Monday, April 22, 2013
I started over again after almost two weeks of skipping the gym and binge eating. I won't dwell. I allowed it to happen. It was my fault. But it is my responsibility to stop the cycle. I decided to stop it today.
I wore a sleeveless top at the gym. I successfully decided to pursue a healthy lifestyle more than three years ago, but felt too insecure to wear a sleeveless shirt at the gym. I felt too fat, even at my thinnest. Those days are over. I may not be at goal weight yet, but I have decided to accept my body as is. I am a work in progress. I will wear a red sleeveless top tomorrow morning at Spin.
I bought a pedometer online. I've realized that I binge and overeat when I am sad, lonely, overwhelmed, bored, and at home for too long on the weekends. Three years ago, when I often made $70, even $50 a paycheck, I would walk the pain away. (See this blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3852669 ) The weather is wonderful. My life is now wonderful. And I will walk.
I ate 1,698 calories today. My calorie range for Mondays is 1,400. I overate at work. Too much peanut butter, and an unplanned lemonade drink. Tomorrow will be better. I went home. I was not hungry. So I did not eat. I brushed my teeth, and applied a facial mask. I don't remember the last time I did that. I have tried many times not to eat when I am not hungry, but the good side never wins. But, today, it wasn't hard. On the way home, I listened to my body. I was not hungry. I decided that it's about time that I took control of my emotions and my body.
The cycle has ended.
Friday, April 05, 2013
I went out to drinks with coworkers on Thursday evening. I actually drank less than I planned to. I did have some french fries at the bar, but the portion size was around 300 calories. No biggie -- if I didn't eat anything for dinner, I would still stay in range for the day.
But I binged when I got home. First, I ate the 300-calorie portion of the pistachios that I planned on skipping since I had those fries for dinner. Then I had some dried apricots. Then I munched on some Tofurky sausage. Then I had a string cheese. Then I ate three Skinny Cow chocolate bars. For a grand total about 1,000 calories in excess.
My mistake started early on that day. I've realized the importance of eating most of my daily carbs by lunch. I usually bring my lunch from home, but on Thursday, I ran low on muffins, and only had one left. (I planned for two.) I also forgot to bring a couple of string cheeses that I planned to snack on. So for the rest of the workday, I felt lethargic and a bit hungry. Perhaps if I ate my planned meal, I would've avoided those french fries and saved those calories for my pistachio dinner as I planned.
Lesson learned. When it comes to weight loss, carbs is a do-or-don't factor. I need them, period. The next time I make daily calorie range before I get home, I will brush my teeth within the first 15 minutes of getting in the door. If I have a serious craving, I'll eat 150 calories worth of protein and produce. I'm serious about reaching my goal by Wednesday August 14. Nutrition is 80 percent of the struggle.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
This is it. I feel it in my heart. After 2 years, I'm confident that I'm going to break out of my 148-150 pound plateau and finally reach my goal weight of 125 pounds. For good.
I am a planner. I spent the last two weeks planning my weight loss plan, just like I did more than three years ago, when I weighed at least 210 pounds. I pretended that I was at square one and started from scratch.
I broke out the index cards, and wrote down my goals, in the S.M.A.R.T. format:
I'm planning to weigh myself every Wednesday morning (hence the name Weigh-In Wednesdays), and I wrote down my weekly target in the back. My ultimate goal is 125 pounds, but I decided to continue the weight loss equation until I decide what to do about maintenance:
The official start for The Bottom Line weight loss plan was on Monday March 25, 2013. The first week went okay -- I made all of my workouts, but ate way above calorie range each day.
A few highlights for Week One:
Tuesday 03.26: I decided to change my fitness routine and take spinning on Tuesdays since one of my favorite instructors has a class before work. AMAZING class! I literally have the upbeat playlist in my head for the rest of the week.
Thursday 03.28: I returned to a Thursday morning exercise class after a bit of an absence. It was HARD as hell, but I know from experience that my butt and legs will thank me by Earth Day. I realized that plain bagels are my true calling in life. (I went 100 percent vegan for Lent.)
