Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

Making Progress (Sorta)

Over the last month or so Andrew has done a series of posts on the lessons that losing over 100lbs and exponentially increasing his fitness level has taught him. If you subscribe to the idea that the struggle to be healthy and fit never really ends, then Andrew’s journey is nowhere near over, but he’s far closer to the “maintenance” aspect of weight loss than I am. That said, however, even though I haven’t lost 100lbs (yet) or even reached the halfway mark of my total weight loss goal, I feel like I’ve still learned a few things that are as true now as they will be when I do reach these milestones in my own journey. To that end, one lesson that I find myself having to learn over and over again has to do with how difficult all of this to do when I spread myself too thin (you’ll have to pardon the pun). Indeed, exhaustion is not part of the recipe for success when it comes to weight loss. And this week, I’m exhausted.

Part of what’s beating me down this week is the job I took to supplement my income over the summer. It’s laughable, really, because it’s literally just a part-time job at a local bookstore. I’m not digging ditches, installing roofs, building houses, rustling cattle or anything else that might be considered “manual labor” and yet this job is kicking my ass. Seriously, being on my feet all day is so much harder than I remembered it. Back (in the day) when I was in college I worked lots of on-my-feet-all-day kinds of jobs, and I don’t ever remember feeling the way I do when I come home from work now. I’m telling you, being old and fat is a bitch. :)

But what’s worse is the fact that being tired all the time has totally weakened my resolve. I’m doing so-so when it comes to eating right. I’m sure I’ve gone over, in the calorie department, at least once or twice over the last few days, but I don’t think it’s been by much. The real problem is that I’ve been too tired to record everything at the end of the day (which for me, at this point along my own person road to thin, is a crucial part of my success) and too exhausted to exercise. That said, even though I didn’t post about it (I was too tired) I did weigh in on Saturday and was up .2lbs which is about the equivalent of 2-3 large strawberries, so I’m not terribly worried about that. However, I didn’t really plan on spending the summer just maintaining my current weight loss. I’ve got a lot more pounds to lose and they’re not going to come off if I don’t put some effort into to taking them off. Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’re totally and utterly pooped.

The truth is, though, that I can’t really blame all of my exhaustion on my job (even though, I swear to you, it’s killing me). Part of the problem has to do with stress of another kind. Last week, I was tentatively diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It won’t be official until the results of the ultrasound (that I’m having done tomorrow) come back, (which may be another week or so), but my gynecologist said she’d be shocked if the ultrasound doesn’t support her conclusion. I don’t know everything there is to know about PCOS, but basically, as I understand it, my body isn’t making enough estrogen and is instead making too much androgen, which has led to a number of symptoms/problems that are too unpleasant and, at this point anyway, too personal to discuss here. Anyway, I don’t anything for sure yet, but I know that it is on my mind constantly, making it difficult to sleep (even though I am physically wiped out).

I suppose, when I think about it, it’s not all bad news, though. Some things that I know I am doing right include:

  • taking a multi-vitamin every day
  • drinking plenty of water
  • stretching before going into work (just like I would before going for a walk or doing any other kind of exercise).
  • limiting the amount of refined sugar/white flour in my diet as I know these don’t translate into prolonged/sustainable energy.
  • Not giving up or seeking comfort in food — as the old me would have done.

Some things I need to improve upon include:

  • recording my calories.
  • exercising — this really isn’t an option.
  • letting go of the stress that’s related to things that I can’t control.
  • remembering that even though I ignored my body for a long time that I am doing the right things now.

So… yes, I do work tonight, but I’m going to try to do at least one of the things on my list of “must do better” while also giving myself a gold star for trying to work through these issues rather than just throwing my hands in the air and jumping, headlong into a chocolate brownie torte with white chocolate mousse and caramelized bananas (not that I’ve given it any thought). :)

I think sometimes we all, (myself included), tend to spend a lot of time lamenting how long it takes us to come to what can seem like some pretty obvious conclusions about ourselves, our bodies, and what it takes to lose weight — when, in the end, what’s really important is that we learn these lessons at all.  Today that’s what I’m trying to focus on.

I *am* learning and it’s *not* too late.

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July 7, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

By Any Other Name…

It’s Valentines Day and, I have to admit that, normally I’m pretty cynical about these things. I hate the consumer mentality that causes people to blow tons of money on things that are both frivolous and extravagant. A socialist at heart, I always feel more than a little uncomfortable in any position that smells even a tad bit elitist. And yet, when these arrived at work today, I have to admit that I was terribly pleased. My husband, although always very sweet and always very good to me, has never been a ‘flowers’ kind of guy. Practical to the core, spending a lot of money on something that’s just going to die in a few days has never been his thing, so when I was called to the office this morning to “pick something up,” it honestly never occurred to me that it might be because he’d sent me flowers. In fact, when the secretary looked at me and said “these are yours,” I responded in complete sincerity, “are you sure?”

rose1.jpg

It was a lovely surprise and made me feel very special.

This week has been stressful and I’ve not been particularly strong when it comes to eating right or exercising. Well… that’s not entirely true. I’ve actually done fairly well when it comes to choosing healthy foods. I’ve just been eating far more of them than I really need to be eating and the result has been too many calories. That coupled with little to no exercise has made for a week that I fear has me headed for a weight gain.

The thing is, losing weight is hard work and hard work requires attention, dedication and will power — all of which have been in short supply this week. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been getting enough sleep and that by the time I get home each evening I’m fairly well worn out. None of these things are excuses, but they have taught me a couple of things.

First, sleep is an important component of my ability to be successful in all of this. I haven’t gotten enough sleep this week and it’s impacted my judgment, my will power and the sheer strength I need to hop on the exercise bike for even a few minutes. As much I hate to admit it, I’m not as young as I used to be and I need a full 8 hours of sleep each night if I’m going to be in top form the next day. Furthermore, I need to be in top form if I’m going to do what is necessary to continue taking weight off.

Second, when I know that I’m headed for extra stress or for a schedule that promises to be busier than usual, it is essential that I pre plan for it. I read lots of blogs in which people pre plan their weekly meals. Until recently, I thought that kind of looking ahead was well, a little loony. But no more. I doubt I’ll ever be the kind of girl who, under normal circumstances, puts together her menu a week in advance, but if I’ve learned anything from this week it is that I’m more likely to be successful during periods of high stress if I’ve already established a plan for that success. It’s a lot easier to just *follow* a plan when you’ve got a million other things going on around you than it is to have to make one *and* follow it.

And finally, I’ve learned that getting upset over a few caloric or fitness stumbles does nothing to fix the problem. I’ve eaten a few too many pieces of dark chocolate this week. I had the 8oz salmon instead of the 6oz serving. I ate 2 pieces of whole grain bread with dinner instead of just one, and yes, I put some butter on it. But all of that is over now. There’s nothing I can do to change it… and getting upset will only make future slip ups all the more likely. So… I’m letting it go. I have enough to worry about.

Anyway… this week’s been tough, and next week promises to be equally so. I’m just trying to hang on until next Thursday when a number of projects will be swept off my plate for good. In the meantime, I’m going to try to get more sleep. I’m going to do as much planning ahead as possible and I’m not going to freak out when I veer a little too far away from those plans.

And I’m going to take time to “smell the roses.” Such treats don’t come around that often… I’m going to enjoy them.

February 14, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments