Weighty Matters

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Putting Myself Under a Microscope

on October 21, 2013

Sorry if it looked liked I dropped off the face of the Earth. I was away for a family wedding and, for some reason, it felt like I shouldn’t post publically that I was going to be away from home. I had a wonderful time seeing my aunt and cousins for a happy event. The last two times we were together were for my uncle’s memorial and then my cousin’s. This was the wedding of that cousin’s younger daughter and I was very pleased to be invited and to be able to go.

The family was equally happy to see me. It was fun for them to see me in that new blue dress, 110 pounds thinner than the last time. Not only were we able to spend time with each other at the wedding and reception, but I took today off from work so that I could stay up with them all day yesterday. Good times, for sure.

I did a lot of thinking on the flights up and back. I have some emotional crap going on. It might not be the best time for me to process it here on the blog after a long day of travel. You know how little kids can go-go-go-go-go and then suddenly run out of steam and turn into whining, crying, cranky beasts? That’s how I feel right now. Still, it’s all on my mind so I might as well spew it out.

I think I’ve been fooling myself. Even on the days that I’ve thought I was adhering to my food plan, I think I’m veering off of the mark. I haven’t been as strict and careful as I should be and I’ve ignored that I’ve allowed myself a lot of little variations here and there. Those little missteps add up in more calories and carbs. Even a healthy fruit smoothie, when made wrong, can have too many calories. A small treat that I let myself have every day ceases to be an occasional indulgence and certainly is no longer either small or a treat. It becomes like a big rock on a rail that makes the train jump the track.

Calling it for what it is, I’ve been in denial. Instead of sticking with a plan and eating pattern that would keep me losing, I’ve shifted myself enough to be in maintenance mode. I don’t binge on quantity and keep up enough activity that I don’t gain. At least that’s something.

So, I’m putting myself and my eating under a microscope and getting tough. This is not the time for a gray-area abstinence. I need some black and white reality. On the flight home, I decided to put myself on a one week plan of full liquids — which was pretty much the plan for the two weeks before I had surgery. This means protein drinks, smoothies (but not overloaded with too much fruit!), Greek yogurt, and cream soups and broths. Sugar free gelatin and popsicles. Minimum of 80 ounces of water. That’s all. I can do this and stick to my need to take in some nutrition about every three hours.

I want to be clear that this is not a crash diet to try to lose as many pounds as possible in a week. For me, doing this reestablishes my mental discipline. By strictly defining my options — full liquids — I cut out the opportunity to gray the area or blur the lines.

The plan sounds crazy restrictive, but there is ample flavor variety. I’ll have the full amount of necessary protein but keep the number of carbs low. By not eating outside of my designated “meals” at the right times, I also omit extra snacking. With the right nutritional balance, I’ll also retain my energy levels. By sticking to the plan, each day I also rebuild some mental and emotional strength. Any weight I lose will be a bonus.

I promise to check in each day and let you know how it’s going. It will be helpful for me to have the support too. Please wish me success!

Before I end the post, I want to share a couple of positive things from the weekend that I forgot to mention at the beginning. Yesterday, I dressed in a pair of new jeans – size 16W! Looked pretty darn good in them too, I’m happy to say. Today, when I took my seat on the plane and buckled up, I thought of all of the years that I had to ask the flight attendants for a seatbelt extender. This inspired me to take a photo. I buckled the belt at its biggest to show the gap between my body (in a tan shirt) and that belt. Even knowing how much weight and how many inches I’ve lost, it’s hard to fathom that I’ve gone from not being able to buckle the belt around my body to this:

Airplane seatbelt

6 responses to “Putting Myself Under a Microscope

  1. Hope says:

    Mary, you might have taken a little hiatus, but you didn’t backslide and that is so huge. I know you’d rather be losing, but I think it’s great that you’re not gaining!

  2. Mary Stella says:

    Thank you, everyone! It helps to feel your support and hear your wisdom.

    Mama Abie, good for you to be aware of where you are and what you need to do to get back to where you want to be.

    No matter where we are with whatever personal challenge we’re taking on, looking at ourselves openly with honest eyes is such an important step. Sometimes other crap draws a veil over my eyes and I need to rip it down to see what I need to do.

  3. Cathy M says:

    Congratulations on taking stock of the situation and then taking control. We’re all pulling for you.

  4. Mama_Abbie says:

    You inspire me.

    I have had a tough spring and crazy busy summer and basically stopped food tracking and exercising (I do weight watchers online). For a while I was maintaining pretty well – had gained back a few pounds but not that many. I got on the scale today, and I have gained back 7 pounds from where I was when life went upside down in January. Not a surprise as my clothes, while they still fit, don’t look as good on me as they did when I bought them.

    Time to start tracking again. Time to start using that gym membership I have been paying for again… No matter that we are heading into the holidays. I did a pretty good job through the holidays when I first started doing this two years ago. I can do it again!

    I support you in what you have to do to get your attitude and habits reset to where you need them to be. Sometimes you just need to make a radical short-term change to break from established patterns.

  5. Susanne says:

    We all fool ourselves in so many ways don’t we? You’re a bright woman who knows what she wants. Your surgery and lifestyle changes have been for a relatively short time — it would be a miracle if you could overcome your old patterns of a lifetime within this timeframe. Major changes like you’re going through need constant vigilance and tweaking.

    Best wishes,


  6. Skye says:

    Wow, that photo tells a hell of a story, doesn’t it? Yay for you!!!

    Sorry that you’ve been in denial, but it happens. It’s great that you caught yourself before you started gaining, and that you’ve at least been maintaining your weight as well as maintaining the rest of your new and healthier lifestyle. I agree that putting yourself back on a restricted meal plan will help you return to that mental space you need to be in to reinvigorate your healthy habits.

    You can totally do this!

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