Fruit N Vegetable Food Challenge

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 228 Comments

Today I resume my reduced calorie food plan and a revised work out program. After a very tense and stressful four-six weeks (all about being short on funds) I decided to take a “time out” this past week and just give myself a “rest” from all the “bean counting”. Dieting is stressful enough on its own without the addition of other external factors.

I have gone through two plus weeks of the worst insomnia I have ever had. I had been accustomed to going to bed around 2-3 am anyway but it seems like once I got into bed I couldn’t seem to settle down. My knees would hurt, my back would feel sore, then I might have a reoccurring itch that bothered me or simply I couldn’t get comfortable. Or I would fall asleep for an hour or two and then be wide awake. Last night I ended up taking 6 Tylenol PM over a period of 12 hours in order to finally drop into bed totally exhausted. Once I fall asleep I do usually sleep around 6-8 hours and it is restful sleep  but I have also been getting up around 2-4 pm! So, then the cycle repeats itself. I’m not tired before 2 am and then it starts all over again. I almost feel like a vampire…certainly, nocturnal. I keep thinking that I have adjusted so well to this that it is a shame that I am not working a third shift job. I certainly could do it. I have gone to bed as late as 8 am.

Like I said, I am resuming my reduced calorie food plan and working out today. I will also resume posting on the different groups that I have been posting on. I have had a dismal “show” of my lackluster efforts especially this past month. I would not say I was even trying by the third week of March. I am afraid that I may have even temporarily gained some of my weight lose back. I do think that a lot of it is the kinds of foods I am eating and I believe that if I can really watch the calories for even 4-5 days I will see an initial 5-6 lbs weight lose.

I have decided that I am going to drop down to 1500-1700 calories per day. Mostly because I can’t count on being active enough to eat more calories, in spite of my weight. I am also going to continue doing the strength training exercises since they seem to have been easy to adapt to my joints. I am really going to try and do a complete yoga/pilates dvd and I may even return to Richard Simmons since that does “break a sweat” and it isn’t as static on my joints as walking on the treadmill seems to be. One thing that I look forward to with getting some more money into our account is that I want to return to buying foods that will allow me to follow a more specific plan rather than hit and miss like I have been doing. I am sure that I will feel like I am “starving” for the first several days until my stomach gets accustomed to less food. Hopefully, drinking lots of water will help. None of this will work if I don’t apply it. I might actually have a new incentive to do so.

I decided that I would start a diet blog on 3FC when I resumed posting on there on a regular basis. I just wanted to be able to look back and see how I did and how far I had come. Well, the intention was good but the first two months has been short of a disaster. I ate a lot of extra sweets during the month of February. Then, in March, I was “pushing” for us to eat out a lot so I had to contend with the added sodium in restaurant food. Now, I am hoping that with spring really here and April being a new month that I will get back on track and make up for lost time. April will only be different if I make different choices. Period!

An incentive that I had never considered is the fact that since posting my diet blog I have actually had people who have checked it out and even commented on the content. As I was explaining to Paul, I now feel some added pressure to make sure that I am “walking the walking as well as talking the talk”. No, I’m not ranting about being obese and having been obese for nearly thirty years. However, I also haven’t applied all of the insight that I have shared either. So, this month has to be a plan of action put into practice. I understand if I don’t have dramatic results and I’m not even sure that any of the readers are expecting that but I have to at least put forth the effort.

One thing that I have given up, which I think is a good thing: is not pre-planning the end results. Who knows if I will lose  2 lbs or 10 lbs this coming month but whatever I lose I really have to put forth a good faith effort or I will risk losing my credibility which is something that I don’t want to do. So, I am returning to the belly of the beast and it starts when I awake from whatever sleep I will get between now and later this morning/early this afternoon.

