Weighty Matters

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School Bullying

Local kids go back to school beginning next Monday.   When I was young, I viewed this time of year with equal parts excitement and dread.  Maybe equal parts of excitement, stress and dread.  Growing up in a small town, everybody pretty much knew everybody else.  Unfortunately, familiarity didn’t always breed niceness.  Small towns or big, there are the cliques of the cool kids.  Mostly I remember there being two groups — the ins and the outs, I’ll call them.  If you were even on the fringe, you were definitely out.

Even if you’re sort of in with the in crowd and not ostracized, that doesn’t mean you won’t be teased if you’re a fat kid.  Sticks and stones can break your bones, but you know what?  Names do hurt.  That’s just on the school yard.  I can’t fathom how horrible it would have been to have experienced name calling and teasing for my weight in person and then on the broader, even more enduring public forum of a Facebook.

I think about this when I think about kids going back to school.  I hope that there is broader acceptance today and that kids aren’t so quick to pigeonhole or categorize someone “on the fringe” as undesirable.  Unfortunately, it’s not an entirely optimistic hope.  There are too many stories of kids bullied so badly that it rips them apart and pushes them to suicide.

Back in the day, I’d feel so bad after being teased that it would only motivate me to eat something to suppress the bad feelings.  I wish that I could have done something positive with the meanness, like use it as motivation to lose weight.  Sadly, my compulsion didn’t work that way.

If I took anything positive away from being teased as a kid, I guess it contributed to my self-reliance.  I think I also developed a strong sense of loyalty to the people who were my friends back then.   Wow, I just had a flashback to fifth grade, the year that my family and I lived in France.  There were a couple of real beyotches in my class.  They were also overweight girls.  I sense that they were grateful when I, the “new girl” arrived in school because it gave them someone that they could pick on.   I’d come home so many days and complain to my parents about those two girls.  My folks always counseled me to “rise above it” and be the better person.

I did that for months.  Then in the winter, my closest friend in France and I were on a ski trip with our fellow students.  In a cruel twist of fate, we were assigned to share a room with my arch enemies.  My friend was very shy and this was her first time away from home.  That first night she was homesick and weepy and the evil duo picked on her unmercifully.  They were so incredibly mean that they really made my friend cry.  I asked them to stop.  Then I warned them to stop.  Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and I snapped.  The one girl and I got into a fight in which I picked up my wooden hairbrush and began smacking her with it.  Pretty quickly she lost her bully attitude and started to cry.  At that point I stopped hitting her, said something snarky like, “Getting hurt until you cry doesn’t feel so great, does it?” and walked away.

I’m not sure why they didn’t immediately run to the chaperones and rat me out, but they didn’t.  Instead, they pretty much steered clear for the rest of the trip which suited my friend and me just fine.

Yes, I know that violence, even if it’s done with a hairbrush and not a deadly weapon, is not the answer.  Rising above it and walking away, like my parents suggested, probably did serve me better in the long run.  Whatever the case, I obviously survived the school bullying I experienced through the years.  That’s something.

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Feeling Graceful and in Control

When I was my heaviest weight and my right knee was its weakest, I always felt so damned awkward.  I hated feeling like at any minute I could overshift one way or the other and simply lose my balance and have to catch myself with a hand against a wall or stagger my feet.

Doing anything the least bit physical took extra effort.  It’s a good thing that I’ve always been pretty strong because I’ve had to compensate a lot for the extra pounds.

In addition to the weight loss providing a general, overall improvement, I’ve been studying and practicing Tai Chi for about 18 months.  This has been a huge help.  As my body size reduced, my leg strength increased.  Gradually, my balance improved.  I’m more flexible.  My knee is greatly improved.  I have much better control over my movements.

