Saturday, April 16, 2011
On the weekend of June 20th, I took the kids, Hubs and dog camping in Hocking Hills, OH for a weekend adventure. Hubs thought it was crazy that I had lived in Ohio for most of my life but had never really explored Old Man's Cave and the Hocking Hills area.
When we set out one morning to hike to the waterfall that Hubs remembered really enjoying, I packed some sandwiches and some trail mix and we headed off on foot through the campsites. As a child, I don't know that we would've tried the hike. I think we more than likely would have driven to each site and hiked down into Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. It was just easier that way. That weekend last year, we set off on foot.
We got lost. Hiking for 5.5 hours through rough terrain. Over hills, through paths now covered by huge fallen boulders, I struggled through. We had to stop a lot, but I kept going even when it got hard, even when Hubs offered to go get the car and pick us up. I just kept going. I cried a lot that day, but I kept going and when we made it back to the camp I felt like I had really accomplished something.
This year we plan on heading back to the area and attempting the hike again - new fitter mom in tow. But after the day I had yesterday, I wonder how different this trip will be this year, so many pounds lighter and so much stronger.
Yesterday I tilled our garden area, just as I did last year. But what took me 2 hours to do last year and made me feel like I was dying or going to get pushed over the hill and into the creek by the cranky tiller machine, was much different this year. About 30 minutes after starting, I was done with both small garden areas. It felt much different this time around. I was whipping around the machine like *I* was the master. Up, around and back, and again. It required much less effort and I barely broke a sweat. I filled up one bed with garden soil I bought at the store and tilled it into the dirt there to make sure that area was more fertile for this year - I want to have a GREAT year of gardening and cooking fresh foods! It took me 10 minutes to till the new dirt in, and then I looked around wondering what else needed done.
Later, I raked the yard. Even Hubs commented on how quickly I accomplished each task. *shrug* It was just EASIER this year. And that got me thinking about how much *I* had changed, because the tasks hadn't changed, but the effort required of me to complete them had. Let's face it. Carrying less weight around and having these strong muscles behind me, muscles I built in the gym through cardio, regular ST and heavy lifting, made me more able to handle the task at hand.
And all I can think is to pat my old self on the back a little more.
My 380+ pound self did some AMAZING things last year. No one expected me to be able to hike for 5.5 hours...not even me. But I did. I fought my way through. AMAZING work, Esther! You deserve a TON of credit for taking that on. And that effort right there, has gotten me to where I am today.
Last year, with our dog. It'll be interesting to compare this picture to the next one, but for today I'm thinking - YOU ARE AMAZING woman!
In addition to that fantastic camping trip, I was also brave when I flew to NYC for one day for an interview. BRAVE girl! I faced all my demons in one day and I had a great trip. Never got the job, but that's not what is important. What IS important is that I had the courage to even take on these challenges. The old me would not have even attempted that out of fear. Another mad props to the girl that began this change a year ago!
And by the end of that month, I had faced another challenge. I joined the gym. Without the support and encouragement of my insurance company's program (which I had applied to but which was too slow for my tastes in approving me), I joined up and started working out. I faced the demons of wondering what people would think of me. I just went full speed ahead, sure that what I needed from that gym far outweighed whatever fears I had about it. HURRAH! old girl! It's funny to think that just a week or two ago I was approached by people at the gym who commented on how they had been "watching me" come in and out nearly every day and who wanted to congratulate me for all the hard work I was putting in and all the great work I had done. I can't believe I haven't even been there a year yet. I'm such a regular that most people there know me, see me just about every night and smile and nod when I come in. What a change from the scared, yet brave enough to try, girl that signed up last year!
Dear Esther of Last Year,
Thank you so much for being so brave and taking on the challenges you are facing now. I know it seems hard now. I know you're worried all the time that you won't make it. But every day you're making strides toward a better you. Every day you're getting stronger, building speed and endurance, and building amazingly strong muscles. All I can do is thank you for that. I would not be where I am today without your courage, strength, and determination. You fought through the hard stuff. You forced out of your mind every thought of what others would think about you being there, seemingly out of your element, seemingly not belonging. You were brave enough to push on anyhow. And thanks to your continual perseverance through this hard time, I am able to enjoy and celebrate the life I have now. I apologize for not acknowledging your accomplishments sooner. Sometimes it takes us too long to recognize how what we are doing right now is changing our very lives. But today I am able to do the things I do because you put in 3 times the effort and charged through them then. Thank you. I love and appreciate you. And I vow to you now that I will follow your example so that the Esther of Next Year will one day have both of us to thank for the life she is able to fully realize in the future.
