Monday, June 30, 2008

Seventy-third Weigh-in

Sorry for the delay in getting this one up. I was away for a mini-vacation this weekend. I went up 1 lb this weigh-in, which is to be expected considering the number of eating blow-outs I've been racking up.

Speaking of which, this past weekend was quite the bender. Remind me why I shouldn't eat until I hurt. Oh, that's right. Because that leads to 70 lbs of weight gain. And it wasn't like it was extremely tasty food either. I just kept trying to find that one meal that tasted so good it was worth all those calories. I never did find that one meal. It was all mediocre from start to finish. Meanwhile, four bajillion calories later and my insides weren't so happy with me today.

Needless to say, this week is damage control. Which is rather ironic because I've been working up to a particular decision for a few weeks now. Yep. Maintenance. I had pretty much decided to start on it this week. After this weekend though, it'll have to wait until next week.

In the meantime, I'll be doing lots of reading and research while I do laps around the block trying to work off two days of excess.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Starbucks light frappuccinos = summer

As the sun finally starts shining in my neck of the woods, I'm once again reminded of my dear dear friend of last summer. The Starbucks light frappuccino. Seriously sinful and low on points. Plus, there's new flavours to try this year.

If you're hankering for a frosty treat, get thee to your local Starbucks. A tall mocha light is only two points. Ask for it double-blended for an extra-creamy treat. Want to try other flavours? Be sure to check Starbuck's nutrition calculator before you go because not all light fraps are created equal.

Update: To the anonymous poster who said the above points value for the tall mocha frap light is wrong, I kindly suggest recalculating because it's most definitely 2 points. The NI for one is 110 calories, 1g fat, and 2g fibre. Note, that it's just 1g fat and not 10g fat. There's 10 calories from fat, but not 10 grams of it.

I used all three calculators available to me (the online calculator, my paper calculator, and my handheld calculator) to triple check the points value. I also looked up the points value using Weight Watcher's online database. All four methods yielded the same results: a tall mocha frap is 2 points.

I know it's too good to be true, but it is :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm thinner than I think I am

I'm still amazed at how a number of my pre-weight loss mindsets still float to the surface. It's like they're never truly gone; they wait just below the surface only to emerge in awkward places like the dressing room.

Case-in-point...I mentioned on my last post about some poor eating choices I'd been making. As a result of that, somehow I thought that I had gained so much weight as to go up in a number of clothing sizes. I actually found myself thumbing through sizes that were too big for me. When I caught myself doing this, I made myself try on a smaller size. It was an honest-to-goodness kick in the head when I found it fit me.

What went through my mind at that point? "I can't possibly fit in a size this small, I've been eating out of control." It's the same sort of thinking I had even before I gained weight to begin with. "I can't possible fit in a size this small, I'm not good enough." As a result, I never even tried on smaller sized clothes. I expected disappointment and I received disappointment in return.

Maybe that's exactly why I became so overweight? I saw myself as large and unattractive. I wasn't really. But I believed it and I became it.

Now here I am at square one. Back where I started before I put on weight. Rummaging through the racks looking for larges, thinking I'm not good enough, that I can't possibly be allowed to try on small sizes, that I'm not worthwhile.

If you're itching to smack me right now, I don't blame you. Fortunately, there's a difference this time. Though I didn't recognize it at first, I was eventually able to identify that old sneaky thought pattern before it successfully crept onto me like a badly-fitting puce-polka-dotted frilly-cuffed mark-down shirt.

I don't kid myself that it won't try again. (Fashion disasters lie in wait for us all.) But when it does try again, I'll remember this: I'm thinner than I think I am. But more importantly, I just have to believe I'm better than the image I have of myself. Because if I believe it, I will become it. And maybe then I won't come home from the store with plaid stirrup pants and poofy pink shirts.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Seventy-second Weigh-in

I'm down 1.2 lbs and back to where I was at goal. It's been three weeks since goal and as you can tell I haven't done anything about Maintenance. I'm a little lost, to tell the truth. I've had more than a few bad eating choices. Ah, how I wish the stories about life after goal were not true. It is hard. I still keep scrabbling back on the wagon so that's something at least.

