Over the last 6 months (or so) I have gained and lost the same 5 to 7 pounds, each time getting nearly to the 30 pound mark, and then falling off the wagon and gaining it back. I feel within the very being of my […]
Last August my sister and I started this blog and our podcast: #Losingitover40. Since then my sister Annie has lost (and kept off) over 35 pounds and myself over 25.
Truth be told, we’ve lost closer to 80 pounds each if we were to count the 2-4 pounds that we keep losing and then gaining back.
Right this moment I’m in a rut. Some people call it a Plateau, which sounds like a lovely place to be with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, wildflowers and a gentle breeze. BUT it doesn’t feel that way. It feels STUCK. And, in my head I’m having a “which came first” argument about my stuckness. Was it the plateau first… or other changes in attitude and eating and then the plateau.
Am I stuck because I’m tired of winter, not particularly fond of my job and needing some adventure… it is this general dis-satisfaction? OR… is this lack of weight-loss truly part of the normal ebb and flow of human motivation?
I can’t tell. I can’t separate it and I’m not sure that I need to. I believe that recognizing something should be enough to take steps to either choose to overcome or choose not to. My track record for the last 2 months has been… the second: choosing not to.
I pat myself on the back by looking at my scale and congratulating myself only gaining the same 2-4 pounds that I keep losing, then quickly remind myself that I had already lost 27 pounds (now down to 23 pounds)
I see, very close on the horizon the 30 pound mark, only a few pounds away… even at my current point… losing a solid 30 pounds is only 7 pounds away!
Why is that sooooo difficult?
I was literally within 2 pounds of having lost 30 pounds… and now, 2 months later, I’m about 7 pounds away from 30 pounds.
And so, I’m going to go back to the beginning… tap into my original steps for weight loss and list them here.
Karen’s 3 Easy Steps to Weightloss
Step #1) The Food – This is where I started. I already knew that not all calories are created equal, but it was in reading the book The Metabolism Plan I learned that there are foods that I was eating (like turkey burgers) that were causing inflammation. I wouldn’t have known it, and it makes sense that we all “react” differently to food. Simply put, food causes chemical reactions specific foods or combinations (and even activities like types of exercise) cause inflammation. When we do things that constantly cause inflammation we have Chronic inflammation causes many problems including weight gain. I need to revisit my journal notes on the foods to avoid and get back into the habit of tracking my reactions.
Step #2) Track Everything – I initially resisted the Weight Watchers App, it was working for Annie and I wanted to be different. In the beginning of this weight loss journey Annie was doing weight watchers and because I have a habit of wanting to recreate the wheel, I thought I could do it on my own with the Metabolism plan… and I was wrong. Very Wrong. Using the weight watchers app is more then just a way to track how many points you have left, it is the easiest and simplest way to stay accountable. I can literally measure my weight loss success based on the amount of tracking I do. No weight loss over the last 2 months… only tracked 3 or 4 days over the last 2 months. That my friends is a Cause and Effect.
Step #3) Accountability – When Annie and I were talking every week on our podcast I was losing weight every week. Now, that we are letting “life” get in the way and our podcasts are more sporatic, everything is slipping. Annie and talked about this over Easter (as we were eating deliciousness) and we’ve vowed to get back in the habit of podcasting every week. BECAUSE having a friend who is joining you on the journey is priceless.
Does that help?
To be honest? That list is for me, like the header says: Karen’s 3 easy steps to Weightloss! HA HA HA HA HA
I went back into our podcasts and tried to find where I was 8 months ago as opposed to where I am now.
8 months ago, I needed to lose 60 pounds, and now I need to lose 37. Yes, That’s Awesome! … and when I look at that number it kind of makes me feel done. Like WOW, that’s great, that seems finished.
BUT it’s not right? I have 37 more pounds to go.
I’m NOT done.
I need to get back to where I was, and stop eating the things that cause inflammation (even though they taste delicious) AND I need to start tracking everything… EVERYTHING… and… sob… I need to stop blowing my sister off on the weekends and get back in to recording podcasts every Sunday.
How many people here LOVE it when Annie and I record a podcast!?! (Mom? are you reading this? This is your chance to comment on our blog!)
