Thursday, April 28, 2011

Continued Success!


I haven't been this low in weight in a good three years... 304 this morning!

I am so relieved to be away from 306. I know that sounds ridiculous, as it is only two pounds' difference, but trust me, in my mindset and with the effort I have been making, it makes ALL the difference mentally. Plus, it just feels really good to break a sort of plateau. I mean, my lowest weight this time around had been 306 since my last diet phase! Finally, I'm on the road to progress again, little by little.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Good Day

As a follow up to my earlier post today, I wanted to check in and say that I had a good day! The only thing that I "shouldn't" have eaten was a tiny bit of goat cheese on my salad earlier and a tiny bit of olive oil I used in my shrimp and spinach saute for dinner. I did drink plenty of water, and the day was a bit on the physical side, as I stood quite a bit while teaching (hey, it's better than sitting all day!) and while taking a photography class earlier this evening. I'm actually pretty bushed, but feel accomplished and happy with how things went today overall.

That's the most important thing.

I must say, this third diet phase has been perhaps the most easy time so far of all. I guess that I'm getting more used to the amount of food, and that my body is perhaps less accustomed to eating crap all the time, so I don't get such intense cravings? Whatever it is, I'll take it. It feels great. Of course, it's nice that the cycle only lasts 18 days this time around. My goal will be to really keep the weight off during maintenance, unlike last time. I can do it!

Holding Steady

Hm, it's been a little frustrating the past few days. I did gain two pounds from Easter dinner at my cousin's (best laid plans, I guess), but I did lose those the very next day. Today I weighed in the same, 306 even. I'm not discouraged, but I am a wee frustrated. I even had a dream just before I woke up this morning that I dropped an amazing amount of weight — that is how much it is on my mind. I am very focused on my goal.

Well, I ate well yesterday but I did have a bit of cheese, maybe an ounce, and a spoon of peanut butter. I didn't drink as much water as I should have. Today I aim to stay totally on program with none of my usual deviations (well, except that I will have a wee bit of goat cheese on my salad), and I plan to drink lots of water. Hopefully that will help me get past this point. Ooh, and I also took my vitamins this morning, which I haven't been doing.

Another thing that I should consider is that this is TOM week, so I have no doubt that is having an effect on my results.

I'm going to continue doing what I am doing, and if I don't see a loss tomorrow, I'll call my practitioner and see what she suggests.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Broke it!

No, I didn't break a chair. I didn't break the scale. Ha ha.

Nope, I just broke my last lowest weight by .6 pounds this morning! I'm down to 306 today, and I couldn't be happier... well, unless I broke the 300 mark. I'll be there soon enough — honestly, hoping by the end of the week for that event. I'm totally on a roll. And I'm not talking dinner rolls, either.

Today is Easter, which doesn't mean anything to me as someone like me who does not identify as a Christian, but I'm going to a family gathering my cousin is having that is sure to have a huge spread of food. The one good thing is that I am not alone in my efforts to lose weight in my family, so I'll have plenty of support and commiseration; no doubt there will be plenty of on-program stuffs to eat. My practitioner said that as long as I try to stay away from really sweet desserts and try to eat limited amounts of obvious carbs, I should be good, so that is my plan. I'll have some turkey and some ham, and plenty of veggies. I would like to have a piece of my homemade cheese braid bread (it is rising as I type this!), and maybe some potatoes, but I think this will be a fairly easy event to navigate.

On top of having a plan, it really helps that I had a good weigh-in this morning. I do NOT want to back track at all — I want to keep making progress and show another loss tomorrow if I can help it. And, of course, I have the power to make all the right decisions here. Of that I am certain.

For those of you who celebrate it, happy Easter! One thing I can relate to as far as the story behind it goes is the rebirth, the rising from the dead. The further I go along, the more I feel like I am waking from a very long sleep, giving way to a new approach and outlook on life, despite any obstacles or mistakes I encounter along the way.

I am emerging from behind the rock and into the sunshine.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Back on Track

Heading into Day 4 of my current diet phase and things have been going great! I was up to 314 and change (and probably a little more since I didn't weigh on Wednesday after eating crap on Tuesday – I just didn't want to know), and today I am back down to 308, which is awesome. Just another few pounds and I'm into uncharted territory and starting to make progress again. I feel great.

