Monday, March 26, 2012

That Fairytale

I follow a weight loss blog called Escape From Obesity. In her blog, Lyn has a lot of good things to say. And she is brutally honest, all the time. She doesn't avoid the blog when things aren't going the best, she puts it all out there. That has to be hard. But because she is willing to do that, it helps other people know that they're not "the only one" who's ever felt that way, or had that experience. She's given me a lot to think about.

So the other day this was the opening paragraph to a post she wrote, and I liked it. So I thought I'd post it here...(thanks, Lyn).

Sometimes I wish my "weight loss journey" was confined to a neat little box of my life... a specific nine months or year or a year and a half with a distinct beginning and ending marked by "before" and "after" pictures. But it's not like that. Oh, I started out *intending* it to be that way. That's what the media portrays, right? You "start", you lose the weight, you celebrate! You go on your way la-la-la to your perfect non-fat life. I don't know too many people who really have it like that, though. You don't see a whole lot of follow-up for the next three or five or ten years after people get to their goal. Maybe it's mostly a sham anyway. Most people I know, and most people I've followed online, struggle and regain. But we don't want to shine the spotlight on THAT. That's not the shiny gold star we want to see at the end. We want the pretty fairy tale.

It really is nice to know I'm not alone. =) I get going, doing a great job for a really long time, and I can tend to get cocky in my thinking, thinking I will always have it under total control for the rest of my life--never stumble, never backtrack. And then soon enough I stumble. I backtrack. So much for the fairytale in the pretty package, right?

But you know what? It's okay. The down times are ugly. It's all part of the process I guess. It's too late for me to turn back now. I will never be able to subscribe to the "fat and happy" mentality. The past couple of months that I have just had to focus on everything else, that I have spent eating whatever, whenever, wherever--I was not happy. I was a lot happier when I was on HCG eating 500 calories a day. I was a lot happier when I was on an almost 3-week long juice fast. I felt amazing. Fat and happy? I guess the past two months can serve as a reminder to me that there's nothing happy about it. Not at all. I can't even wear most of my own clothes. I wear stretchy pants and Jared's shirts most days. Not happy at all.

I am still doing pretty good though. My eating was pretty in check over the weekend. Today I got up and did another day of Jillian's 30 Day Shred, and then when my husband put on his running shoes to go out on a run after the video, I popped in my Gilad aerobics and did that. And it felt good. It's not close to what I was doing before, but it's a lot better than what I've been doing lately. And I didn't really even get out of breath--which is amazing, considering the fact that Gilad's workouts are killer! So that's that.

Before I go to bed tonight I'll get my new $29 DVD player hooked up to the tv in the garage, so it'll be all ready for me in case I decide to do some step aerobics in the morning.

This morning, pre-workout, I was at 212.7. Pretty depressing. But I'm glad it's not the 216.8 and climbing that it was last week.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Baby Steps

Well I made it three days on the juice fast that I was trying to do for seven days.

I did 1000 crunches for 3 days instead of the seven days I was going for. (I did do 500 on the 4th day, but then nothing).

I feel like I've been treading water, and I just can't get it together enough to start swimming so that I can be making that progress toward the shore.

I was really feeling like I was failing over and over and over again. I would wake up in the morning with that determined "fresh start" attitude, happy for a new day, a new chance. And every day I'd end up screwing up whatever it was I was trying to do. Most days I've been having a big ol' juice for breakfast...and that might have been the only good thing I did for myself that day, food-wise.

So I took a step back, and decided that I can't just go back to where I was. I can't just wake up one day and have it all together and be a weight loss super star. I got myself to the point where I need to "start over." When I juice fasted the first time, I had already been in super control of my diet and exercise for a long, long time. I had no cravings for anything else, and it didn't bother me. But right now I have been out of that mode for enough weeks that it's like asking myself to step on the top rung of a ladder when my feet are barely on the second or third step. I just can't reach it yet.

I decided that I would just do each day better than the last. I have had three days now with no sugar. I hate that it's only 3 days. Not too long ago I could have boasted months and months and months with no sugar. I hate that it reared its ugly head in my life again and took control over me for so long. Sugar is such bad news!

