Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

Up and Onward

Well… tomorrow is weigh in day and I’m headed for a gain.

I know it.
I can feel it.

Not to mention the fact that I went over my calories just about every day this week and only worked out 3 times the whole week, (and even that, until this weekend anyway, was pretty half-hearted.)

But… the truth is, I’m already over it. It’s not that I *like* gaining weight, of course. But, tomorrow, no matter what the scale says, I’ve already moved beyond it. I still have a very big and busy week ahead, but I know that if I can just make it to Thursday, things will ease up a great deal. I also know that part of my problem this week was that I didn’t sufficiently plan for the exhaustion that would come from an increasingly busy schedule and the strain over several simultaneous and stressful projects. I mean… I *thought* I was planning for it. I looked ahead into the week to come, and I thought, ok… I’ll just do a, b and c. But that’s not planning. That’s just thinking. And when the week got tough, thinking about it just wasn’t enough.

This week, however, I’ve done some planning. Some *real* planning. I’ve already worked out my meals for the week and even spent much of the afternoon steaming and prepacking veggies for lunches and dinners. I stopped at my local food co-op on Saturday and bought all my fruits and veggies for the week, and they’ve been scrubbed and dried and made ready to grab when I need them. I’ve got everything worked out and I’m hoping that with the map already laid out ahead of me, I won’t be so apt to take a wrong turn during those moments when I simply find myself too tired to think about what I should do.

Truth is, I doubt the work out situation will be much better this week. With several evening work-related functions in the days to come, I don’t see myself coming home and working out after a 12 hour day. I’m just banking on the fact that this will be offset by a return to healthier eating and a reduction in caloric intake.

*fingers crossed*

No matter what happens though, I won’t beat myself up. This week has been hard, and there have been moments when I’ve felt pretty disgusted with and by myself. But, when I take a moment and look at my calendar, and all those sticker laden days, I can see that, on the whole, I’m not doing so bad.

I don’t want to continue eating like I did last week.
Nor do I want to go so long without exercising.

But even my worst day last week was far better than my best day a year ago.

I’ve made changes in who I am and in how I live.
I no longer look at food in the same ways I did a year ago.
I no longer treat my body the way I did.

My life has changed.
I have changed.

And one week of imperfection can’t change that.

So… to the scale I say: bring it on! Whatever number it gives me tomorrow, it won’t be the end of the world. Nor will it undo or change all that I’ve accomplished. *Next* Sunday all of this will all be just a memory and I’ll have an all new batch of neuroses to ramble on about! Now that’s something to look forward to! :)

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February 17, 2008 Posted by | exercise, health, losing weight, motivation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

“SO how are you doing now?” — Sally Parrott Ashbrook

*smile*

I’m doing great!

This week has been so busy. Work is currently kicking my butt. I’m the middle of writing a large grant proposal, scheduling a major public event for my library and trying to complete a massive video production project that my principal dumped on me last week. All of these projects happen to collide on the 21st of this month, so I’ve been working a lot of long hours in the meantime trying to get everything done.

Good things are happening, though. And even though I have no idea how much I currently weigh at the moment (gonna wait until Monday to find out) I can *feel* my success in so many other ways.

Here’s the thing: as I’ve mentioned here before, this is not *just* about losing weight for me. Sure, that is a *huge* part of it, but it’s not all of it — not by a long shot. I’m thoroughly convinced that the only reason I am losing weight right now is because I’ve changed my whole life. I’m sure I sound like a broken record at this point, but some things just bear repeating, so I’ll say it again: I’m not on a diet. I’m changing my life. I’m changing my habits. And by doing so, I will lose weight. That said, I think you really have to understand what my old life was like in order to truly appreciate what a great week this one has been for me. This is what my old schedule used to be like.

Typical Day/Eating Habits:
5:15am — wake up and get ready for work.
6:00am — leave for job #1

  • stop at convenience store to get 2 – 20oz full calorie sodas (Mello Yello was my drug of choice)
  • stop at fast food restaurant for breakfast of some kind (usually a biscuit with meat but no egg)

6:45am — report to work
3:00pm — leave for job #2

  • having had no lunch, I would stop again at convenience store for 2 more 20oz full calorie sodas + at a fast food restaurant for dinner #1

4:30pm — report to job #2

  • during the course of my shift I would make at least one trip to the vending machine for “something sweet.”

10:00pm — leave job #2

  • call husband who would be hungry and ask me to pick up something on the way home.
  • pick up fast food or pizza or chinese take out or something of that nature for dinner #2 and head home.

11:00pm — arrive at home, eat (again) with husband and then grade papers (one of my jobs was being an English teacher) until I simply couldn’t stay awake any longer… then I would sleep until 5:15am came around again.

I can assure you that this is no exaggeration. This was my life 5 days a week, every week, for 10 years. And it nearly killed me. (The weekends weren’t much better, especially during the last year or so when I added graduate school to the mix).

Looking back at it now, literally, puts a knot in my stomach. I can’t imagine how I allowed myself to get into that situation. I can’t believe that I thought, for awhile anyway, that living like that was going to make me happy. It’s embarrassing and, frankly, it saddens me to think about how much of my life I wasted and how close I came to losing it all. I’m just so thankful that I lived to finally see the light.

Anyway, this week, while not nearly as stressful as weeks past, presented some challenges. And I have to admit that as the stress began to pile up, I was worried that I would slip into some old eating habits. Even more frightening to me was the very real possibility that when faced with working overtime, I’d also revert to the old days of eating what was convenient rather than what is healthy and good for me.

