Not Yesterday, But Today

Blogs are weird. I've had about a billion things going on in my head for the past week that I'm not sure exactly where to start. It's easier for me to blog when I've made my mind up about something and I'm documenting it, or when I feel like I'm doing things worth sharing. Its hard for me to write when I'm considering what I'm doing.

I've been considering heavily, every day without action "what am I doing?". I am so indecisive that sometimes its hard for me to decide what truly feels right to me. The frequent questions are: "where am I headed?", "what do I really want?", "how do I really feel?" and finally "what am I doing?"

I've been using this blog for over a year now to document my various forms of weight-loss. Here is what I know to be true starting from the time that I moved to NY and then started this blog:

1) Before I moved to nyc, I lived in huntington wv. I quit college pre-maturely due to lack of enthusiasm, too many bills and a huge question mark over my head as to what I should do next. I found a temporary job that was nothing short of horrendous and ate. I ate a lot. I ate snacks from the vending machine at work, I ate fast food in my car during my lunch break and then I'd head to Wal-mart at midnight after work and buy a nights worth of junk food. I remember one particular night standing in the 30 items or less line with a basket full of guilty indulgences. I hated standing in line buying those foods. My face would get hot and I would start to feel anxiety creep around my body hoping that people weren't judging the sad fat girl buying a dozen cream horns. As I stood there pretending to be confident with my purchases a girl from the first stages of college came up to me with a huge smile on her face. I never particularly liked her as she was what I like to call "a fake confident", people who pretend to be confident, while their insides are wrapped in insecurities. We were never friends, but it was as though she needed someone (anyone) to tell about getting in to grad school. She quizzed me about school and snickered while she eye balled the contents of my basket. I bluntly told her I quit school and made some excuse for the excessive amount of crap I was about to buy. At that point, I had indigestion every single day, my size 26 pants were becoming snug, the scale was headed towards the 315+ mark and I barely had the energy to walk through the long parking lot to my car.

2) In the past year my weight has teetered somewhere between 273 and 283. Within a couple of months of living in NYC my weight dropped down to 290. It wasn't something I decided to do, 290 wasn't a goal I had set out to achieve two months after moving to ny. The walking and the lack of late trips to wal-mart forced my body to let go of some of its weight. Pants I bought but couldn't fit into months ago were put into the regular rotation. The indigestion went away. If you look at this story in the simplest and most obvious of ways. You will see truth in the statement "small changes, yield big results". Food issues never went away (obviously or I would be as like 170 ish now) but the binges were less frequent. I wasn't exercising a lot either. I was walking out of necessity. I had to get to the train that is two blocks away and walk down the steps to get to the train to get to work. I had to walk up 33 steps (yes, I counted) to get to the next train that would take me to the next station and walk up another 33 steps to get to work. I had to do this, and my body thankfully agreed. Over the past year I tried group exercise and stuck with it for two months straight. Two whole months. I had never made it past two days in a row, let alone two months of a class with thin people. Those classes defiantly helped when I was discovering my love for turkish home bread and chicken tikka masala.

3) Here are my truths about food: I love food. I love to cook. I love to eat. I love it when spices harmonize or when the simplest of ingredients compliment each other. I love food that doesn't belong in a cardboard box. I hate counting points and calories, but if I'm not doing either I feel like I've giving myself permission to eat whatever I want.

4) Here is my truth about exercise: I really like to move my body. I love to dance and sweat and feel flushed and exhausted. I love when my muscles are sore from use. I don't like to work out after work. I feel like I'm never prepared to work out in the mornings IE: doing it early enough to still have time to get ready for work, getting enough sleep, having something in my stomach, and having clean exercise clothes ready. I hate exercise machines, they bore me to no end. I actually have to cover the time with my towel so I'm not agonizing over every second. I love cardio kick box, but it's after work and when would I eat dinner? I would like to dance insanely with loud music in my apartment, but when would I do this, would I disturb anyone and should I be working out at home when I'm paying $70 a month to go to the gym. It annoys me to no end that I've come up with an excuse for not exercising, but doesn't annoy me enough to actually go. I hate that I have to plan and schedule the gym into my week before I can actually consider going, or that unless I ate really well that day its pointless to even go. I fantasize about being the girl that goes to the gym without thinking about, she is fit and doesn't need to a plan first before she goes. She just goes.

