Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Big Screen, and Effort

Have you ever seen a candid picture of yourself projected on a 30 foot wide, giant auditorium screen in front of an audience of hundreds of people? No? Well. You're not missing out, let me tell you.

I was shocked and surprised to have this happen to me last week as part of a presentation for a club I belong to. I had no idea it was coming. I don't remember the picture being taken. But from how I looked, it was taken in the winter during my frumpy period a couple months ago. You know the one... when I was wearing jeans a size too big that were faded and baggy and an unflattering top that made me look bigger than I am? And was not exactly spending a lot of time on my hair? And no makeup? Yeah. Then.

After getting over the initial reaction of wanting to crawl under a chair and hide forever, I realized that I have actually come a long way in just a couple of months. Even though my weight hasn't changed much, I retired the fat pants and started taking better care of myself and more pride in my appearance *even* on days that I feel "fat." And I determined never to be caught in a picture looking like that again. Yikes.

It also helped me decide that no, I am so not done losing weight. I can never rely on what I see in the mirror or even how I feel about my body. Some days I see a thin woman and think, "good enough! This is it!" and other days I see a very obese woman and feel really shocked that I "still" look like that. I know reality is somewhere in between, but I truly do need to drop at least 30 more pounds. Period.

Speaking of weight, I was looking at my little planner book this morning that I keep with my stats in it. It's just one of those checkbook-sized little 2 year planners you get in the store for a buck, and I got it in December 2009. Almost daily, I wrote my weight in it, whether I was on or off plan, what exercise I did, any restaurants or party meals I had, and any times I was sick. In the back, I wrote my body measurements every ten pounds. It is an amazing record of this journey... so concise, so much information. As I looked back over "what happened" since fall (which, basically, is that I lost no weight and am heavier than I was in October), I find the little summary interesting:

October (2010): started the month at 186, hit my 100-pounds-lost mark (178) late in the month, and got down to 175 (my low so far). Felt sick for 2 days at the end of the month, went to a party on Halloween where nothing on-plan was served, and ate off plan (and shared this on my blog).

November: Started at 175, was off plan about 1/3 of the days that month, got up to 187

December: Started at 181, tried calorie counting for about a week, went back on Medifast but ate a lot of cookies and was off plan about half the days. High of 189.

January: Started at 186, was doing PT, got as low as 178 and then got sick. Was on plan about half the time.

February: Started at 185, did a lot of walking but then got SUPER sick with an ER visit and a lot of meds. Was sick for 3 weeks and off plan.

March: Started at 185, still sick for another week, was off plan about half the days this month.

April: Started at 184, got down to 182 and then I stopped logging ANY info until 2 weeks later when I hit 195. Guess I was majorly off plan!

May: Started at 198, was off plan about half the time, started lifting weights.

June: Started at 195 and have been completely on plan all month, now at 188.

Yeah, a lot of effort and a lot of messing around, both. So, see, I was probably on plan somewhat less than half the time over the past 8 months. Say about 100 days. And the rest of the time I was either halfway doing it or just eating what I wanted.

Net result? Started at 186, ended up today at 188. The thing that I find ironic is this: I put in a LOT of effort over the past 8 months. A LOT. Even on days I was off plan I was often starting off the day *trying* to get my stuff together. And those 100 days on plan? If they'd been strung together in a row instead of scattered over 8 months, it probably would have resulted in a loss of at least 25 pounds. Instead, for the same amount of effort, I got a net 2-pound gain. And that, my friends, is the price of messing around having a cookie here and there instead of consolidating the effort into one long stretch of eating right.

This is what keeps me focused now. I can put in the same effort, 100 days worth, all in a row and get a nice loss, or I can put that effort into a scattered mess of on and off plan waffling and for the SAME EFFORT get nothing. I am going for the win.

17 days straight on plan and counting!


Anonymous said...

Are you worried that you will need Medifast for the rest of your life to stay on track / maintain your weight even when you reach your goal weight? It seems like you aren't able to sustain weight loss / lose further weight without it.

Just curious as to whether you see Medifast as a clutch, or not.

- Debbie

Cara said...

I love this post. I am right there with you, no more messing around!!! :)

Lyn said...

Anonymous (Debbie)~

No, I definitely am not going to use Medifast forever. I lost the first 64 pounds with eating whole, natural foods and calorie counting. I will do the Medifast Transition plan when I get to goal, and then for maintenance I will be switching back to more of a whole foods approach but much lower in carbs than I have in the past.

