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16 April 2009 @ 08:36 am

I appear to be running an experiment in weight loss. It’s a very good experiment, because it proves out, conclusively, every time. It goes something like this:

If I don’t eat sweets, and do exercise, for a week, I lose about a pound and a half in that time. If I do eat sweets and don’t exercise, I gain about a pound and a half (if I haven’t been exercising for quite a while, I just gradually gain weight, not at that excessive of a rate).

It works *every time*.

Knowing this–and I *do* know it–it should be easy to lose weight. All I have to do is exercise, which I like, and not eat sweets, which I love.

Somehow this is much, much harder than it says on the packaging.

Part of it is that even if the rule is simple–don’t eat sweets–I have a hard time mustering the discipline to do that while I’m working. All my focus is on getting the words written, and basically when I get hungry I just want to eat something nice, because, well, don’t I deserve it? Or something like that. What I need to do is invest some time and energy into making what Weight Watchers called zero-point or one-point snacks, which are basically low-calorie highly filling mini-meals. (That and/or eat a lot more apples, but one a day is usually about as much as I’m interested in.)

I *know* I can go off sweets entirely. The first couple days are okay, the third and fourth are hideous, the next week or so is okay, and days 10-12 or so are awful, and then it’s fine indefinitely, or at least up to 40 days, which is as long as I’ve ever done that. Interestingly, it’s easier, after that, to only have a treat every once in a while, without it triggering ZOMG MUST HAVE MORE, than it is to have a treat after 4 days and then survive to Day 10 or whatever.

I’ve tried, on occasion, to record a no-sweets log on my journal, based on “I’d better do it or Everybody Will Know!”, but I find I don’t actually give a damn if Everybody Knows that I blew it. T’ain’t about outside influence. Nor does a reward system hold any particular thrill for me: withholding some cool gadget from myself until X is achieved just pisses me off, and not in a way that says OH YEAH WELL FINE I’LL JUST *SUCCEED* AND THAT’LL SHOW YOU! So those aren’t real winners in the inspiration game. You’d think a closet full of cute clothes I don’t fit in would be inspiring, but apparently it’s not so much.

In my defense on the exercise front, I *have* been doing my Pilates. They, though, largely seem to be a strengthening and perhaps toning thing for me, rather than weight loss (maybe if I did them daily at a much more vigorous level, but I honestly think managing 3x a week is pretty good…). Swimming (or dance) is my preferred Real Exercise, and my shoulder is still not right*, which makes me basically afraid to swim. Foul weather’s kept me from walking (although that’s really a wahwahwah excuse, because it’s not like I’ll melt in the rain), though I think that like Pilates, walking more prevents me from gaining *more* weight than helps me lose what I’ve got. I just don’t get into Walking As Exercise enough to actually lose weight.

I don’t know. It’s frustrating that I know what to do, that I know it succeeds, but that I’m failing repeatedly to apply the necessary discipline. (That’s probably *particularly* frustrating because people say to me, very frequently, “You’re so disciplined!” due to me writing several thousand words a day. So although I don’t generally think of myself as all that disciplined, I seem to have developed this expectation that I am because people keep saying so, and then I completely and utterly fail to exact discipline over anything except the writing, so I end up extra-disappointed in myself.)

…I think I’ve made myself grumpy now, which is too bad, because I woke up in a pretty good mood, and now I have to shake the grumps off and go do my stupid work. *sigh*

*It’s better. It’s tightening up around early afternoon, which is probably from being too tense over the keyboard in the morning, but overall it’s *not* hurting more hours of the day than it *is* hurting. And yes, Erica, I will go see a PT when we have money, assuming there’s enough money to go see a PT…

(x-posted from the essential kit)

Current Mood: grumpygrumpy
Janne: trek Oh the agonyjanne on April 16th, 2009 08:22 am (UTC)
Same experience here -- I suffered hellish tortures going off chocolate, and right now I'm at the 'perfectly fine without' stage. The trick is maintaining the non-eating, which experience tell me will last until the next major life crisis. I find the main motivation in posting a no-X log isn't that others will know, but that it's a countdown of sorts and keeps me mindful. Well, usually :P

Speaking of pilates: did you post something on that and I missed it over the holidays, or didnt' it happen?
irishkateirishkate on April 16th, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
I walked 3/4 times last week - bought new black clothes and LOOK smaller...does that count?

And pilates - what she said?
Laura Anne Gilmansuricattus on April 16th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
Yes, please post the pilates, so you can nooodge me into giving them a try!

I actually don't have much trouble giving up sweets. Wine, on the other hand... I could probably lose a pound or two a month, just by giving up wine....

T'ain't worth it. :-)

(I have, though, been going for long rambles in the Park every weekend, for several hours at a time. So at least I've got the walking thing down.)
Geek of Weird Shit: fireygows on April 16th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
I actually don't have much trouble giving up sweets. Wine, on the other hand... I could probably lose a pound or two a month, just by giving up wine....

*nod* That's where I'm at. I switched from hard alcohol to wine in December, and that coupled with working out made a huge difference. However, I need to seriously cut down (as in nearly eliminate altogether) my alcohol intake. I never used to drink until my boyfriend and I started dating 5 years ago, but he's in the restaurant/service industry, and those folks drink like no tomorrow.

Having broken other bad habits and done things that require willpower, I find that when I get to That Point, telling myself "this isn't good for me, and I'm not going to do it anymore" has helped get through the withdrawal stages. Thank god I'm not hooked on sweets, though, because processed sugar is a bitch to get out of your system. However, alcohol converts into sugar, so it's not too far off anyway.

(And Kit--wasn't gonna nag ya. Figure I've done that enough recently. ;)
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on April 16th, 2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
My downfall is crisps -- I can take or leave the sweet stuff, but give me all that lovely salt... And I have low blood pressure so I get dizzy if I am too salt-low. (Which is not an excuse for lots of crisps, it's an excuse for one small salted cracker, but hindbrain is not logical). What works for me is to try and snack on other things which go 'crunch' and, yes, the exercise. Yogalates, in my case, and walking.
debela on April 16th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
I am very fortunate that berries do not pack on the pounds because god help me if I had to give them up. Or tea. Discipline in other areas doesn't, irritatingly, translate to discipline in our weak spots. I find this exasperatingly inconvenient.

That said, it may be a different process thing, but would gamely and determinedly counting through the days or hours until It Is Okay help? I'm thinking as a sort of mental mantra that takes advantage of the fact that you know the pattern and you know that it works.
Liannelianneb on April 28th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
For me, the worst about waiting for my gallbladder to come out was going two months without most sweets (I could have gummy bears and angel food cake, but most sweets were too fatty for what I was allowed.) Amazing out weightloss isn't a good enough reason to be able to drop the sweets and chips and other fatty foods, but the threat of excruciating pain is all the motivation I needed.

I ended up losing 15 pounds, of which I've put a couple pounds back on, but I got out of the habit of fast food, so I get the urge much less often.

(But I wouldn't recommend the gallbladder disease method of weight loss. The three nights in the hospital getting morphine is something I would have happily done without. Especially the weekend before christmas)
kitmizkit on April 28th, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
...I can't say I'm all that enthusiastic about the proposal of excrutiating pain as an incentive, no. Congrats on the weight loss, though...o.O :)