Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One of many

I have several things swirling in my brain right now...and I'm excited. Mostly because it seems like I tend to post only once a week. With all the crap in my brain right now, I think I could post every day for a few weeks.

So...the first topic swirling around is how much I love my Weight Watchers meeting. I know, some of you may be wanting to roll your cute little eyeballs right around now, but it's true! I've read other blogs where the bloggers have dogged their leaders, other attendees, or even the program. And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I can't help but wish that everyone could come to my Monday night meeting.

It's like Cheers. Everyone knows your name. Everyone wants to support everyone else. We all have goals. We all have crap that we're working through. But the coolest thing? We're willing to BE vulnerable. We're willing to share the secrets that make us seem unlovable to others...

I've written before about how releasing secrets is sometimes more freeing for the secret teller than the secret hearer. I find that this is especially true in my meeting. I can say something and then I can release it. When I enter those doors, I feel loved, valued, and lifted up. It's my soft place to fall and a place where I feel pretty damn receptive to other people's ideas. I feel comfortable sharing and I feel comfortable changing.

There are three people that really make the meeting for me. First, is my leader. You guys, she is the cutest thing ever - she's spunky, she's healthy, she's fit, and she's positive. She doesn't focus on SmartOnes, bars, or anything else that's a money maker for WW. She focuses on the good health guidelines. She focuses on pushing us to make the permanent changes to keep the weight off. For forever. She has been in my corner and on my side - even when I wasn't.

The second and third people are two great cheerleaders for me - in my personal life and in my WW life. I'm so thankful that we all happened to go to the same meeting because I feel like I've found friends. Rex and Kris are great sounding boards...and lately, the conversations that I've had with Rex after the meetings and via email and blogs have been so very helpful. They know that I can do it. I know that I can do it. And I can't wait to stand in the front of the room when I hit my goal and look at both of their healthy bodies and know that we can do it. We will be living proof.

I feel so passionately about my meeting, my group of friends that know what it's like to be me. It's helped bring home the idea that support has been key for me in my journey - support at the meetings, support on this blog, and support via my other friends and family.

Whatever plan you're on to be healthier - mind, body, or spirit, I've found that support is helpful.

Where do you find support?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Let's put a notch under the win column, shall we?

I am so excited!

This past week has been AMAZING for me.

Before I get ahead of myself, allow me to say that I recognize that these times can be fleeting. I realize that this may not last. I had MANY more of these weeks when I first started to lose weight so the fact that I'm feeling this great 14 months into my health kick is FANTASTIC. I am SO excited that this is how I'm feeling RIGHT NOW that I just want to post about it.

I ran a fantastically fun 5K this weekend - one where people dressed up like David Hasselhoff, German maidens, and toilets. I had a great time...they even served a beer after the race to all participants. After posing for this picture (and taking two celebratory sips), I trashed it.

You guys have to know that my time got better by 1:20 - that's a MINUTE AND TWENTY SECONDS - from two weeks ago, when I ran the last 5K. Thanks to the wonder of my Nike+, I found that I ran my first mile in 9:15. In fact, after I heard that time, I slowed my pace - because I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to run the whole thing at that rate. I ran the whole thing in 35:28 - and I am SO proud of myself.

My eating? On track. I have been monitoring points, tracking as much as I feel necessary. But truthfully? I'm finding that the days that I eat mindfully are the days that I'm not eating like crazy at night.

I'm (GASP!) listening to my body.

And what I'm finding is that I'm picking foods that are good for me - ones that fuel my body. I've taken SOME of the emotion out of eating.

Can I just say that I feel marvelous? Okay then. I do. Pieces are starting to fall into place.

My boyfriend seems to love to eat out...and I've started actually ordering something that sounds good - but also something that is similar to what I would have if I'd have been home.

If I've been tired, I've concentrated on getting sleep. If I've been cranky, I've asked for a hug. If I've needed a listening ear, I've called a friend. I've been good to me.

The scale says that I'm down today - which is great, seeing as how I weigh in shortly...but more than that, I FEEL healthier - mind, body, and spirit.

I've tried this past week...and it has felt WONDERFUL to feel like I've succeeded. We've all had weeks where we've tried and fallen very short of our goals. So the success this week? It WAS well earned and just the kind of push that I needed to gain momentum.

Watch out, world. Because right about now, I feel invincible.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sometimes, I suck at this blogging thing

For starters, I have some great news to report. My eating has been relatively good during the past week and a half. I've made some great choices and have made some not-so-good choices. But all in all, I've done really well. And when I'm doing really well, sometimes I forget to blog.


So the last few days have been overcast, rainy and COLD here in Denver. It went from being in the 80s to being inthe 40s...and that's when I realized that I really had to change up my exercise. I ran last Saturday morning, but since then haven't done a thing.

So yesterday I was determined to get a run in. I packed my workout bag so that I could do it at lunch...only it was raining. So I thought that I would just go to the gym (you know that thing I pay $26 a month for??) and run on the treadmill. And then I thought (with dread) about how much NOT fun running on the treadmill is for me.

