Santa said I needed to lose weight

Yesterday my children received their letters from Santa. They were so excited to hear all the wonderful things Santa had to say to them. I told the kids that Santa sent me a letter when I was a little girl too. My eight year old–the child who is most like me in many ways, including how he’s physically built–wanted to see my letter.

I went upstairs and dug under the bed to find the boot box full of old letters. I finally found it. I pulled it out and read that letter that I received when I was nine years old. It made me cry. Amongst the typical “be good, help your mother, do well in school and thank you for your letter” there was something else. Santa was proud of me for losing ten pounds and encouraged me to keep working to lose that other ten pounds that I need to lose. I couldn’t let my son see that letter. He’s already developing his own body image issues, without showing him something like that.

That letter made me so sad. That nine year old little girl believed that Santa thought she needed to lose weight.

Ever since I was seven years old, not a single day has gone by that I have not thought about my weight and how I was fat. It’s who I am. I don’t know how to be anything else. It’s no wonder I sabotage myself. It’s no wonder every time I make significant progress I stop and back track again. I don’t know any other way to be. It’s my story.

It’s time that story was re-written.

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Dedication

I’ve always wanted to lose weight.  When I was a little girl, I fantasized about blinking my eyes like “I Dream of Jeannie” and magically making myself thin like the other girls in school.  Later, I thought it required starvation or surviving only on carrots and lettuce and running two hours a day.  I couldn’t do that so obviously I couldn’t be thin.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I began to learn about nutrition and calories and exercise.  I’ve spent the last ten years learning.  I have the knowledge.  So why haven’t I ever made it to my goal weight in that time?  Why have I lost weight only to gain back more.

It’s overwhelming, facing 170 lbs to lose.  That’s what I started at–at my highest weight I had 170 lbs to lose to reach my goal.  That’s daunting.  That’s scary.  That seems impossible.

It’s not. 

It takes dedication.  Dedication to my goals and to my health.  It takes a belief that I deserve to be healthy, happy, and attractive.  It takes determination and strategy.  It takes a lot of change.  I can’t go back to the way I’ve lived my life in the past.  I have to make permanent changes to my eating habits and make exercise a permanent part of my daily routine.

I cannot take it one day at a time.  That’s not for me–it let’s me make excuses that I’ll begin again tomorrow when I mess up.  That I can start over and make tomorrow my day one.  I can’t do that.  I have to be more dedicated than that.  I have to look ahead while living in the moment.  But I can’t look too far down that road–it’s still too overwhelming.  I no longer have 170 pounds to lose.  It’s down to 128 pounds to lose–but that is still so very much to face. 

Instead I focus on ten to twenty pounds at a time.  Those are milestones.  I  look ahead a week at a time.  A month at a time.  I set goals of 10% of my weight and I work towards those  benchmarks. 

It makes it more manageable.  It’s easier to renew my dedication when I can focus on those milestones instead of that bigger number–and as I work towards those smaller milestones, that big number gets just a bit smaller.  And so do I.

What I’m Working For

I’m in the groove. Every day I work to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio. Often, I try for more. I’m attempting to keep up with the strength training workouts from the 7 day bootcamp series on Sparkpeople. I’m drinking my water and avoiding diet soda. I’m consistently eating healthier then I have in a very long time. And I’m making progress.

I’ve lost 10 pounds since January 1st.

It’s not easy. It’s never easy. It takes time, it takes focus, and it takes determination. But I’m doing well. I have to remind myself every day what it is I’m working towards.

I’m working towards feeling better about my body.

I’m working towards smaller clothing in cuter styles.

I’m working towards more flexibility and a stomach that doesn’t occupy my lap.

I’m working towards a ten year wedding anniversary spent in Las Vegas, renewing our vows for fun.

I’m working towards a 20 year high school reunion wearing a smaller size then when I graduated from High School in 1991.

I’m working towards taking my children to school without the fear that their classmates will tease them about their fat mom.

I’m working towards a little black dress and high heels.

I’m working towards family vacations where my legs and feet don’t hurt from all the walking.

I’m working towards family photos that I can be proud to hang on the wall.

I’m working towards a longer, healthier, happier, active life.

 

*cross posted on my sparkpeople blog

Goals for 2009

So, I posted about my progress and total weightloss in 2008.   But I haven’t posted my goals for 2009.  I don’t want to let any more time slip away without getting them written down–at least my health goals, anyway.  I have other goals besides these (why hello there, Masters Thesis).

So first I have to acknowledge where I started, so we will take my weighin from January 1, 2009.  It was 287.5.  In the eleven days since, I have lost 5.9 lbs.  I’ve kicked up my exercise a notch, I’m doing really well sticking to healthy choices and its paying off.  I hope to be out of the 280s by the end of this week.

So I guess that is my first goal…

1.  Be out of the 280s by the end of the week of January 11-17, 2009.  Totally do-able.  Somebody should give me a swift kick in the ass if I don’t–because it will have to be because I ate something I shouldn’t or didn’t get any exercise done.  Which leads to my next goal…

2.  No more cheating.  I’m only cheating myself of my goals.  I can have the occasional splurge or “cheat” but occasional MUST MEAN OCCASIONAL, not every other day or night.   I must limit it to once a month.  Period.  So, one cheat day per month.  PERIOD.

3.  45 minutes or more of formal cardio (ie. not cleaning, gardening, walking around a store, etc.) at least 5-6 days per week.  And on the 1 or 2 days per week that I am “resting” I must still find something active to do for an hour or more, such as cleaning, gardening, walking around a store.

4. 2-3 days per week of formal strength training exercises.  I’m really bad about getting strength training in.  I must do this more.

5. Taking my starting weight at the beginning of 2009, lose 10 percent of that number (28.7 pounds) by the end of February.  This will put me at 258.8–firmly out of the 260s.

6.  Lose the next 10 percent of my weight, 25.8 pounds, by the end of April.  This puts me at 233.

7.  Lose the next 10 percent of weight, 23 pounds, by mid-June.  This will place me around 210 (hopefully under!) when I go in to renew my driver’s licence at the end of the month.   This also puts me just under my pre-wedding weight.  After nine and half years of marriage.  Suh-weet!

8.  Lose the next 10 percent of my weight, 21 pounds, by the first of August.  I’ve never in my adult life weighed 189–this should place me comfortably in a size 12 considering I have been in a comfortable 14 in the 200 range. It also places me 2 pounds shy of 100 pounds lost for the year.

Once I get to this point, I know it will be so easy for me to decide to take a “breather” and rest for a while from the whole exhausting process of losing weight.  I admit there is a part of me that is a little afraid of going any further than this…what would it be like to be in a size 12?  Let alone a size 10?  It’s hard for me to look further than getting under 190 lbs.  Simply because I have never been there.

So that is the question, do I stop my goals here for the year?  Do I aim for under 190 and try my hand at maintaining for a while?  Let my body adjust to its new healthier weight, and let myself get comfortable in a new skin?  Speaking of skin, shouldn’t I let my skin bounce back from all that weightloss?

Do I dare look further than 189?  When every health chart tells me I should be looking to 148? 

……well maybe 187, just to take it to an even 100 pounds lost for the year.  That way when people say, “OH MY GOD HOW MUCH HAVE YOU LOST?” I can smile and say simply, “100”.