Tag Archives: weight loss

when giving 10% is a good thing

15 Sep

10%…it’s a number that doesn’t sound like much, right?  If I were to give 10% at work, the results wouldn’t be too great!  If we were business partners and I offered you 10% of the profits…you’d be a little underwhelmed.

But there are times when 10% actually amounts to quite a bit….for example…picking between meat that is 80% lean and 90% lean…sign me up!  Eating 10% less calories or moving 10% longer than you did the day before…that’s something to be proud of.  These small percentages add up quickly…and that’s when 10% is a really good thing!

It’s also a really good thing when I sit back and realize that during this journey, I have managed to shed 10% of myself!  That 10% is equivalent to a small child.  That 10% represents months of trying to eat better, move more, and gain a better understanding of what food used to mean and what food SHOULD mean to me.  That 10% didn’t come off easy, and it didn’t come off quickly.  When you’re talking about weight, 10% is quite a challenge and makes you realize it’s not such a small percentage after all!

But here’s what I find to be most interesting….while I still have a long way to go on my journey, I’ve already come so far.  That 10% has really made a difference in me.  My clothes fit differently.  I am slowly getting a new wardrobe without spending any money because I can now fit into clothes that have sat in my closet untouched for years.  I feel a little lighter on my feet.  I sleep a little better with fewer aches and pains.  I even think that “little” 10% has given me just a bit more confidence.    But that’s not all… Did you know that by losing 10% of your body weight, you drastically improve your health?  A quick online search will reveal some of the health benefits that come along with that undervalued little percentage….  Here’s what I found:

By losing 10% of your weight, you can:

  • Reverse or prevent diabetes by improving glucose tolerance
  • Improve sleep apnea
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol by reducing LDL–the bad cholesterol
  • Improve triglyceride levels
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease and sudden death from heart disease or stroke
  • Prevent chest pain caused by decreased oxygen to the heart
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Reduce aches and pains
  • Increase energy levels
  • And in some cases, eliminate certain medications–yes, 10% may be more effective than the nasty meds we have to take due to this weight!  That’s amazing!

Wow…it’s no wonder I can already feel a difference!  But as I mentioned, I’m only at the beginning of my journey.   I have a long way to go, but I thought that this milestone was worth sharing!

By having now lost 10% of my original body weight, I have a better sense of where I am going, how long and how hard it is to get there…AND the much-needed motivation to push through.  If I feel better  minus 10%, I can only imagine what minus 20% feels like!

I’m going to do my best to not focus on how far I have to go and instead take the momentum I’ve gained by how far I’ve come and see if I can do it again.  I am keeping my eye on my next 10%.  Afterall, it’s a tiny number, right?  😉

It’s no longer uncharted territory…I just conquered the first beast…using the same tactics, I can do it again.

This time, I’d love company….who wants to join me and shed 10% together?  It’s no race, no crazy competition…just good ol’ fashioned  motivation and sharing of obstacles, struggles and successes.  My theory is that everything is better with a buddy!  So let me know if you’re in!!

nothing is more annoying than a reformed smoker

18 Aug

Photo Credit: Axolot

Sorry guys…this post has very little to do with my weight-loss progress and more a venting session on something I need to get off my chest.

Do any of you have friends (or acquaintances) that used to smoke cigarettes, but once they quit they quickly forgot how much they enjoyed those little dangerous sticks of nicotine?  They forgot about their own addictions and the struggle they went through to overcome that addiction and suddenly became those annoying ex-smokers who pointed fingers and were dramatically adverse to the smell of smoke!  They were suddenly untouchable and holier than thou!

Isn’t that just amazing?

So as I encounter people who have recently lost weight and choose to throw stones at people who are struggling or making poor nutrition decisions, it just really irks me.

Photo Credit: Iamagenious

It wasn’t too long ago that we were all unaware of (or indifferent about) the bad decisions we were making.  It wasn’t all that long ago that we sat in that chair scarfing down whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.

My guess is that we only decided to take that first step to a healthier life after something deep inside of us said it was time, not because of the judgments or unsolicited advice of others.

So imagine my surprise when I encountered someone who has recently struggled with weight loss actually contemplating going up to a stranger and pointing out the damage that they are doing.  WHAT!?!  REALLY!?!

Man, I was speechless…How soon we forget!  We begin unloading our own baggage and begin finding faults in others.  How disheartening.  As a “big girl” who has been known to occasionally wear her heart on her sleeve, the world is cruel and judgmental.  It seems that we’ve been conditioned to wrongfully judge a book by its cover.  It’s hurtful and narrow-minded, but I guess it’s what we do. What do you do when you see someone making bad nutrition decisions?  Am I crazy because I can still easily relate to them?  I am one slip up from being right there next to them!

Am I strange for not having the urge to confront them like an ex-smoker might?  I was sitting in that seat only months ago consistently making bad decisions and I know that if some stranger would have come up to me with their unsolicited advice and opinions that it would not have ended well.   To this day, I am not perfect, will never be and not sure I ever want to think that I am.  I still slip up or make bad decisions (whether planned or unplanned).  One thing remains the same, I wouldn’t appreciate someone approaching me to give me their “take on the situation.”  It’s one thing when your family and friends hold an intervention because they genuinely care about your well-being and a completely different thing when a stranger takes it upon themselves to “save you” from yourself.

Guys seriously…set me straight here.  Why do I feel so angry about this?  Perhaps I should look at this situation from another angle.  Maybe this so-called “reformed smoker” just knows the road this person is headed down and wants to warn them as any Good Samaritan would?

At what point are we qualified to give advice like this to someone we don’t know?  Is it really coming from a good place or are we really just sitting back and judging that person and then feeling the need to bestow some wisdom to them–whether they wanted it or not.  Shouldn’t we be doing something more constructive like focusing on our own problems, assisting people who want our help, or helping those who are actually in the mindset of making a change. It’s sad how fast we forget the road we just took and become the person judging instead of the one being judged.

Ok…hopping off my soapbox!

Whew…glad I got that out of my system!  And for the record…as I know I will get some heat for the title and references…yes, it’s judgmental as well as a huge generalization.  Rest assured my smoking (and reformed smoking buddies)…this was just the first comparison that came to mind.  And yes, I am well aware that reformed smokers are not all annoying.  This was just a hook to get you to read this…and, well… if you made it this far….  (it worked)!  Love you guys!  😉

an all too familiar feeling

8 Aug

Finally sobering up from last week, I spent some time this weekend thinking about what this journey means for me.  The last few days, I’ve been really struggling, feeling sluggish and finding myself tempted by junk that I haven’t had in months.

I have this fear in the back of my mind and recognizing a feeling that is all too familiar.  I have now lost 36.2 pounds, which is a big milestone because as an adult, it is the most I’ve lost at any one time.  In the past, the amount of weight that I’ve lost hasn’t been motivation enough to keep going.  Instead I relapse.  At 36.2 pounds, I am excited, but extremely skeptical and fearful of what happens next.

This skepticism combined with a feeling of not being on top of my game the last few days has really got me concerned.  I’ve learned so much about how to eat better and make better choices over the last few months.  My clothes were fitting better and I was feeling good.  But the last few days, I really feel like I’ve hit a wall.  I feel gross–sort of bloated and stuffed.  Nothing seems to fit right, the scale isn’t moving, and I can feel my motivation waning.  I know I am in dangerous territory.

Yesterday I spent some time thinking about what habits I ignore that are leading up to what feels a lot like a relapse?  I spent the better part of the day thinking about this and believe I’ve identified four things that have led to my failure in the past and are again threatening my progress.

  • Fear of Failure
  • Underestimating Small Decisions
  • Creating Unnecessary Obstacles
  • Losing Focus

Let me explain…

  1. Fear of Failure: At times I am my own worst enemy.  I hold myself back for fear of not doing something perfectly or failing altogether.  As far as this journey, I think my biggest mental block is seeing how far I’ve come.  Instead of seeing 36 pounds as a positive, a part of me sees it as a long way to fall, if for some reason I fail again.  If I had lost 5 pounds and regained it, I would have been bummed, but to regain 36 pounds…I’m not sure if I am prepared for such disappointment.  Rational?  NO.  A real fear? YES.
  2. Underestimating Small Decisions: A big part of this journey for me is not feeling deprived, as this tends to lead to burning out and giving up.  I admit that throughout this journey I’ve made what felt like small, insignificant decisions and ignored the implications.  I’ve decided to occasionally have “a bite of this” or “a bite of that” and then simply went on with life as though those small bites wouldn’t add up.  Looking back on those “insignificant” choices, I wonder if I unknowingly have been reinforcing bad habits and failing to build up the willpower that I need to be successful on this journey.  Now, I don’t think a bite of TB’s ice cream every so often or a little bite of cake here or there would make me regain a lot of weight, but I think it reinforces a nasty habit of not being mindful and treating these “bites” like free food.  I can see how this could easily get out of hand.  A bite today, could easily become three bites, a slice, or a binge tomorrow. Before I allow this to happen, I need to rethink EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth and CLAIM IT!
  3. Creating Unnecessary Obstacles: My last post was about eating home-cooked meals away from home.  I got an interesting comment on this one from reader and fellow blogger, Fit B, saying that she lets people know about her journey so that they can be supportive.  That approach was spot on and would solve the problem, but it was my response that later made me pause.  I responded that I wasn’t ready to tell everyone because I didn’t want people constantly monitoring what I eat.  After I responded, I thought…why IS that?  Is it because I don’t want people to hold me accountable?  I don’t want people to know if I jump or fall off the wagon?  I don’t want to give up that freedom of making bad decisions without being judged—or so I think?  WOW!  This blew my mind.  At the end of the day…I need to hold MYSELF accountable and stop with the excuses.  This is a tough realization.  No, it doesn’t mean I will rush out and post on Facebook that I am on this journey, but it does mean that I need to be aware that I tend to build up walls that I can hide behind.  It is no secret that I need to eat better and lose weight and the fact that I am trying should be applauded, not hidden.  I need to work on getting over this hang up, as it really would make my life easier.
  4. Losing Focus: And finally, my last epiphany is the simple fact that at times I lose focus.  I forget why this journey is so important.  I take my eye off the prize and get distracted.  If I am serious about doing this, I need to remain focused on what drives me to WANT to get better!

