Bursting the fantasy bubble

This week I got caught up the fantasy. 

You know the one: you’re skinny and life is perfect.

Things do change when you lose weight, that’s for sure. But the important stuff, the happiness stuff, really doesn’t change all that much.

Confidence is not a number on a scale. Happy is not a number on a scale. Life, most certainly, is not a number on a scale.

I’ve been slacking on positive thinking and daily affirmations. I’ve also been feeling uncomfortable in everything. Coincidence? I think not.

When I start believing in the fantasy, crazy thoughts come into my head.

Such as, “I can live on nothing but smoothies and salads.”

Such as, “When I’m finally ‘X’ weight, ‘X’ will be possible.”

A story comes to mind when I get caught up in the fantasy.

It was 2011 and I was in the middle of a phone interview for a job. The recruiter had clearly checked out my LinkedIn profile, because my profile picture on there is of me skydiving on my 21st birthday. I was around 200 pounds.

She asked, “Did you really jump out of a plane?”

“Yes,” I said. “It was awesome.”

“I would love to, but I’d have to lose some weight first,” she replied.

Now, yes, there is a weight limit for sky diving – but she wasn’t anywhere near it. I know, because I had also checked out her LinkedIn profile.

I don’t think you can tell from that photo that I was 200 pounds, if I had known what I know now (i.e. that the job wouldn’t work out) I would have definitely told her how much I weighed in that picture. I would have told her not to let her weight hold her back from taking chances.

It’s this small example that reminds me how much we allow weight to enter into our decisions. To affect the lives we lead.

But it doesn’t have to.

There is a kinder way to live. Free from being weighed down by your weight.

Listen, this kind of thinking happens. I wish I was immune to it, because honestly getting caught up in the fantasy makes living in the real world excruciatingly unpleasant.

It makes you think that there is something missing from your life.

When I’m living in the fantasy, I’m not being grateful for my body.

When I’m living in the fantasy, I’m not being thankful for everything the Universe has given me.

The fantasy is place of pure, quick want when I know that journey I’m on is a slow, winding path.

When you’re ready to give up the fantasy, deal in what you’ve been dealt in life, change can happen. Step out of the fantasy and face the fears that put you there head on because that’s when the life you want, with all the happiness you can manifest, has a chance to become your reality.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”  – Lao Tzu

Now…The Numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 164.5

This week: 162.5

Change: -2

Total loss:80.5

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Honesty

I wanted to have a bunch of fun pictures of food to share with you today.

But instead, I need to write a different kind of post.

An honest post.

I don’t usually write any commentary about my weigh-ins each week because they are just numbers. They reflect something, but not everything. They tell a portion of a bigger story.

If my numbers were to speak this week they would say “I’m stressed out.”

I have a lot of big changes coming up in my life and a couple of other curve balls have been thrown my way recently and I’m handling it by snacking more than usual.

And you know what? That’s ok.

When I feel like this, bummed about a few pounds gained, I remind myself that I’m in this for the long haul. All in. For good.

A few pounds gained one week doesn’t mean my week was bad. It doesn’t mean my life is bad. It doesn’t mean I’ve failed somehow.

I still struggle with binge eating, and those urges came on strong this week.

While my binges aren’t nearly as destructive as they used to be (i.e. entire bags of mini Reese’s peanut butter cups) the feeling of being out of control around food, whether it’s trail mix or pizza, still makes me feel just as unsettled.

At some point, I want to stop counting calories but I think within me lies a fear that I’ll lose control completely.

I still struggle with trusting myself around food and finding a balance.

I know how it is to be fat. I know how it is to be working toward being less fat. But I’m not sure I know how it is to just be.

I don’t have a nice way to wrap this post up. It’s a glimpse, the tip of the iceberg, to the mountain of issues that come out when you tackle disordered eating.

My head’s a little cloudy, but I’m doing my best to fight through the fog with positive thinking.

I am enough

I am enough

I am enough

Now…The Numbers

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 162.5

This week: 164.5

Change: 2

Total loss: 78.5

 

 

Body love reps

I had a great conversation with a friend yesterday.

