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Arms are growing - Feet are shrinking!

I am not kidding, I think my arms are growing.

I can put on shoes and socks with ease, and I can paint my toenails in every color known to man, as often as I find the time to do so. Life has gotten easier lately, and I notice every little change that comes with the weight loss.

Being fat is not easy. It's a constant struggle from morning to evening, even in the night, because it's hard to roll over, and getting up can be a hassle.

The little things that have been once so normal, become harder when you carry 100+ extra pounds around. Putting on socks, cleaning yourself, bending down or getting up, all of these simple things are hard work for an obese person. 

I know, I have been one. I started here morbidly obese and now I am just severe obese -with the goal to be just an average woman soon.

I make a joke about my growing arms and people around me don't always understand what I mean, and how could they? That's one of the things you have to live through, and I wouldn't wish it to my worst enemy. 

My arms can now reach the floor when I bend over, and I can easily reach the middle of my back. I don't have to use a grabber, I just bend down and pick up whatever life threw on the floor. 

I can reach areas on my body -well the diet fairy is blushing, so let's not talk about it.

I bend down straight, not sidewise anymore and now I don't need to wear my slip-on sneakers, because I can tie my shoes -without the fear of passing out. 

Even sitting or kneeling on the floor, is now possible, something I thought I could never do again. The other day I sat on the floor and emptied a kitchen cabinet and I am glad nobody was watching. I am certain that I smiled the whole time.

This year I could be found kneeling over our flower beds, pulling weeds by the truckload and it made me happy.  Pulling weeds is not my favorite thing to do, but the fact that I can do it again -is a special award. Perhaps next year I will call THE GUYS again, and they will make some extra money taking care of our yard, this year I opted out. I did it all -because I could. 

Perhaps I sound like a crazy woman, but I swear my shoes are getting bigger and some of them I can't wear anymore. I never heard about anybody losing a shoe size, but it seems to be happening.

There was fat on my toes and my feet, now its almost gone and what's left is a normal looking foot, that just doesn't want to live in an extra wide shoe. Imagine my husband's excitement when I told him I need to buy more shoes. Off to the donation box with the old ones, in with the new ones. Oh, life is good!

I am finding my way back into a normal, average life and it makes me sad when I think about all the times I struggled so hard because of my size and weight. 

106.5 lbs lost - only 33.5 lbs to go!

 

Hear me roar!

I started losing weight because I wanted to be able to enjoy the rest of my life without the restrictions, that morbidly obese people live with. I didn't want to be controlled by my weight and size any longer. For me it was never about a number on the scale or a dress size, it was about mobility and health.

I wanted to live a better life, and I wanted to silence my autoimmune disorder. Being able to move easier and with less pain, that was my goal and then everything changed and I changed with it.

Like so many other women in this beautiful country, I am one of them who have decided to do something. If you don't like it, change it and that's exactly what I am doing.

The kids are out of the house and have started their own families. My career is secure, my husband and I have trained each other well over the last 30 years, and we live a great, comfortable life together. I have some time to spear!

For the first time in my life, I decided to get involved in the community, even threw my name in the hat, willing to serve the public as a public servant. Nothing big, nothing fancy -just locally.

Life is full of surprises and I am one of them. I have started to take control of my life and now it seems to spread further and further. I am surprised by my own strengths, I feel unstoppable now and it feels good. I had been lazy and lame for too long.

"Arent' you afraid someone will show pictures of you, or will mention the weight you used to carry around?" and the question took me by surprise. Why would they, I wanted to reply but I stopped myself. Yes, THEY would.

How would I react then? What would I say? 

We live in times, where it seems to be acceptable for some, to point out other peoples shortcomings. We live in times, where it seems to be normal for some, to look down at people, and I hate it more than I can say.  Don't look up or down -look in my eyes and see me, deep inside. 

The thought that someone could point out my past weight and size, gave me shivers. To think someone would make publicly make fun of me, made me very upset. It would be too hurtful, I couldn't handle it, my skin is not thick enough.

Then I thought about it some more. Perhaps I shouldn't let it bother me but should laugh instead. "Look at me now and see what I can do when I am determined -and while we are at it, now show me what you have done?

