Wednesday, October 30, 2013

controlled chaos

recently i wrote about the difference between making a mistake and making a decision. tonight i made a decision: to eat this pizza.

my hometown has a farmer's market on wednesdays june-october where these incredible wood-fired pizzas are sold. i could honestly live on these pizzas for my only food source forever, given the chance. all season i've hoarded a voucher i was gifted for a free pizza, salad and beverage at the market. every wednesday i have considered, then oped not to get the pizza. but today was the final day of the market, which made the pizza fit all of my cheat criteria:

1. is this food so readily available that you could have it anytime you want? - no. this pizza is only available one day per week for four hours and will not be available again for 216 more days.

2. am i willing to accept the consequences on the scale or counteract with extra exercise? -i am willing to accept a gain. tonight i had a family obligation that prevented me from working out.

3. am i able to eat this pizza without allowing myself to go off the deep end on a binge? -yes.

therefore, this pizza and some fried cabbage became my dinner. i didn't eat the outer crust, but snarfed down the rest with embarrassing speed and probably sounds. as of right now, i feel ok about it. but it's always harder when it's time to face #2 - accepting the consequence on the scale.

i did preemptively take two carb intercept supplements. i have no idea if they work, but can only assume that they don't make a situation worse, giving me nothing to lose. the claim is if you're about to have a starchy meal, take two capsules just before eating, and they will prevent the body's absorption of the starch. who knows. does anyone else have a testimony to share about them?

i did do one more bad thing, and i don't know if it was related to having already had the pizza or not. but i went to the halloween parade with my niece, and a mini reese's cup landed right at my feet. we're talking bite-size, not even fun size. i decided to eat it. 5 carbs. NOT worth it, it tasted like it had been in a bag with banana gum for a month. fail.

i've felt hungry all evening. that's how carbs affect me, personally. when i eat protein and fat, i'm full faster and longer. but i had an atkins bar at noon, a caesar side salad at 3:00, then this pizza, cabbage and some cheese cubes at 5:30. normally that would be enough to keep me content all evening, but tonight i was very hungry at the parade, had the piece of candy, then went back to my mom's and had a salad with lettuce and cheese, came home still hungry and had a cheese stick.

was it worth it? eh. yes and no. if i hadn't had it, i'd spend the next 9 months thinking about how i should have pulled the trigger. but in hindsight, nah. if i could have just had a three-bite slice, it would have been plenty.

the weekend ahead is full of challenges that i'll deal with one at a time. a big meal at my mom's friday without a single item that fits my needs, then i have to attend a pancake breakfast at 9 on saturday without a single item that fits my needs (i don't like sausage links), and that's followed by my friend's daughter's birthday party. sandwiches, chips, cake. i need to arm myself with BYO foods at all times and try to focus on the social part of the weekend.

most of the time i would tell you that this diet and losing 65 pounds has not been that hard. but for the rest of this week, that will not be the case.

tomorrow night i'll revisit what i mentioned last night about determination. sorry, pizza got in the way.

no assignment tonight, too tired. carbs.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

forgive me

you guys. i'm so so so so SO tired. i really want to write, but i went to see david sedaris speak tonight in cleveland (swoon), and i popped two melatonin when i got home. they're def working. instead of writing a blog, i've spent the past hour talking to two friends who i'm told i inspired on sunday, and they are now 2 days into their diets. they're doing wonderfully! the friend i told you about with the 11 year old daughter - they're off to a fantastic start. and i have another friend, i'll call him moo, he's doing well too. i'm so blessed by the opportunity to encourage them.

david sedaris said something awesome tonight that i will tell you about tomorrow night. it has to do with determination. stay tuned.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

breaking through the wall

well i guess whining and complaining was my good luck charm, because i nailed that 5k. and i nailed it dressed like a panda. that's what she said.

i spent the night friday thinking of excuses to get out of it. i woke up saturday morning thinking of excuses to get out of it. i drove 30 minutes to the race still contemplating quitting before starting. and when i got there with my nephew, i asked him if he would rather just do the 1 mile fun run instead. he said, "no. i want to do the 5k." dammit.

so we joined the group of 80 at the starting line and took off at "go." as usual, most of the group immediately pulled ahead nearly out of sight. but there were people behind us, too. i felt good. i could breathe, my legs felt strong and i felt relaxed and calm. i ran well until we got to a big hill, and i had to walk halfway up. after that, i spent more time walking than i would have liked. once you walk once, it gets in your head. but i kept my walks brief and brisk, and runkeeper kept telling me i was ahead of my target pace. my sweet nephew could have easily run ahead and been inside enjoying sandwiches and treats, but he stuck right beside me, walking when i walked...jogging when i ran. i will never forget that. for a kid to give up a chance at a medal and bragging rights to instead keep his aunt company and encourage her WHILE SHE'S DRESSED AS A PANDA ON PUBLIC STREETS, that is a pretty special kid.

