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Dancing through the ups and downs

Friday, January 25, 2013

A BLC teammate wondered aloud about losing some weight and then going into a self-sabotage phase, and as that's more or less been my story since jumping onto sparkpeople, I rambled on a bit about it.

I absolutely identify with her tale, because I've repeatedly gone through cycles of being good, and then coasting, or even going the wrong way for a bit. When I posted about the 2.4 lb loss the scale reported for the first week of the BLC (artifact, I'm sure...find out next week, I guess), I referred to it as "dancing", a pattern of 1 step forward, and a half step back that has characterized my whole SP trip.

In late September of 2011, I started at 205, and I dropped around 10 pounds between then and late November 2011. Then came Thanksgiving, and another weekend where I took a trip down to Chicago with friends (yearly tradition that had to be obeyed), and half that weight returned. I was down to 185 at the end of April 2012, but then came Craft Beer Week, and a trip home for my nephew's 1st birthday (huge party), and my own birthday (a couple nights out), and I gained back 7 pounds in May. You know, you could say I only lost 5 pounds from May 1 to January 16. But you could also just as accurately say I lost 12 pounds from June 1 to January 16. While other rebounds haven't been as dramatic, I have spent a lot of time re-losing the same weight that I'd already dumped once, and then got back together with. As with serial relationships, better to just get it over with!

With me, part of the relaxation phase is a sense that, "yay, I've accomplished something, let's celebrate!" Except the celebration isn't limited to just a day. Circumstances surely play a part, as with the multiple events in the month of May, but there's something more there. On occasion, I've realized that, yes, I'm sabotaging (half of) the good work that I've put in, but I really didn't care at the moment. Some of that, perversely, came from a new-found confidence, knowing that I now knew how to lose weight, in a way I hadn't put together before joining sparkpeople. Another piece is probably some latent yearning for the don't give a crap "food-lifestyle" I used to lead. It's just so much easier than paying attention to the details, y'know?

Look around this site, and obviously, I'm not alone in this bad habit of temporarily relapsing into the bad habits that brought us here in the first place. I'm of the opinion that everybody has different "relaxation phase" triggers, and it's absolutely worth putting in a little time to try and figure those out. After all, we joined up with the intent to turn things around, and having had some level of success, it (hello captain obvious!) doesn't make sense to go back to the old ways. And yet, we do just that, enough to moot a not insignificant portion of our good efforts.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JET150 1/27/2013 10:09AM

    It is hard to find other rewards when food has been your reward all your life, at least that is the case for me. And nobody wants to be the person at the celebration who draws attention to themselves by merely nibbling and sipping. And then there's stress. In the five months I was fully retired I lost about 4 pounds without even trying. In the year and a half since going back to work part-time I've gained 12. And it's not the birthday doughnuts and work potlucks. I can avoid those. It's me at home, at night. As you said, we think we've broken those habits to lose weight, but they never fully disappear I'm afraid.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/27/2013 1:44AM

    Lots of us have the same problem. The best thing you can do is figure out WHY. It's something I have a really hard time with :) emoticon

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ANDY_54 1/26/2013 11:10PM

    Well, I keep losing and re-gaining the same 5 pounds. It happens whenever I get close to the 160 mark. Why? IDK and it's frustrating. I really don't like the BL show, but I did see Jillian (of course) yelling at someone last week and trying to make her understand that she (the contestant) is the one standing in her own way. I get that same feeling--hm, maybe I just need to step aside?

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CLPURNELL 1/25/2013 6:05PM

    We all do it! emoticon

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LW8843 1/25/2013 11:03AM

    I'm bad at this. I've lost 38lbs since June 2012 and now I'm dancing with 1-3lbs. I go down and up and down and up...grr.

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BOSS61 1/25/2013 7:34AM

    Life of a Sparky is filled with may too many causes (and excuses) to celebrate. Next time there is cause for celebration, float away on extra Sparky water too. Two days later you will be living in the bathroom (once the salt comes off), but then, viola!

