Thursday, March 27, 2014

Week 13 Weigh-In: Meh.

214.5 lbs. (not a typo)

Wellllll.  At least I didn't gain, right?  Once again, I need to go Zen on this week's weigh in, knowing that I'm coming off two straight weeks of big losses.  I know I wasn't as active this week, but I was still true to my eating plan.  I'll try and get more water in, just in case my body is trying to tell me something, but truthfully, I don't think it's the water.  Back to the pool for me!

This weeks class was about stuffing our feelings, especially anger.  It was painful revisiting and sharing one of my own experiences, and it was also very validating that most (not all) of us felt inhibited about expressing anger, either from childhood experiences, or from our own feelings of repression.  I can see the correlation between holding in my emotions and turning to food or alcohol to dull them until they pass.  I'm going to have to always have my weight loss and health at the forefront of my mind so that when I have the impulse to eat or drink too much at those moments I need to remind myself of what it took to get to the healthy weight and just want that more.  It's not that easy, I know, but as the Paul Simon song goes, "you have to learn how to fall before you learn to fly."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Being Careful Not to Over Do It

I had a great weekend, but it also taught me an important lesson about my limitations while on a very low calorie diet.  I managed to do quite a lot of garden work as well a fertilizing and watering the roses and fruit trees.  It didn't feel like a lot of work, but my body begged to differ.  Prior to my diet I'd be carrying 50 lb. bags of compost and soil, and yanking up dead plants and weeds for hours. This year, my body wasn't going to have it.

I found myself feeling quite dizzy after an hour or so.  I needed to sit down, drink lots of water, and have some soup (with beneficial sodium).  I did this a couple of times over the weekend, but the dizziness stayed on, and I finally gave up.  I wasn't sweating, but maybe all the bending over caused the dizziness.

This year, I'm going to need some help from my big strapping boys if we're going to have some nice veggies to eat.  The last thing I want is to feel sick or hurt myself in the process.  But heck, there is nothing wrong with everyone pitching in.  That will be the reality this year and it will be a family garden in the truest sense.

Although I focus mostly on the psychological part of my journey in this blog, I thought it might be helpful to those who are just starting out to hear about my experience of over-doing it this weekend.  I'm not alarmed, I'm just being practical.  A body can't be expected to move mountains on 450 calories a day!  When I reach my goal, and start eating food again, I'm sure I'll be good as new, and planting and pruning with even more energy.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Week 12 Weigh-In: Mind and Body


In this week's Optifast meeting we talked about stress, and examining the intersection of what we can and can't control, and how we feel when we either choose to take action or avoid action for each of those cases.  When I think about those scenarios, I can identify two particular approaches to problems that have led to stress and overeating/binge eating in my life.

The first problem I've had is with being too passive/apathetic.  In my 24 year marriage, my husband and I have faced some significant life challenges -- many cross-country moves, job changes, illness and death of parents, financial concerns, house burning down, challenges of raising kids.  I think we have worked excellently together through those bumps, but sometimes I have felt like I compromised with my opinions and choices too easily -- I'm always trying to stay positive in the face of challenges.  Although this is part of a normal, healthy relationship, and is to be expected, my own personal way of coping with my apathy or silence is to eat and stuff those feelings down.  I'm not going to psychoanalyze myself in a blog, but I'm sure there are family and  childhood issues that contribute to this.  But as I have become more aware of doing this, I am going to try and push back a bit more and make my case, and I'm also going to allow myself to acknowledge my sadness, frustration, anger and fear.  Even if we come to the same decision on a matter, or it doesn't go my way, I wonder if by going the extra mile to express my ideas and feelings it will make me feel less stressed and less inclined to use food to numb myself  and my negative feelings.

The second problem/habit I have is procrastination/disorganization.  Maybe this is in the same family as apathy, but the result is that I feel tremendous guilt and anxiety.  I've been working hard on this and making some progress -- I'm taking control of my weight, I'm cleaning pockets of clutter in the house (including the garage last weekend!).  So I'm a work in progress here, but it's something that I'm going to consciously work on.

It feels wonderful to be taking this time in my life to look at my weight problem very holistically - mind and body, and how they affect each other.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Week 11 Weigh-In

219 lbs.

Despite a challenging week, I came away with a good loss, and that's a big relief.  I think I was more active overall, and so I'm going to keep up the light exercise and stay the course with my eating and water intake.

I'm also getting Spring fever like crazy!  The weather has been beautiful, which isn't saying much since I live in San Diego, and I took a quick peek at the Burpee website.  I'm now getting excited about planting my garden in the next couple of weeks.  I do this knowing full well that I may not be able to eat what is grown until well into the summer/early fall.  It's weird, but my family will still eat well as a result.

I'm actually coming to terms with my fluctuating weight loss progress.  I've spent quite some time trying to project when I might reach my goal.  As my weight loss slows or speeds up, I feel my emotions take the roller coaster ride.  I'm finally stepping back and confessing to myself, that I may not reach my goal before my sister's big birthday party in August.  So what?  It might actually be nice to postpone eating during another big family gathering, so that I don't have to be tempted.  I think I'm okay with that prospect.

I'm really focused on actually reaching my goal in what ever amount of time it takes.  While I'm thrilled with the impact from this initial weight loss, I know that I have a long way to go still, and want to make it all the way this time.

