Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I'm going a little bit crazy today. I can't really say why. I'd love to blame my TOM, but it's way too early for that. I'm in a very similar mental place though. I'm in a foul mood, and nothing seems to be able to make it go away. Something will make me smile for a minute, and then before I know it the pall of gloomy darkness has settled upon me once again. I wouldn't say I'm depressed, but I'm definitely anxious and cranky and feeling slightly fatalistic. I'm waiting for something bad to happen, only I don't know what form the inevitable catastrophe will take.
Things that would normally make me happy for awhile just aren't cutting it. I know there are a good five or six books awaiting me at the post office to be picked up, at least a couple of them fancy limited editions that I've been anticipating for quite some time. And while I'm still really looking forward to picking them up, not to mention reading them, I'm not getting that pre-reading excitement glow that I usually feel at such moments. Also, my boyfriend very kindly bought me another book on his break today, just on a whim, and that too should have cheered me up, but the effects of the unexpected gift just didn't last.
I'm trying to stay positive, but sometimes it is just so hard! How do optimists do it? I'll just never understand. I'm an Eeyore type through and through. I've been grumbling about how grumpy I am to anybody who will listen to me at work today, and it has taken me somewhat by surprise that most of my co-workers are shocked to see me in such a bad mood. And I'm in a bad mood more often than not. But I suppose I don't usually talk about it to them, and it makes me realize just what a good job I do at hiding my emotions from people. I am a pretty private person, but I never guessed that I was so adept at making people believe I'm chipper when really I'm fuming inside. And I know this is not necessarily a good thing.
So I'm in a bit of a quandary today. For the past few months, when I felt like this, what did I turn to for comfort? Food, of course! But so far I have managed to avoid that pitfall today. Unfortunately, as I have already pointed out, other things that should have cheered me up just aren't working. So where do I turn? I'm hoping to be able to just ride this negativity out, but I don't know. This is my tenth day of staying on track, and instead of it getting easier little by little, it is just getting that much more difficult. Yesterday, I was ravenously hungry in the evening, and weak. I tried exercising, but after five minutes on my bike quickly realized that I just didn't have the energy. Part of that was regular tiredness, I'm sure, but I know a good portion of my weakness was caused by not eating enough. So I got off my bike, and had a few healthy-ish snacks that brought my calories to the top of my range for the day. And I went to bed shortly thereafter, not starving, but definitely not satiated. I've been borderline hungry today too, and I know that is not making my mood any better, but I just don't know what to eat that will satisfy my hunger and still keep me within my calorie range for the day. I need low calorie satisfying comfort food. Does that even exist? If so, I haven't found anything that really works for me, only pallid substitutes.
To make matters worse, my body has been further thrown off course by me reverting to my old work schedule. For most of the summer and the autumn I had been working from 7:30 am-3:30pm. Now I'm back to my regular 9:00-5:00. What this means is that I get more sleep, but less time for everything else as traffic is atrocious during the times I now commute. What has also changed slightly is the times when I eat and exercise. I used to be able to get my exercise in before dinner, but now need to do it afterwards. I'm hoping that after a week or so of this I will find my equilibrium again. I just need to stay as strong as possible and not cave into the tempting binge demons that look like cute, chocolate flavoured kittens in my mind. I've done this before, and I can do it again.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Has it really been almost a month since I last wrote? Really? Well, okay, time really does fly regardless of whether one is having fun or not. Actually, time really does seem to pass by more quickly the older I get. Strange. I remember the days when I was a kid and waiting for an upcoming birthday or vacation and just how slowly time seemed to drag on. And now, I never seem to have enough time for anything, whether it be a pleasant activity or the drudgery of work. But I digress, mainly, I think, because I don't really have much of anything to report. Things haven't changed that much since last I wrote. Or perhaps they have. I don't know. I suppose for the most part life has been boring. I go to work. I go home. I read when I can. I spend my weekends with the boyfriend. Same old boring boring boring stuff. No wonder I escape into the fantastical worlds of my books whenever I have the slightest opportunity!
