Monday, May 30, 2011

Weight-loss related things are happening

This morning I put on some shorts to go to Pilates. Normally I wear Pilates or Yoga pants, but they were all in the hamper, so I pulled out one of my pairs of Danskin shorts. I don't like to wear shorts. Not because my legs are too chunky to wear shorts. I have nicely shaped calves and now my ankles are slim. (No more cankles!) However, between the bottom of my calves and just above my ankles, the skin is so badly discolored, dark purple and red blotches. It's about a five-inch strip that wraps all the way around. It's a circulation issue, one seen by obese people and diabetics. I started getting it years ago, right around the time I was pregnant with my oldest son, at 270 lbs. At first I thought it was because of a really bad sunburn I got in Mexico. A doctor once told me there was necrosis and blood pooling and that I would have to live with it and it would never go away. It's really unattractive and I avoid wearing clothes that show my legs. I don't wear shorts, or dresses and skirts unless they're maxi length.

Well, it's starting to go away. I hadn't noticed it because I simply don't pay attention to it. Or rather, I avoid looking at it. But about 25% of it, on both legs, from about the dead center of the back of my legs to just around the sides of my legs, has faded out a lot, to almost a normal skin tone. Even the upper parts of the blotchy areas is starting to fade, and I'm seeing some spots of normal color in areas of darkest discoloration. It's noticeable, because my Pilates instructor pointed it out to me. So it's not a figment of my imagination.

I'm very excited about this! Super excited about it! Because other areas of my body that are shrinking, they're basically just deflating and sagging more, which is still such a downer. But having this problem with my legs slowly but surely disappear is wonderful! Really, I'm almost crying about it today, I'm that happy!

I may start shopping for dresses soon. I have a few in my closet I haven't worn, but they're starting to get just a little too loose. I'm not going to toss them out. I'll just tailor them down later, once the discoloration is just about gone.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hunger, it's not so bad!

My calories per day are averaging below 1515, finally. So, I'm not starving myself, I'm just concentrating my calories later in the day and it's working out fine! Last night I went to bed after having gone out to dinner with my younger son. We went to see Kung Fu Panda 2 and then went to a local brew-pub for an early dinner. Hadn't eaten anything up to that point, because I knew I'd be okay and I wanted to eat what I really wanted at the restaurant. We were going to go for Chinese food, but Rhyan didn't feel like it. So we split an order of nachos (not that tasty, so I didn't eat much) and then I had a big salad with very little dressing. I even removed the croutons! Sometime later, I was feeling a little hungry and chose to have some lean turkey. Total calories came it at 1412 for the day. I slept fine, and this morning felt just fine.

I would love to muscle my calories down to around 1200 calories. I'm feeling motivated to shed the pounds now. Plus, I bought a few pairs of pants for the summer at size 24 and I want to fit in them by the time I leave for my summer holiday. Going to LA for a week to hang out with good friends, going to see U2!

(GOING TO BE WITHOUT KIDS AND MOTHER FOR NEARLY THREE WEEKS! It's hard to not shout this from the rooftops right about a weight off me!)

Spending the weekend staying active and not eating much. I have a big container of herbal iced tea ready, and I've already had my coffee. I have asparagus, kale and chicken planned for dinner this evening. I have lots of work to do. I may even move my rowing machine to the backyard patio for the summer. Hey, I could even bring it along on my trip! It would fit in the car!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Experiments with hunger

It's not an evil thing, you know...getting hungry. Bad things won't happen to me if I get hungry. I can easily keep from eating on the front end of the meal, easily not eat for 15- 18 hours at a time. But the backside of a meal, that's the tough one for me. If I can become the queen of not eating after my meal...

That's what I'm working on tonight. I went to Pilates this morning, then had a private session with Lori-the-wonder-coach. We talked about some stuff, how I do my diet/exercise research for comfort instead of getting outside to actually exercise. Yes...this is true. Time open the garage door and get back on the treadmill everyday. I was worried about getting hungrier. With more exercise comes more appetite. And snacking after dinner is an old habit. OLD habit. I don't plan for it. It just happens.

