Anxiety (Weigh-in)

I am not exactly what you might call a laid-back person.

You know, that whole personality trait where you can let things go easily, you don’t stress out, you don’t get worked up? Not me. This is shocking to you, I’m sure, given the level of enthusiasm I’ve been expressing for the past week over all my various birthday activities, haha. I just run a little more emotionally high than some people.

Normally, the whole excited-about-everything-good-and-bad thing works for me! While I’m generally always riding the line of being stressed out about SOMETHING, I’ve never had a particular problem with managing it. I’ve never had to deal with stress or anxiety on a large scale. Which is probably how it should be because, let’s face it, I live a relatively stress-free life. I don’t live in a warzone, I don’t have a chronic illness or an incredibly demanding job. I’m certainly not rolling in cash monies, but I’m no longer carrying around any credit card debt and I still live a very enjoyable life on my budget. I have a supportive family, great friends, a wonderful boyfriend, and two epic mini schnauzers. Okay, now it just sounds like I’m bragging, hahaha.

The point I’m trying to (rather unsuccessfully) make is that yes, while I have my share of days that are full of pressing deadlines and less-than-ideal circumstances, it’s never been something that a hot shower or pedicure or heart-pumping sweat session or trip to the dog park or 8 full hours of sleep hasn’t been able to fix. But lately, increasingly so in the past few days, I’ve been feeling really anxious. About everything. About nothing. It’s a strange, new, and uncomfortable state for me to be in. I find my breath hitching when I’m doing nothing but sitting at my desk writing emails. My heart starts racing and my palms begin to sweat when I’m cooking dinner. And I don’t really know how to deal with it appropriately.

I can’t really pinpoint what is it that has me on such high alert lately. Yes, there are a few things on my mind, what with my recent potential career change decision, the Reach the Beach relay (both the logistics/travel/planning for it and the thought of actually, y’know, running it), and, as always, my weight loss progress (or current lack thereof). But these things have been subjects of thought for a while now, so why is it only now that my body feels like it’s physically rejecting them? All I know right now is that despite yesterday consisting of a massage AND a sweaty Zumba session AND a hot shower afterward, I only felt better for like, 4 hours. I slept fitfully and woke up feeling as anxious as I did the day before. My brain is a douchebag.



(source)

As you can imagine, my weigh-in for today didn’t exactly help alleviate my feelings of anxiety this morning. I posed a question on Facebook yesterday to gauge whether or not I would be severely judged for skipping my weigh-in (again) in the name of birthday glory (again), and while some of you gracious souls did give me the go-ahead to skip, more of you ended up convincing me to just do it and get it over with. The not-knowing would probably have caused me even more stress in the long run anyway…

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 188.4 lbs
This Weigh-in: 194.0 lbs
Difference: +5.6 lbs

… Or not. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Well, you guys are always telling me not to be too hard on myself (“I suck!” “How can I call myself a weight loss blogger?!” I’ve wasted a year with all this yo-yoing!”) and I’m always telling myself to stop making excuses (“It was my birthday!” “I drank! A lot!” “Sodium! Alcohol! Sugar!”), so in the spirit of compromise I won’t do either. I’ll just say that it is what it is, and if I got to do my week of birthday debauchery all over again, I’m sure I would. I’ve been pretty good about eating cleanly and exercising since the party so hopefully in another week I’ll be back down a few libbies.

You’re also always encouraging me to stop with the negative self-talk, so in that spirit I’ll simply re-post this photo from Saturday, which I love:

And remind myself that 190+ might still be a little lumpy but, all things considered, it doesn’t look all that bad.

For now.

Onward.

Resolute

It’s that time again, friends. January. 2012. A New Year.

I’m sure I don’t need to spend a lot of time detailing what my New Year’s resolution is. If you can’t guess, you have never read this blog before: I am going to reach my goal weight this year, simple as that.

