Feelin’ A Bit Off…The Next 25ish Pounds

So if you’ve been following along you know I hit what I call my ‘fibromyalgia weight’ four days ago.

Honest to hell nothing clicked in my brain on any day prior to Sunday to warn me I was inching ever closer to the number I have been fighting for, for the past two years.  The shock of seeing it has left me in a funky, funk ever since.

Fighting.

I have been fighting to reclaim my body from the weight Lyrica and Cymbalta piled on for over TWO YEARS.  And thanks to weight loss surgery those pounds just melted away like nothing.  I should be turning cartwheels.

Shouldn’t I?

Ahh, the ‘should’ problem.

No wonder I’m feeling depressed and angsty.

I’m telling myself I should NOT be feeling anything other than rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns–purple, glittery unicorns.

The truth…

The truth is I feel sad.

I feel lonely.

I am grieving…not the pounds lost but the life I have lost since the day fibromyalgia changed my life forever and what sparked its arrival in my life.  I was 236.6 pounds on 9 September 2009 and again on 10 April 2016.

And to be entirely transparent in that way that keeps me real…

The next pounds to lose are the ones I gained after I married the professor who turned out to be a narcissistic psychopath (No, I am not exaggerating in the least in case you don’t know that story).

Oh Sweet Mercy!!!

More grief is coming.

There are a tiny handful of things I would truly change about my life if grated the power and marrying that man is definitely one of them.

I was my best me when he found me.

As with all charming narcissistic psychopaths, I was beguiled enough to say ‘I do’.

What I did not know is he trolled for me because my four children and I were supposed to be his Penance for destroying the lives of his wife and four children.  He had a magical plan that God would forgive him if he swooped me and my children up.  As we stood as proxy for his ex-wife and children, he was sure he would be healed by God’s Grace.

Of course, part of his plan included me being demure, submissive, and perpetually blinded by his charm. (Oh God, I can’t even type demure or submissive without laughing.  As anyone who really knows me, knows those are probably the last words that could be used to describe me.)

I guess his plan could have worked if he had managed to remain charming.

Instead he committed unspeakable atrocities.  He humiliated me for sport.  He abused me.  He told me of his plans to rape and pillage those who have wronged him.  And, he was enraged when I wouldn’t sit back and take it all with a cheerful and willing spirit much less worship him what he felt was magnanimous charity toward me and my children.

Fortunately for me, he failed to plan on his mental illnesses to unmask him.  His true colors are the stuff Stephen King writes about.

The stress of our 18 month marriage piled on about 25 pounds.

As we were divorcing, he called me ‘elephant ass.’

Right now…

Right this very minute…

I am sitting on those 25 pounds.

Yes, the bulk of the weight I gained landed on my booty.  Yes, those words stung.  The tear sliding down my cheek says they still sting.

But what you don’t know, unless you know the whole story, is the professor was teetering close to 500 pounds when he decided on this cruelty.

The man with the waist bigger around than I am tall called me ‘elephant ass.’

Unfortunately he’s not the first super obese person in my life to say something nasty about my weight so it triggered all of those past pains too.

Those are the next 25ish pounds on my To Lose list.

Losing weight isn’t about losing weight and losing weight alone.  It is about losing all the shit that came with the pounds.

A 500-pound man with a questionable grip on reality called me elephant ass…and I have to deal with it.

Even though I already knew this was coming I guess I am a little surprised it has arrived so quickly.

Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuckity.  Fuck.

When he met me, I was the strongest me I had ever been.

I had risen from the ashes of abuse and neglect.  I had healed myself and my soul.  My words were even being featured on the gratitude journal section of Oprah’s early 2000’s website.

Me.  On Oprah’s website.

Less than two years later we were divorcing and the tell-a-tale symptoms of fibromyalgia started appearing.

It is the scar of our relationship that will never leave no matter how many pounds I lose.

Despite much personal growth, I am still not back to where I was the day he found me.

Even if I could snap my fingers and be instantly rid of those 25 pounds, fibromyalgia will remain.  It has changed me and the course of my life.  Granted some of the change has been positive but this new reality does not lead back to that woman I was.

So maybe I just need to get a grip.

Maybe I need to cut myself some slack.

Maybe I need to deal with the terrifying horror that was being linked to the most truly evil human being I have ever known.

“These next 25 are some of the most painful ever placed on my body.”

Maybe I just need to say that, put that out there, and let it be.

Maybe I need to trust myself and all the work I have done to reclaim the spirit of the woman who captured the attention of Oprah’s people.

Maybe I just need to be present.  Because my here and now is even better than the woman who was the best me could have foreseen and frankly that’s pretty damned amazing considering all the shit I’ve waded through to get here.

Maybe I just need to do the work instead of feeling glum.

For my sleeve to do its job, I have to do mine.

So I’m feeling a little off…

If this is all you know about my story, I am sure you’ll tell me it’s to be expected.

Maybe I need to give my elephant ass a hug before I shove it off the wall…

Elephant

 

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Week 5–The Good, The Bad, The Ugly…And The Utterly Amazing

One of the good moments was finding out one of my medications, Relafen, was the cause of the severe non-migraine headaches I’ve been having.  It’s frustrating and disappointing.  It made me swear.  A lot.  But, at the same time the water retention it was causing was also causing my brain to swell.  It is good to know that.

However, this is also bad.  Brain swelling????  Effin’ really??????  As if I don’t have enough to worry about now I have to worry about brain swelling too.  My doc thinks it will be a good couple of weeks before my body ‘normalizes.’  He did say that with kid-gloves because he’s been riding the roller coaster non-normal of my body with me for almost six years now.

