A New Year’s Resolution


In 2014, I’m going to stop caring about being overweight.

I’d like to be thin for the same reasons I outlined in my 2011 post when I kicked off my successful 50-lb weight loss program.  The weight loss was gratifying, but it reminded me of something I’ve learned about in my professional life called the 9x problem.  At 50 pounds down, I was feeling better, but my life was definitely not 9x better.  For all the effort and obsession I put into losing weight, I started questioning why I was doing it.

Recall, I am not unhealthy.  Blood pressure always normal, no signs of diabetes or history in the family, no heart problems, etc.  I just checked my year-end records, and I did not go to the doctor once this year for any health-related issue.  I’m in that 30% class of people obese, but metabolically healthy.  I know that just irritates everyone, but that’s the way it is.  Obviously, if something cropped up where my health was affected, I’d address the issue.

At 54 years old, I’m pretty sure my body has decided it wants to stay this way.  So, this blog will lie dormant until sometime (maybe, maybe not) I get motivated to “get back on the horse.”

Happy 2014.

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Back at it!

green2vegasSo, these are two photos I took last year and sent to my daughter to show her how I was progressing.  I remember at the time, especially the photo on the left, I was disappointed because I still thought I looked larger than I felt.  Eventually, around the time of the last post on this blog (well over a year ago), I gave up trying to lose weight out of frustration.

And now, I’ve gained 30 pounds back.

There you have it.  Yo meet Yo.

Yesterday, I signed up for Weight Watchers.  I had a lot of success doing this on my own, but I thought this time around it might be better to be surrounded by people who are struggling (succeeding and failing) like I am.  So, not sure what to expect, but it is a first step in the right direction.  I’m generally not a “joiner,” but figured the weekly commitment and lectures add some forced discipline too. Everything is still the same – would like to lose weight for reasons important to me, unrelated to health issues and well, morbidity.   I found out last week that I was selected among 5 women who will be featured in a national women’s magazine next fall.  That is as good an excuse as any to get back on track and work (again) toward becoming the woman I want to be.

So, here we go.  As usual, I’ll be chronicling what I’m learning and doing.  It will be nice to hear your comments and encouragement.  Hope you’ll hang in there with me.

Taking a break.

I’m still dealing with heel pain, so I’ve decided to really rest my foot and give myself a break.  I’m disappointed, but when I started this trek I told myself – first and foremost – I was not going to punish myself.  I have stopped exercising, but have not gone back to eating food that is generally bad for the population.  I’m still not eating carbs or sugar, but I may re-introduce brown rice into my diet.  I’ve heard it’s bad to completely cut out carbs for an extended period of time.

My weight keeps fluctuating up and down about 2 pounds, but is otherwise steady.

So, I wait.

The good news is I’ve re-connected with the stable where I had signed up to lease a horse before.  They have a new trainer who said she could teach me English lessons, so I’m really looking forward to that.  Considering you mount a horse with your left foot (my bad foot), I have to make sure I’m okay before I start riding again.  But, it’s giving me something wonderful to look forward to.

I will update again when things start moving again.  Literally and figuratively.

Plateau or Ledge?

For the past month, I have not continued to lose weight.  I’ve flat-lined at the 50-pound loss.  I know it has much to do with my annoying plantar faciitis and the fact that I can’t continue to use the treadmill, walk, or do the normal exercise I was doing that resulted in my early rapid weight loss.

I’m still sticking to my no carb, no sugar food choices, but the weight has just settled in and won’t budge.

I’m fairly frustrated.  At this point, when the pounds stop coming off, I start to lose patience.  I question why I’m doing this if there are no results, yada yada.

I realize I’m at a crossroads.  I have to change something I’m doing (or not doing) or I risk giving up completely.  I’m open to ideas, so if you have any, please share!

(Eating) Disorderly Conduct

In high school, my daughter completed an International Baccalaureate subject in Art.  Much of her art centered on a theme of beauty and a warped female interpretation of beauty.  This  “cutout book” was a satirical statement on how girls could reshape these works of fine art, by slimming down these ancient beauties.

She got rave reviews from the reviewer for this work in particular.

Lately, I’ve been wondering if I’ve become obsessed about getting to my goal weight.  I simply will not eat carbs or sugar.  It’s sort of like putting an aspirin between your legs to not get pregnant – I just won’t do it.  I also was a little alarmed that I cut off the taping my foot doctor had done to my foot last week because it prevented me from swimming.  I’ve been wondering if such extreme actions are really healthy mentally.

But, on the other hand, I get increasingly frustrated with the fat and flab I see now hanging from my arms, legs, and stomach showing up in my reflection in the mirror.  It’s hanging around like guests at a party who won’t leave long after the party is over.  I just want to be rid of it, so my mind starts thinking of ways I can cut corners.  I’ve even thought of surgery and liposuction.

When I visited my daughter in Florida recently, I was very disappointed to discover I had gained four pounds upon my return.  I’ve since lost them, but am still where I was a few weeks ago.  So, my progress has stalled once again.

I’m considering going back to My Fit Foods for another 3-week period.  I’m fairly sure I won’t have the same dramatic weight loss I had the first time ’round, but I thought it might help to introduce a new regime of eating healthy.  I feel like I’m in a rut.

