Friday, August 15, 2008

Blown off course and my weight loss challenge

You know how you can plan your day? And have a to-do list of things you hope to get done? And then something happens that, even if it's good, can blow you right off that course?

You do? Then you know what happened to my morning.

But to get to what I was going to blog about:

I was incredibly skinny as a child. I could eat anything and never gain an ounce -- not that I ate much. I was all of twenty before I could finish an entire hamburger in one sitting. I was not anorexic nor did I have food issues. I just didn't eat a lot. Also, we never had snacks like cookies or muffins or pop in our house. We would get a Coke once a year, with a chocolate bar, to have during the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz on TV. The only other time we got candy was Hallowe'en and maybe some at Christmas, although not in our stockings. We only got nuts, oranges and apples in those, which sounds like something out of Little House On The Prairie, but what can I say? That's the way it was, although we lived in cities. I'm also small boned, so when I say I was skinny? I do mean skinny. I'm about five foot four, and I weighed 113 when I got married.

Now, this was swell for the first few decades of my life, and when my kids were little, they kept me pretty active. I weighed about 120 in those days.

But then they grew up and I wasn't chasing after them anymore, or having to do so much for them. I sold a book, and began a sedentary career. I got older.

And next thing I know, I discover I can no longer eat whatever I feel like and not gain an ounce, because I have obviously gained several ounces, and thus, pounds. This was no secret -- I could see it, so I knew what was going on. I occasionally weighed myself and didn't always like what I saw, but I had my notion of what was an "okay" weight -- 150 lbs. Under that, I was...not too bad, even if that I have the dreaded, deadly "belly fat."

Then we drove to Boston in June, and I ate way too much junk in the car. I was shocked when I stepped on the scales when we got home.

But then came the real epiphany, and I know I'm not the only one who's had a similar experience: I saw a picture of myself that really shocked me.

Now, I could blame the outfit (in hindsight, not at all flattering and a very bad choice) and my hair cut (too short, even for me), but I'm not. I think this was the wake-up call (and how) that I needed.

I know what to do -- eat less (well, I still don't eat a lot, so it's eat less junk) and move more.

I got myself a pedometer, after reading that most people walk about 3,000 - 5,000 steps a day, and you should do at least 10,000. First day I wore the pedometer? I didn't break 1,000. Maybe if our house wasn't a bungalow, I would have done better, but there it is.

So I've been trying to do at least 10,000 steps a day, even at the cottage.

Sadly, I also consumed too much junk at the cottage, which is why I got up to 151, after getting it back down to 148. I'm working on the junk thing, having only one Coke this week (instead of every day).

However, I've heard that if you want to be successful at losing weight, you should make it public, to keep yourself on track. Although I don't believe this was specifically said, pride can be a powerful motivator.

So I'm following this advice, in an attempt to keep me motivated and posting my personal weight loss challenge:

I want to get to 145 by Sept. 12 (social events loom), and down to 125 by next summer. I think that should be doable, if I stay consistent. On Fridays, I'll post my weekly step total for the previous week (so today's final tally will go on next week's total) and morning weight. Come on by and see how I'm doing, and maybe comfort me if I slip too badly (I have two birthdays in the next two weeks, with cake) or cheer with me when I'm doing well.


Amy Ruttan said...

I know weight loss is a definite challenge. I've struggled with it all my life.

When I had my daughter I gained ALOT!! Like 60 pounds. It was bad.

Now I'm 5'11 so it doesn't sit the same, but still ... it's bad.

She's turning 5 and in between I've had my son who's almost 3. I've lost 40 pounds in about a year and a half. I still have about 20 pounds to go.

It's been hard this year because, yes our career makes for a very sedentary job. I also worked a day job up until right before Nationals and was in too many weddings to count and out of town, so I didn't eat right for about six months.

I do Weight Watchers online, and I work out at least twice a week, but that's a good week and if I can find sitters.

I think accounting for it is a great idea, support is needed in reaching weight loss goals!! :D

I'll be back next Friday. :D

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Margaret,

I feel your pain! As I sit here with no pants that I feel comfortable in. I'm blaming it on menopause and the change in hormone levels, etc. I have been pondering how to go about changing the situation myself. Sigh. I just can't give up the wine with dinner. Will have to think up new ways.

I too was much thinner when I got married weighing in at 105 lbs. Then I started an office job and went up to 120 lbs. After my second child, I never completely lost the weight, stayed at about 128. Well now it's crept up a lot (for me anyways) and I don't like it either.

How is it you can look in the mirror and not really see it, but in a photo you think "Who is that lumpy woman? OMG - its' me!"

Thanks for giving me a nudge to get going on this issue.

Best of luck,


Margaret Moore said...

I wrote a comment yesterday and...somethin' ate it, I guess.

Anyhoodle, yes, a wacky schedule can really mess things up. And travel? The double-whammy. I blame the Boston Big Gain on such things.

And oh, I hear ya on the perimenopause/menopause weight gain. I've heard one explanation: fat cells produce low amounts of estrogen, so when the ovaries start slowing down, guess what comes to compensate?? And just this week, I heard that as we age, instead of producing new bone, our bodies decide to produce fat instead. What the heck is that about???

Amy Ruttan said...

Whadda ya mean fat produces estrogen. OMG!! Seriously, couldn't something more ... you know non lumpy produce estrogen???

Like teeth? Or hair??

Seriously I'll take hairy legs over cellulite. Hairy legs I can shave.

This only proves my theory on why women have it harder. LOL!

Margery said...

Good luck, Margaret. I feel your pain. After weighing in at less than 100 lb. for most of my life, I've gained about ^&% pounds. Starting September, I'm going on a rigorous diet/exercise plan. I'll never be 100 lb. again, but I'm shooting for 110.

Louisa Cornell said...

I feel your epiphany, Margaret. After looking at all of those photos of me from Nationals I thought "Who IS that fat chick and why is she wearing my clothes?"

I weighed 93 pounds when I got married. At 5 foot nothing that was not a bad weight. When I was singing I weighed in at around 110 to 125 and the German opera directors and my vocal coach said I was TOO skinny! LOL They and my German landlady were always trying to feed me. After I retired and then my husband died I began to eat everything in sight. Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of all this weight! SIGH! And at 50 now I have to worry about gaining MORE weight because of menopause???? THAT IS SO NOT FAIR!!! And the worst of it? I manage a bakery!

Margaret Moore said...

Oh, managing a bakery -- it's like something out of a lovely dream! Unless you want to lose weight, I guess! Good luck to us all!

Anonymous said...

Count me in the pile, too! (Long time no say hello, btw). A car accident nine years ago sidelined a very trim and healthy lifestyle -- permanently. Three pregnancies later, a sedentary lifestyle, and my extra weight loss has to come off from walking in the swim pool and cutting portions, calories, and fat.

And I'm past the 'magic bullet' age, too. Sigh. BIG sigh.

Best of wishes, everyone!