Thursday, November 12, 2015

Newer, Bigger Clothes

New clothes. New clothes in bigger sizes. 

One of the things I did during our recent trip to Philadelphia was buy some new clothing at Macy’s. They were (as always) having a huge sale, plus I had a 30% off coupon and a very old $40 gift card, so I ended up getting 7 business/business casual tops and a pair of pants for just about $115. (As always, I am not getting compensated to write this. I just really love Macy’s. I will definitely accept free stuff though, Macy's!)

These last 10-15 pounds from the summer gain seem to have all gone to my stomach and ass, which are definitely both areas that I like to cover as a general rule. But these days, getting dressed in the morning has actually become stressful as I keep trying to find things that look decent instead of terrible for work. I'm not looking to look amazing, just to be wearing simple clothes that do their job and don't make my body actively look worse than it is. Instead, I end up in clothing that I can clearly see is just really unflattering. Not obscene or skintight, just snug and very unflattering. Think the "Is she pregnant or just fat?" fall look.

I realized that this was making me feel even worse about myself, and that buying clothes that fit better is not “rewarding” weight gain or encouraging me to gain more, and I don't deserve to wear too snug clothes and feel like I look terrible, not to mention just unprofessional.

One of the most popular posts on this site is where I wrote about why goal weight clothes are pointless. The flip side of that is something I realized over the trip: having clothes that fit is important too. 

I hate, hate, hate buying clothes in bigger sizes, especially when I have theoretically have a lot of clothes that "should" fit, but what I hate more is always feeling like I just look messy.

So, bottom line: I'm still very uncomfortable in my body - working on it, more on that later - but I don't want to feel terrible about myself in the meanwhile. If you're in my shoes too, see if you can spare even $50 to buy a couple of things that you can at least feel okay in.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Showing My Face & Philadelphia Highlights (Prisons! Signings!)

John and I just got back from our trip to Philadelphia. It was really fun - we basically just let Tripadvisor tell us what we should do and see, and went from there. After some research, we decided to stay in an Airbnb apartment instead of a hotel near the city center, and it was fantastic - saved at least $300, and that’s for more space and a kitchen! Will never stay in a hotel again if I can swing it.

Highlights included:

The Liberty Bell
    • They also had a really thought-provoking exhibit on slavery, and how its continued existence was in awful and highly hypocritical parallel with the slave-owning founding fathers (like George Washington)
Independence Hall
    • Birthplace of the US, where the Declaration of Independence was argued, drafted, and signed. (Tours are free!)
    • Also the site of National Treasure, a movie I unironically love
Eastern State Penitentiary
    • A prison that had running water before the White House, this place was fascinating and the exhibits were so well done. You get a set of headphones when you start, and it’s all a self-guided tour and you can just wander around and see the cells, tunnel from the 1945 escape attempt, death row, baseball diamond
    • We learned about how the prison changed over the hundreds of years in which it operated and how it was abandoned/condemned in the 1970s, and finally turned into a museum after two decades of arguments and politics
Jewish Museum
    • Lots of interesting information, but I was hoping for more artifacts and first person accounts (i.e. things you can’t get online or from a textbook)
Unlimited Bowling at Lucky Strike
  • Not special to Philly, but I wanted to memorialize that we played five games in one evening. Don’t ask for our scores, though.

We also walked about 25 miles over the time there - that was essentially our mode of transportation. By the end my feet hurt a lot (John was fine, weirdo) but it was overall a great trip, and all just a couple of hours away.

So, the burning questions - food and weight. As of Wednesday, I weigh 183.2, which is actually about half a pound down from a month ago. That’s good. On the trip I got a picture of what will make a good "before" or "during" of being at 183 pounds.

Thus, presenting for the first time on this blog, my face. Huge moment, I know. I figured that anyone reading this who knows me would figure it out anyway pretty quickly, so why not? And yes, I wasn't exaggerating about how pale I am.

With John’s encouragement, I started tracking again on MyFitnessPal during the trip and have now kept it up for the whole week! Baby steps, I know. I’ve mostly abandoned the whole “small meals” thing in favor of this. I didn’t seem to be working for me, or maybe I didn’t give it a fair chance, I’m not sure. I do know that it felt odder than I thought it would to eat basically a snack with my colleagues eating their lunches, and then have 2-3 snacks during the day.

My goal for the trip was just to stay at maintenance level - which, in part thanks to all our walking, I am happy to say I did.

I’m still really, really struggling with believing in myself. That I can still do this where I’ve failed so many times, regained so much weight, and use food as a comfort, a reward, and a punishment. That all the little bits will add up to weight loss. I’m trying. I know that probably everyone who’s had weight to lose has felt this way, even the people who ultimately succeed. I so badly want to be one of them. For now, I’m working really hard to at least track my food and stay at maintenance level, but I really want to up my game and get back into the 170s.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

When The Scale is Needed

Fair warning: Rambliness ahead.

