Tag Archives: weight loss

My body finally got on board with my brain

So. Hi all. I know it has been quite some time since I’ve done this. Write about my journey towards health and happiness with my physicality, that is. So there’s lots to say. But it is 1:35 AM at this moment, so I’m going to pare it down a bit.

So after my ex and I became, well, exes, and thus I had to depart from his homestead and move back in with my parents, I put back on a decent portion of the weight I had lost in the months prior. And that was sad, and I wanted to do that thing where you already feel bad about yourself so you eat even worse and workout even less because, what the hell, I already look like shit, what’s one more pound? But I didn’t. I fought tooth and nail to regain control of my eating habits which, I must say, is not an easy thing to do while living with a woman who naturally burns 4000 calories a day. Why God? Why wasn’t I born with my mother’s metabolism?

Anyway, I lost nearly all the weight I had repacked on and was getting on my way to losing more. I was still struggling with sugar, so I was getting lax about what I was eating, and started caring more about how much I was eating. And that was working alright. But I felt awful after eating wheat. Not guilty awful. No, unwell awful. So I knew I needed to get back onto the Paleo train. BUT, a week at the lake with my very large Italian family threw a wrench into that plan, and rather than getting my ass back into gear, my ass got bigger yet again.

Sigh.

So then there’s July. It is UNGODLY hot here in Michigan, especially in my parents crap-ass house that doesn’t have AC. This climate crisis is bad because it prevents me from being able to go running without getting heat stroke, and the very notion of spending an hour in the 80 degrees+ yoga studio makes me want to vomit, so my exercise becomes limited to taking walks after dark. Not what I’d call kickass cardio. BUT, the good thing about it is my appetite disappears when I am dying of heat exhaustion. So once again, I start shedding weight, praise the lord.

And then, about two weeks ago, something wonderful, something glorious happened: my body spontaneously decided it no longer wanted carbs, but especially, sugar. I hadn’t been obsessively limiting my sugar intake, I’d even let myself eat a little pasta when it was the only thing that sounded appealing, but then *POOF* I lost all taste for grains and sweets. Do you have any idea how freeing it is to stand in front of a cake and have absolutely no desire to eat it? To see a sea of mostacciolli at a wedding and pass it by without a second thought? I don’t crave cookies anymore. I crave salad with a great homemade vinaigrette, or protein protein protein. Yum. It’s as if the heavens have opened and I can hear the angels singing.

So I am now officially back down to the weight I was at my lowest pre-break-up. Hurray! I don’t feel like I look as good as I did then, which is probably because my muscle mass is down since I haven’t gone for a run in ages and just this week finally made it back to yoga. But taking 4-mile walks to the library with the kiddies during work, and re-introducing myself to my yoga mat will even things out soon, and then I may finally–FINALLY–be on my way to meeting my goal weight.

This has not been an easy journey, but I have not  any point, fully fallen off the wagon.  I’m not sure why my body suddenly decided to get happy about Paleo,  but I’m not going to question it. I’m just going to be thankful that my brain and my body are on the same page, and I might be able to ride this train to my final destination: physical health and self-confidence.

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The Madre Effect (AKA The Battle…Vol. 5)

I am ashamed and disappointed to have to announce this but…*sigh*…I have gained weight.

I should have expected this. I should have prepared to counteract this. But, since moving back in with my parents just over a week ago, I have actually put a few pounds back on. Not so much that I can’t bounce back with some will power and the ability to tune out people around me, but still. I’m less than pleased with myself.

You see, here under this roof, lives the one person that can at once make me feel grotesquely obese and yet completely undermine my desire to be healthy: my mother. Yup, dear old mum acts as if she approves of my weight loss goals, even seems perturbed that it isn’t easier for me to drop poundage; yet at any given moment she is suggesting we go out to get a Frosty, or noting that Breyer’s ice  cream is on sale at the nearby grocery store, or saying, “Oh, just try one bite of this [insert random sugar/carb-laden food item here]. It’s SO good.”

I call this The Madre Effect: I feel fatter than ever and yet cannot help but act in such a way that will only exacerbate the problem.

So here I am, mere days away from the deadline of my weight loss quest, and I know I won’t be able to reach it, because I’ve actually backslid. I feel…well, I feel many things right now. First, I feel frustrated with myself. I knew that being in her proximity all the time would cause me to lean towards food more, and towards the wrong foods, but I have been so determined to be good to my body for the last few months, I should not have let her influence me like this. And I am also a bit angry with her. I’m upset that she isn’t more supportive of my wellness plan. She is well aware that I don’t want to eat sugar and grains, and she knows that I sometimes struggle with overeating and even binge-eating; she could be a fantastic tool for me, guiding me away from my problem-foods without pressure or judgment. But, alas, that’s not the role she chooses to play. Either she is looking disdainfully at my meal as if to say, “Really? You’re gonna eat that?” or she’s brushing aside the fact that I am unhappy with my body and trying to drown my body-image issues with sweet frozen dairy products.

