Friday, March 31, 2006
Ahh...where to start. The last couple of months have been hard. The weight is not coming off. But the much larger issue is that, psychologically, I have gotten worse over the last 2-3 months. And I don't know why.
I believe I have worked hard to develop the right attitude, exercise regimine, and healthy diet. I have even found these changes to be pleasurable. I don't doubt for a second that most of them will be lifelong changes. Unfortunately, even though I am doing all of these things 'right,' I have made very little progress in my effort to conquer my thoughts of food/overeating. For some reason, while I have made progress on all other fronts, not only have I been unable to stop letting food (or thoughts of food) conquer and dominate my every thought, but they've actually gotten worse. Much worse. I probably fight hunger pangs 90% of every waking hour. It never used to be that bad.
I feel like all I do is look at the clock to see when I can eat next. And then five minutes after I eat, I feel hungry again. In fact, I feel ravenously hungry almost all of the time. This feeling (of never feeling satisfied) has made me feel miserable, pathetic and broken. Though intellectually I know this isn't so, it is hard to control my heart, mind and spirit with logic and reason.
I haven't wanted to write about all of this because in some ways, I was hoping it was a phase. I figured if I took the time to patiently analyze my feelings, I would eventually overcome the hurdle and sprint to the finish. No one needed to know. But it's been twelve months, and I think about food more, not less. It's also the most personal part of my journey. It's pretty easy to write about hitting a jogging milestone, going to a new spinning class or losing weight, it's not quite so easy to write about feeling overwhelmed, defeated, helpless, vulnerable, frustrated and sad.
I struggle with these thoughts everyday, but 9 out of 10 days I am actually 'okay' with accepting that food is the challenge I've been handed in life. I actually feel pretty fortunate. No one's life is perfect, so if I have to suffer some form of major dysfunction, I'd rather it be overeating than a drug/alcohol addiction, disease, death in the family or poverty. But there are other days like tonight when I just get so fed up because I can't seem to get better. I constantly joke about being obsessed with all of this, but what I don't say is that the obsession is not a choice. It chooses me.
It's wierd. I'm finally in decent shape. I am finally eating the way I always wanted to. But I just can't stop eating. It's like I'm this close to perfection, but it's just out of my grasp. I naively thought if I wanted something badly enough (conquering mindless overeating) and tried my darndest to get it- that it would have to happen eventually. I guess I still believe it. I'm just scared of how long it may take to happen. Because I'm miserable waiting.
And just for the record, this is why I have stopped losing weight. It's not because I've plateaued and need to vary my workout. It's not because I'm not eating enough. It's not because I'm stressed about my mother's cancer or my nephew being autistic. And it's not because I'm gaining more muscle. It's because I'm eating too much. Period. Why is the million dollar question. Everytime I think I know why I- and I've excitedly reached a half dozen theories/epiphanies already- I find that I was wrong.
Right now, I think I just need some time away from all of this. Tomorrow morning we're heading out to LA for the weekend. On Saturday we're going to Disney's California Adventures Park and on Sunday we're going to Disneyland. I'm not sure Mickey is going to help me find the answers, but at least he'll bolster me.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Nonetheless, I do make an occasional effort to shake things up, which is how I found myself sweating my arse off at a 90-min. aerobics class last night. Though I performed my due diligence by thoroughly grilling my friend in advance about how many dance moves there would be in the class- she told me none. She lied!!! They had us doing mambo moves on a step! MAMBO MOVES. ON A STEP. There was hip shaking! Twirling! Thrusting!
You can imagine how utterly mortifying this was for the Asian dork in me. Now I don't know much, but this I am positive of- every teenager in America (including yours) at some point practices their dance moves in front of a mirror. Many have Britney on MTV blaring in the background so that they can mimic her. Unfortunately, every Asian child who also attempts this natural course of development is beat with a sharp bamboo stick and ordered to shut off the tv and go practice their oboe/do their calculus homework/go to golf practice instead.
This is exactly why I have not, and still cannot dance. Ever. This is also why there is no show on ABC called 'Dancing with the Asians.' Americans everywhere would vomit all over their tvs in disgust.
I haven't decided if I'm going to go back yet. The only benefit to awkwardly stumbling around in front of my friend last night is that she quickly agreed that our walking together might be a better idea. ;-)
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
SEE? I told you I looked like a dude.
You know how some women gain weight gracefully and still manage to look feminine? It's pretty obvious I'm not one of them. My cheeks puff up, my neck disappears, and I start to look like a short, chubby male transvestite. This photo of us from last February was the impetus for me to get back in shape.
It's hard for me to look at 95% of our old photos. Though I have loved the last 9-10 years of our lives together, it's hard to forget the underlying sadness. I never want to let my life slip by like that again.
This is me a week ago. Not the most flattering photo, but less transvestite-looking.
Just for today, I just want to celebrate my one year "Get Healthy" anniversary.
Here are the main highlights:
RISK OF DIABETES - I was scared sh**less of getting it (my mother has Type II). I just took a basic diabetes risk assessment test and on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the most at risk), I scored a '1.' When I reran the test using my highest weight a year ago, I scored a '6.' If you get a chance, take the test- Diabetes Risk Test
BMI - A year ago my BMI was 32.8 (obese). Today, it's down to 24.9 (high normal).
