Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

To Fight Another Day…

I’ve reached that point.

You know… that point in a project where all your “plans” have gone to shit, the project itself feels like a jumbled mess, your vision for its end seems further away than ever, and you feel like you’ve really only got 2 options: quit or start over.

That’s where I am. I’ve got to quit or start over.

A couple of weeks ago now, Krissie issued the 10 Day Challenge, in which she urged people to commit to doing something healthy for themselves for 10 days. In response, I pledged that I would take my alloted 1200 – 1500 calories per day and start breaking them up into smaller, but more frequent meals. The plan was to eat at least 5 smaller meals per day in order to curb my hunger, speed up my metabolism, squelch that feeling of deprivation and stop myself from overeating in the evening. And it worked… for five whole days.

Then things started to fall apart.

First my work schedule changed, which made it impossible for me to eat several times during the day. Then my husband and I participated in a number of “social” events in the evening, all of which included food and drink and making merry.

But really, those aren’t good excuses. The truth is, I’ve been on the downward spiral since my weigh in and doctor’s appointment several weeks ago. Since that time, and the end of the pedometer challenge, I’ve really, really slacked off. Apart from the 5 days that I managed to actually adhere to my 10 day plan, I’ve eaten too much and exercised too little. And as a result, I’ve put on weight. A lot of it.

This morning I decided to face the music and weigh in. And I have to say, it’s really hard for me to post this…. but I’m up. 9.4lbs. The last time I weighed I was at 244.4. Today, I’m at 253.8.

*sigh*

Part of me thinks, ok… that can’t be right. I’m just retaining water or I ate a bit too late last night or my scale is on the the blink or someone’s playing a joke on me. But the truth is, it’s been almost a month since I weighed and since that time I’ve been, at best, inconsistent when it comes to keeping track of my calories and exercising. In fact, since the end of the pedometer challenge, I’ve pretty much stopped exercising altogether.

And the thing is, all of this just makes me wonder… am I one of those people who, however unconsciously, is prone to sabotaging her own success? Did I get so freaked out about losing 75lbs that I secretly decided to put 10lbs back on, just because being fat and helpless is more comfortable for me than being thin(ner) and empowered? I have to tell you, the idea of that being true is very, very frightening to me. I don’t want to be that kind of person.

Anyway, like I said, it’s time to quit or start over.

So… here’s my start over plan:

#1: I’m going to restart the 10 day challenge.

I’m doing this just for myself. There’s no *prize* this time around, but that’s ok because even though I only managed 5 days before, those 5 days were important. During that time, I realized a few things about my eating habits. I started to notice patterns about when I’m hungry and about the kind of poor choices I make when I’ve allowed myself to get that grumble in my tummy. Eating smaller, more frequent meals helped curb my appetite significantly *and* helped me tackle the issue of portion size, which is something I’ve been struggling with for a long, long time. Thus, I don’t want to just shrug this off as a competition I didn’t finish… I want to finish it. I *need* to finish it. And, what’s more, I want to make this a habit that I continue long after the 10 day period is over.

#2: I’m going to keep using the Food Confessional.

When I started the 10 day challenge, I also started logging my food over at the Food Confessional. It’s probably no surprise then that when I stopped playing, I stopped logging. Food diaries aren’t for everyone and I anticipate the day when my use of this tool will change, but for right now, I’ve realized that this is the kind of accountability I need, so as long as Paola will still let me, I’m planning to start tracking my daily food intake again today.

#3: I’m putting my pedometer back on.

The really GREAT thing about the pedometer challenge was the fact that it kept me motivated to move my ass on days when I didn’t want to. After the challenge was over, I took the pedometer off and pretty much stopped moving. Again, this time, it’s only for me, but I’m putting it back on *and* even though I’ve only got a few days left in May, I’m determined to earn Scale Junkie’s 5k in May badge before the month is out. Walking 5k is something I *used* do almost nightly. (I can’t believe how much I’ve slacked off as of late). Earning this badge is something I really need to do in order to prove several things to myself.

#4: Get Back on the Scale, Baby.

