Monday, January 21, 2013

A Warring Week, Good Meals, Bad Meals, AKA A Divided Will AKA Old Me vs New Me AKA ARGH!

A week that was all over the place. Some excellent choices, then some bad choices, then some great meals, then some bad meals. Reading to get my good-choice frame of mind in consistent gear. Some praying.

But, really, the decisions were mine, and I chose poorly too often to say this was a winning week.

It's interesting how one can be going along, feeling fine, feeling in control, cooking stuff up properly, watching portions, then, bam, that goes to hell with one self-indulgent choice. The streak ends.

I'm fascinated how I undermine that. I know that I've felt worried and fragile a lot. Worrying about bills and the future and such. Dishing out nearly 7K for property insurance and seeing the checkbook dive, well, that sort of made me wanna dive into the nearest bakery or pizza shop. I went to neither, but I WANTED to.

The OLD ME that binged and relied on food for comfort and joy and hardly took 1000 steps a day, she is still alive and warring with NEW ME, that made sound food choices and got her butt into exercising.

It was years and years of study and work to build up a NEW ME. It felt so good. I was hoping the OLD ME might just go off and die on an ice float or something. I intend for new me to win. But old me is very, very strong. VERY. The anxieties and desire for the brain-hit of comfort.

Anyway, this past week saw me RE-ENTER OBESE ZONE. Yes, I crossed that DREAD BOUNDARY of 185. One weigh in was 185.8. Thursday's. By Sunday, the official weigh-in (listed on my sidebar), it wa back to 183.2. That high weight was partially stoked by tamago and asparagus sushi dipped in super-salty tamari. And the miso dressing. But seeing that number scared me.

And the 170s, which I inhabited for a nice spell and even saw the bottom of, well, that seems so far away AGAIN.

I am also royally ticked off at the doc for reducing my Levoxyl. Ever since she did that, weight has crept up, appetite got up, sleep increased, and I have two vexing new bald spots. It just adds insult to injury. I was already struggling with keeping weight down before she did that. This anger, I do not need.

I find that I'm really sodium-sensitive this month, moreso than usual, the fluctuations, and that might be the thyroid status. No idea. But it's kinda weird. I'm normally not a hoarder. When I had a period, I'd easily go up 4 pounds during the days prior to blast-off, but that was a normal monthly thing, and it would be gone after, so you got used to it.

Anyway, the fight is on here. New Me vs Old Me, and it's fierce. This is the crux. THIS IS WHERE RE GAIN hits the road and become monstruous if not caught and managed. I feel it. I feel that this is where the war is lost or won, this sort of situation where the Old Overeater wants back in, tired of exile. Where the New Me is tired of vigilance and is overcome some days with neurotic thoughts and anxiety attacks. Where food looks like a good old friend who just wants to make me FEEL good again.

Which is, pardon my bluntness. bullshit.

Food Desire is only my friend if it follows the rules of friendly behavior.  If it supports me and doesn't become toxic. If it's a positive force, not a destructive one. The Food Desire that wants "in" now wants in to wreak havoc, not do me good. It's not a friend. I gotta kill it.

That's the deal. Old Me let Food Lust be an enabler and a destroyer. A crutch and a deceiver.

New Me wants food as a partner, to grow and be stronger, not weaker.

I've not surrendered. I'm reading lots of articles on regain. I've highlighted and bookmarked pages in Riley's updated version of BEATING OVEREATING to re-tap into my inner choosing mojo. I've reminded hubby not to be the sweet "whatever you want" guy of the past if I ask for him to get me something destructive. I haven't yet sent him on massive food runs full of crap. The Old Me used to do that--pizza and chocolate cake and enough tacos to choke two horses. So, just in case she shows up, I want him to give me the breathing room of a hesitation and question: "Is that what you really want? Isn't that bad for you?" That's all I need, sometimes. Just to have that moment of stopping, re-deciding.

It's part of taking control, asking, "Is this what you really want? Is this what you choose to have? What are the consequences?"

I have a divided will. Sometimes I answer the question as the New Me: "No, this will subvert my plans for good health. I won't fit into my clothes. I'll feel like a social pariah again."

Sometimes, I answer like the old me. "I don't care. It's what I want now. Consequences be damned, I just want that pleasure NOW."

The devil that is the Old Me is out to get me and make me one of the loser statistics.

I've lost too much. For too long. And it has wrecked parts of my potential and years of my life.

Screw you, devil.

Oh, and yes, I prayed, too.

To those who don't have food issues, well, they won't understand how powerful the lure is. Maybe junkies and sex addicts will get it. But folks who go about and don't self-medicate with food or have old bad habits that grab them back into the pit, they don't get it.

You get it, right?

It's hard.

But we do not give up.

No quitting.

Okay, a new day to get it right. I know all I need is a few weeks of really good days and the new habits reinforce and New Me wins again. For a spell.

I guess this fight goes on for life, as I suspected all along. And it's only easy in periods/stages/phases. Then you put on the armor and go on campaign...again. And again. And as many times as it takes.

Til Kingdom come.

I'll post some of the stuff I gather, cause it helps me. Keeps my head in it. Maybe it will help you. Whether it's for scaring or for encouraging or for illuminating. It helps.

Be well..

