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Set-Point Theory?

Monday, December 10, 2007

So the first party I went to was on Saturday night. I ended up having a few drinks (low-calorie), then a stuffed mushroom, a cookie, and 1 piece of fried plantain. Not bad and I gained 0.2 pounds to 144.2 on Sunday (144.6 early in the morning). Fine, I can live with that. Oh, also when I tried to go to the gym at 5 p.m. on Saturday it was closed - found out today that they'd closed early for their holiday party,so instead of blowing off exercise altogether, I did abs and an exercise video on the computer. Overall not bad. Way to balance life and weight management.

But then comes Sunday with two food-heavy parties in a row. I didn't eat anything beforehand but I did drink a lot of tea and coffee. At the first party I tried to keep things under control. I tried to eat mostly the healthy choices and only little tiny bits of the less healthy choices. I did okay. I didn't deprive myself and I didn't go overboard either.

At the second party I wasn't really hungry. In hindsight I probably should have had water instead of punch (cranberry juice mixed with Fresca). We brought a loaf of sourdough bread from San Francisco which was a big hit and I had one slice, of course without butter. I had salad with no dressing and BBQ'ed chicken and salmon. But then I had a big chocolate chip cookie, three small slices of chocolate cake, and pistachio ice cream for dessert!! Whenever there are multiple choices I seem to feel the need to try all of them. :( I should have just had 1 slice of cake and half a cookie, and a very small serving of ice cream, of course.

Then I got home and I was full, but I ate lots of nuts. That was the worst part probably. Oh, and there was no time to go to the gym - it was closed by the time we got home.

I was up 5 pounds today - 149.0. Jess seemed to feel badly for me, though he doesn't know about the extra two sneaky slices of cake or any of the nuts (he had promptly fallen asleep on the couch when we got home). He said it was probably lots of water weight and of course there's the weight of the food itself to deal with.

But this brings me to why I entitled this blog entry "Set-Point Theory." It's as if my body is desperate to get back to the weight it's "used to" - the 160s - which I weighed for years before I started my weight management program. Any deviation from plan throws me way back up. However, reading over how the weekend went, I have some other thoughts...
*The longer I was "allowed" to stray from my plan, the worse my choices got. I can't always avoid having several events in a row, especially around the holiday season. But I must get back on track as soon as I can!
*There were choices I made where I should have done better. Water instead of punch. (Oh, and I also had a glass of wine...that's OK, I think.) ONE slice of cake, and keep it small. Keep the unhealthy food portions tiny and the healthy ones bigger. And do NOT come home and eat MORE when I'm already stuffed! Reduce the damage by just getting right back on track as soon as I'm out the door of the party.

At least I did the exercise videos on the computer, and I'm very glad I stayed on track today, including a full workout even though I was tired. I already am down to 148.8 - I rarely weigh less at night than I do in the yo yo continues. :( :( :(

Jess got me my birthday present tonight!! But he won't tell me what it is. Nine more days til I turn 30.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VIDABELA 12/11/2007 9:16PM

    hi! i can totally relate to your post. whenever i come home from an event and am not hungry, i still eat something else for some reason.
i think you're doing well though - you "caught" yourself and you're back on track! i understand about the "set point theory." i'm hoping that as i get to a lower weight, my "set point weight" will be lower too. or i guess what i mean my weight gets lower, when i have those "off" days, the weight that it will shoot up to will be lower. so i guess i'm not only losing weight but losing weight that it COULD go up to. hah...i dont know if that made sense, but i'm sure you will be back to your normal (not "set point") weight in a matter of days!

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Wedding Pics

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The wedding pictures are slowly streaming in...a batch was just emailed from my aunt. The above is my parents walking my brother down the aisle...see how HUGE my mother's smile is? Makes me teary just to look at it.

I'm at 144.0 today...felt comfortable in my tightish new size S top at the mall. Thought I was looking pretty good in fact! I had all my food packed and ready to go and I just ate a little whenever I got hungry. I do well on these busy weekend days when I sleep in, have a lot of coffee, and just eat a little here and there.

