Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weigh-in no. 42: Decisions made

First, I want to say thanks to everyone who gave me feedback here on my blog and on Facebook about last week's post, as I was trying to figure out how to negotiate the priorities and limited time and energy I have between now and the end of September when my dissertation is due.  Your moral support, ideas and just general encouraging presence were very helpful!

My last post was Wednesday this week with last Sunday's weigh-in.  That day, the issues were pretty much coming to a head.  I was disgusted with my lack of activity, feeling slothful and slobbish, noting a decrease in energy, and finding that my eating was pretty off-track as a result.

So, I decided that, while I may not be able to devote the same amount of time as I have in months past, I can't face 3 months of not exercising.  I can't face how I know not exercising would make me feel.  And so, I am going to keep at it.

I may not do as much time at the gym as I had been, but I'm still going to try for 3-4 times per week.  This morning, I went for a run in my neighborhood, it took me 35 minutes instead of the 1 hour + it would have taken me to drive to the gym and run on the treadmill for the same amount of time.  So, I'm going to aim for going to the gym 2 days a week (at least one of those will be for swimming) and the rest I'll try to do here at home unless the weather's just terrible.  We'll see how I get on.

Now for today's weigh-in...

Weigh-in no. 42 (-0.4)

Starting weight:   327.0
Last week   :        269.8
This week:           269.4    
Loss of                 -  0.4
Total Loss          -  57.6 lbs

It's better than I was expecting.  Given my seeming inability to say no to food (even though I wasn't hungry!) that was just sitting in front of me several times this week (leftover catering on Tuesday, homemade pizza on Friday, fries and onion rings last night), I was expecting to see a 270+ number.  That I actually had a loss was a nice surprise this morning.

But I feel better than I did on Wednesday.  I've exercised three times (swim Thursday, run/elliptical Friday, run this morning) since then and things feel back to this new normal I've come to rely upon.  Crazy how that happens, huh?  I'm still amazed.

All in all, I'll be happy if I maintain or just lose a little bit between now and 30 September.  Given the pressure and stress of these next couple months, I think maintenance would be a victory and anything more than that would be spectacular.  And by maintenance, I mean both weight and exercise; maintaining this feeling of health, balance, physical abilities and management of stress.  I think those are pretty admirable goals.

On a side note, I saw an acquaintance/friend last night whom I had not seen in about a year.  As soon as he saw me, he exclaimed, "Wow, Jayme! You've lost a lot of weight! You look great!"  We talked about the amount I'd lost and how I've done it.  He told me about a friend of his who's lost the same amount by doing a meal program (the one where you pay them and they send you the meals you're supposed to eat).  He said he was curious if she'd keep it off since she's finished and is going back to "real" food now.  He also said that she had spent about £1500/$2300 on it and I was astonished.  I remarked that what I was doing only cost me £15/$20 per month in gym membership and he said he thought I'd probably be more successful in my pursuits anyway.  

For me, that conversation was really gratifying.  Someone who'd not seen me since I started this process noticed, he affirmed that the way I've decided to go about it is probably the best and most sustainable way, and apparently I've saved a TON of money - even if it will take me longer to do.  Not that he was any sort of expert or anything, but it was nice to get that kind of feedback and feel proud of what I've accomplished so far.

At times it may not feel like much, but inch by inch, pound by pound, mile by mile, I am, indeed, changing my life.

What are some goals that you set for yourself that may not seem like much to an outsider but are really important for you 
and for living a healthy, balanced life?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weigh-in no. 41: Decisions, decisions

So, this weigh-in is WAY late.  I took the photo and everything on Sunday, but just didn't get a chance to put it up that day....and then on Monday, I thought about it and then said, "Well, do I really want to?  Can't I just skip this week?  I don't have the time...." 

Needless to say, I found time this evening and thinking about all the stuff below, I decided I'd better get it posted.

So here goes:

weigh-in no. 41 (+ 0.6)

Starting weight:   327.0
Last week   :        269.2
This week:           269.8    
Gain of                 + 0.6
Total Loss          -  57.2 lbs 
I'm slacking.  I'll admit it.  

However, I refuse to beat myself up about it.  Part of my journey here as been about learning how to be gentle with myself, to find balance, and to do what is best for me.  It's negotiating what all that is that's the hard part.

Gaining weight is not what's best for me.  Not really exercising since I've returned to vacation (including missing swim class tonight!) is not what's best for me.  Letting my work and the need to devote all my time to finishing my dissertation is not balanced and is not what's best for me.

And yet, I am not making excuses by saying that I really need to figure out how to juggle these priorities for the next 3 months.  Come October (inshallah), I'll be back to blogging like a mad woman, I'll have time to spend hours (if I want) at the gym, and can really devote all a lot more of my time and energy to health and wellness.  But right now, I'm having to argue with myself to justify the 6-8 hours/week (a whole day's work!) going to the gym and/or working out.
But then the gym advocate in me says "but you don't justify the hours of sleep you need or the time you spend at your paid work or the time off you have committed to giving yourself....why do you need to justify the time to exercise?