I do need to stop right here and share another good moment because it will lead us right straight to the ugly.  My hubs FINALLY found a job that seems to be a perfect fit.  The lifting of all the stress, worry, and confusion that comes from not knowing if or when he would find work is quite a bit above just being ‘good’ it is AMAZING (but that’s not the utterly amazing moment…I knew he’d find the right job).

Ironically, that brings us to a lil’ bit o’ ugly.  We’ve been running around like crazy trying to tie-up a bunch of errands, honey-dos, and assorted stuff so his transition back to work is as smooth as possible.  That has meant there’s been a gross amount of fast food in my life.  I have made good choices–bun-less burgers with chili or salad with maybe 10 of my hubs french fries–and I am proud of myself about that part.  But, fast food three times in one week.   That’s so not me.  And while this is not bad we also went out for a celebratory dinner at ‘our’ restaurant (the one where we met) and I ate a few too many of their gloriously fresh tortilla chips.

Four non-cooked-by-me meals in one week.  For me, that’s ugly.  Even making good choices it’s still a sodium bomb in my life.  I’m not too puffy but I am feeling it and the scale is showing it.

So let’s review the past few weeks shall we…massive water weight gain which I now know is a side effect of medication.  Twelve pounds of water.  I knew it wasn’t real.  And now I know that for sure.

So please join me in being utterly amazed that I…..

….was too small for 1X the super cute beach-scene printed top…

….and…

…I put on a size 16 dress…

…and would have bought it…

…except for a few bumps and rolls in the wrong places…

…size 16 people…

…SIXTEEN…

….WITH lingering water retention.

A-M-A-Z-ING!!!!!!

I’m thinking about investing in some shape wear and going back to try that dress on again *huge smile* It was the type of dress that would knock his socks off for our five-star dinner on our cruise.

Size 16!!!!!!!!

Also amazing is my garden coming back to life alreadyWP_20150208_001

My goal for the week: Seven walks.

I know that might sound like a lot but if I do not start putting my feet on the pavement Mexico is going to kill me.  I finally found okay-for-now sneakers.  Not having them is what I’ve been saying has been holding me back.  I have them so now it’s time to put up or shut up.

ACCOUNTABILITY!!!  ACTION!!!  ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ACTIONS!!!!  My year.  My time.

Week 4–

Man, I don’t even know where to start.  I guess the best way to describe this week was a roller coaster–emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually.

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bad week just full.  Very full.

There was a whole lot of me working on building my patience and tolerance for my body’s shenanigans.  However, I also came to the realization that I’m fighting my body in an unhealthy way.  I’m not ‘doing’ anything bad but I am feeling bad about what I have come to know is just part of my normal.  Yes, I am referring to the bloated, puffiness that has been hanging around for weeks.

Here is where I want to stress the importance of keeping your tribe, your circle, your influences positive and solutions-focused.

As most of you know this blog started as I prepared for weight loss surgery and how I later changed my mind.  As I discarded my plans, I kept one of my online weight loss surgery support groups because they are so solutions-focused.

Weight loss surgery breeds creative food solutions that really can work for anyone who is looking for nutrient dense, power-packed meals.  And for anyone who thinks surgery is the ‘easy’ way out I suggest you spend some time in the world of a post-weight loss surgery patient.

Well, in that group a successful loser posted her concerns of some post surgical weight gain.  She gained 12 pounds just having surgery.  I was able to respond to her.  I told her to be patient.  I told her to keep her protein up.  I told her to keep her fluids up.  I told her to move as much as she was able.  I told her the weight loss wasn’t real fat gain.  Even though I had been telling myself all those things, I wasn’t really listening. I go through unearned weight gain several times a year when my body starts crapping out.

So I started asking myself why I wasn’t listening.

Here are my answers:

I’m tired.  I’m tired of my body playing sick jokes (all pun intended) on me.  I’m tired of struggling so hard.  I’m tired of watching other people do what I have yet to convince my body to do (reach a healthy weight).

Then the surgery friend said, “I’m sure we’ll just look back on this and laugh.”

And what felt so good as I reassured her and listened to my own good advice suddenly became this angry moment.

She is going to recover from the temporary weight gain of surgery.

I am not.  No matter what weight I am my body will randomly gain weight and I will go through this again, and again, and again.  Now perhaps with time I’ll learn my body even better and find a level of control over my Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism (autoimmune disease with low thyroid) that I have yet to enjoy which will reduce or eliminate these episodes.

Used without permission from 15pictures.com

Used without permission from 15pictures.com

That’s just one turn on the roller coaster.  I’ll spare you the other twists, turns, and loop-d-loops.

You’re probably thinking I had a bad week, right?

I wouldn’t call it bad.  I would call it a week of growth.

I’d also call it a week for shrinking because I lost………

2.6 POUNDS THIS WEEK!!!!!!

I’m sure a good part of it is some of the water I’ve been retaining because I’m not quite as puffy.  By the end of the day my ankles only look like they’re wearing doughnuts instead of inner tubes *rolls eyes*

So here’s my best advice:  When you have these types of roller coaster weeks, hang on to your plan.  Do your part.  Put in the work.  Put in the time.  When your world is spinning and you’re just not sure what to do just hang on.  Stick to your plan.  Let your plan bring you a sense of peace and order.

