I've found a little bit of focus and motivation in the days since February 7th, somehow. February 7th marked my highest weight to date (165.5 pounds) since September 20th, which was the day I officially started dieting and writing this blog. So, basically, I felt like the 140 days (!!!) prior to February 7th had been one colossal waste of time and energy. Obviously I wasn't sticking to any real plan; obviously I was cheating (a lot), right? But I also put forth what I thought was a lot of genuine effort during those 140 days, and the crushing disappointment I felt when I saw "165.5" on my scale just knocked the wind out of me. A week later, on the 14th, I weighed 165.0 - down only 1/2 half pound after trying pretty hard all week to stick to my calorie limit of 1100 per day, and throwing in two treadmill and one elliptical workouts.
It's hard to describe how I felt both of those Mondays, but I can come close with "complete, total, utter failure." Beginning on the 7th, I've been thinking long and hard about everything I've been doing during those 140 days of weight-loss effort; the good, the bad, and the hideously ugly. I've already ranted about how much harder it seems to be losing weight in my 40's than it was in my 30's; I've gone on and on about how my metabolism seems essentially broken, or possibly non-existent. I went back through this blog and read most of it and by the time I was through something really became apparent to me:
I'm turning into a "lots of talk, MUCH-less-action" kind of dieter.
I tend to attack problems (weight-loss being one of them) with as much stubbornness and determination as possible, tempered with a little humor and snarky sarcasm thrown in. That's all fine and dandy, but at some point, it's just a lot of blah-blah-blah and the sad fact remains that the results I'm hoping for just aren't happening. I spend WAY more time thinking about what I should be doing, planning diet "strategy," shopping for diet-friendly foods, preparing diet-friendly meals, figuring out what kinds of exercise might work for me, etc. etc. etc...than actually just eating the right amounts of the right foods, and doing any type of consistent exercise. I talk and think and blog my diet to death, basically. All I really need to do is, JUST DO IT.
It was extremely helpful to re-read my past posts, because I was able to pull some things out of them that will help me, but that I had been forgetting to do. When it all comes down to it, bottom line is, I need to simplify my entire eating program and exercise plan if I'm ever going to stick to it. I'm trying to figure out a week-long schedule that I can plug into place, both for food and exercise, so that it can become a permanent fixture in my life. Our family schedules are so busy, so wacky, that every day is different. That is one thing that is definitely NOT in my favor with any kind of plan I attempt. But the plain truth is, I don't have any other options. If I want to lose my 40 pounds, and I DO, then I have to just bite the bullet and figure this out. I have to plan each day individually, so that I can be successful consistently, and ultimately not get as depressed as I've been if things don't turn out perfectly on any given day. Adding depression to a mix of fat and inactivity makes for only one thing: Continued failure. I need to avoid going there.
So, I have been trying to get happy. I'm looking at everything I've been doing, and figuring out what I need to change. I am taking bits and pieces of advice from so many different diets that it's hard to explain it all, but I'll try.
1. First, I can't eat more than 1100 calories each day if I want to lose any weight. I know, I know. This seems too low and barely possible. I hear ya. But for me, for some cruel reason, it's the only number that works. I have eaten 1200, 1300, and 1400 calories while doing cardio workouts 3-4 times weekly and I consistently lost nothing. So, for now, 1100 calories it is. Scary. This is a ridiculously tiny amount of actual food. I get laughed at for counting the 10 calories in my Tums, the 5 calories in a midget pickle, or the 5 calories in a piece of sugarless gum. It does seem excessive-obsessive, but it's the only thing that works for me, and it DOES work. When I count every single calorie, and don't go over 1100, I lose weight - period. I have so many great cookbooks that I never use it's pitiful. All are filled with things I can cook, not just for myself, but for my family, that will help me keep food from being boring or tasteless. I'm sure I'll be able to find dozens of ways to spice up meats and veggies that I've never thought of before. I have two brand-new, never opened books that I'll be diving into first, shown here:
|Why would I not use these cookbooks when I have them???|
Mondays: TaeBo Basic 20-minute workout
|The "Advanced" workout is enough to kill a normal person. The "Basic" is just right!|
Tuesdays through Sundays: Treadmill, elliptical machine, Yoga for Weight-Loss DVD, Wii Zumba workout... (and a possible evening "Zumba" class with my sister!)
|50+ minutes, 2.7 - 3.0 mph, 0.5 incline = 2.5 miles and (ONLY!) 200 calories burned.|
|This Implement of Torture burns twice as many calories as the treadmill in the same amount of time.|
|Just got this 48 hours ago - haven't tried it yet - CAN'T WAIT!|
|This DVD has a lot of different stuff on it - I've had it 6 months - time to open the @#$*^ thing.|
That's it. That's the whole plan. 1100 calories, and a handful of workouts per week. I'm also going to try to do some crunches every day, and I might pick up an exercise ball and a book on different ab/toning things I can do with it. It can only help, right?
|This woman does not look happy.|