Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Power of a Number


I've been doing some thinking about *why* I am more comfortable in this range between 188 and 192 lately, aside from the already-explored reasons of stabilization, loose skin worsening at lower weights, and the comfort of staying within the same clothing size (and not having to "give up" clothes quickly after fitting into them). Learning to maintain with small fluctuations could be done at any weight. So why this range? Partly because I've learned from the past that this is a critical point in my weight loss, but there's something else.

At 185 pounds, my BMI drops under 30 and I am no longer obese. At 185 pounds, I have "escaped from obesity." But if my goal is not a straight trajectory down... losing consistently from here on out... then my weight will keep on fluctuating up and down a few pounds. Up and down, 185 to 188 and back again, in and out of obesity. It's mentally tricky to reach this huge goal of escaping obesity by hitting *that weight* but then gaining a pound or two and suddenly being obese again. I don't want to feel that way, like "success! failure! success! failure!" every time the scale fluctuates a couple of pounds. My goal is to maintain within a narrow range of pounds, so doing that 185/188/185 thing would be fine if it were not for the mental game of going back and forth between being obese or not. I'm fine doing the same thing if the pounds are 188/191 because there are no emotional strings attached to those numbers. So I am being pretty chill about maintaining slightly above that number, even if it means I stay obese for just a little while longer :)

By the way, I weigh 190 as of today and am very happy with that. I think my mind and body will know when it's time to drop another chunk of weight, but until then, I'm not trying to do that. I am being happy living in my current skin and enjoying life at this much healthier and more active weight!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Regain Weigh In, and Now What?


Earlier this week I wrote about how the scale went up 6 pounds in just a few days, but I had a plan to deal with this kind of thing. I figure it is going to happen sometimes over the course of my life; pounds come on quickly for me when I choose higher carb foods during holidays, vacations, or like this week having company here to cook for. So I went from 188 to 194 between Sunday and Thursday. Today I am back down to 192, for a net gain of 4 pounds this week.

When I thought up this "line in the sand, prevent a massive regain" plan, the goal was to catch any regain early and stop it so I don't end up gaining back 80+ pounds like I did last time. It's easier to gain back like that than you might think, especially if your general way of eating is low carb and then you eat some cake or pasta or whatever several times over the course of a few days. That leads to this kind of gain (6 or more pounds) which leads to feeling discouraged and out of control, which leads to more eating and more gain. After 15 or 20 pounds pile on, it feels like a disaster. It seems unstoppable. You have to go up a size in clothes which feels like defeat, and it seems like it will take *forever* to get the weight back off. That's what I need to avoid. Four pounds, I can handle. I look the same. I feel the same. No one is going to look at me at church today and think, "Wow, she has put on some weight!" There is no sense of shame or failure like there was at 20, 30, 50 pounds regained and people stopped commenting on how good I looked and instead had a puzzled, sad look in their eyes when they saw me after a few months and I was all bloated up again. This is better. This is my path to staying sane with weight and food.

So now what? Do I feel a sense of panic because I am 4 pounds heavier than I was last week? No, I don't. I feel fine. Life goes on. I weigh every morning as usual to be sure I don't gain any more. I am being more careful with the carbs and my goal is to cut back on portions and add more produce this week. Before company arrived I usually ate 2 meals a day: one small/almost no carb brunch meal and a bigger meal at dinner that could include some carbs. This week I have been eating 3 meals a day, which I really don't need (it's just nice to sit down with company and eat biscuits and gravy or pancakes and bacon!) They're leaving today, so tomorrow I will go back to the old way and I think at least 2 or 3 of those regained pounds will drop off by next Sunday. I don't really want to get below 188 anytime soon, so there's no pressure as long as the gain stops now.

That's the plan, and it's low stress and allows me to feel at peace with my eating but also lets me have room for higher carb eating once in awhile, with an immediate path forward that hopefully will avoid any big regains for the rest of my life.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Regaining


Well I guess this is my chance to practice what I've planned in case of a regain.

Company arrived from out of town and has been staying with us all week, so there's been a lot more food around (cooking three meals a day plus having snacks here... something I don't normally do). We're painting my house and doing lots of yard work together right now which leads to me feeling super tired by dinnertime and choosing to eat things I wouldn't normally have (higher in carbs) as I didn't have the energy to prep my usual lower carb versions for myself. My appetite has been crazy too, with all the physical work I've put in. At any rate, that's just how life goes and it is a joyful thing to be able to work alongside friends and family and to live in a way that feels good. But I did make a line in the sand at 195 pounds, and I am getting too close for comfort.

