Weigh-In Day: Weeks of May 7th and 14th

I didn’t really have any expectations/worries going into today’s weigh-in … I basically ate an average of 20 fewer calories per day than I needed for maintenance, but last week was also my first “taper week” (wherein I replaced a 7-mile run with a day of active rest), so I figured it would all even out.

Weight as of April May 7th: 127.9

Today’s Weight: 126.2 (?!)

Loss/Gain: 1.7

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1,880

Exercise:

05/07: 5-mile walk + 40-minute weightlifting session
05/08: 7-mile run/walk
05/09: 2-mile run + 1-hour weightlifting session
05/10: 7-mile walk
05/11: 7-mile run/walk + 20-minute weightlifting session
05/12: Yoga
05/13: 1-hour aerobics tape

05/14: 7-mile run/walk + 20-minute weightlifting session
05/15: Yoga
05/16: 5-mile walk + 40-minute weightlifting session
05/17: 7-mile run/walk
05/18: Yoga
05/19: 2-mile run + 1-hour weightlifting session
05/20: 45-minute aerobics tape

… Aaaand, I have no idea how that happened. Basically, I can only think of the following explanations:

a) My body has adjusted to more calories, and that amount that I’ve been eating for “maintenance” (1,900 calories per day)  isn’t actually how much I need for maintenance.

b) Sometimes, less exercise when you’ve been overexercising = weight loss. Maybe my body just really badly needed an extra day off?

c) I’ve been more active. But, I highly doubt that two days of cemetery work (which consists of riding a mower and doing about two hours of weed-whacking per day) and moving out of my dorm makes for over a pound and a half of loss, especially since I’ve been walking less since getting home; When I was up at school, I walked everywhere, but now I can just hop in my car whenever I need to go to the store, etc.

d) IT’S A TRAP! … I mean, fluke.

Regardless, I’m not going to look a gift loss in the numbers, and I’m certainly not going to complain about basically being able to gain three pounds before I have to do any kind of “diet” related thang. But, if my weight drops any lower, I’m going to have to go on a … weight gain diet.

/angelic chorus

Anyway, I am hell of nervous about starting my new job tomorrow. But, I’m not so much nervous about the work, itself, as I am about the schedule/being able to chomp. “What if they don’t let me go right at 7 p.m.? What if I get too hungry? WHAT IF I CAN’T SNACK?” … How did I get so schedule-oriented at 21 years old? Jeeze! Also, self, it’s not like you’re going to starve to death if you have to wait an extra hour for dinner. I worry about the most ridiculous things.

What makes you anxious?

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The Binge Beat-down Post

First off, I feel the need to make a disclaimer: Although I have been without a binge for quite some time (four weeks, I think, and I’ve only binged twice in the past 13 weeks), I reckon I don’t really think I’ve “beat” binge eating. I don’t think that I’ll go without a binge ever again, but there is a big difference between bingeing every few months when you’re presented with delicious noms at the holidays or you just really want deliciousness and bingeing every week and feeling like you’re an emotional wreck afterwards. Everyone binges sometimes, and that’s OK, but the key word here is “sometimes.”

Anyway, if you don’t recall, before my blogging break I was bingeing about every one to two weeks. Part of this was because of stress, part of it was because of a mish-mash of other reasons, but regardless I know other people struggle with this, and I want to share some of the changes I made that allowed me to shake this, somewhat. I hope it helps, because I know how frustrating being a binge eater can be. Also, you’ve probably seen some of these tips before and are going to be like, “OMG I’VE READ THESE IDEAS ALREADY.” Yes, but have you tried them? Regardless, if I’m reiterating them here, it’s because they worked for me. Also, some of these tips may be more “don’t-binge-while-on-a-diet”-oriented then others, as I was trying to lose weight AND quash bingeing at the same time, so if you’re just trying to maintain your weight some of these may not apply to you.

