First Month Wrap Up

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 75 Comments

2/1/11                         3/1/11                             Results:
Weight” 276.8 lbs       Weight: 272.6 lbs.               -4.2 lbs. lost

Neck: 17″                    Neck: 17″                             0″

Upper Arm: 16 1/2″     U Arm: 16 1/4″                   - 1/4″

Bust: 53″                     Bust: 52 3/4″                       - 1/4″

Waist: 49 1/2″            Waist: 49 1/2″                         0″

Hips: 56 1/2″              Hips: 56 1/2″                          0″

Upper Thigh: 26 1/2″  UThighs: 26″                         - 1/2 ”

Upper Calf: 16 1/2″     UCalves: 16 1/2″                        0″

Recap:

The last week of February I had the flu with a fever for 3 1/2 days. I ceased working out. The most activity that I did was move from my bed to the living room loveseat.

I was able to increase the amount of time that I spent walking on the treadmill. I was up to 4 ten minute “sessions” 5x a week before I became sick. I have been doing the Core Base Stabilization exercises on my My Fitness page. I began the month by doing three and the week before I got sick I was doing the recommended eight in the Intermediate Level of strength exercises. The areas that I am targeting are upper body, core muscles like abs and lower body like thighs. As you can see even though I am only doing the strength exercises three times a week (recommended every other day) I have already seen some “inches” decreasing.

My husband and I assembled a work out bench that I had in its original box for the past seven years. I asked him to help me as a Valentine’s Day gift to us both. I have begun to make our second bedroom into a dedicated work out area. I have our treadmill in there along with some free weights, a stability ball and some steps. I have lots of exercise dvds as well. I began to repaint the walls just for some fresh color.

My food plan took some tough hits. I had two tough adversaries that I struggled with: not resisting the ever present sweets at some of the social functions I attend and bringing the leftovers back home. Obviously, my self-sabotaging speaks a lot about my conflicted feelings I have about “giving up” some of my favorite comfort foods. This past month points more to how tough this is going to be for me emotionally more than anything else.

Fortunately, when I had a scheduled meal I made good choices but often when I was out I had more to eat than I “should have” or I didn’t even try to find something on the menu that would have worked. I have found that if I undereat when we go out to eat that I return home hungry and my “best efforts” can backfire that way as well.

Actual hunger is a real issue with me. I have heard others talk about “mental hunger” and I will admit at times I do have that; ie, why I reach for “comfort foods”, but actual hunger is also an issue. If I am left to my own “devices”, eating around 3000 calories a day satisfies me physically and, yes, emotionally. That is a lot of calories for a 57 year old perimenopausal inactive woman. I know that. When I hear or read about other people having difficulty eating 1200 calories I am astounded! I would really like to follow that person around for a day or two. I just can’t imagine any one actually being physically satisifed with so few calories. If any one of you reading this is one of those people, I’d like to talk to you.

When I eat the portions recommended per meal even listed here on these food plans, I am still hungry after eating them. I eat slow and I do drink lots of water. Within an hour, I am ravenous, and having used up all of my recommended calories for the day, I usually have a difficult and sometimes physically uncomfortable night ahead of me.

Well, these are my issues and my challenges as I move into this coming month.

I am disappointed by the weight lose results but it could have been worse considering that I had many days of eating a lot more sodium and calories than was recommended.

I am not a quitter. I am as determined as ever that I am going to wrestle this beast to the ground and whip its a**. My learning curve may be slower than others but I plan on finishing what I started.

 

 

Things..They are A Changing

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose | 2 Comments

It’s been about three weeks since I re-started my weight lose and exercise plan again on BLC. (Biggest Loser Club online site)
Here is an update on what has been happening since I “signed on the dotted line”.
I joined two support groups: one on the BLC site and another one on 3FC diet support site.

The BLC group is more about what I am doing physically for myself. I checked in with the group, read what they were doing and asked if I could join. They said “Yes, provided that I follow their rules.” It is all about accountability and offering positive support. I have fast “fallen in” and I have received a lot of coaching and helpful feedback.

