Sunday, May 30, 2010

Snooty, Snobby, and Daris updates

Because I've had some questions about how the dinner went, I'll tell you that it went...well, fine.

They still aren't my favorite people. But they're no longer my least favorite. Don't get me wrong, they're still not out of douche canoe* status, but the dinner was okay.

I took a lot of your suggestions to heart. I went there, ordered a drink that I liked, ate the bread that I wanted, ordered some fish just for myself (Joe and I did not split it), helped myself to THEIR mashed potatoes, and enjoyed our asparagus. The funny thing? I only ate half of my dish. I was full anyway.

I had questions for them (which wasn't the problem the first time) and the topics that they brought up were more conversation friendly versus just a way for them to monopolize the conversation. I jumped in when I felt I had something to say and made jokes when it was a good time to do so.

We parted ways, wished them a good night at the symphony, came home, and enjoyed our night.

The thing is, the night wasn't great. The dinner wasn't great. But *I* was great because I was myself. And honestly? It felt great.

Speaking of feeling things (I'm chicken enough to mention this buried in this post), I'm feeling like I'm struggling with my weight and eating plan.

Remember this post about Daris and his emotional eating? Well, ever since I saw it (which is going on two weeks), I have struggled with eating mindfully. And when I say "struggled" what I really mean is that I've been back to my old ways - eating anything that isn't walking or nailed down.

Alright, I'm not bingeing on vast quantities of food (in the old days, I could eat some serious stuff!), but I am eating well past the point of satiety ON PURPOSE. Before, when I was completely mindless about food, I'd find myself almost in a trance when I'd overeat. It's like I would start eating and then wouldn't stop until whatever I was eating was all gone. Then, I'd get up (typically from the couch) and pick something else to plow through. At the "end," I'd look around me to see empty chip bags, empty containers of various fast food items, and countless chocolate wrappers.

These days, it's been a bit different. I'd be aware that I wasn't hungry but that I still wanted to eat. So I'd eat something. Then I'd be aware that I still wanted to eat, so I'd eat something else. I'd be aware that my body was full and I'd eat. Then I'd be aware that my body was STUFFED and I'd drink a lot of water. I just wanted that stuffed feeling all of the time.

I lived in that state, of constant fullness, for about a week and a half - from when that episode of the Biggest Loser aired to last Thursday.

Last Thursday I met with my therapist and explained to her the WAY overboard association I had with Daris' plight. I tried to explain to her why what he was going through was so devastating to me on such a deep and personal level. After an hour, I'm still not completely sure that I made I won't bore you all with the ramblings here. But I realized that after I saw that, it triggered something in me - obviously - as I was back to wanting/needing that full feeling all the time.

Since Thursday, I've been trying to concentrate on the feelings and emotions that are coming up rather than stuffing them down with food or beverages. And so far, I'm back towards a more mindful eating mindset.

It's amazing to me that when I get all of my feelings out, I no longer feel the need to stuff them in.

So that's what I'm going to work on this week. I don't know what the scale says now since I wasn't weighing myself before. Even if I did weigh myself I wouldn't know how it compares to what it was. I just want to concentrate on how I feel and to try to be good to myself. Like I said in my Blog Tour post, I am trustworthy of being my own body's caretaker.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that your Memorial Day is worth remembering. :)

*I can't take credit for this saying. You'll have to head over to "The Bloggess" for the creator of that phrase. Unless you don't like the "F" word, in which case, you should probably stay right here.

P.S. Some of you said that the link to the Nuvaring disaster post wasn't working...and sure enough, I didn't put the link in. Oops. So, if you're interested in reading about my train wreck on Nuvaring - here it is.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Snooty and Snobby


Can I tell you a secret?

I'm going to eat at a place tonight that I do not like. I'm going to meet people that I do not like.

Lemme' back up.

Last year in October, I suffered from a bout o' crazy. I had decided that my old birth control was boring (even though nothing was wrong with it) and instead decided to try Nuvaring. You can read more about that fun/hellish ride by clicking here. I want a stiff drink just thinking about that time in my life.

Anyway, at this time, Joe decided to introduce me to two of his friends. I'll admit, I thought that it would be FANTASTIC. Here is the "other couple" that we've been waiting for. The one that we would go on double dates with, the one that we would play cards with, the one that we would laugh and take vacations with. We found our couple friends - at last!

Only when I walked into the severely overpriced restaurant, I felt uncomfortable immediately. We met the couple (who were more than politely late) and for the sake of this blog, I'll call them Snooty and Snobby. They started talking about concertos and what their favorite sonata is. They discussed people I didn't know and topics that I had nothing to do with. It was the.most.boring.dinner ever.

They suggested ordering a bottle of wine for the table and then made a joke about how they should just order White Zinfandel. Peals of laughter exploded from their lips.

"As IF we would order that swill," said Snooty.

"I know! How do people even drink that? It's preposterous!" said Snotty.

Joe gave me a look as if to say 'sorry' because he knows that that was usually what I ordered at restaurants. I have since graduated to Pino Noir which is still below their acceptable wine level.

When it came time to order dinner, they decided to split an entree' saying that it's just so much food to eat! No one could possibly eat all of the food that they serve at this place! So, Joe and I decided to do the same.

Dinner arrived and our plate had 6 ounces of fish on it. That's right. We had to split 6 ounces of fish. Luckily we ordered a side of asparagus (which was great) to help fill in the black hole that is my stomach. Only, Snooty and Snobby decided to help themselves to our side of asparagus and continued to talk about the most boring crap ever.

By the end of dinner, I had only been asked one question which was "Are you German?" When I said no, I had to listen to reasons why they THOUGHT I was German. And here's the thing. I don't give two craps about what someones lineage is, but really? That's the one thing you want to know about me?

During these "conversations" I felt insecure. So much of what I was feeling was due to the hormone instability from the Nuvaring, but I couldn't shut down my emotions. I felt picked on, belittled, unimportant, and sad.

The waiter came back to entice us to order dessert. At this point, I was so OVER this dinner that I declined to order. Joe looked at the menu and, knowing that I was watching my weight but that I like ice cream, recommended the KIDS ice cream cup on the menu while the three of them would split a dessert.

I almost ripped his face off right then but it would've gotten blood on the custom linen tablecloths and I didn't feel like paying a dry cleaning bill.

The bill for two entrees, one appetizer (which only they ate), two sides, and one bottle of wine was almost almost as much as my car payment. So what if I was raised by people who drank wine out of a box from time to time? The $150 bottle of wine didn't taste discernibly better.

I remember leaving that dinner hungry and sad. I doubted my own worth and couldn't believe that Joe didn't stick up for me more.

We got home and had a "discussion" where I SOBBED. I told him all the things that I was feeling. I told him how I thought his friends were snobby and snooty and how I didn't want to ever be around them again. I cried my heart out. I was disappointed in myself for buying into the belief that I wasn't good enough.

I was sad that they weren't the couple that I wanted them to be.

Joe apologized for not bringing the discussion around more to me and my life and tried to console me...but he thought I was over-reacting too. And in his defense, I was. I knew it. I'm usually pretty even keel. To this day, I blame my OVER reaction on Nuvaring. I mean, it was not a fun dinner, but it wasn't something worthy of SOBBING about either. *

So, we were invited to their house for a Christmas wine tasting (I am SO not kidding) that was passable, but only because I had 5 glasses of wine. And every time Joe has been invited to go out with them, I've had other plans.

Until tonight.

I don't want to go. I don't want to be hungry. I don't want to re-live the doubting myself, the tittering laughter, and the uber boring topics. But I do feel like I want to prove that I can hang out with people in dreadful circumstances and still act sane when it's done.

To be clear, Joe said that I didn't have to go. And I know that if it sucks again (and seriously, let's be honest, it TOTALLY WILL), I won't choose to go again. I think I just have to go this one time to feel like it's not me, it's not the Nuvaring. These people really are douche canoes.

I'm going to go and try to remember this quote:div>
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

So any suggestions on what I could or should do at dinner tonight? We're going to the same overpriced restaurant as before.

(le sigh)

* I don't know why he's friends with these people. I've met his other friends and they're fantastic - not snooty or snobby at all. He used to work with both of them and I know that they were two of the people that helped him at his old job. But I have no idea why the heck one would actually choose to hang out with these people.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog

A little while ago, I decided to sign up for Sam's Blog Tour. The concept is this, on a certain day (AKA today) someone somewhere writes a post and then links to other people's blogs so their readers will go to that blog.

Eventually someone's readers come to my blog and then I write stuff and then I send them and my readers along their merry way.

You've come to one of the middle steps of the biggest blog chain letter EVER. But don't worry. No one is dying of cancer and needs just one more postcard, no kid named Penny is lost, and I'm not going to give you a cookie recipe. Although now that I think about it, that would totally make this post better. Also, now I want cookies.

So this blog tour has steps of information I'm supposed to disclose in order. Apparently it's like Mission Impossible only less impossible.

Alrighty, so for those that don't know me, my name is Anne. Or Happy Fun Pants. Use whichever name you feel more comfortable with. :)

1. Post a before picture:
You might have already seen my before and during pictures on my post about the Cherry Creek Sneak (where I think there are better examples than here), but I decided to go back through the archives and look for another one so at least you all have some diversity. The problem is, when I was heavier, I didn't WANT to have full body shots taken. So any ones that were taken of me were done so when I was around little skinny women. Those people ALWAYS want full body shots. B!tches.

2. Post your most current picture:
I took this one the other day in the bathroom at work before a run. And in case the picture is not showing up, I promise it's less gross than you might think.

3. State the weight you've lost:
I've lost 51.2 pounds.

4. Describe your eating plan:
After seven months of Weight Watchers (where I dropped 50 pounds), I stalled. I've stayed stalled for about a year and a half. I did a LOT of mental work to get my mind healthier and during that time I realized that I didn't want to participate in deprivation diets any longer. I don't want to go to bed hungry any more. I don't want to feel like I CAN'T have something. I want to have a connection with food again - one that is more hippy organic. I feel like a "diet" where I don't trust myself around food isn't the answer. Or at least it isn't the answer for me right now. You can read more about my decision here.

So, I've decided to try intuitive/mindful eating. It's a new thing for me (I think I'm on week 4 of trying it) and to be honest, I struggle sometimes. Like this week. Where I've gained about eleventy billion pounds so far. Is it time for the next question? Yes, yes it is.

5. Favorite healthy snack:
I would have to say that I really love my breakfast regiment. I have 0% Fage Greek yogurt with blueberries, blackberries, some agave nectar, and some granola all mixed together. It's divine.

6. Biggest Life Lesson while on this journey:
Grey matters. It can't be black and white/ right or wrong/ good and bad. The "all or nothing"mentality places so much importance on the opposite sides of the spectrum, that I just don't think is healthy. In the past I'd do these crazy restrictive things to lose weight. I'd pat myself on the back for eating only celery one night and then curse myself for "giving in" and eating brownies the next.

To really live life to it's fullest, you have to get in and get dirty. Real life happens in the middle, where all the black and white, the good and bad, and the right and wrong mix together. Real life is SO worth living. And real life, in all it's colors, is SO much prettier than just black and white.

7. Biggest strength I've discovered about myself:
I am trustworthy. Every time I trust myself - really trust myself - I end up doing the healthiest option anyway. I am worth taking care of and I can trust myself to take care of me. It's basic, but it's absolutely true. It sounds silly, but when we rely on other people to tell us our worth (especially based upon a number on a scale), we will ALWAYS fail. When you trust yourself, you win. This may be in the form of choosing an eating plan that resonates best with you. Or it could be something as simple as getting enough sleep when your body says you need it. Trust yourself to take care of yourself.

8. Toughest struggle?
Probably the last year and a half when my weight just stayed between 50-55 pounds lost. I kept thinking that something was WRONG with me. I mean, I'm not stupid...I know that calories in has to be less than calories out to lose WHY couldn't I do it?

I had to learn to be kind to myself; to be gentle with myself. I had to learn that there are reasons (illogical, sure) that I was still overweight. I had to discover for myself WHY I was keeping the weight on. I had to learn all of the ways that the extra weight protected me and helped me. At the risk of sounding like someone on Oprah: I had to love my fat.

Then I had to learn that not trusting myself around food didn't make those issues go away. In fact, it made them more prevalent. So I figured that deprivation diets weren't the answer for me - at least for right now. And through various workshops and books, I got turned onto intuitive eating.

Going through that process wasn't and isn't easy.

9. Biggest supporter:
Eesh. I'm tempted to say that I am my biggest supporter because it's true. I don't come from the most stable or emotionally healthy families so I had to learn to be my own advocate. But the person that taught me how to love myself and to be kind to myself was/is my therapist. Seriously, if you don't have one, they are so worth the was the best decision I made.

10. What I will do after getting to my goal:
I don't quite understand this question. I plan on doing the exact same stuff that got me to my goal weight - eat well, exercise for fun, and live life to it's fullest.

If the intention was to ask what I will do to celebrate? Well, I have a GREAT answer. I plan on going and getting a new driver's license. One where the weight I tell the DMV guy to put on it is actually the truth.

11. What I wish that someone would've told me when I first began:
I really can't think of anything that I wish someone would've told me. I guess I was lucky. I had my mind made up and I decided that it was time. At 280 pounds, my weight was oppressive -on my body, my joints, and my soul.

12. Random tidbits of advice:
Three things stand out as being the most helpful on my journey:

a) I was willing to change my mind and my plan when I needed to. I'm glad I was flexible with myself; that I allowed myself to take breaks and plateaus when it all seemed too tough. By pausing, I was able to take care of myself. I am a MUCH happier person at 229 pounds than what I would've been at my goal had I just pushed myself to get to that weight NO MATTER WHAT.

b) When, at 280.2 pounds, I weighed in for the first time at Weight Watchers, I tearfully and shamefully told my leader that I had never been that heavy before.
She simply replied, "And you never will be again."
Those were freeing words, really. Those words helped me let go of the 280.2. They helped me move past the shame and move onto being, doing, and feeling better. And as it turned out, those words were also very, very true.

c) The poem in this post. It's awesome and I think about what that means for me in my life a lot. If you haven't clicked on any other links in this blog, I encourage you to read that one.

So now, if you want to continue the Blog Tour, you should go and check out Holly's blog.

Thanks for reading or stopping by! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Well that sucked...

So here's the thing: I get hot sleeping at Joe's.

It could be that his bed retains heat more than mine did. It could be his house temperature. Or it could be that the guy has a normal body heat of 450 degrees and it's like sleeping next to the sun (hello metabolism that keeps him at 150 pounds!) EVERY NIGHT.

I used to sleep in t-shirts and fun pants.* But the fun pants, especially during the summertime, are SO HOT that I end up taking them off halfway through the night and throwing them on the floor.

Because of this, most mornings I get out of bed in just a t-shirt. I the movies, it looks like this would be so. very. hot. But in real life, with my cottage cheese legs, unkempt crazy hair, and dimpled bare butt it's not quite as attractive.

Occasionally I sleep in the nude (I know...I probably should've warned you), but my shoulders get cold when they're not I like to sleep in SOMETHING.

My mom slept in...well, I don't know what. But she always wore a "housecoat" when she was up and about in the mornings. I think we can all look at this picture and agree that it is sex-ay! I'm sure Miss Manners would say that there is nothing wrong with a housecoat. But it's not exactly the look I'm going for.

