Saturday, August 18, 2012
This morning I weighed in two pounds lighter. I'm more relieved than excited because I thought my weight had plateaued. One of the most difficult aspects of losing weight is even if we do the program perfectly, the rate of our loss is going to be erratic. Lose 1 pound, gain 2 pounds, lose 1 pound, gain 1 pound, lose 3 pounds, lose 1 pound. That's enough to make anyone crazy. But the real challenge is when you KNOW that you haven't been perfect. Maybe you're on program 90% of the time, but the other 10%, well....that's life.
For me, it's been nearly 8 months of change. Some of my new food habits are becoming ingrained, which makes it easier, but I don't think I'll ever completely adapt to being on a food and exercise budget. Not when I was used to being sedentary and just grabbing and eating whatever I wanted with no thought about calories, saturated fat, or high fructose corn syrup. I know that if I return to that freewheeling lifestyle, the pounds will return. So here I am, doing what I'm supposed to be doing 90% of the time. It takes focus, commitment and effort to maintain consistency and the only way I can do that is to blog, read, and record what I do.
If you've ever watched Extreme Makeover--Weight Loss Edition, you'll know how inspiring the stories are. (If you haven't you can catch full episodes on Hulu.com for free) The formula for each episode is that a personal trainer works with a morbidly obese person to help them shed 100 pounds or more in 12 months. The first three months he actually moves into their home and turns their living room into a workout room.
In one episode, a man lost his home and was homeless while working the program. They had to move the exercise machines out of his house and put them in storage. Can you believe it? HOMELESS. Talk about stress. Life was definitely getting in the way, but he stuck to the program because it was all he had. He took up jogging at a nearby park, worked out at a community center gym and used their shower facilities to keep himself clean. By the end of episode, he had lost most of his weight, found work and an apartment and was dating a nice lady.
The lesson for me is that life is NEVER going to stop getting in the way. Stuff is always going to happen. Sometimes I eat more than I should. Other times I'm in environments where there are no good food choices. From time to time, I feel stressed, upset, angry, depressed, bored, worried--the list goes on. I cope by accepting myself as less than perfect. On some days, I will work the program brilliantly. Other days are so-so and other days I will want to forget. Yet here and there in the middle of muddling and struggling, a pound will disappear. I rejoice and then keep pushing.
Anyone who tells me that this or any weight loss program is easy is obviously on a different journey than I am. For me, it's not easy but SP makes it more fun. Somehow, I've managed to find a way to work the program over the long haul. I am only seven to eight months into a healthier lifestyle. I realize there are more lessons and more adjustments I will need to make as life goes on. But I'm ready.
Now, time to go celebrate my two pound loss by going to softball practice.
Friday, August 17, 2012
I wasn't surprised when I weighed in this morning. No change. I'm still bouncing between the same two pounds and have been doing so since August 1st. It's as if my body said, "Let's give her the last pound so she can declare 40 pounds gone, then take another break." My previous plateau lasted about a month. I'm confident that if I can ride out the next two weeks, that I will begin dropping weight again. In the meantime, I'm working hard to stay on program and to keep exercising even when life gets in the way.
This week has been full of temptations that I somehow managed to withstand. My co worker brought lots of cupcakes to a staff meeting. I also went to an event where I ended up surrounded by people eating chocolate cake. I just reminded myself that I'm not a huge fan of devil's food cake, which is strange but true. I also thought about the scale and how I'd have to atone for the dessert eventually. When my colleagues asked me why I wasn't having dessert, I told them I'd eaten dessert for lunch. It was true, but my dessert was half a portion of a Weight Watchers recipe.
This evening, I will have another challenge. Happy hour and the movies. A group of us are going out to see the remake of "Sparkle." I'm old enough to remember the first movie with Irene Cara and it was really good. I'm looking forward to seeing Jordin Sparks and the late great Whitney Houston on the silver screen.
Anyway, somehow I'll muddle through this weekend like I've managed to over the last seven to eight months and get back on track no matter what happens.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Yesterday, I met up with "Sierra", my personal trainer for the second of four pre-paid sessions. This time, she warmed me up on the stair-stepper, which is a machine I hate, Hate, HATE with a passion. "I noticed that you work out on the bicycle, treadmill and elliptical. I'm going to mix it up a bit for you," she said, smiling. Gee, thanks, Sierra.
After the warm up, we focused on strength training. I did multiple sets of tricep rows, chest presses with dumbbells, lunges, squats, general floor exercises for my legs, and abdominal work. We did not use a single weight machine. "Machines do lots of the work for you," she explained. "These strength train exercises force you to use your balance, which works out more muscles." She noted that my abdominals are weak and that I need to stretch more.