Esther of Today
Friday, April 15, 2011
So my first blog of my second month (written on May 19th) was appropriately titled "One Foot in Front of the Other." It was a month of starting to learn to cook appropriately. I even got a blog comment from my mom on one of the "just throw things together" meals I cooked that said that she wanted to be able to cook like me! *lol*
Growing up, we lived on boxed and canned foods. Money was tight and we could usually find these things in the inexpensive category. Boxed mac-n-cheese (the blue box was a splurge). Canned vegetables. Frozen bags of chicken breast and other meat-like products. I honestly don't ever remember having grilled chicken with roasted vegetables like EVER. I thought they were gross. Now it's my favorite fall-back meal. (Though I still buy bagged chicken breast because it's great to have back-ups in the freezer. Pre-packaged frozen salmon fillets work well there too!) I also didn't know much about spices. We added what a recipe called for and it was usually fall backs, like those pre-mixed "Italian Seasoning" things.
Now I'm in love with spices. Rosemary. Fresh garlic (as opposed to garlic salt or powder). Basil, thyme, oregano, parsley. My kids have gotten into the game too. The other night I had a package of 3 split chicken breasts that had been on sale at Kroger. We took all the spices out of the cupboard and picked 2 for each breast. One had thyme and oregano. Another mild curry spice and something else. I can't even remember what all we put on them, but it felt like arts & crafts or a science experiment. And when they came out, each person picked their favorite. (Hubs and the youngest LOVE curry, apparently. Me? Not so much.)
I'm in love with fresh foods now, and I can't believe I never realized how amazing WV is for that. I picked fresh strawberries from a farm not 15 miles from my house. Great price, great berries, not having to worry about chemicals because I know they do it up right out here...plus? It was an AMAZING hour-long workout! I cannot wait to do that again this summer! It makes me wonder what wonderful things I was missing my entire life up in Ohio. Sure, produce at the store can be a little pricey, but the way to cut down on that is to get it right from the growers. We did a few field trips to farms on the east-side of Columbus growing up, but I often wonder what would've happened if I would've opened my eyes a little more and really took in the resources around me. Now that I'm learning and here in WV, I'm excited every spring and summer because I know my local farms will be out in full-force with their amazingly fresh veggies and fruits. What's more - I know my garden will be going strong very soon as well. Oh, how my life has changed in ways I would have never imagined.
So when I think about "giving up" sometimes, one thing does not change. I CRAVE fresh food. I've come to prefer the way fresh veggies prepped on the grill MY way taste in my mouth. I decide if they're crunchy or soft. I decide how salty they are or what spices go on them. And that connection to my food has become much better than other connections I've made in the past.
Learning to live healthy has nothing to do with learning to hate food. In fact, it's the opposite. It's learning to love, savor, taste, enjoy. It's taking the time to slow down and learn what you like best, how the food melts in your mouth, getting a good crunch from a pepper and feeling it burst onto your tongue. It's controlling food so that it perfectly fits what your taste buds most enjoy. I don't have to have protein bars. I can make my own trail mix or granola if I want - one that is just mine, made for me, and tastes exactly how I want it.
Of course, this does not mean I will never have processed foods again. Sorry, my life is just a little too crazy at times. I have a stocked pantry of canned beans, back-up veggies, broths, soups, and pre-diced and seasoned tomatoes. Sometimes I need those. But I've learned that I would much rather cut them up myself and enjoy the freshness of "right out of the garden" goodness.
The first time I lost 100 pounds, I did it almost completely with processed foods. I remember buying those pre-cut and cooked chicken breast pieces from Tyson, popping those in the microwave and adding some cheese and eating it on a Flatout wrap. Now this is a GREAT backup if you need something quick, but today I would make my own chicken breast, put some in the fridge, pull it out when I wanted a wrap, add a bunch of pre-grilled veggies that I made - onions, peppers, etc - and then wrap it up in a whole-wheat tortilla. (OMG, that sounds amazing right now!)
In this journey we often focus so much on the changes on the scale or the tape measure. Last night I weighed-in at the gym. It actually said I was up 1/2 a pound since February. I saw the number 330 again and wanted to punch someone. And then I saw another number. 47. Can't be! It was. While my weight has stayed basically the same all year, each month my body fat % has gone down a smidge. Since February, I went from 50% to 47% body fat. While I weigh the same amount number wise, my body is full of more muscles, less fat, and I actually have numbers to prove that my muscles are getting LEANER. And even though the number has not changed, my goal number did. How funny is that? We're working toward 30% body fat right now...so even though I still weigh 330 pounds, my goal is no longer to lose 100 pounds and get to 230. My new goal is to lose 82 pounds and get to 248. Is it really any wonder that I'm struggling to get to the 200s?
