Monday, June 13, 2011
Becoming and staying slim
Back when I started this blog, just over a year ago, I wrote my first post giving up all my body secrets. How much I weighed at the time, my height, my calculated BMI and my dissatisfaction at this weight. At the time only two people, who did not know me in real life, did not even live in the same country as me, knew about my blog.
Over time, I have told my sister, mother, and one girlfriend about it. And many other people who don’t know me in real life started reading too. Even though my body was still bothering me, I felt shy about sharing it. I was also worried about jinxing myself too. Mere seconds (or so it felt like) after sharing my Countdown to 40 post, I fell off the healthy living wagon and was not as svelte and slim as I would have liked for my birthday.
For the way my mind works, I find it doesn’t work for me to have a goal time such as a birthday, Christmas, wedding or summer. I just rebel against it straight away. When I was married three years ago I was a little slimmer. I had it in my mind I would look lovely in the photos and then, relaxed. I slipped back into some old habits and as a result every time I look at our wedding photos all I can see is a podgy stomach in my satin dress. The poor posture didn’t help matters either.
The trouble with me is that I am not a naturally thin person, who happily chooses the low-calorie option. My sister has a current obsession with carrots and can’t get enough of them. I, on the other hand can be obsessed with any of the following: popcorn (non-natural), potato chips, ice-cream, etc. Do you see the difference here and how it would translate to the hips?
In the past I have dieted with Weight Watchers and achieved great results. Unfortunately my maintenance follow-up was not so great. Rather than continue on with my healthy eating, I would assume that once I was skinny, I would just stay that way. Sadly, that is not the case. By slipping back into my old habits, the weight would creep back on and the 5kg (11 pounds) I had been so diligent about saying Au Revoir to, was back with me. Bonjour!, it would say.
We all know that the ideal French woman (and indeed many real ones) are very disciplined with their caloric intake, thus ensuring they stay their ideal weight and are making the most of their lovely clothes, which are all the same size, not varying from 10 up to 12-14 as mine are.
Even though I said to myself ‘no more Weight Watchers’ after finding it too restrictive, earlier this year in March I found myself turning up to a Weight Watchers meeting near work. I decided that I would try the new points programme and told myself I would continue going to meetings until I reached my goal weight of 57-60kg (125 to 132 pounds). I was over 70kg (154 pounds) at the time, almost exactly the same as listed in the first post of this blog.
Clearly I needed a little external discipline to help me along as I hadn’t lost anything myself. And if I had, it was back. Now, I don’t buy this ‘perhaps that’s the weight you are naturally’ business. Not for me anyway. I could shovel in all sorts of crap foods. Sweet or salty snack foods are designed to make you want more. And I wasn’t happy with how I felt or how my clothes (the ones I could fit) looked.
I have found that you can train your palate, and that the more you have of something, the more you want of it, whether that something is a big, crunchy, plain salad, or a large bag of jellybeans. Even knowing this, and knowing how those two things make me feel (one, vibrant, alive and quenched, the other, a hot headache and craving for sugar) didn’t help me make good decisions all the time.
Rather than rebelling against discipline, I have decided to look at it like money. If you spend more than you earn, you go into debt. In my younger years I did just that, but now, for many years I happily have savings building up, and not many problems resisting purchasing temptation.
Not so with food. Obviously I regularly went into debt with food and drink, and had the not-so-chic figure to show for it. I now look at my Weight Watchers points as a budget to spend. And so I won’t go hungry or over-spend, I have to use it wisely.
I can happily report that the new Weight Watchers programme is working really well for me, and seems much easier to stick to for the long term. I can have mini blow-outs every week if I want (and I usually do) and still decrease on the scales. This is the way to keep me interested. If it’s not fun, I don’t want to know about it.
I never attended meetings before, so that may be helping too. By saying to myself I am committed to attending until I am a certain weight, meant if I didn’t want to waste my money, I’d better do something about it.
I am happy to let you know I am now 6-7kg (13-15 pounds) lighter than I was, and at least halfway to my goal. I have had to buy a few new items of clothing, because my jeans are falling off me. Some have been put away to get rid off as they are ridiculously huge, and some I am able to cinch in with a belt for now. Jeans that I formerly could not sit in for more than five minutes at a time.
So I guess the purpose of this post is to face the fear and do it anyway. My fear was if I wrote about my weight loss, I would jinx it once again. Now I know this is silly. The books I have been reading lately, old books I have had for a long time (a few listed below) reminded me that I make up my mind, I make my reality. I wrote down a quote the other day which really spoke to me:
‘I know what I like, I know what I don’t like. I know the way I want to live, and I make it happen that way’. – Anthea Turner
Inspiring Messages for Daily Living by Dr Norman Vincent Peale
Seeds of Greatness by Denis Waitley
10 Days to a Great New Life by William E. Edwards
The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr Norman Vincent Peale (I’ve been listening to the audiobook in the car)