“WANT is a growing giant whom the coat of HAVE was never large enough to cover.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson.
My “wants” outran my “haves” in all things; though most of all being food-oriented, my want to be able to eat what I want when I want it is by far the hardest one to put down, leave alone and give up. We just passed through yet another “excuse” to overeat: Easter and Passover. I did fine in measuring one serving size, recording it and then reporting it to my food sponsor, S., but when I ran out of my sugar free chocolate I had bought solely for my “sweet treat”, I turned to “what was left” of the homemade chocolate fudge I made my husband. All I can say is “OY!” The more I had the more I wanted and the more I wanted the more I had. How self-defeated I felt not to mention how blind I was to my own “intentions”!
Having extra weight (more than our bodies need for either survival or need) is the most obvious symptom of WANT. I definitely subscribed to the saying “More is more and I am entitled to it!” What defiance I have when I stomp my feet and WANT MORE…especially food. Whatever I wanted, I thought that I should have it simply based on the strength of wanting it. This defiance, this “inner child of age three” temper tantrum is what got me into being obese, into excessive credit card debt as well as poor relationship choices; just to name the three that plagued my former life the most.
The truth is I SELDOM NEEDED the things that I WANTED. Case in point; I didn’t need to marry my second husband but I WANTED to marry him in spite of our basic beliefs being totally opposite. We were like vinegar and oil. We never did mix BUT I had to marry him because that is what I wanted. When I stopped WANTING to be married (just another thing to own) like a title to a prized possession, the “best” person for me entered into my life. It took seven years of “self-prescribed” aloneness to allow the process of falling in love to happen “naturally”. I wasn’t marrying someone for what he could do for me (and my second husband told me later he was looking for a trophy wife in me) but how much love I wanted to give him when I was with him. I NEEDED to love more than I NEEDED to be loved. I had all of this inside of me that I wanted to express. What a difference!
When I got credit card offers one after another, I “had to” accept them. Forget about all the bargain hunting that I was so good at. That went out the window but in the mail came all of the bills that I now had to pay because I just HAD TO HAVE yet another purse, another pair of shoes and another outfit that (BTW) did NOT Fit the way I WANTED it to. It took filing for bankruptcy once, getting into credit card debt twice and on the third round for me to realize that only accept what you can handle (and even then that is taking a risk on both your self-honesty and ability to repay) and NO MORE!
A few years ago, I challenged the other members in the online diet group I was leading to clean one room of their home at a time. By the sound of their grumblings many found it to be more of a task of LACK OF WANT than WANT but many also found out how much “stuff” they actually owned. I for one was amazed at how I was able to fill 15 lawn size plastic bags full of clothes that I either had never worn or worn once (nothing in a size 28 really looks all that great on you, I hate to say!) and my closet was STILL full of remaining clothes!!
The biggest surprise was when I asked them to go through their kitchen cupboards and refrigerator. Many found things they forgot they had bought and was shoved way in the dark recesses of their cupboards, closets and drawers. Some made comments that they had salad dressings with expiration dates going back four years. Now, how does that sound in really taking care of your body as the “precious gem” that it is?
I have since learned that what my life needs is not more stuff although I still love to shop but it needs to be MORE SIMPLE, HAVE LESS IN IT and the things that I do NEED are MORE TIME, MORE GRATITUDE, MORE APPRECIATION OF WHAT I DO HAVE and LESS GRUMBLING ABOUT WHAT I DON’T HAVE.
I will now pose a question to you to ponder, when the next time you WANT that something (whether it is one more helping of food, a specific sweet treat or just any old thing), ask yourself this: “IF I bring this into my mouth, my home, my life; what will it add to my life that I really can’t do without now?”
There is no right or wrong answer. After all, I still love to shop, to eat a delicious well-prepared meal and I love showing off the love of my life whenever we are out. If you love having extra “stuff”, things, food, etc. in your life then you truly want what you’ve got but if you wouldn’t miss it if you waited 24-48 hours then maybe you really didn’t NEED it as much as you thought.
My challenge to you is “Let’s have more wanting what we have and less wanting what we don’t need.” Do I hear an “Amen!” I hope so.
