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What a Difference a Weigh Makes

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Monday, May 09, 2016

It has been a hectic weekend, albeit not in a bad way. For me, though, it resulted in a bad weigh. And yes, this IS one of those cases where I implore you to learn from my mistakes, to practice what I say instead of what I did...but ultimately, that's up to you.

Saturday, we hung out with my sister-in-law-to-be, who is Japanese and, as modern-day, internet-spawned, long-distance relationships would have it, only gets to visit once a year, till my brother and she decide on their nuptials and who will move where so they can be together. She is a sweet lady, and she always brings us lots of Japanese sweets, which are far better from a caloric standpoint than anything in the U.S., since we Americans tend to have more of a love affair with sugar and carbs. I am especially fond of the green tea Kit Kats, and I love that they are only about 60 calories for one of the two-bar packs. I let myself go a little last week when we had a barbecue with her...and when we simply had to try all the snacks with labels we couldn't read. Not only that, but she makes the best sushi I've ever had, and I cannot resist eating far more of it than I should.

The letting-go continued on Saturday, when we went to visit our grandparents and committed the sin of a Taco Bell lunch (though I was good and only had a crunchy taco and a pintos 'n' cheese, which was just over 300 cals. Do NOT be tricked into that taco salad, which is 770 calories!) That evening, we were invited to partake of KFC, and I have a weakness for drumsticks and livers, so I overdid it then too. Clearly, the colonel doesn't care much about our waistlines, because just one original recipe chicken breast is 379 calories. I tried to counteract it a bit by jumping on my nephews' new trampoline, but my bladder is no fan of bouncing these days, and I'm not willing to shop the Depends aisle just yet. Even the hiking I did earlier that day wasn't going to rid me of the KFC and Taco Bell so fast, but the damage was already devoured.

Sunday, however, was the mother of all cheat days. I went into Mother's Day with the full knowledge that I was not going to count a single calorie, and I was going to indulge however I wanted. I did that...and then some. For breakfast, it was a bagel with regular (not fat-free) cream cheese, a green Kit-Kat, an interlude with the boyfriend, with waffle cookies to dip in him, and a plethora of other Sunday-morning sins, including cookies and more of my boyfriend at church. For at least three weeks, we've been planning a Mother's Day outing to the Golden Corral, so we did that too, and I cannot even begin to fathom the number of calories I consumed there. How many calories are in six plates of fried shrimp and seventeen honey-buttered rolls and carrot cake and hash browns and mac-and-cheese and fudge and...well, you get the point. To add insugar to gluttony, they gave us bags of cotton candy when we left.

My daughter gave me a wonderful Mother's Day present. To quote her, "For Mother's Day, I'm giving you cooperation, Mom." This meant that all day, we did what I wanted to do - even all those things she does not enjoy. We grabbed a cappuccino at Panera and actually sat inside to drink it. We looked for three geocaches and found two of them, even one that required a short walk on the bike trail. To top off the night, we went to the video store (no, Hulu, Netflix, DVRs, and Amazon Prime have not put them ALL out of business), where she allowed me to pick out a corny 80s movie she hasn't seen; yay for HOWARD THE DUCK! (and, gosh, I hate Leah Thompson for being so tiny in that movie!) The trouble was that during that movie-fest, we also munched on our favorite snacks we usually have to avoid: Crazy Bread with cheese from Little Cesars, potato chips, Krispy Cremes mini-cruellers, and pints of ice cream. We were bad, bad girls, but we were aware of our indigestion-causing indiscretions.

When I got on the scale this morning, to see what damage this weekend has done, I expected some gain, but I really was shocked to see a number I hoped to never see again: 165. That's 10 lbs. above the goal I hit on April 11, a goal I was very close to hitting again last Wednesday. I may as well have stayed home and eaten 40 sticks of margarine with a fork. Most people on a weight-loss journey or trying to maintain would panic, but I didn't. I didn't exactly do a happy dance, which was probably fortunate for the seams of my more snug-fitting jammy pants, but I didn't feel suicidal or start calling myself a horrible hippo or burn all the food in the kitchen or swear to never eat again. Why? Because I've learned a few things along the journey, and those things are the things that are going to equip me to solve any bumps in the road...or on my thighs...as I move through the rest of my life.

