Weight: A New Perspective

I don’t know if everyone is this way, but I have no real understanding of weight and how I feel at any certain weight. What I mean is that I assume that if I felt good at any given time (really pretty or sexy or confident), it must have been a time when I weighed less than now. I would have sworn, in court, that during those confident times I was 30 or 40 pounds lighter than I am now. It turns out that during at least one of those times, I was within three pounds of where I am now.

I went to the doctor today for a post-op check up and asked her to tell me some of my weigh-in numbers over the past few years. I was completely shocked by some of them. Because I truly thought I was lighter before. For example, I was within one size on my wedding day as I am now when I would have sworn I was pounds and pounds lighter. But, right this second, I’m within 15 pounds of where I was two weeks after having Tobin when I would have sworn that I am pounds and pounds heavier right now. It’s all very confusing.

It made me start thinking about perception and weight. I always knew that I wasn’t really great at telling how much I weighed at any given time, but seeing the numbers and knowing what was happening at that point in my life really shocked me.

I don’t know that they are connected, but I’m also completely flummoxed when I try to decide how much someone else weighs or what size a person should wear. And then you throw in the mix of different women carrying weight differently, therefore making someone who looks much larger than someone else wear the same size clothing. I’m completely screwed.

But why does it matter? It doesn’t. Obviously my weight doesn’t make an actual difference in how I feel. I just think it does. But faced with the reality of that weight versus how I felt at the time, I see that there is no real correlation. Logic doesn’t often enter into my thought process as it applies to my weight. It’s a new feeling.

I'm only about 10 pounds heavier now than then. But I felt 100 pounds lighter

I’m only about 10 pounds heavier now than then. But I felt 100 pounds lighter

Fitness Friday: Removing Barriers to Exercise

Hi Fitness Friday people <said in the “party people” tone>! How was your week? Mine was okay-ish. I ate everything I could put my hands on had some food issues. I’m going to work on that this coming week.

I used the bike we bought! The stationary, recumbent bike. I have no excuse not to exercise with that big old bike right in the middle of our living room. Talk about removing barriers. My goal is to use it three times in the coming week.

I had some other interesting insights into my brain this week regarding weight that I’ll talk about in another post.

Did you go visit Deanna last week? We’re in this together, so give her some love too!

So, how was your health, fitness, weight, exercise week?

Fitness Friday: Meet Deanna

Hey everyone! Fitness Friday is back, aren’t you all excited? Earlier this week, I shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that I’m down to 274 pounds (when I share, I really share). As it turns out, I have three friends who weigh the same as me. But one of those friends, Deanna, is not only the same weight, but also the same height. Since we are, literally, starting from the same place, we thought we’d work on this health stuff together and share this journey. So, I’d like for you all to meet Deanna of Domestic Chicky.

Deanna and I are tackling this health/weight issue in different ways, but I think it’s going to be good for both of us (and maybe some of you) to see results through different strategies. I’ll write more next week, and do some measurements too, but for now, here is what 274 is looking like for me…

TwoSeventyFourTiny

How are your health and fitness goals going for 2013?

Fitness Friday: Redux

I’m back! In the whole healthy-eating, getting fit thing, I mean. Like so many other times, I stopped for a bit, and now I’m picking it back up. I’m okay with that.

The good news is that I’ve only gained back about 4 pounds of the 15 or so I lost starting last March. That’s pretty huge progress for me since I’m really good at re-gaining lost weight. I’ve also gained back about five inches total, but they are fairly spread out, so I’m good with that too.

I’m still working on getting the family to a mostly-meat free, plant-based, whole-foods menu. It’s slow going, but worth it. You can read about my other goals for 2013 in my last post, The Year of Taking Care. That is what I’ve dubbed 2013, The Year of Taking Care.

One big way I’m working on the healthier living thing is by taking Cathy Zielske’s Move More, Eat Well class through Big Picture Classes. It’s low-pressure, but still an accountability system. And it’s scrapbooking!

For the class, we needed to take a “before” picture. So I did (with a photo bomb from Lemmon). And then Tobin and Nicholas had to take one too. So here we are at the beginning of 2013, hoping to see much less of me this time next year!

 

Do you have fitness or health goals for 2013? I would love to hear what you’re doing!

 

Digging Up Dirt. Mental Dirt, That Is.

