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Lifetime: It’s A Long Time

Last weekend we had a special meeting for Lifetime Members at our Weight Watchers center. Lifetime members are people who reached their goal weight then maintained it for a minimum of six weeks. Many Lifetime members have been at their goal weight for YEARS (one woman there has been at goal for 17 yrs!!!!!!!) and others for shorter amounts of time.  It was an awesome meeting. We talked about how exciting it can be to lose, and then, when you hit goal weight and maintenance, it’s: gain a pound. Lose a pound. Gain a pound. Repeat. You don’t get the same sense of celebration as “losers” do.

That is one reason that I jumped onto WW staff the second (and I mean the SECOND) I reached Lifetime. I knew it would be super challenging to maintain my weight loss. I knew I had to do it. And for me, to be on staff has been more rewarding and amazing than I ever could have imagined. I have gained an incredible community of friends who share the same healthy goals. I have the resources of this amazing organization. I am constantly learning new things: about health, and about myself.

People talked about feeling “invisible” in the mass of people who are primarily at WW to lose weight. On one hand, I know what they mean. But at the same time, I have to say that every single topic that we discuss in the meetings are JUST as relevant for maintainers as for people who are trying to lose. I personally reflect on every topic that we have, and each one is meaningful because they are all about living healthy lives. For good.

Another thing we talked about is this idea of maintaining being “hard.” Is it harder than losing? Yes and no. I think it’s hard when we realize that reaching a goal weight does not mean Immunity. Ha ha ha ha. You just have to keep doing what you’re doing, and do more of it, like, forever. I think it’s easy when we’re generally feeling better and healthier than we ever have. So it’s both.

I’ve made a personal vow to make sure the Lifetime members in my meetings feel just as welcomed and celebrated and honored as anyone else. They are inspirational! and awesome for what they have accomplished. And it also made me think hard about how important it is to constantly work to keep myself motivated. I have to keep changing it up.

On Sunday, we had the WW Awards event which was super amazingly awesome. It’s sort of like the Oscars of the WW world. I was proud to be part of some great accomplishments this year, especially for the Alameda Center. We also heard that the Northern California region, which was #14 in the country (for weight loss/maintenance accomplishments) last year – fantastic- has jumped to NUMBER TWO this year! Woo hoo! Go Northern California Weight Watchers!

I’m doing a bunch of things to change things up recently. To keep it fresh. I’ve made a new commitment to fresh produce. I’m going to go to the Farmers’ Market at least once a week (if not more). I’m going to keep reading new things and thinking about my health in new ways. Because there is no such thing as Immunity.

Happy Goal-Day to Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


Party day

Originally uploaded by j_jyarbrough

Today is a big day! It’s a celebration day! I’m bringing a bunch of balloons to my WW meeting tonight. Because ONE YEAR AGO, on June 23rd, 2009, I got to my goal weight!

AAAAAAAAND……(drum roll) I have maintained it a whole year! A year of maintenance. But this also means that I have ACHIEVED one of my big New Years goals for 2010: to be eligible to join the National Weight Loss Control Registry, a group of people whom all the weight-loss scientists study when they want to know how and why people lose weight and keep it off. Yahooooooooooo!

I really did not believe I would get to this place. I kept anticipating bumps and holes in the road and kept expecting to fall off. And I did, more than once, but I always got back up on QUICKLY and recovered. Thanks to the amazing supportive community/family that has surrounded me this whole year. Both online and in person.

I’m making a speech now! I’m wearing a tiara! I’m getting up to the podium with my little slip of paper and nobody is going to drag me off this stage until I’m done!!!!!

(ahem) I would like to thank first of all my amazing ONLINE friends who were the FIRST ones to ever meet Foodie McBody. Who embraced me and supported me when nobody else even knew I existed. Shannon (and Angie!), MizFit, Dinneen, Dr. Mo, Pubsgal, DailyKat, JeninRL, Karen, Mary and Kepa, Jack Sh*t, Trish, Josie, Kenz, KathyK, Sweeter, Marsha, PatBarone, Mara, Mrs Fatass, Hanlie, Diane, Lavagal, Fitarella, Miche, HealthyLoserGal, shrinkingjeans, WorkoutMommy, PhatBFF, Tisfan, Damon, Lori, SweatingItOff, Ryan, Bookieboo, Terre and Roni. You all are AMAZING and I truly could NOT have made this milestone without you. And for any of you who want to be healthy and are NOT on Twitter yet, join the party. It is one of the most incredible weight-loss, fitness and healthy living tools out there. I am not kidding.