I can feel it when I do the moves of the Tai Chi set.  We pay attention to weight shifts, the way that our hips move, the rotation of our bodies around our spines.  The instructor reminds us that there isn’t any momentum in Tai Chi.  Moves are done with intention.  Our arms don’t just flop around or our feet fall where they may.   For example, if I start with my weight all on my left leg, raise my right leg for a kick and then place the right foot back down, I don’t fall forward onto that right foot.  Instead, I put it down to the floor in an “empty” step, meaning no weight until I deliberately shift forward.

It takes control, balance, flexibility and strength, particularly when we slowly proceed through the 108 moves of the set.  I’m so much better at it than I was 18 months, a year, or even six months ago.  My joints are much more flexible.  I can pretty much pivot a full 180 degrees now, which demands cooperation from my ankle, knee and hip.  Even my right knee agrees.  Trust me.  It was not participating in that full pivot when I first began.

I’m one of the three most experienced students in the class now.  All three of us take turns serving as “set leaders” for the instructor.  Tonight, I was in the front left corner.  This means that I open and close the set and establish the pace the class is supposed to follow.  When everyone’s facing “front”, they follow my timing.  When the moves turn us in the other direction, we follow the set leader in the back right corner.

There are many beautiful series of moves throughout the set.  One of my favorites is called Wave Hands Like Clouds.  We repeat this move in three series (five times, seven times, three times) throughout the set.  Tonight we also did extra practice on it to work on the timing of the side steps, coordinated with the movement of the arms, moving our shoulders and hands, shifting weight from leg to leg.

After we were done practicing that section, before we realigned ourselves to do a full set for the end of class, the instructor made a point of telling me that he could tell I’ve worked on the move.  “You were very graceful, with a beautiful flow,” he said.  That was high praise indeed.

It made me think of all of my movement, whether doing Tai Chi, walking the dogs, climbing in or out of the boat, or just getting up from a chair.   Nothing’s a struggle.  I’m in control.   I no longer feel like a lumbering bear, but envision myself moving with strength and grace.

When I was younger, my parents used to tell me that I carried myself well.  Finally, after many years of not experiencing that anymore, I once more believe it.

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Take What You Need, Leave the Rest

I’ve talked a lot about my need to prepare, plan and have the food that I need to eat readily accessible.   I have also discovered that it’s important for me to not take too much.  Sometimes as a compulsive eater, my shut off switch sticks.  Yes, I have the built-in limitation of my reduced capacity stomach, but if I pick over time I can still eat more than I should.  This is another reason why I’m working on acceptance that I need to measure the food that I pack to take to work or elsewhere.

Even a healthy snack mix become less healthy for me if I eat too much.   I was forcefully reminded of this the other day.  I put a full cup of snack mix (almonds, peanuts, raisins, a few bits of dark chocolate) in a container to take to work, absolutely intending for it to provide a single snack a day for a few days.  Wrong.  I kept going back for small amounts over the course of the day, not because I was hungry or stressed or anything.  I snacked simply because it was there in my desk drawer.

So, how do I keep myself from doing this again?  I can give up snack mix, but that option kind of sucks.  Instead, I need to be smarter about my disorder.  I will take only what I need with me and leave the rest at home.  I can’t eat what I can’t reach.

It’s the same philosophy with portion control at ever meal.  If I don’t put too much food on my plate in the first place, I won’t eat too much food.  I’m much better about not going back for seconds or picking because I focus on the meal in front of me and feel my own fullness.    If I eat out, the best strategy for me is to immediately cut and separate the entrée, leaving the appropriate portion in front of me.  Plate-sharing with a friend also works.  If need be, to reinforce my control, I can also ask for a to-go box as soon as my meal is served.  Box up the leftovers and I won’t be tempted to pick if we linger over dinner and my stomach decides it still has a little more room.

I try to be conservation minded in a lot of areas of my life, including the amount of product packaging I use.  For this reason, I’d really rather buy a large chunk of cheese and cut off the right snack portion each day.  (I have great reusable containers to use instead of disposable plastic bags.)  Unfortunately, I love cheese.  If I’m home, I’ll go back and slice off justalittle more.  For work, a slice or measured small chunk just looks so insufficient to me, even if I measure or weigh it.  For this particular food, I really do better with a pre-packaged cheese stick or one of those little individually wrapped rounds or wedges.  I hope Mother Earth will forgive me for putting myself first, at least with this particular food item, and give me points for conserving, recycling, reducing and reusing wherever possible in other ways.

