Thursday, July 14, 2011

Inspiration from others

Mary, who blogs over at A Merry Life, has been talking a lot lately about emotions, therapy, and binge eating- and how they relate to one another.  As I struggle with motivation for weight loss - which also relates to motivation to move forward in my life - I also struggle with late night binge eating.  Eating and eating because I like the taste and textures in my mouth.  I don't binge like I used to, there is some more restraint now than there was before, but last night I ate almost half a pound of (delicious) pasta.  I just didn't want to stop, because it was so delicious.

I don't really have any ability to be self-reflective about it right now, besides that I agree with Mary: emotions and binge eating are related.  Except binge eating is also my mechanism for curing boredom.  I just don't know, and I just want to be done with unhealthy eating.  I'm going to steal Janetha's wisdom of the day:

“Do something about it. When something is troubling you, make the commitment to change it. Then begin to act on that decision right away. Some of the influences in your life are under your control, and many of those influences are outside your control. Yet you can always decide upon and put into action a positive response to anything.
Don’t sit around being amazed at how miserable you are and at how unfairly life is treating you. Instead, be amazed at how quickly and effectively you can do something about it.
Don’t complain to others about how tough it is for you. Instead, inspire them with your positive and enthusiastic attitude and actions.
When the world feels all wrong, that’s a valuable signal. It’s your way of telling yourself to get going and make a difference.
You have plenty of good options if you’ll simply make the effort to find them. Pick the best one, get busy putting it into action, and take positive control of your world.”
-Ralph Marston

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why lose weight?

Before Kate, I wanted to lose weight to have someone hot to date.  After dating and then marrying Kate, it appears that not all hot girls and guys need someone thin in return.   Ever since falling madly in love, the drive for weight loss has diminished.  It feels shocking, but Kate loves me just as I am.  So, why lose weight?

My thighs are competing for the finish line, one big mass fighting for space against the other.  There is too much fat for them to co-exist peacefully, so my legs are constantly warring between themselves.  My body is lethargic and I have a constant ache in the small of my back.  Most of all, I am unhappy with how my body looks and feels.  Yet, all of this doesn’t motivate me to eat healthily. 

But today it struck me, eating unhealthy makes me unhappy.  I am good at making choices that make me happy, except around food.  That instantaneous relief floods over me, and my regret at my weight doesn’t seem to correlate with catharsis eating.  But I don’t want to be unhappy, and that’s what unhealthy eating compels me towards.

I feel like I have a new motivational tool against binge eating (all I did this weekend), a reason why I should put down the carb and pick up a book.  All too often I don’t have a compelling reason to be healthier, but my happiness is a priority, and I want to be a happier person.

This analysis is brought to you by this week’s gain:
Weight: 206.0
Week’s weight loss: +.4
Total weight loss: -.2

Thursday, July 7, 2011

This is not working

Weight: 205.6
Week’s weight loss: +2.4
Total weight loss: -.6

I know why I struggle at night.  I'm still not used to being with someone else.  I miss my alone time.  It's my time to focus and move forward.  This is a problem that Kate and I know about, but I seem not to have the willpower to change - newly married life has become a lovely, all-consuming feelings lovefest that I hear makes others nauseous to be around.  (Hint: we have our own songs, and fight about who's nicer/hotter/sweeter/funnier/luckier.)

So this week sucked on the weight loss front.  Next week will be better.  I'm going to have a "mini week" from now until Monday.  Checking in on Thursday does not motivate me.

Over this mini week I will:

  1. Not eat in front of the TV - Even if I want this rule to really be DON'T WATCH TV that hasn't been happening.  So I will address the actual problem of EATING in front of the TV.   It relates to my next rule:
  2. All meals will happen at the table (if we're home) - and kick that ridiculous munching habit away.  If I'm hungry, eat.  If I'm emotionally hungry, pause.
Those are my two rules for the next few days.  That's it. Nothing to do with weight, because while I'd like to lose some, I don't really feel confident I can, and I need to build my confidence up right now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Evening snacking

My evenings have lately been filled with TV and snacks.  Even though I know it's not healthy for me - physically or mentally - after I return from work I simply don't want to think or do anything.  So we put up an episode of Ugly Betty and eat some popcorn or - like last night - cinnamon toast crunch.