All I wanted to do was get rid of the sugar, to begin with. I knew that that had to be first. And I feel a TON better. For the past two days I have also been working on not eating between meals. I hate that it is so easy for me, now, to be cooking or doing whatever it is I'm doing, and grab this or that to pop in my mouth whenever I go in the pantry or whatever. For a while there meal time would come and I wouldn't be hungry for it. (I kept thinking of that "mom" saying we've all heard, maybe even said, "you'll spoil your dinner.") Yeah. So I would spoil my dinner. But I'd eat it anyway, because it was there!

So for the past few days my thing has been to try and not eat between meals. These days, eating 6 smaller meals a day is a popular diet trick. For me, it doesn't work. I can't continuously eat all day or that's what I'll do. I won't stop. I have to have clearly defined times when I eat, and then I have to turn off the switch and forget about food until the next meal. I've been doing a lot better. I have been able to turn off the switch a lot more and eat a lot less. I'm still eating too much. I haven't tracked on paper what I've eaten, I haven't counted calories or paid too much attention to food groups. I've been trying to avoid anything processed, I've been having a good vegetable juice for breakfast, and I've been staying away from sugar.

For now, it's good. The numbers on the scale have gone down every morning since I cut the sugar. Not by a lot, because I really am still eating too much. But for weeks now, almost every day the numbers were going up, sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot. The only time those numbers would go down would be when I was trying the juice fast, but every time I quit, right back up they'd go.

On Thursday my husband got to do his PT at home instead of going in to work to exercise with his unit. So he got me up with him and we did day one of Jillian's 30 day shred video. It was easy. Way easy. And only 20 minutes. So I figured I'd go ahead and go for the 30 days. Who couldn't do an easy 20 minutes, right? Well, Friday morning he got me up and I told him no way. My body was sore!

(In my defense, on Thursday I spent most of the day organizing the garage, loading up the car with stuff for Good Will, moving furniture around, lifting, reaching, bending, etc. in order to get my garage all spiffy-ed up as a workout room. Now it's all clean and organized except for the corner that has the stuff I have listed on craigslist. The t.v. is set up, the mats are all layed out, my weights and my step bench and my big ol' exercise ball are out there, even the space heater--because it's still icy cold in the mornings around here, and a lot of mornings we're still waking up with snow. All I need is to get a DVD player, and I'll be ready to go).

So on Friday there was no way I was getting up early. I told Jared I'd do the 20 minutes when Lydia took her nap (yeah right) or after the kids went to bed (yeah right, but a little more likely than the nap time idea).

Then Jared got off work at lunch time, and it just happened to be a really nice day outside, so I decided to go for a walk when Lydia took her nap. I ended up going 4.5 miles! After the first mile, I started getting nagged and assaulted by the jogging idea. The thought process went something like this:

Why shouldn't I just pick a landmark ahead and just jog to it?
Because I haven't exercised for real for a long time, and just walking is enough for now.
But--I could just jog to that light pole up there.
But I don't want to.
Yes I do.
Seriously? This isn't what I signed up for today. I was only going to walk 2 or 3 miles, and I'm already committed to 4.5. Isn't that going the second mile (ha ha) already?
Yeah, so I'm good. No jogging.
But--I could just jog to that light pole up there.
Dang it! I guess I'm going to. Stupid jogging.
But I'm only doing this once. Then I'm walking.

So I'd jog. I started at one light pole, and jogged past the next light pole, and on to the next. Then I'd walk. And then:

Wow, that really wasn't so bad. I'm not really even out of breath. I expected my lungs to be burning. I expected myself to be gasping for air by this point.
Cool. I haven't totally lost it.
But that's it, I'm done. No more jogging.
I know I can't stop now, though. I'll just jog again after I've walked for a while.
But this isn't a jog, it's a walk. So I'm going to walk for a long time before I jog again.
Here comes another light pole.
Dang it! I've only walked the length of one light pole, and I know I'm going to start jogging again as soon as I get to this next one.
Fine. Fine fine fine! I'll do it.

