Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Looking backward

I had wanted to share some thoughts at the halfway point of this year, but we had company then and it seems I've been playing catch-up ever since. I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep, so I guess this is as good a time as any to reflect a bit on what I've learned about myself the past six months.

You regular readers know that I started eDiets on or about January 1, 2006, with the intention of sticking with it for a year. I'd long thought I was insulin-resistant, so I chose their Glycemic Impact plan.

I don't know if I was right about being insulin-resistant, but I do know that combining good-quality carbs [fruits, vegetables, whole grains] with low-fat protein is working for me. Most people who follow this plan eat three regular meals and two snacks daily. I rarely eat the evening snack, and sometimes don't eat breakfast, and it hasn't hurt me, as far as I can tell.

My sense of thirst is stronger than I ever remember it. I've tried to drink four half-liter bottles of water every day since I started. Sometimes I miss one, but more often than not I end up drinking more.

I can distract myself from wanting to eat something if I drink something first. How many times have you read that advice in a magazine or on the internet? Well, it really works. Doesn't matter what you drink, either. I'm partial to iced coffee in the middle of the afternoon lately.

I love to run. That doesn't mean I do it every day; my 55-year-old body, not-quite-fit body rebels when I try to add some running every single day. But some days when I wake up I just know I'm going to run, and I love that feeling.

I'm not much of a touchy-feely kinda gal, but I must be liking and appreciating myself lately. I love shopping these days. It's fun to buy something that both fits and looks decent, rather than just buying what fits. Because seriously, folks, nothing looked good on me in January.

Most of the time, I'm not waiting for the other shoe to drop. In other words, I'm beginning to trust the process. I spent many of the past several years fighting a losing battle. Or, rather, fighting a gaining battle. No matter what I did, I couldn't release any excess weight. I've learned it's not just a matter of "move more, eat less." It's a matter of move more on a regular basis, eat less but make it count, and be patient.

My average weight loss this year has been about 1.3 pounds per week. I'd love it if I could lose more, um, efficiently, but at my age and with a sluggish metabolism, maybe this is as good as it gets. Weight training helps, but I haven't seen my rate of weight loss increasing as I've increased muscle mass, like all the articles you read suggest will happen. I have seen some pretty remarkable muscle definition, though, so I'll keep doing it. Even though I don't much like it.

I love reading others' weight-loss blogs, and I learn something from all of them. I learned in AA [you might have learned it elsewhere] that everyone can be an example for you – good or bad. Some of the bloggers are inspirational and motivating; they make me want to work harder just because they're so enthusiastic about their progress. They give me hope. Some offer up excuses instead of success. I learn just as much, if not more, from them.

I've had a few months to learn what works and what doesn't. I made a commitment to myself to do this for a year, and I've tackled the first six months with slow, steady progress. If I stopped now, I'd be cheating myself out of true success, and I have no intention of stopping. In fact, I'm even more committed to following through.

One of the thoughts I had when I started was that I would be a year older next January anyway, so I might as well just take this year to work on this project. It's been the number-one priority in my life. I expect it always will be. I don't think I have the kind of personality – or metabolism – that will allow for much slacking.

I know this, after six months of hard work: I never want to lose this weight again.


mehitabel said...

Must be something in the water--I've been stocktaking, too. For me it's about having spent 6 months on the new job, without getting fired or dropping out. Also seeing where the money's going. Trying to figure out where I want to live--well, I know where, it's just that if I make that move there are going to be consequences to other people, people I love. I'm also down about 10 pounds and need to start really working harder on that.

Stretchy said...

Every so often you have to sit back, breathe, and take a look at your "program" whatever it is. What do you want to change in it? Any new goals? What challenges can you give yourself? Where are you slacking off? What is fun?

I see a pattern of my needing to change things every six weeks, but I stick to (or return to) a lot of old 'tried & true' things that I like and that work.

When you reach your goal, any goal, it is tempting to slack off...instead buy yourself a new food journal, some colored pens, or re-format your journal. Give yourself some perfume or a new blouse with a low neckline. New lingerie is also a great way to keep happy and on track.

I use your "trying on clothes" technique when I want to snack mindlessly, or I write a short note to myself in my journal.

Jonathan said...

Debbi: For a while I struggled with a sense that I 'needed' assistance with my weight management (through meetings, friends, on-line inspiration, etc.). And as long as I kept telling myself I 'NEEDED' all that it kept feeling somehow a little off putting. Then I had a revelation...

I don't NEED help, I **WANT** help! It is so much more interesting, fun, productive, insightful and challenging to share this whole process. Reading your blog is a part of that, for me.



Mar!a said...

Debbi, this was a great post! Nice wrap-up, nice look at the future. It's good to re-evaluate periodically.

Greta said...

Thanks for the summary. I know you will make it!