I did receive some encouraging news though that's made me feel better. A couple of my husband's acquaintances through work lost weight using Weight Watchers and have been very successful at keeping it off. Though I know many people over on the forums have been successful, it still really helps to know someone close at hand who's done it. It's an uplifting thought.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

1-point Apple Cobbler

I love the internet. I typed in "applesauce graham crackers cool whip weight watchers" and immediately found a recipe using those ingredients. I'm reprinting it here because it's too good not to share and the website I found it on might disappear.

1-point Apple Cobbler

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 packet Splenda
2 tsp graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp fat-free Cool Whip

In small individual-sized bowl, mix applesauce, cinnamon and Splenda. Microwave on high for 50 seconds. Stir. Sprinkle crumbs over sauce and top with Cool Whip. Serve immediately.

If you use light Cool Whip as I did, unfortunately the points round up. Count it as 1.5 points in that case. Also, if you make your own crumbs, don't make them too fine or they'll fade into the sauce. Lastly, feel free to skip the Splenda. I've made it both ways and I prefer the non-Splenda version.

Warm comfort in a bowl.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Way back at the beginning of the year, one of my resolutions was to complete an obstacle course in the trees. The weather finally cooperated and I was able to achieve my goal over the weekend.

Before I go too much farther, let's dive back in time. In 2006, I went to the obstacle course park but didn't particpate. The truth was, I had the athletic prowess of a potato. I also didn't want to face the embarrassment of not being able to haul my large bum around in the trees. So all that really remains of that trip is this photo of me at the park, trying to look happy about not participating.

Fast forward two years and 70 lbs later, I came back to the park on Saturday and completed the entire course, all the way up to and including the black level. My body has changed, there's no doubt. But my mind's changed, too. I could've done that course at any weight. I wasn't too heavy; my belief in myself was too light.

At any rate, here are the pics of my adventure. My apologies to dial-up users :)

You want me to go where?

Soon enough, I was swinging through the trees. Literally.


Hey, I can see light through my thighs!

If you look carefully, you can see the white-knuckled holy-crap grip I have on the rope. Swinging logs = not my friend.

Just to give you an idea of how high up I was...

Zip lines are so freaking fun!

Climbing down towards the end.

Finally, me on the same bridge as in 2006. This time, 70 lbs lighter and 100% geekier in a climbing harness.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Review: Quaker Low Fat Honey Bran Muffin Mix

Yearning for some baked goodness, I made a batch of honey bran muffins using Quaker's low fat muffin mix.

The package makes 24 in total. All you need is water, a spoon, and a non-stick muffin pan. Mix the ingredients together and you'll have fresh-baked muffins in under half an hour. One prepared muffin is about the size of a 1/3 cup measure and is 2 points (140 calories, 1.5g fat, 3g fibre).

For a muffin fix, they're pretty tasty. The outside is slightly crisp, the inside moist. They also bake up nice and golden as you can see by the picture. I liked the taste well enough that I'd probably try the other flavours if I see them on sale. Recommended for those who don't have time to bake.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pampering yourself

The meeting topic today deserved a post of its own. It was about rewards and pampering. In groups, we had to each come up with three things we like to pamper ourselves with. That was a lot of fun. Being good to yourself is so worthwhile and creates lasting rewards. Like the circle I mentioned in my previous post, making yourself feel worthwhile makes you feel like someone who's worth taking care of.

If you don't normally pamper yourself or haven't for awhile, I challenge you this week to do one thing just for you. Tiny Trim is giving you permission. You deserve it and you're worth it.

Stuck for ideas? Here's a few that came out of the meeting and some of my own, too:

  • Books: buy a new one or pick up an old favourite, sit in the sun (or shade) and read.
  • Get outdoors: go for a walk in a favourite place like the beach, a park, or even the mall.
  • Bubble bath: it's cliche but don't under-estimate the power of a long hot sudsy soak. Trashy romance optional.
  • Spa: you don't have to go the whole day; even one service is enough to make you feel good.
  • Retail therapy: buy a new summer accessory (a beach tote, necklace, sunglasses) or just go window shopping
  • Gardening: dig around in a garden store or in your own garden
  • Home spa evening: lots of inexpensive pampering can be found at the drugstore. Look for facial masks, cleansers, foot pampering tools (scrubs, brushes, cremes), deep hair conditioners, scented bath salts, hand lotion, nail polish, etc. Buy two or three new products and make an evening of it. Drink Perrier in a wine glass and pretend you're at a posh spa.
  • Try a new recipe: I know food isn't supposed to be a reward but sometimes it's fun to get out of the rut and try a new healthy recipe.

Seventy-first Weigh-in

Down .8 lbs this week. And that's partly because I wore capris. Otherwise, I'd be a stay-the-same or a little up this week. Perhaps May is finally catching up with me? I also haven't been exactly saintly since I got to goal. No, I haven't been having all-out eating fests but will admit to two meals that weren't exactly on plan. Even still, two bad meals in the span of three weeks isn't terrible by any stretch.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Part II: What Did Work

Last week I went over things that didn't work for me during my weight loss journey. This week I'm going to talk about what did work. Hang onto your hats and wallets. There'll be a lot of gadgets in this list for sure.

  • Walk Away the Pounds: To this day, I still use these exercise videos. The movements are easy and you don't need a lot of room. Nowadays, I add more intensity by flailing a bit harder than usual. My favourites are the Three-workout Deluxe Edition and Walk Slim: Fast Start.
  • You On a Diet: Though I never did follow the book's suggested eating plan, the science described really drove home to me the importance of good nutrition and how bad nutrition affects our bodies. The book also really helped me understand why Weight Watchers chose the 8 Healthy Guidelines.
  • Following the 8 Healthy Guidelines: I'm not going to claim that I've been a saint and followed them religiously all the time. However, they most certainly helped me eat more wisely and that in turn helped me lose wisely. Sure you can lose weight by keeping to your points allowance while still eating junk. But at what cost? Unhealthy and thin isn't a bargain.
  • Paderno non-stick frying pans: I bought two different sizes the week I joined Weight Watchers. They're my most used pans and I've made many a healthy meal in them. The coating hasn't ever flecked off and the heavy bottom means they've never warped. Paderno can be pricey, but I bought mine for a song at Sears.
  • Epicurean cutting boards: I also bought an assortment of these the week I joined. I knew I'd need a good cutting surface for all the fruits and veggies I'd be eating. They're not made of wood, but they feel like wood and can go in the dishwasher. Pricey but so worth it. After all the use they've been through, they're still holding up and I'm thinking of picking up more. Check out Epicurean's website for more info.
  • Taking care of myself: Before I started on Weight Watchers, I dressed dumpy and felt dumpy as a result. So I promised that I'd reward myself with nice clothes and accessories as the weight came off. After I lost the first 10%, I bought new clothes, felt better inside, acted more confident, received more compliments, was inspired to lose more weight, lost more weight, bought more clothes, and so on. I came to call it the Great Circle of AhFeelGooood. Once it gets going, it's hard to stop it.
  • Polar F6: If I had to pick "best investment EVAR," this would be it. I still use it every single workout – even in the pool! It's been absolutely vital for converting my calories burned into Activity Points.
  • Pedometer: When I was training for the half-marathon, I used it to gauge distance. Nowadays, I wear it to monitor my activity. With this handy chart, I can get a sense of whether I need to be moving more. Fortunately, drinking lots of water translates into more steps because of all the bathroom dashes.
  • Forgiving myself: Did you know the first time I tried Weight Watchers, I called it quits after eating a McChicken? Yes, I'd done something so awful and horrible by eating that one sandwich that it was obvious I'd never lose weight. Pfft. That kind of thinking got me nowhere. This time around I gave myself permission to make mistakes, laugh about them even, and move past them.
  • Electronic scale: No WWer's kitchen should be without one of these. I have a Salter and I use it pretty much every day. It takes the guesswork out of measuring and makes it convenient, too.
  • Extra measuring spoons: Measuring things can be a pain, especially when you've only got one teaspoon and it's always in the dishwasher. I have extra of each type of spoon and boy does it ever make measuring a breeze.
  • Exercise: I knew I couldn't eat like a rabbit all the time, so if I wanted to lose weight, I'd have to get active. Without a doubt, exercise has helped me achieve my goals. Not only was I building physical fitness, but mental fitness, too. Every achievement in exercise gave me more confidence. As an added bonus, the muscles I developed are quietly burning away calories even as I sit here and type.
  • Baby steps: Everything I've achieved has been accomplished with small steps. I was overwhelmed at the beginning, but as soon as I broke it down into manageable goals, it became more doable. It was never a case of "69 lbs at a time." It was five pounds at a time, a 10% goal, completing my first race. Little goals that added up big time.
I could probably think of another dozen items to add to this list so who knows, there might be a part III one of these days!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Motivating with muffins

