Treats sans Tricks

Penny’s Low Fat Desserts are one of those hot blog items—along with Holey Donuts! and Barney Butter—that I would love to try, but unfortunately I’m an impoverished college student who needs to save their money for ridiculous things like books and such (cursed education, interfering with my ability to buy food over the internet!) So, I jumped at the chance to enter Emily‘s latest giveaway, which entails the gifting of a box of Penny’s desserts. If you’d like to be involved in this giveaway, too, then just hop over to this post and leave a comment detailing which delicious, delicious baked good you’d like (Hint: You want the chocolate chip cookies, and if you win, you want to send them to me.)

In other sugar-related news, I could probably kill a man right now for a pint of ice cream or some Reese’s cups. P.M.S.-oriented cravings are the worst.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for … Yogurt?

Happy Halloween! Personally, I’ll be dressing up as “college student stuck working in the media lab all day” for the holiday. How about you?

Man, I wanted nothing more than to sleep in today (I have been exhausted the last few days, and so has everyone else, it seems; a lot of people I’ve talked to report being mad tired), but I just could not stay asleep; I woke up at 5 a.m., then again at 6 and finally relented and got up when I woke up 7. Ah, well. We only have one functioning washing machine in the dorm right now, so my early-riserness actually worked out well as it allowed me to get some laundry done while everyone else was still asleep/not using the washing machine for once.

Have you ever tried peddling backwards on an elliptical? I gave it a go for the first time yesterday (it’s a Cardio Week, and I decided to swap out my “Free Runs” for “Free Choice” cardio sessions; I missed including different equipment/tapes in my regular workout cycle) when I spent a workout switching off between the treadmill and the elliptical, and it was RIDICULOUSLY hard. Originally, I planned to do 10 minutes forward-peddling followed by 5 minutes of backwards-peddling, but I could only go backwards for a minute! It’s nice to feel challenged, though, and now I have a new excercise with which I can measure fitness improvement. Woot. Today, though, I am definitely going for a walk: I don’t think my thighs could tolerate anything else.

I’m down seven-tenths of a pound today! Come on, body! Two more pounds and we’re back in the sweet spot.

In other news, Allison over at Balance in Bites is giving away Greek Yogurt! Mmm, greek yogurt … So high protein, so tasty. Also, so expensive, so it’s certainly worth your while to enter this contest and potentially score some for free. To enter, just head on over to this post and leave a comment telling Allison your favorite way to eat yogurt.

Gains and Goals

Usually, today would be my “official” weigh-in day, but I’m skipping it on account of the fact that I’m doing an early weigh-in next Thursday, the day I leave to go home for the weekend/wedding. For reference, though, I’m up three pounds from last week (eek!), but down a pound from yesterday (phew). The scale giveth and the scale taketh away. I’m hoping that downward trend continues, though.

I came across this post on Allison’s Balance in Bites last night, and I’m really lovin’ on it and the idea of list-making. There’s something really satisfying and definitive about making a list, so I am going to copy her and make one here detailing my goals for the holiday season, which—starting with the wedding next weekend—will stretch until about January 1 (How convenient, a Friday! My weigh-in day.)

The holiday season is always the most difficult time for me, food-wise. Last year, I had lost a little weight before the holidays, but once the season hit I packed on the pounds and hit my highest weight. And, it wasn’t weight gained over the course of the season, either; it was the product of several binges that I had on holidays/the days before and after said holidays. I’m hoping that by making a list of goals, I’ll keep my head and not regain all this weight. So, without further ado:

Goals for the Holiday Season (November 1 – December 31)

1. Don’t Binge

The bottom line is, bingeing is gross: It makes me feel disgusting, it puts on hell of weight and it is unbecoming of a lady to eat half a loaf of bread that is meant for your entire family at Thanksgiving dinner. And, this goal leads me to my next goal:

2. Enjoy the Holidays

Even if I’m dieting (well, not “dieting,” hopefully, but just being careful about what I eat), these times/delicious things only roll around once a year. And, half the time, the reason I binge is I feel so deprived. So, I need to learn loosen up and enjoy myself; chances are, it’ll lead to less weight gain in the long run if I practice indulging in moderation and keep intuitive eating in mind.

