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Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Wanted to Say Goodbye...

Hi to any who read my blog,

I just wanted to say that I have met some exceptionally thoughtful people in the blogging community. There are a few of you especially, who have really gone above and beyond in leaving me thoughtful comments on my posts, and lending support when I have needed it. I hope that I was able to offer some support in return.

I have not fallen off the wagon. I'm toeing the line...eating healthy food, but not yet back to the pared down meal plan I was on before. I am more motivated than ever to get healthy.

All that being said, I have to be honest...the blogging experience has not resonated with me the way I had hoped it would. I am deep down in my bones exhausted. It is 2:37 a.m. as I write this. This is the first free moment I've had to myself all day. When I post, it is either in the middle of the night like it is right now, or while my little girl is screaming at me for attention. Because of this I am having a hard time enjoying the blogging process.

I haven't been able to put the effort into blogging that I had hoped to, and honestly, the thought of writing even one post a week feels like an insurmountable chore right now. Does anyone ever feel that way? I am a big believer in giving support as well as receiving it. So, I just wouldn't get anything out of writing posts without interacting with other bloggers.

If I have ever left a comment on your blog, it is because I find it to be interesting and insightful. I feel a kinship with anyone who struggles with their weight.

My plan is to keep looking for a support system. I am seriously needing some face to face interaction. The internet is wonderful. Heck, I met my husband online, but at this point I really need a friend that I can take a walk with or something. I think I need to use the energy I do have to seek out some activity that I can participate in with my daughter that might lead to a possible friendship with another mom.

I hope all of this makes some sense and doesn't seem too terribly dramatic. It definitely seemed wrong to just leave some really good people wondering what the heck happened to me.

Thanks again for the support and interaction. I wish you all the best of luck and good health. We can do this.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pulling Out of the Tailspin...

Thank-you to Michele for checking in on me, and helping me to stay accountable.

Historically, I am not very good at pulling myself out of a food tailspin...this time is no exception, but I am making progress. I was only off track for five days...I was MONUMENTALLY off track though. Monday I was spot on with the food, Tuesday I went off a bit again, and today I have eaten nothing but extremely healthy food...just too much of it.

My goal for the rest of this week is to only eat my healthy on plan foods, but allow myself more of it if need be. I'm trying to transition here. When I push too hard, too fast, it tends to blow up in my face. What's the lesson in all of this? Consistency is key.  This is a critical time for me. I know how crazily easy it is to regain weight.

On a happier note...On Tuesday I finally made it to the Sammamish River trail here in WA. It is something like 10 miles long, and paved. I had been wanting to give it a go for ages, but was too embarrassed/shy to stop and ask someone how to access the thing...the website was unclear, and I still feel like a tourist here at times. It all sounds silly, but I have a bit of the social anxiety. I have made great strides in improving my situation over the years, but all that is for another post.

Anyway, I stopped and asked a mom with a stroller how to access the trail, and ended up having a nice little conversation. Why didn't I do this sooner? I really have to push myself to try new things. It was a fun time, and I got a good 40 minute walk in.

Here are some pics...

I don't know...this goose just cracked me up. He/she appears to be limbering up before its big walk.

I am loving the fall colors!

My muffin needed a jacket and blanket, but mama worked up a sweat, even with a tee on. That's a sign of a good workout.

I accessed the trail at Marymoor park...I still have lots to explore there.

Well, that's about it for now. Not to sound too dramatic, but I am yearning for that clean, light, peaceful feeling I was cultivating for myself. I know that it is just a few "on plan" days away. I need to believe in myself, and learn from this experience.

I hope everyone is having a great week.


Monday, October 18, 2010

I will not abandon this blog!

I just wanted to quickly say that I did not abandon my blog. Some serious home repairs just fell in my lap last week, and I had to move into a hotel for five days while the work was being done...with a one day notice. Has anyone out there ever moved into a tiny hotel room with a baby, and all of the necessary apparatus? Yeah, color me exhausted. The work is finished, and my house has been put back together nicely. I didn't have computer access.

