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Archive for February, 2007

No weigh-in this morning.

I stepped on the scale, which registered a new low weight. But it didn’t seem right, so I decided to check again.

Big mistake.

I stepped on the scale again. Up half a kilo.

And again. Up.

And again. Up.

Finally, when I stepped on the scale for the 5th time in 3 minutes, the reading had increased by over 2 kilo.

Gremlins have clearly taken over the scale. I’m just going to wait until they’ve moved on to other appliances before I weigh again.

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The scales stayed stable for 2 measurements this morning, so I decided it was good data and recorded it. Here are the results for February.

Looks like I lost around a kilo in February. In January, my weigh-ins were in the 334 – 336 range.

What’s on this chart?

  • The blue diamonds are the actual weight measurements
  • The pink line is a moving average, calculated over 7 days
  • The thin vertical bars at each measurement are the error bars. The top and bottom of those bars indicate what my “real” weight might actually be, given that my weight can vary +/- 2 pounds on any given day

What does this mean in geekspeak? Statistically speaking, I can’t claim that I lost any weight at all. But compared to January, I can reasonably say there’s progress.

I don’t live in a geek world, though, I just play one during the workday. So I’m going to claim a total loss to date of 33 pounds, and celebrate my weightloss this month!

Fun statistics facts:

  • The tip of a 1/3 inch long hour-hand on a wristwatch travels at 0.00000275 mph
  • A 1999 survey of 25,500 standard English-language dictionary words found that 93 percent of them have been registered as dot-coms.
  • It’s against the law in Chicago to eat in a place that is on fire.

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Whack-a-mole is a game I wished I’d known as a kid, but only learned about as a parent when attending children’s birthday parties in Washington state. Kid-themed restaurants like Chuck-E-Cheese have many different arcade games, but nothing feels better than beating the hell out of some giant plastic rodents. I particularly enjoy naming them after my frustrations, like my boss or that damned plastic bag of plastic cheese I couldn’t get open. Once you get tired and start falling behind, though, Whack-a-mole becomes its own source of frustration.

That’s where I am right now. Getting rid of compulsive binging: check. Learning what stomach hunger is: check. Learning what nicely full is: check. Starting to exercise: check. Learning about strength training: check. Start portion control: check. Blah blah blah. So many moles whacked, so many more frustrations to face. Now I face two areas: the guilt that I faced when I bought my iPod (love it, BTW) and dealing with anger.

The latest trend in weight loss is of course weight loss surgery, and the latest frustration from WLS is addiction transference. Spending tens of thousands of your (and your insurance’s) money just to put yourself on a permanent diet is bad enough, but people find that the frustrations that caused them to eat in the first place are not only still there, but are poking into their lives in other ways.

A compulsive eater might end up turning to alcohol ( a giant no-no for WLS), or find ways to eat so much high-calorie food that they never lose what they expected, or use drugs, or compulsively spend money. Anything to avoid facing the issues.

On Friday I decided I wasn’t going to avoid the issues, whatever they were. The day could easily have been filled with shopping, buying more things to avoid the guilt over buying the iPod, which could have steamrolled into a longer buying spree, but I said, “Hell, NO!” I do not want to replace compulsive eating with spending money. Sorry Land’s End, I let the feelings ride, so you’ll have to get your money from someone else. I had a nice shopping cart full of wonderfully comfortable clothes, and I sent all of those electrons right back into the ether without buying a thing.

I got through that fine. Saturday morning I walked to the bakery for us, and decided I didn’t feel like doing the grocery as well, because I wasn’t in the mood to shop any more. One more mole has been whacked.

This morning it’s about anger. For the last few days, I’ve been faced with some bad memories out of childhood, brought on by fish sticks. I hate fish sticks, because they taste nasty, and we had to eat them anyway when I was a kid, because they were cheap. I never got to avoid them, and my mother was a bad cook who burned them nearly every time. But it’s the smell that made me forbid them in my own house. The smell that lingers for days, reminding me constantly of the shit life I led as a kid.

