New Year’s Eve: Moving Forward

There are some things that are simply mortifying. Gaining 15 pounds in one month is pretty much that. Even worse? Going from the precipice of Onederland at 201 to 221 in a season. Yep. I didn’t tell you: my all-time high in 2014 was not 215. Oh no, that would be too easy. I rolled on up past 215 and hit 221 earlier this week. 220 is my panic weight that I’m never ever supposed to pass, so 221 was just horrible. Terrible. I’ve worked too hard to let this happen.
I suppose it’s a really good lesson. I was getting ridiculously comfortable with my newfound confidence, making blanket statements about how I’ve got this and food is no longer a problem and all that. Arrogant. Food is still a problem. Mainly, sugar is still a problem, and boy oh boy is my body ever good at converting those excess calories into fat! And I’m really good at providing the fodder. Let this be a lesson to me that food is and ever will be a problem. I may gain footing as far as control goes, but I can never relax: sugar is my drug of choice and relapsing is incredibly easy, legal and accessing it is so incredibly simple that falling down that rabbit hole is too easy to allow anything but ironclad control, and, unfortunately, consistent exercise does not chase the pounds away as I hoped. I’ve exercised well daily.
Needless to say, I’ve been feeling pretty bad about myself. It’s all things together: the sense of failure at doing something I promised I’d never do again, sliding so far away from being so close to weighing under 200, hitting my panic weight and passing it right on by and then having to report it all here. Having to own it publicly- that’s a hard but, for me, necessary part of the process. I hate being a disappointment to myself and the people who read me here, but then I have to remind myself that it’s ok for everyone to see me fail, momentarily, but it’s also good to see me pulling myself back up, getting back to it and killing those numbers again. I would like to see that for myself and anyone else who wants it.
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{My best friend Elizabeth and I took our kids to Seattle yesterday and had the best time! I’m so proud of her- she has lost 55 pounds and finally got off of a weight plateau to keep on losing! Woohoo!}
***
So that’s who I’m going to be: the girl who determinedly loses the weight she gained during December and beyond. I refuse to continue to feel bad about myself and I’ve decided simply to take care of this situation. There’s no point in feeling bad- that only makes me want to stay in bed for a million years eating the same crap that got me into this position in the first place.
Imagine, then, my pleasure this morning, at getting on the scale and seeing 215. I had a feeling that some of my December pudge was water weight, and it actually was! Phew! As I step into my more traditional, daily diet, my weight should normalize and I’ll find out how much fat I really gained. Or perhaps I’ll just kick my butt into gear and never find out how much I gained because I managed to lose a little bit before the water even completely came off… That would be nice. But having that loss of water sure did help motivate me to keep on track to lose this 15 plus the remaining 30 that is still want to lose.
2015 will be my year of completion.

Step One: Banish Sugar

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I did it. You are likely asking, “What?!” To which I answer I cleaned my house of holiday sweets, rendering my cupboards barren of frosted sugar cookies, fudge, molasses cookies, Oreo Bon-bons and, the most difficult, the remaining pecan sandies which are my absolute favorite, from my very own mama’s kitchen. It is no exaggeration to say I was on the brink of tears as a feeling of panic rose inside of me while I fed each yummy treat into the mouth of the garbage disposal. I started with the easy goodies that I didn’t care as much about, but as I stuffed my mom’s cookies into the sink, I worried that there would be a zombie apocalypse and I would regret throwing away food, I thought of starving people and the shame of actually throwing away perfectly good food because I am so privileged to have so much food that I overeat it to the point of obesity, I thought about my mom getting into a freak accident and that I might be destroying the last batch of cookies that she might ever make for me.
Clearly, this was a traumatic event for me, as silly as it seems, that I came up with such fantastic stories to justify the keeping of the cookies. I’ll admit that I did squirrell away some of the frosted cookies into the freezer for future school lunches, along with a loaf of zucchini bread… And I did let my daughter ferret the traditional German butter cookies up to her room to enjoy at her leisure, but the rest is gone.
I have at once a tremendous sense of relief and an acute sense of fear for what I will do when I feel the need for something sweet.
Here I go- Step 1: ditching the sugar addiction. Scary. It’s silly to admit how unnerved I am at having gotten rid of the stash. I just need to remember that I don’t need to hoard food. If I want something again, I can always go to the store, and really, I’m going to be just fine. πŸ™‚

Bad News, Good News

The bad news: Nutrition
I remember last January when I weighed in at over 220 and just freaking out and being so angry that my weight had skyrocketed so much just from one, darn month! I swore to myself that I wouldn’t do that again. I swore that I would use self control, avoid sweets and just charge on through without even a sniff thrown at a cookie, a piece of fudge or some delicious cheesy potatoes.
Oh my. How resolute I was 11 months ago. It’s funny how I’m the exact opposite of that now. Fudge? Yes, please. Coffee tastes better with leftover sugar cookies. So does fudge. And anything else. Cookies are best eaten in groups of 3-5 and meals follow afternoons of nibbling and sampling this and that which are laying here and there, and my tummy grumbles when it gets the least bit close to empty.
In short, I have a problem again. Or, problems.
I have a sugar addiction. I’m always hungry. I’m saying yes to myself ALL the time. I’m craving bad foods all the time, now. I stopped saying no. I’m justifying poor choices as valid, nutritious options. My nutrition is awful and my waistline is reflecting that. I weigh 215, my belt went from being tightened down to 3 notches in to the first outermost notch, the clothes Bradley tried on me a few short weeks ago don’t fit and I want to binge every night! I need to get this under control. Seriously.

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{this is one of the dresses purchased for me, tried on and fitted a few short weeks ago… now too tight to wear for more than a picture πŸ™ }
The good news?
I’m keeping my commitment to exercise!
I’ve hit my exercise goals every day of running for 20 or more minutes and making 10,000 steps per day! It’s been great! I even ran on Christmas Day. That is my level of dedication, people. Running has been getting easy-peasy again and I’m hardly breathing hard enough so I’ve been having to hike up the speed on the treadmill. To meet the steps, Bradley and I have been taking a walk every day as well and dragging the kids on local (freezing cold) hiking adventures. It’s been really helpful to have the goals to guide me. Were I not keeping track, it would be quite easy to stay under 2000 steps per day.
The solid exercise patterns should definitely help me as I start working into a more productive weightloss cycle. I wrote to my coworkers before break, asking who would like to join me as I try to banish my last bit of weight. I’m employing some of that solid determination I used so well earlier in my project to propel me forward, but I’ll admit that it’s difficult. I’m hoping that together, as a community, we can lean on one another to stay strong in the New Year.
I think as my first step, I’m going to throw away the cookies and goodies. Do you have any idea how difficult that is for me even to write?! Having them around is such a huge temptation to me though. A temptation that is proving too strong for me. Getting rid of that stuff will put me back on track and will help rid me of my sugar addiction and snack/binge habit that I’ve developed. I remember just a few months ago remarking that the food monster didn’t have me in it’s hold anymore. I suppose it’s harder to beat it away amidst all of the December sweetness.
Onward and forward to a healthier and happier version of myself in 2015!

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Merry Christmas

Cheers to you and yours!
It’s Christmas Eve and I have a few few moments to update here.
I’ve been a good little tin soldier this break. So far, I have met my goal to run for at least 20 minutes per day, I’ve gone for a walk every day and I’ve met my goal of taking 10,000 steps or more per day! Woot woot! Just running, I’ve gone a little under ten miles in the last five days. Would it be that I’ve also lost weight?
That would be a big, fat NOPE.
I actually weighed in at 215 yesterday. It was a good thing to check in, to know the damage done, to be able to dial it back before it gets worse.
Tomorrow I’ll feast, yes. I’ll run, too, but tomorrow is for not thinking about things. For enjoying life as it comes. That doesn’t mean going nuts, but tomorrow I’ll love everyone and everything and be sensible but celebrate with a little bit of food and drink alongside the gifts and yums.
Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

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It’s Christmas Break!

