Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Me and the Molasses

So... (Ok, if I have any guy readers, go ahead and take a hike, would ya? Most guys, they get the weirded outs when I talk about 'girl stuff'. So, you know, if you're the kind of guy who cannot go to the store and buy tampons for his wife, go... shoo. Why do guys have a problem with this, I wonder. I mean, do you really think the store clerk thinks YOU are using them? No. If the store clerk thinks anything about it AT ALL - and believe me, I've worked as a cashier before... the only time we care about your order at all is if you're being a SERIOUS PAIN IN THE ASS while we ring it up... - he's just going to know you have a wife/girlfriend at home who's probably being a serious pain in YOUR ass right now. Which, honestly, is not a bad think to be thinking. Oh, look, he's got a GIRL back at his house. This is embarrassing how? Nevermind.)

I had a gain again last night... not much, .6. But that brings my monthly loss to a whopping 2.2 pounds this month.

Now, as you all know, I've been tracking my menstrual cycle, specifically because I tend to have a gain right about the same time as I'm having EWM (That's egg-white mucus, which you knew that if you've ever been trying to have a baby unsuccessfully) which is to further say that I tend to gain weight right around the time that I'm ovulating. Unusual, since most women gain weight the week directly before their menstration starts, but ordinary I have never been.

Frustrating, as I've also been noticing a trend in the length of my cycle. Which, unfortunately, is not to say that I'm getting more time between periods; quite the contrary. In further fact, my cycle has "slimmed" down, so that I'm starting my period almost precisely every 28 days. HOWEVER, the length of my period itself has increased. It started at a nice, neat, four days. Two days of spotting/light bleed, one day of 'dear goddess, let me die now,' and then another day of spotting, then done.

This month? I started spotting on the 16th of October and didn't stop until the 25th. Which means my gain/maintain week should have, technically, been last week. (In which I maintained.) As, if things continue as they have been, I should start menstrating again in the next 4 days.

Somehow, it doesn't seem exactly fair that I spend 1/3 of my time having my period.

Not that anyone ever nominated life for the Fair Play award.

(Ok, done with that, guys, you can come back now, unless I've completely alienated you, and if, honestly, you're that easily alienated, you probably didn't want to be here anyway...)

Anyway, I confess I'm a little disappointed in my weight loss for this month.

I mean, I know this happens. "Gains are part of the whole weight loss process." "The last (10 pounds, 20 pounds, 40 pounds) is the hardest." "You will have plateaus (god, I hate that word. I can't spell it. French is just no.)" I know.

That doesn't, honestly, make it any easier to deal with. I'd say "Especially with Thomas the wonder-loser over there making everything look all easy," but let's be perfectly honest. Thomas could be gaining weight and I'd still be frustrated. Much as I love pointing out the various other scapegoats in my life, it doesn't really have anything to do with anything. I want to be doing well, regardless of other people. That other people continue to do better than me doesn't affect me nearly as much as the fact that I'm never doing quite as well as I want to be doing.



Well, for the first thing, I think I need to slow the fuck heck down. I'm trying to do too many things at once, and the net results of that is that I'm getting absolutely nothing done, and making myself exhausted while I don't do it. I cannot maintain the pace of NaNoWriMo. I tried it for two weeks, and I'm completely burned out, and I have a perpetual headache on top of that. I actually spent the last couple of days almost entirely off the computer (except for some Warcraft, which engages an entirely different part of my brain than writing). Now, part of that was because my secondary hard drive is engaging itself in cascading drive failure. If you don't know what that means, it's basically my drive is dying. Slowly. Which is good, in that I can make backups of the drive, and that I can continue to use my computer. Which is bad, in that the drive is STILL DYING, and in between uses of my computer, I'm running scandisks to close off bad drive sectors, and that's time consuming. That said, after spending most of Saturday and Sunday off the computer, I feel... lots better. More relaxed. I got some extra sleep. I read books. I watched movies.

