Post-Op Week 58 Progress Report: Back to Work, or Why I Keep Busy


Really pleased with this week’s progress.  I am hopeful this will continue, given that I head back to school this week and won’t be around my fridge all day.  As someone who eats out of boredom, this is a big deal.  It’s also one of the main reasons I’ve kept myself so busy this summer–if I am not constantly occupied, I will eat because it’s something to do. 

This is one of the reasons why summers are so tough for me.  Summertime is always one of the most difficult times of year for me because it means extended periods of time with absolutely nothing to do.  While that sounds awesome and is really attractive for most everyone else, it is hell for me because I get bored very easily when I do not have structured time filled with things to do.  When I get bored, I eat.  This is a behavior I’ve had for as long as I can remember, and it’s one that is tough to unlearn.  I can remember being a kid and spending my summers eating, eating, eating all manner of awful foods (Shedd’s Country Crock on Doritos, anyone?) and just doing absolutely nothing all day long but looking after my younger brother and sister, which didn’t require a lot of physical activity.

So rather than sit around and do nothing, I cope by keeping busy (which in my world means doing work), which my family and friends don’t understand.  They don’t understand why I have this need to stay constantly busy through a period of time that I essentially have extended vacation–something most everyone else would love to have!  Work and keeping busy is my coping strategy.  It may not be the healthiest one, but it keeps me from eating nonstop.  And if engaging in work when I should be resting is what it takes, then so be it.  I will NOT get back to weighing 440 pounds in my life, EVER.

The other good thing about school starting again is that I won’t be anywhere near as sedentary as I’ve been, so that will be great.  It’s funny how now, I can’t bear to sit still for long periods of time.  Part of that is because it’s actually really painful to do, and part of it is pure restlessness.  I just need to be active, even if it is just pacing back and forth.  That may drive my students crazy this year. because I plan to be everywhere in my classroom this year.  Who knows, it might actually be a good thing.

This week I will be trying to fit in 3 70-minute workouts into my work schedule to see how things will look for the school year.  I have built up quite a lot of momentum with my exercise program and don’t want to slow down.  I’ve started strength training twice a week (one day is arms and back, another day is legs and abs), so hopefully I’ll see the rewards in about a month or so.  I did a pretty intense leg workout yesterday and today I am definitely feeling it–I can hardly get up and down out of chairs, thanks to the ball squats I did yesterday.  I’m hoping the soreness subsides by tomorrow so I can do my usual cardio workout without any problems or decrease in intensity.

I am 17 pounds from being under 200 pounds for the first time in my adult life, and I am excited about that.  I think though, that it is time to re-evaluate milestones and goals to determine if 170 pounds is realistic.  I have an abundance of loose skin, and I fear that half of my 46 pounds left to lose is excess skin.  There’s an awful lot of it, which leads me to believe that I may need to refine my final goal weight to something more than I want.  It’s something to think about.  I am slowly putting on muscle–I don’t think I’ve lost much muscle mass in the process of losing weight because I aim for such a high amount of protein each day (80-100 grams, on some days even more than that), and I know this will cause my weight to creep up slightly.  The good thing about this is that I will be able to lose again since muscle burns more calories than fat.  The other good thing is that the muscle is pulling some of this loose skin along with it and my shape is changing slightly.  I do need to set smaller goals and rewards for these next 46 pounds, though.  I’ve been good about that all along, but haven’t really done that for this last quarter.  I know when I get to 200 pounds off, the plan is to buy a piece of jewelry at Tiffany.  I’m hoping to get there before Christmas.  We shall see.  Just need to keep pushing the exercise and keep mixing things up to keep me from getting bored, and to keep my body guessing how it will need to move next and what muscles it will need to engage.

I’m at the point in this process where exercise is really pushing this weight loss forward–it’s not just about eating well any more.  I just don’t want work to get in the way of this last gasp, you know?  With the responsibilities resting on my shoulders this year, it will be tough.  Learning to say “no” is going to be important, as well as managing my time effectively and efficiently.  Time to practice what I always preach to my students.

And with that, it’s bedtime.  Tomorrow morning at 6 will get here earlier than I really want it to, and I have to be up and at ’em a little earlier so I can get a biggol’ iced tea to get my morning going since I’m not a coffee drinker.

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