Oh, Finish Line... I see you now!
Thursday, February 25, 2016
I started dieting on January 1, 2014. I weighed myself that day and actually cried when I gazed down at that daunting 329.0 blinking on my very angry scale. (I have a talking scale, and I swear that British-accented voice sounded furious, like that grouchy lady on The Weakest Link). I was shocked, quite unpleasantly. Prior to that, as far as I knew, the heaviest I'd ever been was 293 pounds, when I started a similar calorie-counting effort back in 2003; that effort proved fruitful way back then, so I figured I'd try it again, since I'd allowed myself to gain so much weight back and then some. I set a lofty goal of losing 100 pounds in 2014, and I really didn't think I'd do it, but I did...and then some!
I continued my quest toward a healthier weight in 2015, but it was harder. For one thing, any diet that lasts very long can cause burnout. It was starting to get harder not to "cheat" and easier to beat myself up when I did. Not only that, but 2015 brought with it a LOT of emotional/mental/psychological traumas for me that I did not cope with very well. I tend to eat when I'm stressed, and unfortunately, I tend to do that stress eating at the worst possible time - in the middle of the night when my stresses have me plagued with insomnia. On top of that, we lost both of my parents (my mother in June at 64 and my dad, very unexpectedly, in November, on his 67th birthday). Not only was this emotionally difficult, making it very hard to focus on trivial things like recording my coffee creamer in Spark, but it was also difficult because in the tumult of funerals and memorials, estate and probate, this, that, and the other that comes along with losing loved ones, I really had no control over what I ate or when. Friends brought food - lots of it. Between appointments, we had to break our own rules and hit a few drive-thrus. The grueling 54 hours we stayed with hospice while Mom was going, we ate off a snack cart and devoured more than our fair share of dollar cheeseburgers because we didn't want to leave Mom's side.
Of course, the good days of the year can also wreak havoc. Birthdays and Mother's Day, Christmas and New Year's, Easter and Valentine's....all those days full of goodies and nonrestraint do add up. I allow myself this, because if your diet steals all the joy out of your life, especially in a difficult year, you will grow to resent it - and I do mean GROW. This is something I have learned, so I do allow myself cheat days, but I admit I've always got a bad case of buyer's regret when I step on the scales the next week.
So, it's been hard, but here I am. It is 2016, over two years since I started. In my weigh-in yesterday, I was 164 pounds, meaning I've lost 165 (51.15% of my body weight). I really cannot believe it, and it is still easy to get discouraged as I trudge toward that elusive 155 pounds I need to hit, but I'm almost there. Encouragement from people on Spark and also from my beautiful sister, Libby, and my daughter, Cissy, who are on the quest with me, has been essential. I work a sedentary job, and I have never set foot in a gym in my life. I don't really exercise, and I hate cooking, so most of what I eat comes out of a box, can, or bag. Nevertheless, by using the Nutrition Tracker to count EVERY calorie (and yes, that Nyquil dose, that chewing gum, that ketchup packet, and that coffee creamer DO count), I've carved off half myself and am almost "finished" and ready to move into a lifelong maintenance program. I couldn't be happier about that, because for the first time in many, many years, even in the midst of the stress of death, divorce, money problems, family illnesses, having to drive a 1997 Corolla, and all sorts of other things, I can feel good about something. I credit God for helping me, my family for encouraging me, and Spark for giving me the tools!