I started thinking last night about goal weights, and about numbers in general. Even the guy who weighed me said, "It's kinda sad that women, who have greater weight fluctuations than men, rely upon that scale number so much, when it really isn't the important thing." He pointed to my results again. He's right, you know. When I first started losing weight, I was so depressed because I thought I SHOULD be 170 pounds. Stupid effin' BMI charts! This meant I needed to lose almost 300 pounds to get where I should be. It's such a daunting number! I mean, yes, I was severely overweight, but come on! I didn't need to lose a person, I needed to lose an OBESE person! OMG! And the only way I was able to lose anything, was to let that number go and just work with the first 5 pounds, the first 20, etc. I couldn't think long term because it kept me from short-term successes.
The first time the girl at the gym set my goal at 230 pounds, I wanted to punch her. I thought, "You mean I have to be FAT forever?" Oh, my...silly girl. 30% body fat is not exactly a SUPER FAT person, right? I mean I saw someone the other day with 17% bodyfat and I thought they looked TOO skinny. So getting to 230 = 30% body fat. Okay...here are the classifications I have found for women.
Essential Fat = 10-12%
Athletes = 14-20%
Fitness = 21-24%
Acceptable = 25-31%
Obese = 32%+
Yes, I know that some charts add the overweight category, but let's just use the word "acceptable" because I like it more. :P So, let's go back and think on this. When I started at the gym, I was told I needed to lose like 120 pound or something and get to 230. In February, my number was still 230 as a goal and I needed to lose 100 pounds to get there. Now? Now I'm STILL 330 pounds, but my goal number is 248 and I only need to lose 82 pounds (if I maintain my muscle mass). Who would have thought that being almost 250 pounds for a woman would put her in the acceptable range? And who is to say that even if I get to the fitness level - 24% body fat - that I won't still be over 200 pounds (My fat-free mass right now is 173 pounds by itself!)? Numbers can change depending on the composition.
So, it seems, focusing on numbers like we do is crazy nonsense talk! *lol* It shouldn't always be, "I've lost 90-some pounds!" It should be, "I am a stronger, fitter, more capable person because I have shred a lot of unwanted and unneeded fat from my body. I am making myself into a lean, strong, healthy person through regular fitness, weight lifting and various cardio routines."
And, what's more - I should focus on other changes as well.
I no longer rely solely upon processed foods. They are back-ups now.
My body is cleaner. My body works better now because I eat whole foods, fresh foods. I've learned how to cook in a healthy way (and I was thinking the other night - if I can cook this good with no training -- just THINK what I'd be with some formal cooking classes! *lol*).
I guess what I've learned in my reflection today is that not all changes are number-based. In fact, the best changes have no numbers behind them. The best changes occur when we're trying to do our best, and we learn new habits that make us healthier people. Sure, we did it to get the numbers - but just think of where we are now, numbers or not. I used to be the girl that ate whatever was put in front of me. Now I'm picky about freshness and variety and taste. I feel more connected to nature, and I love that I can now walk outside and pick a pepper and have it for dinner tonight.
That's one change that should NOT go unnoticed!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
As my 1 year anniversary with SP approaches, and as I struggle to not only maintain the 90+ pounds I've lost but to continue to lose more, I thought that perhaps it was time for some reflection.
The past few nights I've gone to bed thinking, "What am I doing? Why is everything suddenly so hard?!" The answer, of sorts, came to me the other night. "It was last time." What was that? Last time... In 2004 I weighed in at 466.6 when I had a consultation for a doctor while I was considering gastric bypass surgery. The number scared me, as did all the "but I gained it all back!" stories I had heard in my mother's GP support group meetings. GP wasn't a quick fix...it still required effort to maintain the weight loss. Rules had to be followed. Guidelines were set for success. And too many people I saw simply believed they could have the surgery, lose their excess weight and continue to eat as they wanted. I'd seen the trap, and I didn't want to fall into it. I vowed on the spot that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.
I started paying attention to what I ate. I thought of it as a preparation for my life after surgery. I didn't want to have that "shock and awe" moment when I realized that certain foods were off limits. I'd had far too many diets that began with a day of binging the night before. You know...last meal and all that. I simply started to pay attention to food labels. I stuck to high protein, low carb, and low fat and sugar foods because that's what my mother was doing following her surgery. She was a wealth of knowledge on what worked and what didn't, and even though I was going through the process of trying to get approved for surgery, I was also changing my life and the way I ate. Food was looked at as a process to gain the appropriate amount of energy and nutrients without calorie-loading my day.
