Thursday, October 29, 2009
I'll admit it, in the past I had a 'diet' mentality. I thought that my eating and exercise plan had to be perfect. I never allowed myself any treats, and I didn't stray from my rigid food plan. Because it was difficult for me to lose weight, I felt that I had to follow my plan perfectly. I was going to Wei*ht Wat*hers at the time, and eating in my points range, and tracking every morsel of food that I ate. I walked every day, sometimes twice a day. I joined a gym and worked out 6 days a week. I lost 2-3 pounds a MONTH! So I started spending more time at the gym, until it was 3 hours a day, 6 days a week. My weight loss did NOT increase, only my frustration did! I went every Tuesday to my meeting and to get weighed in, only to cry driving home out of frustration. I did this for a little over 2 1/2 years. During that time I hit 2 plateaus, of 24 and 28 weeks each, At one point it took me 28 weeks to lose 2/10 of ONE pound! Still my doctor did nothing! The trainer at the gym told me to measure myself, which turned out to be great advice. The scale was barely moving, but my body was changing. But this was making me NUTS! Losing this weight was becoming an obsession!
That was a few years back, and I since decided to make peace with my body and focus on my health. As for exercise, I wanted to do something that I enjoyed. Instead of using my treadmill, I started taking early morning walks outside. I also rode my bike, swam, did some yoga, and even belly dancing. All of which was fun! When I said the word 'diet', I thought of restrictions and deprivation. People say 'I'm ON a diet,' or 'I'm OFF my diet', or 'I can't have that on my diet'. I made a decision to lose my 'diet' mentality, stop being SO rigid, and lighten up my attitude as far as food as exercise. And to stop viewing the word 'diet' as a 4 letter word!
This past weekend we went to a fall festival about 2 1/2 hours away, and we had a really good time. In addition to the arts and crafts, there was the usual festival food. You know the type, you gain 2 pounds just by walking past the booth and SMELLING it! The smell of grilled hotdogs was calling me. I couldn't remember the last time I actually ate one. We ordered 2 plain hotdogs, and the FIRST bite was great. I realized that sometimes a certain food is part of the 'experience' of what I'm doing. I just wanted to TASTE it! I had 3 bites and gave the rest to my hubby, and I was satisfied. My DH did some research on the computer and found a restaurant called 'The Ivy House', and we wanted to try it later that day for dinner. The owner took a huge old house and made it into a restaurant. This woman would be the Paula Deen of Florida. It was set under moss covered oak trees, and had a large porch. I ordered baked chicken and when my meal arrived I made a mental note about the portions, and how much I could eat. We had an enjoyable meal in the most charming setting. My DH told me that they are known for their walnut pie, so we ordered it. I had 2 bites and stopped! It was delicious and worth every calorie, and I did NOT feel guilty. Years ago I would not have taken those 2 bites, because of my 'diet'!
I let go of my desire to be 'perfect' on my 'diet', and changed my attitude. I no longer had a 'diet' mentality. I've learned that I can have a taste, or 2-3 bites of something I want, without feeling guilty. I no longer feel that certain foods are off limits. I'm trying to find what works for me, and what I can LIVE with. Life doesn't stop while I'm trying to lose weight! I discovered that my old way of thinking was unrealistic and a road map for failure. I don't want to view the word 'diet' as something that I'm ON or OFF of, but instead as the WAY I eat for the rest of my life!
Friday, October 23, 2009
There are many lessons along this journey, some easier than others. I was having a pretty good day yesterday when my next lesson presented itself. I was on the phone with one of my 'girl friends', and I told her how things went with my new doctor. When I told her that some of my hair was growing back, she seemed happy for me. But when I told her about my weight loss, it was a different story. She knew that I've been losing some weight over the last few months, but has had NOTHING to say about it. But yesterday when I sounded so happy about my progress, she asked me how much I've lost. When I told her 19 pounds, I waited for her response. What I got was SILENCE! She didn't say ONE word, nothing! The silence became uncomfortable and I changed the subject, and got off of the phone a few minutes later.
I felt as if someone dumped a bucket of cold water on my head. I was stunned! She and I have shared a great deal over the years, and I thought that I could count on her support. Even though she moved away 7 years ago, we talk all of the time. She knows how I've struggled with my weight, just as I've known how unhappy she is with HER weight. My other 'girl friend' lives here and we are like extended family, spending holidays together and so on. I've told her about my weight loss and how I'm really trying. I waited for her to say 'that's great-good for you', but it never came! Not ONE single word of encouragement! Zip, zero, nada! These two women are my ' friends'.
