These habits we have built up since childhood really do take some kicking out! And if we are to be successful in keeping our weight off (WHEN we eventually reach our goal weight!) we have to learn to kick these habits into the long grass and find strategies to help us do this. Otherwise we get to goal, and gradually the one biscuit we can now have becomes two, then three, and before we know it the weight has gone back on.
So I know what my bad habits are, and reviewing them realistically, will deal with each as follows:
Biscuits – BAD HABIT – eating one after another. STRATEGY – know in advance what my 'ration' for the day is, and either set it aside in a special little biscuit tin each morning, or only get the exact ration out of the main tin once.
Chocolate – BAD HABIT – automatically 'treating myself to chocolate of some sort whenever I have coffee after a meal. STRATEGY A – have non-choccie days (Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri) and substitute with a plain biscuit on those days. AND B - on choccie days limit myself to one choc covered treat, or equivalent. AND C – find less sugar laden alternatives, such as dark choc, choc ices.
Crisps – BAD HABIT – eating my way through best part of a large pack, especially with dip, instead of getting on with preparing evening meal. STRATEGY A – only have small 25g packs in the cupboard for everyday use, so one is finished, that's it! AND B – have raw veggies like carrot sticks in the fridge all ready to grab when I come in while I get meal ready.
Meal Planning – BAD HABIT – coming in from tiring day, and not sure what main meal will be. STRATEGY – plan at latest in the morning what the main meal for the day will be, and make sure ingredients are ready to hand (not still in the freezer, so you have to change plans as it won't defrost in time!!)
Exercise planning – BAD HABIT – putting off going to the gym until my 'offpeak' time has passed me by, so weeks can go by and I haven't gone. STRATEGY – diarise gym sessions, and treat them like doctor's appointments that cannot be missed!
Wish me luck in putting these strategies in place and beating those bad habits for ever!
Posted on 7/17/2013 by Florawanda
Bonuses I noticed:
Fitting better into the airline seat, and being able to get the seatbelt across without extending it to it's greatest length – or, worse, having to ask for the extension!
Finding my ankles did not swell so much with all the travelling, so I did not lose a day of holiday 'recovering from the journey'.
Walking all through the airport, and sightseeing without getting out of breath.
Being able to go up hills without 'pausing to admire the view' (or even just not attempting it!) - I climbed a 'watchtower' with over 120 steps, and was barely out of breath at the top.
Smaller clothes took up a little less room in my suitcase, and there is less acreage of body to cover with suntan lotion, so you use less!!!
Shopping gave me lots of choice from the clothes racks as I am now an average size.
Not being embarrassed by the pool.. lots of people fatter than me!!
And.... I kept up my exercising schedule early every morning, and that 'earned' me the extra choices of wine, icecream or pastries in the afternoon and evening.
BUT I did come back 3 pounds heavier – and am working now to get back down and lose even more, so that next year I can tackle the real mountain climbs and wear a bikini by the pool!!
Posted on 7/04/2013 by Florawanda
A long time ago travelling to USA on a liner for our 2-year assignment at my DH's head office, we were faced with platefuls of delicious food at every meal. A lovely American couple at our table told me “You don't have to eat it all”, but having been brought up in wartime, when to waste food was thought to be wicked - at school you were punished if you did not have an empty plate - this compulsion to eat whatever was put before me was too deeply ingrained to change, so I ate it – every last crumb, even when I felt really full – and then had the delicious desserts, too!
I am now learning to have smaller portions, but I still scrape the plate clean! If you watch the tribe of skinny people eat, they eat much more slowly than me, they have sips of their drink, they push the food around the plate, they play with it, and they cut off pastry crusts, and leave them on the side of the plate.
I will never be a member of that skinny tribe, but I must try and learn to choose what goes on my plate more carefully, and not automatically keep on putting food in my mouth even when I am feeling full. I must learn to eat more slowly, so that the signals from my full stomach will have time to reach my brain and tell it “it's time to stop eating!” And if I do get these signals when there is still food on the plate, I must learn to discard it, or give it to my DH who is of the skinny tribe, and really needs every crumb he can eat!! And even do without a sweet pudding, but have a low-cal mug of hot chocolate instead.