After a while, I started working out. Walk Away the Pounds had worked for my mother, and it was a great way for me to continue to hide myself inside my house and not worry about facing the demons of the stares and looks I was sure I would get if I took a stroll around the block. I could sweat like a pig, be completely out of breath, and I wouldn't have to worry about someone looking at me funny as I gasped for air while walking behind them or past them. When I began, I couldn't even finish the 1-Mile walk.
For months I stuck to this program I had set for myself. I started to realize that my body didn't respond well to anything under 1600 calories. I started drinking water like it was my job. "Just two more sips." "Come on! Chug that glass and you've got one down for the day!" I cut out sodas and began relying on foods that fit into the meal plan *I* had arranged, conforming as best I could to the guidelines I had set for myself.
I had bumps along the way. I didn't have a scale at home that would measure my weight, so my sister, who was working at OSU Medical Center at the time, arranged for me to sneak into a doctor's office near OSU's campus, weigh on their massive digital scale, and sneak out again. Each week, I would take the 30 minute drive into town, sneak in the door, weigh myself quickly, and walk back out. At the car, I would write down the number in a tiny notebook I kept with me. Sometimes I had joyous days. Two-three pounds for the week! Other times, it was an ounce loss. .2 pounds. .4 pounds. Or, worse, a gain. Each time on the drive home I would analyze the week I had had. I tried to figure out what was working and what wasn't. Some times I cried the entire way home because I felt like I was doing everything right and wasn't seeing the results that were promised me by some unknown diet fairy somewhere. But after those 30 minutes were over, I vowed to start up again. "Next week will be better. Next week will make up for this week."
As the months passed, it got harder and hard to convince myself to continue. In the summer of 2005, my husband and I had decided to move the family down to WV where some housing had become available. And, all this time, I have thought and firmly believed that this was why those last 20 pounds to 100 pounds lost took so long. I was sure it was the uprooting of my life, the disappearance of my support system (my family), and the change in scenery, shopping stores, and routine that caused me to stall. I remember staying at 380 for the longest time. I had finally purchased a scale that would weigh up to 440 pounds, so I didn't have to sacrifice my goals once my weigh-in place was too far away for weekly visits.
380. 380. That number haunted me for so long. With a final push and some deep-hidden determination, I forced myself to lose the last 20 pounds. I stepped on the scale one day and saw 366 pounds and I smiled and told the world that I had done it. I had lost 100 pounds. And then my diet came to an abrupt halt. It was too hard and I was frustrated. I gave in and gave up. I still tried to watch what I ate, but as I distanced myself from my rules little by little, the rules fell apart completely. I never went back to regular soda, but diet soda crept back in on a regular basis. So did sweets and sugary foods. And buffets and Chinese food and pizza. I thought I was just "getting to know the area," but what I was doing was giving up.
I still have no idea what clicked for me last year on that weekend trip to Columbus. My best friend since 5th grade and I went on a little day trip on the last day of my visit. It started with a trip to our middle school, just down the street from her house. "Why are we here?" she asked. I shrugged. I didn't know. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. We joked and laughed and took pictures in front of the building, and suddenly this memory popped into my head. It wasn't of classes or teachers or anything of the sort. It was me, walking the middle school track out back, playing a mixed tape that my boyfriend (now husband...yes, we've been together FOREVER) had made me. I remembered feeling proud of myself. I was in 7th or 8th grade and I had taken it upon myself to try to exercise. It may have also hit me that 6th grade was the last time I had seen size 14 pants and any number on the scale under 200.
The rest of the day continued in fun fashion. We found a great sushi place and had some wonderful food. We drove up to a local winery and had our very first wine tasting. It was like I was starting to realize that we were all grown up. And, somehow, that image of me walking the track, proud of myself, sure that I was going to lose the weight and start high school as a "normal" girl kept coming back into my mind. I realized I had been fighting this battle my entire life. I tried not to think on it. It wasn't a sad day at all, but I suddenly remembered that I had once thought of myself as a success story. Years before I had struggled for months to reach 100 pounds lost. I currently had no clue what I weighed, but I knew I wanted that pride in myself back. I wanted to feel like that again and know that I was a success. I wanted people to see me as the girl who fought back and won.