Saturday 03.30: One of my favorite gym instructors asks us about our purpose in life. I didn't have a clue, and I hated that. It's the last day of Lent, and therefore the last day of eating vegan. And I stuck with it all the way! To celebrate, I went to a fabulous vegan spot with my hardcore meat-loving brother. We both agreed that the food was amazing! And I decided that while Lent 2013 may be over, vegan eating will never be over in my book.
Sunday 03.31: I overate to break the vegan spell: pancakes, a chocolate bunny, jelly beans. And a burger and a half. Yikes!
Monday 04.01: This was one of the first Mondays in a long time that I woke up after more than 7.5 hours of sleep. It feels great. My eating started okay, but I eventually succumbed to the last of those jelly beans. Major post-dinner binging.
Tuesday 04.03: I took that spin class again. And again, I felt awesome. Plus, it was in a new, bigger studio. With disco balls and colored lights! Outside of overdosing on 4 Mary Jane candies, I ate pretty well. I happily chugged water and snacked on broccoli at work. I blew calorie range by 200 calories because I ate some post-dinner pistachios and grapes. But I drank tea to stop it from going further. Outside of Lent, I normally eat vegetarian (meat/fish/egg-free) on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Only broke that habit once -- more than two years ago! Check out my 475-calorie dinner below!
Veggies: Steamed spinach, mushrooms, and carrots
Protein: Black beans and sliced Tofurky Italian sausage
Dressings: Wishbone Light Italian (my favorite salad dressing EVER!), hummus, and a dash of green pepper Tabasco
Today 04.03: I had a good day. The pre-work workout was ok, but I'll definitely plan for a more challenging cardio session next time. Had a 115-calorie carb attack in the mid-afternoon, so I cut back to make up for it. Clean eating for dinner again -- I had a huge chicken salad (all homemade) for dinner. Blew calorie range by about 150 calories this time.
Upcoming Challenges before 04.10.13 Weigh-In:
#1: I'm going out for drinks with my co-workers tomorrow. I'll need to ignore the peer pressure, and stick with the two glasses of wine I have planned.
#2: My outdoor running regimen will return on Saturday, May 4th. With just four weeks left, I need to stay motivated with my interval treadmill plan so I can run as well as I did in December.
#3: I have some tough fitness classes ahead. I need to remind myself to break out of my comfort zone.
#4: I'm planning to go out to a bar to watch the SU vs. Michigan game (LET'S GO ORANGE, LET'S GO!). I'm also trying to set up dinner with friends over the weekend. I need to leave enough calories for both events so I won't deprive myself.
Weigh-In Goal for 04.10.13: 152 pounds
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Have you ever felt too fat to enjoy life?
Today I read an essay in Self magazine about a woman who refused to participate in certain life events because she felt fat. Among other things, she postponed clothes shopping and turned down a post-engagement vacation in Mexico because she was too focused on her body.
That sounds awfully familiar.
1) I usually refuse to visit my family because I feel too fat, and am afraid of being judged. They live an hour and a half away.
2) I refuse to wear sleeveless shirts and shorts in the gym.
3) I have dresses that would fit me now, but I won't wear them. I have shoes that I won't permit myself to wear yet.
4) I'm a 25-year old young professional living in Manhattan. Yet I spend many weekends at home alone, because I ignore my friends' invites to go out.
But I am not fat. I am not even overweight. I am of normal weight, and yet I am still pretending that I am fat.
A lot of SparkPeople members write blogs or message board postings about feeling too fat to exercise. I've always thought that was silly, even when I joined SparkPeople in September 2009 at 210 pounds. When my weight loss journey officially began on March 15, 2010, I grinned through my workouts, said hi to my fitness instructors, and smiled when taking my before pictures. I knew that I was fat, but more importantly, I knew that it was only temporary.
Three years and sixty pounds lost later, I have lost that mindset. I mostly avoid eye contact at the gym. I look in the mirror and see arms that need toning and stomach fat.
When I was fat, I made things happen. I pushed through tough workouts. I stuck to my calorie range.
Now that I feel fat, I have lost much of my motivation. I stay at the same level of intensity during my workouts. I overeat every single day.
No wonder why I've been trying to lose the last 25 pounds for the last two years. My thoughts of being too fat, too undeserving have finally become a reality.
That's not a good feeling. And I am tired of it. I deserve to enjoy life, whether or not I've reached my goal weight. Whether I am fat or not. Because I've worked hard for it. I made sacrifices to reach a size six. For more than a year, I woke up at 4:35am to reach the gym on time. I still wake up at 5:15am five days a week to exercise.
