Friday, January 27, 2012

My Engine

I read a post on one of the weight loss blogs I follow. It was a while back, and now I can't remember who posted it and I can't find it. But she talked about how the whole weight loss thing has been the engine on her train of life for so long that nothing else has had the chance to be first and foremost. The engine is the driving force of the train...the first thing you see, the big focus. And she talked about how she needed to let other things be first. After all, life goes on all around us all, and family, career, friends, church--other things in life are important, and sometimes take a back seat to weight loss (it could be other goals for other people).

I think it's really good for weight loss to be the engine. I mean, we've all heard the thing about how you can't truly take care of others until you take care of yourself. It's okay to take care of yourself, and it's okay for others to sacrifice as they support you in your weight loss efforts. (Little sacrifices, like not having cookies and candy and soda around all the time, or supporting your need to be gone at the gym sometimes, or whatever it is). There's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes the absolute only reason weight loss things work for me is that it's the engine. If I let it be one of the cars, or even the caboose, it would not happen. Sometimes weight loss absolutely has to be my number one focus.

But I think the time has come for me to get a new engine, and let weight loss be a car. There are two reasons for this.

First, I realized last night that focusing so much on what I am eating has kind of turned on me a little bit. The past couple of weeks I have been so focused on what I'm eating, that I find myself thinking about food WAY more than I want to. I spend so much time planning, counting calories, journaling, and preparing my food, that food is ALWAYS on my mind. I'm still living life and doing what I do, but thinking about food that much is, well, making me want more food.

I've done really good this week and have been more in control than I've been in a long time. But I have just realized that food has kind of taken over my life! I want to just be a normal person who does what they do, and then when it's time to eat, they eat their food, and then go back to doing what they do. I don't want to be the person who wakes up planning the right thing for breakfast, eating the breakfast, journaling the breakfast, and then immediately goes into planning the mid-morning snack, then after that the lunch, then after that the afternoon snack--you get the idea. I'm sick of food. I find that once I eat the breakfast, I want to immediately eat the mid-morning snack. And after that, I want to eat something else. What I really need to do, is stop thinking about the stinkin' food.

I do not want to just go to the cupboard and grab whatever looks good, I don't want to stop having the healthy options ready and doing what I need and want to do, I just don't want it to be in my face all the time.

Second, right now I don't have the time in my life to let weight loss be the engine. There are too many other things competing for that position. My kids, my husband, and huge to-do list I have to get done in preparation for moving. I am busy all the time working on things to get it all ready. My husband was going to get home a day before the movers were scheduled  to come. So we planned to spend that day doing everything we need to do that last day to be ready--packing up the stuff we need to keep with us, like clothes and sleeping bags and pillows, all that. He was going to get the trampoline taken down and packed up that day. Lots of things like that. But yesterday the movers called and did an over-the-phone inventory of our stuff, and decided they wanted a whole day to pack, and another day to load. Because of that, they're now coming a day earlier. Which means that about a half hour after we get home from picking Jared up from the airport, the movers will be showing up. So this has put a lot more work on my shoulders. Which is fine, I don't mind at all. But I just do not have the time or energy for weight loss to be a big focus. I'm tired of feeling guilty because I worked like crazy all day long with no break at all, went to bed super late, and then skipped my early morning workout. Right now I just can't let the workout be my number one thing, there just isn't time.

I have worked out this week, I have eaten well. I plan to continue with it, doing what I can do, but not feeling bad when it just can't happen. Yesterday I just plain didn't have time to chop vegetables and prepare my healthy menu, and I just grabbed a snack size pack of Ritz crackers with cheese. You know, sometimes you just have to grab what is there and not beat yourself up about it. I don't have time for that kind of remorse, either.

The old me would use moving as a good reason for not focusing on my health, and would take it and run with it. I'd be ordering pizza, driving through fast food to get dinner for me and the kids, and would probably de-stress every night with thousands of calories worth of comfort-food sweets. I'm not anywhere near even wanting to do that. But enough is enough. I will still weigh in and put it up on the sidebar there, but at this point, I'm not trying to lose pounds.