Where this is my year of accountability, when I felt like a tornado on the inside this is what I did to use my plan to help me reach my goals:

As much as I was all over the place emotionally, my food was on point.
I made sure I was weighing everything.
I focused on nutrition rather than food.
I took extra steps whenever I could.
I made sure I was getting enough sleep.
I made sure I was drinking my water.
I kept reminding myself that even when my body storms out of my control I am worth the effort.And I remembered the advice of my dear friend Jerry, “Enjoy the ride.”

Hang on…roller coasters only last a few minutes…then they’re over and you move forward taking the experience with you.

 

 

 

 

Week 3: I’m going to make this short.

Yes, I know some of you are laughing and that’s cool.  You’re laughing because you know me and are well-acquainted with my lengthy posts.  It’s all good.  But, I promise this will be short because I’ve actually been dreading writing a behemoth all day.  Then I realized I could use economy in my writing.  I could simply say….

THIS WEEK SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!!

But that’s not the whole truth.

It just feels like the whole truth because my body’s a bloated, water retaining, puffy mess.

The truth is I made some positive strides.

I made my first ever canning jar salads.  I admit I was skeptical but they’re really rather awesome.

Tomatoes, yellow peppers, celery, and radishes in roasted red pepper vinaigrette

Tomatoes, yellow peppers, celery, and radishes in roasted red pepper vinaigrette

However, I did learn that radishes brewed in vinegary dressing for a few days sorta smell like feet (note to self: put the radishes on the top next time).  Other than the stinky feet smell they were actually super yum and oh so convenient.  Three jars of chopped veggie salads took me less than 15 minutes from chopping to sealing.

Then Wednesday showed up, my allergies turned on the juice, and that’s where misery found me.

Thursday night was good and bad.  An Instagram friend showed me a cool coconut flour mug cake so I “had” to try it.  It was low carb and highly DELISH.  Easy, healthy, and clean….But, a dessert on a Thursday?????  Honestly for as good as it was it made me feel like crap for not sticking to my plan.

Friday was allergies AND my new neck thingy.  I couldn’t feel my fingers on my right hand so I didn’t enter my food into Fitday and haven’t since.  I can give myself a pass for not doing it when I’m in pain but for avoiding it the rest of the time I absolutely know better.

WP_20150124_003Saturday was busy early and peaceful later.  In the afternoon, I went with my hubs to deliver some firewood near “my” mountain.  It’s one of my favorite places in the whole world and I really needed to be there.

Today has been good.  Reward Days are easier though.  I admit I am behind on water and I haven’t eaten exactly every three hours but otherwise it’s been a good day.  I even went for a walk.

About the walk: I am officially a fibro girl in training.

Training for what?

Used without permission from Princess Cruise's Facebook page.

Used without permission from Princess Cruise’s Facebook page.

CRUISING TO MEXICO!!!!!!!

One of my secrets to enjoying vacation with fibromyalgia is putting myself in training weeks before the planned get away.

Fibro bodies need time to work up to the activity level of the trip.  I believe this is where so many fibros fail when attempting to go on vacation (or even grocery shopping…but that’s a topic for another day, another blog).

But enough of that for now.

The only other thing I want to share is: The scale is up even more than last week.  I know it’s lying.  I know I’m bloated and puffy so I reject the number.  It is not real so I refuse to give it space in my brain (okay you know I’m thinking about it but what I mean is I’m trying to not let those thoughts go south).

Just remember accountability is NOT perfection.  It is about owning your mistakes AND moving forward.  This week could have been better and that’s on me.

 

Week Two: Ugh!

UghUgh!

Just ugh!

But allow me to likely ramble while I elaborate.

Do you remember the pain I talked about last week?  Wellllllllllll it turns out that pain was something.

Oh make no mistake fibromyalgia pain IS something but last week’s pain wasn’t the fibro pain I’m used to.

Fortunately, three weeks ago I had scheduled a check-in appointment with my doctor.  Then on the day of the appointment something more urgent came up.

Isn’t it always the way?

The next morning I headed straight for the nurse practitioner’s office in another city and part of the group of doctors I see.  He always have open appointments.  I was seen in less than an hour after my phone call.

The diagnosis:

Cervical Ridiculopathy.

RIDICULOUS!!!!!

(Yeah, the irony that those two words contain many of same letters is not lost on me.  Not one effing bit).

Now before I dive off into much more of an explanation of this particular pain I am going to stop myself and say simply I left with orders for an MRI with the potential of surgery looming.

That much pain!

I spent the next day and a half pouting.

I usually only allow myself one day but under the circumstances I needed a little more time to work through it.

What has this done to my efforts to lose weight?

Upset them of course!!!!!!!!

Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s have taught me to march through a lot of pain and dysfunction but yet another new issue which may have life-long consequences?

“C’mon body, work with me dammit!”

Sigh.

I was frustrated and not at all totally on plan.

My food was okay.

On my day and a half of pouting, I did “need” a bag of Skittles.

I wanted fruity, sweet.

I wanted to feel better.

The first 8, 10, 12 Skittles were exactly what I was hoping for.  The rest of the bag honestly tasted like shit.  All the flavors blended together.  The waxy, polished shell was annoying and gross.  And, they failed to satisfy.

However, all the parts of my brain which light up in the presence of sugar were awake for the first time in days.Sugar brain scan

As a drug, Skittles gave me what I was hoping for.

I rarely resort to sugar but….and maybe this is going to be too much TMI for many of you…but when amazing sex isn’t enough of a rush it’s time to bring out sugar.

Yep, sex more than sugar is one of my pain coping mechanisms.

This time it failed.

Ironically even though it was completely a lovely union, when it failed to pull me out of the pain-pit it was a perfect sign something more than just fibro was going on.

