Sunday, September 23, 2007

My body continues to amaze me...

I know, I know. I should be taken out back and smacked upside the head a few times. I've been missing in action. It's maddening, but that's how my life has become. Just to give you an idea...I had an unexpected business trip this week. Yup, completely out of the blue.

One day I'm in the office, the next I'm on the road, scrambling to find healthy eating options while traveling with people who would prefer to find a place where they can inhale as much alcohol as possible.

I'm happy to say despite that, my eating stayed in reason. And for the past two weeks, as I've started to get a better grip on the craziness that is my scheduled, I've managed to find plenty of time for quality workouts.

It's felt great to get back on track after two weeks of NOT eating well and not exercising.

So can someone please tell me why this week, when I went to my WW meeting, I gained a pound?

This came after last week--where I stayed the same.

I simply do not understand.

I do not understand how two weeks ago, I was eating junk and not exercising and I lost 3 pounds. Now, I get back on track, exercise, eat better and I gain weight? It's maddening. Frustrating. Bananas.

The only thing that keeps me from going bonkers is that I KNOW things are happening. Good things.

As in a shopping excursion that DIDN'T involve the plus-sized department.

Seeing a friend for the first time in months and leaving her practically speechless.

Walking tall and finding confidence I didn't know I had.

Somehow, all of that keeps happening, even if the scale doesn't cooperate. For now, I can be patient.

Let's see how long "for now" is...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A scary look into the future?

My parents are travel agents. Meaning, they're never home. They're always out and about, taking people on fabulous trips while most of the time, I'm left home to sulk.

Okay, not sulk really, but because my grandmother (who lives with my parents) is 83 and really not able to stay home alone, Mr. CCC and I "move in" to my parents house while they're gone.

We're there to keep watch over the house, the pets and of course, my grandmother. This week has been a difficult one, but one that's been eye-opening as well.

A few days ago, my grandmother woke up complaining of a pain in her neck and back. We figured she'd just slept on her neck funny and that a day of medicine and rest would get her back to normal.

Yesterday, when I asked how she was feeling, she said much better. I figured the issue was past until this morning...when my grandmother woke up screaming and crying because she could not move.

Mr. CCC and I packed her up and took her to the doctor. Just as I was getting ready to leave though, she tells me to grab all her medicines from her nightstand so she could show the doctor what she was taking.

I was more than a little surprised at what I found when I went back inside for her medicine--there were bottles and bottles and bottles. Grabbed 'em, put 'em in a bag and headed out.

When the doctor finally saw her and asked what she was taking, I produced the aforementioned "little" bag. As he looked at them, he explained to me what they were all for.

One for her cholesterol. One for her high blood pressure. Another for arthritis. Another for controlling or doing something with her blood sugar levels.

My head was spinning.

I know my grandma is older. And I understand our bodies start to fail us but as I watched in sadness while the doctor poked and prodded at my grandmother to try and find a solution for her pain, I couldn't help but wonder how different my grandma's life would be if she'd lost weight.

She's been overweight as long as I've been alive. For a good chunk of my life, she smoked. (Fortunately, she gave that up about 10 or 12 years ago...). But doctors have been on her for ages to lose weight. All of her weight (like that of most overweight Cuban women) is centered right on her midsection, something I know makes the weight even more damaging.

Even scarier? I was there when the doctors weighed my grandmother. She weighs less than I do. (She's also about six inches shorter...but when I checked our BMIs, hers is lower.)

It was sobering. But I know there's hope.

A year ago, when I started this journey, I weighed 30 pounds more than I do today. My BMI was at 41. It's at 36 now...still not good, but obviously, progress. And this week, when I went to the doctor and was weighed, I got the inevitable, "You need to lose weight" lecture. (I cut her some slack because it was my first visit--and the lecture stopped when I told her I'd lost 30 pounds and was continuing to work on things).

The other thing that stopped my doctor in her tracks? She took my blood pressure and said, "You exercise, don't you?" to which I responded that I did...and she smiled and said, "I knew it...because your blood pressure is perfect and there's no way someone at your weight should have that blood pressure...unless they're excercising. Keep at it and next year, I can't wait to see your weight."