This needs to stop.  It doesn't make me happy.  It doesn't make me healthy.  And it doesn't make me feel refreshed, which is the point of sitting down and resting.  I just don't know how to fill my evenings lately, and it's resulted in a lot of TV, even though there are so many things still left over to do from the wedding.

So, tonight: I will not watch TV.  I will go outside and do something active, even if it's just walking around.  I will be productive.  And that will make me happy (and healthy!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend binge

This weekend, I got really stressed out about our upcoming move.  Coupled with the lack of sleep, I did not take very good care of my body this weekend.  I ate too much, and I thought about how it was self-destructive the whole time.  But I did it, it's done, and now let's move on.

My work out this morning was hard.  It was really warm, my iPod's gone (stolen) and I am sleep deprived from this weekend. My weight's up considerably, and I'm feeling unprepared for the week.  I made lasagna for lunch, and I calculated the calories after it was in the oven - 500 calories per slice!  Not the best ever.  But it's full of veggies and extra, super delicious.

But it's a new work week, and I can make healthy decisions from here on out!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Week re-cap

Weight: 203.2
Week’s weight loss: -3.0
Total weight loss: -3.0

It's been a week since I began to focus on weight loss/healthy eating again.  My goals were really important to me – Kate and I both paid attention to them, and tried to accommodate them into our schedules.  (Kate and I are constantly attached at the hip; we share one calendar.)   I feel like after a week, I’m ready to move onto some more goals, some of which are also health related.

Last week’s goals were:
1.       Lose a pound - SUCCESS
I didn’t just lose one pound – I lost three!   My starting weight was 206.2, and I ended three pounds lower, at 203.2. 
2.       Count calories every day this week.  Do not stop on the weekend – 6/7
Every day, but Saturday.  Pride got in the way, and I’m okay with that. 
3.       Count calories every evening, before I go to bed – 5/7
This only got done because of Kate.  She’s really great at reminding me.  It’s hard to count calories when you know you’re over.

This week’s goals will look very similar to last week’s:
1.       Lose a pound (or two, or three)
2.       Count calories every day this week.  Do not stop on the weekend.
3.       Count calories every evening, before I go to bed.
4.       Make healthy, not pre-packaged lunch.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 6

Losing weight with Kate is unlike anything I've ever done before.  She constantly asks me questions that I may find rude from others, but I find endearing and well-meant from her.  Yesterday, there was free ice cream - FREE ICE CREAM - on our way to BART.  I asked Kate, "Should I get some ice cream?" and she responded with "Do you have the calories?  Because if you do - you definitely should."  I didn't, and it took that conversation to remind me that I had a healthier option.  And - even better - she wouldn't have judged me if I had gotten the ice cream.

This week has been amazing.  I've only gone over my calories once so far.  A mix of exercise, planning, and eating well has really enabled me to be successful so far this week.  Having felt like a failure (on the food front) for much of the past year, it's been amazing to take control - and still get to eat goodies.  And it's been great to be able to share it with Kate, who's calorie counting too.  I'm impressed with LiveStrong, though their website could be more friendly to people who want to share meals and food with one another.  (I'm wantonfrolick if you want to look me up.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pride weekend

Dyke march, Pink Saturday, and Sunday's parade - it was non-stop rainbows this weekend.  My eating wasn't awful, and I even counted calories on Sunday.  (Saturday I munched all day - even my best guess would be ridiculously off.)  Almost every weekend this year I have gained weight on the weekend, and this is the first time that I can remember IN A WHOLE YEAR that I did not gain any weight between Friday and Sunday night.  I know it's a sad state of affairs when you gain weight every week, but it's so amazing to have the power to stop the cycle and take control of your body.

Just a little over three more pounds to go before I'm under 200 again.  It takes those small goals to keep me motivated.  Thinking about the fact that I re-gained 35 pounds is so discouraging, but a three pound goal is extremely attainable.

