Archive for December, 2008

Life’s Meant to be Lived

Eating my fave FF fro-yo at Thomas Sweets

Eating my fave FF fro-yo at Thomas Sweets

One of the mantras I’ve been repeating to myself over the past few months on an informal basis has been, “Life’s meant to be lived/Viva la vida.” (”Live life.”)

Being away in Annapolis and DC with friends and family last week and this past weekend was such a wonderful treat.

As I anticipated, going back to the city I spent 9 years of my life in (college, grad school and beyond) really felt like going home. And I enjoyed every second of it. I savored it. The friends, the family, the memories, the air, the sights …

hpim17701I didn’t berate myself for the things I chose to eat, and I didn’t exercise once.

To be honest, I could have; even brought my sneaks and running clothes just in case — and it was certainly warm enough. But I made the conscious decision NOT to, even though I physically could — and I’m proud of that. Because for a former over-exerciser, taking the break made it feel like vacation. Like a real break from routine. And that, to me, is progress.

I didn’t overeat but I did indulge in the things I wanted — in moderation, thinking like a naturally thin person. I ate when I was hungry, even if no one else was — I wasn’t ashamed to admit, “Hey, I’m hungry.”

I stayed within my Points and journaled, and didn’t berate myself for the act of journaling. Some will say, “Why would you journal on vacation!?” But even though I was on va-k, I honestly feel good when I do it. And it didn’t impede any decisions I made.

Yummy BBQ at Old Glory, a college fave!

Yummy BBQ at Old Glory, a college fave!

Of course, naturally, I came back feeling heavier from the lack of water and exercise and all the sweets and treats. Hopefully within a few days I’ll feel better about my body, too.

All in all, it was a wonderful holiday and I’m looking forward to 2009. After all, life’s meant to be lived. And there’s no time like the present.

Happy new year and see you in 2009!

How about you? How was your holiday?

6 comments December 31, 2008

Making Mantras

repeat-businessI know I said I wouldn’t be back til the new year, but I have been feeling kind of blah and felt compelled to write tonight. So … here goes! Forgive the rambling; I’m all over the place right now.

This is what I want my mantra to be for 2009: “I am going to let it be.”

I say it all the time: how I need to do it, how half my anxiety would dissipate if I’d just act it and live it … but here’s the rub: anyone who knows me knows I don’t actually do it.

And — something Dr. G. has confirmed through our sessions — it’s like, as an anxious person, I’m hard-wired not to be able to just “let it be” … and I think that is what is standing in the way of getting back to a comfortable weight.

Fighting against my own nature, my own hard-wiring, instead of using it to my advantage. Wanting to be someone I’m not capable of being, instead of accepting the person I am, the hard-wiring I have.

I don’t mean to imply I’m not capable of getting back to a comfortable weight. But rather, I’m fighting myself and my hard-wiring, berating myself for not being able to “let it be,” when maybe I should be using my anxious nature to my advantage (i.e., tooting my own horn for being a good friend and partner, a disciplined and consicientious woman).

You remember that song, “More Than Words?” Well, right now I’ve been talking the talk but not walking the walk when it comes to acceptance; I’m not showing my body the love it deserves because deep down I don’t believe I deserve to “let it be” — not here; not at this weight. I’m not ready and maybe I never will be ready to “let it be.” In fact, trying so hard to loosen up my thoughts, to “let it be” — I’ve gained weight. Since September, all I’ve done is gained. Literally.

It’s a fact. And it’s not the usual couple pounds people moan about after the holidays; it’s been a steady gain all fall/winter, just like last fall/winter and the one before it.

I can see it in photos, in how my clothes fit (tighter than they should, though not so bad that I can’t wear them) and of course on the scale. (As if I needed that darn machine to confirm what I already know!)

And though I wish I could just accept it and not be bothered by it, I’m not happy about it; I don’t want to be ok with it. And I won’t settle for it because this is not my body’s happy weight, nor is it my happy weight. (more…)

10 comments December 30, 2008

Back … But Not Ready To Blog!

Hi dear readers, I hope you had a wonderful holiday!! I am back now after a wonderful holiday spent with friends and family, but since this is a short work week and I have a ton going on and frankly don’t want to be glued to my computer at night (especially since my husband doesn’t go back to class til next week), I’ve decided to wait to resume blogging until the new year. See you Jan. 5!! Stay happy and healthy!

XOXO, Melissa

PS–Thank you for your comments and I’ll try to respond to them when I can — taking it easy this week, and hope you’ll understand. (I know you will!)

4 comments December 28, 2008

Voyages of Discovery

My beloved BeltwayThis is my last post for a while, dear readers, as the much-needed holiday va-k season officially begins.

After hosting a holiday cookie exchange with fab friends on Sunday, at the crack of dawn Monday morning, my husband and I are driving to DC (where we met and where I moved here from) and Annapolis (where we got married) to see friends and family over the Christmas holiday.

