ignoring the haters – mfp

I’ve been doing pretty good with going to the gym. It’s kind of my new focus now on this journey — getting to the gym at least four times a week and hitting it hard when I get there.

I started off speed walking on the treadmill, and even though I was almost jogging and hitting three miles every time, I felt like I wasn’t working any significant muscles or really actually exercising. I was sweating, but I was also bored and really dreading going to the gym.

The final clincher came when I bought a bathing suit I was really excited about and then it looked AWFUL on me. I sent pictures to my sister, to see how honest she’d be, and she was nice but honest and her husband jumped in with polite honesty and they agreed it was pretty bad. Which was terrible because the suit was designed to make you slim and hide any belly. And it completely showed my little belly I have left.

So I talked to Husband and he suggested that I start biking at the gym, hard core biking, because it would work my calves, thighs, and butt. He suggested that doing something that would make muscles burn and actually tone parts of me would probably be better for me right now.

Last week I slowly integrated biking with walking. It was hard because it meant I would have to spend more time at the gym, and I felt awkward on the bike – was the seat too high/too low, was I pedaling right, did I look weird, was I pedaling fast enough, etc. I still (and probably will always) count down to when exercising is over. I push and cycle with crazy speed for a few minute bursts, and that makes the time pass; I also zone out watching TV and that makes the time go by fast too. I don’t know when I’ll get to a point where exercising is enjoyable (a coworker told me I must ‘love’ going to the gym because I’m so religious about going — but dedication and love are two completely different things!).

 

Then we went to MIL’s house this past weekend and … the entire weekend … was basically … a critical analysis of what I was doing. We started off talking about how she’s doing with it all so far and there was much congratulations and praise. Then it shifted focus to me, somehow. My gym is not as great as hers. I eat more food than I should. (She actually cut up a hamburger at dinner and was like, ‘This is what you should be eating. THIS.’)  Just doing cardio is bad, I should also be doing weights. She’s losing so much weight, have I really lost any weight?

Her. Her. Her.

Husband tried to help. He tried to shift the focus to how he’s only been biking since March and he already shed and toned so much.

Ignored. Ignored. Ignored.

We came home Sunday night and I was in a really, really hard place. My self esteem was on the floor (it was already low because I was on my period and bloating with water weight). I didn’t know what to do and I felt like everything I had accomplished was worthless because I hadn’t and wasn’t doing things the way she did.

A part of me just wanted to stop everything and shove food in my mouth and just let myself go.

And I want to put down that it wasn’t just this weekend. Everyone in my family has acknowledged and celebrated the fact that I am losing weight and getting fitter. I am a size 6/8 instead of a 12/14. I am maintaining 130. I feel like it is obvious. And yet, no one on Husband’s side has outright acknowledged this. But now that MIL has started losing weight … she not only won’t acknowledge that I have done anything over the past year, but she acts like I am awful in terms of health and fitness. And that really hurts my feelings.

 

So I went to work on Monday and I talked about it with my coworker and I told her how I didn’t know how to go from here because what if I am doing everything wrong and is it even worth it anymore and do I just need to completely change up my entire lifestyle. And my coworker looked at me and was like, “Seriously? MIL is almost 30 years older than you and is way heavier and already went through menopause. Of course her weight loss is going to be completely different from yours. You still have a metabolism. You’re working on maintaining weight, not losing mass amounts of it. You’re already skinny, you should be proud of it, and she’s probably just jealous that it’s “easier” for you because she has to do very limited eating and she is completely ignoring the fact that you’ve been working on this for over a year.”

I’m the type of person where I’m sure Husband said like the exact same thing Sunday night, but I need to hear it from someone who I’m positive isn’t just trying to calm me down. I knew my coworker was being honest and I knew it was true.

 

So I went to the gym on Monday and I decided to try walking two miles on the treadmill and then cycle for an hour (with hills). The walking warmed up my legs and I was able to get a good speed going on the bike. Yesterday was day three on the bike and I can already feel a barely there muscle on my calf when I tighten it. This is exciting!

I ordered a new swimsuit that is a body shaper and similar to my old one so hopefully it will fit and look great.