It’s sad that even this far into the successful effort, I can’t trust myself to not eat or snack compulsively when the opportunity presents.  I don’t always give in to the compulsion, but the possibility always exists.  On the other hand, at least I’m willing to devise and employ counter measures.

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Taking Stock & Reevaluating

More than a year and a half post-weight lost surgery, I think it’s a good thing that I take stock and reevaluate my program.  I realize that’s what I’ve been doing.  Yes, this is partly prompted by the slower weight loss rate.  I honestly understand that it’s natural to not lose as rapidly as I did when I had 200 plus pounds to lose.  I swear I’m trying not to make myself crazy.  (Or is that crazier? 🙂 )

I watched Extreme Weight Loss again earlier this week.  A young woman weighed 414 pounds and her journey was truly amazing.  Normally, I don’t like this show because as the people move closer to goal, there is a huge emphasis placed, it seems, on whether the doctor will approve them for skin removal surgery.  However, there wasn’t anything else of interest on television the other night, so I just sort of had this on in the background.  I’m glad that I did because something happened that resonated with me.  When the woman was a bit more than half-way through her year long effort, she exhibited different eating disorder and food issues.  While continuing a massive exercise effort, she began to cut way back on her daily calories, believing that this would help her lose weight faster.

Instead, it seems that her body reacted as if it was being starved and her weight loss slowed to a crawl.  Trust me.  I am in no way developing this same problem.  However, her experience made me wonder if I’m eating too many or too few calories each day.  I no longer know.  I have an appointment with my surgeon at the end of next week and I’m going to ask him if, at this stage of the game, I need to shift my daily calorie and nutrition goals.  How many calories should I consume, in what configuration of protein and carbs, each day?   How much emphasis should I place on gross number of calories versus what I net after my daily exercise?

I’m familiar with the basal metabolic rate — the number of calories I burn in a day just living and not doing anything else.  (Right now it’s 1650.)  So, I could eat 1650 calories a day and maintain my weight.  That means that on days that I eat fewer than 1600 calories, or that I burn more calories via exercise, the numbers add up to losing weight.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I consumed 1600 calories in a single day.  We already know that I do some sort of exercise every day, so most days I net fewer than 1000 calories.

In the early post-surgery days, I was instructed to eat around 800-900 calories a day.  Obviously that worked out great.  I suspect that as time has gone on, my body’s made some adjustments.  Hence, to reevaluate with my surgeon makes sense.

I’m also doing some personal reevaluation of my exercise.  Am I honestly doing enough high energy/cardio work?  Do I need to do more strength training, since muscle burns more calories than fat?  Maybe I just think I’m exercising at an adequate amount because, frankly, it’s a hell of a lot more than I’ve every exercised in my life.

I walk my dogs twice a day almost every day, but to be honest, they aren’t high energy pups.  So while we put in the time, I’m probably not getting the intensity.  There is some cardio benefit to Tai Chi and a heck of a lot of leg strength building and flexibility enhancing, but it isn’t like lifting weights.  Okay, maybe I could make myself a little crazy here.  Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going to reinstitute my in-home walking program, following the DVD.  Doing two miles in half an hour is definitely a better burning pace than the one the dogs and I achieve.   I can tell you that, as hot as it is right now outside, I can maintain this pace more effectively indoors anyway.

I’d like to point out that right before my surgery, I could barely get through the 15 minute long, one mile program.  Burning through the two mile one now is amazing.  I don’t coast either.  I may move myself up to the three mile version soon.

I’m not loving the pilates machine that I bought.  I don’t quite have the balance or some of the strength to correctly do some of the exercises.  If I had experience with an instructor, I might be doing better, but I’m sort of learning as I go along.  I’m not giving up on it yet, but in the meantime, I’m searching for something else.

