Thursday, August 30, 2012

Putting my weight loss on a pedestal...

I don't want to die dieting.

I hate that Mom died unhappy with her appearance. Mom was beautiful. Inside AND out. She had been on a medication for years that had caused a bit of weight gain and a puffiness in her face and neck. And she HATED her looks because of it. No one could convince her that she wasn't ugly and fat.

Not even me. God knows that I tried, though. I hate how important looks are to us, as women.

Why is there such a pressure to look a certain way?

Why, when our looks change, be it because of age, pregnancy, medications, health issues, stress, or even just holiday weight gain... Why does this MATTER to us so much??

Can't we just be happy with our accomplishments that have nothing to do with our looks?

Why are we contantly comparing our looks to other women's looks?

Why do we enjoy talking about our virtuous dieting stories with our fellow women? Surely there is something else to talk about besides how "good" we were for avoiding the fried food, or how "guilty" we are for eating birthday cake.

I don't get it. I don't get why I am like this, even though I know it's wrong. I don't want to be one of the dieters anymore. I don't want to hate my appearance even one bit.

I'm beautiful. And I do actually know this. Even though I'm heavier than I want to be, even though I'm older than I once was, even though there are parts of my appearance that aren't picture-perfect. I know that my looks aren't bad, for the most part. I like my appearance. I don't think that I'm ugly.

But my beauty is not really an accomplishment. I didn't earn my looks. I inherited them from a beautiful mother.

My biggest accomplishments are yet to come. And the 50 or so pounds that I am going to lose, however long it takes, will NOT be on that list (even though it will be an accomplishment!).

I'm going to stop putting my weight loss on such a high pedestal. There are more important things in life.

Mom would want me to get out of this dieting nightmare, and to lose the weight at a slow and comfortable pace. She would want me to be happy and healthy first, and worry about what the numbers on the scale, measuring tape, and pants label say last.

She would want me to graduate with honors, go to Columbia Law School, get married, have kids, live in New York, and follow my heart.

I dedicated my weight loss journey to Mom, but I also want to dedicate those other journeys to her. Because even though my weight loss is important to me, I want it to be LESS important.

There are still lots of things that I need to work on when it comes to food and exercise. I know this. I'm still figuring it out. It's very possible that I will always be figuring that out.

And you know what? That does not make me a failure. Just because I don't have the food thing figured out yet, just because I still kinda suffer from EDNOS, just because I don't really like my body and am still figuring out how to love it more and treat it right... these things don't make me a failure as a person.

I'm just glad that I finally realized that.

P.S. Thanks to my friend Jennifer for convincing me to post this.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My brother meets Bitchcakes!!!

Jealous?  I totally am.

Sheryl Yvette of and my brother are now besties.  They attend the same Weight Watchers meeting!  So cool.

If you read my blog but don't read hers, that's crazy.  ;-)  And probably impossible, because I think that many of my followers came here after she mentioned my blog in a post. 

Anyway, her blog is one that inspired me to start my own blog, and she chronicles her journey as honestly as I do, which is why I love her so much. 

When I visit Joel next, I will be going to that meeting to meet you, so get ready, Sheryl!  :-)

What bloggers (besides me, of course!) inspire you? 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Reject the Diet Mentality (Take 2)

Reject the Diet Mentality
Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
~Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole and ElyseResch

I have tried in the past to learn this first principle of inutuitive eating, but I never quite got there. 

There was always still a part of me that was looking at IE as a diet.  I never truly rejected the diet mentality.

And I'm still working hard on this priciple of IE.

Every day is a challenge and an opportunity to learn.

Failure is not a part of Intuitive Eating, and I'm glad that I'm finally embracing that fact.  As long as I'm trying to learn this, I am not failing at it.

I'm not tracking my food.  I'm allowing myself to eat ANYTHING (besides meat, but that's because I don't want to eat meat).  I'm working steadily on my "all or nothing" approach to eating.

For now, what this means for me besides not tracking, is not caring about nutrition.  The authors of this book openly admit that during the first stage of IE, you will probably be nutritionly unbalanced, and this is not the way that you will want to eat forever.

I'm not eating a lot of healthy options right now.  I just don't really want many whole foods right now.  I'm working on truly rejecting the diet mentality and letting my food preferences make my decisions.

