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.

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.

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.

Oh Bloody Hell!

Past three months: ~FLATLINE!

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.

xoxo

Living my Best Life

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 spend my time working on ART. I photograph. I paint. I write. I work on film projects. I am healing and growing in so many ways (that don’t include cellulite).

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.

Not anymore.

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.

“She’s Dieting”

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.

“No thank you. Looks delicious though.”

It’s been… a YEAR

Today marks one full year I’ve been on my trek to lose weight. I started blogging here again a couple weeks later. This blog has been a motivating factor to persevere. Thanks to everyone following and occasionally leaving me comments. I appreciate you!

First of all, losing a massive amount of weight is hard. No doubt. Especially if your goal is not to lose it suddenly and then regain it. My goal has been all along to CHANGE the way I live. I am not sure if I had an addiction to (bad) food, but I do know it was a comfort I could easily indulge in privately. I don’t do that anymore and that is real progress, a victory.

On the weight loss itself, I’m disappointed. Over the course of 52 weeks, I’ve only lost a total of 47.3 lbs. That averages out to about .9 (nearly a pound) a week. You can see from the chart, starting at the end of the hockey stick slope upward in the beginning of 2021, I consistently kept losing throughout 2021 and now into 2022. I have not faltered or regained any weight. It’s been a steep slope downwards.

That good news aside, I realized today I need to work harder at this. I still have 75.4 lbs to lose to reach my goal weight. I will need to make the mental, maybe financial, commitment to get there.

One of the questions my wellness coach asked me when I first started with her was this: “How would your life be different if you met your goal weight?” That question stunned me. I knew my answer instantly. I told her that EVERYTHING in my life would be better. Demonstrably better. So much better, it would be as if I had a second life; it would literally be as if I was reborn into a new person’s life with many advantages. Recognizing this was transcendent.

There is no easy way to get there. I must do the work. I figured out that if I continue at this pace, I will arrive at my goal in August of 2024.

Onwards.

New Year’s Intention for 2022

The word “resolutions” has fallen out of fashion, so I’m going with intentions. I only have one, actually, for this year. I realized I only have 3 more dress sizes to–once and for all– escape the tyranny of FAT SIZES. You know, plus sizes.

In addition to my primary goal of being able to ride horses again, wearing normal-sized clothing is a goal worth working toward. I haven’t worn regular sizes in over 25 years… that feels shocking to write, but it’s true. Even my wedding dress was a size 22, and that was before my 25-year old son was born. In fact, my son has never seen me thin in his whole life. Again, a shocking realization, but true.

When I was younger, I worked in fashion retail for a while. I loved it. And when I graduated college and went into the workforce, I invested heavily in my wardrobe and accessories. Fashion has an empowering effect on women.

Knowing that the possibility of wearing normal sized clothing again is within reach is also empowering.

According to this story I found on the web, each dress size is about 10-15 pounds. So, I have somewhere between 30 and 45 more pounds to go before I can wear regular clothes. That seems tough, but if I keep at this, and pick up my exercise in the spring (riding horses too!), I should be able to get there in 2022.

Happy New Year all!

I would love to hear what you’re working on this year.

The Psychology of Fat

I will start this post with a great report: I have lost all my “pandemic” weight, and the last time I weighed myself, my weight was lower than it has been in the past three years.

I have been going to the Y, and I’m continuing my simple no sugar, no carbs routine. That’s it. As far as the physical weight loss, as I’ve discussed before, it’s just a matter of discipline.

However, on the psychological front, it’s not so easy.

Unlike a lot of weight bloggers who’ve struggled with obesity from the time they were children, I was not always super heavy. In my youth, teens, and college years, I was thin. I was a cheerleader for years. Lithe, strong, and generally living in a “normal-sized” body. The massive weight gain began in the 90s for me when a pdoc put me on an Rx that gifted me 100 extra pounds. It was like a runaway train. I tried several times to bring that weight down, but eventually gave up in exasperation.

The weight morphed into something else more sinister though. The weight was what I would come to dub a “spray-on male repellent.” I was able to move about my career without the unwanted advances of creepy men; it was so freeing in that way.

It also afforded me the ability to live my life without inviting men into it with complicated relationships that always seemed to end in ruin. Even more unsettling is the deeper, more fragile realization that the abundance of fat cells wrapped around my organs and bones acted like a bubble wrap, a physical protection against being kicked, punched, and thrown down a flight of stairs. Heavy, I know (pun, intended). To understand this at a root level, there is a book: “The Body Keeps the Score” that I have not read, but I hear it referenced all the time in my women’s work.

On my last appointment with my new pdoc, I struck up a conversation with him about this. He said it’s absolutely a factor (weight gain as protection). He said it’s not uncommon for men to gain weight too to ensure they won’t be tempted to cheat on their spouses. He said he hears stories like mine all the time.

I’ve been working hard here in this phase of my life to face my demons, to heal.

Losing the weight is part of my journey. I’m hopeful I will get back to the young woman I was before trauma derailed my mind, my spirit, and my lovely body. Of course I won’t ever be young again, but I can be that strong, healthy woman again.

I’m working on it.