My soon to be, healthy fabulous life

I was watching the gal from the show My Big Fat Fabulous Life staring 30 year old Whitney Thore on Dr Oz today. I totally saw myself in her when I was in my 30s. My weight fluctuated from 350s to the 400 plus pound range. I was very mobile. I went to movies, I stood on my feet and cut hair 10 hours a day, life was a bit more difficult, but it was doable. Then, I wanted to lose weight to be healthy, but mostly to become marketable for dating, and to look good and buy clothes. I agree with much she has to say.  I was one of those girls who, in spite of my weight, was outgoing and had a multitude of friends.  A persons size should have nothing to do with their happiness. It shouldn’t, but for many, including myself, it does. It all caught up with me.

Youth is wasted on the youth. When I lost 200 pounds in the late 90s I was in my 30s, I used Richard Simmons products and soon became a marketing tool a testimonial for his products on various markets. Soon, the weight loss and the association with a celebrity became my identity. I still weighted 240 pounds, and was marketed as a role model. Those numbers on the scale do mean something, but have little to do with your character as a person or your worth. I was too happy but not truly content. I felt so good, my motivation took second place in all the hubbub of my testimonial days. Pain, both physical and emotional are often motivators for losing weight. it’s that whole “bottomed out” theory. Compared to being 444 pounds I was in no pain, I felt more normal than I ever had. I lost my vision. No matter what anyone says, 240 pounds is still not healthy. I didn’t quit, but I lost my focus enough for the eating to get careless and the weight started to creep back. It was not conscious decision.  (never asks a person why they gained back their weight) There was no specific date I fell of the wagon. Unlike a drunk or drug addict, you can’t just stop eating like you can stop drinking. So falling off the wagon is a slippery slope. And that is the scary part.

Due to my association with Richard Simmons, I have met a lot of fat people. I have seen a lot of people lose a lot of weight. I have seen a lot of people die. Being unhealthy, makes you unhappy. Statistically over 90% of those who lose weight gain it back within 3 years. The odds of successful weight loss are not good. I keep thinking and wondering what is the common thread between those who have success and those who fail. I’m far from an expert, I have only been around and exposed to a lot of people with weight issues. I think for many of us, pain, is the top motivator. And when the pain is numbed, the motivation seems to weaken. Sometimes when life is going along, we forget where we came from.

A lot of fat people I know have various reasons they are not motivated. Some have just enough weight loss to be complacent, some have enablers. People, usually family members that lovengly keep us just above bottom. They love us too much too let us truly bottom out, even if the fat person thinks they already have.

I have started surfing the web for people who have successfully lose 200 and 300 pounds, trying to, again, find that common thread. So far what I have found is no surprise. Almost all have bottomed out usually with serious health issues due to their weight. Many seem to have these very quirky opinionated, rigid personalities. Very open and have managed to let go of their shame. They have no tolerance for any excuses of any kind. I mean like ZERO! All are strong warriors whom I have the utmost respect for. I aspire to be like them. Besides I like quirky, I am quirky.

I have also studied the behavior of those who fail. Like I said, I am no expert. I saw myself so much in these people. Full of excuses, but deny that they use them. Whiny, easily hurt, very thinned skinned, focused on themselves, and avoid deep feelings or talking about them. Feeling a lot of shame and unworthiness. Needy, playing on others sympathy, and lacking in independence, and the big one, FEAR! For me, fear caused me to put my head in the sand. I claimed to not be good at managing things in my life so others did them for me. That was all fear based.  I was an expert at milking sympathy from my friends and loved ones. Oh, and one more thing I have noticed, we revert the attention to something else, or someone else. Be it kids, grandkids, over care taking, for some, obsession for a hobby or something. Thats a big one for me, I’ll get interested in something and it becomes an obsession, then I move to something else. I feel bad about that time in my life, but it taught me a lot. I’m still working through some of this stuff, but at least I am aware of it.  In fact, it is hard for me to see this behavior in others because it reminds me of myself. I struggle with patience, because I want us all to get healthy and be happy.

