About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Health and Weight Reform

I am feeling so proud of myself.

For the first time in my life I feel like I'm beginning to get a good hold on my body image, weight and health.  My yo-yo'ing has left me feeling desperate and hopeless, motivating me to lose weight by fear of being fat.  In the past, very little thought has gone into my health, other than using the blanket "being fat is unhealthy" statement.  I have started fitting back into my old clothes and though I'm still around 25 lbs above what I'd love to be ideally, I am slowly but surely creeping down to "normal."  Sure, I'd like to be thin, but right now I'm feeling pleased to just not be particularly overweight.  I am able to put on clothes that I haven't worn in two years and feel happy and healthy and pleased with the way they fit me.

But something else is happening too.  I have been working really hard at making wise choices and getting my mindless eating and portion control in check.  I have been choosing to forgo fatty meats and dairy, flour and sugar and instead eat things like raw vegetables and hummus or salads sprinkles with chick peas and fresh veggies from my garden.  I have always loved salads, but previously I'd smother my veggies in eggs, cheese and creamy dressings (which I really do think is delicious).   The meal that I have the most trouble with is dinner, but slowly (and not without some internal struggle) I am eating smaller portions, skipping the starch and loading up on steamed vegetables (sans butter, because I was saddened and shocked to see the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in a few pats of butter).  I had a big victory over dinner the other night when I took one piece of meat and cut it in three equal portions, giving one to Bunny, one to Lila and had only one myself.  Previously, the whole piece would have seemed small to me, and I was mortified when I weighed it and saw that it was 12 oz.  I know that I don't need more than 4 oz and am sort of horrified by the fact that I could happily eat a portion that is 16 oz and not even be that full.  ('Fo REAL).  Every bite I take I ask my body if I need it and what will it do for me.  If the answer is no or nothing, I know that I'm done with my meal.  I've been doing things like weighing food and using a table spoon to measure the amount of dressing or the amount of hummus that I'm eating.  At night if I am hungry I steam a little bit of zucchini (which we have an abundance of) and eat that.

I've also been getting more exercise, gardening and going for some nice walks with the girls.  I will never be the sort of person who loves working out.  Frankly, working out is stressful for me.   I am pretty comfortable with the amount of exercise that I'm getting, though it won't give me a super flat belly of nicely defined arms.  Oh well.  That's not really my thing.  The one thing that I do want SO badly, is one of those grown-up tricycles with a basket.  I would totally zip around town doing errands in it and think it would be fantastic exercise.  One thing that I loved about living in the city was that I walked to do my errands.  I live to far away from/it's too hot/it would take too long to walk to do my errands here, but if I had a big tricycle, I could totally put my groceries in the basket!

So, I am restructuring my weight loss goal.  I would like to lose 25 lbs over the next year.  That will slow my weight loss down from a bit over 10 lbs a month to 2 lbs a month.  I know that I could begin seriously restricting my calories and amping up my exercise and could have this weight off entirely in 10 weeks or less if I put my mind to it... but I have been down that road before.  Here's what happens.  I get crazy, weigh myself three times a day, feel horrible every time I eat and cry myself to sleep with self loathing every night.  Inevitably I give up, give in, console myself with food and defensively decide that I don't care if I'm fat and follow it by gaining every pound back (and then some).  I convince myself that I can eat bottomless portions of foods that are dense in calories and fats simply because they have some healthy properties and then wonder why I am gaining so much weight.

I just don't want to do that again.  I feel that I need to learn how to maintain my weight.  I need to learn how to put the most nutrients into 1500 calories a day as possible.  I need to learn how to eat and learn how to eat for health instead of pleasure (though it doesn't hurt for the experience to be pleasant as well). I believe that losing weight slowly will likely enable me to gain a better relationship with food and as a result, this will be the last time that I'm in this situation.

And after I meet this goal (which I am going to cut a week short and say I'll do it by the 4th of July 2013), my next goal will be to stay within 2 lbs of my weight for a year.  I think that will be much harder for me than losing the weight actually is.

Wish me luck!


  1. let's talk tomorrow. want to get on board with you.

  2. Hey, let's catch up in the morning. We are heading down to Santa Cruz for a camping trip tomorrow at around noon.

    Hop on board. I really love this calorie count dot com tool and I suggest it. You log your food and not only does it tell you how many calories that you've had, but it gives every food a nutrition grade and tells you what percentage of nutrient that you've fulfilled and what you need more of. There is also a nice community of people. I haven't gotten involved in forum discussions, but I do like reading about everyone's day. I feel like it's a good tool for making lifestyle changes, which is really what I need to do.

    I am not as focused on losing weight right now as I am on getting my yo-yo dieting under control so that I don't have to go through this again in life.

    For me, I find my food diary and my weekly weigh ins the most valuable tools. Without them, I am dishonest with myself. What has made this journey in health particularly painful for me this round is that I have continued to be honest- both publicly and innerly. On the day of the bbq I consumed 4000 calories and 2000 of them were in sangria!!!!!! It would have been very, very, very easy not to log my food that day and to just pretend that I hadn't done so bad... but I didn't. I am really proud of myself for that. For me, it has become not about being perfect, but having a good relationship with my body and with my food and being truthful with myself. I feel like this comes very easily to other people... but I really struggle with it and I didn't even know how much I would succumb to the drape of oblivion until I stopped allowing myself to do it. I would overeat really fattening things, but if they had an ounce of nutrition in them I'd just convince myself that it hadn't been so bad (when really, in many cases, I had probably eaten an entire days worth in calories.)

    Anyway, we'll talk tomorrow! xoxo