A Little Scared

Where should I be right now?  In bed, long asleep.  Where am I right now?  Sitting on the sofa a little drunk and a lot confused. 

I know that I’ve mentioned this here before, but I’m at a point that I never, EVER thought I would get to.  The point where I have to decide if I’m done losing weight.  I know that, again, this is a great problem to have, all things considered, but it’s still weighing pretty heavily on my mind.  There is no real way to know if you will cross the line from healthy to sickly, weight-loss-wise, until you actually do it.  I would really rather not cross that line and so I’m having to tread gently as I move forward.  You see, according to the BMI Calculator I am just on the very inside of being Normal Weight (which means I’m on the borderline of being overweight).  To get right to the middle of my Normal Weight Range, I would have to weigh 150 pounds (which is another 22 pounds down) and that is just not reasonable for me. 

Realistically I realize that I cannot keep losing weight forever and still expect to be healthy.  In fact I think I’m probably right on the borderline right now as far as what will continue to look good and still serve me, health-wise.  I could easily continue right along the road that I’m on and keep my intake low and my output high and the weight would keep coming off, probably indefinitely.  There comes a point though when it truly is no longer necessary to keep taking weight off.  I realize all of that.  It is completely another thing to actually do something about it. 

I can look in the mirror now (sans clothes) and I’m pretty pleased with what I see. I realize that no amount of further weight loss is going to change my body type.  That’s something that I never really realized until just very recently.  I have the exact same body type and problem areas that I had when I was 75+ pounds heavier.  It’s all still exactly the same, just smaller.  I still have a tummy, it’s just much smaller.  The only way that I could ever expect to get rid of that is to do a whole bunch more exercise and start tightening and toning things up.  And then?  It might never be completely eliminated.  I’m actually alright with that.  I know where I came from.  I know how much good I’ve done for myself and I’m not in the slightest bit ashamed of the fact that I don’t have a model’s body.  I will wear a swimsuit this summer and not be horrified to let anyone see me in it.  I feel good and I’ve done well.  I’m healthy and I work at my fitness and I make good choices and I cannot expect my body to be anything that it is not. 

It’s the matter of now stopping the weight loss.  You see, I’ve been getting on the scale once per week for 31 weeks and expecting to see it go down.  And it has gone down every single one of those weeks save for 2.  That mind set of reduction is going to be a hard one to change since it’s driven everything that I’ve done thus far.  It’s going to be rough on me mentally to start seeing the scale go up a bit here and there because I am going to be in fear that it will just keep going up!  I have to somehow find a way to maintain my weight in my personal range.  Since my range is 170-160, I will have some room to wiggle around.  It’s going to be a matter of making sure that my weight is IN the range and then not worrying too much about it.  I know it’s actually a larger range than most people would take (WW lets you have a 2 pound range).  Since 160 is probably much too low for me, and I would not want to be anymore than I am now, the actual movement in the range is probably going to be from the middle to the high end (165-170). 

Honestly, this whole part scares the crap out of me.  I am heavily resisting putting the brakes on the weight loss.  In fact I’m so resistant to it that my dear friend suggested that I am walking a fine line of having a bit of a problem.  I truly do not have the kind of problem that he mentioned.  I am simply having a hard time flipping the switch from losing to maintaining.  Losing is an action that I have been really successful at.  It’s always nice to see a new number every week and to make progress, to buy new sizes, to wow even myself when I look in the mirror or look at photos.  It’s actually DOING something.  Maintaining what I’ve already done is the same amount of effort but there is no reward on the scale anymore.  If everything works out properly, my weight graph should just start to show a nice level line.  Since I would probably avoid flipping that switch indefinitely, I will continue to the end of SPRING FORWARD.  Wherever I end up by May 2nd when I go to Seattle is where I will put the brakes on.  Dear friend made a pretty decent point that since I’m going to Seattle that weekend to spend a whole bunch of time shopping and a whole bunch of money on clothes, where I am when I make those purchases should be where I’m to stay for the most part.  A switch of a couple of pounds in either direction shouldn’t make too much of a difference in the fit of those clothes.  The need to keep tailoring my pants and never having anything that fits is driving me batty and that just might be the catalyst I need to flip that damn switch!

I also have to remember that while the scale may not be moving, I am still going to be able to mark off improvement and progress in my running and whatever other fitness I take up.  I’ll be able to find a way to maintain my weight and still push myself physically.  At least that’s the plan!

