Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Me Version 2007

Yesterday I was lamenting to my mother about my overeating this past weekend and feeling a little down about it. Her reaction was interesting.

"I know you really want to get below 200, but think about how far you've come and what you've been able to do."

My husband also says similar things to me. I don't think either one of them is encouraging me to throw my healthy habits out the window. Hell, maybe they are, but I'm not viewing it that way. My interpretation? Just because I haven't reached an arbitrary milestone, that doesn't invalidate all the weight I've lost so far. I mean, 130 pounds is nothing to sneeze at! A lot of people -- my old self included -- could never imagine achieving such a thing.

Having done this, why beat myself up because I'm kind of wallowing here in this 206 range? I mean, holy cow, four years ago 206 was a weight I never thought I'd see again. My old self would have scoffed at Me Version 2007. "Boo hoo, maintaining a 130-pound weight loss. You poor thing! Let me cry you a river -- not."

I'm not saying I should go back to Me Version 2003 or older. This past Friday when Hubby, Mabel and I went to the Lenten Fish Fry I felt really stuffed, but as I told Hubby, I ate half of what I used to. In the "good old days," I would fill my plate and put plenty on Mabel's plate. Then I'd not only eat all of my food, but most of hers, too.

Hubby was shocked by this revelation, but like I told him, how else would I be able to maintain a weight well over 300 pounds? Now I don't get as much food and can't even finish what's on my plate, let alone looking at what's left on Mabel's plate.

There were other moments that reminded me that I am a new and improved version of myself. I went to the liquor store Saturday morning to buy two gallons of wine for our church's communion services. The man who checked me out has been a long-time friend of my family, and when he saw me he exclaimed, "You're wasting away to nothing!"

The next day I was walking around the Maple Festival with my friend JH. We walked past a store window and I caught a glimpse of the two of us, and to my pleasant surprise, I didn't look like a blimp walking next to her. My friend is not super petite but not overweight, either; in fact, I've secretly used her as a goal size I'd like to get to (she's now reading this blog, so now my secret's out!). While I'm sure I'm still heavier than her, I look closer to her size now, and I recall feeling some approval and satisfaction with myself as I glanced at my reflection.

I was telling some different people about my modified schedule now that we have the puppies. Instead of getting up at 5 a.m. I now get up at 4:45 to get them outside and fed before I go work out. Everyone was astounded that I do this and all stated they don't have that much motivation. Four or five years ago I would have been one of those people who couldn't imagine making such an effort to (gasp!) exercise. And to give up sleep for it? Forget it! I'm still not sure how it happened, but it's just something that's become important to me, and important enough to make the time for it, even if it means giving up some sleep.

So why, with all these changes I've been able to make in my life, do I feel like a failure because I'm lingering at the same weight for several weeks now? I guess I've put too much importance on the weekly weigh-ins, and I worry too much about what my readers will think of me when I report that I've stayed the same or gained.

You're probably wondering where I'm heading with this. Am I looking for a reason to eliminate the weekly weigh-in? I see the danger of that; I need that accountability, because otherwise I'll start getting lazy about sticking to healthy eating. I'll start allowing more and more slip-ups until I'm back to 230, 240 or heaven forbid, even higher. I completely credit this blog and the weekly weigh-in for my ability to go from 213 to 206 over the winter. Not a lot, but still, a loss over winter is a huge achievement for me.

I have to just stop putting such importance on the number on the scale and not calling myself a failure if the number isn't going down. The non-scale successes are there if I choose to see them. And if I wind up maintaining for another month? Well, maybe that's what my body and mind need to do right now. The big goals are to keep eating healthy during the week and exercising almost every day. If I can continue doing that it will ensure that I don't start regaining. And that's the most important thing.


Andrea K said...

I just read today's post on www.dietgirl.org and she addresses the same thing I am -- the pressure we put on ourselves by posting our weights online. It was nice to know I'm not the only one feeling this way!

Jen said...

It is easy to look at the negative, but you have so many positives to look at. Keep looking at those positive things. You will get past this, too.

Lori said...

There's nothing wrong with the accountability or even tracking what you eat...it's what you do with that knowledge. If you spend your time lamenting what you ate (and we're all human, I did it last night to a degree), then it's not completely useful.

It's good to step back and see how far you have come. At one point, you would have killed to be 220 even. Now you're at 206. So maybe to get to the onderland, it's going to take some time both with the food and exercise AND the mental process. We can only do so much and right now, I see you in a very good place. You've lost a lot, you're maintained it (you even had surgery and got it off), and you're handling the stresses of every day life without your old crutch. That's a lot to be proud of, Miss Andrea!