Category Archives: Struggles
Fall down eight times, get up nine.Japanese Proverb, modified

Here we are again. Naturally.

I’m really tired of feeling like crap all the time. My habits are terrible right now. So let’s see where we are:

Bad Habits That Have to Go -> Why I Have Them:

  • Being sedentary / no exercise -> It’s easy and I live in my head
  • Going to McDonald’s or Tim Hortons for breakfast -> It’s easy, tastes good, and is soothing
  • Eating quick, convenient, carb heavy lunches -> It’s easy, tastes good, and is soothing, triggered by childhood tastes
  • Sneaking sugar snacks -> It tastes good, and is soothing
  • Not planning for the week ahead -> It’s easy
  • Not eating enough vegetables -> It’s easy

Good Habits I Want to Keep -> Why I Have Them:

  • Waking up early -> Only me-time I get, and I am naturally a morning person
  • Eating lunch and dinner at home -> Covid, and my wonderful husband likes to cook dinner
  • Drinking lots of water -> Makes me feel hydrated and refreshed, and I like it

I’m at 271 pounds. I’m honestly shocked that the scale isn’t higher. I feel like my body just refuses to go above 275 pounds, which is nice I guess. It probably means with all this sedentary-ness I have lost any and all muscle mass I used to have. My clothes are fitting tightly, so my body mass is increasing even if the scale doesn’t agree.

So Long Trigger

Last Tuesday I ate 1,424 calories OVER my daily allotment.

I felt possessed. I was well aware of my weight loss goal and what I was SUPPOSED to be eating. But my MIL had brought over ice cream the night before, 2 large cartons. One was UDF Homemade Peach ice cream, the other was UDF Homemade Chocolate Chip ice cream. My husband and my son don’t eat ice cream. So they were just in the freezer laughing maniacally at me the next day.

Well actually it was just the chocolate chip. Peach is too meek and kind to lure me the way chocolate chip does.

So I had a spoonful at lunchtime to shut it up. Then I had (for me) a small bowl as an afternoon snack. And then I had another bowl after dinner.

But you know what? I weighed the bowls as I scooped. I tracked every calorie. I may have eaten 3 cups of ice cream, but I can still count Tuesday as a win.

So the next day I tossed the rest of the carton. I apologized to my husband for being wasteful with food (another one of my hangups), but he fully supported my decision.

Rumblings of Ruin

Yesterday was day 12 of my new healthier outlook, and right on schedule, some negative, derailing thoughts started creeping in. I was in a bad mood because our AC is on the fritz, it was 94 degrees outside, and our landlord isn’t taking it seriously. So I was grumpy and then realized I had overeaten a little at lunch and couldn’t fit dessert within my calorie allotment. Granted, I haven’t given myself any hard and fast rules about calories yet, but since I’m tracking my food every day, I want to see if I can eat within a small calorie deficit sustainably. And my brain started whispering things like “you’ve done so well, treat yourself” and  “you’ve had a hard day, you deserve ice cream”.

I definitely need to address the fact that I think dessert is a prize for doing well or enduring hardship.

I’m proud that I recognized that wanting dessert was simply an emotional reaction because I was hot and unhappy. I wanted a cool treat to soothe myself. And honestly, I could have had my 150 calorie ice cream sandwich and it would not have been the end of the world. But I wasn’t actually hungry for it, and I want to break the cycle of emotional eating. I ended up eating a 44 calorie chocolate square instead, and it satiated me.

I’m still not sure I did the right thing. Maybe I should have just eaten the ice cream and then had less food the next day. Maybe I shouldn’t have had any treat after dinner at all. Maybe I should have found an alternative activity to soothe my mind. I’m still figuring this out.

But I’m not berating myself, I’m just trying to learn what works. Or I could just plan to never be unhappy again. That’s a viable option, right?

Fall down eight times, get up nine.Japanese Proverb, modified

So apparently June is my month to refocus and restart. Man I hate being predictable. Good thing I have a terrible memory so I can easily forget my repeated stumbles.

So since we last spoke I have quit therapy, regained the weight, my son turned two, and oh yeah, the world has been gripped by a global pandemic.

I’m not upset with myself for quitting therapy, it wasn’t a good fit. I tried it for 3 months, but I always left wanting more from the session; some advice, a guidebook, homework, SOMEthing. It felt like I was paying someone to let me complain to them. And maybe that could help some, but it wasn’t helpful to me.

Since saying goodbye to my therapist, I’ve known that I want a more engaged and active approach to mental health. I still think that addressing my mental health is paramount to finally overcoming my weight issues. That’s proven by the fact that I know exactly what to do to lose weight, I just don’t do those things.

Right now I am trying to be more self-aware about my food choices and have more integrity. By integrity I simply mean being honest with myself. Not judgmental, just honest. I am less focused on the scale right now and more focused on my decision making.

I Flick My Stubby Finger At Thee!

Alas, sugar has me in her tantalizing clutches once again.

