Today is a celebration

I love looking at some of my before and after pictures for many reasons. Sometimes, I do it to feel bad about myself currently. Sometimes, I do it to give me hope that since I’ve done it before, I can do it again. And even more times, I look at them to laugh at the miserable before pictures. I always cut the photos off underneath the eyes, yet there is this “look” on my lips that conveys the utter embarrassment, utter disappointment that I feel taking those pictures that day. I mean, let’s face it. Being overweight sucks. It’s a lot of extra pressure on your body and your joints. The good news for me is that I can feel it this time around. The last time I was this big, I couldn’t–I could see it in pictures, but my body felt just the same as when I was 50 pounds lighter. Not so this time. Which, considering my battle is with presence and awareness, whether in my physical life of with what I eat, is a sign of huge progress.

I do love the before picture as a tracking mechanism, but not the dreading joy suck that results. As I’ve now decided that this go around is more about life choices and overhauling my lifestyle instead of a series of quick fixes and burnout regimens, I took a different approach with the before photos as well. Today is a celebration. This is not a day of shame where it finally became “too much”. This is a day of joy when I decided to listen to my body and treat it with respect. Therefore, I did my hair and makeup and tried to look as cute as possible for the pics. I originally had a cute shirt planned out for it, as I hate on weight loss shows that they make the contestants take off their shirts when they’re larger in some effort of shame porn. [Side note–all of them do it and the moment that enough weight is loss, the shirts are back on. They are allowed dignity when they are smaller but want to show us every fold when they are larger. At first, I thought it had something to do with excess skin, but I think it’s mostly in the same vein as a sorority girl with pledges and a permanent marker, which bothers me. End tangent.] Any way, I was doing chores right before the pictures and accidentally got water on the front of my shirt, which just made me look messy. I decided to just take the photos in a bra and pants to be easy.  

Now, I am tempted to look at these photos and be highly critical of them. However, I am choosing a more loving path and will instead say 5 nice things about me. I have made a pact with myself that I will do this whenever I see a photo of myself, as I am wont to focus on every negative flaw instead of acknowledging my attributes.

Here we go:

  1. Those are some kick ass shoes–I have great nerdy taste!
  2. My butt is quite shapely and looks pretty banging. Note to self: focus on squats to accentuate this bad boy.
  3. My smile does look genuine.
  4. I still manage to have a quasi-hourglass figure. Yahoo.
  5. My hair looks really cool from the back.

Huzzah!!! I did it! It was a little touch and go there towards the end, but I managed to eke out some compliments. Go me!

Now, drumroll please, I took measurements just to have loads of things to compare to. I occasionally get a little body dysmorphic and I know I may not be able to see the differences in the frozen image, but having weight and size measurements will really help. They are as follows:

  • Weight:239.4 lbs
  • 45.9% body fat
  • 29.9% water
  • 33.1% muscle
  • 4.2 lb bone
  • Neck: 14.75 in.
  • Chest (over boobs): 45 in.
  • Waist (at belly button): 47 in.
  • Hips (over hip bone): 56 in.
  • Left thigh (halfway between knee and hip) 28 in.

Alright! I am thankful for this body and this journey! I’m thankful for the accountability of this site and for the incredible amount of support and love from my friends, families, and loved ones. Merry Christmas everyone and I look forward to another day!

AOK

P.S. I got a little side-tracked, and due to some technology issues, was unable to track my meals on my phone like I normally do. Here is the last date that I fully tracked. Normal tracking will resume 12/26.

12/22

3:45

-6/3

McDonald’s southern style chicken sandwich

Half large fry

Large Dr Pepper 
6:05

0/2

Slice of gingerbread
8:30

-4

10 Tortilla chips with salsa

1.5 Chicken, spinach, and corn enchiladas

Refried beans 

Rice
12:25

1/2

Slice of gingerbread

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Once more, with feeling

Yesterday was an interesting one. I just could not feel my hunger sensations–well, not until it was too late. I tend to not get hungry well into the afternoon. This wouldn’t be a problem except that I go from zero to feed me now in a eleventy seconds flat, which then leads to some poor eating choices if I don’t have anything planned. As I am not currently in my own abode, this totally led to some weird eating, and mostly snacking–trying to stave off the full hunger pangs until I could figure out what the heck I wanted. As I’m also in a small town right now with my eatery choices ranging between a sole Chinese restaurant, Whataburger, and Walmart, color me Sam Unwise on the eating spectrum. I’ll be back in Houston tonight, which will help choices a bit. 

