Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Bet Continues (Without Me)

Thank you everyone for your comments on the last post. They really helped me from making a terrible mistake. Right away I left a message on David’s voice mail to tell him I was out.

He came over the other day during my working out. I felt uncomfortable, since I hate exercising in front of other people. But he started talking to me about the bet and weight loss, and I really got into it. He told me that everyone participating in the bet has gained one or two pounds except for us: him who has lost 4 lbs and me whom has lost one. Despite this information my decision to keep out of the bet still stands, because the chances are still great that I end up in last place. Everyone in the bet, except for David and myself, has just started to exercise and they all chose the most intense form, running. The weight they gained could very well be muscle gain, so the others still have a chance to win.

But still it was nice to talk about weight loss, which has become my favorite topic.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Fool's Bet?

I’m a bit unsure about the bet I decided to participate in. Ly was offered the same bet but he declined. I asked him why. He says that it was a “fool’s bet” for him, since he doesn’t think he can lose more than 5 lbs. But if it were a fool’s bet for him then wouldn’t it be a fool’s bet for me, since we are relatively the same height and weight?

Additionally, the possible loses are great and the gains are very little. Ly went out with some of the guys of the bet, and Forrest, the most motivated one, announced that if he won he would choose a place where we would have to dress up. OMG! I can stand to lose 300 dollars on this bet!

Here are the participants:

David: 26-year-old male. He has excellent motivation to go to the gym and workout like crazy, but he has very little willpower regarding sweets.

Forrest: 28-year-old male. He’s crazy competitive and tremendously motivated in everything he puts his mind into, but he’s also a lot more fit than he thinks.

Marco: 27-year-old male. He doesn’t seem very invested in winning the bet, but he’s the most discipline with eating right.

Cody: 27-year-old male. He has the most to lose and has just started exercising and trying to lose weight! Ly believes that he would most likely win it all.

Jackie: 27-year-old female. She’s a little bit chubbier than me, but she doesn’t seem very willing to put too much time into losing weight.

Lily: 32-year-old female. Me! Unlike everyone else, I’ve been at my current weight loss effort since February. I feel like a seasoned veteran, but my weight loss has slowed down a great deal at the moment. And what I have noticed is that the weight comes off the fastest in the beginning. Additionally, I am quite a bit older than the other participants so my metabolism will naturally be lower. On top of that, most of the other participants are male and I have noticed that they tend to lose weight faster than females.

As you can see the odds are stacked against me. So what should I do? Should I stay for the extra motivation or should I bail out to prevent loss of money?

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Bet

My cousin asked me if I would like to participate in a weight loss bet with the rest of the cousins. Apparently they were sitting around complaining about having to go to the gym, when they came up with a way to motivate themselves. After 6 weeks, the one who loses the most percentage of body weight gets to pick where ever they would like to eat. The one who loses the least has to pay for half the bill and the rest would have to pay for the second half. I know. It’s strange to have food as an incentive to lose weight, but this is what we do anyways. The real incentive would be to not pay when we do. I told him that I was in. I’ve been on a major plateau for over a month and maybe this will get my butt in gear. And maybe it’ll also keep me from overeating during family get-togethers.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Obsessing and Researching

I’m obsessing about weight loss again, and when this happens everything else is neglected. Father’s Day was last weekend, and I didn’t do anything for Ly! And it’s not like I didn’t have time. It’s just that I was preoccupied with myself. Last night I spent two hours writing a blog entry, ignoring my kids’ cry for attention. Then when I was preparing Hunter for bed, I realized he’d be going to my mother-in-law’s today, because Ly won’t be home in time for me to go to my sewing class in the evening. That means I wouldn’t be seeing him the whole day! I felt regret and wished I had paid more attention to him. I wished I could be more balanced.

