Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jillian Michaels is Evil

Just because I don't weigh 400 pounds does not mean I can do a minute of push-ups followed by a minute of jumping jacks. For those of you who are familiar with 30 Day Shred and Jillian Michaels, these words should sound familiar to you. Perhaps even grating. Every time Jillian challenged me to push myself by comparing me to contestants on The Biggest Loser, I thought two things--one, "What if I weighed more than 400 pounds?" And two, "Fine, maybe I am lazier and weaker than 400 pound people." And then I wanted a strawberry milkshake pronto.

I am not the kind of person who benefits from tough criticism. I need uplifting, Disney-esque motivation--more along the lines of exaggerated praise for getting my ass off the couch and doing something. Even if it's just going for a five minute walk. The last thing I need is to be berated by a very angry looking woman and mocked for being less in shape than some mythical 500 pound person. It's not good for the soul.

But, thankfully, I did not let my negative reaction to 30 Day Shred keep me from working out. Drum roll please, I have started jogging again. I jogged (on the treadmill) last Thursday and this past Monday. And I jogged outside yesterday. Granted, I'm jogging a mile and a half as opposed to the 3 miles that I was doing in November, but I feel confident that I can work my way up to that distance fairly quickly.

It's completely bizarre that at this period in my life I actually like jogging. I used to dread it more than anything, and I'd use every excuse I could concoct to get out of mandatory runs in gym class. But now that there's no pressure to jog in front of others, I have started to appreciate the activity. Here are my four reasons:

1. It's immensely efficient. You can spend 23 1/2 hours of the day being lazy, but if you jog for a half hour people will think you're an "active" person.

2. It's possible to forget your pain. After the first five to ten minutes of a jog, sometimes you get into a groove, the endorphins pump through your blood stream, and you get this confident high that tells you this false assertion: "I could do this FOREVER." Of course, that's not remotely true, but it does help you get through the time.

3. It burns a lot of calories. 'Nuff said.

4. It requires little to no coordination. You don't have to follow an instructor's moves or practice a flexible pose; all you have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.

So, now that I have officially convinced you all to buy running gear and shun Jillian Michaels (just kidding!), I will proceed with the really important part of this post--you get to see my handwriting. I was tagged by my friend Emily, in her blog Emilina Sassperina to take a handwriting quiz. I will admit that it took me several attempts to complete the quiz because I am super self-conscious about my handwriting and I don't have a decent camera. Thankfully, a friend lent me his iPhone and I was able to take a fairly clear photo...haha.

The rules of the game:
1. Write your name & blog name
2. URL
3. Write, “A quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog!”
4. Favorite quote
5. Favorite song
6. Favorite bands/singers
7. Anything you want to say
8. Tag some other bloggers!

Hopefully, you can read my artistic (read: cramped and scratchy) handwriting, haha. Hey, it's got personality, right ;)

Anyway, I weigh in tomorrow and I can honestly say that I'm excited to weigh in. I've followed the plan, with WPs to spare, and I'm hoping for my first official loss in months. I'll let you know of the verdict tomorrow. Happy hump day everyone!

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Not Just Physical

When I was a kid, I used to organize expeditions into the attack to look for snakes and rats. I made up stories about my mom’s dead ancestors. I organized plays and convinced my younger, impressionable sisters to dress up AND convinced my parents to not only sit through the long, boring, debacles but also pay for the price of admission. I was powerful, the eldest of four, and I was confident.

Somehow, in the past 15 years, I have changed from the domineering, powerhouse of a kid into an agreeable, semi-charming adult who is more concerned about saying the right thing than doing what comes more naturally to me—being a leader. Somewhere along the way, I lost my confidence. Maybe it was in fifth grade, when I wore my blond hair so long it obscured my face. Maybe it was in eighth grade when I gained 20 pounds and got glasses. Maybe it was in high school when I wore high-waisted jeans and was too shy to speak up in history class. Or maybe it was in college, when some guys made fun of me for gaining the freshmen 15 (or 30, as it happened to be in my case).

Lately, as I’ve lost weight, I’ve started to let my inherent bossiness slip out. Now that I’m no longer obscured by 60 pounds, I don’t feel the need to apologize for my bigness or charm people into liking me. I’m sharper, edgier, and more assertive about what I want and need. The other night, I was talking to this guy that I used to like, and I was telling him about my childhood. All of a sudden, he remarked that I was much different now than I was last year. He asked if I was from New York (I’m not—but my parents are), and then he remarked that, for the first time, he could see my real personality--I was a strong, independent person. And surprise, surprise, he much preferred my real, more assertive self. He respected me more for speaking up.

