Monday, June 11, 2012

Tanya speaks:

 My good friend, Tanya, wrote the following post.  Tanya and I were best friends in high school (back when we had no idea how good we looked :) ).  

I share the struggle of battling with weight and I'm convinced many do and I bet it's mostly women--we are super busy, trying to be super moms, dealing with stress any way we can and we usually take care of ourselves last of all. I know that most of those things are not bad, but it helps me remember that we really do have a lot on our plates and we just need to hang in there, do our best, and feel good about who we are--not in the future, but right now.

From childhood I remember comparing my body to everyone else's. As a teenager I always wanted to be the skinny cute girl. I wanted to wear the size X jeans. And even when I was trim, I still did not think I was thin or even average.

Now it's four kids later. But I think that once I hit thirty I got a bit more realistic and kinder to myself. I decided that instead of having a goal to weigh X pounds, or wear size X jeans, I would try to focus on BEING HEALTHY. I want to exercise to be healthy. I want to eat food that is good for my body. I want to be healthy for life--not just until I reach a certain weight. Eating well and exercising regularly makes me happier. I feel better about myself because I am taking care of myself. Exercise is therapeutic. It is the perfect outlet for stress.

Just because I want to eat healthy does not mean that I won't eat treats or occasional things that are not all that healthy. I love cooking and really only want to eat foods that taste good.
SO, I try to cook reasonably healthy meals and make sure that fruits and vegetables are key players. But I do not deny myself treats-- like Dove Promise Dark Chocolate with Raspberry Swirls--my favorite! I just have to not go crazy with the treats. I am trying to be realistic here. If I denied myself treats or my favorite foods until I got to X pounds, I would not stay at that weight for long. It's no fun not eating good food! So my solution is just to be practical. I know myself. I will exercise. I will try to mostly eat healthy. And I will have a treat too.

I'm no nutritionist. I'm no doctor. I am a 31-year-old wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister. So maybe my philosophy is wrong, but I don't feel bad about it. I try to exercise 4 or 5 days a week. It makes me feel good that I'm taking care of my body by getting some exercise. And I like knowing that I primarily put healthy things into my body and into my husband and kids. And I am very happy about not denying myself a good treat now and then. And I will do my best to not compare my body to anyone else's. I will focus on taking care of ME and MY BODY.

My message is not to aim low, but to find a realistic goal for your own life. I can live with the goal of being healthy.

Isn't she wise and awesome?  Thanks, Tanya, for your thoughts!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sharing is Hard

I don't consider myself a "blogger".  I don't take amazing pictures and make my site all visually appealing.  I don't follow a posting schedule.  I don't know that I really even like blogging.  I do like giving advice- though I prefer for people to ask first.  I would rather not come across as egotistical or self-centered.  I don't think I have more to offer the world than any given human on the street.  Blogging is hard.  No, correction:  trying to put myself down on paper in a way that makes sense and doesn't take 30,000 words is hard.  I don't understand myself.  Therefore, I'm not surprised when my husband and family can't figure me out either.  How do I expect the average internet reader who stumbles across my site to even come close to getting what I'm trying to say? 

Truth:  it's easier to explain things in the past tense.  It was much easier to give advice and come across all wise and put-together after I had lost weight the first time.  Now I am losing weight again.  And I don't feel at all wise and put-together.  And.  It's actually easier for me to accomplish something if I don't broadcast to the world that I'm trying. 

I hear you asking:  "So why, exactly, are you blogging then?". 

Two reasons.
One:  I really think, in some undetermined way, that this is good for me.  It will at least give me something to look back on in years to come and maybe see if I learned anything.

Two, (and main reason):  I think somebody, somewhere, might possibly need to hear what I have to say.  I have had many experiences where I have heard the same thing over and over again, but then I hear someone put it a little differently.  And, suddenly, it clicks with me.  If I can help something to finally click with even one person, then I will consider this blog to have been worthwhile.  If not, well, at least it gave me something to do.  :)

So, here's where I am today:
I joined Weight Watchers again, three weeks ago.  I know, I know.  But I really think it's gonna work this time.  Why?  Because I'm doing it all wrong.  :)  Last time, I followed the "plan" exactly.  I went to the meetings.  I cooked the recipes.  I bought the frozen meals.  I measured, counted and portioned everything.  And I lost a lot of weight.  But.  I didn't want to spend the rest of my life counting, portioning and eating frozen cardboard at $5 a pop.  So I went back to what I knew (eating whatever the heck I wanted) and gained everything back. 

