June 2017 Weigh-In

If you look at my graph of monthly average weights for the year so far, June looks like the worst month ever. Horrible no good very bad weight.

But.

For once, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. June has actually been a turning point for me, mentally. Not only have I hit a breaking point as far as how I feel in my own skin — I once felt awesome, but today I’m wearing shapewear to hide my lumps and bumps — but I’ve also discovered how to keep myself on track, and what will derail me if I let it.

My weight actually trended downward in June.

I’ve been using my personal bullet journal to plan ahead all my meals, my lunchtime activity, and my evenings (to keep me occupied and out of the pantry). One week, I planned to attend the annual ice cream social at work, knowing that they always serve a low-cal option or two. Sure enough, they had a low-cal vanilla… but they also had Moose Tracks, and how could I pass up Moose Tracks?! I figured it couldn’t be THAT many more Points…

Not only was it a LOT more Points, thanks to the fat and sugar, but the indulgence did something to me. For the rest of the week, I kept straying from my written plan, sneaking snacks, padding out my lunches with extras, and eventually abandoning my plan entirely.

Lesson learned: I need to avoid sweets. They can send me down a path of binge eating that I’m trying my best to avoid. Whether the trigger is physical or mental, its unwelcome, and it’s avoidable.

This week, I not only planned ahead, but I entered my plan into the Weight Watchers tracker in advance. That way, when I went to buy my Mini Garbage Salad from the food truck on Thursday, I was able to pass by those delicious cookies, because I’d already tracked my entire day, and I didn’t have any extra Points to allot for a cookie.

This week was also helpful for getting me back on track because my husband was home on vacation. That meant I wasn’t alone in the evenings, so I wasn’t lonely or bored or depressed and tempted to self-medicate with food. It also meant that if I did genuinely want to eat after dinner, I ate real food — plums and peaches, mostly — instead of eating a fourth meal of carby goodness or a giant dessert of sugary chocolatey over-the-top-ness. (Edit: We don’t actually have the stuff at home for a “giant” dessert, but a handful of Biscoff cookies topped with Lindt sea salt dark chocolate squares comes mighty close.)

Now that I know what works, and how I feel when I do it right, and that I can lose more than two pounds in a week if I just stick with the program, the results will be the motivation, as they’ve been so many times before.

My weight loss success has been cyclical over the years. Luckily, I’ve only ever regained a fraction of what I’ve lost — I’ve never rebounded to my starting weight in any of my weight loss cycles, including Atkins (starting weight 254 in 2003), WW before baby (starting weight 210 in 2008), or WW after baby (starting weight 194 in 2011).

I’m due for a hardcore losing streak, though.

Up 0.8 lbs at this week’s #weightwatchers weigh-in. I learned that a splurge on sweets can easily send me on a multi-day carb binge. Yikes.

Down 2.6 lbs at #weightwatchers this week! That’s the last two weeks’ gains gone. I’m pretty damn pleased with myself. Momentum FTW!

Every time I weigh in and I know I’ve gained, I tell the #weightwatchers receptionist that I know I’m up, and that it’s OK. But it’s not OK.

This week’s #weightwatchers weigh-in: up 2 lbs. I’ve gained 10 in the past year. I’m going to start “paying” myself for each pound I gain.

May 2017 Weigh-In

May 16, 2017: Hopefully not a day that will live in infamy.

I do believe that might be the first time I ever skipped a weekly weigh-in just because I knew I had gained. I justified it by saying that I needed to eat breakfast if I was going to go to my fitness class at 12:30, but the truth was that my preview weight at home was 180, which means I’d gained almost FOUR POUNDS since the last week’s weigh-in. I wasn’t about to face that at the scale.

I’ve been having a really rough time focusing on eating right and planning ahead. I’ve gotten much better about not binge-eating in the evenings (usually), but I’ve shifted to eating poorly during the day and failing to track, which is much worse.

My attitude lately has been to retreat to comfort food, and damn the consequences. I’ve also been engaging in (unbudgeted) online retail therapy, which is not a good idea, no matter how much I would like a new laptop bag or a new dress for work. I’m feeling like there’s too much to do at home, I can’t focus on what I need to do at work, and the workouts that were once invigorating and revitalizing leave me unsatisfied. So I eat and I shop.

Well, I should take that back: my workouts have been increasingly more positive. April was bad, but May was better. There were more classes offered at the work gym that I enjoyed, like kickboxing and yoga and core fusion, and the times I lifted weights were physically positive but disappointing from a performance standpoint (i.e. I’ve lost a lot of fitness by slacking off on working out). I also went running at the very end of the month, and managed a 20-minute run at just under a 13-minute mile pace with no walking.

My weight is hovering around 180, which is ten pounds above my lowest weight, and 20 pounds from my goal weight. My clothes don’t fit right, my face and arms feel extra fat, I no longer feel comfortable in my own skin (again), my knees hurt, and my moods swing like stupid. I’m such a delicate flower, especially when I’m tired.

