Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Checking In

Photo by Katherine Burston

Hey, to the growing crowd of friends; mighty slide stoppers all!

I weighed in yesterday at 151.6; the same as the week before and I confess I would have loved to report a loss. However, I think it's healthier not to focus as much as I do on the actual weight, and instead focus on the actual eating.

I have not binged once, this past week. I credit the fact that I have focused on maximizing protein and minimizing carbs, for that.

I haven't done this rigidly, but just kept it in my head as a general rule. When eating a carb, I am aware of what it might do to my system, so I don't have a lot.

I have been packing my 6 brazil nuts for an afternoon snack faithfully. They help curb cravings and fill the tummy.

On Saturday, when 4 of our grandchildren were over and one of them wanted me to play soccer, I found that I was able to give him a run for his money. I may be bringing up the rear, but at least I wasn't dying with exhaustion.

I'll keep posting my weekly weight, because it helps me to do that, but not with any obsessive focus. I hope this encourages my Lightbulb friend, who is doing so well to have survived 4 weeks at the cottage in such fine form and who must be amazingly fit after all that exercise.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


Although absent in words, my thoughts have been right here with you all as I made choices at the cottage for the past 4 weeks. On the cottage scales (yes there were two, our calm and careful family broke one), I weighed 145 lbs. Hooray for me.

The down side is, now home, my house scale has me at 150 lbs. I'm not sure which is right although I know which I'd rather believe.

I walked on average of 4 times a week for 6.5 km (jogging for 12 min. of every 50 min. jaunt. I jumped on the trampoline, paddled a canoe, rode my bike, swam and was generally active. Although I had treats, I carefully applied my 'no carbs after 1:00 p.m.' rule, breaking it rarely.

I felt great and when I measured at home, I was pleased to note I had lost 1/4 inch off my arms, 1/2 inch off my legs and 5/8 off my tummy.

In spite of this, I struggle with attitude towards my weight and was surprised by it. When I thought I was 145 lbs., I was jubilant and feeling great about my weight, size, and choices while away. When I got home and the scale read 5 lbs. heavier on the same day, I was discouraged, no longer felt good about what I thought I'd achieved.

That's why Shan's last post spoke so powerfully to me. Attitude is important and weight is influenced by so many factors.
As well, I was encouraged by Susan's early success and Belinda's vigilance in steady life-style changes.

You all are definitely a blessing in this journey and as Belinda said, "Comrades in Arms." When I begun, I'd never have believed this weight-loss adventure would have been such a battle.

It is such a discovery of self for me.

Thanks to have me be a part. It means a lot.

Monday, 28 July 2008

You - The Owner's Manual

We were having lunch, Belinda and I, just before I left on two weeks of vacation. She was showing me a book she'd just bought. It was called, "You - The Owner's Manual". I was intrigued and as I was flipping through the pages, she said, "It's on page 363".

I flipped to it and there is was. "The Owner's Manual Diet".

"Turn the page" she said. I did. There it was. On one page. All laid out for me. It was "The Owner's Manual Diet - Crib Sheet."

I read some of it out loud. Partway through I looked up. "I think I can do this!" I said.

And you know what? I can.

Before lunch was over, Belinda was making a gift of the book to me - to take on vacation. To get started on "the new healthier me".

I've been reading the book all right. I read the crib sheet to Ron on the way to Windsor. I read it to him again on the way back. Though I need it more than he does, we both decided to take its advice to heart.

There are only ten or eleven principles, and they are very easy to follow. Even while on vacation. In the interests of not violating copyright I won't write them all out here, but I will be mentionin them in future posts.

It's been three days now, and I'm doin' it! I feel like I'm doing my body a favour. I don't feel one bit deprived.

I would recommend the book to anyone. It's not just the chapter on weight control that is good. Today we read all about the brain and how to minimize the natural decline of memory - like taking good care of your arteries so they keep doing their job in getting oxygen and nutrients where they need to go. It's a book that is factual and enlightening, and both encourages and empowers you to take better care of yourself without being judgmental about what you haven't done so far.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Long Time No Post

I've been meaning to get in touch for ages but life is getting in the way. I can barely keep my personal blog afloat, but want to check in here with you.

I am was down to 180, making my total weight loss 12 pounds. I've just hopped on the scale after that last sentence, and now I'm up again to 184. This is because my family is visiting, I haven't been on a bike in almost two weeks, and the celebration food is flowing.