i looked at my phone and saw i had half a mile left and i was still under 40 minutes. i knew if i pushed myself, i could finish under 40. it only happened one other time in my life; in 2011 i came in at 39:54 in  a race. so saturday morning i dug deep and i made myself finish as strong as i could...and my time was 39:13. that's 4 minutes faster than the 5k i did october 6th. success!

my next big target will be 35 minutes. looking over everyone's finish times, i realize that 35 is still going to be at the back of the pack. most people my age are in the 28-31 minute range. i truly can't even imagine getting there, but i also couldn't imagine getting HERE at one point, so i won't count it out. i also have to keep in mind that i'm only competing with myself. i know i'm not going to win a medal,  but i can keep working to beat my own best. and working to show up when i want to stay in bed. and working to be more positive, because things are seldom as bad as they seem.

diet-wise, well tomorrow's tops weigh-in may well be my first gain. the scale just did not move this week. i ran on monday and thursday, then did the 5k yesterday, but that's it for exercise. and my eating was just so-so. i never got crazy, but i ate a few things i didn't need. today was our 2-hour trick-or-treat, and i sat next to my big bowl of candy for 1 hour and 36 minutes before a mini twix went into my mouth. i owned it though: i looked up the calories and carbs first and made the decision on purpose. i'd already had a big salad and wings for lunch through, so on the day before tops, none of that was a great decision. i should have gone easy on the food and made a trip to the gym. tomorrow is our tops halloween party, so i have to spend my time before weigh-in preparing my snack instead of my normal last-chance workout. by the time i add clothes to what the scale says now, i either will have gained a bit or stayed the same. it has to happen eventually. i'm not super discouraged, because i had another major success in my week at the 5k.

i spent a lot of time tonight talking to my friend who wants to start this diet with her daughter. i feel like her daughter is our chance at a "do over." if only someone had reached out to us before we were teenagers and said, "i'm going to help you lose weight and feel better," our whole lives may have been different. so i'm really excited to find out how their first day and subsequent week goes. please keep them in your thoughts.

assignment for my slims: write down what accomplishment in your life made you feel the most proud. how did you feel in that moment? did you have confidence leading up to it, or did you surprise yourself? what is the one thing you think would make you the most proud about reaching a weight or fitness goal? what is something you could accomplish then that you couldn't now that would make you feel like a champion?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

the wall.

i've hit a wall, and i can't seem to recover.

i mentioned at this beginning of this phase of the blog that i wanted to give c25k another try. well i did, and it has been pretty good. i ran a 5k the beginning of october, and i did a 2 mile run last saturday. i have another 5k this weekend and almost every weekend for the rest of the year.

the problem is that i hit a wall last week and i can't get over it.

now keep in mind that my idea of running and a runner's idea of running are different. for me, a 12:30 mile is reason to celebrate. ideally i'd be running between 10-11 minute miles. last tuesday, after a 4 day break, i went out to run with very low expectations. but for some reason it was the best run of my life. i went farther and faster than normal and i felt unbelievably fantastic the entire time. i was on a total high the whole night after.

since then, not only can i not replicate that time and distance, i'm falling a full minute behind it. at the 2 mile race on saturday i had to walk before i'd even finished the first mile. whereas on tuesday i ran 2 without stopping. now it's in my head, and i don't know how to get over it. i went out tonight with great intentions and my first mile took 12:55. i felt like i was hauling ass! how can i be getting worse with practice instead of better?

i'm worried im not fueling my body properly, but i haven't changed anything in the past week, and i was doing ok before. runners keep telling me carbs, carbs, carbs. but i'm terrified of gaining weight.

i think what i need to do is get back in the gym where i can control the speed and work on endurance. my issue may be starting out too fast and using up my energy. i am now officially terrified for my 5k this saturday. i don't want to run the night before, so tonight was it for training. gonna be brutal.

it really sucks to think about working out in the gym when i have this beautiful track right by my house. but i guess you can't have it all when you're trying to turn into a badass.

