Monday, January 01, 2007

The Week Thirteen Weigh In

[Editor's Note: This is a LONG post. That's what happens when I don't release my writer's urges every day!]

Unlucky thirteen? For me it's been a pretty good number -- I met my husband on August 13, and we were engaged December 13. And in his family thirteen has been a "positive" number, including the fact that his brother was born on the 13th of November.

It just goes to show that numbers only have the effect we allow them to have. Especially with weight. I and other bloggers have commented on the fact that a number for one person may be their all-time heaviest weight, when they looked and felt the worst. But that same number may be a huge milestone in another person's weight loss adventure and a cause for celebration.

Week Thirteen has been an amazingly stressful and busy week. The move went okay (our movers were meticulous and careful with our belongings but slow), and now we're in the massive process of unpacking and settling in. I've climbed so many stairs and lifted so many boxes in the last week that I didn't even need the gym. And when I move, this obsessive-compulsive mania takes over and I work at unpacking and putting things away until I'm completely exhausted.

The good news is, all this perpetual motion kept me from sitting around eating all week, and it definitely burned off the calories I did consume. And let me tell you, there was plenty of calories being inserted in my pie hole this week! I pretty much ate whatever I wanted; however, I wouldn't consider any of my eating for the week (other than New Year's Eve, but we'll get to that in a minute) compulsive or binge eating. It came down to the fact that I didn't have the time to sit around and eat until I was bursting. Plus, I didn't want the drugged out, dopey feeling of being overstuffed -- again, because I had too much to do.

So, when I weighed in on Saturday, I was ecstatic when the scale reported 215.5. "But wait," you might be saying, "isn't that a 2.5 pound gain?" It goes back to the beginning of this post -- a number only has the power that you give it. For me, seeing only a 2.5 pound gain over the most dangerous food week of the year was amazing. Like Vickie commented to me in the past, anything in the 2 pound range is probably water retention and a normal fluctuation. So I pretty much maintained my weight over Christmas, which is something I never thought possible.

I know the secret to my success was my constant activity, because the eating was definitely not spectacular. I told my mother I now need to find a ginormous physical project for every holiday, which she laughed at and said wasn't a good idea because the mental stress of this move was pretty tough. But I don't think I'm totally off here; I'm thinking Easter may have to be Spring Cleaning Week, and I'm sure I can come up with something physically demanding for all the holidays. Over Memorial Day I'll be preparing for another race -- I'm thinking about bumping up from the 5K to the 10K walk this year. What can I do on Groundhog Day? I'm sure I can muster up something!

As for New Year's Eve, I still need work. As well as I did over Christmas and the cavalcade of meals I successfully got through, I really fumbled on Dec. 31. The problem is our little group of friends love food -- a lot. Of the three couples I would say that three of us are normal weight, two of us are overweight and one is obese, so it isn't a group of "fatties" getting together to gorge. In fact, it was the thinnest one who told me over the phone that the evening would consist of "eating, eating and more eating." And the food was so rich -- cheesy dips, fatty meats, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut (gotta have those German-American New Year traditions), cookies and candy and hot fudge sundaes with brownies! The one change this year was that we had an alcohol-free evening; while the booze was there for anyone who wanted it, we all steered toward the soft drinks. I must insert here that I brought along and drank my bottles of seltzer water; in the end it didn't keep me from overeating, but it's nice to know that some healthy habits are definitely ingrained.

So this morning I'm definitely bloated and puffy. The scale reading wasn't pretty, either. But I know a lot of it's water retention, and if I straighten myself up the rest of the week it won't cause any permanent damage. But I still need to come up with some new strategies for next year, because after my Christmas success, I know it can be done. The good news is that our group alternates hosting New Year's Eve, and Hubby and I will be in charge in 2007. So my resolution for the year is to come up with some healthier alternatives for the food, as well as non-food activities to keep my head from the buffet-style trough.

As for other resolutions? Just KOKO (Keep On Keeping On -- thanks to the Shrinking Knitter for that one). Keep up the exercise, being mindful of what I eat, and staying in tune to my thoughts and feelings -- my weight loss trifecta.

So Happy New Year, everyone! Let's hope 2007 is the year we get closer to attaining our goals!


Lori said...

I just love your attitude, esp. after gaining. You're right -- it's a holiday week and you had to move and everything else you described. It's definitely water retention...

Happy New Year!

Vickie said...

the above link is JuJu on an old Skinny Daily talking about WRITING through her stressers - I thought you might like to read it - when you have time.

Vickie said...

Jonathon talked about some WONDERFUL food that he served at his pre-holiday party (early Dec or late Nov) - I bet you can come up with stuff that will knock their socks off - and they won't even KNOW it is healthy - miss the bad stuff.

You might even start a trend.

It just cracks me up - to hear people keep track and sweat over each ounce - maybe I am just not detail oriented enough - maybe I just don't have that kind of time - maybe it is from having kids where you learn not to sweat the minor bleeds - (just the ones where you need a bucket to catch the drip).

Or maybe it is the kind of scale that I have - it only tracks to the 1/2 pound - and if I were buying another scale - I would get one that just does the whole pounds (I know - some people HATE those). I do not beat myself up over every little bit - I pay attention to ANYTHING OVER 2 pounds - but the under 2 pound stuff - I don't SWEAT it at all - I don't count it - I don't worry about it.

And as you have heard me say - a million times - it IS salt and additives - when I am CLEAN - the scale does not bounce around AT ALL.