Friday, September 21, 2018

And Then I Ate...


I’m going to be completely honest with you, as I always am here: I did go off the rails, post-Whole30. Let me share. I don’t usually post food logs, but today I will, partially to just make better sense of what happened.

Well. First of all, I feel like this isn’t unusual. If I am embroiled in some routine that I feel resolute about sticking with, and then I let go? Something unhinges in my brain and it’s hard to click it back in place. I could feel that happen once I made the decision to stop doing W30. But, as you know, I also had a plan in place. I knew what I wanted my new routine/way of eating would look like.

When it came down to it, though, I think I was really ready for a break from it, from being so hyper-aware, and from being so diligent. My first day off W30 (my sick day) wasn’t too crazy, maybe just a little -- for lunch, it was eating some leftover regular pasta that I hated to see go to waste, with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and at dinner it was eating some whole grain (quinoa), some not-so-whole grain (a hamburger bun) and a little bit of dairy (cheese on top of my stuffed peppers). Oh, and I had a beer. I mean, not exactly what I was planning on doing, but not the worst.

Yesterday, though, was another story and by dinnertime I went to a place I was kind of scared to go, but did anyway. I had a peach for breakfast, and leftover chicken and stuffed peppers (quinoa and cheese) and an assortment of raw veggies for lunch. I was planning to eat reasonably for dinner earlier on, but by the time 3:30 arrived I was feeling slightly angry and definitely ravenous and I just wanted to eat.

Long story short: Three slices of pepperoni pizza (though the way it was cut, was more like two slices from most other pizzas), two hot chicken wings, two and a half beers. But before that, I got from the store a pumpkin cake donut with icing and a very small amount of gummi bears -- just a taste. Just a taste. But that is all the stuff I put into the proverbial pie hole yesterday.

At this point I’m writing after a pause having returned from lunch break. I had gotten frustrated with something that happened at work and it was something, at that moment, I just couldn’t bear it. It was at a point in the day when I could just walk away for a while, fortunately, but maybe not: I walked out to my car, I started the engine, and I drove myself to McDonald’s and ate a two cheeseburger meal (medium with a diet Coke) and a hot fudge sundae. When I came back to the office, my co-workers were out on their break, so I took the opportunity to stuff the big chocolate chunk cookie I’d also purchased at the store last evening and wolfed it down, along with the remaining small amount of gummis. I just wanted it all gone.

I almost cried on the drive back. I’m actually very upset with myself right now. And while I know this is a blip on the timeline and not the end of the world, or the end of my efforts, I am left wondering what the hell happened? In two days, what happened to the resolve I had?

I’m struggling to figure out why a restrictive diet works so well for me but also blows up in my face. I really had little trouble during Whole30 keeping it together, and I liked the way I felt overall (except for the extreme fatigue, of course), and I liked the place I was in in relation to food and eating. I thought I had my sugar cravings conquered (ha! Not even a month, how silly!).

All of this is to say that… I don’t know. I’m feeling really vulnerable right now and a little scared. Part of me doesn’t want to eat anymore at all today but I don’t know how feasible that is. (Honestly, should be pretty darned feasible because I’ve been skipping dinner a lot lately.)

I’m not sure where to go from here but I do know that I have to be really, really careful of how much I let go even just for one day (which turns into two, and then three, and then…). I have to get back to the mindset of one day at a time, and of the idea of fueling my body with delicious food that also benefits it most instead of destroys. Over the weekend, I must be more mindful and careful.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A Day Off, and Off Whole30

I haven't been feeling so hot the past week or so mainly because it's that time of the month. Nothing new, I know, but its effects get me every time and have since I was a kid. It still gets me down! I was trying to stick it out at work this time, but when I woke up this morning I just. Couldn't. Do. It. You know? So I took a mid-week sick day.

I've also been doing more thinking about what to do with Whole 30 – keep at it, or just put it away. Having read some of what Michael Hull has said about it (and he did his research!) really made me reconsider. Some of what Whole30 founders posited is based in science, but a lot of it just isn't, or it's based on junk science. I feel like I should have known better or done my own due diligence before I launched into it, but like many others I was seduced by the idea that removing "known" inflammatories from my diet would be an interesting experiment. I mean, honestly? I still think it is, but after 16 days I'm realizing that my main impetus has been weight loss all along, so why not just go back to what I was doing along with the couple new things I've learned?

