Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Scariest Subject Ever!

Dating! (Ominous organ music indicating trouble ahead).

That’s right, I said it.  Dating.  Let me begin by saying that I haven’t actually gone on any dates yet since losing all of this weight, but I have been thinking about it.

I think it was some Meg Ryan movie where they posited that it is more likely for a woman over 40 to get struck by lightning than to get married.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m not talking about marriage.  I’m talking about dating.  Having someone to share a supper and some interesting conversation with now and then.  So, I figured I would at least give it a try.

I signed up on a dating website. While I have a large social circle that includes a great many men, I’m not sure if any of them are actually datable material.  I’m not sure if I find any of them attractive, or if I do, if they can ever see me as anything other than the “before” Colleen.  I know I haven’t actually reached the “after” Colleen phase, but I think I’m close enough to at least entertain the possibility have having a date or two.

So, I chose a website a friend of mine recommended to me when I was heavier.  It’s for larger people, and I figure that since I still have about 46 more pounds to lose before I actually become a skinny girl, I would at least start there.

My profile, with pictures, has been up for a few weeks, and I have had a few interested hits.  I’m not sure I’m interested in any of them.  They all just seem to be, what’s the word I’m looking for here?  Freaks.

Let’s take guy #1 for example.  We’ll call him Bruce…not name he gave me, but really does it matter?

Bruce is looking for a serious commitment of sorts.  He currently lives in my state, but his job is transferring him to another state.  He will be working a few months here, a few months there off and on.  He wants a girl who will agree to a monogamous sexual relationship, no strings attached.  The idea of a monogamous, no strings attached relationship seemed a little odd to me, but I agreed to at least talk to him via email.

After a couple of email exchanges it became clear to me that it’s the girl who must remain monogamous, even when he is in the other state for a few months.  He, on the other hand, would be under no obligation to remain faithful while on assignment 500 miles away. Seriously, dude?  Where do I sign up?  Wait…didn’t I date you in college?

I wished him well and moved on to guy number 2.

Candidate #2, “Joe” seemed kind of safe and boring, but maybe a bit too eager and way too young for me, by about 16 years.  He was getting ready to move here from California and wanted to start dating someone right away.  He immediately gave me his cell phone number and asked me to call him.

I never did.  I have no interest in being a cougar.

Guy #3…we’ll call this “guy” Steve.  It turns out Steve was not really interested in meeting me…or any woman for that matter.  The website I used has a built-in chat feature and after about 5 minutes of “chatting” it became clear to me that Steve was only interested in a little naughty sex chat.

I am a fairly traditional girl when it comes to those things.  Not that I find anything wrong with a little bit of sex talk, but not really anonymously with men I don’t know, which is what I’m politely telling him when he took things way too far…Rick Santorum style.  Blocked!

The rest of the losers that have contacted me do not seem to know how to read.  I specifically put in my profile that I am only interested in men who live in my area.  So of course, I get emails from men in Florida, New York, New England, and Saudi Arabia.  I live in none of those places.

Seriously, I’m starting to get a little scared.  Men seriously cannot be that stupid, can they?  I mean, I know I’m not Christy Brinkley, and I’m not so young any more, so my choices are limited.  But still this can’t really be all that’s left.

I think I’m going to take my profile down off of that site.  Someone suggested that I just try Match.com or something because I don’t need to use that other site any more.  But I just don’t know.  If I do, I’ll do another post with more loser highlights.  In the meantime…back to the drawing board.

Review of “Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction–And My Own” by Mika Brzezinski

obsessed4xI finally finished Mika’s book a couple of weeks ago.  It is only 228 pages, but it was very difficult for me to read.  I struggled to read it because I felt as if someone reached inside my head, pulled out my innermost thoughts, and placed them on a page for the whole world to read.  But, I am glad that I read it.

She confirmed for me what I have known for a long time.  I have even shared this idea on this blog.  That all eating disorders, whether bulimia, anorexia, or obesity, all have something in common.  They are all illnesses that need to be treated as such.  Anorexia and bulimia have been treated as illnesses for a long time, but obesity still suffers the social stigma of being a personal character flaw that needs to be addressed by that individual alone.

What I learned from reading Mika’s book, and from conversations I have had with a family member with bulimia, is that some of the dysfunction she has with food, and the dysfunction I have with food are the same, and they need to be treated as such.