3. Don’t Let My Weight Creep Above 132

This is kind of dependent on how well I do this week, as if I find myself back down in my 120s it’s feasible, but otherwise I may just have to settle for a higher range during the holidays if I want to stay sane. As I mentioned previously, I was at my highest weight in recent years after the holidays. But, if I meet the two goals listed above, I can probably stay below this point and, thus, not have a huge stretch of dieting ahead of me after the holidays. And this leads me to my next goal:

4. Lose the Holiday Weight Before Going Back to School in January

I know/accept that I’m going to gain weight over the holidays. BUT, I should not gain a ridiculous amount of weight, and if I don’t binge and just keep my head, this goal is entirely feasible. And the motivation for this goal goes beyond vanity: This year, when I came back to college I wanted to be at my goal weight, but I screwed around so much over the summer that I didn’t do it, and I ended up going back to school and missing out on doing stuff with my friends (e.g., going out to dinner) because I was so concerned about reaching my goal. Next semester is my last semester of college, and I want to go into it NOT worried about losing weight.

Hoorah, goals! Now to actually meet them. And now to actually go to the gym.

Beating Boredom and the Binge

I almost didn’t run today but, as per usual, I’m glad I did: Initially, my legs felt like lead, but once I transitioned from the gym to the street (I warm up, if possible, on my school’s indoor track), I felt great, which is kind of ironic considering you would think hilly pavement would be a lot more challenging to run on then a cushy track. I think it has to do with the tedium of running in circles; I don’t mind walking/chillaxin’ on the indoor track, but when I run I really need either a) intervals or b) changing scenery to keep me distracted/from constantly checking how far I have left to run. I really plowed at the end of my run, though: I always have a point in mind when I start running as to where I can start cooling down, but today I went right past it. Thanks, “Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf—you’ll be going on next running mix.

I was pondering my problems with the scale on my run today, though, and realized after reading The Vegan Anti-Hero‘s comment on my last post that when I was eating intuitively and keeping casual tabs on my weight (i.e., weighing in once a week), I wasn’t flipping out over the small fluctuations: The fact of the matter is, some weeks you eat more and some weeks you eat less. However, when there are those big swings in my weight that are brought on by my binge eating, THAT’s when I have a problem. So, I guess I just need to stop those binge days, but sometimes (like last on Sunday), I get going and I don’t even really realize what I’m doing in the heat of the moment.

I have two questions for everyone today:

1) Do you run to music and, if so, what are your favorite running tunes?

2) How do you stop a binge? I want to eat like a normal person and stop having these weight/emotional fluctuations that send me back to calorie counting!

Edit: So, in my quest to find answers regarding the battle of the binge, I searched through the archives of some of my favorite blogs and found this post on Healthy and Sane. In the post, Elina describes the exact same dieting pattern I used to have (i.e., eating incredibly well six days a week and eating whatever you want the seventh) and how she, too, slipped up at first when starting intuitive eating. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re having difficulty with binge eating; personally, I’m surprised sometimes how many people have the same trouble. But, it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only who didn’t flawlessly transition from calorie counting to intuitive eating. Argh, I hope I’m back in my goal range, soon! I’m already tired of calorie counting again and I want to give intuitive eating another go!

Loss at Last!

Ah, finally! That steady upward climb was freakin’ me out, but thankfully it has finally ceased and I’m down two pounds today (Way to step to it, body.) Now, if only those other four pounds will magically disappear, we’ll be good (I have high hopes—I’ve lost up to seven pounds the week of my “lady times” before. TMI? Sorry.)

However, after re-reading yesterday’s post, I’m mildly appalled by my own self-loathing. Granted, I had been made really anxious by another gain and Glee had been canceled for the night AND THAT’S ALWAYS UPSETTING, but still; hating yourself over your weight is just silly. And, do I really hate myself? No, I think I’m awesome. But, the fact that I’m that frustrated by the prospect of dieting again/my weight is alarming.

At this point, something obviously needs to change. Do I just stop weighing myself all together? I’d like to, but I feel like my weight is like a Boo. For those of you unfamiliar with a “Boo,” this is a character in the Mario series that can only attack you when you are not looking at it. So, to elaborate: If I keep an eye on my weight, it can’t attack me, per se. But, if I ignore it, it will spring on me and I will die and have to start the level (i.e., weight loss) all over again.

This is a great metaphor, I know.

Regardless, I seemed to be under the impression that once I hit my goal weight, all my problems would magically disappear.

They haven’t.

Is it nice to be able to pull whatever I want out  of my closet to wear for the day, without thinking if I look too “pudgy” to wear it? Sure. Is (Or, was, at the moment) it nice to not have to worry about losing? Sure. But, I was still fixated on the number on the scale, and the minute it crept too high I freaked out and stopped trusting my body and starting counting calories again, which may be OK for some people but isn’t something that really works for me—I saw I did fine eating intuitively, but for some reason I’m programmed to think that I can only lose/maintain my weight by counting calories. And yet, counting calories is what got me into trouble in the first place. What to do?

