Monday, April 30, 2018

Do You Like What You See In the Mirror?

So listen, you guys know that I've been having kind of a hard time lately, but I'm still trying. Right? Pretty much.

Well, I have two things to share with you today. One, it turns out that I've been getting some new readers here because this blog was selected as one of the best weight loss blogs by – the second year running! Of course that is wonderful news, but at the same time, it's like... well, there hasn't been much losing going on in the past year. Some, yes, but not much. Rather, it's been mostly a lot of back and forth and what amounts to something that doesn't feel like commitment.

I've been here more than a few times before. This has been my life. I know what can happen. It can go one way or the other – I can continue gaining weight and then have to start completely over again (which would really, really suck), or I can keep working on it and I can lose some weight again. Maybe it would be 10 pounds, maybe another 100. Maybe more. And then maybe I'll gain some back, lose some... you get the picture.

I don't really want to live the rest of my life like that. I'd really like to lose some weight and just keep it off, and I know that I could do it. I do. I can. I will. I mean, and I also shouldn't discount the fact that I've managed to keep off 40 pounds for three(ish) years, which is not too shabby. But wouldn't it have been nice if it could have been all 107 or so pounds that I lost in the first place? And more?

Anyway, if you're here because of, welcome! And if you've been along for the ride for a while now, all the better! I am grateful to all of you.

Now. Let me get to the whole thing about today's post title. I HATE this stuff. I try to be very body-positive and I try to like what I have and who I am at any given moment, you know, because that's what it is. Today, though, my partner took a few photos of me testing out a new camera lens, and while they were lovely as photos, I could do nothing more than think about how unhappy I am about how I look in them. What a shame, right? I don't know. I'm just having a terrible time accepting the extra bigness of me after having been not as big for a while.

So let me share one of the photos with you here. It's a really nice picture and it's got our super lovely kitty, Mia, in it, too! I'm sharing it why? I'm not sure, but I feel like it's kind of akin to yanking off a band-aid or something. Just put it out there – people see me as I am all the time, it's only strange to me, right? I'm trying to get used to seeing myself. Thanks for indulging.

Photo by my partner who shall remain unnamed by his choice. Look at that halo of light around Mia!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Ah, OK. OK.

So today? I was spotting a bit. Yes, I got my period at least a little bit which means that I have something to blame some of that weight gain on, I guess. I was three pounds down this morning without having done anything too special to cause it. I'm a little relieved but I am also annoyed because my period is the last thing I need right now with a cross-country trip ahead of me and all.

If I may talk some lady talk? I'm pretty much in the throes of peri-menopause, and what that means is that I can go for months and months without bleeding, and then all the sudden BAM! Horror movie city for weeks, no exaggeration. So I am definitely hoping it is not one of those periods, obviously. It's impossible to tell. I won't know until I am in it. And though I do not believe in god, if you want to send some good vibes my way in the form of wishes for a really short, light period, it would be most appreciated.

Note: The longest I've gone without menstruating is over seven months. Menopause means you haven't for a year, so I am not really there yet. Nope.

Anyway, it definitely explains why I have been so bloated this past week. Ugh. Make it stop.

Today I had a thing to go to – I was asked to be a portfolio reviewer for the teen program at the Albright-Knox Art Museum, something I've done several times before. Today's panel of students was especially interesting and talented, I think. I got to chat with five different teen artists about their work and their plans for the future, which is really nice in the sense that it sort of invigorates me and reminds me why I am an artist in the first place. Being transported to that phase of my life vicariously is a journey! I related quite a lot to them this round but have much higher hopes for them and their accomplishments than I ever had for myself.

Things are SO different now. The kids I talked to were all juniors in high school, so if we can go back to when I was a junior? It was 1986–87. No internet. No digital photography, no social media. No cell phones. I never had cable TV growing up, even. Coming out of college in 1992 it was much the same. I think about how different my life as an artist could have been if I'd had the same resources that are around now. I really can't fathom it. I mean, plus, who knows if it would have been a positive change or a negative one? Still, I can't help but feel like I really would have taken advantage of how easy getting oneself and one's work out there IS.

