Priorities and balance

Deep thoughts from a comment I left on a friend’s Facebook post,  copied & pasted here for posterity.

“As with most things in life, it is about balance. I want to be healthy, but I also have to work, and raise 2 kids, and keep a house, and volunteer, and be a wife, and a friend….. the list goes on. When I lost 90 lbs in a year, it was pretty much my sole focus, and I wasn’t very fun to live with. That kind of intensity isn’t possible for me right now, so it’s a trade off.

Nobody at my funeral is going to talk about whether I weighed 140 lbs or 200 lbs. But they will remember if I was compassionate, and intelligent, and funny, and loyal, and a giver, and someone who lifted others up.”

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Where’s my wagon?

Since returning from our wonderful vacation in Mexico, I have been struggling to get back on the wagon. I was up 5 lbs upon our return, but I figured that a lot of that was Motrin bloat & water weight from flying, and I thought it would fall off.  However, not much of it has shifted, and I have nobody to blame but myself!

First there was the justification of it being my 40th birthday and that I “deserved” to indulge; then a stressful week of household and work issues; a couple of cream teas with friends; dinner out with my husband; and tonight will be my belated birthday party with friends.  My points have been way over my target every day since I got back.

I typically do well for the first half of the day, then it all goes to heck by the evening.  I’m still tracking, and getting a decent number of steps, but the points need to be reined in and I know I should be actually running/sweating for exercise, not just walking.

Time to recommit and set a new goal if I don’t want to undo all my hard work. Here’s to being at or under 205 by July 4th.

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Greetings from Mexico!

We are coming to the end of our wonderful 5-day trip to Cancun to celebrate my 40th birthday a few days early. Staying at a resort with unlimited food and drink, it can be hard to control yourself! But I’ve never had more than one drink a day here, because my tolerance for alcohol is so low.  I’ve definitely eaten more than I would at home, with fewer fruits and veggies and more desserts. But I’ve walked at least 10,000 steps every day as well, so hopefully that has offset some of the food. And maybe I’ve lost some water weight due to sweating so much in the heat!  Unfortunately I have had daily headaches necessitating the consumption of ibuprofen, possibly due to dehydration or the alcohol.

It will be interesting to see what my weight is when I get back. But I will give it a few days of flushing with lots of water before I consider it “hard lard” i.e. weight gain that is sticking around.

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That was the week that wasn’t

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So by the beginning of last weekend, I had hit and maintained under my pre-Mexico goal (209.6, 20 lbs down) for a few days. I was feeling good, strong and in control.

But the past week has felt like a spiraling vortex of bad decisions.  So what happened? I’m not interested in excuses, but I think there is benefit in analyzing it so that I can attempt to minimize certain triggers or situations in the future.

First of all, I somehow ended up with a muscle spasm in my left arm, requiring a trip to urgent care and resulting in high doses of ibuprofen and a prescription for valium to relax it enough that I could sleep.  Meds always make my weight shoot up.

Next, my in-laws were staying with us for 12 days.  I love them dearly, but having anyone in your house for that long is stressful. By Sunday I was sick of cooking every night, and we ordered Chinese takeout. This would not be bad if it was confined to one day, but there was enough food for 3 days of leftovers!  So the excess sodium and lack of veggies dragged into the middle of this week. Note to self: satisfy your future Chinese cravings with a one-shot meal in a restaurant, where you eat it and then you’re done!

The week continued with more than the usual number of special treats.  Chocolate babka at community group, salted caramel cupcakes at a book swap, leftover Easter eggs, and a BBQ dinner out at Fireflys with girlfriends. One indulgence seems to lead to others, which leads to an overall attitude of not caring.

Then my grandpa died.  It’s a blessing really, because he was 88, had Alzheimer’s and lived in a nursing home.  But he was my last remaining grandparent, and he lived 3000 miles away in the UK, and I can’t go to the funeral because we already have immoveable plans for next week. I proceeded to eat my feelings by consuming most of a sleeve of cookies in one sitting, which made me feel 10x worse. When will I lean that this kind of behavior results in nothing except a stomach ache and a large dose of self-loathing?

So here I sit, up ~2lbs (which could be worse, I know) but also knowing that I have to rein things in or I am in danger of undoing all my hard work.

Plan for the day:

  • gym or walk/run outside in this beautiful weather
  • healthy dinner already made (Mexican chicken casserole)
  • pedicure and shopping for some self-care that doesn’t involve food

How will you plan to have a successful weekend?

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Supportive friends

I’ve been a member of an online weight loss support group for almost 15 years.  First it was a message board, then many of us migrated to LiveJournal, and now it’s mainly on Facebook in private groups.

The medium may have changed, but it’s the same people and the same basic premise.  We share recipes and helpful tips, ask for help with tough situations, cheer each other on, post motivational quotes, brag about our accomplishments and celebrate successes. There are many of them I have never met in person, but when you interact with the same people daily for that long, you get to know each other pretty well!

A lot of us met on a message board for people in their 20’s.  Many were unmarried and most of us didn’t have kids at that time.  When we lost weight the first time around, we didn’t have the responsibilities we do now. It was a lot easier when we could put our blinders on and make it our primary focus.

But 15 years on, many of us are now in the position that healthy eating has to be one of our many competing priorities. We were just discussing tonight that it feels much harder now. Still worth it, but it takes more work and juggling.

I am so grateful to this group of friends for being a sounding board, a comfort, an encouragement, a cheering section and my “soft place to fall” for so long. Love you ladies!

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End of the Biggest Loser update

So I weighed in yesterday in the late afternoon to finish out the Biggest Loser contest.  Bear in mind that this weight was measured later in the day and in street clothes on someone else’s scale, hence the discrepancy in the numbers from my own scale.  I was down 13.2 lbs in almost 12 weeks, which equated to a 5.79% loss. Unfortunately that was not enough to put me in the prize range.  However, it did keep me on track for the past 3 months, and for that I am grateful. In total, 13 people weighed in at the end of the contest, and those 13 people lost a total of 155 lbs.  The winner, Amy, lost an incredible 18% of her body weight in 12 weeks!

I indulged a bit in some alcohol and yummy desserts at a trivia night last night.  However, all I have to show for it is a headache this morning!  Back on track today, with a healthy dinner already in the crockpot.

My next goal is to be under 209.6 lbs before we leave for Mexico on April 24th. That would put me at 20lbs lost this year.

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Profile progress

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These are my Facebook profile pictures, taken 3 months and about 17 pounds apart. The double chin is still there, but I think my face looks slightly less rounded. Slow but steady progress.

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