Inch By Inch

December 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

Remember how I used to love the turtle? Well it seems even the turtle is moving too fast for me these days.

I have a new hero now.

The Inchworm

 

Yes I’m inching along over here.  But it’s progress.

I’ve got quite a few things to say today but for those of you that are like….”For the love of God!! JUST GET TO THE POINT WOMAN!”….I’m going to get right to it.  And then if you want to read my monologue –may the force be with you!!

Because I can write all day long about what I’m doing these days to make progress  but at some point the proof is in the pudding, right?

Poor choice of words

Ok the sugar free pudding!

So November 28 (not quite 2 weeks ago) I was here

Last Friday I was here—->

And TODAY….we are here

So unless my calculations are wrong that’s 7 Pounds lost in the past 2 weeks.

7 POUNDS

I know it’s not much but listen…for me……THIS IS A BIG FREAKING DEAL!

Because I’ve woken up to a cold hard fact in the past month and it’s this.  I’m not standing still anymore.  I’m quickly gaining speed and it’s going to be either up the scale or down.  But what it isn’t going to be is….holding steady.

And this is progress in the right direction FOR ONCE!!!

I’ve been a train veering out of control for longer than I’d like to admit gaining about 10 pounds a month for the past few months.  That’s some scary stuff for someone who once was almost totally immobile and looking at life in a scooter just to get around.   I have a serious deep seated FEAR in me that I could end up like that again.  It’s a real possibility.  Trust me.  I have all the tools and bad habits available to me to make that happen.

The thought of going back to that life is so scary that I can’t even put it into words.  Because it has not and never has been just about looking good or fitting into a cute pair of pants.  This has always been life or death for me.  And sometimes I forget that too easily especially when it’s been several years now that I’ve been able to live a somewhat “normal” life where I can fit in the world again.

You can have a lot of success but if you don’t stay guarded and watch your back, your demons will come looking for you again.  Even if you’ve lost as much weight as I have at one point in time, that may not mean a thing.  It’s proof you can do it.  But it’s no cure.   It’s no guarantee you will keep the freedom you fought so hard for.   I stood at the pinnacle.  At the highest point.  I saw the finish line in sight and I believed the lie that the war was won.  Right then at that very moment was when  I started to lose it.  Lose control.  Lose motivation.  Because I got cocky.  I thought I had it in the bag.

I started letting things slide.   Exercise…meh…maybe tomorrow.   A Snickers bar.  Why not?? I can control it now!  When you start letting things slide too much….you slide with it.  The weight starts coming back on.  Slowly at first and then more quickly as time goes on.  If you’re not careful that slippery slope may be a lot longer than you anticipated!

Come with me for a second.  Imagine me when I hit 250 POUNDS LOST!  More success than I could ever have imagined when I started at 417 pounds.  I could barely walk.  And now I’m doing Crossfit!!  I’m being interviewed by people.  I’m so in charge of food that it will never boss me around again.  My life is changed.   My dreams are coming true.  I’ve been to Disney world even!! I can fit everywhere!! And I’m a mere 50 pounds away from the goal.

I stand on the mountain top and declare victory over it all!!!  I have won!!!!

AND THEN????

THIS HAPPENS!!!!

 

Did you hear him screaming, “NO!! NO !!! NO!!! ” as he kept falling!! Like he was trying to stop it from happening but it was out of his control.  I SO RELATE!

I can’t really explain to you what it’s like but those of you who have experienced it know.  It’s one thing to be defeated.  For years on end.  To try repeatedly to lose weight but never ever get a handle on it.  That was me for decades. You lose a little but you never quite get a grip.  And then all of a sudden it happened.  My wildest dreams came true.  I had hoped I would maybe lose 100 pounds.  And for me that was shooting for the stars.  But to lose 250.

You’ve gotta be kidding me.

I still can’t even believe that happened.

But then to see it all slipping away——BRUTAL.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that whatever you’re consistent at will grow.

If you consistently exercise, your efforts will increase.

If you consistently refuse to exercise, you will lose even your desire over time to change that.