This time, I am paying the monthly fee for the privilege of weighing in once a week and using the cell phone app for tracking purposes.  That's it.  I don't go to the meetings.  I haven't bought a single cardboard frozen meal.  I figured if I'm not willing to do it for the rest of my life, I shouldn't do it to lose weight.  'Cause it won't stick, that's why.  I love that they changed the plan to make fruits and most veggies 0 points.  So now I have a fabulous incentive to eat lots of fruit and veggies.  And I have been!  Go figure.  I'm also making a point of losing as slowly as I possibly can.  I'm shooting for about 1/2 a pound a week.  So it'll stick.  Because I made that goal, I'm not nearly as stressed about what I eat.  If I've had lots of fruit that day, and I want an ice cream that night, I have one.  I don't always track everything I eat in a day.  I try to let myself get hungry, and stop when I'm full, and ask myself if I really want that treat.  It's the going to weigh-in once a week that's the true catalyst.  It helps me remember what I'm doing and why.  Weighing myself at home just doesn't have the same effect.

And, what the heck, if you really want to know, here's my current stats:

Highest weight:  220 (reached in 2007)
Lowest weight:  155 (reached in 2010)
Current weight:  201.2

Friday, March 30, 2012

Know Fear

Remember me?  I used to blog here.
I'm back now.

It's been what? like seven months since my last post?  Yeah, well.  I thought about posting during that time.  I really did.  But those posts would have consisted of things like this:  "I want to lose weight again, and I can't figure out how", or "I did really good yesterday, but I forgot all about trying to be good today", or how about "Yeah, today I just said 'to heck with it' and ate everything I could find.".

Long story short, I gained all my weight back from before weight watchers.  I am serious about getting it back off.  I have been serious before.  But, now I am really, really serious.  I think the difference between serious and really, really serious is focusing on the long haul, and keeping my goals foremost in my mind.  One of the reasons WW worked for me is that I thought about it all the time.   And, I talked about it all the time.  Sorry, Reed.  :) 

Now-a-days, I only think seriously about wanting to lose weight maybe every third day.  The other days, I like the clothes I'm wearing, and I feel pretty good, so I don't worry about it.  But that third day?  It's a doozy.  On that third day, I hate looking in the mirror.  I want to cry because I don't have any clean clothes that fit right any more.  I swear to myself that I'm going to change.  But the next day, I do laundry so I can wear my currently-fitting-clothes.  I tell myself that I love myself no matter what, and that I'm really not that fat.  So, I relax and have another Cadbury Caramel egg. 

Now, I find myself at the end of that vicious cycle.  Fifty-ish pounds overweight.  Again.  And I wonder, WHAT THE HECK?  I'm a smart person.  I'm a strong person.  I've read the books, and the blogs, and the nutrition websites.  I should know how to do this.  I do know how to do this.  And, I'm not doing it why? 

First reason why, I think, is that I change my goals like every third day.  (Yeah, the third day).  So it's hard to stick with a goal when I can't even remember which one I'm currently settled on.  Am I eating 1500 or 1800 calories today?  Am I giving up sugar or cokes this week?  Do I want to weigh 165 by October, or was it 180 by June?  Where am I going?  Why am I here?  I don't know, and it's making my head hurt.  I need chocolate. 

But, I think the biggest problem here is that I'm afraid.   I'm afraid of failing, yet again.  I'm afraid that I won't be able to resist the Easter candy aisle.  I'm afraid that I'll be grumpy and unpleasant if I forgo dinner.  I'm afraid that I won't be able to maintain weight loss, even if I do manage to lose the weight again.  I'm afraid that if I continue to try and fail, I will quit liking myself eventually.  It's hard to like someone who is constantly failing you. 

And, what do I plan to do about all of this, you ask?  Well.  Right here, right now, I am going to set some reasonable goals.   Then I am going to face my fears head on.  I am going to forgive myself when I mess up.  Here goes nothin:

I am going to keep my intake to less than 1700 calories a day, even on weekends.
I am going to weigh myself every Friday morning, no more, no less. 
I am going to post to this blog every Friday.  Even if that post is only one sentence long. 
I am going to write these goals down and put them up everywhere, so I won't forget.
I am going to re-evaluate my goals at the end of April.

Yep, that's what I'm gonna do. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You cannot imagine my despair when I reached the age of eleven and realized that I am a muggle.

You mean I really can't do magic?!  Dagnabit.

I'm a sucker for funny sayings that have wonderfully profound meaning.  Or maybe I just try to attach profound meaning to funny sayings so I feel more justified and mature about using them in casual conversation.  Whatever.  Point is:  I haven't got a drop of magical blood in my veins.  And what does that have to do with weight loss, you ask?  It means that I, and you, can't use magic to fix our problems.  Pills, potions, spells don't actually work in our world.  Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans are just Jelly Bellys with nasty flavors.  Sigh.

Okay, that's my wise, deep thought for today.  Now, back to work.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Minor Lifestyle Tweaks

Once again, I apologize for the lengthy pause between posts.  That being said, from now on I'm not going to apologize every time.  Not because I'm not sorry, but because doing something over and over again, and continuing to apologize for it starts to sound a little bit insincere.  So.  Just take it for granted that I feel bad, but I'm not letting it ruin my life.  Okey dokey.  Moving on.  :)

I'm still loving exercise classes.  I have been going regularly, twice a week, since my kids started school.  Yay me.  I have discovered muscles that I never knew I had- discovered in rather painful ways.  Being sore is painful, but I find a perverse satisfaction in it.  For me, it's kind of like being exhausted after a really hard day's work.  Physically you feel like you've been run over by a truck, but mentally you know that you feel that way because you did something worthwhile.  Here's to worthwhile pain.

