Oct 152014
 

The words Weigh In on a scale representing the need to check you
I knew I wasn’t going to like the number on the scale before I even got home from Maui. I was expecting it. I’d been sick for a week before the wedding (no gym, poor appetite), then the wedding frenzy with lots of restaurant eating and just plain eating things I don’t normally eat (i.e. cake). We went to Maui and I didn’t count my calories at all. I just kind of went with the flow, ate whatever I felt like, didn’t think about it and ignored the consequences.

Honestly I had needed a break. I’d been stressing about some weight gain this year, the wedding stress, the chaos that followed, I just needed a break. So for about 2 weeks I stopped tracking my food.

In Maui we stayed in a condo and we cooked breakfast every day (scrambled eggs and fresh watermelon or pineapple, tea and coffee). Then we’d go to the beach for a few hours. I’d say out of the 9 days we packed lunches like 7 of the days. It wasn’t the healthiest of foods–sandwiches on sandwich thins with some fresh fruit and chips–but it was better than eating out every day. As for dinner, we cooked at the condo I think 4 or 5 of the nights we were there. I’m glad we did because I definitely needed a break from the restaurant eating and expense.

I worked out in Hawaii but not consistently. I was swimming and snorkeling in the ocean every single day of our trip (and we went for a run twice) but I don’t know how much of a workout that actually was. When we got back home I weighed myself and I was up 5 pounds. Yep, I’d gained 5 pounds this month!

weight

I was definitely disappointed seeing such a jump. Especially considering I have not been OVER my goal weight (150 pounds) in like 4 years. Even with my fluctuations I’d always been able to stay under 150. It was a bummer for sure.

My diet on vacation wasn’t great. Didn’t eat the normal amount of fruits and vegetables I usually eat. Definitely ate things I don’t normally eat. And I drank fruity umbrella drinks like this:

maitai
In Maui I discovered Mai Tais! I’d never had one before and absolutely loved it. The passionfruit juice was to die for. These fruity drinks are packed with calories and something I rarely ever indulge in. Once I started to lose weight I switched to lower calorie options for drinks (1 or 2 glasses of wine, 1 beer, or a vodka tonic), things that were in the 100-200 calorie range. These mixed cocktails though can be up in the 400 calorie range depending on what you get!

So yeah, I drank a lot of those. I made Bloody Mary’s at the condo to enjoy on the beach. While I wasn’t drinking a ton (and never really got drunk) I did have at least one beverage a day. Those calories definitely added up fast I’m sure!

I’m not beating myself up too badly because I mean come on, it was my wedding! And honeymoon! It was a once in a lifetime trip and I enjoyed every second of it and I do NOT regret any of the experiences we had. But that doesn’t mean I’m okay with the gain. I knew I was starting on a slippery slope and that it would be easy to fall into bad old habits if I didn’t correct it ASAP.

We got home from Hawaii late on a Wednesday night and I weighed myself first thing Thursday morning. <whomp whomp> Then I got dressed and went for a run. It was a short run and nothing special but I wanted to get out there and start getting consistent with my fitness again.

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I took Bella with me so she got a little exercise too and was able to explore a new route. It felt so good to just MOVE. Especially after being cramped on a plane for so long the day before. In addition to the run I got back on track logging my calories on my MyFitnessPal app. Every bite, sip, nibble, I logged it. I felt relieved to be doing it again!

I had a healthy lunch–sandwich on a sandwich thin and cucumber slices on the side. For dinner we had baked chicken breast with sauteed Brussels sprouts and onions. I made a salad with romaine and spinach, yellow peppers and some tomatoes from the garden (there are still tomatoes!!).

chicken
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It felt good to eat healthy again. And vegetables! I missed you!

Michael was out of town all weekend for a friend’s wedding. I stuck home because I had to go to work and I also wanted to stay home with the animals. It was also a good time to de-compress after the wedding and honeymoon and try and unpack some of the stuff we accumulated!

On Friday I went to the pool after work and got an okay swim in and then I suddenly started to feel sick. Not sure what was going on there but I cut my swim about 10 minutes short and went home. I waited a few hours to eat dinner because I just felt sick. When I decided to try and eat I stuck with some veggies and a cooked up one chicken spring roll from Trader Joe’s. Dinner was less than 400 calories total.

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The next morning I was feeling better so I went to the gym to try and get back into my weight training. I hadn’t lifted weights in over 3 weeks! I was slightly scared at how sore I would be afterward (and I was but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, so that was good.)

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It felt nice to be back into the routine, even though I was feeling slightly bored with it. I need to re-evaluate soon and see what I can mix up to get my mojo back. But at the very least, I am back going through the motions and that will help.

Sunday I went to the gym and used the spin bike for a bit then hit the yoga class. I hadn’t been to yoga in about a month. I can’t believe how much I had missed it. It felt so good to be back at class and get some stretching in. (And I was reminded of my regret that I never got around to doing some yoga in Maui…)

Sunday night I made a crockpot dinner for when Michael got home. It was a super easy dinner and really low in calories. I had a seaoning packet for the chicken and mixed that up, put the chicken breasts, carrots, onions, red potatoes and green beans in the crockpot and let it cook for about 4.5 hours.

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Dinner was delicious. I made a green salad with tomatoes from the garden to go with it. It felt good to be back eating “normal” foods and I just felt healthier and better all around.