I recently got a Victoria's Secret catalogue in the mail and I thought "I know that I wear a size large in their undies...I'm sure I can fit into their sleepwear!" Joe and I looked through it, he picked out things he liked (and during this exercise there were times where I had to say that I was not going to be sleeping in a feathery negligee every evening thankyouverymuch).

SO yesterday, I went to Victoria's Secret because they are having a huge sale these days. I walked in the store and saw that the only nighties they had were on "sale" for $30 and they had screen printing all over the front.

I asked the young woman working if they had something else that I could sleep in and she said "of course!" and took me over to the "Pink!" side of the store.

For those that don't know, this section is reserved for teenagers that continually have their (unbrushed) hair in a sloppy pony tail. They are sucking on lollipops, have their thong strap showing above their sweatpants (which are scrunched to end at the knee and have "PINK" written all over the butt of the sweatpants) and are happily prancing around in a tank top WITH NO BRA. Let's be clear: I am not that person. I wear a 16 most days, and have 36DD's. These pants and bottoms maxxed out in what was marked as a "large" but in reality was the size of a toddler's Dora shirt.

One of the shorty shorts that they had for sale pictured bananas on one side and strawberries on the other. Alright, I'm all about some thinly veiled sexual innuendo, but what are the strawberries for? And as I'm thinking this, I'm realizing that not only could I not squeeze one butt cheek in these shorty shorts, but I am so out of touch with things these days that I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT STRAWBERRIES MEAN!

I almost had a mental breakdown in the store. 500 bonus points for me for not losing it.

So I looked at the little shop lady and said, "Oh. I think I'm looking for something that will fit me. And something that will be a bit more suited for my style." I mean, at the time, I was wearing a polo shirt, Levi's jeans, and Keen shoes. Not exactly high school tramp material.

She takes one look at me and says, "Yeah, those things usually don't fit people like you. But it's not like we can get them in bigger sizes. Maybe you could try a different store?"

Alright. To be fair, I kind of asked for that. But really? Ouch. 625 points awarded for not ripping off her arms and beating her with them.

Next door was a store that I SWORE I wouldn't walk in again. Lane Bryant.

But I really needed something. So I walked in.

Only I'm too small for the 14/16's they have there (I know...some of you all are screaming "BOO HOO!" at your monitors right now). It's just that I've worked SO hard to get out of that store. And let's be honest, the cuts aren't always the most flattering. I stood in the dressing room, wearing what could only be best described as a pink cotton gunny sack realizing that I fit NO demographic.

Is it so wrong that I want to wear something that's comfy at night, breathes, and still doesn't look like a housecoat/mu mu? I want it to be age appropriate and cute. Feminine while still comfy. I'm a size 14/16...too small for the big stores and too big for the small stores. I HATE THIS SIZE.

I ended up buying several nightshirts that were a bit too big because I just didn't want to deal with it any more. Fine, Lane Bryant. YOU WIN. You have me back as a customer. I'll just try to shrink the heck out of these nightshirts.

The whole way home, I was HATING myself. I started chastising myself for every cookie, treat, chip, or pasta serving I had this past week that contributed to my gain of three pounds.

I started doubting my healthy eating plan of eating when you're hungry and not eating when you're not hungry. I started remembering all the times this past week when I didn't follow the eating plan. I started feeling guilty. I started second guessing myself. I told myself that maybe I should just eat a salad for dinner.

By the end of the night, having eaten the leftovers that I wanted to eat and watching someone win $250K (who was wearing the ugliest belt buckle I've seen), I had a better perspective.

If I stop my eating plan now and go back to counting points, I'm giving up. Maybe it's hormonal, but my body is wanting richer foods these days. Last week was a hard week emotionally...and because of it, I ate when I wasn't hungry. Eating when you're not hungry isn't horrible, but when you're eating "real" food - stuff that is decadent and made with real cream, etc. - when you're not hungry makes it easy to pack on the pounds.

I'm no longer sporting my belt at notch three. I'm no longer down 55 pounds AGAIN. And in our bedroom, there is a bag slightly full of nightclothes that I don't want to have to wear.

Honestly, it sucks.

BUT I know that by sticking with this plan and listening to my body WILL get me back to wearing a notch three.

I will be able to buy the nightclothes I want soon.

Now is not the time for giving up. It's the time for re-dedicating myself to being kind to me. It's time to listen to myself and to not only WANT to be healthier, but to actually BE healthier.

And for the love of all that's holy, I will find out what the deal with the strawberries are.

*Fun Pants: basically lounge/pajama pants. See also:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To Daris from Oklahoma: I get you

I admit it: I watch "The Biggest Loser."

In fact, since I've moved in with Joe (and thus had to send back my DVR to DirecTV even though I totally bought it two years ago but that's another story) "The Biggest Loser" is the only show I watch any more.

I heart it in a lot of ways.

First, I don't like how contrived the ad placements are. And I'm not a big fan of all of the drama at times. BUT most of the time, their struggles are SO real that I get moved to tears.

You may have noticed during my "award frenzy" the last few days that I favored blogs where the authors are trying to figure out WHY they gained the weight or why it's so hard to take off. I'm sure that I favor these blogs for two reasons 1)that's what I focus on so I really appreciate blogs that do the same and 2) I'm focusing on it because I'm still trying to figure out my "why." If I can read someone else's struggles, sometimes that leads me to my own ah-ha moments. Maybe that's why I like the show so much - it shows REAL people's struggles with control issues, with emotional scars that have kept them overweight, and with unhealthy attitudes towards food. Sometimes I sit watching them and have my own ah-ha moment.

The thing is, as public as this blog is, I can't imagine having my name, my hometown, my face, my fat, and my weight completely public on national TV. Sure, they know what they're signing up for AND there is that small thing of a $250,000 prize. BUT I still think that them being on the show would be hard.

Last week? I totally lost it.

In case you don't watch the show, the last four contestants had to go home for a certain amount of time. After those weeks at home, they had to come back to "The Ranch" (aka the place that they all work out and live at for months) and weigh in one final time. The contestants that lost the most were automatically allowed to go to the next round. The contestants that hadn't lost as much (% body weight) as the others had to plead for America's vote to keep them on the show. The one that gets the most votes gets to come back and compete for the big prize along with the other two that were safe.

All of the contestants have always lost weight at home (apparently even in past seasons). Except one.

Daris from Oklahoma is a young guy - college age. He seems sweet, likable, and a bit introverted. On the show, when he weighed in for the first time (before going to "The Ranch"), he told his hometown that he would make them proud.

He did well - he made it to the final four. He became the runner of the group and finished a marathon in 4 hours.

And yet, when faced with the struggles of being at home, he decided to eat at night. Late at night - we're talking 1 or 2 am. He'd work all day and then cave at night.

The result? He GAINED 2 pounds.

He was crushed. At first, he tried to lie and say it was due to marathon training. But then he came "clean" and said that it was because he ate too much at night. He'd eat bowl after bowl of cereal, countless snacks, and other food.

The part that broke my heart was at the end when he's pleading for America to vote for him but he's crying...because (and this is my inferring here) he doesn't feel like he deserves the chance that he is told by producers to beg for.

And that's when I lost it. I'm sitting on the couch CRYING and trying not to make any noise in our house. I didn't want Joe to come over and ask what was wrong. Because he wouldn't get it.

Joe, at 150 pounds, doesn't understand why anyone would stuff themselves so full of food to numb the voices and the pressure outside his head. He doesn't understand being so dedicated during the day and then "blowing it" at night. He doesn't understand the cathartic feeling of bingeing. He doesn't understand the concept of sneaking food. He doesn't know that overeating is the best way to hurt yourself in some ways. It feels good and absolutely horrible at the same time - it's something I can't explain to someone else who is sane about food. He doesn't understand that addiction.

Maybe you don't either.

