Monday, April 18, 2011
Water is a beautiful, wonderful amazing thing. Find a way to get your glasses in in the beginning and by the time a year is up, you won't know how you ever lived life without it. You'll go to bed knowing instinctively by how your body feels whether you gave it enough water or not.
You DO NOT have to learn to hate food. You DO NOT have to rely upon tasteless recipes or pre-packaged foods. With enough searching and trial and error you can find tasty, delicious and completely healthy recipes that the ENTIRE family will enjoy. Honey Garlic Pork Chops anyone? Ooh, or how about some herb grilled salmon and roasted vegetables? Yes, please!
This guy never, never, never leaves. Sometimes you're able to get around him. Sometimes you can actually use him to your advantage. But sometimes you give in and you feel the F word coming on. Ignore it. Crap happens. You WILL have good days and bad days. You WILL fall down. At some point you will consider giving up. But if you just remember to get up and keep trying, scraped knees and all, every single time, YOU will eventually win.
Sometimes you have to put up a battle against all the inner demons. Sometimes you have to create a battle plan to combat those days when you just "don't feel like it." You may not be fond of calling it "war on yourself" but think of it this way - it's war on all the bad habits you've picked up over time, all the things you've become comfortable with just ignoring. Sometimes you have to build the path ahead through the muck and brush before you find pavement and civilization once again.
The scale does not mean a hill of beans in this game. In a world dominated by numbers - clothing size, shoe size, annual salary, and, yes, weight - we hinge all our hopes on silly things that are far beyond our complete control. If you want to pay attention to numbers pay attention to these - miles walked/run/biked, minutes spent exercising, number of healthy meals added to your regular routine, number of fresh veggies and fruits consumed in a day, number of glasses of water, amount of push-ups in one minute, pounds of extra weight on the leg press machine, heaviness of the dumbbells you're curling, etc.
Keep your friends close. When you feel like you're all alone, branch out and be there for someone else. Somehow, that makes what you're going through that much easier. Somehow, by lifting someone else up when you're feeling down, you find yourself pulling out of the slump you feel like you're in. When you're too far in your own head, force yourself to focus on others and you'll find some clarity.
Be generous and kind to yourself. Turn the negatives to positives because positive reinforcements hold up so much better under the weight of the world. Make your life a stroke of positivity that others can follow. And when the negative monster bites you in the butt, pull out the positive laser gun and give him a taste of his own medicine. There are two sides to every story...be on your side.
Learn to take a compliment. Don't twist peoples words around to something negative. Don't put words in their mouths or heads. That's not at all fair to them or to you! How would you like it if you approached a friend and said, "Oh my! You look great!" and she wigged out on you? Don't be the person you can't stand to be around. A simple thank you and a return compliment do just fine. "Thanks! I'm loving these shoes you're wearing! So stylish!"
You WILL make mistakes. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you can get over the fear of the possibility of making them.
Heavy lifting is one of the best ways to get your body into tip-top shape. However, be kind to yourself because the weight may not adjust as you want it. Like me, you may end up gaining 1/2 a pound from February to April, but if you take a closer look, you'll realize that all of what you gained PLUS SOME is muscle. You're leaner and smaller, even if the scale says you've stayed the same weight. Do not get discouraged. If you are continuing to increase your reps or weight, you are improving and building lean muscle.
Sushi can be delicious AND nutritious. Just stay away from cream cheese and understand that avacado, while healthy as all get out, still packs a good punch of calories and fat in comparison to other choices.
Do the thing you fear you cannot. And do it until you can. One year ago I could not hold a plank at all. Getting in plank position was pretty much impossible. Now I'm gaining on a 2-minute plank time. How? I just kept trying.
Figure out what kind of exercises and activities will take you through EVERY season. Don't fall victim to the "too cold" excuse. Find something you can do in the snow - even if it's just shoveling or building a snow angel.
The gym will not lose your weight for you. You must show up and do the work. And don't think that a gym is even required. Make the world your gym. Roll down a hill. Go for a hike. Row across a lake. Swim, jog, run, walk, skip, jump, whatever. The only excuse that always works is, "I'm dead."