In an effort to figure out why I eat the way I do and use food as a comfort tool, I have started to go to a counselor. For me, this step is just as important – if not more so – as eating right and exercising. It’s also the hardest process. I like my dirt nice and buried, thank you very much.

It might be nice, though, to have a clean mind for a while.

Fitness Friday: Weighing My Options

Get it? “Weighing” my options? Heh.

Seriously. I’m weighing my health/fitness/weight loss options. Putting it all on the table. Gathering research, talking to friends, talking to doctors, trying to think of everything – every way – to get me healthy.

I’ll keep you updated.

Fitness Friday Week 18: Weight-Loss Challenge

Oh, hi! How are you? I know you probably think I gave up on this fitness and health thing, but I haven’t! In fact, William and I have just begun a little weight-loss challenge of our own. We both have significant amounts of weight to lose (although mine is more significant than his), so I thought it would be fun to compete. We started our competition at the beginning of this week and the challenge is for 12 weeks. Whoever loses the biggest percentage of weight at the end of the 12 weeks wins a prize of their choice. My prize is the full series of The West Wing and William’s is a pair of boots.

I really want those DVDs.

Other big changes include finishing up the prescription steroids I had taken for a month and my knee hurting again because I stopped doing my rehab exercises. The first is good, the second is bad.

Sherry’s stats this week:

Weight: Down 2 pounds for a total of 14 pounds in the last 18 weeks!

Inches: I’m up 2 inches from last week, but still down 25.5 inches in the last 18 weeks!

Slowly but surely!

 

William’s stats for this week:

Weight: Down 2 pounds this week!

 

How is your healthy living going? What were your successes and challenges this week?

 

Past posts…

Week 13 & Bridget Works It Out

Every week, along with my progress update, I’m sharing guest posts from friends who are making changes in their lives to live more healthily. This week’s guest poster is my friend, Bridget Ivey. I only met Bridget a few months ago when she picked me up at the airport and then served as one of my don’t-let-Sherry-get-lost-too-many-times people at BlissDom. I knew we were destined to be friends when she offered me crack within moments of getting in her car. The crack turned out to be some super yummy cracker-chocolate-butter-toffee goodness (which may be just as addictive as the street drug…I’m guessing.)

Bridget’s words… 

I don’t have a super fancy weight loss story like some.  My story is typical, I think, of many people my age.  My weight yo-yoed back and forth for years, especially the last 7 years during which I had 4 children.  Whew!  Keeping up with all four of them should be enough to make the pounds just melt off, right?  That might have actually happened if I hadn’t eaten all of their leftovers from every meal.  But I did and the pounds kept adding up and up and up.  So many days felt like exercises in futility and I frequently fell into bed at night, worn-down and exhausted.  Weight loss was the last thing on my mind.  Exercise?  Ha.  If I heard about push-ups, I thought bra.  Pull-ups?  Potty training. No lie.

These days, however, my youngest has learned to walk and (somewhat) communicate and play happily with her siblings.  The older kids are mature enough to keep an eye on the little ones and let me know if a problem comes up.  And though messes and issues and interruptions are guaranteed through out the day, I am no longer a captive audience every minute of every day.  I don’t have to be constantly aware of every.single.little.thing and I can trust them to get me if they need me.  (I still keep my ears open for loud crashes and screaming matches.)

When I first realized that I could steal away little chunks of time, I used it to do things I had to do.  I’d do dishes or laundry or write a post the was due or edit pictures for clients.  I would get dinner started or clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen.  I was getting lots of things accomplished, but I found myself frustrated that I had these moments that I’d been craving for years and I wasn’t allowing myself to use them like I’d dreamed of.  So I started a book.  I would read a chapter or two and peek in on them.  If they were still okay, I’d catch one more chapter.  And it felt so good.  Reading for fun had almost entirely disappeared from my agenda, and I missed it dearly.  In a few days’ time, I finished one book.  The next week, another.  I was cramming in sentences into every little break I could find, as if I’d been starving for words.

