fat brain

Like most everyone, I made a vow to myself for 2013 that I would lose the 60 pounds that quickly fell upon me over the past year and a half. Mid-2011 I was at a perfectly acceptable weight for my height; I looked great and felt awesome. Right about that time I had the Mirena IUD removed, and since then my weight has slowly topped my personal charts. After six months I had gained almost 50 pounds. 2012 was spent carefully eating everything in my path and packing on another 10. At 209 pounds around Christmas time, heavier than I was when I was most heavily pregnant with my 10-pound son, I knew some shit had to be change. This time, actually change, not temporarily shuffle around.

My relationship with food is unhealthy. It makes me feel disgusting to admit that, but it is what it is. I eat without thinking, pushing myself past my limits of fullness to stuffed. After tracking my foods for a few days on through this app and weighing every day*, I noticed how often mindless eating occurs. Before I started paying attention, I could not understand why the weight packed on so quickly. What I failed to realize was that every calorie adds up, and when I am constantly consuming calorie-dense foods, 2000 calories is just not a lot. Eating to self-soothe is possibly the worst idea I’ve ever had. Combined with my sedentary desk job and utter lack of exercise elsewhere, no god damn wonder I gained weight so quickly. The hormone shift likely had something to do with my attitude, but that’s the thing – it is my attitude and I can’t blame it on some tiny piece of plastic or mean people anymore.

Hence, new year change. Fortunately my husband is willing to do the work with me. We both have significant numbers to drop by the end of this year, and without the accountability I don’t know if either of us could do it. We have tried separate weight loss journeys before and it just doesn’t work. Grocery trips, eating out, and exercising are all nearly impossible without the other person supporting. We have been working on the Couch-to-5K program (LOL YES AGAIN) since January 1 and have been doing pretty well. I feel like my attitude is better this time around, but I always feel that way in the beginning. It’s not going to be easy, I realize that, but making small changes has made building up to significant ones a lot less daunting. First I cut sodas and desserts, then started cutting elsewhere: a 4 oz. glass of juice instead of 8. A bite of the kid’s macaroni instead of an entire serving, or more, for myself. One piece of bread for my sandwich, with half the condiments, or none altogether. And every single bite is entered into my calorie tracker, so no calories “disappear” into the fat folds of my unhealthy brain. Every calorie counts. Even the 3 in my morning coffee.

Last night was a night full of misery for both of us. After eating ribs and “funeral potatoes” at a business dinner, we both couldn’t fall asleep for hours despite being exhausted and sore from working out earlier in the day. We were restless and had trouble getting comfortable. Our anxiety spiked (we both have similar issues with it, including matching physical symptoms. Live with someone long enough… ). All for ribs and some carbs. Unhealthy food and the temporary pleasure is really just not worth the anguish any longer.

*I use this weight-tracking spreadsheet in my Google Drive, which I also mostly access on my phone. After ten days it gives you a running average, as well as a graph for visual tracking of changes/trends. It also calculates your weight loss as well as percentage. I want to lose an astonishing 33.01% of my highest weight. I have lost 8% of my goal so far!

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