But I know that what I really should be talking about here is how I've been doing on the food and exercise front. So here goes. It's no secret that I have been desperately struggling to get back on track since the end of the summer, nor that I have regained some weight due to my uncontrollable binging. Well I am happy to report that I have been back on track for the past week. I am a little tentative about posting this, as I have had little bouts of successful control over that past few months, but none of them have lasted very long. This time feels different somehow, however. I hope I'm not just fooling myself, but I don't think so. I've been staying within my recommended calorie ranges every day save yesterday, when I was about 200 calories over (I just couldn't resist having half of an oreo brownie, but at least it didn't trigger another binge). I did my cardio for 4 days and walked nearly every day. It's a start, and I feel much better physically now that I'm getting some of that junk out of my system.
But I must say I am finding this really DIFFICULT this time around. I just don't know how I managed to do this for more than a year. And I'm not even exercising nearly as much as I was back then. I have to build up my stamina again, so I'm upping my bike time again gradually. Otherwise I know I won't keep it up. As it is, it's a struggle to force myself to do my bike even for half an hour at a time. This week I'm aiming for 35 minutes each time. I know that inevitably somebody will suggest that if it's a struggle for me to continue with the bike, then maybe I should try and find something I actually LIKE doing in order to exercise. But there's a problem with that: I don't really like any exercise, and I know that at least with the bike I can listen to music, which makes it that much more bearable, and that I can do it in the privacy of my own home which is VERY important to me. And, more importantly than anything else, I know I will see results. When I ride my bike consistently, and make sure that I am pushing myself as hard as I can, I lost weight without fail. So I need to keep doing this. I also need to get back into some strength training. My arm muscles are still there, but they're not nearly as big or firm as they were even a few months ago.
Another thing I'm finding more challenging lately is dealing with hunger pangs. I suppose part of that is due to the fact that my stomach stretched out again significantly due to my excessive binging, and now it needs to shrink again. But I also know that I need to experiment with my food more, and eat more protein. I find it easy to get enough water, but it's so tricky for me to find that right balance of food when I'm watching my calorie intake. What was working for me this time last year just isn't cutting it. I just might have to admit to myself that I need to eat more and just lose the weight that much more slowly. As long as I'm making healthy food choices, a couple of hundred extra calories a day will actually probably be beneficial to me, as long as I keep gradually increasing my exercise. I just need to keep exploring and experimenting.
I've also been too worried to weigh myself since my last blog entry. I know that my weight is probably about the same, or maybe even slightly lower because of the way my clothes are fitting, but I still can't help but be nervous. Okay, so here's my game plan for the next little while: assuming I can stay on track for this week as well, I'm planning to weigh myself again on Friday. After I plug in my weight here, whatever that may be, I'm going to extend my time to achieve my final goal (which I still stubbornly want to be 120 lbs) to June of 2014. I'm hoping that will increase my recommended calorie range at least a little bit so I can eat a little bit more to manage some of these hunger pangs. Of course, I'm disappointed in myself that by June of 2014 I will have added almost and entire year to my original goal date of reaching 120 lbs by Sept. of 2013, but so what? As long as I do it eventually, and do it HEALTHILY, then it will still be an accomplishment. I have to learn when to be hard on myself, and when to cut myself some slack.
The past few months have been difficult, but they have taught me that I really don't want to gain all the weight back that I have lost. When I binge, even though my mouth is happy, I feel like crap every other way. And I refuse to buy bigger clothes again. Luckily, the majority of my newer clothes still fit me, but a few of them only just. I'm still okay wearing my size 8 pants, but the few size 6es that I managed to fit into in July are sitting gathering dust in my closet, but I am determined to fit into them again by the spring. So what if the weight does not come off as fast as it was before? I'm still determined to not give up. I have so much to work on still, but I know that I can do this. I've done it before, and I'm going to do it again, and each time I'll get a little bit smarter, and a little more adaptable until I get it right. Fitting into cool clothes aside, I am just getting too old to not be concerned about my health any more. Diabetes runs in my family. I don't want to get it. I also don't want to go through all the various surgeries my mother has had to go through because of the extra weight she's been carrying for most of her life. In short, there are so many more reasons to try and get and stay healthy, and so few reasons for eating whatever I want, that it just doesn't make sense for me to keep feeding my old binging ways. No, I am hardly the most rational person in the world, but in this instance I am just going to have to be. I won't have it any other way. I am getting too tired of being disappointed in myself.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
I've just skimmed over my last blog, written nearly a month ago, and I've realized that I really learned very little from my experiences. Shortly after posting my previous blog entry, the same thing happened again. I went on an eating spree, every day. It's like I was trying to catch up on all the junk food that I didn't eat the previous year when I was being "good", or something. In any case, I just ate and ate and ate and ate. And then I ate some more. Did I mention that I ate? I don't remember exactly when it started again, but it must have been shortly after I wrote my last blog post. I stopped exercising almost completely. I wasn't even walking as much. And what is the most frustrating part about all this is that I still don't know WHY!
