Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31, 223.7

Sometimes it's a little hard to peer down at the scale and try to figure out what the reading is. I couldn't 100% tell for sure if I was 224.5 or 223 or exactly what. Not enough light in the bathroom, morning bleary-eyedness? I finally decided I was under 224 a little, but not so far as 223.5 - at least that would be safer - it let's me be happy with this week's result without sabotaging next week's result.

So for Saturday weigh-in, my first since before going to Asheville, I'm at 223.7 Which is actually barely over 2 pounds down from my last official weigh-in, but is still the lowest I've weighed, and I'm getting so so close to 220!!!

Measurements, however, bring me no particular joy. They seem to waver pretty much in the same place for weeks and weeks and for always... There has apparently been some change over the months, but it takes so long to make such a minimal change and there's variations in the accuracy of the measurements anyway... :-/ I'll keep doing them though, for the hoped-for eventual payoff. Possibly the greatest changes take place in places that aren't measured by the measuring tape, like the clavicle and shoulders, or the area just above the knees., or between the mid-thigh and hips, or the lower belly bulge...

So, yesterday I finished eating dinner and was still not satisfied. This doesn't typically happen. I don't know if it's because I started eating earlier. My allocated food wasn't enough for me and then we had a couple friends over and I had a beer, some chips, and 2 candy bars - not minis. So much for my no-sweets promise.

Anyway, I'd better go eat now before I get noshy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

bra shopping

I had a gift certificate to Lane Bryant and the day off so I went shopping. I figure I need to buy bras, and didn't know what my size might be now. Bra shopping sucks, nothing I tried on made my bosom look good, by the end of the day I was hating my midsection, too, or maybe that was just the lighting. I started out with a pretty good body image, came home flat. Is the fault with the bras or my boobs? Whatever.

I've been a 42DD for a long time. Well, now that I've lost 60 pounds, it seems my bra size is now about a 42DD. In fact, I wonder what kind of luck I'd have with a 44DDD. I bought a 44DD but by that point I wasn't even trying bras on anymore, I just figured I'd try it on at home and if it sucked, return it. Haven't tried any DDD yet.

Meanwhile, apparently Walmart's attitude to tall women is "Sorry, we don't serve your kind here." I have got to stop going to that particular Walmart hoping to find tall size jeans. All these flared jeans are killing me! Can I please just have the classic jeans, with the waistline up around the waist and the legs slighting tapered or even straight? Shopping for jeans and bras effing kills me. I did get a new blouse. But what I probably need are turtlenecks and sweaters.

Well, my Mom owes me a shopping trip for my birthday, too, so I'll get that taken care of anyway, though it does sound a little like torture right now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29, 224.5!

Georgia Mist said that the weight gain from the past 2 weeks was water weight, and damned if she must not have been right. This morning I weighed only 224.5. I honestly couldn't believe it. Check out that graph down below if ya will, just check it out. I'm back on track. I did get back on plan yesterday. I did go and get a coffee and feel tempted by large scrumptious-looking rocky road bars on display and not get them.

I did not exercise.

In fact, according to my weight tracking at (and I'm pretty religious there) 224.5 is the least I've weighed so far!! Unbelievable considering the past 2 weeks. And comforting about my chances of maintaining after reaching my goal. Over 60 pounds gone from 285.

At this rate I hopefully can get to 220 in a couple of weeks now instead of 5 weeks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 227

Amazing! I haven't even started the meal plan yet and I'm already down to 227. The fact that I didn't gain 12 pounds over the past two weeks is amazing enough. Looking forward to 220. And to my food this week. :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27, 230

I'm back up to 230. Not just a horrible increase - only 3 pounds in 2 weeks. I have passed my original October goal date to reach 220. Now I hope to achieve 220 by my November 28 weigh-in. There will be no sweets at all now for 2 weeks - no cookies, cakes, candies, no refined sugar items at all. Diet-wise, just focus on sticking to the meal plan and watching the pounds drop off and look forward to that old long-term goal of 220. And do some cardio (even if just exercise biking) twice a week, and crunches twice a week, because it is time to start rebuilding body tone, stamina, and cardiovascular health.

Though I must say - I booked it up Looking Glass Rock the other day. I only had just enough time to make it up and down before dark, and that was if I was a "strong hiker" according to the guide. The guide said a "strong hiker" could make it up in 90 minutes and down in an hour. Well I made it up in about 90 minutes, and even though I was practically running down the hill it took me about 80 minutes to come back down. I felt pretty good about it, though the next day my ankles and thighs were sore, but not cripplingly so.

So, I'm excited! Between now and Thanksgiving I'm going to finally arrive at my weight loss goal! And then we'll see how long it could take to get me down to 195!!!

back to it

I'm back home.

It's been nearly 2 weeks without a regimen.

Tomorrow, I stand on the scale and take in the damage, then start back on ediets on the way to "Onederland" and beyond.

At least to under 220, which was my original long-term goal, and now it's my next short-term goal.

I feel like I'm going to have to maintain a withdrawn persona - not so much with the parties and socializing. If I were in a phase of trying to assimilate my diet into real life, this wouldn't be important. But "real life" isn't really as important to me now as it was earlier in my life. I'm more like doing "fat camp" - trying to lose weight, and learn how to keep it off, later.

Over the past few weeks in Asheville, I did more restaurant stuff and eventually gave up the "fight" to try to maintain healthy eating habits and choices. I wonder how much that backsliding would apply if I had tried it here at home during normal living. Nevertheless, I did backslide and need some regimenting now. I think I need to quit sweets totally again for a while, only this time I don't have the encouragement of my father quitting smoking - I just have to do it for myself.

