Monday, January 31, 2011

Time for the Four Golden Rules: 1/31/11

So, the past week sucked.

I'm up a pound from last Monday.  Now 165.5.  I feel disgusting, I look bloated, and I'm even hungrier than I was last week at this time.


So, "they" say that nobody who starts a diet will stick to it or lose any weight on it until they've hit that "magic rock-bottom" place in their own soul... The one that is telling them that they can't handle being fat anymore.  I understand that, I do.  But I've felt that way for 2 1/2 years now, and I'm still fat.  I now have 40 1/2 pounds to lose in order to fit into my old pre-pregnancy clothes, and I WILL NOT buy a fat wardrobe.


I've been thinking a lot about all of this.  Everything I'm doing, everything I've tried so far.  It's obvious that what I'm doing isn't working for me.  It's vastly different this time around, absolutely.  I lost the same amount of weight 12 years ago, and all I did back then was drink a little Slim Fast, cut out junk food, and I did NOT exercise... not a single step!  I lost 40 pounds in less than 6 months, and it stayed off for 12 years.   (Give or take 5 pounds up and down over those years.) 

I have to get real with myself now.  I'm not a teenager anymore (though I often feel like one...)  I'm not even 30 anymore.  I NEED to exercise to lose weight.  It's a simple fact.  Another simple fact is that I HATE TO EXERCISE.  What am I supposed to do?  Just exercise anyway, and just hate every single second of it???  What do other people do in this situation?  I'm assuming that I'm not the only fat American on this earth who hates to exercise.

I am having the hardest time controlling my hunger.  I'm always hungry.  24-7, 100% of the time.  From the minute I open my eyes in the morning to the minute I fall into bed at night, I'm hungry.  I spend every waking moment thinking about food, planning my next bite, my next snack, my next meal, my next beverage.  I calculate and tabulate my caloric intake continuously, every hour, of every day.  I feel like food completely controls my life!!!  I hate it.  I HATE THIS.

I need to stop obsessing about food every minute before I drive myself crazy.  I want to lose my 40+ pounds, more than anything.  But I feel like the whole idea of "being on a diet" has taken over my life and my brain.  I don't go an hour without thinking about eating and food, and I'm always either stressing out with worry over how I might fail my diet next, or with guilt over how I just failed it!  I need it to stop.  I need to stop thinking about food or I'm going to go NUTZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

So.  What to do then?  
I try to remember a time when I didn't obsess.  It was so long ago, I can't remember what that felt like.  I do know that the lack of stress about food had to mean a simpler, more peaceful existence.  I can't imagine it, seriously!  I believe it's about getting "back to basics."  The simple "Four Rules of Dieting" should be guidelines that EVERYONE follows.  They're logical, simple to understand, impossible to misinterpret.  They are:

1.  Eat ONLY when hungry.
2.  Eat consciously.  (Savor every bite, don't eat while doing other activities or when distracted, etc.)
3.  Eat whatever you want.
4.  STOP eating when satisfied. 

Can I do this?  I think I can.  I did pretty well today, following these rules.  I drank a cup of tea, ate a frozen meal of rice and veggies, drank a can of diet pop, ate more rice and veggies in the late afternoon.  Then, around 4:30 p.m., I crashed and burned.  Inhaled 3/4 of a box of I'm Not Even Going to Tell You What.  Washed it down with a Coke Classic.  (Why cheat on the diet if you're not going to make it EPIC, I always say.)

So, anyway.  Diets are all about cheating and all about forgiving yourself for cheating anyway.  I've already forgiven myself for the 12 minutes it took me to inhale those six Pop Tarts for dinner.  (DAMN; I wasn't going to reveal that.)  Yeah.  So I'm going to move on.  Do as well as possible the rest of my evening, not pig out anymore today, and start over again tomorrow.  Every day is a new day - another chance to Do It Right.


Monday, January 24, 2011

111 days 'til Swimsuit Season (a.k.a. When Hell Freezes Over): 1/24/11

I am SO tired of thinking about food 24-7.

That has GOT to be the crappiest thing about trying to lose weight.  Whether I try to or not, or want to or not, I obsess non-stop about "All Things Food" when I'm trying to lose pounds.  It's impossible for me not to.  In my experience, counting every calorie has been the ONLY THING that has consistently worked for me.  When I count every single thing I consume and force myself to be 100% accountable (if only to me...), I lose weight.  EVERY TIME.

