melaniesuzanne: (Default)
[ profile] reedrover shared the link which discussed the fallacies of prescribed weight loss and included a link to a blog post by Dances With Fat who provided links to various studies showing how weight loss programs don't work.

A problem I've discovered with a lot of commercial weight loss programs is that they promote food restriction but don't factor in activity. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig give lip service to exercise -- usually somewhere around week four of the program -- but they're assuming that the participant is fairly sedentary. I suppose that for the majority of cases, this is true. However, those of us who are active wind up at a caloric deficiency and screw up our metabolisms by keeping our bodies in constant starvation mode. In my last few months with Jenny Craig, which was also the time when I started bike commuting, I was supposed to be taking in 1200 calories a day while I burned somewhere between 200 and 400. It was disheartening to feel weak and starving and not losing any weight while I was doing everything "right" within the plan. A few months after I quit paying $600 month for food and counseling, I gained back 15 of the 42 pounds I'd lost but I didn't change clothing size. (And no, this isn't a function of vanity sizing; I continued wearing my "skinny" clothes.) My doctor fussed at me about the weight gain, but when I pointed out that my measurements hadn't increased, she stopped harping and grudgingly agreed that I'd gained muscle weight.

Nearly a year later, I've kept off the 10% of my starting weight. My BMI is four points lower than it was in August 2010. I am still obese and would need to drop another 50 pounds to hit the topmost point of the "overweight" category. I'd need to drop 60 pounds to qualify as a "premium" member for my life insurance company. Sure, I want to weight less and fit a more conventional mold but I know that my frame won't ever allow me to fall into the lithe category.

What I am focused on instead can't be measured on a scale or a chart. I am working to improve my strength and my endurance. I can ride with ease the hills upon which I used to walk my bike. I may huff and puff when carrying a full laundry basket up two flights of stairs, but I can jog unencumbered up those two flights without breathing heavy. I want to run at least a block, though, and build up my core so that I can ride farther without discomfort or bonking. I also want to build up strength to deflect the osteoporosis that runs rampant in my family.

Long story, short: No more food restriction (this does not I will go nuts and eat everything in front of me all of the time, but it does mean eating mindfully) and continued activity for me. It'll do my body good.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Phase one of braces installation was pretty traumatic to be perfectly honest. The spacers the orthodontist inserted around my six year molars on Friday did not successfully create enough space around those four teeth to allow for easy insertion of the anchor bands. He and the assistant managed to get two bands on, but they weren't sitting straight and the other two teeth were simply too close to their neighbor teeth to get the bands on. They gave me a couple of breathers during this phase so I could catch my breath, let my heart rate return to normal, and stop squirming in pain.

The ortho decided to remove the ill-fitting bands and insert new spacers around my molars and he'll put the bands on in a few weeks. The assistant was able to apply the ceramic brackets to the rest of my teeth and snap the wires in to connect all the brackets. That phase was blessedly pain free and I nearly dozed off a few times despite the retractor and tongue stick keeping my mouth parts in the correct position.

I felt really good when I left the office thanks to the adrenaline/endorphin high from phase one of the process. I did a little shopping on the way home and even logged back on to my work computer to try and catch up on my portion of data gathering for our budget plan.

Just before 4pm, I changed into bike clothes and took off for the Worldgate Center in Herndon for what I thought would be my last Jenny Craig consultation. I'd mapped out the route and it was only four miles. Less than the ride to work! I could totally do that. I didn't count on the 90 degrees and high humidity, though. Oof. But I made it, in less than record time, and impressed the heck out of my consultant. I also called Hubbyfink and asked him to please come rescue me because I wasn't up to the ride back home.

The consultation was good. She understood my desire to no longer purchase the food and stated that there's no magic fairy dust in the food. Making my own food choices and planning my own meals was the goal of the program anyway; I just decided to go there faster than we normally would have. And since I dropped 3.5 pounds in the past week when I haven't lost any weight since early May shows that I'm doing something right. She also explained that I've already paid for a year of consultation and she wanted me to continue to come in and talk about how things are going with my weight and health. I agreed to do that, especially since she wasn't going to push the food angle.

