After Christmas

My pants are too tight, the scale is not happy, and I woke up today not fitting into any of my jeans. I had to get out the single pair of size 16W jeans that were in the donate box and wear them today. Even these are a bit snug when I'm sitting down. I remember that when I tossed them in that box, it was because they were ridiculously saggy on my body to the point I could not wear them, even if I washed and dried them on high.

The scale's been giving me feedback every couple of days this month. When I posted ten days ago, I weighed 187 pounds. Five days ago I weighed 188, last Sunday I weighed 187 again. I remember (just two days ago) looking at the scale and then looking in the mirror at my body and thinking, this isn't making me happy. Shouldn't I be happy that I ate everything I wanted for a week and didn't have a net gain? Shouldn't I be thrilled that I ate cookies and fudge and all kinds of carby things and didn't have a massive gain? I know how it worked... it worked because I still usually do the thing that some people call intermittent fasting: I wake up and have only coffee with cream, and generally don't eat anything until noon or later, which means I am not eating anything for about 17 hours each day. That's why I didn't gain even with all the sugar and carbs. But no, it didn't make me happy. It made me kind of sad, because how I feel and how I see myself are not at all reflected on the scale. I feel big, sluggish, sloppy, and gross. I don't have the energy I had before and my body is certainly a lot mushier than it was before the accident. Yeah, I know that being completely sedentary because of injuries is a big part of it. But again, shouldn't I be happy I ate whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, did not exercise of even walk around much, and didn't gain a ton?

I am pleased that I'm not gaining, for sure. I just know that if I didn't have a scale I would have guessed I am up 20 pounds by how I look and feel. And after the traditional salty ham dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and pies last night, this morning the scale's back up to 189. Okay, no biggie, but my jeans don't fit. Having to wear these castoff used-to-be-baggy pants is a reminder that it's not just that number on the scale that matters... it's about more than that.

This morning I didn't wait until afternoon to eat. I had a tamale and a slice of pie for breakfast and thought to myself, when will I get it together and fix this? "This," meaning this way that I feel. Not today, I think. Tomorrow? But there are leftovers... leftovers!! Hmmm, that kind of thinking reminds me of all those years of morbid obesity that were actually just a very long string of days putting the "diet" off until tomorrow... or Monday... or after the next holiday. We have a birthday in the family this week (cake) and I kind of crave pizza and there's New Years and the whole resolution thing. But I don't go in for the set a date to begin thing anymore. I tend more towards small changes on the fly. Drink a big glass of water when I walk into the kitchen. See if I can do that 5 minutes on the recumbent bike (which was ruled out at my last PT evaluation due to pain). Give away the rest of the fudge. Have a smaller portion of carbs at dinner tonight.

I can't jump into something anxiety-provoking. I don't really have that food calm I cherished before, but I am not in that stressed, anxious state about my eating, either. I think I just need to edge back towards the calm, not restricting but making choices more like I used to make before the accident. I know I don't want to weigh 189 or more at the end of this year, and I sure don't want to be stuck with ONE pair of jeans that fit. So let's see what I can do this week to at least let the bloat go away (less salt, fewer carbs, more water) and go from there.

* This article was originally published here
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