Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Week 34, 182 lbs

A photo of me today
I'm back on track!!  While I am only down a pound, my fat ratio dropped several points during the past week!  I am only three percentage points away from being in the "acceptable" level on my fat ratio!  I can't complain about that!

My body shape has shifted again, and the slender wasp waist I had forgotten I had when I was younger has reappeared! I can almost get into some vintage (40s, 50s and 60s era) dresses my grandmother used to wear! 

I have been carrying those dresses around, wishing that I could someday wear them but I've never been able to squeeze into them.  I tried one on last night before bed and while it was snug, all the buttons up the front closed and didn't gap.  A few inches off my tummy, and they'll be a perfect fit!!
Me at my peak weight,
well over 300 lbs.
At the risk of sounding new-agey and weird, I am going to share something pretty personal:  After my last blog post I had a dream that helped me sort out all the crap that was going on in my head. 

In this dream, my former friend (the one I encountered last week) sent me a care package from far-away.  In the dream, I pulled out an old, dirty boot, an embroidered pillow case that was covered in stains, a water bottle full of dirty water and a lot of other stuff.  As I pulled these items out of the box, I showed them around to the friends who were with me in the room and reacted to them as if they were objects to be treasured, marvelling at each one and telling everybody how nice my "friend" was to send me these objects.

I realized when I woke up what the message was in the dream.  My "friend" was sending me old, worn out crap and I was accepting that crap as if it had value!  I internalized it, used it to dredge up old feelings from the past and let it take my focus off the truth of now.  How silly of me!

It amazes me how easily I fell into an old relationship dynamic and let it distract me from what I've been able to accompish.  Thanks to my new mind-set and an amazing diet, I have been able to shrug off the weight and pain I've been carrying around with me for far too long.  I look and feel younger than I have in years.  This is so much bigger, more amazing than anything an old "friend" could possibly say about me.  The power is mine, not hers.  I need to remember that.

For the first time ever I biked to church on Sunday and it was a beautiful ride!  It felt good to get the body moving, get outdoors and rediscover a section of town I don't normally see from a bike rider's perspective.  I felt so strong and empowered after that ride - it is something I wouldn't have been able to do back in June.

Tonight I am going to see Diana Ross in concert ... after a long, active day at work!!

The fact that I would even consider going out on a "work night" after a big event at work shows how far I've come!  In the past I would have turned down the opportunity to see a legend in concert because I didn't have any energy to spare after a full day of working!  I would have rather napped in my recliner than go on an adventure!

Today I biked to work, there's an event at the center that will keep me here after hours, and then afterwards I am going to drive to San Antonio to take in the concert!!  Freaking unbelievable!! 

The miracles just keep happening!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Week 33, 183 lbs.

My neice Scarlett and me at
the San Antonio Riverwalk this
weekend.  Not a great picture - my
expression is weird and my jeans
were too big, but so much better
than any of my old fat pics!
This has been a week of ups and downs... and as you can see, my weight went up for the first time in ages.... but it's not dragging down my spirits. 

Old mental garbage in the form of a person I hadn't seen in years resurfaced this week.  A lot of feelings that I thought I had shrugged off came back to the surface and it kicked off some nasty binge and sneak eating.  I also had a special meal with family at a restaurant that didn't have any Ideal Protein-friendly menu items and indulged in appetizers along with my meal.

Instead of letting this derail my progress I am facing the issue head-on, taking a good look at the behavior and not caving into guilt or self-defeating behaviors.  Two pounds is not a huge gain and it won't take me long to take it back off.  It's more important for me to figure out what's going on in my head, move past the episode and get on with the task of getting my fat ratio down to a healthy number.

I enjoyed the meal with the family and don't regret the things I ate that night.  It was a special night with special people and on any other diet week, it wouldn't have set me back.  What hurt me was the self-destructive behavior I allowed myself to get into.

I've come so far and have grown up so much over the last few months, that I am not going to let old behaviors that are based on old emotional hurts keep me down for long.  I need to remember to be kind to myself, love myself for who I am and keep the past where it belongs - in the past!!  I also need to remember that the opinions of others are just opinions. Another person's opinion of me is none of my business, they're rarely based in truth and they do not define me.

Instead of beating myself up for bad choices, I treated myself to a haircut this afternoon.  It perked me up and I am back on the program 100% - I'm ready to make some real progress and get on with my life!

