Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Weigh In Week 12

Twelve weeks, just under 3 months of this Weight Watchers weight loss journey.  As you can tell from yesterday's post it was a tough day.  But I rebounded from the day and was only one daily point over on the day (and I had weekly points to cover it).  I was so happy to wake up this morning and know that it was Wednesday and I got a fresh start.  It almost didn't matter what the scale said, I just got to start fresh today without the negativity of yesterday.  A major non-scale victory right?

Of course I did care a little bit about the scale and my work this week didn't disappoint me.  (I should swim a mile every week).

-3.0 Pounds Lost
- 34.4 lbs Lost to Date
10 % Weight Loss Goal Reached!!

This week I hit my 10% weight loss goal.  I am ecstatic about that.  You always here about all the health benefits of losing *just* 10% of your weight.  Well when you are over 300 pounds 10% is a pretty big number.  It was big enough that when I began this trip I couldn't quite imagine reaching it any time soon.  This was my 2nd goal reached on my journey.  When I hit 5% I had hope of getting to 10%.  Now I am here and it feels wonderful.

It does make me wonder what my next goal should be.  Another 10%?  That'd be just over 30lbs.  Getting to 50 lbs lost?  I like having something I'm working towards.  Though honestly my next little goal is the next 3.3 pounds lost.  That would put me out of the 300s which would be HUGE.  I am close to it.  It might not happen next week, but it is coming and I know that I can do it.

Here is some perspective for me.  I put this photo on the facebook when little goat was sick several weeks back and a ton of people commented on how huge our cat Doppler is.


He's a big cat and weighs about 17 pounds.  People I've lost TWO of these giant cats.  TWO.  I am really doing this.  Sometimes it shocks me that I've done so well so far.  Other times I get caught up in how far there is to go.  But I wouldn't trade these 3 months and I hope that the next 3 months keep me just as focused and determined as the last.
 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The monster inside

It hits first thing this morning.  An insatiable pit in my stomach.  Some living breathing monster calling for your soul, and for donuts.  It pulls my brain inward until all my actions seem to be viewed through my stomach's eyes.

It starts calling for those things that have been denied it.....Buuuuurgers.  Friiiiiiiiiiiiies. Baaaaaaaacon. Caaaaaaaaaaaaake. Chiiiiiiiiiiips.  Braiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiins.

And I am left staggering in response as coherent and articulate as a zombie.

In a rational moment, I know what gave birth to this monster:  weigh -in day, hormones, stress, more hormones, and more stress.

I know what the cause is but I feel so powerless against the monster's whispered urge to spin through the baked goods like some fat Tasmanian devil.  I want to create a tornado of powdered sugar and sprinkles around me.  I want to eat fast and furious without even tasting.  I just want to eat.

It's been a while since this pull felt so strong or powerful.  It had been reducing as I saw success, but today it feels alive inside of me.  A Mr. Jekyll trying to get out and take control.

I don't want to let it have that power.  I want to deny that it even exists, but that side of me does and today it is hungry.  It is the sort of day when I wish that food wasn't actually required to survive because abstinence seems like the only want to not fall down a slippery slope to a buffet somewhere.

There are plans in place to combat this, but even my plans didn't keep me from that bag of chex mix when I had to fill up the car this morning.  I managed to get the chex mix instead of the chips but it still feels like I gave that monster just a little too much power.  But it tasted so good.

And I don't like it.

I don't like that this monster lives within me and food is the source of its power.

I don't like that even a meal or a day of giving into it can mean that many more hours of responsible eating and working out.

I don't like that 30 pounds could be erased so quickly if I give in.

Some people's monster's live under the bed, lurking in the dark.  Mine lives in my stomach and he's hungry.  And today I'm not sure I'm strong enough to defeat him.

But I'm going to try.

#justwrite

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This and That

It is Sunday night, and I want to blog but I'm feeling lazy so you get bullet points!  Hooray!

*  I can't run a mile (yet) but I can swim one.  Tonight I swam a mile without stopping - 35 laps at the YMCA.  It took me 65 minutes - my pace just kept slowing down.  But I did it and I didn't stop.  And apparently earned 23 activity points for the 65 minutes of lap swimming.  Wow.

