Ready

I’m going to blow past the fact that I haven’t posted here for over two months and just jump right into what’s been happening, okay? Okay.

I haven’t felt particularly inspired to post lately, and I haven’t really had the time. I’ve been too busy working, worrying, dating (!!), and more importantly, living. My weight has stayed steady. I’ve made healthful food choices, but I’ve also indulged. Probably more than I should. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga. Like, a lot. And getting back into running. I’ve been taking more time for myself and clocking more hours at work. Basically, what I’ve been doing, is working to find balance.
IMG_20140515_193007 IMG_20140518_190529 IMG_20140518_191626 IMG_20140520_175521 IMG_20140519_190456IMG_20140502_225241 IMG_20140523_085827IMG_20140530_205124 IMG_20140602_191342Earlier this week, I started services at The Emily Program. In my initial conversation with one of the therapists, we talked a lot about my preoccupation with losing weight, body image, exercise and food. She asked me, “How much of your day do you think you spend thinking about this stuff? Honestly?” I gave it some thought and, if I’m being completely honest, a good 90% of my thoughts revolve around:

  • How my hair/makeup/outfit/fat rolls look at any given moment.
  • What my next meal will be and when I will eat it.
  • When my next chance to workout is.
  • How to schedule unexpected social and work obligations around my meal/workout schedule.
  • If I’m having a particularly weak day, how soon I can leave work and binge and what foods that binge will consist of.

After re-reading my last post, I think this is borderline obsession is something I’ve sub-consciously been aware of, and frustrated by, for awhile. And it’s probably why I’ve been shying away from blogging. I don’t want a life all consumed by being A Person Trying To Lose Weight. It’s frustrating and it’s unsatisfying. I fully understand that it needs to be a major piece of my life, but there can, and absolutely needs to be, a measure of balance and flexibility as well.

Speaking of The Emily Program, at my appointment this week I was officially diagnosed with an eating disorder. I mean, obviously it’s not a surprise, but still. I can’t help but feel that it’s yet another huge obstacle I have to overcome on this freaking never ending journey. But, on the flip side, I’m incredibly proud and grateful that I chose to formally address this issue and take steps to fix it.
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They  say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?

That thought flooded my mind earlier this week at my intake assessment, as I filled out form after form, test after test, and shared very personal information during  an incredibly, horribly uncomfortable conversation with the intake therapist.

We were having a pleasant, happy conversation, going through my background (how’s your relationship with your family, what are your hobbies, what do you do for a living) and suddenly she comes at me with this gem:

What does a typical binge look like for you?

An eating disorder, like any other substance abuse problem, is something typically done in secret. I’ve become an expert at hiding my eating from friends and family. I’ve never shared my dirty little tricks, habits, or menus with anyone.

To sit down with someone and walk them through my eating rituals, step-by-step, bite-by-bite…well, it felt like I was confessing to heinous murder. I was waiting for the Law & Order detectives to walk through the door and arrest me.

My anxiety soared. But, like with most difficult things, the more I talked about the problem, the better I started to feel. The more in control I started to feel.

I have an appointment next week to discuss my treatment plan going forward. And I can’t wait to dig into all this new uncomfortable stuff 🙂
IMG_20140531_191120And finally, speaking of uncomfortable, I picked up my bridesmaid’s dress for the wedding I’m in this fall. Let’s just say, I’m not entirely comfortable in it. So, Operation Bridesmaid is now in full force. I’m going to do my damnedest to get back on a consistent workout schedule and mostly Whole 30-type eating plan. I have set some great balanced goals for the summer (which I’ll share in an upcoming post), so it’s time to get going.

I am ready.

Whole30 Update 5: Home Stretch

Today, day 22, marks my full last week of my very first Whole30. And I can’t decide how to feel about that…

I’ve been doing, looking, and, most importantly, feeling great. Tired, but great (I blame daylight savings). I cheated and weighed myself this weekend (20 pounds in 20 days!), clothes that were tight are lose, and while my workouts have been somewhat lacking, my food has been spot on. I went back to some familiar meals this week simply because of my busy schedule. I’ll be eating fish with homemade tartar sauce, eggs and smoothies for breakfast, sweet potato fries, vegetable soup, and the world’s most delicious pot roast.
20140309_11511520140309_144429All positive aspects aside, though, the anxiety of “what happens after the 30 days?” has slowly but surely begun creeping in. What does happen after day 30? What am I going to reintroduce to my diet? What will I test first? Will I gain weight back? What if I start to plateau again? These are the questions that have been clouding the sense of accomplishment I should be feeling for making it most of the way through this battle.

Anxieties aside, I do need to be smart about day 31, 32, 33, and on and on. I obviously want to continue this amazing success, so I need to figure out what it is about the Whole 30 that has been so helpful and positive, and build on that.

