DAY 740: Headlines

1. I finally made it to the gym today!
2. I got a headache again today ūüė¶
3. I weighed out for round 2 of my DietBet and won!
4. Since starting Whole30, I’ve lost a whopping 14 pounds! ¬†Whaaaaa? ¬†(And I still have 13 days to go!)
5. For my height, I have moved (back) from extremely obese to just regular obese.  Ah, what a strange milestone to celebrate.

That’s all I’ve got for today. ¬†Short, but a lot. ¬†Kinda like my BMI. ¬†ūüėČ

DAY 739: Whoa, we’re halfway there!

BONJOVI-2

It’s day 16. ¬†Do you know where your children are?

I posted this yesterday on DietBet, but it bears repeating:  I am SO. SICK. OF SALAD.

I’ve had a lot of late nights recently, resulting in needing to order food instead of eating the yummy, healthy, Whole30-compliant dinners I have waiting for me at home. ¬†The only thing that seems safe to eat in those circumstances is a very basic build-your-own salad without dressing from a fresh salad joint. ¬†And man, I am so over¬†salad at this point. ¬†I’m also over shelling out additional cash on pretentious salads — yeah, that’s a thing — on top of the substantial amount of money I’ve already spent to make the meals I’m neglecting in the first place. ¬†GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE. ¬†I’m looking mad forward to eating at home all weekend.

Yesterday, the halfway point, was a decent day. ¬†I had a meeting that went on entirely too long, and when I emerged from the staircase afterwards on the way back to my office, two co-workers were chatting¬†by the elevators. ¬†One suddenly stopped herself mid-sentence and called out, “Is that… is that you?” ¬†I turned around and said, “Yes, I’m me!” ¬†She started saying she thought it was me, but she wasn’t sure; I looked so good, could I help her with losing weight?! ¬†She must have said 3 or 4 times how different or good she thought I looked. ¬†(I rarely see this person.) ¬†That felt pretty nice. ¬†(Thanks, super flowy, former oh-honey top I was wearing yesterday!)

Yesterday evening¬†was a good-bye gathering for a colleague, and I was the designated cupcake picker-upper. ¬†Not just any cupcakes, mind you. ¬†They spent Wednesday night in my fridge, all day Thursday in my office, and Thursday evening staring at me while everyone else partook. ¬†That fudgy chocolate frosting looked amazing, but was it? ¬†I have only the word of other people — and foggy, fond memories — to go on. ¬†Passing on those babies wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, actually; honestly, having them at home and in my office for nearly a full day was fine. ¬†I didn’t think about them at all. ¬†It was watching everyone else eat (and enjoy) them that gave me a pang. ¬†I’m telling myself it was mostly FOMO while I remind myself what sugar does to my insides. ¬†That shit looked sooooo yummy, though. ¬†*single tear

The one thing that has started feeling like a sacrifice is coffee. ¬†Go figure, right? ¬†The one thing I gave up voluntarily, outside of the program’s guidelines, is the one that has started to hurt. ¬†BUT, BUT, BUT! ¬†Yesterday was the first time¬†in over a week I did not get a headache! ¬†I had several early on, then a few days without, and then straight headaches for about a week and a half. ¬†They were more of the dull, nagging variety than the throbbing, painful variety; enough to be annoying and prevent clear thinking or ease in falling asleep, but not a light enough touch that I could avoid taking something to make it go away. ¬†The night before last, I noticed the headache was a little lower in strength than the ones leading up to it, and I rolled the dice: ¬†I went to bed without popping Excedrin, and the headache went away. ¬†I slept normally all night and had no remnants of the headache when I woke up in the morning. ¬†Then, no headache during the day, and I went to sleep pain free! ¬†Magic! ¬†It’s not exactly tiger blood, but I’ll take it.

You know, one thing ¬†I have taken from this is that being open about my dietary restrictions has been very helpful, and¬†not embarrassing. ¬†This comes as a complete surprise to me, given how uncomfortable I have been¬†all my life¬†with letting people into this weight-loss stuff with me. ¬†It feels like THE most personal thing I could share, no matter how limited the sharing is. ¬†I feel appreciative and humbled by being proven dead wrong about this. ¬†The implicit accountability, support, and encouragement from people has been incredible. ¬†I’ve even intentionally¬†told¬†my parents¬†I’m doing this, and they won’t even see me during these 30 days.¬† LIGHT BULB! ¬†I don’t have to do everything alone. ¬†A lesson decades in the making.

Sadly, I STILL have not made it to the gym. ¬†It’s on the docket for tomorrow, right between¬†SLEEP IN and PLAN NEXT WEEK’S MENUS.

Fifteen down, fifteen to go!