WEIGHT - I have lost 45.5 pounds.
CLOTHES SIZE - I am down three or four sizes.
FITNESS - A year ago, jogging a mile on the treadmill was nearly impossible. Now I can jog five and easily walk thirteen.
PSYCHOLOGICAL - I no longer blitz in the other direction when I bump into someone I know unexpectedly.
SUMMARY - I am very happy with what I've done, but I am far from being confident and carefree.
1. Because my BMI and weight are still at the high end of the normal range, I will immediately reenter the 'overweight' category if I gain even a pound. To keep this from happenning, I know I still need to lose 5-10 more pounds.
2. While I have learned to eat healthier (and enjoy it), I still struggle with overeating. Every day. It's much harder than I let on. Truly slaying a demon means no longer living in fear, and I still live in fear and feel powerless. Oddly enough, in some ways I am pretty sure I've regressed since I started this journey (but more on this another day).
CONCLUSION - I've said this before, but perhaps the most unexpected blessing from shedding all of this weight has been that it has allowed me to rediscover myself and the world I live in. This in turn has led me to seriously evaluate not just the way I live my life, but its path/direction as well. Who would have thought burning some fat cells would liberate me from my own poisoned mind?
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Long Disclaimer: Over the past 3-4 months I have become more mindful about what I eat. However, I will be the first to admit that I am FAR from being a health freak. For starters, I make absolutely no effort to buy organic food. When it comes down to buying organic apples for $2.99/lb. at my local health food market or pesticide-covered, genetically modifed apples at Ralph's for .99/lb, then GUESS WHO'S eating poison? I also continue to enjoy a variety of manufactured treats that are laden with excessive fructose and sodium- protein bars, sweetened craisins, homemade cookies, etc.. So is there any danger of finding me knee deep in manure sowing Mother Earth to plant a ginger root and wheat grass garden? I'd say no. (Although...if I did, I bet I'd get to grow some armpit hair. Sooo hmm. Maybe worth reconsidering).
I am also very cognizant of the fact that life is short, and meant to be enjoyed. Nor have I conveniently forgotten that for the last 31 years, I didn't pay much attention to what I ate. Thankfully, I am not defined by my past. So my goal is simply to maintain a balance of healthy, mindful eating most of the time, and have a good time the rest of the time. And in doing so, I will not be self righteous (when I eat healthy) or feel guilty (when I don't).
The rant: Last week Thursday I got to work and realized I hadn't packed enough food for breakfast. Me, not have enough food? Definitely unprecedented. So I wandered over to the office kitchen and cringed when I saw that the healthiest fare there was a couple of Nutri Grain bars. Ugh. They piss me off. I ate those bars for years in college. In my mind, they were a "healthy multi-grain" snack. Grain on the outside, fruit on the inside...sounded good! I certainly wasn't about to question their nutritional value.
Now that I've learned to look at a nutrition label, however, I've learned that their contents tell a very different story from their marketing. While they do have less than half the calories of say, a Snickers bar, I believe they still have more sugar than anything else. And guess how much fiber this so-called multi-grain cereal bar has? Less than a gram. I bet if I sucked the brown shell off a single grain of rice I'd be in better shape. Hell, at that rate, I'd have to eat about 26 Nutri Grain bars to get my daily recommended fiber allowance.
Now before anyone is tempted to wag their finger at me and tell me that ultimately, it's the consumer's responsibility to know what they're buying- please. You and I know that it's still no reason for these large, behemoth food corporations to misrepresent their products. It's not even hard for them to do. I've learned that it's not very difficult for food manufacturers to take advantage of the fairly liberal FDA regulations and legally market their products as "healthier/low fat/low sugar" when really, they're not. It's easy to tout something as having "low sugar" and still pack it with sodium, saturated fats and additives. I know I sound like Kevin Trudeau right now, but he does have one thing right- we can't trust marketers, food manufacturers or the FDA to protect us from what we eat/drink each day.
I think politicians and food manufacturers have one thing in common- they think we're imbeciles who blindly believe anything we see/hear. For example, six months ago I was pleased to see more and more cereals touting their use of whole grains. Yet when I read the ingredients I still saw enriched, bleached flour as ingredient number one. Where were those whole grains they were touting? Usually waaaay down on the list in such a trace amount that it's almost not worth mentioning. And those "healthy" nut/berry trail mix granola bar I used to love so much? They're listed as having more high fructose corn syrup than nuts, berries or anything else! Truly depressing.
It seems everything I want to eat either has too much sodium, fat, calories or...virtually no nutritional value. I am a little concerned that between that and my own laziness to cook, I will end up eating the same 10-15 things for the rest of my life- fruit salad, steamed veggies, low fat yogurt/cottage cheese, Fiber One/Kashi cereals, Kashi bars, protein bars, veggie burgers, mushroom burgers, soy burgers, tofu, etc.
The inspiration: I hope that as I continue to learn more I'll also continue to expand my list of foods. One thing I will not compromise, however, is that I will not eat anything I do not enjoy just because it's "good for you". I want to enjoy every calorie I eat each day. Life is too short to do otherwise. And as Geneen Roth points out, if you try and force youself to eat certain things just because they're healthy (but do not like or want them), you will never be satisfied and end up back in the fridge eating what you really wanted all along (thereby eating twice as much as you should have).
