Monthly Archives: June 2013

Identifying the problem

Thank you so much for your comments yesterday. It’s good to know I’m not alone out there, and I really appreciated everyone’s suggestions. I’m doing weight training, I measure/weigh everything all the time (even the milk for my coffee – 3 tbsp!), and my exercise is generally good. (5 miles/34 minutes this morning was a great way to start the day!) In addition to “real” workouts, I’m walking 3-4 miles a day pretty consistently.

I spent a while yesterday looking over my food log. (One of the advantages of tracking your food pretty assiduously is that you have a good record when things go off kilter!) Surprisingly, one pattern quickly appeared. The problem isn’t pinot; my wine consumption has been normal to low. It’s not chips; I had a few on two occasions.

The problem appears to be… fruit.

On days when my fruit consumption was way up, I had a much more difficult time with the rest of my eating.

I feel ridiculous even typing that. Fruit is supposed to be healthy, right? It’s not supposed to make you binge-y. It’s supposed to be healthy. But my body doesn’t do well with more than one serving a day. Perhaps I’m more insulin-sensitive than I thought, even after all the weight loss…

I love red cherries and grapes and would strongly prefer to not give them up. But I don’t want to feel panicked before weighing in. I don’t want to feel hungry all the time. When I eat fruit… it feels like I have a bottomless stomach. The fruit doesn’t replace any sides to a meal. It gets tacked on as an addition. Once or twice, this wouldn’t matter. But after a few weeks of 10 servings a day (not a typo), it gets to be a bit much. So, I will cut fruit for a while and replace my beloved grapes with carrots and asparagus. We’ll see if that helps.

My birthday is next week. This is the first time I’ll be in the 120s on my birthday since I was turned ten years old. That blows my mind.

Today’s weigh-in: 127.4 (same as yesterday, which suggests that the 129.4 may have been inaccurate.) Breakfast was three eggs, scrambled, with salsa. Yum!

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Following a plan?

Yesterday’s scale reading made it obvious that something needs to change. But what’s worse is how I’ve been feeling out of control and rather buffeted about by maintenance. Instead of me controlling my maintenance plan, I’ve been letting it control me. I get so nervous before weighing in. If I have a good weigh-in, I go a little crazy. If I have a bad weigh-in, it bothers me all day and I can end up eating more out of feeling bad.

That’s no way to live.

I’m pretty new at this whole “maintain half your size” schtick, all things considered. At this time last year, I was about thirty pounds heavier than I am now. And two years ago, I was sitting not-so-pretty at 260 pounds and 9 months pregnant. (I was either 241 or 243 pre-pregnancy, not that the 2-lb difference actually matters.)

So I need some direction in all of this. I need consistency. Weight maintenance can be so difficult and the first year is (apparently) the worst. People who regain most/all of their lost weight tend to gain it back very soon after stopping weight loss. In that, I’m pretty lucky, because I’ve been maintaining I recently found Barbara Berkeley’s refusetoregain.com and am considering adopting that plan for a maintenance strategy. It feels pretty logical. I like her focus on avoiding sugars and eating real foods with the primary goal of maintaining weight loss. She is definitely onto something where insulin is concerned…. I am still sensitive to sugars and at the end of the day, I just can’t eat like someone who’s never been obese. (Nor do I want to!) But what this means is that I can pack away 5-10 cups of frozen grapes at a sitting. So…even fruit is problematic.

If I can’t figure this out myself, maybe someone else’s plan would be more effective. It’s worth a shot.

If you’ve tried lower-carb eating or paleo, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

and today’s weigh-in….. 127.4.

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Panic weight.

Because I woke up at 12:30 last night and didn’t get to sleep until 4, I figured it was best to skip my workout today. That decision proved to be a bad one when I hopped on the scale and saw a number I haven’t seen since January.

129.4.

Cue panic. I’m now five pounds above my “comfortable” weight and the increasing tightness of my clothes proves that it’s not just water weight.

I won’t pretend like I don’t know how this happened. Too much sangria, too many avocados, and way, way, way too many grapes. (Grapes are certainly a better choice than ice cream… but if you eat three pounds of grapes in two days, it won’t end well.)

June has been an extraordinarily stressful month, all things considered.

Perhaps I was foolish to think that I could maintain without any regain at all. Everyone out there who’s maintaining a huge weight loss seems to gain back a little at some point. In any event, it is what it is… and it’s time to take responsibility for it and move on.

So it’s back to basics here. No second breakfasts, no second helpings, and no eating back exercise calories for a little while. Five pounds can’t turn into fifty. I have got to get this back under control. I’m going to stop buying grapes and cherries; I eat way too many. Time to replace those with veggies.

I maintained 125 for several months, which shows that this is possible. It has to be. Giving up is not an option.
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Boring is good

In weight maintenance life, boring is good. Simple is better, and the least complicated option always wins. I’ve been hitting the gym in the morning for a non-optional 30 minute cardio session. It’s not about the calories burned… it’s about starting the day right. Morning workouts keep my eating in line all day and I just feel so much happier afterward.

Not much to report since my last post. Thank you for all of your kind comments! I’ve been eating lots of avocados, red cherries, and nonfat Greek yogurt. I had THE BEST salad last night – arugula, a little goat cheese, grapefruit, and lemon dressing.

