Sunday, September 14, 2014
Yes, I know it is wrong to compare myself with others. But I spent so many years being embarrassed that I was the biggest person in the room, it's hard to stop the visual evaluations today. I try not to judge others, but there is a vague sense of superiority because I seem to have gotten my eating under control and others do not. I always felt inferior to others who seemed to have the ability to maintain a normal weight, so it is not surprising that today I have that same sense of superiority, however misplaced it is.
I am really enjoying "Refuse to Regain," by Dr. Barbara Berkeley. It addresses so much that I was unaware of. It talks about how carbs and sugar are treated exactly the same way by our bodies, and if we eat too much of either, the sugar that it all turns into, becomes too much for the insulin produced by our pancreases to handle. Then the sugar shows up in our blood, creating all kinds of havoc. I have pretty much eliminated most of the sugar from my diet, but do have occasional carbohydrates, in the form of pasta and fruit, and very occasionally bread. But my serving size is severely limited (nowadays anyhow), so hopefully it's not too much for my body to handle efficiently. I know I was at pre-diabetes levels before my weight loss. Dr. Barbara says that pre-diabetes IS diabetes. It means your pancreas is struggling to keep up with the demands your eating habits are putting on it. A young man who had just started school at the University of Nebraska was recently found dead in his frat room bed. He had an insulin pump, but had consumed alcohol the night before, evidently more than his poor young 18-year old body could handle. Diabetes is not a minor inconvenience. It is a disease that can kill if it is not well-managed.
Dr. Barbara talks about all the obese individuals who feel like their bodies are handling it well. They have none of the maladies that are known to accompany obesity and feel like they are "beating it." But as they age, the problems start showing up. This is what I found as well. I felt great for many years, my obesity didn't even limit my mobility for many years. I felt good and thought I was one of the "lucky ones." I'm sure this is the same mistaken belief of many smokers, who think they will be the ones who beat lung cancer, emphysema, COPD, etc, until their age catches up with it all, and they do indeed become ill. I did well pretty through my 40's, although my knees started aching. But as I got into my 50's, everything started hurting. I had to sleep in a recliner, because my back hurt too much laying in bed all night. Walking left me breathless and aching, so I rarely ventured out of the house except to go to work. My blood pressure soared (that started in my 40's), and even five prescription drugs were unable to keep it at acceptable levels. My obesity had caught up with me as I aged. I knew I was "digging my grave with a spoon," as my dad used to call it. He didn't say it in relation to me, he talked about others who had died and were obese, that way however, and I knew I was headed that way. It scared me for many years. I made two trips to the ER over the years with chest pains, both times the diagnosis, after many heart tests, was that my heart was okay. I was scared that I was having a heart attack. I worried about the EMT's having trouble carrying my 300+ lbs. body down my stairs. Once when I was admitted to the hospital for heart tests after one of my ER visits, I had to be transferred to another hospital for a heart catheter test, they thought they saw some shadows indicating blockage on the ultrasound. When the ambulance driver got to my room, and I got on the gurney to be taken downstairs, he had a difficult time getting the gurney legs locked into place and had to ask Du for help. Humiliating. I always tried to avoid humiliating situations, situations where my obesity would cause real problems. That's why I rarely went to the doctor, I barely fit on the examining table, gowns were tight, the blood pressure cuff was always too small, and I had to use the one made for thighs ON MY ARM, and the scale was the worst part. If I didn't know how much I weighed, perhaps it wasn't true??!! Oh, and it turns out there was no heart blockage at all. The shadows they saw were probably just fat from another part of my body. Who knows? I only know I was extremely fortunate--with the way I ate and my obesity--there was NO blockage in my heart arteries at all. But even after the first ER/Hospital stay, I didn't change my ways. I remember on the way home from the hospital that day I had resolved to lose weight, but when Du suggested stopping for fast food on the way home, I happily agreed, and once again my resolve evaporated. It was another two or three years after my next ER visit and subsequent visits to a cardiologist, that my resolve strengthened and I got my life turned around. That was five years ago this December. Even though it wasn't December 7, that day in December (the 14th) that I started my healthy journey will live in INFAMY in my life forever.
