Saturday, September 09, 2006

This time will be the last time

So I'm making a clean start for my upcoming transformation from (you guessed it!) zaftig to svelte. I like those words. I do not like my current state (99.9% zaftig, and only 0.1% svelte). That 0.1% could be considered a rounding error.

I pondered where to host this new blog -- there are supposedly weight loss blogging sites that have cool tools you can use, and communities you can join, but I am super happy with Blogger since my "regular" blog is there too.

I wanted to make a clean start and also have a place where I could blog mundane details like whether I worked out, and what interesting things I ate. I figured most people wouldn't care about that sort of thing.

The other reason I'm starting a whole new blog is to commemorate the upcoming start of my serious, skin-in-the-game, comprehensive 26-week program at Sound Health Solutions. My fabulous employer will be paying for most of it, and my portion of the cost is a little more than taking a class at UW. If I can fork over the money to take a class, I certainly can pay for something this important, and spend at least the same amount of time on it as I would a 5-credit class.

I'm lucky to have such great benefits, but also unlucky that my BMI is high enough that I qualify for such a program. I weigh more now than I ever have. Seeing that in writing is a little bit scary. I've wreaked havoc on my body from "dieting" over the past 15 years, though thankfully none of the attempts were unhealthy, just inconsistent. I've been successful once before (in 1997 I lost about 40 lbs, but unfortunately managed to find those again this year). This past year has really been awful for me with respect to gaining weight. I lost nearly 20 lbs for our wedding (yay for good wedding pictures) through a torturous exercise and high protein diet plan. As everyone knows, once you quit the high protein world, the weight comes right back on. And I love me those carbs. Couple that with being happily married, super busy at work planning two huge customer events, and eating out with friends, and you have the recipe for a 30 lb weight gain over 19 months. Horrifying.

I am way too scared to admit how much I weigh here, but in a perfect world I'd like to lose around 45 lbs. That may not be realistic for me to maintain, so I'll worry about it when I get there.

My new program starts on September 18. They've sent me a bunch of questionnaires to fill out. I worked on them last night. One is about depression, on which I probably scored the equivalent of "mildly blah". The other was about self esteem, which thankfully I have no problem with, except on the questions relating to appearance.

The worst one was on "Behavior Change". I have always thought I didn't have emotional issues with food and really it's just a question of me eating the right foods and exercising. I know what I need to do, I just don't do it. And that's sort of true. I breezed through all the questions like "I eat when I'm angry" and "I eat when I'm sad". I don't do those things. But then there were questions like "I eat to celebrate with friends" and "I eat out often in restaurants" and "I look forward to exercising". So I guess I'll have my work cut out for me.

The thing I like is that the questionnaire seems to be asking the *right* questions for me. This program isn't just for morbidly obese folks who have severe childhood traumas, it also seems to be good for people like me who just don't do the right things, have trouble planning meals, and getting to the gym. A friend of mine also went through this program and spoke very highly of it.

I'll post more about the program itself once I get started. The gist of it is to make a lifestyle change, not just a temporary diet and exercise program. It's very flexible, and accomodates people who travel a lot, eat out a lot, want to exercise at home, don't want to count calories, etc. It's super-personalized and you experiment to find out what works so you can sustain it. I'm looking forward to this new approach - I really want to get away from "counting" things, whether it be points, calories, fat grams, whatever.

Today I went to the gym for the first time this week and did 40 minutes of hard cardio, at 70-85% of my maximum heart rate (which I'm estimating at 200 to make the math easy, based on the 220-age formula). It felt really good to sweat. I did 25 minutes on the dual-action elliptical, and 15 minutes of run walk (2min walk, 30sec run) on the treadmill. It even felt good to run again (just a little bit).

Anyway, I want to get back to working out the next few weeks before I start at SHS, so I'm not totally overwhelmed by having to exercise 3x a week for an hour. I just finished that time-sucking Statistics class today, so now I really have *no* excuse for not working out.

Wish me luck on this long, strange trip! 26 weeks seems like forever but I know I'll need every minute of it to get to my goal. (And I might even need more time, since I'll be figuring out what changes I need to make that I can actually live with forever.)


  1. First of all, bravo to you, because I think it takes a lot of guts to write about something as personal as this on here. So one thing I wanted to say about the lifestyle changes thing is that I made some lifestyle changes in the last few years because I was hanging out with people who lived healthier lifestyles than myself. A lot of the changes weren't motivated by conscious decisions.

    For example, I started eating much less meat because a lot of my new friends over the last few years are vegetarians. So not only did I eat good vegetarian (i.e. nutritionally balanced, still protein sufficient) food when I was at their place for dinner, I'd cook vegetarian as well. After a while I got so used to it, that I either don't eat meat when I'm out, or only eat limited portions. It's just what I'm used to now. Though sometimes I wonder if I'm getting enough protein in my diet.

    Other changes, like exercising regularly, were more of a struggle and a conscious decision for me. I have friends who religiously get up at 6 or 7am to exercise for an hour or so before heading to work. That just ain't me. I don't like exercise, and the only reason I exercise regularly now is because I found an exercise DVD series that's super fun for me, and it started to become addictive. Also, now that I exercise in my living room when no one's around, I positively associate exercise with "alone time," which I really enjoy and need a lot of.

    So I'm not sure if that's helpful... I mean, I think part of the intent of some of the weight loss programs is so you can hang out with people who are also trying to make lifestyle changes, and you can be in it together. But sometimes if you hang out with people who already live a healthier lifestyle, those changes just sort of happen to you.

  2. Wow, thanks for the long comment! Unfortunately I don't have any super healthy friends :) so I guess I'm on my own here. I am trying to become more vegetarian (if there is such a thing!) and hopefully a few months of consciously making good choices will rub off on our lifestyle in general. :)


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