Back to the braces. Today, I'm not so happy with my decision. The insides of my mouth hurt and my teeth are tender. I have to figure out a new way to smile since the brackets are pushing my lips out and everything feels weird. I've sent my mom a photo, but I'm really not comfortable with having my picture taken right now. I feel so ugly. I keep reminding myself that in less than two years, and just before my 40th birthday, I will have perfect teeth to go with my new and improved figure. It will all be worth it. Boy, could I be any more pollyanna?
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
This picture tickles me greatly. It's a photo from the 1920s of the intersection of Smiths Switch Road and W&OD railroad. This is the place where I leave the trail and ride surface streets to get to work and where Hubbyfink occasionally meets me to ride home together. That intersection looks very different today, of course. :)

I am snaggle-toothed. The oral surgeon removed the molar next to my lower right canine today. The extraction itself was quick and relatively painless, aside from the three humongoid shots of novocaine, and I stopped drooling on myself a couple of hours later. I have forbidden cameras in my presence until after the braces are applied. There are enough people who think I'm a redneck -- the comment I made during today's staff meeting about saving money by coating a pair of pliers in Tool-Dip and having Hubbyfink yank the tooth didn't alleviate that impression -- that I do not need photographic evidence floating about on the intarwebs.

I've typed all that to say that the place where my tooth used to be hurts. Boo hoo. Okay, so that's not much of a histrionic, but I liked the alliteration for the post title.

In other news, my primary care physician was beyond pleased to see how much weight I'd lost. I saw her as a follow-up to the bike accident and because I still have occasional dizzy spells. She tested my reflexes and balance and assured me that I was fine and was still healing from the concussion. I figured as much since the spells have become fewer and much, much shorter over the past couple of weeks.

Jenny Consultant called tonight to remind me of tomorrow's appointment. I'd forgotten that we'd scheduled through the end of June. I told her why I've decided to quit and she understood the money issue. She would still like for me to come in tomorrow so we can go over how maintenance works since I've already paid for that part of the program. I'm game and will go tomorrow afternoon. I am happy to report that in the five days I've been "doing my own thing" and tracking calories in and out, I've lost a pound. My average net calories is just above 1400 per day. On the days I bike to work, my gross intake is nearly 2000 kcal because I'm expending about 600 kcal on the commute. I find myself in the bizarre (for me) position of trying to eat enough since the staples of my diet are fairly low-cal.

Fascinating stuff, nutrition. I still need to figure out a good source of snacky protein to prepare my body for the evening rides home. [ profile] belfebe, expect an email from me this week. :)
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
The abrasions on my elbows are nearly gone and the only remaining soreness is on the right side of my jaw. I guess my bike helmet straps pulled my jaw a bit. I have a new helmet and Hubbyfink is checking the local bike shops for a replacement wheel. Provided all goes as planned, I'll be on my bike Sunday and commuting by bike on Monday. I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Enjoyed a fun choir practice last night. Two newcomers to the SCA joined our ranks as a bass and alto. Yay, another alto! They got tossed into the deep end of the pool, musically speaking, but were able to tread along and not get scared off.

My weight loss has stagnated again, but considering the lack of exercise this weekend and the comfort food ingested, I'm going to count maintaining as a win. My consultant is pretty brilliant at finding ideas to motivate me. I have to motivate myself as well. I feel awesome now and look pretty good, too. It's hard to see beyond what's happening now to think that I could feel and look even better.

I'm getting pretty excited about Pennsic. I haven't looked at the class listing yet so I can make my carefully color coded schedule which will be ignored during the event. I plan on working at Troll most of the time and relaxing the other part of the time. I'm looking forward to hanging out with my friends. I'm not going to say that I hope it's not too hot or too wet because it will be regardless. I need to take in some dresses and smocks so I have something to wear.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I think I may have finally broken through my self-inflicted weight loss plateau. I'm not entirely sure what helped, aside from not eating out AT ALL this past week, but I shed 2.5 pounds and am at an all time low for this century. I am so close to my revised halfway point that I can almost smell it!

In other news, running isn't going so well. I can walk faster than I can run for any length of time and it is frustrating me. Yesterday was especially bad. My shins, calves, and sides constantly fussed at me as I'd run for a bit and stumble back into a walk. I was a complete mess and physically wiped out when I got home. It was bad. I am happy to report that I did not let poor performance send me into a depressive or self-abusing spiral. I took gentle care and promised myself that the next outing will feature walking only. Hubbyfink and I have been spending so much time walking-jogging-running together in training for the 5k that I haven't done any long walks in a while. I love jogging with the 'fink but I miss my long, centering walks. I'm going to hit the trail this weekend for a five-miler at the very least.