Find your calm, and use it. After serious panic attacks all week, I'm realizing that I need that time back - that time of peace and calm and me, without worrying about what I still need to do, who needs to be paid, what needs to go where, who needs to be dropped off and picked up and taken to the doctor and whatever. I need that time...and I'm still working on figuring out how to get it.
You hear how important sleep is all the time, but we've built up this image that those who need the least amount of sleep are somehow better, more productive. Ignore that idea. Sleep is amazing. Sleep is necessary. And enough sleep will make you unstoppable!
There will always be another opportunity for cake, donuts, etc. Stop thinking "well, it's here, and I don't know when it will be here again, so I better eat it now." Stop that crazy talk. It's your son's birthday? Who cares? There is no way your son is going to have a crappy year just because you didn't finish off half of his birthday cake. There will always be another opportunity. What's better, there are always ingredients at the store - you can make your own...and make it healthy or vegan and feel better about yourself. St. Patty's day will go off just fine without green beers or Shamrock Shakes. Easter will not fall apart without chocolate peanut butter eggs. Fourth of July will not end all the fireworks if you pass on the beefy hot dog and slip in some grilled chicken. I promise!
Plans are an excellent tool...but knowing how to make a back-up plan in a hurry if things fall apart? That is invaluable!
And finally - the tools are there, you just have to use them. Period.
1 Year with SP
90 pounds lost
From 416 to 326 pounds
Over 45 inches lost in hips, thigh, waist, neck, upper arm, and calf alone
Size 30 to a size 24
Unsure and sad to confident and proud
5 races finished
30 minute miles to 16 minute miles (walking)
Yoga and flexibility
Kids that cook vegetables because they want to.
Husbands that just smile when they see you and can't stop telling you how beautiful you are and always have been.
Here's to a body fat % under 50%!
Here's to a lowered BMI!
And HERE is to not caring about any number as much as I care about how I feel in my mind, body, and spirit!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
On the weekend of June 20th, I took the kids, Hubs and dog camping in Hocking Hills, OH for a weekend adventure. Hubs thought it was crazy that I had lived in Ohio for most of my life but had never really explored Old Man's Cave and the Hocking Hills area.
When we set out one morning to hike to the waterfall that Hubs remembered really enjoying, I packed some sandwiches and some trail mix and we headed off on foot through the campsites. As a child, I don't know that we would've tried the hike. I think we more than likely would have driven to each site and hiked down into Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. It was just easier that way. That weekend last year, we set off on foot.
We got lost. Hiking for 5.5 hours through rough terrain. Over hills, through paths now covered by huge fallen boulders, I struggled through. We had to stop a lot, but I kept going even when it got hard, even when Hubs offered to go get the car and pick us up. I just kept going. I cried a lot that day, but I kept going and when we made it back to the camp I felt like I had really accomplished something.
This year we plan on heading back to the area and attempting the hike again - new fitter mom in tow. But after the day I had yesterday, I wonder how different this trip will be this year, so many pounds lighter and so much stronger.
Yesterday I tilled our garden area, just as I did last year. But what took me 2 hours to do last year and made me feel like I was dying or going to get pushed over the hill and into the creek by the cranky tiller machine, was much different this year. About 30 minutes after starting, I was done with both small garden areas. It felt much different this time around. I was whipping around the machine like *I* was the master. Up, around and back, and again. It required much less effort and I barely broke a sweat. I filled up one bed with garden soil I bought at the store and tilled it into the dirt there to make sure that area was more fertile for this year - I want to have a GREAT year of gardening and cooking fresh foods! It took me 10 minutes to till the new dirt in, and then I looked around wondering what else needed done.
Later, I raked the yard. Even Hubs commented on how quickly I accomplished each task. *shrug* It was just EASIER this year. And that got me thinking about how much *I* had changed, because the tasks hadn't changed, but the effort required of me to complete them had. Let's face it. Carrying less weight around and having these strong muscles behind me, muscles I built in the gym through cardio, regular ST and heavy lifting, made me more able to handle the task at hand.
