Monday, December 28, 2015

Weigh-In and A Great Pep Talk

Last week I was down another .8, for a total of 7.4 pounds since November 17. That's an average of 1.4 pounds a week! Awesome, though I really can't expect to keep up that pace.

This week was hard. I don't know what I'm expecting at weigh-in tomorrow, but I would be surprised if I wasn't up.

I don't even know how to describe this, but this week was hard and I did not do well. Tuesday and Wednesday, and even Thursday were pretty good. I stayed out of my weekly points (saving them for the weekend), went to my double-trouble Power Dance then strength training class with my favorite instructor. I was feeling pretty good.

Then we went to my parents, and it was like I instantly regressed to that sad, fat little ten-year-old who thought "people be gone from kitchen" was a sign to "eat all things not glued/nailed down." That (the regressing thing) probably didn't help, but it was also that I'm still really not good at having food around, especially sweets, and not eat them, like sweets.

My parents are awesomely kick-ass, and this was a great weekend where the whole family was together, my two siblings included. That part was pretty great. But I absolutely sucked at the eating. My mom made cookies, and she asked me to make a dessert, and then some neighbors came by with homemade Christmas treats, not to mention the mealtimes themselves. I just really sucked.

The good news is I just tracked everything I could remember from the last few days. As best I can tell, I'm about 100 points in the negative. Triple-digits. Ugh. It's not as hard as you'd think, because of how many points sugar is - for example, a standard slice of cake with frosting is 25 points. For reference, I get 30 points in an entire DAY. So that 100 points could translate into - WAIT, nope. Just did some Weight Watchers calculator games. That 100 points could easily be an extra 2,000 calories eaten this week.

Still my favorite gif.

So I'm definitely not happy with myself, but I'm trying so hard to just get right back on today, and keep going. That started with tracking everything I could remember. John gave me a great pep talk on the way home from my parents. I definitely hit the lottery with that guy. The gist was just that this, right now, is where a lot of people who end up failing, fail. If I can get back up from this, in six months this weekend can just be a blip on my weight loss chart. Maybe a gain, maybe not, but it won't matter. This can be the beginning of the end, or just a bump on the way to a healthy weight. I get to decide that. 

For those who celebrated, how was your Christmas? Merry Christmas!

For those who didn't, did you see Star Wars? We did and I thought it was great. (No spoilers)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Weigh In & Holiday Parties

I’m down another pound, yes! That brings me to a grand total of 6.4 pounds in 4 weeks, putting my current weight at 188. It’s slightly annoying since I weighed myself at home right before I started Weight Watchers, and it said 184, compared to the 194.4 that Weight Watchers had on their scale. However, I’m trying to go with it, and realize that in the end, those eight or ten pounds don’t really matter.

I’m also getting used to the new Weight Watchers plan, how sugar makes the points value of a food skyrocket. I’m definitely off the office candy bowl. There’s also been a few other times where there has been some great treat in the office, and I didn’t give a second thought to not having any. I also realized that I don’t actually need all the honey that comes in my Fage 2% with honey, which brings the points of the yogurt back down to the original 5 points. Progress!

I'm feeling pretty in control these last few weeks, which is a wonderful feeling indeed. I can gauge how confident I am in my weight loss by what I daydream about while walking to the subway. Is it showing up svelte to my company's holiday party next near, when (hopefully) they would have not seen my transformation because I finally got a new job? Is it running into my sixth grade crush/bully while he's drunkenly peeing in the street and I look great? Or is it what I'd do with 2, 4, or 6 million dollars? It's all in the daydreams, my friends.

How was your office holiday party? Open-bar-fancy-apps or daytime pre-ordered luncheon?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sometimes I Think About What Happens After Goal Weight

The other day I was reading an interview with a transgender woman about her transition, and something in it struck a particular chord with me. Nora lives in the Netherlands, where the state will pay for everything, but there are a tremendous amount of meetings, counseling, therapy, waiting periods, etc, involved in the transition process. Much of these meetings focused on what Nora wanted to do with her life after becoming a woman - everything from hobbies to career goals, to love and friendships. What were her plans, what was her support system?

She explained, “You spend your youth wishing you could live your life as a woman, but once you accomplish that goal, you then have to actually go out and live your life as a woman. That's not the end of a story -- it's the beginning of one.”

