Friday, March 25, 2011

The Diet In My Head

The diet in my head is the one that I contemplate while I'm overeating and feeling really bad about myself. The diet in my head is very effective. You lose weight rapidly, especially when you have a special occasion or outfit to fit into. The diet in my head is so easy. I've spent years convinced that the diet in my head was the answer to all of my weighty woes. The only problem I've found with the diet in my head is that it is ONLY in my head!

I am now in week three of my "Real Life Diet". I have been following my food plan, dramatically changing my eating habits, recording my meals and fighting the good weight loss fight. Frustratingly, the real life diet is not quiet as miraculous as the diet-in-my-head.  I've lost those same 10 pounds that come off so easily at the beginning of all of my diets.  You know, those same 10 pounds that come back equally as easy!  Now I'm in the walking-in-faith-because-I-truely-believe-I-can-lose-weight phase.  This is the challenging phase!  In the past, overwhelmed and discouraged by the enormity of the weight that I had to lose and the slow rate of weight loss, I would give up and go back to my old eating habits.  But, this time, I'm finding new motivations. I am motivated each day by how great it feels to feel good. I am in control of my eating. I am not feeling stuffed and guilty and lethargic from overeating. My clothes don't feel like a too tight second skin that I'm trying to shed by unbuttoning or unzipping. I am feeling really good. I keep reminding myself that the scale is not the only measurement of success. I am experiencing other positive changes. I'm not saying this weight loss journey is easy. I'm taking it one meal, one craving, one day at a time. But, I am out of my head and back into real life. And it feels great!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears…Oh My!

When I first started this post a couple of days ago, I intended to tell of my exciting and exhausting days as stage mother of two girls performing in a local production of The Wizard of Oz. Well, things have changed and I should change the blog post title to Lions and Tigers and Bears…AND ME!!! I am so exhausted! And I am very cranky! I have been going non-stop for days; leaving the house for dress rehearsals at 4:45pm and returning home at 11:00pm; getting up again at 5:45am and starting my daycare/homeschooling mommy/wife/mother duties and then leaving for rehearsal again at 4:45. Today is Thursday, the one rehearsal free day and evening before the play opens, and I've had a day filled with a visit to the radiologist for me, RSP, speech and an eye and hearing exam for Chloe and St Patrick's Day festivities for my daycare kids. I am pooped!!!

So, how does all of this complaining relate to weight loss and lifestyle change? Well, throughout this very difficult week I have stayed on my diet. It has taken planning and early dinners and going to bed pretty hungry rather than eat too late, but I feel very proud of myself. In the past I would have used this as an excuse to buy a little fast food, or maybe some licorice to chew on during those long evenings, but I didn't. I keep reminding myself that this is how I fall off the wagon every time. I justify why I should be able to eat something that is not very healthy. I tell myself that I'm in a situation that makes it impossible to stay on diet. I start with one thing and then, like falling dominos, I am sliding off the wagon and under the wheel! I want to lose weight; I want to feel differently about my body; I want to feel better about myself; I want all of this more than I want licorice or fast food. I have to remind myself of these goals daily. Sometimes I have to remind myself every hour or many times in an hour. I want different results than I've had in the past and I know that requires different behaviors.

This week has been difficult and wonderful all at the same time. I feel tired physically, but very strong emotionally…and in control!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How’s That Workin’ for Ya?

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…    Albert Einstein

My approach to losing weight for the last 15 years has been insane! I've done the same thing over and over and have gotten the exact same result: I've gained more weight! I keep hearing Dr. Phil in my head, "How's that workin' for ya"! Well, it hasn't.

This time I'm determined to do things differently. The first change that I'm making is to my thinking. I have come to terms with a few facts:
  1. This is not a diet; it is a new and healthy way of eating and living.
  2. This is not about bad food, it's about good choices. I will not think of this as deprivation.
  3. I MUST exercise…for the rest of my life! It doesn't have to be in a gym or on the treadmill, but I need to move and challenge my body in order to maintain my strength and fitness into my later years. I have learned the hard way, if you don't move it you will definitely lose it (and I'm not talking weight!).
  4. This weight loss journey is a marathon, not a sprint. I can't expect results overnight. It takes time to lose the weight, but it also takes time to learn new behaviors and redefine my relationship with food. I am in this for the rest of my life.
  5. I will have to take time to feel my emotions and not try and stuff them down with food. And I will have to find new, healthier ways of dealing with stress, boredom, anger, and sadness or any feeling or emotion that has, up until now, been managed with food.
  6. You can have fun without food! So many social situations involve food, and it's truly enjoyable, but I'm going to work on enjoying the people and occasion instead of the onion dip and chips!
I'm thinking of the next year as a time of transformation and education. In the past it has been all about doing it fast, and you see how that's been workin for me! I feel empowered by my decision to do this slowly and for the last time. I will take the time I need to re-educate myself and make the lifestyle and emotional changes necessary for weight loss and weight maintenance. It is time to stop the insanity and start living a healthy life.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 4 – Reality Sets In

It's the morning of day 4 and the reality of this long journey is setting in. So far I feel a little hungry, a little cranky and a lot nervous about really being able to achieve the weight loss that I need…100 pounds. I am eating well. I eat between 1400 – 1500 calories per day. In the past I've kept the calories at 1200 – 1300 and that was just too low for this early in the diet. I didn't feel well when I was eating so few calories. I'm eating about every three hours and have not really felt deprived. Unfortunately, like all the other times, I have not done one bit of exercise. I know that exercise is such an important part of my quest for health, but I hate it so much!!! Yes, I said it, this fitness trainer's wife HATES exercise!!! I could try to make excuses about why it's hard to fit exercise into my busy day, but I won't even go there. I must eat right and exercise: Fewer calories, more movement. It's simple math. The reality is that I can lose the weight, all of the weight, if I eat less and move more.

 The other part of my reality check is the fact that food is far more than nourishment to me. It is comfort, fun, entertainment and, most of all, sedation. Yes, I said sedation. It's my drug of choice. I use food to celebrate, but to also numb and stuff down my feelings and emotions. Yesterday I had a difficult day and without food to take the edge off of the anger, frustration and stress, I actually had to feel it! This will be my challenge, finding ways to handle emotions without using food. This is hurdle that usually trips me up.

So, let day four begin! I am up for the challenge and ready to succeed!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Could it take a village to lose weight?

…well, maybe not a village, but a social network? I've decided to take a leap of faith and announce my intent to finally lose weight, get fit and take charge of my physical health! Boy, talk about the ultimate accountability! I'm hoping that stating my intentions on my blog, and sharing the blog on my Facebook page, will give me the extra motivation I need to finally be successful at weight loss and exercise. I'm also thinking that the fear of public humiliation and failure may be just the thing that I need to keep me on track…FINALLY!!!

My plan is to share my journey and motivate myself, and hopefully others, along the way.  So, here I go. I'm ready to push that "publish" button and make my most private struggle not so private!