I can’t win, here. I really can’t.

I scolded her today for letting us fall into our old habit: food is an activity for us, eating is something to look forward to, something to do together. But I–well, we, both of us really–are trying to change that relationship. We want to eat to live, not live to eat, but that change will never happen if we keep undermining ourselves, and each other. The thing is, she already looks great. Too thin, even. But me, a pound or two extra means my pants fit uncomfortably. And my self-esteem plummets. And I have way more food issues than just liking to eat more than I should. So I told her she needs to get on board with my lifestyle changes, because I can’t keep gaining weight, and I definitely can’t keep resenting her for making me fat.

I mean, it’s not her fault–I know that–and I can accept 95% of the blame. But she’s my mom. I’m sorry, she’s going to influence me whether I want her to or not. When she’s so wonderfully taken me back in and refuses to let me pay any rent or chip in for groceries I need to do something to pay her back. So when she looks at me with her big hopeful eyes asking if I want to have a treat with her, the least I can do is comply. If it’s going to make her happy, just me and her drinking milkshakes, no matter how much I know I will regret it later, I’ll give her those few minutes of mother-daughter junk food time.

But it ends today. I made her promise to let me eat only good healthful foods, and to not undermine my will-power. She even said she’d go off sweets with me until the end of the month when we go on vacation. With any luck, I’ll recover from this momentary lapse this week, get my weight back down to what it was when I moved in here, and then drop those last few pounds soon thereafter. It may be a few days or weeks late, but I am going to make it to my goal weight, even with the dread Madre Effect looming in the corner.

The next three days as I re-withdrawal from sugar are going to SUCK. Wish me luck.

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The Battle of the Bulg(ing Waistline) Vol. 3

Yes, it’s that time again: I am going to talk about my food struggles. Aren’t you excited?

It’s been one week since I announced Get Fit Quest 2011, with a deadline set for my ever-looming birthday. And I have to say I’ve done a fairly good job. From flank steak to salmon, from squash to bacon-topped salad, it was a very Paleo-friendly week. I went nearly 100% grain-free for a few days, and then when I gave in and had a little bit of pasta, it was just a little bit. Hell yeah self-control! In just a couple days of forsaking nearly all sugars, I felt really great and could have sworn I already looked thinner. But then, oh but then, yesterday happened.

I went to a baby shower (see my opinion on that matter here) and the room was filled to the ceiling with carbs. The little snacks on the table consisted of goldfish crackers (one of my dearest loves), chocolate covered peanuts, chex-ish mix, punch, and soda. *twirls finger over head* It was my own personal walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I sipped water and prayed that lunch would be served before my will broke down. But here’s the funny thing: I didn’t even want any of that stuff. It didn’t sound appetizing. But someone in me my body remembered that a certain wonderful and addictive satisfaction would come with nibbling, and it’s just too easy to let your hand act of its own accord and grab a handful of munchies.

I resisted, and then filled up on salad, steamed veggies and roast beef during lunch. And I was happily and comfortably full. So happy and comfortable that I easily passed up the dry-looking cake. But you try explaining your diet in a room where the star is a pregnant woman…it’s frowned upon. So I was being pressured by my table mates to partake in the treats. I had already poured myself a small glass of alcoholic punch and declared that it would be my dessert but they weren’t happy with that, so I grabbed one chocolate covered peanut to prove a point, popped it in my mouth and said, “There. Happy?” And even though I hadn’t wanted the freaking candy, and even though it didn’t even taste that good, the switch was flipped and suddenly I wanted more. My sugar-addiction that I’ve been suppressing kicked in, the dopamine kicked in, and I just…couldn’t help myself. I ate the whole bowl.

I’m so disappointed.

When I left, I remembered this Paleo Pepper post and started forming a plan for the rest of the day. So I had a moment of weakness, it didn’t have to continue into a full-blown binge. But alas, I followed up one food-ridden shin-dig with a family party where there was…*drumroll*…more cake! And this time I had not a friend but an auntie demanding that I help make some of the leftover food disappear, plus, the cake actually looked good (which was probably just an illusion caused by the dopamine coursing through my veins) so I had a piece. And then took two more home and ate them before I even got in the door. I didn’t eat anything else the rest of the night except a carrot before I took my vitamins, but still, I define that as a binge, albeit a small one.

