Tag Archives: The Biggest Loser

Emotional Eating Poster Child

22 Sep

Ah, good intentions!

From my last post you can probably tell I’m going through a slightly…turbulent time. While it’s true that I’m focusing a lot of energy on keeping positive, there have been some situations that have had the same effect on me that kryptonite has on Superman…that is, if Superman reacted to it by putting on sweats and eating macaroni and cheese….in bulk.

The job situation, despite my best efforts and intrinsic charm, has not resolved itself.  While I have a phenomenal support system, the people who can’t see beyond their own noses are taking center stage and pushing every hot button I have. Yesterday the combination of some bad news and a migraine sent me into a tailspin that drove me out of the office at lunchtime and straight to the grocery store. I filled my basket with every comfort food I could think of and then drove home to hole up for the rest of the day.

There was carnage my friends. There was salt and fat and carbs. There were cookies. It ended with a faceplant/nap on my couch that lasted til about 5pm, followed by a fog that didn’t want to lift.  If I ever had a single question in my mind about the connection between my emotions and my eating it exists no longer.  The hardest thing to reconcile, especially as I climbed on the scale this morning to welcome back 4.5 lbs, is that all this “comfort” is doing nothing but hurting me.

I felt so disgusted with myself today that I didn’t want to eat anything but last night’s overindulgence kicked my metabolism into high gear. My stomach was like something out of Little Shop of Horrors; growling “Feed me Lisa! Feed me!” I fed it a turkey sandwich that made me simultaneously overfull and sleepy.

The irony of all this is that I KNOW not to do it. I KNOW how I need to eat to be healthy and knock off the pounds. I SHOULD be eating a nutritious breakfast to keep the hunger and cravings at bay. I SHOULD be eating vegetables and moderating carbs….but I’m worn out and my logical self and willpower have decided to sound the retreat and lay low until I get my shit together.

So I obviously have to get my shit together…and fast…before that Chris guy from Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition starts ringing my doorbell and asking me to weigh in on the loading dock. Which reminds me, how IS it exactly that these people are too heavy to weigh in on a regular scale and then three months later can get on a scale that this dude carries in his Jansport backpack?  But I digress…

I know they say “We plan. God laughs.” but I need a plan. First, I need to REST this weekend. That may mean shutting off the phone and watching too many episodes of Dance Moms and Toddlers and Tiaras. Next, I need to get back to giving my body actual FUEL. If I eat right I have more energy and I won’t feel like couch potato-ing my way through the next couple weeks or months.  Starting Monday, October 3 daily gym visits are back on the schedule. Yes, I’m delaying the gym a little, but I find from my own experience that if I give myself a week to re-adjust to a healthy diet and drop a few preliminary pounds I’m uber-motivated to get into the gym.

I need to re-establish some control and there’s a limit to the things I CAN control. Maybe while I’m at it I can try to convince Fitness, Shape, or Self that they need a chubby on staff. Think about it, they could reach a whole new audience…road test workouts on someone who is in…less than optimal physical condition. They could have “real life” editorial input (a.k.a. “No, I would NEVER eat lawn clippings for lunch no matter how much Minka Kelly raves about the results.”)  There! I have a new pet project….one that keeps me from eating a pint of ice cream while watching The Biggest Loser.

Boys and girls, there’s always going to be a time when things suck and you just-don’t-wanna…those are the times when we have to summon our inner parental voice that says “Do it anyway. It’s good for you. Ok, do it because I said so.”

Caps Lock to EMPHASIZE MY RAGE!

16 Jun

I’ve been watching a lot of old Biggest Loser episodes lately and what really struck me last night is that season after season Jillian and Bob push the contestants relentlessly until they spill the beans about their issues. For some it’s a crappy childhood, others have never felt good about themselves, some are mad at their parents, but all of them have a reason that they got fat and stayed fat for so long.  It really got me thinking that there’s a HUGE difference between recognizing your issues and dealing with them and/or letting them go.

I’ve always considered myself pretty self-aware. It could be because I’m one big mass of neuroses and I tend to over-think everything so how in the name of Neil Patrick Harris could my issues be exempt?  I’ve always been overweight with a propensity for putting on weight easily and quickly. I was a chubby kid. One of my thorny issues is that certain people (including family members and mean-spirited contemporaries) hassled me ENDLESSLY about it. I hadn’t even hit a growth spurt and had people riding me for being fat. What made it worse was that when I actually thinned out in high school I was 5’5″ and about 135 lbs (a perfectly normal weight) and they STILL told me I was fat. So many days I wonder “If everyone had just left me alone would I STILL be struggling so hard with my weight?” Obviously, I think not.

