Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Death to Enablers!

Okay, well maybe not death. But severe punishments anyway!

I am pretty sure I've gained one or two pounds. The weekend did not bode well for me. We went to the pacific rim festival where I ate a very healthy lunch, but drank a rather unhealthy amount of sake. The enabler then wanted to go to Red Robin for dinner. I tried the lettuce wrapped teriyaki chicken burger sans mayonnaise to try to make it healthier. I'm sure the french fries didn't help much though.

Sunday I ate pretty well for lunch. I had a white bean chili courtesy of cash & carry. Dinner was a mess though. We went bowling and the enabler suggested I eat what I want because we don't get out that often etc... I wanted to believe him so I ate tater tots again. I also had beer.

Yesterday I did super well. I had soup salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden - under 400 calories if you do it right - and I even did well for dinner. I had leftover salad with a piece of baked salmon. But then I ate a 700 calorie cookie. A cookie I didn't realize was 700 calories until after I had demolished it.

I haven't been keeping track on my excel file. This is probably my downfall. I still have about 20 more pounds to lose before I feel like I can relax about my weight. I really need to get back on the wagon! This has to start with fixing the problem of the enabler. If you are an enabler and you are reading this, just know that your "helpful" nudges in the wrong direction do have an effect. Sure we might feel better for that moment that we're eating food. But the resulting crash and the angry mood swing that comes after is hardly worth the nudge. So keep your wives happy by encouraging them to continue to do well if they're trying to get healthy rather than trying to make them happy with bad food!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1 Month Weigh In

Today I weighed in at 175.8. I found this loss a bit shocking considering what felt like self-sabotage last weekend.

I can't believe I've been at this a month. It doesn't really seem like it's been that long, and I haven't really felt like I've been as diligent as I should have been. But I'm 10 pounds lighter today than I was 30 days ago and that feels pretty good!

I was noticing my arms in a photo yesterday and I realized they look better than my wedding photos. Here's a comparison:


I don't know if it's really all that obvious, but I'm happy anyway. Dragon boating has really helped my arms a bunch too. I did my measurements on spark people as well and my waist, hips and thighs are all about half an inch to an inch smaller. I think in about 5-10 more pounds I'll actually be down a pant size! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Revenge is painful!

Here I thought the only repercussions of eating naughty food this weekend would be a lack of weight loss. Well, I get to pay more than I thought. The large amount of kalua pork I ate yesterday is taking it's toll on my stomach. My stomach that doesn't get fed this much meat anymore and probably doesn't know what to do with it all.

I guess the good news is that I have no desire to eat anything. So returning to the diet is easier!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tales of a Naughty Camper

Okay, maybe not the kind of naughty you're thinking! But I did let myself eat things that I knew were going to be very bad for the calorie counting trek.

I ate all sorts of things. I had beer. I had chocolate (gluten free but not butter free brownies are super good!). I had wheat pancakes with bacon and real maple syrup. And, I didn't really get all that much exercise. BUT (and that's a very big but, but a but nonetheless), I was completely aware of every thing that I ate. I knew my almond roca were 200 calories. I knew that the battered halibut and the half a bowl of clam chowder were probably well over 1000 calories. I knew it. But I wanted to enjoy a weekend of eating without making myself sick full and without having to say no to everything.

Fat Camp!
So now I have to hit the ground running again starting tomorrow. Today's a wash already. We went to the cheese factory - nuff said. But tomorrow! Tomorrow will be the day that I prove that I can relax a couple days without completely killing the progress I've made. I was down another pound before I left too. We'll see if the 178 sticks! I have to earn the scale stickiness back now.

So goodbye brownies. Ciao clam chowder. Au revoir maple bacon pancakes! I will miss you, but you are not worth being fat for. Perhaps I will visit you again in a few months. For now, we must part ways so I can continue to improve my relationship with slim fasts and salad.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Realizations

1. I stopped at the restroom in the hotel by the waterfront on my way to dragon boat practice tuesday. There's a full length mirror there. As I came out of the stall to wash my hands I noticed my reflection in it to the side of me. On my way out I stopped in disbelief. I was wearing a very form fitting tank top that dries quickly. Usually I expect to look like a stuffed sausage in it. But I didn't. I had to turn to the side and turn back again to make sure the mirror wasn't at an angle or something that would make me seem thinner. But it wasn't. I actually look better in my clothes.

2. On the way home from dragon boat practice I was thinking about this and also thinking about how I'm tired of counting calories. It occurred to me that I only have to count vigilantly until I weigh what I want to weight. And since I don't, I need to keep doing it. I would be devastated if I gained any weight back. I've reached this point in my dieting many times before. The difference this time is that I've been here before and I know that if I try to give myself some credit I'll end up where I've always ended up. This time has to be different. This time I have to fight the thought process that tells me I can keep doing this if I don't track. Because I can't and I haven't.

