Losing weight: time for accountability

January 6, 2011 § 12 Comments

My monthly weight loss goals--here we go!

All right gang, what you’re looking at here are my weight loss goals. My goal is to lose 2 pounds a week until February 2012. If I do that, then I will get down to my goal weight of 135 pounds. My starting weight is 238, taken this morning at 8 a.m. Essentially, that’s just over 100 pounds in 13 months, which by my calculations is fairly healthy. The bars are color-coded:

Dark Blue = Week One Goal
Red = Week One Actual
Green = Week Two Goal
Light Blue = Week Three Goal
Periwinkle = Week Four Goal

Here’s what’s happening. On The Today Show the other day, one of their fitness experts (I’m blanking on who now) suggested creating a spreadsheet with goals for each week or month or whatever to keep you on track. Which is what I’ve done. I do have an Excel spreadsheet prepared: on it, I have listed my weekly goals for weigh-ins as well as spaces for the actual weight at weigh-in. I have also listed my weekly exercise goals as well as spaces for the actual amount of exercise I did that week. At the end of each month, I will create and share that month’s chart to show you how the progress is going.

Now, before anyone starts to exclaim in alarm about anything at all, I want to assure you that I am doing this healthfully. This is not about becoming a little twig. I am 5’4″. Technically 135 is on the high end of “normal weight” (taken from the National Institute of Health’s website). By comparison, if I wanted to be on the lowest end of “normal weight” for my height, I would have to weigh 108 pounds. Just seeing myself type out that sentence makes my heart race in panic. I haven’t weighed 108 pounds since sixth grade, and I have absolutely ZERO desire to get there again. Ever. I was TWELVE when I weighed 108 pounds. Why would I want my twelve-year-old body again? Absolutely not. I want my young woman’s body back. I weighed between 135 and 140 when I was in college six years ago, and I was abso-freaking-lutely adorable. Like, doable. I’m a curvy woman. I have good strong hips. I have huge breasts. I have a pronounced ass. I have a short torso but “long” legs. Now, if you were to ask any heterosexual man to describe his dream woman (as I have done with a few males I’ve encountered in my life once I gained interest in those sorts of things), he will likely describe a woman with those characteristics. Rarely do you come across a man who wants a twig on his arm. You hear things like, “I want a woman who is huggable. A woman who has something to hold onto.”

And you know what? I do too. I want to be a huggable woman. I want to be a woman that has something to hold onto. I like the way that body type looks. It’s a strong, capable, voluptuous type.

I realize that on a level this sounds shallow. But believe me that I am concerned about my health primarily. I have no idea what dress size I will be when I get down to 135 pounds. The only reason I chose that number is because when I look back at those pictures of me in college, that’s the weight I was. And that’s the body I want to get back…so…naturally, I chose 135.

Primarily, though, I want to feel better. I want to eat better. I want to exercise more. I want to look on the outside as good as I feel on the inside. I want to be proud when I look at myself in pictures. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with the reflection. As it is, I cannot look at myself in the mirror. Gloriously, the mirror steams up so that I don’t have to face myself as I emerge from the shower. And I do not glance at myself when I disrobe and enter the shower. It’s bad enough looking down at myself from the neck down when I wash.

And I realize how horrible saying all of that is…but this is where I’ve been for a number of years. I don’t know when the last time was that I actually took a full look at my naked body in the mirror. It has to have been years. When I am forced to look at myself, I see my body in sections. Those are my eyes. Those are my cheeks. Those are my breasts. There’s my stomach. And my thighs. And my feet. My arms. My frizzy hair. I don’t see my body as a single unit. I don’t remember the last time I saw my body as a single unit…but I do know that from a very early age, I began to parse my body apart (and those of my playmates).

I am scared. I am scared that this is something deeply rooted within me. I didn’t hit 200 pounds until I was in graduate school in 2004. This body I currently live in is a new body. I am not home in this body. But have I ever been home in my body? I am afraid that when I get to 135, I will still see only pieces of myself and never the whole. And if that happens…will I let myself go back to 238 or worse?

But I also know that I can’t live wrapped up in that fear. Here’s what’s different now:

Robert is here now.

The love of my life is here now. Someone, besides my family, who loves me in spite of anything and everything is here now. Does Robert want me to get to a healthy weight so that I am no longer on any dangerous borderline? Of course he does. Does he want me to love my body and feel confident? Of course he does. Does he want me to enjoy shopping and not come home with just another purse because that’s the only thing that fits me? Of course he does. Does he love me no matter what? Absolutely. I wouldn’t have said “I do” if he didn’t. I have to have confidence in this difference. I have to believe that because he’s here now, then that difference is enough to help pull me out of the destructive rut I’ve been in.

So, look forward to monthly updates on weight loss. Also: I am not going to torture myself if I don’t lose 2 pounds a week steadily. Instead, I will own whatever I am able to accomplish and assess when I might need to make a change. Our bodies plateau because they become “accustomed to” what we’re doing. I do expect the plateaus, and when they come I plan to make the necessary changes.