If you consistently make an effort to stay on the food plan that works for you,  it will at some point become almost automatic.

If you consistently make compromises away from the food plan that works for you,  you might just end up losing all control.

Like Chris Farley, you wake up one day to see how far you’ve fallen and go……”What in the hell was that all about ??!”

How did THAT happen!!

It’s not like anyone sets out to gain back the weight.   I never said to myself, “I want to gain back weight.  Let me make a plan for that“.  Or…”I want to lose all my progress with exercise. Now how can I go about making THAT happen?!”  But it’s very often NOT what we set out to intentionally do that is the problem.  Because I’ve  never intentionally planned self destruction.  But I’ve learned over the years that I don’t need to.

Self destruction requires no real assistance in the matter.  It doesn’t need you to write up a to-do list.  It doesn’t need your help at all.  Self destruction WILL happen without you planning for it. Because it’s a default setting.

If you don’t actively plan to overcome the areas of your life where you struggle……

They WILL absolutely plan to overcome you.

I have several default buttons installed in me.  And in spite of my best efforts, they are there.  One of those is (quite frankly) laziness.  I have never reached a moment in time even after all these years where I began to love exercise.  Now I can honestly say that with consistent effort and the right workout plan I can reach a point where I don’t hate it or even dread it the majority of the time.  I might even begin to look forward to it 80% of the time if I’m planning it correctly.  However my default setting prefers the couch.  That’s just me.  I’m naturally a couch potato.  I’m not an outdoorsy type of person.  I don’t like hiking or camping.  I don’t like to be too hot or too cold.  I prefer the house.  And it’s not that I don’t enjoy sight seeing.  Or adventure.  Or experiencing new things.  ONCE I’VE DONE THEM.  But by nature, I wouldn’t choose it.  So I have to force myself or it just doesn’t happen.

When I allow that side to take over, I usually quit working out.  It doesn’t take much more than one or two days off to utterly derail my entire exercise program.  For me the only way to really keep that at bay is to not take more than one day off from some type of physical activity.  And even then it’s a risk.  Having said that, the workout could be 10 minutes of walking down the block and back.  But mentally it has to be accomplished.  If not, it suddenly becomes ‘ok’ for me to not do it at all.  And next thing you know a year has gone by.

Getting back into exercising has been an uphill battle for me.  And we are surely not done yet.   It’s only been a week since I really started consistently walking again with the intentional effort to make it daily no matter what.  And in order to even make that happen I had to dial down my plan to the bare minimum.   I literally could not drum up enough motivation to do even 10 minutes.  And walking outside right now is just way too cold.  Going to the gym at this point is even more than I will do.  That’s how strong the side of my brain is right now that wants total defeat.  If I have to even put on my tennis shoes, that might be enough to deter me.  That’s how deeply out of it I am mentally with my drive and determination.  I’m not proud of it but that’s the truth.

So I made the decision last week to download the Leslie Sansone Daily Walk app with my only goal being to do “some of it” every single day without fail.

SOME OF IT

Wow! What a goal, right??

But for real. That has been my goal.  I didn’t even say 30 seconds.  I just said do something and it counts.   The only rule I made was that I won’t take a day off.  And that it has to be done.  And so for the past week, I have accomplished that goal.  I mean…how could I not, right?? Its almost impossible to fail a task where your only goal is do “some of it”.  Whatever that means to you in the moment.    And amazingly it’s starting to work!!

One day I did 10 minutes before bailing.  The next day I did 20.  The past few days I’ve been completing 2 miles a day and feeling much better about it.  I’ve even started looking forward to pulling it up because I’m feeling accomplished again.  And this brings us back to my point about amnesia.

I suffer from a dreadful case of amnesia!! Psychologically I forget every concept I have ever learned about the mental gymnastics that go down in my mind when it comes to exercise and weight loss.  And yet it all comes back to me fairly quickly if I’m willing to consistently make attempts to get with the program.