And then I'd run the length of two light poles again. And that's how the second mile+ went. But I wasn't going to jog at all on the return trip, because #1 I was carrying a grocery bag and #2 there was a lot of uphill on the return trip.

But more of that thought process plagued me, and I did end up doing quite a few jogs on the way home.

And I just started to feel a bit of the old new me. I'm sick of feeling like the old old me--that one that got up to 300 pounds in the first place--that one that regained myself back to 300 pounds after I worked so hard to lose it the first time. I don't want to be that old old me. So I do want that new me back.

I am hoping to go for another walk today if the weather cooperates. But my body is pretty sore and tired. And I obviously need new shoes. But if I can try to do these walks regularly, it will do me a lot of good. Maybe I'll get around to getting a cheap DVD player today, too, so my exercise room will be complete.

Baby steps.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Less Ugly Truth

So I have completed the second day of my juice fast do-over.

1--I feel tons better.
2--My pants fit great again~I got rid of that muffin top that had crept up the last couple of weeks (ha ha, but not really).
3--I have a lot more energy.
4--I have lost 11 pounds from just 2 days of juicing.

So that's that. Yesterday I wasn't thrilled with the juicing. But I'm a lot less thrilled when I feel like crap and can't zip my pants up, and when the scale shows a 2 in front. Hopefully that 2 will be gone by Saturday.

I'm not spending very much time on pinterest during this fast, because I don't need to be reminded of all the amazing recipes out there. LOL.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Good, The Bad, But Mostly the Ugly, Ugly Truth

Well I just really haven't had it in me at all to fight the fight. And we all know that if we don't play the game, we forfeit the win.

So we got our house in California all emptied out and clean and spiffy. My husband got home from Hawaii about a half an hour before the movers showed up to pack. That means I was on my own to get everything cleaned and organized, and to get rid of all the stuff we didn't want to take with us. It was exhausting work, I tell you.

That last week there I ended up having a root canal, and an absolutely horrible experience with corporate dentistry. Wow it was terrible. The good news is that I got it done and probably avoided tons of pain that could have come at a really inconvenient time. So I guess that's good. But it did  make for a pretty insane and annoying last week in California.

We left on the 10th of February after the kids got out of school, and drove the 2.5 hours to my sister's house to crash for the night. On Saturday we left early in the morning, and drove 7 hours to Grants Pass, where we visited my aunt's family for a while, got a hotel, and then met my in-laws for dinner (they drove an hour and a half just to see us, and we loved seeing them!)

Sunday we left Grants Pass and drove another 7 hours to Puyallup, and here we are. We met the landlords at the house, and then emptied everything from the car into the house. One last night on a crappy air mattress that had to have more air pumped into it in the middle of the night. Ha ha! (Still, it was a lot better than the floor, right?)

Monday morning the movers showed up with all our stuff from California, and I took my three little kids shopping to stock the fridge and pantry, and to get them out of the way so the movers could do their thing. The next couple of nights we spent unpacking, putting things away, breaking down boxes, etc. I was so happy to be parking in the garage after breaking down all those crazy boxes!

A week and a half later, different movers came to drop off the stuff that had been in storage in Hawaii. Boy. So much stuff! Some of it was great to see again, and some of it was just plain annoying, because I had to deal with it, and life had been just fine for the past 15 months without it. Now we are in major need of a yard sale, and I am again parking in the driveway. (Grumble).

Somewhere in all of that, we searched and pursued ads on craigslist in order to get the couches, bookshelves, t.v. stand and bunk beds we needed. And several trips to Walmart, Joanne's, Michaels, Costco, Target, etc. to get all the other stuff you need when you find yourself in a new house with slightly different needs than your last few. Whew. I like shopping, but seriously? It was exhausting and insane, and I got to the point where if I had to get in the car to go buy something one more time I'd probably throw a fit like a baby. LOL. It just got really old, really fast. And then we had to do more driving around to buy my husband a car...luckily the first car he found worked out wonderfully well, so I know it could have been worse.

On February 17, I knew I had to step on the scale, even though my brain could not possibly stand one more thing to think about. I had to do it, even though I'd been eating whatever I wanted, however much I wanted, and had really been not fighting the fight.