That all said, it's no use thinking much about it because that is not how it was. It is now, though, of course, and I can use those things to reshape my life as it is now. I didn't totally miss out.

Coming home after, I went outside and picked up most of the twigs that have accumulated in the front yard from our sycamore tree over the winter (which made me more winded and tired than I would've liked), and then made some black beans and rice for dinner, and then made some more collages and drank some wine and listened to cool music with my partner. Tomorrow I have an in-person interview and I have one on Tuesday, too. I have to clean the house. I also have other stuff to do.

I guess what I am saying is that I'm pretty OK right now.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Thoughts On My 600 Pound Life

I'm back! I'm at the same point in the evening as I was last night which means I'm tired and totally ready for bed, but I do want to write something here before I retire for the night while it is still relatively fresh in my mind.

So, I watched that TV show My 600 Pound Life the other day, on a whim. It was a kind of recap show showing how people they'd shown previously were doing. I didn't watch all of it; in fact, about a half hour if that was about all I could deal with, to be honest. But in that short time, it did evoke all kinds of feels

I thought that maybe this kind of show would help people feel more sympathetic toward super obese people, but I am sure many people watching sit there and feel superior or have a good laugh or whatever. It didn't make me feel very good feelings. I had all sorts of things going through my head and I kept thinking how on earth do you let yourself get so big? SO big?

I know, this is almost hilarious. I'm not totally comfortable having this thought, mind you. I feel awful that it popped up. I am one to talk – she who almost tipped 400 pounds not so long ago and who, if she doesn't watch it now, will be back there again and maybe even more. I know very well how one "gets there". Maybe one of the reasons why my brain threw that smug thought out there was a protective measure, to evade what the truth really is. The very scary truth is that I could very easily find myself weighing 600 pounds or more one day. My god, it's my worst nightmare, but it could happen. I don't want to be sympathetic to it, does that make sense?

Then the other side of the ugly coin is that watching the show made me feel better about myself at the weight I am – after all, I can bend over and touch my toes, and I can go on a short, easy hike, and I can play tennis, and I can usually fit in a restaurant booth (but sometimes not so well if we want to be honest). I can get up from the floor (although I probably look ridiculous), I can... do lots of things.

BUT. Because my weight has resumed its creep upwards after hanging out at around 330 for at least a couple months, there are things that are getting harder to do again – the things on a daily basis that affect quality of life, like putting shoes and socks on easily, lowering myself into the bathtub (SPLASH!), making a nice meal or doing household chores without getting winded or sweaty, and the worst: Personal hygiene, I'll say no more.

I feel like I am in crisis mode again but just don't know how to pull myself out long enough for it to really catch and hold. I managed to lose enough weight to feel comfortable again back in the beginning of the year, January into February back into the 310s, which was just enough to feel normal again. Since then, though, it's been slowly coming back on and it just feels desperate.

I guess in short the show played on all my worst fears, the ones I don't want to face but really need to.

In other news, we decided to take advantage of my lack of full-time obligations and are finally taking the road trip we've always wanted to – cross country! Later this week, off to the Grand Canyon via St. Louis, Kansas, and Colorado, and then over to the Mojave Desert and the beaches of southern California. Then, back through New Mexico and Texas and all the way home. It's a getaway I think we both really need and my hope is that it will be kind of a reset for me. I'm not expecting to lose weight on a trip like that necessarily, but I wonder if being out of my usual element will help to place my mind on a different track for while I'm away and after I return. Here's hoping, anyway.

And on that fairy tale note, I bid you good night. Until next time, dear readers!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sisyphus or Something

Where to begin? How about with my usual dose of honesty?

I'm pretty sad tonight. I'm just really disappointed in myself and frustrated and all that stuff.

That said, I had a pretty nice day today. I kind of slept in, took a shower, and then had a phone interview with a recruiter that went well (we'll see. I've had a number of interviews and... nothing so far, but whatever. Someone's got to snap me up eventually, right?).

After that, my partner and I went on a hike. I call it a hike, but really? Just a walk on a nature trail that is not challenging, not really. 1.3 miles, so not bad, but I felt it. I'm feeling it now. Which is why I am sad.

