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Positive Thinking, Positive Change

I wanted to give an update about a post I wrote about medications and weight over the summer. Read that post for the background but the cliff notes version: I gained 10 pounds on a medication this summer.

I had a choice to make, try a different medication, or just keep going with prozac, which was working very well for my anxiety. I decided to give the buspar a chance per my doctor. I stopped the prozac and switched to the other one. Right off the bat, I was not a fan. It did absolutely nothing for my anxiety. I gave it over a month, waiting with white knuckles for it to finally kick in and start working…and nothing.

I was even having occasional panic attacks, which was not traditionally a component of my anxiety. So that was fun! I talked to my doctor and he increased the dosage. Within a few days of that, I started having really awful side effects. The biggest one was heart palpitations. Like constantly. It took me a few days to realize that the never ending heart palpitations might be because of the meds. I googled it and sure enough, “if you have this side effect, call your doctor immediately”. YAY! 🙁

So I stopped the buspar immediately and within a day or so the side effects were better and mostly gone. That’s the good news. The bad news? I was still in the same boat as I was before.

I went back on a low dose of the prozac and I am trying to manage my anxiety with mindfulness and a relaxation app I downloaded. The one I usually use is Breathe2Relax. I also use the Oak app. I like them and they work pretty well when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack.

As for the weight I gained this summer…I am making good choices to lose it.

  1. No candy/dessert (which has been very hard with all the Halloween candy that’s EVERYWHERE!) but I am doing well with that so far.
  2. No alcohol Monday-Thursday and on Friday/Saturday nights I can have 1 drink (instead of my usual 2).
  3. Reminding myself it’s ok to be hungry sometimes.
  4. Taking the stairs at work. I go up and down between several floors multiple times a day and I’ve started using the stairs instead. It’s the little things that add up.
  5. I’m still working out my normal 5 days a week with 2 rest days.
  6. I’m counting my calories still but I am trying to actually create a deficit instead of eating back all of the calories in the gym.
  7. Weighing myself once a week. When I was in maintenance mode I was weighing once a month, or even less. If my clothes got tight, then I’d weigh myself, but I basically stuck at the same place.

The first week I lost almost 2 pounds. The second week I lost another pound. Over that weekend I wasn’t feeling 100% so I skipped drinking for the most part. I also didn’t have much of an appetite, so I think that helped jump start things.

As far as the mental aspect, I am doing well. My anxiety is “ok” and I’m feeling super focused on losing the weight. I am finding it easier to resist treats and things that are my downfall, so I think my mind is IN THE GAME on this.

Then Thanksgiving weekend hit–pie, wine, carbs…you know the drill. I didn’t weigh myself for 2 weeks and finally got back on the scale. This weekend I weighed myself after taking a few weeks off from the scale and was happy to see a few more pounds gone! I am now down a total of 7 pounds since October! WOOHOO!

I will keep you posted on my progress.

Reflections on Losing Weight

Recently a reader asked why I wasn’t trying to lose weight this time like I did the first time. I wanted to address that.

When I lost weight the first time, it was definitely “easier” (weight loss isn’t really easy, but looking back, it was definitely easier then than now). I was younger, I was living alone and in complete control of my diet. I cut out trigger foods entirely–no pizza or ice cream. I counted my calories and was somewhere between 1600-1800 calories during the duration of my weight loss journey.

I ate the same things every day. I had a fake egg McMuffin for breakfast (an English muffin, egg beaters microwaved and a slice of cheese) or oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch was a turkey and cheese sandwich on low calorie bread with a serving of Wheat Thins. A snack was an apple. Dinner was a Lean Cuisine with a salad. And dessert was sometimes a rice krispie treat (90 calories) or a chocolate Fiber bar (150 calories) and a glass of milk.

I didn’t drink my calories. I drank a lot of diet soda. Then eventually I cut out diet soda and switched to sparkling flavored water.

That was pretty much my diet for 16-ish months. Small variations here and there. Sometimes for dinner I’d cook a chicken breast on my George Forman grill and have a salad and some cooked vegetables. Sometimes I’d splurge and have a cheat meal in a restaurant.

