Last week I mentioned how much the Temptations on The Biggest Loser annoy me, because they always presume that consuming any calories is the wrong choice. In real life, that's just not the case, and it's irresponsible to promote that kind of all or nothing thinking. What you end up with, in my experience, is a kind of binge/purge (not necessarily literally) routine.
In thinking about temptation, and my upcoming weekend which will include 3 meals out and spending time at a bar, I've come up with some categories of temptations.
1) The Tamale Temptation: G and I used to have a rule: if you're counting points and you come across a free sample of food somewhere, you get it eat it, points free. It's a little bonus. This can work in some cases, such as if you're at Trader Joe's and the woman gives you a thimbleful of roasted red pepper tomato soup. But how far can you take it? What if, instead of a thimbleful of soup, you're offered the whole tamale?
This is what happened to us this weekend. The Mexican grocery store around the corner finally opened, and our neighbor informed G that they were offering free tamales to anyone who entered. Now, think about this: this is not the equivalent of, for example, a free burrito at Taco Bell. This is a real tamale, made by someone who knows tamales, and who wants to give one to you so you will return to her store.
We took the tamale. May not have been the right choice, and obviously there are many factors to consider (what else did you eat that day, can you cut anything from what you plan to eat, etc.) but I don't think it was a terrible choice.
2) The Special Event Temptation: You're at a wedding. Someone is taking you out to a nice restaurant. It's your birthday. You just paid off your mortgage. These are momentous occasions, worth celebrating. And my general philosophy is that you should celebrate such moments, and not worry about calories. Obviously, you should minimize what you eat the rest of the day, and make sure you sweat balls at the gym all week in anticipation, but when the moment comes, choosing a wilted salad when you really want the steak everyone else is eating, is not necessary. Especially on your birthday.
For example, Friday night we are going out with our brother and sister-in-law. The meal out is our Christmas gift to each other, and it's restaurant week here. We picked a restaurant we have been dying to try. Will I order the lightest thing on the menu? No! Not unless it's the one that appeals the most. I will look forward to the meal all week while eating my quinoa salad and veggie stir fry, and I will enjoy it.
3) The Not-So Special Event: This, of course, is the problem. It's not your birthday, but you're going out for a nice meal with friends you don't see often. Or it is your birthday, but yesterday was Christmas and tomorrow is Valentine's Day and as far as you can see are special events. This is where it gets tough. Saturday we're meeting friends for lunch at the place that has the best burger and fries I've ever eaten. Saturday night is a birthday party, followed by watching G's brother's band at a bar. What gives here?
Considering Friday night, it all has to give. I've got to pass on the burger and fries, try to exercise, eat a small serving of whatever is served at the party (no cake!) and perhaps order one light drink at the bar. Can I still have a great day? Yes. Will I be tempted? Hell yes. Will I succeed? Only time will tell, but having a plan should help.
4) Envy. This one is pretty simple. G had a special event, something I missed, and now I want my McDonalds! This has tripped us up more than just about any other temptation. I did OK this last weekend while G was away, but these just get harder as time goes by. This is really where you have to rely on will power, and perhaps, if you've made room for it, give yourself a little treat. Not McDonalds, but a small dessert, or a moderate snack.
Damn. I gained a pound. And I deserved to gain, too. I spent the first four days of last week being very good and exercising a lot, and then Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I was generally out of it. I wasn't terrible, not like I have been in the past. In other words, I didn't down half a pizza and 10 chicken wings in one sitting, but I just wasn't careful.
Friday night I watched TV for hours, and had a nibble there, a sip of wine there, and all told ended up about 12 points over my limit. Not too bad, but not good.
Saturday I did walk about 6-7 miles, and managed pretty heroic self-control at brunch. But Saturday evening G and I went to a bar to hear his brother's band, and we ordered hoagies that came with fries, and had several drinks. Very bad.