There's a jdrama that I watched about a teacher who worked extremely hard against odds to better her outcast group of deadbeat students. Before she entered her classroom every morning she'd go through a little ritual where she'd say "Fight On!" and stick her fist in the air. Even when she wanted to give up. I need this kind of checkpoint whenever I want to give up too.



3. I did my weekly weigh in today and I'm down a little more. 178. This is super good news! If I can get below 170 I'll be out of the obese category on the bmi scale. That would be nice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Relief and Sad

Well, today there is good news, and there is bad news.

The good news is that I went a couple of days without tracking my calories at all. I know that the tater tot day was probably well over my calorie limit. But I went back to Saturday and Sunday and tracked what I had left today and found that I had stayed within my limits just fine. I think what's helping me succeed is the sheer terror that I'll gain what I've lost back and have to monitor this closely again. Whenever there is food in front of me and I don't know how many calories are in it, I am actually scared to eat it because it will undo all the work I've done.

The bad news is that I have been really fighting the urge to comfort eat. I found out for sure today that Wilson will be hiring within the district and I won't be teaching there. I have been gearing myself for this job since Novermber/December last year when I knew Steve was retiring. It's a terribly difficult blow for me. But I think the fear of fatness has ruled over my need to self-comfort and I've been coping by not eating instead. Not eating and getting lots of hugs from Paul. Good therapy. Oh, and shopping. Also good therapy.

So, while I'm still on the right track, I have this huge bump in the road that's going to be a lot of work to get around.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Will Power

There's this song I used to listen to on an old DC Talk cd that I always think of when I hear the words Will Power. I find it amusing.



Yesterday was a weird eating day in the life of Bethany. I was completely not hungry all day. I finally caved and had a slim fast (my new favorite breakfast lately because I'm too lazy to make anything) when my stomach started it's own gurgle symphony. At around 4:00 I realized I hadn't eaten still. So I went to the good old subway in the mall and had me a veggie sandwich and an oatmeal cookie. The cookie was more calories than the whole sandwich.

When I got to work at 8 I felt really sluggish and I realized, for probably the first time in my life, that I was aware of how my body was functioning based on what I'd eaten. My blood sugar was low. So I got food in the snack bar. The picture is how the snack bar feels to me. It's the point of no return! It will consume you!
I managed to do well for the entree, but I caved and got tater tots. It occurred to me that I couldn't remember the last time I ate fries. For an American, that's insane! And I decided that even though I've been really good at tracking calories, and even though I've allowed myself my little luxuries (like my cookie and some chocolate here and there) that if I wait until I'm murderous for greasy food, I won't be able to get back onto my calorie counting train when I've gone crazy and eaten everything in sight. So, even though I didn't want to sabotage myself, I let myself enjoy something greasy. And they were really delicious. The best part is that I enjoyed them way more than I probably did the last time I ate french fries.

I weighed myself today expecting to feel bloated from my salty greasy indulgence. Surprisingly I was down a little more! In about 4 more pounds I'll be down to where I was a year ago for our wedding and then I'll really start to feel like I'm making significant progress. For some reason I've always had it in my head that losing the weight you gain back should be easier than losing weight you haven't lost before...if that makes any sense. The harsh reality is that all weight loses the same. So this time I have to make sure that body fat I lose is for good!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Down!

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I weighed myself. This marks the end of week 3 of the calorie counting challenge and I'm still hanging in there. At the lowest, I weighed in at 179.1 (there was some ounce changes with different clothes I was wearing, but all at 179). Even though it's only a pound, given my circumstances I'll take it as a win. I am very happy to have this boost of confidence, especially after a weekend of untracked camp food!

Yesterday I sort of waited until the end of the day to calculate all my calories. I ended up doing pretty well. At some points of the day I actually had to force myself to eat because I didn't want to cook for one and because I just wasn't all that hungry. When I tallied everything up I was right within my limits. I think I've started getting the hang of this better.

I wanted to mention two inspirations that I've had in the last week.

Tuesday I went to New Seasons when I got done dragon boating to get a very light dinner since I was near my calorie capacity. I ended up with a big thing of cut up mixed fruit and a small portion of roasted beet salad (who know beets were so yummy?!). Typically when I order food somewhere and I'm very calorie conscious the person dealing with me just doesn't really get why I care so much. But this guy was really helpful. As I apologized for being so picky, which I find myself doing more and more, he told me he completely understood because he'd just lost 70 pounds himself. I asked him what he'd done to lose it all. He said he'd started biking to work and drinking water instead of soda. Also, he ate more healthy. I told him I really appreciated someone that understands what I'm going through and that he was an inspiration. So that was cool!

