I’ve done this before – a million and one times actually. Losing weight is something I don’t remember not doing….except when I just didn’t care about it. But, something has changed in me this time. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of losing the same weight two, three, four, one hundred times, only to put it on again. I noticed one HUGE thing the other day that I’ve never noticed before. So, how has weight loss changed my thinking?
There’s nothing better for your confidence than dropping pounds. It empowers you, makes you feel stronger, and you just exude confidence. Well, at least I do. I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and that’s a great feeling. I’m also in smaller clothes now and that’s freakin’ awesome!
An increase in my confidence has changed my thinking from “I can’t do that” to “Watch me knock this out!” I’m proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished already. I want to do more but I’m keeping realistic expectations. I know I’m going to slow down and even plateau. I’m preparing myself for it now so, when it does happen, I won’t let it get me down.
Seeing Food Differently
It’s no secret that I’m an emotional eater, but my relationship with food has changed tremendously in such a short time. About 2 weeks ago, I was really pissed off at my husband. I bitched about him to anyone who would listen. Usually, I would turn to food to help me feel better, but I didn’t do that this time. While I was on the phone having a bitch session with my mom, I walked laps around my dining room table. I replaced my food cravings with activity and it’s done amazing things for me.
It used to be I would sit around, watching television, doing nothing. Now, I’m barely still. Some of that is thanks to my FitBit because it reminds to move every hour. I get at least 250 steps per hour, which is a little over 3,000 steps per day. I also get my workout in no matter what my schedule is like. I much prefer to do my workouts in the morning, but my schedule doesn’t always allow that. Instead of saying “eff it” and skipping it, I get it in just as soon as I can. I’m even thinking about joining a local gym!
My entire mindset has changed so much since the beginning of this year. February really, since that’s when I really got started (I wasn’t cleared for physical activity until January 23). I’ve been feeling absolutely amazing. Even the stress I’ve experienced with the hubs hasn’t been as difficult as it once was. I’m so grateful for a number of things, but, most importantly, I’m grateful for myself, my abilities, my strength, and my determination.
I have an issue…a BIG issue…with emotional eating. I can almost pinpoint when I started doing it. They (whoever “they” are) say that emotional eating is often triggered by a traumatic event. Check! It’s taken me a long time to realize and admit that I’m an emotional eater. In fact, the admitting part has only recently occurred. But, now that I have owned up to it, I’m determined to make a lasting change!
I read an article about emotional eating and how to stop it. I just love how these folks make it sound so freakin’ easy. Just stop…um, yeah, that’s all it takes…*eye roll* After reading the article, and thinking about this for awhile, I’ve come up with my own variation of how I’m going to work on ending emotional eating for me. Here’s how I’m going to tackle it…
1. Recognize It
I’ve kinda caught myself doing this subconsciously now and it’s a strange feeling for me. I tend to eat, no matter the emotion, more when I’m bored or anxious. I’ve started noticing this – especially when I’m bored. It’s really bad at night when the hubs and I are sitting around watching our shows. I have a hard time sitting still most of the time so sitting there looking at the TV triggers me to want to eat something and I usually do. Here lately, I’ve been fighting the urge and guess what? I survived.
I need to find something to do with my hands while we’re watching TV so that I’m not bored. You’d think our shows would fill that void for me, but I’m the type of person who always has to be doing something. I’m not always productive but I’m constantly doing shit.
It’s so easy to shut our feelings up with food or whatever floats your boat. Feeling your feelings isn’t always pleasant, especially when you’re pissed off, heartbroken, or stressed out. Who wants to feel that?! I know I don’t. But, eating to shut down those feelings doesn’t actually shut them down.
One of the things I’m struggling with in therapy is that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. If you’re in a bad mood, for whatever reason, it’s okay as long as you’re taking steps to change your mood (without food!). I get really bitchy when I’m stressed out or worried and that’s when I go for the chips and cookies. I need to learn to recognize my feelings, feel them, and move the hell on.
3. Shut It Down
The only power food has is to sustain life. However, emotional eaters give food way more power than that. We attribute our feelings of happiness to food, when, in fact, food didn’t have a damn thing to do with it. It’s time to shut it down and stop giving food power it doesn’t have. You know those sweet treats that contain sugar that all us emotional eaters crave? That sugar is more addictive than heroin, making us want it more and more. Now, I’m not suggesting you, me or anyone else cut sugar…c’mon, we gotta live, but we do have to be careful with the amount of sugar we eat.