It has been seven days when I decided to accept the offer of a “food sponsor” and began the daily process of both logging my food that I have consumed but also handing the results over to someone else. This requires a lot of self-honesty for starters. It also requires a trust in a Higher Power that will guide me and lead me to making the best choices for myself then following through on them.
From the start, since I am also a recovering “people pleaser”, I did not want to get into the mindset of doing this to “please” my food sponsor. This is and always will be for my own benefit. I may have to remind myself this more often during the start of this but this is not for her. She has already gone through her own reporting and subsequent accountability with her own food “sponsor”.
I also had to be careful that I didn’t get overly defensive (another character defect of mine) if she would question some of my choices; i.e., one half of a Kit Kat bar that my husband left out for me. I did feel a few hairs stand up on my arm when I explained my choice but what I was even more “proud” of was that I was honest about making that choice, I took responsibility for it and I also both logged and fit it into my daily calorie range. Although I may not have gotten an A for effort I do feel I would have given myself a B for my own self-governing rules: being scrupulously honest with myself and her, taking ownership of my choice and having made a conscious choice to depart from my food plan.
The first few days the only thought(s) that I had was just doing my best not to “screw up” and fall off the wagon before I ever left the barnyard to “take it on the road”. First of all, in the past I was accustomed to responding to anything that felt like hunger by eating. Armed with a food plan of my choice, the only thought(s) I had was doing my best to follow it and stay on it. Fortunately, I had done this part in the past so I fell into that quickly but what I hadn’t done in the past was “turn it over” to a food sponsor by the end of the day.
The symbolic significance of doing this was that I was acknowledging the kitchen was not open 24/7 but that it was off limits once my food plan had been handed in for that 24 hour period. I had never done this before. Fortunately, spiritually I had come to a place where I really did want to do this for my own integrity. I did not mention to my food sponsor how difficult this was those first several days but it was. Two reasons why I didn’t: 1) I really do not know this woman at all, I just met her within the last month and I didn’t even know anything about her personal weight lose history other than she confided that she was in maintenance and that she had a food sponsor as well that she turned over her daily food plan to and 2) it was “pride”. I simply did not want to admit how I was reeling from chronic insomnia, acute inflammation and now I was also attempting to not turn to food to ease either of those persistent, nagging problems in my life. I did share that I was dealing with these other things but since she doesn’t know my personal history she may not have seen the significance of all that was swirling around me. I’ll get the “awwws” from my sweet hubby, who is also a part time enabler and whom I love anyway because I know he will apologize for being so and who wants both for me to be happy but also will bend the rules in doing so.
I also became aware of something else by the fourth day of eating abstinently. I was really experiencing a lot of tension and I really felt like I was “white knuckling” just to stay on my food plan. I was just so hungry physically. I was averaging 2400+ calories a day before I decided to stay within 1400-1800 calories. In fairness to myself around 600-800 calories were in extra milk and food to buffer my aching stomach when I was taking my pain meds. Still, my body was used to a lot more food. Fortunately, I “hung in there” and by the fourth day it eased up enough where I felt like I could relax some.
Another reason became apparent by the third day of staying on my food plan and why I was also overeating. It was when I decided to cease taking my nighttime sleep aid which I had been taking every night for 12 1/2 years. With no food on my stomach, I literally was doubled over in pain one morning at breakfast. I swore right then and there I could not take any more of this. I was risking serious health problems if I continued. I had freely admitted in the past that I was taking twice as much in half the time recommended with fourth of the effect. I was chasing one problem with yet another. I really was concerned one morning I just might not wake up! I knew that I could die from an overdose. It would have been accidental but I would still be dead.
So, now not only was I physically hungry but I was also going through a chemical withdrawal from these nighttime sleep aids. My legs were jerking so strongly it awoke my husband. I had to sit on the edge of bed and rub them over and over just to calm them down. I also felt nauseous with a blinding headache. I felt like my entire head was in a very tight vice that encircled my back of my head, up through the sides pressing hard above my ears and through my skull. All of this on top of the acute inflammation I was experiencing in my left shoulder that radiated through my upper back and into the base of my neck. Could it get any worse? I wasn’t sure.
