Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 41

As expected, this week's weigh-in reflects a re-settling of the water stores. Interestingly (to me), I was even down another 2 lbs for a few days last week, before re-gaining them (and the additional 0.6) for weigh-in yesterday. What a strange system.

Could the wee gain also be partially related to the TWO movies I attended over the weekend, at EACH of which I consumed a small bag of movie popcorn, at about a kajillion milligrams of sodium apiece? Possibly! Worth it? As my idol Sarah Palin would say, "you betcha!"

[Permission to commence flaming in the comments.]

I had the Points headroom for the popcorn, so I just entered it and enjoyed it. If the sodium did actually contribute to water gain, it'll be gone by next week. It's surprising how OK I've become with that.

A few notes from this week.

1. As much as I'm a blowhard about all this here, hidden by my blog, I'm still humiliated by this whole thing.

I've only revealed this blog to people I trust not to judge me.

It's a funny thing - anyone who looked at me a year ago (and even a few months ago) could have told you I had an unhealthy approach to feeding myself. It was no secret, it was visible to the naked eye. So why is it so humiliating to admit to?

You might say: people will be supportive of your efforts to deal with your problem.
I might say: yes, but they'll still be thinking of me as a person with a weakness they don't have, and will judge me for it.

You might say: people think about your weight far less than you think they do.
I might say: probably true, but that has absolutely no impact on how I feel about anything.

You might say: but you've lost almost 100 pounds! You're not that person anymore!
I would definitely say: I am exactly that same person; I just wear smaller clothes now.

It's a long, long road to being OK with all this... which leads me to note #2.

2. Say what you will about Oprah, she is very brave when it comes to her struggles with food, and deserves a huge amount of respect. 

I don't watch Oprah as a rule, but I saw ads for yesterday's show last week and wasn't going to miss it: it was 100 of her viewers who've each lost more than 100 lbs, having been inspired by something they saw on her show.

She kicked off the show with a retrospective about her own struggle with her weight and with food addiction, in a way that I appreciated for its candour. Given my hang-ups about admitting to my weight, my weight problem, and my food issues, especially given that I don't have an entire industry of tabloid "journalists" and comedians making it their careers to publicly ridicule me for my failings, I can't imagine what balls it must take for her to talk openly about it. Wow.

But then...

3. I wish Oprah would change her language about weight.

As she described her guests' struggles with their weight, Oprah used language like "her weight ballooned to...". I would have expected Oprah to understand how words can hurt. Or maybe I'm just too sensitive.

4. I don't see my weight loss the way other "big losers" seem to.

In that same show, Oprah talked with selected guests about their own weight losses, and each time, showed their "before" pictures. As she discussed their accomplishments and journeys, she asked them what they would tell that person in the "before" picture, and most said something along the lines of "if you don't deal with this, you're going to die."

That's not what I'd tell 90-pounds-ago me, though it's very possibly true.

I'd tell the smiling woman in my "before" pictures "you feel alone, but you're not."  Though I have always been surrounded by people who love and support and value me, being that big was the loneliest feeling I've ever had.

Nowadays, I don't feel that way as much - I think I "blend in" better with the rest of the population... visually, at least. But I'm not really one of them: I still struggle with food every single day, regardless of my size.

I am a very fat girl in a less-fat body.  Will that ever change? I've no idea.

Time will tell, I guess.

GAIN this week: 0.6
Lost so far: 89.2
Still remaining: 10.8
Activity points earned this week: 38
Weeks to go: 11

Monday, July 18, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 40

I'm 40 weeks in, and I still can't explain this strange roller-coaster of weight-loss. I swear, my behaviour doesn't change week to week particularly, other than that I run slightly longer each week (like, enough to account for maybe 2 Activity PointsPlus).  That's it; other than the phases of the moon, there's nothing to explain this.

With this loss, I'm once again confident that I'll make the Thanksgiving deadline for my 100 pounds - but I'm also confident that a nonsense gain isn't too far in my future, as they seem to follow super-awesome loss weeks. It'll suck, but I'll have to just come back and read this post to remind myself of what will follow.

"Can you eat this?"

There is a person in my life whom I love, and who loves me. This person wants to help support my weight loss, and whenever she cooks for me, she makes sure to ask whether I can eat what she's planning on serving, and then tells me what she used to prepare it. It is so sweet. It is so sweet that I feel like a complete jerk for dreading the exchange every time.

The problem is that this person, who has never for a moment had to worry about her weight (she eats like a bird), has no idea what is good or bad from a weight-loss perspective. So after I've been asked if I can eat steak, we have BBQ steak (yay!) with garden-fresh bell peppers (yay!) pan-fried in sesame oil (d'oh). We have green salad (yay!) pre-dressed with an oily dressing (d'oh). We have boiled (yay!) potatoes (d'oh).