As a child, a teen, college student, and well into her adult years, she obsessed about food much in the same way I did.  I thought about food all of the time growing up.  I dieted, starved myself, took diet pills, binged, purged through crazy exercise stints.  I never thought I was thin enough.  I always thought I was fat, even when I was not.

Reading what Mika and her friend and co-writer, Diane, had to say was like reliving all those thoughts all over again.

We live in a society that values beauty and thinness above all else.  People who suffer from eating disorders that keep them thin are definitely viewed as having a more sympathetic problem than those whose disorder makes and keeps them fat.  Her friend Diane, whom she confronted about her excess weight put it quite succinctly, “At least your obsession with food helps you keep the weight off…mine doesn’t” (p. 116)  Mika continued, “She may be right, but it is still not healthy.  One problem is that being so thin really gets rewarded. When I’m at my thinnest, I have everyone in the world telling me how great I look.” (p. 116)

This rewarding thinness and weight loss really concerns me.  I have to admit that I have some concern about how everyone fusses over my weight loss. Don’t get me wrong, I love the attention.  When I know I’m going out to be among a group of my friends or family, I take some extra care to look my best.  I choose my clothes to carefully pick out something I know really accents the weight loss.  I fix my hair.  I put on make up.  I prepare myself mentally to have everyone tell me how great I look.  I know it’s a bit narcissistic, but I have lived a lifetime being ashamed of how I look and trying to make myself as invisible as possible.  It’s nice to be fussed over.  But, I am concerned about going from being known only as the fat girl to being known only as the fat girl who lost a lot of weight.  I really long for people to really know me.  I have always felt the real me has nothing to do with how much I weigh, or what I eat, and it would be such a relief to really be seen for who I truly am.

What I found really interesting about this book was the discussion about how food companies have made foods that are deliberately addictive.  The combination of sugar, salt, and fat apparently trigger some of the same pleasure parts of the brain that addictive drugs do.  That explains why it is easy to become addicted to these foods and keeps people eating long after they are full.  I know when I eat processed foods, they have a different effect on me than whole, clean foods do.  I feel more sated, and I definitely have a short-lived feeling of pleasure and satisfaction from eating fried, greasy, salty, sugary foods.  But I also know that once I start to eat these foods, it is hard for me to stop.  There are certain foods I definitely have all or nothing relationship with.  Nutter Butters, for example.  I have known for years that I have one of two choices when eating them.  I can eat none of the Nutter Butters in the box, or all of the Nutter Butters in the box.  There is no in between.

I’m sure the food companies aren’t making foods like this because they are inherently evil, but they make foods like this to increase the likelihood consumers will keep buying their foods so that they keep making money.  That is, after all, why they are in business.

I think that there are several really good points in this book:

  • We need to re-think our ideas about weight either thinness or obesity.
  • We need to re-think our approach to rewarding thinness over non-thinness.
  • We need to re-think our approach to dealing with all eating disorders.
  • We need to re-think our approach to food and wellness.
  • We need to ask/force food companies to be more responsible in the foods they produce and how they are marketed.
  • We need to take aggressive steps to address the obesity problem in our country.

They think an open and honest dialogue is the best way to begin to address some of these problems.

“More than a year after our infamous conversation on Long Island Sounds, Diane and I are more convinced than ever that sharing our stories and providing support to one another are huge steps toward changing the way we think about weight and food.  … ‘We need to be able to have that dialogue, but first thing we need to do is lay down the burden of blame and shame,’ said obesity expert Dr. David Katz. ‘Until we do that, we as a nation are stuck at this impasse on obesity.'” (p. 139)

I agree.  This is primarily why I started this blog.  I wanted to have an honest discussion about what it is like to be fat and facing horrible health problems.  I wanted to discuss how I chose to address those health problems.  I also wanted to discuss how I got fat and what was keeping me fat.

Writing about my problems, and putting my thoughts out into the world definitely helped me deal with some of my issues.  I’m not saying I am completely cured.  Yes, I made the decision to take charge of my life and change its trajectory, but it was not that simple.  I have had a lot of struggles along the way, and I still do.  It wasn’t just one choice.  I still have to make the choice every day to stay on track.

The surgery helps keep me on track, but it does not keep me from making bad choices.  I can choose to waste my daily caloric intake on junk food or healthy food.  I can choose to exercise or not.  I can choose to overeat and stretch out my new smaller stomach, or I can choose to stick to the plan.