DAY 724: Whole30, the Whole30, and nothing but Whole30

whole30

The day has come:  Whole 30, day 1.

This actually turned out to be as great a day to start as I had hoped. ¬†I selected and committed to this start date a little over a week ago, allowing for a cheese-centric weekend with friends and a catered all-day meeting yesterday to pass. ¬†My area ended up with winter weather on Tuesday, so I opted to telework that day, and it allowed me to prepare one of my favorite meals while I was at home, which magically happens to be Whole30 compliant (although my eyes did spring open wildly as I was drifting off last night in sudden fear that the tomato paste I’d use contained added sugar [I confirmed this morning that it does not]). ¬†I’ll have to cook dinner when I get home from work tonight, which will be a semi-random concoction of things I don’t mind eating, all together in one dish. ¬†*shrugs* ¬†Weekday meal planning ain’t my thing. ¬†I’m looking forward to having this weekend to map out the rest of the 30 days in one fell swoop.

Yesterday’s meeting concluded with a happy hour, so I made the rare exception and had a cocktail and tasted small bites of two sinful apps before heading home and realizing I had no dinner there! ¬†So, it being my last day before Whole30, I grabbed some Mrs. T’s pierogies and some ice cream from the store on my way home. ¬†Right there in the middle of the frozen foods aisle, I was very politely chatted up and asked out. ¬†Seriously. ¬†With no make-up on, face generally looking like trash, and arms full of an ill-advised pre-Whole30 mini binge that was composed of trash. ¬†I did him a favor and declined, as he only would have become a Whole30-compliant meal… but it was very flattering. ¬†And only mildly embarrassing.

Anyway, day 1 is now halfway over! ¬†I’m about to dig in to my lunch, and later, one of the two co-workers who joined in on Whole30 with me asked if we could get together and have a welfare check-in for day 1 support. ¬†I did Weight Watchers in my mid-20s and the thing I liked the most was the meetings; I’ve been so insular with my weight loss this time around that I’ve limited my support system to basically¬†only strangers on the Internet. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, that’s VERY valuable and helpful, but sharing Whole30 — even to the extent that I’ve freely discussed my choice to do it with people I know and see every day — has been great. ¬†I think it’s because it’s not¬†necessarily about weight loss; it’s just about health. ¬†I have explicitly framed it that way, even though I’m sure most people can infer that it’s linked to my overall efforts. ¬†I’m still skittish and uncomfortable talking about losing weight with anyone other than fellow fatties, but this is hopefully a sign that I can come around on that.

In addition to abstaining from added sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol, and chemicals like MSG, I’ve added coffee to the list. ¬†I already take it black, so it would have been a cinch to continue drinking coffee on Whole30 without feeling deprived of the cream and sugar, but I think it’s in my interest to give it up, given my recent challenges with sleep. ¬†I am not a caffeine addict by any stretch; I rarely make it at home even though I enjoy the taste because it’s more about the social ritual of grabbing a morning coffee with my colleagues. ¬†I could do decaf, but I’m not going to go out of my way to consume it when I could just as easily cut it out entirely for 30 days (and enjoy the saved cash while I’m at it). ¬†So, that’s my little extra twist on the challenge.

For full accountability, I will share that I have one planned cheat — but it’s not food. ¬†It’s the scale. ¬†Technically, on Whole30, you’re not supposed to get hung up on weight because you should be focusing on your body as a system and see the nutritional changes as a holistic benefit to your overall health. ¬†I think it would be beneficial to me, actually, to completely ignore the scale for a month, and I was kind of looking forward to having a set of rules in place that would make me do so.¬† However, I’m going to do it exactly once over the course of the 30 days. ¬†You could argue that I don’t¬†have to, and I suppose that’s true and I¬†am making a¬†choice, but I’m currently in a Transformer DietBet, and the weigh-in for round 2 will pop up smack in the middle of my Whole30 experiment. ¬†Yes, I could choose to forego it and still technically be in the bet and eligible to win the whole pot, but why short myself the round’s victory (I was already at my goal weight for round 2 when I weighed out of 2 Kickstarters earlier this week) and the prize moolah for it? ¬†Sorry, Whole30. ¬†I gave you my cheese. ¬†I’m keeping one illicit rendez-vous with the scale.

Anyway, so far so good here on Whole1!  Fingers crossed all over that it stays as much that way as possible on Whole2 and beyond.

DAY 690: Stark craving mad

I’m a guest at a wedding, and it’s dessert time. ¬†The banquet table is piled high with every variety of cookie I could have imagined, and I want¬†all of them.¬† I squeeze as many as possible onto the small dish in my hand, still staring longingly at the ones I had to triage out of selection and save for my second trip. ¬†In the back of my mind, my conscience screams, “STOP! ¬†You’re going to mess up your weight loss! ¬†That’s too many cookies!” ¬†In brash defiance of this warning, I reach out and grab 3 giant chocolate-chip shortbread cookies that I just carry in my hand back to my assigned table. ¬†I sink my teeth into one of the cookies in my hand and immediately feel guilty… so I keep eating. ¬†I’m about to plow into the plate of cookies before me, when…

I wake up.