Well, by the middle of the fourth day, with only one dosage of strong NSAIDs in my system, I felt relieved that my body seemed to be “quiet”. The pain in my left shoulder was “tolerable”; at least according to m standards (I have built up quite a tolerance of chronic pain), I was only mildly hungry and I was able to sleep 4 hours without interruption. I had come a long way in just a few short days.
Then, something happened last night(day six). I just felt so giddy that I had broke 260 lbs, that I could report my true and accurate weight instead of fudging on it like I had done often in the past(finding the lightest day of the previous week and reporting that for instance when it might have only reflected the one or two really good days in a week of roller coaster eating) that I felt like I “should” go into the kitchen and make myself something to eat “to celebrate”. I had never seen the connection between my feelings and eating (without being physically hungry) so clearly as I did at that moment. I didn’t eat, which I am glad to say, but it was a real “a-ha” moment for me. It made me wonder just what wasn’t “eating” to me. It seems there was a lot of blurring that I simply had not been aware of before.
Finally, in the past, when I had tried to eat abstinently, I had always felt a sense of confusion about what exactly I was trying to do and why so I wasn’t certain that I was actually doing so. I feel so fortunate that I had a real moment of clarity regarding this yesterday. It dawned on me on what is “required” of me in terms of eating abstinently: just follow my BLC food plan. It fits within the OA guidelines: it is well balanced nutritionally if I follow it as it is laid out, it emphasizes healthy food, the calories are within an acceptable range for my age, height and current weight, and it “fosters” eating to live and not living to eat. So, if I accomplish this each day then I am eating abstinently and abstaining from compulsive overeating and building on one more day of recovery. I understand now! It is crystal clear to me.
Another revelation that I had that really “brings this home to/for me” is there is an ending to eating. It doesn’t go on “forever”. This really gets at the core of one of my persistent former eating habits: grazing. I am/was a person who just thought the kitchen was always “open”. It is not any more. Hopefully, those days are behind me but, for now, I realize that I may have to be reminded of this on a daily basis as well as any time when old habits resurface.
By having these guidelines to stay within; i.e., a specific amount of calories within each macro-nutrient category (carbohydrates, fat, protein, fiber, sodium) gives me the structure that I need to practice my daily abstinence. Eating is not something that is a mindless activity to do along with other activities. It is a separate activity which serves a purpose in sustaining my life and it has nothing to do with anything else that my addiction may want to corrupt it with ; such as, feelings of all kinds including excitability or boredom; reoccurring mental state like mild-moderate depression; physical conditions such as pain or fatigue; and a spiritual isolation which can often be experienced as a sense of separation from other people and my Higher Power. All of these “conditions” can be relieved without extra food. It is my responsibility to find the solutions that work for me. No excuses.
Then, another thought surfaced: “Am I really doing this?” This thought was followed by “Can I do this until I get the results that I have so hoped and longed for?” The answer for me is “Yes” as long as I focus on today and not “plan” [which for me amounts to obsessing, worrying and having a lot of free floating anxiety about] but only “prepare” for whatever outcome following my food plan will give me. Now, I “get” what doing the “footwork” means! I follow my food plan. The rest is up to God and how my body responds to the food choices that I make. If I “work” the OA program of recovery from compulsive overeating, binging and yo-yo dieting, then I will not only be “free” from this food addiction that has plagued me for over thirty years, but I will also be a healthier person who will probably weigh less as a result since I will finally be eating only what my body can use as fuel.
As the first week of abstinent eating is coming to end, and although I am still experiencing a sense of wanting to hang onto “whatever” as tightly as I can, I do have moments of feeling a quiet stillness within my heart and soul. When I do, I relax and I don’t hold on as tightly. This is what living free from the obsession of compulsive eating is like. God willing, this is only the beginning of my life without excess food and unwanted extra physical girth. Time will tell.
