A Perfect Version of Myself

Losing Weight is Hard

Girl on Fire April 26, 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 6:06 pm
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I weighed in a day early this week as I’m leaving for Illinois tomorrow afternoon and won’t have a chance to go to WW this week.  I’m down 2.4 lbs this week, which puts me at a net loss of 150 lbs even.

That seems so insane to even think about.  150 lbs is…a lot.  I mean, A LOT.  According to Google, Beyonce Knowles WEIGHS 150 lbs.

I’ve lost Beyonce Knowles (and I didn’t even know I had her)!  That’s, um, crazy!

Is it me or is this the best day ever?

 

Trampled Underfoot April 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 10:18 am
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While I was away in Thunder Bay visiting my mom, I gained 6.4 lbs over the course of 4 days.  That seems impossible, but when I think back to how out of control I was with my eating, I guess I can see it.

I started off so well – I ate a healthy breakfast and headed to the airport.  Despite the free snacks in the lounge and the cool veggie chips on the plane, I triumphed!  I was satisfied with my breakfast and NOT HUNGRY so I did not indulge.

Then I landed in Thunder Bay and, in more ways than one, hit the ground hard.

My mother and sister met me (and my aunt) at the gate and asked me if it was ok that they had arranged to meet some friends at a Chinese food buffet for lunch.  They were being considerate of how I like to eat and didn’t want to go if it was going to be a problem.  I sighed (internally) and said it was fine – and I really meant it.  “I have the ability to make good choices in hard situations” I thought to myself. 

We went, I ate pretty well, choosing lots of fresh fruit, vegetables (yes, they were covered in oil but they were the least offensive item offered besides the fruit) and ONE chicken ball, and I felt good.  This was how vacation was supposed to go!

Before I knew it, we were heading to a cooking demonstration that my mom had signed us up for.  I had perused the menu online and it looked pretty good – Tomato Salad, Asparagus Soup, Salmon-Something, and Angel Food Cake with mixed berries.  All healthy things, right?

WRONG!

These things might have been healthy in their original incantations, but all you have to do is add 35% whipping cream to everything and the healthy factor goes right out the window.  And the salmon-something?  Was Salmon Wellington – which I have never eaten and didn’t bother to look up, thinking it was just salmon and it couldn’t be that bad.  Salmon Wellington, for those who don’t know, is a piece of salmon wrapped in puff pastry.  Puff pastry is not exactly low-cal, but then the chef really made it better by stuffing it with butter-fried peaches and onions and then serving it on a bed of spinach that was sautéed in butter AND WHIPPING CREAM.

You know what though?  I was fine with it.  It’s only one day, it doesn’t change my dedicated mindset and I figured that I would get right back on track the next day.  The only problem was that the portions were extremely small – and I’m saying that as someone who eats pretty small portion sizes as it is.  It was made worse because I don’t like salmon and only ate half my Wellington.  I left the stupid demonstration starving.  I had eaten my small lunch and now my tiny dinner (that was a bazillion points/calories) and I was still hungry.

We walked by this totally cute coffee shop and I suggested going in, mentioning that I would grab a muffin or piece of cake.  My mother and aunt reacted like I had just suggested I was going to BBQ the neighbours cat and feast upon it.  The two of them yelled (pretty much simultaneously) “NO!  YOU CAN’T!  YOU’RE ON A DIET AND YOU’RE DOING SO GOOD!”

It was like a slap in the face.  First of all, I’m was in total control of myself at that moment.  I was LEGITIMATELY hungry.  While they had eaten a huge lunch, I had merely nibbled.  While they had eaten their entire main course, I left half mine behind.  It won’t kill me to eat a muffin or a slice of cake if I’m hungry.  My mother keeps absolutely zero food in her house (I mean it, it’s a condiment graveyard….with beer) so I knew that going to her house for a snack was not an option.  Plus, and here is where the weekend turned for me, they made me feel ashamed.

They made me feel like I was a bad person for wanting to have a piece of cake.  They judged me and my sweet tooth in that moment and found me lacking. 

The last time I had cake before this incident was in September.  On my birthday.  Excuse me for feeling like it’s ok to eat a slice of cake every six months.  I’m a grown woman, I control what goes in my mouth and if I want to stuff myself with crap, I can stuff myself with crap.

Those are just some of the thoughts that ran through my head in that moment.  When they had finished their exclamations of horror that I would want to eat something when I was hungry, I reeled back like I had been slapped.  I have one of those faces that can’t hide what I’m thinking, so my mom and aunt both immediately knew something was wrong but I backed away from them, turned and walked back to my mom’s house with them tagging behind me, asking what was wrong and saying “if you want, let’s go back”.

