blogging, learning, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, perfectionism, self improvement, self-esteem, self-worth, Writing

An Acceptable Title

I’m having a hard time titling this post.  The reason is because I’m a perfectionist.  I want a title that draws in readers; a title that’s clever and impressive; a title that makes people think, “This girl really knows her shit.”  The truth is I don’t know my shit.  At 53, I question my shit daily.  I overthink, and rethink, edit and over edit, and spend 99.999% of my time working to make sure that other people are happy.  I eat things that aren’t healthy for me (I just ate a doughnut). I skip exercise. I struggle for the right words to say to say to everyone and constantly worry about what people think of me.  I clean and re-clean my house. I pray that no-one at a get together asks me what I do for a living, or notices the extra weight I’ve put on. I say yes when I want to say no.  I do this all because I doubt myself and question my worthiness.  I’ve done this since I was a very little girl.

Self-confidence, or my lack there of, is the number one thing I’m working on with my weight-loss counselor. I’ve learned how to eat and exercise correctly.  I know the “magic” formula for conquering my metabolism and maintaining my weight.  I’m introspective and know why I feel so worthless, yet my whole life I’ve not been able to drop the events in my past, or the words in my head, that have made me feel like I don’t measure up to others.

A few weeks ago, my counselor recommended an amazing book by Dr. Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection, Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.  Brown is a researcher  at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work who has spent her career studying vulnerability, shame, worthiness, and courage.  I skeptically ordered it and for two weeks it hung out on my bedside stand.  My thought was that this was going be yet another book full of psycho-babble that would end up on my overflowing bookshelf collecting dust.  No so!  When I finally cracked the cover last week at the beach, I found that it was full of simple truths that have begun to cause me to challenge my lack of worthiness, my perfectionism, and my constant need to please others. There were literally mere sentences that flipped my way of thinking.  For the next few weeks I’m going to write about my thought processes and progress as I digest, and hopefully, put into practice the information in this very worthwhile book.  In the meantime, here’s a short clip, courtesy of YouTube, of Brown speaking about her book:

 

PS–I decided to gift myself a break and not worry about a perfect title!

Please only answer these questions in the comments if you feel comfortable doing so.

  • What self-esteem issues do you suffer from?
  • What do you think the cause is/was?
  • What do you do to bolster, soothe, or celebrate how you feel about yourself?

PS–I decided to give myself a break and not worry about a perfect title! 🙂

blogging, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, finding balance, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, The Daily Prompt, Uncategorized, weight loss and deprivation, weight loss journal, Writing

In that place where I don’t bulge out…

via Daily Prompt: Caper

Oh, but I fall into excuses, even when I promise myself, and my world, that I won’t.  There’s one more hot dog, because it’s the fourth.  There’s the giant crab cake sandwich, because I’m sick and the prednisone makes me so hungry.  There’s frozen yogurt because, well, because it’s Sunday and I’m with my daughter who loves fro-yo, and it has protein in it.

There’s an extra cup of coffee with cream, because I got up so damn early this morning, and I have a headache from the cough syrup.  I can keep going, but I know what I sound like.  My real personal truth is that I like food and I like coffee and I like doing things that I like.  I don’t want to practice self-control because self-control isn’t fun. Self-control is like being mired in dog shit in the middle of an amusement park.

My shunning of self-control would be awesome if it didn’t conflict with other things that I  adore; like cute clothing and my underlying desire to fit neatly in the same box as most other people.  In essence, my secretive shallow nature is in constant disagreement with my lack of constraint.

So, I have “start-fresh-Mondays” where I get out my food journal and log every calorie and nibble until they are all I can think about.  As I shower, 190 runs through my head.  I vacuum with 370 and watch Friends reruns with 860 on my mind.  Is it too many, is it enough? Can I just have a cheese stick?  Always that damn careful balance!  I pray I can go to bed with the gnawing. I can picture angry little flesh-colored “pac-men” eating away my fat as I run my hand flat against my torso.  Are those my ribs sticking out?  I’ll look great in that skirt; no one will know I’m a fat girl on the inside.

