Jul 27, 2014

Be Proud

This statement is so true for all of us on this journey: Don't wait until you've reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching your goal.
Be proud today! - Photo by Theresa
Be proud of every single step and every single choice you make to stay on this program.

Be proud every time you look in the mirror.

Be proud every day, every week, every month, and every year that you stay in the river (on program).

Be proud when you realize another non-scale victory, such as no longer needing a seat belt extension on airplanes, crossing your legs for the first time in eons...

Be proud when you see victory: your goal size.

Be proud as you play the game of maintenance--learning how to cycle in and out of the river.

Be proud.

Jul 20, 2014

Happy Julie-versary to Me

One year ago today, I began a journey that  changed my life in ways I couldn't even have dreamed of. I walked into Key Hypnosis and met Julie Ann Kibe. Get rid of all your preconceived notions of hypnosis, because this was nothing like that. She just talked and talked, and while my ears heard normal conversation, somehow my mind and body heard more--they heard how to heal. Somehow, in a room full of people, she dismantled the giant roadblock in my mind, that had made me morbidly obese for over 20 years.
July 2013 vs July 2014
I don't know exactly how much I've lost so far, as no scales are allowed... over a hundred pounds would be my guess...but I don't care what I've lost. I care what I've gained. I've gained my life back. I now love my body, flaws and all. I don't care if parts sag, or are too big or too small. I take pride in the strength I'm discovering in it. I giggle that I'm now able to cross my legs. I smile when I carry four bags of groceries up a flight of stairs, and I'm not out of breath at the top. I still hate long walks, and I may have grumbled all the way through last week's 5k walk/run, but I entered it, and I completed it.

My husband, family, and friends all tell me that the biggest change is not my outside, but my inside. One year later, I now try new things. I dare to excel. I've gotten a promotion. I've bought a house. I've traveled on a plane. My anxiety attacks have subsided from a freight train roaring through my body five evenings a week, to an occasional anxious twinge. My size has gone from 32 jeans that I couldn't zip, to a tight but zip-able 18 jean.

A few months back, I had the opportunity to thank Julie in person. I'm paraphrasing, but this is the gist of what she said. She humbly equated it to her being the person running behind us, holding on to our bike seat, while we learn how to steer and pedal. She said that once we have our balance, she lets go, and off we race on our own. That may be how she looks at it, but in my mind, this woman saved my life. I've heard people say $600 is too much money to spend on a "weight loss" program. For what I've gained from this, $6,000 would be a bargain. Thank you, Julie. You gave me my life back.

Jul 16, 2014

First Experience

All my life, my weight has kept me from doing stuff.

I have a friend who has followed me on my journey and is one of my cheerleaders. She is one who keeps encouraging me, and tries to help me see the new me.

She has been trying to get me to go kayaking.

NO WAY!!! I won't fit in the kayak, I will sink it, I am afraid I can't get in and out of the thing, and so on.

Joann persisted and on Tuesday I gave in and went.

The whole way to the lake I had a stomach ache, and all those negative thoughts kept running through my mind.

I met Joann at the lake and she knew right away what I was thinking.

I didn't want to disappoint her so I was brave while voicing my concerns.

I stared that ole kayak down and decided that those old thoughts were not going to get the best of me.

Cautiously, I got in. I am sure if anyone besides Joann had been there, they would have laughed at my un-gracefulness, but I got in!

I realized I did fit, PLUS I had room to spare!!! Imagine that!

I took it slow, getting used to the feeling. Once I was comfortable off we went around Crystal Lake. Slow and steady, talking and enjoying the wonderful day!


I can not believe I did it!!! When I think back to all the things my weight kept me from doing as my children were growing up, I could just cry. My weight held me back from so much...

Julie, I am forever grateful to you for giving me my life!!

I may not go skydiving, or bungee jumping or even ride a rollercoaster. I am not that brave, but the wonderful thing to me is, that if I wanted to, I could. I would fit! I wouldn't sink anything! I wouldn't get stuck in anything!! I wouldn't break anything!!!

That is BIG!!!! REally BIG for me!!!!

I did it!!! I did it!!!!

