Saturday, February 17, 2007

Smorgasbord of info: weigh-in, rewards, goals, being away from home

I told my husband, "One of these weeks I'm not going to lose any weight, and then I'm going to have to keep myself from questioning what I'm doing. I know the way I'm eating is the right way, and the way I'm exercising is the right way, but salt or hormones or muscle are going to keep me from dropping any pounds one of these weeks. And I'm going to have to fend off anxiety I might have because of that."

And last week, sure enough, I didn't lose any weight when I weighed myself. Luckily, I had talked myself through it in advance, so I wasn't overcome with anxiety or doubt or loathing (there was nothing to loathe, since I'm not holding myself to some terribly strict accounting system). I told him and he said, "Well, you knew it would happen some time." We can see and feel how I am smaller, so I knew the weight was just a trick.

So I just kept on keeping on--no negative emotions, just a blip on my radar screen. And sure enough, this week I'm down 2.6 more pounds, so things are back on track-not that they were necessarily ever off track.

I've crossed the 10-pound weight-loss mark, which means I get my first reward! I am going to buy a pair of frivolous shoes, and I am going to make my husband go shopping with me for them. I think I want some green loafers. That might sound strange, but . . . I don't know--it's what I've been wanting. It's the type of shoes I would never normally buy unless they were on clearance for $5 or something. As for the husband thing, I truly have one of the best husbands in the world, but the boy HATES shopping. I told him he has to go to be supportive, though. We'll see how he does! I looked for some green loafers online and loved a Prada pair, but, yeah, I'm not paying that much for a pair of shoes. I also saw a Kate Spade pair I loved, but I'm not spending that much for shoes, either. I'm thinking the $50 range is about right.

I've been thinking about my other goal weight losses and how I would like to celebrate them when I reach them. If things continue apace, I should be down about 20 pounds soon before my (next) friend's wedding where I'll be a bridesmaid at the beginning of June. That wedding is at the beach in Florida, and I think I may order a new bathingsuit for that occasion if I have reached that milestone by then.

When I reach my halfway point--about 27 pounds--I am considering getting my teeth bleached. I realize that might sound horrifyingly superficial to some people, but I had braces in high school for four years and would really like to recapture the whiteness my teeth had before then. I am still thinking this one through. I'm not sure I can give up berries and chocolate and other staining foods for a while after the bleaching! And certainly, my teeth are not by any means horrible.

When I reach my goal weight . . . I want a big celebration for reaching my goal weight. I am looking into lasik eye surgery. My optometrist suggested two doctors to me, and I am going to visit them as time passes to see what each one would charge. I have worn glasses or contacts since I was in the fourth grade, and I've daydreamed about waking up and being able to see, about not worrying about wind ripping off my contacts when I'm outside, about being able to swim with my eyes open, about being able to rest my head any way I want late at night while I read a book--I have daydreamed about all of those things and others ever since I first heard about laser eye surgery when I was in middle school. And because my eyes have gotten really bad--they can no longer make my right eye 20/20 even with glasses or contacts--and because I have developed astigmatism in the last year, my latest order of glasses lenses (no new frames! just lenses!) and only 6 months of contacts cost me four hundred and sixty dollars. That's also separate from the $100 or whatever I paid for my exam. (I have to get glasses made of a special material if I don't want them to be old-school coke-bottle thick.) My eyes get worse every year, so I could make up the cost of lasik in 2.5-3 years of buying contacts and glasses. Moreover, I will have some money from our settlement that is just my blow money to use as I please. (A huge percentage of the money we're getting will be invested; we'll just have a small amount for other purposes.) I would never go into debt to give myself a reward, because I've found that debt is one of the greatest stressors of life (I've spent the last 3 years dumping debt), but if I have the money, I honestly think getting lasik done would be one of the most joyful things I could do for myself. And I think giving myself a reasonable goal weight--150 is what I'm thinking--where I can get lasik done will be a good motivator to keep me thinking about keeping my body happy.

