Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today Wasn't Going To Be...

Today wasn't going to be the day... that I revealed my starting weight... Or that I made my weight blog public... Or that I talked about how ashamed I've been of myself for the last (many???) few years.  It wasn't going to be the day that I talked about being obese... or how I carry my weight well... or how it feels to drop several sizes in jeans in less than 4 months.  It wasn't going to be the day that I looked back over the pictures from when I decided I needed to change at the end of September through the holidays and today.  It wasn't going to be the day that I shook my head and said "How did you get to this point?"

But it is.  It's going to be the day.  Over the last few months, I've had a number of emails or FB "emails" from blog readers and folks I've had the privilege to meet IRL also, who've asked me when I'm going to share my private blog and talk openly about the last few months.  I've told everyone "February 1st", Nicholas's third birthday.  The day that I marked as my first big goal.  But, I've hit that goal.  And, this week, I've had three more requests.  So, I've decided.  Today's the day.

Yesterday morning, I saw 199.5 on the scale.  From 240.  (I can't believe I just typed those numbers and, honestly, it is all I can do not to erase them).  Even seeing them, I still can't believe them.  September 9, 2009, I weighed between 250 and 251; that was my last weigh-in prior to Bobby and Maya's birth.  In a year, I'd lost about 10 lbs.  It's embarrassing, really.  I trained my ass off for the triathlon last year and didn't drop a single pound.  And, as much as I wanted to blame it on something- PCOS, Hashi's, grief, whatever- it was the fact that I ate enough for a offensive lineman (one of those BIG football players).  I love to cook and I love to eat, and those two things combined with a lack of portion control did me in.  And, in spite of talking to Peter about it in my weepy moments and hearing him try to tell me that maybe, just maybe, one helping instead of (I dont know... 4) might help, I just wasnt ready to listen.

I am a firm believer that when the student is ready, the teacher comes.  It just took me until last September to be ready to make a change.

For me, it couldnt be a diet that I could fail on.  I dont have the best will power and I knew that, if I went on a diet or a weight loss program, and then fell off of it, then it would be the excuse to down a bottle of soda or eat a box of chocolates or tear into a bag of chips.  It would only take one time and then I'd beat myself up over what I'd done, bury my guilt in more bad choices, and then loathe myself even more.  It wouldn't be pretty.  And God knows, I didn't want that to be something Bobby and Maya saw or, worse, thought was the way to be.  When I looked myself in the mirror that day and told myself that I was changing and life was going to be different, I committed to a new lifestyle, similar to when I took my vows to Peter those eons- I mean, years :)- ago.  It was a choice to be a new person... a better person.  A person I could smile at when I saw her face.  A person who was healthy and strong, both physically and emotionally.  Who didn't beat herself up for her choices- no matter what they were- but simply saw them for what they are: "this moment, today".  It couldnt be a diet or a short term solution, and it sure as hell couldnt be a resolution of some sort.  The goal weight couldnt be some sort of "Now, I'm skinny- let's party"; it needed to be something realistic and healthy for my body.  It couldnt be a throwback to myself 15 years ago, either.  (Which, sometimes, I think most of us are trying to escape back to some perceived "ideal" us from long ago, in some way)

I'm 30 years old; at 5'7, a healthy BMI for me is, about 23.5 (or 150 pounds).  That would put me in the "normal" range.  In high school and early college, I weighed between 140 and 155, so I suppose, that brings me back to that "ideal" spot in some ways.  But there's no way I could live like a teenager again.  (When Peter and I made our commitment to one another in 1998, I was about 150, so it would take me back to about that size, I suppose, but I think the new, healthier me will still look better. :)  That girl may have worn a string bikini, but this one has birthed a few babies and will stick to the tankini, thank you very much!)