We won’t be back until late Sunday night, so I probably won’t blog again until Tuesday or so.

This means several things:

1) I will be away from my house. (my usual food/morning get-ready routine)

2) Away from the gym. (my usual exercise routine)

3) Away from my computer. (my technology addiction)

Could be scary, but I’m not afraid. After all this time, I know some certainties about myself. (more…)

17 comments December 19, 2008

Life’s Like a Dreidel …

dreidel_1134594420Hannukah, like Christmas, is just around the corner.

And while I’ve long out-grown my Hebrew School days and the eight nights a year spent playing dreidel with my siblings (always figuring out a way that *I* could win the most of whatever we were playing for, be it money, chocolate coins, etc) … I recently had the opportunity to revive my Jewish roots by teaching a friend’s bright-beyond-his-years four-year-old son about Hannukah …

Hannukah, the Festival of Lights, the holiday where Jews around the world remember the miracle that occured when, at the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, oil that should have burned for only one night, burned for eight.

Sharp as a whip, her son had come prepared with really good questions to ask me about one of my favorite holidays. I answered them, and we talked about special Hannukah foods and shared some Hannukah songs, which of course brought me back to my childhood.

Then, we played dreidel, a game beloved by children around the world. For anyone who doesn’t know what a dreidel is, it’s a small top that children play with on Hannukah. The prize can be anything, but it’s usually gold chocolate coins (called “gelt“), which are distributed to each player before the game begins. (more…)

13 comments December 18, 2008

“Trying Too Hard” — BISJ

One of my favorite bloggers, Steph at Back in Skinny Jeans, had a great post about how “trying too hard” can backfire.

“Trying too hard” can be applied to anything in life, but since today I was talking about our physical selves, it really resonated. Though I’m still Type A and have perfectionstic tendencies, I do know there’s merit to what she’s saying.

Read for yourself by taking a peek here. I am curious as to what you think.

How about you? Do you think if you loosened up and didn’t try so hard, you’d be more successful in various aspects of your life?

5 comments December 17, 2008

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Coming off that last post … or perhaps because of it … (I like that better), I want to challenge all of us — myself included — to be kind to ourselves today.

I don’t mean to sound hokey, but really, how often do we give our bodies some love?

We might talk about our insides — like our big hearts, our compassion, our determination, our smarts, our perseverance … and those things are certainly important!

But I’m looking at the whole package today: mind, body and soul.

So how often do we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “Damn. I look good now. Not ten pounds from now, not in a new pair of designer jeans, but now, at this moment, in these pj pants and ratty T.”?

My guess: not often. (more…)

8 comments December 17, 2008

Maintenance is HARD

uphill-roadAfter living in “maintenance world” for almost four years now, I can verify that losing weight was easy and maintaining is damn hard.

OK … I guess it’s not too hard or I’d have gained all my weight back (not just 10-12), but my point is, it’s still not an easy feat and not one I take lightly.

I’ve said it before that when I joined Weight Watchers in April 2004, it was my first attempt at losing weight and worked like a charm. (Probably because I had never tried to lose weight before — even just skipping my daily sugary, whipped mint mochas was enough to cut calories back then).

In 2004 when I began, everything was beautiful. Magical. I loved the feeling of my clothes being loose, needing safety pins and then a new wardrobe, the attention from friends, co-workers, family, strangers … The way my body changed and with it, my brain. (Before the disordered eating behaviors and thoughts began, that is).

But keeping it off requires thought, preparation. Just like when losing — only magnified like twenty-fold. (more…)

17 comments December 17, 2008

New Year’s Resolutions — Thanks, But No Thanks

newyearseveIt’s ironic (or maybe not?) that during the most joyous, food-filled time of the year, everyone seems to be talking about dieting, “being good” or “being bad”, weight loss, exercise … it’s like a national past-time this time of year. A fixation on “fat.”

At work, at home, out socializing, at the mall, restaurants, you name it … I’ve heard it. I’m convinced the topic du jour is the dreaded, dirty four-letter “D” word.

Collectively, we indulge and talk about it. We don’t indulge and talk about it. We talk about the new pudge around our middles and the extra flesh forming on our backside, real or imagined.

We commit to the gym, our trainers, our nutritionists, our diets, our programs.

We pooh-pooh things people bring to work (or to the gym or deliver to our home) as “too fattening” and groan when we see it … then we over-indulge at home on Puffins or something equally ridiculous. (more…)

23 comments December 16, 2008

Note to Self: Chex is Crack

Do not buy Chex mix. It is not worth the agony. Even that time of the month doesn’t warrant you to eat … four (!!!) servings in place of a balanced dinner. What were you THINKING?!

On the plus side, you had a kick-ass workout (cardio and some lifting), are reading a fabulous new book, your husband is done with his first semester of biz school at University of Michigan, and … it’s a new day Tuesday!

Signed, Self.

1 comment December 15, 2008

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