So, anyway, that's the plan, now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22

Well, the scale showed way up today. (Yesterday I went off again, in various ways. I'm sure when I get back home, my attitudes will restore. Besides, I think I'll be going back on ediets when I get back home, and try to get to Onederland.)

Anyway, I kinda just can't wait to get back to my own bathroom, place the scale in the same place it's been for the past 6 months and see where my weight has ended up. I'm just curious.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Well, I did do well last night and ate nary another bite. That was 3 days in a row that I was within range of my target cals, carbs, pros, and fats, and over a 15-hour fast before I weighed in this morning, and still my weigh-in this morning showed no noticeable improvement. I guess it'll just take a little bit longer. It was a bit of a disappointment but I'm good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20, monitoring calories

Okay. It's evening. I've entered my food in at sparkpeople and I can see I'm within range for calories, fat, carbs, and protein. Sadly I look into my evening and I'm sure I'll want to nosh on something. I can already feel hunger coming up. I could just go over on calories and eat more, grab a beer, some noodles from that Italian restaurant next to where I parked, some wine tonight... but I don't want to. I feel like I want to end the day within range again. I weighed myself in the morning and I am conscientious of having gained weight and not lost it back, and I chastise myself for giving in to temptations today at lunch and having too large a bowl of cereal for breakfast... but I still have the chance to end the day within range. There's maybe enough for a bite of cottage cheese, maybe half an orange? And just try to let that get me through the night. Good for me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mango chicken?

Eurgh, this restaurant eating confuses me. I tried to guess how many calories were in the mango chicken with brown rice that I had tonight - is it possible that tonight's restaurant dinner was under 800 calories?

1 cup miso - 85 calories
5 oz. plum sake wine - 100 calories
1 cup brown rice - 216 calories
thai mango chicken - all over my plate - how many grams is that?... I guessed 360 based on 2 online sources and a guess at how many grams that was. I mean, how many grams? I didn't weigh it. I didn't hold it in my hand to see how heavy it felt. I just had to make an educated guess, and figured if a bottle of beer is 12 oz, then it might have been as heavy as that bottle of beer, and that's about 288 grams, which is about how big a 360-calorie serving of, um, some generic mango chicken is. But that just seems like not enough for a restaurant entree! It was a plate full of food! Anyway...

a story inspired by Escape From Obesity's blog

Escape from Obesity (I can't bring myself to do a link now) wrote a blog today that reminded me of a story. I will change the names. The first time I babysat the Rogers kids, they were very young. The oldest may have been about in 2nd or 3rd grade, and they were wild that night.

Their mother was still getting ready to go, and the father was introducing me to the kids and showing me around the house and giving instructions. The kids were acting out against the new babysitter and it wasn't long before they started calling me fat. "You're fat!" they said, as though this were a terrible insult, as though I went around trying to hide it, hoping no one noticed. The verbal jab stung a little from its bluntness, but ultimately - I already knew I was fat, and though I considered it to be unpleasurable, I didn't consider it an insult. The kids didn't realize this, and continued to jab me, "You're FAT! Fat fat fat hahaha! She's fat!" It was obnoxious, and the father seemed embarrassed too. Finally I simply said, "My God, they act like they've never seen a fat person before." And they became mute. And then the father, himself quite roly poly, said, "I know, really!" and patted his own jutting belly. And then, it was amazing, how the kids seemed to learn something at that moment - that their own father was as fat as me, that they were shouting insults, and that they couldn't hurt me by calling me fat.

By the way, they continued to be unmanageable the rest of the night. They got themselves into a storage room they weren't allowed to play in, and wouldn't come out. I couldn't handle it. Eventually they became the most amazing kids, and loved me, and I'll tell you how - I brought them the Narnia books and read them to them every time I came over, just like my Dad did to me and my brother. The effect was amazing. Their imaginations swirled, they remembered where we'd left off in a certain book after months of separation.

I definitely have gained, but...

Yeah, my size 18 jeans don't feel comfortable around my waist. However, I just inputted yesterday's food into Sparkpeople and, even with a Hershey bar and a glass of red wine (just one although I wanted two), I stayed within my range yesterday in all categories, calories, carbs, fat, and protein - within range! Good guessing, since I don't have a calorie counter around the house.

I have good hopes for today, too. My only reason for nervousness is that I haven't packed any food for the day and may have to rely on restaurants, but I don't feel any need to binge. It's a sunny though cold day in Asheville and I'm about to hit the Blue Ridge Parkway and I can't wait to get active, really! Then when darkness comes, I'm thinking of going shopping, because I have packed t-shirts and just a few long-sleeves and fall-weather jackets - but I was not prepared for winter weather! I need sweaters, hats, and gloves, and maybe thermal underwear, and a decent bra, because I'm envious of the boobs and bra of the star of the play I'm working on and I have nothing decent anymore. I don't even know what size I am. I've always relied on 42DD. Am I now a 40D or something? Dunno.

Oh, speaking of my size - finally saw pictures from that awards show - ugh - let's just say I'm forgiving of my imperfections as I am for everyone else's, but I can also see that my waist was still quite huge and all over I can stand to lose a lot more weight. Good to know. To have that motivation, that kick in the pants that says that just because I've lost 50 pounds doesn't mean I'm there yet. I'm only on a little hump, a transitional time, but I have further to go.

