Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 448

No excuses, just an update. I've totally fallen off the wagon. I'm exhausted and completely overwhelmed by life. I just had a great opportunity to go to Nicaragua for five days to learn about some education projects, which was very interesting. But we were kept going straight out for the entire time. So I ate whatever was in front of me when we were given food - it wasn't an insane amount of horrible food, but I was not judicious in what I was eating. And donuts and pastries are definitely in my diet again, as are chocolates, because when I've been so tired I've been eating anything I can to try and stay awake. I need to detox from sugar completely in order to get out of this downward spiral. I've gained some weight back, enough that I actually went back into my bin of old too-large clothes. Some are still significantly too big, but I did wear some in Nicaragua. I felt horribly icky and fat on the trip, and my knees and back are starting to complain again.

Anyone have any constructive ideas for jumpstarting again?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 414

So I have been in a rut, and part of it was caused by the tough love comment I got on my last post here. (I just published it, so you'll have to go back to the last blog entry to see it). I don't know this person, and I do appreciate her taking the time to comment. And I'm not sure she's saying anything that I don't need to hear, but instead of embracing the challenge, I get defensive and then depressed when I get comments like that. So it started/contributed to the funk I'm in, but it does give me food for thought and certainly has been on my mind for the last few weeks.

I'm tired of this - which is just too bad. I'm tired of always always always having to debate over what I put in my mouth. I just want to not have to think, and just enjoy what I want to. I know that's impossible, I really do know that. It's just hard, and constant constant constant... I know, I know, I'm whining. I need to keep telling myself that Rome wasn't built in a day, and last year I accomplished the goal of losing 50 pounds and keeping it off for the year. So, maybe this year that should be my goal again - another 50 pounds and keeping it all off til this time next year.

I have made two tiny changes this week - I've been bringing in clementines for snacks at work, and I bought a veggie tray for munching on at dinnertime. It's true what they say - if the veggies are there, you'll be more likely to eat them - not only have I been eating them, but my daughter has too (my son is being a food curmudgeon)...

I don't know - anyone have any suggestions for inspiring initiative?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 401

So...not so good with these resolutions... haven't been blogging, haven't been walking (not even wearing my pedometer every day), haven't been keeping food logs...  Why is it so hard to motivate? I don't feel good - on the other hand, I don't feel horrible, which is probably part of the problem. It's easier to motivate when you are at rock bottom, and need to do SOMETHING to move in the right direction. It's harder to motivate when things are just okay, not horrible. Of course, by any objective standards I am still in a "horrible" place physically - still at about 330 pounds. I keep telling myself that I've been able to keep 50 pounds off now for about a year, which is good. But now I need to tackle the next 50 pounds. And I do feel like my body is sort of, vaguely, calling out in some very small way, that it wants to exercise... WHAT?? What was that? It can't be true... that's unheard of in my body! So now it's a question of actually MOVING and fitting it into the schedule. And meal planning. I need to figure out meal planning.

There goes a list. The ongoing list that keeps running and running and growing. One thing at a time. Okay, for the next two weeks, the goal is to figure out how to fit in some exercise, somewhere. Keep trying to eat decently, but let's focus on the movement. Sigh.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 384

A new year, a new start! Weight has been gained, steps have been reduced, (much!) food has been eaten...but it's a new day and a new year, and it's time to refocus and get back on track. I spent much of the weekend cleaning out the kids' rooms and closets, but I still have to "de-deck" the house from the holidays, and tonight is the alma mater playing in the Orange Bowl, which necessitated the ordering of pizza, but otherwise, it's a new day and we're trying again! I actually was quite good today food-wise, and wore my pedometer for the first time in a while. Only got to about 3500 steps, but I have to start somewhere. I think the exercise is (again) going to be the biggest challenge - both motivation and finding/making time. The husband got up at 6 this morning to work out - very impressive - and I need to use that as motivation. Perhaps another 5K to work towards in March or April...?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 342

Took a walk today at lunch, thanks to my motivating co-workers (and co-walkers!) Boy, have I lost the progress I had made before. I was hot, sweaty, and out of breath after walking about a mile and a half. Drives home the need to keep doing it...!

I am lucky in that I am not going to a big Thanksgiving dinner this year, so I can avoid the caloric chaos that will be my husband's aunt's house! And, I am going to try try try to motivate to walk Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, since the husband is taking the kiddos to his family and I'm staying home. The other BIG goal for while they're gone in purging - especially the toys, but just trying to clean up and make sense of all the crap that has piled up. I think that those movements will add up to a good number of steps - I just hope I can motivate to do it (although I've now told so many people that's what I'm doing, I will be really embarrassed if I don't!)

I'm tired too..I feel like I had a lot more energy when I had gotten the sugar out of my system...

The next BIG hurdle will be the first week in December - we are taking the kiddos to Disney World! Lots of walking, yes, but LOTS of not-so-good food opportunities...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 332

When you don't post for an entire month, it makes adding up the days much easier...

As you probably have guessed, my silence has not meant good things. I've been muddling along, and not eating well at all. Yes, I've gained weight back - probably even about 20 pounds from my lowest weight. (Which, I need to try and remember, is still about 45 pounds less than where I was this time last year...) I have excuses out the wazoo - weekend getaway, Halloween, etc. - but none of those really carries weight (ha ha) when it's been essentially an eat-anything-and-everything mentality. It's almost like my brain was so tired of working at this, that not only did I just give up, but I started wanting to push more and more crap down my gullet just to make myself feel worse about it all. And I do feel crappy. At least my body is realizing that. After Halloween I really find myself not wanting chocolate. But I'm completely off from a planning standpoint - I had nothing in the house for breakfast this morning, so I ate cookies on my way into work.

