Friday, February 22, 2019

Making a Comitment

Through hard work, both without and within, I have lost a total of 70 pounds, including my goal of 52 pounds lost last year.  I have increased the amount of exercise I get and decreased my food intake, neither of which is easy no matter what anyone says.  I have also worked hard to understand some of the emotional reasons as to why I held on to this weight for so long.

If anyone tells you there is not an emotional component to eating or exercising they are blowing smoke.  We all have our reasons for why we eat and exercise the way we do and it doesn't always have to do with food or exercise itself.  Food and exercise are a means to an end, like money is simply a medium of exchange.  Very few people eat simply to fuel their bodies and move just to get a particular task done.  Before you deny these thoughts out of hand, think about them.  Think about how you feel when you sit down with friends and family for a meal.  Think about how you feel when you take a walk through the park.

I am an emotional eater.  Not everyone is.  I eat to feel good.  I eat when I feel bad.  I eat when I am bored.  I had to find healthier ways to deal with these and other emotions.

When I need to think, I now walk or clean the house.  If I get bored, I pick up one of my many projects I have wanted to do and get busy or I read a book.  If I am feeling restless, I go for a hike or go to the gym.  If I am feeling bad, I take a good hard look at where those feelings are coming from and deal with them, even if it means taking a long walk or going for a drive.

As I have lost weight, my body has started pressuring me to exercise more.  I feel better when I have worked hard enough to work up a sweat.  I feel strong.  I feel powerful.  I feel energetic.  I feel good.

I have lost a lot, but I still have a long way to go.  I am hoping to lose at least 26 pounds this year.  The closer I get to my goal, the more difficult it will become to get there, so I am doing my best to be realistic.

Maybe while I am setting goals I will set a goal to write more often on my blog.  I'll think about it.

I'm off for my morning stroll.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Making a commitment

I'm back.  Will I be any better at updating often, probably not, not yet anyway.  Time is a hot commodity in my life, and I never seem to have enough of it.  But that is not what you stopped by for, you are probably expecting an update on my weight loss progress.

I have GREAT news!  I have met my goal for the year.  That's right, I have lost 52 pounds this year.  I am now down to 246 pounds.  A total combined loss of 69 pounds.  YEAH!!!!!!

So, how am I doing it?  I started by doing something I don't recommend you just do.  I gave up the medication that controls my stomach acid production and keeps me from having reflux (ALWAYS speak with your physician BEFORE going off ANY medication).  It was allowing me to overeat as I was not getting the signals that my stomach was full.  I then had to quickly learn portion control as anyone who has ever had heartburn can tell you it is miserable!

That alone took about 20 pounds off.  The next thing I did was start walking more daily.  I set a goal of 5000 steps a day.  Then I joined a gym AND started using it.  That's right, you actually have to go to get any benefit.  I could feel my body start changing in the first week.

We all have been told a bazillion times that the key to weight control is diet and exercise, but what these "gurus" fail to tell you is that there is a third thing that needs to been done to be successful.  You have to deal with the reason you gained the weight in the first place.  That's right, you are going to have to take a good hard look into your psyche and honestly answer the question, "Why?"

What purpose does this extra weight serve?  For some, it may simply be a lack of motivation in getting moving and eating better, for others however, it may be deeper than that.  Be kind to yourself, whatever the reason is.  If you need help coming to terms and dealing with the reasons, please seek counseling.  It takes a very strong person to admit they could use a hand.

I have heard many women say, "After kids, I......" or "I am just getting older."  Well, I've had two children and I am older and both are only excuses.  Granted, some people have actual medical problems which play a major role in weight gain/loss, but most of us don't.  That said, as we age, our bodies change, so how we looked at 20 is NOT how we will look at 40.  But that does not mean we can no longer look and feel good.

While looks aren't everything, they do matter to us, even if we don't admit it.  It took me 50 pounds before I could actually look in the mirror and SEE that I had lost weight.  I had lost 2 sizes by then.  I have now lost a total of 4 sizes and am thrilled to see my progress.  I am able to do things that I have not done in a while and I feel better about myself, better than I have felt in a while.  I still struggle with my reasons for gaining weight and keeping it, but I am making progress and don't have nearly as many tough days.

So, take a good look at yourself in the mirror,  Be kind to the person you see.  Be honest to the person you see.  For every flaw you point out, also point out an asset.  If you have to, post notes telling the person in the mirror how much she/is is loved and all the things you love about her/him.  Then look yourself in the eye and ask, Why?  The answer might surprise you.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Making a commitment

So yea...... It's been a couple of years or more.  I kinda got busy living and hit the snooze button........a lot.  At the end of last year I climbed back on the wagon and lost 20 lbs.  Down to 295 lbs.  This year my goal is to lose 52 lbs, and so far I have lost 10 lbs, so I am right on track.  Now all I need to do is keep my blog current.

So what happens when I go on any kind of diet, I cook.  And what did I cook, truffles.  These are very dark chocolate (85% cacao) with a dark milk chocolate (55% cacao) shell.  They were positively decadent!  I gave most of them away, but it made for a fabulous Valentine's gift for my family.

My family whined about my giving most of them away (can you believe that!), so I have since made some more.  This time I made white chocolate raspberry truffles, and I have a batch caramel dark chocolate truffles ready for dunking.  These will be followed by ginger-orange dark chocolate truffles.  I am thinking about making some sort of nut butter truffles too, but I have not yet decided which kind.

My family has decided that we can add truffles to the list of tasty morsels that we make for the holidays as after these are all done, there will be no more until then.  Fortunately, the neighbors have been helping us eat them.  I have been good so far and sticked to just a couple from each batch.

Diets are dangerous.

