Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 17 of 84 in the StSC: Another "decade" says hi to me, and I try to answer the "How Do I Get Started Losing 100 Pounds" question, though it's one all of you should help answer, I think...

Tanita-san: 189.6

OMG. I'm fewer than 5 lbs away from NOT BEING OBESE. ::::mad laughter::::

New weight "decades" are always fun. Getting in is exciting. Working to get out and down to the next is motivating. I weigh nearly daily for this reason. I want to see how close I'm getting to the next milestone. (Well, and if I had too much salt or too many carbs the day before. It's a marker for me of those.)

I spent the good part of yesterday weepy and sad, so no blogging. I did visit some challenger blogs and pal blogs to say "hey" but really, my heart was aching. I don't like arguing with my sister. I took a "space day" and didn't call or contact her, cause I was afraid I'd just start bawling again and say something incredibly stupid in my pain.

And I'll add, I did not dive into food on Monday or Tuesday. The good fight I fought Father's Day night paid off. The reins didn't get dropped, they just slacked on Sunday. They were still right in my hands all along.

Today, I got a really moving card from her. And I started bawling. hahaha. I am such a sentimental dork. But it's gonna be okay. As long as there is love, you make it out okay.

This likely applies to this whole weight loss gig, too. When I started letting myself believe that I was not hopeless, when I started to love myself enough to want better health and energy and appearance for myself, it was easier to move into more progress. I had hated myself, LOATHED myself, for so much of my earliest life and even into my later years, when incapacitating illness just wrecked my optimism and what self-esteem I'd scraped together. When you loathe yourself, you don't care what goes in your mouth or how it deforms your body or what it does to your lifespan. Dying early can be appealing when self-loathing and depression are your constant companions.

A good man's love rescued me. Family love kept me going. Love of friends, love of God. I mean, I really believe that at the core, if we don't have love, why bother being alive?

So, loving myself a bit more means doing good things for myself, and this blog is part of that.

ANYWAY, I got an email from a lurker asking this:

I'm not sure you'll have time to answer this, but do you have a "getting started" link somewhere on your current blog? I have 100 lbs to lose, and it's difficult to know where to begin.  I would love to know what you read/did first in your journey that got your head in the game, so to speak.

I don't really have a comprehensive "getting started" post, though I know that here on this blog, since last September, I've posted about things that gave me epiphanies and how everyone's journey to those epiphanies are different.

I struggled since I first made my decision as a morbidly obese woman to give weight loss a real, public, accountable effort. STRUGGLED. Setbacks. Stalls.

But I started my old blog in May of 2007, and it was just years of bumbling and learning and reading other fatfighting blogs and trying things (vegetarian, raw vegan, delivery meals, dietitians, spiritual work). Sometimes, some of us, have to put in a lot of groundwork and failed attempts before whatever is supposed to click, clicks.

BUT...aside from the reading/learning/getting professional help--and yes, in 2008, even when my food was still not in proper low-cal control to lose weight, when I was just MAINTAINING a modest loss of 20+ pounds, I began to exercise regularly at 278 lbs, Pilates, with a trainer, lots of moolah, ouchie--the key was I never fully gave up. Shoot, I even researched bariatric surgery. Part of me was determined not to be an OLD OLD FAT LADY. I'm already old enough. I didn't wanna be a morbidly obese senior rotting in some home with diabetes.

But if there's one link on this blog I can offer, it's THIS ONE. 
It's probably companioned with THIS ONE. My first two rules of weight loss. ; )

Because I'm an INTJ personality type, it was reading science studies, web sites, and books on overweight issues, in conjunction with following blogs with clear and concrete info on how people addressed their emotional eating/binge eating and what meals they ate and how they structured their days/meals--that penetrated my brain almost every day, fed my intellect, and when my brain is fed, then the other parts of me respond.  I needed knowledge and proof it was doable. Blogs of successful losers of 100+ pounds= proof.

And then the summer of real DECISION (see that first link above on my rule of weight loss) was last summer. That's when it clicked and I began to make REAL progress. It was a cluster of things--a blog weight loss challenge, certain books, certain blogs--that flipped my switch.