When I returned home the next day, I popped on the internet and googled "free online calorie log" or something of that sort. I knew the rules. Sure, I had abandoned them long ago...but I knew them. Something on that 2 1/2 hour drive home had led me to believe that I was ready to take charge of my life again. I stepped on the scale. 416.2 pounds. I tried not to be discouraged by the weight I had gained back. I told myself, "You've maintained a 50 pound weight loss for 5 years. Most people would kill for that kind of success." I didn't set any initial goals. I didn't want to think that THIS TIME would be it...because I didn't want to disappoint myself. "Let's just see where this goes," I thought. Honestly, I figured I would follow a plan for a month and then fail miserably and give it up. My life was already crazy and chaotic, working 2 jobs and going to school full-time while trying to maintain a family and take care of pets. I never planned on succeeding. I only planned to try.
On day one I was discouraged. I saw too many people who only had 50 pounds to lose...and there I was, over 400 pounds and sure that I did not belong. I said this on day one:
"I'm in mostly planning stages right now (4 weeks of school left), but I tend to make changes when I'm paying more attention, because I DO know what's right and wrong, and consciously chosing to do wrong all the time can kill my feelings of self-worth. The plan for the day is finding a place where I feel like I fit. Where I don't feel like an outsider trying to make something work that doesn't. Where I can hold myself accountable by being myself, completely honest."
And by the end of the first full day:
"So today was the end of the first full day here. I had fully intended to simply check out the site and set some goals, not really get anything started...but when I saw how easily I could use the tools, I bought into the hype and starting logging everything. Of course, when I log, I find myself eating better, making better choices. I guess my head is just in the right place to start this journey."
By the end of the first month, I was already thinking about 5ks. On May 19th, I said:
"Right now I can comfortably walk 1.5 miles, so I'm going to try to work my way up to the 3.1 miles and find a comfortable pace."
By May 23rd my weight was 392.8 pounds. I had lost 20+ pounds in a month and was feeling comfortably under 400 pounds. That week alone I had lost 6 pounds...and do you know what I did in my blog? I talked about all the things I HADN'T done - all the WRONGS I made. Pattern, anyone?
So, yes, it was easy in the beginning.
And, yes, it got harder as I moved along.
And, yes, I knew that would happen.
But as I've struggled the past few weeks, I've sat here thinking, "What is WRONG with me?" - a typical Esther response to any situation. And then I got it. Somehow that 100 pound lost mark is VERY difficult. What is also difficult is the One-Year mark. There is this barrier in my head that fears those big milestones. It's a typical Capricorn trait - fear of failure, but also fear of success. Somewhere in my messed up brain I do the normal worrying of "what if I don't reach my goal?" But somewhere else is also the notion of, "What if I do? What then?"
Last night I decided that I'm not even going to make such a big deal out of it. There is no rule book that says that I HAVE to reach 100 pounds lost in 1 year. I wrote that rule in my head a long time ago, but nobody really cares if I reach it. I'm not going to suddenly lose all my SPeeps (thanks John for that! ;) ) if I "fail" to reach that goal. There won't be a flogging of "just think of what you COULD'VE done" from my lovlies if I reach 100 pounds lost in a year and a month or a year and 8 weeks. Nobody cares WHEN it will happen. No one is sitting around with a countdown clock tsking me because I haven't done this thing I thought I should. I need to let go of this invisible pressure that *I* have placed on myself. I have lost 90+ pounds, and that is an accomplishment. Would people gasp louder if I said 100 pounds lost in a year instead of 90? No. Honestly, they would not. They would say the same "good job!" They would smile the same either way. It's time to let go of the idea that I need MORE to be BETTER. I am great enough already.
So, there we go. Day one of my reflections. I almost didn't start this because I won't be done with day 12 by Monday. (See my crazy OCD tendancies? CRAZY!) But just like I decided that "100 pounds lost in 1 Year" didn't matter anymore, neither does the crazy "I have to do THIS by THIS date" nonsense rules. I'm in this for life. I'm ready to NOT make the same mistakes I made the last time. I don't want to step on a scale 5 years from now and see 380 or 400 again. I want to keep going and make this a lifelong journey for myself. I LIKE the way I feel now. I like eating great, delicious healthy foods. I LIKE feeling in control of what I eat and when.
I'm not giving it up. No way, no how. As I told my Hubs last night, "And you can't make me!"
EDIT: For those just joining us, I never got the surgery - but the results were too obvious for me to ignore, so I kept doing what I was doing.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday fell apart after about an hour of watching everyone around me dish into cake and chips. I had restricted myself from cake, but the chips were no match for my hungry noming. My problem? I should have brought some healthy stuffs to the party. DUH! Fruit and veggies will always be gobbled up by party goers, even if it's not the first thing they think of. Have you ever noticed that? Set on the table a plate of cheese burgers and a veggie tray and folks will inevitably grab veggies for their plate. I'm not sure if it's guilt or what it is, but that's how it works. I, however, was so wrapped up in what was going wrong, that my proper planning self had taken a leave of absence and I had to simply rely upon what I'd grown up on. Cake, chips and ice cream = birthday party. That's what I learned, and that's where I fell back to.
