New Blog Post: a long overdue check up

So I am back. I felt compelled to write this post because last night was THE WORST. It was like the night a few years ago that motivated me to start this blog. So let me quickly recap my year plus absence. In November of 2013 I passed out. On my kitchen floor. Unexplainably. I was scared. I stopped working out. Because physical activity lead to the same sensations I experienced before blacking out, I just stopped.

Six months after that I received word that I got my dream job. I stopped tracking meals. I blamed stress and relocating and an inability to priortize “dieting.” I should note that in that time I experienced a few more black outs, a witness described one as actually being a seizure. I don’t know. I still haven’t seen a doctor.

So I move, I start a new job, enroll my daughter in a new school, all in a new state (again for us). And I officially quit weight watchers because I’m not tracking and just wasting my money. However I do recognize the need to continue a weight loss journey, and to build physical endurance and stamina if I want to be effective at my job. I try a ketogenic diet…until I go on vacation.

We usher in 2015 and my proactive thoughts have gone to the wayside because things ramp up at work. I’ just too busy. But I’m also weezing every night as I walk to my car, and I’m out of breath carrying my groceries up the single flight of stairs to my house. I’m crying because I think I can’t keep up, and honestly I can’t. I realize I have regained half the weight I’d previously lost and I’m angry at myself for losing so much ground. I rejoin weight watchers because the only times I have lost significant amounts of weight I was on the point system.

So last night. Last night I ate a cheeseburger, french fries, and had a milkshake. I was waaaay over my point allowance, but beyond that I over ate. I felt myself overeating. I knew when I reached my full moment and kept eating anyway. And so of course I felt ill, I felt guilt, shame, and broke out in a sweat. The desire to purge became overwhelming. I count myself lucky that I don’t feel the impulse to purge as often as I once did despite the fact that I often overeat. But as someone who once purged, it is something I struggle with on occasion. Last night was the WORST I can ever remember it being.

I’m proud to report, I didn’t purge. I am still ashamed that I over ate and concerned about its affect on my goals for this week. So there is still so much work to be done. So so much. My disordered eating is something I rarely talk about and I have never sought help for it. I am not a seeking help type, but I thought at the very least, I could use this medium to own it out loud. To confess (maybe seek absolution). I have triggers, daily stressors, major life changing events on the horizon and it could get worse. I don’t want it to. I am aware of that potential. I am commited to taking it one meal at a time.

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New blog post – “the year I lived in the dark”

First a quick confession, I haven’t written in a while because I plain and simply did not reach the one year goal of a hundred pound weight loss I set for myself. So 12/13/13 marked my one year anniversary on Weight Watchers, and while I didn’t lose the 100lbs there are some things I did accomplish. 365 days of writing down everything I ate. 52 weekly weigh ins. And 62.2 lost. Now, as I’ve pondered the shame of not reaching that goal, I’ve thought a lot on darkness mostly figuratively but also literal darkness.

My junior year of high school, I lived in the dark. Most people don’t know this about me. I don’t talk about often, mostly because it’s embarrassing and ultimately I still had more than many people ever have. It wasn’t the entire year but enough that ultimately my family separated and I lived out of my car and slept on couches and floors for a few months. Here is why this is relevant to my weight loss journey. I am an addict, a food addict. I am also the child of former addicts (of a different sort), and things like losing lights, losing homes, losing friends, and losing things are par for the course. So from a very young age I held on to what I could because loss was a constant reality.

So I’m a pack rat, borderline hoarder (as discussed here), and loss is a hard thing to navigate. Weight is the only thing I have ever wanted to lose and yet has been the hardest. Like Gloria Estefan, I am coming out of the dark.

New Blog Post – “Just like riding a bike”

I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot, and what it means to be a blogger. I decided early on that this wasn’t going to be a place for recipes or before and after photos, I thought this would keep me accountable. I assumed that with an audience present, I would stay focused on fat loss because I wouldn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of failure (which as we know is what happens with most diets). But as it turns out, I don’t need this blog to remain accountable. This task hasn’t kept me honest or prevented me from eating donuts. I EAT donuts, but I’ve also lost over 60 pounds since I joined Weight Watchers last December. I’ve done the work, with plenty of difficult, frustrating, and down right bad weeks, but I’ve done the work. So if the blog isn’t about accountability, what is it for?