The eating has been pretty easy this time around. I was prescribed about the same amounts of food again, which works for me, along with my "adjustments". I do have a teaspoon or two of high-quality olive oil just about every day, and I do have a spoonful or two of peanut butter most days. Seems to work out OK, and it makes things SO much easier for me. I'm obviously still getting great results. Hm, I actually added on one more little item to that list, since my new favorite salad is field greens with strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and... goat cheese! Just a little bit of the crumbles goes a long way, and adds a delicious, savory-sweet creamy taste to the salad that really turns it into something VERY special. I guess my thinking is that as long as it's something that is mostly protein, I'm OK. And I don't go crazy with these additions – just enough to make me feel like I'm not deprived.

Of course, I'd say that the main key about not feeling deprived is to eat quality food, even if it is "just" lean meats, veggies, and fruits. (Imagine! Just!) I mean, yeah, if you're living on overcooked chicken breast and iceberg lettuce and a not-very-flavorful variety of apple, then yes, you're going to start feeling pretty desperate. My approach from the very beginning has been to eat delicious food, even if it is a small amount. More bang for your buck, literally and figuratively.

Yesterday was a good lesson in how to handle going out to eat with a friend. Jan and I did lunch at a local Italian place. I resolved to stick to the program as much as I could, but with a bit of leeway. My plan was then to just have a salad and fruit later on. I ended up having a broccoli parmesan, which did have some light breading and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese – nothing too bad, though. I had a small side salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, and while the meal came with a side of pasta, I had just a few nibbles of the gnocchi I ordered and then let Jan take the rest home. I also had a dinner roll with butter. I drank water and diet Pepsi.

I was full! The food was good, but honestly I enjoy my own cooking better. The best part of the meal was really time spent with my friend and our great conversation.

I didn't really eat for the rest of the day – didn't feel like it – until later on after a late afternoon-early evening nap (we have a weird schedule). I stayed true to my intentions and had the aforementioned spring greens salad and an apple with peanut butter for dessert. It was more than satisfying and I felt like I was really in tune with my body's needs as opposed to dealing with unreasonable cravings.

Another friend of mine recently gifted me Geneen Roth's book Women, Food, and God after we'd had a conversation that led to sharing with each other a little bit about the history of our respective eating disorders. She's reading it, too, and I think it will be a lovely thing to be able to have someone to bounce this stuff off of when we're done. I just started reading the other night and it's already interesting and certainly relevant to my own experience. I can't wait to see what sorts of revelations I might have as a result. Assuming I do, of course.

Just something about the past two weeks has led me to a feeling of happiness and content in the various aspects of my life. I know that those feelings will have a positive impact on my efforts here, too. It helps to feel good about yourself; it may be the key to success!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diet phase #3

Well, I am back on the diet phase, number 3 already! Unfortunately during my last maintenance phase I ended up putting back on about half of what I lost in the last diet phase (translation: my total loss last diet phase was just under 10 pounds), but after meeting with my practitioner on Tuesday (not today like I originally posted) I felt a renewed sense of dedication and just belief in the fact that I can really reach my goal if I don't give up.

This time around I got no load days assigned to me, so I launched right into diet phase yesterday. So far, so good. I'm 312.6 today, which is six pounds over my lowest weight since I started the program... but I think that I will be back there within the week and well on my way to busting the 300 pound mark.

I think that the weather is finally going to be conducive to walking soon, finally! Mother Nature's really been dealing some grey, sad weather to us lately and that makes it hard to feel motivated about much. We're all champing at the bit for some lovely spring temperatures and temperment.

I've been getting nice comments about the way I look and my overall temperment, and things like how my skin is glowing. Hm, I don't know about the last comment; maybe, but I have also been trying to use skin products the past few weeks, too. The more I am taking care of myself health-wise, the more I want to have fun with girly stuff like that.