So Dear Friend suggested two methods of going about this calorie increasing thing (because that’s the only way, short of ceasing to exercise altogether that I will stop losing weight).  The first option was to increase calories for every day of the week, spreading it out across all 7 days.  The second option was to keep everything locked down from Monday to Friday and then relax it all on the weekend.  I’m more inclined to pick the second option because it’s really the best of both worlds.  By keeping it on the level from Monday to Friday I’m keeping myself in the mindset of lower intake and higher output.  I would never really lose the momentum of what I’ve created in the last 31 weeks.  And then on the weekends (which, as I become less single, are going to be more relaxed anyway) I can relax and just let life happen.  Plus, when holidays or vacations come up I’m already going to be used to letting go for a couple of days and then getting right back on track. 

So that’s where I am right now.  Certainly not anywhere I ever thought that I would be.  Too skinny?  Ha!  You’ve got to bloody be KIDDING me!  And yet this spot I’m in of having to make that decision is proof that I did it and that feels good.  If you start out your weight loss journey as I did, knowing that there is never going to be an end point (which is, in my opinion, the only possible way to be successful) and that you’ll have to fight for your whole life for this then this spot that I’ve found myself in is one of the only indicators that the losing phase is over, that it’s time for the focus to change.

As I have done the entire time that I’ve been doing this, I’ve reassessed as I’ve gone along and made sure that what I was doing was still working for me.  I’ve tweaked here and there to get things to work exactly as I want them.  Tweaking this part is just going to take a little more time and focus.  One of the ways that I’m going to change things starting right now is to count points up rather than down.  If you are following WW you know that you start out with a balance ‘in the bank’ and then you eat out of those points all day and ideally you end up at zero by the end of the day.  Well since that need to end up at zero can be incredibely restrictive for me, I’m going to count UP.  We’ll see how that goes.

So as we can see, this is what happens when you have a long talk with a friend, skip exercise in favour of beer drinking and then sit down and type out a post.  Long and wordy!  Fortunately there is no hockey tomorrow so I’ll be doing a good hard run and working some of this stuff out in my head as I do it.

As always, comments are more than welcome!

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What Was I Expecting?

First weigh in for SPRING FORWARD was not as solid as I would have liked.  Less than a pound…(-0.6)…but that’s still going in the right direction.  How did you guys do?  Sybil?  Ladybeams?  Kirsten?  (p4p, I know you’ll post on your own website)

I’ve been giving some thought to what I was expecting to have happen by this time when I started out to lose the weight.  I realized that I never really gave any thought to what I could expect to see when I got here.  Mostly because I have never BEEN here, but also that I had a certain concept in my head and that’s all I really cared about.  I never thought about what I would be faced with doing once I reached this point.  I didn’t give any thought to how I would move away from the losing and towards the maintaining.  I had no concept of how my body would look after losing this much weight.  I do have to say, without giving out too much information, that I really like the way I look, sans clothes.  There are certain parts that I want to tone up and in a perfect world I would fix immediately, but overall I would not be embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit at this point.  I’m not going to run out and put on a string bikini but I’m pretty pleased with how things have turned out.

What I need to do now is just relax and let the scale do its thing.  There shouldn’t be any major drops coming now, I’m pretty close to being as small as I’m likely to get.  I fully believe that I will end up losing more weight as the months go by but it’s not going to be anything huge like it has been.  Now I need to just concentrate on the status quo, increasing my fitness/cardio and starting to live in this new body. 

In a conversation with my dear friend this morning we were discussing whether or not I even should be losing anymore weight at all.  I have it to lose, but is it likely that I will lose it where I want to?  Or is it more likely that I will lose it in the curvy, girly parts and still have it where I least want it?  From that perspective I would not want to lose anymore.  On the other hand I’ve come so far and it might be a shame not to find out just how trim I can get.  I’m not sure which one I want.  In a study that someone posted, something like 90% of men, when shown pictures of sizes 8, 10, 12 and 14 women, picked the 12 and 14 women as the most physically attractive while the women picked the size 8 woman as the most appealing.  So while I would LOVE to be a size 8 (don’t laugh, I’m closer to that than you might think!), I don’t want to go so far as to not be attractive to the opposite sex anymore (that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it!).  But then you have to consider that the more attractive YOU feel that you are, the more that comes across as confidence and that is sexy as hell (or so I’m told). (plus, I’m already out of the 12-14 category anyway)

We’ll see.  I think that if I keep running and keep eating well then I am bound to continue to lose the excess fat that I have from wherever it decides to leave from.  It’s such a fine line on both sides though.  Do I stop now and start eating more so that I don’t lose anymore weight?  Or do I keep going until my body literally doesn’t have another ounce to lose and just stops of its own accord?  One of them I would be in complete control of and the other one just happens when it happens.  I know exactly what one of them looks like and the other one is a bit of a mystery.  And I know me and getting down another 12 pounds would certainly be something that I am willing to go after, but I know that I would NOT want to see the scale start to rise if I decided I didn’t like the way it looked or that it wasn’t sustainable.  I also need to realize that unless I’m willing to start going to the gym and training really hard, I am always going to be a soft (in a good way), curvy woman.  I think I could potentially get to that solid, completely toned up point, but am I willing to put in that kind of effort?  I’m not sure, we’ll have to see.