Today my scale said 158.2! WOW! After plateauing at various points on my way through the 160's, I am plunging now! Yesterday morning we went down to the Farmer's Market. I had read an article in our paper a week ago about a family selling home-grown pecans there, and it was a girl who I had gone to high school with. I was excited to see her again, so on the first non-home football Saturday, Du and I headed down there. She gave me a big hug. She has gained weight over the years, I remember when I was heavy I hated hugs, knowing people were feeling all my rolls and bulges. But she didn't seem to mind. She is evidently more secure in her obesity than I was in mine. Plus she didn't weigh nearly what I used to weigh. I will admit, had I still been obese, I would not have wanted to see this old friend. Even on Facebook, I am more bold now, requesting friendships with people that I would have felt unworthy to be friends with when I was obese. Funny how having a normal body gives me so much confidence. I won't say I felt superior to my old high school friend because I was smaller, but at least I felt equal, and secure enough about how I looked to seek her out and re-introduce myself. Her dad was our minister in our home town church, and I remember a few years ago, probably 10-20, there was another story in the paper about this old friend. She was starting a group that was looking to try to lose weight using spirituality. Seemed like a good idea, but evidently in the long run, it wasn't as successful as they had hoped.
The Farmer's market is held in the Hay Market area of downtown Lincoln, which was recently revitalized due to the building of a huge sports arena there. There are numerous restaurants and bars, antique stores, and boutiques, and much activity in this area today. However, the Farmer's Market has been held in the same area down there for many years, it is near the Depot, and there is an old train there. My Dad worked for Burlington Railroad for many years before it became Burlington Northern, and then Burlington Northern Santa Fe RR. This picture is for my Dad, my maintenance inspiration!
That is something else that Dr. Barbara talks about in her book, how few people actually maintain a weight loss. That's why she compared maintaining to climbing Mt. Everest. Only about 20% of people who attempt to climb, actually make it to the summit. She was being generous and admitted it, when she said that maybe 20% of people maintain a weight loss. It is probably closer to 5-10%. I plan to be in that small percentage.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Motivation and determination are essential to weight loss and maintenance. We can get motivated to lose weight, we can be determined not to regain, but over the years, we grow weary of having to be so vigilant and strong. I am a prime example of this. I started caving into my desires to eat this or that, food which I had long-since denied myself, knowing how it would just justify me making even more bad choices. Funny how the food addict mind operates. A little slip here or there, at least in my case, seemed to give me permission to make bigger and more frequent slips.
I finally ordered the book, "Refuse to Regain." I just started it, but so far it is great. It's so relevant to where I am at and so helpful, and I can't wait to read more. I read a quote from it on Kanoe10's blog, where the author, Dr. Barbara Berkeley was talking about how maintenance is like climbing Mt. Everest:
4.Climber's Fatigue: Losing weight was an exciting, attention getting makeover. Permanence requires a relentless, daily attention to detail that no one but you may notice. This phase will only work if you learn to deeply love the new you and the very process that allows you to stay as you are. Not only can you do this, but it will also be highly rewarding.
This quote convinced me to check the book out and I downloaded it to my Kindle yesterday.
I have found a new love for my slim-again body. I had hated what I was seeing in the mirror as I gained weight. I could see every pound in my expanding hips, butt and stomach. UGLY! But since my 22-lb. loss I feel good about myself again. I like looking in the mirror and seeing my reflection in store windows. I held up those mint green pants yesterday, and thought to myself, "Those look awfully small." I slowly pulled them over my legs and up they went. I didn't even have to lay on the bed for them to zip up. I remember doing that after my weight loss back in 1980. I had one pair of jeans that I was so proud to be able to wear, and as I regained, the only way I could get them to zip up was to lay on the bed. Sad.
In Dr. Berkeley's book, she talks about the very small percentage of people who maintain a weight loss. She also points out that if you can maintain the loss from 2-5 years, you have a better chance of keeping it off forever. WOW, that's a big span of time. I made it 2.5 years. But I think I will count this whole regain radar blip as maintenance anyhow. I didn't gain all that much, I stopped it before it was even noticeable to most and I got RIGHT BACK ON TRACK!
I know I've bragged far too much about how proud I am of the fact that I was able to reverse that gaining trend. I hated myself again there for a while as I felt so out of control. I wanted a snack, and I was going to have a snack. No amount of reasoning with myself worked. I don't know how or why I got my motivation, determination and resolve back, but I do know it started with that first Dietbet. I guess the thought of that weigh-in at the end of 28 days kept me inspired. The Fourth of July holiday fell during the first Dietbet. I wasn't perfect that day, but I was definitely more careful than I would have been without the Dietbet. So I guess I will give credit where it is due--to the Dietbet.
I've been busy lately finding blogs of maintainers and becoming more active on the Maintainer's group here at Spark. I know we are a small group, but we need to be very vocal in demanding support for our very real needs. Sometimes I feel forgotten as a maintainer, nobody notices that you haven't gained, there are no self-help groups for us, and few books or articles about MAINTAINING a weight loss. It's all about those trying to lose weight. That is a much larger and more lucrative financial market.
So I have been actively searching for material to help me in my maintenance battle.
Kanoe10 of Spark, has written many great blogs on the maintenance subject. It's funny when I went to the National Weight Loss Control Registry (NWLC) Site after they told me I would be featured on their page, after I first joined, the very first name on the list was very similar to mine, but it wasn't me. At first I thought they had made a typo. Her first name was Pat, mine is Pam. Our last names were the same. Crazy coincidence. The similarity in our names and in our situations as weight loss maintainers and membership in the NWCR makes me feel close to her. Plus, I love her writing.
Dr. Barbara Berkeley, author of "Refuse to Regain," also maintains a website at http://www.refusetoregain.com/ to support her book and people who are trying to maintain a weight loss. She has done extensive training in obesity control, and I believe is one of the few doctors in the country who has earned a specialization in this area. So needless to say, I love her as well. She also has a Facebook page and posts regularly. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Refuse-to-R
Last night was Du's bowling night. I took off my mint green jeans, that I had been wearing all day although I hated to. I found a pair of size 10 dark blue jeans in my closet that were too tight, and put them on instead. THEY FIT! I needed a jacket last night--it is cold here in Nebraska! I found a short leather jacket that I had bought in the Fall of 2011, not long after I reached my goal weight. It was always snug, and I hadn't even attempted to put it on since my regain. I pulled it on over my shirt. IT FIT! It's like discovering a whole new closet of clothes again and it is FUN!
Yes, losing weight is exciting. Maintaining a weight loss is not. Both are necessary parts of this journey we are on to lead a healthier life. My dad maintained his weight loss from the time he was 65 until he died at the age of 83. My brother has maintained a smaller loss (approx. 50 lbs.) since the time he was about 45. He is 66 and rides 30-50 miles every day on his bike. These men in my family are my inspiration. They had the motivation and determination to maintain a weight loss long-term. I can do this too. Wish me luck.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
TADA!!! Yes those mint green jeans that have been hanging on my closet door for months to inspire me, FIT me again today! WOOHOO for me!!! The scale showed my hard work this morning. I weighed in at 160.4 lbs.! That is .4 lbs. from my original goal weight of 160, and quite wonderful! If you will recall, when I joined my first Dietbet around June 20, I weighed in at 182.6. OUCH!
