Losing Weight is not that hard.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

No really, trust me. I've lost a lot of it and it's really not that hard.

You follow a set of parameters, and the math and science speaks for itself. Eat less, move more - weight leaves. Fixing these underlying issues that cause us to gain extra weight is WAY WAY harder.

I'm still not tracking at the moment because I want to learn what I do when I'm not bound by a set of numbers telling me what to do. It's very difficult for me to do this... *sigh* Very frustrating. There have been very good days on this tactic - showing me I know how to treat myself well and am capable of doing it! And then there are some bad days.

I'm trying to figure out what is eating me right now. Today I started to get ready for my run and I thought about all the STUFF that was cluttering around the house -- I would go run and come back and all that stuff would still be sitting there... so I thought to myself, maybe I've been eating worse at home this weekend because of all the clutter putting a background of stress and burden on me and wouldn't I feel great if I got that all taken care of? SO! I did it. I opted not to run (I figure this can be a little cut back week on my running or something so I don't injure myself and get overtrained 3 days off in a row is kind of a lot to me but this was worth it) and I got that all cleaned up.

It feels nice in the house but... there's more to do. I need to clean the bathroom. I need to take care of the bedroom.

There's something else I thought of that might be bothering me as well. So - my sweet and wonderful DH has been feeling "fat" lately himself - he's been gaining weight working on his dissertation and whatnot and he feels very self-conscious about it. I know he feels worried sometimes that I'm going to leave him or something. The thought came into my head that maybe I'm sabotaging myself so that he will not feel bad and that won't be anything that ever comes between us. Now that is stupid. Rationally speaking -- how could hurting myself be productive and positive to our relationship? It's not like I'm actually sacrificing something to his benefit... But I seriously wonder -- I'm doing most of my overeating when he is asleep and I'm by myself so I wonder if that separation is triggering those fears of being alone.......... *SIGH*

STUPID EMOTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!! And FOOD! Why do we do this to ourselves? I'm a smart woman who knows how to take good care of herself physically, but I don't know that I really understand how to care for these things. At least not yet.

All I know is that I have a plan of action:

1. Talk to DH about my theory re: self-sabotage.
2. Do ST tonight at home so that I don't feel like I didn't do anything physical today.
3. Finish my mission to get the house in order (items other than a to be completed over time - ok actually tomorrow I want b and c to happen as well)--
a. Clean the bathroom tomorrow morning.
b. Pack away cold-weather/toowarm clothing
c. Create a space for sweaty workout clothes to air out - specifically!
d. Pack the kitchen items that will not be used before we leave.
e. Pack other items that will go into storage while we're w/ the in-laws
5. Make a grocery list tonight/tomorrow to be completed shopping on Thursday. Goal - use up pantry items as much as possible between now and when we leave.


I got problems, people! But I think that just makes me human, not a freak. It's hard to deal with. I have been tempted to just simply go back to tracking everything and following the numbers because I know that "works". Well - it DOES work. To lose weight. But I'm afraid that inclination is just another way of running from the hard work it's taking to figure these things out and that it will be much more beneficial to me in the long run to confront them even if it's causing my weight to fluctuate.

I did have some positive actions this weekend.

Saturday I ate too much between when I woke up (very late at like 12:45pm or so) and when I went running later. I stopped eating at around 3pm, so I was eating for around 2 hrs at least. Too much food. I did a 6.5 mile run - cut it short from 7 because of very threatening sounding thunder and the party! - and toward the end I started feeling REALLY sick to my stomach. I was bummed! The host of this party had prepared some of his awesome BBQ, etc. Well -- rather than adding more misery to my miserable self by eating more and more and feeling sicker at the party because I "didn't want to miss out" - I made myself a take home plate to sample the best looking items and just drank a LOT of water.

Later that night I was able to enjoy the food in the comfort of my own home and without feeling sick. So two thumbs up for that! I was proud of listening to my body and finding a way to be flexible.

Yesterday I also ate too much earlier in the day before my DH woke up but then when we went out he wanted to go get some pizza at this place and I was just like *BLURGH* well. We went anyway. I had a bit of the crust and one bite of the pizza because I wanted to taste it and a bite of the tiramisu. Honestly the pizza was NOT good other than the crust (to me). I was very proud of again not just eating to be a part of the group and ordering so I wouldn't MISS anything. I know that is ridiculous and I didn't act on it.

SO! :D One thing kind of conquered this weekend! I also was able to realize that sitting around at home eating and watching TV all day (yep, I was being mindless) made me have a horrible mental image of myself and that when we got out of the house both Sunday evening when I went to my friend's party and Monday evening when we went out to the pizza place (and Target) I was able to see myself in a mirror and in the glass front of the restaurant and realize I was not some huge fat miserable slob - although I was treating myself that way and feeling that way. I was sooooooo stuck inside my HEAD that I was out of touch with reality.

