Weighty Matters

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Today’s the Day

Today’s the day I get back on track. It’s just before 8 a.m. and I’ve already made a good start. Instead of going back to sleep when my clock radio went off at 6, I rolled out of bed, put on my walking shoes and took the dogs out for a 30 minute power walk. I just had my protein smoothie and packed a healthy lunch with the appropriate snacks for lunch.

I feel strong and powerful emotionally, just in taking these few positive steps.

Honestly, I permitted myself to wallow for a few days and, in the wallowing, also ate a bunch of stuff that wasn’t good for me but tasted good. Now, I could continue to do that, but I also see how quickly my body puts on weight when I do and that isn’t acceptable. I’d also stayed off of the scale for a while, not wanting to face the physical reality. I got on this morning. Sure enough. According to the scale, I’ve gained 8 pounds. I know this is mostly water weight or bloat, but it’s a good reminder that I’m only a few missteps away from totally backsliding. Also not acceptable.

I am absolutely happy with the progress I’ve made over the last 2 1/2 years and I cherish that happiness. It will take me a while longer to untangle my messed up mindset but I am very, very clear on this point. I have transformed my life and will protect that transformation. Even if I never get to goal weight, I still want to maintain the good health that I’ve achieved thus far. (Yes, I know I’ll eventually get to goal weight, but I still need to reinforce the joy and happiness of the “now”, so it doesn’t go unappreciated in the effort for the future.

I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself and this all sounds like stuff I’ve said before, but I need to repeat it for myself. Heck, I need to pound it into my brain so it stays up front and doesn’t get clouded or buried by the other stuff that sometimes goes on in my diseased thinking.

Right now, I’m taking back my recovery. Today’s the day.

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Why Slow Is Great

I’m back from my fun-filled road trip. It was a long day, with the long drive and all, but fun too. I’m tired but I just had this great realization. I’m afraid that I’ll lose it out of my brain if I wait to write this post tomorrow.

I posed my sea lion picture so some family and friends could see it. A cousin that lives across the country sent me this wonderful email of congratulations and love and also some of the things he realizes. He talked about being inspired to witness my “slow and steady commitment in a world where immediacy is pitched, pawned and prevalent”.

I’ve read his email a few times and just now, when finally having a chance to respond, I had a big “aha” moment. I need to stop whining and bitching complaining about how long it’s taking me to lose these remaining 30-40 pounds.

These months have been incredibly important, I would even call them vital, to my overall recovery. They are giving me the time I need to really learn how to consistently live a life in recovery from my eating disorder. Because I continue with this effort day after day; because my journey hits speed bumps sometimes; I am fully integrating the techniques, the mindset, the tools that I need in order to sustain the weight loss and overall healthy lifestyle.

What if I’d lost all 200 plus pounds non-stop without ever hitting a slow down? I don’t know if I would have developed the new habit of consistently exercising. The commitment to creating a physically fit body might not have grown. It could have been one of those temporary efforts like I’ve made so many times in the past. Instead it feels real. It feels part of me.

Same thing with gradually learning to make healthier food choices — not just in the small stomach restriction of quantity and volume, but the slow experimentation with different foods, with different ways of cooking, with embracing healthy meals.

Tonight’s realization is so amazingly healthy for me. I love it. For the first time, I am free of resenting the plateau and the slow weight loss. Each day is a day of progress. Each day makes me stronger. I am so grateful!

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Temporary “Screw It” Day

I want to thank you all again for your thoughtful suggestions, comments and support. I value the input you provided and have a plan.

Have to admit that the emotional impact of the doctor’s appointment and “cut more calories” suggestion stayed with me. Okay, it’s still with me today. Yesterday, I decided to give myself permission to say, “Screw it” to my food plan. No, not long term. I do not want to give up my healthier lifestyle. I just needed a day to not worry about eating any carbohydrates, enjoying a glass of wine, or eating a freaking cookie.

Last night was the holiday boat parade in my city. This sails right past my home and I usually have friends over. This year, I invited some close friends for dinner. I’ve said before that I still enjoy cooking and no cooking makes me happier than Italian. The smell of a good tomato sauce simmering on the stove delights my senses and makes my mouth water. I love mixing up a batch of meatballs to go with the sauce. Knowing that the friends coming over particularly like my Italian meals simply made me smile as I chopped, saut√©ed, seasoned, tasted and put everything together. The end result — a big bowl of meatballs, sausage and penne in sauce with crusty Italian bread and salad on the side. For dessert a plate of cookies and biscotti.

