Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trying to Keep You Updated

Hello again!

Just for the record, I did go to the gym yesterday. I waited until about 6:30 to get there, but I did go. I think I was feeling tired/lazy because I didn't take my thyroid meds at the time I usually take them. But nonetheless, I did get up and go to the gym.

Today has been good. Tuesdays are always busy because I work in the restaurant and teach. But, I still made it to my Body Flow class and did 15 minutes on the elliptical before I had to go shower for my lesson. For lunch at the restaurant I had delicious chicken lemon soup and a small greek salad. We have sweet potato fries that people order all the time, and always rave about delicious they are. I have yet to try them because I'm afraid they'll be so delicious I'll want to eat them every day. So as of now, I have resisted.

I'm nervous about my weigh-in day tomorrow, again. I've been feeling okay about my food this week, but my portion sizes have probably been underestimated more than once. Especially when it comes to stuff like chips. Chips are my downfall - especially cheesy ones. Cheez-its, cheetos. . . . whatever. I could eat a box of cheez-its in one sitting without missing a beat. Luckily my conscious (partially due to you all - thanks!!) keeps me from doing that. But I do buy baked cheetos, which I think are actually better than regular cheetos because they're less greasy, and because they're "healthier," I eat a lot more than I should. Things like that are a delicate balance for me - something to improve on in the coming week if I don't lose as much as I might like!

I'll update you all again tomorrow! Thanks for taking the time to read!

Monday, January 25, 2010


WAAAAAHHHHH!! I don't want to go to the gym!!!!

That is all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend Update

So last night, I had Taco Bell. (For the Texans - we don't have Taco Cabana here! It makes me sad.) I really wanted some chips and queso, but I also ordered a chicken quesadilla which I only intended on eating half of. But I ate the whole thing anyway. And I was going to go to the gym today, but I really needed a nap this afternoon before I have rehearsal and then work at the restaurant.

Here's the thing - it's okay!! I'm starting to realize that Fridays and Saturdays are the days I'm going to have to use my weekly WW points. And even with the Taco Bell, I still stayed within my weekly points. So MUCH better than last Saturday - even though I ate fast food, I made smarter decisions.

So far I've been to the gym 3 days this week (my WW week starts on Wednesday), and I'm still taking the Body Flow class. I've noticed that I do much better in the first half of the class - the later half my body is still getting tired and it's hard to do some of the poses, but I definitely can tell a difference already. Also, I've increased my running intervals to alternating a lap and a half of running, then 2 laps walking. Hopefully it will be 2 laps of each soon. I've also noticed that my resting heart rate is much lower than it used to be, and I have to work a lot harder to get my heart rate up around 160.

My clothes are fitting better and it feels SO good to be confident in them. Last night I wore a shirt I hadn't work in at least 9 months, and I actually felt great. I can tell the most difference around my stomach - I carry a lot of weight there. It's not a totally obvious difference to most people, I'm sure, but I can tell. And hey, I'm doing this for me!

Thank you all for reading! Another update soon!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another day, another battle

I was talking to my Dad about weight loss on Tuesday, and I told him about a "mantra" I tell myself when I'm struggling - "Weight loss happens one decision at a time." This puts all things into perspective for me. One bad decision can be weighed out by a good one. Instead of thinking, "GOD I'm going to be on a diet FOREVER" I think "THIS meal, TODAY I can make good decisions." It's a lot easier for me to handle, even though the first statement might also be true. So when you're staring at the chocolate cupcake, or the Ben & Jerry's you have in your freezer, remind yourself of this - one decision at a time. If you decide to have it, awesome. Everybody needs a little splurge once in awhile. But try to put it in hand-in-hand with a decision to go to the gym tomorrow, or have a salad for dinner.

Yesterday was a solid diet day. Spent an hour at the gym even though I was busy, had a veggie flatbread pizza for lunch at the restaurant, went to a concert where I had a glass of wine, and then limited myself to 2 beers afterwards while I was out with friends. All within my daily points limits, if you include the calories I burned at the gym. Today I'm splurging a little more. I don't have time to go to the gym, and I had a salad for lunch, but I'm having a happy hour beer now while I kill time before a rehearsal. But since I didn't spend any of my weekly WW points yesterday, I can spend some today. And I don't have to work tomorrow, so I have plenty of time to go to the gym.