5) My confusions about dieting: Do I have to be very strict in order to lose weight? What do thin people eat on a daily basis, do they think about food as much as I do? Why can't I be more casual about food? I dream of not having to count anything and just use common sense when it comes to nutrition. I think of how great it would be to trust myself around food and to not have to be on a diet to lose weight. I wish that I could make lovely, healthy and delicious foods without it being such a big deal to me. That I can learn to stop when I'm full and eat when I'm hungry. I want so bad to not eat things I don't even want just because I'm not dieting that day or I forgot to count my points that day. I wish I could go back in time and restart all of my thoughts about food. The diet/exercise book I've been reading for the review has a straight forward, simple and slightly strict diet plan. I keep thinking "does it have to be reduced fat cheese, and non-stick sprays and chicken without sauces to lose weight?" and at the same time think "I can only stop obsessing about food and lose weight if I am more strict about what I eat". Weight loss is not a mystery, I know very well what to eat and how much to eat in order to lose weight. Why is it that I need programs and books and diets to give me permission to take care of myself? Why do I need to be "on plan" to stop eating when I'm full?

6) How I feel about my looks: I know I must be in denial about my weight, because most of the time I don't feel so bad about myself. Some days it gets bad though, when I get called out by men on the street who like "thick" women. Its embarrassing and it makes me feel bad about myself. I have a laundry list of things that I find so annoying about my appearance: my dry feet, my thin hair, my not so white teeth, the rash in between my thighs, the stretch marks, the pimples...it goes on and on and on and on. Do I have to feel so bad about myself and my health to take care of myself? Is it possible to take care of my body and love my body enough to not overeat and go to the gym? I fear going to the doctor, I feel that there will be so many things wrong with me real or imagined that are due to my weight. I don't think I am ugly, but I feel that very few people see beauty when they look at me.

7) What I think I need to do, but I'm still unsure about: I feel as though I need to create a no-fail zone in my life. Plan A, plan B and Plan C (just in case.) Does that make sense? Do I have to totally submerge my life into total weight loss mode in order to be successful? I feel as though I need to take my weight loss and health more seriously. Treating it more like something I have to do rather than something I choose to do.

8) Will weight loss become easier when I stop beating myself up about it?

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Anonymous Betsey C. said...

That was a very interesting, thought-provoking post. I love the idea of rewinding our brains to think differently about food from the start. If only we could! I have been battling weight all of my adult life, and I truly believe we compulsive overeaters are close cousins to the alcoholic. My husband has been in recovery for 17 years now, but he never considers himself "cured" or "normal". He is in recovery, and he work at it every day with meetings, meditation, reading and working with other alcoholics. We foodies have to do the same thing, we have to work our recovery every day. We will never look at food "normally". Good luck to you in your recovery!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Krissie said...

I want to come through the computer and give you a hug. I've been there, girl. In a lot of ways, I still am.

For me, I am really trying to do what makes me feel best. I am eating when I am hungry. I am recognizing my "munchy" feelings and not giving into them (90% of the time). The hardest thing for me is the black-and-white thinking: either I'm 100% on or I'm 0% on. I can be somewhere in between. If I had a 75% on day, I was hugely successful. So what if I ate pizza yesterday? I just won't eat it today. And I've grown and I am a success.

I track calories. But I am learning to trust my instincts. I eat how I feel my body is directing me to eat, and then I log it all in the evening. It gives me a reference point to determine if my body knows what it needs for fuel. If I'm low on calories, I keep that in mind the next day. If I was high, then I cut something out the next day or spend a few more minutes on a cardio machine. I am really trying to make it so that I instinctively know how to be healthy so that it won't always feel like something I have to work at and think about.

You are so insightful and that will help you on your journey. I love that you let us see your thought process - it makes me feel like mine is more normal!