I've also decided to believe one more thing about myself. While the circumstances that led to my overeating may not have been my fault (it is after all, an unconscious coping mechanism), it is my responsibility to handle it. It's unreasonable for me to sit here and continue to feel like sh** for not being able to just 'take care of the problem' and stop eating. It's unreasonable for me to continue to question why a reasonably-intelligent person with a decent amount of willpower can feel so powerless (one has nothing to do with the other)! And it's unreasonable for me to continue to wonder/mope why some people have never had to give eating a second thought, while for me, it's an obsession. F**k it. It is what it is. I got stuck with it, but I'm not gonna fall victim to it. I want to live better than that.
On a positive note, I hit another fitness milestone yesterday. I jogged five continuous miles. Twenty laps around the track! There were a few moments when I felt exhausted, but most of the time I felt invigorated, invincible and weightless...like I could keep jogging for hours. I've waited so long to be able to say I felt that way. I've had this feeling before, but not for a long, long time.
Which leads me to my next milestone- I've lost 45 pounds. Five more to go. Now that I'm spinning, jogging and about to start aerobics, I'm hoping they won't be as long/hard to shed as the last five have been.
Before I forget, sometime this week I will post my first before and after photos (it's been a year!). It's filled me with anxiety because I've picked a truly frightening 'before' picture that even Roy, who is careful never to criticize me, has admitted, "is not very flattering." My brother Joseph (who is far less worried about my feelings) has said, "Wow. You DID look like a boy." Stay tuned!
Friday, March 24, 2006
A few days ago I had a run in with one such woman. She was sitting on a bench, half dressed in a bathing suit...just sitting there. Suspended in motion. I dropped my gym bag next to her and started to get undressed when I heard a"pfffffffffffft" sound. Purely by reflex, I paused for a second, hoping and straining to hear something like the hum of a heater that we had both mistaken for the sound of each other passing gas, at which point we could share an embarassed smile and laugh. Nothing.
I quickly went about my business of getting dressed, when a moment later I heard again heard the unmistakable "pfffft...pfffft....pfffffffffffffffffffffft." Though I wasn't allowing myself to breathe in and confirm it, this time I knew. A second or two later...another pffffffffft. At this point, I was stunned. I mean, I was about TWO FEET away from her. I could easily understand her first accident. We've all have motifying incidents where we had no prior warning before a fart escaped us. But three times?! In such close proximity?!! My god.
Since she didn't feel compelled to hold in her fumes, I didn't feel compelled to disguise my sudden need to get the hell away from Fart Woman. I started to madly thrash about trying to get my clothes on as quickly as possible, stuffed my crap into my gym bag so that half of it was trailing behind me and dashed out, my feet shoved halfway into each shoe.
When it comes to matters of bodily function, as an Asian female, I will admit- I am a prude by birthright. Though I am forgiving of those with medical issues, I am much harder on myself. As an example, if I'm having to do my business in public restroom stall number seven (which is rare, trust me) and someone enters stall number one, guess what? I'm suspended in time until that person leaves. And if they take too long (damn them!) I am forced to employ either the "multiple flushing technique" or loudly unroll obscene amounts of toilet paper to muffle the sound. It's absolutely ridiculous and in both cases a horrible waste of our natural resources, but when it comes to me being potentially embarassed or having to waste water or kill trees- sorry Mother Earth. You lose.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Ha. Ha. Ha.
You see, pretty much as soon as I committed myself to doing it, I realized I haven't really walked much since then. So tonight I took out my exercise journal and calculated how much I've actually walked since our last half marathon (exactly two months ago):
- I've walked seven times
- For a total of...24 miles
Yes, I am aware that while impressive (for a two-year old), those statistics will probably not win the race. Especially since a little over half the course is uphill. Today I attempted to start preparing for the race and hills by dragging myself onto the treadmill. I decided to start off with a little hill (with an incline of about 5.0) and was able to jog for about...a third of a mile.
Sweet Jesus. You don't need to say it...I know I'm screwed. Clearly my ample butt and thighs are in for a rude awakening. Exactly how, over the next thirty days, does one work up to a 13.2 miles when they can currently jog uphill for only about...oh, 200 yards?!!
I am obviously going to need your prayers (do you think it's too late for me to also get saved?), because at this point we all know I'm gonna my a** whupped by the seniors again. Damn those spry seventy-year olds. Why can't they just sit on a porch like everybody else their age and eat prunes?!!
Monday, March 20, 2006
An amusing sidebar- at one point during my lunchtime workout I was helping a feeble, elderly gentleman who was having trouble finding certain weights. He was really quite fragile, shuffling around and squinting to see everything. Even though I really wanted to leave and do my own thing after awhile I felt compelled to stick around and help him. Fifteen minutes into "our" workout, however, Gramps suddenly whipped a Blackberry out of his back pocket and began furiously text messaging someone. I couldn't believe it. One minute he was nearly blind and I was having to loudly call out numbers for him, and the next minute he was fu**ing text messaging Paris Hilton or something! So screw him. If he could type on that little thing, he could read his own damn numbers.
Even though my life has sucked lately (more on this another time), I had a good day. Tonight a friend called to invite me to a new 90-minute aerobics class she's started to go on Saturdays. Since I'm always up for doing new and different things (provided they're cheap, easy, and nearby), I'm going....even though the thought of 90-minutes of aerobics terrifies me (since I am not only in poor aerobic shape, but very uncoordinated as well). We're also going to start walking together a few times a month, which excites me because it hasn't been easy to find workout partners. I am also going to start going to 1-2 spinning classes a month with another friend as well.
