This fine Friday evening, enjoy a rare peek into my personal correspondence with my husband.
Mr. Thor: Maybe I will call you a bit later, babe. Got any fun plans for tonight, hun?
me: Nope…I’m a loser! Lol
Mr. Thor: Don’t feel sorry for yourself, you are AWESOME! What a cool chick you are! What are you doing right now? XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOOXOXOXOXO
me: eating egg salad and pretzel sticks and texting anthony and checking facebook.
Mr. Thor: Awesome! Sounds nice and relaxing! I’ll give you a call later on, babe! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
Yes, I came home and weighed out 99 grams of hard boiled eggs and 38 grams of mayonnaise and 28 grams of pretzels. And parked in front of my laptop.
And now …I am about to mix crystal light with a diet sierra mist, and then drink it all! with a straw!
Look out, world! Next thing you know I will be on the couch, reading!
“I think life moves in cycles — earth rotating around the sun, breathing in & out, heartbeats, tides, and times when I am successfully dieting vs. not.”
My awesome friend K said this recently. Last October, I jumped into a new health regimen with the intensity of the burning sun. I was working out 5 times per week, increasing the intensity and length with each passing week. I was chopping vegetables and washing fruit and cooking myself omelets for breakfast. I was dropping weight like gangbusters.
But then something funny happened.
There was a woman who started Weight Watchers the same week that I did. She was celebrating weight loss milestones like crazy. She would lose 3 pounds on a week when I lost .6. I started to get extremely discouraged and resentful. Not of this woman and her success, but of my clear failure.
I started to lose the race.
As of right now, this woman has lost 20 more pounds than me – in the same time frame.
So, what did I do wrong? How could I have followed plan better and matched or beat this woman’s weight loss?
The question is, why did I lose sight of my own journey and get caught up in another person’s journey? Why did I compare myself?
When I started this journey in July 2010, I knew it was not going to be easy. I knew that I would not lose 80 pounds in 5 months, like I did ten years ago. I knew that, considering the sheer amount of pounds I wanted to lose, I should probably take about three to five years to do it safely and keep it off. I wanted to make lifestyle changes that would stick. I wanted to keep eating pizza and cake.
But it’s not enough, is it? If I live according to the messages “out there” then I should be able to whip myself right into shape. Drop this weight in a year by eating chicken breasts and salads for dinner…and oatmeal with a banana for dessert.
Been there, done that. And when I got sick of eating like someone on a diet, I gained back the pounds I had lost. And they brought some friends along.
I want to learn what it means to really enjoy life. I don’t want to live my life punishing myself. I want to enjoy treats in moderation. I want to make healthy choices because they are healthy, not because they will reward me when I step on the scale and see a lower number.
Lately, maybe for 6 weeks or so, I have not been successfully dieting, according to my definition. I have been eating chips and cookies out of frustration. Yes, overeating the wrong foods – out of frustration…with the pace of my weight loss journey. If you can untangle that logic then you can quite possibly solve the obesity epidemic.
But I’m back. I decided that I owed it to myself to keep my eyes front. Stay on my side of the road. Make a focused effort on my health.
I am successfully “dieting.” I call it that, because it’s a common term that we all understand that lets you know that the next time you see me, I will probably be at least a little bit smaller. In reality, I am making small, sustainable, lasting changes that will make me smaller over a long period of time – maybe five or more years. And I am OK with that.
I don’t know if it’s really a bump. More like a twist. Or maybe, even, I am not on the same road anymore.
I’m talking about my quest for collarbones, which started in July 2010, and sort of fizzled out a few months after that, only to renew with vigor in October 2011.
I have not really lost any weight for a couple of months. And I am not even close to finished, here. I have to lose 5 pounds many more times before this journey can end.
My weekly weigh-ins go something like this: up 4, down 3, down one, up 3, up one. And it’s not all undeserved. I am really struggling to follow my plan, I am struggling with feeling like I am on a diet, but I also know that I cannot stop this. I am struggling with eating when I am not hungry- eating when I am stressed, eating when I am lonely, eating when I am nervous.
Some friends of mine are working with a concept called Intuitive Eating, from a book of the same name by Evelyn Tribole. I am not ready to fully embrace this way of eating, but I have been reading the book very slowly. A generalized concept of the technique is to eat only the foods that you like. Sounds crazy, right? Why would I eat foods I don’t like?
So I decided to try an experiment. I try to eat more slowly and really taste the flavors and feel the texture of the foods I am eating. One night, when I was eating a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and value size french fries from Wendy’s, the first realization hit. I don’t like these fries. I didn’t like the texture and I didn’t like the taste. And yes, I know that they changed their fries, but I have eaten them several, OK, probably at least 20 times since the new recipe came out. And I don’t like them.
French fries. Responsible for probably 50 pounds of my current weight.