When I send fibro pain a rush of intimacy-fueled endorphins, she says, “Thank You Nice Lady,” and calms down at least for a little while.  This time.  Nada.  Okay, not true but only maybe 15-20 minutes of post-coital bliss.

What has pain done to my commitment to move?

Honestly, not much.

Am I doing much with my upper body?  Uhh, that’s a big, fat NO!!!!!!!

But am I still moving?  Yep.  Even on my days when I was “resting” I was still getting up every 60-90 minutes.

How’s the scale look?

Bloated.

Not weight gain, bloated.  Water retention, bloated.

One of the things chronic pain has taught me is just how much our muscles rely on water to process pain and in this case injury.  Any pain event causes the scale to jump not because I’m being ‘bad’ and not doing the things I need to but because my body is in recovery mode.

As much as I know this, it’s soul sucking to see the scale and my body puff-up.

However this experience reinforces my message that when you are trying to lose weight with fibro, thyroid disease, or even your run of the mill ridiculous, ridiculopathy you have to keep you head on straight.  You have to know in advance what you are going to do and more importantly NOT do when pain hits you.

My best advice:  If you can conquer the mental part of the game and only use food as a tool–even a little sugar–to vault you from where you are to where you need to be, when you body is back to behaving you won’t have to battle extra and real weight gain.

WP_20150108_001My best, BEST advice: DRINK WATER!!!!!!!  If you’re a water-hater like me figure out what you need to do to DRINK WATER anyway.  My new favorite is no sugar, no artificial sugar, lightly flavored seltzer water.  Flavor it!  Infuse it!  Drink mix it!  JUST DRINK IT!

I also love that the name of the store brand is “Super Chill” because I have been needing to do a super lot of chilling this week.

In a weird way my new water find has been a comforting reminder this pain is going to pass.  It might be a speed bump now but it is going to get better.  If I keep my head, it won’t throw me off track too much.

Keep Calm…and move on…even if you need to ugh, ugh, ugh along the way.

 

 

 

 

CI #99–No More Unicorn Chasing

Weight loss is all about changing habits.  Most people rush straight to food and fitness and there’s nothing wrong with that but weight loss is more the just changing the way we eat and move.  Weight loss has to include changing all habits which do not promote health and happiness with our bodies.

All.

No arguing.

I have a habit I need to change.  It’s an odd one for sure.  It is the kind that might even go unrecognized because it is a good habit in disguise.  Without the struggle this past year has been and without a fortuitous chain of events as the old year was slipping away and the new year would charging in I might not have really latched on to my need to change.

My good habit is creating goals but it becomes bad when I create goals for my body that are not in balance with my body.

At the end of the year I decided to keep the last goal I missed and give it a deadline of the morning I step on the cruise ship.  It would mean to reach 236.6 I would need to lose 11 pounds in 7 weeks.

Let’s forget the cruise for a sec.

That number is emotionally charged all by itself.  236.6 was what I happened to weigh on the morning of my last day of full-time work.  I was fired from my job that afternoon in large part because I became physically unable to keep up with the demands of the job.  It was my weight when I finally realized the weight of fibromyalgia.  Getting back there and taking that number back is a big deal to me.  Huge.  I can be honest about that.

Now, back to reality…

I am a woman who loves big goals and dreams.  Ask anyone who knows me.  I know that about myself and those around it know me for it.  Honestly, it’s kinda one of my favorite things about me.

Except.

It does not, never has, and likely never will apply to my body and weight loss.Habits

It bothers the ever-living hell out of me.

Yet, I keep setting those goals and pushing to accomplish them only to feel like I’m sitting on the sidelines watching my thyroid crap-out or a fibro flare to hit.  The deadline whizzes by and I’m left sad, discouraged and angry.  I pout for a while and then I pull up my big girl panties and try again.

And again.

And again.

For over 12 years!!!

There is one thing I know…

11 pounds in 7 weeks…not even if I starved myself!!!!

At best, it is an unattainable goal.  At worst, it is a symptom of habitual self-destruction.  Attaching yet another weight loss goal to another high point of my life sure sounds–and has felt–like self-destruction.  I spend a lot of time soothing my wounded will as another deadline passes without me achieving my weight loss goal.  I also miss out on celebrating the good, and even, great moments of my life because I’ve tagged successful weight loss to the event.

So I have to ask myself why would I want to attach all of this negative reality to leaving for Mexico?

That’s nuts!

I am stepping on the ship for the adventure of a lifetime.  Whatever pounds I am carrying will be along for the ride.  Is it really the end of the world if I don’t love the number on the scale that morning?  It could be…if I am the one creating that drama for myself.

Uhh, that doesn’t sound like a loving or vacation-y thing to do to myself.

Time to deal with the truth.

My truth is my body is broken metabolically, auto-immune-ly, fibromyalgia-ly, B-R-O-K-E-N!

I am not entirely in control.

Now, if I really–and I mean REALLY–know that then why on Earth do I keep setting weight loss goals only to watch my body miss them.  Apparently I’m into beating myself up.

No more.

While zillions of people are making weight loss resolutions, I resolve to avoid them.

Once I decided no more, I un-clicked my weight loss goals from Fitday.com.

Fitday.com is one of my favorite tools but sometimes it lies to me and tells me my goals are achievable. They are if I was a normal person.  I am not so it lies and I eat it up.

By the math–for normal bodies–losing 11 pounds in 7 weeks is not impossible.  It’s actually a respectable 1.5 pounds a week.

