Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2013/2003: Week 10

In my quest to re-lose the weight I took off in 2003-2005, I've decided to document each week, comparing life now (first post) with life 10 years ago (second post). My hope is that I can find the momentum that carried me through those two years by looking at what worked for me then.

WEEK 10: 2013 
Beginning Weight: 264.6
Last week's weight: 248.8
This week's weight: 247.4
Week 10's weight loss: 1.4
Total weight loss: 17.2

Apologies for the tardiness in writing, but I refused to post the blog yesterday. For some unexplainable reason, the scale was up a full 2 pounds, and I could not bear to write that down. So I thought I'd see what today's number was, if it went down to Sunday's early weigh-in weight. If it didn't go down, I would face the music here. But if it did, I'd report as of today. I hope you don't mind the fudging. My heart just didn't have it in me to say I gained weight.

I don't have a lot of good to report again. So sorry. Life has been overwhelming me and the negative thoughts have crept back in. Perhaps I could blame it on my restaurant outing this past weekend when I had a margarita and chips. Or the small (but still) pack of peanut M&Ms I bought on Sunday. Of course my mood was already poor when I ate those things (which is why I ate those things).

NOTE: I just deleted two large paragraphs of negative thoughts. I don't want to be that person! So you will not see those complaints. I kept the above paragraph because I needed to come clean about the food.

On a positive note to end this post: I've made it 10 weeks! And that's nothing to sneeze about, especially if you know my history. The weight-loss is frustratingly slow, but at least it's a loss.

Week 10: 2003
Beginning Weight: 317
Last week's weight: 288.8
This week's weight: 286
Week 10's weight loss: 2.8
Total weight loss: 31

Published: 04/15/2003
My bathroom scale hasn’t been able to accommodate me for years.

It’s embarrassing to admit. But for the past few years, when my bare feet have climbed aboard the tiny square, the scale pointer would zoom through the numbers, climb past the 280 mark and then start over again at 0.

I’d have to do math to figure out how much I weighed.

I can’t believe I’m admitting to this. But it’s time. Who was I kidding anyhow? When I couldn’t fit into the auditorium seat or had to struggle with the car seatbelt, it’s not like I could hide my 300-plus pound body.

OK, so 317-pound body to be exact.

Flash back to the late 1980s. I remember sitting on a school bus – I must have been in middle school – and staring up at the boy in the seat in front of me, who had turned around and started in on his daily teasing.

“What do you weigh, like 300 pounds?” he said, laughing.

“No!” I remember shouting, thinking that I could never be so large, and hoping at the same time that he wouldn’t take his teasing down a notch and ask if I weighed 200 pounds, which I believe I was nearing at the time.

But more than a decade later, I’d reach that 300-pound mark, not even fully aware of it when it happened. For about two or three years, when I was a reporter in Jacksonville and then Southport, I stopped weighing myself. I stopped attempts at exercise. And I ate and ate.

Then, during a yearly physical exam in 2002, I glanced down at the front of my medical records, where, in black ink, last year’s nurse had written the words “morbidly obese” next to my name. My heart ached, those words ripping through me.

It didn’t stop me, though, from going home and eating.

Last year, I made two attempts to lose weight. The first lasted twentysomething days, ending when I took a trip to New York. The second lasted about two weeks, ending when I took a trip to Maryland. Both times, I’d eat one bad thing (a piece of Easter candy in New York and a cookie in Maryland) and those bad things would jolt my brain into believing I was done. No more dieting. I can’t do it.

This time around, I haven’t allowed myself those pieces of candy or cookies, mainly because I’m afraid of how I’ll react to even tiny acts of “cheating.” Some think I’m silly, others think I’m strong, but I know in my heart, it’s something I must do to keep losing weight, to get that scale pointer down below the second 0 mark.

So imagine, if you will, the pure euphoria I experienced last week when my bathroom scale finally accommodated me.

I’ve lost 31 pounds – my first Weight Watchers 10 percent goal – and I can finally weigh myself without doing math.

Note: I know the numbers don’t add up, but my scale, God love it, is about six pounds off.

Here’s another recipe, good for a family dinner (and no one will gripe about the low-fat status). It’s a Weight Watcher recipe (eight servings; 6 points each):

Chicken ’n’ Cheese Casserole
2 cups cooked macaroni
2 cups coarsely chopped cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 can 98-percent fat-free condensed cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
1.5 cups fat-free milk
8 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large casserole dish, combine all ingredients, mixing well.
Bake, covered, 35-45 minutes. Remove cover; bake 10-15 minutes longer, and serve.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013/2003: Week 9

In my quest to re-lose the weight I took off in 2003-2005, I've decided to document each week, comparing life now (first post) with life 10 years ago (second post). My hope is that I can find the momentum that carried me through those two years by looking at what worked for me then.

