It's deja vu all over again.
Something happens to me every time I get to the bottom of a weight decade.
Actually, it doesn't "just happen." I do this to myself.
I work hard to get through the 10 pounds to get me to the next decade.
Then, when I get there I start to experience a panic.
This is the first time I'm truly recognizing this pattern.
In 5 days I've gained almost 5 pounds. And it started when I hit 290.5. Coincidence? Unlikely.
Admittedly, this week has been tough. Usually, I have a high tolerance for pain. However, my left arm has been really wearing me down. I haven't been sleeping well. I'm on new medication, which the doc told me could lead to some water weight gain. These are factors that are likely contributing to my gain.
But, truth time. I've found myself grazing like I haven't in a while. Mostly carbs. And that tells me I'm eating for comfort. That and the fact I can't seem to quiet the hungry feeling. That's a sure sign it's an emotional hunger, not a physical one.
Some habits are hard to break, even after 4 years.
Now that I've recognized the pattern, I'm trying to unpack the WHYs of it. I think there's a few reasons:
The broken soundtrack that I keep hearing is: The changes I need to make will be too much, too soon. I can't handle it.
The new soundtrack I need to create is: Make the small changes when the time comes and you won't even notice them.
If you haven't heard of the soundtracks concept, then check out author Jon Acuff's newest book, "Soundtracks." It comes out tomorrow and focuses on these repetitive thoughts (soundtracks) that play over and over in our heads. And, he gives some great ways to change the tune.
I'll be giving away a copy to one lucky winner from our April Challenge group. Haven't signed up yet? It's not too late!
So, what's next? For three days, I've tried to eat at maintenance calories and have not been successful. My normal habit is to eat at deficit, so that's what I'm gong to focus on the next few days. Not eat below my deficit number--try to hit as close to it as I can without going over. It's gong to take me at least a couple of weeks, I'm sure to get back down to that 290 number. I'll have some practice at changing my mindset over how I feel about what comes once I cross into the 289 realm and beyond.
And, of course, focus on my other habits: water, sleep, tracking, exercise. They're all connected!
Lastly, I don't plan to run away from the feelings of doubt. Maybe for the first time, I'm starting to get how the doubt may be a signal that better things are on the horizon, if I lean into it and not retreat.
Near the end of the craziest year in recent memory for everyone, I decided to jump of a cliff and do something I never dared to try before: a deliberate pause in my weight loss.
I was soooo close to being back under 300 lbs. after gaining the COVID 15-20 (shout out to all of you who can relate!). It took months to get back there, but I knew life was about to get interesting again.
The holidays were quickly approaching. My two college-aged daughters were about to return home for an extended break due to COVID. I've been in this rodeo enough to know that this would be a challenge. Each year, I went in with the hope that I'd lose weight over the holidays. And, each year, that didn't happen.
After listening to Heather from the Half Size Me podcast for a long time and being part of one of her Facebook communities, I wondered if her constant talking about taking a maintenance break applied to someone like me, who was so far from my health goals.
It took some convincing, but I went for it.
Fast forward a few months and I got an email from Heather's assistant with an invitation to be a guest on the podcast to talk about my decision process and how the whole maintenance experiment went. I was shocked, to say the least.
But, here we are! The podcast is now out and I wanted to share it with all of you! Although I cringe at the sound of my voice, I feel the honest discussion is more important than my insecurity over my not-ready-for-primetime pipes.
In this podcast, we talk about:
Also, if you've never checked out Half Size Me, I highly recommend it. I don't get a kick back, but I am a community member and the people there have been an incredible resource for me when it comes to support!
Listen to the podcast below! I hope you enjoy!
When I lose all the weight, I’ll be confident.
When I get that raise, I’ll be happy.
When I cross that half marathon finish line, I’ll feel like a real runner.
Choose your “when I” and your how you’ll feel after you get there. We all have them.