I’m sure between the preparation and the actual meal, I ate more than I would normally. I didn’t gorge on pasta but had some penne and some bread and a couple of cookies. All told, I ate less than half what my friends consumed. Strike me down, diet gods, I also had two small glasses of red wine.

We ate on my porch in the glow of my twinkling holiday lights. My friends savored the food I’d cooked. I experienced the time-honored joy of feeding people I care about. One couple’s three year old son entertained us with his energy and adorable “Wows!” whenever another brightly lit boat passed. It was a beautiful, fun, relaxing evening and I enjoyed every minute of it. Of course I made a huge amount of food so I packed up two generous “to go” containers and sent most of the leftovers home with my guests. I kept some meatballs and a little bit of penne for myself. Today I don’t even care so much about the pasta but I’ll enjoy the meat and sauce. I can always run up to Publix and get a spaghetti squash as a substitute.

With all of the cooking yesterday, I didn’t get in my full 10,000 steps. This morning I woke up to a beautiful day and immediately went out for an hour-plus bike ride, followed by a 15 minute dog walk. By the end of the day I’m sure I’ll exceed 10,000 steps. I will not overindulge in a pity party but will keep myself in good check with my eating.

I’m not going to cut my calories to 600 per day. There is not part of me that thinks doing so is a healthy choice. We’re heading into the holidays. I will be out of my normal routine for several days. While I would love to lose more weight during the rest of the month, I’m setting very simple goals: Maintain my current weight and keep exercising. When all is said and done, I’m going to be fine. No, I’m going to be better than fine.

Whether it takes me six months, nine months, or all of 2014, I am going to reach my goal weight at some point in 2014. On that I would never say screw it. I am absolutely committed to this goal and I will make it.

The best overall entry, it copied the leg lamp from a popular holiday movie.

The best overall entry, it copied the leg lamp from a popular holiday movie.

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Never, Ever Give Up

“Never, ever give up,” said swimming legend Diana Nyad after completing a swim of around 110 miles from Cuba to Key West in around 53 hours, without the protection of a shark cage and while wearing a special mask to protect her face and eyes from jellyfish stings.

She’s 64 years old and this was her fifth try at accomplishing this marathon feat. She’s living proof of something else she said. “You’re never too old to chase your dream.”

I’m a little sorry that I didn’t drive to Key West to join the crowd that welcomed her when she reached Smathers Beach. I bet everyone felt an exhilarating, joyous energy when they saw her leave the water and walk ashore. The woman had just completed swimming for more than two days. How the hell she was able to walk is beyond me.

Instead of driving to the southernmost city, I went out on my boat with a friend. (After taking advantage of my day off to go to a Monday morning Zumba class.) We had a beautiful day on the water. Although I didn’t get to snorkel due to a massive number of moon jellyfish, it was lovely to be out on the salty sea. We hung out for awhile looking at the jellies, which are quite zen and beautiful, and then cruised over to the sandbar for a couple of hours. Very relaxing. I thought about Diana a lot during the day and swam around my boat a few times in her honor. (Okay, I also figured it was a good way to incorporate extra exercise since I was in the water anyway at the sandbar.) When I heard that she’d finished the swim, I cheered and I very much took her words to heart. “Never, ever give up. You’re never too old to chase your dreams.”

Sometimes I get angry with myself for not having weight loss surgery years ago. I wasted so much time and so squandered so much quality of life.

When those times hit, I do my best not to wallow, but instead try to cancel the thoughts from my head and heart. Regret is a wasted emotion to some extent. I can’t rewind and relive those years. I can only continue to make today, and all of the future todays, the best. Living my best life is the most important thing, no matter what the challenge.

For today, I’m not going to dwell on the fact that I’m already in my 50s. Instead, I’m going to focus on Diana’s message. I’m never too old to chase my dreams. In my case that means living my best life. I’m never, ever going to give up my recovery.

Thanks, Diana. Congratulations.

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