Aghast! (Updated)

I was cruising around the Tales from the Scales website and happened upon something that broke my heart.  While I know that there are a lot of diet scams out there that prey on frustrated weight-afflicted people, when I read this, I was enraged.  The ‘diet’ is something called Kimkins.  I had never heard of it and just spent the last hour and a bit reading various websites on the topic.  Go HERE and take a read.  It’s a little long, but I think it’s important to know that there are people out there who consiously decide to take advantage of the frustration that many people feel in regards to weight loss.  There are other articles that you will find once you start reading, but the idea is that this woman, Heidi Diaz, claims that she lost a great deal of weight in a really short time period by following her own brand of low carb diet.  She then started a website and began charging people for the privilege of starving themselves.  It sounds like there are fraud charges coming.  She makes this statement “…take a Weight Watcher or Jenny Craig meal and remove the starches. What’s left? Kimkins. There is no health advantage to adding carbs or extra fat, so why is removing them (and having less calories) dangerous? 1200 calories a day is an arbitrary number (like 8 glasses of water).”   It becomes very clear that this woman has no earthly clue what she’s talking about.  OF COURSE you can lose a lot of weight by severly restricting your calorie intake.  You can also lose mental focus, vitamins and minerals, your hair, and ultimately any shred of health that you started out with. 

People!  By doing these fad diets that are impossible to maintain longterm, you are doing serious damage to your metabolism, not to mention your health.   This statement is one of the first lines on the Kimkins website: They’ve been told their entire lives they should be happy with slow 1-2 lb a week weight loss.”   

Dammit!  You SHOULD be happy with a 1-2lb loss a week.  That is sustainable.  And even if you are making healthy food choices and not losing as much as you would like, don’t be discouraged!  Your body needs time to make the adjustment if you have been feeding it the wrong things or too much for any length of time.  It should be no surprise to any of us how we got fat.  Seriously.  If you are honest with yourself, you know that you didn’t just wake up one day and go from a svelte size 2 to whatever your current size is.  And that realization is the reason that you are smarter than fraudulent claims like that of Kimkins.  This woman claims that you should be able to exist on only a chicken breast and a bowl of salad every day for the rest of your life.  That is so ridiculous and it breaks my heart that there are people who are desperate enough to do it.  A friend of mine said that when he started deciding to lose weight he examined the people around him.  What the fit, slender people were eating and what the overweight people tended towards.  At no time will you ever, EVER see an athlete or a healthy weighted person exist on a chicken breast and a salad.  EVER!  Get clear!  These don’t work! 

My sweet regular readers, I know that you are all smart and healthy and doing so great!  SO GREAT!  You are all amazing people with brains in your head and a desire to make a lifelong, healthy change.  I more wanted to write this for anyone who may happen across my website on their way to a dangerous fad diet.  In the hour or two that I spent reading various sites about Kimkins and Heidi Diaz, the resounding thought in my head was that I hope she goes to jail for a very long time (and it sounds as though she may) because it is UNFAIR that people like that can take advantage of the suffering of others.  The cost is so much more than financial.  The cost is your health!

UPDATE Not only did Heidi Diaz not lose the weight that she claims, she is heavier now than she was when she started.  She still insists that the plan works but has posted fraudulent before and after pictures of herself on several websites.  Even if you were giving the Kimkins diet one shred of a thought, ask yourself if you are willing to take health, nutritional and medical advice from a liar!  Go HERE for a beautifully written article about this.

Advertisements

Enjoyment or Punishment?

“Let not the enjoyment of pleasures now within your grasp, be carried to such excess as to incapacitate you from future repetition”  ~ Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid 1st century AD)

That’s what happens, isn’t it.  The over-enjoyment of things that we like has a habit of turning less than pleasurable.  Our society has an “if a little is good, then a lot is better” mind-set.  I know I do. 

Think about it.  Over-indulgence of food makes us put on weight and feel crappy.  Not pleasurable.  Over-indulgence in spending makes us broke.  Not pleasurable.  Over-indulgence in exercise, if not properly prepared, makes us sore.  Not pleasurable.  Over-indulgence in sunshine gives us a sunburn and heat stroke.  Not pleasurable.  So why the excess?  Why are we not able to take maximum enjoyment out of a reasonable amount of our pleasures and then stop and look forward to the next time?

I am all about the instant gratification; I do not like to wait.  But I’ve started teaching myself to put some thought into things first, rather than make mindless choices based solely on desire.  Those mindless choices are the ones that have gotten me into trouble in the past.  Not only food-wise.  Words that come out of my mouth, actions I take, emails I send, things I buy.  Mostly all are done out of immediate desire.  But I’ve found that if I stop and put some thought into it first, I will enjoy the moment more because I actually do want/need it.  And if I decide I don’t, I have pride in my decision to weigh the good against the bad and choose away from whatever it is.

There are so many cliches out there that drive me nuts, but if you really stop and dismantle the words, they have meaning:

Don’t put the cart before the horse

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

A stitch in time saves nine

You CAN put the cart wherever you want, but things require a flow and if they are out of normal order they don’t work properly.  This applies to food also.  If you are spending all your time eating crap and junk food and sweets and baked goods, eventually, because the flow and balance isn’t right, bad things will start to happen.  Even if you aren’t a weight-gainer, your body can’t sustain that kind of thing forever.  And for those of us that are weight-afflicted and used to indulging ourselves constantly, do you notice that it takes more and more and more of the ‘treat’ to try and satisfy you?  That you aren’t getting the comfort and enjoyment out of the ‘treat’ anymore?  Like a drug habit, no doubt.  Interesting.  It’s because the balance isn’t there.  Treats aren’t treats anymore when you are eating them all the time.  Once you start to put treats back where they belong, as an occasional pleasure, they will rather quickly regain their comfort and enjoyment values.

And the second and third cliches.  Think about them.  I mean really THINK about them.  How much effort would it have been each time to just not have the second or third helping.  To stop at one cookie rather than the whole batch.  To make your mashed potatoes with chicken broth instead of butter and cream.  It would have been little easy choices that require almost no effort.  And now where are we?  We are working our butts off, expending tonnes of effort physically and mentally and emotionally to get those pounds of.  We are trying to find ourselves after spending an unconscionable amount of time under an armor of fat.  We are going to battle each and every day because we didn’t just walk away from the enemy in the first place. So as hard as it is some days to make the right choice, just think how much harder it will be down the road to correct it. One step (stitch) away now saves nine steps (stitches) later. 

It’s not all bad.  I maintain that if we learn something this time it all makes sense.  Don’t just diet mindlessly to get the weight off.  Learn something from your past mistakes and your current triumphs.  Learning from the past is the only way to prevent the same mistakes in the future.  If you don’t know what went wrong, how will you know what to watch out for in the future?  

Do you have any cliches that have finally started to mean something?  Have you started to see what mistakes you made in the past?  Have you put treats back where they belong?

Converted!

I heart yoga!!!!!!!  Yoga is not exercise in the general sense of the word, but it is definitely work.  I didn’t realize just how unflexible and what a tight ball of knots I am.  Yoga and I are going to be good friends.

I know I’ve said it a couple of times on here, but I am amazed at myself.  Honestly.  If you know me in person as a close friend or relative, you would know that I do NOT go into unfamiliar situations alone, I do NOT try new things.  I have always been timid and nervous about things like that.  Now, if you know me in person as a casual friend, that may surprise you.  In familiar surroundings, with familiar people, I have no problem speaking up, being involved and putting myself out there.  But in alien territory it’s another story altogether.  Which is why I’m really surprised that I went to yoga tonight.  It’s why I’m surprised that I’ve gone to aquafit regularly.  It’s why I’m surprised that I’m rocking the weight loss thing.  This isn’t me.  At least not the me that I’ve known for the last 28.75 years.  But I like it.  I like this other person.  She has some confidence.  She has an inner strength that she didn’t have or didn’t recognize even a month ago. 