Interestingly, I feel healthier than I have for a long time, despite this upward trend. Why? Because we're spending nearly every day outside from dawn to dusk, canoeing, swimming, walking, playing. So my fitness is down (must be), and my eating is up (can't help it) and I still feel better. I think this says a lot about the measuring stick we use for "health". There are so many factors involved, and it's so dangerous to focus on the weight alone.
BUT, that being said, I have complete confidence in my ability to lose the weight again after this halcyon month is over. I will start today, in fact - though this weekend will be a total loss because we are going camping and neither death nor hell nor things that creep below nor things that fly above will keep me from marshmallows and hot dogs.

* * *

I've been thinking lately about happiness and how it contributes to my health. I am not a small woman - never really have been, aside from two brief years as an anorexic. And do you know what? Those two brief years were miserable. Horrible. Frantically unhappy.

My mental state, with regard to my weight and size, could be described as "slightly uneasy". I'm not overly worried about the extra pounds, though when I see pictures of myself I am always surprised. "Is that what I LOOK like?!" Because what I FEEL like is so different.

An interesting thing happened a few weeks ago. There was a year-end hafla (belly dance party) for my troupe, at my teacher's house. I was so excited about it, and got dressed in my most colourful costume. Bought a new lipstick and everything. While I was there helping my teacher set up and decorate, she told me about plans she is making to put on a belly dance show in February at a local theatre. It was a very big moment for me when she asked me if I would dance a solo in the show. A real, paid, for-money, BUY TICKETS show.

I said yes, of course I would! I would start work on a choreograph and a costume and be ready for February! It would be great! I was so excited!

After everyone arrived, some girls took pictures, and showed them to me on the spot. I glanced at the first one and was shocked - I felt deflated and worried. I felt like I looked silly and fat, instead of powerful and beautiful. But I smiled and agreed when everyone said enthusiastically, "Great picture!" Because that IS what I look like - and my friends think I'm beautiful. And my teacher wants me to dance a solo.

When I was 20 years old, in my third year at UVic, my rowing coach called me into her office and told me that I had made the team after two months of tryouts. I wasn't the tallest, the fittest, or the most talented, but she told me that, during those endless hours doing time trials on the ergometers, I had shown something else: "Mental Toughness". I'll never forget what it was like to hear that from a woman I admired - a member of Canada's National Women's Rowing Team - a woman who was, to say the least, NOT lavish with praise. I stored it away and have pulled it out since, playing it for myself whenever I feel I'm floundering.

At the hafla, I used that Mental Toughness again. I used it to put aside my feelings of inadequacy (overadequacy?) and discouragement, and to straighten my spine and put a smile on my face even though I was still dressed in that flamboyant costume when I suddenly wished I had worn something more concealing - even though I was tempted to look around at the other, smaller girls and think anxious thoughts about the difference between them and me.

I'll lose more weight - I'm not concerned about that. What I AM concerned about is my attitude. I am making daily efforts to change how I feel about myself: not to be ashamed and worried, not to hide under big clothes and dark colours, but to race powerfully through the life God gave me with the muscles He granted me, the strength He placed in my arms, and the charisma He wanted me to have - no matter what size I am. My belly dance teacher said, when I confessed to her (for the first time in three years of lessons) that I feel fat, "There's an inner beauty and strength that shines through, Shannon, and you have so much of that. Your body size is not what people notice first, or even second."

I didn't mean to write so much today. I was just going to give an update on the weight situation - that was all. I guess once I got going I realised I had a lot to get off my chest, after all.

Belinda, I'm so glad you are finding a difference with judicious administration of protein.
: )
My mom always (and rightly) harps on the importance of protein and always reminds me "it's the building blocks of cells. The more you exercise the more you need to build your cells."

Fox, I hope you are well and happy.

As for me, I will be getting back on track next week, when I wave a very sad goodbye to my sister Amy and my brother Mark, and my nieces. I will watch them down the street, then I'll go get my bike and do a hard 90 minutes with the pedals, to get myself going again.

Good luck everyone....carry on!

Mid Week Check In

I just had to check in and say that I truly notice a difference since focusing on eating protein when hungry and minimizing carbs. I don't feel cravings, just normal satisfiable hunger.

Last night I was about to have a slice of chocolate mousse cake at cell group, but didn't, because I noticed my dear friend not having any dessert, and she is battling the same weakness as I. I didn't want to discourage her, like having a drink in front of an alcoholic. The point is that I didn't need it anyway, or have a piece after she left, or feel compelled to eat anything at all after she left.

In fact, I'm beginning to see that what felt like a food addiction may simply have been a physiological response to eating the wrong foods. Well, maybe any physical addiction has a physiological basis, if only we understood addictions better. I'm not saying that I intend to not enjoy a slice of chocolate mousse; I will--but I will make that choice for different reasons.

Anyway, I feel totally hopeful. Yeay! And I want to thank my friends for their encouragement a and praise God for this hope.

Psalm 103:2-5 (New International Version)
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Checking In

Hey, I'm back down to 151.6 this morning, but never mind the weight, I think I'm figuring out what works.

Shan's advice about protein really encouraged me last week (see comments below post).Then this week I retook the Real Age quiz on Dr. Oz's website and was encouraged to find that my "real age" has gone down from 53.9 years to 52 (I'm really 58).

As a result of taking the quiz, I think, I got some information on my yahoo mailbox telling me how to beat the afternoon slump. 6 brazil nuts, or some dates with a little cream cheese inside of them to slow down their metabolizing, were suggested. I've tried it and it works.

Then last night on the radio I heard an interview with the guy who's published a book titled, Good Calories, Bad Calories, and his premise is that it is our recent focus on carbs that has led to the obesity epidemic, when all along, up until recently, people knew that to lose weight, carbs were to be avoided. He said that's why the South Beach diet and the Atkins diet work. Fats and protein are not the enemies, carbs are.

So, I aim to take that to heart as it coincides with my journey of this week; Shan's advice and that of Real Age. It makes so much sense, and I will not need to feel hungry, which leads to mindless binging--on carbs!

Exercise is going well, thanks to Molson! He is lean and long and I'm getting there too.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

I was in no real rush to post today, but I must. I weighed 152.4 this morning. I would have loved to be down at least 2 pounds, but I think that I need to shift my focus from the actual weight, while still being accountable here, which helps me.

I am walking with my walking buddy, Molson, every chance I get. He has slimmed down noticeably as a result, and Brenda is having to feed him more! I know I'm getting fitter and that the walking is healthy.

I find myself making poor food choices when tired and not motivated to make the effort to prepare a proper meal. Yesterday I ate three, day old donuts that were hanging around. That was supper. It's not as bad as it sounds. I do eat so well at breakfast and lunch. It's when I get home at the end of the day that the "bad Belinda" comes out of hiding!

Still, I find myself encouraged by just telling someone and I know that this blog is helping me to stop the slide.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Checking In

151 pounds this morning; the lowest I've been on a weigh in day, so far.

I am starting to reap the benefit of my nightly 3.5 km walks with Molson, my daughter Brenda's dog (you can read about some of them on Whatever He Says).

I was so surprised yesterday, to see my weight go down. Paul and I went to see a movie on Friday night. Poutine. Popcorn. You get the picture. But the walking must be ramping up my metabolism.

On Saturday I felt as if I was eating everything in sight; not unhealthy foods all the time, but hungry all day, then on Sunday the hunger had gone and I felt satisfied. Yesterday was even better. I had no cravings; I'm not sure why.

Anyway, it has encouraged me no end to be on the downward trend again! I long to crash the 150 pound barrier.

I hope my friends out there are doing well, or if not, that they don't give up. I was so cheered by Shan and Dee's comments on my last post. "You can do it," they said, in effect. I believe I can!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Checking In

I am so embarrassed to announce that I am up from last week's weight. I'm 153.2 this morning and I earned every ounce by eating like a zombie on autopilot this week.

Let's see; there was the tupperware container of four pieces of cake, left over from a celebration. Yes! I ate them all. At once. Ugh!

There were the two pieces of fruit flan, left over from celebrating Lesley-Ann's birthday at cell group. I ate them too. At once. Ugh!

And only last night, knowing that I would be weighing in this morning, I still ate a big bowl of caramel praline icecream with jello! Why? Because it was there.

I can see where I went wrong my friends. I cannot leave leftovers in my fridge. I have to give them away or throw them away, otherwise I'll throw them down the hatch! No one else here eats them. So---the rest of that jello is being tossed momentarily. I don't eat jello normally but I think it was a throw back to childhood birthday parties or something that made me want to eat it.

On the good side--and probably the only thing that saved my bacon--whoops, I don't want to save bacon do I--I have found the best of walking buddies in Molson, my daughter's dog who lives downstairs. We have walked 3.5 km each night for the past 4 evenings. I wrote about that experience on my other blog, Whatever He Says. I love walking with him and knowing that he is waiting for our "walkies" will motivate me daily. I think that is a very good thing.

I'm sorry for being an abysmal inspirer this week, but that's the whole point of Stopping the Slide, isn't it? We are here because we need help to "Stop It!"

Happy Canada Day! I'm going to spend part of it cleaning out my fridge. :)