So clearly I've been gone for a while. Again. It's not really that I've had nothing to say, it's just that none of it has been good, inspiring, and/or humorous. The truth is I fell off the healthy lifestyle wagon in a big way. It's taken me a while to figure out exactly what to say here now that I've gotten back on. I hate reading these kinds of posts so it was hard to contemplate writing one. I could offer you a lot of excuses (new job! new nephew! holidays! abducted by aliens! too many compelling made for TV movies! worldwide salad shortage! held captive by killer rabbits!) but the truth is the same as it always is. I'm lazy and when I don't manage my laziness in the right way it has consequences.
The first way I didn't manage my laziness in the right way is that I became Old Mother Hubbard incarnate.
This is my refrigerator after I cleaned out everything that was moldy or expired. As you can see, I had beer, cheese and chocolate sauce left over. Much as I love me some beer-cheese soup, this refrigerator does not exactly support a healthy lifestyle. Trust me when I say the cupboards and the freezer did not fare much better. Not having enough readily prepared food is always my downfall. I do occasionally enjoy cooking when I have the time but most days I'm unwilling to spend more than 10 minutes putting together a meal. Any longer than that and I'm looking for the nearest place that has a drive through. This is why the people at Taco Bell and I are such good friends, not because I'm such a huge fan of the chicken quesadilla (although seriously? yum!) but because I can get it in ten minutes or less. This is why salads and I are usually such good friends. As it happens, I genuinely like salads, and with a little bit of advance planning I can make one in ten minutes or less. In the past I've been (mostly, with only occasional tears) successful at spending an hour or two after I go grocery shopping slicing and dicing my fruits and veggies to make this possible but that has fallen by the wayside since December. Ditto the frozen marinated chicken I used to make, handy for the <10 minute salad and also great for packing lunches and dinners for work. As soon as my refrigerator was empty I slipped back into my old habits of picking something up on my way home from work and buying food in the cafeteria. I'm not going to lie, it's easier to eat that way. All that's required of me is to drive past a window or wait in line, hand over some money and presto! Instant dinner. It's easier but it's not exactly sustainable in a life that doesn't include a myocardial infarction before I turn 50. In the interest of retaining all my functioning heart muscle for as long as possible, I spent my Saturday (and $380.11 - seriously, don't ever let your cabinets get so empty you have to start from scratch) doing this:
Astute readers will note that the only form of food in my refrigerator that I can risk putting into drawers is the cheese. If fruits and veggies are not immediately visible and pre-cut I will let them decay into unidentifiable mush in the crisper and head immediately to Burger King. But I'm pretty sure I would lead a dogsled expedition to Antarctica if that were the only way to get cheese for my salad. It's all about having the proper motivation, right?
Refusal to participate in food prep is only one way in which I got lazy. The second way I let laziness take over my life was getting off my marathon training program. It started innocently enough with a combination of bad weather and my nephew being born that kept me out of the gym for a week. (Did I mention I have a nephew now? Because I do. And he's the cutest thing ever, being an aunty is awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it. Go right out and encourage your siblings to procreate, I'll wait. It's especially fun if you're like me and have a penchant for buying baby clothes. They're so cute! And matchy! And nothing I buy him will ever make him look fat. Way more fun than buying clothes for adults. But I digress. Again. Should I need to refer to him here again he will be known as Little Man.) I could blame the rest on weather, and work, and being trapped in my house by a sadistic torturer who forced me to watch Supernatural on Netflix, and the butterfly effect and blah, blah, blah, but that would be a lie. Truthfully I am lazy and it's a lot easier not to go to the gym. I wasn't as bad with this as I was with the diet, but still nowhere near as good as I've been in the past, and it shows. I had to take a walk break during a 2 mile run last week for the first time in a very long time. Initially I felt bad about that but then I remembered that when I started this I was walking ten minutes at a time. I can't let myself feel too badly about stopping to walk for a minute while running at a 12:00 pace, can I? I'm still in a much better place than I was before, but it's scary to think how quickly I could get back there again.
The third way I didn't manage my laziness well is that I stopped tracking what I was eating. At some point I became a person who thought I didn't need to track anymore. I've always been a creature of habit (read: I eat the same thing every day. This actually has very little to do with my willingness to eat a variety of foods and more to do with my aforementioned laziness. I'm actually quite an adventurous eater, provided that someone else is preparing it for me.) and I found myself tracking the same meals day in and day out. So I stopped, because I "didn't need to" anymore. I could keep track of it in my head, natch. Then, well, see above re: Old Mother Hubbard and Taco Bell.