I am so happy to be home. Blech....I really messed up. It's hard to write this, but I have to be honest, otherwise, what is the point of this blog? I ate crap the entire time. I had a tiny fridge and microwave in the room, but didn't use them. I could have made much better choices...there was no way to eat my usual meal plan, but that was no excuse to go off the deep end. Burgeres, fries, pizza, ice cream, sodas, chips, candy, various carryouts. Result...I got sick, migraines came back, I haven't slept well in days, and a I broke out into some weird rash from the toxic food.

I am not going to call myself names, although I could so very easily slip into that all too familiar self battering mode. I screwed up big time. I am back on plan as I write this. I'll have to do some withdrawing over the next few days...that's how I see withdrawing from a drug.

A huge part of me is relieved to be getting back off of the food. I had five bad days, I can recover if I do the work.

What is dissapointing to me is that I was so easily knocked off plan. Yeah, it was a stressful few days, but I didn't even try...I honestly didn't. I literally tuned out the sensible part of my brain, I could actually feel myself doing it. I don't even know what to make of that. I have some serious soul searching to do.

This is a reminder of how very, very far I have to go. Chicken and veggies tomorrow. I will enjoy them. Lots of water, walk in the park with my girl. I will have a good, strong day.

I hope everyone out there in the blogosphere is doing well, and enjoying a bit more sanity than I have been.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Healthy Weight Fantasies/Goals

First off, I wanted to say another quick thank-you for all of the supportive comments I received on my last blog post. Each one of them was very helpful. Weight loss can seem like an awfully lonely endeavor at times. I guess this is because at the end of the day we each have to face whatever demons led us to this predicament in the first place. I know my journey is about so much more than calories in vs. calories out and exercise...although that's a big part of the equation as well. I managed to stay on plan since my last post (did not exercise Thursday and Friday though), although I felt like the wind was let out of my sails. I feel like I am beyond a point where I can backtrack. So, I am making yet more lifestyle changes...getting up earlier to allow for some elliptical.

On a lighter note...

I just wanted to share a few *healthy weight* fantasies/goals that seem to help when I get the urge to eat, or feel a little tired/fed up...which has been a little to often lately, but I'm coming out of my self imposed funk. These are things that I picture myself being able to do (usually with my little girl) with relative ease once the weight has been shed, and each one is a very reasonable and attainable goal...

1. Kayaking...I have always wanted to learn how to kayak. Right now I just wouldn't fit comfortably.  Lake Washington is within walking distance of my house. I drive past people during their kayak lessons all the time. I would love to be able to do this with my daughter someday. I have always found the water to be very peaceful. This one also includes swimming in public.

2. Hiking...I used to be an avid hiker. I would have to say hiking is my recreational exercise of choice. There is just something about being in the woods that recharges my batteries. I know that taking off the weight will do my joints a world of good, and allow me to take long hikes again, without such a risk of injury. There are so many trails in my area just waiting to be explored.

3. Disney World!!! I went there once when I was eleven-years-old, and I have been trying to get back ever since. Now that I am a parent I have an even more plausible excuse to go. :0) I love that kinda stuff, and am a kid at heart. This one also encompasses my roller coaster fantasy. I used to go to Cedar Point once every summer as a kid, until I got too big for the rides. I know a lot of heavy people miss amusement parks.

4. Biking...I kept popping the tire of the last bike I owned. I was 250 lbs then. Maybe I needed a better bike? Anyway, I would love to get one of those parent/child tandem bikes. I see them all the time. Along with lots of hiking trails in my area are tons of biking trails.

5. Martial arts....just something I have always wanted to try. I want to take a class with my daughter. I think it will be a wonderful tool for building confidence.

