Saturday, 21 August 2010

Missing My Carrot.

I really appreciate the thoughts and good wishes of those who comment on my posts. I know I could be writing to myself here, but knowing a few people out there read my thoughts (and sadly they tend to be 'thoughts' rather than good old "Hey I've lost a pound!" posts) really spurs me on. I can't say I am spurred on to losing weight at a good rate, (you've noticed, huh?) but I am fired up to think about what's happening to me and how I feel as I try to lose some of my 'too, too solid flesh'. *

Yesterday I wrote about how lucky I am to have a man in my life now - in middle age - who loves me just as I am. One day we'll marry I hope, and on that day I don't want to be a fat bride. I have every incentive to lose weight and work out. Most women planning their wedding give lots of thought to how they'll look on the day - and rightly so. (I didn't first time round...I didn't enjoy my wedding day at all, for all sorts of reasons, which I won't go into here.) Many women, having a date in sight, set to and shed the pounds like there is no tomorrow. They have a will of iron and off they go...and hey voila - their wedding dress looks just great on the day, as do they. They like what they see in the mirror too...and it's been a LONG LONG time since I have liked what I see in the mirror. That's how it goes, mostly, isn't it? I read somewhere recently that a HUGE percentage of all brides-to-be embark on a slimming regime once they become engaged. I can understand that....they have a goal. Could be that they'll gain all the weight they lost back and they'll become fat wives, but kudos to them for their determination and action. I have to find that sort of drive.

I am lacking drive. I know I am.

WHAT though is the carrot that's dangled that makes people just go for it? I am missing my carrot, if you know what I mean. I have lots of reasons, including health ones, to get rid of my rolls of fat right now.

I got on that blasted scale this morning and discovered I'd gained two pounds since I last stood on it. OK, so tomorrow those two pounds could be gone, but today, the scale tells me I am two pounds heavier than last time I weighed myself, whenever that was. Bugger! water retention or some other sort of fluctuation could have caused that, but I do know how good I am at 'maintenance'. I am eating sensibly, probably not moving as much as I could...and the fat is clinging to me for dear life. My fat hangs on.

Being reasonably bright all my instincts tell me I have to work up a sweat. I have to become more active. I am post menopausal and whatever anyone says, I am finding it bloody hard to shift pounds. Years ago, if I'd been eating as sensibly as I am now, I'd have FELT lighter, my clothes would have been looser and I'd have steadily lost weight. Not quickly, but steadily, slowly the weight would have dropped off, because for the most part I am not going for any calorific indulgences and my diet is a good one. I WAS more active years ago, but I ate doughnuts too. I didn't think much about junk food versus 'good' food. I ate what I fancied and because I was always on the go, I didn't gain pounds. I didn't even think about my weight and nutrition. (What a blissful state!) I ate, I moved...I stayed slim..even though life wasn't particularly happy back then. Carrots? I didn't go for raw carrots in a salad. I chose carrot cake every time. I still want carrot cake. Tell me you still want carrot cake too? I KNOW I can have a slice occasionally, but I want to be able to eat ANYTHING without having to think about it much.

Now, I either have to go for a diet of about 800 calories per day methinks, or work like a Whirling Dervish to see this fat take a hike. (I have personalised my did that happen? I see it as a leech, a parasite, an unwelcome house guest, hanging on to me, clinging on, grinning, refusing to release it's grip. It probably has it's own room and a suitcase it can pack...and it can move on whenever it wishes :)

Weird...weird...If only I could go online and book it a train ticket. I'd happily accompany it to the station and wave it off...:)

This fat isn't just a visitor. It is me. It makes up what I am.

I have every incentive to lose weight. I want to lose weight...but I have reached the conclusion that this weight, despite my sensible diet, my good eating habits will only vanish when I buy a some Lycra leggings, a new pair of trainers, a gym bag, a water bottle and a gym membership. Having said that - I have bought gym memberships before and then hated going. I never got into it...I wasted my money. Yep, foolish, but I am being honest here. I don't like going to the gym.

Now I can't afford to go to the gym, so that option isn't open to me. I could use work-out DVDs, I could devise a keep-fit programme and exercise at home every morning, and I could make sure I go for a long walk every single day.

It has also struck me that this isn't about COULD. It's about SHOULD.

How much do I want to lose weight?  Forget 'could' or 'should'. If I stop and think about things like high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, general ill health and premature death then COULD and SHOULD have to be banished from my weight-loss vocabulary. I am getting older, and when you get older, things do seem to take longer to work. My metabolism is more sluggish. My hormones have given up the ghost. I have to accept that and do the extra work required...with supplements if need be. I also don't have as long on this planet as I used to have. Will I still be moaning about my fat shape one year down the line? This isn't about looking good in a wedding dress, although I aim to, this is a MUST - for life.

That is one enormous fuckin' carrot, isn't it?


  1. It would make one helluva carrot cake.

    I could use a piece about now... with cream cheese frosting. Ah well.

    For me, my "carrot" has been many things from vanity (saw pictures of myself at my brother's wedding) to... well, more vanity (wedding -- not a first for me either), to joint health (my knees are shot)... so in the name of vanity and health I trudge forward, having hacked off fifty pounds and still trying to evict the last twenty.