Dr. Albers has sweetly continued to be super supportive and email me even when I ignore her for weeks (and she has an infant to deal with - I'd be saying "to heck with Jennifer!" if I was her :) Her suggestion is to not look at this as all or nothing, but go back to trying to do small steps - trying to hit a certain number of steps a day, eating a healthy breakfast, etc., but not saying I have to feel like I have to be completely on plan immediately. Sounds reasonable, and is worth a shot as I could see the possibility that as my body and head start making healthier choices, they might want to make more of them after a little while. I was going without my pedometer for many weeks, and I've started wearing it again. It's not hitting terribly high numbers, but I'm wearing it at least.

The holidays seem like this looming pit of despair in terms of food. I am thinking though that while it was hard last year to resist everything, in some ways it was easier to not try and balance and moderate, but more just say no to pretty much everything. It might be worth trying that again, and only make exceptions for a few specific times/items, like my birthday, husband's company holiday party, a really good Jersey cannoli.  And not to go crazy, but to just enjoy what I eat and stop when I'm full.

That is another goal I've been noodling on for a long time (and probably mentioned before): not eating everything on my plate. Why is this so hard? No matter how we were brought up (and I don't think I was told to eat everything on my plate because of starving kids somewhere in the world), at this point I should be able to internalize that it's not benefiting anyone, especially myself, to eat everything on the plate. And yes, I could bring things home as leftovers, which irks my husband (he grew up being told leftovers are "used food"), but somehow that option doesn't even solve the problem for me.

To end on an up note: no matter how much of the kids' Halloween candy I ate (and really, it was more from the bags we bought to give out rather than raiding their stash), I am proud that I have still not once taken candy from the candy dish of the secretary here at work, even though she got everyone's leftover Halloween candy and will be doling it out for months.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 289

[I posted this a few days ago...but on the wrong blog! I write a blog for the grandparents about my kids and  accidentally posted this there instead of here, and it just took me a few days to realize what I had done!]

Well, Dr. Albers caught me. She nicely emailed me asking how things were going, and astutely recognized that when I don't blog, things aren't going so well! I've had a week of debauchery and decadence. No holds barred, nothing off limits. There are some stressers going on in my life, but it's no excuse. It definitely felt like once I let myself go, I went all the way. Donuts. Cake. Ice cream. Italian pastries. Macaroni and cheese (more than once - and it was always just finishing what was on my kids' plates). Did I mention donuts? Dr. Albers pointed out those seem to be my bellwether for having lost control - it's like donuts are the ultimate evil forbidden food for me.

My (4 year old) son has internalized the whole idea of "green light/red light" foods, so he'll ask if something's a red or green light food for me. I said in the car yesterday at the end of our three hour drive back from New Jersey that something was a red light food, but that I was going to still eat it - my husband (gently, nicely!) made the observation that I had been "running a lot of lights" lately. Good way of putting it... And the scale reflected it. I had gotten down to about 317 - this morning I was back at 325. Argh. So much for my goal of hitting 300 by the end of October. Or to lose 100 pounds total by the end of December (45 pounds in three months seems setting myself up for disappointment).

Unfortunately, while I feel icky (and tired - the sugar is definitely taking a toll on my energy), i don't feel gross enough to be truly motivated to get back on track. I'm tired of dieting, of always watching what I eat, of always trying to get more steps in (today I didn't even wear my pedometer). I know it's a lifelong struggle, and gets mildly easier once I'm into a different and new routine, but, sigh, I'm really feeling unmotivated. And seeing other motivated people (go fellow Oz-appearer Amy who is working up to running a half marathon in January!! I don't think I could run if my life depended on it!) doesn't make me want to get up and move - while I'm really happy for them, I feel like I'm just doomed to fail at this, so why bother.

What a cheery post for a dreary Monday morning. Sorry all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 275

I think I was a little nutty yesterday - my husband and I planned to take the kids to do a 1 mile Family Fun walk for our local schools' education foundation...but it was raining so we let them stay at home with my mother and Pat and I (and my stepfather) decided on the spur of the moment to walk the full 5K race course! We were last to cross the finish line, but I think I improved my time from the first one I did, finishing in 62 minutes. Pretty good, considering I hadn't done any training walks in months! We are sore today though - my thighs and knees and Pat's ankles...but I'm pretty pleased that I was able to finish! I kept getting worried that they'd pull us from the course for being slow (there were only about 225 people who participated, a far cry from the tens of thousands at the walk I did downtown in June), but our deputy sheriff who kept coming up behind us was very supportive and cheered us on the whole way. It was a hillier course than the other one too...

Of course, the 11,000+ steps I did yesterday meant I let myself slip significantly at dinner. Sigh. One (or more) steps forward, another step back...!

I did finally do a weigh in, and I'm at 317. So, better than I had been anticipating, and if I can stay on course and not keep "allowing" myself these little slips, and start walking more again (I'm about to take a break from work in the next few minutes to go take a walk!), I should be able to get that down to 300 by Halloween.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 264

So yesterday went well!! I actually hit 10,000 steps - all from walking around the house (let's just say there was a LOT of cleaning that had to happen on an emergency basis - not going to say why because you will all be creeped out!) But then I had to leave the house for a few hours, and really struggled with myself about where to go hang out and have lunch. I almost chose Panera because I knew they had free wireless and are right next to the dry cleaner where I needed to go too...but I convinced myself that the convenience of parking the car once wasn't worth the struggle it would be to resist the temptation of all their pastries and yummy sweet bready things. So I went to Cosi, and had a good salad and whole grain bread (and discovered they have free wifi too!) Went to Starbucks and returned to my "treat" beverage, a skinny vanilla latte, which is skim milk and sugar free vanilla syrup, so only the calories of the milk - this was a change too, since I've recently slipped back into having the regular vanilla syrup (with the calories and the sugar), or even (horrors!) a mocha with hot chocolate mixed into the coffee! Then there was the debate about what to eat for dinner - there was a Chipotle just down from the Starbucks (again, not having to move the car and park somewhere else), but I knew that even if I got a burrito bowl, I'd be tempted by the rice and I went to Subway for a turkey sub, only 6 inches when I used to order a 12 inch (and not be hungry to finish it, but end up eating it all anyway!) So, I know that all this minutia may be boring, but it's just reflective of the fact that this is a CONSTANT moment-to-moment struggle and no amount of planning and forethought can alleviate all of the debate with yourself about whether to stay on track or allow slight (or major!) deviations.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 262

