Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weight Loss Woes—A Breakdown (Pouring my Heart Out…Again!)

This morning I weighed in at 203.6, which is a .6 gain from last week. I have gained 2 weeks in a row. Last week I gained .5 lb. I was mad at myself. The truth is, I haven’t been trying hard enough. I haven’t been dedicated enough.

But when hubby asked me how my WI went, he started asking me questions about why I kept gaining? Why have I been staying around the same weight for months? When am I going to open that Onederland box? He also reminded me that we are waiting for me to get to a healthy weight before we have babies, which won’t be for a while yet anyways, but it was just really hard for me to take. I pretty much had a break down.

These are questions that I wish I could answer with something straightforward. To say, I sometimes snack too much because I can’t exercise self control does not cover all of the bases. It’s complicated. I know that if I eat right and exercise, I should lose weight. I believe in that process. I want to lose weight, therefore I should eat right and exercise. That would be the simple answer. The complex part about weight loss is that even if you want to lose weight, you can set your goals to eat right and exercise, but there are so many other factors involved. I do not live in a bubble where my only purpose is to eat right and exercise. I have to work a full time job. I go to school. I have a home to take care of. I have other responsibilities. I want to have fun. I want to enjoy life. I just want to forget about trying to lose weight for a while. On and on. All of the factors that we all have in our lives.

The point is, there is so much more to this than wanting to eat right and exercise. There are outside forces and there are internal forces that affect my decisions. I have been trying to think about the times when I just can’t seem to control what I’m shoving into my mouth. And there are two things that I can think of, without a doubt, that will do it to me every single time. One is stress. I have serious problems with stress management. Not all of which I wish to share with the world. But I don’t handle it well. I worry and I worry and I worry. Last year, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown over a stressful school project. So my inability to cope with stress causes me to eat. I know I am the one in control and I allow myself to eat, but I am recognizing that stress makes me want to eat. I must get some sort of temporary psychological relief from eating that I am not fully conscious of. Second, I eat when I am frustrated and angry. There are certain people that make me this way, and I know it’s how I am choosing to react. But every single time I am around them, I want to come home and eat chocolate. Now how weird is that? How can I deal with anger and frustration? What is the healthy way to do this?

I have been trying to think about the times when I feel in control and able to practice moderation and self control. And lately that’s not as often as it should be. But I am good at practicing self control when I realize that whatever the temptation is, is just not worth it. That takes a conscious effort. And usually, when I feel that way, I have planned ahead. I have healthy snacks on hand and have thought about the temptations I might face and have decided they’re not worth it. And honestly, what IS worth it? Sometimes it is worth it to indulge, but when I indulge frequently, it’s not worth it anymore. The indulgences don’t really even taste good anymore. At least not as good as that first bite did. If I can consciously decide these things, I can make big changes.

For example, I used to love ice cream sundaes. I mean turtle sundaes with ice cream, caramel, hot fudge and full fat whipped cream with a cherry on top. I would indulge in these, as a treat, but it started to get too frequent. And I’m talking the ice cream shop kind, not the portion controlled ones at home. Quite a while ago, I decided that I would no longer eat those when we go out for ice cream. MAYBE once in a while. Instead, I would get an ice cream cone or a single scoop. And I’ve stuck to that. Maybe I need to start making more decisions like that. I think the most important thing is realizing there’s a problem, really realizing it, and then I am ready to make the changes needed. I have to have some moment of clarity where I truly understand it—and not just because I know I should do something.

I got a kick in the pants this morning. I felt deflated and worthless. I felt terrible for actually struggling with overeating versus making a choice not to overeat so that I can be healthy so hubby and I can have a baby. I mean, how horrible does that sound? I’m not consciously choosing food over having a baby, that would be silly. But ultimately, that is the choice I am making. So why is it still such a struggle?

I talked to a friend about this and she said that she has the same struggles. She has diabetes and high blood pressure but when pizza is around, that doesn’t stop her from eating it. She wants to live a long life, but for some reason we just don’t make the connection between our little actions and the big results that are inevitable.

It’s time to start exercising my self discipline muscle. What I eat the majority of the time is fine. I often mess up on the weekends. I am not going to eliminate the foods I love, I will continue to practice moderation. But the problem lies in the times where I go to the cupboard and snack on something. Eating one, two, or three too many cookies. Or eating a piece of cake at a get together and then eating a cupcake a couple of days later. Probably not necessary. I must sound like such a food addict. And I am, really. I could write a whole post about that one. But, it’s about making choices. It’s about staying mindful. It’s about staying in control. It’s about being empowered. Most importantly, it’s about sticking to the points that WW gives me. And this past weekend, as with many others, I totally lost count of my points. Embarrassing. This blog is not about my triumphs, but it is about the whole struggle. This is HARD. If anyone ever told you it was easy, they’ve never tried to lose weight.

