Oh god. GIANT TRIGGER WARNING

So, I followed Captain Awkward because it served me to have my reading in one place. And I wanted to comment, so I did.

People have been following that link back. People stumble across this blog from who knows where–and I’d just like to take a moment to say, please take care of yourselves. This blog is about weight loss. I have disordered eating. I’m trying to lose weight–under medical supervision and in a healthy way.

If this is going to harm you or trigger you, please tap out now. More specific details below the cut.

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Long time no post

So: here’s a revelation.

I haven’t lost any weight.

I’d still like to but–I can’t do it. I can’t punish myself. Going on stupid calorie-restricted diets is not a viable long-term solution. Hell, it even backfires in the short-term. I end up feeling depressed, and I lash out and I end up bingeing. And then I fast to make up for it, lather, rinse, repeat.

I have to not hate myself.

I went to see my dietician on the weekend. I asked about the 5:2 diet. She said “That can be beneficial for people who consistently overeat. That is not your problem. You do overeat, but it’s inconsistent and interspersed with fasting. You have to learn to eat normally, and you have to eat that way for the rest of your life. You have to get out of the diet mindset.”

We were talking about treats and she said “Be honest. If your diet consists mostly of treats, how do you feel?” and I flashed back to the uncomfortably full, headachey blerghy feeling.

I’ve had a couple of health scares lately. Blood pressure that’s too high (turned out to be stress).

I do have to be calorie AWARE. I have to have an idea of how many calories I’m eating, but it shouldn’t be my main focus.

At the moment, I’m just focussing on eating three meals a day, as unprocessed as possible. I’m trying to keep my meat intake around 100 or so grams a serve.

I’ve had the mantra “Just make better choices” going through my head. Instead of mayo, I put mustard on my roll. Half my plate is vegetables. I went to the supermarket and they had fresh-squeezed orange juice which smelled awesome. So I bought a whole orange and ate that.

Once a month at work, we have zaatar for breakfast. It’s a lebanese pizza-ish bread sprinkled with salt, oregano and sesame seeds. It’s very tasty, but low in protein and a little higher in calories than I’d usually aim for.

I had a protein shake before coming in, and I had my zaatar. And I had soup for dinner.

R. (dietician of awesome) assured me that eventually my hunger WOULD direct how I ate. That if I continued having three meals of around that size, that eventually my body would respond. I’m not sure, but I guess I’ll see.

Small victories. The other night I’d not eaten all day apart from a slice of cake. I was feeling headachey and nauseated, but not hungry.

I had soup in the fridge. I ate it and felt better. Baby steps, I guess.

Prepping food turned out to be a big issue for me. Because it DOESN’T always happen and then I go into a tail spin. I have to be able to eat food when I’m buying takeaway and still make good choices.

I’ve discovered that I CAN make better choices. Instead of having goat’s cheese AND meat on my roll, I just have lean deli meat. Instead of buying a HUGE, dense, white bread ciabatta, I buy a smaller wholegrain roll and stuff it with salad.

I’ve signed up for personal training because if I make a commitment, I will actually go. I’m still doing ballet.

I’ve lost a kilo over the last month, and I’m pleased, but I’m trying not to make it my focus. I want to be able to run 5km. I want to be able to do sautes in ballet without my ankle hurting.

Day by day. Not a focus, just the way things are.

Now I need to go buy my wholegrain roll, some salad and roast beef.

Long time no update

Oh wow. So, simultaneously, nothing has happened and a lot has happened.

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Enough wallowing, get going, self!

Wow, this blog has been all gloom and whining recently. so I’m going to focus on the positive.

