Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Step 1 -- Casting on for left handers or paying attention to details

After a rough start, the knitting project is going well. I came to the realization that I actually don't know how to knit. I've never knitted anything except for a few scarves and potholders, mostly when I was a kid. I tried to knit a pair of mittens a few years ago but the mitten was made for extraordinarily long hands (about two inches longer than my own hand).

My mother was very talented, she knitted sweaters, gloves, mittens, and hats. She tried to teach me but I didn't have much interest back then (about 40+ years ago...I think I was 11 or 12 at the time).

When I started my current knitting project, a simple scarf made out of this cool yarn, I had some problems.

The first step to any knitting project is casting on for the first row of stitches. For the life of me I couldn't remember how to start. I had a beginners book in my big box of yarn so I pulled it out and read this:

I still couldn't figure it out. I couldn't get that first loop to work. It seemed odd, kind of backwards to me. I finally faked it by tying the yarn around the needle and casting on the first row. From there it was easy, just a simple knit stitch, which I remembered how to do.

This morning I looked at the book again. The directions, as you can see from above says "Step 1 - casting on for left handers". Aha! I'm NOT left handed, I'm right handed! No wonder it seemed backwards to me. The right hander instructions were on the next page.

So what does this has to do with weight loss? Not paying attention to details has been my downfall lately. By lately I mean the past year.

I had a lot of weight to lose when I started February 2008. 100 pounds. The first 60 pounds were easy to lose. Then I lost my focus. I lost another 20pounds but it was a struggle. Then I gained back the 20 pounds, then I lost it again. Then I gained it, which is where I sit now.

My problem is my lack of attention to detail. I only track a few days a week. I don't always weigh and measure my food. I don't stay within my allowed Points. In other words, I'm wasting my time.

The real way to lose weight is to cut back on eating. Exercise is good for you but it won't make you lose weight. When you read how much you'd have to exercise to work off the calories of a single M&M you'll realize that you're not exercising to lose weight. It's one to two minutes of exercise to work off one M&M. Yes, exercise is good for your heart, your muscles, your bones, but it's not really a weight loss technique.

I'm living proof that it takes more than exercise to lose weight. I'm faithful to my workouts but I don't cut back on my eating. I don't eat junk, I eat healthy, nutritious food, but I eat too much.

Based on my new revelation (okay, it's not really new...I knew I was slacking), I'm changing my goals for the week to just two basic goals. Track my Points and stay within my limit. I've been making this a lot harder than it has to be.

Here's something I don't post very often. Me post workout today, where I was a sweaty mess.


Roxie said...

I love your new yarn. That color will look fabulous on you. Great picture - you are glowing from your workout!

Splurgie said...

There is probably something to the metabolism theory that a good cardiac workout keeps you burning more calories all day and it also seems that muscle mass does that too. But how easy is it to over-ride that deficit with a couple of hearty meals?! I guess that's something to look forward to in maintenance.

June in Ireland said...

I've finally come to the same realisation about myself and weight loss. I'm good with the exercise part (I walk one to two miles each day, 6 days a week), but if I'm honest with myself, similar to you, it's the volume of food and not tracking every single day that is the real problem and cause of my weight yoyo-ing ever since getting to Goal almost two years ago.

By the way, I smiled when I read about your adventures in knitting. I also used to knit many years ago (I learned how while in the Girl Scouts), but have now completely forgotten even the most basic of skills. Can you recommend a particular book that's not too intimidating and user-friendly? I'd really like to re-learn how to knit - not just for the sheer pleasure of making my own stuff and also for gifts, but as a way to keep me out of the kitchen when I feel the munchies coming on (which is a LOT of the time).

I admire your honesty in each and every post. Your blog, along with Chris' (A Deliberate Life) and Lyn's (Escape from Obesity) and Roni (Roni's Weight) have truly helped, inspired and motivated me - both in the good times with my weight loss journey and in the not-so-good times, when I needed support and encouragement.

After a huge birthday celebration yesterday for and with my hubby that involved way too much food and drink, today I'm back on track and back to pointing and tracking, as I know these are the things that do work and have worked for me. Thanks for sharing, Diana.

big_mummy said...

woah , wont that yarn be super annoying to work with?? I started a project with snowflake wool, and i was ready to bore my eyes out at the end lol