Last night I discussed this with my husband, to get his take on it. He wasn't surprised, because he thinks that they don't want to see me change. I asked him 'shouldn't I be able to count on their support'? He told me that I expect people to treat me the way I treat them, so yes, I should be able to count on them. He also said that once I'm committed to something, that I have more determination than anyone else he has ever known. He told me that I can always count on him, every step of the way. I told him that I find it interesting how I can't count on 2 women that I've known for YEARS, but a group of people that were strangers just a few months back, have been there to offer support and encouragement. The people that I'm talking about are all of my Spark friends, and I thank you!
Beside the number on the scale, there have been many changes for me recently. I'm a very sensitive person and a deep thinker, so I'm always trying to figure out what's beneath the surface, and WHY! In the past, the lack of support from my friends would have hurt me. But strangely, that's NOT how I feel now. Yes, I'm disappointed, but I know that it's not about me. And I'm not going to take it personally. I think that my DH is right, they don't want me to change. I hope that they 'come around', but if they don't, that's okay. We have a history together, and I know that they DO care about me, as I care about them. Maybe my being overweight has made them feel better about themselves, but that's not my problem-it's theirs! I do wonder how things will be with them as I lose more weight, and really change. And for those times that I may need a pat on the back or a swift kick in the butt, I have my husband, who is my BEST friend, and my Spark friends, to lend a hand or a foot! My lesson in all of this had been, that I have everything I need within myself to achieve my goals. I'm doing this for ME, not for the approval of others! And I'm looking forward to all of the changes and lessons along this journey!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
In the past, going to the doctor filled me with dread, like I was being dragged to the gallows! I didn't care for his attitude, the way he dismissed me, and especially not the way he under treated my thyroid condition. I would rather have EVERY hair on my entire body (even THERE), ripped out with hot wax, than go see him! That's why he's my previous doc. My new Endocrinologist has me on a schedule of lab work every 6-7 weeks, followed by an appointment with him every 8 weeks. After my first visit with him 2 months ago, I wasn't thrilled with the fact that he suggested that I severely restrict my calories from the 1200-1500 I was doing. I didn't agree with him and I did NOT do it! So the jury was still out on whether I liked him or not, but his calorie suggestion was definitely strike one! But I was going to give him a chance, since I gave the previous idiot over 3 years!
So when I had to see him this morning, I didn't know what to expect. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. I think that I found the right doctor, finally. He was happy to hear that some of my hair is growing back and that I lost weight. He still isn't happy with my thyroid levels. He increased my dosage again, and told me that I still have a way to go, as far as being in the range he wants. Okay, but it's going in the right direction. YAY! I joked around with him and actually made him laugh. So at least I know that he's human, not like the 'stone face' I used to go to! His face used to look like he ate WAY too much fiber, and hadn't had a major 'movement' in about a week or so!
I was honest with him, and told him that I did NOT lower my calories. I told him that I approached the last 8 weeks as if it were a controlled study. I did not change 1 thing. I ate the same amount of calories and exercised the same. I wanted to see what difference the right medication would make. He actually smiled, but it could have been because he thought I was a little bit nuts! I told him that I didn't increase my exercise until last week, after my lab work. He was looking at the computer when he asked me how much exercise I was doing. When I told him that I biked over 53 miles last week, his head snapped around and he said "what did you say"? I repeated myself and the look on his face was priceless. It was worth EVERY dollar of my co-pay, just to see his expression! It was somewhere between surprise and shock. That will teach him to underestimate me! HA! I finally feel like I have a partner in my health care and I like him. And I no longer feel dread! But the best part for me has been making myself a priority. And that feels GOOD!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I think that sometimes things happen for a reason. A few months back, despite my efforts, my motivation was about as invisible as I felt! I felt that I was fighting a losing battle and was overwhelmed with frustration and hopelessness. But I didn't feel totally defeated, because I still kept trying. I may have gotten knocked down from time to time, but I've always pulled myself back up. I believe that ONE step in the right direction can change your life!
A few months ago, my one step came in the form of my hairstylist, Jamie. She knew about my hair loss because of my thyroid problem. We were talking about what women discuss-WEIGHT! That day she gave me a 'gift', she told me about SPARK! She was losing weight and looking great, and suggested that I check it out. That day as she did my hair, I had a hard time even looking in the mirror, because I was SO unhappy with what I saw. I saw a woman that looked tired and bloated, and who had lost so much hair that I could see her scalp in the reflection from about 5 feet away. That woman that lost her spark was me. Instead of feeling defeated, I came home and took the 'gift' she gave me, and RAN with it!