It’s time to associate healthy options with our brain’s reward system. That’s all emotional eating is anyway; it triggers the euphoric part of our brain, which is why we binge on certain foods…they make us feel better.
4. Find Healthy Ways to Cope
The one thing I learned last year when I dropped 60 pounds is that exercise is freakin’ phenomenal for boosting my mood. Yep, you read that right. I never thought I’d say that either but there it is. When I was in a bad mood, I would grab my ear buds and run it out. I actually felt better by the time I was finished.
You have to find what works for you; I know that exercise works for me. I just don’t like sweating so I make excuses for not doing it. Find something healthy that gives you the same feeling that chocolate cake gives you and do that instead of eat.
It’s time we stop allowing our emotions control us. We’re bigger than they are, dammit, and it’s high time we put them in their place! The next time you think about eating your emotions, try seeing yourself as a toddler throwing a tantrum. Would you give in to that? Hell no you wouldn’t. Don’t feed your emotions with crap (haha…check me out using puns); feed them with kindness, understanding, and some physical activity.
Facing the truth isn’t easy and it’s certainly not easy when you realize it yourself. Over the past few months, I’ve realized several hard truths of my own that have made me sad, disappointed, even disgusted with myself. It all started back in August, when I lived in a land of ignorance and thought I had my life under control. HA!
Hard Truth #1: I’m Not Happy with Myself
I’ve been functioning on auto pilot for so long. An “opportunity” presented itself in August and I, stupidly, jumped on it. Why? Because I wasn’t happy with myself. In turn, by not being happy with myself, I wasn’t happy with other relationships in my life, which included my marriage. I ended up participating in something I shouldn’t have for a couple of months and was left feeling far worse about myself than when I started. I’ve spent the past few months trying to move past this and some days are better than others. Therapy has been helpful but it’s a slow process.
Although I was a complete and utter dumb ass, there is something positive that came out of all of this. My marriage is on the road to recovery and I realized I wasn’t happy with myself. I’m working on finding myself again and learning what makes me happy. I’m not seeking happiness from anything or anyone other than myself. My husband and I have spent a great deal of time talking to one another, which is something we haven’t done much of during our marriage.
Hard Truth #2: I Cannot Be Trusted with Food
If you’ll recall, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, dropped 60 pounds and cured myself. Well, that was short-lived. I saw my doctor last week and weighed in at 259 pounds! That means I’ve only kept off 19 pounds. Hmph! So, that means I have 2 choices; I can let it get to me and put the other 19 pounds and more on, or I can tell myself that I have a 19 pound head start. I’m choosing the latter.
Why can’t I be trusted with food? Because I freakin’ eat it…ALL of it! When my doctor took me off metformin, I told myself that I had this under control. Well, lying is never good, especially to yourself. I shouldn’t have told myself that, let alone believed it. I know better. If I could control my damn food, I wouldn’t have blown up to 278 pounds in the first place. Right or wrong? Right! I’m an emotional eater so it doesn’t take much for me to abuse food.
I dusted off my FitBit yesterday, strapped it on, and cleaned the house. I ended up having to contact support because there was an issue with syncing and updating. Long story short, all of my data from yesterday was lost but it finally updated and synced with the app. Gotta take the good with the bad. Just because my data was lost doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Hard Truth #3: I’m Lazy
I’m the freakin’ queen of excuses when it comes to exercise…and a few other things. Most days, I’d rather lie around on the couch and binge watch my favorite shows than do anything else. That’s a side effect of depression and not being happy with myself. I’m working on those things every single day. I tend to feel overwhelmed most days and that makes me shut down entirely. I don’t want to meal prep or cook these days either. I want to grab whatever is easy, whether it’s good for me or not.
I find it difficult to do the simplest of things, such as wash my face and brush my teeth. I’m sure that’s the depression but still. No one wants to feel like that. I’ve also found that I’m not as productive as I or others believe me to be. I haven’t been consistent with my Filofax in a long time and I can see a huge difference in what I get done….or don’t.
It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and admit your truth but it’s necessary. You HAVE to admit it before you can accept it, change it, learn from it, and grow. This year is all about that process for me. I have a lot to work on and it’s hard not to get overwhelmed when I look at the big picture. BUT – with the help of my goal setting action plan, I’m able to break my goals down into smaller, more manageable ones to, hopefully, decrease my anxiety and feelings of overwhelm. Here’s to admitting hard truths and changing them!