Okay, tomorrow is a new start. It hadn't really occurred to me when I set September 1st as my "restart" date that it was in the middle of the week. It wasn't until Dr. Albers emailed me the other day and asked if I was ready that it hit me that I only had a couple days left! I did treat myself to a few things this morning - a green tea from Panera, a pastry. I feel good about a new start. I've been feeling sluggish and icky, and I'm looking forward to cleaning the sugar out of my body again. It's still crazy hot - I'm not sure how people get up and go running in this kind of weather - but I think I'll start walking again this weekend. We are doing a 1K walk as a family in a week and a half, and I'm sure it won't be a big problem, but it'll still be good motivation to get moving again (especially since I can foresee having to carry a child on my shoulders for part of the way :)  Okay, wish me luck! Let's see if I can lose at least 10 pounds this month - I will do an "official" weigh in tomorrow morning, but I'm guessing I have 20-25 pounds to lose to hit 300 - I'd be thrilled if I can do that by the end of October. Anybody else with me starting up again here?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 255

Twizzlers are tasty. But as good as they tasted going down, I didn't feel good afterwards, physically or emotionally. I was eating them as part of a stress/coping mechanism... but I think I'm really getting to the point that my brain and body are working somewhat in sync against highly processed foods. So, if I'm going to have a cupcake, it'll be a real one bought from a real bakery, not a Hostess cupcake. I have found myself standing in 7-11 and the grocery store staring at things, trying to rationalize eating them ("just one, you deserve it, it's okay to slip as long as you're being conscious and deliberate about it, etc..."), and I've turned away and walked out.

I could be better about my eating at this point, but I REALLY need to get back into the walking. I am still focusing on September 1 as my "restarting" point. I also am inspired by my cousin Liesl's comment on my last blog post about setting interim personal goals. Weight-loss-wise, the next goal is to lose this nagging 20 pounds and get to 300 finally. Exercise-wise - hmm... well, first, to change the battery in my pedometer so that I can wear it again! Then, maybe I can focus again on hitting a certain number of steps each day - 7500? And finally, tracking food and emailing Dr. Roisen again... stay tuned...

And once we get back into a routine with school, etc., I need to get serious about identifying some good, healthy, EASY, kid-friendly dinners for me and the kiddos. Not just for the food but to make sure we have some family dinner time. Any ideas or suggestions for dinners that a) can be made simply (under 20 minutes) that are kid-friendly, or b) that can be made during the afternoon by my nanny and I can just heat up?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 237

I know, I know, it's been far too long since I've posted. In my (slight) defense, I was sick for more than a week - strep throat and then what I think was an allergic reaction to the antibiotics (rash over my entire body, wanted to tear my skin off). Fun. The ONLY upside to the whole thing was that I think it may have jumpstarted my weight loss again, as I was down a few pounds (finally) as of a couple days ago. (So, weigh in weight was 313 - that's 68 pounds, or 38% of what I want to lose.)

Now, I worry that might be temporary, and with a family wedding and a little vacation with the kiddos after that may be challenging. But my episode of Dr. Oz reaired last week, and while I didn't see it live, I am planning to rewatch the show, probably this weekend. I think I need to use it as a motivator to remember why I'm doing all this, and help push me out of the complacency I've been in. I'm not upset - I'm glad I've been able to maintain for a few months, which shows me that I can handle life at this weight with some but not too too much work. But I don't want to stay at this weight and so I need to motivate again to get back on track and start losing again. With the summer wrapping up, and the weather improving, goals include:
  • Getting up at least 3 days a week (more would be good, of course) to walk in the mornings
  • Beginning to write down all that I eat again and track that 
  • Send that to Dr. Roisen - I've ignored him for months...out of shame and guilt...
  • Sign up for at least 2-3 5K walks this fall - that really helped me motivate and if I can do that again it'd be great
I'm setting September 1 as my "restart" date, but not in a way that between now and then I can go crazy. I think I just need to have something to mentally start focusing on and that's as good a date as any. Work also seems like it's stabilizing and I am starting to think about joining the gym here at the office, since I might have more time to actually go during the day. Sigh. This is hard, but what's the saying? "Food doesn't taste as good as thin feels"?? Well, I don't know what "thin" feels like, but I do know what really big, and tired, and no energy feels like, and it's not good. I felt GREAT when I did the 5K in June, and I need to keep remembering that feeling, and knowing that sugar makes me feel exactly the opposite, and crappy. What are other people's goals for the fall? It would help me to know others are working on things too...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 222

Well, the traveling is done for a little while now, and I seem to have survived. This last trip was to Anaheim, and I actually think I did pretty well. The conference was in a GIGANTIC convention center, and instead of feeling whiny every time I had to walk from one end to the other (4 times each day), I embraced it and kept telling myself - think of all the steps you're getting in!! And sure enough, one day I hit 10,000 steps (!), and then the next, when I went to Downtown Disney to do some shopping for the fam, I hit 13,600!!! I was a tired puppy that night though. The woman at the hotel said that Downtown Disney was just down the street, really so close it didn't make sense to take the little shuttle bus - well, I should have been tipped off that there was a shuttle bus FOR A REASON!! It wasn't so bad walking there, but on the way back (carrying multiple bags of crap, er, gifts), I had to keep telling myself that I CAN DO IT and KEEP GOING, these steps are GOOD FOR YOU!!

