Friday, August 31, 2012

Moment of Truth

It has been a tough week.

After weighing in the other day at my WW meeting, I discovered that over the past three weeks I have gained 4.2 pounds.  Also, I hurt my back last week so I haven't been able to exercise the way I'd like to.  Add to the mix that I seem to be experiencing some kind of emotional "melt down" and have been feeling very depressed.  Also, my blood pressure is up and I probably need to go on medication for that.

Such circumstances, I'm used to.  Life never seems to flow along without difficulties for any length of time.  The difference, now, is that instead of turning to eating as my safety/sanity valve, I'm trying to keep on program and behave like an adult.  I'm about 50% successful in that effort.  The crappy part is that trying to eat right and behave like an adult seems to only add to my stress level!

And yet, I know, deep down, that this is the battle I must win.  It's time to grow up.  I can blindly abandon myself to unhealthy ways of coping with the inevitable problems of life, or I can mindfully apply all the lessons I've been learning over the past year and move forward with purpose.  For me, that means being able to hang in there with my program even though I'm not doing a very good job of it right now.  It means hanging in there even though I want to pout about how hard it all is.  It means hanging in there even when I don't feel like it.

The good news is that I knew this Moment of Truth was coming.  The bad news is, it came! But I take comfort in knowing that while this is a personal battle, I don't have to face it alone.  I don't have to pretend that any of this is easy.  I know that my blog followers and friends are rooting for me, and I know...most importantly...that though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with me. So here's to facing reality, hanging in there, and getting on with it all.  I love you guys.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ok. I'm not perfect.

It's time to go to Weight Watchers again, and this time, I HAVE to weigh in.

I know I'm in trouble because I haven't even been weighing in at home, and that's always a sign that something is wrong.  Like, I've been eating too much.  And the wrong things.

In the past when I got to this point in a dieting attempt, I would say to myself, "Well, you obviously can't do this, so why even try?"  This time, I'm trying to tell myself, "Everybody goes through this.  You just need to find your way back from the dark side."

The deeper issue here is realizing how I demand perfection from myself, in almost everything.  Then when my obvious imperfections flare up I get mad at myself and go to the other extreme, being as imperfect as I possibly can.  (Hmmm...can a person perfect imperfection?)

We always have choices.  Every day is a new chance for a fresh beginning.  But I have to ask myself this question:  Is it a new chance to try to be perfect, or is it a new chance to learn to accept the fact that I am not perfect?  And if I accept that I am not perfect, can I still find a way to live that is healthy and that results in my continuing to lose weight?  Can I allow myself, in front of you and God and everybody else, to mess up and then keep going?  Or will I throw in the towel because I'm ashamed of admitting that this is hard and I'm not doing so great right now?

I mentioned to a friend yesterday that I was trying to gain control over certain areas of my life, and her response surprised me.  "You don't need to gain control," she said, "you need to let go of control.  That's the goal."   So, I'm letting go.  I'm going to WW and weighing in, knowing that my weight is probably up.  I'm accepting that I am not perfect and that does not mean I am a failure.  I am just a person on a rough road, and what I need to do is face reality and keep walking, both figuratively and literally.  Sure, sometimes reality sucks.  But we still have each other.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lessons from my closet

Periodically, I have been going through my closet and getting rid of clothes that don't fit any more.

I don't want any wiggle room to go backwards!  Goodwill has received bags and bags of my big clothes. It feels good when I drop them off at the collection center, knowing they'll be worn by someone else who needs them.

But lately, for some reason, I've been having a hard time letting go of a few things.  There are the blouses that I embroidered myself with my nifty embroidery machine.  And other articles that bring back fond memories of good times I had wearing them. 

I haven't worn any of these things for some time, nor do I plan to ever wear them again.  But I still don't want to let them go.

It got me to thinking about the struggles I've been having lately, and how I have been missing "the good old days" of eating without thinking about every bite.  I'm having a hard time letting go of those old, familiar feelings.  I need to move forward, but I'm holding back.  I'm at a place in my journey where I'm feeling pretty comfortable, and moving forward from here means REALLY changing my behavior as well as the way I look.  I just don't know if I'm ready to do that.

So in the meantime, I think it's a good idea to really clean out the closet.  Maybe if I let go of those clothes that don't fit any more, it will be easier to let go of the old thoughts and habits that also no longer fit in my life.  We'll see how that works out.  I'll let you know.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Being Gentle With Myself

You may or may not have noticed that I have posted my weight loss for a while.

That's because I haven't been losing any weight for a while!  This morning I'll be going to Weight Watchers, and I've been dreading the weigh-in.  Fortunately, they allow you to skip that from time to time, and I will probably skip today.

I was looking at my little record book they give us where they post our weekly weigh-ins, and noticed that since I got this particular book (back in April) I've lost 12 pounds!  That was encouraging to me since I haven't made any real progress for the past month and a half.

