Thursday, November 08, 2012
Although Iím in maintenance for almost 3 years, Iím very glad that I donít have an ďofficial weight dayĒ every week or month because a few days ago after 2 months of exceptionally stable (within tenths) weight, I gained 2 pounds overnight. Because I do weigh daily, I knew that this was a fluke fluctuation. For each of us the amount of fluctuation varies by person and will be affected by oneís existing body weight. For me 2 lbs is just a bit less than 10% of my weight loss. I knew I didnít regain 10% of my weight loss in one day. If it had been a month or more since I last got on the scale, it might have been a possibility.
If I hadnít monitored each day, I might think I gained back 10% of my hard fought loss in spite of doing everything right. That WOULD be distressing to me. Daily fluctuation Ė no big deal! An upward trend? Yes, thatís a big deal that I want to turn around before it becomes more difficult. If it is a trend, I would have reason to reevaluate. Perhaps Iím not being honest about something?
Personally I think that avoiding the scale CAN become as obsessive as overusing it. However, if 66% of Americans are overweight or worse, how many of us are overusing it in the manner for which it was intended?
Iím sure that some people are too thin or ďskinny-fatĒ but they are an ever-shrinking minority. Looking around I sure donít see many. I would think it would also be easier for them to eat more and get fit than it is the other way around. If they actually have an eating disorder, thatís a different matter entirely, requiring serious intervention.
I also know that some people naturally can carry more weight in a healthy, successful manner than others. In the end we all make our own decisions and try to avoid judging others. We all define for ourselves what the right weight and ďbeing healthyĒ means for us. Quibbling about the best method of measurement obscures the problem. We each choose the means to achieve our goals which very likely differs from that chosen by other people. We often hear that ďa number on the scale doesnít define me.Ē Of course it doesnít. Neither does a specific percent of body fat or some bust, waist, hip measurement or dress size.
Iím more than a number on a scale Ė absolutely true. However, our collective numbers on our collective scales are continuously increasing and as a society, this is something that should concern us.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
How appropriate that Thanksgiving Day will be the date that Iím scheduled to join that special 5% who keep the weight off for 3 years. How ironic that itís also a day we traditionally celebrate with food, lots of food.
What can I do to mark the occasion? Maybe:
Find a ďTurkey TrotĒ race to run. Thatís an alternative to a morning of cooking.
Plot a route through the mall to hit all the sales on ďBlack FridayĒ
Find a fancy restaurant that charges a lot for very little food Ė enforced portion control.
Volunteer to help serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the needy
My husband and I donít have a good record with anniversary celebrations.
The problem began 45 years ago on our wedding day when the priest didnít show up. He FORGOT the date. There I was standing in the back of the church, with the organist playing ďHere Comes the BrideĒ and this bride wasnít moving. There was no clergyman there to make it official.
Fortunately, it was Brooklyn in 1967. Finding a substitute priest was easy although the delay did cause a stir among the guests who were wondering which one of us was having second thoughts.
The marriage went well, but each anniversary was a bust.
Recalling a few of them:
#1 - DH got his orders to active duty in the army. Lots of tears, no celebration.
#2 - DH got orders to Viet Nam. Same reaction as last year.
#3 - DH was in Viet Nam. Baby & I were alone, very sad
#5 - 6 months pregnant pulling a U-Haul across the country with a 3 year old throwing up in the back seat
#10 Ė There was a gruesome murder in our neighborhood.
#20 Ė DH scheduled his elective hemorrhoid surgery. Why not, right?
#39 Ė I tripped over a planter outside the restaurant and fell sprawled out face first resulting in a frozen shoulder that took 6 months of rehab
If youíre familiar with the songs of the sixties, our anniversary, June 3rd is noteworthy for another reason. According to Bobby Gentry, it was also the day that ďBilly Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.Ē (Ode to Billy Joe, August 1967)
Maintenance is a different kind of anniversary and even if I donít plan anything special, I will be very thankful just as I am for 45 years of marriage. In both cases Iím in this for the long term. One bad day doesnít matter in marriage or as we work toward a healthy lifestyle.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Ah, the dreaded plateaus of weight loss. As I read the new blog posts each morning, itís a rare day that they are not a focus of concern to someone. A search of the message boards reveals the same thing. Anyone who has ever been on a weight loss journey has been there.