Eating-wise, I also did okay. I strayed a bit - I just have a hard time turning down free food. That and not finishing everything on my plate are both really hard for me, and something to work on. But there were many times I seriously thought about having crap, especially at Downtown Disney (did you know they pipe the smell of caramel corn into the air around the cart where they sell it? MEAN!), and I resisted pretty much across the board. I am finding a real weakness for crepes these days though, and that was the one thing I indulged in that night (after having a great salad for dinner!) But I resisted the donuts and pretzels in the airport, and still have yet to buy a candy bar, in 8 months (which may not seem like much to some people, and it's not like I ever ate tons of candy bars, but especially when traveling, it was pretty common to pick up a couple of things at the airport news stands for the flight).

Okay, my sister-in-law's wedding is in three weeks and I have nothing to wear. Better get my act (ass) in gear...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 215

Between traveling and work, things have been both busy and stressful. This has not helped with the eating. I have been trying to not "write off the summer," but whether it's an opportunity to have really good food (dim sum in San Francisco), or reacting to stress at work, I keep getting derailed and eating crap. I haven't gone so far as to eat a candy bar or donut, but I've come close, and I've eaten other things that are probably just as bad. And with the weather being insanely hot, I'm not walking either - but yes, again, that's just an excuse and not enough of one if I was really motivated. Sigh. I fly to California again in a couple days, but hopefully will be able to get in a lot of walking at the convention center. It's just really hard when you're out of a routine and on the go...I know it's still possible, but just so much harder.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 200

Just a big THANK YOU to everyone who has commented on my last post. I really appreciate and value all the encouraging words of support and advice. I've always known that I've had the support of my husband, family, etc., but this is just such a neat way to know that there are others who are struggling with the same things, and that it's not me who's failing, but that this is just really really hard and it just takes work.

I'm going to try and do a few things:
1) Keep reminding myself that each day, each hour, is unique and a unique choice - not to "write off the summer" as someone wrote, which was a great reminder that every little choice DOES matter, and it doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing.
2) Start recording all my food again, for better or worse. Dr. Roizen emailed me a few days ago saying "where are you??" and I have been too embarrassed to email him back. Thinking about "do I want to write down that I ate this?" may help.
3) Try to find a way to MOVE more - even just every other day for now. I was even walking more when I started this and was going around the building a few times a day - at a minimum I can do that again, although I agree with Erica, outside is much more appealing (it just seems like more work than just getting up for a few minutes and walking down the hall).
4) Try to keep remembering how far I've come. Someone at work this morning just commented that she thinks I'm looking really good, and while I wanted to discount that because I've been stagnant, she was amazed at the fact that I've lost 60 pounds (or a dozen 5-pound bags of flour, as she puts it!) And walking through the airport last weekend I felt fine, not worn out and slow and tired like I used to. I need to keep remembering those sorts of things...

THANK YOU again for all the support!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 198

Ugh. Stuck in a rut. I haven't written because I'm embarrassed at my lack of progress. Today I weighed myself and have actually gained a few pounds, up to 321. Lots of excuses - work has been very stressful, home has been a bit crazy, was traveling this past weekend to Los Angeles and went to spectacular dinners at fancy restaurants on someone else's dime... But it doesn't change the fact that I've really let myself go, and there's a huge part of me that has lost motivation right at this point. And no more walking since the 5K. Whiny excuses to myself about how hot it is in the mornings, but still...we have a treadmill in the basement.

I think I need to go back to my earlier blog posts and see if rereading those helps me remotivate. I did go looking for clothes last week and was glad I no longer had to search for the 30/32s, but still wasn't exactly thrilled by the way I looked in 26/28s.

It's daunting, not even looking at the long term - I'm away again next week to San Francisco, and then to a bridal shower weekend, and then two weeks later to Anaheim for a conference. Then perhaps vacation with the kids, and a wedding... I'm definitely falling into the "just let it all go" mindset of thinking about writing off the next two months. But that's not the right way to approach it, I know, but it's just so hard to refocus. I had dreamt about being at 280 for my sister-in-law's wedding in mid August, and then thought, well, if I can at least hit 300 that'll be good, and now I'm thinking, well, hopefully I won't GAIN any more weight. Argh. Help!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 178

(Frustratingly, Blogger was down yesterday so I couldn't post this earlier!!)

I DID IT!! I walked the WHOLE 5K, without stopping! And I felt GREAT! I think I would have hit a wall and stopped around the second mile mark, but there were so many inspirational people around me, and everyone just kept walking, so it was easy to just go with the flow. Afterwards I was tired but exhilarated! AND, I wasn't last - I made sure to start towards the front of the pack and so there were lots and lots and lots of people behind me. BUT, even if I HAD been last, the important thing would have been to finish.

So, now I'm going to sign up for another one! And another one! Having something to work towards I think is going to be key to keep me motivated. As it was, I took Sunday off to rest, and then (amazingly) got up yesterday morning to walk. But, this morning was different - I was up twice at night with the kiddos, and just was too tired. So, it'll be even more amazing if I can get up again tomorrow and walk.

Unfortunately, I seem to be undermining myself - now that I've so raised my steps numbers, I'm slipping all over the place on food. So when I weighed in yesterday I was at 320 again, and today the scale jumped up to 330!! Ick. I am choosing to reject today's number and try to refocus...

A big shout out to Reco who walked with me the whole way on Saturday (she's amazing - the 5K was a little stroll for her, a warm up for the 10 mile+ walk she was taking the rest of the day!), and also to my dear friend Terri who RAN the 5K (you go girl!!) and then walked back a mile to meet up with us and walk the last mile to the finish line again! Being around people like that are inspirational - this mobility thing is NOT a mirage, but is actually a possibility!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 174

FOUR DAYS IN A ROW!! And then tomorrow, the actual race (walk!) - so that'll be FIVE days!! I am actually quite shocked at myself that I've gotten up four mornings in a row now to walk... Unfortunately, the "burst of energy" that I hear one gets with regular exercise hasn't seemed to kick in yet - I'm finding myself REALLY tired every morning, and thus needing to eat something (usually some nuts) as well as have some caffeine to keep going.

