Saturday, April 27, 2013

Week 15: Perspective

This week I finally hit the 10 pound mark.  The key is to keep going past here.  Every 10 pounds I want to lose gets harder and harder. In fact, I don't think I have ever managed to lose more than 15 pounds on any program.  These past two weeks have been very satisfying though.  I went through a pretty tough plateau in the past few weeks.   For much of March and April I seemed to lose no weight, lost weight in tiny increments, and even gained. 

I was corresponding with my coach this week and she said this to me:

You are making awesome progress and that is evident in your measures and photos. Not only has your weight and girth declined steadily since January but your most recent pictures show some clear changes. Your tummy is tighter and flatter and your arms, shoulders, legs, and back are more toned. You should be really proud of the progress you've made so far! 

I hate the word "tummy" and I hate the word "toned".  Still I think I teared up a bit after I read this.

Progress is a funny thing.  You don't always see it.  You don't always feel it.  You certainly never feel as if you made enough of it.  I would look at Photo #1 and Photo #4 and think that they really don't look any different, that nothing about my body has changed.  I can't really get any perspective on how my body looks because I'm the one living in it.

Whenever it feels like the scale isn't moving quickly enough, or that my photos don't look any different, I have to remember my jeans.  At the beginning of the year I couldn't wear any of my jeans.  I threw away all of my "fat jeans" when I lost 15 pounds last year.  All the jeans I now own cut off my circulation.  Now I can wear them.  They're still a little tight, but I am not so uncomfortable that I just scrap the idea of wearing jeans and put on sweats to go out.

Does my progress still seem to slow?  Let's look and see how far I have come this year.  It's the end of April.  In four months I have lost 10 pounds, 8 inches, and 4% bodyfat.

Let's assume I continue to make the same progress over the coming months until the program ends at the end of the year.  Let's say I lose the same number of pounds and inches and the same amount of bodyfat every 4 months.

Losing at this pace, by the end of 2013 I will have lost 30 pounds, 12% bodyfat and 24 inches.  In other words I will weigh 111 pounds and be 17% bodyfat.  Twenty-four inches almost sounds like too much!  Sure I was aiming for a slightly lower scale weight, but I would consider 20% bodyfat an acheivement and wouldn't expect to go lower than 18%.  I would be thrilled to be 17% bodyfat.

The slow pace in this program can be frustrating.  Everyone wants to see instant results.  I suppose I could have gone on Jenny Craig and lost 30 pounds by now, but would I have truly learned what it takes to change my lifestyle?  Would I be back in the same place at the beginning of next year?  Yes this program is slow, but I'm learning to make healthful choices habitual rather than something I have to do in the here and now to hit a certain goal.  I also have a butt-kicking workout provided for me.

May is going to be full of challenges.  I have my nephew's communion, Mother's Day, Mom's birthday, and then the month ends with my San Francisco trip.  That's like the food capitol of the world.

We are discouraged in the program from "wondering and worrying".  We're not supposed to fret about the future of the program but to simply concentrate on what we need to do in the here and now.  I guess today I will just revel in my progress and cross those bridges when I come to them.  I just have to remember that just because I made good progress so far does not mean I can relax my habits or try to reward myself with food.

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