Seeking Validation and Instant Gratification

We all like to feel validated, and some of us need it more than others.  I used to be among the neediest people I knew, and as I sat with Jeff and Shannon last night at Starbucks, we reflected on the changes we’ve all gone through over the last year.

Jeff got married, and Shannon met someone worthy of an exclusive relationship with her.  We’ve all taken different steps, but we’ve all grown. My relationships with God and people are significantly different than they were one year ago.

I talk about it a lot here – I know who God is.  I know what He did for me (in sending Jesus to pay the ultimate price for me and save me from myself,) and knowing that gives me peace, hope and validation that never existed before.

I still like attention, but I don’t need it anymore.  Now my biggest struggle comes from my need for instant gratification.  Whether I’m shopping or eating or dating, I find myself looking for the quickest way to achieve all of the fast, happy feelings.

My need for instant gratification has become evident over the last several years, but I never considered the possibility that it was tied to my weight gain.  It makes perfect sense, of course, and now I have to figure out how to replace the desire for immediate gratification with the contentment that I’ve experienced in other areas of my life.

I don’t know how to combat this issue yet, but I do know that there has to be a way.  I know that I should pray about it, but I haven’t yet.  I’ve become so accustomed to feeling like a failure in weight-loss, that it has become an excuse to stay this way.

I want to continue to change even though it doesn’t always feel good, and I want to learn to be content with everything that I’m already lucky enough to have.

Does anyone else struggle with the need for instant gratification?

 

 

Getting Honest About Some Things

Before I begin I have to warn you that this post might be long and scattered because I have a lot to get off my chest today, and I’m not sure where to start.

I could never put into words how much I appreciate the unwavering support that I receive here.  Many of you have been here since the beginning waiting to see me reach my goal, encouraging me to keep trying.  I love you for that, and I hope you never stop.  But right now I need to start digging out of this rut of complacency that I have been in for a lot longer than I want to admit.

Losing 100 pounds is often enough to dramatically alter the lives of those who lose it, but it’s not enough for me. I have experienced so many positive changes, but this is not a post about that.  Right now I need to figure out how to change my mindset, how to make myself move forward again in a strong, steady and powerful way.

I don’t know how to climb out of this proverbial hole that I’ve been living in.  I’ve been living comfortably with the fact that I’ve lost so much weight for so long now that it feels like I need to start over.  My past accomplishments don’t need to be forgotten, but they’re old news…really old news.  And I want to bask in some new accomplishments.

Before I continue, I’m going to ask that everyone refrain from telling me that I’m more than a number on a scale, or that I need to love myself so others will, or that I won’t be happy when I get to my goal if I can’t be happy with myself now.  I’ve heard all of that, and I understand most of it.  But let’s face some facts today.

When I look at my life I see some things that I like and some things I still want to change, but everything is overshadowed by a giant dark cloud that is the number on the scale.

I used to encourage others by saying that you don’t have to reach your goal before you start feeling good about yourself. You just have to start.  And it’s true.  I know it’s true because when I said it, I was feeling it.   Right now, what I accomplished throughout the first part of this journey is simply not enough.  I’m still obese.

I could make a list of reasons I love and respect myself today, and that list has grown more in the last year than it has at any other point in my life.  I know that I’m a good person, and I have been working through emotions that are difficult to face because I’m trying to become a better person.  There’s a lot of work going on inside my head, and that’s important to recognize (even though most of it is far too personal to discuss in such a public forum.)

But the fact remains that when I look at myself, I see the number on the scale.  We can say it doesn’t define me, but the truth is that it is me.  My body grew to its largest size because of what I did to it, and whether I like to admit it or not, my size currently defines who I am above everything else.

Look, I have a host of other imperfections as well, but my size haunts me.  It’s the truth, my truth, and the things that led me to my extreme obesity (and the snowball effect it has had since) are not easy to face.  It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong, but I’ve been wrong a lot.  I made some pretty incredible mistakes.  I mistreated my body and my loved ones, and in many ways I led a life that could never have been happy and free if I didn’t begin to face those issues.

