Oops, I did it again! Return of the chipmunk

A little bit of cockiness combined with taking my eye off the prize has bit me in the ass once again. Oh I can blame this or that, but the truth is I got cocky and sloppy and last night I got confirmation from the Spousal Unit, I have gained weight or to use our code which means red alert “Your cheeks are starting to look a tad chipmunk like”.

I admit last night I fell into a restless sleep asking myself what went wrong. I practice yoga several times a week and while it won’t take a ton of pounds off, I do some walking as well. I eat relatively well, had been maintaining my weight more or less except for a few extra pounds but clearly I have crossed the line.

Then it hit me! Back late last year when my dreams to move my agency to larger and nicer location became a reality and a lot of hard work, I fell into some old traps. Not eating properly, skipping meals and my old nemesis, portion control. The old, well I didn’t really eat breakfast so I will eat a larger lunch. I realized I have been doing that more than I care to admit, of course I know skipping meals is never a great idea but I didn’t think I had been doing it that much. Add in the fact that my office is now mere steps away from a pizzeria that gives a generous discount, yeah, it didn’t take long to figure out where I went wrong. I admit though that having stopped my weekly baking habit as well as giving up calorie laden coffee drinks, I figured I was all good to go. The truth is I set myself up for this plain and simple. Also after year of working with no snacks at my desk, I must confess at this moment, there is an organic chocolate bar, a bag of granola and a bag of hot chips in my desk.

I have toyed with going back to Weight Watchers in the past, where I hold a lifetime membership and this morning I realized I really need to go back. Weight Watchers does one thing for me that I know I need help with and that is accountability. Something about paying $12 a week to be weighed by someone who won’t let me explain away the numbers is what I need at this moment. Based off my visit to the bathroom scale, I would say I have 20 lbs to say good bye to, while part of me is saddened about this, the truth is I have not gained back even half of the almost 50 pounds I took off some years ago. So despite this set back to the land of chipmunk cheeks, it’s okay, weight loss and maintenance like much of life is a journey, sometimes it’s good and sometimes….well you just look for the next day.

I have been public over the years in sharing my struggle and journey with my weight but I admit I didn’t plan on sharing this, I felt a bit of shame. Yet this morning when I realized I felt shame, I knew that was more a reason to share, to keep myself honest. Hell, most of us at some point in life gains weight, shit happens. Now let me get back to my tasty salad!

The struggle to accept my body in 2011

This post will conclude my public review of 2011…come on; ya know I can’t share everything! 2011 has been good in many ways, professional growth, dealing with old demons and a host of other things. There is one area though where 2011 wasn’t quite as good and that’s my body! After losing damn near 50 pounds and keeping it off for several years, my weight situation came to a head in 2010 thanks to what turned out to be double hernia repair surgery. What was supposed to be a quick fix and move on situation, had me laid up damn near six weeks and for months afterward I was still physically limited. You know the song…I gained weight.

I pretty much gained the weight while laying around, relaxing on pain pills spending too much time indulging in bad television and snacking. I figured as soon as I was back to full mobility, I would drop the weight. It didn’t happen and somewhere along the way after years of being a devoted member of Weight Watchers, I got tired of the weekly weigh in drill and said fuck it! Weight Watchers can be a good program, but I feel that it’s a crutch, for me the idea of weekly weigh- ins and tracking every morsel I put into mouth for the rest of life is frankly depressing.

So for the first time in heaven knows how many years, I have seen very little of Weight Watchers this year. Yay for me! Or maybe not! I am approximately 15 pounds over my “goal” weight according to those handy charts that tell you what you should weigh and I am struggling. On the one hand, I seem to have stopped the weight gain, for many months now I have maintained my current weight, I strive to eat decently and occasionally even move my ass. I admit work and family get in the way of my desires to move.  It seems the downside of living in a small town/city is that most exercise classes are pretty much offered in the evening, same time I am at home trying to get in quality time and dinner with the six year old.

