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redefining and (maybe) reenergizing

Monday, November 17, 2008

i hit a weird mark/milestone in this weightloss game that i didn't see coming. a little bit ago--a month, maybe? i can't even remember--i hit approximately 150lbs. that is (approximately) what i weighed in at my first year of college. that was my weight when i was 19 years old. when i lived in the dorm and grubbed on delicious mexican food with my friends at 2am when we were supposed to be pulling all-nighters studying. i weighed 150 when i was super tan and super active from hours of college marching band every week. it's what i weighed when i had the occasional "girls weekend" with my dorm buddies and we shopped at forever 21 and showed each other how we looked in different outfits in the dressing rooms.*

this has had a number of strange and unanticipated effects on my diet/exercise regimen. first, it made me oddly nostalgic for a time in my life I don't think about all that much anymore. not that it wasn't a blast, but i tend to get a little on the depressed side thinking about a time like that, that was so much fun, and is now long past. faces and places i'll never see again, and a general longing for my hometown of tucson, not to mention that my time in the bay area has outlived its usefulness and i should be hatching a scheme to get the f outta here and go home soon. see? not good for moving forward.

and that idea of "moving forward" leads me to the more damning #2 on the list of strange effects: i stopped wanting/trying to lose weight. i feel like i have my 19 year old body back. how much more can a person really ask for? i realized at the time that it's not perfect, and i wanted to be skinnier back then, too. but it was a time when i was far less self-conscious, when i had a lot of energy and that post-high school joie de vivre that my mid-20s just haven't delivered. i wasn't happy with the way i looked back then, but i was content. and i feel content with it again. and i like this feeling.

maybe what this is really telling me is that the theory out there about our bodies defaulting to a certain size has some truth to it. since i hit 150, i almost stopped exercising entirely. i went back to normal eating--i don't binge on bad stuff, but i don't avoid it either. and i've been maintaining it perfectly, even dipping down below 150. i remember one weekend i ate TWO egg, cheese and sausage mcgriddles at something like 2,000,000 calories apiece, and the following monday when i weighed in was the first time i had dipped as low as 148. so who knows.

there's only really been one big thing still keeping me interested in the weightloss game. yep, sadly, #3 on my list of unexpecteds is that i've become somewhat of a shopaholic. size 10 (and sometimes 8!!) is a helluva lot better than size 12, and M is better BY FAR than L/XL. i used to hate shopping, but now i can't seem to pass by a shop window that says "sale" without going in to try a few things on. it can still be discouraging, but just the fact that i can brave smaller sections is a high. i'm doing better at thrift stores too, because more stuff fits. i can't help but think how much fun it will be when even MORE stuff fits me. right?

so onwards and upwards i suppose. 150 ain't awful, but the other day i stepped on the scale and it read a miraculous 147. it made me think, maybe if i start it up again i can turn some heads when i go home for the holidays. more importantly, as happy as i'd been at 150, 147 sort of woke me up by making me even happier. imagine that.


*author's note: yeah, i was 150 my freshman year of college, but that WAS the second semester, after that inevitable first-semester freshman weight gain. i'm sure i'm sugar coating my sentiment here, because i remember being at the doctor's and having that weight read to me, and me being somewhat discouraged by it. also, i think the whole girls-weekend-forever 21-clothes buying thing happened all of one time. maybe twice. oh well, memories are always best through the rose-colored glasses, aren't they?

  
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METALBABE 11/17/2008 12:32AM

    What a great, introspective post. I think knowing your patterns and recognizing the feelings behind your behaviors are incredibly powerful tools. There's no limit to what you can do with that kind of information, and motivation. You go, girl!

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my body haaaates me

Monday, May 05, 2008

...and just think, it used to be the other way around. oh wait...it still kind of is. i guess it's just more of a mutual feeling now.

so i've moved on to a new form of physical torture. i picked up a copy of the infamous slim in six two weeks ago, and i don't think my body has been happy with me since. did the first leg of the workout (start it up) for two days. the first time i popped the dvd in, i was thinking to myself the whole time, "this is supposed to be difficult? it's a cake walk!" much to my (body's) chagrin, i woke up the next morning with more muscle soreness than i've ever had--more than i've had from turbo jam, kickboxing classes, lifting weights with the tony horton series, even running. what the hell??