I think this one is self explanatory. I’m back to weekly weigh-ins.

#5: Participate in the Summer Blog Party.

As some of you may know, Scale Junkie came up with a great idea for a Summer Blog Party in which lots of her readers are going to host various challenges and offer prizes, etc., in order to get and keep people motivated this summer. My plan is to participate in this in a number of ways. I haven’t worked out the particulars yet, but once I do, I’ll post them here. Either way, however, I know that my participation will help me stay on track this summer, which is something I desperately need.

That said, speaking of Scale Junkie and badges. Although this is not a part of my “plan” I’ve decided to remove the 75lb loss badge from my blog and move myself back a few notches. It hurts me to do it, but I’d rather be honest about where I am than to keep a badge that I no longer deserve. I did lose 75lbs, but I haven’t maintained it. So… now I’ve just got to work that much harder to get that badge back.

Anyway, I’m tempted to fill up this page with several more goals, but I think that’s enough. One thing I do know about myself is that I have a tendency to overreach a little, and if nothing else, I have learned that I do better when I make more realistic goals for myself. Baby steps, right?

In the meantime, I know I have a struggle ahead.

I’ve worked hard to build some healthy habits over the last several months, and I’ve had some successes, but what I realize is that it is just too fucking easy to slip right back into the bad habits that got me into this condition in the first place. And let me tell you, that’s pretty discouraging. It makes me wonder if I’ve really got it in me to keep fighting like this for the rest of my life. It makes me wonder if this will *ever* get easier. Will eating right and exercising *ever* just become the things I do? Or will they *always* be things that I have to FORCE upon myself?

I hope that someday I’ll be in a place where every day, every meal, every bite is no longer a battle.

But for now, I’m still fighting. And I guess that’s better than nothing.

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May 26, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

10 Day Challenge Update: Two Days Down

So… my plan for Krissie’s 10 day challenge is to replace my three meal a day plan with one that involves at least five, smaller meals per day — in the hopes that this will a) keep me from feeling deprived, b) keep me from overeating at dinner and c) allow my stomach to shrink a bit.

Day one was awesome. (Well apart from the piece of cake that I ate for my last meal of the day).  I ate when I felt hungry, and found myself getting full after just a small amount of food.  And as a result, my evening meals really weren’t any bigger than those from during the day.  *And* by the time I reached the day’s end, I was about 300 calories under what I usually manage to squeeze into a day (and that’s WITH the cake!)

Day two was much harder. My husband and I went to a boat show in the morning and then did our weekly grocery shopping together.  As a result, we were out most of the day and therefore I couldn’t just eat when I was hungry.  I had to wait to eat, and as a result, I was pretty damned hungry.  Still, though… I managed to keep each meal relatively small and I was well under my caloric intake for the day.

Anyway, even though today was a bit tougher, I’m feeling good about this new way of dividing up my meals.   This is only day two, but I feel like I can stick it out for the full ten days and perhaps even make this a permanent change — which makes other changes seem a little less daunting.

In other good news, it turns out that I actually WON Fat Bridesmaid’s pedometer challenge! It’s so exciting because not only do I *never* win anything, but I also didn’t have time to keep track of the other competitors, and therefore winning really was a giant surprise! I didn’t win by much, though.  Ready2shrink was hot on my tail with a whopping 259,927 steps — which is totally awesome!  I’m seriously so proud of all the other people who stepped up (har!) to FBM’s challenge.  This was such a great idea and I really want to thank Fat Bridesmaid for issuing the challenge in the first place.

Yay for us!

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Better Late Than Never, I Suppose.

I think I just I had an epiphany.

In response to my last (whiny) post about not having enough time/energy to complete all the administrivia that seems associated with losing weight successfully, BikiniMe wrote “…the most important thing is the doing, not the logging.”

She’s right, of course, and that has been part of my ongoing frustration.