Based on the format of this group, I bought myself a pedometer for $30 and I wear it from the moment I get up until I go to bed. I report to the group and leader how many steps I am taking and how much plain water I am drinking. Once a week, on Monday. I report what my “official” weekly weigh in is. The leader has made a spreadsheet where she shows our individual progress and also within the group. If we drink at least 64 oz of water each day for a week we get a gold star in front of our name. If we go from one ten pound range to the next lower we become a member of the Ten Pound Club. I haven’t done that yet but it is neat that our efforts are being shown not only to ourselves but to others. It is a neat idea and it has a fun element to it!

There are other recommended exercises posted by the leader that  I can also participate in if I wish.

My other support group here on 3FC is using the “Beck Diet Solution” as the “rulebook” for the group. Essentially, this is change from the inside out and mostly what is between our two ears. It is a method of “Cognitive Therapy” that was developed for people who want to lose weight, stick to their food plan and maintain a weight lose for life.

For myself; I have decided that there is no eating “on plan” or “off plan” but only ONE PLAN and that is the plan that I am learning to live from now until I am “six feet under”.

I received an e-mail from BLC right away about 80/20 healthy eating. I hope that my food log looks like that. It feels kind of “weird” logging that I ate “unhealthy” foods but seeing it in black and white is a daily reminder of what food issues I do have, how I may or may not be handling them and that I am still working on my weight lose even if it isn’t all about salads and raw vegetables. I have been on so many diet plans, programs, followed so many of “don’t eat this and don’t eat that” that I just can’t do it anymore. There are no good or bad foods on my ONE PLAN; only better or best choices.

Another thing that I have been making slow but steady progress in is being more active. I never thought that having the pedometer on me would actually incite me to move more but it seems to do that! I am constantly checking it and I even find myself saying “No, I will do that” because I know that it will mean getting up and moving my body more. Hmm?? Who knew?

I also bought two books by Peter Egoscue: Pain Free at your PC and Pain Free. Peter Egoscue is a sport physicologist who developed a Method that will alleviate chronic pain; something that I have dealt with since 1993! I just started this but it comes to me through the recommendation of a friend of my sister’s who has alleviated chronic pain in her shoulder, an injury from long ago. My sister, who was in a life-threatening car accident, and who has been making routine visits to her chiropractor for the past couple of years, told me about this. I’ll keep you posted on how I am doing. I will say that chronic pain has robbed me of my sleep, my energy level and my disposition (at times).

I am now currently up to 4 ten minute “sessions” on the treadmill. I started out three weeks ago at 2 ten minute “sessions”. The pain in my knees were so bad that was all I could tolerate and that is coming from someone who has dealt with chronic (and at time debilitating) pain for close to twenty years.

Side note:
By doing the lunges in the Basic Core Stabilization exercises, I have slowly increased the muscle strength of the front of my thighs to the point where I have also increased my “sessions” on the treadmill.My hope and plan is to add another ten minute “session” next week and then the following week until I am at 6 ten minute “sessions”. At that point, I would like to break that into 4 fifteen minute “sessions”, then 2 thirty minute “sessions” and then, hopefully, I will be strong enough to “tolerate” 1 sixty minute “session”.

My “outdoor” goal is to be able to walk outdoors along with my husband by Easter for an hour. Ideally, without my cane.
This past week I have also been busy turning my once “dedicated” home office into a “dedicated” home gym. We do have a very nice work out facility on our apartment complex but it just doesn’t seem to be “worth” going down there for ten minutes here and there. Plus, I am an older woman and there is mostly all young guys working out. This way, I can work out in the privacy of my home, on my own turf and on my own “terms”.
I had purchased a work out bench years ago and it had been in the box in a storage unit for the same amount of time. This coming from someone who not only belonged to a fitness center for years but also was quite involved in body building “eons ago”! I asked hubby to help me assemble it for my Valentine’s Day gift. I worked on painting the walls and moving out “extraneous” furniture” this past week and it went in there along with our wonderful treadmill (I am so glad I bought a really good one when I could actually afford it).

I also purchased a new pair of work out shoes. I have some that aren’t too worn but I really want to have a better pair for serious walking. I also bought myself a MP3 player. I do not know how these work except that I am hoping I can listen to tunes while I am walking. Again, since I live in an apartment I have to comply with noise “regulations” although our neighbor’s dog doesn’t seem to be aware of that.