I know I’m wrong, and different, but maybe not.  It’s  simply a caper against myself.  We all have secrets, some salacious some mundane. I’m hoping to be somewhere in the middle; in that place where I don’t bulge out.

blogging, dealing with food cravings, Exercise, Feeling frustrated, fitness, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, problem solving, setting goals, weight loss journal, Wellness Center

New Opportunities

DSCN0154
Sometimes you’ve just gotta have red meat! This isn’t the meal I had yesterday, but it was a lovely meal nonetheless. (Photo by me)

This week has started with some new “opportunities.”  You’ll remember in my last post that I’m trying my best to approach any stumbling block in my weight control/management as an opportunity.  My lifelong friend asthma decided to make a sneak visit  three days ago.  I did my best to use albuterol to stave it off, but ended up at urgent care yesterday and am on a five-day burst of my arch-enemy, prednisone.  Old Pred, as I call it, does a lovely job of helping me to breathe, but does a horrible number on my appetite.  In other words, I’m starving!

I’ll admit that yesterday required something that I very rarely eat; a steak–a 6 once filet to be exact.  Once, or twice, a year I get hankering for a medium, grilled and well-seasoned filet.  Usually, when I’m particularly run down. So, for lunch I indulged on 3 ounces of steak along with a plain tossed salad and a few tablespoons of plain baked sweet potato.  I boxed the other 3 ounces, along with a small serving of sweet potato and had it for dinner with some raw cucumbers.  Today, I’ve managed to stay on track with my regular Optifast plan, though it has been tough!

The asthma has also left me unable to exercise for the past three days; yet another opportunity.  I’m not really great at sitting still or at staying indoors (the humidity and pollen count in my area are horrible), but I’ve managed to entertain myself with awesome Netflix and Amazon prime entertainment.  I finished up Ken Burn’s 2014 documentary on the Roosevelt’s; which was quite good.  Then I moved on to my guilty pleasure Ru Paul’s Drag race—I love me some Queens!

My next opportunity will be this Saturday when our neighborhood hosts an awesome block party with tons of food and treats.  We’ve been in our new neighborhood a year and so many new people have moved in.  It truly will be a great opportunity to meet everyone.  My plan is to eat before the event, keep a non-calorie beverage in my hand at all times to sip on, and concentrate on social connections rather than the food.  Did I mention that I’m slated to make cupcakes for this event?  I’m so tempted to get them from the bakery so I don’t have to smell them baking!

Tomorrow, I’m back for a check-up and hopefully, I can hit the gym afterwards since it’s a stone’s throw from my doctor’s office.  I’ll be the one in the waiting room in workout clothes!

How’s everyone doing?  Any “opportunities” in your upcoming week?

 

 

blogging, Crafting to lose weight, enjoying family, finding balance, Finding old friends, fitness, following your dreams, Friendship, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, optifast, setting goals, weight loss journal, Wellness Center, Writing

Starting at Square Two

 

Being a stay-at-home Nana has been a joy 99.999% of the time.  I wasn’t able to stay home with my daughters when they were little, so it’s been amazing watching Baby C unfold from a tiny preemie to a big boy.  However, as triumphant as watching each milestone was, there was part of me that had to hugely adjust to being home with a baby all day.  After all, my daughter’s schedule as a resident physician can only be described as grueling.  Her 16 hour a day shifts, coupled with my son-in-law’s odd work hours, often left me watching him for much longer than a traditional work day. Things happened that I didn’t imagine.  Any sort of routine or self-care schedule that I’d established basically became non-existent. I became a greasy haired, yoga pants wearing woman, in an oversized spit up covered tee-shirt.  My food plan of five small high protein meals per day dissolved to grabbing whatever seemed semi-edible from my fridge or pantry  Exercise, beyond walking and bouncing a wailing baby, went out the window, as did, reading, blogging, hanging out with friends, crafting and most things that I’d used as a substitute for overeating.  I began speaking fluent Sesame Street  (not a bad thing) and forgot how to have an interesting conversation. Though my snuggle and love ratio increased, my weight management plan rolled out the door like a trashcan full of dirty diapers and I gained weight; 35 pounds to be exact.