There's two new pics in my photo gallery and I changed my profile picture. I was freezing in that outdoor picture!!

Between now (4:30 p.m. on Saturday) and when the weekend is over, we're going to three parties. I will NOT EAT ANYTHING at tonight's party because a) it'll probably be all unhealthy food and b) I won't need any more food for the day by the time I get there.

Tomorrow we're going to two parties back-to-back during the day and Jess suggested I just eat at the parties - nothing else. Maybe...we'll see. I promise to eat the healthy stuff first and have a lot of non-calorie drinks too.


"Goal Date" is not consistent with my weight management philosophy

Friday, December 07, 2007

(Before I start - weight today was 146.2 - NICE)

I just read several posts on a very interesting thread with the subject, "Does it help you to have a goal date?" After reading many of the posts, I realized that this question really taps into my core problem.

It's not about goal dates! It's about being fit and healthy and happy and thin for LIFE.

Yes, I've set goal dates, and they've been lifesavers. They've been the only thing that's consistently gotten me back on track after I fell off. First it was being in the 130s for the Cape in July. Then it was fitting into my bridesmaid dress by December 1. That one was obviously out of necessity...

But now that that's over, what a gift! Now I can TRULY experiment with things and find out what really works for the long term. It has NOTHING to do with a goal date (be quiet, voice in the back of my mind whispering, "What about Jamaica???")... it has EVERYTHING to do with figuring out how to be consistent, not yo-yo, keep the weight off, and live my life.

Actually, Jamaica's covered. If I really do have this down, it will be NO PROBLEM to stick with my plan. Even if I lose much more slowly this way, in the end I will WIN - and win by a lot, because it is infinitely better to slowly lose than to quickly lose a lot and then gain it all back.

Bad scenario (this won't happen): I diet too hard, push myself to the limits, get my weight back into the 130s, then fall off the wagon and go to Jamaica weighing around 150.

GOOD scenario (this is what WILL happen! because it's my choice!): I find the right balance, I lose half a pound a week (let's just say...who knows...but just for argument's sake)...and well, let's see, how many weeks til Jamaica? (Consults with calendar...) OK, about 10 weeks. If I lose .5 pounds per week, that's 5 pounds between now and Jamaica, and I'd go there weighing 141. Okay, I actually don't see it happening QUITE like that. I think I will lose faster than half a pound a week at first...while I'm still working on the weight I only recently gained. Let's say I manage to get back to the weight where it starts to become significantly more difficult to lose....say week from now. I honestly think that's realistic. THEN, I hit the half pound a week mark and lose an additional 4.5 pounds...I'd weigh 135.5 pounds for Jamaica. THAT's nice. I like that a lot. Weighing 135 and not be starving and lacking energy? Yeah.

Plus, I am loving my new fitness routine - 45 minutes of cardio and give or take 30 minutes of strength training per day, plus stretching. At the moment I'm loving running but that can vary as the mood strikes me. Now, as I get fitter, I will burn more calories in that 45 minute block, and I will increase my muscle mass with the strength training especially considering I'm eating a lot, so my metabolism will increase and my body will get more effective at burning those 1,600 calories....

It's all a win-win really. The ONLY thing I must not do is to not get right back on the horse after I fall off. Yes, I'm saying it that way deliberately - I meant to imply that even if I fall off it's OK. I'd rather not, of course. I'd rather say no bingeing whatsoever, and I will certainly coach myself before holiday parties and whatnot to make good choices. BUT, if I should happen to fall off, the only thing I am going to request of myself is that I get right back on the very next day, NO BINGEING the next day. That way, the damage done is not only limited, it disappears quickly, so I can continue to progress.

Sure, I am motivated by Jamaica... but the major point here is that it's NOT all about looking good for one particular date or event. It's about making this lifestyle PERMANENT. And I think I'm well on my way!!

(PS - despite the eating disaster in San Fran, I realize that I didn't even have to debate with myself about going for that walk/jog every morning - I really WANTED to! What a change from a year ago!)