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Chose Against Sense on Tuesday; Here's Another Day for Better Choices

OK, I did not warrior-it-out yesterday. I had a SECOND tossed salad with dressing and a second helping of chicken breast at dinner. I chose to self-indulge. No excuses. The brat, clearly, is still making the decisions. But, hey, no truffles!

Today, I had my first Pilates "class", after having done privates from June 2008 to June 2012, before we had our income go down about 12%. Pretty significant difference. It went fine, as some folks cancelled, so it was just two of us doing the Reformer set. I worked hard, and I worked out still sore from Monday.

Yesterday, I walked 30 minutes, struggling with a bit of knee instability and "foot drop" in my left leg. When the damaged knee acts up, the foot acts up. Just how it is. I did do the "open to a random page" thing before going walking to get a verse to meditate upon, and it was beyond suitable, when taken in a different context than intended by St. Paul in 14th chapter of the epistle to the Romans, when taken for my particular situation: Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.

In a very real sense, those of us who overeat are destroying one of God's works--ourselves. Food is not more important than we are.

Anyway, Plan for the rest of the day, movement: I'll test to see if I can do the walk today. It's in the plan unless I decide to just rest it. The day is warm and lovely, so might as well take advantage, if possible.

Plan for the rest of the day, food: Stay at or under 1700 calories. When I have some good 1700 calorie days under my belt, then go down to 1600, and then to 1500, where I'll settle for a spell. I'll evaluate 1400 later. Right now, just staying under 2000 again would be mighty nice.

Since I Kindled the updated version of BEATING OVEREATING, now called DITCHING DIETS, by Gillian Riley (which I mentioned in the previous post, where you will find an Amazon link), I'm committing to reading some chapters out of it before I do some house chores and get to my writing time. I need to get to the point of BEST choices, and, clearly, I ain't there.

Looking forward with hope and faith.

Be well...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First Day (as Julie said), Clean Slate. Sore and Psyched! It's my choice. I choose to do it! WE CAN DO THIS!

Okay, so as the previous post explained, I'd been something of a mess with my eating off-plan.

Sunday: 184.8
Monday: 184.0
Today: 183.4

My saving grace yesterday after the truffle disaster was that I did 1 1/2 hours of exercise--strengthening, stretching, and walking.

Today, I'm nicely sore--especially inner thighs, back, upper abs, side.  This makes me happy. :D

Good timing for Gillian Riley's newsletter. It was in my inbox when I checked my mail. She has a new book, DITCHING DIETS, but it might simply be a recap of stuff she has in her other books, such as EATING LESS. If anyone knows whether this has new information and is worth Kindle-ing, let me know. (NOTE: I am adding this as I noticed it's a new version of BEATING OVEREATING, the book by Gillian with the orange cover. You may already have it. It may have new info, not sure, but the first 6 chapters have the same titles, so the basic info is surely identical to the "orange" book.)

For those who haven't visited her site or who want to get her newsletter, go here.

And for those who don't know what a meal plan that's calorie controlled might look like, here's an example of a 7-day plan, gluten free, at 1400 calories.

I want to make something clear. My 183 lbs now is not my 183 lbs a year ago, when I was working out. This is 183 lbs after 6 months of inactivity. Fat has replaced some muscle. My body LOOKS different naked. I'm lumpier in the waist and hips and my legs aren't as well-shaped with walking and Pilates muscle as they were a year ago at the same weight. I can feel and see the difference in my mirror. And yes, I do a "Nekkid Check" every day.

Here are pics in form-fitting wear I took an hour ago. The increased torso/belly girth and hip lump are evident:

These are my accountability photos. Sometimes, you just gotta LOOK and SEE. Like it or not.

I am well-stocked with goodies. Collards. Romaine. Strawberries. Blueberries. Kiwi. Yams. Lemons and Limes. Papayas. Broccoli. Nectarines. Cucumbers. Watermelon. Honeydew. Peppers. Apples. Decaf Green tea. Coffee. New refill filters for the water pitcher that I got back when I needed to drink gallons for Allan's challenges. I've slacked on water intake, ya know?

I have chicken breast defrosted for supper.

I do need to visit the store for some of my pastured eggs, organic egg whites, turkey, mushrooms, shredded low fat cheese for my breakfast eggs and salads, Greek yogurt, baby spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, celery, and carrots. Maybe some rainbow chard and baby bok choy, both of which I really like lightly sauteed.

With that, I'll be well-stocked against temptations. It's best to have the house overflowing with GOOD options, to cut back on the lure of bad ones.

My hope is that  Sunday's weigh-in will make me smile. Anything lower on the scale and higher in motivation is welcome, right?

Right. I can do this. I really can.



OK, let's kill it today. We believe. We move. We choose properly. WE CHOOSE. Remember that

Every bite and every sip and every step--we choose it. We decide it's what we'll do or not do, eat or not eat. WE CHOOSE.

Be well...

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm a mess, but this baby is gonna get cleaned up cause I ain't putting up with ME being a childish eater aka Working on the Return of the Warrior Princess

Okay, so man, today the scale said 184.0.

Yesterday, it said 184.8

That's right at the border of my acceptable high weight of 185. This is when emergency measures need to be put into place.

Ever since I got lax late last year when I got sick, my brain is in "I don't wanna be mature" mode when it comes to eating. I'll have semi-decent (not at all perfect) days with crappy days. The only good thing I can say is that I have not binged.

