Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Staying on the Weight Loss Wagon

I know what to do to lose weight - eat less, move more. I know how to lose weight - journal my food, stay within recommended calorie range, get movement in daily, start small. I know why I want to lose weight - reasons I'll continue to list here on my blog as time goes on, but can be summed up with "a life worth living."

When to lose weight is where I struggle the most with weight loss. I'll put off the "big day." The big day can be anything from starting a new program, to getting back on a program, to getting back on a program again... and again... and again. And then once I'm on it, I last anywhere from three days to a couple weeks, then I slide right off the back.

Almost five years ago, I quit smoking. It took me two years before it finally "took." I quit smoking for three months or three weeks or three days or one week or one day, then would start smoking again. And then quit again. Over and over for two years. Finally, in August 2004, I smoked my last cigarette.

If I can quit a two pack a day habit, I can lose this weight. I have to believe that. What makes this harder is that when you quit smoking, you quit. Period. I can't quit eating. There is no on/off switch here. I have to be so careful to reduce calories enough that I lose weight, but no so much that my binge eating disorder gets tripped. Then I don't feel I lose weight fast enough, so I give up and eat too much and am back where I started. Or I restrict food too much, feel resentful and then, yep, binge.

Right now, I'm working with a calorie range buddy at SparkPeople via email where we check in everyday on how we are doing. I'm hoping with some one to one support, I can stay within my calorie range for the week. I'm shooting for seven days out of seven, but six out of seven would be fine as long as I don't go way over.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

I just signed up for Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon on Saturday, April 18th. In a week or so, I'll start putting together a book list for that day.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My First Diets

I was twelve when I was put on my first diet. To this day, I don't understand why I was told I needed to lose weight. I was 5'10" and weighed somewhere around 130 - 150 which is totally normal. I can't remember exactly what type of diet I was put on, but I do remember sneaking Ayd's chocolate appetite suppressing candy topped with peanut butter. It was the only "sweet" in the house. I'd also mix Hershey's syrup with shredded coconut, put a tiny bit of water in with hot chocolate to make "icing" and wrapped white table sugar in American cheese slices. I remember starting to hide food under my bed and stealing food from the parents of the kids I babysat or owners of the dogs I walked. I didn't know how to cook yet and sweets were all I thought of to take.

When I was sixteen, my grandmother told me that unless I lost twenty pounds before coming to visit her and my grandfather in California, they would send me on the next plane back. They would be sure of this because they would weigh me at the airport. Two weeks before I left, I began starving myself. I would eat maybe an ounce or two of food, but the only other thing that passed my lips was Tab. In the last couple of days, I would sit on the toilet for hours, praying that I would pass everything out of my body. As you can imagine, I was pretty constipated. So I would reach up in my vagina and push the hard poop out. The day before I left, I broke out in hives. They didn't weigh me but told me how terrific I looked. While I was there, I prayed for them to both leave for the day so I could forage for what I could to eat. Again, there were no sweets available, so I made due with some semi-sweet chocolate chips and white baking chocolate.

At eighteen or so, I went on the Cambridge diet. This was a meal replacement drink for two of my meals, then my mother or grandmother would watch and comment on whatever I ate for the third meal.

I wasn't actually overweight until a couple months later and wasn't obese until I was in my twenties. I started truly gaining weight once I was able to buy my own food and I hit college where my family wasn't keeping an eye on what I did 24x7.

Monday, March 23, 2009

6## Pounds - No weigh in

It's been a rough week and I fell off the wagon big time with lots of fatty and fried foods as well as binge eating. It seems like I always do this right as I'm on the verge of a big success. This time it would have been getting under 600 for the first time in five years.

Lots of stressers including changing to a new laptop with Vista which has really wigged me out, hubby being out of work, financial worries, some minor hubby health worries, and decisions I've made about my family. Not that these are excuses, just reasons.

So, today I've started tracking my food again. I called my therapist and we talked for a little bit. I committed to reading the book she lent me, The Appetite Awareness Workbook, rather than looking at it balefully as it sits in Mt. TBR.* I browsed it for a couple minutes and saw a section called "A Binge is a Temper Tantrum." Ain't that the truth.

Lastly, we discussed how I need to be more mindful during the day and take pleasure in the moment. I struggle with being a "human doing." Instead of enjoying the process of whatever I'm working on, I'm thinking about the next thing on Mt. TBD.**


* Mount To Be Read
** Mount To Be Done

Friday, March 20, 2009

Morbid Obesity and Transportation

Getting places is always a challenge.