I'm at Starbucks and have just endured two episodes of "too-niceness." First, I'm at this table and this guy brought over a chair and said, "I'm going to put this chair here, if you don't mind." I was surprised, but of course, not discombobulated by the addition of a fourth chair to my table. He said, "I think it came from here in the first place, I'm just returning it." I think I said "Okay" or just gaped with nothing sensible to say. Then he said, "Unless it bothers you...?" To which I just laughed out loud! All this over a chair! I think he understood.

Then - my laptop is plugged into the wall, and this other guy said, "Do you mind if I plug into the other outlet?"

HAHAHHAA! Oh my God. No, please, go ahead.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I definitely have gained

Well, I definitely have gained, because the scale here in Asheville shows more than it did when I arrived by oh a couple pounds. So far today I have been very good. and tomorrow, weather permitting, I hope to get out to do some hiking. I have 800 calories left in my day, chicken cooking in the slow-cooker at home and various options for side dishes, and yet I feel this desire for beer (something I never care about) and pizza (there is a beer and pizza movie theatre actually on my way home - but it's probably too late for that anyway.)

Anyway, that's all I have to report today.

Binged - and more...

Oops, I went way way off today. According to my guessing, about 1200 calories over. I think there was a certain amount of that fatalistic - "Oh, well, I already went off with dinner, may as well go whole hog." And each additional binge took me way over.

Actually, I learned a bit more from my nutrition tracking today, so I will walk you through the day.

Today was a day "off" off from the theatre. Not that I didn't have work to do, but my schedule was my own and I wanted to try to take in a day of Asheville somehow.

Before breakfast, once I finally dragged myself out of bed, I took the walk I've wanted to take. Although I feel like the road I'm on should be fairly free of activity, there are actually tons of people walking by. Tons of dog-walking. Anyway I stepped outside my house onto my mountainside neighborhood and started walking. I forgot to check the time, so I estimated my walk was about 25 minutes, just a casual walking pace, more than a stroll, less than booking it.

Then breakfast. I decided to have cheese-tomato-avocado toast with milk and an orange this morning - a low-glycemic breakfast that should keep my cravings under control. I remembered that a week ago I loved this breakfast, but somehow today it didn't have the same kind of draw for me as Frosted Mini Wheats. I ate it anyway. 567 calories - not outrageous - probably had more milk than I was supposed to.

Then I set out looking for a number of things - a coffeeshop where I could have some coffee and hit the internet and find out where there was a Home Depot and a movie theatre where they were showing The Invention of Lying (which had a good review in the local rag and I'm enthusiastic about Ricky Gervais after The Office and an article he wrote on atheism.)

I had a frustrating time - I couldn't find any of the above for the longest time and I was driving in circles all over town - how had I not found a coffeeshop - not even a Starbuck's? Eventually I found the internet in a McDonald's parking lot, found the things I was looking for. Since the movie started in 5 minutes, I decided to go to the movie first. Unfortunately I got very lost and 20 minutes later I decided it was too late to go into the movie, so I'd go to a later showing. I did find the Home Depot, bought what I was looking for there, and decided to get dinner while waiting for the movie.

I decided on a local restaurant called the Moose Cafe - for sentimental reasons. When my brother lived here, and the family would come visit, that's where they would love to go for dinner. And come to think of it, this is sort of important to realize - that in my family, a restaurant with oversized portions on the cheap was valued. My Dad especially values getting more bang for your buck, including in food products, because he didn't get fat. He would fill up his plate and his plate was always filled up with expressions of gusto and loving life that seemed to say "Eating tons of food is the spice of life! Hurrah for a tummy stuffed with good food!!" Naturally, I soaked up some of this value system.

(Sidenote - Recently when we went out to the Outback Steakhouse last week, they served the bread before the meal and we each got a piece and then my Mom cut what was left into two pieces and chose the smaller piece for herself. Dad mocked her. (There are some unhealthy attitudes in our family that just never unravel.) He teased her for choosing the smaller piece, and said she was just like her mother (who was anorexic, and excessive about eating small portions while stuffing all the rest of us with her exceptional Southern cooking, to the point of usually offering us the food off of her plate.) He tried to get me to join in, but as someone who is faced with the pressure of having to eat more than I want to due to social pressures these days, I stuck up for her and said, "Why should she eat more than she wants to? She's a petite woman, she doesn't need to eat the largest portion of bread." And in fact, my mother is a petite woman who is overweight, I'm sure to my father's chagrin (I know my mother doesn't like being that way), so maybe he realized that he was trying to shame her into eating more than she wanted even though she's already fat - that it was naturally illogical.)

Back to the Moose Cafe. They have large portions of downhome southern cooking and nothing on the menu is diet-oriented. I mean, they may have had a cottage cheese plate or something, but that's not what you go there for. I got a boneless fried chicken breast with buttermilk gravy, sweet potato souffle and green beans and macaroni and cheese with unsweet tea. It was also served with a great big biscuit with molasses and spiced applesauce. I recorded this meal the best I could at Sparkpeople and it came out as 1360 calories, although I'm sure it was more because I didn't report the applesauce (about 2 tablespoons although sweet) and I'm sure the green beans were prepared in some kind of oil.

Already up to 1800 calories.

I went to the movie, and I'd already decided to indulge in my expensive (in money and calories) movie treat - popcorn with butter AND Rasinets (washed down with Diet Coke). That's estimated at 653 calories, but I can't be sure because I can't say how much butter I ate (I guessed 4 tbsp, is that a gross overestimate or a gross underestimate? can't say. tbsp measure of melted vs. solid butter? also don't know if popcorn is air popped or popped in oil - I guessed air popped)

That brought me up to 2450 calories.

