In Defense of Fat, Or Doing What Works for Me.
As I mentioned, last week I tried something different as far as eating was concerned. I followed a computer generated meal plan that was based on my current stats and the time line I gave to get to my goal. It was filling enough, and was probably what I needed to get my but back in gear, but during the 7 days I followed it I noticed a couple of things. I ate A LOT of bread. Whole wheat bread, but bread just the same. I skipped the prepackaed snacks recommended and stayed at or below my suggested calorie intake, but every day at the bottom of the page when it totaled up my carbs, protein and fat I was almost to the top of my recommended carbs and well within the recommended protein but far FAR below even the lower limit of my recommended fat intake. And during those 7 days I lost far less than I ever averaged priviously.
For the last 4 days I have been back on my modified core plan, and every day I have been comfortably within Protein and fat, but under or just barely at my carbs. I have taken in almost double the fat as I did last week, and yet this week the weight is falling off. On Sunday I weighed 172.4. This morning I weighed 169.2. That's 3 pounds in 4 days. And I promise you I am not starving myself. I have eaten at least 1200 calories a day and have not let myself get hungry. I had Swedish steak tips over pasta for dinner last night (and again for lunch today), so I am eating "real" food.
So many people get hung up on cutting the fat totally out of their diet when they are trying to lose weight, and I think this is a huge mistake. Of course, people many people who eat out or eat a lot of prepackaged foods get far too much fat, and it is neccicary to keep an eye on how much and what kind of fat goes into your body, but it is important to have enough fat in your diet for two reasons: Firstly, I sincerly believe that the right amount of good fat helps you lose weight. Secondly, fat tastes good, and in order to keep up with an eating plan long term it needs to be tasty foods that don't feel diety.
The fat in my diet comes from good oils (mostly olive), nuts, meats, (lower fat) dairy (even eggs!), and veggies like Avacado. I don't really plan my meals around fat content, but usually fall between 30-40 grams a day. My fatty acids (or bad fats) are almost always under 10 grams. I avoid Breads, chips, and crackers---even the whole wheat varieties. I don't eat refined sugar or things with added sugar. I eat a big salad and tons a lot of fruits and veggies every day. I eat when Im hungry and I stop when Im satisfied. Right now I am not working out like I used to, but I do something every day. When I am on plan it's increadably simple and straightforward. And I lose weight easily.
This is what works for me. I know it wont work for everyone, but if you are struggling, take a look at what you are doing and change it if it's not working for you. Try more fat or less carbs. Or try less fat and more carbs. Find what works for you and go with it, no matter what the plan your on says to do. Make it your own and learn about what is best for your body, it will take you much farther for much longer.
PS: I am having issues with my weight graph. I have updated it with the most recent stats, but it hasn't updated. Any suggestions?
The Scale Wins
So what, it's been 2 weeks?
The week after I wrote my last post could be described in one word: FAIL. I think that it being the last week of the year, with a ton of junk in the kitchen and no real motivation to do better was a killer. You see, regardless of how much you know you have gone off the wagon and how poorly you fit into any of you pants, it is impossible to know how bad things are until you see that number flash back on the scale in the morning. So last Sunday I did what I had been avoiding for the last 6 months and got back on the scale. I wasn't too surprised with the number, but it is still sad to know that I have gained back almost half of what I lost.
Thirty-five pounds sounds like an easy task and an impossible one all at the same time. I lost 80 pounds 3 years ago, so 35 should be fine, but 35 pounds is a lot of weight: almost 6 pounds for every inch of my height, and I can't do the intense cardio I was doing because of my stupid foot. So I was (and am) at a little bit of a loss of what to do. I went back to my calorie tracker, input my goal (which is not to lose 35 pounds right away, but Ill talk about that in a minute) and decided to try the customizable meal plan feature. I went out and bought food, and for the last week have stayed close to my meal plan, and well within (or below, which always seems to be a problem for me) my calorie goals. I have worked out for at least a half an hour every day (although if Im honest, I never felt like I was really pushing myself), and met my workout goals. And I weighed myself every morning.