Anyway. So that's where I'm at. Overall with a very positive outlook on many aspects of my life, and looking forward to tomorrow, and next week, and next month, and next year...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm still here

I really am! I'm still on maintenance phase and going to get re-evaluated by my practitioner for the next diet phase on Thursday. Maybe you're wondering how things are going?

Well... not bad, I guess. I am up about five pounds from my lowest weight so far on this program, which... isn't great, but it isn't terrible considering how I've been eating. Well, not great, not terrible, I guess. I am still mindful but sometimes just eat whatever anyway. I am looking forward to getting back into the structured eating of the diet phase again. I really want to get below 300 pounds!

I've just been super busy lately, which also makes it hard to eat well in general. Lots of times I get home and just feel too tired to fix something decent, or fix anything at all. I do know that the stuff I generally eat doesn't take much effort to put together, but it's just that exhausted mindset that distorts everything, I guess.

Anyway, I am here and I have not given up! :) Just taking a break from documenting every failure and every success and everything else. ;)

I hope this finds YOU well!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Food Fail

Ugh. I neglected to log my food yesterday. Didn't do so hot anyway, plus I ended up drinking a bit (OK, so a lot, which I never do anymore) at the end of the night and eating an entire package of Pim's orange chocolate cookies. Way to go.

I got really lucky on the scale this morning, though, at 308, just .2 above my ending weight of the last diet phase. That's good.

Today, though? I was totally off the rails again. I didn't mean to.... ah, the road is paved with good intentions, isn't it?

I had a fantastic lunch out with three girlfriends at the same fab place I went to with one of them a while back. The food was so, so delicious and the company was equally wonderful. Superlatives abound. I almost got the same thing that I did last time, which would have been a better choice, health-wise, but I indulged both food-wise and money-wise and got the lobster mac & cheese. Good god. I also had the strawberry goat cheese salad. I ate just over half the mac & cheese and also had gelato for dessert.

Maybe not bad if I had stuck to my original plan of not eating much for the rest of the day. Only I picked up a pizza for my partner later and ended up eating too many pieces. I will just leave it at that. Epic food fail today. I just finished off my lunch leftovers, too — I am going away for the weekend and... get this... didn't want it to go to waste. Blegh.

I'm headed up to Potsdam to pick up my paintings and spend the weekend with my dad and stepmom and family friends who live in town. Fortunately, the host is also watching her diet so I don't see it being too terrible, but, well... best intentions and all.

I'll try to stay positive. I'm not losing sight of my goals. They still exist. One day does not obliterate them.

Onward and upward.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hanging In There

Haven't weighed myself yet this morning. I am sort of afraid to, but I will... for me, it is the best way for me to stay on track during maintenance. I need to have a Steak Day today. Yesterday was sort of off.

I guess I wasn't that bad with my eating yesterday, but I wasn't great. Technically I shouldn't be eating any starch or sugar until tomorrow (there are two phases to maintenance), but, well, I did.

Just like last time, I plan to log everything I eat during maintenance so that I have a clear vision of what works and what doesn't.

So, here's yesterday's food. It's not pretty.

Food Log 4/6

• Apple with dark chocolate peanut butter

• Small bowl of chili and one small corn muffin

• A few handfuls of wasabi almonds

• A handful of Hershey's kisses

• A spoonful of dark chocolate peanut butter

• One and a half bowls of chicken-asparagus pasta

• One dinner roll

See, not so hot. I didn't need the kisses, and I didn't need the pasta. I could have just have the chicken and asparagus part of the meal. I sort of lost my head there.

I think part of my problem is that I messed up financially this week. I was trying to hold on to my "buffer" and instead, I frittered it away, thinking that I was comfortable and that my bank account was fine... and then when I finally went to check my account balance... I was headed for trouble and not getting paid until Friday (this happened on Monday). So now I am overdrawn (big sad face) but having learned another important lesson. Just because you've had success in one area doesn't mean that you shouldn't remain vigilant and thoughtful about the choices you make.

