Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Weighty Issue

In our quests to get skinny/get healthy/get fit, we're hardwired to view weight as the standard upon which we base our success in whatever diet-related endeavour we pursue, and the lower the better. But, having been a chronic yo-yo dieter for the majority of my life, I know I'll never weigh, for example, 120 lb because 1) that would be too hard to maintain, loving food like I do; 2) I would have even less of a chest and backside than I do now; and 3) that's just too thin for my frame. It may be the perfect goal weight for some of you out there, but I know that I start looking too skinny at 135. I know, I was there (once upon a time!). For me, I stop losing weight when I think I look my best. I think that's fair enough.

Back in the day (1998-2002), I was working part-time at Nordstrom along with some gorgeous and skinny fashionistas. Needless to say, I felt very out of place at a size 12 and 172 lb. I couldn't get into the fashions (sometimes quite literally) that were all around me because they never looked as good on me as they did on the hard-bodied mannequins, and so all I ended up using my employee discount for were full-fat raspberry mochas from the Espresso Bar. Everyone was kind enough and no one made a big deal about my size, but I wanted so badly to fit in with these beautiful, put-together people. I, too, wanted to try on the latest in couture and strut through the stockroom for my coworkers, giggling about waiting for it to go on clearance. To be honest, I was so superficial back then.

So, I joined Weight Watchers for the first time, and, in addition to Jazzercise, which I had already loved doing for a years, I lost the weight in a matter of months. My coworkers were thrilled because now we could all wear the same size and styles and try things on together (not in a perverted way!) during downtime. I was 128 lb and wore a size 2/4 on my 5'6" frame. I'm a little on the big-boned side so I was also xylophone chested and sunken cheeked. These days looking like a Thriller video dancer isn't really the look I'm going for. My body just isn't suited to that low of a weight, even though 128 lb is a very decent weight to be (again, for some but not me).

Alas, my days as a clothes hanger were numbered, especially when I started working in an office in downtown DC, surrounded by some of the best food (and happy hours!) in the area and sitting in a cubicle most of the day. So, eventually I made it right back up to 172, give or take. It went on like that for years. I would lose a little, then gain a little. I had the whole range of Misses sizes in my closet (every size between a 2 and a 14), the majority of which were stowed away in big black trash bags because more clothes didn't fit than did at any given weight.

About 4 years ago, I  decided that I no longer wanted to be skinny like those old Nordstrom days. I wanted to be fit and healthy! I wanted to be powerful! I wanted to be a big presence instead of trying so hard to disappear. I started working out harder and eventually started running and haven't looked back. I've been holding steady in the 142-150 range ever since. Which brings me to the point of this post: my first weigh in.

Like I wrote in one of my earlier posts I would like to lose about 10-15 pounds to really feel like I'm in the best condition for my body. That's one of the reasons for this blog (but it's not the only reason). So, of course, I need a place to start. So here it is: 150.6.

This time last summer, I was 142 lb. I was feeling great, running 6 miles nearly every day, and getting pretty ripped. But I got sidetracked by some health issues (another post, another time) that took me by surprise in October, forcing me to change my eating habits and curtail my exercise regimen both during the ordeal and for weeks after (well into the new year). And boy was I frustrated and sad!
All I'd accomplished was gone, and I by New Years 2010 I was 156 lb and sedentary. The only things that were ripped were junk food wrappers on my bed and the waistband of my no-longer-fitting size 6 black dress pants in my effort to give my gut a little room.

I would love to lose 10 lb before the big race in February! I know it doesn't seem like a lot to lose, and some people will scoff at how easy it should be. But for me, it's not easy at all. I've spent hundreds (maybe nearly thousands) on diet plans, books, and frozen or freeze-dried foods (never again) just to lose these 10 lb and keep them off for good. And every single one of those attempts failed.

It's time to rededicate myself to this goal and any other goal I want to go for, in health and in life in general.

When I was 22, I was very thin, just skin wrapped around an assembly of bones. I could wear designer clothes in tiny sizes. Now that I'm 32, I want to be very fit, skin wrapped around lean, strong muscle. I want to wear clothes that make me feel beautiful and anything but tiny!


I was feeling so much better this morning, so I made it to the gym for my scheduled 3-mile run (I actually ran 5K on the treadmill). I finished in 32 minutes and some change and then did some arm work. In all, I burned about 560 calories.

Todays Eats

Today was an interesting day, foodwise. Of couse, because I'm stubborn (but should know better), I don't usually eat before a morning workout. I just don't have the time or the desire. It's something I need to work on. So I was famished by the time I got to work. At this point, it's been 2 hours since my run. I decided to stop at Cosi for one of their new Spinach Florentine Breakfast Wraps on a wheat tortilla. It's eggs, spinach, cheese, and artichoke spread (that I'll probably forgo the next time I order this). It was 334 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 24 grams of protein. Yeah, the stats are a little high, but it was delish and boy did it hit the spot! And I even forgot all about lunch until almost 1 pm! I'm usually starving by 11:30 am!

Even though I wasn't really very hungry for lunch, I ate anyway because 334 calories can only sustain me for so long! It was too hot again today to walk to Whole Foods for a salad (by the time I get back to the office, the salad is warm and yucky), so I made due with what I brought and what I had in the office freezer.

Peaches, apricots, and a broccoli, cheese, and potato Lean Cuisine.

 For dinner, my mom called and wanted to go to Old Country Buffet. I'll go into the logistics of surviving a buffet in an upcoming post because this would be the neverending post if I did it now! At buffets, I generally fill up on the healthy stuff and then, if I still have room, a tiny bit of bad to minimize the damage.

This is the ONE plate I had. It's mixed greens, red onions, and some dried cranberries, with white wine vinegar and fresh salsa for dressing. For protein, I had BBQ baked chicken breast and removed the skin. It was a filling dinner and I didn't feel like going back for more.

This blog wouldn't be called Cupcakes & Fitness if it didn't feature a cupcake every once in a while! This was actually a generic, small chocolate cupake with white icing and sprinkles---with coffee.

Tomorrow, I'll be on the road (and hopefully using a better camera) on my way to my parents' house in Orlando! YAY! I love running in their neighborhood! So it'll be Road Food for the next couple of days!

Gotta get up early for an easy run at the gym before hitting the road!



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