So I nommed some chips at the party. And then I went home and had cake and ice cream for dinner. I don't remember much else from the night, but I do remember telling Hubs before bed, "I'm so frustrated with myself lately!" His response was simple - "Well, I guess we HAVE to hit the gym tomorrow."
Monday I got thrown another curveball. Training seminars all day. Trapped in a freezing room with about 20 other people nomming every horrible goodie they could put in front of us. Soda, coffee, danish, and CREAM PUFFS (wtf?) for breakfast. Lunch was sandwiches (finally, something that I could make work in my plan), pasta salad in a mayo-based sauce, brownies, cookies, and chips. C'est tout. Not a fruit or veggie in sight. I was completely disappointed. There wasn't even LETTUCE on the sandwiches, for crying out loud. I did well for a while. When I got hungry around 10am, I grabbed the Chobani I had brought with me. I stayed away from the soda and drank 1/2 a can of Kiwi Strawberry V8 drink and then water the rest of the day. But by the boring 3pm hour, I was back at that table for another sandwich and a brownie. I don't know if it was the girl's 30 minute talk on McDonald's Big Macs or the fact that she was throwing out candy (and my favorite peanut butter eggs) all over (I feared answering any question because she might put one in front of me!) but something made me snap and I just HAD to have a brownie. I hated it. I don't much care for brownies. Still, I ate the entire thing - trying to make it taste like the chocolate peanut butter egg I really wanted.
I got home early and instead of hitting the gym, I went straight home. It had been a long day, and I had managed to get through it relatively well. Trust me, it could have gone MUCH MUCH worse! I grabbed a sandwich from Subway (albeit a footlong, which I finished before I walked into the house) and sat on the couch with chips and dip and proceeded to not really taste any of it. (I hate when I do that!) Hubs mentioned how we HAD to go to the gym and I brushed him off and said we'd go tomorrow. My stomach felt horrible and I didn't want to sit on the stupid stationary bike for 30 minutes again. It made me feel like I was either really big, really lazy, or 80 years old. *sigh* (I know I have to break through that mental image...but I get REALLY bored with the stationary bike and barely manage to get my HR up unless I push SUPER hard.)
It's actually a good thing I had that extra time and had come home early, because I had a chance to correct myself later. Around 6 or 7, I turned to Hubs and asked him if he'd like to take the dog for a walk with me. We told the kids it was our time, and I found myself going "just a little bit farther" the whole time. As we got near the house it started to get dark. And throughout the whole walk, Hubs just let me talk, let me vent, let me say all the things I needed to say. He didn't contradict me or tell me I was wrong, he just listened (or, at least, pretended to! *lol*) the entire time. And I don't think I would've maintained self-control the rest of the night if it hadn't been for that walk. After the chips from before our walk, I didn't eat another thing and actually went to bed slightly hungry.
Yesterday was triage day. In my position as an investigator, whenever we get a new case or are about to close out a case we already have, we have to meet with a panel we call the "triage team" to discuss the case and make sure we're headed in the right direction. Problem is, because I'm new to this position, they often forget me or simply leave me to last. I'm sure they don't do it on purpose, but it means me sitting around waiting from 9am until whenever, not able to really go anywhere for fear of missing my time and having to wait until the next triage day (which could be later that week or the next week). Yesterday I hadn't packed a lunch and had planned a walk to the market to grab some soup and maybe a chicken salad sandwich. But by 12:30pm, I was still waiting, and completely hungry as I usually eat around 11:30am or noon. I finally couldn't take it anymore, and drove quickly to the market, picked out some stuffed red pepper soup and an egg salad sandwich on a croissant (I knew it wasn't the best decision, but the only other thing I could think of quickly was a trip through the drive-thru at Wendy's where I'd end up with a cheeseburger). I quickly drove back to the office and my lunch had to sit and wait because, sure enough, as soon as I left they called me in for triage and I had to hurry and get that done first. All of this meant that I scarfed down my food in that 'can barely taste it' way again because I was so hungry by 1pm I was like a dog that hadn't seen food in a week. Sad.
