Trim Down Tuesday: Progress, Not Perfection
Do you know what Mt. Roraima is?
It’s one of the biggest plateaus in South America (pictured above) and the heartbreaking equivalent to my weight loss results.
For the past six weeks – 6 WEEKS – my weight has remained flat.
On one hand, I’ve been told this is an accomplishment. My nutritional choices have been top shelf.
Wild salmon! Quinoa! Rocket! Greek yogurt! Chia and flaxseed blended together!
(A little dark chocolate and pinot noir to keep it real).
My nasty habit of indulging on weekends and semi-starving on weekdays has been replaced by a saner middle ground that is supposed to make my metabolism much happier in the long run.
And, those irksome UTI-ish things I used to get have disappeared. Plus, my skin and hair have never looked better.
But there’ve been some challenges, like business travel. Where nutrition goes to die.
Have you ever tried to find anything under 4000 calories at an airport Au Bon Pain (specifically LaGuardia)?
You can’t, except for the almonds and hard-boiled eggs that they never seem to have them when you’re on the 6AM flight to Cincinnati.
My only option is a mysteriously shrink wrapped apple, expired mozzarella cheese stick and a cup of coffee that’s causing a third degree burn on my forearm.
Keeping me company is a copy of US magazine and my old frenemy cortisol, who always shows up just when I need my pants not to be tight.
You would think my options would improve once I hit my destination but for some reason, corporate America is obsessed with Panera Bread.
I tell myself that this time it will be different, that my airplane peanuts, Figi water and unripe banana will fend off temptation and exhaustion.
But then I get that look that says “oh, you’re that girl from NYC” the one who only eats the middle of the sandwich and scrapes the mayonnaise off in the process.
I love my clients, but they also seem to think that nothing keeps a 9 hour brainstorm hopping like endless bags of bite sized York Peppermint Patties.
By 3PM, defeat finds it’s way into my mouth. One won’t hurt. Two is OK. Mmm…is that a third, or a fourth? I ball the wrappers up so I can at least keep track.
The day ends with some form of “colleagues cocktails”, but sadly that takes place at the airport.
“Do you have pinot noir by the glass?” I ask, knowing the answer.
“We don’t carry that brand, only the red or white”.
And there it is folks. Airport booze summed up in one sentence.
I stick to water, but contemplate vodka.
The day is a nutritional black hole but I’m pleased I don’t use this as an excuse to pig out more than I did. As long as I eat mindfully 80% of the time, these situations that inevitably come with life won’t derail my bigger nutritional picture.
The only downside is, behavioral change thru “intuitive eating” results in very slow (although durable) weight loss and I was losing patience waiting for my “best body ever” to show up, especially after being invited to speak at a conference.
It’s not the public speaking that worries me. It’s the aftermath of streaming video. I’m haunted by the possibility that I might be Auto-tuned and plump living forever in the armpit of the Internet. Or Instagram. Or Vine if it’s still alive.
In a tizzy, I ask my zen nutritionist what to do – surely she had some celebrity slim down quick trick up her sleeve.
“Just eat a little less and pull back on the carbs, but don’t eliminate them” she says. I imagine her pulling a rake thru one of those rock gardens or standing in a tree pose as she advises me.
“And wear something comfortable, but don’t hide your body” she says with what I think is wise instruction to go shopping.
I like Theory for professionally body con dresses, even though I have to go up a size. The first dress I try on gets stuck over my head. I experience what it must feel like for a sausage to escape from it’s casing.
I land on the more comfortable ensemble below, but I want to point out the key ingredient is Spanx, especially this new one where your boob are set free. Seriously, all I really need is a cape to go with those Spanx to turn me into a super hero.
Meanwhile, I’m concerned that the Recovery Record app isn’t giving me enough guidance on portion control and with less that a week to whip myself into shape, I download My Fitness Pal and tack on a few extra tennis games.
My Fitness Pal tracks calories and exercise. It has a terrific database of foods and some of my friends have had terrific success with it.
However, my nutritionist isn’t as keen on MFP though (she doesn’t’ have any financial interest in any of the apps).
“It’s the opposite end of the spectrum” she says. “It’s purely quantitative and will help you lose weight clinically, but it won’t help the behavior change as much.”
Undeterred, I decide to try it for a few weeks. I whittle down my calorie intake as I barrel towards my speaking engagement. Sure enough, my clothes start to feel looser.
But I notice I’m starting to game because I’m praying to the number God, not listening to my body. This isn’t a bad thing, but I’m not eating at my properly timed 4 hour intervals, and I can see where I’m cheating a little in order to make a number. I started to eat a little faster and think only in terms of how many calories I did or did not have left in the day.
I don’t think this bad per se, but I could see why my nutritionist didn’t think it was a slam dunk.
Fast forward to last week, when I proudly step on the scale at my nutritionist’s office and learn once again, that…I am completely flat.
My nutritionist tells me she suspects that because I’ve gone from inactive to very active, the weight is muscle, especially if my clothes are feeling loser and that the number will show up on the scale in a few weeks.
To my surprise, she also tells me that she wants me to do exactly what I’ve been doing, except be more patient and try not being a slave to the number. Just eat a tiny bit less.
I’m holding my breath for a loss over the the next few weeks and and then of course there’s the holiday trifecta of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, which will be the ultimate challenge.
In the meantime, there’s always Spanx. All I need is a cape.