In the past, I’ve always prided myself on being an open, social person, but the truth is, I wasn’t being that open: I was often trying to portray an image that I thought people would like—the agreeable, ditsy Katie. That’s not to say that I’m not naturally agreeable or ditsy, but I am also strong. And that’s something that I’m going to try to show, from now on.

In a way, shedding this weight and being closer to my “natural” body has helped me to be my “natural” self as well. I never thought this would happen. I thought the excess weight was mostly superficial, but in the end it had (perhaps more significant) effects on my personality. Can anyone relate to this? For those who have lost a significant amount of weight, have you noticed that losing the weight helped you to become your "true" self?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weight Watchers Anniversary

I have been cautioned by more sophisticated bloggers that no one reads blogs on Fridays. As a result, I've used that as an excuse to justify slacking off on Fridays (haha, and sometimes Thursdays as well) because I figure I might as well just write a post on Monday, when everyone is back at work, looking to procrastinate by reading a mildly entertaining blog.

However, I just realized that today, March 25th, marks my one year anniversary of joining Weight Watchers. One year ago, today, I impulsively decided to go to a Weight Watchers meeting. I bravely stepped on the scale (in heavy dress pants, no less) and started the journey that has brought me to where I am now--exactly 60 pounds lighter. I remember looking at the 240 number and wondering desperately how on earth I would ever reach a healthy weight of 150 pounds. I thought fleetingly that it might take an entire year or longer.

At the time, admitting that I had dug myself in a hole that might take a few years to dig myself out of depressed me. I was angry at myself for gaining so much weight that you couldn’t possibly lose in a short period of time. But my weight watcher leader said something that day that stuck with me. She said, “The year’s going to go by anyway. So you have two options—either you can start making changes now or you can start later. What’s it going to be?”

I made the decision, right then and there, to start my weight loss journey, so that, in a year, I would have made some progress. And I am happy to report that one year later, I am not in the same boat I was in last March. I’ve lost 60 pounds and I’ve taken great strides to making real life changes. In the past year, I ran a 5K, fit back into a size 12, and learned how to cook some healthy meals. I am not in the same place I was last March.

Of course, that is not to say that I have reached all of my goals. It seems fitting that on my year anniversary, I would recommit to Weight Watchers. The time is going to go by, whether I like it or not, so it’s up to me to decide to make changes and finally reach my goal of being a healthy weight by next March. I have exactly 30 pounds to lose, and there’s 52 weeks in a year. Even if I lose weight VERY slowly, I should hit 150 by next March.

So, in the spirit of recommitting, yesterday, for the first time in a while, I went to the gym and jogged on the treadmill. For some reason, I expected to start out where I was when I first started, walking at 3.5. But I surprised myself, by being able to jog at 5.0 mph (12 minute miles) for the majority of the 35 minutes. I even got up to 6.0 mph for a minute or two. My lungs felt fine, although my legs are definitely feeling the workout today. I have counted points for the last two days and stayed within my allotted 29 DPs.

I know I can do this. I just need to take it one day at a time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Not Quite Carrie Bradshaw

Sometimes I dream of becoming a successful freelance writer--the kind of writer who gets to sleep in, write articles in pajamas, and stay out in bars until the wee hours of the morning. Kind of like a non-smoker Carrie Bradshaw.

But then reality hits. On Monday, I went home from work early with a headache and slight fever. I went home, took probably a dangerous combination of Advil and cold medicine, and hunkered down on the couch to watch countless episodes of West Wing (see, I sometimes switch things up). I woke up the next morning, with a Benedryl hangover and a sore throat, and decided to take the day off to recuperate.

Instead of doing anything remotely productive, I once again pulled on my sweat pants, and decided to spend the morning mindlessly watching television and ignoring the sunlight streaming through my closed blinds. The longer I sat in my dirty living room, watching actors pretend to deal with political crisis, the worse I felt about myself. I ate my typical breakfast, oatmeal and melted banana, and then ate a large lunch--a wrap with refried beans, ground turkey, and sour cream--when I wasn't quite hungry, because, let's be honest, watching television and lying on the couch doesn't exactly work up one's appetite.