I’d committed to watching Baby C his first year of life, however finding just the right daycare didn’t happen until he turned 18 months old.  As soon as he began his first week there, I scanned my closet for something non-grubby to wear and went directly to my weight management physician and to the weight management trainers at the wellness center. Last week, I entered a comprehensive weight maintenance program and yesterday my weigh-in revealed a 4.5 pound weight loss! I’m proud of making progress and even prouder that I’m catching myself before my weight spirals too out of control.  Having to lose 30.5 pounds sure seems more doable than my previous goal of nearly 100 pounds.  Fortunately, instead of starting at square one, I’ve glided on to square two!

Life is a constant recalibration to find the perfect balance. I’m still spending plenty of time with my awesome grandson, but it’s more quality than quantity.  I’m back to making glass art that’s more intricate than before. I’m back to having time to nurture my relationship with my husband and friends.  I’m also back to posting on WordPress and, oh-so-hopefully reconnecting with the wonderful friends I’ve made on here over the years!

So, friends, how have you been? 🙂 

 

 

Anxiety, blogging, emotional eating, Exercise, finding balance, fitness, Food Addiction, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, optifast, problem solving, Tips fot weight loss, Uncategorized, weight loss journal, Writing

The Ups and Downs of Weight Management

It’s been a very long time since I’ve given an update on my weight loss and fitness levels I know those of you on Optifast are probably wondering how successful the program has been more than a year beyond the original use of the product.  I know it differs for everyone, but here’s my experience.

I began my weight loss journey January 2014 at 230 pounds.  I’m small framed and am 5’4″ tall, so that was quite a bit of weight to be carrying around. I had a myriad of health issues; prediabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and asthma.  I used a CPAP to sleep at night and took a pile of medication each day. My rock bottom came one night when I was lying in bed attempting to read and realized that my own neck fat was cutting off my air supply.  The next day I called my doctor.

I completed 18 weeks of a medically supervised Optifast program (800 calories a day/5 shakes).  During this time I took weight loss classes and participated in cognitive behavioral therapy to change my binging and general eating behaviors.  I also enrolled in a weight management program at our hospital’s wellness center and worked out 5-6 days per week.  After the Optifast products, with the aid of a dietitian, I transitioned to a high protein/low carb diet of 1200 calories.  This diet is much like the diet that those with diabetes are instructed to follow.  Within approximately six months my weight was down to 131 lbs. (a 99 lb. loss).  All those medications and the CPAP were things of my past.

Once the weight was gone, the tough part began; MAINTENANCE!!! Instead of weekly check-ins with the doctor, I began seeing her monthly, then quarterly.  I also was in charge of eating real food in the real world.  For the first year, I religiously stuck with the program and stayed around 135 lbs.  My doctor kept telling me that a 10-15 pound gain would be normal during maintenance, but I refused to believe her.  I was determined to not go over 135lbs.  Then, sometime this past fall, I began, as the Pentecostals would  say, “back-sliding.”  I could blame it on being too busy to follow my meal plan, or on the holidays approaching, but truth be told, I made the choice to fall off the wagon.  For the past six months, I’ve pretty much eaten what I’ve wanted, when I’ve wanted it and I haven’t made fitness a priority.  I’d love to say that miraculously I’m still fitting quite comfortably in my clothing from last spring and summer, but I can’t.  My recent weigh-in shows a gain of 15 pounds.

The good thing about gaining 15 pounds is that it’s ONLY 15 pounds.  When I was staring down the barrel of 230 lbs. with nearly 100 pounds to drop, weight loss seemed daunting.   Now, with the proper tools and knowledge, it’s not so scary. My doctor and I made the very realistic goal of dropping ten pounds by the end of July.  I’m back to seeing my weight loss counselor. I’ve purged my pantry of sugary, carb-laden treats and I’ve dusted off my gym equipment.  I know that weight maintenance doesn’t end when the last pound of your goal has been lost.  I have to keep on keeping on.

How has everyone on Optifast or other weight loss plans been doing?  Updates, please! 