 

It seems like everyone now is trying to be healthy and get fit. And while that’s great, it’s so key to remember that everyone’s journey is different. I’m still totally learning this. It’s going to take me about a month or more with hitting the bike at the gym before I get the results I want to see. But my sister went to the gym just a couple weeks before her wedding and lost 5 pounds in those weeks. Everyone is different and though it’s hard to understand that when you look in the mirror, check the scale or button your pants, it’s very, very true.

 

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20lbs later -MFP

Today I stepped on the scale a and saw a glorious number – 132. I got here a couple days before Christmas, but between being off schedule and spending all our days at other people’s houses, I ended up just being grateful that I maintained 133.

I took this week to get back on schedule and ended up a pound down, which is nice. It still feels a bit surreal, to be this skinny after all this time. When I fell off the wagon back in June, I thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to get myself back on track. But I did, with a lot of hard work and focus.

My Three Biggest Lessons

1. No pop, more water. I have pretty completely cut pop out of my life. I can’t believe I used to drink TWO a day!! Husband has cut out pop as we’ll and the headaches he was having disappeared. I realized the other day that I was tracking my water all wrong and I drink closer to four or five glasses a day. By putting it in the tumbler I got from my sister’s wedding, I find it easier to suck down water while I’m busy at work. I also got a water bottle at home because having a large glass of water on the table made me nervous.

2. Eat less and smart At the very beginning of all this, I was very focused on eating whatever crap I wanted while trying to stay under 1200 calories. Not only was this hard, but it also didn’t make me feel good all the time. The second time I started up I focused on eating lots of salads and lighter fare; I think that helped me make better choices in general and feel lighter and less “stuffed”. I also read quite a few articles that said eating 1200 calories if healthy food and 1200 calories of sugar and fast food will also yield different results.

3. Focus on more than the number I was getting a little too obsessed with the scale before. I try now to focus on other physical results that losing weight gives me. Baggy jeans, loose dresses, and jutting hip bones are just a few! I tried on a dress I wore to my wedding rehearsal dinner and it was TOO BIG! Now that’s results!

high school weight: mfp

Getting back into My Fitness Pal has been an easier transition than I expected. I’ve streamlined what I’m eating everyday, and though others might find my eating habits ‘boring’ or ‘monotonous’, it keeps me on track and gets me back to what food is: fuel. I also enjoy what I’m eating. During my slump in the early fall, I realized that I was eating my emotions. I was frustrated, stressed, and sad. I haven’t lost this, by the way, hence my complete disappearance from MFP during the week of Thanksgiving. I was freaked out about spending almost the whole weekend with Husband’s family and started Wednesday night with a Portillo’s fully loaded hot dog, cheese fries, and chocolate cake shake.

Yikes.

But my goal is that Monday through Friday I eat really well, and I give myself leeway on the weekends. Does that mean I pig out? I really, really make it a goal not to. But I don’t count calories.

Anyway, it’s been going good. I stick to pastry crisp for breakfast, bistro salad for lunch, and homemade salad for dinner, recently adding soup. I’m really trying to cut out red meat, again, M through F, and only eat chicken or seafood. I cut out pop completely during the week, and really only drink it when we go out. Water has been my go to, and occasionally milk.

Results?

I was 133.8 this morning. I’ve been making it my goal that during the week I only eat 1,000 calories a day. I don’t do it all the time, and I don’t beat myself up if I don’t. But again, I’ve been focusing on using food as fuel. 1,000 calories keeps me pretty full. MFP doesn’t like it, and tells me that daily, but it also hates it when I eat 1,195 calories, or 1,210, so there’s that.

I am now at my high school weight. Husband has never known me this thin. BMI wise, I am at a healthy weight. Now that I’m so close, I think 130 is a really reasonable goal. And going below that? Well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to 130.

It’s all a bit surreal, but I’m really happy about it all. It’s work, and discipline, but the end result is definitely worth it!

back in the saddle – mfp

I haven’t blogged about weight and such since June, so I thought I should remark on that.

I was doing so good, wasn’t I? If you look back in June and read the posts I have there about eating and mental weight loss and all that goodness, I seemed to have a handle on things. Yay, June me!!

And I haven’t completely fallen off the wagon. It’s just that I started to slip back into the habit of saying, ‘Oh a little of this or that won’t hurt me’ or ‘I’m not full yet’ or ‘I’m hungry, not bored’. The inner dialogue that just kind of gets you into a place where you’ve eaten half a bag of chips and then trying to figure out how to reverse that from having happened.