And every morning I got frustrated. As of this morning I have lost a whopping .8 pounds. POINT 8. In week one. I know this sounds bad, but I lost an average of more than a pound a week the last time I lost weight. And the first couple of weeks, when I wasn't working out at all, I lost 4-6 pounds a week. It's different this time, I know, and I am not eating the same way I was then either. .8 poinds a week will more than get me to my goal as it stands right now, and I know that a loss is a loss... but I am disapointed.
So I am going to do some tweaking. I am going to change my goal, and cut the bread. I am going to try to find an indoor pool without a pricey gym attached to swim in, and up my cardio intesity. I am also going to get my but back to the doctor about my Stupid Foot, and hope that I can get some resolution (or at least some orthotics) there. If .8 is the best I can do this time around, then so be it, but I am not going to just settle for it either.
Now, just to get it in writing more than one place, some goals:
- Get to 155 by May 1, which means losing just over a pound a week. Totally doable.
- Work up a good sweat for at least 30 minutes 6 days a week. Not counting strength training.
- No bread, or sugar. Back to Core-land for me.
Now, off to make tall this happen.
Don't Call It a Comeback
Three years ago today I was at my bottom.... and ironically, my top
weight. I was miserable, and after seeing some pictures of myself at
Christmas gatherings, knew it was time to get my act together. I made
some serious changes, and successfully lost 80 pounds over the next 12
I managed to stay in the same weight range for the next 12 months, even
while struggling with a chronic foot injury. Up until my foot problems
came up, I was working out twice a day, and had plans to participate in
a triathlon. Training books were bought, bikes were researched. I ended
up needing surgery in August, and after a long, and not especially
successful rehab process, decided that running was not for me (this was
just the latest in a string of running related injuries). Sadly,
because of continuing pain, most other forms of cardio were also out,
and that coupled with frustration drained my once fierce motivation. I
canceled my Y membership this past June, after not using it once for
more that 3 months.
Between a lack of workouts, and some personal issues, my eating slid
farther and farther from what it once was. The clothes that I could
wear started dwindling. I knew the direction I was heading was not
good, but until recently didn't have wherewithal to do anything about
it. From my past weight struggles I knew that until I was really ready
to give it my all, I would not be successful at getting back on track.
It was a matter of getting myself to that point.
Today I am at there. I am ready to get back to it, and if not get back
to where I was, get to a more comfortable place than I am now. I am
still struggling with foot issues, but am not willing to let that keep
me from doing what I can. I am gym membership less, and will be at
least for a little while, but am armed with Wii Fit, and several
interesting DVD workouts. The search for an indoor pool will commence
soon, and if the snow ever melts around these parts, a bike may be in
my future as well.
I am going back to my modified Core plan eating, even though I am told
that the WW plan has changed. I made it without a WW membership or
attendance to one meeting last time around, and I know I can do it
again. Meal planning will happen this morning, after the fridge is
scrubbed. So long bread and hello whole grains!
I do not know how much I weigh right now. As soon as I step on the Wii
Fit I will, but I don't know yet if I plan on making my weight the
focus this time around. Having the goal to get to a certain weight was
good, and a daily weigh in did help me stay on track, but ultimately, I
don't know if my past low weight is realistic given my circumstances
now, and I don't know if I want it to be. What I want is to feel more
comfortable in my skin again. To be able to fit in more of my pants
again, and feel strong--fierce even! I want to be focused on being
healthy, not what the scale says.
So there is a little bit in the air right now. The graphs on the right
stay the same for now, but I am back for another round. Get ready,
because I can be quite the tornado when I want to be.
On the Definition of Hard
After a recurrence of Sunday night where-in I fell asleep at a reasonable hour only to be woken up and unable to fall back asleep I was not feeling very positive about my chances of making it to the gym. But when the alarm went off at 5:15 it was like the Sara of 2006 had taken over my body. I got up, got dressed, and went to the gym. I did 40 minutes of cardio, even though I thought I might keel over the whole time (Helllllo return of the red face, how I've missed you!), my upper body routine, and a nice long stretch out at the end. And it felt (feels!) good. Great even.