Well, Day One of my returning to “eating less and moving more” wasn’t too bad. Although I pushed the calories over by 300 by eating a whole dark chocolate candy bar. It doesn’t feel like I am being “off ” my food plan since dark chocolate does not seem like a “sweet”. Paul got me a 90% dark chocolate bar the other day. It was like eating baking chocolate. It was bitter. I finished it off but it was definitely not something that you would “pig out on”. This one was 60% cocoa so it was more palatable. I definitely will continue to buy dark chocolate when we go to the grocery store. I really find that chocolate has a soothing effect on me and the antioxidants it has is also beneficial. I did my strength exercises. I also went into the grocery store with Paul. I feel like I would like to check everything out on the shelves. There just seems to be so many interesting choices. I can see that Publix is moving towards more “green” and organic foods. In some ways it seems like it is becoming more of a speciality store. I do know that I like it a lot and I like the direction that it is going too. Since we are “watching” what we spend there, I have fallen back on buying some of the generic store brands for things like bread, eggs and milk. For a long while I was buying Smart Balance, organic milk and Nature’s Own bread, which are all more expensive but lately I feel we need to cut back, at least for awhile. I’ll return to those other brands when it looks like our “finances” are improving.

IF he would have had a weekly paycheck that we knew what it was and it was something we could count OR if both of us were working, then I might have agreed to it but we do not know from week to week what his income will be. We are literally (and have been) living week to week for months now. I am so damn sick and tired of being so strapped for money. It has stressed me out so much for the past several months and especially the past couple of weeks. I am sure that is why I was having such difficulty sleeping. Here I thought it was all behind me. We need a break and we need it badly! I will admit that we do have spurts of extra cash that have really come in handy but that is not the same as moving us up economically from just above the poverty line to a more secure level of income. I have prayed and prayed about this until I feel like I am tapped out. I do feel like I have faith that God will and has answered our prayers in many different ways and many different times but this is one area that it just seems like we are limping along.

4/2/11: Well, I have lost 2 lb of sodium-induced weight. It is a shame that I have as my “official” weight on BLC as 268 lbs. I still have 6 lbs before I will reach that. We are starting up a new challenge in my BLC support group. It is a fruit n vegetable challenge which I feel relatively confident that I can meet each day quite easily especially if I put my mind to getting all my vegetables in. Also, for the person who has the biggest percentage of weight lose besides eating all their fruits and vegetables plus a mystery value(which I’m not sure what that would be either) has a chance to win a BLC t-shirt. I think that would be really neat if I did win it although a lot of these people are a lot farther along than I am in terms of being able to be physically active. I’ll do my best which I really hope that I do this month. It would be nice to be the “comeback kid”. P, the leader of this group, lost over 10 lbs in the past 4-6 weeks. She also does a lot of working out. She seems to be the one who is the most motivated. It is hard to tell what the others are doing though. It sounds like a lot of them are either just maintaining (like myself) or bouncing back and forth (like myself). The person to beat then would be P.

Well, for me the real key for me is to keep my calories down and try to find ways to get activity that burns calories in. I did walk with Paul when we went grocery shopping last night. I didn’t have much  pain in my knees. As long as I go slow, it is doable. I am going to try Richard Simmons dvds again. I find them fun and I do end up “sweatin”. I am going to do my best to make this a priority and keep it a priority from now on.

4/4/11: Again, it is around 1 am on Monday. I still consider it Sunday night though. Well, so far I have been doing pretty good with my food plan. I weighed this afternoon and I was down 6 lbs!! I have noticed that if I can keep my sodium around 2500 mg I can see some weight lose. So, 3000 is just too much for me and anything above that I know I will be retaining some “water weight”. I was back on the website a few minutes ago so I put down the weight I was last Monday and also Friday even though I am not sure if I will weigh in on that later Monday morning. I do think that if I have a really good week I could easily surpass that. I sure hope so. It will be nice to be on the “same page” both at home and the website. I knew it was sodium-induced weight gain and I believed that if I really kept a close tab on everything I would lose that quickly. That may not happen after this initial weight lose but for now I will be happy back to what I am posting on BLC and also my ticker on 3FC.

