Weighing Matters

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

split second

All it takes is a split second to be in control, really (or out of control). The instant you put that bag of Cheetos in your cart at Wal-Mart is a split second decision pushing you in the wrong direction, but if, at ANY moment during the rest of your shopping trip, you have a split second of sanity and realize those Cheetos should not be in your cart, then all it takes is literally an INSTANT to grab the bag, stick it on a shelf and walk away. That’s it. Decision made. Action taken. No arguing with yourself, no agonizing, no thinking. Just stick them somewhere and go. Same with those leftover goodies in your house. If you are still eating them and regretting it, it only takes a split second of control to turn things around by grabbing them and mashing them into the trash and covering them with garbage or salt or ketchup or whatever. That’s all it takes. When the truffles I got as a gift for Christmas were bugging me, I wanted to eat them. But as I was taking one out of the box, I had a split second of clarity and grabbed a huge handful and ran to the kitchen sink, turned on the hot water and held the truffles under the faucet. It felt ridiculous… chocolate oozing all over my hands, making a mess, and then putting dish soap on the remains to get them down the drain… but it feels a lot less ridiculous to do that than to shove them in my face and watch my body grow new fat rolls.

Grab your split second. That’s all it takes.

[Credit where credit is due: this all from over at Escape from Obesity]

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January 16, 2010 Posted by | Commitment, Connecting, Diet 101 | Leave a comment

t.h.i.s t.i.m.e

95% of us will gain all the weight back, plus some. That’s what they say. That’s the statistic.

Not much hope available! No encouragement whatsoever. I’ve actually been there several times myself — in the 95 percentile. So how can this time, THIS TIME, be different?

For many people weight loss is a chronic endeavor. All too often the shedding of pounds is a temporary event followed by a steady regain of lost weight. Most popular diets are unsuccessful in the long run because they fail to address the multi-faceted nature of what successful, permanent weight loss entails: m.a.i.n.t.e.n.a.n.c.e.

Maintenance is a boring word. But it’s an important one. It’s where you can really get caught up because there’s no daily/weekly set goal. There’s no one there at the scale to say Woo hoo, you did it.

When you reach the maintenance phase it’s all about what happens after you lose the weight, when nobody wants to talk about it anymore. You’ve done what you had to do and now you’ve got the rest of your life to live.

Valerie Bertinelli, author of “Losing It” [and Gaining my Life Back One Pound at a Time ] and more recently “Finding It” [Satisfying my Hunger for Life without Opening the Fridge] has written about her two-and-a-half year weight-loss story. She is funny, blunt, and says so much of what I want to say.

“At the time, I weighed 132.2 pounds, down 40 pounds from when I had begun a very public diet earlier that spring. I had already surpassed my original weight loss goal of 30 pounds and at some point — I had failed to note it on my calendar — I had gone from losing weight to being on maintenance.

I had talked about maintenance for months as if it were a change of life. But I had no idea what it was really about. I figured I would learn once I got there. Then I got there and wondered what it was that I was supposed to be maintaining. My life was in flux — it wasn’t work-in-progress as much as it was simply work. As I would find out, maintenance was exactly that — more work.

And it was life work, not losing-weight work.

If my weight was a barometer of the rest of my life, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be. In addition to concern about my weight, I also knew that I could be better, kinder, smarter, more disciplined, compassionate, patient, and loving. I wanted to feel like I mattered. I yearned for a lightness of being that couldn’t be measured on a scale. I wanted to feel whole, peaceful, and connected to a Higher Power even if just for a few moments.”

That’s exactly what I want for myself: Wholeness. Peace. Connectivity. I want to feel like I matter. I want to feel like I made a difference somewhere, to someone.

And I feel like I’m precariously perched on a high cliff or a tightrope where I could freefall back into old destructive, self-loathing habits. I feel like I’ve come to one of those turnabouts in Idaho Falls, where I could literally go around all day if I didn’t know which direction I was heading.

I’ve checked my own barometer. I also recognize I want to be better, kinder, smarter, more disciplined, compassionate, patient, and loving.

Maintenance is not just about the calories we put into our body. Its trying to figure out why we gained that weight in the first place and really tackling those inner demons.

Weight, for me, is a symptom of what’s going on emotionally. It’s about not being able to give a voice to all the emotions I feel and the stress that comes with that impairment. It’s about the choices I’ve made in life that led to stuffing my feelings and trying to calm them with a mouth full of food.

I so want to be in the 5 percentile! I so want to win this self-imposed civil war. I so want to be able to concentrate on something else more important and more self-building than my weight for the next 30 years.

And I want to quit hiding from the one person who could help solve my problems: me.