As I sit here drinking my cup of fibre, I'm starting to feel that this whole thing is doable. No, not my regularity. But rather, living life after goal.

Oddly enough, it's been food that's been pulling myself out of my funk. I tried a new recipe earlier this week and last night I made a batch of low-fat muffins. It's been ages since I've baked anything other than chicken. Getting excited about new recipes is a real motivator.

Now all I have to do is not eat the remaining muffins in the freezer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Clothing rant with a side of bargain

I confess I've been having a hard time shopping for my goal clothes. I've been so long from any sort of serious clothes shopping that I've no idea where to shop, what's appropriate for my age, or even what colours go together. Add that to the fact that I was seriously depressed that, after all this effort, the smallest size I could get into at Reitmans was a size 8.

Yes, despite all my flowery words to the contrary about being happy with my body blah blah blah, I'm still a little shallow in that I want to say "oooh, I'm a [insert ridiculously small size here]!" Yeah, I know. Sucks to be me ;)

But after four shopping trips, I've figured it out. Clothing sizes suck. While I might be a size 8 at Reitmans, I'm a size 6 at Eddie Bauer and MEC, a size 4 at Lululemon, a medium at the Bay, a small at Mark's, and a potpourri of sizes (including XL) at any given store I've been into. No wonder shopping is hard.

Anyways, now that I know clothing sizes are all over the board and I fit into a size 6 at more than one store, I'm a little happier and my closet is less empty now.

But enough ranting. How about some deals? I picked up a few bargain tips that might help other people.

  • Retimans: Between now and June 28, 2008, get a $25 savings card for every $50 you spend. The card is good for the month of August (fall shopping alert!) on purchases over $75. More info on their website. If you go in, keep your eyes peeled for the stretch "business" capris. They're comfy and look really classy.
  • Mark’s Work Wearhouse: Check out the RedFlagDeals forums for a $30 off coupon. I used it last night without problems. It's good until June 30th. If you sign up for Mark's Rewards Club, you'll get advance notice of coupons automatically. Lastly, there's a 3-day sale coming up. 20% off all women's clothing (pdf link). Mark's is often surprising in their clothing selection. I found a number of really nice work tops there.
  • Eddie Bauer: They've got excellent prices on clearance jeans right now. I bought a pair for $20. Sizes can be limited but it's worth a look. Also, if you join their free "friends" club you'll get advance notice of sales and get coupons, too. You can sign up online (though I'm not sure if it also covers Canada) or in-store. Oh, and if you have a small waist like I do, their Shaped Fit jeans are the bee's knees.
  • It's surprising what you can find if you do a bit of searching at RedFlagDeals. Not only did I find the Mark's coupon I mentioned above, but I also spied in-store coupons for American Eagle, Sport Chek, and Bluenotes. Check the main apparel page, the coupons page, and the hot deals forum before you go shopping. Note: though this is a Canadian site there appears to be a number of online deals that'll work for anyone.
Hopefully these will help snag you at least one good deal. If you're still working your way to goal, get out there and treat yourself to something special. Looking nice has a funny way of making you feel nice, too. And if you feel nice, you look great inside and out :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Recipe Review: Easy Macaroni and Cheese has been featuring a recipe for Easy Macaroni and Cheese on the Plan Manager home page for a few days now. I couldn't take the temptation any longer, so I decided to jazz up my evening by trying it out.

