Friday, April 20, 2018

It's a never ending journey (162.4)

After decades of battling my weight, I've finally come to peace with the fact that this journey to maintain good health never ends. I always thought if I'd lose the weight, get to goal, then I'd be on easy street. That's never worked before, and I've finally accepted that it doesn't work that way. 

People always say that losing weight is just half the battle. Maintaining the weight loss is the other half of the battle. For me, maintenance is the hardest part and the biggest part. I struggle every day, and in spite of what people may tell you, it never gets easy. At least, it's not easy not for me. It's an uphill battle every single day of my life.

Looking back at my old Weight Watcher weight records, here's my past ten years:

2/12/2008 - 238.0 pounds 
Started Weight Watchers again, and making an honest attempt to lose weight. I remember I felt miserable. I had plantar fasciitis, I had chest pains when I walked, even walking slowly. I was completely miserable.

3/1/2009 - 154.4 pounds
Not at goal because I had set a goal of 135. I don't think I was at this weight more than a few days before  I started the slide back to gaining weight.

2/23/2015 - 233.4 pounds
A restart of Weight Watchers for the at least the 10th time since 2008, I just don't have all the weight records from those years. Although I know each time resulted in a weight loss and a subsequent weight gain..

2/13/2015 - 205.8 pounds
And then I stopped Weight Watchers again, for almost two years.

1/8/2917 - 218.4 pounds
Another restart

4/15/2018 - 162.4 pounds

Net loss since 2008, ten years, is -75.6 pounds

The difference this time is that I've been between 161 and 167 pounds since November 5, 2017. I've been in an "accidental" maintenance mode for almost six months. That's not necessarily a thing to brag about, but it's also not a bad thing. In fact, it's better than anything I've done in the past ten years when it comes to weight loss. 

The past is the past. I can't undo the mental and physical damage I've done to myself after years of big weight losses and weight gains. I think I've learned something over the years. Mainly that I can't do something to lose weight that I'm not willing to do the rest of my life if I want to maintain my weight loss.

I can't eat a 100% clean diet 100% of the time. Ideally, I'd cut out all processed foods. Realistically, I can cut out a lot of processed foods, but not ALL processed foods. I like some processed foods, and they make me happy. If I'm going to be real about this, I will eat them. Maybe some Halo Top or Enlightened high protein ice cream. Or some seaweed chips, and a slice of healthy bread. Or maybe a slice or two of real sharp cheddar cheese or homemade pizza with turkey pepperoni. 

I could provide a long list of things I eat that some people would tell me that they're unhealthy foods. Perhaps they'd be correct. I don't eat these things every day, but I do eat them occasionally. Like I said, they make me happy. Being happy about my food is a key component for me to maintain my weight loss.

As far as exercise, whatever I'm doing now I will have to maintain the rest of my life. If I don't, I will have to eat fewer calories. I'm not really willing to do that at this point. Right now my average calorie intake is between 1800 and 2000. According to my Apple watch, I'm burning about 300-400 calories a day between exercising and walking. I'm not 100% convinced my Apple Watch is accurate. I think it exaggerates my calorie burn. Regardless, I eat a lot of food every day, which is probably why I'm in a maintenance mode.

I still want to lose another 8 pounds. My goal this time around is 154, which will give me a healthy BMI of 24.9 (I'm 5' 6"). I'll get there, but I'm not in any big rush (although I'd love to stop paying Weight Watchers $44.95 a month). 

That's my update. Nothing earth shattering. Just my experience with weight loss and what seems to be working for me. However, I still know I could regain the 75 pounds in a heartbeat. I've here before and know the dangers of losing a large amount of weight and regaining it. 

I truly doubt anyone reads this, because blogs seem to be a thing of the past. However, I want to keep some kind of record of how I'm doing. I read some of my old posts from 2008/2009. They are truly cringe worthy. It made me a little sad, because I was so happy at one point and then so sad because I gained all my weight back. My emotions are tightly coupled with my weight at that time. Here's a post from one of my happy times (and I'm currently five pounds above the weight in the video). By the way, this is from my very old blog started over 10 years ago in 2008. 




