When the Pounds are Just Visiting

My Boston Weight Watcher leader Arlene Lewis was inspirational and motivating, and I loved her. She sent out weekly emails with motivational tips and recipes to a huge mailing list. In that time before Facebook groups and omnipresent cell phones, it was an important way to stay connected and on track on the week between meetings.

One thing she said often was that if you gain some pounds but get right back on track, those pounds are just visiting and will leave soon. If you pretend the gain didn’t happen, those pounds settle in and stick around.

This morning I stepped on the scale to see a 4 lb. drop from yesterday. While it was hard when those pounds jumped on this week, I buckled down and made good choices for the last two days, even though my ability to exercise was limited by back and knee pain. Today I found that those pounds were indeed just visiting. I admit it was a relief to see them gone.

I miss Arlene and this week discovered that she passed away in 2018. How did I not know that? The best way I know to honor her memory is to remember her and the things she passed on. Now is the time to put them into action. Her many WW recipes are easily adaptable to Noom and I have bunches of them here on this blog.

If you’re interested, check out some of my early posts with Advice and Recipes from Arlene.

Let’s Try This Again

funny-pictures-kitten-and-stuffed-animal-make-a-punLast night I wrote a blog post on being the fat one.  But once I had it out of my system, I saw how overly whiny it was, not to mention self-absorbed.  My friend Phyllis calls it navel gazing and she’s right.  I deleted the post this morning.

So let’s try this again.

I had an epiphany of sorts last night (though this is Advent, not Epiphany, so maybe it needs a different name).   I just agreed to chair the program committee for my national association’s annual conference in 2011.  It will be a ton of work but also a lot of fun.  I’ve served on the committee before as a member and certainly have attended most of the conferences since joining years ago, so feel pretty prepared as to content.

But I do have a previous experience chairing a national conference for a different organization.  When I finished that year and stood up in front of the gathering to talk about the program, I was at my highest weight in my life.    I had allowed the program committee work and stress to take over and I ate and ate to help me deal.  When I came down from the podium to my seat, I vowed that I did not want to feel as bloated and uncomfortable the following year when I chaired the entire conference.

That was my turning point.  I joined WW within two months and had lost 67 lbs by the following spring when I went to my meeting.  The motivation wasn’t to LOOK better, though certainly that was part of it.  But really it was about how I felt and dealt with stress.  Eating better and getting regular exercise (what a concept to pair those up!) made a difference.

So now I’m facing the same type of situation.  Because they are so similar, it’s easier for me to look back and say, hmmm, remember then?  remember what you felt and said and did?  Why not try it now, too?   My goal is to lose 10% of my current weight by July 2010 when I have my first “stand up in front of people to talk about program” activities, with the bulk of the stress coming after that point.  I want good but not obessive habits back in place and a realistic plan.  I think I found it.

Thoughts on My Annual Physical Exam

Child’s drawing of a doctorI hate having a physical exam and today’s was hard since I barely know the doctor – and I knew I’d gained weight since last August, which is the only time I’ve ever laid eyes on her. It didn’t help that I had a big bowl of soup and a drink immediately before going over. Getting on the scale was not happy thing and I could feel my stress level rising as I pushed those little weight things along the sliding scale to rack up the evil total. Miraculously I’ve only gained 12 lbs since August, though it seems like much more.

I was armed with a piece of paper with all my current meds and the questions I wanted to ask about assorted body parts, from the sore foot (x-rayed to see if there’s a stress fracture), unhappy knee (referral to orthopedics), to the sleep problems (arrange to have the CPAP data faxed to the doctor). Fasting bloodwork will come later this week.

And I couldn’t keep myself from raising the weight thing, my frustration at having gained and feeling a bit stressed at work. To her credit, she didn’t tell me I was an evil fat person who was going to die soon if I didn’t crack down and lose the extra pounds. She did ask if I’d considered gastric bypass or the lapband surgery, both of which are performed at our hospital.

I’ve always said flat out that I wouldn’t consider either of those options but lately I admit that the lapband one has been surfacing again. Whether it’s physically an option or not, I don’t think that I’m able to manage the mental part. Until I really get that sorted out, I’m not sure I’d have the motivation to eat the more restrictive foods and amounts. Hell, if I can’t even do the WW portions, why would I think I could do the other?

The doctor was supportive and didn’t insist, although she did tell me that if next year I want to talk about it, to think about a decision based on current research and not comments from people who had the surgeries a while ago. Things have changed dramatically and both surgeries are now performed laproscopically in 95% of patients.

