Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

The Worm Has Turned…

Although I don’t always make it, I try very hard to go for a (vigorous, heart pumping, heavy sweat inducing) walk every evening. I started doing this about a year ago because, frankly, it was the only exercise I could do comfortably, (and when I say comfortably, I mean do without passing out — and even then there were a few times that I came close to doing just that). I think I’ve blogged before about the .2 mile loop that surrounds my house and how I spent much of last fall and winter tracing that loop over and over again.

The first night I decided to go for a walk, I struggled to make it around even once… but eventually I got stronger and that one time around slowly turned into two times and two times turned into three until finally I marked my first mile. I did that mile walk many, many nights… until eventually I did two.

Now, I walk a little more than 3 miles a night. But the truth is that the distance doesn’t feel as important to me as it once did. Lately I’ve been measuring my success by other means.

These days I’m no longer walking that .2 mile loop. Now I walk a 3.2 mile loop that runs through the golf course and around a lake that is adjacent to my neighborhood. It’s a good route for a couple of reasons, first off… it’s paved. I walk the same path that the golf carts take during the day and for me that’s a plus because regardless of how fit I get, I’m not all that coordinated and am sometimes prone to falling down… especially as the light begins to dwindle in the evening. The second plus that my new route has going for it, is that it’s quite hilly. I’m constantly having to push a little harder as I negotiate these inclines and descents… and with each hill I feel my heart rate increase or the strain in my muscles as I carry my, still pretty heavy, self up or down the path. And finally, the third thing I love about my evening walk is that it’s really and truly lovely. Just about every time I go, I chastise myself for not bringing my camera. One of these days I will, but for now all I can say is that there are rolling hills and a pristine lake complete with swans. It’s not wild or untamed by any stretch of the imagination but it is very charming and makes the exertion feel a bit more worth it.

One thing that I should mention now is that I live in the American southeast which means that, even in the evening, it’s still very hot out, but what’s more, the humidity here is downright oppressive. Tonight, when I left for my walk it was still over 80 degrees and the humidity was full bore. The moment you walk out the door, the sweat starts, and believe me, it doesn’t stop… which makes for a good work out, I suppose, but also makes for a pretty stinky return.

Anyway… I’m rambling a bit, but the point I’m trying to get to is that a year ago I’d never have been able to go for the walk I went for tonight. I’d never have made it even half that distance, and certainly not in the heat of summer. And what’s more, a year ago, I wouldn’t have dared tried.

A lot of the good folks in blogland right now are engrossed in a number of challenges. Several of my favorite weight loss bloggers are either currently pursuing, or have already mastered, the Couch to 5k challenge, and many others still are currently pushing themselves towards 100 push-ups. The brutal truth is that when I read about these endeavors, whatever joy and pride I may feel for my virtual friends as they pursue and reach these goals, is always tempered with a bit of jealousy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally sincere when I call BikiniMe my push-up hero, or when I tell Marshmallow or Andrew that I could hardly keep myself from jumping up and down for joy when I watched the videos and read about their recent 5k success.

And yet…

That joy rarely keeps me from looking down at my own still very flabby body and wishing that I were at the point where I could do even 1 push up or run even 1k (ok, who am I kidding? I’d settle for .01k at this point). But I’m *not* at that point yet. Not yet.

Not yet.

Changing everything about the way you’ve lived for the last 37 years isn’t easy. Learning to treat your body with respect and feed it in ways that are healthy and that promote a long life is hard, hard work. Many days I fuck up… and I’m sure the days to come will contain innumerable stumbles, but when I look back at where I used to be, it’s hard not to feel a little bit proud of how far I’ve come.

True. I’m not at the point where I’m ready to join the C25K challenge or attempt to do 100 pushups, but I am, literally and figuratively, miles away from where I used to be. I’ve lost weight, yes. And I will continue to lose weight, but what seems even more important tonight is the fact that I’m not the same person I was a year ago. I’m smarter, I’m stronger and I’m better prepared for the long road ahead. And, I bet, if you think about it, you are too.

It’s so very easy to fall prey to that little voice inside my head that constantly tries to remind me that I’m still fat and that even though I’ve lost a lot of weight, I have even more weight to go. (I’m sure you know that voice… in fact, I bet my voice and your voice are pals). The thing I think we all have to do is to quiet that voice with another, stronger, one. A voice that reminds us, no matter where we are on this journey, that we’ve come a long, long way and that each step forward takes us that much further away from the people we used to be.