Obviously my situation is very different from Nora’s, but what she said there really struck me, and I think there can be some interesting parallels. Really, her words can apply to any big accomplishment or event - finishing a game of Risk, getting married, taking that trip, whatever.

How often does something like this happen? You plan and you work and you try for months or years, and then you finally do it. You’re married, you’re living as your preferred gender, you’ve gotten to your goal weight. Then what?

How much time and energy have I spent on my weight? Planning diets, reading tips, staring at the scale, even blogging here? How many of my waking hours are spent thinking about the type and amount of food that will enter my mouth? (Ha, you didn’t think I’d say ‘mouth!)

That’s something to remember. After I lose all this weight, there will probably be some new clothes and an enormous amount of celebrating and creating before/after jpg that I not-so-secretly hope will go viral. But then eventually life will go on at this new weight. At some point, I might have more people in my life who have only even known me at 140 pounds or whatever than people who remember my 190-pound existence. Isn’t that weird?

There are already people who’ve never known the me that was looking for a post-grad job forever, or the me that was really depressed, or the me that had [opinion] on [controversial topic] that’s now done a 180.

We all keep creating different versions of ourselves, and with each new person that we meet in life, there’s one more person who has no idea who we were before they met us. I found out that a girl I was friendly with was a semi-famous violinist. I’d hung out and talked to her at least 20 times, but had no idea. She had this huge skill, these amazing accomplishments that she’d earned, and I had no clue.

So I need to remember that maybe someday there will even be people who think I don’t understand what it’s like to be bullied for my weight, because they’ve only even known me as a the supermodel I became later. I guess the older you get, the more that happens. Most of the people in my parents’ lives have only ever known them with kids. Hell, I’VE only ever known my parents as parents, not the clean-shaven law student or the reporter living in a cool apartment. (However, I’m positive that my dad has always made dad jokes.)

Weight loss will hopefully just be a part of my past someday, just like the months I thought crunchy gelled hair = extreme attractiveness. And it should be. I might always have to think about food a little to maintain, but it won't be like now, where weight loss is high on the priority list. 140-pound Leah will be the new Leah.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Weekly Weigh In and Weight Watchers Changes

Remember all that stuff I wrote about Weight Watchers and points? Well, they just changed everything. If you have a TV you might have seen the commercials, and Oprah's smiley face seems to have taken over my app and the WW website.

They've been having mass technological issues - I unfortunately had several days worth of stuff just kind of disappear. It seems to be back online, and hopefully will be sorted out once everyone is on the new system.

The point is, last night I was down another 1.4, for a total of 5.4 pounds lost in three weeks! I am really excited at this progress. 

So, the changes to Weight Watchers - they've changed how they calculate points. Ten years ago, food points were calculated by calories, fat, and fiber. Five years ago, they changed that to carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and protein. Now, points are calculated by counting calories, sugar, protein, and fat.

The calories act as the baseline, and then protein can lower points while sugar makes it skyrocket. They're also trying to focus more on whole health, but honestly I'm kind of "eh" about that part.

The point is that they are really, really, penalizing sugar now. A candy bar that was 7 points is now 12. My standard breakfast, the Fage 2% with honey, jumped from 5 to 9 points! On the other hand, beans, tuna, and chicken breast went down. They adjusted the daily and weekly flexible/anytime points. Mine essentially stayed the same - my dailies went up by one, but my weeklies went down by seven. This is going to be tricky since a lot of food are higher in points now - not just sugar, but dairy - but I'm still on the same amount of points. Fruits and veggies are still free, though!

Regarding the sugar penalty - I adore sugar, and at first I was really annoyed by the changes. How can Weight Watchers have the whole "lifestyle" and "fitting everything in moderation" shtick if they make the cost of a slice of birthday cake basically prohibitively high? This I soupboxed at John for awhile.

After a bit of thought, though, I think maybe it could be good for me. I really do struggle with sugar. Maybe this could help me to have fewer treats and appreciate them more. How many times have I grabbed a 40-calorie mini Milky Way from the office candy bowl? A hundred million? How many do I remember, how many did I taste? Zero, probably. In the end it just became a habit. Maybe this will help me stop, when I realize how much it's costing me.

To my fellow, celebrators, Happy Chanukah! As someone trying to lose weight, I'm super duper pumped about a holiday that revolves around frying things and eating them.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving and Happy Updates

Hi everybody.

So here's where I left off: Feeling angry at myself for weight gain, frustrated at my lack of motivation, feeling like 20 pounds was just a silly dream, waiting to hear on dream job.