But with my brain in baby-mode, immature-eater mode, a binge is sure to come knocking, if I do not implement the measures I once did to get out of obesity and stop binge eating.

Tonight, I gotta go dig up my dietitian notes from Jan 2011. I've got them somewhere, and it's a matter of sitting down with my old blog posts, my R.D. notes, some good motivational reading, and getting hubby fully on board.

The child in me needs to shut the hell up.

My brain needs to grow up.

I really hate being out of control. It's not pizza and cheeseburgers out of control, but it is self-indulgent. IT's noshing here and there. It's not sticking to what I know is a good eating plan for me.

This is why I mention that letting go of control for whatever reason--sickness, holidays, vacations--is a bad, bad idea. REgetting control is one mother of a task.

I'm in the thick of warfare with my old bad habits.

I"m gonna win this. Why? Because I have to. Because obesity beckons again. Because grown-ups don't just eat what they wanna when they wanna. Because being mature and in control means you stick to a fricken plan 95+% of the time at least, with only the occasional bobble.

I'm being a brat again. This me, this is not noble or laudable.

I could make excuses. My thyroid is a bit off (with my hair falling out again and I'm sleeping 10 and 11 hours). But I won't. Because EVEN with my thyroid out of whack at various times since 2010, I worked to keep my food intake happy and mature and nutritious and controlled.

This time, the problem is ME.

The solution is....ME.

I'm crafting guidelines for a challenge. I figure if I need to, I activate that as a plan for self-motivation. Worked for me in the past.  I would do it pretty much like I did the others--Slimmer this Summer, Christmas Dress Countdown, Eve 2 Easter. Same sort of requirements and accountability and buddy system and positive support. If you are struggling, too, and if you've completed my challenges  in the past and want "in" again, keep an eye out for an announcement sometimes later this month.

Knocking Out the Food Idiot!!!
For the next four days, my focus will be on empowering that warrior part of me. I gotta knock the stooopid outta me.

Today, I did my strengthening exercise. But today I also swerved the car to my fave chocolatier and indulged in truffles and conversation with the owner.

Yes, I'm a fricken idiot. Feel free to tell me to stop it the hell now. Thanks.

Okay, I'm gonna do some cardiac before I go pick up my organic co-op share, and the whole time, I'm gonna be thinking and speaking affirmations.

This sh*t stops today.

Tomorrow, I'm waking up like a lion. Roaring...

I control me. No one else. ME. The me in control so far is the food-stupid Princess. I'm gonna shoot her dead. Or at least slap her unconscious. She needs to get out of the way of Princess Dieter, the one who isn't food-driven and slothful. I want that royal gal back. I want the Princess Brat exiled or gone and forgotten. I'm too old for this self-indulgence and laziness. Really, way too old.

I felt better when my food act was together. I will be that me again. SOON.

Wish me well....

The battle goes on....

Let's win it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Yep. The Shark Done Gone Been Jumped AKA Medically-Assisted Bulimia

Our fat global population has an enormous fricken problem when THIS is a viable, marketable solution.

Did they stop to consider folks can't keep this thingamajig inside them for life (just like many folks gotta get the adjustable band removed due to erosion, complications, etc). And then it's massive regain time. I mean, they ate all they wanted all along, where's the behavioral change once the device is gone?

Eat all you want.

Sit all day.

Don't believe you can change.

Pig out freely and we'll take care of it with assisted "puking."

Bulimia, sponsored soon by your insurance.

Hey, weight loss is tough and diets fail vastly more often than they succeed. I'm struggling to get back in rolling mojo control. Others struggle. Even some folks who have had bariatric surgeries struggle.

But this device...I just shake my head.

Permission to continue to overeat. Geez, at least the lap band forced you to control portions. This is license to keep doing the damaging stuff that made us fat to begin with.

:::more head shaking::::

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Being Sedentary Kills...and Thirty to Sixty Minutes at the Gym Doesn't Fix it All...

Might wanna read this if, like me, what you do at work and/or home is mostly sit.

Trials with a New Doc and Less Levoxyl

I've noticed that since my Levoxyl was reduced last month, my mood is dipping, my energy is dipping, the hours I sleep are increasing, my face is feeling heavier, my appetite is up, my weight is up.

Now, there may not be a one-to-one correlation. I was also very sick with a viral respiratory infection, and that can take a toll. Up to now, I've blamed it on the virus, which knocked down my WBC count.

But I'm thinking this new doc may have made a mistake reducing my Levoxyl. I was only half a point out of range (into hyper). I was sleeping normally even at that reading. Now, prior to my weight loss, I was often TSH-range stable for a year plus. Since losing a lot of weight, even maintaining the loss a year and a half, my TSH rambles.

It got so bad a year ago, I had gout-like joint pain in my toes and arthritis-like pain all over my body. It was AWFUL.

But then it was hard to fine-tune. I take two meds, Cytomel and Levoxyl, and we've tried tweaking both. I either stay too high in TSH (hypo) for me to feel good or go too low in number (hyper) for the doc to like. And yes, when I was really hyper in June last year, having palpitations and night sweats and anxiety, that sucked. Though getting to 169.8 was pretty nice. It's not the way to do it, risking heart issues.