I'm not sorry that I gave it a try. But I'm ready to make some adjustments back to "the new normal".

Pros:

• I'm more in touch with my body's needs – my sugar cravings have improved dramatically, and while I still think about some of my favorite sweet treats, I've been satisfied with the fruits I've been eating. I'm very happy that I've pretty much broken the habit of having something sweet after every meal. That is a big one for me.

• My portion sizes have improved in general. I don't really snack between meals anymore.

• It feels good to know that I am not/wasn't dependent on alcohol. (To be honest, I was a little bit worried that I might be.) I missed winding down with a beer or a glass of wine but it didn't kill me or anything.

• I am learning how to deal with stressors without turning to food.

• I lost 9+ pounds in the first 16 days – yes, I got on the scale this morning.

• The scale doesn't have such a hold on me anymore. I still believe in daily weighing, but I think I will just check in on the scale every two weeks or so rather than every day, at least for a while.

• I found out that I don't have to be so dependent on certain foods in order to make a meal taste better. Case in point: The pulled pork and potato "nachos" I make are delicious without cheese or sour cream. Maybe I didn't quite miss cheese as much as I thought I did while in the middle of it.

• I ate a lot more veggies and really enjoyed it!

• I'm still not great at meal prep and taking lunches to work, but love when I do. It is one habit I will continue working on getting down.

Cons:

• A lot of what Whole30 is based on is junk science. *cue sad trombone*

• I was SUPER tired and achey the whole time, even more that when I started. It started to make me feel depressed and almost despondent.

• I really hated some of the especially picky parts of the restrictions, and like many others have reported, I felt like it screwed with my disordered eating side.

Lots of pros, right? So here's what I have decided to do moving forward:

• Continue to eat lots of veggies and fruits and healthy fats.

• Try to adhere to the meal template for every meal: a protein, veggies, and a healthy fat. In other words, balance.

• Continue to avoid added sugars, and to monitor my daily sugar intake overall, limit to 25g or so.

• Add back whole grains, but in a limited way. Same with my beloved legumes (black beans and all their buddies – small red, pink, white, chickpeas, kidney, etc.). I guess same with dairy, for that matter. They'll all be part of my diet, but not the major players they once were.

• I'll drink alcohol, but cut down overall. I won't rely on it to relax me when I'm stressed out or upset.

• I'll make room for "treats", but they'll be for special foods/occasions in general.

Technically, I have already broken protocol. Yesterday, I got some meat, salmon, potatoes, and fruit from Wegmans (grocery store) prepared foods bar for lunch. On the surface those are fine choices, but I don't really know what those things were cooked in so likely they would be out.

This morning I had a couple tiny sips of my partner's beer – ones I hadn't tried before. Like, literally two barely sips – but that would throw me back to day 1 of Whole30, if I was sticking with it.

That said, I'm not going whole hog back into everything right away. Aside from what I just mentioned, I'm still eating W30. I'll go back into the "forbidden" stuff as it presents itself and as it seems appropriate. I'm not going on a crazy binge today!

I'm very happy to have weighed in at 325.8 today. Great progress! I don't want to jeopardize that. One thing I will say is that despite the restrictive nature of W30, I have not felt lacking. Yes, I have been hungry here and there, but the hunger is different. I'm eating three full, balanced meals a day and not counting calories. I really, really love that, and honestly? That is how I would like to live: Filling my body with delicious foods that help it function at its best, and not worrying about numbers so much. Don't get me wrong, I love my numbers and stats, but I do think setting them aside for a while might continue to do me good.

Ideally I'll continue like this at least until the end of the year, and see if I can continue losing weight and still feel satiated and happy. And I'm hoping that my energy level will improve in the coming weeks, too.

