Thursday, August 21, 2008

"I must have shrunk my pants in the dryer"

LOL. I used to use that line all of the time before I started losing weight. Never mind that the only thing that was shrinking was my supply of sugared treats. This last week I put on one of my workout tank tops and it hugged my middle showing every roll of extra skin and what's that? FAT!

I stepped on the scale and paid attention for the first time in a while. I had been watching it creep up, but the number awaiting me was a call to action - 163. That's what I weighed Sunday morning. That is not o.k. I would loved to have lied to myself and blamed the dryer or 'putting on muscle', but really, where would that get me?

Instead I walked in the kitchen and made a peanut butter/chocolate pound cake. What?! It was for my Mom's birthday, it was actually Tuesday, but we were celebrating it as part of our usual Sunday get-together. It was decadent and damn tasty and it was my last sugar for the sake of sugar moment until my birthday next month.

After realizing I had put on 11 pounds over the 152 I had been maintaining and 15 pounds over my lowest weight, I was disgusted with myself. And before anyone tells me not to be hard on myself, realize this - I know what got me to 260 pounds and I was doing it again. I was eating too much AND to much sugar and fat.

When trainer Traci and I talked about the eating thing on Tuesday she said, "You have to get back to eating healthy foods." I moped with shame and admitted, "I have been eating healthy, I've just been eating junk on top of it. So all of the calories of the fruits veggies, whole grains and lean proteins get combined with the calories of the junk. It means I am simply overeating."

Those words are hard for me to write, but they confirm something I have said all along - I am recovering from obesity, there is no cure. Like alcoholics I sometimes crave a pill that would truly help me stay healthy, but I know it's not really about the food - it's about the behaviour surrounding the food.

The past few months I had become a 'secret eater' again. Fat filled crap doesn't count if you eat it in the car where no one can see you, right? You can have the three cookies if you eat your carrots. If people in the office don't see me down that second piece of birthday cake, they'll still respect me. You see, it's a sickness. It's an addiction.

You find yourself bargaining your way into that bag of 100 calorie chips, it's only 100 calories. But when you add into that the handful of M&Ms you had and the cookie you will have and the treat from Starbuck's that's standing in as your 'second breakfast' and the protein shake you 'should have' after your workout and the two servings of the entree and... And I think you get the point, gluttony is realized.

The other thing I really impress upon people is that being healthy is a lifestyle change. You can't just do it for a while and then go back to what you were doing - that's a diet and diets don't work. No, you have to maintain your healthier habits for life. Yes, you can have sweets once in a while - but it truly has to be rare and controlled. Half the cake when nobody is looking is still half a cake.

So I really was, until a couple of months ago, shrinking my clothes in the dryer. My pants size was between 10 and 12 and I need them snugger. Well, check that off my list, they are definitely snugger. Now, I have to shrink me back into them and I will.

On Monday I cut my calories to about 1,400 a day. The current plan is:

Breakfast: small bowl of high-protein/fiber cereal w/ skim milk
Coffee: skim milk, drizzle of cream, Splenda
Morning snacks: Several small portions of fruit to keep my blood sugar up, if it drops too far, I will be starving at my next meal and prone to over eat
Lunch: Yogurt, fruit, carrots
Afternoon snack: Something high protein and fruit
Dinner: big salad, big bunch of veggies, reasonable entree
Dessert: strawberries with teaspoon+ of vanilla sugar.

I have been lacking energy lately, but by mid-afternoon yesterday my energy was picking back up. Just three days in and I am seeing results in how I feel and I have lost 2 pounds. Amazing what happens when you do what you are supposed to do.

But this time, when I get back down to 148, I am not going to let myself plateau. This time I am going to take my body fat to where I want it to be and then I can look at maintenance. No more of this standing on the edge of the shore, dangling a toe crap, it's time to dive in and finish the race.

Yours in health, Kate


  1. Good for you for stopping the train. I remember in the few WW meetings I attended, looking with disdain at the folks who only had a few pounds to lose. The real (ie obese) WWers would ask, "What the heck is that skinny jerk doing here?" Of course I realize now how much easier things would be if I'd started when I had ten or twenty pounds to lose instead of a hundred.

  2. That's exactly how I felt too. And you are right. When I stepped on that scale I thought - "All right damn it, this is how it all started twenty-some years ago. I saw 15 pounds and let it go." Not this time, thankfully I have learned.

    And thank you for your, as always, awesome support!