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We’re officially in a new year and what lies ahead is completely up to you. I took some time over the weekend to create an action plan for the year. My hope is that following that plan will allow me to achieve my goals. Notice I said hope? If I learned anything in 2016 it was to never have expectations. I’ve learned to go with the flow a bit more (so freakin’ hard for me) and I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff. Sometimes, shit just doesn’t go the way we think it should. Guess what? That’s ok! I’m not sure I entirely believe that right now, but, hey, I’m a work in progress.
Here’s some advice about goal-setting – make sure your goals are attainable! Don’t you dare set goals you know damn well you aren’t going to achieve. I created a 3 month goal setting worksheet (free download below!) to help me break down the year.
I have a lot of goals for 2017 and breaking them down in smaller increments allows me to narrow my focus. Now, will it keep me from looking ahead? Yeah right….but, at least my main focus will be on the current quarter. This is my first time using a system like this so I’m not sure how it’s going to work for me, but I’ll keep ya posted.
A Few of My 2017 Goals
Like I said, I have a lot of goals for this year and I’ve tried to prioritize them in order of importance to me. Just like I do with my top 3 tasks for the day, I have my top 3 goals for the year. While these goals will be listed in the first quarter, I’ll be working on them all year and still may not achieve them. That doesn’t mean that these goals aren’t attainable – it just means that they’re BIG goals that require more than 4 quarters to complete. Here they are…
If you’re an overthinker, you know damn well that this ish is hard to stop. My mind is constantly thinking about things; sometimes when it shouldn’t. How do I plan on conquering this? Well, I’ve been reading a lot about how getting thoughts out of your head can help reduce overthinking so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start journaling my thoughts; randomly and without worrying if it makes sense. If it works, just imagine how much mental space I’ll free up…holy cow!
Get & Stay Healthy
This is something I’m always going to work on and I’m ok with that. I’ve gained back all the weight I lost when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I can’t begin to describe how disgusted with myself I feel. Ah, oh well. All is not lost. I’ve learned that I have to always be vigilant with my food and exercise and to track every single thing!
Say No…without explaining why or feeling guilty
Ha…this is probably the hardest one to achieve. Each time I have to tell someone no, I feel compelled to explain why I can’t blank and I always feel bad that I wasn’t able to blank. People even ask me why I can’t do whatever when I’ve tried just saying no. I really need to get a handle on this one.
What Lies Ahead…
I have other goals as well, such as lowering debt, practicing self-care daily, finding happiness, and so on. So many things happened in 2016 and I’ve come to the conclusion that what happened in 2016 STAYS in 2016. I am worried that a few things from 2016 are going to trickle over into this year but I’ll deal with them if/when it happens. I have a few major decisions to make this year and I’m a bit intimidated. But, life starts outside your comfort zone, right?
Sometimes I sit back and take stock of the shit I’ve bought and can’t believe I’ve actually wasted money on it! If my husband only knew I’d be in deep shit for years, but, fortunately for me, I’m the one who handles the bills around here. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and decided what the hell – it’s time to put it out there.
You read that right. I bought a damn fork – ONE fork! Why? Well, it’s supposed to help you eat slower so you lose weight. Damn – I’m a fucking idiot! I think I used it twice. My husband found it yesterday while we were trying to (laughably) organize the basement. This bitch was $80!
This isn’t just any old water bottle – it keeps track of the water you drink. Because counting for yourself is just too fucking hard. I’ve used this a grand total of 3 times. The damn thing was $40; I spent $40 on a water bottle because I didn’t count my glasses of water. Talk about stupid.
Wasted Money #3: Books on Dieting
If there’s a book on dieting, I’ve either bought it or wanted to buy it. But, here’s the thing – of the ones I’ve bought I’ve read….0! I found 2 of them over the long weekend and couldn’t believe I paid money for them. What the hell is wrong with me?! Cost? Hundreds of dollars.
Wasted Money #4: Weight Loss Supplements
We all want immediate results when we’re losing weight and I’m no different. I’ve tried almost every weight loss supplement out there and guess what? I pissed that money down the toilet! They don’t work and God knows what they actually do to your body. Cost? Thousands of dollars.
I have a problem and it’s time for me to seek treatment. Not only am I an emotional eater, apparently I’m an emotional spender, too. I’ve got issues, I tell ya. It’s high time I take stock of what’s really important and stick to a damn budget. To hell with all this crap that’s supposed to make losing weight easier. There’s no such thing!