Before I started losing weight I would always say that I was a “good investment.”  I wanted to believe it was true because surely I’d eventually mature into more than I was – a grossly overweight, unhappy, unmotivated, unsuccessful shell of a human-being who didn’t value herself enough to create any positive change in herself.  (Yeah, the truth hurts, and it’s still not easy to admit now.)  But that’s how I viewed myself.

When guilt set in I told myself that I’d do better tomorrow.  I told myself constantly that the future was filled with hope, yet I failed to give myself any reasons to be hopeful.

Fast-forward to the present: I can’t say that I’m as horribly unhappy or unmotivated now as I was prior to 2009.  As I said, I like a lot of things about my life these days, but there are still some major things I need to change.

I need to change my environment.  I prefer living alone and in a city so I am planning a move into a cute little apartment in downtown New Orleans in the Fall.  Living alone will be good for me.  Controlling what is in the pantry and the refrigerator will be good for me.  I know that, but I also realize that everything I eat now is a choice.  It’s my choice, and it’s up to me to make better decisions.  One thing I’ve noticed spending most of my time downtown is that I’m more likely to go out for food.  It will be easier when I have my own little kitchen, but I will still have to make choices.  Living alone won’t solve everything, but it will be a big leap in the right direction.

I also need to claim what I really want.  I mean, I wish I was fit and trim, but we all know that I have to do a lot more than wish to be at goal.  It looks like I’m going to have to fight a hell of a lot harder than I did when I started my journey, and I have to accept that.  End of story.

I need a routine too.  I’m always on the go, and I don’t spend a lot of time in one place.  Just in the last few months I’ve been in Colorado, Virginia, D.C., New York, Houston, etc.  And over the next couple of months I’ll be in New York again, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Dallas (maybe Oklahoma too.)  Traveling a lot means that I have to have a different game plan.  I lost weight when I traveled before so I know it’s possible, but I have to be mindful.

I’m also lacking accountability.  I left Weight Watchers again recently after another bout of frustration with PointsPlus, and now my meeting no longer exists.  Say what you will, but weighing in at meetings every week changed my life.  I need to find a new meeting and make it my highest priority again.

I’ve gotten lazy with my workouts too.  Sure, I do them occasionally, but I love working out.  I crave endorphins nearly everyday so why the hell am I not doing it?  I don’t have a gym membership anymore, but there’s nothing stopping me from joining another one.  I’ll work that out this week, but until then I will do 30-Day Shred at home at least 5 times over the next 7 days.

I could drone on for hours about why it’s hard and how it’s not fair that I have so much further to go than the average person who loses as much as I’ve lost, but lamenting the work I have to do will not bring me closer to my goal.

I still say no to myself a lot more than I say yes, but I’m not doing enough.  I know that, and I take responsibility for that.

The fact is that my actions don’t help or hurt anyone except me.  I’m surrounded by people who love me and want me to be happy and healthy, but I have to get there on my own.  I’m happier than I was at 400+ pounds, but I’m not as happy as I’ll be at 150 pounds.  And it’s not because I don’t think I don’t deserve to be happy now.  It’s because I know that I am capable of so much more.

I’m preparing a life for myself in which obesity will no longer define me.  I’m in school studying Public Relations. (Yep, I declared recently.)  And I’m dreaming of a day when I can claim what I want for myself in my career and in relationships without the worry that my body is keeping me from fulfilling my desires.

This is my reality, friends.  This is my struggle, and no one can fix it except me.  Last week I admitted that I don’t know how, and sadly, I have not found the answer yet.  The truth is I can’t imagine stepping on the scale and seeing 275 or 250, or 199.  (I could see  the first number in the next month or so, but it feels as far as Mars!)

I don’t know how I did what I did the first time.  I don’t know how to wake up every morning with purpose.  I don’t know how to convince myself that today is the day (not tomorrow.)

I feel an utter lack of confidence and an overwhelming amount of insecurity, but I know what I want today.  I know what I want for my future, and I know that it’s mine for the taking.  I also know that I don’t have to get to my goal before I can start feeling on top of the world again.  I know I just have to start moving toward it.

