Friday, November 28, 2008

Things I've Learned Over the Past (Almost) Year

Well, I am about 2 weeks away from my one year anniversary on this journey to success.

This will be the first of a few posts I have planned to mark the auspicious occasion.

NEVER in all my ‘weight loss starts’ have I ever stuck to it for this long! It is amazing to me that I have no thought, either, of going back.

When I began, I expected that 'if this works', I would have lost at least 100 pounds by now.

As of this morning, I am down 39.2 pounds. A long way from 100 pounds.

However, I have learned much this last year….

- My expectation was totally unreasonable. Especially considering my age.

- ‘The Plan’ will only work if I make it work. I am responsible, not ‘the diet’.

- I do not have to be “not fat” in order to feel good about myself

- Eating healthy in order to lose weight means that I have to think about food more than I ever have before

- Success on a weight loss journey is totally related to mind set

- I cannot look at this change in my life as having an “end” – this is my new life - I am learning to LIVE it.

- A twenty pound weight loss makes a huge difference, even if no one can see it

- There are many little victories along the way that have nothing to do with the numbers on the scale

- Eating carefully is very satisfying

- I can live without Nacho chips/cheese/salsa

- Underwear that is too big is almost as uncomfortable as underwear that is too small (same with blue jeans)

- A tiny portion of something sweet is very satisfying

-weight loss/gain seems to be random at times, but if I look carefully, there is usually a reason

- Having someone hold me accountable (not policing me) to my choices is a good thing

- Writing about my feelings about weight issues helps to free me of them

- I don’t need to use oil for cooking

- Healthy foods are addicting….yes, addicting

- Water is far more satisfying than diet pop

This list is by no means exhaustive…

One of the most pleasant things I’ve learned is that you can care about people you have never met in person (and probably never will).

I love to read about your lives, your victories, your thoughts, even your struggles. I care about YOU and how you are doing. Even when I cannot spend the time I would like reading your blogs, I think about you and wonder how you are doing today. You have become a source of inspiration, encouragement, and understanding.

I hope I have been able to return the favor once in awhile.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Epiphany

I joined a "challenge" put out by Cara back on July 12. The challenge was to lose 18 lbs in 18 weeks.

The time is almost up and I was asked today what my total loss is since then.

As of this morning, I have lost 10.6 pounds since July 12.

Can't say the fat is just melting off, but 10.6 lbs is nothing to sneeze at.

That being said, I have to admit that when I looked at the time it took to lose that 'almost 11 pounds', I was a little disappointed at first.


I think, because in all my weight loss efforts in years past, it was always implied (at least) that 2 lbs/week was the average that could be expected. I don't know if I was actually TOLD that or if I somehow made it up in my own mind. At any rate, I've always felt that 2 lbs/week should be my goal and my expectation.

So, when I look at 18 weeks, I automatically think I should have lost 36 pounds. Hence, my niggling feeling of disappointment and the thought "That's not big deal."

But then it suddenly hit me......

If I had GAINED 10.6 pounds in that amount of time, it would be a BIG DEAL! I mean, I would be crying in my nacho chips, for sure! I'd be telling myself that I would never be able to lose weight....and all the other lies that have gone with any upward movement of the scale.

Therefore, losing (which is much harder than gaining, as we all know) 10.6 lbs should also be a big deal, no matter how long it took. In fact, it should be a BIGGER deal.

Therefore, I am not downplaying my loss to myself by dwelling on the time frame.

Instead, I am celebrating the Ten point six pounds lost, never to be found again. Woo Hoo!

I am also celebrating the fact that while I was losing that 10.6 pounds, I was enjoying myself....I was enjoying my food..... and I was NOT feeling deprived.....I have been "Learning to Live", as I wrote about in a previous post.

THIS is the ultimate victory.....that I can love myself enough to change some basic deeply ingrained wrong thinking and wrong behaviors and enjoy doing it!

I've been overweight (or thought I was) for almost my whole life....fighting with myself to "just say no" to so many foods......if it takes 2 years or even 5 years to get to a point where I begin to "maintain", so what? What's 2 years more years when you look at it from that vantage?

Especially if I can love myself and my life while I am getting there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Becoming Visible

I want to share something from my journal near the beginning of my new lifestyle/weight loss journey…….

Dec 18/07

I hate looking in the mirror and seeing someone else. It is like that face isn’t mine. Oh, my face is in there, somewhere, all covered with layers of fat – but that isn’t me that you see. It only looks a little like me – an idea of what I would look like if I was visible.

Maybe that is why so many people "in my condition" become so introverted and self-conscious – because we feel like we have disappeared. The real me is lost somewhere under all these layers. Those who become the “jolly fat guy/girl” are those who deal with this loss by trying harder and harder to keep the real person at the forefront. It is all the same, though. We are all suffering a loss of our real selves.

I have heard or read people say that as they are losing weight, they will look in a mirror and be startled, wondering “who is that?” I think I will look in a mirror and be happy to see me again – I plan to have a ‘welcome back party’ for me as soon as I can begin to see me. When my glasses are too big for my face, I will happily buy another, smaller pair. Some days, I am more anxious to lose weight in my face than anywhere else.

What will I look like? I haven’t seen me for at least 20 years. How have I aged? Will I have wrinkles where there are none now? I don’t care, I just want to see me again.

Back to today…..

Like many people, my computer’s screensaver is set to display photos from my files. One of the photos of me that pops up occasionally is from May, 2007. Although I have avoided having my picture taken, and usually hated the results when someone did manage to get the camera out of my hands, I was relatively happy with this photo – at the time.

Lately, however, I have been struck with how fat my face is in this photo and have wondered if it is still as pudgy. When I look in the mirror, I think my face is thinner, but haven't been sure, so I had Jim take a similar photo of me this week.

I still don’t look quite like “me”, but I think I am starting to see myself emerging. At least I'm pretty sure this proves that I don't have quite as many layers of fat hiding my face.

Here is a photo from 1982….I was (obviously) 26 years younger (25 years old). I considered myself to be overweight, but I think this is a pretty good representation of what I really look(ed) like. (That dress was a size 9, actually. I guess I didn't have as much extra weight as I thought.)

Ignoring the face-covering lenses of my glasses, and allowing for the passage of time, what do you think? Can you see “me” in the photo from this week?

I notice that I had a much longer neck when I could wear a size 9. Never really thought about that before.....a longer-looking neck will be nice.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Catching up

Well, as if y'all didn't know it....weight loss sometimes seems totally random.

Yesterday I had a significant gain (see yesterday's post) which I blamed on having a cold since it seems to be a pattern that I gain when I get sick.

Today, I am DOWN three whole pounds! That puts me to below what I had been for the last 5 or 6 days.

Before you get on my case about weighing every day, please don't.

I won't listen to you, anyway.

I do not let the scale dictate my mood for the day or my behavior for the day - except that it does serve to help keep me motivated. And when I say "serve" I mean just that - my scale is a tool that I use daily in my journey to a healthy weight. That is probably why I do not report weigh in's very often.

I would not have commented on either the gain or the loss, except that both seem to be off pattern for me.

I am sorry I have not been able to keep current on everyone's blog this last 10 days or so....I've tried, but ...... I'm sure you will forgive me - I've been spending much time with my family (especially my man) and also on a major de-cluttering project. I hope to be back on a more regular schedule after this weekend.

One of the activities that have kept Jim and I busy this past week was going with Vinjelu and Kathryn to the city to purchase equipment with which to record their own CD's. They used their prize money to set up their own recording studio rather than pay someone else to do the recordings for them. Also, they had their first "gig" last Friday night - at a coffee house in town. They kept the place pretty full and everyone seemed to like the music. I know I enjoyed it. Jim "ran sound" for them so he had fun, too.

