Wednesday, January 2, 2008

new year and new starts

How many people do you think are starting a diet today? I'm sure there are way more starting today than will still be following their plan in 2 months. And we all know the reason for that. We want a quick fix. We want to lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks. We want someone to tell us what we can and can't have. We want it to feel strict so we know it's working. After all, if we aren't starving and feeling deprived how can we really be losing weight?

I've only done a handful of the extreme diet things. In high school I loved that 3 day diet. I would eat things like a boiled egg and 5 crackers for breakfast and lunch. But every night there was a half cup of vanilla ice cream. LOVED that part. And it was only 3 days and I would lose like 6 or 7 pounds in that time. And I was 17 so of course it worked!

After D and I got married (and I gained about 45 pounds) I did the slim fast thing. I would do 2 shakes a day and eat a regular dinner. I was pretty successful with that, too. I lost a good 20-25 pounds. I discovered jogging and started riding my bike every afternoon. Then I got pregnant for the first time. I had awful morning sickness and spent a couple of months lying on the couch doing very little. I didn't go crazy foodwise but I did gain about 30 pounds.

Then I spent the next 3 years pregnant. We did literally have our third child the day after our oldest turned 3. I never really lost all the baby weight from those babies. So I was up near 200 pounds again. D had started doing a really strict Atkins thing. I decided to try that after I weaned Clay. I did lose about 25 pounds that way. Then I got pregnant with Emma six months later and proceeded to gain 13 pounds in the month after I took the test till I saw the midwife for the first time. I was so convinced I would never eat another baked good that I had to eat at least one muffin every day. Then there was the Krispy Kreme between my house and my job!

The one thing that is constant in all of those diet plans is the lack of wiggle room. I never learned how to have a little treat and move on from that. I didn't know how to plan for events beyond my control so I was either on my diet or off my diet.

And none of those plans addressed my emotional eating out of eating carbs in the afternoon because I was just tired (I'm sure you can tell why!) eating at night by myself as a reward for a hard mama eating alone in the car just because I was alone in the car!!!

I had a lot of bad habits that contributed to my weight gains and then the ability to maintain those weights. I could easily polish off 2-3 pints of ice cream in a week. All alone on the couch at night. That was one of my huge rewards. I deserved to soothe myself that way, or so I thought.

Then there was the situation I find myself in now. I have lost weight (though I have never lost this much before) but now I have gained a little back (4 pounds was the highest, but now it's only about 2.5). In the past I would just continue to gain. When I follow my eating plan and forgo the treats like I know I should, I stop craving them so much. But when a holiday comes or a vacation or something else out of the ordinary, I indulge and it's hard to get past that. It starts me in on daily binges and out of control eating. It's always been really hard for me to get out of that cycle without gaining 15 pounds or so.

This time? I was up to 157 even on Sunday morning. The night before had been pizza and this crazy apple crisp pizza thing from Papa Murphy's that was just plain DANGEROUS for me!!! Sunday I decided enough was enough and I jumped back on my wagon. It was really hard. And there were slip ups that day. But I really tried to do better.

Then Monday and new year's eve. We stayed in and watched a movie with the kiddos. I really wanted some ice cream and I still had a coupld of dailies left. So I did have my ice cream. Yesterday was so much better. And today I think will be a great day too.

I have learned so much with WW in the past year. I HAVE to follow a plan that allows me to have treats. I need to structure of the Good Health Guidlines to remind me what I should be eating. I like the variety of being able to eat anything really. No food is a bad food. I just have to work it into my daily (and weekly) plan. That's the other thing. I can have a couple of really big eating days as long as I keep the other days in check.

I feel like I am just rambling now. But I have made huge changes with WW in the past year. I feel like I have conquered so many of my food demons. This past week and a half or so have been really hard. I have eaten too much. I have gained weight. But I know what to do now. And it's nothing extreme. It's eating the food I love. The food I have on hand. The food that doesn't make me feel like I am on a diet.

My resoltions this year? It's about movement for me this year. I started walking consistently last spring. I really loved my morning walks all spring and summer. It was my alone time to listen to music and just have time alone inside my head. WHen school started I stopped making time in the morning for that. Then I started doing early walks with my neighbor. It was good to have the accountability of knowing she was waiting for me, but it wasn't the same. Then it started getting colder and snowier. I got a nasty cold around Thanksgiving and have just given up since then.

I have really thought about what I should do in the new year to get back to moving more. Should I get a DVD to do at home? Should I sign up for a class? For me, it's really not about the cardio workout. I enjoy getting my heartrate up, but I really like that alone time to just think. A class wouldn't be the same. A DVD at home with the kids (or dogs) coming to watch wouldn't be the same. There's the gym (or the rec center) but I have never even been on a treadmill before and I'm not sure I would even know what an elliptical looked like.

So what to do? Our local rec center is offering some free orientation things for some of the equipment. I am going to the cycling one on Saturday and a Cardio/Strength Training one in another week or so. I am going to aim for 3 trips to the gym each week. I plan to go early in the morning and be back in time to get children ready for school. What if I don't feel like getting up early? They have babysitting there too so I can't use my kiddos as an excuse.

Will it be the same as my morning walks? I don't know. But it's something for now till all this snow melts anyway!

Troops are restless and I have written a here's to an OP day!!!


CaRoLyN said...

Thanks for this post Noelle. It's just what I needed. I put on a few pounds over the Holidays too and now I know what I have to do. I'm having a great OP day and I feel so in control!

I think you have come a long way this year and you are now starting to understand the meaning behind your food issues. Not only do you understand then but are can anticipate problem areas and trigger foods and deal with them in advance. I think the gym is a great idea! I can't wait to hear how it goes! The elliptical is a great machine to get your whole body moving and to burn lots of calories! Good luck!

Kathy said...

I so relate to your eating in the past just because you were alone. I need alone time so much and it's hard to find when you have young children. It seemed there was always someone or something making demands on I would literally escape in was so soothing and comforting...the perfect medicine if weight gain wasn't the side effect!

At least you're beginning this year just a couple of pounds from your goal!!!...and you are comfortable with your plan and confident you know how to maintain your weight loss. What a great accomplishment that is. And the lessons you have learned will be modeled by your children...even better.

And just as you have found an eating plan that fits you, with some experimentation, you will also find an exercise plan that fits you too.

Great start to a new year.

Kate said...

Sounds like you have such a good frame of mind starting this year. It's easy for all of us to get off track for the holiday season with the craziness, but it's important we get back on track ASAP to minimize that weight gain. I'm in the same boat as you, so we'll be taking off the "holiday pounds" together.

As far as the gym, you could try just walking on the treadmill, I think you would find it the easiest machine in the world to use!

Swizzlepop said...

I totally remember the 3 day diet and I did it in HS too and who can forget Slim Fast? It sounds like you have a great attitude and are starting off the new year right. Have fun at the equipment orientations and i hope the gym does the trick for you!

TB--Milwaukee said...

My signature line on the WW boards is: Think you're eating when no one is looking, they will see it on your waist later.

I miss my walks as well. I'm still not doing well walking on the icy, snowy sidewalks. Just isn't the same since I'm concentrating so hard on not falling, can't have the "alone time." I agree it is important!

Spring is on the way.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite movie quotes of all time is from Clint Eastwood as "Dirty Harry" Callahan in Magnum Force when he says, "A man's got to know his limitations."

That's part of what makes us successful. Bending but not breaking. Knowing when to back away. Fortunately for us, WW is a plan that can accommodate that.

Good luck at the rec center on Saturday!

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

As usual my friend, you've given me lots of good things to think about. I just totally relate to everything you've said. I would venture to guess that I've gained about 4 pounds total too, but I won't know for sure until I weigh in next Tuesday. Part of me is so frustrated with myself that I just want to give up! But like I said, reading this post has given me a lot to think about. And to answer your question: NO the gym is not nearly as nice as a walk alone in the cool morning breeze... but a romp on the elliptical with an ipod is a close second!

Terri and Bob said...

Again, I come here just when I needed you! I love your word choice of food demons. I need to make a list of those! That might help me make a better choice if I could put a devil's face next to those items!

I managed not to gain but the loss was minimal. I am learning that any loss is good. and, sometimes maintaining is good, too!