Wednesday, January 15, 2014

So a funny thing happened when I started to love my body

As I mentioned before, I have a history of flirting with eating disorders. I liked to challenge myself to go seriously below on my calories or points or whatever fad diet I was on for the moment. Hunger was a badge of accomplishment to me. I was strong if I could ignore those pains.

But now that I love my body, why would I want to punish it?

I discovered tracking my food is really preventing two things: binging and the bored snacking (eat a bite of the kid's sandwich here, finish his dinner there, grab a handful of chips while I walk by the kitchen). I have made sure to eat when I'm hungry - there's no hangry girl here. However, I have made sure to eat only when I'm hungry. If I feel like snacking, I stop and ask I just bored? Thirsty? Habit? Feeling emotionally deficient? I'll have a glass of water, or some tea, or some Diet Rockstar. I'll hug my kid. I will stretch my back and my legs.  If I'm still hungry, I'll eat something. I didn't confine myself to those 1500-1600 calories MFP suggested. I ate what I wanted to (in 1 or 2 serving sizes) and then added the food items to the app after. For snacks, and I have a general idea of what foods have complex calories and which ones are empty, I decided what I would eat without looking at the labels. I know a cup of yoghurt will fill me up for a while. I didn't know how many calories a food item was before I ate it, because this experiment wasn't an attempt to stick to a calorie plan, but rather feed my body when hungry with wholesome food. I was surprised to find out that by listening to my body, I naturally only ate about 1400-1600 calories.

This bout of weight gain wasn't self destructive, though. It was an exercise in body love, which is the only exercise I do, btw. Now it's time to show my body I love her by providing nutritional food; feeding her when she's hungry, and breaking the habit of bored and binge eating. I want a healthy relationship with food. I've finally got to the point in my life where all my other relationships are healthy, this one should be, too. Except chocolate and peanut butter... you will always be my baby blue; my blue sky, my reasons for taste buds, you sexy little empty calories, you.

Damnit, where's that Reese's?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stretching out your tightness; Good enough to make you grow

One thing I miss about my smaller days (or maybe it was just being in my early 20's), was my flexibility. I could palm the ground, do American splits, and sit on the ground and bend forward to kiss my knees. Now I can't even bend at the waist to touch my toes with my fingertips.

One of my goals this year is to read more novels. I'm trying to spend 20 minutes or so a few times a week reading while I stretch. That's one great thing about the Kindle is it's a lot less cumbersome than a 600 page novel. I'd like to be able to scratch my back without feeling like I pulled a muscle.

One thing about anything remotely close to exercise is that my brain goes batty if it's left alone too long without distraction. That's why meditation was never my cup of tea. I actively try NOT to be alone in my brain. Yoga actually seems really calming and awesome, but that whole inner peace thing escapes me.

I do need to set a better example for my kid. Maybe if he sees me stretching about he'll show some interest.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

When I wake up in my make up

I also don't keep up on things I really should, like mani/pedis, my hair color, or my eyebrows. Half the time I forget to wash my face before I go to bed and a bottle of foundation can last me upwards of a year. I know, I know, natural beauty, blah blah blah, but I feel better about myself when my hair doesn't look like crap and my toes aren't all snaggly, I just don't put in the time and effort necessary. It's not that I don't think I deserve to look cute and pretty, I just would rather look at funny pictures on the internet than spend 45 putting myself together. I'm not really that busy, to be honest. Sure, some days are chaotic, but for the most part, my life is fairly chill. I stay up way too late watching TV or reading that I just collapse into bed at 2 am. I need to make my body a priority, and I don't just mean weight or pant size.

Beauty is more than BMI. And for all the effort I put in to fitting my pants, I'm going to put equal amounts of effort into my presentation. I am worth 45 minutes in the morning to clean myself up, even if I don't leave the house all day and am only putting jammy pants on or never get out of my TARDIS robe (working from home is the bomb, yo). 

Also, I'm an adult and flossing my teeth should be part of my daily routine. I'm still not going to work out, though. Cause, eww.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Well, now I know how much I weigh.

I was updating My Fitness Pal. Even though I am not dieting or counting calories, I wanted a rough estimate of what I should be eating and compare it to what I actually eat. I was eating about a thousand calories a day MORE than what was recommend to just maintain my weight. Considering I had daily binges, this shouldn't BE a surprise. I'm also 15 pounds heavier than I even thought I was.  I guess it is progress in the body love department that I didn't see every pound cling on and still don't mind how I look naked. This is all a quest to fit the pants I currently have, not some dream "skinny clothes."

The past year has been a body love pilgrimage for me. I really hadn't stepped on the scale much and this summer I bought all new clothes to fit the body I had (at the time) rather than trying to lose weight to fit the clothes I had. And now I don't fit those. But what's different this time, is I don't feel like a failure or worthless or a fat pig. Like most things in my life, I took it a little too extreme and gained an unhealthy amount of weight in a short time. I really don't even want to know my cholesterol right now considering all the fast food I've eaten. Which totally reminds me I need to donate platelets soon (I get a free blood work up every time I donate). But I can say it was fucking delicious and I enjoyed every last bite.

I am hoping this new found love of body will help guide me as I rein in my eating. I really am only the size I am because of what I eat and the fact that I move about as much as a turnip in a stew (they typically sink to the bottom). I don't have diabetes or a thyroid condition or POCS. I simply choose not to be physically active and shove my face whenever I am bored.  Because of this, weight gain was typically a deep self hating experience followed by weeks of restriction and punishment. I don't really know how to cut back without going anorexic (I literally mean that, I'm not using a mental illness as hyperbole).

So let's try moderation. It's a new concept for me and I hope that by seeing the cutting back not as punishment for gaining weight, but rather a solution to pants that are too tight, I can avoid the cycle of self hatred that always ends up with me doing lines of cheesecake.

Monday, January 6, 2014

How to succeed at fitting your pants without really trying

As previously mentioned, I'm a bit of a binge eater. I'm really an "excess in all sorts" type of person. It's why I don't really drink or do hard drugs. Once I pop, I can't stop.

I've learned in the past that this excess goes both ways. I'll diet to excess. Part of the reason Weight Watchers was such a huge success was because I saw it as a challenge. If one day I made it through with 21 of my 23 points, why couldn't I do 20 the next day? So on and so forth to the point I would be rocking about 400 calories a day...until I crashed and burned and ate everything that didn't eat me first.

So with this self awareness, I'm going to try something new. I'm going to track what I eat (via My Fitness Pal), but not limit my calories. The only limitation I will have is that I'm allowed a maximum of 2 servings of any particular item in a day (except for fruits, vegetables, and milk). By tracking my intake, I will be aware of how much I'm eating in a day. I'm also hoping logging on to report will stop me from bored eating.

I really would like a healthy relationship with food. I want to be able to enjoy eating, and not simply eat weight loss food that tastes like crap. But I also want to be able to stop with a handful of M&M's and not eat the entire family size bag in a day. I would like a package of Oreos to last a week, not an evening.

One thing I think will really help is that I actually made a 2 week meal plan and shopped accordingly. This will help me because I won't be grabbing dollar burgers here and there (and then eating 3 of them for a 1000 calorie meal).

If you want to friend me on MFP, I'm diomiralawrence

Til the next time, lovely readers. I'm going to go have some tea and a nice bath.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I don't know how much I weigh.

For the first time in my life, I don't know how much I weigh. I stopped looking at the scale almost a year ago (ironically, Christmas 2012 I finally got this sweet smart scale that would tell me my weight and how much it's changed since my last weigh in, as well as a BMI calculation). I tried this experiment where I wouldn't know how much I weighed and just go by how I feel and how my clothes fit. I'd find out my weight on my few visits to the doctor a year and that was enough for me.

But the problem is...I'm a binge eater. And through this year of body love and not beating myself up for my diet and eating whatever I want, I gained a bit of weight (no clue how much). I only know this because my clothes fit awkwardly.

So now a new experiment: make minor lifestyle changes so I can fit my clothes. Gone are the dreams of a single digit pant size and a flat stomach. I'm beautiful no matter what the tag on my pants says. I do have a lot of really freaking cute clothes that I happen to enjoy wearing and plus size clothing isn't cheap. A decent pair of jeans is $40, minimum (my friends and I like to call this fat girl tax). And truth be told, I don't want to spend $300 on new clothes. I have piles and piles of clothes I love. I have 3 bras I only wore a handful of times before the band started digging. 

This is going to be an exceptionally interesting experiment as I am concurrently attempting to use every item in my kitchen.

All of this is much easier said than done. My only goal is to comfortably fit the clothes I currently own. The hard part is figuring out how to do that while loving what I am now. Typically when I lost weight in the past it was through berating and hating myself. Let's see how this journey goes when the starting line is love.