Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Let's Start... (Reposted From Old Blog With Major Updates)

"...at the very beginning... a very good place to start."

So here I am at the beginning (again), armed with photos (I really wish I didn't have to look at them or be the size I am in them), with plans, with rules, with dreams and with some actual enthusiasm.

Now is the time to try again. Or, as a wise "man" once said: "Do or do not, there is no try."

So I am here to do... and, yes, some of this is controversial but this is how it's going to work so please don't start an argument with me over this, okay?

I am sticking with counting calories with My Fitness Pal because I know it works if I actually do it. I've gone through several cycles of calories counting, some in the 1200 a day camp, some higher up to 1300-1500 and what I've discovered is pretty sad.

I lose weight when I do 1200 calories a day and under. I know that seems like a very, very small amount but after tons of research and reading over my old blog posts and MFP logging where I was actually losing weight, that is what it comes too.

When I get up to 1280 - 1300 I stop losing weight and after 1300 I start gaining even with healthy food. I then went and did more research and looked up all the psych meds I'm on and what their effects are and they have pretty much messed up my metabolism to this point.

According to My Fitness Pal, at my current weight, I should be able to eat 1,780 calories to lose half a pound a week, 1,530 to lose a pound and 1,280 to lose 1.5 pounds a week. Anymore and we hit 1200 calories. Unfortunately these numbers don't work for me. Instead they lead to a stall or a gain.

So, basically, I need to aim for about 1200 calories a day to lose weight and, yes, I did speak to my doctor about this and I have his approval.

I know some people will disagree with this amount but it is what it is and since I'm going to be on psych meds for the rest of my life I need to work with them. So I'm asking for support and not arguments please!

My hope is that as I keep working out, it will allow me more calories. Plus I need to figure out how to fit the most amount of healthy food within that calorie amount. Sure I could have a burger, coffee and fries and hit my full amount (and then some) with just that but I don't just want to lose weight, I want to gain health.

I'm sticking with Fridays as my weigh-in day because I like the idea of starting the weekend fresh. I don't plan to go crazy on the weekends or anything but it's nice to know the option for a "cheat snack" (not a cheat meal!) is there on the weekends which still leaves me with the rest of the week to stay on track.

I'm choosing to blog again because it really keeps me accountable and I love to write and getting all this stuff out of my head and unto paper (or screen) helps me as well.

On top of calories I'm working hard to add exercise back into my life. I started working out yesterday and I really want to get back to 10,000 steps a day. I just need to be really careful with my back and ankles. The 10,000 steps will be even easier to achieve now that the good weather is coming (please, I hope!!).

And here, once again, is my list for why I'm doing this...

I want to be healthy.
I want to be able to try on clothes in a mall at any store.
I want to hike and swim and play with the kids and not get short of breath or not be able to keep up.
I want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without breathing hard.
I want to get off all the meds I'm on due to obesity.
I want to look at myself in the mirror and not cringe.
I want to wear the clothes in my closet.
I want to set a good example for my children.
I want my kids to not be embarrassed by me.
I want to be able to sit comfortably in the seats in rides at an amusement park.
I want to be able to wear shoes with heels.
I want to not be "the fat one" in the family or in a group of friends.
I want to feel and look on the outside the way I do on the inside; young and strong and fit.
I want to not be so embarrassed to wear a swim suit that I won't go to the pool.
I want to dance.
I want to live for a long time.
I want to see muscle where there is fat.
I want to look good.
I want to enjoy food, not battle with it.
I want to want to be in photos; with Charles, with my kids, with my friends, and not hate them once I see them.
I want to be strong.
I want to be lean.
I want to be flexible.
I want to live my life, not watch it pass by in a haze of ice cream and chips.

Let's see how it goes!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Welcome Back...Again (and Again)

...or just welcome if you've never been here before although you probably have.

This is partially a new weight loss blog and partially a recreation of the last blog because I'm keeping the best of the best of my posts and will be reposting them throughout the weeks.

Over time I've found that blogging helps keep me accountable plus, I love to write and I'm pretty good at it (maybe there's a memoir in my future?). I just need to stick with it the way I need to stick with a lot of things so here's to a new start! I've also found that when I don't blog I definitely fall off the wagon and hard to boot!

So like I said earlier, I went through the remains of my other blog and saved my best and favorite posts along with DVD reviews and recipes so you'll be seeing those reposted but definitely plan for a lot of new content since I'm starting this journey over fresh and inspired.

I also want to post more often. It helps keep me motivated and inspired and I'm tired of short and boring posts just to have something written. I want to improve over the last blog, not just drag this along behind me like a cat on a leash (unless you're one of our cats, then you don't get dragged, you run!)