I got on the computer and checked out this site. I was so impressed with the information and the level of support, that I joined. After a short time, I started to get my motivation back, and I made some friends that offered support and encouragement. This gave me the push to take another step. I found a new doctor that is properly treating my thyroid condition. As I started feeling better, I stopped settling for inferior friendships, and realized that I deserved better! I've known since I was a teenager that I had inner strength. Even though it's been buried under years of hurt and extra weight, I've started to see that strength shining through again. I can feel a change!
Yesterday I saw Jamie again, and I felt such gratitude for what she has given me. She gave me the SPARK to take that ONE step. Eight weeks ago when I saw my new doctor, he told me that my hair might not grow back. About 2 weeks ago I told my DH that I saw baby hairs growing in. He looked and he saw them also, and gave me a big hug as I got choked up. So yesterday while she did my hair, I saw her looking at my scalp. I didn't say anything because I wanted to see if she noticed a difference. She looked at me and smiled, and said "you have a bunch of new little hairs coming in". Oh happy day!!!
Our life experiences, both good and bad, have led us to where we are right now. But ONE step in the right direction can make all the difference. I always say that I do the best I can with what I've got! That's all any of us can do on any given day. But yesterday as Jamie cut my hair, the face looking back at me in the mirror was different. The tired, bloated face was gone, and in it's place was a bright, happy face with a big smile! That ONE step has changed SO much! I hugged Jamie and left the salon feeling snazzy with my new 'do'! I realized that I felt like a different woman - one full of HOPE! I'm ready to spread my WINGS and fly!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Today is one of those perfect Florida days, the heat is gone and a cold front (thank God) is coming in. I rode my bike early this morning and it felt GREAT! Oh happy day, it was actually COOL outside. I could smell the fragrance of wet pine and I even saw a red fox running along the woods as I rode by. What a beautiful day! However a few days ago, I could only describe the weather in one word-STEAMY! I didn't let it stop me from riding my bike, but it wasn't pleasant. I felt as if I stuck my head in a hot oven as soon as I stepped outside. Very similar to a sauna.
The other day while riding my bike, I realized the only bad thing about drinking SO much water. What goes in - MUST come out! Well the second part of that equation hit me when I was a couple of miles from home. Even though my bike has shocks, my bladder does NOT, and every bump in the road was torture! I kept thinking about that stupid jingle from that bladder commercial - 'gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now'! I started to pedal faster and faster, and all I could think about was getting home. I actually got my bike up to 17-18 mph! What the heck was I thinking - that I was Lance Armstrong? I was breathing heavy and sweating like crazy. When I got home I kicked off my sneakers, trying to push our cat Dewey away. He was rubbing his furry body all over my sweaty legs, giving me kisses. What am I, a salt lick?
I ran through the house, making a mad dash for the master bathroom. I usually jump right in the shower, but this could NOT wait. My face was beet red and my hair was stuck to my head. NOT a pretty picture! To sum it up in one word - frightening, and it's not even Halloween yet! My clothes were stuck to my body, and I had to literally ROLL them off of me. In a hurry, I never stopped to think that my body, and certain parts in particular were also sweaty-UNTIL I almost slid OFF of the seat and hit the tile floor! YEP, can you picture it? I don't know if it was from riding SO fast, or almost sliding off the seat - but I pulled a muscle in my left cheek! And I'm NOT talking about my face! Later that night my hubby noticed that I was walking funny. I told him that I pulled a muscle in my keister. I had to laugh at myself! ALL I could think about was please heal soon, because I will NOT be going to the doctor and explaining that one!
Thankfully the steamy weather is gone and so is the pain in my @ss (NO, not my MIL) ! So this week I've dealt with 2 different types of pains in the butt, and I'm determined to heal from BOTH of them! I came home this morning and fixed myself a frittata with leftover roasted veggies, and I sat out back and enjoyed my breakfast as I watched the sun come out. Something interesting happened this morning when I woke up. I had a very vivid dream in which I clearly saw myself. And it was the first time in YEARS that I dreamt of myself THIN!! WOW, is this a sign of things to come? I think so! I've realized that it's up to me how I choose to see things in my life. Whether I laugh at myself over something silly, or appreciate all of the simple things in my day. It's up to me! I now have a clear vision of myself and the direction I'm going in. What a GREAT day, and I'm looking forward to many more just like it!
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