Today, I went with Mr.Thor to a pizza place I have been going to since I was a kid. I LOVE their pizza. I ate it as a kid, as a teen, in my 20s. When I didn’t live here, and I came back to visit, I went here to grab a slice or two. Or three. We sat down, and a few minutes later they placed a piping hot medium pizza on our table. Six pieces. I had enough PointsPlus left to eat three smallish pieces. And, as soon as I saw that lovely cheese pizza, I decided that I was going to eat three pieces, indeed. But then I thought about my hunger level. I wasn’t feeling three pieces hungry. So I decided to eat the pizza slowly, to see if I could be satisfied with less than I wanted.
A few bites in to my second slice, I realized that I was choking down my favorite pizza. I didn’t like that I could taste the crust, and it was floury. I didn’t like how the cheese and grease and sauce mashed around in my mouth. And I certainly wasn’t about to eat the third piece.
Maybe I don’t like pizza. Maybe I like what usually goes with pizza – laughing, talking, everyone reaching for food at once, maybe at a party, maybe just tired after a fun day and wanting a quick dinner.
Maybe I don’t like pizza. This is insanity.
Almost every day, I eat the same thing for lunch: deli turkey and provolone on whole wheat bread.
I was going to buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store with the intention of eating it for the week – sandwiches and salads and even burritos.
But the only rotisserie chickens I found were labeled “barbeque” (shudder).
At that point, I thought I would just buy a package of boneless/skinless chicken breast and roast it in the oven.
When we got there, though, I thought – hey! whole chickens! I just roasted a turkey recently and it went pretty well. Maybe a chicken would also go pretty well!
And then I thought, no, chicken breasts are easier.
And then I looked at the price. The whole chicken was $0.88 per pound. The chicken breasts were over $3 per pound.
So I grabbed a six-pounder and threw it into the cart.
I came home and rinsed and dried it. I chopped up a few large slices of onion, mixed with sage, rosemary, and a bit of garlic and lemon juice and stuffed it loosely. I put it in a baking dish and left it in for just over 2 hours.
It was AMAZING. I tasted the breast and I let Mr. Thor taste some, too. We are both in agreement that this beats lunch meat any day.
It was much like roasting a turkey, only smaller, easier to handle, and easier to carve. Maybe if I keep roasting the chickens, by next Thanksgiving my turkey game will be greatly improved.
It started on Thanksgiving.
I dripped turkey grease all over my foot. Yes, it was my own fault, for kind of tipping the turkey wrong as I was trying to carve it.
Last night, I sliced the top of my thumb off with my new super-sharp knife. It’s so super-sharp that it only took a layer of skin and I never even bled.
Later last night, I dropped 2 eggs on the floor and, well, you can imagine what happened next. Or you can’t, since it kind of kicked off a mini-meltdown for me.
This morning, I opened a new jar of Justin’s almond butter to take to work. I decided to mix in the oil on the top before I left, since I only have plastic knives at work. SPLORP! I launched several tablespoons out of the jar and down my sweater, my pants, and even on my slippers. Not to mention, all over the floor and the counter and the outside of the almond butter jar.
No, seriously… what gives?
What are you most thankful for this year?
I am thankful that I have a place of my own, where I can make blueberry muffins whenever the mood strikes and wander around in my pajamas at all hours of the day and night.
I am thankful for my wonderful, hilarious, supportive husband, who makes every day better.
I am thankful for my friends, who have encouraged me and stuck with me when it seems that, in reality, maybe I do have the thickest skull of any human, ever.
Thank you for the part you play in my life. You have helped me along, even if you don’t know it.
I don’t think my house has ever been this clean. I think I need more guests so that I can stay on top of this place.
I am beat, exhausted, totally sapped… and Thanksgiving isn’t here yet. I still have so much to do, like shoveling the turkey and stuffing the snow (name that movie).
Actually, I don’t stuff my bird. Not with stuffing, anyway. I put onions and apples and stuff in there. I just kind of wing it, you know, with whatever scraps I have laying around the house. Craft projects, balls of yarn, old candle ends, whatever. It all goes together and really lets you explore the flavor of the bird.
At any rate, in all seriousness, moving right along… My mother-in-law and my brother-in-law are coming tomorrow night and staying for two nights.
May we all bow our heads for a moment of silence.
Actually, I can’t say I’m dreading them coming at all. I used to live with them, and I know from past experience that they are REALLY fun holiday-ers. Low key, easy to please, and game-loving.
I have planned a super-simple meal this year. I am not making candied yams. Sacrilege, in some circles, I know. But, I am on my quest for collarbones, you know, and I can’t lose sight of my goal. Especially not in a sticky-caramelized-marshmallowy pile of yams. Sigh.
Anyway, my super-simple menu. Turkey. Steamed green beans. Stuffing from a box. Mashed potatoes from scratch.
Yeah, I also bought boxes of mashed potatoes in case I chicken out and decide I don’t have it in me. When I confessed that to Mr. Thor, he immediately replied, “You mean TURKEY out!” Sometimes it’s like living with Satchel from Get Fuzzy.
So, I guess, other than cleaning like a madwoman, I really am not stressing over this whole thing. I’m just kind of tired. I just want to keep eating right, and I also want to enjoy myself, have fun, eat a few tasty morsels, and also? lose weight next Thursday when I go to my next Weight Watchers meeting.
Is that too much to ask?