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Driving a Dream

I crossed another item off of my Promise List this weekend by purchasing what amounts to being a dream car.  Ever since I was quite young, I’ve wanted a luxury convertible.  When I first got my license, I dreamed of a Mercedes 450 convertible.  My income did not keep up with that particular dream, let me tell you.   Back in 91 I at least got a convertible — a much more affordable LeBaron.  I loved that top-down freedom.

I haven’t pursued the dream in recent years because I knew that my great size would not make for a comfortable fit in one of these cars.  Honestly, if I ever rented a car that was less than a full size, I even ran the risk of not being able to buckle the seat belt.  After my weight loss surgery I started dreaming again and put it on my promise list.   I no longer wanted a Mercedes but a few years ago, my eye was caught by a Lexus I saw in town.  Every time I saw one on the road, I thought, “Maybe someday.”

Someday rolled around yesterday.  I blogged a few weeks back about going in and test driving a vehicle (a 2010 model with low mileage)and the improved confidence I’d felt in dealing with the sales tactics.  I walked away without buying back then because they wouldn’t come down to a price I wanted to pay.  I kept an eye on the dealer’s website.  Knowing that dealerships really don’t want to keep a car on their inventory when one month rolls into a new one, I sent an email to the sales guy earlier this week to say that I saw the car was still available and to contact me if they wanted to deal.

We exchanged several email with negotiations.  They came down a lot.  I came up a little and we made a deal!

I talked about this on the previous blog and I’m happy to say that everything went according to plan.  I got back home in time to assemble and cook the baked ziti and prepare the Caesar salad.  My co-hosts came over and prepared wonderful antipasto and bruschetta and punch and decorated.  We had a great baby shower.

I have to tell you that when all of the paper work was done and I first slid into the car when it was mine, this incredible happy feeling came over me.  Investing in this car was more than a dream come true.  It was a reward for the hard work I’ve put into losing weight and getting healthy.  I earned this dream with more than the money.  I made the promise to myself and kept it — and that is a wonderful feeling.

Gotta say, I also think I look pretty good in that driver’s seat.  What do you think?

Newcar

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Cooking for a Crowd

Most of the time when I cook, I’m preparing food for one person — me.   I don’t do anything elaborate during the week. Grilling something and fixing some veggies sort of does it for me a lot of nights.  On weekends I sometimes do a little more like cook up a soup or prepare something that takes a little longer to cook and end up with good leftovers for other evenings.

I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy cooking.  This weekend friends and I are putting on a baby shower for another friend at my house.  I volunteered for the main dish and decided to put together a baked ziti that I do well and a Caesar salad with a really great dressing recipe.  We aren’t quite sure how many people to expect.  Our family of co-workers aren’t always the quickest to remember to RSVP.  So, I knew I’d be safe if I doubled the recipe.  More work but more fun.

I had everything planned and then something good came up that requires me to make a quick overnight trip out of town tomorrow after work.  I bought a car from a dealer four hours away and need to pick it up first thing Saturday morning and then get my butt back here in time to put the final touches on the meal.

Points in my favor — my house is clean.  Three other people are co-hosting and they’re taking care of decorations, appetizers, drinks and dessert.  Once I knew yesterday that I needed to do some of my prep work ahead of time, because I wouldn’t have time to put together ziti for 20 or more people on Saturday, I planned and organized.

One of the many wonderful things about Italian food is that any good red sauce readily takes to being prepared a day or two ahead.  This will actually develop the flavors.  The salad dressing will be fine, too.

I am still spinning so many plates and have so much on my mind that I’ve been getting out of bed far earlier than normal.  Something has woken up my dogs at 4:30 a.m. the last two mornings.  After satisfying their curiosity by letting them out for a quick run in the yard, I’ve been unable to fall back asleep.  It’s amazing how a slight bout of insomnia can open up the opportunity for daybreak productivity.  By seven o’clock this morning I’d showered, dressed, fed the dogs, left two business voice mails, checked email and Facebook, and chopped six red peppers and two giant onions.

Tonight after enjoying dinner out with a friend I came home, finished the tomato-meat sauce and mixed up the salad dressing.  I’m as ready as I can be now for the shower.  Barring any highway-closing trouble, I should be home with plenty of hours to spare and will easily be able to assemble the ziti for baking.