a) You gotta want it. Or, you have to be ready. Honestly, I think for some time I didn’t really care if I continued binge eating. For me, I was in college, i.e. not the “real world,” and I could always just lose the weight next semester before I started my “new life.” Granted, impending graduation is what finally made me get my act together, but if you really don’t want to stop bingeing, then you’re not going to be able to. And, in this same vein …

b) Find an alternative motivation for wanting to lose weight/stop binge eating besides “being thin.” My primary motivation to stop binge eating was, as I just mentioned, not wanting to graduate and enter a new stage of my life as a binge eater. But, I was really helped through the first few weeks of trying to break the habit by two other motivations: The first was that I was thinking of joining the military at the time (and am actually still pondering this), and I kept telling myself “The lighter I am, the faster I’ll run at the physical exam.” My other motivation actually came from someone else’s blog post: A 50-something year old woman happened to comment on a post about how she had been a yo-yo dieter for the last 30 years. It hit me at that moment that if I didn’t put my foot down and stop binge eating, I could be that woman. I could be that person who avoids social events because they are constantly on a diet and spends their whole life obsessing over food. And I didn’t want to be that person—I wanted to be someone who, you know, actually enjoyed my life and wasn’t constantly worrying about my weight.

c) Make a pro and con list when you feel like bingeing. Alright, the frenzy is on you, IT IS HERE. What do you do? Personally, I trained myself to make a pro and con list relating to binge eating. Usually, my thought process went like this:

“OK, what are the pros to binge eating right now?”

“I’ll feel better for a little bit. Also food is tasty.”

“Anything else?”

“… No.”

“OK, what are the cons?”

“I’ll be disappointed with myself. I’ll feel terrible tomorrow. Excessive quantities of food are expensive. I’ll gain weight.”

“Then you shouldn’t do it, should you?”

“No.”

“OK, then.”

And that was that. Once you realize how irrational it is to binge eat, it becomes easier to get through the moment.

d) Distract your mind. OK, that list thing didn’t work. But, guess what? I found that if I could just get my mind off of it for about five minutes, the feeling would usually pass. So, what did I do?

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is about five minutes. Turn it on. Rock out.

Buy a coloring book so that when the frenzy strikes, you can color. No, really. I bought (or, my mom bought for me, because she is awesome) a coloring book entitled “Danger from the Deep.” It has pictures of Batman, and I found that when I took a crayon to that sonofabitch, I became so focused/lost in thought it was easy to get through those five minutes. Not in an area where you can color/at work/in a store? Bring your music player to the store/work and when you’re in a munchy-mood, take a “bathroom break” with your mp3 player or crank up the music while you’re cruising the aisles; I found if I was playing tunes that conjured up sexy gyrations, etc., I didn’t really want to overeat.

e) Distract your mouth. OK, you are still in a frenzy. Start drinking—tea, water, whatever. Pop a hard candy. You know Lifesavers? They should also be called Dietsavers; I was in the grocery store one day and was 90% sure I was going to binge when I spotted the sugar-free Lifesavers (One of my few exceptions to the “Minimal artificial sweeteners” tip below, so long as I only eat them when I’m in danger of bingeing). I tore that bitch open and popped a few right there, and the taste kept my mouth busy and lessened the binge-edge. And, if you’re worried about the cashier giving you the evil eye for eating a product in the store, trust me—They could care less. And, if they do care, screw them. In fact, right now, stop giving a shit about what everyone else thinks and just start caring about what you need to do to get over binge eating, because whatever that may be is way more important than the opinion of random check-out girl/guy.

f) Always be prepared. Remember those mints I just talked about? Keep some in your kitchen cabinet/purse/desk drawer for when the binge monster rears its ugly head. Always have a bottle of water on you. Keep a protein bar with you, unless you’re like me and can’t wait to eat it when you actually need it. Keep your music with you. Have distracting YouTube videos bookmarked so you can fire up something amusing right away. Be ready.

g) Take a look at your diet. As I mentioned in this post, integrating more healthy fats into my diet made a HUGE difference in my appetite. And, according to science, if you’re constantly craving food/always feel as though you could binge eat, you’re probably missing something important in your diet. It may be fat, it may not be, but regardless it might be a good idea to tally up the protein, iron, fat, fiber, etc. that you get on a normal eating day; you may be surprised to find you’re lacking an element in your diet that could easily be integrated into it.

h) Minimal artificial sweeteners. For a while, I’ve wondered if artificial sweeteners were wrecking havoc on my appetite. So, this time around, I pretty much cut them out altogether. Granted, I still pick up a Diet Snapple every once and awhile (because it is a tasty beverage), but I probably have a product that contains artificial sweeteners at most once a week.

i) Take a multivitamin every day. This is in line with the “take a look at your diet” idea. You may be missing out on some essential nutrients by dieting, so try and a pop a multivitamin so you are at least covering some of your bases.

