What a number. Today is the last day of the diet year one. Looking at myself now versus then is… well, the transformation is amazing. While I am still a work in progress in so many ways, I am absolutely a different person. I have shed in one year just over twenty-five percent (25%) of my bodyweight! In pants, I am down from a Size-46 to a Size-40. My shirts are down from a very tight XXL to a comfortable fit XL. While I still have a few pounds to go before I am at my best weight from 2017, the custom-tailored suits and shirts that I had made back then fit, and only the jackets are slightly tight. While it is not really measurable, my face is noticeably slimmer. These are just the physical changes.
A year ago, I hated myself. I hated what I looked like, I hated what I had let myself become. I absolutely hated myself knowing that not only had I lost over one hundred pounds and then gained it all back… but I had done it twice in under five years. I honestly did not know if I had it in me to do again, and if I might not be destined to spend the rest of my life as a fat man. I hated knowing that one day I would be a burden on the medical system and on my family because I did not have the discipline to control my appetites. I hated that I had the choice of wearing XXXL shirts that exposed my belly or spending money on XXXXL shirts that would cover it… but would also make losing weight a less pressing issue. I absolutely despised myself for having to buy a 4XL winter jacket, because in Canada having a winter jacket that fits is non-negotiable. On the eve of my weight loss program’s 1st anniversary, I have not worn that jacket… I am wearing the much smaller one that I have had since 2006. I know that next winter I will have to buy a new winter jacket… this one will be too big on me. All of my XXXL shirts have been donated to charity or given away to friends. My blood pressure is extremely low (yesterday it was 107/62), and my pulse is on the verge of imperceptible (58 beats per minute). The two medications I am on have nothing to do with my weight issues (or any health issued caused by them). With that said, they are both directly contributing to my quality of life, and that directly affects my happiness. The difference between today and a year ago is that when I look at myself in the mirror naked today, I still see a fat man… but when I put on a nice shirt and pair of pants, I look in the mirror and realize how good I look… and how far I have come.
I will be dealing with food addiction for the rest of my life, which means that obesity will be hanging over my head, like the sword of Damocles. It would take only one slip – forgetting to be vigilant with how I eat – for me to fall back into it. That is a difficult reality to contend with, but to underline the importance of it, let’s review the lesson of the previous paragraph: the more weight I lose, the less I hate myself. Corollary: The slimmer I am, the more I love myself. If the size of my body is directly related to the feelings I have for myself, then every time I start gaining weight, I have to remember that as much as I might dislike myself for gaining five pounds, how much worse will I hate myself for gaining twenty… or fifty. Mindfulness, vigilance, and dedication to maintaining a me that I will love. Of course, I am sure that aside from my wife, every psychologist in the world would tell me that I have to learn to love myself no matter how large or small I am. That is a great theory, but if I can stay slim, then I can continue to work with my therapist on all of the other issues that I have that contribute to negative feelings about myself.
This morning was the first day in a while that I did not lose any weight. Actually, that is not entirely true… As with so many mornings, I did not weigh myself once, but thrice. The first time, I was .2lbs. down from yesterday. I decided to not save that and stepped back onto the scale. I was .4lbs. heavier than yesterday. That really would not do! I weighed myself one last time, and the number was exactly what it was yesterday morning. Even a week or two ago I would have kept trying until I got back below that weight… even to the original .2lbs. down number. I decided that the stagnant number would be a punishment for my impatient to lose weight that I am losing… even though I am not losing it as fast I want to lose it. As my wife has pointed out to me several times, my weight loss is not going to be the constant downward trend on a line graph. There will be ups that counter the more frequent downs. I also need to remember that every weight loss expert in the world tries to discourage people from weighing themselves every day. It is exactly because of the discouragement that people experience when the numbers do not do what we want that they give this advice. There are so many reasons we fail on our weight loss journeys, and discouragement is a big one. I will not be discouraged. I will continue on. If I persevered the last two months of plateau and zero progress (despite extreme emotional crises), I can look at a single day of not dropping any weight and laugh it off, continuing on my journey.
