me get in a better mindset. I will be back to blogging on a regular basis from here on out. All the support I have received is so appreciated. If you're just reading and not commenting, thank you as well!

Onward!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Catching Up, Kind Of

It's been over a month since I posted here, which hasn't happened in a long, long time. I really needed a break(?). I think? Make no mistake, I have been thinking about blogging about everything, but just haven't felt like whining more than I already had been. It's been a whine fest around here, believe me.

Let's see... I left off in late July. I was bitching about being back into the 290s again. Shortly after that, I fell back into the 280s for a while, and then... I got sick. It's really the only thing I can blame it on, this horrible month (eating- and weight-wise, that is, not my whole life), because generally I am not one of those people who loses her appetite when she gets sick. Just the opposite. Of course. 

That leaves me now finding myself over the 300 pound mark again. Gah.

The question I want to ask is, what the hell is wrong with me?

But probably a better question to ask would be, what the hell is RIGHT with me? So maybe I will start there. Or something like it. Things right are:

• Getting my shit together and pretty well enjoying my job

• Playing tennis (though not as much because of my dumb arm pain) and hiking with C.

• Lots of long summer weekends – I've got five days off starting tomorrow as a summer farewell

• Feeling comfortable in my clothes and my skin. I wear dresses and skirts almost all the time now!

• Liking my hair growing out and deciding that I will be an older lady who rocks long hair

• Red lipstick and cateye glasses

Instagram

• Actually wanting to paint again

• Feeling pretty OK with the meds I'm taking for anxiety and depression

• Reading TONS

• Visiting kitties at the SPCA

Of course all the good stuff doesn't exactly negate the fact that I have gained like 20 pounds this past month. 20 pounds, can you believe that??? I've been thinking a lot about what I really want for myself and how I feel about the possibility of staying fat for the rest of my life.

I guess I just want to be careful about my degree of fatness, mainly out of physical comfort/ability with a little vanity sprinkled in, and the desire to shop at straight-sized stores. (Despite the vast array of offerings to plus-sized ladies, I just want to buy what I want to buy and not have to worry about going to a specialized store. Yes, this is a societal issue but I don't see it changing anytime soon.) I'm still aiming for size XL and 16-ish. I would really also like to see the size of my arms and belly shrink a bit – they are a source of discomfort for me.

As I have said many, many times before, I really want to be able to do anything I want to do – like running, hiking, playing tennis, whatever else. I want to be able to do a few more things in the bedroom that my bod prevents me from doing now (I know, TMI). I never, ever want to have trouble wiping my butt again. Ever.

But it scares me, because I also said that I never wanted to be above 300 pounds again, yet here I am. Never say never. I felt good in the 280s! I kept saying that I'd be fine even if I never lost more weight at that point. I'm really pretty angry with myself for letting this happen.

My eating has basically been, more or less, out of control.

I can also tell you all the good things I was doing for myself that I stopped doing around the same time it was obvious the weight was piling back on:

• A skin care regimen in the morning and at night

• Meditating

• Real, regular exercise – tennis once a week and a hike or two is not enough

• Eating mindfully and fueling my body rather than stuffing it with crap that shuts me down

• Keeping a nice house (I know, gross. Not sure what is up with that)

One positive step I am taking is participating in a virtual month-long marathon, which can be walked or run – so a little bit every day starting September 1!

I'm not sure what else I can deal with, but getting it typed out is helpful to see where I'm at anyway.

I have the courage to try again, even if I've failed over and over in the past.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

MOAR: Accountability

I'm getting real.

Well, I'm always real here. If you've been reading for a while, you know that.

But seriously, this morning was a real eye-opener. Got on the scale as promised, and... I am sad to say that I am back over 290 – 293.8! Whoa!

I ate like crap yesterday and so it's partly the weight of all that, I'm sure. I'm going to share with you what I ate, in fact. Note that this is pretty much how I ate before I got serious about losing weight, but every day without thinking twice most times. No wonder things got so out of control.

• Three donuts

• Subway footlong roast beef sub (I get all the veggies and vinegar on it, and pepper jack cheese, yum!), and Baked BBQ Lay's chips

• One hotdog on a bun, about a cup of leftover fancy black beans with a little cheese and sour cream on top, and some chili cheese Fritos

• An ice cream cone (at like 10pm!)

Actually, I probably used to eat even worse than this, but still. It's a lot, right? The donuts. God.

There were some positive things yesterday though!

