the ever-cynical uber-fangirl (melody2tds) wrote,
the ever-cynical uber-fangirl

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dieting wtf

So, I can recall mentioning a couple posts ago that I was going on a diet. I'd spent several years not giving a crap about anything, and my eating habits suffered badly. I was only eating once a day, in the middle of the afternoon, because that's the only time I got hungry. Probably because I'd have a huge cup of coffee with tons of sugar as soon as I got up, and it kept my blood sugar up.

Considering my past issues with spontaneous hypoglycemia, and the family diabetes problem (in that literally every member of my family on both sides has either type 1 or type 2 diabetes...) that was never going to be a good idea. Luckily, for whatever reason, it never became an issue with anything other than my weight. I did gain, but then I pretty much leveled out. My blood sugar has stayed relatively stable (and NORMAL) for the last few years, despite my crazy habits.
I made it a point to do random, and fasting checks recently (since going on the diet), and my blood sugar is perfect. I'm not even close to edging into dangerous territory, in either direction. So at least I haven't done any serious damage in that direction, at this point.

My top weight, which I stayed at for at least a year, probably more but I wasn't keeping track, was 173 pounds.

That's the weight I was at exactly this time last year. I'm 5'7 1/2" tall, barefoot. In other words, I was a minimum of 40 pounds overweight. At around 130# I tend to look perfectly normal. I could deal with being a bit less. 120-125 would be acting weight, considering the 10 pounds a camera ads, but I can also live without worrying about it.
That being said, I'm aiming for that magic 125#s, because I know I wont mind if I don't exactly hit it.

I've already talked about everything that happened with my mother, so the only bearing it has on this is the fact that I was quite surprised at the end of January, when on a whim I decided to step on the scale in her Doctor's office, and it told me I'd lost about 12 pounds. Somehow, without doing anything special, I'd managed to get down to 161#s. I hadn't changed my eating habits, but I had been working my ass off (apparently, literally) taking care of her since she got out of the hospital. I was pleased, but didn't think much about it, assuming that I'd gain it back eventually, once she was better.

Imagine my surprise when I didn't. In fact, I stayed completely stable at that weight for three more months, despite my continued horrible eating habits, and not actually exercising.

As May approached, with my 30th birthday looming on the horizon, I started thinking about the fact that I basically spent my late twenties being miserable. I still don't look 30. It's like my face has frozen in time at the age of 25 or so, and that's being generous. With my freckles, and pale skin, I look much younger if I'm not wearing make-up.
I can't really take any credit for that. It's completely genetic. My grandmother was 50, but looked like she was in her late 30s when I was born. My mother only looks her age because she went grey early. Her face still doesn't look 55, even with her illness.

So, I started to realize that part of my depression was coming from the fact that I absolutely hated the way I looked. I fully admit to being vain. I like having nice hair, wearing make-up, and feeling confident that I've done my best to look attractive. I still consider myself an actress. Vanity just comes with the territory. I may not have made any effort in that direction for years, but I have no intention of ever giving it up completely. I WILL get back to it, when I can.
Part of all that is being proud of my body. Not that I've ever really been proud of my body, but I was at least content with it at certain points in my life.

The problem is, I spent the entire, miserable, latter half of my twenties being overweight, not giving a shit about my hair, not wearing make-up, and not caring about how I dressed. I just gave up on everything about how I looked. I didn't even get a haircut, or wear make-up for at least three years.

That is just not me. Seriously. I used to be a bottle blonde, and haunt the Sephora website. I considered throwing a party when they opened a branch in the mall here.

Granted I had reasons. I don't have money of my own. Anything I spent on that kind of thing would have had to come from my Gran, and I didn't want to spend her money on what I assumed at the time were frivolous things. So, I didn't.
The problem with that, is that it made me far more miserable than I should have been. Feeling like I should be ashamed to be seen in public contributed to the depression and anxiety that I've been battling this entire time.

So, I decided to do something about it, in the hopes that making a few changes might help. I already felt like needing to take care of both Mom and Gran was helping give me a reason to fight the depression. Didn't help with the anxiety, obviously, but at least I didn't feel like I wanted to spend all day in bed tossing and turning.
Think about that. My main anxiety symptom is my insomnia, but my depression made me never want to do anything other than stay in bed. Even my mental problems were at cross-purposes, for god's sake.

So, May came around, and I went out and got a haircut. I have good taste in hair, even if I can't style it for crap normally. I have no trouble admitting that I picked a good one. My hair is adorable. AND I got the right tools to style it. So, I can do my hair (from wet to done) in 5 minutes, and have it come out perfect. That's one down.

Then I went to Walgreens, and replaced the make-up I'd thrown away. I got some anti-aging lotions and potions, because I may have happy genes, but there's no point in tempting fate. Even Gran used Oil of Olay when I was a kid. lol
I had to practice a bit, because I never said I was good at actually doing my make-up, just that I like to wear it. But, I've got that down now, too. I can shower, do my hair, and then my make-up in about 20 minutes total. Maybe a bit more if I wear my new contacts, since they're toric, and they're a pain in the ass to handle.