I wonder if they are allowed music in the gym on the ranch. To me, there is nothing like a good rock beat to really “rock” your workout.

Today, I decided that I am “ready” to increase my Basic Strength exercises to the Intermediate level. They are below:

Core Combination
(Do ALL of the exercises in this group):Abdominal crunch 15-20
Hip bridge 15-20

Upper Body Pull Combination
(Do ALL of the exercises in this group):Bent over one arm rear fly 15-20
Prone cobra on floor 15-20

Standing one arm row 15-20

Lower Body Combination
(do ALL of the exercises in this group):Squat 15-20
Stationary lunge 15-20

Upper Body Push Combination
(Do ALL of the exercises in this group):Modified pushup 15-20
One arm bench press 15-20

Prone shoulder combo 15-20

So, right now, this is what I am doing to move towards my weight lose goal:

Monday-Saturday: walking on the treadmill 4 ten minute sessions.

I also log any additional calories burned
. I use Livestrong.com as my source since they have an accessible directory of calories burned for some of the most unlikely things I have ever thought of. (PS Yes I log my sexual activity–hey, calories burned!–new incentive to go for the “burn”) The list is short right now because I am still using a cane for most ambulatory activities but it will increase as I become stronger.Following the 80/20 healthy eating recommended here within my recommended calorie range of 1800-2100 calories per day. So, for now, those are the changes that are occuring for me.
 

 

 

The truth is out there…reading labels warning

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose | Leave a Comment

I have found that if I check different sources like calorie counter books, online calorie counters and then the actual label on the food item that I am going to eat; invariably they will all differ! It is frustrating so what I decided to do was use a combination of standard measuring cups, spoons and a calculator!
What I now do is take down the nutrtional label’s information (I count all of the macronutrients on my plan) and I use that. However, this is where the calculator comes in handy. For example, I have a favorite brand of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I buy. On the label it routinely says that there are 12 servings but usually there are 8 chicken breasts in there! So, if I were to ignore that piece of information I would actually wrongly think I was having one portion when I might be having 1.5 portions.

 

Hey, calories do count, especially as you are moving down the scale and you are eating less and less. When you are first starting out, you can “absorb” this inaccuracy but as you get closer to your goal weight it could be the reason why you aren’t seeing the weight lose results that you would like and all along you are thinking “Well, I measured this before and it said….”. See what I mean? Through no fault of your own you might actually be eating more calories than you think and have a false sense of accuracy. Thanks to the mislabeling that exists.

 

This is the main reason that I don’t go by how many servings they think it will serve. I have seen it wrong more than right. So, in the case of the chicken breasts example above, what I do is I take the average portion calories x the total amount of stated servings to find the total calorie for the whole package: 110 x 12=1320 calories total then I divide the 1320 calories by 8 pieces (that are actually in the package) which would be 1320/8=165 calories! See, there is a 55 calorie difference. If you do this often enough you could be eating several hundred calories more a week and not even realize it.
I still feel calorie counting is the best way to not only find out how many calories you eat but also it has an added benefit: it indirectly teaches you portion control which for me is a real big deal. It also helps me decide whether I want to continue to add that particular food item in my food plan.
I started counting sodium milligrams last summer and that was so eye opening to me that now that is something else I really eyeball when I am buying a food item in the grocery store. There are a lot of food items that I put back after I read the label!

And, we thought we were safe if we “just” counted carbs and/or fats! As if!

Everything on the nutritional label has to be factored in if you want to lose weight in a healthy way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Less Does Not Translate to Losing More

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose | 39 Comments

There is this common fallacy that still lingers on although it has been proven time and again to be wrong and that is this: if I eat less calories, meaning under 1200 calories, I will lose more weight. At the initial glance, it seems to be correct but it’s not. All we have to do is look at nature and see how mammals that hiberate during the winter purposely store up fat so that they can live off of that during inactive periods. Movement equals calories burned. So, if you want to lose weight, the better way is to move more not eat less. If you want to gain or retain weight, move less, even with consuming less calories, and you will either maintain your existing weight or even gain weight, depending on how efficient (or inefficient) your body is.I have also heard it another way. Every time we eat it forces our body to burn that fuel for energy so if we deprive our body the fuel to burn it will burn muscle, when needed. It is a lose-lose situation.

I tried that “eat only when I am hungry” until I had also read that most of us chronic dieters and/or obese people have eaten when we are not hungry to the point that we would have to go without food for a couple of days before we really understand what true hunger is and even then we might only be thirsty. In other words, our natural appestat is broken after years of chronic dieting and overeating. So, unfortunately, to tell us to trust something that doesn’t work any more is like telling someone it is okay to drive a car with a flat tire. You can do it but not without some residual damage to the wheel rim and the supporting framework of the car. We’re no different!

 Right now, I am eating within 1800-2100 calories, based on my weight. It won’t always be that range because as I move down the scale my body size will need less calories to maintain itself and therefore one of the “downfalls” of losing weight is that we will need less calories to do what we were able to do before. I I think, at some point, we are all tempted to eat less so that we can see a bigger weight lose. It is interesting that we weren’t in any rush to lose weight when we were stuffing our faces before but suddenly when we do decide to do something about the extra weight, we want to lose it and lose it fast. This is uncomfortable, it is even sometimes painful and yes it is definitely frustrating, so we want to take the route and pull the Band-Aid off in one fell swoop; no inching it off for us. 

Now, I eat half of my meals every day when I am not hungry or even mildly hungry. I do not even try to undereat on purpose. This is one of the benefits of logging my meals as the day progresses. If it looks like I have some calories that I haven’t used this might be the time where I decide to follow the 20% “off plan” and eat something that is 20% of my daily calories. Right now, that could mean anything that is approximately 400 calories. I don’t do it every day but I have done it. It might seem like I have my feet in both camps right now but there is a “method to my madness”: I want to someday eat like a “normal aka thin” person. For me, that will mean learning to trust myself with food. This has not been a linear process either. I have periods where I do really well and periods where I don’t but when it works, it is a beautiful thing to witness. OA defines a normal eater as someone who can have “just one cookie”. That is my end goal. Someday….. and, yes, someday, I might actually be able to eat only when I am hungry but it is not now. I think that would be something better left for maintenance.

I know that it is more conventional wisdom to pre-plan your meals but I honestly need a little more flex room. When I have days like that where my hunger doesn’t seem very strong or “loud”, then I try and eat something that has a lot of flavor in it so that it “awakens” my taste buds.  When I hear people say that they are not really “all that” hungry, I think what they really mean is that they are bored with plain tasting (maybe even dull) food. I experienced that also. My remedy was twofold: one, I learned to cook differently than I had in the past including trying foods and recipes that I would never have considered before, ie; Jamaician food! me from the meat and potatoes farm belt?, and to up the ante with how I “spend” my calories each day.

 I like the “surprise” of deciding at the last minute what I am hungry for. First of all, in order to do that, I keep a “clean” kitchen. I don’t routinely have a dessert at the end of every meal any more. I have since learned that fresh, ripe fruit does what high calorie, overly sweet carbs used to do. Even when I feel like binging, unless I bring it into the house at that moment which is unlikely unless I order pizza in, it doesn’t exist in my kitchen. Granted, I could actually bake something but we all know that the definition of a binge is that it is impulsive and somewhat out of control. So, if I am feeling a binge coming on, I might end up having a no sugar fudgsicle when I am craving chocolate or sugar free instant pudding.  I am also learning to stock up some modified former “binge foods” like pizzas in the freezer so even that is covered.

Binges used to frighten me because of the lack of control at the epicenter of them but as I learn more about my reaction and relationship with food, I realize that an occasional binge is okay because it takes me off the stress and tension of ongoing discipline that eating “on plan” demands…even if it is only for a brief period. It is sort of venting steam. It is an emotional release. Now, that I am beginning to understand what triggers a binge for me, I am no longer as afraid of it as I once was. So, in a sense, I have even learned to prepare for a binge happening so it doesn’t throw me into a tail spin when it happens because as much as we would like to be “perfect” about our food plan, we aren’t!  