Once I reached my goal weight and maintained it for a little while, I changed my diet. Eating so much processed food was not great. Yes it helped me lose weight because I could accurately count my calories and I had built-in portion control, but really it wasn’t something that was a lifelong thing. Eating processed foods like that helped teach me portion control and realize how I should  be eating.

When I moved in with Michael (a million years ago), I started eating REAL FOOD. I’d have Lean Cuisines at work for lunch because they were easy and portion controlled. But other than that, I wasn’t eating a lot of processed foods. And that has pretty much been my life for the last 8 years–eating real food.

I maintained my weight loss for 10 years–give or take a 5-10 pounds.

Then I got pregnant.

I did really well when I was pregnant. I didn’t go nuts and say “I’m pregnant! I can eat anything!” I wasn’t “eating for two”. I gained 33 pounds while pregnant. I lost about 18 of that right away, I’m sure part of that was just baby. LOL

But then I struggled. Breastfeeding became my focus and my goal and whenever I tried to lose weight my supply would tank. So I decided to just wait until I was done breastfeeding to actively try and lose the weight.

Fast forward to today. I’ve been trying a few different things in order to lose those last 15 pounds. The reason I haven’t done “what I did before” is because I don’t really want to do a highly processed food diet in order to lose the weight. Sure it worked last time, but I don’t necessarily feel like it would be the healthiest option for me now. I am not sure what to do or why what I’m currently doing isn’t working.

Part of me wants to just be ok with being 15 pounds overweight. I want to be one of those people that loves my body no matter what size. But I really struggle with that. It’s weird to feel like I did when I was 250+ pounds. I KNOW I am not back to where I was, but psychologically I feel stuck in a weird place in my head where I am overly critical of my body, I hate that none of my clothes really fit properly — even though I’m not really in a much bigger size — and I hate having my photo taken.

Then I think, is this the message I want to pass on to Logan? Do I want him to grow up and be critical of his body, self-conscious, or have food issues like I always had? No. I don’t. I don’t want to look at certain foods and thing “these are bad” and I don’t want Logan to feel that way.

I realized recently that my brain had changed into that “Bad food, Good food” frame of mind. Doing this diet recently that’s limiting carbs–I am now looking at foods that are high in carbs and thinking “I can’t eat that, there’s too many carbs in it.” It’s very weird–especially since 6 months ago I would have eaten that rice or English muffin and not even thought twice about it.

I’ve seen it creep into my brain in regards to everything. “Bad Food.” Logan is exploring eating “real food” and I’m trying different things. I caught myself the other day when I was making him breakfast of a frozen whole wheat waffle with peanut butter on it (one of his favorites) and I thought “carbs are bad.” Um, he’s 16 months! He doesn’t need to limit his carbs. Absolutely ridiculous. But that’s where my brain is these days–being critical of “Bad Food.” I don’t like it.

Since March I was doing the lower carb diet thing and lost about 7/8 pounds (gaining and losing the same 2 pounds since the initial loss) and lately I’ve kind of stopped for a few reasons. First, I stopped losing. Second, I was tired all the time. Third, I was feeling frustrated that I was restricting and not seeing results. Lastly, I didn’t like how much I was focusing on “Bad Foods.”

I’m not going crazy eating carbs now, but I am eating more of them on occasion. I’m still trying to keep it to a minimum but I’m not being super restrictive. I’m staying the same in weight. Several of my pants are loose and baggy, but I’m not seeing results on the scale.

I emailed my doctor and spelled out exactly what I eat in a day and what my exercise looks like in a week. I was honest and told her exactly what I was doing and said it wasn’t working. Her response? “Wow, you’re already doing everything I would suggest.” GREAT. 🙁 Except she said eat whole foods, drink more water, and reduce my calories to 1400 a day (instead of the 1500-1600 I was eating). Okey dokey! Reducing my calories it is.

So that is where I am at currently. I’m considering tracking my macros on Cronometer instead of tracking calories (a friend suggested tracking macros instead of calories because it is working well for her). I am also considering turning off the calories I burn exercising in MyFitnessPal so that I am not eating back those calories I burn. I will keep you posted on what I decide.