I know I have said this a  million times, but I am recommitting. What more can I do? What more can I do but recommit every. single. time. that I fall down. Hopefully, I will learn something each time. I am going to remember how important this is to me and to hubby. I am going to stick to my points this week. I am going to exercise. I am not going to let temporary satisfaction rob me of my goals.

There ya have it. The struggles I’m having. The struggles I’m sure you’ve all been through or are going through right now. Losing weight SUCKS. But I like to think that it’ll be worth it someday. Heck, it’s already worth it.

For breakfast this morning, I had 1/4 cup egg beaters on light toast along with a glass of milk and a banana for 5 points.

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I sipped on Trader Joe’s Duchess Gray tea for 0 points.

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I tried to make a conscious choice about whether I needed a snack or not and the answer was no. A big part of this is being more mindful of my choices, even the seemingly little choices.

I had a SUPER early lunch today for some reason. I was scheduled at 10:30. Who eats lunch at 10:30? lol. So I made an egg sandwich, since it was so delicious yesterday, and had a sliced apple with caramel for 9 points.

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It wasn’t until I was eating my sandwich that I remembered I had egg beaters for breakfast. I guess I was craving eggs today! I also made a conscious decision that if I ate the caramel dip that I didn’t need an extra “sweet” for dessert. And I stuck with it. I busied myself by unloading the dishwasher.

On my very last break, I made a green smoothie out of yogurt, 1 cup spinach, 1 Tbs. milled flax seeds, strawberries and mango for 2 points.

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I really need a new blender. I had a mishap while making my smoothie. It’s been on the way out for a while, so when it started smoking, I got a little worried! It completely chewed up one of the parts. Thankfully, we have an extra part to fix it.

It’s the second time this has happened now. It’s a dual blender and food processor. The food processor works awesome, just not the blender anymore! I would love recommendations for a good, powerful blender!

I didn’t get as far as adding the ice before the blender fell apart, but the thick smoothie was delicious!

I also snacked on some baby carrots for 0 points.

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I was exhausted by late afternoon. Hubby came home and suggested we order a pizza, but we both decided it would be best to cook something at home. Ordering a pizza would have been much easier though!

So for supper, I made sandwich thin pizzas with a side salad topped with gorgonzola cheese and Pear Vinaigrette for 8 points.

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It was a very satisfying meal. Very tasty! I forgot how delicious those sandwich thin pizzas are!

I finished it up with No Sugar Added Blue Bunny Bunny Tracks for 4 points.

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I have 4 points left for the day. I am very happy with how I’ve eaten today.

Hubby and I have made a plan for what days we will exercise this week. We are both beat tonight, so agreed to take it easy tonight, but we will be back at it tomorrow!

One more thing I want to say is that we are all very different. We all have struggles. We all have busy lives. We all have our battles to fight. Mine may be different than yours. Yours may be different than mine. One reason this morning’s events were so hard on me is that I am already SO hard on myself. I beat myself up constantly. It’s kind of what motivates me to always do my best. To get good grades. To be the top performer at work. A bit of a perfectionist? In more ways that I want to admit. But it’s really not good for me and adds to my stress. I REALLY need to read a book on stress management or maybe seek some professional help. lol And because I am like this, I do best when I get encouragement from others. When I am encouraged for what I am doing right rather than “corrected” for what I am doing wrong. Maybe I care too much about what others think? Maybe. When I feel like I am doing something right, it inspires me to keep going. It inspires me to make more healthy choices. It’s kind of a chain effect. But when I hear how I have failed, I tend to beat myself up more and more. Today, I took control and realized that hubby was right. He is my husband and he has every right to say the things to me that maybe I don’t want to admit. Other people, not so much. But I trust my husband. I know he wants what is best for me. I guess what I’m trying to say is, hurtful comments do not help me one bit. They are not going to cause me to have some “ah-ha” moment. They don’t usually do that for me. I’m just curious about you? Do you take criticism (we will only consider the constructive kind) or positive reinforcement better? Which one is more effective for you?


  1. Need a new blender? I love my Ninja set! The one that comes with 3 sizes. I use it all the time for my smoothies and it is super easy. And the different sizes are great. I use the small one to chop things for recipes (onions, peppers, etc)The large and medium one are good for smoothies and other things (margaritas on splurge days) I also use the small one for soft serve banana :) I would definitely recomend the Ninja to anyone!

    Keep up the good work. I am sure if you buckle down and set a routine you will get back on track. Keep your chin up, look what you have accomplished so far!

