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May 23, 2009

Weight Loss Fallacy

A few weeks ago I was watching Oprah. Her guest were Kirstie Alley, and a man known who has lost more weight than anyone ever has. It was all about people that have fallen off the wagon and gained weight. The man had lost 1000 lbs, then gained it all back.

I've been there, lose weight, gain it back, lose weight, gain it back. this time around, my attitude and how I regard this whole process is a very different thing. To start with, I didn't go on a 'diet'. Diets are restrictive and a 4 letter word with me. In truth, it's all the many times that I was such a successful dieter that made me so fat. Research has proven that the majority of people that lose weight, gain it back, plus more. The first time I ever had to lose weight, I only had to lose 40 lbs to be thin. For 20 years, I went up and down the scale, starting in high school and ending in my 40's. I finally realized no more diets.

When I was watching Oprah, the champion dieter, who had lost 1000 lbs, gained it back and was trying to lose again said something very interesting. There was a picture of him the day he reached goal weight. He said that after that picture and reaching goal weight, he went home and started eating. Then he said something that I realized is the whole problem with "dieting". He said something to the effect that when you start a diet, you intend to lose the weight, then at some point in time you get off the diet.

That is the weight loss fallacy. You HAVE to start a program to change the way you handle food, if you want success. You also have to change how you handle exercise, or the lack thereof. Granted, exercise is something I've come to understand more now, than I did the first three years of my weight loss journey. But it's still part of the key.

When I first started Jenny Craig, my daily caloric program was 2000 calories. My body could eat more because it worked so hard to drag this nearly 400 lb body around everywhere. After a certain weight was achieved, I went down to 1700 calories. Quite some time later, another weight was achieved and I had to go down to 1500 calories. Finally, I reached a weight where I had to go to 1200 calories a day.

There's a "Healthy Utah" program that is offered by the State of Utah, for whom I work. I attended an evaluation, where they checked my health and one of the things that was written on the paper, on top of my cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and other things, was the amount of calories to "maintain" my weight. It was something like 1589. What????

That's when it first began to click with me. I always knew that in this journey, I had to change the way I ate and could never go back to binging, emotional eating and all the other things I did. That is why a huge part of my journey wasn't just the Jenny Craig program, but renovating my whole life, most especially how I think. If I didn't change my brain, I would immediately go "off a diet, and go back to old habits". I remembered my struggle at first when I went to 1700 calories, then 1500, then 1200. To realize that 1700 calories would eventually cause me to gain weight, as my body is so small now, and takes so little energy to drag it around and live my day. I finally realized that to embark on a true weight loss program means not just changing my brain, but ALWAYS being aware of calories. I hated that. However, this was all made easier and much more bearable when I finally realized that if I wanted to "relax" and enjoy the special occasions here and there, I needed to burn more calories. That is when I finally got on the exercise bandwagon, and have started to become a walker.

It's a weight loss fallacy that you start a diet, and get off. You NEVER get off, unless you want to be back on the "yo-yo" gain and lose bandwagon again. I have to admit that one of the things that I REALLY like about Jenny Craig, is that their food is so good, that I don't feel like I'm being restrictive in anyway. That is good for my frame of mind. While I can't just go off program constantly, eat the high calorie things frequently, unless I want to sabotage myself; at least I can enjoy the foods I do eat, plan for special events and limit the extent of eating at the special occasions. I plan to be on Jenny Craig for life, just because I love their food, but also, because it takes a lot of pressure off me. I don't have to worry. I can enjoy the food, yet still engage in my social life and go out to eat occasionally. Planned times off program, can be accompanied by exercise to burn off those extra calories! Eureka, I CAN do that! :)

May 22, 2009

Pedometer Push

It seems to take me a long time to learn what I really need to know, even the basic stuff! I hear information, but somehow it doesn't register or click. I've realized that my struggles to lose the last 5 lbs, as well as to keep from gaining during these last few months relies so much on exercise. If I am ready for a little more freedom with my food plan, then I need to boost up the exercise. To not do so, only makes my journey more difficult, if not outright sabotage.