Introspection on My Own Obesity

I’m squeezed into 1A here on a JetBlue flight Orlando-bound to visit with my daughter’s family for a few days.  I hit another milestone today.  I was able to get into this seat and fasten the seatbelt.  Something so simple that millions of travelers do every day was not available to me.  I used to bring a seat belt extender on all my flights.  Once in my seat, I would discreetly snap it together before the seats filled up around me.  I always tried to make sure I was one of the first in my section to board for this reason.  Everyone dislikes overweight seat partners.  I know this.

As I have been sitting here, I was thumbing through Texas Monthly and noticed something else.  I’ve been paying particular attention to fashion, jewelry, and hairstyles.  Now, I secretly think Pinterest is to blame for my sudden interest in all things girlish, but it did catch me by surprise.  Now that I’m on a path toward losing my weight, I’m feeling the powerful magnet pull of my inner femininity.   This is something very different and very welcome.

Thinking of how life is changing for me, reverting me back to my youthful image-conscious self, I started contemplating why I allowed myself to stay obese.  As I’ve explained before, a pharmaceutical drug put a hundred pounds on me very quickly in the 90s.  It was around the time I met my ex-husband (1995) that I was really beginning to put on the pounds.  He didn’t care about my weight and was always very complimentary about my looks, so I didn’t really care about the weight gain as we wound into our ten-year marriage.

But there was more to it than the malaise that sometimes comes with marriage.  For me, the weight was protection.  The layers insulated me from physical abuse in my subconscious mind – abuse from my past that I’ve begun to discuss on my personal blog.  I know it sounds weird, but I’ve been aware of this for a long while.  It’s as if I couldn’t be bruised or broken if I were, well, larger.  Further, after my marriage ended, the extra weight served as “male repellent.”  I tried dating and had lost some weight right around the time of my divorce, but I was still in love with my ex-husband and was unable to seriously consider a new relationship.  A decision I regret, but it was an unavoidable consequence resulting from the disintegration of our family.  After that initial stint, I was not interested in dating at all.  Obesity is the best way I know to not attract a new partner.  I regained those pounds and more, leading up to tipping the scales at 300 at the end of last year.  This was the wake-up call I needed.  I realized I was limiting my own happiness and decided to shed the toxicity that surrounded me – body and soul.

This post is more serious than my usual posts on this blog, but I have wanted to convey that there are complex psychological reasons why individuals stay obese.  Each individual has to deal with his or her own personal demons and should exist in a judgment-free zone.  I will always support an individual’s free choice to reject the societal pressure to conform to a commercial ideal of beauty.   For me, losing my weight is going to afford me the chance to live again.  Rather than dying slowly from the outside in, suffocating under the weight of my own insecurity and mental battle scars.

Slimming down, down, down… even my feet.

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If you can’t tell, I’m pretty serious about getting to my goal weight.  I’m over a third of the way there, so my clothes are not fitting right.  I’ve retired a lot of my “fat clothes.”  However, I don’t want to buy retail clothes because I want to keep going. What’s the sense in buying new clothes that I will not fit in at some point in the future?

To that end, I’ve been picking up things in thrift stores.  It’s sort of fun.  I’ve found some designer clothes in sizes that fit, and feel great when I don’t spend a lot of money. But, I’m leaving tomorrow to see my daughter and grandkids and felt like I should at least have a pair of jeans that fit, so I went to Macy’s tonight.

Picking out clothes to try on, I realized I had dropped 4 pants sizes!  That’s awesome!  I’m still in “fat” sizes, but what a jolt of adrenaline in the dressing room when I fit into jeans four sizes smaller than the last time I had bought them.  The real test will be whether I sell/donate my fat clothes and clear out my closet, so there is no going back.

Another weird surprise was I also needed sandals with a strap on the back for my annoying heel issue (which seems to be getting better, but still hurts).   I went down a half-size in my shoe size!   That’s as awesome as it is bizarre.

I will never be a skinny bitch like the woman in this photo, but I will rejoice when I can buy normal sizes.  I will also be very, very broke.

Exercise Improv

I suck at swimming.  I’m a disgrace to my Zodiac sign (Pisces).  I marvel at the way people just glide through the water, effortlessly.  It’s as if they have a secret motor beneath the surface propelling them forward.  How is that even possible?  Nonetheless, because my heel is still on the mend, I need to swim rather than do any other kind of aerobic exercise.  I won’t win any Olympic awards for my swimming performance or style, but I will get in the pool and get my heart rate pumping.  I will say that after ten minutes or so, I could actually feel my muscles.  That was pretty cool.  I’m guessing I’ll build up stamina over time.

I have to put my TEAM weight loss program on hold.  Very disappointed in that.  I will also start weight-training tomorrow with my trainer.  I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep losing weight if I don’t exercise.  I don’t think I’ll gain weight, as I’ve really tackled the eating thing.  I simply don’t eat foods that are not healthy or will put the pounds back on.  It’s easy now, and even rewarding when I find something new I like to eat.

That’s all for today, just wanted to make a note that even if you have to make adjustments to your weight loss program, all you risk is a little embarrassment in form.