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    February 17, 2013

    For the bajillionth time: weight loss, my extreme dislike of

    Okay fine. I'm going to write the effing Weight Watchers post. 

    After going Low Carbish for weeks and weeks and losing and gaining the same three pounds, I decided I needed a change. Low carb, as I may have mentioned nine hundred times before, is a good plan for me, and probably the way I should normally eat. Not NO carb, but LOW carb. I think I take after the side of my family with a history of obesity and diabetes, and all the other times I've lost Serious Weight I did it by going low carb. It's a good plan for people who think chocolate cake is perfectly acceptable for breakast, lunch, AND dinner. On the SAME DAY.

    Thing is, at a certain point, I get very lax. For example, cheese is low carb! So I will have fourteen slices! You can see how it stops being effective through that sort of user error. Also (and this happened before, when I was doing Hot By Thirty) the more weight I lose, the less effective it appears to be. And I don't think that's SOLELY because I get lax - I don't know if I just need to change it up or just start fresh with a new program or what, but WW worked when I got stuck in HB30, and I thought it would work again this time. 

    And it has. I've lost 4 of the 10 pounds I would really like to lose. 

    (Well. Then this weekend happened. I knew I was going to dinner and probably a movie with Phillip on Saturday, but he planned a whole WEEKEND DATE starting with lunch at a Chinese noodle shop where we seriously, I mean it, ate our weight in homemade noodles and dumplings and scallion pancake. We weren't hungry until late that night, when we shared a burger and fries. Shared. WE NEVER SHARE. EVER. So. You know. I'm thinking I'm going to delay weighing in for a few days. HEH.) 

    But once again I am really super duper struggling with what happens in my head when I'm trying to lose weight. I'm either not caring about it and totally digging into my noodles, or down on myself and counting all my points. I haven't figured out how to be Okay With My Size AND Trying To Lose Weight at the same time. Which is where I want to be. 

    I mean, is that even possible? Right now I am the same weight and size I was before I had Jack. Which, at that point in my life, was a huge achievement. I'd lost nearly 30 pounds and two sizes. I was crazy proud of myself and feeling all the things people say you feel when you lose weight: better about myself, more confident, less self-conscious, all that. At one time in my life this size was THE BEST EVER. 

    Then I did that crazypants HB30 gig and wasn't satisfied to stay at this weight, and lost 10 more pounds. Then THAT was the best, obviously. I lost more and realized: hmm, maintaining that was going to require a little more work than I wanted to do, so I gained three or four back and felt like I had finally found the Holy Grail Of Weight Loss: the Maintainable Number. 

    Then I had Emma. 

    This time has been significantly harder. My life is much busier and my baby doesn't help with her unpredictability, but I also DON'T CARE AS MUCH. I DON'T! And I love chocolate more than I love arm muscles. I love chocolate and chocolate flavored things more than a human being really should and I don't WANT to give it up. Not all of it, anyway. Not even enough, apparently, to get back into my pre-Emma jeans. I got to a point after Emma where I'd just sort of lost MOST of it. And that felt, you know, FINE. I mean, I would have liked to lose all of it, but eh, it was time to make Christmas cookies. 

    I gained weight over the holidays. I tell myself I'm still nearly 30 pounds lighter than I was when I got married. I don't WANT to worry about making a date to work out or run every day. I don't WANT to be super strict about what I eat. I take care of three different children on three different schedules and I want to read my BOOK. I've lost a couple of those holiday pounds and what if this was good? What if this was okay? What if I just stopped worrying about it? What if it wasn't something I felt compelled to talk about and write about and whine about to friends and all that? WHAT WOULD THAT BE LIKE?

    Except I know. I know what it would be like. I would keep eating along with not caring and soon I would gain those 30 pounds back. I am absolutely sure this would happen. And I am NOT okay with that.

    So I go back on Weight Watchers. I tell myself I don't have to get to the fit nearly-skinny point I was at the summer after I had Molly, I just have to get to a point where it's not a super huge deal if I have an extra slice of birthday cake one night. I want that CUSHION, where I can gain a few pounds but still feel within bounds of where I should be. I am out of that range right now. I need back in.

    It makes sense, right?  

    I read Elizabeth's posts about dressing well and feeling cute no matter what your size and I think HEY, I SHOULD DO THAT. I should totally stop acting like I'm REALLY a size 8 and I can't wear certain things when right now I'm a size 10 and WHO CARES? It's dumb. I've acted on this too! I've bought clothes that are a size 10 (or 12!) instead of a size 8 and I was (AM!) totally fine with it! The dress I bought for my Christmas party, that I absolutely ADORE, is a size 14. Did not care. Love that dress. Must find another occasion for wearing it. (Silver! Fringey! Lacey! LOVE!)

    But the more I don't care and the happier I am with my size, the easier it will be to gain back those 30 pounds. I don't know how to do it otherwise. 

    So I continue to care, I continue to feel bad about not exercising HALF as much as I did when I only had 2 kids, I continue to shamefully throw away half-full bags of chocolate chips so I can't gorge on them all night when Phillip is out. 

    And even when I was a size 8 and had arm muscles and was just barely low carb because I'd found my Maintainable Number and I felt good about where I was, I still stayed just a little bit unhappy, still berated myself if I didn't exercise enough that week, because I didn't want to gain it back. 

