Friday, January 28, 2011

weighing in on weighing in

145. A new number on the scale. Though not a very low one. I suppose after my carboholic binge at Buca di Beppo's last weekend, I should be glad it's not 147. But I'm not. I want it to be 140. Because I want to be DONE.

Pants continue to get the tiniest bit looser. But the change seems to be happening by millimeters. I did the Big Diet because I wanted BIG CHANGE, FAST. This is not fast.

But it is change.

I must confess there is fear about the 145 mark. It has been a threshold, in these past two years since I regained 20 pounds and completely lost my marbles, that I have not been able to cross again. These next few weeks will be crucial, both mentally and physically. I must persevere and keep eating meat and cheese when what I really want is a bowl of cereal, eating eggs and bacon when what I really want is bread pudding, eating a chef salad when what I really want is corn chips and salsa. And I must hang on by my fingernails to the hope that this will actually work again.

Tell me this will actually work again.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

a different kind of victory

What do you say when your oldest, closest friend and her family want to try Buca di Beppo's for the first time when you're visiting them out of town, and you're on a low-carb diet?

You smile and say, "Sure!"

And then you don't give it another thought.

You eat your cheesy, carby dinner, and you enjoy it.

You eat your dessert that the husband's went back out into the frigid cold to pick up four hours later, and you enjoy that, too.

You don't eat until you feel sick.

You don't eat until you feel like you can't eat any more.

And you don't obsess about it. Too much.

Then you plan to get back on track tomorrow.

This, too, is a victory.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I did it.

I spent an entire day away from home in a foreign land and stuck to my diet.

I sat in the car with my family as they ate bagels, and I ate veggies and protein.

I watched my husband drink Starbucks, and I had water.

I went to a restaurant and sat at the same table with french fries, and I ate my cobb salad and remained carb free.

I laid in bed while my kids had candy and caramel corn, and I had a fat free bran muffin.

For whatever it's worth, I battled temptation today and went to bed basking in the glow of victory.

One day down, two to go.

crazy making

146. Today's reading on the scale. 146. In case you have forgotten, seeing that this isn't as earth-shatteringly important to you as it is to me, this is the SAME NUMBER AS LAST WEEK.

A string of cuss words is going off in my head right about now. Just as they did each of the five times I had to step on the scale to be sure the reading was accurate. I will spare you from them. Today.

Understanding completely eludes me. People are asking now if I'm losing weight. That's a good sign, right? The scale should reflect that, right? I should feel hopeful, right?

Yes, I know. The scale is not the only measure. We've had this discussion before. There are other measurements to consider. The pants are a smidgen less tight. I can pull them up a smidgen further, fasten them a smidgen easier. That is a measurement. But they still don't FIT, and that is a measurement, too.

The world of My Body is as foreign to me as life on another planet. I do not understand it. I do not have a context within which to place it. And I do not have a guidebook to assist me in navigating it. I long for consistency. Stability. Predictability. My husband has weighed the EXACT SAME WEIGHT since I met him. I have no mental file folder to put that it. I cannot wrap my brain around it.

I know the weight will come off. Well, I hope the weight will come off. And I kind of, sort of, maybe believe that it will. But this process--this random is-it-working-I-think-it-is-but-now-maybe-it-isn't-what-am-I-doing-wrong-this-time roller coaster--makes me completely, utterly, stark-raving-mad in the meantime.

146. Next week it will be lower and I will be sane again. Maybe. But today I am struggling to contain the freak-out welling up within me and just not get on the crazy ride in the first place.

Or the scale either, for that matter.

Friday, January 14, 2011

a measure of trust

146. Today's reading on the scale. (Well, actually, the readings were, in order, 147.6, 146, 145, and 146, depending upon at which spot on our 90-year-old hardwood floor I sat my extremely dependable and extremely expensive electronic scale. I'm going with the average, as average seems to be a theme.)

This is good news. This means I am losing weight. At least five pounds, depending on where I topped out over Christmas. Good news. I should be jumping up and down. So why am I not ecstatic?