That day I weighed 211. To tell you the truth, I was surprised it wasn't more. I was guessing I'd be somewhere in the 220s. Yes, I was, and even so it hadn't been enough to make me care sooner. You just get to this point where you are giving so much of yourself to so many areas of your life that there isn't any more to give. And my battle with weight is the one that I chose not to give anything to. I knew I wasn't throwing the towel in forever, that it was temporary. So at least that was something.

The reason I stepped on the scale, finally, on February 17, is that I had planned to start a juice fast that day. It was my attempt at detoxing and re-booting and all that good stuff. So we went to the commissary, and I had my big ol' list of produce to buy. And then Jared asked if there would be enough for him to do it, too. !! Totally didn't expect him to want anything to do with juicing, as unpleasant as a lot of people think it would be. So I grabbed double of everything on the list, and we went for it.

Later that day, he said he was going to try and go for two days. That was kind of a downer for me, because I just bought all that stuff and thought he was going to be my juicing buddy for the whole 10 days I had hoped to do. But I didn't say anything, I really was just happy he was doing at least 2. Still, that night we sat down and watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead together. After it was over, he told me he really wanted to try and make it for 10 days. Yahooo!

So yeah, off we went. He was still off work, so we just juiced our little hearts out. We agreed that if either of us wanted to quit, the other one would be the strong one and keep us both going. I'd help him, he'd help me.

On day 5 we were walking through Walmart, and I just totally lost it. I told him I was sick of juicing and I just wanted a big salad so bad. And he said no, we should keep going, and that I could do it, all the perfect things to say. And I was disappointed because I really was sick of juicing. But he got me over that little wrinkle and we just kept juicing.

The plan was to juice 10 days, and then on day 11 eat fruits and vegetables, and a salad for dinner, to ease back into the normal eating thing.

Then on day 8 we were making dinner for the kids, and Jared slapped his hand down on the counter and looked at me with this pitiful look, and said "How much longer are we doing this??"

The right thing for me to have done would have been to tell him he could do it, it was just a couple more days, you know. All that good stuff. But instead I said, "You don't want to ask me that, because if you start asking me that I'll send you to Subway RIGHT NOW." As soon as I said that he grabbed his keys and said, "What do you want?"

I totally didn't do my part to keep us going! But honestly, ever since day 5 the only reason I didn't throw in the towel is because of him. I wasn't at all into it. At all. I just wanted to eat.

A 7 day juice fast is nothing to laugh at though, and we did pretty good! The problem was not necessarily ending it early. The problem was that we weren't prepared. Instead of having a salad for dinner, like I should have, I ate a Subway sandwich--bread, meat, know. Not unhealthy, but not the best way to ease back into normal eating.

The next night we had planned a pajama party/pizza and game night with our new friends across the street. I hadn't worried about it, because I'd be juice fasting. So the pizza wouldn't be a problem for me. But then we stopped, and Jared was so excited to eat the pizza and treats--so I just joined right in. I just really wasn't in the right place, psychologically. I wasn't ready. I should have juiced through Sunday, and stopped it when we weren't right in the middle of cravings and social situations. Big huge mistake.

All the progress I made juice fasting was totally out the window. That last morning that we fasted I weighed in at 188.

But I just started piling the pounds back on...some of it would have come back anyway, I know that. But I just ate and ate, whatever, whenever, however. Why? Maybe stress. Maybe just drowning in a sea of really needing to settle into a routine. My husband was off work for about 3 weeks after we got here. I was gearing up for getting my routine and exercising and grabbing control of my life back.

Then on Sunday, the day before he went back, my sister called me from Hawaii (in between flights) to tell me they'd be able to get a flight to Washington to come see us. Wahoo! I was so excited. Her husband just got back from deployment, so when we were all together in January he wasn't there. I was beyond excited--our first visitors in our new place!! But yeah, I totally didn't see that one coming. So the first day of my new routine turned, instead, into the first day of fun with company. Not to mention it was the first day the Girl Scouts were outside the stores selling their cookies.

