Monday, April 28, 2014
This has been an important year. This has been the year I stopped working at maintaining my weight as job to do and instead I've made it my life.
Working outside the home I spent a long time trying to hold onto old patterns of cooking twice or more a day, tracking all my food on SparkPeople, and working out every day on top of additional work. It was exhausting. I had to step back, reassess, and cut back to what I could manage versus what I wanted to do.
I tested boundaries of when I could eat as well as what to eat, even skipping snacks or realizing I didn't need to indulge every snack. Altering my diet turned out more forgiving and not as dire as I made it out to be in my head.
It is no longer necessary to enforce that I must exercise each day, too. Instead I bring opportunities for exercise into my day when and where it is most convenient, like strength training at the gym after work or doing cardio on my bike trainer at home, yoga on Fridays.
I learned to be flexible with diet and exercise which opened up further options for my social life and local support system, an area of my life I need a lot of work.
I continue to struggle with stress eating; for that I need to seek professional help. Luckily I now pay for the insurance to be able to do that. This should also help with the challenges I experience coming to terms with my asexuality, mixed with my frustrations for societies standards of sexuality, relationships, and gender.
This summer I will be moving into a new apartment, seeking new and safe relationships, working the jobs I enjoy, having some physical, dental, and mental work done, as well as getting back to a more comfortable size by allocating less time to cooking and more time for exercise.
It feels like a graduation. I haven't meant to disappear but my needs and my goals have outgrown the services that SparkPeople and it's wonderful community provides. I have gained so much here, finally learning to love my body and the bodies of everyone else, finally finding the difference between weight and comfort, sharing the struggles of so many. I will treasure those memories forever.
Being healthy and happy is how I exist. Now for the hard part: platonic dating. Yikes!
Friday, January 24, 2014
My 3rd year anniversary of maintaining came and passed quietly and happily. The mountainous goals I set out for at the start of everything nearly four years ago have evened out into rolling hills of ups and down, proving challenging at times but manageable.
My biggest fear used to be gaining back any amount of weight. It was a deathly fear, tantamount to failure, indicative of an inability to remain healthy, of a need to backslide into obesity. My measures of success have relaxed since then. The actual success I find is over time being able to maintain a healthy weight range on an intuitive level day to day. When I do gain, I have the tools and knowhow to correct the issue accordingly, as I am practicing currently by tracking my food and increasing my exercise.
I still face difficulties. I continue to deal with a serious food addiction, I struggle reacting to stresses or understanding how much is too much work for me to take on, and I still have trouble maintaining a consistent exercise routine. But the largest hardships of my weight are now behind me, completed during the journey it took to burn off the excess, to learn everything about health, fitness, nutrition, and life that I needed to keep it off on an intuitive level, and the acceptance and love to sustain continued self care as a priority. With it gone, it is so much easier to control and handle a permanently changed lifestyle. It is the light at the end of the tunnel and the start of the larger journey of a healthy and happy life, I just had to take the time to realize I was already living it.
Thank you for joining me during these travels, we are awesome.
Friday, December 27, 2013
As I round up on my third year maintaining anniversary in January I am fifteen pounds above my goal weight. I continue to believe I am maintaining. It is a little regression, it sucks that my pants don't fit but it's not a complete regression.
The lesson I'm taking away from 2013 is that work is the biggest roadblock in my life to maintaining my physical and mental wellbeing. I've been working five parttime jobs, 40+ hours a week. I've increased my income by 1.5% over last year and I'm really good at my jobs but I'm exhausted all the time. I don't have the energy resources to work 40+ hours a week, cook dinner each day, clean, take care of the pets, run errands, and workout regularly.
In fact, I learned that on the days I did fit in a workout I would not have enough willpower left over to complete my work. Maybe some people can just determine the work isn't worth it but it is an obligation I have promised to complete. I also like to pay rent regularly, it's a responsibility thing.
It comes down to a matter of willpower. It is for me an exhaustible resource. Studies show perhaps willpower is something that's all in my head. www.livescience.com/38980-willpower-
That may be true, but I believe in it. And come 9, 10, 11 at night (every weeknight) when I still have work to complete for the day and my willpower is gone, I will replenish it as necessary with glucose. www.scienceandreligiontoday.com/2011
Which is why come 9, 10, 11 at night when I don't want to be working I'm going to stress eat.
Ultimately this is why I'm not surprised that I can't maintain a workout schedule on top of 40+ hours of work a week, daily cooking, nutrition tracking, cleaning the house, as well as completing necessary errands or appointments. This is why I'm not surprised to be up 15 pounds, although I am surprised I haven't gained more.
