It’s all about the food.

I love to eat. Unfortunately for me, the things I love to eat are crap. I do not crave large plates of raw veggies. I want chips by the bag full. I want donuts by the dozen. I don’t have the attraction for bread that some folks struggle with but give me a gently toasted Asiago cheese bagel drowning in melted butter … mm hmm I’m a very happy girl.

I can also be stubborn. I have successfully lost weight simply by limiting my calories. Recently I came across a thin-spo meme that said something like a bad meal can destroy a good day at the gym. I scoffed because it’s what I do. I scoff. I argued with said meme. I lose weight without caring about the content of the food I eat. I do just fine. Then I got to thinking, Well, sure, I can do it that way but do I have to? Do I really need to be hungry all the time to maintain my weight?

So, I started paying attention to my food journal in conjunction with my weight log. I watched them side-by-side – not just the number of calories but the content of what I was eating. I desperately wanted that meme to be wrong. Food makes me happy. Healthy food does not. This is my weight graph:

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You can see at the beginning of July where I resumed working out every day. Rain or shine, pain or no pain. Forty-five minutes of aerobics every day. There is very little variety in what I eat on a daily basis, for breakfast and lunch. Though the content varies, dinner is nearly always home-cooked and of decent quality. The exception to that is take-out night once a week.

Given that information, I wanted to play with the base line a bit. I found that Chinese take out is an instant 2.5 pound weight gain over night. I expect that’s due to the horrific sodium levels because I did not eat a massive portion or any of the fried options on the menu. I switched to the scrumptious yumminess of bagels for breakfast for one week. They were fabulous and a very bad idea. Boy howdy, do they pack on the pounds. Quickly. A couple of days of being back on my daily Raisin Bran and *poof* I’m magically losing weight again.

This is a bummer. What this means for me is that I don’t get to eat fun foods with any regularity anymore. Even before this experimentation, I would experience what I call food stress, frequently. (I define food stress as the overwhelming desire to eat huge amounts of happiness-inducing, very-bad-for-you food. I’m an addict. Because food is my drug of choice, food stress makes me horribly bitchy.)

I’m trying to make peace with this whole “eating good food” thing by telling myself I won’t have to be hungry all the time. This is true. I’m making better choices. Better choices = larger portions = weight loss – near constant hunger. I should be happy about that. I should be, but I’m not. I can’t eat tasty foods anymore. I’m experiencing food stress nearly all the time. It pisses me off and that’s no fun at all.

Back in the saddle. Again.

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I hate my ass. There. I said it. It was a picture of my fat ass me riding a bike, taken by a friend who was riding behind, combined with my reentry into the lifestyle, that forced me to recognize the truth about my weight and act on it.

I lost more than 60 pounds over the course of a year and adapted as much of a healthy lifestyle as someone who despises vegetables and hates exercise possibly can. Then, 2015 happened. I had multiple, back-to-back health issues that prevented me from sticking to my workout schedule. I watched a few pounds creep back on.

This year, in January, one month after my renewed resolve to get back on the workout train, I exacerbated an injury and found myself in bed for three days, laying there crying. It was the first time I couldn’t get any relief from this particular ailment just by being still. It was horrific. I haven’t worked out since. I’m terrified. I can’t do that pain again.

Not long after I got back on my feet, my world exploded. The dust has cleared. The rubble mostly swept up, though watch out for those missed pieces because they will cut you when you least expect it. Reconstruction has not yet begun. I don’t believe the world will ever look the same as it was in the before. I am hopeful that maybe, maybe, the future won’t be as bleak as it first appeared, while still unable to assess the wreckage through the tears. A few more pounds were added to the scale.

Then, this past week, again, BOOM. Different people. Very similar themes. Again, I blame myself, because that’s what I do. This time, most of the blame truly is likely mine to own. It’s heavy. Crushing really. I feel like Atlas about to be demolished under the weight of it.

