June 26, 2015

Roses and thorns

Today I'm marking down a maintain for the week. Some pounds are harder to lose than others, and this week was full of them.

Earlier this week, I was running around, trying to get a dozen things done in the few hours that Noah is at daycare. It wasn't anything big or important, just a lot of little things that needed to be done, and by the time I went to pick up my son, I was exhausted. So I made a simple dinner: turkey hot dogs, cut up strawberries, and watermelon. On MyFitnessPal, I was under my goal by 374 calories.

The next day, the scale was up seven pounds. SEVEN.

I cursed, I grumbled, but I didn't let it get me down - just realized that (a) I need to go to bed earlier so I'm well-rested (b) I need to make sure I am consistently drinking enough water and (c) I need to meal prep more/better so we don't depend on overly salty processed junk when Mama is too overwhelmed to cook. So the next day, I made a pulled pork in the crockpot and roasted a bunch of veggies so I could easily grab a scoop of each and call it a meal. It's simple, but I like simple. Simple works. I start to struggle when I try to complicate things too much. Don't overthink it.

Slowly but surely, the scale inched back down, and today it showed 314, the exact same as last Friday. I'm still up from before our trip to Connecticut, and I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. I know what works, I just need to do it consistently.

One good thing, though, about my workouts this week: I got my new sports bra in the mail, and I LOVE IT. I had heard about Enell's plus size sports bras for years but didn't want to spend the money. DO IT. I ordered it through Amazon - the same price as on the Enell website, but shipping was $12 through Enell and free through Amazon, so there was some savings there. And regardless: it is worth it. I am absolutely a believer. It has incredible support, even more than when I used to wear two sports bras at once. No bouncing, and best of all - no chafing. The front closure worried me at first, but honestly, it isn't uncomfortable and if it fits right, there shouldn't be any issues with it unhooking.

My best friend Lorelei is visiting from Chicago (arriving tonight), and I am incredibly excited to have her here. She was such a huge part of my success the first time around...

We would go to the gym together, run races together, cook together. It was one of only a few relationships I have where the dynamic didn't completely shift as a result of my weight and its various changes, and I am incredibly grateful for that, and for her. I don't feel any food anxiety about her visit, which is great - she even asked if we could cook healthy foods together, which makes me feel so good. It *is* possible to spend time with people and not panic about food, not binge, not completely fall off course and forget long-term goals.

So, this upcoming week: with Lorelei, but still just more of the same, I guess. Sweat. Drink all the water. Do as much meal prep as possible to keep myself on track. Focus on my goals.

What about you? What are your favorite meals to prep in advance?

June 19, 2015

Roses and thorns

Sometimes I watch the show "My 600 lb. Life" and cry and cry, understanding how it feels to be a prisoner inside your body. And there was a girl on there once, surprisingly young, and my heart just broke for her. Her issues clearly went beyond just her size, but her depression and self-esteem issues were abundantly clear. And she said something that really struck me: talking about her family, she said "they act like they're proud of me for all of these things I'm achieving, but it's really just disaster cleanup."

I get that, completely.

It's hard to hear people say "you're doing a good job," and know that you already did the job, that you're re-doing it now because you screwed up. And that it's a job that shouldn't have been done in the first place, that it's not a real accomplishment or one to celebrate - I'm not making something new, I'm cleaning a mess I made.

That cycle of negative thinking is really, really hard to break. The physical part of weight loss is easy, compared to the mental part. That's the real challenge, especially because it has such an impact on the physical part, too. Enough negative thoughts and I can completely forget the awesome workout I had earlier or the full day of good choices - all I want is peace, even if it's temporary and wrongly obtained. I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm anxious, I don't know what is going to happen in this mess of my life - but I *do* know what X tastes like, how it feels, how it smells. It's consistent. It's shelter in a storm. There's a great and familiar comfort in "it's okay, have what you want, soothe yourself in this moment, and you can try again tomorrow."

Then your life becomes day after day of waiting for tomorrow's fresh start, and it's incredibly hard to break free.

At the end of my trip to Connecticut, I stepped on the scale and waited to see the number - though I didn't need to. I knew how I had eaten. I knew how I felt. I knew the damage would be significant. I left South Carolina at 305, and left Connecticut two weeks later at ... 323. Holy bleep. I knew it would be bad, but ... just wow. I have a singular ability for letting myself completely go off the rails and feeding my anxieties and depression with junk - and not just junk, but the volume of it.

I'm disappointed in myself, but I'm moving forward. Like I said, I won't be going back to Connecticut for a long time - I love my family very much, but I can't go back until I am at a place in my recovery where I can go and not go completely crazy. The way I eat and drink and behave there is completely inconsistent with my goals, and right now, the goals are what I want more than anything. I'm already so relieved, thinking about Thanksgiving with just my son and no pressure, our first Christmas together just by ourselves, enjoying each other's company without trying to suffocate every negative feeling with food.

Today, a week later, I'm back down to 314, which, again, I'm struggling to see as an accomplishment, but am accepting and using as fuel for my motivation to keep going. No two ways about it, it sucks to be seeing numbers like this. (As the joke goes, I've been at this for a month and all I've lost so far is 30 days.) Even worse than the numbers, though, is the physical feeling. I felt so lousy in Connecticut - everything was exaggerated by the way I chose to fuel my body. I was even more tired, even more achy, even more grouchy.

But: it's incredible how immediately the results of healthy living can change how you feel. Even just a day or two back on track, and I didn't feel so bad anymore. The first day back in South Carolina, I drank my usual three 32 oz. bottles of water - which I'm guessing is more water than I had total for the two weeks with my family. I ate vegetables, and I didn't overdo the snacking, and I took a much-needed nap.

Monday, Noah had a dentist appointment, so I kept him home from daycare, but Tuesday, I made a goal to get back to the gym. One small problem, though: I forgot one of my two sports bras in Connecticut, which isn't a terrible issue because I have needed new sports bras for years: these are the ones I wore when I first started in 2010, at my smallest in 2011-12, throughout my pregnancy, and now. They're stretched out to the point where they chafe the heck out of my underboob (sorry). They're just done, overdue for replacing. So on Tuesday, I went to the Lane Bryant outlet ... only to leave pretty discouraged:

The sports bras were too small (I usually wear a 46 DDD and they only went up to 44 DDD), the workout shorts were ridiculously expensive, and the regular summertime khaki shorts were just awful - unflattering is too polite of a word.

I asked around on Instagram for sports bra advice, then I went home an ordered one from Enell - it should get here tomorrow. In the meantime, I didn't let this be an excuse, and I went to the gym anyway - I just made sure to avoid exercises that would cause too much bounce. On Wednesday I did the stationary bike, and on Thursday I did some of the bike and then walking intervals on the treadmill. I'll likely do that again today, it left me surprisingly sweaty!

So, that's where I am now. I'm ready to just get my stuff together and get out of the 300s again for good. I did okay this past week, and this next week I will try to do even better.