False Start To Fresh Start
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Well, here it is, July first. Half the year has passed by already and I'm still losing and gaining the same 2 or 3 pounds since the beginning of the year. Looking at the positive side, if there is one, at least weighing in at my TOPS meeting every week keeps me aware of the numbers on the scale. I haven't totally let myself go and watched the scale go over 300 pounds. For me that seems to be the magic number. I am so afraid to let myself go over that point. Today is go time.
Some members of my TOPS chapter are starting a challenge with our first weigh-in for July. We are the Hula Girls because we all want to go on a Hawaiian Island cruise when we're thinner. We're starting pool where everyone participating puts in $50. The contest goes until the first weigh-in for October, which is 13 weeks from tomorrow. The objective is to lose at least 10% of your starting weight by then. Anyone who reaches this goal gets to split the pot. At my current weight that's an average of about 2.2 pounds a week. That seems reasonable. I should be able to do that if I make better food choices and develop a regular exercise routine.
During this past week I've been doing a lot of soul searching about why I've had so many false starts and I have com to some conclusions. My biggest problem is that all or nothing attitude. For whatever reason I feel like I have to do it all at once, and I have to do it right, and then I wonder why I get discouraged.
Let's see. I saw Patrick Goudeau on the Fitness channel doing step aerobics. It looked like fun. It was something I could do at home too. I got a sturdy step that wouldn't collapse under my weight and ordered some videos. That fizzled out after awhile. I couldn't keep up with the videos so of course, if I can't do it all, why bother trying.
Then I saw Patrick Goudeau doing choreographed aerobics with a stability ball. That would be fun. It was low impact and you are sitting on the ball most of the time. I could do that. I ordered some videos and did some online research about stability balls. I found a more expensive ball with a 350lb. weight limit. I didn't want to have some cheap ball burst while I was bouncing on it. Same as with the step, fizzled out after a few weeks because, of course, I couldn't keep up with the videos.
Last year I saw rebounder videos on YouTube. That was it, something I could do at home that was low impact. I was going to bounce my way to a healthier thinner me. After all, who doesn't like to bounce. We start bouncing in our cribs when we're babies. I did some research and found a very sturdy rebounder. Once again, I couldn't keep up with the videos, so that fizzled out after a few weeks. There is a familiar pattern here. I can remember my mom getting stretch bands and exercising with Jack Lalanne on the TV. That didn't last very long.
I tend to have the same all or nothing attitude about food too. Foods are either good or bad, there is no in between. There are things that I just can't have and that just makes me crave them more. Starting over has become somewhat of a ritual. The beginning of a new week, or a new month or especially a new year is always a good time to start. When I decide to get started again I find myself wanting all of my favorite things the week before that I can't have. Then I find myself in a rut eating the same foods all of the tim so I get bored, and those cravings are still there. That is a sure fire setup for failure.
I don't think I have the right mindset. I have to change my way of thinking about losing weight. It took years of gaining weight to get to 290 pounds. It's likely going to take at least 1-1/2 to 2 years to get where I would like to be. I believe my goal is realistic. I don't want to be a size 10. I would be happy for the rest of my life if I could fit into a size 16 again. When I was that size I was very active and I felt good. I can't allow myself get discouraged when I haven't lost very much after a few months. I just have to settle in for the long haul.
Staying motivated isn't easy. I can get off to a good start but once I lose that initial surge of motivation I'm right back to where I started. I've tried some ideas to keep the motivation level up. I want to go on a Hawaiian Island cruise when I reach my goal. That in and of itself should be a good motivator. I got a large map and drew an arc from Minneapolis to Hawaii. I marked it off in one pound increments and put it on a cork board. To mark my progress I glued a tiny toy jet to a push pin. The jet almost made it to 30. Now it's back in Minneapolis and the cork board is behind the desk, so much for that idea.
I came up with another plan to document my progress with pictures each time I could fit comfortably into a smaller size. I found some matching yoga pants and racer back tops at Wal-Mart that came in plus and regular sizes. I ordered a top and pants in each size from a 4x (my current size), to a medium (my goal size). I did my first pictures wearing the 4x. The 3x has been hanging on a hook on the bathroom door for a year now still waiting to be worn. That idea worked real well.
Last year my mom made an offer of $5,000 if I lost 50 pounds by the end of October. I had 8 months to do it, which would have been reasonable. That would have been more then enough for my Hawaii cruise. If that's not motivating enough I don't know what is. I think she knew she wouldn't have to pay out, but she said she would have been more than happy to give it to me if I had done it.
It just goes to show me that rewards don't provide enough motivation. If I sit around and wait for some magical motivation epiphany to happen I'll be waiting forever. I just have to do it. Motivation has to come from somewhere inside me. I have to want to reach my goals more than anything else. Last month we went to South Dakota. We stayed at a campground where they had trail rides. I visited the stables and petted the horses, but I didn't go riding. I would have felt sorry for any horse that had to carry me around, and just getting on the horse would have been an acrobatic feat. I don't want to stand back and watch life to pass me by. I want to participate in it. I know I'll feel much better. I felt better after losing 30 pounds. I can only imagine how much better I'll feel when I lose 100 pounds. Maybe I'll feel more motivated by personal progress, like when I can fit into that 3x outfit hanging on the bathroom door.
When I look at things from a positive perspective I have had enough false starts to learn some things. This time it is going to be a fresh start. I am starting with a new attitude and a different way of thinking. The map is going back up on the wall again, and I'm wiping the dust from the step and the rebounder. I'm going to ease into an exercise routine. When I can't keep up with the exercise ball video I'll just sit and bounce on the ball. At least I'll be moving. If I keep doing that eventually I'll be doing the whole video. I'm going to start with a new attitude about food too. There are no good or bad foods, just better choices. All things in moderation. I can still have things I want occasionally. Maybe I need to keep foods that are likely to trigger a binge out of the house for awhile. Maybe I'll feel more confident after I make some progress. I am going to try new recipes occasionally so I don't get into a rut and get bored with the same foods. Like the glass that is half full I still have half of this year left to pull myself together and get serious about changing my lifestyle. I can make it happen.