I cried later that night.  I let them make me feel ashamed.  I’ve had some time to reflect back on this and I realized that the issue is actually more about them than me.  They both struggle mightily with a weight problem and I think they like to look at me and the way I currently am and think that it can be done.  That they can lose the weight, because I’ve done it.

Where they both fail, and I’m only saying this because I know them well, is that they believe in order to lose weight, you have to be perfect.  I’ve tried very tactfully to tell them that I don’t live that way, but they don’t really listen.  To hear me say I wanted cake, meant that after all this time, I was giving up.  I was not going to continue to bust my ass and lose weight, and I was on the downward slope to gaining it all back.  Because that’s what having a piece of cake would mean to them if they were on a diet.

But I am not my aunt or my mother.  I’m me.

I wish I’d remembered that during the course of the weekend.  The whole time I was away, I felt bad about myself.  Ashamed and judged.  I even did something I have read that other people do, but never done myself.  I hid my eating away from their prying eyes.  I put myself in charge of cooking dinner on the Sunday night and binged in the kitchen the entire time, trying not to let them hear the crinkling of the chip bag.  I was paranoid of every mouthful of food that I consumed in front of them. 

It was an emotional weekend.  I learned a lot though  – I’ve had time to think it over and figure out how I’ll deal with these kinds of situations in the future and I’m ok with the weight gain.  After all, I earned it and it is what it is.  I’m glad that I know what triggered it and I’m glad that I’ve really mulled it over so it (hopefully) won’t happen again.

The only thing that makes me sad is that I allowed myself to feel that way.  They shamed me, but I let them.

 

Long Time Gone April 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 9:58 pm
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I feel like every time I get on here, I’m complaining about how I never get on to blog.  It’s not cool, man.

Therefore, I hereby resolve to blog at least twice a week.  It’s a big resolution for me, I can barely eke out the time to do anything these days, but I’m going to try to swing it.

So my trip to Thunder Bay was a giant disaster.  When I weighed in the day after getting home, I was up 6.4 lbs!!!  Holy shit!  That’s more than 22,000 calories on top of what I burned!  And I went running!  Twice!

I want to discuss something that happened while I was there that I think had a lot to do with how badly I ate, but I’m going to save that for my post this Saturday as it’s 9:52 pm and I want to go to bed (I’m so old).

This week, I’m down 5.2 lbs which indicates that at least some of my gain the previous week was “fake”.  Probably a portion of it was due to all the restaurant and processed food I ate while away and it needed a week to flush out my system.  For those of you who can’t do subtraction (me, me!), I’m still up from my all time previous low a couple of weeks ago.  I’m back on track and raring to go – despite seeing another hurdle in the near future (I’m going on an overnight business trip next week to Kankakee, IL.  If you live there…be prepared for my invasion).

So my peeps, it is what it is.  I wanted to stop by so that you didn’t think that I’d died or something and to let you know that I don’t just talk about picking yourself up from a huge fall – I practice doing it too.

 

Interstate Love Song April 8, 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 6:04 pm
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Just wanted to quickly check in this week.  I’m down 4 lbs (see, I knew last week was bogus!) this week and out of the 180’s.  I really am making a good case for setting goals this week, aren’t I?!  Ha.

I’m headed away early tomorrow morning to visit my mom.  I’ll be home on Monday and, like I always do, I have a plan.

The vacation plan is going to go like this:  make wise choices and sneak in exercise whenever/wherever possible.

That’s it.

I’m going to take each meal as a separate entity and make the best possible choice in each situation.  I’m not expecting to lose weight this week, but I’d like to see no more than a 0.5 lb gain.  We’re going to a cooking demonstration on Friday night, which I only agreed to because I don’t think the food sounds remotely appealing.  Unfortunately we’re then going to a bar for drink afterwards, which IS appealing.  I’m going to do the best I can.  It’s all I can ask of myself.

I’m also going to attempt to talk my sister into running around this man-made lake the city has on Saturday.  It’s a 5K run, so it should be good.  If she won’t go, I’ll just do it solo.

I will not be counting points or calories, nor will I be tracking this weekend.  Just trying to eat mindfully and carefully.

Wish me luck!

 

Walking on Sunshine April 4, 2010

Filed under: Goals and Expectations — Tara @ 7:01 pm
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I’ve decided to change-up the way I’ve been doing my goals.  15 lb increments was not a big deal when I was 300 lbs, but now losing 15 lbs takes me quite a bit longer and it’s becoming a bit overwhelming.  You see, when I’m at the gym or I’m struggling with my eating, I use my goals as an anchor (like they teach you at Weight Watchers).  I will repeat to myself how far I’ve got to go to the next goal and then use that as motivation.  I know I’ve said it before, but weight loss really is just talking yourself into and out of things you do or do not want to do and I truly believe this.  Because the goals seem really far away, they’re not really effective as anchors anymore and I think it’s one of the reasons I had such a rough March.

