Sunday, January 10, 2010
Last night I went to a party (It's like an off-line version of SparkPeople that doesn't involve weight loss. There was real human interaction). This was my first one since joining SparkPeople. I had a great time. Traditionally, I've hated parties. Last night was great though and I owe it all to SparkPeople.
So what was so great about it?
Did people comment on how much weight I've lost?
Did I eat really healthfully and stay within my calorie range and resist all of the temptations to overeat?
* Again, no.
Did I get to wear some new shirt/jeans in a size that I previously couldn't fit into?
* Nope, wore the same sweater, shirt and trousers as when I started SP
Last night was not a victory. It was the first night I got to collect on the fruits of victory. You see, I no longer felt self conscious about my appearance. "Confident" is perhaps a strong word, but definitely not self conscious.
I felt that with some polish, I was presentable. I didn't feel like "the fat guy". No longer feeling the need to be jovial to overcompensate for an inadequate appearance. I was comfortable talking to people who I'd never met. Yes, even people of the female persuasion (*)
Basically, I felt normal! It was the most comfortable I've ever felt socially. My weight was no longer a barrier.
Yes, I was by no means the healthiest and most attractive guy there. Yes, I understand that most people really don't care about how I looked and would have had the same conversations with me 10 pounds ago. And yes, by this time next year, I will probably be a lot better looking and a lot healthier and that will probably make me feel awkward in an entirely different light (**)
But oh, what freedom it was just to be able to not feel like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. No feeling like the girl I'm talking to is thinking "Oh my gosh, the fat weirdo is talking to me. I hope that he doesn't ask me for my email"(***).
Thanks to SparkPeople and all of my SparkFriends(****)
* 3 good conversations, 1 email address. w00t!!1
** We'll jump off that bridge when we get to it :D
*** It's now just "Oh my gosh, the weirdo is talking to me..."
**** Who I love very much.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
OK, you know that joke that your ol' uncle Herschel tells. Come on, you know that you do. Yeah!! THAT one. He's been telling it since before you were born and when you were like 5 or 6 it was the funniest thing that you had ever heard. 20/30/40 years later, eh not so much.
I have one that I'm officially retiring.
When friends/coworkers/stray animals/etc. ask for suggestions regarding restaurants (of which I, of course have many) they often make a comment like, "Wow, you know a lot of/about restaurants." My usual "humorous" reply is patting my stomach and saying, with great bravado, "Yeah, ya don't get to be my size if ya don't know food."
Think about it mathematically: Fat guy + Fat guy drawing attention to the fact that he's fat + Fat guy making a self deprecating comment + bravado = 24K comedic gold!! Bouyaaaaah!!
My friends and co-workers who've known me for awhile always get a chuckle out of it. They knew me when I was a lot heavier and it was fitting. The other week, I made the hilarious comment to the substitute receptionist at my doctor's office who just stared at me with that "What are you...retarded?" look. That's when it occurred to me that.
(a) I really don't look fat
(b) The joke was stupid to begin with.
Voice in TrentDreamer's Head: So why are you a hypocrite? Herschel's not a hypocrite. He's just not funny anymore.
TD: Ah, glad you asked, voice in my head.
I constantly leave comments to and even have blogged about people who beat themselves up and put themselves down. I piously and sanctimoniously make the comment like, "would you say that to me if at ate 29,000 calories worth of marshmallows in one day". I even dare them to post the insults that they hurl at themselves at me for a similar bad day. My soapbox has footprints on it.
Yet, I'm doing even worse than beating myself up. I'm making fun of myself for being overweight!!! So let's apply the same logic. If someone who was overweight were to give me restaurant advice, would I say jokingly, "Wow you don't get to be your size if you don't know food" and then pat them on the stomach. H**k no, I wouldn't. So why should I say that about me?
Voice in TD's head: Why should you?
TD: I shouldn't. Shut up voice!!! OK, for once and for all....Joke!!
TD (Vinny-Mac style) Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu're FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think that we've had a breakthrough.
- TD out
Sunday, January 03, 2010
I've already won it!!