However... counting every bite means pretty much planning every bite, which puts a person in the unhappy and unfortunate position of thinking about food literally every single second of the day.  

I am so sick and tired of thinking about food I seriously want to PUKE.

I'm flailing, floundering, flopping around within my diet like a starving, dying fish, and I HATE IT.  It's 1000 times harder than it was for me 12 years ago; WHY is that?!  I have chocked it up to my older, obviously more sluggish metabolism and increased hatred of exercise, but could it be something more?  And if so, WTF is it?!

I keep telling myself that I've "hit my breaking point," "hit rock bottom, " all of those appropriate buzz words.  But the truth is, have I?  There has got to be something that is keeping me from doing what needs to be done to drop my 40 excess pounds.

So, what is it???

I'm at a loss; I really am.  As I sit here typing, I'm chugging a Coke and thoroughly enjoying every calorie and carb-filled gulp.  It tastes like sweet, sin-filled nectar.  

My willpower must be crappy, right?  What else could it be?  If I had even the tiniest shred of willpower, I'd be able to resist the bad stuff and eat nothing but healthy foods, exercise like a fiend, drink nothing but water, and weigh 125 by June 1st.  Right?!


We all know the score with any diet - if we feel too deprived of one thing or another within the confines of said diet, we're going to eventually cheat, and inevitably fail.  I believe this to be my core issue, with every dietary rule and guideline I've been trying to impose on myself.  

I feel so damn RESTRICTED all the time, I can barely breathe.

I leave myself no room for error.  There is no room for any mistake of any kind, and I'm SUFFOCATING.

So, for sake of argument then, if this is my core problem / issue, it would explain just about everything that has occurred within my diet since I first started it back on September 20, 2010.  That was 126 days ago.  (Who, me?  Obsess???)  I weigh exactly 5.0 pounds MORE today than I did 126 days ago.

It could have been worse, though.

I have to figure out a way to not fall so far off my diet wagon that I sabotage my entire day (or sometimes entire week!) of doing good with my diet.  This is what I do.  Constantly.

I start every Monday with my brain in a sort of "clean-slate" mode.  I get up, weigh myself, drink a cup of tea or coffee, counting the calories like a good girl.

I get ready for work, eating nothing, drinking nothing more, and I try desperately to NOT think about how hungry I am until I can't stand it any more - preferably this would occur around 11:00 a.m.

At 11:00, I allow myself about 200 calories.  My entire day continues on in this vein; going as long as I can without eating when I'm hungry, without drinking when I'm craving a pop or coffee or juice, all the while being absolutely conscious of how many calories I've consumed so far that day, how many I'm going to allow myself to consume next, when that will be, and how long I'm going to have to wait after that before I'll be allowing myself any more calories.  All day, every day.  Trying to eat as much protein as I can, to keep up my energy; trying to make sure I'm getting enough of the vitamins and minerals I need to stay healthy, even though my food intake is ridiculously low; trying to eat the 5-6 "mini meals" you're supposed to eat to keep your metabolism firing at full-force throughout the day; trying to invent new and creative and interesting things to do with hummus, or jello.

Well, this is where all that ends for me.

I have to stop the obsessing about food.

For me, all that obsessing leads to nothing but failure and that leads to depression.  I try to outwardly make light of every time I eat or drink something I shouldn't, but the truth is, every single time I do that I'm simply cheating on my diet and preventing the completion of a successful dieting day.  I very rarely end a day at 1200 calories and go to bed.  I almost always cheat.  The plain, simple fact is, I SUCK at dieting.  

Maybe this is extra depressing for me because of the kind of person I've always been.  I'm fanatical about order and discipline and neatness.  I've been over-weight a total of 6 years of my adult 24 years, and those 6 years were the most depressing of my entire life.  They were depressing for me because I hate, absolutely DESPISE being fat.  I am disgusted by my reflection, and get naseous looking at pictures of myself.  I see success stories in magazines or online where people have lost 100 pounds, or even more, and I look at the Biggest Loser before and after photos and all I can think is, "If I weighed 400 pounds, there is NO WAY I could live with myself."  I don't think I could get out of bed in the morning, much less strap on a pair of running shoes and go for a walk, while trying to psych myself up to lose 100+ pounds.  I couldn't do it; I KNOW I couldn't.  I give those success story people all the credit in the world.