So I looked on the 24 Hour Fitness website and saw that there was a boxing class on Wednesday nights.

I walked in the room last night to see some SERIOUSLY skinny people but that didn't really register for me...because at 60 pounds overweight, I still feel like I'm a reasonably healthy person. I did GREAT in the class. Sure, my lunges and squats weren't as deep as others...and maybe my punches weren't as high up as the instructor would like. But I did everything as fast as my body would allow...and I feel great.

They have yoga classes on Saturday mornings and classes that involve cardio and weights other days of the week.

I think I'm actually looking forward to the winter - to taking classes inside when it's dreary and running in the sunshine when it's not.

It's going to be a great couple of months.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A gain - again!

I know that sometimes it's easy to read people's blogs and then think that they are behaving one way...when in reality, that's not the case. My recent posts have boasted of a new drive - of determination and breakthroughs. Those posts weren't fake. They aren't fake. So you may think that I'm losing weight like a champ...and yet, I gained weight AGAIN this week.

When I look back at why I gained weight, I want to start to beat myself up. I mean, things are looking up in so many areas of my life - why am I self-sabotaging?

I've come up with two key reasons of why this is.

The first is easy to discuss. I have developed some bad habits. And I'm finding that they're hard to break. It's easy for me to look at my life now versus how it was when I started this and pat myself on the back. The reasons why I walked through that door to Weight Watchers are different than the reasons I continue to do so. I'm healthier than what I thought I could be. I mean, I ran another 5K this weekend and am really happy with my time and my pace. I think the rub is, I FEEL healthy. So I've been basically the same weight from March until now - between 50 -55 pounds lost. You don't maintain that kind of weight without developing some habits that keep you there. My habits show that I've been a bit lazy.

The second reason is WHY I'm turning to the food and why I'm overeating at night. After discussing this with my therapist, I realized it's that I'm scared that things are going too well. I'm worried that things will change, the other shoe will drop, and that I will feel silly for getting my hopes up. Work is good. My dog is getting better. And after that misunderstanding a couple of weeks ago, my relationship with my boyfriend couldn't feel better. I'm in that twitterpated phase and for the first time in my life I realize that I'm dating someone that has what I've viewed as "the complete package." I couldn't be happier with him and us in this stage of the relationship...the stakes are definitely higher. Somehow feeling higher about the relationship feels like I have further to fall if it ends. That is what scares me - getting my hopes up only to have them crash. And really - I recognize that this mindset is silly. My therapist and I talked about some ways that I can decrease that anxiety - and one of the ways is to get to the real belief behind the fear.

For instance, the other night, my boyfriend and I were going to go out. And I could tell that I was having a subdued night. I could tell that I probably wasn't going to be as funny as I normally am. I expressed my concern over this to her. And she said, "Okay...so why do you feel like you have to be "on" tonight?" My answer was basically so that he would like me. When she asked what would it mean if he didn't like me, the first answer that came up was "It would mean that I wasn't good enough." According to her, that is the first thing we need to target - this belief that I'm not good enough.

I could go into it, but basically I have felt so much shame about some events in my life - it's no surprise that my belief about myself is less than stellar. But I'm excited to know that she has the tools to help me release some of the shame. I'm so glad that I have a guide to help me through this journey...and I KNOW that I will be successful. It's just going to take me longer than what I originally thought.

So here I am. Starting anew. Armed with the self-discovery that I'm scared of what MIGHT be allows me to shed some of that fear.

I had a sensible breakfast and lunch. I ran at my lunch break. I went a little crazy at dinnertime - but I stayed within my points range for the day (including activity points). And guys, it may not sound like a big deal, but today is the first day in a LONG time that I've tracked the whole day through.

I'm hungry. But it's no wonder - it's almost midnight. So I'm drinking a big glass of water - and I'm going to shut this computer off so that I can get some quality sleep. During the past few months, I would've eaten something...but for now I'm sitting with the hunger.

I can't do anything about my fears for the future - because there is no promise that anyone can give me to tell me that things will be alright. But I can take each day on it's own. Living in the present seems to be a good thing to do right about now.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Literally a life changing epiphany

Let's get a couple of things straight. I am a female. I was born a female. And I SWEAR this post is about weight loss. What I'm about to write is a concept that is literally changing my life. I hope you'll think so too - you just have to hear me out.

But, I have a small penis. SORT OF.

Let me back up - I promise this will make sense in due time.

I listen to a podcast each week. For those that don't know, a podcast is like an out-loud version of a newspaper column. It can be live, although the one that I listen to isn't. The podcast that I download is Dan Savage's Lovecast. It's a sex advice podcast.