That's when things started to go horribly wrong. I had bought these 4 point WW ice cream cups the day before, and all of a sudden I decided that an ice cream would be the perfect compliment to my meal. I justified it by telling myself I'd just have a lighter dinner. So, I grabbed an ice cream cup and ate it in about 30 seconds. By this point, I was starting to feel pretty full. And a little guilty. I wish that I could have stopped then, pulled myself out of my funk, taken a shower, put on some real clothes (aka, something non-elastic) and left the situation. But instead, I grabbed another ice cream cup and gobbled the whole thing down before I had a chance to think about what I was doing.

The whole thing went downhill from there. At one point, I found myself in my messy kitchen, carelessly throwing flour, butter, brown sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl, making a disgusting, fattening combination that I could guiltily eat in front of the television. In order to balance sweet with salty, I made broiled english muffins with cheddar. I ate until my stomach felt like a block of wood. I ate until I figured one more bite would make me throw up. I ate until I wanted to cry. As I sat in the living room, I tried to avoid my reflection in the glass doors of the entertainment center. I tried to ignore my chubby arms, the emerging double chin. I ignored every phone call and text I received. What was I going to tell people? I'm alone, eating in my apartment, drowning in self pity, hiding from the world? Nah, I figured avoiding all contact with the outside world was my best bet.

Of course, eventually the day ended, and I went to sleep in a stuffed stupor. The next morning, I woke up, got dressed (I miraculously still fit in my work clothes), drove to work and instantly everything returned to normal. I resumed my normal day of checking e-mails, working, and eating my normal meals. The crisis lifted and I couldn't quite remember what compelled me to eat all of my limited groceries. No one at work noticed that I had gained 60 pounds overnight.

So, to sum up, I'm not sure if the life of a freelance writer is for me. As much as I resent waking up early and going to work, I have to admit, my job is probably the reason I'm not 300+ pounds right now. Having a routine and schedule may well be my saving grace. I envy people with the discipline and self control not to spend their entire days at home prostrate on the sofa with a bag of oreos. But I'm willing to admit (for the moment, at least) that I'm not one of them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Official...

So, I've been waiting to announce this news until I was 100% sure that it was true, and here it is--I am back on Weight Watchers, officially! I went back to the meeting on Thursday afternoon, weighed in, got a fresh book, and I feel much better.

I weighed in at 179, roughly five-seven pounds higher than my usual weigh-ins at home. Then again, I was wearing clothes, had eaten breakfast, and had consumed massive amounts of salty food the previous day. In spite of all this, however, I still weighed one pound less than my last WW weigh in in February, which means that I successfully managed to maintain in the six week stretch when I did WW at home. That's a huge accomplishment for me, as I've typically gained all the weight back plus extra, when I've gone off WW.

Of course, knowing me, I was hoping for a loss =)

However, I've tracked every day since starting WW and I have noticed a few great things about being on plan. One, tracking points really helped me to overcome "splurge" guilt. For instance, I drank way too much on St. Paddy's Day--three vodka red bulls and two gin and tonics. When I woke up the next morning, I felt really guilty--as if I had killed my entire week on the first day of being on plan. But then I tracked my points and realized that although I had consumed too many points, I still had WPs to spare. I was still, in fact, on plan. And just knowing that I hadn't wrecked my week helped me to get back on track the following day.

Another great thing about being on WW is that I can stop obsessing about the accuracy of my scale. I weighed in at 179, so I can confidently say that I've lost 61 pounds since starting the program, haha. I don't have to round or add a disclaimer about my flawed scale =)

And finally, getting involved in WW has helped me to refocus and re-evaluate my food choices all over again. Now, instead of just having a hazy idea that ground turkey is better than ground beef, I can see it numerically and know that if I choose the pointier option, I'll have to forgo eating something else. It's all just common sense really. However, having the plan in place really helps me to make good decisions.

Anyway, I'm back on the plan. My weigh-in days are now on Thursday, and I will be working towards reaching my 5% goal, which is 9 pounds =)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This Year I'll Wear Green

I use memories of past experiences (usually big holidays/ events) to gage my progress in the present. Much like trying on a non-stretch skirt and judging your weight loss by how tight/ loose the skirt feels, I use memories of past events to determine how I’ve changed.