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Monday, November 27, 2017

Post Thanksgiving 2017 Update

I've noticed I've been writing posts, usually at least once a week, and never publishing them. I'll write a post, re-read it, and think to myself, what a bunch of worthless drivel. Then I never publish it, and my words sit in limbo. From my head to the keyboard, to live forever as a Blogspot draft. A waste of time? Perhaps. Or maybe a written diary that no one but me will ever read. I never delete them and sometimes I'm shocked and surprised by my own words. Maybe someday I'll publish them, but probably not.

We had a very understated Thanksgiving. Due to the fact that leading up to Thanksgiving week, during the first two weeks of November, I gained 5 pounds. I skipped a Weight Watcher meeting Nov. 12, but forced myself to go and weigh in the following Sunday, Nov. 19. I was up 5 pounds.

The reason for the gain is simple, I overate. I resorted to some old binge eating behavior that I hadn't done for almost a year. I stopped at the grocery store three times in one week, and purchased a large amount of candy, chips and other junk food. I ate it in my car on my 30-minute commute home. All the while listening to weight loss podcasts (I know how crazy this sounds). I always binge in secret, but I honestly thought I was over my binge problem. Obviously, this is still a problem for me, my Achilles heel that will probably be with me for the rest of my life.

I've been back on track since last Tuesday, Nov. 21. My last secret binge was about the same time in 2016, in November, before, during and after Thanksgiving. I remember it well, because I got up to 230 pounds and went on a diet of my own, then Jenny Craig for about two hours (that's an old post you can read about here), and then joined Weight Watchers in January 2017.

I weighed in yesterday at my Weight Watcher meeting, and lost .8 pounds, so I'm at 166. Still 4.2 higher than my low of 161.8 on Nov. 5. I feel fairly confident that I'll stay on track, but you never know with me. I change on a whim how I feel, one minute I'm super strict with myself, eat right, exercise. Then suddenly, I just don't care anymore. It's been a year since I had that feeling, but I sure had it a couple weeks ago.

I asked my boyfriend since it was just us this year, if we could do a simple, non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner. He agreed, since he's gained a few pounds too. He's 6 foot and usually sits at 160 (yes, he's usually very thin, but very muscular too). He was up to 170 and upset by his gain. So he's on a "diet".

We decided a simple dinner of grilled wild-caught sockeye salmon, asparagus, and cranberry sauce made with a little honey and some Stevia (we're both off of processed sugar--although I know honey is really just sugar). Because he loves cranberry sauce, I figure it was a small thing to do to please him. Dessert was homemade angel food cake (with real sugar) with plain, fresh strawberries.

The dinner was really good, but I overate the angel food cake (which has a LOT of calories). My boyfriend cooked the salmon and asparagus. He's an amazing cook and both came out perfect. The salmon with a little cranberry sauce was unusual, but surprisingly delicious. It wasn't nearly as sweet as regular cranberry sauce, but we both really liked it and would make it again. Here's the recipe if you're interested. It doesn't have a calorie or Points count, and I didn't put it into any of my recipe builder apps.

I leave you with a couple of my favorite things, sort of Oprah style. 😀

I love Good Earth Sweet & Spicy tea! It's naturally sweet, and doesn't need anything added to it. Sometimes I add a little non-fat half & half for a delicious, healthy treat. They also make a caffeine-free and a chamomile version.



The Missy cat that rules the house. I love this girl, she's my baby. We're sitting by the fire and she's sound asleep. That's my undecorated tree in the background. I actually considered not decorating it at all, and calling it a minimalist tree. I'm really not into decorating this year. I'm trying to live a minimalist life, and I've always hated clutter. We'll probably decorate it, although I think it looks just fine without anything on it.


This is Missy Christmas 2016, a better look at her beautiful face (and her annoyed expression is because I crawled under the tree and woke her up to take her picture).


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Update October 2017


I've decided instead of my usual long, drawn-out posted, to just post something quick. Fast and easy to read, not a ton of detail. Maybe that way I can write a little something more often.

Things are going great. Last weekend I was down to my lowest weight since 2009 when I got to 152 and quit. I'm 163.6. That is 8.6 pounds from the Weight Watcher goal of 155. I'd like to weigh less, but have decided 155 would probably be a good choice for me. Not skinny, but healthy. Plus I think I can pretty easily maintain that weight versus the 135 that's been my elusive goal for as long as I can remember. Hence my bog name of diana135.

What's working for me:

1. MyFitnessPal - love this app for tracking my food. Even though I go to Weight Watchers, I don't use their app. I eat calories not SmartPoints. That way I get more food. MORE is better!

