The Final Fifty











{May 20, 2013}   I’m Not Quite Dead

I swear I’m still alive, though only just.

Wednesday last week was, blessedly, a music-only rehearsal, so I got my much needed rest night. Thursday I ran, and Friday I got home and ended up taking an unscheduled 2-hour nap, which was desperately needed at that point. After the nap, I managed to do most of my upper body weight regimen, even though I haven’t been able to do it in forever. I’m keeping the brace on so that I don’t inadvertently re-injure the most delicate part of it, but other than that it went really well.

Saturday was my Day O’ Masochism. I got up early to hit up a yard sale with a friend, then went to belly dance class (the fitness one, where we do crazy reps of everything and you leave feeling all the muscles you normally forget exist.) After that, I was sore and tired, but I pushed myself to go out and run anyway. I was thoroughly used up after that, but I sort felt like a big fucking badass, so the payoff was worth it. After that, my friend came over to catch me up on tribal belly dance for a performance we’re doing end of next week. Thankfully that was the milder kind without the intensity, but I was still droopy through the whole thing. Rounded out the night at a party at a friends house.

Sunday was DBF’s graduation, so I just had to walk down to the theater. We went out to a hibatchi grill for lunch, which was freaking spectacular. I had a little bit of green tea ice cream, which was a treat though it tasted really really sweet to me. I don’t really regret it, but reflecting on it now I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would enjoy other things, so I think that might have been my parting wave to proper desert. Every once in a while I’ll let myself have a taste of something that I used to enjoy, but every single time it’s been way too sweet for me to actually enjoy. It might just take me a while to get that through my thick head, lol.

I might have to experiment with ice cream recipes, see about leaving out most of the sugar, or finally do the frozen banana and cocoa powder thing. Maybe I could do something with coconut milk even.

After the graduation and all assorted festivities were done, it was too late for me to go to rehearsal, so I went to my friends belly dance class to practice more for next week. It’s scary, because there’s no planned out ahead of time choreography, it’s all group impov, so it’s all a matter of learning the cues and keeping up with the leader. I figure even if it’s not perfect, it should be fun, and we’re dancing to Led Zeppelin! So excited.

On Saturday, I also made a huge batch of curry squash soup, so that’s at home waiting for me for dinner tonight! I think it’s pretty deadly, too, lol.



So, yesterday. It was actually pretty awesome until this morning. I’ll get to that shortly.

I went for a walk down to the lake on my lunch break. It was approaching 70 out, the sun was shining gloriously in the sky, and I was treated to some entertainment in the form of a woman who had clearly lost contact with the mothership. I got a good 30 minute walk with some hills, I synthesized a little vitamin D, and it was pure, unadulterated awesome.

After work, I went home and did half an hour of belly dance (to ease back in, and also because I was short on time.) I ate a bit, but left some wiggle room because we were going to Wild Wings for trivia, and I knew I would want to graze on stuff there.

Have I mentioned the unholy craving I’ve been having for soft pretzels? Mostly I don’t crave bread products too much, but lately, I’ve missed the chewy, stretchy, doughy aspect, and soft pretzels are MADE of chewy and doughy.

So DBF, knowing this, picked stuff he knew I’d like to accommodate my cravings. I didn’t do bad, really, calorie wise. I went a little over my baseline, but not near over the calories the activities I’d done afforded me, so still within the sweet spot. And those pretzels and boneless wings were so tasty.

This morning, though, my intestines told me they were displeased. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, just some angry pangs and grumbling really, but it definitely didn’t agree with me. Which is probably a good thing. I suspect I’ll remember it next time we go to trivia and not have as much trouble resisting the stuff I know I shouldn’t eat anyway. Note: I did not have food poisoning. And the food was delicious. I’m not saying people should pass on wings and pretzels. Just that I apparently can’t enjoy them without consequences.

I’m glad to have started dancing again. I’ve undoubtedly lost some of my progress, but I’m ok with that, the musical was important and fun, and my body still responded to the diet, so I can regain my former skills dance wise. I might do some tap tonight, or ballet, not sure which I’ll settle on when I get home.