First, I had to remind myself that I DID lose that nasty 174 lbs. in the first place. Yesterday morning, even after the Japanese snacks and the fried chicken and the run for the border, I hit another milestone: I fit into that dress I mentioned several blogs ago. I bought that little brown frock on Day One of my diet so many months ago, and while I was able to squeeze into it a short while back, I didn't feel I was small enough to comfortably wear it in public. It was a special day to be able to zip it and wear it to church yesterday. Of all the things in my get-into crate, this dress has been my nemesis, but I conquered that dress...and that means I can conquer any weight issues I encounter in the future. When I started to feel really bad about myself for being such a fool this weekend, I reminded myself what I looked like many Mother's Days ago, when my daughter was just a baby. By comparison, I look better at 45 than I did at 27 - at least from a figure standpoint (we won't discuss wrinkles and the fact that I can probably play double-dutch with my chest at this point) - and that is something NO ONE WILL EVER TAKE AWAY FROM ME AGAIN - nor will I take it away from myself. Set backs are ONLY temporary, and I know I can lose it because I did lose it.

Second, the scales are evil, evil things that lie. Basically, if I go by the number on that scale, I could mathematically claim that I've literally gained 10 lbs. OVERNIGHT. It takes a 3,500-calorie overage above my 1,200-ish calories for me to gain 1 lb. Thus, I would have had to eat 37,200 calories yesterday to gain that 10 lbs. in one night. While I probably could do that at Golden Corral, it isn't likely. What is likely is that I am bloated and carrying a lot of water, etc. from eating like a cow (no wonder they call it a Corral). What is likely is that because my digestion is severely messed up (I have been belching Beethoven's Fifth Symphony all day, and I won't go into my bathroom issues at this point). What is likely is that it will take some time for me to correct the damage I did to myself, but the lbs. are not what they seem. (Those of you who miss the Log Lady may get that, and I miss her so much I have this weird obsession with taking pictures of myself on logs.) I read an article in WOMEN'S HEALTH that addresses some of these issues, so I'll share the link in this blog for you.

Third, my body is now equipped with superpowers it did not have before. Not too long ago, a trip to the Golden Corral would have meant endless plates with not so much as a tinge of indigestion. I used to eat so much at buffets that my used plates resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and I covered everything in cheese or chocolate or whipped cream and washed it down with endless refills of full-sugar soda or ridiculously sweet sweet tea (and we're not talking those yellow packets either). I ate far too much Sunday, but it was far less than I used to eat. The good news is that my body let me know it. As I tried to cram the last bite of a slice of carrot cake in my mouth (no, folks, carrot cake is NOT salad, even if there are nuts and raisins in it too), my head literally began to throb, and my stomach went on a rampage of revolting churns. I don't recall that EVER happening to me in any meal in life, no matter how much overeating I did, and it is refreshing to know that my bod is working to my advantage these days. By the time I got to my sister's house yesterday, I felt like I'd swallowed a bowling ball; I literally showed my brother-in-law my pot belly and told him I felt nine lunches pregnant. This is true for my daughter, too, as she also overindulged knowingly. Today, she told me, "Mom, I feel sluggish, my skin feels greasy, and my insides feel nasty. It's a good thing we only have cheat days once in a while, because they're gross." It's good to know that our bodies now send red flags instead of just white ones of surrender, because this is what is going to help us stay the course and stay away from the six courses.

There is a huge difference in me these days. That girl who actually enjoys climbing on fallen trees and having her photo taken will never, ever be such a fat girl again. In 2003, when I gave up after my 150-ish-lb. loss and started gaining it back at warp speed, my head was not in the game. I slalomed downhill to obesity again, feeling like I couldn't possibly turn things around. Instead of having a get-into crate, I had to start packing up boxes of fatted-out-of clothes for the thrift stores, bidding my skinny fashions farewell as I begrudgingly bid my cankles hello again. This time, I do not feel this way. This time, I KNOW I can fix it. I have the tools I need, in the form of Spark, the know-how I've gathered along the weighs, and the encouragement and support of over 1,000 people I've never met but highly cherish. (Yes, I'm talking about you guys!) I have the support of my daughter and sister, my inspired inspirations. The scales may jump up and down every now and then, but I know that what goes up CAN come down. Truly, I don't advise anyone to pull a FROZEN and let it go as much as I did this weekend, and I will do my best to avoid such extreme lapses in caloric judgment again, but what a difference a weigh makes! I'm not glad for that 165 lbs. this morning, but I am glad it helped me see that more has changed within me than my dress size, and THAT is what will keep me on track or pull me back on the rails when I go a little weigh-ward!

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