But back to the book.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in food and health issues.  In fact, I recommend it to anyone even if they are not interested in food and health issues.  I don’t think Mika and Diane mean this book to be the solution to everyone’s food problems, but to be the start of an ongoing dialogue that will hopefully change the face of our nation.

So, let’s not waste any time in starting this conversation.  In the words of the infamous SNL icon created by Mike Meyers…”talk amongst yourselves!”

Resurrecting My Schedule

This week has been rough.  I had a great weekend last week, and it seemed like I was going to have a great week to follow.  And then I woke up sick on Thursday.

I did make it to work that day, but my boss told me that I had the option to work from home, which I used on Friday.  The illness was absolutely horrible, but I am feeling a little better today.

My schedule, eating, exercising, working, was thrown completely off kilter.  I have eaten nothing but crackers and chicken broth for a couple of days.  I tried to keep my vitamin intake the same, but I know that is off a bit too.

Good news though.  I’m down another pound.  Bad news, I spent what feels like forever, in bed completely immobile.

weightnew

I might try to go out and get some lunch and pick up some groceries today, just to get out of the house for a bit, but I think I am still going to keep inside and rest for the lion’s share of the weekend.

Maybe tomorrow I will go for a walk.

I have not had a cold for nearly two years.  I was not sure how my post surgical body would handle being sick, especially if I become nauseated, which I did this week.  I did not vomit, thankfully, but there were definitely some close calls.

I have been very lucky, post surgery.  Unlike many people who have had a gastric by-pass, I have not had very many incidents of vomiting or nausea after eating.  In truth, I have not vomited at all.  Partially because I have been very, very careful about what I eat, especially in the months immediately after the surgery.  I really allowed my stomach to heal well before I started introducing new foods into my diet.  I did make some mistakes, I cannot lie about that, the whole lamb burger incident for example, but mostly I have tried to be very careful.

Now that this illness is on the decline, I am not so worried about being ill now.  I still do not welcome any illness, but I think I feel better about how my post surgical self will weather such a cold.  I am so afraid of getting sick to my stomach and doing damage if I do vomit.  I guess now that my stomach has healed from the surgery the danger of damage is not as bad, but still, I’m sure there is some risk.

Anyway, I don’t want to end this post talking about that, so let me say this.  I lost another pound!!  Yay!

Have a great weekend!

Satisfying My Inner Nerd

I have to blog right away about this weekend before I forget all of the details of why it was awesome.

First, I want to begin by including this video of Wil Wheaton talking about embracing your own nerdiness.

Well, writing, reading, authors, literacy, and the written word.  Those things make my inner nerd squee.

This weekend was the National Book Festival that was put on by the Library of Congress.  The festival used to only be one day, but now it is a two-day affair, which means, I spent two days on the Washington Mall listening to authors speak, collecting free books, bookmarks, and other paraphernalia pertaining to writing, reading, libraries, and the written word.  As an aspiring writer myself, I was in total nerdvana.

The book festival is an amazing, and free, event.

bookfest

I went to Poetry Outloud and listened to young high school students recite poetry, out loud of course.  Then I saw Margaret Atwood, Taylor Branch, the editor of the Washington Post’s food section, Bonnie Benwick.  And that was just yesterday.

Today my friend Lisa and I arrived early and decided we would camp out in the Fiction tent all day.  She wanted to see Khaled Hosseini, (author of The Kite Runner), who was speaking at the end of the day.  We wanted to get there early so that we could get good seats and just camp our butts there all day, which we did. The strategy paid off too, because we were in the first row.

As a result, I got to see Terry McMillan (author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale), Christopher Buckley, Adam Johnson, Roxana Robinson, Mark Halperin, and of course, Khaled Hosseini.

I took some fantastic pictures on my iPhone.  As an aside, I have to say, I’m not overly impressed with the iPhone 5’s battery, which died on me both days.  I tried to be conservative about how much I used it.  I only tweeted one picture of each of the authors today and tried to keep my phone off as much as possible, but it still drained very quickly.  Inconvenient to say the least.

From a writer’s perspective, I was in total nerd heaven.  I was able to listen to several prominent authors talk about their creative process in how they develop their stories and decide what is important.  This is like, Inside The Actor’s Studio for writers.  They just share all of this with us for free. (OK, seriously, they are there to peddle their latest wares, also, but so what!  It’s still amazing!)

From a former fat-girl’s perspective…I do not even know where to begin!