Another benefit of logging my food as the day progresses is that if it looks like I have a lot of calories left for the day then I will “splurge” and have something that will really be flavorful. For me, that could mean vegetarian pizza, chili, tacos, homemade burger. It can even sometimes mean having something I used to eat when eating out. When that happens I have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Yes, it might look like I am back to rewarding myself with food but it is still different. It means that the results of my planning and keeping a “clean” kitchen is that I can, within reason, enjoy a restaurant meal out without eating a salad as my only choice!

I think a lot of the times when we want to eat out is because we miss the heightened flavor that is associated with the foods. We can still have those kinds of foods at home , just modify them to lower the fat, salt, etc. I have to say I have learned how to make a mean tasting homemade burger including a meatless version. I make awesome chili and my homemade pizza ain’t half bad either! This is how I stay interested in my food plan and keep losing weight steadily. Somewhere, one of the diet experts advised not to drop below 1400 calories and that is exactly what I plan on doing. Of course, what that means is upping the exercising but if I am at the place where my calories are at that range I “should be” working out at least 60 minutes a day anyway. (stay tuned… I’ll let you know how I will adapt to that)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

This reminds me of the very first lesson I learned in how to drive a car when it goes out of control. When I took behind the wheel driver’s training as a teenager, one of the first things my instructor had me do was go on a parking lot that was iced over during the winter ( I so happened to be taking driver’s ed then). She told me to purposely put the brakes on hard which will automatically cause most cars to spin out of control. It is a terrifying feeling but the next step is crucial.

Our “instincts” is to grab the wheel and jerk it the opposite direction of the way the wheels are going thinking you will jerk it back to being straight but actually the way to get out of a skid or spin out is to turn the wheels in the direction of where the car is going not the opposite way. Going into the spin doesn’t seem to be logical but it works and it slows the spin down and the car corrects itself.

So, how does that fit with calories? We think that eating less will get the results that we want: which is weight lose, but, in fact, it has the opposite effect. We need food to fuel our bodies so that it works properly. Eating less puts our bodies into a hiberation phase and it basically conserves whatever calories we are eating.

The key to weight lose is finding that balance where you are eating just the right amount of calories that keep our engines stoked, give us enough energy to do what we need to do but also burn off so we see a drop in weight. Some of us burn calories more efficiently than others. It could be we are “lucky” but most people need some help in teaching their bodies to do that. This is why it has been repeatedly said that losing weight is a science.

to have science work for you. All you have to gain is weight lose. That is not a bad deal. Not at all!

Week Two….now, the real work begins!

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose | 41 Comments

I am glad that week one is over. I just felt like I running around trying to get everything in place. I certainly didn’t feel like I was in control, more like walking on ice, slipping and sliding.

I joined two separate support groups: Beck Diet Solution on this site and another one on Biggest Loser Club site, which I am a member of. [I will refer to them from now on as BDS and BLC] I have been away from 3FC for quite some time, checking in peridiocally. Now, I am back and I knew exactly what I wanted to do right away. I wanted to connect with a smaller group of people whom I shared the same goals with. I really feel that this is important. This time I knew what I wanted and it wasn’t “another diet plan”. I have been there, done that more times than I care to admit. What I was looking for were a group of people who were also committed in being accountable to each other. I have found that here and on the BLC site. The other aspect of this renewal of weight lose efforts on my part also was that I would actively listen, participate and share.  I am coming to both of these sites with my mind, heart and hands open wide to receive, whatever that might mean.

So, last week was busy just getting the foundation in place. I returned to BLC because it has a lot of online tools that I really liked, it is relatively cheap for membership and I really like their philosophy. I returned to 3FC because of the support I have received, the earnestness of everyone who posts regularly which is “catchy” and fuels my own personal efforts, the price is right and there is such a smorgesbord of choices here. If you can’t find something or someone to connect on 3FC you just aren’t trying hard enough!

So, the reason why I was so busy last week was I found out what my particular sub-group was using for their own efforts and then I went out and got it. I bought books, pedometer, began drinking water, measuring steps I moved, logging food and exercise, seeking out “experts” when I had questions, and in general starting setting my own personal plan into motion so that I could track my progress.

Here’s this week’s stats:

Official weigh in: 274 lbs. [BLC recommends losing 1% of your body weight each week.] I lost 2.76 lbs so I made my weekly goal.

