The Weekly Facts of Loss – 34.6 pounds

Weekly Recap

It has been a productive week; I have found “my” Weight Watchers meeting at 8:45am on Thursdays. Despite not working out much, I lost 1.2 lbs, so I’m happy.  The meeting is very interactive and upbeat. I loved the leader and the atmosphere she created.  After this little triumph of losing a pound, I am re-energized for the process. Still looking for a work out buddy. WW leader thinks I should be able to find one in the Thursday group. I am hopeful.

The Olympics is dominating my schedule. I can’t get enough of it. Instead of motivating me to move myself, I am sedentary watching the play by play and marveling at the accomplishments of the athletes. Normally, my TV is kinda background noise to my activities, but not so with the Games. I am focused watching them to the exclusion of all other activities. I can’t even work on my drawing while the Games are on.  Writing is hard as I can’t think up anything new to say because of the distraction. Good thing this event will be over in a week.

Tip of the Week

Kashi Peanutty Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. 3 points and the chocolate is really rich. They aren’t as sweet as the other bars on the market because they don’t use high fructose corn syrup.  They are more expensive than the more popular brands, but I think they are worth it for occasional treats.

Featured Blog

It Sux To Be Fat I really like this site. She’s on Weight Watchers as well. Well written and interesting.

Plan for the Week

Try to move more. I won’t put down how many days because I just want to move more. When I say 4x or whatever number and I don’t do it, I feel bad, and I don’t feel motivated, just defeated. So for this goal, I will be vague and see if it results in more movement.

Continue eating the way I have been. It’s working. But I do want to watch my portions more. I’m kinda lax about that. If I tighten up, then maybe I’ll get better numbers next week.

 

 

 

Reality TV vs Reality: Who Is The Biggest Loser ?

America is obese, or half the population is and we are collectively looking for inspiration to lose our unwanted pounds and join the ranks of the healthy other half. Many are turning to the reality shows like Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover Weight Edition. These shows take morbidly obese individuals and they transform them over approximately a years’ time. Now we are not talking about a fifty pound weight loss, we’re talking over a hundred pounds.  Many people find the stories inspirational. I’m not one of those people.

Why you ask? I mean losing weight is a good thing, right? Yes and no. Yes losing weight sensibly is a good thing. Healthy living and a healthy weight is certainly worth striving for. But losing large amounts of weight in a very short period of time is not a good thing. It’s been proven that there is a high chance of that weight coming back on plus additional pounds. Slower weight loss generally means long term success at keeping it off.

Having lived through this experience I can say that it is unpleasant, demoralizing and extremely unhealthy. I lost 80 pounds in ten months, the reality shows lose more.  My body and my mind weren’t in sync at all. There hadn’t been enough time to catch up with each other and when I was thin, I still felt fat in my head. I also wasn’t ready for life as a thin person. The world relates to you differently when you are a thin person. I wasn’t able to handle the additional attention. Fat was my comfort zone. I also ate a restrictive diet with no carbs or sugar. Well, when you give in to the cravings for both, you end up acting like a starving person. You eat as though you’ll never eat again at every meal and throughout the day and night. The weight comes back on faster than you can imagine. And then you are miserable again, but comfortable.

It is well documented that the healthiest weight loss amount per week is one to two pounds. Not ten to fifteen or more like on the reality shows. On the shows, contestants are working out four to six hours day and eating very low calorie intakes of food, similar to my experience with the no carbs and no sugar diet. And many of the winning losers are heavy again because they lost weight in an unrealistic environment without the challenges and pitfalls of real life living with a job, family, friends and life.

I recently watched Extreme Makeover Weight loss edition and they featured Ashley, who weighed in at 323 lbs. In one year’s time she lost over 150 pounds. They put her in unrealistic settings and with an unrealistic schedule to accomplish this weight loss. When she was in a real life setting, surrounded by family and food that non-dieters were eating, she only lost a small amount of weight. When they took her out of that environment and put her in a living situation where she focused solely on weight loss, she lost the unrealistic numbers.

I did take away the fact that exercise is vitally important to losing weight, and that I need to do more for my weight loss journey. But having watched both reality shows and researching failure stories I have reached the conclusion that the shows do more harm than good. I know I am losing in a healthy way, but my feelings watching the show were that I was a failure because my numbers weren’t as good as the shows. Ridiculous, and unrealistic, but real for me in that moment. I have to say, you don’t need this negative influence when you are trying to lose.