What I like about these fantasies/goals is that they involve recreational exercise (my very favorite kind of exercise). I actually picture myself doing these things when I need a boost, and not a single one of them is far fetched...someday I will be doing each of them on a regular basis (besides Disney of course, but wouldn't that be fun?) Some of my access to these things right now is due to the fact that my daughter is only 16-months-old....but honestly, if she was eight and I was still this heavy I doubt I'd be doing any of the activities I mentioned.

All this being said, I believe that the time to live is now. I keep trying to push myself to find new parks and activities to explore. But, I take comfort knowing that I'm working so hard to stay on a path that will open up my world.

Take care,


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting Harassed While On My Walk...nice

I could use a little advice. Tonight while I was taking my walk a man yelled: "Walk faster, you'll lose more WEIGHT!" I admit it, this really upset me. The confident, rational, grown-up *me* knows that the man who yelled this is 1. a coward, seeing that he was cloaked by darkness, and 2. pathetic...who gets their jollies harassing overweight women as they try to take a walk...I mean really?

The scared, embarrassed, still feels like a little girl getting picked on *me* wants to run and hide, anything to protect myself from thoughtless comments like that. I even considered not taking my nightly walk anymore, if only for a moment.

What really upset me is that I let this creep get under my skin. When it happened I just kept walking (it was dark, and I was alone). But, for the rest of my walk I fumed, and thought of witty comebacks, and ways I could have confronted the guy. As soon as I walked in the door though and saw my husband I burst into tears. I was so embarrassed, and angry.

This just stinks. I was feeling on top of the world during my walk, and then whamo! I know I am a strong person who happens to struggle when it comes to eating. Obesity has been a life long battle for me. This doesn't make me *bad* and I know I have as much right to walk down the street with her head up as anyone else.

So, I ask this of anyone who reads do you handle harassment over your weight? Does it ever happen to you? Does it make you feel like your back in middle school? What the heck should I do if I encounter this man again, and he continues to harass me?

I feel a little better already after venting a little. Mean people suck.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Keeping the Lid on the Id

Taken Saturday on ferry going to Bainbridge Island, WA

I had a tough week off and on working through crazy eating urges, but managed to stay 100% on plan, and lost another four pounds. I kept on asking myself what I was really feeling when the desire to eat rose to the surface of my brain. Usually, the answer was stress. I would go into all of the particulars of my life, but I didn't make this blog anonymous. Just the run of the mill boring everyday stuff. 

Stress will always be a presence in all of our lives. At this point, eating through it is no longer an option. I feel a moral responsibility to be healthy for my control the things that I can control. When I was single I lived in constant fear of giving into my urges to eat (especially after losing a lot of weight). I didn't want all of my progress to slip through my fingers.

Now, I feel an almost unshakable resolve. It's still tough as hell. So, my resolve isn't about me thinking weight loss is easy, because it is not. My resolve comes from the fact that the stakes are so high. I always try to keep that in mind.

Keep going strong,


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Weigh-In

Time for another Saturday morning weigh-in. Today's weight: 286.0 lbs. Woo hoo! It's always nice to hit a new decade. That is a four pound loss for the week. I've been on my mission to regain my health for exactly eight weeks today, and have taken off 37 lbs. so far. I have a long way to go, but feel like I have a firm start under my belt. I am so thankful that I have been able to muster up the strength to start this journey. Starting is so darn difficult, but there is no way around it. Got to do the work.

Today's goal, and I say this to myself with the utmost love and respect..."Angie, don't be a dumb ass." Meaning, a loosen the reins day isn't an excuse to go bat sh#$! My Saturday's have been pretty darn reasonable so far, especially last Saturday.  I'm still not ready to let my them go. At this point I know it is a crutch, but the thought of going without it makes me want to pack the whole thing in. I'm working on this.

I have Boar's Head turkey, a little cheddar, cottage cheese, and maybe an apple planned.

Happy Saturday to all. :0)


Friday, September 24, 2010

Eat Your Veggies!!!

This picture depicts the current contents of my freezer (bags and bags of Steamfresh frozen veggies), along with Tyson Grilled and Ready chicken breast fillets.   When I finally decided to retake control of my health, using brute force if necessary, I knew I would need a meal plan that fit four extremely important criteria...

  1. convenience: All of my food is microwavable. The vegetables steam right in the bag. I have a toddler. Said toddler threw her favorite self propelled electronic vtech ball in the toilet yesterday, and then promptly fell in the bathtub...head first. Thank goodness she was fine, not even phased. I was freaked out. I had only turned my back for a sec. The bathroom door hadn't been shut. I'm still shaken. This is a typical day for me. I am on constant baby patrol. Cooking is beyond a chore right now. Carryout and take-in's are easy. So, I think I've found a wonderful alternative to see me through my weight loss.
  2. Taste: I actually *like* chicken and veggies. I guess chicken and vegetables are considered to be a cliche diet meal. I enjoy my three meals/per day. The chicken has a nice grilled flavor, and the vegetables are really high quality...not all frozen veggies are created equal. I sometimes season the vegetables with a little Tabasco sauce, or sodium free salsa by Frogranch.
  3. Health: The chicken breasts have 110 cals, 24 grams of protein, 230mg sodium, and 1.5g fat. The sodium content is what sold me on them. Most premade chicken products are chocked full of salt. All of my veggies have no added sodium as well. I eat three bags of frozen vegetables daily. That's a whopping 2 1/4 lbs.! I also eat three chicken breasts daily, and a tablespoon of flax oil to bump up my fat. All told, my daily intake is...100g protein, 92-100carbs, 17g fat. I keep the sodium low as well. This totals 1,000 cals per day. So far, I feel very healthy.
  4. Cost: I shop at Target. If you don't, I suggest giving it a try. I looked around, and Target has by far the cheapest prices on these items. The vegetables would cost upwards of $3.00/bag in the grocery store. I pay between 1.40-1.99 for most of mine. The chicken costs $7.99 for 6-7 pieces...way more at the grocery store.

There you have it. I was/am very interested in the medifast plan, but I have found that supplements tend to leave me feeling lacking in energy and a little sick. So, I decided on an entirely lean and green approach. I'm not sick of it yet. On really good days I almost forget to eat...sometimes it's still tough as heck though, but I can feel my food addiction fading. I just wanted to share this plan with anyone who happens by. :0) 

P.S. If either Steamfresh or Tyson wants a new spokeswoman, I'm available!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do Whatever It Takes

I wonder what kind of lifestyle changes other people are making in order to get healthy, and stay the course? I have made some pretty big changes in my life in order to get back on track towards better health. About eight weeks ago I had a conversation with my husband that went something like this...

Husband: You mean just turning the television off won't be enough to keep you from watching it?

Me: Nope. I think we need to cancel the Netflix as well.

Husband: So, that should do it?

Me: Better remove the television cables as well....and hide them while your at it.

Husband: Ok baby doll, I love you.

This was a huge first step for me. I had gotten into the horrible habit of watching a movie every night after putting my child to bed. Something about television makes me want to eat. I was the kid who always ate in front of the tv. In fact, I think every binge I have ever had was while watching the *fat box* as I like to call it (no offense to any tv lovers out there). I could easily pack away 2,000-3,000 cals during a movie. So, I have a 62" blank screen dominating my living room. I barely even notice it anymore.

My husband, daughter, and I live in a small condo. Right next to the 62" blank screen sits my giant, hulking beast of an elliptical. I love my elliptical, and it is affectionately named Optimus Prime because it folds and looks like a Transformer. The elliptical occupies the space where I *would* put my Christmas tree. I love Christmas, but I love life even more.

Also, I have stopped going to restaurants, drive-thrus, or getting carry out of any kind. At this stage in my recovery I find all prepared food to be overly stimulating. I think being able to eat one taco or something, and then stop is an advanced skill. I will probably work on this at some point well into the maintenance stage, but I feel it is so much more important to protect the progress I have made so far.

One final big change I have made is in my environment. There isn't a spec of unhealthy food in my house. I'm trying to create fail safe surroundings. This was no easy task. My husband is very supportive, but would still sometimes bring tempting food into the house (mostly on the weekends). I had to swallow my guilt and ask/explain to him several times that being around the tempting foods was jeopardizing my progress. I told him that I was sorry that having a pint of Ben and Jerry's in the freezer was just too much for me at this stage, but it just is. Could he give me some time to get healthier and stronger? He agreed.

I know a lot of couples struggle with that last one. My hubby still slips with this sometimes, and I keep asking/explaining. I think we have gotten to a point where we are on the same page. I'm grateful for this. It really helps.

There's a whole lot more, but the above are just a few examples of the ways I have tweaked my lifestyle in order to keep shedding the weight. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Versatile Blogger x 2

I would like to say a big thanks to both Michele and Polar's Mom for the award nomination. This is a big motivational boost for a new blogger like myself.

The rules of this award are...

1.  Thank the person who gave you the award.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.

4. Let your nominees know about the award.

Since I already said my thank-you to Polar's Mom and Michele I'll go on to the seven things about myself part...

1. I moved to the Seattle area from Detroit, MI only a little over two years ago. Same country and all, but I still experienced a huge culture shock. Truth be told, I love my new home, but I am still adjusting. I miss automatically knowing my area like the back of my hand.

2. I began my previous weight loss journey on May 1st, 2007. I lost 150 lbs., but regained 123 of those pounds (after) the birth of my daughter. Some of you already know that, but it's a big part of who I am today, and my current approach to getting, and staying healthy.

3. My husband and I met online. Yes, it really can happen. I love technology!

4.  Fall is my very favorite season. This time of year feels like a rebirth to me. Crunchy leaves, baked apples (healthy version), Halloween, and the fast approaching Christmas season just do it for me. I practically turn my home into a haunted house each fall. Maybe I should charge admission?

5. I was bitten by the travelling bug when I was eighteen-years-old. On my first big trek I decided to pack a bag and travel the country with practically nothing in my pocket (except lint). I've seen a big chunk of our beautiful country this way, and can't wait to take more road trips once my daughter is a bit older.

6. I do my best thinking, and come to most of life's big decisions in the shower! I can't begin to count how many thesis statement's I've thought up while showering. I think it is sort of like a sensory deprivation tank for me, and allows me to really concentrate on one thing at a time.

7. When I need to recharge my physical/emotional batteries I get to the woods. I'm a big nature girl, although I don't like bugs.

Ok..."11" newly discovered blogs...This was a challenge, since I haven't been blogging long. Some of these I have been reading, and some I just found, but look interesting, current, and like I may be able to relate to their journey.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Extreme Weight Loss...the second time around

Above is a video I made at the lowest weight of my adult life. I was over 150 lbs. down, and about to start regaining. I was in such denial in this video, talking about guilt free Saturday's, and my ability to bounce right back.

I am down 4.4 lbs. this week. I still cannot believe I am taking control of my life, again. I feel a bit healthier everyday. Pretty much every single night for the past year I woke with a start, heart pounding, and hands shaking. My first thought would be: "Oh my God I'm gaining the weight back!" It wasn't some kind of nightmare. It was really happening. It only took about a year.

I did not think I would regain almost all of the 150 lbs. I had worked so hard to lose, but I did. I made so many changes during my weight loss. I learned valuable information about nutrition, I worked very hard to change my psychology for the better, and I found a support system for myself. I actually documented almost all of my weight loss on YouTube... I had been hiding from life for more than a decade, so this was an extremely out of character move for me. It was an amazing experience. I actually met my husband through the weight loss support group, and ended up moving from Michigan to Washington State.