So tonight I'm planning for it not to happen. I already ate. Had my 1500 calories of lean protein, appropriate carbs and healthy fats earlier today. I'm currently in the process of drinking the rest of my water throughout the rest of the evening. I have some herbal teas with cinnamon ready for prime snacking hours. Picked up my herbal concoction from Sheri's for getting sleepy and going to bed by 11. Got my new Phillips Wake-up Light plugged in and set for 7 a.m. And after that I'll be getting on the treadmill.

(I'm saying that publicly because around 7:20 a.m I expect Sheri to call me to make sure I'm getting my shoes on and getting the garage door open. And Sheri, you have to give me a chance to get to the bathroom first and then throw some clothes on!)

So the experiments with hunger will continue. I've been reading that it's a mind game, to get past the hunger. Feel the hunger, wait 20 minutes and it'll go away. We'll see...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm feeling MUCH better

Just got back from Pilates and I feel wonderful again. I was having a really tough time sleeping, and then woke up lethargic and achy. Monday, I decided to fast until 3:30 pm, then kept calories and carbs under control and quit eating at 9:30 pm. Took a supplement with valerian root and hops and finally fell asleep by 11 pm. Had a really good night's sleep, for the first time in over a week, and woke up refreshed and energized. (Although I had a disturbing dream about X, so I woke up very annoyed! Even when I'm sleeping, he thinks he can dictate how I live my life!)

Today I fasted until 3:30 pm again, then have been eating lots of veggies and a little lean protein. My oldest son and his girlfriend are making dinner for us right now, some sort of Indian curry. I turned her on to Indian food recently and now she can't get enough! I saved 600 calories for dinner. I love curry.

So, before I started eating today, I weighed myself. I had bloated back up to 307.5 lbs yesterday morning and I freaked myself out enough to get back on track. Back down to 302 today. Obviously a lot of bloating involved over the weekend to have dropped 5.5 lbs in a day-and-a-half. Am headed back in the right direction and confident that I'll break past 300 lbs by the end of the month.

What is the heck with the self-sabotage? I have bumped into 300 lbs so many times in the last 20 years, only to pop back up. I don't know what's bugging me about it this time. Sounds like it's time for a little emotional housecleaning about this.

I am angry that it took me so long to accept that eating less is the only way I can lose weight.
I am angry that I get hungry and remain hungry when I clearly don't want to eat any more.
I am angry that even I define myself in terms of 300 lbs.
I am angry that I believe everyone judges me first by what they see when they look at me.

I am angry that I hung on to weighing more than 300 lbs just to prove that I contributed to society and lived a full life despite what I weigh.

I am sad that so much of my identity is attached to my larger-than-life personae.
I am sad that there were people in my life who were so uncomfortable with who I am naturally.
I am sad that I felt pressured into toning myself down to make life easier for them.
I am sad that I ate so much to stuff the largeness of who I am.

I am still afraid to be me, fully.
I am afraid the real me is too much to handle.
I'm afraid that even I can't manage the real me.

I'm afraid I won't ever be able to fully develop into a whole adult woman.
I'm afraid of who that woman might be.

I regret holding back on my personal development

My unrealistic expectation is that losing weight will open up new opportunities for me for which I'm not emotionally prepared.

A realistic expectation of myself is that I can choose in which direction to move or not move my life, and I don't need the excess weight to make or rule out that choice for me.

I need to keep living life with eyes open to all possibilities.
I need to keep making healthy choices that support my goals of optimum wellness.
I need to trust in my ability to go in the direction I truly wish to go, and that I have the resources within myself to do just that.

Okay, so, there's absolutely no sane reason to hang on to weighing 300+ lbs any longer. None. I'm done with it. My gut is done with it. I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.

I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am done with weighing over 300 lbs.
I am soooooooooo done with weighing over 300 lbs.!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

About last night...

I continued to eat after I wrote my blog entry last night, until I got uncomfortably full. And then I watched episodes of Numb3rs on Netflix on my computer till 3 a.m. That's an old behavior. It's something I used to do to avoid some pain that came up when I went to bed every night. I was numbing myself and emotionally checking out. I think it's about missing my little dog, still.