Maybe in a month or so I'll be ready to switch engines again--I look forward to that, because nothing feels better than to work super hard and get all the rewards that come along with it. My goal is to be out of the obese category by my birthday. For me, 175 is the dividing line between obese and overweight. My birthday is April 16. So I want to be 174 by then, which is 19 pounds. That seems really reasonable to me, with some breathing room. I hope the only breathing room I need is this time right now while we're moving. After that we'll see what happens. I have no way at all of predicting how soon life will settle down, how soon I'll be able to switch engines. Once my husband comes home next week, he doesn't have to go back to work until March 3. So we'll have a few weeks after we get to the new place, with him home all day. This is great, and I love the idea of having him around all day. But it does mean that we won't be settled into what will become the normal routine that whole time. So yeah, we'll see.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beneath the Bandaid

I mentioned before how Bob Harper said you can't heal something just by slapping a bandaid on top of it. Underneath the bandaid there is something wrong--a splinter, a piece of glass, germs, whatever it is, it has to be dealt with.

And he's right.

I also mentioned that I've been hiding under my bandaid forever, without getting to the root of the issue.

I can be a weight loss super star. I have lost over 100 pounds (twice). I have done a juice fast for 18 days. The juice fast isn't really about weight loss, but it is about having absolute, 100% control. Rigid, strict control. No problem.

I have also been a major over eater and food abuser. I hate to put it like that, but unfortunately, that's the way it is. If you repeatedly overeat, if you binge eat, you are a food abuser.

I've been on both ends of the extreme, and have yet to master the happy medium. Either extreme is harmful. Maybe the super good one is only harmful because it inevitably leads to the super bad one. At least, it does for me.

So I guess I have finally identified what's under the bandaid. That's it. No traumatic event, no extreme lack of self esteem, no self-loathing. I don't use food to compensate for anything. My life really isn't missing anything. I mean, we all have things we'd dream about having. Sure I wouldn't mind having a bigger paycheck or a fancier house, blah blah blah. But for all intents and purposes, I have everything in my life that I want. I have a great family, financial stability, friends. I have a master's degree, I have learned a lot of awesome skills for every day life--I mean, I'm a happy person. I love life. I have a lot of blessings, and I am thankful for them. I truly have nothing to complain about.

So what's under the bandaid? Under the bandaid is the fact that I am addicted to food. That's it.

I'm supposed to be in the middle of this whole perfect three weeks thing. I'm supposed to be rocking the whole Biggest Loser 30 Day Jumpstart thing. This week I have exercised. I have counted calories in. I have counted calories out. I have journaled. I have kept up on weight loss blogs. I have read about weight management. I have watched Biggest Loser while doing my household chores.

And yet, I have lost, over and over again. Not pounds, unfortunately. I have lost the battle with food every day this week. Monday it was pretzels. I let myself have a few that would have fit into my plan. But I just kept eating them. It was afternoon. I was to the point where I was ravenous. Not physically. I wasn't actually hungry at all!! It was just plain in my mind. I just wanted to eat, and I could not satisfy my desire for food and just make myself stop. I could not just eat a few pretzels and walk away, I just kept eating and eating them.

So the next day I was going to be more active and cut my calories down to help make up for it. And I did. I got up and I did my step aerobics, and I did some Just Dance on the wii with the kids. And I was totally in my game. And then the afternoon came, and I wanted to EAT. I wasn't hungry. I just wanted to eat. So I decided I'd have the half cup of fat free frozen yogurt I had planned into my day--I was going to have it after the kids went to bed, but I just plain wanted to eat. I tried doing it the right way, I had something that was in the plan for the day. But then after that half cup, I had another half cup. And another. I probably ate three full cups of frozen yogurt. That's 600 calories instead of 100. Wow, really??

So the next day I was going to exercise more, and try to cut my calories by 300 for two days, to help make up for all that frozen yogurt.

Then was Wednesday. Wednesday I rocked. I did Jillian's workout in the morning, and I took the kids to the walking trail where we walked for about an hour. It wasn't super speed or anything, but it was decent. But then afternoon came. I wanted to eat. I wasn't hungry physically, but psychologically I was ravenous! So I took out the breakfast cookies from the freezer and ate a whole bunch of them. No sugar, no bad ingredients at all, but the calories still added up! I felt like junk--physically. Then I decided to just go get Subway for dinner. Which is a healthy choice, unless you just ate a bunch of breakfast cookies chock full of carbs. But I wanted it, so I got it. And then at Young Women's that night, the activity was decorating cupcakes. And I ate one. Then I came home and ate the leftover licorice I brought home.

WHY???? What the heck was the payoff for all that? Tons of regret. Tons and tons of regret. Not guilt, but absolute regret. It wasn't worth it. If I had planned on cheating, I could have at least had things that were awesome. But breakfast cookies and licorice? That's just crap.

