Fast track to blah

Let’s all agree it’s been a hot minute since I blogged. Let’s all agree I’ve likely gained several pounds in the meantime and fallen behind on everything. And let’s all agree to just move on to more interesting topics. Because I’m quite sure we’re all very busy. And I’m quite sure it annoys everyone to hear someone else excusing anything with that explanation.

My husband headed out of town yesterday for work. It’s not totally clear when he’ll be back, he’ll likely miss Halloween which leaves assorted neighborhood party stuff to me and there’s an upcoming camping trip I feel confident I will be one hacked off wench to go on alone with the kids. There’s also all the crap that needs to be taken care of every day. All the super mundane crap that keeps a household running but saps your will to live trying to keep track of. As an example, my recycle bucket was supposed to go to the curb today to get replaced. I just realized it didn’t. It’s a stupid recycling bucket but I still feel like life just got ahead of me because I didn’t remember to drag it to the curb. Sigh.

It’s funny how my husband going out of town can have immediate consequences. The man can barely be three hours away from the house on the first day and it all just feels different.

Sometimes I wonder if that’s in my own head or if it’s the kids. But it’s like the sky is just a little move overcast. The dogs are barking just a little louder. The kids are just a little more prone to fighting. More sighing.
I miss having three other faces crammed up next to mine. 
As if my day wasn’t on the fast track to blah yesterday, I then compounded things by falling into a black hole of True Tori episodes. I have no idea how that happened. I’ve successfully avoided watching any of her reality show stuff and then while flipping channels I started watching her ramble about her hoarding. And then next thing I know I’m watching older episodes on demand and then before I know it I’m up way past my bedtime.
I’d like to describe it as watching a car wreck but I honestly think it’s more depressing than watching a car wreck. Because at least with a car wreck you eventually drive past the car wreck and a good song comes on the radio and then it fades in your memory as you start making a mental list of stuff to get at the grocery store on the way home.

True Tori is about Tori Spelling’s husband having an affair and the fall out from it. I’m on episode 3 and I’m here to report there’s a lot of low self esteem involved. It also does a good job of reminding you visually of what crying all the time looks like. If you’ve ever gone through a period where you cried so much so felt like you were going to run out of tears and your eyes were going to swell out of your head and you could barely hear anything over the throbbing in your head – this show takes you there. So it’s not fun. So then it’s strange to still be watching it 2 hours later.

I’m also slightly obsessed with trying to figure out if she’s had plastic surgery on her face or botox or is just wearing too much makeup or is not aging well. Maybe that female is just crying herself to sleep every night and that’s what depression does to your face. I don’t know. What I do know is less of the bright red lipstick would probably help. I also think she should hire a nanny. On the other hand, I have no idea whether or not she should stay married. So now I’m pretty convinced I need to watch a few more episodes tonight to help me decide.

Naturally, the True Tori marathon led me to oversleep this morning. You know it’s going to be a good day when it starts with being woken up by another mother calling to ask where my daughter is because she’s holding up the group she rides her bike to school with. Um. Yeah. Don’t wait on us. We are a day late and a dollar short today.

On the bright side, surely tomorrow will be a better day.


Weigh In: Excuses I tell myself

My husband was on the verge of staging an intervention last week after reading three posts in a row staring photos of my pasty white feet on the scale. He threatened to hide my scale after explaining to me that I am healthy and that’s the most important thing.

Sigh. I know. First, he’s nice. Two, I clearly need to periodically write about things other than my scale. Three, let’s all agree he probably won’t like that I’m about to post another photo of the scale. And I swear I'm going to start writing about other things.  But it was a hectic week and I got distracted. But I swear I don't need an intervention:

Not the windfall of lost weight I had been hoping for after pushing through That Time of the Month week. But down .8 pounds is still .8 pounds less than last week.  And at least we’re headed in the right direction. That’s always a positive.  On the other hand, I successfully resisted donuts, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, a free 2 liter of Dr. Pepper in the fridge at work, creamy stroganoff, a pot of rice I was ready to face plant into and Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. So what the hell is up with .8? Can’t a girl at least get that number to round off to a full pound lost.


While reminding myself that .8 is actually a loss and that any loss is actually a good thing and all that rah rah rah crap, I did manage to find time to brainstorm my top 8 excuses I have given consideration to this week to blame for my scale not showing me what I want to see:

Excuses I tell myself when the scale doesn’t read the way I think it should:
1. I must not be eating enough calories. I can’t begin to tell you how much I wish this one was true. I should be so lucky.

2. I must be eating too many calories. Strongest candidate on this list. All day everyday.

3. I must be building muscle. Because everyone knows muscle weighs more than fat. And Project “Do an actual pushup” is still in effect. Except if I gained this amount of weight every time I lifted some weights, I’d be 437 pounds by now. And since I’m not, there are some holes in this story.

4. The battery in my scale must be dying. Despite the fact that the screen is just as bright and lit up as always.

5. That wet towel on the side of the tub just touched the scale before I got on so they obviously left water on the scale and that made the number go up.  Except my scale automatically zeroes itself every time it starts.

6. I must need to go to the bathroom. Clearly there's a lack of fiber in my diet and I will just be sure I suck a few fiber pills down.

7. I ate too much salty stuff yesterday. I reached that conclusion one day this week after noticing that my favorite 45 calories for 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing has 280 mg of salt. That’s a lot of salt. Clearly the dressing is the problem. Clearly eating dry salad for lunch should fix that.

8. I must need to exercise more to burn more calories. Next thing I know I’m on Amazon buying a Fitbit Flex. This will clearly fix everything.


Weigh In: That Time of the Month

This week was the lead in to That Time of The Month and several days of full fledged That Time of The Month for me. Naturally, we decided to eat out two days in a row. And naturally, we went for Mexican so I face planted into a giant bowl of chips and salsa both times. One time I washed the three zillion chips down with a margarita. One time I resisted the siren’s call. And naturally, my old friend the scale laughed in my face when I climbed on. Then we got closer to the full fledged That Time of the Month and the scale laughed in my face a little extra.

That Time of the Month is by far the most demoralizing if you are a daily scale watcher like me. Two days before, I usually mysteriously float upward by at least a pound. To add insult to injury, I will have exercised and eaten well the day before, too. And if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing and the scale heads upward that’s wrong on every level and messes with my head. The next day, I’ll float another half a pound up. By the time it’s showtime and it’s an actual wings day, the scale will imploding. This go round it imploded the day of hitting 156.6 pounds. What the what?

It’s really, really, really hard not to suck down a 44 ounce Dr. Pepper after seeing that number. It’s also really, really, really hard not to want to shove all the food everywhere into my mouth all at once. Every bad habit begs you to revert back. Every instinct in your body wants to give up. And the hormones in your body second that emotion. A lot. They also like to ramp up the drama inside your head pointing out your every flaw and the complete futility of even trying to lose weight ever again.

So when you successfully close out the day and the worst thing you did was have a slice of cake at a going away party you call it a good day. Because at least you didn’t have 2 pieces of cake. And the next morning, the scale does you a solid and goes down .2 and you actually take that as a good sign. And then you scrape yourself together enough to exercise for 30 minutes before work. And the next morning it floats down a little more. 
I didn't even take a picture of my 156.6 thanks to the shock and awe descending on my soul.
But holy cow alll that floating is annoying. Mainly because it’s so vague and nothing you can count on. Because it floats downward, too. And every day it floats down you hope it’s not done floating down and that it will magically float down some more tomorrow. But you don’t know if it will. So you’re stuck hoping and crossing your fingers. But a hoping and hoping and hoping and hoping is hard. Because it’s like you’re throwing so much good effort down a useless black hole. It’s discouraging is what it is. Discouraging.