Since our low-fat cheese selection up here in Canada is pretty slim, the only reasonably close to low-fat cheese I could find was Kraft Cracker Barrel 2% Old Cheddar. I also used whole wheat pasta instead of regular. I recalculated the points value using these ingredients and came up with the same amount of points as listed.

The end result was a rather spicy, smooth and creamy macaroni and cheese. Though it didn't have the deep cheddar flavour of some of the other (full-fat) homemade recipes I've had before, it was still pleasantly cheesy and much better (both in taste and nutrition) than anything out of a box. If you don't like things spicy, ease up on the hot pepper sauce and don't use the pepper flakes. I added both and found it a bit too spicy for mac n' cheese.

Also, I don't really recommend the whole wheat pasta. I find that the whole wheat texture is more pronounced in smaller pasta shapes. Instead, I suggest using Catelli Smart Pasta. It tastes just like white pasta but has the fibre content of whole wheat.

All in all, pretty darned nummy and comforting. And because it was easy to make, too, the recipe is aptly named. Though I have to suspect the cheesy colour of their photo was enhanced after the fact. Mine looked more creamy-white than anything else.

Serving size is listed as 1 cup. I got slightly more than that but would say it's an accurate gauge. One serving is 6 points. 4 out of 5 stars. I'd make it again.

The “now what?” syndrome

It's starting to settle on me despite my best efforts to ward it off with garlic and a wooden stake. The dreaded "I've gotten to goal, now what?" feeling. That sort of jumbled set of thoughts on how to live the plan now that weight loss is no longer the primary goal.

I know it's natural and is something I'll have to work through in the weeks ahead. I don't kid myself that it'll be an easy process. But I know it's something unavoidable and to be explored and worked through. Hopefully I'll find that balance soon. In the meantime, I may be opining and whining in the weeks ahead, so I beg your indulgence in advance.

Of course, it hasn't helped that I still haven't made a decision about Maintenance. I know weight loss is no longer the primary goal...but maybe it is. Oh decisions, decisions. I hate making the wrong choice so I become paralyzed when asked to make up my mind. You should see me trying to decide what colour socks to wear in the mornings.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Seventieth Weigh-in

I knew some weight-rebound was bound to happen because I was sick last week. Fortunately, it didn't put me past my goal weight. I gained 2 lbs this week, making for a nice even 135 lbs. I'm completely cool with that. I can breathe through both nostrils, my side ache isn't as bad as it used to be, and as a result I've been running and Bootcamping again. It feels good to move without pain.

During the meeting we talked about motivation and how it comes and goes. I think it's really important to remember that it's okay if your motivation wavers. Motivation can be strong or weak and it can change as the months go by. If it does weaken, it's just time to reassess and perhaps look for new motivation elsewhere. Make a mini-goal or look for other ways to get inspired. Just don't think you're broken somehow. It's normal and it's okay.

And as my meeting leader said, motivation is like a toilet seat. It can be up and down all within the same day!

So there's your profound bathroom thought for the weekend. Hopefully your week went well and you're proud of something you've done (even if it's a small something, they count, too!) I'm off for another shopping trip. It's time to empty the closet of my transition clothes and get some new duds in earnest.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Part I: What didn't work

