Losing weight in spite of myself.

I began this blog in February 2011 as a way to help me not quit trying to lose weight, and to learn a few things. It's been an interesting and powerful experience. It certainly confirms what I've long suspected--that although I am a genuinely happy cheery person in the main, I am NOT a happy cheery dieter. I DETEST losing weight. I resent being overweight in the first place and I am a virtuoso in the art of self-sabotage. And YET--I'm doing it! I'm fighting and kicking and EATING all the way down, but the weight is finally going down. The plan I was following in February was a half-baked one largely based on wishful thinking. I gained a little weight and decided to get real. I knew I couldn't just join weightwatchers or count calories or do any one plan and expect to be successful. I decided if I was going to bother to make the effort to lose weight I was going to throw everything I could think of at the problem. And so I do. My real "Day One" for this blog is April 1, 2011. I joined weight watchers, I joined caloriecount.com (awesome website), I read the blog losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com religiously, I keep this blog faithfully, I joined the health programs sponsored by my insurance, I use the principles from overeater's anonymous, I use my church's 12 step program as well, I subscribe--and use--Healthy Cooking Magazine.

The result of all this? Painfully slow progress (About 20 lbs in 10 months). But it IS progress and like the little engine that could I keep on trying in my rebellious way. I have no intention of quitting. This is by far the longest sustained weight loss effort I've ever made in my life. Successful I think, because for the first in my life I've done this MY way--which I've discovered, involves a lot of pizza and restaraunt food. I'm convinced this is the only way to lose weight. For me it must be MY way. For you it MUST be YOUR way. Not weight watcher's way, not your doctor's way, but YOUR way. Any plan or idea I use is only a tool.

The latest plan to lose weight my way began on Oct 29, 2013. It really is my own crazy plan. As you'll see if you read that post. I've implemented the best ideas of all sorts of eating plans and thrown out the scale. A couple of months in and I'm definitely healthier. I'm actually enjoying myself. I won't weigh until April 1, 2014, so I'll see then if this works the way I hope it will.

There is no magic weight loss bullet. But there IS a great deal of magic in the discovery of what I can happily live with (very different from what weight watchers tells me I can happily live with) and still have the body and health I want.

Good luck to all of us on this journey. It's quite a trip!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

270 New Year's Eve

UGH!!  I've eaten enough fat and sugar today to fell an ox. Tomorrow will be normal food in the form of pancakes for breakfast, a sandwich lunch and roast beef for dinner.  Monday I will joyfully return to the ww plan. Tuesday, no doubt,  I will be complaining mightily about the plan, but just now with my whole body bloating I can't see any need for food at all in the upcoming year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

269 a large t-shirt

Today's been the most relaxing day I've had in ages.  Slept in, and spent the day with Catherine putting away Christmas decorations with a brief trip to the mall.  Tonight we're eating our normal Friday night pizza, watching movies and painting nutcrackers from Zims (BEST little craft store in the world that's gone out of business--but not before we practically bought out all the inventory). 

Anyway, I began the day by putting on a large--plain large, not extra large, t-shirt from Hawaii.  I loved the way it fit and looked. Not too tight and not too loose and my torso looked elongated and slim. I'm not looking forward to limiting my food again, but I AM looking forward to these next 15 pounds.  It's going to make  HUGE (no pun intended) difference!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

268 sneeze and another half

Ugh! Coming down with a cold. Whether from being trapped in an airplane breathing viruses or just from pure bad eating I don't know--probably both.  But I'm not completely dying. I'm still walking to work and am SLOWLY returning back to normal eating, but phew---there's a long way to go.  For breakfast today I had a PB2 banana, milk, and a lite bagel with veggie cream cheese--far better than these past two weeks, but still above ww limits. Lunch was 3/4 can of tomato basil soup and too many crackers with cheeseball and 6 olives. Snacking is clementines. Ooops--and also 4 cookies.  ah well. New Year's Day is coming--or rather the day after--no way I'm dieting on Jan 1. Jan 2 yes, but Jan 1 no way.  One thing will be easier this semester is the strength training. Thanks to my work's wellness program I can take time off during work for fitness.  Last year I did the walking group for the half marathon. This semester I'm not taking a class so I can't do the walking group, but I CAN and did schedule time for myself to go to the gym and get the strength training done.  I'm excited about this!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

267 an example

Another thing that happened on my trip was to see my poor sister up close and personal. She's completely out of control in her weight and other things too.  Food-wise she was pretty unbelievable--pop, pop and more pop and cookies and candy and cake and chips pretty much around the clock. She ate very little of anything that I would consider real food. A burger and fries is about as real as it got.  Anyway, I was thinking about a better lifestyle for her and how unsatisfying it would be for her to give up pop or any of the treats. She isn't going to be happy with toning down her food. She doesn't WANT just one pop or just one or two treats a day.  The whole fun is to guzzle pop by the gallon and eat whatever she wants whenever she wants.  We have the same genetics--truly there but for the grace of God I go.  But it was oddly encouraging too in a selfish way. MY natural eating habits--even at their worst are MUCH better than hers. I'm not deprived or using will power.  On the contrary, I'd be very unhappy--not to mention sick, if I drank so much pop and ate so much sugar. I would WANT something different right away!! This gives me hope that someday, when I lose this weight that my habits will be better still and it won't be a matter of so much will power and always eating less than I want (which is how ww feels--always less than I want).  I will WANT more veggies, I will WANT more exercise and one cookie will be plenty--more would be unsatisfying and cloyingly sweet. blech.  But it IS a journey to get to that point, and until one gets to that point it IS profoundly unsatisfying. I dont WANT a wrap and 6 olives! I want a wrap and as many olives as I want and maybe some chips too and a cookie!  But someday, someday, someday I will WANT better things. I already do a little bit.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