I am very proud of myself for saying “No’ to our favorite Chinese restaurant and instead using that money we would have spent there on additional groceries to support my food plan. I knew we would spend $20 there and we really didn’t a lot of groceries when we went on Friday night. When I weighed and saw the lose I was so glad that was what I chose to do. Now, maybe, I can lose 2-3 lbs a week if I can really stick to my food plan, drink the water and especially keep that sodium around 2000-2500 mg.
It really means that I will have to consider carefully what foods I am willing to eat based on their sodium content. Well, we have four weigh ins this coming month. May 2nd is  the first Monday so I have 4 weeks to lose an additional 10-12 lbs with 15 being the best. Although I have no way of knowing if my body will respond in the way I would like it to; ideally, I would like to be 258 lbs by May 2nd.

Well, I have my “work” cut out for me. I limited myself to the mini chocolate candy bars but my dinner was pretty sparse. Since I had two hamburgers for lunch I ended up only having an apple for dinner and some chocolate candy bars. I could have had peanut butter on celery but, quite honestly, the candy bars sounded better. I didn’t exercise although I had intended to. I feel somewhat self-conscious when Paul is hanging out around here. However, I am going to have to get over that because I do need to work out. Period!

Later in the Day/Evening of 4/4/11:

I ended up having 2 1/2 hours sleep! Tops! I am speechless about this and how it has evolved. I am trying not to “freak out” about it and not dwell on the fact that I have bouncing between 3 hours of sleep and 10-12 hours of sleep. Obviously, it is not a “normal” sleep pattern. I actually awoke feeling hungry so I got up and made a breakfast like I like to have only it is usually 600 calories or 1/3 of my daily calories.  I am very tense about deciding whether to get a quick cash loan or not. I often wondered what we would do in a real “emergency” and now I think I know where we could turn to. It is sort of a relief to know that we would be able to get access to some quick cash if we absolutely needed it.
After all, we might need to fly home to Minnesota if one of our parents became seriously ill.  Or car repairs that extended what we could comfortably come up with. However, I don’t want to use it just because we “failed to plan”.

Then, we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant and I made some good choices. I was so hungry though that I could have easily gone back for seconds on many of the different food choices. I didn’t. I managed to keep my sodium under 3000 mg which that is saying something considering how notorious Chinese food for being high in sodium and probably MSG. I ate more foods off of the cold buffet like fresh fruits and vegetables. Still, I went away wanting “more”. Later in the afternoon after the wire transfer was done with the money I felt like I was relaxed enough to lay down. I fell asleep for about 2 hours. When I got up we watched one of our movies. When he went to bed I made homemade chicken noodle soup. It smells so good in here. I had promised him that I would make that Sunday and then today so it was close to midnight but I “got it done” In fact, he smelled it and he came out around 2 am to take a taste before I put it in the refrigerator.

4/6/11:

It’s a little past midnight. I didn’t go to bed “last night” until 3:30 am! The storm had settled down by then and I had finished making my homemade chicken noodle soup. I got up about 4 hours later.  I made some much needed phone calls. I ended up laying back down since I had taken a couple of Tylenol PMs in the meantime. I also figured out how I could fit in my fruit and vegetables for the day so I did some meal planning.

Since P had to go to a monthly  meeting, I decided to go back to bed and I ended up sleeping until 8 pm! At least, this sleep is restful and I did awake feeling like I had gotten some quality rest. I have just tried not to “panic” about the fact that my sleep pattern is very irregular. I try to do what I can during my waking hours to “take care of” what needs to be taken care of so I am not “losing out” in doing what I need to do during the daylight hours.

As I am prone to do, when I was posting on the 3FC website I ran across a link someone suggested about exactly how many calories per day a person should have. Of course, I am always interested in stuff like that; more information to help me in losing weight, and that link of course brought me to some other information about how to really “burn the fat”. Well, I am always leery of any site that doesn’t say right out how much something will cost so I took down the information and went on Amazon.com and got what appears to be a similar book by the same author “second hand” for $10.47 with S/H. I think it’s a lot better deal anyway. I can mark it up as I want and read it more effectively than an e-book. Plus, I am sure I saved $12-25 as well.