In trying to find ways I can insure my weight loss and maintenance, I've been thinking of intuitive eating. I unknowingly tried this method twice using "A Lifetime of Weight Control & Fitness" by Debra Waterhouse. It didn’t work out for me, because I was too particular about rating my hunger/fullness and had difficulty being attuned to my body. And although this method was suppose to eliminate the guilt that comes with dieting, I still felt guilt and maybe more so when I fell into social pressures. I know that everyone (excluding those with extreme and special circumstances such as autism or anti-social personality disorder) is subject to social pressures, but I like to fancy myself as above it. Intuitive eating has helped me discover that I’m not. Also it suggested that I should eat without distractions, which was impossible when feeding two kids at the same time. And I didn’t want to give up eating vegetables in front of the TV, since it helps me eat them.

Despite my issues with this method I do still utilize its techniques somewhat, but I wonder if I should look more into it. Maybe buy a better book regarding it. But I have great hesitation making purchases for myself, so I decided to do a little academic research on the effectiveness of this method first (I have my student access to the academic journals on-line until the end of the summer). I discovered that I couldn’t find any existing research whether it was or wasn’t effective. I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise, considering how new this method is. Although this may indicate a better prognosis than traditional methods since most research only demonstrate how unsuccessful they are, it’s not enough for me to back it up with my money.

Then I ran across ”The Beck Diet Solution” by Judith S. Beck while perusing on Amazon and I remember reading about it on jen’s blog. It talked about utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy towards weight loss. Currently, this method is all the rage in my industry, because it’s backed by tremendous empirical evidence regarding all different kinds of situations (although I’m not sure if there’s evidence directly towards weight loss). Never the less, it has peaked my interest. And I’ll look into it …later. Right now, I need to give some attention back to the family.

Monday, June 18, 2007


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A week and a half ago, Ly and I decided to have the kids stay at home until I return to work. Ly then offers to come home early whenever he can, so I can get my exercise in without worrying about the kids. Ever since then, he’s been able to be home around 5pm everyday. This morning he tells me he won’t be home before 6pm this whole week. Automatically, I brainstorm of what to do about exercise with kids in tow minus Ly. Ly then pointed out that when I start working I would probably be exercising that late anyways, so I might as well start now. He made a good point. When I was going to the gym after internship, I wouldn’t be eating until after 7pm and I did okay. But when it’s exercising at home, I think I’m starving myself past 6pm but that can’t be true.

Although, I didn’t see this point at the moment since we were busy arguing. Maybe I had expected him to be home early and had my schedule and mind set. And having Ly say he wouldn’t be had upset my equilibrium, so I reacted the wrong way. Whatever the reason, Ly said, “Why are you always so sensitive about this?” And that pissed me off. I didn’t think I was being sensitive about anything, and if I was he should be more understanding. Then I noticed he said “always”, so I think back to when I could have had the same reaction in the past.

Could it be that day last week when he wasn’t able to watch the kids, and I had planned to use the jogging stroller so that I can get exercise in? He had offered to take the kids to his parents’ house. I reacted kind of irate because it would have been preferable, but I was already heading out the door with Plan B. Is that what he meant? If that was the case, he was mistaking sensitively with irritation. Since he’s a fly-by-the-seat-of-his pants kind of guy, he has a hard time understanding that I’m a very rigid person that gets thrown off by the unexpected.

Either way, I should probably try to control my reactions so that we don’t get into another fight. And try to be more flexible. Starting with exercising past 6pm.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Emotional Eaters Forum

I need to deal with my emotional eating before it derails me, so I decided to join an emotional eaters forum. I feel strange in this forum, because I don’t feel I’m enough of an emotional eater to be a part of it. Many of the major participants’ situations are extreme, battling with a mental disorder and/or an eating disorder. Additionally, the fact that I’m a social worker is bound to come up, and I might be expected to be an expert (which I’m not). Never the less, here I am. And if I’m ever going to figure this thing out, it’ll probably be from this forum.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Lately parties are guaranteed diet failures. I know that social functions are challenging for everyone, but it hasn’t always been that way for me. In the beginning of my weight loss efforts I was actually “good” most of the time. Lately, I’ve been falling victim to the “social munchies”. This weekend, it dawned on me what part of the problem could be. While I was with a group of family standing around the food, everyone was happily munching away while I steadily tried to ignore the food that I wasn’t hungry for nor really craved. My cousin complimented me on my weight loss, and then his girlfriend asked if I had to give up on certain foods. My sister Jen quickly said, “No. Not that I have seen.” This made me feel good, because it indicated that everything was the same. That I was still that crazy sister/cousin with the sweet tooth and the snack attacks. But then I realized that it wasn’t the same, because I wasn’t munching with the rest of them. So I dipped a tortilla chip in the salsa bowl and didn’t stop munching until it was time to go. I’m fighting with change.

Between that and home remodeling, I was eating close to 2400 calories a day! Which is no wonder I only lost 1 lb last month. In the past, I would make myself feel better by saying that I must be eating close to my maintenance calories, but I never really know what they were. I finally searched for an on-line calculator (I know I shouldn’t trust these things, but I’m so lazy lately), and it turned out that to maintain my current weight I only needed 1773 calories a day. This surprised me, since I had always imagined that the calories to maintain my goal weight would be around this number. I calculated it so there wouldn’t be any surprises when I reach that point. Only 1688 calories.

I know I shouldn’t be thinking this way, but I thought that the misery of dieting was only temporary. That when I start maintaining there’ll be so much calories that I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Once I used the word “diet” and someone corrected me and said “lifestyle change”. But “lifestyle change” would indicate that I would be eating at a deficit for the rest of my life! Although I don’t mind maintaining my “good habits” well into maintenance, I still liked to daydream of all the calories I can have once I get there. Calculating my maintenance calories at goal weight had shattered that dream. It really isn’t that much more than I’m eating now. Well, no matter. I simply have to start thinking like everyone else. That this will last forever. And one way to make it more acceptable for me psychologically is to stop starving myself for the sake of staying within the calorie range. Only that would require me to limit more of the foods I love. But is it really possible to do that forever when my tendency to overeat is so overpowering?! I then ran across a blog of a lady whom lost 100 lbs to only gain it back again plus 5, because her life became stressful. Last time my life became stressful, all the weight I lost also came back. What happens when my life inevitably becomes stressful again?

Although, I may be sounding disillusioned, I have recently gained some motivation back. I started weekly challenges in the forum I’m participating at and bought some motivational postcards to mail out as raffle prizes for those whom completed the challenges. It’s something new and I seem to have become obsessed with it, which has helped my motivation in the past. But I still wanted to sound off on my doubt, which is still there in the back of my mind. Because once the shine of this new toy wears off, it’s going to become larger than life.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award

I’ve been given The Thinking Blogger Award by TrixieBelden! Thanks, girl! You know I love you and your blog! Now it’s my turn to award other bloggers that have made me think. These are blogs that have either provided me with insights into the mysteries of weight loss or have given me a new perspective. Although most blogs qualify, these blogs are outstanding in my opinion.

Diet Blog
by Jim Foster, Dr Carmin Iadonisi, Sylvia C. Hall, and Gabriela Cretan
This is a professional blog, but a portion of their profits goes to an eating disorder support site. This blog discusses the latest diet news and trends. It also provides useful weight loss tips and links. The discussion that follows each post is always lively.
by Anne M., jen, daisyk, and Lori
These intelligent women provide insights into weight loss, body image, society, and personal improvement. Even though, I think most of the writers are actively trying to lose or maintain weight, there is a tendency towards size acceptance, which I feel is a healthy balance. Don’t forget to read the discussion that follows, which often provides further insights and things to think about.
by Tree Lover
This is a personal blog of someone who’s successfully eating intuitively. I have tried this method multiple times with great difficulty (since apparently I’m not an intuitive person), but I would still very much like to develop these skills. This blog provides chalk full of insights to this way of eating/living and also provides insights into general self-improvement.

by Token Fat Girl
This girl is honest, honest, honest! Which is refreshing coming from a non-anonymous blog. She discusses her insights and opinions regarding her personal weight loss behind the background of the larger society.

Do you have an Extra Large in this?
by Marshmallow
This young lady is Indian and lives in New Zealand. The cultural differences and similarities of her life compared with mine provide me great insight. But there’s plenty for everyone to think about. She’s very intelligent with a good head for weight loss, especially the science and numbers behind it. Being mathematically challenged, I have learned a lot from her. She also showcases other blogs, when they provide thought-provoking posts.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Jonestown Incident

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Friday night, we returned home late when we started to watch a really good documentary about the Jonestown incident. Although it was really good, the images and implications kept me awake most of the night. I woke up early the next day, and I was truly dysfunctional. We painted this weekend, so our house was in utter chaos. In addition, we spent two nights at my parents’ house because of the chaos and paint fumes. It was disorienting for the kids and myself, and needless to say my sleep continued to suffer. Then every evening since then, Ly has been dragging myself and the kids to different places to get new window treatments, keeping us awake longer than usual. It is only this morning when I finally felt well rested. But because of everything, I have lost the urge to eat right and record it. And even though, I have no real cravings at the moment, I’ve been eating way over in calories. It’s depressing but understandable.

Since the Jonestown incident (not the actual one, but the one when I stayed up all night because I couldn’t stop thinking about the documentary incident), I have decided to reintroduce not watching TV or be on the computer one hour before bedtime.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jealous, No More

My ex-roommate Peggy is naturally slim, and I’ve always been jealous of her. When we were rooming together, she had the ability to keep unfinished bags of chips and chocolate bars on her desk, which was something I wasn’t able to do. Not only that, I would eat her unfinished food behind her back. I’m sure she knew and thought I was a pig.

We went to visit her, and although she had just given birth two months ago, she looked like she had already returned to her pre-pregnancy weight. We came for dinner, but she didn’t eat a bite, saying that she was fine with a hot pocket a day. She then touted that she had lost 20 pounds, since she given birth because she was so stressed about breastfeeding. It seems like a strange thing to be proud of, but I guess since thinness is so important in this society, losing weight for any reason, including stress, would be considered something to be proud of. I, on the other hand, gain weight when stressed. And although I was subconsciously comparing myself to her, I did not feel jealous this time.

I’m finally losing my pregnancy weight, but I’m doing it by developing healthy habits. And although Peggy is slim, she is by no means healthy. She’s a moody person, and I think she can easily remedy this if she ate a little bit more. But since she has a poor appetite, I can imagine this would be a challenge for her.

So no one’s perfect, but I’m happy to say that I no longer want to exchange my imperfections for hers.

Friday, June 01, 2007

‘Tis the Season for the Weight Loss Infomercial

Although I had vowed to start losing weight in mid-December, I didn’t start building my current weight loss momentum until mid-February. That was when I started Spark People. I don’t really know when the weight loss bug will hit me. The first time it hit me (that I recorded) was January 2004, which I always associated with The Weight Loss Season when everyone gets into the weight loss grove. And I was no different, because that was when I had put weight loss on my New Years Resolution (again). But I fell out of it in the summer when I went on vacation and was unable to get back on it until early November. What a weird time to get the weight loss bug, right before Thanksgiving. It was during this time when I was in school and learning how to help others and I thought, “Hey, I can apply this to myself!” so I went to the school nutritionist and I was good until I became sick as a side effect of being pregnant in early March. It wasn’t until July 2006 did I return to the weight loss cause. That was when I started blogging. Then The Semester From Hell started and I fell out of it again. And here I am today, riding my latest weight loss wave that started mid-February.

Did you know that springtime is actually a bigger weight loss season than January? It ‘s because of Swimsuit Season being close at hand. I didn’t really learn this until this year. But I definitely am noticing all the weight loss magazine articles, ads, commercials, shows, and infomercials. I like reading/watching these because it gives me motivation and keeps me focus. But some of the infomercials I’m finding to be…misleading. I know, I know, “Duh!” But I usually watch and read with an air of innocence, thinking that it would be illegal if these advertisements lied to me. But they CAN lie to you, at least for a time, until the FDA catches up to them or when there’s enough attention on them for others to debunk them. And they can definitely present the truth in a misleading way without much commotion from outside sources. The latter is what I’ve been noticing lately. I think it’s due to my recent revelations of how I was mislead by my heart rate monitor. So now when I watch infomercials, it’s hard to get motivated by people’s success stories, since it’s hard to ignore all of the marketing ploys.
I fear no one’s opinion! I am knowledgeable, focused, and efficient. I make this priority and build from experience. I do this for my children and myself. Supported by love, I will persevere.