* I have not watched the Hunger Games movie yet that opened this week.  I am hoping to actually take my day off on Friday and treat myself to a matinee.  The trick will be facing the popcorn dilemma.  I might have to save some weekly points to have some.

* I bagged up some of my too-big clothes this weekend.  I didn't even get to my sweaters, just the pants and dresses.  They are currently sitting in my spare bedroom and I am uncertain what to do with them.  I know that I should get rid of them, but that seems scary.  What if I falter or fail this time around? But keeping them might seem like a jinx too - clinging to the fear that I might gain it all back as opposed to moving forward.  I have no intention of going back, but there is real anxiety in giving up the security of the clothes that I have.  What do you guys think?

* I have amazing friends.  Several friends have given me or promised me clothes they've grown out of.  Another sent me a gift card to use to buy some new clothes this week.  Knowing how much money losing weight can cost those little things are so HUGE for me.  And beyond that, with every message, and cheer and comment I feel so much love and support for what I'm doing.  It really chokes me up to know that there are so many people rooting for me.

* I was approached by a PhD student named Amanda to see if I would share a survey for her final research.  It is on how partner's can influence weight loss, specifically whether partner's can undermine weight loss.  Here is an excerpt of her email with all the information you need to participate if you'd like.  She only needs 15 more people to participate to complete her research.  From Amanda:

I think many of your readers have a ton of precious insight on this topic and I’d like to ask them to share.  Many people who have taken the survey have written to thank me for bringing this topic to light in a scientific way.  My long term aim is to develop a couples-level intervention to address partner undermining directly through building acceptance and deeper understanding.

All the information about the anonymous, online survey is hosted here at my university’s website:  http://surveys.clarku.edu/Survey.aspx?s=aab073a40aa64a55a2ad7a0f72c7ea0a

This survey is designed for those who can answer yes to the following questions:
Have you been participating in a weight loss program for the last 5 consecutive weeks
Have you been in a committed, cohabitating relationship for the last two years
Do you ever feel like your current partner/spouse gets in the way of your weight loss? 

Besides helping to advance scientific inquiry on this topic, each participant who completes the survey may also select to have $1 donated by the researcher to the participant’s choice of 1 of these 5 charities:  Playworks, The Carter Center , Teach for America, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, or MAP International.  Additionally, participants may opt to enter a drawing for 1 of 10 gift cards (one $100 card and nine $25 cards).
 For my own part I know that both Mr. Goat and I have both underminded each other's weight loss attempts before.  This time we are both on board at the same time and it makes a world of difference!  I hope you will share with Amanda if you are able.

* One more amazing link.  My friend Erica has lost over 90 lbs and she has decided to give back as she approaches 100 pounds lost.  So she is raising money to dig a well for people who need fresh water.  If you'd like to help her with her goal and support her amazing success you can do so here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things to Remember

Last night we went out and used a gift card we had for Red Lobster taking little goat in tow.  That wasn't the plan - spaghetti was the plan - but we both got home totally exhausted and with no desire to move much less cook.  So let's us the gift card!  Yay!

Now you all know that it is dangerous to go off plan, at least for me.  And for the most part I made OK choices.  I acknowledged that I'd probably use some weekly points and allowed myself not to feel guilty about that.

I had a salad with about a third of the dressing.  I ordered shrimp and green beans.  The shrimp were a treat, but a delicious one.

If I had stuck with that I would have been 1 point over for the day.  Respectable.

But I didn't.  Why not?  Three words...

Cheddar Bay Biscuits


Here is the reality. I can't just have one of these things. And they just keep refilling them.  When the carnage was over I had 5 biscuits.  For an additional 20 Weight Watcher's points.  Really it could be so much worse.  I've used 21 weekly points so far out of 49.  I'm not over, nor is it even a "bad" week yet.  I can still exercise and eat right the rest of the week and not even be off the plan.

These are good things to remember.  Realistically I'm not even that guilty about it.   I am disappointed in my choices, but I don't have shame over them.  But here is what I want to remember.

