Anne in Feathers and Beads

I came back from New Orleans with pretty silver earrings from the French Quarter, a crystal jar and a plaque for completing service on the board, two pounds of Mardi Gras beads, swollen feet – and an additional five pounds. I knew it even before I got on the scale this morning at Weight Watchers. At least it’s marginally better to know there’s a gain without having that come as a shock actually on the scale.

And really, what did I expect? I ate dessert more often than I’d planned, and bread and cookies because they were easy and transportable. I had a few glasses of wine and one cocktail (some amazing Brazilian margarita thing that I can’t spell or pronounce) but that was really not much for being at a conference near Bourbon Street. There wasn’t a lot of fruit around and I found myself craving vegetables and salad, which is unusual for me who usually complains of eating salad until I turn green. I did eat lots of blackened fish and chicken and the flavors and tastes were wonderful.

Making the food choices was really hard. I was consciously aware in some cases that I was eating things that I was going to regret. Sometimes I ate only one instead of a handful or was able to push away the plate after being satisfied. My system isn’t used to a steady stream of this much sugar. At a conference we essentially work from 7am-bedtime with programs, meetings, and always networking. There’s pressure and tension that comes with that, as well as the fun, and it was so easy to reach for the handy carbs rather than seek out something better. Especially with feet so swollen that walking became a problem.

I have to not beat myself up for it. But I gained 4 lbs even before I went away and am discouraged to realize how damn fast I can gain what takes forever to lose. I need to make an appointment with my newly assigned primary care doctor here in my new health plan and am already bracing myself for hearing the “you need to lose weight” lecture (nothing like thinking positive, huh?).

In the last two years, I’ve been playing around in the same ten pound range. That’s actually pretty good for someone who has been morbidly obese her whole life. I know I have a lot more to lose to feel better; I want so badly to be under 200 lbs. But it’s no small potatoes that I’ve been able to keep from regaining everything, which is my usual pattern. I’ve done that over and over and over and I’ve been terrified that it would happen yet again.

I’ve restarted over and over again but it’s been difficult these last two years to get enough of a grip to refocus and really make progress. Maybe I’m just afraid of it. I’ve thought about not going to WW since mostly I seem to be maintaining but know that, for me, the consistency of having someone else weigh me is crucial. If I stopped going, more than just my feet would be ballooning.

I can’t promise forever. But here’s the plan for this week: Journaling. Planning meals out the day before so I know what to prepare and eat. Bringing lunch at least three days instead of eating out. Drinking one more bottle of water. Walking the mile between the parking lot and office at least one way, at least three days. The fridge is stocked with fresh fruits, veggies, and protein, and my swollen feet are fitting into walking shoes. I got weighed today so it’s a clean slate.