Friday, April 13, 2012


Time for another installation of Success Along The Weigh Q&A!  Let's get right to it shall we?

Have you noticed any negative changes (physical or mental/emotional--aside from injuries) that disturbed you or made you stop and have a "come to Jesus" style moment with yourself?

I really had to think about this one!  Other than the mental issues leftover from my parents divorce that reared their heads here and here which I believe were my "come to Jesus" moments, I can't think of anything really negative that has come out of this personally but I notice it's more of how people react to me/us now.  When you're someone who has lost a lot of weight and it's becoming evident that you're keeping it off, others who have weight issues tend to avoid the topic of weight at any cost.  I know because I was there in my highest level of denial of how bad we allowed ourselves to get.  At family gatherings, there is this perceived underlying "thing" there.  I feel like people will look at our plates (which honestly doesn't look much different from theirs) and feel like they have to make comments explaining why they're eating X or how much of it.  I don't care.  I'm not the food police.  Who the hell are we to judge, ya know?  I feel like people think we might be judging them even though we purposely go out of our way to not mention exercise and we NEVER say "oh I wish I could have that!" because we plan for it and if we want something bad enough, we have it.  Period.  So I know in the end it's their issue but I know where it comes from.  It comes from seeing someone taking control of their health and knowing they need to as well but for whatever reason they aren't.  That's how we lived the first part of our lives so I get it.  I just wish they didn't feel that way or if they don't feel that way that they didn't give off that vibe.  You know when someone evades or changes the subject if weight loss does come up so I don't think I'm imagining it.  Thankfully one of my family members has taken up exercising and eating right and has given us the credit with helping kick his butt into gear.  I support him all the time and help him however I can.  I can only hope our examples can help others in our family.

What kind of strength and cardio did you do when you were first getting started?

Gosh, I had to go back in my trackers to answer this one!  :-)  The first 100 lbs were lost doing nothing more than 30 minutes of exercise 4 days per week.  I remember struggling to make it to halfway points to hour long exercise dvd's like Gilad (from Bodies in Motion), walking, Walk Away the Pounds and other low impact exercises.  It was very frustrating to go from being able to do 50 minutes of Tae Bo back in the day when I was 300 lbs to breaking down in tears after 7 minutes on a rower we'd spent $1300 on because my butt was so numb at 494 lbs.  But 7 minutes turned into 10 which turned into 20 and then 30.  I would break the workouts down in my head when I'd finally worked up to 30 minutes.  I broke them into thirds knowing the first third was when I had the most energy, the middle third sucked because it was just there in the middle and the final third which meant home stretch.  Some days it was all I could do to get to that 30 minute mark.  Strength training has always been involved in some capacity whether it was part of a DVD or free weights and its one of the most important components of any successful program since muscle burns fat even when you're not working out and makes the "furnace" burn more efficiently.  I started with 8 pounders, moved up to 10 and now 15's and 20's.  When you start to feel comfortable with your routine or like it's not challenging enough, that's when you challenge yourself by slightly increasing weight.  If you're brand new to exercise or a program you should always check with your doctor first.  If you've gone off of your program and are starting back up again, don't try to jump back in where you left off because you'll injure yourself.  You need to build that endurance, stamina and fitness level back up again.  We have to do that even now when we come back from 2-3 week vacations even if we've been very active.  We're nowhere near as aerobically challenged as we are when doing our "formal" exercise.

I wanted to ask you something kind of personal. You never mention your job, so I'm guessing you're a work-at-home person. I plan to retire in the next year or so. I worry some about having too much free time and getting bored and over-eating from that boredom. I know you stay super busy with your home improvement projects, and I also note that those meals you make must take some preparation time. Do you have other suggestions as to ways to spend my time when I have LOTS more of it? Don't get me wrong--I am really looking forward to this phase of my life, but I also know I cannot go out and shop (like I've been doing too much of lately), because the income is going to drop some and I also don't want to be constantly wandering into the kitchen and snacking. I want to get my 20+ years of retirement and if I return to my state of morbid obesity, I will either shorten that time or make it much less active or both. Any ideas for a soon to be stay-at-homer?

