Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Hard to be Optimistic When Your Fat Pants Are Too Tight

Hilarious picture frame I got from my Grandma at Christmas playing the dice game.

Be prepared for a brutally honest post. I need to lose weight. I know I'm not fat and most people will say (because they're being nice) "you don't need to lose weight." That's very kind of you, but I do.

Again, I know I'm not fat but I have extra chub that I don't want. I'm not one of those people who can say "I'm curvy and I love it!" I don't! I want to look like this:

Not like this (cuz ew!):

Remember when Nicole was this skinny?!?! Thank God she got preggers and got healthy! Yikes!

But, like this: healthy, toned and preferably really tan!

My weight fluctuates like crazy. I would like to be back my body from Freshman year of college:

Granted I didn't drink then, that's right I didn't have a drop of alcohol until my second semester of college. I was a good little girl and listened to my mom. This probably had a huge impact on my skinniness. I realize this is a terrible picture for showing off my smaller body....but you get the idea.

I was at my heaviest shortly after J and I started dating. Hey! I was happy! It didn't help that we had tater tots and pasta sides for dinner like every night.

I've tried a million and a half times to lose weight. I've tried crazy diets, I've worked out like crazy and I've counted calories. I have found the best way for me to lose weight (and I'd venture to say for everyone to lose weight) is by working out regularly and counting calories. Duh! Weight loss is simple....burn more than you take. Diets don't work. Depriving yourself from what you want will just make you crave it more and when you give in your likely to consume twice as much as you would have if you would have just allowed yourself what you wanted. Which is why counting calories works! If you want to eat a cheeseburger, then eat a cheeseburger. But, if you're supposed to be eating 1500 calories a day and your burger is 1000 then you only have 500 calories for the rest of the day. Period. I am also a huge advocate for several small meals (and snacks) throughout the day! "Ahem"....Future Mother-In-Law!!!!! When I do this, I get GREAT results. My problem is sticking with it. I can kick ass for a couple weeks, then I fall off the wagon. I've been thinking a lot about this lately and trying to figure out why exactly I can't stick with it. Here's what I've come up with:

*Typically when I fall off it's after an event where eating is involved. For example, I was doing awesome after Thanksgiving. I lost 3 pounds in one week, was working out 4 times a week and felt GREAT! Then my birthday came! We went out to dinner several times and I wanted to EAT and enjoy it! Which I did....too much so. Then a week later was Christmas, so what was the point of sticking to the diet when Christmas was just going to throw it off again? And then, two more weeks passed by before I started up again. Those 3 pounds and more have been gained back.

*I really like food. I like to eat. This makes cutting back and cutting things out hard. I can do it, it's been 2 months since I had a pop! But, sometimes I don't want to. The key is allowing myself everything but cutting back. Have 2 pieces of pizza instead of 4. Easier said than done.

*I'm really busy. I work 3 jobs and volunteer with my sorority. A lot of times I need to eat on the run and I am just way too tired to work out. But, I know a TON of people out there are equally as busy and just make time to get to the gym and plan ahead to make sure they are eating right. This is something I need to learn to do.

*I want instant results! I often get frustrated when I don't see results fast enough and then I give up. Similarly, when I eat really good for a few days I think I can "cheat" because I've been so good. Then I cheat again the next day, and the next day and soon cheating is just eating a lot every day.

*Finally, this may sound like a cop-out but I believe it really has something to do with it, I have ADD. I got to thinking that maybe my ADD had something to do with the fact that I love to eat, constantly. For example, I love chips because one bag of chips consists of a bunch of bites, so it takes longer to eat and uses up more time. Thus, satisfying my boredom and need to be doing something for longer. And very simply, when I'm bored, I eat and when you have ADD you're bored A LOT. I found this article online which actually confirms what I am thinking, here are some of the points that stuck out to me:

"Several years ago, ADDvance Magazine, co-published and co-edited by the author and Patricia Quinn, M.D., sent readers an informal survey asking about problems of over-eating and eating disorders. The women who responded did not report a high incidence of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulemia, but did report problems with compulsive over-eating. Many women described a pattern of eating carbohydrates (sweets and starchy snacks) in the evening, not only as a means of reward, but also as a means self-calming or "self-medication."