The real annoyance yesterday was not feeling ANY hunger sensations. I know that part of this is due to my ghrelin and leptin levels being way out of whack thanks to my binge eating habit. It’s the eating disorder that keeps on giving! If I’m going to eat that much in one sitting, it makes sense that the body turned off my saiety signals so I could psychologically continue, but it sucks balls now that I’m trying to course correct! There’s also the chance that I’m not hungry because I’m still working on some previous calories. I wish I understood metabolism better. I mean, I’ve read 15 books on it, but the information has differed so vastly over the past 15 years that I have no clue. Eat every 3 hours. No. Fast 14. No. Three meals are fine. Eat when you’re hungry. Geaharrr. I’m trying to ignore all of this and listen to my body, but my body is ignoring me. It’s like I totally forgot its birthday or something and it’s freezing me out till I treat her better. I get it lady! I’m trying!

So…I started meditating again. My goal is to be more consistent with it. I did it this morning, and I can at least feel that I’m hungry. I’m guessing that’s step one in the hunger pang express: letting my thoughts quiet down enough so I can hear all of the important traffic signals that my body is sending me. Oh, and I went on a [brief] walk yesterday. Kudos to me. Man, do they still make kudos?

12/21
11:45

Coffee with half and half
12:40

3 starbursts
2:00

Ginger Ale

Really need to eat something, but can’t decide what
2:30

4 club crackers
3:00

Handful of peanut butter m&ms
3:30

-4/3

2/3 of a Patty melt

2/3 Dr Pepper

Onion Rings

Want something to eat but nothing sounds appealing. Didn’t eat all of the patty melt, but def ate all of the onion rings
7:30

0?/4

I have had no idea how hungry I am all day long

Some orange chicken

Rice

Bite of lo mein

8 pieces Broccoli

 1 ozBeef

1 small egg roll

Fortune cookie

Some wonton soup. Mostly just ate the wonton and had a few sips of the soup

This was such a mish mash. My sister brought it home for dinner. Written out, it sounds like a shit ton of food, but it filled probably about 3/4 of my standard dinner plate. It’s still a lot of food, just looks like more because of variety.

10:30

2/5

2.5 sugar cookies

You know when you’re really just wanting a bite of something sweet and then you’re around a couple of people who are grazing and you eat more because you’re getting subconscious eating queues and oooh that looks good and then you eat WAYYYY more than a bite? That was this.

Here we go, again

My life is, well, it’s a mess right now. I am currently poor, unsuccessful, and fat. A trifecta of suck if ever their was one. I’m also alone, but that’s a different story. Right now, I really want to focus on those first three. 

I have been overweight since I was about 8 years old. I have also been on some sort of diet, workout plan, or body shaming ritual since I was about 8.5 years old. Yes, I even did Jenny Craig when I was in 8th grade. While I have managed to lose weight over the years, I’ve never reached my “goal” weight or at least a point where I feel 100% good about my body. Granted, almost every time that I’ve attempted to lose weight, it’s been from a place of self-hatred or “I need to get this off of my body right now.” I would try to focus on making it a way to show self-love, but there was always a hint of “I am worthless if I am fat” thrown into every attempt.

And that last phrase is the kicker. That is the story that I have told myself since I was probably 6 or 7 years old and has been a self-fulfilling prophecy. It has spilled over into my career, my bank account, and my love life. In the past, I haven’t followed my passions or dreams 100% because I didn’t think that I was worthy to achieve them when I was fat. Or that I couldn’t do so as a fat person. And it’s time for that to stop.

About 2 years ago, I came really close to getting all of the weight off. I was working out several times a week, eating healthily, and felt the best that I ever have. But then, about a year ago, I slipped in my regimen–mostly because I’d stay the same weight for well over a year and thought that’s just where my body settled. I stopped working out and started binge eating more frequently. I have now gained back about 50 of the 68 pounds that I lost. I don’t want to go all of the way back there.

Now, while I’ve been gaining this weight, I have been trying to lose it. There was somewhat of a fight. I have lost 10-15 lbs several times over this year–I just gained back a little bit more each time I gave up. And I would always give up really early in the process. That has got to change.

I know from several thousand books that I’ve read and diet groups and magazines that the way to lasting weight loss is through small lifestyle changes. But, I’ve always been attracted to the big change–overhauling everything at once and then getting mad at myself when I falter on a restrictive regimen. I know that it’s the incremental changes that stick. So, I’ve started this blog to track that. No drastic changes. Small incremental ones. Which, sounds like hell to me because I want all of this excess off of me RIGHT NOW. But, I also want it off of me forever so I will be dancing with that demon throughout this journey.

I am also doing a self-love overhaul. I’m learning to reprogram my brain so this is a permanent change. So that what I eat and do reflect how I feel about myself. Well, what I eat and do currently reflects how I feel about myself, it’s just not a pretty picture. I am going to start small, baby steps, adding in good habits one at a time.

I know that this post is all over the place, and for that I apologize. But, I’m also all over the place. I’m starting with my body and my mind, and hoping that will filter into my career search at the moment. Confidence begets action and so forth. 