So, should I just try to get mad at myself, then?  Shame myself into sticking to my diet?  Tell myself, "You big, fat, cow!  Look at those Biggest Losers!  They lose HUNDREDS of pounds, and you can't even lose the first FIVE of your 40 extra pounds?!  What kind of a loser ARE you, besides a pathetic one?!"

Nah, that wouldn't work with me.  I don't do self-flagellation or deprecation very well.

So that leaves very few options left open to me.  One could be that I need to re-vamp my diet plan to make it less restrictive and more "do-able."  I wish I knew how to successfully do this.  I feel like I've tried every variation on this theme.  I've incorporated all of the different tactics and theories that have worked for me in the past, to no avail.  I've read diet books 'til I'm blue in the face and feel like they all pretty much say the same thing:   Lean meats, low-fat dairy, lots of veggies, lots of fruits, whole grains, legumes, good oils, no white-flour processed carbs, avoid sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, don't drink, don't smoke, exercise, get enough sleep, take your vitamins and drink 64 ounces of water per day!

OK, well, DUH.  Tell me something that every 6-year-old DOESN'T KNOW!!!

The real question is, "HOW?"

Has anyone written THAT book yet?  Because I can't remember reading that one, and I think if I had, I would REALLY remember it.  

I want to know the "how to" part.  Because everything on that list sounds great in theory, but DOING IT consistently, day in and day out, is @#$*^ DIFFICULT.  Judging by the looks of the rest of this country, I'm not the only person out there who thinks this.

Enough wallowing; it's making me ill.  Even though bitching is 100% calorie-free, it's making me feel like my stomach is full of something resembling two-week old chili.  My guts are churning tonight.  I weighed 164.0 this morning, which is ludicrous mainly because I was expecting at LEAST five pounds more than that, after the week I just completed.  Non-stop family events, non-stop eating, and non-stop diet guilt.  Oh, and non-stop depression about it all.

So I get on the scale, and it says I'm a half pound lighter after LITERALLY stuffing my face for the past 4 days.  How???  WHY?!?!?!?!  

Sometimes, none of this makes any @#$*^ sense to me.  When something like that happens, I literally feel like throwing my hands up and screaming, "WTF?!?!?!?!?!"  How can I be thrilled about a half pound lost when I KNOW I ate 16,000 calories in the last 96 hours?!  This is beyond ridiculous!!!

I can hear someone saying, "Don't complain!  You lost, rather than gained!"

This is true.  But it makes NO SENSE, and all I'm trying to do here is make sense of it all.  So my scale and my weight are both taxing my patience beyond measure today, and even though I've lost the equivalent of 2 whopping sticks of butter (right, Sarah L.?   LOL), I am finding it impossible to do a Happy Dance at this point.

So, time to figure this out.  I can't say I've got any new ideas.  I know I'm just rambling at this point, and if anyone out there ever does read this blog, by now they're scratching their heads wondering, "Damn, does she want to lose the weight or DOESN'T she?!"  To the average stranger (or blog-reader), it probably appears that I'm the least-motivated, most wishy-washy dieter ever born.  I can't even argue with that assessment.  

All I can do is keep trying to do something about it.

Here's hoping that by next Monday, I will have figured out even a tiny portion of this age-old paradox:  Why can't I stop CHEATING ON MY DAMN DIET, when what I want more than anything in this world is to LOSE THIS WEIGHT???????

Monday, January 17, 2011

Late Night Cravings and Other Things That SUCK ASS: 1/17/11

So I say to myself, I say, "SELF - YOUR WILLPOWER IS FOR SHIT!"

Truer words were never uttered.

I need a re-boot in the worst way.  I KNOW how to do this; I KNOW what I need to do to lose weight.  Why is it so much harder this time around?  I've done this before!  I lost 40 pounds, with no exercise, when I was 30.  Now, 12+ years later, nothing is working the same way.  Has my metabolism deteriorated that much in 12+ years?  Now, without exercise, I'm eating eating eating and gaining gaining gaining with no end in sight.  I'm completely disgusted with myself.  I can go all day without cheating or failing, and then 8:00 p.m. rolls around, and it's like I turn into a Hoover vacuum - if it's within sight or reach, I'm eating it.  