Yesterday everything came to a head. I broke down. I felt beaten. Between having your paycheck stolen from you and waiting on some investigator somewhere to prove that I couldn't be in two places at once. Between feeling violated and hurt and realizing that however hard you work, you only have 16 bucks in your account and you're back to relying upon your husband to keep fuel in your car. Between the stress of only getting to see Sarah for a few precious hours and her visit bringing up memories of the love I used to have surrounding me that no longer seems to be there (I'm left with AM, who I adore, but I need more!). Between realizing that her visit means that the wedding and trip to Utah are coming up soon, and I don't have a dress, I haven't hit the weight I wanted to be at, I don't have the money for the trip and all that stuff filling my head. Between realizing she's likely never coming back and realizing how much she means to me. Between the ED and not feeling worthy or pretty or anything really. I fell apart. I told as much to my husband in an email.
I asked for his forgiveness for not being the person I knew I could be. It was a long email full of self-pity and regret and sadness and I cried the entire time I wrote it, and after I sent it, and for a long time following. I felt lost. I wanted someone else to take over and lead my life because I felt like everything I was doing was wrong.
Maybe it's because he told me to STFU. (Exactly what he said.) Maybe because he wrote me a strikingly LONG email (which, for him, is like having him build the Taj Mahal for you) in which he explained that I was beautiful - that I was somehow blessed with a natural beauty that others could only dream of having. That losing weight only ENHANCED that beauty, but it could not make me beautiful because I already was. He built me up one word at a time...and not once did I detect in his email any frustration at my attitude (other than the last line that said something like: "Give up? HA! That's just not you.") or some flowery language in the hopes of making me happy. It was sincere from the depths of what he believed. He wasn't making things up or questioning how to respond, he just spoke, and I just listened...and I felt better. Not great, but better.
At the gym last night I cried again. Sadness as I sat on the stupid stationary bike and watched my classmates, my new friends who always said hello and smiled when I walked in do Zumba right in front of me. (I knew I should stay away from Zumba as soon as doc said, "If it hurts, don't do it." because Zumba hurts my pelvic muscles more than anything else I do - even more than running...because it's a hard constant pain throughout the entire hour session.) I started to cry and made myself stop. I had to just get through this 30 minutes and then I could just go home and cry there away from everyone. Hubs sat next to me, begrudging his bike in the same manner as I looked at him and said, "See! I told you so! These things SUCK!" He just smiled and kept peddling, telling me he'd only stop when I did. When the next Zumba song came on - the arm song, as I call it - I realized it had motions I COULD do. So I did them. Right there on the bike I did all the movements in the arm song. People looked at me funny, but I didn't care. My Zumba instructor saw me in the mirror and turned around and yelled across the gym asking me what was up. "I can't!" I yelled. "Doctor's orders." She smiled at me and turned back around and I felt a little better. That wasn't so bad. At least they knew the reason wasn't because I was a wimp or a cop-out or whatever. (That's what I fear most, it seems - other people's perception of me being wrong ...them thinking I can't when it's really that I shouldn't because it could hurt me. I don't ever want to come across as weak.)
With a numb butt and numb feet, Hubs and I made a couple laps around the track after our 30m "bike ride." I went into the boxing room and punched the bag a few times, messed around with the speedbag just being silly. I was finally smiling again. And Hubs just stood in the corner smiling at me.
Last night I ate a sensible dinner of the Tofu Kale Stir Fry that I learned how to make in Minnesota. I had one serving of ice cream later, forcing myself to put the container back before eating the second serving. I finished my water for the day and went to bed feeling a TINY bit more like myself.
This morning, I found this in my inbox from SP.
(can't add it as a link right now)
What this article doesn't tell you is that sometimes the bounce back isn't much like bouncing. It's a slow crawl. It's you, on your hands and knees, fingernails dug into the ground, grasping at any root you can find, pulling yourself with all your might out of the hole you've found yourself in. Sometimes it's as easy as a quick BOUNCE and you're back. But sometimes, it takes nerves of iron and the determination to believe that if you just keep grasping at anything you can, you'll eventually dig your way out. And sometimes it takes letting go and letting just one person in your life see and hear every single fear that haunts your mind every day. Sometimes it takes just them listening or a simple "STFU, you're wrong and you know it."
I'm not healed yet, but I'm finding my footing again. Sunday was not great. Monday was a tiny bit better. And yesterday was ALMOST good. I have high hopes for today, but I know it's not a given. I'm still holding on, though...
Oh, and two final quick notes.
1) I put my scale away. It's in exile. And I won't see it again until I'm mentally ready for it. It's not helping, so it doesn't fit into the plan. Right now I plan on weighing in on Sunday, but if I don't feel strong enough to do that, it can wait until Monday (my 1-year Sparkversary). And whatever it says then will not matter. It's another beginning. Another before picture. I have 6 days to convince myself of that.
