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Monday, March 7, 2011

Tip: Remember the Reason for the Food Plan

This past week I had a blast decorating T-shirts for a musician who likes to wear unique shirts on stage. I used to date the guy—Rickey Godfrey—years ago, and although he’s married now, we have remained good friends for almost thirty years. When we dated back in the 1980s and 1990s, I made him a few unique shirts that he’s never forgotten, so recently, when he asked for more, my creative juices started flowing again. I pulled out my old fabric paints, some of them twenty or more years old, and tested them. It came as no surprise that most were dried out and useless. Off to a hobby shop to find new paints! Wow! The colors are more copious now and priced better than they used to be. I also grabbed some unusual brushes and applicators. Loaded with my new finds, I drove home and went to work on a few shirts I’d garnered from a thrift shop at a good price. No sense in buying new shirts, in case I messed them up, right? I’d have to wash the shirts before I painted them, anyway, so why not buy them pre-washed, as long as they were in good condition?

The first shirt I decorated fit me perfectly. Uh-oh; that meant it would be too small for Rickey. Guess I’ll have to keep it. I checked the sizes on the next few, to make sure at least four would fit him, and then I dived into the process, loving every minute of it. Most of the decorations took several hours of drying between layers of paint, so I had shirts spread all over the house, on tables, on counters, and even on the floor. All around me lay examples of my creative efforts, and it felt good. When I finished, I took photos of all the shirts, before I packed the four to send to Rickey. I hope he likes them as much as I do. I told his wife to send them back to me, if she or he doesn’t like them. I’ll find them a good home, I’m sure.

It’s good to take time off from my regularly scheduled life to do something that frees me and sends me in a new direction. For a while I took art classes, simply to have something to do that didn’t have anything to do with writing and editing. I spend most of my time writing and editing, and I feared I could burn out. I burned out on painting, however, and haven’t touched brush to canvas in a couple of years.
Maybe T-shirts will be my new outlet for a while. If I can just think of a place where I could market them…

Back to the subject at hand, my food plan. It was time for a reality check. My weight loss had slowed to a crawl (and sometimes a halt), but I still had more than forty pounds to lose to reach my goal. I used all sorts of things to comfort myself and remind myself that weight loss should be slow, if we want it to be permanent and that weight loss slows down after you’ve lost the first pounds (in my case more than fifty of them). All that information is true; however, I haven’t been as diligent about my portion sizes and selections, and I feel guilty when anyone compliments me on my weight loss, because I still have so far to go. What conflict!

Yes, it’s time I admit to myself that I can’t eat a big handful of pistachio nuts, several nights in a row, without having negative consequences when I step on the scale. I’ve slacked off and fallen back into my old habit of eating too much, eating when I’m not hungry, and eating higher-calorie foods at times. As long as I’m facing reality, I admit I’ve worked out less, too.

It’s human nature to slack off after an accomplishment, and losing more than fifty pounds is a huge accomplishment. The problem, however, is that I have forty more to lose, and with my body shape and type, I can’t ever slack off for long. Those pounds leap out of thin air and attach themselves to my waist, hips, stomach, and butt, if I don’t watch out. They’re lurking around every corner, waiting for me to drop my guard, and drop my guard I have. It’s a wonder I haven’t actually gained weight, to tell the truth.

I probably haven’t gained weight because I’m still doing my best to make one meal a day a salad, and that action alone has counteracted my relaxed eating habits at other meals. I have had to rededicate myself several times over the past seven months, and today I rededicate myself again. It’s so darned hard to stay motivated for the length of time it takes to lose almost one hundred pounds, which is what I’ve needed to lose to reach a healthy weight.

On the bright side, despite all my slipping, cheating, and overeating, I have lost another pound. I have reset my mini goal of reaching 190 several times, and I’m determined to meet it this time, by March 15.

Now I simply have to remember why I went on this food plan to begin with. I absolutely must remember the pain I felt when I walked up or down stairs. The volume of medicine I had to take to lower my blood pressure and cholesterol. I must remember how I saw Jabba the Hut sitting on the side of my bed, only to discover it was my reflection in the mirror. I have to look at the nifty, pretty, medium-sized blouses I’m wearing now, instead of the size 22-24 I had to wear before. I have to remember what fun it is to buy clothes in regular stores and not have to look for plus sizes. I have to remember what fun it is to breathe and tie my shoes at the same time. Yes, I used to have to hold my breath, because all my fat squished my lungs into stillness when I bent over. I swear I will remember these things the next time I have the urge to eat more than my body needs.

Starting weight: 245
Weight last check-in: 192
Weight today: 191
Total pounds lost: 54
Goal weight: 150
Mini goal: 190 by March 15

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! I love the way you ended the article-- remeniscing about how things used to be when you were overweight. Those things are a strong motivator to stay on your food plan. Thanks for sharing, Bobbie. I really enjoy reading these posts.