For the past few months, I’ve put my weight loss on the backburner. I justified it as needing a break from a full year of calorie counting and berating myself when I didn’t lose. I said that what with Daxter’s accident, my breakup, and general hum-drummery, I needed to take some time off. While both of things are true, the real issue was somewhere along the way, my motivation waned. I was feeling quite content walking around my life 60 lbs lighter, and didn’t think I needed to keep trying so hard. Unfortunately, as it turned out, my time off was a little more “free” than I had intended.

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My last official weigh-in was on October 26th, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back because I was so frustrated with my weight gain. I weighed in that day at 188.3 lbs. Ashamed though I am to admit it, this morning I weighed in at 198.4 lbs this morning. I’ve gained back 10 pounds in the past 2 1/2 months.

It’s not the end of the world. I am, of course, disappointed in myself for backsliding, but I’m trying very hard to stay positive. I’m still 50 lbs down in the grand scheme of things, and I had a rockin’ time doing it, after all! In this same timeframe I completed a 15K race, created some bangin’ new recipes, and had a truly wonderful Christmas with my family. I know I could pull out a list of “excuses” to help soften the blow to my ego: the holidays and the parties and the cookies and… well, you get the idea. But that’s not the point of today. The point of today is to acknowledge my weight gain, stop ignoring it, stop running from it, and do something about it. After all, it’s still New Year’s. So here I am, on the second day of 2012, strengthening my resolve:

I will reach my goal weight of ~165 pounds by August 2012.

I will do it the right way, just as I have done so far.

I will not sacrifice my love of food or my wonderful life to do so, as I haven’t had to so far.

I will make this year the year.

Take a Bow!

So go on, tell me: what’s your New Year’s resolution?

The Ultimate Frustration (Weigh-in)

All right: first things first. Thank you all so, so much for your comments on yesterday’s post on debt. I was more terrified publishing that than I have ever been about posting my weight (though that may have changed after this morning’s weigh-in…) and I was blown away by your willingness to share your own financial stories as well. It is, as always, very comforting to know that I’m certainly not alone in my struggles.

So what better way to recover from the emotional stress of confessing my financial woes to the world than by spending even more money on my favoritist thing ever?

Suuuuuushi

Oh, c’mon, I kid! I kid! Don’t worry, this guy paid:

Tag Along
And he was super psyched about it, too!

Yep, even amongst all my preparing for my upcoming Ottawa trip (I leave tomorrow!), Steve and I managed to find time for a quick but awesome (as usual) sushi dinner at Koi Koi. Well, sushi for me, teriyaki for him. Getting his sushi-resistant self just to take me to the restaurant is progress enough for me though!

Onlookers

And before dinner? A smile-inducing trip to the dog park!

Leader of the Pack
Gimme!

Daxter, ever the social butterfly, managed to make friends with the big dogs…

Big Dog, Little Dog

… as well as the even-smaller-than-he-is dogs.

Who's the wiener?

While Harry, reporting for duty as the fun police, was quick to break up encounters with any of the aforementioned big dogs that could have possibly roughed up his little bro.

Roaming Free

It’s actually pretty cute that he’s so protective of Daxter, though somewhat obnoxious. I guess Harry’s just a family man dog, through and through.

Family

And now for the main event. I hope you have the above images of happy puppies deeply ingrained in your mind, ’cause it’s weigh-in time. And I’ve already alluded to the fact that this morning did not bring pleasant news (which is just what I wanted right before taking a trip to the land of beavertails and poutine!) There’s no use delaying the inevitable, so here it is:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 186.0 lbs
This Weigh-in: 188.3 lbs
Difference: +2.3 lbs

WOMPITY WOMP WOMP WOMP.

*Deep breath*

Okay, so perhaps you can see why this is, er, mildly frustrating. Like, back to the 5 Stages of Grief type-frustrating. The last time I stepped on a scale, albeit unofficially, I was down to 183 lbs. Of course, this was in the wake of my latest kidney stone episode and my eating & drinking had been totally out of whack. Since I hadn’t been eating much, I knew that weigh-in didn’t count. Still, I couldn’t simply forget about that three-pound loss, “real” or not. And now I’ve actually gained two pounds from my last “official” weigh-in, which actually puts FIVE extra pounds on the scale from what I had last seen!

WTF?

This isn’t necessarily an “I don’t know what happened!” kind of situation. It’s not like I can’t guess at some of the probable factors that contributed to this gain: My body trying to regulate itself after three days of barely eating and haphazard fluid consumption. Sushi last night, which means soy sauce, which means sodium, which leads to water retention. Celebrating my dad’s early birthday Sunday. Emotional tensions running high in my house leading to emotional eating. And so on, and so forth.

But it isn’t as if these things (aside from the kidney-stone-induced loss of appetite) are that out of the ordinary for me. And part of what makes this gain particularly frustrating is that I’ve actually been exercising, running, and legitimately TRYING in terms of physical activity, which, as you’re all aware, is certainly NOT the norm for me. I’ve been sticking to my race training plan surprisingly well, and the miles are starting to get easier. But evidently, the scale doesn’t really seem to care about how hard I’m trying in the fitness department. Ugh.

It’s just so difficult, because the truth is that I often feel quite happy at the weight I am right now. I feel accomplished for having lost as much weight as I have. I feel beautiful most of the time, and sometimes, if I’m dressed just right, I even feel–gasp!–thin. But acknowledging that, I still KNOW that I want to lose more weight, that I can still be much healthier, that I have further to go. I know that I’m still overweight, though VASTLY less so than I used to be, and I want to continue to make strides in the right direction. It sometimes feels as if I am battling myself, almost as if being in any way happy with my body means I can’t make progress in my weight loss. And that kind of thinking borders very dangerously on the self-loathing mentality that I swore never to return to. Like I said: it’s frustrating.

Sorry to be ending this wit a bit of a downer. Just scroll back up to the puppies and everything will be okay! I mean, it’s not like I’m not giving up (aw, HELL no!), I knew from the beginning that I was in this for the long haul. So I let myself deal, I get it all out here, and I press on.

So say we all.

The 5 Stages of Grief

Most of you have probably heard of the Five Stages of Grief. You know, you or someone you know has died, or perhaps is dying, and there are five very specific emotional stages they say you’ll go through as you try to cope: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

So with that little nugget of information, you can probably guess that my weigh-in this week resulted in some decidedly grievous news.

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weigh-in: 186.9 lbs
This Week’s Weigh-in: 189.4 lbs
This Week’s Change: +2.5 lbs

What the WHAT?!

I just don’t understand my body anymore. I know that due to my pre-5 miler freaking out I may not have been watching what I’ve been eating quite as carefully this week, but it’s not like I was going on Wenders or anything (that’s a Wendy’s bender, btw. I just made that up. You’re welcome.)

This morning’s encounter with the scale left me on an emotional roller coaster that I’m sure many of you can relate to all too well. I would never, ever suggest that something like weight loss could ever be compared to true grief, of course. That being said, I can’t help but draw a few parallels between the five stages of grief and the emotional state I was in after my weigh-in this morning.

First, there was denial.

Denial
Pshhhh, no way. No. Fracking. Way.

Then anger.

Anger
WTF#@*[email protected]#*O9R#5J!!!!

Then bargaining.

Bargaining
Please, pleeeease say it isn’t so.

There may have been some slightly more desperate bargaining that followed.

Bargaining some more.
WHYYYYYYY?!!?!

Then depression…

Depression
Nope, not melodramatic at all.

Then finally… acceptance?

Acceptance?
Very, very reluctant acceptance, perhaps.

My acceptance face might need some work, since I’m still having a little trouble, er, actually accepting it. I know that there are a bunch of factors that can impact a full 2.5 pound weight gain in a week other than eating 9,000 extra calories: hanging onto extra water, my monthly frenemy coming to visit (sorry boys), lack of sleep, stress, blahblahblah. Buuuut… the fact of the matter is that I still gained, even if tomorrow the gain happens to be less severe than it is today. Poop.

I guess all I can hope is that the changes I’ve made help me to win in the long run, and in the meantime I have to try not to let these bumps in the road get me down, right? (Try being the operative word, of course.) And I have to keep reminding myself that despite not being where I want to end up, I’m still lightyears further than where I started (and have pics like this one that Ben took last night to prove it!)