This is my journey, and I’m doing things on my time.  I just need to turn the clock on again, and I need to remind myself that I’m worthy of it if I’m willing to work for it.

 

 

Numbers Mean Something

I know I’m going to get some flack for caring about the numbers on the scale as much as I do right now, but I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m going to say what I feel whether it’s popular or not.  I’m relieved that most of you understand and support me in that because I’m tired of fearing this number.

I have been within a few pounds of this number for what feels like an eternity, and I’m tired of it.  Right now it seems easier to climb Mt. Everest than to reach the 270’s, but I am determined to do it.  This is what I weighed at my last Weight Watchers meeting before I left New York for good, and it has haunted me since I left.

For a long time I let myself believe that I didn’t deserve to lose, and I didn’t.  I have already admitted that I’ve spent far too long just getting by, but I deserve it now because I’m working for it now.  I’m so close too, and I have decided that I will allow myself to succeed.

I forgive myself for the time I’ve wasted and for the mistakes I’ve made, and I am claiming success.  And right now, success feels like letting go of the past and moving into a stronger, healthier future that I am creating for myself.

I’ve taken a lot of steps toward the life I want since January, and shedding weight needs to be among my primary focuses again.

I want to do better, and for the last several days I have been.  I just need to keep it up, and that’s the plan.

Maybe the numbers don’t matter to you; maybe they shouldn’t matter to me, but the fact is they do.  I’m going to crush this goal, and the reward will be believing that I can finish what I started.

Do you have any short-term goals?   If so, what are they?

An Important Letter

Dear Obesity,

I hate you for doing what you did to my body and for making me feel like I didn’t have the power to change it.  I resent you too because I still have so much work to do to repair the damage you’ve done in my life, but you don’t control me anymore.  We are finished.

The habits that I picked up before you entered my world tempted me to believe that food could cure my sadness, cover up my feelings of inadequacy and denial and even enhance happy moments, but the truth is being unhappy with myself is a waste of time.  Food doesn’t make me happy when I’m sad, nor does it make up for the things in my life that I wish I could go back and change.

Even throughout the first part of my weight-loss journey, I struggled to let you go.  I’ve been afraid to shed your layers because they feel as though they are a part of me.  When I think of who I am and what defines me, you are all I see.  I have let you become a fixture in my universe, and when the world looks at me they see you, obesity.  When I look in the mirror, I see you too, and I’m ready to see a different picture.

I like being the girl who has lost 100 pounds, but I’m ready to be the girl who has lost 200 pounds.  That’s a good story, but it’s just a part of my story.  I want to be the woman who grabbed the reigns and took hold of every part of her existence and made it what she wanted it to be.  I want to be the woman who respects herself whether anyone else does or not, and I want to be worthy of that respect.

I want to be worthy of love too, but most of all, I want to be free.  I took some big, personal steps toward that freedom earlier this week, and I forgive myself.  I have begun the process of letting myself heal from that pain and embarrassment that you have caused me.  I am letting go of the past.

When you entered my life you enhanced all of the negative feelings I had about myself and the world.  You came along when I was vulnerable and hurting, promising me moments of happiness, but you robbed me of joy.  I take responsibility for that because I let you do it, but that’s over now.

Now I’m going to wake up everyday with purpose, and I’m finally going to prove to myself  and everyone else that I can finish what I started.  I want to be free, obesity, and you’re not going to stop me any longer.

It’s my responsibility to end the cycle of pain that you have caused me so I’m trying.  I believe I can do it, and I’m going to start acting like it today.  Sure, you have made me more compassionate and driven to help others, but it’s time to help myself now.  I don’t want you in my life anymore.

For years I felt like I deserved you.  When I looked into my own eyes I saw a failure and a quitter who gave up before she ever tried.  I saw someone who deserved to be fat and unhappy.  I wasted so many years of my life that I can’t get back, but I was wrong.  I don’t deserve to be fat and unhappy, and it’s my responsibility to make sure that I’m not.