Second, I have to give props to my brother. Given, he can be a bit abrupt on his soapbox and I think most don't understand the place of genuine kindness and concern he's coming from when he offers his very zealous advice. That said, he messaged me on facebook and told me how badly he really wanted me to succeed at losing weight and being healthy. That's the abridged version anyway. I appreciated this, and he knew that I would in spite of the fact that the way he went about it would have offended most people. Knowing that it matters so much to him has been sort of the little push I've needed to keep at it. So thanks little brother!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tedium

I'm getting kind of tired of tracking my calories. It's become more tedious than it was originally. I think this is partly because I went three days without tracking. Now it feels like a daily chore.

I have incentives however to continue. I may as well just come out and say that Paul and I are starting to research and learn about having babies. ***WE ARE NOT PREGNANT YET***. (everyone always asks whenever I mention the "b" word) Nor do we expect to be for at least a few months if not longer depending on how things work out. There are several factors to consider such as whether I get this job in the fall, whether we can afford the birth we want right away, where we're going to put a baby, and other things as well. That said, I need to get healthy for any of this to matter.

My biggest concern at this point is that I might have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I've read about four different books that describe the symptoms and I match every single one of them. One of the symptoms is being overweight. The reason people with this problem are overweight is that your body doesn't recognize the insulin levels in your bloodstream and produces more of it. The excess insulin doesn't get used and turns into fat. Thus, even if you're dieting like a superstar it may not make all that much of a difference. The syndrome is also commonly linked with thyroid problems, which I've suspected might be a factor for me before but haven't had it tested. The problem with having this (besides the fat thing) is that it can make it very difficult to conceive.

The good news is that a) I don't know if I even actually have it yet and b) if I do, it's totally treatable.

We scheduled a consultation at a birthing center for next week to get an idea of what a birth would be like there. I'm really leaning towards this option at this point. Just an aside: If you are pregnant or going to be and haven't considered any sort of birth beyond a hospital I strongly recommend you watch The Business of Being Born. If we decide to go with them, I will likely ask them about it and see if they recommend going to a doctor for all of the pre-conception testing since that's all super cheap with our insurance. They may include testing and treatment in their package as well. This could really be the thing that changes my life though. If this is what I've been up against this whole time, no wonder I've had so much trouble trying to lose weight!

So yes, tired of tracking. Tired of being fat. Tired of losing this battle. Going to keep going anyway. And going to find out if there's more I can do to push back!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Workin' it!

Well, I guess it will take a couple more days to really gauge how the experiment in non-tracking went. Paul and I went camping this last weekend and I decided it would just be easiest to pack good food options and not eat all day. This was easier said than done. I didn't realize how much of camping is just sitting around and eating. I kept trying to keep a mental tally of what I'd consumed so that I would kill my progress. It was hard!
I weighed myself today when we got back and thankfully I'm not up any, but it will be awhile before I'll probably see the real results of my experiment. I have high hopes though. I had a few things that probably worked in my favor while we were there.

First, instead of s'mores I took a box of 100-calorie pack twinkies. Roasted twinkie bites are super delicious! And low calorie! I did eat ONE s'more. I feel like this is an accomplishment. Paul probably ate about 6.

Second, I hiked roughly 6 miles yesterday. I went on a hike by myself that was somewhat leisurely for a little over an hour. I figure that's at least 3 miles. I even ran on some parts of the trail just out of sheer boredom. There wasn't much to see on the part of the trail I was on. Then later in the evening Paul suggested we go to Bagby hot springs. We didn't realize it was a mile and a half hike to get to it until we got there. Since we were there we decided to do it. The problem was that it was dusk so we ended up practically running the trail back so that we could still see.

Third, I didn't drink much. I was so nervous about overdoing my calories and it's easy to lose track with drinks so I super limited myself and only had about two the first night and one the second.

We camp again in two weeks. I am looking forward to doing just as well!

On another note, I feel that since it's related to exercise I should report that I flew off my bike Friday and beat myself up pretty good. That's what I get for trying to exercise by biking to work! haha. Luckily my bike is recovered and my giant leg bruises will go away eventually. I'll post pictures soon! Then you can all feel very sorry for me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cool Website!

In this calorie counting stuff I've spent much of my time google searching nutrition information for foods I eat and then trying to calculate my stats based on what I find. Sometime's it's pretty difficult to make adjustments for portions. Like, if I only ate 3 french fries but the information is for a small fry size, how do I estimate how many calories that is? I finally stumbled on a website that does it for you. It doesn't have everything on it, but what it does have is SO HELPFUL! And, it has pictures of the food so you can make sure that what you're getting facts for is actually what you ate.

