Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Harder week

So it's been a little harder this week to eat perfect, but I can still say I haven't had any pure sugar, and that is a big accomplishment during this oh-my-gosh-he-brought-in-100-buckeyes-today season.

For today's work potluck, I decided to follow a friend's advice and NOT make my sugar-filled pizzelles. Instead, I found a low-fat recipe for cheddar garlic biscuits that people seemed to enjoy (judging by the empty container I brought home).

But the potluck was an explosion of homemade ice-cream sandwiches, fudge, cupcakes, chocolate cookies and the aforementioned 100 buckeyes.

I managed to avoid all the desserts and instead had a small plate of other dishes: about a half cup of mac and cheese that was to-die-for, five tortilla chips, a corn/black bean salad, a piece of cheese and some Italian luncheon meat. I felt as good as I could about my choices.

Tonight, though, at Trivia Night, I had a grilled chicken sandwich (on bread) and sweet potato fries. Not the best choice.

I also snacked a lot on Saturday and Sunday nights -- some gluten-free crackers and light cream cheese and cashews -- and that is showing up on the scale. Which sucks. But I still applaud myself for the sugar fast. Especially now, when it would be so easy to just consume every little thing that turns up on a ribbon-decorated platter.

I realize this isn't as pure a sugar fast as I've done in the past. But at least I am avoiding the big triggers. The longer I can do that, the easier it will get.

This coming weekend and next week will probably be a little hard, but not for the reasons you'd expect. I'm not going to a big family dinner or a Christmas party or a potluck or, really, anywhere. I will be on my own from Friday through Wednesday (I work Tuesday, Christmas Day, but will be working from home. Sounds good but it really isn't, as there's no one here but me. And those cookies in the freezer) and my fear is that depression/loneliness will make me fold.

I also still have a lot of proofreading work to do, so I can't just take off and go sit in the park.

While this post may sound like a whole lot of complaining, it actually helps me to write out my fears and my progress -- raw as they are. It helps me visualize the road hazards up a head and map out a plan.

And that's step 1 of staying on the right track.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week "2"

If you don't mind, I'm going to still use the first weigh-in from November as my starting weight and, even though this is more like Week 10, it will be my Week 2. It was just a really, really long Week 2.

Starting weight: 254
Previous weigh-in: 250.4
Current weight: 248.4

Still plugging away, still plugging my Points into the Weight Watchers website. Still hoping and praying I can keep this up.

Friday, December 14, 2012


I wanted to run today.

Not just run. But RUN. Run away from the news and the tweets and the horrific world we live in. If I didn't weigh so much, I would have taken off and just run until I had nothing left in me.

Today obviously didn't turn out as planned. I got next to nothing done in my proofreading assignment and took a very long nap to avoid reading more about the Connecticut school shootings. When I awoke, I turned the TV on -- something I had managed to avoid all day -- saw perhaps one minute of CNN, turned it off and felt like I was having a panic attack. I couldn't breathe. I thought about going back to bed (my main way, along with food, of avoiding life), but that made me feel just as anxious.

All I wanted to do was run.

Run like I'd never run before. Run until every emotion inside me was stomped out into the pavement.

But weighing 250 pounds, I could only run that way in my mind. And so I ran that way in my mind.

I also went down to my apartment building's gym and walked/jogged for an hour. I turned my iPod up loud, avoided all sad songs and blasted meaningless words into my ears. It had nothing to do with fitness or weight loss. I had to find some way to release this pain.

I did not, however, eat junk. There was a moment when I was tempted to say "screw it -- what's the point?" But what was that going to do for me? I'd still feel devastated and anxious but I'd also feel disappointed in myself and I do not need that right now. So, no. I didn't feed my sadness. Not today.

More avoidance
I am a journalist and have been since 1995. I've covered horrific things that will forever be a part of me. But this. This is unfathomable. And even now as I type this, my heart is beating harder and I'm trying to catch my breath. I can't read about it anymore. I certainly can't watch the news. And forget about talking about it. My mom started to say something about it on the phone and I had to tell her to stop. My heart can't take it. And my mind has had to shut the door as a matter of self-preservation.

I know I can't escape this forever. I go back to work Sunday, where I'll have to read the news and look at photographs as a part of my job.

But right now, I 'll avoid.

And pray.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

First Big Challenge

Oh, you thought the work cookies were my first big challenge? They were nothing compared to what I'm faced with this weekend:

The weekend.

This traditionally (or at least since I moved to D.C.) has been when I go grocery shopping, buy a million bad things (cookies, pizza) and some good (carrots, bananas) and gorge on the bad until my workweek begins on Sunday, when I try to eat the good -- though I usually end up throwing away the carrots and bananas and other uneaten produce at the end of the week.

