Sunday, August 22, 2010
Here I am, 40 pounds lighter, from 215 to 175. I am happy about that, but am also feeling apprehensive about what is happening to me right now.
The first 3 months - March, April & May - were like a dream...I was focused, committed, and everything fell into place so well that it almost seemed too easy. I loved going to my Weight Watcher meetings because I lost every single week. I was excited and committed - nothing was going to stop me. I lost 30 pounds in those first 12 weeks, averaging between 2-3 lbs. a week after a 5 lb. loss the first week.
The next 3 months - June, July & August - were more challenging. I lost 10 pounds in those 12 weeks, which still wasn't too bad, averaging about 1 lb. a week with the exception of 1 week that I gained 1 lb. and another week I gained 0.2 lb. But I did notice myself slipping. Things began to change.
I started what I'll call an "attitude plateau" right around August 1. It's the same thing that has happened to me twice before, coincidentally each time after about 5 months when I'd lost 30-40 lbs. and was between 175-185. It's a pattern I intend to halt immediately.
As I think about it, one of the things that happens is that I get satisfied with the way I look and feel. I get complacent. I'm not at my goal, but I no longer feel fat and frumpy like I did before I lost the 40 lbs. I can wear a size 12 comfortably instead of squeezing into size 18 pants. Catching a surprise glance in a mirror pleases me instead of horrifying me like it did. I'm no longer winded while walking fast or going up the stairs. I'm feeling more energetic and fit.
The other thing that happens is that after 5 1/2 months of tracking, I get a little tired of weighing my food and do more eye-balling of portions and guesstimating how many points something is. I start to snack more than usual and go over my points more. I dip my toes into the water of trigger foods I haven't had in a while. But, at least I have continued to keep up my food log and can see in writing why my losses have slowed.
That part of me that doesn't want to have to plan or track starts to emerge...it complains "Why should I have to pay all this attention to what I'm eating? Why can't I just naturally eat less? Just a little ice cream, cookies, "you-name-it" won't hurt...I'll get back to my plan tomorrow". But that's dangerous thinking for me, for tomorrow doesn't ever come. All the tomorrows become one more today that accumulates into all those yesterdays that got me where I was in the beginning.
I CAN NOT, WILL NOT allow this to happen yet again. I've unleashed my inner Jillian, who says: "stop complaining and DO something about it!"
"Yeah, I'm talkin' to YOU!"
I've come up with some action plans...
First and foremost, I need to do the mental work. That means getting back to regular meditation, visualization, saying daily affirmations, and watching my weight loss hypnosis DVD. I'm a fan of Abraham-Hicks and believe in the power of thoughts and changing your vibration from "what is" to what is desired in order to attract what I want, which is good health, fitness, and a slim attractive body. All that complaining about "how bad things are" does is bring about more of "how bad things are". This is the last you'll hear me talk about slipping or struggling. From here on out, I am simply doing all that needs to be done and I am achieving my desired shape and size.
Next, I am going back to what worked. It's again. I have my first 3 months food journal in front of me and I'm going to repeat the food plans that yielded me great results. I will happily weigh and measure my food because I know that each week I'll get to see the scale move downward. I will eat more veggies, fruits & beans/legumes that offer more nutrition and fiber to keep me full and satisifed.
I'm only 20 pounds from my WW goal of 155 lbs. which should put me in a size 10. After I maintain that for 6-12 months, I may decide to go for my ultimate "dare to dream" goal, which is 140. I know this is possible for me. I haven't come this far only to slide backwards. This feels too good. The old me is history. Those old habits did not serve me. It felt like I was being held a prisoner in my own body, eating away pain and sorrow, yet never getting any satisfaction. That chapter is closed. Bring on the joy and freedom of being slim and healthy.
Friday, June 18, 2010
This happens to me at least a couple times a month, sometimes more often. I'm on my walk...I'm listening to my tunes with my ear buds in...I'm swingin' my arms and walking as fast as I can. Then, some car starts slowing down and someone is talking to me out their window. "Is this the right way to such-and-such?" "Can you tell me how I get to this and that?" "Where can I find (fill in the blank)?"
It's downright aggravating to me because I'm trying to keep my pace and my heart rate up, and they interrupt my stride as well as my concentration. But, beyond that, do I look like I have mapquest written across my chest? Some of the time I have no idea where 'blankety blank' is. Once, a man asked me where the village office is. I got confused as to which location is the village office versus the town office, and he actually got mad at me and shouted "the VILLAGE office!!!" like he thought I was the Village Idiot!!
And, today, this woman asked me if she needed to turn right at the end of the road to go towards a certain town. She not only interrupted my fast walk, she also interrupted my thoughts, and it caught me off guard (plus the fact that I really am directionally-challenged and get myself lost all the time). I told her what I thought was the right way. Then, as I continued walking and had more time to think about it, I realized I told her wrong. Then I spent the rest of my walk feeling upset about misdirecting her and worried about whether she was able to get turned around quickly.
