Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas is Coming, the Goose Is Getting Fat...

but I'm not! I know it's not Tuesday yet, but I weighed in this morning at 370 lbs. That's a total loss of 35 lbs! I was so excited I just had to share. To be honest, I was a little surprised that I had lost 5 lbs over the past week. It's not that I've been "bad" per se, but with the weather being uncooperative and having no car (my car was killed by two trees during the ice storm last week) I haven't gone out to exercise in over a week now. I've also been indulging in a nightly cup of cocoa (good stuff, not sugar-free, although I've been making it with skim milk) and having a couple cookies with my cocoa (we're baking with whole wheat flour this year.) As far as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day go, I'm planning to enjoy myself and eat what I want. However, we are trying to plan a healthy menu, and we are drastically cutting down on the amount of baking we're doing this year so we don't end up with several weeks' worth of cookies to eat. So it won't be as bad as it could be.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Tis the Season to Get Really Stressed

My holiday season started out well. Despite having been out of work since April, I was able to get or make holiday gifts for my immediate family and closest friends. Maybe not as many as in the past or as extravagant, but nice gifts nonetheless. Being laid off from my previous job in retail has meant that I haven't had to fight my way through the holiday traffic or deal with all the surly holiday shoppers who blame you when the gift they have to get Uncle Bubba or Cousin Lurlene is sold out everywhere. I was also generally able to avoid the malls by doing most of my shopping online. As of last week, my shopping was done, my gifts were all wrapped, all that was left was some decorating and cooking for get-togethers. Just when I thought I'd have a relatively stress-free holiday season, Mother Nature had to step in and mix things up a bit. We had an ice storm this past Thursday night into Friday morning that brought down 7 or 8 trees in our yard, two of which landed on my car. I'm still waiting to for the damage appraisal from the shop and praying that the car is fixable, as I cannot afford to buy a new car right now if my baby is declared totaled. We've also been without power for 5 days with no idea when it will come back on. We do have a generator, so we have heat, the ability to cook using one burner at a time, and limited running water. There was no damage to the house and no one in my family was hurt, and I'm thankful for that. The diet challenges I'm facing right now in relation to this situation are: 1. Trying to cook and eat healthy meals when my ability to cook is hampered by power limitations (we're either making one-pot meals or eating meals in courses, cooking the second course as we eat the first.); 2. Trying not to let the stress of the situation result in emotional eating, which has always been a problem for me in the past. I must be doing something right, though: I weighed in this morning at 375 lbs, 1 pound less than last week, for a total loss of 30 lbs. Although, after all this stress, I think I deserve a drink!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quick Update (Because I'm Tired) and Christmas Cookies

Why am I so tired? From cleaning the house, putting up lights and decorations outside, and painting the upstairs bathroom for the second time this year (Mom and I repainted in May to cover the holes Dad accidentally made in the wall, but the paint, which was supposed to be rust-colored, actually showed orange on the wall. We lived with it for 6 months, and then Mom decided she'd had enough. It's peach now.) My knees have been really sore all week. But I guess it was really good exercise, because I weighed in today at 376 lbs. That's 10 lbs down from where I was last week, for a total loss of 29 lbs. Yahoo!

Christmas in my family is a pretty low-key affair. We used to have anywhere between 12 and 20 people at our house for dinner, but the past few years it's just been my immediate family. Since all 5 of us are now dieting, we're not going to do much baking this year, but I was able to get a virtual cookie fix by watching a bunch of holiday cooking specials on the Food Network. I'm not going to completely give up cookies this Christmas, but I'll try to be more sensible about them.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Getting Back on Track and Rethinking Motivation

It's time once again for the monthly measurement update. I looked back at the previous updates recently and realized that the way I was typing it in ended up looking rather confusing once the update was posted, so from now on I'm only going to post the total difference for each measurement and ignore the start and current measurements. This is not due to some sudden sense of shame about my measurements, just an attempt to make my blog posts easier to read (it would be so much easier if I could just copy and paste the Excel spreadsheet I created to keep track of my progress.) So here's where I stand now:
Weight: total loss (tl) 19 lbs (up a few lbs, mostly due to Thanksgiving.)
Bust: tl 2.75 inches
Waist: tl 1.5 inches
Abdomen: tl 1.5 inches
Hips: tl 1.5 inches
Thigh: tl 0.25 inches (this measurement has gone up since last month because the staff at Curves has started measuring at a higher, and therefore wider, part of the thigh.)
Upper Arm: tl 0.5 inches
BMI: tl 2.9 points (this is also up since last month, simply because my weight went back up as well.)

I went through most of November with a feeling of apathy, and that apathy bled over into my weight loss, giving me that "honeymoon's over" feeling which always sets in at some time when I diet. I started missing certain foods and eating more of the "allowed" foods to compensate. I also allowed myself to exercise less, making excuses about being too busy or too tired or not feeling well. However, one good thing I did was to start listening to the Inside Out Weight Loss podcast presented by Renee Stephens. I've only listened to the first couple episodes so far, but I think it's already helping. The first few episodes focus on motivation, and she breaks motivation down into two types: away-from motivation and towards motivation. I've rethought and expanded on the reasons why I'm doing this and what I want to achieve.
What am I trying to get away from by losing weight?
1. Bad habits related to food, such as eating late at night, eating more than I need, secret eating (hiding junk food and eating it when there's no one else to see me), emotional eating (eating because I'm happy, or depressed, or angry, or anxious, or bored; basically eating for any reason other than hunger.)
2. The general difficulties associated with being a large person, such as finding clothing that fits properly, not being sure whether the seat belt in someone's car will fit me, climbing stairs, standing and/or walking for any length of time, fitting into non-handicapped public toilet stalls, getting up from sitting on the floor or on a low seat, getting into and out of smaller cars and the backseats of most cars, especially 2-door cars, and not being able to fit into airplane seats, theater seats, booths at restaurants, and most chairs with arms, especially plastic chairs.
3. The embarrassment associated with several of the items in #2.
4. Loneliness: being perpetually single doesn't bother me most of the time, but I do get lonely sometimes and most guys aren't interested in dating and getting intimate with a woman my size.
5. Ostracism: I usually don't let other people's opinions about my size bother me, but sometimes the derisive laughter and cruel comments made by ignorant jerks can be hurtful.
6. Visibility: sometimes I feel like everyone is looking at me and judging me due to my weight, especially when I'm at a pool or the beach.
7. Invisibility: sometimes I feel practically invisible despite my size, such as when I'm at a party where, even though I'm dressed as nicely as everyone else, I still get snubbed because of my weight. I can't tell you how many times this has happened: a man and I are approaching the same door, he reaches it before I do but goes through ahead of me without bothering to hold the door for me. Maybe these guys are jerks to everybody, but I'm sure at least some of them would've held the door for a skinny woman. Another time, I was leaving a store and was in the crosswalk outside. Some jerk in a van pulled into the crosswalk right in front of me, blocking my progress, and stopped to let someone else cross (this other person wasn't even close to the crosswalk at the time), forcing me to go around.
What do I want to move towards by losing weight?
1. I would like to cultivate a healthy relationship with food.
2. I would like to be able to travel more, and more easily.
3. I would like to have more options for buying clothes. I think there are lots more great options for plus-size clothing now than there were five years ago, but there are also lots of great clothes out there that don't come in plus sizes.
4. I would like to be more confident.
Why is it so much easier to figure out what you don't want than what you do want?