Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 293--Has Zaa ever Goofed Up? The Truth and More in this edition

A day so not like what I had planned. I actually had a car today and the opportunity to be out and about with no children and then Josiah is sick, sore throat, headache, stomach ache, and stays home. I do feel sorry for him but phooey! Ah well, next time perhaps?
And no gym for the Mother. Am I weird to not feel right about leaving a very sick 12 year old boy home alone?
Speaking of gym, I am really enjoying it. The elliptical machine gives my legs a killer workout. The neatest part is there is this little sign on the machine that reads 'Weight Limit 300 Pounds'. If I had joined the gym months ago I wouldn't be able to use it! Right now I am doing one set of 15 on each machine, and all the different weights are written down on this chart I tote about with me. I just wish my trainer had written down the numbers of the seat positions!
Easter is coming. Everybody should be able to figure that out because of the HUMONGOUS amounts and varieties of candy everywhere you go. This is my toughest holiday, and the one I was dreading. Why you ask? Three words. Cadbury Mini Eggs. I have been known to eat an entire bag by myself, in one day. That's 1400 calories. I have loved these for years and years. I knew when I went to WalMart yesterday that I was going to look for them. I found them. Twelve eggs is 190 calories. So I divided the bag up into little baggies, each 190 calories. There is no way on earth I could have gone this Easter without this candy. I didn't even try. I never once told myself sternly that the candy was bad for me, no sugar for Zaa! I know myself. If I make an impossible rule I'll be breaking it shortly. I totally admire anyone who can set a rigid food requirement for themselves and then stick to it. They have that something special that I don't. The most wonderful part about the way I am losing weight is I can eat exactly what foods I want. Every single time I have dieted before it was with very strict rules. And you know what happens to people who break rules. They get punished!
So I can imagine the questions, the doubting looks. I mean come on, this is not common. You can't lose weight and have it be easy! It's right and proper for the way of the transgressor to be hard! But this is exactly what I have found to be true: you don't have to suffer to lose weight. If anyone had told me that before I would never have believed them. I watch television just like everyone else, and read magazines and surf the net and all over the place you see thin, incredibly beautiful people who can show you how to lose weight and it's not fun. You do have choices on the form of torture you want:
  1. Drink a shake for breakfast and lunch and eat ALL THIS FOOD for dinner. Have you seen the picture in this ad? I have never seen so much food to be eaten at one meal.
  2. Eat ONLY the food we send you, and don't eat it all at once or you're screwed.
  3. Take these pills. You still have to follow this diet plan.
  4. Take these pills. Watch out for the oily discharge that will come out of your rear end. This is the one I hate more than anything. You take a pill and suffer diarrhea and you STILL have to be on a diet. This is the best our modern technology can come up with?
  5. Completely change your digestive system surgically, because there is no way on earth you are going to be able to lose this weight normally.
  6. Make a huge pot of this very stinky cabbage soup and only eat it. Is there anyone out there who likes this soup and doesn't think it stinks?
  7. NO dairy. No exceptions. Eat EVERY two hours without fail.
  8. Give a sample of your blood and then a diet will be created to raise your metablism or something.
  9. Only eat 10 grams of fat a day. Sundays are your free day!
  10. Eat less and exercise. Wait how did this get in here?
So Zaa, are you telling us you have never 'goofed up'? That you've been perfect for the last nine months? That you have no regrets, no secret food stashes, no clandestine trips to Sonic?
No, I haven't goofed. To do so would mean I had created a set of rules that must not be broken to ensure success. And that is not what I did. Everything is allowed. All foods are encouraged. Eating when hungry is instrumental. Never giving up is KEY.
All my life I have been overweight. And I have tried numerous times to lose my weight and was never successful. I watched helplessly as the numbers on the scale climbed higher and higher through the years. I genuinely believed that I could not do it, I could not lose weight. I am not consistent. I am not strong. I am easily swayed by food. I have no willpower. I was going to get so fat that when I died they would have to have a special coffin made. Oh it was horrible. I remember watching What's Eating Gilbert Grape with tears streaming down my face. Because that was going to be me. I can see the mother sitting on the bed telling Gilbert 'I never meant to be this way' and I totally understood! No, I didn't weight as much as she did but I was well on my way.
