Wednesday, October 22, 2008
One of the many benefits of weight loss is more confidence. As I've written before, despite losing almost 20 pounds, I'm still fat. I'm not looking for sympathy here, it's just the way it is: I still weigh too much for my height.
I can feel the changes when I walk, though. I'm more likely to swing my very ample hips a bit -- not consciously, really, it just happens. I can feel bones beginning to poke through where before they were hidden under layers of fat, and I like the way that feels. I'm by no means bony, don't worry, just old friends are beginning to emerge from the depths.
Crossing my legs is no longer such a struggle. Don't you just hate it when you can't cross your legs because your thighs are too fat?
I've even begun to make peace with my neck. I used to think my neck was just short and ugly. I'm not Audrey Hepburn, and I never will be (who is, after all, she was really skinny!), but as all of me begins to shrink, I'm finding that my neck is longer than I realized. Oh, and if you don't know who Audrey Hepburn was -- google her.
When you're really heavy, generally you just don't want to call attention to yourself. As you begin to emerge from your cocoon of fat, you're more willing to strut your stuff. I know some people are confident no matter what their body size, and kudos to them, because of course the size of our body does not define who we are.
Nothing to do with body confidence, but everything to do with getting that body you want, I'll leave you with this thought:
"You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event - it is a
habit." -- Aristotle
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Would I exercise if I didn't need to to keep at a healthy weight? That's a really good question.
The truth is that exercise isn't just about keeping your weight down or being able to eat more. It's about having the strength to power through your days . . . up the stairs, toting the kids or the kitty litter, etc.
After my month of Zumba, I've been mixing it up. I've been doing some Turbo Jam again, and that includes Turbo Sculpt. When I started Turbo Sculpt, even though I've been lifting weights for a long time, I wasn't used to doing 40 minutes straight with no breaks -- so I found I needed to use 3 pound weights.
Now after a break, though, I was able to move up to 6 lb weights. I can feel myself getting stronger. Yes, I can do many weight exercises with much heavier weights than 6 pounds, but to do 40 minutes continuous weight lifting 6 pounds is working for me. I also did the Total Body Sculpt, which uses a stability ball, and that seemed a lot easier, too.
So back to the original question . . . would I work out if I didn't need to? I suppose I should consider myself lucky, because I do need to work out to get to and maintain a healthy weight -- if I didn't need to, most likely I wouldn't do it -- and then I'd be one of those thin but unfit people. And I want to be fit.
I want the energy to power through my days. I am not there yet, but I still have a fair amount of weight to lose, and I know I will continue to get stronger and have more energy.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sometimes it takes a really, really long time. But patience and persistence pay off -- as do paying attention.
We got Chester as a tiny puppy almost 3 years ago. Simba is a very self assured, dominant cat, and he's been fine with him since day one. Gizmo (they are brothers, btw) is very skittish and high strung. He was not happy with the intruder.
Gizmo used to sleep with me every night. In fact, he'd come into my office when it was bedtime, and if I asked him if it was time to go to bed, he'd go running into my bedroom.
Gizmo stopped sleeping with me when we got Chester, even though Chester slept in his crate in our bedroom for the first year. Gizmo used to like to come in and hiss at Chester in his crate.
I was sad about this, of course, but other than to work with the both of them, there wasn't much I could do. I love them both. I get up early so that I can spend time with the cats without the dogs -- I might be able to go to bed later if the cats & dogs got along better.
And if Gizmo didn't like one dog, he certainly didn't like two. In some ways, Gizmo and Lola are much alike -- high strung, both apt to attack first and ask questions later. They're a bad match in many ways.
Still, Gizmo never hid, he never stopped eating, and he continued to come to me for loving when he felt safe. I felt sad that he didn't feel safe enough to be with me when the dogs are with me -- almost 24/7 -- but I did the best I could.