Let me explain--before you think I’ve entered into some abstract philosophical discussion, and you quickly flip to another blog =)

St. Patrick’s Day 2010. It was two weeks before I made that very crucial decision to join Weight Watchers and lose weight. I had moved to Richmond that past September and I was just starting to creep out of my apartment and explore the city, after a long, snowy winter spent mostly alone in my apartment with my cats. I was pale, out of shape, and miserably overweight (probably weighing roughly 240 pounds). I was stuck in a crummy, pseudo relationship with my alcoholic neighbor, and I was forever agonizing about whether he was ready to commit. But I was also hopeful about the future, after all I had survived my first winter alone in a new city, and spring was coming.

My best old college roommate, Adriane, invited me to come out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with her and some of her female friends. We went to the “Bottom,” which is probably the trendiest part of downtown Richmond, and proceeded to go from a sushi bar to a hip, Irish pub with a line that extended out for several blocks. I remember noticing how all of the girls my age were wearing short skirts or tight jeans with crazy high heels. I recall that I wore my most “flattering” jeans and a sweater with a tank top under it (to camouflage my stomach rolls). Of course, the entire outfit was black—-after all black is slimming, right? Everyone, or so it seemed to me, had done something with their hair and was wearing make-up. I know, for a fact, that I was wearing comfortable, worn loafers and not a bit of make-up.

I felt like the plainest girl in the room.

Maybe because I had become paralyzed by insecurities or maybe because Adriane’s friends weren’t interested in befriending the “ugly duckling” of the crowd, but I was not a smashing social success that night. I hardly talked to anyone and left early, at around 10pm. I remember wishing that one guy would pay attention to me (since they were hitting on the other girls at my table) but no one did. I drove home by myself and went to bed. I remember trying to cheer myself up by thinking, ‘At least you went out on St. Patrick’s Day.’

Fast forward to one year later, St. Patrick’s Day 2011. I’m still friends with Adriane, in fact we are much closer now than we were then, and we’re going out again this year, probably to the Bottom, haha. But this time, we’re going with our other friends, several people that I’ve met and grown close to in the past year. This year, I’m going to wear a pair of skinny jeans, a bright pair of pumps, and some kind of green shirt (I may have to buy one =) Or else, I’ll wear my hippie dress with a pair of boots, haha. While my weight isn’t perfect, and I definitely still have times where I still feel incredibly insecure, I am now only 20-25 pounds overweight, as opposed to 90. Guy wise, I’ve been dating lots of different people in the past year, and while I’m not in an ideal relationship, I can safely say that I’m not hung up on any alcoholic losers this year. I plan to look great, take the bus/ get a ride to the bars, and have a good time.

This year, I’m not going out on St. Patrick’s Day because I feel pressured to be a somewhat cool 20-something-year-old. This year, I’m going out because I want to dress up, spend time with my friends, and DEFINTELY do at least one Irish Car Bomb, no matter what the points are =)

Like the Beatles’ song says (I’ve been obsessed lately), “It’s getting better all the time..better…better…better.”

Or to return back to my original metaphor, the skirt is much more comfortable than it was last March =)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Five Years Behind

If it wasn’t apparent from my blog posts, when it comes to dating and relationships, I am about five years behind peers my own age. While other people around my age are living with their significant others or are married, I am stuck in the casual dating mode, partying as if I’m in my late teens/ early twenties, as opposed to a 25-year-old post-graduate (which I am).

The other night, when I was talking to a friend in a similar boat, I realized that I didn’t really start to date until I was about 22. That is not to say that I didn’t date guys or have sex or get flowers prior to age 22. I did all those things, but my experiences were, admittedly, quite sparse--more like the exception to my normal life that consisted of school, friends, Gilmore Girls, etc...It wasn’t until I went away to graduate school that I gradually started getting involved in the dating scene, so to speak.

Since then, I’ve stumbled along, making nearly every mistake in the world with members of the opposite sex. Hooking up too early, making too many demands, hiding in closets (long story), and giving too much (time, energy, emotion). I’ve fallen for alcoholics, drug dealers, and delinquent parents— not stopping to realize my own worth as an individual. I’ve rejected my fair share of “nice” guys. I’ve made countless mistakes, and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever figure things out. I imagine my more mature, fellow 25-year-old friends shaking their heads at my constant drama. They can’t seem to figure out that a girl who is so mature in so many ways could be so immature in this way. But I am.

You don’t have to be a psychologist to guess why I’m a bit delayed when it comes to dating. Being 90 pounds overweight doesn’t do a lot of one’s self esteem. To make matters worse, I am a neurotic, insecure/ overly secure (if that makes any sense?) person who struggles to overcome her inherent shyness. And, to top it off, I led an essentially sedentary/ studious lifestyle, which meant that I didn’t meet a whole bunch of people. And, of the few who did manage to break into my world, either I didn’t like them or they didn’t like me. End of story.

