As part of the first challenge for the 20th session of the Biggest Loser Challenge, we have to come up with a plan on how we will be successful this session.
It's a tough part of the challenge - this is the point where I have to really think about what positive changes to I want to make and how I will keep them.
I decided to break up my choices into three categories. In no way will this be simple especially as we move into the winter holiday season. There will be plenty of temptation over the next 12 weeks but I am a strong woman and I'll survive.
Continue with allergy exploration
Go unprocessed according to the October Unprocessed rules
Replace white foods with healthier alternatives (one minor acception - potatoes. while we will eat sweet potatoes more often and try to have healthier starchy vegetable choices, potatoes are the one snack my son can make while we're fairly allergy friendly)
Track food in notebook - to track allergens and diet weak points
Stock up on healthy quick food (homemade freezer meals/snacks)
Keep up with lunch walks
Go back to long walks on sundays
get in strength training routine on a regular basis
Better bed routine - no more staying up late
take better care of my skin (dry brushing? regular lotion)
Journal a few times a week
That's a start and I know it's not exactly a plan but I am working on that. Every step forward is a step forward.
For the next 12 weeks, I'll be participating in the Sparkpeople Biggest Loser Challenge. My goal is to lose 25 pounds in this time. It's doable since it's 1 pound over 2 pounds a week for the challenge. I have already lost a few pounds which I expected. I had some water weight that I knew would come right off but I'm counting it towards my 25 pounds.
I started the challenge at 248 so the plan is to end the challenge at 223.
My plan is simple - I walk 20-30 minutes a day, complete a circuit of exercises from the PT each day (part of therapy) and keep my calories between 1200 and 1500. That should help me lose the weight.
My biggest obstacles are:
1.I am so hungry but I keep telling myself that this will go away as my body gets used to eating less volume. I'm not unlike a dog in that I will eat until I am painfully full and then still eat. I'm retraining myself what a real meal looks like and what my body needs from food.
2. I get bored or feed-up or have a bad day and then it's all over. Besides the BLC team, I have joined another weight loss support group outside of Sparkpeople. I figure the two prong attack of support will help me keep up. That and I am fiercely competative. I love points and both have point systems. It will be my goal to get as many points possible.
3. My family. My family loves me but they also love food. Being that it's summer there are more opportunities for outdoor activites. I have expressed how badly I need to do this for my health and they understand but they all have their own food issues. It's not an easy obstacle to overcome. One thing I am doing is planning and saying no. I give in when I have extra calories I can use or if I haven't been getting enough calories (I had 2 days this week where I was under 1200 so I didn't mind when I goofed and hit 1600).
As part of my plan, I am journalling daily and reminding myself that I have a dream. I have no desire to be skinny or a supermodel. I have a man who loves me deeply but I want to be healthy. I want to have the energy and strength to return to farm living when we have the money. I have a big dream but I won't be able to reach that dream if I am too sick to do so. The first goal is to get my blood pressure back to normal and my body strong. That also requires some weightloss. My family is supportive of that. They want me around for a long time. I plan on staying with them for as long as possible.
So that keeps me on the path. I have lots of love and support. It's a struggle but I think I have a good plan.
I'm just about ready to give up on pretty much everything. I am so stressed that even the smallest task seems unbearable. I just want to eat junkfood and play video games. I haven't completely blown my diet but I just don't care. I'm cranky and tired.
There's not a lot I can do to make the stress go away but I need some better coping skills. I didn't even realize I was stress eating until I had been at it for two days. I thought maybe it was hormones and giving in a little wouldn't hurt but I think it's a bigger problem than that.
I know I'm not sleeping well, mostly due to my cat who seems to be stressed himself. He's probably feeling my stress and trying to make it better. Makes me wonder what I am doing in my sleep to make him so worried. I didn't realize I was this wound up.
Sadly, it's the sort of stress that has to just be waited out (coped with). We have financial problems and I have to wait to see what's going to happen. I can't force any of it to be fixed and I don't wait well.