Making Mental Progress

Thursday, December 06, 2007

There is no way around it...either you learn it or you fail: It has to be a permanent lifestyle. NOT:
*a temporary diet
*something that is so strict you feel awful doing it (mentally or physically)

I hadn't learned this before. The OLD me wasn't doing it right: I ate whatever I want, didn't track or plan or count calories or balance nutrients, I was inconsistent in my exercise - either over an hour a day or none at all.

The WW/SP me of the past almost-year wasn't doing it right either: I planned and tracked an uncomfortably low number of calories, and when I inevitably hit the point where I couldn't live like that anymore, I'd fall WAY off the wagon and eat ridiculous amounts. (Though I must admit I've gotten pretty darn good with exercise already...)

Nope, no more. The consistent hard exercise (with no "freakouts" if I skip a day or two a week) stays, but the all-or-nothing attitude with diet is OVER. From now on, I will work with my calorie amount to find something where I feel like I'm eating enough to live my life. Still under control, but enough to feel good. Then, when I'm at an event where I can't plan ahead, I WON'T be crazy-hungry. I will recognize how much I need and will be able to stop when I've had enough. And if I do go overboard, it will be only a LITTLE bit overboard and I will get right back on track and a bad day/week will mean I've gained ONE pound, not 14!!

PS - weight is 147.8 today...but at WW meeting I weighed 151. My leader suggested lowering my goal weight, because my WW goal is 155 and she knows I want to be lower than that. But that'd mean I'd have to pay, so I don't think I'm going to. I actually think I'm in a REALLY good place mentally right now.

Sometimes I think I test my own limits, like a child does with a caretaker. Like last night, after I'd blogged about how great 1,600 calories was and I wasn't hungry, I thought about going on a binge - specifically, I wanted to eat another bag of nuts, which is 340 calories (2oz). After that I probably would have eaten a few other things too...maybe even more would have been bad. What stopped me was knowing I had a weigh-in today, but now that I think back I think I was also testing my own resolve. I wasn't even hungry - I can honestly now say I KNOW what "hungry" feels like and I wasn't there. I was thirsty and tired, but I didn't need to eat, AND I DIDN'T!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPIRALWRITER 12/6/2007 6:12PM

    Hi SEPPIESUSAN. You're right, those mental changes are the real breakthroughs! I'm finally getting a handle on those things myself, and the increased confidence makes a huge difference! And they're they key to a lifestyle rather than just another diet...

And good for you for resisting those nuts. I had the same kind of night last night, I kept thinking about eating another serving of veggie loaf. But I drank water instead and went to sleep. Believe it or not, I didn't waste away during the night. Amazing how things change, eh?


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First Day of 1,600 Calories - So Far a Success...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's 5:30 p.m. on a school day and I still have about 100 calories left to eat - a grapefruit and a cup of diet hot chocolate. This has been really nice and there hasn't really been a single moment all day when I felt overly hungry or wished I had more to eat. I can't get too excited because it's just the first day and who knows, maybe eventually I'll start to get "immune" to the "largeness" of 1,600 calories and feel hungry on this amount. The point is I can keep on playing with the number to find the best one for me. And I need to not be so afraid to do so! If I lose slower, that is a GOOD thing because it will be more likely to stay off. If I gain, it's not going to be nearly the same as going on a four-day, 14 pound binge - it might be a pound over the course of a week and then I'll know to dip my calorie number down a bit or increase my exercise. This is not a race - it is me trying to find a lifestyle that works. In fact, trying to race backfires - I don't want to be a yo-yo champion anymore!!

By the way, I was down to 148.8 today, which is quite a big loss considering yesterday I weighed 151.4. I wonder what all this yo-yoing has done to my body. Can't be good.

Oh, also, I scored "average" on the Stairmaster fit test yesterday for the first time in months - usually it's been "fair" lately. I'd just had a small coffee which may have something to do with it - coffee makes me temporarily fitter. But then I wasn't tired and fell asleep after midnight, which isn't good when you get up before 6:30 a.m.....


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