Thursday, January 3, 2013

Scale Pic and Forming Goals for 2013, and some advice for the Big Gals (and Guys) out There New To Blogging for Weight Loss

Here is what I saw on Tanita-San today after I woke up, peed, and stumbled to the back room where I keep the scale:

Christmas red on toes, lower number on scale.
I hopped on the scale a few times, which I always do to confirm the number. You can see the same number came up twice: 181.4 .

It was 183.2 yesterday (see previous post), so the excess fluid from my holiday salty foods frenzy is...flowing out.

This puts me at a total loss of 118 pounds. Not my lowest number. Still out of the obese range, yay. 

I don't like being in the 180s again. Not at all. My plan last year when I decided to move into MAINTENANCE had been to maintain in the 170s. Anywhere in the 170s, but preferably in the middle to lower ranges, sure. Just THAT weight "decade."

 So, immediate goal is to get back into the 170s. Healthfully. With good nutrition. No crash diets. I don't care if it's slow. I don't want to end up with micronutrient deficiencies which impact a lot of my health issues.

Ultimate goal for this season (ie period from January to end of March) is to rebuild muscle, get back walking habit (at least 3x a week) and get to 171. That's 10 pounds.

I will add that losing 10 pounds is not easy for me. It's easier when one is big-big, though even for big me, losing 1 to 2 pounds a week required quite a lot of discipline. I was the laggard in Allan's challenges (though I stuck out the ones I joined to the end). So, 3.3 pounds a month --or roughly under 1 pound a week--is going to mean I have to focus a lot on my calories. Watching, adding, monitoring, curtailing. And burning some off. Though I find consumption matters more than exertion. What I eat affects the scale the most.

Exercise, though, affects how I feel and how my clothes fit. I see more muffin top with my abdominal and back muscle depleted. I hate that. But keeping muscle takes work, just as building it takes work. It doesn't happen by wishing.

The sad truth about weight for those of us who were formerly obese/morbidly obese/severely morbidly obese/super-obese is that weight comes back at alarming speed and goes down with reluctance.

Granted, some folks hold tons of water and those first weeks on a diet make for a beautifully satisfying whoosh of 7 or 10 or more pounds. Not me. I am not that level of water-hoarder. But that's mostly fluid, and the business of burning fat is always harder. And the closer to goal weights we get, that much harder. Sometimes, maddeningly hard.

I'm here to tell you maintenance is tough. I've seen a host of blogging pals drop out of sight when they couldn't keep the weight off. I don't wanna do that. I want to say, here I am, with some regain, aiming to stop it and get back in maintenance range.

A bit of advice from someone with a near-lifelong weight struggle who used blogging and online aids to finally make progress (and I hit 303 lbs on my doc's scale in 2004, for reference):

If you're  big or very big and starting on your weight loss journey this year, please be accountable on your blog. BE ACCOUNTABLE. It's the main reason I began THIS blog, stopped the old one, and focused on goals and numbers and photos and self-examination and challenges. 

Accountability means you put it out there and try to figure out how to solve the problems. It's hard. It's often embarrassing . 

(See my Phat Pilates pics--click on tab link under the blog header-- if you want to see EMBARRASSING! It was really hard for me to post those when I was huge-huge and clumsy and sweaty in tight clothes and messed up hair.)

Don't use the blog just to wax eloquently or awkwardly about your ordinary life stuff. That won't cut it. That won't help you. 

Make specific goals. DAILY GOALS. WEEKLY GOALS. MONTHLY GOALS. SEASONAL GOALS. ANNUAL GOALS.  Let the community know if you met goals or failed to meet them. Examine why you can't make a breakthrough. Read. Study. Introspect. Ask folks to kick you in the butt when you grow lax. Support others as a way to support yourself, too. Sometimes, reading others doing the same things you are --good or bad--has a wonderfully motivating effect.

But weigh and plug those numbers in. Put them out there. Defuse them and make them just measures. MEASURES of lack of or wonderful progress. Don't expect 4 pounds a week (unless you're male and huge or female and huge and really active). Just make reasonable, attainable goals and, if you do not quit, if you persist, you will see progress.

