Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Power of Words

A little story….
Twenty-four years ago I was living in Jacksonville, Florida where my husband was stationed in the Navy.  He was out to sea and I had gone shopping.  I walked into a shop…a Fashion Bug I think it was…just to browse.  As you may know, Fashion Bug has two sides to the store….Regular Size and Plus Size.  I was at the top end of the regular size back then…XL.  I was browsing through the racks and not having much luck finding anything.  A sales girl walked up to me to ask if I needed any help.  I told her I was just looking.  She told me to come find her if I needed anything.  I continued to look a bit longer and she came up to me again.    “Maybe you should try looking on the other side of the store,” she said.   Huh??????  She must not have wanted to sell anything that day because with that comment I soon left the store.
That comment haunts me to this day.  That shopping visit was the last time I shopped on the “Regular” side of the store.  I had effectively been banished.   I could never again get the nerve up to shop on “that side”.  These days the average woman actually is closer to the Plus side of the store……a size 14-16.  Recently I have been able to drift back towards the “regular” side of the store.  But that comment from 24 years ago still affects me to this day.  It doesn’t rear its ugly head so much when I shop with friends but yesterday I was by myself at the mall.  I walked past New York & Company (for the second time) and thought…hmmm…I took a deep breath and stepped inside.  As I browsed the racks there I felt very self-conscious.  Was I too big to shop there?  Will someone steer me away?  Was I being stared at with thoughts of “Gee…why is she in here?”  I even tried to cover by looking through the jewelry and scarves so it would look like I had a good reason to be there.   It was quite traumatic!  When I got to the back of the store I chose a few shirts off of the sales rack.  I didn’t plan on buying anything…it was an experiment of sorts.  Could I wear it?  Would it fit?  Could I get away with being there?  To my delight I found that I could.  I have a WAIST!  There is actually an indentation where my waist is and I have more than one curve…I have a few…and I like them!  My stomach is even a lot flatter and I don’t have to wear shirts hanging down as far to cover it up.  Wonder of wonders!  Of course, I still could not get up the nerve to actually buy those beautiful shirts…even though they were on sale and looked great…that would be the other stumbling block for me…the self-consciousness of wearing something in public that actually reveals and accentuates those curves.  I haven’t accentuated anything in literally decades.
I didn’t feel quite as uncomfortable as I left the store and I felt a little bit proud of myself….but it’s amazing what a few ill-spoken words from 24 years ago can do to a woman’s psyche…..I’ll have to work on that.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Plateau's are nasty things.....

So…update on the previous post….I gained those 3.5 back! 
Plateau's are awful little monsters, they really are.  Up until last week I had been dealing with those same 3-5 pounds.  Recently I have been “meditating” and reading up on just what could be going on.  I really enjoy reading Muscle and Fitness Hers. The last issue had an article comparing so-called “diet” versions of various foods.  They compared such things as low fat peanut butter vs. regular peanut butter vs. organic peanut butter (organic won), whole wheat bread vs. whole grain bread vs. sprouted grain bread (sprouted grain won…Ezekiel 4:9 bread), etc.   This past week I was on spring break and decided to change up the diet a little bit.
I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast.  It’s the easiest, fastest thing I can make when I am working.  I measure it out, pop it in the microwave and walk away.  When I am done getting ready for work I take it out of the microwave and eat.  Simple.  However, it’s carb heaven/disaster for me! I switched out oatmeal in favor of egg white omelets this week.  I used Better ‘n Eggs All Whites and added Weight Watchers shredded cheese, salsa and sometimes black beans for an omelet.  Every morning.  No bread on the side.  I also had noticed in the past that when I eat fish as my protein I lose weight.  So 3 nights this past week I had fish.   My husband found a place to get steelhead trout.  It’s delicious!  Has the look and consistency of salmon but it does not have the fishy smell and it is meatier tasting.  Great stuff, steelhead trout! 
Drum roll….
As of weigh-in today I have lost 3.5 pounds since Tuesday!  Since joining Weight Watchers in July I am down 32.5 pounds.  You never realize just how much you have lost until you see the total number.  I swear when I weighed in I almost did a little dance….could not keep the stupid grin off of my face.  Here’s hoping that I have broken that plateau!
Difficulty now is…..making egg white omelets ahead every night this week so that I can heat them up in the morning and have those for breakfast instead of the oatmeal.  I am fairly certain I am very carb sensitive after this little experiment (and past experiences) so I am trying to go as gluten-free as I possibly can this week…plus higher protein.  This is going to be rough…gluten is in practically everything! 
Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Love Affair With Bread

