Archives for category: Missions failed

It’s been a long time since I I’ve been in the Becoming Sydney mindset.  I hit 100 pounds lost and thought I was fixed.

Guess what?

A near 50-pound weight gain in a year proved to me there is no fixed.

Today I weighed in with a 3+ pounds weight loss.  Now I’m sitting in the changing room,  hiding in a private changing room that is,  in my gym. I’m trying to psyche myself up to get out there and get to it.

Here I go.


There are lots of weight loss inspiration stories in the media. Valerie Bertinelli. The Biggest Loser. Kirstie Alley. Jennifer Hudson. Jack Black. Kirstie Alley. Okay, that last one was mean. But was it?

NPR recently posted some pictures about a woman who lost 160 pounds and her dressing room photos that show the journey. What I didn’t see were the up and down photos–just the constantly shrinking woman. And those photos are great inspiration for “this is what you can do”. Yes, I too, can lose 160 pounds. But in two years? Six months? Not me.

It’s been three years, three months since I started this go-round with getting healthy. Year one was a lot of weight lost. Year two was the maintenance year. Year three was 25 pounds lost, going to a gym, getting a trainer, and then sliding back to where I was at the beginning of the year.

Now I’m in year four, and I’m working on the mental side of it.

It was depressing to see just how fast the bad habits and lack of self-control came back. One week of vacation and poof…I was on the downward spiraling slide of laziness and gluttony.

If I’d taken dressing room pictures last weekend you wouldn’t see a smile or a proudly tilted chin. You’d see annoyance, frustration and the beginning tinges of depression. No more size 14. No more clothes fitting well. Hello size 16 and shlumpy lumpy fit.

I started to slide into depression. I fed it. It grew. And I finally snapped out of it. Ham croissanwiches from Burger King with my morning commute weren’t going to make me feel better (in fact, they made me slightly ill.)

So I’m back to tracking, measuring and weighing. Back to the gym–that was hard. Back to Weight Watchers–weighing in and seeing the giant weight gain since July was harder.

17.8 pounds.


I’m owning those 17.8 pounds. If I don’t I won’t remember it the next time I slack off with tracking, measuring, and working out. Kirstie Alley understands what I’m talking about.

On April 16th Weight Watchers star Suzi Storm had an online melt-down. I was a little surprised at the force of her meltdown, and that it came seemingly from no-where. But as I read back through Tweets and blog posts I saw it there…the strains of snuggling up to complacency. The slipping back into comfy old habits of too much beer, comfort foods, couch sitting.

And the resulting feeling of feeling like crap.

This morning that’s where I’m at. I feel like crap. On the day before Easter (17 days ago, but who’s counting?), I celebrated a 100-pound weight loss.

This morning I’m up six pounds.

And I feel like crap. Not because of the six pounds–that just annoys me–but because I’ve been eating dirty. Giant burritos with flour tortillas and carnitas. Tortilla chips and beer. Oreos. Ice cream. Bagels with cream cheese. Wine. Blueberry tarts. Frozen yogurt. You name it, I thought about it and ate it. A jelly donut.

I’ve gotten to the gym about twice a week, with insistence that I’ll exercise at home if I don’t go to the gym…but I haven’t exercised at home.

And to top it all off, I’m not sleeping much. Oh, six hours a night maybe. But I’m tossing and turning, worrying about the future, and my children’s future, etc. And I wake up…feeling like crap.

That momentary elatedness of “I lost 100 pounds!” has evaporated. I’m left with my normal, grouchy self.

What to do? Remember all the tools I’ve used on the path to 100. Visioning. Planning. Tracking. And reminding myself that nothing tastes as good as thin feels. Really. The physical impact of eating crap and being a lazy lump is HUGE.

So–back to clean eating and exercise. I hope sleep and positive thoughts will result!

I need to learn why my will power and self-control suddenly turn off at about 10am Thanksgiving morning and doesn’t turn back on until January 2.

Yesterday we went for a nice little 80-minute walk with the kids. Then we came home and watched Elf, accompanied by popcorn and homemade cookies.

I need to learn not to bake cookies. Like pizza they are a red-light food. I can’t hold back. I’m worse than my four-year old. At least he stops when he’s full. Why is it about the obese brain that fatties keep going until our stomachs are stretched and over-filled?

While pizza and cookies are red light foods, I think December must be the red-light month. All I’ve wanted to do all month is eat, drink and eat some more. Tree-trimming party at my mother-in-laws? Must have comfort food. First holiday movie? Must have holiday treats. Holiday shopping hell? Must have take-out since we’re too tired to cook.

Of course, I know this is all wrong. I know it’s all just food–fuel–nutrition. And there’s no need for it to be bountiful or fat-filled or sugar-powered. Rationally, away from the kitchen, I know this.

Why can’t I have the self-control I practice having when it’s really the time I need it?


Do you ever wake up and realize you were on a long, steep, slippery slide back to Fatville? You know the place, where you get buttered popcorn at the movies and then stop at some crappy drive-through on the way home? Where you sit on the couch for two hours, eating cookies and watching The Biggest Loser? Where you wake up to go to the gym, but decide the bed warmth is too delicious to leave?

Welcome to my world.

For the past ten days, I’ve been free-falling down that slide. First, I maintained my weight for two weeks. It was stressful at work and I didn’t have time for the gym or anything else, really. Maintaining is fine. I can handle maintaining at 86.2 pounds lost.