I’m glad we don’t always get what we deserve because I’m not perfect, but I know I am loved.  I am free, and I am determined.

Farewell, obesity.

Sincerely,

Kenlie

 

 

Reader Question: Where Do I Start?

It’s been a while since I’ve answered a reader question on my blog so today seems like a good day for it.   I’ve received so many messages from people who want to know where to start, and I know that it can be overwhelming so I’m asking for your help in answering their questions.  Take a look at this message from a lovely lady in the area, and tell me what you would suggest to help her get started on her own journey.

Hi Kenlie! I’m local and saw an article about you in the newspaper. Congratulations on your weight loss journey and for taking a stand against discrimination of overweight people. I am 280 lbs and know I need to take control of my weight. How do I even start? Moneywise, it is so much more expensive to eat healthy. I dont have the money to go to a gym. Any suggestions on getting started are greatly appreciated! Good luck on your journey!

-A

********

Hi A,

Thanks for the message. It’s nice to hear from someone local!

It sounds like we weigh almost the same right now, and I have to tell you that I’m not an expert.  With that said, I’m happy to tell you how I got started.

I lived in New York, and my first step was joining a Weight Watchers group.

Weight Watchers taught me what a serving of food should actually look like which was great because I seriously didn’t realize how much I was eating.  Seriously, even if I ate only half of my old favorite dish at Chili’s, Chicken Crispers, potatoes and corn on the cob, I’d still be eating almost an entire day’s worth of calories just in one meal.   And that’s not even including appetizers, drinks or dessert!  I could easily add another 1,000 calories to that just with chips and salsa!

Yeah, I knew I was eating more than the average woman, but Weight Watchers helped me understand just how much I was eating and how to make better choices that were still satisfying.

Add 590 calories for the loaded mashed potatoes and corn on the cob for a total of about 2,250 calories for one meal.

And speaking of empty calories I cut out soda cold turkey in 2009, and it’s by far the best thing I have ever done for my body.  It was really hard, and it sucked for months.  I told myself that I could drink one later if I really wanted to, but eventually it lost its appeal.  I remember a time in my life in which I couldn’t fathom giving up sodas, and now the thought of it is just gross.

But the eating part of healthy living is still much harder for me than the exercise part, but I’m trying to tackle it.  I started counting calories about seven weeks ago, but I still weigh-in at a local WW meeting once a month or so.  The support you receive at meetings is priceless.

And I love the gym now, but I didn’t always feel that way. When I started trying to turn things around I started walking. Seriously, I didn’t walk fast or long, but I did more than I had done previously. And as time passed it took more effort to get my heart pumping which reminded me that I was getting stronger!

In addition to walking I also bought my first Richard Simmons DVD.   I own several now, but Party Off the Pounds is still my favorite. I found my copy at Walgreens, but you can get it online here as well. And to this day it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made in fitness. I didn’t have to worry about looking ridiculous (even though I’m sure I did at first.)  And it will definitely make you sweat!

And speaking of Richard, I was on Dr. Drew's show with him last week. And out of all of the pictures I've taken with him, this is the *only* one in which we're not smiling. Of course, we were discussing a very serious issue.

So in short A, I starting with walking and aerobics worked for me, and now I love to sweat!

In regards to food, try to replace something unhealthy that you’re eating with fresh veggies. I eat a 6 cup salad for lunch most days (romaine lettuce, 1 tbsp of light Caesar and 7g of mini croutons) with chicken or salmon (on the side) or some other form of protein like egg whites.

The most important thing is just starting somewhere right now instead of waiting until tomorrow or Monday or January,  then don’t stop.  Keep trying even when it feels like you’re messing up over and over.  Most people take a few steps forward and a few back.  Don’t get discouraged, and don’t quit.

Again, I’m no expert, but I’m surrounded by them.  In my experiencethe people here know what they’re doing, and they’re always willing to help so let’s ask them.

Thanks again for reaching out, and I hope you’ll do it again soon.

Night!

Kenlie

 

So friends…What advice can you give to someone who wants to change the way they live with food and exercise?  What’s the most important step in getting started?