I would like to thank my awesome Weight Watchers family: my BFF and buddy (and first mentor who taught me how to tackle those insane paper tallies!) Bethany, my boss and friend Stan, my roommate from leader training Roz, and Roger Z and Lori H, Linda and Julie and Jiggs and Creamie and Lynn. Y’all are the best and make me so glad to be part of this organization.Oh yeah and BIG SHOUTOUT to the BEST CEO in the universe, the one and only Dave Kirchhoff, aka Mr. Man Meets Scale! Thanks to the awesome members who show up to my meetings and inspire ME and keep me going.

I would like to thank everyone who has ever walked, run, lifted weights, danced Nia or otherwise sweated with me. Starting with my amazing trainer Doug Jones, who not only trains my body but my mind and heart as well. My workout buddies Ericka, Lisa Marie and Christine (when she can). Then Team Penguin: Mary, Kathy and Michael-David. Thanks for an amazing experience at the Oakland Marathon. Nia people! Alexandra, Terre, Danielle, and Alexis.

Thanks to my family. I’m doing this with you and for you, so we can all be together a really long time. Love love love to my mom, Mr. McBody and my girls.

Thanks to Martha and Kamau for helping me develop my solo show. Thanks to everyone who CAME to my solo show (part 2 is in the works right now!), and to all the other awesome solo performers who inspire me so much. Thao, Nicole, Sarah W, Enzo, Paolo, Ericka, Lisa Marie, Coke, Julia, Mz Debra, Kim, Deirdre, Benjamin!

I’m getting carried away. It’s kind of corny. But it’s my blog and nobody can stop me! I’m just incredibly happy and grateful for this year. I know this post should include about a thousand links but I just don’t have time for the linkfest this morning.

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EPILOGUE:

So I bought these beautiful balloons! and was so excited to bring them to my meeting bc there are often a bunch of little kids there with their moms. But as I was unlocking the door, I was fumbling with my key and they just… flew away! I stood there with my mouth hanging open, watching them fly off into the sky. WAH!

I got in there and Bethany was in there playing Kool and the Gang “Celebration!” very loudly. She gave me a present: a REAL TIARA! That lights up and blinks! So I dried my tears and forgot about my lost balloons.

Right before the meeting, I said, So Bethany, when is YOUR Goalaversary? And she says, with a straight face, “June 24th.” Uh huh. Like, TOMORROW!!!!!!? We laughed and laughed. Our goalaversaries are one day apart! How cool is that!  Only she has been at goal for THREE YEARS so she is even awesomer!! We had a great time at the meeting.

Weightisms

A lot of interesting thoughts re weight today. First, I was SURE I had made my goal weight today. It sure looked that way, according to my home scale. But when I went to weigh in officially, I was still two-tenths (!!!!!!!) of a pound over my stated goal. And then some stuff happened. I told the weighing person that I had been hired for staff, and thus I would not have to pay the weekly fee. He was like, um, that is not right, you are not supposed to be hired until you are Lifetime. (Lifetime=at goal weight for 6 weeks or more)

Er. I was waiting for the big hook to come and whisk me away. Not only was I not getting the applause and bling for reaching GW, I was being told that my being hired at all was a big fat mistake! Ahhhhh!!

While the meeting proceeded, I could not focus due to the buzzing in my ears and the fact that the weighing person (aka “receptionist”) was discussing my Situation with the Powers That Be.  When the meeting ended he handed me the phone and the PTB told me that indeed I could proceed with training to be a receptionist in my current state, but that actually something had fallen through the cracks and that I should not have been permitted to proceed this far without being at Liftime. Then a discussion regarding my Goal Weight, and was this truly my Goal, and could I maintain, and etc etc etc.