I saw an article on Prevention.com that described the four best exercises to do if you don’t have a lot of time.  Doing a set of each of the exercises takes about 15 minutes and the article recommended shooting for three times in a day.  The exercises include a chair dip, push ups, squats and planking.  I’m going to try the routine in a few minutes and will report back.

Okay, I got a little distracted there.  Sorry.

Anyway, in recent days I took stock and reevaluated my hydration intake.   I’m carefully tracking my food intake each day and will discuss this with my doctor at the next appointment.  I’m going to add the in-home walking at least twice a week for starters to go along with my weekly Zumba class, twice-weekly Tai Chi class and almost daily set practice, and the walks with the dogs.

If I’m consistent over the next two weeks, I should see good progress.  If I don’t, then perhaps more evaluation is needed to tweak the program.  In the meantime, my progress might be slow, but at least it’s still moving in the right direction.  Down.

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Sloshed

When I say that I’m sloshed, I’m not using slang for being drunk.  I’m sloshed as in, I’m pretty sure I’ve had enough water that I can hear it sloshing from side to side inside my stomach.  My belly rises and falls several inches like the tide, controlled by the gravitational pull of the moon.

I realized, thanks to reading an email from a friend a while back, that I’ve slacked off in the amount of fluid I should drink each day.  This could be part of the reason that my weight loss isn’t proceeding as quickly as I want and why other aspects of my system have also slowed.  So, this week I’m focused on my hydration.

My caffeine kick in the morning comes from hot black tea.  I drink it after whatever I consume for breakfast, which is usually a fruit smoothie or a protein shake.  That means that I start off with the equivalent of about four cups of fluid in my stomach.  Unfortunately, while I’m sure those things contribute to hydration, they aren’t the most hydrating substance.  Let’s face it.  The best, purest fluid for keeping our systems hydrated is plain, simple H20.

The trick is for me to get in enough water but to time it right so that I don’t fill up my stomach to the point where I can’t eat the nutritional foods I bring for my snacks and lunch.  I practically need to set up a schedule.  Barring that, I need to fall back on sip-sip-sipping so that I have a steady intake.  This is not easy to do when I need both hands to work on my keyboard.  I get caught up in work and can easily forget to drink, so I need to keep after myself to stay on track.

Would you ever have imagined that it could be a challenge to get in the right amount of water on a daily basis?  To help, I’m at least doing my best to track my intake in the myfitnesspal app on my phone.   While I don’t always hit my goal, keeping track lets me know if I’m close.  To be honest, I’d like to get to the point where I consistently take in 80 ounces of water a day.  However, I’m happy right now if I get to 64 ounces of water plus a couple of cups of tea, either hot or iced.

I know that I do better when I keep my drinking glass full at my desk.  While writing this I realized that I should have filled up a glass and kept it with me here by the computer.  There’s definitely room for improvement.

Even so, three days into this more focused hydration effort, I see some progress.  I also feel better.  Let’s see if a sustained effort leads to even more improved results.

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Mid-Life Eating Disorders

I don’t how many of you who come here are age 50 or older, but if you are, there’s an interesting article in the latest AARP Magazine about eating disorders and how they affect a significant number of women over 50.  It offers fairly basic information, or maybe it just seems basic to me because I’ve lived with one for so long, but there are a lot more things in it that make it a useful read for women of any age whether we know a little or a lot about eating disorders.  One thing that I never thought of is that some women who didn’t have eating disorders when they were younger can develop eating disorders when they’re older.

There’s also been a study done that found that 13 percent of American women age 50 or older experience symptoms of an eating disorder.  60 percent of the women in the study reported that concerns about their weight and shape negatively affect their lives.  70 percent were currently trying to lose weight.  There also might be a connection between menopause and the development of new eating disorders or the reemergence of old ones.