One of the things I’ve noticed about my cooking style is how often I stop to taste and adjust the seasonings.  I’ve had to make some adjustments, particularly if I’m cooking a meal on the same evening I’m going to eat it.  I’ve teaching myself to lightly taste without taking full bites or spoons full of the dish.  Otherwise I’ll fill up just in the cooking.

I think I’ve shown myself that I can cook for myself, for a few friends, or cook for a crowd and not use it as another excuse to overeat.  Tonight I was able to sample so that I could balance or adjust the flavors but I never felt like I was eating too much on top of my great meal at dinner.  Tasting really was different from eating.

Now I only have to hope that the crowd enjoys the meal as much as I’ve enjoying making it for them!

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Sugar Non-Abstinence

I know people who abstain as much as possible from sugars.  They don’t eat any candy or sweet baked goods.  They don’t cook with white or brown sugar or add it to any drinks.  I’ve seen them pick up a product at the supermarket, read the label and then put it back on the shelf if sugar is in the first five ingredients.  According to an article I read today on the website of the Harvard School of Public Health (Click here to read), sugar lurks in our foods under many names so when reading a label it’s good to look for the phrase “added sugars”.  Nutritionists differentiate between the sugars that exist naturally in foods such as milk or fruit, and others including:

  • Agave nectar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup

That’s a hell of a list!

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m a sugar addict, but I like sweets.  Hand to God, I accepted a long time ago that I would never be abstinent if I had to give up sugar.  Even if I’d eventually developed full blown, Type I diabetes, I don’t know if I could have been strong and resolved enough to never have sugar.  Hell, maybe I am addicted.  Maybe this is my version of being a dry drunk – saying I’m on plan but still having sugar here and there.

Honestly, I get in bouts where I want chocolate or crave a cupcake, but I honestly am much better about these and other sugary foods than I used to be.  Really dissecting this, I don’t think that I’m in denial.  I’ve come to believe that, like with many other things, awareness and moderation are key.  I’m trying to develop an action plan.  It’s still in rough draft form, but here are some thoughts.

1) I accept that I do not have the resolve and fortitude or the desire to completely give up cake, cookies, brownies, ice cream, etc.  However, I eat them rarely and do not overdo the portions.

2) I can be more aware of the added sugars that are included in many of the foods that I eat and make cut backs.  If an added sugar is listed in the first four ingredients, I will look for an alternative to that product.

3) Read labels, read labels, read labels.  I could do a blog post just on this topic.  Pre-surgery, when I read a label I was usually looking for products that I don’t like such as mushrooms.  Now I look at labels much more frequently than ever before.  Last time at the supermarket, my attention was drawn to a frozen food product marketed under the name and image of the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.  I love her show and thought, “Wow, this might be good”.  I picked up the product and the label info didn’t render the product automatically horrific, i.e. it was about in nutritional quality middle of that sort of “gourmet” frozen prepared choices.  Then I picked up another bag by a different manufacturer, glanced at the label and immediately put it back on the frozen shelf.  It had about 50% more calories, fat, and sodium.

Sadly, it’s a product that I’ve purchased and consumed in the past.  Even more sadly, I believe I ate the whole kit and caboodle in one meal even though it held a couple of servings.  But that was then (pre-wls), this is now.  I walked away from the section without buying anything, even the Contessa’s product.  I’m sure hers would taste good but, well, it had mushrooms and I’d really rather make my meals fresh these days as often as possible.

Back to the plan draft.

4) Think before I buy.  Think again before I eat.  After I’ve looked at an item and read the label, if it doesn’t meet the guidelines I’ve set for products with added sugar, but I still think I want it, I will really think about it.  How badly do I want it?  Is it a strong want, an emotional want, or a flashback to compulsive behavior where I only want it because I just then happened to see it?  Yes, I really do have these kinds of conversations with myself in my head while I work through the process.  If it makes it into my basket at that point, I still have until I check out to change my mind about buying it.  If it makes it all of the way home, I can still think before I actually eat it.

One thing that is really working for me when I hit these challenges is to think of alternatives.  I used that technique the other day when I was battling the urge to buy a package of brownie mini-bites.  In that instant of decision making, I really, really, really wanted the chocolate brownies, but I asked myself, “What could you eat instead that would be a better choice?”  I remembered that I had low calorie, fat-free chocolate pudding at home.  I made a deal with myself to eat pudding instead of brownies and that got me past the urge.

So, that’s the draft plan at the moment.  I can probably add to it as I think on this some more.  The bottom line for me is that I am aware that don’t want to completely give up sugar.  I am equally aware that I want to achieve peaceful, co-existence with it, i.e. have it occasionally in ways that I truly enjoy but not eat it to the point that it compromises my program, my weight-loss journey and my health.  Sometimes it helps to think about my brother.  He is one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest, eaters that I know.  Even he sometimes eats ice cream and other foods with sugar.

It can be done, even if one is a recovering compulsive binge-eater.

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Little Things

Sometimes I think I focus on the big picture so much that I overlook that it’s made up of lots of little things.  A huge weight loss is still achieved pound by pound.  Long term abstinence is achieved choice by choice, meal by meal, one day at a time.

There are even more specific little things that I haven’t attended to as well as I did when I first started out.  It’s helpful to go back and do a little analysis.   I told you that I’d gained some weight while away.  I was sort of shocked at the number of pounds although I knew that mathematically, it wasn’t possible for me to have actually gained that many.  (You need to consume 3600 calories more than you expend to gain a pound.  I’d have to drink multiple milkshakes in a day to consume 3600 calories at all, let along that many more than I burn.)  I figured that most of it was water weight.   I started retaining more water when I was away.  Last week, for the first time in a long time, I looked at my ankles and feet during a pedicure and they were decidedly puffy and swollen.  

Mind you, they weren’t as bloated as they used to be every single night.  Sometimes I swore it looking like someone had inserted water balloons beneath my skin.  When the pounds came off, so did a lot of that nightly bloat.  I wasn’t happy to see even a small percentage of it return.  At first I wrote it off to the travel, the change in weather temperature, routine, maybe more salt intake.  I figured the pounds would drop right off as soon as I got back.

When the pounds proved unusually stubborn, I took a closer look at everything, big and small.  I realized that I’m not drinking as much water and as is recommended each day.  In fact, I really wasn’t drinking much simple water at all unless I exercised.  I didn’t really work out while away and, due to crazy busy schedule on my return, I still didn’t get in as much exercise.  

Bingo.  Those simple, little things were probably the root.  I began to adjust.  I got to both Tai Chi classes.  Although I couldn’t make a Zumba hour, I resumed more walks with the dogs.  Over the weekend, I made sure to up my water intake by several ounces.

Sure enough, this morning, I saw the pounds reduce on the scale.   Today at work, I made sure to fill up my water glass a couple of times in addition to the green tea that I like to drink.  I didn’t get in as much extra as I did over the weekend, but it’s a start.  Tonight I walked the dogs after work, did some light weights for my arms, and then, just before I sat down to write this post, I did a set of Tai Chi on the porch.  Tomorrow I’m determined to get to Zumba class after work.  Oh how I’ve missed it!

Food plan.  Exercise.  Drink water.  These can produce big results even though, at the heart of it, they’re all little things on which to build success.

Think about the challenges or issues you’re struggling with right now.  Are there a few little things you can do or change that could help?

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Obesity a Disease?

In today’s paper I read an article that said the American Medical Association declared obesity an illness.  Some obesity experts said this is long overdue.  Others, called in this article fat activists, denounced the move and are demanding that the AMA reverse the decision.

Here are a couple of quotes from both sides:

It adds legitimacy to the problem, will help raise public awareness, and will get doctors engaged in treating the condition.” – Dr. Steve Smith, president-elect of The Obesity Society and scientific director for the Florida Hospital-Sanford Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes.  (How’d you like to put all that on a business card?)

“It puts obesity on the same path as treatments for addictions to alcohol or tobacco, and mental health problems, such as depression.” — Joe Nadglowski, president of the Obesity Action Coalition.

We don’t see ourselves as diseased. … To label a whole segment of society as diseased without any knowledge of their health is unacceptable.  It directly fuels discrimination.” — Peggy Howell, spokeswoman for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance

“I’m appalled that the AMA chose to ignore science.” – Linda Bacon, nutritionist at University of California at Davis and author of Heath at Every Size.  The article further says that she notes that the definition of obesity (based on weight and height ration on the BMI chart)defines size not health.

I’ve been thinking about this article a lot today.  I believe I come down mostly on the side of the AMA.  Sort of.  I believe that compulsive overeating and binge-eating are diseases but that obesity is the symptom or the result.  I remember the first time I heard the idea that I had a disease.  It was a blessing.  Learning that, and then learning to internalize it so that I truly believed, helped release the shame that I’d carried all of my life.  It sowed the seeds for growing self-esteem and began to choke back the weeds of self-loathing and disgust.