We are a society where bigger is better and apparently we believe that to be true in our weight loss as well, no matter how unhealthy that belief is. We are striving to be like the unhealthy and unrealistic models we see in magazines, and we need to have the largest numbers in the shortest amount of time when we attempt losing. It’s a sad commentary on our society’s propensity for gimmicks and unrealistic expectations. There was a weight loss show called Ruby on the Style network that ran for four seasons. She was losing weight slowly, and the show depicted her life as realistically as a reality show can. But it was cancelled before she hit her goal weight.

My story will not be on a reality series, nor will yours I’m guessing. But we won’t be setting ourselves up for failure. We will not be fodder for the unrealistic expectations of an obese nation. We will lose slowly, and be the healthy loser, not the biggest or most extreme loser. But I believe we are the ultimate winners.

The Fat Trap and Other Truths and Discoveries

I found this article on Dave Kirchhoff’s blog (ManMeetsScale)  the other day,  The Fat Trap by New York Times writer Tara Parker-Pope . It is a difficult article in that it is so honest and dead on. It speaks of the connection between obesity and genetics. This information was sobering, as I look at my family and the weight between the four of us is impressive. I am reminded of the man talking to his friend about his fiance. He wonders if she’ll always be as beautiful as she is now. His friend says look at her mother, that’s the path she could take. You could be seeing your fiance look like her mother in twenty years.  OK, so I surpassed my mother, but not by much. One size. I’m not really into the studies on obesity simply because the information they contain is too negative for someone in my position to process. My intellect is peaked, my ego, not so much.

The article also speaks of the work that it takes to remain thin once you have been overweight. This brought home the realization I had when I started plateauing. This is a challenge you will have forever. Since I have to think in small increments of time to be successful in this loss, I will push this thought to a closed compartment in my mind. It’s simply too daunting and depressing to think about now. No, now is the time for thinking a day at a time, a week at a time. More is out of the question. A couple of pounds at a time is my speed.

A positive I found in all the negative regarding obesity and loss is a blog by Lynn Haraldson Lynn’s Weigh. She has lost 166 pounds and is keeping it off. She’s been on Oprah, the morning network shows, and in People Magazine. I have found a new hero, just when I was looking for one. I’m sure I will link back to her blog frequently. She also has an impressive blogroll that I want to explore. She is in a club I aspire to be in, and in two years, will be. Her original blog during the weight loss was Lynn’s Weight Loss Journey.

So, the stats for this week are four pounds lost. I’m back to where I was before the plateau and gain. My activity points were fifteen. That’s pretty good for me, but this week I’d like to see better stats. This week, my goals are to lose two pounds and to get to one hour on the eliptical three times, workout four times for the week and reach an activity points goal of twenty points.

Book Review: Weight Loss Boss by Dave Kirchhoff

Written from a man’s perspective, Weight Loss Boss is Dave Kirchhoff’s story of weight loss and maintenance as well as his career with Weight Watchers as their CEO and lifetime member. He describes his struggles with food and exercise and the battle he had losing his weight. I think it interesting that Weight Watchers hired him when he was overweight. I have to admit, I like a man who is in touch with his emotional side and is self- aware. Kirchhoff writes about his reasons for eating as well as telling the story of how he has been a lifetime “sneaker” of food.

Since I am in the battle myself, I thought I could use the encouragement from the book. I have to say, it is encouraging. Once you get past the resume that he expounds upon, the book is informative and easy to follow. He lists nerdy facts and research that you know an organization like Weight Watchers is privy to, (WW doesn’t spout all the technical stuff at you, preferring to keep the approach user friendly and simple)so I may not be one for statistics and research, it was heartening to know that the program is backed by science.

I wanted to experience a man’s perspective on WW, and I think he did a good job representing his gender.  While none of the WW information was news to me, I’ve learned most of it from the online program and by the forums, I still derived information from the book. For me, it’s the exercise that is posing the biggest challenge, and he shows you how much he programs into his busy schedule, something for me to strive towards.

I would say get the book if you are in WW or are interested in WW.  If you are looking for diet tips, not so much as there aren’t a lot of chapters devoted to tips. There are other ways of getting that information. Since men are the minority in WW, it is nice to see a quality publication be available that may bring more men to the fold. His blog http:/ManMeetsScale.com  is great to follow, very informative. It is important to note that the profits of this book are going to charity.

If you read it, come back and give your opinion…I’d love to hear what you think.

 

Mirrors and Plans

I haven’t written much because I’ve been sick and I don’t do sick well. Now, I do go to the doctor and I do take my meds, but I also get very grumpy and down when I’m sick. I don’t adhere to my Weight Watcher Plan like I should either. So the cookies were a bad choice, as was the candy, and the lack of measuring of my Chicken and Rice Stew was not a good choice so I was fully expecting a gain this past week. Lo and behold I lost a pound! Total 37.6 lbs. Confirming again that this is the plan for me. I could be a normal person and still stay on track.