But yes, I did pick up on the pattern that I get psychologically ravenous in the afternoons. I have finally identified that as a major trigger time for me, which means that I can really watch it in the afternoons. Afternoon is my diet enemy, and now that I know it, I can put up my defenses.

Putting a bandaid on something looks nice. You get to see a nice, sterile strip instead of a pussy, oozing gash. (Okay, sorry). Me wearing a size 14 pants right now looks a lot nicer than the 24s I was wearing before. But inside, underneath the bandaid, I still seem to have the size 24 psychology. This is what destroyed me last time. I lost all that weight, and then in nothing flat I had put it all back on. I will not do that again!

The truth is, taking out a splinter or a piece of glass hurts. Nobody likes going at a wound with a pair of tweezers and digging through all the mess. It's ugly and it's painful. I like to say that now that I've lost over 100 pounds and done some awesome things, that I have healed what's wrong. That I've mastered the art of weight management. I have not. But how thankful I am that, since there's a nasty splinter under that bandaid, I finally have a pair of tweezers. I've finally figured out that I have to dig through and pull out what's really wrong. I don't expect it to be pleasant. I expect to get in there and have a really tough time. But in the end, I will find that splinter and I will have what it takes to pull it out. And then maybe the bandaid will be able to do its job.

I hate what I've done this week. I mean, I've done some great things. But I hate all the lost time for the horrible things I did.

You know what, though? I have to see this as progress. Messing up like that, while it has led to sadness and regret, has led me to be able to identify things that will help me from now on. It's a stumbling block that I can now use to stand on to lift me higher.

You know what else? I have still been exercising. That right there is a big sign that I'm not a lost cause.

You know what else? I did not get soda at Subway. I did not eat 5 cupcakes. I did not go for McDonalds or Burger King--at least it was Subway. So I stumbled. I did not fall. There is still a lot of progress, overall, things are not as bad as they could be. In the past when I have thrown in the towel for the day, I've done a lot  more damage than I've done this week. I can feel that deep down, I am a different person. I do not go as far as I used to. I don't have any desire to go that far. I don't like how far I'm still willing to go, but I've got my tweezers. I'm working on it. I want real changes. I do have some real changes. I have confidence that I will continue to make real changes, and eventually get to that place where I do not abuse food ever. Not even once in a while. I used to do it all the time. Now at least it's rare, and not as bad. Some day I will have no desire at all whatsoever to turn to food inapporpriately.

**As a side note, I do not believe that allowing a treat sometimes is a bad thing. Not at all. As long as it's a conscious decision and as long as it's not overdone. As long as it's not something you will regret once it's gone. If handled correctly, there will be no regret.

So I'm still fighting. And I'll keep you posted.

And I am seriously considering starting up with the Addiction Recovery group when I get to Washington. I always swore I wouldn't. But now I think I'm ready to face it.

Fat and Happy

Fat and happy. I've heard the term before. Dr. Phil says if you haven't done something about your weight, there's some kind of pay off you're getting that you want more than getting the pounds off and everything that goes along with that. I can't remember the exact way he said it, it's been years since I read his book. But it has stuck with me. It's true. If you choose to eat that candy bar, it's because you're getting something when you eat it. Happiness? Satisfaction? Stress relief? I don't know, whatever.

People say "fat and happy" like it's something great. I first started hearing that term when we entered the world of the military. Guys from one branch of the military would say that other branches let their soldiers get fat and happy--less physical stuff, more lenient weight requirements, etc. I'm sure it was all (mostly?) just talk, all the branch rivalry talk that military people like to do.

But I've heard the term in lots of other places and from lots of other people, too.

Fat and happy.

Fat and happy.

Happy why? Because you get to eat what you want and not have to do all the work it takes to manage a more healthy weight? Because you get to sleep in an hour later than you would be able to if you got up to exercise? Because fast food is quick and easy and tastes good, and if you adopt the "fat and happy" lifestyle you get to have it without feeling "guilty?" Happy because you like the holidays to be about the food? Because getting out of breath doing every day things is fun? Because there's satisfaction in loosening your belt after an artery hardening meal? Because you like that clothes shopping is much more of a chore you put off than a something fun you look forward to?

I get it. I do. Believe me. If anyone knows about eating, I do. And if anyone knows about counting every calorie, waking up super early to exercise, using a food scale, cutting certain "good and yummy" things out of my life, I do.