I am liking this fruit n vegetable challenge. I think that is probably all I needed to make sure that I get those in every day. I also noticed that by making sure that I am eating at least 2-3 servings of both food groups the accumulative amount of calories I am eating is a lot less. That sort of surprised me but I am also glad to see the variety of foods I can eat even around 1500 calories. I weighed when I got up from my late afternoon nap and I broke the 270 lbs mark at 269.4 lbs!! I sure hope that is what I will weigh tomorrow morning. It will definitely be awesome if I do. As soon as I hit 268 lbs then I will finally be at where I have posted my weekly weight on both websites. Yes, I cheated there for almost a month but I just couldn’t admit that I had really slid back into a lot of overeating and bad food choices. Ideally, I would like to get down to 267 lb by this coming Monday so I could legitimately be at the same weight where I am here. I think if I continue to really follow this fruit n vegetable challenge I will succeed in losing at least 10 lbs this coming month. When I say that, I am also hoping that it will be 10 lbs beyond the 8 lbs that I was carrying around for the second half of March. I think that it is possible for me to lose 18-20 lbs this coming month if I really keep my sodium low and try not to go way over the calories I should be eating to lose weight. It would really be great if I could start out the month of May around 256-258 lbs. It is possible.

Since Easter is practically at the very end of this month I should have no trouble fitting into what was supposed to be my Easter dress last year. I am looking forward to wearing that. I have since lost over 30 lbs since last Easter with the possibly of losing another 15-18 lbs so it should fit quite comfortably

4/6/11:

I am very pleased to say that I have lost 5 lbs since April 1st. 1 lb per day. It is a much needed boost in the arm for confidence regarding my ability to get back in the saddle and knuckle down for losing weight. I did some reviewing of my sodium levels and if I can keep my sodium intake around 2000 mg or less I have a better chance of really seeing some significant drops;which, of course, is exactly what I want to do. Paul is picking up Donnie’s for me today but I will be eating that for lunch/dinner so hopefully I will be able to flush out the added sodium so my weigh in tomorrow will be good. Now, that I see what I need to do to get the kind of numbers that I would like to see helps me plan my meals more carefully. Wouldn’t it be nice to lose 20 lbs this month? After that, wouldn’t it be nice to see a 12-15 lbs lose after that as well? Again, knowledge is power.

I really credit weighing every day last month with really opening my eyes to the impact that sodium has on my weight lose. Now, the challenge will be to navigate throughout each day and make sure that I really bring that sodium down. It might simply be more of an issue now since I am not at my heaviest any more. I have read other people talk about how they have to bring their sodium down to levels as low as 1200-1500 mg!! Considering what I have been ingesting that seems nearly impossible to me but I do love stepping on the scales and seeing the weight drop like this so I will really hone this from now on.

Another thing that I have noticed is, in the brief time that I have been eating fruits and vegetables and also measuring my portions, has also allowed me to “eat more” food since they are lower in calories to begin with. It does make me stop and reconsider how I have been eating before. I now see how I was setting myself up for frustration unknowingly.

[Note: I have been keeping a ongoing private journal separately from this diet blog which I am now incorporating some of that material into this blog. Dates written are actual although published at a much later date.]

6/29/12: There are no accompanying videos to any of my blog entries. For those of you who claim that, you are confusing me with another blog or site. Please check your facts before leaving comments to that affect. Thank you.

Yea, baby, I got my mojo back!

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 3 Comments

After having two very difficult months for me personally, February and March, I decided that I would take some time during the month of April to “get off my own back”, so to speak. At the beginning of April I “belonged” to four different groups on two different weight lose online sites. I decided that I was spending so much time reporting what I was doing that I felt I had little time to do what I was supposed to be doing that I was reporting. Whew! So, I took a week off the last week of March and although I kept in touch with certain close friends, I needed to have some alone time to really think about what I was doing (or not doing) and what it was I really wanted.
First of all, I find that the competitiveness that exists in these group challenges to be more detrimental to me and what I am trying to do than you would think. You would think that it would motivate me to work harder, diet harder, etc. but it doesn’t. Maybe, it is my age but I don’t have the “fire in the belly” to beat out an opponent. Now, I am more than likely to say “Go for it!” or “If that’s what turns your crank…”. Party pooper. Maybe but I don’t care about “winning” in the same way. My definition of winning has changed.