It feels nice to be on a healthy path and to have Kate there with me.  I can't wait until I feel strong and comfortable in my body again!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 1 recap

Yesterday was a good day.  It was beginning of Pride weekend for me, and I went out dancing with my wife and some awesome folks.  Dancing is my favorite work out ever, and combined with my morning workout and lunch time walk, I kicked some calories' butts.

After writing yesterday's post, I emailed it to my wife and asked for help. I can't do this alone this time, I'm just not motivated enough right now.  Kate immediately started on the project.  Before going to a goodbye party, I went to Subway to get a sandwich and didn't eat or drink at the party (yay healthy planning choices!).  But then I met up with friends, and we went out to dinner.  And Kate totally stuck by me and helped me make healthier choices.  Because she's the best.

Of the two goals this week that I want to do every day, I totally rocked them yesterday.  Both in large part to Kate!

  1. YES - Count calories every day this week.  Do not stop on the weekend.  
  2. YES - Count calories every evening, before I go to bed
Right now I'm feeling really great about Day 1 and really lucky to have Kate and such fantastic friends.  I'm finally feeling in control and that makes me happy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let's start over

Well, it's not really starting over, is it?  It's never really starting over - it's a journey and there's no beginning or end.  But right now I'm going to begin with the number 206.2.  This way I can be accountable.

Kate's been counting calories with me.  Well, that's not true.  Kate's been counting calories.  I've been pretending to count calories.  I need some accountability to myself, so I'm going to write it all down here.  I'm not motivated to lose weight like I used to be - I have the love of the life, what more do I need?  Except I don't love my body.  It feels slugging, weak, and as if it's competing with itself.  I don't feel as comfortable in my own skin as I used to - it feels foreign to me.  But I find it so hard sometimes to do things for myself.  But this I need to do for myself.

So, starting number is 206.2.  I have a week until the end of the month.  Here are my goals for the next week, from Thursday to Thursday:

  1. Lose a pound.  
  2. Count calories every day this week.  Do not stop on the weekend
  3. Count calories every evening, before I go to bed.
It sounds so hard to me.  Every day, including the weekends?  Staying accountable to myself?   I know if I can do it this week, I can do it next week and the week after.  If I can do it today, I can do it tomorrow, and the day after.  I can do this, right?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Looking in the mirror

Kate and I are going to Hawaii for our honeymoon.  It's going to be fun and relaxing.  And it requires a swimsuit.

At Target, Kate was looking at the two piece swimsuits.  I was in my head, wishing I could wear one too and damning the swimsuit manufacturers that don't make sexy one-piece suits.  Kate tried on a couple and looked good (of course).  I tried on two and looked in the mirror horrified.

I look in a mirror daily before I leave for work or weekend fun.  My mirror only looks at the top half of me, though.  The floor-length Target dressing room mirror showed me everything.

I am too snug in my clothes and don't look or feel the way I want, but I think of my "fat days" as behind me.  I think of this time as the "after" time, the healthier time.  The time when I know how to make good choices and have the tools to make my life healthier.

The Target mirror disagreed.  The Target mirror focused on my huge thighs, my heavy stomach, my flabby arms.  Normally I can focus on my beautiful hair, my lovely face, my nice curves.  But in that dressing room, more undressed than dressed, I suddenly felt like I had uncovered the "fat girl" that I had been hiding from myself.

Between Kate, a hurt ankle, and an overwhelmed schedule I haven't been able to exercise.  This week's food has been much better than last week's (and the week before).  I feel like I can return to the healthy habits of before.  Maybe not lose two pounds a week, but definitely lose rather than gain.

My current rules in Health Month are: tracking dinner before bed (5 days a week), stay under my calorie count (4 days a week), and drink at least 35 glasses of water a week.  Tracking dinner before bed has helped me significantly, since that's when I normally binge.  Staying under my calorie count 4 days a week is a struggle, especially without exercise, but I can do it.

The thing is, I can do it.  I just need to be dedicated.  Before, I didn't really have anything to be dedicated about.  Kate thinks I'm beautiful, I normally think I'm okay looking, and well - that's what matters, right?  But now I don't feel beautiful, and I am sure dedicated to changing that.

