“Trackers are Winners”

That was one of the first things she said to me. Nikki, that is. She’s the woman I am going to hire as my trainer if a job I’m waiting on comes through.

I processed my last big question I was wrestling with in my last post for a week. ICYMI, here it is: “Am I sufficiently psychologically fit to be physically fit?” I came to the conclusion the answer was probably no, but I need to do it anyway.

Over the weekend, I decided to sign up for the pricey gym where I used to be a member here in Austin in 2011. The gym has gone through changes, but it’s still a beautiful facility. It’s even more beautiful, actually. Bonus: they’ve added a Pickleball program.

I asked around about trainers and was pointed to Nikki who would be the best in-house trainer who’d be able to understand what I’ve been going through and get me to where I want to be.

I spoke to Nikki for about an hour at the gym. I showed her my charts, read her my numbers, told her my story… She was empathetic and supportive. I was particularly happy with her, “Trackers are winners” comment, as I’m still obsessed with all my health data. It will be interesting to share this data with someone in a collaborative way to make adjustments to my progress.

The investment in the gym and Nikki will be trés cher. I’ve rationalized the expense by recalling what my South Dakota wellness coach asked me, “What would your life be like if you reached your weight goal?” Again, it hit me like a ton of bricks that EVERYTHING in my life would be better. When someone shows you a crystal ball sneak preview of your potentially amazing life… it’s not something you can ignore or dismiss.

How much would you pay to radically improve your life? I’ll bet the answer is a lot.

I should hear about the new job in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I have made the commitment to go to the gym every week. I will keep you posted, as usual.

Incidentally, I did the math. If I lose 2lbs* a week, I could get to my goal in 7.7 months. That puts me at the end of 2023.

*When I began seriously changing the way I eat, I averaged about 1lb loss a week. But, during that year, I did not have a trainer or a rigorous exercise program. So, this number may be too optimistic, but it can suffice as a goal for now.

The Final Countdown

The perfect opener for this post is this over-the-top video of the song by Swedish band Europe with its big hair, 80s metal vibe.

As you know, I’ve written on this blog about how losing weight has a lot more to do with psychology than biology. I have been writing this blog for almost FIFTEEN years. So, 15 years a slave to obesity.

Obviously, I’ve made more progress than ever in the past few years, and I’m proud of that. But, the truth is, I have a psychological block about reaching that final destination. I’m exploring that out loud here on this page.

Why?

Well, let’s start with today in 2023: I’ve started dating again. I don’t look so terrible that I would be embarrassed to show up on a blind date. (I’m using a dating app, and that’s essentially what they are, blind dates where you have an inkling of who the other person is, but not much more than that.) Yet, I know I’m still too overweight to be attractive to the opposite sex. Or, at least attractive enough to the type of guy my 20-year old self would be attracted to at my age.

It’s complicated. On the one hand, maybe I should lower my standards and embrace where I fit in on the dating totem pole at this stage in my life. But, on the other hand, I could make the commitment, buckle down, and reach my goal weight. Be thin again. Be attractive again (even at this age).

Option number 2 opens up a Pandora’s box. It literally leaves me vulnerable to getting seriously hurt or further damaged. Option number 1 is pretty much unrealistic, as this is not how I’m wired.

So, I’m at an impasse– stuck in a sandtrap in my mind.

If I lean into option #2, I have already done the research on how to do it. The gym that I love, where I was a member before here in Austin, has everything I need to progress toward my goal. I would hire a trainer and launch, “The Final Countdown.” I’d have to get more diligent cutting back on carbs/sugar and reducing my alcohol intake. All of it would be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. In many ways, it would be like starting from the beginning because this last leg of the journey would be the most demanding.

Am I sufficiently psychologically fit to be physically fit?

That is what I’m asking myself.

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.

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.

Holding Pattern

“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. 

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

Pickleball!

I have been hearing/reading about Pickleball for a few months now. It seems like a fun, easy way to spend some time in the gym without too much stress. I knew my Y had a pickleball schedule in the mornings, so I dropped in and observed two teams. What I liked about it was it felt like everyone on the court was enjoying themselves, and that it was more supportive than competitive.

My Y has Pickleball every weekday in the mornings. I spoke to two women afterwards who told me they both love it. One of them said she has been coming for six years. They both told me it’s easy to start. The Y has all the equipment; you literally just have to show up.

I’ve been thinking of asking someone I know to go with me, so there will be at least two of us who don’t know how to play on the court. Once I get the hang of it, I can try to commit to a regular schedule.

This court game fulfills one of my key criteria about exercise: it has to be enjoyable or I won’t stick with it. I’m a little wary of the time commitment, but I think I’m going to try it.

Here’s a short video about the basic game:

Ouch!

My wellness coach sent me a suggested workout routine for the equipment at the Y. She called it a, “Full Body Gym Routine with Machines.” It’s been years since I worked out regularly on gym equipment. I went through my first routine today with the help of a staff member who showed me all the machines and how they work.

As I type this, I’m feeling sore already.

Part of the drill, however, is helping me get ingrained into a regular schedule of working out. I know I need to do it to get to the next level with my weight loss.

Plus, when I adjust to it, it will make me feel stronger and more flexible. Wendy, the staff member who helped me, suggested I try a few classes too. I will have to work up to that, but it seems like a good idea.

Changing topics, Thanksgiving is this week. I’ve written about Thanksgiving before. It’s unfortunate the holiday is centered on overeating. I’m super disciplined about what I eat these days, but it’s going to be tough passing on mashed potatoes with gravy. I can always pass on pies and sweets, but mashed potatoes and gravy (especially with Turkey) is one of my favorites.

Oh well, c’est la guerre.

I will keep you posted on the workout routine. My greatest concern is the weather is getting colder here in South Dakota. I’m reluctant to leave my place when it’s so cold outside. We’ll see if I can make the commitment stick.

It’s fun to stay at the Y – M – C – A

So, I joined the YMCA.

It’s awesome!

Our local YMCA is as good of a state-of-the-art gym as any I’ve experienced in large cities like Austin, TX or Orlando, FL. What’s even better is the price and the fact that I am not locked into a contract. Plus, my health insurance will reimburse me $20/mo if I visit just 12 times a month. Because of my (cough, cough) age, that means this amazing facility only costs me $29 a month.

There’s an upbeat vibe at this YMCA and it makes me feel good just to “be there.”

I’m starting out my exercise program slowly, but there’s tremendous room to grow at this facility, including private trainers. My schedule is fairly flexible now, so I can get the the gym when there aren’t a lot of people there.

The good news is I’ve gone beyond losing my pandemic weight, and I’m on the road to getting back on track. I’m down 32.4 lbs now.

I Wanna Be Sedated

So, I’m down 22.4lbs. That’s only 8lbs shy of my goal to lose my pandemic gain. I will get there. And I’ll continue on my path from there.

How am I doing it? By walking around this beautiful, sleepy town. I’m not killing it on the Peloton or hiring a trainer or joining the gym. I’m just walking around. I gave up my car last September and I walk everywhere I need to go.

Living in the Midwest, life is simpler. It’s slower and more peaceful. But there is healthy food and healthy living here. I am not in a rush to lose my weight, or in a rush to do anything for that matter.

I’m content to take in the beauty around me knowing every step I take is leading me in the right direction. It gets lighter every day.