Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Today is day one of my current streak.
As I had blogged about previously, I have gained back 31 of the 71 lbs I'd lost, and naturally my clothes have gotten really tight on me. I hate that feeling of being squashed into what I'm wearing and seeing all the "extra bits" poking out. I'm all about loving yourself no matter what you look like, but the truth is...its hard for me to love myself right now. I look in the mirror and its embarrassing to see how I look in my tight clothes. These clothes fit me perfectly just a couple of months ago!
Yesterday I had to go to the store, so I got dressed in the loosest of my tight clothes (and even they were way too tight) and then put on a long sweater to "hide" in. I felt so lumpy and frumpy, I just wanted to disappear, so I did what I always do when I feel shy or insecure....I pulled my hair into a ponytail and slapped on a baseball cap. No makeup. I just wanted to get to the store and do my shopping, and get home before anyone I know saw me!
As I was shopping, I started thinking of how close we are to Spring, and warmer weather. And then I realized that soon, I won't be able to wear a coat or a sweater to hide the fact that my clothes are too tight! Yikes!
For a moment, I thought that perhaps I ought to go to Goodwill or Walmart, and buy a few things in my new larger size. Just a couple of t shirts and pairs of pants to "tide me over" until I lost the weight. It seemed like a reasonable idea. But then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was NOT so reasonable!
I have lost significant amounts of weight a couple of times in the past, only to start gaining some of it back, and slowly slipping into larger (and larger) sized clothes. And then I would ultimately gain back every pound that I'd lost, plus more. For me, buying larger clothes was always the first step towards giving up on myself. Having those larger clothes made it easier to just go ahead and gain the weight back.
So for now, I'm not going to buy larger clothes. Instead, I'm going to start working hard to start losing weight again, so that the clothes I have now will fit again! I know me....and I know that I can do this. I know that I MUST do it..otherwise, I'm going to look pretty silly when the weather is warm, and I'm wearing jackets and sweaters to try to hide under! Yeah, thats a pretty good reason to stay on track.
And I'm going to work on loving myself, even in my too tight clothes. Because no matter what size I am or how I look...overweight or healthy weight....I am always going to be me. I will love myself and my body, because this is the body that is going to do the work and carry me to my goal size.
**In memory of Little_Queen. I miss you, sis!**
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Today is day 2 of my current streak.
I want to tell you about a very special woman who passed away over the weekend. Her Spark name was Little_Queen, but her real name was Lori. I called her Sis.
I originally joined Sparkpeople in 2008, and was overwhelmed. I wasn't sure if I'd fit in here. Believe it or not, I was really shy back then! Lori was one of the first people to add me as a friend, and of course I added her back. I joined a team she was leader of, called Rootin' for Ruby. It was a very small team back then. When Lori asked me to co-lead, I turned her down...a few times! I thought I would be a terrible team leader, but Lori convinced me that I'd do just fine. She was so good at convincing me to think more highly of myself. I knew I could count on Lori to make me feel confident and brave. The shyness went away because Lori was always there to encourage me to believe in myself.
I often say that I am my own hero....but Lori was the one who made that possible. She believed in me and supported me, and always made me feel special. She never stopped encouraging me on my journey, and she celebrated every one of my non-scale victories as if they were her own. I truly did love her as a sister.
"Say not in grief that she is no more, but say in thankfulness that she was.
A death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come."
If you knew Lori, then you were so blessed! And if you didn't know her, I'm sorry you missed out. She was a beautiful person, in every way. I thank God that she was part of my life and that I was part of hers. That is one of my biggest blessings.
Lori and I got to meet in 2010, along with some other dear Spark friends. It was wonderful to meet her in person, and there was no awkwardness at all! We went straight for a big bear hug, and we couldn't stop smiling. We talked as if we'd known each other our entire lives. It was wonderful to spend that day with my Spark sister and team mates!
