Label Maker to the Rescue

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I know I’ve been eating healthy for a while when I am convinced that 1/4 cup of ice cream and a 1/4 cup of cottage cheese with berries and a little Cool Whip tastes as good as a giant hot fudge sundae. Seriously, this happened tonight.

A lot has happened since I last posted, including eating a lot of food from the hospital cafeteria (everyone’s fine, but my hubby is now recovering from an infection) and a weight loss of about 5 pounds in a month. I’m at around 261.

The main changes I’ve made include eating a lot more produce and counting my carbs per meal/snack. We’ve also been meeting with a nutritionist who is spectacular. She even helped me organize my fridge so that it no longer looks like a poorly played game of Tetris.

 

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My newly organized refrigerator…please ignore the book being used to keep it level. ūüôā

She showed me how to make the healthiest options most visible and easy to eat. In the aftermath, I brought out the big guns: my label maker. After a few months of dormancy, this label maker has been put to work: my spice rack, my file folders, and now my refrigerator.

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I’m learning that if I want something to last, all I have to do is put a label on it. I’ll have to check a month down the road to see if the label system sticks (pun intended). The hardest ¬†part will be cutting veggies as soon as I bring them home.

 

Scale Entitlement

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My self-awarded gold star

If I had to give myself a grade for my health-related choices yesterday, it would be about an A-. I moved around a lot because I had some cleaning to do around the house. I stayed away from sugar other than a little flavored creamer in my coffee at church. I had fresh veggies with lunch and controlled my portions. Instead of a sweet treat at night, I had a handful of pistachios. Go me!

Sure, I could have included a workout or avoided an extra couple of bites of lunch, but I felt really good about my day. Because of my nearly stellar performance (please read with a slightly sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek tone), I expected a lower number on the scale this morning.

Instead, a higher number stared back up at me. Wouldn’t it be nice if this never happened? When I have a good day, I feel like I’ve earned weight loss. If I don’t get it, I feel a bit slighted. Why doesn’t the scale acknowledge my hard work?

Unfortunately, my scale does not award gold stars. Sometimes, my efforts lead to a loss, but I’m going to be in trouble if I always look to the scale for my reinforcement. ¬†I have to remind myself that it’s just one way to gauge progress. So, instead of giving the scale all the power, I gave myself a gold star. Take that.

Strides in self care

My scale read 267.8 pounds yesterday. Granted, I went out with a friend the night before, so that added a little weight that will drop off quickly. On the other hand, I’m also facing a reality of having regained almost all of the weight I’ve lost. I started at 275, lost 40 pounds, and then gained over 30. I was convinced this wouldn’t happen this time. I thought I’d figured this thing out, but here I am.

The good news is that me at 267.8 pounds today is much better off than the me of 3 years ago at 275. I am slowly learning to take care of myself and find healthy ways to cope with stress. I’m more active now than I was. I’ve been through much more difficult situations and, by the grace of God, I’m still standing (If you just had singing gorilla pop into your mind, you’re welcome…and now you probably have every song from Moana cycling through…but enough about quality sound tracks from animated films).

Now the struggle is taking care of myself better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually when life is crazy. Some of it comes easy, like getting enough sleep. Some of it, not so much. Taking a shower, eating a vegetable, going for a walk, drinking water, reading my Bible…these are all things I need to be intentional about when I’m out of the usual routine. I need to use coping skills other than food in times like this, and there are plenty to choose from (reading, listening to music, journaling, etc.).

Before I know it, my “usual routine” will no longer exist. We are on the road to being licensed to adopt up to four kids from foster care.¬†Unless something pops up between now and getting a placement that derails the process, I am about to enter a new stage in life. I know I’ll never truly figure this out all the way, but I’m hoping and praying to be in a better place when it happens.

 

 

 

 

Streaks Habit 3 – Feed Your Soul

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March 2017 – 260.6 pounds

It’s time for a regress…ahem…progress picture. If you have lost weight and regained it recently, you’re not alone! I’m at 260.6. That means I’m down a total of 15 pounds total. What a tiny number list compared to my lowest weight just last year (it was 40 pounds lost).

I “knew” when I started all of this in December 2014 that it would be a lasting change. I would “never” go back to my old ways. Well, as odd as it may seem looking at the numbers, I think I was right.

It’s tempting to see all of my efforts in the last 2+ years as pointless. Yes, I’m frustrated about the weight gain. Yes, I thought I’d be nearing the elusive, shiny goal weight. Or, at least leaving the 200’s…I mean, come on. But, I’m coming out the other side of this feeling more at ease about who I am and more likely to take care of myself.

 

 

One of the habits I’ve been tracking on the Streaks app I’ve titled “Feed Your Soul.” There is a profound reason why God compares food with His word and His Son.

