Thursday, June 9, 2016

Rewiring my brain

This is a real switcheroo in my behavior. I went to Weight Watchers on Monday night, and I have tracked every bite of food for three full days, stayed within my Point allotment and actually walked two of the three days.

Today I even went for a 3-mile hike through the woods during my lunch hour (with a girlfriend from work). I'm working up to getting back to the gym, but at the moment the extra walking is all I can do. I'm easing myself back into more activity. Tonight my knees, hips, and legs ache. Getting back into shape is more painful than I remember. Perhaps being almost 61 years old has something to do with it.

I've been thinking of something a friend of mine that's a Chemical Dependency Counselor told me about people that are alcoholics or drug addicts. Many overweight people I know say they're addicted to food. I hear it all the time in Weight Watcher meetings, and I've said the same thing about myself many times. That food is my drug of choice.

I asked my friend what is the trick to getting off of drugs or alcohol. How does someone addicted let go of that thing they love so much that's destroying their life? He said it's a matter of rewiring their brain. The brain is very powerful and when it gets something that makes it feel good, it wants more of it. It will continually nag at you and do anything it can to make you get that thing that makes it feel good. Even though it knows it's not good for you, it still wants it. You have to stop that type of thinking and take control of the brain.

I realize this sounds like we have two brains in our head, but in a really weird way, I get what he's saying. My brain is an addict to sugar. It always wants sugar, telling me how good it'll make me feel. Even though I know it's not good for me, I hear the voices in my head tell me it's okay, you can quit tomorrow. A bag of cookies today, then we'll call it quits. Ha! I know that doesn't work.

Right now, I'm trying to rewire my brain. It is not easy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Here I go again

I've had so many false attempts at losing weight, that I was just about ready to give up. Forget about the whole thing, the "thing" being losing weight. Seriously, I'm just tired of trying and failing.

Then a couple things happened. A dear friend that had the sleeve weight loss surgery has lost 150 pounds and is still losing. I had a twinge of jealousy when I saw her recently. She's one-year post op and almost at her goal weight. I don't envy her not being able to eat more than a bite of food at a time or the loose skin or sadly the wrinkles in her face that I'd never noticed before. I do, however, envy her skinny thighs. I envy how she doesn't even think of food and forgets to eat.

Another friend, that I went to New York with about two weeks ago (part work, part fun), is doing the Kettibility program (only in Seattle). A mix of an intense boot camp kettle ball workout with "Russian" kettle balls, the Whole 30 eating plan, submitting daily food journals (via Facebook) and weekly weigh-ins. I've never seen this friend so excited about weight loss. And yes, she's doing amazing.

So what about me? I went back to Weight Watchers tonight. It's been a while, probably a couple months, since I even attempted to watch what I was eating. I was surprised I'd actually gone down a few pounds since my last weight. I think I was 224 last time I weighed in, and today, at my 6:30pm weigh-in, I was 219. I told the Weight Watcher gal to wipe out my account, and I was started new today.

So yes, here I go again. Another attempt at losing weigh. No grand plans here or ideas on how I'll really make it happen this time. Just a short note that I'm still here, and I haven't given up.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Getting my priorities straight





A few days ago I had a ligtning-bolt thought. There never seems to be enough time for all the things I want to get done. Then I realized something, I'm putting too much time into things that aren't really that important, and the really important things in my life are being ignored.

I spend too much of my precious time on my hair, makeup and nails. It's become a borderline obsession with me. Is my hair healthy? Is it the "right" shade of blond, should it be lighter or darker? If I wear it straight, is is straight enough or is that a bit of natural curl I see? If I wear it in "beachy" waves, is it too curly or not wavy enough? Is that a split end I see?! It's ridiculous how much time, energy and money I put into worrying and fussing over my hair, and I won't even go into my makeup and nails.

My thought that woke me up:

Does any of this stuff really matter when my body is at least 75 pounds overweight?

Maybe I should focus on my biggest problem, which has nothing to do with my hair, makeup or nails. My body is the first thing people see when they look at me. I doubt they notice the perfect hair, flawless makeup, and the perfectly manicured nails. Okay, I exaggerate a little  - those are my goals that I spend a lot of time trying to obtain, and never really reach. Which means it's pretty much a big waste of time.

It's the body that makes the biggest impression. Beyond what other people think of me, isn't the most important thing for myself is that I'm living a healthy lifestyle? That I feel physically healthy, and I have energy to get through the day. Packing around an extra 75 pounds doesn't feel good, and it's exhausting. Who cares about the hair, makeup and nails if I feel horrible because of my weight.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I work with mostly young men (early 30's) that are all physically fit. I'm a sixty-year old female who is terribly out of shape. I already don't "fit in" to the mold, but with the added weight, I'm even more of an outsider. I can't change my gender or my age, but I can sure do something about my weight.

