Slowly But Surely–Learning as I Go

Check in

Current weight: 164.5

Since last check-in : 1.5 lbs.

Total weight lost:  44.5 lbs.

Sunset

What a gorgeous sunset here in my current abode!

So, progress is slow and I’m feeling pleased with any movement of the scale in a downward direction. In my 2nd week at W.W., I lost 1.5 and then this last week, stayed the same. All good.

Weight Watchers is about balance and I’m really working hard to discover what that means for me. I’ve upped my exercise regime with an intermittent run/walk routine.

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The above is a screen capture on my FitBit app for a session that involved a run/fast walk cycle. Below, a day when I chose to only fast walk. Both are great for cardio. And I love the technology that makes all this tracking possible.

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I’m also practicing meditation on a regular basis. I need to seriously reflect on why I hit the wall of backsliding so hard and meditation helps with that goal. Much is about habit. January through June of this year, I had trained myself to eat healthy food in small portions. Having created a habit, it was easy to eat in that way. When I slowly but surely let the habit start slipping away, I really struggled.

Sticking with hard-won habits, though vitally important, is not the whole story. There is a part of me that has attributed all that is not perfect about my life to being overweight. My rational self argues with that idea (for good reason) but the belief lingers. So, when some things about my life weren’t radically better, even after losing 40 lbs, I did feel disillusioned. Believe me, I’m working on self-defeating believes and magical thinking. Meditation helps!

Me

Taking Positive Action on Backsliding

Check in

Current weight: 166

Since last check-in : no change

Total weight lost:  42.5 lbs.

Where, oh where, have I been? Up and down – literally. The last I came to this blog was the end of June – my birthday and what a great day that was! I had lost 42.5 lbs. and was on top of the world. My goal was to enjoy holidays and summer visitors. Come September, I would get to work on the second half of my weight loss journey.

Me and Kristen in the floaties     IMG_7570

I loved this past summer – swimming, kayaking, fun times with granddaughters, hiking and squeezing every great moment out of time with visitors. All good. Checking back on my Fitbit app – I averaged 164 to 166 lbs. through June, July and August. Swell – just as planned, maintaining my 40 lb. loss.

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Then came September and I felt geared up to get back on the weight loss horse. I struggled to re-establish my scheduled one fast day per week and my previous healthy eating plan. I had thought my only obligation would be food preservation (canning, freezing etc.) with the garden producing big time this year. But we continued to have visitors through the whole month. I was overly busy and stressed. My weight continued to vary 164 to 166 lbs. and I couldn’t get back to losing.

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All of a sudden, it was October. We scrambled to get all projects around the place done so we could take a three-week trip. Again, wonderful times! We did a 12K walk in the snow on an old rail bed across some amazing trestle bridges, another great day of hiking a lake loop for 10K. Our trip was organized around real hiking and that was awesome. But holidaying, though so necessary and super fun, was not conducive to weight loss. I started to average 169.

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Got home with the expectation of getting straight back to weight loss. No problem that I was two months past the date planned for such work. Better late than never. But a week went by, my weight was up to 172 and I simply couldn’t stop eating. I was in dangerous waters and coming close to going over the falls!

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Time for serious action! I have relocated myself to a bigger center from my isolated home for the next 6 weeks. I’ve joined a local Weight Watchers group and I am on an incredible exercise regime. I have people around me who are keeping me accountable and though I hadn’t anticipated needing such a resource … WOW … am I ever glad I made the decision to take action to find something that would work. I simply couldn’t face letting all my work in the first half of this year slip away in the last half. I’ve been on that roller coaster cycle before and, believe me, it is no fun.

Weight Watchers 2019

So, I am now immersed in the world of Weight Watchers … tracking points and weigh-ins. Truth be told, I’m loving it! The group is great, the app is super engaging and I’ve lost 6.4 lbs. Life is good. Back to where I wanted to be as I move into the second half of my weight loss journey. Wow, me. You go, girl!

Moral of the story? Just act. We don’t always know when we decide what we’ll do if the action is totally right, but we can adjust as we go. The important thing is to act.

The End of an Era–Work, Marriage, All Things Familiar

 Monument Valley Starry Night

In my history of weight-loss story, it is now 1987. I have regained at least 15 lbs. and I struggle along weighing 160. I tell myself I want to lose weight, but I don’t get far with any sort of plan. Life goes on, but when it comes to weight, I’m as stuck as ever.

My kids are in school and I’ve plugged away at my first year of university courses through distance education at our local college. Through a combination of factors (mostly related to volunteer work I was involved with), I luck into a ‘real’ job and – lucky me – it’s a job I love. Exciting and thrilling – the perfect combination of learning and pushing the envelope of my ideas and beliefs. I get to travel on my own for the first time in my life. I get a driver’s license and my own car. I get my own credit card. I have an office. I feel like a grown up – maybe for the first time.

Of course, there are some thorns on those roses. I struggle with entering a world of experiences, friends and social engagements that disconnect me from my home life. It seems like I become two different people. Constantly being challenged is stressful. I’m soon back to weighing 170. Then I’m 180 lbs. I’m obviously unhappy with the weight gain, but I do nothing about it. Memories of my last sojourn to a lower weight haunt me. I feel like I don’t want to add to an already growing list of fears and anxieties.

In 1992, I get slammed by a trifecta of life altering events. I lose the job I loved (phased out, at least that’s what I’m told). I find out we are moving away from the community and the life that I have grown to be comfortable with for the past eight years. And if those two things weren’t enough, I am having serious marital difficulties. Ever-present stress eating sees me zoom to 200 lbs.