While trudging along on the Y's brand spankin new Precor AMT 100i (have you seen these, they are new to me and they. are. awesome.) I got to thinking about how it seems that the general message of weight loss--of a healthy lifestyle---is that it is hard. Commercials for Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem and Jenny all start off saying how hard weight loss is, and how they can help make it easier. I hear people (in general) complain about how hard it is to lose weight, to get healthy. I'm hear to tell you that's a load of crap. Losing weight is not hard. Becoming healthy is not hard. We are surrounded with tools and information and resources to become healthy, to lose weight. It's not a complicated equation, becoming healthy: eat whole, natural foods, move your body, and eat less than you burn. There are supermarkets all over this country with a plethora of produce, whole grains and lean proteins. There is a gym on almost every corner, and when there is not, or they are cost prohibitive, there are parks, living room floors and huge parking lots to park at the back of. There is no shortage of available ways to get healthy.
What is hard is getting into the right mindset. It's sometimes hard to get the motivation. It's hard to overcome the excuses, the shame, the fear, the *change*. Becoming healthy is not just about losing pounds and eating right. For many people it's about learning why they got to where they are at and overcoming the mental challenges that come with an unhealthy lifestyle---and that can be hard. The mental aspect of weight loss is hard. Sometimes it's really hard.
Right now it's the mental part that is really tough for me. Being on maintenance does a number on one's mental state when it comes to food. Suddenly, after months and months of so many things being totally taboo, and not even worth thinking about, it becomes perfectly acceptable to splurge once in awhile. In fact, I personally struggled with getting enough to eat, and almost *had* to splurge. But splurging is a slippery slope. And now that I am not eating as well I have, but am not totally off the rails, Im finding it hard to find a balance. I don't want to give up whole grain bread, nuts, or real cheese. I know how to lose weight. I know the rules and I know how not to go near pizza or Mexican entirely food in order to drop pounds, but I don't know how to make boundaries that allow me to enjoy these foods in moderation and not GAIN... or at least become unhealthy. There is no magic plan for maintenance. Everyone is different, and maintaining depends a lot on the amount of activity, muscle mass, age, and metabolism of an individual---which is also true for losing, I suppose, something we figure out as we go along... I was making strides to learn how to handle maintenance, but got side tracked with surgery, then laziness, and am now in this weird purgatory. I don't know how to proceed, because I don't need to get back to 140. If I don't lose a pound I would be happy, so long as I am Fierce. I know I need to get to the gym, move my ass. I have that part clear in my head, but not the food part. I need clear boundaries, I need to track food, and I need to be accountable, but I need a base line. A place where I know that going out for dinner is not a good idea, or that I need to be good about my choices. A limit. I don't know how to figure it, and it is driving me crazy.
(this entry was supposed to post on the 14th, but apparently, emailing blog entries no longer works, hrrumph.)
It is time I put my lab coat on and wrote myself a prescription, as over the last several weeks I have learned (re-learned?) a very important lesson. That lesson?
My complete physical AND mental well-being hinges on one very key activity:
Getting my ass to the gym on a regular basis.
It has been well documented here that I have been struggling since my foot surgery this fall. I have been largely absent of late because I didn't feel it was appropriate for me to come here with only the woe is me tales. Talking about my struggles, promising to do better, all of that, none of it seemed to do much good.
I've talked about a "happy weight" How despite the fact that I have not been good about what goes into my mouth, or made the effort to get to the gym or move my behind on a regular basis, that I am still sitting at about the same weight--and about how I don't want to be too worried with the number on the scale, and just be comfortable in my own skin. And I still feel that way, It's just that I am past the point of being comfortable in my own skin. I feel itchy. Itchy is the feeling of expanding girth---of muscle giving up it's fight and letting the fat make itself right at home. It's a shamefully, terrible feeling, and part of a vicious cycle.
Too much sugar lead to the dreaded afternoon migraines. Migraines made me irritable and tired and achy---not in the mood to make a decent dinner, much less do anything else. So off to Mexican, or a stop on the way home for something "easy". Which made me feel better in the short term, but really hurt the next morning when it was time to get up and workout---so I slept in and grabbed Starbucks on the way to work. Not having any leftovers from dinner the night before led to buying something bad for me for lunch, which then led to an afternoon migraines....and so on and so for the last month. I would have periods of trying to get my act together, but haven't gotten there completely. But I am trying.