2) I have my first appointment with the physical therapist next Thursday. I think this also helped pull me up yesterday because I know that they can help me achieve my goals if I let them try. When I was 16, I hated the PT. It was just another adult looking at me and assuming I was hurt because I was fat and telling me what to do. I didn't care. I wanted to be a kid. I didn't have time for it. Now I want it more than anything - someone to tell me just what I need to do, to give me the magic formula to make me all better and able to withstand the pressure I put on myself physically. I want help. And I've finally given myself permission to ASK for help. That's HUGE for me. And I can't wait to ask for more on the 21st.
(Ironically, this Thursday is a meeting with the OTHER PT, who is seriously pissing me off because, while she could be a good resource, she treats me like a burden and it makes me want to scream. She could be giving me a great workout routine that's easy on the pelvic/hip region, but I really just want to punch her in the face and move on. It's so frustrating how she speaks to me and I wish I would've known this before all this started. Not that I have a choice...she's the only one at my gym...but at least I would've known better than to think this would be a great thing. *sigh*)
EDIT: And yesterday, yes, I ate myself a wonderful peanut butter egg and LOVED it. Sometimes indulging is necessary - just make sure it's the RIGHT thing...and savor it!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Weight today: 325.6 pounds
And today we start again. Like we do every day. But I need today to be different. Yes, times have been hard...but I will be HARDER. I will fight and make this happen because I LIKE who I'm becoming, and I want to be the girl that goes out for a hike, who likes to have fun - ACTIVE fun. I want to reach my goals and I don't want to waste my time thinking about where I'm not for the sake of not achieving what I could achieve if I thought about what I could do TODAY to get there.
The plan is simple.
Workouts - 30m cardio - ANY cardio - M-Saturday
30m ST 3x a week
Consume 1900-2200 calories a day
Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day
PLAN! for the week
Sunday - OFF
Monday - 30m Stationary Bike or Cardio Circuit, ST
Tuesday - Zumba, if possible, at least 30m
Wednesday - 30m Stationary Bike or Cardio Circuit, ST
Thursday - Zumba, if possible, at least 30m
Friday - 30m Stationary Bike or Cardio Circuit, ST
Saturday - Boxing Lesson #4
Food for the Week
Kale Tofu Stir Fry with Brown Rice
Count EVERY calorie.
Measure! Measure! Measure!
I'm pretending today is the day I start SP. I can say one thing about this past week or so. I ate off plan. I didn't follow it exactly. I overate some days. But I hovered around the same weight all the time. If I can maintain in the crappy way I'm doing now, then losing shouldn't be so hard.
Weight Goal for next week - 323 pounds
Hopefully by the end of April I'm back to 320 and ready to move down beyond that.
If I keep working hard, I can be in Deuceland by the wedding in July. I don't care if I'm 299, I just want to be in DEUCELAND by then.
That's 3 months and 26 pounds. 14 weeks. About 2 pounds a week.
It's a good goal, and I have to remember that every day I work toward it is a day of winning.
1900-2200 calories a day.
30m of cardio 6x a week (even if it's just a walk with the dog)
30m of ST 3x a week
8-10 glasses of water a day
It's not about how many pounds I've lost.
It's not about how many pounds I could've lost.
It's about today. Doing my best TODAY.
Working the program each and every day.
Doing the best that I can.
Maybe my body needed the time off my mind demanded.
But today is THE DAY to get going again.
Nine years ago today I was nearly bedridden and had bad PPD.
I didn't care about much of anything concerning what I wanted my life to be like.
My baby had been born and I just wanted to disappear into a wall with him.
It was a special, but a sad time.
Today my baby is 9 years old. (He turned 9 on Tuesday.)
He is strong. He cares about "fueling his body" with food.
He knows about treats in moderation.
He loves to workout with me. He's training to be a great athlete - a football player.
He loves doing 5ks and 10ks and he never considers that he has to run them. Walking them is enough for him because he knows that finishing is all that matters.
And I was the one who helped teach those values to him. *pride*
Let me get this out - today is going to be a challenge.
Party today for his birthday includes cake, ice cream, chips and cookies.
I MUST ignore them all.
I must focus on the weight bench in the corner and remember that eating cake today will not help me achieve my goals.
I don't NEED cake. I already had some this week.
I don't need chips. I already had some this week.
And I have ice cream here at home that will fit into my plan just fine. I can have a serving every single night if I want, if I fit it into my plan.
Yesterday he begged for bacon and sausage to go with some eggs and toast.
But he bought turkey bacon. Yes, HE picked that out. I can be smart and still enjoy this family meal.
Don't make it more difficult than it is, Esther.
It either fits in the plan or it doesn't.
This isn't a diet, it's life. Live it smartly!
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