In addition to those two recent developments, my brother found us another half marathon to 'compete' in (and I use that word very liberally) next month. This race course is much harder (rife with hills), so my goal is to be able to jog 3-5 miles of it and finish it in >3 hours. Trust me, this is plenty ambitious for someone who has only walked about five miles since her last half marathon two months ago.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Mid-story I suffered an emotional flashback.
You see, I too was once told I needed to wear glasses. Only I think I was in 5th grade. And a nerd. So you can imagine how much more popular I became after that. In any case, with only my father working as a teacher and three kids, guess who was also directed to the cheapest rack of frames? And guess who was convinced that the (inexpensive) large, ugly, plastic pink tortoise-shell frames were just the ones she should get?
Whenever I put them on (pretty much only when ordered to at home by my mother), I looked like I was wearing a pink snorkel/mask across my face. Even my muddled, academically challenged brain knew that those frames were hideous. So of course I never wore them and probably went from 20/40 to 20/900 over the next few years.
As traumatized as I was by the pink snorkel, my younger brother Joseph claims I got off easy. This is because my mother required him to wear the elastic strap around his glasses to help keep them on this head- which he claims only he and the special ed students had to wear. Point well taken.
Cut to a few years ago when my youngest brother Joel was also required to get glasses. Only this time, that little sh** was allowed to get some featherlite, ultra-thin, scratch resistent, UV-protected $400 Armani frames, possibly because... OH I DON'T KNOW, maybe Louis Vuitton was on BACKORDER?!?!?! What the hell?!?!
Really though, I shouldn't have been surprised. This was the same 5-year old who didn't recognize the ordinary red apples I had bought for him one day because according to him, he'd never had an apple that wasn't a Fuji. And I think he was like nine before he knew that grapes actually had SKIN on them since my grandmother used to peel his off until then.
I'm surprised I emerged unscathed too. If you know the best way my parents should pay me restitution I'd appreciate it. Lump sum? Monthly payments?
Friday, March 17, 2006
"...just remind yourself of how much grinded spinal cord, brains and veins and tendons and arteries is ground up in that ground beef or turkey that you think is so much better. You'd be surprised. "
Now I know they were trying to be helpful, but MY GOD. Was all that REALLY necessary? Whoever sent me that needs to send me his/her address. Because I'm sending you my therapy bills.
I was already the world's pickiest meat eater. A couple of times in Egypt a dish of meat was brought to our table and before I could even lean in to examine it Roy would quickly throw his napkin over it and proclaim, "You don't want to look at that." Because he knew I would start to moan the minute I saw all the bones, fat, veins or arteries.
When we were young my parents would occasionally take us to Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pioneer Chicken. Even as a child I had certain routine:
1. First, I would insist on only eating a thighs piece (I can honestly say a wing has yet to ever touch these lips).
2. I would then immediately remove the skin and give it to one my eager brothers in exchange for their little container of cole slaw (no one was dumb enough to part with their mashed potatoes).
3. Finally, I would peel off only the thinnest layer of white meat off the top of the thigh. Anything that touched bone, skin or fat was to be thrown away...which meant that yes, I generally ate about two bites of chicken per thigh before melodramtically throwing 90% of it away (though it was usually intercepted by one of my brothers or father before I could).
I would say I don't know if I can get through the rest of the turkey patties I just bought from Trader Joe's but that would be a lie. Because as much as reading that entry grossed me out, I am confident that my cheapness and hunger will still prevail. I will admit, however, that whoever sent me that did raise a good point. If I do remain a finicky carnivore (and at this point, I'm leaning toward it), I will make more of an effort to eat leaner cuts of meat. I kind of already do. But thanks again for all the wonderful suggestions.
As for my workouts this week (I'm choosing to focus on fitness goals so I remain positive)- it's been a good week. Yesterday I went on my first four-mile jog on the road (v. the treadmill) and averaged 10.5 minute miles, still not impressive, but I no longer resemble an awkward, lumbering asthmatic. I've even managed to eliminate the feeling of wanting to puke. My legs still feel like cement pillars after mile two, but ah...what the hell. As long as I can work up to being able to jog about half the 1/2 Marathon I'll be happy. Toodles.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
So I went to the web in search of help, but after reading three straight pages of 'eat more red meat, eggs and fish' (I'll get to this below), I got to the fourth, which recommended "mutton blood sausage, heart or liver."
Please excuse me while I vomit.
So that ended that. Which means...I need your help, dear readers. Yes, all seven of you. Three if you don't count immediate family.
I need protein. But here are my issues (and you knew there would be some, right?):
1. I rarely eat meat. It's clearly not for health or moral issues (boy that's a hoot!). It's all about the gristle. And the tendons. And the fat. The skin. The bones. The veins. Oh lord I get sick just typing it. If I do eat meat, it's always, always boneless, skinless, and its usually ground (only because it offers the best chance of avoiding any of the aforementioned nasty stuff).
