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Monday, January 31, 2011

I want HIM to see me!

I can't shake this desire to meet up with an old boyfriend for the purpose of letting him see how I look now.  The last time we got together a few years ago, I was at my heaviest.  I hating him seeing me like that. 

When we were together, I weighed 118 lbs. (53.5 kg.) at the lowest and probably 155 (70.3 kg.) at the highest.  I rode my bike and walked everyday.  I did yoga and worked out in a gym.  During the first year we were together, I struggled with bulimia more than I ever had in my life.  After that year, my weight fluctuated quite a bit, but I was always within 20 lbs. (9 kgs.) or so of the weight I was when I met him. 

Here's a couple of pictures that I found the other day of us:

Sorry for the white cropping around the photo.  I scanned those pictures.  I'm not sure why they look like that.  Anyways...He and I are facebook friends so he may have noticed that I'm smaller now since I've kept my profile pictures updated.  Honestly I don't think he's noticed. 

See, that's the problem with that guy and that relationship.  He was very, very self-obsessed.  I know that I wouldn't be able to stand being with him now.  But in my heart, he remains...special?  The one that got away?  My Mr. Big?

Please don't think that I don't love Matthew, my current fella, and the father of my kids.  But our relationship has always been so much work (see a trend?).  And it has always been one-sided in many ways.  I love him, but it has never been that intense, life-changing sort of love. 

So I wish that I could bump into HIM.  He lives in a different state so it doesn't seem likely.  But I want him his heart out?  See what he's missing?  Long like I long?    

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


That's how much weight I've lost since December 1st

4.8 lbs.  (2.2 kg.).

1.6 lbs. (.7 kg.) for the month of January.

I now weigh 176.8 lbs. (80.2 kg.).

Also my jeans are falling off my ass today.  I need to take this pair out of my rotation, but I like them so much!  They are a size 14 and I am in a size 12, but I've kept wearing them because #1) I only have two pairs of pants right now and #2) they have really cute pockets on the fanny.

I will soon need to do some shopping.  Very soon.  It is looking like size 12 may be it for me. 

I was thinking today that I am a little compulsive.  For example I always eat the same lunch on Wednesdays.  I go to Café Yumm! and get a small original Yumm! bowl which is brown rice, black beans, Yumm! sauce, salsa, sour cream, avocado, cilantro and tomatoes.  I also get a bag of Kettle Chips and eat half of it.  My lunch has 525 calories and only 9 grams of protein so Wednesdays are a high calorie day for me, but I don't care.  It is a delicious lunch.  I even sometimes have to eat it in shifts to get it all in.  Sometimes I have to walk around to make more room.  This is the only food I ever do that with. 

I used to be really compulsive about food.  From reading the previous paragraph you might decide I still am, but in general these days I try to use my compulsiveness for good instead of evil.

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Memory Lane

My oldest daughter, age 9 and 11 months, is working on a school project.  She has to write a paper on an adventure that she has been a part of.  She was lamenting the fact that she'd never had any adventures and I suggested she write about the summer we lived in Querétaro, México in 2005.  To jog her memory (she was only four), I pulled out the scrapbook and we admired the photos.

A little back story for you: In 2002 I decided to finish my Bachelor's Degree.  I'd always regretted dropping out of college the first time around, especially since I was a very good student.  So I went back to school.  A few weeks in, I learned that I was pregnant with daughter #2.  In the summer before my senior year, I decided that we should all travel to Mexico where I could take a five week course load at the University of Querétaro.  The five week class would give me the credit equivalent of an 11 week term stateside.  So off we went - me, my four year old, my two year old and their dad. 

I studied Mexican history, communications and writing.  Each week the class would travel to a different place in the city and learn about the history, the architecture and the cultural significance.  It was fascinating.  On weekends, we went on longer excursions to Mexico City, Bernal, the state of Michoacán.  We explored Aztec ruins and visited a copper smith  At the end of the term, I had to write a term paper on a community problem and give an oral presentation.  I decided to write about pet overpopulation.  I took picture of the many strays wandering the streets.  I talked to a veterinarian.  I asked everyone if there was an animal shelter in town and they all said there was, but no one seemed to know where it was located except that it was, "lejos" - far away.  So with only the general area of town to guide us, we took off looking.  We took a cab part of the way and then walked for blocks and blocks.  Finally we asked a man who turned out to be a police detective.  He offered to drive us there and we accepted because it was getting late and we were afraid it would close.  In the car, Matthew and I exchanged glances that communicated that we sincerely hoped we weren't being kidnapped by the police.  You just never know about these things in Mexico.  But we weren't kidnapped.  The officer delivered us to the animal shelter.