This new thing I'm trying is definitely not going to be a short term weight loss solution but I'm going to stick with it for a while longer. I'm still weighing myself so I do have a number to help keep things overall under control - I'm not trying to gain weight or anything... :P Of course it's gone up after the poor eating days but less than I imagined and I know after a few days of eating better and in reasonable portions it will likely fluctuate back down again. If not I will have to put my experiments on hold for a while so I don't let things get totally out of control to a place that it's harder for me to recover from physically. Does that sound reasonable?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow! Dana, this is an incredible blog! Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us. I know there are several portions that I can relate to, and I feel confident these themes resonate with a lot of people.

    I think counting (you know I don't do it) can definitely serve as a surrogate for other areas of our life that need attention. Which is not at ALL to suggest that it cannot also be useful, healthy, etc.

    The armchair psychiatrist in me is really feeling your self-analysis of the situation with your husband. Not to mention the changes you two have gone through with his graduation. Graduation is obviously "good stress" but it is still stress! And our relationships definitely impact upon and influence our diets, self image, etc.

    Anyway, you are such a success story! So inspiring and amazing to so many of us, it is really cool how you "keep it real" and show peeps that it takes constant work. I feel like everyday I am battling freaking "psy-ops" in society trying to make us fat! And that is in the best of times, add any extra "stuff" to the constant market/societal pressures we face and it is tough!
    3474 days ago
    It does feel fantastic to declutter the house, doesn't it?!?! I've been working on that for a while, since we are getting ready to put the house on the market. I truly believe that when my life and stuff around me is cluttered, my brain becomes cluttered too, and that does not lead to good decisions. :) Glad you were able to pinpoint some of the emotions that could be holding you back. Maintenance is way harder than losing weight. I think it's always going to be a bumpy journey but one that is totally manageable. Thank goodness we have Spark! :)
    3474 days ago
    Wow! You certainly seemed to have nailed it. I have have had a lot of those same emotions, etc... Thanks for sharing and letting us all know we aren't alone. And thanks for saying that losing weight isn't hard. While that is a tough thing for me to hear, I appreciate it and see it for the truth it is. Thanks!
    3474 days ago
    We are going shopping today-- I made my list!!
    3474 days ago
    Wow, scary. I've been going through some of the same stuff as well.

    Good luck to you. You sound like you got things under better control than I do. Great job on making a list and wanting to talk to the DH about your feelings. I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

    Thanks again for showing me that I'm not the only one out feeling this stuff.

    Take care!
    3474 days ago
    I know, I KNOW!!! OMG.
    Take care, Dana! You're always a good example.

    Love ya,
    3474 days ago
    As for the tracking thing, I know when I was doing it seriously I tried to never miss a day and by the time I'd done it for three or so months I knew I could pretty much guess the calories in what I was eating. When I stopped for a week just to see what would happen I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was still doing okay once I started again!

    That was a long time ago, though...I'm going to try to do that again! It is good to not be a slave to tracking and the trick to that is to try to work what a certain amount of calories looks like into your brain.

    That's just what worked for me....and hopefully will again!
    3474 days ago
    Kudos, kudos and MORE kudos to you Dana!

    Your blog is full of SMARTS just EVERYWHERE! Sure we ALL have problems, you betcha! But diggin' down in to unravel, to peel the onion...whew! THAT'S the hard work behind maintaining!

    Thank you so much for sharing because I'll tell ya: I see an AWFUL lot of ME in your experiences and I'm betting there are BUNCHES of us all over who are reading your blog just nodding in empathy and having light bulbs going off over the insights you are sharing too!

    3475 days ago
    Great plan! I think for me, I haven't learned to get the numbers (especially calories in!) under control yet. So, losing weight seems hard to me because it seems hard to stay in my calorie range. But I know what you mean about how it theoretically is not that hard. I know what to do in theory, but actually doing it is another story!

    Good luck with your well-thought-out plan! emoticon

    - Karen
    3475 days ago
    Hum, I never thought about not food tracking. To me, it's just become a habit. Now, there have been times where I haven't tracked in a while but it's was because of knowing that I overate at the restaurant or BBQ or friends house for dinner. Or the 2 weeks we were in NY, staying with family and not having a say in what was being cooked. And the results of not tracking were not good.

    Your blog gave me something to think about.....mindful eating and knowing what and how much I eat, without tracking.

