Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hunger Pains

Being hungry, like the kind of hungry where you're sitting in a meeting and your stomach starts growling kinda hungry, is truthfully a pain. I can understand why they are called "hunger pains".

I'm a complete goober about being hungry. It's all psychological but for some reason, when I'm hungry, I panic. I've never gone without food so the fact that I panic is a bit ... um ... ridiculous. The panic is all consuming. It has gotten so bad in the past that I've roved the halls, peeking in offices for spare candy and treats. Also in the past, I'd give into the panic when it turned to the craving phase. As soon as I'd identify a crave food, I'd give in and have to have it immediately. I was like a vicious dog with a bone. Stay outta my way, clear a path, OR ELSE!

These days I'm trying instead to deal with the hunger and address it before it gets to the panicked dog state.

I find that water is a huge help. When those hunger pains kick in, I down as much water as I possibly can to fill up my stomach. When I'm fully waterlogged, I know there's no way I could fit a morsel of food inside me and can instead start to deal with the psychological reasons I was hungry. The downside to the water intake ... lots and lots of trips to the restroom. I'm not sure which is worse in the middle of a meeting, hunger pains or raising my hand to ask for restroom permission. Regardless, it's healthier physically so I'll put up with the mental anguish of the multiple restroom mad dashes.

The longer I'm on a reduced calorie diet, the easier it gets. I get fewer hunger attacks and cravings and the plan really is easier to follow. It's just a matter of sticking it out when the going gets tough.

The minute I give into the craving, I start back at square one. The hunger comes back, the routine starts over, and I beat myself up for losing ground.

I'm bound and determined today that no matter what I need to do to stick this out, I'll do it. I'm not giving into the hunger pains or allowing them to throw me of track.

With that, another 40 oz is ready to vacate my body and thus I'm off for another restroom break.

Happy dieting!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Decision to Try

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
When I look at my weight loss goal, I get overwhelmed easily. 50 pounds is a lot to lose and it comes off so slowly.

I start to think about that goal and I lose patience. I start to think of how much I need to get through in order to reach that goal ... how many donuts and gummy worms I'll pass up .... how many glasses of wine I'll turn down .... how many nights I'll go to bed with a rumbly in my tumbly.

All of those negative thoughts flood through my head and the weight loss task seems daunting and insurmountable. Seeing it in that light, I sometimes don't even want to start the process and my thought for the day goes from "I can do this!" to "Shoot, this is too hard so I'll just tackle this whole weight loss thing tomorrow."

If I break the process down into a daily goal, it becomes much more manageable. I'll just start with the decision to try for today.

Today I am deciding to eat well. Just today. Just this moment. Right now. I will drive past the Starbucks without stopping. I will stick with my food plan today. I will jog at lunch. I will live this day as a dieter and count it successful when, at the end of the day, I've stayed true to my morning decision.

That's reasonable.

Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try.

Each day I can recommit to this weight loss and see it through if I start out my day by making that decision and literally biting off a manageable chunk of my goal.

So this morning, the decision has been made. I'm not dwelling on the donuts and gummy worms or thinking through the weekend. I'm focused on today and staying on point and on plan.

That's doable.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Adding up the "extras"

I have a tendency to add "extras" to my food plan and then just kinda sorta forget to add them to my food journal. I think every dieter is guilty of this to some degree although I think the truly successful dieters account for each and every calorie they consume.

I'm attempting to be more honest with myself about these calories. Since I'm on a strict 1250 calorie per day plan, technically, every single calorie counts.

That bite of donut isn't devoid of calories (as much as I might try to will it to be that way). That unmeasured dose of salad dressing is probably more than 40 calories in and of itself. Those couple of bites of cottage cheese from the container really do have calories too. And yes, even the hard candies I sneak from a coworkers candy jar have more than a few calories hidden in their sugary sweetness.

Adding all those calories together can add up quickly. Sauces, sugary candies, dressing, extra bites, little tastes, etc. Shockingly, they all have calories. A 1250 calorie diet could quickly turn into a 1500 calorie diet and therefore cut into my weekly weight loss goals.

It takes 3500 calories to lose and gain a pound. That means I need to expend 3500 more calories than I take in in order to lose.

Not too long ago my trainer had me row until I lost 7 calories. I was amazed at how hard it was to work off 7 calories. I mean, seriously? How hard did I need to sweat to beat those buggers outta me? That just seems so ironic. If I remember correctly, it was about 2 minutes of really hard rowing. 2 mins. For 7 measly calories!!!!

That kinda made me re-evaluate that extra tablespoon of salad dressing with 20 extra calories. 20 calories is 4 mins of back breaking, arm pulling, stinky sweating hard work. No thank you!