  • Didn’t get the dream job, unfortunately. I thought it went great, (and it did!) but there was just someone they liked more, I guess. I’m going to keep trying.
    • Lesson: some industries, like publishing, are really hard to break into.
  • Ended up at Target with my mom last week and she helped me find a couple more dresses. My mom has an amazing talent for picking out flattering clothing for anyone. And now I really feel like I have a solid fall/winter wardrobe for work and life.

Remember how many “new plans” I came up with, and how I ended up stopping each one after, at most, a couple of weeks? The small meals, the trying to track, the fake Whole30, I gave up on all of it. The plus it that it more or less kept my weight the same at about 185, so at least I’m not heavier than I was in the summer. The minus is that it’s now been at least four months since I speed-gained ten pounds and the pounds are still hanging around.

I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago. I pre-signed up for three months, and told John that whatever happened, I would go to one meeting a week and weigh in for those 12 weeks. And that I would try, of course, but the main commitment is that I’m going to weigh in and attend the weekly meetings they had. I was a member back in 2011-2012 during my senior year of college, where I lost 40 pounds. It was amazing, I felt great, then graduated and life got in the way, this is all outlined here.

So, skip to the present, I went back to the program that actually worked for me.

For those not familiar, Weight Watchers is a huge American weight loss company. Food is assigned a number of “points” based on the amount of carbs, fat, protein, and fiber in it, and you get a certain amount of points to “spend” per day on food, plus a weekly extra 49 points that can be spent all at once, one day at a time, or not at all. Anything else? Oh yes, fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables are zero points, which encourages members to choose them over other things.

I like this plan. It’s flexible and I’ve found that tracking is a good tool for me.

I might add this to the sidebar, but just so everyone knows: I am not being sponsored, and am not affiliated with or ever compensated by Weight Watchers (or any company) in any way.

There happened to be a meeting about 5 minutes from my workplace, so I decided to start there. I was actually really, really emotional and felt like I was holding back tears the entire time.

They told me I weighed 194. I was like, “What the fuck? Two days ago I weighed 184.” I’m chalking it up to a different scale and weighing in at night with clothes on as opposed to in the morning in just underwear. That being said, I’m just going to say that 194 is my real weight. It helps that my scale is actually broken - I ascertained this fact when it weighed me in at 133.3 pounds, so that will make it all the more easy to just accept this number.

Two weeks ago I weighed 194. Last week - my first  week - I was down 1.2. I was disappointed at that result for the first week, but couldn’t really complain as I had gone over my points by a bit. The next week, (so last week), Thanksgiving, I was awesome on plan for a couple of days, then really struggled Thanksgiving weekend. I didn’t go crazy, but I did stop tracking so can’t really be sure what I ate.

I was annoyed at myself, thinking that I’d be two weeks into a diet and actually weigh more than when I started. That’s… not how I want it to go. To my utter shock, I was down 2.8 pounds, for a total of 4 pounds. Assuming that’s a little of the first week catching up, or luck, or even water loss, but I’m not going to question it. Four pounds down.

So now I'm 'officially' 190. Cue ugh sound.

That being said, I am trying really hard not to slack off on tracking, and to actually work the plan and stay within my points. I do think I ate less in those two weeks and lost weight, but that kind of off-plan guessing won’t work for long. So far this week has been good! I actually feel soothed when I track, and see the little numbers and know I’m where I want to be. It’s a great feeling.

I know I’ve been lousy at updating. Sometimes I’m just not sure I have anything to say. However, I make a pinky-Internet-promise swear that I will at least update every Wednesday or Thursday after weigh in and report on my progress.

Here we go, week 3!

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.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stuff and Things

Bullet Point Post because I’ve been distracted the last couple of days. I’m waiting to hear back about an amazing job and it feels like applying to college again - just tell me yes or no so I can move on.

  • The Jewish holiday season is over. I know that for most people, the holiday season hasn’t even started, but for me it’s basically over and I am so, so glad. I would go into it more, but it seems strange to complain about too many days off and too much good food available.

  • Looking back, I realized I only did the “small meals” plan for… five days. Then the holiday season started and I had a lot of trouble doing it for the short days in between.