Sunday we were going to be good, and started off OK with a piece of toast for breakfast. We planned to eat steak for dinner, but not much else, which would have been a fine day. I even threw away a serving of delicious macaroni and cheese that G had brought back from his trip. Then our neighbor told us that the brand-new Mexican grocery store on the corner was handing out free tamales. Hello! You can't pass that up! And I don't feel guilty about eating one. I do feel guilty about drinking a couple beers and a couple cocktails. There was just no need for that.
And that, I think, sums it up. Had I not imbibed, I probably would have lost weight this week. I'd had two good-sized losses in a row, and knew that couldn't continue, but I let my guard down and need to get back on track. This upcoming week will be a good test--we are going out to dinner at a nice place Friday night, and I plan to thoroughly enjoy that meal. But I can't let it throw me off for the rest of the weekend.
The love-hate relationship continues, this week a little more hate then love.
-I think the temptations are just stupid. In my mind, if the potential benefit outweighs (hehe) the potential detriment, then it is not a bad thing to choose to participate in the temptation. There just doesn't seem to be much of a real-world correlation here. (I realize I'm asking a lot of a reality show, but still.) The way the temptations are set up, if you falter, you are wrong, period. I suppose it's supposed to show that you can always rationalize making a bad decision, and urge contestants not to do that, but it seems so black and white, like if you ever eat a bite of fast food, you have failed. And while certainly the fried chicken and cupcakes on display last night should be avoided, particularly when attempting to lose weight, I don't think it's healthy at all to pretend that there will never be an occasion to eat such food. In fact, I think Joelle might chill the F*%# out if she just got some McDonalds, as apparently Carla did. All or nothing thinking seems destined for failure. Which is why I prefer Weight Watchers to the Atkins diet.
-Where was Dan during the temptation?
-Big kudos to Kristin and Tara for their effort in the challenge. Tara, to me, looks like the woman to beat. If she falls below the yellow line and the other team decides to play strategically, I think they'd have to get rid of her. Her attitude contributes a lot to her team, and her monopoly on challenges is a threat.
-Orange kid at home, what are you DOING? Last week it was hot dogs, this week it's fried chicken? When the person you're with is eating salad? Hello???
Well color me surprised. I lost 3 pounds. Earlier in the week when I was really pushing myself in the gym I hoped for that, but I indulged a little over the weekend and was hoping for any loss at all. I'm encouraged, and excited to keep going!
First, my Sunday report. Again, this is my cheat day, but I didn't want to be completely terrible, so I got up and did the Biggest Loser Cardio video first thing. It felt good to exercise on a day when I wasn't counting--felt like a good decision to make. Then people came over for our playoffs party--our team lost, but we had a good time. G made burgers, I made sweet potato fries and a clementine cake, and friends brought some other stuff. I don't feel too bad about what I ate--over the course of the day, two burgers, some of the fries, a little piece of cake, a few pieces of a quesadilla. I did, however, drink a lot of beer. But I sent almost all the leftovers home with other people, and I feel fine today, so I'm ready to keep going.
This week will be tough. School starts again, so I'll have to make time for exercise and healthy cooking, rather than just having the time. Also, G is going out of town for the weekend, so I'll be all alone and tempted to entertain myself with food. I'll have to make a plan earlier in the week for how to deal with that.
Current weight: 204.5. Almost to the point where I feel like I can start actually losing weight, rather than playing catchup from the holidays.
One of my favorite things is the feeling of superiority I get when I can see through a ridiculous health claim. (Hey, this blog is about honesty. We all like to feel superior. Fact.)
Here's a good one: bon appetit magazine (which I actually really enjoy, and get tasty, easy, and somewhat light recipes out of) now claims that using a knife instead of a food processor is exercise.
That's utterly ridiculous. It may burn approximately two more calories than holding the food processor button down, but it is not in any way exercise. I'm sorry. I'm the kind of person who pats myself on the back for some pretty ridiculous shit and calls it exercise*, but even I cannot go this far.