In advance: thank you for your support! πŸ™‚

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§ 12 Responses to Losing weight: time for accountability

  • Bless you in this effort! I’m happy to support any way I can, as I am trying to lose weight, as well–a life-long battle of ups and downs.
    I had thought about starting a diet blog rather than the one reinvented 2 months ago–thought about calling it “Breakfast for Haiti”–thought folks might be willing to find friends and family who would sponsor their weightloss efforts– pledge say a dollar per pound lost–money we could collect and donate to hunger relief in Haiti—thought it created an interesting irony. Seriously played with this idea but ended up not doing it. At any rate–I’m here to cheer you on!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Wow…I rather like that idea. If you decide to revisit it, let me know. I’d be up for joining the challenge! πŸ™‚ (And hey, I’ve got a gym membership where most of the local college students and professors go, so advertising would be a breeze, too.)

      Thanks so much for the support! Let me know how I can support you too! πŸ™‚

  • lifeandpursuit says:

    Good luck with the weight loss =) Although I know it won’t have anything to do with luck, lol.

    Your post about how you see yourself struck me. And it’s not that I’m unaccustomed to not liking certain aspects when looking in the mirror. The fact that you see yourself in bits and pieces is what got me. You deserve to see yourself as an entire composition, at whatever weight you are. Looking at the whole picture is the only way I can look at myself and think “Hey, I’m actually cute, it’s just that I’m not at a healthy weight and don’t feel healthy.” Anyway… I recommend you stare at yourself every day after getting out of the shower (or before, what have you). lol! Seriously!

  • Wow, that’s great, Amanda! Good for you!

    My sister lost 80 pounds last year after her second baby, so it’s totally doable! Tough, but doable! Good luck!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Thanks, Tawnysha. πŸ™‚ Last year I lost nearly 25 pounds, but then I got super lazy and gained 15 of it back. I sort of feel like I was in hibernation this winter, haha. Time to be serious about it, though! And, by the way, good for your sister! That’s really tough, especially when it’s baby weight.

  • Cristine says:

    Hi Amanda! This is Cristine again. Congrats on your goals! I wanted to ask you if you’ve ever used sparkpeople.com before? It is a great weight-loss website I’ve used for multiple diets. It does basically what you have already done: you give it your weight, your goal weight and goal date, and it tells you how much you need to lose, how much exercise you need to do, and your calorie intake for each day. Then it has an exercise and food diary that you can use that all feed into your goals. The food diary is really complete– there’s a lot of food in their database. They also have a recipe calculator where you can put all the ingredients of a recipe, the serving amount, and it’ll tell you how many calories per serving, and then it’ll feed that into your food diary. It is completely free and totally awesome! Let me know if you decide to try it. I love it so much!

    My problem is weight maintenance. I lost between 25–30 lbs 3 years ago (not sure exactly how many because I didn’t look at the scale in the beginning), but I have gained and lost the last 10 lbs now three times. I tend to think that I’ll never have to worry with dieting once I get to my weight goal, but that isn’t true at all. The reality is that dieting is not a “one and done” thing– it really is a lifestyle change. Luckily, I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to realize that I’m either going to be yo-yo dieting for the rest of my life, or I need to start eating healthy consistently.

    Also, speaking of intentional informing, I should mention that I also have a blog, I’ve been keeping it for about 1 yr now but I don’t really share it with anyone. Basically because I do a lot of bitching and daydreaming there and I was worried about how people might judge me. But you are very forthcoming in your blog and it has inspired me to be more forthcoming. If you’re interested in checking it out, the address is:

    stonyplaces.wordpress.com

    Of course any of your dear readers/friends of mine who stumble upon this URL are welcome to check it out if they wish!

  • Cristine says:

    I forgot one more thing! For my current diet, I am doing the pound for pound challenge: http://www.pfpchallenge.com. For every pound you lose , they’ll donate 1 lb of food to a food bank in your area. Just a thought! It’s entirely free too!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Cristine, thanks so much for the tip about sparkpeople.com! I’m definitely going to check it out. πŸ™‚ And I saw a flyer in my gym about the PFP Challenge the other day–it sounds like an amazing idea. You’re such a source of inspiration!!

      And thanks for the link to your blog–I’m really honored that you were motivated by my blog to share your own…that’s so touching. πŸ™‚ I’m going to make sure that I check out your blog on a regular basis!

      • Cristine says:

        Thanks Amanda! I hope you get some use out of the two links! CP and I have been dealing with a lot of change in the past few weeks, so right now there’s a lot of bitching going on at my blog. But I’m going to challenge myself to write about some more uplifting stuff here soon!

  • […] I have to do this? Yes. It’s bad. I didn’t keep tomy original plan to lose weight (I would be almost 30 pounds lighter than I am right now), and now I’m feeling kind of like I […]

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