However, as someone who’s natural instinct it is to archive, document and analyze (I’m a librarian for goodness sake) another good chunk of my frustration lately has stemmed from just how little I seem to have learned from all this “busy work.” Honestly, I don’t mind archiving the details of this journey… in fact, I *want* to do it. Believe me, if I could figure out a way incorporate the dewey decimal system, I probably would. :) But what’s more, I just *really* want to learn something from the whole process otherwise, well.. it all seems more than a little pointless. Even if it does result in shed pounds, if I don’t LEARN something about myself and how I eat and what’s wrong with the way I eat then what’s to stop me from gaining all that weight back??

Then tonight, as I was posting my food diary, I noticed something.
A trend, if you will.

If you look at my daily food intake it’s easy to see that I eat the vast majority of my calories at dinner. I sometimes eat no breakfast at all, and when I do, it tends to be small — a piece of fruit, etc. Then a relatively small lunch and then nothing again until dinner, which is usually massive (compared to the day’s other meals anyway) and almost always accounts for over half of my day’s calories. Then I started thinking about the times (of day) that I eat.

Breakfast: between 6:00 – 7:00am (if at all)
Lunch: between 12:15 – 12:40
Dinner: between 6:00 – 7:00pm

And then it happened.

At first I thought the skies were parting above me and that beams of heavenly light were actually shining down as if from some divine spotlight… but then I realized it was just the light bulb going on over my head.

I need to eat more frequently.
I need to eat smaller meals.

*cue hallelujah chorus*

I need to eat smaller, more frequent meals.

Um… duh.

Here’s the thing… this ain’t rocket science, folks. I mean, eating smaller more frequent meals is a highly recommended approach to weight loss. In fact, even though I am loath to call this new way of living a “diet,” the truth is that most “diet” programs recommend a similar approach to eating… and a lot of people who have been successful and taking and keeping off large amounts of weight list smaller and more frequent meals as a key component in what finally worked for them… and yet, I just couldn’t see it. It took forcing myself to write it all down, day after day, for months and months and months (with admitted breaks here and there) before I finally *learned* something. I swear. Sometimes, I feel like I should be wearing the weight loss dunce cap, or something.

That’s not to say that eating smaller, more frequent meals is the right approach for everyone or even if it’s the right approach for me. However, given the data I’ve collected from months and months of logging my food choices, it does seem like it just *might* work. so… here’s what I’m going do:

Even though, officially, it’s too late for me to join Krissie’s 10 day challenge to “win” — I’m still going to participate. Starting tomorrow, and for 10 days, I’m going try to split up my eating into smaller, bite sized (har!) chunks. Instead of eating the traditional breakfast lunch and dinner, I’m going to aim for at least 5 mini meals per day. I’m still going to shoot for less than 1500 calories per day (and preferably more like 1200 – 1300), but I’m going to see if eating more frequently helps curb the afternoon/evening hunger that causes me to overeat at dinner time.

I figure, after 10 days I’ll have an idea about whether or not this is really a viable approach… plus, c’mon, I can commit to just about anything for 10 days, right?

And in the meantime I get to ride the wave of having actually discovered something about myself… in the hopes that, in the end, all this self-reflection will make me a stronger, better and *fingers crossed* thinner person. Besides, who knows what I might *learn* next! :)

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket PS: I’ve mapped out my route for ScaleJunkie’s 5k In May challenge. Of course, I won’t add the badge to my sidebar until I’ve actually done it, but here’s a sneak peak at my route. If When I do finally walk this course it will be more than just a distance victory for me… but I’ll wait to talk about that when I finally do it. In the meantime, I’m excited because, c’mon… check out that badge! Plus, even though I’m so proud of my blogging buddies who’ve gotten up the gumption to actually run one (or more) 5k’s, (yes, Andrew and Marshmallow, I’m talking to you, among others) I’m always just a little bit jealous of those accomplishments. I look forward to the day when I’m no longer *just* cheering them on, but am also donning my own pair of running shoes, you know? But in the meantime, walking a 5k is a good start. And I’m excited about logging these steps and earning this cool new badge for my sidebar. Anyway, the walk is one I’ve done before minus the overlapping inset that pushes it over the 5k mark.

Anyway… Go me!

May 15, 2008 Posted by | 10 day challenge, losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments