Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fat

I feel fat.

And to compound that, I feel like a whiny complainer for focusing on the one thing in my life that isn't going as well as I would like it to.

The thing is that it isn't NOT going well, per se. I plateaued all summer, pretty much, with a few small breaks downward. My surgery plus working late plus wedding planning plus being sick of Weight Watchers combined to keep me at about the same weight. And honestly, I wasn't trying that hard. I had so much success with Weight Watchers at the beginning, and while that wasn't easy, per se, it felt rewarding, or simple, or something. All I had to do was stick to my points and the weight felt like it just melted off.

And then that changed, and I was frustrated, and demoralized, and that was very demotivating. It felt like it wouldn't really matter if I ate just a few extra points, or didn't track my food intake quite as carefully, because nothing was really changing anyway. So I relaxed, and I think that was OK for awhile. What I have to keep reminding myself is that there is no rush. I need to lose the weight, and it's happening, but it's an ongoing process. There isn't an easy way out. There are quicker ways, like surgery, which was always my backup plan before I started Weight Watchers, but they aren't easy, as Erica's experience has clearly shown me.

So, I gave myself a break. And I plateaued. And honestly, I'm lucky that I didn't gain the weight back. That was my fear. Although maybe if I had started to gain the weight back it would have kickstarted me into really focusing on Weight Watchers again.

I sound like I'm talking about a stale romantic relationship here, but I want Weight Watchers to be like it was in the beginning. I want counting points to feel like a fun puzzle instead of a dull trap. I want to not know the points of what I'm eating by heart so that I am forced to enter them into the tracker instead of assuming that I more or less know what I'm consuming. I DO more or less know, and that's probably why I haven't gained the weight back, but the flip side of having learned so much about calories and nutrition is that it's really easy to get lackadaisical about tracking, and blur the lines of your recommended point intake.

But most of all what I want back about the beginning of Weight Watchers is the way I lost 50 pounds in 6 months. I want that to happen again. And I want it to be as straightforward as it was the first time.

I want to lose another 50 pounds. And I want it to be easy. My problem is that I struggle not to associate my weight loss goals with time goals. I find it difficult to say that I want to lose 50 pounds, full stop. Instead, I say I want to lose 50 pounds in 6 months. Then I start thinking about where I will be 6 months from now. OK, if I lose 50 pounds in 6 months then I will be done by next summer. And so on.

But I won't lose 50 pounds in 6 months. That only happens when you start the new eating habits. So I'm a little bit lost. I want to lose 50 pounds, period, whenever. But I don't want to tie that to a weight loss rate that will make me feel like a failure if I don't achieve it. I don't want to say that I need to lose 1-2 pounds every week, because I'm just setting myself up for frustration and self-blame.

Back when I was losing weight easily, every week, my biggest fear was that it would suddenly stop and I would get stuck at my current weight. And then that's exactly what happened. But I can see the differences. Before, if I ate one M&M, it got recorded in the tracker. Now, not so much. Before, when Torsten and I went to Germany for a week and a half and I couldn't track my food or my weight, I literally had nightmares about getting home and discovering that I had gained 10 pounds (I didn't). Now, I go on vacation and barely think about it. I do think about it on a certain level--that's one thing WW has done for me, allowed me to have a basic understanding of the nutrional value and caloric content of most food, whether or not I'm writing it all down in point form. But I don't think about it enough, I don't monitor it enough, I don't track it enough. And I have learned about myself that if I am not incredibly disciplined about the tracking, I will be stuck in maintenance mode. And I don't want to be.

So, maybe now is the time? The wedding is over, the honeymoon is over, my hours at work are shorter. It shouldn't be difficult to cook healthy meals, bring leftovers in at work, get to the gym a few days a week. It shouldn't be difficult for me to record what I'm eating. But if only I could recapture that mindset, the part where this is all a fun little puzzle, a happy, healthy solution. And I don't know what to focus on to make that happen. So I need to just plow ahead, even if I don't have that same singular focus that I had in the beginning. I just need to power through.

I feel fat because I thought I would be thinner by now, and I'm not. And I wish I were, and I recognize that the only person who can make that wish come true is me.

40 comments:

Jessica said...

It will be more challenging with the next 50lbs ...but YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Janssen said...

Having watched your dedication over the last few months to making the wedding happen in the right way, I am certain that you have the power to lose those pounds, even if it's hard. You'll make it happen.

Maxie said...

I totally know where you're coming from-- I always set unrealistic time frames for weight loss and then I'm mad at myself when I dont make them happen.

You can do it! :-)

Emily said...

It sounds like you really enjoy new challenges and making a project of things. Weight Watchers got old because you "won" it, in a way. You figured out the game. What about adding a new project into the mix? Focus on trying a new vegetable every week, or eating locally-grown foods as much as possible, or getting the right combination of vitamins/carbs/proteins every day. Or cook your way through a new healthy cookbook. I'm not saying give up Weight Watchers, just add something new to make it a fun game again rather than same old same old. Good luck!

cessc said...

some of the scariest words my dr ever said to me are "I have good news and bad news. The good news is your health is in your hands. The bad news is your health is in your hands." I feel your words but I have been a blog reader of yours for about 4 months and you are great. You will get back to where you need to be mentally.

pseudostoops said...

I'm the same way with exercise- when it's new and I'm figuring out a routine and excited about seeing progress, it's great- but then I plateau, and I start skipping days, and pretty soon I'm back to where I started, unable to run a mile without huffing and wishing for death. I like Emily's suggestion about finding a way to keep it new and challenging- I'm going to apply it to exercise and get some new dvds to try.

missris said...

Oh Jess, I know it must be hard. First of all, you look amazing and happy and healthy in all your wedding pictures (yes, I just went through all of them instead of studying like I should be!). Seriously, you've come a long way. It's hard to continue to feel motivated when a project is as long as this one has been for you. I think that you're allowed to throw yourself a pity party--for me it can be very cathartic. The next day, or week, or whatever, sit down and overhaul what you've been doing. Like these gals have said, find a way to make it new and challenging. You've had a busy couple of months but you'll be back on track in no time!

Kyla Bea said...

This sounds really tough – but it also sounds like you’re in the right mindset to tackle it. I have friends who have taken the road that you’re going through, and they’ve all said pretty much the same thing – at first it’s easy and then you hit the middle and it’s all about slogging through until you get to the next phase of your weight loss.

Maybe part of it is embracing that it’s going to be hard for some time, and welcoming that. If you keep chipping away, get back into the tracking, and just keep at it, it will happen. You’re too determined for it not to = )

bessieviola said...

Oh honey. I understand where you are. You have such strength and dedication - I know you can do it!

I've gotten a bit lazy too... I had a baby in February, and in the beginning I lost about 50lbs just like *that* from having her and then bf'ing. Guess I thought it would continue... the tire around my waist doesn't agree.

You've inspired me to look into Weight Watchers though - it's a huge achievement to have your mentality shifted in such a way, you know. You should be incredibly proud!

Pickles and Dimes said...

It's so hard when you reach a plateau, especially when you feel like you're being SO GOOD about everything.

I was overwhelmed when I was tracking everything I ate, and it was only when I stopped focusing on ALL FOOD ALL THE TIME did I feel less stressed about it (and the weight started to come off again, even without crazy adjustments to diet or exercise).

You can do this - I know it! Good luck.

Nilsa said...

Oh, I totally get this feeling of staleness. So, maybe you need to do something to spice up your renewed WW efforts. I'm thinking a physical goal of some sort. Whether it's walking a 5K or training to run in a marathon. The beautiful thing is you get to decide what's a stretch goal for you ... and you can focus on achieving that goal (usually in a set amount of time since the race or charity walk or whatever is on a certain date).

Ms. R said...

I so feel you. But you are aware of all the issues and why it as been struggle - which is better than being in the dark (even though losing the weight easily is even better!). Along the lines of what others have said, try incorporating a work out goal (like run a 5k race) or maybe even try a new diet - I liked Emily's suggestions.

You can do it!

Stefanie said...

I was going to say to cut yourself a break, because we just had Thanksgiving, and EVERYONE feels fat right now. It sounds like this goes deeper than that, though. I wish I knew how to make it fresh again myself, because I go in streaks with healthy eating but then always slide back again. If you figure it out, let us know, OK?

Ms. Karen said...

(((Jess)))

I understand, I really and truly do. I have so much weight I need to lose, it is overwhelming to the point of atrophy.

I've tried plans before, and could never stick with them, so good for you in sticking with WW as long as you have (and will continue to do so, because I have faith that you will). Maybe it's time I took a look at WW. Learning new nutritional skills is always a good idea.

maggie said...

Frickin weight loss. BOO.

Jill said...

I was just thinking yesterday, looking at your (gorgeous) wedding pictures, that you could totally be one of those WW success stories that do commercials on TV, because of how much weight you've lost. Don't lose sight of how much you've accomplished already, and the fact that this is a life-long project you've undertaken. That said, I'm a wandering fool, and any time you'd like to set a date to wander around the city with me, walking until our feet fall off, on some Sunday, just give me a call. There are so many fun neighborhoods I still want to discover, and they're much more fun on foot. Have you been up to Takoma Park? Its just like Noho. AND there's a crazy-hippy-healthy cafe kind of like Haymarket. You in?

Cherish said...

Ive hit my plateau of after baby weight loss and I even went up ten pounds with the halloween candy that my kids brought home. I think my issue though is that I focus mostly on eating and no so much exercise. I mean to join the Y all the time but actually getting myself there and joining just doent really happen. Ive taken on mommy daisy's challenge to just move an extra 15 minutes a day and it is fun because it is completely doable and Im finding fun ways to do it (dancing with the kids, boxing on the wii, running up and down the stairs). I think that when you start to feel discouraged its time to change things somehow. There was a suggestion above about adding another project to your eating like locally grown foods. That is such a great idea! Also I think that if you were to focus on maybe the exercise part and try a few different things for the next few months to see what you might like, you might feel a new excitement about the whole thing. Good luck with it all! Im looking to loose another thirty pounds or a little more so Im right here along with you.

chasinglibby said...

yes, you can.
sorry..couldn't resist ;) but i know where you're coming from. i toe the line every day, when i thought reaching goal meant i would have it made. i believe in you, and your advice certainly helped me. i say do all those things you mentioned and you will succeed!

sassafras said...

Do you like exercising? Or at least not hate it? Perhaps you could focus on stepping up your excerise - trying a new class or something like that. I've always preferred exercising more to dieting but everyone is different.

You've done such a great job so far that I know you'll find your way - what works for you. Good luck!

d e v a n said...

You can do it! We can do it together!!! I need to lose 50 lbs too. And I threw away my old tries and started over yesterday. :)

el-e-e said...

You have done incredibly well!! AND planned a perfect wedding! And enjoyed your honeymoon. I think you said you're even almost done with Christmas shopping? (WOW.)

So it's time for a new project, and this is it. I know you can do it. We all know you can.

Alice said...

i'm with el-e-e. all your wedding planning energy can now be "these last stupid 50 lbs" energy, so we all know you can do it ;-)

Tia said...

I love your honesty. I agree with several here - "reward" your hard work with something new that will help you toward your new goals. Maybe you splurge on that yoga studio you have always wanted to attend, or get tennis lessons that you have always wanted. What about a new pair of fancy gym shoes or $20 worth of great new songs for your MP3 player? Or you can get the organic produce delivery (do you have that in DC?). We did the latter and the new variety that came on our doorstep inspired us to try new things and to eat way more veggies. I think we all know that you can do this! Good luck!

Chris said...