(Reporters gasp in doubtful amazement. Cameras flash)
Reporter #1: (incredulously) How can you say that?
TD: Because I'm Superman.
Reporter #2: But you're 20 pounds away from your goal weight.
TD: Not for much longer. Nothing's actually going to stop me from getting there.
Reporter #3: (inquisitively) But what about all those setbacks last year? The binges? The holiday parties where you overate?
TD: I dunno. What about them?
Reporter #1: (Skeptically) And what about all of the plateaus, setbacks, social situations and temptations that you are going to face this year? What about those?
TD: (sarcastically) Hmmmmmmmmmm. Gee whiz, that's a tough one. um......OOH OOH, I got it!!! I'll get through them and learn from them!!!! (makes mock crowd cheering noise)
Reporter #2: What makes you so confident? How do you keep such a positive attitude?
TD: Let me put this simply. "I decided to lose the weight."
I never made the decision to try to lose weight. I made the decision to actually lose the weight. It was a decision to make it the number one priority in my life. I looked into several options. SparkPeople happened to be the first venue that I tried and it's working. At the same time, if it didn't. I wasn't going to lay down and die. I would keep trying other things until something clicked.
Once I realized that SP had the right program. I started following it. Yes, some days more closely than others. But I've never given up.
The four things that have made me successful with this program are simply:
1) I learned how to do it the right way:
Slowly, methodically and consistently. Make minor changes over the long run. The all or nothing mentality always leaves one with nothing in the long run. Gradual changes.
2) Analyzing a bad day.
What was different in my morning eating than on a good day. I review my food logs from both good and bad. "Oh, I didn't get enough lean protein that day", "I felt hungry because I didn't get enough fiber". "Shoot, I got no healthy fat in the morning". The next day, I recalibrate based on my analysis.
Read my lips: This has NEVER failed for me. Never. Bad days became learning experiences, which lead to future victories, which has lead to increased confidence.
3) Leaned on others' experience.
When I was going through a plateau, I wanted to break it as soon as possible. It took a couple of polite but honest friends to say, "just ride it out". I did and I'm losing weight again. I will probably have another plateau sometime this year. It won't bother me. I'll get through it. I got through the last one. Been there done that. Whatever else I may face, someone else on this site has faced it or written a blog/article on it. I'll search for it.
4) Letting a bad day/week/month be just that:
After two weeks of extreme overeating and gaining a total of 0.2 pounds, I started to realize what people had been saying all along. When one starts exercising, one feels hungrier. A month later, when I upped the leg workout, I knew it was coming. It came. I rolled with it.
On days where I actually made bad decision(s). I analyzed and moved on. If possibly facing the same situation, I would plan for the next time. I don't beat myself up, because I am free and empowered to simply pick it back up the next day. That's where the freedom is, imo.
Based on all that, I know the lay of the land. If something new and crazy happens. I'll look into it. I may hit some bumps and snags, but hey. I've decided to lose the weight and I am going to do it. Healthfully, safely, and with support of my awesome SparkFriends (who I love very much btw.).
(cameras flash. Reporters continue to ask questions as TD walks out the door)
Friday, January 01, 2010
OK, so I had a really good day eating today. Tomorrow is the day that I would usually celebrate by getting on the scale, seeing my weight go down. I would then feel really relieved and then totally slack off tomorrow and Sunday eating-wise, pick back up on Monday through Friday and repeat the process. It's different now though.
I made a commitment to only weigh myself once every four weeks or so. It is what I speak of in the previous paragraph that inspired me to do this (and a dear SparkFriend of mine who has been doing this as well). The rush of seeing the number go down was driving my life. Just the fact that the weigh-in was then seven days away gave me, in my mind, carte blanche to eat really poorly for the next couple of days.
No More. I want to get my healthy life in order. I want the number to be a measurement of my lifestyle, but no more than that. No more games. No more "I don't eat out on Friday nights because of the salt" no more "whew, I can eat whatever I want today" after artificially eating well for two days to get a good number.
Yes, I'm already missing tomorrow's weigh-in. Yet, I know that this is for the best. Wish me success.
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