The group of us went to lunch at a nearby restaurant together. Lori and her daughter rode in my car. At that time, my husband was out of work and we were really struggling. I was hoping that there would be something on the menu that wasn't too expensive for me and my son. Then I noticed Lori slipping something into my purse. It was a twenty dollar bill! She didn't want to embarrass me but she knew I didn't have much money, and she wanted to help. She did this quietly, in the privacy of my car, so that none of our other Spark friends would know. She didn't want accolades or pats on the back for doing something like that. She just wanted to help a friend. I will never forget that, or the many kind things she did for me during the time I knew her. I will never forget HER, or how wonderful and safe it felt to have her as a friend.
There are so many things I wish I could say to her now. I hope she really knew how much I loved her and how much her friendship meant to me. I know I'll see her again someday, though, and I will tell her everything that is in my heart.
PICTURES OF THE RUBY TEAM GET TOGETHER, ANNAPOLIS MD
(From 2010....I was close to my highest weight. I'm wearing the blue jacket. Next to me is Pinknfitcarla, and next to her is Lori.)
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Today is day 18 of my current streak!
You'd think that after 18 days of being back on track that I'd have some NSV's to report, wouldn't you? Like maybe some looser pants, or the steering wheel not being so close to my tummy. But nope, none of that! Am I discouraged? Well, to be honest, I was starting to get there! Its hard to stay on track when you're not seeing any visible signs of progress. But I'm not giving up! And you know what? The fact that I'm not giving up is actually an NSV, after all! So yay for me!
Yesterday I went out to lunch with my two sons. (My oldest son is in need of prayers for a work related situation, so if you would, please add him to your prayer list. Thank you!) Anyway, we went to a BBQ place, and although I'm a vegetarian, there are still plenty of things there to tempt me. (They've got hush puppies!!!!!) But I remembered my streak....and the fact that I'm up 31 pounds right now...and I stayed on track. I had a ginormous salad, with the dressing on the side. After lunch, my son had to get back home, so I went to my favorite store, TJ Maxx, and treated myself to a couple of things to reward myself for staying on track for over two weeks. I got a pretty scented candle for 3 bucks, and a new pink yoga mat for $7.
It feels great to be back on track. I'm going to reward myself with a little something every two weeks that I stay on track, even if I'm not noticing any progress in the fit of my clothes. I am eating right and working out, so I know that if I keep going, I will start noticing some weight loss soon! In the meantime, I'm going to keep treating my body like a temple, and feeding it real, healthy food. That means I need to cook, instead of buying frozen meals! Here's a recipe that I'm going to make today....it looks so yummy!
The part of this journey that I struggle most with is eating. I find it so easy to go off track and eat too much. I love to workout, but I know that I can't out exercise too much food. For the past 18 days I've been on track, and I have not binged or had any junk food, but the temptation is always there.
When I first made this lifestyle change, back in March of 2012, I told myself that "I am my own hero. I am saving myself from myself." Whenever I felt like giving up or giving in, I would remind myself of that. Being my own hero helped me to lose 71 lbs. And even though I have gained back 31 of those pounds, I am STILL my own hero, because I am still here every day, fighting to save myself from myself.
Be your own hero too...you're worth the effort!
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Today is day 6 of my current streak!
In 2012, I was at the highest weight of my life, and I was dying from obesity. I had no energy, I hurt all over, and the slightest exertion made my heart race and got me out of breath. I was not really living anymore. I was trapped in an unhealthy, out of shape body. I wanted to change, but I had such a huge amount of weight to lose that just thinking about it was daunting. But I knew I had to save myself, or else I was going to die before my time. So on March 1, 2012, I started my journey. I decided to focus on HEALTH, not WEIGHT. I weighed myself on my Wii Fit, and then I put it away. I didn't want to worry about numbers. I just wanted to do my best to make each day as healthy as I possibly could, and to focus on NSV's. (Non-scale victories.)
It wasn't easy, and there were many times that I thought "I can't do it." I wanted to give up, but I knew that I had to keep going. I told myself "Just give it two weeks." So I stuck with it, even when it was hard and uncomfortable and painful. I started counting my days in a row, and I was so proud of the streak I was building up. After two weeks, I began to notice that I was making progress. The workouts were still hard, but I was getting stronger. I could even feel some firmness beneath my belly fat. My clothes were getting looser. These NSV's helped me to keep going for another day, another week, another month. Seven months later, I finally weighed myself on the Wii Fit again. I'd lost 71 pounds! I was so proud of myself!
