Tag Archives: weight gain

Getting Out Of A Food Funk (or I Need To Get Back To My Good Work)

I had been doing really great with food for the past few months. A lot of it started when I spent the day in the hospital and then was on a restricted diet for a bit while doctors figured out what was wrong with my liver. I lost quite a bit of weight during that time and I was binge free for a few weeks. I know that not having binges and restricted diet obviously helped with the weight loss, but I had also been keeping off the weight so I figured it was also the hard work I had been putting into things.

I’m still having trouble accepting compliments about the weight loss. It does still feel unearned to me in a way because the majority of what I lost was while I was sick so I didn’t feel like I did anything to earn it. I’m finally able to just say “thanks” when someone says I look like I’ve lost a lot of weight and not explain as much that it was because I was sick. But when people ask me what I did to lose the weight, then I end up telling them about being sick and the restricted diet I was on for a while.

There have been a lot of splurge meals lately. I need to be able to enjoy food and not stress about it, so I do allow splurges. The key is trying to get back on track with the next meal and not waiting for the next day, next week, next month to do so. I had been doing ok with that as well and I have been trying to plan my food around the splurge meals to try to eat lightly before and after the big meals. I think I’m a lot better at planning for before the meal than after, so I try to make those bigger meals dinners.

But this past week, I’ve been struggling a lot. It happened the day after my appointment with my therapist (ironic timing). I’ve had more binges in that week than I have had in a week in a while. The only good thing is that the binges are significantly fewer calories than they have been before. A lot of the binges are 1/3 or 1/4 of the calories of the old ones (yes, I track calories during binges when I can). I think that while this is a set back, it is progress at the same time and showing that my relationship with food is getting better. Obviously no binges would be better, but binges that are only 25% as strong as the old ones were is good.

From all the “bad” days I’ve had this past week, I’m up about 5 pounds. It’s not that much (and as a friend pointed out to me this gain could also be related to hormones), so the fact that I’m aware now is hopefully a sign that it will not continue to go up much and I can get it back down to where it was and then start making progress on my weight loss again. While my focus of getting my body ready for my liver surgery isn’t weight loss focuses, there is a number that I’d love to get to on the scale before I have surgery.

I know that being aware of these problems is a big step. In the past, I know that I have gone months before I realized that I had a problem. I’ve gained 40, 50, 60 pounds back after a weight loss before I took a second and realized that something wasn’t right. My binges were more of trances and I didn’t get out of the trance as quickly so I wouldn’t know I needed to stop. Awareness is a skill that I’m working on so I’m happy that there is a sign that it’s starting to work in my life. I just need to make that skill stronger and I don’t know how to do that outside of actual practice (which I don’t love because that means I can only work it when I have a binge episode).

I don’t want to blame the holidays for the increase in binges, but I know that having a busy social life can be a part of it. Things will be calming down for me in the next week or so, and hopefully that does help a bit. But on the other side, I know that being bored and having no plans can lead to binges as well so I need to find the perfect balance of busy and bored. It’s a balance that will be tough to find, but clearly I’m working my way toward that since these bad episodes are significantly better than they have been for me in the past.

Fit2Fat2Fit (or A Book and TV Show That Get It)

I while ago, I heard of the book “Fit2Fat2Fit“. It was the story of a personal trainer named Drew who gained 75 pounds so he could understand what it was like for his overweight clients to lose weight. Immediately I was interested and got the book to read. I read it so fast and loved the message that the trainer shared.

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So many trainers and coaches out there have never had to deal with a weight problem. They don’t understand the mental and physical toll excess weight puts on a person. They see someone overweight and think that the person is uneducated and just needs to be taught how to work out and eat better. They think it’s just as simple as that.

But that’s not the case at all.

Compared to most of my friends who have never had a weight issue, I’m possibly more educated about nutrition. I can guesstimate calories with the best of them. I know what is good, what is bad, and what is ok as a treat. Every bite I take I know if I should be ok eating it or if it’s something that I need to think of as an ok indulgence. I know the food pyramid, how many servings of each thing I should have each day/week, and how many calories my body takes to be alive. I might not be the most educated on what workout routines I should do, but I’ve got nutrition and food down. I may have an eating disorder, but I don’t have a lack of education.