We were both delighting in the way in which our lives our moving.

The feeling was surprising, to both of us, because of all the doubt and angst we’ve both faced that’s seemed overwhelming at times.

Becoming content, with anything in your life, works the same way.

But this is my blog, so I’m going to talk about how it works with loving your body.

Unhappiness, I believe, comes from wanting something other than what you have. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t want more or better than what you have, but it’s a lesson in approach.

I have to remind myself daily that I don’t want to lose weight. This is, after all, Jodi fat or not.

I want to love my body, which means I care for it in the best way I know how.

Movement that leaves me dripping with sweat and smiling.

Eating food that makes me glow from the inside out.

When I get caught up in the weight loss side, everything about me becomes focused on a number.

Not, I had a great time working out at the gym and smiled the whole way home.

Not, I made a breakfast, lunch and dinner with fresh, whole foods that were delicious to eat and gave me tons of energy.

These things get lost. Shadowed by the scale.

I was reading an interview with Julie Wyman on the blog Radical Hateloss when I realized just how much I had been feeling buried by the number.

Q: What message do you want to communicate most to other women?
A: What if the body you had right now were perfect?

It’s a thought that makes me grin from ear to ear.

The second I become motivated by body loathing, I’ve lost.

I could be doing all of the same things, but if it’s motivated by hating my body, it feels like an act of desperation to fit into a mold rather than an act of appreciation for this wonderful body gifted to me from the Universe.

My love for my body is not determined by how much I weigh, how fast I can run a mile or how much I can lift.

It never will be. And it was a lie if I thought it ever was.

I have to remind myself of these things all the time.

Every day I have to be grateful for my body. Body lovin’ reps, if you will 🙂

The thing is, I could talk about my eating habits all day. Go into excruciating detail about my work outs. Wax poetic about how much time is spent planning every single second of my day to make health the number one priority.

There are a million people and businesses out there that want to sell you on the idea that you need a diet plan, an exercise routine or even a lifestyle change (I’m looking at you, Weight Watchers) before you can feel like you are enough.

Don’t believe a word of it.

Start with the belief that you are enough. Replace every negative thought about your body with one of love and appreciation. The rest – the eating well, the exercise – will fall happily into place.

 

Now…The Numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 166.5

This week: 166.5

Change: 0

Total loss: 76.5

I’m going to be naked soon

All my life I’ve been told that one of the best things about losing weight is going clothes shopping.

“You can shop at every store!”

“So many options!”

“All the clothes will fit and look better!”

This. Shopping. Was supposed to be the reward part of weight loss.

Well, I’m not having any fun.

I was incredibly lucky that one of my best friends had also recently lost weight as I was losing and was basically able to supply me with a new wardrobe as I worked my way down from a size 20 to now, where I am between a 12/14.

I think I literally only had to buy a pair of shorts last summer and a few t-shirts, but besides that, I haven’t needed any clothes.

But things are starting to get loose again. I’m even still wearing some clothes from my highest weight, 243, and believe me, it’s not doing my self esteem any favors.

I know I need new clothes.

I think this is the part where I’m supposed to get excited.

But I’m having the most horrendous case of shopping anxiety. I will set out to buy clothes, try on different things at every store, even like some items, only to put them back moments before stepping into the cashier’s line.

And..I have no idea why.

This hasn’t been a huge problem until recently. I have a wedding on May 26 and have tried on maybe 50 dresses only to dismiss absolutely every one.

Yes, some of them truly were terrible, but there were a few that I probably was too fickle with.

And it’s been like this with all clothes – jeans, shirts, shoes. I desperately need a new work wardrobe.

This is supposed to be a good problem, apparently, but I am filled with dread every time I think about going to the mall.

I hesitate saying this, but I miss the days when my options were limited. When Torrid or Old Navy or Lane Bryant were my only options.

Fashion doesn’t come naturally to me, and having limited options where “it fits” was a good enough reason to buy was definitely easier for me to handle.