We did an exercise on trust in my group this past Wednesday night which I suspect might provide me with some insight. After we took turns being led around blindfolded for five minutes by another group member, we discussed the implications of our actions and feelings when it comes to things like walking out life with The God of the Universe. One of the resounding take-aways from this exercise was the insight that, despite our best efforts and intentions, we could not rationally talk ourselves out of what we were feeling. One gentleman, for example, told of his fear that he was going to hit his head on something, which caused him to haunch over with a hand outstretched no matter how many times he forced himself to stand up straight. I shared the intense anxiety I felt once my leader had taken me up to the balcony, knowing I'd have to go back down again—and how I slowed to an almost complete stop 20 feet from the staircase despite repeated reassurances that we were close but not that close. 

Each of us had a similar story of a similar experience. The inability to trust completely (in completely trustworthy people) because our emotion was short-circuiting our rational intellect.
When all is said and done, I do not trust well. In this area in my life, this manifests in a multitude of irrational and illogical ways. I do not trust the scale. I do not trust the diet. I do not trust the process. I do not trust how my clothes fit. I do not trust how my body feels. I do not trust my body, period. And I don't always trust The One who made it, either.

I may be wrong, but that strikes me as potentially being a problem.

A lifetime of experience with scales and diets and fat wardrobes and thin wardrobes and IBS and chronic pain and healing prayer and hoping-wishing-praying for freedom has left me feeling a little anxious that there is a staircase out there somewhere, and the only way is down. I can tell myself I can trust the diet, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself I can trust the process, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself that I can trust my body, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself that I can trust The God of the Universe, but that has not always been my experience, either.

Despite what the scale says, I feel fat today. My jeans still don't fit right, my stomach feels bloated, and I worry incessantly that this diet is not going to work and I'm not going to get this weight back off. I tell myself the diet is, indeed, working and that it is only a matter of time until the jeans fit and the stomach deflates and the weight is off. But I've fallen down these steps before, and I just can't help but shuffle my feet a bit in apprehension.

146. This is good news. If I can make the choice to trust it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the morning workout

(Subtitled: #@%$#*&%#@*#!!!!)

While five years of working out consistently has brought about a certain amount of discipline and routine, it has never brought about any type of desire or enjoyment. EVER. I keep waiting for that moment people talk about—I just couldn't wait to get to my workout. It felt so good to workout today. This experience eludes me. I workout because I HAVE to. I workout because if I did not, I would gain 50 lbs just by breathing. Truly. Writing, I enjoy. Creating art, I enjoy. Singing, I enjoy. Hiking, I enjoy. Reading, I enjoy. Working out? I do it because I MUST.

So this morning, because it is my writing day and I wanted to get a full six hours in, because I have to cart my kids to appointments after school, because I have a meeting at the church tonight, I got my warm, comfortable, almost pain-free body out of bed early and went down to a cold, damp basement and trudged away on the elliptical trainer for 45 minutes when I could have been still in bed. For some of you, this will make you roll your eyes in the same manner as my pre-adolescent daughter. You do this daily. Well, good for you. I do not. I have chronic pain and I don't like mornings. This is not my norm. But I did it. I drug my butt out of my comfortable bed and made myself uncomfortable so that I can now plop my butt down in front of my computer in peace, knowing that I have battled the bulge already today.

The war is not over. But today's battle has been won, while it was still dark outside.

You have no idea what kind of a victory that is.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

big as a barn

One and a half weeks into this diet and I feel as big as a barn. One of those big red ones. Someone could paint "Ohio: The Heart of it All" across my backside and put me along I-71 north and someone would come and take my picture with some very nice cows and a split rail fence and put it in Midwest Living or something. It will make for a very nice photo spread, but it will take both pages. So be sure to check for it next time you're at the grocery. Will probably be out sometime in March. The banner will read something like: Big Ass Barns and Big as a Barn Asses. Or something like that.

Of all the completely inane things people repeatedly tell me when they know I'm struggling with my weight, possibly the most incredibly aggravating is "Don't go by the scale. You have to go by how your body feels." Um, yeah. Right. Did I mention my body feels as big as a barn?