The fourth way I didn't manage my laziness well is that I stopped going to Weight Watchers meetings. This was not something I intended to do, meeting are the thing that works the best to keep me accountable. Some people find WW works better for them online but I have found that the meetings are very helpful for me. Something about having to physically leave my house and stand on a scale in front of the receptionist makes it much more real for me. When I have a bad week going to the meetings reminds me why I am doing this in the first place. Unfortunately, to quote John Lennon (badly), life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. I missed several meetings due to work, car, and cat issues. By the time I got around to going back, I'd already slipped into Old Mother Hubbard/Taco Bell territory and the news on the scale was not good. To be clear, I didn't expect the news on the scale to to be good - you read the bits about the takeout and the less gym time and the not tracking right? It doesn't matter how good your diet plan is, if you don't follow it, it can't work for you. My biggest pet peeve in the weight loss community are the people who "can't figure out" why they can't lose weight when they don't track, don't exercise and generally don't follow whatever weight loss plan they've chosen. My point is, I knew it was going to be bad news, but I really didn't want to go to a meeting, face down the receptionist and find out exactly how bad, you know? I succumbed to thinking "I'll be good this week, if I don't weigh in until next week it'll be better".
The fifth way I didn't manage my laziness well is that I stopped blogging. Sharing my story here is the second way I keep myself accountable. My thanks to the many of you who asked about why I had stopped updating, I've never been anonymous in the way that a lot of weight loss bloggers are. The majority of my readers are people I know in real life and I appreciate the folks who took the time to ask. The truth is not that I'm ashamed to share any of this with you because I'm not. Lots of people stumble and have setbacks and I'm willing to see this as a bump in the road on my journey. I take responsibility for my mistakes, forgive myself, and move forward. This blog post was a long time coming because I had a really hard time trying to decide how to say "oops, I did it again" and still make it interesting to read. Perhaps I should have just posted a link to Britney Spears and left it at that. These are my least favorite blog posts to read because they're usually boring and full of excuses. I can't do much about the boring part, but I think I can safely say there are no excuses. Only the consequences of my laziness.
Speaking of consequences, let's look at this by the numbers. It's been ten weeks since I last posted here and in that time I've attended a grand total of four Weight Watchers meetings. I've gained 22.6 pounds, putting me back up at 302.4 pounds. In addition to creeping back up above 300 pounds, my BMI is now 41 and I am morbidly obese again. I've gone from 95.8 pounds lost to just 73.2, which means I've lost this:
My 75 pound charm. Ouch. It hurt taking it off but I don't believe in carrying WW bling I haven't earned.
Doesn't my keychain look lonely without it? With a little luck, I'll have earned it back in a week or two, for now it's tucked away where I won't lose it.
As I said earlier, I'm not wasting time beating myself up over this, it isn't worth it. I made mistakes, I forgive myself, and I'm moving forward. It does serve as a sobering reminder of how quickly I could get back up to 375 pounds if I let myself. I knew going into this that I was going to have to make a permanent change. I was going to have to accept tracking my food intake as a permanent part of my life. My unwillingness to do this is the major reason I hadn't made any serious weight loss attempts prior to this. I knew I was going to have to go to meetings. I was going to have to make exercise a permanent part of my day. When I was doing those things, I had amazing success and as soon as I stopped my health took a backslide. My clothes don't fit anymore. I donated all the clothes I had that got too big and I'm thankful I did because not being able to zip my pants serves as a hard and fast reminder that things are getting out of hand. I can't run as far as I could before without taking a break. It's no ten minute walk, but it could be again if I don't make a change. I made mistakes, I forgive myself, and I'm moving forward.
This experience has also highlighted one thing about my healthier lifestyle choices that I'm not thrilled with. Even at 375 pounds, the scale has never made me apprehensive before. I've never actively wanted to avoid weighing in, even when I had a bad week. Granted this was more like a bad two months, but I dislike feeling that the number on the scale has any effect on my self-worth. Because it doesn't. I am not a number. I am not a clothes size. I am the same person now that I was 13 months ago when I started Weight Watchers. I will be the same person when I make it to my goal weight, just a little bit smaller, capable of running 26.2 miles and hopefully able to make it into my 40's free of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. I've never been defined by what I see in the mirror and I refuse to start now.
Best Non-Running Related Discovery This Week:
My new mandolin slicer. I have no idea how I lived without this before. It cut my fruit and veggie slicing time in half! This means I will spend 50% less time in tears when contemplating doing my weekly shopping. A word of warning, the safety devices are there for a reason. Use them incorrectly and this will happen to you too:
What's On Tap For This Week: much like Inigo Montoya, I am going back to the beginning. (I am also not left-handed).
Monday: 3 mile run
Tuesday: 20 minute Fartlek
Thursday: 2 mile run
Saturday: 3 mile run
Wish me luck and as always, if you find me collapsed in a heap on the side of the road, do the decent thing and at least offer me a ride home!