Also I spent half the summer and September sucking down medium sized iced caramel lattes from Dunkin Donuts about three times a week. Yeah.

And then the big whammy. I was a fool and, even though we get NO trick or treaters in my neighborhood bought three (count ’em 3) bags of mixed candy at the beginning of October. I thought maybe I would celebrate Halloween every day of October with a little candy treat!

Except I was eating two for lunch, and about four or five with dinner. So a 50 calorie Twix (nothing at all!) was being added to like five other pieces of ‘low calorie’ candy and I was having about 400 calories on those alone. A day.

Yikes. You see where I’m going with this?

So I stepped on the scale around Halloween and was not at all surprised to see a number in the low 140’s staring back at me. I gained about 5 or so pounds.

I started back on MFP on Monday. I tried to do a sort of cleanse with my body where I only had salad for lunch and dinner. (I had spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with a burger a day. Because that’s healthy.) I really feel good and stomach doesn’t feel bloated, like it did when I was eating junk.

Can I tell a quick story about how bad I’ve gotten with food? Saturday I got a train wreck burger. That’s a burger with everything, plus some. Ate the whole thing — with a salad as my side. Because that’s gonna cancel it out. Then Sunday we left Michigan, stopped at a gas station, and I got/ate a bag of Combos and a thing of Twizzlers. Two things I never eat but apparently really needed, because I was ‘hungry’. YIKES.

I’m working on refocusing, reprioritizing myself. Trying to hit my triggers on the head and keep walking. I slow down when I’m eating to let my stomach fill up. I’ve been using NaNoWriMo as a way to block my eating — writing 2,000 words before I eat dinner means I’m eating with Husband and not snacking until he gets home.

Eating right is hard. So hard. I’m not surprised that I gained some weight back. I didn’t want to, but I did. I’ve said before that I might have to always count my calories, and I’m okay with that. It sucks, and it’s tedious, and it makes eating out a bitch, but I need to do it.

I’ll check back in a couple weeks and hopefully I’ll have some real progress to report.

stepping off the scale (mfp)

I’ve done a lot of rearranging lately with this weight loss journey.

For one, I’ve scaled back on My Fitness Pal. I started a couple weeks ago and it’s going … okay. I’m trying to take what I learned about portion control and how many calories things are, and go forth on my own. I intended it to be a trial run while we went to Nashville, since I knew we’d be eating out a lot and counting calories would be difficult. But then I did pretty good in Nashville — I tried to eat a lot of salads and sandwiches, and eat only when I felt hungry. It was good, but we also drank, so I knew that wasn’t so good either.

Now I only check in with it when I need a reminder of how many calories I’ve eaten so far or how many calories an item is. I’ve done good enough so far, I’m staying in the 130’s, but there have been a couple days where I’ve overeaten. I know already while I’m doing it that it’s bad, and I feel physically sick afterwards because I overate and it upset my stomach. I’m doing it for two reasons. One, because I’m for whatever reason feeling bored in the evenings, and two, because I’m really hungry when I get home and start snacking before dinner. I resolved that I’m going to start planning my time after work and dinner better so I stop the snacking.

The two weeks before Nashville I spent a few days each week heading out after work and doing a sort of walk/jog exercise. But … last week I got lazy catching up on homework and laundry, and then yesterday/today I got out of work late and it was raining by the time I got home. I enjoyed the exercise, though, and it got me energized for better eating, so I want to start it up again.

Finally, I’ve been diligently working to stop weighing myself. I think this whole weight loss journey has been great, but I think it’s also completely messed with my mental health. I was rummaging through clean(er) clothes after Nashville, threw a shirt on, and left. A couple hours later I looked down and realized the shirt I was wearing so well was a shirt I hadn’t been able to wear in a couple years because my chest/stomach left it too short. I am skinnier, I am healthier. And I was feeling so good that I stepped on the scale the next morning and my good feeling plummeted. I am still fat. So I’m … leaving the scale alone until I can help myself understand that mid 130’s is FINE. GOOD. GREAT, EVEN.

down in the 30’s – mfp

My weight keeps fledging daily back and forth between 136 and 135, so I finally split the diff the other day and marked 135.8 on My Fitness Pal, and damn did that feel good to see.

I am still having trouble realizing that my weight is in the 130’s, by the way. I do double takes often on the scale.