Yesterday I went to the gym and was reminded anew of how wonderful it makes me feel. I spent 50 minutes on various and sundry cardio machines and had a lot of time just to think. It was lovely. I decided that part of my problem was "starting slow". By setting a goal of getting to the gym 3 times a week I made it too easy not to go the first part of the week, which set up the "meh, the week is almost over, Ill just make it next week." For weeks on end. So I decided that I would make it a goal to get to the gym 5 times this week. I used to go 6 and a half times a week AND do yoga or pilates 3 or 4 times a week, so this is still not totally going balls out, but it forces me to get up in the morning during the week and not be able to say, "Eh, I can go tomorrow and be fine".
Except for this morning, of course.
I really did have the best intentions. I was in bed reading at 9. I feel asleep by 10:30. Perfect for the coming 5:15 alarm. Except. Except I fell asleep with the "big" overhead bedroom light on, and Husband didn't come to bed and turn it off before it woke me back up at 20 to 12. Getting up to turn it off meant one last trip to the bathroom. Which meant, I was wide awake. I was still determined to get back to sleep as fast as possible, but less than 5 minutes later, in walked husband, who turned on the TV... So I ended up watching what he was for the next hour even though I tried to shut my eyes and concentrate on sleeping. When I finally did drift off, I slept poorly. When the alarm went of at 5:15 I was pinned between a warm, snuggly cat and a warm, snuggly husband. I managed to get up, but after my morning bathroom stop I knew I was too tired and climbed back into bed. I should have just gone. I felt guilty as soon as I got back in bed. But I just couldn't make myself do it. Tomorrow is a new day---but only if I can get my ass in gear and get there tomorrow. If that doesn't happen, Im stuck in the land of Tomorrow never comes.
I've tried making deals with myself, that if I could make one week of workouts I would buy myself some new workout clothes, but at this point I think I need to buy the new stuff in order to motivate me to go in the first place. I have my eye on a new sigg bottle. And I have a feeling a new top and a couple new songs on my MP3 player will help some too. I know that if I can get my groove back it won't be hard very long, but right now it feels almost impossible, esp at 5:15 when it;s cold outside and there are warm cats and warm husbands that like to snuggle.
It has been over a month since I weighed myself. A month of of the charts eating and no where near the charts activity. in fact, I believe slovenly would be a good word to describe my day to day life over the last several weeks. So it was with much trepidation that I stepped on the scale this morning, telling myself that until I knew just where I was at that I wouldn't be able to really get back on track. I braced myself for an ugly, terrible number. I told myself that anything under 160 would be good news. Imagine my surprise when the scale read 151. I believe my exact words were "no way."
It seems that 150ish is my body's "happy weight". Over the last several moths as I have tried to get motivation to move, been on and off the food wagon, and have struggled so much internally, my weight, aside from the initial 5 or so pounds I gained when I really couldn't move at all has not jumps nearly as much as I would have expected. The chart on the right doesn't show it well, but I have been right around 150 for a long time... with little effort at staying there. In fact the few times I was working out and tracking calories, it didn't seem to want to move down much, either. I hit 140 almost a year ago, and almost instantly started going back up. There were other factors of course (see: my foot, and all the drama it's caused.), but I wonder how easily I could have kept the weight off if I wouldn't have had the neuroma.
My husband was surprised that I was at 151 this morning---he doesn't have any conception of women and weight, and assumed that I was still around 140 (When I was 220, he assumed I was about 160--see what I mean?). He asked me, quite innocently enough if I was going to try to get back to 140...not because he judges me on my weight---he was just as happy with me at my heaviest, so it's not that he wants me to be a certain number... and I told him quite honestly that I didn't know if I wanted to.
See, I don't know if it's worth the amount of effort it would take to maintain 140 pounds. If I can get back down to 140 and stay there without killing myself, then fine... but right now, I would be happy at 150 pounds and toned and fierce like I was 6 months ago. I plan on eating healthy, whole foods and working out like I did in the past, and not focusing too much on the number. I will still weigh myself---maybe not every day---but I want more to feel comfortable in my own skin again. I want to fit into a certain pair of jeans. I want to feel strong and fierce. Not weak and mushy.