I do not intend to post reviews of consumer products or other weight loss trends/fads. I’m not a doctor and can’t provide actual health recommendations. I’m just a story teller who can occasionally craft a meaningful (possibly heartfelt) narrative. I can rant and rave and share my point of view. I can yell down a well. So the truth is this blog may only be self-gratifying, a glorified journal of sorts. But it has been an important part of my journey. I’ve written and shared things that I needed to say out loud. I don’t know the responsibility of the blogger and I know there are a bazillion weight loss blogs, possibly of greater substance, but I like it here. So on with the show.

I feel compelled to share a few fears that have come to the forefront of my thoughts recently. The first is that I am afraid to ride a bike. I know HOW to ride, I’m just afraid to ride again. I learned to ride a bike when I was 7 or 8. I remember my parents got me a blue BMX for Christmas and the training wheels came off that same day as I obsessively tried again and again to hold myself upright on the bike. I most certainly lost hours of my childhood to dirt bike adventures and earned my share of scraped knees and punishments for unauthorized ventures beyond my two block riding radius. But now I think I’m just too fat and I won’t have the core strength to maintain my balance. I’m afraid to fall. I’m afraid to try. So what do you do when riding a bike isn’t “just like riding a bike”? What if I fail?

Number two fear – and this one may actually just be ridiculous – running. I am afraid to run. Again, I feel to heavy. Like what if I crush my little leg bones because of all this weight? What if my lungs burst from the burn of exertion? Or what if my heart rate just gets to high and I collapse? My rational self knows these are petty fears. I won’t crush my legs, hell they’ve been carrying me around for a long while now and didn’t cry mercy 60lbs ago, I think they are in it for the long haul. And here’s a really neat trick, if my lungs or heart or ankle or head hurts too much, I can STOP. I can go back to walking, or catch my breath, or text my mom 911.

So I’m actively trying to alleviate this fear. I have started Couch to 5k, and I’m still much closer to the couch than running a 5k, but I’m jogging is spurts and I’m not dead yet. So about this bike riding, I’m trying to imagine the worst that could reasonably happen. Say I fall from the oh so steep height of my bike (and yes I do actually own a bike), that’s only a mere 5 feet 4 inches (my wee little height). I won’t even humor the thought of auto accidents because well that wouldn’t be #winning.

So like when I was 7, what if I just committed to the task until I mastered it and then the figurative training wheels could come off. I think back to starting this blog because I thought I would fail without it, but turned out I didn’t need it for that. And for every bad day or week I’ve had trying to lose weight, I haven’t given in to the fear that I couldn’t ultimately get it done. So I’m prob not gonna drag my bike down a flight of stairs and hop on tonight, but hey I might. But certainly, very soon. The beauty in the revelation of these fears is that I have a desire to conquer them.

Thanks for reading.

I borrowed this from the mode knit blog (http://modeknit.com/2011/09/)

I borrowed this from the mode knit blog (http://modeknit.com/2011/09/)

The Very Bad Idea of Revenge Weight Loss

So it’s Hulu season. For those wondering what that means, it is the time of year when I dust off my Hulu Plus subscription and continue my love affair with prime time television on my terms (and portable devices). So while I waited for my season premieres to air this week, I snooped around on Hulu to see what, perhaps, I had been missing. I made a huge discovery!