Anyway, I want to start with an old entry (from my old, old blog) that I've touched it up and updated. If any of it sounds familiar, maybe, it's because you've read it before.

So keep reading and keep checking in. I am convinced that this blog, along with My Fitness Pal and exercise, will help me find success this time around, because, frankly, I'm not getting any younger or any fitter and I HAVE TO get this thing under control. There's just no other acceptable option!

"Fat is Not a Four-Letter Word!"

I'm fat.

I'm really fat.

I have no problems admitting I'm fat, writing about my weight issues or, obviously, calling myself fat.

To me, fat is not an insult, it's a description.

I have red hair, I wear glasses and I'm fat.

If people say, "Geez she's gotten fat." or "I can't believe how much she's gained," or do a double take after not seeing me for a few years, I wouldn't be offended. Yeah, it might sting a bit but it is what it is (I actually hate that statement and here I am using it).

Of course if someone were to call me a hippo's behind or fat ass or Gilbert Grape's mother, yeah, that would hurt. Because that's just mean. But just fat? No. It's not an insult to me.

But...am I happy being fat?

Hell no.

Am I healthy at this size?

Hell no again.

Do I need to lose weight?

Yes, very badly.

Have I tried to lose weight?

That's like asking if Michael Phelps has tried to swim.

Have I failed at losing weight?

Time and time again.

Is it my fault I'm fat?

Well, here we get into some finer details.

Partially, yes, it is my fault. Food is my friend, my comfort, and my obsession. I think about food, I dream about food, it helps me when I have a bad day, it satisfies me when I'm bored. Basically, food and I have a very unhealthy relationship, and it's not like we can break up.

If I needed to quit drinking I could get rid of all the alcohol. If I needed to quit smoking, I could get rid of all cigarettes. It would be very hard but it's doable, throw those things away and never look back.

But you can't get rid of food. We can't live without it. Sure, we can live without chips, ice cream, deep fried crap, cake, McDonald's...whatever...but we have to eat something. We can't just get it out of our lives.

And it's everywhere. Not the good stuff but all the delicious, wonderful, yummy, artery clogging goodness. In commercials, in magazine ads, in the stores, on billboards, in advertisements. It is everywhere. Calling to you, offering itself to you, so much yummy goodness for such a small price. But is the price really that small?

Not in my body it's not. In my body we have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, obesity, heading towards diabetes if I don't do something soon, back problems, knee problems, aching joints...and I'm only (only) 41.

I breathe hard climbing more than one flight of stairs. Forget anything like hiking, it's just not going to happen. My clothing sizes continue to grow. I don't even look at myself in the full-length mirror anymore because I hate what I see and I am shocked when I see myself in photos. Like, holy crap, is that really me? Really? What the hell have I done to myself!?!

But, back to the topic of fault. As I said, yes, a big part of it is my fault. But another part relates to my meds. I am on a lot of meds, most of them being psych meds. And these meds are notorious weight gainers and yeah, since I've been on them I've gained a ton of weight. In fact, my first mood stabilizer put 50 pounds on me in less than 2 months. This was 11 years ago and I'm still carrying that 50 pounds plus some.

So, partly I can blame the meds but, really, the meds are just a small part of this whole thing.

I need to lose this weight. I know it, my family knows it, my friends know it. Most are too polite to say anything but I know how big I am and I know how badly my clothes fit and how out of shape I am. Trust me, I know it every part of every day. And I know it even more now that I've had to go up to a size of jeans I've never worn before and see numbers on the scale that my body has never experienced.

And wanting to lose this weight. Do I want to lose it to be healthy? Yeah, that's a part of it.

Do I want to lose it to look better. Sad to say, that's a bigger part for me than health. But I think a lot of people would answer that way.

And do I know what to do? Of course I do. I know all about exercise, calories, points, fat, cholesterol, healthy portions and so on and on and on. I know and I read and I plan. And I do great for a day here or a week there. And then I mess up and give up the whole damn thing until I decide to start again.

It's frustrating and irritating and embarrassing. And it's completely my own fault. I have to have the willpower to stick with it and while I have the knowledge and the desire, the willpower is lacking.

But, I'm not about to quit. It took me a long time to get to this point. I didn't gain this weight overnight through one piece of cake or one pint of Ben and Jerry's. It took years to gain and it will take years to come back off.

I have to take it one little step at a time; one day, one bite, on portion at at time. I'm not going to wake up thin tomorrow morning. But maybe I will a year or two from now.

In the meantime, here I am. Starting again and believing that, yes, this time I WILL succeed!