This is it… we’ve hit the “danger zone” for anyone on a journey to better health, aka the holiday season. Sometime about a week before Thanksgiving until the New Year is really the hardest time of the year to stay on track, make good decisions and not backtrack on health goals.
Leading up to Thanksgiving I just start thinking about gravy and mashed potatoes and I start craving satisfying homemade comfort foods, which normally come as carbs I usually avoid and extra calories I don’t need.
After Thanksgiving, the Christmas onslaught starts… the homemade goodies, the chocolate candies, the peppermint bark and hot cocoa with a melted candy cane in it.
Since I usually only have such things once a year, I do allow some indulgences. It’s all part of moderation, but even that is “extra” compared to my usual diet and the scale suffers in the end.
I consider myself lucky and proud if I make it through the holiday season just maintaining my weight. That’s a win in my book.
So here’s where I’ll catch us up. My last post was Oct 1, 2017 and I was having a rough time with some unexpected feelings and complications (on my end) after my husband’s surgery.
I feel like so much has changed since then.
I started a new project (a business project), one I can’t discuss the particulars of here, but let’s just say I’m in the process of getting licensing with really big plans after that *if* (and that’s a HUGE if) I get approval… or nothing will happen at all. This is some potentially life changing stuff!
I became engrossed with this new project (creating a fb page, talking to a realtor, making a business plan, doing start-up financial estimates, drawing out how the project could look) to the point of forgetting to eat/having no desire to eat. Literally my passion was feeding me.
Because of this, I FINALLY made it into NEW WEIGHT TERRITORY!!!!!!!!!!! Woo-hoo! I’ve been waiting/working on that for 6 months!
After a few weeks, the passion slowed and I kind of put the project on the back burner. For one, I’m waiting to here back from a legal correspondent and really can’t go forward without that step of approval and two, I played host to my sister’s family and my in-laws for Thanksgiving (most guests for this holiday EVER) followed by the annual neighborhood ornament exchange I needed to get ready for and host (ended up with 20 people this year – almost double last year’s attendance).
So although the passion has lessened, appetite returned, naughty indulgences eaten, I’m still 10 lbs less than I was when I wrote my last post during my low point.
I have regained some weight from my new low (3-4 lbs), but am staying in this NEW range instead of returning to where I was.
I am truly proud of that.
Especially since exercise has just gone out the window.
I failed at my goal of getting in intentional exercise every day for the year.
With my passion project taking over, all spare minutes in the day and night were at my laptop. The weather got colder and/or rainy and the nightly walks stopped happening. My now 15-month-old (16 months in a couple days) got bored of being pushed in the stroller and would prefer to walk herself, however she’s not a fast walker and wanders instead of walking where she should which is problematic and doesn’t exactly keep me at a fast pace for decent cardio.
I haven’t done Turbo Jam or my Windsor Pilates in over a month. I think I did squats like once in the last 2 months.
Although I’ve lost weight and feel better in some clothing, I feel super jiggly. I really need to prioritize lifting weights/strength training, even if that means forgoing cardio.
My hubby is feeling jiggly as well. It’s been 3 months today since his gastric sleeve procedure. He’s lost a total of 83 lbs (30 before surgery, 53 after) and 4 pant sizes. He amazingly doesn’t feel any different and doesn’t really see the difference yet.
It’s true though, when you keep your same shape and just shrink all over, it can be hard to see the difference… plus you look at yourself every day.
I can see it though… his shoulders are bonier, his belly doesn’t stick out as much, his back is smaller… and you can’t deny the baggy clothes/new clothing size. It’s been over a decade since he fit into a pant size in the 40’s!
I’m so proud of him.
He’s doing really well… no bad side effects or recovery complications. So far no particular foods bother him as long as he’s good about small bites, chewing well and sticking to small portions. This way he can be satisfied getting to eat all his favorites, but just smaller amounts so he can continue to lose weight. It really is the best-case scenario for him.