Having said that I am glad that the “idea” of drinking more water rather than other beverages and making a concerted effort to eat 3-4 servings of fruit and 4-6 servings of vegetables every day were very good for me. Had I not joined in a group challenge to make a more concerted effort to drink 64-80 oz of water daily or get those “greens” in, I probably wouldn’t have done it on my own. (I am just plain weary from all the effort that I have put in this area of my life without seeing the kinds of results I wanted and half-expected)Also, I got lost in all of this group activity. Hey, I still had life’s problems to deal with. So, after very serious consideration, I bowed out of all but one group. It is on another site but I remain  at BLC because I have made some personal friends whom I chat with frequently and because there are many other “tools” that I like and I use a lot like the food log, exercise recommendations and the panel of experts available at a moment’s notice to customize my personal plan.

The group that I chose to stay with is called “Beck Diet Solution” after the book title the author, Dr. Beck, a noted Cogitive Therapist, who uses CT techniques help people lose weight and then keep it off. It is NOT a diet plan. It is a supplement, much like taking protein supplements or added vitamins and minerals. It does stress to choose a healthy food plan and to exercise so it complements what I am doing here.

To digress for a moment: I was never a fat child. I wasn’t a fat teenager and I wasn’t even a fat young adult. I really didn’t become obese until I was 30 years old. Everything changed that year for me. I am closing in on my 58th birthday. I have been obese almost half of my adult life. Besides gaining an extra 120-140 lbs, I also gained a “fat head”. That is where I need the most help. And, that is where the Beck Diet Solution comes in. The secondary title is “train your brain to think like a thin person”. That says it all to me!

I have been on so many diets that I have even educated some of the people I turned to for help. Things they didn’t know, I had learned from previous experience or had absorbed through the many different kinds of diets that I tried and which didn’t work for me (at least at the time).I will say that “Biggest Loser” is riding the recent and healthy wave of not excluding specific food groups but taking a very general overall approach to healthy eating and living. Eating healthy is not gimmicky. It is simply choosing real food with real nutrients that will nourish and build our bodies so they can perform as they were meant to perform. It is the kind of foods that when you read the label it says things like corn, salt and/or sugar or just plain corn. These are the foods I grew up on. Longe before chemists got into our kitchens and pulled all of the nutrients from our foods and left us with “engineered” food clones. Also, empty calories will not nourish our bodies and, ultimately, will be the catalyst of disease. Eating healthy is no longer for “tree huggers and tie dyed hippies”; it is essential for the sustainance of every person on this planet.

I never looked at the individual macronutrients of a food item until I joined Biggest Loser Club site. That is the breakdown of carbohydrates, total fat, protein, fiber and sodium that makes up everything we put in our mouths. So, why is that important? Well, if we are missing any one of these then our bodies become out of whack or balance. Disease happens.  It is important because the end goal every day is to eat a balanced food plan. They key word is BALANCE. As I strived to eat in a more balanced way, my body responded in a more balanced way. P.S. The human body’s natural state is one of homeostatis (or balance). If you allow it to do what it is meant to do, it will heal itself. Case in point. What happened to me is a perfect example.

Fifteen months ago, I went to my eye doctor for a routine annual eye examination. The eye doctor asked me point blank if I were diabetic. I said that as far as I knew I wasn’t. However, the way he asked me bothered me. I told my husband about this and so the next time he went to Walgreen’s he picked up a blood glucose monitoring meter for me. It had some sample test strips, the meter and the “pen” to take the blood sample. I “discovered” that my fasting(meaning I hadn’t eaten anything for at least 6-8 hours) blood glucose was 174 mg/dl (normal is considered in the 90s). I was shocked. I felt fine although I had noticed some blurry vision but I had attributed that to probably needing a new eye prescription.

