Saturday, June 04, 2011
I have always been a “big” person – from when I was a baby!!
I tried a lot of diets and ways to lose weight – none really worked and although I might lose the occasional couple of pounds – I just got bigger and bigger
1877(ooops!!) 1977 – at my wedding – just to show that our wedding dresses aren’t always our smallest size!! Maybe one day I’ll try it on again for fun!!
1998 – in UK on holiday
2002 – this was taken in Adelaide on Holiday – and was the photo where I decided I had had enough – time for yet another attempt to lose weight!! I was 170kg here (374lb) and taking size 34 clothes!! This is the first reasonably correct recorded weight I have. I may well have been heavier before but its not on record.
2004 – going veeeerrrryyy slowly!!
2005 – off on vacation – by now I was buying 2 seats on the plane and using a walking stick and walking frame!! I was losing weight very slowly but my health was deteriorating – obesity was taking its toll – on my knees.
2007 – holiday in West Australia – and scooter came too!! By now I had given up walking much – too much pain and very unstable knees – so I had a scooter – but taking it on holiday is rather like taking everything and the kitchen sink!!
2008 – 35kg gone (77lb) however – still living a totally sedentary life – and still wearing size 34 clothes!! This was a couple of months before I joined Sparkpeople.
In Feb 2009 I joined Sparkpeople – and discovered a hitherto banned word – exercise!! I was already eating a fairly healthy diet – but exercise was the one thing I had never tried!! I started staggering through 1 exercise in a Chair exercise DVD – but kept going – every day – often ending up sobbing with pain and effort – but eventually – .........
In 2010 – I started seeing changes – the length and intensity of exercise was increasing and I was getting stronger – a bit – my knees still gave some troubles and I was still getting delayed onset muscle pain after starting new exercises or increasing intensity. This was a real motivational picture too – my first ever pair of zip front jeans – goal reached!! They had all been elastic waist band up to now(yes all my life) !! and it was the first time I dared wear a belt and tuck in the shirt!!
I still used a scooter for most things out side – like shopping – and honestly was being told by the Doctor I always would until I had 2 knee replacements!! Well why wouldn’t I believe him??
By September 2009 I was really proud of how far I had come – and thought I looked great!! LOL!!
In June 2010 I joined Curves – feeling I wanted and needed to step things up a bit – this was the nearest I came at that time to “gym clothes” I chose Curves because I could sit and exercise at a lot of the machines – taking the stress off my knees!! Also the conventional gyms round here all need one to use a walking machine – an electric walking machine that will persist in throwing me off the back!! They also expect one to get down on the floor to exercise – but they don’t have a crane to lift me up!!
By August 2010 the extra work was paying dividends!
I rewarded myself with some gym clothes and started Zumba!! Not bad forsomeone who was using a scooter a lot of the time - though I do say it myself!!
And this is today – 4th June 2011 – a few days from my 67th Birthday – and 106kg (233lb) Its on ongoing thing, this weight loss – and there have been tears and laughter – and it certainly hasn’t been easy – but I wouldn’t go back to my old self for anything – not all the money in the world!!
For one thing I rarely have pain in my knees, and they are stable now. I occasionally use my poor faithful scooter that is sitting lonely in the garage, for long walks over uneven ground – but maybe one day……!! And my Doctor has stopped talking of knee replacements – now he just wants to know what the latest achievement is!!
And today – I had another “moment” – I undid the leather belt holding my jeans – and the jeans fell down – the snap and zip were still done up!! I thought they had been feeling loose!! Then I put this blog together and discovered why – they are the same jeans I was so proud of in the 2010 picture – my first pair of zip jeans – good heavens!! I must have been poured into them then – but they are so comfortable I just keep wearing them – they are a size 24 though and I am in size 20 now!!
Next reward – new jeans!! Meanwhile – a good strong tight leather belt!!
A work in progress – Aug 2002 – June 2011 – 63kg (141lb) difference and clothes difference from size 34- size 18/20!!
Do you know what I am most proud of?? ..... That I did it without surgical intervention, without medical intervention and without crash diets!! Just good healthy eating in the right portions and a lot of hard, but fun work, exercising!!
I am often asked – how far will you go – what is your goal?? I have no idea how far I will go – I have gone a lot further than any of the specialists ever thought was possible – and far far further than I ever believed possible. I am still going – weight loss is very slow – but my balance, strength, flexibility are improving all the time – I feel healthy and am enjoying the journey. My only goal is to continue until I reach a weight at which I am confortable and with which I am comfortable!!
The other question I am often asked is – its taken so long – don’t you get fed up ?? No I don’t because it’s a way of life – now I couldn’t go back to unhealthy eating – and I am enjoying exercise so I honestly would expect this to be a way of life until I die!! Therefore the time taken is irrelevant!!
Is it worth it ??? I’ll leave that for you to decide!!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Ok - so this is the Southern Hemisphere and we are talking about it being Winter - tomorrow - 1st June!!
But here we live in the Northern half of Queensland - we NEVER get snow and the low winter temps MIGHT drop as low as 4C (40F) at night with - maybe - a light frost!!
You get the picture - lovely warm dry clear sunny days and cool but not really cold nights!! The stuff that dreams are made of!!
That was until yesterday!!
This picture was taken on the main road just West of us - about 30min drive!! And they tell us that Winter actually starts tomorrow!!
It was actually hail - from a storm that went through - 2" - 3" of it!! But heavens - what is coming this winter??!!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
During a recent visit to my dietician he produced this paper and we discussed my feelings on the following points. I found them interesting as they are remarkably similar to the SP principals.