By this morning I’ve floated back down to 154.6 pounds. My husband tried to be enthusiastic when I had floated down into the 155s. I tried to not kill his enthusiasm and just said thank you. He’s a supportive fellow and I’m appreciative. And the 155s are better than 204.4. So there’s that. But seriously. Go away That Time of the Month. Go away and take with you the magical extra pounds that float in and out to torture my scale watching soul.
The award for worst scale shot lighting ever goes to this girl right here.
And feel free to take the Papa John’s pizza leftover from dinner last night with you, too. Because heaven help me I wanted to inhale every last piece. I even put 2 pieces on my plate mentally throwing in the towel on a good weigh in the next day. And then after I changed out of my work clothes my will to succeed got back from break and I marched myself right back downstairs to put one of the pieces back in the box and make myself a salad instead. But it was touch and go. Because I was feeling vulnerable. And the extra cheese was calling to me. But I put on my big girl panties and did it. And I should get a good weigh in out of, dang it.

But difficult weeks are what make or break your success. I believe that. Pushing through the difficult upward floating sets you up for a great weigh in the next week. Because you’ll have parted with the extra magical floating pounds plus you’ll have a good week and lose whatever you’d normally lose in a good week. And then your weigh in will be like a double weigh in almost with 2 weeks worth of loss. Except you have to successfully not throw in the towel. And that’s hard. Really, really, really hard.


But if you can do it, man that weigh in is always a good one. Nothing worth having comes easy. I keep reminding myself that zipping up my size 6 jeans will be worth it. But my brain keeps reminding me that french fries are pretty worth it, too.

More sighing.

So frustrating. But must stay strong. Must add exclamation points to prove I really mean it and can do it!!! Now all I have to do is actually do it!


Weigh In: Hungry

I am now well into my 2nd week since my scale scared me straight and I got back on the wagon to attempt to fit into my size 6 jeans again. Last week, I was at 156.4 and feeling pretty happy to be headed the right direction and breaking bad habits.

Yesterday my scale had me at 153.8 and loving the sight of that “3” in there.
See.  I told you.
Then I got a headache around 3 pm and couldn’t talk myself out of swiping the icing of a leftover piece of birthday cake in the break room at work. And then more icing off the cake plate. And then a giant vat of rice at dinner and cheesy cracker things. And then the headache convinced me that peanut butter on saltines shoved down my gullet was a great idea before bedtime. So not exactly a perfect day. And the scale knew it and went up slightly to 154.2 pounds. Nothing earth shattering but always slightly frustrating to witness and know good and well you did it to yourself and that you coulda woulda shoulda done better.

If I let that coulda woulda shoulda be the only thing I think about this week, it could easily be a real bummer. But coming back here and realizing I was at 156.4 last Friday, I’m thinking I need to shut the hell up. Because that’s 2.2 pounds less than last week. And in what universe is anyone allowed to be even moderately disappointed by losing 2.2 pounds? Not any universe I want to live in. So I’m thankful and happy and hungry to keep going.

Hungry has been the definition of this week for me.

Hungry to get my habits back in place. So I made a list for the grocery store and went shopping. I had a healthy grilled chicken sandwich when we ate out Sunday. And I resisted the lure of donuts when my husband tried to declare it donuts for everyone day on Saturday. Not even one teeny tiny donut hole went in my mouth even though they were in front of me for the taking. Or in the case of a chocolate twist, abandoned half eaten directly in front of me and calling my name. I’ve diligently packed my lunch every day and had a plan for dinner.

