Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I have come to the realization that there is not just one, but TWO dangerous paths to which I am prone, both of which I must try to avoid if I want to effectively manage my weight.
Dangerous Path 1: Do whatever I want, whenever I want, because it feels really good!
This is the path I took prior to SparkPeople and also during those periods of rapid weight re-gain. This is the mindset of the Susan who ate so much in college that a friend said, "You eat more than anyone I've ever seen." This is the Susan whose thinking gets so illogical that somehow eating one pint of Ben & Jerry's is a common precursor to eating a second container! This dangerous path is quite obviously unhealthy. Dangerous Path 2 is not quite so obvious, but is just as dangerous...
Dangerous Path 2: Aim for perfection.
This is the path that led me, in early 2007, from 167 pounds to 134 pounds in just four months, while also making me cranky and lethargic in the process. This is the path that leads to resentment, because while everybody else is having fun, I have to keep up with my multi-hour sessions at the gym. There is no listening to my body when I have this mindset; there is only following pre-set rules. Sure, Dangerous Path 2 gets me skinny fast, but there is no way that weight loss attained this way can be maintained, because this lifestyle cannot be maintained.
What got me thinking about this today was a slice of cake. A coworker will be leaving us at the end of the school year, so my school's special education staff (all six of us) got together this afternoon to present her with a gift and to share a chocolate cake decorated with frosting best wishes. I only found out that there would be cake a few hours earlier, and I went into the situation ambivalent about whether I would actually eat it. I ate my usual healthy lunch at the usual time, and then just before we met I had a nice crisp apple to take the edge off my appetite; I also brought a can of seltzer to the meeting with me.
While the cake was being cut I noticed that everyone was getting a queen-sized piece. I considered asking for just a sliver, but in the end kept quiet. I let my giant slice sit on the table in front of me for a while and up until the moment I took my first bite, I still wasn't sure whether I'd eat it at all, or whether perhaps I'd leave a few large crumbs behind (never a common practice of mine in the past).
Well, I ate that great big slice of cake. It was moist and delicious, and I didn't leave a trace behind on my plate. After we said our goodbyes, I went right back to my office and I entered SparkPeople's closest match (the SP database had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, which must be fairly similar nutritionally to what I had: chocolate cake with white frosting), and then I went home and did three things:
1) I continued thinking about that cake, and that cake's implications.
2) I ate a little less for dinner than I normally would, to keep my daily total calories at a comfortable level.
3) I exercised a little more than I probably would have if I hadn't eaten that cake.
Two very important things I did NOT do were:
1) continue chowing down on anything/everything I could find (a la Dangerous Path 1), despite my natural inclination to do so which kicks in whenever I start to eat something "naughty."
2) deny myself the cake altogether, or skip dinner entirely to make up for it, or go for an unreasonably long run (unreasonable here meaning taking so long that I wouldn't be able to meet my boyfriend at the train station after he was done with work). These are choices I would have made if I were in the mindset of Dangerous Path 2.
I want to live in the balanced middle of the spectrum between complete food freedom and ultra-strictness. I want to be healthy AND live my life to the fullest. I cannot get there if I take either extreme approach. I need to occasionally have a slice of cake, guilt-free, and then go out for a fun four-mile jog!
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Wow, I've earned my rest day tomorrow - 5.5 miles yesterday + 7.5 miles today = 13 miles this weekend!
I need to list today's stats in two different ways - one for the running-only portion at the beginning, and one for the entire thing that involved a lot of walking toward the end.
It felt good and I didn't feel gross despite being covered in sunscreen. Once I stopped to walk my legs - muscles and joints - were feeling sore and tired, but nothing else was bothering me at all. It was a pretty day for running!
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Week 1 -1lb
Week 2 -2lb
Week 3 -1lb
Week 4 -0.4lb
Week 5 -2lb
Week 6 -1lb
Week 7 -lb
Week 8 -2lb
Week 9 -1lb
Yesterday evening I went on a FANTASTIC run. It must have been the perfect combination of ideal weather, being very well-rested, having had lots of caffeine (three cups of coffee - er - that's two more than I have most days!), and being well-fed. Before I went out, I told my boyfriend the route I planned to take and asked him to please give me an hour before picking me up. I ended up going about 5.5 miles, which felt nice and easy with some walking whenever I needed to use my phone. :) After I got picked up on the side of the road, I actually changed into a different outfit IN THE CAR, ha, because we were about to meet a friend for dinner. (I had originally imagined I'd have time to shower and all before dinner, but nope - don't tell anyone!) It was such a nice night to eat on an outdoor patio. I had just a garden salad with no croutons and half of the dressing (I asked for citrus viniagrette but got honey mustard, oh well), plus two glasses of pinot noir. I really wanted to go out for ice cream afterwards because there's a place near that restaurant that has fat-free soft serve peanut butter, but neither my boyfriend nor our friend wanted to, so instead we went to Starbucks and I had a small decaf skinny latte which was also quite the yum.
This morning it hurt to talk - I seem to only be sick overnight and when I first wake up, and then I feel fine the rest of the day. I am now at 153.4 and suddenly the 140s seems oh-so-close. Can't wait!!! :) :) :)
Saturday, June 06, 2009
154.0 pounds this morning - that's a BMI of 24.9 - I am no longer "overweight!" Now, I have celebrated this exact fact multiple times in the past only to eventually become overweight yet again - no more!! This time I am being moderate, flexible, fitting it in with my life much better, losing only a pound a week most weeks, focusing on goals other than weight loss (like PRing in my 5K), and I have a reasonable goal weight that I will achieve and then STOP trying to lose weight. Eleven pounds down, fourteen to go!!!!!!!!!!
I was not feeling well last night - I had a sore throat and was exhausted. Several of my coworkers have also had sore throats and/or lingering colds lately. But I am trying to nurse myself back to health before it turns into a full-blown illness by taking very good care of myself - mainly by getting TONS of sleep last night and drinking a lot of water. Plus I'm eating healthy as normal, and doing light-to-moderate exercise.
Happy Saturday all!! :)
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