The shelter was, indeed, closed.  It had taken us so long to get there.  But the staff let us in and gave us a tour anyway.  The veterinarian and director answered all my questions and were so enthused by my interest in their work.  I could tell that most citizens were oblivious to the problem.  Spaying and neutering were also not widely accepted in the primarily Catholic nation. 

After our tour we returned to the place we were staying and I wrote my paper.  When I gave my presentation, I quickly realized that none of my American classmates had done nearly as much work as I had.  They'd done their research on the internet or by talking to their host family, but no one had gone out to a community organization to research their topic.  Very typical of me to be an overachiever.

After the school term was over, we traveled by bus to Puerto Vallarta, where my fella and I had lived after we were married in 1999, for a vacation.  We had a massage and a pedicure and went to a water park.  I was a fun trip.

Which brings me to the point of this post.  I want to travel!  Especially now that I am thinner.  I haven't been anywhere cool in years and I love to travel.  I definitely have the winter blahs!  I need money to make my travel dreams a realty.  I hope I'll be able to make it happen soon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to count it?

I've been logging my food for a few weeks in an effort to jump-start my weight loss.  You probably remember that I've been bitching about it a bit on my blog.  I really don't mind logging my food except for the fact that it makes me feel like I'm dieting.  Yesterday is a perfect example because we had a pot luck at church.  I have no idea how to log what I ate.  I feel like I didn't overeat.  I put a tablespoon or so of each thing I want on my plate plus a half cup of the vegetarian baked beans I brought and then nibbled on everything.  I ate about half of what was on my plate - probably a cup of food in total.  I also had a piece of pie.

But for some reason when I got home I ate some Hershey Kisses that they were handing out at the potluck.  There were four of them in a little bag.  I think the reason I ate them was that I knew I couldn't log my food and I felt like, "Well, screw it!".  It was the classic reaction to a release of the "rules" that I've experienced 100 times in the past.  I would follow the diet faithfully, but if something different came up that didn't jive with the diet rules, I'd just eat whatever I wanted.

It is very weird to see how far I've come and then realize how close I still am to the person I used to be.  For the record, I know my total day's calories were reasonable.  I didn't continue overeating after the Kisses.  I also got a fair amount of exercise.  I don't feel bad or guilty about what happened.  I just think it is interesting and maybe a little scary to think that I can so easily slip back into old habits. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Award Season!

Thank you, Annie for the award!  You are so sweet!

Okay, here's the deal. I have to list five guilty pleasures and then nominate three fabulous and sweet bloggers I know and love!

1) Every morning I drink my coffee while leisurely reading the newspaper in the bathtub.  I get up two hours before I need to be anywhere so I can spend an hour or so bathing and 30 minutes walking my dog as well as the 15 minutes or whatever it takes to do my hair and make up.

2) Although I'm always pinching pennies, there are two things that I refuse to compromise on.  One is Paul Mitchel hair products.  My sister is a stylist so we shop at the Beauty Supply House and pay about half the retail price, but it is still kind of spendy.  The second is Proactive skin care products.  I have dealt with acne off and on since I was a teenager and have tried many different products over the years.  The only other thing that has worked consistently is an antibiotic, but I'd prefer not to take antibiotics on an on-going basis.  Proactive is the only over-the-counter product that actually works!

3)  My bedroom is my refuge.  I have an enormous king-size bed with a memory foam mattress.  My favorite blanket is just the softest thing!  I've been known to say that it is so soft that it fills like 25 little fuzzy kittens came and laid down right on top of me and then (sadly) died and sacrificed their silky coats for my comfort!  For the record, it is NOT made of dead kitten fur, but it is just that soft!  This time of year, I'm loving my electric fire which is also in my room.  Since we don't have a fireplace in our house, it looks like a fire and warms the room so nicely!

4)  I've had to limit sweets as part of my weight-loss program, but I typically have a couple of servings of really good chocolate a week.  Yum!