The article poses five questions and says that if you answer yes to two or more, you should speak with your doctor to see if you might have an eating disorder.  Given that there are a number of different eating disorders, it must have been hard to identify five questions that could indicate signs.  Here they are:

  1. Do you make yourself vomit because you feel uncomfortably full?
  2. Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
  3. Have you lost more than 14 pounds in a three-month period?
  4. Do you believe yourself to be fat when others think you are too thin?
  5. Would you say that thinking about food dominates your life?

For the record, if I’d been asked these questions 25 or so years ago, I would have answered yes to 2, 3 and 5.  I think 3 indicates a sign of possible anorexia.  I was never anorexic, but because I would crash diet, losing 14 pounds in two months wasn’t out of the question.

Overall, I’m really glad that this article appeared.  I think there are probably a lot more women who have some degree of an eating disorder but don’t realize it.   Reading this article and processing the information may provide some light bulb moments.  Understanding and exploring an eating disorder can relieve a lot of shame, embarrassment, self-loathing, and general all around crappy self-esteem.  For me, discovering that I had an eating disorder meant that I really wasn’t just a weak-willed, gorging pig with no self-control.  Emotional balance is vitally important in order to achieve any long term success.

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Always Have a Backup Plan

I’ve said before that I do best with my eating when I plan ahead.  Most days I prepare and bring lunch and my morning and mid-day snacks to work.  This way I don’t have to make a food decision when there are things around to tempt me or when I’m rushed or busy.  It’s all too easy at those times to run to the lunch truck and order up something that really isn’t in my best interests as I work toward knocking off these last 50 pounds.

Today I brought what I call my yogurt parfait (Non-fat Greek yogurt, handful of blueberries and some oat meal), a can of “Soup to Go” and some other fruit.  I decided that I haven’t been taking in enough fluids, so I’m really pushing myself on water and other drinks.  I had my mid-morning bite.  Lunch time rolled around and I thoroughly enjoyed my yogurt mixture.  Mid-afternoon approached and I took my soup to the kitchen to heat.

I don’t know what happened but for some reason, the perfectly fine can inexplicably tilted over in the microwave and almost everything spilled out.  Not only did this create a large, annoying mess in the microwave that I had to clean, but it also left me without my mid-afternoon snack.   General crankiness ensued.  Then I remembered that I had a backup!  I’d stashed a few individual serving size containers of almond milk in my desk drawer.  Last week, I’d brought a scoop of protein powder in to, just in case I hit a circumstance like today.  Presto!  A protein shake.  This met my nutritional needs, calmed any food craving, and resolved my crankiness.

It is important to have a backup plan.  It’s helpful to keep small servings of appropriate foods around that don’t need refrigeration.  I honestly don’t do well if I don’t eat a small something every two-and-a-half to three hours.  Lately, I’ve fallen out of the habit of keeping around some cheese wedges or healthy nuts.  I must get back into that routine.  Without the almond milk and protein powder, I would have needed to find something else to eat to stave off a headache, hunger pangs, and other undesirable symptoms.  That something else could have been a food I’d prefer not to eat while still focused on losing weight.

I’m stopping at the grocery store on my way home.  I’ve added non-perishable snacks for my backup plan to my list.

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Body Comfort and Comparisons

We were blessed with another weekend of excellent weather.  I invited four friends to go out on the boat.  We headed out to a reef sanctuary area, hoping to snorkel, but a lot of other people had the same idea.  By the time we arrived, the only mooring buoys open were on the outer border in 50 plus feet of water.  That would have been fine if we were scuba diving and could swim down closer to the bottom.  For snorkeling at the surface, it was too deep to see anything.

No worries, however,  The water was warm.  A light breeze blew and there were enough clouds to keep the sun from baking us.  We snagged a buoy, and basically had a floating party.  Lots of conversation on the boat and in the water.  Periodically, we’d climb up for a snack or another bottle of water.  It was just relaxing and grand.