 

 

A Major Change

After a post I wrote earlier this week, I had to face some real feelings and thoughts, and while it’s not easy to share them, I’m going to.  Here’s where I stand (and where I’ve been standing longer than I care to admit) right now.  I feel stuck.  I weigh 12 pounds less right now than I did at the beginning of the year, but it has been far too long since I made substantial progress.

I’m not discounting the fact that I exercise like a champ on a consistent basis…nor am I belittling the fact that I’ve managed to maintain my 100 pound loss.  These are both incredible things, and I’m damn proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.  That said, I’m not happy with where I am now.  My eating habits need to change, and they need to change now.

As I write this post, I’ve just successfully completed the first day of a personal challenge that I hope will spring board me into weight-loss once again.  I’ve counted calories all day, and I’m ending the day having consumed 1,474 calories (most of which came from fruit, veggies, egg whites and other lean proteins.)   My workout today included 30 minutes on the elliptical (easing back into it after being off for a month) and a strength workout for my arms followed by 5 minutes on the treadmill.

You can't really tell that I was sweating buckets, but I was...And I like it that way.

People say that weight-loss is easy, but those people often miss the point.  I’ve lost 100 pounds.  I know how to eat, but sometimes I find it extraordinarily difficult to convince myself that it’s a good idea.  That’s the hard part, at least for me, so I’ve decided to eat about 1,300 calories on rest days and no more than 1,500 calories on workout days.  I’ll listen to my body and do my best to adjust, but I think this is a healthy and realistic window that will yield good results.

I like the gym, and  I like exercising outside when the weather allows it.  I love to sweat, and I love to feel my heart pumping because it makes me feel strong and capable and athletic.  Now it’s time to reintroduce healthy eating into my everyday life.  And I’ve decided that for the next 30 days (probably longer, but this is my initial commitment) I’m going to track my caloric intake.   I made a difficult and bitter decision to leave Weight Watchers shortly after they unveiled the new PointsPlus plan over a year ago, but I never fully committed to counting calories.  What can I say?  That was then, and this is now.  I’m going to try again.

I realize that counting points and calories both work as long as you do it consistently, but I’ve been fighting with myself over the last few months to figure out how I can make PointsPlus work for me.  I’ve posted several times about modifying the program to work for me by counting fruits, tracking EVERYTHING through the recipe builder, etc.  But the fact is that  a successful day in my WW tracker looks like about 2,400 calories, and that’s far too many.

I’ve wanted to believe that I could make PointsPlus work because I love the support of the meetings, and even more so because I feel so indebted to Weight Watchers for what the helped me achieve in losing the first 100 pounds.  I also adored my first leader in New York, Jen, and my current leader, Penny.  I’m also completely infatuated with David Kirchhoff, the most handsome, friendly and witty CEO of all time.  (Swoon.)   But the fact is that, I’ve complicated the new program so much in my head just to make it work at least a little bit, that the simplicity of calorie counting has been a relief today.  I’m not saying goodbye to Weight Watchers.  I’m just trying something new to see how it compares.

Day one of calorie counting was a success...

I’m tracking my intake through SparkPeople for a couple of reasons…First, because I like the people I know behind SparkPeople.  You all know Coach Nicole now, right?  She doesn’t know I’ve crossed over to the calorie counting side yet, but she will soon.  ;)  And secondly, I love the SparkPeople iPhone app!  It’s fantastic!  In addition to tracking my caloric intake, I can also track my workouts.  I can even get specific with my strength exercises, weights and reps.  I’m in love with this app, and I like that it’s free.

So this is where I am.  I’m starting over again because it seems like the right thing to do.  And I’ve said before that I’ll restart as often as it takes.  It’s better than throwing in the towel or refusing to face the fact that I’ve become complacent with food, right?  Anyway, I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere…But I’d like to see my excess weight flee the scene, and I’m hoping that this big change in my routine will do the trick.

What’s the bigger challenge for you?  Food or exercise?  Do you track your calories everyday?  Do you track you intake at all?