5)  Apparently I don't indulge much as I'm having trouble coming up with five items.  The only other thing I can think of is that I only buy name-brand shoes for myself and my kids.  I think cheap shoes are junk and they fall apart really fast, especially with kids shoes.  So I buy them a pair of name-brand tennis shoes at the beginning of the year and they last all year. 

I follow many wonderful blogs and have learned so much from each and every one of you.  I have also grown and healed so much through this blog and you've ALL been a part of that.  I've decided to nominate some new(er), pre-op bloggers because I hope they'll grow as much as I have through these wonderful community.

Lee Ann - Lee Ann is battling her insurance company for Lap-Band approval and I hope she gets it.  If you aren't follower her, pop over and lend some support.

Blondee - Blondee will be traveling to Mexico in a few days for her surgery.  I can't wait to follow her journey!

Cadx2mom - She'll be banded on 2/10 so let's give her some support too!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Surgery bill PAID IN FULL!!!

Celebrate with me!  I now have $6.00 in my checking account and $30.00 in my savings account, but I've paid off the bill for my Lap-Band surgery.  I took out a loan for the surgery that gave me 12-months with no interest so I had to pay it by 1/29/11 or they'd tack on $665+ in interest.

So fingers crossed that my car doesn't break down and my tenants don't move any time soon 'cuz I'm FLAT-ASS-BROKE!!!!  But the bill is paid!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Territory

I can't remember the last time (before today) that I saw 177 (80.3 kg.) on the scale.  In the first couple weeks of my second pregnancy during the summer of 2002, I weighed 178 (80.7 kg.), but that's the lowest I can recall in recent history.  Until today!

I'm down 1.4 lbs. (.6 kg.) since last week.  I'm adjusting my ticker for the first time since 12/22.  I've now lost a total of 103 lbs. (46.7 kg.).

I'm still tracking my food, a subject that I've blogged about a bit lately.  This week I fell between 1,200 - 1,300 calories a day on four days.  My daily average for the week was 1,386 calories per day.  I eat more on weekends so I think this is a pretty realistic daily average.  The prior week my daily average was 1,540 calories so I'm pleased to see things settling down. 

I've noticed lately that I've added some new followers.  I'd like to follow you too so please leave your blog info in my comments.  I appreciate all my followers so much.  Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Have you guys seen Heavy on A&E?  One of my facebook friends mentioned it so I scheduled it to record and saw my first episode last night.  For those that haven't seen it, it is a show that follows two obese people for six months as they attempt to diet and exercise to lose weight.  It is along the lines of the other A&E shows Hoarders and Intervention.

The participants on Heavy first meet with a bariatric physician and then go to a weight loss center for a month where they exercise with personal trainers and (apparently) learn to follow a food plan.  After the month, they return home with continued personal training, medical care and nutritional counseling.  If they don't continue to lose weight, they go back to the center for another 30 days. 

My first thought after watching was just how grateful I am that my compulsive overeating is no longer running my life.  I can relate to the show's participants who overeat to numb the pain of their lives and essentially live to eat.  While my condition was never as severe as the two people featured on the program, I believe compulsive overeating to be a chronic condition that progressively worsens in time.  In other words, I could have ended up that bad given enough time. 

My second thought is why on earth weight loss surgery is NOT included in the treatment plan of the show's participants.  The man featured on the show weighed over 650 lbs. (294.8 kg.) and had a BMI of 90.  The woman was over 350 lbs. (168.8 kg.).  They both lost significant weight during the course of the show, but statistically speaking they have a less than 3% chance of losing the excess weight and keeping it off for more than one year without surgery.  The statistics fall to less than 1% success rate if you look at a period of over five years.  Yes, even with surgery, they'd have to learn to eat better and exercise regularly, but they would have a very powerful tool that would be there to assist them even when their motivation wanes. 

And their motivation will wane.  The male participant in the show had to go back to the center for a second round after he re-gained 23 lbs. (10.4 kg.).  Why does our society place such a high value on losing weight without surgery?  And conversely, why is weight-loss after WLS not valued as highly?

It makes me crazy that everyone seems to buy into this myth that diet and exercise will lead to a lifetime of healthy weight loss and maintenance.  Why doesn't anyone question why that doesn't seem to work for virtually any overweight person in the long-term?  Does anyone actually know a real human who lost a bunch of weight and kept it off for more than five years without surgery?  I know these people exist, but I've never met one.   