266 Low weight for Christmas

Back from Hawaii and Christmas!!!! And THANKFUL to be home. In many ways I had a great time. Hawaii is beautiful and not even my family can diminish its loveliness. Actually, overall everyone was very well behaved I think.  The trip went off as well as it possibly could have. It's just difficult to travel with a big group under any circumstances and my family--with one teen, one 8 year old, one drug addict, one cancer patient, one massively passive-agressive father, one over worked and overly burdened sister, one tired and stressed out husband and myself with all my attendant baggage----well, it was a bit of an ordeal, but an ordeal filled with fun things to do in a wonderful place. The bright side of the stress was that it did affect my appetite--I didn't feel as though I was dieting--on the contrary--I ate anything and everything I wanted including 2 full blown luaus and more candy and junk than I've eaten in months and when I came home on Christmas Eve morning and stepped on the scale I found that I was at an all time low of 185!!!!  A Merry Christmas gift indeed!!!!!

But here's the difference--and I think this is the real difference between people who are fat and thin.  In Hawaii because of stress or whatever, my base-line perma-status was FULL.  It was weird. Even if I felt hungry--even stomach growling hungry I just didn't care all that much about food. I enjoyed it when it was there, and I mean really enjoyed it--I didn't stint on those luaus, but I wasn't thinking about whether or not I should/could go back for more. Sometimes, especially if the food wasn't special, I either didn't eat at all or ate very little.  I'm SURE this is how thin people operate all the time. They eat whatever they want (with some attention to nutrition) and simply don't have to worry about points or calories or anything else. They eat, they're done and sometimes--even quite often they eat a lot but quite often too they don't eat much--whatever, it's no big deal and no will power is necessary.

Now my normal life is just the opposite. My normal base-line perma status is HUNGRY. Even on Thanksgiving day when I'm stuffed to bursting, I still want more and wish I could eat more. I'm always thinking about and wanting food regardless whether or not I'm hungry. 

The question now is how do I become the Hawaii-thin person all the time--without developing ulcers from being perma-stressed?  I think the answer lies in the over-eaters anonymous principles.  I have a workbook from the church based on the program.  I haven't been using it--it takes time and energy and is often painful. But I think it is key.  To become perma-full perhaps something has to heal.  Well, there's no "perhaps" about it.  I KNOW there's a direct correlation between healing and feeling hungry.  But it's worth it.  Hard, but so worth it.  Right now, I'm still in Christmas-mode.  I have my Christmas Eve 185, and I've been gobbling food as fast and hard as I can. Mostly, because it's just so darn good, but also because January 1st is coming and there is some "last supper" eating going on in my mind. Silly, I'll eat plenty in the coming year, but I'm excited about the next 10 pounds too.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

253 Still low

WOW!!  STILL 187--I can't imagine why. I've been totally off track.  This is NOT good for me. IT makes me think I can eat anything I want and still lose weight and therefore more resentful of any weight loss plan. But I'm getting better---I'm beginning to accept that it IS a lot of work to lose the weight to begin with, but perhaps maintenence is not going to be as awful as I fear.  This 187 is probably due to muscle mass being lost--but even still it's nice to see. It's also due I'm sure, to having lost the weight SOOOO slowly.  And I'm glad for that.  I think both physically AND psychologically I'll be ready to drop another 10-15 before I stall again.  I'm hoping for a lot of exercise next week in Hawaii!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

252 Why WW?

Ok--continuing on with yesterday's post. What is it that I like about WW? Do I want to continue with it in the New Year or try something else?  WW does a couple of things right---if I stick to the program I DO lose weight. When I started writing this blog last Feb, I was trying the lean and free program, which sounds terrific, but I didn't lose anything.  Weight loss in and of itself is a terrific motivator. I also like the hundreds and hundreds of available recipies and I like the e-tools that allow me to track points and plug in any food or recipie to see what it's worth. I like the free fruits and veggies. But the thing that ww really does right that I'm not sure I can mimic successfully on my own is the extra weekly points. The problem with rigid calorie diets is that life itself is not rigid. There ARE days (many of them) where food is a major part of the day--there are also some days that are just plain hungrier than others. The extra points make a lot of sense to me, but I don't know what the caloric equivalents are (a closely guarded ww secret).  If I cooked up my own plan--it would be free fruits and veggies, the day's calorie total, plus some weekly calorie total that I could use whenever I wanted.  The only benefit that I can see of doing it my way would be that I would get to snub weight watchers. This would be a whole lot more effective if weight watchers cared that they were being snubbed.  I guess the real appeal of my own plan is a sense of freedom from WW or any other restrictive plan.  But that's scary too. I don't manage food well. I fight and kick at WW but it does set the limits I very much need. Besides, the calorie count website is where I can always go for motivating stories.  I will probably keep fighting on with WW as originally planned.