And now I’m angry. ¬†Not only am I angry at my subconscious self for not making it through all those cookies when I could have and it wouldn’t have actually mattered, but I’m also angry that The Mission has crept into my sleeping time. ¬†It’s bad enough I have to deal with constantly combating cravings during my waking hours, but now I have to do it in dreams, too?!

Ahhh, yes, I remember this: the¬†taunting food-dreams stage. ¬†This phenomenon is apparently common among dieters who are going hard. ¬†Even Neil Patrick Harris mentions in his autobiography that when he was on a grueling fitness regimen in preparation for his role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway in 2014, the period was marked by “the most vivid food dreams” of his life. ¬†Avoiding nutritional pitfalls in favor of sticking to meal plans becomes so ingrained in a loser’s mind that it burrows into the subconscious and haunts the person’s dreams. ¬†It’s evidence of dedication and the huge importance of The Mission for the person in question, which is all good stuff — but damn, what a tease it is!

My cravings during the day have been mostly in check lately, but I find that when I let myself think for too long about what it would be like to let a spoonful of ice cream or a bite of a thick, chocolaty brownie with rich, gooey frosting cross my lips, things start getting dangerous. ¬†That’s when the evil voice in my head says, “It’s just one indulgence, who cares? ¬†You deserve it! ¬†It tastes¬†soooo good!” ¬†I have to remind myself that no, actually, what I¬†deserve is a healthy life. ¬†I can’t give in to that temptation and expect to succeed. ¬†Not right now, anyway. ¬†The taunting food-dreams stage comes at a time too early in the process for me to safely veer off my nutritional course without A) cursing my own name, or B) stumbling the whole way down the slippery slope instead of feeling certain about regaining my footing.

I have DietBets to win and multiple bridesmaid’s dresses to fit into. ¬†This is no time to be messing myself up.

The person who brought in the box of Tagalongs to my office, however… if I find out who that was, I will mess THAT person up. ¬†And I don’t even like Girl Scout cookies.

If memory serves, these dreams mark the death throes of the tentative phase.  The more-confident phase of momentum is coming.  My sanity and I are waiting for it with open arms.

DAY 686: Healthy competition

All right, I’ve officially done it: I’ve taken my mission to the streets. ¬†And by “the streets,” I mean real life.

A friend and I have been gradually falling into a rhythm of accountability partnership for a few months now. ¬†When I first got securely back on the wagon post-migraine, I announced to her on the following Monday morning that I was in an iron-clad agreement with myself to go to the gym that night. ¬†She said she was planning on going to her gym that night, too. ¬†We agreed to check in with each other later that evening about whether we had both met our obligations. ¬†I told her when she asked me if I went, that if I said no, I wanted her to immediately follow up with, “Why the fuck not?” ¬†Anything less than “because my legs fell off” would be an unacceptable excuse. ¬†Fortunately – perhaps even consequently – when she did check in with me that evening, my answer was yes.

At the end of last week, we were talking about wanting to do a friendly steps challenge, but we have two different fitness trackers: I have Jiminy (commonly known as a VivoFit), and she has a Fitbit. ¬†The idea seemed like a non-starter until we realized, hey, there’s an app for everything – there’s surely an app for competition between incompatible brands of fitness trackers.¬† Sure enough, I found an app/website called Stridekick, which we both immediately joined and created a private challenge on. ¬†That challenge starts today.

While I do have a competitive streak that tends to become pretty fierce sometimes, the real driving force in this for me isn’t the pride points I’ll score when I mercilessly kick my friend’s ass; it’s from knowing the accountability is going to be instantaneous and displayed in hard numbers. ¬†Jiminy will immediately betray me if my numbers aren’t up to scratch, so I’ve gotta earn those steps. ¬†You can do challenges other than total steps on Sidetrack, and also against as many people as you want instead of just 1:1, but this seemed the best place to start. ¬†My friend and I have similar schedules, so it’s a fair fight in terms of possible time investment. ¬†There’s a bit of competition in DietBet, of course, with monetary stakes, but I like the personal element the head-to-head competition adds. ¬†Plus, this brings positive reinforcement to my potential to succeed in my DietBets, and in my overall mission in the long term. ¬†It seems a worthwhile experiment, at least.

Both my Stridekick challenge and my DietBets end with this month, so a lot will be revealed on February 28th. ¬†No time to lose, so if you’ll excuse me, I’d better… uh… get to steppin’.

