Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Battle of the Bulge - Week 20 - Looking Back on the Winding Road

I can't believe I have been at this journey for 20 weeks.  Some days it feels much longer and others it doesn't feel that long at all.  Since the journey has been "long" and slow I tend to lose track of the fact that I have made progress.  I can occasionally see that progress, but not often.  I still want things to be faster, but this pace seems to be what is right for me.  I wish I could honestly say that if it wasn't for the health issues this journey would be at a faster pace, but I know that isn't true.  I was never meant to be an autobahn driver in any area of life, I do much better on slow country roads, and this journey is the same way.  It has been a slow winding path - back and forth, and up and down lots of hills, but the progression has overall been forward.

I took the time to actually chart out my overall progress, and I think that was what I needed.  Seeing the downward momentum really made me smile.  It put the hiccups of life back into perspective a bit.  It also gave me a sense of pride in myself that I am frequently missing.  I have set this goal and I am sticking to it, and that is something that needs to be recognized in my own life.

I was watching Dr. Oz's New Year's episode yesterday (I love rebroadcast).  He was talking about people vowing to lose weight at the start of the year, and that 80% of people who do that are off their "diet" by Valentine's Day - that is only an 6 week time frame.  I have managed to stick with this for over three times that long.  I know I have managed to achieve this in part because I have gotten a lot of positive support from friends and family.  That is something that I need and it has really helped.

The other thing that makes me smile about seeing this chart is knowing I have done it without pills or potions, or feeling like I can only do this if I am paying someone to "lead" me through it.  I have done it without paying someone to cook my meals for me (other than when we go out to eat).  I feel like I am learning how to really do this and take care of my body.  That is something that I really felt was missing on all the other programs I tried.  There was always an aspect of forcing the food to behave and not forcing me to behave.  My food doesn't need to behave, I do - I am the one with a slow metabolism and who seeks out comfort food.  I have also done this without "diet" food.  I haven't cut fat or sugars out - actually we only have whole fat milk and real sugar in the house.  I feel better about eating real food on this journey than I ever felt about fake food that I can't pronounce the chemicals (and I used to work in research so I can normally say the words and figure out exactly what they are) on any other "plan".

This last week has seemed to be really hit or miss on things.  I got another prescription for the steroids because things were getting bad.  I had joints that were swelling up and looking really gross.  The steroids seems to be helping some, but not nearly as much this time.  I am wondering if the shot last time jump started things for me, but I will take any relief I can get and I am happy that for the most part the gross swelling on my thumb joints are shrinking some. 

I have also been hit or miss with the gluten avoidance.  I have managed to remove it from most of my meals, but I am still having it in some meals.  A couple of days this week I had it in one meal a day, but others I had it in no meals.  We did go out to eat with our friend who has Celiac's disease, and he showed us that one of our favorite places has a great gluten free menu.  That makes eating there a much happier option - especially since what I love on the menu is gluten-free (without croutons) already.  Though their amazing cookie dessert isn't, but I can live with that.  

The weight loss wasn't so dramatic this week, but I did lose 0.8 lbs.  With all the ups and downs - doctor's appointments, scary test (that luckily didn't happen), and a crazy spur of the moment trip to Gainesville to help AJ's best friend move, I will happily take that loss.  We wound up eating out a lot this week.  I am not used to that, but it happened and I survived, and I lost weight.  I think that has been one of the better things I have learned on this journey, that I can have a life and eat food and it doesn't have to be crazy strict.  I don't have to live on salads and diet drinks, but if I listen to my body I can eat what I want - I just have to stop at the right point.

Score Card:
Weekly Weight Change : -0.8 lbs
Weekly Measurements : 0 inches
Total Weight Change : -23.2 lbs
Total Measurements : -16.5 inches total body

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