Water: I begin the day by pouring myself a glass that holds 16 oz of plain water. I bought myself a Pur water pitcher a few years ago and I use that. The water is cold and that makes it much more enjoyable to drink. TIP: I have found that if the water is really cold it is easier to drink (if you have trouble drinking plain water) and if I “wait” until right after I have worked out I find that I can drink more at a given time.

My personal goal is: to not drink any other beverage until I have at least drank 64 oz of plain water.

  • I am wearing a pedometer because of the sub groups I now “report” to does that. I have already discovered how to move more and I actually find that by seeing how much I move makes me want to move more.
  • Since I am both out of shape from not being active in the past couple of years due to dealing with depression and inflammation from having arthritis, I have really started slow when it comes to exercising. I did 2 ten minutes walks on my treadmill Monday-Friday last week. LiveStrong.com has a great resource for calculating how many calories burned doing all kinds of everyday activities. I recommend checking that out.
  • Since I am only walking ten minutes at a time, my treadmill (which has a lot of bells and whistles that I really like) counts my calories as well so it is very sobering to realize that walking at 1.5 mph is only burning 33 calories for ten minutes. At first, I found this disappointing but it also is a good reminder that when you eat that extra yummy “whatever” think about how long you will have to walk to burn that off. It does give you something to think about. It may not change your mind but it does make you realize how you (and I) got fat in the first place.
  • This week I have added a 3rd ten minute session to my walking.

My BLC food plan is as such:

  • 1800-2100 calories per day which is broken down into the following macronutrients:
  • Carbs: 225-315 grams
  • Fiber: 25 + grams
  • Protein: 68-130 grams
  • Fat: 40-70 grams
  • Sodium: < 3000 milligrams

BLC philosophy is 80/20 healthy eating food plan. Before I joined BLC online program I had never monitored all of these macronutrients. In the past, I have limited my carbs, fats, proteins, etc. I have really found that following this food plan has taught me more about eating in a balanced way than I have ever eaten in my entire life!  It doesn’t feel gimmicky either. It also doesn’t feel like I am dieting. I am making healthy food choices the majority of the time. This will help prevent any sudden sugar spikes and/or most physical cravings but if you are an emotional eater, which I am, then expect to have some days where it is more difficult than others.

That is where I hope the Beck Diet Solution (BDS) will help. I have long ago realized that losing weight and keeping it off is not just about counting calories, doing so many situps and walking so many miles. It is also about your behavior with and towards food; when you are by yourself and when you are with other people. There are many good books available about changing your “fat head” and this is yet another one. I have spent time in the past working on the emotional issues that have halted my weight lose and/or caused me to regain the weight that I had lost. I want to get to the place where when something “big” comes up I can get through it without additional food. That is my personal goal as I am beginning this sub-group here on 3FC.

Since I plan on losing this weight once and for all, I have decided that I am going to give you as much information about what I am doing as I can so when the time comes and I am where I need to be, you will have followed my journey enough where you will be able to see what worked for me and what didn’t.  That is the primary reason why I am keeping this diet blog. I want a record of the time that it took for me to lose all of this extra weight, what I did to accomplish that and what else I learned along the way.

So, I will try to keep to that task as I have set forth here. Thank you, reader, for checking in and if any of this has helped you acheive your weight lose goals, then it has helped two of us.

Good luck! Now, let’s get to work…..

Just the stats, ma’am, just the stats!

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose | 28 Comments

Personal Stats:

I am married, 57 1/2 years old, July is my birth month, and I have one adult child, age 35. Seven years ago today my husband and I packed up all of our belongings and moved from Minnesota to Atlanta, Georgia. My husband lost his full time employee status along with all of his benefits in April 2009. He was retained as a subcontractor by his former employer whom he still works for. I lost my job in September 2009. I worked briefly as a tax consultant in the winter of 2010 but did not return to same seasonal employer this tax season because I myself owed taxes. Under a federally funded work program, I am presently upgrading my existing computer skills to hopefully garner me an office position in the near future.

