Weigh In Week 61

I didn’t go to weight watchers today, partially out of work commitments/running late and partially out of shame.  I did however weigh myself at home.  It was dramatically ugly as right through bed last night I found myself in the middle of a anxiety fulled binge eating episode.

Why I get that way it is like there are two parts of myself: My rational brain and the rest of me.  The rational brain appears to be trapped in a soundproof clear panic room.  No matter how hard it bangs on the glass I cannot seem to see it.  I can tell it is making a fuss but the words don’t make it to the rest of my body.

It wasn’t until I started weight watchers that I recognized some binge eating episodes in myself – before that i overate so much in general that it was rare to differentiate a binge.  Now that my normal is dramatically different from what it was it is painfully and embarrassingly apparent when I go off the rails.  And as near as my observations can tell it has VERY LITTLE to do with the food I am eating.  I can binge on sweet or salty, processed or clean, fatty or lean.  It is the food that is the perceived solution to the rising panic I am feeling.  Of course the food does the exact opposite of calm me, instead it just increases self-doubt and anxiety.

And then, it passes.  Typically it is 2-3 of varying degrees of it and then I am able to reason more clearly.  I doesn’t happen monthly (not strictly hormonal), it doesn’t happen is all kinds of stress or fear, it doesn’t always happen if I feeling vulnerable or exposed to extra chaos, but sometimes all those things combine into an anxiety vacuum that seems to suck me in.

I write this out even though it seems embarrassing and a little crazy.  I write it because people writing about there experiences with food, anxiety and eating have helped me.

I didn’t go to Weight Watchers today but I did weigh in.  (I am up 7.4 lbs which is probably a lot of salt as I was eating everything yesterday).  No fancy graphics today, no big announcements, just the reality of falling and facing facts.

But, to my credit, I dusted myself off today, I reached out to some friends for a shoulder to lean on, and I track and stayed within my points.  Today that is progress and I will take it.  Today it is enough to have turned the ship.

Falling Down

Truth: When I fall down.  I fall down hard.  I leave bruises and I stay on the ground longer than I should, dazed by my own fall and assessing the damage.  The farther I am on my journey the less I fall, but when I fall I still fall full force.

And when I am on the ground it rarely helps to say, “So don’t fall down,”  instead what I need is a hand back up and someone to look at me kindly but without pity.  I need a friend to hug and take me for a walk.  A safe short walk around the block away from places where I may fall down again.

When you fall sometimes you know what you tripped on and sometimes it catches you off guard and you trip on yourself only.

When you fall your ego is as bruised as your knees.

When you fall there is a strong desire to stay down and hope that everything just goes away.  But it doesn’t go away by lying there.   It doesn’t go away by wishing it did.  It doesn’t go away with food.

So eventually you get back up and try again.

But those falls, they shake you up and wreck havoc on your confidence.

Weigh In Week 60

I was up this week, and I have three suspected reasons why.  I’ll get to that and my plan of action shortly.  All in all it was a good week.  I got out to Mr. Goat’s concert, I saw some friends and I almost got caught up at work.  The state of my house, laundry and such is still laughable however.  I ate good, mostly clean food.  I made smart choices most of the time, and I owned my not-so-smart choices.

But still…

+1.2 Pounds

98.0 lbs lost on WW to date

Frustrating.  That I didn’t go off the rails this week and still saw a gain led me to do some trouble shooting and I suspect that this gain has its cause in three probable suspects, and the reality is probably a combination of all three in some form.   The suspects:

1. Hormones:  A reality of womenhood and nothing to be done about that in terms of my response to a gain, but the timing is right.

2. Poor estimation:  Every week there are a few meals that don’t translate easily into points.  This is because I may be at a local restaurant that doesn’t post nutrition information online, or visiting someone’s house and having something someone else prepared so I am not privy to the recipe.  It also happens at times, especially when away from home, I estimate my portions.   This week held several of those types of events – including two meals on Sunday away from home.  While I tracked to the best of my ability I may have simply mis-estimated and eaten more points than I suspected.  Considering that the majority of my weekly points went to Sunday it could have easily happened.

While I can be more vigilant about portions and measuring with my tracking this week, I don’t know that I need to change much here.  After all, there will be times estimation is necessary, and I am generally and honest estimator.