And then I put the Wii Fit away again. I kept eating right and working out, and I could tell I was losing a few more pounds, simply by how I looked in my clothes. But I didn't feel any temptation to weigh myself. Even when the plateau finally hit, I didn't want to weigh in. I knew the weight loss had stalled, but I was kind of okay with that. I still had plenty of NSV's to celebrate. Although my clothing size stayed the same, I could feel my body firming up and getting stronger. I had more energy for my daily life. My husbands arms could go all the way around me when we hugged. I could do better during my workouts. I had no more achy knees, and I didn't get out of breath from just walking to the kitchen. So I just kept doing my best to stay on track.
But the plateau lasted a long time, and finally it started to get to me. I started to have occasional binges that would last a day or two. Then I'd pick myself up and get back on track. But I could tell that these binges were leading to small weight gains. And then, over the holidays, I really started to struggle. Slowly, I started to gain more weight. In January, hubby was in the hospital for a week, and then home recovering for 3 weeks. I was completely off track during that time. I hardly ever worked out, and I was eating a LOT. My jeans got way too tight and I had to go out and buy a pair of elastic waist jeans, which to me was a huge failure. It was also a wake up call.
So last week, I got back on the scale again. I needed to know exactly how much damage I'd done. It was heartbreaking to see that I'd gained back 31 lbs, but it wasn't the end of the world. It actually re-strengthened my resolve. I gave myself a total fresh start. And so far, I have been staying on track, and I'm starting to feel so much better...even though I have to wear elastic waist jeans for now!
A few people have suggested to me that I might not have gained 31 lbs if I had been weighing myself, but I have to disagree. My mind was in such a place that not even daily weigh ins would have stopped the gain, and I know this from experience. You see, in 2006, I lost 86 lbs while going to a women's gym and getting weighed there once a month. Once I lost that weight, I was at my goal size, and I wanted to stay there. So I bought a scale, and started weighing myself once a week. Then I started weighing once a day...and then several times a day. And then slowly, I started to go off track. The weight began to come back on, in spite of those multiple weigh ins. I would weigh myself, see how much I'd gained, and then binge to comfort myself. I had lost 86 lbs, but within a year I'd gained back 100 pounds!
I ended up throwing the scale away, because those weigh ins were crushing me. In spite of weighing myself so often, I had still gained weight. I don't think I ever want to own a scale again. What works for me is just paying attention to how my clothes fit and how I feel. I'm not saying that this would work for everyone. I know that some people need the accountability of weighing in, and there is nothing wrong with that. I just know that I don't want to have to deal with a scale. I'm back on track, and I know that if I keep eating right and working out, the weight will start to come off...and eventually, if I don't give up, I will reach my goals!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Today is day 4 of my current streak!
I wanted to take a moment to wish myself a very happy and healthy Valentines day! And even though Valentines day is only one day of the year, I am going to love myself enough to be my own Valentine all year long.
For me, the hardest part of this journey is eating right. I really struggle with that. I love exercising...but sometimes I undo all the benefits of my workouts by eating the wrong food, and too much of it. This year, I promise to love myself enough to make smarter, better choices when it comes to eating. I know I can do it. What works for me is to challenge myself. (I love a good challenge!) So my challenge to myself is to try to make each meal that I eat as healthy as possible. Before I put anything on my plate, I will ask myself "Is this healthy?"
Its true what they say.....good health really is its own reward. This journey is not just about losing weight...its about gaining health! When I am eating real, healthy foods (and not processed junk) I feel so much better in every area of my life. I have more energy, and I perform better for my workouts. I sleep better. I am just all around happier and nicer to be around when I am taking care of my health.
So this year, I will be my own Valentine all year long and I will love myself enough to eat right and exercise. That is the best gift I could possibly give to myself!
Happy Valentines day to me...and to you! Don't forget to be your own Valentine too. You are worth it!
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