Posted on 6/04/2013 by Florawanda
My knees and legs have always been my worst feature – sturdy, and really chubby. Especially my right leg, which is bigger than my left leg. I used to envy my grandmother who had slender, graceful limbs. My mother consoled me, saying I had inherited her father's “yeoman stock” skeleton - strong, serviceable, but not intended to be attractive. More like carthorse instead of racehorse!
And with the extra weight, my knees especially have looked huge. Today I noticed they were beginning to look closer to normal. Best of all, I can see a little indentation, like a dimple, on my right knee – the bone structure is becoming ever so slightly visible.
So even though the scale is fairly static, my shape IS changing for the better. I will never have my grandmother's long and shapely legs, but they won't be as elephantine as before! Skinny jeans, here I come!
Posted on 4/14/2013 by Florawanda
It get's depressing when your weight loss has slowed down, but bit by bit the ounces are coming off, and bit by bit it shows. So here's my review of all the little things that have changed for me as I approach my 50 lb loss marker, with another 35 lbs or more to go!
Energy... I can climb stairs without getting puffed, walk and talk at the same time, and am even beginning to run if need be! And the mad goal of going for the 10 miles Great South Run is just over 6 months away. 18 months ago I could not have contemplated it, as a gentle walk for about half-an-hour on the flat was as much as I could manage, and that left me exhausted for the rest of the day! Even after a long day at conference yesterday, my ankles were only a tiny bit swollen. I regret now the times I could not keep up, like the family holiday after my DH's 70th birthday, when the 'walk' in the Lake District was clearly going to be too challenging for me, and I turned back (to wait in the cafe and have tea and cake!!) while they completed the remaining climb.
Body shape... Apart from dropping from a 22/24 dress size to a 14/16, it is the little things I can feel every day... the bones appearing as the covering of flesh thins, my rings that I can now get off – in fact they are almost too loose. There is still one which I have not been able to take off my finger for over 30 years, and it is going to be a race between the knuckle thickening with old age and losing the extra pad of flesh so I can remove it.
Agility … It is not just about being able to fit into seats and bathtubs better, but also about being able to put on tights and dress more easily... with this cold winter, tights and extra layers have been essential, and I really struggled before I started losing this weight. Lacing up walking boots and trainers was difficult, too. Getting in and out of a car is easier, too, as well as getting up on a chair or ladder to reach high shelves! But the 15 mile Belvoir Challenge showed me that some stiles are still a problem, so when I do it again I hope reaching my goal weight will overcome that as well.
And so many other pluses, like confidence to walk into a room, knowing people won't be looking at you and thinking 'what a fat woman!' Like compliments from friends and acquaintances who were all too nice to tell me before that I needed to shed weight. Like simply enjoying the Spring, and thinking that, thanks to your better health and fitness, you may enjoy more Springs than if you had continued eating with no control, and sitting about instead of getting up and moving!
So when temptation beckons, I shall feel my loose rings, touch my collar or cheek bone, get up easily out of the chair, change into my skinny tracksuit, pull on my trainers and go out for a walk/run instead. And I shall enjoy the blossom and daffodils, without fearing I may not see another Spring!
Posted on 3/10/2013 by Florawanda
Today I WALKED a little over a mile to my hair appointment... I have always driven before. I felt good about doing it, and when I got home deliberately did not have a morning coffee, knowing I would be tempted.... but then the temptation came.. “go on, you deserve it, you've earned a reward”. So a sugary shortbread and then another, and later a chocolate biscuit bar, and then another. The slippery slope we all know.
I have resisted clearing out all my chocolate and biscuits, as I feel I have got to learn to live with them and be in charge of these cravings. And I had got my 'normal' biscuits, which are not too sweet, like ordinary digestives (graham crackers) fairly well under control, allowing myself one or two a day. But what seems to have done the damage is the very sweet shortbreads, and as one MFP has blogged today, the fact that they are out on the side. And that sugar is really addictive.
So I am going to clear out the tins tomorrow morning, put them up high so that I have to think before getting them down, encourage my friends and my DH to eat them up, so that only the plainer biscuits are left. And I shall think of these very sugary treats as poisonous!
And find another way of rewarding myself for exercising... maybe a marble in a bowl for every mile I walk or run. Any suggestions?
Posted on 1/03/2013 by Florawanda
I have never been athletic, at school all those years ago, I avoided gym and games, and famously got a school report saying about my tennis that 'she has the makings of a good umpire'!! I enjoy walking, but most of the time drive the car, even the ½ mile to the nearest shops, on the excuse that I am too busy!! When I had my varicose veins operated on some 20 years ago, I had to walk 3 miles a day for 6 weeks afterwards and I did that well and vowed to continue once the time was up... but of course, soon fell back into old habits.
As the weight crept back up, about 4 years ago I joined a gym, with a lovely swimming pool – but I must be one of their favourite members, as I barely make it once a week, if that. I have not been since early November – and again use the excuse of time pressure!! But I do enjoy it when I get there, especially the steam room, sauna and jacuzzi! I really need the incentive to make me go.
For the first 8 months of 2012 I did really well, losing a steady 3 – 4 lbs a month, then I hit the plateau, and have been going up and down between 178 and 182 for the last 4 months. I set myself the challenge in my mind of doing the Great South Run at the end of October... and had a little go at a slow jog on the treadmill, and was horrified that I could only manage 100 metres at a time. Same on the exercise bike. Even after losing over 45 lbs, I am still badly out of condition.
So now I have to start training seriously as I have paid out good money to enter the Run, and the last thing I want to do is make a fool of myself.
So yes, I AM GOING TO RUN, to help bring myself down to a healthy BMI for the first time in over 30 years. So watch this couch potato change over the next 10 months, and please shout at me if I don't seem to be exercising! It is good friends on MFP who have got me this far!
Posted on 1/01/2013 by Florawanda
I was pretty helpless, following the silly slip the day before, on holiday, which took me to A & E with a broken leg and messed up ankle. I was just getting used to crutches and the temporary half cast on my leg, barely able to get from the house to the car, and then unable to get up the steps from the tarmac to the aeroplane to bring us back from Ireland. Crawling into our home, when we finally made it back, because I could not lift my weight up a couple of steps, and then not able to get up off the floor. Having to sleep in a chair downstairs because stairs were impossible.
That was what brought home to me how obese I was, and even though I was chairbound for the next 12 weeks, I kept exercising my leg as best I could to keep the circulation going, and what muscles I had from wasting away. But most of all I cut down hugely on the biscuits, chocolate and crisps that I had been tucking into in quantity every day. And lost nearly 12 lbs in the 12 weeks to Christmas.
And now here I am, 52 weeks on, and maybe 48 lbs lighter (though the chocs and biscuits have been creeping up again, crumb by crumb!). I've still got a long way to go... on Friday, I put the speed on the treadmill up from 6kmh to 6.2kmh, so I had to jog, and could barely manage 100 metres without my heart rate soaring. I still have rolls of fat around my midriff. But I am down from a size 22/24, to a size 18. People who haven't seen me for a while say how well I am looking, and some barely recognise me! I can climb the two storeys to the top of our home without getting out of breath. I can deliver more leaflets in an hour (I'm a political activist) than I ever could before. My ankles don't swell up when I have been sitting in a meeting or standing talking to people on doorsteps for long periods. And I really walk tall in my new, skinnier jeans!
Most of keeping going for a year has been being on MFP for nearly 10 months now! So as I raise my glass to my DH for supporting me all the way, I will also raise my glass to those MFP friends who have cheered me on, commiserated when the scales don't move as fast as I would like, or even go backwards, made me LOL when I'm low, and been there for me when I binge!
So thanks to you all – and here's to a year from today, when I will be preparing for the Great South Run here in Portsmouth – a flat course fo 16 km or 10 miles – which I shall be entering to give me the real challenge to get rid of the next 30 lbs. Anyone ready to join the MFP team and run with me???
Posted on 10/21/2012 by Florawanda
I've just had 5 days away from home, and not so much in control of what there was to eat ... and the scales this morning showed it. But it could have been worse.
I was at a huge conference... something going on from 7 in the morning till after 11 at night, lunchtime and evening meetings, with no idea what sort of refreshments would be served at these. Meals with old friends and new. Exhibition stalls offering tempting goodies so they could chat to you while you ate, or drank.
I avoided the beer samples at CAMRA (Campaign for real ale), but fell for the yummy cupcakes offered by the printing firm – probably over 400 cals each!! If I had been called to speak on the healthy food motion, I was going to say that these were probably a third of my basic daily allowance, and a fifth of the average woman's. I gave the chocolate bar given by the Glasgow stand (where conference will be next year) and the jelly beans given by a commercial stand to my niece and her children with whom I was staying. I chose not to go to the NUT(National Union of Teachers) fish and chip supper. I shunned the cocktail sausages and pastry offerings at the fringe meetings, but ate the lettuce and tomatoes that the sandwiches were sitting on, as well as a sandwich – or sometimes chose the open-topped rolls instead. At the restaurants, I had fish or chicken or even veggie options rather than the meat. I walked as much as I could, and took the stairs rather than escalator or lift. As well, I carried in my bag 'emergency rations' – a banana, orange juice, a simple roll, in case – as happened twice – the fringe meeting did not offer more than a drink and some crisps, so that I would not be waylaid by hunger!
I revelled in the changes since last year – friends I only see at conference barely recognising me; being able to walk to and from the meetings outside the main centre and talk to friends at the same time; my ankles not becoming swollen until the 4th day; squeezing through spaces in crowded receptions I certainly could not have done before; people saying I looked so much younger. All those and more were worth every crumb and drop I chose not to have.
It is so good to be home again, being able to plan carefully what I will eat, make time for exercising and even the gym. And I hope that by Saturday I will be back to what I weighed last Friday. And while I was strong in some ways, there may be other strategies others may have for coping when you are not in full control. So any ideas?
Posted on 9/27/2012 by Florawanda
I would not have come so far along this journey without the fantastic support of my friends here who are cheering me on every step of the way. And I hope, whenever I can, I give them some support as well. And nag them about their fruit and veggies! But today, with some time to spare, I was also reminding myself of some of my friends' progress by looking at their profiles. It struck me that one or two of them NEVER have notes on their profile saying “xxx commented on x's status”.
Now I know you can delete those on your profile if you wish to. So do these friends delete them, or do they just take all the support from others and never give back anything themselves? If I prune my friends' list, as I have only limited time I can spend commenting on how they are all doing, do I cut out those who never give me any support back? Is there a reason why they never post comments? Even “Yaay” or “wtg” are encouragements in this battle we all have to reach a healthy lifestyle.
And I am always sad, when I am scrolling back the two pages I allow myself to look at, to find maybe a comment timed hours earlier, such as “x has lost 2 lbs since their last weigh-in....” and no-one else has commented at all since it appeared. Where are all their MFP friends?
But to all my good friends – and you know who you are – who note what I've done, and cheer me on and offer advice, even when I know how busy and tired they must be, a million thanks! You give me ideas from your diaries, or your exercising, or sometimes just make me laugh, tell me to drink some water or send messages of comfort, here's a GREAT BIG THANK YOU! I may never meet you, but because we are sharing so much, I feel very close to you wherever in the world you may be!
As a (real-life) friend said to me recently, “We belong to a different tribe from those who have never had eating problems, and we need to support one another, and learn how to cope and win through together.”
Posted on 9/16/2012 by Florawanda
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