From now on, I’m going to focus on losing 10 lbs at a time.  I was recently inspired by someone on a Spark People message board who said that they “only” had to lose 10 lbs….but they had to do it 12 times.  That seemed so…refreshing!  I’m stealing it!  I’m going to amend it a little, I’m going to focus on getting out of each decade of number, bit by bit.  For now, the push is on to get out of the 180’s.

Another realization came this weekend with the gorgeous weather Southern Ontario experienced.  I decided to take the dog for a nice long walk along the beachfront on Good Friday.  It was awesome, very relaxing and certainly fun.  When I got home, I plugged the stats into SP and discovered that although I was merely strolling, I burned 280 calories during that walk!

It’s become ingrained in my head that exercise doesn’t “count” unless it’s strenuous.  Which is bullshit.  I’ve said before that I’m less fair to myself than to other people, but no matter how many times I tell remind myself of this, I still can’t seem to get it to sink in.  What I mean by that, is that I read other peoples blogs and they mention going for walks as their form of exercise and I cheer them!  I think it’s great that they’ve found something they enjoy and that they can fit into their day.  But me?  No way!  I have to be practically killing myself at the gym in order for it to be “real” exercise.

So on Sunday, I loaded the dog into the car and we went to a local conservation area.  I hooked him to his leash and away we went.  We walked to the most beautiful waterfall and he had a nice long drink (to fill the tank for the walk back, it’s not a real walk for him unless he “waters” every tree along the path) and then we walked back.  I felt great!  The walking was mostly easy, some hills were steep and I had to walk carefully but it was awesome.  I don’t care how many calories I burned, or how strenuous it was….all I care about was that it was fun!  And peaceful.  I always forget that there’s a point to working out, it’s so you can make your everyday life easier and better, not so you can ratchet up another level on the elliptical machine.

I hope you don’t forget that too.

 

The Girl Who Used to Be April 1, 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 11:36 pm
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I’m up 1.4 lbs this week, which is such utter nonsense that I’m not going to dwell on it for an instant.  I ate great, stayed within my points and got a ton of exercise.  I’m not sure what’s causing this (don’t you dare say the word “plateau” to me) yo-yo thing lately but I’m getting sick of it.  I’ve lost and gained the same two pounds all month long and with March coming to a close, I’m declaring war on the 180’s.  I’m going to get beyond this if it kills me.  How?  By doing the same stuff I’ve been doing all along, but more.  More intensity in the exercise, better fuel in the tank and relying on basic biology to kick in.  I’m not worried about it too much, it will happen and until it does, I’m celebrating that I bought a dress and a skirt in a size 10 today and ignoring the scale.

Moving on…

My boss at the bookstore recently asked me where I get such steel balls (her words).  It took me back for a moment.

She asked me how and why I am able to put myself into uncomfortable and/or awkward situations with such ease.  I think she’s referring to my willingness to do things that I might suck at, as well as my newly acquired plan to find myself a man (Codename: Operation GSA).

I had to think about this one, but here’s my answer: I can put myself out there because I know it’s not going to kill me.

Being super morbidly obese doesn’t have a lot of perks, but it does have some.  One of them is that I know whatever happens, I’ll have been through worse.  I mean, is going to yoga and sticking my butt in the air going to be any more awful than the time I broke a chair at a restaurant?  I’ve never told anyone that this has happened to me, but it did.  I broke a wicker chair at a pretty fancy restaurant in Yorkville.  The arm became separated from the seat because it was unable to contain my fat.  It happened pretty early on in the meal and I just pretended nothing had happened, tried not to move and make the problem worse, and then left at the end of the evening without anyone (that I knew at least, I’m sure the restaurant figured it out later) being the wiser.  But I knew.  I knew and it made me die a little inside.

Being afraid, and being afraid to be uncomfortable helped me get over the 300 lb mark.  Being open and fearless has helped me take off almost 150 lbs.  I’m not afraid anymore.  I can do anything, be anything, have anything.  I deserve to be happy just as much as anyone else.  It’s taken me a very long time to feel this way, and sometimes I want to grab the girl I used to be and tell her that being happy is possible. 

I can’t do that though.  Instead what I can do is tell you.  Tell you that being the person you want to be is possible.  I’m going to tell you that feeling happy and healthy and grateful for every day that you get up and live your life is your right.

You deserve it, just as much as I do.

I don’t like to give diet advice, because I feel like what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you, but here’s a tip from me to you:  making small changes is something to be proud of.  They’ll pay off big dividends eventually, but in the meantime, they give you a feeling of accomplishment and pride that will lead you to keep going and make even bigger changes.  Those small changes will help you realize that you’re worth every bit of hard work and effort that it’s going to take to get those pounds off.

Start now.  It’s never too late.