It's been fun, Whole30! Smell you later!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Halfway to Whole30 – and Thinking about Giving Up

Today is Day 15, wow! I kind of can't believe I am still hanging in there, but on the other hand it's not really a hardship. Do I miss just eating whatever whenever I like? Of course. In fact, last night I had one of those famous food dreams. I won't go into too much detail but it involved huge donuts and quite frankly, I can't remember whether I actually ate them in the dream, so... oh well.

On Friday I thought for sure it was the end of it. I had a stressful event toward the end of the work day involving a fairly new bank account (basically, KeyBank froze my account and said that it was ditching me because they found out about an instance of identity theft back in 2011 and considered me too risky, or something -- thankfully I hadn't yet transferred all my stuff over to them yet, but it was still upsetting and stressed me out!), and after that I swear all that was on my mind was how much I wanted to drink and all the stupid things I wanted to eat. I even texted my partner: "I want to stop doing Whole30."

But, then he came back with how proud he was for me sticking with it and that just kind of popped me back into reality. I realized that I was also proud of myself for hanging in there and working on bettering my habits. Shouldn't a time like this be a good opportunity for me to find a new way to deal with stressors or quell my emotions? Long story short, I didn't quit and I didn't even slip. I consider this the second major learning "thing" – number two after having successfully attended a family get-together without crashing. Those things always, always involve a lot of food – a lot of foods that I really like to eat but are definitely not W30 compliant. What I did in that case was made sure to eat a filling meal before I went, but once I got there I realized that I would be hungry anyway and should have planned better. In the back of my head I figured that there would be something there I could eat, like a veggie plate or something – not to mention that I was really only going to see everyone and not to eat. Of course, this time no dice. There was literally nothing on plan... until my cousin unveiled a gorgeous, home-grown watermelon.And then shortly after that? She handed me a baggie of freshly-picked string beans from her garden. On top of that, her sister had some Fuji apple slices that she shared with me. All in all, it was a tasty and satisfying-ish makeshift meal. Lesson learned, though – in social situations, make sure to have a Plan B.

If nothing else, I appreciate that Whole30 is teaching me these new coping skills. I have always relied on food for so many things, and it feels totally freeing to have tools like these to use for the rest of my life. It's been worth the challenge only for that, but of course I am hoping that I'll reap other benefits as well.

So far my aches and pains have not gone away at all, and I am still really dragging, energy-wise. It's like I can't get enough sleep, even with nine, ten, eleven hours a day some days. I will say that I have had a much better quality sleep, though. I sleep like the dead.

As the day goes on and I'm writing this, I am finding myself wondering if I should throw in the towel, seriously. I'm reading lots of different things on various forums and blogs about Whole30 experiences, and... I don't know. I've made it this far and hate to give up, you know? I am just so tired of feeling so tired and there is no way to know if it's going to get better or if this is just it, i.e. no "Tiger Blood" for me. Then again? It seems like most days at around this time I go through this whole thought sequence and end up putting in another day. Best I can say at this moment is what I find myself saying so often: "We'll see."

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Whole 30, Day 11

I'm still hanging in there! It's probably one of my toughest days today, which, according to the Whole30 Day by Day book, sounds pretty normal. But I can't give in. I can't throw in the towel – I'm a third of the way through, you know?

One thing that is not making it easier is that I got my period today. Again. (Second time in two months, which is a huge bummer as I make my way through perimenopause.) So yeah. The so-called Sugar Dragon is raging hard today, and I really had to talk myself out of eating not one, both the Larabars I had in my desk drawer. Larabars are technically compliant on W30, but recommended to use only in emergencies, if ever. So, after reading a number of posts on the online forum, I decided to pack the bars away until post-day 30. It's for the best.

I did have take-out lunch today from an old favorite, Panera – the Green Goddess salad, modified a bit. No dressing, olive oil instead. I probably made a mistake having them leave the bacon on (probably was cured with sugar and sulfites and whatever else that is NOT allowed), but I threw caution to the wind. No, I am NOT restarting, but I will tell you one thing: something did not taste quite right with that salad. Maybe I'm just used to my own delicious homemade versions so much now. I'll take it as lesson learned and to continue to work on improving my prep skills so I can avoid this kind of thing in my remaining days.

