Thursday, July 31, 2008

100 Pushups

I decided to do the 100 pushup challenge. (sorry, I have yet to learn to put links in my text - you can find this challenge at - well, what do you know? there is a link, automatically. Can you tell I'm not much of a geek?)

Today I did the initial test. I surprised myself by doing 5! That still puts me at level 1, but I really didn't expect to be able to do more than 1.

However, I feel like I did my treadmill for 1/2 hr - and after only a minute or so of work! I expect to have to do one of the "alternative" pushups at first, in order to get through the workout, AND I'll likely have to repeat weeks regularly, BUT I am looking forward to seeing my strength increase little by little.

This might also inspire me to do other workouts in a more disciplined way.

I've been avoiding committing to a workout routine, which is probably why the numbers on my scale haven't moved much lately.

Will keep you updated on my progress with this challenge.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Journey so Far

It seems that all my life I have struggled to lose weight.

Beginning with a 900 calorie diet when I was in grade 9, I spent my teens and adult life trying to lose weight, which of course, means that I have spent most of my life unhappy with my appearance.

I look back to photos when my kids were little and remember how I hated myself….how I sat out from playing ball with my kids, for example, because I thought everyone would laugh at the fat lady trying to run.

But you know what?

I wasn’t fat.

Maybe a little overweight, but I looked pretty good for a woman who was pregnant 8 times in 12 years! Of course, there are precious few photos of me because I hated having my photo taken because I was “so fat”.

Oh to be “so fat” again!

Of course, eventually, I realized that the more I hated myself, the fatter I got.

Then, when I was in the 180 range, I it hit me that dieting and depriving myself had messed up my metabolism – I mean, no amount of calorie cutting seemed to do any good…really.

I made a vow to never diet again, but to learn to eat healthy and to move more.
My vow crumbled, however, once I discovered Nacho chips with cheese! I still ate lots of salads, but…..contrary to what we would all like to believe, salads do not negate the damage done by cheesy chips. And movement? Please….I was homeschooling 5children – when was there time to move? At least, that is the self-pitying excuse I made.

Of course, there were moments of disgust and humiliation and more self hatred over the ensuing years……culminating in my low point on Dec 12, 2007.

Here is an excerpt from my journal that day:

“My clothes are feeling tight. I am terribly uncomfortable. I never thought I would ever weigh two hundred and fifty-three pounds!
I want to just cry.
I hate myself.
I feel ugly – like I cannot look good, ever.
It is hard to do anything – even just sitting is uncomfortable. Laying down is ok until I have to roll over because my shoulder and hip are in pain from all the weight on them. Then I can’t just roll over, I have to heave myself over.
I am going outside to sweep the patio and walkway. If it is not too blame hot, I will walk to the store. I have to start doing something.
I deserve a better life.
Jim deserves a better wife.
My kids deserve a mom who can work, physically
My grandkids deserve a grandma who can play with them. And hold them on her lap.
I have become like the women I always felt sorry for and slightly disgusted with.
My upper arms are the size my thighs should be.
I feel like it is hopeless.
I need help.
Real help”

I cried a bit, then decided to get help.

Hubby and I were living in a city in Louisiana at the time so I decided to take advantage of city living and called a few weight loss centers.

My first consult was at LA Weight Loss.

Miss Lisa was so understanding as I shed tears of despair and hopelessness in her office. She shared her own journey of weight loss and encouraged me that I could make the changes necessary – one day at a time, and that she would be there for me whenever I felt I could not make it on my own. At no time did I feel like I was simply a client or that it was my own fault I was so fat (things I had been afraid of) I didn’t go to any other consults….the warmth and understanding at LA won me.

I started on plan Dec 14.

Seven days later, we flew home for Christmas – I was to stay home for an additional 4weeks because we had 2 grandbabies about to be born!

I was hesitant to begin when I felt that I had little chance of success over this period. My husband (and Miss Lisa) encouraged me that at least I would begin to think about being accountable for what I ate and learn to make choices. I could call in for accountability, if I wanted to. Even if it was a slow start, it would be a start and I would not be putting it off again. So, although hesitant, with my food journal in hand, I embarked on "another" kick at the can.

I did not want to tell my kids what I was doing – they’d seen me begin diets and fail at them so often, I just couldn’t tell them I was at it again….see, I still didn’t believe I would succeed. I was approaching the whole idea with a “let’s see if it works” attitude. I was putting the onus on the plan, not me. Because I really didn't believe in me....that was for sure!

Then, I was able to make this entry into my journal:

“January 6, 2008

Somewhere between deciding to sign up with LA Weight Loss Centers and yesterday, I have moved from “I’m going to give this a try” to “I’m going to lose the weight”. I’m not sure when this change happened, and there isn’t even any real concrete evidence to make me feel that I’m going to do it this time. I mean, I began December 13 at 253 and today I am 246.5. “only” 6.5 lbs in 3 weeks. Actually, that is not terrible, although at first, you’d think I’d lose more. Then too, I don’t know how accurate that is since I am using a different scale here at home than in Louisiana”

January 10 Grandson #1 was born….I was in the labor/delivery room all night (I gained a lot of respect for my husband during that experience….it is hard to watch someone you love experience so much pain and work so hard!) That evening, Grandson #2 announced (by way of breaking waters) that he wanted to come into the world as well! He was born 24 hours after his cousin – an hour away.