Sound familiar? I have talked about this before, long ago when I still had my Forty Project blog, about the correlation between my relationships with food and money? I have the same issues. My finances have stabilized quite a lot in the past couple years, but clearly I still have some work to do. I am trying not to be too stressed out or upset about the money (I'm in effect throwing it out the window with the fees I've incurred — OUCH!), but rather to really take this as (another) learning experience. I'm not ever going to get so "comfortable" that I feel like I don't need to keep track of my daily expenditures.

It's JUST like with food!

Anyway, on top of that the stress of the situation is sublimated a bit (again, trying to not let it bother me since I can't do anything about it until I get paid tomorrow) and it's reflected in how I ate yesterday. Not only because I turned to some of my more traditional comfort foods (pasta, bread, chocolate), but also because I can't go to the store and buy anything to supplement what we have in the house. Thankfully, we have plenty to eat, and I do have fruits and veggies and stuff... *sigh* I don't know. I wasn't really thinking right yesterday, when it comes down to it.

Today I would like to be back on track and eating reasonably. I don't like how that food made me feel yesterday and sort of missed my usual approach to eating. One thing I will note though is that my portions are definitely much smaller than they used to be, which is great! You gotta take credit where credit is due, right?

Here's to a better day, no matter what the scale says.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Maintenance, again.

First day of maintenance, and all is well... I think. :)

So, yesterday I had a picture perfect eating day, totally according to plan. What happened on the scale?

Nothing. I stayed the same at 307.8 (after gaining a pound from being mad about staying the same at 306.6 for three days).

This leads me to believe that this little plateau might be because of a couple things: One, hormones as I started a new pack of BC pills this week, and two, maybe that my body is like, "Sheesh! I've already lost nine pounds in five days! What more do you want from me?" I can hardly blame her.

So, I am happy at 41 pounds lost heading into maintenance. That's 41 pounds lost since January 15! Wow.

Today I sat at the lunch table with some colleagues at the college and one said, "You look different!" He usually sees me at least once a week, so I thought it was funny. I replied, "Well, I've lost some weight..." He said that he could really see it in my face, and that I look good. I thought that was so nice. I don't get a lot of overt comments about my weight loss so I assume that it's not that noticeable. I need to hear stuff like this once in a while, you know?

I had a great day overall. I didn't get to eat anything until about 3pm, though, due to my busy schedule and lack of preparation. Not to mention, I am broke (or worse) until Friday. When I did eat, I only had a few minutes, so I munched on some wasabi almonds, and had an Icelandic-style yogurt (Siggi's; it was different than what I am used to) supplemented with some fresh blackberries. Then I was out the door again.

When I got home later, I wanted to make a batch of chili to tide us over the next couple days, so I did. Some corn muffins, too, mainly for my partner, though I did sample one small one (it was good!). I had about a cup of chili, which was also delicious though not exactly in accordance with this part of maintenance. The beans in it are starch, no two ways about it; at least they are good starch, though, and again — I had a small amount during a day where I didn't eat much anyway.

I'm actually really full, too!

Haven't yet gone for another walk. The weather is still cheeky and I was just too busy today. I cannot WAIT for the next one, though, really! C25K, here I come.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's Official: I Rock.

After having that little pity party for myself, I decided that a walk was just what the doctor ordered. It's something that I've been thinking about doing for the past week or so but just haven't gotten around to. Wouldn't you know I just had to do it at 9pm on a snowy night?

Of course, I hadn't realized that it was snowing when I opened the door outside. What a surprise to see everything coated in white as I was about to head out sans coat. I went back inside and got my coat, got my leather gloves from the car, and embarked on my journey.

The snow was falling in big, wet flakes, and the neighborhood was quiet and glistening! Beautiful, but cold. I probably should have worn a hat, too. But I was feeling good and my body performed well, another surprise this evening. In the past when I have started up walking again, I always have to go through a few days of shin pain and not being able to walk more than 10 minutes or so. Well, I guess what a difference 40 pounds (or even 20 for that matter) makes! This walk was almost effortless except for some very slight cramping in my side, no doubt from having just eaten dinner. Also, it's kind of hard to see where your feet are landing when your glasses are covered in snowflakes.

