Archive for April, 2010

Yay Me!!!

Finally!! I have passed the 60 pound mark!! 60.8 pounds to be exact and I am VERY PROUD OF MYSELF!!!

The move from 50 to 60 pounds has been excruciatingly painful. On February 5, my weight loss reached 50 pounds. That was thirteen weeks ago. Thirteen weeks! The longest thirteen weeks that I can remember. But I’ve done it. I’ve moved beyond the dreaded 50’s. Now I can move on.

When I reached 50, it was weird. I was excited, but it was such a milestone that I was left wondering, “Now what?” It had an odd effect on me mentally. I still can’t explain it. I wasted so much time wandering about. I still wanted to lose. I continued trying to lose, but not with the focus that I had previously. After all, I’d already achieved a lot.

From these last few weeks, I’ve learned that once I reach a goal, I have to IMMEDIATELY set the next one. If I don’t, I will flounder around with no real direction. But with a specific goal, I have a place I want to be – something to work towards.

So I’m going to walk the walk and set a specific goal. I’m even going to share it. My next milestone will come at 82 pounds. Odd number? No worries. It means something to me, and it will be the third major tier of my overall journey.

But that goal is for tomorrow. For today, I’m going to enjoy where I am. I’m proud of myself – a feeling that’s been a long time coming.

Blessings from Friends

Friends make life enjoyable. I am blessed to have so many people who care about me and about my well being. Today, I got to see several people for whom I care a lot about – people that I haven’t seen for several months. And they were all so encouraging to me! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Today I learned that there are quite a few people following my journey through this blog. How awesome is that! I am hopeful that the steps I take can bless each and every one of you in some small way.

As someone who has, for most of her life, wanted to write, it is a RUSH for people to say that they are reading my stuff. SWEET!!

It was also nice for those same people to notice that I have changed – that I am getting smaller. Yes, I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m going to enjoy the successes I am having along the way. Thank you ALL for the encouragement.

People are often hesitant to tell someone that they look good because they have lost weight. I can see how the wrong words could hurt someone’s feelings. But good grief, there’s so much negative in the world, let’s just give out compliments when we can. And when you’re given a compliment, accept it. It feels good. Enjoy it – especially if it is from losing weight. I promise you that you deserve it.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to all the people who have, and continue to, encourage me along my journey.

And while I’m at it, this blog is interactive. Feel free to make a comment, share a thought, or ask a question. You never know who you might encourage as you walk along your own path. We can walk, and grow, together.

Life’s too short not to enjoy your journey.

Head Trash

I had a sweet, sweet friend tell me that she had fallen off her diet and couldn’t get her head around getting back on track. I felt bad for her. I wish I had some magic words to help her.

I started thinking about how hard it is to get into the mindset to “go on a diet”.

THEN, I hoped that I could keep focused long enough to meet my goals.

And FINALLY, I came to realize that this is my entire life. I’m going to have to learn how to live within these new rules – FOREVER!

To be honest, that thought really sucks. It all translates to no more Mexican cheese dip, chips, or fajitas. It means no more deep dish pizza. No more fried chicken, yeast rolls, ice cream, carrot cake. You name it. My life is going to be a life of complete and total deprivation.

Seriously??? Do you see how quickly my thoughts deteriorated to something destructive? Ok, Kathy, get a grip. Play the GOOD tapes.

This new lifestyle is about making better choices. I can have anything I want, as long as I have it in moderation. And, my life – going forward – is no longer going to be dictated by FOOD. It is going to be about making great memories for me, my family, and my friends. I MUST take control of my thoughts and my decisions and get healthy.

What about my friend? What can I offer to help her get back on track? To help her start those good tapes playing in her own head?

Focus on making a single decision that moves you toward your goal. You don’t have to be perfect and make all the right decisions, right out of the gate or any time. Just make one simple change. And the next day, the next week, the next month – keep making changes. It’s all about moving forward. It’s about the journey. It’s about YOU, caring enough about YOU.

Let’s all stop trying to be perfect. Let’s simply make tomorrow a little better than today.

