Friday, February 5, 2016

A Measure of Success

This week when I posted my 50 Pounds Gone Again update pictures, I started to wonder how my body measurements have changed over the past year since my last photos. Fourteen months ago, I weighed 243 pounds. I gained a few pounds between then and last January before starting to lose again, but the net difference in the photos is 15 pounds. So what about measurements and size? Well, I measured today and compared the numbers now (228) to the numbers then (243). Along with those 15 pounds, I've lost

1/4" off my neck
1" off each ankle
1/2" off each calf
3/4" off each thigh
1" off each upper arm
1.25" off my bust
3.75" off my hips
and 4" off my waist!

That's pretty good progress! No wonder I feel better and fit into my clothes better.

I'm pleased with how things are going, even if slowly. Now to get those next ten pounds off!

Monday, February 1, 2016

50 Pounds Gone Again... Update Pictures

The last time I posted progress pictures was 14 months ago, and they were entitled "Picture of a Regain: 68 Pounds Regained." They were by far the hardest pictures for me to post; I was back up to 243 pounds. At that time I promised to start taking new pictures again when I reached 228 pounds. Yes, it took me over a year to get there, but here I am! Finally, 50 pounds gone again!


I think it is interesting to compare these to my other "50 Pounds Gone" pictures taken back in 2008.


Not too much difference that I can see. Hopefully this will be that LAST time I have to post pictures at this weight. I never want to be this size again. My main goal is simple: drop ten pounds and if it's easier to just hang out at 218 for awhile, I am good with that. Slow and steady and permanent.

Feeling good and staying relaxed about the food! Hope you are happy and content as well.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

This Week in Not Dieting

This week has been a happy, content week for me, free from dieting and stress. I am loving this new approach to weight loss! I feel good. Today's weigh in has me at 228 pounds, down a pound from last week. That means new 50 Pounds Gone progress pictures are coming soon!

For the curious, here are some things I chose to eat this week:
grapefruit, pears, apples, grapes, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, freeze dried pineapple, Clementines
carrots, spinach, squash, corn, potatoes, salad, avocado
chicken, bratwurst, bacon, eggs, tuna, meatballs, beef jerky
spaghetti, dinner rolls, a donut, a piece of cake, chocolate covered almonds
coffee with half and half, kombucha, diet Coke (not a regular thing for me)
Doritos, chips, artichoke dip
Potluck meal: baked ziti with cheese and meat, garlic bread, salad with dressing, sweet potato pie
A delicious meatball soup I made in the crockpot
My favorite meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy
A grilled cheese sandwich
A lettuce-wrapped "sub" from the sub shop (turkey, ham, salami, mayo, cheese, wrapped in big lettuce leaves)

What I liked about my choices:
I am able to enjoy a small serving of many different foods. I can eat 6 Doritos or a small (1-2") piece of cake and not be triggered to eat more. I can have a small piece of garlic bread with my dinner. Moderation is getting easier and easier as I know I can have anything I choose. (Note: this was NOT possible when I was in the throes of binge eating. One cookie always led to a dozen cookies, even if they didn't taste good. One slice of pizza was NOT doable; that always led to many, many more slices. Binge eating has not been a part of my life for a very long time. I have no desire to binge and it is not a problem for me anymore. Know yourself).
I am able to eat favorite foods with my daughter for lunch (grilled cheese on wheat with tomato soup! We have always loved this.)
I choose to avoid some nightshades (eggplant, peppers, raw tomato) because they bother my arthritis

What I could do differently *without* any resentment or feeling restricted:
Add more veggies
At home, substitute spaghetti squash or zucchini for actual pasta
Leave the cheese off the "sub"
Cook fish for dinner at least once a week. I love fish anyway, and have lots in the freezer that my son caught (salmon and halibut). I just need to remember to thaw it the night before. Will note that in my planner!
Sub sweet potatoes for white (I like them better anyway; this is just a planning issue. I can see how noting planned dinners in my planner will help me be more prepared and have ingredients on hand for this kind of thing!)
Skip the diet soda (I hadn't had any in a long time and thought I wanted some. It wasn't that good. I'll stay with water.)

Do you see how I am aiming to make healthy changes to my eating each week *without* stressing out and making myself miserable? I want to do this every week: look over the choices I made and make some gentle improvements that are completely painless and will lead to better health and weight loss. That, along with gradually upping the lifestyle-type exercise (walking, hiking, yard work, biking while watching TV) will let me get to my goal weight without being all stressed out and restricting (which, in my experience, leads to regain).

I have been losing a pound or two every month since last January (when I weighed 245 pounds). Next month, I'd like to see that increase, just a little bit. If I can push the activity and make small dietary changes, I hope to lose 3 pounds or more in February. If I can keep up that pace, I'll weigh 195 or less by the end of the year. That sounds pretty good to me, especially if I can do it *without* going to the gym, forcing myself into exercise I hate, but while eating ALL of the foods I like. Stress free weight loss is my new mantra!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Why I'm Not Motivated to Lose Weight

It's no secret that I am not really making an effort at weight loss these days. Sure, I try to keep my portions small, even while eating basically anything I want. And I do pay attention to my nutrition, choosing more protein and produce and less processed foods, but that's more about overall health and making sure I feel my best. The only "effort" I have made in losing weight since July has been to cut back a bit on the carbs the last week or so, and to try to get out and take more walks. And of course, "intending" to ride my exercise bike (but not actually getting on it much so far). I mean, sure, I know it makes sense to lose weight. It isn't ideal to weigh as much as I weigh. It would be better for my health to drop about 50 pounds. But really, if I was truly motivated to lose weight, I'd be working harder at it... getting more excited about it. I'd be looking forward to the changes weight loss brings, and putting in the effort to make weight loss a priority. Right?