I’m still a little nervous that all of a sudden something is going to change and the new and improved Lady Shanny is going to take a nose-dive.  Is that dumb? 

In all seriousness, can anyone answer these questions: How do I figure out what’s different this time? How do I make sure that whatever it is becomes permanent?  How do I stop worrying that it’s all going to crash and burn?

New Page

There is a new page on the left hand side called ‘Recipe of the Week’.  I’m not the biggest fan of posting recipes in lieu of blog posts.  It’s a bit of a cop-out for me and disappointing to a reader if they weren’t in the mood to read a recipe.  But there are some good ones that I’ve found, so each Thursday I’ll change the recipe to a new one on that page.  That way if you want to look you can, but you don’t have to.  If you try the recipe out, let me know how it was.  I generally only cook on the weekends and then have re-heats during the week, so you may beat me to this one.  Let me know if it’s good.  It looks fantastic!

I came home a little early today so I could take a Robax and lay down.  There is one muscle in my left back that is killing me and I didn’t want to be so exhausted from suffering that I couldn’t go to Yoga.  It’s not too bad right now, so I’m off to shave my legs, find some yoga appropriate clothing and then get going.  I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow.

Hmmmmm……

I don’t know what I want.  I came home, made, ate and cleaned up dinner and now I’m sitting here and I want something but I don’t know what it is.  I’m not hungry, I’m not thirsty.  I tried to take a nap but I was unsuccessful.  I’ve changed the sheets on my bed, made tomorrow’s lunch, did the dishes and took a bath.  Now what?  I have aquafit at 8 but that’s 2 hours away.

I think what I’m lacking is comfort.  Food has always been my comfort and now that I don’t have that in the same way anymore, I think I’m a little lost.  TV isn’t doing it for me, even though episodes of my favourite show that I haven’t seen before are on.  What the hell?  I didn’t have a terrible day (in comparison to some of the crap-hole days in recent memory), so why am I blah?

I gave a bloggy friend of mine some advice for her daughter on self-value so perhaps I’ll follow that here.  My advice was: “…make a list of what is good and great about her….we should all remember that we have alot to offer the world…”  So here is my list of known, little-known and obscure things about me, not all neccessarily good, but then, we can’t all be Mary Poppins.

CORE

I laugh a lot and I think I’m funny

I have a quick wit and a sharp tongue although I don’t mean any harm

I have strong views and opinions but I will listen to yours

I am not confrontational although I am learning to gently stand up for myself

I don’t abide laziness or stupidity very well, mostly because I am neither

I do not make friends that easily because I have been wildly disappointed in the past

Once you are my friend though, there is always a spot for you in my heart

I don’t do a very good job of forgiving people and I never will if you never ask

I am quick to judge people and expect everyone to be up to the standards I set for myself (that’s one of the not so good ones!)

 

FLUFF

I hate olives and celery (see this post)

I love my bird, shoes and hockey

I can cross-stitch but I can’t sew

I love the taste and smell of coconut but not the texture

I don’t mix textures in my food….no crunchy with squishy!

I once knitted a dishcloth…that was the whole of my knitting career

I burn music from online and haven’t bought a CD in years

I prefer things tidy but will occasionally let them get away from me (bird seed gets everywhere)

I love designer name brands but have very few

The few I have include two CK t-shirts, 3 bottles of Chanel perfume and some Roberto Vianni shoes

I do not eat shell-fish because it has a weird crunchy texture that freaks me out

 

OBSCURE

 

My twin and I have each other’s memories (mostly from when we were little)

I have really strange dreams at least once a week

I’ve been as far east as Florida in the USA, but not past Winnipeg in Canada

I was a vegetarian for a year (thank God that’s over now!)

I once watched a guy set his sofa on fire and then drive away

I’ve only smoked pot once….oh…no wait….twice….and I didn’t enjoy it at ALL!  Honestly!

I once broke up with someone because he was too nice to me

I’ve never broken a single bone in my body and I’ve only had stitches once

Ever since I got (and recovered from) a parasite in June, my short-term memory is non-existant.  Really, things just fall out of my head….never used to be an issue!

 

 

OK.  I feel a little better now.  Tell me some random stuff about you.  You all know me by now, help me get to know you.  Leave it in the comments, or do it on your website and leave a link.

Updated

Results page is updated….that’s all I have tonight. 

Hello?

Where did everyone go?  Did you all fall off the planet?  Is the rain making you all hibernate?  Don’t you love me anymore?

Meh!  This website is for me anyway, so here I go for today.

My psyche is a jerk.  If I didn’t know better, I would be pretty sure that the minor muscle spasm in my back, my headache, my yawning, the congestion in my head were all reasons to bail out of going to Aquafit tonight.  Good thing I know better.  I know exactly what my inner self is doing.  I don’t LOVE the idea of going, so my inner self is trying to make reasonable and believeable excuses not to go.  Nice try!  We’re still going!

I feel like I’ve finally found a really good place in my life.  I have great friends, a small but serviceable social life.  My priorities are in order again, I’m making sure that I take care of me first and then whatever time or energy is left goes out to the rest of the world. 

I’ve never been one for a huge social life.  I’ve never had a huge group of friends.  I generally protect my time to myself and choose not to go out.  But I have found, since I’ve let go of some major baggage, that I don’t need as much time to myself.  Maybe because what I do for me now counts for more than all the time I had before where I wasn’t treating me very well.  I can become a hermit very quickly and when I hermit-ize, I eat.  Since I don’t need to eat my way through the evenings, it frees up alot of time.  Like time to go to Aquafit (stop complaining, WE’RE GOING!). 

I’ve been thinking lately about advice I would have given myself 3 or 4 (or more) years ago on how to get here, and I realized that it wouldn’t have been possible.  And then I got to thinking about people in general and how most people who attempt to lose weight don’t succeed, or succeed and then gain it all back and then some.  And I wondered if you have to get to a certain realization about food, yourself, weight, self respect and pride before it sticks.  There are people who have lost weight and never, ever gain it back.  Are those the people that finally got to the place in their lives where it all makes sense?  Heaven knows, I’ve always ‘known’ the right things to say and what I should believe and practice, but I’ve never FELT it like I do now.  Maybe that’s what’s different this time.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that for whatever reason, I don’t have cravings, I mostly don’t self-sabotage (except for that first night before weigh-in) and it all makes perfect sense now.  It’s like I got hit with the weight-loss success stick.  It bugs me that I can’t put my finger on it.  It bugs me that I can’t because I want to know why it hasn’t worked before.  I do know that support from people is key.  I’ve certainly never done that before.

That’s all for now.  I’m off to Aquafit.  Maybe I’ll think about this while I’m freezing my arse off in 12 feet of water. 

I didn’t drown!

Are you all dieing to find out how my first public exercise session went?  It was great.  The Sungod Recreation Center is nice.  I picked Empress Wendy up at 9 this morning and off we went. 

We did the Cardio Excelerator class and worked our butts off.  But I didn’t drown, so point for Lady Shanny.