    What I am trying very very very hard to do is not be Publically Insecure about it. Like, I will write this blog post, but I don't want to write another one. Not unless I have something different to say (and I probably won't.) I am not texting my friend who does low carb with me when the scale is mean to me. I am not stepping on the stupid scale every day. I'm trying not to mention it every time I hang out with other moms. If I'm going to be successful, I have to award Weight Loss a prime upfront spot in my life. But I hate that. I hate how it makes me talk. I hate how I sound. I do not want to want validation from everyone else about my size and how I look and how my pants fit. 

    SO THAT'S IT. That is the struggle. For me. The giving up certain foods, the exercise guilt, the frustration and embarrassment over the muffin top - all of that is secondary to this FIGHT IN MY BRAIN. 

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    Comments

    I could have written a lot of this post. I am on WW right now after the holidays and I've lost 10 pounds and I still have 7 to go and I'm struggling. Because I love how I look right now, but I have no real feeling like, "If you like this, just keep going and you'll be crazy hot!" No. I'm like, "Eh, this is good enough for now." It's like I have to be disgusted with myself for the motivation. When I get happy with my body, I lose the drive to keep going and improve for improvement's sake. Ugh.

    I feel you, is all.

    I can totally relate. I have always been on the tall slender side (I was almost 5'9" and 118-120 lbs when I got pregnant with my first son at 24) and I have 3 kids close in age. A son and daughter 15 months apart and another son 22 months younger than my daughter (he just turned 10 months old.)

    Anyway, I am a size 4 now, sometimes a 6 (I know that sounds on the slim side but as my friend said don't judge, we still have extra fat/skin in places we don't want it to be even if we are somewhat smaller!) I started doing 30 min of cardio and weights every other day and have lost 3-4 lbs in 2 wks. Problem is I am still nursing and need to keep my supply up, so I haven't been watching what I eat as much. Which I totally need to do when I start weaning in a few months.

    But yea, I still feel torn. I want to lose another 4-8 lbs and be back closer to my body before 3 kids, but you are right, man that takes A LOT of maintenance! I want to eat and enjoy food too! I just wish we could all be easier on our bodies and ourselves. And I totally hear you, if I don't force myself to have a "plan" and workout wtc I will just start gaining those lbs back.

    Oh boy, can I relate to this whole concept! I was even talking about it with my cousin just last night. Where is the line between being happy with ourselves, loving ourselves the way we are no matter what, and improving our weight and/or fitness level because there is always room for improvement, and if it will improve our quality of life, then we should. (Unless you're, you know, freakin' Jennifer Aniston!)

    I struggle so hard with this issue. Since Jan. 2010 I have been going to WW consistently. I lost weight fairly consistently until June of 2012 and due to some life stuff, some disappointments and the passing of motivational events like weddings and cruises, my willpower and motivation just seemed to vanish and I have crept ever so slightly upward since June. (so slowly that I thought I was more or less maintaining, until I suddenly weighed in one day and realized, holy cow- I've gained 30 lbs since June.) But still- I've lost 100 pounds since Jan. 2010, and I live in terror that I will end up back where I was, and that terror feeds on itself literally and figuratively, and breeds feelings of failure and self-disgust and whatever else is the polar opposite of loving yourself and being happy with who you are!

    My prayer for us is that we all someday figure out how to love ourselves and be happy with who we are NOW, while still striving to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. :)

    What sucks about WW and weight loss and even Careful Maintenance is that it feels like FOOD (or the points, or whatever) has to become your Entire Life. My parents are doing WW right now, and I'm counting calories, and we were together all wknd and it's ALL we talked about.

    UGH. BORING.

    I feel ya.

    I feel like the winter weather has made my chocolate cravings kick in to high gear. It is the season for carb cravings, and that makes it so much harder! Just try to focus on what you CAN eat. Veggies are 0 points, remember that! Eat them first, then maybe the chocolate won't look so tempting. At least, that is what I am hoping. Jessica Seinfeld had a recipe for brownies made with spinach. Maybe those are better for you?

    Weight Watchers has been the only way I'm able to consistently lose weight since I had Kalena. I've tried calorie counting, I've tried other fitness apps, I've tried "watching my portions" all with basically no results. And I've been fine at maintaining when I'm not counting points (mostly fine. Last years miscarriage-Halloween candy-Thanksgiving-Christmas-10 days of vacation did not do great things for me.) But only ever maintained a specific weight (the weight I'm at now.) It makes me wonder if I'll be able to maintain once I get to my goal weight or if I'll just have to be on WW forever.

    Also, I totally get the dressing well and feeling cute at any size, but I'm really hating the size I'm at now because it's an in-between size. And by that I mean I'm in-between sizes I OWN. I was fine in a 10 because I have pants that size, but now those are too big but my size 6 pants are still significantly too small and I refuse to buy any 8s, mostly because I'm stubborn.

    A while back I decided I was just DONE "losing weight." I'd been losing 10 and gaining 20 every year for years and I was sick of thinking about food every hour.

    So I did that for two years and ended up with a BMI of 35. Oops.

    Even by Healthy At Every Size standards, that wasn't good. I was sick in a lot of different ways...not necessarily BECAUSE of my weight, but the weight was a good marker of other things not being the way they were supposed to be.

    So, I'm treating those things and somehow managed to magically disappear my anxiety and started losing a pound a week while doing totally half-assed low carb. And it scares me because I have no idea what will happen to me if I actually HIT my goal weight. I have never tried to maintain a weight before in my life--it's either "gotta lose weight" or "damn it, I just don't care anymore."

    I am trying to think of a way to wrap that up and can't, so: The end.

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