Then I got a venti mocha from Starbucks, and would you believe that that was 410 calories? And 17 grams of protein too! Still.

And the movie was a big disappointment. I laughed at times, but for a great idea, it was very immature and needed a lot more work. One thing, though, that really resonated is how there's just no shortage of fairy tales or movies that show that no matter how ugly or dorky or undesirable a man you are, you can still have that Beautiful Woman. Not that ugly woman you sneer at in disgust. And if you are that ugly woman - well, there are no movies about you, and nobody wants you, and nobody wants to watch a movie where the ugly chick gets the guy. Ok, there was one movie - The Truth About Cats and Dogs - although Garofalo is widely considered to be a hottie. And, well I just don't know if Shallow Hal counts. There's a song for teenagers on the radio these days about a girl who's a bit of a tomboy and has a crush on a guy who she feels really connected with, but he's chasing after some cheerleader who's hot but doesn't get him, and he's trying to be who the hot chick would want instead of settling for the "real" girl, who is waiting for him to see her, and that's fine for a teenager, but she will learn by her twenties that that guy isn't ever going to see her, at least not until after he's married the cheerleader.

When I was watching youtube videos of women going through gastric bypass surgery, one woman addressed the question of another woman on an issue that I have but didn't know if anyone else did - the issue of whether or not feelings of bitterness and resentment would surface when, after years of being disregarded as a potential girlfriend, suddenly those guys show interest. I thought I would be so bitter and haughty and wouldn't be interested in any relationships with anyone purely out of resentment - I mean, I'm the same person, and I've always been deserving of love that I don't get to have because I'm too fat. The person in the video said, "I thought I'd feel that way, but now that I'm here I don't feel that way."

(Combined with all I've read about "You're good enough to fuck, but too fat to be my girlfriend" or "Any time a guy has sex with a fat girl he's just slumming" or "Fat chicks give the best head because they're hungry and eager to please" makes me quite turned off by the whole idea of the dating scene and male sexuality, and lately I feel I'd rather just stay out of it until true love shows up and makes me trust in it, if such a possibility even exists.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 17 - ???

I brought my scale up here, but apparently I weigh a lot less up in the higher elevations or something, because I'm easily under 225, despite the fact that I DO NOT DESERVE to have lost any weight. I figure it's just the way scales vary from one place to another. Tomorrow I'll "weigh-in" at ediets as the same weight that I was at last week.

I'm having a very hard time keeping up with internet stuff because there's no internet where I'm staying. Thankfully I was given a key to the theatre so I'm here at the theatre tonight to do some internetting. I wanted to watch Project Runway, too, but I'm getting tired of being here, I'd rather be at the house...

It also makes it a little hard to manage my calories because the food is one place and the calorie-counter is somewhere else. I try to eat well, and then later I check in on the damage. I've gone over on calories every day, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. I binged on Rocky Road cookies because they were in the house and there was no possible way I could not eat them all.

It's the sugar. This morning I could have eaten a whole box of Frosted Mini-Wheats, but I forced myself to stop after the one bowl and to eat some proteins and fats to moderate my need to sugar-binge. Eggs, and toast with "light butter" however that's done, and sugar-free preserves. It did work.

Also using the slow-cooker again to make a vegetable beef stew which I ate yesterday and today.

So, I'm trying to stay within calories, to cut sugar, and to get enough protein.

I guess the good news is I just checked to see how I was doing for the day so far today (and I've only been up for 12 hours but it feels like bedtime at 2 a.m.) and I'm within range on calories, fat, protein, and carbs!! Now, I did want to have a glass of wine when I got home tonight, but I think I'll do without just to have one day within range, what a complete joy!! :-D

Having a great time in Asheville otherwise. Now hopefully I just need to find some time and some good weather to get out and enjoy it!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14, 227

Pleased to see that the scale reads 227, down from 228, after yesterday's Day 1 On My Own. I had gained up to 228 over the three days of birthdays and restaurants and batter-fried foods. Hoping it's a sign that maybe this can work!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 1 on my own

Today I ate on my own with no outside pressures in any way.

The good news is I came within range on carbs and protein.

The bad news is I went over on fat and calories.

I know where I went wrong.

My first meal of the day I called lunch - it was a turkey and cheese sub from Sub Station II - 6" "all the way" which means with oil and vinegar. I usually like mayo but I thought oil and vinegar might be healthier and thought I'd try it. I also got black olives on it, which - looking at the numbers, wasn't a terrible offense. But the combo comes with 2 cookies. I only wanted one, but the combo comes with 2.

I also ate a Mounds bar because it was in my purse and I kept thinking about it until I decided that I had no choice but to eat it.

If I had done away with either the Mounds bar or the two cookies, I'd have been fine for the day.

I consider this a lesson learned. I'm aware as I go through the day that I have a limited number of calories budgeted to me for the day. I was sort of testing to see if I could get away with it. I tried to get away with too much. Now I know.

Dinner - this is awesome - I'm leaving town tomorrow for over a week so I decided I should use this opportunity to use up some of the food at home. I had a can of okra and tomatoes that's been in the pantry probably since before I started this diet in March, and it sounded awfully good to me. I realized I needed some protein, and I have tons of chicken in the freezer, and also fish, and some hamburger in the fridge (but I'm so tender about spoiled meat and I never know when it's spoiled so I always err on the side of caution and throw out a lot of meat.) I added some fish, and some brown rice, and some frozen shrimp and some frozen green beans, and extra can of diced tomatoes, threw it all in the slow-cooker, and voila! - fish gumbo! It was goooood, - about 410 calories - and I have an extra serving for tomorrow.