It was the perfect day for a hike — temps in the low 60s, sunny but not too sunny. The snow is finally gone. The trail had a couple other people on it but we mostly felt like we had it to ourselves.

But getting ready for the hike, that's when the sadness started churning in the background when I realized that my choices for what to wear are now pretty darned limited, which sucks. I don't have jeans that fit anymore. I've been wearing leggings and forgiving fabrics for about a year and now I am paying the price. My exercise/leisure hoodies all have holes in them! So, I ended up wearing cropped black leggings, and one of my sleeveless jersey dresses with a long-sleeved striped jersey shirt underneath. That's when I discovered that my partner has the worst attitude toward stripes.

"Only really skinny people should wear stripes. Don't you have any hoodies without holes in them?"

Mind you, I have worn stripes plenty of times around him. It's nothing new, though it's been a while, I admit. I'm usually in all black up top.

But whatever, I didn't listen to that or anything. I told him how awful and ridiculous I thought that was to say that, and that I was wearing my stripes, oh well. Just my arms were showing the stripes, too! Sheesh.

So that was weird and I really need to go through all my clothes and figure out what my needs are because I cannot live life without decent activewear. I feel like all my activewear now is either worn out or more geared for running or tennis. I need less specific gear, if that makes sense. I don't know. All I know is that nothing felt appropriate.

Also, my weight has gone UP. 337, which... I don't even know what to do with. I am genuinely horrified. I felt every single pound of it on that trail and it was really upsetting, though I didn't express that outwardly. I mean, this is all my fault. It's just crazy that this has happened. The worst part is that I feel like I don't know how to fix it, even though I have done this so many times. Hence the Sisyphus reference — just over and over and over, the same thing. Make progress, eventually have to start over. God.

Another thing I want to write about that I'm going to save for tomorrow is that I watched an episode of My 600 Pound Life yesterday on a whim. I have SO MANY thoughts about it, but I want to take my time and bed is calling because I am wicked zonked. I leave you until next time, dear reader, and please don't freaking spam me, OK? Because that is the worst kind of comment to get — you get excited because you think you're getting a genuine comment and then... a stupid link to a stupid quick fix or miracle that's not really a miracle... PEOPLE! I DO NOT love that stuff, like, at all. I don't think anyone does.

So leave nice comments or even critical comments but do not leave me spam. I am deleting you.

(Love and appreciation for everyone else, though!!!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Fat People Can Play Tennis!

Yes, it's true. Fat people CAN play tennis!

It is such a relief that spring has finally arrived. Things were really feeling dire with all the cold weather and even snow we were getting up until just recently – it was kind of mind-boggling! (Not to mention scary and sad, our poor Mother Earth). BUT on Sunday we took our first foray back out to the tennis courts and it felt great!

OK, well, it felt great mentally. Plus, I could still hit the ball, wow! I was honestly a bit worried that I lost all the skills I'd built up last season. Happily, they are still with me.

As you might imagine with someone who hasn't done very much to be active since last summer, physically the first day was a little rough. Obviously I lost a LOT of cardio fitness and, because I gained about 40 pounds since we last played (boo!!!), I didn't have the ability to make it across the court as adeptly as I did before. Those things were definitely discouraging, BUT we hit the ball around for a good half hour on our inaugural outing, and then went out again yesterday for 45 minutes, and today? We reached a full hour again, which is what we always aimed to play last season – at least. Both of us are definitely tired and achey, but I'd say that we have a great start to summer 2018 and I can't wait to get back into better shape so that I can play my best game.

So, here I am on the court today in my tennis blacks (as opposed to whites, ha!), all 330 pounds of me. I'm not embarrassed; to the contrary I am pretty proud to get back out and do something like this in public no matter what I look like. I mean, seriously – just because someone doesn't look like a typical athlete doesn't mean that they can't also participate in sports, even something like tennis. I like that I can be out there and feel OK mentally about it.

Down at the courts at Kiwanis Park in Lewiston! I'm wearing a Universal Standard t-shirt,
by the way, and it is the most soft, comfortable thing ever to hit my skin. I've got a Head racquet and
the best Adidas tennis shoes ever, because there are owls on them and they're red and silver!

