Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Power in No

I have to remember that there is power in saying no. That it's NOT that I'm choosing to be a party pooper, or to have no fun, or to make people feel bad for their choices. Instead I'm choosing myself. I'm making myself a priority.

Why do I have such a hard time remembering this?

Today is a bakesale at my job and I volunteered to bake some things, which meant last night turned into a total sugarfest and ended with me dipping pretzels into leftover icing.

I know better than that. Why can't I say no? Granted, that's a difficult situation for anything. It's like -- hey alcoholic! Be a bartender!

I woke up early this morning and packed my freakin meals. A yogurt for breakfast. An apple for mid-morning. Tuna salad on a sandwich thin for lunch. Bag of carrots for whatever. A healthy day. And I'm meeting friends for Ethiopian food for dinner... which as far as eating out goes is not bad. If I can manage to not go to the bake sale I should be fine. I only saved a tiny bit of cookies for home (because I want to share them with that boy I'm seeing! Way to a man's heart is through his stomach ... and all that).

Plan. Refocus. Get it done. Lose some weight. Solid.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So I gained two pounds.

It's hard to write that. I just want to disappear. Be unaccountable. But I know what I did. I ate copious amounts of food and consumed ridiculous amounts of alcohol. That'll do it.

It's also my birthday week. I was whining to Christine and she said that most people gain 3-5lbs on the week of their birthday. She also said, while she's never thrilled about the foodfest, that most people who deprive themselves of cake or whatever on their birthday, are upset and dwell about it for a while. So the trick is to enjoy the celebration but then leave it and move on.

I woke up this morning and I went to Whole Foods and I bought my breakfast bars. I will go shopping after work so that I can resume making lunch for myself at work. When turkey/cheese sandwiches sound unappealing, I'll get a cup of soup instead.

I know how to do this. I've been doing this. I don't feel deprived and I don't feel lost. I think the truth is I'm bored and I like fun food.

My issue has always been that I LOVE food. I don't usually wrap up emotions or stress or whatever in my eating. It's just that I like it and I like it all. My mom sent me to a psychologist when I was in high school because she felt I was "self destructing" with food. Week after week I spoke to this psychologist and she came to agree that really the issue was I like food and I like going out and having fun (yes, even in high school). That was when my mom decided that psychologists were silly.

I'm not going to beat myself up about 2lbs in one freaking week.

Though it is interesting that for me "celebrating" and "food" go hand in hand. Though this notion is not just for me. Yesterday someone bought me lunch, my roommate gave me pinkberry, a colleague gave me a box of chocolates, my office threw a party with jelly donuts, my other roommate gave me a cupcake, my family bought me dinner.

It's not just me. Celebration = Food. And FUN food at that.

But, whatever, I will not change that. I just have to understand that that's how things go and react accordingly.

My birthday is over. It was a totally magical day. I have never in my life felt so loved as I did yesterday. I'm an old lady now! And it's time to refocus my energies on what's important: my health and my life. So I can have many more happy birthdays.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's not about being hungry

I feel like I'm very rarely hungry.

I don't know if that's normal, but I don't get famished particularly often. But for the past two weeks, all I've wanted to do is eat. And I'll eat and just want more. I think I'm bored with my routine. I'm bored with Clif bars being the answer. I'm bored with peanut butter being the answer. I want to eat chocolate. I want to eat salt.

But I'm not hungry, yet the feeling is totally overwhelming. And my office is not the best place to be when I'm feeling this EMPTY. Because there is food everywhere. And usually it's chocolate. Or at least sweet. Or salty. And since technically I can't leave my desk, my lovely coworkers will tramp down the hall and either ask me if I want anything, or just take it upon their kind selves to make me a plate.

How do I get this feeling to stop?

My answer before used to be to just eat a whole bag of kettle corn 94% fat free popcorn. But I'm bored of that, and it kind of lacks nutritional value.

I feel like I'm searching for a food, and just eating everything in my way and STILL not finding the food that will make this hunger go away. I gained a tiny insignficant amount of weight last week, but I'm worried this week will be more. I'm worried my body is trying to stay at my current weight but will give in and gain soon.

My birthday is next week. My party is Friday. I feel out of sorts and disorganized in my eating. I've been making bad choices. I haven't been berating myself but I also haven't been adjusting behavior.

What is going on?

How do I get focused again?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Fun Food Friend

My friend Emily blogged about me last week and it enlightened a few things for me. Emily and I were friends in college and both (pretty parallel journeys, actually) have been losing weight for about the same amout of time. Em is down 50lbs and I really suggest you follow her if you want an awesome read.

When I started to lose weight, I had to redefine the relationships in my life. Mostly my friendships. This was maybe trickier than ordering my salads with dressing on the side. I have a wide array of friends that I hang out with one-on-one. I don't usually do large groups and I prefer it that way. I'm never stuck hanging out with people I don't want to see that way.