So, Target mirror, one day soon in the future, when we meet again, I am going to beat you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cinnamon buns

I know I want to live a healthy life, but with all the stress of this weekend, I have to say - eating just makes me feel better.  I can't exercise because of my ankle, and I'm afraid to look at the scale.  In the meantime, I'm stuffing things in my face like there's no tomorrow.

But it really does make me feel better.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day (the day after)

Valentine's Day doesn't hold much significance to me or my fiancee, so our celebration was minimal.  I was reading Ninety Percent's blog post on V Day, and it made me feel like I had missed out on the lovey dovey holiday.  Kate knows I love and adore her, but what about all my great, amazing friends?  My family?  Maybe they deserve some blue cheese mac & cheese too.

Speaking of our V Day meal, goodness I overate yesterday!  Between the ice cream, tons of mac & cheese, and the chocolate, I don't believe I will get a loss this week.  Plus, I can't exercise right now due to my ankle, so I think I simply need to accept that fact, move on, and eat as healthy as I can for the rest of the week.  For lunch today, I ate rice and a boca burger rather than the DELICIOUS leftover mac & cheese we have in our fridge right now.

I'm halfway through the month, and I have a little more than half (6/10) my life points left on Health Month.  My three rules are:

1) Exercise for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week
2) Stay under my recommended calorie count at least 4 times a week
3) Don't snack after dinner.  3 times a week.

It's a challenging month, for sure, but having these rules 4 times a week rather than 5 (like I did last month) means I know I can accomplish my goals.  I'm glad to have this last week behind me, and for today to start the next week in my journey.  I think my goal will be to lose up to 1 life point.  Let's see if I can do it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekly Weigh-In (186.0)

Current weight: 186.0
Week's weight loss: -2.2
Total weight loss: 40.4

After last week's 2.6 pound gain, I can't decide if this is a good weigh-in or not.  I lost 2.2 pounds in a week, but I feel like I should be able to mirror the 2.6 pound gain from the week before.  After this weekend's atrocious eating (again) I'll take it, though.  

This morning my ankle was hurting, so I decided to exercise on the elliptical rather than take a run.  Maybe I should have just taken a break from working out, because I twisted my ankle on the elliptical and now I'm Ms. Gimpy.  We'll see what this week brings in terms of weight loss as a consequence.  There's no way I'm getting back on the treadmill for at least another week, if not two or three.

I hope to do a more in-depth check-in later this week, and talk a bit about my Health Month rules and how they've helped me this month.  In the meantime, HI!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekly Weigh-In (188.2)

Current weight: 188.2
Week's weight loss: +2.6Total weight loss: 38.2

I'm going to say that last week is now behind me, and this week will bring on massive weight loss.  The scale may be reading muscle mass, or typical weight changes, or it might be reflecting on the not-so-stellar eating habits I've developed since I was sick.  

Yesterday I didn't eat that well (hello, Chipotle!), but I did lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement for my final run of my first week of the Couch to 5k program.  It was so much easier to do this run - only my third run this year - than it was two weeks ago for the exact same run.  My legs don't hurt today, and I'm excited to run again tomorrow.

Normally I let "bad" days be begones, but it's good for me to reflect on how I can improve upon my slip-ups.  I need something to keep me accountable, in a way that SparkPeople just doesn't inspire me to do.  So, before playing Health Month this morning, I went back to SparkPeople to log all my calories for the day.  HM helps me keep accountable.  I don't know why their system makes compels me to track more and be honest - with myself and the game - but it does, and I really love it for that.  I do wish there was an easier way to be accountable to others as well, and make it more social.

This week is going to rock, I just know it.  I'm going to start on the second week of my 5k program tomorrow, and I can't wait.  I'm amazed by how much I have fallen in love with running.  Who knew?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Picking myself up and feeling empowered

I've been sick with a cold the last few days, and it sucked.  I finally feel more myself today, and I'm excited to go back to work tomorrow.  I began cleaning up my "sick area" (the couch), and there were so many dishes, teas, cups, and a whole empty box of EmergenC scattered around.  I sure had a party over there, while watching TV, and stuffing my face.

