Wednesday, October 23, 2013
100 beads of fat in the vase, 100 beads of fat...
when a new member joins tops, one of the first decisions they make is a goal weight. you have to get a doctor to write your goal on an Rx sheet and sign it, then you turn it in to the weight recorder. they use this to commemorate milestones like "halfway to goal." you don't have to get it immediately, but at least before you're halfway there.
i had no idea what my goal should be. sadistic height/weight chart said i needed to lose 115-125 pounds, but that sounded impossible. my "i'd be content" figure involved losing 78 pounds. so i figured a compromise was in order, and i decided to lose 100 pounds. i liked the idea of saying that out loud someday. "i lost 100 pounds." yes, that would do.
i may not have health insurance or disposable income, but luckily i do have a friend who's a doctor in NYC. the day i received his Rx in the mail, i went to the craft store and bought two bud vases and a bag of beads. i counted out 100 beads and poured them into the vase on the left and sat it alongside the empty vase in my dining room. on april 22, it was hard to imagine ever seeing the empty vase fill up. but here it is today, october 23, with 64 beads in it, only 36 remaining in the original vase.
each of those beads was earned with sacrifice, discipline, hard work and the support of my family, friends, and my tops group. that vase on the right represents the last 6 months of my life, and moving beads from the left to the right has become a ritual i really look forward to. i am proud to say that i have not had one week in these 6 months when i had to move a bead from the right back over to the left. i haven't had a gain at a single tops weigh-in. honestly, that's a little bit stressful, kind of like having a 4.0. the pressure is really on to not only do well, but to be perfect. i've had weeks where i left work early to go run right before tops just to sweat out half a pound. on monday i told a friend i had to run for 30 minutes before weigh-in, and he called me "fanatical." but as anyone with 100 (or 30 or 50 or 70) pounds to lose will tell you, you MUST be fanatical. you have to watch over your own shoulder all day every day, and you have to wrestle with yourself at all times to make good decisions. my brain is a factory of compromise, planning, reward, and discipline. it's the place where decisions are made to buy a scoop of pumpkin ice cream, but to only eat as much as i can get into my mouth between the pick-up window and the trash can (5 bites til brain freeze). it's the place where i beat myself up for squishing a brownie into a single bite to make it "ok," and the place where i realize i can fix that mistake with a good workout. a bad decision is only a failure if you don't do anything to correct it. and a bad decision is only a mistake if you've been impulsive. but if you are going to a party and decide ahead of time to have a small piece of cake, HAVE the small piece of cake. we're not fat because of the things we PLANNED to eat. it's all of the things that went down the hatch thoughtlessly. make a decision to have the cake, know that you will either accept the impact on the scale or be willing to do an extra workout. then enjoy yourself. every skinny person you know has had some cake, and you can too.
BE fanatical about your diet. just be the full spectrum of the definition. don't ONLY beat yourself up. also over-congratulate yourself when you succeed. and when you do something bad, think of the old you and of how you would've done that thing x10 previously. yeah, i ate a smooshed brownie, but old me would have eaten that one plus 3 more, and maybe even wrapped one up in computer paper and stuck it in her desk drawer for the next day.
be overly cautious with your decisions, be fair and honest with your criticisms, and be overzealous with your praise. you should never have a bigger fan of you than you. others will follow your lead.
all of my future slims - write yourself a list of 5 things you can't do now that will be possible when you lose weight. save it in your phone or someplace where you can read it quickly when you're about to smoosh a brownie.