ANYWAY...It feels like I'm not optimal. Now. Not horrible like last year, but just a bit off. I wake up feeling sleepy. I drowse off on the sofa at 9pm (when I wasn't falling asleep on the sofa since the last time I was out of range, thyroid-wise.)

I didn't think I could get to a bad TSH number so soon (one month), but we'll see. It's vexing that I can't stay in my sweet spot, but we just gotta keep working on it. But right now, I suspect this gal is out of her best zone.


We press on.

Be well...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First time i had two good workouts in a week since End of June 2012, no Kidding. But, hey, FINALLY Sore Again...(pics)

Been sore. That's great. A great feeling. Had a great workout Monday, and by Tuesday, the abs, shoulders, thighs, biceps and triceps, and pecs were very sore. Worked out today, while still sore, mind you; so I imagine I'll be extra sore tomorrow.

But it feels so good to just be moving again. I even danced a bit in the living room, cause it got dark fast on me and I nixed the walk. (Night-walking is an invitation to get mugged or something. Not a safe 'hood.)

So, here are pics of me after Monday and today's workouts. My curls held up. Thanks "Re:coil" on Monday. Thanks, "As I Am" and "Spiral Solutions" for today. Second day hair both times in the pics (curly-haired gals know what I mean, haha). Both taken in the coffee shop I visit after working out. I love their salads and the decaf is amazing (Sidamo, Ethiopian beans).

Today, in the restroom

Monday, window table, sunny day...
I wish MAC hadn't discontinued the CYNDI lipstick and lipglass. I'm wearing it in the Monday shot, and I love that color. When its gone, it's gone. I've got a dupe, but it's just not the same. If I wish hard enough, maybe MAC will give CYNDI another run.... (and I'll stock up like mad).

Moving's good for ya. Go move and build a bit of muscle. I need to get mine back. I can see the difference in legs and hips and abs and shoulders after 6 nearly totally sedentary months. Sucks. Ah, well, one good thing about muscle: You can ALWAYS REBUILD.

Happy Wednesday. Be well...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Remember Michelle Aguilar, Winner of TBL Season 6? Get her book BECOMING FEARLESS free until Midnight TONIGHT!

Here ya go: Becoming Fearless: My Ongoing Journey of Learning to Trust God 

I'm a person with a lot of phobias. I'm neurotic. I have compulsive issues. Depression and anxiety issues. A lot I have to work around and work on. So, when I saw the title and that it's FREE and from a gal who was obese as I was and had problems to overcome, I figured it was worth a shot.

I haven't read it. Don't know how helpful it might be. But if you think this book might be up your alley, you have fewer than 12 hours to get hold of it free for Kindle, Nook, and other ebook formats.

 Google Books has a nice preview. Check it out.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Where Can I Get This Extract, Please? ; ) And an Epiphany Shawl Pic Plus a Cautionary-Tale Hanging-Skin Pic for those Only Overweight or Normal Weight So you DO NOT GET OBESE! You don't want this flappy stuff on your body!

An article you might wanna take a look at if you are obese, if you sometimes fall off the wagon, if you have insulin resistance/visceral fat issues. Here ya go:

Twenty Weeks of Gluttony Without Gaining.

Hops water and Rhein. I want to try those, just to see. Not that I believe in magic bullets. Not after trying a couple things Dr. Oz recommended--following it to the letter--with squat results. I don't trust his supplement-for-weight-loss-or-X anymore. I think he needs so much material to fit a popular show that he will tout anything that isn't malicious, frankly, at this point.

Okay, we had our family gift-exchange yesterday, in old Cuban tradition. I got this pretty shawl from my grandniece/grandnephew:

It went great with the Nine West dress I chose to wear. It was a warm day, so I swapped out my original outfit for this one, cooler and sleeveless. I wore this dress at at tea party in January of 2012, so you can see I'm pretty much the same size. :D

Now, going sleeveless is a bit of a trial for those of us who have lost a lot of weight. 100+ pounds will definitely leave skin-consequences. My face is droopier, now that the stretched out cheeks aren't filled out with fat. My jawline. My thighs. My belly and butt. My back. All have droopy, hanging skin. Even when I was seeing a trainer 2 and 3 times a week and had gotten strong and gotten muscle, I had hanging skin. It looked better naked with muscle than it does now with much less muscle after 6 months of inactivity (yeah, I got really slothful/lazy), but still. It will hang.

If you are normal weight and starting to gain. If you are just overweight and rising up towards obesity: Google up "droopy" or "hanging" skin on the internet and look at how it appears on folks once they drop pounds. It is NOT pretty.

I mostly don't wear shapewear. I wear good (pricey) bras: Wacoal and Chantelle and Elomi and Anita. I have 38DDD boobs--once 46G-- and hanging side skin, so a good bra is worth the investment.

But I rarely wear shapewear for my droopy belly/butt/thighs. I do sometimes wear boy shorts or bicycle type panties/underwear to help with thigh hang in the inner thigh, but mostly, I do without. When I had more muscle, I did fine. You could see the panniculus demarcation in some clothes/fabrics, but that's just one of those things that reminds you of the damage done. Motivates you to keep at it. It's one of the main reasons I wanna get back to training, get my muscle. I looked so much better nekkid with lots of muscle in belly and thighs and butt and back and legs.

Some damage stays done sans surgery.

