Friday, December 17, 2004

The tale of the tape

I've only lost 5 pounds over the last 4 weeks. The last few weigh ins have been consistent 1 pound losses and I've been cursing every last nut and bolt that makes up that blasted thing they call a scale. I was getting less and less motivated do to the realization that this journey truly WAS going to take forever at that rate. I was beginning to think that I might make goal just in time to go teets up and never be able to enjoy it. All week I'd been partaking in the holiday goodies that are around every last corner of my office and was taken to lunch at the Olive Garden yesterday where I spent a lot of quality time with some bread sticks. After lunch the devil himself came to my office and he carried in his hand an obscenely huge 4 pound box of See's Candy. Needless to say, I was expecting bad things when I got on the scale this morning.

I took my sweet time going about the weigh in this morning because I didn't have to be to work until later. I finally worked up the nerve and climbed aboard. I closed my eyes and did my usual bout of praying. I opened one eye and peaked down at the number. My eyes bulged. Tis the season for miracles my friends...another pound down and this time I was thanking God as I stepped off that scale because at this point...a pound I would take.

While taking my shower I realized that it was measuring day. I try to take my measurements every 4 weeks to keep track of the progress. Between October 22nd and November 19th I had lost 6 1/2 inches in various places. When I measured today it was 7 3/4 more...that's 14 1/4 people. What really floored me is the fact that over the last 4 weeks I've really only lost about 5 pounds and I still managed to lose that many inches. 2.5 off my chest and 2.5 off my waist. An inch here and another there. This is crazy. I was losing so much motivation by the lack of results the scale was showing and in one day a $.99 measuring tape throws me spiraling back into the zone.

That measuring tape showed me that I have GOT to stop only focusing on the number on the scale. That measuring tape showed me that 26 pounds IS a huge accomplishment. That measuring tape showed me that there's no way I'm just losing water weight...I'm losing honest to God FAT now. I filled up a back pack with miscellaneous things until it weighed 26 pounds and then I walked around the house with it. You don't realize just how much it is until you do something like that and I carried that extra weight around every single day just 3 months ago. No wonder my knees are giving out.

I have come so far. Yes, it is just a drop in the bucket compared to how far I have to go but when I started this blog I had 200 pounds to lose and now I only have 174 to lose. 174 seems a lot more doable than 200 and do it I will. It's ok that I won't be making my 10% weight loss by Christmas because I did make 25 pounds by Christmas. I'll just set another goal and work on reaching it. Months from now I'll be remembering when I reached that 10% goal and I'll be heading on to 50 and 75. One day Operation Drop 200 will be behind me and Mission Maintenance is all I'll have to worry about. I will do this, even if it takes years, because no one's going to do it for me and going teets up isn't anything I want to happen anytime soon.

Friday, December 10, 2004

What a wondrous thing

the human body is. I've been trying to pay special attention to the changes in my body as I lose the weight and even though I've only lost 25 pounds I've still noticed quite a few changes. I've learned that these things are called NSV's...non-scale victories. Who would have thought there was a term.

I have these pants, 3 pairs of them actually, and they zip on the side. I've never been able to zip them while they're pulled up, still can't. I can't reach around my belly plus I'm left handed and it all just goes terribly wrong. But I bought them anyway figuring, like most women, I will devise a plan of attack and they WILL work (don't even pretend that you've never laid on a bed to get pants zipped up people). So, every time I wear these pants, which is often, I zip them BEFORE I pull them up. Now, 25 pounds ago that was quite a chore. My hips and my tummy played tug-o-war every single time causing me to wiggle ever so gracefully into them. Well, wiggle no more my friends. I can just pull em up with very little effort.

I have a fairly new car. This new car has a gas door opener that I've never been able to reach without taking my seatbelt off, or the trunk for that matter. When I started losing this weight I told my sister "Some day, oh yes, some day...I will reach that gas door opener." Ya'll that day was last Friday. I decided to give it a go and praise be to Jesus I reached it. I instantly called my sister and whispered into my phone so as not to let the guy pumping my gas hear and we had mini fiesta right there at gas pump 4. After Christmas shopping with her she asked me to pop my trunk and I reached for my seatbelt (as was custom). I stopped and said, "Shall we go 2 for 2?" I pulled the lever, opened the trunk and screamed "Woo ha, I can reach that too biaaaatch." It's the little things.

Then there are the moments of desperation where 25 pounds down could not have come in any more handy. Just today I raced into the bathroom and could NOT for the life of me get the zipper on my JEANS down. In a moment of desperation I just grabbed the waistband, EASILY pulled my buttoned AND zipped jeans down, and then back up just as easily. JEANS people, JEANS!! It was that moment that I became extremely thankful that I've been losing weight.