I was trapped. I desperately wanted to be thin so every once in a while when I got sick of myself I would go on a diet. And it was a very strict diet because I wanted to lose weight FAST. I wanted to get on the scale and see HUGE losses, everyday. I would THROW myself into exercise, doing aerobics videos and situps and taking long walks and buying 3 pound weights and reading magazines about weight lifting. If I even lasted more than a couple of days it was a miracle. Come on, was I seriously NEVER going to lick another beater ever again for the rest of my life? Or eat at McDonald's?
The sensible way was to lose 1-2 pounds a week. But no, that was not enough for ME. I am so fat I have to lose a LOT of weight EVERYDAY.
Just reading that made me sound so ridiculous but I know I'm not alone. I know there are many people who feel the same way.
Can it be possible to lose weight without the agony? Is there really hope?
I do not recommend anyone doing what I do the way I do it. Because if everyone else loved Moon Pies there wouldn't be enough for me. You have to look at your OWN life and tailor your weight loss to fit YOUR life. I did not have easy access to a gym so I walked everyday instead. I love chocolate so I made sure I had it every day. I could live without pop and sugared tea and lemonade nicely. I love bacon and eggs and toast and juice and joyfully made for breakfast
  • one egg
  • two pieces of bacon
  • one piece of toast with butter
  • one cup of orange juice
Total? 400 calories. And yes I eat the yolk of the egg and I don't CARE.
I love pizza so would eat half a Totino's pizza for 360 calories. Sometimes I would weigh an ounce of chips to eat with it. I love cereal but one serving is ridiculous so I weigh 2 servings and have juice and it's yummy. I love moon pies but they are 300 calories so I eat half and save the other half for later. Okay I could just go on and on ad nauseum.
I picked 1500 calories because I was patterning myself after Sean. If he had been eating 1350 I would have picked that because I really didn't know how to do this the 'right' way. I now know lots of women eat 1200 calories a day!
Making the decision to lose weight is the very beginning, the first step in a journey of a thousand miles. I thought that I would have the same life but be thinner. I was wrong. Every facet of my life was affected. Is being affected.
Sometimes I feel like I yammer on endlessly, repeating myself quite boringly. I apologize.
I have decided when I lose 100 pounds my reward will be new clothes.
I love looking at my legs when I am sitting with them crossed. So slender! I love wearing panty hose. I remember I couldn't even pull the largest size up over my rear before. I love smiling at myself in the mirror. My lips don't look so scrawny in my face anymore. I feel pretty. I walk quickly. I move fast. My kids tell me when I used to come up the stairs it was so slow and heavy and my breathing was tortured. Now I run up and they don't know it's me til they see me! I'm doing things I never thought I ever would and sitting anywhere I want in restaurants and easily buckling seat belts and wearing pants with zippers and enjoying glancing down at my wrists while I am typing because they look so skinny! And sex gets more interesting the smaller I get and I hope that doesn't offend because I AM married and that's the most details I'll ever pass out. My kids are proud of me, my husband thinks I'm skinny, and my life is touching the lives of others. Who would ever have thought that would be my life I am so serious.
Oh I weighed with my daughter Bekah Boo Baby and she lost two pounds and I lost one. She is quite ecstatic and man I was praying so hard when she stepped on that scale! I didn't care about myself I wanted HER to lose, to have an encouraging sign. I am so glad!
One last thing, and it's in code: Zaa, troll mage, Whisperwind
Be good fellow weight loss super heroes. The life you save may be your own!!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 289--Nine month anniversary and a bunch of firsts

I am trying not to be completely blown away by the fact that I have been losing weight steadily for 9 months! Me! Incredible! This just can't be me. But it is. Weighing tomorrow.
The big news? DRUMROLL
I joined a gym! I never ever thought I would because of the money and I don't always have a car at my disposal. My daughter and some of her friends joined one and asked if I wanted to too, they would drive and I said YES! Yesterday the trainer took me around and showed me all the machines. Some were super fun, like the one you have to literally climb up on and then do pullups and pushups. The ab ones (there are four) rank from okay to Iwillneverbeabletodothis. So yesterday I did all the machines, and today I did cardio. That sounds so hip doesn't it? And you know what? Nine months ago I wouldn't have been able to even fit in most of those machines. I am also just a little sore, I am not in agony or anything. We'll be going during the week so MWF I'll be doing the weight machines and TTH cardio. This is just so exciting! I can't believe I am getting to do this!