Lack of education may be the issue for some people, but it isn’t for the majority. We know what we should and shouldn’t do, but there is something else in our bodies saying otherwise. And unless you have been there, you don’t get it. I try to explain it the best I can on here, but I know that the voice in my head is so much louder and more persuasive than I could ever explain.

That is why I loved the book so much. Drew didn’t understand at first that when you are heavy, you might not have the same motivation or energy to work out. Or if you are used to eating fatty foods that your body craves them and that eating healthy doesn’t give you the same joy that food has given you in the past (and you have depended on that joy from food). Once he gained the weight and tried to immediately get back to his old routine, he realized that it was not as easy as that. People don’t need to be educated, they need to be understood and guided to a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve been lucky at Orangetheory that none of my coaches have judged me or have tried to talk down to me because of my weight (that has happened with coaches/personal trainers in the past). They understand that I have an eating disorder and am working my way toward recovery. They get that I need support but not lectures. But I know that not everyone has that experience. As much as I think that all trainers should do this experiment to understand what their clients go through, I understand that it isn’t realistic. But I think reading the book can help them get it.

I’ve loved the book for a while, but I discovered last week that now there is a TV show on A&E with the same name about the same concept. A trainer takes 4 months to gain as much weight as they can and then work with an overweight client to take the weight off together. I’ve seen the first episode so far, and I really enjoyed it (and didn’t hate-watch it like I do with other weight loss shows). The trainer didn’t quite understand that things would be hard when he gained weight at first. But once it was time for him to get back into his regular routine and try to lose the weight, he got it. He understood the food withdrawal and the exhaustion of exercise. He became more empathic about what clients might be going through and saw the journey from the client side instead of the coach side.

I’m sure that all the episodes will follow a similar format, but I think that it is an amazing show to watch. I know that people will still judge me and other’s based on appearance, but hopefully they can understand the issues we face just a little bit more.

People Don’t Get It (or My Comment On The Dear Fat People Video)

Some of you may have seen a video online called “Dear Fat People”. I’m not going to link to it because I don’t want to necessarily promote it (if you want to watch it, it’s pretty easy to find). I actually had not seen the video until yesterday and I had some pretty strong feelings about it.

First of all, I guess the fat people video is supposed to be funny. The woman in it is a comedian who thought that it would be seen as a joke (or at least that’s what I’ve read in interviews). In the video, she claims that fat shaming isn’t a thing. People who are fat should be shamed so they can change themselves. She thinks that fat people are fat because they don’t know that it’s wrong and don’t know how to fix it. She tells a story about a family who are all overweight (she says that they smell like sausages and sweat out Crisco) and are on a plane with her. According to her, she has to hold back the son’s fat while he is sitting next to her so it doesn’t cover her. She goes on and on about more stories about how fat people don’t realize that they need to change because they are all dying off from fat diseases. She does say that this video isn’t about anyone who may have a medical condition who makes them fat.

I have so many issues with this video that I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, her disclaimer that this video isn’t about anyone with a medical condition is stupid. How does she know that the people she discusses in her video don’t have a medical condition? While I don’t have a medical condition that causes my weight issues (beyond my eating disorder) I do have an invisible disability with my hip issues. I get a pass when I go to Disneyland that lets me sit off to the side when I wait for rides. I still wait just as long as anyone in line, but I don’t have to stand in line while waiting. When it’s my turn, I get to go onto the ride. Many guests think this is a front of the line/instant access pass. It did used to be that way, but too many people were faking injuries to get it. Back then, the disability line for many rides were longer than the regular line (I once waited 3 hours for Space Mountain when the regular line was 1 because I need to use the accessible coaster car so I can get into the ride safely). Now that it’s not considered as desirable to people who fake their injuries, the wait times are similar or maybe a little longer than the regular line. With this pass, I’ve had some people shame me for using it. I’ve had people tell me that if I wasn’t so fat that I wouldn’t have to cheat the system. I’ve been called names. I’ve been pointed out and laughed at. In the beginning, I used to carry around the pictures from my surgery to call out people, but now I just don’t care. But it does make me mad when someone assumes that someone doesn’t have a disability because they can’t see it.