This week I have been awesome for taking a damned break, recovering from illness, and mostly not deviating from my diet rules. I’m easing back into dancing more again, and my extra weight plates are on the way so I can get back into my weight routine as well. I am working on getting my wrist back up to full function so I can proceed with both cello and weights without risking further injury. I am taking time to notice how different my body is than it was before.

I have also noticed a few new things. Even though I have deviated slightly in the last month, my normal default is now the diet. This is great because it means it’s sustainable and has become habit, which is absolutely critical to long term success. Working in a bit of flexibility, I think, is good because I don’t want to have seriously rigid rules forever. The whole point of this is to be healthy, mentally and physically, and I don’t feel like being forever obsessed with everything that passes my lips is a healthy or desirable way to live.

Here’s the other thing I’ve realized, now that I’ve had time to consider it: I don’t regret ever having been fat, and I wouldn’t go back and change it now if I could. Oh sure, I might have lost weight sooner just for the affect it’s had on my body, but if I had the choice to go back and make myself always be naturally thin, there’s no way I would. Being fat has forced me to really study what constitutes a healthy diet and a healthy body. It has made me work for it in a way that gives it more value. And, most importantly, being fat has taught me so much compassion for other people, their bodies, and the degrading messages we are all bombarded with all the time. It has taught me that the value of a person has absolutely nothing to do with what kind of body they have.



Yesterday, Easter Sunday, we had rehearsal in the big theater for the second time. It’s a glorious place, but it is, unfortunately, the driest place ever to exist on Earth. I can’t be in there for more than an hour without getting a headache, at least the first few times before each show. I don’t know what changes, maybe it finally sinks in that I have to drink gallons of water BEFORE I get there, not just during, but hopefully it’ll get better this time like it did for Rent.

Yesterday, one of the other cast members brought a basket of candy-filled Easter eggs in for everyone, and I noticed that some of them contain my kryptonite, the Cadbury mini eggs. I didn’t take any, but I did feel a pang and start to think “well, one wouldn’t be a great tragedy.” And maybe I could eat only one of them, it wouldn’t be the most shocking thing ever. But maybe I wouldn’t stop at one, and I didn’t want to take the risk. Part of me wonders if they would even taste good to me now, but again, it’s a box I’m not ready to open just yet. If I can make it to a year sans sugar, it might be a different story, but at the beginning of 2 weeks of craziness, it’s just not a safe experiment to have.

It helped to see that most of the adults didn’t take any, and also that I had a banana with me. It tasted nice and sweet without the side order of guilt I probably would have felt afterward. Not guilt because of anything external at all, but guilt at letting myself down, because I’ve worked so hard to make myself healthier, and now is not a good time to test myself.

I’m pretty much at the “oh shit, my free time is GONE” moment, which is bad, because I haven’t stocked up enough food. I need to make curry soup this week some time so that I can have a bunch of meals frozen, and I also need to pack up some cottage cheese cups and grab some other things to take to the theater with me for when attacks of the munchies happen. I’m trying to shift my thinking so that I learn to view this as an opportunity to learn new snacking habits. I need to walk up to the co op at some point this week and look at the snack food there, because I know there are healthy things I can choose, things I haven’t tried before, and that will help.

Friday I got to try edamame, which I loved, so that would be a good option. My mom also said she tried something with freeze-dried corn that tasted like candy, so I can check and see if there’s something like that there. Plus they have stuff in the bulk section, like dried banana slices and other dehydrated fruit, plus nuts and other stuff. There are also kale chips, which I’ve been wanting to try anyway. Even just typing this stuff out is helping, so I know it’s just a mental game I have to keep playing with myself. The co op is 2 blocks from the theater, and they also have a prepared food section with cooked stuff, so I can even go there if I want something hot, and I know they’ll have stuff I’ve never tried before. I can totally do this.

I did something kind of silly this afternoon, and I ordered this skirt. In a size medium. I’m shrinking into a size 12 now (I might be there, but I haven’t had a chance to test the theory just yet.) The medium says it’s for size 8-10, so I know it probably won’t fit when it gets here. My thinking is that by the time it really gets to be summer, it will fit. At $10, itt’s not an expensive gamble or anything, but this hearkens back so many memories of times when my grandmother would buy me clothes that were too small because “they would fit me when I lost weight.” It was a near constant thing with her, and she was the most persistent and obnoxious of the people who always told me I wasn’t good enough because I was fat (no matter how nicely they said it.)

