Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Goal Without A Plan Is Just a Wish

My daily lament...

How many of you have ever had a "skinny" stage of your life?

I don't think I ever have. Ok - so maybe I wasn't an "obese" child, but I do know that I always felt like I was bigger than I should have been, even as a kid. In my teens, I strained to fit into clothes that my sister wore - and she is 4 1/2 years older than me. I always wore sizes that were much larger than my friends and by high school, I believe I tipped the scale at roughly 190 lbs, give or take a few. From the time girls start to really focus on their body images, I can distinctly recall feeling abnormal, over weight, and uncomfortable in my own skin. I remember being so angry at myself over why I let myself "get that way"....why did it seem to be a non-issue with my friends? Why could they eat what they wanted and not gain an ounce??? I'm not sure I ever really got my answer.

While I may not have ever had a memorable thin stage, I HAVE had stages in my adult life where I have weighed less than I do now. Some numbers stick out at me. 202. 212. 223. And during those lower weight periods, I remember the panic at THAT point, thinking it was the absolute highest I would ever let myself get. And yet somehow I ended up weighing 236. That was my highest weight ever, and I only just hit it this year.

I'm down to 215.5 as of today and feeling good about taking control of my health again and working with an eating plan that I feel I can stick with and maintain for the long run. But I often wonder what life would be like had I turned my life around when I weighed less - when I realized that I was on a fast train to being even heavier, and feeling like absolute hell. Because I do remember feeling bad about my weight at 212...I thought is was an absolute atrocity that I weighed that much. Today, I'd give my eye teeth to be there. But at my heaviest, in order to reach that goal, that meant I had to drop 24 pounds. The work to take it off is always much harder than the work it takes to put it on.

I'm really close to 212 now, and with that mini goal in close sight (it meets my challenge goal of losing 20 lbs), I hope that I never see that number again. I honestly feel that this IS the time I let it go, and keep going down, down, down...I finally feel stronger than the cravings and temptations and bad habits that I gave into for so many, many years. Yes, it's a battle each day - but with each battle won (whether it's a ignoring a cream-filled donut calling my name at the grocery store, or measuring every stinking thing for every stinking meal, or skipping dessert, even if it's an 80 calorie sugar free fudge bar), I feel more and more liberated.

I know I have said a GAGILLION times that Michele from Ruminations truly lit a spark that caught and smoldered in me for a long while until this year when I firmly grabbed the reigns and decided it was MY time. Her simple question: "If not now, when?" resonated with me so profoundly that I knew eventually my "now" would come. Well, it's here, my friends, and I am so happy to finally recognize it.

Weight loss is difficult. We all know this. If it were just about the food and nothing else, it would be easy-peasy. Or at least easier. But the emotional aspect of losing weight is what makes it tough. It can be lonely, especially if you are the token "fat friend" or "fat spouse" that feels out of place. Luckily for me, my husband has decided to lose with me and it makes this journey much better than trying to doing it solo. But even in addition to the support my husband provides, this blogging community has played a tremendous part in keeping me grounded, and truly inspiring me (on a daily basis) to one day have my own success story. And I know I will, and it will be so worth the work.

I guess I'm writing this today because I know of so many people that are out there that have or are feeling the way I felt when I stared at those old numbers on the scale, praying the number would never get any higher. But I didn't do anything about it for a long time, and guess what? The number did get higher - and higher until it hit a number that scared me into action. I understood that the only way I was ever going to get the numbers to decrease was by taking control, and I firmly believe that we all have the capability of doing that. I did - even a long time ago. But I think they key ingredient to the weight loss recipe was having the willingness to make a change, no matter how unpleasant it might be at first, and furthermore, be consistent with those changes. At least that has been my own experience over the past 8 weeks.

So far, I'm happy with my progress and feel like no matter how much I may bitch and moan about working out or miss the excess of certain foods, I honestly do feel in my heart of hearts that it is, in fact, worth it all. I wish the best for all of my fellow bloggers and want to thank them for all of their support, too. And to Michele - thanks for those words of encouragement regarding weight loss, even back when I wasn't doing anything about it. But thank you mostly for that very powerful question that started it all!


  1. Very proud of you and I believe this really is your time.

    And thank you for your comment-I know it was a bad day and am determined to keep days like that in the past.

  2. NOW is absolutely the time! Good luck.

  3. It IS hard! You are lucky to have your husband joining in.

  4. Question for you, and this is sincere; NOT snark (on screen things can come across in a different tone than that in which they are intended): do you honestly believe that slim/fit/normal weight people really eat whatever they want? Those kinds of assumptions A) are not helpful in the least to motivating yourself to improve your eating habits, and B) are just as off-base as assuming that all overweight people pig out on waffles, pizza, chips and soda every day. I'm 4+ years into maintaining a 70-ish lb weight loss and once a year, on my birthday, I go out for a big disgusting fried clam plate dinner, finished off with an ice cream. I eat that way once. A. Year. There are some other special once-a-year foods on Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving..but that's about it. 360 days a year it's 1600 calories of egg whites, grilled chicken and fish, vegetables, fruit and a 30-90 minute workout EVERY day; weekends, holidays and vacations included. So please don't sabotage your own goals by thinking that the slim/normal weight person you see is "eating whatever she wants and never gaining and ounce" or assuming she was always that size and that fit. She may have been right about where you are only a few years ago but she made the changes and committed to them forever...and you can, too. Good luck!

  5. Nora,
    Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment - and congratulations on your weight loss and ability to maintain for 4+ years! That is amazing.
    In response to your question, NO, I do not think that as adults we can eat what we want without repercussions. But my post (and that particular comment) was made in reference to how I felt in high school - and at that time when I and my friends were much younger - YES, I do believe I had friends that ate as I did and simply did not gain weight. At age 15 and 16 it was incredibly frustrating at the time.
    I am not one of those people that make assumptions about how others got to where they are physically (fat, thin, or otherwise). I know that people have medical issues that make them obese and I also know that the think woman next to me in line at the grocery store could have easily been obese at one point in time. I don't make generalizations about anyone and don't assume to know their story unless they decide to share it with me.
    For a fat chick, I consider myself relatively educated about the subject of weight loss - it has just taken me a while to adhere to a plan that works for me and that I feel is something I can do for the long haul.
    Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. I always love reading stories about those who have found weight loss success. You can never have too many role models.

  6. You cannot imagine how many times I have said this. And even though I have written about it and thought I learned my lesson I continue to do this. It is so frustrating.