Now if I can just lick this cold, or whatever I have come down with, I could get back to the gym and get this weight off and the muscles tightened.

Until I remember again..... Adieu!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Making a commitment - Week 4

The wagon has been careening down the road, dragging me behind it.  While it has been 2 weeks since I last wrote, I have continued to go to my yoga classes followed by swimming, but my diet has been less than stellar.  I came in at 311, but my pants feel baggier.  I feel like a chicken with my head cut off, running wildly through the yard without making any specific progress.  Ever have one or two of those weeks?  Time to grab myself by the bootstraps, get a grip on the rope dragging me, and haul my cookies back up on that wagon.

Speaking of chickens, since my Barred Rock rooster valiantly fought and lost his life to a hawk to protect his ladies, I have been without a man about the coop.  This past Friday I was able to pick up this new-to-us American rooster from a friend who needed to relocate his ornery feather fiend.  The rooster settled right in with the ladies and is steadily adjusting to the new pecking order.  He is a beauty, but still a little big for his britches.

There is still a little frost in the air most evenings, but the days are growing longer and my thoughts are turning towards spring.  My raised beds are in the process of getting hardware cloth attached to their bottoms.  The moles have been way to happy to feast on my gardens in the past and I am reluctant to continue sharing the fruits of my labors.  Let them grow their own garden.  Soon my fruit trees should be arriving, followed by seed potatoes and then tomato starts.  I can hardly wait to dig my hands into the earth and sow my seeds.

Don't forget, "Anyone can handle a crisis.  It's the day-to-day living that takes the most strength."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Making a commitment - Week 2

The proverbial wagon is rolling along, hitting the bumps and potholes along the way.  I came in at 310 this week, but it wasn't without its struggles.  I made it to the gym and did yoga twice this week.  I went out a couple of times this week for lunch, but managed to order light and take half of it home for leftovers.  Being a member of the "clean plate club" is a tough row to hoe and a hard habit to break, but with a great deal of effort I am making it.

Part of making a commitment to myself is making sure I take time for pleasure as well.  One of my pleasures is learning new things and for Christmas I got a gift certificate to a glass blowing class.  Making art in any medium is another one of my many pleasures, so this was right up my alley.  I made a beautiful hummingbird feeder at Tacoma Glassworks and had a great time doing it.  I do plan to take my and my partner's daughter there for a class as well.  I think the girls would enjoy it very much.

Weather permitting, I am hoping to do a little work out in the gardens to prep them for the coming spring.  Pulling all the weeds that thrive during the cold months is good for the shoulders too.  My fruit trees should be arriving next month as well, so I need to get the ground ready to receive them too.  So much to do before spring is upon us.

Another week down and still trucking along......

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Making a commitment - Week 1

When it comes to making changes, the first few weeks are the easiest as the effort is at the forefront of my mind.  However, as the weeks roll on, we will see if I can keep the momentum going.

Week one is done and I made it to the gym twice and did over 10 hours of yard work at home, on top of my "normal" workload.  We ate out twice this past week and I was able to keep my self control and select only "healthy" choices, in part thanks to the calorie count listed right on the menu and choosing water to drink.  I weighed in at 314 on Monday, so I am feeling pretty positive.  I have to keep reminding myself that I didn't put the weight on over night, so I should not expect to take it off that way either.  The jump-start feels good all the same.

I am working on coming up with easier ways to make nutritious meals in my limited time so that I don't feel so compelled to eat out for convenience.  With the start of my daughter's swimming lessons, it will also be easier to make it to the gym at least 3 times a week as well.  Changing all the habits that contribute to my lifestyle is difficult, to say the least, as most of these habits started in childhood.

Forging ahead bravely!!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Making a committment to myself

When you are young, time seems to pass so slowly.  You can hardly wait to get older and gain more privileges, yet you do not even see the responsibilities that come with theses privileges.  As we age, our perspective slowly changes on how quickly time passes.  When we are young, we are strong and fit, and our bodies are our friend.  Yet as we age, our bodies tend to lose their strength and fitness, and for some, even become our enemy.

For me, 50 years of my life has passed and time seems to be accelerating.  When I look in the mirror, I wonder where that woman who looks back at me came from.  During all those years, I have brought two children into the world, married and divorced two husbands, and gained and lost at least two people's worth of weight.  Each of these events, and many others, have contributed to that woman in the mirror.  The weight has been the hardest to reconcile.

Always I have put my children and partners ahead of myself when it came to taking care of people.  My self-care always came last, if it came at all.  Like most women, I was socialized that way (by family, by friends, by husbands, and by myself), but it is time to change the music.

All people need a certain amount of self-care to be healthy and happy.  Self-care is not selfish or self-centered, it is vital to long term survival and emotional stability.  Self-care is vital to our health.  Self-care does not mean taking care of only yourself, it means taking at least some time to take care of yourself.  Read a book.  Take a walk.  Go to a spa.  Lie in a field and watch the stars.  Work on your hobby.  Go to the doctor.  Exercise.  Relax.  Self Care!

I got on the scale the first Monday of this year and found that I had gained up to 319 lbs.  Needless to say, I was unhappy, depressed, angry, disgusted, and determined.  I have not been taking care of MY diet and exercise, so this year my goal is to change that.  My current goal is to go to the gym, and exercise, at least 3 times a week, make my lunch everyday instead of buying, and eat both breakfast and dinner at home.  My daughter is completely on board with this and is helping me stay on track.  In fact, she gets most unhappy of we don't get to the gym when we say we are going.  My partner is another story.  Within two days he wanted to eat out at the local pizza place.  Getting him to accept my self-care changes is going to take some doing.

Ready! Set! Go!