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{on Thursday I wore The Grinch and my ‘Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins shirt with elf slippers on Friday for our read-in}
I finished out the last day of school before Christmas yesterday. There are developmental shifts observed among students when a teacher changes grade levels, but sometimes it’s surprising how mature one group is when compared to another. As a third and fourth grade teacher, I didn’t have to change much as the holidays approached. Second graders are a totally different animal though. I had a super fun week, everything went well, but the energy level present in my room was quite intense. I worked hard all week. Hard! The last kid left, I prepped a few things for January’s return and then I was quite happy to settle into a happy-hour-drinking-stool for the next two hours, letting the balm of hummus and sangria soothe away the insanity of the previous week. Such a satisfying moment.
Speaking of, I’m so happy with my new coworkers. There was a work party par-tay last week the blew the roof off of any party I’ve been to since I was barely 21. I sang Like a Virgin and Desire off-key with, first, the wife of one of my new friends then the friend himself, and cozied up, sardine-style, on the sofa with the rest of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked with some amazing people at my previous schools, and each staff seems to fit me better than the previous one, but I feel like I’ve walked into family here. Like all the parts of me fit in pretty well. Or I know how to be now. I don’t care, it feels good. The love is pretty profound and I’m so happy. It makes teaching seem like a hobby I get to do every day instead of a job I have to go to.
***
I was a pretty good kid this week. I ran on the treadmill tree times and managed to only eat 2-3 pieces of fudge per day. Don’t worry- I dialed it back on the veggies to make up for it! Kidding, of course. I’m still eating my veggies, I’ve just added about half a cup of sugar per day into my diet. Everything just tastes sooooo good! And there’s so much of it all! I doubled a batch of fudge thinking there would be a larger sized Pyrex’s worth, and I ended up needing a huge Costco cookie sheet instead. We had more than enough to give a lot away and plenty left over to eat ourselves. I wish I were the type of person who would squirt it all down with dish soap and throw it away, but I just can’t. It feels too wasteful.
I was reading Katie from Runs For Cookies today and she expressed the same issue I’m having. Last year I had no problem saying no to myself. I treated myself, yes, but felt like I limited it better. It seems like now I have no limits and always say yes. I need to get that back in control.
I have to say that I know I’m better than I was. I know I’m better because I gained 10 pounds last year. The scale is not shifting this year. I think what I want is to be better than before, be better than I am today. That would be a tremendous gift to myself. I hate losing that gain in January! I’m seeing a lot of temptation, it gets overwhelming and I react to thought crime. That said, I fully admit that I’m enjoying my share of fudge. Unfortunately, I’m a very good baker and candy maker.
I decided that for now, I just have to move a lot every day to counteract the pudge that is certainly trying it’s best to come back. I’m making a valiant effort. I ran today on the treadmill and solicited a promise for a night walk to look at Christmas lights in our neighborhood from my family. I will probably take some more steps on the treadmill, too. That’s my plan for break: run for 20 minutes every day and get 10,000 steps. I can do that.
Cheers for holiday!

Back At St. Ed’s

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We woke up to frost and sunshine this morning and my body was grateful. The Lj’s shuffled out the door, all sullen and grouchy, blinded by the bright sun, unsure if we should even be in the sun anymore. It felt like it had been a long time since we had seen her and we were feeling rather vampiric. I find that when we lay around and don’t do a lot physically we Lj’s get pretty crabby. My kids were picking at one another, irritated at every utterance, every brush, and if I heard ‘he’s touching me!’ type of exclamations one more time… So we got in the car to get on some trails. It took just a few moments until the grouchiness began to fade and we embraced our walk in the woods.

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It also took just a few steps to realize how out of shape we’ve become during the fall. I mean, we can still get around and we’re not doing terribly, but some people in our family have become more sedentary than others and were kinda outta breath, hating on the hills big time! We made it out just fine, however, with a solid reminder that we ALL need to be getting outside more often.

