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.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 1, 2017 - I'm still here!


I'm doing well these days. Life isn't perfect by any means, but I'm pretty happy. I'm over four years cancer free, I'm still madly in love with my boyfriend, and I still have a job (33 years with the same company), although l'm really looking forward to retirement in 2020. I feel great, and my health has drastically improved over the past six months, since I've lost 47 pounds and exercise on a regular basis. It's incredible how losing weight and exercising impacts your life for the better.

I'm 20 pounds from my goal weight of 155 pounds. My goal weight is higher than my past goal weight, but I'm older and hopefully a little more wiser these days. At 5' 6" I've always aimed for a 135-pound goal. Since I'm almost 62, every 10-pound loss has made me age a few more years. My wrinkles are more prominent, and I'm not really liking that look. In addition, realistically I've never been able to maintain 135 pounds for any length of time since I entered my forties. I'd get there and even a few pounds below, and could maintain it for about five minutes, then proceed to gain 100 pounds. I don't want to spend the rest of my life trying to maintain an unrealistic goal.

In addition, I would like to stop paying Weight Watchers $44.95 every month. The 155-pound goal is based on the highest weight they allow for me to become a Lifetime member, which is my ultimate goal. To sit in that green chair every week and not pay Weight Watchers any more money.

I have a ton of things I want to share about how this time is so different from all my other weight loss attempts, but I'm going to save that for my next post. I want to keep posting because I feel like I have so much to share that's so different from what I used to do to lose weight. I feel like I may have finally figured this out. No, it's not drugs or surgery, and it's not magic. It's a combination of a lot of things that are working for me, and might work for someone else.

Happy 4th of July weekend!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Just a little crazy



I'm a little bit disappointed in my weigh-in this morning, but I know why it's not better than I expected:

My last Weight Watchers' attempt in 2015:

Feb. 23, 2015 weigh-in:  233.4
~~~~~~
2017

Jan. 5, 2017 - Jenny Craig weigh-in:  222.0 (the real start of mindful eating)

Jan. 6, 2017 - canceled Jenny Craig, but stayed on track.

Jan. 8, 2017 WW weigh-in:  218.4

Jan. 15, 2017 WW weigh-in:  215.4

Net Loss:  3.0 pounds for the week for Weight Watchers, but in reality a good 7 pounds are gone.

At least I'm not all the way up to the 2015 weight which was scary. That was close to my all time high of 240 back in 2007.

I love my new Weight Watcher Sunday meeting! It gets me out of bed and gets the day started right because I have to be there before 9am to weigh in. It's sort of hard to do, but it's worth it. The leader, Cathy, is wonderful. I just love her! Plus a Sunday weigh-in keeps me from overindulging Friday and Saturday since I don't want to ruin my weigh-in.

This isn't easy, that's for sure. It's as hard as it is every time I have to go down this road. For some odd reason, I feel a bit more relaxed this time. I'm not being as crazy about it as I've been in past attempts.  Just a little crazy, just enough to keep me tracking every bite I eat. My boyfriend - skinny guy - doesn't understand this tracking of food, it's foreign to him).  He thinks I'm a little nuts, pulling out my WW app every time I eat. If that's crazy, oh well! At least I'll be crazy AND skinny!



Sunday, January 8, 2017

We're back in the saddle again!




I made the 9am Weight Watcher meeting today. I really just wanted to stay in bad in sleep in, but I remembered my promise to myself on Saturday. New year, new start.

I wasn't surprised when I weighed in. I'd just weighed at home, fully dressed and knew it was going to be ugly.  I weighed in at 218.4. My last weigh-in was 7/13/2015 at 205.8. If you're doing the math, that's a gain of 12.6 pounds. Ouch.

One thing I know for sure, Weight Watchers works. Last year when I started Weight Watchers on 2/23/2015 I weighed in at 233.4. When I stopped going in July I had lost 26.6 pounds. I really wish I had stayed with it.

Note to "Anonymous" who left a rather snippy comment on my last post about giving up Jenny Craig (after five hours and two meals) and startingWeight Watchers:

1.) If only it was as easy as just eating the right foods. You sound like you must be pretty darn perfect and don't need any help from anyone. Good for you. I'm happy you have such a fabulous life. It's not that easy for everyone. Some of us need support, and for me, that's where Weight Watchers comes in.

2.) You obviously don't understand the Weight Watchers program. They actually encourage eating whole foods. I don't eat any of their packaged/processed foods. I don't like them because I can taste the fake flavors. Weight Watchers actually encourages their members not to eat processed foods. Yes, they sell them but you don't have to buy them. They're crazy expensive and full of sugar and chemicals. I don't buy them, and never have.

3.) Yes, Weight Watchers is in this to take our money. They're a company in the business of making money. So are organic grocery stores. Whole Foods = whole paycheck. Everyone is in "it" for the money.

I'm just happy to be eating better, even if it's only day two. I feel like I'm back in the saddle again and it feels good!