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June 2009

OMG I Won!

I won the FabFatties Healthy Challenge! I can’t believe it. I think it had a lot to do with the many people I recruited the first day, AND to the daily workouts which really added up the points. I didn’t think I was doing that spectacularly, but clearly that was pretty good!

I’m wondering about all the people I recruited who did NOT send their points in to be tabulated.  Did you do the challenge? What happened? I am very curious about the members of Team Foodie and how it all went for people. Things seemed to get pretty quiet over here after the first day. Was it too much to keep track of? Too much to do? Did you do it but not track it? Or…?

WHAT HAPPENED? I want to know.

Weightisms

A lot of interesting thoughts re weight today. First, I was SURE I had made my goal weight today. It sure looked that way, according to my home scale. But when I went to weigh in officially, I was still two-tenths (!!!!!!!) of a pound over my stated goal. And then some stuff happened. I told the weighing person that I had been hired for staff, and thus I would not have to pay the weekly fee. He was like, um, that is not right, you are not supposed to be hired until you are Lifetime. (Lifetime=at goal weight for 6 weeks or more)

Er. I was waiting for the big hook to come and whisk me away. Not only was I not getting the applause and bling for reaching GW, I was being told that my being hired at all was a big fat mistake! Ahhhhh!!

While the meeting proceeded, I could not focus due to the buzzing in my ears and the fact that the weighing person (aka “receptionist”) was discussing my Situation with the Powers That Be.  When the meeting ended he handed me the phone and the PTB told me that indeed I could proceed with training to be a receptionist in my current state, but that actually something had fallen through the cracks and that I should not have been permitted to proceed this far without being at Liftime. Then a discussion regarding my Goal Weight, and was this truly my Goal, and could I maintain, and etc etc etc.

It was a lot to think about. I tried not to be all defensive and “hey you guys invited me along on this process, having access to all of my records, etc!” but it also made me wonder if I have not jumped the gun. I know that my weight-loss process has been a bit wacky and stalled out since I made this decision. Maybe I really ought to wait.  Everyone says that maintaining is a whole different Kettle O Fish than losing, and I do believe it.  The PWB did tell me to go ahead and continue on, and that most likely I *will* be at Lifetime by the time the big training comes up (end of August). And I was like, okay. She also said I should consider myself AT goal since I am technically the same number as my goal number, it’s just that number plus two-tenths.

Hmmm.

ANYway, that whole episode made me think about this blog and other people’s weight-health-fitness blogs, and how some people publicly display their true weights, and how others (like me) don’t. And so I asked the Twittersphere about what informed peoples’ decisions to actually talk in Real Numbers vs. not.

These are a few responses:

  • I do just because putting the number makes me face it
  • I discuss my real weight on my blog. People who know me are shocked that I weight that much – say I don’t look like it.
  • I can’t bring myself to say how much I weigh 2 anyone. I am lucky, I’m tall w/small bones so I carry it like a BIGboned person
  • being “anonymous” on here helps w/ being open/honest 4 me.My sis is the only person other than u guys who knows my true wt.
  • I don’t use my real numbers either. Because I’m “petite” I get the “oh you’ve never had to worry about your weight thing
  • I haven’t, but I’m not opposed to doing so. I def. do so in person.
  • 4 me I have SO MUCH to lose that it makes it real, that I HAVE to do something about it. Can’t lie or hide it…
  • I use numbers & pictures because I am trying to just keep it real. maybe i can help others.
  • I always do. I’m perfectly willing to share my weight. If I can’t own it, I can’t change it.
  • I do because honestly who cares? If someone looks at me they know I weigh a bit, so why care if they know how much it is?
  • I’m never going back to the corporate world or running for public office, so I don’t mind sharing…
  • I don’t give exact numbers, but I did say “under 200” the other day because I was proud to be there 🙂
  • i discuss what i’ve lost but not the #. now that i’m down more than halfway, i should share the #. need to add pics too.
  • Good question. I decided not to use #s either. #s can be misleading, esp. for someone like me who has xtra large bones/muscles
  • I do because I’ve never been honest with myself about my weight (or anyone else for that matter LOL) 4 me it’s necessary.
  • I used to be embarrassed by the #s but the first time I said it I felt freer and I’ll feel better when I get to goal and say it

Isn’t that interesting? I thought it was a great conversation. So for me, the reason I didn’t state my true weight at the beginning is because I was embarrassed at the number. And probably because I did not have any faith it would change, and then people would just think that # in relation to me. But now the number has changed, and I feel a little reticent for opposite reasons.

When I first started, I said that my goal weight was normal BMI. I have gotten there (albeit at the tippy-top of the range). So part of it is wrangling with myself. Do I stop here? Do I listen to my own advice to just shut up and stop trying to lose any more?

I actually think I am ready to stop TRYING to lose, but to a certain degree, if the weight should just decide to FALL OFF my bones, I will not object. For too long.

I actually think that I *could* lose ten or so more pounds. But I don’t feel that I *need* to or that I am going to *attempt* to. If it happens, so be it. If I lose any MORE than ten more pounds, I think this could be problematic. Because that would mean going to a place that is lower than anytime in my adult life EXCEPT when I was hiking 8 hours daily with dysentary in Nepal, or living for 3 months on a handful of beans in Nicaragua. I don’t need to be on the Third World Diet while I am living here. I don’t look emaciated or anything, and it’s hardly an anorexic state, but it’s not something I can maintain without doing some fairly dire things.  Sure, plenty of people live at that weight, and MANY strive to, but I truly feel that for me to be comfortable, I need to be here. Or somewhere in the next 10 lb range.

But I don’t want to say what those weights are for two reasons: one, I fear the reaction from both ends. I fear that people who have a lot more weight to lose, will feel I am no longer “with them” or that I am losing “too much” weight. I don’t think anybody can argue against getting to a normal range in the BMI scale.  But once within that range, it gets kinda dicey. I myself am uncomfortable with people who are perfectly fine mid or upper range, but they want to be at like 19BMI.

I am also uncomfortable anticipating reactions from people who ARE at that low range, who would be totally disgusted with themselves (and by extension, with me??) if they weighed my weight. I’ve already heard from people who weigh LESS than me (and are TALLER than me) and who long to weigh 20 lbs less. And are kind of horrified at their weight.  Then I must be some sort of walrus, truly. I just don’t want to deal with that.

I feel like, for now, it’s easier keeping it all in the somewhat abstract, although if someone were totally bound and determined, they could figure out what I weigh. It’s not a huge secret. I just would rather not get into those specifics right now.

I’ve stated all along that my goal is to be “healthy” – not wear a bikini (ever again) in my lifetime (people, I am about to turn 50. I would SO much rather publish a novel than wear a bikini!!) and now I’m just trying to figure out (in numbers) what that word- healthy – actually means.

The Challenge Ends, But Not Really

So the Fabulous Fatties’ Health Challenge is officially over. I came in with a total of 1,765 points. We’ll see how this stacks up when they tally up the results today. According to my home scale, I think I lost 3 lbs over the two weeks. Which, if it’s true, I’ll be very pleased with.

We were supposed to write a 50-word piece about how the Challenge affected us, so this is what I sent to the FabFatties:

The points are in, the chart filled up
Time for final judgment. The bad?  Water.
Could not gulp those 64 ounces, not one day.
The good? Exercise, fruits and veggies.
The beautiful? Good deeds: smiles add endorphins.
Weight? Three pounds lost, overall. And worth 3 pounds of gold.
Thanks, fabulosas!

So now the Challenge period is over. But does it make any sense to STOP doing the challenge things? I think not.  I realized pretty early on that a day without exercise equalled a day with very few points. So it spurred me to start exercising every day, or almost.  It also made me REALLY increase my fruit and veggie intake. I thought about the Challenge every time I went grocery shopping or to the farmers’ market, and I know it made me make better, fresher choices. So I don’t know about the rest of you – how are all the rest of Team Foodie doing? but I’m going to keep going.

As for my vacation: I was scared. You know when I left for my weekend away, I was two pounds up after a nice Indian dinner with friends. Everyone said it was sodium. But I didn’t know, and I then went away for four days without my scale. I did not dare use the scale at the hotel fitness center, because I’ve had bad experiences with Other scales.

So I tried to make Good Choices. But you know I promised two things before I went away: 1. that I would not drink alcohol, and 2. that I would not eat sugar/dessert.

Big, blaring BEEEEEP on both of those. I shocked myself. I actually drank 2 mojitos (one after the other!) AND I ate a piece of cake. With icing. (not on the same day, thank goodness) I was nervous. I wondered if I was going to blow the whole thing (what: almost 30 lbs?) in those little actions. Of course, it could be the beginning of a slippery slope. But I also knew some things about me. One is that I drink very, very rarely. I virtually never go to bars. But I was in the midst of a really great weekend with friends, and we happened to chance upon this awesome bar right across the street from my hotel. I wanted a mojito! I really did. I knew what a rare occurrence this was. So I went for it.  And accompanying the mojito, I ordered some grilled mushroom skewers, a bowl of edamame and some rare ahi salad. It was like the healthiest food ever.

During the rest of the weekend, I truly did eat well (other than the cake, which was one of the yummiest cakes ever). I exercised almost every day. And guess what? I came home four pounds down from my post-Indian-dinner high.

So. All things in moderation?

It’s still kind of mysterious. Why I lose. Why I gain. But this week my intention is to keep rockin’ the challenge, keep exercising, keep eating well.

A Bit of Whining

I am going to blow of some stress with a bit of whining, and I hope you’ll indulge me.

It’s not fair! It’s not fair! It’s not fair! (OK, now I feel a liiiiiiiiiitle better)

Yesterday morning I had one of the most monstrous workouts of my life. I broke a personal record on the spin bike and was sweating rivers. It felt amazing.

Last night went to a wonderful dinner party. The hostess is a longtime friend of mine and fabulous Indian cook.  She made an assortment of awesome dishes. I really went in there with a good mindset. I kept thinking, “your stomach is the size of your fist” and really took no more than a fist-sized total of food which I spread on my plate. I took about 2 tablespoons of rice and 1/4 round of naan. I had lots of water. And a glass of wine. Other people there were piling their plates high – maybe 4-5 fists worth. I did notice that our hostess, who is a TINY person – actually took quite a bit less than me – little puddles of sauce and some naan to sop it up. (even though she cooks fish and chicken, she is a self proclaimed pescatarian)

At dessert time, I took one bite of two different desserts, and nothing of the third. I was feeling so virtuous.

This morning: up two pounds. I wanted to cry. Maybe I did cry. Maybe it was water-weight. Maybe it was… I dunno. But I thought, HOW CAN THIS BE? How can I eat 75% less than everyone else there, be SO conscious, and this happens? WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

And today I begin my travels. I am tempted not to eat at all. Maybe I’ll fast all weekend. Maybe I’m having a temper tantrum. Maybe I’m… AGH. I don’t know.

Anyway, it will probably all even out. It’s not a huge big deal. It just made me want to sit down and put my head in my hands and wail, again,

IT’S NOT FAIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

Okay. Tantrum over. Moving on now.

Travel, Please Don’t Bite Me

Over the past few months, I have not done so hot with travel experiences, in terms of eating and exercising. Even when I TRIED to “do good” I would come back with a few extra pounds (even for a measly week-end!). I am going away this weekend for 3.5 days and I do NOT want any extra pounds. I really want to get to that goal number next week.

One thing I realized recently is that whereas I used to really really overate when I was stressed, angry, sad, afraid, depressed etc. I don’t do that anymore. (YAY) But what I DO do is tend to overeat when I am happy or overstimulated or excited. I’m psyched to be with folks I really like, and I am all excited to be talking to them, and I just sort of lose consciousness. It isn’t in a BIG way but enough so that I gain a pound or two, and then it takes a week or two to get back down.

This weekend I am going to a thrilling event that I KNOW will be exciting. So I have to come up with a really solid plan for the “excitement/distraction” factor. I also have to plan out my exercise. I just looked on the website for the hotel where I’ll be and was massively annoyed to see that while they have a nice looking fitness center, they charge $20 a day FOR HOTEL GUESTS. (more for non guests!) That just irks me no end. But I think I will probably end up forking it over (sigh).  Actually, 3 days of fitness-center fees is less than one session with my trainer, and I’m not seeing him this week, so I guess it comes out even. But still. I hate that. I’d rather pay an overall jacked up hotel rate than be nickel and dimed like this.

I also need to think about food. I really do not want to be so intense that I carry a little cooler of food around with me, especially on an airplane.  I think I am going to scope out the neighborhood when I get there and see if I can find some fruit and other good stuff. But I’m not toting my food around.

