Weigh-In Day: Week of June 25th/Body Snark

Ugh, dude’s my eating habits! They are hell of terrible. I weighed in at 127.2 today (Good!), but I fear that a great evil is returning to the land … the evil of …

Binge eating. (HOLY GOD, BAD)

But, I’m not sure if I should be legitimately concerned; I splurged three days this week to celebrate my birthday (which is today, actually, but for some reason I thought I should celebrate this weekend since I was working today, and then today rolled around and my mom and were like, “BOO ANTI-CLIMATIC BIRTHDAY LET’S CELEBRATE AGAIN!”), but I’m not sure if any of those days on which I splurged were actually a “binge,” or if I would have even splurged (binged?) today had I not weighed-in within my maintenance range this morning. But, on the days I splurged (BINGED?!?1?), I never ran out to buy extra stuff because I just thought, “SCREW IT! I’M OUT OF CALORIES!” but I did eat past the point of being full, and if I were in a store, I would impulse-buy a candy bar and chomp it without really thinking. Though, at the beginning of the week I was also only 124.6 pounds, and I’m not sure if I would have overdid-it had this not been the case/had I not been celebrating my birthday. Blergh. On the other hand, I know I am entirely in control of what I stuff in my face and I know I don’t want to go back to dieting and I KNOW that even though I splurged I am still within my maintenance range (and that’s part of the glory of maintenance, some weeks you eat more and some weeks you eat less but it is OK to eat more some weeks), so what am I really concerned about? Still, I kind of feel like normal people don’t gain 2.6 pounds while celebrating special events. Hm. Baby steps, I reckon.

I do have to give myself kudos, though, for taking some steps to not overeat:

a) When eating out and sharing an appetizer, I took what I deemed to be an appropriate portion off the group plate and then didn’t go back any more.

b) If I could eat healthfully, I did; I tried not make the days on which I splurged (BINGED?!?2?!?!@!? OH MY GOD I DON’T KNOW) into an all-day eating fest, and would start with something healthy like oat bran.

c) I tried to think about what I really wanted. Whereas before if I were having a “splurge” day I would just get everything and anything, I legitimately tried to keep my snacking to a minimum while out celebrating/shopping so I would have room for dinner at ze restaurant we were going to.

And, so on. OH, MAN, LOOK AT THAT LIST, SO IMPRESSIVE.

Regardless of whether I binged or splurged, though, I’m going to go back to counting calories and do a sugar detox (ie.e, no “dessert products), just for the next two weeks. I know I don’t really need to, and I’d like to get to a point where I don’t have to follow a celebratory event with calorie counting, but I just want to play it safe and make sure I don’t continue overeating. Also, every once and a while when I overdo it on the sugar, I kind of like to put a little distance between myself and the desserts and have a nice stint of clean eating to get my system back in order, you know?

In other news, a funny thing happened on my way to the forum.

Wait, no. A funny thing happened while I was out shopping (at the mall, no less, even though I detest crowds of people.) Long story short, my mother and I stopped by Eddie Bauer while we were out and decided to pick up some summer clothes. I happened to try on a dress and attract the attention of a salesperson, who began engaging my mother in the following conversation:

Salesperson: “Oh, my goodness! She looks so good in that dress!” (Aw, that’s nice.)

Mum: “Yeah, it looks really cute on her!”

Salesperson: “Ugh, she’s so thin! Look at her.” ( … OK.)

Mum: “Ha, yes, I used to be that thin at her age, too, though.”

Salesperson: “Ugh, yes, me too. Ugh, I hate her, she’s so thin! Let’s stop looking at her.” ( … WTF?)

It was just … odd. And, in this vein, I’m tired of “thin” being used as a compliment. In fact, I’m tired of size-related adjectives in general being used as compliments or insults. In my opinion, body preference is kind of like someone’s taste in movies or books or art; to each their own, ja? So, why OK to hate on or compliment someone for being overweight or underweight? For all that salesperson knew, I could have been a recovering anorexic, and her comments could have triggered a re-emergence of my eating disorder. And, not to be corny, but bodies can be beautiful at any size: Why has one shape become the standard for attractiveness? Can’t beauty come in a variety of sizes? And, why do we assume that all women want to be twigs? Likewise, why do “real women have curves?” Are chemotherapy patients who can’t keep weight on not “real women”? And, maybe some women pride themselves on being overweight or voluptuous or muscular.

/end rant

Gah, I wish I were better at organizing my thoughts. But, you get the jist, right?

Have you ever been the victim of “body snark?”

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Hello, Home/New Things Thursday: Mindful Eating

Yay, I made it home! And, was greeted upon arrival with a jury summons. Thanks for the “Welcome Back!” gift, government!

Since I’m going to be working at a broadcasting company right next to my hometown, my mom was kind enough to let me move back home for a bit and live rent free while I get on my feet/save some money. My mom and I get along really well, and we’ve been through a lot together—my dad left when I was a few months old, so it’s always been just her and me. Anyway, it’s great to be home. I am going to celebrate having access to a kitchen again by making Parmesan risotto from Cook’s Illustrated’s “The Best Light Recipe” cookbook. If I’m not too lazy, afterwards, this may mean you’ll get your first recipe review, soon. LUCKY YOU.