I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't follow a healthy diet, but that is very different from "dieting".  A healthy diet is one that allows all foods in moderation.  Portion control is an essential component and this is why WLS is so successful.  It requires that we eat small portions.  Dieting, on the other hand, is a temporary reduction in caloric intake for the purpose of temporarily losing weight.  A history of dieting is the common denominator for virtually every obese person.  Society tells us that overweight people should have other factors in common like a lack of will-power or a lack of intelligence, but we know that to be false.  I believe it is the history of dieting and subsequent periods of deprivation-induced eating binges as well as the eventual weight-regain that contributes to obesity.  Diets don't teach you to eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full.  Often they teach you to become even further alienated from your sense of hunger and satiety by prescribing when and what to eat without regard to hunger and satiety.  You have so many "points" or allotted calories or grams of fat or carbs that you can eat each day and so you eat that amount, regardless of whether or not you're hungry.  When you stop following the plan, you re-gain the weight and then some.

So check out Heavy.  It is compelling and heartbreaking.  It may leave you feeling grateful that you found another way out, as it did me.   

Monday, January 17, 2011

There is a woman at my church who lost about 75 lbs. a couple of years ago on Weight Watchers.  She was very public about it.  She posted her weekly weigh ins on facebook.  I don't know her very well, but I always knew how her weigh ins went.  I noticed yesterday that she's gained quite a bit of weight back.

Another church lady, a very good friend of mine, has lost and regained at least that much twice since I've known her.  She's getting ready to walk/run the Eugene Marathon and I couldn't be prouder of her for going for it even though I know she's frustrated with being overweight again.

Regaining the weight is my biggest fear right now, especially given what I've experienced with seeing my own weight loss peter off.  My plan before this happened was to lose weight without dieting until my body plateaued, which I envisioned would happen when I weighed about 150 - 160 or so.  I imagined that I'd lose until my caloric intake level caught up with what my body needed to maintain weight.  I even thought maybe I'd be able to eat a little more than I had been eating.  I thought I'd be able to have a snack or a coffee drink when I wanted them instead of when I planned to have them.  It could be a spontaneous thing. 

And then I stopped losing weight at about 178 lbs.  This isn't a bad weight for me.  I'm tall and can carry it off.  I am wearing a size 12 pants and size medium shirts.  But before I gave up on the idea of more weight loss, I wanted to track my food for a while and see where I was at.  So I've done that and I've seen that I was eating a little bit more than I thought I was.  I've tried to up my exercise and protein intake too.  I suspect I'll probably have a good weigh in on Wednesday.

But I feel like I'm dieting.

Not "dieting" dieting, but tracking my food and weighing and measuring, dieting.  Trying to eat less, dieting.  Trying to lose weight, dieting.  I don't want to diet because I don't believe it is sustainable.  I'm afraid I'll lose weight and then have to eat less to maintain it.  Or if I go back to eating the way I was eating before I plateaued, I may gain some weight back.  Like my friends from church who lost weight by dieting and then regained it when they quit dieting. 

I'm not going to log my food for the rest of my life.  What do you guys think?  Am I setting myself up for failure down the road?     

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Tip

After I eat I often take a quick little walk.  If I'm at work, I go up and down the stairs a few times or walk across the property and back.  At home I walk around the block (a 10 minute stroll).  It FEELS better to settle my food in this way.  I don't do it every single time, but I am always glad when I do!

I usually stop eating when I feel full, but often a few minutes later I feel MUCH fuller.  Does that make sense?  I don't know why, but I have discovered that a tiny bit of post meal exercise really helps.

But the post-meal work out can't be SEX because there is too much gurgling!  Thought you should know!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Progress Report

I didn't have a good weigh-in last week.  I was up .8 lbs. (.4 kg.) despite no big changes in my eating or exercise habits.  What's more, I had been bouncing around the same weight give or take a couple pounds since the end of November.  "Plateau!", I announced. 

I tried to decide how much it bothered me.  Certainly the gain was a problem, but it was over Christmas and New Year's so perhaps I could attribute it to extra holiday eating.  I decided I was okay with staying at the weight I'm at.  I didn't want to gain, but I was willing to maintain.  I also decided I would track my food for awhile to see if I could identify any issues.  In addition, I tried to add more protein and exercise for the week, just to see what that did.

