It's Delle!

Someone on the WW boards mentioned they read my blog (news to me, I didn't think anybody stopped by here aside from my best friend!), so I thought I should put a little blurb about me. I made this journal so I can keep track of the things I'm doing and how I'm thinking and feeling as I journey along the road to getting thinner. It's not intended to be written to an audience, it is honestly something I am writing to myself, and I find it so helpful to be able to look back even 4 months ago and see what kinds of things I was many of our experiences in life slip through the cracks, and I want to remember as many of them as I can in relation to my weight loss; the good, the bad, and even the oh so ugly ones!

So many people say they've struggled with their weight for years, but this is not tue for me. I've been overweight from my earliest memories, and morbidly obese all of my adult life, but I was not the type to yo-yo diet, so in that sense I was not struggling. I don't know what my highest weight was because I didn't have a scale to weigh myself when I started getting set to lose weight. In the year before I started WW I started trying to eat less junk food and to get a little activity into my routine. When I started WW I was 288 lbs and wearing a size 22, and I know the year before I was wearing a size 26 (which was tight on me), so I'm guessing I was easily in the low 300 lb-range at my highest weight.

For the first year of my weight loss journey I was incredibly focussed and motivated. I was keeping my weight loss a secret from my family back home in Newfoundland, and my goal was to surprise them on my trip home in July. Needless to say it was quite a shock to a lot of people when I showed up over 100 lbs lighter without any warning!

Right now I am getting back on track after my trip back home. I wasn't following WW for a while due to comp issues, not to mention life issues, and I've gained back some of the weight I had lost. I got away from journalling, but I'm back at it again and am using it to help me get my focus back. I also like using it to keep track of my activity, although I've not had an organised execise regime for a few months now due to an injury. I'm getting back into my activity, however, and I will be updating all my numbers soon.

As I said, I don't write in this blog with an audience in mind, but if anyone had any questions or comments on anything here, please don't hesitate to post!

BTW, the name of my blog came from a comment my supervisor at work made one day when I was in the middle of a full-blown rant about something I had to do that was infuriating me. He interrupted me and said something to the tune of, "Don't worry about it you don't have to do it. And my goodness look at you! Where are you going, everytime I see you, you're smaller! It's crazy, you're the incredible shrinking woman!!" The moment was funny and unexpected and seemed to sum up my life right now, so I came home and re-titled my blog.

Now all I need is a cape...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

8 months

It occured to me this afternoon while I was doing my WATP that I have been on WW for 8 months. Eight months ago today I started counting points religiously. Eight months ago today I committed myself fully to a new lifestyle. Eight months ago today I made a choice to give up most of the food I was eating and accepted that if I were to eat them again, it would be in an extremely controlled way and only in severe moderation. Eight months ago I accepted that my life would never be the same again.

And it hasn't, either.

