Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Mother Unload: Back on the Wagon...Ahhhhhhgain

Well, hello there.

I last posted a Mother Unload post in March of 2012 and reported that despite some kid medical issues that were stressful, I had been maintaining my weight. It was not long after this post that a kindly doctor said, "Yep...brain surgery," and that was that.  I moved from the maintaining category back into the gaining camp.

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Photo by bottle_void

I have a few coping skills in my mental health tool bag, but stress eating is the "skill" for which I have the most natural, uh, talent.  Food is comfort, safety, insulation. When emotions get the better of me, it's often food that brings me out of the tailspin. When my anxiety level rises so high I feel like I'm suffocating, it's food that gets me breathing again.

Stress eating is not a positive coping skill. It's just a very efficient and effective one.

Today, I weight 243, so just 4 pounds below what I weighed when I started writing these posts however many years ago and more than 20 above what I weighed the last time I wrote.


I'm 12 pounds lower than I was a week and a half ago, so go me. Or more accurately, go my oral surgeon who took out four of my teeth and made it impossible to eat anything but soup and smoothies for about 3 days and a lot less food than I usually consume in the days since.

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Having my wisdom teeth extracted wasn't an ideal way for me to lose weight, and weight loss certainly wasn't the goal behind the surgery. Still, lose weight I did, and it's a jump start I needed to kick a new phase of healthy eating and exercise into high gear. I learned a few things too.

1. I can live with way less food than I've been eating.  This shouldn't be a surprise, but it is.

2. You're never more mindful of what you're putting in your mouth than when the consequences for it are immediate. There are consequences to the things I eat. They're just the slow building, long term kind. I don't think about them nearly enough. Spending those days knowing, "If I eat will hurt," changed the way I ate. I was careful, thoughtful, and particular. There wasn't room for junk because every calorie needed to count.

3. I don't have to clean my plate. Growing up in the generation I did, this is still hard. I put too much food on my plate and then think I have to finish every bite because I took it.  I've been amazed at how often I'm putting food back or giving it to Richard or passing up seconds I wouldn't have thought twice about before. I still don't want to waste food, but I'm less inclined to overfill my stomach just to show I'm grateful.

The result of the above is that I put on a pair of jeans this morning that I haven't been able to wear in a few months. I'm finding my old face again. I'm feeling better.

Please, sir...may I have some more?

To avoid losing my momentum, I've decided to start a Couch to 5K program again, the same one I did several years ago.  Because of my sad knees, and because running without something funny to watch at the same time sounds about as worthwhile as stabbing my eyeballs with a rusty spork, I'll be doing all my running on my treadmill. It absorbs a lot of the impact, is never covered in ice or snow, and is conveniently located facing the TV in our family room.

Anyone want to join me? (Please, don't make me do this alone!)