Sunday, January 4, 2015

I've lost many battles, but not the war

January 4, 2015: Here we go again . . .
"Dammit," I thought as I did a little hop to get into my jeans and the reality of too many cannoli set in. "How could I have let myself gain this much weight over the holidays?' I began beating myself up which of course, made me want to go eat to ease the pain of the mental black eyes I had just given myself. It's a completely illogical mindset which is unusual for me given I'm generally pretty logical person.  

I've battled weight issues all my life, and I know that will never change.  From some asshole telling me in gym class in 7th grade that "you're fatter when you run," to sitting in the parking lot in Old Navy as an adult when I realized nothing in the store fit me, it's been a struggle. 

We make decisions every time we put food in our mouths. Some are good, others aren't. I can only change what I put in my mouth tomorrow. What's done is done, and it's time to get back in gear. I will not be a miserable 260 pounds again.

When you're fat (hey--I'm going to call a spade a spade here), you have to figure out works for you to help you be successful. For some it's surgery and others it's Weight Watchers. Even though I've recently had my biggest weight gain in 2 years, I really don't see myself as a permanent failure. I know what I need to do, and it's time to do it. For me, I find I need to do something "drastic" to help jumpstart my better eating habits. I have to cut out all refined sugars and carbohydrates to get it all out of my system. I shouldn't really be eating them anyway, but moderation is the key, and since I'm a food blogger, I'm faced with eating that sinful stuff on a semi-regular basis. And hey--I'm not complaining. You don't see me running the other way when I'm invited to try a new dish or judge a cannoli face-off. After a good detox, I can start adding back in moderation. I just have to acknowledge when I'm out of control. Sometimes that's the most difficult thing. I also:
  • eat half my portions when I go out to eat. This is America, if you get hungry, there's plenty of food around to eat again in a few hours. Also, don't worry about the economics of leaving food on the table. I'd rather waste money on uneaten food than waste money on a lifetime of medications.
  • eat protein and vegetables first. After that, I'll allow myself some carbs. I'm usually pretty full by that point, so I don't eat too much.
  • reluctantly exercise. I hate exercising. It sucks, but it's an important part of weight loss and gaining muscle.
  • weigh myself every day. I know this is controversial, but for me (and we are talking about me here), it keeps me in check. I don't stress about minor fluctuations, but if I see a general trend in one way or the other, it is a signal if I need to make adjustments here or there.
  • remind myself I'm doing this for my health and not my appearance. Although looking good is a great side effect, feeling good is even better. 
  • avoid refined carbs and sugar when I can. I don't need to explain this one. 
I may have lost this most recent battle, but I haven't lost the war.

January 1, 2016
The journey continues...

This year has been filled with many ups and downs, and the trend on the scale has been upward; however, I've made so many positive changes, and it's time to say it. 

FUCK THE SCALE. 

Yes, I said fuck, and if you're offended just stop reading and move on. I feel so strongly about this today. We need to throw the scale out the window and not look back. If you're making positive life changes with proper dietary corrections and exercise, then FUCK THE SCALE. (If you read my previous entry, you'll see my opinion has changed)

Choose something else as your measuring stick. 

Deprivation diets that focus on rapid weight loss is not the way to go. Find that red dress in the back of your closet that fit you beautifully ages ago. Squeeze your ass into it every few weeks and take a pic or take your measurements on a regular basis. Measure your progress in a different way than that damn number on the scale. You are not defined by that number. 

I weighed myself twice this year and each time, that number infected my brain like a little toxic worm. I beat myself up even though I was eating properly and exercising. It's not all about that damn number, folks. So just stop it. 

I've seen tremendous muscle gain in 2015 through the help of a personal trainer and also Crossfit which both incorporate weight lifting. Never in my 38 years would I thought I'd find a physical activity I love, but I love weight lifting. The cardio part isn't so fun for me, but I do it. So get off your ass and find something you like to do, too. 

No excuses. 

There are plenty of low impact activities if you have bad knees or a fat stomach. I started with private Pilates. It was my gateway drug into exercise. There are also personal trainers out there who will push you but are not assholes. Believe me, I've had experience with those types and they humiliated me and turned me off from physical activities. If you don't like one, try another. I owe so much to my trainer, Brandon Morales. He has no idea what an impact he has had in my life.  I don't see him too much anymore but I'm considering picking up a couple of sessions a month with him because I miss the personal training aspect of fitness. 

So am I a little frustrated with my lack of fat loss this year? Sure! Especially considering my diet is better than it ever has been (and being a food writer, this is a challenge) and I'm exercising more in a week than I did in all of 2012, but how would falling off the wagon and returning to who I was be productive? 2016 is time to fine tune and adjust, and the fat loss will come.  

So cheers to a HEALTHY 2016 and a landfill full of scales.