I’ve just reached the end of my first full 4 weeks on my fitness and weight loss journey! I’m proud to still be writing these updates, and it’s my intention to continue to do so, no matter what my weekly results. Those following these e-mails have seen me consistently lose weight since I started this. Well, this week (or at least half of it), I encountered some challenges that I didn’t have (or barely had) in weeks 1-3. Below find this week’s results, as well as some reflections that I’m sure many of you can relate to.
Before I continue this update, I want to announce that next week’s and the following week’s updates will be delayed. I will be journaling about my fitness and weight loss journey during that time, but unable to post about it on my blog until perhaps May 20th or 21st. At that time, I’ll post weeks 5 & 6, and then resume weekly.
Week’s weight change: -0 lbs/kg (I stayed the exact same weight as last Friday to the decimal point)
Total weight loss to date (over 4 weeks): -7.4 lbs (-3.36 kg)
Week’s exercise (above & beyond): 75+ mins (down 45 minutes compared to last week)
From looking at this post’s header photographs, I think most of you figured out part of my story for this week. My stress and anxiety levels were comparatively low (or non-existent) for much of my journey these past weeks, save one day a few weeks ago when I learned my new therapist was ending her practice. I confessed to self-medicating that afternoon with a cupcake, but that splurge was a one-off. My motivation and mental wellness remained despite, even through half of this week. In fact, I peeked at the scale this past Tuesday (something I rarely do) and found myself already down 1 pound. I had hopes of losing yet another by today, but May Day (Tuesday, May 1st) had other plans for me. This is what I wrote on Tuesday:
“Late morning I started to feel ‘on edge’ for seemingly no reason. It became clear that a bout of anxiety was brewing. Sometimes when I feel this type of discomfort, I want to eat. I’m hungry for relief. I gave in, but tried to do so somewhat reasonably. I ate double the number of yummy crackers I had planned for a mid-day snack. But that wasn’t enough. This anxious “hunger” persisted. I started to wonder if going out for a “treat” would help. You know, just eat one real bona fide “treat” and hope that it does the trick. So, I went to a cafe and had an espresso and a cherry cheese Danish (not diet friendly). When I got home, I still felt on edge. I took an anxiety medication, but surprisingly my anxiety eased rapidly, even before the medication likely kicked in. That relief convinced me that the “treat” was OK.”
I got through Tuesday and Wednesday arrived with me waking up at 3:30 am starving. I went to the fridge to get my usual lousy Greek low sugar fat free yogurt, but made the executive decision to skip it and choose the “yummy” yogurt instead (more fat, more sugar). I went back to sleep and woke up to have a reasonable breakfast. This day I saw my therapist. Even before I left to see her, the same “on edge” anxiety restarted. I had eaten my breakfast and felt I “needed” something extra, so I toasted two Nutrigrain low fat wheat waffles and put just a teaspoon of lower sugar peanut butter and sugar free jam on both. I called it an early lunch before leaving and didn’t feel bad about it. I saw my therapist and explained the above-mentioned days. She was encouraging me to be as mindful as possible about my eating. She said that the stress had affected the cortisol levels in my brain, and that these high carb “treats” were indeed a type of medicine, albeit bad kind, that can temporarily restore the proper levels.
After I left my therapist, I drove downtown to the pharmacy. I had to wait 15 minutes for the prescriptions to be filled. At that moment, I went into a bit of a daze. I said “I want frozen yogurt, but I’ll get the low fat low sugar kind.” So I headed to that shop, just a block or so away, but instead (like a zombie), crossed the street to the regular ice cream shop instead. Thoughts of chocolate ice cream with Reese’s peanut butter cup blend-in raced through my mind. Am I going to go for it? Well, not quite. I ordered a very small pistachio ice cream instead (almost pet size). The sucker cost $4 despite. Other than adding a Kind Apricot Almond bar to that day, Wednesday ended without additional cheating.
Yesterday started fine. I went to the salon to get the works done to my hair. It took almost three hours because of my stubborn mop and an add-on of an eyebrow wax. I was starving afterwards and knew there was little at home that interested me. I had my mind set on a shrimp taco. That’s not that bad! I went and enjoyed it (with tortilla chips), then had the ridiculous idea to walk three stores down to the French deli. What the hell! I bought two large croissants then I eyed this severely evil crumb cake square. I bought that, too. I got home and my anxiety skyrocketed since I had so many tasks left to do. After eating half of the crumb cake square, I just went on down and got the second half, and ate that, too. Then it was still not enough. I confess to feeling dissociation coming on. With no grounded thoughts in my brain, I ate one croissant with a tablespoon of raspberry preserves. Not the sugar free stuff. The real McCoy. And when I was done, I ate the other. I started to get sick. Not just my stomach, but a panic attack was brewing. Sweat was pouring down my face, I felt faint, nausea started to worsen, and I thought I could be having a heart attack. I continued my chores despite almost as a punishment to myself for what I had done (the extreme eating). I did eventually have to stop. I went to bed. Hubby got home at 7 pm and I didn’t even prepare his dinner. He had to fend for himself. I took four antacids, a Nexium, a long overdo anxiety pill, and hid under the covers until this morning. Frankly, I’m still feeling unwell, but I don’t feel like eating a thing. I hardly drank my cup of coffee or glass of orange juice.
I’m still under stress this morning, with a sour stomach and headache. I’ve taken something for anxiety and am in bed. I still have a lot to do today. I’m hoping later I’ll manage it. I won’t go into details about the cause of my stress until my next updates. I will say the stress may continue to build. You may be thinking that at least I didn’t gain any weight despite my splurges. That’s true, but it is important I start using stress coping skills immediately to prevent further splurges and possible abandonment of my efforts.
Interim goals: Last week I announced the goal of reaching my first 10 pound total loss. That will happen, though I won’t set a due date. My interim goals for the next two weeks are to truly eat mindfully. I may well have periods of stress, but I will have my husband with me during that time for support. He will also be with me to question any excessive food choices.
Since it’s been four weeks since my weight loss effort started, I decided to take body measurements and compare them to the ones I took on Day 1 of the journey. So far the measurements have stayed almost the same. My waist size is exactly the same, as is my neck size. My hips are only 0.1 cm smaller and my largest thigh 0.5 cm smaller around.
To read about the weight loss plan and tools I chose for this effort, click My Fitness and Weight Loss Plan Described. You can also read my very first post introducing this effort at Long haul healthy weight and fitness efforts – creation of a Friday post series.