But then Halloween hit.

And my parents came to visit, which happens about once a year, for two nights, tops. They’re kind of like leprechauns. You never know when you’ll see them, but it’s always just for an instant.

So no gym. And there were two parties. And puff pastry. And candy. And cheese. And lots of wine. Lots. Too much. And lovely tiramisu at the Rotunda in Neiman Marcus.

But wait, there’s more. I just kept going. I had buttered popcorn. And we stopped at Taco Bell (on another night). And I roasted a chicken last night and ate a Shrek-sized portion. And yes, we made cookies. And I shoveled those into my gob.

Not to mention the 130 calories worth of dark chocolate pudding I hoarked in anger. Don’t ask. It was spiteful eating (I’ll eat this so he won’t get any!). Which, of course, was ridiculous.

You sure showed *them*.

Today I begin detox.

Detoxing my mind, my body.

Day #1: No sugar, no alcohol. And get thee to the gymmery.

Have you ever gotten injured working out? Running a race? Hiking? Playing a game? Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you get injured. A twisted ankle. A pulled hamstring. A wrenched knee.

What do you do? Do you push through it? Certainly, you never see Sydney Bristow icing down, popping pain pills, crawling into her bed for a week.

Last Thursday I was learning my week’s routine with Trainer Paul. We’d moved out of stabilization exercises, into strength. I was showing good progress. We moved to the assisted pull-up machine, where I saw that I was set to do pull-ups with approximately 85 pounds. I couldn’t even do pull-ups when I was 85 pounds, so why I thought I could do them when I’m just starting out, I don’t know.

I strained. I grunted. I grit my teeth. I could tell by pull-up four Trainer Paul was helping me. I thought about saying I couldn’t do it, but I knew Sydney wouldn’t do that. Keep trying. And then, it happened.

Instant blinding headache at the back of my head, where my skull and spine meet.

Worst headache of my life, which is saying a lot for someone who gets migraines.

I muddled through the last three or four pull-ups and nearly fell off the machine when I was done. After I told Paul what was going on, I thought he’d say, “Oh, that’s pretty common. You…[insert injury here].” Instead, the look in his eyes was, “Oh, crap. What just happened.”

We moved on to the rest of the work out, headache subsiding but not going away. And it didn’t go away, not completely, for the days following. It moved around my head. Sometimes it was dull. Sometimes it throbbed. Sometimes it was all over and sometimes localized in one place.

Was it a ruptured aneurism? Well, I didn’t die in my sleep overnight. Was it a spinal injury? Was it a tumor?

I finally went to the doctor on Tuesday. Diagnoses: extreme muscle strain in my neck. Cause: Muscles not warmed up enough, doing too much, too fast. Prognosis: good. Treatment: 1,800 mg ibuprofren throughout the day, applied warmth, gentle stretching. A glass of wine the first night as a muscle relaxant. No upper body work for at least a week, and then ease into it gently.

The workout this week? Abs and legs. Crunches and lunges. Lots of lunges. They’re like vertical planks. Grrr.

And, I’ll have to cut back  on calories. I’ve eeked up on the scale this week, instead of eeking down. Have you been injured while in the midst of weight loss? Here’s a good article on what to do and how to deal with the mental part.


This weekend we celebrated my husband’s birthday. I celebrated by consuming. I had gotten within half a pound of having lost 80 pounds, and instead of staying on track, I decided I didn’t need to. What I had wasn’t a lot for what I used to eat, but it was a lot of the wrong things for what I eat now. Over two days I consumed:

8-oz NY Strip Steak
1/2 pound of asparagus
Apple pie with real vanilla ice cream
French fries with two chicken McNuggets
Two plates of not-great buffet food (we were at the racetrack, all day and I got a little restless)
Two plates of very decadent buffet pies and cake
Two bloody marys and too much wine

As I was consuming I was thinking only of the moment. Only of what was in front of me. Steak and asparagus is healthy! Two chicken nuggets won’t tip the scale! A bloody mary is mostly tomato juice and I’ll eat the celery too! But add it all up, and it was the equivalent of five days’ worth of calories…in just two.

The results showed on the scale. And now, instead of getting to celebrate losing 80 pounds this week, I’m learning my lesson about building my willpower muscle.

I hadn’t thought about willpower being a muscle I need to build and strengthen like my biceps or glutes. But now I realize it’s my biggest, weakest muscle, and it needs extra attention.

What exercises do you perform to build your willpower muscle?

I went to the gym today. I went planning to do my trainer workout with the dreaded planks and the #$(*&^@!% push-ups and all the other fun stuff, followed by a good long wog (walk/run/jog) on the treadmill.

I had cash for water. I had powered up my iPod.

Good to go. Right? Wrong.

My gym had posted their hours for Labor Day, had posted the fact there would be no classes for Labor Day, but did not post that kids club would be on a shortened schedule. In fact, they hadn’t even decided to close it until today. Talk about short notice.

There were about eight lovely In-Shape staff all standing around the check-in desk, gabbing and having a great time, while four-year old Ringo and I tried not to cry. He was whining and I was damned close to whimpering.

Since it’s 24 miles round trip I wasn’t about to drive back during Ringo’s nap time. So I said I’d just do it at home.

Did I?

No. Talk about anti-empowerment…during exercise time you would not have found me powering through push-ups or marching around my neighborhood.

You would have found me asleep. Under the dining room table!

Is my journey to Becoming Sydney really dependent on a babysitter?