I do see Medifast as a *tool* for weight loss, the same as any other weight loss program, helping me immensely on this journey to lose weight and, more importantly, understand my eating issues and change my relationship with food.

I guess only time will tell! I will keep blogging through my end goal and beyond, whether I am doing great or struggling, and hopefully that will help others in their own journeys.

❦ fitcetera said...

You KNOW I've done the same damn thing.
Had I strung all my successful days together I'd probably be at goal right now. :D

Lesson learned.
Like my friend told me almost 3 years ago ... Just do it and get it over with!

Easy, right? :D

I think we've both found what's working for us and now it's just a matter of sticking with it and letting time pass.
Now that I've worked out the bingeing behavior I just have to keep my impatience at bay.
That gets me too.

I would never want to see myself on a big screen!
It's bad enough seeing the damage in small-sized photos.
I don't think I ever look as bad as I do until I see a picture.

Debbie said...

Hey I know how you feel for the last 6 months I have been just drifting. Not anymore starting last week I am getting my groove back. Good post.

Ms. Scooter Butt said...

That must be quite the hooray to have your pic up in front of an audience.

As a new to the diet blog world (2 months)I see you and many that have gone so far as Internet Sensations, the local news should be knocking at your door.

Amy said...

WOW! It's like something I've always known(and a trap I've always been in) and yet to see if there with all the data and real information is amazing. Makes me want to stay on track all the more!!!!

BrendaKaye said...

I love the thought of that...accomplishing 100 days of on target eating/exercising. I am trying to talk myself into that!

Sarah said...

"And that, my friends, is the price of messing around having a cookie here and there instead of consolidating the effort into one long stretch of eating right."

Wow! Did that ever hit home. It is the little decisions adding up over time, think I needed to be reminded!

Karen said...

Go for the goal! Sometimes it takes a look back at all the stuff you learned, take what works and leave the rest behind.

Seems like illness and the off plan eating were your triggers ( I might be wrong)

I've read somewhere that for every week you spend at weight loss, you should spend a week- 2 weeks in very tight control during Lifetime/Maintenance phase.

If I had done this long term plan, I probably could have taken the maintenance time to get to the root of the emotional eating and not gained my weight back.

Live and learn!

I'm keeping track of my weeks on MF and will keep at it until it sticks. If I need to add OA to it at the middle or end, I will, I've decided. If I can't pull out the "tap root' of the problem I know it will come back.

Good luck and you can do this. We can do this. :)

timothy said...

good luck i know you'll do great. what i found disturbing is you were sick waaaay too much. make sure you're taking care of your immune system. i suggest taking garlic every day it's anti-everything

Anonymous said...

The only bad thing that I see when using Medifast is how fast I lose, so when I do screw up, in my mind I say, what the heck, eat what you want because in one week of eating well you can lose 10 pounds. So I play with it, eat well for two weeks and then screw up for a few days or a week, then lose the same darn weight again, over and over again....just like what you are talking about it. After doing medifast I can see how a perfect pill to lose weight would really be not such a good thing. People would eat what they want, then lose for a couple weeks with the pill, then eat. All the while, you are yo-yoing and not eating healthy...

just an observation on my part...


Lyn said...


I wish it was like that for me. In my case I generally lose 2 or 3 pounds a week, and if I eat poorly for 3 days I see a 8-10 pound gain which takes another 10-14 days to come back off. Totally not worth it.

However you're right, it is better not to yo yo at all!

Luck33 said...

Hmmm...and I thought regular sized pictures were stressful...

Sandra said...

Great post. Well done and best of luck. You can do it. We can all do it. We just have to *do it*

Dawniepants said...

Glad to see another person who has done the EXACT same thing as me. I've totally meandered about with my loss through the winter months last year. I was tearing along until my goals had passed and then I just mucked around with my plan.

I haven't gained anything but I've lost and gained the same 5 pounds. I recently on my blog posted a very similar thing. I have a big party, housewarming and birthday coming up in August. It probably isn't big to anyone else but me but I'll be seeing a lot of people I havent seen in a while. And like you in the picture you didn't like I want them to look at me and see a difference. Even though Ive lost about 50lbs I'd like to make some proper headway as I've been messing around for too long!

So I also set a goal for then of 21lbs so I'm completely behind you. No more messing around. Push forward, onward and downward.