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.

Merci Beaucoup!

Received a nice little pick-me-up this week. This blog is obviously a journal I keep for myself, but it’s lovely to see you supporting my “content journey.”

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I had PIE for the first time in years at Thanksgiving. Yet, yesterday my weight checked in at my lowest ever in years. So, hellya. Still going strong.

Good News Bad News

First the good news. It’s the simple things– I bought a belt this week. Yay!

There is really no reason to wear a belt when you’re massively overweight. Pants stay up because you have a lot to fill them, and you buy pants that fit at large sizes.

As I’m still on my weight loss path, I have been trying to extend the life of pants that really don’t fit that well anymore. For this, I realized I should probably buy a belt to hold them up.

In the dressing room, I realized I have probably not bought a belt in over 30 years.

That felt like a milestone to me, so I thought I’d celebrate in this small way and write about it.

Here is the unfortunate bad news. I still have a long, long way to go to truly be where I want to be. Here is a graphic of my weight loss chart. Even though I’ve lost all my pandemic weight, and then some, I have over 100% of that weight loss to go to reach my goal.

My last few posts have been super positive and I’ve felt great documenting my good progress. But it’s still a slog. It will take a long time and a reservoir of patience to reach my goal.

I will keep updating you with milestone achievements, but I wanted to make sure I was being candid about my progress. In the weight loss chart below, you can see the light, dotted line at the bottom of the red arrow. That is actually my goal weight. And even there, I will not be a size 0. More like a size 14. So, yeesh.

GOAL!!

Well? It took a S L O W w w w w 10 months, but I had a pleasant surprise this week. There is an upscale boutique on Main Street in my town that only carries, um, regular sizes. No PLUS sizes, in other words. From time to time I browse in there to check out all the clothes I would love to buy, but can’t because they’re not available to me.

But this week, I was looking at a few sweaters in the XL size and thought… “I think I can fit into these!” So, I quietly slipped into the dressing room, and sure enough… THEY FIT. They really fit, not too tight, too snug; they fit well.

I was ecstatic. This was my 2022 Intention from the beginning of the year– to fit into “normal” sizes. Exactly for this reason too; the clothing in normal sizes is simply better. Better quality, better designs.

Now, of course, I’m nowhere near my goal. But, this opens up so many great possibilities, and I’m super pleased with reaching this milestone.

It was a “spendy” (as they say out here on the Great Plains) purchase, but I definitely bought one of the sweaters to celebrate my accomplishment. I’m super happy.

Doesn’t it make you happy too?

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

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.

Your Frenemy: the Scale

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!

WTAF?

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.

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.