But week 2 of a diet is always a big adjustment week for me. I like to think it’s when my stomach protests smaller portions a little and wants to know why it’s not getting more. That’s tough and some days I do better at it than others. Headaches never help. But I did super overanalyze my roughest days this week which included yet another birthday cake that I fully intended to skip until I reminded myself that if you go you should participate.  So there was cake.  And then another small piece.  Then there was my peanut butter and saltines day which I blame on a lack of extra snacks to tide me over.  I kept forgetting to pack raw carrots in my lunch and those are usually my go to snack when I’m hungry and need something that’s barely any calories so I can eat as many as I want. I always figure I can eat a boatload and it’s just a hell of a lot of fiber and possibly a tired jaw from all the chewing. When I don’t have it I end up eating a lot of apples and almonds. Not that those aren’t healthy. They just contain more calories than carrots so they’re not a freebie in my head like carrots are. I’m on top of the carrot situation now and have packed them and shoved them down my gullet since then. And all is feeling right in the world again. 
Much like all feels right in the world when I listen to this song. 
Hungry to finally get back to working out. Saturday and Sunday were both great days for that. Saturday morning I decided I was starting Couch to 5K come hell or high water. Hell or high water turned out to be not getting it done in the morning and then it was 100 degrees outside. I said to hell with it and did it outside anyway on the way to the gym with my husband. #worstideaever My husband rode his bike and periodically shot water at me from his water bottle. He also suggested I run faster so we could hurry up and end it as well as questioning my sanity for thinking that was an acceptable idea.

Once there, I attempted to wipe some of the sweat off my body and let my husband convince me to enter the weighlifting area of my gym. I’ve always headed straight upstairs to the land of treadmills and group exercise classes. They also have a small circuit of weight machines up there that I periodically use. In my mind, the weightlifting area is only for serious people and that you should sort of graduate to that once you get your act together a little. My act isn’t even remotely together.

But it wasn’t crowded and my husband knows his way around a weightlifting room and actually showed me some stuff. He explained how to use several machine things. Then we squatted. As always. My husband has never met a moment he didn’t think was good for squatting. Just finished sprinting? Drop it like a squat. Just finish some push ups? Sounds like we should squat again. I’m still trying to decide if I hate squats or lunges more. I’m going with lunges this time but only because he had us hold weights in our hands while lunging. Just when my scotch tape thighs didn’t think it could be worse you add weight. Perfect.

Sunday I got my sweat on at Zumba. Then I did Couch to 5K 2 more times during the week. My husband also kept claiming we were going to get our workout on several other days but then we mostly overslept or were lazy bums that refused to get up and do anything after dinner. So I’m thinking I need to work on my oversleeping lazy bum issues next. But at least I’m working out again. And I finished C25K Week 4 thanks to my husband convincing me starting with Week 1 seemed overly dramatic. I started with Week 4 and was sweaty hot mess express clock watching for the time to be up. Oh, well.

Down 2.2 pounds this week and still hungry for more. Mostly hungry for stuff you get at a drive thru window. But also hungry to keep going and have more good days than bad.


Weigh In: Sobering

I had finally started to get myself back on the healthy eating train when I recently ran smack into 16 straight days of travel that included roughly 48 hours of driving. Literally.

First there was 17 hours of driving to one place where we spent a week. I’d call it the start of our vacation except I actually attended work related stuff for 3 days while we were ther. I sat in a room in Florida watching PowerPoint presentations while my husband and kids hit the beach, goofed on in a museum and texted me photos of their late breakfasts that included stacks of fluffy pancakes with a mound of whip cream on top. I don’t care how much you love your family. Being the one on PowerPoint duty in that scenario tests your ability to be generous of spirit.

3 minutes after the last PowerPoint ended my husband had us back in the car driving another 8 hours. After which we spent a week in a rental house on the beach in North Carolina. There was pretty much vodka coming out of the kitchen faucet and much drinking was done by all adults. An old school ice cream truck also came by roughly ever 12 minutes and how do you resist your 8 year old wanting ice cream in the shape of Sponge Bob served from the side of a van. You don’t. That’s how. You don’t. Instead you sprint up the steps of that beach house to find your wallet while your 8 year old stands unattended next to the street waving the van down. By the time you sprint back with the wallet, you’re will to resist is just as tired as your lungs are and you inhale a $3 ice cream sandwich without even thinking about it.