I read books last year that each helped me along the way:  THE END OF OVEREATING;  REFUSE TO REGAIN; BEATING OVEREATING; WHY WE GET FAT; SWITCH...

I read books this year --and AM reading books--that helped and still help me refine my individual program for fat loss and fitness: THE NEW EVOLUTION DIET; THE PALEO SOLUTION; THE PERFECT HEALTH DIET

I also read spiritual books to address my issues. Gluttony and sloth are spiritual issues. Craving. Self-esteem. Depression. Lack of self-control. These all can have spiritual dimensions, be outgrowths of spiritual wounds. I addressed that, too. Bible being number one. :) The Desert Fathers and Mothers, those grand ascetics, being a reminder of how self-indulgent our society is.

This is why I encourage people to read, talk, follow successful bloggers, do introspection, see professionals--even if it strains your budget, cause if you get some dire disease from being obese, what good is your retirement account gonna do you--and experiment.  Other people have done it. So, BELIEVE you can do it.

Faith is a component that is essential. BELIEVE YOU CAN. Fake the belief that you can with affirmations until you do believe it.

I saw dietitians, got a trainer, read books up the wazoo, asked for family support, got anointed and prayed for,  tried low carb, got a DNA test for ideal diet for my genes, tried high carb/low fat, tried delivery low-salt low cal, tried vegetarian, tried vegetarian delivered meals, tried meditation, used prayer, tried visualization and affirmations. I did not give up. I may have spun my wheels on my blog for 3 years before something clicked, but I was always fertilizing the ground for something to grow. I never gave up.

Then I made a decision. And I still tweak, read, and learn. But I don't look back.

Last summer, something clicked...and the click got stronger with the DDDY Challenges and my own reading into Evolutonary/Paleo/Primal/Primarian eating styles and experimenting with no grains/low-moderate carbs and finding it left me with lower appetite and higher energy.

Last September, I started this new blog to be clearer with goals and openly, photographically, numerically ACCOUNTABLE. No hiding.

I suggest you start a blog. Post a before pic: block out your face if you  need privacy. Use a nickname to hide your real identity if you need to. But BE VISIBLE. You will be happy to see the before/after to compare. Give your actual starting weight. Make a weekly loss goal and a monthly loss goal and a seasonal loss goal and an annual loss goal. Account to your readership and yourself. Share insights. Share difficulties.  I am a big believer that once you put it out there and people can call you on it, you make yourself more motivated from that. It's embarrassing to post a gain, sure. But it's exhilirating to post a loss and have others celebrate with you. It's embarrassing to fail. But that embarrassment can be a spur to stay on your plan and SUCCEED. This is what I'm hoping this blog is for me. A tool to help me succeed. It's working. It's my journal. I can vent. I can learn. I can dialogue.

Maybe it will help you get started if you open a blog TODAY with those goals and hopes and before pic and starting weight. :)

And if my photos, numbers, blogs, successes and setbacks help YOU, then yours will help someone else. You might change someone's life. :D

I never understand the folks who won't post a number. It's a number. Hiding it gives it more power, not less. Hiding means shame. Forget shame. It's a number, like shoe size. Defang it by publicizing it and make yourself accountable with goals that people can say, "Oh, you did it!" and celebrate, or give advice and help when you have falls.

That's not for everyone. But I found public accountability hugely motivating and liberating.

So, what can get you started losing 100 pounds. Ask yourself those questions on my left sidebar from the Unleashing The Warrior Within.     Take a hard look at the necessary sacrifices that must be made to comfort and indulgence. If food is your comfort, stress relief, or master, then accept you're gonna suffer breaking the bond and roll up your sleeves and get into the battle. You will suffer. You will give things up--some for LIFE. You won't be able to sit back and down that pint of ice cream or dive into pizza for solace or pleasure. You will have to get up and move your body, whether you feel like it or not. Until you come to ENJOY it (and many of us have).

And you will have to accept that old habits never fully die, and if you indulge those old habits again, you lose some battles and maybe the whole war.