My “unsolicited advice” to a friend who has lost the weight she worked towards, is now in maintenance and now wishes to devote helping others achieve their weight lose goals( an admirable and altruistic desire):
“I completely understand that. I will say this though as a caveat: although I thoroughly enjoyed leading a group and numerous fun challenges for 9 months, “I” got lost in the effort that I put forth to make sure the group was working well and everyone else’s needs were getting taken care of. I am worried for P.,our current group leader, for the same reason. P. had lost 80 lbs three years ago only to regain it and now is back to square one and which I suspect that the same motive: to help others with their weight lose may have contributed to her regaining of the weight she worked so hard to lose. After all, many of us are very giving and nurturing people underneath all of that fat. As the fat melts away, so often does our desire to be isolated, hide out or avoid people. Quite often, we simply have underutilized managerial skills that are just waiting to be used in whatever capacity presents itself, which quite often is assisting others with their own struggle to lose weight. It is the 12th Step in OA; having had the spiritual awakening we strive to carry the message of recovery to others. Well, that step also comes with its own ’slippery slope’.
Finally, between running groups, writing a blog and dealing with all of my health issues, my efforts to lose weight were practically on the bottom of the list. Fortunately, I “woke up” and realized that although I was making other people’s dream a reality, I was falling way short on mine. So, I assessed what I needed to do. I am calling this “the Year of Me”. My 60th birthday is in July and although I probably won’t attain what I had hoped to I know that I am going to spend every day from now until then focusing on what I need to do to correct some of my long standing health issues. I’m done talking the talking. It is high time I walk the walk.
So, my unsolicited advice to you regarding groups is make sure that they don’t dwarf all the hard work you have done for yourself. Remember why you did what you did and how far you have come. It is quite easy to fall back and it can sneak up on you without you realizing it.
The very best of good fortune (I don’t really believe in luck) for what your goals are but just don’t let them eclipse you and what you need to do to continue to take care of yourself and not be a weight lose statistic; namely, the 95% that regain the weight they have lost. I think this may be one reason behind that statistic.
My daughter, T., posted on my FB wall, an article that was shared with her regarding the possible link between the consumption of aspartame, which is a widely used artificial sweetener used in thousands of “diet” products that are currently on the market and neuro-toxicity (my definition: simply meaning a build up of toxic chemicals in the body which impair basic neurological functions).
My family, especially my daughter who is a practicing vegetarian and eats only organic foods, and who broke her “habit” of consuming soft drinks about five years ago in favor of purified water and fruit juices, has really been cajoling me for decades about my diet soda consumption. I began drinking diet soda in 1971 when I decided to go on my first “diet”.
I was 18 years old, 5′ 7″ and my weight fluctuated between 130-135 lbs. I wanted to be 120 lbs so I began drinking Tab. I sometimes drank a six-pack of 12 oz. cans each day in order to stave off the hunger that I felt from not eating many calories. I was active since I did not own a car and I walked everywhere, including the six flights of stairs that I walked up and down twice a day to walk my dog (to relief himself) as well as walk to my waitress job 3/4 mile one way. I did not do any “formal” exercise because the “fitness craze” and Jane Fonda were still a concept that hadn’t hit my small Midwestern town.
Out of my desire to lose weight that my body was really struggling to not allow me to “let go” began my forty years of my diet soda consumption. In those forty years, I have heard and read the “evidence” against the consumption of diet soda. Am I convinced of some of the claims. Not entirely. This is my “take” on the effects of artificial sweetener consumption.
Like many things that we ingest which are potentially harmful to our bodies, I do believe that those people who claim that they have experienced adverse side effects really have. Why would I not believe them? The question is does that mean we should “across the board” stop using a product that has been useful to many people that need to either monitor their sugar intake and/or use it as one tool in weight management? I believe the answer is “NO!”.
There have been claims that an allergic reaction to aspartame (or other artificial sweeteners) have caused physical symptoms that mimic serious illnesses like MS and lupus. I have a couple of friends who have MS. The only thing they have in common is that they both live in northern climates (one in Minnesota and the other Canada). There have been studies that have seen more cases of MS in northern climates. I am not sure if the researchers can explain exactly why this is. Neither of them use artificial sweeteners to any significant extent. One told me he drinks one diet soda per week, if then.
