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.