Focus on Dairy

As I have chosen Weight Watchers to help me heal my body, I think it’s about time that I followed the process in its entirety. It doesn’t do me any good to stay within my points if I don’t eat the right kinds of foods. Nor would it do me any long-term good to eat the right kinds of foods if I were going to sit on my butt all day long. And even exercise cannot be the stand-alone piece of the puzzle that returns me to health.

A key piece of Weight Watchers is eating the right combination of foods. There are good health guidelines to include liquids, dairy, fruits, vegetables, vitamins, whole grains, good oils, and proteins on a daily basis. Leaning on one area and ignoring another will not bring me to a sustainable level of health.

Liquids are the easiest for me. I’m supposed to have 6-8 eight ounce glasses of liquid each day. And since that doesn’t necessarily have to be water, I have ABSOLUTELY no problem here. I am a heavy drinker – Diet Coke is my constant companion. Yes, I drink too many; but right now, let’s consider this area covered. I’ll work on the “water switch” later.

Then comes Dairy – 2-3 portions daily. I haven’t been doing so well here. I don’t care for milk; and unfortunately, a daily serving of Mexican cheese dip isn’t such a good idea. I definitely need help in this area.

So, this week, I am going to focus on dairy. I’m going to make a strong effort to increase my daily servings and to make changes that I can live with on a long-term basis. Here are a few ideas and each count as a single serving:

Weight Watchers ice cream – they have some amazing flavors. My favorites are the cookies and cream chocolate ice cream bar and the round chocolate ice cream sandwich. Yes, I love chocolate. And these two items are so good that I don’t think about the fact that I’m not at Cold Stone Creamery having something decadent, yet incredibly fattening.

Laughing Cow low-fat cheese wedges – my favorite is garlic and herb, eaten in the middle of the afternoon with some pretzels. There are several other flavors; and these can be added to a sandwich, spread on whole-wheat crackers, or even used to disguise the crunchy raw mini carrot. (I LOVE carrots, but cooked please!!)

Yogurt, the low fat version, of course – There are so many different varieties of yogurt that there shouldn’t be any opportunity for boredom to creep in. Flavors range from mixed, exotic, or tropical fruits to popular pies (Boston cream, key lime, chocolate mousse).

If you have other suggestions for adding dairy to my daily life, I’m all ears.

Nature’s Checks and Balances

From guest blogger Tracy –

Plateau is such a dirty word. But really, they are life-giving. Life-affirming. Life-saving. It is your body asking the questions, “Are you sure? Do you mean it? Is this REALLY a good idea? Are you committed to this plan?” Etc.

Evolution has taught our bodies all about the downfalls of starvation. And so, every once in awhile, your body “checks in” to make sure you aren’t starving to death, slows down your weight loss, and “rests”, even “catches its breath” if you will. Nature knows what survival of the fittest is all about.

So, now what? Here you are. Stuck. Which feels an awful lot like the split second before you start rolling back down the big hill you just climbed. Reframe that thought. You are regrouping, reformulating the plan, reenergizing for the next big climb. You are teaching, training and encouraging your mind and body to accept this new body reality.

We all know the suggestions for how to break a plateau. And they are ALL relevant and helpful. Exercise more: which can mean more time, more intensity, more variety. Evaluate what you are REALLY eating: Again, are you eating more, eating less, those choices are also affected by the healthiness of your food choices. I won’t list out that other plateau-possibilities, because most of us can recite them ad nauseum. Our own little excuse/blame mantra for why we are “stuck”.

I would like to propose the following. I am not on a plateau. My body is adjusting to the new me. The new number of calories I actually need to survive. The new number of calories I burn even when at rest. My metabolism is refiguring, well, everything. And I am going to take this time to restructure and reevaluate what it takes to move this new, improved, “lesser” me forward.

So, thank you body. Thank you for bringing me this far along my journey. Of course you may rest for a moment. I’ll be right here making good choices, and when you’ve caught your breath, we shall step out together again. I am sitting on a metaphorical bench, ready to resume this journey I have begun with my renewed body.

