Sunday, July 15, 2018

Weigh In

After I shared my thoughts earlier this week in my last post, I spent some time thinking about whether or not I need to change anything (now or in the future... I don't put time pressure on myself anymore) and what type of plans I might want to make for weight loss and maintenance. I think about that kind of thing, but I keep the drama out of it. That helps me not to rush into anything that might backfire on me (like when I used to set a weight goal with a deadline, or a restriction that felt too stressful to me). But I do still put thought into the whole, long term, don't-regain-it plan.

For one thing, my skin is not bothering me right now. I weigh 185 pounds today, and as I said before, the loose skin bothered me a LOT last time I weighed 185. It was anxiety-provoking to me back then. It isn't right now. But as I think about maintaining slightly lower, I wonder if there is anything I can do to prevent it from becoming an issue. I mean, the skin's probably going to get looser as I go, right? Right now, I've spent 3.5 weeks in the 184-189 zone, and think it would be just fine to tick down just a bit to aim for 182-185 for a few weeks. Taking it super slowly like this is helping. When you drop 8 or 10 pounds in a really short time (like 2 weeks) the body changes can be quick and shocking. I am not having nearly as much body dysmorphia as I did seven years ago with quick losses. To me, that's good, and less emotional drama = less weight drama (gains). Anyway, with the skin thing, I am aging and that's not going to make my skin any better. I do stay hydrated and this time around have been taking Biotin (and thus not losing as much hair as before) and fish oil, and use good lotions all the time, which I didn't do last time. But still, I wonder, is there something else I could be doing to help my skin rebound from how stretched out it was for so long? Is there anything I could take, or apply, or do, to get my skin to tighten up a little more? Something to minimize the crepe paper look I am just starting to see on my arms and legs and neck? If you know any anything that worked for you, please share. But in the absence of something new to try, I just need to keep taking this very slow so that my skin has time to adjust, and my mind has time to accept.

Today, for the first time since my Great Clothing Purge almost 3 months ago, I had to sort clothes. Since then, I've been easily living out of one dresser and wearing pretty much the same 2 pairs of jeans and 2 pairs of capri pants plus maybe 7 shirts in my closet. I just rotate, wash them, keep wearing them. Well, that was ten pounds ago. In my other dresser I had folded all the jeans, pants, and capris that were too small but I thought might fit sometime this summer. (All the smallest, 10's and 12's went into the one clothing tub for winter). So I noticed that my jeans and shorts have gotten a bit loose. Not unwearable, but almost too baggy. So this morning I pulled out the pants from that dresser full of too-small jeans. I had them stacked and sorted from the loosest to the tightest. And as I tried them on, one by one, I was shocked that every, single, pair of pants from that dresser FIT. As in, on and buttoned and not even tight! What on earth. NONE of them fit at all in the spring, just ten pounds ago! And now, 2 pairs were TOO baggy and have to be donated, 2 pairs are questionably too loose and might be able to be shrunk it the hot dryer, and two fit almost perfectly. Wow, crazy. I think I will donate those 4 that are too big and just keep the two that fit best. This is so weird. When I get rid of those, plus a shirt or two that are too baggy on me now, I will have the least amount of clothing I have had in *years.* I am happy. It's nice to know what I have, and think about the day not far in the future when I can go out and buy a new, smaller wardrobe and not shop out of a dresser or a Rubbermaid tub anymore!

I feel good, and when I think about making changes, I do think it would be wise to cut down on the processed food and eat more natural foods, more often. That part has been more challenging than I thought it would be. In the past I have had times of eating more produce and lean meat, but I always seemed to rebound from that and dive into junk. So this time I have avoided the drama by just having the junk when I want it, in small portions, and not pushing myself to eat fish and vegetables if I'm in the mood for a burger and chips. I am working, slowly, on changing the ratios a bit so that there's more healthy stuff and a bit less junk, but I won't do it at risk of upsetting my peace and maintenance. I would rather weigh 185 pounds eating sugar free brownies and Arby's than be morbidly obese eating chicken and salads. So... slow, easy changes. But I do want to start choosing healthier options more frequently so that in a year there will be a noticeable shift in what I'm eating.

