Sunday, January 17, 2010
I have this love/hate obsessive relationship with my scale. For starters, my scale is grossly inaccurate by about 15 pounds. But I use it on a regular basis to track my progress and keep myself in check. In fact, I have this bad habit of thinking I need to step on it nearly every day. I suppose this could be good and could be bad, but right now, to me, I think it is obsessive.
My true weigh in comes when I visit my mother as she has a very accurate digital scale. This is what I use to post my actual weight. Well, yesterday, I went to my mother's for a short visit. As I drove away, it hit me like a bolt that I totally forgot about weighing myself. Granted, it was a bit of a rushed visit. But usually, the first thing I do when I arrive is hit the scale.
I am learning that there are so many ways to check my progress besides the scale and, although a bit disappointed that I did not weigh in (because I think I have dropped a few pounds), I am somewhat excited that I forgot. I am hoping that this is an indication of simply getting used to my healthy lifestyle and knowing that it will yield results and I don't need to be in constant stress if the scale doesn't move.
What other ways can I tell that I am healthier than I was 9 months ago and that I am on my way to a healthier lifestyle?
* I have a much higher energy level - much, much higher!
* I can go up a flight of steps and answer the phone without sounding like I just ran a mile.
* My clothes need to be taken in and I am starting to pull clothes out of my closet that I haven't worn for years - smaller clothes. I am down from a snug size 28 to a loose 24 dress, from a snug 3X (should probably have been 4X, but I refused to buy 4X clothes), to a comfortable 2X.
* People are starting to comment that I "look good." Sometimes they can't put their finger on what it is. They think I got new glasses, or changed my hair style, or it is the dress I am wearing. Sometimes I tell them and sometimes I let them think what they will. But inside I smile because I know it is because of the 51.5 pounds I have lost over the last 9 months. Well,, had I weighed myself yesterday, I could probably say something like 53 or 55, but . . .
* Some of my undergarments have gone down several sizes - TMI? LOL
* I seldom go to bed with heartburn anymore - last night was the exception - I ate Chinese buffet for dinner.
* And speaking of buffet, instead of just loading my plate with piles of everything I love, I find myself trying to choose healthier items, picking out lots of veggies in the stir fries, going for some broiled salmon instead of the battered and deep fried sweet/sour chicken; choosing a healthy serving of fruit off of the dessert buffet, then stopping with one or two small items from the desserts; choosing steamed shrimp instead of deep fried, etc. Of course, I haven't yet given up my small bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate pudding over top. Keeps my yearning for a hot fudge sundae at bay - yum.
* I can walk at least three miles at a clip (could probably walk farther, but haven't tried because of time constraints.)
* I find myself looking for ways to get in my calorie burn since the snow has not allowed me to walk outside - shoveling snow, turning cleaning into a workout, helping my husband stack firewood, etc. I would rather do things like that than walking in place, treadmill, etc.
* I can let my husband eat the whole box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies over a 2 week period and not touch a one. In fact, I find sweet things, although I enjoy them and allow myself some, do not hold the same appeal as they once did and if I eat more than a small amount, I don't feel well on them. I find I can usually stop after one fun size candy bar when getting into the treats. This is a major accomplishment. I will admit that I still struggle with the potato chips, though!
* I constantly evaluate my diet to see what I can eat that is nutritious and fits into my diet plan for the day. Have I had all my veggies today? What about my fruit? Have I had any milk? Have I eaten too many carbs or too many proteins? How much of that chicken can I have for dinner, 3 oz. or 4? Can I have 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup of brown rice? Peas would be so good with this dinner, but although they are healthy for me, they are a starch, not a vegetable; what veggie can I cook instead? On a side note, I find this a challenge in the winter. In the summer, you have asparagus, summer squash, fresh tomatoes, etc. and in the winter - hmm, green beans, broccoli, the occasional brussel sprouts, and what else?
* I fairly consistently consume 8 - 8 oz. glasses of water per day.
* I find myself choosing a handful of baby carrots for a snack after work instead of a cookie (or two or three).
* I find myself watchful of the amount of butter or oil I put on my breads, my veggies, etc.
These are all things that the scale can't tell me, but show huge signs of progress. So just maybe that obsession with the scale is dwindling. The balance to this is that I keep my eye on the goal, but I don't want to be in the panic mode that I was several months ago when I hit a plateau and put myself into stress mode daily because that scale wasn't moving.
What is your relationship with your scale? Is it a love/hate relationship? Do you obsess with the scale? Do you weigh daily? If so, is that a healthy thing for you or an obsession?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The past few days I have succumbed to a situation of overwhelming pain. This is not really like me to write a blog like this, and some that I have written in the past, I have deleted. I'm not meaning to cry a sob story, but it is where I am.
I'm struggling just to make it through my days, let alone stay on top of my exercise and healthy eating. In fact, I'm not hungry and barely able to eat at all. I've probably eaten 500 calories today. Shouldn't have any trouble losing weight like this.
If you are a person of prayer to the living God, Jehovah, I could use a prayer right now. I need peace, rest, joy, forgiveness, trust, hope, wisdom and the strength to maintain as best of a healthy lifestyle as I can during this crisis.
Life will get better, it always does. And the valleys we must cross only make us stronger.
God is in control!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I have just been hit with a situation that has opened a lot of old wounds that I thought were healing and has raised a lot of trust and forgiveness questions.
Dealing with hurt can be a lifelong process. I am learning that every time I feel the hurt, I must forgive. Forgiveness is not a once and done thing I am finding. I can say I have forgiven, but when the hurt hits anew, I must forgive anew. Also, God may be using it to lead me into a deeper level of forgiveness than I experienced before.
