Swim season is starting and while I haven’t found a new suit yet, I was able to take in some swim shorts which I can use with a swim top that has ties. I am pretty sure it won’t fall off!
I have set a goal of 5000 steps a day – most of which I do by walking around the house. It isn’t a whole lot, but is more than I was doing before, and it is what I can do with my knees. Walking inside also avoids the risk of falling on uneven ground. When you add in the stationary bike time, and, next week, the swimming, I will be burning a fair number of calories and hopefully getting in even better physical shape.
The group was tiny tonight, only 6 or so folks, but at least everyone got a chance to talk. We talked about meal planning. Everybody is different, and I am just going to continue doing what is working for me. I have the same breakfast every morning of yogurt and fruit. I vary my lunch; a sandwich, eggs, or a spinach/shrimp salad. I have a late afternoon snack, usually fresh fruit and some protein like low fat mozzarella cheese sticks. I eat a Costco protein bar around 8:30 in the evening. After I enter the calories for the day, my app adds all them up, and adds in an exercise “bonus.” I then I know how much I can eat for dinner. I usually have 500-600 calories left, so dinner is my biggest meal. I am rarely hungry except right before a meal.
Tonight was also an “almost milestone.” I have lost almost 100 pounds since I began this journey 11 months ago. Only 43 to go before I will no longer in the “medically obese” category.
(My stats for the last week – Down 3 pounds, drank at least 7 gallons of water and I exercised for over 635 minutes. My cumulative weight loss so far is 99.7 pounds.)
I got a new, more accurate, scale this week, based on encouragement from the group last week. Since I love high tech stuff, I got one that will sync with my FitBit app. It averages my weight for each time and day that I step onto it, and generates a trend line so I know what direction I am going. Ah data! There can never be enough.
It probably wasn’t due to my new home scale, but at weigh-in tonight I was down 5.1 pounds from last week. See? Last week’s weigh-in with no loss wasn’t an issue at all.
My meeting with the knee doctor was somewhat disappointing. He wants me to lose another 15 pounds before he will schedule me for surgery. This is not a big problem as I can do that in another 2-3 months and I don’t want to do the surgery until the fall anyway. In fact, after this last week, I am one third of the way there already.
The appointment still feels like a bummer, and I am not really sure why. At least I can just email him when I reach the weight he wants and I won’t need to make another appointment before being scheduled for surgery. And it also isn’t like I thought I was done with this weight loss journey. I guess I expected him to just say,”wonderful, let’s get you on the list.” Managing hopeful exceptions is not always easy.
Neither is managing this weight loss. Every time I lose a few pounds, my calorie budget goes down in all my apps (and in reality too!). I am always either adjusting my intake with food or my expenditure of calories with exercise. Flexible, that’s me. Hah!
Last night, based on a participant’s request, we talked about strategies for dealing with things like conferences and buffet lines. One man said he doesn’t participate at all and tells his friends, “I am leaving during the meals because I would want to eat it all.” I loved this. No guilt, no shame – just honesty. Another man talked about deciding to go the Sizzler, and to just enjoy that buffet. AND he counted the calories and made sure to get back on track the very next day. Others drank extra water during conferences, or decided before hand that they would only take protein, fruit, and veggies from the buffet line. If you know your trigger foods, it can help to avoid them completely. Buffet food is also rarely all that delicious, so becoming more discerning and only eating the highest quality items can help too. Mass produced desserts are rarely very good and are loaded with fairly empty calories. Some people also took protein bars to substitute for some of the meals. Good tips, all of them, and I think everyone learned something they can use in the future.
We also talked about accountability, and what it means to us. This blog is one way I stay accountable both to myself and to my circle of family and friends. Writing about this journey each week helps me, and I hope it might help others. We all need companions and supporters, cheerleaders even, along the way if we are going to get to where we want to be.
One small part of the conversation last night disturbed me. One of our group was feeling bad, like a complete failure, because she had been gaining a lot of weight back. I know it was not meant the way it sounded, but the facilitator made a comment later that “studies show that if you feel like a failure, you will fail.” For someone feeling hopeless, this was not the best thing to say.
I also realized how protective I feel toward everyone in our group, even those I hardly know, but especially those I have grown to love. Like I have said before, the bond is strong and my mama bear personna can get riled up in an instant.
Hope IS a powerful motivator, and I know that if we cannot visualize success or even progress, then everything becomes harder. If you are feeling a lot of guilt or shame, odds are you aren’t liking yourself very much, and who wants to put in the energy to take care of someone they don’t like? I hate all that. I hate that it happens and that people are made to feel that way by our culture and by the thoughtless remarks by even people who mean well.