It's so easy, especially when you are trying to "improve" yourself, to get down on yourself when things don't go exactly right.  Or when you're not seeming to make progress.  I've certainly been down on myself lately about this plateau and my contribution to it.  But I decided to give myself a break, to treat myself as I would a friend who was going through a hard be gentle with myself and to quit thinking negative thoughts and saying negative things inside my head.

Nobody said this was going to be easy.  The longer I keep going, the more I understand that the real battle is not with the scale, but with my own mind and how I approach life.  So how did I get out of my was I gentle with myself?  I decided that if I never lost another pound from this day forward, it would be a victory just to stay where I am because I am so much better off than I was a year ago.  I realized that I have lost 64 pounds and that's a great accomplishment!  I gave myself permission to let go of that NEED to see a loss every week on the scale, and to appreciate feeling better, looking better, and being able to buy smaller clothes!

The result?  I feel better!  More energized...more able to take on the challenges that life inevitably brings every day.  I also feel calmer.  Less panicky.  Gentleness is a good thing.  I hope you experience a little gentleness in your life today.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Re-reflecting on Change

I don't know what got me started thinking about change again today.

But I remembered that when I started all this a year ago, I had realized that in order to have any success at all, I needed to really change the way I look at life and eating and moving around.

The last few weeks have been difficult, in part, because I have been resisting those very necessary changes.  I have been missing my old behaviors, and some of the foods I used to eat.  I got tired of the effort of trying to do something different, and began to doubt that I could really achieve a different kind of life.  I have also gotten tired of feeling different from everyone else, especially when it SEEMS like everyone else is eating the way I'd like to eat, but know I can't.

So, can I really change?  The answer is YES!  I know this is true because I have already changed in many ways.  And because of these changes, I know I can continue to change in a positive way in the future.  The reality, however, is that changing isn't always easy.  Or fun.  There is another reality that is even more important:  Change is possible if you just keep trying.  I'm going to keep trying.  I'm going to hang in there.  I'm going to get through this frustrating, boring, and irritating time that I'm going through and look forward to a future of positive changes.  Then I can look back on this yucky, un-fun time and know that I'm capable of riding out those times when they come...and go.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Active Link

This is a new gizmo from Weight Watchers.

You clip it on to your clothes and wear it all day and it tracks how much you move.  The idea is to plug it into your computer at the end of the day and it syncs with your Weight Watchers account and posts how many activity points you earned for the day.  Supposed to be more accurate than guessing from a chart of activities.

So I, aka "Gadget Girl", had to try it.  The first week is an assessment period.  You wear it all week (even in the's waterproof) and then plug it in.  The program then gives you a goal to try to achieve in the next 12 weeks, activity-wise. 

My assessment ended yesterday.  Plugged it in and found out I wasn't even burning enough calories to meet the baseline...the amount of activity you need to break even with your food points and not gain weight.  Kind of explains my 8-tenths of a pound weight gain last week!  The challenging goal set for me was to try to earn ONE activity point a day.  In other words, in gadget-speak, MOVE IT GIRL!

So yesterday I tried to move more.  I cleaned house.  Went to the grocery store.  Threw  in some Wii "Just Dance" dances for about forty minutes.  And when I plugged the ActiveLink in last night, expecting to see that I had earned maybe one activity point, I was surprised to see that I had earned FOUR!

Now this is motivating!  My result made me feel like I can do this.  I can build activity and exercise into my life without killing myself but just living my life in an active way!  It made me want to stick to my points.  It made me believe that I can get unstuck!

We'll see how it works out...especially since I've been sitting in the recliner for two hours this morning working on my computer.  But it's only 10:00am.  Lots of time to get moving the rest of the day.


P.S.  This is my 200th Blog Post!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Feeling a Little Lost...

So.  I find myself wanting to eat just for the sake of eating.  Old behavior.  Old feeling.

At Weight Watchers yesterday, most of my group of friends were up a little on our weigh-ins.  Maybe it's the heat (it has been over 110 for the past several days here).  Or maybe it's something else.  I don't know.  It's like we are all in a slump. 

We had a fun time out together, as we always do.  Then I came home and literally crashed.  And ate.  I'm supposed to have 29 points a day.  I had 40.  At least (I tell myself) I wrote them all down.

I am also telling myself that this, too, will pass.  I must learn how to negotiate these turns in the road!  It's just that sometimes...I feel so tired.  A year ago, on a day like this, I got through it on sheer determination of will.  But these days I feel like my will is spent out.  I need another tactic.  Something else to fall back on. 

So I talk to God.  I tell Him...I can't do this!  I don't have the strength.  I only have Your strength.  I talk, and He listens.  He loves me, no matter what.  He gives me hope.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Going Through the Motions

My Weight Watchers buds (hi buds!) and I were talking the other day about how we're all kind of in the same boat.

We've all been doing this for a year...and we are BORED!  We are tired of thinking about food all the time and counting points and being on a DIET and trying to lose weight.

I bring all this up because I think it's important to acknowledge the reality of going through a long-term lifestyle change.  If we were all in a car with little kids this would be the part of the road trip where the kids are crying and squirming in their car seats, and the parents are the ones screaming, "Are we there yet?"  If we were ancient Israelites we'd be grumbling at Moses right about now, complaining about taking us out of the lush comforts of Egypt and making us starve in the desert.