Chloe used to curl up on my pillow at bedtime, waiting for me to get in bed. Then once I got under the covers, I'd hold them up and she'd slip under the sheets and start trying to find a spot to sleep in. Sometimes she'd dig at the mattress, until I'd make her stop. Then, if I had settled in and rolled to one side, she'd curl up behind my knees, right next to me. We'd both move around at night, but she'd always find a spot right next to me. In the mornings, the moment I started stirring, Chloe would emerge from the covers and lay her head on my arm until I opened my eyes. Then I'd get some good-morning puppy kisses and we'd snuggle for a few moments. If it was cold, she wouldn't get out of bed until I came back from the bathroom.

This morning I was feeling around for her under the covers, out of habit. This pain of missing her isn't going to go away for awhile. I've not been sleeping well, and that makes me more tired during the day, which makes me want to eat more later in the day. The first thing I need to address is the sleep. Because I don't really know how to address the emotions of grief, except to just go through them and trust that they'll eventually subside.

And I need to get back to some things I used to do that were helpful and good for me, body and soul. Back to Pilates tomorrow morning. And back to work. And later today, I think I'm going to plant a vegetable garden in the backyard. I bought a rototiller at Lowe's last night, plus some organic compost and soil. I have seeds and seed trays. The laundry room is going to turn into a vegetable garden nursery for a few weeks, I think.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The mother of all refeeds

Been keeping control over my daily caloric intake pretty well this week. Didn't seem to matter, however. I have popped back up to 304 lbs today. I know it's water retention. The minute the temps start to pop up, my ankles swell up.

Other contributing factors are a desk job, and I haven't gone to Pilates or done any exercise all week. I promise to be back on track by Monday, and tomorrow I will be doing some gardening most of the day. The desk job will continue to be an issue, unless I decide to get myself one of those standing desks. I was going to use my FitBall instead of the desk chair...

So I'm a little freaked that I didn't drop below 300 lbs. I so wanted to make that big announcement. But I have bumped into 300 lbs so many times, only to creep back up. Today, after my disappointing weigh-in, I lashed out - at Starbucks, with one of their Artisan Bacon Egg and Gouda sandwiches. And then, I admit it, at lunch I made a run for McDonald's and got a whole meal, Angus bacon and cheese burger, medium fries and a Coke. And then tonight, I had lentil soup at my mother's house. And finally, just now, a big glass of milk and a Hostess Lemon Pie. I ate just short of 3000 calories.

I used to eat like this, only more, years ago, when I was really struggling with depression and sleep apnea, just after I had my first child. I gained most of my excess weight in those months. I don't know why I made these food choices today. I don't feel anything at all like I did back then. I don't think. I do have a really good sugar buzz going on now!

So, I'm going to do what a lot of normally thin people do. I'm not going to analyze this any more. And tomorrow I'm going to wake up and get back to my normal, healthy choices. I just had to write this all down and release it into cyberspace.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm about to say good-bye to weighing 300+ lbs

I got on the scale before having my first meal of the day...300 lbs. Today I weighed in at 300 lbs. And after today, I never, ever have to say that again!

I wish I could feel some joy in this, but not just yet. I lost my little dog this week. She was hit by a car and died on the way to the veterinary emergency clinic. I'm really heartbroken about this. I didn't eat for two days. Nor did I exercise. I cleaned house instead. That's all I seem to be able to do.

I'm sure with time I'll feel a surge of joy and sense of accomplishment about the fat loss. Maybe once I'm below 290 lbs. When I hit 270 lbs, I will have officially lost all my "baby fat" from having kids, 20 years ago. At 240 lbs, that's the weight I was when I had to start taking steroidal meds for asthma and bronchitis issues. I really packed on the pounds then! 225 lbs is how much I weighed when I got married. 175 lbs is how much I weighed when I met the X and somehow decided I needed to start dieting. It's my goal weight. When I get to 175 lbs, that's when I'll find a good plastic surgeon and we'll discuss what excess skin needs to go.