I am enlightened.

I thought I was eating 1,200 - 1,300 calories a day.  That's about where I was when I last tracked my food on a consistent basis (ya know, back when I was losing weight every week).  In the last seven days, I only fell between those numbers ONCE, on Thursday last week when I ate 1,270 calories for the day. Oops!  My per day average for the week was 1,540 calories.  Yep, some days I ate more than that! 

Was this an unusual week?  Sort of.  I had two beers while watching the University of Oregon Ducks' football game on Monday.  We went out to pizza last night for a basketball trophy party.  TOM came to town so I wanted to (but didn't) eat everything that wasn't nailed down.  I'm going to keep tracking my food to see how unusual this week was.

I did manage to drop the .8 lbs. that I was bitching about last week so I'm back to my weight from 12/22.  So stay posted!


Understanding obesity

I've been thinking a great deal about obesity.  In an effort to better understand how I got there, I've been thinking about how obesity has become such a problem in our society.  As a society we have really negative ideas about people who are obese and how they end up that way.  But what if we question those assumptions?  What does that look like?

Humans are animals.  Our bodies work in certain ways.  I'm not a scientist and I've done no research (other than the anecdotal, life-experience kind) for this post, but in my un-scientific way, I propose the theory that obesity is evidence of an über-efficient physiology. 

What do I mean by that?  Our bodies are designed to withstand periods of starvation, at least to some extent.  This capacity served us well throughout the history of humankind when our ancestors had to deal with periods of starvation.  In other parts of the world, people still face not having enough food on a regular basis.  But, of course, that isn't the problem in most of the western world.  Here we have more than enough.  An overabundance.  An excess.  We can look at our history and see periods of overabundance in our past as well.  During those times, people overate.  They binged.  They stocked up their reserves for the next time when food wasn't so plentiful.  They put on a bit of fat to stave off the lean, cold winter when food would be scarce. 

So really it isn't too difficult to understand, given millions of years of human history, why we overeat when food is plentiful.  And boy is it plentiful these days!  Portion sizes have increased dramatically in the last 30 years.  More and more of our meals come from restaurants and pre-packaged, pre-prepared foods.  We know intellectually that our meals should average 500 - 667 calories each (for a 1,500 - 2,000 calorie a day diet in which you eat three meals a day and no snacks) including beverages, but you'd be hard pressed to find many restaurant meals meeting that criteria.  A regular McDonald's hamburger, medium fries and medium Coke has 830 calories.  A Taco Bell taco salad and a Coke has 810 calories.  The grilled chicken sandwich on a bun from Chili's is 1,270 calories as served.  Add another 250 calories if you want a margarita with that.

That's CRAZY!  I picked those options because I thought they sounded "light" sort of.  Like the kinds of things someone might select if they didn't want to eat something really, really unhealthy. 

And don't get me started on liquid calories!  A small café mocha from Starbucks is 260 calories.  If you have one of those each day, you should eat three meals of 413 calories each to stay under 1,500 calories.  Really it is pretty amazing that MORE people aren't obese when you think about it.

In our society, we consider obesity to be evidence of there being something wrong with the person.  They are weak.  They are dumb.  They lack will-power.  They have a flawed character in some way.  Compulsive overeating is an eating disorder.  Abnormal.  Sub-normal.  Strange.  Gross.  Disgusting. 

It is "disgusting" that our bodies tell us to overeat when food is plentiful.  It is "gross" that we don't override millions of years of biological programming.  Chosing the food options that surround us is clearly evidence of our "eating disorder". 

Perhaps the time will come when we, as a society, reject these crazy, high-calorie food options.  We'll return to preparing our foods frame scratch at home and eat a reasonable portion.  When we eat out, we'll select restaurants that give us options of about 500 calories a meal.

Or maybe they'll develop a pill to "fix" us.       

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You've lost A LOT of weight!

People notice and comment on my weight loss at church.  A lot.  People I've never spoken to before come up to me and say things like, "You look so pretty." ('cuz apparently I was an ol' hag before I lost 100+ lbs.).  This week an old lady came up to me and said, "You've lost weight!".  "I have," I replied.  "No, I mean you've lost A LOT of weight!" she responded.  I didn't know what to say.  Was she fishing to find out just HOW much I'd lost?  How about saying something like, "Hi.  I'm Mrs. So and So.  Nice to meet you." before you start making comments on my appearance?