Big news number two! You didn't see that one coming did you?
I have never donated blood. Nobody did that in the '70s unless you were a druggie looking for easy cash. Then I had too many children. THEN I was too fat to fit on one of those flimsy tables. No WAY would I humiliate myself in that way. So donating blood was one of the things I wanted to do when I lost enough weight. And how do we determine if we've lost enough weight to do stuff, it's very confusing. I figured losing 80 pounds was enough so off I went to the blood drive at the school. They took my blood pressure. I need caps for this. THEY USED THE NORMAL SIZE CUFF ON ME NOT THE FAT PERSON CUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I felt that needed a lot of exclamation points. I about died when that happened, I wanted to jump up and go tell my daughters but I didn't. One was there donating with me, my other daughter is president of the senior class and in stuco so she was there in charge it was kind of neat. So then I got up on one of the tables and it did not collapse. It was actually quite sturdy feeling. I was surprised. They did their stuff and gave me a hematoma on my left arm, so they moved to my right and everything went smoothly. Afterwards I ate 120 calorie bag of pretzels and drank sprite! I never drink pop, it was like a party! And I got a Tshirt! The biggest size was an extra large. And guess what. It fits. I can fit into an extra large tshirt. Me! Okay I cried, I really did, I showed my daughter Rachel and I started crying and she hugged me hard and said she was so proud of me. This has just been an incredible day.
We started going to a different church on Sunday. Just a regular old fashioned baptist church with normal sunday school and church and evening service and Wednesday night prayer meeting and a nice youth group. It's in my little town so we knew everyone and they were all so nice, even the teenagers. I know right? So I'm quite thrilled. Funny how the answer to my prayer was right here all along.
I was thinking last night about how much my life has changed in the past 9 months. Because it is completely different. You wouldn't think a decision to lose weight would have such an impact on a person. It all started with just the decision to do it. Then deciding no foods were offlimits. I needed a strict calorie budget of 1500 at first to teach me portion sizes. Walking everyday no matter what was important. I even walked in the rain! Never ever giving up no matter what was my motto from the first. I am thankful that losing weight has had a positive impact on my marriage. It's like night and day. Man I hated my husband so very much. He was just so awful to me all the time! All I could think about was how much he hated me, why does he hate me so much, why can't he love me, I must really be a horrible person if my own husband hates me. And now that's just gone. He is kind, he teases me all the time, and is most willing to have sex anytime. Which is as it should be. I feel that this verse applies very much: 'And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten...' Joel 2.25 Things have been bad for over 20 years. I have a lot of time to make up!
I feel like I have come out on the other side of something. I don't know how else to describe it. My life has been so very very difficult, and then losing my Mother, and everything just fell apart. I miss her and always will but I'm not consumed with the crushing grief that was part of me. I'm so thankful for all that God has done in my life. For so long I couldn't find Him, I felt He had deserted me. Things were so difficult! Hard! Impossible! Horrible! And now I feel like He is just pouring blessing after blessing on me. I just hope He doesn't bless me with another baby! I'm 48, surely I'm done!
My daughters are still counting their calories. It's so great that they can eat what they want portioned out. I made peanutbutter chocolate chip cookies last night. I had one, they had one. I had one today. It's just so nice! I have a pic on the fridge of me before I started and the words 'NEVER FORGET' underneath. Man I look so different now!
Making pumpkin bread and tuna casserole for dinner tonight. It's a cold rainy day. I also get to walk IN THE RAIN to get my daughter from school because I have no car today. Yes I have an umbrella.