I am doing great right now, I’m in the zone. But I fear getting over confident because I know this is a long road. A little fear is healthy.  I want to remember the pain. The years I was in my bed. The loneliness, the fear of death. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but I can’t afford to be giddy. I know what happens when you let your guard down. I now strive for contentment. Fabulous, giddy, and even happy is overrated. You have to feel the lows to feel the highs. So for now, I’m seeking my healthy fabulous life, I know in the long run, it will bring contentment, which has a more lasting effect.

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8 more sticks of Butter

I stepped on the scale this morning. I was down another 5 pounds. I have now lost 98 pounds! Hooray for me! I am 8 sticks of butter away from hitting the 100 pound mark. Its hard to believe 100 pounds is 400 sticks of butter. Losing weight is a roller coaster ride for sure. butter-7-pounds

Last week I was full of doubt. I was on a 2 weeks plateau. I was examining everything I ate. Wondering if I was eating too many carbs, was I eating too big of  portions? Was I sick? Drinking enough water? Will I ever get healthy again and live a full life? These thoughts haunted me mostly in the night. Plus, as open as I am, I was worried I would let people down, or lost the respect I am working so hard to get back.

I think its good that 100 pound mark is so much work to achieve. If it were easy, I would not stay so committed. Anything you work hard for you seem to appreciate more. I always remind myself I have so far yet to go. My friends say kind things to encourage me, but I have to keep this in my mind. Soon I will start becoming comfortable. My mobility will improve and I will start having a life outside of my house and bedroom again. That will be euphoria to me. I don’t want to become so comfortable that I lose focus on where I want to go. Pain and misery are huge motivators. I want to feel the pain, I want to have to work for this, reach high, stretch.

I have become addicted to sweet potatoes. I have always loved sweet potatoes. But they are one of those vegetables we forget about. I have a nice sized toaster oven on my counter that I use more that any other appliance in my house. I just put 3 or 4 unpeeled in the oven on 450. I eat them with almost every diner meal and often for Lunch. I add them to the meals I make ahead and freeze. They are the unsung heroes in the diet world. I am going to make some sweet potato fries this week. I remember in the 80s when Oprah made her chef Rosie famous, and he star recipe was Sweet Potato fries.

Here is the recipe;

Ingredients

5 large sweet potatoes
Light vegetable oil cooking spray
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon Cajun spice
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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice each potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch ovals, then slice each oval lengthwise into matchsticks.
Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the vegetable oil.
Combine the egg whites and Cajun spice in a bowl. Add the matchstick potatoes and mix to coat. Pour the coated potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out into a single layer, leaving a little space between.
Place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the fries are crispy, turning them every 6 to 8 minutes with a spatula so that they brown evenly. Serve immediately.
Source:In The Kitchen with Rosie – Rosie Daley

I rarely eat anything on them. I use to eat butter and some brown sugar, but really, they are great on their own. 1 medium baked sweet potato is 103 calories, and 24 g of carbs. plus 4 g fiber! sweet-potato

Message me and let me know if you eat sweet potatoes, and how you eat them. If you haven’t had one in a while try substituting it for that regular baked potato. Let me know what you think.

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Portions

 

