Thursday, June 28, 2012

Let's Talk About Feet....

I'm having a hard time buying shoes.

Used to be, all my shoes were special order, extra wide square things.  But my feet are changing!  No...they are not morphing into cat feet.  They are, however, getting smaller and less square.

I've been doing some serious walking, and even my favorite walking shoes with extra socks are getting too big and causing blisters.  So I need new shoes so I can keep walking so my feet can keep getting smaller.

I guess.

This body changing thing is kinda freaky.  Yes, it's what I'm after.  Yes, changing my body is why I started this whole journey in the first place, eleven months ago!  But the reality of your body changing is sometimes hard to deal with.

I've lost over 60 pounds.  That's half of a normal size smallish person.  A whole child.  Several cats.  I don't miss the pounds, but I'm finding it a bit challenging to get acquainted with the smaller person I am now, when it comes to the day-in, day-out business of walking around in the world and living here.  One of my friends at WW swears she has lost weight in her ear lobes!  My rings are all too big.  I think my head is even a little smaller! 

In all the diet books I've read, I don't ever remember anyone talking about struggling with getting used to being smaller.  Maybe I'm strange...or maybe my sharing these feelings will help another person on this journey when they start feeling goofy about their shoes falling off.  That's why I'm writing this post today...for that person.  I'm hoping that someone is out there, because then I won't feel all alone in this particular circumstance.  We can cheer each other on, and up, and out to the shoe store for some shoes that fit!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weigh Day - 60 pounds!

This is an old picture of me that in the past, I wouldn't have shown to anyone! The fact of the matter is, I just don't look like this any more. 

My weight had actually been down almost another two pounds earlier this week, but I'm still working off those potato chips from Friday night.

Blessings and happy week to all!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Curses...foiled again!

Somebody please send me a muzzle.

Last night we enjoyed a casual gathering by the neighborhood pool with some friends.  The plan was to swim for an hour, then barbeque.  Bring your own meat and a dish to share.

In my mind, this was the perfect healthy outing!  I marinated some skinless chicken tenders and chopped vegis and fruit for my dish to share. I had plenty of tasty, healthy food for me to eat regardless of what anyone else brought.  I was set!

Until I saw the potato chips.  Until I decided to eat Just One.  I was hungry.  And even though our chicken was cooked and ready a few minutes after firing up the grill, the one-inch-thick steaks took a bit longer and of course we all waited.  And while we waited, I ate potato chips - LOTS of potato chips!

But let's get down to it.  I KNEW there would probably be potato chips there.  I knew someone was bringing baked beans (although I didn't know, until after I ate a small portion, that they would be made with a pound of bacon!)  I WANTED to eat these things!  As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that I planned in advance to eat these things!  So the stomach ache I suffered last night is nobody's fault but my own, as well as the three pounds that showed up on the scale this morning.

It's humbling to realize--again--that I don't really have a handle on my desire to overeat.  But I guess that makes me normal.  I can only pray that I learned that indulging isn't as much fun as I think it's going to be, and that I can enjoy my friends' company without eating their food..especially when I've brought my own!

It's easy to respond to the promises of forbidden pleasures.  But in the light of day, you're left with regrets and unwanted consequences.  Thank God there is also forgiveness and hope for tomorrow.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Don't stop me now...I'm on a roll!

Fortunately, it's not a dinner roll.

After months of being on a plateau (I think I lost a total of 5 pounds from February through May) I have lost six pounds over the last three weeks!  It feels fabulous to be finally making progress.  AND I hit that magic 60 pound mark!

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you follow the rules.  All this great weight loss started happening again when I quit messing with my program and got back to the basics.  Meaning, of course, that I quit trying to make up my own rules to get around the ones I didn't like in Weight Watchers.

Track what you eat.  Count your points.  Exercise.  Drink lots of water.  It's not that complicated.

But like so many things in life that are good for me, I got bored with following those rules.  I wanted to "mix things up" and try to make my weight loss happen faster.  Instead, I ended up getting in my own way and slowing my weight loss down to a crawl.  I forgot, for a while, that Weight Watchers has done years and years of research and that THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.  I thought, for a while, that I knew better.  Hah!