I’ve done therapy, complained to my friends, had a special relationship with Jose Cuervo and none of it has actually helped me get over it. I’d just like to say for the record that walking around thinking about how awesome you are doesn’t make you drop weight..unless of course you walk 5 mi. a day thinking about how awesome you are. Either way, just thinking you’re tits doesn’t get the job done.

I had a mini-meltdown this morning because of some photos I saw of myself. It’s been a big week.  Lucy’s graduation party, Kate’s Baby Shower and…well, I accidentally turned 36 so I went out with a bunch of folks to a local bar/restaurant.  All of these events were fantastic and I wouldn’t have missed any one of them but people also took pictures.  I should probably note that I am not particularly photogenic before I tell you that I looked like CRAP in every, single one from every, single event.   I’m telling you right now that I could get a summer job relieving the Goodyear blimp. What was worse than looking that bad was that I kept thinking “I looked in the mirror before I went out – I DIDN’T SEE THAT PERSON LOOKING BACK AT ME.”  I saw one thing but the camera saw Delta Burke (makeup and all!) and Shamu wrestling under a black shirt. I really thought that when you’re dysmorphic you thought you were heavier than you are!

So what did I do? I cried and grumbled…mostly to Eric because that’s always a good choice  (he actually has productive suggestions) and some to Christine (who just gets it). I still feel like crap but I did a little talking to myself and think I have it worked out.  I HAVE NOT let go of any of my issues. On the emotional side: I feel judged and embarrassed and angry. I feel like nobody is going to love me, even though I am pretty awesome, because I’m overweight. I’m mad at myself for not being able to get things in check. I’m frustrated because I AM trying.  Logical Me (and Eric) says: You have to figure out how your body wants to be fueled and I suspect you need more protein. You HAVE TO go to the gym. Working out at home was nice but you KNOW that your body responds well to weight training and cardio on the elliptical and bike. Your energy level is low and as a result Emotional Me is getting the crazy eyes.  Logical Me knows it’s going to be ok…just not RIGHT NOW.  This will take a while.

For the moment, until I can figure out what it takes to deal with my garbage or let it go, I have to be contented with getting back to the gym.  It’s going to take a Herculean effort to get myself back on an a.m. schedule but that L’Oreal lady keeps telling me I’m worth it.

How do you deal with all the baggage you’re carrying around?  Just so you know before you make suggestions: I don’t have a handgun permit or access to cyanide.

 

Me and Snotty McWii

8 Jun

Last week I was benched from working out and some hygienic practices that I consider integral parts of my toilette and being in polite company. It sucked. Julia Roberts may like to rock the natural look but it’s not my bag. A week later Mulder and Scully (yes, the lumps – they were something out of the X-Files) are nearly gone and I broke protocol.  I didn’t wait for an alien abduction, but a couple things led me to “get back on the horse.” First was the fact that through eating carefully and keeping my water intake high I was able to lose 2 pounds without exercise. Yes, two pounds would put me below the yellow line on The Biggest Loser, but it brought me to my legitimating ideology – if I WAS exercising imagine what I would be losing….I HAVE TO exercise! The other deciding factors were that they didn’t really hurt anymore and that I had a friggin date coming up. There was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to be puffy and hairy.

So I shaved, deodorized, and exercised.

And nothing bad happened.

I grabbed my Wii balance board and the platform I bought to raise it to Jane Fonda sadism level and I went to town….and the weight has kept coming off so far and The Captain and Tennille haven’t really noticed. Jacking up the balance board made me want to drop dead. I had been doing Advanced Step for a while and all I can say is that a couple of extra inches really do make a world of difference (yes boys, we’ve been lying – size does matter).  I was determined to get in at least 40 minutes even if I arrested and I won’t tell you that I didn’t whine like a little bitch. I REALLY wanted to stop but I thought of all those amazing people on The Biggest Loser who were getting the tar beaten out of them every day, working out for more hours than I care to be conscious – they toughed it out.  I thought of all of you who are reading this, to whom I feel accountable. I promise you that if I peter out halfway through and give up or don’t work out because I’m sick, hurt, or busy I WILL ADMIT IT.

This is reality – we get hurt, we get sick, we get busy and some days we just don’t feel like we have it in us. It’s okay. No need to beat ourselves up…there are plenty of people willing to do it for us.  I will tell you my little rule of thumb that helps me get through the moments I just want to give up or skip a workout and it’s incredibly simple – give it 10 minutes.  No matter what kind of workout I’m doing, the first ten minutes (post warm-up) I think I can’t do it, that I’m a moron for even attempting it, and that I would really be better served by going back to bed, but at the 10 minute mark something awesome happens. I’m over the hump, pumping adrenaline, feeling totally badass – I could do this shit all day! I could beat up those menacing teenage hoodlums that hang out in the Krauszer’s parking lot. Frankly, I become dangerous, but I can get through the damn workout.

