Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cloudy Thoughts

I went to my weekly Weight Watcher's meeting Thursday morning. I lost another .6 lbs, with my total weight loss since December 31st (5 weeks) at 10.2 lbs. I am happy I have lost an average of 2 lbs per week, which is very healthy, but, honestly, I am disappointed with my results.

I started this program weighing 302.3 lbs. By far the heaviest I ever been in my life by 30 + lbs. Even when I gave birth to my kids I weighed only 264. Only, lol. I have followed the plan, never deviated from my points. I've measured. I've focused on filling foods, and eaten my veggies. I guess, I would just expect that the weight would come off a little quicker. I know averaging 2 lbs a week is healthy and attainable goal, but secretly, inside, I was hoping the first month would give me a little extra lost weight to boost my ego, motivate me, make me feel like a champion again.

These last two weeks have been rough, to say the least. Emotionally, I'm a wreck. I am usually very in touch with my feelings, and right now, I'm confused, and not quite sure what I feel. The heightened emotions I have been feeling have created this "lump" in my stomach, where I feel like I'm storing water or worry, or both. Hard to explain, but I think the stress is causing me to bloat. The drive I had the first 3 weeks has been run over by my circumstances.

A few feelings I have I know for sure:
I'm angry my husband is an alcoholic.
I'm angry he spent all our money on alcohol.
I'm so disappointed that we don't have any money.
I am proud he is changing and I want to support him, but I have a lot to learn.
I am angry my back is injured, and some days I can't do even the most simple things.
I am frustrated, and feeling very much confused and unfocused.
My focus and my emotions are cloudy.
I want instant results in weight loss, and am frustrated that I can't have them.
I am struggling with the vast road in front of me, it feels like this weight loss may take forever.
I am anxious.
I hate math, and taking over the family finances is stressing me out.
I also have cabin fever.

This week's Weight Watcher's "Tools for Living," presented us with 3 sheets of paper, with 3 different concepts, all meant to challenge us to stay motivated, or get re-motivated. I was shocked to see how much I struggled to come up with the words to fill out the questions. Me, without words? It only took typing them out here to find my words. Thank goodness!

A) Motivating Strategy

1. Imagine yourself having already achieved your winning outcomes. Where are you? What are you doing, hearing, wearing, etc. ? I am with my kids, am a positive example. I am able to run, climb the sledding hill over and over, wear a bathing suit and go through the sprinklers, and make and eat healthy snacks. I am a jeans and t-shirt mom, wearing colors and textures that express who I am. I am someone my husband wants to love and take good care of. I am smiling, and carefree, and I feel like I can do anything. I am free from the fat and some of the back pain that traps me. Okay, this one was pretty clear.

2. Think about how you'll feel when you achieve your goal. What does success feel like? I honestly barely remember what success feels like. I think it feels like self-respect. Pride. Like I'm full of life.

3. Keep those good feelings close as you practice the bahviors you know will help you make your prgress toward your weight goal. What are some of those other behaviors? Eating healthy snacks, meals, portions. Carrying a water bottle again, and drinking it frequently. Doing what I can for myself, without help, within the limits of my back pain restrictions. Dreaming about a healthy life, and staying focused on how that life will feel, while being mindful of the reasons I want to leave the past behind.

B) Positive Self-Talking

Negative v. Positive Thoughts

1. I can't do this. I can do this. I have done this before. I have all the knowledge I need to achieve health. It's not that hard. Things are only as hard as I let them be. I can control the significance of food and overeating in my life. I am focused.

2. I'll never reach my weight goal. While my weight goal may seem so far away, I can only reach it by staying on the plan. I can't control the pace at which I achieve my goal, but I can control whether I work towards or away from the goal. Towards is always better. Make smaller goals to achieve along the way.

3. I can't say no to food. I can say no. I've done this before. It's not that hard. It is worth it in the end.

C) Anchoring

1. Identify the inner source you need to handle a challenging situation.
the phrase, "I can do anything."

2. Remember a time when you had this inner resource, as vividly as you can.

I hate to go to deep here, kids, but I must. I remember my anchor, my quiet vision to keep me going last time I was on Weight Watcher's. I had been a fat girl my whole life, not one day slim, ever. My anchor was this dream of thinness, this diluted fantasy that being thin would some how open new doors for me, make me someone different, change everything. I thought I could wear a bathing suit without fear. I thought I could look good everyday. I was determined to be this superwoman I saw in my mind, and I used the general feeling of "I can do anything!" to achieve success.