Part of the reason I haven't posted in a while is because I have been trying to figure out where I want to go, nutritionally speaking.  My weight has stayed pretty steady since my last post.  That's a good thing, it's a whole heck of a lot better than my weight increasing.  I tried going back to Weight Watchers.  I found motivation there, but I also have found some wisdom.  The wisdom part is realizing that I do not, and never will, want to get motivation from an outside source for long-term.  If I am to be successfully healthy, I need to be able to produce my own motivation.  So, I have decided to start with what I know.  I know myself so much better now than I did even six months ago.  I know that I do not like change.  I know that I get tired of fighting my habits.  I also know that I takes me a lot longer than six weeks (or whatever time the "average" human takes) to change a habit.  Actually, I have never succeeded at consciously changing a habit.  The habits I have developed or gotten rid of seemed to be a natural process.  So, if I want to change the way I eat, I need to go about it completely differently than I have so far.  Instead of shooting for a major lifestyle change, I need to make minor lifestyle tweaks.  I need to learn to be okay with the fact that I may never prefer fruit over chocolate cookies.  I will quit beating myself up over my Diet Dr. Pepper habit.  I will quit (or try to quit) obsessing over getting to weight X by date Z.  Instead, I will choose to continue to workout regularly, and teach myself to order the Whataburger Jr. rather than the full size, and add lettuce and tomato.  I can have pizza, I will just have two slices instead of four.  In other words I will stick to the foods I normally eat, and just make little, almost invisible, changes here and there.  I will learn to be me, every bit of me, and be cool with that.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I have made a discovery.  I love, repeat, love fitness classes.  Who knew?  I come out of an hour-long workout thinking "You know, there is no way in heck I would have stuck with that workout for that long if I had been on my own".  About twenty minutes in I would be done.  I love that having other people there, sweating with me, not giving up, makes me keep going.  Nothing like a little peer pressure.  :)
So far I have been to The Ultimate Workout, and Mat Pilates.  Both of which ate my lunch.  Big time.  After the first Ultimate Workout class my quads (the front of my thighs, for those not into anatomical terms) were so sore that I couldn't walk right for about three days.  After that I learned that I don't have to do all the repetitions of all the exercises in class, and I still get a fabulous workout.  I'm still sore, but not to the point where I'm incapacitated. 
I'm working up to going to an hour-long class three times a week. Right now I'm up to twice a week.  My poor, out-of-shape body is slowly adjusting.

Much as I love the classes, it is kind of hard not to get a complex watching the instructors- I've never spent a lot of time around such obviously buff, built people.  It makes me feel extra soft.  But so far that just motivates me to keep going.   

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fleur grew

What's Newton's law again? An object in motion wants to stay in motion?  Yeah.  Something like that.  Well, Fleur's law seems to be that a woman who eats tends to want to keep eating.  And eating.  And eating some more.  

I've been gone from the world-o'-blog for a while, you may have noticed.  :)  I don't have a great excuse.  We didn't move, or have a baby, or lose a close family member (thank goodness to all of that).  My excuse is that I fell off the wagon.  Hard.  And, up until now, I have been ashamed to admit it.  Even to myself.  But I finally stepped onto the scale this morning and forced myself to admit the truth.  I have gained back 30 pounds since January.  "Hi, my name is Fleur.  Hi, Fleur. And I am once again overweight." 
Now, I know that I am the only person in the world to have ever had this problem. wink wink  So, I decided to tell you about it so that if, by some strange coincidence, you might have had, or ever will have this problem, maybe you won't feel quite so alone.  That's what this blog is all about, after all.  Informing the world that not everyone's life is as perfect and easy as you may think.  I have decided to "man up" and not only admit my failure, but also do something about it.  Next week I am going back to Weight Watchers.  I know that the program didn't actually solve my underlying eating problems, but until I get my weight manageable, I am too overwhelmed to try to get to the root of my over-eating.  I will go back to my old meeting, hat in hand, and start over. sigh

This time I want to do it better.  I want to learn to enjoy fruits and veggies as a normal part of life.  I want to snack on healthy things, instead of WW 1 point snack bars that are made from who-knows-what.  I bought a gym membership last week.  I want to use it to build muscle and actually get in shape. 
This is me and my mom at my brother's wedding two weeks ago.  My mom has done fabulous at maintaining her weight loss.  I'm so proud of her!  Doesn't she look great!?  I need to get my inspiration from her. 

In my new spirit of transparency and honesty and accountability, here are my current stats:

30 years old
185 pounds (up from my goal weight of 155)
5' 6"
36% body fat (as measured by my fitness evaluation at the gym)

Bleah.  I can do better than that.  Here's to do-overs.