Weighing Matters

my journey to b.e.t.t.e.r

won’t power

I just totally give up and admit to myself and everyone in the world how truly hard this is. I’m discouraged, disillusioned, frustrated. Incredibly sad and disappointed in myself. People say it takes will power.

But it takes won’t power.

I appreciate this version of the serenity prayer because it puts responsibility where responsibility goes.

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
the courage to change the one I can,
and the wisdom to know it’s me

So if I am the only one who can change me, why can’t I change me? Why do I keep messing up, screwing around, getting down and blowing it. Why can’t I be true to my hopes and wishes and dreams of a strong, healthy and svelte body. Why do I have to sabotage my good efforts, binge and toss my self esteem and self worth in the trash? I don’t get it. Maybe I won’t get it.

I am so worn out.

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June 23, 2009 Posted by | Weight just a minute | 4 Comments

bingo anyone?

It’s the weekend. I have time to think, time to post, time for clarity.

I was glancing through some member materials and decided to take a look at book 4, habits of successful members and took the quiz on page 6 to teach me which good habit would help me most. Surprise [not!] I need to manage my feelings. A four-way tie for second was manage my environment, manage my thoughts, monitor myself and prepare myself. Brilliant! The quiz is simply brilliant and the results are exactly true! Here’s what I learned about myself:

From birth on, people link food with enjoyment, affection, and nurturing. That’s what comfort eating is about: a strong link between feelings and food. Some people [hello!] are prone to a straight-to-the-fridge response to life’s emotions, even when they don’t realize it. It’s simply been a lifelong habit.

What it means for me:

Real life has bumps: tight deadlines, arguments, injuries, boredom, feelings of abandonment and disappointments. [liver transplants, Mothers dying] [I also have some pretty strong and crippling feelings about incest, assault and rape which, I believe, have made me think that a fat body would serve to protect me from such.] Fortunately, life also has times of celebration, excitement, and festivities which are unfortunately always often surrounded by [boatloads of] food. 

Life’s ups and downs don’t have to sabotage my weight-loss efforts. Rather, by paying attention to my body signals, I will be more in tune with whether I’m eating for food or non-food reasons. [IHINTPFINTS] [If hunger is not the problem, food is [certainly] not the solution. And an insightful comment from a leader, “If you’re not hungry, you shouldn’t be eating.”]

Signs I may need to work on this successful habit:

*If I eat more when I’m unhappy, angry, or stressed. [I call it mad, sad, bad, even glad, or a raving lunatic – sorry that one doesn’t rhyme] *If I eat for comfort. *If I overeat, I feel guilty, which often makes me overeat even more. * When I give in to food cravings. *When I’d rather eat than discuss my feelings.

Bingo, bingo, bingo, bingo and bingo!

Here’s the plan. I will recognize the real motivation behind emotional eating. [When I’m trying to accomplish an emotional need with food.] I will try to fill that need with something besides food. I will re-frame the situation when I notice certain behaviors getting in my way and I can’t seem to stop them. I will ask myself “Do I really want this? How will I feel after I eat it? Is it going to put me in a tailspin; am I going to regret my decision? Is it getting me closer to my ultimate goal?”

June 20, 2009 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

yes, we have no bananas

I’m not discouraged. I’m really not! In fact I feel good. Good about losing 12 pounds. Good about still eating healthy and consciously. Good about continuing to exercise. Good about being down two sizes — finally got into some size 10-12’s. Good about losing some inches and belly fat. Good about my grocery shopping habits. Good about the little hump on my biceps [forget about the sagging triceps underneath — the ones that hang and swing under my arms like a bloodhound’s jowls]. Good about my continued and consistent commitment to me.

A little confused though. Ten pounds came off fairly quickly. 25 days. That next pound took two weeks. And now I weight 150 almost every day. Some days I’m up or down a pound and the next day I’m back. So what does all of this mean? Do I really have to eat [still] less, as well as, increase duration or length of exercise? My brain is telling me what I know. Yes, dear, it means precisely that. It means tracking food intake with exactness. Monitor water intake. Don’t eat [or snack] after 7 PM. Stop being blase and complacent about the details. For the rest of my dang life!!! [It’s not a diet . .  it’s a lifestyle — so tired of hearing that.]

It might mean mixing it up. Maybe my body is used to the same ol’ predictable exercises I’ve been doing. Maybe my body is use to the inevitable banana-topped Bruce’s cereal, veggie soup, cantaloupe, strawberries, Sunkist oranges, Gala apples, white fish, tuna salad, Wasa bread, sprouts, spinach wraps, and my occasional roasted chicken breast Subway on whole wheat, stacked with veggies and lightly sprinkled with oil and vinegar, etc., etc. Maybe I need to throw it a curve ball!