I think I do the same thing with God's rules.  Every rule He gives me is for my own benefit.  But I think I know better.  Or, I just flat out don't want to do things His I don't.  Just think about it...what would the world be like if everyone obeyed the Ten Commandments?  What if we all just obeyed the FIRST Commandment?  You shall have no other Gods before me.  Turn off the TV.  Throw away the horoscope.  Put down the pizza (and the dinner rolls!) 

Yes, I believe we would all benefit if we simply followed God's rules for our lives.  But, that ain't gonna happen.  So the question left for me is, what am I going to do?  Whose rules am I going to follow?  Am I going to go my own way, or follow the one what knows what He is talking about?  Hopefully I'll remember these last six pounds and will choose wisely!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Body Image

My first bout with body image happened in the 7th grade.  I remember looking in the mirror at my normal weight body and thinking, "My legs look pretty good."  Then I went to school, and noticed the very slender legs of my friends and classmates.  By comparison, my legs looked like tree trunks.

And tree trunks is what they have been in my mind since that day.

For most of my life since then, I have spent a great deal of energy trying to hide my tree trunk legs.  I also believe that feeling this way about my legs (and the rest of my imperfect body) contributed to my eating habits and reaching a body weight of 274 pounds.  I believed, to the depth and core of my being, that I could never be pretty or look why try?

Now, explain this:  The other day, as I donned my bathing suit for another fun splash exercise session in the pool, I looked in the mirror and thought, "My legs look pretty good!"  Keep in mind, their "tree-trunkness" hasn't really changed.  Inches-wise, they haven't gotten that much smaller over the past year.  So what's going on?

The only thing that makes sense to me is that these days I'm more concerned with being who God made me to be than with comparing myself to others.  My legs haven't changed that much.  If they are not the slim appendages that I might wish for, I can still be grateful that they are strong.  I can thank God that I can walk, and maybe someday they will even take me on a run.  I can be thankful that when I get on my knees to pray, my knees don't hurt! 

I can't imagine anything more satisfying in this life than becoming the people God made us to be, to accomplish the things in life that He created us for!

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:20

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Weigh Day - 59.2 pounds!

Okay, only .2 pounds this week.  But after my pulled-pork-and-cake-eating-fest on Friday night, I'm happy to have achieved even that!

This here little turtle represents for me that losing weight slowly can be fun and happy.  It's funny, but you go along for weeks or maybe even months and feel like NOTHING IS CHANGING!!!  Then, all of the sudden...WHAM!  You look in the mirror and see a whole new person staring back at you!  It's pretty amazing.  And I'm not even half way to my goal yet.

The best part of this adventure is that it is an adventure!  All adventures contain both good and bad days.  If all the days were good, there would be no excitement, no anticipation, no reminders to put my faith and hope in God (because I would think I could handle everything just fine by myself.)  Today is a good day, and I do thank God for all the days He has given me.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Throwing in the towel!

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may have noticed that I can get particularly angry about having to face social/eating situations, especially at my church. I have even gone so far as to contemplate becoming a hermit whenever one of these eating opportunities arises...just to be able to avoid the inevitable temptations that accompany the social gathering.

My sweet sister cautioned me against this approach.  "It's a red flag," she said.  "It's my life," I thought.

But last night, something changed.  I went to a couples baby shower (at my church, or course) that involved barbeque, cole slaw, beans, bratwurst, cake, M&M's, animal crackers and poor-boy rolls...not necessarily in that order.  I sampled everything but the bread and bratwurst.  And I had a good time!  I enjoyed the pulled pork -- not once, but twice.  I dished my cole slaw off the top of the bowl, as most of the dressing was at the bottom.  I ate 5 (count 'em) M&M's.  And a whole piece of cake slathered with buttercream frosting.  I have absolutely NO idea how many points all that was.

I did all this with the full knowlege the today, and in the days following, I would have to make up for it in some way.  A little extra exercise here, a few less extra points there.  And I thought, "This is okay.  This is the way normal weight people do it."  It's impossible to avoid dangerous eating situations if I still want to have people in my life and celebrate their happy moments with them.  And, I think (I hope) that it is possible to enjoy those moments and still move forward in my own journey by thoughtfully taking responsibility for the eating choices I make during those times.

So today I'm on the straight and narrow with my eating.  No guilt about last night.  I feel ... healthy.  In control.  Cautious.  I do, after all, live here--not in some fantasy world where only points-friendly food exists.  Part of my journey is to learn to negotiate real-world eating situations without using them as an excuse to go back to my old ways of eating without limits. 