I have absolutely no idea why it struck me so hard today. I have never before placed importance on an 8-month anniversary. The fact that I am struck by the significance of today when I have never really noted an 8-month anniversary before is interesting, because I do mark anniersaries, and suffer from anniversary symptoms. Usually it is the 9-month mark that occassions more notice, but for some reason when I realised it today, it just seem suddenly so close to the 1 year mark, so much more closer than 7 months. Ah, who knows. Maybe it is just the mood I am in today (whatever THAT is, exactly). I don't know how to describe how I am feeling, exactly. I am struck by the passage of time, and how a goodly chunk of time has passed since I started. It seems like no time at all. How strange to think that 'no time at all' will pass again, before I am at goal. So many women on the boards talk about how they have tried to adopt a new lifestyle, only to fall out of it sooner or later. I've been doing this for 8 months, and I have been doing so well. It's almost hard to say that, that I have been doing so well. But it is the truth, and me saying that is not vanity, nor boasting, nor will it jinx anything. When I started WW and committed to a new lifestyle, I was filled with an all-consuming sense of surity and confidence in what I was doing, and that has never waivered once, not once in the past 8 months. But even so, way way way way down deep there has been something, not a doubt, per se, but more a sense of curiousity, as to whether I would ever start to struggle at some point, whether or not I went OP (which I have never truly believed I would...thus the sense of surity and confidence). I have always known that I have made this committment and I will stick to it and never look back, but that is not the same as going through rough times, where things are much harder even as you keep following the plan and staying committed. I think today struck me so much because I have gone this long without any huge bumps in the road. It is a long time to have stayed OP to such a degree. I know this because I visit the WW boards faithfully every day and I have heard so so many stories and so many different people talking about their experiences. What we're doing is not easy; it is no small thing to change a lifetime of living and habits. So many people struggle. One thing that I have noticed on my favorite board on the site is that many of the regulars, or long-timers, have bee struggling this winter. These are women who have been on the program over a year, and who have all lost over 100 lbs so far. They are an incredible bunch of women, and I admire all of them very much. They have come so far, and right now many of them are struggling. I don't know why, heck, they don't know why, but I read every post with interest and the desire to learn from their experiences. I do not take the attitude of "that will NEVER happen to me!", but instead I try to learn so maybe I can avoid the same situations. I know without a fact that one of the reasons I have done so well so far is because I visit the boards daily, and I soak up every scrap of insight they share greedily. There have been many little bumps for me along the way that might have been mountains otherwise, if I had not been expecting them, and had prepared myself for them and how I could deal with them. Similarily, I am preparing myself for the possibility that after a year on the program, things might not actually get easier, which one might expect after being so long OP and having gotten so well into the swing of things. The truth seems to be that once you start getting closer to goal, people start getting sucked into complacency, and it is a very vicious trap to fall into, albiet unassuming. They al speak of getting comfortable, and not having the same zeal, of not being motivated the same way to be disciplined. Not once have I thought this will never happen to me, I am not so arrogant as to think I am different in some way. I do like to think that if I am aware of it, that I can increase my chances of avoiding this trap because I can set myself up properly so that I can be prepared to deal with the issue of complacency when it inevitably comes up. I want to be alert for signs of it, and I want to stamp it out where ever I recognise it in my life. Motivation is something we can create for ourselves, and discipline is a choice. As long as I keep my goals and my priorities forefront in my mind, then I will be less likely to allow myself to start slipping into the trap of complacency. And I am very aware of how easy it is for me right now with my current life circumstances. I can only imagine how hard it is to make these choices when one's life is consumed by a family and a full time job and all the rest that goes along with it. When my life changes it will be even more important to keep these things in mind.

I did in fact log my gain for today, and WHAT a gain! Even after all my posturising yesterday, I STILL struggled with the temptation today not to WI, to wait till tomorrow, to not eat or drink anything today until I got down to a STS. I've all but decided to change my WI day to Friday, because I like to use my FPs on the weekend, but I still decided to log my weight today and not just wait till Friday. All I could think was how my weight tracker will show a blank week if I didn;t log today, and I have not had that since I got my own scale. I want to be completely honest with myself, that is something that has always been a priority for me, perhaps the most important one, and yet along this journey I have allowed myself to hedge on this issue. I have allowed myself to try and fool myself. A woman on the WW boards made a post on her blog last year that I never forgot. She is a wonderful person and one of my favorites of the regulars there. She talked about how so many of us try to fool ourselves and play a numbers game. Her name is Deborah and her website is This is what she said:

Day 19 is all about not fooling yourself. Do I ever know all about that! All kinds of things like “it doesn’t count because it’s so small”, or “I can have just one, it’s no big deal” etc…etc. There’s a list of these thoughts in the book, and I can relate to at least half of them. The truth is, everything counts. It’s all calories that are contributed to my total daily intake. If I am going to have a mini chocolate bar, or a donut, or even a piece of fruit, I must count it towards my daily points.