I continue throwing out clothes, and I know my days are numbered with my current stash of jeans and tops.

I’m not exactly sure where the issue lies. I know I’m a lot more critical of my body now than I used to be. Before, there wasn’t really any on specific part of my body that I could point to and say…well I wish this  was smaller/bigger/different. My whole body was just one big (pun intended) problem for fashion.

But as I get smaller, and my body begins to take some kind of shape, I’m beginning to be able to point to specific things I would like to change. I zero in on areas like my stomach, or thighs, and then that’s all I see in the clothes.

Despite my best efforts to remain body positive, the inevitable picking apart of one’s appearance in the mirror definitely happens.

I’ve written about it before, and it’s been a recent theme in my life that I’m too hard on myself. And I know that buying clothes that fit and that I like is a big step in appreciating my body and my progress, but I can’t bring myself to do it.

I wish I had a better ending for this problem. I would love to hear any similar reactions to clothes shopping and any advice in the comments or in an email, fatornotblog@gmail.com.

Anyway…The numbers.

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 170

This week: 169

Change: -1

Total loss: 74

 

From Scale to Zen

This needs to be said:

I’ve been an idiot about weight loss.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been exercising 5-7 days a week and not eating enough calories. Although I wasn’t always conscious of it, I’ve been eating based on the number on the scale. If it was high in the morning, I ate less that day, if it was low, I would allow myself more food.

You know where this leads?

Absolutely no where.

I’m done with daily weighing. For the first six-ish months of my weight loss journey, I was a firm believer in the once a week weigh-ins. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Somewhere along the way, it became twice a week and then overtime developed into a full blown obsession with the scale.

But I’m breaking free of that. It doesn’t work. It puts the focus on a number when I absolutely know better that that’s not where my focus should be.

This week, I exercised WAY less and ate consistently more. And…well you can see the results below.

I’ve been obsessed with reading the blog Zen Habits for the past week or two, and it’s really helped me put my head in the right place.

If you’re not aware of Zen Habits, do yourself a favor and check it out. The blog is written by Leo Babauta, who has a bazillion kids, lives in California and changed his life one habit at a time. Among his accomplishments are a 70-pound weight loss, becoming a runner and transforming his passion into a business. He’s written a book or two and is pretty much my life idol.

His blog is my absolutely my go-to reading source for positive inspiration.

Ok, enough gushing. Shall we talk injury?

I went to the orthopedist yesterday, and he told me exactly what everyone else has been telling me: REST.

Except this time, I’m listening.

The good news is that my x-rays showed healthy bones. The bad news is that for a minimum of two weeks, I can not run, walk, elliptical, bike, climb an excessive amount of stairs, or do lunges or squats.

Am I bummed? YES. Cardio for me is a sure source of endorphins, a no-fail happiness booster and what I scheduled my day around. I planned my cardio activities at night, and looked forward to getting sweaty when I woke up in the morning.

I’m trying not to get too down about it, but I’d be lying if I said the frustration over being injured wasn’t getting to me. I tried to be smart about running. I stretched, I wore compression sleeves, I got fitted for sneakers, I iced, I didn’t run two days in a row, I cross trained…and I still got hurt. I feel like I failed in some way, but I know most runners get injured at one time or another.

My plan for the next two weeks is to work on core and upper body strength, two areas where I am SEVERELY lacking, and, if my shins feel better, attempt a SHORT run with lots of walk breaks.

The doc said as soon as I feel pain I should stop running, and if I immediately feel pain when I begin running again, then he would think about doing an MRI on my shins. He also suggested that I get orthodics made because I have flat feet. But those cost a lot of money, so we’ll see.

I know two weeks doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but running has changed my life in so many unbelievable ways that I could have never expected. It’s been a huge confidence booster. By running, I’ve proven to myself that I can be someone who follows through and accomplishes their goals and doesn’t quit. I guess I’ve always thought of myself as someone who wasn’t motivated, but running has changed that.

I know taking this time to rest will eventually allow me to return to running, but I’m having a really over-dramatic sense of loss right now.