2. Motifit ,now called AppFit - best exercise app ever! Great music and you have a coach guiding you along. Huge incentive and fun.

3. Working towards my 2017 marathon - the Fairbanks, Alaska Equinox Marathon. I'm doing it!

4. Gracie's Journey on youtube - love this girl! Check her out. She went from 240 to 135. No surgery just diet and exercise. She's really inspirational.

What's not working:

1. Not getting to the gym except once during the week and once on the weekend. Not cool.

2. Not walking at lunch every day because it's pouring down rain. Super not cool.

3. The rain. Dear God, please make it stop! Rain and the darkness in the Pacific Northwest sucks! #Icantwaitforsummer!

Goals this week:

Increase my exercise. Gym. Home treadmill. Walk in the rain.

Easy peasy, right?


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fighting the good fight

Denali - the great one (aka Mt. McKinley)

I grew up in Alaska, and have seen this beautiful mountain many times. It's one of the ultimate challenges for mountain climbers, and many have lost their life in their attempt to conquer this magnificent mountain.

What does this have to do with weight loss? Sometimes my struggle feels like an uphill battle, on the steepest slope I can imagine. It feels like the hardest thing I've ever done or ever will do. I know intellectually that's a false statement, but in my heart, I believe it's true. This fight to lose weight, or at least maintain my current weight, is difficult. The constant battle to maintain some semblance of control over what I eat continues to be a battle.

I skipped my Weight Watchers' meetings for four weeks. I found an excuse every Sunday morning to stay home. I was tired, I felt bloated or my best friend wasn't going (she hasn't gone for four months so that was a really lame excuse). The real reason of course was that I'd gained weight. Eight pounds to be exact. I got my 50-pound lost charm and then immediately went into an eating frenzy, because frankly my dear, I didn't give a damn! I was hungry!

My weight is a constant battle. I really wish I had the answers on how to make this work. Everything I read about people that have lost weight is that they will have to fight this battle forever. Something about our bodies fight us tooth and nail to get back to our high weight. I'm in that battle right now. It's hard.

That's about all I can say. I wish this was a rainbow and kittens post, and everything nice. It's not. It's a "life is hard" post. But as so many of us that struggle with our weight have heard before, we pick our hard. Being morbidly obese is hard. I know, because I was 240 pounds. I know that was actually much harder than being 167 pounds and fighting to at least stay that weight. I guess I'll just continue the good fight. What other choice do I have?






Sunday, August 27, 2017

The slippery slope of weight gain

Me during the month of August 2017


I hit 165 pounds on my 62nd birthday, August 7. Then the party started and all my good intentions went out the window. I could feel myself slipping down that old, slippery slope of binging and gaining weight.

It started with a maple bacon doughnut on my birthday, which by the way was a huge disappointment. Then a day of kayaking which burned zero calories according to my Apple watch. Apparently moving my arms doesn't actually count as active calories (even though I swore my arms were going to fall off!).

This was followed by a work trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with a team member that is skinny and loves food. She is able to eat anything and not gain an ounce (I kind of hate this about her). The food, plus the shots of tequila led to a five-pound gain in four days. I'm not a drinker, and couldn't even tell you the last time I had an alcoholic drink before this trip.

In addition to all the food and alcohol, my exercise was severely lacking too. Gym and daily walks just sort of slid off  my radar.

This all resulted in an eight-pound gain, with a 173 pound weigh-in after my return from Mexico. I wish I could say, oh well, things happen. But this hit me hard, that I could slide so far, so fast. Basically, I'm not "cured" and most likely, never will be.

I've resolved to get back in the game. I've lost five of the eight pounds, 168.2 this morning (I've been back from Mexico one week today). I think that first five pounds was water weight from salt and the after effects of too much alcohol, plus the long travel time sitting on an airplane from Seattle to Puerto Vallarta, and the return. The last three pounds to get back to 165 is probably going to be hard work to lose, but I'm determine to get to my 150 pound goal before the end of the year.

Fortunately, no more birthday celebrations or work trips for a while. My goal is to meet my minimums, calorie deficit, exercise goals, and let go of the past four weeks. It was fun but filled with regret. Fitting into skinnier clothes, feeling  healthy, and being proud of my choices, makes my life so much better!




