Monday, May 26, 2014

Pictures speak the words I don't want them to.

Yesterday my parents visited the farm and brought my nieces over for some horse time.  Although I always appreciate horse time, I do not appreciate that my parents are photographers and therefore like to document each and every single moment regardless of what I might look like that day.  This morning I was not-so-nicely greeted with a few tagged Facebook notifications of picture posting.  

A few years ago, when I was losing and feeling great about myself, I would have waited anxiously for those pics to be posted.  I would have quietly monitored my email and been so excited to see myself.  I wasn't narcissistic ... that was just a way for me to start to process the new me and most of the time I would see a pic and need to do a double take because I didn't think it was really me.

Now those pics are a reminder of how far I've slipped.  I see my pudgy belly in all it's glory hanging out over my jeans and wonder where in the world I went wrong.  What's happened to me?  Where is my motivation?  What in the world will it take for me to once and for all make this a priority and just finish it already?  I see myself as I've always seen myself.  Fat.  Pudgy.  Overweight.  Uncomfortable.  Dissatisfied.  Frumpy.

So how do I get back to where I want to be?

I don't know the answer.

I know that when I do figure that out though, I will have figured out this whole weight loss thing for life.  I will have a gold star for sure!

I don't even know where to start, to be honest.  I have a new life (marriage is awesome!) that I love and yet I just can't seem to piece this together.  It plagues me.

There are a huge number of things that "should" motivate the begeezers outta me. 
  1. I want to be healthy for my family so that I can be more active with them.
  2. I want to be slimmer so my summer isn't so sweaty and miserable.
  3. I want to be thinner so that I can ride my horse easier and eliminate back pain.
  4. I want to be healthier so that if I get pregnant (here's hoping), I have an easier pregnancy.
  5. I want to prioritize my health so that my step-girls see what healthy living is like.
  6. I want to be sexy and athletic for my husband.
  7. I want to open my closet and have options again.
But these things motivate me for short bursts of time.  Like an hour.   And then I'm off and running thinking of things like pizza and breakfast burritos and Taco Bell and how hard and busy life has gotten and how much I deserve to just eat whatever I want just this one time or how stressed I am and how much I just need one teeny tiny glass of wine to relax my soul.  

What in the world is up with that?  Is the temporary treat really worth the guilt and muffin top that comes eventually?  Not so much.

I know I need to focus on my goals, surround myself in any and all ways with them, and not allow anything to get in my way.

So, just how in the world do I do that?



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Planning for lunch

I was in a rush to leave this morning and almost didn't bring a lunch. As I was rushing out the door I thought, "I'll just swing into the grocery store and get a salad at some point". But, a little voice in the back of my mind said "Oh yeah, right! You'll stop alright but it won't be for salad. A drive through is much easier." 

Today is going to be an emotional, busy, hectic kinda day. I'm at work early working on a few deadlines, I'm meeting my tax person (icky!) later this morning and I'm wrapping up the day meeting with a lawyer for a personal matter (double icky! - no offense to Barry, Letha!). If I don't have lunch with me, I know I will likely not stay on plan and I just don't want to risk that.

So, when that little voice piped in, I decided I wouldn't let it win. I ran back in the house and grabbed my cottage cheese, yogurt, an apple, and banana for later. It took me all of 2 extra minutes to grab that stuff. It didn't make me late for work. It didn't add any additional stress to my day. In fact it set me up for feeling great as I face the challenges today will surface.

One challenge down. Only a few more left to tackle!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A little sun here and a little rain there

Sun motivates me.  It gets my blood pumping, gets me thinking about the things I want to do outside, such as camping, hiking, horses, outdoor work, and enjoying life.  We had a taste of sun over the weekend and it got my brain motivated to get some serious weight off in the next couple of weeks.

Living in the rainy NW, it's easy to hibernate through the winter.  The rain sets in and I settle my bum directly into the couch for a little winter relaxation.

This last year my hubby and I tried to do some snowshoeing and stay active but my heart wasn't in it.  I let my negative thinking about where I should have been weight-wise sabotage my athletic efforts. Each time we'd head out for a little workout, I'd berate myself for being fat and slow again.  That would in turn make me even slower and thus even fatter.  Such a vicious cycle!

When I was most successful in my weight loss, I didn't let rain, sleet, snow or anything stop me from getting out there. I was like the mail and didn't let any kind of weather hold me back.  This last year, I let myself down mentally and physically. I let the fact that my old rain coats didn't fit me keep me from getting out there. I mean, really.  That thought came into my brain a couple times.  Silly!  Buy a new coat!!!!!