My normal average?

Oh I’m so glad you asked…one half pound.

Yeah.

On a good week I can muster a whole pound.  On a bad week I’m thrilled to pieces to see 2/10ths (the increment my scale uses).  Over time it works out to about one-half pound.

The sad thing is, for my body, this is an improvement.  Before my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis was diagnosed, I went years averaging only one-quarter pound a week.

For my body losing what is consider a normal 1-2 pounds a week is the equivalent of unicorn hunting–something to be chased, believing it could be true, but secretly knowing it isn’t.Unicorn

No more.

And, honestly it’s kinda killin’ me.  Unicorns are awesome.  Weight loss goals that become unicorns…not so much.

I’m a goal setting, goal achieving freak and that part of me is twitching at the notion of not having a weight loss goal.

BTW,  that is precisely how I know I have a problem.

Out with the oldThe unsettled feelings in the pit of my stomach tell me I am not as loving to my body as I think I am.

If the anxiety wells simply because I un-click a goal, I’ve been in trouble for a long, long time.

This is the year that changes. 

The fear I feel lets me know I am on to something huge.

With all goals defining accountability is the best way to determine success.

My accountability is now a weekly series of ‘kiss and cry’ posts where I resolve to be open, raw, and even downright mean with myself if necessary to disconnect goals and weight loss from my psyche once and for all.

Of course, I’ll be doing the right things to inspire my body to let go of the pounds.

Of course, there are going to be weeks my body just sits there and laughs.

Of course, I’ll even have times when I get totally fed up and disgusted with my body’s passion for making me feeling the journey is unicorn-like and use that as an excuse to fall off track.

It’s all normal even the unicorn-y part.  For me…it’s normal for me.

Isn’t it about time I come to terms with what I know about my own body?

Yes.

No goals.  No unicorns.  Accountability for actions.

2015 The Year of Weight Loss Goal-Less Wisdom

 

 

Oh Look I Changed My Mind Again–And Why It Matters

I know, I know those of you who know me are not the least bit surprised, right.

Honestly, the reason for the change is the one bit of consistent feedback I receive is some version of, “I really like this but I would not ever read it because I don’t have fibromyalgia.”  At first the comment bothered me.  I mean you’re talking about one of my writing babies now.  Like any protective momma I said, “My baby’s fine.”

However, the more the comments worked their way under my skin the more I realized IIIIIIIIIIIIIII would NOT be drawn to a blog with any sort of illness listed in the title.  The more I thought about it the more I focused on my blog reading list and there’s not a single “sick” titled blog on the list with the exception of one written by a dear friend.  I read it because she writes it but I honestly would not be drawn to it by the title alone (Sorry, E I love you!)

My personal blog and website roll is filled with wellness and empowerment.  Overcoming challenges–health or otherwise–is a theme but my reading list is not exclusively about being a chronic babe.  My reading list is about coaxing myself into being my best me.  Yes, I’m aware of how self-centered and egotistical that sounds.  And you know what?  I don’t care.

Don’t judge me until you read why…

I was taught from early on to not think of myself at all.  When I became a young mom my life was all about making sure my four kids had what they needed.  Not only did my own personal health suffer but I did not do the best job giving my kids what they needed.  No, that is not a moment of self-deprecation. The constant feelings of letting them down only turned my attention even farther from myself and sometimes toward food.

The ridiculous irony of my life is it took becoming a chronic babe to decide I mattered.  If I am not well enough to take care of my family which includes two goofy dogs and a cat, then what good am I to them?  To myself?

I would even submit that many chronic babes–from obesity to fibromyalgia–are chronic, at least in part, because we never thought we mattered enough to make sure our own bodies were healthy.  We have spent way too much of our lives making sure our jobs and families were a priority. It is time we stomp our foot and say, “I matter, dammit.”

Now while some of you boo and hiss or vow to never read me again my wish is the same wish I have whenever I send something into the bloggosphere:

May the person who needs to read this the most, find it and be touched.

I know someone reading this needed to see those words. The me of 45+ years ago, and every year along the way, sure as hell needs to know I mattered.

Perhaps my knowing sounds narcissistic to you but I have been blogging long enough to know it is a very non-narcissistic truth.  Blogs are because the reader who needs the words, finds them because the writer who needed to say them, does.

So what am I saying with my blog?  What do I want to say?

The number on the scale is important…but so is how you feel about yourself the other 86, 395 seconds of the day (My scale takes about 5 seconds to display my weight).

Furthermore, how you feel about yourself while wading through health challenges is crucial to your state of wellness even when, especially when those challenges are chronic.  When you are already sick, the fat talk can be especially damning.

The truth is you need to be extra nice to yourself.

I want “Weighing Healthy” to be that sometimes gentle, sometimes loud reminder that you indeed do matter…and when things are not working for you–especially blog titles–you do have the power to change them.

In fact, it is not only healthy but empowering to make changes and move forward.

You also should not be the least bit concerned about what anyone thinks.

My best advice: Your journey is about you.  And, it is okay.  Make-A-Fresh-Start

CI#98–Today’s The Day

The worst part about taking a break is getting started again.  There is this amazing temptation to feel like a failure or even that life won’t be as lovely following “the rules” again.  It’s a head game.  Nothing more.  It’s also a big, fat lie and you really need to treat it as such because if the foods you’re eating on plan are really that abhorrent to you then you need new food.  Srsly!

Even as much as I know that, I will admit my feet did not hit the floor this morning before I caught myself thinking, “Low carb day…oh hell no.”  But I took a big deep breath and let that thought go.

