Friday, April 25, 2008

Moving at a snail's pace...

I have to admit--my absence this week has had as much to do with my crazy work schedule (I'm sitting in yet another hotel room as I type this!) and my general 'bummed out-ness.'

This week marked a month of training with Ms. A...after a disappointing showing on my scale at home, I decided to fess up to her that I didn't think much anything was happening. We sat down to do my measurements, measure my body fat percentage and see how much weight I'd lost according to her scale.

Her scale showed a 3-pound loss (mine showed a 1-pound loss), I've lost just 1 1/4 total inches off my body and my body fat percentage was down 0.01.

Progress? Yes, but I'm crawling along. And Ms. A wasn't happy. So we sat down and talked about my diet--it's not ideal yet, but still. She kept shaking her head and saying, "You should be losing more than this..."

We came up with a few plans--cut down on rice and carbs and start making the switch from white, refined carbs to whole wheat. But she also said I should do something I've been putting off--go see my doctor.

I've been dreading going to see my doctor for a while. Partly because I'm afraid hearing something is wrong. But my lack of weight-loss progress isn't the only thing going on. I haven't been feeling like myself lately. And as if some sort of divine intervention was going on, I got home and came across an article in Self about thyroid problems.

I ran through the checklist of symptoms and noticed I had a few, including some not even limited to my weight loss problems. It kind of confirmed what I'd been fearing all along. And I understand thyroid issues aren't the end of the world, but it's hard to grasp something may be wrong with your body.

Either way, I've schedule an appointment to go see my doctor. Unfortunately, she can't see me until mid-May, which gives me plenty of time to worry, plenty of stress. I'm trying not to, but it's getting so hard. So hard to deal with the fact I am working so hard and not seeing much progress. But as I've been writing for the past few months--what are my options?

Quit and see my weight go back up? Throw away two years of hard work? I refuse to do that, even if right now, the only thing I want to do is kick a few walls in.

Friday, April 18, 2008

But it looked so healthy!

As someone who's been dieting on and off for at least the past 10 years, I've started to consider myself somewhat of a pro when it comes to eating out...eating out is a way of life for me and when I'm really "in the zone" of eating well, I can go out to eat, pick the healthy stuff and truly enjoy the company.

I know all the "danger" words to avoid on a menu. Anything that's described as "creamy," "cheesy," or "crispy" is usually very tasty--but very bad for you. "Grilled" and "steamed"--those are things that are going to work.

So I felt pretty confident the other day when I made a run to Wendy's for lunch. I like the occasional Wendy's run--the chili is low-fat and pretty filling. Their grilled chicken sandwich is pretty good too (And I make it even better by getting it sans mayo and instead, putting some hot sauce on it. I'm a sucker for spicy!)...and that's what I intended to get when I pulled up to the drive-thru.

Until I saw the new Wendy's Go-Wraps on the menu board. Okay, I knew the fried and homestyle one were out the window. But the grilled one didn't look so bad. Especially, since in trying to analyze the picture, I saw it had little orange sticks mixed in with the lettuce. Carrots? YUM!

I ordered it, instead of my normal grilled chicken sandwich, and was happy as could be.

Until I got back to my office and opened the wrapper...those orange sticks I thought were carrots? Nope, gooey, yellow melted cheese. (In all seriousness, I'm not kidding. I really did think it was carrots--the kind that gets added in pre-packaged salads). Making it worse, it was slathered in ranch dressing.

I looked up the nutritional damage...260 calories, 11 grams of fat...for what's supposed to be an "add-on" item? (Cause let's be honest--I didn't think it was big enough to be a meal.) Eep! I peeled the cheese off, tried to scrape as much dressing off as possible, trashed the flour tortilla and ate the chicken breast and my chili. Needless to say, I was predictably hungry later.

I know now I should have gone with my usual--something I knew the nutritional stats for going in--but I got sidetracked. By something I thought was healthy and later learned wasn't.

I absolutely hate when that happens. When you think something's good for you only to learn later it's not? This has happened to me on certain occasions too--restaurant salads fall into this category and it's maddening.

It wasn't a diet disaster moment, but just one of those reminders that you really do need to be careful when you eat out--no matter how much you think you know about a menu or what you're eating. Looks can be very, very deceiving!

Friday, April 11, 2008

I want to be Chloe Marshall!

Like most women who are battling their weight, I've found myself at odds on plenty of occasions with beauty pageants, fashion magazines, the fashion industry and the like.

As I've gotten older, while yes, I'm unhappy with my size, I've gained some respect and appreciation for my body and all that it does. But there are still moments when self-loathing creeps in because I can't find a nice dress or because no one makes a nice bathing suit for someone my size.

So imagine my delight when I came across an article about Chloe Marshall, a 17-year old beauty queen from England. Before you roll your eyes, take a look at Ms. Marshall...hardly your typical beauty queen.

She ain't tiny and she ain't blonde. If you look, you'll see--get ready for this--breasts. And curves. And arms bigger than toothpicks.

I'm sure you're stunned. I know I was. She's pretty, she's curvy and she thinks her body is fine just the way it is. And she hopes her entry into the Miss England pageant will show more young women that it's okay to be a normal size.

Hooray for self-esteem!