Almost a year ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My doctor prescribed metformin and required me to test my glucose every day. If you remember, all that came to an end in January when I beat diabetes! So, where am I now?
I just visited my doctor a couple of weeks ago and realized that I’ve gained back 20 pounds. Ugh! Everything has changed and, apparently, I don’t handle change well at all. I’ve been dealing with some health issues lately that keep me from normal, every day things. But, I see my doctor again on July 15 to hopefully fix that. Or, at least start the process. I’ve been dealing with severe cramping from the mirena and I can’t stand it anymore. When I say severe cramping, that’s exactly what I mean. I’ve been dealing with this since last September and it sometimes keeps me from functioning. I double over, pain goes down both of my legs, and my feet go numb. On July 15 that bitch is coming out and, hopefully, start the process for an ablation.
Things are about to change yet again as my oldest son is going back to boot camp on July 11. He went earlier this year, got a concussion, and was released. Since he’s been home, he’s gotten himself into a shitload of trouble, including taking alcohol to school. He’ll be 18 in December and this is our last ditch effort to get through to him. Fingers crossed!
Work has exploded since the beginning of this year and it’s become one of my top priorities. I could work 24/7 and still not be caught up but I love it. However, I need to reorder my priorities because my health has taken a back seat. You see, when I heard my doctor say that I no longer had diabetes, I immediately thought that I was in control. As it turns out, I’m a jackass!
I stopped logging my food and activity in Lose It! and I stopped measuring my food. I told you I’m a a jackass. I clearly can’t handle this on my own. I’ve talked to my husband about this so many freaking times and he pointed out that getting healthy is the only goal I never achieve. It’s true but I don’t know why. That’s the next thing for me to work on with my therapist. I need to get to the bottom of this immediately because I’m getting too damn old for this shit.
It’s time for me to get back to where I was. I’ll be weighing myself tomorrow morning to survey the damage. From there, I’m having a healthy breakfast and then I’m hitting the streets with Digger for some cardio. I have to put my health first no matter what because I’ve got a lot of life left to live. Looking back, a year later, I’ve been successful in losing more than 60 pounds and keeping off 40. I don’t care what people say, that’s success! Here’s to more success to come.
Six months ago, today, I learned I had type 2 diabetes. It wasn’t the best news, by a long shot. I realized that I had 2 choices: live with it or change it. On August 1, 2015, after 3 or 4 days of sulking, I decided I had to change it. I’m very fortunate to have such a strong support system in my family and friends, but, even so, it wasn’t always easy. I had my 6-month check up today – here’s how it went.
My Initial Diagnosis
Back on July 27, 2015, I went in for what I thought was a routine check up. Needless to say, I was shocked when I learned that my A1C was 6.8, which meant I had type 2 diabetes. My doctor immediately started me on Metformin and I was, for once, at a loss for words. It was one of the most difficult days of my life, but it was also a chance for me to make some changes. And, that’s exactly what I did!
What’s Changed For Me?
Every damn thing! Well, almost everything. I haven’t given up my iced coffees from Dunkin’ but you already know that. 😉 I’ve been a member of Lose It! for awhile but I only used it sporadically. Kinda like when the mood struck sort of thing. On August 1, 2015 it became, and still is, a constant in my life. I renewed my premium subscription and entered my stats from my doctor’s office. From that day on, I never missed a day logging my food. I also changed my food and the way I eat. The first thing I did was cut out sugar. Well, most of it anyway. I stopped using sugar in my coffee and I became very aware of the grams of sugar in my food. I stopped eating white carbs and went to whole grain instead. I learned that corn and lima beans turned to sugar when digested, so I haven’t had any since before July 27. My food became a top priority for me and now it’s just a habit. I measure every single thing. Yes, I took some heat for this by some people in my life, but, guess what? It didn’t matter then and sure as hell doesn’t matter now. I still measure certain things even though I’ve been doing this every day for 6 months. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Back in July, I weighed in at a whopping 278.6 pounds. My A1C was 6.8 and I was put on Metformin for type 2 diabetes. Well, as of this morning, my weight is 222.8 and my A1C was 5.4! That means I no longer take Metformin because I don’t have diabetes! It also means I’ve lost a total of 55.8 pounds. According to my doctor, my A1C is better now than it’s ever been! How’s that for kicking some ass?! YEAH!