I almost wanted to withdraw from the April challenge (SPRING FORWARD) because I don’t think it’s reasonable for me to try and lose another 8-10 pounds in only 3 weeks.  I decided to stay in though because a targeted goal like that can’t hurt even if at this point it doesn’t seem like I’m going to come even close.

So onward we go, ever closer to whatever that final number ends up being.  Let’s get cracking!

Little or Lots

It’s a little bit windy

I’m a little bit tired

It’s a lot sunny

I’m a little bit hungry

It’s a lot clean in here

I’m a little bit sunburned

I’m a little bit bored

I’m a little bit unsure

I’m a lot busy all the time these days (and maybe getting even busier pretty quick!)

I’m a lot looking forward to getting my hair done on Saturday

I’m a little bit jealous that Sister is going to Rascal Flatts

I’m a lot looking forward to this summer

I’m a little bit annoyed with my iPod

I’m a lot in love with my new iPod headphones though

What are you a little or a lot of?  What is going on in your life in littles or lots?  Share in the comments.  When I sat down to write this blog post it just all sort of came out all listy like this.  It’s actually a pretty decent way to take a quick life inventory.

So p4p named the April challenge (you guys should go thank her because otherwise you would have had a month of me calling it something stupid like Apocolypse April!)

So the new challenge is from April 1st to April 29th (for me it’s 5 Tuesday weigh-ins but you can adjust to fit your own weigh in schedule) and it’s called SPRING FORWARD.  The challenge is to lose 8-10 pounds through the month of April in whatever manner you choose, providing you do it healthily and intelligently.  Want to get on board with us?  Leave a comment so we can all cheer each other on!

March Madness: Final Results

(note:  Lacey, your email address you left in the Ask Lady Shanny box is not valid.  If you want an email back from me, please resend with corrected address)

Hi April!  Nice to see you!  Since you’re finally here, does that mean it’s going to start getting warmer outside?   

March Madness is over and I have my final tally ready.  I should point out that I was uber-annoyed this evening when I weighed since I am up over a pound and a half from yesterday morning.  Some things about being a girl SUCK!  But since I am honest and I report my actual weight I reported the higher number, what it actually said 5 minutes ago.  During March Madness I lost a total of 10.2 pounds.  That means that I surpassed my goal of losing between 8-10 pounds in March by 0.2!!!  Good job, ME!!!  How did you guys do?  Final results in the comments if you’re willing.

I received an email the other day asking me when I was going to post a new picture.  Since I am almost a full 20 pounds less than the last one, I think it’s time.  I have a hair appointment on Saturday and then I’m going to go and visit a friend of mine.  We’ll do the picture then and I’ll post it on Saturday evening.  I actually can’t wait to see it!  When the last picture was taken I figured I looked pretty good and that there wasn’t going to be much difference after that.  I think there will probably be a bit of a difference…especially since the yoga pants and jacket I was wearing in the shot are both too big for me to be wearing out in public anymore.  I’ve talked about skewed body perception before and until I have a picture that I can look at and examine and compare, I have a hard time really knowing what I look like.  Sure, I know that I’ve shrunk some but since I’m still me and I see me every day it’s hard to really know how drastic the change is. 

So now I need a goal for April.  I have the big out of country shopping trip planned for May 2-4 so I’m definitely going to want to be down as close to my final number as possible.  That said I will set the same goal for April; 8-10 pounds in a healthy and intelligent manner over the course of April (last weigh in would be April 29th).  At the outside of that range I would be at 167.4 which would put me right at the high edge of my self-prescribed range.  Any ideas on what I should call it? April Attitude?  Astronomical April?  OK, I suck at being creative like that.  p4p, want to name it this time?  (if you’re playing, that is) 

That’s all I have for you this evening.  Not because I’m waffling about the website again, don’t worry.  I’ve just had a rather bumpy afternoon, intestinally, and I’m feeling shaky and overall not so great.  I’ll be fine in a short while, I know what it was.  I guess what I learned today is that when you go to The Giant Coffee Chain and order your drink with soy, you should actually WATCH them and make sure that they make your beverage with soy.  Especially when the guy didn’t understand your order to begin with so you had to repeat it and then you get your beverage and notice that they did not write on the cup or the sleeve what you actually ordered.   So when an hour later you think you might be dieing, the chances are pretty good that they didn’t actually USE the soy beverage.  Right.  Lesson learned!  Thank heavens that today is a no exercise day in my schedule! 