I’ve already made a vow to myself that I will not drink alcohol during the weekend and I will not eat sweets. Other than that, I will try and get a good workout each day, to be mindful of portion control, and Make Good Choices. If anybody else has any good suggestions, I’m all ears (eyes?).

Why I Need to Exercise (Almost) Every Day

I’ve actually exercised probably 6 out of 7 days, most weeks, for the past several months. And on days that I don’t I realllly feel it. I’m cranky and irritable and depressed. It’s kind of strange. I was never quite sure about this endorphins thing, but now I am a true believer. And it’s hard to fathom that I actually had years of not feeling very happy, and that was my “normal.” Now I feel like it is normal to be pretty happy – I mean REALLY happy, and enthusiastic about life- most of the time, and when I don’t feel that way, it’s like something is wrong.

I know that I used to think that it was best to exercise 5 days a week. Which is very good! Especially compared to my 2x a week (if that) in previous times. But then the question would be, what days would I NOT exercise?

Yesterday I had all intentions of going to cardio boxing class at 6pm. But I worked until 5, and I really wanted to cook dinner at home, and the logistics of it were just impossible. So I told myself I’d exercise after dinner. My EA Sports Wii thingie even came in the mail. But I was too tired. (or so I told myself) and so I didn’t do anything. And my mood just dropped and dropped as the evening progressed, and I went to bed feeling crummy.

Today, I wasn’t sure when or how it was going to happen. I thought, I might not do anything today either. But I don’t think I’ve skipped TWO days in a very long time. I had gotten up really early to take my daughter to the airport. So by 4pm I was super sleepy. I really wanted a nap.

I Twittered aboutt this. (I LOVE TWITTER, in case you haven’t noticed!) Some people suggested that I nap since I probably needed to. But a bunch of people said (rightly so) that if I exercised, I’d probably feel a lot better. I hemmed and hawed and in the end I decided to “walk” down at the track near my house. It was low pressure and I figured it would be better than nothing. But when I got there, there were already two women on the track. One was in her mid-sixties and the other had to be in her 70s. The 60-something woman was RUNNING. (slowly, but running) I was wildly impressed, seeing her white hair bounce around. I thought, come ON, I can do that. So I walked two laps (1/2 mile) to warm up and then I figured I’d run as long as felt OK.

I ran for 30 minutes nonstop. It felt SO SO GOOD. I was so happy! and not sleepy anymore. And certainly not grumpy.

I went to the grocery store and got some very delicous black bean burgers, and turkey burgers. Then I found those super thin hamburger buns which made me very happy. Guess what? The black bean burgers were less than half the points of the turkey burgers. The super thin buns were one point each. YAY!! I added cheese and avocado, I went crazy.  And they tasted really, really good.

Anyway, it was a good day. And it reminded me once again how good it feels to move around. I am really really happy when I have nice sweat rivulets running down my face. So I’ve decided that my default will be to do SOMEthing every day. And if I can’t for whatever reason, then that will be my rest day, but when I get up it won’t be “do I exercise today?” but rather “what/where/when will I exercise?”

This is so new. And so good.

Goal, Eluded. It’s Okay.

So I didn’t lose the .4 necessary to make my goal yesterday. I even took off my socks at weigh-in, (advice from a Twitter friend!) and came in at exactly the same weight as last week.

It seemed as if losing less than half a pound would be (no pun intended) a piece of cake. BUT I did have several pieces of cake last week, and more than one celebration dinner (daughter’s Bday, observed several times over!). AND I was uncharacteristically stressed over the impending weigh-in. For the first time in months, I felt (self-induced) Pressure. I felt like it should be a slam-dunk. But it was not.

I definitely learned from this, in many ways.  It will come when it comes.

The New Job

For a while there I was afraid that my new employment with Big Weightloss Corporation (hereby known as BWC) would mean that I would have to stop blogging. Which threw me into a total panic because I truly do think that this blog has so much to do with my health/weightloss/fitness success this year. In so many ways.

But I have found a way to make it work, I think.  The thing you’re not allowed to do is give away any BWC secrets that are not public knowledge, ie things that people have to pay for to learn. That makes sense. It is a for-profit company. But I do think that I can blog about certain aspects of my own personal response to this job, without giving away stuff that isn’t kosher.

Last night was the first training meeting. I was surprised that I really enjoyed it. The other new hires were a diverse (yay) bunch of people (all women) whom I liked a lot.

