Sunday, November 14, 2010

175

At a park near my home, there is a playground task my daughter has always been afraid to do. It's a set of 6 or 7 long poles, hanging from chains about 2 feet apart, with round plate-sized plastic platforms attached near the bottoms for a child to step on. The idea is for them to start at one end, grab the pole and step onto the round platform, and then grab the next pole and step on that platform, going from one to the next until they get to the other end. The poles are suspended from a bar with chains and they are also attached to the ground with chains, but the chains are loose enough that the poles and platforms swing a bit when a child steps on them. So it seems a little unstable to a small child. My daughter would stand at one end and try to reach out and grab the first pole, tentatively put one foot on the platform and when it would move, pull her foot away. "Mommy!" she'd say, "hold the pole still for me!" And when she was smaller, I'd do that. I'd hold each pole as still as I could while she slowly stepped from one to the next. If it didn't swing and sway under her feet, she felt a little more confident to walk from one to the next. But if I didn't hold the poles, she would not even set foot on the first one. The lack of balance was disconcerting. Too scary.

She is five now, but has avoided the poles for so long that she doesn't even care to try. Last week, I encouraged her to be brave and give it a shot. I gently held the first one until she stepped on it. Then I let go and she hugged into that pole for dear life. I told her, "It's okay, it can only move a little bit. The chains will stop it from swinging a lot. Try to grab the next pole." She hugged onto her pole but reached one hand out to grab the next one. She put her little foot out. Everything was swaying: the pole she was hanging onto, and the pole she was trying to move to. But she did it. She stepped to the next platform, hugging the next pole tightly. I kept encouraging her, and eventually her worried face turned to a smile of confidence, and she made it to the end. "I did it!" she shouted. "Yay!" And then she did it again.

It seems to me that every ten pounds I lose is like another of those swaying poles for me to step to. I am not quite as confident as my girl is yet. It's partly a head game, I'm sure, with numbers playing with my mind. It's also a nervousness about each "new body" I get along the way, with all its unfamiliar changes and the need for new or different clothing. I feel a little unsure... unsteady. I cling to a pole tightly, afraid to let go. What if it swings? What if it sways? What if I lose my balance and fall off? But the tools I have gathered along the way, like short chains to the ground, steady the poles from moving too much. I reach one hand out, grab the next pole, put my foot out, but then pull it back. I hang onto my own pole for a few minutes to assure myself I am okay.

I am currently hanging onto the pole of 175 pounds. It is very comfortable for me. It is a number that sounds good in my head and looks good in the mirror. I see the 160's just right there beside me, ready for me to grab it and step on. But I stand, clinging, swaying a bit, on my pole of 175.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Weight loss gets so much more hidden at the lower weights. It's much more difficult to sort out water weight and the losses come more slowly. Does Medifast have suggestions about adding exercise or dropping a meal? I find their "one size fits all" approach a little... confusing.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

For those with higher starting weights or more active lifestyles (lots and lots of exercise) they have a different plan (4 Medifast meals and 2 Lean & Greens). For men and those who want higher protein amounts they have higher protein shakes. There is also a diabetic plan. But otherwise, the "5&1" plan which I am on is recommended for everyone. They do have a chart with higher and lower carb veggies, and you can choose higher or lower carb Medifast meals if you want to tweak things.

They do recommend exercise. After the first 3 weeks, if you have not exercised, you can add in up to 45 minutes of vigorous exercise per day.

For me, it is not about making the plan WORK, it is about getting over the mental hurdles of each ten pounds. I tend to get nervous when I am about to drop some weight, and end up eating a little more than I should... just enough to slow me back down. I know it's something I will get through. It just takes time.

Leslie said...

There's no rush, Lyn. You've been doing the head work for a long time, and it continues as we go along. Whatever you're dong is working, so maintain where you until head and heart are in alignment is a sound move!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation. To me, it doesn't make sense for you to eat the same amount of food at 178 than at 278 - since the 278-lb you was burning an extra 1000 calories a day or so. you're not detailing to us what you eat, but it doesn't sound like you're eating an extra pound a week to explain the two-week plateau. But if you're okay with it, that's who counts!

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

Actually, I do detail what I eat quite frequently. And when I go "off" I put that in here as well. I am pretty transparent about my eating.

No, it doesn't always add up to calories in/calories out... but I've detailed that as well (not losing any weight during PMS and ovulation weeks, etc). Sometimes I do roll my eyes at the scale when it gives me a number that doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I just keep on working my plan. That's what will get me to my goal.

Joy said...

Not that my opinion matters or anything but I think it makes sense that 175 lb Lyn is still eating the same food as (she didn't start Medifast at 278 BTW, it was around 235 or so) 235 lb Lyn because Medifast provides weightloss at any weight because it's a calorie deficit diet. If you only eat 800-1000 calories a day, you're going to lose weight whether your 300 lbs or 160 lbs; what will change is how fast you lose the it. A 300 lb person will lose weight more rapidly than a 170 lb person on Medifast and that makes sense because a 3000 lb person burns more calories in a day than a 170 lb person (unless that 170 lb person is super active). Anyways, my whole point is that Lyn knows what she's doing and she has 100+ lbs gone forever to show for it.

Joy said...

Wow, so I def. didn't mean to put 3000 lb person in my previous response. I had a few other spelling errors too; my bad! You all knew what I meant though ;)

Anonymous said...

Love your emagery! Can sure relate that each "swinging pole" equates to each 10 ounds we're taking off. Thanks.
N~

Twix said...

You're doing great! I like the imagery. :)

Deanna said...

Your writing is beautiful, and the way you express your emotions... wow.

MizFit said...

good lord you are a fantastic writer, Lyn.

I was right there...am right there with you on the swaying poles.

They are red.

Shelley said...

Sometimes I think plateaus are blessings in disguise when you lose a lot of weight - although it's NOT FUN at the time (oh yeah, I know the frustration!) when you are doing what you are supposed to in order to lose weight and instead of maintain, it does give you a chance to get accustomed to that lower weight. I agree, it's a little weird when you get to a new low. Side note: have you written "275" when you meant to write "175"? I found myself doing that occasionally.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thank you !

anna said...

I think taking my time and getting used to each new weight has helped me keep what weight I've lost off for good.

It's like you said - you've learned the tools along the way.

Lisa said...

What a great way to compare!