The return trip from the beach house was a mere 23 hours of driving. We accomplished that in a day and a half. Oh, the joy.

I returned to work the next day and immediately recounted for the world my cross country trek drive thru by drive thru and one extra large Dr. Pepper at a time. But I didn’t really need to. The pants that wouldn't fit were already doing the talking for me. Not to mention the scale telling me I was a lovely 159.6 pounds.
That’s 15.2 pounds over my lowest weight which was 144.4 pounds last may. It's also roughly 7 pounds higher than where I was when I had beem righting the ship on my healthy eating before I left on vacation. But even more than that, it was sobering. Because that's like one Twinkie away from 160. And almost 160 may as well be 160. And 160 is a slippery slope to 170 and 170 may as well be 204.4 pounds as far as I’m concerned and that's where I started and that's where I was profoundly embarrassed and ashamed and I had clearly lost my way. It was a stone cold sober moment in my bathroom. 160 is the bright line of unacceptable. Pretty sure 150 really needs to be from now on. But I know 160 is right now. Going over 160 is a deal breaker.

So, this stone cold sober female packed her lunch, sucked down a gallon of water and coped with caffeine and sugar withdrawals the rest of the day. And she woke up to 159.2 pounds the next day.
Make no mistake. That was water weight I parted with. I certainly didn't burn .4 pounds in one day. Parting with water weight happens every time I’ve been on a bender and go back to giving up soda. But I'll take it. Because a quick loss can fuel another good day and the scale rewarded me again the next day reading 157 pounds.

And that fueled another good day right up until I got stuck cutting cake at work at an awards celebration type thing and the cake smelled good and it’d be rude not to celebrate with the winners and then if you’re going to have 1 piece what’s the hard in a second small piece.

Three seconds after I finished the 2nd piece I started beating myself up about it. I felt a little fear in the dark corner inside my soul that fears this time losing weight will be like others and that the real me will eventually surface to gain the weight back. I also came up with stupid theories about not eating anything for the rest of the day to make up for those calories. This classic maneuver never works since you become starvin’ Marvin and begin shoving all the food into your face roughly 5 hours later thereby turning one mistake into a complete and utter trainwreck of a day that leaves you disillusioned and prone to giving up the next day figuring there’s no point in starting again.

Instead, I put on my big girl panties and had the healthy lunch I’d planned and spent the rest of the day behaving myself. And I held firm at 157 the next morning and, lo, there was much joy in my heart.
Holding at 157 despite the cake incident even fueled a good day. Not great because I did get a McDonald’s soft serve ice cream cone with my husband. But when your husband wants to toodle with you for an ice cream cone you say yes and enoy the toodle and remind yourself those were only 3 weight watchers points back when you did weight watchers points several years ago so you know it’s not breaking the bank an otherwise good day. And the scale backs you up on this theory with 156 the next morning. Holla.

The first week of getting back on the wagon and attempting to lose weight is hard. You have to break bad habits. You’re more hungry than usual. And you might even get a headache from giving up caffeine. And you may forget to say no when your brain suggests the 2nd piece of cake. But the scale is your friend during the first week. I’m not under the impression I actually burned 3.6 pounds worth of calories this week. Especially since I know I haven’t been doing much exercise to burn much of anything. But I have been eating better and it’s enough that the scale is moving in the right direction and telling me I’m doing something right. By this time next week, the scale most likely won’t be by friend anymore. So I’ll take my inspiration where I can. Because you have to start somewhere.

This female is scared straight.
Nothing says vacation like shoving random hats on your head in the souveir store.  It helps if you don't think too much about whose head the hat was on before you.
I even tracked my food in My Fitness Pal. For one day anyway. But I haven’t done that in months.  So there. And yesterday I downloaded the Couch to 5K app again. Even if I feel stupid starting at ground zero, apparently that’s what I need.

Stone cold sober, people.
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