I don’t know how I let it happen. Soft serve on a rare Thursday night date, a spoonful of peanut butter on Friday morning when breakfast didn’t feel like enough, key lime pie to celebrate my father’s birthday on Saturday, then pancakes, pizza, and cinnamon dough on Sunday. The urges are swelling like a snowball tumbling downhill, quickly and too easily. But instead of Olaf, I get two pounds of fat back on my hips.

It’s crazy. It didn’t feel like a lot at the time. None of it was frenzied eating, just irresponsible, unprepared, and lazy. That little voice told me I’d earned it somehow. I have to learn the difference between my conscience and the little devil sugar fairy on my shoulder. I want to flick her in her little liar face.

So, we right the ship again. My breakfast and lunch have been sensible, my dinner is planned, and I’ve already had 30 oz of water. I’m feeling better, less headachey and fake-hungry. We sail on.

Spot the Difference

Last week I found a “Weight-Loss Reflections” journal I wrote in 2008. I took “Before” photos that would now feel like “Progress” photos. I was 227 pounds when I started that time. This time I started 50 pounds heavier.

11 years ago I wrote, “It’s going to take A LOT of work and time to undo a lot of what I’ve done to my body.  This initial motivation is going to fade, I’m going to get frustrated with the lack of obvious results, and I’m going to want to quit. I feel as though I’m finally being realistic about that. That doesn’t mean I expect to fail.  My past habits will not be repeated if I acknowledge them, prepare for them, and battle through.”

Oy. It hit me really hard listening to my own optimism that in time proved to be insufficient. What struck me more was how I could have written so much of that journal again today. Have I learned nothing? Have I not grown at all? Is this weight loss attempt also futile?

Oh Sisyphus, I know that feel brah.

I let myself feel sad and broken for a few days after reading it. I’m still sad, but also a bit more determined to do better. I have to be honest with myself about it. I have already come to terms with the fact that weight is my battle in this life, so I haven’t really learned anything new. It was a bit of a smack in the face nonetheless.

So how is this go-round any different? Besides of course, being older and fatter. And does it even need to be different for it to work this time?

Well I’m finally going to therapy to address my broken brain. That’s something. I also have a much better support system now. My husband is damn near perfect, but don’t tell him I said that. Plus, I’m taking everything much slower now and have accepted the fact that this will be a long journey. I also appreciate my current body and its capabilities more now, even though it’s older and creakier.

So who knows? Maybe I will be reading this again someday wishing my starting weight could be 278 pounds. If that’s the case, here’s my message to me: “Hey you, glad you found your way back to a healthier mindset, despite what you’ve been through. I’m doing my best to help you out, but we are both aware of this cycle, and how flawed I am. Try to be kind to yourself and do something today to feel more in control. You can think about your issues for ages without gaining insight. Action matters more. Love to you.”


Mistakes are proof that you are trying.

I can feel myself slipping out of weightloss mode. It all started with chocolate cake.

After watching myself fail at healthy eating habits my whole life, I’ve learned that I never intentionally end a diet or weight loss plan. It just sort of slips down from the top of my mind into the forgotten realm, like a dream. And I can feel it start to happen this time.

We celebrated my mother’s birthday on Friday night, and I made a chocolate cake with buttercream icing for her. My first round of icing tasted weird so I found a new recipe and tried again, futzing with it until it tasted right and had the right consistency. Which meant I ended up eating some of it, and even a little bit of buttercream is a whooole lotta calories. Plus, my mom requested spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I had successfully avoided plate fulls of pasta for the past 8 weeks until Friday night. The pasta plus the cake meant I ate nearly 3,000 calories on Friday! That’s almost double my daily allotment. It made me so tired – I fell asleep at 9:30pm.

Then the weekend wasn’t very focused. I ate pizza on Saturday and fried chicken on Sunday, both at family events. Eesh. I’m starting to notice a trend. Family = overeating.

So today I am avoiding the scale. I’m so afraid the number that pops up will completely demotivate me. If my weight is up then I’ll feel hopeless, and if the number is down, I will learn that overeating is okay. So the scale will stay in the corner of the bathroom today. Maybe tomorrow.

NSV: I am proud that I continued to track everything I ate even when I overdid it. It’s so hard to admit and record your own weaknesses. It’s like turning in a test you know you failed. But I did it, and that’s progress.

I am also thankful that I have a therapy appointment tomorrow. I need the accountability.


Well, I’ve had a setback. I dislocated my knee while trying to go downstairs while holding my son. Thankfully I was able to fall backwards and he was completely unharmed. But my knee, not so much.

My knee first dislocated when I was 12, while on a ladder, while performing in a play. No joke. I’ve had bad knees forever it seems. I have also been overweight forever it seems.

I should go to the doctor and have them do all the tests to see how bad it is. It’s swollen and painful, but I can walk, I haven’t lost any feeling in my leg, there’s no bruising, and the kneecap slipped back in after only a few seconds. I’m sure I’ve done some ligament damage, but I didn’t hear or feel a pop, so it’s not severed. I’ve severed a muscle before in my calf and it felt like a bunch of rubber bands broke from tension. So weird and so painful.