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GARDENCHRIS 1/25/2013 7:18AM

    so true ... but hopefully we "learn" new ways of coping each time and get better at this lifestyle change.

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CAMAEL100 1/25/2013 5:12AM

    As i said on the forum, I totally relate and am getting frustrated at this stage. It gets more noticable as I get nearer to my goal. But I am hoping the BLC will get me close to my goal so I can stop this up and down. It can get me down at times but I try to stay positive and think of how far I have come!

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STEPH-KNEE 1/25/2013 4:08AM

    I can totally relate to what you are saying here. I have some very extreme cases under my belt, like lose 40 pounds a few times in my life to gain it all back. And relosing the same weight (for me at least) is never as fun as losing new weight. I think that is why I'm a little "blah" in this whole thing lately. I may have lost 2.4 pounds this week (we are twinsies! ;)) but it only got me back to 214.4 which is a number I've seen a 100 times in the last 3 months. I feel like if I can get to where I'm losing "new weight" it'll feel more real and like I am making progress.

That is so great you have really been thinking about things, trying to figure stuff out and fixing it is always a good thing. It sounds like the month of May is a fun month filled with awesomeness (your birthday), but it sounds like this year you are really aware of this and I know that you can make it through May unscathed! You can do this, you've been doing this and you are awesome! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 4:11:09 AM

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SISSIE21 1/25/2013 3:34AM

    Wow, so true. I actually relapsed and regained over 90 pounds! How did it happen? I stopped paying attention to what was important, my health. I 'celebrated' the weight loss with eating and used food to comfort during stressful times. This journey is now one to re-lose the weight and most important, learn from previous mistakes.
Good luck on your journey, I totally get it emoticon

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Donít think there is much of a difference, honestly

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Iím one of those people who are slow to appreciate differences in others who have lost weight, sometimes saying nothing lest I insult someone who hasnít actually lost weight. That tendency extends to my own self, in terms of not feeling like there was all that much difference in how I look from when I started this trip (September 2011) and now. I mean, I *know* there's a difference, between the scale telling me that 25 lbs have flown the coop, and the tape measure proclaiming a difference just since July (didn't measure at the outset, unfortunately), but...

I look at these two pics (the before is from October 2011, and the Now was something I posted last week) and, to me, there isnít all that much difference. I mean, sure, I could claim the face is slightly less roundish, but it's not something I'd comment on if I perceived that degree of difference in someone else.
October 2011:
January 2013:

I'm not entirely sure what to think about it. After all, I can pull pics from various points along that timeline to prove pretty much whatever I want; witness the profile pic I'm using now, which certainly caught me at a good angle. Bottom line, there's still a way to go in this rather open-ended journey. I hate to use the BMI healthy range (top end is still ~25 lbs away) as any sort of actual goalpost, but it may end up as just that. We shall see.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMM1123 1/25/2013 11:56PM

    I can see a difference too. Of course this is your face we're talking about so it's only going to be a slight difference. Unless you happen to carry all your weight in your face - which you don't (thank goodness too because that would look weird).

And congrats on your 25 pounds. That's a nice solid amount of weight to have lost. Have you tried picking up 25 pounds of weight and walking around with it? If you're not noticing a difference in photos, you'll definitely notice a difference in walking around with the extra weight now that you've become used to weighing less.

I'm sure your knees are grateful they no longer have to deal with 25 pounds of additional gravitational pull. Wait, you're the scientist here - is gravitational pull the right terminology to use? Sorry - it's been a while since I've taken a physics class.

Anyway, in summation (another science-y word), I've concluded that whether you see the difference or not, you must try not to let it interrupt your journey. Keep pushing!

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CLPURNELL 1/25/2013 6:01PM

    I can def see a difference emoticon

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LW8843 1/25/2013 11:06AM

    I can see a difference in my own pictures but when I go shoping I still "see" myself as bigger. I pick up old sizes I wore and have to be reminded that those won't fit any longer.