Isn't that the truth? Look at us here at MFP, so many of us try to take control over our lives and so many of us succeed.  

Perhaps my biggest weakness is now my strengths? I will never be ashamed of my past and while I am not proud of the fat lady I created, I am mighty proud of me now. 

Yes, a tigress has been awakened, now hear me roar! 

I gained a pound back - 105 lbs lost - Only 35lbs to go!

Do I get what I need?

According to my doctor, I got myself an uncomfortable, but not very serious case of either, food poisoning or a stomach virus. Nothing dramatic, I will live happily ever after and beyond -as planned.

At the beginning of the week, I didn't feel well. My stomach made funny noises, and I started playing the guessing game. Which direction will it go and how fast? Answer: Very fast - direction South!

It's interesting how it works. From one minute to the next, food just didn't look good anymore and the thought of eating is not appealing at all. What had been YUMMY before, now made me crinkle my nose and I let out a heartfelt EWWW.

My body gave me clear signals. Hot, homemade bone-broth with an egg and gluten-free crackers, followed by a piece of dark chocolate, to slow me down a bit. From the moment I started not feeling well, an inner voice got louder and gave me clear instructions about what I needed.

I wonder if it has always been like that. Did my body always signal me its needs, and I just decided not to listen to it -or perhaps translated it wrong on purpose? My cravings for something sweet, was that just a cry for some fresh fruits, that I wrongfully silenced with a load of candy? My cravings for soda pops, did that mean I was dehydrated and my body just asked for some water?

This week, a stomach virus turned me into a minimalist and it felt good. My food intake was stripped down to basics. I could still enjoy my overnight oats and seeds, as always, but the rest of the day was a form of weird fasting within my calorie limit. 

Healing yourself with certain foods, that something we all learn from our parents and grandparents when they introduce us to our first bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup, when we are little. 

Even when I am feeling bad, I feel better now, than I have been feeling in years -what is a miracle all by itself. While there is so much mixed literature about it, I want to believe that its not just my weight loss, but also the way I cook and eat, that has improved an overall wellbeing that cannot be measured by doctors, laboratories or instruments. 

My stomach is still IFFY and yesterdays food choices made me once again a bit restless during the night, but altogether, I am on my way back to my normal cheerful me, and soon the dogs will get a good night sleep again, without somebody jumping over them in the middle of the night.

I have lost 3.5 lbs more -what I take with a grain of salt.

106 Lbs lost - Only 34 lbs to go!

Viva! Bone Broth Soup!

It's not just a piece of chocolate

Last night I ate a miniature ice cream bar and as so often, I couldn't help but think about the man who tried to show me how to enjoy the sweet treats of life, so many years ago.

My father-in-law was an incredible man, and more a father to me, than my real father ever was. He welcomed me into his family with open arms, even took my side once in a while, when we were newlyweds and just started to explore the joys, and responsibilities that come with marriage.

Every night after dinner he got up and went to the buffet in the dining room. He turned the key to one of the drawers, and in slow motion, he picked up a piece of chocolate and put it in his mouth. When he turned around he looked like a little boy, he smiled and his eyes sparkled. He never chewed the chocolate, he let it melt in his mouth instead -enjoyed the small bite for as long as he could.

He never took more than just one piece. I didn't understand! 

He often talked about WWII. He had been a soldier and had spent some time as a prisoner of war in a POW-camp far away.

He had to work hard but was treated fairly and had enough to eat. "I missed my coffee and a piece of cake on Sunday," he often said but didn't complain about anything else. He always had a sweet tooth, and he appreciated the luxury of candy and cakes a little bit more when he came back home.

One night my father-in-law got up, got his chocolate and on his way back to the living room he collapsed in the hallway. He had a massive heart attack and passed away that night. He was 78 years old. He died with a piece of chocolate in his mouth and I always thought that was perfect. 

My Father-in-law died many years ago, but the way he ate one piece of chocolate in the evening, is something I never forgot. I have eaten a mountain of chocolate in my lifetime, but I don't think I ever appreciated any of it the way he enjoyed just one piece of his favorite milk chocolate bar.