  2. oh girl, trust me you are an angel compared to my mcdonalds mishaps and other crap i eat on a daily basis. I am in the same boat, constantly on and off on the weight watchers, not exercizing. But trust me, you are doing good, and if you buckle down a little bit for a good month, probably before thankgiving you can get to Onderland, then treat yourself to a nice turkey dinner. I am in the same boat too-5 years and wanting to have a kid but not while im not healthy...but just rededicate yourself and YOU CAN DO THIS!! maybe take pics of your food on the weekends, so you can blog and be accountable on the weekends, just for this next month maybe, and see if that makes a difference

  3. Don't let the weigh-in make you doubt yourself. You are strong and you can totally do this. Try to be a little more gentle with yourself. Make one right decision and the make another right decision - baby steps! I am cheering you on!

  4. Okay, our blender is a Ninja and it is awesome.

    You can get a %20 off coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond on line by registering on their site. Let Santa know!

    Hang in there girl. I like the way you recommit.

  5. Focus on how far you have come. Look at what any why you have struggled these past few weeks and change what you need to change. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. Weeks when I slowed down and started gaining... I looked at my coffee creamer, which I had never counted (about 700 calories a week!!!!) or my Crystal Light (210 calories a week) or that extra margarine on my veggies, or when I was pouring the olive oil on and not misting it... Its like a puzzle, find the piece that isn't fitting correctly and viola.... Back to losing

    Omg... I am hating myself right now ..... But...... Cut the wheat out, up the protein and vegetables and the cravings will all but go away..... Except for those occassional M&M attacks...... Ahhh what do I know???!!!

    You have come too far to give up!!!! No quitting allowed ;)

  6. Alissa, you most certainly are *not* a failure. You have done so much already. Never forget or ignore the progress you have already made!

    Have you read the Beck Diet Book? You can do the mental exercises in that book following any plan (like WW). There are some good tips and ways to handle the snacking.

  7. I have subscribed to your blog for some time now, but I don't think I've ever commented. I don't usually comment on blogs because I simply feel weird writing to strangers. With that said, I felt really compelled to write to you after reading this post. Let me preface this by saying, I think you have done remarkably well with losing weight and keeping it off. But you've definitely stalled over the last year. And you've questioned yourself and wondered why and your answer was stress and eating when upset. But have you asked yourself if you're afraid to be completely happy? This is how an outsider sees you: pretty, smart, about to graduate, a wonderful husband, a loving family. And sure, I'm sure your life isn't perfect as no one's is.... But you've just about got it all with the exception of this one thing: being happy in your own body. And you know that you're the only one that can change that. Don't let self-doubt and low self-esteem sabotage this incredible thing you're doing. You will do this. Don't buy junk food and keep it in the house. Too tempting. Start eating like a strict dieter until you can get to onederland and get yourself re-motivated. Think about how awesome you will feel when you see 199 (or less) on that scale. Please don't think I'm being critical because I'm reading this at home everyday totally rooting for you. I wish you the best.

  8. I don't remember where I saw this, but I read that self-criticism is kind of our way to make ourselves be better. If we tell ourselves we're not doing good enough, we believe (or that little voice believes) that we'll work harder at something. But really, that self-criticism is just discouraging. When I learned this, it was much easier for me to ignore my criticisms and instead focus on what a good job I'm doing so far and what I can do to improve. I realized self-criticism was defeating when its purpose is to make us work harder. Once I realized it wasn't a good tool, I just started using other methods.
    Also a book I've found really helpful to counter perfectionism (because it has its pros, but it also has downfalls!) is Be Happy Without Being Perfect by Alice D. Domar. It has really made my life a little easier and helps me accomplish a little more than before.
    Hope this helps!

  9. Thanks for being so honest. I have the issue of eating when I'm stressed which happens daily is seems. I think you're doing great by just recommitting every time you need to. That's what we all should do :)

  10. I don't eat a lot of meat, usually only 3-6 ounces of chicken. I really really don't like beef... ick.... (thank you for not being mad)
    Egg whites have 6-7 grams
    Cottage cheese has 14
    Greek yogurt 23
    3 ounces of chicken or turkey has 27
    Beans are loaded in protein!!!

    I started counting my protein when my sweet know-it-all daughter was critiquing my menu choices, she was bashing bashing bashing all the vegetables I was eating, and I was HUNGRY all the time!!! So I listened to her (don't tell her.... Okay she knows.... Lol) I weight 135-140 on any given day, so I try to get in 135-140 grams of protein

    I was worried about a few things.... Pooping .... All that protein..... Nope!!!! Yogurt and vegetables takes care of that! Sorry maybe TMI

    Then I read Wheat Belly .... Princess Dieter recommended it oh... Super important..... and I eat every 2.5 to 3 hours

    Yeah it can be a pain, but truthfully it isn't about weight loss any more, it's really something I enjoy, I feel better in my skin