March Madness: Weigh In #4

I’m ever so sorry that I forgot to give you guys my March Madness update on Tuesday.  The goal of March Madness was to lose 8-10 pounds in the month of March (last weigh-in for me will be April 1) in whatever manner you choose, the only rule being that you have to do it safely and intelligently.  So far in this challenge I’ve lost 9 pounds leaving me with only 1 pound to lose this coming week to meet the outside parameter.  Not bad!  I really think that having an actual numbered goal to meet in a numbered period of time is a great idea because then you have something real to aim at. 

Now, moving on. 

Do you ever remember as a kid your mom saying to you, “No, you don’t need anything else to eat today.” when you were whining for a snack or a treat?  Do you remember if it was because you were bored or wanted comfort or attention?  I do know that this last week I’ve been whining for a snack or a treat in the worst way!  I’ve been working crazy long hours for the last 2 weeks and I think my snack needs are actually misread sleep needs.  Plus it’s Fourth Week right now which totally doesn’t help and it feels like FW has been dragging on forever! 

For the last two weeks, every morning I get up at a completely unreasonable hour, have breakfast over an hour and a half earlier than I normally do and then by 7am I’m starving.  What I’ve done is made my day about 2 hours longer but I’ve left my meals and snacks in the same places.  My brain thinks “It’s time to eat because normally we take our coffee break 3 hours after we have breakfast.”.  Unfortunately 3 hours after I have breakfast these days is still 2 hours before coffee time.  So I think even though my exercise has stayed the same I probably need to add in another small snack (and not just move calories around,sticking with my standard 1250) to avoid any ‘hanging on’ of calories.  I know long hours, routine change and added stressors can cause me to want to bury myself in food and not come out for awhile.  Purposely adding something else in to the day’s food will certainly help me stay content long enough to avoid that.

I think that this is all rubbing off on my exercise too.  The past couple of days I’ve had the worst time trying to convince myself to get out and run.  I’ve done it but I’ve been bitter and twisted about it.  And while I’m doing it I feel like I have a water buffalo tied to each leg, my breathing is very wheezy and the voice in my head that tells me I have to stop drowns out my iPod.  So is that from Fourth Week?  Or is it harder to exercise when you are mentally tired and when you’ve changed up your routine.    Not to be completely stupid, but I really don’t know since I’m pretty much making this up as I go along.  I’ve added an extra couple of hours to my day in the morning but I’m going to bed at a pretty reasonable time and I’m getting around 8 hours of sleep (sometimes a titch more).  If you shift your total sleep time up by two hours, are you getting less rest?  Or is 8 hours the same no matter what time you go to bed or get up at?  Does this all have any effect on performance in exercise?   I hope these questions don’t make me sound completely stupid.  Since I’m pretty much making this up as I go along, I’m bound to run into these bumps in the road.  This particular bump is going to go on for the next 4-6 weeks at least so I’m going to have to find some way to navigate around it.  Maybe like any change it will get easier as time goes by…maybe this is just the adjustment phase.  I think the first step is definitely eating a little more to make up for those extra hours. 

Do you guys have any thoughts?  Anything that you’ve noticed?  Have you had a hard time getting weight off when you’ve changed your routine even though you haven’t changed your calorie intake or burnoff?  Have you gained weight during the adjustment?

Your Choice

Hi happy blog-friends!  I’ll be back later to do a real post, but first I have a question.  On my other blog I have a guest poster that does product reviews.  What I wanted to know is, do you want to see product reviews on a seperate page on the left for low and medium points/calorie things that we’ve tried.  It won’t be recipes (we already have that page), but rather the things that you find in the grocery store. 

The guest blogger’s name is Penguin and, you guessed it, it’s a penguin.  Penguin does his likes and dislikes, his overall opinion and usually posts a picture of the product, where he bought it and how much he spent.

What I need to know is, do you want me to invite Penguin over to this blog? 

This website is something that I do primarily for me and I’m thrilled that other people find inspiration, enjoyment and distraction in the posts.  Penguin Reviews would be totally for you guys though (I talk to Penguin on a regular basis and already know what he thinks of most things), so speak up.  If you come here and read but never comment, now would be a good time to come out of the woodwork….

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?

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!

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

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.