On Tuesday I had to go to the doctor to have some blood drawn. I found out a month ago that I have a low functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism), and I went in this week to test my levels now that I've been on a synthetic thyroid medication for a month. The doctor called yesterday and said my levels were perfect! So exciting. You have no idea how much this little pill once a day has made a difference. Before I started the medication, I wanted to nap most days, sleep for 10 hours every night and didn't have a lot of energy even when I did both of those things. Now, I get about 8 hours every day (I still hate waking up, but I'm a lot less tired once I get going), don't need naps usually, and have no trouble running around the restaurant for 4-5 hours a day. Plus, the weight has been coming off a lot easier than before, and I'm able to be alot more positive about the whole process because I have the energy to work out and I'm not tired all the time. My mom said it best - "Once it's fixed you'll feel so much better, even if you didn't know you were feeling bad before!"

It's amazing what that little gland controls. It's a pity I didn't get it tested before now - it runs in my family. The past couple of years, I always thought I was just exhausted because of school and work and staying out late. Not that those things didn't contribute, but when I didn't have the energy to get up for class or I would sleep through my alarm - that's pretty extreme exhaustion. Most people get it through genetic misfortune, although it's a really common problem. If anyone in your family has it, make sure you get yourself checked! The meds are cheap, and once you figure out what dose you need, you don't have to be at the doctor all the time. Here are some common side effects of low thyroid:
-fatigue and weakness -poor memory, memory loss
-cold intolerance (low body temperature) -nervousness and tremors
-dry skin -depression
-hair loss -insomnia
-cold hands and feet
-weight gain

So yeah. It affects a lot!! The thing I was most excited about when I found out was that it explains why I put on weight easier than people my age. I still have to work hard to take weight off, but hopefully with this medication I won't gain weight as easily. It also might explain why I got so much more nervous that other people performing while at school (it didn't used to be as much of a problem) and why my short term memory is SO fleeting. Let's hope anyway. :) THANK YOU again for taking time out of your busy lives to read and for inspiring me to continue working hard! YOU (yes, YOU! If you're reading right now then I'm talking to you!!) are the reason I'm doing so well. I'm quite sure of it! <3

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weigh-in day 2!

214.0 lbs this week! That's a loss of 1.8 pounds! 4 weeks ago, I weighed 218.2, which means over Christmas AND New Year's I've been able to lose a pound a week! I will not complain about this - it may seem slow, but considering the holidays, a loss is a loss.

I think my weight loss this week was due to 2 factors: 1) I worked out 5 days this week, and 2) last week I was bloated (I won't go into details, but ladies, you know what I mean). I didn't eat particularly well - I had 2 bad days (Saturday and Monday), but I consistently went to the gym. Weight loss, at least for me, goes SO much faster if I'm working out. I plan on getting a fit test this week at my gym - they'll measure BMI, inches, heart rate, etc. My hope is that this won't discourage me, since I know it will not be fun. But I'd like to have something other than my weight to measure my fitness against. I'll probably get another fit test in 6 months.

I'm off to a concert now, but I'll try to be better about writing this week! Thanks for following!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ups and Downs

Greetings weight-loss followers! Sorry for the sporadic posts - this week has been crazy! I started my new job, I have 3 new students this week, and I've been going to the gym quite a bit.

So, Wednesday-Friday of this week, I had great days. I went to the gym Wednesday and Thursday, stuck to the diet and was feeling great. Friday I had happy hour drinks with a friend at a mexican restaurant, and had a few too many tortilla chips, but refrained from enchiladas and tacos! Even Saturday morning, I got up early to go another Body Flow (tai-chi, yoga, pilates) class. But Saturday night, alcohol became involved. Alcohol-influenced food decisions are BAD. I drank half of my calories for the day plus about 10 extra WW points. And, if it had been up to me (I didn't drive), I would have probably picked up fast food on the way home. Luckily, my driver held me accountable. I still had way too big of a snack when I got home. And I woke up today feeling frustrated and guilty. I didn't mean to drink so much, but drinks at dinner turned into drinks at the comedy show and then meeting up with friends at a bar . . . it just snowballed. I very rarely drink like this anymore, and I'm sure it's one of the reasons I've been able to keep weight off since I left Texas.

