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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The weight is coming off slowly now. Every week, fractions of a pound. Sometimes, I gain a little, and that can be frustrating, even if it’s just fluctuating water weight (I’m measuring everything now). But I’ve taken care not to fall into the trap I fell into before and to become obsessed with losing weight, to let it control me and let the manic desire to be thin and “normal” to take over my everyday life.
I want to adapt to a new way of living. I read a great article in the New York Times a few months ago that explains what I’ve been doing more or less. I have a new relationship with food. I changed the way I eat. This, more than anything else, has made the difference.
I’ve lost about 53 pounds now. Yes, I still have a long way to go. But the difficult part ahead will involve some more introspection, psychological commitment, and good old-fashioned, patience.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. The excess weight that I wrapped around myself served as a fortress that shielded me from male attention. It rendered me invisible so that I could ward off any possibility of romantic entanglements by making myself as unattractive as possible. It was safe in that space.
I could start working out more rigorously and attempt to lose weight more quickly at this juncture. But this would not serve me well physically or mentally. First, on the physical score, it would be punishing on my body. I do not wish to punish myself. I deserve to be fair and kind to myself at this stage of my life. I don’t hate myself for being fat. I don’t even hate that I gained so much weight and feel fairly certain that anyone else who endured the shitty circumstances that I did would have found themselves in a fat suit too. Second, on the mental considerations, it’s kind of the same deal. I don’t need to shame myself into faster weight loss. This is where I got into trouble before and eventually gave up because it just wasn’t worth the effort. Additionally, I am not conjoining my self-worth with my body image. Something very important, and I’d encourage anyone who’s going through a similar journey to view these two as distinctly separate. It’s unfortunate that society isn’t as enlightened, but so be it.
My only regret about this slow path is that it will take a very long time to get to the weight I want to be to do the things I want to do, such as ride horses. But as I was discussing with my brother over the weekend, because it’s just one day at a time, one step at a time on a long road, at the point of my arrival, I won’t have to change a thing. I will be “there.” I will have literally changed the way I eat, sleep, exercise, meditate, process stress, etc. There will be no interest in going back to the way I used to live. In an odd metaphorical way, it’s like I’m walking down a very large mountain path with a slight slope that extends for miles and miles. It may take years before I get to my destination, but when I finally arrive, it’s almost as if I will be arriving as the young woman I used to be before all that crap happened at the top of the mountain.
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.
Getting your mind and body disciplined to lose weight is a lot like learning to ride a bike, I think. At first you’re wobbly, insecure, easily thinking, “I can’t do this!” But, with a lot of encouragement and the will to keep going, you start riding on your own! That feeling of, “I’m doing it! I’m riding a bike by myself!” is pure elation. Even if you need training wheels to get started, that liberating feeling when you’re cruising down the street on your own is pure joy.
So, I am starting to ride free of training wheels. My mind is locked onto getting to my goal weight, and my body is responding to the physical training I’ve put myself through. I signed up for a TEAM weight loss program at my gym and am really enjoying it. OH, it’s not easy, but that’s part of the fun. I actually jogged yesterday on the treadmill and was not out of breath or had any chest pains. Like a miracle, really.
Another good analogy: exercise is like marital sex (for women, I guess). You kinda don’t want to do it (nag, nag, nag), but when you’re done, you say to yourself, “Jeez, why don’t I every want to do this???” No more explanation needed. 🙂
In the spirit of massively greater transparency this year in 2012, I’m going to start posting my weight so anyone who’s interested can track with me. I started at 300 (count ’em!!) pounds. I have had some rocky loop-de-loops, but am progressively moving toward my goal weight which is around 160. So, even though I’ve lost a lot by most people’s standards, I still have a long way to go. Stay with me!
I invested in a Withings scale. Highly recommended. Already finding some interesting data points. For instance, I weighed more after I came back from the gym, but my total fat percentage was lower. Cool!