But Seriously, if you find value, encouragement, or just camaraderie in our blog and podcast we’d love to hear it! Comment below or message us on Facebook.
AND if there’s some way we can help you achieve your weight loss goals, let us know.
If you think you know something that can help me get back on the wagon… I’m all ears!
For better or worse, thoughts AREN’T actions. Good intentions aren’t good actions. (And thankfully bad intentions aren’t bad actions either.) Weight loss update: I’ve still lost over 30 pounds. I reached long-term my personal goal of 175 and then have been hovering between 176-178. But […]
I am 207 pounds today. I was 230 and I then I was 203 and now I’m 207. When I unpack my weight loss thought process, going back to August I find several epiphanies hidden behind the coffee, donuts, measuring cups and hard boiled eggs. […]
Tai Chi & the Wall of Mirrors
Those of you that are following out podcast know that I started Tai Chi two weeks ago. I haven’t really written about it because I needed to process the experience and figure out the story I was going to tell myself… before I could tell you. The class is great, it’s not as spiritual as I thought it would be… you know with meditations and explanations of how energy flows (queue new age music with a rain forest in the background) but it was nice and relaxation and even though in the present moment it didn’t feel like much was going on… the following day, I found myself more relaxed, more flexible and I had the distinct feeling of being stretched. I liked that.
The part about the experience I need to unpack is
A) the class was filled with old people (myself included… queue rude awakening music); and
B) there is a whole wall of mirror.
About the Full Wall of Mirror
Looking at my 53 year old body in a wall of mirror is an unusual thing. Sometimes I’ll catch a glimpse in a window of a building as I walk by, but for the most part… my mirrors are from the shoulders up. Fortunately, I had already lost 25 pounds before I sent my sensory system into overload by standing in front of that gym mirror. And when I looked at myself as a whole… I wasn’t overly critical… initially. Let me stress INITIALLY.
I took a quick tentative look and thought, “OK that’s not too bad” and then steeled myself for another longer look.
This is when I should have stopped. Instead I allowed my normal mirror habit to take over and I started to take apart my reflection, piece by piece destroying myself.
Hair … “Terrible! When did I think that was a good idea?”
Glasses… ” Wait! What!?! That’s what they look like?”
Dark Hoodie, bright blue sneakers… “Another bad choice!”
At one point in my downward spiral, I literally thought “OMG, my head! When did it get so tiny? It’s too small for my body!”
I am laughing now as I write this, but let me be clear, I wasn’t laughing then… and I wasn’t even aware I was doing all this. At the time, I was just in this HABIT of dissecting my reflection, looking for things that sucked. Then to make things worse I was on autopilot flying towards new destruction smoothly into my next habit of “How do I compare to everyone else in the mirror.” This is a rabbit hole I’m not even going to describe to you.
My New Mirror Habit
Thanks to this blog, my sister and this journey in #Losingitover40, I am more self aware then I was when I was creating those old destructive habits. And I’ll admit, I wasn’t prepared for the Tai Chi room being in a gym with a full wall of mirrors and even if I had known… I’m not sure I would have know that I needed to set some guidelines for myself in terms of my habit of thinking.
Happiness requires some preparation. Just like I wouldn’t expect to be able to lose weight without paying attention to what I eat, I can’t expect to be happy without paying attention to what I think.
When I sat down to unpack this experience for myself, I realized that I didn’t spend anytime marveling at my body now 27 pounds down. I went right to that habit of destruction and picking apart and dissatisfaction with myself. I didn’t spend any time marveling at my thinner thighs or more sleek outline. I didn’t spend any time daydreaming about what I’ll look like after the final 30 pounds come off…
Instead I REACTED to the mirror, with a reflexive habit that didn’t serve me.
AND In retrospect, that habit of thinking never served me.
My new mirror habit is still a work in progress. I’ve acclimated to the Tai Chi mirror and because I know it’s coming, I take the time to pay attention to the things I like. I LOVE the color of my eyes reflecting back at me, I love that my outline is more slender ….
This experience has also served to remind me to spend some time each day appreciating my successes, talents and unique gifts.