Today’s menu was…

Post-workout breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs

Morning snack: 2 small (seriously, they’re super tiny) plums, 2 nonfat yogurts

Lunch: container of deli turkey slices (lots of protein!), 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter, apple

No afternoon snack – lunch filled me up!

Dinner: 150g avocado, red cherries, 8 oz pinot

Supplements: omega 3s, calcium chews (no more stress fractures!)

… for a total of maybe 1550-1600 calories of deliciousness.

My weight is hovering around 127, which isn’t optimal but I need to learn to be okay with little fluctuations. I am struggling to be okay with “regaining” two pounds. (Is it even regain? I don’t know.) My clothes fit the same, everything is awesome, and I would hit the roof if I hit 128. But it’s hard to find the time to care about 127 vs. 125 when I know I’m making good decisions, tracking all my food to the gram, and working out in the mornings… and chasing my beloved toddler around while working very long days. I’ve also really bulked up my arms recently from carrying around my kiddo. He’s 31 pounds of fun and LOVES for me to hold him. Who needs weights in a gym when you can tote a small child around for miles a day?

The days are long – not just with the increasing light in the evenings – but it’s a real comfort to know that I can nourish my body with whole, real foods.

Oh – and I was accepted to the National Weight Control Registry! It was just a little form letter, but it made me all emotional. It’s been quite a journey.

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Talking about substantial weight loss

2 posts in one day? Crazy. But this deserved it’s own post.

I never know when (if ever) to tell new friends that I actually used to be twice my size. We moved last year and a few people know, but only one new(ish) friend actually gets it. So I generally keep it to myself and don’t mention eating healthy or anything like that… I just tote around my massive amount of healthy food and keep quiet.

Someone told me yesterday that I was so lucky that I went gluten-free, because “now you’ll always be skinny!”

I opened my mouth to reply – and then just sort of awkwardly laughed.

Besides missing the obvious point of going GF for real reasons (I do feel infinitely better and no longer have crippling abdominal pain), I just didn’t know what to say.

I’m the same person I was three years ago, when I was 245 pounds. I’m the same person I was two years ago, when I was pregnant and 260 pounds. And I’m the same person I was a year ago, when I had just broken into the 150s and was celebrating 100 pounds lost.

Is it ever okay to mention “oh, yes, by the way, I lost 135 pounds” – if weight loss or a similar topic comes up in conversation – or is that too personal?

I never know. It’s so strange.

The same person asked me why I didn’t wear a wedding ring.

“I was heavier when I got married, so my ring doesn’t fit anymore,” I said.

“You can get a ring guard for adjustments like that!” she said.

“Oh – I need to get my ring resized – I need a size 5 and my ring was a size 9,” I replied.

I saw her trying to do the math in her head and she seemed curious, but I didn’t say anything.

Do you tell people about your weight loss?

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Morning workouts + update

I have never been a morning person. Like, ever. As soon as I hit the teenage years, I started sleeping in… until noon, at the earliest. In college, I’d wake up ten minutes before class began (regardless of whether class was at 9 AM or 2 PM.)

This week? That’s changed. I’ve started working out in the mornings, and I LOVE it. 6:30-7 is gym time. Today, I woke up at 6:04 but hit “off” instead of “snooze” on my alarm – so I woke up for real at 6:30. I thought about skipping the gym – but pulled myself out of bed and rushed out. I got there at 6:40, so I was ten minutes late… so I did my makeup at work instead. Totally worth it.

Three days in a row may not seem like a big deal. But for me, it’s enormous. Working out in the morning makes my eating SO MUCH better all day long. It’s an amazing way to wake up. I wish I’d figured this out years ago!

My eating is (accordingly) on track. I still haven’t weighed in, but I will tomorrow or Saturday. I tried on a new-to-me size 0 jcrew dress (from 2006 on consignment, so less vanity sizing) yesterday and it fit pretty well, which was a nice surprise.

Today’s menu:

Breakfast: shake (spinach + 1c almond milk + frozen banana), cherries

Snack: grapes, string cheese

Lunch: avocado, 2 corn tortillas, sweet potato, 3 slices deli chicken

Dinner: chicken burger, 50g avocado, 6 oz pinot

Dessert: blended frozen banana with 1/3c water and 1 tbsp chocolate pb2. Better than ice cream and SO delicious!

Happy almost-Friday, everyone!

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Day 1

Day 1 is done.

Up at 6, on the elliptical at 6:15, 4 miles in 30 minutes. I won’t win any awards for exercise, but I got it done and I’m proud of that. The goal for the next 3 weeks is to work out every single morning. If it isn’t fitting into my life at the end of the 3 weeks, I’ll try working out at lunch. I’ve never been a morning person but it seems like it’s the only time when I can realistically devote 30-45 minutes to exercise.

Clean slates feel good. My eating today was right on track…. green smoothie for breakfast, avocado, two corn tortillas, and a sweet potato for lunch, and a banana and yogurt for a snack. We’re off to Costco this evening to stock up on healthy lunch stuff. Dinner will probably be something light – when it’s so hot outside, I’m never in the mood to eat anything heavy.

Hope everyone had a great Tuesday!

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