But I also know that "fat and happy" just doesn't work. Anybody who thinks they're fat and happy--I think it's really safe to say that they are wrong! They probably really think they are, though. I respect each person's right to be who they are, to choose what they want, and to be in charge of their own health. I respect each person's right to be in whatever mindset they're in. If it's a fit, active, healthy thing, then great. If it's a sit around all day, do nothing, and eat like a pig, then great. And if it's somewhere in the middle, that's great. It's okay!

But I'm not buying the fat and happy thing.

I've had a taste of the happiness that comes with being active and eating healthy. I'm still a long way from my goal weight, and life is getting really hard for me right now. I have a lot of great ideas, I know exactly what I need to do, and I just don't have it in me to win right now! (More on that later). So I can't claim to know how great it would feel for me to be at my correct weight, or how it would feel to buy amazing clothes and have fun putting complete outfits together that will make me just want to go out into the world just so I can go out wearing those clothes. I can't claim to know how great it would feel for me to do something like run a marathon. Not that it would feel like a party for the whole 26.2 miles, but for the feeling I'd get going through that finish line knowing that I did something like that. You just can't put a price on that kind of thing, and I have no idea how that would feel.

But I can claim, now, to know how it feels to achieve physical things in life that I never thought I could. Years ago I participated in a "lazy-man's triathlon" through the YMCA. We had to do the same things as a regular triathlon, but not all at once. We had to keep a log of our biking, swimming, and running. And a one hour step aerobics class (or other cardio class) counted as 2 miles. Stuff like that. You could run on the track, the treadmill, or the elliptical. Whatever. If you finished it all in 3 months, you got bronze. Two months was silver. One month was gold. Two weeks was Ironman. I decided to just go for it and work for the Ironman. And I did it! I actually finished in 10 days. Within that ten days, there were many 4 hour workouts. It was hard. But you know what, I did it. Yes, it was lazymans. I'm sure it wasn't anywhere close to what a real triathlon is like. But for the first time in my life, I achieved something amazing that was physical.

But for some reason, climbinb Koko Head in Hawaii a couple of months ago was not only a great feeling, it was life altering. It was a true defining moment. Standing on the top of that mountain, looking down on Hawaii Kai, knowing that nothing but my own work got me there--there's not a feeling like that in all the world! Nothing, nothing, nothing can compare to that. That's a kind of happy you can never in a million years get from the "fat and happy" mentality. Ever.

And guess what? Conquering Koko Head is a happiness that I will have for the rest of my life. Eating a candybar is a happiness that only lasts until it's gone. Then all you're left with is calories. Fat. Sugar. Wreaking havoc in your body. You get nothing lasting from a candybar--nothing that will make you happy, anyway.
And I know that the more I fight the fat, and the "fat and happy" lifestyle, the more experiences like that I'll be able to do.

It's always been a dream of mine to travel and see the world. (Ha, and I have yet to leave the United States). But I have recently added to that dream the desire to not only see, but to do. I don't think I'll ever want to climb Mount Everest. But something like that bridge in Sydney that you can climb to the top of--lots and lots of stairs--I would love to do that! The old me would love to go to Sydney, to see all that. And maybe even see amazing views, if there's an elevator or a shuttle or something. But to get to the top of something like that by my own steam--that would be the best! A friend of mine went to Mexico/South America and got to see a lot of ruins and other church history things, some of which she had to repel down into because there was no other way to go. She's a senior citizen, and she did it. Why can't I?

All this coming from me, who has never, ever ever, been "outdoorsy" or "athletic"--I'm not someone who likes to do stuff like that in my free time. But that kind of stuff has come to me as I become more able to do it. 6 months ago I would have said I could be happy my whole life if I never ran a mile. But then when you do it, and you learn what it feels like to get better and better and to achieve things that are challenging, you get a kind of happiness you never imagined existed.

Fat and happy just absolutely doesn't cut it. And I firmly believe that anybody who believes that they are fat and happy, though they believe they really are, has no clue what kind of happiness they're missing out on.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day One

Day One of my 30 day jump start went pretty well! I did not get up to exercise, and had intended to do it at night. Didn't happen. I came in 126 calories below my target calorie burn for the day (2300). A lot of it was because I had to do some shopping for the food I needed to follow the eating plan, which resulted in a dinner time shopping trip. That wasn't bad as far as eating goes, but it was bad as far as scheduling. Doing errands like that at night is just not the best for me. Because then we get home and are immediately into the rush of cleaning up and getting everyone ready for bed and all that fun stuff. And then I have to make dinner, blah blah blah, and by the time I get the kids in bed, when I planned on exercising, I'm exhausted and needing a break.

