As I was watching the Biggest Loser last night, I started to get scale envy. One woman lost 100 pounds in 9 weeks. Others are dropping 10 or more pounds in one week. And here I am, all thrilled that I lost 11 pounds last MONTH. I started to get annoyed with myself.
Yeah, I know those people are eating 1200 calories of chicken and vegetables each day. I know they are working out for hours on end on a level I will probably never push myself to. I mean, it's extreme. VERY extreme. I would probably hurt myself if I did that stuff.
But it isn't fair that they are losing ten pounds this week and I am only losing one or two! It bugged me. And you can see the disappointment on each of their faces if they lose 4 or 5 pounds in a week... which would be a huge thrill for most of us.
How do we get from a state of wanting HUGE losses every week in order to stay motivated, to accepting and embracing the one or two (or less) pounds per week that most of us are losing? How can we get (and stay) excited about one measly pound when we have 40, 50, 100 pounds to lose?
The answer? Don't make the pounds the measure of success. Hey, there are lots of ways to see if your body is changing: measurements, pants sizes, fat calipers. You can measure your endurance and your strength. But as excited as I get when I see the scale move down (because that IS a goal, here), I am more excited about the change in the quality of my LIFE because of what I am doing.
I am happier. I have more energy. I enjoy my food more. I can move more freely. Since cutting way back on sugar, the arthritis pain in my hands has completely disappeared. That's big! Just a couple of months ago the pain in my hands was debilitating... daily... truly affecting me. Now it is gone. Just a couple of months ago I was waking up with a headache *every single day* and wondering why I felt so blah. People were even suggesting that I might need antidepressants. But I didn't need antidepressants. I needed real food. I needed to get off that *depressing* diet of junk I was eating and onto something that feeds me physically, emotionally, mentally. My quality of life is through the roof, and it's only going to get better.
After the Biggest Loser, I thought about trying to drop ten pounds in a week. I imagined cutting back to 1200 calories, super-low-carb, and increasing my exercise by a LOT. I thought about trying to bike TWICE a day, adding weights every day, and doing aerobics on the Wii Fit every day. If I spent 2 hours, maybe 3, per day working out, maybe I could drop ten pounds this week. But you know what? It's not worth it. It is NOT worth setting aside the rest of my life... my children, my enjoyment, my *life experience*... to speed up the weight loss. It is not worth risking injuring myself or burning out. You are not a failure if you don't lose huge amounts of weight each week. Because those ten pounds? They're coming off anyway. If it takes a month or two months or a week, they are coming off. I am not in a rush; this is no race. I want my life to be enjoyable while I become healthier. And that is my focus.
On another note, I made an Asparagus Gratin for dinner last night:
It was full of fresh asparagus and mushrooms and onions, and was pretty tasty. I followed the recipe here, except I halved all the ingredients except the asparagus so it would fit into a 9" pie plate. I used Egg Beaters instead of eggs and 6 slices of Kraft 2% reduced fat Swiss cheese, chopped up. One slice (1/8 of the pie) was 100 calories. I think I could improve on this recipe, though. I'll work on it.
This morning I woke up wanting one of those big traditional breakfasts you get at a pancake house, with all the goodies on one plate. I think the commercials for iHop have been getting to me. So I made myself this:
Two pumpkin whole wheat pancakes topped with walnuts and real maple syrup, one turkey sausage, two slices of real bacon, scrambled Egg Beaters, and fruit salad. Delicious! And not a bad start to the day for 375 calories.
I know you'll ask, so:
Pancakes = 1/2 c. Krusteaz wheat & honey pancake mix + the water it calls for + scant 1/2 c pumpkin + 1T flax, cooked in Pam. Makes 5 pancakes.
1/2 T toasted walnuts, 1/2 T real maple syrup, 1/4 c Egg Beaters scrambled with Mrs. Dash table blend in Pam, 1 Jimmy Dean turkey sausage link = 40 calories, 2 slices Hormel pre-cooked, frozen bacon = 80 calories. Half cup of store-bought, pre-cut fruit.
Enjoy your day. *Truly* enjoy it, and do your best. That makes you a success.
How I Tackled My Friday
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