Here are two shots of my upper arm hanging skin. In the first one, taken yesterday, my arm was in motion, so this was "flap blowback" as I call it. I had lifted and swung my arm, so you see where my "normal" arm is, which is nicely, normally shaped. Then you see that flap of skin underneath. In the second one, I have my arms out to the side, so you see the hang when my arms are horizontal. I had hams for arms when I was huge-huge, and this skin is a legacy of that. Not very attractive, huh?

Princess' Skinflappiness
No compression shapewear. Just panties and a Wacoal bra here.

This is why my fave sleeve is 3/4. This is why fabric with some compression is welcome. This what you will face if you let yourself get obese, morbidly obese, superobese--and then slim down some or a lot. You will have loose skin.

Genetic variance will be in play. Some folks hang more, and some are more elastic and bounce back better. But in general, huge losses = excess, loose, hanging skin leftover.

You don't want it.

Here are before arm pics, one at 278 pounds and one about 10 pounds less:

Pilates outfit when I first started at 278 lbs

I was already building muscle here, 2 years of exercising, but the fat shrouds it.

Do what it takes to healthfully stop weight GAIN or to stay normal weight. Lose it when you only have 20 or 30 or 40 to lose. If you end up like me, with 150 extra pounds, you will regret it. Your body will suffer in various ways, and this will be one of them. You'll wear a loose skin-suit and when you shift in bed, it will be a weird sensation when your loose skin droops down. It always feels like you need to go back to the store and get skin that fits.

It's not a lovely thing. Prevent it. Tackle your food issues before your food issues permanently damage you.

And be well...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

End Goal or End God? A Slip of the Brain with a Lesson; also, Weigh-in and Controlling Appetite Beasts; Finally-- Seeking and Finding the Glorious on the Feast of the Epiphany , 'Cause The Journey is HARD! (Warning: ridiculously long post)

Note: Thanks to those who chimed in with suggestions in my previous post regarding the devotional project. I appreciate it. :D  Please feel free to add more suggestions. On to our regularly scheduled post...

Sunday is my normal weigh-in day for this blog (or Saturday or Monday when I forget). And it's Sunday, the 6th. Three Kings Day. Dia de Los Reyes. The Feast of the Epiphany. It's the 12th Day of Christmas, as well. With this, Christmas is officially over and the trees can come down.

But we'll get to that later. First, the weigh-in:


The right direction. It was 183.2 New Year's Day.

So close to my goal decade.

Interestingly, when I went to log the weight on my sidebar weight journal (see left sidebar), I wrote in "God" instead of "Goal" when I added the note about 2013: "End Goal for Year = 170 lbs"  I had first typed: "End God for the Year."

That slip of the brain made me think about how some of us make weight, our bodies, our "look" and size--we make those our God. Our diet becomes our God. It consumes us and defines us and we create an idol. It reminded me to keep this in perspective. It's something that requries attention, energy, study, work. But it should never become my idol. I've seen more than a few bloggers who turn food and exercise into their idol--that's what creates and directs them in such an obssessive way that it's a bit worrisome.

And in the other extreme, there's those times we and other folks don't give a damn about what we/they eat, don't care about our health and just act immaturely or apathetically and refuse to listen to wise counsel, not our own internal wise voice or the sage words of loved ones or the helpful direction from a professional only interested in our well-being.

Both apathy and idolization about our health and food issues are sick extremes.

I just want to normalize.

I don't aim to be cut/buff/perfect. I don't aim for a size 2 or 4.  Orthorexia isn't my goal. I don't want to freak if I have a deviation now and then from my plan. Only if it's a pattern, if the deviation begins to become the norm.

Normality about eating and better health from lifestyle changes--that's what I want. Not to obsess about food. Not to not care about food. Not to self-destruct. Not to idolize my body.

It may be an epiphany for you to accept that it's easy to make food a god--either worship it eating too much or thinking about it too much. Yes, you can make your body a temple or an idol--one is good, one is not.

Treating it with respect and making it work well for your life purposes: good. Valuable.

Treating it like the end-all, be-all of your self-esteem, feeding vanity along with perfect meals, feeling superior to others because you look "like this" and not "like that": not good. Bad.

I'm looking for the good path between extremes. How about you?

Anyway, on the personal front: I've had trouble bringing my calories down and getting back into the eating format/pattern/manner that I ate in my main losing phase in 2011.

This is normal.

After increasing intake, after allowing those treats and caloric foods--things like chocolate truffles, mousse made with real sugar, fried New Year's empanadillas, fried stuffed potatoes on Christmas--the body wants more of that. The brain has been brought into those old habits of pleasure and stimulation and it wants more.

What did you let yourself indulge in that made you have a hard time with appetite? Holiday pies? Fried foods? Junk drive-thru foods? Now, you will have to pay the price.

Like junkies, there's gonna be a bit of withdrawal. The brain does want the "fix."

Control is harder. There it is. I have to get through the "pulling in the reins" phase, and it's gonna be hard and hurt a bit, but I remember that the easier phase comes after. When the brain calms down, the body adjusts, the stomach shrinks, the habit of control reasserts.

It will come. If you're going through this same adjustment phase, just hold on. It will come.

Like I did in 2010 when I began, I'm gradually decreasing intake. I'm not in strongly restricted zone yet. I found for me, stages works best.