I saw a friend in Wal-Mart yesterday and she looked fabulous. She’s lost 15 pounds. How? Jenny Craig. My brain immediately twisted into a double-overhand-stopper-knot. No, I will not eat ice-encrusted packages of processed frozen entrees.

Yes, I will continue to attend my Monday meeting, plan what I eat, track food and activity each day, weigh once a week [more like once an hour!] and be more active. I can continue this venture. I am worth this effort.

June 20, 2009 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

the teacher appears

I love when I’m in the zone. I love when I am thinking healthy, eating healthy and living healthy. [Was it really only 6 weeks ago that I was a careless, reckless slob, eating unmonitored junk, not exercising and spending 8 hours a day on the couch watching garbage?]

It seems like things are more clear, more crisp, more enjoyable, more alive.

The dozens of ‘health, diet, workout, sound thinking, whole living, self improvement’ books on my shelves call out to me and actually look inviting. I’ve had a Health and Wellness college manual on my dresser for probably 15 years and right now, this very day I opened it up, looked inside — and all of a sudden it’s fascinating! I thumbed through Bob Green’s 2002 [of Oprah fame] ‘Get With The Program’ and found information that I can use right here, right now. Phil McGraw’s 2003 ‘Ultimate Weight Solution’ table of content surprisingly aligns with what I am doing to become b.e.t.t.e.r in many areas of my life. And Jorge Cruise’s ‘8 Minutes in the Morning’ is far and away the best exercise, common sense, life changing, body changing sculpting book on the market. I have four of his books and whether I am in the zone or not, I try to exercise his way.

I am reminded of the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

Shopping is easier when I’m zoning. Yesterday I bought $46 of fresh vegetables and fruits, a few fat free-sugar free chocolate pudding, plain yogurt [lots of blue and black berries to toss in] whole-grain pasta, Wasa bread, Simply Fruit jam, and frozen stir fry with whole grain noodles. [Ever smear SFFF chocolate pudding on a Wasa slice and stick it in the freezer? I swear it tastes better than a Kit Kat — pinky promise!] All set for the week! It saved me a lot of time. I didn’t have to go in the cereal, candy, pop, cookie, ice cream or bakery aisles. I cruised passed the cheese, processed meats and the chips [although I did pause at the rice cakes to read the nutritional label for a possibility next shopping trip.] And I spent quite a bit of time in the pickle aisle comparing labels, prices and ounces to get the best buy on baby whole dills. As I post I’m sipping a giant mug of homemade veggie soup with a V8 base plus black beans and whole-wheat bow ties. I’ve slice up dessert so I can munch on sweet cantaloupe chunks throughout the afternoon. [Hubby is having deep fried chicken fried steak, Stove Top stuffing and a milk shake.]

It’s incredible to me that I don’t feel annoyed. I’m not frustrated when people keep bringing up the subject of weight and fitness. I don’t feel like everyone is talking about me when they say something about weight. [I have felt that for the past year when my co-workers often continually visited this genre. I’d just get ticked off and walk away like ‘is that all they can think about anymore? Don’t any of them have a life?”

Aahh, the zone. It’s a nice place to visit, and I would like to live here!

June 14, 2009 Posted by | Roadside fruit stand | Leave a comment

f.e.e.l.

149! I feel so good. I feel so good about myself. I feel. I’m actually able to f.e.e.l!

Food, weight, fat, really does a number on me. My self esteem, my worth, my ability to contribute, my willingness to participate, my willingness to let others in my life, to be touched, to share, to feel, to believe, to empathize, to consider, to receive, to live . . . are all wrapped up in my weight.

Is this normal? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I’ve never really felt particularly normal!

I look at my mother. She was always a combination of overweight, heavy, fat, and even obese. Yet she was the most loving, considerate, patient, wonderful, giving, sharing, lovable, touchable, fun, serving, teaching, warm wonderful woman I have ever known. How is it, then, that only a few [maybe two] of her nine children were able to follow her ways and the rest of us are strugglers. We struggle with relationships, with balance, with courage, and conviction. We struggle with our health and weight, with commitment to take care of ourselves and that we are actually worthy of good and loving self care. We struggle with boundaries and love, with confidence and determination and passion.

Here’s what I know today. Here’s what I can say at 149 pounds that I was unable or unwilling or felt unworthy to say at 161 pounds on May 1 [and the entire year before that!]. I am worthy of taking care of myself. I am worthy of loving self-care. I am worth the time and effort, and even the cost, to be healthy and strong and whole. I am worth whatever it takes to:

eat 
b.e.t.t.e.r

feel
b.e.t.t.e.r

live
b.e.t.t.e.r

And so are y.o.u.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

keep on keeping on

Two terrific things, quick. I finally weigh 150! This morning the scale dropped. It took 25 days to lose ten pounds, and then another 14 to lose one more pound. Holy cow! I was sooooo close to discouraged but learned much during two weeks. I continued to exercise often, tried to continue eating healthy for the most part [although I did have those few days where I really got off track and ended up in junk-food hell, eventually getting back on course.] I also lost some inches, which helped see me through, so it was a challenge with a lesson. [Don’t quit, don’t give up on me, don’t give in, don’t settle. Keep on keeping on!]