 

 

 

blogging, finding balance, following your dreams, Maintaining Weight Loss

Diving in the Deep End of Life

Howdy, blogging buddies!!  I’ve clearly been MIA  for quite a while now.  I’m certain that it’s because I’m still struggling to create that imperfectly perfect life balance of family, career, school, fitness, etc.!  Way, way back in December I mentioned  two of my New Years’ resolutions; connect on a deeper level with friends and find a fulfilling career.  My weight loss experience definitely taught me the power of being a doer as well as a dreamer.  Imagining and visualizing your success is extremely important, but at some point the imagination can only go so far before the body has to dive in, head and heart first, to make things happen.  I’ve been quite busy diving in the deep end of life, because that tends to be where all the good stuff happens.  (Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to be allowed to swim in that mystical area beyond the ropes?)

My dive began in January when my husband and I began making an effort to become more social.  Instead  of casually talking about places and events that we might go to and do in the future, we just started going and doing.  In addition to making new friends, I’ve recommitted to getting together more with dear, old friends. There’s a richness in friendship that I’d forgotten just how much I’d needed.

I haven’t been letting my career goals flounder in the shallow end either. Knowing that I need to brush up on my Excel skills, I’m taking a class at a local college. The assignments are lengthy, but it feels great to exercise my brain (and yes, I do have homework that I should be doing instead of blogging).  I’ve also been making some great connections in the world of PR and marketing, as well as doing some volunteer work in that area that can offer me some credible references. I’m confident that when I’m ready, the right position will come my way.

My fitness level and weight are doing well. I’m continuing to hover around 132 pounds and am still following the basic high protein, lower carb eating plan that my dietician recommends. I’m making it to the gym about twice a week, but I’ve found a plethora of activities to do on my own that are keeping me fit; hiking, treadmill, yard work, swimming, etc.   I mostly visit the gym to make sure I do a thorough weight routine twice a week. I feel like I’ve found a healthy balance.

My family is continuing to thrive! My oldest daughter graduates from med school at the end of this month and she and her hubby are expecting their first child. (I’m going to be a Nana!!) My youngest is finding ongoing success at her job, and her fiancé just landed a wonderful position as a documentarian, editor, etc. in his field (perhaps wedding bells are in their future).   We’re all heading to the beach after my daughter’s graduation. So, basically, it’s all cool in our pool!

I need to swim on over to my study area and get to work and then head to the gym. I hope everyone is doing well. I plan to peruse some much missed blogs soon!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Anxiety, Appreciation, blogging, Building self-confidence, cats, enjoying family, Exercise, fitness, Food Addiction, losing weight, love, Maintaining Weight Loss, marriage, setting goals, weight loss journal, Wisdom, Writing

Snowy Sunday

We’re under yet another winter storm warning, but I’m not complaining.  I think my husband and I need a day to relax. I’ve realized, since my weight loss, that I’ve become quite accustomed to my days being filled with a constant flurry (no pun intended towards the falling snow outside my window) of activities.

In fact, with my birthday being a month away, I was mentally comparing my life now to a year ago:

  • Nearly a year ago today, I was excited to be wearing a brand new pair of size 18, skinny, jeans to my birthday party.  This was a welcome change from the size 24 pants that I’d worn to my first weigh in at the bariatric center.
  • As only a  three-month veteran of my weight loss program, I cautiously approached every sip, or bite, of food that I ingested and monitored every calorie I burned at the gym.
  • My self-confidence was a newly burgeoning entity experiencing so much for the first time.
  • My main goal was to get healthy and stay that way.

Now, my life is vastly different.  As a fit and healthy person, I look at life through new eyes, seeing every bright possibility.  It’s not just because my body is fit, it’s because my mind is clear and my soul is free of the baggage of anxiety and food addiction. I love my life and the people in it so much.  I quite honestly never imagined being so happy.

I think the secret to life is as simple and pure as the snow gently drifting in my driveway; see life as a series of possibilities and believe that the odds are in your favor, because they are. Take care of yourself. Feed and exercise each part of your body, mind, and spirit with good things, because that’s exactly what you deserve.  Practice kindness, caring, patience, and love daily. It just feels right, and you’ll mostly always get each in return.

Deep thoughts on a snowy Sunday! 🙂

Hope everyone is having a phenomenal day! 🙂

My kitty says, "It's time to relax!"  (Photo by me)
My kitty says, “It’s time to relax!” (Photo by me)