Here we go again, giving a healthier lifestyle another go. I know that a sense of community can be motivational, so I have joined the 40 Bags in 40 Days Weight Loss group, and I rejoined my online friends on My Fitness Pal. I have two groups to whom I will be accountable, and offer my support.
I had to chuckle when I logged back in to My Fitness Pal after a six week hiatus. "ONE DAY STREAK" said the banner across the top of my screen. Now I am on a "FOUR DAY STREAK." I am looking forward to seeing the number change to any respectable number that actually warrants the word "streak" behind it. (You know, like 30 Day Streak, 60 Day Streak...a number that represents dedication and stamina!) "One Day Streak" smacked of sarcasm and patronization.
In a conversation with my husband last fall, we were talking about weight loss. In my head, I considered the many starts and stops of the last year, and told him that I figured I had probably lost about 100 pounds in the last year. He looked at me incredulously, noticing, I'm sure, that my body wasn't looking that much smaller. "Unfortunately, I've lost the same five pounds about twenty times," I confessed.
It's true. You've heard of the Weekend Warrior? Well, I tend to be one of those, hiking extra far, or going biking on the local trails on a Saturday or Sunday, but a more accurate term for my routine is Weekend Binge-er. (I wrote "binger" first, but that looks like the name of a cherry with a comparative suffix, implying it is more of a Bing cherry than another, so I adapted my word choice with a hyphen.)
It is not unusual for my weight to fluctuate eight pounds on any given weekend. Want to take me out to breakfast? Oh, boy! Should we go get some frozen yogurt? Yes, let's! I'll make something special for dinner...maybe even a big, old batch of my famous homemade rolls. Want to go out for lunch? Well, only if we grab cookies from Sweet Tooth Fairy afterwards. Yes, I have a problem. Weekends are when I let my hair down after being "good" all week long.
So, if I gain 8 pounds over a weekend, and lose 5 of them during the next week...well, I probably don't have to tell you that this is causing problems for my wardrobe. Jeans are a little snug. My comfy tops are no longer billowy. At this rate of gain and loss, I could gain 150 pounds by the end of this year.
Slow and steady wins the race. Consistency is key. Rome wasn't built in a day. Move more; eat less. Yada yada yada... The clichés are true. I've done this before. I know the drill. It's time to get serious again.
|Trust me; the back |
view was voluptuous.
When my youngest child was about three, he climbed up on my bed after I had just struggled into my matronly swimsuit. He patted my back, and announced, "Mama, your back has boobs, too!" Yes, I had just poured myself into a plus-size, one-piece swimming suit, and the Lycra fabric had squished my back fat into two lovely mounds of flesh between my shoulder blades, with a crease down the middle. Back boobs. He's always been an observant child.
Drastic times call for drastic measures. His comment was just one of the catalysts that motivated me to get healthier back in 2000. An even bigger reason to lose weight was I was tired of the pain in my back and joints. Often, I woke myself up in the night in tears because turning over hurt so much. I had no energy, and my whole body ached.
Getting into My Jeans is the story of how I lost 80 pounds. It wasn't fast, and it wasn't easy. It took me over two years to do it, averaging less than half a pound a week. That feat is something of which I am very proud, but now I'm beginning to look at it like my "glory days." My weight has been creeping up these last ten years, and now I find myself wanting to lose 20 pounds, not to get down to my lowest weight, but to return to a healthy weight that will allow me to live without back pain, and enjoy a higher level of physical activity again.
This time, I am not setting a five pound weight loss goal. I've done that too many times to count. I'm going to up the ante. Ten pounds will make a difference, and move me toward my twenty pound goal. Losing ten pounds will make it seem attainable, and sustainable.
Are you trying to lose weight? Would you benefit from a group of encouraging friends? Whether you choose to join us at 40 Bags in 40 Days Weight Loss Group on Facebook, or want to try My Fitness Pal with a friend, I'd suggest you build yourself a support group. Find like-minded people who will cheer you on, and carry you through the hard days. It won't be easy, but having others help you makes it easier.
Yes, I probably really lost the same five pounds too many times to count over the last year. And yes, I really have lost a legitimate 80 pounds once before. This time, I'm going to lose ten pounds. And then I'm going to lose ten more. Watch me. Help me be accountable. Even better, JOIN ME. I can use all of the support I can get!