DAY 680: Going against the (mi)grain(e)

This past Saturday, I had possibly the worst migraine of my life.

At some point after all the vomiting, a new sense of resolve overcame me. ¬†It’s well past time for me to have found a way to kick myself in the ass hard enough to get back on the fitness express, but I just haven’t been able to really tap back into the feelings that gave me so much strength and power to go hard around this time last year. ¬†Maybe it was all the incidental cleansing from the migraine-induced yakking, but somewhere in my mind, the right synapse finally fired and reanimated those atrophied senses. ¬†I finally felt truly recommitted to The Mission.

On Sunday, when I was back to feeling 100%, I prepped my week’s worth of meals and portioned them out along with my snacks.

Yesterday, I hit the gym for the first time in months.

Today, I signed up for 2 new DietBets.

I’m back, baby. ¬†Go time.

P.S. WordPress tells me that, quite fittingly, this is my 100th blog post!

DAY 358: Fat week

It snowed on March 4th and reached 80 degrees on March 8th.  Springtime appeared practically over night.  I was so giddy from the sudden delightful weather last week that I decided to lose my damn mind and run OUTSIDE.  It was just the square block around my apartment (about a half mile), but damn it, I was gonna do it.  I was gonna run, outdoors, in plain sight, among the people.

And I did it.  It felt spectacular.

Until it didn’t.

A thousand knives in my lungs.  Pins and needles in my throat and ears.  It was like I was allergic to running!

Oh, wait…

I am allergic.  To spring.

Every year, the same thing happens: ¬†the world comes back to life, and I spend a week in a hay-fever fog of insufferable misery. ¬†That sounds dramatic, but if you don’t deal with seasonal allergies, you can’t possibly understand how bad it is. ¬†I’d rather have the flu for a month. ¬†I really would. ¬†Seriously, sign me up.

Even though the same thing happens¬†every year, I never seem to be prepared for it. ¬†We’ve had a few fluke days of sudden temperature spikes since winter really set in, so my mind wasn’t geared towards real springtime yet. ¬†So, like a fool, I took a run through the active pollen of everything my body hates, inhaled it deeply during my aerobic exercise, and then slept with a nose, lungs, hair, skin, eyes, ears, and god knows what else full of what may as well be poison. ¬†I did all of that with zero antihistamines in my system. ¬†Needless to say, I woke up the next day in ROUGH shape.

And so fat week began.

No gym — can’t breathe.

Almost no sleep — can’t breathe.

Daily steps goals unmet — can’t breathe and too tired.

Lots of ice cream — because no gym plus no sleep equals perpetual temper tantrum.

I’m too irritable to even give much of a fuck about any of that. ¬†That’s how bad this shit is. ¬†I hate it. ¬†Hate it, hate it, hate it. ¬†I’ve scarcely logged in to DietBet and haven’t weighed myself at all this week. ¬†I haven’t met my steps goals since the night of my ill-advised outdoor run. ¬†The best night of sleep I got was on Thursday night, on the heels of a night of 3 hours’ rest, when I had ice cream for dinner and chased it with a cocktail of two Rx allergy pills (drowsy kind), 2 NyQuil, and 2 melatonin. ¬†It worked so well, I did that shit again last night after a shitty weekend of sleeplessness. ¬†I had hell getting up this morning, but it was worth it to have slept.

The week of torment is almost over. ¬†I can feel my internal armor of antihistamines reaching their optimum level, and even though my nasty cough would suggest otherwise, I’m finally starting to feel some relief. ¬†My energy and strength are returning, too. ¬†I may even be up for some light strength training at the gym tomorrow. ¬†I’ll definitely be getting my steps in no matter what.

In case it was unclear, I’ve hated this week. ¬†Not only was it physically painful, but it’s reminded me what life was like before my¬†thintervention. ¬†My sleep quality was lousy, I was always out of breath, and I was just generally ragged. ¬†I felt constantly frustrated and irascible. ¬†That person was so unhappy for so many reasons, and even more unhealthy. ¬†This week, between reliving some of that experience and eating like a maniac, the idea that I could slide back into being that way was too real. ¬†Ain’t gonna happen. ¬†If tests of willpower, snow storms, and work stress didn’t break me, I’ll be damned if allergies do. ¬†They came the closest, but they’re not gonna win.

My symptoms are worse every year, so my allergist is starting me on injections this month.  (HOLLA for good insurance!)  With any luck, 2017 me will be at her ideal size and experiencing no spring allergies.

Future me: ¬†when you read this, remember how easily you could’ve blown this all up for yourself, but you chose not to. ¬†Don’t ever be the reason you fail again. ¬†Ever.