Given that, I'm rededicating myself to accounting for all my calories ... big and small. A calorie is a calorie and every single one is either helping or hurting me in reaching my goal.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easy come, easy go .... easy come back on

Does anyone else get as annoyed as I do by the weight loss ads on TV, billboards, and the internet? They make weight loss appear so easy. Show a pic of a chubby gal in a bikini, she takes a pill, and suddenly she transforms (by magic of course) into a beautiful bikini model with abs of steel.

Yeah ... right.

If it were that easy to lose weight, everyone everywhere would be skinny with abs of steel. We would never ever have to worry about our weight again. Ever again. Skinny and happy for life! Yeah!

Newsflash, there is no easy way to lose weight and keep it off. Those of us (like all of us even the skinny minnies) that struggle with our weight will be fighting this fight the rest of our lives. Sure, it will get easier, but it will be a fight nonetheless. We will always need to watch our calories, maintain portion control, and ensure that we're making wise food choices.

That, my friends, is reality.

So why do so many buy into the falsity of the ads? In my opinion, they are looking for the easy and quick way out. After all, it was so easy to put the weight on in the first place. Surely it should be easy to take it off. Right? That seems only fair.

However, if it were easy to take off, would they learn their lesson about making wise choices to begin with? Easy come, easy go .... easy come back on.

I was emailing with a friend yesterday that's also struggling with her weight loss. She's put some weight back on and that's been as hard for her as it has been for me. In writing her back, I said the following:

The truth is, that had I not had this backslide, I never would have appreciated how far I'd already come and how far I still need to go. Instead of getting down on myself about it, I'm viewing this as a lesson I needed to learn. I needed to know how badly it felt to put on tight jeans again. How icky I felt when my shirts didn't look good on me anymore. How even just standing in my closet in the morning and trying to find something to wear can set me down the wrong path for the day. All of this helped me truly understand that nothing I eat can even come close to the long term feeling that I get from being healthy and making wise food choices.

I think that's true about losing weight as well. Through the struggle to lose, we find value in our results. Winning the battle - whether a small victory over a donut temptation or a large victory like hitting goal - gives us pride and a sense of accomplishment which we need in order to maintain our focus.

I'm happy to do this the "natural" way. I eat foods that I can pick up at any grocery store anytime, anywhere. I'm actually learning about nutrition and that will serve me for the rest of my life. I don't hide behind pre-packaged meals. I face the real world grocery stores and restaurants and still make wise choices.

I'm happy to say no to "magic" pills and instead put that money toward my rewards. Spending $50-$100/month on pills that don't offer me a long term solution pales in comparison to a scoring a cute (and much smaller sized) top that will showcase my progress.

Oddly, I can say I'm happy to struggle too because at the end of the day, when I've been successful and on plan, waged the war against all the temptation and come away a victor, I feel strong and empowered because I accomplished my daily goal while facing the world head-on.

That, to me, is priceless.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's been a week ...

It's been a doozey of a week.

I must admit that I wasn't as great as I'd planned to be over last weekend. I got busy, failed to plan, and thus, planned to fail. I indulged a little more than I needed and that hit me hard in the form of feeling run down and getting a cold for a couple days. Today is the first day that I feel like a humanoid and am thus refocused and back on target.

By my home scale, I'm not up and that's good news. I didn't make it into THW this week because of the cold but plan to be back on Tuesday for another weigh in where I will know for sure what the damage is.

I'm now looking ahead and gearing up for a better weekend. TS and I went grocery shopping and the fridge is now restocked and ready with fresh fruits and veggies, good healthy chicken for the BBQ, etc. I even managed to make some pumpkin custard which is one of my fav on plan foods!

I'm mentally preping too. Here are some things I need to remember this weekend.

1) BRING FOOD WITH ME! No matter what I'm doing, bring an apple or yogurt or something to snack on. When I don't have food with me and I get hungry, I make poor choices. Poor choices lead to more poor choices. I'm going to break that routine this weekend.

2) I DO NOT NEED TO EAT BAD TO "TREAT" MYSELF! I used to do that a lot and it turns out old habits die hard. When I feel icky or get stressed, I wanna eat. But this weekend, when I want to treat myself, I'm going to think of other things to do like brush a horse, take a bath, or call a friend.

3) I CAN DO THIS! I believe that statement wholeheartedly and plan to repeat it to myself over and over and over and over so that I can continue to set myself up for success.

Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Pound and a Stone

My friend Holly has a wonderful idea and I'm going to copy her.

On her bathroom counter, she placed a jar filled with those little glass stones you get from the craft store. She placed a stone in for each pound she wants to lose to get to goal. For every pound she loses, she removes a stone. Her husband, being the supportive man he is, suggested that when she's up (as if that would happen, right?), she should put the stone in her shoe. That way, each time she takes a step, she'll be reminded of her goal.

What a great concept.

