Less of Paige

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I have, pathetically, lost weight several times. I lost it once when I lived far away, in California. I had nothing better to do than lose weight. My roommate had moved out and gotten married (that's the wrong order, but whatever), I had no pets, my boyfriend and family were across the country. I worked an hour away. I had nothing better to do than to go to the gym on my way home, plan healthy lunches and eat Lean Cuisine every night for dinner. I went to bed at about 1o when my shows were over.
But I was bored and lonely. I got skinny, and did it mostly on my own. When I moved home, I gained weight again, and brought us to weight loss # 2.
I came home. I was engaged, and that's why everyone thought I lost weight (you know, to fit into my wedding dress.) I contend it is not why I lost weight. I had a pair of pants that were my "fat pants". One day, I had a nighttime training to go to after work. My fat pants hurt so much that I had to go to Old Navy and buy sweats to wear to the training. I joined Weight Watchers that weekend. This time I had the support of my husband and sister to help. There was also a friend at work losing weight through WW, and she was a huge inspiration for me. I had some community around me.
I tried again in Jan 05. That didn't last long. Tried again from about Nov 06- March 06... not real seriously though.
Now we have this time. And there is one piece that I have noticed that is different- I have become more open about my feelings about my weight and my struggle to lose weight. And in doing that, I have found that there are far more people who feel the same way than I ever thought possible. I have this blog, where I am encouraged by comments. My sister reads and checks how my progress is going. I have this other blog, where the community feeling is just amazing. Everyone at work knows that I'm working on losing weight. Family knows. I've not made it a secret. If I prevail - when I am successful- I will do it in public. If I fail, it will be in public.

When I started my blog, some of the girls I know from a message board, who have turned into good friends, commented on the fact that I was putting this all out there. I still think it's one of the best things I've done regarding weight loss. I want people to know that they're not alone. So many people struggle with this. And if it's not weight loss, it's something else. I need to know that I'm not alone. Weight loss, and weight gain, and weight issues, and food and eating issues, can be so isolating if we let them. I've spent a lifetime not talking about how I feel about being fat and having trouble with my weight. It's so nice to get feedback. It's so nice to know I'm not alone.

Some days I struggle with the fact that this blog can be so. damn. boring. All weight talk, all the time. But it remains important to me- the main goal of my blog is to journal my weight loss journey, and to share it if people are interested. If they are, I hope that what people take is that they aren't alone. There is someone who struggles with this every damn day. The added benefit I've gotten? Is knowing that I am not alone. Everyone who's commented, here, and the girls on our other blog, have helped me know that I'm not alone.

If we can all figure that out, I'm thrilled with the blog. Good writing, bad writing, boring, interesting aside. If we can all feel some community, what a great bonus for being honest with the big bad compassionate internet.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Skinny Folk

Since growing up and losing some of my naivete in life, I have had a philosophy that carries me far in terms of compassion.

It is this: Everyone has things they struggle with or that are hard for them in life. To me, it may seem huge or petty. To them, it is important and something they struggle with. It is not a competition, each person's struggle is their own.

I'm not sure I said that right. What I mean is, that I tend to feel like my weight loss issues are huge. And when I see someone who looks skinnier than me, initially I have very little compassion when they whine about weight. I always think, "yeah, well, try being me." When I think about it some more, I let myself think, "Hey Paige. Try being them." There's no knowing what people's self-image is. There's no knowing why unless you talk to them and get to know them.

Lisa left a comment the other day that struck home with this. About the skinny girls at college eating toilet paper then drinking water so their tummies would feel full. That about broke my heart. Because while I have in the past had a crappy self-esteem, and still struggle with my body image... I have never had to go to such lengths to look good. Somewhere I have had enough sense of self that I know that even if I weigh 221 I am still a good person. I still am pretty in my own way and who I am hasn't really changed. When you get to the point that you have to eat toilet paper to look pretty, I feel tha something there is so damaged. And it's just heartbreaking. Heart wrenching.

When I see a thin person, my first feeling is resentment. Next is jealousy. These feelings are just intensified when I see a thin person eating fattening food, seemingly at ease. When I start thinking about it though, I remember: I don't know what's actually going on with them. Maybe they are just think with a naturally high metabolism. But maybe they have other things going on that I don't have to deal with.

I have my major issue, and to date it's my weight. For me, my issues with weight and food can be at best minorly annoying and at worst, hearbreaking and overwhelming. But I could have more difficult problems. I could have less difficult. Each person has their own, this is mine. I don't want to keep judging people who don't seem to have my problem, because chances are I don't want theirs.

I guess this is my way of reminding myself to both keep some perspective (eating toilet paper) and having some compassion (every... problems.. what is going on for someone that they feel the need to eat toilet paper??)

Thanks for the reminder Lisa.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Food Rehab?

Today I was thinking. I have more than once likened my food journey to an alcoholic's.

Today I had a moment. I was at a client's house and she asked if I'd like some leftover birthday cake. I responded, "No, thank you." Are you sure? "Yes, I'm sure. Thank you anyway."

This followed offers today of, "I'll treat you for lunch", "Come upstairs and get food!", "I'm bringing the brownies down", "Half a brownie won't kill you", "Have a little macaroni and cheese, that would be ok".

I said no no less than six times today. By the end of the day, it was getting harder.

At the last time, at my client's house, (she was contemplating the cake but decided on a cheese stick for now), I thought to myself how great it would be to be able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Much like I imagine an alcoholic would like to be able to drink whenever they wanted, without losing control.

I wish sometimes that I could go to food rehab. If only so that for a little while I could be around people who only have to make choices about food, daily, or they will get fat. I won't have to be around people who can eat whatever they want. People who are teeny tiny but complain. I feel like that would be so nice. So comforting. So much easier. It's easier to do what everyone around you is doing.

But I was at my client's. And I had the moment of wishing. And then it passed. And I thought, "well, I can't. Or I'll get fat." And in my head I moved on. And then I thought how great it was that I could do that.

Is this what they call acceptance? Is that one of the part of AA? Accepting who you are? I have to make choices about food. I have to plan my day out. I have to stay away from certain foods because they are the gateway into overeating for me. This is the reality, it is who I am. I think I may be starting to accept this about me.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fast Food

Today we were hungry for lunch. So I said, I'll get a salad! I can do this! Yes. I can.

We went to Wendy's. I got the Southwest Taco Salad, and then instead of their sour cream I used my fat free sour cream. Switched their ranch for a reduced fat ranch. Pulled all the beans out (cuz I hate beans). Anyways. Overall, the salad tasted yummy. As I said to Khalil, "I could have done better, but I definately could have done worse.

Here's the problem. I posted onto Sparkpeople the salad, etc. And looked at my calories for the day. Yes, I can do ok for the day. I won't be completely within my exchanges, but close. I'll be pretty well in my calories.

As long as I don't eat any thing else, until dinner. No fruit and veggie snacks for me. I'd do even better if I skipped my milk at dinner (I won't).

The overall message is this. Yup, I can eat fast food once in a while. No, it's not the end of the world. Yes, I pay for it by not being able to eat the healthy calories in my diet.

This is why I like my 'xchange. No, there's not alot of room for fast food salads. If I was doing something with more flexibility, I know that I would not eat nearly as much fruits, wouldn't be drinking milk, etc. My choices would be much, much different on a daily basis. I need structure. That's how I do best.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Change of Plans

The plan this weekend was to go away for the weekend. My friend who is getting married lives six hours away, and my plan was to go to her house for the weekend. She was having a putting-together-favors shindig, and I was going to help.

She called me about twenty minutes before I left to tell me that, "Change of plans. I have to go have my appendix out." I made sure she was ok, made sure she didn't want me to come up to be with her, then told her I'd call her in a few days.

My first feeling, before the disappointment set in? Was relief.

I have been very nervous about this weekend. When I'm home, in in total control of food. If I make a bad choice, it's because I wanted to. Since I started back on the 'xchange, I haven't wanted to. I've been making really good choices. I was was so scared to go away and have a hard time.

If I get frustrated with my choices, I give up very quickly and just say, "I'll start again on Monday" and then Monday becomes six weeks, or six months, or a year later. I, once again, feel like an alcoholic. Like someone who has been controlling their environment so they are less tempted. And like someone who was nervous to be in a tempting environment- feeling like I don't have enough conrol over my addiction yet to be away. I know that sounds drastic, but it's exactly what I was feeling.

I didn't want to have to figure out breakfast. What if she didn't have things I could eat? What was I going to do when they had pizza? When we went out for chicken wings? How do I figure out how many chicken wings makes two ounces of chicken? Would she have enough fruit? (I actually had some fruit packed for myself.) Would there be any veggies I could snack on? The questions were making me crazy. I tried going in to it thinking, "I'll just make good choices." But that's often easier said than done for me.

I didn't feel ready yet an open weekend of making good choices. I'm doing so well with the structure I have, I wasn't ready to leave it just yet.

So. I'm very sad- I was so looking forward to this weekend and some friend time. I've been missing being with a good friend, even just for a little while. I'm disappointed, but also relieved in some ways. I hope that I can figure this stuff out. I want to keep losing weight and there are - so far- six other weekends I'm going away this summer, into September.

Salad, anyone?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What Sucks

Is having reaaaaaaaally good gossip. And not being friends with the one person you want to share it with.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The First Week


I have completed the first week or so of being back on the 'xchange.

Not too bad. I had headaches the first few days, and then today. All weekend long they were gone- I'm wondering if they're actually food related, or if they're work related!!! Who knows?

I am LOVING the feeling of not being overstuffed. I have learned that I really just can't trust myself to tell me when to stop. I need to weigh food so that there is an outside force telling my body, or brain, "We've had enough now, we have what we need to live off of. Thank you for the nutrients". Usually my tongue is in command, "Thank you! This is great! I need some more! I'm the boss- give me more!!!" But now, with weighing and measuring food, my tongue is in check. Well, in what I eat anyway.

I got through an entire weekend and stayed on track. That is a feat that no matter how good I have done, I have never done, I don't think. Weekends are hard for me, but I actually managed to do really well! It helped that Khalil was behind me and helped keep me accountable.

And, the best part of it all, I lost FOUR pounds!! I feel skinny already.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Changes. Again.

Today after I ate dinner, I said to my husband, "My stomach feels weird."
He said, "It's called hunger".

Usually after dinner, my stomach does feel weird. Usually it's called "overeating".

While it actually wasn't hunger, my stomach did feel weird. My whole body has taken some getting used to this whole new eating habits thing. Even though I've done this before and I know how it works, I know the drill, that doesn't make it easier... it just means I know what to expect. I know that I'll have a headache the first few days. I know that I'll have an iron will for a little while, because I'm scared that one slip-up will be the end for me. I know that overall, while I may have a headache and feel weird, I will be feeling better. I will have more energy and be less sluggish. I also know that in a few weeks, 2 oz of meat won't feel so small. Also, I know that in a few weeks, if I try to eat more than that, I will feel sick to my stomach. What actually are approprite portions will begin to feel like appropriate portions to my stomach as well.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not starving. I'm actually pretty comfortable. But when you're so used to overeating, normal eating feels, well weird.

On other eating fronts. The other night, I thought, "Then I'll go to bed. So I don't eat anything else". That is so sad. I feel almost lucky that I have been working such long hours. I haven't had the ability to snack- as long as I stay away from fast food and coffee joints. It makes everything easier. While I am looking forward to the weekend for the weekend sake, I am dreading it in a way too. It's two full days where I'll likely have to cook for myself (not dinner) and I will be home most of the time. It will be an exercise in willpower and distraction. I want very much to do well. It amazes me sometimes how much time I spend in one day eating. No wonder food sometimes felt like my best friend. I spent all day with food. It was in my mouth when I was hungry, which I didn't give myself the opportunity to be often, and when I was bored, or upset, or happy, or wanting to connect with someone, or feeling lonely, or when someone else was eating, when Khalil was home, when he wasn't, while driving.... ugh.

I have better things to do with my time. Like blog. Of course.