Going for Option 3

My weight loss journey is stalled and I’m annoyed. But then I’m annoyed at myself for BEING annoyed, which is not very productive or helpful. It’s only really a plateau if you’re trying hard to lose and just are stuck in the same place or small range for more than 2 weeks. Well, how about 6 months? I’ve basically been within the same 4 pounds since January, going down to 243 and back up to 247, then down, then up, then down, then up. Of course, I’m not exactly trying very hard to lose but I’m still annoyed when I don’t.

So I see a few options:

  1. Give up completely and eat whatever I want. This not really an option because I refuse to allow myself to be that fat and out of control again.
  2. Buckle down and eat a lower calorie target, weigh and measure, move more, and eliminate all the things I’m enjoying as “treats.” I know, this is extreme. I can have things I enjoy in small numbers. Who really needs 3 donuts just because they are there? I did all of this when I started, going great guns and losing a lot fast. But it never keeps up at that rate and I knew it wouldn’t. I just really don’t want to do this.
  3. Relax and decide to keep doing what I’m doing as early maintenance. Without working overly hard at it, I seem to have found a weight range that I can stick to without too much trouble, where my body feels pretty comfortable (except the knee), and that I can sustain while giving myself permission to have a Jersey Mike sub (always #2, the Mike’s Way) or a Dairy Queen kid’s cone just because I want to, without going crazy.
  4. Beat myself up for failing to lose.

I’m just torn. Because I feel as though I am failing if I’m not actively working to lose weight. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. I’m really bad at maintenance, or at least my history with it is. I’m great at losing huge amounts, then gaining it all back again. And I so do not want that to happen. I cannot let it happen again. That is a definition of failure more profound than failing to lose more.

I’m great at beating myself up for eating something “bad” even though I know in theory that no food is bad. There are just some foods that are better for me to stay away from, generally food with lots of carbs. But beating myself up just makes me depressed and sad, reaching for food for comfort. The whole “go to the gym and get those endorphins going” thing isn’t ingrained to replace it.

But since giving up is Not An Option and working hard to really lose doesn’t seem to be one either, I am choosing to commit to maintaining in the little range where I am now. Saying it is one thing. Doing it is something else, and it’s really all up in my head. I know how to do this – I’ve been doing this for months. I just need to give myself permission to choose Option 3.

The reality is that I have maintained a loss of 65 lbs for 9 months. For someone who doesn’t maintain well, this is huge. I haven’t been at this weight for over 7 years. There’s damage in my body that I can’t change from carrying massive amounts of excess weight for most of my life. But although I am still morbidly obese, my blood pressure is normal. My A1C, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels are normal. My BMI dropped 11.2 points. I’ve made significant changes that will make my life healthier and easier. I need to give myself permission to celebrate those changes and to recognize that the only person judging me right now is myself. It’s time to get over it.

My Patience is Wearing Thin

I WANT PATIENCE AND I WANT IT NOW Poster | carson.c.smith | Keep  Calm-o-Matic

I don’t have much patience for much of anything these days, springing up from a variety of sources including but not limited to politics, social media, body aches, cold weather, rain, weight loss stall, bad hair, gray wet skies, and covid stress. Isolation is probably a factor, too, although I don’t feel all that isolated since I go to work and talk to people every day. Still, it’s been exactly a year since Covid was first discovered in the U.S. and it’s changed everything we do and how we do it.

Today specifically I was ready to bite the head off of people in my Facebook group for people with much to lose. I know that January is the month for starting diets – I started Noom last January, too – but it’s making me crazy when I see post after post after post talking about how they are “stuck” after not losing any weight for 3 or 5 or 7 days following a 10 lbs loss in two weeks. This is called NORMAL. It’s a body adjustment. Losing 10 pounds in two weeks is wonderful and motivating and not in the least sustainable. Yet they keep asking and don’t read other posts from people who are asking the EXACT SAME QUESTION.

I think my problem here is really one with social media a.k.a. stupid media. And it’s generational. I don’t pop onto a group and ask a question without doing a simple check to see if anyone else had asked it recently. If so, I read their question/answer and if I still have questions, I’ll ask. I don’t think most people do this, though, and it both puzzles and saddens me. And then it makes me mad at myself for being annoyed.

I’m the oddball and yet I expect others to use this tool the same way I do. I suspect my librarian friends do because we are good researchers and don’t like wasting other people’s time. Though maybe I’m just an old fart there, too, and would find that Millennial librarians do the “pop up and ask without checking” approach, too.

I’m also impatient with my poor technology skills. Oh, I’m good on the computer but I still haven’t figured out how to set up my TV for Internet streaming. It can’t be that hard and I’m smart but the longer I go without using a stick or streaming service or whatever, the more annoyed I am with myself. I have a smart TV but am not a smart TV owner. I don’t do well just reading instructions. I do better when I can watch and ask questions. YouTube lets me watch but not ask. Maybe I should hire a teenager to explain all this to me.

My patience for just plugging on losing weight is pretty low right now, too. I’m just really so tired of thinking about food every waking minute. And I’m tired of seeing all of these new dieter people chime in with their starting weights about the same as where I hope to end up after losing another 60 lbs. It’s not a competition, I know that, but it can get discouraging to think that no matter where I end up, I’ll still be fat, at least in my own head. And naturally that makes me want to eat chocolate if I can find it, even if just a little. It’s not a good solution and I can do better.