I reckon I’ll start by going out for a run, which I am not in the mood for today. Still so tired!

You’re Kidding Me, Right?

Another pound, body? Really?

At this point, I am just going to chalk this up to water retention. It is physically impossible for me to have gained six pounds of fat over the last several days. P.M.S., I am blaming this on you. I am also blaming my over-the-top anxiety on you, as I prefer that over the explanation entailing the idea that I am just bat-shit crazy.

Seriously, though: This has to be water weight, right?

I think I’m going to take a little hiatus until my weight starts to decline … IF IT EVER DOES THAT IS. Otherwise, this blog is just going to become one giant “OMG MY WEIGHT” entry.

… I hate feeling like this, though. I hate this “diet anxiety,” where every day you’re afraid you’re going to blow it or be tempted or miss out on something because you’re dieting, and every day between weigh-in sessions where you’re stuck at a “bad” weight is interminably long (I already can’t wait until tomorrow morning to see if my weight finally starts to decline.) I hate that my enjoyment of a special event hinges on my weight. And, I kind of hate myself a little bit right now, that I was where I wanted to be and I might have already blown it. That’s no way to be.

Let’s Get Our Anxiety On

I am very, very stressed right now. Honestly, I think if I get on the scale tomorrow and I see my weight go up again, I’ll have a heart attack on the spot.

I feel like I’m heading down the road to gain all this weight back again. Granted, “all” isn’t that much—if someone who was trying to lose 50 pounds read this blog, they’d probably spit on me for bitching about 15, and I wouldn’t blame them. But, it took me a year and now, here I am, two weeks after hitting my goal weight, back at 134 pounds. Is it just water weight? Probably. But, two days into my calorie counting, I’m tacking “aids” onto my daily intake—yesterday, I gave myself an extra 1,500 calories on top of my 1,500 calorie allowance for the day because it was my “first day getting back on track.” Today, I gave myself 750—you know, because it was my second day. That’s sixth-tenths of a pound, and it could be the difference between me feeling great before going to the wedding next Saturday and being able to eat intuitively again and me bawling my eyes out because I have to go back to counting calories. And, why do I even count calories? I’ve known for awhile it doesn’t work, and today and yesterday are proof: As I mentioned previously, when I was eating intuitively and splurged I ate very little to try and compensate. But, the last two days, I’ve just been eating junk when I’m not hungry because “I have the calories,” but some of the calories I “have” are just me giving myself extra for no good reason.

I miss intuitive eating. And my 120s.

Maybe I should just get rid of the scale AND calorie counting. But, I feel like I can’t until I’m back in my “goal zone.” But, every time I get there, I don’t make any progress towards maintenance. I hope I can get back to my 120s by next Thursday. I don’t know what I’ll do if all this work was blown in a few days.

Let’s Get Our Bloat On

Does anyone else just have no motivation lately? Yesterday, after my midterm, I was going to do all the things that got put on the back-burner on account of the fact that I needed to devote all my time to studying, but instead I just ended up crashing and eating a bunch of junk food. Speaking of which, it’s interesting that when I was eating intuitively, the day following my splurge I tried my best to eat light to make up for it, but yesterday, when I was “starting my diet,” I ate a bunch of junk “because I had the calories for it.” And now, I’m up another half a pound. If this isn’t mostly water weight and I’m not back down in my 120s by next week, I am seriously going to flip my shit.

Seriously, though, I could really just use a day to get things done, but of course today is mad busy. Also, I’ve been so tired lately. What’s the deal? Usually I look forward to Tuesday morning yoga, but I just want to go back to bed. AND, even though I don’t have to go for my run for 24 hours, I’m already dreading it.

WHYYYYYYYYYYY (Do I Overeat?)?!?!?!?!?!11??2?

It looked like a hurricane had hit my room.

Me: Covered in ice cream, passed out on my bed.

My desk: Also covered in ice cream, as well as candy wrappers.

Floor: I think you get the picture. Also, I need to vacuum, the carpet is looking vile somethin’ fierce.

It was a “bad” eating day.

HOWEVER, it was not as bad as it could have been.