But my step counts have never been higher! Today I walked almost 2 miles, and I'm already up to more than 6000 steps so far! Yesterday I hit 9000, and the day before that I almost broke my pedometer :) by hitting 11,382 steps!!

I feel like people are probably reading this thinking "it's just a 5K Jen, why are you making such a big deal out of this?? And you're not even running it, just walking..." Well, remember (and I keep reminding myself) that when I started this journey in December, walking just two blocks was a daunting task for me, and one I avoided like the plague. Walking the not even 1/4 mile down the street to the little neighborhood park with my kids was a HUGE effort. I would try to combine errands within my building at work to save steps because I would get so tired. Now, I embrace walking around the building for meetings! Now, I can walk for 2 miles in the morning and be tired and oh-so-sweaty (!), but feel good! Now, the park down the street feels incredibly close by and just an easy stroll! SO...a 5K IS a big deal for me. (I don't mean this to say that I think people are being judgmental - everyone has been SO supportive, and I thank you all for that! I'm more rationalizing this in my head, and needing to remind myself how far I've come...!)

Of course, the real test will be next week when I don't have the specter of training for the race hanging over my head - can I still get myself out of bed in the mornings?? Maybe I need to find another race for a few months from now to work towards...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 172

I did it again!! I got up at 6 and got out the door for a 40 minute walk! Even a tiny bit faster this time...although, happily, Shelley says that doing the walk in 90 minutes or so should be fine, and this morning I walked about a 23 minute mile... sounds so slow when I say it like that...

I will say, it was harder today to get up than yesterday. I took longer to pull myself out of bed, and easily could have fallen back asleep. But then I'd be berating myself now. And once I got going, I was really glad I did, it was a beautiful day, not too hot at that point, and I love exploring different streets around our neighborhood that I certainly never look at as closely as when I'm walking. I am a tired puppy now though, and could easily curl up under my desk and sleep! That energy boost from exercise has NOT kicked in yet...

I don't think I'll have the time to do a full 5k walk before Saturday - but for all you experienced walkers and runners out there, if I can do at least a 2 mile walk or slightly more, tomorrow or Friday, then I should be able to push it on Saturday, right? Especially with the momentum of all the inspiring people around me? Any other advice or tips?? Thanks for all the support!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 171

Well, both last week and this week I weighed in at about the same weight - 317 or 318, depending on how much I lean forward on the scale (c'mon, I'm not the only one who does that, right?!) Maintaining is better than gaining...but I have renewed determination to move that needle down down down.

So...the BIG accomplishment for the day (week! month, even!!) is that I got up this morning at 6:00 and went for a walk!! Sounds so simple and stupid when I write it, but really, this is HUGE for me. I've realized that this is truly the only time I will ever be able to get some exercise in - I'm just too tired at night, and while I can push myself to take walks at lunchtime, it's now regularly hitting the high 80s here in the middle of the day, and I just don't always push myself to get away from the computer like I should. So, I need to start streamlining my routine better - it took me nearly 20 minutes to get out of bed, , find clothes to wear, get dressed and out the door, and I know to keep this up that'll need to become much easier. But it was a LOVELY morning for a walk - nice breeze, not too hot. I went about 35 minutes, 1.6 miles or so. And I even started by tackling a HUGE hill by the house, and then went downhill from there.

The motivator right now is that I'm signed up to do the Komen 5K Breast Cancer walk this Saturday morning. On Saturday night I walked around my in-laws' complex - flat flat ground in a big circle - I did four laps and logged about 2.2 miles. The walk will be 3.1 miles, so I know that if I had to do it tomorrow I could finish, but I'd be a hurt puppy the next day. I don't know that I'll have time between now and then to do a full 3 miles, but if I walk at least 30-45 minutes each day, that will help a lot, I would think. I'm going to be SLOW SLOW SLOW though - I did my 2.2 miles in about an hour; how slow can you walk before they pull you off the course?? (Shelley, my friend who works at Komen, are you reading this??) But I have great new walking shoes, cool (pink!) socks, and I am determined to do this!

(A shout out to my friend Erica, who reads this blog, who just did a half-marathon in Boston! Great work, mama!! You're an inspiration!!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 156

Well, it's interesting how I react when I've done well (last week). I ended up letting myself slip repeatedly, and so not surprisingly I gained a couple pounds back. It was almost like a "reward" for having worked hard previously. But then, when I haven't done well, like this morning, I find myself wanting to soothe the disappointment and frustration and anger at myself with - you guessed it - more food. So tonight I ordered pizza for myself and the kids, and I ate probably 2/3 of the pizza alone (I can try to rationalize ever-so-slightly by saying that at least I got a thin crust, which is essentially like a cracker instead of dough, but that hardly balances the quantity I ate!) And then I've been snacking on the leftover Easter candy - the bag of miniature Reeses cups just calls to me every night, and I only eat 2 or 4, but still...

On top of that, I'm not walking nearly enough. I have signed up for the Komen Breast Cancer 5K walk, and realized this morning it's only three weeks away. I feel that I could do it tomorrow if I pushed myself, but I would be a hurt puppy at the end of it. I can give all sorts of reasons why I haven't been moving more - I had bronchitis, my husband's been out of town and I've been dealing with the kids alone every night, we had company and were dealing with my son's birthday party, etc., etc. - but the reality is, I need to figure out some way to motivate myself to MOVE more. I know that not only will it help me lose more pounds, but I'll just FEEL better.

