No More Scales

On April 4th, I made the colossal mistake of getting on a scale.

I thought I was doing a wise thing, since I had been logging my food again. I learned before that a smaller body needs less energy to fuel it. So if I was losing weight – as I believe I was – I should probably check in and enter the new lower weight, so I could recalculate my daily calorie goal.

The only thing was, when I entered my starting weight back in February, I used a number from last October. It was the last time I’d been on a scale, when I was at the doctor’s office for my annual physical. Well, between October and February, there were the holidays. Guess what? I must have put on some weight, because even though I felt as though I’d lost weight between February and April, the number on the scale was had gone up quite a bit.

UGH!!!!!

I wish I could say it didn’t matter. In my mind, I know that there is a much bigger picture, and that the number on that scale is only one small part of that picture. But emotionally, I feel something so completely different.

Seeing that number on the scale sent me into a tailspin. It sure as heck did not encourage me. I stopped logging. I started eating whatever. I stopped caring.

And now, two weeks later, I still can’t seem to get back on track. Heck, I don’t even know exactly what track I want to get on! I try to start logging again, but it isn’t working.

And so I have decided never to get on a scale again. I mean it. Never. Ever. The next time I go to the doctor and they ask me to get on the scale, I intend to politely decline. And if they insist, I will turn around and get on backward, so that I don’t see the number. It seems like the most compassionate thing I could do for myself.

Every time I get on a scale, it messes with me. So why would I want to keep putting myself through that? No, thank you.

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Little Love Notes #5

I love my feet.

I admit it. I am a little vain when it comes to my feet! They are just so pretty. Lovely proportion. Nice, long nails that take a great pedicure. Whatever I think about the rest of my body, I am always happy to show off my feet!

And then, just think of what they do for us! The feet are the very fundamental support of the entire body. All day long, we walk and stand on our feet. Oh yeah, and we dance on them, too 🙂

My feet look graceful and delicate. And yet they have so much power and strength.

I am grateful for my feet!

Little Bits of Love this February

I’ve been a big fan of Louise Hay for many years now. Last year, I discovered her page-a-day calendar and loved it. So guess what everyone got for Christmas this year? Yup. The new 2016 version of the tear-off calendar. I love getting a new affirmation every day. She even has an extra page to begin each month. Here is what she has to say for February:

Love is the nourishment that we humans need to fulfill our greatness. As I learn to love myself more, I learn to love everyone more. Together we tenderly cultivate an even more beautiful world.

I am in the process of changing some pretty deep-rooted beliefs (but that’s another post or two….). So I was inspired by this affirmation to focus a little love on myself each day this month. I thought I would post one thing each day that I love about myself, be it part of my physical appearance, a character trait, whatever! It feels a little conceited, I have to admit. But then, that’s something else I’m trying to change: my perspective on myself. It’s okay to proud of who I am. It’s okay to be happy with who I am. It’s okay to celebrate who I am!! So here goes….

Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?

We had family photos taken a couple of weeks ago and just got to see the proofs today.

I love seeing the images captured of my boys and the smiling faces of my family.

I’m less than thrilled to see the images of myself. Earlier this evening, I was so disheartened. I seem to look the same as I did two years ago before I started losing weight. According to the numbers, I’ve only gained back about half of what I lost. And I definitely am still a smaller size than I was. But I don’t see a difference. I also know that I may be smaller still, but my body shape looks very much the same to me. And that is a tricky point for me.

I almost cried in the car on the way home from dinner tonight. I just feel like I’m on this bumpy ride. I get clear. YES! And then I get derailed. UGH. And then I get clear again. OKAY, GO! Oops, off track again. GAAH! Back and forth I go, like a tennis match.

I feel like I am so close to being in alignment with the person I want to be. But it remains just out of my reach.

When I started this blog, I thought it was going to be about maintenance. And I wished I had started it sooner, so I could have shared the “secrets to my success”. Ha! Looks like I don’t have as many secrets as I thought. Either that, or I’m just not using them. Or maybe I’ve outgrown the old secrets and am in search of new ones.

Tonight while I was dancing, I felt like punching the air. Just busting out all of my frustrations. So I did 🙂 It felt good. LET GO. Just let go of the past. The power is in the present moment (my Louise Hay calendar said that the other day). And that means that in any given moment, I get to begin again. Start fresh. Let go of the past. It does not have to have a hold on me.

I’m looking for new ways to feel healthy. To feel happy.

The other night, my husband and I were out for dinner. Just the two of us 🙂 It was so nice to be out and away from the bustle of every-day life. And I was inspired to try some dishes that I don’t normally order. I chose a small salad, a soup, and an appetizer. Everything was absolutely delicious! I loved savoring every single bite. I loved the way I felt afterward – just right, satisfied. I didn’t care how many calories or grams of fat were in the foods I ate. I simply enjoyed them. And felt healthy doing it.

THAT is how I want to feel when I eat. But it is not an easy feat. Especially with young children at the table. It’s almost impossible to savor each bite. I’m not sure how to get around that. But I know I want to.