I can turn that around though.  Starting now.  This weekend I let the sun help me turn an important weight loss corner.  The sun came out and it spurred hope in my heart.  Well, hope and a twinge of panic!  There is very little time left before camping, hiking, horse riding and outdoor play time hits me.  I can't wait to be involved in all of that but I want to do it and be prepared for it.  Right now, I'm just not and regardless of whatever is happening outside, I must get walking, moving, losing, and focused.

Walking 5 days a week was my old habit and it did good things for my body.  I'm committing right now to walking every day this week.  Rain, shine, whatever!  It means I need to make some adjustments to my schedule but it's worth it.

 Spring is filled with hope and I plan to latch onto that, pull it into my heart/brain and use it to do great things for myself in the coming weeks.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Let's just get real

I've said all the words I need to say.  I've committed as many times as is possible to commit.  I've stated "I WILL DO THIS" with gusto - fist pump and all.  As I get ready to say those things once again, I wonder how much value they really hold for others but most of all for me.  Do I even believe myself anymore?  Am I like the girl that cried wolf too many times? I will do this and then I don't or haven't.  Does that make me a failure?

Or, is saying "I will do this" like saying "I love you" and it gains more strength each time you say it.  What if that were the case.  What if we are all bound and destined to fall but the fact that we get back up and shout at the top of our lungs "I WILL DO THIS!" is where success comes in.  Perhaps the success is that we got back up.  There's a famous quote about that actually.

I have to find some comfort in getting back up.  It's got to be what drives me forward.  One of these times, I will get up and not go back down.  When I do that, I will have mastered the process.  I might not have succeeded because I think the success is in the doing.  But by not failing, I will have move past the issue.

In the meantime, I will recommit to the process as many times as I have to in order to get this right.  I will fall on my face, back, bum, or even my rolly polly belly and I will still stand up and shout as loud as possible "I WILL DO THIS!" and then I will just do it.

That's what we do because we have to.  If we don't, then we give in to all the things holding us back.  We give in to the heartache that makes us eat or the fear of failure that holds us back.  One way or another, we will lose out on finding our potential.

I do not want that to happen to me.  I have to see this through.

So I will blog about the things I've blogged about before as I learn how to manage my eating, my loss, and my maintenance.  The words will get reused because I need to hear them and say them and ingrain them into my brain until I can't do anything but get back up and DO THIS!


Friday, March 7, 2014

What do I believe?

Glenda’s talk struck home with me more than I thought it would.  Several things stood out to me.

1)   She can find many excuses as to why she’s not losing or why she’s gaining.
2)   She’d never made a commitment to the program.
3)   She wasn’t living up to her potential.

I can so relate so I’ll share a bit of my story too.

When I walked into THW years ago (no really, like many moons ago!), I wasn’t committed to the program either.  In fact, I came there strictly to help Letha with some marketing stuff, get a paycheck and go about my business.  But there were other plans in store for me.  After our first meeting, Letha graciously suggested we exchange services.  I walked out of her office, went to Muchas Gracious and ordered a burrito so I could think it over because food always helped me think.  :D  I was in my car at the drive thru thinking of how silly it was that I’d even been considering doing this program.  The word “failure” kept racing through my mind.  After downing my bean and cheese calorie extravaganza, I made a decision to just test it out.  Just dip my toe in for a week or two and see how it went. The program wasn’t going to work and I wasn’t going to succeed so why not just see what it was all about.  Right?

I called Letha and said that we could work out a trade but I was so scared I didn’t even think I could muster the energy to go the first weigh in.  I’d tried programs before and failed.  I’d been “working” on weight loss since I was a kid and had never been able to figure it out.  I remember calling Weight Watchers at 13 to see if I could join the program and sobbed when they told me I was too young.  A year before I met Letha, I’d paid thousands to LA Weight Loss and had only mustered a 20lb loss.  With my history, I knew was going to fail. 

At THW, I stepped on the scale for the first time but refused to know my weight.  I stepped on backwards so I wouldn’t have to face the number.  I was shaking.  Even though the “f” word (I mean failure of course) was coursing through me every minute of the first week, I succeeded that week in being 100% on plan and was rewarded with a 10lb loss.  From there on out, I lost quickly.  When I hit 60lbs lost, I finally turned around and faced my number and was shocked to see 247 staring back at me.  For all the hard work I’d been doing to lose 60lbs, I was still so far from my 159 lb goal.  I remember feeling like I was taking on the impossible.  I continued forward though and by working hard and being 100% on program, I got down to 189. 

Hitting 100lbs lost was a huge accomplishment.  Getting below 200 was another huge accomplishment.  I celebrated but never thought I deserved it because in the back of my mind I kept hearing “you won’t keep it off”, “you’re not a successful person so you will fail eventually”, “you’ve worked hard and deserve a treat”, and more negative stuff which resulted in my stopping to lose and starting to gain. 

