Thursday, June 25, 2015

Weight Loss and Happiness,

   A WW friend recently posed the question - do you think losing weight will make you happier?  I've been thinking about it a lot, and the answer for me is: no.  And yes.

   I try to be positive, but I'm also realistic.  The fact is that losing weight won't solve all of life's problems.  A jerk boss, an obnoxious neighbor, a crazy family member - losing weight won't change any of it.  It won't solve money problems or keep your spouse from bad behavior.  It doesn't give you more hours in the day, and won't help with an ever-growing To-Do list.  Expecting that your whole life will be different and better if you could just lose the weight is unrealistic, and a great way to set yourself up for disappointment.

   I have a friend who suffers from anxiety and depression, and when he was really in the thick of it would tell me how it was hard to think clearly because of all the noise in his head.  And I have always liked that phrase, because for me, my weight problems have created a lot of noise in my head.  At the weight I am, and have been for much of my adult life, simply navigating day to day life creates lots of tiny stresses and worries that accumulate into a constant dull roar.  There are things I have to think about that most people don't,

   If I'm going somewhere I worry about the seating and if I will be able to be comfortable. Will there be a lot of walking or standing?  And if so, will there be places to sit and rest? Am I going to hold people back because I'm slower and tire more easily?  Are there weight limits for certain activities that look like fun?  Will there be people who stare or make comments, or maybe snap a picture to post somewhere at my expense?

   It's exhausting.  So I'm working to change it.  Because losing weight and getting to a more "normal" size will solve a lot of those problems and worries.  I don't even have to get all the way to goal weight to experience relief.  The noise in my head surrounding these issues will quiet down and eventually go away.  I may even have the mental and physical energy to deal with some of the other types of issues I mentioned earlier.  At the very least, just moving through and engaging with the world on a practical level will be easier and less stressful.

   So for me, losing weight won't solve all life's problems.  But it will solve a lot of them.

   And that will make me happier.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Learning vs. Dwelling - or How the Past is aTrap!

  So as I mentioned in my last post, I am in the middle of planning my epic 25th anniversary vacation for next May. As of now, all the hotels are booked, and all that's left is the flights and rental car, which I can't book yet - I guess it's too far in advance.  The first leg of the trip involves spending a few days visiting my niece in San Francisco.  The last time I was there was about 5 ears ago, when I went out there with my sister for my niece's grad school graduation.

   As I ALSO mentioned in my last post, I have gained back most of the weight I had lost.  And I think about how I felt the last time I was in San Francisco.  I was still very overweight, but was able to do much more than I had thought I would be able to do, and didn't have the problem of long recovery time after lots of activity.  It's very important to me that I get in the best shape possible before this trip next year, because I want to be able to be active and enjoy all the great places we are planning to see.

   I struggle sometimes when I think of how far I had come then, and how much of a failure I feel like for being back in this position AGAIN.  But I know that nothing positive comes from that kind of thinking - it just brings up negative feelings and lots of self-recrimination.   And it casts a very long and dark shadow that can last days or even weeks, and can trigger bad eating choices.

   Learning from the past is important - there is much good that I can focus on and try to replicate about my eating and activity choices from that time.  And this can help me be successful in the present.  But it isn't healthy to dwell on the differences in my weight and abilities between then and now - that way lies madness!  So I'm working on finding the balance between learning from and dwelling on the past.  Definitely a work in progress!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Back Again, With a Plan!

     Oh my goodness, it's been so long since I have worked on this blog!  When I look back at my old picture (which I will be updating soon), it makes me sad to see that I'm right back at the same weight pretty much.  According to my home scale, I'm at 350 lbs, which means that I've gained back most of the 25 lbs I worked so hard for over the winter.  I'll be honest, it makes me want to cry and just give up, but I won't do that.

     I have tons to say, but don't want this first post to be overwhelming.  Let me just say this - next year my husband I are will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.  We have been working on a pretty awesome vacation plan for next May to celebrate. Our anniversary is in August, but the trip will be earlier, to accommodate my husband's work schedule and because travel will be much cheaper in May than in August!

     But it means that 1 year from now I have to be able (and willing) to fly.  And the trip we're planning will be SO much better the more active I can be.  At the weight I am now, with the attendant physical limitations I'm experiencing, this trip would be incredibly difficult for me to enjoy.  I haven't set a specific weight goal yet, but my main thought is to simply focus, focus, focus and lose as much weight as possible before vacation time.

     There are some details to work out, but right now I'm keeping that focus VERY small.  No more than one week at a time so it doesn't feel like too much.  So my goals for this week are:

               1.  Start attending WW meetings again, by returning to my Thursday afternoon group.

               2.  Track my food and water intake this week.

               3.  Enter my measurements into the WW site - something I've never done before!

               4.  Start easing into activity by trying my new seated cardio DVD and restarting my
                    physical therapy exercises.

               5.  Restart my blog! - oh look - I already met one of my goals!

     There are lots of things I want to talk about and get off my chest regarding this journey of mine, and what's been going on these last 2 years.  I'm having my husband take my picture tonight so I can update my site, and I may look into some design tweaks.  But mostly I want to post weekly - I think it will be helpful to working out some of the psychological blocks I'm having.

     I hope you'll come with me and enjoy the trip!