Sunday, October 14, 2018

Where I'm At, Ranges, and Loose Skin

As usual, I'm here to share my weekly Sunday weigh-in. Since I was gone for awhile, I missed last Sunday's weigh-in but posted at 184 pounds on Tuesday. Today, five days later, I weigh 180 again... same weight I was on October 1. It feels good to be able to have a "normal" life and not be on a strict diet plan and stressed out all the time over every goal or gain. Hopefully I can use the next couple of weeks and get into my next new weight range.

Weight ranges have been such a useful tool for me. Instead of being hyper-focused on getting to a lower number, I set goals of staying within a narrow range with a lower high end. So basically my ranges drop by about 4 to 6 pounds each time. It really adds up... as you can see by my ranges this year:

mid Feb - late March 201 - 206
late March - late April 195 - 200
mid April - late June 188 - 195
late June - late July 184 - 189
late July - early Sept 180 - 185

and for all of August, September, and so far in October, my range has been 179 to 184. So from a high of 206 in mid February and a low of 179 in October, that's a 27 pound drop in 6 months. Pretty good!

I think it would be nice to slide into a slightly lower range, say 176 to 182, for the rest of the year.

I started following "fatgirlfedup" (Lexi) on Instagram recently. She has been sharing a lot of stories, photos, and videos of her excess skin after losing 312 pounds in two years. She's young, and super healthy, and really inspiring! She's having her extra skin removed soon, but what struck me the most is that she and I are about the same weight right now (her last scale shot showed 182 pounds). But when I look at her body and my body there is such a HUGE difference. I have complained for years about my loose skin... and my batwing arms sure do rival Lexi's... but on the rest of me, so far I don't have nearly the amount of loose skin that she has. Her top weight was about 200 pounds higher than mine... so I know that's the reason, and I am really excited to see how her skin surgery turns out. If I stayed the weight I am now forever, the only skin I *might* consider having removed is on my upper arms. There is nothing else bothersome at all at this point (well, except that I do wish I could have the skin under my chin tightened up! It's a bit wrinkly.) I have some body sag, but either it's not as bad as I remembered it or I have truly come to accept it. We'll see what I think ten or twenty pounds from now.

On to another good week!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fall Foods

Since I got home, the cooler weather has me craving that wonderful warmth of fall foods. I've always noticed a shift in what my body wants according to the seasons (not counting my passion for stuffing and green bean casserole around the holidays!) I like to make filling, comforting things like soups, stews, chili, and of course hot cereal. But how can anyone eat hot cereal on a low carb diet?? It's impossible, right? Well, depends on your "diet" I guess. Nothing's off limits for me, but I do try and minimize carbs when I can. This morning I cooked up a great big bowl of oat bran and stirred in 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin. I added cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and walnuts and then topped it with half and half. It was so filling and comforting! I don't eat cereals every day; in fact, I usually don't have anything besides coffee for breakfast. But this works when I wake up feeling hungry and wanting that wonderful sensation of something warm and filling in your belly.

I'm making other things, too: taco soup (which I make lower carb using the recipe in the link), roasted veggies, pumpkin bread (made with Swerve sweetener), and sugar free peppermint mocha coffee. We have a family birthday coming up this weekend so I will be baking a cheesecake, too, and having a small piece. I sometimes will scoop out a bit of the batter before adding sugar and just make a smaller, one-serving sugar free cheesecake for myself, but sometimes I just have a piece and go with it. No stress.

Today I am down 2 pounds to 182. Two more pounds of "trip bloat" to go. It will help if I get on the bike today. I've been so busy since I got back that exercise still hasn't been a priority, but I'll get there.

Do you have any favorite lower carb or keto fall recipes? Would love to hear them!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

I Am Excited About My Weight Gain

Last Sunday morning, before I left on my trip, I weighed 180 pounds. I wasn't around a scale to do my weigh-in on Sunday, but I did plan to weigh as soon as I could. This morning after getting home late last night, I weigh 184. Yes, 184! I am so excited that I only put on FOUR pounds on this trip! (If you've read here for long, you may remember that in the past I have on more than one occasion gained ELEVEN pounds in one week). As I shared before (and posted some photos on Instagram), my eating was *not* lower carb on this trip. I have tried to make every event, trip, holiday, etc peaceful and that includes not being stressed out about what I am eating. This is *so* much easier than it was when I was doing strict diet like Medifast, keto, South Beach, or AIP. I don't have to worry that someone will serve food that is not on my plan, or that I will feel deprived because of some special food that I *want* to try but "can't" because of my self-imposed diet plan. And I believe that as long as I am not eating higher carb, larger portions over an extended period of time (more than a week or two) it should be relatively simple to lose any related gains. It was *not* easy in the past, and I think the huge change is due to several things: my calm/peace about food and refusal to panic over it, my lack of restriction which results in an absence of triggers for overeating, my healed and restored metabolism, and of course phentermine... which has, according to my doctor, played a part in that restoration and also in aiding me to have the *time* to cultivate that spirit of peace as I lost 80 pounds in one year. I have taken it less than half the time over the last couple of weeks. I'm going to take it today and probably will take this time to work off some new pounds before the holidays and then will take the phentermine through Christmas. We'll see where I am after that.

The four pounds of travel bloat will be gone soon. I know a lot of it is from salt (I ate chips, crackers, processed cheese, and salty fried foods) and carbs (breads, pasta, muffins, cookies) as well as sugar (peanut M&Ms on the plane and butter pecan ice cream at the airport...). Today I am back to lower carb eating and had bacon, a fried egg, and a Clementine around 11:30 with my coffee, and then a handful of sugar free gummy bears. Dinner will be at a friend's: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and veggies; I know there is oatmeal in her meatloaf, so will stick with a small piece, 1/4 cup-ish serving of potatoes, and lots of veggies. I might have some fruit, yogurt, salami and cheese, or other lower carb snacks today, but am keeping the volume low.