I have to wonder if my insurance company’s policy on weight loss surgery would have been different if obesity had been declared a disease earlier.  Some insurance companies cover bariatric procedures, or cover some of them.  Mine didn’t.  Fortunately, I could access funds to pay for it out of pocket and that, along with other things, added up to a sizeable tax refund this year, TYVM.

Even after several readings, I’m not sure if I have enough information to fully grasp the entire viewpoint of the fat activists.  I really can’t wrap my brain around the position that labeling obesity as a disease fuels discrimination.  If anything, I think there’s the glimmer of hope that it could reduce the stigma.

Then again, maybe not.  Honestly, if someone’s going to make fat jokes or scorn someone who is overweight, I don’t think it matters to them in the least whether it’s a disease.  If anything, I’m most interested in how the official declaration could be a catalyst for positive change.  I’m not sure about the one comment about legitimizing the problem.  Really now, does anyone in this day and age think that obesity isn’t a legitimate problem?

Is that the point the women who were interviewed for the article are trying to make?  That obesity isn’t necessarily a health problem?  I find that really hard to believe so I’m chalking it up to the thought that they undoubtedly said a lot more in the interviews than made it into the article.

I know that right now, I’m the healthiest that I’ve probably been in my entire adult life.  According to my BMI, I’m still obese.  However, with the cardio and strengthening workouts, I’m physically in pretty good shape.  Inherent in that “pretty good shape” is the additional, unwritten phrase, “for a woman my size”.  My eating habits are much healthier, too, and not only because I eat far less.  I make better choices with less fat, more fiber, less sugar, and quality proteins.

I’m leading my healthiest life at this size.  I think that’s a good goal.  However, I don’t think that it’s in my best interests, or the interests of my long term health, to remain this size.

In the end, it doesn’t matter all that much to me whether obesity is officially a disease.  Since I’ve long believed that my eating disorder was a disease that contributed to my becoming so overweight, someone else’s declaration doesn’t affect me either way.

So what do you think?  Where do you fall on this debate?  Let’s discuss.

 

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Catalogue NSV

In today’s mail I received a new catalogue from a clothing company that I used to shop from a lot.  They were my go-to for good quality, stylish clothes that were really designed for extremely large women.  They are also the only catalogue that uses truly obese and morbidly obese women as models.  Major points for that!

I’ve noticed even now that some designers don’t take into account that larger bodies are different in ways other than overall size.  They just make a regular garment bigger all over.  Sometimes that results in awkward fit or unflattering lines and not great design elements.

Take sleeves for example.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put on a plus sized shirt or blouse that I really liked, only to find that they hadn’t lengthened the sleeves in proportion.  The whole look was unacceptable because the sleeves were too short and showed too much of my flabby upper arms.

This company (M.I.B.) seemed to take all of those issues into account when selecting which designs to market to their target audience.

I always liked the quality of the fabrics too.  Another pet peeve for me with plus-sized clothing is using material that’s too thin and/or clingy, or made of cheap polyester.  Not everything has to be 100% natural, but there are a lot of ways that man-made fabrics can still be nice looking and comfortable to wear.

I brought the catalogue in from the mailbox this afternoon and started paging through, admiring the colors, some funky and cute cuts, and so on.  I saw a couple that I thought would be good additions to my momentarily meager wardrobe.  (I don’t buy a lot of things since I’m still losing weight, but need enough to get me through a variety of occasions.)  The problem, or maybe I should say the really cool thing, that happened today is that I looked at the sizes and realized that they’re too big!

Pulling out the measuring tape, I checked bust, waist and hip measurements and compared myself to their sizing chart.  According to the numbers I could probably wear their 1X.  However, most of the tops and dresses aren’t offered at sizes smaller than 2X!  I then went through the entire catalogue again.  Sure enough, except for some leggings, a couple of pants styles, and one or two shirts, I have officially outgrown, or maybe that should be undergrown, these clothes.

I wasted no time in calling the company and asking them to please remove me from their catalogue mailing list.  I’d rather the company not waste the paper, ink and mailing costs sending me a product that I, thankfully, no longer need!  This my friends, was a great NSV to celebrate today!