Well, I began reading about diabetes. I got the book “Complete Guide to Diabetes” by American Diabetic Association. I also began testing myself daily, sometimes 4-7x daily. I wanted to know as much about this disease as I could. I have a very strong family history of diabetes although I suspected that many of my relatives simply were misinformed about what the disease wasand,especially, how to manage it successfully on their own. Instead, I would hear about “cheating just a little” or having to take an extra pill. What none of them really understood is that this is the “Mother Lode” of diseases. It puts you at risk for heart disease, certain types of cancer, blindness and nerve damage to your extremities.

When I joined Biggest Loser Club online, my morning fasting blood glucose was 146 mg/dl. For those who are unaware of what this means: I was baseline diabetic. That was the average I had been able to “maintain” for several months after that initial “surprise”. By the third week of following the balanced food plan and exercising that BLC promotes as I could (I have a lot of joint problems); my blood glucose dropped down into the teens and one time it was 97 mg/dl.

However, due to some unforeseen personal circumstances, I had to drop my online subscription. I floundered for three months this past winter. I managed to maintain the weight that I had lost but I was seeing myself slipping when it came to the kinds of foods that I chose to eat. I tried to keep handwritten food logs but I found myself less willing to go that next step in managing my blood glucose. I wasn’t gaining but I also wasn’t losing and I was still medically obese and now my morning fasting blood glucose readings were in the “pre-diabetic” stage of 116 mg/dl. (Note: prediabetic is between 100 and 146 mg/dl)

Well, the act of rejoining BLC online site this winter re-energized me initially but this time things didn’t seem to motivate me in a way that last June did. I wasn’t sure what was wrong. I really couldn’t pinpoint it. I was sloppy with my food choices. There was a “War of the Roses” within me but I just couldn’t seem to call a moritorium on it. I managed to work myself up to 30-40 minutes, broken down in smaller units, walking on the treadmill. At times, I would do a work out dvd. This time, everything seemed to be twice as hard as I remembered it being just nine months before. I wasn’t sure what was different except that I was under a lot of pressure fiancially. I was also “suffering” from S.A.D.D. Yes, even here in the deep South. The more overcast and cold the days were, the more I wanted to hibernate.

I “crashed” emotionally the last week of March. Breaks were few and far between. I was hurting from all of the worry and anxiety that I was feeling. My chronic sleeplessness was putting me at a very low ebb mentally and physically. Although I had been a member of the Beck Diet Group, I was not following the book at all. The Diet Coach is very patient. I am sure he must have wondered where is she going with all of this? I was struggling really hard to find myself, my motivation; hey, my mojo!  I was familiar with the book since I had read it when it came out back in 2007 but now I remember that I thought it was much ado about nothing. It all seemed so “common sense”. Well, pride goeth before the fall. I had to pick myself up and just crack open that book for one really good, long and hard look at it. After all, people were maintaining weight lose for years by working these techniques.

By the time I was psychologically ready to diet, I had a lot more confidence that this time I would see the kind of results that I had seen for brief periods before but also that I had hope that I would continue to see  right down the number scales until I was no longer obese, then overweight and just plain need to lose a couple pounds. In upcoming journals, I will share with you what is working for me and what isn’t. As Austin Powers would say, “Yea, baby, I got my mojo back!”

Addendum: By the way, I went to see my eye doctor again in the past couple of weeks. Once again, he asked me (very concerned) if I had had any vision troubles, headaches, high blood pressure, etc. I said, “No, I hadn’t”. I really hadn’t. I just needed to reorder new contac lens. He exclaimed on my follow up visit that I had the eyes of a 40 year old, they were healthy and there was definite improvement in my vision. I was seeing 20/20 with my contacs in place. Since I wanted to make sure I was hearing him correctly, I asked him to repeat himself.  Okay, good news always sound even better the second time around.

This was after making a concerted effort to eat 3-4 servings of fresh fruits and 4-6 servings of fresh vegetables every day during the month of April. It was the last group challenge I participated in. Boy, am I glad I did. Also, another “good news” to report. My morning fasting blood glucose reading is 97 mg/dl and it was 104 mg/dl two hours after eating an evening meal. (Experts want it to be under 135 mg/dl after 2 hours of a meal). This may not prove anything to you but to me it says that we are what we eat.