I’ve been in yo-yo land ever since.  Up a little down a little.  Up a lot.  Down a lot.  But I’ve yet to hit my original 159 goal let alone hit my lowest of 189. 

I say all of that to say that I too have not been committed to this process.  When Glenda said that last night I just about fell outta my chair.  Did those sitting around me see the light bulb?  I swear it was there.  Like uber bright!  Holy cow.  I had been going through the motions and yet not committing just like she had been.  I’d still been just dipping my toe in the water.  I get it.  I totally get it.

I could make excuses for my yo-yo-ing – and I’ve done my share of that for sure!  I’ve said it’s because I was breaking up with an icky boy friend.  Or that I was celebrating finding the love of my life.  Or isn’t getting married reason to celebrate? Dealing with mean people was a reason to eat pizza, I thought.  Certainly the miscarriage was reason to fall off the wagon.  Not to mention adjusting to married life and being a stepmom, worrying about finances, work, and well everything other thing that happens EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Whew.   I was celebrating the good with food and mourning the bad also with food. 

Well, there you have it.  Hello weight!  The root of this is that I have ever truly identified what I want long term and then made strides to get it done.  I have skinny friends that live life just like me and they don’t get fat when hard times come.  They don’t get fat when good times come.  They are different because they have a reason to be that way.  I have never truly believed I could get what I wanted and therefore haven’t made it a priority.

Walking into THW at 307 pounds, I had no vision.  I just wanted to lose (if I could).  I’ve slowly developed a vision but it’s a short term one.  I’m thinking of summer.  Shouldn’t I be thinking of the rest of my life?

So Glenda’s comments about seeking my potential hit home.  I must figure out what my potential is and in so doing, change my thinking to see me through the task of making it happen.

What are my beliefs?  Obviously my belief that I’ll fail has come true because I’ve made it happen.  How do I go about changing that thought process, belief, and action?  I don’t know for 100% certainty yet but I think it’s a process and I’m not willing to give up on it no matter how much I lose/gain in the process.  One day, I will figure it out.  Until then, I keep listening, learning, and engaging with people I meet at THW because I learn something about others and myself every single time I get back up and keep moving forward.  Each opportunity to learn gets me that much closer to the answer.


Monday, February 24, 2014

The Weight Loss Vex (or is it Hex?)

Ugh.  Weight loss.  We all hate it.  We all need to do it.  But we 100% can't stand it.  I keep thinking I'm going to get a handle on it, figure it out, write my life story to give the rest of the world some insight, and become rich and famous because, why not?

Instead ... well ... I'm just doing it.  Every day I'm doing it.  Some days I'm doing it well.  I eat well, work out, journal, take care of myself.  Other days I'm not so much doing it.

I'm vexed on the days I'm not doing it.  I'm so annoyed that I have to lose weight it's not even funny.  I mean for gosh sakes, shouldn't I be at my darn goal already?!?!?!?!?  Yes, yes I should.  I'm also vexed because I want the foods I want when I want them.  So there!

On the days I am doing it, I'm hexed.  It's so dreamy.  I'm losing weight.  It feels good.  Life is good.  I can eat something off plan because I'm losing, right?  Popcorn at the movies?  Sure!  A glass of wine at night?  Yep!  I'll work harder tomorrow and eat 100% and then the popcorn won't matter.

Oh please.  Popcorn always matters!  It's calories!

So isn't there a happy medium?  Can't I lose weight and be happy about losing weight without needing to give into the emotional roller coaster of craziness that ensues when I'm on plan or off plan?  My life has become driven by whether I'm eating right or if I'm not.  Literally driven by my weight loss.

It's ok to lose weight and make it part of your life style but living in extremes (extreme loss or extreme gain) isn't healthy.

My word this year is balance. I'm working hard to find that balance in my eating and physical life.  Where do I search it out?  How do I apply it?  How do I make sure I'm living life to the fullest without making it all about the food?

Perhaps I need to start by setting new WAY more realistic goals for myself.  It's not reasonable to walk 7 days a week, but could I do 3 - 5 days?  Yes.  Having a family, being a mom, being a wife, working full time ... and yes, walking 3 - 5 days a week.

Goal #1, set.

As for eating, can I change my thinking about eating healthy?  Does it need to be that I'm lacking something by not eating pizza?  Or could I start to think of it as giving myself a gift by not eating pizza?  Sure.  The gift of "no mental torture"!  So start to combat negative thinking about food and eating healthy immediately.

Goal #2, set.

I suppose I'd like my story a whole lot better if I lost all the weight and just lived at goal weight from there on out.  I don't think I'd have learned much then though.  Learning means I'm putting this part of my life behind me once and for all and applying the lessons to other areas as well.  If I do that, I'll succeed no matter the loss I have.