Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Biggest Change of All - Mindset

Over the years, I've been able to make changes. I made one MAJOR life change a few years ago, in 2004, when I walked out of my last law office. After working for nearly two decades at a series of law offices, switching to a sales and customer service field made me happier. True, I don't make as much money as I used to, but I also don't feel as frantic, crazed and hopeless as I did then either.

So I've been seriously thinking about how to change an ongoing problem that I've had for several years now - my body seems actually resistent to losing weight. I don't want to be Skinny Minnie or anything. But with my small body frame, at 156 lbs. I am way too heavy and am worried about health repercussions such as diabetes, heart disease etc.

Some people at my WW meetings and at work are able to lose weight just by cutting out back on their desserts, or alcohol - or choosing a chicken breast instead of a Big Mac, or even changing from a large latte with whipped cream to skim milk in their coffee. But with me, I made those lifestyle changes a long time ago. I drink my coffee black. I don't drink alcohol at all. I very seldom eat desert - that's not even an option most of the time. I don't eat junk food or keep it around the house. I drink a LOT of water every day (64 ounces minimum and usually 80). For breakfast, I usually have an egg with a fruit such as oranges or else I eat oatmeal with nothing on it. For lunch, it's almost always a salad with fat free dressing or that spritzer dressing - and no I don't put croutons or any of that junk on it. Dinner is with my family, and I eat that late (at around 7:00 p.m.) because of my weird work shift. That's where sometimes I overeat - if I'm overly hungry. Even that, I don't go hog wild. For tonight's dinner, I already have a lean cut of roast in the crock pot with some veggies cut up simmering and waiting for a quick, relatively healthy dinner. I don't have late night bowls of ice cream or anything like that.

Yet I'm still fat. Way too damned fat. It's making me mad. Each decade, I see my weight rising by 10 pounds. It used to be my all-time high was in the high 140's, but now it's creeping into the high 150's. On a 5'3" woman with small bones, that's too much. I need to cut stop this weight creep and smash it in its tracks.

I know that carbs are a big part of my problem. Eating them really packs on the pounds. In the year 2000, when I turned 40, I dedicated myself to the Somersizing (low carb) way of eating. I was able to go from the mid 140's down to 123 pounds by sticking to a low-carb diet. I kept the weight off for nearly a year that way, but I couldn't seem to permanently cut carbs out of my diet, so I eventually stopped doing the low-carb plan and gained all my weight back. Now the pounds are creeping even higher and it's depressing.

What can I do? I have read every diet plan out there, and tried several, trying desperately to find something that is workable and actually helps me lose. I am thinking that the one that may be the most workable for me is WW Core Plan. I went to a meeting with my favorite WW leader last Saturday, and I'm really inspired by her.

This week, I've had a bad week already - a few disturbing personal problems going on that are largely out of my control. But I am determined that one thing I CAN control is my weight.

I think that when I did the Somersizing that worked for me, I really BELIEVED in it and believed I could lose weight with it. So largely, what's behind a major life change is a change in my belief system. Part of it may be the program too, but largely it's believing and visualizing myself permanently thin again. Not skinny, but healthy.

One habit I know needs changing is that we have established a bad habit of eating out a lot at restaurants for dinner. We're tired, we're hungry, so we go out. That's bad because restaurant food is packed with calories, fat, carbs etc. Even though I eat half portions, it's still not good for me physically or financially.

I want to be attractive in middle age and beyond. Since we live a long time in my family, it's important for my overall health and well-being, both mentally and physically, that I achieve and hold a healthy weight.

Unlike others, losing 2 lbs a week isn't very realistic or doable. When I go to WW and hear that people have lost 5 lbs in a week, it's just frigg'n disheartening to me. So this week, I made myself a new weight loss chart, where my goal is to lose 1 pound a week, and I've even allowed for some weeks not losing anything. I want to set reasonable goals and achieve them.

So my new thrust is to change my mindset. And to exercise. I'm going to go do my treadmill right now.


Ellen Bloom said...

I'm in the same boat as you. No matter how much I curb my eating habits, it takes FOREVER for me to lose a pound.
I'm extremely lazy. I really hate to exercise. I'd much rather sit and knit or crochet! I do start losing weight HOWEVER when I add walking or riding my bike to the mix. As much as I don't like to admit it, moving around a bit has helped me lose weight in the past. Sigh.

pamM said...

Oh man I am right there with..almost dead on for height and wt. too...(age is pretty close as well)

Every night I say tomorrow I will do....and by morning any resolve is gone. (Well I am walking more - thanks also to those gas prices!)

Elysbeth said...

{{{{{{hugs}}}}} - always fat free and comforting.

Any chance that what you take in isn't enough to support all that you do, so your metabolism throttles back?

It is frustrating, especially since people look at you and dismiss it when you say "I need to lose weight"

When you find what works for you, please share.

ColorJoy LynnH said...

You've got the right idea. I'm clear that when I lost my weight, it was lifestyle that changed rather than the food. Yes, the food changed but it was not the focus.

In 1978 I weighed about 170 and I was 5 ft 1-3/4" tall. Now I'm a half inch taller and about 50 pounds lighter, and I've been around that weight now since about 1980.

Every time I change jobs, relationship status, move to another home, anything like that, I know I need to really watch my new routine because that lifestyle change could take me back to 170.

One thing I did when I first started to lose the weight, was to decide to look pretty every day with the resources I had. No raggedy jeans. A little makeup or at least fix my hair nice. It was a commitment to myself.

It took me about a year to lose about 45 pounds but it happened. I didn't focus on the weight as much as loving myself and feeling as pretty as I could with the Lynn I was that day.

You can do it... focus on little things, on being kind to yourself. I've had it off for 28 years.