While Empress Wendy was getting changed, I was sitting outside waiting for her in a beautiful fall morning.  I sat across from a little green space where the leaves had already fallen on the ground and there was a little squirrel running around between the trees.  And I thought to myself “Self, you may not enjoy exercise, you may prefer to sit at home where it’s safe and pressure free, but if you don’t go out, you don’t get to see things like this.  You wouldn’t have gotten to appreciate walking out of the humid rec center into a crisp, clear fall morning.  You wouldn’t get to appreciate coming home, putting on cozy clothes and having a cup of coffee.  So Self, we are going to keep doing this.  Because even if we don’t like the actual act of exercising, we really like the benefits, the weight loss and the pride in actually DOING something.”

So tomorrow night is Deep Water Aquafit and then Thursday is Twilight Yoga.  And I’m going.  I may try to talk myself out of it or try to make myself ‘too busy’ to go, but I’m going!  I have found what it is that I can enjoy about exercise.  Plus, the one-point KozyShak pudding that I had when I got home tasted even better sprinkled with self respect and pride!

Over it?

OK, I’m going to try this again.  I’m well rested, sufficiently hydrated and ready to do it.  I’m going to do this in letter form, it may be easier for me to write (thanks for the idea Tarable!).

****************************************************************************

Dear Person Who Hurt My Heart,

The first day I laid eyes on you, you had my heart.  You didn’t know it yet, but I did.  I knew it like I would know if I got hit by a tonne of bricks.  To this day, I don’t know what it was about you, but there was something.  Maybe it was your smile.  Maybe I saw you exactly at the right (wrong) time in my life.  You had no idea who I was, but that wouldn’t last long.  I remember specifically the first conversation you and I had.  I remember what you were wearing and how good you smelled.  We didn’t see each other again for quite awhile, but the next time we did, a relationship of sorts was formed.  I got to know you very well.  You and I spent alot of time on the phone together, chatting, working, laughing, flirting.  I never had to wait very long for you to call me again.  It was a given and I was thrilled.  Eventually I got up my courage to ask you out.  Your response, your exact words were “I’d love to, but I can’t.”.  I was a little disheartened, but it appeared that nothing had changed.  You still called me constantly.  I didn’t think anything of it.  I figured that I had feelings for you, you clearly had an interest in me and so I was willing to wait.  Months went by.  We got closer, we spent more time together.  You called me at home a couple of times when you were on the off shift.  Months went by.  I got more attached to you.  You started calling me at home a couple of times a night.  And then, one day, the bomb dropped.  I found out you were married.  Subsequently I found out that you had two children.  I was blind-sided.  I’d had no idea.  In all those hours of conversations, all that time we spent together, I didn’t suspect it for one second.  But you hadn’t really done anything wrong.  Not really.  At that point, the ‘relationship’ that we had should have changed, but it didn’t.  I still had very strong feelings for you and you still flooded my phone lines and office hours with attention.  I would like to say that I knew exactly what was going on, but I didn’t.  All I knew was how much I cared for you. 

Months went by.  I figured by then that regardless of my feelings, I should try to accept that we would only be friends.  I tried to put distance between us, but you were always there.  You seemed to know what buttons to push.  You seemed to know exactly how to get me to do what you needed done, and I did everything for you without ever asking why.  You seemed to know exactly how to keep me hooked.  Countless times I told myself to cut the ties.  Countless times I went home sad and frustrated that I couldn’t seem to get away from this.  Months went by.

Our ‘relationship’ was public knowledge.  My name was synonymous with yours.  Everyone at work thought that we were having an affair.  It didn’t seem to bother you, but it killed me inside.  I am not that person.  At this point, I started to feel embarassed about the spectacle that I was making of myself.  I knew that what was going on was wrong, but still, everytime I tried to pull away and put some distance between us, you were right there.  You had my heart and you wouldn’t let go.

While we never did anything that was immoral, I felt as shitty as I would have if we had.  Months went by.  You started to realize that you didn’t have to put out any effort anymore.  I had tried a bunch of times to stop the nonsense but I was still there at your beck and call.  I still did everything that you asked me to do.  You had me exactly where you wanted me.  I don’t think that you started out with that in mind, but once you realized what the situation was, you took full advantage and my feelings didn’t matter.  I began to tire of the one-sided-ness of our ‘friendship’.  We had several very personal conversations about this ‘issue’.  I told you flat out at least once that I had feelings for you and you didn’t say a word to try and dissuade me.  You absolutely used that declaration to your advantage and it completely screwed me up inside. 

You never gave me a second thought unless you needed something.   But that’s the way the entire relationship was.  You got what you wanted and didn’t give me a second’s thought.  I was just there to serve a purpose.  I think that realization was the beginning of the end of all of this.  It would take almost another full year for me to get there, but I’m done now.  DONE!

I accept full responsibility for my actions.  I know that I should have cut the ties with you and I didn’t/couldn’t.  I know that what I was doing wasn’t fair to me.  I knew that I was getting screwed in this deal.  I knew all that, I did it anyway and I accept full responsibility for that. 

But I also lay blame.  I blame you for not telling me straight up what the deal was.  I blame you for using my feelings to your own end for so long.  I blame you for noticing when I was pulling away and coming after me.  I blame you for the last 3 years that I have spent miserable, frustrated, sad, confused and hurt.  I blame you because you knew exactly what you were doing.  You knew exactly how to play me. 

I feel nothing but shame and embarassment about this whole situation.  I forgive me though because I have to.  I forgive me because I can’t beat myself up about this anymore.  I forgive me because it’s the only way that I know to get past it and move on.  I doubt very much that I will ever be able to forgive you.  Even if you asked, which I don’t believe will ever happen because you don’t think that you’ve done anything wrong. 

And that is why you and I can’t be friends anymore.  The only role that you can play in my life is that of a co-worker who I see occasionally.  I wonder if you’ll even notice.

****************************************************************************

So that’s that.  I got it out.  He will never read this letter.  We will never have this conversation, and I’m OK with that. 

I know there are probably some of you thinking “So you liked a guy, big deal”, but it was so much worse than that.  I spent every day for more than 3 years never knowing what was going to happen next.  As a people-pleaser, I did everything I could to make him like me, to make him want me.  And when he didn’t, it enforced an already present fear that people will not like me for who I am.  It enforced a belief that I have to constantly be doing things for people to prove to them my value.  For more than 3 years, I wondered why he would pay me so much attention but never be willing or able to be there when I needed him.  

And so at some point I started to put on weight.  It wasn’t a conscious decision, but it was absolutely a defense mechanism.  I had to protect myself somehow because everything I had already tried hadn’t worked.  I couldn’t, at that point, believe that he was just a self-centered jerk who wasn’t interested in me as a person, friend or otherwise, but only in what I could do for him, how I could make him look good.  I used food as a comfort when I wished it could have been him.  And when I realized that it never would be him, I used food as a comfort to try and accept that.  All that happened was that I got fat.  And angry.   So yes, I liked a guy.  And it screwed me up for a good long time.  It made me question my future judgement.  It made me even more wary about trusting people.  It made me believe even more that people will disappoint you every time. 

I’m starting to realize now, mostly because of a good friend, that not all people will disappoint.  That I absolutely CAN put my trust in someone and not have it used to hurt me.  And THAT is a good feeling!   

Click

Read the post below at your own risk.  It really sucks!  I didn’t want to delete it though because I have a rule about deleting what I write.  But honestly?  It is NOT good.  And I’m not just looking for compliments (I won’t believe you anyway).  I am over-tired, under-watered, over-stressed and under-comforted and  I shouldn’t have written anything at all.  I had all these ideas in my head for what I was going to talk about today and none of it would come out.  I had about 3 pages written in my head on the way home from work and when I sat down with the laptop, they wouldn’t come out.  Not one of the thoughts or phrases or ideas (and some of them were really good) would form an orderly line in my head and come out.  All that came out was this drivel.  I’m going to bed!

