Thursday, September 4, 2008

Living with Weight Loss

Sometimes it seems like we try to put our lives on hold while we lose weight. "I will go on vacation when I lose X pounds, but for now I will sit home. I am too fat to go." "I will start dating when I am thin. It's too embarrassing now." "When I am a size X, I am going to learn to dance."

Guess what. You will never get back the lost time.

You only get one life (well, some people would disagree with me on this, but bear with me). You only get to be 20, or 25, or 32 once. Whatever age you are now, you only get to be that age ONE TIME. After a year, it's over forever. Why put LIFE off for later, especially when later may never come?

I am reminded of a young lady who was excited about losing weight and all the wonderful things she would do when she was thin. But she died having weight loss surgery. Her later never came. Or what about the overweight person who find out they have cancer and only a short time left to live? Then they are stuck making a list of things they want to do before they die, and frantically trying to get them all done before it's too late. Any of us could be gone tomorrow. Why wait to start living? Why not do it now?

Yes, we are restricted by our weight sometimes. There is no way I could go rollerblading or hike the Grand Canyon in my condition right now. But there ARE things we can do. Relationships don't have to wait. Enjoying life does not have to wait. Visiting your Mom who lives 1000 miles away does not have to wait until you are thin. Your Mom won't be around forever. Visit her while you can. Be with people while you have the opportunity. Stop putting off your life, because you are going to wake up one day and be 70 years old and wonder, "what happened to my life?"

But there is another way we try and put off living. We isolate ourselves from friends and events to avoid temptation while trying to lose weight. And while this might be necessary sometimes, we do need to learn to LIVE with weight loss.

It doesn't always work to just cut out all the foods that tempt us, and it doesn't always help to sit home alone while our friends are out having fun. Maybe there is a happy medium, where we can LIVE and still lose weight.

Today my family went out to eat lunch. I knew it would be a big meal, but I also knew I could make some healthy choices and still enjoy eating. We went to PF Changs.

The appetizer (not my choice) was Spare Ribs. I had 2 small ribs, which had about an ounce of meat on each one. VERY tasty. My main dish was Oolong Sea Bass on a bed of baby spinach. It was fantastic!! I ate about 3/4 of this. We got a side of Curried Vegetables. It was made in a very light sauce... lots of broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, and tofu. It was just amazing and I ate a hefty helping of this. I ate about 1/3 c of plain brown rice as well. For a beverage I had a nice, unsweetened passion fruit iced tea that was wonderful. I had a fortune cookie for dessert!

I thoroughly enjoyed this meal and did not feel one bit deprived. I certainly got my daily dose of veggies. Afterwards I felt pleasantly full, but not heavy. Energized, and not sleepy.

Another example of "living" with weight loss is what happened to me yesterday. I was having super-cravings for TWO DAYS for walnuts covered in dark chocolate. I kept putting it off, thinking it would go away, but it didn't. I started thinking about doing things I have done in the past: making a pan of fudge with walnuts in it, or maybe a walnut cake, or a walnut maple ice cream sundae. Then I thought, "that's ridiculous. I am not craving those things. I am craving WALNUTS. And dark chocolate." So when I was at the store I went to the bulk bin, got about 1/3 cup of nice, big walnut halves and about 2T of dark chocolate chips. I came home and mixed them together and ate them. Viola! Craving satisfied. And walnuts are SO good for you, too. I ate a lighter dinner to make up for the extra calories. THIS is also what I mean by LIVING with weight loss. Learn what works, and embrace the changes. I lost another pound... that's 3 pounds since September 1. I am really pleased with this. And I feel so good to be back in the habit of exercising.

Get out there and live. Enjoy. AND lose weight.

21 comments:

Pubsgal said...

Excellent advice! I've also found that having a little of the thing I'm craving really helps to prevent it becoming a bigger deal that it really is. For example, we were at a party last weekend, and there was a butterscotch brownie pie with chocolate chips, one of my favorite things. I nudged my husband, and asked, "Wanna share that?" I had a couple of bites and they were delicious; he ate the rest. Made it easier to adjust and stay on course with the rest of the party food, too. (Although I wished mightily for a veggie tray.)