After a full meal and 5 biscuits I was uncomfortably full for the remainder of the night.  My energy level never came back up, instead I was sluggish and blah.  I had overeaten and I hadn't done that in a LONG time.  I want to remember that discomfort.

Those biscuits were delicious.  I can't lie, but were 5 of them worth it?  No.  They didn't leave me feeling better after my meal, they left me feeling worse.  And that feeling isn't worth the biscuits to me.  I'm not sure I'll remember to just have one next time, but maybe just two.  Food should help me feel strong and energized, not full and sluggish.

So I am writing this down so I remember and so I marvel at how far I've come.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weigh In Week 11

Another week and another weigh in.  For the first time I think I wasn't nervous going into the week.  I felt skinnier for the first time in a long time and I know I was on plan and I worked out very hard all week.  So I felt confident that I would show a loss this week.  Even so I was surprised in the loss that I did show.

-6.4 Pounds Lost
-31.4 lbs Lost to Date

I lost 6.4 pounds this WEEK. That is just mind boggling to me. I am not on the Biggest Loser after all, eating 1000 calories and working out 6 hours a day. I am working full time, had a sick child and sick husband, and I went out quite a bit.  I had a Dairy Queen Sundae even this week.  But the reality is that I balanced it out with working out and eating right.  I did do this and if for this week my body got rid of a few more pounds than is typical for me I am not going to complain about it.  But I do want to remind myself that results are not typical...

Still having lost over 30 lbs is something to celebrate.  I am proud of my efforts and that is an important thing.  I'm enjoying my workouts, I am enjoying my vegetables and most of the time I don't feel deprived or hungry.  I am doing this right and I'm seeing success.

Want a visual?


Or here is another one...

 
It might be hard to tell, but believe me it is there, or rather NOT there!

I lost another point this week.  I started out this journey at 52 daily points with Weight Watchers, I'm now at 46 daily points.  It is an added challenge to keep reducing things as I know what works and doesn't, but it is how I will keep losing weight.  And I am really enjoying losing weight!  So I think I'll keep going! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Even if


So much of weight loss for me is about trying to predict the future.  If I do X will it translate to a loss on the scale.  If I eat Y will it inhibit my weight loss or satisfy a craving so I don't binge later?    Am I eating enough or too much?  What size will I be in next month?  Next season? When will I reach 30 lbs lost, 50 lbs lost, 100 lbs lost, goal?  When, what if, where, who.

There is dreaming big in some of those questions and that is good.  It helps me to be constantly mindful of where I am trying to get to, but the endless questions can be difficult too.  It is easy to focus too much on what I think will lead to the most results.

Martin Luther often gives me words of wisdom (good Lutheran that I am) and when I read this quotation from the new LoveFeast Table's 365 Gathered Thoughts Box I knew that I needed to hear it.

I need to choose what is healthy for me today, even if I fail at it tomorrow.

I need to workout today, even if I can't tomorrow.

Even if I never lose another pound, I need to be healthy today.

I am my own apple tree.  It is time to plant, and nurture, and tend to me.

Even if and no matter what.






Thursday, March 15, 2012

About Face

Things can be going along swimmingly.  Work is getting done, everyone is healthy, the weather is beautiful and all is right with the world.

And then your husband gets a nasty infection which renders him incapable of much beyond sleep and taking his antibiotics.  And your toddler wakes up multiple times for then next few nights and starts to get the latest version of daycare cold 3.0.  You may find yourself tired and wondering how you are going to get it all done.

I found myself in that position this morning.  Sick husband, getting-sick toddler, and a tired mom.  Little goat was right on the edge of going to daycare or not - no fever, still had energy but a worsening cough.   And I had a host of meetings on my plate and a still under the weather husband.

I took Little Goat to daycare anyway because the first thing on my schedule for the day was water kettle bells.  I went and sweated and lifted in the pool for the half hour, plus another almost hour of water cardio in the form of water boot camp.  I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd gotten out of the pool afterwards to messages from either my husband or my daycare provider asking me to come care for one of my boys.