  • My ankle is still sore, but going to the gym and hopping on the exercise bike has finally had the effect the physio said it would. It’s flushed the area out, and while I have a lump at the back of the ankle where calcaneofibral tore, my entire ankle/calf is no longer twice the size of the other! I can see my ankle bone again!
  • For the longest time, I’ve had problems with consuming a healthy level of alcohol. I have difficulty stopping at one or two drinks–you know, the bottle’s there, it’s open, I live alone, etc. Last night I had a beer. One beer. and even though I have a sixpack, I didn’t want to drink any more. I’m hopeful that I can set up a healthy pattern that fits in with my goals and still enjoy myself. I’m aiming to make this six-pack last three weeks.
  • I know I try not to take too much notice of the daily weight, but today was a good day. I’m 0.2 of a pound from my lowest recorded weight, the trend is headed downwards.
  • I am actually slightly over 25% of the way towards my goal weight.
  • I am 100g away from losing 9kg since the start of the year, and 0.5 of a pound away from losing 20 pounds (I like round numbers).
  • Achievements!
  • Over the last week, I have packed my lunch for the next day every night.
  • I have started making my bed again. UfYH would be proud of me! Also, I’ve made my lunch for the next day every night this week, and set out my breakfast so I’ve eaten breakfast at home every morning this week except Monday, when I was still getting organised.
  • I’ve exercised every night for the past 4 days.

I’m starting this weekend with a positive attitude!

Sometimes the hardest thing is waiting.

I’m having difficulty with the holding pattern that my injured ankle has created. I try to balance my food and exercise (being of scientific bent, it’s easier for me to treat weightloss as a purely scientific matter. It also leads to marginally less in the way of brain-weasels attacking me, and ensures I don’t do anything stupid like starve myself) and I eat back (an estimation of) whatever calories I exercise.

Because I can’t really exercise for very long or intensely at the moment, I’m having difficulty with balancing my food intake. I usually have difficulty eating enough calories to balance my exercise and keep my weight loss to ~1kg a week (losing more than that is usually either water, or, more worryingly, the body starting to catabolise muscle, which is NOT what I want.) However, my hunger feels like it’s gnawing at me and it’s really hard not to either just ignore it, which leads to me not eating when I need to, or just saying “fuck it” and eating lots of hind-brain satisfying salt and fat.

The other difficulty is, because I have gained a little due to the three week tantrum, the scales are up. Usually I can ignore that because I plot the trend, but the trend isn’t down at the moment. I know it’ll take time to catch up with eating properly again, but sticking with it is really hard at the moment.

I have to wait until my ankle is healed. I know I do. It’s just that it’s slow, and it hurts and why can’t I have what I want NOW? I’m prepared to work for things (see: sensible long-term weight loss), but it’s really hard when I feel that things are out of control.

I hate waiting.

All or nothing is not a viable approach for me

So, it’s been around three weeks since I updated.

In those three weeks, I basically gave up. My ankle hurt all the time and I couldn’t exercise. I ate rubbish, I ate lots of it, and I ate infrequently. I also drank alcohol. It’s the unholy trinity that combined to make me so damn fat in the first place. There was even a two day period where I lived on cake. I actually typed this out in an email to a friend, so I’m going to copy and paste below.

You know that I’ve been feeling like crap because I don’t eat often enough and then binge eat? And basically I’ve been scared to hop on the scales again because JESUS CHRIST, it is such hard work and after my three week long tantrum where I have been living on cake and alcohol, I was all “MOTHERFUCKER, I HAVE TO START AGAIN?!?”

And part of the problem is that this is a self-perpetuating cycle, I don’t have the energy so I don’t take care of myself, so I live in filth, so I feel gross and can’t take care of myself, so I don’t have energy, etc. You get the idea.

At work, K has said “OH HEY, there’s this challenge starting next month, it’s designed to sell their supplements but I figure that’s only an issue if we get into the top ten. They provide a diet and exercise plan for free!” and I was all “Well, there’s a gym across the road, and I am far more likely to stick to a three month effort if we’re exercising together…” and she was all “FANTASTIC it starts at the end of the month, so let’s sign up and motivate each other.” (I’ve looked at past meal plans, and it’s pretty much what I eat now, except more food because they’re exercising more.)