Carb cycling–or any structured eating plan–takes work.  The truth is I woke up with some of yesterday’s pain and I don’t want to deal with the work.  That is different from “I can’t,” “I’m a failure,” and even “Oh hell no,” so it’s best to admit what it really is and move on.  Today I want to lounge about in flannel jammies nursing my Christmas-tree-putting-up-six-trips-to-the-store wounds.  But, I am also honestly very eager to start Carb Cycling again.

However, I am also nervous and worried the break won’t be enough to kick-start my body again.  I have to acknowledge those feelings while making sure I do not let them stand in my way.  I was off for 35 days so if my body hasn’t responded appropriately in 35 more days then I’ll give those feelings some steam.  Then I will act on them.  Today I will admit them and do my part to wrangle my insane thyroid, fibromyalgia body into submission and I’ll keep doing that until it is abundantly clear it is not working.  number-1

With my eagerness, I’m racing through this post so I can declare my goals to myself and to y’all and get my day started right.  I’m back.  And the parts of me who don’t hurt from yesterday are excited to get back to it which is why it is so important to recommit as publicly as you feel comfortable.  So many dieters make the mistake of keeping it a secret.  The “I’ll start on Monday” thought quickly turns into “I deserve to be fat forever because I’m such a loser for eating cookies for breakfast,” on Tuesday morning when waking up Monday involved their own “Oh hell no” moment.  It happens.  To everyone.  Know that, overcome that and you’re already on your way.

Hi my name is Tanya and I am recommitting to Carb Cycling today.

My best advice: If you need a restart, declare it!

If you do not have a support system put it in the comments or if you know me message me privately because you know I am here cheering for you.  Just tell someone other than yourself because that layer of accountability is crucial to your success.  We got this!

CI#97–I’m Back From A Break

My last post swirled around the INSANITY of losing weight with thyroid disease and fibromyalgia.  My answer to that 12 October post: STOP.  Stop being insane.

So I did the unfathomable and decided to STOP Carb Cycling or even paying too much attention to food, calories, fitness, but not the scale.

Used without permission from queenofyourlife.com

Used without permission from queenofyourlife.com

On that little pain in my ass, I kept a strong eye.  I was watching and waiting for it to creep upward and then I was going to hang out there for a few days and BAM hit the Carb Cycling again.

How’d that work out?

It was INSANE TOO!!!!

At first there was no change at all.  It took about a week for my body to add a couple of pounds from the extra carbs.  And I do know it was the extra carbs because I was NOT using this break as an excuse to hork down everything in sight.  It was simple a rule-less break.  I ate when I was hungry.  I ate veggies IF I felt like it and the went same for carbs, protein, sugar, and fat but I did not overeat.  Not even on Thanksgiving did I eat too much, of course, it was easy because I didn’t cook.  Yeah, not a single sweet potato did I prepare.

My plan was to let myself “gain” five pounds.

Now that “gain” is in parenthesis because I knew most of it would be from excess glycogen in my muscles and not true weight gain because again I was NOT overeating so I wasn’t going to really gain weight.

So I bet you’re wondering how long it took to pack on five whole pounds?

Well, my last teary post was October 12 and the last day I recorded my food in Fitday was 30 October.   The days between my emotional break down and my last food journal entry was me deciding what to do and ultimate deciding to take a big deep breath and to stop toiling in the insanity.

I also realized I’ve been on some sort of plan since July 2013–or 15 months–until my body stopped responding to my efforts.  Once that dawned on me, it was easier to give myself permission to step away.  But, I didn’t step until I had a plan to jump back.  That is where the five pound “gain” came in.

To be fair I actually learned about this approach when I was a personal trainer at Curves for Women in the 90s and for some reason I remembered it.  Curves founder Gary Heavin, suggests when transitioning to maintenance to never let yourself gain more than five pounds.  If or when you do, he says to just jump back on your plan until you lose the weight.  Then you keep repeating the cycle until your metabolism readjusts so you don’t gain by eating like a normal person.  It’s probably one of the most intelligent maintenance plans I’ve ever known of so I decided to give it whirl.  Heavin suggests the more “broken” your metabolism the faster that weight will come on as an almost “flight or fight” type response.  “Oh look more food.  Let’s keep it,” sort of thing.

Let’s go back to my last day of found journaling: 30 October.

Like I said, I gained 2-2.5 pounds in after 15 days.

Then the scale just bobbed.  Up a little, down a little but essentially the same.

When did I gain the rest?

This past weekend I went up another .5-.75 pounds.

First I’m bitching because the scale races upward when I’m doing everything to bring it down and now I can’t gain an ounce eating dessert a couple of nights a week.

Seriously, body?

When did I top out at a five pound gain?

Wednesday morning.

So I have to give a shout out to the amazing cheesecake from the Fish Rock Grill.  Thank you, Oh Glorious Turtle Cheesecake for making me a bloated, puffy mess who had a near-meltdown when the scale shot all the way up to 247.

Thankfully, the 247 thing was fleeting and was like the result of teryikai sauce and restaurant food as much as that creamy, ooey, gooey, caramely, slice of awesome (sorry you probably didn’t need to read that but it was amazing and I’m slightly sad I know it exists).

If that 247 was real would have lost my ever lovin’ mind.

Those 240s were not nice to me at all.

This morning 4 December: 244.4.

Thirty-five days after I threw Carb Cycling and Fitday aside.  It took my body 35 long, wonderful, beautiful days.

Huh?

Oh you’re confused?

