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First Scale-Free Weekend

Monday, December 20, 2010

This was my first scale-free weekend and it was an interesting change. It was an unusual weekend activity-wise, and I think it was a good test of my willpower to stay away from it.

There was a work holiday party Friday night, followed by another holiday party with friends. I spent the whole day with a friend on Saturday and then went out to eat, a movie, some shopping, and to eat again with friends on Sunday.

Did I stay within my calories through all of that? Probably not. Am I beating myself up about it? Not at all!!!

This new determination not to be defined by numbers is a concept I'm really warming up to the more I think about it.

I've lost huge amounts of weight very successfully through counting calories and exercising 4 times since the age of 14. Weight losses of 40lb or more. The problem is I've had zero success with MAINTAINING any large weight loss, or of maintaining a weight loss mentality long enough to get down to a weight I wanted to maintain.

Clearly, doing all the same things again isn't going to work for me. Sure, I can lose weight, even a lot of weight, but it wont do me any good if I gain it all back plus about half of what I lost every time. I tell myself over and over that it's not a diet and I'm not restricted in what I eat just in how much of it or how it's prepared. But the fact is I FEEL restricted. I sit and torture myself and want to eat and can't and am miserable all the time. Sure, I lose weight, and for a long time the changes on the scale and in my clothes make it worth the torture, but eventually it's not anymore.

My new attitude is to get healthy in a torture-free manner. I'm taking baby steps to needing to eat less and less, and being able to make better and better choices. I'm learning to like to stop eating when I'm satiated. I feel so much more accomplished having eaten a tiny bit more than intended the last few days but knowing that I wasn't torturing myself. I didn't suffer eating a tiny bit more, but I didn't just eat whatever was in front of me either.

If I'm going to get different results this time around, I need to do different things. I need to ACTUALLY change my attitude. I can say counting calories isn't a diet all day every day, but if I feel like I'm restricted then it's a diet. Plain and simple. I don't know how I'm going to find the balance with food yet. I want to count calories because so many things can sneak up on you, or it can be so easy to forget a little bite of something I had earlier in the day... I'm thinking of maybe switching to a food journal instead, and writing down what I eat, how much, and then some thoughts/feelings alone with it. Was I hungry? Was I bored? Could I have made a better choice? Why did I make the choice to eat this particular food? Those sorts of thoughts and feelings.

I really do want to move away from concentrating on numbers. I'm thinking a change to a food journal that includes a calorie count might be the place to start. I want to learn to track my calories in a be accountable for what I eat every day way, in a way that I can continue to do for the rest of my life. As much as I love SP, checking in to a website and entering every bite of food I eat and ounce of liquid I drink is not something I want to need to do forever to be accountable to myself.

I don't really know what my new lifestyle change strategy is going to look like yet.... I think it's going to evolve all the time. For now it's staying away from my scale and concentrating on changing my attitude where food (or a lack of food) is concerned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIVINGINOW 12/20/2010 7:27PM

    I'm glad you are giving up the scale :) I had to give it up for a few years, but now I can weight myself a couple of times a month and be ok with that... which is a RELIEF!! Sounds like you are on a great path :)

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SEAGLASSQUEEN 12/20/2010 3:01PM

    The scale is such a downer. I wasted too many days being defined by a number on the scale...I rarely weigh myself. I have been at goal weight range for years. I can tell by my clothes if I need to cut back. My aim is to be healthy not a number or a size, to be free to participate in life how I want to, to be free of the obsession of dieting, to be at peace with myself!

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EMI412 12/20/2010 2:52PM

    Some good thoughts here - I hope you find something that feels sustainable!

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Love / Hate that Stupid Scale!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm trying to prepare myself for a scalecation. As a daily weigher, this is REALLY tough. But just within the last 3 days I've had 2 mornings that really make me think it's for the best.

I don't want to set myself up now to do anything I don't want to continue doing when I hit my goal weight. I'm not one of those work out 5 days a week now but I only have to work out 2 when I'm thin. I don't eat at the extreme low end of my calories unless I know the next day or the previous day are at the extreme high end. I exercise enough that my calorie range is high enough that I can eat a lot, not feel like I'm on a diet, and still eat in more or less the same ranges when I'm done "losing weight".