The culprit today, this very moment, is the pending arrival of that which arrives for a woman every month but no one talks about in public because it's not polite. How does my body feel? Bloated and huge. The culprit yesterday was Splenda—not something I usually ingest but was without options and simply could not bear the possibility of straight tea with nothing to make it roll around on my tongue a bit. Bloated like a balloon. The culprit last week was coming down off the carbohydrate hangover from being at my mother's for Christmas. You guessed it. Bloated and huge. Daily, weekly, monthly. My body is not a reliable barometer for that which is going on in the weight department.

Case in point: I can put on a pair of jeans in the morning that fit comfortably, and by the time I get home in the evening the waistband is cutting off circulation and I'm peeling them off. Case in point: I can step on the scale in the morning and be pleased, and step on it again in the evening (not that I do any longer) and be dismayed by the five pound difference. Case in point: I can eat the exact same thing my husband does over the weekend, portion size and all, and wake up Monday unable to get into the pants I wore comfortably on Friday while he notices no difference whatsoever. Ever. My body, and the way my clothing responds to it, are no more dependable than the scale when it comes to gauging progress.

So, if I can't trust the scale as a measure of progress, and I can't trust how my body feels or how my clothes are fitting, then to what do I look for reassurance? For hope? For the magic marker that says, "You've succeeded?" What can I trust?

The little voice in my head that says what I think people are going to say says You need to trust the process. I ignore it, and it says it again. This time I give the voice a dirty look. Yeah. Right. Trust the process. I'll get right on that. Two years of trying to get this weight back off. Two years of a number of various and sundry "processes," none of which have obviously been successful or I wouldn't be here writing this post about trying to lose weight. Again.

I don't trust the process. The process doesn't work consistently. My body is fickle. My metabolism temperamental. My fat persistent. The process is no match for their tenacity. I can't trust the process. My fat out smarts it every time. So where does that leave me? I can't trust the scale. I can't trust my body. I can't trust the process.

Pssst! Psssssst!!! The little voice in my pipes up again. You can trust that there is purpose in this. God has a purpose for this season. Death glare to the little voice. Now I'm really irritated.

I decide not to bicker tonight. Too much already going on in my head to take up with this argument. I will consider it, but only begrudgingly. Because, to be quite frank, it really torques me off.

My new copy of Midwest Living peers out at me from under a pile. Cupcakes on the cover this month—not a barn in sight. But rest assured, if there are cupcakes on the cover this month, the barn issue is sure to follow shortly. Especially if they're made with Splenda.

Monday, January 3, 2011

the first official work out of the year

Subtitled: "10 Reasons Not to Cry While On the Elliptical Trainer"

Despite some serious walking over the past few days and the discovery of kickboxing available to me on-demand via Netflix a week or two ago, getting my fanny back into gear for a serious workout was not my favorite thing I did today.

I've never been one of those weird people who LIKE working out. I LOVE to walk. Provided I have company, I can hoof it at a crazy pace for hours. I like spinning. Probably because I get to sit. And because my instructor would play Joan Jett while we climbed hills. THAT I can get into. I tolerate the cardio interval class at the gym. It's kind of almost like dancing, but with a lot more equipment. But strength training? I HATE it. After 15 minutes of lifting weights, I want to cry. After a full workout, I sometimes do.

That being said, I got back on the elliptical trainer today for 30 minutes of leg-numbing hi-lo intervals, then did an upper body workout just for kicks. And while I did not cry, I did not LIKE it, either. If I can walk tomorrow, or lift anything above my head, we'll be in good shape. Until Wednesday, when I torture myself yet AGAIN.

Remind me why I do this?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

a new year, a new diet

Subtitled, "You Know You're Desperate When You Begin The New Year's Diet on December 27th."

Two years and still the same @$#%*@! 15 pounds clings to my midsection. Here is what I know:

  1. Dieting at my mother's house is not only an impossibility, it's insane.
  2. My body loves me some carbs. My figure does not.
  3. Eating clean and exercising regularly is not enough to overcome the carboholic fanny pack I've accumulated.
  4. Going low carb has worked for me. It has been the ONLY thing that has worked for me.
  5. I am going low carb again. For 15 pounds.
Bought a big honkin' bottle of Benefiber at Costco, and we're good to go. Literally and figuratively.

Cheers! Here's to getting off this crazy ride!