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Apparently "free" has a price tag

Monday, April 09, 2012

So my last blog was all about setting myself free from the scale because The Number became such a paralyzing force in my life. I figured if I stopped the weigh-ins, and continued along in my healthy eating and exercise lifestyle, I'd be fine and finally find some sort of peace when it comes to my almost crippling body image issues.

So much for that.

Seriously, it wasn't too bad. In 2 months I gained 2 pounds. Not exactly a tragedy, but still not really the point. And honestly, without that weekly barometer of empirical evidence of my weight, my sense of how I looked swung wildly over the course of a day - sometimes over the course of an hour. One minute I looked like a supermodel to myself, the next the 192 pound woman from 2009. So if I'm crazy both with and without the scale, I may as well add the scale back in.

Besides, the real reason the "free" experiment ended up costing me two pounds isn't rocket science. I have wandered well off the path of good eating. Lots of chocolate and sneaking not-so-great-for-you food at work because "it was there" (like I would never, ever, ever in my lifetime have the opportunity to eat it again) or because "I deserved it" (when what I really deserved was to feel good about the choices I made and not suffer that overwhelming sense of guilt afterwards). I didn't track my diet on days I knew I'd blow it, which totally defeats the purpose. Only tracking on good days is the ultimate in self-delusion. I stopped tracking on weekends, which for me is a "get out of healthy free card." Hello pizza! Hello way too much alcohol! Where have you been all my life?

My New Year's Resolution was to be a grown-up, and I haven't been acting like a responsible adult in a lot of ways. So - again - I am starting fresh. I have committed - again - to tracking religiously, not cheating, and laying off the booze unless it fits into my daily calorie plan.

I did give up meat (beef, chicken, pork) for what was supposed to be only a month at the beginning of the year, but enjoyed how I felt so much, I've continued that with no rigid rules. This past weekend i had meat, but was back to fish-dairy-eggs today with no self-recrimination. I am toying with the idea of also giving up fish, but we'll see. Again, no hard and fast rules.

Onward and downward, as I like to say. The goal - again - is to drop 5 pounds in a month. Mathematically, if I do what I say I'm going to do, it should work.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 4/21/2012 2:37PM

    Good for you, having dropped 2.6 with the return to tracking! This blog has a lot of affinities with my tracking blog today . . . . I only do an excellent imitation of a grownup, the best that I can sustain (and . . . don't always track those 30 calorie single portion 70% cocoa Lindt squares after the gym!! Just a tiny rebellion . . . . )

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STILLHAVEIT 4/9/2012 10:36PM

    Two pounds, two months, not enough to beat yourself up over. But like you, the scale is my friend even though it is not always friendly. I still use the one I got for a shower gift in 1968. So we have a very long term relationship. Good luck on your 5 pounds. emoticon

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Setting Myself Free

Monday, February 13, 2012

So I missed my latest goal. By a lot. I set out to lose 8 pounds by my birthday - just last week - and lost 2.

I'm getting really, really tired of trying. I've been working on figuring out why I can't stay motivated to eat the way I need to eat to lose weight, and I think there are a couple of factors at work here.

One - I may not have any more weight to lose. When I do everything right, I either don't lose anything, or I lose half a pound. 162 pounds, give or take a pound or 2, could be it for me. If that's the case, I need to make peace with that. I've gone from 192 pounds to 162, dropped from a size 16 pant to a size 10, an L/XL top to a S/M. I have kept the weight off for over a year. I have a waist, defined abs, arms and shoulders, and a BMI in the healthy range. Not exactly small potatoes. It may be time to accept and embrace this body as the final incarnation of me.

Two - I put far too much emphasis on the scale. It's the only concrete yardstick I put any stock in. I should have been taking my measurements all along, but I haven't been. My clothes are an excellent measuring tool as well - in fact, I dropped from a 12 to a 10 in pants without losing more than 5 pounds - but the scale has been the end all and be all. It has so much power over me. I treat 1 pound like 10, 2 pounds like 20. I base almost all of my eating - and cheating - around it. Weigh-ins once a week on Fridays became Thursdays, then Wednesdays, and all of a sudden I'm weighing myself 3 times a week. If I'm the same or down an ounce or two, I'm on top of the world and give myself permission to go to town on the danger foods. If I'm up, I relentlessly beat myself up for being weak, a failure, a fraud - and I cheat anyway. On Sundays I start seeing the scale looming once again and snap myself back into line. If I'm down, I look in the mirror and see a supermodel. When I'm up - even half a pound - I see the old me. My clothes feel tight and I feel self-conscious. I'm constantly looking at myself in the mirror, watching for bra-lines and muffin top. It's all psychological and ridiculous and I know it's stupid but I can't help it.