Of course, since then, I’ve been catching on lost time =) And so I’ve spent the past few years jumping from wrong guy to wrong guy, slowly but surely figuring out what I need in a relationship and, more generally, what I need in life to stay happy. I’ve got some of it figured out, but I’m still learning. I guess this all to say that I’m giving myself a break on this one. Everyone does things in their own time, and I think I’m moving in the right direction.

And worst case scenario, I will always have entertaining horror date stories to tell =)

Monday, March 14, 2011

External Validation

My parents came down this weekend to visit and make sure that I was still alive =)
Check! I think my mom was particularly relieved to see that I actually (gasp!) had some food in my apartment, haha.

Needless to say, we had a great time spending the day together. We explored Richmond, hung out in my apartment, played with my cats, and devoured the best pizza (in my opinion)in Richmond, slices from Bellmont Pizzeria. I spent a lot of time pointing out street corners and saying, "That dude [insert name of boy/ ex-boyfriend] lives here." (Tangent--it's kind of weird, but the vast majority of the people I regularly hang out with live within four blocks of my apartment. City living is pretty sweet, right?) Unfortunately, my parents didn't get a chance to meet any of my friends, but we still had a great time.

During the course of the visit, however, I realized something a bit unsettling about my state of mind. On Saturday afternoon, we walked to this old bookstore on Main Street, Black Swan Books, and I was looking at a few books with my dad. All of a sudden, I needed his validation of how I'm looking/ doing. So I said, casually (or so I hoped), "It doesn't look like I've gained weight, does it?"

Surprised, he turned from the chess books, and said, "Of course not. You've lost weight. You look great." I instantly felt a little silly, but that didn't stop me from asking my mom the same question =) This leads me to wonder, why do I seek validation about my appearance, my apartment, my city, etc from my parents? After all, I'm 25 years old, I make my own decisions (for better or for worse) and I don't "need" my parents' approval anymore. But I still want it.

This problem of mine extends past my parents, however, and into my other relationships, with guys, friends, and even mere acquaintances...because I'm looking for external validation. Particularly during times when I know that I'm not living as well as I ought to, I look for outside approval, i.e. I figure that everything is okay as long as that guy thinks I'm hot, or my parents approve of the way I've furnished my apartment. But in the end, their validation doesn't satisfy me for long and, like a drug, I keep coming back for more. So, bottom line, I need to develop my own sense of self worth so that I can take compliments/ insults for what they are--other people's opinions--rather than statements that completely define me. I know that I'm stronger than this! I just need to live my life in a way that satisfies me and makes me happy, so that I don't have to keep seeking approval from others.

Sorry for the disjointed post. I just wanted to share these thoughts...Does anyone else struggle with this issue?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Good News!

I am thrilled to tell you that I actually exercised last night. Albeit, it wasn't a three mile run, but something is always better than nothing. I did Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and it was tough. On the plus side, it was only 20 minutes, so just as I was feeling like I was going to die, the tape was nearly over.

I know that I've said this a million times, but exercise is really the cure for everything. Most importantly (in my opinion) you feel this enormous sense of accomplishment after achieving an exercise goal. The trick, I think, is that the exercise has to be challenging enough. If the exercise is too easy, (aka, in my case, walking three blocks to the store) the feeling of post-exercise satisfaction doesn’t come, haha. The 30 Day Shred Level One was definitely challenging for me (I can feel it in my legs this morning!) and my goal is to do the Shred five days a week for the next month and then switch to level two. Seven days is just not realistic for me, the Queen of Lazy, but I think I can work out 20 minutes a day, five days a week, don't you?

So, I've been thinking a bit about my long-term health and weight loss goals. It's been nearly a year since I first joined Weight Watchers and I've lost roughly 65-70 pounds (depending on what scale I use). While I admit that I’ve made great progress, I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I truly believed that I could lose the entire 90 pounds by this time. When I first joined WW, I think it was too daunting to imagine having to lose weight for over a year, so I planned to meet my goal in under a year—nine months to be exact. I even marked up a desk calendar with the weights I would be at each month, approximating that I would lose 7 pounds a month. Unfortunately, I didn’t account for plateaus, gains, and much-needed breaks from the program.

