Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The weekly weigh in, week 10

Thursday is usually my weigh in day, but this week, that just won't work. Besides the Weight Watchers office being closed, I'd really step on the scales after a Thanksgiving meal. Last week, I forgot to pick up a "tracker", a simple form for monitoring what you eat. The tracker has been the most important tool for me. It only took two days of recording what I was really eating to recognize how much unconscious eating I was doing. The difference between the actual amount I was eating and the recommended range was truly surprising. I know that if I don't stop and consciously monitor what I'm eating now, I'll slip back into mindless food behaviors. Even though I was logging my food without the form, I knew the form would make it easier and made sure that my work travel took me near the WW office yesterday. I didn't expect much of a weigh loss. It hadn't been even a full four days since I last hit the scales, but I still had a weight loss of 2.8 pounds, making my total loss 31 pounds.

My wardrobe is getting baggier and baggier. My favorite, old reliable, beaten up to comfort perfection khakis now look like clown pants. If it weren't for the traditional fat lady elastic waistband, they'd be falling off.

31 pounds!

That feels good. In fact, I'm almost making the womanchild sick by saying, "Look at how this fits on me now." This part is a little awkward. Despite the fact that I need to lose a lot of weight, and my results so far have been thrilling, knowing what she went through with anorexia and bulimia, keeps me from making too big a deal out of my loss. It's a good thing for me, but I can't set it up as too good of a thing.

Weight loss, in and of itself, is a neutral. In the bad days of anorexia and bulimia, weight loss was a destructive weapon that robbed her of health. For me now, it's helping me restore health. The goal has to be physical, mental and emotional health, not weight loss itself. When weight loss becomes the ultimate goal, it's morphed into eating disorder territory. That mind set is destructive no matter what one weighs, and I'm not going to let that happen.

I feel in some ways that I'm emerging from a years long fog of nearly disabling depression. When I've blogged about depression in the past, I was at very, very low points. What I didn't recognize was how low a normal day was for me. I can see the difference now. I can feel it. Depression is as much a physical illness as it is a mental one. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to track one's daily brain chemistry. There's no home blood test to see if the serotonin and other chemicals that affect our mental operations are where they need to be, so we rely on lifestyle indicators to judge depression.

The goal has to be
physical, mental
and emotional health,
not weight loss itself.
In many ways, that makes it seem like a completely intangible illness, but we cannot forget just how grounded in the physical depression is.

I learned this lesson through a disaster that affected a dear friend's family. Her son was robbed, beaten and left for dead. He had a brain injury significant enough for doctors to recommend that he be permanently institutionalized in a halfway type setting. The family refused and worked diligently for years to help him recover. Panic, anxiety, depression, confusion, poor judgment, seizures and more tormented him, and they got worse as his weigh spiraled downward. By forcing a weight gain diet, many of his symptoms improved. They have found over the years that keeping his weight within a certain range, among other tools, keeps these symptoms at bay. When his weight falls below a certain level, regardless of how well he's managing in other areas, the negative mental symptoms get worse. B. is our miracle boy who has put those doctors to shame. He's a grown man now, living independently and working as a professional photographer. He and his family are among my inspirations, and it's an honor to call them all friends.

All in all, I'm feeling good about where I am in this diet journey. My eyes are wide open and my mouth is shut a lot more. It's a good place to be.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the weight loss, Cynthia! Happy Thanksgiving, too.

November 21, 2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger Wenda said...

Cynthia, Way to go with the health improvements! You are an inspiration and for reminding me that "the goal has to be
physical, mental
and emotional health,
not weight loss itself."

November 22, 2006 12:03 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I love reading your "weigh'in" entries, because I know eactly how you feel. Granted, I did not need to lose a lot of weight (my starting weight at WW was 147, and my goal weight was 118...) I remember the whole "wow, my clothes are all too big" thing.

It's amazing how having even tenuous control over this aspect of your life can energize and empower you. That's the thing. It's not altogether about weight loss... It's about exercising conrol over something heretofore believed uncontrollable.

And it's about starting to look a whole damn lot better in clothes... :-]

November 22, 2006 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog.

Weight Loss

December 24, 2006 12:21 PM  
Anonymous weight loss said...

Congratulations, I love reading other people success blogs, very inspiring.

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September 27, 2007 1:02 PM  

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