Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's almost here......

Not Christmas. Okay, yes, it is almost here, but that's not exactly what this is about.

I went to weigh in today at the noon meeting, since our center will be closed after that meeting until Friday. I stepped on the scale, and I am four pounds down from last week. FOUR. Okay, big whoop, right? Well, yeah. I haven't had a four-pound loss in forever, so YES, it is a big deal.

But this means I have ten pounds to go to hit goal. Ten. Ten. Ten. Ten.

I have to let it sink in.

I never in my wildest imagination pictured myself at this point when I started out. Seriously, when I started out, I had no idea where it would all lead, or if I would have the courage and determination to continue. The earliest successes led me to believe that yes, I could do this. But I had so much weight to lose that I really couldn't picture the final "Winning Outcome" (wink!). It was only by looking piece by piece, five pounds by five pounds (or ten by ten), that I could do it. Knowing that I probably should lose X amount was always in the back of my mind ..... but to actually imagine it? I couldn't -- certainly not at first.

And now? There are days I still can't believe it's real. Yes, I have photographic proof of all the success along the way, and God knows I have the clothing from both ends of the spectrum to prove it. And I see the numbers on the scale that tell me this.

People tell me I'm more outgoing, more confident -- and maybe to some small degree that's the case. I've never been a shrinking violet by any stretch, nor have I ever minded the spotlight. Yes, Sam, a ham, I am. But there does seem to be a little more boldness that was perhaps lurking underneath.

Ten. Wow. Ten. I'm still in awe. So my plan for the holidays and into next week (when the center will be closed for New Year's)? Same as it ever was: to do exactly what I do every other day of the week. Eat right, get in some activity if at all possible, and enjoy life. To use the tools at my disposal to have a good day, a good week, a good life. And if a small setback happens, I know how to get back on track -- and I will.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A little loss, a big gain

My loss this week was relatively small -- 0.8 pounds -- but that brings my total to 214 even. This means I have just 14 pounds to go. Under 15 to go. It almost doesn't seem real. I'm serious.... it almost doesn't seem real. Nearly 3 years ago, I could not imagine reaching this point -- at least not seeing it real and in the mirror. It seemed more like a dream, one of those "wow, that sounds nice and I'm gonna try... really. I am....."

My big gain this week was a huge boost to my self-confidence -- from several sources. On Sunday, I met my best friend and her family for lunch after Mass. Now, she and I have known each other for 21 years now, and her husband's known me for 19 years. Once they were seated, he looked at me and said, "You know, I didn't recognize you when we walked in...." (my back was to the door). Holy cow -- can you believe it??? Just the week before at choir practice, one of my fellow altos remarked that none of them could believe how skinny I looked from the back. Skinny -- now there is a word that has hardly ever applied to me!!! I'll take it just the same!

I also gained something this week I didn't want: a nasty stomach bug that seems to be making the rounds. According to what everyone has told me, I am incredibly lucky in that it only lasted a day. I hear that for most people, it's at least a 2-3 day ordeal. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like there was a vise grip on my stomach .... I made it in to work only to leave a couple of hours later. I came home and ended up sleeping most of the day. I had a low-grade fever and no desire to eat or do much of anything besides sleep. I figured out that in the 24 hours between 6:00 AM Tuesday and 6:00 AM Wednesday, I slept around 14 hours. Yow.

The "Momentum" is still going, and I learned something new about the program tonight (I won't spoil it if you don't have your materials yet). If you are considering doing something about the holiday weight, join NOW and avoid the post-holiday rush! (HA! No, seriously..... you'll be a step ahead!)

To all my WW buddies -- HANG IN THERE! We can get through the holidays and keep things on the right track!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keeping the "Momentum" going....

Tonight was weigh-in -- up 0.2 ..... oh woe is me. Break out the whips and chains. BAH! I am glad that the gain was not worse -- the weather was horrific and I didn't get much walking in at all. I even spent time yesterday walking around a smaller warehouse area at work; talk about monotonous! It makes walking the outside loop look great by comparison! And last Saturday was the company party with all that delicious food (and I was good and didn't overindulge but I did dip into the flex points).

So, with that in mind, this week we got our materials for the new Momentum program, Weight Watchers' first major update in 4 years (there was a minor one about 2 years ago, but this is a bigger change). I definitely say "Me Likey!!!" Without spoiling it (wanna know more? hit a meeting!), the changes that have been made are pretty much what I've been doing already -- but with some new ways of looking at things, new recipes to try, and new incentive to keep going. Yes, I only have about 15 pounds to go, but these 15 are going to be just as hard (if not harder) to lose as any other 15 pounds I've lost. So any new tips, tricks, and ideas to keep me going are just gravy!

For 2009, if you've thought about losing weight (and let's face it, everyone makes that resolution) .... well, instead of a resolution, join a revolution and learn how to eat better for every day of your life! Check out a WW meeting, and try the Momentum program --- what do you have to lose except the extra pounds?!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The power of options....

One of the things that truly was horrid about obesity was the lack of options. The option to lose weight was one that would cross my mind on occasion, and even go so far as to do something temporarily about it. But most of the time, I just ignored the obvious. After all, they still made clothes in my size -- and larger!

That worked until I reached the point where I was in the largest commercial size for stores. The only remaining options were buying clothes from a few specialty catalogs, or making my own clothes. Let me rephrase that: to pattern my own clothes. McCall's and Simplicity carry larger sizes but even they stop where the stores do. At one point I really did look into buying a very expensive pattern-making software (think well over $500) -- as if I even had time to buy enough cloth, cut out a pattern, sew clothes, etc. I made one dress once upon a time, and it took me weeks (since I was working that summer as well). To ask a seamstress to do it for me would be more convenient, but also more expensive. Again, losing the weight was an option I wasn't really ready to consider.