2. Fish are gross.
3. Eggs are gross.
4. Milk (and therefore protein shakes) are gross.
5. I am lazy, a terrible cook and not very adventurous.
6. I love to eat, so whatever pathetic amount of calories I've been alotted for the day- I do not want to spend eating high-calorie food that I am only allotted three or four pieces of in a serving (i.e.- cheese or nuts, which I love). Listen up people- three pieces of anything is not called a serving, it's called 'sampling food at Costco'.
For those of you who haven't already shaken your heard, hit the little x in the upper right hand corner and muttered, "You deserve to get fat, you dumb hopeless bit**!", I am appealing to you. Please, share with me that magic food. If they can create all the fiber you need in one cup of Fiber One, surely there is a comparable product out there I can eat for protein as well?
The one good thing about me? Do not underestimate my ability to eat the same blah healthy food, day after day, until I die.
I do love tofu, yogurt, ground turkey burgers, and whole grains, but I don't see how I can possibly eat 50-60g from that short list. Based on all of my aforementioned issues, am I doomed to live a protein-deprived existence?
I am whimpering, lying on the floor, typing with my toes. Please help me.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Dr. Phil- Thanks for joining us today, folks! Today we're talking to Josie, who's frustrated because she can't seem to lose more weight. Tell us Josie, what seems to be the problem?
Josie- (figeting nervously) Well, Dr. Phil, I can't--
Dr. Phil- MY GAWD!!! STOP BEING SO WHINY AND PATHETIC! YOU ARE THE NEEDIEST, SELF-ABSORBED GUEST WE'VE EVER SEEN ON THIS SHOW!!!
(Crowd applauds wildly and nods their heads in agreement)
Josie- But I didn't even get to expl--
Dr. Phil- THERE YOU GO AGAIN! SHUT UP! Listen to what I'm telling you- you're not losing weight because you eat too much! It's that simple!
Josie- No I don't! I--
Dr. Phil- Hey!!! Is that a slice of pizza in your pocket?!
Well you get the idea. I had the chance to go to his show a few months ago with a group from Curves. But something about riding in a big yellow school bus with a bunch of retirees decked out head to toe in Curves gear to watch two live Dr. Phil shows didn't exactly appeal to me.
So last night I was reading an article where Dr. Phil pretty much advised those trying to lose weight to rid their house of all junk food. His theory is, you need to control your physical environment so that when your resolve eventually fades, you can't eat what isn't there. Hey, that makes perfect sense to me, but having said that- I'm going to stick with having some snacks in my house. All along I've said that I didn't want to do anything that I wouldn't sustain over the long haul as a permanent lifestyle change.
Yesterday I had another so-so eating day. I have three days of back-to-back retirement training so we keep ordering lunch and inevitably it's bad food. Today I packed a healthy lunch, but yesterday I forgot and ended up eating 3 slices of pizza and 2 cookies. I figure that was about 1,000 calories in one sitting. Horrible, horrible.
I had hoped to salvage the day with a healthy breakfast (Fiber One, yogurt, fruit salad) and dinner (steamed veggies, fruit salad, 1 Slim Fast cookie) and a great workout- I jogged four miles on the treadmill and then walked another mile uphill on a 13.0-incline. I tried to jog part of the hills but soon felt like I was going to slide off and die so I stopped after a minute or so. It's my goal to improve that though. The good news is, even though it was only my 8th time jogging in the past 6 months, I was able to finish the four miles fairly confidently. I remember when I first started jogging about a year ago I could barely do a mile without having to stop. So there's a silver lining here- I'll get there.
Monday, March 13, 2006
On Saturday I went to a spinning class in the morning and had a good time. I was a bit nervous beforehand because it was only my second class, but it went great. I'm not sure what it is I love about spinning, but if I had to guess - its because I'm so focused on trying to keep moving that the class tends to go by quickly, I sweat A LOT, it's something different, and I'm motivated to get those chiseled 'biker's legs.' My goal is to go to one class per week if I can (it just depends on what I'm city I'm working in each day).
So after the spinning class, Roy and I drove out to a nice upscale mall called Victoria Gardens where we joined my brother and his friend Lana for lunch at Lucille's, a great barbecue restaurant. I ate more than I should have, but only because I knew that afterwards I was going to cruise the mall before lifting weights with my brother at his gym. And we had a good second workout. It's just that after we went home- I ate a lot for dinner too. Kinda disapointing.
On Sunday I decided to take the day off from exercise (part of my new vow to rest my body 1-2 days per week) and just enjoy myself. I've come to really love Sunday and my little routines of domesticity. I didn't use to love Sundays, mostly because I spent half of it dreading the next day, which I realized is just stupid. If I only have two days off per week, why not revel in both of them the entire time?
So I got up early, bundled up and read the Sunday paper while eating my Fiber One and yogurt. After that I clipped coupons, hit the grocery stores, baked some chocolate mini-muffins for Roy, watched some TV, read the last of my Courtney Rubin book, did the laundry and made us a nice lunch of a fresh fruit platter (strawberries, mango, banana and oranges), homemade banana bread and some pitas/eggplant hummus. Delicious. Later for dinner I had some steamed veggies, a turkey burger, and an orange.
Sounds good so far, right? So where did I go wrong? The usual. Snacking. A protein bar here. A Kashi bar there. A bag of 100-calorie microwave popcorn. Some more fruit. A few lemon cookies. A 60-calorie sugar-free Jello pudding cup. A handful (which always becomes ten) of Roy's Fritos.
