A Perfect Version of Myself

Losing Weight is Hard

Do It Again June 29, 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 9:36 pm
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It’s Tuesday so it must be weigh in time!  I’m down 2.4 lbs this week and I’m only 1.1 lbs away from an awesome 50% of my body weight lost. 

This week was a tough one – my company had our Q2 inventory on Saturday, requiring a six-day work week.  Worse for my diet was the potluck lunch that always occurs the day before (and leftovers for the day of) the inventory.  I brought something for the group to share that was not completely diet-friendly (Choosy Beggars’ Singapore Noodles Salad, it was amazingly delicious) but wasn’t too bad either.  I took my own lunch, but tried a couple of things people had brought in – one was a Middle-Eastern flatbread thing with meat (amazing) and the other was this pastry thing filled with dulce de leche from one of my Argentinian coworkers.  Dude.  I can’t talk about it without drooling.

Saturday was good too – I had a brief fling with a small piece of plum-cake and then I moved on.  I thought about that cake though – I thought about it a lot.  Probably more than a normal person would but I was able to restrain myself from eating another slice and from taking some home when it was offered to me. 

This whole thing with the cake made me realize something:  sugar makes me a bit crazy – and it’s weird that I never noticed it before.  Once I have the tiniest bit of sugar, I just want to keep eating it.  And eating it.  And eating it.  It’s why granola bars are on the banned list in my house once I run out of the ones I currently have.  It’s just not worth the temptation.  If I want a granola bar, I’ll walk or bike to the grocery store and buy a Cliff or Luna bar (you know, the ones that are sold individually) and consider it a treat.  It’s not a treat when I sit and eat three of them whilst surfing the internet.

Even though it was a tough week, I tracked everything.  I still have four points left from my 35 weekly points and I didn’t use any of my activity points (hence the loss, I guess). 

I had a point when I started writing this post, but then it got lost in my food confessions.  Oops.

Oh wait, I remembered what it is!

Just because you have a setback or a tough week, don’t give up.  You can still live a normal life and lose weight.  It’s normal to eat a pastry or a slice of cake, everyone does it.  You can work it into your plan and you can be successful.

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Shake a Leg June 23, 2010

Filed under: Goals and Expectations,Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 10:08 pm
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I’m late this week!  Too busy to post yesterday!  Too busy to post tonight, come to think of it but I don’t like to let it get too long lest all of you think I’m off in a corner somewhere eating butter with a spoon.

I stayed exactly the same this week, which is fine by me.  This is just proof that some weeks you can do everything right – track every mouthful, stay within your points, get lots of exercise and NOT LOSE ANY WEIGHT.  It just doesn’t always happen.  The only recourse?  To keep doing what you were doing – living your healthy, active life.  The scale will catch up with you but in the meantime, you’ll be feeling better and stronger every single day.

Tonight was my Weight Watchers Walk-It 5K Challenge, which I believe all Weight Watchers in North America were participating in.  I went in with a plan.  I wanted to run the whole thing.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it without stopping to walk.  And I did!!  I did not stop to walk once, I was breathing hard and sweating like a pig (it was about 100 degrees here today with the humidity) but I did it.

I even finished first.  I mean, I know it wasn’t a race, most people were walking, but still.  I finished VERY FIRST out of all the people who participated.  There was a woman behind me for most of the race – most of the time she was just close enough for me to see when I turned the corner, but at the end, she put on the speed and was catching me.  I literally thought “you did not stay out in front this whole time only to get passed in the end” and I put on my own burst of speed.  I “beat” her by about 30 seconds.  My time (based on how much of my playlist I heard while running) was 32:16!!  That’s a speed of 10:23 seconds per mile!  I’m not so slow anymore!

Dude.  I have never been so proud of myself in my entire life.  I feel like Wonder Woman and She-Ra all rolled into one.  Better yet?  I feel like an ATHLETE. 

One more announcement before I go.  I’m thinking about starting a inter-web challenge and I’m kinda polling who’d be interested.  What do you think about car-free weekends?  And by that, I mean getting everywhere on your own steam on the weekends.  You could walk, run, bike, roller blade or swim (where you would be going by swimming, I’m not sure but if it’s an option, I say go for it) anything but use your car.  I’m pledging to it, right here and now.  I will not use my car on the weekends, but get around using nothing but two feet and a heartbeat.

Are you with me?

 

Let It All Hang Out June 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 9:17 am
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There is something everybody wants to ask me.  Something people are afraid to offend me over.  Something I’ve received emails and comments about more and more lately.