Additionally, I just had the most delicious salad. Totally made it up so it doesn’t have a name. I started with a base of crisp clean baby spinach, white chunk tuna in water, a dab of fat free Miracle Whip, a cup of fresh sliced mushrooms, a quarter of a green pepper, diced. Looking through the fridge for one more ingredient, something caught my eye but I hesitated to toss it in. Honestly, it turned out to be the most perfect, amazing and delish part of my masterpiece —a cup of fresh red raspberries to top it off. Oh my goodness. My tummy is still atwitter, it was so fabulous. I feel satisfied, healthy and in control. It’s a good thing. [If it had a name, it would be ‘So Yummy and Surprisingly Scrumpdillyicious Spinach Salad.’] [Not to be confusesd with Scrumdeliumptious Italian Sauce.] =]

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

oh my goodness!

I was looking for my old list of Ways to Measure Success Without the Scale [how clothes fit, energy, skin, emotions, attitude, sleep, stamina, appearance, feel healthy, notice positive changes, etc.] and decided to do a quick measurement and I’ve lost another few inches. And, by darn, I’m going to count it as another success! [Anything to stay out of the kitchen and away from hubby’s pie.] Last time I measured on May 23, two weeks and a day ago. Who knows, maybe I’m just standing up straighter and sucking it in a little better. [But really, how do you suck in boobs? um, sorry mom, breasts.]

Breast was 40, then 39, now 38
Waist was 34, then 32.5, now 32 [I don’t care! a half inch is a half inch!]
Abdomen was 40.5 then 39, still the same [and that’s after 100 crunches almost every day! =<]
Hips were 41, then 40, now 39
Thigh was 24.75, then 23.25, same
Nine and a half inches of ugly fat, gone!

Oh happy day! [Again, can’t believe I’m posting these numbers, but I signed up for honesty in this journey, so honesty it is.] Reality check — I know I will never be 36-26-36 again, but I’m determined to be at a place that’s good for my health, good for the way I see and accept myself, good for the way I cope with my struggles, and good for me.

Woo Hoo!

June 7, 2009 Posted by | On a scale of 1 to 10 | 2 Comments

curses!

My husband is upstairs in the kitchen baking Stouffer’s Cheesy Enchiladas. Isn’t there some law against that? Can I just call the fat-sheriff and ask him to haul hubby off to the city park to cook and eat his dinner? I peaked in the fridge to see what else he bought while I was at church and saw a Marie Calendar Cherry Pie. It serves 10 at 330 calories a piece. So that is about 3300 calories in one disposable aluminum dish. I know there really aren’t ten servings! More like six! So that’s 550 calories per serving. Why does he do that to me? I am frustrated that he’s so insensitive to what I am trying to accomplish in the next few months. Yea! He bought bananas; I AM grateful for that, [in fact I grabbed one and stuffed it in my mouth after Sunday Fast while I was checking out the calories in the enchiladas.] but the fridge is [again] topped with all sorts of gooey things: sticky buns, sweet rolls, Ho-Hos, and Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcake. How dare he! I’ve got my 40-year reunion coming up for Pete’s sake!

If he only knew what it’s like to grill my Orange Roughy or Tilapia and smother it in onions, green peppers, and fat-free tarter. If he only knew how hard it is to enjoy spinach and tuna salad with radishes, kale and hard boiled egg whites when he fills the house with j.u.n.k. and let’s the thousand-calorie aromas waft through the house.

I grabbed my standby, Bruce’s Cereal, [a blend of 7-8 whole grains that I buy in a 25 pound bag at Kitchen Kneads] and steamed an apple to go with it. Delish. But not quite satisfying. I can hear my husband moving upstairs across the squeaky kitchen floor going for seconds. Really, seconds! Squeak, squeak, squeak. He just yelled down the stairs, “Do you want any of this or should I put it in the refrigerator?” Me: “In the fridge; you know I’m dieting [again].” [Little grumpy, annoyed voices in my brain] “More like dying!”

Ok, pep talk. ‘Nothing tastes better than being thin feels.’ [I’m so dang tired of saying that to myself.]
‘Don’t give up what I want most for what
would really taste fantastic I want right now.’
‘Every day, in every way, I’m getting smarter, wiser, and b.e.t.t.e.r!’
Here’s one I just found. ‘Bigger snacks mean bigger slacks.’ Really, that’s just dumb. I’m heading for size 10!
Here’s a much better one. ‘My fat scares me – it’s a ticking time bomb.’ ~
 Carrie Latet. Ok, that curbed my appetite!