We also talked about one of the reasons we keep coming back to the meetings is that we want to be with our friends there.  You might say we are just going through the motions...not necessarily engaged in our personal quests on every level.  (I would like to point out that among this group of four women, over the past year we have collectively lost almost 200 pounds!)

I'm here to say that I think "going through the motions" sometimes is a good thing.  There are times that we just have to keep taking the next step, however small that step may be.  Today I think I'll even make "going through the motions" my goal:  make my bed, tidy up the house, go for a walk, eat reasonably.  There's nothing wrong with going through the motions when the motions we're going through are positive habits we've been trying to develop.  I may not FEEL like eating right today, but I'm going to go through the motions and do it anyway.  I don't particularly feel like exercising but I'm going to turn on the Wii and put in the Just Dance game and do it anyway.

Chances are, after going through some of these motions, I might even feel a little less squirmy in my carseat.  And...HEY!  Maybe going through the motions like this can become my new fall-back position!  Instead of turning to food when I'm bored, angry, tired or upset, I'll be dying for a walk around the block! could happen!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Sunny Side

Well, one thing is for sure.  Life is not boring.

Looks like I've come through the storm and indeed, the sun is shining at least one more day.  I am learning that some times in my life just have to be "gotten through".  What seems impossible to deal with on a given day becomes more bearable with prayer, time and contemplation. 

And in the meantime, I am also learning not to numb myself with too much food on those seemingly impossible days, which only trades one misery for another.

I cannot say I have made it all the way to joy, but I do feel a sense of contentment because I haven't been smothering my sorrows with inappropriate eating.  Looking back, I can see that times I have turned to food in the past were often times when I was unhappy and didn't know what to do about it.  I needed to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to feel in control of an uncontrollable circumstance. 

Or, I might have said to myself, "This isn't going my way so I'm going to eat this donut!  That'll show 'em!"  Makes absolutely no sense.  Yet, this was my mindset.  Maybe the most important thing I am learning through this journey is that external emotional circumstances in my life are totally unrelated to keeping myself healthy and what I choose to eat.

In my book, that's pretty sun-shiny information. 


Saturday, August 4, 2012

So, what?

There are times when life's pain and misery assault me in such a way that the entire issue of what I'm eating or not eating doesn't seem to matter one tiny little bit.

It is at those times...these times...that I try to concentrate on perspective.  I think about people who have lived in the midst of war or famine and tell myself that my problems aren't so bad. But I also realize that I have lived much of my life in this "so what" state of mind.  I'm certain that is one of the reasons I got to a point where I needed to lose over a hundred pounds in the first place, because I had "so whatted" myself with food and more food to try not to feel the pain that was going on in my life.

So.  There is pain going on in my life.  A part of me....a big part....wants to try to eat that pain away.  But I know...I have learned...that eating too much ultimately only adds to my pain.  I can tell myself, "So what?" or I can ask myself, "So, what?"  What am I going to do instead?  How am I going to negotiate this pain storm?  When I really don't care what happens to me, how am I going to hang on until I care again?

So, what I am doing today is being gentle with myself.  I don't really care what I eat so I'm following my plan.  I'm looking at eating properly like I'm following a doctor's orders or something.  Don't think about it.  Just follow your plan.  A default position, if you will.  I'm going to have a quiet day at extra people...because that's what I need in times like this.  I'm going to get through today, and hope that tomorrow feels better and more hopeful.  I'm going to try to remember to breathe, because that's really important.  I'm going to ask God to put His arms around me and say, "There, there."


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Good News - Bad News

So the good news is, I only gained 4 tenths of a pound...two sticks of butter...over my vacation.

The bad news is, I ate an entire bag of multi-grain pita chips on the way home from the grocery store!

I almost feel like I jinxed myself when I blogged about truly having created a new lifestyle.  Eating food on the way home from the store is an old, old behavior for me.  If I wanted to, I could give you a pretty impressive list of reasons I did it this time.  But, what would that accomplish?  The reasons to eat uncontrollably are always there, for all of us I imagine.  What I am trying to learn is how to overcome those situations when they arise, and make new choices.

For now, I am being accountable.  One bag of pita chips.  Twenty-four points.  Recorded.  But, I didn't have the nerve to get on the scale this morning. 

This is never going to end, is it?  There will always be pita chips calling my name.  This must be why Weight Watchers teaches to eat you don't feel deprived and go nutso over those favorite foods.  I am beginning to understand that some foods will make me more nuto than others.  Sigh....

Yes, it's hard.  But just because something is hard is no excuse for giving up.  I do not want to go back to the land of Pig Out Party.  So, I start again.  I wake up, make the bed (another new behavior for me) and make a healthy breakfast.  I record what I eat.  Go for a walk.  Get busy with today.  Take one more step on my journey to the land of New Life.  Thank God for my family and my friends.  Feel grateful that His mercies are new each morning.  Life is hard...but it is still a gift to enjoy.