I had a great talk about this with dear bf last night. The times in my life when I really loved my body were not the times I was thinnest, or weighed the least. They were the times when I was in great physical shape and considered myself an athlete. Not, you know, a talented one. I never placed in a single individual race, and I never made a team that actually had try outs, but an athlete none the less.
I went to a private high school, so during each 'season' they would have a few dr's come in and all the people on the competitive teams would line up and do our physicals assembly line style, girls in one gym, boys in the other. We'd already been practicing, as swim practice starts earlier than other sports, but had to do the physical before we were allowed to do a meet. Because it was set up 'assembly line' style, we lined up alphabetically, and you got to see what happened with the girls in front of you. Which means you saw how much the weighed. Which means that when the 3 girls in front of me weighed in at 110-120 I expected to be in about the same range. When I weighed in at 157 the girls around me all did what I thought were rude whisperings and I wanted to cry for the whole rest of the day. But in retrospect I wasn't any LARGER than they were, in fact, I wore smaller clothes than them and was taller. I'm assuming now that at least some of those whispers were surprise and confusion. I know now that I had A LOT more muscle mass than the girls around me, so I weighed more. It was exactly the opposite of being the fat girl. I had a 4 pack! How could I have possibly thought I was fat?!?!?! None of them had discernible abs!

So, long rant finished, the point of telling this story is that from that moment on I don't think I've ever had a healthy relationship with what the scale had to say. The scale was up just a tiny bit Wednesday morning, nothing that normal fluctuations wouldn't include, but I was disappointed. Not like, go binge and curl up in bed disappointed, but like if you asked for an m&m and wanted a red one and your friend handed you a green one disappointed. No biggie. And then I got dressed and I felt GREAT in my clothes. I put on a new cardigan I was worried would be too tight as it's an L instead of an XL and it looked FABULOUS on me. The buttons didn't even gap! I noticed in the mirror how my waste is starting to become more defined. I'd noticed earlier that morning when I crossed my arms that I could feel a bit of a bicep under all the smushiness in my upper arm. If it weren't for the stupid scale I couldn't have felt better about the little bit of progress I've made so quickly.

Because of that I tried to tell myself that I'd do a weekly weigh in on Mondays for a couple weeks and then give up the scale and tape measure completely until my birthday, and then only check in, and go another 3 months before I check them again.

But this morning I couldn't resist. Habit? Impatience? Delusional hopes of giant drops? Who knows. But I weighed myself. Still hovering at more the same weight as I have all week. While I was showering I was pouting to myself. How can I have gone most of last month eating so terribly and never exercising and only gained 3lb, but worked so hard for this month and only lost 3lb? It's like a 2000 calorie a day MINIMUM difference from when I'm binge eating PLUS exercising A LOT and working really hard when I do. I started to get really defeated thoughts, but caught myself. I really am working out A LOT and working out hard when I do. I feel a bicep that was NOT THERE two weeks ago. So no, I'm not seeing anything significant on the scale, and so far, I'm only seeing the slightest changes in my clothes and face. But I know better!! I KNOW how my body works and what it's doing. I didn't work so hard to get A's in anatomy and then in physiology to then sit here and say stupid stuff to myself. I know full well, if I just remind myself, that I'm going to replace fat in my muscles with more muscle fibers before I start losing ANY of my blubber layer. I also know that the ratio to fat lost to muscle gained is going to keep my weight more or less steady for a long time if I hold myself to the high standard of muscle building work outs that I'm excited about getting back into.

So why am I bothering with the stupid scale? Cause every once in a while I get a big drop in water weight and it makes my day? Because I can beat myself up and hopefully do better that day if I see a number I don't like?

There was a brief period in my life where I had what I think is a healthy relationship with food and fitness. I never weighed myself ONCE. I didn't count a single calorie. I used common sense and the proof of success was in how much more I could do physically and how I looked in clothes. I want to go back to that. I don't plan to give up on counting calories, or tracking exercise, but I NEED to give up on believing the scale is ever going to reflect the hard work I put in. I'm not particularly interested in being 'thin'. I want to get back to being buff. If I actually achieve that goal, I'm never going to see a very low weight on the scale or where an especially small pant size.

My new ultimate goal:
Size 8 pants
Size M shirts and sweaters
Be able to do all of the moves in all of my exercise classes
Work myself up from my current 3-5lb freeweights to 10-12lb freeweights.
Don't weigh in at all until 12/27, weigh and measure that morning.
Don't weigh in again until my 27th birthday on 3/27
Go to the gym 5-6 days a week.
Work out harder on the days I don't have a class to push myself in.
Swim regularly even though it's cold out (the best ST of all in my opinion)

Now I just wish you could make the tracker be pant sizes instead of what a stupid scale has to say!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETTERJULIA 12/21/2010 3:11PM

    Great goals! I love the way you think - I need to focus on it that way again too. Keep it up!

