Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stop Screaming ERROR

I was the first one to sign up to participate in this blog with Tristi and Grandma Ruthe, but it looks like the last one to actually log on and write a post. I’ve had good reason–I was on a much needed short vacation before I head back to work on Monday. But vacation or not, I’ve been good and already started the Richard Simmons Food Mover program, a portion-control system that I’ve used before with much success.

Like many people with lifelong weight problems, I have gone up and down over my life, rarely staying at my ideal weight for longer than a year before those pounds start to creep back on. I last reached my ideal weight when I got married, fifteen years ago! I stayed there for a short time, then I found myself eating richer foods and larger portions that I knew I should.

I played at losing weight, but it was hard when my husband liked to eat rich foods, I had a miscarriage, and I actually ate three full meals a day. I was successful a couple of times at returning briefly to my ideal weight, but I completely lost that battle six years ago when we adopted three boys (adding to the two we had already adopted), and the maximum stress levels hit the ceiling.

I found myself eating not because I was hungry, but because I was looking for comfort. Chocolate became my friend, and I would pop Bridge mix into my mouth while I read each evening. Anyone who knows me well knows I would die if I couldn’t read, so going without reading before bedtime was not possible. The chocolate was addicting as well, and soon the pairing of chocolate and reading was complete. I spent long hours alone in my bedroom, trying to avoid the chaos the oldest boy brought into our life, and the pounds started to pack on.

In the next five years, I went up two dress sizes and started to experience pain in my knees and lower back. I knew none of this was healthy, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself. Then came the additional health issue when last year I took a great fall, breaking a radial head on one arm which resulted in replacement surgery, dislocating the other elbow, and doing additional damage to my back and left knee, already under the stress of too much weight and a fall on the ice the previous winter. The pain medications following the surgery helped me lose twenty or so pounds, and I thought I’d be able to lose the rest on my own, but once I stopped the meds, I hurt to much to exercise. Heck, I could hardly even walk without feeling like I was dying, my back hurt so bad.

About three weeks ago, I decided enough was enough. I need to lose the weight if I want to be around to enjoy the retirement I’m looking forward to, and to be able to go on vacations and do things with my husband and sons, including the nine-year-old who wants Mom to be around to see him grow up. I located my Food Mover and got started balancing those meals.

Within the first week, I was already noticing a few changes in the way I felt. I can walk a little farther, stand a little longer, and I don’t feel so bloated and my feet aren’t as swollen when I go to bed at night. The chocolate is gone from the night stand, and I’ve broken the habit of needing something to chew while I read.

I happened across Richard on a recent QVC pitch and immediately ordered the updated DVD set of Sweatin’ to the Oldies. I had sold the two VHS copies I’d once owned, back when I was a newlywed, at my ideal weight, and thought I didn’t need them anymore. The DVDs came yesterday, and like Richard says, even if I only dance to a single song a day, it’s more than I’ve been doing in the last few years and a great place to start. I’ll get started today.

So far, the Food Mover program must be working because last week I actually did some walking at Cedar Breaks and didn’t feel like I was going to die just getting in and out of the car. I was able to walk to every one of the lookout points, a major accomplishment compared to where I was two weeks earlier. I also walked around SUU at the Shakespeare Festival that evening, and no sore muscles or complete exhaustion the next day. Overall, I feel better.

My first weight goal might seem silly to some, but it’s a way for me to measure that I’m making progress. I want to be able to step on the cheap-o scale in the downstairs bathroom without it screaming ERROR at me. Once I’m back on a real number, then I’ll set my next number goal, but for now, I’m up, I’m standing and walking with less pain, I’m motivated, and happy to be a part of this blog to give me additional motivation. Thanks, Tristi, for coming up with this idea right when I needed that extra kick in the pants to stay on the right path when it comes to improving my health.


Shauna said...

I can relate to that! I always feel like my scale is screaming ERROR to me when it tells me how heavy I am! Good Luck on your goals, together we can all do it!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Glad to have you with us, LuAnn, and I'm excited to see your progress and to cheer you on!

Christine Thackeray said...

LuAnn, it is hard to exercise with pain. Even swimming kills me but its the best I can do. Good luck with the walking. I'm rooting for you.