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:
Weight” 276.8 lbs
Upper Arm: 16 1/2″
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)