At any rate, a month or so ago, a girl called in saying that her boyfriend told her that he had a small penis. And she was all concerned about this - in fact, after dating for quite a while, she still wasn't even allowed to see it or touch it. But boy did she hear about it all the time! She said that he blamed past break-ups on his small penis and he was concerned that she would think it was too small too. She called for help on how to handle the situation, specifically how to make him feel better about the small penis.

Dan gave her some great advice on how this girl could help him feel more open to sharing himself with her. He gave her great tips on how to be considerate and how to help his ego. A week later another caller called in to give her advice - and it was this: RUN AWAY NOW. She pleaded the caller to bail now before getting any deeper. Not because males with small penises can't get the job done, but because EVERYTHING would be blamed on this small penis - and this is key - whether he actually has one or not. See, no matter what (according to her) they would break up because of his penis - not because it couldn't function as it should - but because he was so sensitive about it, that she'd get tired of hearing about it and eventually wouldn't want to deal with it at all.

I let that podcast marinate - and I realized that I have a small penis of my own.

It's my weight.

All my adult life, I've expected the guys I've dated to bail on me because I was heavier than other girls. I would say self-defacing things from time to time and the guys that I dated would always try to build me up... But all the while, I had convinced myself that it was only a matter of time before the guy dumped me. Eventually he would realize that I was simply too fat for him. When the sex seemed to dry up (not by my choice) I remembered saying, "Look. I get it. You can't help it if you're not attracted to me. I understand." I had convinced myself before there was even a problem that there WOULD be a problem.

It has occurred to me that while they may not have been bothered by my weight at first, it became this THING that I was worried about a lot of the time. If they were short with me at some point, that was okay - because after all, I was fat - or didn't they notice? They were checking out other girls? Who could blame them...they're with a fatty. I have felt this way my entire adult life - whether I was 10 pounds overweight or 100 pounds overweight. It's my self-made, go-to, automatic self-hating and self-fulfilling prophecy.

I just KNEW that the guys would leave me because of my weight. And eventually, I think they did - because I made it an issue. An issue that no amount of catering to me and no amount of consolation would fix. It was my very own small penis.

But here's the thing that was key for me. The second lady that called in said that he may not even HAVE a small penis. That's right. He may not have a small penis in reality... but since he's so convinced that he does, the small penis IS his reality.

Like I said, this thought process is literally changing my life.

What if I'm really not that fat? What if, even with weight left to lose, I can love myself for what who I am? What if I can let go of the fatty-stigma that has plagued me all during my life? What if I can experience unconditional love with myself? Well, I'm not entirely sure what that reality would be like, but how could it possibly be worse than the one that I'm living now?

I don't have to let my weight weigh me down. I don't have to let it sabotage another relationship. If the guy cheats or doesn't want to hold my hand in public, it's HIS problem. Not mine. If the guy doesn't want sex with me, that's HIS frickin' issue. There is nothing WRONG with my body. My body was made to be loved - literally and figuratively.

I'm seeing myself in a new light. And it feels so good!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And another thing...

While I did have Steak N' Shake twice in Peoria, I also ran twice.

I overindulged in food - and not just during the five days I was in Peoria, but for the days that preceeded that too. So it's not surprising that I would gain a little. The gain I had this past week (1.8) was actually due more to me eating quite a few servings of salty potato chips yesterday...I say this because when I actually went back and counted the points from this past week, I was much more in check than what I originally thought. If that's true (the weight gain was largely due to salt intake), then next week, I should see it balance right back down.

Anyway, the weight numbers aside, the great thing was that I was AWARE of the times that I ate too much and I did run (again, TWICE!) because that was healthy too.

Years ago I wouldn't have been as aware...and I would've taken the whole weekend as a chance to overindulge in every way possible - and I definitely wouldn't have brought my running shoes along.

This time I made progress...and I think that that's a great thing.

A new high (low?) in buttery

This past weekend, I went to visit my very best friend in Peoria, Illinois.

I'd like to say that I was perfect with my food...but I wasn't. I ate sensibly sometimes, but in the end, I drank too much.

One thing I am not willing to give up is the annual trip to Steak N' Shake. Steak N' Shakes are only found in the midwest so I don't feel bad that I go there and have what is that I want - a steakburger with fries and a junior chocolate malt. It is so very fantastic. Everything in moderation, right?

But on my placemat, I noticed this advertisement for their new "Wisconsin Buttery Steakburger N' Fries."

Now, I'm not from Wisconsin, but when I read this, I thought that the buttery part was that the bun was buttered. Turns out, I was wrong.

The text next to the picture says, "This is a classic Wisconsin-style burger - real Wisconsin butter melted, or should we say layered and slathered, on top of our savory Double Steakburger (TM) covered with cheese and grilled onions. A Burger & Butter Lover's Dream!"

Two questions:
1) First...I think my arteries just hardened at the READING of that description...is that possible?
2) Really? Is this really a Wisconsin thing? I thought cheese was Wisconsin's thing...but it's SLATHERING a burger that's already fried on the grill with butter?
Ewww...just ewww...