The topic?  Loose skin.

So let’s talk about it.

Do I have it?  Yes.  Do I like it?  No.  Does it really bother me?  Sometimes.

So basically I never figured that I was going to look as tight and taut as a sixteen year old cheerleader when I started this.  I figured I would have loose skin at the end and I was okay with that.  Loose skin, in my opinion, was better than mounds of fat hanging off of me. 

That’s still the way I feel.  I had realistic expectations of what I could expect my body to look like after having carried around almost 200 extra pounds of fat and I’ve basically had those expectations come to fruition.

There is extra skin on my arms (commonly referred to as bat wings) that hangs.  The stretch marks there are not the most attractive thing either.  There is loose skin on my thighs, it jiggles a bit when I walk and I can see it hang forward when I do downward dog in shorts at yoga.  My breasts are not really “full” anymore.  They’re still big, but the skin is very crepe-ey (I’ve heard mom’s who’ve nursed children get the same thing happen to them).  My stomach is the bane of my current existence.  Not only because it still seems enormous to me, but because it rather looks like someone melted me.  I have a pannus as I mentioned before (the fat below your belly button but above your pubic bone) and it really didn’t look smaller until about ten pounds ago.  Now it does, but the skin is looking less than stellar.

Now that I’ve said that – here’s the interesting part:

It  doesn’t bother me very often.

I mean, sure, I’d like to have a rock solid body where nothing jiggles, but I don’t.  Instead, I have one that is strong and capable.  One that will carry me through 90 minutes of hot yoga (which is the most incredible exercise I’ve ever done – true story), one that will run for 3 miles without stopping.  I have a body where I can see muscles bunch and flex under that loose skin in the most attractive way.

I’ve lost this weight at the rate of 2.0075 lbs per week.  I’ve exercised the entire time (except for the first four weeks).  I have never smoked, I don’t tan and I’m still in my 20’s.  I’m the best case scenario that doctors look at when they encounter someone who has loose skin.  It still may tighten up more over time, but I’m not counting on it.  Instead, I’m trying to be positive – some loose, hanging skin is better than fat.  I now wear tank tops and bathing suits to swim and I’m ok.  They’re just ARMS for God’s sake.  It’s not like I have swastikas tattooed on them!  How offensive can they be?

That’s not to say that I don’t struggle with accepting my body – I do, just like every other person on this planet.  Most of the time I look at myself in the mirror and am at least content with what I see (if not impressed), but I have days where I lament the way my skin looks.  I think about how nice it would be to look “perfect” and then I remind myself that no one is perfect and I put clothes on that are cute and tiny (size eight!!) and I move on with my day.

I was thinking about doing an “Exposed” post but I’m still not sure.  As comfortable as I am with my body these days, I don’t know if I want to put it all out there for the world to see.   It’s something I’m thinking on anyway.

The other thing to think on is plastic surgery.  As a Canadian, I have health-care perks that are quite the blessing.  One of them is that if you lose 100 lbs and keep it off for a year or longer and have loose skin, the government will pay for skin removal and a tummy tuck.  Apparently, it’s a hygiene issue (which I can see – when I was fat my skin used to sometimes get a rash in the summer time from rubbing against itself).  I’m going to discuss it with my doctor at my physical in November and see how I feel.  Right now, I’m leaning towards doing it, but I don’t know if I want to have surgery that isn’t REQUIRED.  We’ll see.  I know it’s kind of schizophrenic to talk about how I accept my body in one paragraph and then discuss cutting part of it off in the next.  It’s how I roll.

I’m not exactly shy when it comes to talking about myself – if you have any questions regarding this topic (or anything else that you’re too embarrassed to comment publically about), just email me or leave a comment on this post.  I will do my best to answer honestly.

 

Bitch June 15, 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 7:55 pm
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I’m down 1.2 lbs this week.  It’s amazing that I used to consider that a “bad” week and now anything over a pound per week is a bonus for me.  I had an absolute great week – I hit yoga three times, went to Zumba, set a new personal record for how long I can jog without stopping, etc…

With my great week in mind – I’m going to gossip with you!

There’s this woman who goes to my WW meeting who I CANNOT STAND.  I kinda feel bad because WW often feels like a sisterhood or a sorority, only for fat people.  Instead of secret handshakes, we swap tips on how to maximize points.  So, in that spirit, I try very hard to like everyone.  Or, if not like, at least ignore.

Not this woman.