Sunday and Monday were spent by my parents. I will say it now that outside comments on my weight are nice, but I’m not trying to hook onto them, because for me this process has to come from within. Also, once people comment on your weight loss once, that’s usually it.

But anyway.

You know who is great? Husband.

Because while my sister and I went shopping for a bridal shower gift for her friend, my parents were home and Husband apparently explained how hard I have been working on my walking and calorie counting, and how much weight I’d lost so far.

To which my mother answered, ‘Well, she used to come over here and eat TWO HAMBURGERS, which I thought was crazy, so this is good.’

I have no regrets — they were delicious, and I was at a point where I was eating to prove I didn’t care about my weight.

Then my parents had this conversation with my sister’s fiance, who upon seeing me on Monday remarked about how good I looked and congratulated me on doing so well.

This thing is tough, you know? And the rewards lately are anywhere from 10 to 14 days in revealing themselves. But I also see a change in my eating habits.

Monday for lunch we went to McDonald’s, and I got a grilled chicken sandwich, and and and and — that’s it. And it was delicious and I had some water with it and I was full and okay. And then for dinner, which I was so worried about because POTATO SALAD — I had a hot dog (no bun), a handful of chips and dip, and one serving spoon of potato salad. And I was full. And I was surprised that I did not want to get seconds, and I only had a cupcake because my mom, for all her healthy talk, was a little hurt that I was thinking of not having one on MEMORIAL DAY. EAT ONE FOR THE SOLDIERS, I think was the gist.

But I sat there and listened to the conversation and stared at my empty plate and thought, ‘It’s becoming more. It’s in my mind now. And although this may not be an every day occurrence, the fact that I ‘survived’ this holiday is good enough for me.’

And by ‘survived’, I want to emphasis that I was truly not starving and did not feel deprived. I am just using a colorful verb.

But today my lunch was ‘eat my feelings’ themed and I ate about a cup and a half of potato salad. YUM! No regrets, and it worked out fine with my calories, it was just an example of how every day is not that easy, just different.

my first goal – mfp

Dear My Fitness Pal, I’m not squabbling over a half pound. My scale says 140.4. IT’S OVER.

So today was the day.

A lot has been going through my mind the past two weeks. I’ve been thinking about weight loss plateaus, and if I’m reaching mine, and I’m thinking about where I want to go with this, now that I got to my first goal, the first ten pounds.

I wasn’t sure that I would stick with this. I barely stick with anything. I’m amazed I’m married, frankly.

I couldn’t stick to the piano.

I couldn’t stick with basketball or tennis.

I couldn’t stick with the literary magazine during college, or teach CCD for very long.

Once Upon a Time is the first TV show since Arthur that I haven’t abandoned while it’s running on air.

And every Lent, I get somewhere halfway through and just give up.

Remember how I was learning manual? HAH.

I drop friends and never look back (oh that’s why her Facebook count is low 70s – yep, and proud of it).

So this? Forget how much I’ve lost — 2, 20, 100 lbs — the idea that next week is May and I started this shinanigan sometime in March?

BLOWS MY MIND.

My stomach is flatter. My face is miles skinnier. My boobs have shrunk. I ran for my bus and wasn’t winded. Husband and I went to the Indiana Dunes yesterday and hiked for two and a half hours through the sand — I mildly sweated and barely ached. My aunt saw for me for the first time since January and the first thing out of her mouth is, ‘How much weight have you lost?’

BLOWS MY MIND.

This is what I focus on when I lose sight on what matters. When I see stick leg girls walk down the street or look at a picture of myself and think I don’t look any different. When I step on the scale and see a 140, tell myself that 140 is still too fat. Losing weight is a good thing, but it also — sorry — fucks with your mind in a way I wasn’t expecting. You can be skinnier, skip that meal, you can lose it faster, you should see how low you can go.

Oh hey there, eating disorder, who invited you to the party?

Today I start chapter two. I already altered my goal on MFP. I don’t know if this is the final goal — maybe yes, maybe no. I’m trying to focus more on gathering songs and finding an used iPod because, with new found energy and warming temps, I’d like to buy a real pair of running shoes and head out on the pavement.

As always, I don’t know if I’ll stick to that. But MFP gives me hope.

This post is all over this place because for the past two weeks, my thoughts about my weight loss have been all over the place. Apologies.