So last week as I'm watching Daris cry - pleading for America to give him another chance - I'm sitting on the couch crying silently, clutching my chest because my heart hurts watching that kind of pain manifest itself on someone else's face. My food and my eating is SO very private...even on my blog when I talk about it, most of you guys will never or have never met me. I can be honest and raw. I can admit things and then go back to hiding behind my moniker.

But Daris couldn't.

I don't know what to do to make it better for him, but OH how I want to. Even if I don't know my way out of this overeating dilemma just yet, I want him to get out. I want him to be free of the horrible feelings that overeating creates. I don't want to see another person struggle like I saw him struggle.

Tonight is the finale. And just due to the weight that other contestants still had to lose, I would be willing to bet that Daris won't win.

So, I don't know how to make it better. I don't know how to protect him from the countless interviews and reporters (no doubt anorexically thin) that will ask him about his struggle and what he was thinking about during his tearful plea. I don't want him to relive that moment. I don't want any more shame about that moment to be heaped on top of it. I don't want him to have to try to explain himself in a rational way about something that is so irrational. Eating food until you feel like you will burst doesn't make rational sense. So I don't want him to have to divulge all of his mental crap to allow for some reporter to get a 30 second sound bite.

I can't protect him from all of the millions of people who watch this show and think it's funny or pathetic that this guy can't get his act together. I can't stop people from thinking that he won't stop eating because he's lazy. I feel helpless because I can't make people understand something that I don't even understand.

I want to hug him. I want to have him over for dinner. I want to set him up with my friends. I want to babysit his kids. I want to help take care of him. I want to tell him that life doesn't have to be like this. Screw the reporters and naysayers. He can get through this.

I'm not a dummy.

I know that my want to take care of him and protect him mostly has to do with the fact that I can see so much of me in him. I keep the part of me that is like him SO closely guarded that having him put it all out there leaves me feeling exposed and raw. His behaviors are what I have done to feel loved, protected, and valuable. To have someone else attack that or poke at it just because they can, because it will make good news, or because it makes them feel better about themselves is like seeing someone set fire to a puppy. It's unimaginable and causes me great pain to even think about.

It's torture.

Since I can't take care of him and I know that my reaction to his struggle is ME projecting my feelings on him, I'm going to do the only thing I can do.

In lieu of my 3 pound gain from this past week -which, just like Daris', is deserved- I'm going to try to take care of myself more this week. When faced with the option of overeating to the point of pain (which strangely feels good), I'm going to tell myself to put down the food and sleep, get a hug, call a friend, punch a punching bag, go for a run, or do ANYTHING that will actually soothe what is going on with me.

Daris: I get you. And since I can't help take care of you, I'm going to promise to try to take care of me.

In a strange way, I don't want to let you down.

And lest you think it's lost on me, the fact that I'm reacting so strongly to his plight is going to be something that I discuss in detail with my therapist. It's awakened something inside me. My hope is that through exploring this with my therapist, I will get at least some of the answers of why I struggle so much with letting go of the behaviors that keep me overweight.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunshine Blog Award (the last of three)

Know what today is?

Today is the day that I finish giving out the awards that I've gotten over the last several months. Because I'm a slacker.

At the beginning of March, I received an award from Kellie over at The Chubby Girl Diaries. I was thrilled to receive the award from her because I really enjoy her blog!

Apparently, you need to have 12 recipients of this award...but because I've already given out 10 so far, I feel silly passing it on to 12 more. In no particular order, here are some bloggers that you might want to check out:

1) My Healthy Living Thru Weight Control: I wrote about her the other day, but Margie is one of my biggest supporters on here. She's a few years older than I am, but she's still putting in the hard work to keep her body healthy. I find that completely inspirational.

2) The Chubby Girl Diaries: Is it bad to give an award back to someone who gave it to you? Probably. It's also a sign that I didn't plan out my previous awards as well as I had thought. So Kellie? You totally can pick whichever award you actually want - you deserve any one you want! :) I enjoy your blog and can't wait to read all of the things that you'll accomplish in this next year. You've worked hard and that hard work WILL pay off.

3) Fat Bridesmaid: I love her humor, her style, and her cute hairstyles. Hers is one of the first blogs I read when I first started and I always enjoy reading what she's up to.

4) Questions for Dessert: She's a wife, a runner, and a person who is trying to be healthier. Scratch that, she IS healthier. I can relate to her so much - and sometimes when I'm running outside or on the treadmill and I want to stop, I ask myself, "What would Krissie do?" And I keep running. She is one tough cookie. Also she has great taste in music.:)

5) Escape From Obesity: I can't say enough about this wonderful woman. First, she's had some crappy stuff happen to her and she persists through it. She's a fantastic mom and great supporter. She had the courage to decide on an eating plan that works for her and follow through - ignoring (or at least not paying too much attention to) the naysayers. It was through reading her blog that I realized that it's okay to be brutally truthful on blogs...and I decided to follow suit. She's SO close to the 199 mark and I will be one of the people cheering the loudest when she reaches it. She is phenomenal. :)

6) Here We Go - Hold On Tight: Lesia has been diagnosed with MS and STILL has lost weight. She spent years in a wheelchair and is happy to be up and walking again (so what's my lame excuse to not work out?). She gives thanks for things that we take for granted and reading a bit about her has made me a more thankful person. She is a very supportive blogger and really does spread sunshine to the people that she communicates with!

7) Running my Mouth: A runner, a bride-to-be, a success story, and an inspiration. I really enjoy reading her blog - especially when she has quotes that make me think about things in a different way.

8) Journeying to Lose 200 Pounds: The Triumph of Perseverance: Another blog I LOVE. She recently came through a rough patch and when I think of her resiliency and her ability to bounce back, I'm just so proud of her! You know how when you read someone's blog and you just KNOW they're a nice person? That's Chubby Chick. She's sweet and I wish I knew her in real life. :)

9) MissPudding's Food Blog: I hesitate to name this one (just as I did on my first award) because I'm not sure how much traffic she actually wants on her blog (the opposite of me!). She's another IRL friend - one that I was lucky enough to meet 15 years ago. What I love about her blog is that she keeps it real - as in really, real. She is delving into the WHY she's overweight and struggles. She is a brilliant, vibrant person - one who you can't help but get swept up in her tornado of activity. I really wish we lived closer.

10) Healthy Stride: Lindsay does SO much to be healthy: losing 100 pounds was just the start. What I enjoy about her story is that she's battling the healthy fight on all levels...she runs, she watches her weight, she takes classes to mix up the exercise, and she has fun with it. I just started reading her blog and I really love, she does a great job at taking pictures to illustrate her point. I should probably take a pointer or two from her. :)

Alright - go out and enjoy your Monday! No more awards posts for a while - I promise! :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh My Blog Award (The Male Version)

I don't know about you, but I love a good man. And when he has the ability to write well? (swoon)

A few days ago, I was honored with an award over at Sam's (at Believe In Yourself).

As with most awards, it came with some rules:

1. Get really excited that you got the coolest award EVER!

Wow. So it's all downhill from here? Yikes.

2. Choose ONE of the following options of accepting OMB award:
(a) Get really drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight, or for as long as you can focus.
(b) Write about your most embarrassing moment.
(c) Write a “Soundtrack of your childhood” post.
(d) Make your next blog a ‘vlog’/video blog. Basically, you’re talking to the camera about whatever.
(e) Take a picture of yourself first thing in the morning, before you do anything else (hair, makeup, etc) and post it.

Uhh...okay. Since I'm over the age of 18, (a) doesn't exactly appeal to me. They made the soundtrack already to my childhood. It's called "Annie." Exactly like mine, only without Sandy, Daddy Warbucks, an orphanage, and all the singing. But other than that...just like mine. I'm not likely to make a vlog of myself (I can't stand watching them and don't want to put you all through the pain) and first thing in the morning pictures might actually never develop due to the morning breath that accompanies them corroding my camera lens.

So we're left with the most embarrassing thing. Since this is a healthy living blog, I'll make it my most embarrassing thing related to my efforts of getting healthier.

