Tag Archives: weight loss

Happy New Year indeed!

This new year, I’ve decided to be changed.

I no longer believe in goals. I believe in strategies.

Scott Adams convinced me in his book “How to Fail at Almost everything and Still Win Big” in the chapter appropriately titled “Goals Versus Systems.” I found the book hugely encouraging, but if you choose not to read it here is the gist of that bit, filtered through my horrible memory.

Goals can result in feeling like a loser most of the time, because up until you meet your goal, you kinda are. Systems, that is things you do that move you in the right direction, continuously improving your situation, can make you feel like a winner every time you use your system.

That was not a good explanation. Too bad for you. 
So no fancy, exciting goals for me. I’m keeping my head down and developing systems that will lead me to achieve what would have been a goal. No “new years resolutions” just “this is what I do now.”

My inspiration, Elizabeth Benton, talks about something she calls “the fruits and the roots.” Imagine you have a beautiful apple tree, which you love and and fuss over often, caring for everything above the ground like it was your baby. You even shine the apples daily. That tree will die. You aren’t tending to the roots. It doesn’t get water or nutrients, maybe there’s even a critter down there chewing through the roots.

Goals are like the apples. They might look great, and you love them, but they are only the effect of a healthy system. You might get a few apples without caring for the roots, but not for very long. By contrast, if you care for the roots, apples will just happen, whether or not you stop and polish them.

What is represented by the roots in this story? The emotional work. The maintainable habits you build as well I guess, but mostly the emotional/psychological work you do for yourself.

I signed up for Elizabeth Benton’s Fat Loss Fast Track 12 week online group coaching course. It starts on the 8th, and while I’m convinced this is the path that will lead to permanent weight loss, I’m not getting too excited. Head down and do the work. I’d rather be content to work hard for a long time than over excited at first, followed by despair. No more dreaming and scheming, because that has never worked for long. Sure, in the past full of dreams, I might drop 20 lbs in the first month, but those pounds were just taking vacation: they were never gone for good.

EB’s system promises sustainability and a focus on the roots of the issue.

The only thing that makes me sad about this approach is that my husband doesn’t seem to be fully bought in. Theoretically, that shouldn’t matter, especially since he promised never to talk to me about my weight again (more because he’s given up hope than because he respects my ability to pick out a plan for myself). He says it sounds slow, and that sometimes people who advocate for taking things slow are just trying to make themselves feel good. Translation: Katrina, you aren’t pushing hard enough. If only you had started to run intensely for an hour everyday and eating nothing but veggies when I told you to the first time you wouldn’t be hating yourself today. He would probably debate that translation… or maybe not. I can’t even pretend to understand him, and that hurts too. So he’s keeping quiet, mostly, but he’s also said he doesn’t expect this plan to work, and I think he feels vindicated because all my past attempts that he didn’t think were extreme enough have failed so far. It’s really hard not to let that view get to me, especially since I think about it whenever I talk to him. I often try and hide my efforts from him, much like I hid my binges from him, because I don’t want him to see me trying something he thinks isn’t enough.

Anyway, this is what I do now. I’ve started tracking what I eat and how I feel afterwards. I’ve also been making huge pots of soup because 1) soup is delicious and 2) it means I have 6 meals ready to go for those times (all the time) when I don’t know what to be eating. Plus, I love listening podcasts while I cook a bucket of soup. I’m using the Sleep Cycle app to get a better sense of my sleeping patterns, and I’m keeping track of all the meds I take daily and my moods. I hope to eventually be weened off the pills.

I’m thinking of recalibrating my ratings of hunger, fatigue and cravings so that 5 is neutral and 0 is exceptionally good, but since I haven’t done that yet, read ‘0’ as ‘nothing much’

I Love Ya, Tomorrow

So, #operationVisibleDifference is in full effect. I can’t remember if I explained it already, so I’ll just expain now. My hubby is away, so while he’s gone I want to make a visible difference in my body composition to surprise him. I mentioned this plan in a Facebook group and someone put the number sign in front of it, and that looked right to me, so that’s how I’ll write it from now on. Not being a tweeter (Twitterer? Twit? Twat?), I don’t really understand hashtags. Is there already a tag of #operationVisibleDifference? If there is, is that a problem? 

So the operation is in effect, I’ve had a couple days going to bikram and doing a regular workout every day, and now 3 days of rest (although I probably shouldn’t have taken today off). I lost 3 pounds in 3 days. I ate a little recklessly yesterday, but I don’t think I actually did any damage. I went on an 8 mile hike the day before. I feel really good about this whole idea. It feels good to have a goal and to work towards it. 

Unfortunately, I have not been as proactive about my JavaScript study and job search. But that ends now. And by “now” I mean “tomorrow.” I’ve drawn up a schedule for myself, or more precisely, a list of things to do in order. 



For those who can’t read my handwriting (can I have a show of hands for those who can read it? No one? Oh, ok then), that list is:

Bikram

Breakfast 

Training 

Bird –15 min (I’m trying to get my parakeet to like me. Have any tips? I don’t know what I’m doing)

Shower (damn right I have to schedule that in, otherwise I’ll just be gross all day)

Job search

Anki –1 hr (that’s a flash card program, free for desktop, that I recommend)

Lunch

Room cleaning –1 hr (a sort of side project included in #operationVisibleDifference, because I know he’ll like to see the room looking nice)

Bird –15 min

Headfirst JavaScript (a book I’m working through) –1 hr

Swahili flash cards (also to impress my husband, who is a native speaker) 

Headfirst –1 hr

Movement (a few body weight squats or whatever, I haven’t picked yet, I just want get blood moving again so I don’t fall asleep)

Headfirst –1 hr 

…And repeat the last two until it’s dinner time.

This will be hard for me, as I am very lazy. I will want to stop and sleep for hours. Often I’m too tired after my workouts, such that even taking a shower seems insurmountably daunting. But that shit ain’t gonna fly no more. I’m becoming a new person. I kind of need your help though, because if I don’t put this out on my blog, I will lose steam and stop trying, take a nap. I need to imagine that there is someone out there who has read this and who is really hoping I pull through tomorrow, that I executed my plan flawlessly and who will be disappoint if I fail. Then once I’ve done it with your help, proving I can do it, maybe I can eventually do it alone.

In other news, I took a before pic! 



A bit sunburnt from my 8 mile hike.

And here is one compared to a month ago. Although my weight is technically higher in the photo on the right, I think I actually look visibly better.



And, because those are so ugly, here are some pictures I feel good about





A million things I haven’t done

Hello, again. It’s been too long, again.

Last post, I was trying to start a meetup. There wasn’t good attendance for the first two meetups, and that discouraged me from scheduling another one. But just now, between writing “It’s been too long, again” and “last post…”, I decided, what the f, just try again and scheduled a repeating meetup every Saturday at 9 am. Wish me better success this time! I’m hoping that every week will pick up more people. I’m super nervous, tbh.

My dog, Hobbit, died, but I don’t want to talk about that. My parents already got a new dog, which took some getting used to.

I’ve been really struggling to maintain motivation. I have very little trouble getting motivated, but it doesn’t seem to last the full day, so that’s minimally useful.

I took the leap of buying my friend a bikram pass so that I have someone to go with, so that I actually go. I figure it’s better to pay double but get the benefits than it would be to pay the normal price and get nothing because I lack motivation. This friend is good at getting going, unlike me, so it is a lot easier to just tag along with her than to get myself moving all alone.

In other news, the Warriors lost and my husband and I had a bet going. Had they won, he would have had to listen to the whole Hamilton soundtrack with me. But they lost, so now I have to go to the gym 5 times a week for a year, starting tomorrow. Can you tell he drives a harder bargain than I do? Sigh. I think I’ll try the workouts recommended in the book Strong. I made tables in word with the first set of workouts, here’s what that looks like.Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 11.21.56 AM

Maybe that’s all I have to say today, but I’m going to commit right now to posting again on… Tuesday. Why not? See you then!

Anxious, tied in knots

My dog has a very large tumor in her tummy. The vet thinks it could be a cyst or stage 4 cancer. If it’s cancer, they expect her to live only up to three months. If it’s a cyst, she might be ok for a while, but it could rupture any time and she would die of internal bleeding. For a couple days, she wouldn’t eat and barely moved. My heart is in knots.

My contract is up on the 15th, so I need to be looking for a job. That scares me very much, because I don’t know that I’m qualified to do anything. I look at myself and see only incompetence. Possibly it’s “imposter syndrome,” but it’s extremely real to me. My stomach is in knots.

Meantime, a tiny, two person start up that I did some visual work for back in the autumn has contacted me because they are in an accelerator program and need more work. My husband is convinced that this is my opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something that could be big. My parents think it’s an opportunity to never be paid and waste time that I could otherwise spend looking for a proper job. I think nothing. I have never felt less bold or decisive, and my entire life has been a litany of timidity and indecision. My mind is in knots.

The only things that seem to make me feel temporarily better is my facebook group and when I go out for my run/walks and can immerse myself in audiobooks, physical discomfort and beautiful nature. Today, I saw a hawk perch in a tree, take flight, and land–unexpectedly clumsily–on the other side of the path, then fly away on strong wings. I heard a chorus of frogs. I saw the Golden Gate bridge looking blue in the distance. I saw a man on a horse. I saw three orange and black butterflies spiraling up a sunbeam under the shady trees. Last week, I heard a pack of coyotes yelping and wailing, echoing across the hills.

I have been eating not quite so triumphantly well for the past 4 days. I don’t think I did terribly today, although I was sloppy with tracking so it’s hard to be certain. I’m so worried about my good dog. Sometimes, I just lay on the floor, staring at her, trying to be as close to her as possible, to appreciate her as much as I possibly can.

I just want everything to be ok again, to stop hurting. Eating doesn’t help, it just begets more and more eating, but it’s still my first thought when I feel this bad.

New year, new scale

My special Lose it! scale came today! It measures body fat and hydration and syncs to my phone via Bluetooth. So far, I’m super excited about it. I know many people consider it psychologically unhealthy, but for the past week I’ve been weighing myself nearly daily. 



I’m excited because I feel that tracking these descriptions of my body will help me control my health and move in a positive direction. 

Today, I started listening to an episode of Half-size Me, a podcast about weight loss and maintenance. It was this episode 



and the interviewee said something that stuck with me, “How would I treat myself, how would I act, if I loved myself? What would I say when I talk to myself?”

That may seem simple, but it gave me an idea. This may sound horrible, but I’m going to try pretending to love myself. Yeah, not as good as actually loving myself, but I think it’s actually a step on that path. Even if I can’t make myself feel something I don’t feel, I can make myself treat myself differently, and I can try to keep a better leash on my thoughts.

A month or two ago, I was at a very low point. I had disappointed my husband again. We were driving home, and when we got there we just sat in the car together, silently. I was dry eyed. My husband asked me what I was thinking.

“Nothing.”

He insisted.

“Please I don’t want to tell you.” I can’t tell him, that would be so manipulative, abusive even. You melodramatic bitch. Keep your mouth shut.

But he never gives up. I couldn’t think of a lie, so I started crying as I told him “I was thinking how much better off you’d be if I killed myself.” 

I explained how he’d be sad for a while, but he’s tough enough, he’d get over it. Then he could marry someone better. I was thinking of the kind of woman I’d want for him. I was wondering if I had the strength and courage to kill myself for his sake. And I didn’t cry until I was forced to tell him. The idea didn’t even seem sad to me. That’s how deep my self loathing runs. 

Obviously he objected and made me feel better, as I knew he would if I told him. He told me that he needs me. That’s why I felt I couldn’t tell him. As long as the idea stayed in my head, it was noble, but as soon as the words left my lips, it became self-serving melodrama designed to change his disappointment to concern.

To be clear, I’m not able to kill myself. Not at all. 

So I decided that the better idea was to become the woman I want to be, the woman my husband deserves. To live a better life. I only just made a proper start of it recently, but it seemed to have flipped a switch in me. Changed my perspective.

So, that happened. And, awkward and awful as it was, it seems to have been for the best. 

Not a New Years Resolution

I determined I would not have a New Years Resolution. I would not start my new life on the first day of the new year. I would not.

No, I would jump the gun. I have seen my mother get excited, year after year, about her resolution, only to let them slip. I have become superstitious. My resolution has nothing to do with the New Year. My resolution is about life, not about timekeeping.

IMG_7247

Really though, it is about life, my life and the lives of my as yet unconceived children, our shared health and the quality of my life with my husband.

So I started a few days early, a bumpy start, but solid enough as a place to start. I’m trying to come in under calorie budget as much as I can, within reason, and get exercise regularly. I have been scheduling my days, starting at 5 am (though I haven’t managed that wake up in a week or so) for a while now, and it seems to make everything easier. I put everything into the calendar on my phone, and then it gives me reminders on my apple watch, and that way I can stay on track. Sort of. Driving my husband around at unpredictable hours sort of has ripple effects throughout the day.

IMG_7244Today, I’m somehow 600 calories under budget, despite chocolates and coffee with half a cup of irish cream creamer. I did accidentally skip breakfast, so perhaps that helped me stay under. I also went to personal training this morning. So. Many. Squats. Sumo squats, jump squats, etc. ad nauseam. But I love finishing and knowing my exercise is done for the day, that I’ve accomplished that much before 10 am. It feels good (afterwards).

