First a little update. We are back from our little Christmas trip and had a wonderful time! I took my daughter to see the Nutcracker ballet and we went on a tour of some fabulous Christmas lights. I just *love* the holidays! The tree is up and lit, making the house smell like pine, and there are presents under the tree. I'll have all my kids but one home for Christmas this year (oldest has to work) and am looking forward to that very much. It's different with adult kids, but in a way I never expected. When they were little a lot of their Christmas morning joy came from the magic of Santa having arrived in the night, and all the fun toys... remote control trucks and planes, roller blades, scooters, science kits and candy. Now, much of the joy is in just being together, and there is a new appreciation for the gifts because we can each see how the other was thinking of us when they chose what to give. I really love it.
This winter has been one of the best on record for me. I can't remember a winter over the past decade when I did not suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder to some degree (sometimes it was pretty bad). But this year so far I feel perfectly fine... better than fine! I haven't done anything differently this year; I am still taking vitamin D3 and using my sunrise simulator clock, but so far, no SAD!
As I have thought about what the New Year will bring for me as far as weight is concerned, I realized that there is something I would like to prove. So many people are fat, like me. So many never lose the weight, or lose it and regain it. Most of the attitude out there is that you have to put a huge amount of energy and focus into weight loss to make it happen. Hey, I have always believed that myself. I had to buy a book and strictly follow a diet, or buy special foods or shakes or supplements, or I had to put a ton of effort into forcing myself to the gym or counting calories or carbs or whatever, to lose the weight. And I did that... I did lose a big chunk of weight twice in the past 9 years. But look, I regained most of it, just like most other people do. Why is that? Is it because all of us obese people are lazy? We can't stick with something long term? I have talked to so many people... lots of them women my age who have tried over and over to lose weight and always end up either staying fat or getting fat again after losing weight. And a lot of people say to me that is seems impossible, they just don't feel like they can do it again. You know? That is where I was when I stopped blogging this summer. And I started to wonder, can someone like me, who is not going to be a gym rat and is not going to give up a lot of traditional foods or favorite meals, who is not willing or able to put a large fraction of my energy and focus into a diet or exercise, still lose weight? Can that be done, just by stopping the intense "I must work myself up to this and stay driven" mindset, and just relaxing and eating what I want, moving as I want? And I wonder, will doing so tend to make me *want* to eat healthier and move more?
I guess it seems counter-intuitive to make a New Year's Resolution NOT to diet, or count calories, or go to the gym. But that's kind of what I have in mind. Maybe the reason people don't lose weight, or lose and regain, is mainly frustration. Maybe a lot of it is emotional; you have this attachment to food you are trying to break (many people use a 12-step program to get off the foods they feel addicted to) and that is very real. I have experts saying I need to do a whole lot more exercise than I am doing and need to change all the foods I prefer to eat (like bread and butter, or cookies, or bacon) in order to lose weight. But I have done that, and so have thousands of others, and I am still fat. So I think I will try something different this time.
I want to prove that a regular, everyday fat person like me can relax and let go of the emotional drama around food, stop dieting, stop forcing exercise that I don't enjoy, and still lose weight and get healthy. It's an experiment, sure, but why not give it a shot? I feel healthier and happier and if I can lose weight just by relaxing about the whole thing and just giving a *smaller* amount of effort (and thus having less stress), then why not? Because if there are plenty of people out there who want to lose weight but just cannot give it 75% of their attention and effort, so they stop trying and think 'why bother', then maybe some of them... of us... would feel more inclined to *try* if they believed they could lose weight with a 25% effort.
I plan to do a weigh in and year-end update around the first of the year. Until then, you will find me baking cookies, visiting friends, making toffee, carving a Christmas ham, building a snowman, and doing all the things I enjoy doing... those that involve food, AND those that don't!
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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