Miraculously that didn't happen and I went about my day.  The call to pick up Little Goat did come around 2pm and I went to get him and take him home to nurse him back to health via nebulizer's and Dora the Explorer (don't judge me, he loves it).

It was only after sitting with him and thinking about the things that needed shifting in my schedule, that I realized that the ONE thing on my busy schedule today that I really would have hated to have to miss was my workout this morning.  Let me repeat that.  Out of ALL the urgent things on my schedule the only thing that I would have been bummed to miss was my WORK OUT.

I'm sort of in shock about that.  It wouldn't have been too long ago that the thought of "having" to miss a workout would have elicited cheers.  Now it is the one thing that I'd regret missing.

I think I might be actually changing.

cool.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weigh In Week 10

It has been 10 weeks on Weight Watchers.  It is amazing how quickly that has gone and I have seem pretty astounding results, particularly for me.  If you recall, I ended up with a gain last week and it was frustrating.  I realize it was mostly stress and hormones but it is a challenge to to keep thinking positive about it.  My goal for this week was to do the plan well and hopefully lose what I gained.  It turns out that I lost a little more too...

-3.2 Pounds Lost
-25 lbs Lost to Date!!!

25 Pounds!  Somehow that makes it seem legitimate to me more than 20+ pounds does.  I have been at this for 2.5 months and lost 25 pounds.  I can do it.

I mean look at this....

That has come off my body.  Interestingly enough it can still be a challenge for me to see it, but I know it is there.  And I feel that it is gone...working out has gotten easier and I am able to push myself more and more.  Carrying Little Goat up the stairs is easier.  Going up 3 flights of stairs for work on a Sunday morning is easier.  Getting dressed is harder because so many of my clothes are ill fitting.  I am more and more wearing smaller size pants and tops.

I ran on Monday after my last blog post - I ran for 2 minutes straight.  I have never done that before.  I have a plan to take down the mile and while I'm still not sure it is totally feasible I am on board.  I notice when I skip the gym and don't like the feeling.

I am making good changes and seeing the results.

Today I got a 25lb medallion at Weight Watchers and the meeting cheered for me.  They really cheered and I got a bit choked up.  Because this little washer...


...it represents so much that I didn't think I could accomplish.  And now I can't wait to add to it, which I will.  I believe I can do it and I am cheering today too.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Mile

So last week I wrote a post that many people seemed to relate to about the Presidential Fitness test and having to run the mile.  I ended with my commitment that I am going to run a mile this year.  And this is what I mean:  I plan to run a complete mile without stopping, walking or falling flat on my face.

This is something I have never done and honestly it is more than a little intimidating.  I have done 5ks (mostly walk with a touch of running), but have never been able to sustain a run for over a minute.  So there is a long way for me to go.

So naturally I put this out there and have been running ZERO times since then.  I've been to the gym - kettle bells, elliptical, swimming, etc, but no actual running, or even fast walking.  I know I'm actually going to practice this if I have a clue of making it, but honestly I don't quite know where to begin.  Couch to 5k didn't seem to work for me...I could hardly make it out of week 1.  I suppose I should start some interval training, but I just don't know what I'm doing.

Realistically I am more than a little scared about this.  It shouldn't be as big a deal as it is I suppose, but it seems like a really big deal.  So naturally I respond best to big deals with paralysis, procrastination and avoidance.  Somehow I don't think that will get me there.

So anyone have any tips to get me going?  Any and all thoughts are welcome.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Progress?

Today I had a little time at the computer and decided if I could see a little progress in some pictures of me.  Since I don't regularly pose for pictures, particularly full body ones it was a bit of a challenge, but I've looked around and found a few that are roughly close to my starting weight and where I am currently.  So I ask you, can you tell the difference?

My first 5k - September 2010

Little Goat's 3rd Birthday - Feb. 26, 2012 (roughly 20+ pounds lost)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Carrying On

Thank you for all your support yesterday.  I know that it is like my body doing weird things and today I'm doing much better with it.  This isn't a sprint after all but a marathon to health.  So I have to prep for the long haul.

I'm in a much better state of mind today for a few reasons.