I don't want to live that way anymore, so I am setting myself free from the scale for awhile. I will base my progress solely on my success in tracking and not cheating, and in meeting my exercise goals.

I actually made the decision last week, and didn't weigh myself at all. It's already having an effect - I'm a lot more relaxed, and less concerned about how I look and how my clothes fit.

It seems strange to be still consciously trying to lose weight and have nothing to measure my success, or lack of it, by. But I'm so tired of one number defining everything about me.

Let's see how this freedom thing works.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 3/4/2012 11:58AM

    Very nice reminder blog. Yes, I let go of the scale about six months ago. You'll do fine, probably evern better since you are not tethered by numbers. Best wishes.

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WATERMELLEN 3/4/2012 11:55AM

    Great blog: how did I miss this one?

Beck writes about using the scale as a point of information, not moral judgment. I have a Beck card I pull out to remind myself . . .

But I do have to weigh myself. Yes I do.

And like you I have to track my nutrition. Big time. Forever. Don't like it. But that's me.

Enjoy your soccer in the rain: your daughter owes you, right?? (Or maybe you're passing it forward . . . ??)

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LIFEASMRSA 2/13/2012 2:11AM

    The scale can be your friend and your enemy. I hope you two can work things out :)

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2012 Resolution

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Anyone set any New Year's resolutions? I'm not usually one for that, but this year I have one, although it has a few moving parts.

I resolve to be a grown-up.

I know, sounds weird, but here's what I mean. Only children expect that they should get what they want the minute they want it. Only children believe if X is a good thing, X to the 10th degree is even better. So I resolve -

1. To be a grown-up financially. We have a line of credit from buying the truck last year that is no closer to being paid off this year because I keep "having" to dip into it. There, I said it. My husband and I make terrific money together and yet we can't seem to spend within our means. I am going to budget for the things we want, shop less, and get that damned LOC paid down. I am cheating our future by the way I've been behaving and that's ending. It's also setting a poor example for Katie, who really does think that money comes from a bank machine with an unlimited supply.

2. To be a grown-up with my health. Two years ago I went from 194 pounds to 172 pounds and was very proud of myself. Then I skated along for a year. One year ago today I resolved to lose another 10 pounds and I did it, and I'm still proud of myself. But I haven't achieved a single goal weight for myself in the time alotted. It may seem silly and arbitrary, but it's meaningful to me. The reason I haven't is because I haven't held myself accountable. I cheat, and I justify, and I slack off. I owe it to the unhappy 194 pound woman to really try, to really see how far I can go. I've set a new goal weight and I'm going to hit it, because I'm going to be a grown-up about it. I don't get chocolate or chips or pizza just because I want it at the time. A hard day doesn't justify not exercising and an extra serving - or two - of spaghetti.

3. To be a grown-up about alcohol. Do I have a problem with booze? I don't think so. The very fact that I'm asking the question would suggest I don't, but I'm also self-aware enough to know that I don't use alcohol responsibly, like a grown-up. One glass of wine becomes two, then three. And then I eat. Like the above example, a hard day at work doesn't justify an extra glass. I'm not going to give up completely, but will keep it to one glass an evening under normal circumstances. Special occasions are something else, but not an excuse to be an idiot. I would like to go this whole year without being hung over.

OK, so that's it. "They" say the best way to stick to a resolution or goal is to tell another person. Consider yourselves told. Thanks for reading.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEATHER1969 1/2/2012 12:41PM

    Yeah... I need to be a grown-up too.... GREAT GOALS! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/1/2012 4:30PM

    I often say that I do an excellent imitation of a grown up: i.e., never really "feel" like a grown up . . . but fake it fairly successfully!!

And: I'm with you on all these very sensible goals.

Hate hate hate to feel "hung over" -- ruins my whole next day --and even more hate the loss of self-discipine with food that for me results from more than 1 glass of wine, pretty reliably!!

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My Thinspiration

Monday, June 20, 2011

I've been going to my gym for a few years now. When I first lost a bunch of weight, I got a lot of possitive feedback, and it was great. I also couldn't help but notice that another woman was also looking a lot better.

She's probably a little taller than me, maybe 10 to 15 years younger. I don't know her name. I think she used to work at the gym, and maybe still does. She takes a lot of the same classes as me. And she's been getting thinner and thinner.

I've never spoken to her.

Yesterday after my class I saw her walking out of the spin room.

She looks even smaller now. Her former curvy butt has now melted into a firm and muscular behind. Her waist is practically non-existent and her face has gone from round to angular.

I, on the other hand, feel like I've stayed mostly the same over the last 6 months. I'm down 10 pounds from January, but that seems to pale in comparison to her drastic changes.

I'm not using this as a "down in the dumps, I suck, why do I bother" kind of thing.

