Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It's time for the month in review. Since this one is probably as close as any one of these that I'm going to do for the middle of my journey, well, that's the reason for today's song.
It's been exactly 10 months since I started taking alli. 10 days before that I started portion control and 10 before that I started working out. So much has changed, it's hard to know where to begin, so I'll start with the numbers.
Current #s, taken on 11/17/08:
* Bicep 13.75 down .25" Personal Best
* Bust 44.50 down 1.5" Personal Best
* Band 38 down 1" Personal Best
* Waist 39 down 1.25" Personal Best
* Belly 44.25 down 1" Personal Best
* Hip 45.75 up .25"
* Butt 50.50 up 1.25"
* Thigh 24.25 up .25"
Original #s, on 1/9/08:
* Bicep 19" highest
* Bust 54.75" actual highest was 55" on 2/25/08
* Band 47.5" highest
* Waist 49" highest
* Belly 59.5" highest
* Hip 51" actual highest was 54.5" on 2/18/08
* Butt 64" highest
* Thigh 32.25" actual highest was 32.5" on 3/3/08
Differences from highest to current
* Bicep down 5.25"
* Bust down 10.5"
* Band down 9.5"
* Waist down 10"
* Belly down 15.25" WOW!
* Hip down 8.75"
* Butt down 13.5" WOW!
* Thigh down 8.25"
Overall Average Inch Difference: 10.125"
Overall Average Inch Difference (bicep and thigh not considered): 11.25"
It's no secret that I didn't do much exercising before starting. That much is true about most of the people here. My current regimen is lifting 25 lbs. every day and walking 6 out of 7 days (Sundays are a rest day). Most of the time I walk 30 minutes but on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I try to sneak in an extra 15 minutes or more.
Walking is easy, jogging is hard. I can't say my jogging is getting faster or easier or that I'm going farther because none of those things are true. I suspect that a lot of this has to do with the worsening weather. I only jog in the mornings (as I'm inevitably late so I'm trying to get to the bus stop faster) and when it's under freezing it is not a pleasant experience. I'll get better, I know I will, but I'm not there just yet.
Diet, Food and Portion Control
The biggest change is that I've added chicken soup to my diet. Homemade of course. I am doing it with nearly no salt. One challenge is to make matzoh balls that are tasty, low salt and low fat, and not the consistency of rubber. Not quite there yet. Having a third weekly go-to meal is a big help in terms of generating more overall food variety. Plus it helps to keep me interested in what I'm doing.
Thanksgiving is going to be a challenge. There is no getting around that. After all, it is centered on food, particularly if you're not a college football fan. I'll persevere. The main issues will be salt and carbs. Fat won't be too much of an issue but I'll be vigilant about it just the same, mainly because it may be lurking in some areas where I don't expect it to be. I will take alli, even for the Thanksgiving meal -- I am dancing with who brung me, so to speak.
The following holidays are actually less of issue except for any traveling we may do. Since Xmas is not celebrated by my husband or me, there are few food temptations. Latkes are nice but I can do without if I have to. I know that next year or the year after, when I am on maintenance, things will be a bit different, but right now I'll mainly just avoid and that'll work.
I continue to battle the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder and my own boredom. After all, I've been doing this for quite a while, so it can get a bit tiring. Some of that is wrapped up in boredom with my work situation so I need to be certain to separate those out in my mind. Boredom at my job will not be cured by my eating more.
I started this journey at a size 28 or 4X (pants) and size 26 or 3X (shirts). I am currently an 18 or XL for both, with the tops getting a bit loose. I fit into some L tops but that's touch and go as sizes can vary among manufacturers and I am on the cusp of getting out of women's sizes when it comes to tops, so the cut is different. I am confident that I will fit into all Larges in two months, possibly a lot sooner than that. The pants are a little loose, and the stretchier ones can sometimes (with a little effort) be put on without unfastening. Not to jump the gun or anything but in two months or less, 18 pants are probably going to feel like 26s do now.
Since I lose, on average, about 11 lbs. per month, I suspect that rate will slow down a bit. But even if it goes to 9 lbs. per month I can still finish getting to healthy BMI before the end of calendar year 2009. Again, not to jump the gun or anything. If it takes longer, well, it takes longer.
My 2009 goals are beginning to take shape, and include about 15 minutes more of walking every day (even on long walk days) and eventually moving from 25 lb. weights up to 40, in a gradual process, of course. Diet goals are mainly to make it to healthy BMI, but it may be a good idea to incorporate more into my cooking repertoire, particularly if these are things I can make in the slow cooker.