If I think about it geographically, standing on a plateau gives me a chance to see where Iíve been and where Iím headed. I can look around, take in the scenery and focus on other things for a bit. Maybe thereís something here that I havenít noticed before, like some inches lost, or stronger abs, or less jiggle in my arms. Maybe the jeans are going on easier or that image in the mirror looks surprisingly good.
After a rest period on the plateau, Iím ready to continue my journey down the mountain to my final destination. I trust that my body knows when itís time to move on as long as Iíve been honestly taking care of it and I havenít been unrealistic about the distance or speed Iím trying to achieve. Finally, I definitely prefer the view from the plateau to retracing my steps back up the mountain only to have to come back down again.
Difficult though it may be, donít be discouraged. Plateaus are just a necessary part of the terrain.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Could this be a new direction for the junk food king?
My husband, aka the junk food king of the world, has carried on a 45 year affair with Little Debbie, the snack cake lady. On my sparkpage I have a candid photo of our kitchen table at its worst.
Recently while we were grocery shopping together, he passed up all of Debbieís ďcharms.Ē He still put his sugar laden fruit juice and apple cider in the cart, but progress is progress. Then on the way out of the store there was a Bake Sale for a very worthwhile cause Ė a man with high medical bills not covered by insurance. When DH stopped at the table, I suggested we just make a donation and leave the homemade baked goods for others to enjoy. He got it halfway right. He bought 2 packages of cupcakes and told them to keep the change.
Once back home he was visiting a neighbor who was working on his house Ė serious physical labor. He told me about the neighborís project, grabbed one of the cupcake packages and gave them to him.
My husband is about 20 to 30 pounds overweight. In our society thatís hardly noticeable anymore. However, thatís exactly the position I was in when I decided I didnít want to carry around the extra baggage any longer. Both of us have been considered healthy and fit. He swims, I run and we canoe and kayak, weather permitting. Iíve also written in a previous entry about how we switched to healthy nutritious meals about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, our weight didnít decrease at all since ďportion distortionĒ affected us as much as it did the rest of America. Who knew that we were perfectly capable of eating enormous quantities of healthy food too!
He recently had a physical and the results, while not terrible, were heading in the wrong direction. Thatís not what you want to see at almost age 68. Since objective assessment by a professional doesnít happen all that often, itís easy to fall into a false sense of security.
Now considering his ďdonationĒ of baked goods: Was this just a solitary moment of generosity or maybe a sign of good things to come? Time will tell, but Iím hoping for the best.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
It took me a minute to understand what that old acquaintance was actually asking. I hadnít seen her since my retirement and when we reconnected, I was two years into maintenance.
I lost my weight very slowly so I really didnít get much recognition for my efforts one way or the other while I was on my journey. However, when meeting someone whom I hadnít seen in a very long time, the change was obvious to her.
Isnít it interesting that her first thought was that I had surgical help to achieve the new me? Breast implants, tummy tucks, butt lifts, face lifts, all kinds of nips and tucks as well as serious gastric intervention are so common now that that scenario seemed more likely than the possibility that I might have managed it naturally.
Whenever I see a movie star who looks great at 50, 60, 70 or more, I have to wonder how much artificial help was sought to keep up with their contemporaries or younger competitors. Fortunately, Iíve never had a job or lived in an atmosphere where I depended on my looks for success or validation. I can understand how someone who has a camera thrust in their face with great regularity might consider it a necessity.
I would never criticize anyone for what is really a personal choice. My fear of medical procedures far outweighs my need for bodily perfection or improvement. I even close my eyes when having blood drawn or getting a flu shot. Yeah, Iím a wimp.
So the answer to my incredulous friend was YES, I had work done and I DID IT!
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