I don't mind it when people comment on my weight loss.  Usually.  Until what they say is so...rude? Maybe I'm just too sensitive.  In truth I wasn't happy with my appearance before, but I wouldn't say I was ugly.  But when did it become okay to make personal comments on people's appearance?  If you do it under the guise of a compliment, does that make it okay?  Like if I say something like, "Wow!  That outfit is SO much nicer than the piece of crap you normally wear." is that a complement or is that just rude? 

It is almost as annoying as when my family comments on all the gurgling noises I make when food goes through the band.  Almost.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Here's another one for the ladies!

I think this is a NSV (non-scale victory) of sorts.  Maybe.  As I've lost weight, I have found that I have greatly improved bladder control.  Many ladies, especially those of us that have had children, can relate to a sneeze or a laugh causing a small release of urine.  Forget about jumping up and down or even running! 

I say maybe it's a NSV though because the reason I realized that I wasn't wetting my pants as often was because it happened a couple of times recently and it occurred to me that it had been a really long time since it had happened.

Please tell me you can relate!

About my post from yesterday where I talked about my plateau, thank you for all your sweet comments.  I really appreciate your input.  I thought I should clarify that this wasn't just one weigh in.  In December I managed to lose three pounds (1.4 kg.) only despite no change in my food or exercise.  With the jump yesterday, I'm back to my weight from December 12th so basically I've had no scale movement in three weeks and I'm only about 2.4 lbs. (1.1 kg.) less than I was November 24th.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Inagural Address by Amanda, Mayor of Plateau Town

I weighed in this morning.  I was up .8 lbs. (.4 kg.).  I immediately began racking my brain to identify the culprit.  Did I eat too much over the holidays?  Honestly?  No, I didn't.  Is it hormones?  Nope.  Stress? Naw.  Was there anything different that I can pin this gain on?  No, not really.

This stinks!

So I think it is a plateau.  I did some research on plateaus this morning and I don't like what I found.  Basically my body has adjusted to my caloric intake and exercise level.  If I want more weight loss, I'll have to either eat less or exercise more.  There's some talk about eating more calories for a week and then re-introducing the deficit again, but I'm not sure I buy that.  So I either have to make some changes or be happy with where I am at.

I hate change.

Can I be happy with where I'm at?  I think so.  I've lost more than 100 lbs. (45.4 kg.), which was my initial goal.  I'm wearing a size 12 pants and size medium or large shirts.  I'm 5'8" (172.5 cm.) tall so my current weight of 179.2 lbs. (81.3 kg.) is okay.  I look pretty good. 

But the gain bothers me.

What if I start re-gaining the weight at my current level of caloric intake and exercise?  I feel like all of the sudden my weight loss is no longer in my control.  It reminds me of how helpless I felt before I had surgery when I would diet and lose weight so painfully slowly.  My last real diet effort lasted six months during which time I lost 25 lbs. (11.3 kg.).  I followed all the rules and it didn't seem to work.  So I became frustrated and I quit.  I used to try to explain to people how hard I was working to lose weight and how it just wasn't working and I felt like they didn't believe me.  I felt like I was offering a bunch of excuses.  I figured people looked at me and assumed I just ate crap all the time.  But I didn't.  I tried to eat healthy food and I exercised regularly.  It was a really dark time in my soul.  The frustration, the pain, the self-loathing were unbearable. 

So being where I am right now reminds me of that time and I feel myself doing what I did back then to cope, which was give up.

But I didn't give up.  I had lap-band weight loss surgery and I lost more than 100 lbs.  I am experiencing a plateau, which is a normal part of weight loss.  And I have choices.  I can decide to work on maintaining for awhile and see what that's like.  I can cut my calories some more and try to lose more. 

I guess I've grown attached to how relatively easy my weight loss has been so far.  Sure, I've worked at it.  But I've also done it "my way".  I've refused to diet.  I don't write down my food anymore.  I don't track calories.  I don't deprive myself of the foods I love.  I've always believed it is (or should be) possible to eat a diet of all things in moderation and lose or maintain weight.  And that's what I've done.  I've written about it.  Hell, I've bragged about it! When I see people beating themselves up for eating foods they label "bad", I've said, "Hey!  Stop!  There's no such things as a good or bad food.  Sure, some foods are more nutritious than others and some should only be consumed occasionally, but ALL foods have a place in a healthy diet eaten in moderation.  You don't have to feel bad about yourself because of your food choices!".  And I want to believe those words so much!  I do believe them.  I hate that this plateau is making me doubt myself!