Would I classify it as a binge? Ugh, yeah. But, when I think back on my old binges, comparing yesterday’s wreckage to a binge from two years ago is like comparing a rainstorm with a typhoon. Back in the day, when I would “toss it,” (From the De Groot Dictionary: “Tossing It”: A verb, maybe. Or is it an adjective? Man, screw grammar. – The act of completely and utterly blowing a diet for reasons pertaining to the desire to start a new, “better” diet or from having deviated slightly from an existing diet.), I would literally hike myself down to the grocery and spend $40 on food—a loaf of bread, bags of candy, ice cream, whatever—and I would eat would I would estimate to be about 10,000 calories throughout the day. By the end of the day, I would be so full that I would be physically sick. And yet, I would continue eating, because tomorrow I would have to go back to dieting, so I had to make the most of that binge day.

Yesterday, however, I managed to salvage the day, somewhat; did I start off horribly and eat cookies for breakfast? Blergh, maybe. But, did I have a healthy lunch? Yes! Did I follow that lunch up with a pint of ice cream. … Also maybe. BUT, did I eat that entire pint? No, because I wasn’t enjoying it. And, for the rest of the day, did I try to eat healthy to compensate? Yes! Did I succeed in eating healthy for the rest of the day? Not really, but at least I tried. And this is a big change. Because, the fact of the matter is, I’m tired of dieting.

Of course, after getting on the scale this morning, I find that I do have to go back on my diet program (I was up to 133.8 pounds, but even I know that I couldn’t gain 4.8 pounds in one day, though if I were able to consume that much it would be impressive, albeit disgusting). But, at least after yesterday I can see some semblance of growth in myself, and at least I caught myself before a small binge turned into a week long one and said diet will (hopefully) only have to last a week or two. But, the big question is, why did I overeat? I think the two primary factors are stress and P.M.S., but I also self-sabatoged a bit; in the back of my mind, I thought, “Well, I’m probably going to have to diet the week before the wedding, anyway, to make sure I’m within range. And, I’ll probably be below range if I do diet next week. So, I may as well overeat—it’ll come off next week, anyway.” I need to get out of that diet/binge mindset—that’s how I gained this weight in the first place, by getting overconfident and steadily letting a one day binge stretch into two days and then three and then a whole week. If I eat intuitively, I shouldn’t have to diet because splurges/holidays will be balanced by naturally healthy eating. AND, I need to learn how to have small treats on a regular basis and get rid of that “all or nothing” mentality—just because I have a dinner at a restaurant or a dessert doesn’t mean I’ve “blown it.” And, even though I had cookies for breakfast yesterday, if I had just stopped with the cookies it would not have been nearly as bad as letting the whole day evolve into an eating fest.

The gains I’ve been seeing lately haven’t helped my stress level, though, as it makes me feel as though I’m going to have to go back on my diet program every few weeks, anyway, and once I’ve started the program, what’s an extra week or two on it? Fortunately, there’s the blogosphere: I came across this comforting post on The Great Balancing Act, a lovely blog run by Susan, another weight loser/journalist. For those of you too lazy to read the entire entry (tsk tsk), Susan reports that she, too, initially gained weight when started maintenance. So, I just have to keep up eating normally every day and listening to my body, and not getting freaked out by the scale.

I was inspired by Mimi, though, to take a jog through memory lane (or a bloated stroll—whatever) and look at my meals for the past week. And, low and behold, I am not getting nearly as much protein as I should, and this is probably why I was so famished on Sunday. So, at her suggestion, I am most def. going to look for some high protein sources at the grocery store this week. I don’t have a kitchen, but there must be something I can pick up to help keep me sated.

At this point, I just hope I haven’t gotten too cocky and find that I’ve gained more weight than I can lose by the Friday before the wedding. Get it together, self! It’s time to actually stay at your goal weight for more than a few weeks, for once.

I Overate For a Valid Reason: Exhibit A

I’m really fuckin’ tired, and that never helps when I’m trying to eat well. And, as proof of this sleepiness, I present the definition for Jakarta (one of the terms I need to know for my South East Asian Politics midterm taking place tomorrow) that I wrote this morning:

“Jakarta: The capital of Jakarta.”

I am going to do so awesome on this test. Also, I am aware that Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, and that it was known as Batavia during the Dutch occupation; I just become dyslexic when I’m really, really sleepy.

COMING SOON (PROBABLY TOMORROW, WHEN I AM CAPABLE OF WRITING SOMETHING COHERENT): A reflection on that time I ate cookies for breakfast and ice cream for lunch and was too lazy to microwave a Bagelful, i.e., today!

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