Though he doesn’t like how jiggly he’s getting… his “moobs” (man boobs) and belly in particular. I warned him that the only way to get rid of that is yet another surgery. He groaned at me reminding him of this. That’ll be for some other year when we’ve hit our out-of-pocket max again if he is willing to yet again be put under (he already had another surgery this year to have some lipomas removed). It won’t be next year as we’ll still be paying off this year and last year (C-section) and won’t be able to afford it.
Overall, I am more hopeful that I was a couple months ago.
Even though I’m in the thick of the “hard months” as far as temptations and travel, I see how FAST it’s going. I’ll blink and Christmas will be here.
A quick trip up North and back and it’ll be New Years.
And then the fresh start happens and back in control with way less temptations.
I love that time of year. I know it’s cliché to start a health kick in the New Year, but truly, it’s needed after the holidays and it’s also a break from travel, parties, holidays and other social obligations.
The only thing that might be happening that month is my in-laws moving, which we already offered to help them, but at most that’ll just be one long weekend and will include a workout helping unpack and clean on top of keeping the kids safe.
So that covers the danger zone and catch up part of my post… now on to the “letting go” portion.
What do I mean by that?
It took me 32 years (seriously, that’s how long I’ve been overweight), but I think I finally let go of the need/want to lose weight quickly.
Yes, I can still manage to drop 4 pounds in 4 days, but seriously, all those pounds are ones I’d already lost, regained and am losing again… that’s why they drop off so quickly. That sort of speed can’t be expected continually and frankly, it’s naive and immature to expect it.
I compared pictures of my face over the last 7 years and that’s when it hit me… for all my ups and downs, I really am MAKING PROGRESS. And that’s the point, right?
I’m not where I was.
It’s been a long road involving multiple pregnancies, but I am 60 pounds less than my highest weight.
That really is something. Especially when I know how easy it could be a different situation – that I could be at that heaviest weight or even bigger by now.
I am 20 pounds less than I was last year and although I wanted it to be more like 40-60 lbs lighter, overall I am happy with how the year went.
Once again, I learned even more about myself (like simple carbs just aren’t for me, I loved Keto, but my body didn’t – a lesson that included a hormone imbalance, hair loss and my body being malnourished, so I am back to a life of moderation, but with reduced carbs and more supplements).
Per usual it wasn’t calories in, calories out and some other issues popped up to deter me from hitting a weight goal.
Along those lines, I am also letting go of 1-year projects/deadlines/weight goals. NO MORE. I am DONE.
No more “I plan to lose X number of pounds in X number of days/weeks”, etc. Nope. It’s over.
I’d rather lose at a slow pace and maintain healthier life habits than forgo my sanity and control just to try and meet a goal… whether it seemed attainable or not.
I should know by now that life happens… injuries, hormone issues, age, surgeries, moving, kids, etc. and that during the course of a year, it seems to average that there are at least 4-6 months affected by unforeseen complications that hinder progress.
I always hope for the best, but I should really know better by now.
I’m not saying those things are excuses, but that they just simply effect the ability to lose as much weight as I’d hoped for that time period.
They weren’t reasons for gaining, just not losing.
I’d rather lose 20 – 40 pounds (40 is the most I’ve been able to lose in 1 year since 2004) in a year, than drop 60-100 lbs quickly just to regain a bunch or all of it back and have to lose it again. It’s much healthier for my body NOT to be on that roller coaster. Been there, done that and I’m paying the price now.
It’s only getting harder to lose weight. All the bad things I’ve done in the past, the being overweight for the majority of my life and now being over 40, so many factors are making this harder than it used to be.
I have made peace with that and must go forward and make a new plan and leave this old crap in the past.
Also, as my body changes slowly and I “settle” into new weight ranges that I maintain for months, the longer I’m in said weight range, the fatter I feel which motivates me to get into the next lower range.
Let me explain…
Right now I’m in the 258-264 lb range. For 6 months prior to that I was stuck in the 264-269 range.