I also know this journey has been easier for me than for many people. I don’t have the long history of dieting, of losing and then regaining, that so many others have experienced. Failure is not something I expected to happen. I wasn’t SURE it would work, but I had a strong faith that it could. I also never felt particularly shameful or guilty about being fat. (Although I was sometimes shamed by others). I was also an over-eater but not a binge eater. These things have made it much easier for me. I am grateful for that relative ease, knowing also that “easy” is not what this has been like, even for me.
Damn, I just wish we could all love ourselves fiercely just as we are, fat, thin, whatever. The God I believe in loves us in just that way. Then, if we want to make changes, for our health or for whatever, we can do it in the spirit of love, do it for our bodies and for ourselves.
“How could anyone ever tell us, we are anything less than beautiful.” If they do, we need to tell them to shut the F-up.
(My stats for the last week – Down 5.1 pounds, drank at least 7 gallons of water and I exercised for over 555 minutes. My cumulative weight loss so far is 96.7 pounds.)
I got a new jacket this week as my old one was so large it was ridiculous. I got the new one a bit on the small side as I am planning to shrink-to-fit it better. I am slowly learning how to shop for transition clothes. Jeans only seem to fit for a few weeks before they threaten to fall off while I can still wear stretchy draw strings from when I was 90 pounds heavier. I really want a new swim suit soon, because I won’t be able to swim in any of my old ones. They work OK in the hot tub where it doesn’t matter much if they are almost falling off. If need be, if I don’t find a suit before we open the pool in the spring, it will have to just be a tee shirt and shorts for me.
Class was fun, although a LOT of people were missing this week. Our regular facilitator was also out and Sarah, the program manager, led our group. We did a very meaningful, go-around-the-room check-in and heard from a few people that rarely talk at all. It was a pleasure watching Sarah draw them out. We also did some stretching exercises, which reminded me that I need to get back into doing some of my physical therapy exercises for my arthritic shoulder. It hurts, and not just because of the shingle’s shot I got this week. A class member who recently had knee surgery kindly showed me some exercises I can start doing to prep for when I have it. I see the knee doctor this Friday and hopefully will get on his schedule. I am excited and a little apprehensive.
My weight this week was exactly the same as last week. No worries though. My exercise intensity was significantly less this last week, so it makes sense. That I can blame on the shingles shot. Excuses are sometimes valid.
(My stats for the last week – same as last week, drank at least 7 gallons of water and I exercised for over 515 minutes. My cumulative weight loss so far is 91.6 pounds.)
I am getting back to my routine: knowing how many calories I consume, exercising and noting the calories I am burning, and drinking lots of water. This is all so much easier at home. I admire the folks that do this program when they are still working or have small children.
My weight loss this week was almost too much at 2.6 pounds, but it was funny that at the weigh-in the scale first showed me 8 pounds down. I was definitely a mistake, so I asked to do it again. (I’d stepped on the scale before it finished cycling back to zero which confused it. Ah technology – I love it.)
At group last night one man shared his 4 “W’s” which keep him on track so he doesn’t regain the weight he has lost.
- Water – drink lots of it.
- Weigh yourself – at least weekly.
- Watch what you eat – recording it is even better
- Walk – exercise
Easy to remember, but it can be harder to do. I am doing really well on all of these, however, which must be why it is working. According to my food app, I have logged everything I have eaten in the last 203 days. My exercise stats are shown above. Today I was tired, however, so only got on the bike for 30 minutes. Every body needs a sabbath once in awhile.
(My stats for the last week – down 2.6 pounds, drink at least 7 gallons of water and I exercised for over 590 minutes. My cumulative weight loss so far is 91.6 pounds.)
A gentle breeze on a hot day
Can be a welcome gift
A subtle rustling of refreshment
Drying our sweat
As evaporation works
We give thanks for the wind.
On a hot beach
With a breeze less gentle
The sand blows into our eyes
The grit sticks to the lotion
We rubbed on to protect our skin.
We grumble and turn our faces away.
If we ignore the wind
Maybe it will stop.
The cold winter wind
Chills our bones
Our joints ache
As we pick our way
Down icy lanes
With coats, hats and gloves
A meager defense
So we claim a warm spot by a fire
And hunker down to hide
From the howling wind.
There are worse things the wind can do
Hurricanes blow our houses down
And bring the seas ashore.
Tornados turn everything to rumble
Splintering the lives
We once thought were safe.
We curse those winds
And wonder if our death is near.
Then a quiet day
Breathing in and out
Remembering that we are made
Of flesh and bone
Of water and of wind
A curse becomes a blessing
Filling our lungs with life
We give thanks, again,
For the wind.