    3475 days ago
  • TAMTAM64
    You are right on target that it is way harder to maintain weight loss & figure out "what is eating you" than losing weight. Anybody can lose weight if they put their minds to it but really transforming the brain & way of thinking is the key to keeping it off.

    I believe you have to be "aware" of what you are eating during maintenance but tracking every calorie and measuring out every portion is not the way to live til you die...

    You know what the good choices are. You know what reasonable portions are. You know what it feels like to be hungry & full and you know what it feels like to overeat.

    One of the greatest lessons you can learn is to "Trust Yourself" - trust in yourself that you are more than able to eat well, eat wisely, and enjoy your food without having to worry about gaining the weight back.
    3475 days ago
    Very true, what causes us to gain weight, over eat and binge are really hard.

    I think it's awesome your going to talk to your DH, maybe now that is finished with his dissertation maybe you guys can spend some extra time exercising together. Even if it is just a walk or some ST a day a week. I know it's alot easier when we, the BF and myself, are a team and on the same page. He can still eat way more than me, but he makes the effort to eat a little healthier and measure stuff for me. Plus him dropping a few pounds haven't hurt either lol

    I agree about just getting your place together. I did a full clean of my apartment this weekend and realized it was full of dust (I leave the windows open.) But I know when things are in its place, it's kinda peaceful for me.
    3475 days ago
    I like your plan, Dana, and love your positive outlook!
    3475 days ago
    Oh Dana- you're sounding like me right now. Luckily I haven't gained any more, but that's purely because of all the running- if it wasn't for that I'd be in trouble cuz my eating has not been good. And I'm doing the same- eating while hubby sleeps or whatnot. Do I not want him to know I'm eating junk? I think it's those old ashamed feelings- knowing I'm doing something "bad" but not wanting to stop it. Notice I didn't say 'not being able to stop it'. I could stop- I could put the chocolate down and walk out of the kitchen, but I'm don't... *sigh* we both gotta figure it out.
    And big pat on the back to you for doing so well at the BBQ- controlling the urge to social eat is one of my big struggles. Not just to be not left out but I think for me it's a "look- I eat! I promise you I didn't starve the weight off" thing... anyways- yay you on the BBQ!
    3475 days ago
  • BRE7482
    I think what you're saying makes complete sense. Also, if you're self sabatoging it's good of you to recognize it now. I have self sabotaged for different reasons before, but by the time I realized it, it was way too late. I know you'll get it all work out and do just fine.
    3475 days ago
    I admire you a lot! Thanks for sharing!!!!
    3475 days ago
    I love this blog--- i have been doing some thinking myself about tracking v non-tracking, stress, overexercising etc.
    I commend you for DEALING with your REAL issues rather than just "controlling" them with tracking!
    3475 days ago
    Totally reasonable AND I'm SO VERY where you are. I over did it some this weekend too and was all in my head feeling totally like my FAT self again when in reality I'm not - I'm a healthier and "lighter" person and the scales this morning did show an increase!! ARRGGHH!!! BUT, the one thing bad from this rather long weekend was the fact that I didn't drink my water each day as I normally do so I'm sure some of that is water weight and like you I'll continue to watch and if it doesn't go back down then back to tracking every single thing and putting off "learning" to eyeball everything!!
    3475 days ago
    ooo i like sharon's brain training saying. i guess that is what i am working on too. what an insightful blog. very well written i may add too.
    3475 days ago
    Dana, I think your plan sounds very reasonable. You are one smart woman! First of all, I think it's key to realize that tracking all the time is no way to live and no way to maintain. Just not feasible in the long run. Second of all, it's extremely insightful to realize that if weight were all about the math, not very many people would be overweight! There is sooooo much more going on than just food, so identifying those issues for yourself is the key to maintaining your weight loss.

    Now, I've never been overweight, but I still have days where I feel enormous... so I can imagine that for someone who has lost A LOT of weight, it can be hard sometimes to reconcile the brain with the body... it sounds like what you are doing is GREAT "brain training" for continued success! And like you said, if things start getting out of control, you can always go back to the tried and true calorie counting before things get out of hand.

    GREAT blog! :D
    3475 days ago
  • KARVY09
    Yeah, maintenance sounds terrifying to me, so I applaud you for being so honest about it and sharing your journey with us rather than just splitting and letting us wonder what happened to post-weight loss Dana.

    I know that I gained a lot of my weight around bar exam time so I can understand what your DH is going through. Perhaps there is an activity you both can do that quick and enjoyable and makes him feel better about himself. I know if someone told me "OK, we're going to play tennis for an hour a week" during that time it might have allowed me to channel my nerves into something other than food.
    3475 days ago
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