In fact, some dietitians advise slowly readjusting. Instead of slashing calories radically--say 2500 or 3000 or 4000 to 1400 or 1200 or 900--some do better just to ease off the problem foods and higher calories down to better eating and lower calories in steps. Steps. Bit by bit. Not from feast to starve, which can be jarring or lead to a binge. No, rather, it may help to go from overeating or bad eating to more normal eating, then from more normal eating to moderate  caloric restriction or deficit, then consider dipping into stricter calorie-deficit dieting levels.

Granted, there are exeptions. There are folks who do great slashing away and feel totally in control right off with tiny portions.

Given the blowback of binges I see round about when some folks try to do that, I say give the 'steps system' a go. Bit by bit. Cut back, change, refine, bit by bit.

On the matter of epiphanies, revelations: One of those books that delivered an epiphany for me in 2010 and made it possible for me to get a grip on my binges (I haven't binged since May 2010) was THE END OF OVEREATING, which opened my eyes to how hyperpalatable foods can send folks into chronic overeating. Those types of foods do set me off. can literally make me go into this frantic thing where I shovel, shovel, shovel food. If I eat them again daily, consistently, that will happen again. I know it.

I don't allow that. (Or haven't yet.) The daily indulgence in the hyperpalatable.

But I have allowed intrusions more often than is healthful for ME.

During my illness and holiday weeks late in 2012, I allowed some of those hyperpalatable foods (ie, some salted olive oil potato chips, sugary treats, fried and salted foods with carbs--the triumvirate of overeating (fat with starch with sugar.) Not every day. Not every meal. But enough that it's done something to my brain and tongue and desires again.

I felt my appetite increase. I felt the monster begin to return.

How's your appetite beast? What are you doing to manage it?

For me, managing that beast involves refusing to eat hyperpalatable foods, cooking more at home, keeping tons of fresh produce in the house, drinking lots of fluids, increasing protein (even using whey between meals), and moderating carbs/starches (for me, that moderation of carbs/starches means, ideally, 80 to 120 carbs a day, and definitley no more than 150. I don't do well on VLC--my thyroid rebels--but I don't do well on higher carb/starch--my appetite wakes up like mad).

I also do better with two good-sized meals than many  mini-meals. My stomach stretching some to contain fluids and food, sending those signals for satiety, that system sets me up for happy hours of non-food-thinking.

During the last two months of last year, I went back to snacking. I was sick. Often couldn't bother to get up and fix meals while hubby was at work. Didn't wanna do delivery and set myself up for some bad food mojo.

Well, snacking, yeah, that didn't work so well. It does not satisfy. Just makes me want to snack more. Doesn't matter if it was a small 140 calorie bag of olive oil tater chips or nuts and fruit or a wedge of cheese or a boiled egg. I just wanted MORE.

This month, I'm cutting back number of times eating. I want no more than two meals and one snack. That's the goal. Two meals, each 600 to 700 cals, and a snack only if appetite is out of bounds and I can keep to no more than 1500-1600 calories.

For some of you, what works to control appetite is a bit different, cause we're different. Though, in general, protein is the most satiating macronutrient. It really is.

BUT..for you, maybe it's high fiber that controls your appetite. Or fiber with lots of water. Or Several small meals. Or keeping out starches altogether. Or keeping out fruit altogether. Or eating more fat. Or having a lot of liquid protein. Or nuts between meals. Or hypnosis. Or meditation. Or prayer. Or a walk. Or singing. Or chatting on the phone with friends. Or sex. (That one actually worked really well in my faster losing phase. If I wanted to eat, I'd jump hubby. Voila. No more cravings.)

Whatever works that's not immoral or illegal--go for it. :D

Today, after worship service, we meet with family to celebrate Three King's Day (as it's commonly referred to down here), the Feast of the Epiphany, when the wise men from the east finally located the Christ Child (not baby, child) and presented homage and gifts. The Bible never mentions how many there were, but tradition counts three--Balthasar, Melchior, Caspar--to match the three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

They traveled a long way. They were dedicated to the journey. When they found their goal, they surely went off rejoicing, a lot lighter in baggage and a lot lighter in heart.

It was worth following the star, being away from home, being exhausted from a long day's ride, day after day. It was worth bad weather and the threat of robbers. It was worth risking the wrath of a jealous, murderous Herod.

Because what awaited the end of that search was AMAZING. Miraculous. Life-changing. Eye-opening. Empowering. Satisfying to the soul.

If you're reading this long, long post, you're on a journey like mine, right? We each have that guiding star--look for it.

We each need to sustain ourselves, cause we might traverse some perilous places and it may take YEARS. YEARS AND YEARS. It may not be as easy or quick as you imagine. But it's going to be amazing.

You'll see great things, in yourself and in others. You'll experience epiphanies. It may not involve gold or myrrh or frankincense--or it might, as I often had my hubby anoint me with scented oil and pray over me on those hard, hard days--but it will involve finding treasures. You learn a lot about yourself when you overcome stuff

And setbacks? You just climb back on that camel, adjust your robes, and keep looking at and moving toward that star.

God bless on this feast day. Great things await the true seeker willing to move and change...

 Be well...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Questions for Believer-Dieters Out There about Dieting Devotional Resources

Well, I've prayed about it, thought about it, and since it keeps popping into my mind and desires, I'm aiming to write a devotional for Christian dieters in 2013.