These words are typed with an infusion of love, power, and energy for my wonderful friend, Kathy.

Hugs, TLC

Rejoice when you face trials

I work hard to be grateful for whatever God allows in my path – even in the “winter” of my weight loss process. It’s tough when you feel like you are working hard/following the rules and seeing no reward. Weight Watchers calls is a plateau. (I still HATE that word.)

Thankfully, today’s Bible verse was perfectly applicable and incredibly timely, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.” –Romans 5:3

A plateau is defined as a sudden slowing, or even stoppage, of weight loss. It’s frustrating because you feel like you are doing everything correctly, but you see no results. You exercise. You watch what you eat. But still, no consistent forward progress.

I’ve been wandering through my own plateau; honestly, it feels like I am stumbling around in a dry, hot, lonely desert.

One week I gain; the next I lose. It’s 2 pounds off; then 1 pound back on. One-half pound off, then 1.4 pounds on. It continued until I started to lose confidence. (Unfortunately, I didn’t have THAT much confidence to begin with.) I got to the point where I was literally afraid to weigh. So, what to do?

There comes a point where you have a choice to make. Do you give up and resort back to your old ways – the times when you would comfort yourself with mounds of cookies, chips, chocolate, doughnuts, you name it? It is incredibly easy to turn back.

OR, do you continue working the plan?

Look back at today’s verse. Problems and trials help me develop endurance.

Endurance is exactly what I need. If I am going to turn my life completely around, if I am going to change from being lazy and gluttonous to being healthy, active and thin, then I am going to need to endure. Let’s be honest, being healthy is the benefit; but being thinner is a prize.

Endure the temptations. Endure the doubt. Endure the difficulty of making better choices. Endure myself all the way to the point where ENDURANCE turns into ENJOYMENT.

Are you truly happy?

Last night a television show caught my eye – a talk show discussing “The Fat Debate”. What I witnessed was enough to write several articles – a LOT of drama and sensationalism. I am going to focus on one thing that has weighed heavily on my heart.

I didn’t post yesterday because what I initially wanted to say would have come across incredibly mean-spirited. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and even talked about it with a couple of close friends. Even now, I don’t have the answers; at least I don’t have answers for anyone except for me.

I don’t want to spend time reviewing the show’s topic, nor the merits of either side’s arguments. I want to point out something that I find incredibly sad.

There were several women that were very obese who stood up and proclaimed to the world that they were perfectly content with their bodies. These ladies said that they were satisfied with where they were physically. One went as far as saying that she had never had any physical challenges because of her weight.

My initial response? Liar. (Told you it was brutal.) Still today, I find it hard to believe those people are being honest with themselves.

I have struggled with this all day today. I ask forgiveness in advance from anyone that I offend.

I’ve asked several people their thoughts and have had answers all across the board. But one comment seemed to get to the heart of the matter: “Ask any one of those women what they would choose if I could snap my fingers and immediately make them a healthy size 12.” The number is not significant. It is the fact that almost anyone would choose a smaller, healthier size – IF they could have it immediately, without any effort.

I suspect that we tell ourselves we are satisfied or content with our bodies as a coping mechanism. It is VERY HARD to change a lifestyle, especially one that has been around for years – especially in a society that is all about the immediate and the short term. I am not pointing any finger, except to myself.

I had allowed myself to get to the point where I was having heart palpitations – to the point of having several thousands of dollars on heart tests. My asthma was getting worse. Both my blood pressure and cholesterol were at levels that required daily medication. Walking up a flight of stairs left me completely winded. I couldn’t play outside with my kids because I had zero energy. I know, although no one would admit it to my face, people thought of me as lazy. My intelligence, determination, and work ethic were discounted because of my physical appearance. How on earth could I, could anyone, be happy with that?

Yet I convinced myself that I was. I think it was because I convinced myself that nothing could be done. So seriously, if nothing was going to change, I might as well find a way to be content in my circumstance. THAT, my friends, is NOT being happy. It is settling and it is selling yourself short.

I deserve better. We ALL deserve better.

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