The worst (or best?) thing about all of this is that I don't despise exercise.  I don't adore the pain during or afterwards, but I think of my treadmill time or elliptical time as "alone time," which is something I have very very VERY little of.  When I'm on the treadmill, I get to throw in a movie (of MY choice!  TRUE BLOOD!  YEAH!), or blare Adam Lambert or Black Eyed Peas (which I can't do in the car with a toddler!) or sometimes just think or daydream.  In contrast; I actually relish my hour alone, even if it means that I have to move and sweat the entire time.  The thing that is so hard for me is finding that hour in my day, my week, MY LIFE.  You would think that it would be a simple matter of sitting down at one of our Sunday "family meetings," blocking out 4 or 5 hours a week for Mommy's work-out time, and that would be the end of it.  Not so.  There simply are not 4 or 5 hours in our family schedule for this to happen most weeks.  The thought of doing one or two treadmill walks per week seems like a waste of time to me.  What good could that possibly accomplish?!  I can't imagine it having enough positive affect to keep me motivated.  

(I can already hear distant voices, all saying, "EVERY workout helps!  Every little bit gets you that tiny little step closer to your end goal!")

This, of course, is true.  And utter crap at the same time.  I simply don't believe that one or two treadmill walks each week are going to peel 40 pounds off my body.  Nope.

I'm a little short on time tonight for writing.  I could have started earlier, but casually glanced at my Netflix Instant Queue while my Mattar Paneer was heating, and before I knew it, I was watching "Sleepless in Seattle."  It's been years since I've seen it, and it's just such a great flick!  I loved Meg Ryan before she rearranged her face.

LOVE Sleepless in Seattle.

Trout pout.  Ugh.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Slim Fast & Curried Rice Odyssey: 1/10/11

The past 3 1/2 months of dieting have sucked the Big Suck since Day One.  I've not only had zero success, but I'm actually 5.5 pounds heavier today than I was on September 20th, which was the day I started the diet, as well as this blog.  Needless to say, I'm a tad irate.  

So today I made the slightly faddish decision to go "old school" and do what has worked for me in the long past.  Back in 1998, I was carting around about 40 post-pregnancy pounds, and was working weird hours for the Postal Service (eek) and couldn't join a gym.  I had no time in my life to exercise or even a tiny desire to do it, so I decided to try Slim Fast.  In a nutshell... it worked.  I lost over 40 pounds in less than four months, and kept it off for over ten years - until I got pregnant for the second time, that is.
Which brings me to the eerily-familiar present.  Here I am again, with a two-year-old and about 40 pounds to lose in order for my pre-pregnancy clothes to fit me again.  Today, I started back on Slim Fast.  I feel a strange sense of relief to know that I've eliminated so many food choices and decisions from the process.  There are countless dieters out there who would/could argue that Slim Fast isn't "real food;" that's it's "so much healthier to just count every calorie and eat nothing but organic fruits & veggies, lean meats, fat-free dairy, and such."  They'd be correct.  That would be healthier.
Sadly, I'm beyond worrying about that particular "detail."  Health is absolutely important.  Slim Fast shakes contain 25 grams of carbs (THE DEVIL) and they've even added "nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners" in the past 10 years that give it a very faint after-taste that I don't love (THE HORROR!).  I'm not thrilled about either of those things.