Part of me wants to give up for this week, and just eat whatever I want. But I know that it would cancel out all the hard work I've already done. So, tomorrow I go back to the gym. And for today, I had a slice of pizza for dinner, with a salad. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weigh-in day!

Weigh-in today!!! And the total is . . . .(drumroll) . . . 215.8 lbs! 1 pound lost this week, which considering my limited gym-going and not so great weekend, I am happy with. 1 pound down! I didn't gain and I didn't stay the same - there's NOTHING more frustrating than staying the same. So I'm not exstatic, but I'm happy! Not a lot of time to write, but I will say, at the restaurant today I had a salad AND I spent 45 minutes at the gym today. It's a good day! :) Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Changes and Truth

It's been a busy couple of days! I would love to say that this blog will be daily - but I'm going to say that probably won't happen. I will write as often as I can!

Since Sunday, I've been sticking pretty closely to the diet. Lots of fruits and vegetables, milk and protein and fewer carbs. I've felt good about what I've been eating. Don't get me wrong, I still treat myself a little. Sunday I had a 3 Musketeers fun size bar and yesterday I had a large low-fat blueberry muffin from Mimi's Cafe. But, most of the day, I eat well.

Today was my first day at the restaurant. It's going to be REALLY hard to eat well there. They have fantastic food, most of it southern comfort style, and I get a 50% discount anytime. But today, I got an avocado, tomato and cheese sandwich on wheat bread, with a side salad. And it was delicious! So today was a victory! Also, since my daily activity has changed from mostly sitting to mostly standing and walking. So, tomorrow, being the first day of my new Weight Watchers week, I will adjust my daily points to reflect that. For dinner tonight, I had a Healthy Choice Fresh Mixer, which, if you haven't tried, are DELICIOUS! They come in handy microwaveable packets that can steam rice and heat meat and sauce. I had the sesame teriyaki chicken one today. They're really handy to bring for lunch if you work at an office or something.

Today was also my first day at the gym since Thursday. This isn't great, but sometimes you just can't get there. And as long as you don't give up or get discouraged because you're not there every day for 5 hours, just keep doing what you can. Today I took this AWESOME class called Body Flow. (I'm lucky that my gym membership means all classes are free.) Body Flow is a mix of Tai-Chi, pilates and yoga. So, in short, I'm already sore! It was really difficult, but really cool. And then I got on the treadmill and walked for about 20 minutes. My mom wants to go with me to the next class. I'm hoping to go at least once or twice a week. I think if I went everyday I would never stop being sore! I forgot how GREAT I feel after I leave the gym.

I'm a little anxious about getting on the scale tomorrow. I hope I lose something. Well, actually, I hope I lost around 2 pounds. But I'm not sure it's going to happen. Last week I weight 216.8 lbs. I'll let you all know what the scale says - even if that's all I can post. As much as I'd like to say the weight doesn't matter, it's about a healthy lifestyle, blah blah blah - let's be real. Of course it's about weight. It's about self-esteem. I can't feel good about myself until I stop wearing a size 16-18. I can't be fully healthy until I STOP BEING OBESE. Yes, I am obese. I don't look like people you think of as obese, but that doesn't change the fact that my body fat percentage is 35%. I've always been blessed by the fact that I don't look like I weigh as much as I do. Now, the curse in this is that I can gain or lose about 15 pounds without there being much of a noticeable difference. So one day, I get on the scale and I weigh 15 pounds more than I thought I did. Maybe my number has always contributed to the fact that I've felt fat since I can remember, even when I used to wear a size 8. I used to look at my friends and wonder why I didn't look like them. As early as the 4th grade I can remember thinking this. I learned early to wear flattering clothes and suck in my stomach. I used to joke about the fact that I weighed 150 pounds when most of my friends weighed 120-120. But I joked about it to hide the fact that I didn't like the way I looked. So this is why I'm here. No more joking, no more hiding. I'm ready to change - thank you all for helping me. And thank you all for loving me when I feel like I'm at my worst.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A difficult Saturday