Initially, I planned to join a gym. I've been members of gyms for long periods of time before. Eventually, I would quit going, and continue to pay. Always telling myself that I would go. I started investigating the different gyms near me, and even found a good deal. However, the real truth, I mentioned to my Jenny Craig center's manager, I hate to exercise. I have my own treadmill and hate to get on it. I was fighting with myself to make myself get on it. When I'd get on, then I'd set a goal, and push myself harder and higher, to the point where I did far more than I really wanted. Then I'd hate it more! She told me, DON'T join a gym and throw away your money. Just go walking! Was it that simple? It was after this that I discovered and did a I did a post in April about the Jordan River Parkway/bike path, my friend introduced me to. I discovered I liked walking.

With that discovery in mind, I saw the cutest little pedometer below at my Jenny Craig center and bought it. You can see the pedometer when it's closed in my picture below, as well as when it is open. Oh, and I must tell you that I took this picture early in the morning. The number of steps listed are VERY low due to this.

I started to wear my cute little pedometer. A funny thing happened as a result. As I began to wear it, I found myself becoming very aware every day of a few things. I learned how many steps I take on average. I watched the numbers go up and up and up when I went on very long walks lasting one or two hours. I would get so excited when I'd go for a walk and the numbers would come back so high! It turned out to motivate me even more. On busy days, when it was hard to find time to fit in a long walk, I'd find other ways to do it. I would eat my lunch in 15 minutes, then spend the rest of my lunch time on a brisk walk, trying to bring those numbers up. I found myself parking my car far away from where I needed to go, just so I could get those numbers bumped up! It's been fun to see the numbers go up, to realize all the little things I can do throughout the day to bump them up.

Last week I found a reality show on TV called, "I Want to Save Your Life", that I checked out. Apparently this guy helps people to make the changes they need to, in order to lose their weight and "save their lives". In the episode, he gave the couple a pedometer, and encouraged them to do about 10,000 steps a day. It clicked. I realized I'd heard that somewhere before, and more than once! Only now that I discover the pedometer for myself, I wonder why it took me so long to just discover how easy it is to just "walk"! Just keep adding those steps to my pedometer! Yes, it IS that easy!

Now granted, I'm probably not in wonderful shape and awesomely fit like you see from the people who spend lots of time in the gyms. Who knows, maybe someday I will change my views and find myself in the gym. Or maybe I'll find something else I like, that like walking, is "just that easy". For now, progress comes bit by bit, not all at once. I'm thrilled just to find another piece of the puzzle in my journey!

May 1, 2009

Posting a Gratitude Blog posting

I have a private gratitude blog I keep that is very private. After reading a comment made after one of my entries in that blog; I decided that maybe this is one I should copy and post here on my public blog! The original date I entered this is my other blog is April 19th. Hope you'll all enjoy it!

(Copied from private gratitude blog)
I was just thinking today of how lucky I am to experience everything that I'm experiencing. I've gotta do a gratitude blog after thinking about all this while I worked.
  1. I'm so grateful for Jenny Craig. I think without it, my health was so bad, it's possible I wouldn't still be alive by now.
  2. I'm grateful to be alive and experiencing a life that is nothing short of miraculous. I've got two cochlear implants, lost 225 pounds, found love in my heart and joy in every minute and with whomever I encounter.
  3. I'm grateful to Dick who's fatal journey and how he lived it was so inspirational to me, it made my current journey and life possible.
  4. I'm grateful that I can walk several miles without oxygen, get down on the floor and back up with no problem, can fit regular seats, can 4 wheel in the desert, fit on a 4 wheeler, climb up a mountain, flirt with fun male friends, interact with just about everyone without shyness.
  5. I'm grateful for the search to learn and to grow and the results and profound change that journey has been.
  6. I'm grateful that I believe and live as if there are endless possibilities ahead and dreams that I can reach.