Thursday, April 8, 2010

Here today, Goal tomorrow...

So, I'm down 48 pounds now!!  Moving a little slowly down in this 10 pound range, as I do during this phase of my losing cycle (has alot to do with my monthly cycle methinks).  I am still hoping to be down 50 by April 15, my adjusted mini-goal since my injury two months ago.

I'm excited that I have been able to do more exercising lately, like walking, and a few of my exercise videos.  I picked up my first kettlebell and video and LOVE it.  Its a great workout and I am sweating like crazy by the end of it!  My physical therapist says I can *try* to start running again soon, taking care to watch how I'm feeling and be sure not to overdo it.  Since I'm doing the Couch to 5k program, or as I have renamed it, Crutch to 5k, that shouldn't be a problem.  It does such a nice progression of interval training that you aren't running for too long at a time until you work your way up there.  I'm going to try day 1 of the training program tomorrow.  I'm excited and nervous about it!

So, I want to discuss something I've had on my mind lately...I have realized something in the last 2 months about myself that I sort of see as life changing and maybe it can encourage someone else. 

Since last August I have been focusing on my health and losing weight.  I've also done a great deal of soul searching throughout this process. I needed to understand, why did I get to be 285 pounds in the first place?  What inside of me was so broken that I had to fill it with food?  Why have I never, in my life, been able to lose more than 30 pounds, and why did I always gain it all back and then some?  Until I successfully answered these questions I was at risk of gaining it all back once more.  That is a scary thought.

There are a few things I already know about myself that causes me to waver when trying to set goals.  First, I am not a person who deals well with complexity.  When things seem too big or will take too long, I go into shutdown mode.  So all of the balls I have in the air drop.  One example is my education.  It took me 7 years to finish my Associates degree and I did it mainly to just have it done.  I didn't enjoy the process at all.  I also didn't attach any goals to it, I just kept plugging along every now and then picking up the pace until I saw enough light at the end of the tunnel to push ahead and finish it.  Weight wise, the thought of losing 50 pounds, or now 100 pounds at any given time has been too daunting for me to even lose 1 pound and so I gained.  And gained.  And gained.  As I stood at the door of 300 pounds and lifted my hand to knock, fortunately enough of my doctors intervened at the right time and something snapped.  I was 30 years old and looking at being on cholesterol medication.  Not cool.  Something HAD to give.  But even as I started this journey 7 months ago I wasn't sure I would be able to do it.

Another thing I know about myself is that I lack self-confidence.  I am not someone who is very sure of myself, I typically care WAY too much about what people think and I am incredibly critical of myself.  So the thought of being good at anything, be it work, exercise, music, understanding nutrition or really anything was a challenge for me to stomach.  I just wouldn't.  This lack of confidence actually almost cost me my job more than once.  Fortunately, in the last few years I began to learn more about my own personality and understand it enough that I began to realize I am not stupid and there is nothing wrong with I began realizing I am good at some things, for example, my job.  This confidence was built over a really long time and multiple successes and encouragement from people I work with. 

An increased level of self-awareness has completely changed my life and my future.  This has answered all of my questions.  How did I answer those questions, like why I got to this weight and what was so broken?  Well, I got a little depressed, starting with moving and starting off without many friends.  Traveling away from my family frequently.  The travel made my eating even worse and that was one excuse.  And the fatter I got, the more depressed I got!  I enjoy food, alot, and it made me literally feel better to eat scrumptious, horrible for me food.  Even though I would hate myself later, I still did it, every time.  So the vicious cycle begins and never, ever ends. 

Until you DECIDE to end it.

And I decided, really decided, last August.

I think I have inadvertently transferred some of that confidence into goal setting, and I attacked my blueprint changing with a series of goals and small changes I could make gradually that would help me in achieving them.  As I've mentioned before, my friend Barb was a huge help in this, helping me develop the list of small changes and then keeping up with me frequently has helped me so much with accountability. 

I think ahead now.  I make plans.  For example at Thanksgiving I knew I would have two large meals to eat that day, at both sides of the family's houses.  So I walked.  Alot.  A walk that morning.  A walk that afternoon.  And a walk later on in the day.  I probably walked 5 miles.  And I lost weight that week and still ate all of my favorite foods.  Of course, I did discover that the most unhealthy part of pumpkin pie is the crust...and I've never liked crust anyway so Mom made me my own little one with no crust.  :)  Small change, made me hugely happy.

Each small win led me to feel more confident.  So like in my work situation, I have been building my confidence in my ability to manage my health this entire time.  I am more proactive with grocery shopping, so I can purchase healthy foods.  We throw away much less food than we used to!  How many bags of salad have I bought and tossed out when they began growing things?  Then I tackled eating out.  Now I have no qualms about ordering food and I know what I like and don't like.  I changed what I like to eat...alot.  I have zero desire for french fries.  All I smell and taste is grease.  Now I do like sweet potato fries and every now and then I will eat them at a place I know doesn't saturate them in grease.  But most of the time I would much prefer to have steamed broccoli on the side.  Today I had citrus grilled chicken breast and asparagus at Long Horn steakhouse for a business lunch.  It tasted wonderful!  I just crave healthier things now.  That makes it much easier to eat well 90% of my time.  The other 10% I reserve for chocolate chip cookies and the occasional hot fudge sundae with extra fudge. 

I'm really glad I got injured.  How strange is that to say?  Well I probably wouldn't have soul searched otherwise.  I wouldn't have had time!  I had a few moments/days of panic when I first hurt myself.  I was so afraid I was going to gain all of my weight back and then some - again...and I didn't.  After 2 days I was much less hungry (since I wasn't burning as many calories) and I just kept eating well, most of the time.

Getting injured really put a damper on my training.  But it also taught me that I was way stronger than I gave myself credit for.  I have a new level of confidence in myself that I never thought I would reach.

It's not that I "hope" to lose all of the weight.  I WILL lose it.  I am 100% sure of this, without a doubt in my mind.  I will reach my weight goals.  That is so refreshing to admit.  And I completely believe it.

So overall, I've gotten much better at goals in everything in this last 7 months.  Here are a few examples of new goals and accomplishments.

Losing 100 pounds by October.
Getting in a regular prayer time every day.
Running a 5k without stopping by the end of the year.
Playing piano again, at church and getting a paycheck for it.
Finishing my Bachelors degree by June (I'm 3 classes away!).
Being the best wife and mother I can be, constantly learning how to be better.

Man, it feels good to see where I can be...especially when I reflect back on where I have been.  I think it is so important to measure our own self-awareness frequently.  Growing in that area for me may have just changed my blueprint.  FOREVER.

Keep on keepin' on!


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