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Where I've been and where I'm going...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I don't know if anyone will even read this. (It's pretty long-winded even for me!) but whether anyone ever reads it or not, I know I needed to write it for myself. Here goes...

It's been two years since I started my weight loss journey, and a year and a half since I had adjustable gastric band surgery. The first year went well - I lost 90 pounds (including pre-surgery weight loss). By Christmas 2009 I was at my lowest weight, 185. I was feeling good - maybe even a little cocky. (sylphinprogress - I threw that one in there for you!) I let myself go a little. "It's the holidays," I reasoned. "I deserve a reward for all my hard work. It won't really hurt anything. I'll get back on track after New Years."

Well, even though I thought I had everything under control - that my Band had me in check - I gained 10 pounds over the holidays, and I couldn't seem to get back on track. We faced a lot of challenges in 2010 (I know many families did) - almost insurmountable debt leaving us on the brink of foreclosure and bankruptcy (we cashed in retirement savings to save ourselves) having an adjustable upside down mortgage and still not knowing if we'll be able to keep our house, my husband lost his job (unemployed for 10 months now) which left me working 60-70 hours a week between 3 jobs to make ends meet, parenting two teenage boys with all kinds of emotional outbursts and discipline issues...blah, blah, blah

So, what did I do? I used my "horrible" circumstances to make excuses and let myself go completely..."It's too hard. I'm too busy. I don't have time. This is just a short-term crisis we need to get through. I'll take care of myself and my weight when our situation improves." Poor me! I ate whatever I wanted (crutching on convenience foods and sugar), sat on my butt almost nonstop (all of my jobs are on the computer) and maybe worst of all, disconnected myself from Spark People. At first I felt a relief wash over me, like a burden had been lifted, but I knew that was a false sense of relief, like a little kid whose parents just left him home alone and he knows he can raid the cookie jar, jump on the bed, stay up late, and watch forbidden things on TV because no one is looking.

So, 2011 finds me having re-gained 40 pounds. That's a bitter pill to swallow. I have done a lot of soul-searching and what I realized is that 2010 was the perfect "all or nothing" sabotage. (Who would have thought that old ugly giant would rear its ugly head again. SAD!) These circumstances I'm living through may not be a short-term crisis - this just may be my new "normal" and I better stop waiting for life to line up the way I'd like it to and provide me the perfect environment for losing weight, BECAUSE IT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN! Time to stop making excuses and start taking back control. I can choose to make healthy choices in spite of my circumstaces.

So I'm back on track now. I actually started on 12/31 - I wanted to salvage one day in 2010 so I could end the year on a positive note.

I am learning how mportant "sustainable" changes are. My health habits need to be manageable for the long run - especially when life gets crazy. I need to have a "minimum standard" that I can default to that will still keep me moving forward, so I don't ever give up entirely again.

So here is my sustainability plan for 2011:

1) Staying connected to Spark People weekly. Before my "crash" I had been pushing myself to do more than I could manage with everything else in my life, and instead of scaling back to a manageable amount, I dropped out completely. (there's that all or nothing theme again) I know I need this for my personal accountability. I cannot read every blog, reply to every post, track every bit of food I eat or goal I have set, etc., because that just isn't realistic with the time I have available. But I can take a balanced approach and make a difference with the time I do have, and give myself permission to not worry about the rest.

2) Fitness: Get a minimum of 10 minutes of activity in every day, and more on the days there is time. Go to the gym 12 times a month. (Thank you to my company who is now providing a Frequent Fitness benefit for 12 gym visits a month - that's a movitvation!)

3) Eating healthy: Choosing natural, whole foods. Focusing on protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy - minimize sugar and processed/refined foods. No tracking calories, but generally being mindful of the nutrition I am taking in. Managing portions. I'm also considering another fill, as I do not notice much restriction.

4) Relationships: Make an effort to hug my kids and my husband more, to listen more attentatively and genuinely, to speak kind words, and do little random acts of kindness. Most importantly, to connect with my Creator and thank Him daily for my many blessings.