    OMG!!!! I can go on and on... Time for me to shut up!!!! I just read your blog religiously.... You have so much going on in your life and if I can reach out through the internet and help I would be so happy. Now if I am a pain in the ass know i all, sorry ... That was never my intention

    Good luck, stay stong and I will be looking forward to reading about your success.... However you choose to tackle it :)

  11. I just stumbled across your blog for the first time. You sound just like me. Thank you for putting yourself out there like this. I'm also struggling with indefinite stalls in my progress. I've come to the conclusion that it is about 99% mental. When my head is in the right place, I do awesome. I don't know how to push my head to that place though. I have been reading a book that seems to be helping me gain new perspective. You might want to check it out.Breaks down the reasons for our irrational attachments to food. It's called Women,Food and God by Ganeen Roth. Good Luck to you. :)

  12. I know how you feel!! I have been pretty stagnant the last 6months so I forced myself to refocus pretty much I wiped out all my weigh ins with ww and am treating this week as my day one. I am trying to have the same mentality I did when I first started doing workouts and getting in as many of the good health guidlines that I can and so far it has been working. I also started the brides workout challenge on ww. (I'm not a bride to be ) but it is 12 weeks laid out of workouts for m, w, and fri. This may help bring some structure for you : )
    I would also explain to hubby what being at goal means to you and how much you want it and maybe that will help him not suggest getting pizza for dinner or going out for meals period. If he is on board 100% not saying that he isn't it can really help a lot!!! My hubby tells me no all the time when I suggest going out and it makes me mad at the time but I know that he is helping me out in the long run of getting to goal : )
    Sorry this is so long but I hope it helps!!!

  13. I read your post this morning and have thought about you off and on all day. And I'm a regular reader - have been for months. My heart goes out to you. I am a fellow Weight Watcherian. :) And before your post today (and several of late), I can see that by your weigh-in numbers, you have been struggling. Losing weight is such a pain and it's hard. I mean, HAAAAAAARRRRDDDD. Unlike drinking alcohol or using drugs, we need food to survive. And we (you and I, and lots of others) have to find a way to dance with the devil for the rest...of...our...lives. And it bugs me when people say things like "Well, if you want to lose weight, just do it." Or "It's all about will power and self-control.", as if there's a magical switch that we can click on and off to change. And I totally get you on being perfect. It's SO much easier said than done, but we have to let that go. It has to be OK that we aren't perfect. No one is. People like to pretend that they are, but they aren't. Life is full of things that make us stress and everybody deal with those issues. But you and I don't like to feel that stress, and have historically turned to food to make us instantly feel better. We can't do that anymore. We can't hurt ourselves. We deserve better. You deserve better. You deserve for food to be flavorful, fun and fuel for your day. I've been in WW for about 6 months and have lost 30 lb. And I still have quite a bit to go. I am teaching myself that I can find a life with salad and pizza, fresh fruit and cake, & whole wheat bread and donuts. It's such a cliche, but I'm finally seeing that life is a balancing act. A delicious, nutritious, junky, sugary balancing act. You can do this. You have shown that you have what it takes to lose over 80 lbs. 80 lbs. That's incredible. You have proven that you can do something - that you ARE doing something that many people will sadly never do. I will continue to check in on you every single day, like I have been for some time now. I am here cheering you on and completely believe that you have all the tools inside of you to reach your goal. Don't give up. Keep moving forward. And please, please know, that you are not alone. :)

  14. Hey! I just made the post under "Hugan". That's my hubby's account. My name is Monica and I live in Northwest Arkansas. :)

  15. Hi Alissa. You are my hero. It takes alot of courage to write a post like this. I have nothing but certainty that you will reach your goals and ultimately be a healthy role model for your future babies!!!! Stay strong, know that you are an inspiration for many of us, and that you have come a long, long way in this lifelong journey. I'm sending a hug your way!!!!

  16. I have been where you are... for 2 years. And believe it or not, I think it is not all that bad. Why? Because you are on a lifestyle change, not a diet. Sounds like you are on the right track of the additional small things that you can start doing daily... more veggies/less carbs/ less processed snacks, etc. Slowly you will see it come together, but you have to work at it daily to integrate. I am still on my journey and love reading your blog. Keep it up as you encourage me often to make good choices.

  17. I'm just now catching up on my blog reading, so sorry this comment is a little late! Your post really hit home for me, not just with weight loss, but with any kind of major life changes we might try to make. It's no easy thing, and it can be SO discouraging when progress seems to stop—or worse, if you start regressing. Thank you for this honest and open post about how you're feeling. I'm sorry that you're feeling so down, but I know you can power through, and I know you're doing a lot of women a huge service by showing some of the tougher parts of your process. Weight loss isn't as simple as women's magazines and infomercials would have us believe, and it's so refreshing to read about a real person's ups and downs.

    You go, girl. I hope the positive reinforcement keeps rolling your way.



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