Last year, I started most mornings with a run in the neighborhood where I used to live. It was a great chance to start my day "right." One beautiful morning, I had a particularly great run. As I'm finishing my run, and trying to cross the street, I could've sworn that I heard someone yell "Anne!"

So I, still running, turn to see who was calling me...but I couldn't see anyone who looked like they were trying to get in touch with me...

...and then I ran into a parked car.

I'm not kidding. I wasn't looking where I was going (obviously) and just smacked right into the side of a van. I felt SO stupid, but I was so thankful that it was early in the morning so it's not like the owner would've seen me or anything. But as I passed the drivers window, I realized that the motor was on. I turned around and saw a person in the front seat looking completely confused.

I smiled, waved, and kept running.

Because seriously, what else could I do?

3. Pass this award onto at least 3, but preferably more, awesome bloggers as yourself. Don’t forget to tell them.
Since I'm supposed to give it to three, people, I figured I'd give it to the three guys whose blogs I read.

1) Jack Sh*t Gettin' Fit - Has anyone heard of this guy? :) Alright, he may be one of the most popular male health bloggers EVER, but if that's the case, it's for a good reason. His posts are motivational, funny, uplifting, and well written. As my mom would say, he's a good egg.

2) Stages of Change - I'm not sure where I found his blog, but I LOVE it. He's very motivational and doesn't sugar coat things. I wish he'd post more. Just read his post about the Pine Box Derby and see if you don't get chills...

3) Fit With A Purpose - Last but not least is this blogger. I'm sad to say that he's been a follower of mine for a little while and I just started reading him back a few weeks ago. I'm sorry that I didn't read him earlier. He's a runner (and a great one at that) and he's on his on quest to be healthier.

Now go out there, and hug a man. If you don't have a man of your own, smile at one. If you don't "swing" that way, pet a dog. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award & Seven Things You Didn't Know About Me

I don't know about you, but one of the hardest compliments (and yet, one of my favorites) for me to receive is when someone says that I'm beautiful. I can think of about 15 things in a minute that I don't like about myself, so when Margie over at My Healthy Living Thru Weight Control gave me the Beautiful Blogger award I was both thrilled and amazed.

She gave me that award on January 20th of this year. So you know, I'm just a little over 4 months late.

This award is apparently given in sevens:

1) Project Look Good Naked - This first blogger is relatively new to the blogger side of things...but the courage that she has shown by blogging about very real issues in her life makes her truly beautiful to me. I love reading her blog. Because she also lives in Denver, I was lucky enough to find out that she's smart, sarcastic, and sweet in real life. And holy moly her eyes are to die for!

2) Thufferin' Thuccotash - This blogger is one great lady and one that I've been lucky enough to have bonded with - even if it's over a few states. She's survived cancer, lymphedema, and her husband dying. If you want to find strength, read her blog. Plus, her humor is FANTASTIC. :)

3) Scribbing In The Margin - I can't say enough about this other IRL friend. She is such a wonderfully giving person. She recently elected to have Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) and is blogging through her reaching milestones (hello! She just lost 100 pounds!) and some struggles that she's encountered along the way. Her effervescent humor and ability to keep it real at the same time are things that I really enjoy.

4) 1/2 an Amy - An old college friend who is discovering herself and all the things that she can accomplish. Recently divorced and realizing that she is truly one fantastic and strong lady.

5) Becoming an Ex Yo-Yo Dieter - This blogger is seriously beautiful. I haven't been following her for a long time, but her perseverance to do the things that we all know she can do is absolutely beautiful to me. Her insight into herself makes her successful - no matter what her weight.

6) Believe in Yourself - This blogger is a new one to me, but I really think that it's great that she's finding out that she can do great things - not only by herself but with the help of others.

7) The Pursuit of Healthyness - Last but not least, this blogger is one who is doing the same thing I am - trying to be healthier mind, body, and spirit. She has the courage to look inside herself to realize what it is that she wants to do to get to where she wants to go. I love that she's trying to be more mindful about her own life and trying to figure out why she struggles with the stuff she does. I can't believe she doesn't have more followers - I really love her writing.

And now, seven things you may not know about me:

1) I have a Slanket and I LOVE it. Seriously, I was that person that laughed at the commercials too (although in fairness, the commercials are for a Snuggie, not a Slanket - the Slanket is much better). It's the best invention in the world and although I'm semi-embarrassed of it, I wouldn't part with it willingly.

2) I'm the middle child of three girls. Growing up, we never even had a male animal. My dad was always outnumbered.

3) I love logic puzzles. You know, the things that say "Sam is taller than Phil, but not as tall as Pheobe who is 9 inches shorter than Zeke and half as tall as Bud" and then you have to rank them in order. I LOVE LOVE LOVE those things.

4) I hate beans. I wish I didn't because they're a great source of protein, nutrition and blah blah blah, but really, I just don't like them.

5) I love Converse shoes. Currently, I have a pink pair that I'm really enjoying a lot. Even though I may be too old to wear them (or too uncool or too...well...anything) they make me happy.

6) I have a GIANT dog at home. Her name is Chassis and she is almost the tallest dog in the world. The tallest dog, according to Guinness, is 43 inches tall from his shoulders to the floor. My dog? 42 inches tall (measured in the same way). She turns five on Tuesday. :)

7) I wear funky socks. If I can, I wear socks with stripes, dots, argyle prints, or some other random pattern on them. The only time I don't wear socks like these are when I'm running (because then I wear good running socks). No one usually ever sees them and they always match the color shirt that I'm wearing, but I wearing them makes me feel like I'm funky, fresh, hip, fly, or whatever the kids are saying these days.

Eesh. That took longer than I thought... Well, I'm off to another mindful eating/mindful yoga class, so I'll have to post the two other awards posts later.

Linky Love

I'm about to do something that is so overdue even I'm embarrassed at the lateness.

I'm about to finally hold up my end of the bargain for blogger awards that I've prepared for three posts in a row...because that's how I roll on Saturdays apparently. :)

But before I do that, I want to pass on that my friend (yay!) Katy over at Project Look Good Naked is hosting a Biggest Loser type challenge. It'll be about three months long and the buy-in is $10. I don't know about you, but I pay $10 WEEKLY to go to my Weight Watchers meeting, so a $10 buy-in for three months worth of motivation is pretty good.

I admit, I don't think I'm going to win. But then, I smacked myself upside the head (virtually) and thought about my recent post about really trying things. WHY NOT TRY?

So, I signed up and am really looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish.

Check out her blog and join if you're interested.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I think I can, I think I can...

I used to think that when I would FINALLY get to be thin, my world would be happier - just like in the movies: birds would chirp all around me, the love of my life would awaken me with a deep sleep with a kiss, my boss would finally realize my value (and give me a big raise), and I would never have to deal with bad drivers again.

As it turns out, that's not true. After losing almost 55 pounds (again), the one thing I can tell you FOR SURE is that when you're shrinking in size, your problems don't go away. Stress still happens, people still let you down, and you still have to work. Sometimes you have to work for a complete jerk-face, like I do.

So, I run.

Most days I run to stay in good health or to just get out and clear my mind. But every now and again, I run because I get SO stressed with what is going on at work that I need something to dissipate the stress.

The thing is, while I was making some great improvement in my pace during the first 7 months of my running, I kind of hit a plateau. It seemed that I could never get under the pace of 10'45" a mile. My goal has been to run a 10'00" mile and just stay there. But, I figured my extra weight was slowing me down, so I just dealt with it, figuring that I'd be stuck there for the rest of my life I'd get to my pace goal eventually.

Last week, after working 13 hour days, I went to our workout room at the building where we live. It was snowing outside (hello, Colorado weather!) but I knew that I just needed to burn off the extra stress.