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Fix More Than We Break

At work some of us use an expression that says at the end of the day we like to fix more than you break.  That can have a number of interpretations from the literal to the symbolic.  Overall, if I feel like I accomplished more than I didn’t, made progress over backsliding or standing still, and had more of a positive impact than not, I can end my day feeling like I fixed more than I broke.

I’ve had a boatload of stuff going on this week at work.  I think I’ve mentioned the old vaudeville act that I used to see on the Ed Sullivan Show when I was a kid back in the 60s where a guy ran up and down a line of thin, weaving poles on which spun plates.  The goal, of course, was to keep the plates spinning so that they wouldn’t fall off of the poles and crash on the floor.  During his act the tempo of the music sped up and he ran faster and spun more frenetically while the audience held their breaths and gasped when a plate slowed down and wobbled, about to fall.

I wasn’t quite whirling around at that pace with that much stress, but I had numerous projects that I needed to see completed before the end of the week and they required a lot of attention (i.e. spinning) to get them to that completion.  One of those projects involves me becoming proficient on the content management system of our new website.  I’m already faster and more efficient than I was at the beginning of the week.  In a month it will be second nature, but right now, it’s a lot more work.   It’s a fun plate to spin, but wears me out.  I meant to post on this topic last night, but honestly, I was so tired of staring at a computer screen and typing away at a keyboard, that I simply couldn’t force myself to write any more.

I’ve been focusing on my food plan, logging what I eat and what exercise I do into MyFitnessPal.  Every night that I stay true to that practice, I feel like I’m fixing more of my health than I’m breaking.  The last three days have gone well eating-wise.  Unfortunately, I’m still retaining a leaky boatload of fluid so I’m not seeing great weight loss.  I’m holding onto my calm about it because I know that as long as I stay on the plan, eventually the scale will start moving again in the right direction.

I also realized that I haven’t done as much exercise in the last week.  I let the hectic schedule get in my way, except for Tai Chi class on Wednesday night.  One of my dogs was hurting early in the week – a possible pinched nerve – so I didn’t get them out for walks the way I normally would.  (Even hurting, Nat would have hated if I left him at home and only walked his sister.  I couldn’t stand up to the sad look I perceived in his brown spaniel eyes.)  Another schedule conflict kept me from Zumba.  Too many plates spinning, so the physical activity crashed to a point.

I have Tai Chi class again tomorrow and then the rest of the weekend without commitments.  Natty isn’t stiff and hurting any more, so we can all get out for walks.  There aren’t weekend Zumba classes at times that don’t conflict with Tai Chi, but I have plenty of options to, ahem, exercise for working out at home, including jogging and other stuff in the pool.  I will get back on track, which is another way to fix more than I break.

The point to all this is that I realize that I can’t be all things to all people — even to myself.  I can’t always do it all every single day.  It would be great if I always kept all plates spinning at full force in perfect unison.  The fact is that all of the plates matter, but sometimes one or more of them might be a little off kilter and need more immediate attention than others.  It’s okay.  As long as at the end of the day I fix more than I break, life is good.

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Well, Duh.

Do you ever realize something that should have been obvious?  So obvious that you want to roll your eyes at yourself?

Yeah, I had one of those moments today.  As you know, I’m analyzing and reevaluating my food plan.  With that process, it’s necessary to also employ rigorous honesty and take a hard look at how I’m following the guidelines.  I thought about what I was doing a few months ago when the weight loss was still proceeding at a good, steady rate and tried to honestly assess whether I was being as vigilant.

It hit me that one of the things I did every day was log my food into MyFitnessPal.com on my phone.  I entered every meal and snack and then added what exercise I accomplished.  During the day, I checked the summaries to view not only the total calories, but also the nutritional content of the food I consumed every day — carbs, sugars, proteins, and so on.

I don’t know when I stopped tracking my food with careful attention, but it’s been a few months.  I fell off gradually, skipping a day here and there, then a couple, then maybe a weekend.  Finally I just didn’t do it at all.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why I’d stop using something that proved to be a useful and helpful tool.  I know that I have always loathed food tracking, but in the beginning I didn’t let that keep me from the practice.  I can’t even really explain why I loathe the practice.  In the grand scheme of things, it seems sort of silly.

Nobody ever said that people with eating disorders are always champs at embracing the behaviors that work.