And all I can think is to pat my old self on the back a little more.
My 380+ pound self did some AMAZING things last year. No one expected me to be able to hike for 5.5 hours...not even me. But I did. I fought my way through. AMAZING work, Esther! You deserve a TON of credit for taking that on. And that effort right there, has gotten me to where I am today.
Last year, with our dog. It'll be interesting to compare this picture to the next one, but for today I'm thinking - YOU ARE AMAZING woman!
In addition to that fantastic camping trip, I was also brave when I flew to NYC for one day for an interview. BRAVE girl! I faced all my demons in one day and I had a great trip. Never got the job, but that's not what is important. What IS important is that I had the courage to even take on these challenges. The old me would not have even attempted that out of fear. Another mad props to the girl that began this change a year ago!
And by the end of that month, I had faced another challenge. I joined the gym. Without the support and encouragement of my insurance company's program (which I had applied to but which was too slow for my tastes in approving me), I joined up and started working out. I faced the demons of wondering what people would think of me. I just went full speed ahead, sure that what I needed from that gym far outweighed whatever fears I had about it. HURRAH! old girl! It's funny to think that just a week or two ago I was approached by people at the gym who commented on how they had been "watching me" come in and out nearly every day and who wanted to congratulate me for all the hard work I was putting in and all the great work I had done. I can't believe I haven't even been there a year yet. I'm such a regular that most people there know me, see me just about every night and smile and nod when I come in. What a change from the scared, yet brave enough to try, girl that signed up last year!
Dear Esther of Last Year,
Thank you so much for being so brave and taking on the challenges you are facing now. I know it seems hard now. I know you're worried all the time that you won't make it. But every day you're making strides toward a better you. Every day you're getting stronger, building speed and endurance, and building amazingly strong muscles. All I can do is thank you for that. I would not be where I am today without your courage, strength, and determination. You fought through the hard stuff. You forced out of your mind every thought of what others would think about you being there, seemingly out of your element, seemingly not belonging. You were brave enough to push on anyhow. And thanks to your continual perseverance through this hard time, I am able to enjoy and celebrate the life I have now. I apologize for not acknowledging your accomplishments sooner. Sometimes it takes us too long to recognize how what we are doing right now is changing our very lives. But today I am able to do the things I do because you put in 3 times the effort and charged through them then. Thank you. I love and appreciate you. And I vow to you now that I will follow your example so that the Esther of Next Year will one day have both of us to thank for the life she is able to fully realize in the future.
Esther of Today
Friday, April 15, 2011
So my first blog of my second month (written on May 19th) was appropriately titled "One Foot in Front of the Other." It was a month of starting to learn to cook appropriately. I even got a blog comment from my mom on one of the "just throw things together" meals I cooked that said that she wanted to be able to cook like me! *lol*
Growing up, we lived on boxed and canned foods. Money was tight and we could usually find these things in the inexpensive category. Boxed mac-n-cheese (the blue box was a splurge). Canned vegetables. Frozen bags of chicken breast and other meat-like products. I honestly don't ever remember having grilled chicken with roasted vegetables like EVER. I thought they were gross. Now it's my favorite fall-back meal. (Though I still buy bagged chicken breast because it's great to have back-ups in the freezer. Pre-packaged frozen salmon fillets work well there too!) I also didn't know much about spices. We added what a recipe called for and it was usually fall backs, like those pre-mixed "Italian Seasoning" things.
Now I'm in love with spices. Rosemary. Fresh garlic (as opposed to garlic salt or powder). Basil, thyme, oregano, parsley. My kids have gotten into the game too. The other night I had a package of 3 split chicken breasts that had been on sale at Kroger. We took all the spices out of the cupboard and picked 2 for each breast. One had thyme and oregano. Another mild curry spice and something else. I can't even remember what all we put on them, but it felt like arts & crafts or a science experiment. And when they came out, each person picked their favorite. (Hubs and the youngest LOVE curry, apparently. Me? Not so much.)