Well, there it is in a nutshell...from a pretty big nut!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ERIN1957
    Awesome, blog and what wonderful sharing. Glad you are back.
    Glad to see your lovely face again. Have really missed you.
    Our weight is more than just a diet, or a tool, it is a process of healing, dealing and establishing a new you, a new workable lifestyle, with a solid change in all areas. Life will never change, and we all will have trying situations to deal with. Only when we stop working on defence and become a winning offensive team will we win.
    It has been a hrad lesson for me as well. But we are here now and working on doing just that.
    My Best and Good Luck!
    2711 days ago
    I'm so glad you're back!! Even more so, I'm so glad I'm back here with you! I was also MIA for several months. Your plan is a great one--good for your company to provide access to gym visits!! As circumstances change, so sometimes do our plans. I'm glad to be back on this journey with you, and have faith in both of us that this year will be our best one ever!

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    3841 days ago
  • BUBBLES1541
    Hi - I love your post! I also had the band in 2002. I lost over a 100lbs within the 1st year and then, fell comfortable with myself and lost control. I have never gotten below 200, never reached my goal. So as the years went by, I found Sparkpeople and joined. Long story short, I'm back, started a new walking program work, and even started writing my healthy eathing cookbook. We can all get thru this journey together. :)
    3843 days ago
  • FELICE73
    I am just so glad you are back!! I missed you! emoticon
    3843 days ago
    I'm here! I'm here! And I'm so jealous that so many others got here first! Never mind, you made me laugh and blush.

    First, mama sheynts (I'm not sure, but I think it means something like "pretty little mama"), you were brilliant to begin on December 31st. You had the notion and put it into play sooner rather than later. When too many people say they'll begin a program (weight, smoking, etc.) on the first of the month or the first of the new year, they're usually pulling the wool over their own eyes or the eyes of someone whose approval they seek. When we mean it, we get started right away.

    Second, the "all or nothing" routine. Good for you for seeing it rising once again. I know that one all too well -- If I can't be perfect, I'm either nothing or I'll just be nothing. Something that's run through my mind many times in the past few years is that we need an anchor, especially during bad times. The anchor can be anything that is all ours -- making music, making art, amazing cooking, losing weight, anything. As easy as it is to let go of that thing we find completely satisfying and that is ours and makes us feel whole, it's even more important to hold on to it when everything else is sinking. It's our anchor, the thing that tells us that we still have the power to do good. It's our life preserver, the thing that makes us remember who we are.

    And, last, I'm so happy to know that I'll be getting more hugs from you. Mom.

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    3857 days ago
    Hi Anita,
    And no ur blog was not long at all, and as u can see alot of us read it... emoticon
    1st -- Thx for reading my blog and commenting and giving me support. thx
    it meant alot.

    Give ur self a break , u had alot happen and still kept off 50 lbs!! emoticon
    I know it's easier sometimes to focus on where we want to be and not what we have done and u have kept off a half of 100 lbs!!

    Life always seems to get in the way , doesn't it? U have a great plan and I like the way u said u started 12/31 so u had a good end to 2010 and a great start to 2011! emoticon

    We know how felt when we were exercising and eating right so I think that's a help. So lets use it ! I know I'm trying to too..

    I can relate In the last 6yrs I have had 3 back surgeries ( the 1st one was suppose to be a quick in and out and back to work in 6 months) Well I haven't been back to work and I can't work anymore. So I had to adjust not only to going to therapy for 3 yrs ( surgery each yr for 3 yrs) but the whole mind trip of being 40yrs old , now 46 and dealing with it.

    My husband has lost his job after 31yrs. went through all kinds of issues there . and lately after finally finding a job that he liked and had for 6yrs and finally had ins. and made $15 a hr , yah
    Well they kicked him to the curb! So he has worked for temp places , packing pieces to cars for min wage , working at K-Mart getting 15-20 hrs , working 2 jobs gone all day . Like u know sleep, and work.

    So he just got a call from a temp place and he's starting a job still min wage but that's ok it's 40hrs. and after a few months they should hire him . It's gone be hard cause he will still have the 15-20hr job too.