Yep!  I'm a work at homer!  I quit my job of 12 years (I knew it was going to be closing within a year but the stress was killing me) with the Mr's permission to tend to my side businesses.  Now, this blog is part of my job and man, if people realized the work that goes into it and maintaining traffic and such, they'd probably choose the 9-5 job!  The Mr and I both worried how I would do staying home all day when I had almost reached my highest weight.  The first 5 months were the worst because our dog was sick and dying so while I cherished those last months with her, they were also incredibly stressful.  I gained 40 lbs during that first year but not for the reasons you might think.  I actually wasn't eating.  I fell into a deep depression when we had to put her to sleep and was on the couch for 23 hours a day.  I didn't sleep in our bed, I wouldn't eat and then when I did on the weekend it was pure crap so I screwed up my metabolism horribly. Once we got on a plan, it really just wasn't an issue.  I think that you'll find as long as you keep yourself busy that the food at home is a non issue.  I never sneak anything or binge eat because I have pre-planned my meals the night before and know my calorie bank allowance and I just don't stray from it.  My time is consumed with this blog, recipes, photography, etc so I'm going from 7:30am to sometimes 10pm with a break for dinner and workout.  You can join or start a group like a card club or something like that.  You can go on to see if there are any groups already in your area that are of interest to you.  Take up a new hobby like painting, gardening, photography, DIY projects around the house you've been "meaning" to get to for years, volunteer at an animal shelter or charity of your choice, learn a new language and plan a trip to a place that speaks that language.  The possibilities are endless.  Retirement is the time to make your dreams come true!  I know you have lost a lot of weight so I don't think you'll have a problem with that.  If you need to, put a "before" picture on the fridge/pantry etc if you think you might get tempted those first few days/weeks until you get into a routine.  I can't count how many people I know that have retired that said they are far more busy now than they ever were when they worked!  I think you'll do fine!

I hope you've liked this installment of SATW Q&A.  If you have any questions for future editions, you can leave one in the comments or contact me at mrs {at} successalongtheweigh {dot} com!

A few side notes:

Welcome to new/newer followers!  However you found me, I'm grateful to have you along for the ride and thank you for the kind emails and comments!

Don't forget today is the last day for The Vegan Table cookbook giveaway so if you haven't already entered and would like to, get your comment in before the deadline.

Have a great weekend all!
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  1. "free weights and its one of the most important components of any successful program since muscle burns fat even when you're not working out and makes the "furnace" burn more efficiently" <----Beginning to really appreciate this fact!

  2. This couldn't have come at a better time. I am also realizing that I need to get that strength training going and your comments have really helped.

    I also get what you are saying about family. Too bad I let it get to me in the past, but that is in the past and I am not going to let them get to me anymore.

    I also appreciate your comments about your day. I am not ready to retire, but I am definitely suffering from empty-nest syndrome and I need to find something other than work to fill up my time. I am going to check out! I never heard of that before. Thanks for the info.

  3. For me - people don't seem to want to avoid the topic of weight loss. That would actually be fantastic. I have far to many people asking far too many questions and making far too many comments. It makes me really self-conscious about what I eat in public and I hate that.

    I do struggle with not grazing when I'm home. I have to make a strong plan for summer break in a few weeks.

  4. Thanks for the Q&A. I love your blog simply because you are so honest... from Up 2 Weigh In "I'm too friggin'pissed off to write anything else" Love it, not that you were up 2-the reaction was one I've had many times- I can relate!
    Have a wonderful day.

  5. I love your advice to the retiree. In all honesty, and this is sad to say, I've never thought of retirement as a time to make your dreams come true! I've always thought of it as exactly what it sounds like: a time to retire from your everyday life to sit around at home and catch up on your stories. Shame on me! I've never considered it's a time to learn a new language or travel to foreign countries, etc. I'm 30+ yrs away from it, but it's good to know I have something to look forward to in the future! What a great outlook you have! Seriously, I just started reading your blog yesterday, and I love you already!

  6. These are great questions...thanks for sharing your thoughtful insights, as always!

  7. LOVED this post, esp. since you answered my question. Great ideas of things to keep me busy in retirement. Just got an e-mail earlier this week from the local school system, saying they have hired me to substitute teach the next school year. That has been a dream of mine since I graduated from college almost 40 years ago. Now that I have a new body and don't have to fear horrible taunting from kids in the classroom due to my obesity, I'm excited to give it a try. And there's hundreds of things I've put off for all these years. I always said I was going to make a quilt when I retire--and I WILL! I also hope I can take the time to cook healthier dishes, using some of the recipes you have so generously shared. THANKS!

  8. "free weights and its one of the most important components of any successful program since muscle burns fat even when you're not working out and makes the "furnace" burn more efficiently"

    That is such an important fact!

    Oh, and I included one of your posts in my Friday Finds! :)

  9. I just found you via Maren's blog! You are so inspiring, I cannot believe how much you've lost! Loved reading your answers. :)


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