WEEK 9: 2013 
Beginning Weight: 264.6
Last week's weight: 250.2
This week's weight: 248.8
Week 8's weight loss: 1.4
Total weight loss: 15.8

I am somewhat horrified that I am only 40 pounds away from 2003 Diana. At the rate I'm going, she will surpass me, and that will just suck. 

But my weight-loss, expectedly, is slow. I'm 10 years older, and in the span of those 10 years, I yo-yo'd in my weight so much that my body is very reluctant to give up the pounds. 

It doesn't make me feel any better, though. I'm having a hard time finding the positive lately.

I also just realized, in looking back at the 2003 Weight Watch, that right now I weigh about what I did at my 10-year high school reunion. I look at those pictures and I swear I weighed more. But, no. The reality is, I'm just as heavy. But without the glowing smile of a girl who had lost 60 pounds. The 20-year reunion is in four months. No, that's not my incentive. With all the high school loves of my life very happily married, I'm not trying to impress anyone. Though I sure would love to have that glow back. That confidence. That smile.

I'll work on it.

In other news, I completed 8 miles on Saturday, which makes me happy (I walked about 70 percent of it but was just glad to be out there). 

But unlike 2003, there's not one ounce of change in the way my clothes fit. That's probably because everything I wear is too tight anyhow. But it's hard to be excited when there's no change in pants or jackets, etc.

Sorry for being Ms. Negativity. Here now is the much happier 2003 Me.

Week 9: 2003
Beginning Weight: 317
Week 7's weight: 294.2 (Week 8 weight n/a)
This week's weight: 288.8
Week 8/9's weight loss: 5.4
Total weight loss: 28.2

Published: 04/08/2003
My slip fell off at work last week.

Yep. It was pretty embarrassing, the black lace falling past my knees on the way to my boss’s office. I quickly scooted back to my desk, shimmied the thing back up and fidgeted in front of a co-worker until the slip was back in place.

I embarrass easily, but this time, well, I have to admit I felt a little joyous at the, er, slip.

It’s hard to believe I’m still losing weight. I’m still feeling a lot of pride for not falling off the wagon at my conference last month, and I think that’s keeping me moving, keeping me focused. Last week, I started looking into joining a gym, though I haven’t committed yet. I love my morning walks (and breathing in fresh air), but something tells me some focused training on those parts of my body screaming to be smaller would be even better for me.

And I have an appointment with my mom next weekend to get some clothes taken in – exciting!

FYI: Don’t let my exclamation points fool you – I still have difficulties, maybe not every day, but often. This weekend, I was in a foul mood, and I yearned to just pull into a McDonald’s parking lot and order up. White-knuckled, I had to fight the urge. And it was indeed a fight.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2013/2003: Week 8

In my quest to re-lose the weight I took off in 2003-2005, I've decided to document each week, comparing life now (first post) with life 10 years ago (second post). My hope is that I can find the momentum that carried me through those two years by looking at what worked for me then.

WEEK 8: 2013 
Beginning Weight: 264.6
Last week's weight: 252.8
This week's weight: 250.2
Week 8's weight loss: -2.6
Total weight loss: 14.4

I was by no means perfect this past week, as I worked about 80 hours wrapping up a project and caved into some evil snacking. But I suppose I kept the meals small enough that I was still able to take off last week's weight-gain. I still, however, have not brought back the exercise. Planned on going out tomorrow morning, but it's already 11:30 p.m. and I don't think I'll have the energy to wake up early. I still haven't caught up from the lack of sleep.

I better get my act together, and quick, because I was stupid enough to sign up for a mid-April 10-miler. You're probably shaking your head at me. Between taking on too much freelance work and setting high expectations for myself, I have been making all kinds of less-than-smart decisions recently. 

Week 8: 2003
Beginning Weight: 317
Last week's weight: 294.2
This week's weight: n/a
Week 8's weight loss: n/a
Total weight loss: 22.8

Published: 04/01/2003
I hate dieting during conferences.”

That was my one-line food journal update this week – written during a week of sitting on my duff for seven days straight and eating hotel food during a journalism conference in Virginia.

Don’t worry. I didn’t cave into the quesadillas and chips.

It was the hardest week – carefully eating tiny portions of meals because I wasn’t sure how many calories or fat grams they had. I was unable to weigh in – due to being out of town during our meeting, then having trouble finding the local Weight Watchers office, which only does weigh-ins a few hours a week.

So I can’t tell you how I’m doing in numbers – but I can tell you that I feel great. My mom visited me Saturday and hugged me tight, her pride in my weight loss enveloping me. I’m starting to feel a difference in my clothes.

And people are pulling me aside and whispering words of “looking good.” I’m feeling good – and it’s a great thing.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2013/2003: Week 7

In my quest to re-lose the weight I took off in 2003-2005, I've decided to document each week, comparing life now (first post) with life 10 years ago (second post). My hope is that I can find the momentum that carried me through those two years by looking at what worked for me then.

