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Archive for December, 2006

My last weigh in of the year has settled out at about 26 pounds lost total. I am very proud of this, because this was done by simply changing my habits permanently. This was not a diet as much as it was learning to eat normally.

My latest experiment with exercise is exercising at least one hour a day during my Christmas vacation. You can see the picture here, which shows SparkPeople’s calculation of calories burned. Granted, their calculations are really screwed up in absolute terms, but the relative results are ok.

My energy output has increased, but not enough to be statistically significant. The results are probably saying that the exercise did help me not gain over the holiday, but it’s a “no-loss” situation rather than a noticeable loss. There will be a chance to find out more this week, since I have another week off, no big meals planned, and plenty of time to do fun exercise.

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An eating disorder specialist recently said that the strongest trait needed to overcome an eating disorder is sheer determination. This is unbelievably wrong, and some of the people who hear it from her will suffer unnecessarily because of it.

Think about it. One of the strongest reasons many of us beat ourselves up is our lack of perfection: perfection in sticking to a diet, being thin, meeting others’ wishes, yadda yadda. You can’t push a rope. You will not be able to rely on determination alone to succeed. What is really needed is to recognize that, as a human being, we all fail sometimes. Failure is very often stopping an activity because it’s just not providing the results you need. Take running as an example. You decide you are going to run 3 miles a day, and you are unbelievably determined to achieve this goal. But if you are not a runner, you will fail, in spite of your determination. You cannot go from non-runner to 3 miles a day and do it perfectly for the rest of your life. That’s simply neither possible nor rational.

The real most important trait is the one in which you pick yourself up after a failure or a success, and you move forward. Perseverance. It’s not just continuing, it’s starting again, knowing what you know now. “Pick yourself up after a success?” Yes, you need to do this sometimes. Some people diet, lose a few pounds, then get complacent. It’s hard to move away from complacency.

One of the major reasons many people fail on diets is because they get tricked by the scale reading. When a reading can vary by 3 pounds or more just due to water, or TOM, or dinner, and when it’s reasonable to expect no more than 3 pounds a month loss, it’s easy to think that you spent a whole month without losing anything. But when you have the willingness to get up the next morning, and continue from where you are right now, you have the opportunity to move forward and use your new-found wisdom.

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Not bad, considering that I can gain up to 3 pounds just from not drinking water regularly, which is true for me this week. LOL, my MIL thinks it’s funny that I drink water from the tap. She even gently teased me this week, bringing in a bottle of wine and telling me that I can drink water when I’m back home. Those Germans – even water comes only out of a bottle for them sometimes.

Moving on from where I am right now. Exercise today? We’ll see but it looks like swimming and walking.

Huh? What kind of idiot am I? Something made me go back and look at my weight loss spreadsheet. I didn’t gain a pound, I lost a pound since Christmas Day. Almost certainly from the same water issues.

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…and I had a better time than ever. It used to be I was all obsessed with not being skinny, but since I have beaten the stinkin’ binge eating disorder, I am learning to live with all of me, and enjoy my life as it is today. Funny, my being obsessed about not being skinny is about as rational as a fish being obsessed that it can’t breathe air. Never been skinny in my life – no reason to expect it to be different now.

As a consequence, I was far more relaxed than I usually am. Even got a little drunk, until my daughter took away the cognac. LOL I’m not a big drinker, but we were in a large group, and it just started tasting extra good. So I enjoyed it, and let myself have a couple extra. By 4 p.m. though, I was definitely done. Didn’t drink anything except water and coffee the rest of the evening, and plenty of water then next day. I think the last time I was really on a bender was way back in Tennessee, when I drank myself under the table on Long Island Tea. Geez, that was more than 15 years ago.

I’ve actually kept up with my exercise goal!!!! Yay me! An hour every day during the vacation. It’s my plan to give myself some exercise habit-building and some practice at setting and meeting goals. Christmas Day we took a long walk around the inlaws’ village. I climbed a hill that I normally avoid, and was panting when I reached the top, but I made it. Yesterday we did a little post-Christmas shopping and I walked my feet off. I was really tired, but got through it. Today I gifted myself with some calisthenics, iPod music and strength exercises. Tomorrow I’ll hopefully go swimming. I even settled on a goal if I succeed at this effort 100%: I will buy myself a fur hat/earwarmer. I’ve wanted something like that for a long time, and it’s time. That thought was the only thing that got me up off the sofa tonight, so I’m going to keep this promise to myself. For less than 100% performance, I’ll give myself a private afternoon at the movies.

And tomorrow I weigh in for the first time since the 25th. I fully expect a gain, and I refuse to worry about it. At no time did I stuff myself, at no time did I beat myself up over what I did or didn’t do, so it’s a success regardless of the scale reading.

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Christmas Eve Exercise

Funny how I though exercising on Saturday was hard. Sunday I came even closer to not exercising. But I managed it after all – went outside for a walk. Crisp and chilly, it was a beautiful day, and I got to visit a neighborhood I’d never seen. Sweated too, much more than when I exercise at home. But I’ve continued my streak! Yay! I’ll have to think of a reward if I actually get every exercise in between now and the 8th of January.

The next 4 days will be harder still, since we’ll be visiting the in-laws. There’s always a good opportunity for a walk in the late afternoon, so I’m hoping that will happen, even on first and second Christmas Day.

We’re also Internet-free there, so no posts until Thursday at the earliest.

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It was a little touch and go for a while today, I wasn’t sure I would have the motivation to exercise. Finally I planned out my day to include a relaxing bath and exercise while watching a movie. The whole first hour of “Must Love Dogs” went by before I could get my butt up off the sofa, but I did. A nice combination of low-impact aerobics and walking in place took up half an hour of my time. A last-minute run to the store handled the rest.

Now I’m motivated to keep going tonight, I just have to figure out what to do. Maybe some more housecleaning, like I’ve done all day. All those flights of stairs between the basement and the upstairs, carrying laundry, sure builds up the calf muscles. Or maybe I’ll learn to do more with the exercise ball I bought. Mostly I just practice balancing, but you can do all sorts of exercises with the damn thing.

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I love going to a store just before Christmas, especially when my shopping is all done. We’re extra lucky this year, since we decided to not exchange presents, except for the couple that we already had for DD.

Today DH and I decided to get the last grocery shopping done, and we went to the nearest Real store. That’s pronouced Re-Al, with Re as in Ray and Al as in Albert. In any case, it’s one of those superstores, with everything under the sun for sale. For me, it simply has the best sliced roasted turkey breast in town, and for DH, it’s a convenient place to get his hair cut as well as do the weekly shopping chore.

Normally I enter the store, browse the DVDs, then walk straight through the K-Mart-like clothing section, because at over 300 pounds, nothing ever fits. Today I discovered I was wrong. I’ve now lost enough weight that, even though I’m not under 300 pounds yet, I can actually buy clothes there. I’ve even moved from having to buy the men’s socks because they’re wider to wearing a pair of very girly pink and white striped ladies’ socks.

OK, so maybe it’s not the Junior section, but they fit. And I’m proud of my accomplishments this year. After browsing the clothing and realizing that grocery store socks are ok, but grocery store shirts are not, I moved on. Right past the huge aisle of fancy European chocolates and bought a nice little chicken curry frozen meal, plus a salad. And the turkey breast, of course.

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