The Downside of Slow and Steady

tortoise-644163_1280I have gotten a lot of benefits from taking my time at this weight loss thing. Let’s review.

  1. Lots of yummy food.
  2. A minimally demanding exercise schedule.
  3. Allowing myself time to establish good habits.
  4. Chocolate.
  5. Maintenance periods that help me prepare for sustainable weight loss.
  6. Time to reflect and get to the core of my issues.
  7. Did I mention chocolate?

Lots of good stuff, right? There’s also a big downside for me that popped up this week. Even though I’ve made a lot of progress, I have so far to go.

  1. I can barely squeeze into my men’s extra large t-shirt for volleyball each week.
  2. I had the worst time trying to climb into the third row seating in my friend’s Jeep.
  3. I had to extend the straps of my life jacket for kayaking as far as they could go and even then it was a tight fit.
  4. I tried on a pair of jeans that were a size down from my baggy size 22 that I’ve worn since before I started this whole thing, and I couldn’t even button them.

I’m feeling a bit deflated (in strictly the emotional sense). Usually, I like to be optimistic and put a positive spin on things, but I’m just not feeling it this week. I forgot to weigh myself and my health is dropping too low on my priority list. Maybe a little honesty will help me snap out of my funk.

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Retreat!

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A little temporary tattoo and nail polish action

A little temporary tattoo and nail polish action

This weekend was our annual women’s retreat for my church. I look forward to it for several reasons, including the kayaking on the lake, and always come back refreshed and ready to face whatever life throws at me. Life is crazy (hence the need for retreats). It’s always changing and things will always and without fail get in the way of my typical routines and goals. So, what keeps the whole thing from crashing down around you?

I think part of it for me is that I need to always be working on adjusting things and building new routines, goals, and accountability into my weight loss efforts. I’ve found that all three of these things are vital to my success, and this is probably true of most people. However, I’m coming to realize that there is no one-size-fits all weight loss program that will work for everyone or even work for me at all points in my life.

Of course, there had to be dessert during this retreat. :)

Of course, there had to be dessert during this retreat. 🙂

Let’s take accountability, for example. It’s so helpful to stay in touch with people who have similar weight loss goals, but I know for a fact that not everyone will stick to those goals. So, while I need to have people I can depend on, I can’t assume that it will always be the same people. If someone isn’t ready, I need to seek out someone who is.

I guess my point is don’t give up. If something’s not working, make changes.

The wind made the water a little more rough than usual (aka more fun!).

The wind made the water a little more rough than usual (aka more fun!).

Weigh-in Day! – 9/10/15 (Downs and Ups and Downs)

PlansVsReality

Previous weight: 247.8 (8/13/15)

Current weight: 246.6

Total weight lost: 28.4

When you see these numbers, you might reasonably assume that I have slowly lost a pound over the last month. What really happened? I’ve actually lost a pound, gained four, and lost three…or something like that. All I know is that my weight looked more like a zigzag than a straight line down.

What is really encouraging to me, though, is that my normal today is so different from my normal eight months ago. Routines change, stress goes up and down (let’s be honest, mostly up), and motivation comes and goes. However, my health is closer to the top of my priority list. It might not always be as high as it should be, but it wasn’t even on my radar last December.

Life is crazy, and sometimes it makes me want to dive head first into a vat of chocolate. This morning, though, I was satisfied with my fresh fruit, yogurt, and coffee with some creamer and chocolate syrup. As time goes on, I’m hoping for more days like today and only an occasional vat of chocolate.

My Own Little Food World – Part 4

College basketball road trip

College basketball road trip circa Fall 2003

At Winter Formal during my

At Winter Formal during my “rebellious” early college punk-ish years

So, let’s pick up where we left off, shall we? After taking a year off before college to coach, I headed to my first practice as a college volleyball player. Even though I went to a very small school, I could tell right away that my skills were rusty and my conditioning was behind everyone else’s. When I got to basketball season, my confidence took an even bigger hit. I went from a post player to a guard (bad, bad news for someone with my lackluster ball-handling abilities) and didn’t have as much time to learn the plays due to volleyball commitments.

As I’ve mentioned, sports were my identity. Finding myself at the bottom of the talent pool and struggling to keep up with my tons of activities along with my grades set off a spiral into depression. I eventually quit basketball and started coming back to normal. With my sudden decrease in physical activity, I started to gain weight (the freshman 30 or so).

Some of my friends in the dorm

Some of my friends in the dorm

For the rest of my college years, I cycled between losing and gaining the same 30 pounds or so. At times, I was hyper-focused on losing weight and other times would eat my way through my problems and balloon up. I became particularly skilled at secret eating, as some of my previous roommates might already know (Pamela’s cherry cordials, Savannah’s Pop Tarts, etc.). It would be embarrassing to disclose how many candy bars I purchased from the vending machine during that time period (and how many I consumed in one sitting and where I consumed them).

As a physical education major, I felt like a fraud. How could anyone take me seriously if I graduated and became a fat PE teacher? I wanted to help the kids who weren’t the most athletic come to love being physically active, but I couldn’t even help myself. What I hadn’t learned yet is that my own efforts could never be enough.