Sunday, May 19, 2013
For most of this weight loss effort, I used my weekly points to drink beer on the weekends. Since I stopped (mostly) drinking beer, I hadn't been using my weeklies. So this past week, I tried an experiment of eating a few weekly points on most days. I still finished with some weekly points left. The result?
I've been hovering within a half a pound of 222 for 16 days now. This morning that was my weight right smack on the nose.
I'm not sure what to think about this. I've often said that I'm not in a big rush to lose weight right now. I'd like to give my skin a chance to rebound a bit. But on the other hand, I'm a bit nonplussed at simply maintaining when I've been OP. I dunno. I've been through a lot of stress this year. Even though my job is going great, it is new.
I think that I'll just do the same thing this week and see what happens. After all, this isn't a race to be the fastest loser. This is an effort to make sustainable changes to my lifestyle that will ultimately result in better health. I've already seen some huge benefits. So, I think it's OK for the weight loss to slow down a little right now while I'm adjusting to the new job.
Onward and downward!
My weight loss
Friday, May 17, 2013
Because I was so heavy for so long, I never really paid much attention to my actual body shape. If someone were to ask me what I thought my body shape was, I would have likely replied in a self-demeaning manner, “A pumpkin on sausage legs.” To be honest, that was kind of true then but it really isn't true now.
One of the commonalities I've noticed across weight loss communities, here and elsewhere, is that people losing weight really struggle with body image. As the weight drops off, many of us hold internal images of our bodies that don’t change to reflect the loss of pounds. Or, as in my case, some of us have an internal image that is an exaggerated caricature of a body we really never had. In the carnival mirrors in my attic, I still from time to time see myself as much heavier than I ever was.
I understand that there is some controversy about labeling body types, i.e. I’m a person not an object! Nevertheless, I personally find the four often sited body types of Banana, Apple, Pear, and Hourglass to be helpful, particularly now that I’m shopping for clothes again and enjoying it. Relating to a body type as opposed to that pumpkin on sausage legs image helps me to heal years of a distorted, negative self-image.
According to my measurements, I’m a banana. My hips and bust are the same circumference; my waist is three inches smaller. My fat tends to be fairly evenly distributed throughout my body which means that I typically don’t look as heavy to other people as I actually am. Being a banana body shape is actually a good thing! I can wear a lot of different styles of clothing and if I do say so myself, I have rather shapely calves, a nice rear end and my breasts are neither too big nor too small.
However, the lack of a defined waist can be a problem when I shop for clothes. Even though the banana body shape is the most common (46% of women), clothes manufacturers tend to lean towards making clothing for hourglass shapes (8% of women). As a result, pants that fit me in the waist tend to be too big in the hips and thighs. Tailored style blouses are also problematic for me because if they fit my shoulders, they tend to be too small in the waist. Oh and forget about catalog size charts for pretty much any body style! Those are also supposedly based on an hourglass figure but I've learned that they simply are not at all accurate. For example, most catalog/online size charts put me in a size 24 or 26 for my waist size. Um, no, I’m comfortably wearing a size 18.
Regardless, I am learning to embrace the banana. I am beginning to understand what kinds of clothing look good on the new me. I’m a bit in awe of the fact that slimmer cuts, particularly in pants, look much better on me than loose or wide leg cuts. I tried on a pair of skinny jeans last month and holy moly! They looked good! Skinny jeans would definitely not look good if I really was a pumpkin waddling about on sausage legs. But a banana? Well, you know, that’s just all right.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
For the first time in 20 years, I tucked my shirt into my pants for work. As some of you may remember, I went shopping in a friend's closet last August. One of the items of clothing I obtained was a black, long-sleeved, tailored-style shirt. The shirt was actually too small for me then; I couldn't button the bottom two buttons over my belly. This morning, I tried it on a whim. It buttoned all the way! But the style of the shirt is such that is just wouldn't look good untucked. I almost put it back in the closet but then I thought, "Oh, what the hell." I tucked it into my pants and took one of my quick, kind of cross-eyed looks in the mirror. "OK, not bad," I thought and off to work I went.
So right there was an NSV. I tucked my shirt in after two decades of not doing that because I was too fat. Well, I'm still fat (and working on it!) but not so much that I can't wear a shirt tucked into a pair of business trousers. (Pic at right.)
I had an additional NSV. This one may seem odd. Throughout the day, each time I went to the bathroom here at work, I took a long look at myself in the mirror and found that I don't like this outfit. That's my second NSV. How in the world is that an NSV? It's because of why I don't like this outfit. I don't like it because it's too mannish. The shirt hides my curves! Oh, no, no, no! I'm not doing all this work to hide what I've accomplished! No sirree! My days of camouflaging my body are OVER.
That shirt is going right into the donate bag after I wash it this weekend.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The picture really doesn't have any relevance to my post but ain't it purdy???