Randoms:

+ I'm getting sick of sweet potatoes. They are the bottom layer of my breakfast casserole this week and I find that I'm getting really put off by the flavor when I bite into it. Get this: Too sweet!

+ I LOVE yukon gold potatoes. I'm so happy regular potatoes are considered compliant on Whole30.

+ I have probably been eating too many pistachios. I could do that with macadamia, hazelnut, or cashew, but apparently pistachios should be enjoyed with stricter limits. Oops.

+ Another new fave: Capers. I had no idea how flavorful and yummy these were – a perfect addition to eggs, salad, veggies, etc. If I want to be honest I've been avoiding them for a long time without any cause.

+ I bought sardines and smoked rainbow trout but have not yet gathered up the courage to try them. I did used to eat sardines packed in tomato sauce back in college and loved them, but for some reason I am afraid of them now.

+ I need to make some homemade mayo. I'm not usually a big mayo person, but I want to make egg salad and tuna salad soon.

+ I'm still not sick of eggs, thank goodness.

+ I am really looking forward to wearing different clothes again once I lose more weight. I have so much to wear from last year and it breaks my heart. In the meantime, I have been wearing pretty much non-stop my collection of black Old Navy swing dresses with cardigans, and a couple LuLaRoe dresses. And leggings. All the time leggings. I cannot wait to wear pants again. And other dresses. And yes, I know I could get more clothes to wear now at the size I am, but a) I don't want to spend the money and b) I'm kind of using it as a reward to look forward to. Hoping by the end of the year I'll have wardrobe expansion? Shoes too.

So many mixed feels about Whole30 today. On one hand I could see myself continuing on with it for life because it is really not that bad and I feel like it's giving me a whole new, more healthy relationship with food and eating. But on the other hand... I want to eat all the things. I'm pretty sure that I will end up somewhere in the middle, but closer to W30 than to my old way of eating. I would leave room for special occasions and just a "fuckit" day here and there, but generally keep an eye on my intake of grains and sugar in particular. Dairy and legumes I'm not so worried about although I do have to watch it with them not to eat too much at once. I don't know. I guess we'll just see how I feel as it goes along post-W30. I really can't wait to see where I am at then, mentally and physically!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Whole30/Life Update

Hi ho!

It's day 8 of Whole30 for me and I am hanging in there just fine so far. I'm very pleased to have made it through my first week, and while I have definitely had some ups and downs, I've found it pretty easy to be compliant. This is probably the most healthy my diet has ever been in my life, no lie, no exaggeration.

I am still going through a weird time as far as how my body feels, though. I hear this is common – there is quite a range of symptoms associated with the various "withdrawals" you're going through. For me, it's manifested as extreme fatigue and intensified aches and pains. I'm assuming that those things will get better over time, and I'm not going to worry too much about it until after the 30 days is done.

One thing that I struggled with a lot in the first week was not weighing myself every day, or even every few days. But, now I feel liberated from the tyranny of the scale! It is really nice to just not think about how much I weigh or what the number on the scale will be. OK, honestly: I do think about my weight all the time and wonder what it's doing as a result of this new way of eating. BUT I am not going to step on that scale until it is time to! I am super curious but I am also not into the idea of sabotaging my progress by relying on what that number says. (I know that if it didn't say what I think it should/could, it would really upset me and I might go off the rails. I am still delicate, after all!)

Another thing is that while Whole30 is super restrictive, it is also super freeing! Instead of focusing on all the things I can't eat for the month, I've definitely shifted focus on what I can. It's a wonderful feeling! In general I'm eating better portions than before (I always tend to overeat), and sometimes, honestly? Even if I am hungry I don't really feel like eating, which is weird. I'm not sure what that is about, but I'm just following my instincts for now. Don't worry – I am far from underfed over here. Though fun fact: Whole 30'ers often do undereat! I like that Whole30 makes it pretty easy to manage your eating: choose a protein, a veggie, and a healthy fat for every meal and bam, you're done. This has meant for me that I'm relying on a few staples over and over, but at the same time I know that there are many options otherwise if I get bored. (I still love my eggs so far!)

