Diet Sabotage…Is it Fair to Blame the Family?

I don’t want to give the wrong impression about my husband.  He truly has been very supportive of me throughout all the hundreds of times I’ve “started and stopped” a diet.  Frankly, it’s probably confusing to him.  Since we met 17 years ago, I have been in tug of war with the diet demon.  He has never once made me feel unattractive and has never once ridiculed me about my weight.  Ok, now that I got that plug out of the way, let me share the story about the donuts.  Last night we were at the grocery store.  I didn’t realize until the cashier was bagging the groceries that he had slipped a box of donuts in the cart.  I was like, “Dude, what the heck!?”  He and the cashier chuckled at my discovery.  As we were going to the car we had a “light” discussion about it and told him I definitely did not want the kids to see them because I am trying to keep them from turning into me.  He said he bought them to take to work in the morning and that he would leave them in his car.  Ok, next morning.  I had just dropped my son off.  I was in a pretty chipper mood since I weighed in earlier and realized I’d lost 5 more lbs.  Yay me!  Anyway, as I pulled in the driveway I was thinking about my weight loss plans (as usual).  It seems like that’s the only way to succeed is by making it your primary focus all the time.  So anyway, as I turned to reach for my purse in the back seat, there it was, the devil donuts!  Ahhhhh!  How could he???!!!!  I was completely caught off guard.  What to do?  It is Saturday.  I usually cheat a little on the weekend.  Maybe just one.   It always amazes me how fast you can go from “Ms. High and Mighty Motivated” to “Mr. What the Heck, I’ll get back on track later”.  So anyway, I dash in the house and text him. “I cannot believe you left those donuts in my car!”  He responded by telling me to throw them away.  I responded, “No. I’m not even touching them.  Thanks a lot”.  He responded, “I didn’t mean to man, just chill out.”  Just chill out?  Really?  For some strange reason, that little comment really got me going.  So needless to say that set off a little texting to war.  I think he should have just apologized for leaving them and that would have been the end of it.  I tried to explain how difficult this is for me.  But in his defense, he has seen me do this so many times, he probably has no idea whether I’m truly serious or not.  After my texting tantrum, he did apologize.  So you tell me, can I really blame him?  After all, it is my problem.  But if I were an alcoholic, wouldn’t it be crucial that he not leave beer in the back seat?  I’m just saying…..  What do you think?

Fitness Fun……Move, Lose, and Groove!

Fitness is essential to any weight loss program.  For most obese or really overweight people, walking is a great start.  Unfortunately for me, I get this weird itching when I walk out doors.  I have a treadmill, but I cannot use it yet because of the 300lb weight limit (15 more lbs to go).  But thank God for Exercise TV on Demand!  I love it.  There are so many choices from ab workouts and cardio, to yoga and walking routines.  It has been an excellent way to get me moving.  I have tons of DVD’s but I really wanted some new stuff.  My favorite workouts usually have some type of dance aerobics twist to it.  I love to dance!  And I think that’s the key to sticking to a fitness plan.  You have to find something you like doing, I think it should be fun, and you have to be able to grow with it.  Here are a few of my favorites.

*        Crunch (Latin, Hip Hop, Global) – Fitness Instructor Marc Santa Maria

*        Enviga – Fitness Instructor Kendall Hogan

*        Cardioke – Fitness Instructor Billy Blanks, Jr.

*        Disco Abs –  Fitness Instructor Cheryl Burke

*        Zumba –

These workouts are challenging, yet easy to modify, making it possible to actually finish one and leaving lots of room for growth in the very same routine.  Exercise TV may change which workouts are available from one month to the next.  So if you discover one you really like, plan on ordering the DVD.  Disco Abs is no longer available, so I plan to order it online. Meanwhile, with the click of the remote, I have access to a library of great workouts.

I’d love to get any recommendations on other workout DVDs that involve dance.  Please share if you know of any good ones!

The Diet Pill….Desperate Measures

It has been about 3 months since I made the decision once again to “get serious about losing weight”.  At 350lbs, I desperately turned to diet pills to treat my obesity.  It was really a last resort for me.  Not even 5 years ago, I was able to lose 95 lbs. without taking any pills whatsoever!  Obviously, I have gained it all back and then some.  I’m not sure how I was mentally able to lose all that weight.  But I know exactly how I gained it back, but I will share that another time.  Since then, I just had not been able to pull myself together to get started.  I can honestly say that since 2006 I have made some kind of attempt to lose weight at least every 3-6 months without success.  And it hasn’t been because things don’t work, it’s because I haven’t stuck to anything for more than 2 weeks until now.  So I turned to a diet pill prescription.      My doctor prescribed phentermine or Adipex, which is an appetite suppressant (and I’ll discuss the side effects in another post).  My plan – to take them only for 3 months and transition into something more long term and lifestyle oriented.  Basically use them as a stepping stone to get me started or at least until I lose 50lbs, which would put me under 300lbs.

