Thursday, October 28, 2010

And So It Begins

Boy, now that someone's actually looking at this thing, I feel like I should really spruce up the place. Give it a little glam. At least some accessories.

I work in an office, as lots of you out there do. I actually have a really creative job that I enjoy and am lucky to have in this economy. But there are some serious drawbacks in terms of weight loss. Not only do I have to deal with the usual sitting at a computer for 6-8 hours a day, but I'm on a team with big time bakers. I'm talking cookies, scones, pies, cakes, brownies, you name it. Three to four days a week at least. Not to mention the team potlucks and parties. And now it's here - The Holiday Season.

I didn't take pictures but the desserts for Halloween on Friday were insane. I'm happy to say that I did not partake. But the white chocolate dipped Nutter Butters were awfully tempting.

How do people eat this stuff? My coworkers are almost all normal weight. Some are ridiculously small. I seriously don't get it. Most of them seem to eat nothing but total garbage. They eat out all the time. They snack on processed carbs and tons of sugar. Almost every day I put together my salad for lunch in the kitchen at work, and they all walk by with their takeout and tv dinners and wistfully mention how they wish they had time to make their lunches the way I do. I may be the one trying to lose weight, but pretty much everyone I know could stand to be healthier.

In the past I've found myself thinking "I'm going to a party, a friend's house, it's a holiday, etc. - I'll eat better after that." This time around more than any other weight loss attempt, I've truly realized that there's ALWAYS a reason to dodge eating right if you want to. It's not those huge shifts in thinking or eating. It's not the South Beach diet, Atkins, or going vegan. It's those moment to moment choices of skipping a slice of chocolate cake that your coworker brings in, cutting your entree in half when you go out, sharing your meal instead of eating it all yourself. All these things over and over, choice by choice. When you think too far into the future, it seems daunting. So breaking it down into manageable pieces makes all the difference. We all make some bad choices, but by making the very next one the best choice, you're always moving in the right direction. I just want to keep moving in the right direction, and not let this holiday season cause me to backtrack. I WON'T let it.

10K Weekend

Wow, COMMENTS! Thanks guys! I've been slacking about posting because I've been trying to comment elsewhere and get some traction. Knowing that someone's paying attention will keep me in line and actually posting. Thanks for the help, Allen!

Hubby and I finished our 10k this weekend! I was feeling pretty unenthused overall just because I had originally intended to do a half marathon (I got injured in training) so this just felt like a consolation prize, but I had a really good time. I certainly didn’t PR, but I wasn’t too far off either.

Unfortunately I did myself in eating-wise, which I really think contributed to my disappointing time. It’s tough when we go to Portland because I have a lot of friends that I want to see, and oftentimes meeting somewhere for a meal is the easiest thing to do. I say that, but truthfully I’ve never really spent time thinking of other options. Our time together has changed dramatically over recent years because so many people have kids now. Maybe in the future it’d be better to just take the kids to the park or some easy activity like that. Might be a nice change for everyone.

It was really dinner that was the problem – spicy thai food. Lots of calories, and as I’ve gotten older, I can’t take the spiciness. We ate every meal out on Saturday which I hated and I think all the meals just built up to an overall feeling of misery. I thought I did okay at breakfast, but looking back at it, I had a biscuit and some cheese grits (Bob’s Red Mill – delicious!) and those are just things I don’t really eat anymore. For good reason. They’re high calorie and pretty much a waste nutrition-wise.

I was reading Refuse to Regain last week and Barbara was discussing the feedback from the maintenance group that met. Specifically they were discussing how the short term maintainers really try to incorporate starches and sugars into their diet in some small way, whereas long term maintainers have long since realized that these items simply need to be eliminated. I feel like I’m at a similar crossroads. Not only are these foods keeping me from losing weight, but they make me feel like garbage. I’m realizing that I simply can’t eat that way anymore. It’s not even worth it to have these things as a “treat” because it’s NOT a treat. They make me feel terrible! Recovering from them takes a day or two. In the meantime, I start getting random cravings for things I really don’t need – and never really eat anymore. Chips and candy and bread. It’s like when I give in once it makes it harder not to give in the next time and the cravings suddenly appear. So it's going to be an ongoing challenge, but right now I'm really trying to stay off sugar and crappy carbs. They're just not doing me any favors.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"There Are No Fresh Starts..."