I haven't yet noticed any miraculous changes in how I feel or how I look, although once in a while I have moments where I think, "Maybe...?" My stomach might have shrunk a little, or maybe my face looks a little slimmer, or maybe some things are getting easier to do again. But it's only been a week at this (plus the 2+ weeks where I was getting back on track and mostly avoiding sugar), so I really can't expect miracles. Still, I am enjoying the process and think that this just might be the thing that gets me right with food and eating.

My feeling is that once the 30 days is over that I will take things very easy, gently trying each food out to see how it affects me, before I start thinking about no longer restricting. For instance, I do want to continue to limit obvious sugar stuff after this, but I won't worry so much about the little bit of sugar we might see in certain types of bacon or mustard, you know? I don't want to go back to the way I was eating sugar, which was making sure I had something sweet after every meal, for example. That was definitely NOT good for me by any stretch. I will go back to enjoying alcohol more moderately. I will eat grains, but continue to try to stick to whole grains as much as humanly possible. In other words, I will try to make better choices most of the time. I cannot wait to eat legumes again. I miss my black beans! That said, I need to think about that – I tend to gorge on them when I do eat them, so maybe not? *sigh*

So, we'll see... maybe adding back certain foods really won't feel good, in which case... they will be out of my life (or nearly so).

Anyway, I am actually really enjoying the Whole30 journey and can't wait to see where I land on the other side!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

And Now for Something Different: Whole 30

Hellohello!

I'm still chugging along doing my thing, and think about writing a new post but it somehow never seems to happen. Part of it is worrying about it being substantive enough, or interesting enough. It can be paralyzing!

I have been journaling in my Leuchtturm1917 notebook, though, ever since I posted about starting over again here, back in mid-August. Every day, even! Things have been going pretty well, though I haven't lost much of anything since that first week when I dropped like 8 pounds. It's been frustrating, but I'm not in the mood to give up anymore. I have goals. I know what I want to feel like. And being the weight I am now (335 give or take a pound or two lately) doesn't fit the bill.

One thing I learned in the first few months of my major weight loss back in 2015 was that perseverance is everything. You just have to keep doing what you know is good for you, knowing that the results you want will happen eventually. So that is the mindset I am trying to espouse.

Another thing. I hope that this will help: I'm doing Whole30 for the first time ever right this very minute. I'm closing out of day 3, in fact, and it's been relatively painless so far. Since I'd already been trying to eliminate added sugar from my diet for a couple weeks, adding on a few more restrictions didn't seem like too much of an inconvenience somehow. So, in case you've been living under a rock the past few years... in addition to sugar, I'm not consuming the following things for the next 30ish days: Dairy, soy, legumes, alcohol, grains, corn, um... what else? I think that covers it. I'm not sure what's been hardest to abandon just yet, but I'd probably have to say dairy at this point. However, because I can eat eggs and potatoes (and not just sweet potatoes!), life's not too bad.

I know, ask me next week how I'm feeling about eating my 100th egg. Thank goodness I actually really love eggs.

But really, it leaves you with a lot of choice. Any meat, any vegetable, any fruit. Sure, it's a bit of a pain reading every label making sure that something doesn't contain hidden sugars – and man! Just about everything not whole contains some form of sugar. It's tricky. My suspicion is that once I am done with W30 I'll just go back to keeping the sugar count down in general with mostly not eating obvious sugar, but for now I'm going for the science and giving it a college try, whole hog – I really want to see if any of these groups of foods have been causing my body trouble. While it's true that carrying so much extra weight is not helping at all, I still can't believe that all the horrible aches and pains I've been experiencing can only be attributed to that. I don't know.

So one day my partner read an article about leaky gut and was like, "So, I think you have this." I'd read about it before, too, and thought the same but stayed in my comfy state of denial unwilling to step out of my eating comfort zone. But for some reason it really hit me this time, maybe because of his noticing, and I thought – OK, let's see what we can do about this.

Really, it's just a scientific experiment. It's NOT a diet. Remember, W30's main purpose is not as a weight-loss diet, though many people do experience significant weight loss while doing it. I mean, I admit that it is part of my impetus, being stuck and frustrated. But most of all, I want to see if it is really that easy to manipulate your health and wellness. (If you think W30 is easy, I guess I should say.)