The proper term for my knee problems is Patellar Instability and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Essentially I have loose ligaments around my knee. My knee was recently made weaker from all the stairs I’ve been climbing unloading stuff from mom’s basement. It’s super easy to dislocate my knees – particularly my left one. It usually happens when my left foot is planted and the rest of my body turns right. Most often my knee only slips a little then goes right back in place (subluxation) – more disturbing than painful. But this time I was holding my son and trying to navigate around our babygate at the top of the stairs, and wham, full dislocation and immediate severe pain.

So I should go to the doctor and confirm all this, but this is America. I have insurance, but it won’t cover everything. My deductible is $5,000. Plus I have to take time off work to go the appointments, and I don’t feel like my work would be too happy with me. I already have knee braces and a cane. Plus, I know the source of the problem already, I’m obese. I’m working on it, but I still wake up obese every day.

My plan is to take it easy for a while to let it heal, then start some physical therapy on my own. After I lose more weight, I will join a gym and get a personal trainer with experience in joint injury recovery/physical therapy.

Of course, if I heard of this happening to anyone else I would tell them to immediately go to the doctor and get it looked at. Screw the money and the time, your health comes first and it could be worse than you think. You could possibly prevent future damage by getting it seen to now. Your Googling does not equate to a medical degree. Don’t be a dolt!

Okay, time to post this and get back to work.

Obese by a Thousand Quirks

I’ve been really stuck on the question of if I am a binge eater. This thread on reddit about compulsive eating habits was hard for me to relate to. I don’t hide meals, go to multiple fast food places, go into a dissociative fugue, eat out of the trash, etc. So what are my bad habits? You don’t get to be morbidly obese without bad food habits, so let’s be real about my choices:

  • Eating to soothe myself. Bad day at work? Graeter’s sundae. Stressed about money? DQ Blizzard. Frustrated by life? Double Stuf Oreos. Wow. I know how to spell ‘Stuf’ correctly because I’ve seen the packaging enough times.
  • Cleaning the plate. I don’t know how this started because I don’t remember my mom lecturing me about starving kids the world over. I think I just picked it up because my parents and sister are clean-platers too. Now I have to remember to think about my portions before I begin eating and tell myself it’s okay not to finish.
  • Eating too fast. Done this all my life, another family habit. I have to be cognizant and chew my food very slowly and force myself to put down my fork from time to time. Now I watch everyone else’s plate and try to pace myself with them, pretending I’m not a basset hound.
  • Over-serving portions. I’m a 5’2″ female. I should never eat as much as my 6″ husband, and yet I often do.
  • Eating sweets at night. When I do indulge in late night snacking, which isn’t often these days, it tends to be something sugary like ice cream or cookies.
  • Neglecting vegetables. There are some veggies I love (broccoli, peas, corn, cucumber, artichokes, etc.), but I never choose veggies as a snack. Eating healthy salads makes me feel like I’m denying myself real sustenance. Whenever I’m at an event or party and the veggie tray is devoured, I’m shocked. Of all the food available they chose celery and carrot sticks?
  • Overusing fatty spreads. I’m an over-spreader. Cream cheese, peanut butter, jam, brie. I have never let myself buy Nutella because I just know I will be helpless against it’s velvety chocolate goodness.
  • Eating while cooking. The fridge is right there, and I have to wait on the chicken to cook, and I’m sooo hungry. I can’t wait. I don’t wait.
  • Getting overly hungry. If I don’t plan ahead and have healthy snacks available, I get overly hungry, my obese brain takes over, and it justifies eating whatever’s closest at hand. I’ve started repeating to myself, “Your hunger is not an emergency,” to shut my brain up.
I’m sure there are more. I’ve asked my husband to tell me what bad food habits I have. Poor guy. Nothing like slipping a landmine under his foot. He thinks I drink too much milk, but I disagree. I keep skim milk in the house when I am trying to lose weight because it satiates me when I have big cravings. I always track and account calories for it, so I don’t consider it a bad habit. But, alas, yes, water would be better.

Bingeing vs. Overeating

Just came back from therapy. It was okay. Mostly she asked me a lot of questions. I did cry some which annoys me to no end. She seemed nice and helpful without being a cheerleader or fake, which is exactly what I’m looking for. I liked the accountability of Weight Watchers, and I think I’m viewing therapy as that plus hopefully greater insight into my issues.

I’ve come to accept that food is my struggle. It seems like such a simple thing, but in 2014 I forced myself to say aloud “I have a problem with food”. A simple, declarative sentence that made me cry to admit. The line between food addiction and bad eating habits has always confused me. After all, isn’t everyone addicted to food? The therapist asked me to explore that a bit and consider if I binge or mini-binge on food. I couldn’t help but think of an old Lifetime movie where this tiny woman would gorge herself on hostess cupcakes and everything she could grab at an out of town grocery then eat it in the woods and throw up all around her car. I don’t do THAT of course, so I’m doing okay, right?

Movie-drama example to the side, maybe I do binge eat without realizing that’s what I’m doing. Is eating when you’re already full considered bingeing? If that’s the case, then hell, I’ve been swimming in a pool of denial that tastes like chocolate ice cream.