Surprisingly (or not, according the the book), I'm not overeating as much as I did when I was counting calories and PointsPlus. 

I think that I may be finally learning to trust myself around food.

The food, whatever it may be, will always be an option for me to eat.  Even in an hour, if I get hungry again.  Therefore, there is no need to overeat it.

I have found that there is an online community for Intuitive Eating, found here which is really great.  It's full of supportive intuitive eaters, many of them IE-in-training, like me.  :-)

Anyway... that's how I'm working with the first principle of Intuitive Eating: Reject the Diet Mentality.

Personal Update:

School started back up today, and with it came a whole slew of mixed emotions.  Happy to be back into a routine, happy to be learning again, happy to be progressing towards my degree... but devestated that I cannot call Mom to tell her how my first day went. 

However, I am not going to dive head-first into a bag of chips in an effort to suppress my emotions.  Instead, I'm going to embrace the emotions for what they are.  Emotions are normal, and are a wonderful thing.  I am learning to feel them instead of supress them, and this will be a key part to furthering my recovery from EDNOS.

Blog posts in the works and coming soon:

  • book review: Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women can Transform their Relationships with Food through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling
  • IE Principle #2: Honor Your Hunger
  • IE Principle #3: Make Peace with Food
  • My Thoughts on Health At Every Size
P.S. Please be sure to check out my latest sidebar addition over there and help fund my super-talented brother's latest project!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fickle Me... Back to Intuitive Eating!!!

...Yep.  You read the title correctly.  I'm switching plans AGAIN.

This is not "giving up" on Weight Watchers.  This is just me, finally having reached dieting rock bottom (a phrase from the book!). 

I still stand behind every single plan (and plan within a plan) that I have tried since starting this blog.  Every single one of them are wonderful in their own ways.  Some of them are better than others.  They all  have the potential to be life-long plans.  There are probably many people out there who have truly been able to make lifestyles out of each and every one of them.

Just for fun, I think that I will take a walk down memory lane... Also, my friend and fellow blogger Kate said that she didn't know if she would love to know how many times I've changed plans.  ;-)

Here are the plans that I have tried since the beginning of this blogging adventure:

1) The Kind Diet - my first "kind" grocery list (April 5, 2010)
2) Weight Watchers Momentum - back to WW (June 28, 2010)
3) confusion/not really following anything 100% - fickle (July 9, 2010)
4) decision to combine TKD with WW - blog name change (July 13, 2010)
5) Weight Watchers PointsPlus - PointsPlus summary (November 30, 2010)
6) WW Simply Filling Technique - SFT (February 20, 2011)
7) "Leah's WW Plan" (modifications to WW) - My Plan (March 15, 2011)
8) Sparkpeople - Taking a WW break (March 28, 2011)
9) ...and back to WW as written - Hello, WW! (April 14, 2011)
10) Intuitive Eating - goal weight crisis/IE thoughts (May 23, 2011)
11)  My Fitness Pal - Calorie Counting Confession (June 27, 2011)
12) Another Leah Original Diet Plan - Experimental New Plan (August 17, 2011)
13) ...and back to WW again! - The WWer Returns (September 12, 2011)
14) Intuitive Eating, Take 2 - EDNOS recovery (December 2, 2011)
15) ALODP - Back to School Plan (January 12, 2012)
16) MFP/IE combo... - Reject the Diet Mentality (February 10, 2012)
17) Eat to Live - ETL (February 21, 2012)
18) The Emotional Diet - Working on things... (May 17, 2012)
19) Back to WW again - Week One Back (July 2, 2012)
20) Simply Filling Technique again - SFT (August 13, 2012)


Okay, so I've tried a lot of different things to lose weight.  I always end up going back to Weight Watchers it seems.  I think that is because WW is comfortable for me, because I  understand that plan.  Not because I actually enjoy eating that way, but I get it.  It's a really good plan!

Like I said, I stand by all of these decisions.  They are all good plans, but...  I'm ready to be on the non-plan plan again.

I'm going to start out slow and easy with the intuitive eating thing this time around.  I'm in no rush to get it.

Sure, I would still love to make my "Lose 25 Pounds by Valentines Day" challenge.  But I may not, and that is okay.

