May 15, 2015

Roses and thorns

If I were to give a conservative estimate, I'd say that I could eat 500 calories in about ... eight to ten seconds. Pick the right (or wrong, I should say) food, and that's just a few bites. Now, burning 500 calories ... that's another story. It's 45 minutes on the adaptive motion trainer, closer to an hour on the elliptical, and about two and a half hours on the stationary bike.

Let this be a reminder to myself, then: not only is it easier to eat well than to try and undo bad eating, but that's not a good plan for long-term health in general. Exercise shouldn't be a punishment for eating, regardless of whether it is on- or off-plan.

This week started out rough - like I said in my last post, I really struggled with my eating this weekend. The bad news is, I don't know how to not be triggered by my current situation. The better news is, the situation ends tonight, after our son goes to sleep. Matthew will be on the road overnight, and tomorrow I wake up new, so to speak.

Things that I did well this week:
  1. I got back in the gym Wednesday, once my mother-in-law headed back to the Midwest, and I went yesterday as well. I'll go today too, but during the summer, the University gym is closed on weekends, so tomorrow and Sunday I'll maybe do a Richard Simmons DVD during Noah's nap, or we will go to the park and walk on the trails if it's not too hot and humid.
  2. I bought a Waterpik for flossing my teeth. It's embarrassing to admit, but when I get depressed, I not only don't take care of myself nutritionally, but I ignore my common sense and knowledge about hygiene. But I'm committed to making a strong effort to be better about taking care of my whole self.
Weight-wise, despite a few on-plan days, I'm still up for the week - 312. I can regain weight faster than you might believe. But I'm ready to make this the last week with a gain. I've got a plan. Plans. I've got two plans.

First, Whole30 starts tomorrow. No excuses. I'm gonna post as much as I can on my Instagram feed so that I can share my progress. My only change to the Whole30 plan will be to stay on track with my weekly weigh-ins, instead of one at the beginning and one at the end. I understand why they discourage it, but I also know myself, my body, and my journey, and I am at a point where I need that accountability.

Second, the first time I lost the weight, it was hard to think of goal-based rewards for myself, but this time, I am going to try and see if that motivates me better. I am constantly on the fence about a Fitbit - I am interested in some of the data, but I also know that I tend to get obsessive when I know too much. (Even MyFitnessPal can be frustrating to me sometimes). So, I'll make that a goal-based reward: for every week that I have a loss or maintain, I will add $5 to a piggy bank. If I have a gain, I have to take $10 out. Once I have $125, that will cover the Fitbit Charge.

In as few as six months of losses, it can be mine! (And if I change my mind about the Fitbit when I make the $125 goal, I'll still have a good bit of change saved up to buy something nice for myself, maybe a massage or a new dress!)

Today is going to be very difficult and emotional, but I'm not going to let it win. Matthew wants to go out to lunch *and* dinner, and I'm going to go to one or the other but not both. Probably will go to dinner, since the place he wants to eat for lunch is triggering to me - besides being a Southern buffet (so, not a single healthy item to be found), it's also the place where we went to lunch after we got married, and I know that it would set off something in my mind - a flood of feelings that I know I would want to bury under an excess of food.

I have my "Made to Crave" devotional by my bedside, ten or fifteen different mud masks in the bathroom, about a dozen canvases to paint, and an entire house to de-clutter and personalize. I also have reached out to several people who I love and trust and asked them to help me get through the day - I will text them when I am feeling triggered, to keep my hands busy and my mind occupied.

I'm scared. I'm nervous. I can feel how close I am to the edge of really big things, and that's terrifying.

But I'm ready.

May 13, 2015


I'm somewhere between introverted and extroverted. I can be very confident and outgoing at times, but I also deeply appreciate my alone time and have a strong need to recharge after spending a lot of time with other people.

Having guests really takes everything out of me, especially when the topics of conversation are so emotionally heavy.

My mother-in-law spent the weekend with us, she came to celebrate our son's birthday and stayed for a few extra days just to visit since she lives so far away. I was nervous about her coming, for a few reasons. First, because she loves to take everyone out to eat, and I get nervous about restaurant situations. The year when I lost my weight, I went out to eat three times. Three! That was a big deal to me, because I used to order out more times than that each week. And second, I was nervous because I had planned to tell her everything that has been going on in my marriage, namely the reasons for wanting to end it. It's deeply personal, and I felt it was a conversation that she was owed in person, rather than over the phone or even a video chat.

It went as anticipated - lots of tears on both sides, and a lot of apologizing from her on her son's behalf. She really is the sweetest lady, and I did my best to reassure her: you did a great job raising him, but you're not his only parent, and a lot of these behaviors were learned there (not to mention, you know, his own personal responsibility).

There's a lot of dirty laundry that could be aired, but this isn't the place for it, really. The point of the story is, while talking for four days straight about everything I've held on to and kept quiet about for years, I was not feeling particularly strong or confident. I made some good choices - cooked most meals at home, chose salads when we went out - but I stopped tracking and started snacking, and I stopped drinking water and had quite a bit of soda. For me, that's the nail in my coffin.

I wish I was strong enough to do the right thing in times like these. Sometimes I wonder how I ever managed to lose weight once, because on days and in moments like these, when I feel overwhelmed with grief and frustration and sadness, it feels so impossible to break the habits again.

Today, I'm at the office, answering a few emails and working on my book project for a little while before heading over to the gym. Then it's home for a desperately needed nap and tidying the living space. I'm one meal into the day but it's on-plan so far, and I plan to stay this way. I have to grocery shop at some point, and I'm debating starting a Whole 30 on Saturday.

I follow Geneen Roth on Facebook, I just love her so much, and someone commented on one of her posts a few weeks ago:
Everything we do involves a decision. To do nothing is a decision to do nothing.
And that stuck with me. I didn't need to overeat this weekend. I have mud masks and blank canvases/paints and my devotional and an Audible account full of books - plenty to do instead of a binge. But I chose what is easy and quick instead. I really need to work on making the conscious decision to do the right thing, even when it's hard.