November Backslide

I do NOT deal well with stress. I am a stress-eater.

Usually my stress-eating manifests after a particularly contentious bedtime with my five-year-old. I set myself a new goal to avoid eating after 7pm, rather than 8pm, since I had a tendency of rapid-fire binge-eating if Connor’s bedtime didn’t go well, in order to get my emotional eating done before my 8pm food cutoff.

My job, thankfully, is not generally a stressor for me. One fateful day, though, a co-worker came to my desk right before lunch and engaged me in a work-related debate in which he started with false assumptions. It lasted entirely too long, it stressed me out, multiple co-workers attempted to come to my rescue, and at the end of it, I ate my lunch from home plus a serving of lasagna from the cafe downstairs. Plus a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup I brought in from Connor’s Halloween stash.

(I had planned to go on a camera walk over my lunch break that day, but after that, I really wasn’t feeling it. Instead, I just got outside and walked to a local coffee shop in the 71°F weather. In November. In Ohio. And then I impulse-bought an eclair along with my skinny latte.)

latte

(more…)

October 2016 Weigh-In

For once, my mid-month body fat percentage check was a win — I went down one third of a percent from the previous month. I’ll take whatever I can get.

Also, yet another non-scale victory regarding body image: during Yoga Flow class, I saw and acknowledged my midriff rolls, and didn’t care AT ALL, because HOLY SHITBALLS look at those shoulders HOT DAMN.

I’ve had a few No Good Very Bad Days where I self-medicate with carbs, but I’m apparently being gooder than I am badder overall, because my weight is still trending downward this month. Actually, I’ve lost more this month (on average) than any single month so far this year.

Monthly Average Weight

Even with all this positive juju, though, and an average loss for this month versus last month, I’m still pretty much stalled where I’ve been all year. I’ll have a couple weeks of awesome weight loss, then a slight rebound, then I’ll hold steady for a month. Or I’ll have a Really Bad Week, then a Really Good Week to get back to where I was, then maintain. In order for me to reach Goal by the end of the year (Thanksgiving is no longer a reasonable target), I’ll need to consistently have decent losses every week — slightly more than one pound.

I made it through a wedding without even a weight blip — mostly because I wasn’t enamored with the catered BBQ, and I took it easy on the wedding cupcakes. (Which was hard because OM NOM NOM CUPCAKES.)

Next month’s challenge: Halloween candy. My son doesn’t care for chocolate as much as chewy and crunchy candies like Dots and Starburst, which leaves the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers and Hershey’s and various other awesomeness for me and Dad to pilfer. As long as I pilfer them one at a time, though — just like I dole them out to my son after dinner — I should be fine.

It’s still completely reasonable for me to reach Goal by year end. I just have to believe that, and want it, and prioritize it.

September 2016 Weigh-in

I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but that Eva Longoria sheath dress on The Limited’s website really looked flattering — plus, I could get it at 40% off. That purchase turned into the biggest Non-Scale Victory I’ve experienced in a Very Long Time.

Not only did I wear it to work (and accessorize it properly), but I felt good in it, and I looked good in it, and I got unsolicited compliments on it (which is to say, I wasn’t fishing for compliments).

dress mirror selfie

Had anyone asked me five years and fourteen pounds ago if I’d be comfortable wearing an eyelet knit stretch sheath dress without a jacket or sweater over it, my answer would have been HELLZ to the NO. Today, even though I can still see my lumps and bumps and rolls and other indignities, I still feel really awesome in this dress.

This is not a little thing. This is a huge shift in mindset. This is big.
(more…)

I call BS on the title of this Blade editorial on obesity rates. Obesity doesn’t always mean “not so beautiful.” t.co/vt0b3W0zUY

CsFY1lkWgAAllIf

August 2016 Weigh-In

Overall Impressions of August
First half of August = major slip-ups
Last half of August = excellent recovery

Daily Weight - Max 174, Min 168

I started August in a bad place. My weight was trending slowly upward over the last week and a half of July, and the waistband of my once-comfortably-snug size 12 pants suddenly made my skin itch from being too tight. I felt frumpy and sausagey and a little overwhelmed, despite still only being maybe seven pounds above my Lowest Weight Ever.

The weak point in my program continues to be poor decisions made in the moment. Whether I’m enticed by zucchini bread at work or drawn to simple carbohydrates at home, these spontaneous deviations from plan are thwarting my weight loss efforts.

(more…)

July 2016 Weigh-In: More of the Same

It’s never good when I reach the middle of the month and realize it’s already time to take my monthly body fat percentage measurements. In that moment, I feel like I’ve squandered the last four weeks, and I’m no better off than I was at the last measurement.

It also sucks when I look at my meal breakdown graph for that mid-month week and realize I didn’t learn anything from the previous month, apparently. Snacking — especially evening binge snacking — is a major problem.

201607-DailyMealBreakdown

Every Tuesday, before my weekly Weight Watchers weigh-in, I mentally check in with myself. Lately, I feel like I’m running up the down escalator when it comes to weight loss — not only that, but I get distracted midstream, so I’ll stop trying for just a moment and lose so much ground.

The question is how to keep myself focused. Granted, I’m pretty sick of being in constant weight-loss mode (hence why I let myself go off the rails sometimes), but that’s no reason to sit down and eat a fourth meal and two more desserts after my son goes to bed.