One more thing that W30 has disallowed is any sort of measuring during the 30 days. As a daily weigher, this has been a little tough for me, but I have a tactic: eat breakfast as soon as I wake up. I do plan to not weigh again until the 30 days is up, but I did fudge on that yesterday. (Hint: I was disappointed. That's what I get!) I finally took a few body measurements this morning, too. (Again, v. disappointing.)

So that is where I'm at for now! I'd really love to be able to take off ~10 pounds a month in the coming months. Timing doesn't really matter, I know, but I'm still kind of pissed off at myself for gaining as much weight back as I did, and I just want it back off. At least to get below 300 again, already! This week, though? I'd be so happy to see a number beginning with 32_. Ah, but I won't be seeing any number until we're into October, so oh well.

I hope you're doing well! Would love to hear from you.

Friday, August 17, 2018

On the Sixth Day...


Oh my gosh, it's been a week.

I have many thoughts, but right now I am in a food stupor. We'll see how it goes.

Let me start with the fact that I've been largely removing sugar from my diet since Sunday, with few exceptions (OK, so a bottle of sparkling moscato one night, a single bite of a peanut butter cookie my partner made himself, and a tiny square of super dark chocolate, for example). But seriously, this is a big change from my usual M.O. and has been quite challenging. At the same time, I've done pretty well with it. I'd really like to keep sugar as more a very occasional thing, and to not be so in need of it as I feel I have been in the past.

Today was my roughest day and I think it was a combo of sugar withdrawal and PMS. Joyous, right? I felt uncomfortable in my skin all day long, and toward the end of the day I was finding it harder and harder to be a regular person among other people (i.e. my lovely co-workers who are in fact lovely people). By 3:45, I just had to excuse myself from my desk under the pretense of "I have to make a phone call" and go sit in my car and recline and meditate and just close my eyes and try to talk myself down from whatever it was I felt was taking me over. 15 minutes later I felt better enough to finish out the last hour of the day, but man – I couldn't get out of there fast enough, and thank goodness it was Friday on top of that.

I've been taking notes about how I feel during the day every day this week. I wanted to track my cravings, my feelings, my thoughts as I went along, and in a desk job like mine that is easy. So I have pages of notes about what I ate and all the stuff that goes along with it.

One of the questions I have this week is, How should I eat? How do I want to eat? Do I really want to cut certain things out of my diet all together? Do I need to? I am going to continue to experiment as I have in the past, but I would definitely like to keep on the path of avoiding as much sugary stuff as I can.

So far I'm down about 4 pounds, though the max was 6.5 – the day after that I was back up 2 after losing 4 overnight, go figure! This is pretty typical for me. I have a lot to lose and when I put in a concentrated effort I lose fast at first.

I went a bit off the rails for dinner tonight. We did take-out for the first time this week, and I'm drinking beer. Hey, apparently the sugar in beer is NOT the bad kind. This is what my research tells me. I'm kind of like whatever after today, to be honest. I needed an off-the-rails evening tonight and I won't feel bad about it.

Oh! And another factor is... PMS. I'm all crampy and bloated which throws me off the weight-loss game. I think next week will be more interesting, then, without all those crazy hormones going on.

Whatever – I am pleased that I have set on a path in the right direction and that I am building better eating habits as a start.

More thoughts to come, as well as images of my journal notes! I would love to hear from you!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Day 2 News

Day 2! Day 2.

Yesterday went well. Today is almost over and it went well, too. Now I just have to do it hundreds of times over, again and again.

But, well, for now... I'm taking it one day at a time. It's the only way to do it.

I am doing the weighing every day thing, and so far, I'm down just a half pound. Honestly, though? It's not really even the priority, which sounds funny, I know. What really matters to me right now is getting back into the habits I need to get back into in order to do this successfully. Yeah – eating reasonable portions, cooking more, drinking less alcohol, eating much less sweet stuff, and easing into a more active life again.