“Oh, God above, if heaven has a taste it must be an egg with butter and salt, and after the egg is there anything in the world lovlier than fresh warm bread and a mug of sweet golden tea?”Frank McCourt, ‘Angela's Ashes’ (1996)

I love bread…..the smell of warm yeast rolls wafting through the cafeteria at school and down the hallway towards my room….I think I can gain weight just from the smell of baking bread.  Bread is a MAJOR weakness of mine.  I can remember while I was growing up my mom would make home-made wheat bread.  I couldn’t wait for it to come out of the oven so I could spread some peanut butter and jelly on it while it was warm….a nice thick slice, too.  I can’t blame my eating habits on anything other than the fact that I have a love affair with food…..I love to eat really, really good food! 
Bread has been on my mind a lot this week because when the ladies at Weight Watchers told me to change up my eating this week I decided to split from bread. I made the decision because I have gone gluten-free in the past and I did drop some weight.  I have not had any bread or rice in 5 days.  The only carbs I am taking in are coming from fruits and vegetables. Wait….I did have oatmeal twice but this week I had less of it and mixed a tablespoon of low fat peanut butter into the oatmeal.   I also upped my protein intake slightly.  The first couple of days weren’t too bad but it’s getting rough.  I’ve been trying to make up for it with more vegetables with meals.  I am NOT good at getting vegetables in.  I even ate out twice this week and the only sides I had were broccoli.
Has it worked?  Yep…..since Sunday I have dropped a solid 3.5 pounds.  Nice jump start!  Problem is….on Saturday I have friends coming over to eat and have a few drinks.  I may be in trouble so I better be extra good until then!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


So, as part of my weight loss journey I have decided to use this blog as a sounding board, frustration, microphone… name it.  I’ll talk about my frustrations, triumphs and whatever else strikes me….and it may not even have anything to do with weight loss.  However, in the larger scheme of things, everything has something to do with weight loss.  You understand this if it has ever been a struggle for you.


In 2006 I weighed about 270 pounds….that’s a lot of weight to carry on a short body (I am 5’1″ on a GOOD day haha).  I slowly lost about 30 pounds….and then had a car accident that laid me up for a bit.  I gained about 10 back and then got back on track after a couple of months.  I lost some more until I was down almost 40 total….then in November of 2009 I came down with swine flu and within a month of recovering from that I came down with shingles.  It took me awhile to get my health back on track and within the next 6 months I gained back almost 30 of what I had lost.  Then in June of 2010 I cracked down heavy on the exercise and nutrition and lost about 1o on my own last summer.  Then I joined Weight Watchers back in July of 2010.  Since then I have lost 28.5 pounds.  However….that has not changed since early November of 2010.  So for the past 3 1/2-4 months I have been on a serious plateau.  I have wavered between 209 and 206 since November.  It’s a huge struggle for me.  And it is sooooo very frustrating because I eat very healthy (I think) and I am pretty active.  I work out at the gym about 4 days a week.  It’s difficult to fit more workouts in because besides the gym, I have a family, teach full-time and am working on my doctorate.  Yes, I am wearing smaller sizes but it is so nice to see those numbers go down.

I’ll be trying this week what the ladies at the WW meeting suggested to try to break my plateau….eat “differently”.  I do tend to eat the same things over and over…..every morning during the week it is 1/2 cup of oatmeal cooked.  It’s just easiest because I can pop it in the old microwave and walk away.  Eating differently is probably going to mean getting up earlier so I can invest some more time in breakfast ..… not so sure how that will work since I am all about saving time!  A friend of mine also suggested more sleep since it has been linked to weight loss.  And, personally, I need to drink more water.  So…

Three goals for this week or the immediate future…
  1. More water
  2. More sleep
  3. Change up the food
We shall see how it goes!