VTRICIA   45,670
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Worse or better?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

One strange thing I had noticed since I have lost weight is that I get headaches about once a month, which I don't remember happening as often before. For a few years this puzzled me. I wondered what could be making more more sensitive. Maybe it was my lower pulse and blood pressure. Maybe it was that I don't eat very much salt anymore. The hormones of monthly cycles affect the balance of salt in the body, and that's why there is water weight.

But recently it occurred to me that it may not be me having more pain. It may be what I do about it. In the olden times if I didn't feel good I'd turn to something fatty or sweet. Now I'm more likely to perceive pain, because I don't eat something at the first sign of distress.

Still, I don't really prefer to take analgesics. I guess I will look into eating better at times I might expect a headache, more freggies and fewer empty calories or salt.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 12/20/2014 7:20PM

    I really think you're onto something here. You've changed your basic coping techniques so maybe you're more aware of the sensations. I'm not a big fan of analgesics, either. I'm looking for better solutions as well -- maybe taking more time with relaxation techniques....

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ARNETTELEE 12/20/2014 6:26PM

  It's great about your weight loss but sorry about your headaches. What a bummer...

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2 years of maintenance: The Why

Friday, December 12, 2014

This is a symbolic day, moving from the 80%-96% likelihood of regain to 50%. One thing I've wondered throughout this is whether the change is incremental or simply reflects the statistics of attrition. What is the next level? Let me check. At 5 years it becomes 27%.

And yet, as my last post indicated, I had to go back into weight management. After Veterans day (we ate out 3 times that day), a week off fitness due to a fall, and Thanksgiving, I was over my initial goal weight of 165, which really stung. More than that, even asuming a few pounds of water weight it put me just over the line between normal and overweight BMI. So, I'm struggling back. And today I am 163, which is progress. I'm eating at a 200 calorie per day deficit and doing at least 40 minutes cardio and 3 muscle groups each day except Sunday until I'm back in my range with a center at 160.

I wrote about these two years for National Novel Writing Month. The realization I came to is that healthy lifestyle has, for me, become a function of self care, which extends to a drive I have to keep myself mentally healthy. This is a critical drive for me because I was hospitalized after my first child died 22 years ago. And over the years I was very protective of my mental status because I knew what it took to break me and I wanted to steer clear of that.

Protecting my mental status has evolved a lot over the years. You can protect something so much that it becomes weaker. Though a broken bone also has the potential to become stronger than the surrounding bone. For many years, self care meant not having too high expectations or demands of myself, and even not having a working scale for several years. Eating quality food and walking were always things I valued, but I didn't want to drive myself crazy with it.

And then one day a few months before I turned 40, my sister wanted help weighing her newborn baby, so we decided to see if our medical scale was really broken. It had just gotten unhinged at one point, and so I weighed myself holding the baby and not holding the baby, and I was at a BMI of 32.8. And this indicated, to me, that I was not taking care of myself.

It's funny because my Aha moment, or my why, has evolved over my journey. At first I saw it as a spiritual issue, revolving around an epiphany I had about eating sweets in November of 2011. When I reached goal, I thought it was about the life insurance exam results I got in October of 2011, which revolved around my health. At this point, I see it as about self care, running through this experience in March 2010, but also running back to December of 1992 when I decided I wanted to get free of that mental ward. (It was a military hospital, not this 7 days and done thing you get with private insurance now. I could have spent months there, and a lot of my peers had.)

The depth of my why only became clear to me through this process of writing 50,000 words about it, and being in my abnormal psychology class - which is something I would not have chosen to do, but gave me perspective and some invaluable insights. In one respect, this is not duplicatable and argues for the "statistics of attrition" interpretation. On the other hand, discovering this profound why has been an incremental process.

Is there further to go on it? Maybe. Is this why unshakeable? I still think it would be foolish to assume that. I suspect humility is a critical foundation of maintenance. But so too is hope in the face of dismal odds. That is the tightrope we walk. And so my novel about maintain really is a story, not of how you maintain, but of what it is like to go through it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LRSILVER 12/13/2014 6:09PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BESSHAILE 12/13/2014 6:12AM

    Whenever I see a statistic that seems dauntless I say "oh. Well. That's so. But not for me."

"But not for me." is my mantra for so many things. It is how I keep the truth that we are all unique beings in the front of my consciousness.

I am so sorry you lost your child.

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READYRISA 12/12/2014 10:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AJDOVER1 12/12/2014 3:11PM

    I appreciate your thoughtful, well-considered blogs. Thanks so much!
I consider my goal weight range my "fighting weight." It's a logical 5-pound range that happens to be in the middle of the "healthy bmi" for my height. My focus now is not so much on my weight as my health. I've been studying theories of habits to get a better idea of how maintenance will best work for me. I don't manage my daily calories very precisely, but I do log everything I eat each day.

