Monday, July 7, 2008

International Get a Grip Day

I am declaring today International Get-a-Grip Day, aka International Take Back Your Life Day. Don't you think it's time?

I'm sure a lot of folks had a bit of indulgence on the 4th of July and have had a hard time getting back into the swing of healthy eating and weight loss. Or maybe you have been eating junk and being noncommittal about your weight for weeks. Or months. Years? (Yes, the days off-plan can and do turn into weeks and months, even years of obesity. Believe it.) So many times in the past, I would have a day where I "slipped" and ate cookies or whatever, and then the next day I would get up to start fresh but "mess up" again with a slice of pizza... so of course, may as well eat whatever I wanted all day and start over again tomorrow. And the tomorrows chained themselves together like a mile-long paper-clip chain; days turned into years faster than you can whip up a pan of double-chocolate brownies. I looked in the mirror and suddenly I was 278 pounds. And then I stayed that way.

There has to be a break in the chain. If you just refuse to add one more link... one more day of self-abuse... the chain is broken. Turn it into 2, 3, 4 days of taking care of yourself, and the whole scene starts to reverse itself. You start getting a new chain, of days, weeks, months, years of eating healthy. The slip ups no longer throw you for weeks. You just get right back up, dust your skinnier self off and keep going until suddenly one day you look in the mirror and, gasp, you look normal.

Take today and break the chain. Get a grip. Take back your life. Only YOU can do this thing. All the excuses/reasons in the world are not going to matter when you are on your deathbed at an early age from some obesity-related disease. Trust me. I know this.

In July, seven years ago, my mother died in my arms of ovarian cancer. She was only 57. She never got to see her grandchildren grow up; in fact, none of them even remember her now. And she never knew about the daughter I had 3 years ago. Isn't it terribly sad that she let FOOD take away ten or twenty years of her life? She knew that obesity is a risk factor for many cancers and other diseases. She "wanted" to lose weight. All of my childhood I watched her going to Weight Watchers meetings. But there was always some yummy food, some celebration, some special reason to indulge. And those days of indulgence turned into years, until she weighed 240 pounds and had a tumor the size of a volleyball in her abdomen that no one noticed because, well, her abdomen was just too big. And she died in my arms in her home, alone, in a most unpleasant and nightmarish manner. I will never forget it; it is etched indelibly on my soul. I cannot... I will not... do such a thing to my children if it is in ANY WAY in my power to prevent it.

And so, today, after a few days of over-indulgence, I am calling a halt. It's time to get back to business. This is not easy. Let me tell you. I ate healthy all day on the 4th, so that I could have a nice "splurge" meal for dinner. I did eat more than I planned, but it was by no means a binge. One hot dog, one burger (no cheese, no mayo). A handful of chips. A spoonful of potato salad that the husband brought in. A spoonful of baked beans. Sugarless iced tea, and for dessert one slice of low fat strawberry cake, with Cool Whip Lite as the frosting. Later, a small scoop of homemade, low fat ice cream. And I rode my bike 30 minutes, and I lifted weights.

In the morning I had gained two pounds. I was really annoyed. It took me like 5 weeks to lose ONE pound, but one meal to gain TWO pounds!! So I was irritated, but I ate healthy, rode the bike, took a walk. Ah, but the leftovers called to me. I had a hot dog for dinner and a bowl of chips. (Chips are EVIL. EVIL I tell you. No more chips in this house). And one small slice of that cake. I ate right all day except for that... and then the NEXT morning... I was up TWO MORE pounds!!! WTH! I was just SO MAD. So then of course I cracked down and got to eating healthy, lifted weights, etc... but then we went out to a buffet and I let loose. I ate all kinds of fried junk. I think for several reasons. I was mad about the gain. I was distressed about the anniversary of my mother's death. I was missing my two older kids who are gone with my ex husband for the summer. I was stressed about the status of my current marriage. So I ate. And this morning... up another pound. So it goes:
7/4: 215 pounds
7/5: 217
7/6: 219 (which is what I weighed on JUNE 1, for crying out loud)
7/7: 220
Put on the brakes!! I am better than this.

