Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I know I'm overweight. Most of my adult life, I've been anywhere from 20 to 50 lbs overweight with a one-year exception around 2002. I am acutely aware that I weigh more now than I did when I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter back in my 20's (ouch).
Yet on some days, I don't feel fat. I can't completely explain this mindset except to say that new clothes, freshly styled hair, a fresh manicure and pedicure can overcome a lot of the mindset. I think that it has everything to do with taking care of myself. If I do everything else I can to take care of my appearance and look my best, then I feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself, I don't feel "fat"; I feel "pretty".
Many years ago, I decided that if I was going to be fat, then I was going to be the best lookin' fat person out there. My role model was a woman I knew at work named "Brandy". Brandy probably wore about a size 20 or 22, and she was absolutely beautiful. She had long, thick hair, a pretty face and a fabulous wardrobe. Every day when she came to work, she was nothing short of glamorous. Her hair was always together, nails done, makeup perfect and beautiful accessories. She had a handsome husband who did not have a weight problem. I could tell when he picked her up for lunch every day that he loved her exactly as she was.
Society so often tells women that fat and beautiful are mutually exclusive. I know from some people that I have met, that is totally NOT the case. Brandy seemed to understand this and behaved accordingly. I'm sure she got that handsome husband because she was so doggone CONFIDENT. And she was confident because she took care with her appearance.
What I learned is that for me, the road to weight loss is being able to accept and love myself as I am. One I've got that down, I will do the things I need to do to look my best. Nice clothes, attractive and flattering hair styles, etc. Not far behind that is eating and exercising. Why wait for a magic number on the scale before I quit schlepping around in "mom" jeans, sweats and oversize, baggy shirts? I choose to look good TODAY.
That's why I don't feel "fat."
Monday, February 21, 2011
It's February 21st and I'm still going strong. I'm proud of myself for staying consistent for nearly two months. Not perfect, mind you, consistent. I guess I'd rather call this "mindful eating" not a diet. It means I'm being conscientious about everything that goes in my mouth because I know I'll have to come here on SP and record it. It also makes me ask myself if a food is really worth eating.
My eating is getting to be more of a habit. I still eat dessert and my BBQ, but I've made adjustments to how often and how much I consume. For example, I might split a dessert with a friend instead of eating one of my own. Or instead of getting BBQ spareribs every time, I sometimes get BBQ chicken. It's like I'm just tweaking everything here and there, making minor adjustments instead of major changes. I started with the things I was doing right, e.g. not eating late at night, never skipping breakfast, not eating out of vending machines---and built up from there. I didn't even cut everything out right away. I still haven't given up my sausage mcgriddle entirely. I did give up eating it with hash browns. I also started to substitute lower calorie alternatives. For example, Dunkin' Doughnuts has an egg white, turkey sausage flatbread sandwich that's decent. Now, I'm trading off between that and the mcgriddle, so I'm only eating the mcgriddle half as often.
It's hard to explain, but there's a certain psychological game I'm playing when I dine out. It's like I promise myself that next time I eat out, I'll get something junkier, but for today, I'm going to go for the most nutritious item on the menu. In actuality, I'm eating something junky about once a week or so, which is a vast improvement over my daily habit.
Eating this way isn't painful. It's more like having my cake and eating it, too. I didn't have to make any drastic overhauls to my eating and I'm settling into a way of eating that's doable over the long haul. I don't get hungry, I enjoy what I eat, I don't feel deprived and I'm still losing a lb a week.
It's all good. Onward and downward.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I dropped another pound this week, which I'm glad about. I did all the little things I'm supposed to do to lose the weight. I'm recording everything I eat, working out 4-5x a week for 30 to 60 minutes, taking my vitamins, drinking more water, and reading lots of inspiring blog posts, articles and books. I think the hardest thing is to be patient. I know I'm repeating myself, but I think that's the biggest challenge for me. I'm so used to instant gratification that it's tough to truly internalize that this is a marathon and not a sprint.