Am I being unreasonable to want to have a nice, peaceful, energetic walk without having to be stopped and quizzed for directions? I don't want to be rude, even though I feel they are being rude by stopping me...people who are running don't usually get waved down to stop in mid-run and give directions. Apparently walkers are fair game because we're not walking fast enough to escape. Don't people map out their routes ahead of time? If I could just shout out the truth like in the Jim Carey movie, "Liar, Liar" I would just tell them to go buy a GPS.
Okay, that was my rant. It feels good to vent. I welcome any and all suggestions to my dilemma.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
I haven’t written as many blogs this year. Last year I blogged regularly, but it seemed as though I spent a lot of time thinking about, planning, and writing/talking about what I was GOING to do…but there was never any follow through. This year I spent more time DOING than thinking, writing, and talking about it.
Today I’ve decided to talk about my process in the hope that it may help inspire someone who might be struggling. If you go to my Main page and click on “read more about Happywalker”, you’ll see a weekly progress of my weigh-ins. January and February are reflective of what was going on during most of 2008 and all of 2009. Something shifted inside on March 1 and ever since my life has changed. Let me explain some of the things that led up to it….
First of all, I came to the realization that I had been blogging often about how hard it was, how discouraged I was, how much I wanted to lose but couldn’t seem to get it together, etc. I actually went back and deleted most of the blogs I wrote during 2008 because I had an epiphany: I was too focused on what I didn’t want…I was dwelling on what I felt I couldn’t do…I put too much attention on what wasn’t working; therefore, I kept re-creating the same dismal scenarios over and over.
Secondly, I spent some time pondering what the benefits were of staying the same. Surely there had to be benefits because otherwise I’d be making changes. Although I’d previously made a list of all the reasons I wanted to lose weight, I felt that I also had to confront the reasons I wanted to stay overweight. I wrote them out in my blog titled, “Benefits of Overeating vs. Benefits of Being Slender” dated February 19, 2010. I feel it’s important to spend time exploring why you do what you presently do in order to pave the way for change. There is a sense of loss when you are saying goodbye to old habits…some of them served you well in some regard, even if the side effects were detrimental. The end result of spending the time doing this exercise was huge! I was honest with my feelings but as I laid the benefits of each side by side, I knew without a doubt that my benefits for not changing paled considerably in comparison to my benefits for becoming slender.
The third thing I did was hit rock bottom. I felt the worse I’d ever felt physically. I was having regular panic attacks concerning my health. My self esteem and confidence were at an all-time low. I hated what I saw in the mirror. I dreaded social events. I felt frumpy, dumpy, lumpy and grumpy!
It was at that point that I knelt down and prayed. I didn’t ask God to do it for me or take this burden from me. I merely asked for guidance and for strength. I admitted that I needed help and was willing to accept whatever path I needed to take. The very next day is when I had a strong urging to go on the Weight Watchers site to see where they were having meetings nearby. I was surprised to see there was a meeting starting up the following Monday in my small town, right around the corner from my house. Coincidence? I no longer think so.
Weight Watchers is something I’ve “been there/done that” several times in the past. But this time I committed ahead of time to give it everything I had. I’m now on my 15th week and haven’t missed one day of tracking every bite of food every single day…I haven’t missed a single weekly meeting and I always stay to the end. I started out not knowing a soul and now enjoy chatting with fellow members. I never weigh myself at home (except once a month to find out my body fat %) and I have lost something (an average of 2 lbs.) every week for the last 15 weeks, for a total of 31.8 lbs. as of 6-7.
For me, Weight Watchers was just a catalyst. It was something new (new for right now, that is, because I hadn’t attended in well over 10 years). It was structure. It was a way to shake me out of my reverie of sameness. For others it’s joining a gym or Curves, trying Zumba, starting a daily walking program, getting a new workout DVD series, reading about a healthy eating plan in a book or magazine, etc. For many, it’s SparkPeople in and of itself. That how it began for me in 2007. It was merely stumbling across SparkPeople (ironically on March 1) and getting excited about all the free tools here and taking full advantage of them. When I gained my weight back the following year, SparkPeople wasn’t enough anymore to kick me back into success mode. There’s got to be something to light your fire to get you started. But that’s just the beginning. Once I get my initial commitment and momentum going and hit my stride, there’s no stopping me for at least the first 3 months. The next phase is what has in the past proven to be hardest for me. I’m there now and I need to stay on my toes and very aware of what’s going on.
Right now I’m halfway to my goal and entering a new challenge of continuing to keep the flame burning. I wrote about my last two weight loss disasters in my blog titled, “It’s for life—diary of a former yo-yo dieter and how I’m rewriting my story” dated April 17, 2010. I’m right there again…getting into smaller sizes, people are starting to notice, I’m getting compliments, I’m having a little more difficulty in staying on course 100% of the time. This is all too familiar! But, by knowing and facing the pitfalls I’ve had in the past, I can plan on how to deal with it ahead of time. I’ve seen the enemy, and it was ME ….but no more! I now have strategies. I am determined to change the outcome and blast through the barriers that held me back before. I WILL get to my goal and achieve my Lifetime Membership. There is no room for doubt.
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