Monday, March 9, 2015

Facing Facts, Biting the Bullet, Mustering My Wits — Whatever, I Hate It, But It's Time

Hello, my friends, and welcome back to my weight-loss blog.

What's that? You didn't realize this was a weight-loss blog? Especially since, you know, there's been no actual loss in, like, years?

Yeah. You and me both.

Arthritis demolished my knees, Tamoxifen brought a handful of extra pounds, and grief and a looooong winter wore away at my remaining resolve. I had a brief fling with tai chi, thinking it would be the answer . . . but, no. Not for me. In the face of nonstop pain and failure, frankly, I just gave up.

I have now gained back almost all of the 40 pounds I lost since I started this blog.

Though, curiously, I still think of myself as someone who's trying to lose weight and be healthier, despite all evidence to the contrary. And then I read somewhere that an effective weight-loss strategy is to report to another person — not an anonymous blog, like FatSecret, but someone you actually know — every single thing you eat each day, and I immediately felt panicked and exposed. And this, my friends, was a real wake-up call.

Clearly . . . I am not making good choices if the idea of sharing them with someone else is so terrifying.

But then I put off writing about it, because I felt too panicked and exposed.

I had lunch with Mrs. Cynicletary a couple of weeks ago and I mentioned how proud I was of my mom for being faithful with her physical/occupational therapy and getting stronger. Then later we talked about cortisone shots, and I said that I was ready for another round but I thought that I shouldn't ask for more drugs until I started doing the doctor-prescribed PT, none of which I had done yet, and she got very stern with me, saying, Did you not listen to your own story about your mother????

So last week I broke out the PT handouts and my leg weights and did my exercises. They are not hard, and I definitely felt better afterward; they just take a lot of time. I have to figure out when and how to schedule PT so that I will do it. My resolve is strongest in the morning . . . but that is also my most productive work time.

Anyway. The ice is broken. And my knees are killing me, all the time, I have GOT to do this.

Here are some other things I've collected:
  • In Good Housekeeping, Jillian Michaels talked about a Goal Pyramid:
  • In this structure, you have a Long-Term Goal, a Monthly Goal, a Weekly Goal, 7 Daily Goals, and some Immediate Goals. It sounds worky, but I really like the idea of breaking it down this way while also looking at the big picture.
  • I read an interview with Kirstie Alley, and I liked this quote:  
    You have a history of yo-yo dieting. What are you doing differently now? I looked at the things that worked for me in the past and asked which ones I could incorporate for the rest of my life. I'm just trying to make it fun.
    For me, that was the beauty of zumba — it was so much fun. I haven't been back to zumba in, I think, a year. Too scared of the pain — and now, too scared of being out of shape and not being able to keep up at all.
  • Here's something I read about calories:
Myth: Counting calories is the best way to lose weight. Fact: The composition of the foods you eat is as important as the number of calories you take in. "Calories do matter, but hormones matter more," says Keri Mantie, a personal trainer and fat-loss coach with a master's degree in applied exercise science. A fast-food blueberry muffin might have the same number of calories as an omelet packed with vegetables, but the omelet will give you lasting energy and keep you feeling full until lunchtime nears, while the muffin will give you a short burst of energy followed by a crash, as your body quickly burns through the processed sugar it contains. Soon you feel hungry again.
Lots of food for thought here.

I've had a lot of editing work over the past few weeks, which has been lovely, but so far this week I have very little scheduled. I've decided to try to give my week some structure and address a bunch of different things I've been avoiding, one day at a time:
  • Monday: Organization. Answer at least half of the 118 e-mails in my Inbox. Deal with the to-do pile in front of my computer, which includes gathering my tax documents and looking at Mimosa's college-related info, a task I'm dreading. (It also means writing this blog post. Yay! Accomplishment.)
  • Tuesday: Health and Beauty. Walk on my treadmill, which I haven't done in ages because I've been scared of knee pain. Ice my knees afterward if needed. Lift weights, do my physical therapy, work my core, floss. And then, fun stuff: Paint! Exfoliate! Get a much-needed haircut!
  • Wednesday: School and Church. I have a subbing job, which usually drains me; I won't do much else on Wednesday. But I will make some calls for my church committee, which I've been putting off. I hate cold-calling people, though I always, always enjoy the conversations. I am a big giant weirdo.
  • Thursday: Fiction Writing. Spend the entire morning working on my novel, even if I write a crapload of crap. 
  • Friday: Make Money. I have an editing job scheduled, which is awesome, but if it's not here first thing in the morning, I will edit science articles until it shows up.
Here's my attempt at a Pyramid:
  • Long-Term Goal: Lose 134 pounds and get in better shape
  • Monthly Goal: Lose 5 pounds
  • Weekly Goal: Lose 1.5 pounds, log food and do PT at least five of seven days
  • Daily Goals: See above 
  • Immediate Goals: Finish this blog post, eat a healthy breakfast
My two big rewards for all this virtuous hard work are (1) an upcoming visit with my mom in California, where it will blow my mind to see green grass again, and (2) a huge stack of enticing library books. I am terrible at remembering titles, but here are a few of them:

OK! Time to find a good breakfast and then get started on eradicating crap piles. Woo.

I guess it's good to be back?

— Lady C

p.s. The fortune in my latest cookie said, "You can do everything you ought to do." I like it!

(The second fortune said, "You have a yearning for perfection." Wow, said Husband, your cookies really know you.)


  1. Hey, Lady C! Good on ya!
    You inspire me too...
    I've gained weight since taking on my new job in Oct., even though I'm getting a lot more exercise (biking to work, 10 miles round-trip, has definitely helped my slightly arthritic knees, as promised by PT--strengthens the muscles all around the joint without placing a lot of weight on it---unlike, sadly, Zumba).
    The other day I was carrying a heavy sewing machine, and my knees complained;
    I thought, the weight of this sewing machine probably equals my extra body weight---my knees would love it if I could set that down too.

    So, today I am going to set a small goal. I do well if I eat 3 pieces of fruit every day--it takes care of sugar cravings and I naturally eat less sweets-- and today I am going to do that.
    Three pieces of fruit may sound like a lot, but it's so much less sugar than I would eat otherwise!

    Thanks for the nudge!

    1. YES. I love your sewing-machine analogy.

      I have got to get a new seat for Husband's stationary bike, and then I can ride it too. The current seat (skinny, rock-hard) hurts my ladyparts and makes me scream. But my knee doc also recommends biking, so I'll add it to my Immediate Goals: research Lady-comfy bike seats. Thank YOU for the nudge!

      (fruit = awesome. I ate a perfectly ripe mango last week — so yummy. Plus, it tastes like spring.)

  2. I love everything about this blog, including my stern bossiness!
    I too am feeling like a slug emerging from a seven foot pile of snow. We were inundated with an unprecedented weather smack-down, and we puny mortals can only take so much before we run for the pasta and pecan rolls. We have to cut ourselves some slack for the white blur which was February. However, the sunshine and melting snowpiles are helping my mood, and this morning I picked up my 12 pound weight and did some exercises while waiting for the coffee to brew. Maybe I can resume my usual ten miles of walking each week when I can do so without danger of wiping out on the sheets of ice which are many sidewalks. Spring awakening is a real thing!
    Mrs. Cynicletary

    1. You are a recurring Guest Star in my blog!

      Yay for exercising while the coffee's a-brewing. You are a time-management goddess!


  3. This is my favorite of all your blog entries in this entire blog EVER. So much good info, so many excellent musings. I really like the Pyramid and I love your version of it. The calories are not the only thing discussion is something I've been finding myself in favor of lately. And your exercise plans (I am totally stealing "Health and Beauty", that rocks mightily!!!) are most inspiring. I really feel it's about getting stronger and healthier and HAPPIER. I hope you have a really lovely time in CA with your getting-stronger mom! Happy Almost Spring! Love, SDF

    1. Thank you, my honey! It was so scary to get back on my treadmill after so many months of sloth, and it's a little disheartening how much it knocked me out to walk just one mile . . . but my knees didn't hurt nearly as much as I'd feared, which was awesome. And my arms are not as strong as they were but they are still strongish; i.e., instead of 60 reps I did 50, and that felt okay. But OH how my muscles are hurting today, two days later!!!!!

      I'm also trying to eat all colors of the rainbow, as they say. My salads are practically a kaleidoscope. :-)

  4. For what it's worth, I joined My Fitness Pal years ago and it did nothing for me. But then, over the winter break, I found a few friends who were also doing it and suddenly, it's working for me. I changed my settings so they can see everything I eat--down to the Peeps I sneak and the gummy bear addiction--and it does help me in my every day eating. I know you have your own plans--and it sounds like you're doing well with them--but if you ever mosey on over to MFP, I'm happy to keep an eye on you if you keep an eye on me. :-)