I'm using it as a "hard work does pay off, you do see results, so stop making excuses" kind of thing. And I'm going to think about her every time:

emoticon I think about going off-track

emoticon I think about skipping a workout

emoticon I think to myself "it doesn't matter what I do/eat/say to myself."

And the next time I see her in the gym, I'm going to tell her how great she looks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 6/24/2011 5:36PM

    "Besides, nothing tastes as good as healthy feels, right?"

Amen, sister!! Amen!!

Love your new wallpaper: gorgeous!!

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HUGMONKEYMOM 6/20/2011 11:18PM

    I clicked on over to this blog expecting a picture of some athlete, model, or the like. This is SO much better. Congratulations on finding yourself a really healthy thinspiration. Well done I say!

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BECKYJ221 6/20/2011 5:10PM

  Fabulous! Great for you, & will be a great thing for you to tell her too :)

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dear 164 lb Treena,

Yes, I went there.

164.2 pounds, to be precise.

Not official, huh? Well, it will be when you "officially" get on the scale tomorrow morning and "officially" acknowledge what was on there THIS morning when you snuck on to get a sneak peek, expecting good news.

A week ago that was 163.8. A week before that it was 162.8.

You wanted to lose 5 pounds in March, remember?

If by some miracle you manage to see 162.8 on the scale tomorrow morning, this month will be a wash. If you're still where you're at today, you will have gained a pound and a half.

Not quite what we were hoping for.

Does this mean we're on our way to gaining back the almost-30 pounds we've lost?


Does this mean we should mope around, stop exercising, and - even worse - eat everything and anything we want because it just doesn't matter what we do?


Um, I'm sorry - I didn't quite hear you there.


Does this mean that somehow you have a big, bright neon sign hanging around your neck saying "hey everyone, look at me! I've gained a POUND AND A HALF! I'm a big fat pig!"


OK, now that we have that messiness out of the way, let's take a look at the facts.

Do you have a good idea as to why you're up a pound and a half?



OK, yes.

Yes, you do. Because after you got back from your vacation, you immediately went on a work junket where you didn't eat all that great and only exercised once. Then you came home, and that week had a wedding shower followed by the wedding two days later. Plus greek food the next night. The following week you had four nights out, including three ridiculously fabulous but not exactly calorie-conscious dinners - and lots of alcohol. Then you spend five days atoning and exercising like a fiend, and honestly expect to have no consequences on the scale?

It has nothing to do with guilt or being "bad" or failing.

It's just math.

So here's the thing. You only have 2.2 pounds to lose to hit your initial goal of 30 pounds lost. That's been hanging over your head for, like, EVER. So snap to it already. Whatever psychological thing you have going on that makes you sabotage yourself when you get close - which has happened twice now - knock it the eff off already. Once you bust through that, the 160 pound mark is just another two pounds away, and then just five pounds - that's five bricks of butter - to go to hit your new goal.

That's where you and I finally get to meet. Your clothes will be a little looser, your face will be a little thinner, your fabulous arms will be a little more defined, and you'll kill'em in your two-piece this summer.

So, you know what you have to do, right?

emoticon You need to track religiously, drink your water, exercise, and not let those nights out throw you off. You know, the same stuff you've been doing to get this far.

emoticon You need to stop cheating. Seriously. A couple of pieces of chocolate here and there doesn't matter as much at 180 pounds as it does at 160 pounds. When you're this close, every little bit counts. So cut it out. And I saw those two pieces you ate before you sat down here to write this blog.

emoticon You need to stay committed to amping up your workouts. You've started using two risers on your step - that's excellent. Keep that up and you'll burn those 1500 calories a week no problem.

So, we cool?

Yes, we cool.

Great - because I'm getting really sick of waiting around for you to get here. No one deserves this more than you do.

Love always,

155 lb Treena

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HUGMONKEYMOM 5/15/2011 11:13PM

    I am glad to see all the success you made while I was ... um MIA. No need to put those pounds back on just to make little ol' me feel better. emoticon

I'm with 155 lb Treena - get at it! I'm right with ya.

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WATERMELLEN 4/2/2011 10:08PM

    Great great blog. Oh, my, I feel like you crawled inside my head. As so often.

"Seriously. A couple of pieces of chocolate here and there doesn't matter as much at 180 pounds as it does at 160 pounds. When you're this close, every little bit counts.": so true. And what really brings this home to me is the calorie print out on the elliptical at the gym. When I was heavier, I could burn 400 calories easy in under 30 minutes. Now: no. I have to exercise harder/eat less to maintain the lighter weight.

It's all math. You're right. You've got my number!!

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CASJ57 3/31/2011 9:41PM

    Love this - you made me laugh (and nod my head ).


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