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I Love Beeeeeeeer!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I definitely had beer for lunch yesterday... 12 kinds of beer... and a pretzel... and some hot spinach and artichoke dip with house-made tortilla chips...

But I don't feel bad!! I don't know if I'm kidding myself or if what, but I feel like what I did was perfectly okay.

Yesterday was my dear friend's 30th birthday, a milestone birthday, and she was dissappointed when I spoke to her last week that she'd be spending the day alone or at work. So! I took the day off to be with her. I have plenty of vacation time to spare and Wednesdays are the easiest day for me to miss, so why not? Especially considering that I wasn't able to see her at all on her birthday last year due to finals.

I knew what we were likely in store for, so I made myself get up and start my day early. It helped that a friend of ours, who's wife just had to have surgery to repair a deviated septum on Tuesday, asked me to pick him up at the dealership that morning while his car was being serviced. Seemed like a great way to make sure I got a decent start to my day. I even talked my friend into starting the day off at the gym, since we were likely to eat and drink more than usual, and she went for it!! Now... she didn't go for it for very long once she got there, but I did get in a 30min very brisk walk on the treadmill while we chatted and about 15 minutes of strength training with free weights and the bosu. Considering that I basically had a free pass to skip it AND the friend I gave the ride to offered to take me to breakfast and I passed for the gym, I'd say that's a success.

After working out, showering, etc. we were to meet some coworkers of hers for lunch. They suggested the Cannery Row Brewing Company, and based on when they said they left a nearby town to meet up with us, the timing seemed perfect. BUT, when we got into the restaurant she got a call that they were only just THEN leaving said town (about 30 mins away). No big deal, we each ordered a little sampler tray of 6 different 2 oz beers and an appetizer to split while we waited. We had a fabulous time just chatting and sampling and munching on some spinach and artichoke dip. I'm proud to say that I didn't scarf it like I normally would something like that, I broke the chips into smaller pieces for dipping, and DIDN'T continue eating the chips when the dip was gone. That's a HUGE change for me!!!! I think it helps that I put on a cardigan that morning and the buttons didn't gap!! That never happens!! I felt really good about how my body is starting to look and definitely had that in my mind all through lunch. I did have another beer sampler, and had some of the fresh soft pretzel appetizer her coworkers ordered and one chicken wing, but considering what was in front of me, or what I normally would have ordered off the menu even if I was full from so much beer, I really feel great about my decisions.

Sure, if I considered myself on a "diet" I'm sure I would be totally beating myself up today. But I don't. I really don't. I really truly want to change my habits and my thinking and the way I live and approach my whole life. And if my really good friend has a milestone birthday, and I'm lucky enough to have the whole day with her, damn right I'm gonna sit and try all the christmas beers and have some snacks and split a piece of cake!!! I love good times with my friends!!! No, I can't go to lunch and have 12 beers, or even one beer every day and still feel like it's a healthy choice, but yesterday was a healthy choice. An emotionally and mentally healthy choice, and I feel great about it!!

I just plan to keep my calories at the bottom of my range today, and be sure to work extra hard in zumba tonight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETTERJULIA 12/21/2010 3:13PM

    Woohooo! Great job! I love the way you are making sure that you focusing on LIVING healthy and not dieting. Keep up the great work!

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Thank Goodness for Mental Health Days!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I took a mental health day yesterday, and I feel 5000 times better for it!! I don't know why mental health days are so frowned upon. If taking a sick day to get yourself together will make the other 4 days you're going to work that week more productive, I think it should be ENCOURAGED.

Well unfortunately 2 other staff people were 'sick' yesterday too (out of 5). I wasn't worried about taking a sick day because the person who covers for me is about to go on a 4 week vacation (and I'll be the only person covering for him, which means absolutely no days off for me for the holidays), so who would have thought he'd call in this week? I guess he's just really ready to be on vacation! Can't really blame him... so my boss had a mini pout over it this morning, but I did a great job of pointing out that it's his refusal to change policy that makes it impossible for me to work ahead in a very polite and non-accusatory way.

And I feel SO MUCH BETTER for it today!!! I just was not ready to face the music yesterday, I really just needed a day to rest. I'll have to really think about my weekend plans. I've been holding myself to a pretty high standard of what I have to get done on Saturdays (gym, errands, cleaning, everything I don't have time for on a week day), and since I was bored just sitting at home last Sunday I insisted that we go out and be productive this Sunday... but then I didn't feel like I'd gotten a weekend at all, so I needed Monday to just rest and veg out and be at home (not to worry, I ate carefully).