We make the move and it does mean one positive thing. I have access to a Weight Watcher group. I join and lose 20 lbs. It is always better to weight 180 than 200! It isn’t enough of a loss to generate attention, so I feel good about my accomplishment. But I’m still clinging to a closet full of clothes to fit anyone from size 12 through 20 and I know I’m not at a weight where I should stop and get comfy.

The serious marital difficulties are only made worse by a move I never wanted to make. Amid the turmoil of my younger brother’s sudden death, my husband and I separate. I move back to familiar territory and very quickly step into a different relationship with a very different sort of man.

My impression of my first husband (and believe me, I wonder if I was ever right … it was simply what I believed at the time) was that he constantly monitored everything I put in my mouth as well as my subsequent weight losses and gains. The scrutiny led me to be a secret eater. But even so, I had to be cautious. My new partner had no issue with anything I ate or what I weighed. That was certainly liberating, but I soon found myself carrying 40 extra lbs. I was weighing in at my heaviest ever – a whooping 220.

Me in apron (2)

Those early days of a new relationship are mixed in my memory – definite distress over the weight and the way I had laid a trail of wanton ruin over all aspects of my previous life. At the same time, there was wonder and excitement and possibility. Life – what a mixed bag of emotions!

A monarch butterfly @ Pismo Beach California Nov. 2012

Flying High and Loving the View

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Where are we, my friends? Ah yes, nineteen-year-old me flying high at 135 lbs. Turn the dial of my life forward. I’ve just turned twenty. Wedding preparations are in full swing. My size 12 dress, sewn for me by my mother-in-law, is tighter on the wedding day than it had been in the fittings, but it’s still beautiful.

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Looking back at photos, I can see I was a pretty bride. Filled with hope, I felt as though I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing – following the plan set out for young women of my day.

 

 

  Soon after the wedding, I was pregnant. So much for wedding dress size 12. It would be some time until I saw clothes that small again. I ballooned up to 200 lbs. by the end of that first pregnancy. I made it back to Weight Watchers within a week of my son’s birth and weighed-in at 189. Again, I was thrilled to be that one pound back from the 90’s.

I gaze back through time and I am stunned by how young I was – barely twenty-one. But it’s more than chronological age. I was naïve young, too. Busy with a child, busy with life, I once again gave the Weight Watchers program my all. I recall the meetings and eating canned salmon and green beans for dinner night after night. I remember standing in the living room of our townhouse, in front of the TV while my son napped, exercising vigorously with some TV guy who worked out on a Hawaiian beach.

Me and baby Dougie (2)

I lost 44 lbs and got down to 145. One night at a house party with friends, I overheard the following comment from the wife of a guy my husband worked with. Look at her – their baby isn’t even a year old. I wish I could have taken all the baby fat off that quickly.

That night, I was flying high. I had regained the mountaintop and was loving the view.

5 generations (2)

Five generations of my family on my dad’s side.

You’ll Never Get to Eat Pizza Again

 Boston's pizza  - Banff

“When you understand, that what you’re telling is just a story. It isn’t happening anymore. When you realize the story you’re telling is just words, when you can just crumble up and throw your past in the trashcan, then we’ll figure out who you’re going to be.” (Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters)

I love Chuck Palahniuk’s quote – not because I’m advising we throw our past in the dumpster, but because I think we need to tell our story. And in the telling understand that we are in the now and not the then. Put it all in perspective!

fran, tony and dan (2)Remember last week when I spoke of that round smiling face and curly hair. Hmmm … I guess we often wonder, what was my mom thinking?

My first concerted and documented weight loss attempt occurred when I was eighteen. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not as if all the years from ten to eighteen were wonderful. I simply had no idea what to do about being fatter than all my friends. High school was for me, what I assume it is for most people – ups and downs, good and bad. I was never super popular, but I was never the girl who everyone shunned, either. I got by. I wasn’t happy about my weight, but I wasn’t desperate either. When I examine photos from that time, I don’t look to be as large as I remember thinking I was. Everything is subjective. I gaze back now through the lens of what was to come. Teen me in a bikini … like I said, all subjective.

fran. dan and leo at lake

I left school in grade twelve with only two credits left to graduation. At times in my life, I’ve had a self-destructive screw all the rules attitude. It hasn’t served me well. But all is twenty-twenty vision in retrospect. I hung out with friends and acted crazy. Well … to clarify … crazy for me might not be what it was for some. Looking back, I imagine my craziness was rather of the tame sort. Anyway, I was adrift and that state of affairs didn’t suit me. I was never cut out to be a rolling stone. 

I soon returned to stability. I was back with my high school boyfriend and I had a full-time job as a carhop at a local fast-food restaurant.

One of the cooks, an older woman, told me about Weight Watchers. She urged me to come to a meeting. She said the worst thing that could happen is that I’d never get to eat pizza again. I wasn’t sure about the pizza thing but I’ve always had a hard time saying no to people – so, I went.

That first night, in the cavernous basement of an old church, I weighed-in at 169. I still remember the thrill of not crossing over to the 70’s. Whew … at least I had that to comfort myself with.

I stayed with the program rigorously for eight months and lost 34 lbs. Picture the nineteen-year-old me feeling like a million bucks at 135 lbs. I remember wearing a size 10, slinky, long and clingy dress to a banquet of some sort. My dreams had come true. Weight Watchers had set my goal weight at 125 lbs. But to me, losing more weight seemed ridiculous. I was finished with deprivation and meetings.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying much attention to the part of the Weight Watchers program that instructed on the need for a maintenance plan.

Lundbreck Falls 4 Alberta, Nov 3-2018 - bruce witzel photo