WEEK 7: 2013 
Beginning Weight: 264.6
Last week's weight: 250.6
This week's weight: 252.8
Week 7's weight loss: +2.2
Total weight loss: 11.8

Ah, yes, a bad weight-gain. But I deserved it: I was horrid this past weekend. I went home to surprise my mom for her birthday, and it involved a long road trip with my sister and brother-in-law. I'm not blaming them a bit. It was totally my fault. I actually stuck to my plan the first day and didn't eat too much. But by Friday, I had cracked. Over the weekend, I ate ice cream, cake, Bojangles, a hamburger and fries. And then I came home and -- faced with mountains of work -- I ate more crap. On Monday, I bought jellybeans and ate most of the bag.

And, yes, I felt sick. Oh so sick. Disgustingly sick. Today, I was back to my delivered meals, though, it was much harder than I expected to get back on the wagon. I just didn't want to eat that kale and quinoa and those carrot sticks. I suppose my body must go through the sugar purge all over again. 

I'm not upset about it, even though I probably should be. It happened. I'm moving on. I enjoyed the cake and the Bojangles. I guess I do regret the jellybeans, though.

And, unfortunately x 2, the running has taken a backseat this week. I just had to accept that it wasn't going to be possible.

I took this week off work to get a proofreading assignment done (yes, I took vacation days to work). And though you'd think five full days would be plenty, it's not. All I do is read. And I'm so far from finishing, it's scary. Then I did something really stupid today and accepted another assignment. I actually cried when the woman emailed and asked if I wanted the job. I had turned her down the last time and didn't want to do it two times in a row. But I'm so tired.

I realize that I sound as if I'm falling apart. But, oddly, I feel OK. I realize I can only do what I can do. And I will continue this mission to figure out a way to work less and live more. I'm trying.

Week 7: 2003
Beginning Weight: 317
Last week's weight: 297.4
This week's weight: 294.2
Week 7's weight loss: 3.2
Total weight loss: 22.8

Published: 03/25/2003

I’ll never forget the day I discovered I wouldn’t fit into my graduation gown at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

It was a few weeks before Graduation Day, and two friends had stopped by my dorm room with their pale blue caps and gowns, eager to try them on. They slipped them on and twirled as I snapped their photo – then they asked if I wanted to give it a try.

I sure did.

But as soon as I slipped my arms into the sleeves, I knew it wasn’t going to fit. It was tight in the arms and it wouldn’t close. I suddenly felt nauseous. What was I going to do?

I faked it, smiled happily and slipped it right off without even trying to zip it. “I’ll wait until I get my own,” I said, shooing away the camera. When I finally got around to buying mine, I had to order the “plus-size” gown.

It was terribly embarrassing. I mean, it’s a full graduation gown – aren’t those things supposed to be one-size-fits-all?

Clothes – and my inability to fit into them – have always been an issue for me, for as long as I can remember. I was a young girl in elementary school when I learned that “one-size-fits-all” would never apply to me. As a youngster, I wore women’s sizes. As a woman, I wore plus sizes.

And I’ve worn a lot of black – ever since the day my mom told me the color was “slimming.” In fact, there are laundry days when the entire load is black. White, yellow, pink – the feminine colors I’ve always yearned to wear – were out of the question.

A few years ago, preparing to return to UNC for a journalism function, I bought a pretty blue floral dress for the garden reception. At the hotel, I put the dress on – then stood in front of the mirror in tears as I realized how horrible I looked and how much my large body would stand out in that pattern. For the first hour of the reception, I looked out of my hotel window at the people gathering with drinks below. I couldn’t move – I was too terrified.

My weight has stopped me many times from enjoying that one thing women love to do – shop. My role in high school was to accompany friends on shopping trips, help pick out fabulous outfits and wait outside the dressing room as they tried them on.

I’ve never once been able to experience the joy of clothes shopping for myself.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can walk into a store and not have to head to the plus-size section, when I can be normal-sized, when I can wear the cool, hip colors and patterns.

I’m taking it one pound at a time – and I’m happy to say I’m up to 22.8 pounds lost. I’m slowly starting to feel a difference in my clothes, which means they’ll soon be too big and I’ll have to head to the mall to replace them.

I won’t let it get me down.

Here’s another recipe I tried last week – and love. It’s another great way to get in those much-needed vegetables. One cup equals one point (for the Weight Watcher folks out there).

Cheesy Vegetable Soup
2 pounds of frozen veggies (California medley is good)
3 cans fat-free chicken broth
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
10 ounces Light Velveeta

Dump all ingredients in the pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add ounces of Light Velveeta in small pieces (to melt faster). When it’s melted in, you’re ready to eat.