There are weird things you notice about your body too. I try to assess the losses by looking in a full length mirror every so often (this is not for the faint of heart, trust me) and to my wonder and amazement, just because something has gotten smaller on the right side of your body, doesn't mean the left side is taggin along. I have a small roll on my back where your bra hits (hard to find amongst the other rolls so I'm trying to draw you a map as we speak) I looked at my right profile in the mirror one day and rejoiced when I noticed that the roll was gone. I turned to assess the left side and it was there. Right side, gone. Left side, there. Right side???? Left side??? What the???? I'm lopsided!!! It's a cruel cruel world.

Non-scale victories are crucial...especially when you haven't been having many victories ON the scale. I weighed myself this morning and I had only lost 1 pound, as did I last week. I reached my 25 pound milestone and here I am beating myself up because it looks like I probably won't reach my goal of losing 10% by Christmas. I do realize that I'm losing the weight at a healthy rate but it doesn't seem to matter. I do realize that I have lost TWENTY FIVE pounds and I should be so proud of myself but, curses, all I see is the fact that I'm not accomplishing what I had set out to do by Christmas. Do I keep my eye on the prize and just try really REALLY hard the next two weeks? Possibly, but I know that losing 10.5 pounds in two weeks isn't very realistic so why set myself up for another failure. I just need to find my focus again. I need to remember how I felt and looked 3 months ago and 25 pounds ago. I need to remember that as little as 3 weeks ago I couldn't pop the door to my gas tank without taking my seatbelt off. I need to remember that I can do this...because I am fierce.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

TV time out!

Can we just assess what we've been watching people? And I don't mean just "watching" but we are sucked into these things as if it were some sort of violent freeway accident. You don't want to watch but you just can't help yourself. Like lemmings to a cliff, that of the overweight tune in weekly to get a glimpse of what the other side might be like. I'm right there with you, I must confess, and as if I weren't disgusted with myself enough for simply that I've figured out their ulterior motive I'm just plain livid with myself.

You've got The Swan on Monday, The Biggest Loser on Tuesday, and don't correct me if I'm have Extreme Makeover on Thursday. Now, in a nutshell, they've gone from simply feeding you images of size 0, annorexic, waifs making you think this is what a REAL woman should look like to what I'd say is much worse. Between these three shows you are pretty much forced into believing one or all of the following:

1.) The only way to lose weight is to starve yourself and workout until you puke at which time you will be cast out because you haven't lost ENOUGH!

2.) The only way to find self-worth and confidence is to have your nose broken just to straighten it, the fat sucked from your body with a straw attached to a high power vacuum, severe ta-ta realignment defying all the laws of gravity, and then have some of the aforementioned fat "redistributed" to your lips.

3.) The only way to feel truly beautiful is to not look in a mirror for 3 months and then, in front of millions, reveal the new you at which time you exclaim "I look nothing like me. I'm beautiful." (and then they tell you that you just don't qualify for the pageant because you aren't quite pretty ENOUGH).

HELLO??? Am I the only one that finds this fundamentally WRONG? Please tell me this is not really the only way. If so, what the hell am I working so hard for? Now, I feel I need to make one thing clear. If at any time after my weight loss journey Extreme Makeover should come calling on ME, I will be in that overwhelmingly unattractive paper robe in a hot second BUT hell if it's going to determine THIS girl's self-worth. The hard work I put into losing the weight IN A HEALTHY MANOR will determine just how strong I really am. Going to the gym almost every day will help find MY inner self. There is no secret pill or voodoo spell. It's hard work and determination (more than most people have) and it's quite simply...ME! No one but me can make the necessary decisions I need to make to lose the weight. No one is force feeding me Ben & Jerry's...though that doesn't sound half bad in a sick sort of way. If I get upset and eat myself straight into a coma...yep, still all me. SLIPPING off program is far from FALLING off program. Every time I slip I'm ok as long as I get right back on program as soon as possible. I am not a failure if I eat badly one day or even one week. I am a failure if I GIVE UP and THIS girl ain't givin' up.

I am now down 24 pounds. I've said goodbye to the 350's, the 340's and almost the 330's in about 2 1/2 months. I have conquered one major holiday and I am on to the next. I have lost a combined 7 inches in various places on my body and NONE of it was sucked out by a high powered vacuum. Maybe I was wrong when I said that one day I would be fierce...maybe I already am!