After a couple of hours, we packed up and then went to the sandbar to meet up with more friends.  This is a popular weekend activity, as you can imagine.  Dozens of boats anchored up along the shoreline.  With the tide out, the expanse of shallow water and beach spread out wide and long.  More conversation, snacking, and cool drinks took place, and we played with my friends three dogs too.

I live in a place where bathing suits, tank tops and shorts are the most common attire.  It was always secretly uncomfortable for me with a body so much bigger than most people  I was okay wearing shorts, but I would absolutely not wear a tank top with my huge upper arms.  My one piece bathing suits always had either a skirt to cover most of my upper thighs, or I had girly swim pants that I could pull up.  In public I’d wear a t-shirt or  sunguard shirt with uva and uvb protection.  Not a bad idea to protect my skin, but it also helped me be a little less self-conscious.

So, now I’m thinner but I’m still self-conscious.  Most of the 50 pounds I still need to lose are positioned from my abdomen to my knees.  My arms are definitely thinner and more toned, but there are still flabby pouches and saggy skin hanging down.

Here’s the thing.  Today, with the exception of one friend who eats nothing unhealthy and is a yoga instructor, none of the women I was around today has a perfect body.  Even the friend who is a Zumba instructor with an awesome, toned, cut physique has some ripples and dimples.  A couple of the other women are closer to my weight than that of the yoga instructor, but they all seemed so much more comfortable.  One was in a bathing suit without a skirt and walked and swam around without a shirt covering her arms.  Another even had on a two piece suit!

I was pretty much wowed by their comfort level.  I watched the small groups of people standing in the shallow water chatting, just observing for a little while.  I realized that nobody cared because well, nobody cared whether anyone’s arms were too fat, or the guy in the chair has a beer belly, or if someone had some cellulite on her upper thigh.

I thought and thought about it for a big longer and decided to see how it would feel to reveal a little more of myself.  I took off my rash shirt and rejoined the group.  I’m sure it’s no surprise that nobody recoiled in horror.  I was surprised to find that, after a minute, I no longer cared either.  Am I completely over being self-conscious?  No.  Am I ready to stock up on tank tops for the hot August days?  No.

Did I learn that in the right situation, I don’t have to cover myself up quite as much?  Yes.  I have more body comfort to do so.

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Weird Dream Fear

On October 28th, I will mark the 27th anniversary of the day I quit smoking.  I haven’t lit up a cigarette since that day, except sometimes in my dreams.  Every once in awhile, I have a dream in which I’m smoking that’s so vivid I can taste, feel, and smell everything as if I was wide awake and actually smoking.

When I wake up from those dreams I experience a very real fear that they aren’t dreams at all, but that I’ve started smoking again and all of the years of abstinence were for naught.  To understand the grip and awfulness, you have to understand how much I hate cigarettes and the habit.  I enrolled in a hospital-run program to help me quit.  One of the things it taught us was to develop an aversion to smoking and cigarettes.  This was extremely useful.  Now I can’t stand to sit downwind of a lit cigarette.  I’m repulsed by the smell of them on clothing, or on someone’s breath or skin.

I loathe the habit with my mind and emotions too.  My mother suffered lung cancer that metastasized to her brain and, during the same time period, had a couple of strokes, clogged carotid arteries — all caused by cigarettes.  To my mind, she died because of her 50 year addiction to cigarettes.

Given this information, can you see why dreaming that I’ve started smoking again can cause such a strong, negative reaction?

Last night, I dreamed that I was super obese again.  It wasn’t a flashback sort of dream to my past.  I think I could have lived with the memory and used it as a good reminder.  Now, in this dream I was very much aware that I’d once lost the weight because of the weight loss surgery and commitment to healthy eating and physical exercise.  However, for reason or reasons undisclosed, I’d gained it all back and all of the wonderful benefits were gone.  Can I just say that it was a sucky way to wake up this morning?

For the most part I was able to shake it off fairly quickly, but periodically throughout the day, a “what if” thought drifted across my mind.  You know how you’re sometimes tempted to stick your fingers in your ears and chant “lalalalalalalalalalalalalala” to block the sound of a particularly obnoxious song or keep from hearing something you really don’t want to?  That was me today, internally repeating, “nonononononononononono” at the mere thought that I would ever torpedo my successful effort and backslide back to obesity.

