Food as lifebelt

I have this huge exam coming up this Friday. It basically contains 2 years of hardcore accounting studies and the exam is mandatory. Of course, school has started, already tons of presentations, team works, essays etc. Not to mention I had already taken an other stressful exam on 11th Sept and haven’t had the chance to recover yet.

On the other hand this summer I decided to live healthy. But knowing my past healthy lifestyle and food can’t exist together. I realized during my 6 years of binging that I either ate because I was under so much stress (mostly school deadlines, exams) or I had already gained so much weight that I became depressed. Anyway, I think I can say that the past 6 weeks I was binge-free, yesterday this fact changed a little.

I tried to study for that exam I mentioned but I had so much other things to do, that I just constantly felt freaked out, stressed and somehow angry too. Yesterday evening I couldn’t handle it anymore and it happened. Like an instinct. After all I say it could have been worse, but definitely something I want to leave behind. I’d really love to wake up one day and say, when stress hits me I don’t end up running towards food.

The Pants

I read this week some wonderful stories about the benefits of weight loss: smaller sizes, loose pants etc. You know what have happened to me recently? One of my favorite pants teared. Totally. I was coming home last Sunday and when I was changing clothes I realised a huge open tear on the back of my pants. It could have been embarassing too, no idea if anyone noticed because my shirt might have covered the tear. Hopefully. I think this may nothing to do with my weight because the cloth material was so special and slim, and I did bought that pants 5 years ago but I'm sure it teared because I wore it occassionally when I was much bigger. I really liked that pants.

Same day I decided that I would wear my black elegant pants since my favorite just gave up on me. And then what happened? The slide fastener broke. I couldn't wear my second favorite either.

I have to tell, now I officially lost 11.6 lbs, I'm supposed to feel good about my pants and now they are keep giving up on me. Why? The sad thing I have so many clothes, at least 15-20 pants I can't wear because they don't fit. I had only 3-4 pants I could wear and now I can throw out two. I have one very nice and elegant but it's still a bit tight that's why I never feel comfortable in it because I know how strange my belly and hips look whenever I choose to wear that.

You know I used to be slim and when I started to gain weight about six years ago I refused to accept that I was gaining weight. Ever since I've tried not to buy so many clothing items because first, I refused to buy anything bigger sized considering my past, second, I always thought gaining weight was just temporary and later I wouldn't need the bigger clothes anyway, so the whole thing would be a waste of money. Obviously, I wouldn't think that this situation would go for six years and during these years I hardly bought any pants. Pathetic, I know. And right now, at this moment, when I would be screaming that finally they fit, they just gave up on me.

The thing is now that I'm losing weight I refuse to buy anything because I'm 100 percent sure that this time I can make it to the goal. I'd love to lose another 25lbs which is a remarkably big difference in clothing sizes. But I have this ridiculous fear if I buy something comfortable it would slow things down. I'm not a masochist but the way I dress now and the way I wear my clothes is a huge motivator.

And I don't think I've mentioned I started this weight loss thing when none of my pants fitted.

The first run

So, I know I've been whining about running for a while and since my workouts got a bit neglected today I finally went for it. I found a quite nice 6 week training schedule for 5k, I plan to pursue that one.

It was ... great, but hard. Luckily my legs weren't that heavy as I expected so I could actually run, but it was tiring. I did a 10 minute warm up power walk to the lakes, then 8 times 1 min running 2 min walking. However, it occured to me many times if I ever could run again 10 minutes (I'm not that brave to write down 30 min) without stopping. Right now this seems so far away.

But I also came up with some conclusions for the next workout:
  • wear different pants. The one I wore today just wasn't designed for running.
  • don't wear my contacts. 'E' suggested this practical one in an email, and today I did realise her point. There were so many people out at the lakes today, just sitting and chatting and only a few runners. I don't care about them, but it's better not to see them. (:
  • my iPod shuffle was a great idea to buy. I had an iPod classic but in March I bought this for running. It's a shame it was its first time in action.
Okay, got to go back to study. :(

Moving forward ... but standing still.