  • This morning I weighed in at 183. Some may be bloat or whatever, as it’s about five pounds up from two weeks ago, and there’s no way I was overeating to that degree

  • Still, it was really shitty to see that on the scale, and I am feeling sort of desperate to get back to it, to not feeling so uncomfortable in my body

  • My gym buddy has also been struggling with eating well the last couple of months. Holidays and other events have kept us from our beloved gym classes, so we’re determined to get back to our regular Sunday and Tuesday classes

  • I hate waiting to hear back from things.

  • It’s getting colder here, which is wonderful for two main reasons. 1) I can wear long sleeves and pants without feeling like I’m dying of sweat inhalation; and 2) I don’t have to look at women wearing rompers, which I think is one of the dumbest trends in recent history 
  • Seriously, with the rompers. “Here is an outfit that flatters only the thinnest of people, and forces those who do wear it to sit on the toilet topless because they have to pull the whole thing off.” “Perfect! Make sure they’re all just shy of showing off the butt.”

Any trends you just do not understand?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Weigh In and I Got My Cheese Back

Weight first:

Currently at 176.6, which is six pounds down from my August 21st weight of 182.6 and one pound down of my last weigh in, two weeks ago. Not sure of body or muscle fat.

Last week I intended to continue on my no carb/sugar/legumes/dairy plan for the rest of the month. But the idea of that was so, I don’t know, icky, that I realized just how much I wanted to stop doing it. I missed beans on my salad, and milk in my coffee, and nothing in the world will convince me that those things are bad for weight loss. What also happened is that I thought of a better plan for me, one that felt more fitting. Also, how can a blog with this title not have dairy?

My highest weight was 200 pounds, during the first half of college. I’ve written a little about how my parents sat me down, told me they were terrified for my health and that I needed to lose weight. That was a wake-up call that still gets to me, and I think it’s part of why I never got back to 200 pounds again. (Though, full disclosure, I got to 190.)

Back at sophomore year, I lost those first twenty pounds quite easily. I took the number of calories I wanted to eat - in that case, 1200-1400 - and split them into 200-250 calorie mini meals. Six or seven snack/meals a day, and I lost twenty pounds that semester without feeling hungry or deprived. I aimed to have at least five of those “meals” be healthier and nutrient rich food, and then one or two could be whatever I wanted.

A day might have consisted of a Larabar, a slice of toast with 1 tbsp peanut butter, a cup of homemade black bean soup, a turkey burger patty on a salad, a whole milk latte, and a Milky Way. I didn’t eat enough vegetables back then, but overall I felt great. I’m pretty sure I ate a candy bar every day that semester, and that was a big reason I stuck to it. No need to go off plan to eat something sweet, it was already part of the plan.

I liked how it broke down the 70 pounds I needed to lose into this little 200-250 calorie slots. It really worked for me. Sometimes I’d end up eating 7 or 8 or these mini-meals, but in that context it didn’t seem like a disaster.

So I’m trying that again now. Sunday was my first day, and so far it’s going pretty well! I’ve been keeping track of everything on the Notes app on my phone, though trying to think of a better system. Six or seven meals a day, ideally maximum only one of junk food, and lots of veggies.

This is definitely working better for me than the previous diet, but I think I still needed it for those 2-3 weeks to get out of the “eat everything and then feel like shit” pattern I had been on.

So, this is it, right? I’ll just lose a perfect pound per week until I hit my goal weight, then I’ll be featured in a few magazines for my new hotness, and life will be perfect? No? Dammit.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Most Perfect Diet That Ever Was

Whoa, that’s some pretty bleak stuff down below. Thankfully, I’ve been feeling better. Not “I’m so gonna nail this thing” awesome, but not hopeless like I was. Last night there was a happy hour to send off a departing colleague in style. After a bit of internal debate, I decided not to go. I’m not that close to this person so don’t think she’d care (or possibly notice) if I didn’t show, and I was feeling like the absolute last thing I needed was to be surrounded by tons of drinking and free, fried deliciousness. I definitely don’t want to avoid living and being social for fear of overeating, but last night it just didn’t seem worth it.

My “plan” right now is to keep with what I’ve been doing a little extra, another two weeks or so - the almost Whole30. For after that, I’m still not sure. I have really loved not counting calories, but now I’m wondering if not tracking is a sort of trigger for me. I have an idea of a semi-tracking, to allow myself unlimited veggies, lean meats, legumes, oil, and eggs, and then have limited dairy and starch that I can use how I want throughout the day. Limit sweets, and maybe up the workouts.

