Wednesday, April 17, 2013

On Losing Weight

This blog is normally about crafting, but I'm going to be putting a few posts about something else up- losing weight. It may not sound immediately related, but trust me it is.

Normally I would just happily keep this part of my life to myself, but its been a big change. Lifestyle change. And I don't want to just keep it to myself any longer. This weight loss has affected all aspects of my life, including the crafting. 

It started with not wanting to look fat for the family photos that I knew would be taken at the upcoming wedding. Having not been in the same country as the rest of my family in more than 10 years, the fact I was there was going to be an instantaneous shout out that required copious amounts of documentation for the grandparents. I knew this. I also knew that I was heavier than any of these people had ever seen me what with 10 years of not particularly caring what I ate and lots of time spent playing computer games.

I also had a problem. A medical one. I was, and had been, seriously low on iron for several months. This resulted in barely being able to function, much less exercise which had been my traditional weight loss route. If I didn't want to be as fat as I was in 3 months time for all those family photos, I knew that I had to find a new way. 

I decided on Weight Watchers. I knew I'd never stick to meetings. I'm too busy, too self conscious, and would end up resenting them. I hear they're great, and I'm sure for some they are, but I knew they weren't for me. When I found out there was an app for that and an online only version though? Sold. Friends had had success with WW in the past and I figured how hard could it be? 

HARD. 

I mean, don't get me wrong, once you get in the groove, its pretty easy. But training yourself to watch what you eat, to change all your favorite recipes that you've eaten all your life, to realize that yes that single piece of chocolate has consequences, and to find the will to decide you're done for the day even though your tummy is screaming it wants more? Its tough. 

Its easier now, 11 months later. Its easy because its habit. And I think because I chose the right plan for me.

I'm a gamer. I like playing games. I like finding ways to beat the system. WW gives me that. I can game the system and still come out winning. And if I don't win this week, I can try again next week with a clean slate.

I'm not going to lie to you and say I was perfect all the way through. There have been several weeks, including this last one, where I not only didn't lose anything, but actually put a little on. And on those mornings when I'm standing on the scale, in my birthday suit without even glasses, I curse a little inside and sometimes out loud. But I know its just a step on the path now. 

I haven't quite hit my target of shedding 50 pounds, but I know it'll happen. I only have 3 pounds to go after all, and if I can get the first 47 down, then these three will come. Eventually. But not this week. Not when I have birthday cake to eat.

It is nice, however, to know that I am the thinnest me I've ever been. When I graduated high school I was nearly 20 pounds heavier than I am now. 

What does this have to do with crafting you're asking? Quite frankly, because I've become a different kind of crafter this year- a food crafter. Not every meal I make has been a beauty, or amazing, or even tastey. But I've been busy cooking when I used to craft. I have found and tried hundreds of new recipes, finding new favorites and creating new habits. I've experimented with new techniques, new ethnicities, and new technology. Researching new recipes has been bringing me as much joy as reading about new embroidery techniques. 

Its been a long road, its not over yet, and maintaining may prove even harder for me than losing. But I'm here to tell you its possible. I just had to want it.

4 comments:

  1. You have managed a remarkable transformation. It's all the more apparent to someone like me, who only sees you at intervals (even if those intervals also all seem to be food-based!).

    I don't think most people realise the magnitude of the change needed to make a significant weight reduction. It's not something the human body does well, or that our lifestyles support. The general availability of delicious pastries alone is a daily challenge.

    Other people can unconsciously make it so hard as well. References to 'going back to normal', offering you sweets with an excuse ('go on, it's only one'), or even putting pressure on you ('you've earned it') are all really undermining to me at least. The sad thing is that it's done with the best intentions, and it's really hard to keep saying no and not feel like a jerk.

    I still fail all the time, especially around buffets and trays of food. I find I can't stop, and that worse I don't want to stop. That means that sometimes I just have to avoid events.

    You should be very proud of where you are headed to.

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    1. Thanks Alex. I am. I can really hear what you're saying, although I think I avoided *some* of the same issues by choosing the WW plan. It gives me a lot of freedom.

      Trays and buffets are scary, for sure, but usually if I know I'm going to be around that I can plan for it and if I just keep pointing it up I can survive. Its so incredibly helpful to have the app in my pocket. I really don't think I could have done it without that. Its probably pretty rude when I'm out with friends eating and then spend time pointing it up on my phone ignoring them, but its worth it.

      And I can totally understand the people pushers issue. I've had to pretty much just accept that I will be eating one piece of chocolate on any given work day because I'll give in eventually, and then they'll stop. So I plan for it, and its ok.

      I have yet to avoid events due to food issues. I have though eaten feck and all in the coming days so I'll have points available for the outing. Definitely the flexibility of that has made a huge difference for me.

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  2. I'm currently going through the same thing. I need to lose about 65 pounds before I get to my target weight. Part of my reasoning is that I want to be super sexy and skinny for my husband, but the main reason is for my health. My family has a super long history of heart disease. My dad, who is probably one of the healthiest people in his family, had to have a 5 bi-pass surgery one month before my wedding. It was completely out of the blue. That really woke me up.

    It's hard. Especially with my husband eating whatever he wants and still losing weight. It's a constant battle. I don't do a specific plan, like WW, but I know what I need to be eating (or not eating) and I have an app on my phone in which I can put everything I eat down. I'm mainly watching calories, but other things (like sodium and fat) I'm keeping an eye on as well.

    Glad to hear you're so close to your goal! Keep up the good work. :D

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    1. Great to hear you're on the healthy bandwagon too! It seems to be catching. =)

      I think you're really brave to try to go without some sort of a plan. I doubt I could have done it. I needed the kick in the ass of the app telling me I'd have to get on the scales tomorrow or else I know there would have been plenty of days and weeks where I would have just said fuck it and I know I would have endlessly going up and down in stasis getting nowhere.

      65 pounds? I'm surprised at that. Would not have thought you needed that much for a healthy weight. But I'm sure you can make it. Good luck!

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