*For example: doing housework, shopping, standing when I could be sitting, being cold.
-Still enjoying The Biggest Loser against my better judgment. This week, I felt for the contestants in their dilemma over who to eliminate (elderly guy who fainted on day 1, or the Biggest! Contestant! Ever! who is so young and needs help so much). I also sympathized with the week 2 angst, since I'm also worrying that my body will adjust itself to the new regimen and the weight won't come off. I also wondered what's up with the guy at home eating two hot dogs and french fries as soon as he got back? And isn't Joelle's partner awesome, with her "sweating to the oldies in the living room" routine? I'd like to borrow a little of her drive and Tara's enthusiasm. I do wonder how much intervention the producers make with the contestants at home--do they all get gym memberships, or are the wealthier contestants better off in that department, just like in real life?
-Yesterday I ate out for the first time since beginning this thing. (It's only been a week in a half, but it still feels like an accomplishment to go that long without eating out.) I had a meeting which took place at a sports bar/pub kind of place. I planned ahead of time that I would get a garden salad and some kind of soup, and I actually wasn't tempted at all by the burgers/fries section of the menu. I was pretty pleased about this, because in the past, G and I have tended to consider eating out something beyond our control. And certainly, I think that on special occasions at nice restaurants, you have to eat what you want otherwise you'll eventually crash and burn. But during a lunch meeting? I didn't need anything beyond what I had.
-Looking ahead to the weekend: we'll be hosting a playoff-watching party with a few friends and the in-laws. G will be making burgers and I'm going to do sweet potato fries. He's also going to put out a mini-keg. As long as I'm good the rest of the week, I won't feel too bad about enjoying those offerings, and, um, yeah. I'm looking forward to the look on my mother-in-law's face when she sees the keg. Had to be said.
In order to break myself out of the second-week slump, I've decided to concentrate on my goals. I don't like to orient myself too much around week-to-week weight loss goals, because I know things can fluctuate. Instead, I'm looking forward to three events this year that I would like to feel good for.
The first is my cousin's wedding in March, which will be the next time I see my family. One of the absolute worst things about being heavy is seeing someone after an absence and knowing that you weigh more than you did the last time they saw you. I hate the feeling that my parents will see me and think, "That's too bad, looks like she's gained a few." Of course they love me unconditionally, but they want me to be healthy and happy, and they can't help but notice. So, for the wedding on March 21, I would like to be in the 195 pound range. That would mean a loss of about 12 pounds in the next 10 weeks. It's a little bit of a tall order--I usually hope for about a pound a week--but I think I can do it.
I also have a good friend's wedding at the end of May, and my brother-in-law's wedding in late August. After each wedding, I'll evaluate my progress and set a more specific goal for the next one. The brother-in-law wedding will definitely necessitate a new dress, and I'd love to be able to go shopping for it feeling great about how I look.
OK. Yesterday was my cheat day, but I tried not to overdo it. For example, I ate only six chicken wings when there was a whole bowl of them sitting in front of me for several hours, and I LOVE chicken wings. I'm counting that as a victory, dammit. I also ate some bread and cheese, and then for dinner, G made sausage and peppers. I had two sausages, and one and a half rolls. After eating light all week this sounds like a lot, but honestly, compared to the way we've been eating lately, this was really not that bad. I'm especially proud that we managed not to eat out at all this week, and I think that if we can continue to avoid the delivery/takeout stuff, it will be really good for us. (And we'll save money! Bonus!)
I did drink quite a bit last night. I don't want to write it down because it seems so excessive, but the whole point here is honesty, so here it is: 3 beers, a vodka with lemon, and 3 scotches. For the record, I can hold my liquor, so while this amount might make some people sloppy drunk or even puking drunk, it just made me drunkish. I'm not presenting that as something positive necessarily, but just clarifying that I didn't get puking drunk last night. Yay me?
