Sunday, September 21, 2008

Exhibit A

This is Exhibit A: (otherwise known as my butt)
Apparently, the forces aligned so that it happened to be in the headlights of my sons' quad while someone was holding the camcorder (I'm assuming they thought it was off since my rear end was on the screen for a good 8 minutes & was followed by several more minutes of shoes & concrete.)
Now, putting a picture of my spotlighted rump on the internet is a fairly bold move on my part, but I figured, "Hey, I just happen to have documentation... I might as well post it." My butt is one of the many obvious reasons that I am working towards losing weight. It used to fit into a pair of jeans 10 sizes smaller. I didn't just magically gain 10 sizes overnight. They kind of snuck up on me. When I noticed that my clothes were fitting a little snugger or had a "dressing room moment" when it hit me like a punch in the gut that I needed to get the next size up, I would simply think, It could be worse. At least it doesn't look like this:"
The reality is though, I can't let myself keep "inching" my way up size after size. I've let my easygoing, casual way of thinking carry over to my body and it's not any healthier than being anorexic is. When I realize (while watching the video of my son's birthday party) that my backside is the center of the camcorder's attention and I'm mortified not at the camera man's aim but at my lack of aim for health- I want my trim waistline & heart shaped hiney back! So... yeah, just throwing it out there. Thanks to whoever was holding the camera for this wake-up call! Even though it was painful.... *sigh*

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jen's New Method - "Think Thin!"

You know how you lose some weight, but it takes awhile to show? I hate that. It's like those fat cells empty out, but then your skin has to shrink back in before the loss can be fully, and visibly appreciated. But yet, you still somehow have that "thin" feeling, even though the tape measure (that hangs in your shower for mornings your feeling either really optimistic or really desperate) shows that nothing - NO-THING - has changed. *#@*%!!

The good news? Today the scale dipped down to 140 1/2 pounds! Do you know what this means?? It means I'm only 1/2 a pound away from my just-skinny-enough-to-get-away-with-most-things-in-my-closet zone! Now if that tape measure would just reflect what the scale is saying... Preferably before I blow it (like tomorrow when I go to the fair and have to commune ALL DAY with the smells of beloved fair food. If you aren't aware of just how serious this challenge is for me, click here).

But I won't blow it. How can she be so sure? you're wondering. What makes her think that this time will be different than the last twenty times she hit 140 &1/2? (because I really have been there BRIEFLY about that many times this last year or two). Well, I'll tell you. Because of my new method. Yes, the very same one I mentioned before.

Ever since I first got thin, which was during my 2nd year of college (right after getting my fattest that first year, go figure), I have used the same basic method to lose/maintain my weight. And, I might add that it has been fairly successful for me. I currently weigh about three pounds more than I did when I got married (but that doesn't mean it LOOKS the same, just so you know. Things change, don't they? *sigh*). The new method, is really nothing more than a new and improved old method, so I'll start with that.

***FYI - The following is the plan to LOSE weight, which is quite different and more work than the plan to MAINTAIN weight. Just so you know***

1st. If losing weight has always meant gaining it back, start with maintenance. (Anyone wanting to hear about this plan needs to ask. I'm not really sure anyone's that interested in the losing plan as it is. I'm just bored and feel like blogging). No sense losing ten pounds if you haven't nailed down the holding steady thing. When you really think about it, it's like putting the cart before the horse. Maintenance is the key, as far as I'm concerned. This does mean using a scale regularly enough to find your current weight zone, which should have about a four pound range.

2nd. Figure yourself out. Doing this while focusing on maintaining works really well. What things are you absolutely not willing to give up? (Everyone needs some of these). What time of day are you most likely to blow it? What bad habits and indulgences ARE you willing to live without? If you can answer these questions, move on to number three.

3rd. No one ever lost an ounce without some deprivation. You will have to deprive yourself of some things you'd like to eat. But it doesn't have to be that painful - it just depends on how you go about it. Remember, I love food. And I have very little self-control. If I can do this, anyone can. Here we go:

Eliminate all the junk you don't want to be eating. Not from the plan, from your house. (I don't call them "diets" it sounds too clinical. And it's too restrictive. I'm a free spirit, and if you have a plan A and something goes wrong, there's always plan B, C, D, etc.). If the junk food isn't there you can't be tempted. Find snacks that don't tempt you for the kiddies.

Plan your eating amounts/times around whenever it is you're likely to want to gorge yourself. (Nice to pretend most of us don't do the "gorge" thing, but really, I think most of us do). For instance, I can get through the day on very little. Then dinner comes. So I make it a point to save up for dinner. Same goes for eating out, special treats you need to eat (because these can be a real need), parties, potlucks, and fairs. If you fit into the non-gorging-but-constantly-grazing category, you need to deal with that accordingly. Set some eating time rules you can live with, and stick to them.

Provide go-to foods that will taste good to you, satisfy your cravings, and provide real eating enjoyment. Oh, and that are healthy and not on the bad list. My biggie is popcorn, and everyone who knows Annie knows hers is salami. And you need more than one. And they need to be on hand. And let me re-stress that they must provide actual enjoyment. You should look forward to eating them. That's what makes it worthwhile to give up that list of no-no foods. I mean really - who wants to spend every day eating nothing that they really like? Oh, and some of these go-to foods need to fit in the sweet-treat category. One of my favs, diet soda over Dreyer's Slow Churned, sugar free ice cream. Just two small scoops. With popcorn on the side, washed down with the left over soda. There are times when thoughts of this nighttime snack are what got me past the day's temptations. I have tons of go-to foods, just so you know. That way I'm never at a loss.

4th. Pick some things that you can always and forever live without. Except for every now and then. Like a few times a year. A couple of mine are sour cream (which I do really like, but I can be pretty happy without) and fast food hamburgers. Look at all your food critically. "Do I really need that?" if so, "How can I make it more thin-friendly?" Sometimes remembering what you ate yesterday, or want to eat tomorrow helps make tough decisions a little easier.

These are the basic elements of my original method. I know it looks like every day is spent focusing on food, but really that's not the case at all. Eating is a mental game, and you have to play it right if you want to win. Too many people view food as the enemy that makes them fat, and stress over what they can't eat. This is like plan-suicide! You're bound to fail. It wasn't until recently that I realized how much my mental view of food has helped me maintain my weight, but now I can see it is probably the most critical element of them all.

I don't ever think of food as the enemy - how could I ever demonize something I love so much??!! I just think of some foods as allowing me to eat others. Whether it's because I did or did not eat them. If you really think about it, we have to eat something, so food is just as responsible for making us thin as it is for making us fat. I always identify "good" foods as foods that are making me skinny. Never actually been what I'd call skinny, but you know what I mean. Skinny enough to be satisfied. I never pass up something good, or settle for something "healthy" without feeling proud of myself and telling myself that it's worth it.

It's a concentration of this mental attitude that makes up my new method. It is a proven thing that if your brain believes you are fat/can't lose weight, it will do whatever is possible to keep you in harmony with your mental reality. You eat something naughty and think "Great. Now I did it. I'll probably gain two pounds by tomorrow," and guess what. Your brain easily arranges for that to happen. Mr. Brain isn't in to messing with your mental reality. YOU have to change that.

And so, the culmination of the new method is this: Love yourself, love your body, and think only happy, positive thoughts about that person you know you are inside - that thin one who weighs whatever it is you'd like to weigh. Annie is the one who made me actually get serious about this idea. I'd tried to do it, but kept forgetting to follow through with the actual self-talk. But now? I speak the words in the mirror. I am a 135 pound person baby! Those last five pounds are melting away! Funny thing is - it's working.

So the new step number one, is to look in the mirror as often as possible and see the reality you're looking for. Tell yourself you look great, and are moving towards your goal, and don't even entertain a doubt that it's going to happen. No if's, only when's. Believe me, Mr. Brain can arrange to make all your wildest thin-dreams come true. After all, you ARE in control of your body!