The Bible warns us not to fail the grace God offers us, but to be careful least a root of bitterness spring up within us and trouble or defile us.
Today, I need to renew my acceptance of the grace of God and forgive once again. It is what he calls me to do. And "faithful is he who calleth you, who also will do it."
Lord, today I purpose to accept your grace. Remove any bitterness from my heart, heal me and fill with forgiveness. You have called me to this and you have promised that you will perform it in me.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
I am feeling so defeated, so blue, so disappointed in myself! I ate it all - every bite! And it wasn't even all that good! How disgusting!
So, to back up, today in going through my emails from a friend, I came across an email I had saved that I thought sounded like a cute idea - a cake in a mug baked in the microwave. Well, it so happens that right now my oven is on the blink (or at least I'm afraid to use it), but that's another story! So I saw this little recipe and thought that would be a sweet little treat for my husband who loves cupcakes. So this afternoon, I tested it.
I baked up that little cake and it looked rather cute, but I thought I should taste it before I serve it to my husband later when he comes home. So taste it I did. It was quite disappointing and more like a chocolate bread pudding consistency - very heavy and not quite sweet enough. So I cut a little bit more and thought it might be good with milk on it. Better. But by now, I know I can't serve this thing to my husband; but it has such good ingredients in it, I hate to pitch it. So I ate a little bit more, this time putting a little bit of sugar on it to make it sweeter. And a little bit more and a little bit more and suddenly, it was all gone.
I stood and looked at that coffee mug that held the treacherous cake and my stomach started rolling and my eyes filled with tears. In the nine months that I have been on this journey, I can't remember once that I felt like I absolutely binged like this - and even for something that I didn't like all that much.
I'm trying to sort through what bad choices I made this afternoon and what prompted me to make them. I haven't sorted yet, and I'm still feeling blue, but I have the rest of the evening to make good choices and tomorrow is another day. My perfectionist tendencies want to beat myself up, punish myself, make myself do penance; but this will do no good.
So the rational side of me is trying to evaluate and learn from the whole thing so that I don't repeat this again.
Better choices ahead!
Friday, January 01, 2010
New Year's resolutions don't hold much weight with me. Somehow, over the years, it seems every New Year's resolution I have made has turned to ashes in such a short time; and I've seen the same happening in the lives of others. So I've come to the conclusion that they are made to be broken.
Now, before you write me off - read on!
For several years, I have made no New Year's resolutions because I just didn't keep them. This led in a downward spiral of drifting and despair - a place where it seemed I just gave up and happen what will! This led to a lot of problems - my weight, my health, my relationships, my marriage, my social life, my home - all suffered because of my "I give up" attitude. I would look at my situations and they looked like mountains to climb for which I had no energy or inner strength.
Why didn't my New Year's resolutions work in the past, along with so many other people? In musing on this, I believe many of them are just too broad. Maybe the resolution is, "I'm going to lose weight this year," or "I'm going to get out of debt this year," or "I'm going to get my house picked up this year."
All of these are wonderful goals, but they lack something. They are so broad that instead of creating a road to travel, they present an insurmountable mountain. At the start of my weight loss journey, I had 157 pounds I wanted to lose. It surely, surely looked like a mountain. Wow - that's a whole person! How did I ever let it come to this? For so long, this quickly became a downward spiral of defeat. What I needed to do is start taking baby steps. In fact, although I didn't consciously make it so, "baby steps" has somewhat been my mantra in 2009. And when I began to take one day at a time, even one choice at a time, things began happening.
When I saw that I could make the choice just for today to walk 1 mile, that's all I had to do. I don't have to walk tomorrow or next year's miles today. All I ask of myself is 1 mile today. When I saw that I could make the choice just for today to say no to that second cookie, that's all I had to do. I don't have to limit tomorrow or next year's calories today. All I ask of myself is limit myself today. This is not to negate the importance of planning; planning is part of the baby steps and vitally important.
I would be remiss not to give honor where honor is due and thank God for the insights, the answered prayers, the daily strength and the courage that he has given me. He is my all!
As I saw the success that started coming when I took baby steps and made wise choices regarding my health, I realized that the same principle carries through in other areas of my life and I began applying the baby step principle to relationships, to my marriage, to my housekeeping; and I found that it works. It gives me the freedom to realize, as I posted in my "When You Come to a Standstill" blog, that I don't need to get discouraged because I haven't arrived at my ultimate goal. Since I'm taking one day at a time, one step at a time, it means that I am exactly where I am supposed to be on my journey.
This, I can do! I once heard the quote that nothing succeeds like success. And how true it is! Instead of a downward spiral, this begins an upward spiral that leads from one step up to another until, before you know it, you have learned to make wise choices and formed good habits. Do away with the "all or none" mentality and take a day at a time, a step at a time, a choice at a time!
Does this mean that I never have or never will make a bad choice, or misstep? Absolutely not. But the beauty is, when viewing life through a baby step mentality, it is only a step. I've not totally derailed my goals by one misstep.
So, for 2010, I'm not making resolutions; however, I'm not in despair as I was one year ago. When I look back over 2009, I am incredibly amazed at the progress I've made in so many areas, not just my weight loss. This progress was not made with a big resolution. This progress was made with many small resolutions, baby steps if you will, one choice at a time. This is what I want to continue doing in 2010. In fact, I've been musing what my personal motto should be for 2010 and as I've been writing this blog, I think I have settled on my 2010 motto: "Baby Steps - One Choice At a Time" and am going to change my spark page title accordingly.
For me, it's into 2010 with baby steps - one choice at a time!
Do you make New Year's resolutions? Do you keep them? If not, what would help you keep them? Do you have the all or none mentality, or do you believe in baby steps? What have you found works for you?
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