    I understand not liking the gym. I hate it myself. Over time, very slowly, I've collected bits and pieces of fitness stuff here at the house. I even managed to come up with a treadmill, and also found an excellent price on an elliptical machine. When the stuff is just sitting feet from me rather than me needing to get all dressed up and make an "outing" of it, I'm more likely to use it.

    You're doing what you need to do, really. You're doing the inside-your-head work, and I think ultimately that's the thing that makes or breaks the external transformation.

    Oh, and you gave me a new carrot for these last twenty... because according to genetics I'll most likely be post-menopausal within the next couple of years, so I'd better scrape this off before that time! YIPES!!

  2. I will tell you the secret that changed my workouts for me forever. Music. Fast fun music. I'd been working out on treadmills and ellipticals for a couple years watching TV and not seeing any real change, and not really enjoying it all that much either. When I finally realized that putting on my headphones and listening to something fast made me want to move faster. I went from trudging along on the treadmill to going outside in the fresh air with Lady Gaga and OH MAN I could go so much longer. I actually enjoyed it. Now, I go to a track near my house as it is bouncy and much easier on the knees than the sidewalk. I've actually even started jogging - I didn't intend to. I've always thought that I hated running, and I still claim that I do. But I am completely jealous of the chick I saw running (without stopping!) at least 3-4-5 miles yesterday. The sickest part is I've gotten to where I just don't feel right unless I've gone up there and walked/jogged a little each day. Who knew. Some days it's a mile, some days 4.5... it just depends. I quit when I'm tired and I think that keeps me going. I don't punish myself. And now, even though I know YOU already know I will list the reasons why I keep doing this...
    1. I feel better - Physically most of all, but also mentally. Any food guilt is mostly gone on a regular basis.
    2. When I do indulge in something (which is very rare) I'm ok with it. I don't beat myself up and I make sure to enjoy every single bite of whatever it is.
    3. I have lost my BIG (size 20!) butt and my abs are flattening out nicely. JUST from walking (mostly). No crunches and hours on weight machines. I didn't even know that would happen. I've lost over 10" on my belly... so ya, it really does work.

  3. I'm with ya on the whole no real motivation. Oh I have a huge dangling carrot. D and I are going to get married next year, so as you mentioned, who wants to be a fat woman in the wedding dress or be limited in dresses that can be chosen because of your size?

    But my motivation is lower due to all the stress I have lately. I just walk. It's about all I can do right now. I have a treadmill at home and I can walk with D in the evenings or early morning when it's not 110 degrees outside. We live in a nice neighborhood where the blocks are about 2 miles around. So it's nice.

    Just sometimes you have to force yourself, no matter how you feel, to get off your bum and get moving. We're not going to get skinnier by sitting around :D

  4. "If I stop and think about things like high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, general ill health and premature death then COULD and SHOULD have to be banished from my weight-loss vocabulary."

    Unfortunately, these are not carrots. They are sticks. They are potential "punishment" for your behavior, not rewards. And, again, unfortunately, sticks are far less motivating than carrots. Perhaps that's part of why motivation is eluding you.

    For me, the motivation started out as blind fear of how much harder life would be when I go back home in terms of finding a job, making friends, and getting health insurance, but it has rather changed to wanting to be the master of my life when it comes to food. When I say "master", I mean that I don't want to be obsessed with or ruled by food in any way, and that is very close to where I am now. That would have been one hell of a carrot for me, had I conceptualized that such a thing were even possible for me 14 months ago (I didn't think it was).

    I think for older women, it's much harder to find a rewarding motivation because at ages similar to ours (I'm about to be 46 - though not yet menopausal - thank goodness as it'd slow down my loss rate), appearance is less important and therefore looking "hot" isn't really on the table.

  5. You are funny!

    I do adore carrot cake. A couple of months ago, there was a delicious one at the food pantry where I volunteer. It was available to the workers, and I became obsessed with it! Not one of my better moments....

    That's the frustration of being an intelligent woman. We know what we should do and all the whys, but the "why can't we make ourselves do it" is what we can't figure out. The carrot. That damn carrot.

    Post-menopausal is not the place to be to lose weight quickly. This is the tortoise phase of life. We're not chasing a rabbit, we're plodding behind a tortoise.... The tortoise has a carrot in its mouth....

  6. FG: Before I embarked on this new life plan my motto was "I'll do anything to lose weight.............................except diet and exercise." I was immature, lazy and unwilling.

    It really is baby steps that I have found helpful (my counterpart B would beg to differ): writing down everything I eat and tracking the calories, moving more, and understanding that all calories are not created equal. It has been as simple as that. I eat any kind of food I want, just a lot less.

    You are on the right path, although omeone once said "Even if you are on the right path you'll get run over if you just sit there." Add a few more small changes. I'm rooting for you. Jo

  7. I used to like carrots, until I started eating them everyday, raw, at lunch time. That aside, you'll find your motivation in time, it's probably all around you but you're looking inwards too much. How about looking outwards?

    I know everyone says you can only lose if it's for yourself but I have to say it helps me to think about my kids and being around when they have kids too. I can see they're not happy about my bulk and I do recognize they have some right to my time and effort, as does my spouse. Maybe that's what will help keep me on the straight and hopefully narrow(er) as time goes on.

  8. I don't know what the carrot is either. Some days I am motivated. Sometimes that lasts for weeks and months. Then - boom - the motivation is gone. And I struggle. Why? No darn idea. Sigh.