So, I climbed on the treadmill and I put the pace on 5.7 mph as I usually do to start out. After a minute or two, it felt like it wasn't fast enough. I can't explain it any other way other than to say that I just wanted to GET AWAY from everything - from all my stresses. I didn't want to think about anything. I just wanted to feel mad, to push myself, and (if this makes sense) to just concentrate on my breathing and not worry about the piles of stuff I still had left to do at work. So, I bumped it up to 6.0 mph and kept it there for the duration of my run. I got off the treadmill, sweating as I haven't in a long time, and was proud of myself - I had run the last 2 miles at 10'00" a mile.

Monday, in the middle of another stressful day, I opted to run at lunch. It was in the 70s that day and I set off to run for 30 minutes. I didn't know where I would run to, but I figured I'd run until I hit the halfway point (which Nike+ will announce) and then turn around and go back.

When I completed my run, I saw that I had run 3 miles in under 30 minutes.

While I'm proud of my recent boost in running pace (very, VERY proud), I feel like it's just another representation of something that I actually CAN do, but didn't really think I could do.

I thought that I would be capped at 10'45"/mile for a long time. Maybe forever.

As it turns out, all I had to do was put forth my energy - all of my energy at the time - towards my goal. I was capable all along.

And that gets me thinking about all of the things I've told myself throughout the years that I can't do, when really, I probably can do them. What else am I not accomplishing just because my mind is getting in the way?

Wearing tank tops with confidence tops the list at the moment, but I'm working on that one.

Getting under 200 pounds is another one, but I'm slowly chipping away at that too.

So, I'm asking you...

If you knew you couldn't fail, what would you try to do?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A little progress is STILL progress

Monday night I went to my Weight Watchers meeting and was down 0.4 pounds. I personally believe that I'm down more than that - as my clothes are fitting so much looser these days (hello, NOTCH THREE! I'm talking to you!). Maybe I weighed heavier yesterday because of food, water, or clothes...but whatever it is, I'm confident that next week will pick up what this week's scale didn't measure.

Several people, independent of each other, told me that I was looking significantly thinner than what I have been looking like. I know that feeling lighter isn't just in my head.

So a 0.4 pound loss? Yeah, I'll take it.

It's movement in the right direction, and it's re-enforcement that what I'm doing by listening to my body is right.

I'm almost embarrassed to tell you, but this is the FIRST time I've lost three weeks in a row in over a year.


I've written about this before, but I've taken the past year to get my head right (or at least more right than what it was before!) so that I can have a happier and healthier life. I want to be happy and healthy in my mind, body, and spirit.

It's been a long time coming, but the trend line of progress is finally facing in the right direction.

I'm writing this to celebrate my success, but also to motivate those who haven't seen much scale movement in a while.

Keep at it. Trust yourself to figure out what is going to work for you. The best way you can do that is by trial and error sometimes. It's discouraging, sure. It's disheartening. But when you FINALLY get the "right" tool/mindset for you, it's worth it.

Never, never give up; there is a healthier you just around the corner.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Friends and followers

Today I'm a bit nervous; I'm meeting a blogging buddy for the first time.

To be clear, I hide behind the moniker of Happy Fun Pants for a reason. Some of the things that I write about here are know, so private that I share it with complete strangers for all the world to see. :) But other than three or four people, no one who reads this KNOWS me in real life.

I suppose having the anonymity is helpful. It allows me to be 100% honest. It allows me to get all of the thoughts out of my head in a healthy way. But sometimes? The truth is ugly. It's hard to write. It's hard to admit and it's hard to just put it out there for someone to read. I know you know what I mean.

One of my first followers on this blog is POD. When she started reading me, I was writing often on my other blog (aptly named "From The Mixed Up Files of Happy Fun Pants"). I used that blog to be funny, to be sarcastic, to keep up with friends, and did I mention to be funny?* It was a great representation of how I wanted the world to see me: confident, available, funny, and optimistic. Truthfully, it's the version of me I've always tried to portray. But inside? I've struggled with feeling fat, stupid, shameful, and doomed for failure. Cue Smokey Robinson singing "Tears of a Clown"...

The first few months I had this blog, I didn't tell anyone. I didn't market it at all. So when POD found me, I was basically just writing for me - to get the thoughts out of my head. I remember one time she wrote to me and said something like "[Smaller Fun Pants] seems more real, more authentic." It was one of the first times that I thought that I - who I am truly on the inside - might actually be worth something.

In the last year, since my blog has been more public, I've gotten a lot of followers and a lot of support. My post from yesterday shows how supportive you guys are of me and my life. And I hope you know (although I'm HORRIBLE about leaving comments on others' pages...but am trying to get better) how much your support and your comments mean to me.

I was thrilled when I opened up my Blogger account this morning, I saw that I have 60 (SIXTY!) followers. I have more readers than that (because not everyone has a blogger account and CAN be a follower), but seeing that there are at least 60 people who care about me and think that what I write is worthy to check out on a regular basis is so motivating. I feel great - and I have you to thank for this wonderful feeling. THANK YOU!

So back to tonight...

Meeting someone who reads my blog, knows that I have issues with food and eating, and doesn't know the funny, sarcastic side of me is a little weird. The person I'm meeting with, Katy at Project Look Good Naked, seems like someone I'd genuinely like to be friends with. Don't tell her, but I'm excited and a bit nervous. I guess I feel like I've won most people in my life over with my funny and bubbly demeanor. Katy? She doesn't know that side of me (yet)...but she still wanted to meet. It's a bit backward. Usually people REALLY have to get to know me to know my hurts, my issues, and my innermost thoughts. Katy knows all of that but doesn't know some pretty basic stuff about me. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it will be's just something I'm currently having a hard time grasping.

But overall, I'm thankful. I'm thankful that because both she and I sought out ways to encourage healthy mindsets and behaviors when it comes to food and eating, we are able TO meet. I'm thankful for the internet and forces that linked us together and I hope that we'll continue to be a source of encouragement and support for each other - no matter what happens tonight.

*Funniest posts are:
At least my hair looks cute
I'm not a bad driver, I'm just really good at Frogger.
My Facebook Friend Could Be Jesus (or maybe a Werewolf)
The Pack Mentality
More Fun Than You Can Shake A Baby At

Just don't check out the recent's been pretty lame lately - my focus has been on this blog.

Monday, May 17, 2010

NSV - on a Monday :)

Mondays kind of suck. At least they can. For most of us, it means that we have to go back to work - and that our weekend (and free time) is over.

Work has been really stressful recently. It's been this giant drag on my life and I'm trying to figure out how I want to get out of my current situation...I was REALLY looking forward to the weekend.

Unfortunately, life had other plans. I had a pretty crappy weekend. I don't feel like getting into it yet, but let's just say it was crappy, non-rejuvenating, stressful, and that I didn't get half of the stuff that I wanted done. My life, in many ways, got flipped upside down. I'm currently trying to repair the damage. It'll take a while.

Perhaps needless to say, I was less than thrilled when I realized that this weekend was over and that I had to go back into work (and into another stressful situation). But as you know, sometimes life is just like that.

This morning I got ready with less enthusiasm than normal. I put on my clothes in my normal fashion, but was delighted when I felt something different when putting on my clothes. I checked and re-checked...but kept seeing/feeling THIS:

In case you can't tell, that's me. Or rather, that's a picture of my clothes. :) Including my belt. Which is on the third notch from the end.

I showed Joe this morning as he was getting ready and he said, "That's great honey" and continued shaving.

"No, Joe. It's fantastic. My belt is on NOTCH THREE!", I replied.

He kept replying that it was good and I kept saying "Notch Three!" until finally he asked if I couldn't hear that he was saying that it was good.

My reply? "Oh. I can hear you. I'm just telling myself over and over again because I can hardly believe it."

My belt has not used this notch EVER. I haven't been this thin in years. And for the past year, I've stayed at the same weight and size - trying to fix myself mentally before I moved on.