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It's a moron, of the oxy persuasion

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I canít recall the last time I had caffeine.

I had a 12 pack of Coke Zero that ran out at some point before January 9th. I know this, because I went into a grocery store looking for a particular grapefruit package that was on a good sale, along with a few other things, and recall specifically deciding to not grab a replacement case. As they didnít have the grapefruit, I took a shot at the customer service counter, and they were kind enough to provide a rain check for the discounted price, and it is dated 1/9/13. I did go to my brotherís house the weekend after, and at the end of the visit, I had him check the fridge to see if he had any cans of Diet Dr. Pepper left. He did not, so, I drove home with the music turned up loud to stay awake (not that with my insomnia and night owl-y-ness, Iíd have any problems staying awake at 11 pm). After that, the past week and change? No soda pop. Iíve turned down any offers of tea or coffee.

For me, the interesting part is that I didnít plan on it at all. This was not an effort to cut down on pop, no try at reducing caffeine to see if itís playing a role in the insomnia. Itís just happened, because there doesnít happen to be any pop in the place, and I havenít ventured out to a grocery store in a couple of weeks, and I havenít gone inside a gas station even when I filled up the tank. And the weird thing is that I havenít noticed until now.

This is very strange, because last spring, I did explicitly try to quit drinking pop, to cut myself off caffeine. Part of it was a perverse, letís see if I can do this! challenge, and partly it was an effort to see if my wrecked sleep patterns could be tamed if I just reduced the caffeine in my diet. That experiment did not last long, as I spent a few days with a constant ibuprofen resistant low level headache. Eventually, I imbibed a caffeinated pop, and the headaches abated, and the experiment was abandoned with no further trials.

Itís an oxymoron, then, or perhaps a paradox if I want to be linguistically correct, that this non-attempt is succeeding, where actually trying to reduce/quit caffeine had such disastrous results. As the insomnia hasnít abated, Iím willing to declare that caffeine isnít the culprit. Have to get to the grocery store soon, and maybe Iíll grab some pop, maybe I wonít. Iíve proven, without trying, that I can exist without caffeine for a couple of week, for whatever thatís worth.

Title courtesy of echolyn, from the song "Mr. Oxy Moron", as seen from apprx 5:00 - 12:00 on this youtube video.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 1/25/2013 5:35PM

    Sorry lowering the caffeine didn't help with the insomnia.

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SHRINKING_SARA 1/24/2013 11:02AM

    Hey -- congrats for kicking caffeine! I did it for over two years, and am in a caffeine relapse right now. What I noticed was that I fell asleep quicker, but I also woke up a lot quicker. A quick glass of water was enough to get me up and moving!

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EJRANVILLE 1/23/2013 3:49PM

    Is the insomnia all the time or just occasional? I was having an issue staying asleep (would wake up middle of night and not fall back to sleep) and the doctor suggestined Melatonin. I get a bottle at Whole Foods (purple label) that is 3mg and I'm usually good for the night w/no ill effects the next day.

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All that is shall be in the world

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How can it be not what it is, when being is in itself?

Gibberish? Exactly. Spockís Beard, to be precise

Interview today wentÖactually, I have no idea. Decent enough, I suppose. Guess Iíll find out next week, see if I made the first cut and get to go back to see the lab boss. Spent a couple of hours on the Michigan campus thereafter, taking a peek around the Diag. Iím a local product, so itís not as if Iíve been completely away the 15 years since Iíve graduated. But I did live in Wisconsin the last 9 years, so there definitely are some major changes that I hadnít noticed before.

