Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Had a Dream

Do you visualize yourself at goal weight? It's something we all know we're supposed to do but I don't do it.

I have been overweight so long now, it's hard for me to imagine myself another way. I went from skinny (and I do mean skinny) to fat practically overnight -- 19 years ago. I barely remember myself another way. And I did not appreciate my trim body when I had it, so I never really looked at it! I have always been insecure about my appearance. I was a late bloomer, painfully thin and unmercifully teased throughout my growing up years. I wore bikinis as a young adult -- ones with 4 times as much fabric as they have nowadays! -- but never looked at myself in the mirror.

It's more than that, though. If I plumb the depths a little, I can tell you why I don't visualize myself at goal weight. I am scared that it will be "too late." I'm afraid my skin will hang in ugly folds and my neck will be a huge, swinging waddle. I'll have basset hound hands and feet. And worse, I'll still be ugly. I will still look in the mirror and say, "ick." (Yes, yes, I know I'm not ugly now. Obviously some work to do there too.)

After several successful weeks in a row, I've had two weeks of no change and I know this week my weight will be up. I know this because I've  and eaten a lot of things I did not track and choose not to remember. Notice how my troubles correspond exactly to the amount of time we've been in Lent? Yes, it's my Lenten Rebellion. That is, of course, exactly how to gain weight. My actions are not too surprising in light of my lack of vision!

Last night, though, I had a miracle. I had a dream of myself in a swimsuit at goal weight. It was very realistic. I could see my whole torso and for some reason, I had my arms over my head and I could see that they were definitely my arms, mid-century arms, with a lot of swing! Yet my body looked a lot different than my body of my youth, thicker, but stronger too. I realized on waking, I am so fit now. I was never this fit in my young adulthood. I didn't value fitness as I now do! 

I have it now. I can "see" it. I recommit to my eating plan and to logging my food. I recommit to my goal to drop 50+ pounds this year. I will make some plans right now and head off into spring break well-armed to eat well.

Now. . . how about you?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fun Friday: Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

Happy Friday! Here are your Tips, Tricks and Inspiration!

Get Off Your Bottom and Save Your Life!

There was a very thorough and helpful article in the March/April 2015 issue of Weight Watchers Magazine on how sitting is the new "smoking." Your life can be seriously shortened by a sedentary lifestyle, even if you are regular exerciser. I cannot find a link to the Weight Watchers article -- which is excellent and worth your time to track down and purchase -- but here is a link to a shorter article on the same theme.

The crux of it is this: your desk job may be killing you! If you have a desk job, see if a standing desk can be made available for you. Get up at least once an hour for 5 minutes; this can have a huge positive impact on your health. Even better is getting up every 20 minutes.  The Weight Watchers article has a whole page of ways to implement this lifestyle change.


We all know movement and exercise are crucial to weight loss and maintenance. But the trick is to keep ourselves motivated. 5 or 6 years ago, I started wearing a fitbit, intrigued by the accelerometer and more accurate (than a pedometer) step-tracking. There are several competing products out there now, too. It doesn't matter which product you use, these activity trackers are amazing. They make you aware of how active or sedentary you are and they are practically work-free. You just put them on with your clothes each day and charge them every few days. They sync by blue tooth so all you have to do is walk near your computer. All the products have mobile apps, of course. Most sync with the Weight Watchers app and other popular weight loss apps.

These products are a perfect example of something you don't technically need but once you start using them, you won't know why you waited so long! In the interest of full disclosure, I read a study that said half the users lose interest in the product over time. Fair enough. For the other half, though, these simple devices can lead to long-term lifestyle changes.

Start small. Simple devices like the fitbit zip are under $50. (Full disclosure: I am just a fitbit fan. I am not getting anything out of this free and unsolicited endorsement for their products!)


As I said recently, friends help with the challenges of ongoing weight loss. Sometimes they help without even knowing it! The fitbit app allows you to "friend" other fitbit users. One of my friends, Anne, gets tons of steps every week. Last night she had over 84,000 for the week! I asked her, "How do you always get so many steps?" Her answer: "I told myself there will be NO MORE days under 10,000 steps." So simple, right?  She totally inspired me! I took up the gauntlet for myself and I went from being in the middle of the pack of my friends to consisently in 2nd place, right behind Anne, of course! 

What this means in real terms is that I am now moving through my weekends instead of sitting through them. Last Saturday, I knew I'd be scorekeeping at 3 games and watching 1 or 2 more ballgames. I decided to leave my chair in the car. I stood up and did some jogging in place in between batters. I ran all over that ballpark. I never sat down! I'd have never done that without my 10K/day commitment. Sunday, I cleaned my house from top to bottom. Okay well I didn't get it all done but it was my most productive weekend in ages. 

Connecting with other fit-minded individuals is such a boost. Yes, it's exposing too, but transparency is a great thing. It's so freeing to be an open book and in so doing, you may inspire someone else. Allow yourself to be inspired --or be an inspiration -- this week!