Sorry for not being able to post yesterday! It was a crazy day!
I started off my Saturday by having to be at a 9am alcohol serving class for my new waitressing job. Those of you that know me well know that I am NOT a morning person - but I've taken a class similar to this in Texas and it's SO boring that I preferred to get it out of the way early. It was at Abuelo's, which is like an upscale mexican restaurant. The website said to bring money for lunch, so I had fully intended to order a yummy salad they serve. But, the manager of this restaurant gives the class free lunch, which is nice for my wallet but not so nice for my diet. And of course, he brings out heaping plates of nachos and tacos. I had to eat something because there was 2 1/2 hours of the class left and I was starving! So I had one taco, like 2 nacho chips, and then ate the chips and salsa. Even limiting myself to that, I still ate WAY more calories than I would have. It pretty much ruined any hope of not using my weekly WW points that day. I can't tell you HOW FRUSTRATING it is to sit in front of one of your favorite foods and know you're not supposed to be eating it. And then have to eat it anyway. All kinds of emotions - guilt for eating it, more guilt for liking it, disappointment that I couldn't stick to the plan I had, a kind of anger that most Americans would see no problem that there were almost no vegetables on the table . . . and just general frustration. Basically, it sucked. And I know that this is not a normal situation, but it does happen sometimes in life. An office provides a box lunch or you go to a banquet with a set menu. I know that every day will not be easy and go according to plan, but man it sure does stink when you WANTED to be good and COULDN'T.

The rest of the day wasn't much better except I had more control over what I ate. My friend B was having a birthday dinner, where I got salad and soup, but there was also an appetizer sampler. And I just couldn't resist having a piece of garlic bread with spinach and artichoke dip on it. Then later my friend K and I went scoping out potential gig locations, and I had a couple glasses of wine at the first place. The second place we ended up having a few more drinks bought for us (sometimes it pays to be a girl, I guess) than either of us intended to drink. I could have turned them down, but I didn't. And then after getting home, I was hungry since I didn't have a big dinner, so I ate even MORE. Which just left me feeling guilty today, especially since I decided to take a nap this afternoon instead of going to the gym.

I've been trying to deal with my guilt in a healthier way - knowing that there wasn't much I could do about lunch yesterday. Telling myself that I'll go to the gym tomorrow and Tuesday. Reminding myself that (as I said in my last post), you can't be perfect everyday. But inevitably, I still end up thinking "I shouldn't have had that last drink" or "I shouldn't have eaten those cheez-its when I got home." In the moment, it's always delicious. But that feeling doesn't last long when you can see that you might have put a kink in your weight loss for the week. I do my best to only weigh myself once a week. Otherwise I just get depressed if I'm a little bloated that day or the scale goes up even .2 pounds. Weekly weighing is more accurate - your body fluctuates every day. So I won't really know if I messed up this week until Wednesday, my weigh-in day.

On a slightly lighter note, today has been better. Other than not going to the gym, I've been able to make good decisions today. Maybe it's the guilt driving me to try and undo the events of yesterday. But I know that every time I go to make a decision, I think of this blog and all of you faithful readers! Thanks again for being a fantastic addition to my conscious!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Be Perfect Every Day

Hi all! So today was a difficult food day, but I'm in a fantastic mood because I had a great gig tonight! I had lunch with my parents at an asian restaurant, which has the illusion of being healthy until they add sugary sauce and carb-heavy rice. I had hot and sour soup and lettuce wraps, so I strayed from all the rice and I was very proud! Granted, eating healthy with my parents is easy because they both REALLY want me to lose weight (in a supportive way, not a condescending way) and I think if I ordered something like Sweet n' Sour chicken with white rice they might veto me. :) Then I had errands to run before my gig, and only had time to grab a lean pocket (not a horrible choice, just not the most healthy or filling) on the car ride between home and pre-gig rehearsal. I had a Wendy's grilled chicken sandwich on the way to the gig. Went through the drive thru and ordered no fries and no soda, and FYI Wendy's chicken sandwiches are the most healthy because they don't use mayonnaise or cheese! Yay me!

4 hours later, after the gig (which went pretty well!), I was starving. This is where my bad habits were quite tempting. So many bars down the street with delicious nachos or cheese dips or potato skins and many varieties of fattening beer. But I managed to only have 2 beers, guacamole, chips, and half of an appetizer serving of mushroom quesadillas. Now, I ADORE mexican food, but unfortunately it can be some of the most fattening. Guacamole, while not as healthy as salsa, is more filling and a healthy kind of fat. The chips that go with them are the kicker - I try to load up my chip with a lot of guacamole so that I don't eat as many of them. Quesadillas are one of the more healthy choices as far as mexican food goes. Yes, lots of cheese, but tortillas aren't fried and they're not coated with a fattening sauce. Also, if you get them with mushrooms or spinach instead of chicken or steak, you can cut some of the calories and add in some veggies! Basically, with quesadillas of any variety, it's all about portion control. Eating only half of a regular portion, I felt comfortably full and still have a snack for tomorrow!