Yesterday I sneak peeked on the scale: 78.6kg / 172.9lbs. I must be doing okay because ever since I've been tracking my food, workout and weight I'm losing every week. But I also checked my excel spreadsheet (I'm using the one which was up on Shauna's website) and I realised this:

week 1: +1.1
week 2: -6.16
week 3: -1.76
week 4: -0.44
week 5: -2.2
total loss: 9.46

The thing is that I have this bittersweet feeling. Happy for the loss but I'm starting to losing the motivation, especially towards the workout thing. However, I know this is only because I had an incredibly rough and tiring week and I haven't had a workout since Tuesday. Still, everything just seems so slow. And everything seems so far away. I honestly accepted that this losing weight getting healthy thing would be for a long term and would last months, to get rid of the extra weight which took me years to pack on, it's just some natural impatiance I guess. Until last week I was at home, no work just studying for the big exam. I had plenty of time to work out and plan those work outs. Now, with school starting, having an insane schedule, social life, presentations already, not to mention I have an other similarly huge exam ahead of me (Oct 2) I just don't find the strenght to keep the enthusiasm towards my workouts.

I'm not considering giving up, I just wish my life wouldn't be about constant deadlines right now. But I don't want to stand still while I could move forward. Balance? Maybe a new kind of workout ... maybe I stop whining about why I can't run and start doing it.

Week 4-5 - Review

Last friday I had to take an exam which was hell. The exam was 4 hours long, all about hardcore business mathematics, statistics and probability theory. I should have taken it a long time ago but I kept postponing it so I reached a point where the stake was high. If I hadn't passed the exam, I would have been dismissed. 4 years of studying would have been in vain, just before my final 5th year. I passed the exam though.

But the hard part was the pressure and that I did know how important this was and how I had big things to lose. So last week I did well with my eating and working out until Wednesday. Then the anxiety and stress won, and I took a break from tracking my food and workouts. I know this journey is supposed to be about handling stress without eating problems, binging etc. But those days were so freaking crazy that I had to prioritize for my academic future.

I didn't work out for 4 days. I thought under the pressure those 4 days would be all about binging and gaining weight (as I usually do and why I became fat) but I have to tell, I didn't eat that bad at all. I ate some things I haven't been eating for a while but no huge portions. I did eat after 7 but not that much I would regret the other day. Because of this exam I was an emotional wreck, I couldn't sleep for days. But I'm proudly can say that the past 5 weeks taught me to make unconciously better choices. That's an improvement.

This Monday was the first day of school and it was crucial that everyone was so relaxed and happy because their summer wasn't about this damn exam. I have to confess, this summer was especially hard and emotional.

But being back to school I can handle this new lifestyle. I'm starting to have a good relationship with food, I have a great place for running/powerwalking workout on the bankside Danube.

I also went for a gym class after a 2 year break. I was very nervous. It was step aerobics, with a bunch of very fashionable, skinny freshmen. And I was the oldest and fattest among them. I don't like to work out in groups because I hate the feeling that I'm different. But I will go next week too. It is not the happiest 80 minutes of my week, but I don't want to give up and as hard as it is to be there, at least I'm being reminded that I want to change.

I'm still in game


It's been extremely busy 7 days, with my complex exam, moving, university starting, no internet connection, friends, late nights etc. But I'm still here. I'm not going anywhere. (:

The big picture

I haven't taken the courage yet to write about goals. First week was filled with doubts whether I could make it or not, then I dived into the books and notes for a very important exam. Yesterday evening I tried to loosen up a bit so instead of studying I spent 1,5 hour browsing online articles, lovely sites. I read through again Shauna's top 20 weight loss tips, the list which has been very helpful even though I have previous experience in this weight loss thing. The number one on the list is 'start with the big picture, write down your goals and be specific'.