No matter how hard I try to be self sufficient, I am an infinitely weak and needy creature. I need food to live (along with things like water, air, Netflix, etc.). There’s no way around it. Not only do I have to depend on God for food, but¬†I desperately need God Himself to sustain my life and my soul. I need to see Him and know Him to keep going in this life and forever.

I didn’t included this in my habit tracking because my life will be perfect if I spend time in the Bible or I will instantly lose 100 pounds if I am in constant prayer. Crazy things will happen no matter what, but when I’m grounded in Jesus and my identity is found in Him, I make better decisions moment by moment.

Even though I’ve regained some weight, I’ve learned some powerful lessons over the past couple of years. I’ve learned that my weight and weight loss are not who I am. I’m not defined by my ¬†interests. I’m (thankfully) not my ability, or lack thereof, to grow tomatoes, make homemade gnocchi, take care of my hair, or¬†swing a kettlebell.

As I press into my struggles to improve my health, I find that my weakness is not necessarily negative. If I’m filling up on Jesus and the word of God, it points to my need for Him. If I can’t do it, He gets¬†all the glory. And, that is the point.

 

Weight! Don’t do it!

1028160536This is the number I saw the morning after we got back from our vacation. I intentionally went against all good logic and advice of waiting until after things return to normal to weigh myself. I wanted to watch the daily ups and downs as my body realized I was no longer going to eat whatever I happened to feel like or be around at the moment (this is also NOT prescriptive, but I have to be honest with you about how my trip went).

Armed with my inflated weight of about 250, I had my annual physical yesterday. Just as a side note, I feel I’ve achieved mature adulthood because I actually have these every year now. I also met one of my goals for 2106 by getting my blood work done. I’ll be interested to see the results.

When it comes to my weight, I feel like I’ve been stuck on the second week of the Biggest Loser. You know what I mean. The one where everyone is excited because they lost 20 pounds the week before and are shocked to see that they only lost 5 (or 1¬†or gained a pound). Then, after a few seasons, we would all roll our eyes and ask if the contestants had ever watched the show.

While my weight is about the same as my last physical, I am happy to report a lower resting pulse of 73. For those playing along at home, that’s average on all the charts I’ve seen. That’s right folks: Average! Seriously, this is a big deal for someone who has a long record of failed fitness tests. Click the chart to go to the website for info for both men and women, but ignore the unsettling article.

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I had a blood pressure of 125/81. This is also an improvement, even if it still is on the pre-hypertension side of things. All in all, it was an encouraging doctor visit. Perhaps, my week 3…I mean, year 3 will come with more wins on the scale.

Scale Avoidance

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“I’m sorry. Do I know you? I’m so bad with names. Scale? Hmmm…I can’t quite recall.”

 

My weight has been creeping up the last couple of months. I only know this because I’ve weighed myself once this month and three times in August. I used to weigh myself often. Not daily, but I kept an eye on what was happening. I’ve also gone through phases of not weighing myself and using other types of measurement. I’ve measured inches, I’ve tracked food, and I’ve tracked my habits. All have been associated with a fairly similar downward trend on the scale.

When there is no measurement of any kind, though, I’m on a slippery slope. If going about my business without a thought worked for me, I would not be writing this blog. I’ve been in denial, and it’s time to pay closer attention to how I’ve been taking care of myself. It might not be pretty at first, but that’s better than throwing away¬†all my progress. I think I need to start posting my weight more. So, I guess I’ll see you all tomorrow.

“It’s nice to meet you, Scale. Let me introduce you to my friends.”

 

Half Size Me

Well, I’ve survived my first full week of the A to Z Challenge. Today, is the letter H, and I had no good ideas for a topic until this morning. It looks like I’ll have another little writing project. The Half Size Me Community (my online weight loss group) asked me if I’d be willing to be a featured member. It took a second email from the community manager for me to say I would, since I was kind of holding out until my next weigh-in. I’m really hoping that I’ll be 40 pounds down by then, and that sounds better to me than “I have no idea how much I’ve lost.” Maybe someone will relate to my non-weighing ways, so why not? If it makes it onto their Facebook page, I’ll share a link. If you’re looking for a weight loss podcast, I highly recommend the Half Size Me Show. I’ve spent a lot of hours listening to that podcast.

Speaking of size, I thought it was time to share the inches I’ve lost since the beginning.