1. I worked out! - I went to my water kettlebells class this morning and it was AMAZING.  I had to miss the first class last week so I'm glad I made it to this one.  It is so much fun.  And for once I feel like I'm sort of a natural at it.  I never feel that centered and move into a new physical activity that easily but this was great.  Not only that but it made me feel strong.  Running doesn't typically make me feel strong, but this was powerful for me.  I'll be doing more of it!

2.  I ate right! - I had a big salad bar salad today - greens, kale, jicama, peas, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli - with a little ham, blue cheese and some blue cheese yogurt dressing.  Yum!  I'm full but energized.

3. Popcorn!  - Chris and I shared some homemade popcorn last night.  I didn't have butter on mine and it was a great end of the day snack.  I had the points for it so I ate it and enjoyed in thoroughly.  It felt good to have a "treat" that wasn't awful for me but tasted like it was!

4. Church! - Last night we had a lenten service.  The speaker was a perinatologist - someone who works with high risk pregnancies and premature deliveries.  Having had one of those it was powerful to think about God walking along side the doctors in those tough situations, and to also think about God walking along side of me in my own tough situation.

5. A Book! - Specifically The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, which is really giving some insight into the way my own thinking holds me back.  And I don't want to be held back by myself any longer, instead I want to live into my true self and channel my strength to do good work.  Not perfect, but good.

6. You guys!  Every comment, email, note, tweet, and message does so much help in keep me in perspective.  I am quick to want things fast, easy, and NOW  but the reality is that this is a hard, long, slow process I am on.  It takes some retraining, and frankly a lot of cheerleaders.  So thank you for being willing to be my cheerleaders.

So, this is me carrying on and not giving up.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Weigh In Week 9

I am confused and pretty grumpy.  I put my heart out there yesterday to describe one of the ways that my body has let me down and now it has to go and do it again.  See...

+2.2 Pounds 
-21.8 lbs Lost to Date

So here is the thing.  I am mad at the gain, that's true.  Even though I was expecting a gain it was a much bigger one than I'd managed to wrap my head around.  And worse, I didn't go off my plan this week.  I had a few splurges that's true, but I tracked them and used my weekly points.  I didn't even go into the almost 50 activity points I earned this week.

A friend who is wiser than me says my body is probably trying to protect itself.  While this could very likely be true it is so frustrating.  I wish my body knew what my mind knows - that 300+ pounds is not the verge of starvation and I can lose the weight without facing a famine.

I'm working hard.  I'm putting in the time and the effort and I have a vested interest in seeing that scale go down.  It isn't so much about the number, but the number is a representation that I am moving toward health.  Now I have to wait a week to hopefully break even again, which just seems like two weeks wasted when I don't have time to waste.

So I'm mad.  And a little sad.  And a lot confused.

I do know one thing however, if I don't keep going with Weight Watchers and exercise this week then I'm sure to gain more.  And that is just not acceptable.  So I'm left with:

 But I'm not happy about it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Mile in my Shoes

They stand and wait.  Some of them are laughing, whether it is at me or just at something else I can't tell.  Some boys are bored and starting to scuffle and rough house.  The teacher glances down at the stop watch doing his best not to look visibly annoyed.  No one seems out of breath.

I glance ahead at the lap of soccer field left before me: The rest of the daunting one mile run. 

****

It isn't as if the rest of gym class was a cake walk either - it is the dreaded Presidential Fitness Test day.

I've already put up the lowest number of situps.  I couldn't do a single pull up.  I stretched so far my legs burned on the Sit and reach but short arms still make that "score" seem too low.

People glance away when it is my turn, they don't want to show that they are embarrassed for me, but I know.  I know that I am the last.  The weakest.  The slowest.

And then it begins.  The mile.

We trudge out to the soccer field to run our laps around it in the grass.  We all start at the same time and I valiantly try to run, but without fail I'm winded by half a lap.  As if I have no control of my limps I slow to a walk, a hand on the stitch in my side.

As I keep trying to push my speed other kids start lapping me, laughing as they run effortlessly by.

I wish I were invisible.