I've used devotionals for dieters before (or similar type books). But this is what I'd like to ask you out there who have used or wished to use or might use such a resource;

1. What has been missing from the dieting devotionals you've used.
2. What do you think it should focus on? Is there a specific topic you feel isn't better addressed in devotionals for overeaters/dieters?
3. Do you like them to include small prayers or just prefer a pertinent Scripture verse?
4. Is a 90 day "seasonal" type one useful, with longer entries, or do you prefer a year-long one (ie, 365 very brief entries)?
5. Is an electronic only format problematic?

I am doing this principally to help myself--to remotivate and focus. But part of me wants to be helpful to OTHERS, just as I wrote this blog mainly for my own accountability, as a tool, as my journal, but I totally wanted to reach out and help others on the same journey (ie, weight loss, exercise habit, overcoming binge- and over-eating).

What has been missing in devotional resources for you as a believer?

I'm still going to write it my way, but I want to be open to incorporating things that others may suggest as helpful.

Here are some dieter devotionals already available, in case you never browsed them or tried one.

Comment away, y'all.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Scale Pic and Forming Goals for 2013, and some advice for the Big Gals (and Guys) out There New To Blogging for Weight Loss

Here is what I saw on Tanita-San today after I woke up, peed, and stumbled to the back room where I keep the scale:

Christmas red on toes, lower number on scale.
I hopped on the scale a few times, which I always do to confirm the number. You can see the same number came up twice: 181.4 .

It was 183.2 yesterday (see previous post), so the excess fluid from my holiday salty foods frenzy is...flowing out.

This puts me at a total loss of 118 pounds. Not my lowest number. Still out of the obese range, yay. 

I don't like being in the 180s again. Not at all. My plan last year when I decided to move into MAINTENANCE had been to maintain in the 170s. Anywhere in the 170s, but preferably in the middle to lower ranges, sure. Just THAT weight "decade."

 So, immediate goal is to get back into the 170s. Healthfully. With good nutrition. No crash diets. I don't care if it's slow. I don't want to end up with micronutrient deficiencies which impact a lot of my health issues.

Ultimate goal for this season (ie period from January to end of March) is to rebuild muscle, get back walking habit (at least 3x a week) and get to 171. That's 10 pounds.

I will add that losing 10 pounds is not easy for me. It's easier when one is big-big, though even for big me, losing 1 to 2 pounds a week required quite a lot of discipline. I was the laggard in Allan's challenges (though I stuck out the ones I joined to the end). So, 3.3 pounds a month --or roughly under 1 pound a week--is going to mean I have to focus a lot on my calories. Watching, adding, monitoring, curtailing. And burning some off. Though I find consumption matters more than exertion. What I eat affects the scale the most.

Exercise, though, affects how I feel and how my clothes fit. I see more muffin top with my abdominal and back muscle depleted. I hate that. But keeping muscle takes work, just as building it takes work. It doesn't happen by wishing.

The sad truth about weight for those of us who were formerly obese/morbidly obese/severely morbidly obese/super-obese is that weight comes back at alarming speed and goes down with reluctance.

Granted, some folks hold tons of water and those first weeks on a diet make for a beautifully satisfying whoosh of 7 or 10 or more pounds. Not me. I am not that level of water-hoarder. But that's mostly fluid, and the business of burning fat is always harder. And the closer to goal weights we get, that much harder. Sometimes, maddeningly hard.

I'm here to tell you maintenance is tough. I've seen a host of blogging pals drop out of sight when they couldn't keep the weight off. I don't wanna do that. I want to say, here I am, with some regain, aiming to stop it and get back in maintenance range.

A bit of advice from someone with a near-lifelong weight struggle who used blogging and online aids to finally make progress (and I hit 303 lbs on my doc's scale in 2004, for reference):

If you're  big or very big and starting on your weight loss journey this year, please be accountable on your blog. BE ACCOUNTABLE. It's the main reason I began THIS blog, stopped the old one, and focused on goals and numbers and photos and self-examination and challenges. 

Accountability means you put it out there and try to figure out how to solve the problems. It's hard. It's often embarrassing . 

(See my Phat Pilates pics--click on tab link under the blog header-- if you want to see EMBARRASSING! It was really hard for me to post those when I was huge-huge and clumsy and sweaty in tight clothes and messed up hair.)

Don't use the blog just to wax eloquently or awkwardly about your ordinary life stuff. That won't cut it. That won't help you. 

Make specific goals. DAILY GOALS. WEEKLY GOALS. MONTHLY GOALS. SEASONAL GOALS. ANNUAL GOALS.  Let the community know if you met goals or failed to meet them. Examine why you can't make a breakthrough. Read. Study. Introspect. Ask folks to kick you in the butt when you grow lax. Support others as a way to support yourself, too. Sometimes, reading others doing the same things you are --good or bad--has a wonderfully motivating effect.

But weigh and plug those numbers in. Put them out there. Defuse them and make them just measures. MEASURES of lack of or wonderful progress. Don't expect 4 pounds a week (unless you're male and huge or female and huge and really active). Just make reasonable, attainable goals and, if you do not quit, if you persist, you will see progress.