I also find the story of the airplane completely unbelievable. If someone doesn’t fit into one seat and will be encroaching onto another seat, the airlines are pretty quick to force that person to buy a second seat so they have enough room. The guideline is that the armrest needs to go completely down without any spillage for the airline to agree that you take up one seat (yes, I’ve been called out on this and it was stupid because there was more than enough room for the armrests to go down). If this woman really had to hold back the fat of someone to enjoy their flight, I’m sure that the other passenger would have been asked to buy a second seat. I’m sure that either this story is made up or exaggerated for theatrical purposes.

Finally, the person in the video believes that people who are fat don’t know what to do to fix it. While this might be true for some overweight people, the majority of the people I know with weight issues know more about health, nutrition, diet, and exercise than almost anyone else. This is because most of us have tried every diet under the sun to lose the weight and get healthy. I can tell you the calorie counts of so many different foods. If you tell me your weight, I can guess how many calories you will burn if you walk or run a mile with pretty decent accuracy. I know what drinks have added sugars, fake sugars, or have a base other than water. I probably could teach a class on nutrition by this point. And I think that most of you who are regular readers would agree that I am working pretty darn hard on my fitness and know what I need to do. If I didn’t have my eating disorder, I’d probably be a size 2 now.

To anyone who watched that video and was embarrassed about your weight issues, there’s no need to be. Everyone has their struggles in life. Those of us with weight issues just have our issues on the outside where everyone can see them. If you are happy at the size that you are and your doctors say that you are healthy, then stay exactly how you are. If you want to lose weight, do it. There are plenty of great and healthy ways to lose weight and become the best that you can be.

And if you watched that video and felt like that people who are overweight should be shamed, you should know that shaming someone isn’t probably going to motivate them. For people with eating disorders, it will probably make the problem worse. If there is someone you love who is an unhealthy weight and you are worried about them, try to let them bring the issue to you. It’s embarrassing to discuss these things at times and if someone else brings it up they might not want to talk about it and then keep it buried inside even longer.

I’m aware that this is a rant about a silly video online. But if I had seen that video online maybe 5 years ago, I would have had a very different reaction to it. I see it as silly now, but then I would have been devastated and would have wanted to avoid the public in fear of random people trying to shame or taunt me because of my weight.

But now I know that no matter how skinny or fat I might be, I’m still the same fabulous person. People love me for who I am and not what I look like. And anyone who thinks differently isn’t someone who I need in my life.

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The Good Outweighing The Bad? (or When Will I Get Back On Track?)

I’ve been having a lot of bad foods days lately.

I honestly don’t know why.

I’m stocking my fridge and pantry with a lot of the same things that I was eating during the cleanse and weight loss challenge. But I’ll go out and get “bad” foods if they aren’t in my house. And I always immediately regret the fact that I ate the “bad” foods as soon as it’s done.

This isn’t a boredom thing. It’s just the nature of my eating disorder. I almost go into a trance state when it happens. I sometimes don’t realize that I ate something until I see the empty wrapper or container in front of me. It scares me that I can lose track of time and myself and not realize it.

I have no idea why I did so well while on the cleanse and I’m having a tough time now. It really makes no sense to me. But this is a pattern that I’ve had in the past. When I’m on a food plan that has a specific end goal (like my first hip surgery or the weight loss challenge), I can do ok. But when the goal is a general one, whatever keeps me on the right path goes away.

The one big difference between now and other times when I’ve lost a decent amount of weight is that I’m still continuing with my workouts (and pushing myself more and more). Having my workout consistency is helping me with not gaining all the weight back right away. In the past, the weight came back as fast (if not faster) than I lost it.

I have gained back some. It’s less than half of what I lost, so that’s not too horrible. And my weight has held steady for the past week and a half at the amount I’ve gained back. I’m working really hard at trying to get back down to where I was (and get lower). My clothes aren’t too tight, so I know that the weight I’ve gained could be water weight. Normally when it’s “real” weight, my clothes feel tight immediately.

I’m still trying to focus on the fact that I’m still weighing less now than I was at the beginning of the year. And I’m making steps to be at a weight that I need to get to in order to consider getting my hip surgery.

I’m not sure if I’ll have another bad food moment/day in the near future. I’m really going to try to stay focused on my time and not to let time slip away. I’m continuing to plan out all my meals and hopefully with having it written out early in the day will give me something to focus (while I don’t like the idea of counting down the minutes to my next meal, it might help keep me on track).