I went to the book fest about three years ago I think.  I went with my brother and his wife.  I was so sick.  Between my asthma, inability to walk, severe back pain, this event was just a nightmare.  I had such a hard time getting around, and standing around was equally as impossible.

This weekend, I walked miles and miles.  My friend Lisa drove us into the city and parked at her office, which is about a mile from the Mall.  Then, we walked all over the festival and then back to her car.  We did that both days. Also, today, we met up with friends from our writer’s group and walked to Starbucks after and then back to her car.  It was not very far out of the way, but just a year ago, I could not have done any of this.

I also met up with a former co-worker of mine who I have not seen in more than two years.  Reggie is just the sweetest guy, and although we keep in touch on Facebook, etc, it’s just not the same as seeing and speaking with him in person.  He has followed my weight loss journey via Facebook and this blog, but he still could not get over how different I looked from the last time he saw me.  It was so nice to see the joy on his face and have him tell me how great I looked.  I love that my journey has made the people I care about as happy as it has made me.  I know they want me to be happy and healthy, they are thrilled to see me doing well.  I love to see that reflected in their eyes.

I hope you all find a way to satisfy your inner nerds.  In the meantime, enjoy these pictures from the bookfest!

Me & Reggie

Me & Reggie

Bonnie Benwick

Bonnie Benwick

Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson

Mark Halperin

Mark Halperin

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley

Roxana Robinson

Roxana Robinson

Terry McMillan

Terry McMillan

No Time

You know that Styx song, “Too Much Time On My Hands.” Yeah, well that’s not me.  Not these days.

OK, I know that I have a problem with over-committing myself.  I have struggled with this my entire life.  The problem is I want to do everything and there just simply is not enough time in the day to do it all.  And now that I can do more, I seem to really relish trying to cram as much into each day as possible.  Combine that with the fact that I am easily distracted by shiny objects, and boy am I in trouble.

Work has been keeping me very busy.  I think I have mentioned this before.  It’s the busy season with meetings and travel just before the holidays roll around.  That’s just the way it is.  I have been working a long string of ten-hour days for what seems like an interminable amount of weeks.  I’m glad to have a job so I won’t complain too much.  But I a looking forward to when I can take some vacation time, definitely.

I am also keeping my weekends completely filled with fun activities.  Walking, gym, museums, this weekend is the National Book Festival.  This was always one of my favorite things to do.  When I was unable to really stand comfortably, let alone walk, doing this bordered on nightmarish for me.  I had to settle for watching the lectures on C-Span.  This always broke my heart, because I love books, reading, writing, lectures, anything that has to do with the written word.  I know it seems kind of pretentious and snooty, but I love it.  I might be too scatter-brained and over committed to be a voracious reader, but I still do read a lot.  And I have amassed quite a collection of books of my own.  So, a book-fest is a little slice of heaven.  It is to me what a Ren-fest is to an RPGer.  OK, who am I kidding, I’m a Ren-fester, too.  Add another event to the list of things I will be doing on the weekends.

My point is, that every minute of my days seem to be filled right now.  I love it.  I love being able to go places and do things.  I was trapped by my obesity for so many years, I was afraid I’d never be able to do anything again. Yeah, my weight loss has slowed down and I haven’t reached my goal yet, but I am not overly worried about that.  I am just happy that I can get out in the world, walk around, and have some fun.

I’ll get to my goal weight eventually, but for now I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve lost 125 pounds and have the freedom to go out and enjoy life again.

555373_10151900657944328_59046002_n

Speaking of going out and having fun.  This is a picture of me at my friend Sush’s Art Studio.  Last Saturday she had a grand opening bash and I finally had a place to wear the dress I bought this spring.  I’m just glad I had a chance to wear it before I shrank out of it.

Here’s another pic of me in the same dress.

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The party was a blast, and Sush’s studio is just beautiful.  If you’re in or near Arlington, I recommend checking it out!

 

 

Changing of the Seasons

I love autumn!  I cannot wait until the leaves change and fall to the ground, and the air turns chilly.  There’s nothing better than walking down the street or through the park, colorful leaves on the trees, dry leaves crunching underfoot, cool air, scarves, hats, boots, warm jackets, steaming cups of coffee with friends.  Love, love, love, love, love fall. Cannot get here soon enough for me.

One thing I’ve always loved about the fall is the food that comes with it.  Apples, pumpkins, squash, root vegetables, all those hearty stick-to-the ribs foods that help keep you warm on cool autumn days.