j) Pretend you’re someone else. OK, this is the most ridiculous of the bunch, but just hang with me for a second. When I wanted to binge, I would sometimes think, “This is not behavior befitting a Naval Officer!” (’cause, you know, the military thing). And, the thing is, binge eating isn’t behavior becoming of anyone. So, the next time you’re thinking about bingeing, think about what future you/your trainer/someone else you think is rad or healthy would do.

k) Think about what you really want to chomp. Whenever I had a ravenous appetite, I would think, “OK, self, you can have one thing—what do you want?” If I couldn’t pinpoint one thing that I reallyyyyy wanted, I knew I was just looking to eat copious amounts of food. If I could name something, though, and I legitimately, seriously craved it, then I chomped it. Chances are, if you give yourself a break every once and a while, you’ll be less likely to binge in the future. BUT, I always made sure I only chomped that one thing, because Naval Officer-me would practice restraint like a dignified lady who eats normally.

l) White knuckle it—you’re forming a good habit. OK, you’re in the store, and you see all the treats you want to buy, but you can avoid a binge by just making ONE GOOD DECISION to not buy the chomps. The same goes when you’re at home and want to plow through cupboards. And, here’s the thing: Every time you make that one good decision, or every time you start to binge but put the breaks on, you’re forming a good habit. Basically, you’re building a “Good Choice Muscle,” as I like to call it. Every time you make a good decision, making good decisions in the future will come more easily to you, and the more good decisions you make and the longer you go without bingeing, the less you’ll want to go back to square one. Is it hard sometimes to make a good decision and outlast the frenzy? Yes, but just grit your teeth and bear it—If not eating is the worst experience you’ll ever have in your life, consider yourself lucky.

m) Integrate some yoga-time into your schedule. Yoga practitioners are more likely to practice mindful eating, too. Neat, no? And, it’s certainly proved true for me.

n) Know thyself, and stop keeping that junk food in your house. My hairdresser is stick thin, and it’s not because she doesn’t love sweets or hates food; in fact, she told me that she can’t keep packs of Hershey bars in her home, because she’ll eat them all. Bottom line: Non-binge eaters have portion control problems, too, but they just don’t keep certain trigger foods in their house.  Is that “value size” pack of candy on sale, and you know this time you won’t eat it all? YES, YES YOU WILL, STOP FOOLING YOURSELF. SERIOUSLY. I know if I buy a bag of Dove chocolate, I’ll eat the whole goddamn thing, so, guess what? I buy a single serving bar, instead. And, 90% of the time you can buy your favorite foods in single-serve portions. And, just because you can’t exercise portion control doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. Recognize that, learn from it, and put down the gallons of ice cream that are buy one, get one free, because if ice cream is your trigger food, you’re just putting yourself unnecessarily in a lair of temptation.

o) Don’t be afraid of hunger. One of the big things I see when I look at dieting tips is “Don’t let yourself get too hungry!”, which is, in fact, a good idea. But, I also think it has made people afraid of hunger when they don’t need to be. “HOLY GOD,” they think, “WHAT IF I GET HUNGRY AND I CAN’T EAT/DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CALORIES?! AHHH ANXIETY/AHHH FEAR OF FAILURE BINGE BINGE BINGE.” Whoah. Chillax. Think about the worst case scenario: OK, you get hungry. So what? The human body can go quite a while without food before it gives out. If you get hungry, you’re not going to starve to death. Hunger is not an emergency (unless you’ve been hungry for a week and you really are going to starve to death); it is uncomfortable, but you can tolerate a headache/being tired, right? Then you’re going to be OK if you become hungry. And if you’re out of calories for the day and you’re hungry, then have an apple/carrot—those 50 calories are only going to amount to 1/70 of a pound at the end of the day. Not hungry enough for an apple? Then chances are you just have an appetite and need to discract yourself.

p) Stay off the scale for a bit. I used to weigh myself every day. And, guess what? It made me bat-shit anxious. But, SCIENCE IS RIGHT: YOUR WEIGHT FLUCTUATES. Sometimes, on a Wednesday, I’ll be three pounds heavier than I will be on Friday. So, if you’re dieting, weigh yourself once a week, at most; otherwise, if you’re anything like me, the number will just make you crazy-anxious and you’ll try to remedy that anxiety through binge eating.

q) Brush your teeth. OK, this one is also pretty ridiculous. But, you know how you finish a meal sometimes, and you feel even “hungrier” after you’ve eaten than you did before having done so? Brush your teeth—it kind of works along the same lines as the mint-popping deal. Regardless, I can’t tell you how many times it kept me from having my meal turn into an afternoon snackfest.