Today I got up and did my step aerobics. I will make up for yesterday's missed exercise by getting up on Saturday. But anyway, I also need to bump up my daily calorie burn, and I'm also trying to hit 10,000 steps a day (bodybugg tracks steps, too, it's so awesome!) So I have decided that every hour or two, I'm going to play some Just Dance with the kids or whatever. It's not serious exercise that will maintain a target heart rate for a significant amount of time, but it will help me get a few more calories burned. This is just the playing I'll do in addition to my real exercise. We'll see how that works out today. It will help get my kids up and moving (more than they already do, anyway) too.

The food plan is awesome. I felt like I got to eat a lot. Maybe it's because the hcg diet is SO limited and so small. But yes, I loved how much food I got to eat yesterday, and it all added up to 1330 calories, just like I'm supposed to have.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

I spent the weekend reading the Biggest Loser books I have. I read the whole Biggest Loser book, and then got about half way through the 30 day jump start book.

I had to ditch the hcg, because this time I just did not stick to the protocol at all. In the past it has always been super super easy for me, but this time, I don't know. I just couldn't do it anymore, and I cheated a lot the last week. I didn't necessarily go crazy, but the diet is pretty strict as far as which foods you can eat--and it's not a long list at all. Anyway, Friday I got pretty dizzy and all kinds of crazy stuff. So bad that I went to bed with dishes in the sink, and if you know me, you know that had to be pretty bad. Anyway, I wonder if it was because I was taking hcg but not eating the diet they say to eat.

This last round of hcg did save me from a lot of badness over the last 3 weeks, I'm positive about that. You should have seen the crap that came into my house when all my family was here! Geez. But now that's over, and I just want to get into the whole realistic lifestyle thing, with the good diet and plenty of exercise--and not so strict. I mean, if I want peanut butter, I want it. There is a lot of really healthy food that I just really like! Steamed broccoli, here I come. =)

Anyway I read the Biggest Loser books and I love them. I love the plan. The thing I really love about the Biggest Loser plan is that it is realistic. The Biggest Loser is all about losing weight through proper diet and exercise, without any gimmick or fads or anything like that. Yes, on the show people lose ridiculous amounts of weight and exercise way more than what is realistic. That is what the show is about, it's a competition. And while it is not realistic, it is not unsafe. The plan for real life is not designed to pull big numbers like that, they are not selling some crazy thing. It is designed to lose a maximum of 2 pounds a week. And I just really like the diet and the exercise plan.

I like the diet because just like weight watchers, there is no food that you are not allowed to have. Well, they do say to stick to whole foods and ditch the processed stuff and the white flour type products. It's been a long time since I've looked into the weight watchers thing, but I don't remember them teaching how bad those enriched flours are. White bread, white flour tortillas, white rice, white potatoes...I like that the Biggest Loser promotes the whole grains.

At any rate, I am very happy with the plan. Today I started the 30 day jump start plan. It's been a while since I exercised, so it'll be good to get back into it. I will be doing my thing rather than theirs, because they start you out with only 20 minutes of cardio (walking) and 10 or so minutes of strength training. I will do my 45 minutes of step aerobics, etc., because I'm not that out of practice.

Today is also the first day I am using the bodybugg website to really input all my food and calories and all that, so that I can keep track of the deficit. Basically, you want to burn 500 more a day than you eat for every pound you want to lose that week. So I'm shooting to burn 1000 more than I eat. According to the Biggest Loser plan, for my weight I should be eating 1330 calories a day. This will go down as my weight goes down. (The formula is your body weight x 7).  FUN FACT: For every pound you lose, you burn about 10 calories less per day. So for every 10 pounds you lose 100 less. This is why you have to continually adjust your calories in and work harder to get calories out. (I seriously wouldn't mind a weighted vest I could wear all day! LOL).  Anyway, so I will shoot to burn 2330 a day. If I try for 2 pounds a week, I should have enough time to reach my goal of 130 by the end of the year--including the off times that will come up, as well as the inevitable the-closer-you-get-to-goal-the-harder-it-is-to-lose thing.

So here we go!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Three Perfect Weeks

Today I decided to commit myself to three perfect weeks. It's this short term time I have where everything around me is all crazy and busy and things aren't exactly normal. But it's three weeks that I can commit to perfect eating, and to getting up to exercise. A commitment like this will really help me to stop eating on the fly, and to just do what I need to do.