Check it out!

http://www.caloriegallery.com/

Lots of Good News

Good news #1:
Yesterday was a good day. It was the first day of week 3 of the calorie counting challenge. I made it! I'm down 6 pounds in two weeks. Now I just have to keep it up.

Good news #2:
The second success was a good dragon boat practice. All of the issues I had before are becoming more solvable. I got wax for my paddle. I found out I have a renewal on my inhaler prescription so I can go get that, I got to paddle in the front of the boat which I really loved so I was really able pushed myself.

Good news #3:
I remembered that we had a very belated wedding gift from my parents friends Ken and Leslie Conachan. They gave us a gift card to Target. So I asked the husband if I could use it for a better bathroom scale and he said sure, so I got a fancy new scale.
The thing I was most worried about was that it was going to say that I weigh more than I thought. Luckily our previous scale wasn't as bad as I thought and I am right where I thought I was. The other cool thing about it is that you can put in your height, gender, and age and it use standard ratios to calculate your body fat, body water weight, bone mass, and body mass index. The little color lines tell you if your numbers are good or bad in these categories. It also lets you set information for different users up to 10 people. So Paul has a profile on there too.

Good news #4:
My new job at the bowling alley is a daily exercise routine! I walked for all 4 hours of my shift last night with very few breaks. I should wear my shoe tracker to see how many miles I'm actually walking because I bet it's probably significant!

That makes all of the good news for now. How are other people doing?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Week 2 Weigh In

I really need to get a better bathroom scale. It's not that I think ours in inaccurate, it's just that I think it's really hard to read and thus hard to tell which line the dial is actually pointing to. I'm going to say that I probably lost 1 pound this week. Maybe slightly more but, again, it's hard to tell. I'd rather be under-indulgent. This isn't really the shining glorious achievement that I was hoping for. But I suppose after the large weight loss I had from the first week I couldn't expect my body to keep adjusting that quickly. As long as I keep losing, that's what matters.

I've been sort of watching sales and pricing out bathroom scales. It's a bit of a draw to figure out what a good choice would be. There's reviews for everything and nobody's really unhappy with their scale. They also vary so greatly in price that it's hard to tell if more expensive is necessarily better. As long as it's accurate and doesn't break I suppose I'd be happy. Unfortunately none of this matters until we have money for it, which could be awhile.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Paddling Video


Here's the infamous video as mention in the last post. You really can't see me except for when I'm not paddling. Which is pretty much what I expected. Super. At the very least it's good to see what some of the better paddlers are doing from this angle. Typically I have to go from what I see behind them or next to them. Hopefully I'll be able to integrate some stuff into my paddling.

Besides that calorie counting is going okay. Today is Week 2 Day 6. This week doesn't look as promising for weight loss, but I'm not getting heavier so that's a reason to keep at it right?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Poo Day

Well, I was feeling so great about my progress and then my house of cards collapsed ever so slowly. I had the girl at the nail salon ask me if I was pregnant.

NO. JUST FAT. THANKS FOR ASKING.

This morning at dragon boat practice I kind of lost it. My back hurt because I can't afford to get it adjusted at the chiropractor, I couldn't breathe because my inhaler's almost empty because we can't afford for me to go to the doctor to refill the prescription. The boat was off balance so I had to lean to bury my blade which exacerbated the first two problems more. I also didn't have any wax for my paddle so I had to grip it harder which made me more tense and hurt my wrists. The last insult to injury is that I got seated in the back of the boat where the gunnel curves a bit and the seats are closer together and more narrow. The best part is that our coach filmed us today.

I've been really trying to push myself so that I don't get cut from races anymore. I show up to every practice. I work as hard as I can when I'm there. I go out of my way to do things to get better (including my calorie counting and asking for help from other paddlers whenever I can). I want to be an asset. So the fact that I probably looked like I wasn't trying on video was not very encouraging. The longer stretches of paddling really started to irritate my low back and my lungs and I had to stop to relieve the pressure a few times. Needless to say I was so mad and frustrated with myself for not being able to push through it, at least while we were being filmed, that I ended up crying. And then I was ashamed of myself for crying.

Typically boating has been a really great place to relieve stress. Today didn't offer much relief. The waiting game for this job that I want so badly is taking its toll on my nerves, and all of the things that depend on getting this job are starting to weigh down. Perhaps if I can learn to power through these kinds of passages in life I can learn to power through the pain when I'm boating too. I guess that's probably what sets successful people apart from the rest.

I didn't count my calories last night and I probably ate tons more than I should have but today is a new day and now I'll be motivated to spend the rest of the week fixing it. It's actually kind of frightening how big of an affect food has on us. If anything else influenced our mood, our health, our day-to-day living as much we'd be screwed!