Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Weight loss blues

(From 3/30/09)

I'm finding myself sinking back into depression lately, and it bothers me because my logical mind knows I have no good reason. I have the love of a wonderful, beautiful man, a home, money in the bank, plenty of food and clothing, an easy and stable job, and I have time and means to pursue hobbies and leisure activities. So what's wrong?

Of course, the age-old self-esteem-killer called "weight."

I was considered skinny until about age 18. At 4'11" and 100 lbs., I was pretty tiny. But then came college, and that gods-awful dorm cafeteria. Your choices today? Carbs, carbs, and more carbs. In my 6 years away at college, I steadily gained not only the "Freshman 15," but almost another 15 each year after that. Then, a month after college graduation, my mother passed away. And that caused another 20 lb. gain.

My life at that time was more than stressful. Left with a house, a 17-year-old sister, and a boyfriend that was an emotional drain, I had little motivation to lose the weight. Eventually, things started falling into place. I ditched the negative boyfriend of six years, sold the house, and moved in with the love of my life. I got a promotion at work, my sister was excelling in college and had her own apartment, and my relationships with my extended family members started getting better as I finally matured. That one thing has kept me back...all that excess weight.

Simon was on Jenny Craig when I moved in. I joined him enthusiastically, plopped down my $400 and signed up. I lasted maybe a month before three microwaved meals a day started to drive me insane. I cheated *more* simply because I was fed up with the limited meals. I did some math and convinced Simon to quit Jenny with me, as we'd spend $500 or less per month just shopping at the market and BJ's, as opposed to $800 a month on Jenny. I vowed to cook for us, and cook healthy. Another good idea that didn't quite pan out as expected.

I discovered I love to cook. Yes, some days I don't feel like it, but most of the time I downright enjoy it. The problem is, no matter how "healthy" I tried to cook, it was always more calories than a Jenny meal. We both still cheat a lot, and eating out is our huge weakness. Eventually, BOTH our weights started creeping back up.

Now here's the killer: not only do I feel guilty about my OWN weight, but I feel like I brought Simon down with me, as he was doing fine on Jenny before I came into the picture. And the more depressed I get about this, the more my self-sabotaging urges kick in...and I eat worse. A fast food meal grabbed after work when I've had a shitty day (and I don't even gorge myself, a small sandwich and small fries is all I'll allow, though still bad for me). Convincing Simon to order Chinese or pizza for dinner when I'm not in the mood to cook. And the more I do it, the worse I feel, and the catch-22 continues.

I know I'm not unique. I know I'm not alone. But that doesn't help me when faced with a choice: what's good for me, or what tastes good. I'm not an over-eater; I actually have a rather small appetite. It's the TYPE of food I eat, not how much. I love bread and cheese more than anything. BAD. I could live on pizza. BAD. I love fast food way more than I should. BAD. It depresses me to give up things I love. I get cranky and unreasonable when hungry. I'm a fucking child, obviously.

Here is what I *try* to do:
7:30 am - Granola bar and coffee with skim and Splenda on the drive to work.
10:00 am - Light microwaved breakfast sandwich and fruit cup in light syrup at my desk.
1:30 pm - Salad and banana or apple, with Crystal Light to drink.
3:00 pm - Rice cake to tide me over till dinner.
6:30 pm - Dinner, usually a lean meat, rice or wheat pasta, and veggies.
8:30 pm - A light dessert, such as Smart Ones frozen desserts.

Here is where the problems are:
Lunch - I buy my salad from the corner store everyday, because I am even less likely to eat one if I have to make it myself, and eventually I let all the veggies go bad in the fridge. Unfortunately, that corner store also sells yummy sandwiches and chips. Guess what I often get when I just can't motivate myself to get the salad?
Between lunch and dinner - This is when I'm normally starving. I know I need to find some more substantial snack to tide me over, because this often leads me to eat something horrible for me on the drive home. Like at that McDonald's that's located so conveniently right off the highway halfway home.
After dinner - Prime snack time. The "healthy" dinner has worn thin and I'm dying to snack. We try not to keep anything too unhealthy in the house, but even healthy snacks are bad in large quantities.

So I try to diet. It leaves me hungry and cranky, so I eat things that are bad for me. I feel guilty and depressed and eat more things that are bad for me. My clothes are getting tight, and I get more depressed. I am *sick* of being plus-sized, sick of clothes not fitting me right, and sick of not having the energy to do something about it. I know I'm at the tail-end of the winter blues; with the warmer weather, we'll get outside more and hopefully get some exercise. But that treadmill has been sitting there all winter, and how many times did I use it? Three? What is most frustrating to me is the fact that I HATE the way I am, yet can't motivate myself to change, and sabotage myself at every turn.

Being heavy makes me more aware of my other flaws; my acne, my dry skin, the excess hair that comes with being Italian (which I *fastidiously* rid myself of), and the size of my nose. Any of these things alone are no big deal, but all together and combined with my weight makes me feel DISGUSTING. And why? I have a boyfriend. I don't have a job where I'm judged by my looks. Even my family has stopped needling me about my weight. I'm judging myself by standards that no one else is. But I'm not happy, and I won't be until I change.

It's Monday. I haven't cheated yet, but the day is still young. I'm trying to start fresh, trying to get through today without any screw-ups. I'm off to buy my salad now...wish me luck.

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