Friday, March 9, 2012
On one hand, I'm actually relieved. For a while I was feeling like I was back to my original weight, and Nathan kept telling me I was crazy. Now, I have proof that I'm still nearly 60 pounds lower from where I started out. So, that's a good thing.
I think Jess' comment was spot-on yesterday. And it really made me feel so much better. Yes, I've gained weight, but there are so many other good things happening in my life. From getting engaged to Nathan to finding a job working for a magazine, I have a lot going for me this spring. And while 183 (ugh) is not a pretty weight, I know that I can still rock a cute pair of jeans and heels.
So now what? The most important thing I need to do is to take life one day at a time. I'm going to focus on eating healthier and getting back into the swing of exercise. I'm going to (try) to choose fresh fruit over ice cream and overall make lighter choices if I can. At the moment, I'm unsure if I want to charge full-on into WW or if I want to continue my pursuit of Intuitive Eating.
On one hand, I'm frightened by how quickly I put back on weight. On the other hand, my weight gain seems to indicate that the way I followed WW is not a real lifestyle change for me.
As uncomfortable as I feel in my clothes, I do not begrudge the pancakes Nathan made me smothered in love and warmth. Or the cheese and crackers with wine we enjoyed, oh so many evenings. Or the ice cream we enjoyed straight out of the container in bed. It's been a terrific winter. And I don't feel bad about the love-filled food I enjoyed.
On the other hand, spring is coming. And I'm sure there are many more healthy ways to enjoy life, such as resuming my thrice-weekly runs, getting back into seasonal fruit, and basically returning to a more balanced diet.
I hope you have a great weekend.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
And found out that she now weighs 183.2 pounds. Over 30 pounds more than last September.
I have never felt so depressed.
And, please, no I told you so's. I already know.
(And yes, it is ironic that I am slightly allergic to cats and have two of them.)
So now I'm in freak-out mode. Is it possible that I weigh over 190 pounds, that I have gained 40 pounds in six months? That would be a lot for me, but believe it or not, it's not my record. Then again, don't you think someone would tell me if I gained that much weight in a short amount of time?
I don't know. My size 10 jeans still fit--albeit tightly. And all of my dresses fit.
On the other hand, I can't even squeeze my size 8 jeans over my hips.
It was weird. In my dream, I kept searching for my old-non-digital scale because it's nicer (i.e. 5 pounds lighter). But all I could find was my old electronic scale with its flashing red number, saying I was 193.
I need to weigh myself. Because if I am 193 (hey, I could be a psychic), I need to do something to change that. But we don't have a scale (Nathan doesn't want one in the house), so I may be reduced to sneaking into a doctor's office and using their scale. Do you think the Syracuse University Health Center would weigh me for free?
As you can probably tell, Intuitive Eating has fallen to the wayside this week. I'm stressed with work. The kitchen is a wreck. Nathan and I wake up so early to get to work that its hard to always have enough energy to cook dinner, much less make healthy breakfasts and lunches.
Last night's dinner, for instance was a baguette, cheese and wine. Delicious, yes, but hardly nutritious.
And now I'm gulping 24 ounces of super sweet coffee, trying to buck up for a full day of writing, interviews, and photo shoots. And then we'll go home and hopefully decide to tackle the massive pile of dishes in the sink, pay bills, and cook a healthy dinner of chicken tacos (which we've been planning since Tuesday).
But let's be real. We might do what we've been doing all week. Buy a bottle of wine and order take-out.
Let's just say, I can't wait for the weekend.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This post has to do with something that has been troubling me for a while. Usually, I can get home from work, have a glass of wine, hang out with the Nathan and the cats and forget about it for the evening. But not today.
I can't stop worrying about poverty. And I'm not talking about some far-off place. I'm talking about poverty that hits close to home, at least for me.
Perhaps it's because I'm in Syracuse, where everything is gray and bare and there's no lush vegetation to cover it up. So unlike Virginia where poverty (to some extent) is covered by blooming flowers and southern hospitality.
Today, Nathan and I smoked a cigarette with a woman who is in her mid-60s. She wakes up at 4:00 a.m. to work the early shift in the newspaper's collating room. She has worked with the company for five years, and from what I can see, is a hard worker. She is also a U.S. veteran and has served in the military for over six years. And yet, she barely makes over minimum wage. She is consistently passed over for promotions because of her age and sex. She doesn't even get full-time status, though she typically works just under 40 hours a week, so is not eligible for health insurance, paid time off, or any other benefits.