I'm finally moving on.

My belt, at notch three is comfortable. I just finished my breakfast and it's still comfortable.

My life hasn't gotten less stressful - in fact, it's gotten more stressful. Things aren't easier. But I'm taking care of myself.

I'm losing weight.

I'm listening to my body.

I feel amazing.

I'm successful.

It feels great to write those things and actually mean them.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Repeat after me: "I love my weight."

One of the gifts that I specifically asked for for my birthday was Louise Hay's Healthy Body Cards.

I first saw them at the "Mindful Yoga - Mindful Eating" class that I attended back in February (I blogged about it here). Each participant took turns reading the front and the back sides of the cards while in a yoga pose...and then we took a few tries at other yoga poses while thinking about what was on the card.

I loved that concept - that I could concentrate on a part of my body or an aspect of my body and honor it. Each part of me wants to be taken care of and it serves a purpose. The parts work together to make my body do things it's always wanted to.

I loved the idea of waking up in the morning, reading the card, and then thinking about what that meant to me while showering. I asked my mom for these cards and was thrilled to start using them on the day after my birthday.

So far, it's been a great way to start the day being mindful about my body. It's been a great way to think about how I can show myself more love. Even when I feel unloveable, how can I hate my spleen? It sounds silly, when I put it that I've decided that on days when I feel unloveable, I can celebrate my own parts and at least work to honor them.

Today's card was this:

It reads: "I am the perfect weight for myself at this moment. Yet I have the ability to change my weight if I desire. I am free."

The back of the card simply reads:

"I love my weight."

It's the last line on the front of the card that gets me: I AM FREE.

And we are free - free to make our own choices, free to love our bodies, and free to celebrate in them.

More importantly, we don't need this weight to protect us from whatever feelings or actions we've been afraid of. The extra weight I have? It's what I've had most of my adult represents a lot of pain, a lot of hurt, and a lot of abuse - both from other people and myself.

The beauty of life is that, barring any medical conflict, we can let this weight - and all it symbolizes - go.

We are, quite simply, free.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Building momentum

Probably one of my lowest moments in recent months was when I started really feeling apathetic towards my weight loss. I had maintained a 50-55 pound weight loss for a year...and I started to think that maybe that was good enough. Maybe this weight was where I was meant to be. Maybe being in size 16 jeans was as good as it got for me.

That's when I wrote the post about decadence and about how maybe me not doing as well in my eating was actually me trying to pamper myself. Since then, I've had many a-ha! moments. In fact, I'd wager to say that I've learned more about myself in the last two months than what I had in the previous 12.

I've learned to trust myself. I've learned to listen to my body more. During the decision to put my house on the market, getting an offer, looking for houses, and ultimately deciding to live with Joe, I've learned to trust that everything will be okay - no matter what happens.

Moreover, I've learned to trust myself again with food. I'm not saying I'm perfect with this...but as harried as things felt last week, I kept going with what felt right to me: Eat things that fuel your body when you're hungry. Don't deprive yourself, but do exercise self-control.

I'm pleased to report that I had another 2 pound loss this week. This loss, even when paired with the 2.8 pound loss from last week, doesn't even negate the 5 pound gain I had a few weeks ago. But it's in the right direction.

It feels good to have a loss and know that you "earned" it. I put in the work, I listened to my body more consistently than I have. I made mistakes, but I worked through them. It'll be something that I'll have to practice with more regularity until it becomes my habit, of course, but for now I'm focusing on the feeling of when I am mindful about my eating, I feel great.

I'm proud to be at 53.8 pounds down...even if it is the umpteenth time I've been here. I'm proud to be here because I know that this is the last time I will be at this weight.

Oh, and my size 16 jeans are no longer too tight. :) Sure, sure...the best news is that my body feels better, but come on! Not having to use a shoehorn to get into jeans that are too tight is a fantastic feeling. Can I get an "Amen?"

Monday, May 10, 2010

My plan is simple, but not easy

SIMPLE: sim·ple   /ˈsɪmpəl/ [sim-puhl]
1.easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools.
2.not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style.
3.not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown.
4.unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.
5.not complicated: a simple design.

EASY: eas·y /ˈizi/ [ee-zee]
1. not hard or difficult; requiring no great labor or effort: a book that is easy to read; an easy victory.
2. free from pain, discomfort, worry, or care: He led an easy life.
3. providing or conducive to ease or comfort; comfortable: an easy stance; an easy relationship.
4. fond of or given to ease; easygoing: an easy disposition.
5. not harsh or strict; lenient: an easy master.
My eating plan is simple. Eat when you're hungry; don't eat when you're not hungry. In fact, when you boil it down to that, how could it be any simpler?

The problem is that almost all of our lives, we've adapted that eating plan to be:
Eat when your mom tells you to finish all the food on your plate.
Eat when your Aunt Martha spent all day baking that cake JUST FOR YOU.
Eat when you finished your first ballet performance.
Eat when it's your birthday.
Eat when you go on your first date.
Eat when you get dumped.
Eat when you feel left out.
Eat when you feel like you need a pick me up.
Eat when you need to grieve.
Eat when you're happy.
Eat when you're scared.
Eat when you're bored.
Eat when you're tired.
Eat when you don't know what else to do.
Eat when you feel out of control.
Eat to feel in control.

I've eaten for all of those reasons - and about eleventy billion more.

So eating when I'm hungry? It's not as easy for me as you might think. In fact, sometimes it's quite difficult.

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie asked what was going on before I ate (and ate) in my last post. The answer is: Everything. I've felt rushed and stressed...and so tying in with my body to find out it if was hungry or not just didn't happen.

After the last post (and all of your supportive comments), I decided to cut myself some slack. Those of you who have been living/practicing mindful and intuitive eating have let me know that this is a process and a journey. I can't expect to get it right every time all of the time.

So here's what I've figured out so far: deprivation dieting doesn't work for me - or at least it doesn't work for me for long. Stuffing my feelings with food doesn't feel right either.

But this mindful eating practice? When I do it, it feels really right. I like how I feel when I fuel my body with the stuff it likes and requires to be healthy - and that includes sleep, hugs, and good heart felt conversations.

I like feeling heard. I like listening to myself.

I like knowing that when my body is hungry, I can trust myself to nourish it. I like not living in fear of getting hungry.

I like knowing that I can get the full fat gouda slices for my sandwich without feeling guilty. I like not feeling like I'm cheating when I pass on the plastic fat free cheese slices.

Right now it's taking a lot of time to figure out what I want to eat, when I want to eat, and when I need to stop eating. So, my eating plan isn't easy - at least not right now.

But the struggle IS worth it. *I* am worth it.

I am worth feeling content, happy, loved, rested, and harmonious with my body.

What do you do to feel in tune with yourself and your body?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

One step forward, two steps back

Monday I went to my Weight Watchers meeting as planned. I talked with my leader about what I wanted and what I needed. I explained to her that I wanted to focus on mindful eating rather than getting caught up in and obsessed with the numbers - either points values for food or my actual weight.

I explained to her that it was important to me to try the mindful eating approach. I told her that I didn't want to be calculating points for the rest of my life. I told her I wanted my life back. I told her that I might gain weight over the short run but that I was confident that I would lose it eventually. I wanted to try this right now.

She heard me out and was supportive. I exhaled a sigh of relief.

Then I got on the scale.

I was down 2.8 pounds from when I weighed in almost a month before.

I was happy - this healthy mindfulness seems to work! I had been mindful all weekend - eating what it took to feel satisfied but no more. I REALLY scanned my body for hunger signals before eating...and when I felt hunger, I ate what I was wanting. Sometimes my body wanted carrots, sometimes it wanted cheese, sometimes it wanted fruit, and sometimes it wanted protein (so I had a hard boiled egg).