Phew. Wall of text. I think that’s it, though. If you have any questions/want me to elaborate on anything, don’t hesitate to ask, and I hope this is helpful to someone, somewhere.

Torture by Scale

I made the mistake of weighing myself this morning, thus simultaneously breaking one of my goals for the week and throwing myself into a state of hyper-anxiety.

First Thought: “131?!”

Second Thought: “BLOO HOO HOO WHYYYYY”

Third Thought: “WAIT. The last time you were at this point in your cycle*, didn’t you lose 1.8 pounds in between Thursday and Friday? And today’s Wednesday, so everything is fine!”

Fourth Thought: “WAIT. Last week, I only lost .9 of a pound in between Wednesday and weigh-in day. I’M GOING TO GAIN THIS WEEK AHHHHHH.”

I know better than to do this to myself. You see, I’m 90% sure the scale and my body are in cahoots and enjoy screwing with me, and I know that I’m just as likely to lose three pounds before Friday as I am to gain three pounds. And yet, I can’t help but climb on the scale during the week. Le sigh. And, of course, this weigh-in will now be accompanied by a million more weigh-ins: It’s like I need to check every .05 second to see if I’ve lost, now.

ALRIGHT, NEW GOAL: Only weigh myself ONCE A DAY in between now and Friday. If I have to weigh myself, at least do it only once a day, you know?

Still, looking at my current gain, I have to wonder why it’s the weeks we try the hardest that we seem to lose the least amount of weight. It’s like, if I knew I was going to gain, I would have just done it the old fashioned way and overeaten.

Ah, well. Maybe my body has a magic “two-pounds-in-two-days” loss up it’s sleeve. But, I reckon if the worst thing to happen to me in my present life is that I gain weight this week and have to wait to start maintenance, I’m pretty damn fortunate.

P.S. – Was anyone else mildly disappointed by “Glee” last night? The whole “Hello” theme felt kind of forced, at times, especially when Finn gave that spiel before singing “Hello, I Love You.”

* Sorry, dudes.

Obey Me!

If I’m not within goal range by Friday, I’ll be moderately surprised simply because of the sheer amount of  energy I’ve been putting into willing my body to lose half a pound; seriously, every 10 to 15 minutes I’m mentally yelling, “BODY! YOU WILL WEIGH 129.5 POUNDS OR LOWER BY THE NEXT WEIGH-IN AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!”

At this point, though, I’m not looking to be at my goal weight for vanity reasons, but simply on account of my desire to be done losing weight. I’m happy with how I look; I feel like I appear healthy, strong and as though I’ve acquired a nice set of curves. From an aesthetic standpoint, I could care less if I drop another pound … Now, it’s just about that (foolish) number.

Granted, I could probably take the mentally healthier route and stop dieting and stop fixating on the number and be done at any time I please, but at this point I’m so close I figure I might as well finish the job. I think I might lose it, though, if I don’t lose that last half pound this week; I think dieting was more tolerable when I was five pounds away from my goal weight rather than .5 a pound away, to be honest. It’s like the closer I get, the more I simply CANNOT WAIT to wake up in the morning and not worry about how many calories I have available that day, or whether certain foods will make me retain water and keep me from my goal for the week, or all the other ridiculous considerations that come with being on a diet and trying to achieve a certain amount of weight loss per week. PAH.

Will I always be health conscious? Probably. But, I’m ready to no longer be calorie conscious.

In other news, here is a picture of Serena Williams, who is 5′ 9″ and weighs 150 pounds:

[Source]

She’s a strong, powerful athlete, and she looks fantastic. And yet, most models her height weigh around 30 pounds less, or about 120 pounds. Why are women being told they should look like the latter rather than the former?