Last night, I sat on the couch and I got a glimpse of the joy he must have felt. The cold chocolate and the cold ice cream before it melts away -what a taste sensation it is when you really pay attention to it.

I hope one day I will be able to treasure the small things in life the way he did. There is so much to learn and I have just begun. Perhaps aging is not so bad after all IF I can trade youth for a little bit of wisdom.

No changes this week. The scale still shows the same -what is a big win in my books. 

102.5 Lbs lost - Only 37.5 to go! Life is great -but too hot right now

Don't Pray for the Chicken

The other night I went through my newsfeed when I came across a message that stood out. "I had fried chicken tonight, my favorite food. I feel bad about it. Please pray for me," my friend had written and I pressed my lips together and blew up my cheeks -a general warning sign for upcoming sarcasm.

I have read similar requests here throughout my time on MFP and mostly, I quietly dismiss and move on. I am not an expert, but my gut feeling tells me God might have his (or her) plate full already -pun intended. 

Also, to me, it's not clear what I am supposed to pray for. Less fried chicken and more discipline I suppose. Or perhaps the prayer is meant to ask for forgiveness, because after all, isn't it a contradiction to feel guilty of the very food the good man upstairs has provided so generously?

Bad, bad fried chicken! How dare you taste so good?

While I don't understand the prayer request -it really puzzles me- I do understand the guilt feeling all too well. It has been my specialty for many years. Hardly a day went by when I didn't feel guilty about my meals. Either I had -again- eaten too much, or my food choices had been highly questionable. I bet I even felt guilty when I didn't do anything wrong. I questioned everything about my food selections. In my mind, there was ONLY good and bad food and nothing in between. 

Guilt takes the fun out of the journey and like any other bad feeling, it will bring you down. It brought me down for years and the scale went up and up.

Yes, fried chicken might not be the healthiest meal choice, but if you love it so much, then enjoy it once in a while and be grateful and remember, we all are very lucky. A lot of people on this beautiful planet would love to chew on the bones we throw away. 

Bad Food is not existing for me anymore-other than for health reasons.

If you love fried chicken then build your meal around it and make smarter choices for the rest of the day. That's how I look at it. I have a certain amount of calories to PLAY with each day and that's what I do. I have a ball when I plan my meals.

Sometimes I am glad my diary doesn't show the order of which I log my food, because if it would, then the world could see that I plan my Saturday meal around the two glasses of wine, I am going to enjoy in the evening. No questions asked, no judgment allowed -I plan it first thing in the morning with a big grin on my face. My 260-calorie award for a tough workweek. 

Is the wine bad? Am I bad? Neither, I hope. 

I am not sure what happened last week, perhaps I sweat too much. Another 2 1/2 pounds are gone!

102.5 Lbs lost - Only 37.5 to go! Life is fabulous.

The Secret to My weightloss

Years ago, when I quit smoking I expected the worse to happen. After all, mood swings and tantrums are part of the quitting process and I was scared. How would I react if I would finally give up my beloved cigarettes?

I pictured myself laying on the floor, shaking like a leaf, begging for a nicotine fix. I took the risk and quit anyway.

According to my husband and my friends, I was a little bit on the edge for two weeks, but manageable. I still laughed and goofed around, I was still the same person -just smelled better.

Interesting enough, giving up the cigarettes wasn't that hard. Giving up the routines and habits that came with it -well that's another story. I found myself running around like a lost puppy. I didn't know what to do with my hands at times. How could ever enjoy a cup of coffee without smoking?

Cigarettes had been my go-to place when I wanted to be alone. Smoking a cigarette gave me permission to walk away whenever I felt like it. I left restaurants and gatherings, walked outside to smoke and got the me-time I so often need.

To me, the cigarettes had magical powers. They made me happy when I was sad, they comforted me when I felt alone. They made me happier when I was happy and most of all, they helped me to relax.

All of that is of course BALONEY -just the way it is with food. Unhealthy food didn't make me happy, too often it left me with a guilt feeling. Overeating never solved any of my problems, it just gave me a short break from dealing with them. 

Somebody asked me last week what I changed to lose so much weight and I couldn't answer the question at first. I didn't change much, so what's there to say. When I came home that night, I asked my husband the same questions and he laughed out loud. "Honey, we changed EVERYTHING," he said and as so often, he is right.

