Of course I woke up at 2:30 a.m. this morning. I cannot tell you how many times I wake up between 2:30 and 3:30. I know I have said it a million times, but I do not know if I have ever successfully slept through the night. I normally fall asleep rather quickly, but then once I wake up, I find it extremely challenging to fall back asleep. Normally it lends itself to first trying to fall back asleep in frustration. Stage 2 is when I turn the t.v. back on and put a re-run on. Preferably one I have seen a million times in an effort to not need to watch it, or care and fall back asleep. Step 3 is to roll onto my right side. I normally fall asleep on my right side. If that still doesn't work, I will check my phone, e-mail, Facebook and last but not least blog or read. I should probably start with blogging or reading, at least they are both active and may tire me out.
Tonight, I decided to for the first time in months, track my Weight Watcher points for the week to-date. I hit a milestone in June 2012 and got to 30 lbs down. I have been on Weight Watchers so many times, if I was famous, or had more continued success you may see me on t.v. I have always hit a wall at 30 lbs. It always really feels like a lot of weight to lose and I always have a freak-out. Now, I say always because this is the second time I have lost 30 lbs. The first time was in 2003-2004 right before I moved to NYC. I did Weight Watchers then, hit the 30 lb milestone and I was done.
I am not quite sure what it is about the 30 lbs that stop me in my tracks. I think that I suddenly begin to realize that it is really possible for me to lose weight and I get scared. I get scared of what may come with additional weight loss. For me, for some reason, the range I was at over the summer in 2012 and the range I was in back in 2003-2004 seems like a safe range. Still not skinny, still a bit overweight, and safe.
I think I have discussed this before. I have first of all, for as long as I can remember been telling myself that I have always been overweight and I have always been a bigger girl. Looking back at pictures of me, it is clearly not the case. While I was always athletic looking, It wasn't until about 3rd grade that I appeared in class photos as being heavier. Prior to then, I looked rather "average." Never a thin child, but also never overweight. I was always told by my pediatrician that I was thick and "solid." Thanks Dr. Chung--he gave me so many complexes, will have to save that for another day.
Regardless, I recently acknowledged that the story I have told myself is that I have always been overweight, that my mother is super tiny, as is my sister. The story I have always told myself is that I am the fat one. I am the overweight one. I wonder if perhaps this story is part of the problem. Why does this have to be the story? Why does this have to be the role I audition for? It certainly is not the role I want?
Or is it? The reason I challenge myself is because of my fear with surpassing the 30 lbs mark. What is it about weight in this particular range that scares me so. To be honest back in 2003, I was 10 lbs less that where I was in June, yet it was still that 30 lb marker that stopped me, not what I weighed-in at. Why am I so worried about getting below that mark. I honestly think a lot of it goes back to my fear of sex, as I blogged about recently. I have always been extremely uncomfortable with being sexualized in any way. Going to clubs in college and in high school if a guy ever tried to dance with me, I would run away. If I ever feel like a guy is looking at me, or checking me out, I get so incredibly uncomfortable. It is never something that turns me on, it is always something that scares me. I am not so sure why this is. I also know I have never wanted my weight loss to be tied to my getting married. I was doing great before we got engaged. I never wanted anyone to think I was trying to lose weight for my wedding because I always thought that seemed so superficial. I find myself worrying about that again. If I go passed the 30 lb mark, everyone is going to think it is for our wedding? Totally not the case, just not sure why this bothers me so much?
I know that I feel that the extra weight is a layer of protection. People really just leave me alone. I don't get gawked at by men and I don't get made fun of by men or women--well, at least not to my face. Growing up, I created so many defense mechanisms for being picked on. I learned what I could do to try and prevent myself from getting picked-on. It often included picking on myself first. I also learned that if people thought I was "too" good at any one thing, I could also get picked on. I wonder if I consider weight loss to be something that there is a safe zone for. If I stay in a certain range, men will leave me alone and women will too?
What a sad place to live!!!
Back to my current 30 lb experience. So, in June I hit the 30 lb mark, again. It was the beginning of the summer and I was headed on a cruise with my family, my b-day was coming up as well as my yearly pilgrimage to my most favorite place on earth--Hampton Beach, NH. For all of these reasons, I decided I was going to "take the summer off." Ironic that this decision was made right after my 30 lb mark? Self-sabotage anyone?
So, fast forward through the summer. I would say, I put on about 4-8 lbs, depending on how much traveling I was doing. For the summer, I was pretty good at sticking with my regular routine. Where I really had trouble was with alcohol. Not meaning that I have a problem with alcohol, just that beer is so much more appetizing to me in the summer, which adds on points and pounds to every meal. By the end of the summer, I was up about 6 lbs. This still seemed ok to me. I was actually pretty proud of myself. I thought I did a pretty good job, I had an amazing, wonderful summer, full of lots of travel and all of my new clothes still fit, no big deal.
The fall approached and initially I had told myself this would be when I would get back on track. Much like a new school year, September has always been one of my favorite times of year. I had initially told myself that I would get my Weight Watcher brain turned back on in September. For anyone who has food issues like myself, you know this is so much easier sad than done. It is like you know EXACTLY what you need to do in order to succeed, but your brain and your body refuse to follow suit. I kept telling myself I would get back there eventually.
