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Who IS That Girl?

I don’t even know the last time I posted here.  What I’m sure about is that since whenever it was I have not done any melting in the weight loss sense.  My life has been turned upside down and I’m finally starting to get my feet back in place.  In the past six months I have gotten divorced, rented out my home and moved (TWICE) and traded in my gas guzzler for a tiny (but lovable!) car.  In so many ways I look at the life I have now compared to the life I had last summer and feel like a totally different person.

Divorce was the most horrible experience I have ever been through.  It is not something I would wish on anyone.  But at the end of the day, I was in an unhappy marriage and maybe he did me a favor by ending it.  Do I wish that he would have handled it differently?  Absolutely.  But I’ve reached the point where I know that my future will be so much brighter without him in it.  I’ve learned some very important lessons.  First of which is that I am a lot stronger than I ever thought I was.  I knew that I had to keep it together for my son, so I did.  There were good days and bad days (and sometimes it is still that way), but I feel that for the most part I held my head up and did what needed to be done. 

Which brings us to today.  I am not the person I was during the marriage.  In a lot of ways I feel like I have found myself again.  And it feels amazing.  The one thing I haven’t found my way back to though, is the girl who didn’t overeat all the time and was about 80 pounds lighter.  When I was looking through my closet the other night I found a picture of myself from about 2005 or 2006.  I could not believe how different I looked.  Younger of course, but SO much thinner, healthier.  I knew I had gained a LOT.  I knew I didn’t like how I look now.  I just didn’t realize exactly how different I look now.  Sitting in the closet, I just stared at the picture wondering “who is that?” and “what happened to that girl?”

Bottom line, I want that back.  I want to feel good about myself and be comfortable in my own skin.  The divorce surely taught me that I have the capability within me to “do what needs to be done” and be strong.  What is it about dieting that makes those some traits seem to disappear?  I’m so tired of deciding to go on a diet, trying it for a day then quitting.  I’m tired of seeing the scale go up and up and up.  And I’m incredibly disappointed that I’ve let it get so far that I am that taken aback by an old picture of myself.

Today is THE day.  I’m doing what needs to be done.  I am strong enough to say “no” to sweets and junk food and snacking all day long!  In college, I was incredibly successful on a diet where I just followed a couple of simple rules:  No sugar, No dairy and No carbonated drinks.  That was the basis.  In addition, I recall that I did cut down my portions, but nothing in particular.  If I had McDonalds, for example I’d just get the sandwich but no fries.  In the evenings I would have either sugar free Jell-o or natural popcorn.  If it worked back then, it will work now. 

I have a lot to lose.  At least 50 pounds, but to be honest I think 80 is what I really want.  It’s going to be a long, hard road.  But if the biggest challenge of the next year is losing weight I’ll take it.  After going through divorce (and all the little suprises that came with it) I can handle this.  Piece of cake.  (Hmm, maybe I should say “walk in the park” to avoid cake references)

Looking Ahead

Alright, I know I said on Thursday I was going to blog every day and then…. well it’s Sunday and I missed two days of blogging.  We went out of town Friday night and had a busy day shopping Saturday.  But that all boils down to excuses.  No more!

The plan for Monday:

Breakfast:  Boiled egg, 2 slices canadian bacon, coffee with creamer

Lunch:  Chicken salad on a whole wheat pita, Carrot Sticks, 2 tbsp. lowfat ranch dip

Snack:  Apple

Dinner:  Grilled chicken breast, baked potato

Hopefully my doctor will clear me for walking at my visit tomorrow and I can add in 30 minutes of walking!  My goals for the week are:

1.  Lose two pounds

2.  Avoid fast food all week

While it has been so hot this summer everyone in Texas is no doubt melting in the figurative sense, my weight hasn’t started the melt yet.  Yesterday I took the time to sit down and plan out exactly what my process for weight loss is going to be.  I knew I wanted to meet the following expectations:

1.  I want to lose roughly 70 pounds

2.  I don’t want to waste food/money

3.  I want to build healthier eating habits

The first thing I did was weigh in, for my official starting weight.  The scale was higher than I expected at (dun, dun, dun) 211.6 pounds.  I know that my goal is 145, so you can see that there is a long road ahead.  Estimating two pounds a week, I hope to reach my goal by mid-March 2012.

I broke my plan up into three phases.

Phase One:  I want to start eating less, watching portions and losing weight, but I do not want the food that is in the high right now to go to waste.  I found a diet online called the No S diet (No sweets, No snacks, No seconds).  For the next week or two I’m going to use those three guidelines while making my meals out of what we already have in the house.  This satisfies my guideline of not wanting to waste food/money.  The second condition of this phase is avoiding fast food. 

Phase Two:  This phase, which I hope to start on August 1st, is much more specific. I plan to follow a meal plan with lots of healthy, fresh, lean foods.  I’ll add back one snack per day, with conditions on what it can be.  I will get into more details on phase two as it gets closer.

Phase Three: Phrase three starts when I reach my goal.  Monday thru Friday I plan to continue eating Phase Two. On weekends, however, I plan to be more lax. Everything in moderation.