I'm sure that there is at least one person reading this who wants desperately to lose weight and can't. You've tried everything. You've lost and regained. You're discouraged, scared, and filled with despair. Well guess what. I was too! I weighed 356 pounds when I started. Having to lose 200 pounds was an astronomical amount but I didn't care. I hated myself, my clothes, how people looked at me, how I couldn't fit into anything. No rigid stupid diet rules for me! I ate exactly what I wanted but portioned to fit into my 1500 calorie a day limit. Popcorn? Sure! Pizza? Yep. Normal everyday regular foods that everybody else got to eat. No special foods for me! I made a cheesecake for a birthday and carefully calculated the calories and then had a piece. I think it was 330 or something but it was so great that I could eat it and NO GUILT. And I walked every single day. At first I could barely walk anywhere and had to stop for a breath constantly! Now I can do 2.5 miles no problem and when the snow and ice are gone will be jogging/walking. I want to be a runner. I can run now. Up and down the stairs, into the kitchen, from the car to the front door, oh it's so freeing! And I tell myself no. I could never do that. Food controlled me, completely. If it called, I answered. Now I say no and it's incredibly empowering. I have one cookie and of course, my faithless body wants another. I say no and just walk away. Oh I am having so much fun shrinking! The weirdest part is people are impressed. Eighty pounds is a lot--for some not me! I have 120 left to go! People who have never met me see me and think I'm fat I know they do. Because I still am fat. But everyone who knows me freaks, they just freak when they see me. It's quite gratifying. And I am proud of myself. I am actually doing something right and good! Me, the inconsistent, cheating, lying about what I eat person! That woman is gone and she is not coming back.
So there you have it. Life is good.
Make wise choices, and never give up!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 282--Weigh Day and Much Aimless Ramblings

Ever since I started on this journey, I wanted my girls to see how easy it is to lose weight. They did the old starvation thing--you know, skip breakfast, skip lunch, eat dinner. Of course, they totally pigged out when they 'let' themselves eat. They never lost weight. And then they decided that oh, if I exercise a whole lot then I'll lose weight so they did that. And it didn't work.
Waaaaaaaait a minute, Mom has lost a ton of weight and looks great, her way MUST work. So here we all are, counting calories, checking portion sizes, weighing our food. We still eat exactly what we always have. Just less. When Bekah was making her first lunch to take to school, we carefully measured and calculated everything, and she freaked when she saw 1T of miracle whip was 40 calories. That'll never be enough! But oh surprise, it was the perfect amount. And an ounce of chips is a nice portion. So they are all weighing at the clinic tomorrow morning. I really need to get a scale of my own!
I am wearing an old pair of size 26 black jeans. How I wish with all my heart that they were monstrously huge on me but nope. Almost crushing to lose so much weight yet I still can wear the largest size WalMart carries! And I'm losing weight different than I gained. I still have a lot around the middle and that is what is keeping me in the big sizes.
So much ice and snow here, it's incredible! I am so scared I will slip and fall on the ice so I haven't been walking at all except my brave forays to pick up my daughter at school on warmer melty days.
Everytime I weigh I am surprised that the numbers keep going down. Unbelievable!
Running up and down the stairs? I do it all the time now. It's so slow to walk them! And to think I used to baby step up and down those stairs if I even used them at all! I can even pass a kid on the stairs. Used to be if Mom was on the stairs you waited until I got up or down and THEN you could use them.
I actually went down on one knee to fish something off a bottom shelf at the store. Not home where I could safely discover if that maneuver was even possible! No, I couldn't reach the oyster crackers and swoop! down I went and then saw some guy behind me in the aisle and after I had the crackers just stood up again. Without getting up my normal way which is get on all fours first. Just stood up. I still can't believe that even happened. I have to constantly remind myself that I can do normal things now.
The McDonald's in the next town remodeled, and for the bathroom, to make the wheelchair stall, they just moved one wall over a bit. That made the OTHER stall big enough for a small child. One time, I went in there and someone was in the wheelchair stall. I looked at the other door and thought um I don't know if I'll even fit through the door. So then I tried to get into the stall and there was no way I mean there was just no way I was even going to get in there. And if I managed to force my way in I would be trapped!!!! Forever!!! No way could I go under that door. I just left and didn't use the bathroom. So last month my daughter and I had lunch there and I went into the bathroom and I USED THAT STALL. Oh yeah I sure did, walked in with no problems and I still can't believe it. This all seriously blows my mind.
I really enjoy getting dressed. My shirts are all big on me and I look completely different in them. These black jeans? They are so long!! They never used to be. And my shirts are so long! And stretched out in the middle. I actually layer shirts! It's so cold here! I used to be hot all the time. I wear a tank, then a tshirt, then a long sleeved sweater or something. And it doesn't look bulky or weird. I NEVER layered anything like that, it always made me look even worse than I already did.
I color my hair now. Boy I really deceived myself before that my hair was an unusual color. It was GRAY. No getting around it. Now it's brown. Kind of a reddish brown.
