Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Looking toward the Future

On a weight loss journey, you see good things and you see bad things.  Good things are like your waist and weight shrinking, bad things are a lousy attitude (Guilty), self pity (guilty again), and reworking emotions so that you don't kill your family (not yet....).  A dear friend at The Homeschool Lounge, was concerned about loose skin, which parlayed into self doubt.  Here is my reponse to her:

Loose skin is it's own monster. Remember, that your skin is the largest organ of our body, it does the most amazing things. The fact that it can stretch so far, gives rise to God's plan making us so fearfully and wonderfully. No matter how much weight we gain, our skin will stretch, the down side is that skin can get stretched out (like a sweater), leaving us thin, but sagging.

Some skin will tighten on it own, since I carry all my weight in my belly, as I lose weight, my leg skin stays tight, but my belly is a big ol' wrinkly mess! My arms, breasts, and probably my back will suffer from saggy skin. It may not be pretty, but think about it as a war wound, because we have been to battle, and if our skin is sagging, then we won!!!!

After we lose the weight, and keep it off for a year, then it's time to start thinking about what to do with it. I say wait a year, to make sure we are maintaining our weight loss. I worry about this because I am so heavy, if I back slide, I may find myself at 350 in a matter of weeks! It never fails, the more you lose, the faster you gain it back, with interest!

So, if you find you are maintaining your loss, then it time to consider your options. For the most part, the only option to get rid of excess skin is surgery. This is elective (it's considered cosmetic), and expensive. I have heard of people using depression as an excuse to try and get their insurance to cover the costs. Personally, I don't think Christ will go that route, so neither will I. So, my next option is girdles. With the Internet, and loads of people losing weight, but being unable to afford a "tummy tuck", so there are companies out there that make girdles just for the purpose of holding in extra skin.

Maybe, that year of weight maintenance is a time to save up for a "tummy tuck", then an arm tuck, back tuck, butt lift, or the whole enchilada, if you can save that much!

Don't feel bad about saggy skin, like I said before, that's a battle scar from a defeated enemy. Focus on what you will be able to do because your not fat anymore. Unless your goal is to sport a bikini, saggy skin isn't going to stop you from anything that you might want to do.

Emotions are just that, emotions. They have their place, but they can also be a hindrance to living sometimes! We need our emotions to love, to show compassion, what we don't need is to become slaves to our emotions. It's our emotions that keep us fat. It's our emotions that "allow" us to become crazy yelling women at our families. God created us with emotions so that we could love Him, love others, fear Him, and fear dangerous situations. We have anger to fight against injustice, to stand for what is right, without sinning. We cry to show that we are hurt physically, that we hurt for others (compassion), we feel sadness, so that we can be empathetic to others pains and hurts. When we internalize these emotions to use them for ourselves, we become focused only on ourselves, forgetting there are others out there who suffer far more than we do.

I am the queen of the "pity party". I struggle with just smiling, which I try to do the first thing every morning. Usually, when I am talking to God, I make it a point to smile for Him, which is also for me. Smiling actually makes you feel better.

Everything is a matter of perspective. When we look back, how many times do we realize that we could have switched our attitude around, with just a kind word, a kind action, a loving thought? I feel ashamed of myself for my lousy attitude, and, I believe, that shame comes from not trusting the Lord enough. If we have trust in the Lord, then these little set backs, and feelings of failure can be justified and released. I am so greedy, so many things that I should leave on the Cross, I will remove and keep for myself. I am still trying to learn that God will put these things at the bottom of the ocean and leave them there. As far as the east is from the west. Yet, I cling to the emotions that will make me feel like a martyr! Do I really need that? No, but I still can't stop doing it. It's a one thing at a time attitude. The first thing is to turn to the Lord, which should be so easy, but isn't, like you said before, Anna, when things are going well, it is easy to praise God. That's why I have been reading Paul's writings, here's a dude who had terrible things happen to him, yet, he praised the Lord, and the salvation he attained through Christ. I am hoping to glean understanding of how to live, love, and see the work of the cross, and then how to apply it to my life.

I too, have my progress to check, on Wednesday (I am so glad I use a calendar, or I would never know what's going on in my universe), so I am hoping to wake up tomorrow at 150! It could happen! OK, so it can't, but every small progress is a big progress in the making. We didn't gain weight overnight, we won't lose it overnight either. It's these small truths that lead to the big goals.