My plans for today are to start studying. I have wanted to continue on my certification journey for a while, but my ADHD has really hindered that. Honestly, I always knew that I had trouble concentrating and setting my mind to studying, but I never realized that there was a medicinal solution for it. While I had heard of people who used drugs to focus, I never thought that I would be one of them. Today will be the first time in a very long time that I am going to sit down and study… I do not know how far I will get today, but I will do what I can. After all, it will be a huge adjustment. I do have incentive though… I will be working together with a couple of friends (well, one friend and her adult son) in a study group to prepare for the exam. Liz has always seen me as some sort of certification prodigy. I don’t know about that, but I have been able to pass a lot of exams… as long as the content is in my comfort zone. The course we will be working on is probably adjacent to my comfort zone, but unlike so many other exams that I have passed, there is no way that I could sit down at the exam computer today and pass it. Maybe in a few weeks… we’ll see.
Of course, this evening I am teaching again, which is great because not only do I love teaching, I also love the knowledge that sometime in the not-too-distant future someone will be paying me for teaching! While I am looking at job opportunities, right now the only income I have is from my teaching contracts… so woohoo, teaching tonight!
I plan to stay on track with my four meal replacements today. Aside from taking Her Floofness out for her walks, I have no reason to leave the house today. I thought about going to the gym, but I think studying is more important. The other benefit to that is if I do not leave the house, there are fewer temptations. For example, I know that in the next couple of days I need to go to Bulk Barn. I am running low on doggie treats, so I need to pick some up. In addition to that, there are a couple of other items that I want to get, but if I did not need to get Scooby Snacks, I probably would not walk into that store… there are just too many temptations there. I am going out tomorrow, Saturday, and probably Sunday too… I will gird myself to go into the store and not pick up peanuts or almonds or anything else.
I also think it is time for me to change the theme of my blog. The more I look at it, the more I see that the theme that I picked is missing a lot of things that it should have. I’ll try to spend no more than twenty minutes on that.
There is a simplicity to being on the strict program that I had not put together before. Since the Army I have said that best way to make sure that people make the right choice is to only give them the one option. When I was on my modified program, I had so many choices to make. Many times, but not always, I made the right choice. If I had made the right choice every single time, then I would have lost a lot more than one hundred pounds in the year. The strict meal replacement program means that I do not have to choose what protein to cook for my meal… and trust me, I know that I was always making too much. I do not have to decide what vegetables to add to my salad, or how much olive oil I should sprinkle on before dousing it with (how much?) balsamic vinegar. The only choices I have to make are: 1) What time should I have my next meal replacement, and 2) Have I had enough water today? That’s it. There are no other choices to make… which means there is so much less opportunity to make the wrong choice. I have already made the decision that I will have one pot of coffee per day (three cups), with 1/3 teaspoon of raw sugar and a splash of It’s-Really-Easy-To-Believe-It’s-Not-Milk. By eliminating all food, let’s look at how my life is simpler… and how my weight loss program is actually easier:
- I know what I am eating… every meal, every day.
- The only time I ever need to go into the supermarket (the den of temptations) is every couple of weeks to buy milk/not-milk for my coffee.
- Portions are not an issue… every meal is contained in a single pouch.
- I can work through lunch (if I want to) because it is as easy to drink the meal replacement shake at my desk as it is at the kitchen table.
There are probably other benefits, but these are four that really stick out to me. Of course, Princess Sophie is a bit miffed because she is no longer getting the cartilage from my chicken… but we have plenty other treats in the house, and she is not going hungry. Just because I need to lose weight does not mean that she needs to go without.
Okay, it is time for me to get off my butt and get things done. It is time for my second meal replacement of the day, and when that is prepared, I will sit down and answer a few emails before I start studying.
Have a great day folks!