Saturday, February 02, 2013
Today just happens to be 3 weeks from my start date on SparkPeople. It also happens to be my 65th birthday. My husband was 65, just yesterday. Yes, I married an older man and we have been together for almost 43 years.
We celebrated our birthday today with very good friends, 5 other couples who we hold very dear in our hearts. It was a wonderful day, one to remember. One of my best friends is also working to take off some of the weight gained over the past year, so we are always excited to compare notes and results. She started a week or so before I did, but our results are pretty comparable. We have each lost about 2# each week. We are both eating nutrition packed meals, with moderate portions and are each exercising in our own ways. She has limitations because of back and leg problems. I have no limitations, thankfully.
Dining out can be a challenge sometimes, but if you study the menu in front of you and use common sense, it's not usually too hard to find something that will fit your nutritional needs. Portion control, however, is another thing. Some food establishments bring you enough food to feed 3 people, so you have to be diligent about using the deck of cards aspect for controlling portion size, in cases like that one.
We ate out two days in a row. Sometimes a problem for me, because of the temptation to choose something not as nutritional as I'm accustomed to, but in the last 3 weeks, I have had no refined sugar, no diet soda, no saturated fat calories. I HAVE had loads of fresh greens, including romaine lettuce, spinach, and other specialty greens, grape tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, cucumber and red and green peppers. I've steamed broccoli, green beans and baby pea pods. I've had fruits of many varieties, from berries to citrus to melons. After 3 weeks of total success in "not cheating" myself of anything healthy, I was not about to "blow it" on dinner out.
I don't feel deprived because everything I'm eating is good for me and it is food that I love and always have. I've "dieted" most of my life, so lean proteins are a favorite of mine. I could live on tuna salad made with lowfat cracked pepper mayo with olive oil, like my husband could live on burgers.
My husband is a slender man, and always has been. I have outweighed him for most of our married life. I weighed 118 when we got married. He weighed about 140. (Ok, so that sounds pretty much ideal, doesn't it?) When I gained weight with both our babies, I held on to a about 10 pounds, each time. Was it sentimental fat? Did I feel I had worked hard enough in producing these two beautiful boys that I deserved to keep a little excess weight? I don't really know. The first time I dieted, I was 28 years old and weighed about 148. I lost the weight, got down to 120, almost what I was when we got married. Then the cycle of "every 4" seemed to start. Every 4 years, I would notice the scale was reaching the highest number I had ever seen. The second time, the weight was 154. Once again, I head for the nearest weight loss center and gym to get the weight off again. I succeeded again.
Then again, around 4 years later, the weight is all back again with a few added pounds until I reached my all time high of 172. Keep in mind that I am 5'1" tall and am small framed, so I was pretty dumpy, frumpy or whatever you want to call being about 50-60# overweight.
The straw that broke the camel's back for me was when the BMI index became one of the indicators of obesity. Obesity? Obesity? I had never in my life thought of myself as obese. My grandmother was obese, but she weighed over 300# and was not much taller than I. She was obese! She also died at age 65 years, 7 months and 7 days, from a massive heart attack, undoubtedly a result of her obesity. But me? Obese? Yes, according to the BMI. I hated the BMI. I ignored the BMI, but what I couldn't ignore was the fact that I didn't feel good. I was having headaches; I was tiring out much sooner than normal; I found myself an empty nester, with the boys grown and gone and my husband working nights. So, I ate. And I ate and I ate. About 8 years ago, (yes, continuing on the every 4 year cycle thing) I found LA Weight Loss. This was a program focused on nutrition and portion control, with the help of LA Bars, delicious little protein bars in many different flavors and lots of other incentives to enhance my chances of getting the weight off. All very expensive, but I had gotten myself into this "mess", I would have to pay for it, I guess. I had managed to lose a little of the weight myself, but knew I could not do it alone, so when I joined. I joined with a friend, I had a buddy to go through this with me this time, so maybe I would succeed once and for all.. And succeed, I did. I lost 40#! It was the most weight that I had ever lost at one time. I stayed on track, determined and the results were amazing. I was wearing size 6 jeans and even had one pair of ivory, yes ivory; you know, that color that all heavy people stay away from because your rear end appears twice the size it actually is, when you wear any shade of white. But I bought a pair of ivory dress pants...size 4! They looked fabulous on me and my husband was amazed at the new me. So was I, but alas, this was not my "once and for all"..that same 4 year cycle kicked in and once again, I found myself gaining the weight back and once again began looking for someplace to go for help with my plight. LA Weight Loss had closed up shop and moved on to bigger and better cities, so I turned to Thin & Healthy, a smaller franchise business dedicated to helping people lose weight, but also dedicated to selling all kinds of products to enhance that process. All very expensive, of course. But I did it! I lost the weight again. I lost a total of 32# to get down to 130#. I looked good, felt good and the size 6 pants were fitting again. The 4? Not so much, but I still have them and THIS TIME! This time, I am counting on no one but me to complete this goal. I have listed my goal weight as 135#. My goal for my goal weight is to get it down there, then reset the goal to 130, then when I get there, I will head for the ultimate 125. Even at 125, I am considered on the high end of the weight scale for my height. But the BMI index is not my greatest concern, my health is much more important to me, that and my own self esteem.
When I'm carrying more poundage than I should, I don't feel comfortable in my own skin. This is not me. The smaller me, is hidden inside this body, just waiting to make an appearance.
SparkPeople was an accidental find one day while I was web surfing. Or maybe it wasn't an accident. But what I found was an amazing place where I can be accountable only to myself. I am responsible for filling in the blanks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because I am in charge, I'm finding that I am truly wrapped up in succeeding. I am so determined, it surprises me a bit. I was successful before, I can be successful again.
My final goal is to make this the very last time that I have to lose weight to be healthy once again. This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle and I am loving it.
Quoting one of the many inspirational messages I've found helpful..."Take Pride in How Far You Have Come and Have Faith In How Far You Can Go!"
I am proud of the 6.5# lost in this past 3 weeks and know that I will succeed with SparkPeople and all of its followers as my partner in this endeavor.