It's been 4 years since I'd had Girl Scout cookies. And I was NOT in a good place for just passing them by. So I bought cookies. I bought a lot of cookies. And we at cookies. We ate a lot of cookies. And the interesting thing is, I was actually disappointed. Even the thin mints just didn't do anything for me. I ate them anyway, but next time those cookies come out I won't feel all compelled to buy them. They're just not the amazing little things I had remembered them being. Oh well, right? I'm grateful for that.

Anyway yeah. We ate like total garbage the whole time. Before that I seriously couldn't remember the last time I just ate with reckless abandon. It wasn't part of me at all to do that. But I did it. Grrrrr!

My sister's family left, and Jared's work schedule has been totally crazy. For one reason or another, he would come home early every day. Sometimes at lunch time, sometimes at 8 or 9 in the morning. So everything has been so unpredictable, and settling into a routine has been pretty much impossible.

And here I am today.

Today I weighed 216.8. I wasn't even going to post that. At this point I can't even begin to guess how much of that is "real" gain and how much of that will come off fairly quickly with my act back together. The horrible thing is that my pants are so tight I don't even want to wear them. They hurt. My shirts look terrible. Absolutely terrible. So I wear my workout pants and Jared's t-shirts, and only put on  my jeans if I'm going out. (Imagine how much I go out at this point).

Jared went back to work for real yesterday. I got up at 5:00 and did my step aerobics and my strength training videos. I also stared my one week of 1,000 crunches a day. I have to do 1,000 for at least a week, because I really have to pull in all the bulges that have emerged in the past month and a half. I want my clothes to fit me, and I just can't buy a bigger size. I'm really not strong enough to get a bigger size, because then I'll be "comfortable" again and lie to myself that making a batch of cookies isn't that big a deal, etc. So yeah. It's a good thing I got rid of all the "fatter" clothes. I don't have a choice at this point, I have to grab control of myself.

Finally I feel like it's possible, because things are settling down. I'm not expecting company any time soon, and I don't have any social situations coming up. Funny thing though, the band hall where Jared works caught on fire during his week of in-processing (he wasn't there) and the fire department has declared it temporarily condemned. So the band has moved over to the Reserve Band's band hall. But there really isn't any work to do right now, until they get it together. Yesterday he went to work and they all sat around all morning, so when lunch time came they told them to just stay home. And as much as I've needed my normal routine, every time he walks through that door early I am so happy! I love having him here. We'll see how long today goes. He has a different thing going on today, so he may work a full day. But I have no idea what to expect out of the rest of the week. But no matter--I'll be getting up early to exercise, and I'll be working my booty off all morning doing housework, etc.

I have contemplated doing another juice fast, but have resisted doing it because it seems like an "easy answer" to hurry up and get rid of the pounds I've piled on. I don't feel like I deserve an easy answer. But the more I have thought about it, the more I realize how I would benefit from doing it again so soon--

1) I can do it right this time--not quit early, and ease off of it the right way.
2) It will help me to clean the slate again, and get rid of the sugar cravings (reboot, if you will).
3) Getting rid of these pounds before they "solidify" is an added benefit.

I also realized that juice fasting as anything BUT an easy way out. Juice fasting is absolutely not easy. It's tough. So that makes me feel better, too--I'm glad it's there for me, but I wish I had done it right last time so I could wait a little longer before doing it again.

I'm not sure what to expect out of the scale, but I do know that I have gotten myself to the point where I really don't have a choice but to go back to the super strict. One of these days I've got to conquer the "normal" eating thing.

I've got so much more going on inside my head, but this has gone on long enough. I just really want to get back into keeping up with the blog, and fighting the fight.

My revised goal for my birthday (April 16)  is to just get back under 200. The previous goal was to get under 175. Yeah, totally screwed that one up! The new goal after my birthday is to get under 170 by the 4th of July. We'll see how it goes, I have no idea. I do know that I want to fit into size 12 and get rid of the 14s forever. Right now I just want to be able to fit into the 14s without sucking in my hugely enormous gut.

So this week: Juice fast for 7 days and 1,000 crunches a day.