I spend so much time in my own head, usually daydreaming, but often times trying to figure myself out, and I still have not come to any conclusions. Why do I resort to binging, again and again and again? Apart from the deliciousness factor (which gets old pretty quickly when you're shoving endless amounts of sludgy junk food down your gullet), I seriously don't know why one of the biggest weaknesses in my life is binge eating. It's something that I just can't seem to get a handle on, no matter how hard I try. I have attempted so many ways of dealing with it, and I still haven't found one that is foolproof for me. Yes, I have managed to lose a significant amount of weight, but throughout this entire process I have been sporadically binging. Sometimes it's just one meal, sometimes it lasts for a weekend, sometimes for a few days more, but this time I've been binging nearly straight through half of August, and nearly all of September and October. I've been back on track since the day after Canadian Thanksgiving (this past Monday), but I know my grip of control is tenuous, and I don't know how long it will last.
To be cheesy and quote some Pet Shop Boys lyrics "When I look back upon my life/It's always with a sense of shame/I've always been the one to blame"... (I've already paraphrased Radiohead, so I may as well stick to the theme). But it's true. Everything I have done has been my own fault, and I am so ashamed of so many of my actions. It might be slightly different if I had leaned from some of them, but I don't seem to be doing so! I don't remember when I started over eating, exactly, but it must have been during high school. I've always had a weakness for food that was bad for me, mass produced packaged and fast foods that are so gross when you really think about it, but taste so impossibly good sometimes. My first real job, when I was thirteen, was in a donut shop. Being constantly surrounded by baked goods that I could eat to my heart's content was not good. I ate whatever I wanted, but did not seem to gain too much weight. I was never really an active teenager, but I must have had a pretty high metabolism, because boy, could I eat! I pretty much ate whenever I wanted to throughout my teen years, and the first couple of years of university while maintaining a weight that I suppose I could safely say was only a little bit chubby, around 150, more or less (it's funny, I weigh more than that now, but I feel so much fatter - but I'll get to that later). I didn't think about nutrition AT ALL, just focused on what tasted good to me. But my body started to give out in my early 20s. It said, enough is enough! So in my third year of university, when I was 23, things started to go downhill where my body was concerned. I lived with a roommate who also had a weakness for unhealthy foods. We would order in all the time and go for midnight walks to the closest convenience store to stock up on lots of junk food, which we would gleefully stuff into our faces until the early hours of the morning. She was significantly larger than me at the time (she's lost the weight since, and has been one of my biggest motivators in trying to lose weight this time, and keep it off), but I was rapidly catching up. That year, I also met my first serious boyfriend. We did not have the healthiest of relationships. So as our relationship progressed, I got fatter and fatter. I am not blaming him at all for that, it's just that my first really significant weight gain happened at the time we were together. He never gave me a hard time about my weight one way or another, I'll say that much for him. But I just think at that point my metabolism had given up on me. So I kept gaining, and I could tell by the way my clothes were fitting me, and how I had to keep shopping for bigger sizes, but I never actually weighed myself. When I finally did, about three quarters of the way through our relationship (by this time I had dropped out of university - different story), I was nearly 200 pounds. I had never weighed that much! I was shocked with myself, and determined to lose weight. At that time, I did it through diet alone, no exercise. I barely ate, and had a "treat meal" once a week. Sometime during my dieting process, I broke up with my boyfriend, kept losing weight, and then when I reached 165 lbs felt a little bit more comfortable about dating again. So I met a few guys and had some fun, but did not want anything serious at the time. I had also stopped dieting by this point. About a year later I met my current boyfriend. I was already starting to put on weight again, but did not notice it right away. Then, a couple of years into this new relationship, I realized I was up to 195 pounds. Oh no, not again! So I tried to lose weight again. This time I managed to lose about 30 pounds in about four months through a combination of diet and exercise. Then, I just stopped for some reason. Christmas hit, and I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted. I also stopped exercising. And within about two of years I was up to 230 pounds, my biggest weight ever!