I'm looking forward to creating a positive history for myself once I've reached my goal weight. Plenty of time to enjoy life between now and then too. Not waiting to start living. Just pausing to miss my little Chloe. I feel so grateful for having her in my life, even if it was only for a year.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's all about the calories

Have gotten down to 304 this week. Not feeling the joy about it yet. Definitely feeling the impatience to get out of the 300s. I'm pushing myself to leave the 300 lb. club by the end of this month. I wonder what I'll do when I get there...definitely write a post about it.

It's about the calories. That's what I'm accepting now. It's not about all the tweaking and the nutrient manipulation. Losing weight is not about how many carbs I'm eating, or if I'm eating healthy fats or lean protein or enough fiber. It's not about the vitamins and food supplements I'm taking. It's not even about all the exercise I'm doing. Losing weight is about eating less calories. And that's hard for me to do!!!!!

I get hungry. I really wish I didn't. When I get hungry, I'm in danger of over-eating. Because I like to feel full when I'm done eating. I've resorted to the intermittent fasting because I can manage when I eat more easily. I only eat between noon and 8 pm. I only eat two meals in that window. My first meal is a breakfast-like meal that includes eggs and veggies, and I try to keep it under 500 calories. I try to keep it all very Paleo-like too, mostly veggies, some fruit and lean proteins. No grains, legumes or dairy. But I do love cheese with my eggs...Monterey Jack with mushrooms, Gruyere with spinach, Feta with asparagus, Montrachet and caramelized red I need to keep torturing you? Or myself? I limit the cheese to two days a week, because if I don't have any, I crave it badly, and if I eat it more often, I'll lose control over it.

The second meal is a bigger meal, obviously. Sometimes it's a not-so-big meal but then I get snacky afterwards and grab handfuls of dry roasted low salt pumpkin seeds. The calories have been adding up with the after dinner snacking, even if they're all Paleo and holy. I really need to get on top of that snacking thing. Sometimes my protein portions are too big. I can't eat one tiny lamb chop. Gotta have three! I can easily eat 8 oz. of meat. And then I load up on the veggies. Lots and lots of fibrous veggies, all sorts of greens. Last night I had two cups of boiled dandelion greens and two cups of braised kale with my skinless chicken thighs. And then I had 3/4 cup of the pumpkin seeds...360 calories. So easy to go over the restricted calorie limit. But I really try hard not to go over my current BMR. Maintenance is okay sometimes. Gaining is NOT okay.

I just started doing this third thing, fasting once a week. I did a 24-hour fast yesterday. Actually, 22 hours. I was ravenous after weight training and Pilates last night, so I broke the fast with a lonely grilled chicken thigh from the refrigerator. Then I proceeded to eat a total of 1305 calories. And I still lost a pound overnight. I thought I'd go for it again today, not eating until dinner. I made it to 2:30, and then caved to 1/4 cup of the lovely oven-roasted mushrooms and shallots I was caramelizing for the coq au vin I'm making for dinner tonight. I also had to drink 2 oz. of the Van Ruiten 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel that I poured into the crockpot over the chicken. Such a good wine!

You know, a little wine definitely takes the edge off a fast. Not something I'm going to do everyday. Mostly because now I'm writing funky HTML code for my new web design project. Drinking on an empty stomach is not conducive to productive work!

Somebody mentioned to me something about posting pictures. Not making a decision about that yet. It doesn't feel like something I want to do right now. Maybe because this new stretch of weight loss hasn’t been going on very long. I just want to make sure I stay on track for a while longer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The big picture

Been doing a lot of reading lately, reading and exercising and eating less and doing emotional house cleaning. And I'm feeling good! Today I feel so good! On top of the world!

I'm feeling obnoxiously good.

I think I get it. I think I get it all - this weight loss, health and overall wellness thing. And I feel very free and at peace about it all. I know what works for me and knowing this feels good!

With regards to losing weight, it's all about the calories. How much I eat, or don't eat, over time. I am 5'11" tall. My current Basal Metabolic Rate for 305 lbs. is 2080.5 calories. (Yes, I lost a little more weight and I'm just 5lbs away from never, ever weighing 300+ lbs again!) My "ideal" weight is 165 lbs. The BMR for that is 1462. If I eat an average 1462 calories a day, I will eventually weigh 165 lbs.