Also, I did not binge yesterday (hooray!), though I did go a little overboard. Ultimately, I only ended up using 120 more calories than was officially allotted to me*, but I definitely ate more sweets than I should have; I started with some Tim Tams and ice cream, which was fine, but then at the grocery store I impulsively snagged a bakery cookie and a candy bar. If I hadn’t chomped those, I’d have 660 extra calories today rather than negative 120!** Blergh! But, lesson learned; don’t eat treats on the run and try to keep it to one indulgence a day. I’m going to try and compensate for the extra calories I ate yesterday by eating that much less today, but—in the spirit of eating intuitively—I’m not going to not eat if I get hungry. It’s only 120 calories, after all, and that’s part of the glory of maintenance: Some days you eat a little more, some days you eat a little less. Usually, it all balances out.

Anyway, today marks the return of New Things Thursday! Hooray! Today’s new thing (Mindful Eating) is actually brought to you by Maria over at Chasing the Now (which you should start reading if you don’t already do so; it’s a great “healthy living” blog and also a really interesting look at life in Japan, where Maria lives with her husband. Personally, I’d love to visit Japan … so I can visit the Nintendo store. What?), who recently instituted the “Make Time to Dine” challenge.

When she did so, I realized I hardly ever just eat. When I eat, I’m also usually reading, watching TV or doing something else ridiculous that could probably wait until later, all of which are bad things to do while eating, especially since Maria says that studies have shown that more calories are taken in when we’re distracted while chomping. THAT’S BAD. Anyway, I pledged to take part once I got home, since when she introduced the challenge I needed every waking (and some sleeping) moment to write essays.

So, when I sat down for breakfast today, I said, “It is mindful eating time!”, especially since I’m trying intuitive eating, and part of that is paying attention to your hunger level while eating. But, how can you notice if you’re full if you’re to too busy reading a book while throwing back your breakfast?

Mindful eating was … weird. Honestly, the whole time I was eating, I wanted to reach for a book, or something. I didn’t realize how much of a habit multitasking while eating had become. But, while breakfast this morning meant I spent my meal taking a really hard look at my kitchen rather than a piece of reading material, it also meant that I savored my meal, more (it took me twenty minutes to eat a bowl of cereal, since I purposefully put my utensil down between bites). NEAT. Give it a try, dudes; you my find that when you actually pay attention to your plate, you don’t want everything that is on it.

*I’m trying to eat intuitively, but I’m still tallying calories at the end of the day just to see where doing so puts me with my intake.

** I’m still doing the “bonus calories” system at the moment, too, but any caloric allowances are really more of a guideline now that I’m doing maintenance rather than a hard and fast rule, especially since I don’t know how much I’ve eaten until I’ve added all my calorie values up at the end of the day.

Weigh-In Day: Weeks of April 23rd and April 30th

So, as those of you who read my recent spazz-out are probably aware, I really, really, really did not want to get on the scale today. Logically, I knew that somewhere between that amount you need to eat to lose weight and that amount you need to eat to gain weight, there is an amount that you can eat to maintain your weight. But, I spent the majority of my time over the last two weeks thinking not logically, and every time I looked at myself, I was sure I had gained weight. Well, let us see if my fears were unfounded or not:

Weight as of April 23rd: 127.9

Today’s Weight: 127.9

Loss/Gain: No Change

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1,850 (April 23rd – April 29th)/1,900 (April 30th – May 6th)

Exercise:

04/23: 7-mile run/walk
04/24: 2-mile run + 1-hour weightlifting session
04/25: Yoga
04/26: 5-mile walk + 40-minute weightlifting session
04/27: 30-minute elliptical session + 10-minute rowing machine session + 1.5-mile walk/run
04/28: 7-mile walk + 20-minute weightlifting session
04/29: 7-mile run/walk

04/30: 7-mile run/walk
05/01: 2-mile run + 1-hour weightlifting session
05/02: Yoga
05/03: 5-mile walk + 40-minute weightlifting session
05/04: 30-minute elliptical session + 10-minute rowing machine session + 1.5-mile walk/run
05/05: 7-mile walk + 20-minute weightlifting session
05/06: 7-mile run/walk

ARGH I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN Wait, what?

I … maintained my weight for two weeks?

Dear Internet:

I am sorry for having lost my shit and writing emo-tastic blog posts over nothing.

Love,

Liz

Seriously, though, I’m shocked, and this is exactly why I need to weigh myself to know where my weight is at; if you had asked me yesterday, I would have bet my unborn, firstborn child that I had gained a ton of weight. I’m just really terrible at assessing my weight by how I look—my mind plays tricks on me (Shit I think this is known as dysmorphia WHOOPS.)

Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sad I don’t need more food to maintain my weight, but I was also very satisfied eating 1,900 calories per day, so to want to be able to eat more would really just be kind of gluttonous of me. Regardless, this is a HUGE relief, and I’m super pleased to be going into the summer and graduating at my goal weight, aware of how many calories I need to maintain AND at a place where I haven’t binged for almost six weeks straight. I feel like I’m in a good mindset. Now, I just need to work on eating intuitively, and I think I’ll be more comfortable doing that now that I know what my my maintenance intake looks like.

I also need to just ACCEPT my victories. I got on the scale this morning and immediately went, “That can’t possibly be right. My scale must be broken, or last week I must have been retaining water and I actually gained this week AHHHHHH.” Calm down, self. Everything is cool, you don’t need to second guess success. But, non-scale victories are important (if not more important), too, and I’m hoping now that I’ve been maintaining for a bit I’ll become a bit less obsessed with the scale. Woot.

I’ll weigh myself again in another two weeks, methinks. Now, though, it’s time for a walk, my legs feel like jelly today, probably because I did some High Intensity Interval Training yesterday. Basically, while on the treadmill, I would do five-minute sets during which I ran for three minutes at 6 mph and for one minute at 8 mph before walking for one minute at 4 mph. Run, rinse, repeat for twenty-five minutes. Intense, dudes.

Have you tried any new exercises, lately?

A Letter, Part Three: THIS TIME IT IS A LITTLE DESPERATE AND WILL MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE, PROBABLY

Dear Body,

I totally don’t need you to have lost weight over the last two weeks. Isn’t that convenient and nice of me? All I am asking is that you stayed exactly the same. Isn’t that easy?! It is the easiest thing in the world! Didn’t you enjoy eating 1,900 calories a day? I know, it was dreamy, right? Wouldn’t you hate to have to cut back? I know, that would totally suck. But, if you gain weight … well … I can’t guarantee anything.

But, that’s not even going to be an issue, right, ’cause you’re totally going to weigh exactly the same as you were two weeks ago, right? I have faith in you, body! Seriously, though, I just want some peace of mind and to be able to go into the summer knowing how much I need to eat to maintain my weight AND NOT HAVING TO TINKER WITH NUMBERS I HATE MATH AND GAINING WEIGHT AND OBSESSING ABOUT THINGS SO MAINTAIN, OR ELSE, A’IGHT?!

Love,

Elizabeth

Obsession, by Scale-vin Klein

OK, I know I said there was going to be a minor hiatus, here, but I am going crazy and I need to vent.

I started over-analyzing myself this morning.

“Hm, that ridge in my stomach wasn’t there before. Is that a good ridge or a bad ridge? Is this fat coming back or going away and revealing new … ridges?”

“I look bloated. Or am I just gaining weight? Oh, my God, I must maintain my weight 1,700 calories per day and now I’m overeating AHMYGAWD.”

Now, every time I see a mirror, I am compulsively checking out how much my stomach is protruding and I am also compulsively feeling myself up every five minutes. I am glad I am graduating soon, because after today everyone on campus is going to think I am a pervert.

Regardless, what’s the worse case scenario, here? Say I do maintain my weight at 1,700 calories per day. That would mean by having consumed an average of 1,850 calories last week and 1,900 calories this week, I would gain about seven-tenths of a pound. And, even if I did, I’d still be in my maintenance range, and come Friday I’ll just cut back my calories. And, how likely is it that I really only need 1,700 calories per day? I work out, I’m 5’6″, and I’m 21 years old. I must need more than that, right?

Regardless, CALM DOWN, SELF. Just because you’re eating more doesn’t mean you’re going to gain an absurd amount of weight in two weeks.

Should I just weigh myself tomorrow, though, and know for sure whether or not I should be worried? Or, should I just hold on until Friday because I could just be retaining water at the moment?

Also, DOES ANYONE ELSE ACT LIKE A CRAZY PERSON or is it just me BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE IT’S JUST ME.

Exiting into a Beginning

Dear Reader(s?),

You have my apologies for the recent lack of posts; unfortunately, I am in the midst of my final ten days at university (!), and this entails writing papers, writing more papers and taking exams. Also, packing. Also, boiling all my water, because the town in which I currently reside as well as bunch of other communities in the surrounding area are currently working with a broken water pipe that is apparently giving us water unsafe for drinking. Fun, yes?

Anyway, I am hoping that once I am gradumacated and living my exciting post-education journalist life, I will have both a) more things to write about and b) more motivation to write. At the moment, though, the last thing I feel like doing after sitting in front of a laptop all day putting together essays is writing blog posts. Alas. Bear with me, though, and hopefully things will pick up again here at AWI. I’ll still try to post product reviews if I try anything new/have the time, and I’ll put up my weigh-ins.

By the way, I am currently DREADING this Friday’s check-in; I haven’t weighed in since April 23rd, which is good, but this also means I have no idea whether I’m maintaining or gaining or losing. I’ve been following my plan to a T (i.e. eating 50 more calories per day each week), but even when I did that upon starting maintenance last time, I still gained a bit the first week. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a wee gain at all, I just hope I don’t get on the scale come Friday and find that 1,700 calories per day was actually how much I needed to maintain and that I’ve spent the last two weeks putting poundage back on. Blergh.