She sits on the bench with me and Nathan during our cigarette breaks and makes jokes. She bums us cigarettes when we run out. She offers Nathan career advice (since he works in the same department). She harbors no grudge that Nathan got promoted and was made full-time within a month of getting the job and she's been working there for five years. (It helps to be a healthy, young man).
What will happen if she gets sick? How will she ever retire? Will this woman walk to work in the dark and cold every day for the rest of her life?
Looking at this woman and the countless other people I work with who are in the same boat, I am terrified. There are no other jobs to apply to. As much as these people may resent their employers who squeeze them out of benefits, they need the meager wages they earn.
I can't help but think that this country is going straight to hell. The poor keep getting poorer, as salaries stay the same but all other expenses rise each year. The middle class is losing ground by the second.
And suddenly, I'm afraid that, despite having grown up middle class, I won't be able to raise my (future) children that way. It's a chilling thought.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
So we drove to Denny's and I consumed two cups of burnt coffee and most of this:
Needless to say, it wasn't the healthiest of breakfasts but it was fun. Almost like a special treat for making it to Thursday.
I can't wait to get home. Sweat pants, a home-cooked meal, bottle of wine, and watching a movie curled up with Nathan and the cats. My idea of a perfect evening =)
Happy Thursday everyone.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
And this is where I'm stuck. I can't seem to believe this step. My own experiences, plus the experiences of family members, friends, and of course the weight loss community, have lead me to believe that losing weight is a relatively simple process. As Weight Watchers says, to lose weight one must eat less and move more.
Throughout the chapter, the authors Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, discuss both the physical and psychological problems with dieting. Physically, the two authors say that, with each diet, our bodies get more efficient at saving fat, therefore making it more difficult to lose weight. Additionally, regained weight seems to center in the stomach which causes increased health risks. The two authors assert that it's healthier to stay obese rather than to lose and regain (yo yo) the same weight multiple times.
But in my opinion, the more interesting damage is psychological. The authors reference a famous study of deprivation from the 1960s (I believe). In the study, a group of healthy men who typically consume 2500 calories a day are forced to limit their caloric intake to 1500 calories. As a result of the deprivation, the men start obsessing over food, particularly treats. Some men start "cheating" the diet and others become defiant. After the deprivation, the men are allowed to eat normally. And guess what? The vast majority of the men more than double their initial normal caloric intake, eating over 5,000 calories a day.
The author's basic argument is that dieting (i.e. deprivation) leads to food cravings and, ultimately, overeating. The basic premise is that people start out with eating behaviors that are in tune with their biological needs. For instance, a toddler naturally regulates his or her eating (over a period of a few days) to meet his or her needs. However, as people age and go on diets, this "intuitive voice" becomes drowned out by external cues.
One thing I noticed as a dieter was that I nearly always finished my portions of food. Because I counted the "points" for each meal, I wanted to get my value's worth. I didn't pause mid-meal to ask myself if I was full, I just kept eating and stopped when the plate was empty. While this habit was okay when I was measuring my portions, it can cause problems when I go to restaurants or have bigger than normal servings on my plates. This habit causes me to rely on the external cue of an empty plate rather than my satiety level.
Anyway, those are the two main points in the chapter.
First off, I'm not overly concerned with the physical factors. From the research I've seen, your metabolism is not a stagnant thing and will bounce back over time. That's why it is possible for yo-yo dieters to continue to lose weight. And that's why it was possible for me to lose weight. As for regaining in the stomach area, that sucks. But what dieter ever expects to regain the weight lost?
As for the psychological, it is SO HARD for me to consider that I'm not at fault here. I feel like I was born with some "fat defect" that brought all of this on.
On my worst days, I think that some witch stood over my cradle and said, "She will be pretty. She will be intelligent. She will have a sense of humor, but she will be fat. And that cancels everything out. Hahahahaha."
Friday, February 24, 2012
But they weren't. In order to reach my goal weight, I was eating very light. Some days, for instance, I'd eat less than 1100 calories. I started feeling oddly guilty about my love for mangoes. I "tricked" my body into thinking it was full by eating many volume-heavy stir fries and salads. I started to like the feeling of being slightly hungry because I knew that I was getting skinny.