No better time than the present. Let's fight. It's a fight for our lives. If you don't do it now, then when? I promise you, you will never regret the work when you have lost the weight. But you WILL regret it, if you keep on chaining together bad days until you kill yourself. Don't be a hater. Love that beautiful person that you are. Take care of yourself. Say it with me: I am taking back my life. Today is the day.


BikiniMe said...

Applause! Applause! Love this post -- just what I needed to read on this morning. *grin*

Lynna N. said...

In recovery groups, they talk about stringing days together. I'm going to give myself a visual representation of this by actually stringing a bead for each day I stay "abstinent" (for me, that means asking "am I hungry?" and "does this food help me live?") One day at a time, but the days strung together are a life of abundance. I found your blog and stayed up until 3 am on Saturday devouring your posts. Your success and perseverance gives me hope that I can do it too. Thank you dear Lyn.

laine said...

It takes 3500 *extra* calories to gain a pound, so unless you somehow consumed an additional 17,500 calories on top of your normal intake, you really did not gain 5 pounds. It is probably water weight from chips and salt in the burger and dog. It could even be from stress. But you did not add 5 pounds of fat to your body in 5 days.

But, getting back on track is never a bad thing. And you still rock.

Honi said...

Thank you my friend I stopped my binge this morning.. I wish I had seen your post on Friday when I exploded like a fire work in binge land.. I actually only went nuts that one day .. but there were little slip ups.. during the rest of the weekend.. but this morning.. a fresh start with a bowl of oatmeal.. thank you.. and as always much luck to you for your bravery, honesty and compassion as we all walk this road and GET A GRIP!

Ceres said...

Happy Get-a-grip Day!! I will agree with Laine, what you are seeing is probably persistent water gain, I'm sure it will go away once you get back to your regular eating schedule. But of course you're right: what makes a big difference between losing/maintaining weight and gaining is your attitude after you've gone off plan for a day or two... It's important to recognize that events will spring up when you'll eat more/differently than you otherwise would. You can't avoid them, but you can control your eating in the interim. That makes a world of difference, and it seems to me like you've got it right :-)
PS: I didn't bother to weigh myself on the 5th. I started the day as if my weight had been what it was one day earlier, and took it from there.

Big Girl said...

Sorry to hear about losing your mom so early.

I love this post. And I am starting my "detox" today. Thanks for helping me with my motivation.

Anonymous said...

"I'am taking back my life. Today
is the day"
I wrote your words on my calendar.
I sooooo needed to read them.
Thank you, for your inspiration
your an angel.

Katschi said...

I will not deny how frustrating it is to see a gain after a FEW bad meals when it takes MANY good meals to lose it. Women's bodies are weird :) Water or not, it SUCKS.
I'm using stickers in my calendar for my visual aid to represent my chain of successful days.
As always, Lyn, a terrific & honest post.
Luv ya!

Jessica Mae said...

Today i weighed myself and after a few months of chaining together bad days i'm 15 pound heavier then my low...but i'm still at a net loss. i want to keep it that way Thanks for you inspiration. Today I'm going to start again!

nmburleson said...

I have a friend that is an alcoholic, she's been in recovery since before I met her. Anyway- when she was first trying to quit drinking she would tell herself that she would have a drink tomorrow. Of course she didn't but it got her through today. I have done that a couple of times when I have REALLY wanted to eat ice cream. For me the 1/2 gallon container is 1 serving. I have told myself I will have ice cream tomorrow and that has gotten me through the day. I like the idea of stringing a chain of days together. A good visual would be paper clips or a paper chain so that you can actually see how far you've come!

Sorry to hear about your mom. My mom drank herself into an early grave. She was 55 when her body gave up. My dad was 55 when he died from lung cancer. He smoked cigs for at least 35 years.