That was last year, and I won't rehash what I've been going through since then, because I've already written about it in my previous blogs here. But this had been the most successful attempt I have ever made at losing weight. And I was keeping it off longer. So I don't know what happened. But I seem to be back on track again, at least temporarily. I weighed myself this past Wednesday morning and the scale said 147.8 lbs. I think this triggered something deep inside me, when I realized that in just over two months I had regained more than 20 of the pounds that I had worked so hard to lose. I guess that makes me a yo-yo dieter. ENOUGH ALREADY. I just can't continue down this path anymore. My self-destruction has GOT to STOP. It doesn't only manifest itself in food, but food seems to be the one that has affected me the most. My body has been through so much. This morning, I was down to 143.2, and that in just five days after deciding to eat better and start exercising again. But that was just the water weight, I am sure, and now the hard part really begins. How long can I keep this up, without binging again? I don't know. But I was so ANGRY with myself when I realized just how much weight I had gained. So I'll have that anger to motivate me for awhile. Not the healthiest motivator, I know, but at least it's something. As I wrote earlier, in high school my I weighed around 150, but I feel so much fatter now, even though I weigh less. My body is a map scars from my battle with weight. Loose skin, stretch marks, cellulite, ugh! I know it's too late too change a lot of that now, but I just can't keep making it worse, which I will do if I insist on yo-yo dieting. I really need to make sure this does not happen again.
What I have realized, though, is just how much Sparkpeople works for me. When I'm in binge mode, I don't track food and I don't exercise. I often don't log in here at all. But when I force myself to track, or even just to log in and look around for awhile, it really does motivate me to stay on track. There has to be a reason I've been more successful this third time I've tried to lose weight than any other, and I'm pretty sure SP, and the great people I've met here, are the biggest part of it. It's promising that I haven't given up hope completely, and that I'm determined to reach my final goal, even if I do stray off the path (this time EXTREMELY off the path). I might not do it as soon as I wanted to, but I WILL do it. I was so upset these past few months, as my new clothes got tighter and tighter, my energy got weaker and weaker, and it was devastating to realize that I was no longer in the "healthy" BMI range. Now I'm considered "overweight" again. It's only by a few pounds, but psychologically it is really taking its toll on me.
I just have to remember how awesome I felt in the summer when I had reached a weight of just under 125 lbs, and I actually felt confident about wearing sexier clothes. It was a GOOD feeling, and much better than the brief euphoria that food gives me. I also have to continue my battle with binge eating and keep trying new tactics in order to overcome it. I feel so much better physically, mentally and emotionally when I am eating well and exercising, so why don't I keep it up? That is one of the biggest mysteries about myself that I haven't been able to figure out yet. But I'm getting way too old to be self-destructive. Time is running out. If anybody has actually made it to the end of this tedious blog entry, thanks for letting me be so self-indulgent. But better to indulge in writing too much, than in eating too much, no? ;)
Sunday, September 22, 2013
It has been so long since I last posted a blog here I almost don't know what to write. I feel a little bit overwhelmed. Not that a lot has happened, but I'm really not in a blogging mindset anymore. I'm going to try and force myself to do this, though, because I find that blogging has been therapeutic for me in the past, so hopefully it will continue to help me out as long as I persevere.
So first off I need to apologize if I seem to have been neglecting my friends here. I'm sorry. I have no excuses other than the fact that I was not in a very good mindset for most of my absence, and also that work has been crazy. I do most of my Sparking at work, when it's quiet, as when I'm not at work I barely have time to come online. It's a fairly quiet Sunday afternoon now, so I should have time to catch up a little bit, I think. I need to read more of your blogs, find out what is going on in your lives. It's strange how well I feel I know several of you even though we've never met. That's the power of the interwebs!