One pound a week is 52 pounds a year In two years, that's 104 pounds.
One-half pound a week is 26 pounds a year, 52 pounds in two years.
Two pounds a week is 104  pounds in one year, 208 in two.

Consistency is the key. You can lose 26, regain 30. You can lose 80, regain 50. You can lose 200, regain 200.

What you want, and what I want, is to lose and keep it off.

The odds of success are slight. Google it. Very few keep off large amounts of lost weight.

So, focusing on the quickie crash diet that gets off 10 pounds in 2 weeks will leave you nowhere if you gain it back, and odds are you WILL regain it.

You have to learn what you like and what is nutritious and what contains your large appetite or urges to snack unhealthfully. You have to figure out what works for your body and, if present, medical conditions. You may need to see a dietitian. Or a doctor. You should read and educate yourself. You should visit blogs of folks who lost weight and KEPT it off for a year plus. The ones keeping it off 5 years plus. They have learned something.

VICTORY in 2013!
Find a buddy. Keep a journal (or a blog journal). Be honest. Don't run away and hide when it's tough. Find people who won't stop telling you to keep at it. Join challenges with kind people who believe in TOUGH LOVE, ie. they don't clap at your failings or enable you, but they do offer a hand when you need to get back up and walk on. Flabby love lets you get away with anything, buys lame excuses. REAL love wants the best for you and will speak firmly to you, refusing to allow you to wallow and not make progress. Real love says, "Stop that. It's hurting you!"

Always choose what helps, not just what feels good. What helps. What profits. What is good. What builds you up on your journey. Choose that.

It's gonna be hard. But it's worth it in so many ways to try and try with a fully committed spirit and heart and mind.

Really, you don't have to get skinny. You just have to get OUT of obesity--being overweight may not be as bad as previously thought, though being obese is still a bad thing-- and get stronger which will be useful in daily activities and protective of health as you and I age. And keep learning. Believe you have the power to do it. Every day, tell yourself you are ABLE.


Happy Thursday. The third day of a new year. Be well...


Angela Pea said...

"The sad truth about weight for those of us who were formerly obese/morbidly obese/severely morbidly obese/super-obese is that weight comes back at alarming speed and goes down with reluctance."

Isn't that the truth? I swear I can put on 10 pounds in a week, but it requires a strategic plan with siege tactics to lose a few ounces in a month.

Mir, I am so HAPPY to see you back blogging!

Here's to an amazing 2013 - Cheers!

Julie said...

Good morning Mir. It was so good to read and catch up this morning.
Oh how I know about it coming back on with a vengence and taking time off from exercise, well that didn't work out to well either. However it's a new year, a new day, a new time to refocus and move forward. Can't undo the past but sure can plan for the future.
Good luck and take care. Blessings my friend!

Karen said...

Awesome post. Very good advice for weight loss an weight maintenance bloggers too. It's a lot of work. Accountability is key. Digging to that root and addressing it takes strength and courage.

Cheering you on in the new year. Glad I'm on this maintenance / maintenance -loss trip with you. We are stronger together.

Caron said...

Great post that I am taking to heart. :)

Jo said...

Great advice!

Traveling Light said...

Haha. I do believe I've heard some of this somewhere else...not too long ago. :D chuckle.

Great advice, Mir. I promise that my next post will contain a plan. (I do already have numbers at the bottom of my blog, tho.) I intended on writing that today, but I had an epiphany of sorts and wanted to document that. I fear I waxed both eloquent and awkward.

And, you know, the 170s is LESS THAN 2 POUNDS AWAY for you.

We be traveling light, now.


PlumPetals said...

You've listed some really good advice here. Reading the blogs of those who are actively working towards losing weight (and succeeding) as well as those who have successfully maintained their goal weight for several years is very helpful indeed!

Floriana said...

Mir, you look wonderful.

Considering all you and your husband went through during the previous year I think you did wonderfully weight vise. Very well defined and attainable goal. I have no doubt you'll make it.

Happy New Year to you. May this one be awesome for you :)