On to other things. I weighed in this morning. 207.5 Which means I lost four pounds last week. I should feel great about that, but in fact, this is where it really hits me how much I weigh right now. All through the fall I was hovering at just above 200 pounds. That 7.5 pounds
that I have to lose to get back to where I was before the holidays isn't going to come off quickly, and I won't really feel like I have made any progress until it does. So I'm discouraged. I don't feel like exercising, either.
The good news is, I have my meals planned for the week, and I'm not in any way tempted to go out and eat McDonalds or something like that--I'm still feeling positive about eating well. Onward and upward.
Eating well and exercising during the week is one thing, but weekends have always been my Kryptonite. Weight Watchers (at least the plan I'm roughly following, which is several years old) allows for this by giving you 35 bonus points per week (you get a certain points allowance each day--right now mine is 26). So theoretically, if you stay on points during the week and then go out to eat or to a party on the weekend, you can enjoy yourself a little, let loose. Unfortunately, over time, G and I let this turn into an approach best described as "weekends=free-for-all." Which just doesn't work.
This weekend, I knew that we would be hanging out with friends on Sunday to watch a playoff game, so I wanted that to be our only activity that would tempt us. I went so far as declaring that G could not call anyone to make plans for Saturday, even though he wanted to. However, I don't always want to be this restrictive--I want to be able to have fun without consuming copious amounts of calories. I hope I can learn to do this, and live like a normal person on the weekends, but for the first weekend, I decided to be super strict.
So far, so good. We ate stuffed squash and chicken sausage for dinner last night, and I have a bean casserole in the oven tonight. I'm particularly impressed with our efforts today because we were out shopping and really wanted to get Chick Fil A. We can usually rationalize Chick Fil A because it's healthier than other fast food, but we decided it just wasn't the best idea.
Now, we just have to stay away from the liquor cabinet--another major weekend temptation.
The Mark Bittman piece I referenced below coincided with my trip today to Trader Joe's to stock up on staples for eating well, so I thought I'd blatantly steal his concept and list my own Trader Joe's pantry essentials. This list is less what I always have in my pantry, and more what a seasoned Trader Joe's shopper (I have memories of going there for a Sunday afternoon treat as a child) considers the best deals in the store.
-Fair Trade coffee. They have a large selection, and we like all of them.
-Chicken sausage. Again, there's a big variety, and one sausage is usually between 2 and 4 WW points, which makes it an easy and tasty protein on a night when I don't have a lot of time to cook. My cooking tends to focus on vegetables and grains, so I like to have easy proteins.
-Pine nuts. They are so much cheaper here then at the grocery store. I throw them on salads, and in pastas and green beans.
-Cooked lentils. I will do the work of soaking and cooking lentils/beans myself when I have planned ahead, but these are great to have on hand for when I haven't.
-Feta cheese. In salads, in a Mediterranean style pita sandwich, in some of my regularly repeated recipes. Feta is the cheese I use most often, along with parmesan.
-Fish. There wasn't much of a selection today, but usually I'll pick up a bunch of tilapia or mahi-mahi. When G and I are on track, I'll cook fish several nights a week. TJs is usually a good place to get it frozen, although I'd like to get into a routine of buying it fresh. Not sure what the cost differential is.
-Frozen burritos. You can get some reasonably healthy ones at Trader Joe's, and again, great for a quick easy meal.
-Power bars for G. Personally, I don't like most of them. They're too many points for a snack, but I don't get enough satisfaction out of them to use them as meal replacements. G plays basketball, though, and he likes to eat them before or between games.
-Quinoa. I've been experimenting with it lately, and have found it to be everything everyone says: versatile, tasty, healthy. I also like to check out the rest of the grain section and pick up anything interesting. I've cut myself off from this lately because my pantry is full of things like Israeli couscous and random blends that I haven't used yet.
-Unfortunately, NOT wine. Here in PA, you can't buy alcohol in grocery stores, so I listen with jealousy to rapturous stories of two-buck chuck. Maybe one day the laws will change.