I also employed some positive reinforcement.  At Tai Chi class I thought about how much more flexible and strong I’ve become because of the weight loss and the regular practice.  Silly as it sounds, I marked in my head the ease with which I get in and out of my low slung car, and how automatic it is for me to be able to strap my seat belt around and buckle it.

I walked the dogs earlier and paid attention to not only the fluid movements of my arms and legs, but also the healthy beat of my heart and my ability to generate a quick pace without gasping for air.

I focused on my food choices and allowed myself to feel pleased and happy that I willingly eat healthier and on my plan.

All of my life, I’ve believed in the power of our dreams and how with determination and perseverance, we can convert our dreams to reality.  In this case, I need to be specific.  I don’t want last night’s dream to ever become the least bit real.  I simply refuse to screw this up and go back to where I was before.

The dream of good health, fitness, and happiness with my self; the reality of finally getting to goal weight in coming months — those are the dreams I want to make come true.

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I can scarcely believe that this is the 400th post here at Weighty Matters.  Heartfelt thanks to all of you keeping me company on this journey!

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Labels, Quantities, New Directions

Do you read food labels?  I rarely did so in the past.  Most of the time, I only looked at the ingredients to see if a soup, stew or some other prepared food secretly included something I don’ t like, such as mushrooms. These days I tend to with greater regularity.

I’m not a fanatic about it, but there are certain things I try to avoid, or at least minimize.  For example, in bottled dressings, I look for ones where sugar or some form of it isn’t named in the top five ingredients.  Although I really got into making my own soups this past year, I still like to stock convenient, but yummy, varieties in cans or cartons.  For those, I want to see the sodium level.

In all things, the calories matter, as do the carb counts and fat.  One thing I’ll admit that I never paid much attention to was fiber.  Now, a higher number of grams catches my interest.   All of the ingredients with their nutritional breakdowns add up to whether I’m eating as healthfully and appropriately as possible.

I’m a little perplexed this week.  After a couple of weeks where the weight loss was once more moving at a decent rate, I stalled again this week.  I don’t know why.  I’ve logged my food and activity in myfitnesspal every day. I haven’t been wildly eating off plan.  It’s mystery and very frustrating.

Rather than get myself upset, I’m maintaining an even, thoughtful approach.   That’s why I’m noticing labels so much, because I’m looking for less obvious factors that could have slowed my weight loss — like sodium, sugar, and carbs.  I’ve noticed some, ahem, internal system slowdown, so I want to make sure that I get adequate amounts of fiber.  I’m also pushing fluids more, particularly simple water.

Months ago I blogged about how much I always resisted weighing and measuring my food.  I still don’t love doing it, but I’m incorporating the practice more in my daily food prep.  It’s possible that, as months go by, my stomach regains some of its capacity and my quantities could creep up.  Measuring my intake with more vigilance will protect me from overeating.   Granted, my concept of overeating is a whole lot less than it used to be, but I still need to keep things relative.

Instead of guessing that I’d scooped out the proper amounts this morning when preparing the “yogurt parfait” that I wanted to take to work for lunch, I measured.  (I used non fat vanilla Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and blueberries, and steel cut oatmeal.)  Tonight, after reading labels and choosing an organic, vegan, low-fat split pea soup, I made sure that I measured out half of a cup exactly and that’s all that I ate.

It’s really not difficult or time consuming to take these measures.  I’m not sure why I was always so resistant.  The only explanation that makes sense is that I was simply terminally resentful and pissed off that I was told this is what I should do; what I needed to do for long term success.    (Imagine my aggrieved sigh.)

Sometimes I just need to get over myself, quit bitching and do it.  So, that’s what I’m working on.  Label reading.  Measured quantities.  Hopefully these new directions will help me get over the stall and step up my progress.

 

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