It was a lot to think about. I tried not to be all defensive and “hey you guys invited me along on this process, having access to all of my records, etc!” but it also made me wonder if I have not jumped the gun. I know that my weight-loss process has been a bit wacky and stalled out since I made this decision. Maybe I really ought to wait.  Everyone says that maintaining is a whole different Kettle O Fish than losing, and I do believe it.  The PWB did tell me to go ahead and continue on, and that most likely I *will* be at Lifetime by the time the big training comes up (end of August). And I was like, okay. She also said I should consider myself AT goal since I am technically the same number as my goal number, it’s just that number plus two-tenths.

Hmmm.

ANYway, that whole episode made me think about this blog and other people’s weight-health-fitness blogs, and how some people publicly display their true weights, and how others (like me) don’t. And so I asked the Twittersphere about what informed peoples’ decisions to actually talk in Real Numbers vs. not.

These are a few responses:

  • I do just because putting the number makes me face it
  • I discuss my real weight on my blog. People who know me are shocked that I weight that much – say I don’t look like it.
  • I can’t bring myself to say how much I weigh 2 anyone. I am lucky, I’m tall w/small bones so I carry it like a BIGboned person
  • being “anonymous” on here helps w/ being open/honest 4 me.My sis is the only person other than u guys who knows my true wt.
  • I don’t use my real numbers either. Because I’m “petite” I get the “oh you’ve never had to worry about your weight thing
  • I haven’t, but I’m not opposed to doing so. I def. do so in person.
  • 4 me I have SO MUCH to lose that it makes it real, that I HAVE to do something about it. Can’t lie or hide it…
  • I use numbers & pictures because I am trying to just keep it real. maybe i can help others.
  • I always do. I’m perfectly willing to share my weight. If I can’t own it, I can’t change it.
  • I do because honestly who cares? If someone looks at me they know I weigh a bit, so why care if they know how much it is?
  • I’m never going back to the corporate world or running for public office, so I don’t mind sharing…
  • I don’t give exact numbers, but I did say “under 200” the other day because I was proud to be there 🙂
  • i discuss what i’ve lost but not the #. now that i’m down more than halfway, i should share the #. need to add pics too.
  • Good question. I decided not to use #s either. #s can be misleading, esp. for someone like me who has xtra large bones/muscles
  • I do because I’ve never been honest with myself about my weight (or anyone else for that matter LOL) 4 me it’s necessary.
  • I used to be embarrassed by the #s but the first time I said it I felt freer and I’ll feel better when I get to goal and say it

Isn’t that interesting? I thought it was a great conversation. So for me, the reason I didn’t state my true weight at the beginning is because I was embarrassed at the number. And probably because I did not have any faith it would change, and then people would just think that # in relation to me. But now the number has changed, and I feel a little reticent for opposite reasons.

When I first started, I said that my goal weight was normal BMI. I have gotten there (albeit at the tippy-top of the range). So part of it is wrangling with myself. Do I stop here? Do I listen to my own advice to just shut up and stop trying to lose any more?

I actually think I am ready to stop TRYING to lose, but to a certain degree, if the weight should just decide to FALL OFF my bones, I will not object. For too long.

I actually think that I *could* lose ten or so more pounds. But I don’t feel that I *need* to or that I am going to *attempt* to. If it happens, so be it. If I lose any MORE than ten more pounds, I think this could be problematic. Because that would mean going to a place that is lower than anytime in my adult life EXCEPT when I was hiking 8 hours daily with dysentary in Nepal, or living for 3 months on a handful of beans in Nicaragua. I don’t need to be on the Third World Diet while I am living here. I don’t look emaciated or anything, and it’s hardly an anorexic state, but it’s not something I can maintain without doing some fairly dire things.  Sure, plenty of people live at that weight, and MANY strive to, but I truly feel that for me to be comfortable, I need to be here. Or somewhere in the next 10 lb range.

