Saturday, December 27, 2014


I get a little frustrated by the people on MFP who complain that they have no support.

NEWSFLASH! You are an adult. Take responsibility for yourself. Your weight loss (or weight gain!) is not dependent on anyone else. Period. No exceptions.

Let me introduce you to myself for a moment. I'm single (no husband, no boyfriend). Childless. I live alone… Kind of. I rent the upstairs of my sisters house. We share a kitchen and a laundry room, but that's it. We don't share food or meals. And yes… I pay rent every month. I work full time to be able to support myself. Both my parents are dead. My friends are mostly (like a vast majority) married with children. And most of them (all but one) live more than an hour away from me. My friends are either healthy weight (and have been their entire life) or are overweight but are doing nothing about it. My siblings (I have 4) are all technically overweight or obese… some by greater degrees than others. And 3 out 5 of us (including myself) have been our entire life. The other two have been their entire adult life. Two of them have successfully lost some weight. But both of them follow diet plans that are unsustainable for me. The other two say they need to lose weight, but then don't do anything about it. Needless to say no one in my family eats the same way I do. I have two co-workers that I work with on a regular basis and have for several years... They are both overweight (probably technically considered obese). They both have tried diet after diet including Atkins, HCG, Weight Watchers, etc). They have both lost weight and put it back on. Again and again. Neither one of them believe that calorie deficit is what will help you lose weight. Both have argued with me time and time again on that point. Lately they've stopped arguing as they can see it's worked for me… but they still won't listen. So, I've stopped talking. When I go the gym, I go alone. When I go for walks… I have one sister who will join me. But she lives 5 hours away… so it's only those few times a year that we are together for family events that I have a walking buddy.

So, let me tell you what support looks like for me… the trainer (and maybe two other staff) at the gym will tell me I look good and the trainer will occasionally inquire about how much weight I've lost. A couple of the regulars at the gym will also tell me I'm looking good. When I send "brag" texts to my sisters I will get a "you're awesome. Good job."And when I do see them, they will tell me I look good. The sister I live upstairs from is obviously the one I talk to about this stuff the most. She regularly tells me I'm looking good and makes random occasional jokes about how she's gonna have to start being nicer to me because now I'm getting strong enough I can pound her in the ground if I want. She does not join me on my walks. And has stated on one more than one occasion that she hates gyms. She also talks about those who go to the gym with a vague air of condescension… and has stated that basically they are selfish, vain people who don't think of anybody but themselves. And while she agrees with the idea of CICO… and believes that I'm going about this the right way, she thinks I carry things a bit too far by weighing and measuring my food. In case you haven't figured it out… she is one of my two siblings that says she needs to lose weight, but doesn't do anything about it. But for Christmas… at my request, she did buy me a HRM and a sport arm band to hold my phone, and gave me a few gift cards for places I could buy clothes… since I'm shrinking out of them rather quickly. That's what support looks like for me.

I will never complain about about not having support. In my mind, I have an amazing supportive family. And I have amazing supportive friends. But none of them follow the same eating plan I do. None of them workout with me. None of the will push or even encourage me to workout. If I decided not to go one day… nobody would say a thing. Wouldn't even ask why. If I sleep late, nobody is gonna come push my butt out of bed. If I decided to pound down a dozen donuts… nobody would say anything. If I go overboard on a meal… they don't even notice (because most likely, I'm eating the same amount they are). And every last one of them will suggest high calorie restaurants (is there another kind?!) when we go out. And they certainly don't hesitate in offering me high cal food/drinks.

Just because it doesn't look like you want it to… or think it should… or come from the people you think it should... It doesn't mean you have no support. And I'm sure there are people out there who really have no support. Maybe their family makes fun of them for being heavy and refuses to recognizes their efforts at trying to change. Maybe they don't think they need to lose weight and wonder why they are even bothering. Maybe some of them actually do try to sabotage you. But I would daresay that most people do have support… even if it doesn't look the way they think it should. And for those that don't… I'm sorry. That sucks. But suck it up. It is not a valid excuse. You are an adult. And nobody owes you anything. Nobody has to understand what you are "going through." Nobody has to follow your same eating plan. Nobody has to workout with you. This is your life. Your journey. It's okay if they don't understand it… it's not for them. It's okay if they don't workout with you or follow your same eating plan… maybe they have different goals or priorities.

Friday, December 26, 2014

8 Months Progress… Merry Christmas to ME!

About 4 months ago, I took a picture of myself and put it alongside my "before" picture as a way of seeing how far I had come. It was the picture that made me cry… because it was the first time I had truly been able to see a change. I can't remember who said it… but someone told me then to just wait until it had been 8 months and see how it compared. For whatever reason that stuck in my mind and I wanted to do another picture at 8 months and put it side by side with the other two. Tonight I finally took that 8 month picture and put it side by side with the other two.

I think I see a difference. You know… just a little one! :-)

I think I'll take another one in another 4 months. I kinda like seeing the progression at these even intervals. For the record… tomorrow is weigh in day… but as of right now… there is a 114 pound difference between the picture on the left and the one on the right.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Excuses, Excuses

My friend posted this on Facebook as a funny…. halfway jokingly suggesting to her husband that he post this in his office (he works as a Family Nurse Practitioner). The reason why I say halfway joking… is I know this is a sentiment that she feels pretty strongly about. Her father (and by extension, her mother and the rest of her family) is suffering from complications due to diabetes. She has taken responsibility for her own health, eating properly, making sure she stays a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise as she is determined that she not have to deal with the same things later in her life.