For social events, making a plan in advance can really help. A lot of restaurants have their nutritional info published on their own web sites. I've read articles that some of those are inaccurate (for example, Weight Watchers had different findings about some fast foods), but it beats flying blind. (And sometimes it works in reverse; the thing you think is going to blow everything is less bad than you thought.) Those sounded like some excellent choices at PF Changs! Yum!

Alexia@theonelastthing.com said...

That's a great post -- I'm such a believer in not waiting until later, until I'm thin, to do things. I get sad when I hear people say, I'll wait to date, marry, have kids, go here, go there, do this, do that. I never lacked for companionship or friends or things to do and I'm glad for that. If you want to do something, just do it! :-) Some of the greatest things I ever did, I did fat. (OK, I've been fat most of my life, so that's most things, but I've had a full life!)

Now, visiting mom is a little tricky because weight is an "issue" between us. Got a post on that? :D

Sara said...

"Yes, we are restricted by our weight sometimes. There is no way I could go rollerblading or hike the Grand Canyon in my condition right now."

I agree with most of what you said, but not the above. No, your weight does NOT restrict you from doing those things. If you are referring to a health condition (which might be caused by the weight), ok, yes. Physical condition, such as someone with hanging pannis (sp.?), restricting your movement, yes. Fitness level, most definitely. But weight, by itself? NO. I myself have fluctuated betwen 240 and 270 this past year. I enjoy a martial arts class and have been able to pull off moves that left the thinner, more buff new students screaming in agony. I like to go to the local roller rink and roller blade. I admit, hiking the Grand Canyon would be difficult for me, but that has more to do with my lack of training than my weight. I trained for and walked a 10K last year. A friend of mine, similarly sized, trained for and completed a half-marathon. 13.1 miles!

A skinny person who didn't exercise couldn't do these things any better than a fat person.

Heather said...

fantastic! glad you found a way to eat out and enjoy yourself, and satisfy your craving in a controlled way. you were able to focus on what you wanted, really wanted, and went for it. and its very true what you are writing...there is no time like the present time to really go for the things you want. I used to sit around saving things for when I was thin, but the reality was, I could have been using that time to actually become thin. glad that I stopped that before half my life went by and it was too late to really enjoy myself and be happy. because we all deserve that.

Kate said...

AMEN! so many people want to put things off as a "reward" for weight loss. Fat loss is it's own reward. The things that make us happy shouldn't be withheld as "punishment" for not losing weight. Life is far too short to waste days like that!

new*me said...

I am learning the same things Lyn. I am putting myself out there and doing things I didn't think I could at this weight. It feels good! It feels good to throw all caution to the wind and let go of the insecurities. If someone wants to snicker, oh well :) I am having fun and not holing up in my house while I lose weight. I think you should listen to your body when it's telling you to eat something .........within reason of course. I used to be so carb conscience....still am..but now I can tell when my body really needs some complex carbs so I'll have a serving and not feel guilty......I used to feel guilty about eating a grain of brown rice ;)

Woo-hoo 3 pounds!!!!!

Heather said...

This post is so true and so inspiring. It's also something I definitely needed to hear. I have been putting off buying clothes that make me feel good regardless of my size and taking a yoga class. I keep saying these things will be rewards when I lose 50 pounds, but what if I never lose 50 pounds? (I will, I have to) But still, I shouldn't deprive myself of anything.

Also, walnuts and dark chocolate sound so good right now!

Ceres said...

This is a great post. You're right, we often put life on hold while we try to lose weight. It's inevitable, to some extent; I can't have too many dinners out these days, so I have to say "no" to some invitations. [Usually I make up by joining the group later in the evening, for drinks or something.]
At the same time, though, we need to learn to plan our eating around living, and not plan our living around eating. Otherwise, whenever we lose whatever weight we need to lose, it will be impossible to reintegrate into the "real" world. An essential part of every weight loss journey should be to train yourself on how to live with others, eat with others, without gaining weight. That is key to maintaining a healthy weight after you're done dieting, I think.