But now I need to refocus on my weight loss journey and my path to reaching a healthy weight. I would love, someday, to not have to worry about being overweight or having people judge me because of my size. I’d like my weight to be a total non-issue. I don’t necessarily want to be skinny, because I happen to like my curves, but I’d like to go through the rest of my life knowing that I’m just normal. I’ve got somewhere between 20-25 pounds to lose in order to reach a healthy weight, according to BMI and WW, and then if I want to lose an additional 10-15 pounds, I can.

So, the question now is, What is the best, most sustainable way of losing this last 20-30 pounds? What diet would fit best into my lifestyle? Old Weight Watcher plan? New Weight Watcher plan? Calorie counting? Intuitive eating? So many choices that have worked for so many different people. I know, in the end, losing weight is as simple as eating less and moving more. However, there are many different routes to achieving that goal. I’m not entirely sure what will work best for me.

To be honest, I did lose the vast majority of my weight on the old WW plan, so I know that works. On the other hand, I tried counting points yesterday and I ended up using 25 on the old plan (two over my allotted DPs of 23) and 28 on the new plan(one under my allotted DPs). Clearly, I need to make a decision. Do you have any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Learning the Ropes

Although I originally started this blog to monitor my weight loss, something unexpected has occurred: It has transitioned from being solely weight loss blog into a more general blog about how to become a healthier person, inside and out. Slowly, I've opened up and started discussing other struggles that I deal with, from jugging money and bills to my relationships with men. In the course of this year, I've realized that many of my issues are interconnected, and it's hard to talk about weight without bringing up the other stuff. I hope that you, as the readers, are okay with this little change-up and aren't frustrated by my stream of consciousness ramblings.

In light of this, I had an interesting revelation, post-binge, (yup, you heard right) last night. Although my social activities sometimes wear me out and often lead to bizarre crying fits, staying busy is essential to not binging and overeating. If, when I get home from work at around 5pm, I have nothing to do except watch endless episodes of Gilmore Girls, I'm often tempted to binge. Now, an occasional night off is fine, but a few straight nights off of alone time make me start to feel bored and depressed and lead to binging. Or smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.

Maybe it's because I grew up in a large family, where alone time was an unheard of option. Or maybe it's because my college years were filled with empty nights alone with nothing but a pint of ice cream for company, but for whatever reason too much "alone time," makes me feel miserable, insecure, and like eating my weight in ice cream. The first step to recovery is acceptance, right?

And it's not even that I was alone for a long time this week. I had plans Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so we're only really talking Monday and Tuesday. But the combination of empty nights and TOM proved too much to handle this month, and I ended up succumbing to the binge I had been vigorously fighting for the past 48 hours. Oh well. I'm not beating myself up about it. It happened.

But as soon as I felt that disgusting, sick feeling creep up in my belly, I decided to put on a cute-ish outfit and get out of the house. I walked to my friend's place, confessed my cookie binge, and instantly felt better. I'm still the same old Katie--one binge ain't gonna change that. And oddly enough, when I weighed in this morning, the scale read 172, which is bizarre since it's a few pounds lighter than earlier in the week.

I'm going to repeat this--it's SO hard being an adult and figuring out how to live well. Balancing food and money and exercise (or the lack thereof) and friends and men and cars and bills is really, really tough. It's hard to strike a good balance between extremes--aka being the rambunctious socialite or the Gilmore Girls hermit. The obsessive points counter or the insane binger.

I guess I don't do much by halves =) Anyway, I have set up a few social plans for today and tomorrow, and I'm not feeling that desperate urge to binge anymore, thank goodness. Oh and I wish I had the guts to show you my work outfit today--E's oversized button down shirt, my Mom's leggings, and a pair of really old heels. I look like a rockstar =)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Near Binge Experience

Until yesterday, I had gone nearly a month without feeling the urge to binge. In fact, I had nearly forgotten what that urge felt like, and I had thought, once again, that I had turned a corner and moved past my terrible habit of binge eating.

And then yesterday happened.

It actually started on Sunday afternoon. I woke up on Sunday with a mild hangover, the kind you get when you drink several cups of a mysterious punch and stay up until 5:30am, hanging out with random people. I woke up lazily, feeling kind of good (despite the hangover) because the previous night's party had been a success and it was the weekend, and I could waste away the entire day. My friend and I went to brunch and I ended up ordering a burger and fries because it was (a) cheap, (b) reliable, and (c) filling. It was supposed to be my last supper, so to speak, before I spent the rest of the day sleeping and watching Gilmore Girls. But oddly after that very greasy and filling meal, I still got hungry at around 6pm (say what??) and so I made a light dinner of cottage cheese, strawberries, and a warmed piece of flat bread. But then after that meal, I still had a sweet tooth so I allowed myself a skinny cow ice cream sandwich.