I maintained this week at 222. *sigh* I really wanted to drop more of that travel weight and get back closer to my lowest weight thus far of 220. Given all the excitement of my week with the new job and all, maybe I should just be happy with a maintain.
My first week at this new job was incredibly good. I've had 7 jobs in the last 13 years. In every job, something would happen in that first week where I'd go, "Uh oh...this is gonna be a problem." I've been in the workforce long enough to understand that no place is perfect and that there will be issues in every job. Sometimes, those first week uh-ohs were minor. Sometimes, uh-ohs were major. This time? I didn't have any uh-ohs at all! I am just gobsmacked at how professional every single person has been. Not to mention, the facilities are clean, new, well furnished and comfortable. The work is fulfilling and interesting. Best of all, I'm not being treated like a body to fill a billable slot or a brainless automaton. I haven't experienced a single jot of sexist, paternalistic or marginalizing behavior. I'm appreciated for my skill set and my personality. I have high hopes that this is a place where I can stay for the rest of my career.
My new employer is a non-profit public health agency. That means that there is a very different attitude towards wellness than I have experienced any place else. There is an onsite workout facility that is equipped with various machines and free weights. In addition, there are personal trainers who do health assessments and offer various fitness classes such as yoga, aerobics and pilates. They are holding a wellness competition right now to encourage people to get healthier by increasing physical activity or changing some eating habits. I'm not able to join this competition because I started after the sign up dates, but it's encouraging to see this going on and for it not to be weight based biggest loser kind of thing but to be based on making positive lifestyle changes.
The fact that the scale didn't budge this week is due to my behavior. I can't honestly say that I stayed OP. I kind of had an attitude this week about having some extra treats and not really tracking them, thinking, "I've got the WP to cover." I ate more salty, crunchy stuff this week than I normally do. I topped the week off with a planned indulgence last night of an olive burger and fries. (OH OM NOM NOM!) So, yeah, a maintain is good.
My work environment now is such that I should be able to get back on the wagon with my weight loss effort. That is precisely what I intend to do.
Onward and downward!
My weight loss
Monday, May 06, 2013
The phrase of the day is I have never… My new job is blowing my mind. I have never been in a place where on day one I was made to feel more welcome, that was better organized, or where I was taken care of so well. The people here are happy to have me! For the first time in a very long time, I’m not being made to feel like my employer is doing me a favor in hiring me or that I’m just a disposable commodity. No, the people here have been warmly welcoming and have gone above and beyond anything I’ve experienced in my entire career to make sure that I know how happy they are to have me.
Y’all, I have an office! I have not had my own office since 1999. I have never had an office like this one. It is spacious, it is well furnished, and it was already supplied with everything I need. Hell, they even put a box of Kleenex on my desk! Not to mention, I have a fine little Dell laptop, a docking station, two LARGE computer screens, my own scanner and my own printer. My days of being the unknown consultant, crammed in a cubicle with crappy equipment and at least three other people appear to be over.
I’m getting an iPhone this week. *googly eyes*
The people here thus far have been consummate professionals. My supervisor and I have really hit it off. I’m very comfortable with her and I already have the sense that her goal is to help me to succeed but also to stay out of my way. Everyone I’ve met here has been super nice. The administrative assistant I’ll be working with is warm and kind. She is the one who set up my office. When I told her, rather effusively, how wonderful my office is and how I’ve never had one set up for me with such thoughtfulness she actually teared up a little…and so did I.
Best of all, I believe that my days of moving to a new employer every five minutes are over. I’m not a project based employee here. I’m an integral part of the management team. I needn’t worry about a project being over and then being let go. I needn’t worry about being let go for lack of work. There is plenty of work here for me. Some of it is project based; some of it is not. The goal here is to hire good people, let them do their jobs, keep them happy and keep them on board for a very long time.
That’s just exactly what I need at this point in my career.
Sunday, May 05, 2013
I lost most of my bloat and water weight from my last business trip. I'm down 5 pounds this week to 222 pounds. I've only got two more pounds to go before I get back to what I weighed before that trip. I like that kind of deflation. :)
This has been a good week. I only had one downside which I won't go into too much detail about. I'll simply say that for me a measure of professionalism in a supervisor is how they treat an employee who has given notice. Except for a one sentence e-mail acknowledging my resignation over 10 days ago, my supervisor basically gave me the silent treatment. No phone call, no e-mail, no instructions on what to do my last week, just the cancellation of all my meetings. How childish! It seems that I am well done with that job and not just because of the travel.
Regardless, it was still a good week. I went out to lunch twice, once with the recruiter who got me this new job and once with a good friend. I stayed OP for both lunches. In fact, I stayed OP all week. I bought some clothes that I really like and had my hair cut and styled. I started walking on my street again and have really enjoyed being out in the lovely weather we've had this week.
I am ready for my new job on Monday. I'm looking forward to the change and the challenge. I'm also hoping to drop those last two pounds of bloat!
Onward and downward!
My weight loss
Saturday, May 04, 2013
I took the picture on the right while I was out on my walk today. It's of my neighbor's tree. After living most most of my life in Phoenix, AZ, I marvel at the change of seasons here in Michigan. Right now, we're in my favorite part of Spring where plants and trees and flowers are blooming. The weather today is BEAUTIFUL. It's around 70 with a light breeze and blue skies with drifts of clouds.
Oh, yes, and I said "on my walk." I started walking again this week. Today, for the first time since I injured myself in November, I was able to walk my entire street. That's a mile, y'all. Woot!
Friday, May 03, 2013
Growing my hair out just wasn't working. So, new job on Monday; new haircut today. :)
Thursday, May 02, 2013
The times that I have been the most successful on this WW gig have been when I was able to slip into daily routines. The times that I have been the least successful have been when my routines were disrupted. My new job that I start on Monday is not only a boost for my career, it is also a chance to be successful in my WW efforts. It's a chance to get into good habits again.
With that in mind, I've been contemplating some new routines to invoke when I start my new job.
1. Eat breakfast at home. I don't want to get into the habit of stopping at McD's or Burger King every morning again. While occasionally doing so is fine, it is expensive both in terms of money and in points. I have a lot fewer points than I used to! My plan is to create a little private quiet time for me after my shower and before I get dressed. For the past couple of months when I've been at home, I've been eating a Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich for 5 points. I'm going to continue to do that at home and take the time to read a bit. I'm currently re-reading the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. I find that starting my time with a breakfast and a little quiet time vastly improves my humor for the entire day.
2. Except for the first day and occasional eating out, I'm going to take my lunch and snacks. Lunch will most likely be soup. I loves my soups, I does. My snacks will be an apple and another serving of some kind fruit. Of late, I've also been eating a bag of Steamfresh veggies in the late afternoon. I'm counting on a microwave at my new work digs so I can continue that habit as well. Even on the first day, I'm going to have some snacks with me; an apple, a banana, some almonds and a couple of sticks of my husband's nommy home made jerky. Some of my more spectacular binges in Bismarck were predicated on me getting very hungry and not being prepared with a healthy snack. Some people handle hunger well; I don't. It sends my lizard brain bouncing off my skull bones.
3. I'm no longer going to work through my lunch. I've been working through my lunch for most of my career. However, one good lesson that I learned in Bismarck was to just stop for lunch. Even if it's only for 15 minutes or so, I'm going to carve some me time out of the middle of my day. I'll not only be toting my lunch to work, I'll also be taking my Kindle so I can read a bit. I love to read so I'll make time for it.
4. Eat lunch out at least once a week. I've been making an effort lately to get back in touch with people whom I've missed over the years. Having lunch is a good way to do that and it's a nice treat. Besides, I don't want to get into too much of a rut. :)
5. Decompress after I get home by taking a walk or riding my recumbent bike. I've gotten much too sedentary again due to the problems with my ankles and feet. It's time to get moving again, even if it is only 20 or 30 minutes a day. If my feet and ankles are hurting or the weather is bad, I'll do the bike. Otherwise, I'll walk on my street. I've gone for walks two days in a row now that the weather is warmer and I feel sooooo much better.
I think those are good for a start.
My weight loss
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
I bought a dress yesterday. (Picture of the dress at right.) Me. A dress. I haven't bought a dress since 2004! For the longest time, I'd just been buying clothes to cover up my ever swelling body. Now, I'm buying things that fit and flatter. I know I've talked about this before but I have to say it again. I'm really enjoying shopping for clothing now. Yesterday I also found a sleek silver short sleeve sweater that's a little too tight but I'm confident that I'll fit into soon. I also got a Mexican style peasant blouse. It's so pretty! I haven't had a blouse like this since I was in high school!
I'm back in the mode of buying some clothing every payday. While this is most certainly an indulgence, it's also good sense. My clothing is part of my tool set. In fact, when I was leaving the house yesterday, I joked to my husband that I was off to buy some tools.
In my new job, which starts on Monday, I do need to dress better than I have done. The places that I've worked for the last 13 years or so have been business casual but truly more towards that casual than business. In this new job, it's more business than casual. A few years ago, that would have sent my lizard brain bouncing off my skull bones. Now, I'm enjoying putting together my wardrobe with an eye towards what I like instead of meeting the minimum job standards to cover up my fatitude.
The only thing that pings my radar is that if I keep up on this weight loss gig, I won't be able to wear a lot of this stuff this time next year. I'm trying to buy things that will last through a few sizes down but...well...y'all know how it is. For now though, I'm simply going to enjoy my new things.