Oh man, this post is all sorts of rambly and has a severe lack of pictures.

It’s time….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 172

This week: 170

Change: -2

Total loss: 73

 

Weighty matters

In an effort not to be frustrated by my lack of weight loss progress (I’m going on 7 months, SEVEN MONTHS, in the 170’s…ACK), I give you a list of non-scale victories:

1. When I wear a hairband around my wrist, it doesn’t cut off circulation to my hand.

2. I can walk up stairs without getting out of breath.

3. I can walk pretty much anywhere without getting out of breath.

4. I can see my collarbones <—without a doubt, my favorite NSV.

5. My feet fit much better into flats and heels.

Now…what the heck is going on with my weight? I’m not really sure. I’ve been going up and down the same pound for weeks and weeks and weeks, meanwhile exercising more than ever and consistently counting calories. That being said, I’ve again fallen into a pattern of higher calorie days and lower calorie days, which absolutely needs to stop. Consistency, consistency, consistency.

Plateaus happen, I get it, but just this once I need to vent. This stall has been tough to deal with when the first 50 pounds came off, to be honest, pretty easily. I understand that as I continue losing more weight, it will be harder to do. My BMR is much lower than it was  and I burn way less calories exercising compared to 243 pounds.

However, this blog is called Jodi, Fat or Not for a reason. I’m going to continue to focus on the journey, not the results, eat fresh whole foods and exercise because these things make me happy. My weight might not be going down, but I continue to reap the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. I just happen to be a bit bitter about it right now, haha.

Also, if you’ve ever tried to lose weight, read this post by Andie, who writes the blog, “Can You Stay for Dinner?” It’s amazing.

Here we go….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 171.5

This week: 172

Change: +.5

Total loss: 71

Really, I’m not on a diet

I want to talk about dieting.

I hate the word. I hate the idea.

I’m not on one. But for some reason, that’s hard for people to understand.

When I think of diets, I think of (1) something you pay money to follow and (2) something that you will cheat on or fail at.

I’m not on a diet.

I’m a recovering binge eater who thinks consciously, really consciously, about my eating habits to avoid relapse and to maintain control.

I think I run into this confusion mostly when I express hesitation about eating at a restaurant. People assume I don’t want to mess up my diet.

Not true.

I don’t want to enter a situation that could make me feel like I don’t have control over what and how much I eat.

For most of my life, I ate the bulk of my calories in secret and in shame. I hid and hoarded food, ate until I was sick and then punished myself mentally for the act.

I didn’t love myself, and I didn’t care about how binge eating affected my body.

But all that has changed.

Here’s the thing: I view meal planning, cooking and counting calories as an act of self care. I feel better and stress less when I’m doing all of these things to take care of myself. These things take time, but it means that I’m making my health a priority.

Do I lose weight from doing these things? Yes. But the bigger picture is that I’m taking care of myself. I’m thinking about what I eat. I’m researching health trends. I’m taking time to make sure I want and enjoy the food I’m eating. I’m not just grabbing food from a shelf and eating it as quickly as possible in the glow of a TV.

When you recover from an eating disorder, like binge eating, you have to relearn how to feed yourself.

The idea of going out to eat at somewhere like a buffet for a meal no longer appeals to me on a number of levels because in my mind it could act as a trigger for binge eating. Gaining weight does factor in, but it’s not at the top.

This is something that I really wanted to put out there, because I think there’s a common misconception that anyone who plays an active role in their food choices is on a diet.

I have no idea if I’ll always eat the way I do now, or if I will always track my calories. But those choices won’t depend on how much I weigh, they will depend on how I feel.

Right now, I like what I’m doing. I like that I have created a way of life that is designed to overcome binge eating triggers. I like that I don’t go to bed at night regretting my food choices that day and I like the way I feel when I wake up in the morning.

It’s hard to explain all of that, however, when friends want to know why you don’t want to have dinner with them. Having balance and maintaining a social life while working out my eating issues is something that I struggle with. But I’m undoing a lifetime of learned behavior and realize it’s not going to change overnight, or even over one year.