Sunday I weighed 188 pounds. Monday I saw 190, Tuesday 191, Wednesday 192, and this morning 194. That's a big jump in 4 days! Time to  put my "for the rest of my life" plan into action: hitting 195 is an alarm for me to get the weight back off before it gets out of control. I had chosen 3 pounds as my max regain, too... I am past that already. So here I am this morning putting my structure back into place: lots of water, cut those carbs back out, get the portions under control and throw in more veggies and fruits for a stronger appetite. If I have *any* difficulty putting this into place today, I will take half of a phentermine to help me get my appetite under control. My doctor told me that is better than just struggling and letting the regain take over. Five or six pounds of mostly carb bloat will come off pretty quickly, but 10+ pounds is a hard thing to tackle... plus it makes the clothes fit more tightly and I don't want that!

Now's my chance to see if this strategy that I have in place on paper will work in real life. I know I can gain *very* quickly (I have gained 11+ pounds in a week a few times over the course of this blog) so it is essential that I have a tool that really works and will nip regain in the bud before it gets out of hand.

Will update Sunday!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Update Pictures: 90 Pounds Gone Again


I cannot believe it has been seven years and nine months since the last time I weighed posted 90 pounds gone pictures! But it's that time again... so here I am!

  

I took these on Friday when I hit 188 pounds. I am wearing size 14 jeans in this picture and short sleeves to show off my arm issues, which I hope will improve over time. I look way better in long sleeves but here's the honest truth! Any old-time readers recognize the shirt?

Also, I took my measurements again. In the last ten pounds I have lost:

1/2" off each calf
1.25" off each thigh
1.5" off my bust
2" off my hips
and 2.25" off my waist!

Wow, I am really shrinking! I did not lose any inches off my upper arms, but I am doing my arm strength training routine 3x/week so I bet things will look better in a month or two. I also bike several times a week for 10-15 minutes and walk the dogs most days too. This weigh in brings me to 3 pounds gone this week. Since Sunday is my official weekly weigh-in, I will update this post if there is a change on the scale tomorrow. I wanted to get this post up one day early since we will be busy tomorrow for Mother's Day.

I  still find it very strange that my last full month on phentermine (March) when I was trying hard to lose weight, I only lost 3 pounds. Then I went off phentermine and started eating more and made a goal of maintaining, and have lost 11 pounds since! It's puzzling in a way, but I think taking the pressure off to lose and refocusing on just *being* has helped. My goal still is not to lose right now, so I am increasing my food intake slightly. I wouldn't mind staying this weight for the rest of the summer while I just work on toning up my arms and legs, being comfortable with my new body, and hoping the skin will shrink a bit. 

I *am* losing more slowly than I did last time I got down to this weight though, which was in 2010 on Medifast. The first time, it took me 90 days to go from 208 pounds to 188. This time, it took me 109 days... so almost 3 weeks slower. But last time I struggled tremendously with the emotions of trying to accept the changes in my body between 188 and 178 as I was not listening to and honoring my feelings but rather was trying to force myself to just keep losing weight. Back then it took me 77 days to lose those ten pounds with a lot of stress and angst (and shortly thereafter, a regain). This time, I am *not* trying to force changes and weight loss before I am ready, so I expect to take much longer to get to the next ten pounds gone. And that is fine with me!

Thank you so much for coming along on this journey with me. I am learning so much and am very happy to be in a place of peace and content with my body and my eating.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

In The Calm Place


I am so happy. I really love everything about this journey and working to maintain. The way I am eating feels so calm and natural. This is the first time I can remember having no angst about food: no stress about what to eat or not eat, no cravings for foods that I "can't" have, no strict rules, no worries about restaurants or social meal occasions. Earlier this week, I was invited to a lunch event with a speaker. I agreed, but had no idea what they'd be serving. I figured I could manage it. When we arrived, we were seated at tables already set with plated food. Everyone had the same thing: chicken salad with fruit and nuts mixed in, lettuce leaves, sliced fruit, and a big fluffy croissant. Most people put their chicken salad and lettuce on the croissant and ate it as a sandwich. I tore the croissant bottom into fourths and buttered one piece to enjoy, and ate it with the chicken salad and fruit. It was delicious! There was water and coffee to drink (I had one cup black and one cup with cream) and then they brought out dessert: pound cake with fresh berries and whipped cream. I enjoyed all of the berries and cream plus two small bites of the cake. It was easy to navigate that meal and I enjoyed every bite!

Next week I am going to a barbecue with a couple of other families. I already know I will have a cheeseburger with all the fixings but no bun. There will be sides and salads that I'll enjoy, too, and I think I'll bring a fruit salad so I have a little something sweet while others enjoy a sugary dessert. Sugar tends to cause my joints to ache, so I like to avoid it. I can eat, say, a couple bites of cake or one cookie without pain, but beyond that and I am hurting. So sugary sweets rarely hold appeal for me. I might make a rare exception in the case of homemade ice cream or cheesecake, though (in small amounts!)

That's about all I wanted to share for now. I just feel good and am content and happy, and so glad to be in this place.