I mention this only because I don't think that I was always of this mindset and it is something that I wish for everyone who doesn't conform to certain physical expectations. Go out, try new things, put your body out there and see what it can do!

Here's the thing for me: I am still going to talk about losing weight because I still want/need to, and having this forum in which I can be forthcoming and honest really helps me. Yes, I feel conflicted about adding to the whole "diet talk" thing and honestly, I don't always think it is healthy; however I'd like to think that what I am doing and how I am talking about it is an exception. I really hope so. I guess if you've been reading along long enough you know what my reasons are, but if not, let me reiterate: I especially want to lose weight now because I want my tennis game to be optimum, and I also want to get back into walking and running, and whatever weight I lose will make all those things easier – not to mention just plain old daily life type stuff.

I've been right around 330 for at least a month or so now. It doesn't feel great. It feels like most of the weight I gained back went straight to my tummy and my arms, and it is uncomfortable. My stomach gets in the way and just feels awkward. There is no getting around it! Even dropping ten pounds will feel much better. I know because I did this not too long ago – back in February I was back down under 315 and the difference was incredible. You wouldn't think it, right? But it is.

I'm not having a super easy time getting back to better eating habits. It's very up and down, but I keep working at making each day a better day on that front. And if I don't make the best decisions? I try again. It sounds laborious, it IS laborious. You'd think that I could just decide and that would be it. If only. I've realized (again) that if I don't keep foods that I really shouldn't be eating so much of right now (ice cream, gummi bears, whatever other junk that might creep its way into the cupboards or fridge) in the house, I won't eat them. It makes things much easier. So there is that: It starts at the grocery store. I'd also like to stop drinking alcohol for a little while and just give my body a break from processing it.

Now that exercise is back into the equation, I think things will flow more easily. When I am on that tennis court, all I keep thinking is, "Ugh, fat! You really need to go. You're in my fucking way." Seriously. It's part mental and part physical. But it's all on me.

So let's do this!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Or Maybe Not.

If you've been keeping tabs, you know that I have only sent out one TinyLetter since I professed to make the move over to it from here. The truth is, my life has erupted into something entirely different I last wrote publicly. First and foremost, I was let go from my main day job two weeks ago on Tuesday. I will just say I cannot claim to be blameless, however the story goes way beyond anything you could see on the surface. It was long in the making involving both interior and exterior factors. That's all I will say aside from that it was a fantastic learning experience and I will know never, ever to stay in a toxic work situation again, and I will never hold onto a job beyond its (or my) expiration date. That was my biggest mistake.

The truth is this is a huge opportunity to further mold my life into the way I see fit for myself and my family. I have a little time to make/let things happen and not have to worry financially but have already had a couple interviews and leads – and I've been drafted into a pool of graphic designers for an amazing branding startup (so happy about that!). I was told by my now former employers that I could still freelance for them, and that they would provide a good letter of recommendation, so... it's not all bad.

I've been enjoying the downtime and trying to use it to best of my advantage. I'm not always successful at this, however. Some days are better than others, as you might imagine. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders on one hand, but on the other I still have feelings of regret and embarrassment and even sadness to an extent. On good days, though, I do things like take classes on Skillshare or CreatveLive or Lynda; or clean the house; or do job searches. I feel hopeful and excited about my professional future. I'm not scared.

Another thing I have been doing is working in customer service very part-time at a friend's bicycle specialty shop. They do a lot of internet business and needed help handling returns and helpdesk and stuff. The pay isn't great, but it keeps me busy and engaged and continuing to learn new things, which is always a plus in my book! I'm not sure how long I'll be doing that for, but it's nice to know that I'll have some extra dollars and it's nice that I am able to help my friend in her time of need as well. (Thanks, Jen!)

Aside from that, I've been watching a lot of Mozart in the Jungle and Psych and various movies on Filmstruck and wearing the same clothes every day that I am home. I'm staying showered and brushed. I cook, I do dishes. I check the mail. I check email. (OK, I check email a lot.) I've been thinking about trimming my hair, just a few snips to frame my face while keeping it long. I used to cut my own hair all the time, but now I am not sure if I trust myself with that anymore.