First, let me just say that I had to stop going to my regular meeting for a while because of an hours change at work.  I’m now rotating my hours, so I’ll be able to hit up my usual meeting at least six out of eight weeks, but there was a period of eight weeks where I had to attend the later meeting.  This woman joined sometime in that period because I had never clapped eyes on her before last week. 

She’s just awful.  There’s this whole thing happening at WW where they are combining our meeting with the later meeting and putting it smack in between the two.  It doesn’t work for the majority of the people who attend our meeting and people are (rightfully) upset.  We were discussing it last week, one of the lifetime ladies and myself and the horrible woman (from here on out, she will be referred to as HW) piped up that the last thing she wanted from her WW meeting was politics and that she should just be told where and when to show up and she’d be there.

Ok lady.  It’s wonderful for you that you have such an open schedule.  I’m glad that you a) have no life or b) make your WW meeting the top priority in your week, but it’s not that way for everyone.  Even if I start to attend at the new meeting time, some of the lovely people I’ve been doing this weight loss thing with for the last eighteen months will not be able to join me.  That means some of the support I’ve built with WW is gone.  I’m sure if you’ve ONLY BEEN ATTENDING FOR EIGHT WEEKS (maximum) YOU DON’T CARE WHEN THE MEETINGS ARE SWITCHING TO, but you don’t have the right to make other people feel like they’re being petty for giving a damn.  You can have your opinion, just keep it to yourself.  She cemented my bad opinion of her by making snarky comments under her breath after other people had spoken during the actual meeting.  Bitch.

So this week, I was all ready to give her a second chance this week – fat being thicker than water after all – but she made me want to slap her again!  We were talking tracking and I mentioned that it helps me to do it in the morning – I’m less likely to get off plan if I know I’m going to mess up the way my tracker looks.  A bit mental, I know, but it helps me out.  SHE MADE FUN OF ME!!  Loud enough that I heard her and whipped around to ask her to repeat it.  She looked shifty, but she did.  HW had followed up my comment that I use a three-month tracker with a crack about how it makes it harder to start over when I spell something wrong.

FUCK YOU LADY.

I rolled my eyes at her, but said nothing.  My moment came when she revealed that she tracks on a custom-designed Exel spreadsheet WITH MACROS.  I interrupted her to ask if she had actually made fun of me for keeping my tracker neat, when she was anal enough to design software to keep track of her food.  There was silence in the room and then everyone laughed at her.

For most, the laughter was good-natured, but for me?  Uh-uh.  I meant every HA HA as a slur on her honour, integrity and compunction. 

For I too am a bitch.

 

The Girl Who Does Yoga June 8, 2010

Filed under: Weight Loss Updates — Tara @ 7:27 pm
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I’m down this week by 2.4 lbs and have shot out of the 170’s and into the 160’s.  This taking it “decade” by “decade” thing is really working for me.  The goals are pretty attainable and they never feel very far out of reach. 

One goal that did come and go (and to be honest, I forgot I made it) was my goal to be half the woman I was by June 1st.  I didn’t quite make it.  Oh well.

No – that’s it.  Oh well.  It was a goal, but I by no means feel I failed by not hitting that poundage lost by that specific date.  As I’m currently sitting, I have about four lbs or so to have lost 50% of my body weight.  That feels pretty good not matter which way you slice it.

Lots of stuff going on lately.  I took new progress pics on Friday that I hope to have up soon.  I still have to get them sent to me and then smush them all together (the technical terms are impressive, eh?) so that I only have to post one pic.

I signed up for three months of unlimited yoga at my studio because, surprisingly, I love yoga.  Let me repeat that, I LOVE YOGA!!!! 

I started off hating it.  I was bad at it, and generally, I hate anything I’m bad at.  I kept going because I had paid for a 30 day pass and I’m always determined to get my money out of everything.  I took a bunch of classes, with different instructors until one day I took a class with Sofie (scroll down, she’s on there) and realized how much yoga rocks.  Her class is everything I thought yoga wasn’t: intense, athletic, detailed and fast paced.  She runs us through the poses pretty quickly, not repeating things for an eon, but moving on to progressively more difficult stuff as the class goes on.  I feel strong and calm after a class with Sofie and look forward to the next one.  I’m still trying classes out with other instructors (in fact, I’m going to my first hot class this Wednesday – sorta scared, not going to lie) but I take at least two classes a week with her and I feel amazing, during and after.