I was just watching some show about women who engage in extreme diets - raw food, extreme low calorie (with the idea that it extends your lifespan), freegan (dumpster diving), and replacing a focus on food with a focus on God. One of the sub-themes that really came out was - not surprisingly - that eating better is really about loving and valuing yourself. They are taking it to extremes, but it's a good concept to remind myself of, often. So how does one value oneself more, AND, how do you remember that in the middle of a craving/strong pull/force of chocolate, pizza, birthday cake (my son has too many birthday parties to go to, and he only eats a bite or two of cake, and then I have trouble just leavngn the rest!), whatever?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 149

The pros and cons of being sick...

I had bronchitis last week. It knocked me out for about four days. I was totally exhausted (con) and had no appetite (pro?) So when I was hungry, I tried to really zero in on what I wanted to eat (pro - mindfulness at its best!) But (con), what I found myself wanting to eat was doughy smushy comfort food - samosas (I know, a little weird), a croissant, macaroni and cheese... I went ahead and let myself eat it, because I was eating so little else.

Then we moved into the challenge of the special occasion - in this case, my son's birthday party, followed immediately by Mothers Day. I resisted the chicken nuggets, and had just a little bit of cake, but I cannot resist the cheese empanadas that my nanny made. And then we went out for Mothers Day brunch - I actually didn't do too badly, just a couple pastries, and then lots of fruit (good) drenched in chocolate fondue (not so good - rationalization: it was dark chocolate! :) Another time that I wished I ate eggs.

But this is life, right? Some days, weeks, it'll be easier and more routine. Then there will always be something that comes up - life isn't in a bubble. That's why this is (hopefully) much better long term than the liquid diets I've tried before, or the prepackaged meals, because that just seems unrealistic and doesn't really help you with what it's like living day to day. In my case, I've made enough changes that at brunch, I ate some of the vegetable couscous mix instead of potatoes, and deliberately decided to have a cinnamon twist (and it was really good! I passed on the chocolate croissant - I think, it's bad that I can't remember for sure! - because it just didn't look as good.) And while I did eat a lot of fruit in chocolate, I only ate one marshmallow in chocolate. :)

Amazingly, I ended up losing weight as of this morning. I'm down to 318! That's 63 pounds gone! Which is 35% (gotta love rounding up!) of the weight I want to lose. MORE THAN A THIRD GONE. I like it when I look at it that way...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 135

I was right. If I actually try to follow the plan, I'll lose more weight. Go figure! Down FIVE more pounds as of this morning! That brings me 324, which is 57 lost total! And, I like this number even better - that's a THIRD of the way to my goal!! Now to just keep it up, and to KEEP MOVING...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 132

So, it's been a pretty good week! I have generally been able to get back on track! A few little things - had some of the kids' mac and cheese the other night, and last night we got Burger King, and I thought I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich but ended up (once I got home and opened it) with a crispy chicken sandwich, and yes, I went ahead and ate it and the fries too. But this morning I got up and realized that it just wasn't worth it. It wasn't THAT good going down. This was a good realization, and it felt different - it was a conscious, positive thought, not one based in lots of guilt or self-loathing - I just realized, you know, it's just not all that good. If I'm going to indulge (a better word than "cheat"!), make it something worth while. For example, tonight we are going to this fancy event, and I'm sure there will be some lovely desserts, and I will let myself eat some. And that's okay. But that's a whole lot more likely to be worth it than the crappy BK fries were.

I want to draw people's attention to one of the comments on my last blog entry in particular - my friend Terri posted an email she had received from one of the groups she's connected with that has a lot of good advice. And I saw this article in my most recent issue of Redbook that really resonated - here are a couple of excerpts:

1. Realize that the size of your body isn't just about food
Say I'm not taking my time with food, that I'm eating on the run, standing at the refrigerator, or in the car. That's just an expression of the belief that I can't take time for myself — that that kind of time is not allowed, that other things are more important than I am. Instead, ask yourself: What do you want to be doing with your time? Does that even enter your mind? Do you disregard yourself? Is there a way you could include more of what you truly want in your life? Everything is connected: If you feel guilty for eating one cookie, for instance, what does that say about the pleasure you deprive yourself of in daily life? Nothing is going to change if you're not curious about why you're using food and what you really need instead.

4. Believe that you deserve happiness
I want people to see that overcoming their problem with food isn't just about willpower or thin thighs or a flat belly. It's not a banal problem that can be fixed like that. When people turn to food when they're not hungry, they're using food as a drug. And the question is: Why? It could be an expression of boredom or loneliness or sadness or anger. But to me, people who use food when they're not hungry, and don't stop when they've had enough, are indicating that they've given up on themselves. They're basically saying that the only pleasure or the biggest pleasure I have in my life — all that's left for me — is to eat. And that's a spiritual issue, as well as a psychological and emotional one. All of us are longing for something that we can't even name. You can call it the meaning of life, or wonder, or mystery, or you can call it God. But there's a longing for something many of us can't quite put into words. I want people to see how they are filling that longing with food — and that if they stop, they can rediscover themselves and realize that there are other, healthier ways to feel good and to really, truly live. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 128

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. I've been in a bit of a funk. And trying to figure out why and - more importantly - how to get myself out of it. As usual, Dr. Albers has I think hit the nail on the head again. She said that it sounds like I'm back to putting myself at the bottom of the pile of importance, and I think that's exactly it. I've been having some setbacks at work, and that's throwing my confidence in myself across the board. Which, then in turn, makes me want to retreat - the part of me that's the protector part takes over, and I eat, both to self-soothe ("you'll feel better if you eat that cake") and to "treat" myself ("you've had a hard day, you deserve to eat that, it won't kill you").

The reality is, no, one bite won't kill me, but when I keep letting myself have "treats" I AM setting myself up to die an early death. I don't feel good about my body, I'm a lot more tired than I had been, and my patience level is WAY down (with both my boss and my kids!)

After avoiding Dr. Roizen for weeks out of embarrassment and shame that I can't report good step numbers OR good food records, I finally emailed him with a major mea culpa. He was very nice, saying just to get back in the swing of things and work on hitting 6,000 steps a day. That's a good goal for me again. I was feeling completely intimidated by the thought of trying to hit 10,000. And I've come close the last few days - 5700 yesterday, 3000 the day before (ok, not so close!), 5937 the day before (which I round up to 6000!)...