Weekends are dangerous for me.

On top of the typical dangers, this weekend I plan on baking pizzelles for the office potluck and to send to some friends. Avoiding eating the pizzelles will be tough. And with a sugar fast, I can't even taste one or I know I'll cave for good.

I remember those glory days of my weight loss when I made Christmas cookies with my friend Jana and was so empowered that I didn't touch one. Not even to make sure the pizzelles tasted OK. How strong I was back then.

I was thinking earlier today that I would put a few pizzelles away for later (like I did with the Christmas cookies) because they only get made once or twice a year and take a lot of effort. But I'm thinking now that maybe I won't. I know what they taste like. Can't use that excuse.

One positive about the past four days: I haven't had a headache, and typically when I give up sugar, I get horrible ones. Knock on wood. (Of course it could be because I ate so much sugar before this week that I still have a stockpile in my body and the headache won't kick in until it's gone. Actually, that really is probably it!)

Another hard thing about this weekend: I have a ton of work to do. This could be a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because I'll be busy and won't be thinking of food. But it's bad because when I sit and proofread for hours on end, I typically start falling asleep and end up needing some kind of snack to keep me awake. (Horrible, right?) But I do have a handy bag of carrots. Sigh. It would be great if I actually ate them this week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 2

Just wanted to update you to let you know I'm still going, still trudging, but that it's been a struggle today.

Remember the co-worker who baked all those cookies? Well, he didn't just bring them into work. He gave each of us our own very large box of homemade cookies. They sat on my desk all day and smelled amazing. More than a dozen varieties.

I know many of you will say "Give them away! Don't keep them in your house! That's sabotage! You don't want to ever eat them anyway!" But I did what I was capable of today and I took them home and froze them. Didn't touch one. I am determined to try this no-sugar thing as best I can, and eating a cookie on Day 2 would have been stupid. But letting them go completely just wasn't an option today. I'm sure that sounds just as stupid, but, for today, it was the best I could do.

Baby steps. Super baby steps.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Can't Catch Up

I'm the worst. I re-started this blog and then left it hanging shortly after. It's a symptom of the life I'm leading these days. I have no time for anything, and every aspect of my life is suffering as a result.

I don't know how to make this all work. How to live a healthy life and do good at my jobs. Perhaps the plural on "job" is the problem. Perhaps it's the type of work. Perhaps I simply care more about the products I'm editing than I do about the life I'm living. Although "living" isn't the right word.

As I sit here and look out at my apartment, I see a blank running calendar, a stack of unread newspapers, an even bigger stack of unread magazines (the running magazines go back more than a year), the freelance assignment I'm currently struggling with, extra work from my job I had to take home to finish, and a kitchen garbage can filled with the wrappers of junk food I consumed last night. I also see that Christmas card list and wonder why I even bothered creating it.

I do not see Christmas decorations. There was no point, no room, no time.

As I sit here, I feel sluggish, a tight chest and emotionally spent. I'm exhausted, and it's just the beginning of the long workweek. I don't know where to begin.

So I decided to begin here, despite my mind screaming that I have work to do that should be the priority.

I went to New York City this past weekend to surprise my sister on her birthday. We also watched my brother-in-law's show at Lincoln Center (he wrote it) and afterward went backstage for him to chat with his performers. I found myself in a room where the walls were mirrors (performers like their mirrors) and I had to witness my big body sticking out amid the pretty people. I tried to press against the wall, make myself hidden, but nothing could hide "this." I silently wished my sister would stop introducing me to people.

I don't know what to do. Do you know how many trips to the grocery store I've taken where I've bought junk food, saying it was "the last binge before the diet"? Countless.

I have an hour-by-hour to-do list that incorporates when I eat and exercise, and though I wrote this list months ago, I have yet to follow it exactly for even one day. (The schedule was made simply because I have too much work to do and needed to see if there were enough hours in the day to do it all.) I am trying. I am just also failing.

I'm going to try this week to do just one thing and that is avoid sugar and bread. Funny that I begin this the day my co-worker has brought in 1,300 Christmas cookies (and that is an exact number). But sugar is the first step. I have given it up before and felt less exhausted. Going to try again.

I have so much to do. Not just work-wise, but life-wise. I need to figure out how to control my stress, because I'm not the young obese Diana who was killing herself with food and stress but who at least had youth on her side. I'm 38. This will kill me if I can't control it.

Perhaps subconsciously that's what I'm trying to accomplish. But as long as I have that tiny bit of will inside of me that wants to run again and smile again and feel pride again, I've got to use it to beat down that bigger part of me that wants to call it a day.