Those of you who read my last post may be wondering about the bird situation. No, my old bird has not returned. But I’m slowly making progress with Raindrop. I can put my hand in her (I don’t actually know the sex, but it’s easier this way) cage and she doesn’t freak out unless I get too close or move too much. She will eat spray millet tied to a stick that I hold. She chirps at me and fluffs her feathers. I say her name when she looks at me so that the sound of her name and of my voice become familiar. She has such big black eyes, so much more innocent than the golden eyes of Jasmine.

Some of the feathers on her back are slightly yellow. Sadly, when I first saw that I thought it was some kind of stain, but one of the feathers was laying on the table the next day, and I realized that she has yellow and grey stripped feathers. It reminds me of a pale sun breaking out of the clouds. Like a real raindrop, Raindrop holds many colors if you look closely.

Kale is becoming a staple food again. I can eat a whole bag of kale on my own, cooked with onion and dressed with soy sauce. I’ve discovered that a large amount of whipped cream is not very high in calories, and is delicious on raspberries, so that has become something of a staple treat, if that makes sense. Sometimes I go overboard and eat too much whipped cream, but it’s so much air that it’s not easy to really do a huge amount of damage like it would be with, say, chocolates, or all of the other things I might reach for.

I seem to have run out of things to say for tonight, so here are my favorite christmas tree ornaments

Fit Book (subtitle: I’m back!)

I’ve been gone a while, but I’m getting up early tomorrow, so I won’t spend time talking about that. I ate a lot. Oops. It’s over now, whateves. 

A few days ago, my husband wanted pens from target. While he was looking at pens, I looked at blank books, because I love blank books. I never fill them. But I keep getting them. Then I saw it: “fit happens” …”that’s dumb,” I thought, and opened it. And somehow, as I flipped through and read tips and quotes and saw spaces to write, I started to want that book. I have a new (though possibly temporary) job that pays more money than I feel I’m worth, so I decided to get the dumb book. I have, in the past, spent $30 on a single binge, so why not spend less money on something that would last longer and possibly be a good thing? That’s how I convince myself to buy things, I think about how much money I’ve wasted making myself extra obese, and then suddenly $.99 for a song to workout to seems like a stupid time to be stingy. I realize that “I’ve wasted money in the past, so it’s ok to spend more” is flawed logic. Therefore I’m careful to only use it to justify buying beneficial things. 

Unexpectedly, the book seems to be helping a lot. I’m way more positive about my ongoing weight loss struggle than I was without it. And, though today is my first perfect day with the book, the previous two days were still way better than the days before the book. So I call it a win. An upward trend. Or a (hopefully) downward trend, if you’re looking at the scale, I’ve been remiss about weighing in. I’ll start tomorrow. 

Here’s my day, as viewed through the fit happens book (no caps on the cover, so no caps here):



I expect you can’t read my handwriting, so here’s the most important part all neatly typed: 

***this inspires me***

Rachel the Red-Nosed Reindeer! 

See This blog post for an explanation. She’s been losing for a long time, plus the whole time I was here blogging my losses, and the whole time I stopped blogging and started regaining. And nows she’s done a race, painted up like the cutest reindeer ever! Here’s a screen shot from her blog, which you should read 

So cute! So inspirational!

I need to go to bed, so go read Rachel’s blog post while I go to bed. 



April can’t end soon enough…

….not that it was a terrible month, I just want the feeling of freshness a new month will bring. I’ll start my color in calendar yet again, and this time (like all the times before) I intend to stick with it. This time I’ll keep it in a different place, and hopefully that will make the difference. Sometimes it’s the small things. 

In other news, the class I’m supposed to be in right now was cancelled, leaving me in the city with a choice: go back and go to the (by now crowded) gym, go home or go to the French pastry shop. But Katrina, you might say, the answer is obvious! Go to the gym, you’ll be so happy you did afterwards! And you’d be right. Want to know what I did instead? You already know, if this weren’t something I’m prone to doing, I wouldn’t need to lose weight in the first place. 

I had four pastries and a sandwich. I had water too, but I’m hardly going to give myself points for choosing what is in all honesty my favorite drink. 

So that was super lame. I don’t do well with unexpected, I think. Maybe that’s just an excuse. I think I still have time to go to the gym, but I might not do too well with my over-full (of garbage) belly. I will try in a little while, when I feel less vomitous. 