Day 267 - Complete
I think I see those extra 2.5 libbies…

The puppies don’t hurt either.

What’s your post-bad-weigh-in (over-hyphenate much, Gretchen?) emotional roller coaster ride like? Or, in more coherent language, how does it make you feel when you let yourself down? And how do you pick yourself back up?

Seasons 52 (Weigh-in)

Happy Monday, friends! Today marks my official first day at my new job in the big citaaaay (as opposed to my previous cozy Northern Virginian gig) so think good thoughts for me! I’m admittedly nervous about starting a new job, but luckily I finished up my week of fake unemployment with a bang: going out to dinner for an early celebration of my 1-year blogiversary! (The actual annivesary of my blog is tomorrow! Eeee!) Naturally, this called for getting dolled up and forcing Steve to be my personal photographer:

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Oh, and some robot. Duh.

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How did we celebrate? Why, dinner with Steve and the fam at Seasons 52, of course!

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Seasons 52 is an expanding restaurant chain that serves upscale Americana grill food and every item on their menu is under 475 calories. I can verify that it was delicious, and it was verified by our waiter that they don’t ever cook with butter in the restaurant! A pretty good place to go to for my preemptive blogiversary celebration, eh?

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I started off the night with a coconut strawberry “skinny” martini, made with strawberry-infused vodka, coconut water, and agave.

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Just my kinda drink!

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Hehe.

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We got a ton of various appetizers for the table to share, too: tuna-avocado rolls, chipotle shrimp and garlic chicken flatbreads, and a goat cheese ravioli thing that my sister got – delish!

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And I also got an incredible arugula salad with goat cheese, pistachios (!!) and golden beets. Where can I find golden beets? I feel like I’ve never seen them in the grocery store but I looooove them.

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For my main entree, I got caramelized sea scallops with asparagus and pearl pasta. Yum-o.

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And dessert was the best part! Seasons 52 claims to have originated the “shot glass desserts” and I would believe it — they were delicious!

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They had a ton of flavors — red velvet cake, mocha macchiato, rocky road, blueberry cheesecake, and more! Mine?

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Key lime pie, of course! I got to sample everyone else’s too, but mine was definitely a winner. Just a small bite of dessert at the end of a (huge) great meal. Parfait!

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Thanks for dinner, Mom and Dad!

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It was a great night, with great company, and even helped me momentarily forget how nervous I am about starting my new job. It’s always so nice to get the whole family together (thanks for playing the role of family photographer, Dan!)

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Even if it was just for us to be photobombed by my boyfriend. Womp.

And now, alas, can’t let you all go without the stats for the day, can I?

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 189.6 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 189.9 lbs
This Week’s Loss: +0.3 lbs

Hoo boy. Weeeeeell, I can’t really say I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t exactly do, uh, “well” over 4 days of furloughed laziness. But considering the pizza consumption and the, uh 2 times I exercised this past week, it’s actually not as bad as I was expecting. I know that probably sounds bad but… yeah. I mean, in spite of a gain, I am just SO thankful not to see 190-something back on the scale? I know, it’s a VERY small margin, and by the time I have had breakfast I’m sure I’ll have broken the barrier again. But, hey. It’s at least keeping me to my personal goal of never seeing 190 back on the scale again, and for now, I’ll take it. A new week, a new job, renewed motivation!

As their part of their blogiversary present to me, my parents gave me a “coupon” to cash in for a shopping extravaganza with my mom and sister! Amazing, right?? I feel that this is the motivation that will help me to push through these last 20 – 25 pounds. Because, regardless of how vain it sounds, I really, really, REALLY want to be able to spend my “coupon” on size 10 clothing. Plus there’s just that whole 5 miler thing coming up RAPIDLY at the end of September I’m supposed to be running (and yesterday morning’s lousy 1.2 miles with my sissypoo was a harsh reality check.) C’mon, Gretchen, you can do it!

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Bring. It. On.