Every morning I use to eat a huge bagel, loaded with peanut butter, and a sliced banana with coffee and creamer. That was nearly 750 calories for breakfast alone. Breakfast was my smallest meal of the day! Hard to believe sometimes how big my portions use to be. That may not be a big breakfast for someone who has a physical job, but it is way too many calories for me. img_20111030_121947
This morning I had 1/2 of a bagel, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and a banana. My creamer is now replace with a splash of low fat milk. This cut my breakfast less than half. I also shake it up, I eat a variety.
I wanted to talk about portion size a bit. I was just as satisfies with half the guilt eating my breakfast this morning. Portion size is a demon I fight regularly. The small plate idea is great, yet it’s amazing how much I can fit on a small plate. Some of you may not have a portion problem. Some people just eat normal amounts but high calorie food.
I’ve always been a big eater. When I started getting really serious about eating healthy last March, I was constantly thinking of ways to extend my meals. Bulk them up. But I’m starting to realize I don’t need those huge portions anymore. My eating habits are evolving. Trust me, I still love big portions, but I’m more aware now. I’ve heard, we only taste and enjoy the first 2 or 3 bites. I believe for me this is true. I try to be mindful of this when I’m putting food on my plate.5489e3ab29af4.preview-620
When I was a kid, we went out with extended family, we always went to a buffet. My favorite one was called The Biltmore. We went there to celebrate a birthday on a Sunday after church. I was an artist at filling my plate with more than it appeared. I would hide that extra piece of ham or roast beef under that large scoop of mashed potatoes. I poured gravy over everything. I never added vegetables, it only took real estate off my plate where those ribs and deep fried chicken could be. It’s really amazing how I craved large portions at such a young age. We would all go home, and the adults would sit in the living room and make small talk and gossip all afternoon with our bellies full. Then about 3 or 4 o’clock, the aroma of coffee would fill the air, and out came the food. Sandwiches made with butter and summer sausage, “sauce”, which was canned peaches or pears served in a little bowl, slices of Swedish Bond Ost cheese fd0104nicely arranged on a plate, a relish tray with pickles, pickled herring, and vegetables. A huge bowl of salty potato chips. Then, and always, something sweet. Usually provided by my cousin who was a master at making cookies and bars. Sometimes my mom would pull out the Sarah Lee coconut layer cake out of the freezer. She always kept one in the freezer in case company came. We ate again although we were still stuffed from the feast at noon. It would be considered a travesty for a good hostess not to offer lunch before her company went home. Food was the whole focus of our entertainment. Without food, we would not know what to do with each other. We were a conservative, Swedish, mild mannered family of fundamental Christians. We never drank, smoked, cussed, played cards, or went to movies. We didn’t even drink Coke. Only 7up on Saturday night with our popcorn after we bathed and put brush rollers in our hair for church the next morning. We loved each other, yet didn’t know what to do with each other. So we ate, and showed our love and hospitality feeding each other. And I ate, it kept me from being bored, made me feel loved, and numbed any feelings of insecurity. The more food the more love. This is how I was programmed. Then on Monday, I would rush home after school to finish off the leftovers. I was a latch key kid, both my parents worked, so I am sure a lot of my after school eating was a substitute for loneliness. 13583128
All of this became a big habit as an adult. But it became bondage, after the huge amount of weight piled on. All those feelings as a child that caused me to numb my feelings with food, became a knee jerk reaction to any empty feeling, anxiety or just boredom. I’m breaking that habit. Yes, old dogs can learn new tricks. I’m learning how to feel my emotions. Huge amounts of food, just doesn’t serve the purpose it use to, It is now just a very old habit. And I’m breaking it.

In the Still of the Night

I didn’t sleep too well last night. In fact it was daylight before I fell asleep. I think this weight loss is waking up my hormones and serotonin levels. It only makes sense. As I lose weight, those chemicals my brain makes become more concentrated.1e211483d6e7c4ee76a56abaed737_1

I had one of those white knuckle, willpower, cry out to God nights. I wanted to eat, anything, and the food in my kitchen was screaming my name. I bargained with God, telling him I would be more faithful and loving if he would get me through this.Of course we all know bargaining with God never works.
I had my tv on, and every commercial was cheeseburgers, pizza and everything I love to eat. That block of cheese in my fridge kept screaming at me. I got up, drank water, surfed the web, got on Facebook, where there seemed to be an excess amount of recipes posted. Or at least I thought so.

I dug in deep, I knew it was not belly hunger. I was bored, I was lonely, I could not sleep and food was the comfort I needed to pass the time.The night seemed so long.Then I remembered that horrible feeling the next morning when I’d awake and realize I gave into my demons. And I also remembered the strength and great self-esteem I felt when I did not cave.
God came through as usual. But only until I gave it my all. He didn’t carry me, he walked me through it. If he had preformed a supernatural miracle I would not have learned what he was teaching me. This made me stronger to conquer the next challenge with a little more ease. In the middle of answering my prayer, he was preparing me for the next battle As well. I love how God does his best work in us, in ordinary ways.

sneaky sneaky

67DFAEB7D611D96C29C42BDFEB0E9I had a friend on MFP (My Fitness Pal)  confess some extra eating on her post this morning. All her feedback was so kind, telling her to shake it off and saying that everyone does it. That is very kind and a reaction we all have to someone we care about.