Today, I used more of my weekly WW points (permanent abbreviation for Weight Watchers from now on!) than I might like, and I didn't get up early enough to go to the gym. But, I didn't go over my weekly points, and by not depriving myself and still making smart choices, I was able to end the day feeling like I got a treat without going off plan. This is SO KEY to weight loss. If you deprive yourself of every food you love, YOU WILL NEVER LOSE WEIGHT! You might have 2 great weeks, but by then you start craving every horrible food you see, smell or drive by, and you have a 3 bad weeks, which puts you right back where you started. Moderation is the key my friends!!!

So, in short, an average day which left me still feeling great! All your support makes it so much easier to do things like go out to eat or talk about weight loss. It can be difficult to say things to your friends like, "choosing mushrooms over chicken can cut the calories without cutting taste!" can sound condescending if they don't know how hard you're working to lose weight. I used to stress out over talking about low-fat foods around my friends who didn't have to watch their weight, because I was afraid they would assume that I thought THEY needed to go on a diet. I have realized that this was MY issue - I knew I wanted to diet, so anytime anyone talked about dieting, I felt guilty. This transference of guilt is not actually true. Remember that if people are really your friends and they know you're dieting, they won't make you feel bad about ordering grilled chicken salad instead of fried chicken with ranch and french fries. Also, they'll usually let you have 2 of their fries to satisfy your cravings. :) Keep up the hard work all and thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life Happens

Several factors upset my plan for today. I overslept, which I tend to do. I have a gig tomorrow, and I was (before today) pretty unprepared for it. I usually have rehearsal for my church gig on Thursday nights, so i wanted to get as much work as done on my gig as I could before I went. So I spent most of my afternoon working on a new original song and spicing up a Taylor Swift song for my gig tomorrow. At about 3:30, I found out that my church rehearsal was cancelled due to weather. It thus far has snowed maybe 1 1/2 inches in Knoxville, which is enough to shut down life. So, even though I had the time to go the gym, the road leading into my neighborhood being incredibly steep and slightly snow-filled kept me from leaving the house. So what do you do? LIFE HAPPENS. Situations arise that screw up your plans. You have to adjust. I still did my crunches at home and ate a little less for dinner. On the upside, I'm much less hungry than if I had gone to the gym because i didn't burn as many calories. AND I got to watch The Biggest Loser episode from Thursday! Silver lining, my friends. :)

Let me take this opportunity to talk about Weight Watchers. Here's how the program works: based on your current weight, age, sex and amount of everyday activity, you get a certain number of points a day. So, a 25-year-old male construction worker gets more daily points than a 45-year-old female office worker. These points reflect the amount of calories, fat grams and fiber grams that you eat. Foods that are high in calories and fat are worth more points, foods that are higher in fiber are worth less. Basically - it teaches you good foods and bad foods while keeping track of caloric intake. So potato chips are high in points but not filling, where grilled chicken is medium-high in points but very filling. In addition to your daily points, you also get 35 weekly points that you can spend however you like. If you have a special dinner planned and don't want to count points, or if you want to have an extra 5 points a day, whatever. You can also earn weekly points by going to the gym. So, I get 28 points a day, 35 points a week, and thus far I have earned 6 extra "exercise" points in the past 2 days. Yesterday, I earned 5 since I was at the gym for over and hour. Today I only earned one by doing crunches/ab work for 10 minutes. If I go over my daily points today, I just have to either work out an extra day or use some of my weekly points. This is the reason I love Weight Watchers - how you spend your calories is up to you. They do strongly encourage that, per day, you get 5-6 fruits & vegetables per day, 8 glasses of liquids, a multivitamin and 3 healthy oils (vegetable, olive or canola oil). So obviously eating chips or pizza all day is discouraged, even in smaller portions than I usually would.

