Sunday, July 18, 2010


I've recently tweaked my "about me" section from "maintaining my weight loss" to "struggling to maintain my weight loss". Yes, I'm having a rough time of it. Three years out from my big loss of over 40 pounds and it's creeping back on, and I am having a difficult time trying to get back in control. It's so frustrating because I can see it happening; I'm not sticking my head in the sand about it like when I gained all the weight in the first place. It's so gradual, too. Just a half a pound here or there that won't come off, then every now and then I might gain a couple of pounds all at once, but then I can't get those pounds back off like I was able to do during my first couple of maintenance years. It's very distressing.

I'm still maintaining my healthy habits for the most part. I weigh myself every morning and I walk almost daily. OK, maybe I'm slipping with the walks a little. Instead of every day, I walk at least 5 days each week, once around the block, which takes about 28 minutes. (That's just under a mile and a half.) I was gardening a few times a week but I got really busy and the weather got really hot so I've also slacked off on that. Plus the busy thing interfered with biking, which I LOVE to do, but I haven't had a chance to go out in the longest time. I really want to get back to that; if The Eldest doesn't take up the rest of my summer with college tours and travel, I'm hoping to go biking a lot. I miss it; I feel like a kid again when I'm riding my bike.

I can make some changes to hopefully improve the situation as far as exercise goes. I have to start strength training, first of all. I'm pushing 47 so I know I'm losing muscle mass, which will cause weight gain with no change in caloric intake. I've known I need to strength train all along but I just haven't done it. I know what to do; way back when I was younger I spent time working with personal trainers at a gym. I took a college PE course that taught weight lifting. I have some weights. I have only to actually DO it. I can get back into intervals when I'm on my walk by adding in a few jogging bursts here and there, which I used to do but haven't in some time. I can also add in yoga for balance and flexibility, which won't help with controlling my weight but will help with aging more gracefully. I can get back into the garden on a regular basis and hop on my bike more often.

Secondly I have to be honest with myself and admit that I've slipped with my eating. I blamed it on going vegetarian for a while, and that was an adjustment, but I've also been slipping back into some bad habits that have nothing to do with going veg. I'm a "picker"; I tend to do the just a bite thing, until the bites have added up to... a lot of extra calories. I have an especially hard time late in the day. The fibro wipes me out by the end of the day which makes dinner prep hard, so I wind up putting it off until later than I should, and by then I'm STARVING, so I pick as I cook. I've also slacked off on the weighing and measuring. I was really good about it until recently. I still use small plates, which is a very good habit to maintain, but I'll just dip out the carbs without using a measuring cup. Then I justify getting "seconds" by telling myself "oh, I didn't dip a full serving". Ha. It's back to the measuring cups for me from now on.

I've also been off milk lately so I don't have a "go to" afternoon snack, which is another area where I've been slipping. I used to have a bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch with skim milk EVERY DAY around 5:00, which worked for me, but now the milk is bothering me. It's not the vegetarian thing; I'm not vegan so I am not averse to dairy. It's the lactose, and I hate the lactose free milk, nut milks, and soy milks so cereal is out. I'm trying to figure out a new "go to" snack. Sometimes I'll have fruit; I LOVE it but it's hard to keep good fruit around the house. (It goes bad or the kids eat it or there isn't any good fruit at the store. I'm picky about my fruit too; no tasteless, mealy red delicious apples for me.) Plus there's not a lot of protein in fruit so it doesn't satisfy the way the cereal and milk did, so fruit alone isn't my ideal snack. I tried air popped pop corn, but that just isn't very satisfying either. I'll figure something out eventually, maybe some combination of fruit and something else, but I haven't hit it yet. It's important to get my afternoon snack right, though; it helps with those evening munchies. If I don't have a good snack I'm more likely to over eat later.

I have to add a bit about my weight issues, why I want to be at a certain number on the scale, especially when I so resent the pressure our society puts on us all to be thin. The expectations are ridiculous! I want to live in a society that celebrates many different definitions of beauty. There are some heavy women out there who are healthy and amazing and beautiful, but far too few of them. Queen Latifah and Nigella Lawson are two that come to mind. Sara Ramirez from Grey's Anatomy. America Ferrera is another gorgeous girl who isn't exactly a size 0. I want to live in a world where these women are considered just as lovely as Kate Moss, or whomever the bean pole model of the week is. Where the tabloids don't jump on every woman with a modicum of fame if she gains a few pounds. Where diversity in size, shape, color, and ethnicity are all celebrated. That's what I am hoping for, what I want for the world I am bringing my daughters into.

But having said that, I also want to be healthy. I don't want to obsess about my weight and set a bad example for my girls, but I have to be healthy for them, too. I wasn't healthy when I was heavy. My triglycerides were way too high, first of all, and I carry my weight around my abdomen (yes, I am the dreaded apple shape) which puts me at higher risk for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. I was hot all the time, which isn't very pleasant, either. I feel better and more confident at a lower weight. Yes, I will admit that part of it is tied into how I look. I gain weight in my face and chin and I don't like how that looks, plus I can't find clothes when I'm heavier. Even the clothes in the larger size shops don't fit me properly. Those clothes are made for pear shapes. Clothes for pears look like tents on apples. DH says he'll love me no matter what size I'm at, he's awesome like that, so this is all about me and what I want for myself. I want to be healthy and feel healthy; I want to be confident in my looks and have clothes that fit properly. I'm not aiming for a size 2, the despicable Anna Wintour would still consider me fat at my goal weight, but I definitely want to be smaller than I am now.

I get scared, too, that if I let go and start gaining that I won't stop. I worry I could get to be really obese if I'm not careful, and that would mean an early death for me; diabetes, heart attack, all those weight related health problems. I have too much to live for! I have to re-commit and get back down to where I really want to be. For me, that's about 10 pounds less than where I am now, but that 10 pounds means so much more than just 10 pounds.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I made a good start today; I walked with two jogging intervals and then biked with the kids. Hummus with carrot sticks instead of pita chips for my afternoon snack. Now the challenge is to keep going and do it again tomorrow!!