Assignment for my slims - What fitness goal is on your wish list? A 5k? A Zumba class? Spinning? What's a workout or activity you'd love to be good at? What would step 1 be toward getting yourself to that goal? 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

100 beads of fat in the vase, 100 beads of fat...

nothing that significant happened regarding my diet today, but i wanted to write since a fantastic group of future slim goodbodies has started to gather around the blog again. it makes me feel good to hear that i'm encouraging you by documenting my own successes and tribulations.

when a new member joins tops, one of the first decisions they make is a goal weight. you have to get a doctor to write your goal on an Rx sheet and sign it, then you turn it in to the weight recorder. they use this to commemorate milestones like "halfway to goal." you don't have to get it immediately, but at least before you're halfway there.

i had no idea what my goal should be. sadistic height/weight chart said i needed to lose 115-125 pounds, but that sounded impossible. my "i'd be content" figure involved losing 78 pounds. so i figured a compromise was in order, and i decided to lose 100 pounds. i liked the idea of saying that out loud someday. "i lost 100 pounds." yes, that would do.

i may not have health insurance or disposable income, but luckily i do have a friend who's a doctor in NYC. the day i received his Rx in the mail, i went to the craft store and bought two bud vases and a bag of beads. i counted out 100 beads and poured them into the vase on the left and sat it alongside the empty vase in my dining room. on april 22, it was hard to imagine ever seeing the empty vase fill up. but here it is today, october 23, with 64 beads in it, only 36 remaining in the original vase.

each of those beads was earned with sacrifice, discipline, hard work and the support of my family, friends, and my tops group. that vase on the right represents the last 6 months of my life, and moving beads from the left to the right has become a ritual i really look forward to. i am proud to say that i have not had one week in these 6 months when i had to move a bead from the right back over to the left. i haven't had a gain at a single tops weigh-in. honestly, that's a little bit stressful, kind of like having a 4.0. the pressure is really on to not only do well, but to be perfect. i've had weeks where i left work early to go run right before tops just to sweat out half a pound. on monday i told a friend i had to run for 30 minutes before weigh-in, and he called me "fanatical." but as anyone with 100 (or 30 or 50 or 70) pounds to lose will tell you, you MUST be fanatical. you have to watch over your own shoulder all day every day, and you have to wrestle with yourself at all times to make good decisions. my brain is a factory of compromise, planning, reward, and discipline. it's the place where decisions are made to buy a scoop of pumpkin ice cream, but to only eat as much as i can get into my mouth between the pick-up window and the trash can (5 bites til brain freeze). it's the place where i beat myself up for squishing a brownie into a single bite to make it "ok," and the place where i realize i can fix that mistake with a good workout. a bad decision is only a failure if you don't do anything to correct it. and a bad decision is only a mistake if you've been impulsive. but if you are going to a party and decide ahead of time to have a small piece of cake, HAVE the small piece of cake. we're not fat because of the things we PLANNED to eat. it's all of the things that went down the hatch thoughtlessly. make a decision to have the cake, know that you will either accept the impact on the scale or be willing to do an extra workout. then enjoy yourself. every skinny person you know has had some cake, and you can too.

BE fanatical about your diet. just be the full spectrum of the definition. don't ONLY beat yourself up. also over-congratulate yourself when you succeed.  and when you do something bad, think of the old you and of how you would've done that thing x10 previously. yeah, i ate a smooshed brownie, but old me would have eaten that one plus 3 more, and maybe even wrapped one up in computer paper and stuck it in her desk drawer for the next day.

be overly cautious with your decisions, be fair and honest with your criticisms, and be overzealous with your praise. you should never have a bigger fan of you than you. others will follow your lead.

all of my future slims - write yourself a list of 5 things you can't do now that will be possible when you lose weight. save it in your phone or someplace where you can read it quickly when you're about to smoosh a brownie.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

the thanksgiving dress

no need for tissues, the thanksgiving dress is nothing like the christmas shoes.

back in november of 2011, my mom bought me a dress for my birthday. it was a tight fit, but close enough. with the help of some spanx and tights, i managed to get into it for thanksgiving dinner. which... duh... who wears something that barely fits to thanksgiving? luckily that was the dumbest thanksgiving ever, and not much food was consumed. i do remember hoping no one could see the line showing through my dress as we left the restaurant, created by the tights rolling their way down to my butt. only my huge butt shelf stopped them from falling to my knees. 

i didn't get another chance to wear that dress, because less than two weeks later, december 9th, i ate "THE COOKIE," and started putting the pounds back on. since i barely fit into it to begin with, even 5lb put it out of reach. 

until tonight. 

i was looking for something cute to wear to work tomorrow and noticed it in the back of my closet. i had tried it on about a month ago with no luck, so i didn't expect good results. 