3. The nursing points:  For weeks I have been slowing reducing my pumping and breastfeeding of E2.  When she turned 1 she was still very reliant on the bottle at daycare especially but over the last 4 months we’ve gotten her off of bottles at school.  I kept things up more to get her through her surgery to hopefully give her a few more antibodies as she kept fighting those ear infections, but in the last two weeks she has given up nearly every bottle (an occasionally early morning one if dad gets up with her first), and I only regularly breastfeed at bedtime.  Even that is becoming unreliable as I often work in the evenings.

So at worst I pump once a day at best I pump/bf 3 times a day now.  I have been clinging to the 7 points extra I receive for nursing part time, but I have been suspecting that I am no longer producing enough to require than many extra points.  When I saw today’s gain I knew that my time with those beautiful extra nursing points were done.  While estimation and hormones can contribute, this is one area that I can change and hope to see a difference.

So as of today I am down 7PP each day.  It is a brutal shift but I made it through today.  I stopped at the grocery store and brought some fruit back to the office to give me some snacks and while i used one weekly point today (on a bit of chocolate – see reason #1) I made it through the day on the reduced points.

I am hoping that after a week or two I won’t miss those points too much, but for now their absence is very obvious.  Still I knew that it was coming for a while and it was time.

I am hopeful that making this change might mean I break the century mark at Weight Watchers next week.  I’ve been so close for so long, but even if I don’t, it is time to face the facts that I simply don’t burn enough calories breastfeeding to justify the extra points any more.

There is sadness to losing the points, and an additional sadness in knowing that E2 is nearly weaned, but on the other hand it will be nice to reclaim my time and my body from the effort of feeding a child.  And frankly I am going to give myself a big #NSV pat on the back for nursing/pumping for 16 months!  It is not an easy thing and I am proud that I stuck with it.

So that is what is up with me this week.  I hope to be reporting a good loss next week, assuming I survive the loss of that many points! :)

Looking back and looking forward

“I wish I hadn’t waited to start losing weight…”

Do you ever look at people who are in an earlier season of their lives, one that you’ve left behind, and get a little wistful for it?  Like a parent remembering fondly the days they could go out without lining up a babysitter two weeks in advance.  Or like a married couple yearning for the way they would go out on the town when they were newly dating.  Or even like a fond remembrance of your single days when your schedule was your own and you were the only one who you needed to consider when making plans.

This nostalgia is always flawed because we are remembering the pieces that we miss fleetingly but the reality is at the time we never really saw it that way or appreciated it.

I remember when I was overweight in High School….but I didn’t have time to dedicate to being healthy because I had extracurriculars and homework, college applications and a social life.

I remember thinking about losing weight when I was in College…but ordering pizza was too easy, desserts were unlimited and stress to achieve was high.

I remember thinking “I should get in shape” when I was single…but none of my friends worried about that so I didn’t either.

I remember feeling fat when I met my future husband….but he loved me just as I was, and I loved him.  We celebrated our bliss with food.

I remember thinking about losing weight in Seminary…but I had a wedding to plan and a dissertation to write.  I hardly saw fresh air for months.

I remember wanting to lose weight after my degree….but I had a new job to excel at and it never seemed like there was enough time.

I remember hating the way I looked because of the stress of my old job….but then I got pregnant and I wasn’t “supposed” to lose weight.

I remember losing weight effortlessly the first time I nursed…but I didn’t mind my portions and it came right back.

I look at people who are childless, newly married, or single.  I want to tell them, “Don’t be me, start now, it is NEVER a good time.  There are always excuses. Your life only gets busier.  The only way to make the time is to take the time, NOW!

Lose weight WHILE you are happily in love.

Move your body WHILE you write that dissertation.

Make your food choices BEFORE you are influenced by others who don’t share your struggles.

I wish I hadn’t waited.

I know that deep down I wasn’t ready to face my weight.  It is a big mountain of guilt and shame wrapped in a cellulite package and it takes preparation to prepare to conquer that summit.  Even now, I find paths don’t head straight to the end goal but weave around with real life.

But listen to me, start now.  Start yesterday.  There were countless reasons to avoid starting, but I wish I had felt as good then as I do now.

There is still progress to go, but eventually I did start and I am seeing success.

Still, I wish it had been earlier.