As for the claims against the disease lupus, since I do not have that form of arthritis, I can not speak to that. As for my own disease; the initial diagnosis and the subsequent progression of my arthritis have been documented through x-rays and MRIs. I have a family history on my mother’s side of other family members having arthritis with varying degrees of severity. I feel that I can not ignore or dismiss the genetic component to me having arthritis. This is not the only disease that my family history contains: diabetes, cancer and heart disease are the other three with macular degeneration [a progressive eye disease that eventually leads to complete blindness] being a new one since my Dad developed this in the past five years. My eye doctor told me that is hereditary.
Now, the opponents of artificial sweeteners have specific claims of why we should not be consuming them: for one, people crave carbohydrates. Contrary to the claims asserted, I do not crave carbohydrates. Whenever I go out to eat especially when I am at a buffet style restaurant, I make a beeline for the meat section. If I “crave” any food, it is definitely protein. It is not uncommon for me to have 4-5 different kinds of meat or seafood on my plate along with some vegetables foregoing the potatoes and sometimes rice. So, someone explain that in the context (if they can) of me drinking diet soda.
Another claim is that artificial sweeteners also can cause weight gain. I always have to smile at this one because, in my opinion, the only cause of my weight gain has been too much food and too little exercise. That is not rocket science but a physiological fact. Weight lose/gain and or maintenance is and always will be about “calories in and calories out.” It is like disputing whether 2+2=4. It just does. Use your fingers, beads or a calculator. They all come up with the same answer.
As for these more serious claims that some people have developed a reaction to these chemicals, I am not doubting their belief or their sincerity. I agree that many of us have allergic reactions to many different things both in what we ingest and what is in our immediate environment. As a person who has adult-onset allergies (having not experienced them until I moved to a metropolitan area and was exposed to fossil fuel pollution), you learn to modify, adapt and adjust so that you can co-exist with your body’s reactions and symptoms. Ideally, removing yourself from the source of irritation is the best choice but if that is not available then the second best is minimizing the total impact on yourself and your body.
So, that brings me to where I stand with all of this today. I love my daughter and I know that she is concerned about her Mom consuming an average of 1 1/2 liters of diet soda each day for decades. She is also concerned about the fact that I do deal with chronic pain and inflammation as a result of arthritis. She is in her 30s. Pain is something that is brief and fleeting. I am older and I am aging. My philosophy is that I can make some lifestyle changes but I do not believe that I can totally eradicate all of my symptoms I have from arthritis. Some of these symptoms are the direct result of earlier years when I was injured through some accidents that I experienced. For example, I was in two car accidents where I received whiplash. In my opinion, when I was told by a doctor twenty years later that I had arthritis in my neck, I certainly didn’t act shocked. I said, “Gee, no surprise to me!” Our body does remember when it has been assaulted. Developing chronic pain is one way our body speaks to us to say “I was hurt once and now please take care of me the best way you can.” That is where I am at now with dealing with chronic pain: finding the safest and most effective way of dealing with ongoing inflammation and pain in my body.
I also want to make clear that although I do consume an average of 1 1/2 liters of diet soda per day, I also drink 64 oz of plain purified water as well as eat 3-4 cups of vegetables (which many people are not aware of are made up of 95%+ water in their composition so I am getting additional water eating those as well). The reason why I am sharing this information is that when you eat a lot of protein, which I gravitate towards, the digestion of that food material taxes your kidneys so you need to offset that “extra work” you are putting your kidneys through by flushing your body with additional water.
In conclusion, the bottom line is that I simply like the carbonation (the fizz) and the “fake” caramel flavoring. Just like morning coffee drinkers, that first one that starts the day out is always “the best”! I do not consume other foods with artificial sweeteners simply because I do prefer a whole food approach to my eating these days.
So, like my daughter wonders, if I am embracing the whole foods approach why not cease drinking diet soda? Again, because she has shared an article about this with no “Gee, Mom, get with the program, already!” I will take it under “advisement” and when I finish the last three 2-liters of diet soda that I have here in my home, I will cease for Lent (a time many Christians decide to forego certain “pleasures”) to drink my diet soda. I will report back later to tell you my experiences. Stay tuned….
Well, like so many other things in life, sometimes one action leads to another and then to another. As I have said, on January 1, 2013, I agreed to join a reformed group of some of my “old” weight lose “buddies” who made an exodus from BLC for whatever reason but still missed the group ‘experience’ of the ‘not going it alone’.