Nothing fit. I felt fat. I felt out of control. I felt like I was on my way back to 328 lbs. Oh, I never went back to those old bad habits of sitting in front of my TV, eating bags of chips, cookies and candy, I never went back to going through fast-food drive-thru's either. But I had started binging on those healthy snacks. So OUT they went. The only snacks I've got in the house now are fresh fruit! I'm a little worried what will happen when the fresh fruits aren't as good as they are right now, but I will cope. I'm really going to miss watermelon however.
Once again I like looking in the mirror. I feel skinny. I am proud of myself again. I feel GOOD! These mint green jeans will fit better once I get back to 150 lbs., they're pretty tight, but I got them on and am wearing them right now. Of course now that it's past Labor Day, I suppose I shouldn't be wearing these light jeans, but (to paraphrase Scarlett O'Hara) "With God as my witness, I will be able to wear these pants (and all those others I outgrew) next Spring!!!"
It feels so good to be back in control!!!
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
For so many years I wore those elastic-waisted polyester pants. I had them in many colors--blue, green, purple, brown, grey, and lots of black ones. I never wore anything in a light color, thinking it made me look even bigger than I was. Probably true, but let's face it, at 328 lbs., everything made me look big, because I WAS BIG!
My purple pants were in a darker shade.
A year or so ago, I discovered yoga pants, and LOVE them, especially as I was on my gaining trend, because the pants stretched with my expanding waist and hips. I bought several pairs, and they were all I wore this winter. Finally this summer, I realized none of those pretty capri pants I had bought in all colors (red, hot pink, white, light pink, etc.) would go over my larger hips, so I went out and bought a couple pairs of new capris. But then I found the capris in the yoga-type pants. So of course I bought a couple pair of those too.
I had to buy size 14 in the regular capris I bought, after wearing a size 10 for the last three summers. That was depressing. And I noticed they were not comfy, when I sat down they became tight in the legs, and waist. I knew I was in trouble. I did NOT want to have to buy 16's, because I know that was just a little ways from having to return to shopping in the "Women's" sections of stores. Of course, I had gotten so large before that I couldn't even shop for clothes in stores, all my clothes shopping was done via catalogs and later on the Internet, because stores don't carry many 5X's.
I found some stretchy jeans (jeggings) at Dress Barn after I got to my goal weight, and at one point fit into a size 8 in those Roz & Ali brand jeggings which I loved. That was a huge accomplishment. Never in my adult life had I fit into a single-digit sized anything. Of course I realized that over the years of my adulthood, sizes have gotten a lot BIGGER. That became clear when my size 12 wedding dress from 1970 would still not zip up at my lowest weight, when I now was easily fitting into size 8's and 10's. After my regain, I bought ONE pair of the jeggings in size 12.
When I started buying the yoga pants, I would buy mediums. Then as I gained, I would buy new pairs in large, and even extra large, giving myself room to grow (BIG MISTAKE!). Of course I comforted myself by still fitting into those mediums. They were stretched to the MAX of course, but they still FIT! Of course the larges and extra larges were more comfy.
Today I am comfortably back in size medium capri yoga pants. But for the past several days I have been wearing my size 12 stretchy jeans. They are so much looser now, and more comfortable, as are all the size 14 capris. I haven't attempted to get into any of my size 10 non-stretchy jeans and capris yet, I decided if they didn't fit it would be too sad, and am going to wait until I get closer to that 150-lb. mark to put them on again. They better fit! I'm convinced that perhaps my body shape has changed since the regain. Starting with puberty, I had wide hips and a big butt. They both disappeared when I lost weight, but I was convinced they were coming back with my regain. Now as I look in the mirror I can notice a definite difference in my rear end. Once again, I like to look at my reflection in store doors as I walk towards the entrance.