So I am obsessed with weight loss reality TV. I suspect I am not alone in this. I find it inspirational, mostly. So I never miss an episode of The Biggest Loser, and though not my favorite, I do also watch Extreme Weight Loss (it’s the skin surgery as reward that sits uneasy with me. Maybe as I get closer to goal, I’ll re-evaluate my position, of course entirely dependent on how much sag I’m sportin’). So I see a show called My Big Fat Revenge, and I think “ok, I’m in.” After the first episode I was so put off I think smoke was coming from my ears. Here’s the premise, the overweight contestant (all female in the handful of episodes I watched (all recon for this post I’ll have you know (cause I owe you thorough research and first hand accounts))) goes away for three months to lose as much weight as they can in order to return and perform an act of revenge on someone who treated them poorly in the past because of their weight (most often an ex boyfriend). So the contestant loses the weight and the sets up this PUNK’D, Candid Camera-esque revenge scenario designed to give the loser in her life a taste of his (mostly, but some of her) own medicine. You know what happened 99% of the time? The callous asshole walks off camera. No apology. No “wow you look great.” Just more of the same douche-baggery as before. So does the contestant really see their nemesis get his comeuppance? Does she feel better? No. Instead she has linked her desired outcome, her hard work to become a healthier, perhaps slimmer, human being to the behavior of a person that she has NO control over. You know what happens when she doesn’t get that apology…the weight comes back on because, well, the thing she thought would win her approval didn’t.

OK, OK. Perhaps there is some awesome motivation to be found in silencing the nay-sayers, in psyching yourself up to feel like the one who got away, in proving that you are not all the negative things anyone ever tried to say you are. Great. Put your ex’s face on a punching bag and get that cardio in if it helps, but here is what I know about assholes, if they don’t love you fat they won’t love you skinny. If they we’re mean, abusive, threatening, manipulative and the like when you were heavy, you being not heavy will not change who they are. I think it a bad bad bad idea to link self-worth to the musings of an idiot. Losing weight to enact revenge has got to be the worst idea ever because you can not get answers or apologies from psychopaths or even mildly pathetic low self-esteem losers who needs to bully others to feel empowered.

Ok, here is another beef with this show and the damage it is doing. We see footage of the contestant at the gym, but we don’t meet or learn anything about their trainer or training methods, we don’t know anything about their diet and exercise routines. All we know is they go away for 90 days and come back having lost up to 25% of their body weight. People at home should know this kind of extreme weight loss, including very low-calorie diets and 6-8 hours of daily exercise, should be medically supervised.

You wanna lose weight? Great! But do it for yourself. To impress yourself, to improve your health, to love who you see in the mirror. Not to prove anything to anyone else. Not to make some foolish boy love you. Or to correct years of bad behavior from an abusive loved one. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m at my goal weight I hope every Negative Nancy and Doubting Thomas get the memo, but my results are not linked to them, because mostly likely they just won’t give an F. After all, the work is its own reward.

The Writing Diet

I can’t believe it has been three months since I have posted. That is absurd. I suppose that is what happens with some dieters, we lose our motivation, or life kicks in gear and focusing on the weight loss isn’t the number one priority. Well I am happy to report, that I am still going strong on my weight loss journey. Down a total of 53.8 pounds after 36 weeks on weight watchers. I am still writing down everything I eat. I am still cursing donuts, french fries, pizza, and ice cream (especially in the form of the oh so innocent milkshake). I’m still wearing two activity monitors all day everyday. But I’m not blogging as intended because honestly I thought I could lose the weight faster. I thought I would be immune to life hacks. I thought I was the rock star of weight loss. In the beginning I set all these arbitrary goals: lose x by this opening night, then x by summer, then another x by this friend’s wedding. And none of them happened.

When I couldn’t meet those little goals I had set for myself, the shame set in. Never mind that I have had 29 losses, because all 36 should have been losses. Never mind that my average weekly loss is 1.5lbs, because I should be miraculously losing 5lbs every week. I stopped blogging because I wanted to show off, and all I had to show was a real life up and down ordinary weight loss struggle-tale.

Struggle-tale, not fairy-tale. No I just ate less and exercised more and viola I am now super skinny and everyone adores me, but a this is the body I live in today and it’s kinda cool because it carried me from 298.2 to 244.4 and fits in a large t-shirt now and my thighs still kiss but I kinda think thighs are meant to kiss and hey there is some extra strap left over on this seat belt on the plane now and wait I think I actually feel full and who the heck knew kale tasted so good or this roasted red pepper humus dip type stuff that you couldn’t have paid me to taste just 38 weeks ago is like magic happening in my mouth kinda tale. An all this while living, working, parenting in three states and two time zones story. A writing, directing, teaching, loving, laughing, crying, starting new, saying good bye to old, losing and longing story. It is not about miracles, it is about possibles. And it is all mine to tell. Sorry to have kept you waiting. More sorry to have kept myself hiding.

