Archive for July, 2010

Learning to Walk

I re-read what I posted last night and wondered why I wasted the effort of sharing something that was so obvious and seemed so trivial. Sometimes head trash is hard to release.

Before, I would have beat myself up because I made some bad choices and gave in to some old habits. And I think that’s what so many of us do. We make a bad decision. We label ourselves as a failure or convince ourselves that we are worthless. Then we give up, turning back to the old behaviors that drag us down.

That kind of thinking is RIDICULOUS! Do you not agree? Think about it like this…

A nine-month-old baby girl has been crawling around the house like crazy. She finally pulls up on the table slowing getting the courage to take the first step or two. But, oh no, she falls.

What mother on the planet would think it normal for that child to give up learning to walk?!

My friends, it’s the same thing. As we learn new behaviors and develop new habits, we are going to fall. While we won’t end up with a skinned knee, a bruised ego can hurt just as badly.

So, just as we would encourage the baby to keep trying, why don’t we cut ourselves some slack and follow the same advice.

Lesson from the interstate

I just returned from a quick trick to Nashville to pick up Hannah from church camp. It was a wonderful visit with family and friends and has again made me a little homesick. But true to form, life delivered a lot of gain in exchange for some pain. I’ll talk about the blessings in another post, but tonight I want to share a lesson.

It’s not glamorous or anything, but I was surprised at how completely distracted I became and just how easy it was to deviate from plan. Here goes…

Driving ten hours (I’m sure it was THOUSANDS of miles) is absolutely BORING! And what does someone with my past relationship with food do when she is bored? She eats. And eats. And EATS!! Well, it wasn’t all that bad, but I did think about food a lot; sometimes it felt like I was obsessing about it. I ate quite a few things that weren’t so good for me. Oddly enough, this time around the junk wasn’t satisfying. That’s a good thing.

While I was stuffing junk into my stomach, I was actually yearning for something healthy. I’m becoming used to eating salads, grilled chicken, and even the occasional fruit. Unfortunately, most of those things aren’t available driving down the interstate.

What’s a girl to do??? This time, the answer came to me very quickly.

Just like I have to plan my meals, grocery lists, doctors’ appointments, etc., I need to plan my meals when travelling. And what I’m about to share is COMPLETELY REVOLUTIONARY, so hold on to your hat.

I need to pack things (fruit, veggies, sandwiches, etc.) in ADVANCE!

Did you know that you don’t have to stop at every single McDonalds along the way? Shocking, I know. Seriously, where did they all come from? When I was a child, all we had were the occasional Stuckey’s. And we NEVER got anything from there, no matter how much we pleaded that we HAD to have the box of salt water taffy. OK, I digress…

Back to the point, with a little planning and a little packing, the kids and I could have had some very nutritious snacks and meals, and I would have saved a ton of money. I will remember and prepare the next time we head down Interstate 70.

As I close, I want to remind you (and myself) what we do with mistakes and bad decisions – we let them go and leave them in the past. What is done is done.

I’ve learned something to make myself stronger. Isn’t that one of the primary points of this journey?

A “Modest” Change

There aren’t many people who could tell me that it’s time to buy a new bra. Really, there are two. You know who you are. And yes, you were right. So, how do I discuss this with tact? =)

When you lose a significant amount of weight – which I think I have – clothes don’t fit as well. For a while it’s no big deal, clothes get big. So what? Let’s face it, most clothes reach a point where too big it not good. It’s ugly and unattractive.

During this journey, I’m learning so much stuff. Today’s lesson is that even your underwear can get too big and distract from the emerging beauty. Who knew? Seriously, this was not an area that I would have considered.

But two lovely women suggested that it was time to make a change. (I am laughing my head off that I am EVEN WRITING THIS!!!! I’m the modest, shy one.) So, today, I went shopping for a bra. Please, you don’t want to know the details. Just know that I found what I needed and it has made a significant difference.

So at today’s close, I’m looking a little better and feeling more confident.

All or Nothing

I’ve heard from so many people who have said how proud they are of me and how they so desperately wish they could do the same for themselves. If only I had some magic words that could propel them forward towards success.

As I thought about why people procrastinate so much if they want to get healthy, I wondered why it took me so long. I had been battling with obesity for at least eleven years. It was not a fun way to live – not fun at all. Yet it took me a very long time to get my head on straight.

What was holding me back? What holds so many people back?

For me, I thought if I couldn’t do it right or if I couldn’t give it my all, then I wouldn’t try. If I wasn’t convinced that I would be successful then I wouldn’t take the first step. I had a LOT of weight to lose, and didn’t want to try if I couldn’t realize success – QUICKLY!

We’re all like that, aren’t we? We all have a little bit of perfectionist inside us. Think about it – we’re so afraid of failing, that we don’t do anything.

Why do we sabotage our efforts before we even get started? I have no answer. And I’m as guilty as the next guy. Let’s be honest; this attitude is not limited to losing weight.

My current challenge? I wish I were cooking healthy, well balanced, gourmet meals for my family – you know, the kind worthy of Food Network Channel – but I’m not. We eat more takeout than I care to admit. Because I can’t get menus planned and grocery lists completed every single day, I don’t do it. It’s stupid, isn’t it?

But this new me is not going to beat myself up. I’m going to find a way to move forward. I will conquer this demon just as I am winning with my weight. And then, someday, you just might be using my cookbook in your own kitchen.

I’m starting to remember that just about anything is possible. I want you to believe it. Think about it – the only reason “ALL” is not possible is because we choose to do “NOTHING”.