I thought a weekly weigh in and reporting to the group would be ‘enough’. Well, after not carefully monitoring my portions, especially when eating out at my favorite restaurants, as well as taking a less than honest self-appraisal of my daily efforts (as in I’m sleep deprived and in pain so what the heck!), when the one of the women who is now on ‘maintenance’ (read: lost all of her desired weight and is now in the process of keeping it off) decided to return to BLC (which now offers a free version of their paid weight lose tools) and restart a group thread where we could report our daily accountability; I jumped at it. Two and a half weeks into January and a New Year and being stalled was the main incentive.
So, I began reporting my daily accountability. It didn’t take but one day to see what I was or wasn’t doing. All kinds of thoughts were going through my head and they weren’t sanctioned by OA either. Two words came to mind: denial and deceit. Not only was I already practicing them both but I was even justifying why I “had to”. Not good. Not good at all. Followed up with rationalizing why I was reporting what I was reporting and I knew that the reality and the truth of what I was or wasn’t doing were not being presented.
Now, what exactly am I talking about? I’m not talking about going on binges of 5000-10000 calories like in the “old days”. I have been in recovery too long for that to even be ‘attractive’ to me and I love food and everything about it. No, I am talking about the subtleties of this “addiction”. I am talking about blaming my pain meds with hidden sodium (maybe) or “allowing” myself regular Coke as a “pick me up” (when getting more sleep would be best–if I could). Yes, it is the little things because those little things do add up and then they become a “big thing” as in stalled weight lose but, more importantly, the lack of the ability to look myself in the eye let alone someone else. The end result: lower self-esteem which can (and often does) trigger overeating, overspending, over anything. Honesty truly is the best policy. Always. Even when it hurts and you lose face. So what? That was a false face to begin with.
So, when S., who reopened the old group thread on BLC, offered an additional daily accountability by me reporting my daily food journal; I jumped at it. Sarah reports to her personal trainer daily. It’s called “sponsorship” in the 12 Steps and, yes, I think I need that right now. This is where the rubber hits the road. I thanked her and then I went and did what anyone who expects to turn over a new leaf the next day: I decided to have one last mini-splurge: one package of my favorite chocolate covered almonds. It comes in around 1200 calories. Then, tomorrow is a brand new day!
Never underestimate the power of more than one. It is just, well, more powerful.
This has been a really trying month for me. I am almost glad that it is coming to an end. In spite of the best of intentions, my weight lose has been all over the map. I have lost and regained the same 6+ lbs in the past four weeks. I credit this with sporadic and inconsistent efforts on my part as I have had to deal with ongoing health issues. It can stop any time now. Please!
I am not going to lie and say that it is easy to get back on the horse when you have repeatedly fallen off. It actually becomes a little more difficult each time. After having had two viruses back to back from Thanksgiving almost up to Christmas in late 2012, I started out the New Year 2013 with a bang by getting a very heavy menstrual period which left me feeling depleted, exhausted and very weak. As I told my husband, P., ‘I am getting too old for this.’
Then, what seemed to happen out of the clear blue, was my left shoulder joint became acutely inflamed which then spread from there to my upper back, base of my neck and around my collarbone. I have been dealing with this for a week now. I wasn’t getting adequate sleep before this and it certainly didn’t help either. Between the two viruses, the heavy menstrual period and now this acute joint inflammation; I have become exhausted, discouraged and depleted both physically and emotionally. What has this got to do with my weight lose? Everything!
My stomach lining has become tender from all of the pain meds that I am taking for the inflammation (which doesn’t entirely take all the pain away or, at least, not for longer than a couple of hours at best) so I have been drinking milk, which helps my stomach but it is added calories so it slows down my weight lose.
As I mentioned before, I decided to rejoin an online diet support group at the beginning of this month and year. Last week, I also joined a sub-group that reports daily on our individual efforts. I am really glad that I did this but with all that has been happening with my health, I feel added pressure to “produce results”. This is so counter to the 12 Steps that I also decided to return to at the beginning of this year.