Hit the gym later in the day for two hours of pickleball. Gotta work on the consistency, I can have 5 good points in a row and follow that up with 5 bad shots in a row. Todayís wog was run 8:4 walk, up to 5 consecutive laps, 5/12ths of a mile. Next stop half mile, though Iím not planning on it the next time I go. Unless I feel like it. Time today was 12:10, which I would assume was a typo, except Iím reading it off my phoneís stopwatch app, and as far as I know, it doesnít do typos. And that was after the pickleball, soÖ it suggests that if ever I develop a mileís worth of stamina, I can probably run it in 10 something, maybe even challenge single digits. I am aching something fierce right now, not sure if thatís from the court action, or from stretching out and going a little faster the last couple of laps.

Curious to see what the weigh in is tomorrow. Having tracked everything since Friday, it seems like Iím eating on or under the calorie goals stated by the SP tracker. I double checked it against a couple of different sites, and apparently, its numbers are correct for my age/height/weight loss goals. Still an open question as to the accuracy of my tracking. Iíve done a decent amount of fitness minutes, but I had a huge corned beef deli sandwich from a fave old place on campus this afternoon. Curious if that will all cancel out.

And, just because I started with a song with a bit of counterpoint vocals in it, how about I end the same way? ďChanceĒ by Savatage, the counterpoint section starts around the 7 minute mark.

This vid takes me way back to 1998, seeing these guys doing this song live, with the awesome sight of 5 guy across the front of the stage, each singing their separate parts. I have goosebumps right now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 1/25/2013 6:47PM

    I agree with Ken. Watch the sodium. Good luck on the Job!

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KING_SLAYER 1/23/2013 3:47PM

    That corned beef deli sandwich may throw off your weigh in due to sodium content trapping water in your system for a day or so. I've had that happen to me, know that I'm due for a good weigh in and then eat a meal that has more sodium than I would have preferred. Weigh in sucked, but the next day the weight was done a decent amount. Go figure, our bodies are fickle!

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WHISPERINGPINE9 1/23/2013 8:11AM

    You are doing great and working hard and getting some great results.. All the best to you on the job! Thanks for sharing the songs! You have a wonderful day my sparking friend.

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CAMAEL100 1/23/2013 5:36AM

    Best of luck with the job and the weigh in!

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Gummi bears for a shot?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Trying to look back on stuff I used to do 5, 7, 9 years ago, and dredging up a ton of memories. The details are pretty fuzzy, even if I did take the retrospective peek a couple of times during the last year. All in all, it's been like being back in school, studying for a test covering the entire semester, wondering what the heck the prof/interviewer might throw at you. Come down to it, I'm just going to be winging it anyway, so why the stress? Might as well relax and get some sleep tonight, right? Oh except for that insomnia thing. Well, then.

Full on ramble tonight, no coherent thoughts populating this brain, no sir. From nf-kb to gbr12909 (that's a reference from when I got to play with cocaine) to monkeys flinging poop, it's all flooding back, those ghosts of past jobs. Some on my blc team board mentioned Synvisc, and I figure that'll play a role in tonight's dreams, as I gave a thousand imaginary patients imaginary shots of that stuff when I used to do software QA for a med records company. Irradiation, catheters and brain probes, oh my!

Haven't done a lick of exercise yet today, but today has an hour to go yet. Might have to take a turn on the old exercise bike, try to tire myself out. You know, I think I will, if only to calm the hamster wheel in my brain. It's spinning at a fantastic pace. Spin one to unspin the other, isn't that how it goes? In theory, anyway. Let's see if reality agrees, shall we?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHISPERINGPINE9 1/22/2013 8:35AM

    Hope you got some exercise in tonight. Sleep is good hope you have a good one. emoticon

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KMM1123 1/22/2013 12:21AM

    While I didn't understand anything at all in your second paragraph - hopefully your interviewer will. I'd offer you some tips on landing your dream job but seeing as I'm still hopelessly unemployed, it's probably best you not take any of my advice.

Good luck tomorrow!

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EMMAEKAY 1/22/2013 12:20AM

    A tired body frees a tired mind! I have been much less insomniac and much more balanced since returning to regular exercise. :)

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