In hindsight, my body wasn't so thrilled about being food deprived. I fainted twice at the end of August to early September. My body was constantly covered in bruises. I was too tired to exercise. My Weight Watcher leader commented, when during the last two months of August I lost over 6 pounds: 'Are you eating?' she said.
(Just as an FYI, I went to my doctor during that time and mentioned all my issues and she suggested I go on a 1000 calorie diet to get to 140, which she deemed a better weight for me. Just goes to show, there are some less than awesome medical professionals out there.)
Anyway, I met Nathan around that time. We started eating all our meals together and I no longer felt the urge to eat gigantic stir fries loaded with veggies and beans. I wanted to enjoy my food rather than just stuff myself to feel full. And that meant returning to a more natural place with food: I started to eat what I liked. Banana pancakes. Blue cheese. Oatmeal with peanut butter. Mangoes. Asparagus with olive oil. Pizza. And of course, we can't forget, chocolate chip cookies. Suddenly, no food was off limits.
I started to feel comfortable with food. In a way, I felt like I was reverting to 4-year-old Katie, eating what I liked without any thought to the food police that have ruled my brain for so long. But every so often I'd feel the urge to go on a strict diet again. Every so often I'd look down at my thighs and think, 'If I could just diet for 4 months, I could lose X amount of weight.' And then what? Like the child I was at 12, I foolishly believed all my dreams would come true.
And this is where I am now. The healthiest I've felt towards food in a long time. Not dieting and not bingeing. No scale in the house, but my clothes fit the same as they did last month. And this is why I think it's the ideal time to start a new goal. Not to lose 90 pounds. And not to run a marathon. But rather to take on the Intuitive Eating challenge.
The NEW plan:
Thursday, February 23, 2012
It's hard for me to remember the days before food guilt. As hard as I try, I only have fleeting memories of my behavior towards food before I started feeling that my eating was "wrong or bad." I remember pancakes sizzling in the skillet at my Aunt Linda's house. I remember having an odd hatred of Ketchup. I remember eating my spaghetti plain, with just butter and parmigiana cheese.
My relaxed, easy notions of food vanished by the time I was 10 or 11. It all started because my family-- especially my dad, paternal aunt, and paternal grandmother--thought I was an unusually pretty child. At around age 6 or 7, I started to receive a lot of comments about my looks. My aunt told me I was the prettiest out of all my siblings (nice, right?), and my grandmother told me I looked just like her (and she was a beauty in her day). I started to see my self-worth in terms of whether people thought I was beautiful or not.
But at 6 or 7, I didn't connect being "beautiful" to the Easter candy I liked to eat...or the chocolate chip cookies I liked to bake with my mom. No, I didn't start to worry about my food consumption until the very same people who commented about my looks started to make pointed remarks on my weight. It's hard to remember the exact remarks, but I recall my dad trying to convince me to lose 10 pounds at age 11 by saying, 'You could be a movie star if you were thinner.' Suddenly, my weight was linked to my looks and, by extension, to my self worth.
At age 12, I figured the only reasonable thing to do was diet. Restrict myself. I figured it would be easy to eat like a bird (like my two skinny sisters) and then the weight would fall off. And then I would be skinny. And then I would be a movie star. Right?
Except that I didn't anticipate how tired I'd feel. How much my stomach would grumble at night when I'd try to fall asleep after skipping dinner. And how much I would crave the foods I had previously taken for granted. Yogurts, cookies, pizza, muffins, bagels (you get the picture) all became forbidden foods for me. And that is when I started to binge.
During each binge, I'd believe it was my "last" and therefore I'd eat as much as I could. Because I'd honestly believe I'd never have another chocolate chip cookie again. Or another yogurt. Each diet transgression made me feel an immense amount of guilt. I hid my binges from my family and friends, which made me feel even more isolated. I grew up genuinely believing I was a flawed person.
And this feeling of self-loathing ultimately spiraled into a place of not caring. So what if I was a size 20? I was going to eat that large pizza, damn it. I hid from the world for a while, buried in my apartment with my two cats and lots of empty pizza boxes. Until one day, I poked my head up out of the fog, took stock of my situation, and realized that I only have one life to live. I could spend it hiding from the world, weighed down by guilt and excess pounds. Or I could have the guts to lose the weight and show the world the real Katie.
...continued to next post...
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
And I fell in love.