Like you I don't want to do that to my son. I want to be there until I die from (hopefully) old age!

Good job on putting on the breaks and getting right back on track! :)

new*me said...

I needed this today too. I ate pretty healthy on the fourth but I admit a few bites of "not so good" food went into my mouth. I am drinking tons of water today to counteract any water weight caused by saltier foods.

I am not a gum chewer but I have found that keeping it in my mouth is helping with those little extra mindless bites. You will be back to 216 in no time BUT I totally feel your pain!! Gaining is just too easy! It's not fair :(

K. said...

Wow, u wrote my post for the day! I too was getting a bit out of control after having lost 85 lbs and restricted myself for over a year, I just kindal lost my mind and started binging left a the point of gaining a good 10 lbs back. This week end I decided to put a stop to it and get back on track. had a great workout 2day and working my way back. Best wishes and let's just stay on track,

Chubby Chick said...

I can SO relate to this! So often a one-day binge has turned into a 2, 3, 4 day... or week... or month... binge in my life!

My weekend binge officially ended today. And I think I need EVERY day to be "International Get a Grip Day." lol

Dawn said...

Don't feel too bad about the extra pounds gained over the weekend. You know it will come off quick after several days of eating good. I love reading your posts. You have a way with words. You are very motivating. I think it's great that you want to lose the weight so your kids don't have to go through what you went through with your mom. Your mom would be very proud of you for what you are doing.

Heather said...

that is great advice and I hope those who did fall off the wagon hear your message and realize that its ok to fall off, but definitely get back on. I know how frustrating it is to work hard to lose weight and see those pounds come back on, but you know that you were not doing your best, and as soon as you do, they will be right off again.

LotsaDots said...

Needed to hear this today, thanks!

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Please, I need to be part of the Get a Grip movement! :)

My scale is not my friend this month. Urgh.

And I know your gain and part of mine are due to salt. I've had Chinese, baked potato chips, and fat free feta cheese--all huge salt offenders. This means...BLOAT!!!

So, yeah. I think once you ease off the sodium, you will see it's not as high as that.

Here's to gripping nice and hard...

The Princess

CHelms777 said...

International get a grip day! I love it. Lyn, thanks for another post that strengthens and inspires so many of us out here.

I'm sorry about your mother. It must have meant so much to her to have you there with her. Her angel is probably smiling down now upon your efforts and giving you unseen help.

Lyn said...

I really like your way of blogging ... thanks for popping by my blog to comment ... added you to my favs, you've done so well already!! Congrats on a huge achievement!!

Dinah Soar said... gain 2 pounds you'd have to "overeat" 7000 way does it sound like you've eaten that much in 24 hours...

The number on the scale is not a reliable measure of fat gained...I imagine you had more salt than your body is now used to...

This is the very reason I don't weigh more often than every 10 days or is too discouraging when it is up, and all to often I haven't' gained's just the normal body fluctuations...and I never weigh the day after I've eaten hot dogs, frozen dinners, Chinese food...any high sodium foods...I guarantee the number will be up.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, this is what derailed me in my weight loss effort. I would diet religiously for days and days, not losing a thing, then eat one "wrong" item and the pounds would pack on. I got so discouraged that I re-gained 30 of the 80 pounds I had lost. I'm happy to report that I've been able to maintain the 50 pound loss for the last year, but I sure would like to "get a grip" and get back on that train to normal.

Thanks for the post, it's encouraging!

ptg said...

**clap, clap, clap**

You go girl! Get angry at the fat and KICK it out!

Twix said...

I agree whole heartedly! Awesome!! :D

PamW said...

I love the title and content of this post. I, too, long to escape from this prison of obesity. After several weeks of healthy eating, I indulged over the 4th weekend and all 7 of the pounds lost reappeared. It doesn't help to hear that the gain isn't real because of the number of calories it would take. The discouragement and disappointment is real. Thank you for poring your heart out here. I needed to hear that someone else feels the same way I do.