So far so good. But then my friend invited me to the movies and she got hungry on the way and wanted to stop at Burger King. I was oddly still hungry, so I decided to splurge with a medium fries and a medium strawberry milkshake. It was delicious, and I didn't feel that guilty. I figured that everyone occasionally has days like this, and it was okay. It wasn't a binge, it was just a splurge. No big deal.

Then came yesterday. I woke up with a starving stomach and a slightly guilty conscience from the previous night's splurge. (I also woke up and realized it was TOM.) So I ate my breakfast early and hoped my hunger would abate. It didn't. I ate my lunch, a flatbread chicken sandwich with popcorn on the side, but my stomach still wanted more. So after work, I rushed home and literally poured an entire bag of frozen broccoli in a casserole dish with a bunch of seasonings and some EVOO. I also heated up some chickpeas and a small chicken breast. I ate my huge plate of food, but was I satisfied? No. So I ate my last remaining skinny cow ice cream sandwich, and waited for my stomach to alert me that I was very full.

It never came.

At that point, I was feeling kind of bad about myself. My weight had been up three pounds that morning, the guy I am dating had failed to call, I had no money, my apartment was a mess, etc...I had all the reasons in the world to binge. I thought about running to the store and grabbing a container of ice cream, a box of cookies, etc..It would have been so easy.

But then it hit me--just because I felt the urge to binge didn't mean I had to be a "binger." Plenty of people (I'm sure) feel this way from time to time, but the difference between them and me is that they don't necessarily follow all of their impulses. And I realized that my desire to binge doesn't make me a weak person or a bad person. It's what I do with that desire that defines me as a person. And I chose not to binge.

I chose not eat until I felt sick. I chose not to waste my limited money on junk food. I chose not to feel bad about my body and sabotage my weight loss.

You know, I've always thought I was a healthier and stronger person when I simply didn't feel the slightest urge to binge. And I felt bad about myself when I did feel the urge, as if simply having the urge made me a bad person. But yesterday, I realized that actions are what define you--not necessarily urges. And that making the right choice, despite your impulses, is perhaps more important than when you easily make the right decision.

Do any of you struggle with binge eating? Do you agree with the sentiment that actions are more defining than the impulses you feel?

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm ALIVE

First off, I apologize for not posting a blog entry for the last week. I have really missed writing the posts, but I honestly haven't had the time or energy to write even though I have so much to tell you, since, as you know, the drama in my life never ends, haha. Let me give you a quick recap of the various aspects of my life:

1. Food. It was doing really well until this weekend when I decided to throw my diet out the window and drink/ eat just as much as I wanted to. On Friday night, I consumed nearly an entire liter of vodka with my friend Josh and his girlfriend Brandi. I bought this fizzy pink gingerale mixer and you couldn't taste the alcohol at all, which is a bit scary. And then on Saturday I ended up at a house party where I won at beer pong for the first time EVER (haha!) and managed to drink several cups of a mysterious punch mixture, which supposedly had Everclear in it...This lead to me dancing alone at 4am in front of a bunch of random people, haha. And then on Sunday, in my hungover state, I was craving burgers and fries and a strawberry milkshake and I ate it all. The upshot of this rant is to confess that when I stepped on the scale this morning, it was back up to 174, ugh...

2. Exercise. Really bad. Unless you count my walks to 7-eleven or the bars in my neighborhood (3 block in total).

3. Guys. I've decided that I'm going to take everyone's advice and stay single for a while. Of course, this doesn't guarantee (in the slightest) that I'm going to actually follow my own advice. At the moment, I'm still kind of dating E, and I met some interesting guys at the party on Saturday...haha...On the good news side, I finally got a backbone when it comes to my ex, N, and I told him that I was done with our horrible yo-yo dating cycle.

4. Money. Well, this has seriously been stressing me out, but I am proud to say that I've created a budget that will hopefully have me caught up on everything by April 15. Unfortunately, my budget is going to be extremely tight until then, and I'm not going to have much spare money for anything. Basically, I'm going to have $200 every two weeks for food, gas, and any other extras. Ugh...On the other hand, it's a weight off my mind to know that I CAN do this.