In other, other news, I got a clean bill of dental health from the hygienist and dentist this morning. I asked if the dentist could fix my jumbled up bottom teeth and he referred me to an orthodontist two floors above his office. I have an appointment for next Friday with the orthodontist. I hope this can be fixed with a retainer or something like that. I'd rather not go through braces again. Plus, I need to schedule Margie's dental cleaning. Oof. May will be the month of dentist bills.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
My weight loss has been fairly stagnant for the past month and has been very slow since the beginning of December. I've been trudging on with occasional frequent lapses of good judgment and discipline. I've been adding lots of snacks to combat cravings and eating way more calories in stuff I didn't really want when I should have just eaten the damn cookie cheese dip and then gotten back on path. I've also been second-guessing myself a lot. There are countless studies out there saying that the majority of people who lose weight are going to put it right back on plus more and those people would have been better off not going through a weight loss in the first place because of the wear and tear the down and up put on the body. Of course there are studies saying that if one is obese, one is going to drop dead of anything from diabetes to heart attack to snail fever* at any moment.

This got longer than expected. )
melaniesuzanne: (SnoopyDance by peaces_icons)
Another good weigh-in today despite some significant binging on Saturday: Smart Ones Ice Cream Candy Bars are SO YUMMY but I really shouldn't eat a whole box of them in one day! Another trigger food found, hooray. Thankfully, all the walking and healthful eating and water drinking paid off and I've dropped into another weight "decade". I'm a mere three tiny pounds away from forty pounds lost and only eleven pounds away from the halfway point. I am beyond ecstatic, believe you me.

Gotta hold onto that ecstatic feeling as I have back to back to back concalls this evening. Good times.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I'm no fan of Daylight Saving Time but it was awfully nice to be able to walk my neighborhood loop after work and well before the sun went down. I was showered and in my jammies before full dark, even. That was nice, if a bit odd. I spent the rest of the evening organizing my cosmetics, cleaning my make-up brushes, and yelling at Shangela on "RuPaul's Drag Race". That smirk of hers drives me up the freaking wall.

In fashion and body modification news, I am officially in size 16 slacks. Apparently, my jeans are a little more forgiving because I've been wearing 16 jeans since January, I think. But I donned a pair of 18 slacks this morning and they were WAY too baggy. Slipped on the 16 slacks and they fit like a glove. Bam! I'm so grateful to have had my consultant with me through the depth of winter when I felt like giving up again and again. I'm so happy and proud of myself. I still have a long way to go, but I can definitely see how far (four pants sizes!) I've come.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I've been struggling with food choices for a couple of weeks. I started getting bored with JennyCuisine and went off the rails several times. Part of it was being ravenous from working out so hard, part of it was PMS, part of it was self-destructive stubbornness. I was up 1.25 pounds for the weigh in on the 17th. I spiraled from there and went on lots of binges. My water intake has been steady and my fitness level has been good, so I'm not flailing about on all sides, thankfully.

Flash forward to yesterday's weigh in. I was all set to hit a fast food joint afterward and continue the self-destruction when I saw that my weight had continued to rise. But, I lost the 1.25 pounds I'd put on. I boggled at my consultant and told her what I'd done. She gave me some suggestions for quelling my post-workout starvation with additional protein from egg whites. She allayed my concerns about some of the other issues I've been going through and I left my consultation with a completely changed attitude. I was 100% on program yesterday and I'm 100% on program today. I've got some ideas for shaking up my food rut by adding new "free" and "limited free" foods to my diet. I am going to break through to the next "decade" of weight by the time my mom visits in three and a half weeks.

I'm such a pollyanna. Now that I'm on the far side of that trough, I can see the lesson I need to take away. I'm struggling to learn not to have an effed up relationship with food. The important thing is that I'm learning.

OH! And I forgot to add the exciting things I learned this morning. The slacks I pulled out to wear today were roomy. Hmm. I pulled out a pair of slacks the next size down and they fit! Plus, the cute Spring trench coat I bought earlier this month that wouldn't close but I bought it anyway because I would shrink into it? It buttons. It buttons tightly, but it buttons. I wore it to work today. Yeah, the program works if you stick to it. I can be such a knucklehead. :)
melaniesuzanne: (measure by measure)
I have been on the Jenny Craig program for twenty-five weeks. In that time, I have lost 31.5 pounds and 19 inches. I'm the smallest I've been since Hubbyfink and I have been together. I have energy and good health and a waist. I'm so happy. I'm also only 16.5 pounds* away from the halfway point of my weight loss journey.

A few extra details. )
I am psyched and pumped and so incredibly motivated.