So, first steps: I am going to start eating when I’m at a -3 on the hunger scale and stop eating when I’m at a +3. I am also going to blog everyday and be truthful about what I eat, when I eat, and how I feel when doing so. Workouts will also be included, if I workout. And missed workouts, too. I feel like when you read weight loss success stories, people dedicate themselves to it and never falter–which I think is a load of bull crap. So I will share with you the missteps and the successes. Here’s to the first step in a journey to health.

Too scared to share

I have been dreading posting here all day. Like, legit, I’ve been meaning to for well over 12 hours and I am technically now posting it tomorrow because it is well past midnight. Why? Because I really don’t want people knowing what I eat. There is so much shame around it in my mind. I don’t want you to judge me. I don’t want me to judge me. And this extends to all weight issues. I’ve gained so much weight recently that I don’t even want to see anyone. I don’t want them to worry about me. I don’t want to worry about them worrying about me. Yet, all of this is making it so much bigger in my head than it is. Most of my friends don’t even notice. Frankly, I don’t see most of them enough for them to even notice my weight fluctuations. But I want to hide. It’s as if they see me, then it’s real. I can still take control of it and course correct so long as they don’t see me. Playing games of magical thinking instead of doing the magic that gets the results.

And, yes, this totally leaks into other points in my life. I don’t want to see friends from college or high school because I’m even more overweight and even less successful. At least I was in acting school or doing horrible plays in NYC the last time they saw me. But now? Now, I’m jobless and trying to break into a career that 20 somethings with parental connections are also trying to do. They are agents at William Morris and I can’t even dream about getting an agent. I have done nothing since I’ve moved to LA except waste my time in retail. And, while I quit that job to pursue producing or PAing or whatever–I’m still in that spot that they were 10 years ago. And I don’t want to see them. I am the person who can’t afford a rental car on Christmas vacation or can’t afford any vacation, even when I’m working. I’m not married and I don’t have kids. I am a cautionary tale. So, I don’t think about how much I would enjoy them or how much they would enjoy seeing me I only think about the sadness that is my life. Pffft. 

I used to write for a blog several years ago, and often I would write about dealing with my depression. I got a lot of positive feedback about how great the writing was and how helpful, but one of my friends commented on how it was a little unsettling because I always seemed to be struggling with the same things. I have been struggling with my weight, career, self-esteem, my love life, since high school. I remember auditioning for the school musical junior year and I was so afraid of not making it again that I completely toned down my audition to just pretty singing–so I could at least get into the chorus. Never mind a part–I just needed to make it into the show. The funny thing is that they way that the director was trying to audition me, I probably could have gotten one of the leads. I definitely would have been better than the person who got it. This even plagued me into college, and today. Despite knowing how talented I am (and not it a delusional way; as anyone who’s witnessed American Idol auditions, there is so much room for the delusional in this field. So, being the low self-esteemed wonder that I am, I’ve also gotten several well respected professionals to confirm what I suspected), I still don’t think anyone would actually pick me. Because I’m just slightly off. 

So I hide away and don’t try and lie and obfuscate. And try to delay telling the truth until the last possible minute. See how I still haven’t shown you what I ate? I really want to remind you that I am on vacation and the idea was to eat as I normally would at my parents house and see how I cleverly slipped that excuse in while seemingly trying to make it not seem like an excuse? Also, I totally didn’t stick to the hunger scale. Some of it was I went to the movies. Other parts were due to snacking options being readily available. And even others were that I was at the timing of other people. If everyone is eating at 7, I kinda have to eat, too. Even if it makes me a little sick. 

So here we go. Ripping the bandaid. And maybe tomorrow I’ll even be brave enough to post my before pictures. Which are actually from Dec 14 as I was planning on starting this blog 10 days earlier and then 5 days earlier, etc. So, yeah.

12/20/16 Food Diary

1:12 pm 

-4/3

4 pieces cheerios

Coffee with milk

Bite of semolina bread

Half of ham and mozzarella panini
4:11

-3/5

1 slice chicken quesadilla 

6 chips with queso and guacamole

Dr Pepper

Steak nachos

Feeling a little tired. Super stuffed up. Got nachos to really be a vehicle for queso, but ate too many because I was hunting for queso. It became more of a game and less about hunger and also wanting more of a perfect last chip. 
6:30

2/2

6 sugar wafers

Wanted something sweet. Not really stressed or anything; it was just there and sounded good.
9:10

1/1

2 Rolos 

Again, they were there and I was thinking about them.
10:45

-2/?

2 dr peppers

Popcorn with clarified butter

Some peanut butter m&ms

1 Rolo

Half a pretzel w/cheese dipping sauce

Watching a movie at Alamo Draft House so this was a total fog eat