So! Starting Day 31, I will:

1. Remain gluten-free. As I’ve mentioned here before, a lot of popular opinion points to a connection between PCOS, consumption of gluten, and stalled weight loss. So, gluten-free I will be. Though, for my sanity, I will be occasionally incorporating gluten-free bread (slathered in peanut butter, obviously) and gluten-free flours into my life. Expensive, sure, but if it helps my weight loss…

2. Test dairy. I miss my Greek yogurt. And goat cheese. And freaking ice cream. So, I’m going to slowly test/reintroduce dairy to my diet. I’m giving up flavored yogurt for good (too much sugar), and I’m going to test plain Greek yogurt—mostly because I need breakfast options. More eggs = death. Also, while not technically dairy (or anything else, really) I will be bringing back my fakey fake coffee creamer on a trial basis.

3. Eat legumes! Legumes are, apparently, inflammatory. You know the saying, beans, beans, the musical fruit…legumes can cause bloating, gas, etc. but I love ‘em. So, in moderation, I’ll begin eating beans (only black beans) and peanut butter (natural, no sugar). If I notice any sort of adverse reaction after eating them…well, then…I don’t know what I’ll do. I just love peanut butter, you guys.

4. Drink in moderation. Being sober and being social are, frankly, the worst. On special occasions (Tuesdays? Arbor Day?), I will imbibe with a delicious gluten-free vodka soda with lime. Maybe a glass of red wine here and there. It’s going to happen and I’m 100% okay with it. Especially since I’m going to try and start dating very, very soon.

5. Explore new ideas. I recently discovered I love roasted carrots—who knew?! I want to continue to play with new recipes and foods, while continuing to eat as few processed goods as possible. Especially now that I’m going gluten and (mostly) dairy free, things could get real interesting in my little kitchen…
IMG_20140309_173224As of right now, that’s my plan of attack for my post-Whole 30 life. I’ve also got a doctor’s appointment scheduled to check-in and update some test results. All in all, I think I’m making progress. Let’s just keep fingers crossed that it continues!

Whole30 Update 1: No Judgment Needed

They say on Day 4 of Whole30 that you will want to kill all of the things. And while I haven’t really been experiencing that today, there were two moments where I felt a little less than my usual sunshiney self:

1. I wanted to punch colleagues in their faces for daring to eat a piece of whole wheat toast–with jam!–in my presence at breakfast this morning.

2. I desperately tried to hold back my impulse to scream when asked why I’m even trying this new horrible “diet”.

The anger…well, it comes and goes, friends.

But, irrational, carb-deprived brain or no, I do want to clear something up here: Whole30 is not a diet. This is not some quick fix. It is not a cleanse. I’m not doing it to lose weight or inches. I’m not paying giant sums of money to learn common sense “diet” knowledge (Eat right! Exercise!).

I am doing Whole30, like so many other people, to reset and realign my relationship with food. I have an eating disorder. A food addiction. I can’t just walk away from that bag of tortilla chips or stack of cookies. Given the chance, I will eat. All. The. Food. So, no, this is not a diet.

In doing this challenge for 30 days, I’m hoping my trigger-food cravings will diminish. I’ve been out of control for the past two months, so I’m viewing this as a way to reign in the healthy lifestyle I’ve worked so hard on for the past two years. A way for me to remember just how important this journey is to me. A way to remember how good I can be at living healthfully. But no, this is not a diet.

After the 30 days is up, will I add back the foods I’ve eliminated? Maybe. Will I ever have toast, a vodka tonic, or artificial creamer in my coffee again? Probably. It all depends on how I feel (not look) at the end of these 30 days. And while this has been an extremely difficult week, where all I think about is this damn challenge…and fried chicken…and ice cream…I feel fricking great. I don’t care if it’s some early-phase, purely psychological thing–I feel great.

30 days. No carbs, grains, alcohol, added sugars, dairy. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods. Try new recipes, new foods, new creations. Grab ahold of my life again.

So not a diet.

Whole30: Week 1

So, remember all those grandiose plans I had for this weekend–you know, to reboot my year? Well. Instead, my weekend consisted of what I think was a stomach flu bug and Netflix binging with the roommate. It sucked, but I did love the excuse to do nothing for 48 hours.

Thankfully, I did feel well enough Saturday afternoon to get my Whole30 stuff all ready to go: recipe research, meal plan, shopping list, shopping and all meal prep.
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I’ll definitely be sharing more of my favorite Whole30 resources as we go–I’m finding some great new recipes and really trying to push past my typical food comfort levels. Here’s a peek at what I prepped this week:
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Creamy tomato soup (with coconut milk!), ground turkey for “spaghetti” and taco salads, zucchini noodles (my loves), sauteed mushrooms and spinach, pot roast, and white balsamic salad dressing. Yum! I also be doing lots of eggs for breakfast, fruit for snacks…and I did splurge on some legit natural almond butter for those moments on weekends where I find myself tempted by the lure of the peanut butter jar.