Giving up certain foods was easy, changing our eating routine and habits, that was the hard part. Today most of our eating routines and habits have either been altered or have been kicked to the curb for good.

We eat smaller portions and use smaller plates. We turn off all the distractions during dinner and even in the office, I sit on a table and eat my lunch, instead of gulping down plates of food, while sitting on the computer. The way I plan meals has changed. I plan in advance for each and every meal -no matter where we go, and if I need help to identify healthy food in a store or restaurant, I ask for help and guidance.

I learned to acknowledge the fact that I have moments when I want to hide behind something -cigarettes or food, you name it. There are times when I am controlled by emotions -good or bad. Instead of eating (or smoking) I am slowly learning to deal with me. 

Giving up certain foods has not killed me, as I first thought it would. Also, our family and friends still love to visit us, no matter what I serve.

Turns out the kids never asked me to cook all their favorite meals when they come to town, that had been my idea entirely. The old rule "Food is love" doesn't apply anymore. Food is food and love is love.

No change in weight last week. I am still celebrating my 100-pound weight loss. I declared it a Holiday in our home and I will drag it out as long as I can.

100.5 lbs lost - Only 39.5 lbs to go!

Finally -The Fat Lady has lost 100 Pounds!

I had waited for this moment and knew how I would react. I would clap my hands like a little girl, would dance through the house and the yard -butt naked of course- and would share my joy with the rest of the world -nothing less would do.

Funny how it works. We picture a situation in our mind over and over and then, when it really happens, we react so differently.

Today in the morning, the scale had shown me the magical number I had so longed to see. Finally, there it was, in bright red I could read 212.

Down from 312, that's a 100-lbs weight loss in 543 days. I don't know how long I stood on the scale but it was quite some time. Getting there had taken me so much longer than I had estimated, and I am still not even close to my goal weight. 

I wrapped a towel around me -because now I can do that- and sat down on the bathtub. Instead of dancing, I felt like a deflated tire, like a football player after a long game with overtime.

I wanted to ask the diet fairy to pinch me. "Am I dreaming or is this for real?"

It is for real and I find it so hard to believe. After years of denial and stagnation, I have gotten my act together and I have changed my lifestyle. Not a diet pill, or a magical juice, a fad diet or surgery have accomplished that. I did it all by myself with the help of my wonderful husband, my kids, my family and the amazing friends by my side.

The moment I had waited for with so much anticipation, became a moment of reflection. So much has changed over the last 1 1/2 year and so much is still the same.

I still eat like a pig, but like a healthy pig, what seems to make all the difference in the world.

The times when I ate blocks of cheese and sleeves of cracker are long gone. Today, one of my proudest possessions is a lunchbox in the size of a small overnight bag. Mason jars with salads, fancy containers with homemade leftover foods and freshly prepared snacks and dressings, are now being transported back and forth to the office almost on a daily base.

The days of my fast food addiction have passed, now I enjoy fresh food and with that, I have renewed my love for cooking.

I got up and started to move and it paid off. While going to the gym is not an option, due to health issues, I found my own way. 

I have lost 100 pounds -now it starts to sink in.

I did what I never thought I could. This time I didn't give up like so many times before, instead, I am going for it. I am still fat but less fat and it feels great.

My blood pressure is normal. I am no longer in jeopardy of type II diabetes and my cholesterol is good. I am off all my medications and my RA factor is under 2 -what is a miracle all by itself. 

I can paint my toenails without cursing, and I can kneel down to pull weeds and get up again, without holding on to things. 

When I wrote the contract with myself and planned my rewards, I thought a short trip for my husband and me would be a perfect celebration, but an hour ago I changed my mind -as so often.

Instead, I bought us two special tickets for "A symphonic celebration of Prince." That night I will walk down to my seat with my head held up high, because I know I will not make the people around me uncomfortable. Now I fit in a theater seat without squeezing myself and others -perhaps that's my biggest reward.

100.5 lbs lost - Only 39.5 lbs to go!

I feel overwhelmed and happy. A heartfelt middle-finger-salute to Menopause and aging. You can't stop me!

The Fat Lady and the To-Go Box

Our office signed a new client and yesterday I met her for the first time. A very beautiful lady who is obviously not aware of the effect she has on people -or she doesn't care.  Everything on her fits. Her figure is slim, her hair is perfect, in color and cut. The clothes she wears look elegant but comfortable, her laughter is ladylike -she walks, talks and even sits down in style. One of these natural beauties, one can only admire.

An attractive middle-aged lady and on the other side of the desk, there was me the fat Lady, with my goofy glasses and my beloved cartoon sneakers. We couldn't be more different but we clicked instantly.

We quickly took care of business and decided to go for lunch together. We talked and laughed, got to know each other a bit and I believe we both felt the same way. The rare seed of friendship had been planted in just a couple of hours. 

I am afraid I have become a food stalker. I watch what people around me order, and study how they eat and how long it takes them. Are they gulping their food down, or do they take breaks in between -something I will never understand.

Who eats healthy, who eats unhealthy. Does the figure match the plate? Now there is a new idea for another game show (Please, don't.)

The rituals people have, when it comes to food are so interesting. The fast eaters finish their whole plate in lightning speed, the slow eaters often stop after about half the portion and take the rest to go. To-go boxes, one of my biggest weaknesses and in my opinion, one of the reasons so many Americans are obese.

Too many of my past leftover lunches and dinners never made it home but were eaten in the car or in the office, because there wasn't really too much left to begin with. Why would I torture a chicken drumstick and two spoonfuls of mashed potatoes with a long ride home, if I can finish them off right away?

My new friend asked for a to-go container right when we ordered our meal, and she separated the food before she started eating. Now that's something I hadn't seen yet.

I asked her about it and her simple explanation stunned me. "If I don't do it, I will eat it all," she confessed and I looked at her in disbelieve. Come to find out she is exactly like me. She loves food and would eat -and overeat- on a daily base, just the way I did in the past.

"I have to watch out, or I will gain it all back," and with that, she totally floored me. She too had been overweight in the past, she, just like me, had decided to lose weight and so she did.

I ate my healthy lunch and then it hit me. My new client and all the success stories here on MFP have one thing in common. They have willpower and discipline, because losing weight and living a healthier life, just doesn't work without it.

Planning and sticking to my plan, might not always be easy, but it is worth it. In the past a to-go box was a bonus for me, a snack I could have whenever I felt like it. This has changed, now it's an extra meal. 

I have the WILL and the POWER to make the right choices in life and on my plate.

I want this badly and I don't care if I am slowest MFP'ler ever. Ounce by ounce, pound by pound I will get there. 

Yeah! Another 1/2 lb is gone.

98.5 lbs lost - Only 41.5to Go!

Dear Mother Nature!

It's me, the fat lady, just a little bit less fat now but surely, you cannot have forgotten me.

We haven't seen each other in a while, ever since you abruptly ended our friendship about two years ago, when you decided, I would not receive your monthly gift anymore. No hard feelings, but a small warning would have been nice back then. I almost drove to the emergency room when I got my first hot flash -thought I had a heart attack- and only my frantic search for a cooler place, prevented me from making a total fool out of myself.

There I was, a rather elegant fat lady when you turned me into a sweaty mess.

I didn't complain then; I accepted your decision and our breakup with as much grace as a middle-aged, sweaty woman can come up with. It was a hard and a rather brutal transition, but I managed -with the help of numerous fans and an extra A/C window unit in our bedroom.

Even my husband adjusted nicely to the arctic temperatures in our home. He has fallen in love with his fur-lined slippers and has found a new appreciation of all the cozy blankets, which he now even uses during the summer time.

You didn't want anything to do with me anymore and now, out of the blue, after two years, you decided to stop by -unannounced. Did you hear about my weight loss and you had to come by and see it for yourself?

Friends throw each other surprise parties, and I have to give it to you that, you nailed this one. I was so not expecting it. How sneaky of you to show up at night. I was so used to my PAUSE of MENO that I almost didn't know what to do with your little present. I went to the aisle with female hygiene products and felt nervous. As ALWAYS the product I knew, was displayed right beside the adult diapers for older people, and I couldn't help thinking, that buying these might be the better deal for me.

I mean seriously, I just bought a jumbo package of female hygiene products that I (hopefully) will never use again. What am I suppose to do with the leftovers? Put them in my will?

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I am now 53 years old. What were you thinking? We broke up. Remember? 

Considering my age, I am almost sure that I received someone else’s gift by mistake. I bet you meant to leave it across the street, and you messed up. My neighbor is a sweet lady; I don’t want her to have a nervous breakdown while she is waiting for her GIFT. You better fix that!

You came by in the middle of the night, so may I suggest using a flashlight from now on. Also, you might want to think about investing in a GPS system...just in case.

Mother Nature, please don't take it the wrong way, but I don’t want to be friends anymore. Please be so nice and put me back into the ice age aka menopause, because now I am used to it and I love it. I gave up being elegant; I like my comfortable clothes, my flat shoes, and my rosy cheeks.

Sincerely,

A very confused Fat Lady

PS. Stay off the booze

On a serious note, according to my doctor, this all is normal and my weight loss might have a lot to do with my "surprise gift."

98 lbs lost - Only 42 to go! Getting ready for the big 100-party! 

A Fat View on Health

It's ok and healthy to be realistic about the short-comings of my body, as long as I realize that I am much more than just my body. In an ideal world, we could be critical of our bodies, without being critical of our whole person.

If you walk off a cliff, you fall. If you fall far enough, you die.

Above a certain age being morbidly obese will have consequences. 

Above a certain BMI, a person will almost certainly develop Diabetes. Above a certain BMI, you will need new knees later in life. Above a certain BMI, your life expectancy decreases dramatically. These are just facts!

They were my facts for way too long! 

I can be HAPPY at any weight.
I can be BEAUTIFUL at any weight.
I *CAN NOT* BE HEALTHY AT ANY WEIGHT
!

I know that because I have lived it! 

Being fat was ok in my 30's, it was ok in my 40's, it got complicated in my 50's.  

I do believe that people in this country need to realize that they will face serious health consequences from being overweight. I needed to realize that! 

Unfortunately, the body positivity movement -as great as it is- is also part of a general acceptance of obesity in this country that is not good. We definitely do not want to get into body shaming but at the same time, people need to take responsibility for their own health outcomes and realize, that no matter what else they do to stay healthy, being overweight can completely neutralize those efforts.

While body positivity is very important, so is acknowledging the problems that come with being obese. Talking about it is important. It is the key to this topic and to every other issue, our culture is struggling with - politics, race, sexual assault -and so much more. 

Fat acceptance is leading to a huge population of out-of-shape young people who are going to be taking multiple prescriptions by the time they're in their 40s or 50s. We need to stop pretending that excess weight is healthy. 

It is not. I have lived it! 

"Fat acceptance" and "Body positivity movements" were developed so that overweight and obese people like me, could proclaim that fat people still retain value as a human being. A person is not worthless because she is fat. You might say people aren't saying that but the message is there. The condemnation of fat people is common and proven. Fat people are publically taunted and passed over for promotions.

Fat shaming is part of an obese person's life. I have felt the looks, I have heard the whispers behind my back. I have lived it!

As a woman who recently lost a  significant amount of weight, I can attest, being in a smaller body feels healthier. My back feels better, my knees feel better, I can walk (further) and without huffing and puffing. Exercise has made me physically stronger, and I am capable of doing things with my body I didn't think I could. While I look older now, I feel younger.

This fat lady has reached a new state of happiness.

Looking at my old, fat pictures makes me so sad. I realize I missed out on some experiences because I felt self-conscious about my weight. I was embarrassed when I met people and whenever I was disappointed with an interaction, my first thought was always, "Was it my weight?" I should have enjoyed every situation, regardless of my size.

We need to love ourselves, but at the same time, we need to keep our eyes open and make the best choices we can for ourselves. Weight loss shouldn't be the goal but a by-product of manifesting physical self-care.

Can't we choose to love ourselves and to work towards needed change out of that love and not out of shame?

Loving myself and having the desire to change my appearance, are two sentiments that can peacefully coexist.

Another 1/2 pound has fallen off my hips.

96.5 lbs lost - Only 43.5 lbs to go! 

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