However, I became the fun-food friend. Anytime someone wanted to try a new chocolate beer, or burger joint, or dessert shop, I'd be the one to call. While my individual friends were having a once-in-a-while splurge. I would be splurging many nights a week. I'd go out drinking, get the fruitiest cocktail I could find, and completely ignore the fact that there was a high chance I was consuming hundreds of calories of alcohol etc. I'd be the first to suggest we split an order of fries and be proud of myself for not eating it all by myself. I was living with someone whose favorite foods were mac and cheese, chicken fingers, grilled cheese and french fries and so we'd frequent joints that had those foods. Also known as restaurants that don't have the best healthy selections. And even if they DID have solid healthy choices, I just wouldn't make them.

Food was fun. Eating was fun. Drinking was fun. Partying was fun.

When I finally decided I was going to do this lose-weight thing for real, I was shocked at how much my friends were tempting me. Now, this is far from their fault. But we'd go to restaurants and a friend would be like "Hey, let's split an order of fries!" And I would feel terrible saying no. I set up this expectation for myself. I am supposed to be fun. And I wasn't anymore.

Bud lights instead of Long Island Ice Teas? Really? Salads instead of burgers? Really? Fruit instead of chocolate? Really??

Could I be fun without food?

I am not sure when it became easier. I think once I'd started losing visible amounts of poundage, people started piecing together what was going on. I'd start suggesting non-food related activities that were also fun, and non fat! Walks in the parks, Broadway shows, boardgame nights.

Eventually my friends started to realize that well... no. I would not split the fries anymore. Maybe I'd take one or two, but that was it. And so my relationships changed. People started respecting my journey and my choices. And when they could see the pay-off. They changed into either silent observers, or cheerleaders. Both totally respectable choices.

I was on the journey for me. And my friends rose to the occasion and changed with me. Allowed our friendship to change and for me to step down from my Fun Food Friend position. And instead just be a friend.

This is not to say I am completely perfect in my diet and that I don't indulge with friends. But my friensd no longer see me as the go-to person for gluttony and debauchery. In fact, the opposite. "Hey Anna, let's try this new vegan place!" "Hey Anna, walk in Central Park?" "Hey Anna, let's go get some new clothes!"

And I really appreciate my friends for changing with me. I didn't realize when I started this journey that it wouldn't be JUST ME my diet would effect. But every single interpersonal relationship I have. And that's a lot to ask of my frienships.

So thank you.

And thank you, Emily, for helping me think this through!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Strange Feeling

So I've sort of been seeing a boy. I hesitate to say too much here since I'm not totally sure what the deal is. We've been seeing eachother pretty consistently over the past month or so. Again, I always am surprised as to how different my body feels next to someone else these days. It's when I become the most aware of much less space I take up and almost how it's EASIER to be comfortable in your skin.

This is not to say I was uncomfortable before. I was actually pretty confident and happy. My size never bothered me until I tried to diet. And then I would become overly critical of every part of myself. It would be difficult to look in the mirror because I would suddenly be aware of every flaw. However now, of course I'm still working and there is time/energy to be spent on dieting, I am not critical of myself or my body much at all. It's much easier to just focus on the goal and keep going.

But not to get sidetracked. This weekend, when said boy and I were hanging out he propopsed we become Facebook friends. So we added eachother right then and there. And then he wanted to look at pictures. So we went through his first, and then we went through mine. And as the pictures got further and further back in time, I started getting a little stressed out about what he was seeing. I never really thought about it before, but my weight is EASILY and READILY trackable. And also something I have not discussed with this boy. I started feeling embarrassed. Of myself. Something I'd never felt before and something I HATED feeling.

Why would I feel embarrassed and not proud? I've come so far. That's awesome, right? I have not changed as a human, I'm still the same person I was when I was 65 (well--64) pounds heavier. I've just made changes. I'm a little angry at myself for the way I felt.

I didn't really talk specifically about this with Christine, but I told her some about the boy and she asked me how it felt to be dating this boy. And the truth is, I never really had trouble getting dates before. I just think that who I'm going out with has changed. And while before I'd be going on dates with bigger guys (for the most part), now thinner fitter people are finding me attractive. And before I would probably think it was weird for a thinner guy to be chasing me, now I'm not skeptical of it. What's interesting now, is the bigger guys aren't really going for me so much anymore. How little they know.

I don't know if I need to 'come out' as being a Prior Fat Girl. It's probably something he can piece together on his own, and while it's a big deal for me and still a huge part of my every day life, I don't know if it's something I need to share with him right now.

And, as promised, here are a couple up to date pictures of me. I wore the t-shirts especially for you.
Cupcakes Are Evil
I'm a PriorFatGirl. What are you?