I started off trying to eat just 1/4 of the dish (200 calories) but was still hungry. I realized I needed more protein and saw the Light 'n' Lively Cottage Cheese in the fridge and had a couple spoonfuls of that, and that definitely helped bring my protein levels up and to satisfy my hunger. I need to have Light 'n' Lively Cottage Cheese on hand as I diet to keep up with protein requirements.

In other news, I decided to do some "cardio" since I didn't get around to it yesterday. I put "cardio" in quotes because I'm giving myself a hard time for it not being more intense right now, but that's the kind of shape I'm in. Part of today's cardio meant going to the recumbent bike, which faces a mirror. And I amazed at the reflection in this mirror. I haven't been on the recumbent bike much since I was around 280 pounds and looked at myself in the mirror as I biked. Tonight I can see that my knees are thinner, my calves thinner (and apparently a little baggier), and I had a neck. I could even see that my face was thinner. And - previously when I would bike, the belly was a gigantic expanse that pushed up into my boobs and into my fat neck with every pump of my legs. Apparently there's been a big decrease in the fat of my midsection despite my being not able to see it in my waist measurement. Boy, was that good to see. Before I was an abomination of a female bobbling about on that bike (although I did have more vigor and muscular strength then.)

So, hurrah for that.

If anyone's on sparkpeople, you can add me (Hazel7373) and that way you can see my tracking. I hope I keep up with the tracking. I'm liking it. Sparkpeople is a big confusing site, though. There's a lot of fru-fru that's best ignored. For example, an article entitled "Fun and filling lunches to go" offered the same kinds of bs suggestions you find in magazine articles, random haphazard advice, like substituting different kinds of bread for your regular bread (how exactly is that supposed to help?) and include a little ranch dressing if you don't think you can eat your vegetables plain (I mean, really?), drink milk but not fruit juice (...), and choose healthier options as much as possible (i.e. - and this is a real example they give, an apple instead of apple juice or apple pie! Now does anyone look at their packed lunch that includes apple pie and think "I should substitute an apple for this apple pie!" No.) What people like me in order to find success is NOT disconnected bullshit advice like this, like in every stupid worthless women's fitness magazine, but something concrete. We know the little advices, we know what's healthy, but what we don't know is how to put it all together. And the magazines never tell us because that would be actual work, rather than just regurgitating the same shallow tidbits (most of which is over-simplified interpretations of more complex scientific studies) that they've been spurting since the 1980s. No, there wasn't one single sample packed lunch in the article (let alone the 3 three I'd have hoped for).

On the other hand, I did find a group called "Lunch Packers" or something, with a thread called "What did you pack for lunch today?" Much much better.

Oh!! And another "NSV" we all love - how cool is it to pull out the Victoria's Secret pj's you splurged on in college and be able to comfortably fit in them? Size 18 :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 3 on my own

Day 3 on my own, Day 3 of restuarant eating. This morning I weighed in at 228.

I wasn't hungry until about 4:00, at which time I decided to just have a little something to control the hunger until dinnertime at the Indian restaurant. It became half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with 1 tbsp pb and 1 tbsp cherry preserves and then a little general foods international coffee cafe francais (60 calories) with a minimal amount of protein powder mixed in and - wham, my little "bite" was 321 calories, practically a meal.

At the Indian restaurant, serving sizes were moderate, I was glad to see, and I had a glass of wine, vegetable korma on basmati rice, my friend wanted the deep-fried bread and I didn't have the cleverness to protest so I was agreeable to it. I also ate 3/4 of 1 of his 3 dosas! A glass of red wine, and then dessert - apparently forgetting I was supposed to be on a diet, but also wanting to help me feel more full and satisfied with the sweetness to top it off. I ate slowly and moderately without ever feeling like I was stuffing myself - in fact, I kinda felt like my dinner was kinda small and not filling. Anyway, for whatever reason, I got dessert - I got the deep fried cheesy-bread balls in sugar-sweet-juice. It was delicious and not at all the kind of thing I usually get for dessert, so in that way it was a good learning experience for me to sit back and savor a rich almondy sort of dessert rather than get sick on chocolate and cakes and ice cream or cookies, etc...

All told, after entering the calories into Sparkpeople (and let me tell you it took some time finding nutrition content for some of these Indian dishes) my guess as to what I consumed at dinner was 1250 calories, bringing my total for the day from just these two meals to almost 1600 calories, and I'm a little low on protein, and I'm getting hungry again.

As much as I want to keep my calorie count down to make up for the past 2 days of over-2000-calories-per-day eating and the weight I've gained, I think I might just have to allow for some kind of small evening snack - maybe carrots or celery or a V8 and some leftover deli-sliced meat.

I started doing the exercises prescribed by Sparkpeople and let me tell you - it was boring! I counted to 12 and wondered "Is this over yet?"

Anyway - hooray for the end of birthdays and restaurant meals! (Although I might be eating at restaurants a lot more over the next 2 weeks, it will be a lot easier to have more freedom to choose my own restaurant that has items that suit my caloric restrictions.) We'll see how it goes. Now that these 3 days are over, I'm kind of excited to venture out into eating the things I want to eat and discovering the caloric impact and how to make it all fit in. I'm not craving daily sweets and have felt good about the my self-management for my breakfasts - it's just in the "special occasion" dinners that things have been less in my control.

Some new pics for 230 pounds.

Here is a link to previous pics.

These attempt to recreate the pose I took in March at the start of the program at 285 pounds, in the same clothes. Yes I know I never remember to bring an appropriate bra for these clothes.

