Turns Out I Was Right

Seems the setbacks I deemed minor actually were minor.  I’m down 1.2 lbs from yesterday, and right back on track with where I was two days ago.  I could see that as a defeat, but I’m choosing to see it as a victory.  this is a marathon, not a sprint, and I’ve not given up.  Everyday I don’t give up is a victory.

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For the record, my lowest recorded weight of the past 5 months is 187.2, which I hit 5 days ago.  So my goal for the week is to get to 187.1.  Or lower.  We will see.

I’m finding that my outlook is changing.  I’m actually having better results when I’m easier on myself.  I beat myself up less, hold myself to lower standards, than I have in the past.  This doesn’t mean I don’t have goals, I do, they just come with the realistic understanding that the road to my ideal weight doesn’t have to be a straight line.  In fact, so far, it looks like this:

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Sure, it’s bumpy, but I’m clearly headed in the right direction.

I completed the second day of week two in Couch to 5K this morning.  Today is my Friday, so tomorrow I’m going to do some house cleaning, visit with some family members, and have game night plans with friends.

My hip flexor was giving me some trouble last week when I walked for an hour in between my C to 5K days, so I think, at this point, laying off the cardio on my days off is very important for recovery.  So I’ll take the day off the gym tomorrow, but keep an eye on what I eat because of it.  My wrist is feeling better, but it’s still not 100%, so I’m hoping to start my body weight exercises next week.

XOE

Setbacks I’m Deeming Minor

Hullo.

My scale has crept up over the past couple days:

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This is due to the fact that I’ve been pretty hungry when I got home from work these last couple nights, and so I’ve had some food.  I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been hungrier, other than perhaps the running is starting to work.  Or, would work, if I wasn’t stuffing my face at night.  I also know I’m not eating enough protein in my day, and haven’t been since I started this blog, and that likely is causing the hunger as well.  This hunger I would rate as more-so than usual (because I’m generally a little peckish when I get off work, but it’s a hunger I can ignore and just go to bed with), but (and this is an important distinction that I don’t usually make) I’m not so hungry that I should have eaten the amount I’ve eaten when I came home.  So part of the weight going up is that I’m eating too much, and not the right things.

So in order to combat this, I think I’m going to try having a protein shake at night, whether I’m hungry or not, to combat the budding habit of destroying an entire container of hummus at 11 pm.

Hey!  At least it’s not pizza!  I just noticed that!  It didn’t even occur to me to get pizza either night!  THAT’S HUGE!

I’ve decided on Dr. Rhonda Patrick‘s smoothie recipe.

In the YouTube link above she gives the ingredients for a 64 ounce serving, one she shares with her husband.  So a 32 ounce smoothie should do it for me.

Here’s the breakdown:

-4 Kale Leaves
-1.5 cups of flax milk (pre-blend at this point)
-2 rainbow chard leaves & stems
-1.5 cups of spinach
-1/2 tomato
-1 carrot
-1/2 apple
-1/2 avocado
-1/2 cup blueberries
-1/2 banana
-1/2 shot glass of flaxseed

She says this last ingredient is optional, I have them, so I’m going to use them.  Also, I’m adding a scoop of Sun Warrior protein powder.

According to My Fitness Pal, this makes a 553 calorie pre-bedtime snack.  At first I was concerned about that caloric intake before bed.  But I thought, well, how do my micro- and macro- nutrients compare before the smoothie and after?  Let’s take a look:

Macros before incorporation of smoothie:

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Macros after:

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Sure the sugar and fat went up, but so did the protein and fiber, hell, the fiber nearly doubled.  Let’s take a look at the micros:

Before:

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After:

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Yeah.  The smoothie stays.  If you looked closely you would have noticed my daily goals for each nutrient was different between today and yesterday.  That I’m sure is caused by the fact that I haven’t logged any exercise yet today (I took the day off the gym today because my hip flexor was killing me yesterday, and I want to run tomorrow, so I’m listening to my body and giving it a day of rest) so the app thinks I need less food to run on.  Those goals will change as I log activity at work today.  The caloric density of the smoothie is well within my daily maximum, so I’m pumped to try it tonight.

XOE

 

 

 

Ups & Downs

I was going to start my weights routine last night.  I worked an earlier shift than normal so I figured I’d come home and do the test for the exercises I outlined in my last post.

But I have this reoccurring strain in my wrist from an old work injury that started acting up last week.  It bothered me again yesterday, so I figured instead of making the injury worse, I would put off the weights until my wrist is better.  I iced it last night; it’s still sore this morning, but I have a chiropractor appointment next Thursday, so I’ll likely mention it to the doc then.  I’m going to wear a wrist wrap at work to give it a little extra support until I can get it looked at.

So instead of working out last night I ate a couple eggs on toast…and 1/4 of a box of Girl Scout cookies.  I saw those cookies again on the scale this morning:

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But a .4 lb. increase ain’t so bad.  I was going to take today off from the gym, but since I didn’t do weights last night and ate cookies instead, I decided to go.  I walked on the treadmill for an hour:

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My primary care doc told me, when doing cardio, to keep my heart rate between 93 and 153.  So I shot for around 100, since I wasn’t trying to push too hard on account of tomorrow being day 1 week 2 in Couch to 5K.  Since I’m a great big fat guy walking for an hour burns a lot of calories.  It’s the only good thing about being fat.  Right now minimal effort brings quite a lot of results.

XOE

 

Steps Forward, Steps Back

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Had pizza and cookie again last night.  Gained .02 lbs. Buh.

But I went to the gym this morning and climbed exactly a thousand stairs exactly in 30 minutes.  I’m still not going to beat myself up about the pizza.  This is my process.  I am trying.

It’s interesting that the stair machine didn’t hurt my back, and I sweat like crazy, and my heart rate was in the 150s most of the 30 minutes I was at the gym but it didn’t feel hard.  I think the stair machine is going to make its way into my gym routine.  I burned more calories and exercised my heart more than just the treadmill walking, and stairs felt better on my back and hips.  Huh.  Who knew?  Probably lots of trainers and chiropractors.  But it’s news to me.

Yesterday when I got to work I felt like I wanted a little something sweet.  There happened to be cookies in the break room, as there is almost always something open to eat in the break room.  I thought, oh, this is great, I’ll just have one, since they’re sweet, but not a kind of cookie I actually like very much.  And it’s true: I did have only one cookie.

But instead of nipping my craving in the bud, I think it just whetted my appetite for more sweets.

For the rest of the day I had a piece of chocolate here, a chocolate covered almond there. I logged every bite on MFP calorie counter, and they were within my caloric allotment for the day.  But I wonder, did those indulgences fuel my pizza and cookie binge later in the day?  That pizza and cookie sure as shit weren’t within my allowed calories–I didn’t even bother logging them.

I still think there is some emotional or mental component to why I got the pizza that I’m not completely clear on.  I wasn’t very hungry, I just wanted to eat it because it tasted good.  I also wanted to stay up and watch some tv before I went to bed, another habit I’m trying to break.  It’s not that it’s not good for me, it’s just that when I watch tv I tend to want to snack.

I talked to my therapist about all this last week, and she recommended I make a list of things I can do for self care to replace the habit of self care with pizza.

Things to Do that Feel Good Instead of Eating Pizza at 11 PM 

  1. take an epsom salt bath
  2. eat some fruit
  3. jerk off
  4. do some yoga
  5. read a comic book
  6. post a blog entry about wanting, but not eating, pizza and cookie

That last one isn’t necessarily something that “feels good,” but it will keep me on the righteous path. Also, my therapist recommended I not stop eating pizza altogether, as it seems like a sure fire way to eat more pizza.  Instead of telling myself I can’t have pizza ever again, she recommends I tell myself I just can’t have pizza after work.  And I do like the idea of having it earlier in the day, on say my weekend, as a treat.  But even then I’ll have to make sure to expend more calories at the gym to burn off the pizza.  Oh pizza, you old troublemaker.

Wish me luck tonight!

XOE

 

A List of Things I Hate About Being Fat

Got pizza and a cookie last night because I had a thousand calorie deficit at the end of my work day so when I weighted myself this morning I was up a half pound.  Cool.

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I wonder if I will someday learn my lesson.  Or if this is it for me.  Just being a fat guy.  My biological father is a fat guy. Most white American dudes are fat guys.  Do I want to be most American white guys?  Nope.  OK.  Time for a pep talk:

SUCK IT UP SHITHEAD. THIS IS THE PROCESS.  STOP FUCKING AROUND AND STOP EATING PIZZA, DICK FOR BRAINS.

Ok. I feel better.  The lesson?  I can’t eat pizza and cookies and lose weight.  Fuck.  I’ve known that all along.  Welp, guess I really do have dick for brains.  Doesn’t mean I have to stay fat.  Tons of hot guys have dick for brains.  So Imma keep trying.

I went to the gym this morning, and I intend on eating my sammie and salad for my meals today, and having fruit, not pizza, when I come home.  The main reason I’ve failed in the past is because I’ve given up.  So this time I’m not giving up.  YOU HEAR ME PIZZA?!  I’M NOT QUITTING!

Let’s refocus by listing all the shitty things about being fat:

  1. My double chin touches my neck when I look down.
  2. The ingrown hair follicle on my inner thigh that is irritated because of the fat that pushes it against my other fat thigh and that I have to put a hot press on it at night because that shit hurts all day.
  3. I don’t look good in the mirror anymore.  I look like a short fat guy because I am a short fat guy.
  4. I snore. I didn’t used to.
  5. I can’t run. I mean, I can, for like a block and it’s painful.  I used to love running.
  6. When I bend over my belly touches my leg way before it used to. I kinda have to shift my fat to the side of my leg to reach the ground. Gross.
  7. My work shirts come unbuttoned because my fat is constantly trying to come out.
  8. I have to tuck in my shirts because if I leave them untucked I look super fat.  But tucked in makes me look like an assistant manager for a Gurnee Mills Outlet.
  9. I have persistent back/hip/knee/shin pain that I didn’t have when I wasn’t fat.
  10. I have high cholesterol that you’ve read me bitch about before.
  11. None of my sexy clothes fit, and I refuse to buy clothes now because I don’t like how I look in anything so getting dressed to leave the apartment sucks.  I have my fat guy shorts, and my fat guy pants, and a couple fat guy shirts.  I look like a suburban dad because I don’t deserve nice things until I lose some weight.
  12. When I stay in, I wear huge house shorts and no shirt.  I used to love being shirtless, but now when I’m shirtless my belly is starting to do the fat guy hang down thing.  It’s a mini hang down, but christ, that’s a lot of fat.  It’s like an episode of Cops in my studio.

That’s a good list.  I feel refocused.

XOE

Head Games

This morning’s weigh-in:

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Last post I wrote a little about how my mental state plays into the choices I make when it comes to food.  Let’s pull that notion apart a little.  THIS IS GONNA BE A BLAST.

It usually follows the same pattern: some negative emotion arises (for example, boredom, anxiousness, and sadness are my top repeat offenders, in order of most common) and the way I most commonly try to dissipate those emotions is with a routine.  The repetition is like a reassuring hug, it tells me, “you are in control.  Everything is going to be ok.  Everything is ok.”  Pizza after work soothes me.  A cookie after pizza soothes me.  It took me a long time to figure this out.  It took me gaining 50 lbs to look at my food habits and try to discern why I do what I do.

I always felt like I didn’t understand people who used food for comfort, but I thought that without spending any time investigating my own relationship with food. Let’s look at a case study from yesterday.  What a lucky boy I am that I fucked up my food habit that recently!

Yesterday I had a migraine, first in my life.  I went home from work with it after asking my boss if he had ever had a headache that messed with his vision.  It felt like I had new glasses, my perspective was all distorted, and I had this weird numbness traveling down my arm, up my neck & into my face.  That’s happened to me before; usually it coincides with a panic attack.  But this time it felt different.  Thankfully my boss let me go.

I was dog tired, despite having had a good night’s sleep the night before.  As soon as I got home I crawled into bed.  I slept for three hours straight.  When I woke up, I had my good lunch in the fridge that I didn’t eat at work–my salad I have every day.  But I was feeling weird and worried and still had a wee headache I was afraid was going to turn into something worse.  I was feeling anxious.  How do I solve that?  Repetition.  I self-soothe with food.  So I went to Whole Foods and bought a veggie sandwich.  Not bad, right? Yeah, not bad.

But I also bought a box of ice cream bars and ate the whole damn thing that night.

FUCK.

F

U

C

K.

But still, I went to the gym in the morning, and so the damage done by the ice cream wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  I fucked up with the ice cream, no doubt.  But I still went to the gym and I chose Whole Foods over pizza spot.  So I am making better choices.   I’m still in process.  I’m still changing my habits.  This is what the middle looks like between the rewarding before and after comparisons.

So how will I try to change this well worn habit of self-soothing with food?

I don’t know.