The really big middle of the road milestone occurred late last month, when I recorded a 100-lb, weight loss! Right now it is a struggle to push through the next 10. I'm down about 3 in the past three weeks, which is not a typical rate for me. Another couple of milestones were being named Done Girl of the Day and on the same day being named a Motivator. Those two things still make me smile.
On balance, I'm happy with my progress. I can see a major difference in my appearance and feel it in my energy levels. I find myself easily saying no to unhealthy foods and yes to exercise.
Stick around for next month's report. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I thought of this song because I've got a little over 96 lbs. to go to hit my big goal. And then I heard that line, the one I put in the title, and thought that would be a good idea for an entry.
I saw my friend on Saturday. For anyone who has not been reading along in the continuing saga of my life, my friend (in this context) is the fishmonger.
Of course I have other friends (and I'm sure he does, too), but he's unfailingly kind, pleasant and patient with me, and also knows his stuff. I have trouble making friends and so it's a delight to me to just know somebody new and different and have them (apparently) like me, too. He does seem to go out of his way for me a lot, whether it's to get me something special or just listen to me gab or make sure that no one else waits on me. He also gabs back and I hear about his dreams, how he really doesn't want to be a fishmonger forever, and how the corporate world of food sales is little different from where I work in terms of the kind of BS you go through every day.
I was thinking about all of that because over the weekend my sorority had their initiation. Now, I was initiated years ago but I am a mentor to a girl who was getting initiated. Well, I missed it. By an entire day! I totally blew it!
I felt terrible about it, and sent her an apology note immediately. That much is not what I'm talking about. What I am talking about is, well, I was supposed to be there, there were records of same, I did not show, and apparently no one either noticed or cared. Certainly not enough to follow up in any way.
We are talking about less than 50 people here.
I recognize that, despite the size of my ego, I am not the center of the universe. So them not trying to at least find out if I'd met my maker on Massachusetts Avenue is, I suppose, par for the course. But it does make me wonder, because sororities and the like are touted as being lifetime friendships.
I made decent sorority friends in college but we have all drifted apart. I know some here on Spark and they are lovely ladies. But ever since I became an alum, I haven't had any real closeness in that area.
That's not the only area without closeness.
Two jobs ago, we all bonded beautifully, and many of us stay in touch. It still feels good and right. I remember saying to my boss, on our last day together as coworkers (the department was split up when the company was bought), "I figured when I started here I'd have a few laughs. I didn't expect to fall in love with everybody." And she understood exactly what I meant, and said she felt the same.
Friends from one job ago? Maybe two or three but not at that level. And at this job, none. Pleasant enough people, but no one to confide in. No one to really spend time with and discuss much of anything other than work. No one I want to see outside of the office. No one who I'd cry to if there was a tragedy in my life. No one I'd really miss if I were laid off tomorrow.
No one here knows that I write. They barely know that I watch my weight. They know I used to be a lawyer, but they don't know that I can cook. They don't know me.
And they won't know me. I can't see making that step and forging that bond.
I guess I don't bond that deeply with a lot of people. I bond in degrees. Deepest to my husband, of course, and my family, but also to some friends (this includes some online folk) and then there are good acquaintances and more removed ones and then after that I suppose we're in the realm of the UPS delivery guy and the people we all see on TV. Remote and isolated. Never, ever allowed into the castle. Even if they ask nicely.
Maybe I'm picky. Maybe I'm snobby. Maybe I'm too reserved. Maybe I'm trying to make up for sometimes seeming to be too needy. Maybe I just don't want them to see my messy house. And, by extension, my messy life.
I don't know.
But I do know that there are not a lot of people outside of my family who I'd want supporting me at a funeral, or visiting me in the hospital if I was very sick.
It's funny. A woman I went to Summer camp with over 30 years ago found me online, and we have talked on the phone and we email a lot and I feel that closeness there, even though, frankly, she and I weren't all that close way back when. But it feels like we are, now.
I know with friendship it is quality and not quantity, and I fully subscribe to that. I also know that, at age 46, bonding is different from what it was when I was 16 or even 36.
There was a book out a few years ago called, "He's Just Not That Into You". It was about dating relationships but it could really be about any kind of relationship, I suppose. It could have also been called "He Doesn't Really Care About You" or "He's Really Interested in Someone or Something Else". Not to pick on men. Women do this, too.
I'm tired of that treatment.
I know that we are all busy people and, like I said, I am not the center of the cosmos. But I don't want to put out my heart for people to simply forget I'm there, or not care one way or the other.
How can you tell when someone's into you?
They communicate without prompting, or without much prompting. They smile at you. They listen to you. They care about what you like and dislike; those things interest them. They give of their time. They don't check their watches or look around for the next great stimulus. You may not be the center of their world but at least for a while you can be the center of their attention.