With regards to being healthy, it's all about what I put in my body. I am a type 2 diabetic. That sets me up for blood pressure, heart and cholesterol problems. If I keep to a Paleolithic eating plan, which means lots of vegetables, some fruits, moderate quantities of lean proteins, the right fats, and plenty of fiber, barring anything like cancer or an intimate encounter with a bus (or the wrong person), I should live a long life with ample quality of life. I don't have to eat like this 100% of the time, but I've had plenty of experience not eating like this, and frankly, no brownie, bag of Cheetos or Big Mac will ever come close to how good I feel when my body's being fed organic, chemical-free, unprocessed nourishment. I say eat how you want to feel!

With regards to feeling good, it's all about exercise and body movement. I do Pilates to improve and maintain my range of movement, strength and to keep pumping those lovely endorphins into my system. I pump weights for very similar reasons, and to keep my lean muscle mass at a certain level. I should do that at least three times a week. I should also be doing some sort of aerobic activity for 30 minutes, six days a week. This not only helps with cardiovascular health, but also helps the brain generate new, healthier circuits, and keeps me capable of learning new things and staying creative, even as I age.

With regards to keeping it all balanced and achieving a certain quality of life, social intimacy, vibrancy and spiritual growth, it's all about brain health, emotional well-being and managing stress. And for that, I'm will remain involved with EBT, maintain healthy social connections, live with purpose...drink some wine and have fun! And I'm still going to listen to the rock music!

This big picture of the rest of my life doesn't mean I will be immune to the bad stuff, failures, pain and suffering. Heck, how great can the good life be if we didn't learn to appreciate it with the occasional season of hard times? We can plan for the bad times, but not live in anticipation of their eventuality.

I'm choosing to LIVE! And to live well! They say that's the best revenge. But if that's my only motivation, it kinda tinges the eudonic pleasure of it all. Doesn't it?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stupid, STUPID HIDDEN SOY!!!!!!!

Those exclamation marks in the title of today's post are about all I the energy I can muster. My soy sensitivity has been engaged and I'm pretty worthless for the rest of the day. I can barely keep my eyes open right now.

I had a can of tuna, labeled "yellow fin tuna in olive oil", so I bought it and thought it was safe. But the back of the label says the tuna was processed with soy, so I'm screwed! Six cans of tuna that my sons are going to get. Back on the prowl for soy-free tuna.

I was feeling so good this morning! Got so much done! Was looking forward to Pilates! I guess I'm fasting with only water till this all goes away. I'm sure to see a gain in the morning. Grrrrrrrr!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I held a straight plank for 1:05!!!

Do you remember when I was so proud to have accomplished knee planks? I was able to barely hold on to them for 10 seconds. My forearms ached, my shoulders wanted to explode...that was a whole year ago. But I've been getting stronger and stronger and today, just for the fun of it, I had someone time my full, straight planks. One minute five seconds, and Lori said I had perfect form.

And then I blacked out. Don't remember much after that.

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself right now. Holding a full plank for a minute is 66% more effective at building abdominal muscles than sit-ups and crunches.

That's it for tonight...can't really top that!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Feeling weary tonight

I'm ready for's almost 9 p.m. Had a full day. Good day too. Can't do another thing.

I weighed in at 306.5 today. Been hovering there since last week. Happy that I'm not bouncing up, but scared I'll be stuck here this week. Wednesday is my measurement day, the end of the 50-Day Challenge. I would dearly love to hit 305lbs. on Wednesday morning.

I've been rocking the Intermittent Fasting. I can handle this method of eating! As long as I'm staying out of the kitchen, limiting eating time to the eight-hour window, and cutting calories overall, I am losing weight. And as long as what I'm doing is working, I'm not going to change a thing!

I highly recommend reading Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. It's a downloadable pdf file. It's not a diet. You can decide what to eat. It just addresses when to eat. The book is actually Mr. Pilon's masters thesis. Lots of research went into it.

Okay, brain is done for the night!