I could say I will replace my garbage food with healthy food, but that feels too vague to be effective.  I’ll still try it, though.  I think it’s all part of the process.  I think I have to talk to my therapist about this.  (She’s the appointment I have every Wednesday morning that I skip the gym for.  She’s been my therapist for almost ten years.  She’s awesome.  If you have the means, I highly suggest you find a therapist that works for you, and stick with them.)

I think I’ll have to replace the food with something I find just as comforting.  Maybe an activity. Meditation?  It helps me to calm down, but I can’t say I love it.  What I do love, surprisingly?  Going to the gym.  It’s only been a couple weeks and already I look forward to my time there. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it post-migrane, but who knows?  Maybe I’m wrong.  For now, I’m going to try using meditation and walks (at the Lake or at the gym) instead of food to comfort myself.  I’ll let you know how it goes, and what my therapist says about all this.

I know I’m getting better at noticing when I’m eating out of boredom, though.  And I’m better at noticing when I think I’m hungry but really I’m thirsty.  So there are victories here, imbedded in the setbacks.

XOE

Daddy’s First Fuck Up

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A screenshot from my scale this morning.  Obvi I went up by about a pound and a half.

And I know why. I had it in my schedule that I would skip the gym Wednesday mornings.  I have a standing weekly appointment at that time, and if I’m being realistic I won’t have time for the gym then, so why not avoid the unrealistic gym goal, and build in one day a week that I don’t go?  That seems reasonable.  So I didn’t go Wednesday morning. I went to work, and had my Potbelly’s for lunch and my salad for dinner.

Wednesday is my Friday, meaning I have Thursdays and Fridays off work every week.  I came home at the normal time that night, and I wasn’t hungry, like normal, and I had my fruit waiting for me at home, like normal.

But something happened in my brain in the span of getting off the train and walking down two flights of stairs to the street.  Without thinking, or rather, with a little weak justification and then no critical thinking about those justifications or my subsequent actions, I straightaway went into the pizza place across the street and got a slice and a cookie, my regular after work meal before that got me into this fat pickle in the first place.

And then I didn’t go to the gym Thursday.  Or Friday.  And I ate garbage too.  And I avoided this blog.  I basically laid on the couch and watched shitty tv and ate whatever the hell I wanted.

So let’s figure out what the fuck happened.

I made the following justifications that shoved me right the fuck off the wagon:

  1. It’s my weekend, I deserve some treats.
  2. I haven’t lost much weight yet, and I probably will fail this time like I’ve failed in the past when trying to lose weight so fuck it I’m going to eat an entire pint of ice cream because nothing matters.

And I avoided my goals by taking naps and watching tv.  What’s weird is that I enjoyed my mornings going to the gym*, and I felt better eating better.  I didn’t even really enjoy the pizza, and I felt bad for eating garbage I knew wasn’t good for me.

So what I think is happening is maybe a couple things:

  1.  Old habits die hard, and are going to take time to not only rewire my brain with a new habit, but also, and even before the rewiring takes place, I’m going to have to practice some serious awareness with actions that are so insidious they are nearly automatic.
  2. There is a lot of data out there about how our gut microbiome drives our food cravings, and I think my pizza and cookie microbes are strong, because I’ve been feeding them a lot for a long time, and that’s likely where my “automatic” drive to eat pizza and cookies comes from.

So what am I going to do in the future to try and beat back this bad behavior?

Next Wednesday, I will still skip the gym.  I think it’s good for me to have a rest day at this early stage.  And like I said, I can’t make it that morning b/c of a scheduling conflict anyway.  Also, it wasn’t a problem to eat well during the day.  I just fucked up when I came home after my work week and thought I deserved something for completing that task.  And my need for a reward wasn’t even very strong.  The biggest hurdle was that I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing.

I think the answer is to plan to write a blog post that night.  It will give me something to do and it will force me to use my brain and think about what I’m doing as well.  And if I need a treat, I will bring home some different fruit, so I’m staying within my good eating routine but still getting something special.  I love mango, so I will likely bring home some pre-cut mango slices from work, and destroy the whole container, guilt free, because even a whole container will be well within my calorie allotment.  I think the most important takeaway here is to stay the course.  I fucked up.  I will likely fuck up again.  I just can’t give up.

XOE


*I’m not going to lie and say I enjoyed the exercise, because that’s bullshit.  The exercise is hard because I’m fat and out of shape.  But I do enjoy how I feel after the exercise.  I like the shower and the blogging and the water drinking.  And the exercise isn’t as bad as I think it’s going to be when I’m rousing in bed before I go.