So the last couple of weeks have been interesting. Was going, doing pretty well for about two weeks. Then PMS’d hard and ate an entire pint of ice cream, then realized that was basically my entire calorie deficit for the previous 10 days. So, yeah. By “interesting,” I mean frustrating. I’ve been struggling now the last few days, with eating well and getting my self-esteem back up from the bottom of the pit it has fallen into. I know if I don’t turn this around, I will be back at 190, then 200, before I know it. That’s not an acceptable path, so I need to turn myself around. I’m trying. It’s hard to keep building back confidence and “I can do this” attitude when I’ve failed so many times.

I only know one person who has had that classic weight loss story - A Rock Bottom Moment brought on by a boy she likes not liking her back because of her weight, followed by girl going right to grocery store to buy egg whites and lettuce, then home to throw out all the sugar, start working out six days a week and lose 90 pounds in 13 months. Everything is perfect and she finds the confidence she always knew was there, magazines interview her and it turns out she’s a hottie and now her beautiful inner beauty can shine through.

This girl is the only person I’ve even known who actually did change themselves overnight and maintain that loss. The big butt here (not hers anymore) is that she only eats sugar or carbohydrates once a year, and has a very health conscious focused job. That first thing is not something I could maintain. Amazing for her, but I can’t do that, even if it would mean losing all the weight in six months. Right now I’m trying not to gain.

Maybe I’m afraid of trying and failing, maybe I’m just lazy. Who knows what psychological issues I’m hiding? I am getting out the scale tonight - despite the “no scale” month I planned, because I need to face if there’s a gain there. The scale isn’t useful when I’m doing well, when I’m losing, but it becomes a necessary tool when I’m not doing well and need a wake-up call.

So right now, unfortunately, I need the scale. I'm facing whatever it says. Am I totally going back on what I said? Maybe, but I don't think so.

A few years ago, I managed to convince myself that I still weighed my lightest of 160 pounds for a period of months because I just didn’t get on the scale. Denial is a funny thing. I don’t think I’ve put on more than a pound, but whatever it is, I want to know. An electronic bucket of water, if you will.

TL;DR If you’re still reading this, damn, I’m impressed. The bottom line is that this is still really hard, and I’m struggling, but I’m going to keep trying. I do think counting calories is where it’s at. Maybe it’s just as simple as I need to try harder.

Tomorrow I will weigh myself and report.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Weigh In and Continuing with The Plan

The good: I did not gain any weight over the last six weeks. I lost a little gained a little and it evened out.

The bad is of course that in July and August I gained between 10 and 15 pounds, putting me at 180-183.

I also barely worked out. Literally every Jewish holiday fell on a Tuesday night this fall, Tuesday is my night with my gym buddy, where we see the great instructor in the great class where we strength training and power dance for two straight hours. So for basically five out of six weeks I could not go to class and I stupidly or whatever did not make the effort to go a different night. My gym buddy and I both dropped the ball. I'm of course not happy she's struggling, but I'm happy to know someone who understands.

But now all the holidays are over. I know for most people this is kind of the start of the holiday season, but for me it is actually, finally, the end. Thanksgiving might be hard, Hanukkah might be hard, there might be a few holiday parties. But they will either be just one day or one meal in the evening in the middle of a mostly normal workweek. 

This is quite contrary to the recent Jewish holidays. For those who don't know that means, it means that I don't go to work, I don't use electricity at all, no car, no subway. No writing or drawing. What do we do? Eat, pray, board games, read, walk, nap. Emphasis on eat. I liked spending so much time
with family as friends, but I am honesty thrilled to be getting back to a normal schedule.

The last time I tried my eat small meals plan, I did it for just four or five days. Then it was part 2 of 7: Jewish holiday edition, and I gave up. Now I need to try again. Yay for maintaining, but at 181.8 pounds as of this morning, that's not even close to good enough.

I'm also thinking of getting rid of the scale. Maybe just weigh in once a month, or maybe not at all. Why? I think it's hurt more than helped over the last few years. Because the truth is that if I'm tracking, whether calories or weight watchers points, I know how I'm doing, good or bad.

When I was consistently tracking for that year or so, John had helped me make numerous graphs where we overlayed my calorie intake over my weight.

The result? They matched up pretty perfectly. So the point is that the scale won't be telling me anything I don't know. Either it will validate my efforts, efforts of which I'm all too aware. Or, it will show me a gain that I can blame on bloat or "bodies are weird sometimes" syndrome. In fact, perhaps the real times I need the scale are when I'm not tracking, not doing well, so that I don't get into denial about gaining like I'm want to do.

Bottom line is, maybe the scale isn't a useful tool right now. It makes me mad more often than not. As of yesterday morning I'm at 181.8 and 38.7 body fat. I'll decide next month if I feel like looking at the scale.

To anyone reading this: I hope you have not given up on me because I have not given up on me.

Insert cliche about weight loss being a journey and success being a crazy squiggly line. End with super clever, topical joke.