DAY 104: Off track(ing)

For the past 2 weeks, I violated one of the Dieter’s Ten Commandments:  I abandoned tracking.

At first, it wasn’t intentional. I was out of town two weeks ago and not preparing my own meals, so it became impossible/too annoying to do my usual food logging on My Fitness Pal.  After I got back, I used it once to calculate if I would be within my calorie restrictions based on my meal ideas for that week, then didn’t touch it at all the rest of the week.  (I do the same exact meal plan every day over a 7-day period so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day, and so I can cook once a week and just reheat like a champ the other days.  This is definitely the way to go.)

This past week, I didn’t log a single thing.  I didn’t even nutritionally test drive my meal plan before the weekly cooking extravaganza like I usually do.

I don’t consider this falling off the wagon because, well, I didn’t fall off the wagon.  In fact, the second week was more of a conscious decision from the I-wonder voice in my head.  “I wonder if you could keep control of yourself without tracking every single thing you ingest this week,” it taunted me.  That voice has evicted the one that used to tell me I could eat whatever I wanted today because it was the end of the world; the diet would start on a tomorrow that never came.  The I-wonder voice challenges me with things like, “I wonder if you can make it 150 steps in the next 60 seconds” when I’m on the elliptical and “I wonder if you’re ready to add 5 pounds of weights to this machine now” when I’m lifting.  I always pass its little tests.  So, I accepted this challenge, too.

Here’s your full disclosure now:  I had a mini ice cream on Thursday night and I had 3 cookies at a rooftop fireworks viewing party yesterday evening.  I would have admitted this, anyway, just via tracking rather than in long form.  (Writing it out still took less time than tracking it on My Fitness Pal would have!)  The ice cream, I would have had, anyway.  I bought it 2 weeks ago and planned to have it on the 1st of the new month *if* I nailed my mileage goal for June.  I did, so I did.  Oh, and I have a second container waiting in my freezer for some future time when I feel like it.  The cookies, I had only planned on having one and I ate three instead.  Here’s how worried I am about that, by the way; the old me would have kept eating them until she couldn’t remember how many cookies there were.  Translation:  I trust myself, and I’mma swagger about it all over this blog post.

So, did I get too cocky?  Did I give myself too long a leash too soon?  Is this the beginning of a slippery slope?

Well, I lost a total of 6.6 pounds during those two weeks, so… no.  Another victory for the I-wonder voice!

That said, I am now returning to tracking.  I still trust myself, and I clearly still have an appalling amount of ego about it, but I actually kind of like tracking.  Besides, it’s another metric and another piece that fits into the overall process.  I like knowing what I’m taking in every day, and I especially like being able to look back at previous weeks where I had exceptionally high or low weight-loss numbers and being able to tell between food and exercise what contributed to that.  However, thanks to this little experiment, I have developed a new muscle, which is the mental muscle of being able to gauge what an appropriate portion is, approximately.

I plan to continue tracking to the bitter end of this “journey” (God, I hate that euphemism — I’m sure I’ll over-explain that in some future post), but at least I’ve proven to I-wonder that I can go without that crutch when necessary.  For this to be a success long after the losing process is over, that’s an important thing to know.  Yay!

DAY 103: Clothes’d for business

Now that I don’t have to keep cycling through the same handful of shirts and 3 pairs of pants that fit, I can’t seem to stop shopping.  My mental math tells me I have bought close to 30 articles of clothing in the past 2 weeks (including one skirt and one dress!), and I’ve also rediscovered a bunch of former oh-honeys and things I outgrew on the way up the scale that now re-fit me.  Between the new clothes and the old ones I’ve brought back into rotation, I’ve run out of closet space.  So… I got to clean out a bunch of stuff.  I have quite a pile going.  Hopefully, I can donate this stuff to Goodwill and they can clothe some other fat girl on her way out of fat-girl clothes.