Okay, so this post is CRAZY long…my sincere apologies, but I needed to write down these thoughts.  I know I need to face my fears and get to a place where I can accept occasional slip ups.  I need to take ownership of bad choices and need to learn to stop myself before I make an excuse or make life harder than it has to be.  And I desperately need to STAY focused!!

Anyone else out there get to a certain point in weight loss where you hit a wall and begin slipping in the wrong direction?  What do you do to break through and stay focused?

my quest to find a new relationship

27 May

So, as I mentioned before, the plan was to start working with a dietitian.  Now, it is official…I have started a program that will teach me how my body uses food as well as gives me a solid understanding of how to make healthier choices.  As you know, my mission is to lose weight, but this time I’m looking for a real lifestyle change with long-term implications.

I’ve failed many times before with gimmicks, pills, and offers like “read this book and lose weight”, “buy this expensive equipment and watch the pounds melt away”, and of course I’ve tried more traditional methods like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers and found some short-term success with their special meals and meetings.  I learned a lot from each one of these attempts at weight loss.  1) There are no magic pills, potions or lotions    2) An exercise machine is only good if you USE it    3) The books (and corresponding cookbooks) look great on my bookshelf, but do very little for my “back shelf”–aka my behind    4) I find pre-made foods limiting    5) I don’t love the idea of carrying around a sliding scale at the grocery store just to figure out how many Points there are in a serving of Honey Bunches of Oats

There are so many people who swear by these methods and I am ecstatic for those who have used them and found long-term success, but I am tired of “dieting”.  I just want to be “normal” and not have to think about food all the time.  I want to eat NORMAL foods that I can get from a grocery store.  I don’t want to rush to a weekly meeting to stand in line and weigh in.  I want to learn how to have a simple, normal, HEALTHY relationship with food.

Don’t get me wrong…I know all relationships take some work.  And just like the start of any great relationship, I am ready to dedicate some serious time getting to know my body… learning about its little quirks, discovering what it likes and dislikes and uncovering what really turns it on.  I am ready to work hard at this.  I totally expect good days and bad days, highs and lows, days to celebrate and moments where I will just need a timeout and a little “space”.  I am ready to put 100% into this and in return I want to get to a point where I am not consumed by it.  Where making healthy choices is second nature, not something that I can only do by picking up a sliding scale or warming up a pre-packaged meal…a simple, “it looks too good to be true” kind of love.

Losing weight is hard  (gaining it…not so much) and I’ve watched myself fail too many times.  I’ve mastered the art of STARTING diets, but reaching my goals…well that’s unchartered territory.  I’ve had ENOUGH!!  I need a team that will keep me motivated, be supportive and give me the tools to do this for the long haul.

The Fisherman by Håkon Iversen

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”   – Chinese Proverb

I don’t want to be dependent on any special meals, pills, food calculations, etc…  I want to learn how to read labels and figure out what it all means, appreciate food for what it is–a source of energy, understand what I am putting into my body and learn to really maximize the benefits of each meal that I eat.  I also want to understand why my body does what it does….  Why when I only eat 2 meals a day, I still gain weight?  Why am I never thirsty?  Why am I always so tired?  How many calories should I be getting?  How can I get my body to work with me based on MY current situation?  The list goes on and on…

So, today marks the beginning of the second week of working with Emily, my dietitian, who you will hear more about throughout this journey.  Over the last month, I have provided Emily with some assessments that gave her a look into the secret window of my life.  What, when, how much I eat……What I like, dislike, love and can’t live without…what motivates me, bums me out, and really sets me off….What I’m at risk for, my family history, my physical limitations….you get the point…

She’s taken the time to understand where I’m coming from and is designing a plan just for ME and now she joins me on my journey and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  In the last week, she’s already explained a lot about my body, the metabolism and even gave me a few homework assignments.