On that note, I've noticed that my usual diet is extremely carb-heavy. And I've been making an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables. Yesterday and today I got a salad for dinner in effort to stray from chips or pasta. The trick with salads, I think, is to find ones that you actually like. I've noticed I stray toward ones with fruit in them, like apples or cranberries. I try to order mine without cheese or nuts (if it has them), because these things can quickly increase the calories in your "salad." Also, I've learned that not all salads are nutritious! For example, caesar salads are the worst possible salads for you. Take lettuce, cover it with cheese (fat), croutons (carbs), and caesar dressing (liquid fat), and it almost completely negates eating lettuce in the first place. Switching to a low-fat dressing is a great step in the right direction if you're not ready to cut out croutons or cheese. Cheese, at least, provides a filing protien. Croutons are basically toasted pieces of bread coated in butter. So, if anything, I leave on the cheese.

Lastly, let me say how much I LOVE the show The Biggest Loser. If you are touched or motivated by this blog and you don't already watched this show, WATCH IT. It can get a little dramatic with the challenges and stuff, but the basic message is the same - changing your life is hard but it is possible!! Don't let their their incredibly rapid weight loss discourage you - if you worked out 6 hours a day, you would lose weight that fast too. Celebrate your losses and work through your discouragements! Any weight loss is a step in the right direction! (For the record, I never though I would sound so much like a motivational speaker. But this is true!) Again, thank you ALL for your support and for taking the time to read this!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Dawn

First, I must say how much I've been touched by the response I've already gotten from writing this blog. I never thought that just by being honest, so many people would support me even more than they already did. And this is only the second entry! All of you that have contacted me and let me know that you were moved by my words, you should know: it was you I thought of in the gym today when I wanted to stop running, but kept going anyway. It was you I thought of on my drive home when I wanted to pick up mexican food, and got a salad instead. It was you I thought of at lunch when I wanted to have 2 pieces of leftover pizza, and only had one. YOU inspired me to stick to it! And I hope that I have the same effect on you all - I can be someone you think of when you're having a hard time. Not to make you feel guilty or berate you if you gain a couple of pounds. That I will be someone who will celebrate your successes and understand your defeats. That whether you're on the highest weight loss peak or the lowest possible point of weight gain, I'll be here and I'll understand both parts.

My New Year's resolution is two-fold this year. 1) Live a healthier life and take care of my body, mind and soul. 2) Be a better friend, especially to those who aren't close by. These 2 resolutions might seem backwards to some, might seem selfish for putting myself before my friends. But I realized that I can't be the friend I want to be until I love myself as much as my friends love me. (Or at least half as much!) If I depend on my friends for the acceptance I can't find in myself, that's putting an awfully large burden on them. And that's not really being a good friend at all.

Today has been a good day. I woke up later than expected, but still managed to spend about an hour and 15 minutes at the gym. I'm lucky right now in that I don't work most afternoons, so I have time to be a little leisurely as far as when I get to the gym. But too much free time can be dangerous, too because I'm VERY prone to bored-snacking. So next week starts the new waitressing job - I'll let you know how that goes! Anyway, for those of you that are curious, here were my gym activities for the day: 10 minutes of abs, 15 minutes alternating running/walking around the track, 15 minutes of arms and 20 minutes on the elliptical. Add stretching and that was my workout! (I'm a HUGE advocate of stretching thoroughly before and after working out, especially if you're relatively new to working out regularly. Please do it!) This is my usual gym workout. For the record, I HATE arms and DESPISE abs. But (maybe not surprisingly) these are the parts of my body I'm least proud of. So, I've found that if I do abs first and get it out of the way, it's not as despicable. Arms I put in between cardio so my heart rate stays up while I do them. I'm really not a fan of running either, but most of the people whose bodies I admire are runners. So, I'm trying to work my heart up to running. Right now I can't run much more than a lap (at my gym that's 1/12 of a mile) without maxing out my heart rate. Which I think at 23 is incredibly depressing, but it's pushing me to work harder to fix it! And speaking of heart rate, I'm also a HUGE advocate of heart rate monitors! You can plug in your own weight, age and sex, and it will tell you exactly how many calories you burn! A fantastic tool if you don't want to sit on an elliptical machine during your entire workout and still want to know how much you burn. Get one at your local sports supply store!