Like the last day, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot I can actively do here, except ponder the idea. I must try to keep in mind that every bite counts. I did start thinking of other ways we fool ourselves. It drives me absolutely nuts when people on the WW boards share their “WI strategies”, such as not exercising on the day of their WI, or not drinking water. Basically these people try to fool themselves into thinking they’ve lost ore fat than they have, or they forfeit a day of healthy living just so they
can please themselves with a number on the scale. Hell, even I know that if I live healthily for a week and lose 5 pounds, I can’t have lost 5 pounds of actual fat. I like to have an accurate number on the scale, sure. That’s why I weigh in on Monday morning, stark naked, after doing all my bathroom business. I know that people who weigh in at meetings don’t all have the naked option, nor can hey all weigh in first thing in the morning. But if I had an evening WI, I’d go about my business as usual during the day.
I have definitely adopted the habit of pleasing myself with a number on the scale. I have been so smug when I look at my numbers going oh so steadily downward. I have revelled in how the slope of my weight loss rate has been a consistent downward number. And there have definitely been WI days where I didn't eat my first meal until afternoon, just so I could log that number, because I had had a late supper the night before, or my digestion was off, and I was waiting till I could make that influential trip the loo. I have not wanted to say that out loud, but something has come over me yesterday and today, and I do not want to be the fool Deborah talks about. Since the beginning I have not wanted to turn this into something unhealthy, have not wanted to fall into unhealthy habits or thought processes...because it is very possible to be unhealthy while never ever going over one's DPs and exercising faithfully every day. I have allowed myself to pretend that what I was doing is not a big deal, and let it continue. But I am making the choice now not to let it continue. Logging that gain today was a sign of my committment to being healthy, and to not letting a number on a scale dictate my life. If I am hungry as soon as I wake up on WI day, I should give myself the freedom of going ahead and eating, and not waiting to see what the scale says before I decide when to eat. If I have to eat a late supper the night before, I should do so, and not think about what the scale will say. Yes, I want to lose weight. Yes, I want the scale to go down. But this is a lifestyle change, and this is forever. My behaviours are more important than numbers. And if I concentrate on the behaviours, the numbers will cooperate in time. I am getting too caught up lately in wanting it to happen quickly, because I have gotten used to the rate of loss I have shown in my first 7 months. I have said it more than once...this is not a race. But I have let myself secretly get into the mindset of treating it like one. I can choose to let that continue, or I can choose to fess up to it and stop. I am going to stop. I have been paying lip service to some very important tenents of my new lifestyle up to now, and from this day onward I am going to make a real effort to be compeltely honest with myself, and to more fully live the lifestyle I have been talking about. I am also choosing not to feel shame. There are always growing pains.

I got my activity in today, and I am very pleased with how the week has gone. There have been more days than I would normally like since last Sunday that I have not been OP, and I want to change that in this upcoming week. But nonetheless I am still really happy with this week, and especially my activity. Excersising has been hard since the chest cold; I have to push myself to finish once I start because it is more difficult than I am used to. When I was doing my free weights today I was feeling so tired that I just wanted to stop, and it wasn't muscle fatigue so much as it was just plain tiredness, even tho I had gotten a good amount of sleep last night, and normally would not feel that way. I just wanted to lie down and go to sleep, and I hate that feeling. It has happened a few times while exercising, normally after a period of physical stress like illness. I was unhappy because I had hoped I would feel better now, late in the week, but thankfully after I finished my time on the elliptical I had gained that familiar feeling of strength and contentment, and it did me a world of good to feel it. That is how I am used to feeling when I exercise, and I hate those few times when I just feel so much more tired. It was a big reinforcer to experience that feeling of being vitalised, and I sincerely hope it will stick with me from here on out. Recovering from illness is frustrating, and I hope I am getting back to normal. I am planning to revamp my exercise regime somewhat this week, and I hope I can maintain that feeling of physical and mental satisfaction throughout.

I think it's important before I sign off to reiterate to myself why exactly I am so proud of how this week went:

  • I made a committment to get three days of free weights in, and I did that
  • I earned 32 APs coming off a period of illness and inactivity, showing once again that I can get back into exercise after being away from it for a short time
  • 4 days out of this week I did not use any FPs at all, and since I am now on 31 DPs, that is very significant, primarily because I am used to eating a lot of APs. Being able to get by on just my DPs for so many days is an accomplishment, and helps me see that I am able to adjust and get by with less than I have been used to, which is such an important skill to have, as I get further into my journey and am ever faced with a decreasing DP allottment
  • I exercised even tho it was hard
  • While I had days this week where I was not OP, I was in no way grossly off plan; the days I did not meet all the guidelines, I only missed one requirement (eg., missined 1 dairy for the day, or 1 oil), and in basically every case it was me deciding last minute that I was full after supper and did not want to eat anything else. I had accounted for the guidelines each time, which would have resulted in an OP day if I had not been satisfied, with the exception of the day I missed the oil.
  • I got on the ellipitical on Saturday before work, something I have never done before
  • I signed up for the monthly activity challenge and will sign up for the monthly OP challenge too
  • I could have eaten out on Friday, but I chose not to, because I knew I had not planned for it, plus I had planned to go right home and exercise that day, and if I ate out there was no way I would come home and exercise.
  • I logged a gain.

Earned 12 APs today: 30 min walk aerobics (2-mile), 60 min free weights, 40 min elliptical

Weekly summary:
Earned 32 APs
6 hours (360 min) total activity
6 miles (9.7 kms) walked
14 FPs remaining
4.6 lbs gained
Current weight: 215.6

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