Thanks for reading this long post, and I'd love to hear your thoughts or suggestions in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Good job on the ongoing maintenance and the non-scale victories. I took off 140 pounds in 14 months several years ago and except for a little baggy pouch below my navel, loose skin wasn't an issue. Here's what worked for me, in no particular order:

- stay out of the sun / use sunscreen
- minimal alcohol / no smoking
- I drink 120 ounces or more of water daily
- I eat a very clean, plant-based diet (lots of fruits and veggies, some oats, lean protein - eggs, chicken and seafood)
- I don't eat dairy, sugar or gluten
- I rarely ate breads, crackers or anything with flours (there are lots of good gluten free options out there but I am not a fan of the level of processing)
- I limit the amount of processed meats and other foods. The most processed things I eat are nut milks and some condiments
- I don't eat fried anything
- I exercise. I love exercise! I fit in something every day. I start with walking 3-4 miles. Strength exercises have made the biggest difference overall in the appearance of my body. Things are firm and toned, not saggy. Cardio is just fun to do and the summer is great for swimming (I'm in the water most days), walking and cycling.
- I take care of my skin - massage, dry brushing, coconut oil for lotion, other oils
- I take a multi-vitamin. You have mentioned you are already ahead of the game on this one.
- I try to get enough sleep. In fact, getting my sleep in a good place is what kicked off the weight loss and has made a huger difference in my life for the last several years.

If I had to narrow it down, I think the first thing that affects the quality of skin is the type and quality of food we eat. The more veggies and less processed items has worked really well for me. The next is exercise paired with hydration.

After that, I think we all have different skin and how our weight loss affects that is unique to us. I still have stretch marks and those aren't going away. And I still have cellulite in some places. But my skin looks better now than it ever did, including when I was much younger. I'm 45 years old and I definitely don't look my age.

MaryFran said...

Congrats on the drawer of ‘too small clothes’ now fitting...or being too big! That is a huge victory!!!

I’m just as curious about the loose skin! I think though from wveryfhinf ive read that the slow descent is the key!!!!!

Laura Cox said...

As a long time reader, it's so great to read your recent posts and feel the peace you're experiencing, and seeing that that the slow and steady method is working for you. Very happy for you!
One thing that helps me make healthy choices more often than not is having stuff prepped in advance - cooked chicken, hard boiled eggs, cut up veggies, etc. If it's ready and easy to grab I'm a lot more likely to eat it! It can be hard to find the time to prep but I've had success with doing one thing at a time - 1 night after dinner I'll cut up veggies, another night I'll cook some extra chicken while I'm making dinner, etc. I'm sure these ideas are not new to you at all but just wanted to share what works for me. Also there are so many great 'meal prep' ideas out there nowadays!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to be into those smaller clothes - with room to spare! That is awesome!

If it were me I would wean totally off the phentermine now, making sure I could stay in the 180s without a diet pill. The last time you did that you lost like crazy (IIRC) so you would probably go ahead and drop down to the new, lower 180s range you have been thinking about. If it were me I would be worried about losing some of my "willpower" without the boost from the medication and would rather take that hit and make any needed adjustment now instead of at my ultimate goal weight. It would be a huge confidence booster for me personally, to have that behind me. And hopefully the medication has done its job by now of healing a faulty metabolism.

But I also trust you to know what is best for YOU. Your success speaks for itself! ~Lenora

FrenchyMcFrenchcake said...

Have you tried Pilates? It is great for muscle tone and concentrated on small movements and no injury for knees etc

Janet said...

I think your nailing it all the way around, Lyn!

I know that what works for one person may not work for someone else... However, since you welcome the feedback, I will share with you that I am spending time in the gym to ward off/combat loose skin. I used to go to the gym and either sit on the bike or walk on the treadmill; however, now I know (and have embraced) that lifting weight (less cardio/more strength training/lifting) is what burns fat. So while I'm not in the area with the muscle guys lifting hundreds of pounds over my head, I am in what I call the weight-machine area, where I can sit down, set the machine to whatever weight I can lift and lift it. I began at 20 reps per machine and now I'm up to heavier weights and between 30-35 reps each, depending on the machine. My gym (planet fitness) has an area of 14 machines designed to work out all the different muscle groups in our arms, legs, abs, back, etc., so I do a thirty +/- minute circuit of my reps through the various machines. I also hit a couple of machines in another area that work the hip flexor muscles to see if I can do something about firming up the skin on the inside of my legs. In the 8'ish weeks I've been doing this (and have dropped 50 pounds) I believe I can see/feel a difference - or at the very least (like you) I'm not quite as bothered by the changing shape of my limbs/body as a whole. I've also cleaned out my closets and pulled out all the fine soaps and lotions I've been hoarding (for what "special" occasion, I don't know!) and have been using them to pamper myself. I did this after someone at the health spa/retreat I checked into asked us, "What are you saving your good clothes, your fine jewelry and other things for?!" She reminded us that tomorrow is not guaranteed so it's high time we ENJOY the life and the day we have right in front of us, instead of storing things for special occasions that may never happen. It really hit me... I don't want to leave this earth and my family with closets full of expensive crap they have no interest in and that I'm missing out on enjoying because I'm waiting for "some day."

Thank you for continuing on this journey and sharing it. You and I have been living parallel lives the past 7 years and I couldn't be happier for both of us as I am right now.


Lyn said...

Thank you so much for all the comments and advice! I appreciate all the useful insights and tips and your support. :)