I tried to rationalize that perhaps I was just hungry from my long, active day on Saturday. Then I tried the 'but at least I snacked better than I would have in the past' mind game - but the reality is, when it comes to eating, I continue to pussy foot (hey...I finally found a way to use that word in my blog and not get fired...awesome) and not address the real issue of why I'm eating. Because I know why I'm eating. And until I decide I'm ready to make that final change in my life, I will continue to struggle. I just don't want to do drastic things like lock my food in a cabinet that only Roy knows the combination too. Or vow never to buy another a snack again. I don't want to banish my demons so far away that I never actually conquer them.
I suppose this is the reason why I've been in some type of holding pattern...where the best I can do seems to be to maintain. It sort of disgusts me, because part of me thinks I subscribe too much into today's psycho-babble and don't take enough action (since I know what I need to do). Did my grandparents lay down their hoe in the field so that they could have some 'me time' and figure their sh** out? Of course not. They didn't have that luxury, they just did it. And I won't even try to argue that perhaps my ancestors weren't as happy as we are today. That's a pretty laughable statement when you look at the state of our lives and the world today. We drive further, work longer (but not necessarily harder), and have more crime, pollution and stress than ever befoer. Modern thought, medicine and conveniences haven't made life a whole heck of a lot easier or better for us, just...different. So even though I'm armed with some of the best books/gyms/advice that money can buy, I'm not so sure I've got the best resources to figure it all out.
Earlier today in a misguided attempt to bolster myself, I bought a few more books- one by Geneen Roth and the other by Hirschmann/Munter (and if you know who those names are, then you know what I'm dealing with). But the bottom line is (which I just figured out while writing this post)- and I know I keep saying this but I need to drill it into my thick head, I know what I need to do. At least I think I do. I just need to figure out if I've got the balls to do it. And I hope I do it soon since my impatience is legendary and I still want to lose 10 more pounds before I go home in May.
So yeah. Good weekend. Great f**ing weekend, actually. Just need to get my a** in gear and make a few more changes. Face my weaknesses. Conquer my anxiety. And you know...what the hell am I waiting for?
Sunday, March 12, 2006
No really, I take no offense at the question. Over the years I've learned that it's babies, puppies and homemade apple pie that really make the world go round. So yes, while this does leave me out in the cold (I don't have a baby, puppies freak me out, and even if I could bake a pie- you think I'd share my fu**ing delicious homemade apple pie with THE NEIGHBORS?!! I don't think so. Hoarder + pig = DOESN'T SHARE FOOD), I'm fine with it. Because I'm still not ready. I really enjoy the way my life is right now, and I'd feel bad telling my little pookie bear that mommy needs him to shut the hell up and beat it for a few hours because her Us magazine just came in the mail.
I will say this though- I do enjoy other people's kids (provided they're not little hellions) and have always felt it was my destiny to adopt. Yes, even before Angelina Jolie did it...though I do let Us magazine shape my personal opinions of all celebrities and what's hot and what's not, it (regrettably) doesn't offer much advice on parenting goals.
Friday, March 10, 2006
However, I've come to subscribe to the school of thought that your muscles tend to acclimate to the same workout over time, thereby stunting the build up of new muscle/fitness gain. I also know that redundancy and boredom will be the death of me. And even though it's only $30 a month, that still averages out to $7.50 per visit, which I am way too cheap to stomach over the long haul.
The one thing I do plan on taking away from Curves is the monthly weigh-in and measurements (already bought the measuring tape). I like the accountability and sense of progress, even if it has been small lately. The sucky part is, if I change my mind later, they require you to repay the enrollment fee cost once you let your monthly payments lapse. ??? Not fair. So screw 'em. I think I'll quit at the end of this month when my year is up.
In lieu of Curves, I'm going to join a new 'no frills' gym about 5 miles away with Roy. It will be fun to work out together (i.e. I can show off a little and he can roll his eyes and ignore me).
I took Thursday off from all exercise at the urging of a friend (you know who you are, KT!). She made me realize that I was trying to do too much and that my body needed a break. And after thumbing through my exercise log, I realized I had only been taking off 1-2 days per month, which may have held up my progress. So I'm going to start taking off 1-2 days per week and see how that feels/goes. Though I laugh at the thought of being labeled a 'compulsive exerciser' (yes, I looked it up and researched it), I realize I was starting to exhibit signs.
As of today, I'm down 44 pounds, so I hope this is a sign of brighter days to come.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
So needless to say, both me and my a** were more than a little fearful and nervous. Waiting for the class to start did little to alay my fears. Hoping for some encouragement, I anxiously searched the crowd for a fellow chubby, scared face- but alas, no such luck! Every female in the class looked like they were contestants in a national fitness competition...even the men were all wearing spandex (NEVER a good sign).
To make a long, painful story short, I absolutely loved it. And not just because my crotch and a** got more action during that class than all of my college-years combined (really, an unexpected bonus), but because I perspired more in those 40-min. than I have in my entire life. I was drenched from head to toe. Even my towel was sopping wet and useless after 20 min! It was all so absolutely disgusting and wonderful at the same time that I can't wait to go back.