I'm certain this person is changing the menu for all 9 people around the table based on what she feels will be most helpful to me... but isn't getting it right. I don't have the heart to tell her, because it is so sweet of her to be doing it at all, and because I know she'll be embarrassed and/or hurt no matter how well I try to phrase it.


Loss this week: 4.8
Lost so far: 89.8
Still remaining: 10.2
Activity points earned this week: 41
Weeks to go: 12

Monday, July 11, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 39

Trust the program.
Trust the program.
Trust the program.

This was my mantra for the latter part of this week, as I found on returning home from my fabulous runs and austerity eating at the farm that my weight still hadn't budged an ounce. I was pissed off, quite frankly - and actually forced myself to go back a few weeks to the post after my last plateau, in which I talked about how you need to trust the program and the loss will follow.

Past me lectured current (at the time) me, which enabled future me (at the time, now known as today me) to actually achieve a loss, rather than the gain that would inevitably have followed eating my frustration in french fries.

Thanks, past me!   :)

I took Child to Kelsey's tonight for dinner (making good on a promise, following a bout of unusually good behaviour!), and was faced once again with a challenging menu. Luckily, Kelsey's posts its nutritional information online; unluckily, there's not much there for folks who are watching what they're doing from a weight-management perspective.

In the past, I've had the fajitas - which are quite yummy, but when consumed with the tortillas (as if they wouldn't be?) they amount to 22 PointsPlus... a bit rich for my blood.  While the salads look pretty good, they are also fat-laden - they all seem to sport bacon or guacamole or a creamy dressing.

So tonight, I tried the vegetarian pizza. The good news is that it really is delicious - tomatoes, spinach, onions on a nice crust with generous cheese (next time I'll ask them to go light on the cheese - I think it could have half as much and still be good); the bad news is it's 25 PointsPlus. But it's also quite big (I'm going to say a foot in diameter?), so I ate half for supper and will have the other half for lunch tomorrow. Ran today and will again tomorrow, so I'll have an extra Activity Points cushion.

I'm not normally a "box it up and take the rest home" person - it's unusual for me not to finish a meal in a restaurant, no matter how big the portion. But this is so big that I was able to do that and still feel satisfied. Thanks, Kelsey's!

I'm surprised at the number of major restaurant chains that don't post their nutritional info (I'm looking at you, Moxie's!). While doing so does expose the unhealthy truth, it also allows we counters to count. If I can't count it I won't eat it... so a formerly fairly regular customer at Moxie's hasn't been there in 9 months. I'm sure they don't miss me... but imagine how many of us there are out there, eating at Kelsey's because they publish the info!

There's my rant. Pray for another loss next week - this plateau for 3, lose for 1 pattern is getting to me!

Loss this week: 2.0
Lost so far: 85
Still remaining: 15
Activity points earned this week: 41
Weeks to go: 13

Friday, July 8, 2011

Annie: running

Nothing but potential

We're home from our little mini-vacation in the Prairie at our family farm. I've been spending a few weekends and the occasional week here every summer for more than a decade, but until now it was all about the farmhouse and its lack of telephone and Internet (though of course the trusty mobile devices have always come with me - can't go completely cold turkey!), and, since Child was a baby, the fabulous community pool that serves the entire area.

Now, suddenly, I'm interested in the roads.

In the Canadian Prairies, farm land is divided into sections of a mile square, with "section roads" marking each mile. The size of a farm operation is described in terms of the number of sections it occupies, and the farmer has access to all parts of his/her farm because of the section roads.

For a runner, the section roads provide an almost-perfect track. They're pre-measured, so I know that completing a lap around the section facing our farmyard is just under 6.5K (that is, exactly 4 miles) -- and, at this particular moment in my training, provides a nice 5-minute warmup walk, a 5K run, and a 15ish-minute cooldown walk.

It's beautiful, as you can see from the photo above - it's hard not to feel as though you're breathing cleaner air running there, as compared to running in the city at home (though if you have allergies, as I do, "cleaner" may not necessarily mean "better," ha!). Running on the section roads (near our farm, anyway) makes you feel like you have unlimited runway, fresh air for your lungs, and blazing sunshine. You feel like you have nothing but potential!

OK, I have to admit there are a couple of minor drawbacks.