Well, since self-honesty is one of the cornerstones (if not one of the more important ones) of the 12 Steps recovery program, I have to admit that this month has been “consistently inconsistent”. I have allowed myself to eat desserts which I knew were empty calories and just plain extra calories in spite of knowing that this was counterproductive to my overall goal of losing weight. I have seemed to gravitate towards eating out more frequently which is another “landmine” since you really don’t know how many calories are in each dish and by now most people know that restaurants offer huge portions so they can charge the prices that they do.
So, it would seem that in spite of what I am saying, my actions are not actually lining up with my words. Change, real change, is just plain hard. It is messy. It is not linear. It certainly isn’t predictable.
What good has come out of this month? I have decided that after my initial three weeks of finishing up holiday leftovers, having one last hurrah with some of my former “comfort” foods and dealing with repeated setbacks, I am still as determined as ever to “get ‘er done!”.
I have gotten into the habit of drinking 64 oz+ of plain purified water daily (it seems all the sodium in the foods also have helped with that effort), I have resumed doing some walking although it has been meager compared to my past efforts simply because I am so weakened by all of the “illness” that I have had, and I have been making better choices when dining out, choosing restaurants that “support” healthier eating (yes, they do exist).
In anticipation of becoming more active, I bought myself several activewear clothing separates, hinged knee braces (still waiting on those to come), not to mention some fun “dance-style” exercise dvds for rainy days.
Now, when I make a decision either regarding my food plan or being active, I ask myself: “is this action supportive of what I want to achieve this coming year?” If it is, then it goes in the “basket”. If it doesn’t, it stays behind.
In conclusion, although this has been a decidedly bumpy start to what I hope is a year of transformation for me as I move towards my 60th birthday in July, I still hold out hope that I won’t be disappointed when I am facing blowing out all of those candles in the summer heat. Don’t discount me yet! It ain’t over ’til it’s over!
After much consideration and debate with myself, I have decided that I am going to close the comment section to only those people who are registered users of this site. The main reason is that I am receiving “on average” 300+ comments per day and I have spent more time moderating those than adding new posts to my blog which, to mean, seems counter-intuitive to what my original intent was when I began this blog.
When I began this blog, I wanted to chronicle my weight lose journey for myself so that someday I can look back at where I came from and where I will be. It has always been the frosting on the cake that I received feedback from anyone. I have tried to address some of those comments in other posts so please look at the catalog of all posts before deciding you didn’t receive a response of some kind.
I will include more photos and some continuing stats of my continuing journey but please be patient. They have to “happen” first before I can share them.
Again, thank you for your readership and if you really wish to contact me, you may do so at email@example.com.
I have had a lot of “revelations” in the past couple of weeks. This New Year started out quite bumpy for me. I had been sick with two back to back different influenza strains during the month of December and then on New Year’s Eve, I had an extremely heavy period. I have had to study for an important exam (which I got 92% on) while texting to my adult daughter whom has been angry with me since her birthday in September. I am still doing my best to set boundaries with her (some very hurtful things were said about me–untrue too–over the Christmas holidays which my sister shared with me) as well as reach out to her since her boyfriend of 2 years broke up with her right after she introduced him to “the family” for the first time!
Then, because I was sick throughout the holidays, I had so much leftover holiday food which I will not throw out. I finally finished everything the day before I was to weigh in the first week! Hence only 1 lb lost. The second week brought me colder temps so my RA flared up, I lost a lot of sleep, readjusted my pain meds and did my best to be as physical as I could (walking more than 20 ft left me winded and out of breathe).My husband went to an after holiday party, brought home some of the most delicious Mexican leftovers and chocolate chip cookies. I duly split all of that into several meals, drinking lots and lots of water because of the added sodium. We spent all of last Sunday afternoon and up to bed time putting together something electronic that ended up being sent back to where we bought it. Sunday night “supper” was spent crying while eating the last of the chocolate chip cookies (that was it, nothing else) because I was so frustrated about the electronic thing that didn’t work out and having invested $200 only to have to repack it and return it to the store during pouring down rain. I told my husband, this is the kind of weather people get sick in! If I get the flu a third time, I will really feel defeated. I credit my weight lose this past week to: drinking lots and lots of water (I even keep a tall glass next to my side of the bed), getting as much movement in as my body will tolerate and portion control (just because I had lots of delicious food to choose from didn’t mean I was going to go overboard).