"Dr. Fleming studied a group of 50 clients who fell into this category. They did not meet the criteria for either anorexia or bulimia, but "clearly had disturbed eating habits, with typically no regularly planned meals or snacks, and an inability to follow dietary plans for any useful length of time." (p. 412). As these clients were more carefully evaluated, it became clear that the incidence of undiagnosed ADD (ADHD) was very high. In fact, Dr. Fleming reported that approximately one third of the clients at their clinic met clinical criteria for a diagnosis of ADD (ADHD). Dr. Fleming is careful to note that this statistic does not imply that most people with ADD (ADHD) have disordered eating, but rather that there is a 'sub-population of individuals with disordered eating plays a major role in the etiology and maintenance of the disorder.'"

This is me to a T:

"Too hungry to wait: Many people with ADD (ADHD) don't pay enough attention to their hunger levels. They may become busy during the day, eating very little, and then discover that they're ravenous - resorting to fast food or high-calorie snacks because it's too hard to wait and eating something healthy." When I am hungry I am HUNGRY, so I'll often eat really fast and eat way too much to get rid of that hunger as fast as I can.

"Skip meals, then binge: Fasting and binging is another common ADD (ADHD) pattern - sort of an all or nothing approach to food. Many people mistakenly believe that it's good to skip a meal, not realizing that they are setting themselves up to overeat at the next meal."

"Don't go on a 'diet.' Many with ADD (ADHD) want "instant results" and are drawn to the most strict and radical diet plan promising a weight loss of several pounds per week. Statistics show that such plans are doomed to failure for the general population, and are even less likely to result in long-term success for those with ADD." Ummm....hello!

Read the full article HERE.

So now I'm 10 months away from my wedding and really wanting to make a permanent change. I don't want a quick fix to look great for the wedding, I want a lifestyle adjustment to help me look great and feel great forever! I'm over getting to a certain number. I don't care what I weigh....I just want to look a certain way and when I get there I'll know it.

I have a couple of things I am starting to do that will hopefully help:

*Plan! This includes packing lunches and planning meals for my day the day before as well as scheduling time to be at the gym. When I know I have a slow day I need to plan to work out.

*Change! I need to change my relationship with food. I need to get to the place where I'm eating to live not living to eat. I don't know how...I think once I see results this will become easier.

*Be realistic! I need to stop setting unrealistic goals and be honest with the fact that sometimes it will be hard and I will want to eat 45 tacos. I just need to learn to NOT...see above.

*Research! I've started reading Bethenny Frankel's "Naturally Thin" which I'm hoping will give me some tips and ideas.

What have you guys done to get the weight off and keep it off? And don't say I gave up this or I gave up that....because chances are I'm not going to be giving up anything....just cutting back.

And, if you're super busy and/or have ADD I especially want to hear from you! :)

If you're like me and you're working on your fitness...head over to Classic Puppy Love and link up with Miss Puppy Love's Fitness Friday! I am!


Marian said...

I had a real issue with weight my senior year in college (though come to find out it had something to do with the birth control I was on. Though medical research says it doesn't effect weight, I literally gained weight while I was on it...not before...and the minute I got off it, I started losing weight). But regardless if I was on birth control or not, I could stand to lose a few pounds. What I'm finding that helps is what you mentioned...watching what I eat. I tend to have 4-6 small meals a day. And I make sure that I'm eating lots of fruits and vegetables. I've also tried to cut out soda and fruit juices- only have them for a treat if need be. I also try to make one day a week a cheat day, if I want it. Tend to be either Saturday or Sunday. I also work out 6 times a week. And I also find it helpful to have someone to work out with. It motivates you more. You have all the right ideas...sticking with it is just the hardest part...but its all worth it in the end!!