Well, there are two basic reasons why I am not really gung-ho about weight loss anymore. I am not working myself up with internal cheer sessions like I did the first time I got to the weight (down from 278+). One of them is emotional. One is logical.

Today I weigh 229 pounds. I have gotten "stuck" at this weight several times in my life. You know how your body kind of settles at certain weights and stays there fairly easily? I was like that at 278. And 245. Then 228. I can sit at this weight for months, eating pretty much anything I want as long as I don't binge. It's an easy weight for me... takes very little effort not to gain from here. And emotionally, it's a very comfortable weight. (Notice I didn't say physically; it's not exactly a comfortable weight to be in a physical sense. Still too heavy and hard on my joints.) But emotionally, this is a weight with a lot of good memories. I experienced some wonderful relationships at this weight. Before I remarried, I dated several men who found me very attractive at this weight and loved my body just the way it was. And for me, it's not so overflowing with fat rolls that I feel self conscious about my body; I love my curves and embrace this fuller figure. I was very happy at this weight in the past, so that makes it an easy weight to accept now. I look okay in clothes (I do NOT feel or look ok in clothes at, say, 245 pounds), I don't have any sagging, deflated skin like I do under 200 pounds. I can physically do most of what I'd like to do at this weight. I can live a confident, happy life at this weight. So there is not so much motivation to lose, because I'm not terribly uncomfortable here, mentally or physically. (Do I sound like I am convincing myself not to try?)

The logical reason is that I have already done the "I am so excited, I am going to lose this weight once and for all!" thing too many times to count. I know that if I get super motivated and go all in with 100% effort to lose weight, I will lose weight. But then, I will probably stall or regain. I know this from decades of experience in the dieting mindset. I can restrict, count, track, and force myself into an unnatural way of living and see the weight start to come off. And then, if I restrict enough, one of two things will happen: either my body rebels by slowing my metabolism to a crawl so the weight loss nearly stops, or my brain rebels and wants to eat EVERYTHING I have restricted for so long. Suddenly a donut because an object of desire instead of a once-in-while treat, and just as suddenly, that donut once eaten derails my eating for days or weeks and results in several pounds of weight gain, instead of just being part of my normal eating and *not* causing weight gain, like now. (Yes, I have an occasional donut now, whenever I want one... or half of one... and it doesn't trigger a bunch more eating or a stubborn weight gain). I know that if I ramp myself up into a diet mindset, I will probably just burn out in the end.

So I am not motivated to work hard on weight loss. Then why bother? Well, because I want to live longer, I want to stabilize my blood sugar, I want to keep my blood pressure in control, and I want to preserve my joints. So I do know that weight loss will benefit me. I do want, and need, to lose for those reasons alone.

This is why I am still blogging, and working on health and weight loss (even if in a much lower key, non-dieting way). I think I need to find a point at which I have a little *more* motivation, energy, and working towards weight loss without going back to restricting or forcing myself into the gym. I need to put weight loss (for health) closer to the front of my mind so that I put more effort into it. Maybe some goals would be a good push in the right direction.

Goals for next week:
Walk outside 5 days/week
Bike 3x/week, however long is comfortable for me
Eat a little less than I think I need
Substitute more produce for some of the carbs I've been eating (potatoes, pasta, breads)

That's enough of a push for now. I think the most important thing for me is to stay relaxed about my eating, and not let it become an obsession again.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekly Update

Well this is an annoying weigh in. As much as I try to be all casual about the scale (like I was for the past 6 months, just not stressing about it, and that seemed to work well... I still lost weight!), I am starting to feel a bit of pressure over my Sunday weigh-ins. And this week I was pretty disappointed. Actually, I didn't weigh this morning (had breakfast before I remembered to weigh) but I *did* weigh in earlier this week. Two days ago I was down a pound to 228. Then yesterday I was UP two pounds to 230! Carb bloat, I think. We had pizza for dinner and although I had thin crust, I ate too much of it and I'm sure it was loaded with sodium too. So net is that I am up a pound this week.

I did lay off the carbs and processed foods for the first half of the week (thus the pound loss) but it's amazing what one day of junk can do! I did get back to some walking outdoors, even though it is cold, and I've enjoyed that.

I've had this 3-day diet kit sitting on my room for a couple of months, and I need to review it, but I have just not felt like doing a "diet" at all. I got it out and looked it over, and the calories are reasonable and it includes real food (like baked salmon and vegetables, fruit, yogurt, etc) so I think I will give it a try this week. It's only 3 days... and I do enjoy reviewing things! Maybe that'll be a good way to get my brain out of the junk and back on eating a bit healthier.