After another morning of not being able to make myself get out of bed and workout in the morning, I decided that maybe what I needed was a total change of scenery. I packed a bag and hit the Y after work. It was crowded, over-run with kids and there were WAY too many meat heads in the weight room. But as I walked back to the lockers I could already feel myself walking taller... and that's the feeling I want to keep... no matter what the scale says.
Inertia, or pushing a huge boulder up a steep hill
I really don't know what to do with myself here. I can't keep posting doom
and gloom whining about how I need to get back on the wagon but can't*, and
posting positive, up beat posts about how I'm getting better, working on it
and WILL stay strong are turning out to be noting more than wishful
It occurs to me that Motivation is just another form of inertia. A body in
motion tends to stay in motion... and a body at rest wants nothing more than
to eat cookies and sit on the couch and take a nap... then maybe go to bed
at 9ish. It's a lot easier to get a boulder down a hill than up it... and
right now my ass is that boulder, at the bottom of a 40% incline yall.
Frustration and Struggle are the 2 words that best describe my metal state
right now. Throw in "Overwhelmed", "Blue", and "Pathetic" and you have a
pretty well rounded look at my over-all life. It's so not good times.
I know that it is not as hard, as laborious, or as restricting as I am
making it seem to be in my head. I know it will only take a couple weeks of
solid work to get back into "go mode", and I know that physically my body
hates all the crap I continue to put in it, and all the ass sitting I
continue to accomplish. I just can't seem to get my mind over my matter to
start pushing that boulder up the hill. It's not a very tall hill, I know,
and the steepest part is the beginning... but it's so hard for me to start,
even knowing that every day the rock gets a little bit heavier, and the hill
gets a little bit steeper.
I was going to work out this morning. I was going to get up, put my tennis
shoes on, and go. But before I even got out of bed I talked myself out of
it. It was too cold, too dark, too warm in the bed, too nice to be able to
sleep in until 7 since H had an early morning meeting. So back to bed I
went. Vowing again that tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow is another day of course. but dammit, tomorrow never comes! Add on
top of that the excuses... H's birthday month is Novemeber--we already have
3 weekend's worth of activities planed for him.... then his mom and step
mom's birthday's, Thanksgiving, H's surgery, My parents visiting, SIL
(Pregnant---so jealous) in town for a month, Holiday parties, Christmas and
New years, and there just isn't a clear road of even level ground, much less
a downward slope in sight. I know there never will be... but with all the
things to do, money to spend, and food to eat in the next 2 months, I know I
need to get on the ball and stay there now, or give up hope (and more than
likely a couple of pants sizes) until 2008. And that's just not something I
want to do.... but how HOW HOW do I give myself that push to start the
I am doing OK (and just OK) with the food during the week. The weekends kill
me every damn time though (hello, Pizza Hut). I did manage to keep my act
together enough not to heat up another 2 cookies last night (lets not talk
about my success rate on Friday or Saturday though, mmmkay?), but it seems
like at this point I am just eating to eat. I can't tell if I am even really
hungry a lot of the time anymore, and I seem to be falling into my old
lover's arms (sugar, that is) again. I am not working out, even though my
foot feels good...I'm pretty much just doing a whole lot of feeling sorry
for myself and my destined-to-be-vacant-for-the-foreseeable-future womb
(yes, I just made another baby reference, I really should just write a post
about it and have out with the while thing, but none of that is really WL
related, and I don't know if anyone gives a rat.). Really, I need to just
get over THAT issue and live in the now. But saying that really isn't doing
anything to change the sad sadness that I feel either. One more thing to
work on I guess.
Anyway, that got off track a little now didn't it? ;) Bottom line, advice
would be great, and support would be wonderful. Thanks :)
*can't is such a bullshit excuse! bullshit I say!
I/ve become very good at convincing myself that tomorrow is a new day, and
that if I screw up today, I might as well go for broke and eat as much as I
can because I am starting over tomorrow.
Where the hell did that come from? When did I decide that it was OK to slack
off at all, much less, for meals, days, or weeks at a time? Who the hell am
Im sick or starting over. Im sick of restarting. Im sick of being ashamed
because I'm not the person I was a year ago.
I am back on the wagon. And for good.