Jul 15, 2014

A Moments Decision

We make a lot of decisions about food on this program. How many times have you stopped for a moment to ask yourself: Should I eat this? Or: Can I eat this? Or contemplated over: Just this once? The choices we make in those moments accumulate and ultimately make a large contribution to our success. There are other decisions that factor into this equation, such as how we see and think about ourselves and our bodies.
My choices took me from here to here.
My success on this journey is a directly correlation of the decisions I've made at key moments.

There were many moments when I paused to consider my decision.

Moments when I was involved in an activity and I paused and said to myself "I can't do this," and then I pushed past my fear and just did it.

Moments when I jumped into an activity without a moments hesitation.

Moments when I jumped into an activity without hesitation only to discover "oh, I really can't do this!"

The further along I am this path, the less time I spend thinking about my food choices. Eating this way is embedded in my life. None of these decisions are hard. Sometimes a food calls out to me and I may pause for a moment, but the moment passes and my journey continues.

Sometimes choosing to do a physically challenging activity is hard for me. I had a three-week-moment of debating about going with a group on a difficult hike. After changing my mind several times, I chose not to go. It's good to know your limitations. Mine include a 10 hour hike with no bathrooms. (It's a funny story and I promise to post it sometime.)

My weight loss journey is about more than losing weight. It's also about challenging myself to push beyond my old boundaries, beyond my old ways of thinking, and to stop thinking of myself as an obese woman: I am not an obese woman anymore.

It's about choosing to stay on program when those moments of temptation arise. The accumulation of my choices, what to eat and what activities to participate in, are what helped transform me from a size 30/32 to where I am today.

A moments decision can make or break you on this journey. Choose wisely. Stay the course.
Red Dress Run/Walk in Hartford 07/12/14
Before publishing this post, I toggled over to my email and saw this message from Linda:
In 20 minutes I am about to do something I have never done in my life!! I wouldn't have fit, number 1, I would have sunk it, number 2. I am going kayaking. I am scared, as the mean girl is still telling me that stuff. BUT, I am going to do it. 
Now that's what I'm talking about! You go Linda! Go push your limits and go have an incredible time!

Jul 11, 2014

Uncharted Road

Meet Donna. Donna reminded me what it was like when I was too a newbie. As I read her story, I filled with excitement for her, for me, and for you. She tells your story and mine. The wait list. The wondering if this will really work. The undeniable changes in our bodies. The startling new ways we start to see and think about food. The uncharted road ahead.
Uncharted road. Photo by Theresa
Donna posted this comment on Plateau Strategy and I instantly knew her story had to be brought to the surface so none of you would miss it.
I am a relative newbie ... having begun my journey to a new me on June 10th. I have completed my three sessions and I am so totally blown away by how my life has changed in four short weeks.

First of all, I will acknowledge that I do realize that everyone's experience is different. I can only comment on mine. I am astounded by how this whole thing works. I am an adult, life-long dieter. Gain weight ... go on a diet, lose weight ... gain it back with a little more, repeat. Tried every diet out there and was just about ready to admit I was going to be overweight FOREVER.

A very overweight friend told me about Julie's program, and I was intrigued. Could this work for me? All it took me was overnight to decide, why not give it a try. So I checked out Julie's website, was shocked and horrified to learn I would be on a waiting list for up to six months. OMG, I am so ready NOW! Please!

But, I used that time to read this blog, and pray that this would work for me too! As I said I have tried every diet program and, as with most diets (as Julie explains), you should find success, but when you plateau and then begin to gain again all hope is lost. So you try another, and then another and so on.

So here is my experience after four weeks, and I will continue to post as I go through the next weeks and months and maybe even years!
In answer to two of the four questions that Julie asks, I would like to lose 70 pounds and be a size 8.

Well, after my first session, until this very moment as I write this, I have had no cravings for anything that I should not eat. I have had no trouble controlling what I eat and the quantity that I eat. And I keep repeating the mantra "eat when you're hungry, not when you're not" to myself. Can't get it out of my head. Pretty cool, eh?