I thought it'd be a fun Friday post to make a list of things that worked and didn't work for me over the course of this journey. The list got rather long so I'm only going to post part one today. What didn't work.
  • Jane Fonda exercise video: Ah Jane. I was so excited to see you again. In the end, I couldn't handle the 80s flashback. Jane met the donation box.
  • Curves Gym: I made the best effort I could, but in the end, Curves didn't grow with me. Though it was a great way to get back into exercising, it became monotonous. It worked in the short-term, but not for the long-term. I canceled my membership after a year.
  • Weighing myself more than once a week: The scale used to drive me batty and I'd let it sabotage my efforts. Mr. Trim hid it on me for a better part of those 16 months. I had to learn that the scale is feedback and not failure. Since then, the scale and I are on a tentative cease-fire. I agree that I won't kick it and it agrees to tell me what my weight is. It's a lopsided agreement.
  • Not having more than one goal: After achieving my first big goal, I became a bit rudderless and floundered. Since then, I learned that always having a number of goals keeps you moving forward. When one goal is achieved, there's always a few more to work on next.
  • Olay Thermal Pedicure: I bought this as a mini-reward. Though mildly pleasant, it doesn't make up for the fact the packaging sucks. The tube bunches up, doesn't re-inflate and the paint flecks off it.
  • Keeping old “fat” clothes: I did this the last time I lost weight and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. My "just in case" clothes were an easy excuse to gain the weight back. This time around, I got rid of them as soon as they were too big.
  • Barry’s French Twists: Bad, bad, bad, good, no wait...bad, bad, bad. These things are seriously my Cryptonite. After inhaling the entire bag, it's safe to say that I can't be in the same city as them.
  • Not tracking: Whoo, there's a surprise! Not following the program leads to weight gain, waffling, and falling off the wagon.
  • Giving myself permission to eat anything at Christmas: Who would've thought my "awesome" plan would backfire? Ha! Famous last words. This little gem of mine set off a chain of events that caused me to plateau for two months.
  • Microwave Egg Poacher: Last fall, I bought a microwave egg poaching cup with the intention of adding more protein to my mornings. I only used it twice. The eggs were rubbery and the yolks hard to keep soft. I'd rather do extra dishes to enjoy them the old-fashioned way.
  • Exercising without eating properly: I saved all my points for one or two days instead of spreading them out. No wonder I was so tired, cranky, and frustrated at the scale. Once I started eating smarter, the weight came off.
  • Beck Diet Solution: Great book, lots of really insightful things in it, but I got bogged down on the "sitting while eating" part. Standing and eating was never an issue with me. I really hated forcing myself to sit all the time because I could think of no good reason why I had to. I got frustrated and didn't crack the book again. Eventually I'll get back to it but I think it'll be best to skip that step.
Next week I'll go over what did work.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Musing about Maintenance

For those on Weight Watchers, you know that after you achieve goal, you're put on Maintenance for six weeks. At the end of those six weeks if you are no more than 2 lbs above your goal weight, you're awarded Lifetime status. The six weeks are meant to take your body out of losing mode and into maintaining mode. I'm told it takes a bit of trial and error to get your daily points right.

However, as I've mentioned before, I didn't think I'd be ready for Maintenance. I'm not so sure now. Originally, I thought I'd like to meet my personal goal first. I'd still like to get into the 120s, lower my BMI more, and basically make a bit of goal weight breathing room.

That said, I'm starting to think I'm missing an opportunity to do this the way it was meant to be done. Learn the lessons of Maintenance before being awarded Lifetime. It seems more right to do it this way. I've been losing for so long, a break might be what I need to get used to the smaller me. Especially because my mind hasn't quite caught up yet with all the changes in my body.

I guess I'm just worried that my personal goal might be sidelined. If I don't act on it now, will I still feel like doing it in six weeks?

I'm going to ruminate a bit more and get through this week. Come Saturday, I'll try and make a decision. And if anyone has advice to share, I'd love to hear it :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Goal day shopping and other things

Aside from a bit of unplanned eating on Sunday night (note: just because you get to goal doesn't mean you're cured), things have been going pretty good during the last few days. Things are settling down and I have lots to think and talk about. Thoughts on Maintenance, plans for the future, fears, and everything else that comes along with the next phase of my journey.

So, there will be a lot of introspective posts coming up, but today I'd rather talk about what I've been doing with myself since Saturday. First, I did most of everything I had planned to do on goal day. The only thing I didn't do was the last charm for my bracelet. There's a reason for that, but that's another post.

When we went shopping, I didn't get as many clothes as I would have hoped. I was still suffering pretty badly from my cold so trying on clothes was a bit exhausting. However, what I lacked for in quantity, I made up for in quality.

The first thing I bought was a bathing suit. And I bought it without shame or embarrassment. Just walked right in among the racks and started poking around. The first suit I tried on fit so well and looked so good on me, that I actually started jumping up and down in the change room for joy. I wound up buying it and can't wait to go swimming.