Weigh-In Day: Week of March 19th

Oh, man, I had such the anticipation this morning. So much so, that when I woke up at 2:15 a.m. and decided I wanted a “sneak peak” of my weight for the week, I was so anxious before stepping on the scale that I couldn’t get back to sleep after weighing myself. Now here I am, writing a blog entry at 4:41 a.m., running on three hours of sleep on the first day of my spring break. Woo. Ah, well, I’m catching a bus home in a few hours (yay, home!), so I’m thinking I’ll just nap then. Though, I hate napping on buses … people around, just waiting for you to fall asleep so they can put you in weird positions and take pictures of you to put on the Intrawebs. Curses! Anyway, the moral of the story is I need to wait until it’s actually “getting up” time to weigh myself, because I can’t keep waking up on Fridays at 2 a.m. (by the way, this happened last week, too). It’s ridiculous, both the getting up so early and the being so jacked-up about my weight. Pah.

ONWARDS TO NUMBERS.

Last Week’s Weight: 131.3

This Week’s Weight: 128.4 (!)

Loss/Gain: 2.9 pounds

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1,760

Excercise:
03/19: 5-mile run/40-minute weight lifting session (Upper Body)
03/20: Yoga
03/21: 2-mile run/30-minute elliptical session/1-hour weight lifting session
03/22: 7-mile run
03/23: 7-mile run
03/24: 7-mile run/20-minute weight lifting session (Upper Body)
03/25: 7-mile walk/30-minute elliptical session

This is hell of awesome, and not just because I’m at my goal weight. You see, the last time I began a diet in January at around the same weight as where I started this time, it took me until October to hit my goal weight, as you can see from the archives. That means it took me EIGHT MONTHS to lose about 10 pounds. This time, because I put my foot down about binge eating, it took me 10 WEEKS to lose the same quantity of weight. So, while I’m excited about being at my goal weight, I’m more excited to find that I have self-control and—should I put on a few pounds in the future—I’m capable of taking it off relatively quickly. Though, I hope for the most part that my binge eating days are now behind me, and a significant weight gain won’t be a problem again—or, at least it won’t be a problem again for a very long time.

That having been said, I would be more excited to be at my goal weight except that I had planned a splurge day for myself to celebrate Easter while I’m home (yes, I know I just said that I hoped my binge eating days were behind me, but I’m hoping it will be a SPLURGE day and not a BINGE day, but regardless I think I deserve a day to eat what I want. And, I know I can keep it to one day), and since I’ve been looking forward to it and I’m not really ready to jump into maintenance after having had a splurge day, I’m just going to stay on plan until I’m back down to my goal weight, which I imagine won’t take more than a week or two if I only take the one “day off” from healthy eating.

This post is probably riddled with spelling/grammatical errors. Ciao, internet! Wish me a harassment-free bus ride!

Do you have trouble sleeping? What do you do if you can’t fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night?

According to Plan

Sorry for the lack of detailed posts, dudes/ladies; I’ve been plowing through end-of-the-semester papers, and honestly the last thing I felt like doing the last couple of days after writing analys … es? … z? I have no idea what the plural of “analysis” is. Yes, I am an English major. Shut up. BUT, I DIGRESS. The last thing I felt like doing the last couple of days after spending all day working on an essay was spending more time at my computer, especially since my computer is being such a d-bag; it runs Windows Vista, so the operating system has never been stellar, but the hardware has been going lately, too. Ugh. I’d shell out for a Netbook to finish out college, but I don’t want to waste money when I’m going to be graduating soon and looking at a new set of computing needs.

Anyway, it wasn’t terrible being up at school for Thanksgiving, just mildly depressing. Christmas is my favorite holiday, anyway, and Thanksgiving is all the way down at #4 on my list of “Best Holidays EVA,” but I still missed ye olde traditional cranberry/stuffing/family chillaxin’. Regardless, Christmas is the big “get together” holiday in my family, so I didn’t really miss anything that won’t be repeated in a few weeks. However, my time spent at school has been very productive, except for that hour I spent locked out of my suite on Thanksgiving Day. Which was followed by me crying in front of the police officer who was trying to make conversation when I went to the station to be let back into my dorm. Alas. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people who gets horrendously emotional when they’re stressed out.

But, while my ego was bruised as a result of stress, my waistline has not been (yet, at least); there have been several times over the last few days where I’ve just wanted to cave and binge, but I know that with every day that I don’t binge, the urge will be lessened. Ity definitely helps not having any trigger foods in the dorm, though; it’s much easier to prevent a binge when you can’t reach out and snag a pack of cookies right when the urge strikes.