One pound a week is 52 pounds a year In two years, that's 104 pounds.
One-half pound a week is 26 pounds a year, 52 pounds in two years.
Two pounds a week is 104  pounds in one year, 208 in two.

Consistency is the key. You can lose 26, regain 30. You can lose 80, regain 50. You can lose 200, regain 200.

What you want, and what I want, is to lose and keep it off.

The odds of success are slight. Google it. Very few keep off large amounts of lost weight.

So, focusing on the quickie crash diet that gets off 10 pounds in 2 weeks will leave you nowhere if you gain it back, and odds are you WILL regain it.

You have to learn what you like and what is nutritious and what contains your large appetite or urges to snack unhealthfully. You have to figure out what works for your body and, if present, medical conditions. You may need to see a dietitian. Or a doctor. You should read and educate yourself. You should visit blogs of folks who lost weight and KEPT it off for a year plus. The ones keeping it off 5 years plus. They have learned something.

VICTORY in 2013!
Find a buddy. Keep a journal (or a blog journal). Be honest. Don't run away and hide when it's tough. Find people who won't stop telling you to keep at it. Join challenges with kind people who believe in TOUGH LOVE, ie. they don't clap at your failings or enable you, but they do offer a hand when you need to get back up and walk on. Flabby love lets you get away with anything, buys lame excuses. REAL love wants the best for you and will speak firmly to you, refusing to allow you to wallow and not make progress. Real love says, "Stop that. It's hurting you!"

Always choose what helps, not just what feels good. What helps. What profits. What is good. What builds you up on your journey. Choose that.

It's gonna be hard. But it's worth it in so many ways to try and try with a fully committed spirit and heart and mind.

Really, you don't have to get skinny. You just have to get OUT of obesity--being overweight may not be as bad as previously thought, though being obese is still a bad thing-- and get stronger which will be useful in daily activities and protective of health as you and I age. And keep learning. Believe you have the power to do it. Every day, tell yourself you are ABLE.


Happy Thursday. The third day of a new year. Be well...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First Post of 2013: Accountability, Word of the Year, Photos, and Recommitment

Ah, 2012 was rough on me in its last couple months. Well, it was a bit rough from the end of June on. Less income meant the loss of my personal trainer. Illness set me back in other ways. But this is a new year, with a new word, and a recommitment to a vision to let go of what holds me back and grab hold of those habits and people and events and things that  push and drive and yank me toward my goals.

So, some stats, cause accountability to me means NUMBERS, not just words.

On New Year's Eves past, I weighed thusly:;

2009: 267 lbs
2010: 234 lbs
2011: 183 lbs

I don't have stats kept for a lot of years, but I was in the 270s for several NY Eves prior to that.

This New Year's Eve: 182 lbs

On Dec 30, I was 178.8. A series of salty foods played havoc, so that by New Year's Day, I was 185, until I peed a couple times, then 183. So, the scale was all over the high 170s and low 180s for the end of the year.

The good news: I ended up with a net loss of ONE pound since last NY Eve. I maintained, basically. And that's fine.

The bad news: Back in the 180s and a lot of muscle loss. A LOT. I cannot tell you how easy it is  to be a couch potato again and lose muscle. Very easy. Very scarily easy. And I'm ashamed of getting out of good habits. That means that this 182 lbs is fattier and less lean than last year's. Urk.

So, what habits dropped off since November when I got ill:

1. 10 glasses of water a day
2. exercising at least 5 days a week
3. praying over my day's food goals upon awaking
4. blogging to keep myself motivated

So, with 2013 seeing me at a higher weight than my lowest in 2012, I must work on--work on diligently--at getting back good water, portioning, and positive focus habits.

Accountability to me is also about photos. I posted photos last NY Eve. Here are shots from New Year's Day. We didn't dress up or leave the house NY Eve, but we got together with family yesterday. These are at me at 183 lbs on the scale--both last year's pic and this year's shots.

kinda fun headless shot

Excuse the lousy posture, hah, I was repositioning..awkwardly, clearly.

I love red (to wear). Cool red. Warm red. This is an orange red. Compare to me wearing an earthy red years ago:

At about 80 or 90 lbs more than previous shots and next pic.
And this is NY Eve last time, 2011, 183 lbs

I'm grateful for another year. My health is not as vibrant today as it was one year ago. Exercise, right foods, proper rest, lowering stress--it all has an affect on appearance. I see my face DROOPIER since 6 months ago. My loss of good habits has taken a toll in many ways.

Well, that's my accountability.

Now, for my word of the  year: RELEASE

I put a pic on the left sidebar representing "release" to remind me of it anytime I check the blog.

I had  "open doors" as my phrase last year, and it's interesting that my husband began to work for a company that has "Open" in the title, and that I began to open myself to a new group (new church) and new ideas (restarted writing). I am continuing my "openings" this year--and NEED to-- but RELEASE is most appropriate for various reasons that I won't get into now.

I hope you have a vision for this year. If you made goals and want to hold on. If you didn't make goals and are going to work toward them. If like me you took some steps BACKWARD and want to recoup the good things set aside.

Never quit. Find the solution. Keep going with faith in the human power to change. Persist with hope. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my dears.

May 2013 be peaceful and blessed for us all, and may we make strides to grab hold of good things, including more healthful habits and a more vibrant life.

God bless...and be well...