I'm in love with fresh foods now, and I can't believe I never realized how amazing WV is for that. I picked fresh strawberries from a farm not 15 miles from my house. Great price, great berries, not having to worry about chemicals because I know they do it up right out here...plus? It was an AMAZING hour-long workout! I cannot wait to do that again this summer! It makes me wonder what wonderful things I was missing my entire life up in Ohio. Sure, produce at the store can be a little pricey, but the way to cut down on that is to get it right from the growers. We did a few field trips to farms on the east-side of Columbus growing up, but I often wonder what would've happened if I would've opened my eyes a little more and really took in the resources around me. Now that I'm learning and here in WV, I'm excited every spring and summer because I know my local farms will be out in full-force with their amazingly fresh veggies and fruits. What's more - I know my garden will be going strong very soon as well. Oh, how my life has changed in ways I would have never imagined.
So when I think about "giving up" sometimes, one thing does not change. I CRAVE fresh food. I've come to prefer the way fresh veggies prepped on the grill MY way taste in my mouth. I decide if they're crunchy or soft. I decide how salty they are or what spices go on them. And that connection to my food has become much better than other connections I've made in the past.
Learning to live healthy has nothing to do with learning to hate food. In fact, it's the opposite. It's learning to love, savor, taste, enjoy. It's taking the time to slow down and learn what you like best, how the food melts in your mouth, getting a good crunch from a pepper and feeling it burst onto your tongue. It's controlling food so that it perfectly fits what your taste buds most enjoy. I don't have to have protein bars. I can make my own trail mix or granola if I want - one that is just mine, made for me, and tastes exactly how I want it.
Of course, this does not mean I will never have processed foods again. Sorry, my life is just a little too crazy at times. I have a stocked pantry of canned beans, back-up veggies, broths, soups, and pre-diced and seasoned tomatoes. Sometimes I need those. But I've learned that I would much rather cut them up myself and enjoy the freshness of "right out of the garden" goodness.
The first time I lost 100 pounds, I did it almost completely with processed foods. I remember buying those pre-cut and cooked chicken breast pieces from Tyson, popping those in the microwave and adding some cheese and eating it on a Flatout wrap. Now this is a GREAT backup if you need something quick, but today I would make my own chicken breast, put some in the fridge, pull it out when I wanted a wrap, add a bunch of pre-grilled veggies that I made - onions, peppers, etc - and then wrap it up in a whole-wheat tortilla. (OMG, that sounds amazing right now!)
In this journey we often focus so much on the changes on the scale or the tape measure. Last night I weighed-in at the gym. It actually said I was up 1/2 a pound since February. I saw the number 330 again and wanted to punch someone. And then I saw another number. 47. Can't be! It was. While my weight has stayed basically the same all year, each month my body fat % has gone down a smidge. Since February, I went from 50% to 47% body fat. While I weigh the same amount number wise, my body is full of more muscles, less fat, and I actually have numbers to prove that my muscles are getting LEANER. And even though the number has not changed, my goal number did. How funny is that? We're working toward 30% body fat right now...so even though I still weigh 330 pounds, my goal is no longer to lose 100 pounds and get to 230. My new goal is to lose 82 pounds and get to 248. Is it really any wonder that I'm struggling to get to the 200s?
I started thinking last night about goal weights, and about numbers in general. Even the guy who weighed me said, "It's kinda sad that women, who have greater weight fluctuations than men, rely upon that scale number so much, when it really isn't the important thing." He pointed to my results again. He's right, you know. When I first started losing weight, I was so depressed because I thought I SHOULD be 170 pounds. Stupid effin' BMI charts! This meant I needed to lose almost 300 pounds to get where I should be. It's such a daunting number! I mean, yes, I was severely overweight, but come on! I didn't need to lose a person, I needed to lose an OBESE person! OMG! And the only way I was able to lose anything, was to let that number go and just work with the first 5 pounds, the first 20, etc. I couldn't think long term because it kept me from short-term successes.
The first time the girl at the gym set my goal at 230 pounds, I wanted to punch her. I thought, "You mean I have to be FAT forever?" Oh, my...silly girl. 30% body fat is not exactly a SUPER FAT person, right? I mean I saw someone the other day with 17% bodyfat and I thought they looked TOO skinny. So getting to 230 = 30% body fat. Okay...here are the classifications I have found for women.