so i engaged in the stretching portion and did the workout for the next day. again, not a hard workout, but still SORE the next day. i moved on to the second workout (the 40ish minute ramp it up), and realized i might be sore from not drinking enough water. so i got better about doing that, and sure enough, even though i was on the longer/tougher workout, the soreness mostly went away.

fast forward two weeks, and i've been on burn it up for a couple days (the final leg). the general soreness has returned. not as intense as the first time i tried the workout, but i'm definitely experiencing something. these workouts are SO HARD to get through, and instead of my body rewarding me with weight loss, it's punishing me for making it work so hard. every time i sit down on the floor, it's just...ow...all over.

it might be worth it if i was experiencing more visible results. i can tell there's a general tightening of my body in problem areas, but no measurable loss since i started these workouts. but the soreness is a sign that something's going right...right??

exercise is supposed to make us feel better, isn't it? more energized? happier? it just makes me exhausted, sore and, at this point, just kinda discouraged.

  
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METALBABE 6/1/2008 10:33PM

    Don't forget that rest is just as important a part of the process of getting in shape as the exercise part. Your muscles need time to heal. It's been a few weeks since this post - give us an update in your blog when you have a chance - we are dying to know how you are doing!

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MYKIDSMOM726 5/5/2008 10:36PM

    Wow...congratulations on the hard workouts! YOU are doing GREAT!!!!

If your muscles are sore, I would surmise it means you've torn the muscle fibers which is a good thing because it means you are building muscle and will burn more calories, even at rest.

However, it's critical that you rest in between workouts so you don't overtax a set of muscles 2 days in a row. Then you could be doing more damage than good. The muscles need this time to rebuild.

If you are exhausted, are you following the plan as directed? You're not working out too much, are you?

Also, are you getting enough sleep and eating healthy food that will make you more energized? If you eat sugar and refined carbs it can make you very tired.

You might know all this already, I just wanted to send you a note because you deserve credit for working so hard on your exercise! YOU are doing so great...I just hope you protect your body and don't overdo it, WallyCat!

emoticon

I hope you feel better soon.

Take good care.
Stacy

Comment edited on: 5/5/2008 10:35:31 PM

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a new pair of jeans

Monday, March 31, 2008

in one of my bizarre fits of fat-paranoia today, i tried on my fiance's jeans. i was folding the laundry and they were sitting in the basket, just tempting me. he's a svelte 31-30, so i figured there's no way i'll ever actually fit in them. still, i couldn't resist.

i was right. there was no way those buggers were going to zip. but, to my shock and surprise i was able to pull them up over my hips. i lost five pounds this month. i think i'm an inch smaller around the waist (though i discovered it's really hard to measure yourself with any real sense of accuracy). the way i figure it, i'm maybe ten pounds away from being able to zip these bad boys up.

so i'm going to make this my new mini-goal. i want to be able to wear his jeans comfortably. not because they made my butt look REALLY good (better, i daresay, than my own jeans), but because i think that'll put me one step closer to fitting decently into a pair of skinny jeans. i've been wanting to sport a pair of those under these awesome calf boots i got in january, but i can't even bring myself to try a pair of them on for fear of what they'll look like on me. but now i think i know: when i'm thin enough to wear his pants, i'll be thin enough to pull off the jeans-in-the-boots look. i hope.

i also decided to start in on the infamous 'rewards' list. subject o future revisions, here goes:

150 - new dress. a cute one that i can wear out to dinner here in the city.
140 - massage! haven't had one since last summer in thailand, and it's time again.
130 - trip to the salon for a waxing. whatever hair i decide needs to go when i put on a bikini for the first time since my pre-teen years :P

  
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MOJAVEMAMA 4/6/2008 12:17PM

    You already made great progress and I am sure you willl be hitting your goals in no time. A bonus on the waxing is you may lose a pound. I had my arms waxed last summer and lost a pound. Who knew there were hidden weight loss benefits to waxing?

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off the wagon?!