*D'oh! I miscounted on my facebook brag post.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Work is cuh-razy busy this week and I've been pulling some long hours. I'm quite fried, truth be told, and am going to stay home this weekend and decompress. I cannot wait for Friday night. Srsly.

While noodling through a friend's LJ, I found a link about extinction bursts (i.e., "Any time you quit something cold turkey, your brain will make a last-ditch effort to return you to your habit." - from the article). I now understand that my food cravings and unfortunate subsequent binges are internal tantrums that I'm rewarding. I've been sitting here thinking about walking up to the campus shop to buy a candy bar and chips because, gosh darn it, I want chocolate and salt and comfort today. I'm not even hungry. In fact, I'm actually quite full from lunch and I would feel miserable if I crammed a king-size candy bar (that's the only size the shop carries) and a bag of chips down my gullet. My emotions are stamping their tiny little feet. But I am a mean mommy and I am not going to give in to a tantrum.

I don't think I'm going to give in.

No! I am not giving in. I've shrunk out of a pants size and a bra size. I am not going to bobble between old and new sizes. Shut up, extinction burst, I'm not listening. Lalalalalalala.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
It's been a week of hard work, mindful eating, and healthful choices and it has paid off. I gained four pounds between Christmas and Epiphany and I lost over three pounds this past week.

*Kermit flail*

My small goal is to hit thirty pounds lost by the end of January. I am 3.2 pounds away from that goal. Totally doable.



Dec. 2nd, 2010 11:09 am
melaniesuzanne: (SnoopyDance by peaces_icons)
I'm bragging all over the place because I dropped TWO AND A HALF POUNDS over the past week (which included Thanksgiving). I am ecstatic. I am so very proud of myself. I am down a total of 25 pounds since August 20. I am down two pant sizes. I am jogging and occasionally running. I am a quarter of the way to my goal.

I am succeeding.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
The days are racing past and I'm trying to keep up. I've been spending a lot of time in my own head -- what else is new? --and continuing to focus on self-improvement. I feel like I post the same thing over and over again: excited about basement remodel, doing well with the walking, started strength-training, continuing to eat nutritious and balanced meals, continuing to lose weight and inches. That's what I'm focusing on now. And aside from the basement remodel, all of the above takes a fair amount of my attention. The basement remodel doesn't take much attention because it hasn't started yet.

I think about food all the freaking time. I feel daunted by the goal I've set before me. My consultant is a great cheerleader and reality checker. While she was never as heavy as I am, she was a larger person before she used this program and she understands the pitfalls that lie along the journey. I'm so grateful for her and for my other friends being supportive and cheering me on. When I feel pouty that I can't won't gorge on sugary or salty snacks, I remember all the people who are inspired by what I'm doing and who are rooting for me to reach -- and maintain -- my goal.

Marianne, my consultant, gave me a sobering thought this morning. She told me about a client who reached her goal weight a few years ago. This woman still comes in for occasional maintenance meetings and told Marianne that she mourns her "old life" where she could pig out on anything. I think about that a lot because I know that this has to be life change in order for my goal to stick. I can't get to my goal and then go back to old habits. The whole endeavor would be pointless. And there's a tiny part of me that misses going to Pablo's any time I want. On the other hand, the rest of me realizes that dining out should be a treat, not the norm. And the last time I dined at Pablo's (two Fridays ago), I ate moderately and did not leave the restaurant wanting to die because I'd ingested WAY too much food. The mental shift is happening and it's working. I can lead a so-called normal life and be the size and shape I want to be.


Oct. 28th, 2010 10:40 am
melaniesuzanne: (SnoopyDance by peaces_icons)
It's been ten weeks since I called Jenny. I'm down twenty pounds and eleven-and-a-half inches. I am beside myself (hi, self!) with joy. Twenty-eight more pounds to the halfway mark and seventy-six more pounds to goal. Goooooooooooooooooal.

I packed up two Target bags of blouses, dresses, and slacks which no longer fit and left them in the donation box at the Jenny storefront. Such a good feeling. I have a humongous bag of casual clothes which are headed to Goodwill. My closet is looking pretty darn tidy right now; thankfully, I have more than enough clothes which fit comfortably for the time being.

In other news, I don't really want queso and a margarita tonight. I want to keep on keeping on. Maybe I'll treat myself to some kettle corn at Markoff's this weekend instead.