I have not-so-great days when my confidence is low, and when my heart feels broken. I haven't been writing as much as I had hoped – keeping a daily practice was my intention but some days I feel too sad to. Maybe sad is not quite the right word. I don't know.

Since this blog is supposed to be about my weight loss and fitness stuff, I'll note a bit here and now: It hasn't been going well. Part of me feels like not caring, but part of me is mourning the way I was feeling about my body even just a year ago. I haven't been on the scale in at least a week but I don't have high hopes for that – certainly above 330 again. I know it. But, I am going to get back to some sort of routine and will start with a weigh-in tomorrow and every day after that. This is something I know that not everyone does, but it's something that, when I am managing my weight, I need to do. One of the first things I thought to myself when I walked out of my office for the last time was that I would now have the time to dedicate to even just walking daily again. Tennis season is coming and I want to be ready. I want to be able to run around and be comfortable and all of it. I even want to start running again. I really do. I will. (?) (See. I am still unsure.) I don't know goal I want to set yet except that I'd really, really like to remain under 322 for the sake of symbolism of a kind – that's 50 pounds below where I started from my highest weight over four years ago. If I can keep off that 50 pounds at the very least, well.

The other thing is getting back below 300 again. That feels important, too, but right now almost impossible. Still, it is what I want for myself. One step at a time can get me there.

I'm glad to have opened up this portal again and written a few words. It helps. I need to always remember that. Opening up and getting it out always helps.

As always, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Shifting to Tiny Letter

You know, I have been thinking about making a shift with this blog. It's been really nice to have a place to be able to write about my weight and fitness stuff, and I have made some neat friends along the way! But I have been writing a lot in other places and I kind of don't want to have a place where I am entirely focused on this anymore, so much.

So, do I make a change and just blog about whatever I want? I could do that. But also want to be a little less exposed, kind of (lots of kind ofs in this post, yes), if I am going to write about more. I tend to be a very personal writer; in fact, I got my start publishing a little personal zine back in the 90s that people seemed to enjoy. Part of me wants to go back to that, even, little self-published projects and maybe I will do that, too.

But I love the idea of the Tiny Letter. I subscribe to several and always really enjoy getting them in my email box and reading them. I set up an account that I have yet to use, but I think I will try it out for a little while.

Would you like to sign up for my Tiny Letter? You can do so here. I expect I will be writing something for it within the week, and I would aim to write them semi-weekly, kind of (again!) like I do here.

It still remains to be seen whether I will continue writing here. I am going to mull around about it for a little while yet. I do know, though, that I won't just delete it, just like I didn't delete what was ultimately the previous incarnation of this blog, The Forty Project (yes, I have been at this a long time!).

Things have been up and down in the past week or so and I am grappling around. Things are basically fine, but I am finding myself asking a lot of questions about various aspects of my life. This is just one of them.

I hope that you'll give my Tiny Letter a try! See you on the email!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Nips and Tucks and Hems and Stuff

I titled this post because that is what I feel like I've been doing lately with my eating – nipping, tucking, hemming, etc. – fixing up approaches to eating that fit into my lifestyle and make it easier to meet my health goals.

If you've been reading recently, you know that I have been following a loose low-carb, high protein diet for a study I am participating in with 23andMe. They don't give very specific parameters, so I have been eating much less white stuff and more veggies and fruit, whole grains, and lean meats and fish. I've been monitoring my carb intake most days and it usually falls under 100 grams per day.

That said, I haven't been super strict the past week and change, either – mainly because our budget is a bit... limited... at the moment, so we're trying to eat what we have. BUT, a few days ago my partner told me that he was certain that he has heart disease. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that he can't/won't go to the doctor and probably has some issues that need attention. Anyway, we decided together that trying a heart-healthy diet will be a good idea whether or not he does, so we've been doing our best to stick to that for him, and a bit for me, too – after a bit of research, I settled on an overall way of eating often referred to as the Mediterranean Diet. It's similar in how I was trying to eat, i.e. lots of veggies and fruits, lean meats, healthy fats, no white "stuff"... but not as liberal with things like butter and cheese, for instance. It does allow you to include whole grains, which the low-carb thing I've been doing doesn't. I also like that the MD opens things up to ALL veggies and fruits. Once our finances are back to normal, I'll likely do a hybrid of the two, leaning more toward the MD overall.