Essential Fat = 10-12%
Athletes = 14-20%
Fitness = 21-24%
Acceptable = 25-31%
Obese = 32%+
Yes, I know that some charts add the overweight category, but let's just use the word "acceptable" because I like it more. :P So, let's go back and think on this. When I started at the gym, I was told I needed to lose like 120 pound or something and get to 230. In February, my number was still 230 as a goal and I needed to lose 100 pounds to get there. Now? Now I'm STILL 330 pounds, but my goal number is 248 and I only need to lose 82 pounds (if I maintain my muscle mass). Who would have thought that being almost 250 pounds for a woman would put her in the acceptable range? And who is to say that even if I get to the fitness level - 24% body fat - that I won't still be over 200 pounds (My fat-free mass right now is 173 pounds by itself!)? Numbers can change depending on the composition.
So, it seems, focusing on numbers like we do is crazy nonsense talk! *lol* It shouldn't always be, "I've lost 90-some pounds!" It should be, "I am a stronger, fitter, more capable person because I have shred a lot of unwanted and unneeded fat from my body. I am making myself into a lean, strong, healthy person through regular fitness, weight lifting and various cardio routines."
And, what's more - I should focus on other changes as well.
I no longer rely solely upon processed foods. They are back-ups now.
My body is cleaner. My body works better now because I eat whole foods, fresh foods. I've learned how to cook in a healthy way (and I was thinking the other night - if I can cook this good with no training -- just THINK what I'd be with some formal cooking classes! *lol*).
I guess what I've learned in my reflection today is that not all changes are number-based. In fact, the best changes have no numbers behind them. The best changes occur when we're trying to do our best, and we learn new habits that make us healthier people. Sure, we did it to get the numbers - but just think of where we are now, numbers or not. I used to be the girl that ate whatever was put in front of me. Now I'm picky about freshness and variety and taste. I feel more connected to nature, and I love that I can now walk outside and pick a pepper and have it for dinner tonight.
That's one change that should NOT go unnoticed!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
As my 1 year anniversary with SP approaches, and as I struggle to not only maintain the 90+ pounds I've lost but to continue to lose more, I thought that perhaps it was time for some reflection.
The past few nights I've gone to bed thinking, "What am I doing? Why is everything suddenly so hard?!" The answer, of sorts, came to me the other night. "It was last time." What was that? Last time... In 2004 I weighed in at 466.6 when I had a consultation for a doctor while I was considering gastric bypass surgery. The number scared me, as did all the "but I gained it all back!" stories I had heard in my mother's GP support group meetings. GP wasn't a quick fix...it still required effort to maintain the weight loss. Rules had to be followed. Guidelines were set for success. And too many people I saw simply believed they could have the surgery, lose their excess weight and continue to eat as they wanted. I'd seen the trap, and I didn't want to fall into it. I vowed on the spot that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.
I started paying attention to what I ate. I thought of it as a preparation for my life after surgery. I didn't want to have that "shock and awe" moment when I realized that certain foods were off limits. I'd had far too many diets that began with a day of binging the night before. You know...last meal and all that. I simply started to pay attention to food labels. I stuck to high protein, low carb, and low fat and sugar foods because that's what my mother was doing following her surgery. She was a wealth of knowledge on what worked and what didn't, and even though I was going through the process of trying to get approved for surgery, I was also changing my life and the way I ate. Food was looked at as a process to gain the appropriate amount of energy and nutrients without calorie-loading my day.
After a while, I started working out. Walk Away the Pounds had worked for my mother, and it was a great way for me to continue to hide myself inside my house and not worry about facing the demons of the stares and looks I was sure I would get if I took a stroll around the block. I could sweat like a pig, be completely out of breath, and I wouldn't have to worry about someone looking at me funny as I gasped for air while walking behind them or past them. When I began, I couldn't even finish the 1-Mile walk.