I am a big believer in self-care and certainly taking care of my physical needs is self-care however as the parent of a small child, I am simply not comfortable being gone 1+ hours in the evening. Especially because on days I work from the office rather than from home, we have exactly 3 hours together. Some may say I am making it harder than it needs to be, but I know my child and considering her intensity, we need our time together. Instead I take a morning yoga class and try to sneak out for the occasional evening class but it most certainly isn’t weekly. Granted my yoga practice is more mental and spiritual than physical.

So I have been in a funk over the body, since this extra 15 pounds has gone straight to my ass, hips and lower belly necessitating the need to go up a few sizes. Growl. Lately though I have been pondering the mental issues of weight gain, why does my personal opinion of myself dip if I gain weight or soar if my weight dips. Am I not the same person regardless of my size? Mentally this makes sense but emotionally I am struggling.

I end 2011 not with the goal of losing this weight but with a desire to make peace with this body that houses my soul. To know that I am more than a set of numbers either on a scale or the tag of a blouse, to accept that who I am does not change just because I have a little more padding. I am tired of having my self worth tied into my appearance. Just as I struggle to accept my weight, it’s starting to hit me that I am aging. In my mind, I am still that lithe 20 year old, but that body does not exist. I admit in a society that prizes youth, accepting that one is aging can be hard. But again, am I not more than this physical container?

The older I get I am convinced that true wellness starts with our minds and rather than fretting over my physical state, I want to get my mind right and trust that my body will do what it needs to do when it’s ready to do it. In the meantime, I accept and acknowledge that it is a struggle.  So maybe in the end 2011 wasn’t as hard on my body as I initially thought.

Creeping up

Looks like a gorgeous day here in Maine. I woke up early with plans to attend my Friday yoga class but my body decided to tell me that, that might be a bad idea. Instead I have time to blog , prepare for a meeting this morning and think about how my weight is creeping up again.

The past month, I have been in a funk. All this talk of financial woes has me in a bad a mood and when I get in a bad mood, my default for dealing with stress is to stuff my mouth. I have done well the past year as far as maintaining my almost 50 pound weight loss, until this month I have stayed several pounds under my weight goal. Even now I am still under that number but dangerously close to it and not comfortable with it at all.

Its funny because I have not set out to just stuff my mouth but looking back this month, I have barely ate my usual breakfast of oatmeal. I must confess I hate oatmeal, for almost the past 4 years oatmeal is generally what I eat most mornings. Its a good meal because unlike cold cereal it tends to keep me full and doesn’t have a ton of calories. Problem is there are only so many ways to eat it and after all this time it has started to taste like gruel, but whenever I don’t eat it in the morning, I find myself snacking mid-morning. The only way that does not happen is if I eat a large breakfast but too many mornings of bacon and pancakes or breakfast burritos also seems to add on the weight. Of course the cinnamon rolls I have been getting from the new fabulous bakery down the street from my office aren’t helping either.

Funny thing about weight creeping up is it happens so slowly that at first you don’t notice it. I mean what’s an extra 2-3 lbs? Of course that was the road that led me to gaining weight several years ago. I spent most of my life without a weight problem and when I quit smoking the first time, my new habit became eating…very stereotypical when it comes to not smoking.

Anyway now that the scale has confirmed that indeed my weight is creeping up (I thought my pants had shrunk at first….I know, nice try) its time to work my plan. That means back to a daily exercise routine or at least a daily walk and stopping my new found chip habit. At any given time we have several cases of snack chips in my office so I have been partaking which is really a bad idea.

So Happy Friday to everyone, hopefully the weather will hold up and allow me to get out and start walking again. Of course I will need to walk right past that baker at the Farmers Market in the morning and not buy any of her lovely treats. Though maybe if I walk around in enough circles I can burn off the calories that would be added if I bought one of those amazing Sour Cream Blueberry Coffeecakes!