Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Make a new plan, Stan


I saw that little gem on Kelly's blog and I had to share it.  Mostly because it really hit a chord from a talk the Mr and I had the night before.  It's something I need to remember but slowly has also become practically a stand still over the past few years and that's not okay.

We'll call this post the "coming clean" post for those of you wondering why the hell someone who still has about 80-100 lbs to lose has basically stop consistently blogging about weight loss.

Monday night, the Mr and I were both in an emotional funk.  A glance over last years workout calendar showed that we both had basically been bouncing between the same 10 lbs all year.  He ended the year the same weight as he entered it, I ended it 3 lbs higher than I started it.  This has been the trend the past two or three years.  Pretty much since we began adding a fall vacation.  While we feel blessed to be able to take multiple vacations in a year, it doesn't do much for our waistlines ever being able to do more than catch up to the previous pre-vacation weight (if we're lucky) before we go on the next one.

It was so "easy" when I was almost 500 lbs because I could do something as easy as cut my portions by a third and 40 lbs dropped off with no exercise.  I could do relatively light to moderate cardio and have an entire weekend of eating out if I wanted to and lose 2 lbs per week like clockwork.  I ate crap like Lean Pockets and no salt tortilla chips for lunch and somehow thought that was healthy and lost weight on it.  Then when I got under 300 lbs, the weight I pretty much spent a good deal of my life, it was like my body settled there and didn't want to leave that spot.  We ate healthier (whole foods over processed crap), only one day of indulgence, upped the cardio and strength and it was two years of something working for two weeks, not working for three.  Losing three pounds, gaining one, staying the same, gaining two and a month's work would be down the toilet all to end the month the same weight I started it.  Yes, I measured.  No, I lost nothing.  Yes, we had medical tests run.  No, no medical reason for the stand still.  This cycle just bred an indifference in us that still made it so we exercised and ate right 6 days a week but honestly, we had no expectations anymore.  Because every time "on paper" it looked like we should've lost 1-2 pounds, we'd either lose nothing or worse, gain.  Examining every number from calories in to calories out was a part of the routine but also maddening.  I became obsessed only to be disappointed and feel hopeless.  We are not one of those people who are going to jump on a fad diet that has been repackaged for a new generation because we need something that we can do for life.  I refuse to "jump start" only to gain weight back when I go back to whole grains and, gasp, fruit.

There was a time where if you asked me "if you didn't lose another pound, could you be happy at this weight?" we both would've said yes.  That was 20 lbs ago from my lowest ever recorded weight and 30 lbs for the Mr.  I still have stayed on the right side of that 200 lbs lost mark which means a lot to me but I'm tired of looking at pictures taken and not liking what I see again.  I'm tired of clothes I bought for a trip back in 2011 being put in the "too tight" drawer because they now cling instead of have a 'form fitting' appearance.  I'm tired of the pair of jeans I bought three years ago from Old Navy that are the perfect cut, wash and amount of stretch still taunting me with the tags on.  I can zip them but if I sat down the button would probably fly off and kill someone.  I don't care to do time for involuntary manslaughter.

We are both getting depressed over the weight and I'll be honest, 2014 was just a year of indifference from me all the way around.  From my weight to my business to my happiness.  I was blessed enough to be able to have a wonderful getaway to San Francisco and Carmel for a few weeks and then our almost two weeks away to New England in the fall.  We reached milestones we never thought we would in walking the 12 miles in San Fran and it felt like a new world opened up, at least to me.  But again, there was that cycle.  No longer does vacation weight fall off in 2-3 weeks like it did in the past, it can take 2-5 months and then we're off to the next vacation and repeat the cycle and then of course there's the holidays.  You can't make cookies for others without taste testing them first right?  Then you make cookies for yourself for Christmas.  Then that whole week of Christmas is ridiculous with like 4 gatherings for us so we didn't even bother weighing in that Saturday after Christmas.  I just couldn't do it.  Our psyches are vulnerable.  When we came back from Chicago, I didn't want to weigh in either.  I couldn't do it especially knowing I couldn't taste half of it and thinking of all of the weight (half of it water weight, I'm sure) I put on basically for nothing.  When I weighed in a week later, I was only up a pound which I was happy with and am now back to what I was before the trip but still up 20 lbs from my lowest.

