Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Impressing Myself vs. Self License

Yup, I'm still here....still on the path of the skinny.  Three and a half months have elapsed since I first stepped on this bus and smoothly and steadily, it rolls along with few detours or speed bumps.  These past couple of weeks have been my most challenging ones thus far.  I have surprised myself on the good and bad sides of my day to day experiences.  Yet, even the "bad" things really have just been learning situations that I can place in my brain to reference for the next time.  The time since the DFC has flown by.  Truly, I feel like I left there last month.  I think of this as a good thing because I still hold all of this information that I learned there freshly in my mind.  I know that I've established habits that are taking hold and are coming so much more naturally at this point.  But the dark side lurks close by and I have given myself license at times that has resulted in negative consequence and has slowed my weight loss progress.

65 pounds have been shed to date.  To me, it finally feels like a significant number that has fallen off my fat ass!  As I stated above, there has been some learning experiences about my body's reaction to all that I have challenged it with on this journey, and challenge it I have!!  I'm a party person as it turns out.  I know.  Some of you are shocked by this revelation.  But I love a good happy hour, and I love a night out and about.  I track a lot of stuff on a spread sheet I built and this helps me to see trends in my diet and exercise program and helps to keep me honest with myself. (Especially, when I am out and about, this review becomes super important!)  Somehow, in all of my party prowess, I still have yet to order a pizza or a single chicken wing which I consider successful.  Fast food has virtually disappeared from my lifestyle, (or non-questioningly, lack of a lifestyle pre-journey) Mainly, I log my exercise, daily weight, blood pressure, and calories burned as best I can collect this information and most importantly, I track my calorie intake.  When I know I'm headed out on the town, I do prepare.  I am more critically aware of what calories will more than likely be ingested in party mode, and I try to be more frugal with my calorie 'spending' limit for a day or two prior.  There have been two times where I came home and had absolutely no idea how to score things on my sheet.  No, not necessarily from being face down after a few cocktails, but because I was at a restaurant and really couldn't guess well, or at a party where finger foods ruled.   I basically am counting calories as I prepare or order each meal to make sure I'm not out of bounds, and then each night I review each meal and snack throughout my day and enter it into the spreadsheet. I should probably have a booze calorie column, but I'm a little leery of tracking that info, and I know thus far, I haven't been disastrous in this area...again, I know you're shocked.  For now, I just count them with all the other little calories.

 I'm thinking about adding a sodium content column on the spreadsheet as I think this has done me in a couple of times.  This is where I think my challenges lay and it has become an area that impresses me to no end. There is a balance I am trying to achieve for myself and much of this balance does come naturally in how the DFC has taught me to react to food and exercise.  The balance teeters between quality of life concerns and leading a healthier lifestyle.  There is room for both I've found.  The 'license' I sometimes give myself comes easily, almost too easily,  and this is an area where I need to put in a double check for myself.  I've come too far now to allow a licensing issue to become detrimental to my progress and these are those situations that I can now reflect upon going forward.  The times that I've allowed license to eat, I end up going to stuff that the salt content is out the window.  Nothing will make you want to cringe more than stepping on the scale the next morning and you've gained seven pounds overnight.  Now, I know a lot of this is water weight being held back by that salt binge and it will go away, but thus far, it takes my body a few days to return back to where I left it before and then progress resumes.  Of the two times this has happened, one was conscious, and one was a miss-read on a label...or operator error.  Thankfully, I recover the next day and get back on track, but to me, it is lost time in weight loss progress and that is the trade off for a night out.  Mentally, I can deal to a point, but I can't say that there is not regret when these situations have happened.

For as much success that I have made thus far, there is no way that I could have ever made this journey without the support of those around me.  Family, friends, and coworkers have been invaluable to me.  But also from the owners and servers of the restaurant next door to where I work.  I merely show up and say the word 'yes' and they know that I want a chicken breast on a pita with a side of steamed broccoli and a salad. To be able to order off menu has been awesome to meeting my needs and so convenient.  I've befriended new folks at the gym who are now aware of my progress and give me a thumbs up or an approving nod when they see me trying to kill a machine.  I have an awesome support person in my life who is so genuinely supportive and has expressed her wish for my success since forever ago without ever being preachy. She welled up with happy tears at my progress when we started to discuss my success one night.   This both blew me out of the water and invigorated me at the same time. The fact that she was moved to this reaction totally surprised me yet, it shouldn't have at all given her long standing wish for me. An amazing, uplifting contribution.   Facebook has been an invaluable tool as well.  I can seek advice, demonstrate my accountability, and listen to information from so many voices.  The support online is awesome.  Recently, upon finally hitting a wall at the gym, I got so many great suggestions on how I can work through it and I have not seen the wall since!

My self confidence is huge right now.  It's just been growing.  I've always been a confident person in regards to my abilities and sensibilities inwardly, but for the first time in a long time, my outward confidence is beginning to show up again.  I've made some big life changes so far, and with this confidence, more life changes in other areas are on the horizon.  This is the year of Blair.  Good things are ahead, just need to get there.  My charted course is being followed and there are smiles...Really big ones!

Lastly, I recently got an email from the DFC concerning their plight though these touch economic times which is forcing them to experience another round of layoffs by a third, and a reduction of services to clients.  I'm sure the DFC will not disappear, and there is good business sense to their decisions that can not be denied, but it is sad to think that some of the great people who have launched me soon may have to deal with life disruption.  You'd think in this hugely obese population of ours that there would be endless supply of folks seeking out the help of a program such as that at the DFC.  But I guess this is not the case....If you know of anyone struggling with obesity, I can certainly recommend a place for them to begin their own journey.