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ARRREAGLES 12/12/2014 1:37PM

    first of all, anyone who completes a NaNoWriMo should be congratulated. That level of intensity of dumping out into the page is difficult and commendable, so congrats for doing it.

More importantly, I think there is real value in the underlying growth you've shown, and finding the kernels of self-truth in your writing, you've found the journey to be winding and ever long, yet rewarding along the way.

I'd guess you know the answer in your final paragraph, then, that there is a there there. Even so, I think you have come to realize that the path you're on is not a bad one, and the destination, the "done-ness" of it all no longer the carrot that you needed. Perhaps the carrot was simply coming to realize this strength and personal aspect of what you are and how you act.

That's a really long way to say, this was beautiful -- from the insights to the outcomes. And thanks, it provides a lot for me too to reflect on.

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Decreasing intake for first time in 2 years

Saturday, December 06, 2014

I guess it hasn't been fully 2 years, but other than the first couple months of calorie cycling, I've eaten 2,000 calories per day most of the time.

I mentioned my weight being up and my son said "You mean you're out of maintenance?!?! No, I'm reducing my calories so I stay in maintenance. I'm also doing cardio 6 days a week, but I know that can cause increased water weight.

The funny part is I meant to reduce my calories by 200 per day, but because I am not as good at math as I thought, it was 400 calories per day for the first few days. No wonder I was so hungry!

My weight had been really stable for most of the last year, eating 2000 calories a day and relying on circuit training as my primary exercise, which I liked because it didn't take a lot of time. But a couple of pounds crept on over vacation, and a pound seemed to come to stay from the Veteran's day restaurant-a-thon, which I never got rid of before Thanksgiving.

A lot of it is the season. Autumn your body just wants to hang on to anything you give it. I had wanted to just maintain even if it was a couple pounds over my ideal until fall is officially over, but I wasn't maintaining, I was still gaining. So I'm back in weight management mode until I'm on the backside of my ideal (160).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 12/10/2014 6:26PM

    I admire your consistency and your willingness to make changes when necessary.

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SUGAR0814 12/6/2014 11:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NICKYCRANE 12/6/2014 6:20PM

    Well done and thanks for sharing!

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KNEEMAKER 12/6/2014 5:28PM

  Super Saturday! Keep on keeping on! emoticon

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SANDICANE 12/6/2014 4:29PM

    2000 calories a day...in my dream is the only place I can eat that much food! Well, good for you for taking action NOW so that you stay in maintenance!

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Where does that get fun?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

This is a quote from a mercenary named Jayne Cobb who is wondering what the difference is between him and a psychopathic killer. He goes on to contemplate his slippery slope of conditions where he might kill a man, and it struck me as not too different from the slippery slope of special occasions that lead to overeating.

Then I joked with my husband that I might make a "maintenance according to Firefly" thing. I know I've used a lot of them over the years here.
"If you can't run, walk..."
"Here's us on the raggedy edge"
"It's love, in point of fact, something a great deal more dangerous."

I don't think I ever actually blogged about that last one, but the point is, Firefly is about people who do hard things because they want to be free, even if they may not be able to name it (like Jayne) they are attracted to it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGAR0814 11/30/2014 9:02PM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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TRAVELGO 11/30/2014 2:27PM

  Thanks for sharing!

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WIFE49 11/30/2014 1:27PM

    Well said. Great thoughts.

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Once a year or every year

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I was thinking about this the other day, that Thanksgiving is only once a year. But it also happens every year. And there are special occasions like Thanksgiving around every corner.

Dietary consistency is one of the most powerful predictors of who is successful at maintenance. It means eating the same on weekends, holidays, and vacations as the rest of the week. For me, that means having the same overall calorie goal, not necessarily that I have to eat peanut butter sandwiches and apples for most of the day. (I've been eating those a lot since school and kids keep me pretty busy).

Of course, the hard part about a big family dinner is guessing what's in it. It's hard to oppose the dichotomous thinking that says "Well, you really can't know, so why try?" There is a feature somewhere on sparkpeople that schools you on the content of many Thanksgiving dishes, and that's helpful. I plan to do 3 things:
1. Only take things I really like.
2. I only need a few bites of each.
3. One plate.

And do my best to honor what the holiday is about, not stress over whether or not I'm blowing "the diet." Sure this is once a year, but I will probably eat 50 more of these meals.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 11/28/2014 10:49PM

    I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I think those three things are simple and powerful.

I just do my best with estimating. I know it's not precise, but nothing really is

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SUGAR0814 11/27/2014 11:44PM

    emoticon Happy Thanksgiving!

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MONTREALESTMOI 11/27/2014 3:50PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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NICKYCRANE 11/27/2014 3:44PM

    I agree, the holiday is more important than the cals!

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