Stay tuned for how I rethink what I wanted to accomplish when I first started this blog a few months ago. Things have changed. We’ll see just by how much.

 

 

 

What Happens When It Doesn’t Happen For You?

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 33 Comments

 

 

This may be one of the more difficult posts for me to write but again I am going to stand steadfast in being as honest as I can be because I wanted to chronicle every bit of my weight lose journey and not just the highlights (or, as in this case, the low lights) of what I did (or didn’t do) to arrive at my end goal.

I have made a committment to one of the support groups that I am a “member” of to report weekly weight lose (or gain), measure myself once a month and, also, to report my monthly weight on the first of the month. I am glad that I began doing this but, quite frankly, I was also hoping that it would be one big swoosh down the scale like a giant water slide into a huge pool waiting below. Not exactly! At least, not this past month.

I ran into some “problems” almost from the beginning of this past month.  It doesn’t really matter what those “problems” were except to say that it also identified to me quite loud and clearly that I do react to unusually higher levels of stress by (eventually) “abandoning” all of my food and activity plans. There; I said it! For the past two years my husband and I have lived with the uncertainty of what our next weekly income will be. Since we have learned to live frugally, when we were doing better off we did save up what we could. This came in handy when we had some unexpected car expenses last year. However,  we also have lived by the credo that when we have extra money we also like to be charitable and help others out.  Would I give my last nickel to someone in greater need? Well, I would definitely “halfsie” it with him or her. We also enjoy eating out. One of the few “pastimes” that I can enjoy since I have become less active due to my arthritis worsening and I not having health insurance to have it taken care of “properly”.  Food is and has been a release for me for quite some time. I have not made any bones about that. I won’t deny that I consider it one of the best “pleasures” in life. Again, I realize that I sometimes walk a fine line between enjoyment and abandonment in regards to food. I would like to believe I am more of a gourmand and less of a glutton but again that too can become blurred in some instances. So, jack up the stress in my already “stressed out” life and unfortunately it doesn’t feel so good to eat a small lettuce salad vs a sumptious steak with the trimmings. Where does this put my progress in losing weight? At best, on hold. [PS--even at some point food even becomes less pleasurable]

Add to that the fact that after a valiant attempt at becoming more physically active in spite of my joints unable to bear up under the (again) “added stress” and I am not only eating more calories than I need to be to effectively lose weight but I am also not burning up any of those additional calories besides. I decided to (temporarily I hope) cease walking on the treadmill in spite of the promising progress I had been making and rethink the options that I have available to me. And lastly; I got the flu. For about five days I was truly under the weather. The timing sucked! Sleeping all day had now created an “additional” issue; I couldn’t sleep at night or, at least, not until 5-7 am! Excessive worry and anxiety had wrought me “powerless” and I knew it. Not only was I feeling like I becoming less effective in my ability to handle my “problems”; I was.

By the end of the third week this past month I called a “time out”. A “time out” from logging my food eaten daily, walking on the treadmill, counting my glasses of pure H2O, doing my strength exercises, and daily posting on my support groups, here and elsewhere. I was wound tighter than a Swiss movement on a pocket watch.  It took nearly five of the seven days I was allowing for this “time out” for me to “chill”.  I started to relax, little by little. Yes, I realize that for all purposes this past month was an almost complete “wash” in terms of much progress I made regarding my weight lose, improving my activity and moving that much closer to my end goal.

So, this begs the question “What happens when it (meaning losing weight) doesn’t happen to you?”  For starters; it means you don’t quit! I do not plan on quitting now or any time soon. I’m not a loser, or I’m not right now, but I am also not a quitter! What I do hope to take away from this past month is some insights in what I can do to handle the next “rough patch” when it comes along, if I can/could do anything different. One thing that I have learned is that life is going to throw you some curve balls. Sometimes, we are ready. Sometimes, we aren’t. Sometimes, it wouldn’t matter either way because even the best laid plans don’t go “as planned”.  It is a set back but it is not the end of the game. I still have a few innings left in me.