Well, of course I want to lose weight. I don't know how much but as for now I aim to reach 145lbs. Then we'll see. But I'm absolutely sure that not the scale number will make me happy. Before I became overweight I was a carefree girl, open minded, I was in every game, having fun, socializing and doing normal things. Ever since I became overweight and addicted to food I became very reserved, shy and introverted. I bought an air plane ticket to Lisboa, Portugal to hang out with friends this spring but I cancelled it because I was fat. I rejected a semester at the Estonian Tallin Business University because I thought I could not go because I was fat. I couldn't go to Spain for a month this summer with my friends to walk 500 km because I was fat with no stamina. I don't like to go to clubs any more because I can not dress myself well, I don't feel good in my skin next to my really gorgeous looking friends. I know being fat can not be an excuse not to do great things and honestly, I really envy those people who can live carefree and not to feel intimidated. However, knowing my past I'm aware that not just this fat thing stole my self confidence but definitely the food addiction was the biggest problem factor. So I wanna lose weight because I wanna know myself, I wanna do things and have carefree fun, be healthy.

I read a book this summer, Gardens of Delight by Erica James. There was this expression in it called 'Maybe Queen'. I think I'm perfect example of that, having lots of opportunities but afraid of them because my self built boundaries. So yes, this journey is not going to be just the number of pounds lost.

On the other hand besides losing weight I would love to be healthy again and break up my food addiction. It would be lovely to have a decent relationship with food.

I would also love to run again. I'm taking baby steps, still waiting for dropping a couple kilos before I start just to be sure I won't cause any harm to my knees. I checked out races and I found a very cool idea, with which my mind had been playing around for a while. Every month there's a friendly midnight run in the city on the route of the tram number 6, a gorgeous, gorgeous route. 8,3 km. I aim to race on 11th Dec.

Last, but not least for 2009 I aim to regain my German knowledge and go for the near native level. Say hi to Berlin!

Deadline? I'm not sure if it is possible to reach 145 by my 24birthday but I'll do my best. Two years ago when I was losing weight I didn't set any goals, dates etc. But it might be a good idea to set a date to feel the push and keep myself motivated:

6th December, 2009.

Week 3 - Review


Still doing okay, though I'm a bit starting to lose the motivation and enthusiasm. Maybe it's because the weather has been so freaky lately or more likely that badass exam which is on this Friday. That exam covers 3 years of hardcore Mathematics and Statistics education and the stake is high. I really need to pass no matter what.

Eating is also okay, though a quick note to myself, if I want to lose weight I need to forget bread. I also stepped on the scale this morning and I was 79.4kg / 174.6lbs. My aim is to get under 79 by this week's official weigh-in.

The science of the ideal weight

Yesterday during my workout I was thinking about running again. But I have doubts that maybe with this much extra weight I'm carrying now it wouldn't be the best idea to start at the moment. I checked out some running schedules a couple days ago and looked for any advice for overweight people. Hardly found any but I read an interview with Sarolta Monspart where she said her training schedule would be optimal for anyone who's maximum 15% overweight.

Okay, here comes my second problem. When I started to have weight issues I was only 16 years old so I cannot compare my ideal weight to those times. I set 66kg / 145lbs as a goal only because two years ago when I lost weight that was the lowest I reached and I felt good at that point. And of course I had to name this blog something. (: Anyway, I googled some weight calculators just to have some aspect in this topic.

Fitness Online calculates with frame size, current weight, gender, age and height. But according to the manual I think my frame size is right between middle and small. So with small frame size my 'ideal weight range' is between 123 and 136, with medium frame size between 133 and 147. calculates with age, gender, height and weight. According to this site my 'ideal weight' is exactly 145.

Health Status says (based on gender and height) that my ideal is supposed to be 143, but the recommended weight range is between 127 and 159.

Health Central (variables are frame size, height, weight) says with the option small frame size that the ideal weight range for me is 138 - 151.8. With the option medium frame size it's 148 - 162.8.

As a comparison, my current BMI is 27.5 (overweight), the goal BMI (for 145lbs) is 22.7. (normal weight)

So as a conclusion I may say that 145 is reasonable in my case. Somehow I think my ideal weight (not theoretically but from previous experience) is below that. But, don't forget the reason I started this whole calculation thing:
if I say that my ideal weight is 145, that means 15% overweight is 166.76 lbs. Right now compared to 145 I'm 21% overweight.