Now I have noticed a trend in clothing--stretchy yoga-type pants in dress slacks. I even ordered a pair from Dress Barn. I need the petite length because my legs are so short, and those are hard to find in the store, so I got them on-line. I ordered them in size 12, you have to be realistic. Yes I feel good about my current weight-loss, but I don't like to buy clothes that are too small. Some consider that too small dress or pair of pants a motivation to lose weight, but I just find it depressing to see something new hanging in my closet that I can't fit into.
I am happy for this new trend. Even if you're at goal weight, it's nice to be comfy and there's no arguing that stretchy pants are way more comfortable than those skinny jeans that fit like a second skin. At my age, comfort is a prime consideration in clothes, of course a close second is looking good. I think these new stretchy pants that look like jeans and slacks go a long ways in helping me accomplish both these goals.
Monday, September 08, 2014
I know I should be satisfied with myself just because I am still close to my goal weight, after a momentary blip on the regain radar. But sometimes when I see people whom I haven't seen in a while, but HAVE seen since my weight loss, and they say nothing to me, I think that they should say something like, "Wow, you've done a great job at keeping those pounds off." I realize that to a majority of people, maintaining a normal weight is not a big deal. They have done it all their adult lives and accept it as normal. To me, it is a HUGE DEAL! Yet I'm pretty sure I wouldn't say anything to another person in this situation if I ran into them. I do notice if someone has regained, of course I don't say anything about that either. I guess I should be grateful for that behavior on the part of others too, since for a minute there I was on a regaining path. I'm not sure that it was ever all that noticeable to anyone who wasn't very close to me however. At least I hope those 32 pounds weren't too obvious to others.
But now that I am once again very close to my original goal of 160 lbs., and feel good about "managing my addiction" it would sure be nice if someone noticed that I'm still THERE. I'm still a normal size after over three years. To me, this is nothing short of a miracle. I guess I have to be satisfied in this knowledge all by myself. Nobody is throwing a party or putting me on TV, or magazine or newspapers or radio anymore. I'm yesterday's news, but that's okay, because with this newest loss, I have found my interest in pretty clothes again and went on a bit of a buying spree.
Check it out!
Two new Husker shirts to wear to home volleyball games, and just around home anytime the football and/or volleyball team is playing a game.
My hot pink lacy shirt, and my very decorative grey t-shirt.
Love this blue hombre shirt, and found this new black Husker shirt, that I completely forgot I bought! It's so sparkly--I love it and now that I remember it, I can't wait to wear it this weekend!!
A black and a white frilly shirt. I tend to like lacy, frilly clothes....can you tell?
My rose-colored blouses. I found the deep rose colored one at Shopko, when I was shopping with my granddaughter a few weeks ago and haven't worn it yet. I found the lighter pink top at Walmart for $10. and I love it. I have worn it repeatedly, in fact I liked it so much, when I saw it in black last week, I bought it in that color too!
I found this black and red striped long skirt (that is just the right length!) to wear with the black Walmart blouse. I think it will be perfect to wear to the Lennon Sisters concert next month in Branson!
I have worn this white frilly blouse repeatedly since buying it last month at Dress Barn. I love it! Makes me feel so feminine and pretty.
Found this long cowl-necked sweater and leggings at a local dress shop last Thursday night while Du was bowling. The sweater has a bit of the hombre coloring thing going again--I really like that. Now I'm ready for cooler weather so I get a chance to wear it. The best part--the sweater was on sale for $11.90!!
This is the top I decided to wear today. It is blue knit, with an elasticized waist. I like those kinds of tops, they hide my muffin top but show off my flat abdomen. This top is very comfy and I can see wearing it often. I didn't get a good picture in my mirror. As I wear these new clothes, I will try to get Du to take a picture, so you can see how everything actually looks "on" me.
I'm so happy I reversed that gaining trend and if nobody ever says a word about my weight loss/maintenance again, I'm okay with that. It still makes me prouder of myself than anything I've ever done in my life, well except for my three sons!!! Feeling proud of yourself is a very good feeling, so much better than the shame and embarrassment I used to live with.
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