Anonymous said...

I personally recommend two books for anyone waiting for the right moment to live life to the fullest, be it weight lose, the right job, the perfect partner....

'The Power Of Now' and 'A New Earth', both by Eckhart Tolle, are excellent books for getting the the unrecognizable reasons for why we do the things we do. Ultimately, the time is now and the opportunities are endless. Live today as if you are 130 pounds. Love today as if you have the right partner, even when there is no partner there. Do the job you do as if you were meant to do it the rest of your life.

Appreciate today and let tomorrow come.

Vonavie said...

I just realized I somehow got behind on your posts. So I have to go back and read some. But I LOVE this post! So true! We need to live NOW! I'm so proud of your walnut & dark chocolate episode. You handled it perfectly.

Sometimes we must give in to a craving in a sane way.

ryry the adventurous said...

A fine victory at PF Changs. I always enjoy their food choices, very flavorful and fresh tasting and good for you if you order right. Nicely done! And GRATS on 3 lbs since the 1st!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Something else that passes you by - pictures! I've done my best to refuse to pose inpictures with family, on vacation, awards ceremonies, etc. I just didn't want to see how bad I looked. (You can sort of pretend when you look in the mirror, I always see my 'good' side.)

After lookign through photo albums from the past with great pictures of me happy surrounded by friends, I've stopped the moratorium on photos. Instead of landscape shots, I'll be in front of the landscape. So what if I'm still big - I can measure my weight loss as I go and have something to remember as well.

Hanlie said...

You are always inspiring! Well done on making good choices and sharing your story so eloquently.

tjones said...

I love this post! last year this time I lost my aunt and my dad within a 10 day span. One day my aunt was coming home from the hospital and hours later ahe was on life support and not gonna make it. Boy was it hard on us yet it taught me that life can be taken in a blink of an eye so why put things off because of your weight at least give it a try first you'll never know until you try. I made the decision from then on I would never put off til tomorrow as I may never see tomorrow.

Keep up the great work you are a inspiration!!!!

Karyn said...

YES! Losing weight is a result of changing a lifestyle. We are learning to LIVE healthy, right? I was given some advise yesterday... Think about what you want your life to be/look like when you have reached goal - then start doing those things. Don't wait. Just beginning to implement the things we see for ourselves in the future will add activity and health to our lives, resulting in weight loss.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Sara said. I've lost around 45 pounds since mid-April, from 305 to 260. I've also hiked all over Oregon and gotten a road bike and done a lot of biking. I'm about ready to head down to the Sierras for 10 days of backpacking (not all at once -- two 3-day trips and one 4-day trip). I love being in the outdoors and seeing my fitness level improve each week has been incredibly motivating. You might be surprised at what you can do!

Dinah Soar said...

You are learning how to balance everything...making your diet fit you life and not vice versa...fitting your life to your diet can be so restrictive--enough to make us give up in despair. This way, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE KEEP POSTING!!! YOU HELP ME EVERY DAY!!!

Deniz said...

Hi Lyn. Just found your brilliant blog and send a huge, ringing endorsement to everything you've written in this post. Had a similar thing with my best friend's wedding last year, just after I'd started the process to get the flab on its way at last. Initial reaction - wanted to hide/not go/stay out of the photos, but then thought 'to hell with it' - she'll only have this wonderful day once... and who's going to look at the guests anyway, eh? My own (ongoing) weight loss has been a roller-coaster ride of easy/just about hanging in there/truly horrendously difficult - but I've dropped 50lb in just over a year and, boy!, is it ever worth it. You are an inspiration - keep at it gal, for the great blog as well as the lbs shedding.

Cathy said...

Awesome post Lyn! I do things like that too. I have 'banana bread' cravings and so I have a handful of walnuts, and a banana. A bite of banana, and pop in a walnut. Mmmm.

You take care!

Mara said...

Nice post and you hit it on the head go out and just do it you only have one life to live!

Mara
http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/