Of course, once I discovered Chloe's story, I was intrigued to read more. So I googled her name and came up with several hundred blog posts, stories and comments about her. Ouch. Daily Mail columnist Monica Grenfell wrote a scathing editorial on why Chloe Marshall shouldn't win the Miss England pageant.

Here's a little gem from Ms. Grenfell's piece:

"Who on earth does she think she's kidding? What she's demonstrating isn't bravery but a shocking lack of self-control.

Instead of flaunting her figure, Chloe ought to own up to the truth. She is fat and she got that way by over-eating.

I don't take any pleasure in attacking Chloe - after all she's only 17. But I think she has been very badly advised in her bid to champion the cause of bigger girls.

In my view, Chloe is a terrible role model.

I hope she doesn't win the Miss England title.

It would send an appalling - and very dangerous - message to other young women that it's OK to be fat."

Really, Ms. Grenfell? You don't take any pleasure in attacking a normal-sized, hard-working girl who's set out to do nothing but be a positive role model? Sounds like there is just a touch of sanctimonious, self-righteous hatred going on here.

You read Ms. Grenfall's piece and think Chloe must be at least 450 pounds, rolling herself down the aisle and smooshing herself into an inappropriately-sized bikini.

Turns out fatty Chloe Marshall is 5-foot-10, 176 pounds.

Type that into the National Institute of Health BMI calculator and you get a reading of 25.3. The normal weight range is 18.5-24.9.

Yes, Chloe's 25.3 is over the "normal" limit but c'mon...

"A poster girl for diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, cancers and all the other devastating and potentially fatal health problems that are caused or exacerbated by obesity."


A little more research brought me to the fact that Ms. Grenfell is a health and diet "expert"--who just released her new book, "Crash Diet"--A book that teaches you to lose 7 pounds in 7 Days...

Ha! Methinks I'll take diet and health tips from the beauty queen, just this once. Go for it, Chloe! Here's to hoping she brings home the crown!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back home, back to my routine...

So it's been a rough week. Had to go away for a week for work and let's just is really, really good to be home.

On my last business trip, I lost complete control of myself. Ate whatever I wanted, didn't set foot in a gym, gained three (okay, maybe four) pounds. It was a diet disaster of the grandest proportions.

So you can imagine how nervous I was about the prospect of another business trip. One that I knew would last a week. But I trained with Ms. A the day before I left and upon researching the hotel discovered it had a 24-hour gym.

I felt good going in. Good that minutes after checking in, I was sweating away on a treadmill, good that the gym had free weights, machines, and resistance bands--all the equipment I use with Ms. A. It was great.

Until I got to the first work event and noticed the meal. Salad drenched in dressing, creamy mashed potatoes, rice pilaf and fried fish with buckets of tartar sauce. I went with the portion control theory here...but the next day, my choices were chicken parmesan and cheese tortellini in a cream sauce. Oh boy.

Needless to say, I ended up in the gym every day of my trip but one. I told myself, "If I can't eat the healthy stuff I want, I need to exercise extra hard."

As a result--came home today, weighed myself and I maintained. I'll take it.

Especially since the day before my trip, I went shopping for a few business-friendly outfits...and two weeks with Ms. A have already brought me down a size.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Bottomless Pit

There's one week a month that I swear, no matter what I do, what I eat or how much willpower I exercise, I feel just plain terrible.

Ladies, I'm sure you know what week I'm talking about.

This is the first time I've gone through PMS week since hiring Ms. A--and can I just say that yesterday's workout was especially brutal. I was dragging and struggling to finish every exercise. I was gaggy and gross and had absolutely no energy (Despite the fact I'm actually getting a good 8 hours of sleep a night).

I fessed up to what was going on and she suddenly understood...and told me it was absolutely normal. But she pushed me to keep going and keep going I did.

The dangerous part though has been the eating. I am a virtual bottomless pit before my period arrives. It's not that I crave anything in particular (Although today I fell prey to the siren song of some Wendy's fries--but I only ate a few before tossing the rest in the trash)...I'm just always hungry.

I can eat protein and it won't matter. Carbs do nothing for me. I just want to eat and eat and eat and eat. It's terrible.

Normally, I would tell myself, "Oh, relax. You have your period. You're entitled, have the cookies," and I'd indulge.

Now I'm trying to be a little more sensible and telling myself hunger--at least the hunger I'm feeling--won't kill me. I don't need to eat every hour on the hour. I am getting some nutritious meals in...I'm not really starving.

So what did I do when the mid-afternoon urge to eat hit?

Came to my computer, natch!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Progress, at last...

I'll be honest.

When I stepped on the scale this morning and saw I was only down a pound, I was disappointed.

I thought about all the work I've put in. How I've pushed myself like a madwoman at the gym. How I'm eating earlier and how I've given up soda.

I was thinking for all that effort, there'd be more than one pound gone. But it wasn't to be. And then as I sat there, upset, it hit me...

When was the last time I saw the scale go down, period?

The past month and a half (maybe even two months) have been nothing but gains or plateaus. Yes, I'm still higher than I want to be, but hello...a pound off is a pound off. How many times over the past two months had I wished I'd "only lost a pound."

So I'll take it. And I'll be happy. And I'll keep on going. One of these days I'll wrap my head around that...

I'll miss my WI next week since I'll be on yet another business trip, so really, it was good to see some progress. I'm really looking forward to stepping on the scale in two weeks...I think it'll be even better.