This week I was reminded at how quickly my attitude will change towards exercising if I can just get started on it.  I almost always hate it with a vengeance for the first 10 minutes or so.  Yet pushing past 10 or 15 minutes almost always sends me into this weird phase of being totally fine and sometimes wanting to just keep going.  It’s a strange phenomenon but it usually does kick in if I just push through.   This has been happening regularly allowing me to continue on without the voice in my head that screams “I HATE THIS!!!!!! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!”  and when that voice shuts up things go so much smoother!

The next thing I forget about is how quickly I begin feeling physically better with even just a small amount of daily exercise.  It doesn’t have to be much before your body begins to channel the Tin Man who just got a can of oil.  You’re a bit more flexible.  You’ve got a slight bounce in your step again.  You don’t creak and crack on every step you take.  And that really does help to positively reinforce the concept in your mind that you want this feeling to keep going.

So it’s not much but it’s consistently happening.  And I know my weight loss is usually the most on track when I’m walking at least 2 to 3 miles a day.  I’ve never been able to lose much weight walking under 2 miles a day even though I still firmly believe it’s what you eat that contributes more to weight loss than how much you exercise.  BUT I also recall now (again the amnesia lifting) that something about accomplishing daily workouts  makes me feel more motivated to also eat better.  So even if my workout is very short ( like 5 or 10 minutes) it still is helping me.   I almost never want to eat healthy when I’m being too lazy to walk even 10 minutes.  Yet if I can squeak out even the smallest amount of exercise it somehow makes me feel stronger mentally allowing me to make better overall decisions during the day in regards to food.

What I’ve been doing the past week:

Leslie Sansone daily walks.   Here is a part of the video where we celebrate making it to a mile.  Another reason why I probably always go back to Leslie.  That woman will celebrate just about any level of activity you’re willing to make! LOL  I’ve seen her hoop and holler over a quarter mile before.  And she continually says “Who cares what foot you start on or if you’re even doing the same steps? Just move!”   As I said before, I’m a tough nut to crack and the part of me that desperately wants to remain seated instead of getting up to walk is one of the toughest opponents I have to fight in this battle.  So Leslie celebrating every little milestone is just exactly the kind of thing I need in my life to stay motivated!

 

This is my dog staring at me like “What the heck are you doing?” because we spend a lot of time under the blanket watching movies and now here I am out of the chair walking back and forth all over the living room.  He’s only a year old and still kind of new to the family.  I haven’t been very active in the past year so for him this is all a bit odd.  It cracked me up.

 

All this progress no matter how minimal gave me enough positive feelings to get myself to make a second goal.

STOP EATING BREAKFAST TACOS!

I have gotten into the terrible habit ever since I moved back to San Antonio of going to Mi Pueblo drive thru every morning for tacos.  It’s not that the tacos I’m getting are the worst thing a person could eat.  But as I’ve mentioned here before I have an internal rhythm that works for me or against me.  I’m generally not that hungry in the morning naturally unless one of two things are going on in my life

  1. I’m eating sugar and it’s causing me to be hungry all the time  AND/OR
  2. I’m eating first thing in the morning which flips the hunger switch and makes me continue to be hungry

I have never been hungry in the morning unless one of those two things was going on.  And since both of those things are going on, we have a dilemma.   Once I start eating, I want to keep eating.  So if I eat first thing in the morning, I am hungry all day.  If I just have coffee (mixed with a protein shake that is sugar controlled) I don’t have this problem.  Of course without fully detoxing off of sugar I will still be dealing with the unnatural hunger caused by the reaction my body is having to the addictive substance of refined sugar.  But one step at a time….

This week I was successful 4 out of 7 days not eating tacos.  So not perfect but better.  What can I say? The taco love is strong in me.  But it’s progress.

I have added back in two things to my day.   My Atkins shakes and greek salad.   I eat a lot of greek salad when I’m on track.  And it’s almost like I had forgotten it existed.  (amnesia again!) That’s what I always do.  I just magically forget anything and everything that I’ve ever stocked up on at the grocery store or prepared at home that is healthy and keeps me on track.  I fall into this “I have NO IDEA what to eat.  I only remember McDonalds”  And it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world considering I lost a lot of weight by learning exactly what to eat and when.   It’s weird how the other side of me can just overtake any and all rational thought sometimes!

 

 

So those are a few things I’ve been adding back into my life lately to make a little bit of progress.  My kids also reminded me to celebrate every small victory I can.   The other day they surprised me by walking up to the corner store to buy me flowers!  That was after I mentioned I had lost 5 pounds.  I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated 5 pounds with flowers before LOL!  But they know it’s been like pulling teeth lately and I just thought it was so sweet of them to do that.  My  kids are keenly aware of where I’ve been and where the downward slope will lead if I’m not careful.  They have always been awesome cheerleaders and I really thank God for them.

 

I continue to pray that I will keep inching along.

Any inchworms out there want to inch along with me?

Love you all 🙂

 

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Barb December 9, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Reading your post made me think you might enjoy this book. He has one on weight loss also. https://www.amazon.com/Mini-Habits-Smaller-Bigger-Results-ebook/dp/B00HGKNBDK

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Jess December 9, 2016 at 9:38 pm

I’m with you, Holly! Every step – or inch – of the way! It’s a struggle, for sure, and making ANY progress at all in creating healthy habits is a win. I so identify with this concept. But know that a positive step in the healthier direction can only beget more positive steps. And I also know that regardless of how many times I fall backwards, I can still make changes. And we are not alone in this journey.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Leslie Guthrie December 9, 2016 at 10:54 pm

I want to inch along! I have followed you for years. I had lost 150 pounds and have gained back 130!! It has piled on the past two years due to not tracking, not exercising, drinking more wine, mourning and on and on and on…I can relate to almost every thing you say . It’s like I’m talking to myself, except I don’t express myself as well as you do. I am also a single parent and an educator. This past week I actually tracked my food and lost 6 pounds!Thank you so much for blogging again!

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SK December 9, 2016 at 11:47 pm

Fellow inchworm here! I lost 75 pounds this year (the most recent “down” of many years of ups and downs), not very fast, and as I got closer to goal, I just stalled out completely. Now it’s time to add back those good habits that helped me lose, without going all mentally-disordered.

We can all do this!

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Linda Kuil December 10, 2016 at 2:57 pm

I’ve fallen just like Chris Farley. 5 years ago I was at my lowest weight as an adult, 147. Last week I was 188.8. Not the highest I have been, but a free fall for me, seeing that I broke my foot almost 2 months ago during the Staten Island Half Marathon at mile 11 (I finished!) and for 7 weeks I was non weight bearing. All I could do was hop and glide on a knee scooter. And for me, my physical activity always had a direct correlation to how well I ate. Makes sense right? Can’t exercise so let’s eat ALL the junk! Running, walking, spinning, stepping keeps my head on straight. Without it I’m in a funk and sugar takes over. I go back to the doctor on Monday, 9 weeks after the break. I pray I’m allowed to walk without the boot, gain my fitness level back and start sliding in the *right* direction!

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Karen P December 10, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Is your weight loss due to abstaining from trigger foods rather than the movement?

Here’s to making a food sober, abstinence based plan. Cooking at home is a habit you can make that will cause both weight loss and more money in your finances. Plus, you have young children who are modeling you.

Batch cooking for the win. Teaching your kids how to cook real, whole foods. Try a good olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some salt with lemon or lime for dressing. Boom, money saved from junky ingredients jarred dressings.

Onward and keep going. Home cooking habits are 100% required-IMO. That was my priority #1 and still is today.
Karen P recently posted..Holiday Eating post links from Refuse to Regain, Barbara Berkeley, MD and my best food sober tipsMy Profile

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Lori December 11, 2016 at 2:34 am

Great job making these amazing changes! Slow and steady wins the race! Inch worms unite! 💖

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LHA December 12, 2016 at 12:54 am

Thanks for an inspiring post! I’m so happy for you that you are feeling more positive and you certainly are making some positive changes. I really needed the pep talk about getting back to exercise. Being sedentary is my default setting also. I had been faithfully exercising for an hour a day, either swimming, walking or biking until about a month ago, and BOOM…..missed a few days and I was totally lost. I’m going to make the time tomorrow, and realize I might also have to be an inchworm to get back to the level of activity I was doing. I agree with you 100% that diet is the real key to weight loss but exercise is motivating in some way to eat right. I also have some other issues that make exercise almost mandatory for me and I need to remember that. I’m so glad you are blogging again. Good luck!

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Kyra December 12, 2016 at 4:05 am

I’m inching along myself. Actually, I feel like I’m just hanging on until I see 2017. I’m exercising (ZOMBIES!) and I’m making better choices, but not perfect all day ones. Honestly? It’s because I don’t want to, but I know that I will. I know that when I actually lose weight and feel my best, I’m ultra-disgustingly-strict, because my body just doesn’t lose weight unless I am, and it doesn’t keep it off unless I stay that way. It is what it is.

But. This time of year is just… well, it’s about comfort, and I’m in sore need of that after my year. My goal, inching along, is to make that comfort only about 10% of what I do, and the other 90% to be bang on course.

Like you, I’m suddenly remembering things that used to work. Things that made it easy, and not seem like I was slithering along in a diet desert like I had been sapped of my will to live. I have a shake (not atkins) that is my thing too. I don’t think I want it. It makes me roll my eyes, but if I have it I 1) don’t think it’s so bad, and 2) actually FEEL better and stay on track easier. SO, I know for me it’s all about doing what I’m supposed to be doing before my brain can start arguing with me, because it shuts up when I do. Go figure! So, I’ll inch, work on not gaining, and then kick it into gear after the holiday (without throwing in the towel like it’s a weekend in vegas before the holiday.)

I’m glad you’ve rediscovered your get-up-n-go!
Kyra recently posted..I Want CookiesMy Profile

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16blessingsmom December 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm

You keep on inching along, and we’ll be inching along with you. I am right with you on the hating exercise thing. I am in fact right now under warm covers instead of outside getting exercise. But you are so right, it feels almost not awful, once it’s started, the dreaded exercise. Sugar makes me feel horrid, but me loves it so! It’s not ever just easy, no, it’s always always always a struggle, and I haven’t always done so well, but thank you so much for being honest and for sharing!!! You are not alone, and when you’re getting back on track, it makes me feel ashamed if I were to just sit here and not get my ample arse in gear too! So here’s to progress, inch by inch!!!!!
Della

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Greta December 13, 2016 at 10:58 pm

I am rooting for you! I’m at the same place you were two weeks ago–devoid of hope and unable and unwilling to focus. You’ve given me some much-needed motivation. I’m trying some very small changes starting today and we’ll see what takes. Thanks!

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russelagra March 3, 2017 at 9:53 am

Reading ur post . Its very helpful

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John Batzer March 9, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Consistency brings about consistency. It’s absolutely true . . . do a little bit today, do a little bit more tomorrow, and soon enough, you’re doing a lot.

The problem is it works in both ways — do a little bit less today, do a little bit less tomorrow.

My issue is that I’m GREAT all day until I can put my feet up — and I go to a little bit of wine, maybe a snack of cheese . . . and a bottle or two of wine down (sometimes an entire block of cheese gone), and I’m drunk on the sofa in the middle of the night.

But actually going to bed as I put the kids down? The sensible thing to do? Seems entirely impossible.
John Batzer recently posted..Where I share my end of run thoughtsMy Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm

John!! So awesome to hear from you . Sorry to say I laughed out loud at the “…and I’m drunk on the sofa in the middle of the night” comment. I know it’s probably not meant to be funny but the way you said it struck me that way mostly because #1 I’ve so been there!! and I so relate! Also I just need to laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole thing. This is SO true. The more you do the more you do. The less you do the less you do! IT’s just TRUE. Going to bed when I put the kids to bed? SHEEESH!! What intolerable madness! Doing what I actually know will result in a good outcome? PLEASE! hahah Ok I must head to your blog and catch up too. Thank you!

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