Friday, September 21, 2007

Weight Denial, Once Again

My weight had gone up quite a bit by the beginning of August. In fact, I had been watching the numbers creep up with morbid fascination for a couple of months before that. One of the changes in me since joining with Richard and learning to deal with weight loss is to not ever skip a day of weighing in, no matter what I thought the scale was going to do. Sometimes it's been really hard to step on and deal with the report, but over time, I've learned that the best way to deal with a gain - or an impending one - is to face it head on.

It was hard for me to know what the issue was in the beginning. Whether it was the obstruction that I was dealing with (up eight pounds over the course of a couple of weeks, then suddenly overnight, dropping six as the obstruction passed), or real weight gain. But as I realized that the scale was zig zagging upwards, ever up, I was starting to realize I was having a real problem. And I wasn't dealing with it.

The day that turned the tide for me was when I was forced to put on a pair of pants in my closet that I hadn't worn for a while. They fit, but they were snug. Hardly how I remember them. But I had been avoiding wearing them for a while, knowing but not acknowledging the issue. It was time to evaluate my eating habits. Again.

And so I looked at my food sheets (I had still been keeping them during my gain, although I had not been appropriately accounting for portion size) and realized that there were two culprits in my diet. Too much bread. An almost constant flow of dried fruit. So I decided right then and there to cut the fruit completely out of my diet, and drastically reduce the bread. I did so by just deciding not to buy any more fruit (easier said than done at the beginning although it's now, again, becoming a matter of rote passing it by when visiting Trader Joes) and moving my bread from the refrigerator to the freezer. I won't deny that it was tough at the beginning; the sugar in those foods had me hooked again as it did when I was super-obese. But I perservered and I did fine.

The problem was that the scale was not dropping as I had hoped it would. I reported this frustration to Lucy at HMR (not at Slimmons where all they see is that I've maintained within reason and think that I have this maintenance thing down) who was very supportive of me. They deal with a lot of people who have lost significant weight there and are maintaining. My class, in fact, currently has 15 regular members who's weight losses and maintenance runs between 30 pounds and 120 pounds, excluding me (back to 210 pounds as of this a.m.) who lost with Richard. But that's neither here nor there.

Lucy is an incredibly smart and supportive woman. Never judgemental; her answers to our various issues are always thoughtful and on target. She advised me to keep with my food decision, then we mutually agreed that I was going to bump my vegetable & fruit intake up. (She is acutely aware of my health issues and doesn't press me on adding more exercise into my routine.) The weight eeked down ever so slowly. .4 pound. Another .3 pound. And this week, if something doesn't happen to totally throw me off of program, I will achieve what I thought I might not; I will actually weight-average below 150 pounds again! (I had gotten up to a single-day reading of 154 on the scale.) My actual weight was 148 this morning.

Every Friday, Lucy & HMR asks that we check in. Although I know that they would prefer a phone call, I'm not completely comfortable with that. I often need time to digest Lucy's suggestions so that I am not defensive about them and e-mail gives me the time that I need to do so. Additionally, I'm ashamed to admit, it's easier to acknowledge transgressions on a computer screen than to a live person.

Last week, I expressed my frustration that the scale wasn't moving down as fast as my calculations said it should, and she responded that I should consider having a body-fat analysis done. In fact, she could do it right there in the office as they maintained the equipment there. I did not respond. I needed time to think about it.
Lucy, in her wisedom, did not press the matter at the normal class on Tuesday. In fact we didn't speak of it at all. Instead, we focused on fiber and the Kashi Cookie that I had received for free over the internet. We all agreed that it was a bad choice and not a "healthy" snack at all, despite advertising claims. And I was given my assignment for the week: I was to try two whole-grain products. Oats, and brown rice. (I had tried Millit in class and liked it.
so today's check-in came up again, and I e-mailed early. Unfortunately, it was before I actually weighed in and found out that today's weight was something I had been waiting for. But I inquired more about the body-fat measuring process. How was it done? Was it in the tank of water, because that would be an immediate deal breaker.

No, Lucy assured me. It was done with some kind of special scale. But I was quite frank with her. I am not doing so well emotionally right now, and don't know if I can deal with the stress of the knowledge.
What if it comes back telling me to lose another 25 pounds? What if it tells me that I'm still obese? The first worry is a possibility although I don't intend to lose that much. Too much work. Intellectually, I know that the obesity question is ridiculous, but I'm responding to this more on a gut level.

So what does all of this this say about me? That I'm not over my old ways yet? That I'm still living in denial and because of it, I'm very subject to massive weight gain? Or is the fact that I'm dealing with the scale daily and recording my food and even managing to make the numbers go in the right direction - on purpose - enough to keep me on the right track?

I want to be an honest person, and honesty starts with one's self. But does that mean I have to face down what is an emotional nightmare right now or am I being honest enough? I'm truly not feeling strong enough to deal with information that may not be good. I wish I was a better person.

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