I am infamous for shortchanging myself during workouts and have been working on this the past few weeks. Yesterday I think I gave it a good 70% effort. I finished the whole workout, but only because I probably didn't use as much resistence as I should have (I was usually a notch below what was recomended). I was afraid to do too much more than that because I really wanted to get through the entire class without the instructor having to help untangle my limp, sweaty, unconscious body out from under my bike. But because I didn't give it my all, I am not sore this morning. At all. From either the 4-mile job or the spinning. Trust me, I'm not trying to brag. I know it's because I didn't push myself. I know that while I am in better shape, I am far from being in good shape.
Soooo damnit. Back to square one. Gotta learn to push past the pain like Lance. I was going to take today off but since the scale STILL has not budged despite my seemingly killer workouts this week, I'm gonna hit the treadmill after work and jog 4 miles again. I say that so casually, but it's not gonna be fun.
I've been eating about 1400-1700 calories per day for months and losing steadily, so I'm not too sure why I haven't lost any new weight the last month and a half. But I'm trying not to think about it (ha. ha. ha.). I'm trying to focus on the fact that I have to be toning up and looking better, even if the scale doesn't show it. If I want to remain positive about things, that's what I need to focus on. I know I could drop my intake down to 1200-1300 calories per day, but I don't think it's very healthy and I'd be pretty miserable (since my BMR is 1300 calories per day anyway). I'd rather try to focus on achieving fitness goals instead and hope that the weight melts off that way (albeit the longer harder way).
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
My how things have changed. Nowadays, when our supervisor tells us our tie is wrinkled, we quit, claim a hostile work environment, sue the company for harassment and then go out on workers comp temporary stress disability until the big payday.
I work in HR, so I'm all too well acquainted with how difficult it is to win any type of lawsuit pitting employee against employer. Armed with the best HR practices and attorneys you can find, the employer will still lose over 80% of the time. As an example, say Late A** Lonnie comes to work tardy three times in three weeks. Now let's say you happen to employ the practice of progressive discipline and diligently write him up all three times before deciding to terminate. Should be pretty simple, right?
(Shaking head) Don't you wish.
Do you have a signed copy of his employee handbook showing he knew the company's attendance policy?
Do you have all three copies of the write ups clearly depicting the stages of progressive discipline?
Did he sign them?
If he signed them, did he understand them?
Did you attempt to counsel Ronnie first?
Did you clearly explain what his material duty/obligations were to the company?
Do you have a signed acknowledgement of that?
Did you offer to send Lonnie to the company paid-for EAP to help him get through his deep-rooted psychological afflication for tardiness?
Can you provide proof that over the last 7-10 years that every late employee was terminated for the exact same number of infractions?
Did you know that one of those times Lonnie was late, he was stuck in traffic- which is clearly beyond the scope of his control and therefore not willful or negligent?
Is Lonnie a bisexual, disabled war vet of color? (If he is, you're stuck with him for life.)
If you answered 'no' to any of the questions above, here's what you need to do. Basically you need to get down on your hands and knees and apologize to Lonnie. Because Lonnie is gonna take your company to the cleaners and someday you're gonna end up working for Lonnie until you're 97 years old.
Just kidding. But you get the picture.
In other brighter news, I did get on the treadmill last night! I even ran my furthest distance yet- four continuous miles! I would like to say I was motivated to run like the wind because of Lance's inspiring quote, but the truth is, I was taunted by my brother into doing it. He was trying to get me back for having named his stomach gut (which regrettably, I can't share here). We have a bit of friendly rivalry (he's lost about 25 lbs. over the last 6 months). And for someone who used to have gourmet cheese three meals a day, what he's done is pret-ty damn impressive.
Monday, March 06, 2006
"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."
I love it! Way to make me feel like a loser though. He can beat testicular cancer and win seven consecutive Tour de France's while getting spat at by "ze French" but I don't like to jog because...it makes me tired.
Damn him. I'm going on the treadmill tonight.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Of course I'm relieved that I was able to shed that temporary, unexplained 3.5 lb. weight gain before the weigh in. (And so is my husband, or he would have had to watch/listen me wallow in self pity for days). If I hadn't lost that weight, I would have posted that weight gain I forewarned you all about (which believe me, I had NO intention of doing). To ensure I didn't set a precedent, I busted my ass at the gym every day this week and actually limited my caloric intake to around 1400 per day (which I rarely if ever do). And ta-da...it worked. So even though it wasn't the most fruitful of months, I am at 43.5 lbs. lost as of today.
My most recent (secret) goal was to lose 50 lbs. in a year. But I will hit that deadline on or around the first week in April so I don't foresee that happenning. Though some might disagree (haters), I'm trying not to be obsessive or set unreasonable goals. Trying to lose 6.5 lbs over the next 4 weeks, however, would definitely rank up there with 'beat 5 seniors in next half marathon' as "very unreasonable." So damn. It's okay. I'm still happy with what I've done.
Today I'm going on my monthly hike. I'd love to do more, but Roy's work schedule rarely allows it. He's not even going with us today. It's the same hike I did a few months ago, and the first time I'm repeating one, but I am desperate to get out of here and huff and puff up a hill so I can swear and vow all the way up about how I'll never hike up a mountain again, and then be so inspired at the top that I spend the whole way going back down trying to force everyone into committing to do it again next month.