 

 

Inspired

I read a quote that inspired me recently.  Actually, it did more than inspire me….It has impacted my thoughts and actions over the last several weeks, and it has had a powerful affect on my choices.  I’ve already shared it, but I have to share it again.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.”

I’ve been doing things differently around here, and it seems to be working.  I’ve forgiven myself for maintaining my weight last year (as opposed to losing.)  I’m refocused, back in school, and I’m doing what it takes to live a healthy life one day at a time.  And for me, that means making better food choices.

I exercised regularly last year, and while my heart/blood pressure/etc benefited from it, my weight stayed virtually the same (until it spiked a little over the holidays.)  So far this year, my workouts have been solid, but I’ve been much more conscientious of what I’m eating.  While exercise is important, what we eat – how we fuel our bodies, is important too.  My eating habits have not been perfect, but they’ve been better overall.  And I’m still trying to improve.

Yesterday, I completed a short, early morning workout at the gym before the sun came up, and I did a longer workout at home in the afternoon.  I snacked on spinach and kale and ate foods that were high in protein along with fruits and vegetables and copious amounts of water.  I’m even trying to get more uninterrupted sleep!  It’s amazing how alert I feel when I can sleep without distractions for 5 to 6 hours so I’d like to work up to 7 or 8.  We’ll see if that happens…

That’s really all I have to say at the moment.  If my food and exercise choices came together perfectly everyday, I’d have very little to discuss here.  But today, I’ll just be thankful that I’m healthy and strong, and I’ll worry about the rest of the week/month/year as it comes.

How’s your week progressing?  Are you struggling?  Is it a breeze?

Have I Reached My Tipping Point?

I joined Weight Watchers in 2009, and I lost over 100 pounds.  Awesome, right?   (I know.)  I’ve said it over and over, “I’m proud of my accomplishments with weight-loss so far, etc. I know that losing a substantial amount of weight (and keeping it off) is a good thing, a hard thing…I should be proud of myself,” etc.  But I am so utterly tired of repeating myself, and yet, I’ve spent the last several months feeling helpless to change that.

My goal, when I walked into my first WW meeting, was not to lose 100 pounds.  In fact, I didn’t have a goal beyond the next week.  “Just lose something so you’re a little lighter next week, self.”  That was the plan.  It was not about the key chain or the charms or the 5 pound stars.  Instead, my focus was on nothing more than just weighing less next time I stepped on the scale.  I quickly began to love ‘Bravo’ stickers because those seemingly insignificant things like eating 4 bites of ice cream and tossing the rest or saying no to nachos at the movies collectively yielded big results.

I didn’t get specific about processed and unprocessed foods…nor did I waste time feeling guilty when I indulged in my favorite things like pad thai or cake.  That is, after all, the beauty of Weight Watchers.  I simply tracked it – something that I did religiously when I was losing weight like a champ – and moved on.  And that worked.

Looking back at the last year I am forced to face the realization that I weigh almost exactly what I did at this time last year (3 pounds heavier actually, according to my home scale this morning.)   Over the last several months, I’ve fought tooth and nail to hang on to what I’ve already accomplished though I realize that my efforts look futile.

I still have more than 100 pounds to lose, and I’ve been pretty candid about that in posts over the last year.  I’ve also been candid about the ups and downs, but I haven’t lost weight.

In the fall, I rejoined Weight Watchers, and I started to see the numbers coming down again.  I started to find a new groove then I started traveling.  I started missing meetings, taking birth control pills, drinking less water…and I didn’t fully commit to tracking.  Sure, I did it here and there, but I wasn’t consistent and neither was my weight-loss.  I’m back (still have some travels on my agenda, but not like the last 2 months) so I’m going to face the scale Thursday even though I had planned to skip it until the new year. (Not sure what my thinking was there.  Excuses and denial, I guess.)

I stopped taking the birth control pills last week, and I’ve already noticed a significant increase in my energy levels so I’ll speak to the doctor about alternatives sometime later.  Right now, I’m just going to focus on taking off the ridiculous amount of weight I’ve gained since I began taking them.  I can’t blame them entirely for the change in my weight.  For the record,  I ate some fudge over the holidays and during my travels…and cookies and trail mix, etc.  But I certainly didn’t realize that the scale would show a difference of almost 20 pounds since my last weigh-in.  Seriously?  (And I thought I was doing pretty well.)

