Sunday, November 8, 2009

I am not who they think I am.

I was at a workshop this week where we were asked to do a short free-write based on the prompt "I am not who they think I am." No other guidance than that. I rolled my eyes, hating this type of touchy-feely crap. but as soon as my pen touched paper, I ran with it. Here's what came out:

I am not who they think I am. I am weak. I am afraid. I am a person behind a person. I am looking for me, the one who can be comfortable in her own skin. My relationships surround me, but they don't all get to see me. I don't let them. I am on a journey to myself. They say that it's not the destination, it's the journey. Nope. I just want to get there. I want to plant my flag in the soil that is me, the me within. Who I am. Wherever that is.

Even though the workshop didn't have anything to do at all with weight, self-esteem, or any of that inner/outer self stuff, I knew when the first words were written that I was speaking of my weight loss journey. I've been thin before. Four years ago I visited size 8. Didn't stay long, though. I got cocky, careless, and ate my feelings and stress. Sooooooo much to learn.

Time to hit the road. I've loaded up the car, pulled out my map... just gotta check the tire pressure, windshield wipers, traffic, look for gas stations ... wait, where are my keys???

Groundhog Day

Hi. Me again. It's been two and a half months since my last entry. And boy, have I ever sinned.

Before I get into today's story, let me get this out there into the universe ... today when I woke up, I weighed 243 pounds. Technically, I probably weighed more than that, but I refuse to weigh until I've tinkled. Every little bit helps, right? So I was bummed, of course. Huge number. Biggest I've ever seen on my home scale.

I tried something new today. I decided that I needed a person. Someone who knows my number (243 ... gasp!) and can therefore appreciate when I've dropped a few or sigh along with me when I've gone the wrong way. Someone who I can be accountable to. Someone who won't judge me, 'cause she's dealing with the same issue. Not my husband, or my son. My weight loss counselor knows my number, but she doesn't really count. She doesn't love me the way my person loves me. I called my sister.

I shared my number with her, out loud. It scared me. 243 pounds is a BMI of 41.7. Both numbers are equally frightening. What's scarier, though, is the possibility that I'm now closer than ever to being 250 pounds. That's an eighth of a ton. What?!?!

I've spent much of my adult life looking for the trigger, the epiphany... the moment when I finally realize why I should lose weight, the motivation. And it's bothered me that it's never really one thing. But I think what I'm learning -- finally -- is that in order for me to conquer THE BEAST I need to have an epiphany every single day. Maybe more than one. Whatever it takes for me to realize that I've never done anything so bad in life that I need to punish myself with poor health... that I'm worth good health, and my family is worth it, too.

Today's revelation? Just that ... that I can have as many as I need to get on track and stay there.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Putting an APB out on my motivation... again

The month of August has really sucked big-time for me. Home life has been crazy, work life has been crazy ... heck, my driving life has been crazy.

And I've gained 7 pounds since July 31. SEVEN pounds!!!!!

I know me. If I could just get on board with this plan and really give it 100% for two or three weeks, my natural drive to succeed with it would really kick in.

Come on, come on, come on!!!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Motivation Found?

I was cleaning out my closet and found this belt. It came with a pair of pants I bought in late 2005, size 10. For kicks and giggles, I decided to see how far it goes around my waist now. I guess it should be some consolation that you could at least see the ends of it ... even if they came nowhere near meeting.

It's not a glamorous belt, just kinda cute. I've used a lot of tools as motivation ... photos of myself in a thinner year, size 8 pants hanging on my bedroom door, lists of reasons to lose the weight, and soooo many more.

But maybe this silly little belt is just what I need to "whip" myself into the state of readiness I need. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

PLAY With Your Food!

In church today, I saw a little girl eating Cheetos.

First, I was driven mad by the fact that a) really? Cheetos? and b) they were so loud during the service. But as I watched her eating her cheesy snack one nibble (a rather loud crunch, really) at a time, truly enjoying each tasty morsel, I found myself remembering a time so many years ago when I really tasted a Cheeto.

Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty o' Cheetos in my day. I mean, have you read my other posts? Clearly I've partaken of a Cheeto or a million. But when I eat something like that now, I mindlessly inhale them. Like my snack mix the other night. Watching So You Think You Can Dance, I nearly polished off a honey-flavored snack mix bag that had seven servings in it! Did I really taste the honey-baked goodness? Not so much.