I am continuing all of this and will weigh in again soon! Stay tuned for progress…

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Sep 302014
 

A friend posted this article on Facebook and I clicked over to read the article–expecting something else entirely. What I read was the complete opposite of what I was expecting and I found myself saying “YES! I feel the same way, too!” several times. Here is that article: 5 Things I Miss About Weighing More Than 300 Pounds. Take a look because it’s a really well-written post.

She listed a few of the things she missed about weighing over 300 pounds. The first was power. I had to laugh because I could relate to that as well. When I was 250+ pounds I, too, was stronger in a lot of ways. My girth made my calves and quads pretty strong because it was supporting my weight but like this author, I could also move heavy furniture or help people move heavy things and it was no big deal.

“Being fat gave me natural physical strength. As a thin person, I have to go out of my way to be strong. Despite daily strength training I’m nowhere near as powerful as I used to be. Once upon a time I could confidently lift a couch into and out of a moving truck (a U-Haul, not a truck in motion — being fat never did give me super powers). Today, I labor under the weight of heavy things.”

I lift weights and I do what I can to build up my strength. While I’ve made leaps and bounds, I’d be lying if I said a really really strong wind couldn’t knock me over. If someone pushed me as a joke, I would seriously stumble and possibly fall (and have a few times) which is such a huge difference from when I was 250 pounds and couldn’t be pushed over. It’s a very strange idea to suddenly feel like you are “frail.”

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This next observation hit really close to home for me, especially right now with trying to lose the last few pounds before my wedding. It’s about weight fluctuations:

“When I was fat I understood that most weight changes are fleeting and insignificant. At 300 pounds, I wore clothes forgiving enough to accommodate ten pounds lost or gained, so I didn’t think much of it. Sadly, going from a size 6 to an 8 makes me nuts in a way that going from a size 26 to a 28 just never did. I miss the freedom I once had from noticing and obsessing over Every. Single. Pound.”

I admit, I teared up a little bit with that one. She expressed just how I feel (often) and it’s hard for people to understand who haven’t been obese. When the scale starts to tick up and I feel a little down because of those few extra pounds, most people don’t understand why I feel stressed or depressed about it. They say, but you’ve lost so much, it’s not a big deal. Or they say, you can lose that weight in no time! Not true, losing weight at this stage is much harder and WAY slower than it ever was when I was overweight. It takes twice the amount of work and diligence to see even 1 pound gone on the scale.

chicago1

I would also add this to what the author said–clothes fit differently now. When I was over 200 pounds I wore bigger clothes because I was bigger, obviously, but “plus” sized clothing is just built differently. It’s baggier. It’s usually got some elastic in the waist. So you don’t always notice when you go up a bit. Now? When my size 6 jeans start to feel a little tight I feel it immediately. Clothes that I buy at this weight are obviously smaller and form-fitting. When that pesky 5 pounds appears you can see and feel it!

What about this one?

“When I’m lying on my side, the feeling of knee bone on knee bone is enough to keep me up all night. I could write a whole post about how awful it feels to sit on a hard surface with a bony butt. Tail bones and hard seats: never the two should meet. “

Yep, yep, yep. I am so freakin’ bony. Seriously, I thought I was the only one that felt this way and reading that this woman experienced the same exact thing made me sigh with relief a little. I wasn’t alone. When I lay in bed at night, on my side, my knees bug me because they feel like just two knobs rubbing against each other. Russian Twists? Forget about it. I can’t do that exercise unless I have a little padding under my butt (be it a towel or pad at the gym) because it hurts my tailbone so much.

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This last observation is something I’ve written about in the past. I had a few surprising twists with friendships and relationships as I was losing my weight. But you don’t expect that it will actually happen…

“Starting and maintaining friendships was easier when I was fat. Women rarely saw me as a rival and were less self-conscious than they are around me today.”

I dated someone who tried to sabotage my weight loss every chance he got. I lost a few friends along the way that just couldn’t be happy for me, for whatever reason. The good news? I also found out just how encouraging and how supportive friends and family can be. They helped me reach my goal and gave me positive feedback that kept me going when it was really hard.

Something else I’d add to this topic…One of the things I miss about 250 pounds is being unaware. I have no idea anymore what it feels like to be carefree, worry-free and easy going when it comes to food. It’s too late to turn back. I already know how many calories are in most foods. I can take a look at something and while the Demon on my shoulder is saying Oh that looks so great EAT THAT! The Angel on my shoulder is reminding me how hard I worked to lose the weight and just how many calories are in that. It kind of takes ALL THE FUN OUT OF IT.

I talk a lot about moderation and not denying myself foods–just being smarter about what I eat and paying attention to portions. But damn, sometimes that SUCKS. Sometimes you do want to eat some ice cream and not regret it!

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Do I regret losing the weight? Hell no. I’m happier and healthier and living a life closer to my values than I ever did before. I cherish what I can do now. I feel proud of the events I’ve participated in and I’m happy that I’ve been able to keep the weight off for 6 years now. The problem is–there’s no manual for weight loss. Not really. No one tells you the changes you’ll go through, the issues you’ll come across. There aren’t any self-help books out there about how to adjust your brain and thinking after losing a massive amount of weight (I know, I’ve looked). It can be very isolating. I am the only person on the planet that feels like this…Yet, this article spoke to me in ways I didn’t even have on my radar. For that I am so grateful. I’d love to hear what experiences other people have had too!

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