So I am still working on a new body, just probably not by tomorrow. Not in time for your wedding or a cousin’s graduation. Not in time for our weekend get-away, or probably even when the next bikini season rolls around. But I’ll get there. In the time it takes.

I’ve started Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” again (many people know these pages are the key component to Cameron’s The Artist Way program for creative recovery, I am following her similar program called The Writing Diet), so I am writing everyday friends, and I plan to share here more often.

Thanks for reading.

Skinny bitches be rude…

That’s me trying a provocative title mostly, but seriously this week I have realized that in order to be successful and go the distance, there are going to be times/situations/circumstances that require that I put myself first. Now I’m not going to pretend that I’m one whose generosity abounds, but I can be a little passive at times. This comes from a serious habit of trying to repress my anxiety and type A+ personality (a whole ‘nother post on that ish in the future). So basically I wanna seem chill and laid back, so I go with the flow.

I’m realizing at 21 weeks OP, that I am really in this. That this is really about (here comes the cliche… *sigh*) lifestyle changes. I’m counting points, I write down every single thing I put in my mouth, I don’t take a day off. Even if I eat a bazillion points (which is more than any human is allowed for those not familiar with the weight watchers program) I write it all down. So yes, out at a restaurant, or out for drinks, I pull out my phone and type away. I’m not tweeting, texting (mostly not texting), or on fb. Just writing down my food. And sometimes I do it the old fashioned way, pen to paper. But I’m going to do it. At the table, while we eat, and I’m not going to care that folks think it’s rude. I am learning how to take care of myself.

Someone said to me a few days ago, “you sure have a lot of can’ts.” It’s true. So do alcoholics, diabetics, people with gluten allergies, and kids who go to nut free schools. It’s a fact of life. So yes, you will hear me say, “I can’t eat that.” That’s a personal choice. I have no food allergies, but I have a goal. So maybe I’m no fun cause I won’t booze it up with you on a Tuesday night, or you don’t like that I must track my meal at the dinner table. We ain’t gotta kick, and skinny bitches be rude sometimes.

This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine

I haven’t blogged in 3 weeks. Yikes! The upside is that my lack of posts has nothing to do with my stick-to-it-tivy. I’m still working my program and have lost over 40 pounds.

I haven’t blogged because I’ve been busy. Can you imagine? No time to sit and write a little creative non-fiction. At first I thought, “well clearly I haven’t blogged because I’m on top of my shit. I have no issues to unpack, and since I promised no asinine recipes or cray photos, the blog can wait.” Then this happened.

Now I am no where in this photo, but someone on an internet forum said the person on the left (an actor in costume) looked like me. Now that’s some bullshit. But the suggestion caused me to get real with myself about perception. How I perceive myself and to what extent I care how others perceive me.

A co-relative yet independent event happened. In the midst of some non-diet related diversity and inclusion training, I had a breakdown. Now I believe that breakdowns equal breakthroughs (work with me on this one), so I’m thankful.

We worked on this pie chart of privilege and I quickly realized that of race, age, gender, nationality, class, religion, ability, sexual orientation, I experience little privilege. Some, but little. We then did the good ole authority, power, and influence game during which I discovered that I play small.

That made me cry.

So back to the picture…I know I don’t look like the actor in that photo (who happens to be a 20 year old young man). But I often FEEL like I do. So I BEHAVE like I do. You know, the “so you think, so you feel, so you do” adage…

When I meet new people I’m a bit reserved. I tell people I’m shy, an introvert, and those that really know me are like “really?” I get it now, I play small. I try to make myself invisible until I have assessed a situation and ensured that it is “safe.” This safety resting in the ability of my humor, wit, or intelligence to outshine my fear, doubt, and inadequacies.

I don’t didn’t think I am was good enough. EVER. F that ish. Imma play like Viola Davis is in my ear telling me I’m kind and smart.

I hope to maybe blog about other more exciting things like the book recommendations I have received since I’ve started this journey. Or the impact I’ve had on a few friends who have started their own weight loss journeys on the WW plan.