I love visual inspiration. When I see changes occurring, it keeps me motivated and moving forward. So seeing the stones in my jar go down, would be encouraging to me.

I also liked the stone in the shoe idea. What better way to be reminded of your goal and associate PAIN with the food than by actually inflicting some discomfort? The glass stones are rounded and wouldn't hurt but they would be uncomfortable and annoying. Just like added weight to our bodies is uncomfortable and annoying!

I'm headed to the craft store today to pick up my stones and am anxious to remove my first seven from the jar. I was down another pound today which put me at 7 pounds total weight loss for the week. I'll take it!!! That's 7 pounds closer to my goal and not too shabby for my first week back on plan!

Now, onto the weekend. I'm staying focused so that I can have another great loss next week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The "Tight" Jeans

As I've said before, there's something motivating about too-tight jeans. I've recently found that not only are they good motivation when pulled out and an attempted "stuffing" takes place but they are also highly motivating when - once the stuffing is complete - they are worn through an entire day.

First of all, there's a large amount of exercise that takes place while I jump up and down, stuff, pull, prod, persuade, sweet talk, and finagle the too-tight jeans over my thighs and eventually closed around my belly. Generally at some point in this debacle I break out in a sweat. Sweating is good for weight loss.

Secondly, while wearing the too-tight jeans, I can't eat too much at one time. I take a bite of an apple and that's about all I can fit in me without unbuttoning the pants. So ... I eat my food slowly and spread it out throughout the day. This tidbit is also really good for weight loss.

In addition, while wearing the too-tight jeans, I'm consistently reminded of why I'm dieting in the first place and thus, my cravings decrease. Granted, the reminder comes in the form of a severe pain around my belly as the buttons dig into my gut and cut off my air supply ... but ... hey .... such is the sacrifice of a dieter.

I used to throw clothes that didn't fit into the back of the closet in an attempt to hide them from myself. I didn't want to be reminded of how fat I was. Plus, by not seeing them, I simply had to schedule a shopping trip because I had "nothing to wear"! This was my double-edged dealing technique and one that got me to 300 pounds.

This time around though, that's not going to happen. I want to be reminded of where I was and where I want to go to. I want to my goal to be staring me in the face (or slamming into my gut as the case may be) consistently so that I'm on target to complete this journey.

So this morning while I was doing the jean-dance, I kept thinking of how cool it will be to again be able to slide them on without the sweating, cussing, and arguing. Those days are on the horizon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Motivation is in the doing

When it comes to weight loss, I don't know that there has ever been a more true statement.

I visited THW today and was down 6.1 pounds since Thursday. I'll take it! That loss is the motivation I need to stay on track. Amazing how yesterday was a struggle and today is a breeze. Well, ok, not a breeze but it's certainly easier to combat the little cravings when I know that I'm losing.

Knowing the pounds are coming off is enough to keep me from looking longingly at donuts, bakery cases, and fatty lattes.

I'm instead focused on fitting back into my jeans and being comfortable in my clothes.

Awww, those were the days ... and if I continue down this track ... those days will be back sooner rather than later. Next thing you know, my clothes will be BAGGY! Awww ... instead of looking longingly at the donuts, I'm looking longingly at the clothes in my closet, thinking of how it'll feel to fit in them again, and being inspired by those things.

As Letha says, nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.

Today, I soooooooo agree.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Donuts and Successful Dieting

I will count today as a success when I can make it through the day and not give into my desire for a jelly donut.

Today, that is my battle.

I was 100% on plan yesterday and that felt awesome. Today it's harder. I'm hungry. My stomach is actually growling and, each time I fill up my water bottle in hopes of staving off the hunger pains, I must pass the mound of donuts.

I think my belly is having a conversation with the donuts because the rumblings increase to a deafening crescendo when I get within a certain distance of the table. Yeah. Embarrassing.

So today, if I can escape the discourse of my belly and the donuts and stay on plan, I will count this day as a success. I know that if I resist today, next Friday will be easier. And the Friday after that will be even easier still. Giving in just once a couple weeks ago has made today a battle.

It's one I have every intention of winning though. I've made a commitment to be on this plan and lose this weight. I said no last night to things far more enticing than donuts and I know today I can turn away empty calories.

I just need to do it.

Today will be a successful day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Reality of the Situation

I so don't want to write this post. In fact, I've been debating how I could write it without really writing it and thus not owning up to my "up"-dated numbers.

Perhaps I could just tell you all I'm "up just a little" and be done with it. Like somehow if I don't admit to the number on my blog it won't be real. It would just be a bump in the road and you all wouldn't have to know just how far I've slipped.

The thing is though, that the more I thought about hiding the weight gain, the more I felt like the old Wendy. The 300lb Wendy that hid from people and didn't like to go out in public. The Wendy that didn't like herself very much. The Wendy that wouldn't face the numbers on the scale back in the beginning.