The problem with these beliefs, though, is how they skip those six inches of real estate between our ears. Everything happens in that tiny space! It’s kind of amazing when you stop and think about it. We get so wrapped up in “the finish line,” we don’t see how the road to get us there is where the magic happens.
The biggest question I’ve heard since I started to change my life in July 2017 is: “How did you do it?”
But, is that what they really want to know? I’m not so sure.
Many times, the questions revolve about what “diet” I’m using or what “training plan” I follow. Do I count macros or carbs? Do I do intermittent fasting? Keto? Paleo?
If I had a specific prescription that was a no-fail guarantee, I wouldn’t still be 100 pounds or so from my goal.
But, that’s what we all want: quick answers to our problems. When you have a lot of weight to lose, or a lot of debt to pay off, or a 13.1-mile race course laid out in front of you, there are no easy ways to get it done. You cannot get around your head, because that’s where most of the issues are coming from.
I’m not saying we’re all crazy, although I sometimes wonder about that. But, most of us have an uncanny ability to get in our own way, even when it looks like we’re succeeding. It has taken me three years to scratch the surface that my number goals are not the be-all, end-all.
For years, I put limitations on myself because my excess weight and my health took away my self-esteem and my energy. I convinced myself that “fat people cannot or should not do certain things.”
But here’s a revelation I discovered in a rare moment of clarity during this journey:
Goals are not size-dependent.
When I stopped judging my goals as not suitable for my size, that’s when things starting looking up. They don’t care if I’m a size 26 or size 16. Goals don’t care about anything, because they don’t have thoughts or feelings.
Some goals may be harder than others because of my size. But, to constantly measure my ability to try something or dream about a goal based on what the scale says or the size of my pants is ridiculous.
A nearly 300-pound woman CAN finish a half marathon. I've proven it.
What else can I do? Who knows? But, my weight isn't holding me back. Just my brain.
How is your brain holding you back?
Ready to get in shape, but worried you don’t have the money to invest in an exercise program? After all, gym memberships are not only pricey, but with COVID still keeping many fitness centers closed or with limited accessibility, you might want to steer away from that option.
Lots of people have hopped on the Peloton bandwagon (or bike, in this case) or looked into other home fitness equipment. Again, not everyone has hundreds or thousands to drop at one time.
The good news is you don’t have to spend that kind of money to get fit, even if you want a structured program to build healthier habits.
Walking: Only Shoes Required
Forget all the bells and whistles of machines or classes. One of the best and least expensive forms of exercise is taking good, old-fashioned walk. The only out-of-pocket spending you have to do is finding a decent pair of sneakers. Sure, you can spend hundreds of dollars on big-name brand athletic shoes.
But, honestly, just go to your favorite local shoe store, try on some sneakers and get a pair that give your feet plenty of support and cushion. You’ll be putting on a lot of miles on your feet, so you don’t want to buy a flimsy shoe. Many shoe stores carry quality brands like Asics, Saucony, Nike and New Balance for under $100. Be patient, find the right fit and don’t blow a ton of cash on shoes you’ll have to replace in about six to eight months. Yes, you need to replace your shoes as they wear down from all those walks you take!
Weight and Resistance Training: Building Strength While Keeping Your Savings
Contrary to what you may see on late-night infomercials, you do not need a full at-home gym system to build up strength and muscle. All you need is a few free weights and maybe some resistance bands to get your sweat on and get toned. A multi-weight dumbbell set can be found for less than $40 in most stores or online. Resistance bands are even less expensive. For an initial investment of $50-$75 total, you can create your own home gym.
Fitness Apps Bring Put Classes In The Palm Of Your Hand
Looking to take some fitness classes, but don’t want the commitment and cost of a gym? There are numerous fitness apps out there that bring everything from cardio workouts to yoga right to your living room!
FitOn is a totally free app (no in-app purchases required) that offers a wide range of cardio and strength classes from top-rated trainers from across the country. Want a dance class? It’s there! Looking for some intense interval training? No worries, FitOn has you covered. Classes are offered either on-demand or in scheduled blocks throughout the day and available for all ages and abilities!
