New Year’s Intentions for 2023

Well? This new year, 2023, is going to bring a lot of change into my life. I’m leaving South Dakota in 10 days and heading back to where this blog began: Austin, TX.

I was looking at some of my first posts on this blog, and I had tried a number of ways to lose weight. One of my favorite posts on this blog is from December 2011. “Getting back on the horse.” I made a simple list of the reasons why I wanted to lose weight. At the top of the list is a desire to ride horses.

I still have that goal. I’m finally at a weight where it’s safe (for the horse) to get in the saddle.

The Texas hill country is beautiful. And the weather can present a pleasant trail riding experience.

So, my goal for 2023 is to get in that saddle. When I do, I will post photos.

New Job

I started a new job that is taking me to Austin. I found a place close to the gym that I love. I’m hoping to go to the gym on the days I work from home: Tuesday, Friday and then on the weekends. If the traffic’s not too bad, I’ll try to get there during the week too.

In general Austin is an active town. I’m looking forward to making progress with my weight loss there.

Have a great end to your 2022, and I will see you next year!

Thanks for continuing with me on my journey.

Year in Review: 2022

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone, and as I reflect on the past 12 months, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed with my progress when it comes to weight loss.

Throughout the year, I made a conscious effort to eat healthier and exercise more regularly, and while I did manage to lose a total of 13 lbs, I can’t help but feel like I should have made more progress.

Despite my disappointment, I am determined to continue on my weight loss journey and make even more progress in the coming year. I know that losing weight isn’t always easy, and it requires a lot of hard work and dedication.

I am determined to stay focused and motivated, and I am confident that with continued effort, I will be able to reach my goals and achieve the healthy, fit body that I have always wanted.

So here’s to a new year and a renewed commitment to my weight loss journey. I may not have made as much progress as I had hoped this past year, but I am optimistic about what the future holds and am excited to see what I can accomplish with a little bit of hard work and determination.

Haha. ChatGPT wrote everything above this paragraph from this prompt I gave it: Write a year in review blog post about losing 13 lbs. express dissatisfaction with the progress, but optimism about continuing with weight loss.

In my own words now: I am disappointed that I only lost a total of 13 lbs this year and the AI is correct, I can’t help but feel I should have made more progress.

I took a look at when I started this blog. It was the summer of 2008. So, I’ve been writing here over 14 years! Over that time I’ve lost, gained, lost again, and regained.

The best news about 2022 is I stopped my pattern of regaining the weight I lost. I lost most of my weight last year (2021), but the fact that I stay true to my new way of eating and monitoring my weight loss is progress in itself.

I also achieved my goal to fit into normal clothes in 2022 (at least the top of my pear). And, to be honest, I feel so much better.

In 2023, I will be returning to the city where I began this blog: Austin, TX. My next post will be about intentions for 2023.

Merci Beaucoup!

Received a nice little pick-me-up this week. This blog is obviously a journal I keep for myself, but it’s lovely to see you supporting my “content journey.”

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I had PIE for the first time in years at Thanksgiving. Yet, yesterday my weight checked in at my lowest ever in years. So, hellya. Still going strong.

Good News Bad News

First the good news. It’s the simple things– I bought a belt this week. Yay!

There is really no reason to wear a belt when you’re massively overweight. Pants stay up because you have a lot to fill them, and you buy pants that fit at large sizes.

As I’m still on my weight loss path, I have been trying to extend the life of pants that really don’t fit that well anymore. For this, I realized I should probably buy a belt to hold them up.

In the dressing room, I realized I have probably not bought a belt in over 30 years.

That felt like a milestone to me, so I thought I’d celebrate in this small way and write about it.

Here is the unfortunate bad news. I still have a long, long way to go to truly be where I want to be. Here is a graphic of my weight loss chart. Even though I’ve lost all my pandemic weight, and then some, I have over 100% of that weight loss to go to reach my goal.

My last few posts have been super positive and I’ve felt great documenting my good progress. But it’s still a slog. It will take a long time and a reservoir of patience to reach my goal.

I will keep updating you with milestone achievements, but I wanted to make sure I was being candid about my progress. In the weight loss chart below, you can see the light, dotted line at the bottom of the red arrow. That is actually my goal weight. And even there, I will not be a size 0. More like a size 14. So, yeesh.

GOAL!!

Well? It took a S L O W w w w w 10 months, but I had a pleasant surprise this week. There is an upscale boutique on Main Street in my town that only carries, um, regular sizes. No PLUS sizes, in other words. From time to time I browse in there to check out all the clothes I would love to buy, but can’t because they’re not available to me.

But this week, I was looking at a few sweaters in the XL size and thought… “I think I can fit into these!” So, I quietly slipped into the dressing room, and sure enough… THEY FIT. They really fit, not too tight, too snug; they fit well.

I was ecstatic. This was my 2022 Intention from the beginning of the year– to fit into “normal” sizes. Exactly for this reason too; the clothing in normal sizes is simply better. Better quality, better designs.

Now, of course, I’m nowhere near my goal. But, this opens up so many great possibilities, and I’m super pleased with reaching this milestone.

It was a “spendy” (as they say out here on the Great Plains) purchase, but I definitely bought one of the sweaters to celebrate my accomplishment. I’m super happy.

Doesn’t it make you happy too?

The Lovin’ Spoonful

I used to say that losing weight when you’re “morbidly obese” is like trying to empty a swimming pool with a teaspoon. It takes enduring patience and a lot of time. Most everyone eventually gives up somewhere along the way. It’s tedious and frustrating at the same time.