At 300 or 280 (oh boy, been stuck at those weights SO MANY times in the past 13 years I’ve lost count) I would have been ESTATIC to be around 260 lbs! Like, over-the-moon happy.
So am I? Nope.
Some days I feel as fat and flabby as I was at 300 lbs!!! Hello, I’m 40 lbs less than that! What’s up with that?
I swear as I get older, the WORSE weight looks on me… even if it’s a lower weight than I have been in the past couple decades.
The opposite of this was true for the majority of my later 20’s/early 30’s – my face thinned out, cheeks dropped, weight dropped to lower extremities leaving my face, neck, shoulders and upper torso looking “thinner” even though I was the same weight or heavier than pictures of me in the past.
But that just isn’t true anymore… not since hitting 40.
It’s a cruel thing, aging.
Take my jawline for instance.
I look back at pictures of me in 2012 (the last time I flirted with this weight range, but it was so brief as I regained the weight again) and my jawline was AWESOME. It’s how I WANT myself to look in pictures… always a jawline and effortless. I didn’t have to stick my chin or neck out to achieve it.
But here I am… basically the same weight and I feel like I still have to work as hard to achieve a decent jawline in pictures as I did at 280 pounds. I just slightly put my head back and bam, hello double chin! That didn’t happen 5 years ago at this weight!
Apparently I’m one of those women who loses her jawline with age (Lauren Graham is a celebrity example of this… she is still exceptionally stunning, but just an example).
This kills me because achieving a jawline has always been goal #1 during any weight loss venture of mine – I’ve said/complained “I want my jawline back!” more times than I can remember.
So having the finish line of achieving that jawline of my past keep moving to a lower weight just plain sucks. But this is my reality now and I have to deal with it.
This means I have to keep losing weight in order to improve to how my weight makes me look and feel.
It is NEVER an option to just “give up” and gain a bunch of weight back… not anymore.
Since my “rule” of not regaining more than 10 lbs from my current lowest achieved weight, I haven’t. I believe I came up with that in 2014 and with the exception of my 3rd pregnancy, I have stuck to that rule and it has saved me and motivated me on more than one occasion. It was the best rule I could ever set for myself.
Also, my hubby is losing weight and I truly want to lose right along with him (at my own pace) so that we both improve over the years… I refuse to look worse while he looks better! It might be competition/pride, but regardless, it’s motivation to keep going.
So nope, regaining not an option… I have to keep going and apparently keep losing to fight against my aging process.
It hurts to have the realization that it might take me being in the 240’s (or less) to get that jawline I want when I thought I would have achieved it already… and maybe the 230’s to finally be able to take my wedding ring off (it’s been stuck on my fat finger since 2005) to let my finger heal. Even just 5 years ago it those particular finish lines would have been acheived or a lot closer at this weight.
It sucks, but it’s life. Wallowing in that suckiness doesn’t do anyone any good, so I must move on and keep going with my new reality.
It is what it is.
So I’m letting go of a few factors I guess… all important for me to move on and move forward.
So instead of sitting here bummed that I only lost 20 lbs in one year, I am proud I moved in the right direction with no major regains during the year.
And if I’m sitting here one year from now and am down just another 20 lbs (240’s), I’ll be proud I made it out of the 260’s/50’s and went in the right direction.
It may take me 20 lbs at a time each year, but that’s way better than gaining and because it’s a slower loss, it helps me figure out my daily calorie range it takes to maintain that and I can adjust slowly as needed and I just plain learn a whole lot more by going slowly.
I will ignore society’s push to lose fast. Instead of getting angry at diet claims to “lose 10 pounds in 5 days”, I will smile knowing I won’t fall for that again and feel sorry for those that do and then gain that weight back almost immediately.
I never thought I’d consider it a good thing to be “stuck” in a certain weight range for a while… not until now.
It’ll be refreshing to see this as positive instead of getting frustrated.