So, now that I’ve had the “Well, Duh” moment, and done my eye roll, I know that this is one thing that I can resume in my efforts.  Before sitting down to write this post, I entered today’s foods and exercise.  Looking at the day’s numbers, I’ve had a good, strong day.

Tomorrow, good, bad, or in between, I’ll track my food and exercise again.  Instead of guessing or believing I’m doing okay with my plan, I’ll have the data in front of me to tell me for sure.

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Strength Undiminished

One of the most difficult things for me to do is ask for help.  My ability to be sufficient and strong, to shoulder issues and tote them along, to handle things or get them done developed over the years but it started when I was fairly young.  My image of myself is someone who helps others.  I think of myself as dependable, able to function well in a crisis, whether it’s mine or someone else’s.  I like being someone on whom others can rely.

Asking for help doesn’t come easily to me.  Even though I’ve learned that needing help is not a sign of weakness, I’m still mostly reluctant to ask.   I’m not sure why because the times that I do, don’t diminish my strength.  I get the help, appreciate it, reciprocate whenever I can and go on.

Receiving help generally makes us stronger.  It shores us up like support beams on a building.  There’s no reason to be embarrassed or dismayed when we need a boost.  It’s okay.  Just like we’re present for family and friends when they need something, the people in our lives are ready to give to us when we need them.

I’m not sure why I embarked on this topic tonight.  It’s most likely because, after my posts last week, a dear friend who is also on this weight loss journey connected me with an online support group.  I realized that I’m not ashamed to admit that I need more support than I’ve been seeking.   If we had OA meetings locally, I’d go, but we don’t.  You all are incredibly supportive here, and that has been incredibly helpful over the last many months.  I wouldn’t replace that for anything.  I just need even more.  So, I’ve asked and I am receiving.

Instead of feeling weaker, I feel stronger for having put this out into the universe.  I know that I’ll be able to build on it from here.

 

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Reevaluation

I was away with spotty Internet access and little time.  It was a great trip up home to New Jersey to visit with family and friends.  Some have seen me at various stages of my weight loss; others hadn’t seen me since before my surgery.  It was a trip good on my ego and emotions and rough on my food plan. 

It’s amazing how quickly my body reacts when I change up my eating even a little.  I immediately knew that I was holding onto water and bloating by the way one of my rings fit.  When I weighed myself this morning and saw how that translated into pounds on the scale, I could have been demoralized, but I held onto rational thinking and laughed.

Weight gain at heart, really is about the numbers.  In order to gain a legitimate pound, I need to consume 3600 calories more than I expend.  It is not physically possible for me to eat enough food to gain four pounds in less than a week.  So, even if I didn’t already know this was fluid retention and my body readjusting, the numbers would have proved it.

It’s amazing how my emotional and mental reactions to things can change from week to week.  I didn’t go into mountains of anxiety and upset over food while away.  I did the best I could and enjoyed the meals that I shared with family on friends.  At a barbeque on Saturday, yes, I ate more dessert than I normally would, but I’m over it.  I woke up this morning and got back to work and eating right.

I also had a bit of an epiphany.  Even when I’ve had great adherence to the food plan, the weight loss is much slower.  I know that happens when one has less weight to lose, but it seems reallllly slow.  I believe it’s a good time to reevaluate my food plan and see if it’s still the best one for where I am now in my journey.  Maybe the food plan needs adjustment.  I don’t know if I can get up to So Miami for an appointment with the bariatric nutritionist, but I sure as heck know where to go to talk to other people who are on this journey and are ahead of me in their progress.  The information is out there and easy to access, thanks to the internet.  This all feels very proactive.

While in Jersey, I chatted with my sister-in-law about how slow it’s been.  Her first response was, “Hey, at least your weight isn’t going up.”   Her second comment was that if I gained all of my weight back, she’d kick my ass.  I explained that if I did that, she’d have to get in line because I’d be kicking my own ass.  I am absolutely determined that I will not gain back all of the weight that I lost.  Even if I never lose another pound, I’m not sliding back up the scale.

It helped me to remember that no matter what, I’m learning how to maintain.  For someone who has been a lifelong yo-yo dieter with multiple times of weight loss/weight gain/weight loss/weight gain, breaking that cycle is major progress.   

Sometimes it surprises me that there are still realizations like this for me to discover.   Now almost a year and a half after the surgery, I still have things to learn about myself, my weight loss battle, my journey to better health and fitness. 

It’s a good thing that I like to learn.  😉

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