Dr. Albers also zeroed in on one of my other good buttons to push - the no-regrets button. She gently reminded me that I've been handed an opportunity that most people would kill to have, and I don't want to look back and have any regrets about it. She's absolutely right, but it was a good - and needed - reminder.

So, we're trying again, starting over, new slate, new day, new week. Amazingly, my weight has stayed stable through all this, even down slightly (this morning was at 329). I was rationalizing that saying "well, that just shows I can slip and get away with it" - but I realize the better way to look at it is "if I DON'T slip, and really focus, think of how much more weight I could be losing!"

The next goal in my head is to look and feel good at my sister-in-law's wedding in mid-August. She was nice enough to let me out of the wedding party because I felt like a cow, but I'd like to still feel good when it actually happens. So that's four months away, about how long it's been since I started this journey. That means, maybe?, I can try to lose another 50 pounds by then? (I know it gets harder the further one goes down the scale...) If I can be solidly under 300 by August (like at 290), I will feel good about that. Then maybe we can aim for 250 by Christmas...but that's a long ways away and not worth worrying about at this point!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Just a quick note to say THANK YOU for everyone who continues to comment on my posts. I really REALLY get great energy from your feedback and support, and it's such a pleasant surprise to hear from both good friends and supportive strangers/new friends! I encourage folks reading this to also go back and read comments from others, as there are some great ideas and perspectives that I've found to be helpful food for thought (no pun intended!)

Day 116

Better, but still in more of a maintenance mode than a losing mode...

So even after an Easter weekend at my in-laws', I managed to stay at about the same weight for the week. (The scale was hovering between 330 and 331, so I like to round down in this case :) I did really well on the Easter candy (the ABUNDANCE of Easter candy!) that was around all weekend (and still around at our house now). But with birthday parties on both Saturday and Sunday, it was hard to stay away from the pans of ziti and the cake. I did okay on the cake, eating just a small piece each day. (Except when we got home Sunday night - the kids said they wanted some of the left over cake, but then didn't really eat it - I started eating it because it was sitting there, and my husband - bless his heart! - asked me if I REALLY wanted to eat it, and he was right, I wasn't being mindful, I was just eating without thinking.)

The walking, well, that's another story. A couple of days I didn't even hit 2000, and the highest I got was just close to 5000. Not good. Lots and lots of driving though - DC to NJ, NJ to Long Island, back to NJ (sitting in traffic for hours!), then back to DC. Still, no excuse. And now it's 90 degrees outside! Not exactly prime walking weather. But I think I've decided to do a 5K walk in early June, the Komen Race for the Cure here in D.C., with a friend of mine from work who is similarly trying to lose some weight. It'll give us both something to work towards. And, I've found myself thinking about (not acting yet, mind you!) trying to get up in the mornings to walk on the treadmill. The kids haven't been sleeping well, so I've been up at least twice a night, and so it's hard as it is to drag myself out of bed at 7 each morning, so to get up 45 min earlier will be a struggle, but I think I need to try. Perhaps if I do it a few times then it's not such the big insurmountable concept that seems impossible.

Someone made the comment that my way of looking at food has changed forever, and I think that's true (well, forever seems like a long time, but still...) There is definitely a pre-Jennifer-Can-Do-It mindset and a post. Even when I've slipped like this weekend, I am able to get back on track more easily, and get back to a salad or sandwich for lunch, a good breakfast, healthy snacks, etc. (I have discovered, interestingly, that the sugars are not my downfall at this point, in fact, I don't like how I feel when I eat sugar now. It's the carbs and the CHEESE that are my real weakness, and I don't feel the physical effects as much as with sugar.)

Plus I'm wearing clothes that I haven't worn in years, and they're fitting decently on top of that! I have started a pile of things that are way too large - I don't think I can get rid of them quite yet, but at least get them out of my closet. So that is a motivation - I like fitting into size 24 pants again, and thinking I could actually go back to Talbots soon and buy clothes again, which I haven't done in about five or more years. It's just easy to get overwhelmed with everything - life, work, kids, house (why is it no matter how many things I put back in their place in the house, things just keep multiplying and moving around??) - so I need to keep telling myself "one step at a time, one morsel of food at a time"...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 107

So I don't understand the scale. I have been awful, just awful this week in terms of what I'm eating, and also in terms of my steps - I hit 5000 once and 7000 once, but one day I didn't even hit 2000. But yet, this moring the scale read 330 pounds, which means I've lost all I gained in Thailand and one pound more.

But I don't feel good about it. I really have switched back onto "autopilot" (as Dr. Albers said to me in an email today). I think there are a couple things going on. One, I think it's seeming so hard to get from around the 5000 step mark up to the 10,000 step mark, that part of me thinks "why even try?" The day I hit 7000 steps this week I took a (brisk!) 40 minute walk of about two miles outside at lunch, and I was tired and sore afterwards. And I feel like, sheesh, I only hit 7,000 steps with all that work?? That means that to hit 10,000 I'd need to do more than a half hour of intense walking as well as work in a bunch of other steps in the day. So that means I need to really get to the point of actual concentrated EXERCISE rather than just increasing my general movement. I knew this was coming, I guess, but I didn't want to think about it, and it's a whole mental (and logistical) hurdle that I'm having trouble working through.

The second thing, probably more problematic, is that I don't think I can actually succeed in losing the weight long term. So, I think part of me is thinking "great job, you've lost some weight and feel better, now, since you'll gain it back eventually anyway, go ahead and start relaxing about it, be less vigilant, eat what looks good and don't worry about it." Self-defeating, I realize, but so easy to do...