NSV’s – Non-Scale Victories

I do not own a scale. It was a deliberate decision to protect myself from the emotional volatility that comes from random day-to-day fluctuations that have NOTHING to do with food, exercise, etc. I only weigh at the WW meetings, once a week. While the number on the scale is a good, objective method to measure success (especially over time), it can sometimes be misleading, even discouraging.

It is amazing how someone can lose weight for seven straight weeks, gain a little on the eighth week gain a little, and then be convinced they are a total failure. And I speak from experience, that “someone” is me. I can have success upon success upon success, then gain a half of a pound and beat myself up because I’m a failure.

Well, we all know that I am not a failure. But what can I focus on when the scale says otherwise? WW teaches us to identify non-scale victories (NSV). Seriously, there are LOTS of things that improved in my life, and I’ve just got to remind myself what they are. Just like I would count my blessings, I’m going to count my NSV’s. You, too, should try it when you feel like giving up.

Here are a few of mine:

  • I have stopped taking blood pressure medicine.
  • I can walk around a department store without requiring a shopping cart to lean on.
  • I can walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath.
  • I actually enjoy playing with my kids – football, basketball, Frisbee, swimming, you name it.
  • I went down a water slide – TWICE!
  • I don’t have ANYTHING to wear. May sound sad, but it’s because everything is TOO BIG!!!
  • I am starting to believe I can do almost ANYTHING.
  • I can jog on a treadmill and walk for long distances. Shoot, I even survived a spin class!
  • I get all sorts of compliments and encouragement from friends.
  • And today, my boss bragged on my progress to our company’s entire management team!

So, when you want to beat yourself up because the scales don’t tell the story like you would like, remind yourself of your NSV’s. I bet you’ll be surprised and realize just how proud you should be in yourself.

Pushing myself HARD

I feel like I’ve died, or I’m pretty close to it. The more weight I lose, the more I feel like I can do ANYTHING! At least I will try anything. It might hurt afterwards… It DID hurt afterwards. It still DOES hurt. But it’s a good kind of hurt… I think.

I’ve been feeling so good doing weights and cardio and even the periodic water aerobics class, that I thought I would try my hand at a Spin class. Several well-meaning friends thought me crazy, but just like I can see myself running in a marathon (a girl can dream, can’t she) I thought I wanted to test myself in a spin class.

Right now, I’m not sure whether I was brave, determined, or crazy. Saying that this class was “cycling on steroids” is an understatement. I hurt. I could hardly walk after the class was over. And I wasn’t able to do everything that the rest of the class was doing. However, I was able to continue spinning for the entire 45 minutes.

I talked with the instructor after class and learned some exercises that I could do to strengthen my core making the cycling while standing up a little easier (meaning doable).

Now the old me would have come home, lie on the couch for the rest of the day and watch television – but not this new me. I came home, had lunch, and rested for an hour. Then….

Off to the pool with Nathan, where we played for a couple of hours, mostly throwing a water football back and forth, back and forth. But I made good use of the time in the water and added kicks and jumping jacks to my play time (waiting on the ball to come back from Nathan).

Lastly, lest you be bored with all of this exercise talk, let me tell you what I did that I would NEVER have done this time last year.

I went down the water slide. Not once, but TWICE!!! Yes, halfway down the first time I was thinking that I might have made a mistake. But as soon as I hit the water, I wanted to do it AGAIN. It was amazing!!

I’m losing weight. I’m getting healthier. And I’m having a BLAST! “Making Memories” is what my mom would call it.

The Good, the Bad, and the Late Night Snacks

Just in case there is anyone out there who thinks this has been easy, or you think the pounds are just melting away because I’m such a strong person who continues to make wise decisions, let me confess something.

Before you go wishing you could be like me, or wishing you could be as motivated as I am, let me remind you of something. This is a difficult and long journey. It requires commitment. I have to face my food demons each and every day, often multiple times a day.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that these thoughts didn’t come from the person who just posted that she is getting stronger and that she is actually PROUD of herself. Those things are true. I am that person. But I am also the person who struggles.

I am not perfect, by no means. Confession time –

Here it is, midnight. And for the past 35 minutes, I have been wrestling with what snack I should have. Did you hear me, it is MIDNIGHT!

I gave in and ate – a pancake with butter and syrup – and THEN I went back to the fridge for a few slices of deli turkey. No, I didn’t have the points for this food, but I did it anyway. Stupid; just plain stupid.

Dumb decision having been made, here is what I did differently tonight that I wouldn’t have done a year ago. I stood up (figuratively), dusted myself off, and started again. I made a dumb decision, but I am not going to let it derail my efforts. I will not take my eye off the prize.

What I should have done is gotten up and gone to bed. But I didn’t. And what is done, is done. I’m not going to wait until tomorrow (next Monday, next month, or next year – you name it) to start over. I started over immediately. I must acknowledge the bad decision and decide that it will no longer control me.

I’m sharing this to let you know that you’re not alone when you get the munchies at midnight (or at any other time, for that matter). We all trip up. The trick (and it is as important as chocolate is to any woman) is to start again IMMEDIATELY! Each time you do it, it becomes easier.

This is the mindset that must accompany my new lifestyle. I’m not on a diet. I’m changing the way I live. And the only way to successfully make this trek is to move ahead one step at a time.

Let me remind you – I’m successful. I’ve gotten to a point where I am motivating myself. I have lost weight equal to the average ten-year-old boy. Stuff to be proud of, huh? It’s definitely worth leaving the past where it belongs – behind me.

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