For months I stuck to this program I had set for myself. I started to realize that my body didn't respond well to anything under 1600 calories. I started drinking water like it was my job. "Just two more sips." "Come on! Chug that glass and you've got one down for the day!" I cut out sodas and began relying on foods that fit into the meal plan *I* had arranged, conforming as best I could to the guidelines I had set for myself.
I had bumps along the way. I didn't have a scale at home that would measure my weight, so my sister, who was working at OSU Medical Center at the time, arranged for me to sneak into a doctor's office near OSU's campus, weigh on their massive digital scale, and sneak out again. Each week, I would take the 30 minute drive into town, sneak in the door, weigh myself quickly, and walk back out. At the car, I would write down the number in a tiny notebook I kept with me. Sometimes I had joyous days. Two-three pounds for the week! Other times, it was an ounce loss. .2 pounds. .4 pounds. Or, worse, a gain. Each time on the drive home I would analyze the week I had had. I tried to figure out what was working and what wasn't. Some times I cried the entire way home because I felt like I was doing everything right and wasn't seeing the results that were promised me by some unknown diet fairy somewhere. But after those 30 minutes were over, I vowed to start up again. "Next week will be better. Next week will make up for this week."
As the months passed, it got harder and hard to convince myself to continue. In the summer of 2005, my husband and I had decided to move the family down to WV where some housing had become available. And, all this time, I have thought and firmly believed that this was why those last 20 pounds to 100 pounds lost took so long. I was sure it was the uprooting of my life, the disappearance of my support system (my family), and the change in scenery, shopping stores, and routine that caused me to stall. I remember staying at 380 for the longest time. I had finally purchased a scale that would weigh up to 440 pounds, so I didn't have to sacrifice my goals once my weigh-in place was too far away for weekly visits.
380. 380. That number haunted me for so long. With a final push and some deep-hidden determination, I forced myself to lose the last 20 pounds. I stepped on the scale one day and saw 366 pounds and I smiled and told the world that I had done it. I had lost 100 pounds. And then my diet came to an abrupt halt. It was too hard and I was frustrated. I gave in and gave up. I still tried to watch what I ate, but as I distanced myself from my rules little by little, the rules fell apart completely. I never went back to regular soda, but diet soda crept back in on a regular basis. So did sweets and sugary foods. And buffets and Chinese food and pizza. I thought I was just "getting to know the area," but what I was doing was giving up.
I still have no idea what clicked for me last year on that weekend trip to Columbus. My best friend since 5th grade and I went on a little day trip on the last day of my visit. It started with a trip to our middle school, just down the street from her house. "Why are we here?" she asked. I shrugged. I didn't know. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. We joked and laughed and took pictures in front of the building, and suddenly this memory popped into my head. It wasn't of classes or teachers or anything of the sort. It was me, walking the middle school track out back, playing a mixed tape that my boyfriend (now husband...yes, we've been together FOREVER) had made me. I remembered feeling proud of myself. I was in 7th or 8th grade and I had taken it upon myself to try to exercise. It may have also hit me that 6th grade was the last time I had seen size 14 pants and any number on the scale under 200.
The rest of the day continued in fun fashion. We found a great sushi place and had some wonderful food. We drove up to a local winery and had our very first wine tasting. It was like I was starting to realize that we were all grown up. And, somehow, that image of me walking the track, proud of myself, sure that I was going to lose the weight and start high school as a "normal" girl kept coming back into my mind. I realized I had been fighting this battle my entire life. I tried not to think on it. It wasn't a sad day at all, but I suddenly remembered that I had once thought of myself as a success story. Years before I had struggled for months to reach 100 pounds lost. I currently had no clue what I weighed, but I knew I wanted that pride in myself back. I wanted to feel like that again and know that I was a success. I wanted people to see me as the girl who fought back and won.