This week started with a mindful breakfast and a tuna fish sandwich that I had for lunch on Monday. Halfway through, I realized I wasn't hungry and didn't finish it. I mindfully consumed breakfasts and lunches on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But last night? I ate. A lot. To be fair, I fixed dinner* after I shopped for the we didn't even eat until 8:30 - and I know from experience that that's too late for me to eat because I'm ravenous by then. But I kept eating. I didn't stop halfway through to see if I was still hungry. I just kept eating. I went to bed full.

This morning, I looked in the fridge to see what I would eat for lunch and was saddened to see that I still had blueberries and blackberries from almost two weeks ago. They are on the verge of going bad. I felt like I should eat them. So even though I wasn't hungry, I ate them this morning with a sausage biscuit that I stopped off to get on the way in to work.

And today for lunch? I ate my whole lunch and didn't pause halfway through like I have been trying to do. In fact, when I started eating, I wasn't even hungry.

I'm reading a book called "Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating" by Geneen Roth and it's fantastic so far. In it, she coaches her eaters readers to eat until they are satisfied - eating what their body actually wants. She states that if you're eating when you're not hungry it'll be next to impossible to tell when to stop. Because if you're eating without a trigger in the first place, it'll be hard to figure out when the trigger is no longer...well...triggered. I think in the next chapter she writes about how to stop eating when they need to. Obviously not only have I not gotten to that part yet, but the concept seems simple.

So now, as I'm writing this, I'm full AGAIN - for the third meal in a row. And I'm disappointed with myself. Katy wrote today about her inner b!tch saying mean things to herself. I'm echoing her thoughts I guess - although not about my size.

My voice is telling me that if I can't even do this for a few days in a row, what kind of hope do I have for succeeding in the long run? My voice is telling me that this is a stupid thing - to go off the points/weight grid mentality. My voice is telling me that this mindfulness won't work. I'm tempted to count up all of the points I've consumed today to try to figure out if I can switch to counting points for the rest of the day - so I can feel some semblance of control.

And that makes me sad too.

So, instead of counting up the points, I'm going to try to stay present with my feeling of fullness. I'm going to try to be mindful of how I feel right now...bloated, full, and a bit lethargic.

I'm coaching myself to believe what I preach - that this is not the end of the world. I'm trying to put it in perspective.

I'm encouraging myself to be mindful at dinner.

I'm reminding myself that if I've lived 32 years by eating to soothe and on auto-pilot, it will take longer than a few days to NOT eat on auto-pilot when I actually try to put it into rigorous practice. But I will be successful, ultimately.

And maybe - hopefully - I'll actually believe it today.

*Which really, this should be a celebration all it's own. I hardly ever cook...but I decided that cooking ONE meal a week would be a great start. Last night, I made lasagna and it was SO good! I'm starting to figure out the simple pleasure of preparing an actual meal from start to finish, enjoying a meal that I made, and watching Joe enjoy it too. It was a wonderful feeling and I can't wait to try out a new recipe this next week.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nearly wordless Wednesday

THIS. This is what I ran in yesterday at lunch.
I don't know exactly what it was at noon (which is when I run) but the daily forcast showed that there were winds up to 40 miles per hour.

Who needs interval training when you're running into gusts of wind?

Yeah. I'm proud of myself. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Being an advocate for yourself

A wise person once said/wrote, "What you focus on, expands." Don't ask me who wrote or said it - I searched the internet and I couldn't find anything definitive.

The fact that there doesn't seem to be one owner of the phrase doesn't make that statement any less true.

Perhaps it is this simple truth that is attracting me to blogs (and the authors of them) when they write about their own advocacy. The ones that are lobbying for their own health - mentally, physically, or spiritually really spark something in me. I could point towards Lesia or the Bariatric Babe for two examples of physical health advocates, but for the sake of this post, I'm going to focus on the mental health aspect when it comes to food.

I've been keeping Krissie's (at Questions for Dessert) recent post as unread in my Google Reader for many days now - because I love re-reading her current mindset on why she is eating the foods that she is. THAT mindset is something that I'm striving for and towards.

It's such a different approach than I think many of us have when it comes to food and losing weight.

I'm finding that I'm an advocate of myself and my own health - especially when it comes to food and my desire to be a more healthy weight.

Take yesterday for example. I did go to the Weight Watchers meeting, as planned. In the line to weigh in, I talked with Susan, who is a lifetime member many times over. Recently she met her goal and made lifetime again a few months ago. Since then, she has been steadily gaining - to where apparently she is now outside her 2 pound grace limit. She is now once again paying a weekly fee.

She said to me yesterday, "Gosh! I don't know what is wrong with me! I just can't keep the weight off. I feel horrible. Why can't I succeed? I'm starting to wonder if it has to do with something up here." And then she pointed to her head.

Yes, Susan. It IS all in your head. And YOU have to be your own advocate - someone who says no to the bags and bags of potato chips in one sitting NOT because you're out of points for that day, but because YOU are worth not putting that crap into. She's not alone though. How many years did I not get that the problem with me and food had so much more to do with my mind? I've been there. And just so you know, I've eaten bags and bags of candy, chips, or anything else I could get my hands on and then hated myself afterwards. Believe me, I know what it's like.

Yesterday's topic at the meeting was eating out and how to do it successfully. My leader focused on the "Set Points" idea which is basically where you get to eat as much as it takes for you to be satisfied of one category of food for a set number of points (it eliminates a lot of the counting and measuring that sometimes can baffle the best of members). Someone in the meeting said, "So you can eat all the meat you want for only that many points?" and our leader had to again explain the difference between eating everything you want and eating what it takes to be satisfied.

By the blank faces in the room, she's got a long road ahead of her if she wants people to "get it."

The thing is, it frustrates me. That almost all of the people in that room didn't seem to understand what they're doing to themselves when they say that they're lazy, fat, or stupid because they're gaining weight on one particular week. I want to shake them all - and then hug them like crazy.

I want to say to them what a good friend of mine said to me a few years ago when I needed to hear it most: "Life is beautiful. You are beautiful. Your life is beautiful."

I can't say that I've had it this healthy mindset for long...and if you've been following me for any length of time, you know that what I'm writing is true. I mean, jeepers! Just look at the links to my past blogs from above...I was saddened to read how I used to feel. For YEARS I had the "diet" mentality that I couldn't have foods because they were bad for me - or that my self-worth was dependant on what I put in my mouth.

The thing is, now that I feel like I have self-worth? I am much more discerning what I will put into it AND what I will do with it.

This is the only body I get. I'm gonna' take care of it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

33 has never felt so good!

Today is my birthday. I'm 33 years old.

You should know that I love the number 3, so this year is going to be my best year. I can feel it.

How do I plan to celebrate? By going to a Weight Watchers meeting, taking my dog for a long walk, and having leftovers with a glass of wine.*

But you know what? In my mind, it's perfect.

I had a great weekend - spent with someone that I love dearly and who loves me back. Saturday night, I was treated to a wonderful sushi dinner. Yesterday, I had a massage that eased my aching back (seriously - this past week it has been HORRIBLE but more on that later) and got to watch episodes of Arrested Development last night - all with the best companion ever.

The leftovers I'm having are DE-LICIOUS and it makes me feel good that I'm not wasting food. The wine that I'll be enjoying reminds me of my best friend (the wine that it's from is from a vineyard close to her house). The cuddles that I'll get at the end of the night will help me feel as loved as I truly am.

So this birthday? It may be the best ever.

Either that, or I'm getting too old to remember a better one.

*Two things: I am going to my Weight Watchers meeting for the support...but I'm going to stand up for myself and be clear on what it is that I want and need from the meetings and my leader. Not quite sure what I weigh today, but I know that I've been listening to my body more - and that feels good and right.

I'm also celebrating by wearing a cute new top I got at the Gap last week (45% off with a coupon!), new cute stripey socks (my favorite), and my new pair of Converse shoes. I look super cute if I do say so myself. :)