So, for me to hit that weight and BMI, I had 90 pounds- or a person- to lose and, estimating a healthy 2-3 pounds a week, I set February 1st as my goal for 200 lbs.  As of this morning, recovering from being sick, I'm at 201 lbs, but, as I saw that special 199.5 on the scale yesterday, I think it is time to share why Less of Me... Is More.  This has been the place where I have recorded my measurements, weights, pant sizes, and every morsel (excluding water or Coke Zero because, at zero calories, I got tired of writing it down) that goes into my mouth.  It's the place that let me rejoice that, even though I ate whatever I wanted over the holidays, I still lost weight.  It's the place that, every week, I sit down and record my Week In Review and talk about what I liked, didnt like, and how I felt the week went.  I take time around every meal to log my food and calorie content.  I look up food choices before I go to restaurants so that I can go in armed knowing what my choices will run me.  I try to keep myself under 1700 calories a day, but it's just an idea.  Some days, I'm over 2000; a few days, over 3000!  Most days, I'm somewhere around 1700.  And, although I was skeptical, I am being completely honest when I tell you that I'm not hungry.  I eat when I am and I stop when that goes away.  It may mean leaving a little on the plate.  It may mean going back for a second helping.  Sometimes it means bypassing dessert, while other times it means having a slice of pie.  I dont try and figure out how much I have to exercise to try and "work off" what I eat; instead, I view food as my fuel for the day.  How many calories do I need to get through the day?  To clean?  To play with the kids?  How many calories satisfy my morning hunger?  (It's between 250-300).  How many lunch time calories do I need to get through the early afternoon? (about 300-350 usually gets me to 4pm before I start getting hungry).   I grab a 100 calorie snack pack if the hunger pains hit or a 120 calorie granola bar.  I usually eat a fairly high calorie (180c-240c) bar after I work out.  Dinner could weigh in as low as 400 calories or as high as 1200- it all depends on what I'm cooking or where we happen to be eating.  But, the one thing I dont do, is lie to myself.  I've done that too much for too long.  If my meal logs in at 1500 calories, then that's what it was.  Why tell myself it was something less?

Some nights, I eat a yogurt before bed because, it's 11pm and I'm hungry again.  And that's okay.  Some nights, I dont have dinner because I'm just so tired, but I wake up really hungry and end up having lunch way close to breakfast because my body needs more fuel.  And that's okay, too.  I've learned- and am still learning- that a healthy relationship with food means listening to my body.  Not my eyes or my taste buds,alone.  But my body.  What do I need to function well?  I'd stopped listening a long time ago; and now that I've given myself a voice again, it's telling me what I need and when.

I still have moments where I have to ask that age old question- Are you hungry???- and, depending on the answer have to tell myself "THEN GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!"  I still have the times where I look at the M&M bowl and want to eat the whole thing, simply because something didn't go my way.  But I'm in a better place.  I can walk by it and have one or two, and be done.  I can have a slice of cheesecake and not need the entire thing.  And it doesnt hurt (well, for the most part!).

I was wearing size 20 pants, and barely fitting into some of my bigger 18s; I just bought some pants at Target and they were 10s.  I can no longer fit into the Lane Bryant pants; they are just too big and they dont go below a size 14.  I had to buy new bras (down from a 44DD to a 42DD- I've always been chesty... I dont see that going anywhere in the near future!).  My workout pants are no longer XL or XXL- they are L and those are slightly loose (just slightly... not ready for mediums yet!).  I dont try to elongate my neck in pictures anymore so that the camera looses sight of my double chin.  I smile and I mean it.  I'm not focused on getting a better angle.  It's just me; and this is me, today.  As I am.  I'm getting comfortable in my skin again.  Finally.

There has been so much shame.  I never talked about it, much for the same reason I couldnt talk about my infertility.  I was just so ashamed.  I'm still gunshy, I'll admit it.  And I'm not some health guru or some "real woman" in the pages of a magazine who lost X and kept it off for Y years.  I've only been living my new life for less than 4 months, but it feels like forever.  It feels like I have a new lease on things- no, not a lease... a mortgage.  A mortgage that, one day, will be paid off, and I'll be able to live with forever.  I'm good with that.

You'll notice a new page on this blog, one that links to my weight entries.  I know that many people struggle with weight and acceptance of themselves- something doubly hard when it is paired with infertility and/or loss.  But we can all do it with the help of one another.  One day at a time.  One breath at a time.  And, yes, sometimes, one bite at a time.  Whether it is with the help gained from a book or through meetings at a weight loss center or just what you find in your own kitchen, it's possible... It's doable... But it cant be about being skinny or being pretty or anything close.  It has to be about being you.  Being a healthy you.  A you that is here for the future, but, more than that in a lot of ways, a you that is here for you.  It has to be about being okay in your skin- no matter what.  Comfortable.  Complete, in spite of the shame or the emptiness or the hurt.

I'm not there yet.  And, honestly, when the scale hits 150, I dont know that I'll be 100% there either.

