Friday, December 21, 2012

2 years and holding

December 21, 2010 was the random day that I decided that I had to do something about the weight with which I was highly unsatisfied.  I don't remember tons about it, but I do know that I had earlier in the month brought down my Christmas decorations from upstairs and I was totally defeated by the pain that was in my knees as I walked up and down those steps.  I remember being disgusted sitting on my couch and felt parts of my back touching itself.  I remember feeling pretty horrible about myself in general.

I had used the loseit app before and knew that it had some good potential and knew that I could use it with success if I put my mind to it and just did it.  I also do NOT believe in New Year's resolutions-- at all-- so I wanted to get going on this before the first of the year.  Right before Christmas was a good time to do it, also, to practice a little self control during a high calorie time of the year, which begins well before at Halloween and lasts through the Super Bowl weekend.  At least. I remember those first weeks being pretty hard.  And I cheated a lot.  I fooled myself into thinking that I was following the plan and not posting some of my food, maybe eating a little more than reported, etc (ha! times really don't change in a way) and in general not being real strict with the plan.  But I lost a little, I gained back a little, I did walk as much as I could for exercise, and had uneven success.  But I did have some success- a few pounds off.  I do remember feeling a LOT of success at the Kutz family Christmas get-together at my brother Ed's place, as I was able to really limit the food I had and it made me feel great. I wanted to lose a lot, but was going to be happy with 10 pounds....

Meanwhile, spin ahead to the beginning of January and the installation of wifi in my house- plus the purchase of a laptop!!  Merry Christmas to me!  Woo HOO!  I had completed and received my grad degree in August of 2010 (GIANT YEAH BABY) and had planned this as a gift to myself.  The poor MA never can quite believe the things that I do to our household at times, lol! The internet arrived and I was thrilled to get around to looking at the loseit website sometime in mid January.  This was the proverbial game changer.  I was fiddling around until this event.  I was not really accountable, I was always coming up a little short in my commitment.  The FRIENDS aspect of loseit is the key to my success (well the gym is the other key, but that has been discussed before!)  The concept of online friends helping you, encouraging you, cheering for you was really compelling for me.  Because as you know, I do enjoy chatting with my friends!  :)

I don't remember exactly who my very first friends were on loseit, except that the majority of them were people have since disappeared.  I do know that one of my early friends was Barbara in Cali and she has been a wonderful supporter and indeed a dear friend ever since.  I can name a few others that I accumulated in those early months: Allyce, Marie, Cathy H, Richard, MadDog, Gary, Bea, Theresa, Anne and many others. I hate to leave people out, as there were so many who I relied on for support and advice.  Since then I have become friends with so many people and have indeed met many of them.  My first actual new friend to meet was Marie, who lives in the Twin cities. It was AWESOME to be able to talk to her and have a coffee with her.  We have met a few times now and plan to continue our summer walks again this year.  I plan to continue getting to know them in person when I can!

The Loseit website offered me the right combination of encouragement and information and the ability to interact with others who are going through the same thing as me.  The people were in different stages of their journey, and all had things that were valuable.  The forums offered me a lot of information and a place that you could discuss aspects of eating, exercise and mind set with a variety of people who may or may not be on your friends list and who may or may not be of like mind to you.  All of this combined, along with a total redo of my goals, to kick start the whole program again.  This time it clicked, this time I would really stick to my plan, add in extra activity, know to take measurements to track your actual results, and all the little tricks that help.  Like brush your teeth A LOT to keep from eating at night, to chew gum in between meals to distract yourself from eating (hello dessert flavored gum!), to have a little protein if you are starving, to up your water intake a LOT to help with everything.

If someone told me two years ago that I would be having just broccoli for dinner at night, I would have laughed at them.  If someone had told me two years ago that I would be literally sick from eating 4 pieces of chocolate and about 3 cookies at one time, I would have been incredulous.  I have changed my eating habits a little at a time -  drastically -  over the past few years.  It has been slow, but I have altered the way I eat.  I got to a point that my exercise didn't take off weight very fast after several months, so I had to adjust my plan for less food.  I figured out what I had to take out of my food list or what I had to reduce.  I found substitutions for my favorite tastes and used them instead of the full calorie version (I discovered the joy of hummus, Dijonaise, and Laughing Cow cheese on many things instead of Cheddar and mayo and things like that.)  I remember looking at my foods list several times- my typical day- and deciding what I indeed could do without or limit.  It was never terribly difficult, because it happened so gradually. As time went on I made some major decisions about my food intake that has helped tremendously and has given me and amazing amount of energy and I feel great! In April I quit eating meat.  This was not all that tough for me.  The thing I still sort of miss is tuna- it is quick and easy and I do like it, but it is easy enough to eat something else.  Becoming vegetarian is something I have toyed with for many years - at least 10- and so with the encouragement from a friend, I made that leap.  A few weeks later, I distinctly remember drinking my last Diet Pepsi. This was much more traumatic, as the Pepsi spoke to me frequently after that.  Meat made barely a peep, soda screamed, demanded, whispered enticingly, and WHINED a lot.  I am amazed to say I NEVER have had another sip since that day at school.  I did taste a sip of root beer in Minnesota, just because it was famous northern Minn brand that was hyped as being so good.... meh. It was ok.  Sometime in May, I had an unfortunate interlude with a bag of Doritos, so that is another item I have given up.... cold turkey.  Doritos and I are not on speaking terms any more.  And I am fine without it.

So much has changed in me in 2 years but still I am the same person.  That is a statement that sounds so obvious, but when you are looking at this kind of a change, which by the way I never anticipated, I it is sort of unexpected too.  One would expect to be deliriously happy and satisfied with life and the way you look.  Instead, life is the same series of challenges, and you are still not totally content with the way you look. Where people see thin, skinny, and tiny, you see a tummy that could shrink a little, chubby little knees that you wish would go away and heck, I just enjoy the word tiny.  Lol!  That was NEVER used to describe me before. Kinda gives me goosebumps.  Lol. You also have some things that happen that aren't all that great- like the lines that are more distinct on one's face or the weird little place under the eyes that make funny looking shadows in pictures. You panic over the food that you ate mindlessly and fight the need to soothe your troubles by indulging in a late night encounter with peanut butter. These all sound pretty silly when you write it out, but try telling that to the Debi that is worried every minute that the weight will come back. That I have to be vigilant, and know that I can't let my guard down, ever.  So don't expect me to binge on those cookies any more this season, as that just can't happen.  This is a struggle every single day.

The nice thing is that I weighed myself this morning and there is that awesome number still!  144.2.  It has been there for almost 2 weeks now and barely fluctuates, so maintenance is going pretty well!!  I am writing this with sore hands from picking up an 80 pound barbell and doing Romanian deadlifts yesterday.  I have a knee that is a little whiny this morning from running for 10 minutes on the treadmill, but will be fine later today, about the time that the rest of my leg muscles begin to complain from the weight training I did last night.  And it all feels right and good and I like having that soreness.  It makes me KNOW that I did a good job in the gym and that is the other key to my success. I will be using my workouts to be able to eat what I want and in a few weeks, I will resume (in limited fashion) my coffee habit, add a tiny bit of chocolate back into my day and perhaps on New Year's Eve resume my affair with Margaritas! ;)

I have a few friends who have given me such incredible support that I can't even begin to thank them enough.  I have my local buddies who are always there for me, including Connie who is a fellow kick-ass Honey Badger Babe and my cheerleading section at school who make my life so rich.  I have my family who tell other people how nice I look, and to hear that even second hand makes me feel really good.  And then I have my loseit friends who I talk to daily, through the internet, through the telephone,  and by me knowing that they are available for a whine session if I need them.  You already know that I am sentimental and corny and so I can say that they take my breath away every day. I smile when I get a text (- and I have a few new texting pals who make my morning sunny.)  They make me teary, they make me proud with all that they do and they are some really awesome friends.  NO ONE gets this journey like they do, they are my traveling companions and my confidantes. I seriously do not know what I would do with out them.

So, yes, I am going to continue to "not eat", to "go to the gym all the time", to walk "constantly" because I don't know any other way.  This is my new normal, this is the way it will be.  And I am so grateful for all the people who have been instrumental in this two year journey, my life is truly blessed.

And I will find my joy today, I hope you find yours.  THANK you for your friendship, all of you. xoxoxo

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