I gained 2 pounds in the past week. Really it's just that today is one of the up days of the yo yo. But two pounds is two pounds, and I deserve it. But it has to stop.

Three weeks from today the movers come. Two days before that my husband will be back for good. Four weeks from today we get in the car and start the drive up to our new home.

I just really want to leave here proud of what I've done here. I mean, I am already proud of the major weight loss I've had here, and the personal growth. But I don't want to leave here feeling cruddy because I've lost my grip. I want to feel amazing and really good about myself. Today I don't deserve to feel that way. So I just want these three perfect weeks...and when I get to the new place I want to feel like a million bucks.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I really miss that whole "fresh start" thing on January 1. I feel like this year I really missed out on a great opportunity, because the craziness just did not stop once the holidays were over. I'm not talking about eating, necessarily, I'm talking about just plain all around craziness.

My husband DID resolve to have his fresh start on January 1, and got on board with eating great and exercising. For a week he got up at 5 in the morning and ran a 5K (he built up to doing 4.5 miles) in the freezing cold. It was my intention to get up at the same time and do step aerobics, and then we would do some Jillian Michaels together. So that first morning, he got up and I stayed in bed. (Geeeezz!!) When he got back from running he did what I asked him to--he reminded me that I really did want to get up and do Jillian with him. He didn't make me feel like a loser for staying in bed, but he at least got me out of bed for the Jillian. The following mornings went much the same way. He'd go running, I'd keep sleeping. He'd come home and I'd get up and we'd do something...mostly workouts on the Biggest Loser wii game. And sometimes he needed me to be the strong one and say okay, let's go do it. But instead I stayed in bed and he just went back to bed, too. I'm totally the weak one!

Then my family came rolling in to town, and it was instant insanity. I loved having them here. But there's nothing like crowding 9 adults and 11 children into one little house to drive all sense of normalcy completely away.

The cool thing is that my husband organized a family olympics, inspired by the Biggest Loser (which he just couldn't help but get hooked on while I was watching it). We had three events: a one mile run, a step up challenge, and a bowling tournament. Then a few days later was the surprise event, which turned out to be that we would do all those things over again, and the winner would be the one who showed the most improvement between the first and second scores. So that was cool. And guess who won?? Me!!!! Now I have a gold trophy from Party City on my shelf, where it will be proudly displayed until the next family olympics when somebody wins it away from me. It was really cool, and a lot of fun. It was awesome to me that everyone was so willing to participate, and that we all had fun with it. I mean, my family is NOT the fittest family around, you know. We're the kind who would much rather sit around watching movies and eating junk food than do anything physical. And it shows. So I thought it was great that everyone had such a great attitude about the olympics.

Somewhere in there, while all the family was here, my husband totally lost it where diet is concerned. And I have to be honest, I did, too. But I would lose it for a day and then grab back on. Actually, ever since this past Sunday I've been off a day, on a day. It's getting to the point of ridiculous. I mess up, and then resolve to never do that again, so I do totally amazing the next day. Then the next day after that I totally screw it up again. This whole week I've been a serious yo yo dieter, and it's getting out of control.

I have to say, though, that I'm really glad that there is nothing in me anywhere that is ready to stop fighting. I have got to figure this junk out. I'm still in the 180s (somewhere), but I should be so much further than I am.

Today I was watching an episode of the Biggest Loser, and Bob said something about how you can't just put a bandaid over the problem. A bandaid isn't going to fix it. You have to get to the root of the problem and solve it or it isn't going to get better. I really think that's where I am. It's so super great that I'm sitting here with about 115 pounds lost, but I have just been relying on bandaids this whole time and I have not fixed what is truly broken.

The problem is that I don't know what the problem is, so I don't know how to fix it. I just like good food. At the same time, I feel amazing when I am on top of my diet. My entire life is better, and no amount of flavor popping food could feel better than that. I do not want to be stuck like this, and yet here I am sabotaging myself at every turn. I do feel like I'm getting better, because the off times are still so much shorter than the on times, and the off times are really the exception rather than the rule. But still--I'm not getting anywhere right now.