I know fall has not truly even started yet, but the food is everywhere already.  Pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee, apple pastries drizzled with caramel sauce, etc. are all over the place just taunting me.

I love going to coffee shops.  I don’t even have to get coffee.  Tea, water, popcorn, whatever, I’m happy just to be there.  I read.  I write.  I chat with friends.  This is a happy place for me.  There’s a Caribou Coffee in my neighborhood.  I love to walk there after dinner.  I stop at Starbucks on my way to work.  I take a moment to sip some coffee and center myself before heading into work.  There’s a nice little independent coffee shop not far from me that I like to go to sometimes.  The Rappahannock Coffee.  Nice little place.  It’s a bit far to walk, but still a good place to go.

These coffee shops are filled with all of the yummy fall pastry treats and blended coffee drinks that I love.  Some kind of pumpkin coffee, with sweet syrupy pumpkin flavoring, topped with whipped cream, drizzled with caramel sauce.  All kinds of pumpkin flavored pastry treats.  I love this stuff, and I cannot eat it anymore.

I cannot have bread, and I cannot have sugar.  Going to my favorite coffee shops has been pure torture.

Needless to say, these past few weeks have been a little difficult.  Dunkin Donuts does have pumpkin coffee beans that a friend of mine picked up for me.  That has helped.

I am kicking around some ideas in my head for my own brand of pumpkin, squash fall treats.  Once I have an actual idea put together, I’ll test out the recipe, take pics, and post them here.  I was able to put together a pretty good gluten-free pumpkin pie for my sister when she was first diagnosed with celiac disease, so I’m sure that I can make some sugar-free yummy pumpkin treat for myself for the fall.

Today is going to be a pretty exciting day.  I have a lot to do.  A good friend of mine is having a grand opening kick off for her art gallery and work studio.  That starts at 4:00pm.  I am doing some cooking for that.  She has requested that I make my curry chicken salad with mango chutney.  I made it for a party about 4 years ago, and she missed the party because of a family vacation.  She’s been hoping I would make it for her ever since.  So, tonight’s the night.  I have already started cooking, which is probably why I’m so focused on food this am.

I also have to hit the gym, get my hair done, and do a little bit of work.  All of this before 4:00pm.  Not sure if I will get it all done, but I will try.

Some good news, I am down one more pound.  I had kind of a rough week, so I’m pretty happy it ended on such a positive note.  Work was pretty busy and stressful, but ’tis the season there.  And I was struck by constipation not once, but twice this week.  Fortunately, I am doing much, much better today.

Anyway, sticking with my promise, I am posting a pic of today’s weight.  Oh and looking at this picture, I want to get a pedicure today.  I have to get hopping!  Have a great weekend!

weight

When I Get Discouraged…

It is easy to get discouraged when the scale does not move or does not move as quickly as it did in the beginning.  I have amped up my exercise recently, and I am trying to re-evaluate what I am eating to make sure that I am staying on plan and getting the right kind of nutrients.  I’m thinking of cutting back on the cappuccinos and converting back to regular coffee instead.  Fewer calories in regular coffee, although I will miss the foam.

Sometimes all I see is how far I have to go and not how far I have come.  To test the waters and attempt to cheer myself up, I tried on an item of clothing the other day that I have not worn since high school.  Yes, I still own one or two things from high school.

Let me preface this by saying that when in high school, I weighed between 120-135-ish range, depending upon the year.  I still have my high school band jacket and a t-shirt from my first school play.  I was in the orchestra my Sophomore through Senior years of high school.  My skinniest, at 125, was my Sophomore year when the school did West Side Story.

So, I put on my high school band jacket just for shits and giggles.  I can put it on and almost get it closed.  I cannot yet, button it, but a year ago, I couldn’t even an arm through a sleeve.  (Pay no attention to my messy hair and room, please.)

hs

It’s strange, because in high school I thought I was fat.  Everyone around me, almost everyone at least, confirmed this.  I was always being encouraged to diet.  I was always told how pretty I would be if I would just lose some weight.

Right before my surgery, my sister Sandy tried to put the jacket on.  She’s 5’4″ and weighs maybe 145 pounds.  She was always the skinny one.  She put this jacket on.  The sleeves were too short, and she could not even get it close to buttoned.

She turned around and looked at me and said, “Oh yeah, you were soooo fat in high school! Yeah right!”