“…Life just goes on.” – Mad Men

I keep thinking of this quote as I’m reading other peoples blogs lately. People love the idea of a fresh start. Throwing off all of the bad decisions, wrong assumptions, and poor choices. Just letting them all wash away and thinking they’ll find perfection this time. But what they aren’t thinking about are what they learned from those things that they’ve done in the past. Why would you want to get rid of the wisdom learned from all those mistakes you’ve made? I think we all forget about that. I totally get that we can be weighed down by these things – very literally in most of our cases – but the truth is that they happened and the best thing you can do for yourself is LEARN and do better going forward. The times we can make changes are every moment of every day – we just have to do it. That’s the key to all of this weight loss stuff.

I can’t say that I’m thrilled about having grown up overweight – I was a chunky little kid and it caused some of the worst moments of my life. But looking back on it now, I realize how much I’ve learned from it:

Compassion and empathy – yes, I’m not always perfect towards others without a doubt, but I’m able to put myself in others shoes and understand that I don’t know what they’re dealing with so it’s not my place to judge (even though sometimes I do. Hey, I’m human!)

Gratefulness – There’s really too many things to mention, but suffice it to say, that I wouldn’t want to be anyone other than myself. For all my trials and tribulations, I have an amazing life, and wishing to be someone else because they’re thinner or prettier is just flat out stupid. Those people have just as many issues, just different ones, and no guarantee that they’ll never be fat

Healthy skills – This is the big one in terms of this blog. Being fat for what feels like forever has given me mad skillz in terms of health stuff. I’m still overweight, but significantly less than I used to be. In fact I’m actually below average in weight for an American woman (that’s still overweight tho, but I take the good stuff where I can). I know the keys to taking good care of myself, getting to a normal weight, and staying there – and I know how to put them to good use.

Now think about it – if I hadn’t been forced to learn to eat more healthfully and exercise when I was younger, to have to repeat those behaviors over and over until I got them right, I could have ended up like so many people who have a great metabolism when they’re young. They eat garbage and play videogames, but then blow up like a balloon when they get older. This is kind of a bizarro way of looking at it – yes, it would be nice if I had been naturally slim, but I wasn’t, and I got something out of it. I made a choice to learn from it and move forward in a better way.

Seeing people repeatedly want that fresh start is really frustrating because to me that says that they don’t want to have to learn from their mistakes. They just want those mistakes to disappear. To never have happened in the first place. But they did. So the real question is - what are you going to do next?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Plugging Along

Just got home from a run with my hubby. I love that it can be something we do together. And truthfully I feel safer out running when he's there - not that our neighborhood is a hotbed of crime by any means, but I just don't feel like I have to think about it as much.

Chicken, brussel sprouts, and broccoli for dinner. Nothing too exciting but it tastes so good. Amazing how much better real food tastes.

Personal training in the morning - early. I can't remember the last time I worked out at 6am. I'm an evening workout kind of girl, so this'll be interesting.

Okay, that's pretty much it. No bolts of lightening or inspirational speeches. Just doing it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Matching the Inside to the Outside

Personal training is so far so good. The lady is all about efficiency in workouts, and I'm feeling it. Every exercise is planned to work more than one major muscle group and pretty much always works abs. Awesome. I feel like I work hard, but not in an overwhelming or time comsuming way. It's only about 6-8 different exercises and I feel it everywhere.

She's also suggested I drink more water - a glass before every meal. She pegged my achilles heel immediately so at least I know she's paying attention. It's so sad that others are able to see the obvious things about us so easily, while we struggle to figure ourselves out. Forest for the trees, I guess.

She also suggest I could fiber instead of calories. We'll see about that - I'll try for both. I hate to give up calorie counting - it really does give me perspective on what my body really needs.

