Monday, October 19, 2009

The Long Haul

Last week I didn't feel like I did well at all with the weight loss thing. I had a hard time exercising, and my eating habits were all over the place. By Friday I had resigned myself to either not losing anything or, possibly, gaining a little bit back. I kicked up my efforts a little bit Saturday and Sunday, and figured it was okay because I was ahead a little bit on my schedule anyway. Of course, this got me thinking about what it really means to lose weight. One of my favorite parts of the Dr. Phil book is when he talks about habits. See, it takes a long time to get fat. Consequently, you can't expect to get thin overnight. It's definitely easier to get fat than thin, but better to get thin (by being healthy and making good choices). Hence, if I'm going to do this right, I am in it for the long haul, and I'm okay with that.

Also, I would like to fulfill a couple of assignments in Dr. Phil's book. The first is to fantasize. I love this part. The instructions are to dream about what you would like to feel once you have attained your goal. You see, losing weight is not about how you look. In the innermost heart, you don't care what you look like. You care about how you feel. So this is what I want:

A. I want to slide right into my size 10 jeans without it turning into the pants dance. I don't want to jump, do squats to stretch them, or lay down to flatten my belly enough to squeeze those buttons closed. I want to finish buttoning my pants and not feel like a muffin that has exploded over the sides of the pan. I want to put on my shirts and not have to worry so much about the unsightly bulges. I want to feel like I can walk into my closet and put on any of my clothes and be both decent and attractive. I want to go shopping for clothes and not feel like I am completely out of place because nothing there was meant to fit somebody of my shape and size.

B. I want to know that I have control of my body- before I have my next child. I feel almost certain that if I lapse into complacency now, after having gained 20 unwarranted pounds, that each subsequent child will gain me another 20 pounds and I will never again find the will and control or even the desire to be the healthiest, best me I can be. I want to know that I can control my weight and my body. I want to know that I can orchestrate my life such that I can eath well and take the time to exercise, not only for me, but also for my family.

C. I want to feel like I can move. There's something delicious about being in shape, and strong, and flexible. I love being able to do physical labor, to get on a horse, to get down on the ground and up again with ease. When I am strong and flexible, I get a little thrill every time I bend over to touch the ground and my legs remain straight.

The second assignment is to analyze your eating habits. Basically, you answer the five questions you would ask of any journalist on any random story.

How: I tend to eat without thinking about what I'm doing. I enjoy doing other things while eating: reading, working on the computer, or even watching movies. Often I eat while feeding Cara. However, I have become more aware of the eating process.

Where: This is difficult for me right now, as we don't have a table and we eat on stools at a bar. Hence, I tend to eat on the couch or the computer chair, especially when Ryan is not at home.

What: I have actually been getting better at this. I have incorporated more fruits, vegetables, and proteins into my diet, which is good. Unfortunately, I also still eat grains in disproportionate amounts.

Why: Food is comfort for me. One of my favorite activities has always been to sit down with a book and a bowl of dry cereal. And I'll often go back for another bowl or two. I eat when I am stressed. In fact, right now as I write this, I feel myself getting stressed and my first thought is what we have in the pantry...

When: I like to sleep. And lay in bed and read books. Plus, I have to feed Cara. Hence, I often don't eat breakfast until 10 in the morning, which throws the rest of my eating schedule off for the day.

I'm sure much of this looks unnecessary and irrelevant, but I have always enjoyed figuring out exact problems and then taking practical measures to fix them. On the plus side, since going through this plan the first time, and losing 20 pounds with it, I have become much more aware of my eating habits. I need to master as many of them as possible if I am to be truly healthy. And this journey may take my entire life, with periods of ups and downs. Right now is an up, and I will learn as much as I can.

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