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

18

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.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yuck.

So Mom's back, and what did we do the minute she got home? No, go on... take a guess. I'll give you a second or two.

[elevator music plays...]

Time's up. What's that, you say? We went out to eat? Ding ding ding! Winner!

We went to the local Mexican place (which is yummy, just fyi) and shared the appetizer sampler platter. Except... I think the sharing actually resulted in me having more than her. And she'd brought me home a piece of Paula Deen cake, which of course I devoured. And then... I had her go buy me a Rice Krispie Treat big bar (which ended up being two smaller bars).

The yuck in the title refers to how I feel right now. Because everything tasted wonderful... and then it all settled in my stomach and felt horrible.

At least I've got my lunch packed for tomorrow. Hopefully it'll help with that whole feeling like death/hunger headache thing. I'm going to go to bed in just a little bit, so hopefully that will help with the feeling tired. And maybe, just maybe tomorrow will be the day I take my gym bag with me and actually go to the gym after class.


The one where Suzi Storm was apparently inside my brain.

If you haven't read Suzi's post about patience, go check it out and then come back to me.

First, let me take a moment to say how good it feels to know that omg, I'm not the only one. I think so often we get it in our heads that we're the only ones who've ever experienced something, that we're somehow failures and freaks for just... being human. It's good to know we're not alone, that others have been there, that others are there right now.

So I got to thinking, thanks to her post, and I realized that part of my problem is definitely patience. I'm not a patient person in any aspect of my life. Like Suzi, if you give me a tracking number for a package, I'm gonna check it five times a day, like that will somehow make it show up on my doorstep sooner.


The problem I'm running into with my complete lack of patience is that if things aren't happening fast enough to suit me (and let's be real here-- fast enough to suit me would be going to sleep and waking up the next morning back where I was before I got off track) I get discouraged, think 'what's the point?' and then go eat a bunch of junk to make myself feel better (spoiler alert: except for those first few bites, it never does). And then there's another 5 or 10 pounds I've gotta take back off, on top of what I'd already gained back. Hello, Slippery Slope, I'm Claire-- it's really not that nice to meet you.

You would think recognizing that would be enough to make me stop. So far it hasn't been.

Yesterday was okay, other than needing to figure out some way to eat more between classes so I'm not ready to pass out when my microbiology lecture is over. I stayed pretty much on track until dinner time, when I went to... heh. Well, I'm sure you can guess from previous posts. Still, I tracked everything, and we'll just say that was my weekly points.

The low point of the whole day? We were supposed to pick lab partners in micro... yeah. Somehow I've ended up without a lab partner. I thought the girl next to me was going to be my partner, but... nope. Whatever, right? Either the professor will shove me in someone's group, or I'll just be on my own.




Monday, January 28, 2013

I can make this post now since it's after midnight...

I made it through the day. I'm not going to the gym tonight because I need to be able to sleep, and by the time I got out there and worked out, I'd end up getting no sleep before class.

But... I made it through the day. With two points left over. That wasn't really intentional, but it is what it is, and it sure as hell beats that being 20 points over shit that's been happening.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

All alone...

My Mom is out of town, so I have the house to myself. And because I've had the house to myself... I've spent the entire time in my bedroom. I know, I know; it makes no sense. I rearranged the fridge a bit, ran some junk food down the garbage disposal, hid the rest of it in our second freezer, and... that's pretty much it. I napped a little this afternoon in hopes of hitting the gym tonight. I've still gotta get up at be at class at 9:30am, so I just... don't know how this is all going to work. I know I need to get my gym time back on schedule. I feel better when I go regularly. I lose weight easier.

And I don't find myself as messed up as I was last night. I don't want to get into it here, and I'm not even sure why last night was so hard, but it was. Today has been... better in some ways, and worse in others.

I've eaten far less junk today than I have been eating, so at least there's that, and I don't have that feeling of being absolutely full of junk food and grossness.

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's not funny anymore.

So I've been "cheating" as some people would say... eating stuff in amounts that I know I shouldn't. (It's not that I can't have the Paula Deen cake. I would never say I can't have something. But I can't eat the whole package of it every day of the week.) And I've been kinda "haha, I just ate such-and-such and I'm going to Weight Watchers."

It's not funny anymore. I stepped on the scale (my own) and it showed me a number I do NOT want to see. The only person being "cheated on" here is myself. What I'm doing each time I shove crap in my mouth, every time I say "nah, I don't want to go to the gym", what I'm really doing is saying I don't value myself enough to take care of myself.

And regardless of whether that is or isn't true at this point, I don't WANT it to be true.

I don't want pants that were nearly falling off of me this past summer to be so tight I can barely button them now. I don't want to lay in bed at night unable to breathe properly. I don't want to get winded when I walk from the fucking parking lot to my class.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why you shouldn't pat yourself on the back at 1pm.

Things were good until dinner. Mom brought home barbecue, which still wouldn't have been a problem if I'd, you know, weighed the meat, ate my sandwich, and said no thanks to the slice of pecan pie.

Did I do that? Of course not.

And then I got a piece of the Paula Deen cake at Walmart and a large McDonalds Coke to finish my night off.

Tomorrow is another day.

Resisting the siren call of the Golden Arches

I managed to do it at lunch time. Yes, I got in the car. Yes, I drove out to McDonalds.

But I drove on past the turn, and came home.

It's the little victories.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The first day of school (for the 50th time)

Let's be real: I don't know that this is literally the 50th time I've had a first day of school, but I have done this many times. It's always exciting though-- all that anticipation and excitement over the things to come, the complete blank slate for the semester, the new textbook smell... (yes, I'm a nerd. I love the smell of new books, and new textbooks in particular). I'm attempting to get back into the nursing program at our local community college. Out of everything I've done post-high school, the nursing program (clinicals in particular) was the most fulfilling and satisfying. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and instead of just sitting out a semester and going back, I tried to transfer into another program at another college. I wasn't successful in getting in, and I ended up doing a teacher certification program. In the back of my mind, I always figured I'd teach for a couple years, get the money to go back to nursing school, and do that. And again... life got in the way, and I ended up helping my mom taking care of my Grandma. (which is more than okay-- even though there were times it really, really sucked, I'm grateful that Mom and I were in the position that we could do that.) So I'm finally getting to go back now... starting with retaking all my science prerequisites because you have to take them within 5 years of entering the actual nursing program. This semester I'm taking microbiology and nutrition. It's literally been 13 years since I took nutrition, and at the time, I was taking it in lieu of a phys ed class, so I didn't really care about learning it-- I just wanted to avoid any sort of mandated physical activity. (Yes, you're allowed to laugh at that. I can laugh at it now. The best part of that is that I actually took a PE activity class the next semester-- beginning swimming-- and to the best of my knowledge, I wasn't even required to take it!) The point is-- this time I'm serious about learning stuff from this nutrition class.
Micro is with the same professor I had before, so I'm really excited about this class, because I know how to study for science classes now. I made a C last time, and I WILL make an A this time.

Starting next week I'm going to be taking my gym bag with me and hitting the gym after classes. I'm still trying to figure out what to do for food. I'm in class from 9:30 to 1:50. Luckily, the nutrition professor has told us we can eat and drink during class, so I may take a snack to eat then. I probably need to do more for breakfast than just a bowl of oatmeal, too, because I was hungry and tired by the time class was over today.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I'm still here...

I know I haven't posted over here in forever, and you can probably draw your own conclusions about what that means.

It means I need to get my shit together.

It means I need to get myself back in that head space where I knew I was capable of doing this.

It means I need to actually do the work to get back to that mentality, instead of trying to dull the ache with food. I need to quit stuffing myself until I'm physically uncomfortable. I need to quit using food as a crutch. I need to realize that food cannot fix what's wrong. Food cannot make it all better.

I need to quit kicking myself for what I've gained back. And I need to quit trying to deal with my disappointment in myself by eating even more junk, and gaining even more back.

I need to accept once and for all that I am NOT that girl I used to be, who doesn't know any other way to cope than to eat all of her feelings, happy or sad.

And I need to accept that if someone doesn't like me because of my current size, if someone says and thinks ugly things, if someone rejects me based on what they observe with their eyes, then THEY are the one with the problem, not me. Their judgment has NO EFFECT on what I can do-- just because they think I can't do something doesn't make it true. It just means they're gonna get a big surprise when I succeed at the things they thought I couldn't do.