Monday, December 12, 2011

251 Calorie Count

I just love the calorie count website. I find it real and encouraging as opposed to weight watchers which makes me feel hostile. So why stick with ww?  Good question!!!! At the moment I am the most "off" I've been since April. It's surprising how quickly things unravel.  My exercise has been off because it's been so darn cold. But really---can this be overcome? YES!!! My food has been off because I'm bored with WW, and overwhelmed by life in general. Can this be overcome?  maybe?  I don't know. Maybe I'm rationalizing here, but I'm enjoying this break---it feels right somehow.  I don't mean that I'm enjoying it as a free for all food-fest. It really hasn't been that, though I HAVE been eating more and it's a little worrisome. Mostly, I've been feeling full and kind of NOT enjoying that feeling very much. I'm kind of mentally revving myself up for a Jan 1, renewal. I'm feeling more used to this weight in the high 180's and feeling as though the 170's and maybe even the 160's are no longer mystical fantasy numbers, but actually something that could be acheived--well, ok--the 160'a still feel mythical.  I'm looking forward to having classes, hawaii, and christmas behind me. I love all of those things, but I'm tired this year. I can't wait to not have every night filled with something.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

246 blessing

WOW!!!  I've been completely distracted--I'm supposed to be working on my take home final--and I am, but I've really been working on this Hawaii trip.  Debbie arranged for ALL of us to leave a day earlier--so I've been spending the morning trying to reach everyone to see if they CAN leave a day earlier, and if the house will be available etc.  Everyone but Dad can and wants to go a day early, so that's all good. The charge for this will be NOTHING and we can get into the house a day earlier also at NO CHARGE! This will be sooooo much easier on everyone.  Food-wise, I've been on auto-pilot I'm afraid, but somehow my dinnertime portions have been shrinking thank goodness. I haven't been going out of my way to find Christmas treats, but they are everywhere.  I'm excited for Hawaii, but my family is a very difficult group to travel with and I think what I really want is to be back from the trip with everything as a happy memory.  I'm also glad for January to be coming--no classes and normal food.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

245 maintaining

Life goes at a whirlwind pace. Trying to get this Hawaii trip off the ground, trying (and failing) not to overthink my family. Anyway, somehow I've been maintaining my weight loss!  Hooray!  187 last Friday. I'm going to have to be careful. Weight watchers has changed their program again as usual--reducing points but offering nothing that would make me feel less hostile. I think it's just the way they phrase things that puts my back up.  I have to consciously remember that no one is holding a gun to my head to make me do the plan. I think I've been eating a little out of sheer rebellion--which is silly, I'm in charge.  However, other things seem to be positive---we had cobb salad yesterday and I didn't want a great big one, so I made a smaller (though still plenty big) and was satisfied--all the more amazing because I forgot to get blue cheese dressing--so I had italian with blue cheese crumbles--far less fattening and still really good.  I'm getting an inkling that as I lose weight I really will WANT to eat less. Not as a matter of will power at all, but in the same way that I wouldn't WANT to eat a four pound steak right now---it's just too much and doesn't sound appealing.

Friday, December 2, 2011

241 Two thoughts

I was thinking yesterday I ought to write about boredom--and I will, for me it is the #1 diet killer. I wonder how people like Sean who start a diet and never stray can bear to stick to it? The bottom line is that the novelty of ANY plan has worn off while the novelty of food never wears off. More on this tomorrow--I wanted to put down something I learned yesterday before I forget it.

In psych I was talking with a student about soldiers and how nice kids can go off and not only kill the enemy, but also do all sorts of other horrible things.  She said in the Vietnam era (and probably today as well), they would show the soldiers terrible things by film and then immediatley afterward feed them a steak dinner or give them free access to prostitutes. Having those pleasurable experiences right after seeing awful things is a great way to break down moral fiber because soon seeing the bad things alone feels pleasurable. And there you go. You have someone who can do horrific things. The question is can I turn this to my advantage in a positive way? What can I find or do or think while I eat smaller portions that will be pleasurable that will NOT be there when I eat too much? How can I pair these up?  Maybe eating veggies can signal I'm about to have a good time in some way? How can I do that? I can't always take a walk or do something active after eating veggies because I'm at work. Could I stretch? Would I like that? I don't think it has to be a big thing--just some kind of happy reinforcement.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

240 A fast

Yesterday we all fasted for Mom. It was a spectacular success--it was an outpatient procedure to deaden the nerves in her back and she went from 7 to 0 on the pain scale almost right away. She said last night that she could now eat and rest and that if she felt this good going to Hawaii wouldn't be a problem. I'm just so happy she's feeling better. I had Subways for dinner and a shake (Dave's fault).  Today, is back on track.