________________________________ 

No, not the movie (which was really dumb, by the way).  No, something inside of me.  Clicked.  About a month ago.  All of a sudden I realized that I would no longer allow people to treat me poorly.  I realized that I would no longer squash all my wants and needs in favour of someone else’s.  I would no longer put every other person on the planet ahead of myself.  I would no longer not say what needed to be said in case it made the person not like me.  I’m not saying that now I go around speaking my mind about everything, but where it directly affects me, I speak up.  And I have to tell you, it’s a bit of a lonely place to be.  When people have become very used to doing what suits them regardless of how it impacts me, it is an absolute shock to them when you say even something as simple as “I’m on lunch right now, can you come back in a half hour?”.  They don’t know what to do with themselves.  It’s like a personal affront.  Heaven forbid that I take 30 minutes to decompress and eat lunch because they don’t have time for me to sit around and stare out the window, and can’t I just eat my lunch while I look something up for them or take a phone call?

Now, I understand it will be an adjustment period for people to realize that they cannot take advantage of me.  I taught them that it was an acceptable way to treat me.  And now I have to unteach them that and it’s not going well.  It’s tough and messy and makes me want to just forget the whole thing and put everything back the way it was.  Fortunately, I don’t give up that easily.  I know what I’m doing is right and that’s all that matters. 

I had a whole lot more post written tonight, but in reading back on it, it wasn’t the honest, raw look that it needs to be.  Not that I am a sucker for punishment, but if I can’t say it on this website, then I’m clearly not admitting it to myself yet, and that’s a problem.  I briefly touched on the issue in an earlier post but clearly I am not ready to admit what parts I have to accept responsiblity for.  I’m still all blame-y and finger-point-y.  One day the whole thing will be said and dealt with and packed away to become one of those memories that, when you call them up, you cringe but otherwise they don’t have any effect on you.  One day.  Today is not that day.

Guest Blogger

My sweet sister, Princess Darcy, agreed to do a guest post for us.  Enjoy.  You can leave comments for her just the same as you would for me.

____________________

Let’s talk about E-X baby!  (to the tune of “Let’s Talk About Sex Baby”)

Okay… so I’ve thought for the last few days what I would write about as an honored guest blogger.  And I figured, since it’s the thing that changed my life, I’d write about exercise.

Before you read on, you should go and read the comments in the entry ‘Yech!  I (bubble) exercise!”

I completely understand how the thought of exercise makes people want to hide under the blankets with a half dozen mars bars… however, I have a few comments that may take the anxiety out of beginning to exercise.  When I first started with the program I was in, I went alone, at 5:30 in the morning to a secluded beach location where I knew no one… I was probably the MOST out of shape person there.  I couldn’t complete a warm up lap to save my life… I wanted to die!  I also knew that it doesn’t get any easier by not going and instead eating the mars bars…so I kept it up…and I started to realize that there was no judgement.  No harrassment.  No being made to feel bad about myself or being made to feel fat.  There were just a bunch of people who were working as hard as they could, while I worked as hard as I could.  Of course it’s all relative to how much one can do, and when I was running my butt off and they were running theirs off, it was often them running back towards me as I fell further behind… and all I heard was loud cheers of support, my name being called out and words of encouragement ringing out into the morning… No one MADE them say those things… but they all knew that I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and into a life of fitness… and it didn’t matter that I was behind or fat or out of shape… the point was that I was trying…

I guess my point is that if you’re out there, in a group of people, like at the gym, in a class, at aquafit, I guarantee there isn’t one person in that room that’s thinking that you shouldn’t be there.   Or thinking that you’re the fattest person there, or that they’re working so much harder and you’re slacking off.  The overwhelming feeling if you spoke to them is that you’re there, making self improvements and that in itself is commendable!  Highschool gym class did not consist of a group of like-minded individuals who were making an effort at self improvement.  It was nerds and jocks and those of us in between, being bossed around by a ‘gym teacher’ who was probably also the math teacher… It’s not the same!

I know this, because after spending a lot of money and effort and work, I became the person in my workout group who was one of the fastest, definately one of the strongest and one of the leaders… and when we got new people in to the group, not ONCE did I think that they were slackers.  Not once did their body size or shape even enter my mind.  The ONLY thing I ever thought is, if they’re trying as hard as they can, then I’m going to be there to encourage, and assist… just like EG did for me.  It was only ever when someone wasn’t trying, or was using their weight or lack of fitness as an excuse not to try that we ever thought about anything other than them being out there giving it their all!

The one other point I wanted to make was that it’s very important for YOU to not compare yourself to THEM.  There are people who have been exercising their whole lives… they can go farther, faster, stronger and longer… and no one expects that out of you.  Everything takes practice, including exercise… you’re only setting yourself up for failure if you go to the gym and see people who are making it look easy and compare yourself to them. 

My main point is that it IS hard…for everyone…and no one thinks you’re less worthy of being there.. so long as you go out to whatever you’re doing and try your hardest, you win!     ~ Princess Darcy

2 Day Hiatus

So today was weigh-in day.  Go see on the Results page.

I got home late from the meeting and I have to make my lunch for tomorrow and Thursday, eat something, do the dishes, pack clothes for tomorrow night and then go to bed.  So you get nothing.  NOTHING!

Tomorrow night I’m going to the Vancouver-Calgary Exhibition game right after work and won’t be home until late, so you won’t get anything then either.  Sorry!  I’ll be back in full bloggy-force on Thursday though.

Feel free to post your results on the Results page this week.  Hope everyone’s week went as well as mine did.

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION

Yech! I (bubble) Exercise! ~ Updated

(There was a request from my dear sister to re-write the first paragraph of the post below.  She felt that there was a bit too much hate free-flowing.  So, I am going to replace the word “hate” with the word “bubble”.  I get where she is coming from, but I really, REALLY do not enjoy exercise.  While the paragraph is honest, perhaps it reads a little too negative.) 

Honestly.  Bubble it!  I bubble the way it feels.  I bubble getting ready to do it.  I bubble that I don’t have a single thought in my head while I’m doing it except for how much I bubble it.  The only time I don’t BUBBLE it is right after I’m done. 

However!  There are a couple of forms of exercise that I don’t mind simply because they don’t feel like exercise.  First is any type of aquafit, especially deep water aquafit.  And second is aerobics classes.  I don’t know why, but I am willing to do both those things.  And I’m going to.  Yes, you heard it right.  I am going to go to public exercise classes!

According to all the powers that be, you need to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week.  That seems do-able, right?  There is a beautiful recreation center near where my friend lives.  So she and I are going to christen our exercise plan by going to Cardio Excellerator aquafit on Sunday morning at 9:30am.  I also want to go to the deepwater one called Power Deep.  And then they have a Twilight Yoga class on Thursdays (I’m not sure if yoga counts as exercise, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to try).  I know that exercise assists in the weight loss, but I’m actually going for something else.  I know I could lose the weight I want without exercising.  Sure, it would take longer, but it can be done.  What I want is a sense of accomplishment.  Accomplishment for actually DOING something.  Not that everything I have been doing means nothing, but it’s a bit passive. 

Also, per the last post, I have a goal that is more than possible or reasonable and for that, I will need to expend more effort than is comfortable or desired.

So the new activity plan is as follows (see?  activity plan not exercise plan):

Monday ~ Power Deep 8pm

Tuesday ~ Weight Watchers Meeting 7pm

Thursday ~ Twilight Yoga 8:15pm

Sunday ~ Cardio Excellerator Aquafit 9:30am

As with every other issue on this website, I will be completely honest about the results and my experience and feelings with this plan.  It should cost me about $30/month to do and be worth a heck of a lot in Feel-Good-Shanny dollars.