If Mr. Heavin is right, and I do believe he is, my metabolism didn’t see me going off the rails as a threat so it didn’t pack on the pounds in a matter of days.  It was calm.  It was patient.  Or, maybe it was just taking a nap.

If my metabolism was kissable, I’d kiss it.

And now it’s time to keep my promise to jump back on track.

So here I am declaring, “I’m BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK.”

Am I jumping right back in?

No.

I’m taking the rest of the week to slowly add structure back in to my eating and I’ll start Carb Cycling on Monday.

Is this an excuse to keep eating off track?

Nope.

I know from experience my guts are going to revolt if I suddenly switch gears so I’m being kind to my body and easing back in.  The results of tonight’s roasted cauliflower lets me know I’m pretty wise to take it easy, ’nuff said, right.

But, I’ve actually saved the best result for last.

During my break, I did continue to use my BodyBugg/BodyMedia device because I wanted to make sure my activity level did not dip off too.  Taking a much-needed break is smart but losing mobility would have been months of me trying to cajole my body back to being willing to move.  Since today marks 100 days until my hubs and I set sail for the Mexican Riviera losing mobility would have been a different brand of insanity.

Anyway, do you know what happened during my break?

MY METABOLISM JUMPED 150 CALORIES A DAY!!!!!

Are you frickin’ kidding me?

Nope.

It got FASTER.

Not carb cycling also gave me a chance to not worry about not eating carbs so I found a few new carby recipes to add to my rotation which I do believe will be important since so many of my days were just a blur of protein and veggies but starchy veggiesonly on high carb days, of course.

Best of all, after 35 days I am ready for a kickass low carb Monday.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about my body’s penchant for insanity though.

I know I didn’t tell you why I’ve been missing and I apologize for that but I needed to just be in my own head for this one.  (OMGOSH, I am NOT going to freak out about how puffy my face looks….deep breath…it’s a new camera angle…you’ve gained a little….you’re bloated…just breathe…can’t wait until Monday now).

Food Is Meant To Be Eaten

It is a just-after-dawn Monday morning as I am writing this.  Normally, I would not point out such a thing but in this case I need you to understand it is very early on a Monday.  I’m sitting at my desk where I have a mostly unobstructed view of a six-foot wide picture window.  While I’m cruising Facebook or giving my silent opinion on which celebrity wore what dress best I can watch the day break.  This morning’s day is breaking a little different.  Since I am in the midst of transformation I have “liked” dozens of Facebook pages devoted to diet, fitness, and exercise along with my very large group of inspirational, transformational types.  But on this Monday morning many of them are focused on a similar theme–forgiving one’s self for eating particularly on the weekend.

The messages caused me to take a step back.

Food is not meant to be forgiven.  Food is meant to be eaten.

Perhaps the notion of needing forgiveness for eating any number of calories is the real problem in our collective psyche.  Perhaps that is the reason why so many people are overweight and struggling.  Perhaps too few people know a normal, healthy, active American woman should eat around 2,000 calories a day.  Men are in the 2,500 calorie range.

I can almost hear a universal gasp as I typed, “around 2,000 calories a day” because I know women, and a few men, who think eating that number a sin.

Food is not a sin.

Gluttony, yes.

Eating to sustain and support a healthy body, never.

Copied with permission from 100 Days of Real Food Copied with permission from 100 Days of Real Food For the last couple days I've asked my girls to make their own school lunches. I've been loving this for two reasons: 1st (the obvious) - I don't have to do it! and 2nd - They eat almost 100% of everything they pack themselves. I told them if they packed a balanced, nice-looking lunch that included veggies I would take a picture of it to share (with you guys of course!). They both immediately wanted to make the most photo-worthy lunch possible (sometimes it's the little things LOL) so I of course ended up taking a picture of everything they've made. They clearly have a lot more fun using all the different lunch boxes we own (unlike me) AND they also obviously like to take bites and eat samples along the way - even during the picture taking. The food they packed includes plain yogurt mixed with our new homemade strawberry jam, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, whole-wheat cinnamon bread and cream cheese sandwiches, cashews and sunflower seeds, oranges, pineapple, leftover chicken and cauliflower, and I am honestly not sure what's on that one sandwich at the top right.  For the last couple days I've asked my girls to make their own school lunches. I've been loving this for two reasons: 1st (the obvious) - I don't have to do it! and 2nd - They eat almost 100% of everything they pack themselves. I told them if they packed a balanced, nice-looking lunch that included veggies I would take a picture of it to share (with you guys of course!). They both immediately wanted to make the most photo-worthy lunch possible (sometimes it's the little things LOL) so I of course ended up taking a picture of everything they've made. They clearly have a lot more fun using all the different lunch boxes we own (unlike me) AND they also obviously like to take bites and eat samples along the way - even during the picture taking. The food they packed includes plain yogurt mixed with our new homemade strawberry jam, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, whole-wheat cinnamon bread and cream cheese sandwiches, cashews and sunflower seeds, oranges, pineapple, leftover chicken and cauliflower, and I am honestly not sure what's on that one sandwich at the top right.

