May 8, 2012

My Arch Nemesis, The Scale

I didn't have a scale for a long time. Last time I did have a scale, I obsessed over what it said several times a day. While I know the number is not supposed to change quickly, I would get upset just seeing the same number there time after time. I would get upset if it went up, even if there was a reason (like hormones or salt) that it went up. My moment was made if it went down even the slightest bit, then ruined if it went back up later in the day.

Part of the reason I bought a scale this weekend was that it advertised knowing how much of my weight is water weight. I tend to carry water weight. I like salty things (read: eat at least a sleeve of saltines daily). I also have a thyroid issue that, when in full swing, causes me to swell. I thought it would be a good thing to keep an eye on my water weight, to maybe head that last bit off before it becomes a real issue.

The other part is because I'm obsessed with my weight. The funny thing is, I can't put a number on my weight goals. Saying "I want to weigh 140 pounds" doesn't mean anything to me. 140 pounds is like $1 million. I just can't wrap my head around what it would be like. Yeah, I would be skinny, but at what cost? I don't really want to be skinny. I got way too much uncomfortable attention when I was skinny. Granted, that was 20-some years ago, but still. I like food too much to be skinny, anyway.

You can see my motivation is conflicted.
I'm really just terrified I'll turn into this
because I'm not known for going overboard or anything...
What I want is to not feel fat. I don't have a number for that. It's based on the size of my belly bulge, with a little bit of pants size and arm flappage thrown in. It's also based on how well I meet other (sometimes not wholly realistic) goals. It's important for me to feel strong in both arms and legs. It's important to feel capable of the random physical feat.

The best I can do is set short term goals and see where they take me. The difficulty is in setting those goals without setting up a bunch of rules I have to follow. I'm not good at following rules. Or rather, I'm good at following rules for short periods of time. Then I break them like a rock through a picture window, and they are forever shattered. I'm hoping to make the rules vague enough that it's not a hardship to maintain them.

My first goal is to know what it feels like to be 175 pounds. I think I remember feeling "not fat" when I was somewhere in that range. It's also a relatively short term goal, though I haven't set a date for accomplishment. My plan is to:
Pick back up the "sweat every day" mantra. I can run, ride my bike, dance, or do DVDs. I can play with the family dog, if it gets my heart rate up and sweat pouring down my face. No glistening or glowing here. I want to stink when I'm done.
Drink water every time I eat. I have a tendency to drink too much soda and not enough water. I do better with this when I'm working out, so hopefully that will help. Considering how often I eat during the day, I'm hoping this will help too.  
Only eat when I'm hungry. This is a hard one for me. I eat when I'm hungry, thirsty, tired, sad, bored...  The list goes on and on. I'm not even certain I know what hungry feels like, but I'd sure like to learn. I'm not sure I can quite make myself think of food as only fuel, but I should be able to ask the question "am I hungry?" before putting anything in my mouth.
Take smaller portions. I'm not going to dictate what I can and can't eat. That's a bullet in the foot for certain. I'm just going to take smaller portions. I'm using the size of my fist as a guideline. If I want more, I'll go back for more... when I'm hungry again.   
One thing I am going to dictate is regarding sugar. I'm an addict. I make a batch of cookies and they are gone in 24 hours. I buy a tray of apple crisp, same thing. Gone. However, I've been working on a home recipe for energy bars (I'll share it when I get it right). The last batch I made with brown rice syrup. Sweet, but not addictive. I haven't even needed to restrain myself, and have been eating an average of one (probably <100 calories) per day. I'm not going to say I'll never eat sugar again, but I'm certainly going to cut it out of my daily intake (again!).

One other thing I'm doing is stretching again. I used to stretch every night before I went to bed. I started going to bed later and later, and the stretching fell by the wayside. I liked stretching. I don't so much like it right now, as it feels awful when I'm as tight as I am. I know it will feel better though. It already feels better than it did the first day, and I've been back at it less than a week. I don't have a regime. I do Third World Squats when I think about it, for as long as I can stand it (I'm up to a count of 15). I do a plank when I think about it, for as long as I can stand it (I'm up to a count of 25). I do other random exercises when I think about them, including calf and quad stretches, along with trunk stretches before I go to bed.

Mostly, as with everything else I make myself do, I'm trying to get to where I like myself again. I'm honestly struggling with the job and financial situation. I need to succeed somewhere, instead of trying to hide under a rock and let everything go. That obviously isn't working for me. Maybe this will.


BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

It will work out. You can do it!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

I need to start working on third world squats again. I started up a few months ago because it will help me with weight lifting, but it fell by the wayside.