I am so with you. I need to lose weight before the wedding...I know what to do to make it happen...and I'm just NOT doing it. I know you can Jess! Tackle it like you tackled the wedding and it'll happen. Once you set your mind to something you make it happen.

Penny said...

I always feel fat as the holidays approach.

Your story reminds me of my weight loss after having the baby. Weight would peel off, then plateau, then peel, then plateau, but as I lost more the peeling was smaller. It was always when something big changed - more running, less snacking, less breastfeeding (not that you can do the latter).

Maybe a different diet? Different program? At the very least, it will be a new puzzle.

Anonymous said...

You have done such a great job so far!! Losing 50 pounds is amazing!! And you shouldn't beat yourself up about not having lost 100 by now. Also, keep in mind that you shouldn't lose weight too fast because you might get problems with sagging skin. Good luck with the next 50 pounds. Try to find another challenge like some people suggested.

Tessie said...

Oh Jess. First off, I have to start with my usual ass-kissy bullshit, which is to say that you are beautiful just how you are, inside and out.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, I think it's important to remember that it's okay not to WANT to (*insert shitty task here*). I often think to myself that I don't want to workout, but then I just say "SO WHAT?" or "AND?". You don't have to want to, you don't have to like it, you just have to do it.

I don't know, that sounds annoying as shit as I type it out, but somehow it works for me.

My point here, if I have one is that I would like to read more health kick posts, kaythanxbye

Tessie said...

JESUS, all that when my fucking avatar is a picture of me in my workout clothes.

GOD, am I obnoxious or WHAT?

kilax said...

With all the wedding stress and other things going on, I definitely would have gained. Be proud of yourself for maintaining! Now, get back on track! You can do it! Maybe you've got to get back to the basics?

Swistle said...

I think this is why some people switch from diet to diet: they want to get the fun rush back.

getdone said...

you're such an inspiration to me! you have worked so hard and reached one goal, and i know you'll be able to reach the next.

the frog princess said...

I have the same sort of attitude about eating healthy/local/organic. I'm all gung-ho about it for awhile, and then I slip and start eating Doritos/imported/canned foods.

Clearly you've had a lot on your plate the past few months... wow, that was a really bad and unintended pun! Sorry! What I mean to say is that you've had a lot to think about and I think you're right that now--when things are calming down--is the time to get back to it.

And of course, your bloggy friends are here to help keep you honest, and motivated :)

SLynnRo said...

Even if weight isn't the issue, everyone has something like this in their lives they wish they could change. I feel ya...

Alexa said...

i'm really sorry you are feeling this way now. but you know what you have to do - and so do i : )

Anonymous said...

It is hard to lose the weight, but you are right to keep on trying. I have been at 350 lbs for two years now and the problem is that I can't stop eating. I have tried to eat healthy, but I just eat more, so that just makes it worse.
It is a paradigm change that you have to go through in order to get past the plateau.

I am with you all the way and will cheer when you succeed.

I love your blog, I normally just read, but had to comment.

By the way your wedding pics and wedding updates were awesome. Congratulations for you both!!!
A "big" fan of your blog.

Kat said...

You've just accomplished two very big things, losing the first 50 lbs and planning (and surviving) a beautiful wedding. Those are accomplishments you should be very proud of. Maybe like others have suggested it's time to change the WW deal up. You know what you should be eating maybe it's time to step up the exercise. You've showed us all you can accomplishment what your mind is set on, so just set it on this new challenge. You'll figure it out and make it happen, I just know you will!

Sizzle said...

All I can say is, me too. I feel very similar right about now.

emmaelizabeth said...

Amen to all that. I feel exactly the same.

BS said...

I love Nilsa's idea of setting a physical goal/challenge for yourself. And expending more calories is always easier to me than cutting even more from your intake! Any chance Torsten would do it with you and be your cheerleader?

Surfergrrl said...

I don't think you're alone in your struggle. Hang in there, sounds like you accomplished so much already!