I spent the next 2 weeks going back and forth between the 2 new moms, spending as much time with my babies as possible, and helping the girls adjust to being mommies. This meant a lot of compromises on my plan….mostly not eating as much as I should have.

Imagine my surprise and satisfaction when I reported back to the Weight loss center to find I had lost 12 pounds! I know that it was my change in attitude that did it, more than anything. It would have been so easy to stop for fast food on my way to and from….but I didn’t, and it paid off!

This was the beginning of this part of my journey…..the last leg, I know it! I WILL go all the way to my goal. I don’t care if it takes longer than I originally thought it should, I am not going to give up!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some background

My name is Karyn.

Obviously, according to the "introducing me" paragraph to the right, I am very overweight. There have been times when, as far as I was concerned, that fact was the most important thing about least that is how I acted. My weight influenced and sometimes even controlled so many things about my life and my happiness.

But the indisputable fact that I am fat is NOT the most important thing about me. So, although this blog will be focusing on my weight/fat, I thought I would start by sharing other things about me.
  • I married Jim, my high school sweetheart, 31 years ago when we were 19 years old. We had been dating for 4 1/2 years. We are more in love today than we have ever been. He is and has always been, my best friend.
  • We have raised 5 children....4 sons, 1 daughter. Our oldest son is 30 and our youngest is 19.
  • We also buried 2 daughters....our second child died of SIDS (crib death) at 14 weeks in 1980 and our 6th child was born with a congential heart defect in 1988. She lived for about 3 weeks.
  • We homeschooled our children beginning in 1990 when our oldest was entering grade 7 and our youngest was just 16 months old. This is the first year since then that I have not had to "do" school on a daily basis.
  • My 4 older children are married so I now have 3 more daughters and another son, all who add much to the family.
  • I am proud Grandma to Emma (8), Elizabeth (7), Sophia (5), Seth (6 mo), Kaden (6 mo) and a new little one to be born at Christmas time.
  • We live on an acerage in the middle of farmland in Central Alberta, Canada. I love the freedom and solace of living in the country.
  • Our children/grandchildren all live within an hour of our home....for now. Our daughter and her husband (and our little Seth) will be moving to Zambia in just over a year - they are missionaries with Youth With a Mission - our SIL is Zambian.
  • Other than my husband and my family, my interests are pretty much all sedentary (as would be expected of an obese person).... I love to read...always have. I also enjoy photography, scrapbooking, & journaling. I would like to learn to express myself with paints and drawing so occasionally I "play" in these areas. Although my desire to do so is very small, I am determined to find some kind of interest that involves movement to add to my list of interests.
  • A relevant fact of my life is that my husband works in the Oil and Gas industry. For the past 8 years, he has worked in remote areas, gone for 6 - 8 weeks at a time, then home for a week...except in the spring when the "Oil Patch" shuts down for the frost to come out of the ground - then he'd be home for anywhere from 3 weeks - 5 months (without pay). I have been taking at least a week every month (sometimes more often) during this time to go to where he was working. This translated to much travelling for me, which turned into my feeling like I had 2 different lives, one with Jim and one at home. Last fall, he started to work in the begin with, he worked in Louisiana for 5 months. I went with him and we lived there for the winter. It was wonderful to have him "home" every night for supper and to have him all to myself, but we missed our family very much. We were only able to come home for 4 days every 6 weeks or so. That situation was changed he is working in Wyoming and I am living back at home. The best thing about this situation is that he is gone for only 2 weeks, and then home for 2 whole weeks. We are all loving this!
  • The most important, relevant thing about me is my faith. Jesus is so much a part of who I am and what I do, that I almost forgot to mention Him. I am far from being a perfect representation of Jesus' life and love, but I am a great representation of His Grace and Mercy. Without His love, I would have given up a long, long time ago. Because of Him, no matter what dark paths my life has led me along, I have always had Hope and His love has made the bright paths even sweeter. He is a very important part of my journey to success.....After all, God has said that His plans for me are for success. (Jer 29:11). This verse, in "The Message" version of the scriptures, says "I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you , plans to give you the future you hope for" . This promise from the Father undergirds the bridge I am crossing.....from fatland to fitland.

These are the basics of who I am....all these little facts come into play while I am working toward the goal of being a comfortable size, being healthy and fit........and a myriad of other benefits of losing over 100 lbs.

I'm looking forward to "meeting" others on this fact, I've already read many of your blogs and have been inspired and encouraged by your successes and your honesty when you take steps backward or when the scale just won't budge. It will be good to have some companions who really understand.