plateau... still.

This weekend was my birthday, or as I called it this year: Carb-Fest.  I set out with the express intention to eat nothing but delicious starchy goodness for 3 days straight.  It was a great plan!  Started out strong, with donuts on Friday morning but after I'd eaten like... a dozen blueberry munchkins (scientifically the best donut) I lost interest.  After being off simple carbs for 6mos I just don't have a taste for them like I used to. By lunch on Friday all I wanted was protein.  Goes to show you that sugar really is an addiction.  Once you break the addiction it becomes clear just how unnecessary simple carbs are.  I did enjoy my donuts, and the amazing lemon bars that my wonderful co-worker made for me; but I was able to enjoy them from a place of actual appreciation as opposed to satisfying a craving.

Weight-wise I'm still stuck on this plateau.  Its frustrating but I guess I'm glad that the number isn't going up.  I continue to eat my "food" bars and take my lunch time walks in addition to working out in the evenings.  Since we've added the wrist weights to our routine I can really see my shoulders becoming more muscular, so that's cool.

Still Stuck

Here I am, still stuck on this plateau.  It's getting boring, but at least the number isn't going up I suppose.  My diet is so boring that I find myself not wanting to eat even though I'm hungry.  I end up having staring contests with my food bars for hours before they end up winning.  I feel better after I eat, I perk back up for a little while which is good because I'm usually so low on energy that the thought of chewing makes me want to lay down.  Well, that's where I am.

Jacob took my title.

Jacob and I seem to both be stuck in a plateau.  I know that they happen but I didn't think I'd hit one so soon!! I've been stuck bouncing around the same 2-3 lb window for about a month and it's so effing frustrating!! I stick to the diet and I work out and that damn number continues to mock me.   I'm trying to research ways to break it so if any of you internet people have any tips please let me know.  I'm pretty desperate.  I'm trying to stay focused on how much progress I've made so far and not the lack of progress I'm making right now. It's hard to not get discouraged.  Jacob has been wonderful though, always reminding me of the good that this work is doing even if it isn't showing in the scale.

In other news, I pulled a muscle in my calf again last night.  I stretched and took it slow and everything, but still it pulled.  This weekend will be filled with heat therapy, muscle rollers and rest.  At least it pulled on Thursday and not Monday I suppose.

falling off the wagon

My "rough" weeks are becoming more and more frequent.  I could blame PMS or stress or whatever, but I think what it really comes down to is that I've lost weight so now I'm becoming complacent.  Which is what ALWAYS gets me into trouble.  I hit a goal and I think: 

"Oh I'm cured! I can eat what I want and I'll stay this weight! I've cured myself of fatness."

Sadly, it doesn't work this way.  God I wish it did though.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  I'm trying to refocus myself on my diet and walking during my lunches. I'm trying to get my discipline back in check.  It's just so hard to be good all the time.  I know I can do this, but I find myself some days asking:

"Do I even really care anymore?  What's the point?"

Its so easy to slide, when life gets busy.  You tell yourself that it's different this time, that you can handle it this time; but these are just rationalizations.  If there's one thing all humans are absolute experts at, it's rationalizing.  Things like: I can't walk today at lunch because it's raining/too hot/too windy/I'm too busy; Or I can eat this even though I know I shouldn't because I've been really good lately/I'm really hungry/it's just this once.  Sometimes the slip really is warranted, but when you are playing lawyer with yourself you know you're in trouble.   One of my favorite book series ever has a really good line.  It's something like "I know I'm about to do something I'll regret when I start a sentence with 'I'd never do this, but...' or 'I shouldn't do this, but...'"  It's that "but" that should serve as the alarm.  Drop the conjunction and you have the decision made.  So yeah, that's where I am right now.  It's not the best place, but it's a place.  I'm glad I was able to see this happening and now that I have I can take steps to correct my path.

In other news, Jacob and I went to a corporate event at a Pirates game this weekend where the beer was free.  We had some.  First drink in 6 weeks.  It was good and I enjoyed it, but now it's back to business as usual.  