Whatever the reasons for it, my weight has been going up NOT down, but the same strategy that works for so many of you will work (again) for me.

  • I will track my food intake everyday – consistently and accurately.  
  • I will follow the Good Health Guidelines that WW has set for me (fruits and veggies, water, oils, dairy, activity…)
  • I will focus on today and not on the big picture (which is clearly too overwhelming.) 
  • I will strive to lose 2 pounds between each weigh-in (realizing that it adds up instead of worrying about how slow it all seems.)
  • I will exercise 4 to 5 times per week (even when I don’t feel like it.) 
  • I will not skip meetings because I don’t want to face the scale. (I’ve only done that once ever, but I will NOT do it again…period.)
  • I will not give up. 

It would be easy to look at my post (and my blog) and say to me “Whatever Kenz.  If you were going to do anything, you would have done it already.  You should just throw in the towel.”  And there are folks who do and will, no doubt, say that in the comments after this post though I probably won’t publish them.

But believe me, no one is as hard on me as I am.  It’s beyond frustrating to admit that I’m still obese even though I’ve been at this long enough to have reached my ultimate goal.  It’s embarrassing and humbling to realize  (and publicly admit over and over) that losing weight is harder for me than I ever could have imagined that it would be as I entered 2010.  But it’s much easier to accept the fact that I need to keep trying than to accept the fact that I have failed so I will not quit.

Here I am again, promising myself (and you) that I’m going to keep trying…I’m going to keep telling myself that I am worth the effort (even during times that I don’t believe it.)  And I am going to make weight-loss a priority again (instead of a chore) starting right now.

Attending Weight Watchers meetings alone will not be my salvation because my leader, Penny, cannot do it for me…WW CEO, David, cannot do it for me…My dad cannot do it for me. Those of you reading this cannot to it for me, but if I track and follow the guidelines (minus the free fruits thing which does not exist in Kenlie’s world) I have little doubt that I’ll see last results again.  And that’s what I want.

There’s no shortcut.  There’s no simple solution that will replace my time, my sweat and my efforts.  This is about me and my goals and my willingness to do what’s best for me and what matters most to me.

It’s late December, and I realize that I could wait until January to make some kind of resolution….But this cannot wait.  My health matters today.  My confidence and belief in myself matters today.  I believe I’ve reached my tipping point.  I’m ready to do things differently right now so I’m done writing, and now it’s time t hit the gym.

 

Small Goals That Seem Big

What I’ve been doing isn’t working. I gained 8 pounds while I was away from my Weight Watchers meetings, and while it would be easy to hang my head in shame and waddle away into an abyss of junk food and self-loathing, I’ve decided not to do that.  Big surprise there, huh? ;)

I’ve gotten comments lately (that I haven’t published) suggesting that I give up, admit defeat, have surgery and/or accept that I’ll always be fat.  Those folks have a right to their opinions, but they don’t carry any weight here.

I’ve also gotten comments on Facebook saying to lose the scale, but the fact remains that my biggest focus has been (and needs to be once again) on healthy living with a focus on weight-loss.  And it’s glaringly obvious that I need the scale to help me stay accountable.

Weight-loss is what I want.

Feeling good in my clothes is what I want.

Believing my boyfriend when he tells me I’m pretty is what I want.

Looking in the mirror and realizing that I’m doing what it takes again is what I want.

So I will…..track my food intake (every bite) in my little Weight Watchers tracker. I will exercise at least 5 times (I think I need to do something more intense than shredding if I want to reach this goal so I’ll hit the gym as well) and focus on reaching my immediate goals.

My goal for the next month is to lose 14 pounds.  It’s a lofty goal, and I’ll be proud of myself if I get close to it.  But I cannot see beyond those 14 pounds so I’ll worry about everything else later.  For now, my goal in numbers is 14.  Losing 14 pounds will bring me to my lowest recorded Weight Watchers weight – the point in which I looked like this:

A less bloated version of myself (with Dad) from this time last year...

