Weight Loss

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Suffering vs. Working

Thanks for the great comments on yesterday's post! It does feel good to reach this goal. I did want to clarify a bit--by saying I didn't "suffer" for it, I don't mean to imply that it wasn't hard work to get here. The eating part feels easy after years of diets, and being hungry all the time--I had to learn hard things, like how to resist emotional eating (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't) and how to tell real hunger from other little mind tricks, but the band has done what it was supposed to do, which is suppress my feelings of hunger. I went through "bandster hell" in the beginning, and didn't have any real restriction until almost 4 months after my surgery. And my weight loss felt incredibly slow for the first 6 months. Actually, it always felt slow. It WAS slow by many people's standards, which was my problem: I needed to go by my own standards, and compared to how I've lost weight in the past, this was fast. But once I got to a good fill level (after 3 fills) it usually hasn't been hard to eat properly, because it's pretty much how I've always eaten. I used to eat healthy meals, but too much of them, and way too many snacks (mostly sugary) in between. Getting to a more reasonable daily eating plan was not hard with my band, and I'm thankful for that. That's what I had surgery for!

The main work has been my exercise, but it hasn't been suffering, because the more active I've become, the more active I've wanted to be. I've advanced my activity level based on how my body felt--when I felt like I wanted to push more, I changed to something more intense. I've been working out 5-6 days a week for over a year now. It keeps me calm and sane. In February I felt the urge to start running, so I did a little quick reading to make sure I wouldn't hurt myself, and I started running. Now (after some trial and error that I've detailed in these posts) I run 3 days a week, swim one day, and am hoping to resume taking yoga once a week. I also lift weights 2 days a week. This seems like a good balance for me right now, and I feel great. So while I have certainly worked to lose weight, it's become a lifestyle that I enjoy--and the band (and the running) allows me to have treats from time to time without gaining weight back, and eat out without destroying my weight loss efforts. This is what I mean when I say I haven't suffered.

Tonight is a great example of how I am not suffering now. I just got back from a really great run up the South Hill, which took me about 50 minutes. I was wondering a few weeks ago how runners keep from getting bored when they run. Now I know: they leave the treadmill and get outside. I brought my iPod with me "just in case" but wanted to try running without earphones, and it was great. Without a treadmill to punch in my pace and incline, without a timer to watch, or a window to look out onto the same parking lot, I made my own pace according to how I felt--ran whenever I felt like I could, walked when I knew I needed to. I didn't think about time at all--time spent out there, time running versus time walking, nothing. In my 50 minutes, I probably ran about half of it, maybe even a bit more--but that didn't matter. My heart rate was in my training range the whole time, and more importantly, I got to see Spokane by foot. I discovered that the cliff that High Drive sits on, looking over the west valley, is totally blooming in yellow wildflowers--not Scotch broom, or dandylions or California poppies or any other weed, but something that looks like calendulas or black eyed Susans or something. It's really pretty, and there are trails cut into the hillside that I'm going to explore soon. I could even see the restaurant that hubby and I had a great meal at a couple of weeks ago--and it's kind of a distance away. The weather was perfect--dusk, about 60 degrees and clear, very slight breeze. It felt great to be out there, and I realized I was no longer running just because I could, but because it felt great and I loved it. That is a real revelation.

So, yes, I am working, but I repeat: I am NOT suffering.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Reading your comments about running is really inspiring to me. I have been using the elliptical machine. I am thinking maybe I should try running outside now. Thanks for the inspiration.