Three years ago, before I started the weight loss process, we had an office Christmas party. I wore this black "slinky knit" tank dress. I actually am still a big fan of that material, as it covers a multitude of sins. I found a sheer wrap with some sparklies on it, and wore that. I felt so out of place it wasn't even funny. I looked okay, but compared to some of the other dresses being worn, I felt fat and frumpy. And even though people told me I looked nice, I couldn't help but feel that I could have done so much better, if I'd only had more options.

We didn't have office Christmas parties in 2006 or 2007. We did last night, however, and I again had to plan an outfit. This time, I had an outfit already in mind. I have a lovely cranberry velvet long-sleeved top, to wear with a beautiful ankle-length black skirt I have. I picked up the top weeks ago, planning to wear it on Christmas Eve for midnight Mass. I figured it would work just as well for the company party.

I had to have shoes (of course!), so I went shopping yesterday. Then I realized I didn't think I had a black clutch, so I went to Goodwill just to see if they had one. Listen, I have absolutely ZERO qualms about thrift-store shopping. I've shopped mostly off the main grid (so to speak) for years, and my philosophy is "Why pay full price for anything?" And especially with needing to replace my whole wardrobe at least twice a year, why would I pay full price for more than just a few items? Well, anyway, most of the local Goodwills offers a very small selection of formalwear. Shocker of shockers, this one not only had several in stock; TWO were in my current size. I took both to the dressing rooms, and proceeded to try them on. The first was a two-piece cranberry dress (skirt and spaghetti-strap top). It was definitely designed for a teen body, not mine with the muffin-top and all that. I could have bought it just for the skirt (to use with that top I bought earlier), but really, why? So I tried on the other: it was a beautiful gold/beige top with skirt attached in the same iridescent gold. It was short-sleeved, but I thought to myself, well........

I tried it on. It fit fairly well, enough that I stood in the dressing room and twirled like a princess. Now, just this past summer, when I was getting ready for the 80s Prom sponsored by a local radio station, I opined about trying on formalwear and what a pain it was ... and yet all the cool things about it. Today was a different story -- the dress was the same size as this summer, but I'm about 20 pounds lighter. The dress was actually a little loose in places, but I also knew that the next size down would have been too tight (and they only had one dress in that size and it was UGLY!). I debated -- should I buy? Should I put it back? I already had a plan in place ... and then this little voice in the back of my head said, "Stupid, the dress is $10.25. Buy the damn thing."

So I did and here it is:
Smaller Me & Tree

Now, I am aware that I was in desperate need of a matching bolero jacket to cover those now-worse-than-ever batwings. But that's not what I intend to write about......

What I am writing about are options. Losing weight has given me options. I don't have to simply pull out the only thing in my closet that might work only because I have nothing else. I no longer have to spend an obscene amount of money for clothing because there aren't that many stores who carry that size. Don't believe me? Step into a plus-size specialty store and just see how much they charge for larger sizes. Sure, I bought this dress at Goodwill, but size-wise, I now have the power to go into Goodwill, Belk, Macy's or a swanky boutique and buy a dress there.

It's not just the clothing -- though God knows, that's quite a satisfying reason.... I also have options to do things I couldn't do before. The first time I did the Cha-Cha Slide was at a party for a coworker's 50th birthday. I had lost about 50 pounds at that point, and I was still out of breath at the end of that dance. Now, having lost an additional 163 pounds, I was able to do that dance last night with the hops, the skips, all the fun stuff, and not even breathe hard. I was not tired. I could actually hop, not just pretend. Do you have any idea how good that feels?

If I could bottle the feeling of what it means to really have choices and to be almost-overwhelmed by that sensation --- oh my, I'd bottle and sell it. And it isn't limited to clothing, weight, or other tangible items. When you feel you have no options, you have no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel, no reason to change because ... well, why should you? But with options in a few things, you may suddenly realize that you have choices in other areas of your life; that you don't have to settle; that you have the power, and you can do whatever you imagine.

I'm just starting to grasp this in my own life. Oddly enough, the process of that started about a year or so before I started the weight-loss. I think that the weight-loss has been more successful because I was already learning that if I didn't like my life, I could change it. There was nothing stopping me but my own self.

So find your own gold dress -- something that will remind you of how powerful it is to have an option. Embrace it, batwings and all.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rolling along...

Well, color me tickled pink and happy!!! I lost 3.0 this week for a total of 213.4 ..... that's only 14.6 to go to get to goal! WHOOPEE!!!!!! I am pretty psyched about that, and kind of scared too. I almost feel a little like Wile E. Coyote: "Now that I have him, what do I do with him?"

There was a really neat moment this past week. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were not conducive at all for walking -- it rained most of the weekend, and Monday evening, I had a hair appointment. So Tuesday, I was ready. I came home, and I didn't care how cold it was, or how long it would take or any of that -- I. Had. To. Walk. And Soon. I layered up, hit the trail and walked around town. I did my two-plus miles in just under 40 minutes. I never imagined just a few short years ago that I would ever enjoy walking and be dying to do it.... ME? I hated exercise.

There's still some types of exercise that I don't like. Aerobic classes? No. I enjoy solitude when exercising way too much. I don't mind walking with my dad and the dog or with the rest of the family. So for the cold weather when walking just is not an option, I have to find something. Either that, or buy a used treadmill after the first of the year!