But I don’t want to say what those weights are for two reasons: one, I fear the reaction from both ends. I fear that people who have a lot more weight to lose, will feel I am no longer “with them” or that I am losing “too much” weight. I don’t think anybody can argue against getting to a normal range in the BMI scale.  But once within that range, it gets kinda dicey. I myself am uncomfortable with people who are perfectly fine mid or upper range, but they want to be at like 19BMI.

I am also uncomfortable anticipating reactions from people who ARE at that low range, who would be totally disgusted with themselves (and by extension, with me??) if they weighed my weight. I’ve already heard from people who weigh LESS than me (and are TALLER than me) and who long to weigh 20 lbs less. And are kind of horrified at their weight.  Then I must be some sort of walrus, truly. I just don’t want to deal with that.

I feel like, for now, it’s easier keeping it all in the somewhat abstract, although if someone were totally bound and determined, they could figure out what I weigh. It’s not a huge secret. I just would rather not get into those specifics right now.

I’ve stated all along that my goal is to be “healthy” – not wear a bikini (ever again) in my lifetime (people, I am about to turn 50. I would SO much rather publish a novel than wear a bikini!!) and now I’m just trying to figure out (in numbers) what that word- healthy – actually means.

Day 3: (catching up) Goals and Celebrations

Oh gosh. TOO much to say! This is going to have to be a speed blog.

Yesterday, day 3 of the challenge, went well. I ate all my fruits and vegies. I went to WW and am now officially 1 lb away from 30 lbs lost, AND my stated goal. I am really thinking about this whole “goal weight” thing. When I first started this journey in January, I truly did not think that a 30 lb loss was even remotely possible in this lifetime. I was hoping for maybe 10. Maybe 15, tops.  I have not weighed this weight in almost twenty years, and while it is great, it is also a little freaky. I am not used to it. It’s a little bit strange.

Also, when I began this blog, I had very negative feelings about people who dieted while in their healthy range. I am now in my healthy range.  But I really do not think I am dieting anymore. (was I ever?? That is up for debate) I am making choices every moment of every day. If those choices lead to further weight loss, then good (I think). If they keep me exactly where I am now, then fantastic. If those choices make me gain weight, I will make changes.

Like I said, I did not think I would ever reach this weight. So now that I am here, I am looking around and thinking, well?? Now what? I am aware that MANY people who are at my current weight and height feel very unhappy with themselves. They feel fat and want to lose 20 lbs. more.  Me? I am far from “skinny.” I still have a pooch of a belly, and still have padding around my hips. I’m not svelte by any means, although much svelter than I was. Part of me is pleading with myself to STOP NOW. Part of me is curious about how much weight I could or will lose if I keep on going.

I guess only time will tell.  The thing is, at WW you must state a “goal weight” much like declaring one’s major. I sort of arbitrarily put my goal weight down as 30 lbs. It’s in the healthy range. So it’s possible that I could get there in the next few weeks. (I’m less than one pound away) I am not sure it is a good idea or realistic to make it much lower. But… I don’t know. It’s weird.

I’m going to just see what happens.  My goal has always been to “be healthy” and I feel healthy right now. Really healthy. So now I feel like any additional weight loss would be primarily for aesthetic reasons, which I have been rather vehemently opposed to.  I supposed I COULD get healthiER. But what does that mean?? It’s something to mull over.

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Last night we went out to dinner to celebrate my daughter’s 15th birthday. We went to a great Italian place that serves family-style.  We ordered lots of amazing and great food and I enjoyed every single bite. But I think the key word is bite: I only had about 2-3 bites or forkfuls of every item. Bread with olive oil dip, fried calamari (!!) with aioli, caprese salad (tomato and mozzarella), eggplant rollatini (breaded eggplant with ricotta/marinara), cracked crab, penne Carbonara (yes, with cream and pancetta! bacon!), and gnocchi pesto. Then we came home and had CHEESECAKE.

This meal made me so happy – so very happy – because I enjoyed it with absolutely no regrets. I didn’t feel guilty. I loved every single bite, savored every bite. I was a tad nervous when I got on the scale today but told myself that even a couple of pounds would be worth it. But guess what: I weighed exactly the same as yesterday.

Yay.

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