Sunday, February 10, 2008

Progress Report

I went to Weight Watchers yesterday and found out I lost 2.6 pounds last week.


I exercised 9 days in a row, if I go today, it will make it 10. I'm thinking about it, or taking a break and letting my body rest. For eight days I swam on average 45 minutes a day. One of my workouts was yoga class. I'm wondering if I should include weight training at least twice a week. I read how increasing muscle mass helps women with diabetes.

My eating journal was filled everyday for seven days--I found out I could do this online. Today's lunch will be hard--I went to a potluck for the international fellowship. I kept everything small and mostly ate things with beans, which almost every dish included except for most of the American choices. So, it will be hard to calculate what I ate in terms of calories, fat and fiber, or in Weight Watchers points. You can't look this stuff up, either. I don't know the names of most of it. But there was a bean soup, a chinese rice noodle and bean dish and an african rice and pea dish, a korean tofu dish, and some vegetarian chili. I ate about an eighth of a cup of each.

And I had a small slice of pizza. It was great. One of the young Chinese women told me that she remembered I liked pizza and told me that her friend brought some takeout to share. Really, the best pizza I've ever had. So, I enjoyed it and had a great time.

I read on my CNN feed about a writer who lost 168 pounds and blogged about it. She writes mostly about the internal struggles, and she is really vulnerable about it. I realize that I've got a ways to go with being that transparent about my feelings about my body image. And I'm not sure I want to blog about it.

But I will say I'm feeling really great at this point, I've not felt this good for a long time. It's been a small surprise this week, brought on undoubtedly from the daily swims. How do I describe this feeling? It's feeling more energetic, for sure, but there's something more. I feel more "awake". And if I was depressed, it is no longer there.

As a reward--Weight Watchers emphatically stress rewarding ourselves for achievements both great and small--I bought 2 new swim suits. One is a suit a size that I'm currently wearing, which is still smaller than my old ones. The other is a size smaller, for when I lose more weight. The funny thing is, is that both of them fit me very well. I don't know what to make of this. I wore the smaller one yesterday at the pool and everything was fine.

I really needed the new suits, the old one was getting worn out from regular use for a year. Which is a surprise to me, which means that I actually have done a lot of swimming. I'm saving it and displaying it in my closet so that I see it everyday to inspire myself to keep exercising.

The last time I swam everyday was when I was in junior high school school during summer vacations. And I didn't swim much--I'd swim a little, then play tag with my sister and brother, then practice holding my breath underwater as long as I could, do summersaults and handstands, then swim a little more. And, jump in, get out, jump in, get out, jump in nonstop for hours. We did this from the time the pool opened at 8 or 9am until the late afternoon before dinner.

When I turned 13, I started going the pool with friends instead of siblings. Everything changed. The focus wasn't having fun anymore but "hanging out" and work on tans while listening to the rock music playing on the loudspeakers. When I was 13, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played constantly as well as AC/DC. The staff at the pool had a definate taste in music, and top 40 or disco wasn't on the listening menu. And jumping in the pool from the side was longer cool. If you did, you had to dive. And if you dived, you might as well dive from one of two low dive boards or the high dive. I usually watched my friends do the diving and applauded their efforts.

After awhile, going to the pool wasn't as fun anymore. I became hypervigilant about my appearence and if I was dissatisfied for the smallest reason, I didn't join my friends at the pool. Even though the only problems with my appearence were in my head (I weighed a whopping 126 pounds at 5'6"), it became too stressful to go.

So it takes not a small amount of courage to put on a suit these days and take the plunge at the YMCA. I don't always feel like doing it. But I do. In my reasoning, I'm allowing myself to look terrible in order to look better in the future. It's a paradox. But it works. And has a lot of spiritual parallels, if you think about it.

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