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We’ve had some pretty terrific storms around here of late and there was evidence of it all through the park. In addition to the branches strewn about, a number of trees had fallen across the trail, some too large to be moved just yet, so we had to crawl under them; it was pretty exciting and fascinating to see this place we know so well look so different from the last time we had been there.
We came home, watched Christmas movies, and perhaps one Lj was seen in the early evening, jogging on the treadmill, back at it again.
(Pssst- it was ME! πŸ˜‰ )
πŸ˜‰

Nifty Gifties + The Dreaded Weigh-In

This year we have family staying with us over the holidays. I am stoked: My mom and dad, all to myself for several days in a row. I’ll be like a dog rolling in mud, trying to embed enough of their presence in my soul before their return trip to Idaho… Because of the additional people, my husband got super self conscious about not having a hyper-consumerist Christmas with a loaded tree. Admittedly, we do load our tree heavily. We are a family who doesn’t buy much all year (our kids use their allowance for almost all of their kid purchases) and we go a little wild during the holidays… Because he got nervous, I decided to hand over all control to him and it has been wonderful! He’s been busy finding all kinds of great deals, and it’s been fun to watch him planning out our nifty gifties.
Today I arrived home to find all of the gifts purchased on our bed. He is finished, with the exception of a few things that have yet to arrive in the mail. When he started shopping for me, he asked about sizes and looked at me a little funny when I said:
14 pants and dress size {former size: 28/30}
Large shirts {former size: 3-4X}
Bras 36 DDD (I got officially fitted) {former size: 44 bazillion D’s }
Shoes: 11 {former size: 11.5-12}
And he asked me, “Are you sure?”
I answered that, “Of course I am! I know this!”
And he said nothing more.
But he hasn’t shopped for me without me since the days of 28’s. And he told me that as he pulled each garment out of the box he saw how small they were and was crestfallen that they would not fit right away, rather they would fit when I got closer to my goal weight of 170.
So, tonight when I saw all of those boxes, he shyly showed me one box and bragged that I was getting a really nice Christmas. He did really good… Except he wasn’t sure about the sizes on a couple of the garments. The next thing I knew, I was standing there in my underwear, a bandana tied over my eyes and Bradley was threading my hands through sleeves and tugging the hem of a dress down over my shoulders!
Then it got really quiet and I heard him remark, “I can’t believe these fit. You are so little now! I have a tiny little girl! Where did my big Mama Bear go?!”
We laughed, he pulled it off of me, and we did it again.
It was really fun, both to fit the clothes and to hear my husband’s loving words. He loved me fat, he loves me mid-sized (or tiny, as he said)… I think he just loves me! What a magnificent feeling. Better than the gifts (schmaltzy truth)!
Everything fits, but I don’t know what anything looks like. I’m excited to see these things I tried on come Christmas morning. He’s done an amazing job for our kids and me. We are a fortunate family in so many ways and I am ever grateful.

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{Christmas comes from Target, Ross and Sierra at Lj House πŸ™‚}
I weighed in after feeling so good and getting all loved up and complimented from Bradley. It was 208. I was worried about being in the teens! I can deal with 208! One pound less than Halloween, and only one pound up from where I last left off! I’ve got good momentum again- I’ve been eating smartly, saying no to myself, avoiding eating at night and even grudgingly hitting the treadmill. I’m pleased with this week, and I’m hoping to glide into the holidays feeling a little more slender and fit! Three cheers for Wednesday!

Confession

Sometimes I just have to give myself a HOLLA because I absolutely force myself through an act of sheer will to work out. I haven’t worked out in a week, and it was a week that contained Thanksgiving. I have not weighed myself as I know that I will be horrified and my brain just doesn’t need that stress right now. Instead, I’ll build momentum with solid diet and exercise for a few days until I’m feeling stronger again, and when I think I can handle it, I’ll weigh in. But not now. Noooooo.
My workout today was torture. Every moment, torture*. It was every bit as sweaty and awful as one expects their first-post-Thanksgiving-holiday-workout with my heartrate soaring to the upper 150’s while maintaining a barely-jog at a clip of 4.8 MPH for exactly 22 minutes and 33 seconds. It was not glorious, but it was done, and that is all I care about.
HOLLA!

*not actually downplaying torture, I’m grateful to be ignorant of the true meaning of that word