Monday, June 23, 2008

Squishy Like a Teddy Bear*

Hey there, it's been way too long since I've been back. I've been doing a lot of thinking and Mouse encouraged me to write it out. In some ways I have loved this summer so far. I'm not dripping with sweat by the time I get to work, my thighs rubbing together doesn't give me a rash and skirts are now my favorite clothes to wear (and I don't have to put baby powder all over myself or wear a girdle or spanx), I don't lose my breath when I have a long distance to walk (I walk at least a 1/2 - 1 mile a day during the week and usually about 3 miles a day on the weekends. Hey, it's New York.), it just feels really nice to be alive. That may sound strange to say, but don't we all go through times when we are just getting by? When life is either a struggle or a rut? Well, it is nice to be happy and healthy, and I'm not taking it for granted. One thing that sucks is that I broke one of my toes in May. As a result I haven't run since I left Vegas. It sucks. I see runners everywhere and I wish I could be them. (Which is awesome in itself :) That definitely wasn't the case when I lived here before. I really shouldn't walk on it as much as I do, but I just can't bear to be cooped up inside all the time. I'm nervous it isn't healing properly, of course I didn't go to a doctor when it happened. It's been taped to a "buddy toe", but it is still swollen. But, I digress. Things are good, but here's the not so good.

I feel very squishy. Kinda like a soft stuffed animal. I feel like sometimes someone went into my closet at night and changed all the size tags from 18 to 4 and I'm just a poser. I know, logically I know, that I have lost all the weight, but in some ways I feel more invisible than I did when I was at my highest weight. I know I shouldn't complain, because if I added strength training, which would not require using my injured toe, I could build up my muscle tone and be less squishy. I know, I of all people know, I am in control and I can change my body if I put my mind to it. And I wouldn't change where I am right here, right now, for anything. But, I have to say that the journey through weight loss was more fun than being here in maintenance land. I had a goal to achieve, I was successful, I was motivated. I've said before that I realized long before I committed to losing weight that the likelihood was that I wasn't going to improve my social life by losing weight - that I would still be still in my jammies after work on the couch watching TV - but that I would just be thinner. It's weird when you can predict the future so vividly. So, thanks for letting me complain about successfully accomplishing a long held goal of mine :)

* My first, and only, boyfriend in college was a little overweight (more so than me - to put it into context, I was a size 10 or 12). He was an out of shape ex-football player who stopped exercising when he went to college. He used to complain from time to time about his weight and I didn't know what to say, so I once told him that he was "squishy like a teddy bear" and it made him smile and became a term of endearment. I don't think I would EVER say something like that to a guy now, I don't think it is what anyone would want to hear, but it brings back fond memories that it isn't always a bad thing to be squishy.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Secrets to my Success

Thanks again for all your supportive comments. It really is so great to be able to share that information with all of you. Jodi asked how I managed to lose steadily without many gains. Well, WW was my foundation. I don't think I could have done it without the flex plan structure, the meetings (you all know of my love of my meeting leader Melvin), and the eTools online. But, for specifics, this is pretty much what I did ...

* I found new foods that were healthy (low in points) that I could base my eating around. I really didn't have much variety ... cherrios, green vegetables, seafood, pretzels :), diet pepsi, sushi. That's pretty much it. But I liked it and it made me feel safe. It made me feel in control and I really didn't feel like I was depriving myself of anything.

* I basically decided that I wanted to lose weight more than I wanted a hamburger or french fries. A switch flipped and that was pretty much it for me. Granted, I had to make that decision over and over and over again. But I tried to put myself in situations where I had healthy snacks, where food wasn't the focus, just basically made my life about living, not about food. That was a huge change for me. My comfort system really had become food. Its what I did to make myself feel better, or treat myself if things went bad, or celebrate if things went well. Truth is, I was also suffering from a pretty major bout of depression for years. I got help. Then I was ready to lose weight. And now, I'm not saying that things don't go wrong in my life, but I now have the tools to realize I have a great support system of friends and family and I am much more capable of handling problems without trying to solve them with food.

* I realized that my life really wasn't going to change all that much once I lost the weight. I used to think to myself that I just sit on my couch all the time and watch TV, what's going to be different once I lose weight? Would I just be thinner and on my couch? I realized that losing weight wasn't going to solve my social/dating problems. And you know what, pretty much all I do is sit on the couch now and watch TV, I'm just thinner. And you know what, that's okay. I'm not disappointed. It's actually kind of nice to see that people haven't started treating me differently just because I'm 88 pounds thinner. I'd hate to have proof that the world was really that superficial.

* I found exercise I liked and looked forward to doing. I didn't do anything that made me uncomfortable or embarrassed. I find it mind boggling that women who are carrying 100 extra pounds will torture themselves with certain kinds of exercise. Is that really making them feel good about themselves? If it is, great, everyone is different, and I definitely don't know what's best for everyone. But, I just think we need to be kinder to our bodies. And some times that means we should take it slower and build.

* I realized that I didn't gain all the weight in a few months, or even a few years, so I wasn't going to lose it fast. I realized I needed to commit to losing weight for the long haul. I made a goal for one year later, then I made an end goal for 6 months after that. I realized that I was going to still be me one year later, did I want to still be overweight, or did I want to lose the weight? I was okay that it was going to happen slowly. In fact, no one at school notice until I lost about 40 lbs.

* I realized that life was going to happen. I wasn't going to be Oprah at her birthday party not eating cake! I tried to plan for those situations, but I still gained 5 pounds the week of graduation. But, I lost it within two weeks. I wasn't going to miss out on feeling free and celebrating graduation with my friends. But I also didn't beat myself up when I gained. I just went back to what I knew worked. And I am lucky enough to say that it kept working.