But this is a start.

Click here to see 2010 in Review, from a weight loss standpoint)


Michelle said...

WTG girl! First of congrats on the weight loss. I logged when I lost, and it worked so well. I miss logging my food. Second, congrats on confronting your fears and posting your blog link! Today is a great day. *hugs*

Lisette said...

Hooray for you!!! I am so proud of you. I know it wasn't easy posting this but you are an inspiration to many. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Your weight loss is awesome and something to be very proud of.

And extra kudos on the courage it took to take it public.

Ms. J said...

Good for you! I'm proud to know you, to cheer you, and to keep my hand outreached when you need pulled a bit.

I'll also help by revealing my weight once got up to 215.8 lbs. Oh yes. WW got me on track, and pre-Peanut I was at 150 (having maintained between 145-150 for over 6 yrs). I stopped weighing myself during Peanut-pregnancy at 195 lbs (and I am 3 inches shorter than you). I am now at 142.8 lbs. And I am going to keep going for more healthy living, too.

We owe this to our children, to ourselves. It's debilitating to spend so much time hating how we look and feel. It's not fair to our spouses to cry about it. We must empower ourselves and go forward.

Let's keep going, girl!

P.S. I miss my bigger b.oobs. Sigh. VS says I am a 34D, but without the oomph of their bras it is so sad looking there.

Devon said...

you go girl!! so proud of you...i know grief sometimes gives us excuses to not make changes....i'm inspired by you!

can't wait to go check out your other blog!

"Jay" said...

Congrats on your weight loss! I am so proud of you. Keep up the (really hard) work!

MrsSpock said...

Thank you! I admit I ate my way through our IF issues, and then gained 60 lbs with our son. My highest weight was 220 right before J was born, and I got down to 172 before this pregnancy. I swore I wouldn't gain 60 lbs again, and at 34 weeks I am only up by 30, and hope to keep it that way. I think I will follow along with you this year, as I have a goal to get back to 125-130 (I am 5'2") myself.

good enough said...

Delurking to say this post is the absolute definition of physically and, especially, emotionally healthy eating. I've been relatively thin since my early 20's after being a chubby teen (now in my 40's) and this is exactly how I eat! You're going to continue to lose weight and I predict you'll keep it off for the long-term! You rock :)

Anonymous said...

So proud of you Michele. I know how hard this must have been and I loved your line about the teacher coming when the student was ready. Made perfect sense. Hugs many xx

Aisha said...

Michele, I hope you know that you sharing your struggles and your breakthrough are a big influence on my own breakthrough to start losing weight. I know it must have been hard to share your weight and your struggles but know you are inspiring people every day! *hugs*

one-hit_wonder said...

Hey, I'm so proud of you! You're doing a wonderful job. Peter must be going bug-eyed when he sees the new you! :D)

I must say that you've been an inspiration to me, Michele -I rejoined the gym last week, started paying attention to calories, and I've already lost 3 pounds! You've been so kind to me during the last few years and I want you to know that I appreciate you!

Queenie. . . said...

I already thought you were such an inspiration, and now this! You should be really proud of yourself. That's terrific.

Leah said...

Oh my gosh! Congratulations! I LOVED reading this post! I love hearing about people setting out to make something better, and then actually doing it! And there is absolutely no shame in being overweight. But it is obvious that losing weight is so important to you, and I feel all goose-bumpy that you are achieving your goals! I am so excited to follow your weight loss with you. After giving birth in July, and not LOVING my weight before getting pregnant, it's so fun to read your story, and it gives me hope that I too can get the body I want, through a lot of hard work. So proud of you!

Joanna said...

Hi Michele...I gave you a Stylish Blogger Award. Go to my page to check it out:

Barb said...

Congratulations Michele! Fabulous outlook and great job! It really sounds like you've got it figured out.

And by the way..I never lose the chesty either.. just the size around. haha. It's a little annoying at times

Kakunaa said...

Whoa! You are doing AMAZING! And very brave of you to share that struggle with us, amidst everything else. I know that can't have been easy. Congratulations on your new journey and how well it is going, the confidence you are gaining from it ;)

Terri Jones said...

I'm so proud of you! I'd worried about your health. You are worth being healthy and happy.You deserve it. You're a wonderful woman and role model to your kids. And they will see a healthy mom and know that is how to live. Love ya!