If only I had known then what it was to be really fat…makes me sick to think about it.

So, when I’m feeling like I am making no progress, I put this jacket on.  I cannot wait until I can get it buttoned.  When that happens I will post a follow-up pic.  Maybe I will even put on my West Side Story t-shirt with it.  (I cannot believe I still have that!)

Happy Sunday, everyone and enjoy the start of football season!  I cannot wait until the weather cools off enough so that I can start wearing scarves and jackets.

Slow But Steady

Well, it appears my scale did not fake me out this am.  I am down one more pound.  I did got on and off the scale several times, as I did the other day.  Then I went to get my camera, got back on the scale, and the one pound loss held.

I have to admit, I have become kind of obsessed again with what the scale says.  I know that I shouldn’t and that “numbers do not really matter,” but I cannot seem to help myself sometimes.

Fortunately, I’m not weighing myself every single day, just 2-3 times a week, but seriously, I need to back off the scale a little bit.

Anyway, here is the pic of today’s weight:

scale2

This is also kind of a momentous number.  I have crossed a new threshold.  I have less than 50 pounds to lose before I reach my goal weight, 49 pounds to go!  I can hardly believe that.

I was so good last night.  I went to my weekly writer’s group and a couple of us went out afterwards.  Now, I did have a small supper before I went to the writer’s group, but I still could have eaten up to 262 more calories.

I wasn’t hungry, I wanted chicken wings.  And I did recognize the difference and therefore did not order them. Wings are one of my favorite food groups.  OMG, it’s bad.  Now, had I ordered them, I probably could only have eaten one or two wings, maximum.  I then would have 8 wings to bring to lunch today.  Still, more wings than I can eat in one sitting, but I love wings, so it’s not a problem.  They would have gotten eaten eventually.

I did not order the wings.  I drank my water and saved my calories.  I did allow myself a teeny treat before going to bed.  I had one small square of really dark chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter.  Something sweet and tasty, very low in sugar (2 grams) and a smidge of protein.

Speaking of peanut butter, wow, I really love this stuff.  I haven’t had peanut butter for years in part because I had developed an allergy to peanuts.  Since the surgery and massive weight loss, my allergies have abated quite a bit.  I decided to give peanut butter a try again.  I went to Trader Joe’s and bought the all natural peanut butter that you have to stir.  (I’ve always loved that the all natural more than the processed stuff.)  I have had no problems eating this at all.  So, I have been having peanut butter and apples for breakfast.  My niece went apple-picking last weekend, and I have a whole bag of fresh-picked honey crisp apples.  They are so delicious and go very well with freshly ground peanut butter.

One thing I’ve noticed about peanut butter that I haven’t noticed with other forms of protein, it really keeps me feeling very full.  Probably because most of the 190 calories in 2 tablespoons of pb is fat, and not the good kind either.  I don’t care.  I still love it.  And I still lost one pound!

Fake Out

So my scale duped me this am.  I did my weekly weigh in, hoping that maybe I had broken through and lost a pound or two and I was so pleased when I saw the number dropped to 173.  I got on and off several times just to make sure.  I went into the next room to grab my phone so that I could take a picture of my weight and blog about it today.  I was so happy that despite my best efforts to the contrary this weekend, all of my hard work and exercise paid off in a two-pound weight loss.

I went back into the kitchen and stood on the scale and it popped back up to 175.

weight

Crap.

I guess the good news is that it didn’t go up beyond 175, but still.

The rest of my morning followed suit.

I left the house on time and was able to catch the early bus.  I sat down on the bus and realized that I forgot my work laptop.  I got off the bus at the next stop and had to walk back up the hill and get my laptop.  I was then late for work.  Ugh.

I am hoping that the pendulum starts to swing in the other direction and this day turns around quickly.

Happy First Day of School to all of the students out there!  (One five-year-old in particular!)

Way Too Easy…Effortless Even

I started the weekend off great.  I hit the gym early on Saturday.  Well, early as in noonish.  I walked the 1.7 miles to the gym and worked out for an hour and a half.  I then I walked to my friend’s art studio, which is ten minutes from the gym.  Another friend of ours showed up there, and the three of us walked the 1.4 miles back to my neighborhood.  We sat outside of Caribou Coffee for hours drinking fruffy coffee drinks and talked.  It was great.  Then I walked back up the monster hill to my place.

Yesterday started off great too.  I woke up and had a light breakfast and met my brother and niece in DC to do the Saturday am museum tour.  We walked around for about 2.5 hours.  I had my water and a protein snack, 1/3 cup of pistachios, while they ate at McDonald’s.

I went home and packed up some food to take to my sister’s house for a picnic.  She called me in a panic at one point asking me to give her instructions for making a particular chicken dish that I’ve made for her in the past.  She loves it and wanted to make it for the picnic.  I told her to hold off and I would make it when I arrived.

Cooking is easy for me, effortless in fact.  It almost seems to come naturally to me.  I walked into my sister’s kitchen and just took over.  I cleaned and dried the chicken breasts and began chopping them up while I gave my sister orders.  Before I knew it, the chicken was in the oven and I was reaching into my bag to begin prepping my next project.  I sliced and marinated zucchini while chatting it up with one of my sister’s friends without even thinking about it.  I handed the plate to my sister and ordered her to take it down to whichever male family member was manning the grill with specific cooking instructions.

I continued talking to a couple of people and reached into my bag and pulled out a couple of avocados and some spicy salsa.  As I cut the avocados in half, her friend said, “Now what are you making??”

“Guacamole,” I replied as I continued to cook without stopping.  I mixed the salsa and avocado together with a touch of olive oil and ordered someone take it down to the chip table.  Then I reached in my bag again and pulled out a can of Trader Joe’s Chili, grabbed a pot and began heating it up.  “For chili dogs,” I announced before another question could be asked.

That’s where my good behavior ended.

You know what else I can do effortlessly without even thinking about it?  Eat.

I chowed down as if I hadn’t eaten in months.  I ate a handful of corn chips with my yummy guacamole.  I ate random vegetables, potato salad, coleslaw, a little bit of the chicken dish, random other foods I cannot even remember.  Then I topped it off with a bunless hotdog with chili, relish, ketchup, and mustard.  Oh and let’s not for get the handfuls of M&Ms I tried hiding in my pockets thinking no one could see me eat them if I put them there.

WTF?

Obviously, I cannot be trusted at a food party.  I seriously thought I was going to throw up.  Granted, I didn’t eat it all at once, but I did go back to the food table over and over throughout the day.

After I got home last night, I took a walk through my neighborhood trying to walk some of the binge off.  I stopped at Caribou and drank some decaf tea hoping to push some of that food through my system with a warm drink.

Obviously, going to the gym is on the agenda today, as well as feeling horribly guilty about what I did to myself yesterday.  Yeah, I know there is no reason to really feel guilty.  Everyone falls off of the wagon sometimes.  What I should concentrate on is how I recover from this episode and move on.  I don’t know why I’m continually surprised every time I fall, but I am.  I am also very disappointed in myself.

I clearly need to watch my behavior more closely.  I had a somewhat prophetic conversation with my friend Sush on Saturday.  We were talking about yoga.  I kind of don’t like the yoga classes at the gym because of all of the movement.  The last time I took yoga classes, we concentrated on sitting in the positions and gently stretching, connecting mind and body.  The classes at the gym are more like yoga-exercise than a meditative stretching practice.

Sush agrees with my dislike for those kinds of yoga classes.  She grew up in India and they took yoga classes in school first thing in the morning.  What a fantastic way to start the day.

We talked a bit about “triangle pose” and she was talking about the importance of looking at your hands.  She said that yoga poses concentrate on looking at your hands because you mind should always know what your hands are doing.

I never thought of that before.  That made me think back to the endless number of times in my life where I just ate and ate without thinking.  The number of times I bought a giant bag of chips and ate through the whole thing and barely had any memory of how I ate that much.  If my mind had really been aware of what my hands, (and mouth quite frankly), were doing, would I have mindlessly eaten the whole bag?  Would I have slowed down?

I don’t know.  Maybe not.  All I know is that my mind was not paying attention to my hands yesterday.  Not while I was cooking, and especially not while I was eating.

I did manage to track all of the food.  I went home and made myself remember everything that I ate and logged it in “My Fitness Pal.”  Even with all of the eating I did, I still managed to stay below my allotted calories for the day. Not that I feel any better about what I did, but I guess that’s something.

Moving forward I am going to have to make sure that I stop and think before I eat.  Pay attention to what my hands are doing and be more mindful of what not just what I eat, but how I eat.  Maybe, eventually, I will be able to understand why.