I’ve been thinking about that analogy lately, as I’m still emptying that pool– one teaspoon at a time.

This morning I weighed myself and I am at my lowest weight in nearly three decades of struggling with weight loss. Yet, according to my doctor and my BMI, I am still morbidly obese. According to my own progress chart, I’ve lost about half the weight (55lbs)* I wanted to lose since I began this new effort in April 2021. Yet, I still have 67lbs to go to get to where I want to be.

With this knowledge, I decided this morning to reframe that “spoonful” to associate with a great song that came out in 1965 when I was a child: Do You Believe in Magic? by The Lovin’ Spoonful.

One of the most popular TV sitcoms in that era was Bewitched, another one of my favorites from my childhood. If I were Samantha (the SAHW), I could have twitched my nose and lost all my weight in an instant.

But, that’s not how it works in the real world.

In the real world, it’s a slog.

That said: it is a labor of love. It’s an extreme expression of self-love and self-care. To keep going, you need to encourage yourself, tell yourself you’re worth it, tell yourself you deserve to be the very best version of yourself you can be. Perhaps it’s a form of healthy narcissism.

I believe in the magic of my young girl’s heart. Hence, I continue slowly, but surely.

I see the “reinvented” me in the distance, a little hazy on the horizon. But my eyes are locked on her like a heat-seeking missile.

Onwards, with love.

*to be fair to myself, I’ve lost 70.3lbs from my highest weight in the summer of 2017.

The View from Here

My eyes deceive me placed unfortunately at the top of my head. When I look down, I don’t seem too bad. I’ve definitely lost my “belly” fat that used to wrap around me like a spare tire.

Yet, I saw photos of myself from my photography exhibit last week that made me wince. I’m still ginormous.

The most noticeable weight loss is in my face where I actually have contour and cheek bones again. But the rest of my body parts still reflect that fact that I have 70ish more lbs to lose.

Disappointing.

A little soul-crushing.

I visited with a weight loss company last week. It used to be affiliated directly with my hospital, but is now independent. The counselor had lost 100 lbs by following the program. The more I asked questions about the program, however, I wasn’t sure I would have similar results.

A lot of what the program recommends is what I’m doing already with the exception of 150 minutes of exercise a week. There is a draconian phase in the beginning where you consume their “shakes” almost exclusively. I feel like that would be punishing. And, as I’ve told you all along on this blog, if something on my weight loss journey is unpleasant, chances are I won’t do it.

I grilled the counselor for quite a while and came away with an understanding that I would need to spend about $550 a month with them for a program that would start out with shame & pain (the draconian shake diet), and then revert to what I’m doing now essentially. I didn’t think the program would work for me. It made me realize that what I’ve been doing is exceptionally cost-effective. When I consider the weight loss industry is a $58B (billion!) market in the U.S. alone, I feel I could probably help a lot of people who are not interested in spending money trying to lose weight.

I’ve even been experimenting with TikTok. While I have concerns over the CCP, I acknowledge how effective it is. I’ve been wondering if I could take this blog to TikTok, or at least write a summary of what I’ve been doing in a book. Listening to me would be a lot cheaper than the numerous ways people spend their money on weight loss programs. Realistically, all I spend directly on my weight loss is my membership to the YMCA. That’s $49/mo. And, if I go 12 times in a month, my insurance company reimburses me $20. So, $29/mo.

And, as much as I complain about my progress, I have made considerable gains, errr, losses. It might be even more interesting to write a book or start a TikTok mid-way on my path vs. waiting until I reach my target goal. This way, I would also be participating on the weight loss journey with readers/viewers.

I’m thinking about it.

Me 1.0

This journey that I’ve been on is a journey of self-preservation.

It’s more than just an interest in losing weight. It’s about reclaiming my identity.

I’m not looking for a mate; I’m postmenopausal.

I’m looking for myself. I’m looking to become, again, the person that I was before life’s tragedies interfered with my body type.

So it’s bigger.

It’s a bigger, bigger challenge and a more interesting path that I’m on.

Losing the weight I’ve carried all these years is a monumental step toward the healing I’ve been working on the past few years.

It’s a way, metaphorically, to erase– to disappear– all the layered anguish and self-protection.

To allow myself to be myself free from fear.

Addendum: I’m currently at the lowest weight since I began this blog in 2008. I’ve also finally broke through into the 30s in BMI. So, it’s working. Slowly, but surely.

Lumpty Dumpty

I was at the gym today doing my free weight reps looking in the mirror. My body is a big pear shape, like the biggest pear that ever was.

I found this photo yesterday of my lithe, 19-year old body. I still have the same frame, and those bones still weigh about 6lbs.

But my 60-ish-year-old body looks nothing like this. It’s as if someone filled my skin with gallons of lumpy mashed potatoes. Especially hanging off my arms and around my hips. Yuk.

Looking in the gym mirror, I appreciate the fact that I have lost weight, but am simultaneously horrified by my new saggy skin suit. I know I have to keep working at it, but the realization that I will never look like this again is de-motivating to say the least.

I told you last post that I was going to go to the gym every day last week. I made it a few days, but couldn’t go every day for various reasons that were valid reasons.

I was disappointed, however, that when I weighed myself… NADA. Nothing actually changed again. I’m starting to wonder if my scale is not working. That must be it!

Oh well. Just wanted to share some of my progress.

I’m still moving forward.
Namaste.