It feels good to throw in the towel on feeling guilty.  Now I can shift all the energy I would have spent on beating myself up (or being mad about the menu) into enjoying an active, healthy and happy day!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

SO not worth it!

I woke up yesterday feeling agitated.

And hungry.

After eating a healthy bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, I headed off to the dealership where I needed to have my car worked on.  They have free donuts there, but I didn't eat any.

The car was finished sooner than expected...hooray!  But I still was feeling unsettled.  I ate an early lunch.  Then a couple of hours later, I ate again.  By 3:00, I had consumed all my points for the day.

I decided that I was going to dip into weekly points for dinner.  Then, before dinner, I got hungry again.  I had a handful of nuts.  I decided to take a day off of dieting.  I really wanted a gooey pastry!  I was probably remembering those donuts I had passed up earlier.

We had a healthy dinner, although I didn't really measure my portions.  Then, about an hour before bedtime, I made...and ate...pancakes!  After all, I was taking a day off.  I never use my weekly points.  That's what they are there for, right?  At least, that's what I told myself.

All night I didn't sleep well.  My stomach felt upset.  I woke up today still feeling the effects of my food hangover.  When I stepped on the scale for my daily weigh-in, no surprise that it was up!

What I did yesterday was old behavior.  If I ever felt any sort of uncomfortable feeling, I tried to eat it away.  Yesterday taught me that I still have the desire to eat away my feelings.  But it also taught me that eating like that doesn't do anything good for me.  Whatever was bugging me yesterday was gone today.  If only I had just waited it through.  Next time I want to eat for the wrong reasons, I will try to remember yesterday and how poorly I slept after eating too much in one day. 

His mercies are new each morning.  Today is a new day!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Weigh Day - 59 pounds!

Finally!  I'm on my way again!

We won't even discuss how I like round numbers and wish it was SIXTY.  Not a word. ;~)

I was thinking today about how grateful I am -- really -- that this has turned out to be a slow process.  It's one thing to lose weight and get smaller.  What I had not anticipated were the other changes that I would experience on this journey.  For every pound that I lose, there are emotional losses and gains to deal with.  I never realized that so much of the work would be dealing with those changes!

But now that I know about the emotional work involved in the process, I'm happy for weight loss to be slow.  It gives me a chance to "catch up" with myself on other levels.  Last July when I joined Weight Watchers Online, I knew that I had to change.  A year later it is finally sinking in just how profound that change will be.

Blessings and hugs!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Everything my heart desires...except Dairy

Got some results yesterday from a food sensitivity blood test I had taken.

I was surprised to learn that as much as I like milk, cheese, yogurt and other yummy dairy products (such as Skinny Cow ice cream treats), they don't like me.  My test results showed that I am highly a bad all these things I have been eating for all my life.

In fact, eating them may have contributed to my lethargy, depression and weight gain over the years!


There were some other things on the list that surprised citrus.  And almonds!  But for now, I'm only cutting out dairy products.  I'll deal with the fruit and nuts later.  This means, I guess, no more creamy casseroles, cheesecake (!!!!!!), buttercream frosting, butter ANYTHING, cheerios with milk, gooey pizza, cheeseburgers, quesedillas, nachos, cheese 'n crackers, cream of anything soup, fettucini alfredo. . . . . wait a minute.

Most of this stuff I haven't been eating anyway!  So maybe giving up dairy won't be such a big deal.  There are lots of opportunities in life to do things which are fun at the time and to eat things which taste good at the moment.  But those things aren't always good for us.  In fact, some of those things can cause us harm, like I have just learned about Dairy and Me.  I must forego the fleeting joy of eating ice cream if I want to enjoy the benefits of good health (and feeling good!) for the rest of my life. 

It's exactly the same philosophy as my new eating life-stye.  I'm learning to like new things that nourish me and to walk away from the things that cause me problems.  Now, if only I could do that in the other areas of my life!  Sigh.  One thing a time.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Back on Track

I don't think I lost a single pound in the entire month of May.

Looking back, I can see that sometime in February I started messing with my plan.  Acutally, it was Lent.  I did the whole "Vegan Experiment" then.  After that I decided to go Low Carb and when that didn't last, I was looking into yet another way of eating that a friend had recommended to me based on your hair color or something equally relevant.