Saturday, July 8, 2017

AHA - Aware Halt Action

Weight this morning:  171.6 
Weight Jan. 1, 2017:  222.0
Weight lost this year: 50.4
Goal: 155

I listen to a lot of weight loss podcasts, which have really helped me during the past six months. There's a lot of very helpful advice from people that suffer from disordered eating. Hearing their ideas and suggestions on how to beat this thing has been a lifesaver for me. It's good to know I'm not alone and hear from people who have gone through years of yo-yo dieting, just like me, but have figured out how to maintain their weight loss. I have finally realized that maintenance is the key to this whole thing. I've lost weight many times, but maintaining my weight loss has been unachievable. Until now. I plan on changing that pattern this time.

A new podcast I just discovered is Tips of the Scale. Episode 102: Sarah Moores on Flexing Motivation Muscle for New Strength was very helpful. 

One thing Sarah talkes about is how to stop binge eating. I've read a lot of books on binge eating, and I haven't had a true binge in the last six months, but I know I have a tendency to binge when life gets rough. And let's face it, life always gets rough. The smallest thing can seem monumental to me and drive me to overeat. I've been working on it, but I know my next binge could be just around the corner. 

Sarah talks about AHA when you feel a binge coming on. It's a simple concept and similar to other things I've heard used for addictions (H.A.L.T.), but I really like the AHA concept.

A ---> Be Aware of what you're doing. Be conscious and in the moment.
H ---> Halt! Stop what you're doing. Just take a moment, gather your thoughts, and stop.
A ---> Take Action. Do something different. Anything different. Go for a walk, get busy with your hands so you can't eat. A favorite thing I do is crafts. You can't stuff your face if you're creating a beautiful card. You don't want Cheetos dust on your piece of artwork (okay, I haven't had Cheetos in my house for years, it's just an example).

This is now stuck in my head, which is a good thing. I'm already challenging myself to continue to be binge free. If it starts to happen, I'll remember AHA. I think I've got this.

I leave with one of my favorite Bob Newhart skits. This one cracks me up every time.

Bob Newhart - Stop it


Monday, July 3, 2017

Too tired to eat

Have you ever been so completely wiped out, exhausted beyond words that you actually weren't hungry? Keep in mind, I'm a recovering binge eater so I'm not your normal person that gets too tired to eat. I know people like that exist, I'm just not one of them.

I had today off from work, a vacation day since tomorrow is July 4th it made sense to make it a long weekend (I have Wednesday off too). My plans were simple, rent a 15-foot U-Haul, fill it with the last of my ex-husband's garbage, drive to the landfill, empty the U-Haul, then drive back home to clean out the UHaul, and return it to the U-Haul office.

Oh my lord, that was quite a task! I loaded 2,200 pounds of junk into the U-Haul, and then unloaded the 2,200 pounds of junk into the landfill. It was worth every penny of the $101 U-Haul rental and the $125 landfill dumping fee. Even though it was a ton of work (I could barely lift some of the boxes), it was the most lethargic thing I've done in a long time, throwing each piece of junk onto the cement floor of the landfill building and watching his possessions smash into pieces. I've been divorced almost four years and it was past due to get rid of his junk. I'm not sure I ever mentioned this, but he was a hoarder. He never threw anything away. He even took things I threw away out of the trash bin. It was crazy!

The entire process took me eight hours. According to my Apple watch, I completed the following:

1,369 Active calories burned
236 Exercise minutes
16,279 Steps

I didn't go to the gym this morning since I knew I'd need every ounce of energy to get through this day. There was a lot of anger at the beginning that he'd left me with such a huge mess. But in the end, it was so rewarding. I keep going outside and looking at the space on the side of the house where all his stuff was stored. It looks wonderful, and I got rid of all that stuff all by myself. Whew! A huge relief.

You should have seen me driving that 15-foot U-Haul, all by myself. Plus, when I was coming home from the landfill, I was in rush hour traffic. I did just fine, I didn't kill anyone or even hit anyone's car. It was a bit nerve-racking driving that huge vehicle, but it's good to know that this almost 62-year old woman still has it. I felt like a professional truck driver.

Now about dinner. I'm still too tired to eat, but I know I really have to eat something. It would be stupid not to eat after all that exercise. I wish I had a maid, or that my boyfriend was home to cook for me, but he's working late tonight. I'll find something to nourish this poor, old and rapidly becoming sore, body.