I guess the point of all this is that I continually find myself comparing the way I am losing weight now, to the way I did it before. Like I wrote in my first post, I exercised for nearly three hours each day. I was walking six miles/day at over 300 lbs. I spent extensive amounts of time interacting with my weight loss support group, both giving and receiving daily support. I had copius amounts of time to spend on myself, and had joints that were still healthy enough to take pretty much anything I threw at them.

It is all different now. I have a 15 month old daughter. The saying is true: "A baby changes EVERYTHING." I love caring for her, but I literally never get a break. I should be in bed right now, but getting these thoughts down is important for my recovery. My joints are wrecked. I have been doing 15 minutes on my elliptical, five days per week. My knees are twinging like crazy, my ankles are swollen, and my hip is on fire.

I'm not complaining here...I am acknowledging that I have to do things differently this time around. I cannot count on exercise and the subsequent endorphin rush to squelch any food cravings. Instead, I literally think my way out of eating. In a way this is better, and I think will lead to lasting weight loss because my brain isn't constantly flooded with chemicals....good or bad. I am also trying to decide on a venue for giving and receiving support. That's why I started this blog, and am trying to work it into my daily routine. Finally, I am trying to be real with myself at all times, and never slip back into denial. That is exactly how/why relapse is possible.

It's all a work in progress.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Six Weeks, and learning to enjoy all of the positive changes

I have more than 6 1/2 weeks of "mostly" on plan eating under my belt at this point. I have had off plan eating on three separate days. That is a huge accomplishment, but has been enough to stall my weight loss. Despite this, it is starting to feel more and more like regular life. Last Saturday morning (end of week 6) I weighed in at 294.4 lbs. That was what I weighed the Saturday before (wk 5). I was disappointed...I just was. Honestly, I took a shower after weighing in and cried. Then, I felt angry and frustrated with myself for feeling disappointed.

On Friday night I was going on and on to my husband about how different I feel. I am starting to think clearly again...I'm not constantly walking around in a stupor from overeating. Also, I had lost seven pounds the week before that (wk 4)! Weight loss or not, I am changing for the better. My rational brain knows this, but sometimes it takes longer for me to really feel what I already know. Make sense?

I don't need to lose seven pounds a week. I don't know why I did, but I won't apologize for it either. It felt good. I guess I am a little touchy because the last time I lost a significant amount of weight (the 150 lbs.) I faced a lot of criticism for doing it quickly. I was fast becoming an athlete at that point in my life. That, and a low calorie meal plan resulted in rapid weight loss. That was how I was able to do it at the time. Exercise, extreme as it was, kept me motivated.  

My approach to a healthy mind and body is proving to be considerably different this time around. I think I'll save that for another post.

Bottom line, I am feeling so much happier and at peace. When I feel frustrated I literally say out loud: "Stop!" and I actually visualize a large red stop sign. It's kind of a cognitive therapy technique. I then (sometimes forcefully) redirect my thoughts to all the positive, non scale progress that I am making. My whole lifestyle is changing.  :0)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Free Days...A Dilemma

Things have been moving right along. Last Saturday I weighed in at 294.4 lbs., down from 323.0 lbs.! That's almost 29 lbs. gone. I feel as though I am now moving out of what I call the "intense withdrawal" phase. It feels good, but I can't help but feel cautious, like I'm warily peeking my poor little head out of Aunty M's storm cellar after the tornado. I don't want to get smacked by any flying houses!

It will take some time before I finally grasp that I am finally living healthy once again. I've been in a downward spiral for nearly two years. I feel as though I am shielding a tiny flame.

Saturday marked five solid weeks of being on plan. The weight loss has been pretty rapid so far, but that's to be expected in the beginning (especially at my weight). My pattern has been six days on/one day off.

Here lies the dilemma...On the one hand, taking Saturdays off has provided me with great psychological relief. It gives me something to look forward to, an end point. I created some guidelines for my off day.