Secondly, get my ass back to journaling. I don't know why this is so hard to do, but it is. I hate journaling. My journal tends to look something like this:

Tuesday: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, checklist, activity all filled out. Full Smilies.
Wednesday: Breakfast. Snack. Activity. Checklist filled in.
Thursday: Activity. Checklist partially filled.
Friday - Monday: Blank.

Third: Water water water.

Me and drinking water go on this cycle... the cycle goes like this.

Week One: Drink soda first thing in the morning, water most of the day, one soda with dinner.
Week Two: Drink one soda first thing in the morning, then a water, then a soda, then a water, then a soda, then a water. Then soda for the rest of the day (my "waters" are 20 ounces, so, on Week Two, I'm still getting my water intake, altho you see I have greatly increased my caffiene intake as well.)
Week Three: Soda for most of the day. One water, somewhere in there.
Week Four: Soda all day. Water only when I run out of soda.
Week Five: Swear to do better next week.
Repeat Weeks Four and Five

My "logic," if you will, goes something along these lines. I hate water. HATE it. Bottled water is ok, but very expensive, so I don't generally buy it. The cute little filtery thing we have on the kitchen tap... really doesn't help anything. I can't tell a "taste" diffence, and I know for a fact that it's not actually filtering out any of the bad stuff that shows up in our city water. So, in order to be able to drink it, I have to put crystal light, or TrueLime and splenda in the water. (Both of these things add about 4 - 10 calories to my 20-ounce sports bottle.)

Soda, if you will, has >5 calories for a 12 ounce serving. The only difference between the soda and the adulterated water that I drink is:

Soda: >5 calories, 40mgs sodium, 46 mgs caffiene
Crystal Light: 10 calories, 10mgs sodium, 0 caffiene
Energy Crystal Light: 10 calories, 0 sodium, 120 mgs caffiene
TrueLime + 2 packets Splenda: 8 calories, 0 sodium, 0 caffiene
(Did you notice that the energy crystal light has 120 mgs of caffiene?? I didn't actually know that until I went and looked it up, just now.)

I try, sometimes, to cut back. Or, I'll try to quit entirely.

That never, ever lasts... and even if I do well for a few days, I find myself adding soda back into my diet after the caffiene withdrawal headache gets so bad that I start wondering if my eyeballs are bleeding. Obviously, even after a week or two weeks without caffiene, I go right back to it. Slowly, at first, then building. I'm so bad about caffiene that I absolutely refuse to buy penguin mints. I literally cannot be trusted not to overcaffienate myself. When you snarf 40+ mints in little less than 2 hours, you know there's something really, really wrong with you. (Ok, complete honesty here... I would mainline caffiene. I really would.)

Fourth, and probably last;

Exercise. (Another word I never spell correctly the first time, which is why we're all very thankful that such a thing as spellcheck exists. Even if spellcheck isn't in the dictionary.)

I can't seem to keep up with a constant work-out program. I did cardio for a while, on the DVD. Quit after a few months. I tried Couch to 5K. Quit after a few weeks. I did weight training. Quit after a few weeks. The only thing I've managed to keep up with consistently is walking. At the beginning of the year, Thomas and I walked ~1 mile, three times a week. Gradually we upped it to ~2.2 miles, and now we walk that 2.2 miles four times a week. It may very well be time for us to up the distance again. Or, at least, we might want to walk further on our Saturday walk - since our Tuesday, Thursday and Friday walks are already now taking place in the full dark, which is, honestly, not really fun. Especially since portions of the back trail are not lit.

In any case, something has to be done, because if I fall down consistently to losing only 2.2 pounds in a month, it'll be more than a full year from now before I'm at goal weight, and honestly, I just don't know how much more of this I can take. My first impulse after last night's weigh in was to go snarf a hershey's bar, because honestly, if I'm going to GAIN weight, I may as well at least deserve it.


Anonymous said...

