Monday, March 15, 2010

No One Said It Would Be Easy

Sorry I’ve been so MIA! Work has been really crazy lately. Also, the lease on my car ended a few weeks ago, so Jeff and I are now sharing his. My office is right on the way to his work, but it adds time to my days since he works later than I do, generally. Although the past couple weeks I’ve repeatedly had to make him wait outside for over an hour while I frantically finished up things at work. Like I said, it’s been hectic! I really dislike March; it feels like five weeks long.

I’ve been doing pretty well on the weight loss front. Because of the car sharing situation, I can no longer attend my Wednesday Weight Watchers meeting. My usual routine was to have a small breakfast and only one cup of coffee on Wednesday mornings, get weighed in around noon, and then drink my water and have a pre-lunch snack during the subsequent meeting. It worked well. The meetings felt like a fun distraction from work.

Now that I don’t have a car with me at work, I can’t leave during my lunch, so I’m forced to attend Saturday morning meetings. This means Fridays now become my “cram day” before my weigh in. Anyone who has ever done WW knows what I’m talking about. You count your Points carefully, making sure to get a lot of fiber and avoid high-sodium foods. You drink a lot of water. You try to get in a really hard workout. Usually, if I craft my cram days smartly, I can drop an extra .5 pounds before my weigh in. And if I’m not down or slightly up by cram day, I can usually eek out a small loss or at least maintain by really pushing myself and watching my Points.

Now all of this has to take place on Friday nights. Instead of coming home and relaxing with a glass of wine and a special dinner to reward, I have to have something low in Points, avoid the alcohol and exercise HARD. Quite the rewarding evening.

For the past couple weekends, I’ve struggled immensely with feelings of entitlement. I worked late on Friday night, and even once we got home around 7:30, I still had to spend about an hour finishing up a project before I could officially declare it The Weekend. I could feel my resolve weakening, so we stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way home so I could grab an iced coffee with a splash of skim and Splenda. I knew I needed a caffeine burst to help avoid the wine/beer temptation. Having a drink would have been detrimental for four reasons: I’d have less motivation to finish my work project, I’d be virtually unable to do an intense workout, I’d be more prone to snacking and overeating, and lastly, the alcohol itself would likely make me retain water before my weigh in.

Once home, I threw together some dinner before starting my work project. I cut up about two pounds of red potatoes in wedges, then tossed them with 2T olive oil, 3T Dijon mustard, a splash of Balsamic vinegar, some minced garlic and rosemary, salt and pepper. I threw them in the oven to roast along with two frozen chicken breasts. Knowing the meal would take at least 45 minutes, I finished my work project and downed my coffee. Toward the end, I had Jeff cut up two yellow squash and put them in the oven with everything else to roast.

We sat down to eat—finally—a little before 10. I was deliriously hungry at that point. Jeff opened a bottle of Sam Adams Light, and I felt incredibly tempted to pour myself a glass of red. I felt ENTITLED to it. Hadn’t I just finished a grueling 60-hour work week? Isn’t everyone else my age out enjoying themselves? Shouldn’t I be able to have ONE drink and have it not affect my weight loss? Why do I have to spend my Friday night obsessing about a weigh in, anyway?

I knew I’d been pretty lazy with tracking and exercise this week, so I stuck it out. I’d stepped on the scale on Wednesday and registered 195.6. That’s a full pound a half more than last Saturday. Suffice to say, I didn’t have any wiggle room.

After dinner settled, I did an INTENSE hour of Taebo. I seriously got light-headed and felt sick a few times, but I pushed through. Then I enjoyed a hot shower, read a book in bed, and went to sleep trying to ignore the grumbling in my stomach.

I woke up and weighed: 194.4. Pretty good given my mid-week gain, but only .2 less than last week before my weigh in. I knew I wouldn’t register a loss at my official weigh in. I decided to go to Sunday’s meeting instead so I could have another day to work off a little bit more.

So Saturday I was good. I had a healthy breakfast, a grilled chicken salad from Chick Fil-A for lunch, a small portion of baked eggplant parm for dinner, and I got in a great 45-minute workout. I woke up the next morning expecting to see something in the 193 range. Nope. 194.8! Higher than the day before!

The only thing I can think of is maybe the Chick Fil-A salad was high in sodium and made me retain water. But regardless, I felt discouraged. I decided to skip the meeting again and went back to sleep for a couple hours. When I woke up, Jeff asked, “Did you go to your weigh in and come back? Or did you skip it?” I explained the .4 gain and my decision to skip the meeting. He insisted I should have gone anyway, but here’s my logic: I can accept a gain at my weigh in if I know I haven’t been working very hard. But registering a gain when I’ve been busting my ass? That just kills my spirit. I was already extremely frustrated, and I know I would have cried.

He understood that logic, but looking back he was right. I did not have a good day yesterday. I had two glasses of wine with dinner, and I way overindulged on some pita chips and this pumpkin gingerbread I made. I was pissed. This has just been so much harder than I thought it would be. In the last ten weeks, I’ve only lost 7.6 pounds. I’m only halfway to my first goal of losing 15 pounds. At this rate, it will take me 20 weeks (5 months) to reach that goal. I guess that time will pass regardless of what I’m doing, so I just have to accept how slow it will be. I do feel a fire lighting under my ass, though. I’m feeling fired up to completely own my weigh in next week. We’ll see!

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