Wish me luck that I don’t have a stroke and drown in the water on Sunday morning!

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION

No compromise

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.” ~ Robert Fritz

Wow!  Twice in two days I needed a quote to get me going.  Looking to someone wiser is never a bad idea though.

So, what does this quote mean to me, weight-loss wise?  Over the last year I came close to calling it quits for good and deciding that whatever would be would be as far as my physical appearance went.  But it seemed like too easy of a path.  You can always tell whether it’s the right or wrong choice, based on how much (or little) effort has to be put in.  And the reason, ultimately, that I didn’t ever really give up was that I realized that I have to live with me for the rest of my life.  I would have to look in the mirror every day and know that I chose not to do anything.  I would be reminded every day that I chose to disrespect myself to such a degree that I would be unhealthy and unattractive for the rest of my life.  I just couldn’t do it.  At the same time though, I couldn’t see how on earth I would go about making a change.  I couldn’t visualize a thinner me.  I couldn’t believe that I would ever have the inner strength to make the commitment.  In that way, I was limiting my choices to what seemed “possible or reasonable”.  And then I thought, if I was listening to someone else, I wouldn’t think for one second that they couldn’t do it.  If they wanted to.  If they were willing to put the effort in.  If they followed the plan.  So why should the counsel that I give myself be any different?  It shouldn’t.  I should be more positive, give myself more encouragement.  Believe in myself more!

And so, I am not willing to compromise.  I am not willing to only go for that which seems like it might be possible.  I am determined to go for what I actually want.  Not what I think I might be able to get. 

What do you want?  What are you going for that seems more than just “possible or reasonable”?  What are you not willing to compromise on?  Just so you know, I actually do want to know the answers.  I want to know….I need to know…..I MUST know!

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION

Bird

I know this has nothing to do with weight loss or Weight Watchers, but isn’t my birdie cute?  I was mucking about with the manual settings on my camera and she is a good subject.  I’ll post something real later.  Right now I’m in my Sunday bubble watching Seahawks football and napping.

swing.jpg

Something to aim at

Thanks to all you incredible, lovely, caring people who responded to my last post (and every post).  I had no idea how helpful support was.  I’ve always been the kind of person to do everything on my own, but you all have shown me how nice it can be to have people in your corner. 

Since the last post was a bit tragic, I thought I would put up something a little more uplifting today.  It’s goal setting time! Yay!!!!!  Cheer with me……………………………you’re not cheering.  CHEER WITH ME!  OK, better.

I’m not big on rewarding myself every step of the way.  I feel like the number on the scale getting smaller and my clothes fitting better is reward in itself.  However, I am into rewarding myself for persistence, milestones and triumph over struggle.  So let’s talk achievements and what the rewards will be.

Milestone #1 ~ 10% Weight Loss This is going to be a big one for me.  It’ll be awhile in coming, but I have every confidence that it will come.  So I’m going to do something that I have never felt comfortable doing because I’ve never felt like I have done anything to deserve it.  I’m going to the spa.  I’m not sure what services I’ll get (it’ll be fun reviewing the ‘menu’ when it gets closer) but I will have done something that I can be proud of and I will deserve the treat. 

Milestone #2 ~ 40lb Weight Loss  If the one before was big, this one is going to be even bigger.  I’m not going to project that far ahead because I don’t know what time of year it will be (2008 no doubt) or how I will have changed by then.  As that gets closer, I will start to think about my reward but at least I’ve put down a road-marker.

Triumph over Struggle There are going to be days that are harder than the rest.  There are going to be situations that require stamina and endurance.  Of that I have no doubt.  It’s how I handle them that is going to be the test.  I don’t want to put a disclaimer on here that the struggle has to be a certain level of difficulty, or that I have to endure it for a certain length of time.  I’ll know when I’ve had a particularly rough time and will reward myself accordingly for staying on course.  My reward of choice for this is Starbucks.  I love Starbucks and it’s hard to not go there at the drop of a hat.  I bought some Sugar Free Caramel Syrup and have been making my own Soy Lattes at home (it’s good, but not the same).  But as a reward for the abovementioned, I will be treating myself to The Original Grande Soy Latte w/ Sugar Free Caramel Syrup, No Foam.  It’s not particularly indulgent point-wise (3pts) but then, the idea is to reward myself for staying ON the plan and I don’t want a reward that is OFF the plan. Mmmmm….can I have a rough time right now to get one of those?  Kidding of course!

Persistence  I know that the weight isn’t going to continue to come off at over 5lbs/week.   My persistence during plateaus and tiny losses (or tiny gains) deserve reward.  They deserve reward because I will have to remind myself that I am doing the right thing, that it works and that I have to persevere.  I would love to put Starbucks in this slot too, but a non-food based reward is probably better in this situation.  So it’ll be something small, like a fashion ring, or nail polish or new eye-shadow.  Something like that where, when I see it or use it, I will be reminded that I’m on the right track.

My Ultimate Goal  Well, obviously my ultimate goal is to get to a suitable, healthy weight and look great!  But how will I reward myself for that?  I have some ideas but for now I will only share one.  I have a beautiful navy blue, sweetheart neckline, sleeveless evening gown.  It was custom made for me when I graduated high school.  It’s lined with navy blue satin, floor length and gorgeous.  So one of my rewards is going to be to wear that dress again and get my picture taken professionally (Kathleen?).  The idea in my head is that my twin sister and I both put those dresses on again and have our pictures taken together, on a beach.  The idea in my head is that the pictures are fun and funny and a visible reminder of what I’ve done.  Now, I know that in the last 11 years (Oh Lord!) my body may have changed so that that dress will never fit again (ladies, you know what I’m talking about) so I have a back up plan.  If I am not able to alter the dress to fit, I will go out and buy myself a new evening gown.  And THEN I’ll get my photo taken on the beach.  (Here’s the dress, with me in it 11 years ago)

grad-dress.jpg

So those are some of my goals and rewards.  Do you have anything special in mind for your milestones?  How do you reward yourself for staying the course? 

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION

Doozy!

Tonight is one of those nights that I was at a loss for something to write about.  I had a rough week at work and my mind is going in a million different directions right now.  I thought about just going to bed and not posting today, but I figured I’d have more of a chance of falling asleep if I could just focus some of my random thoughts; align them in some way.  So I went looking for a quote to give me some direction and I found this one: 

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…and you give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you up and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” ~ Neil Gaiman

That quote is very much one of the reasons that I am the way I am.  It is one of the biggest reasons that I overeat and why I let myself get to this point.  Love and all the stuff that goes with it is just too much.  It feels too good when it’s good and then hurts too bad when it’s over.  I chose at some point to just avoid the possibility altogether.  But it didn’t work.  Oh no!  It didn’t work at all and then I was blind-sided.  The phrase “nature abhors a vacuum” fits quite well, because as much as you try to eclipse something as important as being loved from your life, that is not the way that God intended it to be and the missing element attempts to find its way back.  In my case, for whatever reason, I fell for someone who did not reciprocate, but did exploit my feelings to his own end for a long time.  It took a long time for me to catch up to what was going on, and when I did I felt like an idiot.  I felt like everyone else knew long ago what I had only just figured out.  I felt like people were laughing at me and how naive I was.  I felt like a fool.  

