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Friday, July 01, 2011

I'm sorry that I've MIA for awhile.

June has been a busy, rough month. I got sick. I went on a writing retreat that was very productive but I didn't have internet access. And for the rest of the month I've been very very busy. Alternating with days where evidently my head wants to melt. I haven't had an allergies quite this badly for... awhile. And unfortunately the side effect has been one killer of a sinus headache.


But part of the reason I haven't been blogging is that I didn't know what to say. This month has been a huge struggle, health wise. It's not even that being busy meant that I traveled a lot, though I did--and that meant eating out a lot. But I've made mostly healthy choices. I've been moderately active; I haven't been able to hold to my "traditional" work out schedule but I still have worked on my balcony garden (surely carrying 15-16 gallons of water by hand counts as being active?), fenced (it's war season, so lots of fencing), lots of walking, etc. I've eaten well. I won't say that I was perfect but to be honest I don't aim for perfection because that would just be setting myself up to fail. Instead I aim at what I feel are reasonable and realistic goals and try to meet them at least 80% of the time.

Reasonable and Realistic goals are things like:
*Limit soft drink consumption. I've been drinking more tea instead of soft drinks (for the caffeine; I have enough problems with my head melting without caffeine withdrawal).
*drink at least 8 cups (8 oz cups) of water a day.
* eat at least one fresh fruit or vegetable.
*generally aim to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; if possible eat at least one serving (usually more) with each meal.
*Burn somewhere between 1500 and 2300 calories a week.
* Get in at least 230 minutes of exercise a week (ideally more).
*Get at least 8 hours of sleep.
*Listen to my body. Which means when I'm sick, my hip flares up, whatever, it's okay to not exercise, but to adjust food accordingly.

I wish I could say that it was working. I wish I could say "hey, if I can lose weight, anyone can." But it's not working. I've been pretty much stuck at a plateau of about 167-170 lbs for a year now. And it's not like I saw massive weight loss before that. Even though I rarely even eat as much as my metabolism supposedly burns at rest, I've not lost weight. These past 12 weeks I've been on a weight loss challenge and I've actually gained a net so far of 4 lbs. I've gone from 166 lbs to 171. Nor can I say that I've seen any shrinkage; if anything my clothes are getting tighter again, though not significantly. I feel angry with myself and my body; angry and frustrated and incredibly discouraged.

And to add insult to injury, I've had a number of weeks recently where I was really good but jumped up to 8.6 pounds in one week (WTF? That's crazy! But I never LOSE 8.6 pounds in a week, of course) and I've had weeks where I wasn't all that good (like when we were on our writing retreat and I had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, pie for desert, and pizza) that I lost weight when I expected to gain. My body is confusing me.

I'm juggling a lot of things right now. It's hard to carve out the time that I take to workout, hard to take the time to plan meals, to cook, frankly even to eat. But I've been taking that time. Sometimes I feel like this healthy lifestyle thing has taken over my life--that instead of living my life, doing things that I enjoy doing, things that I need to do like write or do research, I'm working out, cooking, eating.

And it's really hard to stay motivated when I'm working my tailbone off and seeing negative progress. And that ugly little voice in the back of my head (you know the one, the one that says ugly things like "you're so fat" or "why bother, you'll just fail") is whispering things like "you're just not doing enough; it's like the doctor said, if you were doing enough you would see progress."

So far, I've shutting down that voice. I'm eating well. I'm active. I'm building up those stupid little stabilizer muscles in my knees and hips that I didn't even think about before they atrophied almost entirely away. Three, four years ago I couldn't do any of the things I do now because the muscles just weren't there. We're eating better than we ever have--not just me, but my husband too, despite his food allergies. Not that we ate that badly to begin with--despite my doctor saying that "small changes" and I would lose all this weight (mind you, he's never asked me what our diet even looks like), we ate pretty healthy to begin with, but we're even more so now. I'm sure I'm healthier than I've been in dozens of ways.

I just can't seem to shed the fat. I can't seem to lose the inches, especially around the belly. I feel like I'm banging myself against the wall there. And I just don't know what to do about it. Because I'm doing everything I know to do.

All I can hope is that these little changes--the changes in diet, the buidling up of muscles, the increased activity, etc.--will eventually translate into real gains. Or rather, real losses.

And that I can hold onto what motivation I have left until I do.

Thankfully, I'm a stubborn woman. And I'm working really, really hard on staying positive. Forgive me if the veneer is a bit thin at the moment, but I'm trying.

And I'm already planning on joining the next Biggest Loser Challenge; maybe I will lose pounds in the fall that I was not able to lose over this summer. Who knows what another 12 weeks will bring.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    No advice or anything, but I know how frustrating it can get. Hang in there!
    3486 days ago
  • BANAN2
    Do you take any medications? Maybe this is a side effect. I'd say you need a really experienced, open minded nutritionist who can work outside the usual regimens with you to solve the mystery of what will work for YOUR body, despite what conventional wisdom or the experiences of most people would dictate. Good luck finding such a person. I realize it may be an investment of money, but if you can solve this mystery, you will benefit from the knowledge the rest of your life.
    3488 days ago
    Zan, I wish I could offer words of wisdom that would make it all clear for you. I can't. If I could, I wouldn't be trying to lose weight too! What I think it could be-granted, I'm not medically trained, so this is totally from the mouth of a layperson, but it could be due to stress. You've mentioned that you have a lot on your plate right now, and that when you're stressed, you gain, no matter what you do. That could very well be the case here. Now, as far as what to do about that, I haven't a clue. That is totally up to you, if you can even do anything about that. But, that's just my two cents worth.

    And I'm gonna reiterate this-you need new docs. Ones who offer help, not just pat advice. Ones who don't blame everything on your weight. Ones who listen to you. You deserve that!

    Good luck, sweetie.
    3488 days ago
    So sorry, Zanna, especially about your being sick.
    3488 days ago
    I know you are really frustrated. From what you said about losing when you thought you'd gain, sounds like you aren't eating enough calories to keep your metabolism up, because when you do reduce your calories, your body holds on to everything it's got. Wish I had a magic key for you. Never give up on being healthy because that's the most important thing as we age. emoticon
    3489 days ago
    emoticon July is a new month. Let's see what we can do with it!
    3489 days ago
  • KOMAL53
    It seems all of us have hit a rough patch---the Work just seems never ending and though I keep trying the bulk isn't going anywhere!!Add Bad Weather to that--hot,sweaty and sultry one day and rainy,cool and breezy the next---Malaria is rampant in Mumbai these days!!I'm trying to stay fit and keeping my fingers crossed till the Monsoon lasts!!Take Care and God Bless!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3489 days ago
    I hear you to the point that I could have written most of this journal entry! Can't offer any advice, just empathy from one who is working out like CRAZY and still gaining back weight -- 12 pounds gained and counting. Sigh. emoticon
    3489 days ago
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