So I think I'm going to go for maintenance rather than more weight loss.  As long as I stay about where I am now, I'm fine with it.  I feel very healthy (other than all this scale/mental BS).  I like how I look.  I've achieved 95% of all the health benefits that I would have achieved if I'd lost the additional 14 lbs. (6.4 kg.) to reach a "normal" BMI.  The only concession that I'm going to make to this plateau is that I'm going to log my food for at least the next week to make sure I really am eating as well as I think I am.

So stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vacation Re-cap

I had a really nice Christmas vacation.  I was off work from December 25th until January 3nd.  Christmas Eve we went to church for the candlelight service.  Christmas Day was pretty quiet.  We opened packages and then hung out until 6:00 PM when it was time to go to my sister's house for dinner.  Here's a couple of pix:
Opening my stocking.  That's me before I showered so no make-up and no bra either.
From left, me, my 16-year-old sister and my older sister. I probably have a bra on there.

The day after Christmas we went to my uncle's house in Vancouver, Washington to see my dad's side of the family. We stayed the night in Vancouver and goofed around in Portland, Oregon on Monday.  We had breakfast at a Swedish restaurant.  Since we don't eat out much, I'm always shocked by how little I eat.  I ended up splitting my breakfast with both of my daughters and I still didn't finish it.  Later we went to Ikea and then the Lloyd Center mall.  Before we headed home we had the obligatory dinner at Burgerville. 

The rest of the week was pretty quiet.  I caught up on my scrapbooking.  I organized my daughter's bedroom.  I did a little shopping (yes I got "the outfit").  I caught a cold so I tried to sleep it off.  I went to bed at 9:00 PM on New Year's Eve.  Seriously!

On New Year's Day we went to the Santiam Pass and stayed the night at Belknap hot springs.  We rented the cutest little cabin and spent the day sledding and playing in the snow and then soaking in the hot spring pool to warm up.  In the evening we watched a movie while relaxing in front of a roaring fire and had cinnamon roles.  It struck me in that moment that there was nothing that could make that moment more perfect. 

Here's a picture from last year when we visited Belknap:

Here I am this year:

I haven't weighed in since the week before Christmas so I don't know where I am, but my food was fine over the holiday.  I did a bit of snacking on Monday evening and Tuesday last week, but I reined myself in pretty quickly.  So we'll see what the scale says tomorrow.  Since I only lost 3 lbs. in December despite no significant changes in my eating habits, I'm a little nervous!

Here's a couple more pictures from our snow weekend:

Brody, the dog
Our family

My daughters in front of the McKenzie River


That's how I feel in the mornings.  Shaky.  Weak.  But not hungry.

Hunger is a virtual stranger these days.  It is weird, really.  When I realize I am feeling shaky and I still can't come up with a food I want to eat, it occurs to me how strange it is not to feel hungry in these moments.  Even weirder is to not really want to eat even though I know my body needs fuel.

I was on vacation last week so my schedule was all messed up.  When I am at work, I typically eat three meals a day, but on weekends and (apparently) vacations, I drop down to two meals a day.  I didn't plan to do that.  It just sort of happened.  And after several days of two meals a day, I noticed I was shaky in the morning.  Shaky and my brain felt sort of crazed.  I would try to think of something I wanted to eat and then be unable to come up with anything.  Except for toffee.  That always sounded good.  

What is weird to me about this is that I never would have thought pre-band that hunger was a problem for me.  Or that not being hungry would cause me to eat less.  I thought my eating had little to do with my hunger.  I ate when I wasn't hungry.  I stopped eating when I was way-past full.  I ate because I wanted food.  I ate because I was bored, tired, angry, stressed, happy.  But when I got good restriction with my lap-band and my hunger was so greatly diminished, I lost my preoccupation with food.  I lost the obsession.  Eating has become something I HAVE to do rather than something I constantly WANT to do.

It is weird.

Monday, January 3, 2011