P.S. Shout out to WeightWatchers.com –> Thank you Weight Watchers for your great app… helps me mindfully make great eating choices…
First, let me just talk a little bit about “falling off the wagon.” I can’t really speak to other addictions (unless we’re going to have some words about coffee) however, in terms of eating healthy and making mindful eating choices I have found that there […]
Now that the glow of New Year’s has faded, I’ve been asking myself a lot of unpleasant questions. Actually, more accurately stated, unpleasant questions have been popping unbidden into my head. Let me start with this: I’ve lost THIRTY-SIX (36!!!) pounds. Yes, I now weigh […]
As you know I challenge myself in a million different ways by not being very organized or always planning ahead for things like… Oh… I don’t know, regular meals? The result is me grazing like a cow as I cook dinner for the kids. Literally opening and shutting cupboards as I open and shut my mouth shoving in easy-to-grab munchies. Up to this point that’s worked for me… ok. Well, that is to say, that I am down 22 pounds since I started this journey, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. I wouldn’t credit my grazing with this fantastic result… instead I would say, it has more to do with my own personal top secret weight loss trick.
My weight loss trick is not the result of any 10 year study or even any medical research. I can only tell you that it works for me.
My top secret weight loss trick is: Always Have Something Hot to Drink
My hot drink of choice is Coffee. I drink it black and I drink it all day long. Not instant Sanka … but good delicious made fresh coffee.
I used to drink coffee with half and half and it was more like a meal, but now it’s more like… a wonderful distraction. Seriously, each sip is a quick 2 second break from the stress of my surroundings. It’s a vacation from craving, it’s… more than just a cup of coffee.
When I thought about it, I started experimenting and discovered that it was less about the coffee and more about … the hot.
I have substituted coffee for herbal tea and (wait for it) Lipton Cup a soup, because (wait for it) there is only 1 point in a pack of Cup A Soup. (I KNOW! only 1 point!)
As you know my sister starts her day with carefully measured bags of nuts, berries and yogurt and fruits and…. that’s not me. Because I’m like a 10 year old when it comes to what I want to eat and how I feel about preparing it. 🙂 Which is hysterical since I still make my kids lunch every morning, you’d think it would be just as easy to pretend I have a 4th child (me) and make another lunch, but I don’t. I rely heavily on my ability to forage.
As I said, I’m not providing my top secret method for weight loss as any scientifically proven fact, but rather as an observation of my own experience.
Drinking something hot is very satisfying. Perhaps it feels like a meal, even when it’s not. Maybe it is connected to childhood memories of hot soup and sandwiches or playing outside and coming in for hot cocoa, I don’t know. Because I’m also not a psychiatrist. 🙂
I will tell you from my experience that when I’m feeling peckish and wondering what I can eat to satisfy that craving, the first thing I do is make myself a nice hot cuppa something. The activity of “making” something keeps my hands busy (and away from the cupboards hiding the crackers and chips) and something to look forward to. I’ve discovered that there are a number of very satisfying hot things that fit into my schedule, are easy to have on hand and satisfy my cravings.
Some things I enjoy are:
Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Tea –> 0 points
Black Coffee (Quick Chek: Chocolate Macadamia Nut / Folgers / Local Roasted and Ground coffee by El Monte Coffee Roasters in Chester NJ) –> 0 points
Lipton Cup-A-Soup –> 1 point
Chicken or Beef Bouillon cube –> 0 point
Hot water and Lemon with 1 teaspoon of sugar –> 1 point
Arbonne Daily Cleanse Tea (similar taste to throat coat) –> 0 points
Hot drinks work for me because they connect on more levels than just my appetite. They activate nearly all of my 5 senses and create a sense of well being and contentedness. Think about it, doesn’t have a nice warm cup of anything in your hands feel good. Feels good on my fingers and palms. Right? Isn’t it nice to hold a warm mug? And the smell… yes, the delicious smell of herbal tea, or chicken soup, or YAAASSSSS coffee… is soul quenching. And then that moment you take that sip. That moment, that present moment is just… joy.
PLUS it gives me a goal in the kitchen. Instead of getting up and grazing from cupboard to cupboard, I have a goal, I get to “make” something that I will enjoy, that’s hot and satisfying and easily carried and enjoyed at my desk.
So, the next time you are feeling snacky and don’t know what you want, give my hot cuppa something a shot!
What do you think? Comment below.