BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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What a Check Up

It’s been a long time since I actually looked forward to going to the doctor to discuss my lab work, but today that changed. You see I’ve been working on improving my nutrition and increasing my activity level, and it’s paying off.

The whole reason I started this blog way back when was to hold myself accountable for improving my health, but it didn’t really pan out that way. Over the years I’ve had ups and downs, and ups again when it came to the numbers on my bathroom scale. I’ve always known that I need to lose weight, mostly for my health, but also for my looks and my state of mind. I don’t want to be lugging around a body that struggles to do the simplest tasks. I want good health, energy, and a cute wardrobe that I feel good wearing. I’m on my way to achieving all three of those goals.

You see, a few months back I started noticing a few new issues with my body, issues that concerned me. I started to imagine a quick decline leading to all sorts of unpleasant consequences, and for what? Pizza? Chocolate? Cheeseburgers?

I know, I’ve been down this health kick path before, but for some reason I’ve been able to keep on keeping on for almost six months, with the most noticeable result that I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds. Yes, I’ve lost weight before, and it felt good, but it didn’t last. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

In the back of my mind I’m a little nervous that soon I’ll hit a point where the subconscious voice in my head says, “Ok hotshot, you’ve gone far enough, now it’s time to stop this nonsense and scarf down some donuts with a milkshake chaser.” Do I want that? No. But I am a little worried that old patterns will manage to reestablish themselves. HOWEVER… I have some tools this time around that I didn’t have previously.

First, I have the extreme motivation of being truly concerned for my own well-being. Hip pain, nerve damage, pain in my feet, and an increased risk of developing any number of illnesses is a pretty strong driving force. The little phrase, “Is it worth it?” has been doing an excellent job of helping me keep any cravings I might have in check.

Speaking of cravings, I haven’t really had too much of an issue with them. I’m eating wholesome food, and I’m rarely hungry. When I do crave something, I can usually find a snack that doesn’t damage my efforts. Applesauce, carrots with hummus, and grapes are a few favorites. I also enjoy a cup of coffee with flavored creamer. Yes, it’s a little splurge, but I’m striving for improvement and balance, not instant results and perfection. Learning what works for me and how to fuel my body without depriving myself has been a game changer.

In the past I’ve done Weight Watchers (a few times) and Jenny Craig. I’ve tried the Pritikin Plan and given the South Beach Diet a go. I even briefly attempted to “eat right for my blood type.” The issues I had with all of these approaches are A) I never really completely bought into any of them (they all seem too lockstep and sort of cult-like to me), and B) I was always thinking about food. Seriously. Always. What could I eat? When could I eat? How much could I eat? It was constant, and the more time I spent thinking about food, the more I wanted to chuck whatever plan I was attempting and just EAT, which made losing weight an extremely frustrating exercise in self deprivation and self pity (poor me, I’ve been working so hard so I deserve this ice cream), leading to self sabotage.

For the first time I can remember, I’m enjoying eating healthy foods, and I’m not constantly thinking about my next meal. I eat real food, but I track it all. I don’t count calories, but my little app does, and it provides me with a visual snapshot of where I am with my daily intake. Again, I don’t obsess over it. I do get on the scale every morning, which is new for me. I’m okay with it wiggling up and down a little, because I can see that the overall trend is downward, even if there are a few days when my weight increases. Of course the graph tracking my daily weigh-ins is motivating too.

Besides losing weight some of my non-scale victories include:

  • smaller (and cuter) clothes
  • no extender on the airplane (seriously, this is a huge victory)
  • excellent lab results and a happy doctor (whom I really like and respect)
  • increased energy
  • a mom who is delighted that I’m taking control of my health
  • a son who has also decided to make healthier food and movement choices
  • a more positive outlook on my health and future

I can’t guarantee this change is permanent, but I hope it is. I know several people who have made significant improvements to their health that have stuck, and many of them have been my age or older. I know it can be done, and I’m confident that I can get through the upcoming eating season without too much damage. Every day is a new opportunity to begin again, so slip ups aren’t forever. I’m just going to keep at it one day at a time.


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I’m Worried About This Weather

Don’t get me wrong… it’s gorgeous. It’s finally starting to get a bit cooler in my area (no more heat advisories at school, so kids can have outdoor recess at last). I’m happy about not feeling like my skin is frying and my lungs are shriveling up after a few minutes outside. A whole new section of my wardrobe is becoming accessible with the cooler weather, and I can wear my favorite NFL team’s shirt (which happens to be long sleeved) without completely roasting. These are all excellent developments. So what’s the issue? The pool.

You see, everyday for the past four months I have put on my swimsuit and gotten in the pool to exercise. Okay, not everyday. I missed ONE day when I was out of town and the weather was bad, but every OTHER day I’ve done it. Not only that, but I’ve really enjoyed it. AND, as an added bonus, my current lab work showed that it has made a positive impact on my health (as well as helping me painlessly shed a few pounds). My doctor’s parting words were something to the effect of, “Keep it up!” Gulp.

I want to keep it up. I really do. I actually enjoy this time to myself in my backyard. I look forward to it each day. But over the past few days I’ve notice the water getting increasingly cooler. My pool doesn’t have a heater. What was really enjoyable is becoming more difficult to do. Pretty soon that water is going to be too cold to enter. Then what?

Join a gym? No thank you. Walking around in a bathing suit in my own backyard is no problem, but in a public place? Nope. And sharing the pool with people who no doubt are there to actually swim can be problematic. I know. I used to be a lifeguard (you know, wearing a bathing suit in a public place).

Head up to mom’s condo? Their pool is heated, or at least it’s supposed to be. And in the 40 plus years that I’ve been visiting that place (including the two brief times when I lived there) the pool has been vastly underutilized. Really, it’s not the worst idea, but the distance, traffic, and horrible neighbor who has nothing better to do than harass people make this option less than ideal.

Use my friend’s community pool? It’s pretty close, and she says it’s heated, but I would have to get her scanning device to get in each time (I guess they’re pretty high tech over there) and the thought of driving home in a wet bathing suit is really unappealing. Brrrrr.

Get a wet suit? Don’t laugh. I’ve researched this option, and I know that they do make them for virtually every size and shape of body, but it’s a pretty big investment for something that I don’t really want to deal with. And apparently if you don’t get the right size it really doesn’t keep you warm. It’s supposed to be very snug when you first put it on. I imagine it’s like trying to squeeze a sausage into its casing. And do they dry in a day? I’m not sure. And where exactly do you keep it? I’m still on the fence with this one.

So there you have it. My dilemma. I know. I should just do a different kind of exercise. Of course. But this is the first time in my life (EVER) that I’ve found an exercise routine that I enjoy and that I’ve been able to stick with. So wish me luck, and a few more days of warm weather.


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Six Years of Blogging

WordPress is kind enough to keep track of these blogging milestones for me, and I appreciate it.

Six years ago I started this little blog with the idea of losing weight and getting healthy. Sadly that particular goal has continued to elude me. I have, though, written a whole lot since I started this thing.

I’ve been to writing conferences and blogging conferences. I’ve participated in two incredible writing marathons. I’ve become an active participant in a writing group. I’ve had work published online and in print. I’ve even “won” NaNoWriMo.

I’m pretty sure most of that would not have happened if I hadn’t decided to play around with this blogging thing. I’m glad I did. The people who have visited the site and left their thoughts and experiences have been so supportive. The kindness of the internet and family has been surprisingly powerful. I’m grateful to have a platform for my musings, and I appreciate everyone takes the time to read my words.

Thank you for six years of allowing me to express myself in this way.