If the walk is short, there are places to sit and/or a bariatric wheelchair available, I can take my car. It's a 1993 Buick Century with 130,000-ish miles on it. I call it my little rust bucket. The seat is broken and the back gives no support (to other people) because it is bent back so far. However, I can fit in it and am in no pain while driving even if I am in the car for hours such as when I sit by the lake, reading. However, it is old and as I said very rusty. I can't imagine trying to find another car that has bucket seats and no hump where I can fit behind the wheel. It's a good car, we spend only about $500 a year on it. Not bad really. But eventually, we are going to need to start looking and I dread it.

If I need my wheelchair, we need to take hubby's truck. I can't drive it as it's a stick-shift (can't maneuver to get to the clutch) plus I can't fit behind the steering wheel. After 20 or so minutes in the truck as a passenger, my back and knees start to hurt. After 30 - 45 minutes they are screaming at me. There isn't much room for me to move and the seat doesn't totally support me. As it is, I'm constantly fidgeting to get comfortable. Let's not even talk about the seat belt. Even with the extender, I'm confined so much, I can't even fidget and the belt cuts against my neck.

For when my husband isn't available, the walk is long and there is no seating for someone my size, I've researched transportation for the disabled such as Metro Mobility . They won't take anyone where the weight of the chair plus the rider is over 600 pounds. You do the math...

Monday, March 16, 2009

602 Pounds - Down 2

I had a bit of a pig out*, verging on a binge, last night. I was afraid that it would negate all the hard work I put in this last week. There was a lot of praying before I stepped on the scale this morning. Phew, down 2. I'll take it.

Maybe next week I'll be under 600 pounds for the first time in about five years. When I hit the 500's, I'm going to start adding some exercise to the mix. I'm not looking forward to it, but as hard and painful as it is, it needs to be done.

I want this to be faster. I'm very impatient. Small changes and small losses are better for me in the long run. But I want it NooooOOOOooooW!

* 2 egg rolls, 6 cream cheese won tons, 3 fried chicken thighs, french fries, 1 serving of Hershey chocolate eggs, 1 serving of Girl Scout Thin Mints

Friday, March 13, 2009

Before Pictures at 640 pounds

These were taken a couple of years ago. I'm somewhere between 640 and 670 pounds. I'll have some new ones taken when I reach 590 and each additional 50 pounds off.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My First Binge

The first binge I remember was when I was nine or ten years old. Unlike other people, I remember school food fondly. I'm not sure why. Maybe because it was something different than what my mom cooked. Maybe because, unlike at home, I could choose what and how much I wanted to eat without being scrutinized.

They used to serve white rice in these little paper cups about the size of a cupcake lining. At lunch one day, nobody wanted their rice. I'm not sure how it happened - did someone offer me one? Did I ask for one person's and other people heard? But I ended up with a tray full of those little, white paper cups of rice. There were ten or twelve of them and I ate every single one.

I read while I ate, but I'll go into that in another post. I ate and read and read and ate until I couldn't eat another bite. There was a bit of shame attached to it, but mostly I remember the delight I had in being able to eat until I was full rather than having my parents watch and criticize what I put in my mouth. "Leave some for everyone else." "You don't need anymore." "You've had enough."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What This Is

Less is Morph is about how I'm morphing into less. It's not necessarily going to give you weight loss tips and tricks. There are plenty of other resources and blogs that do that. My blog will reveal how I got where am I, daily challenges for someone my size and my struggles with losing enough weight to I feel like I have a relatively normal life.

I have researched and thought hard about weight loss surgery. Between the lack of long-term research, stories from people that I know and trust, distaste for messing around with something that is working the way it is supposed to (my digestive system) and my eating disorder history, WLS is not an option for me. Since you need to completely change your eating, fitness routines and lose a significant amount of weight pre-surgery anyway, why not do those things and not have the surgery?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where I started

In August of 2007, I participated in a Binge Eating program at Park Nicollet. I went to an educational program for eight weeks, then a followup program for nine weeks. When I started, I weighed in at 672 pounds. That the heaviest I've been. During the program, I lost about 30 pounds. The only change to my diet was to refrain from binging.

However, I needed to lose a lot more weight and the Park Nicollet refrain was "this is not a weight loss program." I found The Emily Program which combined eating disorder therapy as well as weight loss support. I worked with a nutritionist who put me on an exchange diet. I lost about another 20 pounds.

Currently, I use the free online program, SparkPeople. I've lost 12 pounds in the last three weeks or so. I believe this program is the one that is really going to help me the most as they concentrate on weight loss at a reasonable rate via calorie counting, fitness and a massive amount of online support including message boards, nutrition & fitness trackers, articles on nutrition, motivation, fitness, wellness, goal-setting and health issues.

I weighed in this morning at 604 pounds.