This is all just the nature of the beast of this eating disorder. I’m aware that this post might sound odd and rambling, but that’s how it is in my head. I’m trying to focus and put all these things in order but it doesn’t seem to have an order to go to.

Honesty Time (or Going Backwards)

I haven’t talked about weight loss on here for a while. And it’s because things are going so great for me right now.

In fact, I’ve gained a decent amount of weight. I haven’t gained everything that I lost, but I gained back a good chunk of it.

And I haven’t wanted to share that on here because I don’t want to disappoint you all. But then I realized that everyone who is going through weight struggles has this moment. I’ve had it before and I’m sure I’ll have it again.

What makes this different is I stopped it (or at least realized it) before all the progress I had made disappeared. And I’m trying to take steps to go back in the right direction.

Why the weight gain? Well, lately both my food choices haven’t been great and I’ve been skipping workouts. So of course I should expect weight gain.

The thing is, I didn’t realize how long it had been since I last worked out. When I finally looked at my history at SoulCycle, I realized that I haven’t been there in a month. And my last workout was the blogger event at FlyWheel. But that was several weeks ago.

Since realizing this over the weekend, I have had a big workout (but that will come in another post). But missing workouts was only part of the picture. Food is always going to be a battle for me and I don’t want it to beat me. So I downloaded several books onto my kindle about eating disorders (mostly on binge eating but some on eating disorders in general).

I starting with a book that I saw recommended on another blog that I read. I’m about a third of the way done with it and it is eye-opening to see that other people have the exact same struggles that I do. Somehow it feels like eating disorders are a very lonely thing and nobody understands how you feel. But when you are really open and honest about it you find that there are other people who get exactly what you go through.

I’m hoping to get myself back on the right track quickly. I have another 5K coming up in less than 2 weeks and I don’t want to be unprepared for it.

But if nothing else, at least I recognized that I was slipping before I got back to the start line.

Hating The Heat (or Again, My Body Is Lying)

I’ve mentioned before how I don’t like when it’s really hot out because my body feels like it’s gained a ton of weight. Well, with the current heat wave in Los Angeles, I’m having the same problem again.

First of all, let me say that I know that the heat here is temporary and I’m grateful for that. And that most of the country has much worse heat waves that last for a lot longer than this will (it should be normal again here by next week).

But it doesn’t help the feeling of annoyance that I feel whenever I try to get dressed in the morning. Lots of clothes in my closet don’t fit right right now. I spent the past few days in yoga capris and tank tops since those have a lot of stretch in them.

And I’m sure my annoyance isn’t helped by the fact that the past few nights I haven’t slept well since it’s very hot in my bedroom at night. I have a fan on full blast next to my bed, but it only blows hot air around.

This heat wave is one of the first times I’ve missed having to go into a job every day. At least when I had to go somewhere else for work there was air conditioning. Working at my house is pretty warm. But staying in yoga clothes helps a little (since those clothes are pretty breathable).

But the most important thing for me to remember in this heat wave is not to give up on trying to lose weight while it feels like everything is suddenly 2 sizes too small. I’m avoiding my scale until the temperature goes back into the 80’s (or lower) and I’m going to live in my yoga clothes unless I have to go out dressed differently for some reason (like when I went to work last night at my box office job).

Sorry to have a rant on here after having 2 really fun posts the last few days. Since getting back from Disneyland all I’ve done is work from home and try to survive the heat the best that I could. If I had something more interesting to share, I would. But this has taken over my life the rest of this week.

Recovering From Thanksgiving (or As Always It’s Back To The Grind)

I was back to work as usual on Monday after Thanksgiving. It was very nice to have 5 days off from work (it was almost like being unemployed again!), but it’s nice to be back and making money too.

Since there are still holidays coming up, the next few weeks at work will be a bit weird. We have time off for the holidays, odd shifts because of the shows going on, and a work holiday party. So even though I’m back at work, I think I only have one week this month that is a normal work week.

I’m also getting back to my usual food and exercise plan. I gained more weight than I expected over Thanksgiving. I knew I would gain some because of the extra food, but I was still a bit shocked when I got on the scale on Monday. I think some of it was random water and stress weight because when I weighed myself yesterday I was already down 3 pounds.