What does this have to do with my ass? Also this week, I reverted to old patterns. I could no longer resist the medicinal call of junk food. I did not buy my gateway drug: Donuts. I did buy the largest bag of potato chips I could find. And a breakfast danish thing. And a theater size box of Whoppers. I unpacked the groceries when I got home and realized I hadn’t bought any real food. I hadn’t given a thought to menu planning. I provided for the needs of the boy but it looked like the adults in the house were shit out of luck. Worse, I had not one fuck to give. If I’m being honest, I still don’t.

This morning, while catching up on my blog list, there was Drew, talking about his body image issues and the things he has found don’t work for him in his quest for fitness. I sighed and thought “Yep. Right there with ya buddy.”

So, I’m getting back on the horse. I’m pretty damn sure that my old and busted body won’t tolerate my preferred method of exercise but I can no longer use that as an excuse to do nothing. I will be doing something. Every day. It’s going to suck. I’m deeply unhappy. All I want to do is crawl into my bed, binge watch Supernatural, and eat myself into oblivion. There may be, hell, there will be, days that doing a few donkey kicks is all I can manage. I will never forgive myself if I undo all the hard work that got my body to this point. God knows I don’t need another reason to be unhappy with myself.

I’m doing this. Just as soon as I’ve eaten every last crumb of the crap I bought this week … which shouldn’t take long at all.

Fitness Journal: Day 30

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Prompt: New weight/measurements! How do you feel? Are you going to continue to get healthier? What are you plans for next month?

Well, my weight is right back where it was some 30 days ago, thanks to the holidays. I did not gorge or eat a bunch of foods I should not have been eating (except for Christmas breakfast). Because everyone was home for two weeks, I ate more frequently and larger meals than I would have if home alone.

While I’m disappointed, I’m not crushed. I made the choice to begin this, prior to the holiday season, knowing it could backfire. Yes, I gained back a couple of pounds (and that really is all we’re talking about here) but I also got back into the habit of exercising every day. I missed only two days the entire time, and one of them was Christmas day, so there is that.

I will continue to do my thing, in the way I’m doing it. It’s proven to work, when I stick with it. Additionally, I’m physically well enough to resume waist training. I have my new trainer in hand and have begun seasoning it.

My final goal is 20″, which for me will be a 7″ reduction. I know this is attainable. When I had to stop for medical reasons, unrelated to training, I was already 22″. Now, I’m … well … let’s just say I’m not at 22″ anymore. I have to gain back that ground and gain those two additional inches. I know that once I’m at 22″, it’s going to take a very long time to get the last two. I’m okay with that, as long as I do get them eventually.

Fitness Journal: Day 26

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I acknowledge that Muscle Bound Chick has worked very hard to get that way. If you see this, Muscle Bound Chick, I appreciate your efforts. Please don’t squash me like a bug.

 

Prompt: What keeps you motivated? Where do you find positive influences?

This was answered here. I am predominantly motivated by the number on the scale.

I have a secondary motivation that comes from the concept of personal wellness. This includes keeping an eye on my muscle tone. I don’t want to be a muscle bound is-that-a-chick-’cause-I-can’t-really-tell-through-all-that-muscle kind of girl but I do want nicely toned arms and shoulders.

I’d also like to tone my tush into something other than the slab ‘o flesh that it has become, given the effects of age and gravity. This has proven challenging because of bad knees that prevent the tushy toning squat.

Fitness Journal: Day 24

Prompt: How do you feel about the “pro-ana” and “thinspo” community of weight loss on tumblr?

(Confession time: I had to look up thinspo.)

People are going to seek out others to make them feel as if they are not alone, as if what they do is acceptable, the norm, etc. Everyone wants to feel good about who they are and how they live their lives. This applies if they are anorexic or sadists or leather lovers or balloon enthusiasts or binge eaters.

I freely admit that there are times when I wish I could go through my days eating whatever I want to get happy, and then vomit it back out so my addiction wouldn’t be evident on my waistline/ass/thighs.

Thinking rationally, I recognize this would only be trading one addiction for another. There is part of me that says it’s a darn good thing I hate to throw up. This is the same part that says it’s a good thing alcohol tastes so vile.

I don’t think the presence of the above mentioned communities makes a significant difference one way or another.