Holy cow, my body is broken. Bob kicked my ass. I did the Biggest Loser cardio workout from On Demand yesterday, my first time doing a workout video, and I am sore in places I didn't even know had muscles.
I'm taking today off from exercising, because I don't want to burn out, but I am going to do some stretching. And I plan to get back into the gym tomorrow. Not sure if I'll stick with the bike, try the elliptical, or get back on the treadmill. The bike I know I can stick out for a good 45-50 minutes, and at this point, I'm going for endurance. The treadmill will likely discourage me as I won't be able to run much at all. The elliptical is a big unknown. Perhaps a combo of all three?
*Because I cannot watch this show without eating. However, I make stove-popped Amish red popping corn (I'm a bit of a snob about it) with a little bit of oil, no butter or anything. It beats Doritos, anyway.
**G and I have been enjoying a routine of a nightcap with a book right before bed, but we have a bottle of kind of nasty rum that I bought to make a pie in the fall and we want to work on finishing it before drinking the good stuff--his slowly expanding scotch collection. So if it seems totally random, it is.
1) I enjoyed reading Mark Bittman's heavily emailed NYTimes piece today on how to stock a pantry. THIS is how I want to cook and think about food. Food, and cooking, should be fun and inspiring and fresh and delicious, and if occasionally there's butter involved, oh well.
2) I watched the Biggest Loser last night, feeling conflicted. Part of me despises the show from an entertainment perspective--it does not need to be two hours long, and the product placements are ridiculous. (Find amusing recaps of the episode here and here.) I also have serious reservations about the message the show sends--perfectly encapsulated last night when the Biggest! Contestant! Ever! lost 30 pounds in the first week and made a statement along the lines of "In the past, I tried to lose weight and it took me four months to lose 32 pounds--now I'm doing it the right way." NO! That is not the right way! That is the insane way, and expecting you can maintain that pace, and suggesting to viewers that working hard for four months and losing 32 pounds is not an accomplishment to be proud of is hella dangerous. On the other hand, I'm such a sucker for triumphant moments when they see how much they've lost. Also, I like the exercise montages, and when I was riding the bike in the gym yesterday and tempted to get off after 30 minutes, I did think to myself, "On the Biggest Loser, they stay in that gym for hours. Come on now, you can do this a little longer!"
3) On a related note, I stayed home today because it is rainy and nasty outside and I'm still nursing a bit of a cold. However, I recently heard that On Demand has some free workout videos, so I checked them out. I went into not expecting much because my impression was that these things are way corny. Also, I have about a two foot square space in front of the TV in which to maneuver, and when you jump up and down in that space, the whole house shakes. I tried a Biggest Loser cardio workout led by Bob, and something called a Boost walking workout led by a very giggly and annoying woman. I have to say, I enjoyed the workout. Bob's workout had me doing all kinds of aerobic movements I'd never have come up with, and it made me seriously sweat. The walking one was verrry corny, and more of an ad to sell their Boost products (handheld weights, elastic belts) but I just used my two cans of Goya beans and kept my heartrate up for another 20 minutes. I don't know that I would want to do the same workouts regularly, because the "impromptu" mugging for the camera would get really old, but it's good to know these are available for, yes, a rainy day.
No, that's not Mom I'd Like to F. It's the Mother-In-Law Factor.
Here's the thing. I will admit that I am irrational when it comes to my mother-in-law. I can see that, out of all my friends, I probably have the most desirable mother-in-law. She and my father-in-law bend over backwards to help us out, to the extent of letting us live with them for a year while we bought and renovated our first house. She is generous, kind-hearted, loves her family, and eager-to-please.
And she drives me nuts.
One of the main issues in our relationship is weight. Mine, in particular, although she is also concerned about her own, her immediate family's, her extended family's, her neighbors', and most likely the mailman's. The reason this becomes an issue between us is because of my own parents and their approach to grown children: hands off. They love and support me and my husband, but they generally refrain from advice, handouts, and occasionally even contact. My mom apologizes when she calls me because she doesn't want to intrude, even though I call her almost every day.
