That’s it. That’s the post. 🎉
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just been informed by the tower that we are to maintain a holding pattern. We ask that you remain in your seats, and we will keep you posted as conditions improve. We thank you for your patience.”
So, not much has changed since my last post. My weight has essentially stayed the same for another month. I’m super frustrated with this. It’s like I’m suspended in the air in a holding pattern. Worse, it’s July now. I’m starting to get concerned I may not reach my New Year’s Intentions goal (to get out of “fat sizes”).
The only upside here is I am still at the lowest weight I’ve been at since I began this blog in 2008. If you consider my highest weight in years past, I’m down 67 lbs overall. That seems like a big deal, and I should be more pleased with myself as a result. Also, I have noticed that I fit into much smaller sizes than I have previously. So, I am making progress on the clothes size front. And, of course, I am not gaining weight. I haven’t given up.
What I’ve decided to do to break through this plateau is double down and go to the gym every day this week. Literally just force myself to go. It has to make a difference, right? Also, I’m going to change up what I normally eat for dinner and make some new recipes that are still low-carb. I think if I make a change to my food intake, that could break the spell I’ve been under.
I have a couple of art shows coming up where I am the featured artist. (That still amazes me.) I am planning to wear dresses at these events. That is an unusual step for me. I haven’t worn a dress in many, many moons. But, I feel like it’s the right artist vibe.
I will leave you with one of my photos that I will be exhibiting. And, I’ll let you know how the doubling-down with the gym goes.
I know I’ve said in the past that this is a long trek. BUT, I’ve been frustrated lately that I’m really not making the progress I want to make. I have so long to go… like 73lbs… before I get to where I want to be.
I feel like I’ve just stalled. I’m plateauing and stagnating.
I have not been “cheating” a.k.a. eating things I shouldn’t. But, I’m realizing something has to kick in to put me on a better trajectory. I’m thinking it is exercise. There’s only one problem with that: I HATE EXERCISE. There I said it. I’m basically lazy. I don’t want to work out like a maniac at the gym. I want the weight to magically come off without a lot of effort.
It does not appear that my plan is working. (Being lazy and not exercising.)
I’m not sure what to do to.
Dear readers, if you have some good advice, I could use it.
Time for a little introspection (again). I spent the past week in Florida. My grandson was graduating high school, and I wanted to be there to celebrate with him and the family.
If you’ve tracked with me the past year or so, you know I relocated from the East Coast to the High Plains. I’m specifically in Northeast South Dakota.
A few insights came into focus as I left South Dakota and spent time in Florida.
First of all, the best news was I had to ask the salesgirl TWICE for a size lower than my usual size (2X). So, I am making progress on my 2022 intentions. I’m now in the last X (1X). After that, it’s normal sizes.
More importantly, I realized how much I love it here. The wide, open spaces call to me. I was eager to get back home. One of the reasons is I am becoming the best version of myself here. I’m working mind, body, and soul with a passion. I’ve left behind all the trappings that kept me fat, dumb, and unhappy.
I am a “featured artist”in an upcoming University Playhouse Performance this summer. I get so much joy out of these artistic pursuits, it’s almost indescribable. I spent so much of my life harried, stressed, and consumed with work.
My only project is me and becoming the best version of myself. If I have one regret, it’s this: I wish I didn’t wait until retirement age to focus on the activities that bring me so much joy.
Math, science, and a little psychology informed my path this week. With a little help from my math genius grandson, I was able to figure out where I’m headed on my trek.
My health app, Health Mate, sometimes prompts me for a little chat. This week it was about fat and a healthy body fat percentage.
My body fat percentage today is still high. It’s 48%. That’s definitely down from where I was when I started at 51.5% (Yeesh. I remember saying I was carrying a whole ‘nuther person around with me.)
What I wanted to know this week was what would my weight be at a healthy fat body percentage? I had calculated my target goal another way based on all my measurements, but I wanted to see if I calculated what my weight “should” be with a 25 – 35% body fat.
I knew it was a relational fraction “solve for x” type of formula, but couldn’t remember how to do it.
I tried googling it, but came up empty. So, I asked my grandson, the math wizard.
He was able to help me right away.
I had to multiply my weight by the desired fat percentage and then divide that number by my current fat percentage.
Bottom line, the range for my target weight is between 129 (too low at my age) and 181 (the highest healthy fat percentage at 35%).
So, realistically, anything below 181 is good for my height and age, but the target I settled on is around 175.
I also thought it was interesting that “storage fat” protects your organs from shocks and trauma. I interpreted that to be psychological trauma, as well.
It was a good week. I’m at my lowest weight ever in the past 4 years. But, alas, 73 lbs left to go.
As you know, I don’t like to weigh myself every day. It can be frustrating at best, and misleading at worst. This morning’s data is a perfect example. I got on the scale today because the last time I weighed myself, I had broken through an important barrier. I had a milestone I wanted to reach, and I finally reached it.
I wanted to see if I had continued on that good path…
Well, the scale fought back. It reported that I GAINED 3lbs!
Not only was the 3lb gain a horror (it’s the most I’ve gained all year between weigh-ins), it meant I no longer was in my milestone zone. It was like a Chutes & Ladders mindf*ck.
After stewing over it a little this morning, I decided to do a deeper dive into the data. As I told you, I have an intelligent scale that measures everything when I get on the scale. I wanted to know what changed. Did I increase my body fat percentage?
The two reports tell the story. The answer is my fat mass actually went DOWN. All the other readings went UP (including my bones, which is always weird). So, I didn’t add more fat to my body with some bad slip– I actually continued on my path. Of course a 50ish percent fat mass is still terrible, but I am working on getting this down to a respectable 24% to 35%.
Net, net: don’t be discouraged by so-called weight gain. And know your scale is just one tool in your arsenal. The worst cudgel in the weight loss challenge is in your own head. Don’t be taken in by fake news. Advocate for your mental AND physical health, and investigate something that does not seem right.
We had a nice Easter dinner with my family. There were plenty of food selections I could manage without carbs. It was an excellent meal, actually.
I had a curious reaction though, when it came to dessert. When I declined the scrumptious-looking cake our host had baked, my sister-in-law made the comment, “She’s dieting.”
I thought about that. I’m not really “dieting.”
I changed the way I eat. I simply don’t eat that @#$% anymore.
I’ve written a lot over the years on this blog about how food became a substitute for instant gratification. I remember telling my brother that food was the last remaining hope I had for enjoying carnal pleasure. Of course, that was a joke, but now that I have completely reformed the way I eat, and what I eat, I realize the connection between longing and over-eating or eating badly is obvious.
It’s an interesting mindfulness victory. It’s like I removed myself from the moment to observe how I feel and what action is appropriate to take.