I dont' have to have anyone buckle me in my son's truck. Yes, I couldn't do it myself. And then when it was FINALLY snapped it was so tight I thought I was gonna die. Well not anymore. I do it myself and have plenty of room to spare. AND I just noticed this--the seat belt is slanted across my chest now, not my neck. It used to always go across my freaking neck and I had to always pull it down!!! How awful!
We were looking at old pics on facebook and up pops a family photo taken 2 summers ago. To put it kindly, I was a behemoth. I cannot believe how different I look now. I really deceived myself back then about a lot of things.
I look forward to each day with joy. I know I can eat what I like and still lose weight. No pills, no surgery, no expensive stupid program that somebody else decided was the ONLY way to lose weight. My daughter has a friend who had the surgery and lost all the weight and now she's gaining it back! She's gained 30 pounds so far. How awful! You go through all that and then get fat again! She never learned how to eat. This woman down the street can only have 1 cup of food per meal and no water for an hour after. I saw her in the grocery store and she had her lapband before I started losing and she has lost less than me!!!! I thought it would just MELT off of her but oh no, she was actually apologetic about how little she had lost. I felt so sorry for her. I wish I had little cards made up with my website on it that I could just hand it to people. People NEED to know you don't have to do weird things to lose weight just eat less! They have to be told that losing weight doesn't have to involve fat free foods and sugar substitutes and turkey bacon/burgers and chicken breasts!
How my world has changed since last May! OH I am a chaperone for my daughter's choir class when they go to World's of Fun (a big amusement park). I am actually going to be able to fit in the rides!!!!!! It has been so very many years since I did anything like this and I am so excited!
I took a pic of my daughter and I when we colored each other's hair and sent it to my sister. She did not know who I was! She said my arm looked so thin. And I looked at the pic and she's right! It doesn't even look like my arm! Oh and when I cross my toes I can kind of brush my middle toe with my big toe. Okay don't think I'm weird, my toes had gotten really fat and it was very difficult to cross them. I'm just excited that they are skinnier.
For some reason my right knee and my left foot hurts and I don't know why.
Tomorrow my hubby and I are doing our Valentine's Day thing. We're going to a HUGE antique/flea market store and then eating out for dinner. I thought about going to a movie but I don't even watch television. I don't know what movies are even out! It is going to be super fun because I will be able to walk around that place for several hours and it won't bother me! I won't be tired!
How wonderful it is that my weight does not control my life anymore! My size determined where I could sit, what I could eat in front of other people, what I could wear, how I felt about myself--everything. I enjoy the differences in my life so much, the little and the big. Like trying on my rings daily to see when certain ones will fit and seeing them move further and further down my finger. And how necklaces look good on me now, they used to look just plain stupid and too small. I sit in booths and there's so much space between me and the table now contrasting to when I would be jammed in and my HUGE breasts would be WAYYYY over the table. Awful.
Oh and people who know me talk to me about their weight and how hard it is to lose and make excuses. To me! I tell them what I do but I swear it goes right over their heads. What is it about the words 'Just Eat Less' that shuts people down?
You know someday I'm gonna be in People Magazine with a bunch of other 'People who lost weight without pills or surgery!' I love that I belong to this cool club.
I haven't talked to my friend down the street for a bit--the one I used to walk with, the real negative one?--and she called and we chatted today and she FREAKED when I told her I'd lost 80 pounds. She just could NOT believe it. I said please don't be weird around me because I've lost all this weight. She said she wouldn't but time will tell. I know I have always been weird about friends/family losing weight because it really showed up how much I weighed and I felt so helpless to lose it and it all just made me feel more guilty so I wouldn't even go around them.
I want to encourage anyone reading this to forget what everybody else does to lose weight, what they eat, how they exercise. What do YOU like? What foods do you eat every single day? Don't change a thing except for how much. Start weighing and measuring and portioning your food. Eat several times a day, not just 3 times with a snack. Don't let yourself get hungry or you'll overeat. Do you like to swim? Or ride bikes? Walking is perfect for anyone. That is what is wonderful about Sean's way to lose weight (http://losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com/). You tailor it to fit your own life. You don't have somebody else telling you what you can and can't eat.
I'm attempting to make meatballs tonight for supper. I have not had much success making meatballs in the past. Cross your fingers that they turn out well! (Or your toes)
Good luck in all you do my fellow weight loss superheroes. And never give up, ever!