Thursday, February 28, 2008


I just wanted to report the good news. After 2 and a half years, a few setbacks and a stubborn body at times...having started at 262 pounds, today I broke the 100-pound mark weighing in at 161.2! Yay, me! Not too far to go now....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nice Weigh-In Today!

That's 99.8 pounds lost. I thought about grabbing scissors and chopping off my hair to get there...and yes, of course I tried to pee (again) and even made an attempt at a #2....but no luck.

So, maybe in the next few days. I'm weighing every other day now; I couldn't stay focused just yet with 1x/week, so Jill suggested every other day and see how that goes for me - and that has been more reasonable. I'm also practicing not freaking out when the number is unappealing. Anyhow, Tuesday is my 'official' day, so I'm posting the results!

Only .2 pounds to go to the big 100 pound mark; and .5 more BMI to no longer be "overweight"!!!. By the way, I've NEVER seen a number this low on the scale in any memory I have. I remember 135 in 5th grade (!!!!) and then 180's in junior high/high school. So, today was very exciting! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Have I Arrived?

I have been asking myself this question a lot lately, with my new focus on a non-numbers-ruled life. When does it make sense to say, "Yep, I'm here!" and move on in life, vs. when does it make sense to be vigilant and keep pushing. This is where climbing an actual mountain does have appeal: You hit the top, there is no place else to go, so you turn around, go down - having indeed, "arrived."

So, for example, today I went to yoga - twice. I went to Hot Power Vinyasa with Saiko this morning with Jill for an ass-kicking 10 a.m. class that more than got me my money's worth. I can pretty much hold my own in Power now; I can do all the Planks and side planks and even Wheel (basically a backbend you pop up into from the floor), which I did 3 times, holding to a count of 10 the third time. I watch skinny girls all around me who aren't strong enough or lack the stamina; I'm not dissing them - as some days, I am one of "them" - but my point being, I am, generally speaking, strong, capable, focused and disciplined at this practice.

Then, later in the day, at 4 p.m. after Jill got called into work unexpectedly, I decided to hit a Bikram class at my usual studio - again with Saiko, so it was a sure thing in terms of quality. I did the yogic thing and had no expectations, just promised myself to take it one posture at a time. And guess what? I had a great practice, just nice, good flow and I even held Camel for a full minute in the second set (a little treat she pops in when the class is full of regulars who, as she says, "can handle it") - which I love! Again though, maybe 4 of us did it to the end, the other 20 or so coming out early. No dissing, no comparing really - it's just to say I am again capable, disciplined and seemingly strong and determined enough to get it done.

So let's look at the big picture of Jenn (no pun intended). 
  • Size 8 or 10, certainly not fat in a way that stands out in a crowd any longer; yeah, still kinda a "big girl" but honestly, even in boutique fare I'm usually a Medium. So maybe I'm a "medium girl..." 
  • I can exercise in 105 degrees for 3 hours in a day, and do it well with discipline and success (mostly :)
  • No health issues to speak of, knock on wood
  • Loads of energy, stamina and general happiness with myself and my life, and, in some moments, my body
Isn't this enough??

But here again is my glitch: The scale doesn't say I've arrived. And so I will carry on, but I'm working super hard to hold the above truths in the forefront of my thinking, rather than dismissing them with "yeah, but I still" 

So that the scale is one factor of many; rather than the only factor. Let's be yogic about it - Bikram yoga has 26 postures, if you can't do one well, does that mean your whole practice is shit? No way! It means you have one area to work on (er, or a few, in most of our cases). So I can't always kick out in Standing Head to Knee; but that has no impact on my ability to do say, Cobra. My notion, having come to me as I type this, is to consider the scale a posture, and keep it in perspective that there are 25 others that I ought to consider in the mix of my weight loss success. And rarely, RARELY, is anyone perfect at all 26. Again, Bikram says, "you get the full benefit of a posture by trying to do it 100% correctly" - so I'm going to keep trying to get my weight "100% correct" and know that many other things are already there!

We'll see where it goes! Overall, I don't want to give an impression that I'm miserable with myself; I think me and the shrink are just working hard on these last few things before I end seeing her, and with that, I'm thinking and focusing on our topics a lot so as to be as productive as possible.

On a totally separate note - Jill and I are going to Mexico on Sunday (next)! It was a semi-impromptu decision based on (a) her stress level lately and (b) her biz partner is about to have a baby, whereby she will be tethered to her coffee shop for a good few months. 

Maybe you'll even be treated to a pic of me in a bathing suit! We'll see how brave I am. Hmmm...if I can post a pic of me in a 2-piece here, perhaps that will indicate I have arrived :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still Fat...

Well, not fat, really, but still 'overweight' and still fighting my last little bit (8 pounds) of apparently tar-like fat that is affixed to my bones like thick paste. Really now, would'ja just let me have this, oh body of mine??

Apparently not. But I digress.

So, the "no weighing" has been a mix of terrifying, annoying, baffling and uncomfortable. Nothing good in it - yet. I've mostly stayed off the scale, and frankly do better when Jill hides it from me. Sometimes when it's there, I'm like an alcoholic - I can resist, resist, resist...and then in a weak moment, I can't stand it anymore and hop up on it and ... damn. Bad Jenn. Honestly, that first week, I didn't weigh at all; when I did, I was 164.2 (up .4) which is essentially inconsequential in my mind. No problem. The following week, I had access to the scale and thought I'd willpower myself NOT to weigh! Well, I failed, and weighed - complete with PMS bloat - and found my old habits dying hard: 165.2? WHAT?! I suck. I am a failure. I need to be punished. Don't eat. Extra exercise for you today. Shame on you.

This is how it is .... sometimes. Other times, like the day I weighed a whopping 166, I was able to say "um, hello, you've not 'eliminated' in a while, you drank a shitload of water after yoga tonight and just finished dinner....oh, and you're still bloated." So no big deal.

The goal here is to aim for Reaction #2, vs. Reaction #1 most (if not all) of the time. But it's like teaching a very old (re: almost 37) dog new tricks. How do I change this thought pattern? I guess I do get how, since sometimes I do so successfully. Sometimes I can weigh in and not have it ruin my whole day, or dictate it at a minimum, when the number isn't what I wanted to see. Other times, well, not so much.

So my current (semi-) final frontier on this particular topic is to get over this! To end the notion that my day/how I feel about myself is dictated by the number - but rather, I decide how my day is going to look, trust myself to do it right (most of the time), and know that in the end, I'm in good order even if I'm still technically "overweight." Eek. That is a HARD sentence to even write (my stomach just turned over), much less internalize. So I guess I'll get going on that now...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Numbers Suck.

So, I'm breaking up with my therapist. Not that she did anything wrong, it's just time. I started with her just before I got my lapband about 2.5 years ago. She specializes in eating disorders and is a credit to her profession. But I'm doing well, I'm comfortable in my life (mostly) so I suggested we break up. She was good with it, but asked for a transition period of 3 months....I said, "How about one month?" We agreed on two. Yeah, seems long, but it's not like I went for 6 free insurance-covered sessions to tackle a little hiccup in my life - this has been long-term, deep work, and I'm good for transitioning carefully.

That said, since she is the eating disorder expert, I've been using these last sessions to talk about food issues and weight issues. Seems like a good spend of my therapy-dollar, no? This week we talked a lot about numbers.

Numbers suck. Let me show you some:

- When I was somewhere between 9-13, I remember counting up my calories for the day with my mom (1200, of course). I was at 1197...she said "Well, you can go try and inhale 3 calories if you like."
- Age of my first diet: 5
- Pounds lost on said first diet: 23 (I gave up Kool-Aid and desserts)
- Highest weight: 262 (a
- Lowest weight: In 5th grade, I remember I was already tipping the scales at 135. The next thing I remember is high 180ish most of the time.
- Clothes size seems to speak to everyone...."what are you? at 2? 4?" In L.A., a 4 is seriously obese. That is insane.
- Last, the numbers place that sucks most: THE SCALE.

Why do we use this crude and brutal tool to evaluate our self-worth daily? Oh wait, that's just me that does that. And my therapist informed me, "That's sick. Let's just get that out on the table." Really? Honestly, I've used my weight as the day's gauge of my value for oh, looks like about 32 years...if the number is good (that is, lower than the day before), then I'm a good girl. If the number goes up - no matter if I'm bloated, having pooped or just happened to eat a big dinner - then I am the requisite piece-of-shit (POS) of the house. No, of society. Really, I do think like this. She said, "What would you feel if after a week you gained weight?" My response, "That I failed for an entire week, rather than just the usual one day." Oy vey, Jennifer.

Now, don't think me a giant headcase. I'm not...not so much anymore, anyhow. But it's still a daily struggle not to use these numbers as my own personal little report card on The State of Jenn. Good Jenn eats *perfectly*, exercises with vigor *every single day* and is energetic and motivated *at all times.* Bad Jenn skips a day of hot yoga. She eats a potato, even a small one is a sin, even if it fits in the day's calories. Bad Jenn is a lazy-sac-of-shit on a Sunday when it's rainy and cold.

Ok, not always. And that is the good news! Now I can do all the "Bad Jenn" things and balance them out with the Good Jenn achievements. That said, I am setting a goal to wake up and instead of my first thought being "How will I lose weight today?" it will be "How am I going to spend my day?"

Step 1: Get off the bloody scale. My therapist said to go a week without weighing myself. Somehow, this seemed equivalent of asking for me to give up my Mac for a week, or my iPhone. Or something of critical value. So I called on my way home and asked Jill to just hide it. Get it out of here for a week. What is the worst that could happen? I gain a few pounds (she suggests, cringing and having her stomach turn over)? See, that's my visceral response. And it blows. Because even if I did, would the world really end???

What she did remind me is this: I'm eating well and not struggling with it much at all. I'm going to hot yoga almost daily - and with a joy and excitement I've never been able to integrate with exercise before. I'm doing it all right! And what the scale says really doesn't change that fact. So here we go - a week without weighing. I wonder how I'll fill that time....