The more I thought about hiding the updated number, the more I felt I was slipping backwards. I felt that if I didn't admit the weight gain here, I would further let myself down and perpetuate the problem.

So, with that (drum roll please) ....

My new reality is that I'm back up to 213.8.

My goal remains the same. I'd like to be 157 which means I have a total of 56 pounds to lose. That's approximately 28 weeks as I plan to lose 2ish pounds a week. That means I'll be done with this in approximately 7 months. Finishing this in 7 months puts me at goal sometime in October.

October.

Oh boy. That seems like forever away for me. I just worked that all through just now and it's hitting me like a ton of bricks.

Must. Re. Focus.

My dad used to always say that time will go by regardless of if we're reaching towards our goals. So, the truth is that it will be Oct. sooner or later regardless of whether or not I'm at my goal weight. How crappy would I feel if Oct. arrived and I still wasn't at goal? Now, how good would I feel it Oct. came and I was at goal?

Ok, better.

In some respects, I'm happy I've relapsed. I don't know that at 300 pounds I would have been able to stop this cycle. I wouldn't have understood how much better it felt to be 187 or even 167. I do now. I get it. And I want it again. I want to be skinny and happy and healthy. I've had a taste and I so prefer that life to the one that I had before. I will not go back.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Slipping Away

I have bad news to report. I've slipped. I've slipped even after I recommitted. I've slipped so far that my loose jeans are no longer loose and are, in sad fact, very tight.

This realization came to light this morning when I stumbled upon a pair of jeans I had forgotten about, tucked back in the back of my jeans drawer. I had tucked them there because they were getting too big and I could barely hold them up anymore but they weren't to the point of me getting rid of them just yet primarily because I'd paid good money for them and just couldn't face donating them just yet. So, they strayed to the back of the jean drawer and were forgotten about. Finding them was an inspiration this morning. Thinking those would be "just the jeans" for the day I was having, I pulled them out and tried to slip them on.

Well, let me tell you, there was no slipping happening. It was instead a lot of shoving, pulling, twisting, breath-holding, and cussing (yes, I admit a few choice words leaked out) as I tried to finagle the returned rolls back into the supposed comfy, too-big, jeans.

Once the jeans were successfully latched and I'd wiped the sweat from my brow (I swear it was more of a workout to get the jeans on than it was at the gym the previous night) I turned to face the mirror. Oh boy. Talk about muffin-top. I know that's not a nice term, but it applied in this instance. The rolls were way more prominent once smooched into a pair of now too-tight jeans and I literally spilled over the top of them. It was not pretty.

Standing there looking at the mirror and fully recognizing my rolls return made me feel defeated. My immediate thought was "How could I be losing this battle when I thought I'd come so far. I should just give up completely."

Upon that thought, I wanted to eat. And there's the cycle. Hello old friend. Nice to see you again.

I stopped myself this morning though. I took Letha's advice and followed that cycle through in m mind. Here's what would happen: I'd take off the jeans, toss them in the trash (cause it's all their fault!), then proceed to pig out on some scrumptious morsel. After I'd stuffed my face, I'd sit on the couch and feel icky. I'd feel icky about my body because of the rolls I'd just added to the other rolly friends and I'd feel icky about my psyche because I couldn't resist the temptation to splurge again. I'd continue to feel icky through the rest of the day and that feeling would continue to drive me to eat which would in turn perpetuate the cycle yet again. Sooner or later, I'd be over 300 pounds again.

I soooooo don't want to take it that far in reality. I want to win this battle.

It's somewhat ironic that tomorrow I have an appointment with Letha at THW. This appointment was set up sometime last week and seems quite perfectly timed. Last week she contacted me to do some website updates and this was the soonest we could connect. Ironic .. or is it?

Part of my problem is that I've stopped weighing in twice a week at THW and I think for me that accountability is key to staying on plan. It's so easy to make excuses when no one is looking at my weight but me. I can always "eat better tomorrow" or "start my diet later". But can I? No. I obviously can't right now and thus need assistance from others way better at this stuff than me!

I am really scared to face the scale tomorrow. I have no doubt I've put on 10 - 15 pounds. I might even have put on 20 which would mean I'm now 50 pounds to my goal weight. That sucks. A lot.

I refuse to let that stop me from going tomorrow though and so I will trudge into the meeting prepared for some bad news about my current state of affairs all the while knowing that since I've set my mind on doing this, I will do it.

I'm on the hunt for continued motivation and personal strength. I have a touch of it back today and plan to add to it tomorrow.

I feel I've said this before but it feels different today so I'm repeating it over and over to boost my resolve.

I will do this.

I will do this.

I will do this.

I am doing this.

I will win this.

I am winning this.