November 1, 2013

Roses and thorns

First off, happy belated Halloween!

We had exactly one trick-or-treater this year, which I expected a little (it was the same at my apartment complex in California). To prevent excess candy around the house, we got a bag of candy on Wednesday afternoon, which I brought to work to give to students who attended a movie screening I hosted on Wednesday evening. Whatever was left, we would give to trick-or-treaters. It ended up being about 10 pieces - which turned out to be 9 more than we needed.

The bag was an assortment, and what was left after the kids picked over it was all one kind of candy bar that I don't particularly like. Still, I fought with myself all night. There won't be any more kids - just eat one! But I knew that even though I don't like them, it wouldn't have stopped at one. I even looked at the calorie count - 70 calories for one, that won't ruin your day! 

But it's not about the calories, is it?

I went to bed feeling very proud that I hadn't eaten a single piece of candy all day. This morning, my weigh in showed 253 - down 3 pounds for this week, and the lowest weight I've been since Noah was born. I was 254 the day we got married, and it took me a month and a half to get back there. Sure, it's been a wild, stressful month and a half, but still. Not good.

So, I started September at 260, October at 256, and November at 253. It's slow, but it's progress. I'm looking forward to breaking through to the 240s again, and finally being able to reclaim my membership in the Century Club.

There will certainly be a lot of challenges this month: my birthday, Thanksgiving (which lands during Hanukkah this year), and the traveling before and after. I'm grateful for the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah overlap, because that means all the temptation is combined into one day. I'm feeling very strong right now, with a strong sense of self-control, and I hope that the feeling will continue and get me through this tough month.

A few more weeks of therapy between now and then will help a lot as well. This week we had our second session and it went very well. We came up with a plan of my therapy goals, and I explained a lot of my issues with food, with my family, with my relationships. She said it doesn't sound so much like depression as anxiety, something I was fairly sure of myself, and she said we will begin working right away on helping me feel less stressed and guilty, and more assertive and confident. She said that even though the rock bottom of my binge eating was what brought me into therapy, we can't work on that first because focusing on food would lead to failure. My issues aren't with the foods themselves, but with the emotions that drive me to binge eat. Working on the emotions, she said, will help us lead into treating the disordered eating habits. Like my dad always says: take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.

I'm looking forward to this weekend: maybe going to a local statue garden with Matt and Noah to see the autumn leaves, working on a big pile of grading, and hopefully a nap in there somewhere.

What about you? How was your week? What are your goals for November? Any fun weekend plans?

October 30, 2013

Questing for Super

When I first started blogging, something that I found to be a strong motivator was joining blog challenges. For a set time period, you work towards a certain goal(s) and write posts to update on your progress.

It pushed me. I looked forward to not only posting my successes, but sharing my struggles. It might not work for everyone, but it worked for me.

When my friend Cynthia posted a little while ago about a challenge her friend Mica was hosting, I decided to give it a try. So many things I've been trying to replicate with no success - but this, a few little goals, seems do-able.

I'm not quite sure how long the challenge is supposed last, so for now, I'm going to just make goals for November. I think focusing too much on long-term goals is getting in the way of my success in the short term. One month at a time is a good, medium sort of commitment.

Find your quest. Start with three things you want to work on to become "super."


I want to work on eliminating processed foods from my diet.

I want to reclaim my 100 pound weight loss milestone.

I want to become active again.

Decide on a plan of action to develop those quests.

1. My eventual goal is to be able to complete a Whole 30 - I intend on doing this during the 30 days I have between the end of Fall Semester and the beginning of Spring Semester. I just know myself and my current work situation (first year teaching in a new place is always tough!) and I know that if I started now, I'd fail. I want to set myself up to succeed, so building up to the Whole 30, I want to start eating better and eating fewer processed foods.

2. As of today, I'm 9 pounds away. It's right there. I can practically touch it. Now I just have to buckle down and commit to curbing my excess snacking, avoiding binges, making better choices overall, and working out. I forget where I saw it, but someone once posted something like, "it's easier to not eat 250 calories than it is to burn 250 calories." It's so true, and I need to keep that in mind.

3. I need to take baby steps with this one, because when I set huge goals and then fall short, I get very discouraged. I need to do the best I can, and right now - considering, again, that it's the end of the semester and that I am not only a full-time teacher but a full-time mom, I think a reasonable plan for this would be to try and log three workouts a week.

Choose how you will measure your success.

1. Replacing the processed snacks I pack in my lunch with healthier options is the first success. Next, trying to pack something for lunch that isn't a Lean Cuisine - goal is to bring one non-frozen lunch a week for the first two weeks, then two for week three. Week four will be tough - it's Thanksgiving break, and we'll be in Florida visiting Matt's aunt and grandparents. My goal for that week is to just make good choices - don't use eating in restaurants as an excuse for going nuts.

2. This one's pretty straightforward - get to or below 245 pounds and it's a success.

3. This one I pretty much already delineated - three workouts a week, 30 minutes or more. More is always fine, but three should be the minimum. This includes when we are in Florida - I should be out and about, even just going for a long walk would be good.

Blog about your goals, your progress, and your not progress.

Will do! My intention for this is to post a Q4S update every Wednesday.