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I haven’t often bought “goal clothes” myself, and now that I reflect on it, it’s only been twice so far: the pair of jeans that is now languishing on the floor because they are too big and keep falling off, and the little black dress I got at a thrift store that now fits ok and which I’ve started wearing again. So this might not be the big doomed-to-failure purchase I’m making it out to be in my head, but as long as I’m airing my damage, I’ll include the irrational with the rational. And just to make sure I’m airing it all out and really exorcising it, I’m going to post about it when it gets here, and then post picture of me wearing it once it finally fits.

My veggie list is getting longer, and the ones I will actively seek out is getting more extensive as I learn to cook them in more appealing ways:

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Really, asparagus should be starred, too, because I go back to that one a lot. I might try pan-frying it to see how it turns out. I’m sure I can find better things to do with carrots, too, they’re just a challenge because DBF doesn’t like them cooked, and I don’t like big carrots raw (though I’ll totally snarf down baby carrots when they’re offered.) I saw a documentary the other day that suggested people should just start adding healthy things in, and eventually the healthy things would crowd out the unhealthy things? That is totally happening for me, and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s kind of amazing how much easier it is to be satisfied with real food than with the stuff that was slowly killing me.



{February 19, 2013}   On the rules, the goals, and today.

In my last post, I talked about establishing reasonable rules that you can actually stick to for a lifetime rather than just until you hit your goal weight. Here’s what my rules looked like last time around (based on memory, I might have forgot a few of them):

  1. Portion Sizes: Eat one portion size (or one per item, if a full meal) at a time. Wait 30 minutes. If still hungry, supplement in a reasonable fashion (i.e., maybe not another whole plate, maybe another serving of one thing.)
  2. Limit refined carbs. So, little to no pasta, bread, cereal, etc. Within reason. Sometimes they’re hard to avoid.
  3. Eat mostly fruit, nuts, lean meats. (I was not a veggie eater at all then. I’m working on that part now.)
  4. Switch from 2% milk to 1% milk.
  5. No french fries or sodas, or not more than once in any given week. These were easy things for me to give up.
  6. Exercise 3+ days a week. This was also easy for me, as I enjoy working out once I get a momentum going.

Today, my rules are similar:

  1. Portion sizes, same rule.
  2. Limit refined carbs, same rule, except that I usually have raisin bran for breakfast. It is whole grain, which is less of a problem, and it helps me get more fiber into my diet.
  3. Same thing, though I’ve added in greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and I’m learning to love some veggies, especially squash, sweet potatoes, and green beans.
  4. Again, the same. Easy change for me to make, as I hardly notice the difference.
  5. Same thing, with this additional caveat: I’m learning not to drink my calories. I never was a huge soda drinker anyway, so that part is easy, but I do love coffee with cream and sugar, tea with honey, and great big glasses of milk. Now, I mostly drink water, with the occasional 8oz glass of milk if I can fit it into my caloric intake for the day.
  6. I’m trying to dance at least 6 days a week. I can’t do weights right now due to my wrist injury, so dance is a way I can still be active without making that worse. And the more I commit to, the harder it is to leave things until another day, so it keeps me on track better.
  7. Calorie target: 1401 calories on sedentary days, adjusting using the MyNetDiary app on days when I dance or am otherwise active.

So far this is working well. I am losing around 1-2 lbs. per week so far, which is a good rate. Also, I am still losing even though there have been a few days where I’ve eaten more calories than I should (or drank them, lol.) I have felt mildly hungry, but nothing uncomfortable, and I know this is to be expected while my stomach adjusts to smaller portions of food. No headaches or anything to speak of.

My goal is to lost a total of 50 lbs. by the time my next birthday rolls around (when I’ll be 34.) 2 lbs. per week would get me there in mid-July, roughly, so I figure November is more reasonable since there will be off weeks and such to think about. I’m adding a countdown widget as soon as I post this.

Today was pretty average, though I did not dance because it was late by the time I got home and I haven’t skipped a day for about 9 days now. I did have my new favorite lunch, which is 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1/4 cup each craisins and nuts. I’ve sometimes had the same thing with greek yogurt, but I like it better with the cottage cheese.



et cetera