Changing Gears

I’m starting to mourn how much of my life has been spent on the quest for thinness. When I die, they can put on my grave “finally lost the weight”. Very sad. And I’m not even there yet, I’m 1-4 pounds overweight, depending on the day. I’m calling it close enough, I’m tired of fighting this battle, tired of dedicating so much mental energy to it. Tired tired tired.

Anyway, to celebrate almost losing the weight, I quit smoking (again). It’s been almost a week, and as always, it’s kind of sucked. The first few days, I go to the woods, where it’s quiet, I don’t have to be around anyone, there’s no ciggies, and I walk for hours. I saw a bobcat, wasn’t quick enough to get a shot of his face, but got a good look, an okay picture. I manipulate caffeine, weed, and exercise in hopes of not crawling out of my skin, being able to sleep at night. I sleep about 3-4 hours/night, and this gets old very fast. I exercise as much as I can, without endangering my ability to do this the next day. Even on low caffeine, I am restless, hyper, uncomfortable.

Anyway, I’m about over it now. Sleeping 5-6 hours every night, hopefully this won’t go on much longer. I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that I quit when I lost enough weight, even if I maintain now, I’d be okay. Not thrilled, but okay. I recognize that some of the indulgences that I allowed myself, as an active smoker, now need to be cut back. I’ve heard that nicotine ups your metabolism about 10%, so that’s 200 calories or so that I no longer have as wiggle room.

One of my favorite meals, that I used to eat very often when fat, and still eat too often, is egg/bacon/cheese on a bagel. I seem to remember last time when I regained weight quickly, I would often be eating these almost every day, usually on a croissant. Now it’s just Saturday mornings, because I go three hours to the gym (step, strength training, yoga), and also when I stay at a friend’s place, so that’s already almost 2x/week. This last week, because I cut myself a break out of convenience and bad nerves, I’ve eaten it around 4 times. On Saturdays, if I eat cream cheese on a bagel instead, I’m violently hungry by the time I’m 2/3 through the gym, though that was when I was a smoker, I’m going to try it again. Because of the timing with my farmers market, I always shop first, then quick food/coffee at a cafe, then go to the gym, and it’s very hectic and I like to be able to eat enough to make it through. It really does seem like I eat some very heavy food. The last friend who commented on my fat bastard breakfast when we were going hiking, had just cream cheese and tomato on her bagel, but then she stopped for a donut (!!!!!) along the way there. I’m not going to begrudge anyone their donut, but don’t act like you’re Ms. Holier-than-thou Healthy Eater. I know this trick, my mom is the queen. No mom, though it’s true that you don’t eat fat and sugar with your meal, but those three ice cream sandwiches before bed do count too.

So onto an alternative, which may end up being the same thing without bacon, or smoked fish, or who knows. At home, once or twice a week, I make a one-egg, one bacon, mushroom, greens, and cheese omelette on a piece of 9-grain toast. I just bought humanely raised naturally cured bacon, made in small batches, given a massage with happy ending daily. OK, sorry, I’m sort of out of my mind here, vicious mood due to no sleep. Consider yourselves lucky I haven’t visited your blogs much recently.

I’ve really tightened up on food in other ways in the last week. Because I will be much happier with quitting smoking if I don’t gain weight, even happier if I lose it, I’ve been only eating when hungry, except for breakfast. Difficult, because both my appetite and metabolism are sluggish, and if I eat said bagel at 8 am, it will be 3 pm before I start wondering if maybe I’m hungry. Or maybe I should eat anyway, though I can’t tell. I have mixed feelings about this, as a dieter, it seems crazy to make myself eat if I’m not even sure if I’m hungry, but it seems risky and stupid not to, since I don’t want to risk bingeing, and want to stay as stable and sane as possible. In the end, I think the most reasonable thing to do is to eat smaller, lighter meals, and while not forcing myself to eat on schedule, I’m trying to eat close to what I’m used to, at reasonable times. Eating is anything but intuitive right now, but I’m going to continue to eat anyway. If the idea of eating really grosses me out, I don’t force it, but if it’s been many hours, and I “should” be hungry, then I eat, at least a little.

And while I’m bitching anyway, how about a big “fuck you” to 24-hour fitness, for shortchanging the equipment in the Group-X rooms of the two Oakland gyms. I’ve been in crowded classes in their San Francisco (lighter, wealthier) gyms that will run out, but 90% of people will have enough. These two gyms are truly lacking, even in the basics. I hate this gym, I wish it wasn’t so cheap and I could afford a real gym.


