Thursday, December 26, 2013

The inevitable post.

Here we are, with 2013 nearly at a close, and I'm down to one pair of jeans, a shirt or two, and sweatpants and sweatshirts for things to wear, because nothing else fits.

I've gained back every bit of the weight I'd lost in 2011-2012, plus 20ish pounds more. I could sit out here and pour out excuse after excuse as to why, but I think it really boils down to few things. And in reality, those few things come down to one thing in particular-- I quit believing in me.

The bullshit that happened with the trainer at the gym coincided almost perfectly with one of the last conversations I had with Patrick. The conversation where he actually came right out and said the reason he hadn't ever come to visit was because of my weight. That the reason he acted like a dick when I made the 8 hour trip down to see him and go to the job fair? Was my weight.

At the time that we were having this conversation, I had lost around 80 pounds. But I still wasn't "making changes and improving myself" enough to suit him. And that hurt. I never started this journey to better health because of him, specifically-- I did it because I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin for the first time in years. I wanted to be able to do things I wasn't able to do.

But I'd be a liar if I said that a person you'd cared about since you were 14 telling you were beautiful and sexy, when no guy had EVER told you that before, and then ripping it away, telling you (in so many words) that it was all a lie, didn't hurt.

And maybe I didn't know how to handle how badly it hurt. Maybe Crown and Coke and copious amounts of chocolate and cookies seemed like the only options. After all, they were the things that had got me through all the other really hard times in my life, right?

So when I gained weight at the next weigh in at the gym, and I had to hear again about how I was doing everything wrong, and when I said it had been a rough couple weeks, and the response I got wasn't understanding, wasn't a "well, we'll work harder this week" but instead was more yelling about how I didn't know what I was doing and was a fuckup (again, in so many words)...

Well, maybe it didn't inspire confidence in myself. Maybe it just added to the steaming pile of self-doubt.

The crazy thing is, after I felt extremely bad about it for a few weeks, it became motivation to push myself harder, and I got to my lowest weight in more than a decade on my own. I did it. I did it without a trainer telling me what to do.

And then I don't know what happened. I don't know what was the catalyst for me losing that belief in myself again. I had a scary experience with a dude hitting on me at the gym in the middle of the night while we were alone, and I slacked off on going. I started going in the early evenings, taking my mom along to wait in the lounge area. And things were going fine with that, until some guy came over and gave me the unsolicited advice that I needed to be over on the cardio equipment instead of lifting weights, because that wasn't going to take the weight off. And he insisted, even after I told him "hey, look, I've lost 90 pounds in the last year. I know what I'm doing."

That killed my enthusiasm for going to the gym. I switched back to the other gym, but felt like I could only go in the middle of the night because I didn't want to bump into the trainers.

And even though I was back at the newer, nicer gym, I was going less often. I was back in that mindset of only wanting to be there when I could be alone, because I didn't want any more unsolicited advice or unwanted advances.

And at some point, I started taking the "you can't do this, Claire" to heart. I stopped going to the gym regularly. I went back to eating crap. I gained back 18 pounds. And instead of buckling down, taking it back off and continuing on my journey to being a better me, I just... kept eating. And kept believing I couldn't do it.

And here we are. Back at square one.

I just really want to believe in myself again.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I don't even have the words.

I am so disappointed with myself. I feel like shit physically and mentally, and I've gained back every bit of what I'd lost, plus 5 pounds. (that's going from my WW official weight) I've got maybe three pairs of pants and two shirts that fit. Both of those shirts are ratty because I'd been wearing them to the gym when I'd lost weight and they were too big.

And the worst part is, I can't seem to get myself convinced to get back on track. I keep eating shitty, I keep not going to the gym on a regular basis. I'm sleeping all the fucking time.

I hate this. All of it. But apparently I don't hate it enough to fix it.

I don't like this person I've let myself slip back into being.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Okay, well...

So I decided to cancel my WW membership for the time being. Yeah, I know, WTF? After that entry yesterday? But here's the thing... I'm canceling it for the summer. That's going to save me $120, plus what I'd spend in gas once a week driving to town for meetings.

I'm still going to track (though maybe just through fitbit or my fitness pal) and I'm still going to get back in a gym routine as soon as finals are over.

But I think I may avoid the scale for a while, and just go by how my clothes fit.

So there's that.

More than anything, I've gotta spend the time getting my head right. I know that for a fact.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fresh clean start.

So... in a bid to save my sanity, I went to WW on Saturday and told my leader I wanted to just start all over. I came away with a new card, new books... and I weighed in just shy of 10 pounds under my original starting weight. I can't lie-- it made me sad to see that, but it's not as daunting as seeing that card where'd I'd lost so much and then gained most of it back.

Fresh clean start. Sometimes you need one.

I haven't been the best at eating this week. Today. There's one more week of real classes left, and then final exams. My nutrition class has gotten down to the portion of class where we talk fitness, weight management, and obesity. This wouldn't be so bad if we were talking about things like Health At Every Size, making lifestyle changes, and learning to accept that everyone isn't going to be thin/skinny, but everyone can work at being healthier. Actually, our textbook did a good job exploring some of the ways focusing on thin/skinny as a goal can do more harm than good, and also mentioned that a focus on health is a better idea. Bravo for our book.

Too bad we didn't really use that part of the book.

Instead, we're using a book that the original version was published in 1978. The "new and improved, ultimate" edition of the book we're using was published in 1999. And if you want to talk fat-shaming... this book is full of it. There is a little bit of good information in the book, but it's a simplification of the same information that was in our text. Mostly, there's a lot of stuff that's supposed to be funny, and I guess might be if you had 10 pounds to lose and thought you were a whale because of it. Maybe.

The book is bad. I wanted to set the book on fire 90% of the time while I was reading it.

It gets worse. We're having to watch a lecture this guy gave... at some point in the 90's. 1992. I looked it up. Before we started watching, our professor said "I think you'll enjoy this. He's pretty funny." I had an idea what I was in for because of the book... I didn't realize he'd be referring to fat people as "el gross-o", making exaggerated gestures about size, and basically making fun of and picking on the larger people in his audience.

There's still more of this film to watch on Monday, and a group discussion about the book. I'm leaning towards skipping class. (I probably won't because we have a test the next class period after that, and I need to have an idea what the discussion question will be about.)

I had to do A LOT of work to get myself to a good place mentally when I started losing weight before. And most of that has eroded, first because of things that were said to me, and then as the weight came back (because, you know... I ate my feelings. ALL OF THEM.)

And I had a lab practical today in microbiology after this fun video. I wasn't as prepared for it as I should've been (I know I mixed up all the different types of staph and strep. Oops.) So as soon as my practical was done, I went to Arby's and got a meal. And tonight we had Mexican food. I ate mine and part of Mom's. I was hungry, yes. But I was also eating my feelings.

Tomorrow is a new day, though. Tomorrow is a day I can relax and take care of myself.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Putting all the pieces back together

I haven't been perfect on the eating front this week, but I've been a lot better than in previous weeks. I've made it to the gym once this week (so far). I got my fitbit in the mail Tuesday, and it's making me realize how much I just sit, so I'm trying to work on that. I was actually up pacing during the Budweiser Duels because of it. I'm just trying to keep in mind that if I push myself too hard too fast, then I tend to take a week or more to recover.

School is going wonderfully. I have an A in nutrition, and a B (but a high one) in microbiology. Our next exam is in 2 weeks, so hopefully when I rock that one, it will pull my average up to an A.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"It's all in your head."

Is there anything more frustrating than having someone tell you that? Well, yes... it's even more frustrating when it's a medical professional, and it's taken you a good 13 years to actually get up the courage to tell a doctor about it.

I have panic attacks. They're not an every day thing-- I may go three or four months without having one, or even longer sometimes. And then I may have three in one week.

If you've never had one, you're a very a lucky duck, and I'm envious. If you have had one, you know how absolutely fucking terrifying they can be.

I had the first one in high school, in first period band. It came along with a flashback of abuse that happened to me when I was younger, and I had no idea what was going on. I was scared, felt like I couldn't breathe (though I could breathe-- it just felt like someone was holding my head under water), and my heart was hammering in my chest. I was too scared to get up, too scared to leave the band hall, and I just put my head down on top of the marimba in front of me and hoped to hell I didn't die, and the band director didn't notice and call me out in front of everyone.

So when I told the doc yesterday that I'd wanted to ask him about something for anxiety attacks, and he said he'd up my Prozac to 40mg. I figured he misunderstood, and thought I meant generalized anxiety, and I'd kinda been considering asking if I could go to a little bit higher dose anyway, so I just nodded blindly and didn't press the issue. I was already naked (with sheets, but naked still) for my annual girly exam, and I'm never very eloquent when naked. Besides, I had the last one in mid-December; surely it would be a while before I had another, right?

Wrong. I left early for school this morning, intending to get there in time to go to the library and do a little studying. I had my first quiz in micro today, and I was going to go look over my notes again. (I should stress right now that I do NOT get test anxiety, so this wasn't an 'omg, I have to take a test' freakout. I freaking LOVE to take tests. I realize that makes me a dork and a nerd, and probably a weirdo, but so be it. I've loved them since kindergarten.) My school's a 30-ish minute drive from my house, and things were good until I got to the exit from the parkway (about 3 minutes from the school). I started feeling shaky, and I knew what was coming. By the time I pulled into a parking spot 3 minutes later, I was shaking so hard there was no way I would've been able to walk. My entire chest felt like there was a hummingbird inside of it trying to beat its way out. I did the only things I could do, which were stay in the car, turn the cold air on full blast (these damn things cause my roscea to flare horribly, so I have red hot burning splotchy face in addition to everything else), and tell myself over and over that it was okay, I was safe, I wasn't really going to die.

20 minutes later I'd stopped shaking enough that I could walk to class. Note I said I'd stopped shaking enough to walk-- not stopped shaking entirely. I just hope everyone around me thought I was cold and was shivering.

So after class I call to speak to the doctor's nurse, because I've suffered through these things long enough, and I finally decided to listen to people who've told me there are things that can help. The doctor calls me back, asks what's going on, and he tells me "Well, that's why we upped your Prozac. It'll take 3 or 4 weeks... if it still doesn't help then call me back." I tell him I had one this morning and was shaking so bad I couldn't walk, and he asks what happens when I have one. I tell him about the chest pain and rapid heartbeat, and the shaking... and he tells me to get a plastic bag and have it with me at all times, and breathe into that when I have one. I'm too dumbfounded to say anything other than okay, because... I don't hyperventilate when I have a panic attack. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe, but I always can, and I don't start gasping for air. A bag is not going to help this. And at no point did I say "I have trouble breathing." (You know... not to mention if I've been having these for 13+ years, it's a pretty fair bet I've tried the bag trick and all the other helpful little tips for getting yourself through an attack.) And then he tells me that I need to learn the right way to take control of these things, that if I'm in nursing school or will be, there will be drug testing (yeah, I realize that. Hence why I would want a prescription instead of finding someone who has one and asking them to give me a handful of pills) and I need to just breathe into the bag and tell myself it's all in my head, that it's a panic attack and I'm going to take charge of it.

Yeah. That'll fix it. I'm sure that'll fix it, because I've only been trying that for the past decade, and do you know what happens when I tell myself "You're just having a panic attack. It's all in your head. Calm down. It's not real."? It gets worse instead of better. My brain says "Well, if it's not real, why can't you stop it? Just stop it. You can stop it right now if it's not real," and the shaking gets worse, the hammering in my chest gets worse. Sometimes I get so freaked out I start crying.

The extra 20mg of Prozac that are supposedly going to fix this? Well, I've been on 40mg before, and the panic attacks didn't stop. I've been on much higher doses of antidepressants/anti-anxiety meds, and they didn't stop.

I'm so frustrated. I'm not wanting something to take every day. I assume that's what he's thinking I'm asking for. I'm wanting enough for an as-needed basis. PRN. 15 pills would probably last me an entire year or longer.

I'm lucky at least that my mom understands, and I think was just as frustrated as I was. I told her at least six months ago that I intended to ask for something to help me at my next appointment, and she told me she thought he'd write me a prescription. She dealt with my grandma having attacks that were very similar to the ones I have, so she knows how scary they are.

Unfortunately, I don't have insurance, so it's not as simple as just finding another doctor to see.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I just now really thought about that number as I typed it into the post title. 18. My favorite driver's number.

It's also the number of pounds I've gained since the last time I weighed in at Weight Watchers (on January 9th). I want to offer reasons. I want to say part of it has to be because I'm off my bcp at the moment, and it's hormones and water weight and...

....and, and, and.

It's really all just excuses.

Yes, a pound of it might be water weight. Another pound of it might be that I was in need of a good trip to the bathroom.

None of that explains a double digit gain in less than a month.

I could say that part of the problem has been starting school, and my schedule not working out the way I wanted.

I still could've made better choices, food and exercise-wise.

No more excuses. I'm calling myself on my own bullshit.

I've set a weight goal for the month. I'd actually set the goal before I got on the scale this morning. The trip to the scale just reinforced how important it is to have this goal. I've also set an exercise goal-- I want an 18 minute (or less) mile by the end of the month. Before I fell completely off the wagon, I'd gotten down to a little over a 15 minute mile. I can do this. I know I can. I believe in me.