It ain’t been easy!

Just some clarifications, I didn’t want it to seem from my last post that I just started eating smaller meals and going to the gym and the weight melted away.  It didn’t go down like that.  This is my second time losing the weight.  The first time I did some unfun emotional work, learned to tolerate discomfort without eating.  Most of this I learned to do from a study I participated in in ’97, I think, and it really took me that long to get to it.

And then I dieted and exercised a whole bunch.  And then I got distracted, and didn’t exercise very much.  And I started reverting to my old eating habits.  When I started the study, I was at 213.  When I moved in with the boyfriend, I was 150.  When I started back down about 1.5 years ago, I was back up to 199.  I realized that I had no idea how to eat like a normal person, I had either always been dieting or been eating because things tasted good, or to soothe bad feelings, if not outright bingeing.   Never for health or sanity.  It was disturbing, and sad, but true.   So I started to watch how people ate, especially people who had tendencies to put on weight if they didn’t actively prevent it.

And it seemed that they exercised, and indulged moderately, didn’t restrict to the point of not being able to enjoy their food, and certainly didn’t eat with reckless abandon, like me.  Obviously, there are thin people who eat everything and anything, and there are not-naturally thin people who are on strange diets/exercise regimes, but I didn’t want to be neurotic anymore, so from them only learned what NOT to do.

So weight loss #1- stopping emotional eating, weight loss #2 – learning intuitive/mindful eating.

Whether because my metabolism is not so great, or I’m too old, or just bad eating habits, getting rid of the emotional component stabilized my weight, but to lose, I had to change my whole way of eating/drinking to get the weight to come off.

I think in the case of my two male friends who don’t eat emotionally, I think for one thing, they never had great eating habits, and life changes as you get older.  While the one may play soccer a few times a week, same official exercise he’s been doing for a long time, he also now lives on top of a huge hill, instead of  in his downtown.  Which means that instead of setting off on his bike or walking a few times a day, he’s now completely dependent on his car.  He thinks I’m quite strange because I eat fruit at all times of day, not just for breakfast.  I think he’s stranger because he doesn’t.  Plus, even if your lifestyle doesn’t change, your body seems to want to put on fat as you age.  For some, it really is about eating less and moving more, though I don’t think it’s ever that simple.  I can’t pretend to understand how various food/exercise things affect hormones or body partitioning, or if it really even does.

I catch myself thinking diety thoughts, and don’t like it.  Today I was feeling neurotic about going to farmers market, gym, brunch-should I just bike downtown, skip the gym, hit the market on the way down (too late afterwards) or go to market, gym, brunch,  or gym, market, brunch.  I decided to go to market, gym, brunch, and my gym class was cancelled, there was a note on the door.  I had made myself eat breakfast that I didn’t want so I could work out at 10 am, and now I was supposed to go to brunch in a little over an hour, and I wasn’t going to be able to work up an appetite for it.   I could use up the time by going somewhere for a nice walk, or procrastinating at a different farmers market, or drop the car at home and get my bike.  I went and put away groceries, got my bike, but I’m still feeling ripped off about my workout.

OK, rambling on, since I wasn’t hungry at brunch, I figured I should eat something “healthy”, though I didn’t really feel like it.  I ordered a veggie frittata with both brussel sprouts and artichoke hearts and a side salad, instead of a homemade biscuit with bacon/egg/cheese and a side salad.  I’m not eating a big dinner, and I PLANNED for this.  I didn’t like it (what a surprise), and I didn’t feel like I got my indulgence that I’d been looking forward to for a few days.  I don’t have to eat veggies at restaurants, I have plenty at home.  So I ordered some fries, and didn’t like them too much either.   This is more neurotic than I usually allow myself to be, and I need to be very wary of this voice that tells me to not eat what I want to eat.  I KNOW better.

This morning the scale said 150.5.  My original goal was 150, but I abandoned it a few months ago for <148.  It’s getting close, I need to be careful of my thinking if I want to get there.

Here’s a good article about the complicated relationship of overweight BMI (25-29.9) to health, mortality.

It’s getting much colder than I like here.  I have to go volunteer at a bike party, and I think it’s going to rain, so I don’t wanna take the bike.  That leaves driving ( 20 minutes with no traffic, maybe 35 at this hour) or walking to Bart, riding Bart, walking 1+ ugly miles through industrial car-exhausty, homelessy, brutally cold SF.  1.5 hours?  And then doing it again on the way back.  How rude is it to drive to a bike party?  It’s not like anyone would notice.  I’ll have to see how cold it is, how bad traffic is.

9 Responses to “It ain’t been easy!”

  1. December 7, 2009 at 5:39 am

    I’m not feeling wordy today, so I’ll just say: great, real, honest post! I like it!

  2. December 7, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I read, heard and totally understood everything you shared. Eating healthy is really the only way to deal with weight issues and mindful eating is the only way to deal with the emotional issues that we have with food. Exercise is the bonus to help us feel better and look better. Alas, if it was only as easy as I just wrote. Some days and/or weeks are good, and when I stay focused on my goal of eating healthy, low calorie and exercising, life is good. Why is it so hard to continue the weeks into months? If I feel so good being “good”, why can’t that stick????? Good luck reaching your goal and may 2010 be a healthy and happy year for you.

  3. December 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Oh, I have those same internal neurotic conversations in my head. I’m still working on shutting them up. *sigh* But yeah, as I’ve gotten more attentive about my eating, it’s been interesting to see when and why I eat (aside from hunger). Sometimes I don’t think it’s a bad thing – an occasional glass of eggnog at Christmas never killed anyone – but other times, not so much (a bad day at work should not be license to drink a bottle of wine – or eat a pan of brownies, for that matter). There just seems to be a lot of unconscious stuff that we (I) have to learn to be conscious of. And yet, other people just seem to ALREADY be conscious of it – how do they do that?

    (Also, since when did fruit become a breakfast food? I eat fruit in the afternoon sometimes, when I want something sweet. It’s better for me than a frothy Starbucks drink! ;D)

  4. December 8, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote this because it really expresses some good points. Great post!

  5. December 13, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Thanks for the compliments!

  6. December 14, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve totally ridden a bike to a party before 🙂

    And really great thoughts on all of this… it never is easy, is it?!

  7. December 16, 2009 at 8:57 am

    So interesting to hear all the difficult emotional work you’re doing “behind the scenes” to stay on track. And hope you had fun at the bike party, however you got there!

  8. December 17, 2009 at 9:12 am

    No Julie, it’s not easy! I wish it was. When I’m slugging out those 50 miles a week, or passing on the Christmas cookies, or pushing through the pain of any other part of my exercise, it’s hard! But as my buddy Roy says when people he works with ask id it’s going to get easy, he say, “No, it will never be easy, but the rewards are worth it!” I believe that they are, both in what I have gotten from being healthy, and from seeing what has happened to my friends who didn’t take care of themselves. Good luck, Buddy!

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December 2009

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