“…and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up…” And someone did and now I have to sort out how to not let that happen again.  But this time I will do it without the food and without the fat.  So I am at a bit of an impass.  I don’t want to go forward because I can’t deal with the pain and the heartache again.  But I can’t go back to where I was because I wasn’t happy.  So what do I do?  I continue to take care of me.  First!  Foremost!  ME!  I make sure that I am living my best life (Oh Lord, I sound like Oprah!) and treating myself with the best care I can.  I will treat me the way that I hope, one day, that I will be able to let someone else treat me.  I will treat me with respect and admiration because I am worth the attention and the time and the love.  Because if I don’t believe it and act it and show it, how on earth can I expect someone else to?  How can I expect someone else to treat me better than I treat myself?   I will teach people how to treat me and I will do it by example.  So that maybe next time it won’t kill me inside. 

Learn and live.  Do you have any major issues that you have to find a way around?  Anything that has been a roadblock for you every other time you’ve tried to lose weight?  Have you made your way around a big pothole and finally have the map?  I know that those are probably very sensitive questions for most people.  If you can be brave and comment, please do.  And if you can’t right now, I totally understand.  It can take a long time before you can be honest with yourself, let alone the Internet!

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION 

  

Shake things up….

I’m sitting here at the Starbucks near where I work (after going to BestBuy Customer Service HELL) and thought I would write my entry from here. 

One of the girls at work had a terrible phone message this morning that was understandably upsetting.  When I saw her in the bathroom later that morning we were talking about how all a person wants to do in a trying situation is eat.  Before I started this website, I had never really been honest with myself, let alone anyone else, about the overwhelming urges that I have some days.  Pre-WW, on the bad days I would sit at my desk and all I could think about was what I was going to go home and eat.  It consumed me.  The day dragged by and I counted the minutes.  And then I would get home and carry out my plan with great vigor.  The trouble is that it is even more emotionally stressful to know that you are NOT going home to chew on the refigerator, which leads to the urge to eat.  It’s circular logic, I know.  It is kind of freeing in a way being honest with myself and with other people about my bad habits (like YOU for instance).  Makes it, again, not hidden and secretive.

My suggestion to Tarable was to go home, eat her alloted points and then go to bed.  If you’re sleeping, you can’t be eating, and as miserable as you are, sleep tends to erase the pain temporarily.  So I hope you’re in bed Tarable.  Stay strong.  I’m here for you!

On the topic of sleep, I’ve noticed that I don’t need as much.  Not that I don’t love staying in bed, but I find I’m able to go to bed later and I wake up somewhat rested.  I was waking up and feeling like I was in a coma, which is not surprising considering the quantity and un-quality of food that I was feeding my body.  When I got home today I had dinner and then was relaxing on the sofa, building my resolve for going to BestBuy.  I had a splitting headache and decided that I would close my eyes for a minute.  About 20 minutes later I woke up (Thanks Bird) and didn’t feel groggy and stupid like I normally do after I eat dinner and take a nap.  Now granted, my naps have always been hours long (I prefer to call them mini-sleeps) after I’ve eaten a large quantity of crap.  So this was a nice little surprise.  Another nice surprise was that today, it seems that my body has adjusted to the water intake and is not outputting it to such an extreme.  Yay!

Alright, this Starbucks internet access is costing me a fortune so that’s it for today.  No questions for you all today either….you get a Lady Shanny question break!  Feel free to comment on whatever you like today!  🙂

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION

OK, I’m ready……

…..for the shoe to drop.  Really.  I can take it.  Oh, the shoe isn’t coming?  Really?

OK, I’m being silly, but the truth is, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I’m waiting for someone to jump out of the bushes and yell “Ha-ha, we tricked you!  It’s going to get really hard now!”.  Because so far this is not hard.  Sure, it’s a bit of a pain in the arse to measure and weigh everything, but I chalk that up to learning a new skill called Portion Control. 

I’m actually sad because if I had known years ago that this isn’t a torturous way of eating and living, I could have spent a lot less time being fat.  I don’t know why it seems so easy now.  Why it seems so obvious, when every other time it was not obvious and certainly not easy.  Is it because I’m ready now?  Am I that different of a person now?  I know that personal struggle and trauma make us stronger and teach us lessons that we would otherwise not have learned.  But couldn’t I have had personal struggle and trauma as a skinny person?  No?  Dammit!

I caught myself this morning, 5.8lbs lighter than I was yesterday morning, second guessing myself.  I mean, how silly is that?  Obviously what I’m doing is working.  5.8lbs in one week!  And yet I couldn’t help but think that I was somehow doing it wrong, that next week the 5.8lbs would be back and each one of them would bring a friend.  I kept thinking that somehow it was a fluke.  And thinking like that is so disrespectful to myself.  I put forth a lot of effort to get that 5.8lbs off and I owe it to myself to be proud of what I did and what I am continuing to do.  I guess because I have failed so many times before that I am expecting myself to fail.  But I won’t!  I know that.  I know that I am following a proven food-lifestyle.  I think though, it has to do with suffering.  How many TV shows and movies and talk shows and magazine articles and books have we all absorbed that outline losing weight and following a healthy diet as something that you have to suffer through?  The fact is, on Weight Watchers, there is no suffering.  You don’t have to eat cardboard diet food.  You don’t have to eat anything that you don’t like.  If you knew me, you would know that I do not believe celery and olives should share the same planet as me.  They are disgusting, revolting, unappetizing, smelly excuses for a food product.  Honestly.  I could not hate them more!  And to me, in the pop-culture sense of the word, a ‘diet’ should be horrible and hard to follow and strenuous and time consuming and include the requirement of eating things that you don’t like.  I’m waiting for the WW meeting that I go to where they tell me “OK, you had an easy couple of weeks.  Now it’s time for the olive-celery portion of the program.” and then I run screaming from the building and chalk this up as another failure.  I know that’s not going to happen.  Because this time is different.  I don’t know how, I just know in my heart, my mind and my gut, that THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT!

Do you have any preconcieved notions of what losing weight should be like?  A particular food that would make you quit a program if you had to eat it?  Anything that you want to know or to talk about here?  As you can see, I’m quite wordy and if I have any experience in the area, I will expound on it to no end. 

And lastly, a lovely woman, Hueyea, put a note in my comments today.  It was a phrase that I had never heard before but have taken to heart:

PERSISTENCE NOT PERFECTION

If I’m cheating, who’s winning?

I know you are all waiting with bated breath, wondering how my first weigh-in went…..no?  Alright.  In any case, each week I will add the results to the ‘Results’ page on the left hand side (aptly named, yes?), but for this, the inaugural result, let me tell you a little story.

I’m sure you all read my self-sabotage story yesterday night.  Well, things didn’t really get any better from there, although I appreciate the comments, emails and Be In Touch’s that I got from all you lovely people.  I went to bed, had a nightmare and then woke up this morning with rocks in my stomach.  ROCKS!  All day I was nervous.  To the point that by the time I got home I was feeling sick to my stomach.  I took a bath to try to relax a little and then off to the meeting.  And all the worry was for nothing.  I lost 5.8lbs this week.  Now, before you all start nodding and saying ‘water weight’, just stop it!  I’m very proud of my little victory, leave it be.  So, each Tuesday evening (by Wednesday morning latest) I will post my results (good or bad) on the Results page.  I’ll leave the comments open on that page for you to post your results too, if you like.

Now, on to today’s topic.  Cheating.  If you are playing a board game, and you cheat, you gain an advantage, however ill-gotten.  The other person doesn’t notice (if you’re a good cheater) and you make headway where otherwise you might not have.  If you cheat on Weight Watchers, or any plan for that matter, who gains the advantage?  You?  No, you don’t gain anything by cheating.  In fact, you are in about the same boat as if you had been cheated against.  And that’s really what happens.  