You make a decision. You sit down and plot out goals and what steps you take to get to them based on your ability/budget/preferences/medical conditions/support types. You have to have goals, and you have to keep an eye on them daily. You may go hungry some days. You may wanna give up others. But you remember the commitment. It's like a marriage: you're in it for life (one hopes). You attend to it every day. You recommit as needed. You forgive as needed. 

That's how you start. You realize it's gonna be AWFUL at first maybe, then less awful, then you feel your mastery grow and it feels good. And when the wind's at your back, it feels amazing.

Hope that helped, lurker.

And I hope the others who read this blog and are in challenges and have made progress in their journey to lose 100 pounds (more, less), will chime in on how to start. Help our lurker out, would ya? :)

Be well....I gotta go call my sis...


Anonymous said...

I tell folks to try the 30-day Paleo challenge. If they don't feel better/lose weight after 30 days, then feel free to try another diet. Most people stick with it. I think Sarah from has info on her website about the 30-day challenge, or, maybe. I would also tell them to read "Why We Get Fat." Congrats on the loss! You're catching up to me!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the new decade!!!!! :D

Let me join you in our march to the decade of teh 70s! I visited there last summer, but turned tail and ran the wrong way. :(

Loved your advice. I'm going to have to read some of the books you have mentioned. By the way, I'm an INTJ, too. We're supposed to be a rare breed, but there seems to be several here in blogland. I guess it suits our temperament needs so well that it draws a disproportionate number of us in.


Karen Butler Ogle said...

Great and inspirational post, Princess. It takes a continued effort until the click and then it just takes nerves of steel to see it through. You are doing great. I love this post.

safire said...

You are So inspiring! Good luck with those 5 lbs ;) you are going to kick its ass!

Have a fab rest-of-the-week!

MB said...

Excellent post!

Congrats on reaching a new decade and being thisclose to no longer being obese.

I love all your advice on how to start losing 100 pounds. It took me a very long time to post my numbers because I was so ashamed of them but now it's almost like a badge of honor that I was able to finally do something about it after bitching, moaning and complaining about it for so long. Instead of telling myself I would lose "x" amount of pounds in "x" amount of days I just decided that I would do what I needed to do no matter how long it took. The biggest thing I had to learn when I started losing was there would be good weeks and bad weeks but if I just kept being consistent with my exercise and eating I would get there.

Hope you and your sis are able to kiss and make up and get back to *normal.*

Joy said...

Gah, you always make me so jealous with your posts! They are always so insightful and helpful...puts my blog to shame, lol. Anywhoo, congrats on getting down to the 180s; it's a glorious feeling, no? Thanks for all your support lately; your words have meant the world to me and I hope you know that. Thanks :)

oh_mg said...

I feel the same way about decades, too - it's a great way to focus on weight loss on the short term. I do the same thing with running sometimes - just get to that tree! okay, you made it to the tree - now get to that lamppost! :)

I'm just shy of 150 pounds lost on my 210 pound weight loss journey - I did a guest post on the first 100 pounds lost that may be of some assistance to folks looking to get started:

Debbie said...

I love the way you write, your blog is full of energy, wisdom and compelling reading. This was an especially good post. Love your first two rules of weight loss & I completely agree with you. Congratulations on seeing the results of all your hard work!

Ms. Scooter Butt said...

Every single word you put into this post was worth reading. You really have a way. It hits the heart and the mind. Thanks.

You go woman on the weight loss!

Julie said...

Post #2, first one got lost. UGH!!!
This is an excellent post Mir. So true to heart and soul. The only thing I would of added is a person has to be doing their life style changes for them. It can't be cuz the doctor said so, cuz the hubby wants it, cuz mama said something. It has to be just for you cuz you want it. At least for me that's what it came down too.
You are doing an amazing job and to blog about it in all it's glory and hell is wonderful and such a perfect place for someone to come too and learn.
Take care Mir and have a blessed weekend. I am sorry I haven't been around much, life and summer with kids. BUSY!!

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Sharilee said...

This was beautiful. I got to this post through your side bar. I am lot like you: an INFP, but the F is sometimes close to a T. I, too, need my brain to be fed and reading a lot of other blogs has helped me believe that it's possible.

Thanks for this post. I related and I am so glad you shared it.