Sunday, October 9, 2011

Noticing Changes

I am starting to feel much better. My cough has almost completely disappeared, but more than that, I finished my course of antibiotics which means that I'm no longer suffering from the side-effects. Now that the drowsiness and lethargy are gone, my insomnia is back! Still, I'd much rather deal with my insomnia than lethargy.

I also feel like getting back to a somewhat 'normal' schedule has helped. I'm still working on my thesis every day, but I've broken it up into little chunks - 2 hours in the morning, 3 in the afternoon, 2 more in the evening. In between I'm taking a bit of time to rest, catch up on some housework, and of course hit the gym.

I started slow this week because I didn't want to risk a relapse, but still just the bit of movement that I've been doing has made me feel the difference already.

In addition, my food and water intake have been really good. I was really, really pleased this morning to see my weight down another 2 pounds from last week. I haven't seen a consecutive loss of weight (albeit very small amount) in a long time ... and I'm wondering what the difference is. A few things have definitely changed - I'm back at home - I was traveling quite a bit over the summer and that always makes consistent, steady weight loss a bit tough. I've got a more established schedule versus how haphazard things were over summer vacation. I'm also back in the kitchen, carefully preparing my food - spending the time and money on getting the right ingredients to make sure I eat right ... and making smart choices when I go out to eat, so no matter what even if the food is not exactly what I had planned to eat, it's never off plan - does that make sense?

In any case, all of these things don't seem like that big of a deal - it's more like getting back into a regular routine ... the main change though has been this blog.

I'm nearing my 100th post, which coincidentally will fall on my birthday ... Aside from using this blog to just vent and ramble on about my thoughts, what's been amazing is the community I've discovered.

There are some incredible stories of weight loss out there - those who are really trying and seeing changes ... and then there are those who are struggling, which is in a way comforting to see in that I know I'm not alone in this. I've received many supportive emails and comments on my posts.

Aside from blogging, I also joined two on-line challenges. At first I wasn't sure how this would work - I mean, it's an on-line challenge with people from around the world - how is this going to work?

There are different motivations for each challenge --
Fire up for fall is just a weekly set of questions ... but it's really interesting to see how as you approach the first question -- which is always 'What have you done this week to achieve your goals?' - you immediately have to reflect. What have I done? Did I make an effort? Did I take the right steps that will get me where I want to be? Or did I falter? Was there something real that stood in my way or was it me just making an excuse? So on and so forth -- these questions matter. When you realize that you are going to be asked this every week, you start to make sure that you do something so that you have something positive to report. Could you lie? Sure -- but come on, how will that help you out?

The second challenge - Triple Dog Dare Challenge
Now this challenge is entirely different. It's a group of people who are following basically the same meal plan, with a few customizations. We get daily emails keeping us motivated and occasionally containing guidelines and reminders, and we weigh in every week. Again, could you lie? Sure - but if you report a weight less than what you really are, then who are you really kidding?

So upon hitting week 4 of Fire up for fall and week 3 of Triple Dog Dare these are the things I've noticed:

Accountability matters - if you take it seriously, it can really make a difference.
Acknowledgement from others makes a difference - Knowing that somebody else will be reading what you're writing makes you want to try harder and do more so that you can show your effort ...
Consistent weekly reports mean that you have to reflect every week. You get to sit down and think -- am I doing everything I can do to further my progress? It also gives you a sense of how quickly time passes - Another week has gone by already? Shit. I need to get my ass in gear.
Patience is key -- putting on the weight didn't happen over night, so just changing your habits isn't going to get the weight off over night ... You have to keep at it all the time. I know I have a hard time with this, but I'm working on it.
Planning ahead is important. Make a menu. List the ingredients. Shop accordingly - don't buy other stuff. Don't buy junk food. Don't even bring temptation into the house.

So, I'm down just about 4 pounds in 2 weeks ... I'm pleased with that because I've actually just gone below my plateau weight that I've been hovering around for the past year. This in itself is more motivation to keep pushing, keep trying ... and what a great feeling it is to know that if I get stuck, I've got a whole new community who is right there ready to support me.

I never expected getting involved in this type of blog to be so rewarding -- I'm really pleased.
For those of you who read regularly and comment/email - thank you. It really does make a difference. I hope I can do the same for others as well.


  1. I couldn't agree more on the benefits of joining challenges! I do think it's important to learn to be successful on our own at some point, but the online challenges help me a lot when I start struggling :) glad we're in one together!!

  2. Oh, and congrats on the great loss!


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