If you live in the Toronto area, my yoga studio is drop in and has locations in the Annex (downtown), Oakville and Burlington and I can’t recommend it enough.  Yoga has taught me how to appreciate how strong my body is and it’s also helped my posture immensely outside of class; I walk and stand taller (which, by the way, makes a person look thinner.  Just sayin’).  I know it can seem…crunchy or granola-ey.  It is a bit.  But it’s still awesome – and no joke!  Whenever I’m in class and my arms are shaking from side-planks or my legs are wobbling from warrior-poses, I always think the same thing: yoga ain’t for wimps.

Give it a try!

 

Back in Your Head June 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 9:42 pm
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It’s all in your head.

Weight loss, that is.

90% of the effort you put forth when trying to lose weight is the mental effort.  Once your brain gets on board with it, your body just follows suit.  After all, your body wants to be healthy.  It wants to be in harmony with itself.  That means that your body doesn’t want to be carrying around an extra few hundred pounds.

The problem is your brain.

Your brain tells you that you’re too tired to hit the gym.  You’re not.  Believe it or not (and most of you already know this), exercise doesn’t deplete your energy stores.  It adds to them.  Exercise gives you a boost that lasts for hours.  So much of a boost that some people have trouble sleeping if they exercise too close to their bedtime.

Your brain tells you that you’re still hungry, despite the giant, satisfying, delicious dinner you just finished.  You’re not.  You are feeling bored, anxious, lonely, unloved, uncomfortable, or despondent.  You’re about to use food as a way to make that feeling disappear.  It won’t be gone long though.  As soon as you have finished swallowing that last mouthful of cheesecake/ice cream/granola bar/pudding, you’ll feel that itch deep inside again.  The one that is impossible to scratch with food.

Your brain tells you that you can’t do this.  You can.

Your brain tells you that this is hard work.  It is.

Your brain tells you that you’re not worth the hard work.  You are.

So you need to talk to your brain.  You need to do it constantly.  Talk yourself into going to the gym.  Talk yourself into taking the walk around the block.  Talk yourself out of eating something to satisfy a craving that isn’t physical. 

Most importantly, you need to talk your brain into believing you can do this.  It’s hard, sure, but so is watching yourself die slowly – whether death be physical or emotional.

I stopped doing this.  I was awesome at it for the first eight months or so of my weight loss.  And then?  It got easier.  I didn’t depend on the self-encouragement as much.  So I stopped.  I need to remember how to do this and start again.  I think it’s time for a return to the most basic fundamental of my weight loss plan: talk yourself in and out of stuff.  I started talking to myself again this week.

Care to join the conversation?

 

I’m Insane June 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 11:06 pm
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I’m down 1.6 lbs this week despite some weird binge-type moments.  I had to throw out a box of organic granola cereal on Saturday night because I was standing in my kitchen, shovelling it into my mouth at top speed FOR THE SECOND TIME IN TWO DAYS.  Why I didn’t throw it out after the first incident is beyond me.

I was talking to a friend yesterday and she encouraged me to go to Overeaters Anonymous.  She herself is a regular attendee and was saying how helpful it’s been.  We had this really great conversation where I felt like someone GOT IT for the first time.  I don’t think a person can really understand compulsive eating unless they suffer from it.

Like, for example, one of my coworkers at the bookstore.  We were discussing what we had done the night before and I mentioned my indiscretion involving the cereal.  Her response?  That I obviously lack willpower. 

I was kinda flabbergasted if I’m being honest.  First because, hello!  I’ve lost over 150 lbs, I think I possess a little bit of willpower.  Second, does she really think that a binge is the same thing as giving in to weakness? 

I didn’t press the issue because, like I said, people who don’t have these issue can never really “get” them.  They might be able to sympathize, but at their core they just can’t grasp the concept of being out of control and having no way out.  They don’t get the desperation, shame, guilt and horror that can occur at the exact same time that you are outwardly looking calm and in control.  Compulsive and binge eating are weirdly things I never thought I suffered from until recently.  Then I realized that I have been doing it all along, I just changed what I was bingeing on and I was building those weird moments into my eating plan so that I was accounting for the calories.  Doesn’t make it right, it just makes it accounted for.

I’ve located a meeting that fits into my insane schedule (7:45 pm on Thursdays in the next town over) and I’m going to give Overeaters Anonymous a try.  I really want to be healthy, happy and in a better relationship with food.  I think the fact that I’m willing to do the work to get there is a huge sign of progress.  The me from 18 months ago wouldn’t have figured I was worth figuring this out.  Now I know the truth: the only thing that’s more important than my physical health is my mental health.  And I’m worth every damn bit of hard work it will take to be happy.