Since being on this diet I've had to change my entire attitude towards food.  This isn't a bad thing, my relationship with food was really unhealthy... I basically used it as a drug.  I'd eat when I was sad, I'd eat when I was happy, I'd eat when I was bored.  Basically the only time I wasn't eating was when I was asleep.  Looking back it's no mystery how I ballooned up to the size I am now.  I have a much healthier attitude towards food now.  However as just about anyone will tell you, keeping track of your food is key to dieting.  This way you can't lie to yourself about how much or what you've eaten.  Luckily we live in a time when we all carry around the internet in our pockets so it's easier than ever to keep track of what you eat and what the nutritional value is.  Despite all this I HATE logging my food.  Since I've adopted this healthier attitude towards my food eating has gone from a weird human function to actively stressful.  

It's not so bad when my food has a barcode, but when you cook or go out to eat it becomes this weird guessing game/science experiment/puzzle.  If you're eating at home you can weigh your portions and get a good idea of how much exactly you're eating, or use a measuring cup.  However if you're eating out it's a whole 'nother game.  How much are you getting?  How much is considered a portion?  Is 1 chicken wing a serving, or is a serving the whole thing?  Generally I get so frustrated with it that I just guess and hope for the best, I generally try to over estimate so I know I'm covered.  But this whole food logging thing just adds another layer of complication to what should just be a meal.

Anyways, the workout last night was cardio abs.  The hardest one we do.  I didn't puke after I finished but it was really close.  After we were finished Jacob had the audacity to say that "he's not sure that workout is hard enough"....  I just know he's going to ratchet up the difficulty on it soon.  Which is good because, ya know, exercise and weight loss.  I'm just not sure I'll be able to survive.

Here's my weight chart:

The weight continues to come off, slowly... Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a patient person.  I'm so tempted to go to extreme measures to try to lose more quickly, but I know doing that isn't maintainable in the long run and unhealthy in the extreme.

Stay motivated people, and kevetch when you need to.  It helps.

Dispelling Misconceptions

I saw my endocrinologist yesterday.  My second visit with him, and it was much more productive than my first one.  In my first appointment with him we mostly just discussed current symptoms and possible diagnosis, however this visit we actually had test results so we were able to actually discuss what I'm trying to do in this "getting healthy" thing I'm trying to do.  Here's what I learned:

Your weight is best thought of as a spring attached to a ceiling.  The point at which the spring is attached is your max weight or starting point.  As we reach a new max weight that point is ratcheted up further and it doesn't ever come down.  Now imagine that you are standing under that spring and pulling it down is you losing weight.  Pulling that spring down at first won't be too difficult, but the further down you try to pull the spring the harder its going to be not only to get it down to that point, but to keep it there.  You ever noticed how at first the weight comes off easily and quickly, then it slows down and gets harder and harder?  Pulling that spring down and holding it there by 5% is going to be a lot easier than 10%, so on and so forth. 

With this analogy in mind it makes it easy to see notions such as BMI, height/weight ratio, and dropping your weight by 50% as the bullshit that they are.  In the obesity medicine community 5% sustained weight loss is considered successful weight loss, and 10% sustained loss greatly reduces health risks associated to obesity (such as diabetes and heart disease).  10% is about the most maintained weight loss that most of the population can reliably keep off.  Medical intervention (bariatric surgery, medication, etc.) can and will get people below that 10% point, but the average for these is 20-25% sustained loss; and even then the majority of participants will see their weight increase back to that 10% loss point.  None of this should be discouraging, in fact it should be encouraging.  Weight loss should be about getting healthy, first and foremost.  So what if you don't have a six pack or a 28" waist? You've brought your weight down by 10% vastly reducing your risk of obesity related disease.  Anyone who says that isn't good enough because you don't conform to the visual ideal of what successful weight loss is can fuck off.

I know most people have heard that BMI is bullshit, and it is. It was created as a mathematical way to gauge insurance rates, turning people into numbers that can be quantified.  Height/weight ratio is just an extension of that.  I can't speak to men, as I'm not one, but when it comes to women it's pretty easy to see how these ratios and indices can't be trusted.  Using me for example:  I'm 5'2" and I weigh 177.  That puts me at a BMI of 32.  If you compare me to another woman who is 5'2" and 177 we'd look identical on paper.  Now, say that woman has A cup breasts while I have an F cup; now there's a very apparent difference between the two of us, but if you're just looking at BMI or height/weight ratio you'd never know.  All I'm trying to say here is that these systems are detrimental and shouldn't be used as a gauge for weight related health.

Well, moving on: here's my weekly personal update.