The closet purge made me recall the giant duffel bag full of gym clothes that has been sitting on the floor of my closet since… um… the dawn of time?  There are enough clothes in there for me to stay clothed for weeks without repeating.  Seriously.  In rifling through the bag, I found 13 sports bras alone.  Some of the stuff in the bag had been in there too long and is already too big for me.  Apparently, I am a fitness clothes hoarder.  Who knew THAT was a thing?

IMG_1644(none of the sports bras are pictured here; those are all shirts and pants)

Anyway, a huge portion of my day yesterday consisted of me trying on old stuff from my closet and from my Mary Poppins-esque bag of work-out clothes, and making room in my closet for the new buys.

What might be the best part about having reached a more human size is that I don’t have to keep things just because they fit.  I also don’t have to buy clothes just because they fit.  I have options now, which means I get to wear things that reflect my taste.  I don’t have to wear the god-awful rejects from the Lane Bryant couldn’t-sell-it sale rack because the proper size is so hard to find; I get to actually choose clothes I like from a variety of stores!  (AND I get to stop setting foot in Lane Bryant.  No offense to anyone who enjoys shopping there, but for me, that place is a den of soul-crushing sadness with shame-faced shoppers avoiding eye contact with each other while trying to find the least ugly, least overpriced shit they could deign to wear in public that wouldn’t automatically reveal itself as something bought from a big-girl store.  [Or maybe that was just me.])

Approaching normal sizes has taken the desperation out of shopping and made it fun instead of a daunting chore.  I’m having to constantly fight the impulse to go purchase more to wear, because somehow I’m still losing rapidly enough that even the things I’ve bought since dropping my first 40-50 pounds are loose on me.  I’m sure the good people at American Express will be making me customer of the year any day now.

Girly side activated.

DAY 92: My massage hurts!, and other first-world problems

I got a massage over the weekend as my 50-pound milestone reward.  I usually do the Swedish + deep tissue combination, cuz mama needs the de-knotting, but mama also needs the love.  As is the norm, it hurt so good and gave me results!  My range of motion in my neck is significantly better, my shoulder blades feel as if a thousand little strings keeping them taut have been cut, and I feel less physically tense overall.  These muscles have been working like dogs lately, so they needed some relief.  My neck is still a little tender from the work the masseuse did there, though, and oddly, my hip is all weird!  It feels like my legs are suddenly two different lengths.  The masseuse did say as she was massaging my hip that there was a lot of tightness there, and she spent a lot of time releasing some trigger points, but it’s kind of strange I would still have this feeling a few days later.  (I know, boo hoo, my indulgent spa treatment gave me an ouchie.  I am to be massively pitied.)  Ah, well, it’ll pass one way or another.

Unrelatedly but in a similar vein, I have become SO DEPENDENT on my Vivo Fit.  I don’t even like the little thing.  It’s like my own personal Jiminy Cricket, but less gross and more annoying.  Every time that cursed red arrow starts filling the screen, I kind of want to rip the damn thing off my arm and throw it through a wall.  Then again, I don’t know where I would be without it. It’s been crucial to my success.  The constant, albeit irritating, reminders to get off my duff and move around have been key not just to my physical improvements, but also my mental ones (future post to come on this).  Beyond that, it was the inspiration for the very first non-scale goal I set for myself:  200 miles in June.  (As of bed time last night, I was only 62 miles away from realizing that goal.  I’m gonna scorch that number, and I can’t wait.)  Even on the days where I haven’t made it to the gym, I have gone to slightly maniacal lengths to ensure that I at least get all my steps in — and Jiminy is always moving the bar higher for that, the little bastard.  In all seriousness, though, this technology owns me.  Thank you, Vivo Fit, for keeping me committed and for keeping me moving.  Best post-holidays impulse purchase I ever made.  Wireless blu-ray player, eat your heart out.