• Drank 10 cups of water

• Played over an hour of tennis in hot and humid conditions (probably the most we've experienced so far this year) – plus I won a game in two sets! LOL

• I meditated!

So today I put on some comfortable clothes so that I would physically feel OK and therefore better mentally, too. I had three donuts left in my drawer and I ate them. I know.

I'm going out to lunch with a co-worker and not sure what I will do there, to be honest.

I'm not beating myself up. All I need are a few good days under my belt again. And I need to keep writing here. Another thing I considered doing was keeping a written journal of what I eat, when, and how I am feeling at the time. Same with drinking (alcohol). I think it will help me to better understand my patterns and therefore maybe try to adjust them. I mean, I know in general what I do – I am an emotional eater, no doubt. But I also eat to feed non-hunger cravings. I eat because the idea of eating that particular food sounds good. I want to do it. It's hard for me to moderate many times, though, so there's the rub. They say that the first few bites of a food taste best, and after that, we're just gobbling to gobble. Why can't I just have half a donut and be satisfied, or one scoop of ice cream, or one slice of pizza? OK, fine if I am hungry but many times I am not.

I think I'll meditate on it.

One last thing I wanted to note here? I don't get chub rub anymore. I play tennis in short skirts and I haven't had chub run one time this year! I wear skirts to work – nothing. It is totally fabulous. I mentioned it to my GYN, marvelling at it, really, and she said it's probably because my legs have more muscle now. Whatever the reason, it's pretty nifty. I haven't had to use my Body Glide in forever! Hooray!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lately

I have not been meditating.

We haven't been playing tennis as much.

I'm not doing any other kind of exercise.

My eating has pretty much gone off the rails.

I don't really know what I am doing.

And do you know what this came off of? It came off of two, no three, really positive experiences in the healthcare system. I got such good marks from my doctors that... I don't know what the rationale is for it, if any... I just felt license somehow. Maybe it was a mistake for my GYN to tell me that even if I never lost any more weight, she'd be happy because she knows how active I am and the life I try to lead most of the time.

I mean, wow, right?

So my reaction is to just totally...

I feel very heavy and not very healthy. I've been eating pretty much anything I feel like. I have managed to stay under 290, but I won't for long if I don't stop this in its tracks.

Hey, I have been here before and picked myself up and dusted myself off. I know.

In fact, I am pretty sure we'll be playing tennis tonight, which is a step in the right direction.

I keep revising my path (which is totally OK, by the way!). Here are some things I would like to focus on in the coming week:

• Re-engage my meditation practice – even a little tiny bit, but every single day. (There. I just did a 7-minute meditation on the Stop, Breathe & Think website. It was the one about change, by the way. ;)

• Stop drinking soda (yes, even diet, which is what I usually drink if I do). Go back to only drinking water. (Just threw out what I had left from lunch.)

• Continue logging food, being completely honest. (Going to log today right after this.)

• Daily weigh again, and logging in Happy Scale. No matter what. I'm pretty sure this is essential for me after having tried so many different approaches. If I know I don't have to weigh in the next day, I am more likely to eat less than ideal foods. (I will weigh in tomorrow.)

• Oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast, and a cup of green tea. That was a good habit to have. (Looking forward to starting the day like this tomorrow!)

I think that is enough to try to get back to for now – I don't want to give myself too much and feel like I can't do it.

What are you struggling with lately?




Saturday, July 8, 2017

Quick Update

Hello all,

It's been up-down in the past two days since I wrote last. I'm sitting at 285 again, which... is fine. But I haven't been very serious about getting my eating where I'd like it to be, and combined with no tennis or other exercise the past couple days, well... on days when I don't exercise I can't eat like I do on days when I do. Not to say that I think an hour's worth of activity makes up entirely for poor eating choices, but it does definitely give me a little bit of leeway, you know?

The good news is that I am still at 285. As I talked about before, I want July to be a 285-and-below month. But I have to do the work! I have to stay vigilant!

Anyway, the weather allowed for tennis again today and we met up with Rick as we hope to do every Saturday at noon for the rest of the summer. With breaks I still amassed about a good hour of pretty intense tennis... oh, man! I just really love it so much. I'm glad that I didn't give up trying when I was first learning.

I've been checking into MFP every single day, at the very least to log water intake and exercise; if I don't directly log the food then I do a loose list of what I've eaten in the notes section, which is less precise but way easier. I'm trying to eat more intuitively than counting calories so militantly, at least for a while. It depends on the day, it depends on my mood.