I do know that whatever plan I use or try - Weight Watchers, or low carb, or calorie counting - would work. Any reasonable eating plan works if you follow it, I know that. It’s not a matter of finding the “perfect” diet, but of just sticking to SOMETHING. So I need to find that something that will maybe make this a little more doable. Trying to find a plan that is the right combination of flexibility and guidelines that will maybe help me to repair my relationship with food a little.

I’m also trying really hard to get out of the “just let me lose ten pounds quickly even if not sustainably then I’ll do something more regular.” I really hate these ten pounds. They made such a difference in how I looked and felt when I lost them, even more than the first twenty did, so of course gaining them back made a big difference. But I can do this, I can take them off.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Perpetual Dieters

Who are these people, the Monica Gellers of real life, who have some kind of rock bottom, aha moment, or whatever we’re calling it these days, and then just go on a diet and live happily ever after? They realize that they weigh more than a baby whale, or more than an adult whale, or something, and then just - do it, somehow?

I don’t think these people exist. It seems like weight loss is more like 10,000 of those moments. If all it took were one of those moments, then nobody would ever gain any weight back. But based on the real numbers, it seems like, instead, there are millions and millions of people who spend their lives in a perpetual state of trying to lose weight without ever getting closer than 30 pounds to their goals. The thought of that scares me more, frankly, than just accepting my extra weight. To spend my life trying for something that’s totally doable, and actually pretty simple, and constantly failing.

The first and only GIF I've ever made.

In case it wasn’t completely obvious, I’m… not great. Not going off the rails like a month ago, but really just having zero confidence in myself. Confidence that I’ll lose this weight, that I can have a normal and healthy relationship with food, and the mindset that I deserve any of these things. I mean, I can’t even follow a simple eating plan for a month. One that I made up, no less.

We were at my parent’s for the weekend, and there’s just so much food, so many activities centered around food. The entire Jewish New Year holiday consists of prayers, eating, and napping. Since then, I’ve been kind of plodding along, neither here nor there. I ordered some “my eating plan”-friendly groceries that will arrive tomorrow night. It sucks. I wish I could just get out of my own head, or go to some little room where I receive nutrients via pills and lose twenty pounds in a month.

I am trying to be more positive, maybe whine less. Yup, the above WAS me whining less. Scary, I know.

I can try focusing on what I didn’t eat - the things that I would have, without a doubt, eaten if I wasn’t trying to be better. The whole “yes, this isn’t great, but it could/would have been so much worse.”

I’m going to start trying to jot down a couple of these every week. I want to remind myself - or anyone reading this - that even when I’m annoyed with my eating slip-ups, I should give myself credit for what I did accomplish. Because usually there is something. Sometimes it seems like a pretty small accomplishment, something that makes you think “Well this isn’t really something to be proud of, this is something that people do all the time without thinking about it.” But what’s hard is different for everybody, therefore there’s nothing wrong with giving credit when you do something that’s hard for you. When I was depressed, I felt like a boss when I woke up before noon on a Sunday. And now, when I sometimes feel like a failure, but then I walk past the candy bowl at work and don’t have any, I think “Wow, I’m fucking amazing. Seriously Leah, this is probably the greatest accomplishment in the history of America.”

John and I have been watching Parks & Rec. Yes, the show is over and we’re super late to the party. If you haven’t seen it (no spoilers here), one of the many great characters is Chris Traeger, played by the stunningly beautiful man-god Rob Lowe. He’s a super-de-dooper optimistic person, and manages to be the only person on Earth who misuses the word “literally” and isn’t irritating about it. When someone greets him, he’ll say, “Ah, Ann Perkins and Leslie Knope. You are, literally, my two favorite people in Pawnee.” Or, “That is literally the best idea I’ve ever heard.” 

Why isn’t it annoying? I think it’s because he really means it. Chris is so positive, optimistic, and full of life and joy that every new idea really is the best idea to him, every person, at that moment, is truly his favorite person, and when he says that his heart “literally” broke, he probably thinks that it did.

I know it’s just a TV character.. but still, what an amazing attitude to have. I don’t see why I can’t have the same approach to eating well. So when I bypass the cake at a farewell, and I tell myself, “Look at me, not having cake, how amazing am I?” that’s perfectly fine. I hope that turning down treats won’t always be a cause for my celebrating, and that it will come more naturally. But for now, I will give myself all the positive reinforcement I can get.