I don’t know what to do except try again. I’d ask you to wish me luck, but I think it’s strength and willpower and discipline that I need.  And that has to come from inside myself.  But hey, you can wish me luck anyway.

 

Friends Who Understand, A Great Workout and A Plan

Yesterday I did some things that I don’t ususally do – some good things and some things that I wish I didn’t have to admit.  Let’s start with the things that I wish I didn’t have to talk about…my weekly weigh-in.  I skipped it.  Yep, that’s right.  For the first time since joining Weight Watchers in 2009, I skipped a weigh-in because I didn’t want to deal with the numbers on the scale.

As a monthly pass member, Weight Watchers allows me to attend unlimited meetings, and they don’t require a weigh-in to attend.  I just didn’t do it, and this behavior is a slippery slope that I am not willing to slide down so I’m saying it now – I will NOT skip another regularly scheduled meeting because I don’t feel like facing the music.  I just won’t do it so feel free to hold me to it.  Over the last week, my choices became progressively worse until yesterday when I decided that enough was enough.  Now I have to do it again tomorrow.

I also did something that made me feel good about myself.  I took Anne’s advice, and set a challenging fitness goal for myself.  I hit the gym and completed 10 miles on the bike, pedaling as fast as I could.  It takes me 5 1/2 minutes to do a mile which added up to a great cardio workout followed by 100 crunches.  I know I should feel good about being able to do 10 miles on a bike without much effort, and I do.  But I thought I’d feel exhausted, but I didn’t.  I think I’ll have to try 20 miles when I’m back at the gym Monday.  Until then, I plan to do my favorite Richard Simmons workout, “Party Off the Pounds.”

I’m traveling again tomorrow which means that I’ll have the opportunity to prove to myself that I can make healthy choices even when I’m away from home.  I’ll bring a gigantic English cucumber, grapes and bananas.  And this time, Cal is coming with me, and I think we’ll spend some time ruminating over his ideas to change my palate.  I think it’s okay to like sweets, but I don’t think it’s okay to let them consume my mind or control my actions as they sometimes do.

With the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve come up with a plan that will (hopefully) help me stay in control of my cravings and food intake.  Chubby McGee, one of my favorite blog friends (check out her blog here) spurred a thought for me that has turned into action, and it worked well yesterday so I’ll do it again tomorrow.  She said that she loves cupcakes so she allows herself to have one every week.  She budgets for it in her intake, and she walks to the bakery and back to get it.  By the way, I’ve done that before, and I think it’s a brilliant plan.

And her comment made me think about something that I did during my first year of weight-loss.  I ate fruits and veggies and lean proteins along with foods that were high in fiber.  I exercised regularly, and I ate a piece of cake almost every night.  Yep…I did it.  I had a serving of cake (7 points at the time) for dessert almost every evening, and it took a lot of pressure off.  I didn’t worry about skipping ice cream when my friends ate it, and driving past a bakery was no big deal because I told myself I’d enjoy something sweet later.  And it worked.   it allowed me to focus on everything I was trying to accomplish without the fear of eating too much later.

So that’s my new plan, kind of.  I don’t plan to eat cake everyday, but I will allow myself to have something sweet everyday, at least for now.  I have more than enough PointsPlus to eat nutritiously and stay satisfied while enjoying  half of a cupcake or a Kit-Kat.  I have me entire life to reform my nutritional intake and to figure out why I crave sweet treats, but I don’t want to spend my entire life trying to reach my weight-loss goal.  I’d rather do what I can to reach that goal asap and worry about the rest along the way.

So in addition to working out hard, I’m going to eat healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients – and have something sweet everyday.  That’s my plan, and I think it’s going to help me get through the holidays with success just as it did the first year.  Obviously, I’m no pro.  I’m just a girl who’s trying to figure it all out, and I have a feeling that while I might get a little flack for it, this plan is going to get me closer to where I want to be.