My mother-in-law, on the other hand, worries. She worries so much that I rarely see her truly enjoy herself. And one of her main sources of worry is weight. At holiday parties, she seems to have a rule that for every tasty treat that enters her mouth, one stressed-out weight-related comment must escape. It puts a damper on appetizers.
To her credit, years ago, when I first began dating her son, I was very open about the fact that I was trying to lose weight, and even, when we were engaged, allowed her to pay for Weight Watchers for us, something I now majorly regret. Because of this, she feels she is my ally in weight loss, and this takes many forms. First, comments about weight. Second, offers to exercise with me. Third, offers to pay for Weight Watchers/gym memberships. Fourth, when divvying up leftovers after a party, my husband and I get all the salad and fruit, while others get anything carb or desert-related.
Last spring, she emailed me and invited me to join her in Weight Watchers over the summer, her treat. I took my time to unclench my fists and write what I hoped would be a thoughtful email, explaining that I preferred not to do Weight Watchers with her for a variety of reasons. I claimed that I no longer wanted to talk about my weight with anyone, my own parents included, because I was not at a place where I wanted any kind of public struggle. She thought I was angry and that our relationship was forever damaged. I tried to reassure her, but I hoped that at least the message had gotten across: keep your effin nose out of my weight issues, please, forever, thank you.
Today when G stopped by their house to drop something off, she offered again to pay for WW or a gym membership for us. He got frustrated and accused her of interfering; she started crying. She said that she had lain awake the night before worried about us. He tried to defuse the situation as best as he could. He was also very understanding of my feelings and how unwelcome this offer was, as much as we could use the dinero.
I hate this stuff. I hate having to worry that my behavior is causing someone somewhere to lose sleep, but I also think that the problem there is with her, not me. I know I have problems; for example, at parties, I have a rule: for every stressed-out weight-related comment that escapes her mouth, I shove two calorrific snacks in my mouth, and hope she's watching. This is clearly a self-defeating behavior, but it's how I cope. Stupid, I admit it.
G emailed her and said that he appreciated the offer and their generosity, but that we wouldn't be accepting and that she shouldn't bring it up again. I hope the matter rests, but I know that the next time I see her at any kind of function with food involved, she will have a pained look on her face that will make me crazy and self-destructive. It's so frustrating! I want to use my weight-monitoring resources to do things like plan healthy meals and learn to enjoy exercise, not to appease my mother-in-law!
All well and good to state my weight and tell my story, but weight loss calls for more than reflection. I need a plan.
As mentioned below, I've done Weight Watchers. I'm not going to meetings now, but the most success I have had came with the discipline of tracking everything I eat. Yesterday I went out and bought a notebook and a pen to keep track of points.
I'm going to list everything I eat on this blog: that's the truth part. I will also celebrate every drop of exercise. Over the next two weeks I am on break, so I plan to spend time exercising every day and hope to drop some holiday pounds quickly. For now, I am taking long walks and riding the bike at the gym. Ultimately, I'd like to get back into running, but I need to shed a few pounds first. At the end of these two weeks, when I go back to school, I want to have a schedule planned out for when I will go to the gym. G wants to plan one night a week where we walk together, and plan to go for long walks/runs together on the weekends.
As far as food goes, I am actually quite good at cooking healthy meals, and I love eating them. I love whole grains and vegetables and fish. We rarely buy processed food--I seriously hate packaged crap. My problem is that in addition to my love of healthy home-cooked meals, I love greasy, fatty takeout, as well as delicious meals in fancy restaurants. I grew up around the world, and there is very little that I don't want to eat. I don't have a sweet tooth, but I can eat a whole bag of Doritos. (OK, some packaged crap I'm tempted by--what I really hate is packaged "health" food, like Lean Cuisine or 100 Calorie Packs of nasty cardboard simulated food.) My philosophy about food is basically what Michael Pollan outlines in In Defense of Food: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." However, a philosophy is easy to state and hard to live by.