So I think I need to plan things more carefully. Plan what to do when, when and what to eat, and what/how much to do at the gym. 

Unrelated

I saw the personal trainer on Sunday. Like I think I mentioned, he will be gone throaght May. He refused to give me an in the meantime workout (which I guess makes sense since I could probably have rolled with that for a while without needing to hire him), but gave me a detox plan. I feel silly, but I kind of do believe in it, even though I usually think of detoxes as sort of made up by the industry. This one is just using normal things, not things he’s trying to sell to me. So why would he lie about it? So I will do it. He gave me a fitness assessment that left me sore, so I think I’m going to really benefit from his workouts. And twelve times a month should do a lot for me! 

If I’m going to the gym, I’d better go, gross or not

Coloring

I got behind in my color in calendar (color-coded depending on whether I stayed on plan, stuck with just diet or just exercised or whether I blew it). I hadn’t colored anything in for the last few days. And my eating has been a mess since Easter, in that I haven’t logged some transgressions of mine. Some sick part of me refuses to count chocolate peanutbutter malt balls stolen from the bulk bin at the market. I never keep track of my kleptomaniacal malt ball bingeing. I just sort of orbit that isle, stealing as I go. I’ve never stolen in my life, except from bulk bins. 

Anyway, I had to decide how to color those days, since I didn’t remember which days were or were not full of malt balls and other sins. But also because I went to the gym like a champion, every day, and I want credit for that. I decided to give them the “exercise saved the day” color. 

Now, I have to work on making today worthy of the “perfect day” color. I’m off to a good start. I had an apple for breakfast (mostly because my husband was running late) and I’m now in the gym parking lot, preparing to go in. So, now I make and publish my gym plan, so that I stick to it. 

I want to run 20 minutes again. I’ve done it a few times now, but never gotten in a good amount of weight machines after. So that’s today’s goal. 

1. Stretch

2. Treadmill

3. Stretch

4. Do as well on weight machines as I did on Easter 

5. Update blog

But before any of that, I want to walk a couple blocks to buy myself headphones

New Year, Same Goals

Happy New Year everyone!

I’m keeping my goals from October, only redoubling my efforts in light of the new year. IMG_4408I was very slack in November, and outright counter-productive in the last week of December. To be fair, my birthday is the day before Christmas, so those two days it made sense to be off. What was a less good idea was continuing to gorge myself for the rest of 2014. I ate so much I felt I could hear the stretch marks forming. I’m back up to 256 lbs, 8 pounds up from where I was at the beginning of November. C’est la vie. No point in dwelling on it.

What I need to do is re-establish the aversion I had to going off plan. When you first start a diet Lifestyle change. you really feel bad about the idea of straying. Once you make your first big mistake though, suddenly it seems like a less big deal and you are more likely to keep slipping up. There is a two-word phrase that sums that up perfectly, but I can’t remember it. I can’t even figure out how to google for it. I saw it on someone’s blog, but I can’t remember which blog it was, let alone what post it was. I knew I would want to remember it, but didn’t take the necessary steps. Please, if anyone knows what I’m talking about, and/or can figure it out, please please comment. I need that phrase in my life. I want to name the problem superstitiously because I believe that once it’s well defined, it will be easier to avoid.

My biggest problem is when I don’t know what to eat. So I think what I have to do is start pre-planning, and attempting to pre-prepare my meals. I know that seems obvious to some, but I’ve really struggled with it. The reason I haven’t been able to manage it is because I tend to eat everything I make pretty quickly (especially with the help of my husband), and I’m terrible at knowing how much food I need to make. I go from thinking “this is an absurd amount of food” to “where did it all go?” Also, the fridge is a mess and packed full. I may have to deal with that before I can store any food.

I also want to start planning my life better, wasting less time. I want to seriously take up art again, because if I hadn’t given up as a teen, I would be pretty good by now.  Likewise, I want to either start again with violin, or try to learn some piano, or guitar. Obviously, I want need to go to the gym more often, and want to take up running with my hubby. We’ve been trying to do our running concurrently and around the same field, but he keeps trying to push me to do more than I’m comfortable with and more than my app tells me to do. I find this encouragement very frustrating. I know that I don’t want to push myself to the point where I give up. I want to succeed at small things and progress slowly, not keep trying to do more and more until I fail and get disheartened. I wish he could respect that a bit more, but he’s very enthusiastic.

So I’ve got a planner, and each day I will plan the next day such that I work towards my goals.