Oct. 14th, 2010 12:06 pm
melaniesuzanne: (Halloween: cookies by randomicons)
I am so proud of myself. I worked HARD during my vacation keeping close to my Jenny Plan and working out daily. It paid off: I lost four pounds over the past two weeks. RAWR! I was so energized by the news that I packed my gym bag when I got home to transfer Jennyfood to the freezer. I am hitting the treadmill after work, yessiree.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
It's been a whirlwind of a day. Weigh-in, blood draw, post office, recycling center, and podiatrist all before 10:30am. The weigh-in was surprisingly good despite my binging on spoonfuls of peanut butter this past week. Eleven pounds in five weeks? Hells to the yeah! Plus? I am six inches smaller. HALF A FOOT, PEOPLE. As the Kool-Aid Man would say, "Oh YEAH!" The blood draw was quick and fairly painless. Good phlebotomist, you get a cookie. My GP will have all my numbers ready for my yearly check-up next month. The podiatrist gave me some bad news: I have plantar fasciitis and a heel spur. My left foot is taped up (the tape around my ankle is driving me INSANE) and I have to sleep in a splint. I need to call my insurance to see if they'll cover custom orthotics, joy and rapture. It could be worse, I suppose. This is going to make walking on the beach in a week and a half interesting.

In BPAL news, yesterday was like BPAL Christmas. I received packages from two decant circles: Dawn scents and Halloweenies. Sadly, those multi-hued imps of precious oils must remain spread out on the dining table until my body chemistry is back in whack next week. It took me a few hours to figure out why my beloved Coconut + Hibiscus shower gel topped with Tiki Queen oil REEKS today. Stupid chemistry.

Let's see, what else? Oh! Hubbyfink has been tending to our bikes. I cannot wait to pull mine out and hit the trail this weekend when the weather behaves like it should. Tomorrow, we're supposed to break the record high of 94F. Loverly.
melaniesuzanne: (SnoopyDance by peaces_icons)
So. Yesterday was hard. Actually, most of this past week has been hard. I've been on an emotional roller coaster and feeling like I was floundering along. Yesterday, I was so low, I wanted lots of fried chicken and doughnuts. That would make me happy and fill the empty hole inside. I even whined to Hubbyfink when I got home that I wanted fried chicken and a doughnut. And then I trudged upstairs and donned my workout clothes. I sweated through a grueling twenty minutes of lunges and "volleyball" and curls and jogging in place. My chicken fettuccine was good, but it was no fried chicken. The cheesecake was good, but it was no doughnut.

I weighed in this morning and learned that I have lost nine pounds in the past three weeks. You know, I don't want that fried chicken or the doughnut quite so much anymore.
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I've been making some minor lifestyle and health changes over the past couple of months. It all started with my facial during the Memphis vacation which caused me to change my skincare regimen. I'm still getting hormonal breakouts (bah!), but my skin hasn't looked this good in years.

Almost two weeks ago I called Jenny Craig and have changed my diet for the better. Good gracious, I haven't eaten this many vegetables... ever. I feel energetic and rarely have the post-lunch drowsies or need an afternoon nap. Actually, now that I think about it, I haven't felt drowsy in the afternoon for over a week. Must be all the good food. I'm not ready to dine out yet, but I'll be in my groove by the time Ravenstreet Beach Week happens in October.

Last night I added exercise to the routine and sweated and groaned through a twenty-minute, low-impact Wii Active workout: the 30-Day Challenge, for those playing along at home. OMG. I was dappled with sweat by minute four and sweat was pouring off me by minute ten. Hubbyfink kept telling me I didn't have to do the whole workout, but my stubbornness kicked in and I kept on (with quick breaks for gulps of water in between exercises). It wasn't that much different from a workout video, except I was watching my animated avatar mimic my moves while I mimicked the moves of the trainer in a window at the bottom right of the screen. At the end of the workout, my legs were quivering and I was gulping air. It took a lot of willpower to climb up the stairs -- crying "ow!" every time I used my left thigh muscles -- for the post work-out shower. Legs are still wobbly today, but I feel great!

W2 D4

Aug. 30th, 2010 11:53 am
melaniesuzanne: (Default)
I "survived" Courtney's Slumber Party last night. Ate lunch fairly late, loaded up on water, noshed on fruits and veggies only, and sat myself as far away from the snack table as possible. Easy peasy. I was happy to talk with her and others about the Jenny Craig system. She has all sorts of tips and tricks which I'm not quite ready to use since I'm only on week two, but they'll be valuable in a month or so. I was also surprised to learn that she'd lost all her weight in nine months. WOW. She stressed that she worked HARD and exercised every day. I can totally do that. My current goal is to lose 66 pounds, but I really want to lose 100. That is totally doable.


melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

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