This time!

January 13, 2010 Posted by | Commitment, Diet 101 | 4 Comments

a fool’s hope

Ok, reality bites a tiny bit. After gaining, and measurements [ugh] and too-tight pants I’m so ready to get back on track. So far, two good [excellent] days in a row! It was so frightening to be so out of control so quickly — and right after a couple of good weeks. Wow. Many ‘so‘s in those sentences.] I had been sailing along at 140-141, clothes fitting great. I was exercising regularly and making good food choices, [made it through the five Christmas parties] and then * * *k.a.b.o.o.m * * *

And the weird thing is, I made it through Christmas and even New Years. But the day after that I [somehow] gave myself permission to pork out. And the combination of having not exercised regularly and eating like a sink hole, with my fat cells wide [Pac-Man like] open, the fat just glommed on. It found a home on my stomach and thighs!

I’m so disgusted.

But the scale is slowing and consistently heading back down. This morning I’m 141. Now I need to get the measuring tape back where it was, and that only comes from one thing. Exercise!

This is like so many other things that never stay done. Dishes, laundry, dusting, vacuuming. It’s a daily chore! You fall into that false hope that when you DO something it will remain DONE. Not so. I’m here to tell ya!

I’ve been reading Emily Watts’ Take Two Chocolates and Call Me in the Morning. In her chapter ‘Quit Trying to Finish the Laundry,’ she explains it’s a fool’s hope! Most of us live in denial of the fact that so many of the tasks of our lives partake of this cyclical, unfinished nature. We like closure. We like to finish things! And so we live in mild despair, feeling as though we’re never accomplishing anything because nothing seems to stay accomplished!

She continues: I think the first step we need to take is to let go of our denial and accept the fact that as long as we’re alive and kicking there are some jobs that will have to be done again and again. Knowing that this is the way the world works, we can then set about asking ourselves what we can gain from it.

One immediately evident benefit of the phenomenon of never-finished business is that it teaches us to value process over product. Since ‘products’ seem to be few and far between, whereas ‘process’ is with us every day, it makes sense that we’ll be happier if we can learn to relax and enjoy doing as much as we enjoy finishing.

This is crazy-foreign to me. I rarely allow myself to enjoy the process. I’m for getting things done and believing they should stay that way. Sometimes I openly rebel because I can’t accept that dust appears every single day. I say to myself almost everyday: No I refuse to dust! I already dusted a couple of weeks ago and since nobody lives here anymore, it shouldn’t need dusting again so soon!

I do try to get dishes and laundry done every day, but dusting? Vacuuming? No.

Daughter, Mikelle, on the other hand, does both — sometimes twice a day! I’m telling you crazy-foreign!

But back to exercise. I know! I truly know and understand I need to exercise at least three times a week. Every single expert and semi-expert [and pseudo-expert] on the face of the earth is telling us this — wherever you look! It’s on every talk show, every radio show, every women’s magazine, every reality show. It’s in everyone’s N.Y.’s resolution. I even hear it in church from the pulpit.

So, yah, I know. I just thought for a minute that I could get a way with not doing it for a while. Kind of like dusting and vacuuming.

I’m heading up right now for hydrants and leg lifts and one-thousand-fifty-three crunches while I watch the Today show.

January 9, 2010 Posted by | Commitment, Dang it!, Exercise | Leave a comment

alrighty then

Ok, I need to get back to food/weight related issues. Enough of Christmas; enough of the distractions and the entire “oh, come on, it’s the holidays — you can let down a little” — attitude. I’ve watched my weight [143 this morning] creep up the past week and I need to get a hold on things right now. I need to give myself ‘the talk’ and get back to what I know is healthy and good for me, both physically and emotionally. And of course, when those two are in place spiritually and mentally fall right into place, as well. I know that!

We’ve had enough poppy-seed bread, the best [just ask anyone!] banana bread, cookies and candy from neighbors, sausage-breakfast casserole, ham and potatoes, meatloaf and potatoes, pasta salad and Giant candy bars to last a lifetime. Why, [ha] I wonder, did I ever think I could bring fifteen humongous candy bars [for everyone else] into my home and believe [ha, again!] they wouldn’t be an enticement?

They’re cute! That’s what I told myself. Everyone will think they’re darling and creative and personal. They will love me more when I gift them. But I have now received the gift of ‘cookies and cream’ smeared all over my hips, tummy and rear!

I kid you not!

So this morning I’m back to exercising, eating yogurt, frozen fruit, and walnuts. Healthy, healthy, healthy all day. Someone else is going to have to be in the kitchen preparing meals. I can not be around banana bread today!

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Commitment, Dang it! | Leave a comment