That's another one. I got contacts again. New glasses, too. But the contacts are a big deal because even before I got all depressed I'd completely stopped wearing them. My astigmatism got considerably worse, and I couldn't use the ones I had on the computer anymore. I spent way too much time on the computer (at work and home) to deal with it, so I just stopped wearing them. Now, I've got the (relatively) new toric lenses, and I can wear them to do whatever I want to.

As all this was going on, I also did a complete overhaul of the way I eat. I used a crutch at the beginning. Because going from eating once a day, and not being hungry despite it, and trying to get in at least three regular meals, was more than I thought I could manage. So, I got the new Slim-Fast Optima stuff. I did a meal bar in the morning when I got up, and had the shake for dinner. Keeping my "Healthy Meal" as lunch.

I also switched to mostly Splenda in my coffee, and switched to sugar-free cranberry juice and lemonade. I never drank either straight, I water them down considerably, but it was still excess sugar that I could live without.

My lunch went from being stupid easy to cook stuff like bratwurst, to brown rice dishes with lots of broccoli, and a little grilled steak; meal-style salads with ranch salad spritzer and grilled chicken; or if I'm in a real hurry a chicken and artichoke heart Lean Pocket and applesauce.

Then I added in snacks. 2% string cheese and apple slices or some baby carrots. A yogurt with a spoon full of Benefiber mixed in. I even made home-made hummus, with celery and carrots. And all this is in between meals.

Even before I started phasing out the Slim Fast (which I have. I still do the bar or shake in the morning because I am just not a breakfast person. But dinner has become brown rice sushi, or something equally healthy.), I was eating more than I'd eaten in years.

The cool part is? This is all food I enjoy. I've always preferred healthy food over crap. The only reason I didn't eat like this all the time was because it was easier to go with what everyone else ate.

That's not to say I don't like Bratwurst, french fries, or Hardees Monster burgers. I like fat and salt as much as anyone else. I just don't crave them. They were just easier than cooking for myself. I've never been a carb craver, either. I can give or take white rice and I can't stand white bread. I've been a whole wheat girl my entire life, and I PREFER brown rice.

Even sugar has never been high on my list in anything other than my grandmother's REALLY terrible coffee, and I happen to like Splenda so I don't even miss it there. Did you know they make specific flavor packs for coffee? You replace one Splenda packet with one of the flavor ones.
I recommend the Mocha. Tastes fabulous, and even works for "that time of the month" chocolate cravings.

My weirdest ever food habit was Wheatables crackers with Lorraine swiss cheese. Which, honestly, isn't as bad as pigging out on chocolate, chips, or cookies. The problem was I could eat an entire box of them. lol

The only thing that ever kept me from eating like this my entire life was the fact that I wasn't the person who bought the food, and I had to work with what I was given, or go out and buy my own. That and not wanting to spend time cooking for just myself. Well, now I do the grocery shopping. I can buy what I want to eat, and I have plenty of time on my hands to make myself whatever I want as well.

So, the moral of all the tl:dr?

I am quite literally shedding weight like water.

I started at the beginning of May, weighing 161 pounds. By my birthday on May 28th, I was down to 151#. I weighed myself again today, and I'm down to 148#. This being the day after the end of my period, I'm still retaining a bit of water, so I'm probably even a bit less.
And I haven't been exercising. I do some (ok, a little...) ab work once a day, because that's my trouble spot, and I park at the back of the lot when I have to go somewhere. That's pretty much it.
I tried biking, but I am really intolerant of heat, and it's horrible here, already. Even first thing in the morning, or after the sun goes down, it stays in the low 90s. I need to figure out something to do indoors, or find somewhere to go swimming. I just wont be able to handle the heat, otherwise.

Considering how well changing my eating habits has worked, I'm almost scared to start exercising properly. I'm right on the mark for weekly weight loss, and exercising is just going to have me losing faster, unless I add more food. Problem with that is, I am eating plenty. I still never feel hungry, but now it's because I'm eating properly, not because my metabolism is in the toilet. I could add more food, but then I'd be stuffed all the time. lol

So, I feel great. I look so much better than I have in years, and I'm getting happy again. I'm actually pleased with myself for the first time in almost longer than I can remember. I'm actually setting goals, and meeting them.

I actually feel like I can do this.
Tags: dieting, life, tl;dr
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That is so awesome. :)

I've been dieting for over a year and a half now. I was 287 when I started and I'm 194-ish now. Still have a ways to go, but then I'm comfortable in the 160-170 range...never was a small girl.
Honestly, I almost feel bad for how easy it's been for me, so far. I keep wondering why I could never do this before, because it just seems like it was so damn simple.
But then I remember that I was never as motivated to stick to it, as I am now. I told myself I didn't have the time, or the energy, or the whatever to eat properly. I don't have any of those excuses anymore.

It's a health issue now, too. I was flirting with dangerous territory with the diabetes. It's still possible that I could eat properly for the rest of my life, and STILL wind up with type 2 diabetes. It's hardwired into me genetically to be at severe risk. It really freaked me out when my father came down here for a visit, and told me he'd been diagnosed with it, and explained that type 1 and 2 also run on his side of the family. We're not close, so I never knew, and assumed that it didn't. Talk about wake-up calls.

I've already told you how proud I am of you, but you've also been a bit of an inspiration, too. You made big changes, and stuck to them, and they've paid off. I'm hoping that even half of your willpower to stick with things rubs off on me. lol