My other challenge to myself right now is to continue letting go of control. Not just when it comes to food, but in all aspects of my life. I recently started physical therapy for a back sprain I got over three years ago when I was pregnant with my second child. (Another topic I could go on and on about: why do we suffer through such pain instead of asking for help, as if to suffer like that is normal?!!) Because the injury is in the low back and pelvic region – areas that never get any rest – the muscles could not recover. And so it’s as if I’ve been clenching and holding tight with my back muscles while also using them to protect my abs that were weakened from pregnancy. It’s a telling injury: emotionally, I do the very same things. I hold tight, trying to control things and protect myself. But that just doesn’t work. It is time to feel – to know – that I am safe and protected and that I don’t need any “extra padding”.

Most of all, it’s time to get back to loving and appreciating myself. Just as I am. Right now. I’m not sure exactly how to go about doing that. But I know it is the place to start.

Reality Check

I recently changed doctors. Which means I had to have a physical. Which means that today, I had to get on a scale. I did not like the numbers looking back at me. About 6 pounds more than I thought it would be. I knew I had put back on a pound or two, but I had not expected to see it that high. (And yet as I write this, I have to say, 6 pounds does not seem like all that much.)

Still, it was something of a shock. And a big disappointment. When I started writing this blog, I thought I was in the maintenance phase of weight loss and transformation. Nope. Not even close. In total, I think I’ve gained back at least 10 pounds, after having lost 20. UGH. That does not feel good.

So when I saw my new doctor (whom I really like) and in her litany of questions, she came to the one: how’s your diet? “Well, some good, some not so good,” I answered. And then I started to cry. Not unlike me. I’ve cried in front of countless people – doctors, professors, family. Heck, I cry at Hallmark ads! Oftentimes I’m embarrassed and have even been disgusted with myself for letting such intense emotions show. But my doctor was very supportive. She said this was a “safe place”. And happily, I believed her. She is a doctor with whom I feel I can be open and honest.

Later on, I thought about that scenario some more. Wasn’t I just writing about self-approval and self-acceptance? I’m still not sure where I stand on those things with regards to food choices. But here is a place where I can really go easy on myself. So what if I cry in front of others? So what if I’m an emotional person? It’s a big part of me. I feel things deeply. And this journey of approval and acceptance of myself is life-long. It’s a really big deal. So of course things hit me hard. And I react. There is no shame in that.

One thing the doctor recommended is that I get a scale. I haven’t had one in about 10 years – since the last time I tried to lose weight. She said it would be a good idea to have one, so that I can check in and keep myself honest. Well, I considered it. NOPE. No way. Absolutely not. It is such a bad idea for me!! I get so obsessive about weighing myself. I can’t keep it to just once a week. I start getting on the scale daily – sometimes even two times a day. And I am SOOOOOO hard on myself when I see the numbers fluctuating – which of course they are bound to do! So maybe I’ll get on a scale every few months at my parents’ house. Not so much to see how I’m doing (my clothes and my body pretty much tell me that). But so that I can put accurate information into My Fitness Pal.

Unconditional Love

I recently traveled abroad with my family. While we were at passport control, the unusually friendly young man looked from my passport picture (about 5 years old) to me and smilingly said, “You have lost quite a bit of weight. Congratulations!” He was perfectly earnest in his compliment, and I took it as such. It rather made my day!

I have to admit, I have been looking forward to getting a new picture for my driver’s license later this year. And I was wishing I didn’t have to wait another two years to get a new passport picture. Those pictures show the “old” me. The heavier me. No, thank you. But after getting that compliment, I laughingly thought, hey it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a picture that demonstrates that contrast and shows how far I’ve come!

Later on, though, I began to realize the negativity in all these thoughts. After all, if I am going to truly love myself, don’t I have to love all of me? And that includes me at every age, through every stage, and even at every weight. I can’t pick and choose. It’s all a part of me. It’s a part of the woman I’ve become and am continually becoming. Instead of judging her – instead of criticizing her – instead of wanting to shun her, I should be embracing her. I should be thanking her. I should be loving her. She, too, deserves love. Of course she does. She, too, is special and talented and interesting. She still has all the other wonderful qualities I’ve been coming to appreciate in myself.

After all, isn’t this month’s challenge from Louise Hay to “… prove to myself that I unconditionally love and appreciate who I am”? I am certainly not loving myself unconditionally or appreciating who I am if I cannot love that other (bigger) version of me. And so I am trying to focus on sending her all the love she truly deserves. All the love *I* truly deserve.

Talking to Your Kids about Weight

I stumbled on to this article in Cooking Light about talking to your kids about weight.

Know what the experts say? DON’T!! Seriously. It’s a quick article to read through, but such profound advice.

Instead, they advise talking positively about eating healthy foods for strong bones and muscles.

I have also enjoyed the book Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter. She advises a division of responsibility when feeding your kids. It’s the job of the parents to decide what to eat, when to eat it, and where to eat it. It’s the job of the child to decide whether or not s/he eats it and how much (with the exception of high sugar foods). It’s made a world of difference to me since having my kids. I wondered how on earth I could feed them with a healthy sense of body image, when I’d struggled so much with the issue throughout my own life. The division of responsibility took the pressure off of me. I actually trust my children to eat. Even though they are picky eaters (but hey, so are my husband and I!), they are strong, healthy children.