To conclude this woe-is-me jam, I offer this parting lament: all my clothes are too big (waaah!) and I keep having to buy new ones (pobrecita!).  I put my cell phone in my pants pocket at work last week, and then my pants FELL OFF.  Luckily, no one saw that happen, or they would have seen my saggy underwear about to do the same.  (Do you need a tissue to wipe away those tears of pity?)  Yesterday, I found an oh-honey pair of pants that were too small when I bought them last spring, and had completely forgotten about.  I put them on all excitedly, and they wouldn’t stay up on my hips.  (Sob!)  I know, I know, this sounds like backdoor bragging, and I guess it is, but I am also actually running out of money to support this healthiness habit I developed to replace stuffing my face and being inert.  I’m gonna need my Diet Bets to pay out right quick, because my last paycheck went to Ann Taylor Loft and my landlady may have an expectation of receiving rent from me this month.  Although, if worse comes to worst, I guess I could always take up residence in some of the old tents I used to pass off as clothes.

OK, reader, you’ve suffered enough of me.  I’m gonna go cry myself to sleep.


DAY 43: “It’ll fit one day…”

  • That pair of jeans you outgrew 3 years ago, but keep quixotically folded up in your dresser drawer.
  • That perfect dress that was a tad bit too tight when you tried it on at the store, but you bought it anyway.
  • That gorgeous top in JUST your color that you’ve had forever, but have never worn because it’s never actually fit you.

We all have at least one of these: either in the form of a remnant of your former, thinner self, or a symbol of hope for the future, thinner you.  Look in your closet, and it will tell you a whole story of what-ifs.

Personally, I’ve been one of these delusional clothing hoarders since high school.  I often bought things while out shopping with friends, too embarrassed to try anything on and show any of them, but even more embarrassed to not buy anything when everyone else was.  (No one ever asked why those clothes I bought when we were all out together never actually ended up on my body in public.)  Then, after I’d gotten too big for all the clothes I already owned, I never got rid of them, and I’ve kept that habit throughout my entire adult life.  Hell, just to add insult to injury (or insanity?), I’ve even done this with work-out clothes.  Between the things I’ve kept in vain and the things I’ve purchased in vain, I could clothe an entire army of overweight women, each slightly larger than the last.  And why do I do this?  It boils down to that simple little lie I’ve gotten so good at telling myself:  “It’ll fit one day.”

Oh, honey.

I did the foolishly optimistic purchase ritual as recently as this past Saturday.  I was out with a new friend after we got our hair cut and after I was such a good little big girl at dinner when I resisted the chips and salsa and ordered a salad instead of a pile of enchiladas.  In that “I’m so pretty and so well behaved!” mindset after being pampered and nutritiously fed, I ended up in a clothing store with my friend, who was all about the dresses.  I’ve never in my life been a dress person; even if I were skinny, my proportions are bonkers and I always look like someone who stumbled out of someone else’s closet when I try to wear a dress.  But, since this was a new friend, I figured I’d better find something to try on so she wouldn’t think know I was a totally neurotic spaz, so I grabbed an oh-honey top off a rack and dragged it into the dressing room with me.  Trying it on was like trying to squeeze myself into a tube of toothpaste.  So naturally, I bought it.

Oh, honey.

Well, this morning, I thought I should try on one of those oh-honey shirts from my semi-past:  January of this year, when I ordered a top online during a post-holidays sale for like $3.00.  When it arrived, I pulled it out of the box and put it directly into my closet, where it has hung untouched for the past 4 months… until today.  It’s so freaking humid all of a sudden that I couldn’t imagine spending any time outside with sleeves covering my now-somewhat-presentable arms, lest they immediately become drenched in sweat.  Suddenly, the red sleeveless top from January stood out amid all the other what-if crap in my closet.  It may as well have spoken to me:  “Try me on, you frivolous nutcase.”  So I did.

Ohhhhhhhhhh, honey!

It FITS!  I’m wearing it RIGHT NOW!

There’s a new reality, people.  I’m not a delusional dreamer anymore who’s just waiting for the weight to get up and walk off of me by itself one day.  I’m someone who is eating the right things and moving my ass every day to make that happen.  As a result, I’ve lost 35 pounds since I bought that top in January.  Of course I can wear it today.

And all of a sudden, buying that beautiful top over the weekend doesn’t seem like it was such a bad idea.

It’ll fit one day.