For those of you interested in how I'm keeping track of my calorie intake and burn, I'm on Weight Watchers. I'm a HUGE advocate of this program. I think it's the only program out that there really teaches you how to make decisions for yourself. Who wants to eat prepackaged meals at home every day of the week? And have to turn down your friends when they go out to dinner, or risk gaining weight because you went off program for one day of the week? Weight Watchers give you the option to have a dessert one day or a slice of pizza another day. I'll explain all the details another time, but for now suffice it to say this is how I lost weight in 2006 and I KNOW it works. They give you all the tools you need - after that it's up to you! You learn what you can and can't eat for yourself - or how to sacrifice a little if you REALLY want that extra cookie! The one mistake I made before was I never followed through with them and learned how to maintain my weight. This is a step I certainly WILL NOT be missing this time around!

Thank you all again for being such an inspiration to me and for taking time out of your lives to read and respond!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why I'm Here

I AM TIRED. I am tired of being the fat daughter, fat sister, fat friend. I am tired of getting winded walking up stairs. I’m tired of looking through my closet and only having about 5 outfits that fit me and don’t make me look like a complete cow. I’m tired of people like my father telling me I need to lose weight. I’m tired of him having to worry about if a couch is wide enough for me to sleep on. I’m tired of being afraid to see people I haven’t seen in 4 or 5 years for the fear that they’ll walk away saying/thinking, “Wow, she’s gained some weight since high school.” I’m tired of seeing people and fearing that they’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking - she’s too fat to be wearing that. I’m tired of trying to find the time where the gym is least crowded so the smallest possible number of people see me in my gym clothes, because they’re my least flattering clothes. Or of being afraid I’ll run into someone I know without makeup on or my hair done, since that’s the only way I feel like I can look attractive. I’m tired of going out with my girlfriends and knowing that I’m the one that doesn’t fit in. I’m tired of feeling ugly pretty much every minute of every day. I’m tired of being exhausted because of all these things I can’t stop thinking about.
If you have never been overweight, you don’t know what this feels like. If all you have ever had to lose is 10 pounds, you don’t know what this feels like. If “gaining weight” to you is that your jeans become a little too tight, you have no idea what I’m talking about.
I spent the majority of my middle school and high school careers in a size 8 weighing 150 pounds. I felt fat then, as most of my friends were smaller than me. I started gaining weight my senior year of high school, and continued gaining through the middle of my sophomore year. When I hit 190 lbs. and a size 14, I decided to make a change. I went on Weight Watchers and lost 30 pounds in 4 months. Now, at this time, I was happy. I had a great steady boyfriend, a job, school was going well and I wasn’t 21 yet so I wasn’t drinking and eating late at night. When I got back to about 160 lbs. and a size 8 (I had been working out and had a bit more muscle than in high school), I decided to stop. Over the next 3 years, I gained back almost 80 pounds. I find it no surprise that my weight gain occurred during a more unhappy time in my life - school was difficult, I was single again, work was stressing me out. And on top of regular life stuff, I lost 2 grandparents. Today, I weigh 218 pounds and wear a 16 in plus sizes. I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last 3 months or so, which is mind-numbingly slow when you’ve lost an average of 2 pounds a week in your life before. My goal is to get to between 150-160 pounds in this year.
These are incredibly difficult things for me to say. I’m not a particularly forthcoming person about my private life, and this is the scariest stuff to say out loud. But I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. Obesity runs in my family, on both sides. I know part of my disease is learned and part of it is genetics, but I imagine the genetics part is a much smaller portion of my problem. I love all kinds of fattening food, and generally dislike healthy stuff. I hate going to the gym. But what I hate even more is waking up in the morning and expecting to see something else in the mirror. Being disappointed every day because I don’t like the person I’ve let myself become. People who are overweight can say that they’re happy and they love the person they are and the life the lead, but most of them say that because they don’t know how much happier they could be. And I only know because I know once I was spectacularly happy. And every day since I started gaining weight again has been a pound added to the guilt-trip chip on my shoulder. It has inhibited me from having fun, enjoying my 20’s and living life like a regular person. I know nobody likes their body. But this feeling is compounded by about 100 when you know you used to look good, and you’re the only person to blame for the way you look now.
This blog is not just for me. Granted, it is a way I think I could help hold myself accountable. And I hope that it is somehow therapeutic so I don’t ever have to be in this place again. But beyond those things, I hope that it inspires someone. I hope that it makes someone realize that losing weight is not a fight you must fight alone. Or I at least hope that it shows someone who doesn’t understand obesity what a powerful disease it can be.