And then one afternoon, I finished my book and I didn’t have another one waiting.  And so I sat.  I just sat and looked out the window.  It was a beautiful fall day.  Leaves were swirling and the wind chimes were clanging happily.  I almost expected a little birdy to start whistling a Disney song.  I stepped out into the sunlight and stretched out like a cat.  Doing that reminded me of my old Pilates video that I’d loved once upon a time and I did a few exercises right there on the back porch.  The next day I pulled out the old video and pumped my arms and focused on my core and rolled like a ball.  And I did it again the next day.  And the next.  When I got tired of that, I got out the Wii Fit.  (That obstacle course is tough, yo!)  And as I began to exercise regularly, I began to think more and more about my body and my lifestyle.  It was then that I devised my own little plan that it worked for me.  I lost 20 pounds at a decent pace and promised myself I would take a break after reaching that 20 pound goal.  I did, and you know what?  For the first time in my life, I got ‘off’ of a ‘diet’ and didn’t gain it all right back!  As a matter of fact, I lost 2 more pounds and I wasn’t even trying.  Which is CRAZY SPEAK, you hear me?  Crazy.  I had heard it before and I’m sure you have as well, but it feels important to point out: It worked because I wasn’t on a diet, I had changed my lifestyle.

So what exactly did I do to change my lifestyle?  Three little things.  Honestly.  Little things.

  1. I drank more water.  Cup after cup of ice water.  It’s easy to do, really.  You just have to remember to actually do it.
  2. I exercised.  I like Pilates.  I like how calm and relaxed it makes me feel.  I like how lithe and limber I feel when I’m done. I like how the Wii games make me compete against myself and try to improve my score.  Even still, I would not call myself an exercise lover.  I have several friends who are very athletic and really enjoy breaking a sweat and pushing themselves to run farther, push harder.   I?  I am not those people.  I’ve had folks promise me that if I’d get in a habit of running, I’d fall in love with it.  I tried.  I ran daily for about a month and I never, ever (not even once) felt invigorated by it.  I had people tell me that P90X is the way to go, but after having 4 children…well, doing jumping jacks isn’t really in my best interest.  I’ve tried stationary bike, row machine, tread mill, tae bo, and zumba (to name a few).  Those things were all great, but they weren’t for me.  I didn’t enjoy them and (I know myself) I wouldn’t keep up with it if I didn’t love it.  My point is this: Don’t do what worked for your friend; find out what works for you!  And then actually do it.  Put it on your to do list.  Pencil it into your daily schedule.  Have a friend call and pester you until you’ve gotten it done.  Whatever it takes.
  3. “One less”.  This was my big life-changing plan, my motto.  It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it worked (for me).  Whenever I was eating, I’d take one less bite than I wanted.  (That meant eating more slowly and listening to my body.)  During the day, I’d gotten accustomed to eating morning and afternoon snacks with the children, but with this new plan of mine I had to be more selective about which snack I wanted.  Want dessert?  Sure, go ahead and eat it, but eat one less bite than you really want AND make sure you eat one less high-calorie/fatty food at dinner to balance it out a little.  Honestly, all my ‘plan’ did was force me to pay attention to my own hunger cues.  It made me more aware of my choices and the effect they have on my body.

During my break (which has been really more of a maintenance-type phase), I’ve slacked off a little on all of these.  There are weeks that go by and I haven’t exercised at all.  And some days I make it to lunch and realize I haven’t had a sip of water yet.  And, yep, there are times when I eat until I’m stuffed (see also: Sunday lunch).  But the difference in today and one year ago today is that I recognize that I’m doing it and I know how to change it.

The children and I went on a hike early in the week, and a another short one the next day.  I drank enough water yesterday to kill a horse! (With the temperatures rising, that’s probably a good habit to keep up!)  And today my snack count was zero.  I enjoyed the hiatus from my plan, but I’m finding that I am really enjoying getting back into it.  Twenty more pounds before my next break.  On your mark.  Get set.  Go.

Bridget Ivey is a photographer, mother to 4 amazing children, and wife to a Pediatrician (who sometimes gets paid in potatos). She lives in a small Southern town and you can read about her family’s adventures on her blog Ivey League Mama. You can also find Bridget on Twitter @IveyLeagueMama and sharing her awesome photos on Instagram @IveyLeagueMama. Go, find her, you will love her!

Sherry’s update…

I’ve had a rough week…and I’m tired of that being my status update. So, I’m back on starting today! Seriously. Stop laughing.

Successes…

  • Weight…I didn’t weigh in this week. I am beyond frustrated with myself without seeing the number on the scale, so I gave myself a pass this week.
  • Inches…See above.

Challenges…

  • Everything was a challenge this week. I mean, I allowed everything to be a challenge this week. And I started my period, so there’s that.

So, how did you all do this week?

Past Posts on my fitness Journey…

Fitness Friday: Week 11 & Getting Fit In Your 40s

Every week, along with my progress update, I’m sharing guest posts from friends who are making changes in their lives to live more healthily. This week’s guest poster is my friend, Deborah Buentello-Carriles. Deborah and I went to the same high school, and she’s the big sister of a guy in my class (Seniors ’93 Rule!). When we were in school, I thought Deborah was one of the prettiest and nicest girls in the world! Also, she was a cheerleader who wore glasses, which I thought was awesome. Deborah hasn’t changed at all, she’s still one of the nicest and prettiest women in the world (only with contacts now). Deborah shares some thoughts on getting and staying healthy in your 40s and one of her favorite easy weeknight meals. You can also visit her YouTube channel to find a few recipes that she’s posted where you’ll see just how awesome she is!

Deborah’s words…

When Sherry asked me to be a guest post on her blog re fitness and recipes my response was, “of course!”. But honestly it was more like, “hell yeah!” LOL! So let me tell you a bit about me.  I am a soon to be 42-year-old Mama, and nope, I am not one of those women who hate to reveal their age. I truly believe that age is simply a number. I am a Mama to my awesome 8-year-old daughter and a wife to an amazing hubby. I am a stay at home Mommy and keep myself busy with two online businesses where I get to show off my crafty side. I own Gigi Belle Designs (Mami Designs on Facebook) and 2 Mama’s Tees (2 Mamas Tees on FB) which I share with my very talented friend Tami Z.

As for the fitness part of this piece, let me tell you when I decided it was time to change. Well, you know about the freshman 15? I gained the 15 lbs and then some when I went off to college. At my heaviest I weighed 135 lbs and I am 5’1″! Uh huh…that is no bueno. So what made me decided to lose it? It was something major, my Daddy had a heart attack. I decided right then and there that it was time for me to change.

After that happened, my weight was at the forefront of my mind and still is. Yes, I can become obsessed with it but I do try not to be too hard on myself when the weight fluctuates (especially around that time of the month) but it happens…I knock myself down, I am only human.

Now let;s talk fitness. Find something you love to do and just do it…just like that shoe company says. If you love walking—walk, if you love running—run, if you love dancing—try Zumba. Ask a friend/spouse to be your cheerleader. If you miss a workout, don’t get down on yourself, just make it up the next day.

Next, let’s talk food. Here are a few things that I keep in mind. I always read labels. I look out for calories per serving and sodium count. I don’t pay too much attention to sugar as I am not much into sweets. I love to cook!  I sneak in whole wheat flour whenever I can. I make weekly menus when possible and try to make at least one of my meals for the week a fish dish. I stay away from sodas all together and drink lots of water. I hardly ever fry anything, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have fries…if I want them I eat them…everything in moderation.

So here is a recipe my family loves: Baked Salmon, Baked Asparagus and Wild Rice

Salmon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil paper and spray with a non stick cooking spray. Lay salmon skin side down and spray salmon with non stick cooking spray. Season with your favorite seasoning mix. Cook salmon to your liking. I usually bake until it is cooked through as my family is not into medium rare salmon.

Asparagus
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spread rinsed asparagus onto cookie sheet and drizzle with EVOO and season with sea salt and pepper. Note-I put the asparagus in when my salmon is halfway done.

Wild Rice
Here is where I cheat. I love Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice. I cook according to package.

And there you have it…dinner is served!

Deborah, one of the nicest and prettiest women ever!

 

Sherry’s update…

I am calling this week The Week of Asshole Medicine. I started taking an oral steroid two weeks ago and increased the dosage this past week. The doctor told me it could make me gain weight and retain water, and I seem to be one of the lucky ones that that applies to. I’m not saying I had a perfect week with my eating, but it doesn’t merit the craziness that is my weight and measurements this week. But, I’m sticking to the plan and working through it, and only have two more weeks with the medicine.

Successes…

  • I did much better with staying hydrated this week. I drank all of my H2Orange every day this week.
  • I worked to keep my portion sizes right and to only eat when I was hungry.
  • I picked up a cookie cake for Nicholas’ birthday this week and didn’t eat anything while I was there! Y’all, I wanted one of the fudge brownies so bad. But, I resisted.
  • Weight…I gained 7 pounds! Related: this medicine is an asshole. Last week I was down 16 pounds since I started the program and 26 pounds since my highest of 301. With this week’s weight, I’m back to where I was in the middle of April.
  • Inches…I put 6.5 inches back on. Related: this medicine is an asshole. Last week I was down two more inches for a total of 26.5 inches in 10 weeks. With this week’s measurements, I’m back to where I was around the second week of the program.

Challenges…

  • Not getting discouraged about this weight/inches/swelling situation. I know it’s not all just my behavior, but it’s hard not to get frustrated.
  • We’re going to the Hill Country this weekend to visit William’s grandmothers, so it will be a challenge to drink all my H2Orange and not to eat too much or when I’m not hungry.

So, how did you all do this week?

Past Posts on my fitness Journey…

Fitness Friday: Week Six & Kim Borchert Inspires!

I can’t believe it’s been six weeks since I left the fat-girl closet with you all! In addition to my usual updates, this week starts a series of guest posts I’ve lined up to share with you. I have so many friends who are inspiring me with their life changes and I wanted you to hear from them. This week’s guest is Kim Borchert. I asked Kim to write a guest post because she a super busy woman who set a fitness goal and worked her (normal-sized) butt off to reach it. She’s inspiring, ya’ll!

Kim’s words…

“I have never been an athletic girl. I danced for 7 years and played soccer and even football. But I was always the one with the pot belly that couldn’t run the mile without getting winded. I was slow and while I loved playing games, hated the competition of it all.

Then in Jr. High I tried the track team. I was good at sprints – short and fast distances were good. But I still didn’t love it. I had always loved the water, so in that time, I joined a city swim team. I loved the non-contact sport and loved being in the water. Again, I was never very fast, but I really enjoyed myself. I swam and joined the diving team in high school. This lasted until middle of my Sophomore year when we moved. My new high school not only didn’t have a swim or diving team, but it didn’t even have a pool!

The rest of my high school days were spent trying to avoid running. My senior year of high school I even took a modern dance class to avoid running.

It has been 17 years since I graduated from high school. In that time I have tried running and never loved it. I have fallen in love with cycling, and kept up my love affair with swimming. In the last 10 years however, I have given birth to 5 babies. Five pregnancies in 8 years really took a toll on my body and as much as I tried, I was not getting the weight off.

Feeling frustrated and really defeated I had decided this was just how my body was going to be. It was what it was and there was nothing I could do about it. Then I had an opportunity to train for a 5K or a half marathon with the help of an experienced mentor.

I jumped on this opportunity. I wanted to do something for myself. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it.

For 15 weeks I ran at least 4 times a week. I was slow, oh so slow. When I started I could barely run a mile and a half. I will never forget after my first run crying that there was no way I would be able to run 13.1 miles when I couldn’t even run ONE!  My wise husband reminded me I wasn’t running tomorrow and to just take it one run at a time.

I did this. I took it one step at a time. Some miles were easier than others. Some miles were fun and some were downright torturous. But, 15 weeks after my 1st run, I did it. I ran 13.1 miles and finished my first half marathon.

I say first because I absolutely will do it again. The weight is coming off, but more important, I found myself. I found parts of me that have been buried for longer than I can remember. I found that I enjoyed taking care of myself and that I was worth it.”

Kim is the Mama to 5 hooligans, 1 in Heaven and 4 on Earth. She and her husband are recent transplants to Texas and she loves running in the mild Texas winters. You can read more of her ramblings on her personal blog, Prairie Mama and follow her on Twitter!

 

Sherry’s Week Six update:

Successes

  • A gallon of H2Orange every day this week.
  • I put on a pair of 24 pants I haven’t been able to wear in two years (and they are kind of big!) When I started my program, I was wearing a 28.
  • One exercise session this week.
  • I had my yearly physical last week and my numbers are already improving!
  • Weight: I maintained again at 280.0, so I’m still at 10 pounds lost on the program and 21 pounds lost since my high of 301. While this is good, it’s also frustrating to know I’d be losing if I were following the program more closely.
  • Inches: I lost 2.5 inches this week! I’m down 22 inches total so far!
  • I saw several people this week who I haven’t seen in a couple of months and they all commented on the weight loss. It was fun to know that other people are noticing.

Challenges

  • I had several episodes of sugar cravings (they corresponded directly with stress) that I gave in to. I didn’t beat myself up over them, but it’s something I think I’ll have to watch my whole life.
  • I wanted to exercise more, but wasn’t able to get it done.
  • There were one or two times when I ate when I wasn’t hungry.
  • I’m really having to fight getting upset with myself when I don’t have a perfect eating day.

 

How was your week?

Past Posts on my fitness Journey…