And then I was all “I have to stop this. I’m eating one meal a day and that’s a HUGE meal, and it involves goats cheese, which while I am not allergic to it in the same way I am to cow dairy, it makes me feel like crap.” But I just didn’t have the ENERGY to cook something. Then I read this:

http://captainawkward.com/2013/07/06/little-things-that-people-say-that-totally-shift-your-perspective/

And I thought: holy shit. I can’t start because I lack energy and I lack energy because I can’t start. But you know what I can do? I can pour some cereal into a bowl. (Please note that the Captain does not want diet/weight loss talk in her blog, because it’s triggery to a lot of people.)

So I bought some cereal to work and made sure I ate it in the morning. I was still eating crap at lunch/no dinner. This went on for a couple of days. Then, I went out on the weekend and bought some chicken breasts. I was all “IT’S LATE AND I WANT TO GO TO BED” but I went “Self, come on. You can do this” So I skinned all six chicken breasts, froze three of them and cooked the other three and put them in the fridge. And it only took me 25 minutes and most of that was waiting for the chicken breasts to cook.

The next morning was so, so hectic and I was running late. But I still managed to throw a couple of handfuls of salad into a container, chop up half a tomato and slice up some cucumber. It wasn’t a GOOD salad, but it was a salad. So I ate breakfast, and a healthy lunch.

Then I went to the supermarket and bought a can of pea and ham soup. And I had half of it and a couple of pieces of bread for dinner, and a protein shake as well. And then I went for a half hour walk.

This morning, I got up and I stepped on the scales. Yes, they’ve gone up. Do you want to know how much they’ve gone up over the three weeks that I’ve essentially been throwing a tantrum?

1.8 pounds.

That is NOTHING. I can vary that much over the course of a day. That’s less then a kilo.

So right now, I am starting back into feeling fantastic. I don’t know whether the scales are going to go down, but they should. I have enough energy to go to the gym and hop on the exercise bike for an hour and I’m GOING TO. I have healthy soup in the slowcooker, a serve of pea and ham soup in the freezer.

I CAN DO THIS.

Being honest is hard

I had a friend contact me and say he appreciated my honesty about my weight. That I had “inspired” him.

I don’t feel inspirational. Mostly, I don’t feel like anything except a big old tired mess.

I injured my ankle on Sunday night. It’s still swollen and is turning all kinds of colours that skin should not be. I’m in pain, still. I went to Emergency because I thought it might be broken. The doctor’s opinion was a torn ligament. (Not that he would actually know. X-Rays only show bone fractures.)

At first, I didn’t eat because I got stressed. Then I ate junk, also because I got stressed. Then yesterday I did a half-decent effort at making good choices. Instead of getting a large bread roll and blowing out my calories completely, I got a packet of small wraps. I got roast beef from the deli and salad. I also got goat’s cheese, which–what the hell. It would have fitted into my calories.

Then I found the almond crisps at the supermarket.

I won’t even record the rest of the day. It basically involved binging on almond crisps and bread and not eating dinner.

The thing is, I have to recover from this. The scales have gone up, yes, but it’s only one day. What’s harder is not letting one day become two become a week become “why did I ever think I could do this?”

Today, I had a wrap and some goat’s cheese that I didn’t need. I was hungry, lunch was delayed (fire drill.) But that’s ok. It doesn’t blow my whole day out of the water. If I am careful not to twist my ankle, I think I can go for a walk tonight.

So, I  move on. It’s all I can do. I still want the goal of being a healthy weight. I’m still tired from four days of unhealthy food–but the way to stop that is not to eat more unhealthy “quick-fix” sugary, fatty food, it’s to start eating healthily again and wait for my body to catch up.

It doesn’t matter how many times I fall over on the way. So long as I continue to pick myself up and try to move forward, that’s the thing that counts.