Friday, July 4, 2014

Why vanity makes no sense - really

That last few weeks I've felt rather introspective, but I wasn't sure how to voice it. You see my best friend's mother is dying. She was diagnosed in April with pulmonary fibrosis. She deteriorated rapidly, went to the hospital a week ago and 2 days ago was moved to hospice. All her family is gathered around her to be with her during these last moments. My friend said her mom is ready to go.

This family means a lot to me and they have always been good to me. I know both her parents have struggled a bit with weight and blood pressure. They have been trying to eat healthier and move more, etc. My friend's mom was never seriously overweight and she lived an active lifestyle, but she tried to do better. Yet she is dying from a disease that even the most fit athlete could get - hardening of the lungs. She's basically dying from a slow suffocation as her lungs harden more and more.

As I think about her family gathered around, sharing stories - laughing, crying, and finding closure, I'm sure things that are not on their mind are things like, "if only she had exercised more. Or, if only she was a little thinner." They are thinking about their lives together - their moments. Isn't that what's important?

Now, I'm not saying eating right and exercise and being a reasonable weight are not important. Of course they are! You can't have as many great stories and events to tell if you can't do the things a healthy person can. And, a very unhealthy lifestyle and weight can shorten (and does shorten) our lives.

But do we need to be perfect to be healthy? No. We don't.

So, I look at myself. I am definitely losing the weight for my health and happiness. I am NOT happy when I weigh a lot and I don't feel good and my health deteriorates terribly. I'm not as good a mom or as nice a wife when I eat poorly and feel poorly. I would be lying, however, if I didn't say that I like looking nice. That's why the loose skin bugs me a bit. It does less now than when I first noticed I was getting them as now I realize, "Hey, bat wings or fat arms. Make your choice!" My choice is bat wings. I like cute clothes. I like my thinner face and shapelier body. So, yes, there is some vanity there too, but in the end, "is it reason enough?"

I know many, many people going for those vanity pounds - just for that... vanity. It won't affect their health, but, as it is called, it appeases their vanity to be a bit thinner. They get miserable if they don't get to that desired weight. They claw and fight and go hungry. They skip parties to avoid the food. They worry on vacations and avoid all the cuisine. For what? 10 pounds? They give up some of the joys of life for vanity.

Some day we all die. Do we want to feel we lived a good life? or one "not quite good enough" because we didn't lose those vanity pounds. What memories will that leave for our families after we pass on? "Oh, she was always worrying about gaining 5 pounds!" "Man, remember when she wouldn't try the croissant in France?"

I was there. That was me fighting and clawing from 175 to 165. It took me 6 months to lose those 10 pounds. 6 months of daily exercise of step aerobics, kickboxing, strength training and walking/running. As well as very controlled eating of no more than 1500 calories a day. A vacation of free eating led to several more months of hard, hard work just to try re-lose those vanity pounds. Was it worth it? Maybe my health was marginally better at 165 than 175, but I was miserable - I was tired and I was hungry and I was frustrated at the lack of results. My husband said I was beginning to change in my outlook too. I was too focused on those few pounds, that I lost sight of all the good I had done. And it's true... I had!

I think on that now as I continue on this renewed journey. I'm doing this for my health, for certain, but I no longer have this lofty goal of getting to a perfect weight any more. SURE it would be great to get to 165 or 160, but I'll be happy with 175. I'm not going to go for under 25% body fat... because really, is 26% so much worse? (Which is what it was at 165). I want to be happy and healthy. I don't want to be frustrated about the vanity pounds. I want to enjoy my life while being healthy. I want my family to enjoy me and I want to enjoy them so that when my end comes, they can smile, laugh, and feel the joy as they remember a life well spent.

Hugs and lots of love sent to my friend and her family.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The scale knew I was mad! And closet shopping

So, the scale dropped a pound from yesterday - so I kind of forgive it, but.... not if it goes back up tomorrow. That's teasing in a mean way! That's kind of what I feel like 3 days ago weigh-in was - a TEASE!

