2013 Goals

So, I’ve been thinking about my goals for the coming year. Of course I’ll be focusing on my health. Particularly on losing the weight that I’ve regained. Last week I was at 176 lbs, my goal is to get back down to 145.

It’s completely ridiculous for me to be yo-yoing in my weight, especially since I know what I should be doing. I know how to lose the weight. I know that being lazy, weak and complacent is what got me back up there. And I know that my poor health choices have been at least partially a result of the stress around all the mom stuff.

So there. Goal #1, get back down to 145 by making healthy food choices the majority of the time, and by intentionally sweating (aka exercise) 6 days a week.

My other goal has to do with quilting. I went through and organized my fabric. I had no idea that I had so many “kits” put together that are just waiting to be sewn and quilted. I definitely have enough to keep me busy for the next year. So my goal is to complete the kits and UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) that are sitting there in the grocery bags awaiting my attention. I’m also placing a moratorium on buying new fabric, except as needed to complete the goal (like for backings and bindings).

So that’s goal #2.

I think 2 goals is plenty for this year, especially with everything else going on – mom, trying to buy a house, and general life.

Prizes are still coming. I’m thinking every 10 pounds I get a little prize. I think I get a little prize for every completed quilt.

Prizes are things that I like, but that I can never justify the cost for…
Haircut (10 lbs gone)
Massage (20 lbs gone)
Movie with popcorn and snacks (30 lbs gone)

I’ll need to re-count my projects to come up with the right number/scale of prizes. I’ll post again later once I’ve figured that out.

Weight Loss TV

I’m not a big fan of TV in general.  I don’t really have the time to watch it, especially specific shows every week.  I do try to make the time to watch weight loss TV shows like The Biggest Loser on Hulu, though.

I’ve tried to analyze why I like this particular type of TV as opposed to regular shows or other reality tv.  I think it’s because I can see parts of myself and those I love in the people on these shows.  And I always love the transformations they go through and the emotional growth I see.  But I’m still dissatisfied – probably because the people on these shows are so overweight that they’re in even worse condition than most of the people I know.

I wish they’d make some kind of weight loss/healthy living show for people who don’t need to lose hundreds of pounds.  They need to make a show for people that really only need to lose 40 pounds or learn how to cook healthy foods or fit everything in with a super busy life.  It’s not just about the weight loss for the average person in my life.  It’s about other things as well.

I know the spectacle sells, but it doesn’t reflect the majority of what I see in my life.  I wish TV did sometimes.

My Offensive (?) Obesity Post

I’ve been thinking about a few things for awhile now.  Most of my conclusions are probably pretty controversial on these topics, but they make the most sense to me.  They do not reflect the views of my employer and may not necessarily reflect the views of my family/friends.  I apologize if the following post offends anyone.

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As a fat woman, I’ve heard/read many things by self-help and self-esteem gurus.  They usually say something along the lines of “Love yourself – embrace that beautiful (overweight) body.  There’s nothing wrong with obesity.”

I hate to break it to them, but there is something wrong with obesity.  We all know that obesity is a fully preventable and treatable problem (in most cases) that can be linked to major conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  These are all things that can lead to disabilities and early death.  Obesity costs this country and its citizens a lot of money in rising health care costs.  It also costs us in emotional damage when we can no longer fit on amusement park rides, when we become the butt of jokes, and when we feel as though we’re facing our personal demons all alone.

Please don’t tell me to embrace and love my fat.  Don’t tell my overweight neice and nephew to love theirs.  Don’t tell my brother that it’s OK for his dog to be overweight. Don’t tell me that my obesity is not my fault even as I make the choice to eat poorly and lead a sedentary lifestyle.  Stop offering the “magic pill” of gastric bypass and/or lapbanding when you know that patients see it as a magic pill.

I’m not condoning bullying by any means.  I do think, though, that there should be a stigma attached to obesity, just as there’s a stigma attached to alcoholism, drug use, and tobacco use.  If there were a way to tax obesity I’d probably support that too, so that at least we could recoup some of the money it costs this country to medicate these people. 

I know I sound harsh, but I’m coming from the position that our children learn what they see.  If mom and dad buy fast food every night and sit in front of the TV for hours on end, the kids will think that this is OK.  If mom and dad are obese, the kids will think obesity is OK.  Trust me, I know from experience!  My mom was obese.  Most of the food choices in our house were unhealthy.  We sat and watched TV.  And before I said “enough is enough” I was almost 200 pounds with joints that ached and problems sleeping because of my weight.  I learned how to be obese as a child and I accepted it as normal.  I didn’t learn how to be healthier until I was an adult and looked at my lifestyle objectively to see that it wasn’t (and should never be) normal.

I’m reading the book “Switch” by the Heath brothers.  One of the vignettes in the book talks about being specific when seeking change.  We can tell people over and over to “eat healthy” but most people only have a vague understanding of what healthy eating entails.  So instead, you need to be specific.  Community leaders in one city focused on getting people to switch from whole milk to 2% milk.  They showed the community how much fat and saturated fat is in whole milk, and told the community what ingesting all that extra fat could do to them.  They illustrated the problem, and then told the community they should switch to buying 2% milk to avoid these problems.  It worked. 

I know that the answer isn’t for someone to tell me (or anyone else) to love their fat.  And the answer may not be taxing obesity.  And telling people to make healthy choices is too ambiguous.  So maybe, instead, we should focus on one food choice and one activity choice each year.  This year we’ll focus on replacing sweets with fruit, and walking around the block as a family after dinner instead of turning on the TV.  Those goals are specific and doable first steps for most people. 