*mumbles and studies the carpet with great interest as Lynn talks about exercise* I fully agree that journaling is a pain in the ass, but it's also been one of the big things that's kept me on the straight and narrow on a day-to-day basis... even if I don't get around to actually writing everything down until the end of the day, I can look at my points and checklist and say, "Gee, if I'd had more than 3 waters today I might have gotten rid of that headache faster" or "right, that was abysmal, I need to eat more veggies tomorrow and cut back on the English muffin addiction." I can make all of the weigh-in promises to myself I like, but unless I've got the daily check of a food journal, the weekly resolutions don't help me much.

Regarding water, I don't know how you feel about it, but I drink a lot of flavored seltzer. It's carbonated, but there's no sugar at all, and I much prefer it to soda, personally. I'll typically kill a liter bottle in one sitting, and that's half a day's water right there.

Anonymous said...

Im taking up the pondering the EXERCISE thing.
what we can find that you enjoy doing and which will kick up your metabolism.

not the weight huh?

Hanlie said...

I must check if I gain when I'm ovulating...

Becky Fyfe said...

I was up half a pound this week too, depsite exercising my tail off and eating well. I can blame my pregnancy right now, but I stress about the gain anyway.

Water is a tough one for me to keep up with too, and I also get the horrible headaches from lack of caffeine.

This gain, for both of us, is just a tiny blip before things start heading down again.

Summer said...

(Am drinking coffee as I type. Mmm, I love caffeine, too!)

Lynn, you're on the right track, and you're doing an amazing job. Don't lose sight of that. Not for a second.

I'm thinking that you're at a point in your journey when exercise is going to become the critical factor in your continued weight loss. Your slender body is so close to the surface now! Walking is great, but it sounds like you're ready for more. So here's my suggestion: spend money. Pay for a series of classes in something that sounds like fun to you. (Belly dancing? Kickboxing? ZUMBA?) Check with your local parks & rec, most rec departments offer various exercise classes. It's very motivating to work out with a group, and when you've already spent the money on the classes, the temptation to skip a workout is mitigated by the guilt of wasting the money. Or look into a membership at a gym -- many offer childcare, and most gyms will let you have a free trial for a week or so. If you've got a YMCA near you, check it out! It might be nicer than you'd expect.

Of course, I should take my own advice and use my Y membership more... my weight is creeping back up, and it's hit the point where I need to stop the upward trend. Immediately.

Anonymous said...

You can't spell exercise or plateau because they are both words that SUCK and your brain is engaging in creative avoidance. :-)

I totally share your period woes, and that's all there is to say about that.

As for exercise - don't be so hard on yourself. You don't "quit after a few weeks" - you change your routine when you lose interest. That is not a bad thing, it's actually very smart. So now that you know that's what you're really doing, go pat yourself on the back for it, and decide what sounds interesting to you this week. :-) (I have YET to find anything I stick with more than a month or two at a time, but I think the key is when you stop one thing, be sure to start something else. As long as you're doing SOMETHING, you're winning.)

I am glad you've gotten some rest and are feeling less stressed. If you're anything like me - and I think we sort of know the answer to that one! - nothing keeps the weight on like the stress-and-fatigue-induced cortisol rushes. I think you're spot on - you are doing too much. Sometimes there's no way around that...but if it is possible to slow down, that sounds like a great idea.

Hang in there...lame as that sounds...because you really are doing amazingly, and you know, 2.2 pounds in a month may not sound like much, but I'm still impressed. You've consistently moved in the right direction, which is way, way better than the norm.


kikimonster said...

I seriously just giggled at the "I wish I could quit you". Anyway, I didn't realize what a caffiene addict I am. I drink 1-2 BIG mugs of coffee a day (i'm guessing 12-14 oz) plus a Diet Dr. Pepper in the afternoon. When I was visiting a (pregnant) friend over the weekend, I got the WORST headache because we were drinking decaf, not regular coffee. You should have seen me downing those diet cokes at lunch! Maybe that's something to work on in 2009....

K @ Running Through Life said...

I am having a super slow weight loss month and it is hard to keep up my spirit and drive. But, I am in it for the long haul.
I am a huge water drinker....I love water and my favorite is water with fresh lemon slices or lemon juice. Have you tried that?