But... I know it has to come down as I'm doing everything so that it WILL go down. I just have to be patient. Like last time, being patient as I approach the 200 pound mark is DIFFICULT as I have this artificial line in the sand that says, "Over 200 is FAT. Under 200 is the land of normal weight". For me, with this large frame I carry around, being over or under 200 really is the difference between looking obese and looking overweight.

And now, with being in the 212 range, I'm getting close to where I was last summer when I bought a few "fat clothes". The ones I NEVER wanted to wear again. Yes, well, I got too fat for those too! Now they are the beginning of the "getting thinner" clothes. I'm wearing one of the shirts now. I actually tried this one in a couple months ago and it cut off circulation in my arms and hugged WAY tight. Now... it's a bit snugger than I like to wear my shirts, but not too tight. It's kind of nice having clothes waiting for me on the way down. Cheaper. I don't have many, but enough to make it through as I HATE wearing clothes that are too baggy. It makes me feel frumpy and bigger than I am. No one wants to look bigger when they are working hard to look smaller!

I reallllly hope to get to around 206 at the end of this month, but man... it's tough going!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Definitely annoyed with the scale

I should be seeing losses now (according to my usual cycle), but NOTHING. I had a gain yesterday and while it was a bit lower today than yesterday, it's still higher than it should be. It's REALLY hard to eat at a deficit day in and day out and not see movement on the scale. The scale has basically been the same for 2 weeks and while I know that's NOTHING compared to what some people deal with, I have a hard time with those numbers after awhile. I won't give up or overeat as that would defeat what I'm trying to do here, but it does get hard to be "up" when the scale is up despite my best efforts.

I go to the grocery store and despite 50,000 temptations, I don't give in to them. I have tons of snacks around the house at all times, and I don't give in to them.  So, the scale could cooperate - seriously!

Not much else to say, folks. It's a semi-holiday in the house as my husband took the day off to play in a chess tournament through Sunday. So, I'm feeling a bit out of routine too and a bit bored. It's hot as hades outside, so no going out either. My big excursion was the grocery store.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Confirmed - I'm definitely getting smaller

You don't need a tape measure to know you are getting smaller. There are other signs of course. Your bra strap needs to be tightened, or your belt does (not a belt wearer, so not my experience). Your pants get baggy all over. You can see it in the mirror and clothing size. You can even feel it in movement - it's easier to move a thinner body.

But, it is nice to have measurements so you can verify it. it's not just the pants stretching out or the elastic getting shot in the bra - it's truly getting smaller.

So, I took measurements on April 4th. I decided to wait 3 months to take them again. To make it easier to remember to do, I decided to take them on the first of the month.

Here they are:

4/5/14, 7/1/14

Hips (widest part): 49, 46
Natural waist sucked in: 41, 38
Natural waist relaxed: 44, 41
Belly Button sucked in: 44, 41.5
Belly Button relaxed: 47, 44.5
Boobs: 47, 45
Bra band: 39, 37
Thigh (widest part): 28, 26.25
Calf (widest part); 17.5, 17.25
*Upper arm (widest part): 17, 16.25
Neck: 16.25, 16.25
Wrist: 7.25, 7.13

* arms are getting significantly smaller, but with bat wings, they droop lower, so take up more measuring tape than they would if my skin shrunk up.

That's pretty good progress! 30 pounds and basically 3" everywhere I tend to gain the most weight - my torso.

Let me compare that to a similar weight during my last weight loss:

Boobs:  45"
Waist:  37"
Hips: 46"
Upper Arm: 16"
Thigh:  27"

Pretty similar - Thighs are slimmer now and waist is thicker now. Basically, mother nature at work with being 2 years old and the middle age spread (bigger gut).

I'll measure again in 3 months, so October 1st. Once I get closer to goal, I'll measure more often to help with motivation as the losses come to a crawl.