It's so bad that my son is stealing so that's something else. I know he worries about the money but I wish he wouldn't. I try to protect him from the worst of it but he's 14 and I believe he needs to understand the reality that is money.
I just wish it wasn't so bad.
The last post I did for Body Clutter was on clothes. Somehow I didn't save that post and it bothered me. I never see clothes as important so I tried telling myself that the post didn't matter since it was all about how clothes don't really mean anything to me.
Since then I've been working on my identity collage - a project that started ages ago. You cut out pictures from magazines and create a collage that is you. I have several books of collages and really call this my shopping or wish list on top of my identity.
I was amazed at the amount of clothing that was in my scrapbook/collage. I hate shopping and clothing shopping is like torture so why are there so many clothes in my scrapbook? I got to thinking about it since the whole thing just bothered me.
I have been heavy my entire life - I have never been skinny. As a teen, that meant limited clothing choices. My mom special ordered me a bra that only came in beige (now I can get the wonderful choices of beige, white or black - let me tell you that first black bra made me feel special). I wasn't huge but I didn't fit in the smaller sizes that our limited shopping centers had. Even in the "city" it wasn't easy to find clothes so I dealt with what I could get.
I never really had the chance to explore fashion and I'm sort of grateful that I never went to a school dance. I can't imagine the pain it would have been to find a dress.
I grew to hate clothing. I found that I do have a fondness for clothes but it's disconnected from my body. I have promised myself a beautiful outfit if I stick to losing weight (so far I'm not actually losing anything but I'm sticking to the "diet" which is good). In October, I'll evaluate my progress. If there has been real effort, consistency and weight lost - I will get my dress. I picked out several that I just love. I can't wait to be in something truly beautiful. I can't wait to enjoy the pieces I have - many can be easily altered to a smaller waist line.
I'm ready to enjoy clothes. I may be older than most who discover fashion but I'm ready. I can't wait.
I was cleaning up my planner - shifting all the important information into my newest one when I came across a list of motivators that I had written last year. I'm not all that motivated right now and hit the same problem last year. I know I need to lose weight but I don't think I had the right motivation. Losing weight is not easy for me but trying to be healthy is easier.
My motivators last year:
Firm up what I have
Have my clothes fit better
Keep my thighs apart
Wear my wedding ring
Feel and be stronger
Have more energy
Not feel sick all the time
Play and be active
Be more confident
Not be squished by seatbelts
Prove to myself I can
I don't know what it was I was doing that had me make the list but reading it over I can see how those motivators just won't work. They are far too ambiguous to start with. Like 'have my clothes fit better' - everything I have in my closet is really designed to stretch. There are a handful of pieces that don't fit well but the majority of my wardrobe is stretch pants and t-shirts. I can't even use them to tell me when I gain or lose weight.
I want to feel better and all those things but there's no plan - no course of action. That might have been the next step that I didn't do but I don't see how that was supposed to help me at all. Especially since I didn't even remember writing it.
So motivators for this year and a course of action:
I want to get off the high blood pressure medication. I think it's sucking the life out of me. To get of the meds I need to take better care of myself - eat better, exercise more. Getting off the meds and having my blood pressure regulated should help with feeling better.
I want a beautiful new outfit. I don't buy clothes often and I usually get cheap ordinary clothes. I promised myself that if I am successful that on my birthday I would buy a beautiful, maybe even expensive outfit. To reach my goal, I need to lose about 50 pounds by October. I wanted it to be 100 but I don't want to overwhelm myself and quit before I have any success. I think I need to pick out an outfit and stick it somewhere that I see on a regular basis - maybe even a few outfits so I don't get used to the image.
I want to wear my wedding/engagement rings. I don't want them resized - I want my beautiful rings.
I want to have an amazing sex life with my husband. At this point in time, it's less than wonderful. We're both heavy and being older we just aren't as flexible as we once were. No one needs details but it's lacking seriously.
The majority of motivators I mentioned before really will come on their own. My energy will increase as I get healthier, I will become more active. My new motto is "An object in motion stays in motion."