We learned some stuff about the history of BWC that I didn’t know. One, that it was begun by a housewife in 1963, who was trying to lose weight on various diets like Cabbage Diet, Egg diet and others, but could not do it. So she invited her friends and neighbors to her house to come over and discuss their various struggles with weight loss. I wonder if she was the one who made these original bizzaro menu cards! Anyway, she and her buddies started making small weekly goals for themselves. I like that it started as a place of community, honesty and support, which is totally what I think is working for me in the blog and Twitter (and RL!) world. I wish I could say that I felt a great sense of community in my own BWC meetings, but so far that has not been the case. People drift in and out and don’t seem to be very bonded. But it is one of the stated goals of what we are supposed to do: to make people feel like they are part of a group. I think this probably happens much more naturally at the At Work meetings, where it’s the same people week after week, and they already know each other. But I really want to try and develop this more when I have my own group(s). I think it’s really important.

I was nervous about coming to this training. So much that I lost my appetite pretty much all day yesterday. I was worried that because my goal is near the top of my Healthy Range, that I wouldn’t really be able to inspire anybody.  I’ve said this before, but I know that plenty of people who are at my current weight are VERY dissatisified and come in wanting to lose 20 more. But I didn’t feel bad or freakishly huge in this group and everyone oohed and ahhed when they saw my Before pics. So that was a relief.

When I went through the materials, I found them very reassuring and inspiring. I can get behind this program. So, this week I begin working with a mentor receptionist, and we’ll see how it goes. So far, so good.

Not this Time

Every year about this time, my weight goes up and my fitness level takes a precipitous turn downward.  You see, I have this seasonal job in which the big kahuna event of the year occurs in mid-July. So usually around mid-to-late May, I start cutting back on workouts. I tell my trainer I am too busy to make appointments, and until this year, I never worked out unless I was with him. I was seeing him twice a week, so in May I’d cut back to once, and in June, I’d stop altogether. I’d be massively stressed, working long hours, with no endorphins. The stress eating would ratchet up. Then during the event itself in July, I would eat like there’s no tomorrow. Most people attending this event are horrified at the carb-laden, institutional food (think high school cafeteria) but for me, it kept me literally grounded so I didn’t spin off into space. Sloppy Joes, mac and cheese, pizza: BRING IT ON. Then I would eat for a week or two after the event, and by the end of summer I would be a total walrus.  I’d slink back to my trainer in September, overweight and embarrassed, and we’d start at square one. Again.

Well, it’s June. My event is about five weeks away and I am determined that this is not going to happen. Not this year.

I HAVE A PLAN.

First, I’ve decided to switch to some evening workouts. I have not worked out in the evening very much since.. when? Since I was single? Twenty-five years ago? It’s really hard to wrench oneself out of the house when there are little kid betimes, bath, story and the like. But my kids can bathe themselves now, and they go to bed later than I do. Normally I see my trainer on Wednesday afternoons, which means leaving my work in mid-afternoon. During most of the year this is fine – it’s a part-time job, but in June it just doesn’t work. But instead of cancelling Monday workouts, I am switching to 6pm kickboxing class! YEAH!!!!!! (thanks for all the votes, kickboxing people!)

I’m going to continue to work out every day if possible, either running, going to a classs, going to the gym, SOMETHING. Even when I am AT MY EVENT. I am going to continue to eat as mindfully as possible, ESPECIALLY at the event. (we have switched locations and I am happy to report that the new place has a big giant salad and soup bar, and fresh fruit, and definitely healthier fare) I am not going to get into this summer stress-and-fatness cycle again.

I am excited!

And tonight I’m going to cardio kickboxing class. I didn’t have time to exercise today because I had to take various family members to medical appointments today. Normally if I do not get a workout before afternoon, it just isn’t gonna happen. But I realize I feel really bad if I do not workout now. My friend A just called and said she would come with me!  Yeah! (I put an announcement on Facebook and invited everyone I know to come with me and I think she is the only taker)

Another plus-side to exercising in the evening is that it will hopefully keep me from overeating at dinner. I’m just having a tiny pre-workout snack, and then leftovers when I get home.

Can I say it again? I am excited! I’m changing a pattern I’ve had for the last five years, which I always felt was inevitable. Well guess what? It’s not!

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