Since my obvious problem is after-dinner snacking, perhaps it’s time to reinstate The Closing Of The Kitchen ritual. The status quo earlier in the month had been to plod downstairs after the nightly bedtime ritual and beeline for the pantry to feed my emotions, and put off loading or unloading the dishwasher and cleaning the counters and whatnot until time for me to go up to bed myself. Instead of hanging out in the living room, munching on something and watching Good Eats on Netflix and waiting for my son to call me upstairs for whatever reason, how about I go immediately into the kitchen (where I can still hear him if he calls) and clean up?

Another focusing tactic that’s worked for me in the past is the daily photo-journaling of my meals, so that was an option. Then, in addition to Closing the Kitchen and photo-journaling, one thing I hadn’t tried up until this point was actually planning my meals ahead and pre-tracking them.

So, on my mid-month weigh-and-measure day, I started all of these. I sat down and planned out my meals from Tuesday through Friday, I photographed each of the day’s meals and snacks just before eating, I cleaned up the kitchen after my son went down for the night, I made a low-cal dessert (individual pudding cups, 5SP each), and I calmly enjoyed one in the sunroom after I was sure my son wasn’t going to get up again.

I also opted not to turn on any lights or watch any TV, although I did play on my phone in the sunroom until it got dark. Once it got too dark to see, it was time for me to get up to bed, anyway. I did a little yoga (although it was mostly stretchy and not strengthy, as I was too tired for proper form at that point), played on my phone for a little while, and went to bed a half hour earlier than normal (but still later than would be ideal).

The word “holistic” has a hippy-dippy connotation for me, but I really do need to take a holistic approach to my health. Everything’s related — mood, food, sleep — and I would be well-served to take care of all of them, instead of working on one at the exclusion of the others.  (more…)

June 2016 Weigh-In

I’ve done the whole “Why Did I Eat That” analysis before. Seems that maybe I need to do it again, and offer myself some better options for the next time I find myself wanting to stuff my face when I’m not truly hungry (or feed my face the absolute wrong foods).

Situation: At work, either late morning or mid afternoon. Sluggish, but not necessarily hungry. Tempted to hit the vending machine for a Diet Dew and something from the bottom row — Pop Tarts, cookies, honey bun, etc.

note to selfWhen I find myself sitting at my desk and contemplating a sugary snack, I have a couple of lines of defense.

Number One: I actually wrote myself a reminder on a sticky note, telling myself how crappy I felt after eating the carrot cake from the restaurant downstairs. Not that it’s not delicious, but the icing is more sugar than cream cheese, and I feel positively nasty after I eat a piece.

Number Two: I look at my weight graphs in Google Sheets. I’ve been aggregating monthly and weekly weights from my daily weigh-ins at the bathroom scale, and when I feel like it doesn’t really matter if I go get a Pop-Tart or some Hostess cupcakes from the bottom row, I take a look at the slow downward trend I’ve got going on. Then I let myself be reminded by that blip in May (and June) that, yes, the little things DO matter.

monthly weight graph
(more…)

Eating With Intention (May 2016 Weigh-In)

I’ve been having trouble eating with intention lately. My intention is to lose weight — specifically, to lose fat — and I haven’t been successful at that. Mindful eating, sure — I don’t often find myself at the bottom of a bowl of pasta these days, although I do occasionally ponder and pore over what evening snack I should enjoy, knowing full well that I shouldn’t be eating after 8pm, and not caring.

Halfway through May, I decided to start double-tracking again — that is, tracking my food both on Weight Watchers eTools and on Lose It! I find that I plan more carefully if I can see the macronutrient breakdown, which is completely opposite of the current WW mindset — their idea is, the fewer numbers to track, the better. I’m not always down with that. Sometimes I want data: percentage of protein in my day, or most frequently eaten foods, or most calorie-laden foods, or just a visual of how many calories I’ve eaten this week. Unfortunately, though, double-tracking often just gives me an excuse to keep eating on any given day, since my daily SmartPoints target seems to be somewhere around 1300 Calories, not including the 49 Weekly Points that I can distribute over the week however I choose.

I’m also torn as to whether setting small “rules” for myself is helpful or not. I know that the one big rule I should be following is Stick To The Plan — and since Weight Watchers is what I’m doing right now, that’s what I should be sticking to, whether I double-track or not. Will setting lots of little guidelines for myself be helpful or harmful? Depends on if I’m in the all-or-nothing mindset or being more forgiving.

On one hand, I know I should be kind to myself. Slow and steady wins the race and all that. But I also feel like it’s time for some tough self-love. If I’m actually eating with intention, with the purpose of losing weight fat, then there is no reason my average weight loss should be 0.45 pounds PER MONTH. That’s right: less than half a pound per month.

monthly weight graph

Am I OK with that? No, I’m not OK with that. Granted, I’m glad that I’m not where I used to be, both health-wise and weight-wise… and the scale is generally moving in the right direction… but I’ve been half-assing this weight loss thing for long enough. I’m about ten pounds from where I think my goal weight is, and I’ll be damned if I let my 40th year come and go and not reach my goal weight.

CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

Non-Scale Victories:

  • Wore a pair of jean shorts with a 3” inseam out in public (i.e. fingertip-length) and didn’t feel self-conscious
  • Made healthy food for our annual shindig: lomi lomi salmon and roast pork, plus some less-healthy but not horrible food, like SPAM (Lite) musubi and macaroni salad

When your friend who knows you’re supposedly trying to lose weight sees you warming up a cinnamon roll, OWN that moment! Zero fucks given.

My kid “forgot” he doesn’t like peaches after requesting them for dinner. They will be my snack later w some yogurt & honey. #weightwatchers