I am trying to make headway in this new journey, and I won’t get there by self-sabotage or cheating.  As I mentioned, this website is going to be a bit self-discovering and I tonight I’m going to try to put my Emergency Cheating Contingency Plan into place. 

Problem:  I’m going to cheat.  I’m going to sit here and consume a lot of calories, all in the effort to make myself feel better about whatever is going on at the moment. 

Fact:  I know it won’t work.  I know that I will feel fat, untrustworthy, guilty and ultimately worse than I did to start with. 

Realize:  Food has been a companion and a comfort for a really long time and it’s not stupid or particularly unexpected to need to call on it now and then.  I will not be able to change a lifetime of behaviour overnight, or even in the forseeable future.

Solution:  Don’t be so hard on myself.   Accept the comfort that it might give, but openly and without hiding.  Write it down as a food choice.  Only without hiding it is it a conscious decision to accept it for what it is.  No shame, no hiding, no sneak-eating.

I realize that I am a perfectionist in some respects.  If I can’t do it well, I don’t want to do it at all.  That is going to be a pot-hole that I will have to watch for.  If I miss one day of writing in the tracker, if I go over one day, if I forget to make my lunch one day, it’s all over.  Honestly.  I’ve been down the road before, hit that pot-hole and went for a spill.  At least this time I can recognize it and attempt to steer around it, or get back up after I’ve fallen down.

Here’s to hoping everyone’s weigh-in this week went as well as mine did.  Feel free to leave your results in the comments section, here or on the Results page.  And if you have any suggestions or comments about cheating and potholes in the road, speak up.  The comments section loves EVERYONE!

Intentions

I had no intention of posting again today, but I’m having a rough evening.  Tomorrow is weigh-in day.  The first one in my journey and I really want to be successful.  I really want to know that this is working.  I’ve put alot of effort into this past week and yet the fear that I will not have lost this week is overwhelming!  So much so that I started to consider (subconciously) self-sabotage.  I ate all my points today and then when I was relaxing on the sofa, all I wanted to do was eat.  So I ate 3 points over and above what I normally get in a day.  Not a huge deal, but it feels a bit like a failure.  I know logically that they give you 35 weekly bonus points specifically for that, but I used them in the effort of self-sabotage, so now all I feel is guilt.  Subconciously (is it subconcious after you’ve figured out you’re doing it?) I figure that if I’m not down tomorrow, I can blame it on tonight.  I know it’s silly.  I want to win.  I want to rock this journey.  So why do I do things like this?  It’s very frustrating and disheartening, and to be quite honest, it makes me feel like a giant loser (and not in the good way).

ERG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well this isn’t fair!

Cigarettes, heroin, alcohol, cocaine.  In the recovery for all these addictions, you stay away from the object in question.  Far, far away.  That is the only way to overcome it.  But what about food addiction?  Don’t kid yourself, if you overeat for emotional reasons, even if you don’t know what they are, you probably are food addicted.  But how does a person ‘recover’ from an addiction when you have to be in direct contact with the offender every single day?

Although I’ve only just started WW, I have some experience in the diet, eat, diet, eat way of life.  You have to get to know yourself.  You have to learn what your triggers are, what feeling you have inside just before you overeat.  You have to know what foods you really do need to avoid at all costs. 

My pre-overeat feeling is sort of an itchy one.  I get sort of an itchy feeling in my chest area.  A feeling that needs to be ‘quieted’ with food.  If I don’t have a little self-talk, I get bitchy with myself.  Bitchy that I am being deprived, that this isn’t fair, that I should just accept that I am and will always be a fat person.  The self-talk that works the quickest for me is “Move.”  Go online, look at pictures, wash the floor, sort the laundry.  Do ANYTHING else.  Because if I just stay sitting there, the urge will overcome me. 

My trigger foods are anything sweet.  Tarable found some KozyShack puddings that are only 1 point each, but I can’t even go there.  I will eat them all.  Then I will go to the store and buy regular pudding and eat it all.  Sugar kills me.  I even stopped putting it in my coffee on the weekends because I’m a little afraid of what will happen.  People say that you can’t live your whole life totally avoiding something, but I think you can.  What about people with allergies?  They don’t even consider their allergy food when making menu choices.  And I am emotionally allergic to sugar. 

And my trigger emotions are….well…all emotions.  Seriously.  Happy?  Let’s celebrate with pizza.  Sad?  Let’s console me with cake.  Depressed?  Let’s comfort me with melty, delicious cheese.  Angry?  Let’s fly off the handle, write a scathing blog post, yell at the bird and then eat everything in the house.  This is why the WW points system is working for me.  I am good with structure.  As long as I plan and track and follow the points, there is no room for overeating and I have to find some other way to cope. 

This leads me to the next couple of posts:  Set goals that aren’t food related and When you cheat, who is winning?  But those are for next time.

I’ll pose my end-of-post-questions now, even though many of you don’t comment (maybe one day you’ll get brave).  What food do you have to avoid like the plague?  What self-talk phrase works for you when you’re having a moment?

The Why’s (well one of them)

As I was sitting here eating dinner today, I noticed that I was eating like it was the last food I would ever see.  Not because of the WW, but because that’s what I always do.  And it got me to thinking about why.  It got me to thinking about body image and the root cause (yes, that’s right, ROOT CAUSE….I’ve been working too much!)

I was never a fat kid.  It was only around my early teens that I can remember even thinking about my weight. And I only thought about it when someone else brought it up.  That someone was usually my grandparents.  Personal worth is defined by your personal appearance, according to my Gramma.  My Gramma is not tolerant.  She has very specific views about fat people (don’t even get me started on different races) and I think that she was so scared that my twin sister and I would end up fat that she eventually figured we were anyway and started treating us as thought it had already happened. 

My earliest memory of that was when I was very, VERY young.  I remember I was very young because the outfit in question she bought in a child’s size 6.  We were at our cabin in Saskatchewan at the time and I remember her wanting me to try the outfit on.  It was a one-piece shorts jumper and it didn’t fit.  It didn’t fit in the torso (crotch to shoulder) because my sister and I were already quite tall, I realize that now.  I remember her saying in a snarky voice “I don’t know why I bother buying you things, they never fit anyway.”  I remember vividly my face going hot and feeling like I didn’t measure up to what I was supposed to be and that I was a disappointment to my Gramma.

Another time I was with them in White Rock.  I lived in Prince George at the time and had come down for a visit.  My Gramma and I were standing knee deep in the ocean and my Grampa was taking our picture.  I was wearing a navy blue cropped tee shirt with denim shorts and she had her arm around my waist.  As my Grampa was telling us to smile, she pinched me in the side and told me to suck it in.  I wish I had the picture to show you.  I was tall and gangly and there was not an ounce of fat on me. (UPDATE:  Ok, I found the picture…and maybe gangly is not the right word, but I was NOT fat!)(and be nice about my spiral perm….this was 1996!)

ocean001.jpg

And finally (before this pity-fest is over), I lived in Red Deer and they came to get me and take me on vacation to our cabin in Sask.  My sister and I are fairly close to our aunties and uncles in Sask, despite only seeing them a couple of times a decade.  Anyway, we pulled into my Auntie’s driveway and she came out to greet us (this is a woman who has always had a weight issue, and has been morbidly obese in her life).  My Grampa ‘introduced’ me to my Auntie and said “She didn’t always used to be this fat”.  WTH? 

And now here we are, over 20 years after the first comment I can remember from her.  And I’m fat!  My sister and I have now struggled with weight issues for over half our lives.  Would we have gotten fat if she hadn’t gotten into our heads?  Who knows.   