The "Slim Fast Plan" DOES take off the pounds, and it works FAST.  The modern, 2011 formula contains an appetite suppressant (YIPPEE!) that somehow kills my hunger pangs dead for hours.  I have yet to find ANYTHING that achieves this with so little effort on my part.
The bottom line is, I don't have time for anything else right now.  I don't have time to re-join a gym, because I'm too busy working and chasing a two-year-old and running a household and trying to avoid catching every winter sickness out there.  I am juggling several full-time jobs here, and lets face it:  Dieting is ALSO a FULL-TIME JOB.  It requires constant thought, constant planning, constant attention, and I figure if I don't have time to haul my butt into the shower at least once a week, then what right do I have spending so much valuable time working on a diet that isn't working for me AT ALL?!
It made no sense to me.  So, I've handed the reigns to Slim Fast, and we'll see how it pans out.  The deal is the same as it has always been; you drink your two Slim Fast shakes, you eat three 100-calorie snacks of fruits or veggies, and then you eat your "sensible" 500-calorie dinner.  You think you'd be starving for lack of calories or variety, but I stuck to this today and I wasn't - not even a little bit.  I felt weirdly-full all day.  That was a welcome change from the way I've felt since last September 20th, which has basically felt like I've been starving myself to death.  Even on days when I consumed next to no carbs, I had a hunger response that was in over-drive.  It's simply not fair.  I must be abnormal.
So I am encouraged by my new Day One, and I hope it continues.  I have no ridiculous expectations.  I know some days are going to be tough, and others will downright suck.  That's dieting for you, right?  But at the very least, I feel better knowing that it'll be harder for me to mess this up, with my little silver can accounting for nearly half of what passes my lips every day.  I figure it gives me at least a 50% better chance of succeeding at dropping my 40 pounds.
On a final note, my 500-calorie dinners are going to be calorie-controlled as well.  I'm not willing to leave any more of my weight-loss journey up to chance.  I already tried the, "I can count every calorie and prepare healthy and exciting meals and still lose weight" bit.  I failed miserably.  Now, I simply want the pounds GONE FROM MY BODY.  So two Slim Fast shakes a day it is, maybe a banana or an apple, maybe a cup of herbal tea, maybe some raw carrots or cauliflower.  Yum.   For dinner, I'm going 100% Indian.  I have a freezer & cupboard stocked and ready.  All Indian meals, which are currently my favorite food OF ALL TIME.  I don't worry about boredom, at least not yet, because I have been addicted to this food and these flavors since 1996.  Tonight, it was one of these "Kohinoor"-brand meals, though something called "Kashmiri Rajma with Steamed Basmati Rice."
I found these on the shelf at Super One:

But my all-time favorite, found in the freezer section, is:


Monday, January 3, 2011

I Hereby Resolve: 1/3/11

Yeah, I've been gone for 72 days. 

No excuses here, not one.  Lots of reasons, for sure.  They're all the same reasons anyone lists when explaining why their diet derailed.  Mine didn't derail so much as it IMPLODED.

I've never been one to do something half-assed.  

I'm a full-fledged Virgo, which means if I'm going to do a blog about my weight-loss journey, then it's going to be continuous and it's going to be accurate and damn it, it's not going to be a rambling, chaotic piece of crap!

You know it's time to put your blog "pen" down for a little while when you're rambling on about dieting while shoving food in your face, yes?  Yes.

So I put it down.  I have spent the past 72 days pondering... pondering hard.  I have a lot of hard work ahead of me.  On September 20th, the day I started this blog, I weighed 159.0 pounds.  Today, on January 3, 2011, I weigh 164.0 pounds.  To a Virgo, this very simply means that I have spent the past 72 days gaining 5 pounds.  I prefer to look at it in exactly this way.  Matter-of-factly, clearly, without a bunch of "whys" and "how-it-happened."  

As a Virgo, I can tell you that there are many things about myself that are so blatantly "Virgo" that it's impossible to separate those facets of my personality from the tasks I undertake.  My eating and my blogging are no exception here.  Specifically, the Virgo traits that I have found to describe me the very best include the following:

*  Hardworking
*  Reliable
*  Logical
*  Highly intellectual
*  Strong work ethic
*  Knack for detailed work
*  Sort & organize information & objects
*  Compartmentalize things in ones own mind
*  View the world through an analytical lens
*  Rational
*  Practical
*  Fuss over little details
*  Suffer from obsessions & compulsions
*  Like to spend time alone
*  May prefer the company of animals to that of people
*  Virgos are perfectionists & whatever they do, they need to do it thoroughly & get it exactly right or they feel dissatisfied

Yep, pretty much.

So basically, I'm your average, every-day basket case.  

I started my blog, it was great for a month, then I started to slack on my diet, slack on my blog, and I became highly "dissatisfied" with the entire process, and the rest was Virgo history.  I escaped to ponder my failures and re-group and plan a strategy for my eventual, triumphant return.