I'm going to start IE with focusing on the first parts, and not move into the rest of the book until I master the first ideas.

For me, that is rejecting the diet mentality, giving myself truly unlimited permission to eat, honoring my hunger, and learning to trust myself to choose my own foods and exercises.

I hope that all of you support my decision to give Intuitive Eating another go, since this is what I truly want, after LOTS of soul-searching.

And yes, I realize that I may switch back to WW or something else again, because that does seem to be my pattern. But for now, I'm really going to commit to IE.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Simply Filling!

Saturday started a new adventure for me:  my return to the Simply Filling Technique of Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

I have tried this technique in the past and loved it.  And it worked.  Until I started to change the plan to my liking, then all of my little changes proved to be too much to handle, and I eventually went back to counting PointsPlus for everything.

This time around, I'm going to follow the Simply Filling Technique as written...mostly. 
Like last time though, a big part of me is using this to test the waters for intuitive eating, which is how I will eat forever some day.  For now, however much it pains me to say, I need the structure that a plan offers.
I'm hoping that the SFT will be the solution to my current eating problems. 
What are my current eating problems?
Emotional eating, not cooking at all, not eating enough healthy options, and eating too many convenient foods.
Here's how the SFT works:
Eat foods from the Power Foods List (link probably only works for WW Online members).  I no longer have to count PointsPlus for any foods that are found on that list!  Instead, I am to eat them only when hungry and only until satisfied. 

I still get those 49 weekly PointsPlus, plus and points earned with activity.  Those points will be for any foods not found on the power foods list.

Anyway, my Lose 25 Pounds by Valentines Day challenge is still in full swing!  If you are a WW Online member, or have e-tools, you can join it at any time.  :-)  Two weeks in, I'm down 1.8/25.  For those of you on the challenge ("officially" or not), how are you doing?  A couple of awesome blog readers said that they would join in.  I hope that it is going well for you!  Please keep me updated with your progress.

I'm planning for a Tasty Tuesday post this week, the first from me in a long time.  Also, I may do a week of sharing my journal soon...

An example of a SFT meal: beans and LOTS of veggies!!!

I'm pretty excited about starting the SFT again.  It will be a welcome change for me.

I think that I was quickly becoming one of the "junk food Weight Watchers" that relied heavily on SmartOnes meals, Special K bars, Fiber One brownies, and other things like that.  There is nothing wrong with those foods, but when I looked back on several days in a row and saw that those typse of things made up 90% of my food... well, it's time for a healthy change.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Weight Loss Challenge!

Yes, it's a calendar goal.  And yes, I remember that I said "no more calendar goals".  But... bear with me.  I really think that this will help motivate me to focus on my weight loss journey as a part of my daily life, instead of an afterthought.

The challenge is this: 

Lose 25 Pounds by Valentines Day. 

I officially started this last Saturday (July 28th) with my weigh-in of 185.8.  Between July 28th and February 14th, there are about 30 weeks.  So really, the challenge is "Lose 25 Pounds in 30 Weeks".

But I thought that since there was a holiday right around the end of the 30 weeks, I'd jazz it up a bit.  Valentines Day is not a big deal to me, but now I have a fun date to focus on for the next 25 pounds.

160.8 is the goal for February 14, 2013.

Since I currently am pretty heavy, I don't think that it will be a huge problem to lose a pound or so a week for the next 25 pounds.  Those 5 extra weeks are in there for my birthday, Christmas, and random emotional eating weeks which will probably happen. 

After the next 25 pounds, it will probably slow down a bit, but I think that while I'm still overweight ("normal" for me is 154) I could realistically lose a pound a week as long as I follow Weight Watchers and/or My Fitness Pal.

Anyway...  That's the challenge.  Anyone want to join me?  ;-)  I think that I will add an "official" challenge ticker to the top of this blog, just for fun.

I'm about to share with you a picture of myself in a swimsuit, taken last night.  I will take another one in the same suit on Febrary 14th, 2013.  If I make my goal or not. 

WARNING:  PLUS-SIZE SWIMSUIT PICTURE!!! If curvy, lumpy, bumpy, size 16 women in swimwear offend you, divert your eyes!!!