It may sound weird that I calculated so much for something but I used to run and I'm still reading a lot about running. I'm not afraid of my legs, I just want to be careful with my knees. I spent so many time without exercise and I don't want to make a big mistake. Am I too strict to myself?

Note: I don't give a damn about the scale numbers actually, I just want to feel good and comfortable in my own skin.

Nothing happens by accident

I was a good girl during these three weeks, I literally ate no candies, cookies, cakes etc. (though I could have but said no) So I thought I'd have pizza for lunch. It was a smaller pizza but somehow it felt a bit too much. Probably because now I eat smaller portions. Anyway I was so full, my tummy didn't feel right. I was also in a middle of a study session and there was some Coke in the fridge so I thought that little coffeine now could save me for not falling asleep on the books and notes.

Later I needed to run some errands, post office and such and while I was passing by the supermarket I thought about more 'treats'. You know a person can never be satisfied, always want more and more ... But luckily I managed to agree with myself that the pizza I had and the 2 glasses of Coke were enough for one day. However, on my way home I wasn't sure about my decision. I checked the mailbox and there was something fancy for me. It was a junkmail which I never get. As I opened it turned out to be this:

Recipes for cakes and all kinds of cookies. Seriously. I can't even bake. And how an earth did I get a mail like this the minute I felt to give in for the cravings? All the 'dark thoughts' disappeared immediately.

This is what I call improvement.


Say hi to the seventies:
weight: 79.8kg / 175.5lbs

I haven’t really taken the time to figure out my expectations for September but better late than never. It is going to be a busy month, I’m in a middle of studying for a crucial exam on 11th. University officially starts on the 14th, I move back to the city on the 12th. (new place, but I’m not enthusiastic) Besides my regular classes to attend, I have to face an other exam (the second hardest, ever) somewhere around end of September, no exact date yet. Hardcore academics.

I have no idea which is my biggest fear for this month, probably that I have to figure out the exercise thing. Now that I’m home it was easy with the indoor activities in my own privacy but living in an university dorm that’s totally different. Good thing it is located by the river, great place to go out for a powerwalk. I need the challenge, I need speed, so maybe even running. Gym would be an obvious solution but my self-confidence is extremely low for that right now. Too many mirrors. However, I signed up for a step-aerobics class for Tuesday morning at the university. Baby steps.
I shouldn’t be freaking out about the workouts though but the thing is I’m starting to trust myself with eating. It’s balanced but somehow, as much as I can remember in my case exercise was always the key point. So the goals for this month:

- Keep tracking food and workouts
- Dinner always before 7pm
- Start the run 5k program
- regular yoga or pilates
- Workout at least 4 times a week

Day 17 - The first (almost) break

I don't know what was going on with me but I felt so blue all day. I was cranky and gloomy, I didn't want to do anything just be. I tried to find out what could have been behind these emotions.
First, I have a very important complex exam on 11th Sept which I'm pretty much stressed about. It is no joke, five subjects, hardcore mathematics and statistics. I've been studying for quite a while but I think it's absolutely impossible to prepare for it. The other thing I've been doing okay with eating, which means low carb, no sugar. And maybe I miss sugar because I think it may be true that sugar can cheer you up. (however, I used to eat sugar and felt depressed after so I don't know).

So I was so blah, I went with my mom for a long grocery shopping trip and when we arrived home I was so in a mood to eat. I wanted so badly to binge. But it wasn't really because I was hungry, it was maybe something I used to do as a habit and I felt the need to do it. I don't know. I know, too much I don't knows in this post. (:

Anyway there was a point, when I didn't care. But even if it is only 17 days and I'm in a middle of breaking a bad habit I went instead for a long power walk. And it felt great. I could clear my mind and it made me remember what I want to leave behind myself. To be able to control such situations in the long term. I know if I gave in eating wouldn't have cheered me up either. So at least I didn't waste another healthy eating day, and I also added a non planned workout.