It’s not all her fault.  She didn’t shove the food in my mouth.  But she did damage to my self-image and self-worth, and as soon as I was fat (or thought I was), I figured I had no value left.  So I ate.  And got fatter.  And felt more worthless.  So I ate.  And got fatter………you can see where this is going.  I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir.  I’m sure everyone who has a weight issue can somehow trace it back, even in part, to an event or events in their childhood. 

Do you remember a particular instance that started your road to where you are today?  Would you share?  Stay anonymous in the comments if you like, but it’s nice to know we’re not alone.

(PS.  My sister has recently lost all the excess weight and looks fantastic.  She is my goal-stick, and while I won’t be doing it in the same way, I am waiting for the day to come again when someone will look at my twin and I together and not be able to tell us apart)

    

Some Tips

I got alot of my reasons and fears out in the last post.  That feels pretty good.  So now I’m going to share some of the things that ease the transition to a new way of eating.  Ready?

1.  Leave a food scale on the counter.  You will use it often.  If you are measuring something sticky or messy (fruit, chicken), measure the food into a cheapy sandwich bag (those fold over ones are pretty good, $1.99 for 100).  Then you can just toss the bag and not have to worry about washing the scale bowl.  It’s a toss up between creating garbage and convenience of not having to wash the scale 19 times a day.

2.  Each evening, plan your menu (and use the tracker) for the next day.  I get my breakfast ready the night before (wash the peach, measure the cereal into a zippy bag, measure the milk into a little bottle) while I’m making my lunch for the next day.  Do the prep while you have the time.  The quickest way to fall out of line is when you have no extra time in the morning to decide what to eat, measure it and prepare it for breakfast and lunch.

3.  Find a water bottle that you like, figure out how many 8oz servings it is equivilant to and then start drinking it.  If it is hard for you to drink the water, try Crystal Light (the US has better flavours than Canada), try TrueLemon Crystals (in the juice crystal aisle).  Try drinking the water at room temperature or try it loaded with ice.  If you can trust me on something, trust this.  It does get easier to drink the water.  When you are no longer dehydrated, your natural thirst will return and the water will go down easier.  Also, if you find yourself visiting the loo 40 times a day, remember that if you stick with the water drinking, after a few days your body will adjust back to normal peeing frequency.  Also, every time I go pee, I imagine that I’m peeing out fat cells.  I don’t know if I am, but it makes me less bitter about being in a bathroom stall many, many times a day (just during the adjustment process). 

4.  My last tip for the day is this.  Write it down!  Get a large sheet of paper (packing paper, poster board) and put it on the fridge.  As you figure out the points values for something you eat all the time, jot it onto the paper.  It will be a quick reference for your frequent foods.  Also, write in your Quick Tracker that they give you at the meetings.  You HAVE to write down what you eat.  It is too easy to forget, to miscalculate, to go over or under.  WRITE IT DOWN!  Be as specific or general as you want.  Just make sure that when you read it back later you know what you ate.  And keep those journals.  Later on, if you are ever stuck for menu ideas, read over them.  You may find something that you had forgotten about.

Those are my tips.  Does anyone else have any tips that make preparation easier?  Something you do that you think others could benefit from?  Share!  That’s the corner stone of Weight Watchers.  Share your tips, share your success.

Welcome to My Journey

My journey is one of weight loss, one of rediscovering myself, who I am and making the outside match the inside.  I don’t know what this blog will turn into.  I’m not sure if it will be a self reflection?  Or if it will be funny like my other website?  Maybe both.  I just know that I didn’t want to chronicle this journey on “On Another Note”.  Maybe at some point I’ll link the two.  Maybe at some point I’ll put some pictures up.  But for now, I will say that at 6:30pm on September 4, 2007 I weighed 249.8lbs.  My heaviest weight yet.  That was the date and time that I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting.

 I made the decision to go to WW when I finally admitted to myself that I feel too old for my age.  When I finally admitted to myself that I have so many minor health issues that I can’t remember them all, let alone cope with them.  When I finally admitted that I can wish for the weight to go away forever, but until I actually DO something about it, I will get fatter and fatter and fatter.  I admitted that this would not be easy.  I admitted that I would not enjoy it some days.  I admitted that my weight will always be an issue.  I also refused to be fat on my 30th birthday, which as of today is 15 months and 12 days away.  I noticed people around me who are heavier start to lose weight and I felt left behind.  But why?  No one is leaving me behind.  I’m leaving me behind.  By doing nothing I am committing myself to a life of fat, and all that goes with it. 

The scary thing is, I’ve made this effort before.  I’ve made the committment before.  And here I am, making it again.  Why?  Because I didn’t stick with it.  I have no doubt that WW works.  I have no doubt that The Zone works.  I have no doubt that eating less calories than you burn in a day will result in losing weight (it’s a basic law of physics).  But why haven’t I stuck with it?  I know some of the reasons.

* I am scared that people will not like me for who I am.  By people, I mean men.  So I put the layer of fat on and then blame that for why I’m single.

* I have never been the current me at a smaller size and I don’t know what that would be like.  Fear of unknown.

* I worry that once I slim down, I will find someone (read:  man) and won’t be alone anymore.  I know that is a direct contradiction of the first point.  But I have been alone for a long time and changing my living situation, having someone else want something from me, depending on someone else and possibly being disappointed, those are all scary things.

* I don’t want to put my trust in people because I have been disappointed too many times.  Keeping the fat on is an excuse to not go out and do anything or meet anyone.  I can’t be disappointed by you if I’ve never met you.

Those are some of the reasons why previous attempts haven’t worked.  Some of the reasons haven’t been uncovered yet.  So why is this time different?  For one thing, this website.  I don’t journal.  Never have, never will.  But blogging is extremely cathartic for me.  Writing is something that I am very good at, something that I enjoy.  So this blog will help in a couple of ways.  First, it gives me something to do when I’m itching to lay on the couch and eat.  Second, I find that when I have nothing to write about, it’s because of an emotional log-jam.  So if I sit here and force the words out, I can sometimes discover things about myself that I wasn’t aware of.  And I figure out new coping mechanisms.   All of which will be shared on this website.  Those days that I don’t know what to write, chances are you will see a quote of some type at the top and my thoughts on it.  I know lots of people don’t like blogs with quotes on them, but I find it a good way to get the juices flowing.

Now, on to the actual lifestyle.  I’ve only been doing it for 3 days.  But let me tell you!  If you drink the amount of water they want you to (8 glasses/day, one glass=250ml), you will notice a change immediately.  Even my drag-drags felt looser.  The water has made my skin glow and my eyes sparkle again.  I had no idea how dull and pasty I was getting.  The meal plan is not restrictive for me.  It does restrict portion size and calorie intake, but not ridiculously.  I don’t feel hungry at all.  The best part for me is that, unlike The Zone (which was effective for me in the past), there are no off-limit foods.  You can have whatever you want.  For instance, an english muffin is 3 points (I currently get 30 points/day).  On The Zone, that type of thing is essentially forbidden.  I am also able to eat just what I want, when I want.  Z had a pretty specific eating schedule and very specific food combinations (you could not just have an apple as a snack, it had to be combined with a protein source).  I see some benefit to reducing things like potatos and rice because the amount you get for the points you have to ‘spend’ is really minute.  But if you want it?  Go nuts.  But when the points are gone at the end of the day you better have made the proper choices because the food is over until the next day.

I think that’s where I’ll leave off for today.  I do not write this blog because I want to advertise my personal struggle.  I write this blog because it helps me.  It is easier for me to write as though someone will be reading it.  And so, if you stumble across this site and have read this far, go ahead and leave me a comment.  Agree with me?  Struggling in your own weight loss?  And if you don’t want to comment, that’s fine too.