Anyway, right now, as much as I would love to be losing weight and such, I really think I need to conquer binge eating first. And, I know if I can beat this, then it’ll make for a much easier time when I do get around to losing/maintaining. I really think that binge eating has just become a bad habit, and my automatic response to stress. So, I just need to replace that response with a different one and white knuckle it, I reckon.

But, I HAVE A PLAN!

From now through Dec. 23, I’m going to count calories as best I can. But, if a special event comes up, I’m going to partake. BUT, there is also a “No non-Holiday Specific Treats” ban in place, which sounds weird, but for me it makes sense; you see, my problem isn’t so much with bingeing at special events at such. Rather, its in the aftermath of those events when I think “Oh, the day is already ruined, let’s go get a pint of ice cream/random sugar from the grocery store!” So, I’ve come to associate special events/holidays with binge eating. BAD. Thus, at the moment, I’m just focusing on learning to enjoy a solitary indulgence. If I get more specific, my goal is to stay under 3,000 calories per day from now until Dec. 23. Come Dec. 24, I’m going to give myself three days of intuitive eating, during which time I’ll hopefully be able to apply the binge-restriction eating habits I’ve developed between now and then. I’m hoping that over that three day span, I’ll have lost the desire to binge and will just eat my normal meals with some holiday-specific indulgences. NO CUPBOARD DIVING*/TRIPS TO THE GROCERY STORE, SELF. Then, Dec. 27, I’ll start my full weight loss program.

I told you I was a planner.

“Too bad your plans never work,” says Pessimistic Self, who then high-fives that kid who punched you in the stomach in kindergarten.

HEY! Not cool. Also, something has to work sometime, right? And a binge eater is not who I want to be, I’ve realized. So, hush ye mouth and be amazed as I actually succeed maybe.

Blergh, I should get back to work. I’m pretty pleased, though, that I’ve succesfully added some extra excercise to my schedule; the past two days, I’ve hit the elliptical for an extra 30 minutes per day and done some upper body weight lifting. NEAT. I’m really starting to feel a difference in my fitness level, too; I’m hoping that by getting stronger now, it’ll make for an easier weight loss quest post-holidays.

*Cupboard Diving (noun): The act of eating entirely random things (i.e., slices of bread, cheese, etc.) while bingeing that usually are not particularly tasty and are eaten just because the chomper feels like eating more.

No Weigh, Jose

HEY! I wrote a review of the film (Untitled) over at my school newspaper. You should go read it, even though you will probably never see this film.

Click heeeeeeeeeeeeere.

Anyway, I was very tempted to weigh myself this morning. I was getting changed into my Yoga clothes and thought, “Well, I’m already almost naked, I may as well step on the scale,” (because this is how my mind works) but decided against it. I’ve been on plan and, thus, really doing the best I can, so why weigh myself right now? If I were out of control, I’d think it necessary to weigh in-in order to shock myself back into a state of behaving well. But, I’m not eating poorly (at the moment, at least), so why stress myself out with a number when I have so many other lovely things to stress about right now?

Liiiiiike …

1) My video project due Dec. 1!

2) My final paper on women in Greece and Rome that is also due Dec. 1!

3) My 15 – 20 page paper on my summer internship due Dec. 7!

4) My final article for my Journalism class that is due Dec. 7!

5) My paper on Journalistic ethics that is due Dec. 7!

6) My Political final on Dec. 8!

AWESOME! Also, you may be saying, “Girl, all those things are mad far away! Why be you worried?” Well, next week is Thanksgiving, and while I can work while I’m home, I won’t really have the time or the resources to. So, that’s four/five days out of my schedule. Also, I have to read entire books to get some of these papers done. Oh, and I am reliant on other people for some papers: To write my final article, I can’t start until I’ve interviewed members of the Brandeis religious community, and who knows who long it’ll take for them to get back to my requests.

/dies on inside

I will be so glad when this semester is done, though I’m not sure if I’m more excited about having time off from schoolwork or access to a kitchen for a six weeks.

Anyway, I’m enjoying not weighing myself (kind of—one part would just like to know the number so I stop analyzing how doughy I look), and I’m thinking of establishing a “get out of weigh-in” system; that is, if I stay on plan (or don’t binge, at least), I don’t have to weigh myself again until I start my “post-holiday diet” after Christmas.

How are you handling weigh-ins this holiday season? Do you find you’re more likely to stay on track if the number on the scale is front and center?