But I'm not, the passing continues until I am the last one on the course.  I bravely try to run it in, afraid if I don't keep going I will collapse in a puddle of tears.

****

I cross the line, with my eyes only on my feet, afraid to meet anyone's gaze.  The teacher turns and starts to bring the class inside.  We're running late, because of me.  We head inside with me at the back.  There is no time to catch my breath so I huff and I puff and try to keep up without people knowing how tired and winded I am.

I try not to take the numbers in, I don't want to know.  I'm good at math.  If I know the numbers I can calculate how much slower I am than my peers.  First by just the easy math, later by percentages and medians and bell curves.  No matter how I manipulate the data the truth is that I am the slowest.

As horrible as the experience is there is part of me that is gleeful in that moment.  For the fact remains that I am now another year away from repeating that whole experience yet again.  It never gets any easier, but at least I can block the horrible memory out until next time.

***

Now I'm 32.  The mile stands in front of me like a beacon of failure.  But I'm not waiting for another year, and another horrible realization of my weakness.

I am stronger than I think and this year the mile is going down.

#justwrite

Monday, March 05, 2012

It is...

I need to get in the writing groove again.  It is so much easier to focus on my weight loss efforts while I am typing things out and making sure I document the things I realize along the way.  Otherwise I am apt to forget them all over again.  So here are a few thoughts on where I am at right now - one of my goals this week is to blog about the journey more and see how it helps my focus and determination.

It is funny...
I am anticipating a weight gain this week, but not with much dread, or at least not with as much dread as I might have a few weeks ago.  One reason is that I know that I've had really good weeks lately and that my own body sometimes needs to compensate for itself.  Two is that I know I am doing the work I need to, so if it doesn't happen this week it will happen sooner or later.

It is strange...
I worked out every day this weekend after having to miss my first water kettlebells class Thursday due to daycare crud.  Friday's walk was a mess and I was still feeling the effects of having been sick on Thursday, but Saturday's elliptical and Sunday's turbo kick class were (dare I say it?) FUN!  The feeling of moving my body was fun.  I still feel like a fish out of water most of the time at the gym but the sweat and the burn and the effort made me feel good.  It is strange to me but hopefully first of many good workouts to come.

It is hard...
There are people starting to notice my success.  Some times I think it is more because they have seen the blogs or a facebook update and know to look, but I wonder if they really do see something.  Most of the time I don't.  But the hard part is knowing how to respond to their praise.  You see, I know I am doing a good job, but I am mindful that it is a small success on a much larger journey.  I don't want to get ahead of myself and am always trying to keep my attitude balanced between acknowledging what I am accomplishing and keeping focused for the long haul.  When people say they see a difference I tend to clam up and stammer, "Well I'm trying..." in a sheepish manner.  I am not embarrassed of my accomplishments, but I am embarrassed by how much remains to do.  24 pounds bring some people to their goal weight, but the reality is that it doesn't even get me under 300 pounds yet.  So I need to figure out how to celebrate with friends rooting me on without the embarrassment of having gotten there in the first place.

It is delicious...
I used some weekly points on fish and chips this weekend and they were delicious, but the 4pt wild rice soup and the big salad that we made the next night were delicious too.  I'm definitely getting more of a taste for veggies.

It is disheartening...
I feel so self-centered lately focusing on my weight loss.  I have not been good about getting to other people's blogs, or even checking in with people who I know are struggling.  I am almost oblivious to the world news right now - I had to ask Mr. Goat what was up with Rush Limbaugh nearly two days after the story blew up.  Much of our family time right now includes dropping off E in the gym childcare so that we can work out.  When he's at daycare so much anyway it is sad to think about.  But, I have to be committed to this in order for it too succeed.  I just have a hard time finding the balance.  It isn't even about finding time for TV or relaxing, it is just about finding time to play with my son.  God knows I've already practically given my house over to the mess.

It is heartwarming...
To know how many people are rooting me on and insisting that I am strong enough to do it.  I want to be stronger because of all of your support and care.  I want to succeed for me, but I believe I can succeed partially because you all seem to believe it too.  I really can't thank you enough.