I’m not sharing all of this with ya’ll because I want you to feel sorry for me because I am old enough to know that this is just life sometimes and life, as we all know, has great timing, doesn’t it? What I am sharing is that I realized that life is not going to flatten out, get perfect or not test me just because I want to lose weight and work on one of my long-held personal goals. No way! I may not have a perfect or even “decent’ week sometimes but the law of averages will mean that there are better days and weeks ahead so for now, I will do the best I can with what I have in front of me. So, I hope you will all know that just do your best today and then pick up tomorrow and make a commitment to yourself to do your best tomorrow. Eventually, your best will be good enough.
This is the last day of 2012. For me, the last year of each year has always been a time of reflection, looking back and evaluating the past year. As I have done this more and more, my assessment has changed. I am not as harsh or self-critical as I once was. I now view life as more of a continuum so what doesn’t get “accomplished” this year, I just put it at the top of the list for the upcoming New Year and resume where I left off.
A year ago, I began keeping this blog with the sole intention of “making peace with food” and hoping that as a result I would lose the extra weight that has plagued me for half of my life. Over the past year, I have discovered that although I was specifically focusing on losing weight, I realized that it was much more than eating less and being more active. Much much more, in fact.
There are certainly specific, concrete actions any one can take to lose weight. It is physiology, anatomy, chemistry and, in more recent years, it is also psychology and behavioral science. However, as much as there has been research done on laboratory rats or mice the fact remains is that we people do not live in sterile environments where the factors determining the outcome can be controlled.
What I am trying to say is that I am losing weight in less than ideal circumstances at a less than ideal time in my life but in the end, I just have to let go the expectations of anything but whatever happens. I give up ideal for real. In real time, I inch my way towards a healthier and saner life with less weight on my body. I have managed to keep off 30 lbs over two years. I am still medically morbidly obese. I have learned a lot about nutrition and the physiology of exercise. I won’t say that I am an expert but I am certainly a learned person in this area simply because I have tried on more “diet” hats than most and probably fewer than some of you. What does remain is a determination that I will persist with this personal goal “as long as it takes”. So, my dear readers, if you are with me, you are welcome to follow me on this journey. As they say in the 12 step community, “take what you need and leave the rest.”
With that, I bid adieu to this year with the optimistic hope and expectation that 2013 will find me a healthier and leaner ME. I hope it will for you as well.
I will first direct you to the post “To Answer Some of Your Questions” for any questions you have made in some of your comments. I urge you to read that after you read this if this post does not answer your questions.
1) I use Word Press which is a free online blog available through the 3fatchicks.com site. I chose my blog theme from a selection provided by Word Press.
2) There are many SPAM deterrent plug-ins. I hear that Akismet works well. However, I can not use it with my version so what I do is manually sort through the SPAM from the actual reader comments. I am being considered for canonization later this month. (just a joke–but it does take a lot of patience to wade through hundreds and hundreds of comments)
3) I have left you a contact e-mail for you to contact me further. Again, it is in the other post. I will try to contact you when it is feasible. I appreciate the gesture but again read point #2 above if you wonder why I might not respond right away.
4) Again, this is a solo act for the time being. I have enough energy to manage myself and just simply do not have the time, energy or level of commitment to manage guest authors. My suggestion is that if you feel compelled to express yourself, seek out the avenues that are available. There is a lot more room on the world wide web. I say: go for it!
5) As for hackers; it is stealing, guys! What else can I say? I have all my intellectual property copyrighted. So, for those of you who think that is okay to “share” some of my work among your groups, friends, or colleagues; the answer is “No!” Do not assume that I ever agreed based on whom you think I might be.
Lastly, thank you again for your input, comments, accolades and general interest in my struggle to lose an excess amount of weight permanently. I believe there is a lesson in this venture for everyone regardless of whether you are working at losing weight, quitting smoking, starting over in life or anything else that has seemed near “impossible” up to this point. We can and we will do this!
P.S. The main reason that I have chosen to remain gratis is simple: when I deliver the goods (losing all the weight I wish to lose) then I will start charging. Until then, take the journey with me and let’s see where it takes us. It’s on me!
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