I'm happy to say that I finally broke the stall I was in, and I was down to 315.2 this morning. Hooray! I was so happy to see that and hope that I can continue such good progress at least for another week or so, or until I hit below 310. Ooh, that would be so nice!

And I tell you what, here now at 315, I am feeling my body returning to a state where bending at the waist isn't so fraught anymore. It's amazing what a difference a few pounds can make when you're at the right place. So what seems like instantly, I can tie my shoes more easily again, and the bathroom is not so bad anymore. It is such a relief.

Another thing is that because of my partner's heart disease anxiety, I did some research about it, and now I am concerned about it for myself, too! It's a tricky thing, and it is deadly. BUT it is also very treatable and even reversible using diet and fitness. One book I read, Best Practices for a Healthy Heart by Sarah Samaan, MD, talked about things like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and PCOS (the latter with which I was diagnosed at 18) and how they relate to heart disease, and that was kind of all she wrote. It made me even more ready and willing to make positive and permanent changes to my lifestyle. The weight is a thing, sure – in fact, it is one of THE things when it comes to heart disease – but I am getting older and need to start thinking about these things seriously and decide how much I would like to affect my chances of living a long and healthy life. A better diet and a commitment to exercise has yet another purpose for me.

Yet one more phase in my journey that has been going on now for a long, long time. It is super important to just never give up. So much about this is diligence.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Annual Doctor Visit and a Refresh

I just updated my data page to reflect my January loss. What a good feeling!

Looking at the whole page with its now years worth of monthly tracking, I decided that it would be just lovely if I could make it through 2018 with losses every single month, even if it was just by a pound or two. I would really like to see a year that has no red in it. 2018 could be that year.

The thing to do is: Take things one step at a time, as I should always try to do. One month at a time, one week at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time!

I'm writing this in the morning and I unfortunately I am not well-prepared for eating today. That is, I brought nothing with me (I woke up late!) and I don't really have an idea of what to do about it. Well, first thing: I'd like to re-commit to the low-carb approach after having read dear reader (and blogger extraordinaire!) Wendy's response to my last post. I have to throw a big shout out to her for that. Thank you, Wendy, for jolting me back to reality! So there is that. I'll drink water all morning and then, for lunch I'll likely go what seems like one of the best take-out options I have: a salad with proteins. Maybe Panera's Green Goddess, for instance? I'll think on it some more.

I just really do want to stick with this. I want to enjoy not feeling hungry and not feeling crappy like when I am eating lots of carbs. Am I still going to make those cookies I mentioned last post, though? Honestly? Probably, but maybe not for a while. The hazelnut flour and four types of chocolate I bought to make them will keep. I keep telling myself how much I want to get below 300 pounds again, but you know – if I keep making exceptions every time I have second thoughts or doubts, then I will certainly never get there.

Another problem I've been having is trying to sort out the depression and anxiety and stress I've been dealing with for the better part of the past year, which definitely doesn't help. The regular meditation practice I have established does, though, and so does a simple thing like taking regular walks (which I haven't been doing, by the way). I had my annual physical with my GP yesterday and it went well; we talked a lot about this stuff in particular and he's done a couple additional things: He's referred me to a psychiatrist now as opposed to only a talk therapist so I can get my medication sorted out, and he mentioned that maybe for now, I ought to focus on getting that house in order and let the weight stuff follow in kind rather than worrying too much about it right now. I appreciated that, but I also think that if I let it completely go, it will cause way more harm than good, and I think armed with low-carb eating, I will be fine and it will go back to being fairly easy.

Before my appointment yesterday morning, I finally got myself over to the imaging place right near the doctor's office to get the X-ray on my shoulder done to check for anything that looks more serious than tendonitis. I don't know the results yet on that, but should any day and I'm looking forward to getting that sorted out before the beginning of tennis season. The idea of not being able to play anymore is, quite frankly, devastating. So.