When I said this to Dr. Albers she suggested a few things: 1) revisit some of my goals I set at the beginning (wearing my wedding rings, crossing my legs, etc.); and 2) set short-term rewards (non-food!) for myself. Plus try to do some visualization of what it would be like to hit my goals, short- or long-term.

It's a catch-22 for me. If I focus too much on the long goal of hitting, say, 200 pounds, that seems completely unattainable and not even worth trying to get to. But if I focus only on the short term, then it feels fleeting and not lasting.

So...I think I need to focus on getting to 300 pounds. That still seems not good enough, since in my mind that's the weight that I was at for a long time before I gained weight with my kids' adoptions. So getting back there is like getting back to the REAL starting point.  But all the same, another 30 pounds sounds like a reasonable, do-able amount to aim for - maybe by the end of June? Not sure what my reward will be, I'll have to think about that. And I need to just go back to taking things one day, one meal, one moment at a time, and being mindful, conscious of what I'm eating. I know I feel better without sugar in my system. I have to remember that. It's just so hard.

The other point Dr. Albers made is one I have thought a bit about before (can't remember if I've blogged on), but probably need to bring more to front of mind... I have worked hard for things before in my life, mainly around educational achievements. I can't count the number of all-nighters I've pulled in high school and college and grad school to get something finished, and not just finished but done well. That wasn't easy, but it wasn't ever a question in my mind that I would do what I needed to do to turn in a quality assignment. So how can I transfer that mentality to my eating and walking? I need to realize that I have past examples of setting my mind to something/making it a priority, working hard at it, and achieving a goal - and that this should be no different. Hmm...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thailand photos - yep, that's me on an elephant!


The hubby and I at the Gridiron dinner, March 20.

Day 100!

Wow, that's a nice round number. I've been doing this 100 days, hmm...

I feel like I need to refocus and get myself back on the horse, so to speak. I allowed myself to enjoy Thailand without going crazy, and had lots of steps, but still came back about 10 pounds heavier than when I left. Today I weighed in and was at 334, so still a few pounds higher than when I left. I'm not being good about recording my food, and I'm slipping in some little way at least once a day. It almost feels like I have gotten a good chunk of weight off, and I feel much better than I did, so it's hard to redouble efforts and move myself to the next level. I need to internalize that if I work at it again I will feel even better. The next goal is to get to 300 pounds. Any advice on getting myself off this plateau would be most welcome!

We went to a very fancy event on Saturday night, called the Gridiron dinner - essentially one of the big events for the Washington media. I am so glad that I have lost the weight I have, because I felt INFINITELY better than I would have four months ago. I'll try to upload a photo.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 94

Back to the real world!

I tried posting a blog entry from Thailand, but the navigation bars were all in Thai, and I just didn't have the patience to figure it out! Sorry!

Had an AMAZING trip. There are so many things to talk about, but let me think about what is specifically related to this blog focus. First, food. I tried really hard for the first few days. The trip over I packed sandwiches and healthy snacks, ate a little of the airplane food but left the dessert and the roll and the bread, etc. But within a few days, I realized that I needed to just focus on moderation, and not to be too stringent or I would drive myself crazy and not enjoy the trip. Plus, I was in many situations (daily for lunch, especially) where I had limited choices of food - we only had what was provided for us, with only a few choices on the table. And since I really can't eat calamari since I find it too chewy and rubbery (at least, if it's not fried, which this most certainly wasn't, and which I wouldn't eat nowadays anyway!), and there were MANY dishes with very clearly defined tentacles...that limited the choices even more.

White rice was also ubiquitous, and necessary with many dishes to moderate the spices.

I did do pretty well at breakfasts, since it was a buffet - it was the only place I found multigrain bread, and they had natural peanut butter, and then fruit - OH, the FRUIT! I think I started to turn orange from all the mango I ate, but also pineapple, dragon fruit, these little slightly-larger-than-grapes round brown fruits that you peel called "dragon eyes", melon, Thai apples...the list goes on!

I did allow myself to sample just about all the desserts they had. They were all so different and unique, and I ACTIVELY decided to see what they tasted like and to experience the authenticity of what was offered. Some were way too sweet, but others were quite good.

I do need now to get myself back on track here, and that means cutting out sugar again, which will take some adjustment but I now know it will help my body feel better!

I got on the scale yesterday morning at home, and it said I had gained 10 pounds, but I'm hoping that's water weight/swelling from sitting on a plane for nearly 24 hours the day before, plus it's that time of the month. I had been feeling pretty good because I did a great deal of walking every day - one day I even hit 10,000 steps!! And I put on many an item of clothing that I had brought thinking it would fit, and it was WAY too large, so that was also reassuring. I'm just going to give myself this week to transition back, and then start getting upset if the scale doesn't start going in the right direction again.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 81

It has been just crazy here getting ready for my work trip to Thailand. On one hand I'm eating less because I've been so busy and stressed, but at the same time I've found myself allowing slips (I had pizza last night! :( more than I should. I have been eating lots of salads though, which is good. I'm worried about how things will go on the trip, but I think I need to just do my best, and also maximize the experience. In other words, not have mango sticky rice every day, but maybe a little bit once or twice would be okay. I'm also hopeful that I can get in a lot of walking once I get there - my colleague was saying we will likely be waking up early every day because of the time difference (Thailand is 12 hours ahead of D.C. time), and so hopefully I can motivate to walk on the beach.

When I get back I will redouble my efforts and refocus. I just was talking to a friend at work and she is thinking about finding a 5K walk to sign up for in May or June - I immediately said I wanted to join her - that would be a great goal and motivator for me to keep walking. I am continuously mindful of my cousin Liesl who has lost an impressive amount of weight and done the Komen 3-Day walk twice now. Something to aspire to!

Oh, and the best news - my weight yesterday morning was 331 on my scale - officially 50 pounds! I also spoke to the Dr. Oz folks this morning and they said they are thinking about bringing me back in April sometime, so that's another reason to refocus my efforts.