I can lose weight without exercising.  I know that.  But I don't want to.  I know I eat better, feel better, and have more energy when I exercise.  These last two weeks, since I haven't been going to the gym as regularly, I've also noticed a substantial drop in my energy.  Whereas I came back from vacation no longer feeling fat, now I can feel the slobbishness returning with each day I sit at my desk.  My butt is numb with sitting and I'm frustrated and disgusted by it.

And so I'm trying to figure out how to negotiate these next 3 months.  Do I cut back a bit, slow down weight loss (but not stop entirely) to focus on the mental endurance race that will be taking place until 30 September?  Or do I keep up with my routine and hope I have enough time to get everything done?

Hmmm.......tough decisions......

Do you have any ideas on what I should do?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weigh-in no. 40 - back from vacation!

....The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry....

Well, that makes it sound like something has gone wrong, but don't worry - it hasn't!  All is well!  It's just that I promised a weigh-in before I left on holiday and a longer post either before or just didn't happen.  * shrug *  A girl - a busy girl, at that - can only do so much.

So, without further ado, let me weigh-in and then I'll give you the scoop on the holiday and other good stuff:

Starting weight:   327.0
2 weeks ago:        270.8
This week:           269.2    
Loss of                  - 1.6
Total Loss          -  57.8 lbs

My goals for my birthday on 3 June were to:
  • lose 60 lbs total (weight: 267)
  • be able to run 30 minutes consecutively
  • be able to swim 1 mile

I met the swimming goal the week before deadline.  However, the other two I'm still working on.  Am I disappointed?  No.  I have 2.2 lbs before I will have lost 60 lbs, so there's no way I can be disappointed.  It'll come and I'll make another goal.  And the running goal?  At times, I get annoyed about it just because running is something I soooo want to be able to do and do well, but ever since I started, progress has been slower than I expected.  I can run 1 mile in about 13 minutes.  That's not shabby, considering, and I'm proud of it.  I've worked hard to get there.  I'll keep working on the running goal, all the while knowing that doing anything active is a win!

And as for other wins and non-scale victories, there's a couple that I've had recently that I need to share here.  I set a goal for myself to be able to cross my legs and have noticed that it's getting easier.  However, on 24 May 2011, I was at work and just happened to look down and notice how I was sitting...

And as I had to fly to go on vacation (a little dinky 1 hour flight from Belfast to Bristol on EasyJet), I was curious if I would need an extension still.  And lo and behold....

ta-da!!!!  no extension!!!  score!!

Flying was so much more comfortable and less stressful than in the past.  I was able to move in my seat, cross my legs, and generally not feel wedged and trapped in the seat.  It was fantastic!

And my holiday and birthday was fantastic as well.  Seriously, I had a great time and I'd go back to Cornwall in a heartbeat.  It was only an hour flight and 2 hour drive from the Bristol airport, but it might as well have been a world away.  We had a beautiful, warm, rain-free long weekend where I was able to get some sun, enjoy amazing, fresh food, wear a strappy top, and generally forget about all the responsibilities and issues that are a part of life in Belfast. 

Because this is a weight-loss blog, I wanted to include pictures of food I ate and talk a bit about how it felt to be on vacation while in the midst of this journey.

All in all, I found it surprisingly easy.  I think that was down to the fact that I didn't stress about what I ate, saying to myself that gaining a bit would probably be expected given the amount of time we spent in the car traveling from place to place, the type of food that we would be eating, the beer (oh, the lovely beer!), missing workouts, etc.  If I did gain during the trip, it's gone now.  And I'm fine with my loss this week.

On the whole though, I noticed while on the trip that my tastes have changed.  I know if I didn't listen to myself and ate junk, I could have undone a lot of the psychological work I've put in related to not binging on crap and thinking I'm craving stuff that I'm really not.  But I did listen to myself.  When I was full, I stopped.  I chose things that were fresh, non-processed, local, and extremely tasty.  No candy bars on the road trip.  No junk.

On the day I could have had a big, greasy cooked breakfast, I felt the need for yogurt, fruit and toast and was happy.  I packed fruit to carry in the car if I got the urge to snack.

And I enjoyed myself.  I refused to feel guilty about a scone with clotted cream and jam, locally made cheese and salami, or a freshly made cornish pasty.

Just a few photos of my favorite bits of Cornwall (Clockwise: Sunset at Cape Cornwall; St Ives beach; Fowey Estuary and St Michael's Mount in Marazion
There's something I've been wanting to post for a while and have been trying to figure out how to say:

I'm realizing that I don't really feel fat anymore.  I know I still am - I've got about 20-25 more pounds to lose before I'm out of the "morbidly obese" category on the BMI scale.  I know I've still got 102.2 pounds left to lose to be at my ideal weight.

But on the whole I feel like I've become "unstuck", if that makes sense.  Anything seems possible.  I can swim, I can run, I can climb.  My weight, on the whole, no longer holds me back.  I eat what I like (in moderation, of course) and I like what I eat.  I eat to enjoy and to fuel my body to do what I ask it to do.  That's a huge success for me.

Over the course of these last 40+ weeks, I have changed so much.  I feel healthier in body, mind and spirit.  For that, I am so very thankful.

How are you?  What have I missed while I've been away? 
How have things changed for you while being on this journey?