I really think that starting tomorrow I have to dedicate part of my day to studying weight loss and healthy living. I find I do my best when I am focused on it. Lately I have not had one spare moment at all to focus on it. Once all the family left and I had a second to breathe, it was time to send my husband back to Hawaii so finish up stuff out there. Before he left we miraculously found a house in Washington and made all the arrangements to rent it and have it ready when we need it, and all that. It was a crazy, stressful process. And now that that is all done, it's time for me to be going through the house room by room, drawer by drawer, closet by closet, and get rid of all the junk that has accumulated. Garbage piles, donate piles, keep and organize piles, return to my mom piles--really, will it ever end? I'm on my feet all day long getting ready for the movers to come. Let me tell you, it feels amazing to be getting all cleaned up and organized. I love our new house, I can't wait to have my husband back for good, to be living our life again and to stay put for a few years. But this being busy is just killing me. Not being able to read up in my books and spend my time organizing my diet and exercise is just totally messing me up.

So tomorrow I am going to start reading my book and making some notes, and really trying to get back into the groove. I only have 3 weeks until the movers come, so any routine I get into now is just going to get upset again, but I have to do the best I can do for these three weeks. I refuse to throw in the towel. But I am frustrated with myself for yo-yoing. I should have better resolve than this. I know better than to yo yo. Being a stress eater is a bad, bad thing.

My goal for the next few weeks is to keep my head above water. Once I move, I will get my house set up as quickly as possible (because that's the way I do things), and we will get into a routine that will actually stick for a while. I need it so bad.

I will still weigh in tomorrow, but I'm afraid it won't be pretty.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Alive and Fighting

Life is crazy. I somehow manage to stay really super busy, almost all the time these days. But today is Sunday. We go to church at 9:00 now (yahoooo!). So we got home, gave the kids lunch, and sent them off to their rooms for "quiet time." It's not working so well for the younger ones, but it's working okay enough that I decided to stop my long list of stuff I need to do and do something for myself.

I have sadly neglected the blogging world. Not because I've fallen off the wagon (weeelllll, more on that later) but because I just haven't had a single moment for it the past few weeks.

So okay. Time to report. My goal was to maintain my weight anywhere in the 180s. To step on the scale on New Year's Day and be 18__ something. Anything.

Today I weighed in at 192.9. Can you believe I'm actually absolutely happy with that? The holidays were hard. I ate a lot of really yummy things. It was my choice. And it's okay. I can't actually say I really regret it. I'm pretty surprised though, that I don't weigh a lot more than that today. It's not because I didn't gain more than that. I'm sure I did. I was without a scale for a week, so I never had to see it go over 200, but I am sad to say that I'm sure it did.

I found myself losing my grip a couple of days before we left on our big trip up to the in-laws. I would eat some pumpkin bread at night when I did not have room for it in my plan. Then I would eat some more. Then my  husband would pull out the oreos--the ones I have in my food storage that I use when somebody needs chocolate dipped oreos for something. The ones I never eat, that have been in their little stay fresh packs in the closet for a few months now. So he would eat some, and I would eat some too. I didn't eat stuff every time he did, but I also didn't not eat when he did. Actually, to tell you the truth, I fought a pretty good fight. I didn't win every battle, but I won more than I lost. So I guess that's something.

For some reason I always want to eat a lot when I go up to my in-laws' place. They always have all kinds of crap everywhere. The difference between them and me is that they don't think they have to stuff their faces just because it's there. My sister in law got a fun sized milky way bar out of the freezer. And I made a mental note to myself that if it had been me, I wouldn't have done that. I would have grabbed the whole bag and brought it to the table where we were playing games, and I would have eaten little bar after little bar until I was sick. So see, they can handle having that bag in the freezer and not downing the whole thing in 2 or 3 sittings. Me, I could really go to town on it.

Anyway, so the fact that I could feel myself losing my grip before we even left was a big alert for me. I knew it was going to be really, really bad. Or I could save myself by hiding in my save zone (hcg). So that's what I did. I decided that I'd go back on hcg for one more round. Why? Because it's a strict plan that I am perfect at sticking to. Why didn't I chow down on those milky way bars? Because you just can't do that on hcg. Obviously I could have, but me and hcg are best friends and I know that I won't cheat. So my first 2 days were Christmas and Boxing Day. If you are unfamiliar with hcg, the first two days are called "load days." On those days, you are supposed to eat a lot of high fat foods. Healthy fats as well as unhealthy fats. I'm not going to get into all the reasoning, that's just what you do. So I figured Christmas was a good day for that. So we drove all day Thursday, and then I had Friday and Saturday to get through--I didn't do so well. Sunday I started on the hcg, but having no scale I really don't know where I started. It did save me from a lot of calories that I know I would have had no problem going crazy on.

