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!
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