When I returned home the next day, I popped on the internet and googled "free online calorie log" or something of that sort. I knew the rules. Sure, I had abandoned them long ago...but I knew them. Something on that 2 1/2 hour drive home had led me to believe that I was ready to take charge of my life again. I stepped on the scale. 416.2 pounds. I tried not to be discouraged by the weight I had gained back. I told myself, "You've maintained a 50 pound weight loss for 5 years. Most people would kill for that kind of success." I didn't set any initial goals. I didn't want to think that THIS TIME would be it...because I didn't want to disappoint myself. "Let's just see where this goes," I thought. Honestly, I figured I would follow a plan for a month and then fail miserably and give it up. My life was already crazy and chaotic, working 2 jobs and going to school full-time while trying to maintain a family and take care of pets. I never planned on succeeding. I only planned to try.
On day one I was discouraged. I saw too many people who only had 50 pounds to lose...and there I was, over 400 pounds and sure that I did not belong. I said this on day one:
"I'm in mostly planning stages right now (4 weeks of school left), but I tend to make changes when I'm paying more attention, because I DO know what's right and wrong, and consciously chosing to do wrong all the time can kill my feelings of self-worth. The plan for the day is finding a place where I feel like I fit. Where I don't feel like an outsider trying to make something work that doesn't. Where I can hold myself accountable by being myself, completely honest."
And by the end of the first full day:
"So today was the end of the first full day here. I had fully intended to simply check out the site and set some goals, not really get anything started...but when I saw how easily I could use the tools, I bought into the hype and starting logging everything. Of course, when I log, I find myself eating better, making better choices. I guess my head is just in the right place to start this journey."
By the end of the first month, I was already thinking about 5ks. On May 19th, I said:
"Right now I can comfortably walk 1.5 miles, so I'm going to try to work my way up to the 3.1 miles and find a comfortable pace."
By May 23rd my weight was 392.8 pounds. I had lost 20+ pounds in a month and was feeling comfortably under 400 pounds. That week alone I had lost 6 pounds...and do you know what I did in my blog? I talked about all the things I HADN'T done - all the WRONGS I made. Pattern, anyone?
So, yes, it was easy in the beginning.
And, yes, it got harder as I moved along.
And, yes, I knew that would happen.
But as I've struggled the past few weeks, I've sat here thinking, "What is WRONG with me?" - a typical Esther response to any situation. And then I got it. Somehow that 100 pound lost mark is VERY difficult. What is also difficult is the One-Year mark. There is this barrier in my head that fears those big milestones. It's a typical Capricorn trait - fear of failure, but also fear of success. Somewhere in my messed up brain I do the normal worrying of "what if I don't reach my goal?" But somewhere else is also the notion of, "What if I do? What then?"
Last night I decided that I'm not even going to make such a big deal out of it. There is no rule book that says that I HAVE to reach 100 pounds lost in 1 year. I wrote that rule in my head a long time ago, but nobody really cares if I reach it. I'm not going to suddenly lose all my SPeeps (thanks John for that! ;) ) if I "fail" to reach that goal. There won't be a flogging of "just think of what you COULD'VE done" from my lovlies if I reach 100 pounds lost in a year and a month or a year and 8 weeks. Nobody cares WHEN it will happen. No one is sitting around with a countdown clock tsking me because I haven't done this thing I thought I should. I need to let go of this invisible pressure that *I* have placed on myself. I have lost 90+ pounds, and that is an accomplishment. Would people gasp louder if I said 100 pounds lost in a year instead of 90? No. Honestly, they would not. They would say the same "good job!" They would smile the same either way. It's time to let go of the idea that I need MORE to be BETTER. I am great enough already.
So, there we go. Day one of my reflections. I almost didn't start this because I won't be done with day 12 by Monday. (See my crazy OCD tendancies? CRAZY!) But just like I decided that "100 pounds lost in 1 Year" didn't matter anymore, neither does the crazy "I have to do THIS by THIS date" nonsense rules. I'm in this for life. I'm ready to NOT make the same mistakes I made the last time. I don't want to step on a scale 5 years from now and see 380 or 400 again. I want to keep going and make this a lifelong journey for myself. I LIKE the way I feel now. I like eating great, delicious healthy foods. I LIKE feeling in control of what I eat and when.
I'm not giving it up. No way, no how. As I told my Hubs last night, "And you can't make me!"
EDIT: For those just joining us, I never got the surgery - but the results were too obvious for me to ignore, so I kept doing what I was doing.
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