That being said, I wish I could say that I have dropped a size or two. But, in pants anyway that is not the case. I have lost significant inches in my midriff area though, and consequently feel as though I am making progress. Have dropped a size in tops ... YEAH! I do feel trimmer, does that makes sense? Very encouraged.

We had a huge family 4th of July party that I did worry about. What would I eat, how could I not have alcohol? Well, I survived! I had a burger, steak tips and corn on the cob and was as happy as a clam. Stayed away from desserts, not even tempted to try them. Not tempted to try anything I know I should not be putting in my mouth.

Speaking of burgers ... I will share a burger suggestion that I tried recently that was so darn good, I could eat them every day. I sauteed baby spinach and mushrooms with garlic and a little olive oil. I made two very thin hamburger patties, put the spinach/mushroom mixture in the center; patted the edges to seal it and grill. OMG, so good. Really try it, yummy.

Well, that is it for now. I am so very grateful for this blog. It is so nice to see how everyone else is doing and get recipes and incentive.

-- Donna
Congratulations Donna - your life is about to change in ways you can't even imagine. The fact that you're only four weeks in and you can see and feel changes is worth celebrating.

As you drop weight, you may find it doesn't come off the way you expected. Weight comes off in it's own way and in funny places - like your feet. Who knew your shoe size could get smaller? And the hips, oh the hips! They seem to be the last to go, but stay the course and they will.

One morning you put your ring on your finger and it slides right off.

Another morning you look in the mirror and the face looking back at you will be transformed. Perhaps you remember that face, perhaps it's new to you.

You won't always be able to see the changes, but know they are happening. Take photos on a regular basis to help you see changes you won't see in a mirror.

Sometimes the weight loss slows down and you plateau for a while. This is part of the journey for many of us, as our body pauses to heal. The plateau will pass and your weight will drop once again.

I look forward to hearing more from you on your journey. Thanks for the recipe too!

Jul 6, 2014

Grilled Corn on the Cob

I made this delicious perfectly grilled corn on the cob recipe for dinner tonight. My only regret is that I didn't photograph it before we ate it! You can eat as much corn as you want as long as you eat an equal amount of meat. Keep your meat/veggie balance intact, as too many vegetables will slow down or stop your weight loss.
Recipe by Bobby Flay
Total prep and cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Directions
  1. Heat the grill to medium.
  2. Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. 
  3. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand. 
  4. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove corn from water and shake off excess. 
  6. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. 
  7. Remove the husks and eat on the cob or remove the kernels. 
  8. Optional: spread butter over the corn while hot. 

Source: Food Network

Jul 3, 2014

Transitions

Having a body that is capable of optimal performance is priceless. I'm learning that being the right size for my body can do far more for me than just looking good. I may not be at my goal size yet, but my body is definitely working for me these days.
Transitions are a natural state of being. Look how beautiful this one is!
Photo by Theresa
I'm in transition. Things have changed in my life and I'm not ready to write about the details yet, as it's all so new. The details don't matter. What matters is how I'm handling the transition. I'm handling this as best as I can. As I navigate through new territory, I stay connected to my incredible support system and to my spiritual side. 

I'm proud to say that during this transition there has not been one time that I told myself I deserve to treat myself to X, Y, or Z foods. I deserve to be healthy. Treats do not solve anything. They never have and they never will. I know what my life would be like today if I turned to sugar and it would not be pretty. I would shut down in a comma-like state-of-mind. No thank you.

My key program is deeply rooted. When my transition began, I automatically continued my exercise goals and I automatically continued to choose healthy foods. Sometimes autopilot is a good thing. 

My energy and focus wane throughout the day, but my overall state of being is good. I often feel as if I’m having an out of body experience. Perhaps I am. While I have moments when focusing is a challenge, I also have moments of clarity and feeling well grounded. 

One of moment of clarity is realizing how much my weight loss plays into all this. I can’t imagine how I would deal with this transition if I had not taken off so much weight. Today, at size 14/16, I’m in a good place physically, mentally and spiritually. At size 30/32, this transition would have been far more difficult.

This is another non-scale victory.

Stay the course and allow your body to work for you instead of against you.