I do have a brief break from four of my jobs right now, which I will be taking advantage of. For Christmas I gifted myself with a Precision Dance Pad and set up StepMania with plenty of my favorite Jpop and Kpop songs. I am easing back into workouts that will fit into my schedule and not completely exhaust my willpower. I'm also getting back to tracking my food on SP after I've already eaten, much the same as I did when I was just starting out.
I'm also going to be working less in the Spring. I want to earn a comfortable income, but I also want to maintain my physical and mental wellbeing as a priority. I can best do that when I have less work going on, no matter how much I like the work. I have to draw this line even though I don't want to.
All in all I'm maintaining, even one to two pant sizes up, and that's not too shabby. Now pardon me, I could sit on my butt fiddling around on the internet but I'd rather be on my feet playing StepMania.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
I made my friends take so many photos of me yesterday, out hiking through a local park in my awesome new Scouting Legion hoodie. It looks so good!
Bit-by-bit I'm catching up on sleep and I'm happy to get a few miscellaneous tasks done today like emails and read the latest Attack on Titan chapter and watering the herbs. Soon I need to bring them inside.
My workout didn't happen today as planned and I'll have to make it up later. I might break out the bike trainer instead of hitting the gym for a treadmill walk/run.
It's still a challenge to make exercise a day-to-day part of my life. Starting out I learned how to overdo exercise, going at it 7 days/week to burn 500 calories per workout. Of course then I hit maintenance and needed to find how to stop losing. At one point I was able to consider any movement like errands or running tasks to be exercise and still maintain.
Then I started eating more (about 100-300 calories per day) and light errands didn't cut it. If I want to eat what I eat, I need to always work out in a regular fashion.
It's just difficult; I get bored with exercise. I keep switching as I become interested in different types of cardio, related to my ability to multitask during the activity and how many calories I would burn. Wii Fit I could work out during and watch TV. Then biking I could even accomplish errands outside, or I could set up the bike trainer and watch TV. Right now running/walking on the treadmill or on the elliptical at the gym I can watch TV and read. I like doing that because during a workout is typically the only time in my day I have for actually watching TV and reading.
And I must say, strength training is the ultimate bore. It's just do a few reps rotating through many machines to burn maybe a few extra calories. There's no where in there that I can multitask and watch TV or read, and those are the incentive I need to keep working out.
Yoga is good not only for my mind but also my flexibility, but the classes are not conveniently scheduled to be able to fit into my day. I work at 6am, 8am, or 9am depending on the day, workout in the afternoon, come home to make dinner, do laundry, menu plan, and then work until midnight or 1am. Sleep, repeat. Off on Saturdays, usually to spend time with friends.
I also want to attend martial arts classes, but the same issue makes it impossible right now.
Sometimes I can also get excited about a new cardio regime because I'm training to participate in an event, like a 5K. But not very often since I'm already in pretty good condition, enough so to be able to run such events without a great deal of advance training.
I just keep getting bored and I can't stick with anything. This is why exercise must be a job for me, a set obligation that I have to account for. It's a work in progress, but identifying the underlying obstruction helps me attain a true solution.
This is the same for when I binge. Binging is a problem, it happens with regularity and is something I have been working on to varying success. At one point I was able to prevent binging by asking myself whether I would feel better or worse if I ate what I was seeking to put in my mouth just then. That solution is no longer working which is understandable because it didn't necessarily identify and attack the underlying cause.
I think I have stumbled on that just this weekend by discovering there are different varieties of binge eating. It sounds obvious yet it's never quite examined in a way that I've been able to discern. Instead there is a focus on binging in general such as how to identify and deal with it, as well as emotional eating specifically.
None of which actually has helped me deal with my form of binging: stress eating. When I need to work but it is stressful I escape by making food and eating. Then I feel more stressed, so I eat more, adding more stress and more of a need to hide behind the act of eating and continue to avoid actually dealing with the original source of stress.
Maybe the information about this cycle of avoidance through eating is already out there and I just wasn't yet in a place to recognize it. But now I have been able to understand it as the culprit in order to help myself better.
Granted much of the act of binging is nurtured by the toxic chemicals of addiction, but at least in knowing the trigger I can potentially head off a new cycle before it gets that far.
Looking for those underlying causes can be hard, we have to break down our defenses and really own up to our mistakes. But there's a silver lining, letting us understand the problem and giving us the weapons we need to effectively fight back.
It's good I've found this during a time when I greatly need it. The holiday season is amping up with work on top of online meetings on top of tutoring on top of workouts on top of movie parties, 5Ks, pumpkin carving parties, mozzarella making class, pie making plans, and car repairs. That's just for October and November, December will probably be even more nuts.
I'll keep doing my best!
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