I remember a time when I thought how toned my forearms were looking and now all I can see is how hammy they look.  Those compliments that used to flow from people have stopped and then the few times you get them from people you haven't seen in a year or two feel like it was said out of politeness because you KNOW you've gained weight since you saw them last.  Now it feels like any compliment is unwarranted and I hate feeling that way too because it all stems from lack of pride in myself and my lack of progress.

This is really just kind of a coming clean.  We're in the process of trying to decide what direction we want to take.  I have been doing a little experiment since we came back and I'm waiting to see if it either bites me in the ass this week or if the steroids I'm on to get better are going to throw a big fat wrench into things.  I'm going to try to stay positive since there's nothing I can do about the meds right now.  So I'll elaborate more as we muddle through a few more conversations.


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22 comments:

  1. We've never stopped eating right and exercising which is a huge plus for us. But the fact is that we have stopped having the successes we had gotten used to and we really do need to figure out how to get back to that so that we can finally get on the way to our goals again instead of floundering around like we've been for too long now.

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    1. No we didn't and for that I'm grateful because I think our re-gain would've been more than we've already experienced.

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  2. *hugs*
    I know these feels. I can't really offer up anything more.

    I did want to share an article with you, unrelated to this. I just thought you might find it interesting.

    http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/02/inspiration/80-year-old-woman-sets-a-half-marathon-record_35099#W7PGae32QxJUkQtJ.01

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    1. I'll take 'em!

      Thanks for sharing. That's really awesome!

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  3. Also sending hugs. I'd like to say I am where you are, but the truth is that I have gained back much more than you. My only comfort is that I am still on the right side of 400. I'm anxious to hear more about your experiment.

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    1. Thanks so much. It can be so hard especially when you have lost a good amount of weight and you have that last third to go. You either backslide (as most statistics say we will), stay the same or close to that initial loss but then it's so rare to hear of the people who actually get to their "goal weight" and stay there for years. My definition of goal weight has certainly changed and I'll go into that more. A shift in thinking needs to take place on our part for us to get out of this backslide in tact and able to move forward.

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  4. I'm sorry you're feeling so discouraged. The fact that you do eat right and exercise seems to be a double edged sword. It's a comfort that you are making the healthy choices, but at the same time it's discouraging that you're not losing despite that. I look forward to reading your follow-ups.

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    1. Yeah, it doesn't make optimism high on the list when you've been eating right (6 days a week) and exercising regularly. But something has to give and we just have to figure out what.

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  5. Think of it this way, you've learned how to do maintenance really well! Now it's time to kick it in the high gear!

    I did the same thing in 2014, just kind of bounced around. Time to get serious!

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    1. Well with a 50 lb gain between us, it's not really maintaining but yes, it could be worse. ;-)

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  6. At the very least, you and the Mr. have regained your health. You talk about your consistently low blood pressure, and believe me, as you get close to 40, that will be a major problem if you don't keep maintain that work-out regime and keep the weight down. I know you have other health problems, but it appears at the very least the life-shortening symptoms of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. have been alleviated with your 200-lb. loss and daily exercise, and that is a very, very good thing. I don't pretend to have any answers. I know in my original loss, as I got closer to my goal weight, I really had to cut down on my eating and tried to get even more steps in. Since I hit goal, I've gained 32 pounds back, lost it again, and at this point in time, have probably once again gained back 20 of those pounds. Frustrating. Because the closer you are to goal, as you have found, the more difficult it becomes to drop weight. I remember getting to my goal back in 2011, and there were days when I probably consumed less than 600 calories. That isn't good I realize, nor do-able in the long-run, but I wanted to get to goal! I did maintain at my lowest weight of 150 lbs. for over 2 years, before the regain late in 2013. I managed to reverse that gaining trend over the summer last year, before losing my mojo once again at Christmas time. Frustrating. I have discovered I am a binge eater. I always thought I was more of a grazer, just eating small amounts, ALL THE TIME. But more and more I find myself having a snack, then I have another and another and another. It's maddening when I find myself out of control like that, eating when I'm not even hungry. I think your work-outs will be the key to you guys getting back on the losing track. You have never given up in that area and that is keeping you both healthy even though you still have weight to lose. Clothes that are too tight is not fun, I experienced that last year and I'm sure those clothes that fit for a while last Fall will no longer fit again. April 15 is my goal anniversary date, I am determined to be back down to goal by then. Now just tell my body that! And my brain--which is where it all begins!