I do feel that going back on hcg this time was okay for me. In a time of chaos and very, very weak resolve, I needed some plan that would see me through. And this is seeing me through. I haven't decided yet if I will stop at three weeks or go the whole six. I guess it just depends. Actually, I probably won't go the whole six, because I don't even have that long before I move. (I don't think I do, anyway). I'm just going to stick like glue to the plan and let the numbers fall where they may. I'm hoping to get under 180 before I switch over to maintenance. But I really have no idea what to expect this time around.

Anyway, yeah. So I've been back on for a week and I haven't faltered even once.

The difference this time is that in the beginning I hated it. I've never hated hcg before. This time I did. We stopped at my aunt's on the way home from my in-laws'. My aunt makes the best chocolate chip cookies, hands down. A million people could make cookies from her same recipe, and hers would still be the best out of them all. And I couldn't have any. There were awesome looking enchiladas for dinner, and I couldn't have any. I wasn't bothered that that stuff was there, not at all. I firmly believe that how a person chooses to eat should not make other people have to feel bad for eating or for having stuff around. It's my choice. So I wasn't bothered that it was there, but I was bothered that I was choosing not to eat it. It all comes down to that. It's me. It's my choice. And I knew I didn't want it, but it made me mad. Mad at who? Myself. Not for choosing not to eat it, but for letting myself get to the point where I have to be more strict than I like to be.

But you know what, when it's all said and done--I enjoyed my on plan dinner. It tasted good. It filled me to a comfortable point. And when all the dinner is cleared away and it's all said and done, I am able to be so much happier than I would have been if I had eaten the enchiladas. Here I am, sitting here on Sunday afternoon, and am I still mad that I "had to" choose not to eat the cookies? No way. I'm happy, very happy, about that. Would I be this happy, sitting here today, if I had eaten enchiladas, rice, chips and salsa, instead of my 93% lean ground beef, onion, breadsticks and orange? Nope. If I had eaten off plan I would not be happy about it today. It really is true that it's only a moment on the lips, and then the food is gone, and so is the happiness. It just doesn't pay.

And then when I got home and back to the scale, the hcg diet got a lot easier. My husband can eat his heart out all day long and I'm not mad at all that I'm not also indulging. Doesn't bother me one bit. Because I have that daily reward on the scale, and that definitely soothes the savage beast.

It's really not realistic for me to just "not have that stuff in the house." There are six other people who live with me who do not have a weight problem. Six people in this house who don't eat until they make themselves sick. Six people in this house who can handle it. And the reality is, I have to handle it too. I can't never make cookies for my kids because of my own issues. I can't never go to a restaurant, I can't never allow treats in my house. When I'm on hcg, I can make a quadruple batch of cookies and keep them in ziplocs in the freezer. Then I can pull them out for the kids a little at a time, and never eat one myself. When I'm not on hcg, I want to make the cookies and have one from time to time. Not pull out 6 or 10 of them and chow down in front of the t.v.

So I'm not going to clean every tempting thing out of my cupboards. What I have to do is learn how to be responsible with it. I mean, everything is tempting. Not just stuff like cookies, but stuff like peanuts. Pistachios. Whole wheat (extremely healthy!) bread. It's all tempting. Because I am an overeater. That's the real issue. I just like it, and I want to eat it and not stop. So for me, the fight is to control my portions.

I will be on hcg for at least 2 more weeks. This coming week we have a lot of family coming to town, and it will be a crazy time again. A few days after they leave, my husband will go back to Hawaii for the rest of January. When that happens, I will have a lot fewer distractions. During that time, while I'm still on hcg, the goal is to really read the 3 Biggest Loser books I got a couple of weeks ago, and get ready to journal my food and count my calories, and I'll be ready to start inputting the calorie intake stuff into the bodybugg website.

By the way, I've still been wearing the bodybugg every day and getting a feel for how many calories I burn with what activities, and how many steps I take per day, all that. SO. I look forward to using the bodybugg for the entire picture, getting into the science of the calorie defecit and all that. I know that might sound crazy to some people, to be that persnickety about little details. But I need to do it for a while because it really helps give a realistic perspective of what I'm doing. I need to pay attention to how many calories I'm actually eating, and how active a actually am. Counting it and recording it is the process that will allow me to re-train myself and make it come more naturally to me to control my portions and live a more active lifestyle.

Okay, that's enough of a novel for today. I'll start official weigh ins again this Friday.

BTW, the Disneyland trip was cancelled because too many people had to pull out. No tears here, it works out GREAT for me that we aren't going. At this point all a trip to Disneyland would be for me is a big huge ball of stress. =)