Speaking of mood, I had the first appointment with my new therapist on Friday morning, and it was GREAT! Totally fabulous. I feel so lucky about the health care workers that I've found in the past few years – my guy, Bob, is actually a social worker and not a doc. I've been feeling much better since I started on the Lexapro generic in addition to my Wellbutrin generic, so on one hand you could ask, "Well, why bother with therapy if you feel fine now?" but I still wanted to go because I am one of those weird people who actually like therapy and the chance to blab on about whatever (me me me, LOL) and try to work through all those thoughts that go racing through my head.

I feel very comfortable with Bob, and the conversation was pretty enlightening already and I think this experience will be valuable for me as I approach making a lot of big changes in my life. At this point he said frequency is up to me, and I think I'm going to go with two to three times a month and see where that takes me. I'm excited!

In summary... mostly good, still struggling a bit but staying as positive as I can.

Books from the library (reading lots lately!):

Jessamyn Stanley's Every Body Yoga

Jen Sincero's You Are a Badass at Making Money

Tony Robbins' Money: Master the Game

Roxane Gay's Hunger and Difficult Women (I just finished Bad Feminist and loved it!)

Haruki Murakami's Men without Women

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Back On It!

I'm happy to say that things are back to relative normal again. What a relief! I weighed in today at my lowest this year by a squiggle – 282.6. I'm very happy about that but really looking forward to getting back into the 270s.

Honestly, I think back to what happened last year and how I was on my way back to a place I didn't want to go, and that by now I could have been there already, or close to it. But in February, I finally got my head out of that fog and got back to business, knowing how hard I worked and what a shame it would be to erase all that progress. In these past few years, I've carved out a whole new way of life for myself in which I love to be active and I do my best to treat my body like the temple it is.

Of course, I am not perfect. This is NOT about perfection, though! It's about progress; it's about learning as you go. I'm glad that I finally realized and fully embraced those things.

I have a long ways to go to where I'd ultimately like to be, but I am also pretty pleased about where I am now. A lot of that is because I upped my activity level so much since the end of last year – first with training sessions at the gym and weightlifting, then with tennis, walking, and hiking as the weather got better. I feel like I owe so much to trainer Rick and my partner, C. (who likes to keep his anonymity online). They have both kept me going and getting out and doing things even when I didn't feel like it. Exercise is truly my lifesaver, as someone who might always struggle with food and eating.

C. and I have been ramping up our tennis sessions lately, building up to beyond an hour on the court – an hour and a half, even two hours one day! We'll likely keep trying to build our endurance as the summer goes on. I think we're both kind of addicted, to be honest. You would not believe the amount of sweat we generate. Usually when we're done, my dress and headband are literally soaking wet, and we drink tons of water! Good stuff.

Tomorrow I have my first therapy session, and early next week I have appointments with both my gynecologist and my GP! It's really nice to be proactive about my health in all aspects and I've been feeling so positive lately. I think it is safe to say that the addition of Lexpro to my regimen has been really helpful.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say hello! How's your summer been so far?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

On a Roll

Checking in for accountability's sake.

Yesterday was: A big salad and a small slice of leftover pizza for lunch. Later, celebrating an old, good friend's birthday. He made the most delicious roast beef for beef on weck sandwiches. Holy crap, I could not stop eating the meat. Wowwowwow. Seriously. His mom made some tasty macaroni salad, and then there were these amazeballs Ho-ho-like things from Sam's club – kind of like petit-fours. Little cakes with icing. I ate, admittedly, way too many of these although if it had been a real, regular-sized cake, it probably would have been equal to a decent slice. Whatever. I enjoyed it. Also a couple beers.

Today was: An hour of hot, humid tennis first thing (which was actually late morning into noon because we slept in because I went to bed so late!). Hot! Humid! Much sweat was sweated. Followed by... a lot of R and R, to be honest. I had a big plate of nachos for lunch followed by some chocolate chips and beer. (I know, I know.) A long, hot afternoon nap. I snacked on delicious CSA strawberries in the evening.

WATER! Trying to get back to lots again.

This morning I was back down to 285 even (well, post-tennis, which is when I usually weigh on weekends and holidays), so very pleased with that. I'm looking forward to a sub-285 July.