For now, I am basically doing Weight Watchers, in tracking points based on the calories, fiber, and fat in food. I won't be cooking much red meat or simple carbs, but I don't have any hard and fast rules either.
My first post included the ugly details: my weight right now, and how I've been eating. But of course, there's more to the story.
I grew up active. I lived in a city and walked everywhere. I did gymnastics and played volleyball and went to the pool all the time. At 13, I moved from my beloved (equatorial, fairly exotic) city to the Midwest. It felt like hell. I curled up in front of the TV, ate out of boredom and mild depression, and tried to survive my first winter. I did survive, but I had gone from a fairly fit preteen to postpubescent piece of chub. I gained weight every year of high school and left for college a size 16.
Surprisingly, I did not gain the Freshman Fifteen. I can't be sure about the details because I never weighed myself in college, but my dress size never changed. I was heavy, for sure, but I didn't have a car or any money, so I rarely had food in my room to snack on and I walked much more than I had before.
Senior year some things began to change. I could drink (something I never did before I turned 21), I had a car, and I had a boyfriend. My relatively ascetic life of only eating in the cafeteria was suddenly replaced by weekly trips to Chili's for Margarita Mondays.
After graduation, my boyfriend, G, joined Weight Watchers. He had done it before and had success. He was a very athletic guy whose metabolism and activity had evened off in college, and who developed a love of beer. G convinced me to do Weight Watchers with him (not in a creepy "you need to look better way," promise). This was my first attempt at official weight loss, and it went pretty well at first. I lost about 15 pounds, began shopping for size 14s, and started to recognize the portions that made sense for my body.
Over the next two years, G and I were always trying to count points (WW terminology) and generally yo-yo'ed around the same 5-10 pounds. Then we got married, and damn if I didn't gain 40 pounds.
It didn't happen quickly. It took 3 and a half years, and that's where I am now. I don't blame it on marriage, certainly. As much as G has introduced me to wonders I never new about before (good quality pizza, craft beer, hoagies, etc.) I take full responsibility for the expansion. And it hasn't been a steady increase, either. I have had periods of success, which are then usually derailed by something like the holiday season or a stressful period, and pounds pounds pounds.
One thing I have achieved since the wedding is learning that I have the ability to exercise. Ever since I gained that first weight the winter I was 14, I have felt embarrassed at the thought of exercise, like people would laugh if they saw my fat ass trying to run down the block. With G's help, though, I started going to the track. The first time there, I ran a quarter of a lap. Nine months later, I was able to run 5 miles and join my family in the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, which I had only ever walked before. This was, like, seriously, my proudest moment, and it was only a year ago. Since then, I've exercised somewhat consistently, but haven't been running much. But I know that I CAN, which, five years ago, I couldn't even comprehend.
That's my story, and I'm hoping the next year brings some changes.
I'm 5'1 and this morning I weighed in at 211.5 pounds. Those are morbidly obese numbers. I could go on The Biggest Loser and fit right in. I have unsightly rolls, celluloid puckering, and a great white expanse where most people have asses. I wear a size 18. Yesterday I had two hot dogs for lunch and half of a pizza for dinner, along with lots of beer. That's the ugly truth about where I am right now.
I am also, of course, many other things: smart, hardworking, blessed with a good sense of humor, wife to a great man, sister to a lovely lady, daughter of absolutely wonderful parents. I've won awards for my writing, give very good tours, and cook many delicious and healthy meals. On my best days, I am interested and interesting.
But I am also fat, and I want to change that about myself. I want to be able to run again, I want to stop worrying about diabetes whenever I get thirsty, and I want to go shopping and get excited about how I look in cute outfits, dammit!
I have tried to lose weight before, and always. I've had success and failure. I don't think that this time will be any different, but I figured I could at least start with the truth.