I hope everyone is having a nice week and feeling a little Springish as well!  We can do this!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Meeting Travel Challenges Successfully

I just returned from a 4 day trip to Kansas City to attend a family funeral.  I was nervous about the trip and tried my best to pack all the shake powder and soup I would need, as well as a blender bottle and a large empty water bottle.  I didn't know how I was going to get my shakes and waters in, and how I was going to explain myself to people.

The plane trip gave me some exciting NSV's (non-scale victories).  For the first time in many years, and LOTS of travel, I was able to feel comfortable in my airplane seat (achieving another Milestone!)  I didn't need a seat belt extender and actually had a little room between my hips and the arm rests.  This is a really big deal for me because I'm pear-shaped and all of the junk in my trunk was a source of embarrassment whenever I traveled.  On the last leg of the trip, I was packed in with two other travelers, and was saying a silent prayer of thanks that I didn't need to feel like a burden to the person sitting next to me.  My body parts were within my seat area.  What a relief and sense of satisfaction.  It's strange posting a picture, but I couldn't help snapping a discreet photo to mark the milestone.

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The second very nice moment came when three of my siblings saw me for the first time.  They were flabbergasted!  And I have to admit that this was the first time that I could see my own progress - in my face, shape and clothes.  The appearance changes just weren't that noticeable to me before -- I have just enjoyed feeling healthier.  But seeing things through their eyes, I DO look so much leaner and healthier.

Now for the challenges.

The first evening, we were invited to dinner at a cousin's house.  I didn't know her very well, so this felt extremely stressful to me.  But when we arrived, I passed on wine and appetizers, and explained that I was on a medically prescribed diet and wouldn't be eating, just visiting.  She was super gracious and the rest of the evening went very smoothly.

After dinner, we were all sharing pictures of our families on our iphones  - through Apple TV.  They then got to see the heavier me, and I think this helped them to understand why I was on this journey. My discomfort about this part of my travels turned out to be short lived.  I learned that declining food didn't make the evening awkward (past the initial explanation), and everyone was just too busy catching up and getting reacquainted to notice that I wasn't eating.  I had to decline one other dinner when we went to a restaurant, but I ordered a bowl of hot water and made myself some chicken broth.  No problem.

Also for the trip, I packed some workout clothes because our hotel had a small gym.  My sister and I went down one morning, and I did 20 brisk minutes.  Later that day, I learned that another cousin taught a Restorative Yoga class, and she invited a bunch of family members to take the class.  I was worried.  This was my first time trying Yoga.  I can't tell you how special it was.  My cousin is a peaceful, gentle soul, and her calm supportive approach to the class made me feel perfectly capable.  I had been very reluctant to try Yoga due to my size and extreme inflexibility, but this type of Yoga is really wonderful, and I highly recommend it no matter what size you are.  This is the second time the I've tried something new (see Jumping for Valentines) and realized that I never needed to wait to be thinner to try these enjoyable activities.  I could have done them from the start.  So what else am I not doing that I can try right now?  I'll have to think about it.

Although the occasion of my visit was very sad and touching, being forced into this challenging situation taught me that I can get through this phase of my health quest, and that I do have the resolve to make it, and learn from it.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Week 10 Weigh In: Holding Steady

223 lbs.

I have been underground this week handling a few crazy life challenges that have popped up.  My husband has been traveling a lot, and this week's trip coincided with a busy time at my work and some busy events with my kids - requiring me to do some frenetic juggling to meet all of my obligations.  Any working parent out there will be able to relate to these cycles of chaos.  Heck we all have those times in our own ways.  I also received word that my Uncle died, so I'll be flying out to Kansas City this weekend for the funeral.  All day between work, soccer games, and my Optifast meeting I was receiving texts from my siblings, trying to coordinate flights (we all live in the West).  My husband has been a wonderful help with all of this coordination (especially while I was away for 3 hours at my meeting tonight).  So I was thinking tonight that weeks like these would have triggered massive amounts of stress eating if I weren't currently on a strict program.  Thank goodness for that.

Although I found it difficult to fully focus during my meeting tonight, it was a pretty good one and gave me something to think about.  We discussed our public "mask" vs. our private inner-life.  I may project a confident, positive, professional and happy person on the outside, but when I'm in private, I feel the stress of my life, suffer from disorganization, feel rushed and often inadequate.  Feeling stressed and rushed has often been the trigger for my overeating, and I indulge in it while in private or in my home.  So which is the real me?  Maybe both?  I left the meeting feeling like it is possible to let the two sides of my persona interact with one another and maybe strengthen my ability to manage my life and emotions, and make a healthy decision not to eat when I am hyped up on stress.  After all, the one thing I AM able to control is my eating, and I can learn to feel confident in my ability to stave off that impulse.  I can perhaps come home feeling more positive that I can tackle that pile of school papers and find that permission slip that got buried.  Maybe even take a few minutes to think of a better system of organizing those things when they come into the house.

In my outside "got it under control" persona, maybe I can learn to make better choices that will lessen the stress an disorganization that trickles down into my private life.  I'm starting to do that more, I must admit, and have taken more vacation time to do ordinary things and just rest.  But I'm sure there are better logistical decisions I can make that will also help and I'll need to keep working on that.  I need to keep practicing this type of self care.

Maybe some of you in the Kaiser Optifast program have some better examples, so feel free to share them in the comments section.

Back to my weekend plans, I will get to test my mettle for staying on the program while traveling.  I'll pack my blender bottle, powder, water bottle and my favorite tea.  I'm going to set my phone alarm to remind me to drink.  My main focus will be to stick to my eating program.  Wish me luck.