Aaptiv is another easy-to-use fitness app for smartphones or computers. When you sign up for Aaptiv, you get a one-week free trial membership. This allows you to try a range of classes before you commit to a monthly membership. Again, classes range from running, ellipitical and biking workouts, yoga, strength training, meditation and more. The monthly cost for an Aaptiv membership is $14.99 or you can do a one-time, yearly payment of $99.
So, if you’ve been using your budget as an excuse for not getting out there and getting in shape, then you might want to check these options out! For the price of a couple of cups of premium coffee or smoothies a month, you can invest in your health instead. You are worth it!
RECIPE SOURCE: CENTENNIAL MAGAZINE INSTANT POT RECIPES - FALL 2020 EDITION
Note: I do not receive any compensation from links provided in these reviews. They are simply here as a way to cite original sources and provide the reader with necessary resources to make the dish.
slThis Instant Pot recipe looked so simple in the magazine. And, anything that resembles something like a beef stew, especially this time of year, has me willing to give the dish a shot.
So far, the recipes I've tried for this challenge from the Centennial Magazine Instant Pot 2020 Edition have not failed me, so I was feeling super-confident.
Perhaps that over-confidence was the downfall here.
This recipe threw a few challenges at me. So, I'm going to start with.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THIS RECIPE
Get comfy, gang. This will take a while.
First, was finding the sirloin tips required for the recipe. I could not track down anything called sirloin tips at Kroger. I admit I used Clicklist (which I like about 85% of the time I use it), but I couldn't find it on the website and I did not go in to the butcher to ask. I got some sort of sirloin cut and it tenderized fine, so no real issue there.
The biggest snafu I hit in the recipe was what happened after I followed step 1 and coated the raw beef tips in flour before putting it into the 2 tablespoons of heated oil in my Instant Pot. I get the concept. The flour helps to brown the meat as well as thicken the gravy. That's a great idea when it works, but right away I noticed things were getting--shall we say--pasty very quickly. Bits and pieces got stuck and started to burn. And, if you've ever used an IP, you know burning on the bottom of the pot is BAD NEWS BEARS.
Things happened so quickly, I could not take pictures. I scraped the bottom of the pan over and over again and salvaged what I could.
After averting that crisis, I added the rest of the ingredients: sautéed it with onion and garlic, then added beef broth and a can of Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup. The recipe also called for a dry red wine. I didn't have any so I added a little extra beef broth to make up the difference.
I closed the lid and set it to manual to pressure cook for 25 minutes, as directed, and prayed.
My prayers were heard, but not answered the way I wanted.
The pot never sealed and therefore I essentially boiled my dinner instead of pressure cooking it. I'm betting it's because so much of the roux (flour, oil mixture) stuck the bottom, the pot couldn't get hot enough.
In the end, because I browned the meat, it tasted fine. But, the rich flavor we were expecting didn't come through.
I swapped out the recommended rice for some refrigerated mashed potatoes because I was so flustered at the recipe. I was not interested in "cooking" anything else that night. I also paired it with some of the leftover Naan bread from my Buttered Chicken and Naan Bread meal!
It didn't look like the most appetizing dish in the world, but...let me get to the good news.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS RECIPE
Despite all the hassle, the meal tasted pretty good and what little of the roux I saved managed to thicken the gravy enough for it not to be a soup.
WILL I ADD THIS TO OUR MENU ROTATION?
I'm never going to say never, but I make a similar dish to this on the stovetop that uses mushrooms and noodles. I learned it from my mom and it's better. So, it's unlikely this recipe will become a regular for us. Not every one can be a winner. And, that's ok!
What's next on the 7 Days/7 Recipes Menu? Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup!
I'm Marie. I'm working toward a 200 lb. weight loss goal. I'm doing it with baby steps. Follow my journey here.