As we talked I thought that since these principals are so similar to the Sparkpeople principals – that I thought I would repeat the paper here for your thoughts. Hopefully at least some of it will be “food for thought” for you as it was for me.
1 – “Use By Date” – Is there a use by date for your weight loss? (eg – I just need to lose weight for a wedding in June”)
Often if a goal or date isn’t met people get discouraged and think of themselves as failures, then they give up!!
These changes are for LIFE. Just because a maybe unrealistic goal isn’t met does not mean you are a failure – the body often has its own agenda for weight loss, so we have to accept that it knows what it is doing. Lifestyle changes take time, and often good changes happen to the body that we don’t count –because they aren’t visible on those pesky scales. .
2 – “Sustain” -- begin as you mean to go on - these changes are for life.
Can you continue for the next 6mths, year, 5yrs?
Giving up an unhealthy food or habit is a difficult and complicated task – if you treat it as an addiction this can be helpful.
3 – “Deprivation” - Are you depriving yourself of your favourite foods?
Favourite foods are NOT forbidden, but they may need to be limited and portion control can help here.
4 – “False-Hope” - Is your goal weight unrealistic ?
Don’t set yourself up for failure.
5 – “Speed” - How fast do you expect to lose weight
Remember that a slow steady weight loss is far more condusive to the weight staying off than a fast loss.
6 – “Ease” – Do you just expect the weight to fall off?
Weight loss takes time, effort and commitment among other things.
7 “Savour” - Do you eat more because you taste less?
Be mindful and savour what you are eating and drinking. Take your time over the meal, notice what you are eating and how much. Taste the flavours fully. Enjoy the meal, after all you have taken time preparing it – or someone has!!
8 – “Delayed Feeling” - Remember it takes 20mins from actually being full to feeling full.
All meals should be eaten at a table, in relaxed surroundings, not watching TV or on the computer!! Never rush food – linger over the meal and enjoy it fully. Maybe it will be a family event discussing the day’s happenings..
9 – “Self discipline” – Is NOT the answer for long term benefits – you simply need to change lifetime habits.
MOTIVATION is the greatest factor to successful long term weight loss.
10 – “Sitting” - Overweight people sit for 154mins (2 ˝ hrs) longer every day than lean people. That’s what is said – however I personally suspect that obverweight people sit for a lot longer than that compared with lean people!!
Get up – move – there are so many things you can do – go for a walk, check the washing, go up and down stairs, exercise, go shopping. Go swimming, and a hundred other things besides!!
11 – “Sub-conscious” - Being overweight, and habits that make us overweight sometimes can be a protection against the bad things in our lives such as trauma, difficult relationships, stress, work etc
What are the benefits of being overweight??
I’ll bet that you can list many bad things caused by being overweight, but how many benefits can you list??
Why do you want to be overweight??
12 – “Yo-Yo Dieting” – We all know this effect – up, down, then further up, down a bit and so on!!
It can cause some negative thoughts
a) – Why bother effect – why am I bothering to go through all this
b) – Last Supper effect – get in as much as I can while I can
c) -All or nothing – why blow just a little
This is a lifetime program, encouraging us to make lifestyle changes that will last for the rest of our lives –
Our weight will fluctuate slightly naturally, but the general curve will be downward. As well we should feel fitter, healthier, have more energy, flexibility and enjoy life more. The emphasis should not be on weight but on improving our general health and fitness and in enjoying that transformation.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I have been trying to get out team to start a recipe file of their recipes to share – but I might as well knock my head against a brick wall!!
I know there is Spark recipes – but it appears they don’t use them either!!
Only 2 of us contribute recipes each month – and we are both Australian – which leads me to the conclusion that Americans don’t cook!!
I refuse to believe this is right – I hope!!
I was told a bit ago that Cookery is not taught in schools therefore the level of cooking skills can be low – and that you have to learn from your mother all that you do!! Depending on age this would mean that you actually didn’t learn as the younger generation of mothers used Take-out a lot – but that older people had the opportunity to learn as the parents did more cooking.
This would account for a lot of “drop-outs” from the Spark program. Its hard to stay on a low calorie intake by using Take-out and expensive, and if all you can cook is very basic then home cooked food would get boring!!
I can think of many reasons for not cooking at home – no ingredients, no time, either because of working, or because you have to get the meal in 5 mins, afraid the family won’t eat it, don’t know what to cook, or you don't feel like spending time cooking it goes on, or maybe they just don't want to share, or even they just don't want to participate in the team threads.
But I can think of some very good reasons to cook at home –
Firstly - by cooking food at home you know what goes into that food – no sneaky add-ins!!
Secondly - the amount of salt and other “nasties” can be controlled
Thirdly – you can organise the dishes you cook to stay within your calorie allowance far more easily than when eating Take-out or bought meals
Fourthly – its cheaper to cook at home than be for ever buying Take out
Fifthly – preparing and cooking the food and the shopping for groceries before, are exercise, or movement, rather than just sitting in a car and driving to Take –out places!!
So, because I am trying to understand and – since most who read and answer my blogs are American – what do you do – do you cook at home or not? And if not – why not??
Did you learn to cook in school – or from your mother or are you self taught??
Do you follow recipes, try new recipes – or stick to the same sort of things??
Thank you for your answers
BTW - I cook all our food - 3 meals a day - most from scratch - with fresh veg and raw meat - no packets!! But to me cooking is a hobby, its relaxing and its fun creating recipes and blending flavours, my DH loves home cooked food!! It would be maybe 4 or 5 years since we either went out to eat or ate Take-out!!
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