And, yes, I think that the best chance of success is when we make changes out of self-love rather than self-disgust. When we embark on this journey because we love ourselves, we are more gentle when the challenges arise - and they will.

Keep your head up, girl. If there is anything I can do for you, let me know.

Oh! And I ate at Tascali's (is it technically in Huntington?) last week!

9:20 AM  
Blogger Arazaree said...

I've never posted before, but I've been reading your blog for a few months now and this post really struck a chord with me. Unfortunately I don't have any of the answers you seek, or I wouldn't be 250 pounds. I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone, I know very much how you feel, and I love how you managed to articulate exactly how I feel about things. Hugs.


9:21 AM  
Anonymous Medium Girl said...

This time last year I was binge eating and feeling awful. I managed to lose weight by making a few small changes but I was still bingeing but less frequently. I found a single session with a hypno therapist really helpful to address my problems with food. I haven't touched a single piece of chocolate since. My diet certainly isn't perfect but I'm 3/4 of the way to my target weight and back within my healthy weight range. I've also get a healthier attitude to food and don't feel any urge to binge. A few bad foods still get in my basket from time to time and I still make bad choices when I'm too busy to cook but I compensate for this by making healthier choices later in the day.

4:21 PM  
Blogger FAT BRIDESMAID said...

I ask myself these same questions several times a day, so thanks for making me feel like I'm not the only one. I wish I had the answers, but the fact you're even trying to sort things out puts you miles ahead of the girl who used to solve problems with junk food (my food of choice was double-cheeseburgers from McDonalds -- only 99 cents!).

1:09 PM  
Anonymous marie said...

I think maybe you can join some of the yahoogroups of internet forums on weight loss. Some are more focus towards a specific program or procedures(surgery).

I've found that it's very helpful to listen on how others have come up with solutions or suggestions for weight loss related problems.

Many people have similar problems about losing weight. Sharing and learning from others might benefit us a lot.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not much of a person who "posts" but reading your post was like i was reading about myself at your age. I feel like you were posting about me. I feel like we if we all had the answers, we all wouldn't be where we are today! I wish I could give you a hug and tell you it gets better, but for me it apparently got worse, keep up the posts, you are an inspiration for us all!

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like you were channeling me in my early twenties. I wish the best of luck to you and all of us that are batteling our weight demons within.

9:26 AM  
Blogger summer goal said...

Reading that was like reading my own thoughts...most of the time I look in the mirror and I'm not too disappointed by what I see, either. Then I see a photo of myself, and I think "WHAT?" How can the mirror and the camera reflect such different images to me?? Anyway, I agree that writing about our daily diet issues is therapeutic...I recently decided to do the same, and suddenly I feel as if my diet plan is coming together - even though I still slide and make tons of mistakes...i.e. wrong choices. ;)

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just found your blog and find it inspirational. I also find exercise machines deadly boring, and I, too, love to dance. So, as for working out, I've recently discovered Zumba at my gym and now, for the first time in my life, I look forward to exercise. Zumba is all about dancing and having fun while getting a great cardio workout.

I'm going to stick with it and use your blog for inspiration to change my "food attitude." Thank you and best of luck to you on your journey!

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, I've been reading your blog for the past few days (going back to when you first started it). I have found it be an excellent reflection of how I feel about my weight, food, exercise, etc. I just read this last post and felt compelled to comment--In every single picture you post, I think your hair looks fabulous! Your skin looks fresh and you have a great nose (this is something I'm self-conscious about).

I know you weren't digging for compliments or anything, but I just needed to share those thoughts. Best of luck to you!!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

What a great post! I totally identify with your wondering what thin people eat. What do they eat? How do they stay thin? Do they just not care about food? I find myself sneaking peeks at the plates of thin people I work with. Is that all they're eating? How can they eat that and stay so thin?
Also with not hating yourself, even though people seem to think you should.

Anyway, I'm starting out on WW, a little heavier than you, and I know how you feel. How easy it is to eat thousands of points of crap.

9:21 PM  

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