When I first started this journey, I wore a size 26 and they were kinda snug around the middle. I was under the very misguided perception that bigger clothes helped to hide my weight. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking there! Anyway, I now wear a size 18 comfortably and prefer clothes that accentuate my figure; not hide it. I was in a 4X top and now I’m in a large or 1X, depending on the style. Oh, and check this out – my feet have gotten smaller! Yeah, I know you’re think how the hell does that happen?! But, here’s what happened. I used to wear wide width shoes and now I don’t. You’d be surprised at where your body carries weight; places you probably never even thought about, like your feet.
How’d I do it?
Hard work! I never gave up and there were plenty of times I wanted to. I gave up a lot but I refused to give up everything. I started logging everything that went in my mouth and I bought a FitBit Charge HR. From there, I made healthier choices and moved a hell of a lot more than I used to. I had to cut back on my work for a while in order to focus more on myself. That was difficult for me because I love my clients, my work, and I hated dumping the financial burden on my husband. But, I had to look at it like this: If I died, he’d have that burden anyway. So, I figured it was better for him to shoulder this burden alone for a few months than for years. I recruited friends and family to exercise with me: walking, hiking, etc. I didn’t limit my exercise partners to just other people. My fur babies got recruited, too. Digger loved it immensely because he got to sniff and pee on everything every day. I even started running! It wasn’t much and I didn’t do it well, but I still did it. Digger was the one I took on my runs because he could keep up. My poor Mocha is getting old so I don’t take her on runs.
The Physical & Mental Struggle
Weight loss isn’t all physical. In fact, I think it’s more mental than physical because the mind is a powerful thing. Yes, my body was doing things it hasn’t done in years or ever, but my mind was trying to change old habits all at once. I’m a self-sabotager from way back so my mind definitely doesn’t always work to my advantage. This time, however, I couldn’t afford to sabotage myself. So, I informed my therapist of what was going on and we put together a plan. I’m not going to say that I followed it closely or that it worked all the time. What I will tell you is that it was great to have a plan to refer back to when things got hard. Believe it or not, I had the hardest time separating myself from the clothes that were too big. I didn’t want to lose that safety net but, eventually, I let go. I donated a large bag of clothing to Goodwill and it felt amazing! In December, I guess in preparation for the New Year, I decided to go through my closet and see what was there. Ya know, for someone who always said she had nothing to wear, I certainly had a lot of clothes. During my closet clean out, I boxed up a lot of stuff! Once I got over my phobia of donating clothes, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me. I’ve had to buy clothes here and there but I mainly wear my workout gear. Hey – ya never know when an opportunity is going to present itself and it’s best to always be prepared. I currently only have 2 pair of jeans but that’s more than I had when I started this journey. I’m not in a big hurry to run out and buy clothes because I loathe clothes shopping and I’m still losing weight. No need to spend money on clothes I’m not going to wear long. The people closest to me have started calling me “skinny”. I’m not skinny by anyone’s definition, but, compared to what I used to be, I can see why they call me that. At first, it was difficult to accept the compliment because I’m not used to being complimented on my appearance, but now I love it. Why? Because I earned that shit! For the first time in my life, I’m actually happy with who I am and what I look like. We all have this idea of who we are and we try to live up to our expectations and often fall short. Well, that’s how I am anyway. It’s no wonder I felt like such a disappointment most of the time. But, that’s all changed now. I don’t feel self-conscious about my appearance like I used to, I’m not considered a shut-in anymore, and I’m all about activities that get my heart pumping.
What I’ve Learned
The most interesting part of all of this is what I’ve learned about myself. I’ve always considered myself a strong person but I didn’t realize just how strong I was until I began fighting for my life. And, let’s face it, that’s exactly what I was doing. I’m still doing it. I’ll never stop. I’ve also learned that I can make healthy choices and still indulge every once in a while. Can I still get 2 and 3 large iced coffees a day from Dunkin’? Uh, no way! But, I can get one a day or even a small and medium on the same day. It’s all about compromise – not giving up. Dealing with sagging skin isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be either. I remember, way back when, I used to think that having sagging skin was no better than being fat because I still wouldn’t like how my body looked. I’m happy to report that I was so wrong about that! I have sagging skin now and it doesn’t bother me. Why? Extra skin doesn’t carry the health hazards that extra weight does and because I feel good about myself. Oh, and if you’re like me where you crave chocolate or sweets, give cashews a try. Seriously. I eat them when I feel a sweets craving and it takes care of it without all that nasty sugar. My journey isn’t over by any means but I’ve made great strides in the last 6 months. I still have about 40 pounds left to lose before I hit my goal weight so be sure to stay tuned for more!