I remembered all the Weight Watcher weigh ins, the people I connected with through RS, (Richard Simmons) and all my friends who are trying to lose weight, we all comfort each other with these kind words. It is hard to see someone you care about struggle, we dig deep to find supportive responses to ease the pain. Now I’m not suggesting we shame each other. That is counter productive. But I think we go overboard on this sometimes. We jump right into soothing that persons sinking spirit, we want to rescue them from beating themselves up. But in the middle of it all we can sometimes become desensitized and miss the life lesson we can learn from these struggles. Also, continuing to just shake it off every time is a slippery slope to self destruction. It just makes it easier and easier to eat things or amounts that stop or slow down our progress.

When has anyone ever just decided they were going to quit a diet? Most struggle or fail over and over and soon just slip off.  It’s like when I started gaining some of my perviously lost weight back years ago, some people would say “Why did you gain back that weight you worked so hard to lose?” Well, duh, I got tired of feeling good? People ask stupid questions, with the best intentions but without thinking. I guess it’s human nature.

I really needed to read that post on MFP this morning. I did a personal inventory myself. I have not gained any weight since I started this, but I have had more plateaus than I would like. I know your reaction is that this is normal. But I know I was on that slippery slope. You know, the nibble here and there, a pinch of shredded cheese while you are preparing that casserole. The extra glob of olive oil when you stir fry (100 calories a glob). That huge portion, 1 tablespoon of butter or peanut butter becomes 2 or 3. I preach honesty, but I struggle daily being honest with myself regarding those little grey areas. I think it’s human nature to rationalize our behaviors.

This is what my reply was to my friend;  “I have to commend you for posting this. I would probably guess 90% of the time people go off plan, don’t post it or confess. You are brave, because you really want this. I’m not going to tell you, it’s ok, or shake it off, or all the pat answers to make you feel better. I also won’t shame you, because, yes, you are far from alone. But let this be a teacher. Remember how it felt the next morning, and it will help you think twice next time you are tempted. I so respect your courage, and just the fact that you would post that, tells me you really want this! Blessings to you my friend!”

I just want to finish this saying all of these bumps in the road are teachers for us to become stronger. Unless we are truly honest and have trusted friends we can share these things with, the success can be extremely slow or even impossible. My strength comes first from God, then from my trusting confidantes. These people are priceless to me.

It feels very vulnerable to be transparent. Openly talking about being obese and posting it for the world to see is kind of scary. But, not talking about it is like living with an elephant in the room. Everyone knows I’m fat, eating too much food got me here. Everyone that knows me knows my weight struggles have been my lifelong battle. I dont want to live this way anymore.                           9iRXEj6ie

Contrary to many of the post I see on Facebook, my life is not so great. So many in Facebookland seem to have this perfect life. So instead of burying my head in the sand or hiding behind all the pictures of myself from the neck up, I’m going to kick that damn elephant out of the room! He takes too much space anyway!

The people I see who are brave enough to to be transparent having unthinkable suscess. I see those who are guarded emotionally, and seem to only talk about the weather, news, and sports, (so to speak) not gaining much ground. I’m not willing to live the rest of my life like a hermit or depending on my friends pity to get through life.

Don’t confuse that with my gratitude for your being there. Thank you so much. I’m reclaiming my dignity. So those who are with me, thank you from the deepest place in my heart.

The hardest part about being transparent is when you flub up, there is no back door. But knowing that, is the very thing that brings success. Your only choice is to move forward or die. Being misrible is a huge motivator, I was misrible enough to do anything to get out of my pain. Added to the fact I don’t have any family to enable me, or keep me from being misrible. I see some people that are misrible and live ridiculous lives because they have enablers that keep them from hitting bottom. And if they could hear their own excuses the would realize how foolish they sound. Believe me when I say, I know this first hand.

Fear is what emotionally paralyzes us. Sometimes we give up our own power because if we take it back, we are on our own and lose our enablers. Loneliness is terrifying. But being paralyzed is worse. When you become brave enough to step out on your own without that safety net, miracles happen, you gain a sence of confidence you have never experienced before.

There’s an elephant in the room and it’s not me!