I've made some very conscious changes this weekend, that I plan on carrying into my workweek:

1. A simpler hairstyle

This is going to be a struggle, but I don't need to look like I just stepped out of a salon when I go to work (I work in IT - software development). I haven't quite figured out an easy style that I don't hate, but I'm trying different things. So far a simple blowout seems the fastest and easiest. Surprisingly, it doesn't look as hideous as I thought it would.

2. Less makeup.

This one is easier for me - this make-up for older women article helped. Somehow I got carried away with eye shadows, eye liners, lots of mascara, and trying to get flawless looking skin. Seriously, it's 60-year old skin. It's never going to look flawless again, even with a lot of expensive products.

3. Bare nails

I've worn nail polish for most of my life. This will probably be the biggest challenge for me, although not worrying about a chip in my polish will be very freeing. I loved gel nails, but I gave them up after the cancer. Somehow soaking my nails in acetone for ten minutes every couple of weeks didn't seem to be a good idea. Most nail polishes contain toxic chemicals so I've already thought I should stop because of the cancer.

This is going to free up a lot of time (and money). You may be wondering what I'm going to do with all that free time.

New Priorities

1. Morning gym

For almost three years I went to the gym at least four times during the work week, at 5am. Then one day in 2012 I stopped. I don't even remember why, but I just stopped. The weight came back on (75 pounds) which made it even harder to get my big, fat butt out of bed in the morning and off to the gym.

2. 10,000 steps

I was diligent about this with my FitBit. Even at my highest weight, I would get in my 10,000 steps on most days. Then I stopped caring. Again, I don't know why. I'm also really disappointed that the Weight Watcher app no longer supports the Apple watch, my extravagant Christmas gift to myself. I love all the Apple watch features, but I miss syncing my activity.

3. Track my food in my Weight Watchers app AND stay within my Point limit

This is easier if I eat healthier, but when I eat poorly I don't want to see how bad I did. If I always track, it's an incentive to stay on the right track.