9 Responses to “Changing Gears”

  1. January 18, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I hear ya on the 24 hour fitness gyms. I go to one myself. Would be nice if they had a bench press lol.

  2. January 18, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Julie, I wish you the best on stopping smoking. It sounds like your retreat is helping you get past the first few tough days.

    Great shot of the bobcat too. I am surprised he/she was so close during the day.

  3. January 18, 2010 at 7:06 am

    it is really hard to work on a lot of things at once. limiting what you eat and not smoking would make anyone miserable — at least for a while.

    when i gave up drugs and alcohol it SUCKED and i was cranky and, well, miserable. i worried about gaining weight a lot. with the drugs, weight gain was almost inevitable. later, with alcohol, lots of people said i’d miss sugar and i should substitute things like ice cream cones.

    i didn’t gain weight, though, when i stopped drinking because i made the choice you write about — i’d be happier without alcohol if i didn’t have extra pounds too. so, i made healthy choices and felt pretty good.

    some days i hate all this work. i can’t drink, i need anti-depressants, my ED still has a voice….

    and some days are better. one day at a time.

  4. 4 Becky
    January 18, 2010 at 9:15 am

    My mother (aged 71) once told me that she wished she had not spent so much time thinking about her weight. She has always been on a “diet” her entire life, with days of “good” eating, and days of “being bad.” This past year, I have dropped 45-50 lbs (and am in the middle of “normal” BMI) for probably the 4th time in my life. I have gone back in my journal into a couple of years ago, when each entry was about how unhappy I am that I haven’t been able to get control of myself. Now, I spend a good deal of time thinking about maintaining and making sure that I continue with my healthy lifestyle. I do think that this will get a bit more routine as time goes on. That said, even if I continue to spend a lot of time thinking about these issues, I would rather do it in the way I am doing now, rather than disliking myself for being fat and unable to get a handle on weight loss/maintenance. So, I can understand wanting to take a break, but I am not sure that it’s really possible for me to do that w/o also risking getting off track. Good luck to you!

  5. January 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Wow, you have so much going on right now! No wonder, you’re not sleeping so well.

    Fwiw, three hours at the gym is more than enough to compensate for the weekend splurge. Not so sure about the mid-week. 🙂 I used to eat bacon/cheese biscuits every morning. I told myself I’d still have one “every now and then”, but in almost three years, I haven’t had a single one. I think I’m fearful of falling into the same “mid-week, too” pattern.

  6. January 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Photos are beautiful. Good luck with the no smoking – you’ll be so happy when you’ve finally gotten it out of your system. I totally understand how you feel about “weight”. I too am tired of dealing with it, thinking about it, dieting, blah, blah, blah. One day I’ll hopefully get over this problem.

  7. January 19, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I’m kind of there, actually. Not with the almost-at-weight-loss-goal part, but at the “I’m-spending-too-much-of-my-life-obssessing-about-this” part.

    Also, you are totally allowed to be cranky when giving up cigarettes. ENCOURAGED to be cranky, even.

    And that bacon, egg and cheese thingy is one of my favorite things to eat. I sometimes swap it out this way: Alternative Bagel, Egg Beaters, Veggie Cheese (ok, that has chemicals, but it’s tasty) and either turkey bacon strips on top or real bacon bits mixed into the Egg Beaters. My downfall on those damn things is that I want mayo on them, though. (Yeah, most people think that’s weird. Not sure where I got it.) But that swap (without the mayo, obvs.) has a fair amount of fiber and not too many calories.

    And didn’t I just say I spend too much time thinking about this? GAH. It’s hard NOT to think about it at this point.

  8. January 20, 2010 at 10:03 am


    Do what you feel is right, Julie. Only you know what’s best!

  9. January 22, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Not to burst your bubble, but sizes, they do keep-a-changing. Back in the late 80s, I was thinner than I am now and wore a size 10 and a medium in everything. I didn’t have to try on anything because i knew that it would fit. Not today. I can range from a 4-8 depending on the style, brand, etc. Go out and buy something that really looks good on you and that you feel good in and damn the size. Truly!! Now about shoes. My feet always stayed the same size no matter if I was 10 lbs up or 40 lbs up. However, after my first kid, I went from a 7 to a 7 1/2 and now after number 2, I wear an 8. Weird…

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