This post is already crazy long, so I will save the details for my next post.  I am super excited and want to share some of the information that I’ve already learned and share my progress so far after working with Emily over the last week!

In the meantime, I thought I’d try to make this a little more interactive and hopefully hear back from my 4 blog buddies (yes, I now have FOUR AWESOME subscribers to my blog…I AM SO EXCITED!).

What kind of relationship do you have with your body?  What would it say about you?

Reply in the comment section…I really want to get to know you guys!

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small goals…big progress

23 May

So a few weeks ago I mentioned  that I wanted to set weight loss goals for each milestone I reach.

So I’ve been thinking about what constitutes a milestone?  Webster defines a milestone as a significant point in development.  I’d argue that every pound would be a positive step in my journey towards health, but sadly while I do love a good treat, I really want to make sure I do something special for those significant moments, while really celebrating the baby steps I take to get there.

So, I’ve created the following plan to acknowledge each step as well as celebrate the true milestones.

TB (The Boyfriend) is going to help me find a tall glass vase and some polished stones to celebrate the hundred plus small steps towards my goal.  With each pound, I will drop in a stone.  I am a little worried that I won’t find small enough stones OR a big enough vase…but I will cross that bridge when I get there.

For those big milestones, I did a lot of thinking on this one.  While I might change the rewards depending on my financial situation (hoping to find a new job soon)….I am pleased with how I’ve defined my milestones as far as pounds lost.

Without further ado and after much deliberation, I introduce to you “My Road to the First 4 Stones”.

4 stones is 56lbs (my first major goal is to lose 62 lbs–4.4 stones).  Why 62…we will get to that in a sec….

Along my journey towards this first major milestone, I’ve sprinkled in a few rewards here and there to  keep me motivated.  I have a long road ahead of me.  However, worry not, because along this road I have some very fun treats planned for myself and the lucky guy or gal that I decide to invite on these “Because You Rock” moments!  I haven’t decided yet if I will stick to my friends and family for these special excursions or if I can figure out a way to offer up a special “Thanks for your support” present for my loyal readers–so far the odds would be great since I currently have 3 subscribers!  😉  Stay tuned while I figure out those details!

The biggest reason I decided to create a roadmap between the Dee you know now and the Dee sans 4 stones, 6 lbs is that I thought this was a milestone that would really indicate lifestyle change and one that would make a huge impact not only on my health, but most importantly, the milestone that would indicate that I am free from the medical definition of Super Obese.  What’s Super Obesity, you ask?  Well sadly, it’s the definition given to people whose BMI exceeds the level of Morbid Obesity.  We hear about Morbid Obesity a lot in the news…but I personally didn’t realize there were levels beyond that.  And imagine my surprise to find out that not only was I topping out at these levels, but it was only after losing a few pounds could I call myself Super Obese.  Whew…talk about your wake up calls.

For those of you who do not personally know me, I am a visual person…so let me show you what the levels of obesity look like and what it personally means as far as my weight loss journey:

I started this journey out in the red and thank God I started when I did before I ventured even further into the red zone.  Now, I know that my current situation is EXTREMELY dangerous and I thank God that he has allowed me to make it this far without any serious medical conditions as a result of all of this excess weight.  I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to  be here and work on fixing the damage that I’ve done to my body.  I also feel that if I can do this and motivate just one person out there to do what’s best for their bodies, then maybe there would be some greater purpose for this struggle.  But until then…I’ll keep at my journey…one stone at a time!

what motivates you?

29 Apr

So, as I climbed on the scale this morning and watched the numbers bouncing around, building up the unneeded suspense on just how well I am doing so far, I held my breath and waited for some good (or maybe not so good) news.  When the numbers finally settled down and blinked (to indicate that the scale had made up its mind)…I was pleasantly surprised and did my little victory shuffle.

Down 2 lbs from the last time I weighed!  I’ll take that for sure!  Nothing is more motivating than seeing progress…be it in a pair of too tight jeans or the actual numbers on the scale.  These little victories all add up!   When I am feeling tired and it sounds a lot better to continue sitting on the couch than getting up and going for a walk…it’s these rare moments of victory that light a fire and get me going!

I realize on this journey, I won’t always have losses (at least on the scale) and probably need another way to stay motivated, so I decided to start a list of rewards that I can look forward to when I reach little milestones.  Of course, this will also require me to set some short-term goals in the process.

So over the next few days, I will be thinking of little milestones and the fun goodies that I will reward myself with along the way!  YAY…I love presents!

In the meantime…any suggestions?  What motivates you?