There have been some celebrations this week, and I choose to focus on those from here on out.  I have reached the milestone of getting too small for my undies!  I've lost weight in the past but never to the point where I had to get new undies because the current ones were falling off me!  The size I am wearing now is three sizes smaller than what I was wearing when I started Ideal Protein.

While I was shopping for undies I got new shirts, all in either large or medium, and two new pair of pants, size 14.  It was amazing to me how loose the 14s fit.  I did a small happy dance in the fitting room when I realized I  could get into and zip up a size 12.  The 12s were so tight they bordered on obscene, so they stayed in the store.  I'll be wearing those 12s in no time, though! I can't help but wonder what size I will be when I reach the end of this journey. 

I also treated myself to two sweet little night gowns to replace the old, baggy, worn out pajama pants I've been wearing around the house.  The retirement of the old pajama pants is a sure sign I've turned over a new leaf - and I think my husband was ready to see those horrors leave my wardrobe!  He did say something really nice when he saw me in the new night gear!
Compliments go a long, long way and I doubt I'll get tired of hearing them.  Not only is my husband saying nice things about the way I look, I am getting a lot of compliments from friends and business acquaintances on my new size. The compliments had died down for a while and the only thing I can figure is that I am wearing clothes that fit me again and the changes in my size are more evident now that I am wearing the correct size.

So until next week, I'm fighting the good fight and reigning triumphant over the boogeymen!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 32, 181 lbs.

Last week I was diagnosed with influenza, strain b, so there's not much to report.  I spent most of my time since my last weigh-in coughing, sneezing, sleeping, moaning, aching and staring blankly at crime shows on TV so it's all a bit of a blur.

I didn't feel much like eating, nor did I spend a lot of time in my diet mind-set while I was sick.  I just focused on resting and getting better.  I was half on and half off the diet and still managed to drop three pounds in spite of everything.  My fat ratio dropped, too!

Before I got really sick, I had a funny thing happen.  A person I hadn't seen in about a year dropped by my office, looked me straight in the face and asked, "Where's Lanza?"  Most of the time when people don't recognize me, it's only for a moment.  When they hear my voice or take a good look at my face they realize who I am.  This lady didn't have a clue who I was even after I greeted her by name and made full eye contact.

I told her I was Lanza, but even then she stared at me for a beat or two, not believing, before belting out a startled, "Well, what the h--- happened to you?!" She was totally creeped out by the experience.

Now I am back at work, over the flu but still coughing, and ready to knock out these last few pounds so I can move on to the next phase of the diet.  I am not sure how much further I have to go.  In my head, I'd like to be in the 140-50 lb. range, but it all hinges on my fat ratio and where I am when I hit the "healthy" range.

Have a great week! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Week 31, 184 lbs.

People say the darndest things to formerly fat people:

"You're half the person you used to be"

"Well, you're just going to dry up and blow away!"

"You're a shadow of your former self."

"If you turn sideways we won't be able to see you!"

I hear statements like these several times each day and I hate to admit it, but they are starting to irritate me.   I know people are mostly well-intentioned and are expressing amazement at my recent transformation, but I am amazed at how many of these statements have a unintended negative tone. 

The comments don't cause a huge irritation and I don't get upset about them, but they do give me pause every time I hear one of these statements.

It's as if by losing weight, they're saying I have somehow become less of a presence than I was before.  The other day I got the "shadow" comment for the umpteenth time and responded with an enthusiastic, "Not at all! I am finally out of the shadows and am more vibrant than ever."  I think that surprised the lady I was talking to.

It's true!  I am living out loud for the first time in my life.  Already I am halfway to fulfilling one of the New Year's resolutions I made in the earlier posts.(One exhibit down, one more to go!)  My art is on display in a gallery in the art center where I work!  I had to scramble to get it together, but my spirit balls, vessels and assemblage art are all on display for the world to see. 

I've shown my art publicly in the past and have even sold my work, but I want to do more with it.  So when a friend was looking for artists to participate in a joint exhibit at the center and offered me a space I took it.... and then made myself follow through.

I am putting pictures of some of my work here on the blog: Two spirit balls and my assemblage, "A Curious Lichen."  The assemblage is a piece of wood with colored glass balls growing out of it.  It's strange, but it's what I wanted to do.

Now that I feel tons better than I have in years, I want to be more present in the world, to be more active and alive.  I want to build my artistic skills and create more often.  As Wayne Dyer once said, "I don't want to die with my music still inside of me."

My art is just one small aspect of my life.  I am growing in so many other areas, too.

I am not a shadow of who I used to be. I am not drying up.  I am not less of a person and I am certainly not about to disappear!

I'm out of hiding, folks.... so the world had better take notice!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reaching the Century Mark!

Left:  Me at 288 lbs                   Right: Me at 186 lbs.
Now that I am a full 100 lbs. lighter than when I started this journey, it's time for another photo comparison.

I know I've said this before, but back when I started this journey I had a lot of skepticism.  I didn't think this kind of weight loss was possible ... especially in the short time I've been able to accomplish the task.

I still have a ways to go before I am where I want to be, but the end is in sight.  I feel fantastic!

I feel younger, more vibrant, happier, alive, and proud!  I am so different in personality and attitude from who I was 100 lbs. ago I don't even recognize myself.

  If I hadn't dropped all the unnecessary baggage I was carrying around in the "old days" I wouldn't have been able to come this far.  I still have a lot of work to do, but I am a lot better to myself than I used to be - and I am enjoying getting to know who I really am.

Candid photos are the most shocking, aren't they?
Recenly, my boss sent me the photo on the right of this page.  It was taken at a seminar back in April of last year.  My boss said she found this picture on the internet and wasn't sure this was me because I don't look anything like this anymore.  I cringed when I saw this photo.  I remember this day vividly.  I had seen an old friend that I hadn't seen in years as I was walking into the building.  He was working for the hotel where the seminar was held and I happened to park my car near where he was.  I remember sitting in the car, not wanting my old friend to see me. I considered moving my car to another area but I eventually took a deep breath and stepped out of the car.  I waved when he looked up and saw me and then made a beeline for the seminar.

Because I was so horrified with myself and how I looked, I missed an opportunity to catch up with an old, valued friend.  I never want to go back to living like that.  The woman in that photo is not a happy person. She's miserable and it wasn't just about the pounds she was carrying around.  It was about how she felt about herself, too.  The woman in the photo above is an illustration of the damage a lifetime of self-hate can do. 

No diet in the world would have helped me if I hadn't made a conscious effort to change the way I felt about myself and started to appreciate who I am.  I am a beautiful divine child of God, regardless of my size. When the time was right and I had my attitudes in the right place, I was able to stick with the Ideal Protein program and shed 100 lbs. in seven months.

People ask me the secret to my weight loss.  The best advice I can give anyone is to stop talking down about yourself and your weight  (for example, stop calling yourself a fat ass and never call yourself ugly).  Treat yourself with respect and learn to appreciate who you are right now.  Fall in love with yourself. 

After that, find a program you feel will realistically fit into your lifestyle and commit to it.  Once you're on the diet, become the biggest fan of the diet - don't whine about the foods you can't eat or restrictions you have to endure.  Approach the program with enthusiasm and get the job done.  Whining only wastes time and distracts you from progress. 

When you feel good about who you are and what you're doing, the rest falls into place!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Week 30, 186 lbs.

What a way to start a new year!  I am starting 2013 with a sleek new body, more than 100 lbs. lighter than I was when I started this journey a little over seven months ago. (A new photo comparison is coming in the next few days.)
I didn't drop many pounds since my pre-holiday check-in, which didn't surprise me.  I wasn't completely on plan those two weeks and didn't expect great progress.

What blew me away was that my body fat percentage is down to 35%!  That's a huge drop and just four points away from the "acceptable" range.  The end of phase one is just a few weeks away!

During the holidays I knew there would be challenges, and when I indulged in something that was off plan, I worked a bit of exercise into my day so I wouldn't lose any ground.  While Ideal Protein has been an easier diet to follow than others I've found and has worked faster than anything else I've tried, I have come too far and have worked too hard to let the holidays derail my progress.

For the first time in decades I am looking forward to the coming year with a sense of optimism and am making a few resolutions about how I am going to live my life post-diet.

Here are my resolutions for the coming year:
  • I will take classes related to my art medium and enrich my skills
  • I will exhibit my work in public more than once this year (I already have a show scheduled later this month!)
  • When I reach the end of dieting, I will take pride in my appearance.  No more baggy sweatshirts and poorly groomed hair.  (I am already doing this - but I've been so sloppy in the past I'm still a work in progress.)
  • I will exercise regularly, eat healthy and treat my body with respect and love. 
    Self-destructive, unhealthy habits are a thing of the past
  • I will be a source of love and encouragement to others and focus on being more upbeat:  Laugh more, complain less.
May the coming year bring you beauty, success in your endeavors and happiness.