Again, SO DISAPPOINTED.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. A little over a month ago, I had been doing very well, hadn’t eaten anything sweet for almost a week, and then I baked cookies with the little lady I watch, and I tried one to make sure they were fit to feed the kid, and it led to a two-day binge. And NOT a small one. It got to the point that I had to sit on my hands, and eventually had to email Ms. Pepper herself for support because I was about to go out to buy ice cream so that I could continue sabotaging myself. She talked me off the ledge and helped me get back on track (SHE ABSOLUTELY ROCKS!) but I knew what I was capable of. I knew that I could snap and eat so much sugar that I wanted to throw up but still want more. It’s a frightening thing g to watch yourself sink so fast and feel like you can’t stop it.

So yesterday could have been much worse, but I’m still not pleased that it happened. I’m not happy that I let peer pressure–fucking peer pressure–get to me. I’m not happy that I saw what was coming before it happened and didn’t do something to stop it (I mean, I could have simply gotten up from the table! But I didn’t.) I’m not happy that even after an hour-long break and making a plan to stop myself, I couldn’t stop myself.

Thankfully, my binge ended by 7 PM and I had a lovely 14-hour fast to recover. This morning I started the day with some broccoli and a few breakfast sausages then hauled my ass to an intense vinyasa yoga class that made my freaking elbows sweat. I followed that up with a 3 mile walk with my dog and mowing the lawn with my manual mower (a GREAT WORKOUT. I highly recommend any able-bodied person forgo the gas-powered noisy machine and just pick up a cheap rotary blade mower.) Finally, I ate a bunless burger, some sweet potato fries and a big cherry tomato salad.  So I feel much better about life today.

Now I’m preparing for a new week ahead of me full of protein and hard workouts. After those couple wonderful carb-free days last week, I really don’t have any excuses anymore: I need to dive headfirst into paleo. And not just when it comes to grains and sugar; I need cut down on my omega-6 intake, I need to start saying farewell to dairy, I need to have faith and take the plunge. It’s time to really out my well-being ahead of my appetite. And, frankly, my appetite is even beginning to give up on toxins, so why am I still giving myself the option.

I think the time is now. I’m going primal!

Wish me luck, friends!

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The Battle of the Bulg(ing Waistline) Vol. 2

One month from today I will be my 23rd birthday. For whatever reason, I feel like this is a BIG birthday. Like I need to reach some sort of milestone. I don’t think I’ll be landing a career before then, or getting married (which isn’t something I want to do anyway…it’s an EXAMPLE) but I think I know one milestone I might be able to at least  get close to reaching by then: meeting my goal weight.

I’m hoping to be 118 pounds. That is a totally arbitrary number I picked because 120 seemed too high and 115 seemed too low, but there ya have it. My goal weight. The thing is, I’m been very focused on getting there slowly so that I’m less likely to balloon back up once I reach it. I could be tiny if I totally starved myself, but then once it came to maintaining  a weight I’d be fucked. So I’m working my way down the scale slowly and steadily. With that in mind, I make my birthday weight goal.

And as a way to really hold myself to this goal, I will put it out there for all to see:

By June 1, 2011, my 23rd birthday, I would like to be 123 pounds.

OK, I wrote it. Now it’s real.

Yes, I picked that number because of my age. But also I know losing 2 pounds a week is reasonable, and that would mean losing 7 pounds in 4 weeks. So even if I have a bad day or two, this goal is certainly reachable if I stick to my plan.

And what is that plan, you ask?

Well, to put it simply, I want to eat as close to paleo as possible. If I am absolutely clawing my eyes out wanting sugar, I suppose I can have a piece of dark chocolate or stir some honey into my tea, but I’m hoping I won’t get to the eye-clawing point. And really, there’s just no excuse anymore: I need to really skip the grains. They manage to sneak up on me, so I need to be vigilant. I need to just really ask myself before each meal: Is what I’m about to put into my body the best thing for it? If the answer is “NO,” then I need to reconsider that meal. Simple as that.

Now, is it really simple as that? No. When I am really hungry after work, I want fast food. Not “fast food”as in “drive-thru food”; “fast food” as in “food that I can find and ingest quickly.” And usually the first things I find are: candy, granola bars, cereal, roasted peanuts, and cheese. (None of these options are even close to ideal, and you may wonder why I even keep them in the house. The answer to that is simple: the boy.) Now, I suppose I could just try not to let myself ever get to this slightly troubling FEED-ME-FEED-ME-NOW place, but sometimes I just cannot help it. I don’t snack, and when lunch is at 12:30, and then my boss doesn’t roll in until 5:30 and dinner won’t be ready until 6:30, I go a little crazy.

SO, I need to find a solution. I’m thinking every Sunday I will slice up loads of vegetable crudités, as well as grill and slice a bunch of chicken breast that I can pop into my mouth as soon as I walk into the kitchen. (Eating while cooking doesn’t count as snacking, does it?)

The other problem I tend to have is the Call of the Sweets about 30 minutes after dinner. I’m thinking buying lower sugar fruits (berries, citrus, KIWIS) may help to stave off the cravings when that back left molar starts calling for cookies.