Perhaps this is all obvious to everyone but me. But one piece of this journey is positivism. To be around people who don't try to drag me down. To listen to uplifting conversations and take part in them. To feel good after spending time with someone, instead of wondering why something else didn't get done.
Not a lot of people fit that bill on the deeper levels, but some are, I suppose, getting there.
Take friendship where you find it, in whatever form and whatever manner it is offered, because it is rare and special and meaningful. Because it is so valuable. Because it one of the greatest things any of us can ever have, and it helps make life worth living.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Be aware re the video that at about 1:33 Sting drops the f-bomb plus there's some odd/questionable imagery, particularly towards the end (it is, after all, Frank Zappa), so do be discreet and I'd recommend listing with headphones on if at work.
Okay, disclaimer is out of the way.
It's not murder by numbers, it's health by numbers.
Read 'em and weep.
We had health screenings at work today.
* Blood pressure: 125/72. Ideal is less than 120/80 but the # they seem to care more about is the second one, which is fabulous.
* Glucose (and I wasn't fasting!): 91. Ideal is below 110 so this is off the charts fabulous.
* Total cholesterol: 156. Ideal is under 200. I was 199 last year.
* HDL (good) cholesterol: 40. Ideal is over 40 so it could be slightly better but is still good.
* TC/HDL ratio: 3.9. Ideal is less than 4.5
* BMI: 39.4. Ideal is 18.5-24.9 so there's still a ways to go, but extreme obesity is 40 and up so I am now classified as obese for the first time in probably 10 years.
* Body fat percentage: 43.9. Ideal for females 40-59 years of age is 18-30%. Still a ways to go but improving. The nurse suggested interval training. She was REALLY impressed with my cholesterol #s.
Plus I got a flu shot.
I AM HEALTHY!!!!!
I will go to my doctor in January. Man, she's gonna flip.
Hey, this stuff works.
Okay, you got me. We ALL knew. Deep down, we knew. But we put it off. Or we rationalized it. Or we wished it away and swept it under the rug.
Well I am here to tell you that once you confront that rug and turn it over, and stop putting it off, some truly amazing things can happen.
And the truly amazing thing is that this is in ALL of us. You, me and the postman. The annoying woman at work and the lunch lady and your government representative. Your father and your cousin and your niece and your landlady and a poet laureate and an accountant. A truck driver and a kindergarten teacher. A food service worker and a CEO.
It's as easy to learn as your A, B, C, D, E
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
There are days when, I admit, I get bored with all of this.
After all, it's an enormous amount of navel-gazing that goes on. Day in, day out, whether I want to think about it or not, I have to take all sorts of things into consideration:
-- can I get the foods I need?
-- do I have alli with me?
-- can I get in a workout?
-- can I get enough rest?
-- do I have anything to wear that fits me and isn't too big or too small?
And then I remember, we're all in this together. We're all pulling on the same rope. So if one of us is tired, the other one picks up the slack and pulls a little harder, or at least offers encouragement.
Sometimes the days run together, but they don't have to. It's actually better if they don't, if things are mixed up, changed up, transmogrified into something new. It doesn't always have to be the same walking, the same salad, the same workout tape.
Today I'm going to walk home from a different bus stop, using a different route. It'll have a hill. I'll probably see foliage I haven't seen on the other streets, and different houses. Tonight for dinner I'm making guacamole, which is nothing new, except this time I'm adding roasted tomatillos, which we haven't had for a few months. I'm exploring more online, and refinding friends from a good 30 years ago. I got some writing done yesterday. I'm going to try to get some more in tonight.
Change is a good thing, and you are altering the very atoms of your being and sometimes that can be tough. Switches in your body and your mind are flipped up and down, on and off.
So, for today,
Turn it on, turn it on, turn it on again
Monday, November 10, 2008
Including today, there are 52 days left in the year.
Yeah, I can hardly believe it myself.
Same number of weeks there are in a year.
Same number of cards in a full deck (assuming you're playing with one, of course).
Just 52 days until New Year's Resolutions, which is how I got into this whole weight loss business to begin with.
Oh sure, I had wanted to change. And then with the new year it seemed like such an opportune time I couldn't pass it up.
And now the year is drawing to a close, but there's still time to do plenty.
Still a good 7 plus weeks.
Still time to make good choices.
Still time to be active.
Still time to get enough rest.
Still time to buy, cook and eat good foods.
Still time to lift and walk and jog and swim and play frisbee and bowl and and and ....
There's still time.
What are YOU going to do with YOUR 52 days?
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