Man do I suck.
Yesterday, after posting I went back and tracked my food for the last 2
days. I wasn't exact, but close, and the point was that I was owning up to
my decisions and was on track to being on track.
Then went for a Mexican dinner.
I have several weaknesses when it comes to food, but the salty, over cheesed
goodness of Mexican food is probably my biggest problem. Back in the day, I
would be able to mostly skip the chips, and go for a meal that didn't
include many carbs. I could get the black beans instead of the refried. I
could not eat the rice. I could not finish the plate no matter how much it
Not last night though. Last night it was a chip and salsa, burrito with
extra guacamole, refried bean and rice fest. At least we could steer clear
of the oreo fried ice cream. And I did only eat about half of it.
But I brought the other half to work with me. I just cannot seem to say no
to that guacamole. I am powerless in it's presence. Powerless.
I also did not workout this morning. I was still sore and didn't want to
over exert myself. I also had physical therapy, and now that I'm "over the
hump" I actually have to do stuff. Like squats, and lunges. And this weird
jumping thing. I mean, I actually sweated. And I was told that the 15 minute
foot massages were over as of today as long as my foot held up. Would it be
wrong of me to feign pain to continue getting the massage? And also,
shouldn't the PT count for something as far as exercise go? I mean, I sweat!
Obviously, it wasn't a full on hard core workout, but I think I'm going to
record it as something towards my weekly calorie-burn goal. Is that
I am going to go back and track my dinner last night and upcoming lunch
today. I am going to pull up my big girl panties and take it like a woman.
Own up to my choices and move on. I am also going to get together a more
definite plan to keep on the wagon. Right now things are pretty undefined,
and while I hate thinking about giving up some of the things that I enjoy
now, part of me thinks going back to Core is the best thing for me right now
if for no other reason that it worked before, and that it would be easier to
keep myself accountable. But somehow, it seems so restrictive now...
Parting of the Clouds...
Last week I slacked. Badly. I have found it so hard to get back on track and
stay there. Most of this problem was frustration because my foot hurt, and
my leg hurt because I was walking funny on it, as to ease the pain in the
location of my surgery. I had absolutely no motivation to work out. Sure, I
could use the recumbent bike, but I have made my feelings about those clear.
My beloved arc trainer hurt so bad--not during the act, but for days and
days afterwards. Last week I didn't do a damn thing. I didn't eat well. I
didn't track. I didn't work out. I did spend a lot of time feeling sorry for
Then on Saturday something amazing happened. My foot felt better. Not
perfect, mind you, but better. I can walk normally, pushing off from my
toes. It is still pretty tingly, but that doesn't bug me unless I am putting
on or taking off socks, and the arch of my foot sometimes aches due to the
fact that I am still curling my toes (still working on that), but it doesn't
hurt. It doesn't hurt. It doesn't hurt. It doesn't hurt.
Hallelujah it doesn't hurt!
Yesterday morning I went to the gym and walked straight past those recumbent
bikes and climbed aboard my trusty Arc Trainer. Boy am I our of shape. Red
Face was back after a long absence, but I made it for 10 minutes and then
another 20 minutes after weights. I am sore today, My arms are T'd that I
actually made them work, and my calf's don't know what hit them---but it is
not the same mind numbing pain that I experienced the last time--just that
oh yeah, we used to do this 6 times a week ache that feels so good. And my
food still does not hurt. It is a little tight today, like the rest of my
muscles but does not hurt. It does not hurt.
While for the last several weeks I have been promising myself to get back on
the wagon, I am still trying to climb back on. The food is still not
perfect---although its much better than it was. I am not tracking. I am not
sure how to go about getting back and staying back.... but I am working on
it. There have been other issues; my current and all-consuming baby fever
for one, and the news that Chad is probably going to have to have knee
surgery, teamed with work strife on his part have weighed heavily on both of
us the last few weeks. I am feeling a bit out of control, and I hate that
feeling... I am hoping that taking control of what I can---what goes into my
body, and what I do to improve it, will help get some of these other issues
A quick note: For some reason, comments are taking a long time (several
days) to show up... so Im sorry for not responding to them until now. I will
check back here rather than wait for EP to notify me of comments from now