In all three phases a key point is to write every thing down in a food journal.

I still cannot exercise because of my ACL surgery.  Monday I go back to the doctor and hopefully will be cleared to start walking for exercise.  I”m going to start with 30 minutes per day.

The last detail for my diet is that I have decide to start posting here every day until I lose every single pound.  Another blogger did this and had a lot of success.  Once a week I will post my weight and my food diary, to keep me honest.

The No Meat Experiment

For two weeks I didn’t eat any meat.  The idea of being vegetarian has crossed my mind several times.  Normally, I brushed it away because I figured it would be way to hard.  This time I decided to try it.

Originally, the plan was the try it for a full month.  I didn’t make it though.  While it wasn’t terribly hard to do, I just realized that it wasn’t for me.  At first I made a great effort to eat as healthfully as I could.  I actually lost six pounds.  Things took a turn in the second week.  I started to crave meat.  Just grilled chicken…. a juicy steak…. something!  To deal with the cravings, I ate everything else in sight.  I’m sure the six pounds I lost are back.

I’m glad I tried it out.  Now I no longer will wonder if that is the right plan for me.  I know that it is not.  I gave it a good, honest try.  I didn’t just try it for a day and give up. 

I’m still recovering from my ACL surgery.  I think in two weeks I will finally be able to start walking for exercise!  Since getting back to eating meat again, I’m not overeating.  I’m feeling really great about the week ahead.  I’m going to take this one day at a time and one pound at a time.

Finally Beginning the Meltdown

11 days ago I had knee surgery.  I got a brand spanking new ACL and a repaired meniscus.  From what I understand this type of surgery has a long recovery.  I am still on crutches, but hoping my doctor takes me off of them at my next visit.  I know it will be a long time before I can exercise like I used to.  The plan for now is to start walking regularly as soon as I’m cleared for it.

Being down for this long has made me realize a couple of things.  One, I am done with doing exercises I don’t like doing.  In 2010, I pushed myself to do a lot of things that I think probably weren’t for me.  That’s not to say I’ll never be a runner or to just rule out things forever.  But I am saying that I’m not going to keep pushing myself into stuff that is cleary no fun and will just lead to injury.  Instead I’m going to stick with what I know is enjoyable.  As I lose weight, other things may become easier and maybe I’ll be a runner yet.   After taking some time to sit back and think about the exercises I truly enjoy, I came up with walking and yoga.  And I’m super excited about focusing on these when I’m allowed!

The other realization I’ve made (and this one was made prior to surgery) is that a little bit of exercise goes a long way.  At the end of last year I wasn’t exercising daily, just here and there.  Then in early January I messed up my knee.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve exercised since that happened.  Turns out, I gained about 15 or 20 pounds.  While I thought my exercise wasn’t doing much, because I wasn’t losing, turns out it was.  It was keeping that 15 or 20 pounds at bay.

I’ve changed my eating habits the past couple of weeks.  I’m watching my portions, snacking less and most recently not eating meat anymore.  Since my surgery I’ve lost six pounds and I finally feel like I’m gaining the momentum I need to really lose the weight, get healthy and start exercising again.

Meltdown

We’ve all experience the getting dressed meltdown, haven’t we?  For the lucky ones who haven’t, here is how it plays out:

Woman wakes in the morning.  She casually gets out of bed enjoying the sounds of birds singing in the sunshine.  Maybe she pours a cup of coffee and smiles looking out the window.  As she steps into the shower she begins to consider what to wear to work today.  She decides, happily, on her favorite khaki slacks and a pretty blue blouse.  After her refreshing shower she towels off, fixes her hair and heads toward the closet.  She pulls on her slacks, only to realize they are snug.  Too snug.  The birds halt their singing.  The sun goes behind a cloud and thunder rumbles in the sky.  The meltdown begins.  These pants don’t fit!  And nothing else in the entire closet is worth wearing!  I had too much to eat last night!  The food was too salty, that’s what it is!  Wait, when is the last time I wore these pants?  How much have I gained since then?

Friends, this scenario is scary, but oh so true.  The times that this has happened to be cannot be counted.  Whatever happy attitude I may have had is dashed and I’m left stewing.  I’m so mad!  Mad at the pants.  Mad at food.  But, let’s be honest here.  It is no one’s fault but my own.  I’m upset because of the actions (or lack of action) of myself.  If this were a different situation, happening to a different person I know exactly what  I would say:

“If you don’t like the situation change it!  Complaining doesn’t get you anywhere.  DO SOMETHING!”

Clearly, if I had taken my own advice at any point in the past five or so years, I would have already done something.  Instead I’ve continued to do what I’ve always done.  Of course, this means I’ve gotten what I’ve always had.  Meltdowns over my clothes not fitting.  Meltdowns over how I look in pictures.  Meltdowns over whether or not I should wear a swimsuit.

Today, I’m taking my own advice.  I’m changing the definition of meltdown.  Forget flipping out over bad choices.  That’s in the past.  Today I’m literally on the path to Melting Down, one pound at a time.

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