1) It takes a bit of getting used to running on loose gravel when you're accustomed to nicely paved city streets. You may be able to see from the photo that there are established tracks where cars, trucks, and farm equipment tend to drive - if you run in those tracks you have less loose gravel to deal with, but you're actually running down the middle of the road. Not bad if you run without music, but I have to run with music, or the sound of my own panting discourages me.  :)  My solution this time: run with Husband, who ran without music in the neighbouring track on the road, and warned me whenever a vehicle was coming up behind us.

2) When a truck flies by on a gravel road in an area of low humidity, you get sprayed with gravel, and then live in a little cloud of dust for a few minutes afterward. I wondered whether I should have been running in a surgical mask!

Really, though, that was it for drawbacks. It was lovely, frankly.

I had done my "long slow distance" run on Sunday before we left, so normally wouldn't have run until Tuesday -- but Monday was gorgeous (see photo!) and I thought it would be a waste of a beautiful, not-too-hot, sunny day not to run. So I convinced Husband to come out with me (grandparents were with us to watch Child) that morning.

It was harder work than I was used to (apparently, the degree of difficulty for running surfaces goes treadmill -> road -> gravel, and I can only imagine sandy beach comes after that!), but I really, really enjoyed it. We even had the opportunity for a laugh, when we unwittingly caused a stampede of cows in a pasture alongside the section road. (If you're unfamiliar with the nature of cows, they're curious enough to want to know who you are, but not always smart enough to know to stop running once they hit the fence.)

Sorry ladies!
(photo taken later, after everyone had calmed down)
And because I really, really enjoyed it... we went back out again on Tuesday.

We drove home Wednesday, and I was all set to do the "cross-train" day The Faithful Mo had put in my training schedule for this week... but Thursday was, incredibly, another beautiful day. I checked with her to make sure it would be OK to run again rather than cross-training (I'm scheduled for 4 runs next week, so I switched one of them for this week's cross-train), and then headed out again, back around my neighbourhood.

As I ran, I plotted out this weekend's "long slow distance" run, which will be 6.5K and will require me to widen my little neighbourhood track - I'm running out of new territory.   :)

And I realized: I am actually enjoying this!  That may sound silly at this point, but until now I have been enjoying the "having run," without particularly enjoying the "running."  Now, I see a beautiful day outside and I want to run. It feels like a waste not to.

Today is gorgeous again (seriously, how long can this luck hold out?!), but I can't run again. I'm planning my long slow distance for tomorrow (hopefully the weather holds out at least that long for me), and I don't want to get injured and put myself out altogether. So I'm headed over to meet a friend (Jillian - see her blog at right!) for lunch and a walk in the sunshine.

What would I have been doing with a day like today a year ago?

Probably staying inside, hiding from the heat. Probably sitting on the couch or in my desk chair. Probably dreading every invitation to join people who would be dressed for summer, every opportunity to do anything outside in the heat, because I'd have refused to go out in shorts, and would have been miserable in long pants.

Today, I feel 10 years younger than I did this time last year. It's an amazing thing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Annie: comments on last post

For some infuriating reason, Blogger isn't allowing me to comment on any blogs (my own or belonging to others). I can post to this blog, but I can't comment to it. Aargh!

Since I can't respond to the kind readers who commented on my last post in the normal way, I'll do it this way!

1) Thanks Mo!

2) Ashton - a bad week is a bad week, and now it's behind you. The key is to keep getting back on the horse, which you're obviously doing! So many times on failed WW attempts, I'd NOT go to the meeting, rather than go and have to face a gain. You're doing it right!

Back tomorrow with a report on my running adventures in the western Canadian prairie. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Annie: early weigh-in (week 38)

We're headed out of town this afternoon for a few days, and I won't be near a computer OR a scale until late Wednesday.

Not sure that's entirely a bad thing.  :D

The story here is this: no story. Kept on keeping on, barely made a dent. But I think that's just how the last 20 are going to be.

Those last 20 are jerks.

In the "here's how far I've come" department, try this on for size: Husband is at work today, we're leaving right after he gets home, and by the time we arrive at our destination tonight, it'll be too dark to run. (It's a rural setting - no street lights.)

Old Annie would have said "so that's why I can't run today."

Instead, New Annie paid a sitter $10 to play with Child for the hour of my "long slow distance" run this afternoon. And it was worth every penny!

On the topic of the LSD runs, I have to say I'm beginning to really love Sundays because of them. Every week, I get to travel new ground (even if it's only a half-km at a time); every Sunday, I have a reason to feel proud of myself.

Yay Sunday!

Hoping to find myself down, finally, by the time I get home mid-week - will report back.

Loss this week: 0.6 (the same 0.6 I mysteriously gained last Monday)
Lost so far: 83
Still remaining: 17
Activity points earned this week: 42
Weeks to go: 14