I’m not sure what’s going to make me give a shit again, but I know something needs to turn around, and soon. I’ve been saying that since October, and nothing has changed. I have days where I’m totally on point, but I have more days (or unfortunate hours) where I eat my emotions and fuck all.

I’ve started keeping a handwritten journal over the past few days, logging my emotions, hunger level, and fatigue. The very preliminary findings, unsurprisingly, are that I eat my emotions when I’m tired and alone and emotionally vulnerable and something sets me off (like, say, my son not staying in bed like he was asked). Also, afternoon walks are more effective than afternoon coffee for a pick-me-up.

Perhaps if I keep up this journaling, painfully obvious though the results may be, I’ll figure out a battle plan for out-thinking my tired lizard brain ahead of time.

I just know I’m tired of feeling fat and frumpy and, well, tired. I need to take control back from my lizard brain, and I need to do it NOW.

I Wore This Shirt When I Was Ten

Riverview Gators, 1986-87

This is my elementary school t-shirt from the 1986-1987 school year. I was in fifth grade when I got it; in the photo above, I’m age 41 and wearing it again.

I remember I was so mad when Memaw bleached it and the collar and sleeve rings went from dark blue to brown. I also remember that it’s in such good shape because it didn’t fit me long afterward. (Puberty was not kind; I gained some 20 pounds over the course of my seventh grade year, and another 20 in eighth grade.)

A few days ago, I decided to revisit my box of old t-shirts that I’m saving for themed quilts (or just because). I discovered that I’m almost ready to order a Totoro-themed quilt or a rock-band-themed quilt, I’ve got a ways to go for Connor’s superhero-themed quilt… and I discovered that this shirt from 5th grade I’d been saving is a size large.

So I tried it on. And it fit.

Mind. Blown.

So, even when I’m feeling down for having recently regained ten pounds of the 80 pounds I’d lost, I still have this: I can wear a shirt I wore on a Gifted class field trip to Cape Canaveral when I was ten.

April 2017 Weigh-In

Weight graph, 12 month trend

There’s not much to say that I haven’t already said, as far as my weight loss journey is concerned. My weight is creeping up and up and I don’t like it. It’s mostly attributable to evening snacking, although I’m sure other factors come into play, too (like my waning workout habits).

I’ll be in the right headspace for a few days, then I’ll eat something that triggers me to binge, and then it takes me a few days to find any fucks to give — and by then, even more damage has been done.

Because it’s worked before, I’m going to photojournal my meals for a while. I’m not sure where I’ll post them, or at what frequency — daily on Facebook, weekly on my blog, or daily on Twitter (which feels like talking out loud to no one in particular at a loud party), but I need to post it publicly for added accountability.

Here’s today’s meals — and yes, I’m seeing a distinct lack of fruits and veggies here. While I’m trying to ramp up my protein intake, that doesn’t mean I should ignore plants. I’ll work on that.

Food journal 4/25/2017

I need to get and stay in a healthy headspace. I’m starting to feel extra frumpy and puffy and not at all awesome, and I miss that awesome feeling and I want it back.

This sucks.

If You’re Bored Then You’re Boring

Just having one of those evenings where nothing I’d planned to do sounds good. I had a whole to-do list figured out: balance my checkbook, post a blog entry from some notes I’d typed out earlier, epilate my legs, some other stuff. Instead, all I want to do is play on my phone and stuff my face.

Last week was weird. My son was home from pre-k with a fever, so I worked from home on Tuesday, took a personal day Wednesday, then worked from home again on Friday, with my husband rocking “Daddy Days” with Connor for the remainder of the week. I didn’t plan my meals well, didn’t get much activity or even any time outside. At today’s Weight Watchers weigh-in, I’d gained just over a pound in two weeks.

I told my leader I wasn’t that worried. That was kind of a lie, since I continue to be worried about my lack of judgement and self-control in the moment. Tired, cranky, depressed, thrown off, worried, stressed — all those lead to food.

When I’m in the right mental space, I know what to do. When I’m feeling shitty, I still know what I should do, but I sincerely don’t care in that moment. It’s not All Or Nothing thinking — I don’t go down a crazy rabbit hole all night or all week because I screwed up — but it is self-sabotage of a sort.

I don’t fit in my clothes right anymore. I feel jiggly and frumpy and blah, even though I currently weigh 32 pounds less than when I started Weight Watchers, and over 70 pounds less than when I got married 14 years ago.

I had reached the point of feeling a certain kind of awesome, back before I gained this ten pounds back over a year and a half, and I need to recapture that awesomeness somehow. It’s not going to happen during this week of birthday cakes and fancy dinners (and I’m fine with that — birthdays only come once a year), but I think my present to myself for my 41st birthday will be to Treat Myself Right.