These are me showing that the size 24 jeans and the sweater are really baggy on me now.

And yet the belly is not showing any great decrease still, after 55 pounds.

Here I am in my size 18 jeans.

Love that profile. I guess my face will never have a good profile so moving on to things I can hope to improve...
DANGER - here is my naked belly, showing the nastiness of its shape and the new hopeful sloping in the upper belly. My belly button is below that jut.

October 11, 2009 - Day 2 on my own

Day 2 on my own didn't go too well, either, as it happened. Circumstances seemed outside of my control. I guess I could have taken control of them, but in a social situation I didn't feel like it. Somehow celebrating my Dad's birthday wound up taking a lot of time out of my week (going over Friday night on his birthday, then dinner with him Saturday night, then hiking with him today and dinner afterward) and I don't mind griping here that I am pretty annoyed that that happened!! Hiking was my idea for what we'd do, then Mom said to come over Saturday night for dinner and I did.

Well, today, I again was good at breakfast time and had a good, well-balanced, 419-calorie breakfast. Then we went on a hike - relatively leisurely, actually, a few hills, but moderate and stopping every several yards to read a placard. Then I suggested we go to lunch, but since he was on his old stompin grounds, he decided to take the next 2 hours reliving his past and driving through all the old neighborhoods recognizing the houses and who used to live there. It was pleasing to me, it was neat, and it was obviously something he was really enjoying, and it took a couple of hours! Then we started looking around for a place to eat. He suggested this old BBQ place he used to go to, but it wasn't there. The next cafeteria we tried was closed. He suggested this Mexican restaurant, and at that point I vocalized that I'd like to go some place where I had half a chance of finding something on the menu not loaded down with fat. So we tried a couple more places which were either closed or weren't there anymore. Where we wound up was this "World's Best" fish camp which my memory told me was good and my common sense figured they'd at least have broiled fish on. No - they didn't. It was a buffet of fried seafood - the only vegetables were cole slaw, fries, baked potato, and mac&cheese. Oh, and this wimpy watery rice. The food wasn't even good. I'm not sure how to count it as calories because I didn't eat everything on my plate, to say the least. We were very disappointed, stuffed with bad food, and feeling a little gross and greasy. Did we ever think this place was good, or had they just gotten worse?

Well, I wasn't sure how to count it, so I just typed it in as the equivalent of a Red Lobster's fried seafood captain's platter (judging by the picture) even though I ate probably less than half of what I piled on my plate, for all I know it might have been comparative. Plus, I had an extra serving of mac & cheese (which I did find palatable) and some "cherry cobbler" to cleanse the greasy palate with something tart, picking the real cherries out from the mounds of cherry-flavored gelatinous stuff with cakey "cobbler". :-P

After all that, we got home and found out Mom had made chicken soup, which would have been so much better.

So apparently, if my guesses are remotely close to correct, I had 2572 calories today, about 1000 more than I wanted (including 378 calories of Whoppers and another slice of chocolate cake which I honestly took about 40% because I wanted a piece of chocolate cake and about 60% to help them to get rid of all that cake). 330 grams of carbs (about 80 grams too many), 105 grams of fat (about 40 grams too many) and 87 grams of protein (within sparkpeople's suggested range.)

Guess what. I am still obliged to take in one more restaurant meal, with a friend, tomorrow - and it's Indian food, and I love Indian food but I don't think the good stuff is particularly low-cal.

After tomorrow though, that's it. My social obligations/pressures to pig out will be over. I will be glad, this is a bit frustrating.

Also - we shall see - maybe I can actually go to the Indian restaurant and get a small serving of one favorite meal over some basmati rice. I already know it's a vegetarian place so I don't guess I'll be getting a sufficient ratio of protein there in all likelihood.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 10 - going without a plan - birthday dinner celebration

I've decided, for the time being, to try going without ediets. I am dropping the weight of managing ediets and replacing it with the challenge of monitoring myself. My goal is to gain fewer than 5 pounds by the end of the month, and if in the meantime I actually find some new answers within myself about how to maintain or lose weight, that'll be a big bonus. So I need to stay in the 220s or below. I have been looking at Sparkpeople all day, tracking all my food there, and thinking about

Today I went a little over. Things started off pretty well. I didn't get out of bed for a few hours, and so breakfast was late, and breakfast wasn't really a problem. I had: an omelette of 1 egg, 1 egg white, 1 sliced mushroom, and 1 ounce of reduced fat cheddar cheese; 1 piece of whole wheat toast with a scarping of butter and a tablespoon of cherry jam; 6-8 oz of nonfat milk. I cooked the omelet over a scraping of butter instead of Pam or olive oil, too. I had missed butter, and I found just a little bit was enough to give me the flavor I wanted. I had also not had jam on my toast in so long. Honestly, it's not like I've had a bunch of toast and jam over the past 10 years - but ever since I've been on this meal plan and making my own breakfasts, I haven't had jelly and it seemed a shame. I was paying intense attention to my serving sizes and my food choices and I wasn't losing control.

According to sparkpeople, breakfast was 467 calories.

Then dinner - birthday dinner with Dad, and this time I joined in. We went to the Outback - relatively clean and healthy food. I ordered a 6-oz steak with their garlic mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, and a Mai Tai, and also had a couple pieces of their bread with whipped butter. On top of that, I had given Dad some Whoppers candy as a bday present, so I wound up tasting about 9 of those over the course of the evening. And also we went home and had a very rich piece of chocolate birthday cake that even I wasn't able to finish.