It was a good moment for me but I had no idea that two days later, I'd be sitting in another doctor's office with a glimpse into my future if I don't "keep at it."

So many times, I get frustrated about my weight because I don't look good. Because I can't buy the clothes I want. Because it's about vanity.

I got another reminder today that there's a lot more at stake.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If she's fat...I'm doomed!

Okay, have to admit...

Despite the fact I own one of her CDs, I'm no Britney Spears fan.

I don't think she can sing (the aforementioned CD was purchased many many moons ago while I was quite possibly, intoxicated). I think her tramped-out image is cliche. Her career is in the toilet and her personal life ain't doing much better.

But today, I feel real, real bad for her.

Two days after her horrible performance at the VMA's a lot of people have a lot of mean things to say. Is the outfit a good choice? No. Was her "singing" worth the hype? No. She couldn't dance. She was clearly lip-synching but people can and have overlooked all of that.

What they can't seem to overlook is her body. In its review, the Associated Press wrote Brit-Brit's performance failures included, "The paunch in place of Spears' once-taut belly."

Perez Hilton, a man who looks like he's never met an order of fries he didn't love, called it a "beer belly."

Uh, wait a second. That. That up there...over there...that flat, yet curvy stomach has a "paunch." It's a beer belly?

Hey AP--wanna see a paunch? I can show you a paunch. Britney? She ain't got one to show. Perez, you want to know about beer bellies, take a look at yourself in the mirror. (Or click here...)

To call Britney's body--one that most women, including myself would kill to have--"paunchy" or fat is just proof of how unhealthy our society's outlook on bodies is.

We sit here wringing our hands about the increases in eating disorders. We complain that fashion models are nothing more than hangers with flesh, but then when a woman who has had two children in less than two years struts out in a bikini with a curve or two and no six-pack we call her "fat."

Hypocritical much?

Worse is that the more I've read up on this, the more I'm coming across people justifying their mean words about her body by saying, "Well she didn't look like that before!" or "It's her job to look good."

Can we take a step back in time to "before"--when Britney was running around in school-girl outfits and covering herself with a snake...back when all of the people criticizing her NOW said she was too thin then and that it was impossible for the average woman to look like that.

Now Britney's heavier than she was and she's still getting grief?

Sad, sad world we live in.

Criticize her performance. Say she was drunk and that she looked out of it. Talk about how she can't sing. I'll agree with you wholeheartedly.

But please...don't call Britney Spears fat. She's far from it.

And if she is fat, then well, maybe I should throw in the towel. Because it's going to take a ridiculous amount of self-control and exercise for me to look like that.

She's got breasts. She's got curves. She's still got the rockin' body.

What the hell is wrong with us if we can't see that?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Utterly confused!!!

You know how we all have those weeks--the weeks where we stay on our weight loss plans, exercise like mad, follow all the guidelines we're supposed to and when we go weigh in nothing happens?

This wasn't one of those weeks. Actually, I had the OPPOSITE kind of week...heck, opposite kind of TWO weeks.

I'm still trying to navigate and master my new schedule and I must confess--there have been more than a few meals eaten in my car this week. If you can read between the lines, you know "eating in my car" means eating from a drive-thru. Think McDonald's. BK. Wendy's. Panda Express. You're rolling your eyes at me. I don't blame you!

I really do go out of my way to try and make the best choices I can, even when it's fast food. Mushroom chicken at Panda Express with steamed rice. Grilled chicken breasts from Pollo Tropical. But there was an order of nachos from Taco Bell thrown in there. And a cheeseburger too.

To make matters worse, I have not been working out as much as I did before school started. Instead of my 4-5 weekly workouts (plus pilates), I'm lucky if I'm getting in there three times. And this week, I was so sick on Wednesday morning because of a medicine I'm (temporarily) taking that I could barely drag myself out of bed--no pilates for me this week.