I ended up walking just over a mile in a time that is comparable to when I was last "into" my runs, about two years ago. In fact, based on the time I walked tonight (just over a 19 minute mile), I'll bet my running time would be among my best ever. I have to keep in mind that the last time I was really into running, I was about the same weight and that's as low as I got. I see SO much potential here! I am hopping back on the C25K train this week. Woo!

This may or may not affect the outcome of the scale tomorrow, but no matter. I feel fucking awesome.

I Get Mad, I Get "Even"

I always speak too soon. No sooner was I puffing about how great I feel and how awesome things are going, I run into another somewhat "off" day.

I haven't been too bad, and the worst of it was earlier this morning, but still. And for the dumbest reason in the world, one that only hurts myself.

I weighed in at 306.6 for the third day in a row, and got pissed off so I ate some pretzels with cheese dip and finished off my small bag of cinnamon chocolate gummi bears. Then I realized how dumb I was being and got over it. Ooh! Didn't lose weight again! Why, I'll show you! I'll eat what I want! Heh... oh.

Ha. Dumbass.

I spent most of the day over at the university working on one of the murals, so maybe that'll burn some of the damage off (hours of standing, bending, stretching... though I think the old bod is pretty used to it now). I came home and made myself a shrimp cauliflower curry and then had a small apple with some peanut butter. And some candied ginger (two small pieces!). And a little piece of caramel chocolate candy.

Clearly I have a sweet tooth today and I'm not doing myself any good by feeding it.

I still think it is funny that whenever I get mad, I eat. More than any other emotion I've noticed it happens. Must find a new coping mechanism. Deep breathing, perhaps? A time out in the corner? Cleaning the bathroom?

Anyway, we'll see what happens on the scale tomorrow. I'm sure it won't bode well, but I will accept whatever and move forward. So there. Nyah. ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Feeling Fine

I'm just feeling awesome this week. Things have been going well and I feel confident in many ways.

And... I am well on my way to 305. I've held steady at 306.6 today and yesterday. I have three more weigh-ins before starting maintenance, so we'll see where I land!

The other night I went through my closet, my drawers, and the big piles of clean laundry I've been neglecting for god knows how long. I wanted to get an inventory of the things I have and still want to wear, and the things that I should say sayonara to, whether via the trash or Salvation Army. I made the decision to get rid of any piece of clothing that I've outgrown (that is, stuff that is too big for me), which is something that I haven't ever done as long as I can remember. I've held on to clothes that are too small because I had hopes of wearing them one day, but never the opposite. I wonder if that has been part of my problem, having this sort of "insurance" around. It's like I'm giving myself permission to get big enough to wear that stuff again.

This time, it won't be an option. I absolutely feel dedicated to keeping myself in check — to nip any gain whatsoever in the bud. I feel that this program I am on is helping me to learn to do that. Steak Day might be unconventional and weird, but I tell you what: it's an effective way to get yourself right back on track while you're maintaining.

I tried on every pair of pants I own. I happily discovered that I am firmly in size 24 territory and headed into 22s in the next 10–15 pounds or so. When I started, I owned a couple pairs of 28s depending on the brand, and those were in danger of getting too tight! This is progress. Fortunately, I have several pairs of jeans and corduroys to wear now, and even a pair of dress pants that fits perfectly. Waiting for me in the 22s is a whole pants wardrobe — these were left over from the time I lost 60 pounds about eight years ago and got down to just over 250. Yep, my starting weight back then was 310 pounds and I never thought back then that I'd be even more than that one day. I don't know if my body has changed shape, or I wear my pants differently now, but I think I'll be wearing those same pants I wore at 250 when I get down to 290. What's up with that?

I even have a couple pairs of 20s that I bought in anticipation of being that size. It won't be wishful thinking this time. I'm fully looking forward to wearing them for real later this year! Definitely to England, anyway. :)

It's such a wonderful thing to anticipate so much positivity in my life. I had a delightful lunch with a former co-worker yesterday who is on a similar journey in life (not the weight loss so much as relationship with food, among some other professional goals), and she said the coolest thing. "It's great that you're aiming to fit into an airplane seat, not to fit into a swimsuit." Jennifer, I agree wholeheartedly. I couldn't have said it better!