To pile on the disgusting things, DH decided to bring home a piece of soup meat to cook into a nice vegetable soup. Little did he know that the piece of meat he brought home was the same style that made me nauseous as a kid when we’d eat vegetable soup. So he was bewildered when I not only wouldn’t go near his soup, I was also unwilling to talk about it. It wasn’t until hours later that I discovered that he didn’t include the meat in the soup, so there was no need for me to worry about eating that gristle-y nastiness. Mole not yet whacked.

This morning I decided to push a little further into hunger, waiting for lunch to eat because I’d gotten up late. The result? I discovered that I have a hunger period between about 9.30 and 10.30. When I get quite hungry, I get angry. Not peckish, not grumpy – Evil Bitch, over the top unnecessary anger that can be resolved by 50 calories. This morning I snipped at DH and threw the recycleables to the floor when they wouldn’t all fit into the bag. I finally walked away and drank a cup of tea with sugar, which killed the anger. The angry mole not yet whacked.

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Yesterday I bought myself an ipod nano. For the last 12 hours I’ve been feeling guilty about it, because it can’t be rationally justified. I just wanted it.

There is no reason not to buy it if I want it. My income and outgo fully supports this. We have no particular financial reason to not do it. But DH and I have always had a tendency to not buy things on the spur of the moment, not that this was even a spur of the moment thing. I got a free, lesser performing one about a year ago, and knew I wanted a better one. Then DD lost her MP3 player, and I wasn’t about to reward her carelessness with a new one, so she can actually have my old ipod.

But this is not about the stuff. It’s about this need to deny myself things, and not approaching these decisions rationally. In the same way I would either be binging or dieting, I’m either refusing to spend money or overanalyzing every purchase until I don’t buy many of them becuase DH and I can’t decide.

Yet I’m stuck in “should” mode, just like with eating habits. I made my decision, ordered the thing, and I now choose to enjoy it, experience the guilt, forgive myself for the guilt, and move on. Ouch. Still hurts a little, but I’m glad I recognized the issue and am making progress.

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On the one hand, I’m getting better at leaving food on my plate and adjusting my portion size for how hungry I am. But I can’t quite break through the next kilo barrier. That’s a bit frustrating. Patience is a virtue. Or a vulture, sometimes I’m not quite sure.

On the other hand, I had a teddy bear to comfort me (see pic). At least until I ate my breakfast.

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Fun link to teach us about how food portions have changed over the years.

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Goal update

I’ve been working my modified goals for about a month now, and it’s time to update them.

What I’ve monitored this session has included many more goals than just weight and portion control. Some things I’ve learned so far:

  • My work focus is ok. I’m keeping a good handle on overtime and paying good attention to work while I’m at work. Probably don’t need to continue monitoring it.
  • My hobbies are quite monotone. I come home in the evenings and spend a lot of time watching movies, even when I do it without the constant binging I used to do. I would prefer to engage my varied interests more.
  • My chores have improved since I tracked them. I’ll continue to track chores.
  • My water intake dropped rapidly since I stopped logging on Sparkpeople. SP just had too much overhead with food intake, etc.
  • My exercise stayed steady, but I would still prefer to do more.
  • I wasn’t giving myself enough encouragement for my walking while shopping. I do a lot of that, even though I don’t buy a lot of things.
  • I finally adapted to weigh-ins about 2x per week, and it’s more satisfying than weigh ins every day. I’ll keep to that.
  • I had many more successful experiences with stomach hunger and reducing portion size this month. Maybe I’ll track that next.
  • I’m keeping up with core exercises ok, but I would prefer to be stronger

In summary, I think I’ll adapt my goal tracking to the following:

  • Back to Sparkpeople, with the intent to really track food as well as water. Also get my shopping walking better tracked.
  • Will track portion size and stomach hunger experiences in my spreadsheet
  • Will continue to track chores, activities and self-care in my spreadsheet

I drank a ton of water yesterday. After two big meals on Tuesday and Wednesday, it felt good to rev up my bio-reactor by using water to help move that food through my system.

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