It's been on my mind a lot lately but I usually don't talk about more personal, non-"lifestyle" stuff here, but... I have big dreams that I want to make happen this year. I speak it out to the universe a lot. I have files in my Google Drive about it. A big cross-country move! Career development. I name what I want. The job I want, the salary I want, the domicile I want for my family. I'm seeing it clearly in my head and I've been taking steps toward it.

But there are still several big practical things to take care of, most of all getting our house ready and selling it. It's been at least a good month now since we've made the decision and yet have done nothing on this side of things to get the ball rolling. It's hanging over my head. But I'm afraid to talk about this part, or even to act on it. Obviously on one hand I can't wait to make things happen, and on the other I'm totally scared.

So it's a lot, to keep all the momentum for all the things I am doing (including the weight loss and fitness thing) going. But it's all connected, one motivates the other motivates the other. I want to put my best foot forward. I want to be my best self. I want to believe in all the things I can do or think I can do given the chance. I'm aiming higher than I ever considered before. It's all scary, but it's all doable.

Make it so. Make it ALL so.

Just do it, etc. etc.

(Wish me luck.)


Saturday, July 1, 2017

A New Beginning

I just posted the last post I started to write on Thursday – it ends kind of abruptly but rather summarizes what the past couple weeks has been like: Not-so-great eating and lots of tennis, in a nutshell.

Approaching a certain number again was also a concern. I was teetering on the brink of 290 again, and that just was not acceptable. I've made just some small adjustments the past few days and ended out the month hitting 286 and change, which is fine for me – far away enough for now. My goal for the month of July is to end up into the 270s (finally!), and to stay below 285 every day after today.

I'm making a pledge to myself for this month to weigh every day (even when I am scared), and log my food every day in some way (the past few days I have taken to just listing the food I eat in the notes section of MyFitnessPal instead of doing the whole calorie count thing).

Another thing I've been thinking about is time. As in, how long it takes to lose this weight. I've been at this now for three years and the net loss is currently 85 pounds – hey, not bad, right? The thing that I am most impressed with at this point is that I am still at it, and even though I have had some setbacks, I've never given up completely. I'm really proud of that! And while it would be really nice to lose a lot more quickly, I'm thinking that the slower I lose, the more likely I will keep it off long-term. So instead of being worried about losing a certain number of pounds each month (i.e. the 8 or 10 I always aimed for in the past), I just want to make sure that I lose something on a monthly basis – keep the downward trajectory, no matter how little it might be. Oh! And also to keep my Happy Scale charts in the green, all the time.

This allows me for not feeling overly restricted or wanting for anything. I can still eat what I want for the most part as long as I keep things balanced and in reasonable portions, most of the time. That is so important for the long haul, to make sure that what I have been doing remains a lifestyle rather than a temporary fix – which, at this point, seems pretty much the case.

Anyway, I am entering July with a fresh outlook and excitement. It feels good!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dangerously Close

Hello hello! It's been WAY too long since my last post. I admit it, I've thought about writing here probably every day since then, but I just couldn't do it for some reason. Things have been good, things have been... not really bad, but maybe interesting?

I think it started last week when my eating took a bad turn for some reason. I'll chalk it up to PMS, I guess – after all, it is that time of the month on my charts where I seem to show an upswing in my weight every single month since February. I guess I am not too worried about it because it does seem to be a trend that then goes way back down again at the beginning of the next month, but it's the way I've been feeling about food that bothers me more than anything. I've been indulging all sorts of cravings and not being as careful about portions. I've gone back to junky lunches again, mostly. That weird Subway thing that happens to me every once in a while – you know, when I get obsessed with the meatball parm sub and those godawful (delicious!) cookies, and I have to get three of them? Yeah. I've also had McDonald's joneses again, too. So yeah. The only thing really saving me at all is that we've been playing tennis a LOT. Like five or six hours a week a lot. It's good! My game has really improved a lot, and so when we play things are more rigorous and constant. Lots of sweat! At least I have had that.

But then, I didn't get on the scale for two days, which always spells trouble for me. I know it probably sounds ridonkulous to some of you, but daily weighing is my jam and keeps me on track. If I am not weighing daily, it's because I can't face the number I know will probably happen because I've been eating poorly. To do that two days in a row, well, you know I'm having a hard time. This morning I told myself to cut it out, and while there is some damage, I am still just under 290. What a shame, though! Just ten days ago I was at 282 and change! Argh!

The good news is that I think I am reigning things in little by little, and hope to be back down again pretty quickly. Downhill on my Happy Scale chart is imminent!