The fall included a bunch of travel and because I am the queen of excuses, I would keep not going to my meetings because I knew there wasn't a long stretch when I could go consistently. I am totally an all or nothing kind of person. I am a bit of a perfectionist sometimes and I would rather not even try than not do a good job. See, besides tracking for me, the most important component and the determinant of my success has always been my ability to consistently attend meetings, regardless of where I am. There are Weight Watcher meetings everywhere, similar to AA. You can always find the support you need, if you are willing to make the effort.
When I first started on my most recent WW journey, I would arrange my entire week to ensure I would always go to meetings. If I was traveling that weekend, I would either weigh-in early on Fridays, or I would go to a meeting wherever I was traveling too. I would even go to meetings more than once a week if I was having a hard time with program.
So, what am I saying, September became October and then October became November. I went to maybe 4 meetings all fall, up to about +10 from my lowest weight. Extremely frustrating, but knowing exactly what I am doing to make this +10 happen, just not knowing why. Then of course as soon as November hits I say to myself, well, the holidays are here, there is no point in really getting back on track now. I went to two meetings, total, over the holidays. Enough to kind of keep me in check, but not enough to make any kind of impact.
Most important to note during this entire time is probably my continued unwillingness to track my food. I keep talking about the stories we tell ourselves. Most ridiculous is how I am totally oblivious to how many little things I eat throughout the day until I write them all down. It is so easy to totally forget a snack you ate on the run, or something you grabbed a handful of while watching t.v. My problem is I apparently have become so unaware of my eating that is makes me feel a little sick, to be honest.
So, all this brings me to tonight. Another 2:30 wake-up, with multiple attempts of falling back asleep. Tonight, after the t.v. didn't work, checking my phone didn't work, and laying on my right-hand side didn't work. I decided to do something crazy. I decided I was going to start faking it until I make it with Weight Watchers again. My health is important to me. I am not a fat, overweight person and I don't want to continue to play that role. I want to be my best self, and for me that means eating appropriately, eating consciously, being engaged when I eat, tasting my food and most importantly feeling good and being healthy.
What does all of this mean, I decided to grab my phone and start tracking everything I ate since Saturday. I am sure there are probably some things I forgot, which makes the point overage for the week even higher, but I needed to start somewhere. I needed to see how much I have been eating, without even realizing. A handful of chips here, a beer there, it all adds up.
As it always is, it was extremely eye opening. Now to anyone out there who recognizes Weight Watchers lingo, this post is a difficult pill to swallow. For anyone who doesn't know how the system works, all foods are assigned point levels. Each person is given a point target per day and then an additional 49 points per week. So, I currently have a daily point value of 26 and then an additional 49 flex points I can use however I choose. To put this all in context when I was losing weight and attending meetings regularly, I would eat my 26 pts each day as well as most of my 49 pts each week.
As I tracked for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and I saw myself surpassing my daily total every day and quickly depleting my 49 extra points for the week, it really began to hit me. I have totally become an automatic eater. Here I was thinking I did well this week. We cooked at home a lot, stuck with not crazy, greasy foods. I was so confident in my week that I chose to track it all at 4:00 in the morning. If I had any idea how bad it would be, I am not sure I would have done it today. I probably would have waited for a better week.
So, we are not even at Thursday and I am already at -110. What does this mean?? I am already 110 points over my 7 day allowance, and I am only on day 6, tomorrow?? I am not sure that I ever had such a bad week when I was on program. Even with traveling, weddings, and during the most stressful times of years. I don't even think I went over that bad during any of the holidays when I was on program last year -110?!!!!!!! Wow. To think I had a good week. I guess all the late night snacking, handfuls and alcohol really add up. I guess when I am not tracking what I eat, I just don't realize how much I eat.
So, I am totally proud for going through this exercise. I totally wish it didn't happen at 4:00 a.m., as I am sure I will be exhausted tomorrow, but I have been waiting for that moment. I have been waiting for a wake-up call. I have been waiting to get re-inspired and re-motivated. What continues to give me hope is that I totally know what I need to do to get right back to where I was. I totally know what I need to do to drop the 12 lbs I have gained and get back to that 30 lb mark. I also have to have confidence that once I get there, I will find a way to break through the 30 lb wall. It is scary to me what is beyond that wall, but it is also exciting to me. I love to think of myself as being healthy and feeling good. I think I need to start focusing more on that and less on the scary part. I need to start telling myself a new story, a non-scary story about what lays beyond that 30 lb mark. I will still be Patty. I will still be a good person, nothing will change me and I will still be strong.
The scale only gives you one random "measurement" of yourself. It has no real meaning. It fluctuates daily, hourly and monthly. You can step on 5 different things and weight 5 different amounts. You can get super sick with the flu and drop 6 pounds, temporarily to only gain it back. When you go into outer space or if you lived on another planet your weight on earth would be irrelevant.
"Weight is the term scientists use to describe how much force due to gravity acts on an object. The amount something weighs depends on two things, how much mass the object has, and how strong the force of gravity is where the object is at." http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/phy00/phy00007.htm
I know that I have the tools to succeed. I have still come so far and still have 20 lbs off. I need to focus on my achievement so far.
I am telling everyone that reads this that I am planning on going to my first WW meeting in a very long time on Saturday. I am asking that anyone that reads this helps me stick to my goal. I need to track every day. I am asking everyone that reads this to gently help me with this. I deserve to be my best self. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be as happy as I can be. I am asking for help, publicly. I am asking for support publicly. Please help me get back on track. Please be gentle and please be supportive.
Ugh, maybe I can get a few hours of shut eye before work....doubtful now that I am totally awake. Cheers to the next 4 a.m. blog post.
And that's all she wrote....