Long story even longer, I did 45 minutes of Advanced Step then moved on to 2 other aerobic “games”, did a bit of strength training, and finished off with a little yoga. I was so sweaty by the time I went to do the plank that I slid off the balance board and the snotty, smug trainer couldn’t resist telling me that she “noticed I stopped halfway through.” There’s no option to tell her your balance board had become a slip-n-slide.  Enough about that bitch. I worked out for well over an hour…she can suck it.

Sometimes you really can’t do it. Sometimes your body really needs a rest. I will never tell you that you should ignore your doctor completely – it’s about knowing your body well enough to know when to push through and when to stand down.  So as you’re working out this week give it ten minutes and ask yourself if you really can’t or if the waaaaambulance is coming for you.  You’ll surprise yourself.

 

Stop, Drop, and Roll

31 May

Holiday weekends are tough for everyone. We have more time on our hands, less control over the food available, nice cold beer, and parties and barbecues seem more amusing options than exercise.  Since I’m talking the talk with you I had to walk the walk this weekend.

I wrote Friday about being prepared so I kept my scout uniform on for the weekend.  I got through the dinner that night without a problem, in part due to the fact that my hostess had read my blog and is totally supportive of my effort. She offered me fixins to make myself a nice, big salad which made it SO much easier to manage my portion control where the pasta was concerned. There was fresh fruit and great conversation and I came out of it feeling like I’d done a good job.

You know that old saw “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”?  Um, yeah. Welcome to my life. I never eat as much as when I have time on my hands. Although I had a number of things to do, I also had more time than usual with no work and an extra day of weekend.  So I started talking to myself. Ok, this isn’t something new for me…at work I frequently walk in circles in the parking lot, talking to myself out loud trying to figure out the right phrasing for a marketing piece, I mutter to myself at my desk about what a douchenozzle someone is – basically I’m a step away from being that guy who sits on a bench on Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair yells at random people in cars (sometimes rather graphically).

So I decided to use my crazy for good rather than evil.  When the temperature went well over 80 and exercise was the last thing on my mind I told myself that I was allowed to watch old episodes of The Biggest Loser as long as I drank water the whole time and that as soon as the sun set I would go walk in the park.  Good deal. Done.  Better yet, that walk energized me and when I got home I spent an hour doing activities from The Biggest Loser Challenge on my Wii (more on that in an upcoming post).

I talked myself into exercise every day this weekend by making deals (as long as I kept them) and thinking things like “I feel like running” and “walking outside will feel good.” I know I can’t really run but every lap I did in the park ended with a short sprint to satisfy the urge.  It was good. I felt good….until…

I GOT ON THE SCALE.  I was 4 lbs. heavier. WTF?!?  I panicked. I freaked. I raged. Then I calmed down and thought about it. What went wrong? I exercised every day. I moderated my portions. I slept.  Then it occurred to me that a TON of water had been going into my system but very little had been coming out. It was hot, I refused to turn on my air conditioning and I was drinking a lot of water to keep cool and hydrated. Bottom line, my body needed that water but it wanted to hold on to it. Sometimes my body really pisses me off.  I really had to fight the impulse to say “Fuck it all.  I’m doing everything I can and I’m gaining weight.” It’s what I’ve done in the past and, frankly, it hasn’t worked out that well for me…although every store whose name ends in “Woman” sends me Christmas cards thanking me for giving up on “that ill-advised diet and exercise thing.”

Logic my friends. Cool, calm logic kept me from eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.  Ok, logic and talking to myself.  I had to say OUT LOUD “You are retaining water because it’s hot and because all those muscles you are using need water. Your body will keep it as long as it needs it and then it will release it. This is not a permanent gain. Oh, and by the way, put the AC in the window you dumbass. You make enough money to pay the electric bill.”  Like an infant, we have to learn to self-comfort, but we also have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we’re having a self-sabotaging temper tantrum.  It made me think about when we were kids and fire safety education taught us “Stop, drop and roll.”  I think that’s what we have to do when we’re having a diet or fitness related freakout – stop in our tracks, drop our anxiety and frustration level, and just roll with it.

Coming soon: my first trainer post!  Do you have questions you’d like answered?  Leave them in the comments and I’ll grill a certified trainer for you.

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