So I got the prescription in January, didn’t start until February and now it is April.  I am on my second prescription, but there is probably a 2 or 3 week supply still left in the bottle.  It’s because I haven’t been taking them every day for a variety of reasons.  One being because I sometimes want to EAT.  But even still, I have managed to lose weight.   The tricky thing with diet pills is that you still have to be psychologically ready to change your life.  You’d be surprised how mentally difficult it is to just take the freakin pill.  It amazes me.  People may have this idea that taking diet pills guarantees success.  Wrong!  First of all, you have to actually take them.  And honestly, someone who has reached 300lbs may not be ready to give up the one thing that diet pills will take away (the freedom to eat whatever the heck you want, when you want).  Even though I knew it would help me, it took me a month to take the first pill.  But I finally did take the plunge.  I have also been working out 3-4 times a week and joined a free weight loss support group at work as an accountability tool.  I have lost nearly 30lbs!  As exciting as this is, I want to caution anyone who is considering starting a diet pill regimen.  Discuss this with your doctor first and do some research.  And if you decide to go this route, have a transition plan before you start. Diet pills are truly temporary and should be treated only as a means to take the edge off while you develop the lifestyle habits that will actually lead to long term success.

An Amazing Weight Loss Success Story

Wow, it’s been a super busy day!  But I’m not complaining because my weight loss has allowed me to do things today that I could have only dreamed of a few years ago.  Let me back up for a moment.  Like many others, I have struggled with losing weight since Michael Jackson moon walked for the first time and Run DMC collaborated with Aerosmith on “Walk This Way”.  Yeah, you know back when parachute pants hit retail?  But anyway, about 2 years ago, after hundreds of rounds in the boxing ring, my skinny, alter ego Mia, finally beat the pounds off of Fat Me.  At 175lbs lighter I couldn’t ask for a better 40th birthday gift.  My day included a morning run, helping out in my daughter’s classroom, shopping for me (not my kids), a pedicure, dinner and dancing with the hubby, and topping it all off with a trip to the amusement park with the kids this weekend (roller coasters and all).  40 and fabulous!

So I started my day with a light (and I do mean light) jog.  You see, I always dreamed of running.  Not necessarily a marathon, I just wanted to run.  So I recently began training to run a very short marathon.  Today I ran about 2 miles.  It doesn’t seem like a lot for some of these “die hard” athletes.  But it’s a big deal to me since there was a time at my highest weight that I could not even walk 10 minutes without my back screaming at me to sit down.

But let me get back to my fabulous day!  I also volunteered at my daughter’s school.  So what?  Well, when I was heavier I felt embarrassed for my kids so I didn’t spend as much time at the school as I or my daughter would have liked me to.  At over 300lbs, I just felt like an alien around all those little kids and their thin moms.  My son was older and could care less, but my daughter wanted mommy to be at school like the other moms.  I had a lot of excuses for her, but not anymore.  Anyway, from the school I did some shopping.  And unlike the light jogging, the shopping was heavy!  I think I seriously have a shoe fetish.  I love shoes!  I could never really wear the ones I wanted because my feet were chunky.  Besides, could you imagine balancing a watermelon on a toothpick?  That’s how my big body would have been in cute heals.  So I picked up 2 pairs of strappy heals, some boots, jeans, some make-up, Spanx, and a dress.  And no, it wasn’t a “little black dress”.  I know many women dream of wearing that little black dress after weight loss.  Not me.  I have tons of black dresses in my closet because it’s the only color I wore for years.  No, I wanted color.  I dreamed of the “little purple dress”.  I could finally wear my favorite color without looking like Barney!

Next it was time for my pedicure.  You’re thinking, “Thick chics can get pedis too, why is this a realized dream?”  Ok, for most, pedicures represent relaxation and kicking back.  NOT! For a 300lb woman, it means you are going to get a workout holding your leg up because you feel sorry for the poor little woman handling your giant calf.  So instead of relaxing you’re looking forward to muscle spasms later from doing leg lifts to spare the tiny woman the burden of holding a leg that’s as big as her own body.  AND you absolutely must give a bigger tip.  So yeah, not fun.  But today, guilt-free pedi!

Finally, I went home and slipped on my “little purple dress”.  And thanks to my Spanx and going from a size 30 to a 14, I didn’t have to tug at the dress all night to keep it from clinging to my back rolls.  I strapped on my cute, high-heel sandals and hit the town with the hubby.  We went to a Latin dance class that we had been going to for a couple of weeks.   I love dancing as much as I love shoes, so it was so much fun.  And then we enjoyed a late dinner at the Samba Room.  It was fabulous!

Ok, I hope you enjoyed that story.  The thing is, what you have just read hasn’t actually happened yet.  It is truly my lifestyle dream.  I am at the beginning of my journey to get there.  25lbs down and 150 more to go.  But I wrote this so that I could visualize my own weight loss success.   Join me over the next several months and watch me realize this dream through what I like to refer to as the “3 Ps”- Prayer, Pain, and Perseverance.  I will rewrite this story in October 2012!

Plus Size Shopping……Fat, Frustrating, and No Fun!

Plus Size Shopping……Fat, Frustrating, and No Fun!

Fat and fun cannot be used in the same sentence, especially when it comes to plus size shopping.  It can simply be frustrating and emotionally draining to shop when you’re overweight (or in my case obese).  Anyway, there is nothing like a shopping excursion to remind me of just how inconvenient being overweight really is.  I recently had to shop for a dress for a wedding on the beach.  Exciting right? NO!  This can be taxing even for a small woman.  So if your measurements are 50 54 60…..well lets just say you got problems.  We as women are typically soooo hard on ourselves and unfortunately, tend to seek perfection.  And for the “normal” size woman, there are tons of retail options to help land that perfect look.  But for me, on the other hand, at the time a size 28-30, the choices were ironically “slim” pickins.  So perfection is not usually a goal when shopping for a plus size dress.  I just want something to cover and camouflage, if you know what I mean. So I began my search weeks in advance because I knew this would end badly if I waited until the last minute.  I know someone is thinking, “Aren’t there plus size sections in all department stores?”  Well, yes, however the sizes usually only go up to 24 AND I think the buyers for the plus size section of certain stores (that will remain nameless) seem to have this idea that plus sized women are all over the age of 70.  I mean seriously?  Just because I’m thick does not mean I want to look like an upholstered bean bag.  And even the retail shops that exclusively sell plus size apparel often don’t have size 28s or 30s in stock.  So after spending days browsing the only 2 plus size shops in the universe that sell stylish clothes for the large woman,  I went ahead and ordered a linen capri set from Jessica London online and a smock cover-up that could pass for a dress online from Lane Bryant.  Both, I eventually returned.  Don’t get me wrong,  they were both very nice.  But you ever hear the saying, “its not you, its me” when someone is being dumped?  Well, thats my relationship with clothes.  Its not them its me.  Thats why shopping is so my reality check.  I discovered that no matter what I find or how much time I put into shopping, I am still not going to be satisfied with how I “look” in something.  This is not to say that plus size women arent attractive.  I mean, I think I’m actually kinda fine at a size 20 or 22.  And if not for health reasons and activity level, being a size 22 would suit me since it does open up a few more shopping options.  BUT there is that whole heart disease and diabetes thing I’m trying to avoid.   So my weight loss goal will most certainly have to be much smaller than size 22.  And as I said, there are many beautiful and attractive plus size women.  But for me, I have personally reached a size that does not look good on me.  And as horrible as it is, shopping might just be the motivation I need to peel the fat!  So when I begin to try on clothes and quickly realize that how I imagined I’d look  and how I really look are two different things, I could choose to do one or two things.  One, I could get depressed, maybe even shed a tear, go home and avoid shopping again until I’m forced to because of some unavoidable upcoming event.  Or I could determine in my mind that little by little, slowly but surely, my shopping experiences will go from frustrating to fantastic!  And having already lost 29 pounds since the wedding shopping nightmare, I’m already starting to dread shopping a little bit less than before.   On a positive note, even though there aren’t many physical plus size retail stores, there are literally hundreds of online stores offering stylish, plus size clothing.  Just be sure to sign up for email offers, look for free shipping, and know the return policies and procedures.  Now go ahead, shop til you drop! ( a pound)