Put Me in the Oven …

… ’cause I’m so doughy, I should be baked.

You know what I’m talking about: When that muffin you ate feels like it’s sittin’ below the surface of your skin instead of in your stomach, and that weight gain (real or imagined) feels pudgy to the touch. That’s how I felt this morning.

I’m wondering if I should just bite the bullet and weigh myself, because I’ve spent so much time analyzing how I look in the mirror that I’m obsessing about my weight regardless of the fact that I don’t know the number on the scale. Meh. Sometimes, I wonder if I should go to a therapist: I don’t really think I have an eating disorder, nor would I ever starve myself or purge, but sometimes I just think about food all the time. But, what is a therapist going to tell me? I don’t think I look terrible after I’ve gained two or three pounds, so my problem isn’t with body issues. I actually wish I could pull off being a voluptuous lady; I think the “thin is in” concept is totally ridiculous, and if I looked better heavier, I would maintain a higher weight. But, unfortunately, I’m just one of those types who—when they’re carrying a few extra pounds—looks like a pot-bellied grandfather clock rather than an hourglass. Honestly, I think my problem is just that I’m a control freak; it’s like, “Well, I can’t control how pretty I am, or how many papers I have to do, but I can control my weight.” So, that’s what I project onto. Maybe? I’M A JOURNALIST, NOT A PSYCHIATRIST, FOR GOD’S SAKE.

I’m trying not to stress about post-holiday weight gain—stressing doesn’t help anyone, most of all me. The thing is, if I just buckle down and do it, it won’t take that long to the weight. And, I’ve done it before, so now that I’ve had the practice, I should be even better at losing weight this time around, right? Right! I’M A PROFESSIONAL. I’m trying to develop a holiday plan, though, so I don’t gain a pound a day (which is just ridiculous). I’m thinking that on days like Thanksgiving, I’ll either a) give myself a cheat meal and count calories for the rest of the day or b) set a rule where I at least have to stick to my breakfast-lunch-snack-dinner-snack routine. I learned after the wedding weekend that I’m actually getting pretty good at not bingeing at special events, but what I need to work on is not turning the rest of the day into an eating bonanza, if you will, and going to the grocery to buy extra snacks and consuming random things like cookies and ice cream that I can have any other day of the week by making room for it, calorie wise.

I went for a run this morning (Yay!), went pretty well … until the sidewalk decided to say “Good Morning!”

Sidewalk: “HAI GURL!”

Me: “Hey, I am just going to step up over that tricky part where the street and you meet, if that is cool.”

Sidewalk: “HOLD UP I WANT TO GIVE YOUR KNEE A HIGH-FIVE”

Me: “Wait, what.”

And so it went. Now, there is mad dirt all up in my knee. Also blood on my knee. I am mildly encouraged, though, by the fact that people slowed down in their cars to make sure I was OK. … Then again, they could have just been slowing down to enjoy my suffering. Whatever.

An Attempt at Anti-Anxiety

Dear Self,

I know you’re stressed out about gaining weight. It’s OK; food and your weight have been the main focus of your life for a long time, and I understand that you thought you were at a point where you could begin moving past that and are afraid you’re going to be starting over again. I understand that.

HOWEVER:

The appropriate response to this stress and to the upcoming holidays is not to eat more now. You feel bloated and anxious today? You’re going to feel worse tomorrow if you continue to overeat. Can you not handle counting calories right now? That’s OK; just stop, then. But stop stress-eating; it’s not going to help.

I know you probably feel like you look terrible, and I know you’re upset about the weight you may have gained over the wedding weekend and yesterday and today. But, you can lose it after the holidays if you just buckle down. And, guess what? No one notices those five or even ten pounds but you. Everyone is too focused on themselves and how terrible they feel they look.

Also, it’s only food, and it’s not going to magically disappear while you’re trying to lose weight. Your favorite things will still be there when you’re done dieting.

So, take a deep breath and step away from the ice cream.

Love,

Self

Taking Out Frustration on Food

Well, I definitely won’t be in my 120s for Thanksgiving after last night; yes, I binged.

Here’s what I learned from it:

1) I can’t weigh myself every day. When I do, I just get super frustrated/encouraged when I don’t/do see results, and end up overeating.