I decided to stop hiding from the mirror and look at myself to see if I could see where the weight was actually coming off since I still can’t get into a size smaller pant. The answer would be my chest and upper body. Today I go for new lingerie. TMI? Maybe, but at least I’m keeping it real. I did put on a new shirt yesterday that is smaller than what I’ve ben wearing, but the size on the shirt is a size bigger than what I’m wearing . This manufacturer doesn’t believe in vanity sizing and has really small models in their studio. People are commenting on the loss now, and while they say they can see it, I have to say I still don’t feel it, except for the new shirt.

This week I’ve planned and programmed into my calendar more exercise than in weeks prior. Let’s see if I carry out the plans. Should be a great week if I do.

“Jennifer Hudson – I Got This” Review

Product Details

Since I’m all about Weight Watchers, I immediately downloaded this book when I heard about it.  It is a memoir (from someone too young to have a memoir really) about her life as she rose to fame, how food played a part in her life, how she viewed her body while making her way in Hollywood  being a plus-sized girl, how she became an inspiration on WW, how she helped turn her extended family around and got them to start losing as well. It’s an inspirational read, giving some insight into a woman who did not have body image problems even though she was plus-sized. She is a positive role model for her fans and for anyone losing weight.

I did find the beginning of the book which chronicled her rise to fame through American Idol and the film Dreamgirls a bit long as I was mostly interested in the weight-loss, but having read it, I see how it built on itself and brought you from the beginning to full circle present as a wife, mother, and spokesperson. I like that she is real, no chefs for her, she is cooking for her family and doing this for the right reasons, to get healthy for her son. She is realistic and she is doing this the right way.

I finished the book quickly, but I felt it was long enough to tell the story well. I like that she did not go into her family tragedy, leaving it a private matter as it should be. Her style is familiar, a person simply relaying the information of her life. You feel like it’s a real person speaking with you. Very effective.

If you struggle with weight, if you want to learn more about the number one weight-loss plan in the country, if you want some inspiration, then this is a book you should read. Worth the money.

.http://www.amazon.com/Got-This-Changed-Weighed-ebook/dp/B005OH9M3K/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1330032045&sr=1-1

Creativity, Midlife and Loving Yourself

Bluebirds 2011

One of my favorite authors is Julia Cameron and she writes extensively about creativity and spirituality. A very compelling writer, she makes you think about what you are doing and how you are part of a creative process both individually and as part of the world at large. Her writing has led to many creative people reaching their dreams and doing what they were meant to do. I tried to do the exercises she prescribed…several times over the years, and while I believed in her writing, I could never actually do what is outlined in the Artists Way. Now, I look back and see that I didn’t allow myself to do it. I never gave myself permission to let the creativity flow… To let the dreams come forth. I never gave myself permission to be an artist or a writer.

 

Mid-life

 

Now  at what is considered to be mid-life and I am looking forward, not back. And I am embracing so many things that I couldn’t when I was younger, for a lot of reasons. And today, I give myself permission to be both artist and writer. I can do both without grandiose arrangements, without degrees and without fanfare. I give myself permission to pursue dreams and I am doing the things I need to do to make those dreams come true. And Cameron is a big part of that. I am  doing the exercises in the Artists Way for my creativity, and I am  doing the same in The Prosperous Heart which is for your financial life.

 

Losing Weight

 

I am finally giving myself permission to lose weight as a part of this process. Tackling the intricate issues that have led to my present size. Becoming the woman I am meant to be in this half of my life. I am doing the things I have thought about doing all my life but have made excuses not to do. Completing baby steps till I get it done. So each day I make the decisions that lead me closer to my goal.  I use my creativity all the time now…seeking out recipes, cooking, approaching the day, setting up this blog. And it all feels right. Synchronicity is what I wanted when I was younger, but wasn’t meant to have until now.

 

Self – Love

 

This process is a way of loving one’s self. To become the person you are meant to be. To live healthfully. To live mind fully. It makes me cringe when I think of how much time has passed with me not loving or taking care of myself. In fact I will go so far as to say I hate myself. I use the present tense because I haven’t overcome this yet. It’s a work in progress. Every step I take is one that leads away from self-loathing and towards a healthy self-esteem. Each day I am closer to my goal in pounds, yes, but I am also closer to embracing myself completely. It is with the help of my support system and the guidance of authors like Cameron that I can accomplish these goals.