Anyhoo, off to read WW’s Book 3 Staying Ahead of Hunger. I’m determined to have a fantastic WI [weigh in] tomorrow night which requires that I eat consciously today and tomorrow until meeting. It requires that I remember how hard the last month has been and how hard it is to lose two pounds but how easy it is to put three back on. It requires that I think well of myself and treat myself with love and respect and that I recognize hunger signals for what they really are –hungry, full, or just right. It also means that I need to avoid eating for emotional reasons — stress, sadness, anxiety, boredom, even happiness. [right out of the book!]

If it isn’t about hunger, food isn’t the solution! I know that! My head knows it. My stomach sometimes often forgets. Squeak, squeak, squeak, oven opening, pie coming out. Uugghhh. I’m going upstairs to have my baby-spinach-whole-orange-fresh-strawberries-frozen-banana smoothie. THAT will show him!

I will work on it one day at a time. “Today I will try not to let myself get too hungry, or too full.” Repeat.

June 7, 2009 Posted by | Pot hole! | Leave a comment

junk food hell

Yesterday was good. I felt in control all day long. It helped to make a list; it helped to check it off. I felt connected to myself and my goals more than when I just let eating ‘happen’ to me. So, learn this lesson: plan ahead, be aware of what I want and where my eating will take me — either to success and feeling fantastic, or to sugar and junk food hell.

Let me record how junk food hell feels so that I can re-read this when the urge arises.

First I start to talk to myself [usually in front of the TV and I’m bored or feeling sorry for myself or tired] and say I ‘deserve’ to eat something. I re-hash what is in the fridge and cupboards and start to think what might not be ‘too bad,’ but would still be a reward for doing well all day. I go to the kitchen [actually kicking and screaming in my mind saying, “No, don’t do it, you will be sorry, you don’t want to do this to yourself again, don’t do it!”] Then I peruse the contents of the kitchen and decide to eat a hunk of cheese — that’s pretty healthy, right? But I cut off a chunck the size of a deck of jumbo playing cards like my grandpa used because he was practically blind. That triggers some kind of eating marathon in which I go for anything on top of the fridge that hubby buys for lunches. It might be donuts, pastries, chips, Ho-Hos. Then I think to myself, “Well I’ve totally blown it, I might as well eat some more,” [that’s only logical, right?] and I open the fridge and eat a half gallon of stale and freezer-burned ice cream. At this point I really don’t care what I eat or whether it actually tastes good or if I even like it. I usually end the evening with a huge bowl of popcorn and feel sick and frustrated and angry at myself and gassy and miserable.

But wait! There’s more! In the morning I look like I crossed the Atlantic in the baggage department of a jumbo airline. I’m literally battered. My face is bloated, bags under the eyes, puffy, blotchy red skin. That’s not all. I usually carry about a tablespoon of fluid in both of my eyelids, so they hang down over my eyes like a blood hound. I have heart burn, really smelly gas, and I’m dragging like I had a hangover. Within a short time I’m ready to eat sugared cereal and start the whole circus again.

So why can’t I remember all of this when I head for the kitchen and stop this ugly, defeating pattern? [I know I am lying to myself, because I DO remember. I go to the kitchen kicking and screaming at myself in my mind.]

GOAL FOR TODAY: Learn from the experience of yesterday. Make another list and stick to it. Keep all my healthy goals in front of me. Remember how I will feel when I reach goal weight in a few weeks. Remember how I will look when I’m totally buff healthy and hot looking OK at my class reunion next month. Remember how cute those size 10 pants are that I just gave to Tracy. Remember how good it feels to hear my stomach growl at night and I’m able to say “Hey little stomach, that’s a good sign, go burn off some fat if you want something.”

June 6, 2009 Posted by | Weight just a minute | 2 Comments

check, check and check

Bruce’s hot cereal and steamed apple with cinnamon and 1% milk, CHECK
Stretching and Exercise, CHECK
Dishes put away, and loaded CHECK
Whites dried and folded, CHECK
Levis in the dryer, CHECK [note to self, don’t leave tissue in pockets!] [unless it’s Puff’s Plus]
Towels washing, CHECK
Mowing, CHECK
Tetris, CHECK [oh, that wasn’t on the list]
Update:
Levis now folded and all laundry put away, CHECK
Healthy snack: Sunkist orange, strawberries, Wasa bread CHECK

Ok, so far this is fun . . .
See, I said I love lists.

[Really, I know my problem of mindless grazing is from 6 – 10 PM. I’ll do fine ’til then.]

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Check it out! | Leave a comment