I’m not sure what’s bringing out this tirade.  Maybe I’m just tired of the campaign to make obesity acceptable.  Maybe I’m tired of hearing people make excuses  for their obesity.  Maybe I’m tired of going out to eat on a date with my husband and trying to make a healthy choice only to find that the healthiest thing on a menu is onion rings.  Seriously – ONION RINGS!  It’s just so disheartening to believe with every fiber of my being that it is within my power to be healthier only to find that the media, my family, and even date night restaurants are against me making the best decisions for my health.

Tucked in All Day

The outfit I was planning to wear today fell through, mostly because you can see a purple bra through a white tank top and I didn’t feel like changing my bra.  So instead I wore a blouse tucked into my bootcut jeans with some cowboy boots and a belt.  I’d planned on untucking my shirt after awhile once it mostly untucked itself (and once the belt started bugging me too much), but after all the compliments I got today I decided to keep it tucked!

One of the clerks I supervise said “Danie!  Look how tiny your waist is!”

One of the librarians I work with said “That’s a great look for you!  So polished.”

One of the building maintenance guys said “You look good today – what are you doing differently?”

One of the janitors said “You look skinnier.  Are you still jogging?”

One of the library members I was helping said I was real pretty.

Talk about a self-esteem boost!  And to top it off, the belt didn’t bug me once!  In the past it would dig into my stomach whenever I sat down or crouched or bent at the waist, but today it felt like a firmer waistband instead of a torture device.

It seems like this whole eating right and exercise thing is working the way it’s supposed to!  Since March 1st, I’ve lost 8 pounds.  My waist is down to 30″, my hips are 41″, each thigh is 25.5″ and each upper arm is 13″.  Those are all smaller numbers than they were on March 1st!  All I gotta do is keep up the momentum – I know I can do it!

4 pounds = visible results?

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for SparkPeople, a free social networking website dedicated to health and fitness.  I’d been tracking my food, water and exercise.  I’d been making sure to do cardio and weights and yoga, and making healthier food choices whenever possible.  On Wednesday I weighed myself and found that I’d lost 4 pounds.  Not bad, right?

Well, on one of my walks around the block at work, just after I’d signed up for SparkPeople, one of the patrons saw me and made a comment.  “Hey Librarian!  Enjoy your walk, but don’t lose too much weight – I love a lush woman!”  He looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t pick him out of a crowd if I needed to… but he obviously recognized me.  I just waved and kept walking.

On Saturday I was handing out tickets to Martin Yan’s cooking demonstration when the same guy came up to my table.  He smiled and said “Keep walking, you’re looking great!  What’s it been, about 5 pounds?”  I smiled and said “Just about.”

I’m not sure if the guy was hitting on me, being a creepster, trying to be supportive, or just being friendly.  But I wonder if any of you have seen visible results just by losing 4 pounds?  The only thing I notice is that my rings spin around a lot more, but other than that I don’t see anything.  What do you think?

Exercise update: 3/11/11

I started out feeling kind of down on myself about this jog because of all the times I had to stop and walk.  It felt like I had to do it soooo much more often than on the treadmill.  But then I remembered, that jogging on the treadmill is kind of like “virtual jogging” while doing it outside in the wide wide world is “jogging in real life.”

Jogging outside is going to be more difficult than on the treadmill.  You have to deal with the weather, the changing elevations, the cars, crossing streets, and trying not to run over little old ladies in the process.  Jogging on the treadmill keeps you at a constant speed, elevation and keeps you out of the weather, traffic and streets.  It’s just different.

I also realized that I was jogging farther than I ever had before.  When I first started exercising, I could only jog for the length of 2-3 houses before I was too winded to go on.  Now, I can jog 3/4 of a long block before I need to walk.

With all of this in mind, I definitely feel good about this jog, and I’m not nearly as scared as I was about the 5k on Sunday.

(1.9 miles at 13:46 pace)

Exercise Update: 3/2/11

After eating way too much at Claim Jumper’s last night (think Ahi tuna salad with a few sips of mai tai and chocolate chip calzone for dessert) and sitting in meetings all day, I knew I needed to exercise.  DH has been nice enough to leave the treadmill set up for me, even though it’s in the way most of the time.  When we got home from dinner, I immediately went upstairs to change.

My total time on the treadmill was 30 minutes, and I went 2.05 miles.  Definitely not my best time, and more of it was walking than I wanted it to be.  But on a positive note I managed to jog for 16 minutes straight!  Go me!  We’ll see how my legs are feeling tonight to see if I can bump that initial jog up to about 20 minutes.

Once I finished with the jog, I did a little bit of stretching and started in on the weightlifting portion of my workout.  I’d signed up for SparkPeople a few days ago, and today’s weightlifting workout for that program was called “Bikini Body for Beginners”.  I modified some of the exercises with their special tool and got to working.  I have to admit that I half-assed the ab portion because I had such bad heartburn by the time I got to it.  Somehow sitting up and laying down repeatedly just didn’t sound like a good idea with that.

When I weighed myself this morning, I was down 2 pounds!  Go me!  I’m now back down to 160.  Only 27 pounds to go!

If it’s not raining today I’m planning on going for a walk around the block at work (about 15 minutes) and then doing a 15 minute walk or jog on the treadmill with yoga to finish it up.  If it is raining, I’ll do it all on the treadmill and follow with some yoga.

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