The past month and a half have been almost a total write off for me where diet and exercise were concerned. I've tried to analyze things, and be as honest with myself as I can, but I really don't know what happened to make me slack off so much. What started out as a few birthday meals and treats turned somehow into a multi-week binge fest. Where I had been no stranger to binging before, at least my binges had lasted for only a three day long weekend at the most. Not this time. I just couldn't get enough junk food, especially baked goods. I was easily eating 3-4 thousand calories a day, predominantly in baked goods and chocolate. Seriously. And my exercise was sporadic, at best. I'd walk a bit, and maybe force myself to do my bike once or twice a week, if that much. My energy level was shot. I couldn't get enough sleep. I felt horrible, physically and emotionally, and yet I couldn't stop eating and couldn't force myself to exercise.
Needless to say, I've gained weight. I managed to add 17 pounds to my lowest reached weight in just under two months. Now I'm about 12 pounds over that. This is my fifth day of forcing myself to be back on track, and with each day that passes I am regaining confidence that yes, I can continue to strive to be healthy and lose a bit more weight and that I don't have to regain all the weight like I did the last few times I've tried to do this. I'm feeling stronger and more energetic just from avoiding junk food and exercising these past few days. The past few months have made it more clear than ever to me why I can't fall back into my old patterns for good. It's much more than just fitting into clothes and feeling confident about the way I look. I just can't stand the way I feel when I allow myself to eat whatever I want and not exercise. I also noticed that other areas of my life suffered. I didn't have energy to do the necessary tasks that I had to every day, nor the things I loved. I was lazy and sluggish and just wanted to stay in bed. It was terrible and yet I found it so hard to stop. Every morning I would say to myself: "This is the day that I will get back on track", and by the time I got my morning coffee my resolve would be crushed and I would get that starchy sweet muffin for breakfast that would set off all my cravings. I don't know what it was about last Tuesday that made a difference, but I somehow managed to stick to my guns and have been doing so ever since then. I already feel ever so much better and hope that I can keep this up, at least for awhile.
What makes my crazy eating all the more mysterious to me is that nothing particularly stressful has occurred in my life since my uncle's death in July. Work has been busy, but manageable. Things have been improving with my beau. My mother's health, while not good, has remained stable. I usually binge from stress, but since my life has been relatively stress free, I don't know what gave. In fact, this past week has been a little bit more stressful at work than most because my closest co-worker went on sick leave for awhile so I am pretty overworked, and yet this is the week when I managed to actually regain a semblance of control again. What gives?
I'll never understand myself. I feel pretty confident that this streak will last awhile. However, now that I feel my eating and exercise are well in hand again, I have become self-destructive in a different way that I don't feel comfortable discussing here. I'll just allude to the fact that it concerns the opposite sex and my interactions with them. I'm pretty sick in that I feel like if things are going well in one area of my life, I have to cause damage to myself in another. I don't know how to fix that. It's an unhealthy compulsion and though I am aware of it, I don't know how to change it. Sometimes I feel like I'll always be broken.
Oh well, I suppose the important thing is that I am aware of these self-destructive tendencies. Even if I don't know how to fix them, I'll at least keep working towards it. And even if I am getting involved in something I probably shouldn't be, at least I'll have more energy to do so. Ugh. I just DON'T get myself. I wish I could leave my body for a moment and just shake myself.
Okay, that's all I have to write for now. I do feel a bit better having gotten some of this out, and it's made me even more determined to try and fix myself. Now, I'm off to try and catch up on some of the blogs I have sadly neglected for so long. Hopefully it won't be so long again until my next blog update, and that I'll have something more positive to say about the state that my life is in! Until next time, I wish you all the best! :)
Sunday, August 11, 2013
First off, thank you to all who commented on my last blog, or who sent me goodies or other forms of encouragement. Your words gave me a lot to think about, and were also very comforting in my time of spark related distress. For now, I think I have things under control. I'm making some changes which I think will allow me to maintain this weight loss, and not fall into my old patterns which will just cause me to balloon again.