Today I had breakfast (an egg McMuffin, which is pretty much a perfect food, LOL), lunch (a frozen meal I bought with a coupon a couple weeks ago, it was OK and did in a pinch, which is what I was in), and a homemade dinner – a middle-eastern inspired chicken and chickpea stew with brown rice. I drank the last diet soda I have in the house (Fresca, which is AWESOME, by the way). I'm trying to stick to around 1800 cals a day, and right now I'm well under and I'm not sure I'll eat anything else, whatever.

This week my goal is to not eat excess sugar (like, fruit is OK, but no obvious sweets and keeping an eye out on packaged foods labels to avoid it). I want to see what happens. One of my best friends quit sugar a year ago with amazing results – she has so much energy she doesn't know what to do with it all! This is an experiment and we'll see how far I can (or want) to take it.

I started meditating again (I. Am.), and I gave my hair a trim using the unicorn method, which is super easy and really effective for long hair! I am loving it.

Anyway, onward and upward!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Just Like Starting Over

Helloooo!

Anyone still out there?

*crickets*

I guess y'all probably imagined that I just totally gave up on things, and honestly? You'd be at least partially right. I kind of did there, for a few months. Sad to say, mad to say, but true. Yesterday became the breaking point, though, and my partner and I decided that we really need to get back to healthier eating and a better lifestyle in general again, and it starts... not Monday, nope. It starts today.

This morning was a pretty lazy one and I wasn't out of bed until 11 or so, but I made up for it as soon as I was up and running, starting with tidying up the kitchen some, including cleaning up the fridge a bit and taking inventory. I threw out the last of my latest bag of gummi bears, but parsed out the rest of my party-sized bag of Smartfood (cheddar cheese popcorn) into baggies of single servings. I worked on piles of stuff around the house – mostly sorting mail into the recycling – and started a load of laundry. I figured out what to make for dinner (pork chops and sweet potatoes) and mowed the front lawn. Once I got to the tiny, now jungle-like back yard, the mower crapped out and I couldn't get it to restart so I'll try again tomorrow evening. I swept the grass clippings.

I'm basically trying to create a relatively clean slate for myself. "Today is the first day of the rest of my life," etc. I'd been becoming more and more frustrated and angry about things being harder to do in my daily life again. I was super disappointed to be breathing more heavy taking a flight of stairs. I'm embarrassed and disgusted that bathroom stuff is difficult again. Like, WTF?

We've been eating all willy-nilly lately and drinking pretty liberally, too. Neither activity is very helpful to feeling good. My lunches have been out of control – i.e. getting take out every day – not good for the belly fat nor my bank account.

First step was getting a list together of dinners that we like and that are healthy and relatively low-cal, which for us at this point is anything below 1000 calories. I've resolved to get Subway for lunch once or twice a week but to not get cookies. I usually get a turkey breast or roast beef sub with all the veggies topped with red vinegar, so I'm good with that. It's something I really enjoy and it fits pretty well into the kind of lifestyle I want for myself. On the rest of the days, though – I really need to get that figured out. Portions will be important. My partner is planning to go back to having a can of beans (pinto or red or pink) for his lunches, and I think I might do the same along with a serving of brown rice and some avocado or something. Variations on that sort of thing. Veggies too.

I haven't been eating breakfast at all but I don't think that's been working well for me, because by the time I eat lunch I'm super hungry and tend to overeat. A lot. Sometimes then I will skip dinner or have a "snack," but it all ends up being too much. I have done intermittent fasting in the past and liked it, but I think for now I am going to try the three square meals thing and see where it takes me. For breakfast I'm thinking overnight oats and things like eggs baked in muffin tins or something.

I've been drinking a lot of diet soda again, so I also want to make water a priority.

I'm not going to worry too much about adding exercise in just yet, but I do want to start taking walks again regularly.

The good news is that I have kept off a 30 pound loss for about three years. The bad news is that I'm starting at 342 pounds when not too long ago I was well under 300.

So. It's just like starting over. I'm mad at myself but I also know that I can do this.

I'm doing it because I need to feel better physically, first and foremost. Carrying around this much weight does not feel good. I'm excited to be on my way to healing myself again.

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 Healthine.com – 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 healthline.com, 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!