I’m both anxious and excited for the next 30 days. I’ll definitely be faced with challenges, so I’m looking forward  to seeing just how well I handle them. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram and Twitter to get the daily blow-by-blow, and stay tuned right here–this could get very, very interesting, my friends…

We’re On The Move…

In case you haven’t noticed, that little ticker over there, the one that tracks the pounds I’ve lost, has been moving steadily down for the past few weeks. After, what, 9 freaking months stuck in the 320’s, I’m officially and finally back down to 313–67lbs down, what I weighed on my birthday in September, my lowest weight since starting this journey.
15612389.weight-lost-mdI don’t know what’s changed, really. Maybe it’s the lower, healthier-carb, gluten-limiting diet I’ve been trying my damnedest to stick to, or the fact that I’ve been working out consistently, or the fact that I’ve really been working through my share of emotional baggage. Divulging my starting weight, struggling to find balance across all aspects of life, reminding myself of the why’s and what’s of what I’m doing, remembering each day that I’m worth it…you know, little things like that 🙂

Me and my new best gal: Lou, the bicycle

Me and my new best gal: Lou, the bicycle

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My plans for the summer, taped to the fridge for motivation: get into the 200’s!

When I bought my Polar HRM, I could barely close it on the third notch. Now?  The fifth notch.

When I bought my Polar HRM last summer, I could barely close it on the third notch. Now? The fifth.

It may also be due to the fact that I’ve been working myself of the Metformin I was taking for my PCOS. I’ve been getting horrendous hives all over my body and couldn’t take it anymore. That, coupled with the fact that I wasn’t noticing any difference in my weight and my energy levels plummeted, convinced me that I was better off without it. I’ve lost 60-some pounds without that medication. I can lose more.

I’m sure it’s some combination of all these things, but the important point here is that I’m once again making real, before-my-eyes-progress. And while I know progress lies beyond the scale, when you don’t see that number budge for months on end, it becomes quite the de-motivator.

But now? Just try and stop me, baby!

PCOS? More Like POS, Am I Right?

Because a bunch of you asked for it, I wanted to share more about my (limited) experience with PCOS and Hashimoto’s. This post is mostly about PCOS, since that’s what I’m being treated for right now (Is that what you do with PCOS? Treat it? Can you cure it? I know so little about this!) My apologies in advance for the wordiness and potential oversharing, but, hey. This is my experience, and you asked for it 🙂

First, let me say that PCOS is not a made up fat person’s disease. Let’s clear that up right now. Plenty of your typical skinny chicks have PCOS as well as plenty of us bigger gals. It’s an equal opportunity employer, guys. Though that stigma is quite the bitch. Also, I am not diabetic or even pre-diabetic. My just tested sugar levels are aces. Perfection, even. I know, I was surprised, too.

I say all of that because several people have had the gall to tell me that either PCOS is not a real thing or that I only have it because I’m fat. To them I say, hush your dang mouth. I don’t need you bringing that attitude to my life. I may not know what the hell is going on with my body right now, but I do know that I don’t have “the sugars” and the medical community is not making up diagnoses as part of a larger conspiracy.

What do I know about what’s going on? Well, I know this: Metformin, the medication I’m on to help deal with my PCOS, has been kicking my butt. My body is normally pretty tough and doesn’t really react adversely to much of anything…probably the reason why I’m the weight I am, huh?

Anyway, Metformin is typically used to treat diabetes, but more and more it’s being prescribed to help women with PCOS, especially those who are overweight, lose weight and gain normal ovary function (i.e. have normal periods/symptoms). I’ve been slowly upping my dosage of Metformin for the past three weeks, increasing by 500mgs each week.

Why have I been slowly increasing my dosage? Because, like I said, it’s kicking. My. Butt! The most common and disgusting side effect of Metformin is that it wreaks havoc on your tummy. The last three weeks have been full of constant nausea, vomiting, and several other not so pleasant and downright disgusting bodily functions. Let me tell you, it makes it very difficult to live your life when you have to excuse yourself to hit up the restroom every few minutes. My mom offered to buy me Depends. I took a day off work because I was afraid to leave my bathroom. I am a mess. Oh, and the hives! I oddly get hives on random parts of my body early in the morning and again late at night–right before I take the medication.

Is the medication working? I don’t know. Some experience change immediately, some say it takes months. My ongoing health concern, what led to both the PCOS and yet another thyroid diagnosis, has been that I think my hormones are the culprit in this weight loss wasteland. My PMS symptoms, which happen before, during, and after my actual period, have been out of control the past eight or nine months. I mean, the crying, the mood swings, the insane cramps…it’s been a nightmare.

This month, though, besides some serious exhaustion and overeating, they have actually been manageable. I haven’t been angry/crying/popping countless pimples…all signs of hormonal progress for me. I’m really looking forward to getting my workout and eating back on track so I can use April as a barometer for how things are or aren’t progressing.

So that’s that. March has been a rough one, as many of the past months have been. Not seeing progress on the scale, the anxiety I feel at having to see people who expect me to look different each time they see me…and I don’t…it’s all been weighing heavily on me and I feel myself buckling more and more under the weight of it each day. I mean, I’m not giving up. That just won’t ever be an option, I know that. But the motivation to press on even harder when you see no change for months? Almost a year? It’s becoming a bit unbearable.

But I’m looking forward to hopefully sharing more positive news with you all about this in April! Now, time to go think some positive thoughts, work out, and drink more water. Right? 🙂