Anna, know always that you are loved, by your kids, by your family, by us, and best of all by God. You are a special lady, if you don't believe it for yourself, believe it because I said so! If you have to borrow my view of you, borrow it, tell yourself every morning that you are loved! Fake it if you have to, but do it! Don't let yourself get drawn into a funk pit, claw your way out, which is good advice, 'cause I am going to take it too! Time for us to get a shovel and fill in that pit, we can't fall into a hole that's not there, can we?

Smile, I am smiling too! See ---->

In love and total understanding, Rusty

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

After Two Weeks...

Another Tuesday, another weigh in. At the 2 week mark, I am down 13.7 lbs and a total of 18 inches! Truthfully, I was a little dismayed at seeing that I was only down .1 lb (that's one/tenth of a pound, not an accidental typo), I am remembering that my body knows how many calories to burn between pounds lost, so, probably tomorrow I will be down a pound. I should really stop weighing myself everyday, and go to once a week. How cool to get on the scale and see a 5 pound drop all at once! But, I figure every little bit is cause for celebration, even a tenth of a pound!

I was also hoping to be down another 8 lbs, like last week, but to make up for it, I am down 10 more inches! 2 inches, 2 pounds-tomato/tomado!

Here's to the Lord who made this wonderful machine that I call a body! Praise you, Abba Father!!!! And, I want to thank you ladies for all the encouragement and prayers that you sent my way!

Until next time, in faithfulness to the Great Creator!


Excerpt-More of what I am doing...

OK ladies, here we go. Your first step is easy: Devote time to God. We already know that we can't lose any weight on our own, if we could, we wouldn't be overweight in the first place. Pray and read the Bible. When you pray, let God know that He needs to be on call. We all have control issues, none of us have any control, what we have is the illusion of control. We have to let go of the reins, we are slowly killing ourselves with a fork. If we give our control issues to God, and let Him tell you when you are hungry. God created a wonderful system to let us know when we're hungry. We can override it anytime we want, but why? Overriding the system is what got us where we are.

What does "hungry" feel like? If you focus inward, bring your attention down to your stomach, if you have just eaten, you can feel the fullness. Your stomach, in it's natural position is as big as your fist. Make a fist, see? That is how big your stomach really is. God made it so that it stretches, why? So it doesn't explode if you eat and drink too much. Now, people have actually exploded their stomachs, not a pretty sight. You die. No mystery, the acid in your stomach burns out everything else. Stomach acid is equal to battery acid. Got it? Why am I starting here? Because we can eat, whether we want to or not. If we become aware of our stomachs, then it becomes easier to recognize when you are really hungry. You have felt hungry, it starts as a slow burn (your stomach releasing acid to begin the digestion process), now, it's important to realize you might not really be hungry, so focus on your stomach. Drink a glass of water, it will cool the burn and settle your tummy down. The plus side of water is it never interfere with true hunger. If your stomach is rumbling, you are hungry, that is a sure sign. Especially, if you haven't eaten for a while!

Now comes the real hard part, our emotions. I don't know about you ladies, I am always "hungry". I drive past a fast food restaurant, and I think about my favorite item that establishment serves. I am having a bad day, I want to eat something sweet to "treat" myself to something good. My beloved, not realizing, would offer sweets (candy bar, ice cream, mocha coffee) to make me feel better. Wait, today was great, something good happened, I should....celebrate! I should have a "treat" because today is .....special. I am bored, what to do, what to do, wander around, wander into the kitchen, oh, chips, bbq, munch, munch, munch, no that's not what I want. Hmm, there are some leftovers, oh, here is leftover spaghetti, there is at least 3 servings here, I was going to give it to the kids for lunch. I will make them something different, come on microwave too slow. Well, I ate all that spaghetti, but that's not what I want, how about..... Have you ever done this (you don't have to answer), I have. I have wandered through my kitchen, snacking, tasting, eating leftovers, pulling stuff from the freezer. Why? I am bored. I can't find anything better to do than eat. Emotions and the next culprit, habits. When I come home from the grocery store, my mind is racing about what am I going to make FIRST, first, not what I should eat, period. What I should eat first! Habit. These are the biggest of our problems. Emotional eating. Habitual eating. These have to be given to the Lord. I actually have a confession. Tonight, at dinner, I wasn't paying attention. I should have waited for dinner, but out of HABIT, I sat with the family, loaded my plate (habit), poured the dressing on my salad (habit), crumbled up 5 crackers (habit). Then started right in, after 2 bites, I realized that I was already full, did I stop eating? No, I just wanted a little more salad, a bite more of pork sandwich, and just one more bbq chip. Didn't follow my own advice. Now I am sitting here feeling blotted, and embarrassed at relying on myself. After grace, I didn't even give God the courtesy to be proactive and stop and ask forgiveness. I grabbed the reins from the Lord Himself! I have no excuse, I was lax. I took my eyes off the prize. Bad day aside, because I was paying attention, I managed to bake a cake and not lick the bowl or spoon! I let myself get distracted, by emotions, and bam! right back to old habits. It's going to happen ladies, our emotions are powerful, but if we rely on God, invite him to manage your life. He'll take good care of you, as He always has, but there is a pay off at the end, our payoff is in weight loss!

Where to start? What to do? Start NOW by focusing on your stomach. Have you eaten? Are you full? Have you not eaten all day and are hungry? If you have eaten, but it was a while ago, feel the feeling of how your stomach feels (feeling anything? Some things are just hard to describe). Is it quiet? Comfortable? That's where we want to be. Are you full? Stuffed yourself (like I just did), feeling blotted? You don't want to be here, your stomach is stretched! Is your stomach growling with a burn? Drink a glass of water, feel it go down. Is your stomach growling 10 minutes later? You are hungry eat.

To eat. Eat what you want. Don't get silly, ladies, no, you can't just eat ice cream and cake! But have what you feel like. We have been doing hot dogs and burgers alot, it feels like summer. Have that, let's say a hot dog. Put one or two condiments, my normal routine is to put on every condiment in the fridge, now I am down to ketchup and mustard. Why, turns out that when you are eating slowly, food has taste. Don't count, I am not a lawyer, so don't be legal. Chew. Chew thoroughly. Taste the food (the lesson I learned!). Now, stop, put down the hot dog, fork, or whatever. Wait. Feel the food going down. Focus is the key. If you need a distraction, offer to go get someone a drink, or sip some water, not wash your food down, but sip the water AFTER you have swallowed. Have a bite of something else, you want the best part of the salad, you know the middle, where the dressing is pooled. Have that, enjoy it.

Where am I going with this? As I told Anna, we have to learn to eat like skinny people. Watch them sometimes.

They pick at their food. They stop eating, sometimes for what seems like forever, then start again, having a bite or two, then stop again. They ALWAYS leave food on their plate. Their plate looks like a bomb went off on it. It actually looks like they stirred the food into a big mess, and didn't eat a thing. Why? They are in tune with their stomachs. They eat when they are hungry, and stop when they are done, not necessarily full, but not hungry anymore. It's the same with people who have had their stomach stapled or cut out, but this way saves you $30,000! Your stomach will naturally shrink back to it's real size. Look at your fist again. Focus on your stomach. Focus, eat what you want, eat slowly, stop when your stomach is satisfied, but not full.

When not to eat: When you are on a emotional roller coaster. If you are turning to food out of habit. It's OK to not eat with the family. Sit with them, sip a non calorie drink (whatever you like, but water is best), and enjoy your family.

Exercise: exercise will take care of itself. You have to eat x amount of calories to keep the weight on. I personally need 3,000 to 3,500 calories a day to stay at 300 lbs. Since I have not been taking in that much, I have managed to lose 10 lbs in just over a week. No exercise, no starvation (although in an emotional click it felt like it). Why? because I am not taking in enough calories to stay at 300 lbs. This great, quick weight loss will not last, my body, and yours will adjust. That's when exercise will become key. That doesn't mean you have Carte Blanche to sit around. Do get out and walk. I will put my exercise step in front of the TV and watch a movie and step. That isn't because I want to exercise, what I don't want to do is graze. I am focusing on my stomach, it's not hungry, in fact, it's settled and quiet, but emotionally, I am bored, I want to eat "just for something to do". So, I watch the movie and step. After about a half hour, I am feeling good, tired, but good, I am paying attention! I am using logic (hard for us as women sometimes!) to overcome a logical problem.

How much you ladies want to post is up to you, for those who aren't willing, please send me a friend request, and I will add you! I post just about every day. For me, I need the accountability, if you need the accountable part, but don't want to post publicly, I will respond to private messages, and keep confidences. I know the embarrassment of being fat. I share so openly, because you can't make this stuff up. You, all of you, especially those who are 100 lbs over weight think we are alone in our daily battles. I have to move my belly to wash, I know. I have split my pants in public (just over a week ago!). I have to squeeze to get into a booth at a restaurant, and barely can get into a movie theater seat. Seat belts that won't go all the way around to buckle, been there! If you think you are alone, you're not. I am there right with you. Please know that I love each and everyone of you! You all are a blessing to me. You encourage me so much!

In love and faithfulness in God Almighty, Rusty

Excerpt from another site-This is what I am doing...

Alm! I am so glad you are joining us! There is no trick, no gimmick. God designed our bodies to function in a certain way. Society tells us to function differently. Weight loss gurus will tell us "eat this, not that", exercise 2 hours a day, take this pill, drink that shake, deal with your emotional problems. All that is well and good. For people who have 10 lbs to lose, all that works great. When someone is "morbidly obese" (I hate that term!), like me, stuff like that doesn't work. Now, I can only speak for me, I am not a doctor, or a nutritionist. Instead, I am a wife, a mother, a woman who doesn't want to be fat anymore!

You are like me, Alm, you've done all the diets, you've read all the literature, you've exercised until you thought your heart would explode! And nothing! I am going back to basics. How did God design my body. He set up our tummy's to tell us when we are hungry. You feel that slow burn, that rumble, and if you focus, you will feel the emptiness in your stomach. Our enemy is our emotions. I am a voracious emotional eater, emotions good, emotions bad, if I have a feeling, I want to "medicate it" with food. Emotions do have their place, but it isn't in the kitchen. This is basic physics.

Step by step of what I am doing.

I wake up, after prayer (and coffee, which I drink black, no sugar, I never take in any calories in my beverages, 'cause that can throw off the whole thing). I take inventory. I focus inward. Not on how I am feeling, but on my stomach. If it's calm and quiet, I am not hungry.

Breakfast time may come and go. I feed the kids, while I am cooking, I keep my attention on my stomach. If I am still not hungry, I don't eat. Yes, it looks good, oh, how good that bacon smells. I can feel a reaction, am I hungry? Hmm. Then I drink a glass of water (if you are really hungry, water won't block the hunger pangs, you may get "slooshy" but if you are truly hungry, it won't stop the grumbles. After about 10 minutes, I will know if it is truly hunger, not just habit and love of food.

When I do realize that what I feel is hunger, I eat. I eat what I feel like. I put my portion on my plate, picking at it, finding all the best bites. I take time with chewing (who knew food had taste!), I will push my plate away a few times while I am eating, attending to the baby, getting a glass of water, whatever I can to not just suck down the food rapidly (I have always eaten too fast). After 3 bites, I start the stomach check again. Remember, rule of thumb is that your stomach, unstretched is no bigger than your fist. Even with my gargantuan "man" hands, my fist isn't all that big. I couldn't hold a piece of pizza in my hand without it oozing out. So I may have a few more bites, focusing on my stomach, am I starting to feel the food? Yes, time to stop. I always leave food on my plate. I am having to train myself to stop being a Gold Member of the Clean Plate Club.

Watch thin, ok, skinny people eat. They pick at their food. They don't hold their fork. They will get up and walk away, and come back later. They forget that they were even eating. They eat the parts they like best. This is what I am doing. Since I don't do this naturally, I do it conscientiously. I am changing my thinking about food. Hyper vigilance is a must. Becoming lax could lead to a "scarf" session! Remember, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to signal your stomach that it's full, once you feel that food is getting to your stomach, that will be just the first bites. Your stomach is nearing full, or at least fulfilled just a few bites in. If you stop, the bites you took, are still in transit, so it will take just a few minutes then your brain will go STOP. The best thing is, you already have stopped. Your brain says "cool", feeling good.

Now, all this is really easy. Eat smaller portions, stop after a few bites, leave food on your plate. Easy peasy! But, as usual, the devil is in the details. Emotional eating. If you are like me, you eat because you are bored. You eat, to celebrate. You eat 'cause someone hijacked your parking space. You eat because your child did well at a spelling bee! Pick any emotion, and you will find food attached to it! Good and bad! So, you have to distinguish between real, rumbly tummy, hunger, from I am bored and just want to eat out of habit. We can't fill our heart with food. Cheesecake really doesn't make you feel better. Emotions are a heart/head issue, not a food issue. When we have an emotional episode, we feel the need to fill our hearts. Because we are chronic overeaters, we have been trying to feel good with food, but again, food doesn't fill the heart, it fills the stomach, then it fills our thighs! To conquer this, you have to turn to the only one that can truly fill our hearts. This is the time to begin a real running dialogue with the Lord. Cry out to Him. You can tell yourself "no" (I do it all the time. Thinking I need a munchy, then I will say, out loud, Lord help me! Then like a bad child, I tell myself NO!). Since we are conditioned with the word "no", saying it out loud does work. You may feel silly, but it will stop the impulse to grab at a bag of chips! Take inventory. Are you hungry? If you are not sure, drink a big glass of water. If you are not hungry, the slooshy feeling will not be so pronounced, if you are really hungry, feel for the signs, that slow burning, the rumbles, this will last for about 10 minutes. Now, are you close to a meal time? Then wait. If you aren't, then eat something, following the Skinny People Rules. Yesterday I got hungry at about 9 am, I got on the scale, and found out I reached my goal! I was so happy, now, because I don't want to feed the emotional monkey, I had to wait to eat, to confirm that I was truly hungry, which I was, but because I was so happy, I had to calm down. So, I drank my coffee, and chilled out. By 10, I knew I had to eat something, figuring, that lunch was a scant 2 hours away, I choose a banana. As I ate it, I would take a bite, lay it down, moved the laundry around, came back, took another bite, blogged, took another bite.....see the pattern?

Now, this is what has worked for me, but, a few things have worked, even if for only a week or 2. I don't eat by a clock, except in certain cases, like I don't eat after 7 pm. If I pass on dinner for lack of hunger, then I start feeling the hunger pangs at 7:45, well, I am just out of luck. Breakfast is only 12 hours away, I have plenty of "fuel" on my belly to hold me over. Maybe it will be a breakfast? Maybe not. I let my body tell me when right, not my head, not my heart, and not a clock.

Sorry for the novel! I am so passionate about this, mainly because it is working. Since I am taking in a lot less calories, I am losing weight like crazy here in the beginning. This will naturally level out, I have a huge excess of energy that my body is using right now in the form of fat. I don't run to the fridge anymore. I don't snack, ever. I don't need to. Either I am hungry (true hunger) and eat, or don't. As for exercise, I am not too concerned about adding loads of exercise. It takes 3000-3500 calories to keep me at 300 lbs. I am not sure, but I figure I am eating about half that (I stopped worrying about how many calories food contains, since it doesn't matter this way), which translates into losing a pound every 2.5 days (3500 = 1 lb). All that, without exercising, because I still have to move and breath and chase kids! When I am bored and watching TV, I will bring out my "step" and do that, instead of cruising around the kitchen looking to graze. Once I start to plateau, I will have to change up and add a regimen of exercise, but, right now I am just enjoying the ride!

When to start? Start now! If you've eaten, great, don't eat again until you're hungry, that may be at lunch, or dinner, or not until tomorrow morning. You want to feel physical hunger, not eating because everyone else is. No tasting, snacking or worrying about passing out, 'cause you won't. Sit with the family, and drink an unsweetened/fake sugar tea, or water. No caloric intake with your beverages! Start learning your emotional triggers, you eating that's habitual, get in touch with your body, the biology of it, the whys and whatfors. I made sure I let my husband (my skinny husband) in on what I was doing, because to those who love us, we appear to be trying to starve ourselves, which is as far from the truth as you can get! We eat what we need, not when we want. Getting back to basics. If you are hungry, eat. That's the only rule. If you don't know what true hunger is, learn, listen to your tummy, it will tell you! If you know you are being emotional, don't eat, even if you were having hunger pangs. You are training your heart and head to listen to your stomach, not feeding an emotional need, but a true physical one! Pray. Tell the Lord what you are doing. Ask for His strength, especially during those emotional episodes. Abba Father wants us to be healthy. He wants us to trust the system that He created for us. He wants us to worship Him, not food. Turn to Him, not food. This reality is what set me on this path. I was putting food before the Father, thankfully, with Him all things are possible. I asked forgiveness for idolizing food, and moved on. No condemnation, thank you Lord Jesus, for your gift of salvation! Jesus paid this debt for me on the cross!

Alm, again, sorry about the novel. I am so glad you are here with me, and Joy and a few others. We can learn, we can become the healthy people God intended us to be! You will be in my daily prayers!

In love and faithfulness, Rusty

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

8 pounds, 8 inches, Ate correctly

After one week, I have lost 8 lbs and 8 inches (overall)!  This is very exciting!  If it were possible to keep this up, I would be at my target weight in 4 months!  Of course, it won't continue like this very much longer, but I'll take what I can get!

My target reward has changed from Hawaii to San Diego, but that's ok with me, San Diego is my hometown, and after living in the proverbial sticks for so long, it will be exciting to share my formative years with my beloved and the kids!

The only reason we changed is because neither of us look forward to a 8 hour flight with the littles.  We will only be on planes for about a total of 3 hours to go to San Diego (layover in San Fran).  Financially, it will work out better for us.

This will be the first time I have ever flew.  Being fat my whole life, really didn't encourage me to go an see anything.  And, after hearing a bunch on horror stories about how the airlines treat fat people, I certainly don't want to get in the abuse line!  This should be very interesting!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

After 6 days, I can report that I have lost 6 lbs.  It would be lovely to think that I will be losing a pound a day until I hit my target, no such luck!

After 2 days, I lost 3 lbs, 2 lbs the next day, and 1 pound today.  Pattern emerging.  So, to keep the weight loss going, I am going to have to throw in some exercise.  Last time I exercised twice a day, and just kept at my weight, mainly 'cause I was adding muscle, and reducing fat.  Muscle is much heavier.  I will be doing at least a half hour on the Wii daily.  As I get stronger, I will increase my workout time, until it's an hour.  I realize that the fitness gurus tell us to exercise for 2 to 3 hours a day, but I am a stay at home mom, not a personal trainer.  Between my exercise plan and chasing toddlers (I have 2 now), I do get exercise, even if it's not in a gym, or with a DVD.

I have a great support system in place.  My beloved loves me, ask questions, and is my best cheerleader, even when I know he could care less about my thoughts of why and how to lose weight.  Seriously, be honest, if that's all that anyone talks about, BOOOOORINGGGGG.  I also blog in 3 places about what I am doing.  And I journal in a notebook, usually after every weigh in.  I also have an accountability partner, Fran on The Homeschool Lounge (http://www.thehomeschoollounge.com/), plus my other lovely sisters on that site.  But, my all time best supporter and strength giver is God Himself.  If you are trying to do anything without God as a supporter, you are just spinning your wheels.  Giving your life over to Christ, understanding His sacrifice, is the only way to accomplish anything.  If you don't know Jesus Christ as your saviour, learn about Him.  You don't have to be perfect, you don't have to live a "holy roller" life.  You just need to know Him.  To realize that He gave His life for you and the sin you were born with, and the sins you have and will commit.  Yes, you can be a good person, compared to other people.  But, are you a good person when compared to God?  No, no one is.  You can't rely on yourself to be good.  If you have ever told a lie.  If you have ever "hated" anyone.  If you have ever stolen something.  It doesn't matter that you don't do it anymore, 'cause you have done it.  You can be forgiven for those, and being aware that you still do sinful things, be forgiven for those, too.  All you have to do is ask.  It doesn't matter what you are doing now.  You may think that you are the most awful person, I know I am.  Jesus, just wants you to trust Him.  To willingly give your heart to Him.  He's already done the hard part.  He took the Father's punishment, just so He could spend eternity with you.  Your soul is eternal.  If you are not spending your eternity with God, you will spend eternity away from God.  There here and now, lifes little feel good moments are nothing compared to feeling good forever.  That was the promise made, to spend forever feeling good.  Do you want to feel good?

In love and faithfulness in Christ Jesus,  Rusty