Monday, January 25, 2010

How Did That Happen?!

Two months later... I feel terrible about taking such a long break, but the holidays, winter break and the beginning of a new semester really sucked up my days! I just weighed myself for the first time since GAG-- I lost half of a pound, which is pretty laughable. But I'm happy with it. My eating over the holidays was not great... there were See's candies involved... and I slacked off with My Fitness Coach. I could really feel it in my energy level, so I'm really glad to be back in the groove.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seven Signs Your Body Image is Bruised

Plus five solutions! This is such a great post- take a moment to read it at PsychCentral. I think I have fewer negative body image issues in my 40s than I did in my teens, but I still have trouble hanging out in a bathing suit with friends. (In my teens, I wouldn't even go to a pool.)

There's also an interesting discussion going on at the NYT Well blog about the post. Lots of insightful comments.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Can Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time: HYC Update

I'm so proud to be slapping a "30 Pounds Lost" badge on the blog! I'm down 1.8 pounds since my last weigh-in.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Still Here...

Sorry to be AWOL for so long! And thank you so much for checking in with me and leaving comments... it means so much.

I teach a one unit class at a Junior College- it's shorter than the semester-length courses so usually there are a variety of "start dates" for each section. My schedule this semester looked normal enough, until I realized that from October to middle of November I would be teaching three sections at once! It's not a pretty sight, let me tell you. I haven't had much mental energy for anything other than prep work, lectures and grading, grading grading. The house is a wreck, but I somehow managed to get through my youngest boy's birthday and Halloween with all the attendant baking, school parties, etc. I've even managed to keep up my workout schedule... almost! I missed a couple of days here and there, but I'm very happy to report that it was only a couple of days.

Which leads me to one of the intriguing questions of the GAG challenge for this week: "What makes this weight loss effort different than any previous attempts?" What a great question! Perhaps I like it because this effort is different. Since January, I've lost around 33 pounds. It's been a very slow process-- averaging about a pound a week, with several long periods of seemingly endless plateaus. (Hence the blog name.) I'm not crash dieting, I'm not on "a program," I'm not on any kind of medication... what I'm doing now is the simplest thing in the world: eating mindfully and exercising So why haven't I done it before? I wish I knew. I think this go 'round is successful because of my state of mind. Since I'm not dieting, I can't fail. Since I can't fail, I can't give up and go back to bingeing- if I want to binge I go right ahead, but it's then clear to me that something's amiss, which I'll need to figure out because bingeing is such a ridiculous way to sort out my problems. I still sometimes do it, but in kind of a "mini" way... for example...

Last week I had an overwhelming urge to make some nachos. I threw some Trader Joe's blue corn chips on a plate and grated some light Havarti cheese on the top, then microwaved it, all the while thinking "I wonder what's wrong?" It came to me that I was stressed about my workload and the impossibility of everything getting done by my Thursday night class. I decided to give myself an extra week to grade and concentrate on updating my lecture for the week (it was a week where my students had an assignment that they didn't need back right away). That calmed me down a bit, but I still craved nachos. I made another half-plate. I was getting close to being uncomfortably full, but I felt satisfied. I decided not to eat again until I was hungry. And I didn't. And then I felt fine. I remember reading on someone's blog a Weight Watchers maxim: "You're only one meal away from being on plan." This really resonated with me. In my thirty... oh, man, almost forty years of dieting... I always thought that once I'd binged, all bets were off. I would then "go off" my diet for days, weeks or months- it was almost a relief to binge and go crazy! Then the awful pattern would begin again. So, now the binges are tiny. I try to figure out why I'm feeling binge-y, then I stop when I can. Maybe one day I'll progress to the point where I can skip the binge completely.

The exercise bit is also new. It wasn't until I was a grown-up that I realized I actually liked to exercise, and it's a major part of my life now. I've accepted that this is a long journey... although I would love to be at my goal tomorrow, it's just not going to happen that way. I crash dieted for decades, really, and it took me that long to figure out that it doesn't work. A slow learner, indeed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Real vs. Perceived Size

Have you ever been surprised at your own size? I was at my son's back-to-school night the week before last, scoping out where to sit and subconsciously doing the "How fat am I in comparison to other people" mind-game... I picked a seat, next to a woman I'd identified mentally as a regular size-- certainly not fat. (This was all completely subconscious, mind you, I didn't know I was actually doing it until the next part happened...) I took my seat, glanced over at the the thighs of the woman in the seat next to me, and was shocked-- her thighs were about twice the size of mine. After pondering this for a split second, I thought: if this regular-sized woman is larger than me, is there a possibility that I am a regular size, too? How would I judge myself if were a stranger? It was a bit disconcerting, but in a nice way- a round-about way of seeing that I'm no longer obese, just large. How about you- has your own self-perception been challenged out of the blue like this?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coming Down With "Something"...

One by one, my family's been socked with "something"... I don't think it's the flu because there's no fever, just a yucky nose and throat thing. But it's bad. And it's coming for me. I can feel it in my throat now. (My Brit husband calls this "having a throat" as in "I've got a bit of a throat." Well, yeah.) We seem to have timed this well, though... he was suffering more on Monday and Tuesday, I'm just getting it now... so somehow the boys have been clothed and fed and brought to and fetched from school this week.

I've always wished that I were one of those people who lost their appetites when they got sick... I hate it when I can't taste what I'm eating, but I seem to be able to eat- nooooo problem! Feh.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Dreams and Desires: Dull, Dull, Dull

This is how I answered last week's Challenge question about my wildest dreams, desires and passions:

I suppose my biggest dream now is to have my family dig ourselves out of the financial situation we're in. We're perpetually broke in an attempt to pay off our credit cards... but I know if we keep at it, some day we'll be debt and worry-free, at least financially speaking. I work part time, and I applied for but didn't get a full time job in my department this year. It would have been a god-send financially, but if I ask myself if I REALLY want to work 40+ hours a week, plus try my hardest to be an effective, loving mom and wife... the answer is emphatically "No!" I'm happy working part time, I'm not the most ambitious person when it comes to my career. Everything in my life (finally) is great, except for that one, huge stressor... after many tough years. I be slender and fit, wear fabulous clothes, learn to sew fabulous clothes, see the Giants win a world series and a couple hundred more shows of my favorite musician... in my wildest dreams, I'd like to completely rebuild and re-landscape our house and add an amazing swimming pool. I want to create a fabulous kitchen garden with a grove of fruit trees and learn how to do home canning.

That answer just emerged from my fingertips, so to speak... almost like automatic writing. After re-reading it, it occurred to me that my wildest dreams aren't really that wild at all! Quite domestic, actually! All pretty do-able, with the possible exception of the major rebuilding and re-landscaping. (For that, I'll have to rely on HGTV's Dream House sweepstakes, which I plan to win then use the proceeds to revamp my house, as I love where I live, but my house is pretty awful. I plan this every year, but every year they persist in letting someone else win. Irritating.) It was really liberating to see just how do-able my goals are... we can get a handle on our finances if we're persistent and disciplined... I can continue to work on mindful eating and exercising and have a slender, toned body... I will take a sewing class! None of the dreams I listed are unattainable, which feels pretty darn good. But also... I realize that they all take patience and time, which is- let's face it- boring. I fervently hope that I'll be able to soldier past the drudgery and achieve my boring dreams.