Anyway, this is something I just wanted to get off my chest and share. Maybe you can relate :).

———

Now….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 173

This week: 173

Change: 0

Total loss: 70

Avocado Spinach Protein Smoothie

You need to try this smoothie. Don’t let the color scare you.

The other day after work I was jonesing for a smoothie when I saw the avocado sitting in the fridge. A light bulb went off in my head and this delicious, cold and creamy concoction was born.

Avocado Spinach Protein Smoothie

In the blender:

  • 6 oz water
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like the Designer brand)
  • 50 grams of avocado (a little less than 1/2 an avocado)
  • As much spinach as you can fit in your Magic Bullet.

Blend. Add more spinach. Blend more. Enjoy. 
I first started putting spinach in my smoothies after reading all the other bloggers rave about their Green Monsters.

Life has never been the same. For all you non-belieievers, you really can’t taste the spinach. Really. And the avocado just brings this smoothie to another, awesomely delicious, level.

Now….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 172.5

This week: 173

Change: +.5

Total loss: 70

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Why yes, the title of this post is both a metaphor for my weekend and an allusion to one of my favorite childhood movies.

It’s been a sugary weekend, which has, unfortunately, not left me feeling very sweet.

To give you an idea of my indulgence, froyo replaced two of my meals, and was eaten once as a dessert. In two days. There was also cake at some point.

I feel a little queasy thinking about it now.

And as much as I hate saying this, I’m not looking forward to publishing the numbers from The Scale on Wednesday.

It was a tough weekend. The urge to binge eat stayed with me up until last night.

But today, there is hope. In the form of a fridge stocked full with healthy food.

Last night I was up until 11:30 p.m. cooking a week’s worth of healthy breakfasts and lunches. After, I felt better. I felt in control again.

If anything, this weekend served as a reminder that having sugar just increases, instead of satisfies, the craving for sugar.

This weekend also reinforced that the food choices I make affect much more than my weight. I eat the way I do because it makes me feel good. Inside and out.

This thing that I’m doing, the way that I’m living my life, it’s full of trial and error. There will be hiccups and slip ups and bad weekends. I don’t think I’ll ever claim to have beaten binge eating. I’ve come a long way and made a lot of progress, but I’m by no means free of it.

The difference now is that I’m willing to put in the work. I can sit with my emotions and be uncomfortable instead of numbing what I’m feeling with food.

The reward is that I get to live my life consciously and purposely. Worth the fight every time.

 

 

 

Fantastic four and weigh-in

You guys…!

I finally broke through the 5K distance rut and ran FOUR MILES on Sunday!

I went into the run feeling good, motivated by a new music playlist, cool weather, fresh legs and my Zensah compression sleeves. I hadn’t planned on achieving a new PDR that day, but I was so happy that there was no pain in my shins that I decided to push it!

.

It was tough! I relied on intervals of 10 minutes running/1 minute walking to get me through. Overall the 4 miles took about 53 minutes (13 min/mi), which I know is slow for most people – but I’m proud!

But while my shins are okay….my calves are not! I’ve had a few really painful charley horses this week

I’m great at hydrating Monday-Friday…but then the weekend comes and I forget to drink water and subsist largely on coffee…and sometimes wine…

I was woken Sunday morning by muscle spasms in both my calves..and then  the spasms struck again when I took off my compression sleeves after the four mile run. Does anyone know why this is happening?

I was under the impression that muscle cramps come from being dehydrated…which I definitely was…but if you have another reason/idea that might help, tell me! I know that lack of potassium can also be a possible cause, but I used to get them all the time when I was eating a banana a day, so I’ve ruled that out.

I’ve been doing some extra stretches to relieve the pain, but my right calf is still tight.

In other news…I made mini frittatas this week and can’t get over how cute (and yummy!) they are. I (kind of) followed this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. I left out the meat and just went with onions, broccoli and mushrooms for filling. I also paired down her recipe to make just 12.

Now….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 172.5

This week: 172.5

Change: 0

Total loss: 70.5