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    1. Yes, I am very thankful for the low blood pressure especially given my mom has high blood pressure the problems it causes her. You have done a great job in mostly maintaining your loss and keeping it close to true goal weight. That is so awesome. The key is just to find what we know will work for each of us and to get the motivation to make the necessary changes. Keep up the great work!

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  7. Have you tried extending the length and intensity of your workouts? I did that and it helped me to start losing weight again. Have you tried going to a gym and working with a trainer? Maybe you need to work out with other people in a new setting to help change things up. It sounds like you guys need to shake it up since what you're doing now isn't working.

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    1. Length of workouts is something we're going to discuss. Intensity is a tricky thing for me because of my leg muscle issues and one overly ambitious workout can set me back for weeks. A gym and trainer wouldn't work for me. It would be the quickest way for me to not workout because even thinking about it gives me anxiety and I'm not willing to pay to exercise when I have all the equipment to do it at home for free. Normal, non control freaks that don't mind being told what to do? Perfectly normal suggestion? Me? Not so much. LOL

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  8. I know of few people in my world who are as creative as you. As always, my money is on you. You'll find your way out of this and back on the road to achievement. In the meantime, I join the others in sending big hugs and my faith I your more than ample ability to overcome.

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    1. Shirlee baby, one day I'm going to give you a big ol hug! You are always so supportive and sometimes I think you have more faith in me than I have in myself.

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  9. ((Hugs)) I know you will figure this out. You have already been so successful I know you got this too.

    I don't know if you have ever heard of the Half Size Me podcast (halfsizeme.com) but Heather has an enormous wealth of information available there. She lost 170 lbs herself and has kept it off. What I love the most though is she brings in all different kinds of people who have also been successful many different ways. There may just be a gem of info in her podcasts that is just the gem you need. ;)

    Btw...her podcast is how I found your site. She will ask the people she interviews for recommendations of books, blogs etc that have helped them on their journey. And someone mentioned your site. I've been reading your blog ever since! :)

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    1. Thanks. I hope we do. I'm ready to get on with the "final third" that has been taunting me. I hadn't listened to any of the podcasts but that is so sweet to know I was mentioned in one of them and that it brought you here! Will have to check out some of her podcasts!

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    2. You will. If for no other reason than because I said so. If I say something will happen...it happens. lol ;-)

      Time to tell that final third where to take a hike. You got just the personality to tell it where, when and how to get lost.

      You GOT this.

      I found the link of the podcast that brought me here. http://www.halfsizeme.com/100/ Is it serendipitous that you want to lose another 100 lbs and you were mentioned in episode 100?! =^)

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    3. Well if YOU say so then... ;-)

      Aww yes, Ms. Elizabeth. She's a good egg! So sweet of her to mention me!

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    4. Lol...so it's settled. ;-)

      Oh that's great you knew who it was!

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  10. Good for you guys for having a heart-to-heart conversation about what's going on in each of your heads and hearts. There are no easy answers when it comes to this weight loss thing. Food is powerful, cunning, baffling--and something I've noticed for me, it's also patient. I can be rolling along following my food plan and feeling pretty good and then it happens...that little whisper telling to take, "just one bite." As soon as I listen to that voice, all bets are off and I find myself making excuses for eating things I don't need to be eating, or eating way too much in quantity. Logically, I know better. Emotionally? Well, that's another story. The problem with getting the message from my head to my heart is what's in between those two body parts--my mouth! I was literally 4 lbs away from hitting that magical 100 lb weight loss for me...4 stinking lbs. Then I somehow found myself left of center wondering how the hell I gained back my weight! I really do believe that each individual person has to find what works for them. Everyone has different trigger foods, so like you said, the latest fad doesn't cut it, and it wouldn't be permanent. I know which foods are problems for me and what I have to stay away from, while someone else might be able to handle those foods with no issues at all. Therefore our food plans wouldn't work for each other. So no easy cookie cutter (pardon the pun) answers here. It's a long battle, journey, whatever you want to call it. There is victory, it's just a matter of how to get there. I think my compass is pointing in the wrong direction. LOL

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