* And last but not least, I realize that I am super lucky. I tried and it worked. It isn't that easy for everyone, and I realize that. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have had this easy of a path to weight loss. Yeah, I can say that it took 15 months, but it wasn't the most difficult 15 months of my life. It was a really positive experience honestly. I just can't say it enough, I was lucky. I didn't have a hard time of it. The things I tried worked and I was successful. I didn't have to struggle. I didn't get frustrated. I'll say it again, I am lucky!

So, my friends, those are my secrets to my success. Thanks for asking!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Full Disclosure

Thanks for all your support! I really appreciate that you understand where I am coming from and that you care enough to comment. I am posting the results here, like Vickie so wisely suggested, so that even if I lose them in Excel, they will live on in cyber space in infamy! :)

I have more to tell you all about ... I mentioned to my new boss in conversation that I recently lost 90 lbs ... I guess I'm more comfortable with this information than she was, judging from her reaction. Not that it was totally bad.

Here's full disclosure:

Date/ Weight
05/31/08 135.6 lbs
04/08/08 135.8 lbs
04/03/08 136.5 lbs
03/11/08 135.8 lbs
03/06/08 134.5 lbs
03/02/08 136 lbs
02/07/08 135.5 lbs
01/31/08 134.5 lbs
01/24/08 137.5 lbs
01/18/08 136.2 lbs
01/10/08 138 lbs
01/03/08 136.6 lbs
12/27/07 138.4 lbs
12/19/07 140 lbs
12/13/07 142 lbs
12/07/07 138.8 lbs
11/29/07 139.8 lbs
11/24/07 140.2 lbs
11/15/07 140 lbs
11/08/07 141.6 lbs
11/01/07 142.8 lbs
10/25/07 143.4 lbs
10/18/07 144.8 lbs
10/11/07 147 lbs
10/04/07 148 lbs
09/27/07 148.8 lbs
09/20/07 148.4 lbs
09/13/07 152.2 lbs
09/06/07 153.8 lbs
08/30/07 155.2 lbs
08/23/07 155.8 lbs
08/16/07 159.4 lbs
08/09/07 160.8 lbs
08/02/07 161.4 lbs
07/25/07 161 lbs
07/18/07 164 lbs
07/12/07 160.4 lbs
07/05/07 162.2 lbs
06/28/07 164 lbs
06/21/07 166 lbs
06/14/07 166.2 lbs
06/07/07 168.2 lbs
05/29/07 170.4 lbs
05/24/07 175.6 lbs
05/17/07 171 lbs
05/10/07 173.6 lbs
05/03/07 175 lbs
04/26/07 178 lbs
04/19/07 178.4 lbs
04/12/07 181.4 lbs
04/05/07 183.2 lbs
03/29/07 183 lbs
03/22/07 186.8 lbs
03/15/07 185.2 lbs
03/08/07 186.4 lbs
03/01/07 189.2 lbs
02/22/07 189.8 lbs
02/15/07 191.4 lbs
02/08/07 192.6 lbs
02/01/07 195.8 lbs
01/23/07 200.4 lbs
01/16/07 196.6 lbs
01/09/07 198.6 lbs
01/02/07 201.6 lbs
12/27/06 202 lbs
12/19/06 200.8 lbs
12/12/06 203.2 lbs
12/05/06 206.8 lbs
11/28/06 207.6 lbs
11/22/06 209.8 lbs
11/14/06 209.6 lbs
11/07/06 212.2 lbs
10/31/06 211.2 lbs
10/24/06 214 lbs
10/17/06 217.2 lbs
10/10/06 216 lbs
10/03/06 215.6 lbs
09/28/06 217.4 lbs
09/19/06 219.6 lbs
09/12/06 223.6 lbs
09/05/06 224.2 lbs
08/21/06 223.8 lbs

Monday, June 02, 2008

End of an Era

I'm sad. So sad, in fact, that I have tears in my eyes (which is not a common occurrence for me). Why am I so sad you ask? Well, I have ended a long-term relationship ... with WW eTools. I know. It's an online program. So, why am I so emotionally attached to it? Well, it has been my friend, much like my meeting leader in Maryland, and I have realized it is time for me to say goodbye. I have been thinking about it for a while now. I haven't been counting points. I haven't been tracking my activity. I haven't even been reading the weekly profiles of WW success stories. That's VERY unusual for me. I have loved those stories. I have loved learning and meeting those women (and men). But, I just haven't been visiting the WW website. I hate to say that it is because I haven't needed it. It's just been that it hasn't been a priority. Now that scares me to say because it makes me worry that weight loss hasn't been a priority. But, now that I think about it. Weight loss isn't my priority - maintenance is. And, I guess over the past 5 months I have realized that eTools isn't helping me. It's not that it is doing anything wrong, or bad. I just haven't been going to it for support. Now, if I had all the money in the world I would keep the subscription so that in the future I would have access to it. But, right now, $12.95 a month for something I'm not using, just isn't worth it for the possibility that I might need it in the future. I did copy now all the points values for the foods that I usually eat and the activity I usually (or used to) do. I also copied down my history of weights since I started in August 2006. I really want that record. That history. That trail. I wish it was somewhere more safe than in a random Excel spreadsheet, but it is more cost effective that way. So, where does cost effective and sadness meet? I just don't know. But, it is the end of an era. My era. But, I did return to the fold in one way... I found a WW meeting I really liked on Saturday. I'll post about it this week. I am definitely going to go back. I even shared during it, and they were nice. I felt comfortable there. Not like in Maryland, but change can be good. And, when you think about it, life is all about change.