Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Opposite

Today I have been considering what it will take to be successful this time. This isn't my first weight loss rodeo and what is going to make it different. To make my results different -- I have to act,think and behave differently.

This makes me think of "The Opposite" Seinfeld episode where George does the opposite of his natural inclination. George tells Jerry at the cafe that "if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite must be right" I can apply this to my weight loss decisions.

Before - no carb was my decision - didn't work - so go with carbs this time.
Before - no sugar at all - didn't work - so include sugar periodically this time.
Before - no wine with dinner - didn't work - so have a glass of wine (4 oz not 8) 2 or 3 times per week.

I have used this practice several times this week with good results. One was when a friend of mine who went to dinner at an exclusive restaurant with her husband while I watched her 3 kids, thanked me by bringing me a piece of their carrot cake in a take out box. Now none of my family likes carrot cake and no this isn't "friend sabatoge" as I am not announcing I am on a diet to anyone - this is my new lifestyle and not anything for me to broadcast - I am just going to behave differently.

What did my instinct tell me to do with the cake - it told me to throw it out immediately. However I also knew that my instinct to throw it away would be followed by me not being able to stop thinking about the carrot cake and then possibly retrieving it from the trash to eat it later in secret or compensate by eating a lot of other stuff because I couldn't have the carrot cake.

Now this cake was premium not processed Little Debbies and I knew it would be delicious. I also knew it was a huge portion and if I ate it all, I would feel physically sick and would consume probably around 1,000 calories. I slept on the decision and thought about what the opposite of my instinct would be.

The next day I decided to cut off 1/4 of the cake, sit down and slowly enjoy it and threw the rest away. I also decided to count the calories as before those would have been "ignored calories" the ones I pretend I didn't eat since they were not approved.

All in all it was a succesful interaction with a forbidden food. I enjoyed it, counted it, savored it, and did not feel guilt at all. I will continue to apply "The Opposite Theory" when faced with future food showdowns!

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Goals

I have often pondered becoming a fitness instructor at our local YMCA. For a few years I trained at 5 am with one of the personal trainers. It was her workout time and I was lucky enough to tag along and she introduced me to weight training. Not nautilus or circuit training but squats, leg press, bench press - I had muscle definition. Still weighed 175 but with muscle!

She used to ask me to take on a class called Women on Weights or Stability Ball Training. I never could see in myself what she could see. I have a tendency to do this - doubt myself. I have no rhythm so any sort of dance aerobics is out of the question but I could do lunges, weights or spinning. Get certified she would tell me - I never took the initiative.

Last October I purchased a used spinning bike on Ebay and have used it faithfully since. A long time fan of spinning classes - I am starting to envision myself as a spinning instructor. As part of my journey to lose weight, I need to dream big and pursue those dreams. In my days as a runner, I made my 3rd race ever signed up for a half marathon - and I did it in 2 hours and 9 minutes. Now with a bum knee and my running days behind me, it is time to find a new goal and to pursue it.

Spinning - here I come.

New Years Resolution once again

January 1st I decided that 2009 was going to be the year I make it to my goal weight range of 148-155 pounds. I was starting off at 181. I have made this resolution for many years and not followed through. I started off my resolution with the typical diet plan I have followed many times before. Always a little compulsive in my approach, I start off with a plan that is eerily similar to what I have done in the past. I planned to restrict sugar, processed carbs, cheese, higher fat foods, etc., up my veggie consumption, follow through on intense workouts 6 out of 7 days and weigh in daily to track my progress.

Now I made this resolution for 2009 but really wanted to lose the 25 – 30 pounds in 12 weeks before my Spring Break to Florida. No small feat and it would require my due diligence to get there. I was going to be perfect and eat everything I “should” and nothing I “shouldn’t”. I had a poster board with a calendar to track my workouts, a chart to track my weight and motivational pictures of myself in a bathing suit to keep my motivation up.

You would think after years of trying to micromanage and control every aspect of my eating, I would have figured out this approach just does not work. The saying of, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will get what you have always gotten” or something like that describes what I should have been thinking. As my pattern of past behavior has shown, I was able to apply my strict approach on some days and then not on others, I would take one bite or one taste of anything that was not on my approved list and it would send me spiraling into a junk food binge.

After 6 weeks on my plan, I had managed to lose 7 pounds. A good slow rate of weight loss but not what I was expecting to be bathing suit worthy for Florida. At this moment I took some time and examined my intentions. To start, I am a big fan of the Biggest Loser and love Jillian as a trainer. She is tough and tells people like it is which I really would need in my trainer. Nothing bad about Bob but his approach is not for me. I checked out Jillian’s site and signed up. I was able to get her no nonsense approach, workouts, recipies and meal planning and a much needed reminder that I am making a permanent lifestyle change and not dieting this time. I am not planning to stop this new behavior so I better make it something I can live with.

To that end, her meal plans gave me an idea on how to approach my new nutritional goals. Moderation was key. Adding in foods I enjoyed but were healthier alternatives was an option. WHO KNEW! I decided that the pressure I was feeling to lose so much weight so quickly was affecting my stress level leading me to binge. I decided to take the pressure off, but to remain committed to my purpose and see this thing through. Besides, this process is so much more about the trip not just the destination.

Now 2 weeks later, I found myself down another 3 pounds and am 1/3 the way towards my goal. Through blogging, I hope to make it the rest of the way and find a way to stay there. I want to be one of the minority who successfully solved their weight problem.

First entry

I have decided to create this blog to document my progress one day at a time towards solving my distorted body image and resulting weight problem I have lived with for the past 20 years. I have been on and off diets, on and off "non-diets" and have found that I am still the resulting 20 - 30 pounds overweight regardless.

What I hope to achieve through blogging my progress is a consistency in my efforts and attention to this dilemma in my life. Those of you out there who have weight issues know how quickly you can ignore it, pretend it doesn't exist and then step in front of the mirror and see yourself and get a huge REALITY CHECK.

I have always enjoyed journaling so in many ways, I will consider this my online journal.