Copied with permission from 100 Days of Real Food
Copied with permission from 100 Days of Real Food For the last couple days I’ve asked my girls to make their own school lunches. I’ve been loving this for two reasons: 1st (the obvious) – I don’t have to do it! and 2nd – They eat almost 100% of everything they pack themselves. I told them if they packed a balanced, nice-looking lunch that included veggies I would take a picture of it to share (with you guys of course!). They both immediately wanted to make the most photo-worthy lunch possible (sometimes it’s the little things LOL) so I of course ended up taking a picture of everything they’ve made. They clearly have a lot more fun using all the different lunch boxes we own (unlike me) AND they also obviously like to take bites and eat samples along the way – even during the picture taking. The food they packed includes plain yogurt mixed with our new homemade strawberry jam, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, whole-wheat cinnamon bread and cream cheese sandwiches, cashews and sunflower seeds, oranges, pineapple, leftover chicken and cauliflower, and I am honestly not sure what’s on that one sandwich at the top right.
For the last couple days I’ve asked my girls to make their own school lunches. I’ve been loving this for two reasons: 1st (the obvious) – I don’t have to do it! and 2nd – They eat almost 100% of everything they pack themselves. I told them if they packed a balanced, nice-looking lunch that included veggies I would take a picture of it to share (with you guys of course!). They both immediately wanted to make the most photo-worthy lunch possible (sometimes it’s the little things LOL) so I of course ended up taking a picture of everything they’ve made. They clearly have a lot more fun using all the different lunch boxes we own (unlike me) AND they also obviously like to take bites and eat samples along the way – even during the picture taking.
The food they packed includes plain yogurt mixed with our new homemade strawberry jam, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, whole-wheat cinnamon bread and cream cheese sandwiches, cashews and sunflower seeds, oranges, pineapple, leftover chicken and cauliflower, and I am honestly not sure what’s on that one sandwich at the top right.

And yet so many of us, feel the need to beat ourselves up over a perceived diet transgression.  Notice I said us.  Yep, I’m guilty from time to time about feeling bad about eating food.

And, it needs to STOP!!!

One of the pages offering this Monday morning advice suggested “be extra gentle with yourself for next few days.”

DAYS.

Yes, days to recover from eating a little too much.

I remember that feeling.  I remember saying it.  I remember encouraging others to wallow in the misery of eating.

Today, I admit I was wrong to ever feel that and to encourage others to feel that way too.

This Monday morning after a Reward Day (Chris Powell’s Carb Cycling program) of eating 2,423 calories do you want to know what I feel?

Nothing.

Okay not nothing.

I feel ready to get back to work.

I do not feel bad about that number of calories.  If anything, I am disappointed there was not a couple hundred more.  Yes, I said more.  A “normal” Reward Day for me should be closer to 2,800 calories.  Yesterday was a comedy of errors.  My dinner was one cookie, a cup of chocolate pudding made with non-dairy milk (trying it to see if it worked and it did), and a bowl of oatmeal.  It was supposed to be chicken fried steak with all the fixins but an extra long nap took care of that.  My dinner isn’t what I planned, or wanted, or even what I would normally ever call dinner.  But, thankfully it was Reward Day so I could “get away with it.”  Oh look there I go thinking those foods are wrong.

So again I ask, isn’t that sort of behavior part of our problem?

When there is an entry in the DSM (the diagnostic manual of the mental health field) for “disordered eating,” which is not the same as an eating disorder and is defined as any irregular eating pattern not described as anorexia or bulimia, then I have to insist the answer is yes.  I am not a mental health or other health professional but in my opinion the more we assign “goodness” or “badness” to food and eating the more disordered the behavior becomes.

Food is not, and should not ever be, a walk of shame.  Food should be nourishment alone.  Food is fuel and it is meant to be eaten.

As a recovering obese woman, I am the first one to raise my hand and say I haven’t always had the best relationship with food.  But, notice I said I am recovering.  In part I was raised by a woman who became totally unhinged at the thought of a partly eaten bag of chips on the fridge who could not rest until she devoured the whole thing and who still suffers this way.  However, today I am proud to say there has been a bag of my favorite sweet potato chips in my cupboard for over a month and I have not felt one twinge of compulsion that I simply must eat the rest of the bag before my life could go on–and I have been that way for a very long time now.

Yesterday I ate two whole ounces of sweet potato and beet chips while I was watching football without one ounce of drama.

This morning, I recognize there are way too many people out there feeling dramatic about what they ate yesterday.  If that is you, stop.  Please, just stop feeling bad about food.

You ate it.

Yesterday.

Today you are going to eat more food.  The Bento lunches you see were packed by 100 Day’s of Real Food’s Lisa Leake’s elementary-age children.  Just kids.  Kids who know how to eat good food.  For more information about whole-food eating please visit Lisa’s amazing blog 100 Days of Real Food.

So now you can decide all hope is lost or you can love yourself, and trust yourself enough to make better choices today.

If doing it for a whole day still feels scary, make your next meal spot-on and celebrate those choices.  Use a Bento box.  They are a great resource for learning portion control.  Then, do it again next time.

Doesn’t the happy feeling of healthy choices feel so much better than beating yourself up over not so great but totally normal choices?

Normal.  Everyone eats more than they should from time to time.  It happens.  To everyone.  But calling yourself names or worse because you did it is not a healthy attitude toward food.

My best advice: Make peace with food.  Make your next meal your best meal. Your new life awaits.

PS…This very long post wouldn’t be possible without the generous permission of Lisa Leake.  Her cookbook “100 Days of Real Food” drops 26 August 2014.  If you’re looking for wonderful ideas about how to eat real food please check her out.

PSS…I would like to point out I had a disastrous food day–three protein bars in one day and one of which was one of the most vile things I ever swallowed–but my dinner of garlic pepper chicken, cast iron roasted cauliflower, and gingered carrots righted my ship in no time.  Because I absolutely live every word I’ve written to you I put my day in the past and a wholesome, real food dinner in my belly.  Eat.  It’s good for you.