So this Sunday, I think I'll stick to minimal getting out of the house. I should get out and do something if I'm bored or there's something I need to do, but not overdo it. I don't feel bad about choosing not to go to the gym yesterday, but I am bummed that that means missing one of the classes at my gym that I really like. I'll strike the right balance eventually!!!

Tomorrow I take the day off to spend with one of my best friends on her birthday. It might be a challenge to stay on track, but after signing up for my gym a couple weeks ago she hasn't even been ONCE, so I'm hoping to talk her into starting our time together with the 12:15 zumba class. She's been wanting to try it and I think she'd be receptive to the suggestion of getting in something good for us before we go eat or drink or whatever... fingers crossed!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETTERJULIA 12/14/2010 4:41PM

    Sounds like a great plans!

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GODDESSELLIE07 12/14/2010 2:56PM

    Good luck on getting your friend to go to Zumba... I love zumba... I don't know how anyone wouldn't... lol!

And good for you for taking a mental health day. I took one last Friday and it was definitely needed. And shame on your cover person for calling in sick right before 4 weeks of vacation... that totally isn't fair to you!

Hope you and your friend have a good day tomorrow!

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A Side of Extra Grump

Friday, December 10, 2010

I went to bed at a responsible 10pm last night, but didn't get a wink of sleep until well after 3 this morning. It was SO AGGRAVATING!!! There are a few units of college age kids in our complex and they always get a bit drunk and loud late on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Normally they only walk by once when leaving to go somewhere and once when coming back so I just grumble and roll over. I don't know what was happening last night but a different little group of them would walk by so frequently that I laid in bed for 5 hours wanting to sleep. I was practically in tears I was so annoyed and frustrated. I couldn't even see how I could call the cops on them as it could have been one apartment or many, I didn't know which units they were coming and going from, and what were the cops going to do? Stand in the courtyard and get each little group in trouble? Even if they'd stopped one group there would have been 5 others after they left.

So I am TIRED today. With my defenses down due to extreme lack of sleep Blobby McFlabface has already started in and is really hard to ignore. He wants me to go home sick so I can sleep (oh god that sounds so good right now). Or at least run to the store and get a big pack of caffeinated soda to drink at my desk, but I haven't had a single diet soda at my desk ALL WEEK this week, and would really like to break the habit in general.

And he's telling me that after all I went through I DESERVE a nice lunch out, where calories don't count.... and that sounds really good too....

But I've got too much to do at work to ask someone to cover for me. I just have to tough it out. And I told myself I'd go to the gym after work to make up for skipping Wednesday to hang out with my best friend and her baby. If dear BF could pry himself out of bed early this morning (well the same time I get up for work) to go then I can go after work. I don't have to do anything strenuous, just a nice sweat on the stationary bike with my book for 30 minutes is fine, but especially as grumpy as I am today I NEED to go. If I don't go it will be way too tempting to take the easy way out for dinner and order in or pick up take out.

BUT I did GREAT again yesterday, even though I really didn't want to. Special thanks to SP buddy BETTERJULIA for helping me tough it out and do what I need to do!! I did NOT want to go to the gym, and Blobby McFlabface gave me every excuse in his arsenal not to go, but I went. I'd planned ahead to go, none of the excuses were valid and I couldn't convince myself that they were, so I went. Our friends came over and brought that cheesy bites pizza with them, which I knew was going to be evil, so I planned ahead by making a huge salad, some great healthy parfaits, and looking up the nutrition facts. I only ate one slice!! Me!! Of fresh pizza!! My BIGGEST weakness!! Only one slice!! Even when they left 3 slices in our kitchen after they left and there was no one there to judge me for eating some of them. I didn't even have to avoid the kitchen! I was able to pack them up for dear BF along with the salad leftovers for my lunch today. I can barely believe it. This week I have had chocolate and pizza and not even struggled with staying on plan.... I can't think of better proof that I'm really committed this time!

Looking forward to another productive Saturday and a more productive Sunday this weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETTERJULIA 12/10/2010 1:30PM

    Woohoo! Great job! I'm super proud of you for committing to what you needed to do. Keep up the great work!

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SIGNALSELLER 12/10/2010 1:28PM

    That is so awesome, 1 slice of pizza, wtg!! I don't feel that I'm strong enough to do that at this point so I've been avoiding pizza. But my day will come.

Try to will yourself to the gym, you will feel so much better after you get done. Then plan on a relaxing evening afterwards.

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