Letting Go and Getting Smart

For years and years I’ve struggled with my weight, as most of you probably know since I do write about it here.   To this day, I pull at my shirt while walking around in my own house to “hide my fat”.  I sneak an extra piece of bread or something just so I don’t get any looks from my family that convey “another piece?”, not that they would ever do that because they wouldn’t.  I’ve sat in the dressing room having  a 5 minute cry because everything I tried on didn’t fit.

And now I’m starting new habits where I’m embarrassed to be buying that fountain Dr. Pepper, even though I can’t live without it.   I’m worried that the person in the seat next to me will be thinking I’m taking up too much room, even though those airplane seats are really small.  I wear a jacket even when I’m hot so that I can occasionally let my gut relax, hopefully without anyone seeing and just long enough to let that muscle relax for a minute before I start sucking it back in.

I’ve had some amazing conversations where *I* end up being the focus because of my weight.  It wasn’t until the last two recent ones I had, that opened my eyes a lot.  The first one being with the fitness consultant I met with while staying in CA recently.   I had the awesome opportunity to meet with a fitness consultant (Michael) at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake CA.   This hotel is dedicated to health and wellness.  It’s amazing and absolutely beautiful and filled with everything you can imagine to be healthy and relax.

Michael began by asking me a number of questions, in addition to the pre-questionnaire I filled out prior to my arrival.  He was very nice and I could instantly tell he “got it” and “got me”.  Of course one of the questions he asked me was how much I wanted to lose, what I thought would make me happy.  I immediately said I’d be happy with with a 40lb weight loss, because I would.  We got on the treadmill and he asked me what I was doing at home and explained the different things about the treadmill.  I explained that I was jogging at 5.0 for 2 minutes, walking at 3.5 for 1 minute.  He then had me get off, walk over the weights, where he gave me a weight in each hand.  Yes, they were heavy.  He was leading me around the gym, the spa, the pool only to lead me write back to the weights where I was breathing a bit more heavier than before, and said, “Do you realize you just walked around with the amount of weight you want to lose?”  Wow.  That was an eyeopener to me big time!  “Now can you imagine how that extra weight could hurt your knees while jogging, particularly when you’re not conditioned to workout?”   It was a silent moment for me; a moment that I realized just how heavy that 40lbs really was and the fact that it was on me and shouldn’t be.

We headed back to the treadmill where he we did an exercise to test my heart rate, without getting it up too much.  And what he showed me was  pretty cool because it had never occurred to me that I could do it without jogging or feeling like I’m about to pass out.  He had me start walking at 2.3, then 3.0, then 3.5 with no incline, then  3.8 on a 7.0 incline where he could see I was breathing harder.  And then he said, “That’s where you need to be when working out. You don’t need to be jogging yet.  You can burn the same calories on this incline as you would if you were doing the other.”  wow, just wow.  While it was plenty enough to have me breathing hard and have burning calves, it was making my side hurt bad or making me feel dizzy like I do when I jog.  And then I realized that with the Smart goals we discussed, I could do that.

Smart Goals.

S -specific

M -measurable

A -attainable

R –realistic

T -time frame

He asked me to create smart goals for myself using all 5 of those.  Here are my Smart Goals:

  1. I will drink a minimum of 2 full glasses of water a day, which is 2 more than I currently drink, at least 3 days a week for two weeks.
  2. I will walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes 3 days a week for 2 weeks.
  3. I will take 5 minutes to write down my feelings for the day, everyday, for 7 days.

Now you may look at it and think, “gosh, those don’t seem like much.” but the fact is, they are, for me at least.  I don’t drink water so instead of trying to do away with soda, I’m forcing myself to add water because some is better than none.  The same with the treadmill.  Some, is better than none.

Because of the second discussion with man #2 (aka SS from the airplane), I realized that I have a lot of emotional baggage that is keeping me from being successful, which is why I’m writing my feelings down as one of my goals.   He spoke very natural to me and in a nonjudgmental way that comforted me.   It was a 3 hour flight that flew by with deep, thoughtful conversation.  He helped me to understand that 5lbs at a time does matter, even though it seems like the end result might seem unattainable.  He shared stories with me of success that were inspiring.  He was inspirational.

I realize that I have to let go in order to heal and that’s what I’m going to do.  Just like the above smart goals, I vow to heal my body & mind, starting now.

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  1. says

    Weight is an increasing issue amongst many folks today. Young and old, people tend to do less physical activity and tend to eat more fast food or process foods. Diets which seem to not only add weight but are not healthy.

    I write about cast iron cooking at our web site and the days of the trail drives where cowboys ate most beans and biscuits drinking coffee and water. Sadly, Dr Pepper company came at the end of that error although this cowboy drinks it daily.

    I’m one to talk since my metabolism burns weight as fast as I can talk. One of those slim things that people say, you should talk. However, I understand what you say and grieve some in your pains.

    We live in a world where we must learn to love our self first. Be proud of who we are, what we represent and strive to do those things we believe best. Often, we do some things we know we should stop such as smoking cigarettes, driving perhaps to fast, sitting behind the computer when we could get up and go for a walk.

    Goals should start small and build just as your coach instructed. You do not become a victory team over night. It takes time to start, build and increase. Be it in a business, cleaning out the garage, or any goal one has….baby steps. Although, just like all children as they learn to walk, we must learn to run again in those things we love.

    I’m proud that you can begin to talk about this as this is now the season where we eat the most and have the highest weight gain in the year. For a woman who not only has a different metabolism than me, but always hormones, menstrual cycles and such that makes a woman Venus and a man Mars, it may seem even harder.

    However, to begin this road….begin to remember….you are a beautiful person. You have a handsome family and that loves is of utmost importance. Your family will love you no matter if you are successful or not. However, you have to learn to love yourself first. Be proud of those things that make you the person who we come to read her daily events and how to make a special ranch meal. To read the silly things about the ranch and kids that makes your life an envy for many. It has many blessings.

    Next, your program seems measurable and realistic. Start and don’t stop but then do not allow the struggles to depress you. Find that comfortable means that makes you happy and bubbly. Depression leads to far worst health problems than just weight. It’s added stress and lack on being inspired. I’m glad that you are inspired and stay that way. Write that on your bathroom mirror, I AM INSPIRED:

    Weight lost is merely the right amount of healthy food in, exercise and healthy life to burn that fuel food as we know as calories. Snack on healthy alternatives, carrots, celery, bell pepper slices and have a grape fruit. Write perhaps about some of the foods you change your diet towards. But remember, it is not the Dr Pepper that puts weight on a body. It is the lack to exercise and remove the calories in the soda.

    Last note is the weight did not come over night. It takes time to loose and it takes time to gain. It will seem longer taking the weight off and keeping it off. It will take changing habits, doing those simple things like drink more water, which I too am so bad at during winter months. Coffee, soda, more coffee and did I say Dr Pepper….It is our favorite drink. However, I too need to exercise, not for weight lost but for health reason to stay strong. Be alive and watch my son grow up. Then you hit a trim point where inches are lost but weight seems to gain. That will be a good sign when it all becomes muscle weight. I look forward to your success and don’t stop at the tread meal. Take the husband and kids on a walk too making it a family thing.

    I believe in you and trust that you will work at it hard, if it really is all that important. Since it made you cry, I believe it really is important so don’t stop. You can do it and always, you are beautiful….remember that.

  2. says

    I’m proud of you and your goal setting. As someone who’s struggled with weight and lost for most of my life I can honestly say it’s hard to come to realizations about yourself and to let go of self imposed negativity.

    I was diagnosed with diabetes a little over a year ago and had to change my eating drastically. I was a Pepsiholic and had to give that up. I wouldn’t touch diet soda so it was cold turkey. I instead drank calorie/carb free flavored waters. One day about 3 months after I gave up the Pepsi I took a swig of diet and it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I still can’t drink it unless I’m eating something but I can order a diet soda when out in a restaurant now. But I’ve learned to get by on ice water with the emphasis on ICE.

    I’ve lost 35-30 lbs in the process and one day I went to the store and realized I had a spring in my step that wasn’t there before. My knees didn’t hurt when I walked across the parking lot and I actually felt better. I still want to lose more weight but I’m happy with the weight I’ve lost so far and don’t plan on putting it back on.

    My husband and I vowed to both eat healthier and no more snacks or junk food. (He has a weight problem too and had gastric bypass in 2005). I realized I don’t have to cut sweets out of my diet, though being diabetic I do have to limit. I also don’t have to cut out chips and cookies. It’s all in HOW you eat them. Having a sandwich and a handful of chips for lunch is a meal. Having a bag of chips while watching TV is junk. Having a couple of cookies after dinner is dessert, having a bag of cookies while watching TV or on the computer is junk. Doing it this way I’ve been able to keep my blood sugars normal, loose 1-2 lbs a week and not feel deprived.

    Keep up the good work, keep sharing and being an inspiration to those who also struggle and I’m praying that you continue healing.

  3. says

    Lori, you are so inspiring. I’d love to drop 40 pounds myself but I have to figure out how to do that without any equipment (not in our budget this year) and find a program I can do indoors (since it’s currently 10 degrees outside & only gonna get colder w/more snow). My biggest problem is simply getting up off my keester but employing a few strategies like dancing while I clean or taking smaller loads of laundry (which means more trips) downstairs to the basement might help prevent any additional pounds from piling on during the holiday feasting months in my snowy neck of the woods. You seem to be armed with great information to get you well on your way to your weightless goal. I do wish you all the luck in the world but I’m sure you can do it.

    BTW-It sounds like you ran into a few of your guardian angels last week! I find it truly amazing how seemingly random yet so influential people magically cross my path when I need their inspiration or wisdom the most. ;D

  4. says

    Lori, sounds like you had two awesome experiences! They offered you great advice. Taking small steps towards a big goal always works better for me. When I had 20 pounds to lose, I broke it down into 5 pound goals and would reward myself when I reached each goal. I took it slow and tried to develop good habits. I would still have treats on weekends but in small portions. :)
    About emotional baggage, it helps me to get alone by myself and pour my heart out in prayer about anything and everything that’s on my heart. When I finally realize that I can’t do it on my own and turn it over to God, I feel the burden lifted.

  5. says

    Good for you sweetie. What you’re doing is huge, and it is lots and lots of baby steps to make it. The switch to water is a very big deal, it’s also really good for you too. I’ve been drinking only water for years- I had a huge diet soda addiction for years. I also commend you for putting out there on your blog. You’re an inspiration :)