1. A day off does NOT mean a binge
2. I take the day off from formal exercise. I actually take Saturday and Sunday off, and my joints thank me for it. I would like to make this a day for recreational exercise, like going to the Seattle Zoo or aquarium, taking my daughter to the park, or going for a walk.
3. I limit myself to one small sweet on this day. A good example is a vanilla ice cream cone from McDonald's. It has 150 calories.
4. Here's the biggie...If I can't stick with these guidelines, or I start to obsess about what I will eat on a Saturday, then I have to rethink the whole thing.   

I have been doing well on Saturday in terms of getting right back on track Sunday morning, but it takes a tremendous amount of will and energy to do so. On Thursday night's I find myself starting to obsess a little about what I will choose to eat on Saturday. What can I enjoy without setting myself off (not a whole lot at this point). On Friday I make a special trip to the store so that I will be prepared and not make a worse choice in a moment of weakness. This is actually pretty difficult with a toddler in tow. It's hard for me to get to sleep on Friday nights. Truth be told, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. Saturday is spent trying to indulge a little without going nuts. This is very HARD for me. I also have difficulty sleeping on Saturday night because I know all indulgences are about to stop. Finally, on Sunday I am inevitably cranky because I am right back on plan and withdrawing all over again.

Written out like this, a Saturday hardly seems worth it, but it's not all black and white. As I have said before, I believe weight loss is mostly a psychological endeavor. The thought of not taking a day off makes me feel panicky and overwhelmed. When I feel frustrated during the week I tell myself "only x amount of days until Saturday" and it helps. Also, my body can use a little extra on that day seeing that my calorie intake is pretty low the other six days of the week.

Still, entirely too much energy is being devoted to this one day. I decided to tweak my off day last week. Since I usually eat around 100 carbs Sunday through Thursday I tend to feel sick if I eat too many carbs on Saturday. So, I am going to eat in the direction of Atkins on this day, without restricting my calories. I'll aim for eating at a maintenance level on my day off.

I am a bonafide carb addict, so hopefully this will allow me to rest without creating so much psychological pain in the process.

The point is...I just don't have the answer quite yet. I could go on and on debating this issue, and I know everyone has their own very strong opinion on the matter. There is no one size fits all answer. Weight loss is intensely personal, so what works for one person won't necessarily work for another.

All that being said. I am beginning to feel much healthier, less lethargic, a tiny bit more confident, and more alive.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Feeling Thankful

Current weight: 304.0 lbs.

I am feeling thankful for the success I have been able to manage so far. I am thankful that I am able to maintain my meal plan, and not feel physically hungry. Heck, I am thankful that I can distinguish between physical and mental hunger. That took years. As long as I stick to my schedule of three meals each day consisting of lean protein, a very large amount of vegetables, and some healthy fat I feel energized and capable. I also drink lots of water, watch the sodium (a huge trigger for me) and do 15 minutes on my elliptical each day...that's all my joints will tolerate at this weight, but I plan to expand my routine as I become fitter. While my body isn't terribly hungry, the food addicted part of my brain is reeling.

I believe that overcoming obesity and compulsive overeating is mostly a psychological endeavor. At first, the urge to eat came at me like waves crashing against a cliff. I found myself stopping whatever I was doing (for just a mini moment) and breathing through these intense urges. It sort of reminded me of childbirth. I feel the uncomfortable emotion coming on, it builds, peaks, and then subsides.

When the urges come at me like waves, and I feel the anxiety building I do several things.

I tell myself to feel the uncomfortableness of the emotion. I don't try to suppress it. In fact, I let it get as bad as it can...I even picture the food that I supposedly can't live without. I then remind myself that this is only an emotion. The urge to eat can only hurt me if I act on it. I have the choice. I am in control. I firmly believe this. Like I mentioned above, I do deep breathing exercises throughout this process. Then, it passes. Like a contraction. That's the best way I can describe it.

I've been doing a lot of this deep breathing lately...while I'm washing the dishes, playing with my daughter, taking a shower...whatever. At the outset, about a month ago, the urges were almost constant, but as time goes on they have become less frequent, definitely still there, but diminished to a point where they aren't the sole focus of my day.