Well, that's about it. Now that you're all caught up in the boring details of my life, I feel like I can finally get into what I really want to talk about--the double standard between men and women concering sex. I know that many a female rock song has addressed this issue, but I feel like if Kelly Clarkson can do it, so can I.

Here's the deal: I am so sick of the fact that society judges rambunctious/ flirty women as "sluts," while men can do the exact same thing and be thought of as even more desirable. Characters like Don Draper in Mad Men, who cheat on their wives and spend their evenings seducing attractive younger women, are seen as mysterious and sexy. Whereas, women, in our society, lose value for having a reputation for hooking up with men, even if they do much less "slutty" things, like getting drunk at a party and making out with two guys. To make matters worse, people often lie or exaggerate about stuff like this. And since women are so vulnerable to being called "sluts," it's easy to believe the other party when it's just her word against his.

This is all to say, that an ex-boyfriend, N, who has mistreated me consistently for the last few months had the nerve to justify his poor behavior because of the fact that he heard a rumor about me and one of his friends. In a nutshell, he heard that I hooked up with one of his friends after we broke up. Despite the fact that the rumor wasn't true AND the fact that even if the rumor was true, it was still none of his business, he decided that I wasn't a valuable person because of it. Despite the fact that he was also hooking up with other people and that he possibly cheated on his GF (who I didn't know about) when he hooked up with me on Tuesday night. Grrr...this really pisses me off. So I finally snapped and dished out a bit of Katie anger, which I'd been holding back for some time. I told him if thinking I was a slut helped him to feel better about himself (and his shitty behavior) so be it. And I FINALLY told him I never wanted to see him again.

And that, my friends, is the end of the story with N. Thank goodness. I'm sorry to say that at this point, after all this drama, my good memories of being with him have soured. But such is life. Maybe at some point I'll be able to think of him without cringing...maybe...

Anyway, I've got to get on with my day. I'll try to post more consistently this week!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some Tiny Goals

Looking back on my blog posts from February, it’s hard to miss a dominant trend throughout my posts: I have stubbornly resisted talking about health. Out of the 14 posts, only eight even mention the topic of weight or health. And only four are entirely devoted to the subject of this blog—Katie’s Way to Healthy.

What does this say about my overall weight loss journey?

Well, for one thing, my lack of posts about weight loss shows that my focus has been on other things—from guys to finances to traveling. I'm human, after all, and I like getting to write about other things than health once in a while. It keeps me sane =)

For another, it seems that my observance of the Weight Watchers plan has been theoretical, at best. I have not had a single week where I’ve consistently counted points every day—much less gotten in the recommended good health guidelines and activity. I stopped attending WW meetings and started weighing myself on a scale at home. In short, WW has shifted to a lesser priority in my life and this is reflected in my blog posts.

However, this is not to say that I have completely given up on my ultimate goal of losing 90 pounds and becoming a healthier person. Since the end of January, I have lost roughly 5-7 pounds, which means that I am just 23 pounds away from reaching a BMI healthy weight of 150lbs. Considering where I started last March (at 240 lbs) I have made tremendous progress, both in terms of continuing to lose weight and, just as importantly, not gaining the weight back.

At the same time, I recognize that I still have work to do and milestones to achieve. I don’t want to write another lofty post about radically changing my life, only to write a new post tomorrow about how I failed to meet my goals. Instead, I’d like to talk about some of the good things I did during the month of February and then brainstorm some small ways that I can improve my health during the month of March.

Good things I did in February:
•I lost weight, which means I maintained a calorie deficit.
(And I’ve been struggling to get out of the 180s since late September, so it feels great to finally be getting close to the 160s!)

•During an incredibly stressful week (Feb 21-25), I did not binge!

•I managed to stay on track and record my weekly weigh-ins without the help of WW meetings.

Things to do in March:

•Go back to the gym! Even though it costs money, my health is more important that drinking with friends or going out to eat. I need to spend money to make sure that I go to the gym three times a week.

•Stop smoking cigarettes! Yes, I know it’s a habit that satisfies my urge to put something in my mouth without making me gain weight, but it’s terrible for my lungs, budget, and health goals.

•Eating wise, pretty much keep doing what I’m doing. I lost weight in February so I’m not as concerned about this. I just need to properly fuel up during the day so that I have the energy to workout.

Anyway, those are my goals for March. March 30th marks my year anniversary with WW and I’m hoping that this will help me to refocus on my goals. What are your goals for March? Do you have any habits you’d like to keep doing and/ or any habits you’d like to cut out?