Dinner was a little harder to quantify, but when I finished entering my foods in at sparkpeople, they figured my dinner was 1,928 calories, bringing my total for the day to 2,396. They reckoned I'd met my goals for carbohydrates and protein, but I'd had 90 grams of fat instead of the recommended 27-60 grams.

Now, I wasn't entirely "out of control" at dinner either, but I did splurge in celebratory fashion. The Mai Tai was 25% of my calories today, and there was 25 grams of fat in the garlic mashed potatoes alone. The chocolate cake alone reports itself as only 235 calories, and I have no way of knowing really how close that is. I had also got the lobster-and-mushroom topping to go with the steak, and even though I only ate about half of the buttery/salty stuff, it was still a major calorie addition - 196 calories, if that is to be believed (frankly I can't believe that the minute amount of lobster, mushroom, and butter I had could add up to quite that much.) Also a lot of sodium was ingested in that meal, which may not cause me to gain fat but it will show up on the scale.

So... tomorrow is supposed to be a day of hiking with Dad, but food is not important to the plan and if food is eaten, I'm sure I can manage to keep it to 1650 or less. Well, I'll do better than today, anyway. Have to stay below 230.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 10, mmmmph 225.5? I want a recount!

I just got up and stood on the scale, a little excited for what I'd see on weigh-in day. But the result was not actually an emotional boost. Having weighed in at 225 earlier this week, and having only eaten 3 of yesterday's 5 scheduled meals, I was kind of prepared to weigh less than 225 today, but instead I'm a little over. Granted it's still more than a 2-pound loss for the week. Still, I feel like waiting around a while and seeing if the scale gives a lower reading within the next hour... Petty much? Hey, it's weigh-in day. My tickers already show a reading of 225, a reduction of 60 pounds. How depressing to bring them back up.

I adhered to the meal plan this week, except a couple skipped meals. Now I don't know what to do. In the coming days, I'm scheduled for a restaurant dinner tonight with my parents, and birthday cake, Indian food with my friend on Monday, and on Wednesday I head to Asheville. I feel a bit overwhelmed with everything I have to get done before that day, and then once in Asheville I have begun to feel excessive anxiety again over the work I have to do there. I really hope to make my time in Asheville a good time during which I can soak up the atmosphere and fine weather and be relaxed and happy, but in all likelihood I think I will be anxious and grumpy about my lighting design, making it suit my standards and possibly (knowing me) feeling grossly affected by my exaggerated detections of disapproval from my colleagues there. I wanted to take this opportunity in Asheville because I recognized a stagnation in my life and a need to take on new challenges, and also possibly meet new people and have new experiences and find new open doors. But lighting design - especially drafting a plot - fills me with such dread and anxiety and it took me all week to do it and I didn't get any sleep the night before my deadline... and this is all par for the course for me. I'm actually doing a little better about relaxing about it this time, having confidence in my abilities to carry me through it, and not letting it have so much importance that it drags me into the dregs, but it is still a battle. This feeling of being "challenged" is novel but the anxiety it stirs up is a really horrible feeling and makes me just want to settle in to a comfortable job with a comfortable group of people where we already accept each other because we've been together for years. I always describe myself as being a low-key person, but maybe the truth is that that's because I avoid anxiety as much as possible - because the slightest thing like meeting someone new or doing this job can cause me anxiety that feels like my soul is being pummeled inside my skin. It is not invigorating. And maybe it is mostly fear of disapproval from others. Hm.

Well, that was a rant. I'm sorry I didn't reach my goal before going to Asheville, I guess. I feel confused and sort of like I should go off the ediets meal plan now and just try to "behave" on my own until I get back from Asheville.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

excess skin

Yay! 225! Hurrah for skipping dinner, haha. I'm just 5 pounds away from that goal!
After watching that vlogger last night, I'm thinking about excess skin.

Let me first mention that I was pleased to notice that this particular vlogger remained quite buxom after her weight-loss surgery. Still, she didn't come out with a particularly feminine shape. Something about her back and her hip-waist ratio. She did have a long torso, though. My torso is a little more in proportion to my height. Still, I wondered if her eventual outcome had much to do with the rapidity of her weight loss, and the artificiality of the tummy tuck.

Factors having to do with skin elasticity rebounding from weight loss:

-do you have 100 pounds of weight to lose?

Well, yes. Since I started at 285, I can definitely see myself getting down to 185 or even a little less in the quest for a waist.

-rapidity of weight loss

While I lost weight a bit faster in the beginning of the process, it has slowed and I have to say I'm pleased about the little bounces and humps on my weight loss graph, I intuit that these humps and plateaus give my skin a chance to catch up to my weight loss. (On the other hand, maybe they keep my skin from reducing as effectively.) I'm pretty much down to the 1-2 pounds a week thing now.

-how long have you been overweight

Oo, bad news for me. I have had this bulging belly my entire adult life. My adult body, if it has any sense of these things, is quite accustomed to having all that extra skin out there.

-age of dieter

Hm - At 36, I'm not exactly young, but I'm not quite "middle-aged" so I think my skin still has some elasticity to it.


I've decided I want to try to avoid the excess skin. So -

- lose weight slowly - check. In fact, I'm thinking way more seriously about taking some time off once I hit 220 to give my body a chance to catch up to the weight loss and to focus more on my muscle tissue.

- eat nutrient rich foods - check. Also this guideline includes commentary on eating avocados, olives, nuts, and fish, all of which have been prevalent in my ediets meal plan! Unanticipated bonus!

- preserve muscle tone - yeah, I'm not sure how much my muscle tone is preserved. I will have to use my time at 220 to work out.

