Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Let's Talk Dieting

I've been taking my weight loss journey in a series of tiny steps, and as I so often say, by making one good decision at a time.  It is the only option open to me really, given the overwhelming amount of weight I need to shed, just to reach "normal," normal being healthy. 

I am doing this for my health.  Actually, I'm doing this for my very survival.  Oh, I may have lived another 10 or 15 years in morbid obesity, maybe even longer.  But then again, maybe not.  And since there are no guarantees, or even assurances, I figured I better get serious, once and for all or risk being added to the statistics of those who died "too young." 

I have to face it, I'm not getting any younger.  And, if the truth be told, I've already sacrificed a LOT to this weight.  I don't really see the advantage of going into my golden years (assuming I'd make it there), with normal aging issues AND fighting morbid obesity issues too.  Quality and quantity matter, when it comes to my life.

I had to start somewhere, and I've read ten percent is a great target for reduction.  So, my first mini-goal was to lose 10% of my body's weight (30 lbs).  I've just achieved that.  But, rather than shoot for the next 10% (27 lbs), I made this current goal another 30 lb. target.  I'm not stuck on "30" as a number.  I chose it over and above the 10%, simply because achieving this goal drops me out of the official "morbid Obese" category for someone of my height. 

I'll be "merely" severely obese at 247 lbs.  I'll still have a very long way to go.  But, for me, leaving the morbid category is a true cause for celebration. I think I crossed that line, on the way UP, sometime around 1995.  It didn't seem that long ago, but wow, fifteen years!  That is a long time to be putting myself at risk, unnecessarily.

There is no doubt, for me, part of the journey is psychological as well.  I had to get my mind to the right place, to finally get serious about getting this job done.  It is hard to break long-standing and beloved (unhealthy, but beloved) eating habits. 

What has made the difference this time, in part, is that I finally stopped thinking in terms of what I can't have, or what I'm missing.  I let go of my former "indulgence" mindset.  Instead, I have truly embraced the attitude about properly fueling myself FOR MY BODY'S SAKE.  I'm mentally looking at this body as something in which I have to take a pro-active approach to its proper care.   

I've had (literally) decades to treat myself - and it is obvious that I have.  So, now I have to pay for this, by working so hard to correct for my past food indiscretions.  I'm not beating myself up over history, but I have to deal with the ramifications.  Enter, my diet.  Enter the foot path to improved health.

I'm moving a LOT easier these days.  I have more energy.  I sleep better (and I'm not closing my eyes anymore, wondering if I'll wake up the next morning).  I'm more comfortable.  And I'm very, very determined.  I'm not perfect, but I have focus.  I'm realistic too. 

This is no criticism, but I've read some bloggers who have given up weighing themselves routinely.  They call it "freeing," and it may well be, but it is not for me.  The scale - love it or hate it - is THE tool that tells me, exactly, how well (or not) I am doing.  It is the tool that is going to help me succeed.

I also take my measurements (which sometimes move even when the scale is stubborn) and I gauge how well I'm doing by how things fit.  Ultimately, however, it is all about that scale number.  And I have to be honest, sometimes I don't like it very much.  I have a real "kill the messenger" attitude about my scale some days.  But I'll give it credit too, because it has sure taught me a lot about how my body functions during this weight loss process.  I've learned how sensitive it is to certain foods, exercise, even how efficient it is in regulating things.  I've come to appreciate that this body is still working well, despite what I've tossed at it over the years.  The human body is truly a marvel of efficiency.

Thank goodness.  Thank God too.

So, my attitude shift, a diet that works for me, and setting lots of little goals (and medium goals, and long-term goals) have worked for me, so far in this journey. 

What have you been doing, that has worked for you?  Share some of the secrets to your success, and perhaps we can all learn something new to help ourselves along the way.


  1. I had a plateau for like 8 weeks once. Now again for like 12 weeks. LoCarb is just that way.... then suddenly - bam!
    Yet all the while, y body shape was clearly changing - for the better.
    So that's why I don't live and die(t) by the scales!

  2. I am a pure calorie counter and scale user. It worked for me when I was 30 and it works for me at 55. I am "stuck" right now and can play with words all I want, but I'm an expert at losing weight (and then finding the same pounds again!). Deep down inside, I know the reason I'm stuck and it is that I'm simply eating too much. Everything I eat is healthy and clean, but it still has calories and they add up. When I reduce my portions and take my exercise to a new level, I'll start losing weight again! I'm older now and it may be slower, but I'll lose!

  3. I surround myself with inspiration, I read blogs like a mad women, magazines and books. Even right now, I haven't even gotten out of bed yet and I am on my phone checking out the wl blogs, I always read something that inspires me

    You are doing great!!

  4. I'm with Karla. I am always reading blogs, nutrition books, magazine articles, Googling "weight loss" or "nutrition" or "exercise" or "health". I do this to keep my mind focused on it all the time. When I leave home, I have a magazine or book in my bag to read while I wait somewhere. There's one on my nightstand. There's one on my desk. There's one by my chair in the den.

    Am I obsessed? No, because there are cookbooks lying around beside all these other books mentioned. ;-)

  5. Hey, Ann, check back at my place. There are more comments for you.

  6. I think it's all about getting into a routine and finding out what works. I used to get on the scales daily but now it's only 2 or 3 times a week. I'm still not at the point where I'm living a balanced life because I think about my weight just a bit more than I do anything else, but as the pounds chip away it's coming more to center. I guess I just need that focus at this time.


  7. Great commentary posts, Everyone! It is always helpful to see what others are doing.

    Jo, I'll check back at the site ... I loved (so far) all the calorie counting recommendations. Thank you for posting that for me. I'm going to review the site recommendations next week, and then pick one. I'll start calorie counting/notebook journaling on the 25th - after my "meeting the weight loss blogger gang" weekend in Williamsburg.

  8. I have to admit i waffle between counting calories and counting points!
    I too take a lot of inspiration from other blogs (at least positive ones) and books :)
    And i love trying new recipes, keeps my hubby happy too!!

  9. I need to weigh myself once a week, without that I feel I dont know how to tweak my diet and exercise. I'm a low carber because it is the healthiest thing for me to do. I had hypoglycemia for a long time before discovering low carb and once I realized what was causing it, I eliminated the problem (sugar, white things, processed foods) and I FEEL so much better.