Maybe I need to give myself permission to take a year or half-year off from trying to lose. There are other ways to mark and celebrate change and progress than the number on the scale. Whether I lose more or not, I want to MOVE more and to enjoy it. To WANT to go to the gym and to be able to do things with people when Covid settles down enough to make that real. I’d still like to learn how to line dance, though with the knee I know I need to be careful. I’d like to try Pilates and to find a bathing suit that fits and use the pool without feeling embarassed. I can do those things if I let go of the fear and just take the first steps

New Year’s Eve, One year later

I signed up for Noom on New Year’s Eve 2019 and began changing my life and my food habits on New Year’s Day 2020. It sure has been a crazy messed up year in many ways but I’m both happy and proud that I maintained my focus and lost (and kept off) 60 pounds – and know how I did it and how to keep going. Because I can’t go back. I’m still fat (tho I like the term “fluffy” better) and will never be skinny. But I’m a lot healthier than I was one year ago, and that was definitely my goal. It continues to be. I have goals for 2021 but right now I wanted to just mark and celebrate the progress I made. See for yourself.

Then – New Year’s Eve 2019 – 310 lbs
Now – New Year’s Eve 2020 – 250 lbs

In Between Week

The week between Christmas and New Years is weird. The world of academia calls it Intersession, the time between the fall and spring semesters. Students have the time off to play, sleep late, visit friends, shop, have Christmas. Librarians never were quite that lucky and I usually ended up working during that weird empty week when I could turn up the volume on my music, wear relaxed clothes, and plow through piles of stuff.

It’s also the week In Between Christmas excess and New Year’s endless commercials for diet plans and exercise programs. When you are reminded that you ate too much for the last two months and it’s time to buckle down and lose those pounds again. Those resolutions are usually excessively optimistic, at least mine have been, and they fall by the wayside sometime by the end of January.

Last year I ended the year signing up for Noom on December 31st and started January 1st. My goal was to get healthier. I didn’t have a weight goal in mind but I’m ending the year down 65 lbs from where I started. But I’ve been in between on that, too. I went great guns in the beginning and the weight fell off. Things derailed in June after I injured my knee and I’ve been v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y losing more. I mean V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y. But for the most part, I’ve at least maintained the weight loss and gotten comfortable in a smaller size. I picked up two 20-lb jugs of cat litter today and could hardly lift them; knowing I’ve lost yet ANOTHER one is hard to imagine how I moved.

But I’m tired of just being in one place. And I do have a goal for 2021: to lose 25 lbs. That’s one pound every 2 weeks, and that’s doable. It won’t happen by just thinking it would be a good idea. Monday I’m stopping at the gym to get set up with 6 weeks of physical therapy for said bad knee. I’m counting on this to help jump start a more active year, knowing what I can safely do to strengthen my muscles and do more cardio with less fear of further injury or falling.

I’m no longer doing Noom, instead using MyFitnessPal to build and track recipes and food. But I still have an active subscription and I’m going to ask my goal specialist to restart me at Week 1 *again* since the articles are full of rah! rah! enthusiasm and motivating energy. I continue to wear my pedometer and pay attention to steps.

In 2008 I wrote: “I don’t want to diet. I want to eat sensibly in moderation, to enjoy a variety of food, to ease the stress on my knees, to be comfortable in my body and with myself.” Those words still apply. That’s what I want. I want the weight of The Weight off my shoulders so I can just BE and not be obsessed with food every waking minute. I’m not there, but I’m closer.

Here’s to getting out of 2020 – the pandemic Covid isolation year – and moving out of In Between Time and going back to making progress.

No Gain Campaign

Me on 11/10/20

This afternoon I went to my gym – the one I belong to but haven’t BEEN to since Covid – and stepped on a scale, after lunch and wearing clothes and shoes. Yup. My guess of 253 was spot on and only 3 lbs more than my early morning nekkid body weight, which is the only one that counts in my book.

Why did I do this, you ask? Because they are having a “No Gain Campaign” again this year. Members weigh in this week and then again the first week in January. People who haven’t gained a pound are entered into a pool and could win personal training or massage therapy sessions or other nifty things. But mostly for me it’s making a commitment that I Will Not Gain Weight Over the Holidays.

Most years this is a bigger task, because my community is a holiday party hub, with big fancy parties scattered over the 3 weeks after Thanksgiving. There is food and wine and cookies and desserts and rich sauces on meals and more cookies. Did I mention cookies? So usually just staying even is a challenge. This year, though, in the Covid Universe, I don’t know of a single party. I have no cookies at my house though I do have a small container of Dove milk chocolate square. And a freezer bag of margaritas.

I have no plans to spend the Christmas/New Years holidays anywhere but home with the cats, who do not tempt me with their uneaten stinky cat food. My brother and sister-in-law will be here for Thanksgiving next week, but I still have another 5 weeks to go before my next weigh in. I know I can do this “no gain” thing through Turkey Day and beyond.

Me on New Year’s Eve 2019

Because as of today, I am down 59.8 lbs since January 1st which is ALMOST 60 lbs which is a nice round number of a lot of weight. I’m not blowing this. I worked too hard for it. I’m too comfortable in my body at this size to even really remember how very hard it was to be 60 lbs heavier.

The gym was almost empty and isn’t all that big in the first place. They showed me what I should be able to do easily with my knee injury, at least to start, and I am setting a goal for these next 6 weeks of going twice a week for 20-30 minutes. I have to start back somewhere and I think it will be safe. My body needs the work out. My brain needs to make a commitment and see it through. I’ll check in and let you know how it goes.