4. Weigh every day

This works for me. A lot of people disagree, but I need to do a daily checkin on myself. It's so easy to avoid the scale and gain five pounds (I just did that!).

~~~ 

I downloaded the Habit List app on my phone. It's not fancy, but is just a list of habits that you set up yourself. You can set reminders and at the end of the day you can check off the things you completed. Then it tells you your "streak" of days of being successful, and it has a completion rate.  So far, it's really helpful in keeping me on track. Please note that "Update blog" is on the list, so I will be back tomorrow!









Sunday, January 10, 2016

You can't outrun your fork



Update: After I wrote this post, I very reluctantly decided it was time to change my profile picture. The old picture was when I weighed 152 and was taken six years ago (I was 54). I haven't aged well, and the additional 70 pounds I gained haven't been kind to me. It's a start to facing my reality and doing something about it. 

Every day is a struggle for me to stay on a healthy path. Some days I'm successful, other days I'm a failure, and some days are a little of both.

Yesterday was a mixture of success and failure. Success on my eating, well, sort of a success. I didn't follow the Weight Watcher plan exactly, and I only ate 20 of my 30 Smart Points. What I ate was very healthy, but I was super busy and didn't make time to eat (this almost never happens). I was starving at 10 p.m., but I went to bed hungry. So I wasn't perfectly on plan, but I tried.

I didn't make it to the gym, I didn't walk outside like I had planned to do (and it was a gorgeous day), and I didn't even come near to making my 10,000 steps. I did go to the mall because I had to get my hair done. I did some shopping, and I walked in the mall for what felt like miles, but according to my Apple watch, I only got in 5,000 steps. So exercise was a big fail.

I still call it a good day. At least I made an effort to eat right, and if I had to chose eat right or exercise, I'll take eat right. My old Weight Watcher leader used to always say "you can't outrun your fork". Meaning if you don't cut back on the eating, it's unlikely that you can exercise enough to burn off all those extra calories. This is very true. In the past I could spent two hours at the gym, then eat too much and gain weight. Cutting back on food intake is number one to losing weight. Exercise is still important, but it takes a back seat to my eating.

The plan for today is head outside and get in a good, brisk walk this morning. Of course, that's dependent on getting my lazy kitty off my recliner footrest. That's her grumpy cat face because I woke her up to take this picture.


Missy, my only kitty, enjoying a nap.
 (until I poked her and told her to wake up for a picture)


For those of you that noticed, yes, that is my Christmas tree in the background. I usually take it down the day after Christmas, but I put it up two days before Christmas so I've been reluctant to take it down. Today is the day, it's coming down.

Today is also going to be a fantastic day of healthy eating and exercise!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Confession is good for the soul

I forgot to post yesterday. This is a really hard habit to get back into. Just like the gym. Just like remembering I have to track every bite of food I eat. Just like walking shouldn't be a leisure activity, but I need to sweat. Just like I can't eat every time I feel a hunger pang.

This is not easy. Of course, if it was easy there wouldn't be any overweight people (how many times have we heard that one?). Losing weight is hard work, and keeping it off is even harder. 

I have a confession to make that I haven't told anyone, except my boyfriend. I feel guilty about this, but here it goes. I have a very good friend, who is also my ex-sister-in-law. She is one of my dearest friends, although we don't see each other as often as we used to. She was about 130 pounds overweight. In April last year she had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (bariatric surgery). In the first six weeks she lost 40 pounds. She has since lost a total of 120 pounds, which I found out from her husband. I'm very happy for her, because I know how important this was to her. I'm also insanely jealous and envious of her success.

I hate myself for feeling like this, and for trying to avoid her. She's texted a few times to meet for coffee (she doesn't really eat anymore), and I made excuses to not see her. She texted me two night's ago asking for my vet's name because she had a very sick kitty, and my vet is open until 10pm. I ended up calling her and we talked for an hour about everything. I admitted to her I was jealous, and she was so sweet to me. She understood. We're meeting for coffee next week and I know nothing will be different between us. She's still my good friend, just a skinnier version. 




I would love to have this surgery. I know my friend was miserable for the first month and could barely swallow the smallest bites of food without them getting stuck in her esophagus. She said she feels great now. She still barely eats because she can't eat much without getting sick. She has to drink the bariatric shakes to get enough nutrition and take supplements - for the rest of her life. She's still losing weight, but not as quickly now. She wants to lose a little more weight, but she wouldn't say how much. 

I know weight loss surgery is not an easy fix. There's still a lot of mental issues that need to be dealt with. If my friend is going to therapy, she hasn't mentioned it. She's one of the sweetest, most loving people I know. I also know no one gains 130+ pounds unless there's something else going on. I know her marriage is difficult. She's married to my ex-husband's brother. Although he's a nicer version, he still has some serious issues.   

If I hadn't had Uterine Leiomyosarcoma (cancer) a couple years ago, I'd seriously consider this surgery. At least, I think I'd consider it. My boyfriend thinks it would be a huge mistake to mess with my body chemistry after I had the surgery to remove the cancer. Plus the fact that the cancer has a 50% chance of coming back. Having voluntary invasive surgery just seems like I'd be asking for trouble. Plus the long-term effects of the surgery aren't something I want to deal with (possible malnutrition).

I'm not having the surgery, but I can't help the feelings I'm having about my friend's rapid weight loss. I wish I could let go of the these feelings, but I  guess I'll just have to deal with them as I continue to do my best to lose weight the old fashioned way (called Weight Watchers...diet and exercise). 


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Best diets for 2016

I can't believe I forgot to post anything yesterday. I thought about it, but then quickly forgot. It's funny how blogging was a natural part of my every day life, and now I simple forget about it. That is going to change this year!

My diet is going okay, not so much on the exercise. In fact, the diet isn't exactly perfect either. I forgot my lunch yesterday and went to Subway for a turkey sub. I didn't check the points first and was shocked to see it was 8 Smart Points. So many things have changed with Weight Watchers recently. I knew the old Point system really well and could rattle off the Points for most food items I eat. Not anymore! It's very different now.

The gym is on the agenda for tonight. I've committed to go with my boyfriend so I can't disappoint him. I'm aiming for a minimum of three days a week gym and three days a week walking at lunch. We'll see how successful I've been by Friday. 

Since I'm about ready to head out the door for work, this post is going to be a short one. One thing I'm going to check out tonight is this article, Best Diets U.S. News 2016. I'm thinking about trying something different than Weight Watchers. Sometimes I just need a new, shiny toy to get started. I'm going to read the article tonight and post my thoughts tomorrow. 

Happy Tuesday everyone!


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Lazy Sunday

I may have gotten myself into a pickle with this HOT Chocolate 5k race in March. I thought I was doing pretty good with my walking. I walk at least days a week during my lunch hour. I knew I wasn't really pushing myself very hard, mainly because I'm lazy and it's more about getting a little fresh air and chatting with a girlfriend from work (more chatting than power walking). Yesterday I completed a 3.18 mile outdoor walk and here are my results:


Yikes! There's a minimum of a 15-minute mile walk to even be in this "race". It's called a race, but I have no intention of actually racing anyone. I just want to complete it in 45 minutes. As you can see, my current speed is a 19:29 minute mile.

In addition, my walk at work isn't very hilly, here's the elevation for the HOT Chocolate race. It's not exactly flat in downtown Seattle. I have a lot of work to do to get my speed up. Losing weight will definitely help too.




During my walk yesterday I could see the beautiful Mt. Rainier. It was only 33 degrees, but blue skies and sunshine. It felt so good to be outside, I love outdoor activity versus the gym.




When I got home I had a smoothie with fresh strawberries, spinach, a small banana and Siggi's yogurt, with a bunch of ice and water. I love Siggi's yogurt. It only has 11 grams of sugar and 14 grams of protein.


Today is an outdoor walk even though it's spitting snow and is only 29 degrees. I have to get an oil changed for my car, and I'm going to take that time to walk around the neighborhood. Maybe the gym too if I'm up to it. Although that doesn't sound very appealing right now. 

It's noon and I'm just now getting going. I'm definitely having a lazy Sunday!