I’m sure other issues will creep up, so I will have to think on my overly-hungry feet, but, as long as I keep reminding myself to feed my body, not my appetite, I might just do OK.

And I’ll make sure to document this saga for, you, my readers. Having you rooting for me/holding me accountable will be my greatest motivation. And in return, hopefully I can motivate a few of you to work towards a healthier version of yourself.

And so starts May. Here I go…NOW.

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The Loony Side of Weight Loss

Knowing that most of my food/diet-related posts to come will be pretty…unfun… a drag, some may say, for a brief moment, I’d like to keep things light and tell you about some of the ludicrous weight-ish thoughts that drift through my head during the day.

“I finally got used to having boobs, I should keep eating crap but just workout A TON and then I’ll be small everywhere but my bra.” OK, maybe this needs a wee bit of explanation. I was president of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee during high school. I, like many girls, wished at times for something more voluptuous to fill my vintage T-shirts, but I came to terms with inheriting my mother’s boyish chest. As it happened, I took after my father’s sisters more than I did my mother, seeing as my D-cups showed up sophomore year of college. Old (male) friends have had to relearn how to hug me. Boys I crushed on as a flat-chested nerd in 11th grade have been crawling out of the woodwork for the last year,  and I can only assume it’s due to the pictures of my new figure that are up on Facebook. One of my dearest friends has commented ruefully that if I looked like I do now back in the hellish halls of Cousino, I would have probably had a real date to prom…or at least lost my virginity. And one of my mom’s friends even asked me if I got a boob job. So, now you see that my chest is a topic of interest to more than a few people.

It’s took me two years to stop hating my boobs, and another year to learn to appreciate their asthetic value, so now, as they start retreating, it is a bit of a shock. But not totally unwelcome. That said, the shallow side of me panics when I lose so much as an ounce in my bra and starts urging me to give in to my sugar cravings. It hollers, “So what if your ass if fat?! Your breasts are fabulous.

“If I go to the bathroom, my thighs will instantly be smaller.” I know, I know, this is not so, and I’ve never believed it to be at any point. But nearly every time I go to the loo, the little personal trainer in my head says that my pants will instantly fit better. Every time. I don’t get it, really I don’t.

“Coffee erases calories.” This is more wishful thinking than anything else. I love a good cup of tea, and drink that much more often than coffee these days, but one of the great loves-of-my-life is a sweet, creamy latte. Or even a mug of Folger’s with hazelnut Coffee Mate. YUM. I am drawn to the beautiful bean as a moth is drawn to a flame, as Obama is drawn to health care reform, as Amy Winehouse is drawn to…you know what, too far. But yes, I loooovvve coffee. BUT, it has a tendency to…make its escape rather quickly. Ahem. This little side-effect has led me to the thinking that coffee just sweeps all the stuff I just ate right out. It doesn’t, but I’ve used that thinking as an excuse to stop at Starbuck’s more than a few times.

“You will never find love if you are thin!” Yeah, I am for real here. I met my guy when I was coming off a summer of doctor-ordered couch potatoing, so, lemme tell you, I was NOT looking my best. But even then he thought I was cute. Thusly, when I start to shed poundage, something inside me fears losing the curves that “won me my man.” Which is absurd. First of all, I don’t know many guys who have anything against a flat stomach and nice legs on a woman. Am I right? Second, as if I could ever lose enough weight to say goodbye to my bum (even as a twiggy 10 year old, I still had a little peach-bottom. I should post photographic evidence of this at some point, it’s hysterical: bony arms, knobby knees, spiky shoulder blades, BOOTY.) And third, even if my boyfriend for some reason had a problem with my new, fitter frame, uh, he can be replaced. I’m not actively looking to exchange the model I have, but I have enough ego to know that I totally could if I wanted to. (You hear that Richard? I could. Live in fear! Hehehe…kidding.)

“If I exercise I will lose too much weight, so let’s reserve here.” WTF? From whence do these insane thought come? I know not. I workout…sometimes. I do my yoga once or twice a week, I try to go running as often as possible, I workout with resistance bands now and then…but I am by no means overexerting myself. I’ll have a good week during which I go running 4 times, and then I won’t lace up my shoes for two weeks. I can be quite the lazy sack of bricks. So it’s outrageous that during certain moments when I’m ready to break my inertia, this lousy excuse comes to mind. I make myself laugh.

So, yeah, the voices in my head (and apparently there are many of them O.o) tells me rather batty things. These little above mentioned gems float through my head at random, trying to divert my focus on becoming a better version of myself, but these days, they are easier and easier to ignore. And more often than not, I get a good chuckle out of it. Seriously, you try taking a pee and think, “Yay! I’m skinny now!” and not laugh out loud.

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