Whatever I do, I must keep *that* voice at the forefront of my consciousness, because that voice is not only healthier and for more productive, but that voice is also right.

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June 26, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

To Fight Another Day…

I’ve reached that point.

You know… that point in a project where all your “plans” have gone to shit, the project itself feels like a jumbled mess, your vision for its end seems further away than ever, and you feel like you’ve really only got 2 options: quit or start over.

That’s where I am. I’ve got to quit or start over.

A couple of weeks ago now, Krissie issued the 10 Day Challenge, in which she urged people to commit to doing something healthy for themselves for 10 days. In response, I pledged that I would take my alloted 1200 – 1500 calories per day and start breaking them up into smaller, but more frequent meals. The plan was to eat at least 5 smaller meals per day in order to curb my hunger, speed up my metabolism, squelch that feeling of deprivation and stop myself from overeating in the evening. And it worked… for five whole days.

Then things started to fall apart.

First my work schedule changed, which made it impossible for me to eat several times during the day. Then my husband and I participated in a number of “social” events in the evening, all of which included food and drink and making merry.

But really, those aren’t good excuses. The truth is, I’ve been on the downward spiral since my weigh in and doctor’s appointment several weeks ago. Since that time, and the end of the pedometer challenge, I’ve really, really slacked off. Apart from the 5 days that I managed to actually adhere to my 10 day plan, I’ve eaten too much and exercised too little. And as a result, I’ve put on weight. A lot of it.

This morning I decided to face the music and weigh in. And I have to say, it’s really hard for me to post this…. but I’m up. 9.4lbs. The last time I weighed I was at 244.4. Today, I’m at 253.8.

*sigh*

Part of me thinks, ok… that can’t be right. I’m just retaining water or I ate a bit too late last night or my scale is on the the blink or someone’s playing a joke on me. But the truth is, it’s been almost a month since I weighed and since that time I’ve been, at best, inconsistent when it comes to keeping track of my calories and exercising. In fact, since the end of the pedometer challenge, I’ve pretty much stopped exercising altogether.

And the thing is, all of this just makes me wonder… am I one of those people who, however unconsciously, is prone to sabotaging her own success? Did I get so freaked out about losing 75lbs that I secretly decided to put 10lbs back on, just because being fat and helpless is more comfortable for me than being thin(ner) and empowered? I have to tell you, the idea of that being true is very, very frightening to me. I don’t want to be that kind of person.

Anyway, like I said, it’s time to quit or start over.

So… here’s my start over plan:

#1: I’m going to restart the 10 day challenge.

I’m doing this just for myself. There’s no *prize* this time around, but that’s ok because even though I only managed 5 days before, those 5 days were important. During that time, I realized a few things about my eating habits. I started to notice patterns about when I’m hungry and about the kind of poor choices I make when I’ve allowed myself to get that grumble in my tummy. Eating smaller, more frequent meals helped curb my appetite significantly *and* helped me tackle the issue of portion size, which is something I’ve been struggling with for a long, long time. Thus, I don’t want to just shrug this off as a competition I didn’t finish… I want to finish it. I *need* to finish it. And, what’s more, I want to make this a habit that I continue long after the 10 day period is over.

#2: I’m going to keep using the Food Confessional.

When I started the 10 day challenge, I also started logging my food over at the Food Confessional. It’s probably no surprise then that when I stopped playing, I stopped logging. Food diaries aren’t for everyone and I anticipate the day when my use of this tool will change, but for right now, I’ve realized that this is the kind of accountability I need, so as long as Paola will still let me, I’m planning to start tracking my daily food intake again today.

#3: I’m putting my pedometer back on.

The really GREAT thing about the pedometer challenge was the fact that it kept me motivated to move my ass on days when I didn’t want to. After the challenge was over, I took the pedometer off and pretty much stopped moving. Again, this time, it’s only for me, but I’m putting it back on *and* even though I’ve only got a few days left in May, I’m determined to earn Scale Junkie’s 5k in May badge before the month is out. Walking 5k is something I *used* do almost nightly. (I can’t believe how much I’ve slacked off as of late). Earning this badge is something I really need to do in order to prove several things to myself.

#4: Get Back on the Scale, Baby.

I think this one is self explanatory. I’m back to weekly weigh-ins.

#5: Participate in the Summer Blog Party.

As some of you may know, Scale Junkie came up with a great idea for a Summer Blog Party in which lots of her readers are going to host various challenges and offer prizes, etc., in order to get and keep people motivated this summer. My plan is to participate in this in a number of ways. I haven’t worked out the particulars yet, but once I do, I’ll post them here. Either way, however, I know that my participation will help me stay on track this summer, which is something I desperately need.