We also arranged to meet everyone who could make it at Jim's parents' home to watch our favorite CFL football team (Saskatchewan Roughriders) lose in the "playoffs". The game was a huge disappointment, but most of us gathered to fill Grandma and Grandpa's house with noise, fun, and food. (yes, I managed to make good choices. Of course, we brought most of the food, so the majority of the choices were healthy, low fat, low cal)

Our first winter storm is moving in - snow is on its way. The temp is still above freezing and yesterday was very warm (shirt sleeve weather) but that obviously doesn't mean anything. The wind is blowing hard, though. I hate the wind.

AND I have exciting news!!! I can post it here, because the only people in my family who know about this blog (unless they are lurking) already know the news......

We're getting another baby in the family!!

Daughter Kathryn called yesterday to give us the news - they are very happy.

I hope and pray she is not as sick this time as she was last time.

Of course, she was travelling and working in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia last time - not to mention studying at school for the first trimester.

The only wrinkle with this baby is that it is due mid July - about a week after the big talent search contest they are supposed to be at in Nashville. She says they are still going. In that case, I am ABSOLUTELY travelling with them!

Must run now, and get some more work done on my project - and I think we need to go into town, as well. Hope everyone is having a great week!

I'll be dropping by soon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Official

Remember not too long ago, I asked if there was any corelation to having a cold and gaining weight?

Well, it is official.....yes there is. Here is the proof.....

I know my ticker says that I am at 211 something, but I only stayed there for one day. My weight went back up to 214.2 the next day. Since that was still a 2 pound loss from the last stable weight, I was not upset. I have been at 214.2 or 214.6 for 5 days. I haven't changed my ticker because I'm kind of lazy - besides, I'll be at 211 soon enough that I don't see the point.

Monday night I had a bit of a sore throat.

Yesterday I woke up early and it was obvious I was getting sick (again). I've been dosing myself with garlic and vitamin C since then.

Last night I took a "dry up" pill so I wouldn't be awake all night trying to breathe through a stuffed nose.

This morning when I weighed, the scale reported a 1.8 lb gain! I KNOW I did not eat/do anything in the last 3 days to cause a gain! No Way. In fact, I was more active yesterday than I have been in the last week.

So, the only conclusion I can come to is that having a cold causes a weight gain.

At least, that's my story - and I'm sticking to it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Changed my Ticker

Woo Hoo! I have reached a new low!.....3 days in a row! How about that!?

As excited as I am about this development, I am also wondering ..... why?

Why, all of a sudden, for the first time ever, has my weight dropped significantly 4 days in a row?

Let's see......

I am (again) working on a 'decluttering' project that has required spurts of hard work - but it is not like I'm getting my heart rate up for 30 minutes or anything 'crazy' like that! However, I have been working harder (physically) than is normal for me. Not stiff muscles hard work, but certainly an increased level of activity.

My eating habits have not changed....

I'm not drinking more water......

The only other thing that has changed is that I have added a "diet" green tea in the last 7 days. The directions say to drink it twice a day - I never remember to have the second cup, but I've been having a cup with my breakfast. (I'm not a hot beverage drinker, normally)

Could the tea actually be making the difference? I only ordered it because:
  • the first 2 weeks worth of tea were free with the ability to cancel any further shipments
  • Drinking green tea was part of Lyn's Habit of the Week challenge

I guess we'll see if I continue to lose or at least maintain this loss once the big project is done with and I'm back to my normal level of activity.

Of course, Hubby is on his way home today.....that means I won't be 'forgetting' to eat supper.

(But then, NOT eating never makes me lose weight.....eating enough of the right foods is what does it for me)

I have reached a stalling point in my project.....There are 2 pieces of furniture left in the room I am clearing out.....both are too large to be moved by one person. Before I can conutinue putting things back into the room, these 2 pieces must be removed. Then, I need a couple bookcases moved in. I reached this point yesterday and if Jim wasn't on his way home last night, I would have called one of my boys or my nephews over to help me. As it is, my sweetie and I will do the grunt work ourselves. When I am finished, I should have an organized, usable office/craft room but that is a story for another post.

For now, I am so happy to be this close to 200 lbs!!! Even if my weight bounces up a bit, once I've "seen" a number on the scale, I get back to it quite quickly.......I might be the turtle in this journey, but I'm getting there!