Thursday, December 17, 2009

What I did wrong

Now for the post you've all been waiting for....what I did wrong...luckily the answer is: not so much. I was very successful and I'm keeping it off...but of course I made some mistakes, and still do.

First for the obvious mistakes...

I was too strict.
I really was too strict. I never, probably even to this day, went over my weekly allowance of floater points. I should have used more floater points. I shouldn't have let myself be so hungry. I lost about 6 lbs a month, and while that was a reasonable clip, I could have eaten a bit more and lost a bit more slowly. Although, of course now, I am glad to be done. I also have one particular incident that stands out in my head as absurd. I was attending a 3 day conference and by the end of the third day I had avoided most of the ubiquitous cookie trays, but had certainly eaten more and exercised less overall. There was a banquet dinner and I forced myself to leave about 1/3 of the salmon and half of the rice. They were both really good, shocking, I know as it was a hotel banquet, and eating them would have made no difference in the grand scheme of my life. That was ridiculously strict and I still regret being that rigid. Usually though, I have to say, I did try and enjoy myself at events. Like I have said before, I didn't go to many of them and I saved my floater points for them.

I was too hungry. I didn't recognize pms early enough.
I put these together because usually I wasn't hungry, but sometimes I would be starving for a whole week straight. Then I would get depressed and frustrated. Perhaps that was the PMS too.  The extreme hunger seemed to always be PMS, although it's hard to really say. During these "hungry weeks" I seemed (seem) to need twice my normal food intake which I didn't eat. I ate about 100-200 calories extra which was just not enough. I'm still not entirely sure how to handle this. I do eat more, but not twice as much and I'm still hungry.

I should have curtailed conversations in front of my daughter.
When Natasha was younger we had to work really hard on getting her to recognize that you never talk about how someone looks - not their skin color, their hair, their clothes, their size. This was after the inevitable "are you having a baby?" question was uttered in the wrong circumstance. So she really didn't get why everyone was talking about how I looked all the time. At first she would brag to people about how skinny her mommy is, but then she got sick of all the attention I was getting (jealous?). I think she's too young to worry about poor body image, and she's a trim little thing, but I should have stopped the conversation, both between me and Dave and when others come up to me. The regret I have is that she sees me as vain and inappropriate (although she could never articulate it that clearly), as I seem to be breaking the rule I spent two years teaching her. She also just plain doesn't like it when the conversation is so clearly not about her!

She's starting to get it now though. She has gone through a HUGE maturity leap in the past few weeks and is so much more able to comprehend complex emotional issues. She's also fighting with me less, and generally more loving towards me but that's another blog....

I have started talking to them about reasonable portions and the importance of eating a variety of healthy foods. I always emphasize that I was not trying to get skinny, or thinner than everyone else (she makes a lot of comparisons) but that I was trying to get healthy. It's a pretty complex issue for a 7 yr old - even for a 17 yr old. Alex seems wholly unaffected.

Natasha and me on a journey together - like all mothers and daughters. 
In reality we were going in circles right in front of the sand, but that's ok - still a good metaphor - perhaps even better! 

Now for the stickier items...

Am I too obsessive about food and exercise?
I suppose that depends on the definition of 'obsessive'. My 'lifestyle' does not interfere with my social life (pathetic as it may be), the things I enjoy, occupy all my thoughts, drive me away from the people I love, etc. I do still count points more than I'd like to - proper food intake is still not totally intuitive yet, although MUCH better. Why not just follow hunger cues and hope for the best? I've come too far to slowly creep back up in weight, just because I wasn't paying attention. In reality, I thought I looked pretty good when I was about 5-8 pounds heavier. If my weight had settled there I would have been perfectly content. But now I am where I am and I still count because I worry that if I slip up my clothes will be too tight and there is no way I'm buying more.

The bottom line is that I'm still quite aware of what I'm eating. I don't totally trust my hunger cues as they fluctuate so badly week to week, which is endlessly frustrating to me.  I would like to eat a proper amount with the ease and panache of a French woman accessorizing with a scarf. But I'm not there yet.

Also I do get a little wiggy when I don't exercise by 9am, which is a bit of a problem, but usually I just fit it in - and I know a lot of people in the same boat. I mean in the grand scheme of things there are worse things to be a little obsessive about. And I don't exercise more than 40 min/day. Additionally, sometimes when I'm in an airport or CVS I will peruse an aisle of magazines and flip through Shape or some other fitness magazine. I really have no interest in reading them. They seem to be aimed at people far more interested in talking about glute workouts and low-fat mayo than I am. I just like to do my known-to-be-effective exercise and be done. Or maybe I just like being on the other side of the advisor/advisee relationship!

Am I too vain?
The old me would have found the new me quite vain. I don't really have an answer to that. I used to feel that anyone who spent a fair amount of time making thinness and fitness a priority was inherently vain. I suppose that's true, but I guess I just don't see that as the biggest sin in the world. I also feel extremely strong, healthy, motivated....the looking good was an unexpected bonus that I didn't anticipate at all.

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