Yet in a weird stroke of "I really don't know how to explain it," I went to my WW meeting on Saturday--after missing last week's meeting--and get this...I LOST 3.6 POUNDS!

Baffling isn't even the half of it.

I'm at a complete loss for an explanation. By all accounts, it hasn't been my "best" two weeks. There have been weeks where I've spent countless hours in the gym, have tracked every meal, have stayed within my points and I've gained ounces...or haven't lost at all. (Remember the six week plateau?)

Then I have two weeks like this--hectic eating on the run, bare-bones workouts and I lose almost four pounds? Seriously...WTF? What the heck is my body doing?

I don't have any answers other than maybe I have been doing more than I give myself credit for. But honestly, I really don't know.

Part of me is almost terrified--that maybe this weight loss was a delayed reaction to what I've been doing all summer and that when I go back to the scale next week, my "naughty" two weeks are going to catch up with me. And then part of me thinks, "Well, it wasn't pretty or ideal, but you DID stick to your points. So maybe your body just needed a shock."

I don't have any answers. I really don't. Maybe you can help.

Here are a few of the things I've done over the past two weeks...I'll dare you to tell me if any of them sound like "the right things to do to lose weight."

*Eaten from a fast food restaurant multiple times in one day (although I didn't go over my points)

*Worked out much less than in previous weeks

*On each of the past Fridays, only had two meals. (Fridays are the nights I get home super late--past 1 a.m., so what I do is have a nice breakfast, exercise, and then eat a late, filling lunch around 4, 5 p.m....then by the time I get home at 1 a.m., I'm too exhausted to eat)

*Blew through all--if not most--of my flex points on the weekend (My new count starts on Saturdays)

*Journaled every bite, regardless of whether I went over my points or not.

*Went over my points a few days. Period. Over my daily points with no flex points to use

So there's some good there (the journaling) and some bad (only eating two meals on Fridays?) Do you think all this behavior is going to catch up with me next week?

I don't know why, but I do...

That said...I was DAMN HAPPY to see some progress on the scale. Again, after six weeks of waffling with the same pound, to kick that number behind for good was incredibly powerful for me! what?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Lost and Found

Bet you thought I was exaggerating, didn't you?

You thought, "Oh CCC! You're not nearly as busy as you think! You'll find time to exercise! You'll keep eating right. You'll stay on track. You're just psyching yourself out..."

My worst fears about time management concerns came crashing down over the past few days. But the good thing is, somehow, I am still stumbling through.

Has my eating been perfect since I last posted? Nope. Has it been disastrous? Nope. Am I still finding my way through a new schedule that has me stumbling home past midnight a couple times a week? You bet!

After coming home from work Friday night (err, morning) at 2, when the alarm clock rang at 9 a.m. for my WW meeting, I hit snooze. When it rang again at 10 so Mr. CCC and I could get ourselves together to head down to Miami to watch my beloved Hurricanes play, I hit snooze again. The lack of sleep caught up with me. (But fear not--Mr. CCC drives like a bat out of hell and we made it on time to the game, whew ;)

But it wasn't just my lack of sleep that wreaked havoc on my life over the past week...last Sunday when Mr. CCC and I went to my mother's for dinner I left my WW books and journals sitting in her living room. Yipes! The old me would have tried to "measure in my head" and probably would have failed...but thank heavens for online tools--I looked up all the point values for everything I ate and logged everything in the notes section of my planner.

Woo hoo for baby steps.

I got a reward of sorts today at the doctor's office--according to their scale, I'm down a pound. I was pretty excited about that, though I'm trying to contain my excitement...that's not my regular scale and who knows how calibrated it is, but either way, it felt good to know that despite the challenges I've faced in the past week and a half, my weight loss efforts haven't gone to hell in a handbasket.

I'm a few days away from being back on the scale officially, and I'm doing whatever I can whenever I can to keep myself on track...planning meals, journaling, squeezing in workouts whenever possible (including Labor Day!)

But I have to admit--I hate the lack of structure. I'm definitely flying by the seat of my pants here and the control freak in me isn't happy.

Just. Have. To. Keep. Plugging.