I was on a plateau. If I had been on vacation and was out west, that might have been good. But I was here at home in Massachusetts. If you know anything about US geography (I realize they don’t teach it much in school anymore), you know there are no plateaus in Massachusetts.
Except for the one I was on – in my post-faux-bariatric surgery “recovery.” That’s quite a mouthful, eh? Oops, wrong kind of imagery for weight loss. If you haven’t been reading along, I’ll explain briefly. I was planning to have lap-band surgery to assist my weight loss (BMI of 42) when our insurance coverage was changed by my husband’s company. The surgery was no longer covered. I had been working on the UMass pre-surgical program for over 6 months and suddenly it was a “no go.” I was devastated. I decided to tell myself that I did have the surgery and eat as I would have after surgery. I didn’t do this because I was “out of touch with reality.” I did it to maintain my sanity. I have to lose weight. No question. Health is at stake.
I started this new “program” or life style in March. Except for the 17 day trip to Tennessee with my in-laws, I’ve actually been doing okay. My weight when I started the hospital program back in September was 244. Since I’m 5’3″ on a good day, standing straight and tall, that’s way too much for my body. By March, I was at 234 (some weight loss is a pre-requisite to surgery – it shows commitment to change).
Before we left for vacation in May, I had dropped to 222 (give or take a half pound) and was feeling well. When we got home, having discovered it isn’t easy to stick to the program when I have stress and others around to influence my eating behavior, I had gone up to 224. Actually, I didn’t think that was too bad, considering the way I went crazy and ate whatever I wanted.
It took a week to get back to 222 and I thought I was on my way. But no, I was on a plateau. For over a week, I have been bouncing around 221. First weigh-in: 221.7 — then 221.9, 221.7, 221.9 222.1, 221.4.
Yesterday, I was despairing of ever getting past 221. Today, I broke 220! I’m off the plateau and heading downhill again at 219.3. Who would think losing something could make you so happy? I called my husband to let him know the good news and, since it’s his half day at work, to tell him I need to reward myself (not with food!). He’s pretty creative, so I’m looking forward to my reward.
Perhaps this breakthrough is partly due to my other “mind game.” I’ve known I need to get back on the treadmill or this wasn’t going to work. “Eat less” only goes so far unless you team it up with “Move more.” So yesterday, I decided to discipline myself. I put my sneakers on when I got dressed (I hate shoes of any kind and prefer bare feet now that summer is here) – and I told myself that I couldn’t take them off until I had walked on the treadmill. I figured taking the shoes off would be enough motivation to get me walking.
Interestingly, every time I thought, “I should go walk, so I can take these shoes off,” something else seemed to take precedence. By late afternoon, I was having the internal argument. “I should walk, but I don’t really feel like it. If I walk, I can take off the shoes. I can take off the shoes anytime I want! I feel like taking off the shoes right now. If I take off the shoes without walking, I’ll have failed. I feel worse and want to eat.” On and on it went until about 8 PM.
What happened at 8 PM? I got on the treadmill and walked. I didn’t walk for an hour. Just 20 minutes – it’s better to start there and increase slowly to avoid fibromyalgia flare-ups. I was so proud of myself! I had won – I had beaten myself. I overcame the inertia. I overcame the resistance. I walked – then I took off the shoes as quickly as I could. That was my reward.
I actually feel good today, fibromyalgia notwithstanding. I got 9 good hours of sleep and woke refreshed. I remember how good it felt the last time I was diligent on the treadmill, with increased energy and stamina. At that time, I woke up in the morning looking forward to walking before anything else. I hope to get back to that place again!
I do have a great big, juicy carrot dangling in front of me, in addition to the health considerations. We have a trip to Alaska planned for next summer. I’d like to be healthier and more fit so I can enjoy it.
And today? My shoes are already on!