December 9, 2010

Purgatory

Amazing fact: I have been mostly done with my students final averages since Monday. All that remains is finishing up grading the final exams they took Tuesday night - one of my sections is done, I have one class almost entirely done (5 of 6 pages graded), and one whole class to go. Totally manageable - I'll be done with everything tomorrow.

This is terrific for so many reasons. First, because grades have to be turned in by noon on Friday, so I am usually up all night Thursday hurriedly trying to put everything together - and then I show up at my director's office on Friday mornings looking like quite the hot mess. And second, because as of this moment, I have managed to get through exam week without a binge. I'm pretty impressed with myself - sure, there is considerably less stress now that I am faculty and not a grad student. But still, my default reaction for dealing with any end-of-semester stress has always been to binge.

I can't lie - it's been tough. I've been pretty good with my eating choices, but I *have* eaten more than I usually do. from recovering lazyholicI don't have the urge to binge, but I'm feeling snacky - you know the feeling? I think Andrew summed it up best a few days ago:
It's important when you're exhausted to be extra vigilant. I want to put everything in my mouth. Cake, chips, the stapler. Today is a day I really need to count calories.
Amen to that. I went to the gym yesterday even though I wasn't scheduled to in order to try and make up for the extra calories, but my unofficial peeks at my weight are showing hardly any change from last week.

I think this is extra difficult because right now I am also transitioning into a new phase of my weight loss: a purgatory, of sorts. It's the limbo between my extreme high and my goal low, where things are neither great nor awful, neither fast nor slow. I don't want to downplay it - it's extremely important, and it's going to be challenging, but not "just getting started" challenging or "almost there panic" challenging. This phase presents more of a "staying strong" and "not giving up" challenge.

When I started, it was very easy to lose 4-6 pounds a week. Exercises I do now burn fewer calories than when I did them seventy-some odd pounds ago, and that's both awesome and frustrating at the same time. (Just like an awful lot of things weight loss related, I'm finding out.) Now, to get those kinds of losses, I have to either exercise a lot more or eat a lot less - and since work has had me busy, I've been staying about the same on both food and working out, and just accepting smaller losses. I am okay with smaller losses - I knew this would slow down eventually, and I'm trying my hardest to be proud of it.

7 comments:

Maude said...

I feel you! It's much harder to stay motivated when the scale isn't budging as much, but as I'm learning, that's where those NSVs come in.

Stress does bring on the snacky feelings, but you're doing exactly right by hitting the gym. It's less about burning those calories off than it is about the headspace that working out can give you. I just don't feel like eating a bunch of crapola after I've had a good workout. Keep it up!

Ann (-36 lbs in -60 lb challenge) said...

Congratulations on NOT binge-eating during a tough week! I think we can all relate to the munchies. (Well, that is what I call it.) When I feel that way, I load up on baby carrots or celery sticks - I'll keep a bag of those handy. It doesn't do damage to my diet. Exercise is good, but see if you can satisfy the munchies, still engaging in the behavior, but with better/healthier foods.

I think you did well to NOT gain weight at a time you would normally do so.

It is normal for the body to slow down, but mix things up more, to keep the body guessing about what is next. I found that helps a little.

In the end, ANY movement in the right direction is a good thing. Every ounce counts!

Amy said...

and so you should be! You have done so well for so long! I am kind of pathetic with my success, and I think you are so very inspiring, you continue to stick with your goals! Slow weight loss is great too, and eventually, yes you will have to eat less or exercise more, but that is something that happens progressively so it isn't like you're starving yourself and it's suddenly a massive jump down in caloric intake.

December is an extremely hard month to lose weight in, and if there is any weight loss people should be very proud! If you maintain it deserves an award in itself!

January is such a motivator month, and I'm certain you'll likely make up for any lost time :)

FatAngryBlog said...

I completely agree with Ann! I was actually commenting to say that so long as you are going in the right direction, you are achieving something good :)

Tim said...

I think I know what you mean. I keep losing 1 lb a week but most weeks I feel like it should be a lot more because I have worked my butt off at the gym and ate really well. Thankfully so many people on my blog have kept my spirit up with some great comments and now I look forward to seeing another pound fall off. Anything more is a bonus for me.

You have done fantastic and are still doing brilliant. Maybe treat December as a month where anything but a gain is a great achievement, especially with how many tempting foods are out there with Christmas approaching.

Shannon said...

Doing good! The scale will slow down and won't budge like it did before but that's when your strength counts, push through, don't let the scale discourage you!

fatgirlwearingthin said...

I can truly relate to this post, Mary. When I was around the 200 lb mark, I could burn 600 calories during a workout - sometimes much more. At my weight now, I'm lucky if I burn 250 doing the exact same routine. It is the sobering fact that my body has truly changed. Like you said - exciting, yes. I'm overjoyed that I am where I am; however, I think it's this part of me that doesn't see the progress. I feel that I work SO hard sometimes and then have the thought, 'is this all I get? a 250 calorie burn?) It's like we need to train our minds to play 'catch-up' with the progress our bodies are making.