but daayyyyyyummm. it looks pretty good. as good as something can look when you're still BMI obese with a B shaped profile, but, you know....good, considering. then i sat down with the tights and dreaded what was about to happen. much to my surprise, i pulled them up without much of a fight. and as i pranced around the room joyfully, they stayed in place. then i got crazy and added a scarf and a belt and some tall black boots. 

i am actually going to look a bit stupid going into work tomorrow in all of this getup. mind you, i could wear jeans, a hoodie and tennis shoes to work without consequence, and often do. so showing up in a dress with accessories and slutty boots is going to cause a stir. and it will make me feel awkward, and i will question my decision to leave the house in the thanksgiving dress, but now that i know that it fits, i can't wait another day to wear it. 

it looks like a few people are following the blog again, so to you i say, "find your thanksgiving dress." try on something a bit too small, and take a picture of it. try it on again in a month and see where you are. the scale is great, a measuring tape is great, but with get the proof that you're smaller and the reward of wearing something you feel good in. double bonus! 

be strong tomorrow, warriors. you can do it. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

please don't call me skinny.

well i'm still here, and i'm still plugging away. i've lost 64 pounds now. i weigh less now than i can remember weighing since high school, although i think my body was smaller in 2001 around the same weight. i remember wearing a pretty small tee and skirt to my 5 year class reunion that would land me on "people of walmart" if i wore them today. 

do i feel good? absolutely. do i feel fantastic? not yet. 

warning: for anyone struggling to lose weight, i am about to be a whiny spoiled brat. 

it took about 50 pounds before many people started to notice. i realize the point of losing weight isn't for people to notice, but it sure is nice. that was a long, difficult road. every day i'd show up for work thinking, "maybe today," and nothing. of course my family would say things, but they knew what i was up to. you can't trust people who know. 

but starting with the last 15 pounds, people have really started to notice. and since i can't ever be happy with anything, instead of being sad that they haven't noticed, now i am unhappy with their overzealous feedback and enthusiasm. 

i don't like to hear that i'm wasting away. 

i don't like to be called skinny. 

of course i know it is well-intentioned. but we all know i am neither wasting away nor skinny. as of today i am still 5 pounds away from moving into the "overweight" zone from the "obese" zone on the BMI scale. if i stepped onto the wii fit board, it would make the "oomph" sound. i could still shop at lane bryant if i wanted to. which i don't, because their designers have lost their damn minds in the past 5 years. my crazy neighbor still says, "no offense" when he tells me how fat his sister is every time he sees me. 

when i lose 34 more pounds, BMI will deem me "normal." like...just a decimal point inside of normal, but normal. on any given day, depending on what's in my colon, i could go from "dangerously close to fatass" to the highest end of "normal" on the BMI scale. but the day i first receive word of achieving normality, THEN maybe i will accept "skinny." 

and wasting away... that sounds negative to me. it makes me hear "we are the world" in my head and picture flies in the eyes of emaciated children who are wondering how these people got a camera crew into africa but couldn't manage to bring a lunchable and a damn juice box. 

i realize that most people can't identify with what it's like to set out to lose 100 pounds. and what it's like to get more than halfway there and realize you'll probably need to lose 120. or what it's like to be so fat that you can lose 50 pounds and people who see you every day won't notice. or what it's like to lose 64 pounds and still be obese. and to realize that your oddly-shaped stomach is getting smaller, but isn't changing shape, and you may be thin eventually, but your stomach will still be shaped like a capital "B" from the side. so i know that they don't really know what to say. but i know this: 

i'm not skinny. 

i'm not wasting away. 

i'm less obese than i once was, i'm working very hard, and i look pretty good. from certain angles, in certain clothes, on certain days. 

geez, i can't even take a compliment from myself. 

i'd love to hear from other people who have lost a significant amount of weight. did it bother you to be called skinny before you were skinny? did you think "what you mean is, 'not as fat,'" or did you enjoy "skinny?" once you've been obese, do you ever get to a point where you can see yourself as skinny? 

my fear is that i'm so psychologically damaged by being fat my whole life that i will never be able to think of myself as skinny, but only as "not fat anymore." 

what i'm learning is that it's much easier to control the physical aspects of weight loss than the mental. dieting and exercising requires lots of willpower, but little thought. you either work out or you don't. you either eat it or you don't. it's not easy, but it is simple. 

but overcoming the emotions involved, that is going to take some real effort. making my brain skinny is going to take a lot longer than it takes my butt and gut. i hope all three can get there eventually.