June (top) compared to May (bottom) – wild, right? The July Dip is coming!
Random thoughts:

• I'm 47 and I'm wearing a little swing dress that comes above my knees to work, with bare legs even! (Hint: I wear a tennis skirt underneath that has built-in shorts!) That's not untoward or anything, right? I'm over the whole what women should or should not wear thing.

• I've become just about truly obsessed with my face – skincare, I mean! Since we've been spending a lot of time in the sun lately, I feel like my skin has aged like 10 years in just a few weeks. I do try to wear sunscreen most of the time, but all it takes is once or twice in glaring sun... Up until now I've been very lucky about wrinkles and texture and stuff, and now, it is all falling apart. I'm upping my moisturizer game, my sunscreen game, my cleansing game, etc. etc. What are your favorite products? I'm in the market for a good SPF moisturizer right now and would like to try something new. (I was using Acure and Supergoop.)

• Tennis. Can we talk? Last night was truly game-changing for me. I don't know how to describe it, but I'm getting to the point where my body is just doing things automatically without having to think too much about it. I had a couple really great groundstrokes that happened – I wasn't sure I'd be able to get to them in time, but did and successfully and powerfully! It's such a rush. My serve is much better, too, though still really slow. 

On Saturday we had the great pleasure of having my trainer, Rick, join us on the court after his morning stint at the gym! It was really fun. C. got to play with someone a little more skilled, and he kept us out there a little longer that we might have otherwise because he's in that much better shape than us even though he never does cardio! Ha! It was nice to spend time with him again now that we don't have appointments anymore, and I think he's going to make it a regular Saturday thing.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Complete Self-Care

Wow, it's almost been a week since my last post already?

A lot has happened since then. Last weekend was a bit challenging, and my state of mind hasn't been the best for whatever reason. Some of it is internal to be sure, some of it external – I've been very stressed out and worried a lot, and it's been hard to stay focused at work, etc. At home my moods were getting out of hand and making it difficult for my partner to relate to me (and/or vice-versa).

Since earlier in the year, I've been taking a generic version of Wellbutrin. When I saw my doctor back then, it was for a regular checkup but I was in a bad spot – my weight was continuing to climb and I was very emotional. He felt that the Wellbutrin could help me with both things, so I tried it.

It seemed to improve things quite a bit for a while, but things have felt different in the past month or so. My partner suggested seeing the doc again and after last weekend's self-imposed strife, I called for an appointment on Monday. Wouldn't you know, he was able to see me first thing on Tuesday (I am imagining that he was concerned).

Long story short, he added on a generic Lexapro (I'm using the retail names even though I am on generics, because the retail names are MUCH easier to remember!) to work with the Wellbutrin to try to affect some of my other neurotransmitters in a positive way. One of my biggest concerns lately has been that I've felt so much ambivalence for many things that matter to me, and my motivation is straight out the window the same way. Hopefully the Lexapro will help with that.

On top of that, he also referred me to a therapist, and my first appointment is in early July. I haven't had talk therapy in almost 20 years and I'm kind of looking forward to it. It will be nice to be able to sort some things out in my head and try to make better sense of my history and where my feelings now.

I started taking the Lexapro Tuesday evening. It makes me feel a little funny sometimes so far, whereas I had zero anything with the Wellbutrin. Yesterday I was low-grade nauseated all day (though not enough to turn me off to eating!), and sometimes I feel like I'm having what I can only describe as like micro-spasms in my limbs, and a weird feeling in my mouth when I yawn. It's so bizarre! (I remember back in my 20s when I was taking Paxil, I used to feel like there was electricity running through me, so I guess it is something similar happening now.) It's not too bad, though, and I want to see how this will help me and so I will give it time.

I did notice this morning that I had no trouble getting out of bed (early even!), and when I got to work, instead dilly-dallying a bit, I got straight to work! Maybe it's coincidence or mind over matter, or maybe it is the drugs. Either way, I am feeling hopeful.

On another note (brain stuff in a slightly different way), I started Leo Babauta's 44 Training Program a couple days ago, and I am excited about it! I just love Leo and all he has to offer.

Also, happy that my weight is back down to 284 and change, after being up a few pounds during the past week.

It's so important to be wholistic when you're talking about self-care. It can mean so many things, right? But for me, I'm realizing that it needs to mean ALL the things: being active, developing a skin care regimen, making sure to have fun, fueling my body in a good way most of the time, and last but not least, taking care of my mental/emotional health and getting help when I need it.