Next....*drumroll*....I went shopping at Lululemon. You may recall how utterly out of place I felt the first time I tried shopping there. This time, I felt like I had a right to be there. There was a live DJ in the window which kept Mr. Trim entertained while I had fun poking around in the racks. I wound up buying a bra and some crops. The crops are a size 4! Never in a million years did I think I'd get into a size like that. The crops are currently getting hemmed and I still want to get a Lulu shirt so pics will have to wait. Size 4!

Otherwise, the last few days have been about getting rid of my cold and easing back into the swing of things. I haven't been exercising much lately due to my cold and fears about my abdominal issue, but finally made myself do a WATP video a couple of nights ago. Fortunately, I was able to do it without pain so I did it again last night. I'm hopeful that the trend continues and I'm on the mend.

That's my update for now. And of course I hope it goes without saying that I'm very grateful for all the visitors lately to my blog who've congratulated me on my goal and welcomed me to the Healthy You Challenge. You guys rock and keep me going :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Shiny new life

With getting to goal comes a time for reflection. I mentioned previously how this process has changed my life and indeed, gave it back to me. This is my story of what it was like for me being overweight and what I found along the way.

Before I started to lose weight, I never realized (or perhaps forgot) just how full of zest life can be. I was resigned to feeling tired, unwell, and overweight. A "good" night at home was spent in front of the TV with comfort food, snacks, and treats.

I rarely took care of myself. I emerged only occasionally to grudgingly buy new clothes. Underpants were ragged. I hadn't bought a bra in years because every time I went bra shopping, I'd leave in tears.

I was bitterly ashamed of myself and constantly felt I was a big disappointment to my loving husband. I didn't want to go to parties and have people realize that he had such an overweight wife. Always in my mind was the thought that my husband deserved the best and I just wasn't it.

Up until I joined Weight Watchers, I had been overweight for 10 years. I tried dieting a few times and failed. I walked slowly, I didn't dance, didn't jump, didn't do anything risky. I stopped really looking at myself in the mirror. I guess this was so I wouldn't see that I was gaining more and more weight.

And yet through all these years, I thought I was "okay." That things were supposed to be like that and that was my lot in life. I also convinced myself somehow that I didn't look all that bad. I avoided the camera and even when it caught me, I still would look at the pictures and try and convince myself that it was still okay, that's just how I was meant to look.

I've mentioned before that I never had a lightbulb moment when I knew it was time to start losing weight for real. Even with 10 years of subtle hints under my belt, I began Weight Watchers not with any sort of expectation that it would drastically change my life. I'd lose weight, fit in nicer clothes and that was the end of the story.

After I achieved my 10% goal, I had an inkling that it wasn't about that at all. It was about saving my life inside and out. As each new accomplishment was achieved and as each hurdle was cleared, I gained confidence in myself. Each pound lost revealed something new that was to be cherished. All the conceptions I had about myself as an overweight person were discarded along the way. I could do much more than I ever thought I could.

In the process, I learned that life was worth living again. And not just simply living. Rather, taking it out for a joy ride all hours of the night.

Here, now I can look back on all that I earned and learned. Every little step, every tiny step I made was a victory and flew in the face of everything I thought about myself.

I am not tired anymore. I have a spring in my step. I am a source of pride again. I have been described as a "battery" and told to "stop making it look so easy" when we go hiking. I can assertively order my salad with dressing on the side. I can buy bras without crying. I can walk a half marathon. I can run a 10k. I can kick butt at Bootcamp and take the ultra-advanced-crazy-person spinning class. I can climb a tree. I can go curling. I can laugh freely and make jokes. I can say no to cake. I can eat veggies and fruits and like it. I can achieve long and short-term goals. I can look in the mirror and be proud of my body, stretch marks, cellulite, scars and all. I can forgive myself. I can love myself. And most of all, I can do anything I set my mind to.

That is what it means to have taken back my life. And not only took it back, but made it better. A shiny new life was inside all along. I just had to go looking for it.