So, in the interest of my detached approach to weight lose, what can I say I did well this past month? I kept my sanity (barely but I did) and my sense of humor. This past week, I insisted on only watching movies or programs that were light-hearted or downright hilarious. Laughter is still one of the best medicines around! You can’t “o.d.” on that! Laugh and the whole world laughs with you….it has been said. I laughed both alone and together with my honey. Life may not be a “dress rehearsal” but it also isn’t a “funeral” either. Without sounding corny, “This too shall pass”. Thank God and Amen to that!

Also, I actually surprised myself and developed a genuine likeness (and thirst) for the “real thing”: beautiful, clear and purified water. Who knew? Bootcamp Betty was right. I was skeptical at first but I really do prefer it over other beverages of “choice”. Besides, listening to some of her muses on what is “the way to go”, I also sat at the feet of some other veteran dieters on this and other websites. I listened. I asked questions when I wanted and needed clarification. I took notes. I don’t have all the answers!

This blog is about my journey to finding out what will release all of this extra weight and then maintain that weight lose. One 12 Step saying resonates with me here at this time: “Take what you need and leave the rest“. Please do! Write your own story. That is what I am doing here. What I am doing “right” (for me) is that I am reviewing what worked for me in the past and how I could apply or even modify if needed to my present circumstances.  Drinking copious amounts of purified water is a new addition to my arsenal.

I returned to logging my food each day because I like to see in black and white exactly what passed my lips on the way down to my fleshy middle. Nothing like seeing 20 mini chocolate candy bars to know why you didn’t lose anything that day. Self-knowledge is the cornerstone of my movement down that scale.  I do not believe there is any such thing as “good or bad foods”. Just good or bad food “choices”. Taking ownership of what I put in my mouth is the beginning of making food choices that will support my weight lose not sabotage it. However, one caveat: taking ownership without judgment. I don’t want to be or make myself into a whipping boy on this point. I simply want to get to know what the connection and relationship is that I have with all foods. The more I am willing to detach myself from the behavior the more I am willing to decide freely whether I want to continue to make that same choice. I can’t freely choose if I am condemning myself for both wanting (maybe even needing) a particular food at a particular time. A case in point; recently I have discovered when I eat lots of really dark chocolate (60% or better of cacao) the more calm and relaxed I am. You can bet that is something that I plan on having in my cupboards from now on. It can be a “planned” counterattack to feeling blue and anxious.

As for activity: two months ago I purchased a pedometer. It enlightened me regarding just how little movement it takes for the “steps” to add up. If I can total over 4000 “steps” and I essentially am dependent on walking with a cane, how much more could you do with the full use of your lower extremities?  Although I would really like to get on that treadmill or go for a walk outdoors (now that it is spring), my weight-bearing joints will not allow me to do so without a backlash of residual pain.  I was told that I needed joint replacement surgery nearly 8 years ago. I do not want to push myself to the point of serious injury. Common sense will have to reign. Instead, I am looking into alternatives until I can get the surgery that I need. Granted, I am accustomed to getting “in shape” by throwing myself into some form of sustained aerobic exercise for 45-60 minutes at a time.  I have been chomping at the bit for some time to do that exactly since that worked in the past for me. However, I am going to have to restrain myself and find other means. Right now, I am exploring yoga, pilates, seated aerobics (yes, it does exist!) and, when I can afford it, water aerobics. There is more than one way “to skin a cat”. Again, don’t give up! Do what works for you and don’t stop seeking that out until you have found what works for you.

So, in conclusion, what happens when it (losing weight) doesn’t happen for you? Step back and try to do some evaluation of what preceded this pass. Attempt to discover what worked for you and also what didn’t work, then reframe your “plan” and reset it for the next month. I love the first day of each month because to me it means a blank page and an opportunity to start all over again. You have as many chances as you can take. Just take them.

 

Patient Trust

Filed Under Slow Starts & Relapses | 1 Comment

Here is the poem “Patient Trust” I came upon Wednesday. It sums up everything for me at this time in my life:

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—-
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give God the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ

For me, I can apply these words to my weight lose journey as well as other “things” in my life right now.

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.

 

 

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