But I'm back from that overeating extravaganza.  I got up at noon today, after calling in sick this morning (and finding my bed again), and after I lazed around for a bit I felt much more energized than I did all week.  My head didn't feel it was on backwards anymore after I took the morning slowly.  At 5 p.m. I decided that I was indeed well enough to try for a run, which is all I've wanted to do for the last week.

And boy did I run!  My last run was on a treadmill, but this time I just ran through the park by our house.  I never realized before just how powerful my body was.  My legs carried me so far so quickly - it felt amazing.  When I'm running a treadmill, I don't see the trees and people whizzing by.  The 60 second runs were a lot more interesting to me than my 90 second walks, and I was eager to hit that 90 seconds so I could again let the world whiz by.

I came home winded, but so glad I went out running.  I feel guilty for not going to work today.  If I can run, I can work, you know?  But I didn't really feel okay until late afternoon.  I'm glad that I took the day to get better, and I'm glad that I did the 2.5 mile run.  I mean, I RAN 2.5 MILES!  That's so cool!  I'm so amazed by what my body can do.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Health Month

I have been "playing" on Health Month since mid-December, and I have to say - it's been fun.  You create your own health rules and decide what you want to track, and then you check in every day or so to see if you've reached your goals.  There's a daily email - if you want it - to remind you to "play".  It's a good way for me to track progress, to be accountable, and to have some fun while doing it.

I think they're trying to make it social - a little like Facebook - but haven't really gotten it there yet.  It's a hard balance - it's more fun to play with others, but sometimes you don't want to admit that you haven't eaten in your calorie goals for three days to all your friends.  But it would definitely make it more fun.

I guess I like HM because you get to compete against yourself.  That's my favorite type of game.  Especially when it means I lose weight at the end!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sick at home

I'm sick at home and all I want to do is eat.  I hate these days.

I think what I should really do is sleep.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekly Weigh-In (185.8)

Current weight: 185.6
Total weight loss: 40.6

Wow!  I'm really surprised - I met my (updated) goal for January.  I wanted to be 186.5, and at 185.8 I totally rocked it.  

I was at a conference this weekend, and almost every meal had more than half my plate filled with vegetables and fruits, and they were sure delicious.  The caterer even made the cauliflower taste good!

It feels so empowering to finally feel like I'm "on track".  I am on the path toward achieving my goals - losing at least 5 pounds a month before the wedding (in late May).  I almost saw 190 more than once this month, and it feels so fantastic to see the scale slowly come down.  For awhile, 185 felt like an impossible number.  

My willpower is improving, and my goals are feeling more tangible.  I want to also train for a 5k.  Today is supposed to be my second run, but I'm feeling pretty awful and might skip the run in favor of resting and trying to be well enough so tomorrow I can come to work.  It's really frustrating - I've been looking forward to this run all weekend - but I'd prefer to stay healthy than force my body to do something it simply can't do and stay well.

My goals for February are to continue on the path that I set up for myself this last week.  I want to:

  • Continue to train for a 5k
  • Lose 5.8 pounds (be 180.0 by February 28)
  • Continue to blog
The last one is a must!  I'm really excited - I've been chosen as one of Health Month's February bloggers!!!  I just love Health Month and jumped at the opportunity. I also like what they ask of their bloggers.  From an email they sent:
Write at least once a week about something Health Month related... how it's working for you, how it's not working for you, how you're adapting it to your special circumstances.  Don't feel pressured to censor yourself on my behalf at all... the best way to get the most out of this experience is to be as honest as possible.
I totally can do that.  I can't wait!  February's going to rock! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Running towards the goal

Today I began the Couch to 5k program.  Week one is: run 60 seconds, walk 60 seconds for 20 minutes (with a warm up and cool down).  Simple enough.

On minute 8 or so I began thinking that week one just wasn't for me.  I mean, come on, walking more than running?  I haven't been a couch potato.  I exercise at least three times a week - if not all five work days.  I can just skip these first few days of the program.