My focus for the last few weeks of this year are to continue my routines that I’ve worked out. I’m finding spin classes that fit into my schedule a bit better (including a free class at SoulCycle on Fridays right after my shift ends so I can go straight from work). I’m trying to stay good at bringing my lunches to work (good for helping me lose weight and save money). And I’m working on just being happier with myself in general.

I know that I didn’t lose as much weight this year as I thought I would, but I’m on track to be down about 40 pounds this year. To some people that may seem like a lot, and to some people that may seem like nothing. It’s only a portion of what I need to lose, but even if I only lose that each year, I’m still heading in the right direction. And I need to keep that in mind. As much as I’d like to have lost all my weight this year like I did the two times I did the RFO diet, it’s not realistic for me anymore.

But as I spent some time before writing this looking back at my older posts, I’ve realized how far I have come this year. And as I start thinking about my goals for next year, I’m getting excited about what my life might be like a year from today.

Laying Low (or This Will Be A Boring Post)

I wish I had something interesting to say today, but sadly, I don’t.

I’m getting better from being sick, but I’m still very congested. The one thing that is worrying me is that I’m having trouble catching my breath right now, and that will be bad if I’m still like that on Sunday when I have my next 5K.

I went to work yesterday, and even though I felt pretty sick, I got through the day. I only worked a 5 hour shift so it was manageable. And I was the only person working yesterday (besides my boss), so nobody was there to mind that I was coughing and blowing my nose every few minutes.

The job hunt for a new job is going well. I’ve now had 2 phone interviews and for both of those jobs, I made it to the next step. Both had a next step of a writing sample, and I completed both last night. Now I just have to wait and see.

While I’ve been sick, I’ve been checking in with my mom as well. I feel horrible complaining to her about me being sick because I know she’s going through something worse than me right now. Fortunately, my mom doesn’t seem to mind that I’m whining about a cold and a fever while she’s tired and achy from chemo.

I’ve also been off on food and workouts lately because of this cold. While I’m sure I could workout, the fact that I’m having trouble breathing while sitting down makes me think that hard cardio probably wouldn’t be the best choice for me right now. I’m hoping to get in a spin class before the 5K, but I’m not too sure that will happen.

Food is another weird situation. I’m barely eating right now (I’m not hungry and food tastes weird), but I’ve gained 6 pounds since Monday. I know that it must be water weight (or sick weight) but it bothers me. It seems like everyone else in the world loses weight while they are sick, I have to gain it. So I’m trying to avoid the scale until I feel 100% better.

That’s my update for now. Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to share tomorrow!

Half Their Size (or Trying To Forget What Could Have Been)

On Wednesday when I got home from work, I checked my mail and saw this issue of People magazine waiting for me:

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I love reading this issue. It makes me realize what is possible. That might be the same reason that I like watching “The Biggest Loser”.

But this particular issue of People also brings up some not so fun memories.

When I was doing the UCLA RFO diet, one of the therapists there had some sort of connection to a writer at People. I’m not exactly sure of the details, but that therapist told me that she recommended me for the half their size issue. This was either in 2006 or 2007 (I can’t quite remember if it was the first or second time I lost weight).

The writer from People contacted me and said that they were very interested in my story and asked me to send my before and after pictures.

I sent them these pictures:

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And after that I had a quick phone interview with the writer. She mentioned that they were going to put out the issue in January (this was all taking place in October/November).

But sadly, before I could be part of the issue, I started to gain my weight back and was too embarrassed to tell the people at People. I don’t remember how I turned down the offer to continue to be considered for the magazine, but I made sure that the process never went further.

Not many people in my life know that this happened. It’s horribly embarrassing to admit that I couldn’t keep the weight off just a few months to possibly be on the cover of a magazine.

So whenever I see the half their size issue, I am reminded of my failure. But I’m trying to change that.

This year, I actually read the article and mentally acknowledged those who have been successful. They have all worked very hard and one day, I hope that I can be like them.

I don’t know if when I lose the weight again if I’d even attempt to be part of the magazine issue again. I think it would be too tough to have it if I ever gained any or all of the weight back again.

But it’s a nice goal to have to want to have the possibility to be considered again in the future.