After losing 100 lbs, and keeping it off for 3 years, I sadly learned thin me was the same as fat me. Sure I was more organized, and I could run, but not much else changed for the better. I had no idea how to dress my new body. I had to relearn to live life with smaller than average breasts (I went from 42DD to 34B). I was looked at by men in ways I had never experienced, and it made me uncomfortable on many levels. My hair was thinner, and my face wasn't as pretty. I never relaxed because I was always counting every bite of food I put into my mouth, every single day, including my wedding day, honeymoon, graduation from graduate school, birthdays. Every morsel had a points value, and my quality of life was altered because of it.

Everyday required absurd hours of activity to maintain fitness. I never made the WW suggested weight of 155lbs naturally, so I took these dangerous diet pills and made the weight, only to make myself quite sick. My body fat percentage went down to something wild, like 9%, which I was told was a number that could be found on an anorexic. The night my husband proposed to me I had skipped dinner and taken diet pills, so I could "save calories" for Thanksgiving the following day. Dumb! I was so sick it felt like my stomach was eating itself; he barely had the chance to set up the proposal scene, and after I said yes, in the most romantic, candle-lit, rose petal covered room, I fell asleep. I quit the diet pills a month later, and stayed about 5-12 lbs above the weight watcher's suggested weight it for 3 years, ultimately feeling like a failure. I wore a bathing suit without a cover maybe 2 times. My body was still the same as it was when I was fat, pock marked, stretch marked, unsmooth, bumpy, akward, and course in spots. Being thin did not give me a nice magazine body, it gave me the same body, just smaller. The most screwed up part? When I looked in the mirror, I had trouble seeing myself, I only saw the former me. Imagine the lack of identity you feel to not recognize your own reflection in a store window's glass, even after a double-take.

The most startling aspect of being thin? I did not feel that much better. I could go farther, hiking huge waterfalls, and running at the gym in the morning, walking almost constantly with ease. But, I still had back problems. When you have disk issues, they don't go away, no matter your size. I also had the most odd discovery through an MRI. Apparently, I born defective: my coccyx (tailbone) is a funny shape. If I sat on a hard surface when I was thin, the bone would literally poke through my skin and cut me! Painful! They told me to buy a coccyx cushion and carry it with me everywhere, and I laughed... I had one of those, 100lbs ago! To this day my husband calls me "chicken," a nickname that came from my bony legs and "chicken butt" when I was thin. When I sat on his lap, my curved coccyx would poke him, prompting the playful name. Nice, huh?

In sum, being thin did not make me happy. It sent me into an identity crisis, and left me confused, disillisioned, and spastic.

3. Chose an anchor (an object, mental picture, gesture, or word) that will bring you back to that time and resource in an instant.

So, what do I use as an inner resource this time around? I'm not sure, but I think, ability. Maybe health. Both? I'm no fool. I know 300lbs has never been a healthy weight for anyone. But somewhere around 200lbs or so I had great cholestrol, physical strength, muscles, and enough padding to keep my coccyx inside my body. lol. No kidding, I look pretty great at 200lbs. In fact, I met my husband at that size. I wear a 14/16 at 200lbs, which is close to the size of the average American woman. I can shoot for average, because "average" is spectacular for me.
My anchor is a visual of this fitter, more healthy, realistic me. I am playing with my kids. I am running with them, hiking, skating, and eating birthday cake. The cake part is important, because I want to be able to lead a normal life, not depriving myself of controlled indulgences. I am also wearing this pair of jeans I have in the closet. I am beautiful. I am lighter, more free, more movable, moving, I am smiling, and content, and celebrating.

4. When you need that inner resource, touch, say, or see the anchor and remember again a time when you had that strong inner resource.

I am digging out the jeans today, and hanging them up somewhere. Perhaps the kitchen. lol.

This week I know I must:
Reward my successes emotionally, by allowing myself joy despite the circumstances.
Count my points closely, remeasuring, and double-checking.
**note: I started this one already and found the amount of milk I have been putting in my cereal each morning is 4 pts, and I've been counting it as 2 points. Since I have this exact thing every morning, this very well may be why I have not lost more weight in the last 2 weeks. A one-time mistake like this would not be a deal breaker, but I have been eating 2 pts more than I should have every day, which can definately slow things up.
Keep walking as much as I can.
Do all of my physical therapy.
Re-gain focus. Maintain the focused feeling.


Misty said...


Where to start? Your honesty is heartbreaking an inspiring at once. I remember skinny Jamie, and I guess I can admit now: I worried about you in those days, when you didn't seem like the you I first loved.

Do you remember a certain round Name That Speech Person, circa 1997? "If this person was a cigarette brand what would it be?" ;)

Amazing the perspective a couple of years (and kids) can bring you, right? Today I want to say how proud I am of everything you've achieved. Please know you really do inspire me. You make me laugh and give me courage and brighten my days.

You're brave.

You're beautiful.

Jamie said...

Thanks, Misty. You weren't the only one who was worried about me. Even my best friend could hardly find a way to tell me she was worried, too. Funny thing is, I show people a picture of thin Jamie and they think I weighed 130-140 lbs. Not since I was 8! I was 170-175. It's so weird.

Thanks for everything you have said. I do feel grown up and wiser, and I am so glad you enjoy my ramblings.

Sarah said...

Jamie, I think you are amazing, and it sounds like you are doing an incredible job on Weight Watchers. losing weight and making lifestyle changes are hard things to do, especially with a family to take care of. I also have terrible cabin fever. There is something just hopeless about the tail-end of a Wisconsin winter. Ugh.

Do you like edamame? I am ADDICTED to it. It's 60 calories for 1/4 cup, and it's really filling. I buy a beg of frozen ones that are already de-shelled and cook them and then put them in the fridge to eat cold. Sprinkle some pepper on the them, and they're almost as good as chips.

10 pounds is a lot of weight in 5 weeks-- you're doing great!

Sarah said...

bag, not beg. ugh,

also? dove mini ice cream bars are 60 calories a pop and are DELICIOUS.

Jamie said...

I love edamame Sarah! I LOVE it! I have not found any in our local walmart in a few weeks. I hate making a second trip to another store for one thing. Edamame is worth it though, so walmart better get some in soon.

Never tried the Dove ice creams. Awesome suggestion. I have had the Betty Crocker Warm mini chocolate cakes two times now, when I've got the itch to bake. I love the Weight Watcher's candy bars in the frozen dessert section. They taste like snickers.

Thanks for you encouragement, too. It helps sooo, sooo much.

gina said...

Oh Jamie, I second Misty's observation about your honesty. The fact that you are able to put your pain into words shows me that you are further along in your healing process than you think you are. Finances will work themselves out, they will. Look at what you've already started on Etsy. Jamie, people are paying you for what you love to do, this is huge. This is where every entrepreneur has to start. Give it some time but don't get lost now....not now. You and I both know that 2 pounds a week is good. It is healthy. It is the RIGHT way. Fast forward to Spring in your garden and you'll be 24 pounds lighter, which will be awesome. Wanna really lose by this Friday? Make it a soup week. I always kick start it with a soup week and would lose 3-4 pounds. What's going on with your husband is rough, but be the strength for him right now. I can't wait to see you at AWW and give you the biggest hug I can muster. XOXOXO

Jamie said...

Thank you, Gina. I am finding that writing really helps me. And having friends to listen and push me is helping, too.

Courtney Walsh said...


I found your blog through Misty's blog, and I have to tell you I am also inspired and amazed at your honesty here. I understand this same frustration and recently blogged about my own realization that I've been convincing myself my eating is normal.

It's so not. It's disordered. It's a mess.

I also discovered...much to my dismay, I eat because I can't express my ANGER.

What's up with that? Anyway, I won't rant here in your comments section, but I will say that I understand what you're saying. And I too am learning that I CAN do this. I CAN walk away from a chocolate cake and (gasp!) live! :)

You should be proud of yourself. You are strong. And brave. And beautiful...

eyeheartorange said...

Jamie, I love reading your blog... I have blog hopped over here a few times and I relate, especially with the alcoholism and the frustration that goes along with that and the money spent on it... Very hard to understand and accept but it is awesome that you're in a relationship with honesty and are on a path. And congrats with WW success! That is definitely a success, you should be proud, it's not easy! Tera

Jamie said...

Hi Courtney, I have also been over to your blog from Misty's, and I am so excited about your book. As a scrapbooker, and a woman of faith, I can't wait to read it!
Thanks so much for reading, and helping me understand how much so many people can relate to what I am going through.

Nice to meet you Tera, I lvoe the name of your blog! Thank you so much for your words and encouragement.