    Talk about rambling, but I just wanted to share just some of the lovely life things that have happened to me. I feel like the song we r woman should start playing , lol

    Just think what would of happened if u didn;t realize u needed to start focusing on u now.. HUGS , good job

    Spark is great for getting support from people who really understand( took me awhile to realize that)

    Keep up the good fight
    The rambler
    Val emoticon
    3857 days ago
    Anita I can so relate to you. I actually was doing well and had reached my goal of 165 and went beyond to 161.....then Labor Day Weekend I fell and got two compression fractures in my lower back. Needless to say I couldn't exercise and the steroid shot made me gain five pounds in one day. Then in October we found out my husband had lung cancer and he began treatments daily for seven weeks. His oncology doc told him to eat high calorie high protein foods so he could keep his weight up. Well, he managed to gain 20 pounds during his treatments but I beat him. Having all of the high calorie stuff around and my will power being out the door I also ate it. Between no exercise, worrying about him and not sleeping well I have gained 25 pounds in three months. December 31 I weighed 184.4 which is what I weighed on Jan. 1 of 2010. I weighed Jan.1, 2011 and my scale said 177, I almost passed out. Then Jan. 2 it was back up to 184 and by the 3rd it was 186. Monday I had six shots of steroids in my back so I am just waiting for the scale to jump up some more. However, now my husband is finished with treatments for a while and the last few days I have really tried getting back on track and began tracking my food again. So we are both in the same boat and beginning 2011 all over like beginning bandsters. emoticon and so can I.
    3857 days ago
  • SUZANNE3018
    Oh my friend, I can somewhat relate. 2010 was not a great year for me. My crutch was my back problems. When it got really bad (as it is right now), I couldn't exercise, and, instead of watching what I ate, I would feel sorry for myself and eat and eat and eat and eat, and usually nothing that was good for me. Work continues to be stressful, but I have to learn to leave that stress at work and not bring it home with me and again play the pity card and eat my stress away. I don't have children to worry about, but my little pup suffered temporary paralysis in September and it took over 2 months to get him back to as close to normal as he'll probably get. And I used that excuse to indulge yet again. So, I yo-yo'd all year. And from January to December, I lost a total amount of...wait for it....wait for it....4 pounds! What a waste. I could have lost the 40 pounds that I need to, but I lost 4 because of my pity party. But I started to attend church again in 2010. I found a church where I feel comfortable and welcomed. I have always been a thankful person, but in faith I'm learning more and more how to deal with my stress and pain and anxiety and sorrow. It's not easy, but it can be done.
    I truly feel like 2011 is going to be a positive year in my life, and I wish the same for you too. We can do this! We will do it together!
    Blessings to you my friend.
    3857 days ago
    I read your blog and totally understand what you are going through. Sometimes life gets ahold of us and takes over, and we end up last in the priority list. The other analogy that works for me is this: You know when you are on an airplane, and the flight attendant demonstrates the oxygen mask? They tell you to attach yours first - before you attach one to your child (this goes against a mothers nature!). Well the reason is this - if you are become unconscious you are NO GOOD to your child and cannot help anyone around you! So now I understand that if I don't take care of myself and my health, I will be unable to help those that I love. I have accepted that my eating problem will never go away - but I can keep it in control. It is a new year, and I know you deserve a fresh start! Good luck on your goals...one step at a time!
    3857 days ago
    I've lost over 100 with my band and maintained it for 4 years. The problem with that is it still leaves me 40 pounds over my goal and 60 pounds over my IBW. Life got busy, I bought a house, work got extremely stressful... I could list a whole bunch of things that contributed. In a lot of ways I just quit! I related so much to your description of the relief (loved the kid at home alone analogy) that is followed by a renewed understanding of the need for accountability. I recently came back to Spark because I realized that without making some serious changes, that 40 - 60 pounds is NEVER coming off and even if I'm not as dedicated to the process as I once was, accountability is essential for me. I just wanted to tell you that you're not alone and I'm rootin' for the both of us! Kudos to you for setting up goals you can achieve and working towards them!
    3857 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
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    3857 days ago
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