Starting measurements (taken on 2/5/15 at 264 pounds):

  • Waist: 44.5 inches
  • Hips: 55 inches
  • Thighs: 30 inches
  • Calves: 16.5 inches
  • Upper arms: 19 inches
  • Neck:15 inches

Current measurements (taken on 4/8/16 at ??? pounds):

  • Waist: 39¬†inches
  • Hips: 48.5 inches
  • Thighs: 26 inches
  • Calves: 16 inches
  • Upper arms: 17 inches
  • Neck:14 inches

Total lost:¬†24 inches (Woot! I’ve also gone from wearing a size 24 to a size 20.)

No Scale? No Problem.

0301161952.jpgThis is my scale. You may recognize it from the main picture on my blog. We’ve spent a lot of time together. We hang out a few times a week, at least. Sometimes, every day. My scale seems to be pretty important when ¬†it comes to my goals. I want to lose weight (about 65 more pounds, probably). The name of my blog even has “Weight Loss” in it. How do you measure weight loss? You got it: a scale.

Even with all of this considered, I’m planning to back off from weighing myself as much. In fact, I’m cutting back to only 6-week check-ins. There are a few reasons I’m doing this.

  • My main goals involve being healthier, moving easier, and, if I’m being honest, being a bit smaller. While this is related to my weight, the scale isn’t really going to tell me if these things are happening. Instead, I’ll be focusing on whether I’m improving in these areas.

 

  • I tend to get side tracked when the scale doesn’t say what I’d like or when I see other people getting results on the scale by doing things that just wouldn’t work for me.

 

  • For some reason, I am a big fan of novelty. Think giant clothespins, sriracha mango yogurt, or the tiny book charms my husband bought me for Valentine’s Day. Aren’t they amazing?!

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I like trying new things, so I want to see what happens if I try not weighing myself for a while. You never know when the world will suddenly run out of batteries¬†or when you will be stranded¬†on a desert island with no scales in sight. It’s best to be prepared.

 

 

What’s Next

direction-1013995_1280It’s been a while since my last post. so it’s time for an update. I am beginning to emerge from my winter slump. I felt a pull to quit earlier this week and just go back to my old habits.To be honest, I was trying to get by with doing as little as possible on the weight loss front. Expecting results with zero effort is not exactly realistic. I don’t want to go back to how I was, because I was miserable in a lot of ways back at 275 pounds.¬†So, I’m focusing on doing something (anything) to get back to business.

My two goals right now are writing in my journal and hitting¬†my step goal on my Garmin. I’m not the kind of person who stresses if I don’t hit 10,000 steps per day. In fact, I haven’t hit 10,000 steps once since I got the thing. It adjusts the goal based on how many steps I’ve been getting in, and let’s just say we’re below 5,000. I guess moving hasn’t been a top priority for me lately. Yikes.

In the food arena, I’m working on being honest with myself. If I will never eat the carrots and apple that’s been sitting in the fridge at work, maybe I should buy something healthy I will eat. While a treat or two is totally fine, I probably won’t lose weight if I eat the donuts AND the cookies AND the pizza AND…

So, I guess I’ve learned that I’m really good at maintaining my weight at this point. Looking forward, I have some exciting things coming up in March and April. I’ll be co-leading a fitness class, possibly volunteering for the kiddo’s Spring soccer program, and doing the A to Z Challenge¬†(blogging every day in April with themes going through the alphabet starting with A on April 1st). Let me know if you have any ideas for April topics!

5 things that are keeping me from losing weight

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239 pounds – January 2016

I thought it might be time for a new progress picture. The last one I posted was in August. In the five months that have passed since then, I’ve lost about 8 pounds. If you do the math, that’s about 0.4 pounds a week. The downward trend is nothing to sneeze at, but rate could be better.

So, what’s holding me back? Well, as you probably figured out from the title, I have a new list of five things to answer that question.

  1. Intentional maintenance breaks: When the gyms were packed and the stores were all pushing fitness gear during the first week of the year, I was eating at my maintenance calories. I enjoyed the extra food and the lack of pressure.
  2. Getting sloppy:¬†I’ll admit I’ve been cutting corners here and there. A¬†few too many skipped workouts, extra bites of dessert, and a few too many days of sleeping in when I should be getting things done has added up. This is not new to me, so at least I know how to come back from it.
  3. Divided attention:¬†Fitness and weight loss is not my whole life. Along with my every day responsibilities and relationships, I have been working on keeping my house clean and taking better care of myself. It’s a challenge to balance all of these goals, and weight loss has taken a back seat on occasion.
  4. Good food:¬†I like to eat. A lot. Anything, really. I’m not picky. However, there has been an extraordinary amount of very good food in my life recently. I have decided to eat it more often than not. I stand by my choices.
  5. ¬†Excuses:¬†No matter what’s holding me back, I have to admit that most of it has been my moment by moment decisions, for better or worse. I’m not going to beat myself up about it, but it’s time to act like a grown up and take responsibility. It’s time to rein it in.