Monday, September 19, 2011
So it is May 18, 2009, Victoria Day in Canada, and there I am.
I weigh 212 pounds, on my 5'1", small-boned frame.
I just tried to play my classical guitar for the first time in a long time, and I cannot manage to keep it on my lap....
I am over 60 years old and desperate.
I have had a weight problem my whole life, an emotional eater from infancy I think, and have had some time-limited success with Weight Watchers, but I gained it back and more.
But on May 18 2009 something clicked. WW was available on-line in Canada, which works for me, tech-oriented and not much for self-help meetings.
So I joined.
I cannot tell you why I stuck it out this time. The early WW days, using the old Points system, gave me plenty to eat and I got involved in the on-line support boards.
And I lost weight, and was able to go closet shopping, and eventually had to buy a whole new wardrobe, and had to convince some colleagues that I did not have a fatal disease. I have been treadmilling for decades, and upped the intensity (small increments) and kept up with some weights for the uppr body.
Fast forward to September 19, 2010. I reach my WW goal of 112 pounds, and am terrified--of gaining it back, of keeping losing, of not knowing what to eat, of losing more, you name it, I am terrified.
I got some support from on-line forums, but was pretty much on my own. My WW maintenance was up and down, I still emotionally ate (the day of weigh-in, and then try to lose it all through the week, anybody ever do that :-)). Then WW changed its system and it definitely stopped working very well for me. I got up to 114 and it was not going down.
So, in my ongoing web searches for the perfect pedometer (I've been wearing one for years), I found the fitbit. Not yet available in Canada when I discovered it (wireless license problems, no literature in French!) so I bided my time and bought one when in the US last June. And in getting used to the fitbit, I found folks were mentioning Sparkpeople on the forums. So I gave it a try....
What a relevation! This is an in-your-face, active, happy website, with enough information on maintenance to help me actually maintain! And not only am I maintaining, I am down to 109 and sometimes less pounds.
And today I have maintained for a year. I wrote in a Maintenace Sparkteam forum today:
"I have been maintaining for a year, today!
At first, the scale was the only measure I would use to determine successful maintenance--you can see I still have it as my icon on the weight loss ticker. It was operational, it did not lie, etc.
Now, I am getting into a broader definition, and looking at all aspects of fitness as indicators of maintenance. I have exercised for decades, and have certainly increased my duration and intensity of such. I also take into account my work/life balance (high pressure job, type A personality), sleep patterns (do not do so well here), frame of mind, my music, practice of my faith, doing good in/for this world, relationship with spouse, and other measures of how I am living a fit life.
The scale is still important, and I still weigh myself every day, I love stats and measuring things and that is how using a fitbit is really helpful to me as well. But what I try to do is measure me, how I am I doing on my journey?
And a funny result! I used to think that if I went below 110 pounds I would fall over from low blood sugar. Recently I have moved down to the 108's and I am still standing."
Do I still want to emotionally eat sometimes? Yes! Do I still emotionally eat sometimes? Yes!
One of the contributers on the Canadian WW meantenance message board has a slogan--when you go beyond the beyond, "own it, track it, and move on." Truer words never said.
And I am still scared I will gain it all back, but not as scared as I used to be.
And I am playing and enjoying my guitars (bought a second one), limited somewhat by carpal tunnel syndrome right now but managing.
And I am rewarding myself for the year's maintenance, which feels a heck of a lot more meaningful than my birthday, even.
At the advanced age of 63, I have never owned a personal smartphone. So, and being fortunate enough to have the funds, I went out and got an iPhone with a data plan.
The first app I downloaded was the Sparkpeople one (it's free). Now I can post and track without having to be near my computer.
I hope this was meaningful enough for folks to read right through to the end. Thank you Sparkpeople, and the Spark book, and some on-line friends I am getting to know.....thank you.