But that hasn’t happened. In fact, I’m amazed to report that I haven’t gone over my calories even once. And… the really amazing thing is that I haven’t even been tempted to. I’ve been bringing the kind of lunches to work each day that I can break up and eat throughout the day. I’ve been eating at my normal lunch time, but saving an orange and some cheese, or something, until later in the day… something to tide me over until dinner which, out of necessity, has been later than usual, but hasn’t been horrifying.

That’s not to say, of course, that I’ve been perfect. I’ve skipped breakfast twice — something I know that I shouldn’t do. My meal choices at dinner have been pretty good, but I have to admit that even though it did keep me within my alloted calorie range, last night’s dinner wasn’t the healthiest choice and contained more sodium than I should be eating. True too is that while I managed to exercise on most days, I took the last two days off. (Something that I plan to correct today). And finally, my water intake is down a tad — although still within good levels — not as much as I have been drinking. (Water is a big part of my success, I believe. I literally drink 3+ liters of water a day).

All of that said, when I think about the way I used to live, this week feels like a complete and utter triumph.

The really big thing for me is that *not* reverting back to old habits, in my mind, speaks to the fact that new habits are taking hold in my life. The reality is that if I’m ever going to reach a healthy weight, then the way I eat and take care of myself has to change forever. If I want my weight loss to be permanent, then so too must be the lifestyle changes that precipitate it. The fact that stress or long hours at work didn’t change (by much) they way I live and eat, seems like strong evidence to me that I *can* do this for the long haul. For awhile now, I’ve felt like these changes were becoming a part of my routine, but I believe, this week really proves it. And, for me anyway, that is truly amazing.

Of course, I can’t pinpoint one specific thing that has kept me on track. As with most thing in life, a variety of factors have converged to help me a long. My new calendar challenge has definitely been a part of it though. I mean, seriously, who knew that stickers could be so motivating?? Even though I haven’t been blogging this week, I have been keeping up my food and exercise diaries, as well as updating my calendar and the new spreadsheet I started this month to help me collect and understand the way my body is changing. All of those things are important and they *have* helped keep me motivated. It’s ridiculous, I know, but the idea of *not* putting a sticker in the spot that indicates that I stayed within my calories is just NOT acceptable. :) I’m already devastated by the lack of exercise stickers over the last two days, but I’m planning to change that this weekend. Plus, and I really can’t over state the importance of this, knowing that if I allowed this week to get the better of me, I’d have to come here and confess myself, also helped me keep my butt on the right track. Believe me, when Sally asked how I was doing, I was so relieved to be able to say, and mean it, that I’m doing great!

So… the next couple of weeks are going to continue to be stressful, but I’m putting one foot forward and heading into the storm with confidence. Of course, that may mean that I won’t be blogging quite as much. But, I continue to read all of your blogs every day (I did this week too!) and continue to be inspired by and learn from all of your strength, courage and success. So… keep the faith, girls (and guys!) We can do it!

February 9, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Look Back at January

2.65.4 – 263.2 = -2.2lbs

Ok. So, let’s talk about January.
The truth is, I didn’t really keep stellar records for the first part of January. It wasn’t until I was a week or so in that I began, for the first time, to count calories. Funnily enough, that’s also about the time that I said goodbye to my December plateau. Hmmm. I wonder if there’s a connection. :)

Anyway, even though my records aren’t entirely complete, here’s what I can chalk off to January:

Total weight loss: -8.4lbs (I’m not counting this week’s loss in January as we’re already 4 days into February).
Avg daily calories: 1367
I managed exercise of some kind 23 days out of 31.
I walked and/or biked 96 miles.
I haven’t figured out a way to really tabulate/avg the small amount of weight training that I do with my hand weights, but maybe I’ll be able to figure that out next month.

All in all, this looks like success to me. On average, I ate what I should. I exercised more days that I didn’t. And in the end, I lost weight.

I also firmly believe that it’s no accident that this success was experienced the very month that I started keeping this blog. Yes. I’d lost weight prior to starting this part of my journey, but I hit a brick wall around November and while I didn’t gain weight, I wasn’t losing much either. Thing is, I’m realistic. I’m sure I’ll plateau again (several times) before it’s over, but I’m telling you, it’s literally amazing what having some incredibly smart, funny and brave people on your side can do.

I have no idea who first coined the phrase “success breeds success” but I’m hoping tonight that it’s true. The truth is, I feel like I’ve worked hard in January to stay on track. It’s been work. Some things are starting to feel more like habits, but in a lot of ways I’m still trying to change the way I’ve lived. The new way is not second nature to me yet. I’d be the first to admit that I’m an old dog and this new trick is taking some time to learn.

That said, it takes a few high notes, a few moments of success to spur on that momentum and keep it going. Looking back at January as a whole helps me see how much I accomplished. Far more than the 8lbs I dropped, the reduction in my caloric intake and the sheer number of miles that I clocked during the month seems utterly amazing to me. Had someone told me on Jan. 1st that I’d have moved my fat ass nearly 100 miles by the end of the month, I’d have choked on my bon bon. It would have seemed inconceivable, and yet I did it. What’s more, I know that in just a few months, these successes will seem small compared to what is yet for me to accomplish. Hopefully, I can remember all this on those days when it all seems completely hopeless. :)

Anyway, that’s January. Done.
February, here I come.

February 4, 2008 Posted by | exercise, health, losing weight, motivation, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments