I knew when I wrote that goal down that it was pretty unrealistic, but I’m more interested in the process than the final result. To that end, I’m taking a lot of positive, healthy, nurturing steps in the right direction.
Before I went into partial hospitalization, I volunteered to be the Weight Recorder for my TOPS chapter. There’s not a lot of structure to TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), but we do have to weigh in every week. At the time, I thought being the Weight Recorder might keep me involved with the group and make me more accountable. What I didn’t foresee was how much fun it would be. I love the woman who is the Assistant Weight Recorder—she has an infectious laugh and a practical, no-nonsense nature. We’re easy together and create a supportive atmosphere for what can sometimes be a painful part of the meeting. We focus on the positive, ask questions that might help our members make small adjustments to their plans, and do lots of cheering and hugging. Positive juju begets more of the same. It also keeps weight loss in the front of my brain.
I also started using the Lose It site. Keeping a food journal helps me lose weight, and doing it online is fast and easy. I can also keep track of my exercise there. Lose It lets me calculate the amount of weight I want to lose each week and provides a daily calorie budget. I can set goals and join all kinds of challenges. I’m doing four of those right now—Log in all 30 days in June, Lose 3 pounds in June, Log in how many minutes I meditate over the summer, and Stay at or under my calorie budget for the summer. I find the challenges to be fun and motivating, but even more so with all the “Friends” there. It’s a real social activity—people sharing their successes and struggles, passing along tips and what works for them. And, again, there’s lots of cheerleading and support. Another very happy place.
The challenges on Lose It have also helped me step up my exercise. I’m at the Y seven days a week now—six in the pool and Sundays on the recumbent bike and track. This week I’m trying to add in an afternoon walk as well, though dry land isn’t as kind to my feet and back. I figure I need to get ready for all the walking I’ll do in England!
Of course, the biggest obstacle to losing weight is my compulsive eating. Last week I could feel the anxiety building and knew I would binge, so I tried to stay as aware as I could. Was there a way I could minimize the damage? Allow the release that eating brings without blowing up my calorie budget? I hit on a great compromise—a sackful of raw veggies and a bottle of lite Ranch dressing. I ate a big bowl of colorful, delicious, healthy food and was satisfied. That, my friends, rarely happens.
With all of these wonderful tools and methods of support, I’m making better choices and moving in a healthier direction. I feel stronger and, even more important, more in control. The counselors at the hospital had a saying—Don’t be a victim of your brain. Make it work for you. I try to hold those words as I work on all my discharge goals, but even more so with my weight loss efforts. I doubt I’ll make my original goal of losing 8 pounds this month. But I will make my Lose It goal of 3 pounds. That feels like success—for me and my brain.