I feel great! Very happy and looking forward to an active fall, with lots of biking, raking, and walking. Being sane about food is *so* much better than constantly fighting myself over every single bite. Life is good.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Not Weighing

Have you ever felt like your scale is controlling your life? Like the moment you step on it, instead of a number in pounds you get a voice that tells you exactly what kind of day you're going to have, and what kind of person you are? I used to get on my scale, see an unhappy (higher) number, and immediately my mood would drop. I'd feel suddenly sad, hopeless, and like a failure just because of a perceived increase in my fatness and corresponding decrease in my personal worth. Funny thing though... if you have that kind of experience and then your husband changes the old batteries in your scale, and you get back on and see that you are 6 pounds *lighter* than you thought, your mood suddenly lifts, you feel "skinnier" instead of like a big lazy lump, and your whole day seems more positive.

One of the big changes I made over the years is to weaken the power of the scale. Some people do that by not weighing, but I did it by weighing every day and plotting it on a graph for years. I got to see that a little bump up or drop down was normal, and would level out eventually if I was not going nutso on a binge fest. I've committed to the daily weigh-in and the weekly (usually Sunday) weight report. I also have my Weight By Month recorded for over 11 years. That keeps me aware of trends (which do matter) and how whatever I am doing is affecting my weight. But I think it's just as important, for me personally, to prioritize calmness and peace about the numbers, habits, and food... and that peace is even more important than the actual weighing itself.

I have been away from home all of this week and am not going to be back until next week. I am no where near my scale (literally thousands of miles away) and haven't weighed at all since Sunday. There won't be a Sunday weigh-in tomorrow. I know in the past, being away from the scale has triggered all kinds of weird emotions in me, usually to one extreme or the other. Either A) "omg I HAVE to weigh, I committed to weigh, if I don't weigh every day my world will collapse. Therefore I MUST find a scale, or buy a scale, to use while I am away." or B) "wheeeeee! No scale! I *can't* gain or lose weight!" (head in sand, eat like I have lost my mind, feign shock when I return home). Instead, I am fostering calmness and acceptance. It's okay that I am not able to weigh right now. I know I am able to remain on my lower carb plan *or* I am free to take some days of indulgence (but not bingeing) just like I have around Christmas or other holidays or occasions. I am taking a middle-road approach: making sure I get some veggies and fruits and protein every day, but also enjoying what is available and some tasty things I don't normally get to enjoy (mostly not pictured on my Instagram, because frankly I forget to snap a picture most of the time. I am kind of absorbed in my surroundings, the experiences, the people). I know I am eating more volume and more carbs than usual and I fully expect a bit of weight gain when I get home. I am *fine* with that. Travel/flying bloat, extra salt and carbs, and less exercise all combine and I am sure the scale will reflect that. And then the following week, it will reflect that I am back home and back to eating smaller portions, less frequently, and lower in carbs. I'm also expecting to ramp up my exercise when I get home (although I've been saying that for months, yet not making it a priority).

So no weigh in tomorrow, but I will weigh the morning after I arrive home and then post an official weigh in the following Sunday. See you then!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Resurrected, and Weigh In

It's time for my weekly weigh-in and a recap of my month. I weighed 183 on September 1st and today is the last day of the month. I am down a pound from last week to 180. I did see 179 on the scale twice this week; I had seen 179 for two days a few weeks ago, too. For the month of September, I have stayed within the same 5 pound range (179 to 184) and in August I stayed in a four pound range (180 to 184). I feel very good about that maintenance.

My clothing sizes are a little different this time around than they were last time I was this weight. I'm guessing my measurements will show a difference, too, when I hit my next ten pounds and measure to compare. I remember wearing size 10 and 12 jeans at this weight in 2010; now, I am wearing 14's. Granted, they are pretty loose. I wash them on hot and dry them on high and then they fit pretty well, but I also can easily fit into the one pair of 12's I wear once in awhile. Today I bought a new pair of jeans, and they are a size 12 and fit perfectly. I bet I could fit into 10's if I squished, but who wants to squish?? I am going to look for the pair of size 10's that I wore for my old pictures at 178 pounds eight years ago. I am sure they're in the Winter Clothes tote; I wonder if I can get them on now.

Sometimes it feels like I am in some kind of a time warp. It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting on the couch lamenting that I had regained almost all of the 103 pounds I had lost. It was a nightmare... a complete and total nightmare. Weighing 260 pounds again *after* having lost all of that weight and feeling the amazing victory and freedom of weighing 175 pounds... it was worse, FAR worse than weighing 278 pounds when I started this blog. Knowing that it was possible, and I did it... knowing what it was like to be free... and then being chained up again into morbid obesity... it was nearly unbearable. It was terribly depressing and I felt nothing but deep shame that I had shown everyone that I could do it but then was not able to stop myself from eating my way right back into that hellish nightmare. It was heart-breaking and soul crushing. And the taste of 179 now, it is oh so sweet. So much more cherished, like a resurrected love which was once lost and longed for. Oh how we treasure and appreciate the things that we know can be fleeting.

I don't know how it could be that I was *just* sitting here crying over that massive regain and yet now, my dream, my fervent wish has come true once again, and I have my body back. I have my weight loss back. And yet I know that just as quickly, in a flash I could be sitting here in misery yet again, if I don't find a way to hang onto this sweet, sweet freedom. I pray and hope I can, but more than that, I know I am ready to work for it.