Young and Fabulous said...

You should definitely check out Zumba in your area! it's an hour long hip hop/salsa/boooooty shakin class that burns between 500-1000 calories EACH CLASS!

It's a ton of fun too and gets you movin! If you can do that 2-3 times a week and then work out strength training another day during the week, I think you'll be golden!

I also LOVE eating...especially crappy food like tacos, nachos, pizza, pasta, etc..but if you can just watch the portion size you'll be okay!

you can do it!!! but fo real..check out zumba :)


steph c said...

I'm in the same boat that you are. I'm not fat, but I really want to tone up and get rid of some chub and just feel better about myself.

I have a similar issue with eating, too.. I really need to be more careful about my portions and timing of eating. I got Bethenny's book a while back and just never read it, so maybe I'll start that now!!

Jessica said...

I just wrote a post about how I'm trying to be healthier! You're so right about the calorie intake versus burning calories. That's very important!

You will be fabulous on your wedding day regardless what number your dress size is!! :D

Michelle said...

you post gave me a laugh. SO RELATEABLE :) but boy do i remember when nicole was that skinny. she looked so fragile.

Michelle said...

ahhh! that was just a site i was on lol...meant to link my blog

Nicole-Lynn said...

You can do it girlie! I am working on my fitness too, but with 3 months to go almost! yikes! :)

Miss K said...

OMG you took the words right out of my mouth!! it's like you literally wrote everything in my head, what i wanted, what i wanted to look like (including me my first year of college!)

i think we can totally reach our goals!! good luck!

Bre said...

So, after years of drinking/late night eating in college and after graduating, I noticed my body had changed a lot and not in a good way. I am not sure how I came across it, but the book "The Abs Diet" was what really changed things for me. Don't let the title fool you, it's not a diet. This book educated me on the good stuff and how it helps you, as well as the bad stuff and just how bad it is for you (aka what it is doing to your insides physiologically and chemically). After I gained the knowledge, it made it that much easier not to put the bad stuff in my mouth. The more I educated myself, the more I learned about the negative effects of processed foods and the benefits of whole foods. I'm not an organic freak, but I definitely try to stick to items with a shorter list of ingredients that I can pronounce. Giving up "pop" was a good start. I am not going to say I gave up this or that, but I drastically changed the things I was putting into my body.

Honestly, when you go from eating a lot of not so good for you stuff, to eating stuff that really nourishes your body, you really notice how much better you feel; not as lethargic.

Something you can try, in conjunction with spending time with your honey, is prepare your food for the week on Sunday. Just like the pasta salad, prepare snack bags that you can just grab and go. Time together and healthy living :) I always have something on me whether it's a piece of fruit or a bar, because I get the same way (starving and then gorging). Fruit helps to balance out your blood sugar levels to keep you from getting to that crazy, shaky, want-to-eat-my-arm point. Lara bars, Kind bars, and Clif bars are some of my faves.

Also, to stay on track, try setting snack reminder alarms on your phone. Eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking, and then set an alarm for every two hours for snacks and lunch.

As far as the workouts go, The Abs Diet has some great workouts (and recipes!) to help with that. It mixes in 3 days of weight training and 2 days of cardio. Everything aside from illness, injury, or a family emergency is just an excuse. If you want it badly enough, even with your busy schedule, you will make time for it.

Sorry for my long rant, hopefully you got a tip or two you can use out of this. Best of luck on your fitness journey!

Anonymous said...

The simple answer is: burn more calories than you take in, and you will lose weight.

My suggestion would be to eat 2 or 3 small meals (less than 300 calories) and one medium (500-600 calories) meal a day - with a target of about 1500 calories a day. Once a week, cheat a lil. :)

As far as exercise. The gym, etc is great, but it is the small things that you can do through your everyday life that add up. Park in the back of the parking lot and walk, or better yet. If possible, leave early, and walk to your destination. Find a local lake, and take a walk/hike (difficult in the winter, yes).