My blog buddies, KatieO, Crabby McSlacker, and ThickChick have fabulous fitness/weight-loss/health blogs that I read daily and use as inspiration in my quest to lose weight. I soak up their advice and great ideas and funny stories, and even steal recipes and awesome workout playlists, and I use these things to my advantage. But I never pay them back, except for with the occasional witty comment. (if I do say so myself) So, while my blog is not based on fitness and weight-loss, I am going to attempt to return the favor with a health-related post of my own. Except that this post probably won’t be that helpful or inspiring. And I definitely don’t have any advice. And I can’t promise funny either, so don’t go getting your hopes up or anything. Basically, I’m just going to bitch a little bit and hope that you all understand. Then I will direct you to their real fitness blogs for something that is actually helpful and motivating.
For those who read fairly frequently, you know that I gained forty pounds last year. Yeah, four-OH! And this may be a big shocker, but I’m not happy about it at all. At over six feet tall, I have never been petite, and have always considered myself somewhat athletically built. I’ve always had hip and thigh meat, and my calves are a little bit on the manly side, all of this completely contrasting with my tiny, tiny nearly-A chest. The smallest I have ever been is a size ten, and that is when everyone told me I was “too skinny.” I am currently a size 16, but I am very happy with my body, and will even venture out in a bathing suit at a size 14. I’m built to be a larger girl, just not quite this large. One pants size away seems so close, but when you are very tall, it takes a lot of pounds to change your pants-size. That is why I never noticed that anything was amiss on the way up. The way back down is proving to be much more difficult, and I am definitely noticing.
My goal is to remove this forty pounds from my jeans and return it to from whence it came, in this case to the place where they make really good cheeseburgers. And beer. And wine. Since it is not actually possible to just drive around and drop off your unwanted pounds where you got them, at the local greasy spoon, the bar, or the ice cream aisle of the grocery store, I realized it was time to get real.
Five weeks ago, I joined Weight Watchers online. I did not join the in-person version of WW, because I do not like the meetings. I am not knocking them; I realize that for some people, the meetings are the most important part of the program and what makes it work; like AA for alcoholics. However, when I tried WW four years ago, just to lose ten pounds with a friend, I got sort of annoyed at the meetings. Everyone was talking about food. One woman asked “It says a half a cup of carrots is zero points, but what if I want to eat a whole cup of carrots? Is that still zero points?”
I was sitting there thinking (and biting my tongue to keep from saying) “Uh, lady? I’m pretty sure that overdosing on carrots is not the reason any of us are here”
I also didn’t like the weigh-ins at the meetings. Maybe I am weird in the fact that I don’t really like to be cheered on about my personal issues. When I ran a triathlon last year, I looked up as I was on the homestretch of the run to see three friends standing on the sidelines, friends whom I completely did not expect to be there, and I was ecstatic; it made my day and pushed me that much harder. But when a lady I don’t know said “Great job, Cara” (pronouncing my name wrong) and then tried to hug me after I showed a half a pound loss at a weigh-in, I just wasn’t down with that. It felt like such an invasion. I didn’t want to sit there in a group of people talking about my weight, and what I ate, and how much I exercised, which back then was very little. I didn’t want anyone to clap for me when I was down one pound. I didn’t want them to flash me a smile, which may have been genuine, but which I perceived to be a portrayal of fake joy at my trivial weight loss. Even when Mike makes a comment regarding my improvement, I feel the urge to ask him to please hold his compliments until the end, when I will feel as if I am deserving of them. Losing weight is a really private battle for me. Which is why I am babbling about it on my blog where I tend to air all of the other weird, personal shit I go through. The answer is yes, and the question is “Is nothing sacred anymore?”
The online version of Weight Watchers is pretty handy. You can track all of your “points” right on the computer with access to the vast database of food values. You can still have a drink or two if you want, and lightning does not strike you if you eat a Girl Scout Cookie. Plus, my favorite part is that you can log your workouts to earn additional points for more stuff to eat. It’s sort of like online banking. You know how much you have, and as you spend, your balance goes down, but you can also make deposits by going to the gym. I like the system, and I have done pretty well.
I was meticulous for the first three weeks until President’s Day weekend hit, and I found myself splurging for most of it. I didn’t track my points all weekend, in effect kind of taking a little break from the plan. It turned out ok, though. Tuesday morning, when I weighed in, I was down another two pounds for a total of a twelve-pound loss. Nice. Even with a little bad behavior, I still got the reward. Not so this time. This week, I was perfect all week, worked out four times, and even went skiing, which earns you some major points. This morning when I weighed in, I was up a pound. SERIOUSLY???
When I sadly logged in my increase into the system, it said something like this:
“Sometimes a gain is a normal part of the overall weight-loss process”
It was the virtual version of the lady at the meeting offering me a hug and a fake-ish smile, only this time, she was patting me on the back, saying “It’s ok, Car-uh, you’ll get ‘em next week”
I know, I know. I understand health and fitness, and I know that you sometimes have to gain to lose, but I am still a little bit pissed. I am a big eater, and I have been hungry fairly consistently for the past month, but losing five and then ten pounds made me forget about it. I don’t want to let this increase get me down. I do not want to throw in the towel. In fact, I have been really careful all day, but I also can’t help but think whenever I feel a tiny little hunger pang, that my scale went UP this week. UP! And here I am eating a cup of carrots.
KatieO and ThickChick always seem to be so positive with themselves if they happen to show an increase for the week, or if their jeans are a little snug. I am going to try to follow in their footsteps and keep on trucking. But still, the damn thing went UP! ARRRRRGGH!
In my annoyance, I will share with you some lessons I have learned on my weight-loss journey thus far:
Under no circumstances is it a good idea to save up all of your WW points for alcoholic beverages. After two drinks, you will be tipsy and starving, begging someone to drive-you-thru the nearest Wendy’s, whilst rocking back and forth and clutching dollar bills in your sweaty fists.
Being hungry is very similar to being PMS, or quitting smoking. You have the potential to get just a tiny bit snotty over insignificant things. They should make a t-shirt you can wear stating that you are slightly unstable and prone to lashing out due to being on a restrictive diet. This might really help with your co-workers and loved ones.
Weight-loss begins at the edges of your body and then works its way in. Just because your face and ankles are beginning to look super-slender, and your ring is loose, it does not mean that you will automatically fit into last year’s jeans.
When you try on last year’s jeans, and they still do not go over your ample hips, it is not ok to throw a tantrum. People think a pants-less thirty-something woman kicking, screaming and crying on the floor is just plain weird. At least that is what I’ve heard.
No male person will understand what you are going through. Men who try to explain the intricacies of weight-loss to you, including a paragraph on what works for them, should be incarcerated until you reach your goal weight. You do not need that kind of crap right now.
And finally. The number of pounds you need to lose in order to receive an appraising look and a “Hey, cutie!” from a fast-moving, 20-year old snowboarder wearing pants with flames on them is equal to however many I was down on Sunday. Seriously, if you are out there, kid, I would like to thank you for keeping me going on my quest. I am way too old for you, and taken, but damn I needed that!
Back to the weight-loss blogs, and more on this subject when I’m back into those jeans.