Saturday, April 17, 2010

Obesity OVER!

Ever wish it was like a computer command? Or a magic spell? GORDOGO! At the moment I am technially OVERWEIGHT, not OBESE, but the fact that I've spent more of my adult life obese than normal weight is not lost on me.

Looked at differently though... perhaps there IS a bit of a spell to it. OBESITY OVER!

Are you confused yet? I am talking about the mind games we play with ourselves. I've been on diets several DOZEN times. And do you know something. EVERY TIME it really TAKES... EVERY TIME things are working and I succeed in the longer term, I know at the start that my head is in the right place. I'm not sure why I can't remember and spot when it's NOT, but when it IS, I feel it. It's like there is a yell in my head. OBESITY OVER! I suppose it's possible there is just a fed-upness that sets in.

So I guess what I want to explore is how we turn on that right frame of mind. I don't know how to do that, except by exploring the commonalities between the times that have worked, that are sometimes missing when things DON'T work.


Some people need to 'not think too much'. ME? I need to mentally prepare. I've had 7 or 8 big, successful weight losses. All but two have started on New Years. The first that didn't was the only time it didn't happen on purpose... when I was a Freshman in college I lost weight... a fair amount. But I lost it slowly. It was the first time in my life I didn't have free access to food. It was easier to make smart choices if I only had to do it three times a day... no cupboard of cookies and chips. I mean SURE, I could BUY those, but here's a secret I try to use when possible. I am TRULY CHEAP. And as a freshman I had a limited supply of money... an allowance, if you will, that was adequate, but NOT generous. And frankly, indulgent nature aside, I ALSO am practical. Money spent on CLOTHES gives you something that lasts (erm... this was before the nudist movement set in during daylight hours). Money spent on PIZZA, doesn't. So this limit on extra FOOD, plus living in TRACK TOWN, meant my prior inclinations to try and be a runner finally TOOK. Less intake, MORE output... You do the math. I lost 21 pounds that year and other than a brief lapse working at Pizza Hut the next summer, kept it off until I graduated from college.

But exception aside... On to New Years... If I set some OTHER start date, it doesn't work... single exception (inspired by hitting 190 the first time and PANICKING)... but the New Years option has worked... maybe 40% of the time... so while it isn't a SURE thing, it is a lot better odds than 1/20. Oh sure, it's psychological, but knowing that doesn't change it (proof is the times that HAVEN'T taken, ne?)


On the day I actually begin, I have to have the STUFF I need available. What do I mean?

See... I like to eat. Several rounds of this have taught me I will feel deprived if I don't eat much, so instead of cutting way BACK, I make my choices SMARTER. I buy veggies. Vegetables in larger portions give you more on your plate, and more in your tummy, for virtually FREE. Stewed tomatoes added to black beans make an already efficient food even more so (ONE point for a whole cup and a half—added to three points worth of rice, that is a GENEROUS lunch. My Squash soup is FREE and makes a half sandwich or a salad satisfying. Last night we had chicken breasts and salad (there were rolls that I skipped) but by putting the chicken ON the salad, I felt like I had a nice plate of dinner. So having all those veggies around to bulk up meals that would not otherwise be satisfying is crucial.

In fact the times I fall off almost ALWAYS fall when I feel hungry and healthy choices aren't readily available.


The opacity of my meaning here is probably excessive because I use those terms statistically, so I may think of things differently than most of you. Orthogonal things are related to each other in predictable ways (typically at right angles). Oblique things are less predictable, so while still related, you don't know what you're in for. On eating at exercise I happen to know stuff about a few of my habits... eating right and exercise are Orthogonal to me. Confused? You see, exercise ALWAYS happen if I am eating right—so KNOWING I AM eating right answers that question. However, if I am NOT eating right, then it is hit and miss on whether I am exercising. It is entirely independent. So one answer gives you your other answer, the other does not. HOWEVER the other way around is, you know... the other way around. Exercising tells you NOTHING about whether I am eating right. NOT exercising however, answers your question. If I'm not exercising, I am CERTAINLY not eating right.

So that was a long way of saying exercise is my minimal bar. If I'm not doing that, I'm not doing ANYTHING. Which means I need to make sure that habit is in place solidly BEFORE starting the other... I can start an exercise plan ANY old time, and while I may have trouble convincing myself it is time to be a runner again, convincing myself to power walk is NOT a problem. I only ever fall off when the weather is super sucky or life gets super stressful and my sleep patterns get messed up anyway.


There are all sort of obstacles to the BIG picture...stress, schedule... those are my biggies. But when I am GOING, it seems there are really two. When I get super busy and put off eating, it typically backfires and I eat too much or eat the wrong thing after... bad idea. And the BIGGEST? The big giant thing will come in while I am in the bath tub and harp on me about something, so I get ticked. If it is a weekend, it puts me off of going straight to bed, because who wants to sleep with the world's most ANNOYING person? Not me. At least not in this stage in my life.  He never HAS mastered the 'make it up to me' favors.

So I go downstairs and get on the computer. It's late. I'm hungry. And I'm feeling just a little self destructive because I am married to the world's most ANNOYING person. (you might be able to tell this has happened last night recently. And I turn to potato chips.

I have an extra drink or two with more regularity that I should confess to (I figure I exercise a lot, and mostly the scale has allowed it) but this whole damn annoyed potato chip eating is my single food faux pas. I've done it a handful of times and it is always the same set up. I seem unable to help myself. Ah well...

OPROGRESS *shifty*

I lost two pounds this week, in SPITE of the ornery potato chip incident. This is only down one pound from TWO weeks ago, but it is all the right direction, ne? Down 39.5 all together. And this was the first week that it never budged back up over that 200 mark (three weeks saw a little waffling there down, up, down, up), but the BIG fun thing? I work with a medical resident—she has taken a year off of residency for some medical stuff, and decided doing research would at least allow her to be productive, but has a far more flexible schedule. She took her boards though, a few weeks ago, so she'd taken a few weeks off. I think I hadn't seen her since February. When she came in this week, she was STUNNED. She told me I looked like a different person. It felt really good. The people who see me daily, don't notice--it comes off too slowly. And the people who see me REALLY irregularly were probably shocked when it went UP, and so the DOWN is just a return to normal, if you know what I mean... but this woman I worked with from July through February, and then there was a break... It was a really nice reinforcement.

So good luck to anyone ELSE out there who is working on it!



Excellent post , congrats on being overweight and NOTobese. I know the feeling,I was obese for ages now I'm overweight, now I'm aiming to be my ideal weight. This was a good "O" letter post and really enoyed reading it.


steelxmagnolia said...

I seem to be pushing the Control-ALT-Delete button over and over. I start. Lose 10 or 12 then gain it back. I just want to double-click on the Obesity Over button so I can shed these 15 pounds. Tomorrow will be the day. I can feel it. Cheers.

Watery Tart said...

Yvonne--good for you for also 'stepping down', if you will. And good luck on the next step. Thank you!

SteelMagnolia- *snort* love the computer reference! I am doing similarly but with about 50 pounds *shifty* I DO roller coaster... It is schedule changes that kill me--new jobs was the last one... a move before that. Good luck on your fifteen!

M.J. Nicholls said...

Excellent post. I would like to say something of sublime insight and clevernes pertaining to the topic, but I'm on a blog commenting diet.

Watery Tart said...

*snort* Oh Mark... I liked it when you indulged to your heart's content--I miss you. But it looks like you are being very productive!

Slushpile Slut said...

Hey Hart the Tart! AS you know I have the same problem however I lost 57 pounds on the Atkins diet and have kept it off for about 9 months....Atkins rocks! It's hard the first 3 days, during that time you'll do anything for a big chunk of white bread but then....*birds singing* the cravings go away. there's no up and down fluctuations in your blood sugar due to the limited sugar and carb intake. It's the only thing that worked for me. Plus you get extra energy and improved mental clarity and mood!

Sorry. I sound like a damn infomercial. And I too am a potato chip can have a small amount on Atkins as long as it's under 20 carbs. Sorry. Good luck with the pounds and it was a great post!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Gordogo...that is classic. I'll have to remember that one. I once heard that if you break cookies exactly in half, all the calories leak out. Good luck on your weight goals.

Anonymous said...

I've piled on the weight since I've started writing and blogging. It's hard to get motivated to start exercising again. But I feel so unhealthy and know that I have to make that effort. *sigh* We've just bought a rowing machine :o)

Wanda said...

Well congrats on the weight loss thus far. Good post.

Watery Tart said...

SS-Welcome! I had no idea you'd lost so much-COngratulatoons! It's a huge accomplishment. I've lost that much ONCE, and that was the loss that took for the longest (job change threw the wrench in it).

Raquel--I love that you know Spanish and caught my reference! I thought of 'Fatflee' later, but the Gordogo was instantaneous. I studied Spanish in High school, but have learned well, I know about enough to badly misunderstand somebody.

Niki-it's hard, isn't it? I get tunnel vision and can only do so much at once. Adding the writing HAS been an extra challenge to me, too--I had to factor the time in to a healthy routine. Anything at home helps balance the weather fluctuations (which was once a HUGE obstacle for me--bought an elipticle last Christmas and it helps HUGELY when it is too cold or too wet for my outside stuff.

Wanda, thank you!

Tahereh said...

wow what a phenomenal post.

kudos to you!! :D

and best of luck with all you do!!

Marjorie said...

Great Tami! You are quite the self motivated person. Really looking forward to when you can say goodbye to overweight as well.

Lisa said...

My goodness but I've been missing out in reading your A to Z posts. You write beautifully! Good job in recognizing what does and doesn't work in your weight loss journey. Many more (including myself) would be more successful if we just sat down and gave it more thought.


Watery Tart said...

Tahereh-welcome! Thank you! And to you too!

Marjorie-I think you know I'm an all or nothing gal, yes... right now I am on an 'all' phase with the fitness... which is good. I honestly wasn't sure it FIT with the ALL on writing, since I get so obsessive about both, but it seems to be working.

Lisa-I'm so glad you've come around and like what you see! I know you've commented before, but it seems you've dived in a little deeper now, and I'm very glad to have you!

Ellie said...

Congrats on your wt loss and sharing your view!
I agree it is a mind set; when I make up my mind I am great, but til then, I struggle. I gained weight from a recent injury. It was over the holidays to make matters worse(it did I need to lose 25 lbs). Thanks for sharing so much~