We also did measurements and weight for the start of the fitness challenge I'm signed on for at the gym. I weighed in at 162.8. She asked me my highest and lowest weights as an adult, and seemed honestly shocked when I told her my highest - I guess around 210-215 because at the time I stopped bothering to weigh myself. It's funny, because I feel like that number is still written on my forehead. Like everyone knows, when of course they don't. They have no idea - to most people I've always looked how I do now. I carry it around with me though.

I signed up for Facebook recently and put up a few pictures. People who I haven't talked to in years and knew me way back when all commented on how good I look now. And here I am STILL trying to lose weight. Puts it in perspective. And it kills me how the effects of weight loss on others never seems to end. I'm always me, but people see you differently depending on the size. It makes you kind of paranoid - wondering what people REALLY think when they look at you. I really think the key is to not give a sh*t - it's about what I think about how I look. Sometimes hard to remember, but absolutely worth those moments when you make it happen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Never Did Mind The Little Things

Monday weigh in - 165.6

I had a great weekend, but sometimes having a great time is not conducive to eating well. I worked out a lot though, and I enjoyed the food I ate.

I'm mostly on the wagon these days. I've had 2 drinks on one weekend night for the past 2 weeks, and that's it. I'd like to eliminate those too, but I'm getting there. I don't want to waste the time that I have with the personal trainer. I want to make sure that I use that time wisely, and to do that I feel like I have to be sure I'm doing everything I can to eat better and make good choices.

Hubby and I have also started eating every meal at the dining room table. This seems like such a little thing, but I'm shocked at the difference it's making. Things certainly aren't perfect, but it's impressive how staying focused on my food can help me to eat significantly less. The whole thing started as a big fight about the TV. I have a total love/hate relationship with television, and in recent years it's really leaning closer to hate. It just doesn't hold my interest anymore. I can't really think of any shows I'm all that excited to watch. Okay, maybe Mad Men. That's pretty much it. Even my beloved SATC has been on hiatus around here. Hubby however, LOVES TV. So the whole thing is a bit of a tug of war, but we're working on it. One of the biggest issues for me in the past was just vegetating in front of the TV and mindlessly eating. It seems to really set off binges too. TV helps me ignore how I'm feeling so I can just eat and eat without even noticing. Very dangerous.

So I'm adding up all these useful behaviors and hoping that it shows up on the scale. It really does end up being about all those little things...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hired Gun

I've hired a personal trainer. I think it'll be great for getting a jump start on my workouts. Things have been pretty blah with them lately. It seems to be a good idea just for getting refamiliarized with weight training. I've been doing a ton of running, but I haven't done serious weight training for years. YEARS! You forget how tough it is to actually build yourself a workout, not to mention look at your own form.

She also wants to review my food log. I've been keeping a food log on and off for years, so I already have one of those, but the thought of someone else looking at it is a bit unnerving. It requires real honesty about some of my behaviors that I'm not sure I want to give her. I guess I'm wondering too if having someone looking over my shoulder will actually make some things worse. I have some binging behaviors that continue to be a problem (no purge, just binge) and I often think they're related to being an only child. I have them mostly under control, and they've never been as bad as what I hear from some people on their blogs, but I do get that same weird feeling that they get. I can do a full explanation of that another time, but I've noticed that when I feel like others are watching what I eat, the binging tends to be worse.

Being an only child of two parents, someone is almost always paying attention to what you do. This is not generally a bad thing at all. Parental involvement makes for a very high achieving child. However, I think it sometimes manifests itself in a feeling of almost paranoia at times. Someone is always watching you. For me, it seemed to focus on food. The binging is linked to this feeling of "oh, I can eat whatever I want, and no one needs to know!" A sneaking feeling. Getting away with something. It's a feeling of both being powerful and powerless. I'm in control, I'm doing what I want to do, but in the end I'm really not in control. Food isn't the answer to that problem.

The thing I have to remember is that food is just food. It fuels the body. My body. If I want to eat something, I can. It's really just up to me. When I was able to make that realization was when I was able to lose weight the first time. It seems so simple, but it is really, shockingly hard to get.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to what I can learn from the personal training sessions. I'm going to see her once a week for 12 weeks, and do other workouts on my own for the rest of the time. I think it'll be a great launching point.