So here I am.  I have returned.  

I'm five pounds fatter, but my pondering and analysis have led me to re-think a few things and "tweak" my plan somewhat.

For starters, I have slightly altered my Goal Weight.  This is HUGE, because I have been aiming at my "pre-baby-Paige" weight from Day One as though it was etched in stone.  Then, I printed out some pictures of myself at that weight (which was 122 pounds), from July of 2007.  I don't like how I look in those pictures.  I've got ribs sticking out in places, and I have to agree with my family members who say I almost look sick.  So... I'm "gifting" myself three pounds.  (PARTY!!!)  My new goal weight is 125, and seriously, if I love how I look and feel when I hit 130, that will be where I stay.  You see, I remember how hard it was to maintain that 122 pounds just 3 years ago.  I remember that I was hungry ALL THE TIME.  I was trying to "get skinny" so I could fit into my wedding dress on October 29th.  I succeeded.  I fit into my dress on my wedding day, but the people closest to me all told me that I looked either too skinny or sick.

122 pounds of McRibs.

So there you have it.

Today, I am 164.0 pounds.  I have 39 pounds to lose.


P.S.  All of my New Year's Resolutions this year apply to my weight-loss journey.  They are as follows:

1.  No fast food.  No Erbert's & Gerberts "Titan" subs with extra sun-dried tomatoes; no Dominos Pizzas with feta-cheese and veggies; no Pretzel Time pretzels; no Cold Stone Creamery sundaes; no Taco John's Potato Oles; no Arby's breakfast sandwiches; no Dairy Queen fries; no McDonald's yogurt parfaits or monster Cokes.  <sniff sniff>

2.  Whenever humanly possible, count every calorie I consume.  (No explanation needed.  Big Fat DUH.)

3.  Whenever humanly possible, get a workout in.  (Treadmill, elliptical machine, Tae Bo, crunches, weights, WHATEVER.  Just quit making excuses and DO IT, you LAZY COW.)

4.  Whenever humanly possible, shop & cook healthy stuff for the whole family.  More homemade meals, more lean meats, veggies, salads, homemade soups, sprouted grain breads, seafood, venison, less dips, sauces, dressings, & condiments.  DUH.

5.  Whenever humanly possible, choose my beverages WISELY:  LOTS MORE water, tea, 100% juice, and V8 juice; lots LESS pop, coffee, and anything sugary; avoid artificial sweeteners (and cancer) completely.

6.  Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.  (Please please PLEASE, Paige.)

7.  Less baking.  Less Chex Mix, cookies, muffins, biscuits, etc.  DUH.

8.  Try the following, to see if any of them have a positive effect on my life:  Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and Qigong.

9.  Whenever humanly possible, find the time to read, every day, and read as many weight-loss success stories and self-help books in 2011 as I can.

10.  Weigh myself and post a blog entry every single Monday in 2011.  It may only be one sentence.  It may be 1000 sentences.  But whatever it ends up being, it will be an honest depiction of my weight-loss journey.



I hate the fact that I have to THINK about food every minute of every day, in order to lose weight.  I hate that I feel as weak as I do, and as helpless as I do.  Many days, I feel like a complete, utter failure.  Many days, I simply don't care enough to try.  Simply put, losing these pounds is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, and that includes squeezing out not one, but TWO nearly-9-pound babies.  Even though I love my babies more than anything, I just cannot adopt the common ideal that I should "love my rounder, more motherly body, because my children created my curves."  Bullshit.  I DON'T love my fat.  I hate it, I want it gone, and I hope that the suffocating misery and depression I feel when I see myself in a mirror qualifies as "hitting rock bottom" in the weight-loss department.  We all know that we must hit rock bottom before we find that strength and resolve within ourselves to finally stick to our plans and succeed in getting rid of the weight.  I need it now.  I can't stand the sight of myself like this, or how miserable I feel being this heavy, for one more day.

I will continue to try to remind myself that "it" - weight-gain - can happen to ANYBODY:

Val Kilmer, when he was HOT.

Val, who is now NOT.

Kathleen Turner.  Gorgeous.


I always thought Mickey Rourke was beautiful.