Since Tuesday, I've felt much more in control again. I gave in and weighed myself on Tuesday night. The results were NOT pretty. I was at 140.4 lbs. Yikes! However, with a better diet and daily exercise, this morning I weighed in at 131.2. Okay, so a lot of that weight gain was water weight, thank goodness! However, that still means I gained over six pounds in under a month. Not cool! But not surprising considering the amount of food that I ate and ate and ate. And, as a few people suggested, and they were definitely right, I do focus too much on the numbers, as opposed to other measures of health and weight loss success. So I've been re-evaluating all week, and I'm going to outline some of the changes that I'm planning to make over the next little while to try and avoid regaining all my lost weight.
First off, while I am not changing my final weight goal of 120, I have given myself until January 1, 2014 to do it. And if I never reach it, I'm not going to kick myself. I'm going to keep trying, but in a slower, gentler, fashion. I'm already at a healthy weight. I can fit into clothes I like. I may not be able to fit into the dress I wanted to by The Mission concert on Sept. 7, but oh well. Tough. I just might have to go out and buy myself another dress I like just as much, but which fits me as I am now. Honestly, while I can feel some of the 6 odd pounds that I've regained, now that my bloating has gone down, I feel much better. So I'm not kicking myself anymore for what I did. It's past and no lasting damage was done. I just don't want to repeat the same pattern if I can avoid it, so that's what I'm going to consciously work towards.
Changing the date of my final weight goal on Sparkpeople magically upped my daily calorie range to 1350-1700 pounds. Amazing! So, while it's been difficult, I'm trying to eat more. I know this is what my body needs. I've been allowing myself more healthy snacks throughout the day, and trying to eat more protein. My goal for weekly calorie burn is still set to 2000. I've been easing into the strength training again, and can already notice a difference. Now I just have to keep it up. Even if I just exercise on my bike 3-4 times a week, with all the walking I do, I can easily reach that 2000 calorie burned mark. It is totally doable.
As far as controlling my binging goes, I need a different strategy. Some people suggested that I work in small servings of the foods that I loved in order to stave off cravings and binging. I had already been doing that. It was not enough. So my current plan is this: at least once a week, I'm going to have a "cheat" meal. Not an entire day, but an entire meal, including dessert. I will allow myself to have the meal and dessert on different days, if I choose. This will be in addition to having regular small treats to try and keep my cravings in check. I will allow myself to go over my calorie ranges on that/those day/s. I will not beat myself up over it. My first try at this experiment of sorts will be next weekend. It's my birthday on Wednesday, so next weekend I am celebrating with different people on both Saturday and Sunday. And I will allow myself a meal of my choice on BOTH days (so really I'm going above and beyond my weekly allotment, but it's my birthday!), and a dessert on just one. And I know that I will experience a slight weight gain over the next few days after that, but I also know that with a few days of healthy diet and exercise the number on the scale will drop again. I'm really going to try a lot harder to not let the number on the scale obsess me, while at the same time not ignore it completely, as I know that is equally dangerous for me. Ideally, I'm going to try and go back to my initial habit of weighing in only once a week as opposed to every day.
I've learned, the hard way, that the number on the scale is not the be all and end all. I just have to remember that. I've also learned that at this point, I really can't do rapid weight loss any more. Even losing 0.5 lbs a week at this point is amazing, and maintaining is almost equally as good. I wanted fast results initially, but at this point that's just not realistic, and if I don't accept that, I'm doomed to self-sabotage. I am truly trying to accept myself as I am right now, because really, I know I've worked hard for what I've achieved, and I've earned the right to congratulate myself. So what if I've regained a few pounds? The key is to not slip into my old habits again, but to keep trying to form healthier ones that I can actually maintain. I will keep experimenting until I find what works best for me. I will try new combinations of calories/food. I will try to find new ways to exercise. I will allow myself to eat more of the unhealthier foods I love occasionally, though not in binge mode. I will try to love myself, and accept myself as I am. I will try not to put myself down constantly. While it is in my power, I will NEVER let myself be that 230 pound, self-loathing girl again!
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