- keep skin hydrated (particularly with water and not so much the fizzy drinks.) Ok, drink diet soda predominantly. Other than that, maybe herbal or Crystal light tea. Milk and soy milk when the meal plan calls for it. Sometimes coffee or black tea. Rarely straight up water. This guideline recommends 2 liters per day. I do like my fizzy drinks and coffee, but I also want my skin to tighten up, so I will have to focus more on this.

- lose weight sooner rather than later Well, it is what it is. As I said, I'm still pre-40, so I may still be okay on this front.

I feel a little better after typing this. I was feeling sort of full of dread, and feeling like it was hopeless to go through all this weight loss stuff, that I'd only end up worse off at 175 as I was at 250, and that I wouldn't like being slender after all, and not just because of the potential for the body to get slender in unattractive ways, but also because I wouldn't like being a slender person. Differences in male attention, or no longer being able to use "fat" as an excuse or as a way to be different or who I am, or just having it all over... not sure exactly but there was a feeling of dread and it could be totally related to job stress and how much sleep I'm getting, and less about the weight loss really.
Anyway, back to work!

youtube vlogger

I have stayed up all night watching a youtube vlogger. She had gastric bypass and you can watch through the videos as she reduces from 300 pounds to 170. Her name is massagegoddess, if you want to look her up. I was very glad she decided to show her excess skin, and I was able to notice that - in her case - even after the weight loss and eventual tummy tuck, her back was very broad and her hips very small. It made me wonder if that's how she'd naturally look if she had always been normal weight, or if some people who are apples are naturally 'meant' to put on the extra fat. It was very exciting to watch her get so small, and I was determined to stay through to find out what happened to her as she hit normal weight. Apart from nearly dying from a hernia, she seems to be adapting relatively well. Gastric still scares me, though. Wouldn't want to do it! But I was glad she showed the excess skin so honestly. Naturally I'm thinking about my own case - will I have the same issues with excess skin. As things stand now I squeeze myself and watch how my skin wrinkles. I've always had stretch marks but they've never been a problem for me before, you could hardly see them - now though, they form more noticeable indentations in the belly, and they become real creases when I squeeze at them.

It was also fun to watch her vanity change. As she started losing a lot of weight in the first weeks, she began wearing lots of makeup, primping, becoming extra cute, monitoring her camera angle, you could see her checking herself out in the monitor constantly. She was obviously excited about the changes happening to her. I could totally relate - I went through that a time or two in my life also. You just begin to revel in the newfound cuteness and femininity that arises, which is really based more on what's to come than on what's already there. You know how sometimes you feel great about yourself physically, so you feel fun and put on something to match how you feel and how you think you should look, and then you catch yourself in an unposed angle and realize your dress is totally inappropriate for how you actually look now.

Well, I totally sinned. I really need to be working on my light plot and it's almost 8a.m. now, I spent like 5-7 hours watching her youtube videos. I never even made dinner, and now it's just too late. I need to sleep, so I can wake up soon and get back to work!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5, 226.2

After 2 days of rededicating myself to 100% adherence to the meal plan (ok, with a few variations, like substituting one fruit for another, overestimating portion sizes (there's no food scale at Harris Teeter) and skipping last night's serving of brown rice) - I am already dangerously close to 225! There was a definitive difference in the scale's stopping range this morning.

Come to think of it, there was a lot of peeing yesterday. I couldn't even make it through the movie without getting up to pee - this is very unusual for me.

My rededication has looks like this: When I go into a convenience store to get a drink or gasoline, I want to buy candy or snacks, but I do not. Not even the 10-cent little mini peanut butter cups at the register. I went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant with my family, and while they chowed down on cheesy delicious Mexican food, I sipped Diet Coke and noshed on cottage cheese with canteloupe and sliced almonds. No donuts, no beer, just every few hours another meal from the meal plan.

This week I'm spending more time working at home, so food preparation and packing shouldn't be an ordeal.

I hope to see 225 by the end of this week! In the mirror I can see that my upper belly is sloping in, rather than bulging out, even though the ultimate ridge over the belly button remains too much, I think it's a sign that I'm finally starting to lose fat from the front of my belly, the one place it matters most! Knock on wood.

The rest of this month I will be working in Asheville and then probably a trip to NYC. These might just be major hindrances to future progress, and I won't even be surprised if there is backsliding. After that, though, I will have to pull in and become a serious working girl and earn some money for a while, so hopefully, even through the holiday season, I'll be able to continue to lose weight.

Also during this week, I should add 10 more meals to the meal book, and 2 of them should be fast food meals. Due Saturday.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 3, 228

228 is .5 pounds loss from last week. I may have cheated on the number a little bit. In truth I didn't have a stellar week when it comes to sticking to the plan. Yesterday at work lunch was catered - I had the fried chicken patty without the bun, some cukes and grape tomatoes, and a slice of chocolate cake with rich delicious frosting. Last night I worked hard to talk myself into binging on something, anything, even though I wasn't really in the mood. It wasn't a terrible binge, but it wasn't in the diet plan. I even thought to myself, "Why am I doing this the night before my weekly weigh-in?" but I seemed to enjoy it.

Anyway, I went grocery shopping last night and have the groceries for the coming week, and I intend to do what it takes to stick to the meal plan this week so I can see a real loss next week! I feel a little impatient to reach 220, even though I know it may not happen for a while, now, with my working in Asheville next week and stuff.

I've been slacking off and losing steam, but this week I'm sticking to it. I'm kind of excited about it again!

My body craves yoga now so I must get up and at it.