That said, speaking of Scale Junkie and badges. Although this is not a part of my “plan” I’ve decided to remove the 75lb loss badge from my blog and move myself back a few notches. It hurts me to do it, but I’d rather be honest about where I am than to keep a badge that I no longer deserve. I did lose 75lbs, but I haven’t maintained it. So… now I’ve just got to work that much harder to get that badge back.

Anyway, I’m tempted to fill up this page with several more goals, but I think that’s enough. One thing I do know about myself is that I have a tendency to overreach a little, and if nothing else, I have learned that I do better when I make more realistic goals for myself. Baby steps, right?

In the meantime, I know I have a struggle ahead.

I’ve worked hard to build some healthy habits over the last several months, and I’ve had some successes, but what I realize is that it is just too fucking easy to slip right back into the bad habits that got me into this condition in the first place. And let me tell you, that’s pretty discouraging. It makes me wonder if I’ve really got it in me to keep fighting like this for the rest of my life. It makes me wonder if this will *ever* get easier. Will eating right and exercising *ever* just become the things I do? Or will they *always* be things that I have to FORCE upon myself?

I hope that someday I’ll be in a place where every day, every meal, every bite is no longer a battle.

But for now, I’m still fighting. And I guess that’s better than nothing.

May 26, 2008 Posted by | losing weight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Plan of Attack: April

Goodbye, March.
Hello, April.

Let’s start things off on the right foot, shall we?

Goals:
1. To restart (and keep up with) my stats calendar.
2. To make (and keep) weekly exercise goals.
3. To make (and keep) weekly caloric goals.
3a. To keep track of and record (if not publically) my calorie intake each day.
(I think I may start using thedailyplate.com — I’ll keep you posted).
4. To keep track of and record my blood pressure (if not daily) than at least 4 times a week until my Doc’s appt at the end of the month.

(April) Week 1 Exercise Goals:
Monday: 30 minutes cardio
Tuesday: 30 minutes strength training
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 30 minutes cardio + 30 minutes strength training
Friday: rest
Saturday: 30 minutes cardio + 30 minutes strength training
Saturday: 30 minutes of either (depending on my mood)

Note: These are all minimums and, I think, based on my previous exercising regiment, entirely doable. In fact, I think I am capable of more, but I want to see how this first week goes before raising the stakes.

Gosh… just setting these goals feels so productive.

The truth is, I think I am constantly setting and renegotiating goals in my mind. Each morning (especially in the shower) I make deals with myself about what I will and won’t do that day. Many times the goals I sent in the morning while trying to ready myself for the day are unrealistic… and because they only exist in my mind, it’s easy to toss them aside when the going gets rough. This is different. Not only does writing them down make them feel more official, but you know, it’s that whole accountability thing. Knowing that all of you *know* about them and that you will (ever so gently) hold my feet to the fire if I don’t follow through, makes it more difficult for me to just throw in the towel.

Knowing that I have a doctor’s appointment at the end of the month helps too. For some reason, I am always so motivated to take off as much weight as possible in the weeks before going to the doctor. I can remember when I first started seeing this doctor and how I could tell, even though he was encouraging, that he didn’t really believe me when I said that I was going to lose weight. And, after all, who could blame him? I mean, I’m sure he’s seen hundreds of patients who need to take off the pounds and who claim they are going to, but who just aren’t able to make it happen. I’ve been there. And, believe me, I failed dozens and dozens of times before I ever experienced any kind of success. What’s more, I’m sure that my vow, albeit good intentioned, probably seemed like a long shot… after all, all told, I probably had a good 180lbs to lose — and that’s no small feat.

Little did he know how stubborn I am. What he didn’t realize (or maybe he did) is that I would find his well founded skepticism regarding my ability to shed over half my bodyweight to be something of a challenge. As ridiculous as it sounds, when it comes to my doctor, I’ve got a definite case of the “hmmpft! I’ll show him!’s” I realize, of course, that this isn’t the healthiest motivation, but at this point, I’ll take whatever motivation I can get.

Anyway… tonight I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday — because it *is* my birthday!

And then I’m gonna grab April by the balls.
This is going to be my best month yet.

Happy Monday, everyone!

PS: I’m counting this post as my HYC update for this week! :)

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March 31, 2008 Posted by | healthy you challenge, losing weight, motivation, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments