Monday, January 2, 2012

One day down, 365 to go

Doncha just love Leap Year? An extra day to work on that bucket list! Heh.

It seems I struck a nerve (I kind of wish it had been the funny bone, but oh, well) with my thoughts about aging not-so-gracefully yesterday. I even got a spam comment! I haven't had one of those in a long time. (I still get them at Shrinking Knitter. Clearly the spambots don't read the content there, or they'd figure out that no one writes there any more.)

So we seem to be in agreement that, like the phases of the moon, motivation waxes and wanes. Of all the tips-and-tricks suggested by successful weight-loss maintainers, the one that seems to be most closely aligned with motivation is some kind of support system. Weight Watchers began when one woman invited some friends to her living room and asked them if they'd like to help each other lose weight. Surprise, surprise, it worked.

(I was an early adopter of Weight Watchers. I can still remember the charts we filled out, what we had to eat, what we weren't allowed to eat, how often we could have, say, cheese [no more than 4 oz. hard cheese/week] or eggs [also limited to 4 per week] or mayonnaise [never].)

I lost 38 pounds on Weight Watchers and eventually became a meeting leader. And like so many former WW members, I fell off the wagon, gained it all – and more – back and here we are, 40 years later, agonizing over the same old thing.

This is actually getting kind of horrifying for me. I mean, 40 years? That's so sad.

People who relapse after many years of sobriety often say the beginning of the end was when they stopped going to meetings. There's that support factor again.

I don't really want to go back to WW. I've gone back half a dozen times over the years, and it just doesn't click for me any more. Maybe it's the been-there/done-that aspect. Maybe it's that no matter how many times I went back, I wan't losing any weight. And I was paying them every week to not lose any weight.

Perhaps my years of living in the Middle of Nowhere have dampened my desire, or even my ability, to interact with other living, breathing human beings. I'm pretty good with dogs, and with some of my neighbors. But I've really turned into a loner. I volunteer once a week at a prison. I'm president of the local Democratic women's group, which meets once a month. Usually. I work part-time from April to July potting plants at a local nursery – no sales work involved. And that's the extent of my contact with the outside world.

Yesterday's breakfast. Looks
yucky, tasted great!
Maybe I'm on the wrong track altogether, but it's useful to write it all out and try to analyze it anyway. Maybe drinking lots o'H20 is the key to weight loss. Maybe it's writing everything down. Maybe it's green smoothies.

Maybe it's exercise, which I'm slowly but surely incorporating back into my daily routine. Plantar fasciitis is a bitch, and takes a long time to get over, but I have been able to walk or train on the elliptical every day since Christmas afternoon. I'm going to do a strength-training routine in addition to the elliptical today. I know, crazy, right? Hey, if you're not living on the edge …

So. No conclusions. I'm thinking of offering myself a reward based not on the number of pounds lost, but on the number of days I am consistent in following my admittedly loose plan to get healthy and fit. Oh, all right, and thin. Ner. All suggestions for rewards gratefully accepted. I don't need a darned thing.

Here's the plan:

  • Journal what I eat
  • Eat between 1400 and 1700 calories per day
  • Do a minimum of 45 minutes of intentional activity daily
  • Strength-train Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Weigh myself every day (for data, not judgment)
  • Drink 48 to 64 ounces of water a day
  • Three meals, one snack mid-afternoon if I'm hungry
  • Pay attention to hunger signals/don't eat for entertainment

I invite you to join me – and it looks as though many of you are ready, willing and able to do just that. I further invite you to support me, with comments or private e-mails [shrinkingknitter AT gmail DOT com] whenever you like. But especially whenever you catch me slacking off. I'm not going to repeat the October exercise of posting my stats every day (although that was very effective and I might revisit it later). But you'll be able to read between the lines if I'm not following through. I thank you in advance.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Weightwatchers for me has been a law of diminishing returns; 1st time I lost 20LBs, next time about 10, then 3-4lbs each time 3-4 times- the fact that it's been a different plan each time makes me wonder if the 1st plan was the best one for me or is that just wishful thinking.

Your plan looks very much like mine, except I'm only going to weigh myself once a week. If I weigh myself every day it either cheers me up/depresses me if I have lost/gained 100g.

Good luck to us both.

Cat

denise said...

I echo both you and Cat's sentiments. I did WW back in the 70's - make your own "ketchup" anyone? Then went back a few times over the years. Was very "successful" in 2003, when I managed to lose 60 lbs - kept 50 of it off for 2 years or so and then went into a gradual gain until it was all back on.

Like you I have felt a declining interest in returning. Have been back a couple of times since 2003 and it just doesn't seem to jive for me anymore. Not sure why exactly.

Back to trying to just "eat clean" most of the time, exercise on a regular basis, etc.

Looks like the road on this journey may be a bit crowded - but at least there should be enough of us to grab hands and help each other over the rough spots!

Good luck to us all, indeed!

denise said...

P.S. to Cat - I've had the same thoughts about the different WW programs. Sometimes I think I would do better to go back to the more restrictive programs. It seems the more choice they build in, the worse I do...

jen said...

Your plan sounds similar to mine, though I am giving myself a few more calories: 1600-1900 (top end only on exercise days).

I have been whipping myself for years over my inability to get back on the WW bandwagon. I made Lifetime in 2002 but have not succeeded since in my repeated returns.

I actually think WW is too low-calorie for someone who does intense exercise. I am trying a few more daily calories in the hopes that I can actually stick to it long-term.