The point is, I got off track.  I had abandonded the basic premise of Weight Watchers, which is that you can eat whatever your little heart desires within reason.  You don't need any special pills or magic food combinations to make it work.

So I'm back on track!  I'm enjoying all the wonderful food God has provided and logging the points in my iPhone Weight Watchers app.  I'm exercising (walking, swimming, weights, and Wii Dance 2) and I'm finally losing weight again!

The simple truth is, when you actually follow the Weight Watchers formula, it works.

My friend Vicki, who I met at WW, started attending meetings about the same time as me.  Since August she has lost 75 pounds!  Someone asked her at the meeting yesterday how she did it, and after she thought about it for a minute she replied, "Diligence."  I'm thinking that's another way of saying that she didn't get off track.  She's trusting the program.  Woohoo!  What a great example for me!

Now, if I could only get one of my cats to go walking with me....


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Who are You Following?

A lot of people have told me that my journey has inspired them to join Weight Watchers or to go on some other kind of diet.

I think this is wonderful!  It is also very humbling.  It encourages me to do my best so I can continue to be an encouragement to others.  Giving up is simply not an option when I know there are others counting on me to succeed because that will help them succeed!

The problem with being followed, however, is that at some point I'm bound to disappoint.  I might say something in this here blog that is stupid or offensive, or maybe someone will get tired of how I whine about having to go to church potlucks...and then what?  What will happen to those who are following in my footsteps?  Will they become discouraged and quit?  There have been many times in my life and in my weight loss efforts when I have put my faith, trust and hope into another person...and have been severely de-railed when they didn't live up to my expectations. 

So while I am very happy to have so many people moving toward a healthier life through my example, I encourage any who are doing so not to put your faith, trust and hope into me.  Put it into our Lord and Savior, because He is the only one who will never dissapoint you.  He is also the one who will get you through the hard times, pick you up when you've fallen, and love you no matter what!  He is the not-so-secret of my success.  If you want to follow my example, then follow Him.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Morning Walk

I've been working on creating a new put on my jeans and tennis shoes as soon as get out of bed in the morning and hit the streets.  Especially with the heat we have here, earlier is better.  This morning I headed out at 5:45 and was rewarded with a view very similar to this picture (just throw in a few houses next to the tree.)  What a blessing it was to my spirit to start my day with such a beautiful sight!

It makes me think about all the things I have missed.  For years I slept as late as possible, woke up feeling sluggish and basically started eating through a day that I spent alone in my home feeling sorry for myself.  My new life feels like a miracle!  Before, I was in such a rut of self-pity and self-destruction. sounds hokey...but I feel alive!  Life still isn't perfect, but I'm savoring every sunrise.

To top off all this good cheer, the scale is also showing that I'm continuing to lose...another two sticks of butter today!  This is good because I go to Weight Watchers this morning for my official weigh-in.   It looks like I might be finally stepping off the plateau.  There's some might fine scenery all around!


Monday, June 4, 2012

We're All In This Together

Now and then I reflect on how I've gotten this far.

As my sister keeps pointing out, this time is different than any other weight loss attempt I have ever made.  The difference, of course, is that this time I'm not trying to "go it alone."  The difference is you!

This morning as I set out for my daily walk, a neighbor who I hadn't met before stopped me.  Turns out she lives with her 90 year old mother, and she's really struggling with all the demands of caregiving.  As near as I can tell, she's doing it all by herself.  It's no wonder she's having such a hard time...we are simply not wired to "go it alone."

Galations 6:2 tell us, "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. (NASB)"  (I'm making a mental note to myself here that it doesn't say, "Solve one another's problems.")  There is something very powerful about just being willing to walk alongside someone who is struggling with a life issue.  I truly believe I have gotten this far in my struggle because of those who are walking alongside me.  I feel your support, I appreciate your listening ear, your encouragement keeps me from giving up. 

And, oh, by the way, I logged in a tiny weight loss...finally!  I'm at a total of 57 pounds gone as of yesterday!  Of course today it went up a bit (arggghh!) but I know that's temporary. 

Thanks for walking alongside me.  I hope I can do the same for you, and for my neighbor who I met today.  All that walking is good for us!