I joined the online “Biggest Loser Club” diet support group last summer. I was able to lose 25 lbs and I have managed to keep that off. When my computer crashed I tried to continue with it by going to the library and using their computers but my enthusiasm cooled as it became increasingly more difficult to maintain the same kind of momentum that I had previously.  This past Christmas a computer tech who knows my husband fixed up one of his computers and gave that to us for Christmas. I decided then that I would rejoin “Biggest Loser Club” online. I am making a special note of this because from now on whatever diet support “tools” I mention are ones that I have access to from this site.

Presently, I keep a detailed food log online on this site. I never liked doing this before in my past dieting efforts, when that was an option. I began doing this last summer when I joined initially and I have found that it has been very insightful and useful in my weight lose efforts.

I also log my activities that I do each day. Again, until I joined this site, I did not do this. Now, I am working towards a specific number of calories burned so that I can influence my weekly weight lose.  It has also given me a different viewpoint about activity in general besides what would be considered “standard” exercise as we have come to know it. I am waiting for a pedometer that measures all of my movement, “steps”, and then I will begin to keep track of that as well.

Over the past couple of decades I have been on many different kinds of diets and diet programs. This is not the first time that I have joined a structured diet program. However, what is different about this one is more of the emphasis on healthy eating overall. I will say that although I thought I knew what healthy eating is I soon discovered that I had a lot to learn about what it is. This has been evolutionary. I have not done this in a matter of months but more like a matter of years! For me, change has been slower than some people but it has remained a constant. I now make choices without even thinking about them. Some have become automatic.

However, “Biggest Loser” recommends the 80/20 approach to healthy eating. I think that this is a more “sane” approach to eating and it is something that I am slowly adapting to. Where that kind of thinking really helps is breaking the “perfectionistic” tendencies that I have had all along. No more restarting a new diet (or the same diet) on a Monday especially after having a weekend of “being off my diet”. Instead, what has been replaced is a continuum of what “went before”. The food plan and the commitment to healthy eating doesn’t stop just because I made choices that are not healthy. This is quite a departure for me.

I think the impact that type of thinking and subsequent behavior has on me is that I am now taking more ownership of the food choices that I make. I no longer say that I “couldn’t help myself” when. in fact, actually I could but I choose not to. I have also dropped previous “labels” that I had given myself: compulsive overeater, binger eater, emotional eater. For me, these labels were actually a self-fullfilling prophecy meaning that if I believed that about myself I acted according to that belief. 

Last week, I decided that I wanted to eat some chocolate chip cookies as much as I wanted until basically they were gone. I logged them on my food log knowing that perhaps “someone” (one of the staff there) on the BLC site might be glancing at my food logs (maybe) but more importantly for myself so I could see it in black and white, take “ownership” of my choice (yes, it was a conscious and willful choice because I could have also chosen not to eat all of those cookies too) and then I “fessed up” in my journal which I have made public so all can view.

None of this was done out of shame. I felt a little embarassed but I didn’t feel shame because I recognized that I do and I did make unhealthy choices. I am no different than the next person except hopefully what has changed with me is that the diet and the intention to lose weight hadn’t changed. I had a “speed bump” along the journey towards eventual total weight lose and regaining of my overall health. No more “restarting” on Mondays. Now, when this happens, I acknowledge that it will probably impact my weekly weigh in adversely but on the other hand I also don’t try to offset that by eating less the days that follow or doubling up on exercising, which I used to do all the time in the not so distant past.

I would love to do this perfectly. A “perfect” two pound lose every week until I am my goal weight. If that happens from here on in that would be great but if it doesn’t I am not going to give up. I am committed to this no matter how long it takes. So, you all may be reading this for some time to come but I hope that you too will consider what I have said here and approach your own weight lose efforts in a more humane and, yes, sane way.

Here’s to more to life than salads!

Here’s some starting stats as an appetizer:

Height: 5′6″

Weight” 276.8 lbs

Neck: 17″

Upper Arm: 16 1/2″

Bust: 53″

Waist: 49 1/2″

Hips: 56 1/2″

Upper Thigh: 26 1/2″

Upper Calf: 16 1/2″

PS I will post my stats the first of each month from now on.  I will also include photos of my progress (as soon as I can find the cord to my digital camera so I can upload them)