By minute 11 or so, I was glad I kept on trucking.  My legs and heart were starting to burn.  I could feel the strain on my body.  It was the perfect combination - strained, but not exhausted

When I was on my final 60 second run, I ran harder and faster than I had before.  It felt great.  Exhausted, I was happy to walk off the treadmill and feel a little bit accomplished.

Running isn't exactly my thing, but I'm going to try and keep with this.  I like feeling accomplished and I need more of it.  Plus, just like I said it would, totally totally rocked (calories wise).  And if I hadn't had a goal, like running, I know that I would have eaten more of those delicious Trader Joe's swiss almond cookies.

It's a journey

It's a journey, and yesterday I fell into the metaphoric mud.  Not so badly that I broke anything, but enough that my pants got stained.  And I knew it was coming.

After celebrating my accomplishment - being in my calorie range for the first time in a long while - I knew a bad day was next.  It's just how it goes with me.  I'll do great one day, and poorly the next.  Too much coffee, a free bagel bar, and a long conference later, I was picking myself up from the mud.

Even though I missed my work out this morning, today has the potential to totally rock.  Being engaged has been very hard on my routine.  I have not yet figured out how to motivate myself enough to leave a beautiful woman behind in bed next to me.  Instead, I packed my gym clothes "to go" and I'm going to hit the gym after work.

I talked with a colleague of mine yesterday, who found running during her weight loss journey.  She said that finishing a race makes you feel like you can do anything in the world.  After reading A Merry Life's triathlon journey, I am feeling inspired.  I put the Couch to 5k podcast on my iPod.  Running has always been hard for me, but I want to feel that sense of accomplishment, feel like I can complete something.  I'm going to see how it goes for me at the gym today, and see if a 5k might be in my future.

The only problem with running is that it doesn't nearly burn as many calories as other aerobic activities.  With those wedding pictures looming in my future, it definitely feels like a race to the (weight loss) finish.  Then again, I have been maintaining my weight, and a goal might be just the thing to tip the scales, so to speak.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


When I mess up, I hate to admit it.  I ignore the cupcake, the spilled mess, the unfinished paper.  I walk away from it, and hope no one - including myself - will notice.  The shame of it overcomes me, and hiding never makes it better.

Part of weight loss is being accountable.  It's knowing you messed up, and trying to correct that. But it's also knowing when you totally rocked it.  Roni's Weigh said it well today: 
For so long I thought I had to be perfect which led to dieting to getperfect but once I couldn’t be perfect on said diet I decided it wasn’t worth it at all. If I couldn’t be perfect then why bother? But I wanted to be perfect so I’d start again with a new perfect diet only to discover I couldn’t be perfect yet again. [...]
Since we already owned our UNhealthy habits it’s time to celebrate the healthy ones.  What are you doing right? What do you deserve a pat on the back for? Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Owning your accomplishments is JUST as important as recognizing what you need to change.
Well, yesterday I totally rocked it.  I stayed within my calorie range and I barely snacked.  I didn't eat after dinner - when I generally eat my most calories - and reached my calorie-related goals, even though I didn't work out!  It was a fantastic day, and it looks like I'm on the road to another one today.

For the first time in a long while, I feel like this is something I can do.  And that feels amazing.

Monday, January 24, 2011


While I've been madly blogging all about my wedding, it's time that I dust off the scale and finally hop back on.  There's a wedding coming up in a few months, and you bet your bottom dollar I want to look snazzy for those photos.  I've gained back some weight, but no where near where I started before.  I'm currently weighing in right under 190 - about 25 pounds more than my lowest weight.  It's hard to accept, but it's time to move on and just dig my heels in.

For awhile I've been tracking my calories, but only Monday through Friday.  Living with my fiancĂ©e has kept me from doing Me Stuff, like counting calories or going to the gym.  We don't get to spend nearly enough time together, and I'm still figuring out how to lose weight while in love.

But I'm frustrated with my lack of willpower, and I'm going to do something about it.  I'm going to lose weight, and blog about the ups - and downs - on the way!  Again.