Friday, March 03, 2006
My greatest weakness was that I hadn't realized I couldn't shovel food into my mouth 24-7 for ten years and not end up looking an aspiring WWE superstar (you should've seen my drop kick from the top of the ropes). However, had I chosen to lose weight via 'less socially acceptable' methods- cutting out all white food, manic 3-hour daily workouts, gastric bypass, hypnotherapy, etc.- I would hope that my friends and family would try to understand that for whatever reason, I felt I had chosen the best option for me at that time. This is because I am generally more impressed by the desire to change than the method, which is why I know I do semi-manic, obsessive things myself and don't feel the compelling need to explain or defend them (actually I do, but lets move on).
The point of all of this is that a few weeks ago I was told (I swear I didn't suspect or ask) that a coworker (lets call her Holly) had a stomach band put in. I had commented to another coworker about how wonderful Holly was looking lately (who has drastically lost weight), but was flatly told, "Oh. Well she had a stomach band put in. It makes her puke all the time ." The news really took me aback. Between being extremely self-absorbed (Hey everyone! Look at me!!! I lost weight too!!!) and just assuming she was dieting and exercising, it never occured to me that she did that. And I say that only because Holly is one of the strongest females I've ever met, and had previously been vocal to me about how comfortable she was with her weight. In any case, I was still happy for her because she looked great.
But then the other day I sat next to her at a breakfast meeting. After getting some food she turned to me and said, "This is more than I normally eat in a week, but everything looked so good!" On her plate were 3-4 pieces of fruit, and a cup of yogurt (that she had about 1/3 of). I was stunned. Not so much that she was only eating about 75-150 calories for breakfast, but that she considered that to be a huge meal. I couldn't help but notice her dozing off throughout the meeting. I also remembered having seen Holly do this a few times in the past and wondered if it was related to the limited amount of food she was intaking. I was concerned for her, but knew better than to say a thing. It did, however, really make me reexamine my attitude toward that particular surgical procedure.
While I will continue to maintain that for some, it's the best possible option (even if it is the lesser of two evils), even aside from the medical risks, it's clearly not ideal. It sort of masks the symptoms of overeating, but doesn't address them. It pisses me off when people (yes, even those who are overweight) take self righteous attitudes toward those who don't want to do it "the hard old-fashioned way." I think those people forget that they are far from perfect themselves, and that many people are QUITE capable of having the procedure AND dealing with their overeating issues simultaneously. And besides, when is the "hard old fashioned way" the best way to do anything? Should we still beat our kids and walk to school both ways uphill barefoot in the snow because our forefathers used to do it and we can too? Please. I won't blather on any further other than to say I hope it works out for her, and that she does look amazing.
As for me, I'm relieved because last night at work I was surrounded by about 25 gourmet pizzas and some delicious, soft, chewy cookies, but only had two slices of the veggie pizza and 1/2 a cookie. A year ago I would have had 3-4 slices and 2-3 cookies, so it was a struggle not to walk over and grab more. And I do mean a struggle. I've been doing this for about 6 months now and that part of it really hasn't gotten any easier. The anxiety build up, the paranoia, the inevitable caving in and bitter disapointment later...it's all very stressful. I can't wait to make ground on this battlefront, as I can't imagine feeling like this everytime I eat in uncontrollable environments. I've been reading a book by Courtney Rubin called The Weight Loss Diaries that could have been written by me (if say, I were talented, driven and completely different from well, me).
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
- First and foremost, the mom update. She recovered well from her 2nd lumpectomy (the one we went home for in Feb). However, the nodes they removed revealed some bad news. I'm not sure how they know this, but the doctors now believe she may have had the cancer in her for about 2 years. Furthermore, they found cancer in the node that allows cancer into the bloodstream, meaning that there is a good chance it may have spread further.
- As a result of all this, her oncologist expedited her next surgery (the insertion of a port near her clavicle) to this past Monday. The port is where she will receive her chemotherapy over the next few months, and will remain there (as is standard) for 5 years (as cancer is most likely to return during that time frame). Her first chemo has already been scheduled for next week Tuesday, and the strength of it will now be the most powerful dose available. Thankfully, her spirits are better than they've been in a long time. She's cut her hair, has a brand new wig, and is motivated to start fighting.
- I watched part of Oprah tonight. Though I TiVo it everyday, I rarely watch more than 1-2 episodes a month. I like Oprah, I just don't like 90% of her topics- How to dress for your body size! Famous celebrities talk about their pets! How to look 10 years younger! Blah blah blah. Anyway, at the end of today's show (I only watched the last part) Lucy Liu did a mini-documentary on the aftermath of the earthquake in Pakistan. They showed a family of 13 with only 2 blankets and a tent to make it though the brutal winter. Many of the kids were standing in the snow without shoes or adequate winter attire. Another family's kids were wailing because they hadn't eaten all day. Christ almighty it ripped my friggen heart out. If you have a chance, please check out the Unicef webpage and view her documentary. And if you can, please donate something. Even a dollar makes a difference over there.
- I've gained 3.5 pounds over the last 7 days. Not sure how or why. I exercised everyday but one, ate well, and slept well. So it doesn't make logical sense. As a result, I will now register my first weight gain at a monthly weigh in since I started this whole thing. Kinda depressing. My game plan at this point is to ignore the scale and just work my a** off. So for the last three days I've worked out so hard that my body was glistening with sweat from head to toe. We'll see who's boss.