I find myself constantly harping at my son to stop playing with his food. He wiggles a french fry, pretending it's chasing his carrot. He dangles a donut from his finger and and nibbles around and around until he breaks through to the hole in the center. {Yes, we're trying to get away from donuts and french fries altogether these days!}

But in the time that he has taken to enoy a donut, I could physically polish off four and not really even taste them. On the rare occasion that I would take him to the donut store, he would pick out one cake donut and a few donut holes. I, on the other hand, would select a muffin, a croissant, a cinnamon roll and maybe a whipped-topping delight. Don't panic... the muffin was for my husband.

By the time my carb-laden delights were history, my son would be mostly through his one donut, and might have picked up one donut hole. But he would always leave something behind. And I can guarantee that he enjoyed his breakfast way more than I enjoyed mine.

So I think I need to figure out how to get back to playing with my food. I can remember my mom giving me a pack of Starburst candy on a road trip. Instead of eating it, I would unwrap one of each color at a time and use it like Play-Doh. I'd make a penguin, a turtle, a caterpillar ... and then eat each creation one at a time. The candy could last me for a couple hundred miles. A pack of Starburst now would last me about eight minutes, and that's being generous because of the occasional wrapping snafu.

So come on, peeps ... PLAY with your food! Enjoy it! Savor it! Take your own sweet time with it! And maybe by the time you're done with one tiny little thing, you'll have gotten your fill and your brain will be alert enough to tell your mouth to shut itself.

Motivation, Where Art Thou?

Day 1 (sort of) ... woke up semi-refreshed, then remembered I needed to diet today. Is it a coincidence I suddenly need a cuadruple shot of espresso to even put my contacts in?

Down 1 pound. That mac-n-cheese must have been powerful. Probably not. Just another coincidence.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Non Voyage

Here I am. My shrink (OK, a psychic I went to on a whim) said that I should start journaling. Journaling? Pen to paper? Where my family might pick up my looped and lined thoughts, my shredded emotions, and read them? Not my style.

So here's my take on this. I've been a fat chick since I graduated college. I started gaining weight the minute my car hit the open road to head out on my own, and I never looked back. Well, OK, I DID look back. But I started my love-hate relationship with food and my own body right then and there. That was 15 years ago in June. I was a size six at my college graduation, and a year later I was a 12.

Since then, I've gotten married, started a family, and packed on more pounds. Can't blame baby weight for the mess I'm wearing. Baby weight should have melted off years ago. This is just me.

Growing up, one of the things I remember most about living at home is that my mom was always on a diet. Now, my 7-year-old son can say the same thing about me.

What I can say with 100% certainty is that my adult life has always centered on weight. I think about food (what I'm eating or should not be eating), exercise (how much I hate doing it), water (how much I need to drink it, but don't) and my own discomfort untold dozens of times a day. I find that I orient myself to some stage of dieting at all times. I'm always thinking about the most recent time I was "fit" ... I had a dieting success four years ago, hit size 8 in November, and was back up to size 12 by March. I'm always counting ahead how many months it would take me to get back to that size if I could just start tomorrow.

I constantly compare myself to the woman in the next office, car, pew, dressing room, or conference room chair.

What I need to start doing is to compare myself to me. What am I doing to make myself happy? What can I change to get my health under control and my energy back? What am I willing to make happen so that I can run with my son? And who am I doing this for? I've figured out that it can't be for my family, my co-workers, my high school friends. It's got to be for me, or it's not worth doing.

Something else I've learned: the diet doesn't matter. Yes, I'm signed up for a plan. But what plan isn't as important as what I do to stick to it. I've done everything under the sun before, from Weight Watchers to HCG injections. What I'm doing now is a low-calorie (but not drastically low), monitored diet plan.

So here I go .... my weight, as of this morning, was 229 pounds [cringe]. That's a BMI of 39.3 [double cringe]. That's actually down from where I started this latest phase a couple of months ago. I started out at 241 pounds, a BMI of 41.4.

What's my goal? Of course, when I started this latest diet, I had to profess a long-term goal. And I did. But I'm not even naming it now, because yet another thing I've learned is that looking at the finish line is too far away for me. My ultimate goal is to be healthy and active again ... oh, yeah, and feel sexy :) ... but right now I'd settle for a weight that starts with a one. And to be able to wear clothes from a department not labeled "WOMAN."

Step One ... get over the fact that I just inhaled half a bag of Cheerios snack mix and a microwaved mac-n-cheese. And realize that I don't just start this thing tomorrow ... I need to start right now.