Still, I'm feeling much better than I did and feel more attractive than I did, even if my weight is still pretty high. The other thing I'm acutely aware of is that by February 19, 2010, I had quit logging into SP and abandoned my plan. The fact that I am still here, day after day and now week after week is something I'm ready to reward myself for.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Recently, I've noticed something that is strangely new to me. When I don't workout, I miss it. I haven't worked out in two days and I'm kinda itchin' to get back in the gym. I guess I like the peace of mind that comes with knowing I'm doing what I'm supposed to do in order to drop the weight. The gym has also turned into a familiar place for me; I'm familiar with the equipment and I"m starting to feel more a part of the community. There's even a fella tryin' to holla at me there, which I find amusing. He seems to think it's cute that I'm doing some serious weight training, not just doing aimless curls with 3 lb dumbbells.
With spring fast approaching, I can't wait to try out the barely used bicycle I purchased for $20 up at a neighbor's garage sale. I also want to go walking at the botanical garden which is located about 7 miles from my house and includes a hiking trail. There's also a walking/biking trail at another park about two miles from my house.
I am looking forward to trying out new ways to move this year. I heard there's paddleboating at a nearby lake. I also want to attend a tai chi class. Maybe I'll hire a personal trainer to examine my strength training program and tweak it as needed. I've also thought about enrolling in a martial arts class or signing up for tennis lessons at a court that's opened down the street from my house. Maybe on days before I get my hair fixed at the salon, I'll go swimming at the pool next door to the gym I attend. I'm a decent swimmer and loved the water as a child.
I figure that the more things I try out, the more likely I am to find something I truly enjoy. This year, I'm determined to find out what type of workout I can really be passionate about and to have fun doing so.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Today, I went to the grocery store and picked up one chub of ground beef and another 3lbs package of ground beef. It represented the eight pounds I have lost. I was surprised at how much meat that is.
The drop in weight plus the strength training has put me somewhere between a 16 and a 14. I can pull on 14 pants, but their kinda tight. In the meantime, my size 16W jeans are sagging. Last week, I pulled them down to my ankles without unbuttoning or unzipping them. I think that once I drop another 10 lbs, I will be a solid size 14 pants.
On top, I started out a size 18 or a 1x. Now, the 1x size is not looking quite right, but an XL is still a bit snug. I'm somewhere between misses and women's sizes, or maybe a size 0X. Today, shopping for clothes was kinda fun--not painful at all. I wanted to buy some trendy, casual stuff that wouldn't look crazy on a woman in her 40s.
It's hard for me to shop as a middle-aged woman. I don't want to dress like my 18 year old daughter, but I'm not ready to wear the stuff that my 70 year-old mother wears. I also don't want to be one of those women who is still wearing stone-washed jeans because they looked good in the 80s.
It's also hard to find cute clothes when you are a 40 something woman wearing more than a size 14. Still, I'm not going to let the difficulties get the best of me. One of the things I learned from my daughter is that I should try on stuff I wouldn't ordinarily consider just to see how it looks on me. I might be pleasantly surprised. So today, I hit a massive sale at Steinmart. I must've tried on 10 different items of clothing. It took me nearly an hour of trying on stuff before I settled on four pieces of clothing.
Two of the items are those t-shirts with the built in asymmetrical draped hemline vests. (See the link I added below). They're trendy but not too "teenagery." I will wear them with jeans and my black ankle boots.
Anyway, I'm focused on the next 10 lbs. Losing 10 lbs will put my weight where it was six years ago, when I considered it to be the top of my range. At 20 lbs lost, I'll be a solid 14 and an occasional 12. If I lose more than 20 lbs, I will be at a weight I haven't seen since 2003. To me, 25 lbs seems DOABLE and will put me at what I call my fightin' weight. My biggest obstacle at that point will be to stay motivated to continue losing weight, because I'll be lookin' so cute and fly that my motivation will go out the window, lol.
Onward and downward.
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