As for the shorter term, well, we're visiting my husband's parents this weekend--a four-day visit to make up for my husband not being able to travel at Christmas after his accident. I really enjoy being at my in-law's house, especially given how beautifully clean and uncluttered it always is (unlike our apartment--we have got to do better with it). Anyway, one thing that is more difficult while visiting people is controlling what you eat. Yesterday, due to some serious flight complications, we ate lunch in the airport: I had a burger and chips--only ate about 2/3 of either, but still. I thought, Well, at least I'll have a healthy dinner tonight. We got to my husband's parents house to discover his mom was coming home late and his dad intended for us to order in pizza. I am not supposed to eat tomato sauce because of a medical issue, so we ordered an alfredo pizza for me to eat. I ate two slices and stopped, waiting for my stomach to catch up. Then my husband's mom offered us gourmet brownies with ice cream! I got half a brownie and a scoop of ice cream; I ate a few bites, and then I realized I was done with getting something sweet. (I have discovered that when I want dessert, I usually actually want only 1-3 bites of dessert, if I listen carefully to myself.) I threw the rest away. Today, I woke up and ate my usual breakfast--apple and natural almond butter on whole-grain toast. But when lunch arrived, the family was having burritos: flour tortillas with refried beans (with a touch of LARD in them), cheese, olives, salsa, onions, and sour cream. When they eat burritos, they eat fried tortilla chips. (When we eat burritos or tacos at home, I serve them with a low-cal soup on the side.) I got my burrito with no sour cream and tried to eat a reasonable portion of chips, though 1 oz. of chips from a 20-serving bag is pretty damn difficult to calculate by eyeing it. After lunch--surrounded by desserts!--I eventually ate a 1-oz. square of dark chocolate with raspberry filling. Then my husband's sister gave us our belated Christmas presents, and mine included a variety of chocolate, so I ate another, approximately 1-oz. serving. For dinner tonight, we went to Cracker Barrell. I got fried chicken tenderloins (and then wondered why I had ordered them fried when I like them better grilled), mac'n'cheese, and green beans. I ate a biscuit with butter and jam before the food came, and by the time the food arrived, I wasn't terribly hungry, so I only ate about 1/2 of my mac'n'cheese and green beans and less than a third of my chicken. My husband said he was emulating me and stopped after eating half of his French toast and half of his turkey sausage.

But all I'm doing basically is listing what I've eaten when what I meant to do is say that, even under the best of circumstances, controlling foods while you are visiting someone's home is more difficult than making good choices in your own home or with your own restaurant picks. If that means that I only maintain my weight loss this week and don't lose more, that's okay with me. We're here twice a year. The biggest thing I can control is my exercise, so I went on a long walk today, hoping desperately as I went that the strong wind I was walking into wouldn't rip off my contacts. (SEE?) I know that I have changed in my approach to weight loss, because a 'set-back' because of visiting someone would have really frustrated me on any previous diet. Now I recognize it's just life--one of the little times I can't be as careful, not anything that can stop my overall motion if I don't let it.

Oh! And there was another little milestone of change that occurred. Because of my husband's injury to his collarbone, I didn't want him to pull our big suitcase from our house to the public transportation that's maybe half a mile away when we were headed to the airport. Instead, I pulled it. Last fall when we took a trip, I was pulling my suitcase and huffed and puffed and turned purple. This time, though it was a work-out, I never thought I was going to die from pulling it. That was so exciting to me!

And I pointed out to my husband that when I have reached a weight that is healthy for me, I will have lost about the amount of weight in that suitcase! That is really something to think about. Tomorrow at the store, I want to see how the 11.4 pounds I have lost feel in my arms by holding rice or sugar or something of about that weight.

Tomorrow night I am cooking dinner for his family. VEGETABLES all the way! I miss and crave them when I don't have lots of them now. I want healthfully prepared vegetables at nearly every meal.

Someone asked me after a recent post how I know it's the right time for me to get a personal trainer. As I mentioned earlier in some post, my husband and I had cheered me on for selling my car (which we really didn't need where we live now) by saying I could get a trainer when we sold my car. I got a good deal on the financing for my car--no interest--but there was no point in paying the $350/mo. (between the car payment and the insurance) for a second car when the first was paid off and we only had a need for one. So off my car went to a lovely lady who I think will take good care of it. Now we have $350 extra a month. Most of that will go into our retirement savings, but when I can get a certified trainer at my husband's university gym for $150 for 10 sessions--$15 a session, so $60 a month--how can I turn that down? I just want to find a trainer who is not an ass; I get the impression many of them are (in general, not at his school) from friends who have them. I don't want anyone to belittle me or try to exert control over me; I want guidance and support. I want knowledge. I hope I can make that as clear to a trainer as I have it in my head!

I don't know where the author is--I have just simply forgotten--but my husband and I read a blogpost a while back about the importance of putting money into your weight-loss and work-out goals. I think it's important to realize that all the equipment in the world isn't going to make you fitter if you don't exercise, but I think it's also important to make it a priority to equip yourself for what it is you're trying to do. Because we buy organic and fresh food whenever possible, and because we avoid processed food as often as we can, our budget has an abnormally high percentage set aside for groceries--and I'm perfectly comfortable with that. We don't pay high gym fees; we don't have cable; we don't blow a lot of money on entertainment. Having a higher percentage of money go towards feeding ourselves healthy foods is worthwhile now and will pay off in the future, where, with any luck, we'll be going through medical shit less often than some people who have not chosen to take care of themselves. (I do not mean to imply that you only get sick if you don't take care of yourself, because that is not the case. But it makes good sense to do what you can to avoid stuffing your body with artificial chemicals, preservatives, saturated and partially hydrogenated fats, etc.) Similarly, if we had to make a small cut in a couple of other budget places for me to afford a trainer, that would be okay with me--and because I have a supportive husband who listens to me well (okay, he listens well most of the time, anyway), most things that are important to me become a priority for him in his support of me.

I have another comment but am, at last, going to start another post for it!

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