I reached a new low this week! I feel pretty good about it, but I'm tweaking my routine a bit.  For breakfast and lunch I'll be eating a meal replacement bar (previously I was only eating them for lunch), and weather permitting I'm going to start walking at lunches.  I hope to see an increase in the rate of my weight loss with these changes.

Did you miss me? #SDCC

So life continues to be life.  Last week was a completely lost cause.  Jacob was in LA on a business trip and I sulked around the house while he was gone.  No working out happened, though I did mow the lawn and it took forever so I'm counting that as a successful workout.  Its the little things.  He got back at like 230AM Friday and then I spent Friday night in a sleep lab and left for Texas that weekend to say good bye to my little sis who's shipping out to Norfolk, VA.  Needless to say, last week was a long one.  However, as you've read; Jacob got us tickets to SDCC!! This will be my 6th time going and I'm pretty pumped.  On the other hand, Jacob noticed that from the date we bought the tickets we had 100 days until the show... hence the 100 day project.  We're 3 workouts in and although I know it's a good thing that we're doing and I'll be so glad (and my doctors will be too) that I've done it, I can't help but dread it every day after work.

I spend all day putting my brain through the grinder to get home and do the same with my body.  Its so tiring! Not to mention all the other home things (dishes, laundry, guinea pig maintenance, etc.) that has to get done on a daily basis I just don't know, those fit moms do it.  I swear they must get some kind of super power infusion while they're in the delivery room.  If that's not what happens, don't tell me... that will just further discourage me from not wanting children.

Anywho... here's my weight chart.  You can tell I've not been working out.

Weight Update and Priorities

Things have been difficult to keep consistent recently.  Work has been crazy busy lately and I've been having to stay late more and more often which has made it harder to stay consistent with working out.  This week though Jacob and I have made a real effort to get the work out done regardless of what else we've had going on.  I think you can tell in my weight chart.  

Sometimes it's just not meant to be.

Remember how I said in my last post that I thought I'd pulled a muscle in my calf?  Well I'd taken it really really easy that week, and this Monday my calf was feeling much better.  I was all excited to get back to working out on Monday and not even 10 minutes into our plyometric heavy workout I feel the pop and seize again and down I go.  Joy.

Now that I'm in PT for my shoulder I went ahead and used the opportunity to talk to my therapist about this just to see exactly what it is and make sure I haven't done anything permanent too it.  Good news, I didn't pull it.  Bad news, my therapist (who is the sweetest girl ever) said that I have an incredibly angry muscle.  There's a knot in my calf about the size of my fist (and a somewhat smaller one in the other calf), and she advised that I stop all plyometric movements until I can get these (essentially) permanent charlie horses in my calves to release.  So I've not worked out (aside from my PT) since Monday, and I've spent a lot of time with my heating pad wrapped around my calf.  The knots have become less painful and a little more pliable, but they are definitely still there.  I hope that I'll be able to start working out again soon, but knowing me I'll get impatient and push too hard too early and be right back where I am now.  In the mean time I'm focusing more on my diet, which has been going well.

I've lost about 15lbs so far and I continue to feel better.  I spoke with one of my doctors yesterday about how since I've cut simple carbohydrates out of my diet I've noticed that my appetite in general has really gone down. I asked if this was a placebo effect or if there was something actually happening there.  He told me that since I'm not spiking and crashing my blood sugar over and over throughout the day that my body is at a much steadier pace and I'm able to better feel my bodies energy needs, as opposed to constantly trying to balance my blood sugar out.  I feel like I should have guessed that.  It seems like a pretty obvious effect of not eating simple sugars.  So anyone out there thinking about kicking the sugar habit, it sucks at first... a lot; but once you give yourself enough time to get equalized you really do feel better.  Less cravings, and a much steadier level of energy.

On the PT front, my sessions continue to hurt like hell. We continue to focus on retraining muscles that haven't been used correctly in decades.  My external rotator muscles are so incredibly weak that I can only do the bare minimum on exercises.  My therapist said that its unusual in that most people don't have the issues in the places where I do, but it makes sense given that I was a swimmer for so long and during the years of my life where I went through all my growing and hormonal changes.  Posture continues to be one of the most important things for me to practice and improve upon, which has been hard because my shoulder blades really don't like to sit where they're supposed to sit.  Instead they like to fall down.

Well I'm just rambling now.... TL;DR talk to your doctor if something hurts, posture is important.