What I am doing is is creating new and healthy neural pathways (I was a psych student before the birth of my In other words, I am building new habits.

The only way out is through. There is an end to the intense withdrawal stage. I've been through this before. I am getting stronger each day.      

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Mission Statement...

My Mission...

To love myself and let go of my guilt, anger, shame, and disgust over regaining 123 lbs. so that I can get healthy and be the best role model and care taker I can possibly be.

My husband frequently tells me that I am a wonderful mom. I know this to be true. Despite my weight, my daughter and I dance and play with pure joy and abandon. I get down on the floor with her countless times throughout the day. We have fun, and  I constantly marvel at how rapidly she changes. Even so, I cannot deny that it is a struggle. Mothering a 14 month old is a tiring endeavor for the fittest amongst us. I am giving my daughter every bit of my energy. It doesn't have to be that way.

A short history of extreme weight loss and relapse...

On May 1st, 2007 I weighed in at 350 lbs. My health was failing rapidly, I could no longer count on my body to carry me through my day, and I realized that I would never have the kind of life I wanted if I remained that size. I rose early (before the sun) for the first time in years on that day and went for a walk around the block...I barely made it. It was a start. I had finally taken action. One year later I was approximately 150 lbs. lighter, and in the best shape of my life. Exercise became my best friend, and a major coping mechanism for many of life's problem's, but I was still numbing out.

I began my weight loss journey with carefully planned moderation, making tiny changes in my food consumption and exercise. Along the way my methods became extreme. Eventually, my routine consisted of 800 calories of extremely healthy food (whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and a lot of fresh vegetables), along with three hours of exercise each day (predominately cardio). I felt wonderful throughout, until near the very end of my weight loss when my one "free" day each week slowly but surely morphed into an eating frenzy.

I began to eat like a crazy person on the weekends, and diet to silly (and dangerous) proportions on weekdays. This opened the door to regaining the weight. Around this time I realized that I needed to slow down. Working that hard made bingeing on the weekends seem almost "reasonable". Easier said than done, but I kept working at it. During this process I became pregnant with my daughter. I immediately stopped "dieting" and shifted to eating 2,000 cals per day of reasonably healthy food.

This was a huge struggle for me.  Restriction was no longer a choice, but I was still battling the urge to eat to excess. After all was said and done, I had gained 20 extra pounds during my pregnancy. I felt ok with that and was looking forward to taking it off at a reasonable pace. After all, I was still 110 lbs. thinner than my highest weight.

Then, COLLICK HIT. It hit like a sledge hammer, and lasted for eight months. When I say collick I mean my daughter screeching for hours on end...and all through the night. Neither my husband or I communicate with our families, and I was new to Washington (a story for another time) so it was just the two of us. My husband and I are a team. He works very long hours outside of the home, and I take care of our home and baby. I found myself driving aimlessly all night long (night after night after night) so that he could get enough sleep to function at work.

This was a  very lonely existence, and I was the most exhausted I had ever been. I know many moms have been through similar situations. I turned back to food for comfort. It had been my old stand by since the age of three. It started with a trip to the grocery store at 3 a.m. I was sick and tired of driving, and thought that if I walked my baby up and down the aisles of the 24 hour grocery store, I could at least be near other human beings.

I remember driving around after that first stop at the store with a ridiculously large bag of dark chocolate raisenettes. I kept telling myself it would just be that one time. Well, over the next year I ballooned back up to 323 lbs.

Here is my mission statement once more...

To love myself and let go of my guilt, anger, shame, and disgust over regaining 123 lbs. so that I can get healthy and be the best role model and care taker I can possibly be.

It bears repeating.

After many false starts I began to slowly regain my health about four weeks ago. My efforts towards recovery are new and tenuous. It's a painful process, but I feel the tiniest bit stronger each day. I want to nurture this growth without losing my head in the process.