Monday, March 10, 2008

i worked hard all week with fresh cooking, staying within my calorie count and sweating mercilessly to turbo jam/turbo sculpt/turbo crazy abs.

saturday, my "break day" i decided to settle for a mile or so walk to my neighborhood farmer's market. fresh air, beautiful weather, cheap local fresh produce goodness, and...omg...a wildly tempting taco cart??

el huarache loco. it's poor placement for someone who's hitting the farmer's market to IMPROVE health. i did it, i gave in. and here's the best part: i DON'T feel guilty. because unlike those occasional fast food binges after a long period of healthy eating when i just start to miss greasy red meat and french fries, this food was INCREDIBLE. DELICIOUS. HIGH-QUALITY. PREPARED WITH LOVE. it was a mouthful of sinful and tantalizing flavors. yeah, it was calorie- and fat-packed, but considering how flavor-packed it was, it was kinda worth it.

the damage? one tlacoyito con carne...thick fried corn tortilla, generous helping of carne asada, incredible queso fresco. best salsa verde i've had in my life and farm-fresh cilantro. this was no desperate junk food binge, but a culinary masterpiece.

in one of my previous "diets" i remember stopping off at taco bell in a desperate attempt to get a meat-and-cheese fix. i felt guilty and disgusting for a couple days after. it's been thirty-six hours and counting since this meal and my mouth still feels good. i guess when i think about it, knowing that a healthier me can handle good, hearty food like this on occasion (and in moderation) i'm on my way to a healthier relationship with food.

  
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MOJAVEMAMA 3/10/2008 11:25AM

    That sounds delicious! I am a true believer that when you really crave something you should have it (in moderation). If it is forbidden, I am more likley to over eat when I do splurge.

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MOJAVEMAMA 3/10/2008 11:25AM

    That sounds delicious! I am a true believer that when you really crave something you should have it (in moderation). If it is forbidden, I am more likley to over eat when I do splurge.

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WHITING15 3/10/2008 11:05AM

    WOO HOO That taco sounds delicious! I've for some reason really wanted Taco Bell lately haha. But anyways congrats on your attitude with eating it. It is better to enjoy the foods that are "forbidden" while you eat them, don't feel bad just move on and eat a better dinner or walk a little further later. For me, feeling bad about a food choice just leads to more bad food decisions. Thinking, oh well I already ruined my day might as well add a cookie, cake, ice cream, and fried something else to my day as well. But no, you accepted it and enjoyed it and moved on. Woo hoo to a day where food did not rule you! Congrats! Have a great day!

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over-indulgence should be my middle name

Monday, March 03, 2008

i've gone on lots of whim diets before, where i don't actually make goals and rules for myself. i basically would just resolve to eat healthier and work out when i had the time. i have no doubt this helped my overall health, but it didn't do a damn thing for weightloss.

this was fine, because i never made losing weight a concrete goal before. but what always happened was i would make exceptions to my 'healthy eating' that would basically allow me to live it up on weekends. weekends, for me, of course included at least half of fridays ;)

doing this without that two-and-a-half-day break is going to be the hardest part for me. so i decided to embrace my need to indulge, rather than deprive myself. i've noticed a lot of people on spark have set up a goals & rewards system, which i know will work wonders for me.

i just got a haircut last week, as my motivator to seriously get started. i figured if my body wasn't great my hair might as well be...and now my body just has to catch up. the final reward, of course, will be the red bridesmaid dress in october. so what in between? i noticed that a few stores downtown are selling some cute wrap dresses. and i haven't had a massage since i was in thailand last year. and of course, i can allow myself the occasional food reward because i haven't had a seafood salad at fisherman's wharf for a loooong time now (it was before i moved to sf a couple years ago, actually, when i was just visiting as a tourist).

so now all i have to do is figure out exactly when these rewards should fall in line with my goals. fun times ahead if i stay on track...

  
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FIERCEBALANCE 3/4/2008 3:00AM

    Hi there Wally.Cat! Maybe your story about your middle name should change!

What about "planned indulgence'? Or "wise indulgence"?

I agree with Lucrece--if there are no treats in my life, there is no joy. If there is no joy, I know myself. I will say "F" it, and walk away. So, I plan for treats. Not at the expense of veggies or fruits or complex carbs. But I have around 200 cals of chocolate most days and it makes this whole big change in my life work for me.

I totally resonate about not making weight loss a goal until now. I just wrote a blog partly about that topic. Also, the concrete reward system is basic Skinner psych 101--which works!

Good luck!

Ari

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LUCRECE 3/3/2008 7:50PM

    Hey, I just moved back to SF a couple years ago. On days like today, so clear and blue, i wonder why i ever left. Anyway, some SP people have been encouraging me to allow treats but only in a controlled fashion. Example: I can have chocolate at night, but only if I've worked out that day. I work out most days so 260 calories of chocolate is within my plan. It has helped me have my cake and eat it, too...or I should say "candy." hope that helps... Best of luck to you.

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