Once again, Sierra tweaked my technique and workouts. She nixed the bicep curls I had been doing by saying, "No one really moves like this. You need to find exercises that move you like you move your body during the day and work multiple muscles." Okay, no more bicep curls.
She also said that I would need to workout a minimum of 5x a week if I want to lose 20 pounds by November. Given that my weight loss has slowed, I might modify that goal to 15 pounds.
Overall, the session went by fast and today, I'm slightly sore. This evening, I will return to the gym and do cardio. That godawful stair-stepper machine awaits.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
After all the emotion and bluster of this past weekend, I am glad to be 100% back on program. Unfortunately, my weight is fluctuating between the same two pounds.
Now that I'm back to morning smoothies and bringing a lunch to work, I expect to see a loss by Friday. Otherwise, I'm on a small plateau. This time, it won't be such a mystery. I haven't been as careful with my eating and have splurged more often on less healthy foods. I haven't lost control of my eating, but just haven't been as disciplined. I started to turn it around yesterday and today, I'm having a much better day food-wise. This evening, I will be working out with my personal trainer. I'm hoping this will pump up my motivation for awhile.
By the way, that "friend" I accidently added on Facebook (see my previous blog, "struggling")? I did unfriend him. His loss.
Onward and downward.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Five months ago, I ended a "friendship" with a man I met six years ago. He was in town for a conference, I was on vacation and painting the town red with my friends. We connected and went on several dates. He was an attractive educated, southern gentleman who opened doors and insisted on paying for everything. He returned to town a month later and we went on more dates. He wanted more, but I was still healing from a prior breakup. We settled for phone conversations because of the distance. The plans we made to get together again never materialized; trips to Vegas, trips to the east coast. The years rolled on. We dated other people, but stayed connected as "friends."
In March, I realized that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits of the phone calls and emails. I wanted cake, but I was getting crumbs. The "friendship" was no longer fulfilling and I was unhappy. It was time for this "friendship" to end. But before it could end, I decided to tell him how I felt and ask for what I wanted. It was a tough conversation, but everything was out in the open and I was satisfied that it was time to move on.
Then, mysteriously on Friday, I found myself connected to him on Facebook. I didn't even know he was on Facebook. Maybe when I synched my phone with my Facebook account, it sent him a friend request. Whatever. When he connected with me, I saw pictures of him huddled up with a woman. Not surprising, but Ouch. She wasn't even cute. Ouch again. I spent the weekend feeling miserable and reflecting on all the tough things I've endured in the last two years: job loss, moving from a house to an apartment, becoming a grandmother at an early age, missed promotions, unhealthy relationships and superficial friendships.
Now, given my circumstances, I need to reframe what it means to be successful and to exorcise the feelings I had buried under layers of fat. It's tough but necessary emotional work.
When I was young I dreamed of getting my degree, living a comfortable life in a big house on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs with my successful, handsome husband, prestigious job and well-behaved overachieving children. The classic pipedream of "having it all". LOL. I did get the degree--actually two of them, but I'm also a single empty-nester middle-aged grandmother living paycheck to paycheck in an apartment. Not sure how I got here, but here I am.
So how do I reframe my thinking? Well, after five months of unemployment last year I did find a job. It's not a big job and I'm slightly underemployed, but it's a decent, stable one in a good environment and I can pay my bills. Hey, who needs a house anyway? I don't know how to fix stuff, I don't garden and I hate cutting grass. I like the lock and leave lifestyle and my apartment is spacious and has nice amenities. My daughter and grandson are healthy and she's working hard to get back into college. Although I spent this weekend embroiled in a classic pity party, I do have friends who listened and offered support as I ranted over drinks at happy hour. Most importantly, I exercised and maintained a degree of control over my eating. I'm even planning to play softball this fall. I haven't played softball since I was a teen.
The remaining 27 pounds will be harder to lose because the pain of being overweight has diminished, I'm closer to goal and I'm dealing with these raw emotions that had been hidden under layers of fat. But, I'm still blogging, recording my meals and exercising. I haven't lost weight in nearly two weeks, but it's too early to declare a plateau. Right now, I blame it on monthly water weight gain and salty food.
Somehow, I've got to dig deep and find the strength to keep moving forward. Even if my progress slows down to baby steps, I've got to keep on keepin' on and have faith that everything will be all right.
Onward and downward.
Get An Email Alert Each Time WRITINGBLUEHAWK Posts