Sure I can stop now, but I am not the quitting type. I know my body type, bone structure, and ability. I have specific athletic goals. 125 pounds is healthy and attainable for my height. I will never have to starve myself to reach that weight.
I am worthy of sleeveless shirts, of family photos, of wearing boots that I worked long hours to afford. I am not too fat for nightclubs. I am going out on Saturday night. And I am going to dance so hard and so long that I'll forget that I'm burning calories.
Being fat is a fact. Being fat is reflected in BMI levels (for most), cholesterol numbers, insulin measurements, waist circumferences, blood pressure readings. Being fat can be undone, so it is a perfect motivation to lose weight. Being fat is a call to action.
Feeling fat is a lie. It has no tangible meaning. The feelings of being fat are based on stupid, undefined arbitrary factors. Feeling fat is hopeless. Feeling fat ignores all progress and potential. Feeling fat keeps you stuck.
Well, being stuck is for dead people. I am alive. You are alive. Time to enjoy life.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
I woke up yesterday morning to a series of sad Facebook statuses. A guy who was currently a senior at my alma mater just died. No, we werenít friends, or even acquaintances for that matter. I donít even remember him around campus. But those facts are not important.
I looked at his Facebook page. Incomplete. His Twitter page. Part of the past. Plans, hopes, dreams. Over.
Then, I turned around on my bed. An unopened bag of pretzels and a box of Wheat Thins. What about my plans?
Twelve hours later. Iíve remained on that bed, with the exception of a quick shower and my back-and-forth trips to the kitchen. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sweet potato fries. That box of Wheat Thins are now done. The bag of pretzels have been open. What about my plans?
I woke up this morning, Sunday morning, and Iím still unsure. Another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I skipped an entire weekís worth of workouts. But thatís not the problem. Exercise is a part of who I am. Itís a non-negotiable part of my identity. I will be back. I always go back.
I realize now that I stopped losing weight when I stopped going to therapy. I took a day off work last Friday so I could find a therapist. Iím starting to binge eat like I did in college. Iím starting to feel extremely depressed again, and I fear another nervous breakdown. I need help. But even with my fairly good health insurance, it still will cost $50 a session. $200-250 a month. Not impossible to afford, but Iíd rather save that cash for vacations.
This time I will not use a therapist.
This guy from my college was hit by a car. Photos from the local news website show a broken glass on the passengerís side of the windshield. He died at the hospital. He died quickly. I looked at his Facebook page. I looked at his Twitter page. I looked at our mutual friendsí pages. I looked at his LinkedIn page. He had ambition, but more importantly, he was building his resume. Not a summer at home without an internship or a job. But now his plans, hopes, and dreams are over because of an accident.
On Monday, March 15, 2010, I weighed 210 pounds. As of Monday, February 11, 2013, I still weigh 151 pounds. Iíve been trying to lose the last 19-26 pounds for the last two years now. I am a planner by nature. My careerís in health. I know more than the average person about weight loss. My plans, hopes, and dreams are enough to help me reach this goal.
It shouldnít take a healthy 23 year old 2 years to lose 26 pounds. The workouts wonít help me lose weight. I will never lose the weight unless I stick to my calorie range. Weight loss is 80 percent nutrition and calories. No matter how many miles I run in Central Park or on an incline on the treadmill, no matter how many early morning plyometric workout classes I take. I will NEVER reach my goal weight. My weight will stay the same. And then, I will get frustrated with the lack of results from my exercise routine and skip the gym.
His plans, hopes, and dreams wonít happen because of what happened to him. My plans, hopes, and dreams wonít happen because of what I let happen.
He understood that he was the only person with the power to change his life. He fought and worked hard to make his plans, hopes, and dreams a reality. He doesnít have another chance.
Didnít he deserve one?
I understand that I am the only person with the power to change my life. I donít fight or work hard enough to make my plans, hopes, and dreams a reality. My chances are running out, but I donít know when.
Why do I deserve more chances than him?
Most of us wonder why life and death can be so unfair. Unfair to who?
Maybe one day we will use our personal power of change to make life and death a little more fair.
Rest in peace, Jason.
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