The motivation has to come from somewhere, though, and if I can find it again, there’s no reason I can’t lose the weight without the surgery. I’m really relieved that there isn’t medical pressure to go another direction.

Be It Resolved?

It’s All About Me

I know, I know – another post about resolutions? Well, yes and no. I don’t sit down and write out a list of things I resolve for the new year because I’ve done it so many times before and failed miserably at accomplishing any of them. And then, having failed, I managed to work myself into self-loathing and resentment that I needed to accomplish those resolutions in the first place.

Losing weight and working out more are naturally two of those failed resolutions. Been there, done that, more times than I care to count. So instead of resolving things this time, I’m looking at what I want my winning outcomes to be. Yeah, I know, WW talk. But for me, it works.

There are really two big things on my mind and heart as I go into 2008. To be healthier and to live with grace.

To be healthier is the stuff I already know about but am, for whatever reason, not doing. Living with grace includes not beating myself up for who I am and the choice I make, and also making better choices because they are the right ones. It means accepting failure without whining and success without gloating. Living with balance.

And yes, it means doing the things I know I should be doing to be healthy. To eat less and move more, without complaining or trying to find ways to cheat and be lazy.

I read on someone else’s blog today about looking back over the year, finding herself 60 lbs lighter than when the year started, and I was hit by a wave of sadness that I wasn’t the one to say that. Not jealousy, just sadness, because I haven’t done anything to deserve being 60 lbs lighter. I do have the power to do something and my fresh start begins tomorrow.

My mom came home from the hospital late today and starts the new year in her own house, much to everyone’s relief. She will have her little vacuum bag and pump with her 24/7 for the next 6-8 weeks but can get out and do things as she has energy to do them. Just being home is big medicine and I’ll see her for myself next week. Good for all of us.

I have my food planned out for tomorrow and activities lined up to keep me out of trouble. Though if I wake up to snow … ah, well. It’s winter and some things just come with the territory.

May your new year get off to a happy, healthy start.

Weighing In After Christmas

Tessie with Empty BoxesThe bad news is that I gained 2.4 lbs this week. The good news is that I went to Weight Watchers and got on a scale knowing that it would probably be up 3 lbs. Considering how much I ate this week, it’s not a surprise. I am a stress eater and worrying about my mom has been majorly stressful, plus I’ve been sticking close to home because I wanted to stay near the phone. FYI, she’s doing better and we think she’ll be heading home this weekend.

But let’s get real — I haven’t exactly been hanging out at the gym even before Mom went to the hospital. And I haven’t walked much at work because the sidewalks have been covered with ice and snow because the good people of New Haven don’t shovel or plow particularly well. And I haven’t been to water aerobics in two months because the water was so cold. Well, that’s a pretty stupid reason and who’s to say that they didn’t warm it up when we started wearing coats?  Not in the pool, of course, but still.

I have, however, been faithfully going to my Weight Watchers meetings and collecting the new materials. Every year they reinvent the program slightly (sometimes hugely) and get ready for the swarming hordes who repent the pounds gained over the holidays and, armed with new year’s resolutions, set out to Lose The Weight.

We know how hard that is to do. But it IS doable. The hard part for me is not so much following the program I’ve chosen but in remembering my motivation. It’s easy to slip into “I’m fat anyway so what does it matter?” and then it’s easy to eat the extra cookies or skip the chance to walk an extra 15 minutes. To feel deprived and then entitled.

The Shrinking Knitter had a great post a few weeks ago on “living as if I was already where I wanted to be” that I haven’t been able to forget. Erin had another valuable post on Just Being the After. I recommend both to you heartily as food for thought about ways to approach new year’s resolutions and refocusing motivation.

This last week, if I was actually living as if I was already where I wanted to be, I would have eaten a little of everything I actually ate but in very moderate amounts, with more vegetables and fruits. Walked some and gone to the gym once or twice. Been more self confident in my own skin and happier in the clothes I put over that skin.

But I did and do and will love my family and my friends. I did and do and will enjoy selecting presents that speak to who they are and what they like. I did and do and will celebrate Christmas and love my cat and yak on the phone with people who matter, just because.

This week’s assignment is to reclaim my motivation for my physical self. I wrote down reasons for why I want to lose weight back in September and most still apply but I want to think about this and really get focused in a realistic way. Not only why but what I’m willing to do to accomplish it.

2007 is almost over and I’m in a very different place in so many ways than I was last year at this time. Another year older and wiser, with a new job and a new state and a new cat, and only 10 lbs heavier. It could be worse. It will be better.