Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 107

So I don't understand the scale. I have been awful, just awful this week in terms of what I'm eating, and also in terms of my steps - I hit 5000 once and 7000 once, but one day I didn't even hit 2000. But yet, this moring the scale read 330 pounds, which means I've lost all I gained in Thailand and one pound more.

But I don't feel good about it. I really have switched back onto "autopilot" (as Dr. Albers said to me in an email today). I think there are a couple things going on. One, I think it's seeming so hard to get from around the 5000 step mark up to the 10,000 step mark, that part of me thinks "why even try?" The day I hit 7000 steps this week I took a (brisk!) 40 minute walk of about two miles outside at lunch, and I was tired and sore afterwards. And I feel like, sheesh, I only hit 7,000 steps with all that work?? That means that to hit 10,000 I'd need to do more than a half hour of intense walking as well as work in a bunch of other steps in the day. So that means I need to really get to the point of actual concentrated EXERCISE rather than just increasing my general movement. I knew this was coming, I guess, but I didn't want to think about it, and it's a whole mental (and logistical) hurdle that I'm having trouble working through.

The second thing, probably more problematic, is that I don't think I can actually succeed in losing the weight long term. So, I think part of me is thinking "great job, you've lost some weight and feel better, now, since you'll gain it back eventually anyway, go ahead and start relaxing about it, be less vigilant, eat what looks good and don't worry about it." Self-defeating, I realize, but so easy to do...

When I said this to Dr. Albers she suggested a few things: 1) revisit some of my goals I set at the beginning (wearing my wedding rings, crossing my legs, etc.); and 2) set short-term rewards (non-food!) for myself. Plus try to do some visualization of what it would be like to hit my goals, short- or long-term.

It's a catch-22 for me. If I focus too much on the long goal of hitting, say, 200 pounds, that seems completely unattainable and not even worth trying to get to. But if I focus only on the short term, then it feels fleeting and not lasting.

So...I think I need to focus on getting to 300 pounds. That still seems not good enough, since in my mind that's the weight that I was at for a long time before I gained weight with my kids' adoptions. So getting back there is like getting back to the REAL starting point.  But all the same, another 30 pounds sounds like a reasonable, do-able amount to aim for - maybe by the end of June? Not sure what my reward will be, I'll have to think about that. And I need to just go back to taking things one day, one meal, one moment at a time, and being mindful, conscious of what I'm eating. I know I feel better without sugar in my system. I have to remember that. It's just so hard.

The other point Dr. Albers made is one I have thought a bit about before (can't remember if I've blogged on), but probably need to bring more to front of mind... I have worked hard for things before in my life, mainly around educational achievements. I can't count the number of all-nighters I've pulled in high school and college and grad school to get something finished, and not just finished but done well. That wasn't easy, but it wasn't ever a question in my mind that I would do what I needed to do to turn in a quality assignment. So how can I transfer that mentality to my eating and walking? I need to realize that I have past examples of setting my mind to something/making it a priority, working hard at it, and achieving a goal - and that this should be no different. Hmm...


  1. I like the idea of transferring your motivation for other things for the weight loss. That seems doable, after all you already have drive, so the goal is attainable. I know when I get to the point where I hit a block or an inability to make the next move, it means I am on the brink of success and some part of me doesn't want to be successful.

  2. Jennifer, you are doing an awesome job. I agree 10,000 steps is a lot. You did 7000 that's really good especially in 40 minutes! I read a book called Walk Yourself Thin and it helped me to know that the daily walk can make a difference. It does take a year or more but I am trying to get outdoors at least 3 times a week. It helps me to have a walking partner because I'm more likely to walk when I'm with someone though. I enjoyed reading your blog today. I found you from psychology today website.

  3. The mind is a wonderful thing but boy oh boy can it make things difficult. I too am having a struggle. One minute I am on top of the world. I truly want to be healthy and fit. The next I am eating everything in sight even though I don't want to do it. The mind games we play. I don't understand how one day it is so easy and the next is a struggle but I am determined not to give up on myself. I am worth the hard work and so are you Jennifer.

  4. I love the Thailand photos - glad you had such an incredible trip!

    I so totally encourage you to take the reins again and let this fabulous spring weather motivate you. It sounds to me like "autopilot" must have a completely new form than it did before you started this entire Dr. Oz diet and this blog. Even if you have hit a plateau and are "slacking" at times, it is not the same as your pre-Jennifer-Can-Do-It mentality and the scale is your proof. You took off that Thailand weight incredibly quickly and you are working hard on the exercise even if you don't always hit your goals. You just need to get over that hurdle of feeling that 10,000/day is insurmountable and you'll be back to feeling on track. Is there anyone who can join you for all or part of your work-outs? Can you convince yourself that you have a schedule you have to stick to, so if 4pm is exercise time, you just have got to do it in the same way as a work deadline? For me a lot of motivation is in getting started - let that part be auto-pilot (getting changed and to your exercise destination without thinking about what's ahead) and then just let the momentum push you forward through the work-out. Maybe change up what you are listening to while working out. How about breaking out some of the cheesy music we used to listen to on the school bus and let your mind wander off into funny memories to help speed along the time?

    Just some thoughts in hopes of helping your motivation, but I think you are doing an amazing job! You have been working very hard at this and it must get tedious, but your goals are so important and, like you said, you are a very driven, goal-oriented person, so you can absolutely get there, one pound at a time. Go Jen!!!!!!