It is also a sentiment I share. I have zero patience with excuses. ZERO! They frustrate me to no end! When people suggest that the reason they are overweight is due to genetics… I want to scream! That is nothing more than an excuse. It may be real. Their entire family may be overweight. They may have been raised eating unhealthy food. But when it comes down to brass tacks… the choice is still theirs. Nobody is shoveling food down your throat and forcing you to swallow. I also believe that there is an amazing liberating freedom that comes from accepting responsibility for your own actions. If obesity really did depend on genetics… then people like me are sore outta luck! But by recognizing that my own choices got me here… that also means that my own choices can get me out of here. If it wasn't my fault that I became obese… how can I hope to change it?

However… let me say this… while I have zero patience with excuses… I have a lot of patience (and respect) for honesty. Rather than making excuses (like your whole family is overweight), just be honest and say that losing weight is not something that is that important to you right now. And that's okay! It is your body and your choice on how to treat it. There will always be consequences for your choices… both positive and negative… but if you are willing to accept those consequences, the choice is absolutely yours to make. And I recognize that just because it's not important to you now… doesn't mean it won't become important to you. So I can be patient with that. There truly is a time and a season for everything… and just because this is my time and season… doesn't mean it's yours. I'm okay with that. Just be honest about it rather than making excuses for it.

Okay. Now I'm done with my little soapbox on excuses. Onto happier things…

I have had a 30 day plank challenge pinned on one of my boards on Pinterest for ages. It's always been something I've wanted to do. But the last time I tried a plank…I couldn't even get up into one…. much less hold it! So, I've been working on core strength doing other exercises. But earlier tonight, I decided it was time to try again. So got down on the floor and tried to push myself up into a plank. And I made it! I wasn't able to hold it for long… but I got up there. Later on that evening… after my workout… I checked out my plank challenge. Day one required holding it for 20 seconds. I decided to set my stopwatch on my phone and see how long I could force myself to hold a plank. I was really hoping I could make 20 seconds. And I made it for 20 seconds! It was rough. Darn near killed me. My body started to shake at about 18 seconds. But held on for 20 seconds.

And I'm pretty d@mn proud of that! For some reason I had in my mind the idea that planks belonged to the ranks of the elite in physical fitness. I think that's one reason why I wanted to be able to do it so badly. I also knew that planks were great for strengthening your core. And someday when I lose all this belly fat… I want to have abs under there! So being able to do a plank means a lot to me. I know I'm not in the ranks of the elite… but the fact that I can do a plank shows me what I'm capable of becoming. And that means a lot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Musings About Lifestyle Changes

We throw around the term "lifestyle change" quite easily and casually in the weight loss community. "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change!" Basically what we are trying to say is that we intend to keep the weight off that we have lost.

But have we really changed our life if we are constantly fighting the urge to overeat? If we have to log every bite religiously for the rest of our life? If we always have to avoid certain foods because we know one bite will throw us into a binge?

Do you think that it's possible to get to the point where you intuitively know what foods will fill you up and help you feel your best without constantly stressing about your macro levels? Where you intuitively know how many calories you can eat without weighing and measuring and logging every bite of food? Where you go out for a run because that's what you do? Because it's so much a part of your routine that it would be like going without brushing your teeth for a day if you skipped it. Or even better… because you want to? Because activities like that are your hobby, your "down time." Instead of veg-ing in front of the TV, you go for a long walk? Because you prefer that as your way to relax and unwind at the end of the day/week? Where maintaining your new weight will be just as easy for you as gaining it used to be? Because it's just what you do. It's who you are. Its how you eat.

I happen to believe that's possible. I think we can be "normal." I don't think it's easy. And I especially don't think it's easy for people like me who have been significantly overweight for a very long time. And I don't think it'll come without a long period of logging religiously… even once we reach the maintenance phase. But I believe that can come. After all… isn't that what a "lifestyle change" is all about?

I'm not saying we will never overeat… I think that the vast majority of American's do overeat occasionally. But I'm saying that it's an occasional thing… not something that we struggle with constantly. I'm not saying we'll never gain an ounce. I think the vast majority of Americans do have those gains. I'm not saying we'll never eat sweets again. I'm saying we can eat them in moderation without it sending us into a binge. I'm talking about being normal. Where, when we gain those 5-10 pounds, we instinctively make up for it, by eating a little less for awhile or upping our intensity or our time on our runs. I'm not talking yo-yo dieting… I'm talking about being like those people who can pretty much just eat what they want without worrying about the calories/macros/nutrients and yet they somehow manage to keep themselves healthy. My theory is there is nothing special about them. The difference between them and me is that they have made it their life and I'm still "dieting."

Am I crazy? Is a true lifestyle change too much to aim for? Too much to hope for? Too much to expect?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Good Motivation

Hot Guy at the gym strikes again! :-)

Several months ago, I posted about a super built guy who came up to me at the gym and gave me props for the motivation. Well, in the several months since that time, he's kinda kept his eye on me. Just so much that he will say hi and ask how I'm doing when he sees me (or wave, if we're too far away to talk). That's about it. Not a big deal. But his interest and his kindness has changed him from merely being the "super built guy" to now being the "hot guy." And I'm sorry… but still after all these months… neither one of us knows the other's name! I'll have to work on changing that. He needs to have a name. We're becoming closer to friends…. so it somehow seems disrespectful to only refer to him as Hot Guy.

But last night, when he came up to me, he was with his buddy. And his buddy has been with him every time I've seen him at the gym, but I've never talked to him. But anyway, Hot Guy asks me how much I've lost "because you've just been killin' it in here." I told him 104. The buddy looks shocked… "104 pounds?" But goes on to tell me good job. Hot Guy simply gives me a hug. Which was worth a 1000 words.

But I must say, I was feeling pretty motivated after that. :-)