By the way, I want to shout out to my doctor about how incredibly awesome he is – for SO many reasons, but this takes the cake. His office badge, the ID he wears on his lab coat? It had his photo on it, but the name read: Mick Jagger.

OMG. I am so lucky.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mixed Signals

January has come to a close – hooray! Only a couple more months of potentially winter weather.

I will also be happy to update my "data" page with a loss for the first time in a while – double hooray!

February, the shortest month of the year, thank goodness, because it looks like it might be the brokest as well. That's never much fun, but I'll figure it out, like I always do.

Things have been going OK. Weight-wise, after that initial 10-, 11-pound loss, I haven't budged, just bouncing from 317 to 318 to 319 to 322 to 319 to 318 and so on. (I'm not going to lie, that 322 really freaked me out and it happened unjustifiably, as it sometimes does.) Today I'm 318 and change, which is fine for now.

To be honest, after some of that bouncing I got a little pissed off and have been eating a little more carby. It hasn't really hurt anything, but it hasn't helped, either. ALTHOUGH! I suspect that being in PMS mode has something to do with the stall. This has happened to me enough to know that it is very likely, in fact. Fun times! But at least an explanation.

At first I didn't consciously know why, but now I do: I ate and ate today probably just for that reason. Hormones. Not that it's an excuse, but you know. It's hard to beat hormones. I had a Bagel Wednesday bagel for breakfast (we get free bagels on Wednesdays at work), poppyseed with cream cheese, and then for lunch it all fell apart, kind of. I think part of the problem was hormones, yes, and then the other part of the problem was that my boss called just before I was about to head out to get some lunch, and by the time we got off the phone an hour later, I was SO. HUNGRY.

And I had planned on doing a little bit of grocery shopping on my lunch break and probably just get something at the store. The problem with doing that when you're hungry and PMSing is... well, you know what the problem is. You lose the ability to make intelligent decisions. In fact, in a state like that you make completely drive-based decisions, amirite?

I ended up getting the ingredients I didn't have in the house to make these cookies sometime soon. (Seriously, they are exactly the kind of cookie I would make if I invented a cookie recipe.) I also got a big pack of fresh raspberries on sale (the lowest carb fruit!), a packet of fresh mozzarella cheese sticks wrapped in prosciutto (like no carbs, but I wasn't a huge fan so only had two pieces), a pint of amaretto with amarena cherries gelato (dear god, I love this stuff so much but why on earth did I buy it???) and a couple other non-edible items.

The gelato was the first ice cream-type stuff I've eaten in at least three weeks, which is like an eternity in AmyTime. It was delicious and I'm trying not to feel bad about it. I'm not going to feel bad about any of it, really. It was an event. I lost my mind temporarily. It's not the end.

I'm on the fence about the carb thing. I don't understand how something like sweet potato or black beans can be considered a food that I shouldn't eat. Those two things in particular – I can't get my head around it. I mean, I get it, they have lots of carbs. But they're GOOD for you! I'm pretty sure that I am still going to pay attention to carbs for most of the time. I do think that the low-carb approach to eating IS good for my particular body. But, it's not always convenient and I don't like, I really hate, eliminating whole groups of foods from my diet. I do. I also can't get around that.

So anyway, I am still more or less doing the weight loss study but I am obviously not being perfect about it.

One thing I can tell you about eating that pint of gelato: It is not making me feel good! Not that I feel sick physically or anything, but I do feel bogged down and yuck. Mentally, of course, there are consequences as well. At the very least I can see it as a reminder of the fact that eating foods like that on the regular is not good for me in more ways than one! This is not a feeling I want to have. A-ha!

I had a co-worker who was into bodybuilding and stuff, and she would keep a really strict eating regimen most of the time. But, she and her boyfriend would plan to have a total go-all-out day and eat whatever they wanted one day each month. Thinking about how these past few weeks went for me, I wonder if something like that is workable.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I change my mind a lot and try different things according to what feels right and what feels like it will work best for me at any given time. It's nice to keep things fresh and prevents boredom, for sure. And because I am in this for life, that's an important thing.

Despite these mixed signals I'm throwing at my body right now, I'm not giving up by any stretch. But I guess I am taking a bit of a break today.