Lately, though, I've been noticing signs of a thaw. He rarely hisses at the dogs when they get too close to him anymore. He's begun to eye me, as if he wanted to lay on me, even when the dogs are by me. And he's begun coming to the back door to get his treats along with everyone else at last call.
Last night it happened. Chester likes to lay on my stomach as I watch tv at night. Lately, though, as the weather has gotten cooler, I put a small mat I knitted on my lap, make Chester lay between my legs, and Simba usually comes around at some point and lays on me.
Only last night, it wasn't Simba, it was Gizmo. He'd still be laying there, too, if Chester hadn't jumped off & run away barking at something after about 10 - 15 minutes.
This change in attitude has taken 3 YEARS!
By now you should know where I'm going with this. This lifestyle change isn't a simple fix. It doesn't happen overnight. It can take a lot of patience, truly paying attention, and just simple time. But it WILL happen. Never, ever give up.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Even though I live in a place with a mild winter, I'm not immune to the flagging motivation that comes along with shorter days and cooler temperatures.
It gets harder and harder to motivate myself to get up and moving when I'm covered in a furry blanket of a couple of animals that want nothing more than to snooze on me for hours at a time. It gets harder to get out of bed in the morning, when I'm all warm and snuggled with said furry animals, and the house is cool. The tv beckons in the early twilights. Cloudy, rainy days find me encamped on my chaise lounge, still snuggled with animals, working on the socks, or blanket, or gloves that will see me through colder walks.
If you belong to a gym, you probably find that your classes are growing smaller. I can remember more than one private class when I was the only one who showed up towards the end of the year.
Running the gauntlets of the holidays, with all the accompanying food, can be daunting, too. It starts soon, but it goes on for months: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's.
But here's what I know for sure: if I give up and tell myself I'll start anew in the new year, I know that I'll be packing along a few extra friends. Year to year those few extra friends turn into a crowd. I've already shed one crowd from myself, and I won't give up working on the next one.
It IS harder to motivate ourselves at this time of year, but we have a choice: keep up our healthy lifestyles and reap the rewards of more energy and better fitting clothes, or throw up our hands and say we'll start over again someday . . . knowing that every time we do, it gets just that much harder. I'm going to do my best to keep up my healthy lifestyle. I know I will stumble at times, and there will be times I succumb to the siren calls of snuggly animals, but I still have my eye on the prize: a more energized, more confident, happier me.
"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn."
-- Mary Catherine Bateson
Friday, October 17, 2008
"Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing."
-- George Sheehan
I am getting close to my first goal: the first 10% gone. Only a pound and a half to go. I was so sure I was going to be there today, I was already scoping out cookbooks & exercise DVDs for a reward, trying to decide how much I could spend and what I wanted.
Well, I still fell a pound and a half short. The reason I thought I would get there was because my jeans felt so loose. I really thought I'd lost a couple of pounds, which would be reasonable, considering it's been a couple of weeks since I weighed in.
I may have another week . . . or two . . . or more til I get to that goal. I do know I'll get there.
"Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be."
-- Raymond Charles Barker
Would weight loss be so sweet if it weren't so hard? The hard truth is probably no, it wouldn't be. If everyone could do it, it would be just a little bit less satisfying.
I was talking with a couple of friends I've made at my WW meeting after the meeting ended. One was trying to decide whether or not she wanted to weigh in (you only *have* to weigh in once a month, but you can still attend meetings). I was saying that I find that when I haven't done as well as I think I should have, like this week, then that motivates me to examine what I did do -- and how I might change.
I ate more than usual this week. No binges or anything like that, but I made myself buttered popcorn a couple of times. That could very well be the culprit right there. I still did lose weight, just not as much as I expected or wanted. Plus I used all of my 35 flex points, which I normally don't do.
I don't truly know what made the difference, but a life unexamined isn't much worth living. Every weigh in is an opportunity to reevaluate what I'm doing, what's working, and more importantly -- what isn't working.
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