2) I don’t enjoy processed foods/mass quantities of food, anymore. Today, I set out to have one treat (a pint of Haagen-Daaz), which I enjoyed. Then, I just went crazy after having that pint, and I set out to the store to get some “binge supplies.” However, as soon as I left the store, I immediately began to feel … not guilty about bingeing, per se, but just … unhappy with the idea. Why stuff myself? I’ll just feel gross tomorrow, and I’ll just have to diet for even longer as a result of the binge, and having to diet for a prolonged period is what I’m so unhappy about that I set out to binge. The result? Well, here’s what I bought at the store:

-A King size package of Mounds

-A pack of Swedish Fish

-A Moonpie

-A three-pack of Oreo Cakesters

-A pack of Tim Tams

-A pack of Pepperidge Farm Almond Cookies

Here’s what I ate:

-Two Mounds Bars (of four)

-The Swedish Fish

-Two Oreo Cakesters

-Five Almond Cookies (of 24)

-Two Tim Tams (of 10)

Honestly, when I started eating, it just felt excessive. The chocolate was waxy, and eating the Mounds after the Cakesters was just too much. After all that junk, I wished I had just eaten healthy for the day. But, getting rid of the food I didn’t eat brings me to my next conclusion:

3) Bingeing is horribly wasteful, especially now that I find myself enjoying it less. The food I didn’t eat I either threw away or left lying around campus (dear Brandeis student that eats my Moonpie: YOU’RE WELCOME.) So, I wasted a) money and b) food. Gross.

4) I don’t get ANYTHING done when I’m bingeing. Today, when I got home from school, I needed to do work, dishes and an assortment of other chores. Guess how much of that got done? NONE OF IT. And, guess who feels to gross today to run? MWAH. (Moi? I think I just made kissey noises at the Internet because I don’t know French.)

5) I need to learn to distract myself. The minute I sat down to roll through blogs/write in my own blog, I stopped eating. But, I get so wrapped up in the appeal of eating that I forget there are other things to do with my life that are enjoyable. Crazy!

So, there you have it. I ended up just wiping the day clean and “starting over,” (i.e., counting everything else for the rest of the evening as though the day just started, post-binge), but it still brought my binge calorie count to around 5,500, what with the ice cream and whatnot that I ate earlier. Le sigh.

But, I’ve decided to take a break from the scale after this incident: I’m going to do the best I can in between now and Thanksgiving, and whatever the scale is … well, I just don’t care to know right now, because I don’t want how I eat/how I feel/how much I enjoy this holiday to be affected by what the scale says, particularly if I’ve done the best that I can. I’ll weigh in post Thanksgiving, and if I’ve put on some pounds … well … at least there’s a few weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? I really, really don’t want to be starting over again after the holidays, though … but, if I don’t binge, then one bad day (today) and the holidays shouldn’t make that much of a difference if I eat healthy the rest of the time. And, I know I will eat well when I come back for the week between Thanksgiving and winter break—yes, we only have one week of school in between Thanksgiving and our month-long winter break; yes, it is ridiculous—because a stressed tummy + final exams + junk food = too many bathroom trips during final exam periods. NOT GOOD. (Sorry, I know that was TMI. But, I STAND FOR ALL OF US OUT THERE WITH NERVOUS STOMACHS!)

While at school, though (and most likely in the time between Christmas and Thanksgiving) I’m going to count calories. The only thing is, I’m not sure if an average of 1,700 calories per day is right. The frequency with which I crave sweets/binge eat makes me wonder if too few calories is the problem; yes, I want to lose weight, and yes, I did so before at an average of 1,700 calories, but it took so damn long because I overate so frequently due to the onset of an extreme appetite. And, if I have to undertake a diet AGAIN, I’d rather lose weight more slowly but have it be easier, mentally, then try to lose it too quickly and deal with the appetite/the two-steps-forward-one-step-back cycle (it’d probably take less time with the former system than the latter, anyway, what with the frequency that I overate on my diet plan—I don’t binge nearly as often as I did while on Weight Watchers, but there is still room for improvement during those times when I need to get back on track for a bit.) It shouldn’t take nine months to lose 10 pounds, you know?

Or, maybe I should just eat intuitively. I don’t know why, but I have some kind of mental barrier that says, “You cannot possibly lose weight eating intuitively! Crazy talk!”

Have you lost weight successfully? If so, how many calories per day did you eat? Did you count calories at all, or did you use another method?

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