I'm Not Trapped Anymore
I examined myself in the mirror today for a little longer than normal. I know that I'm feeling lighter and looking much better, but I don't make a habit of really looking. After all, I've avoided my reflection in anything and everything that reflects my image for years and years. So making myself look for an extended period was different. I like what I'm seeing. The weight is coming off nicely. I do wish we had complete control over where it comes off first. I noticed my face, neck, and shoulders are much thinner than they were at 505, I'm gonna have to add some muscle to my shoulders and neck! I'm pleased with the visual progress over the rest of this abused body too. I felt really good after posing, I mean, uh, looking at myself in the mirror. It gave me an extra boost of confidence I occasionally need.
We traveled to Stillwater this evening to celebrate Irene's birthday a couple of days early with the family. I think this may have been the first birthday get together without a cake. I do plan on getting a cake of some kind for Irene on Thursday, but she's not real big on cake, so she didn't seem to mind the absence of cake tonight. We dined at Charlie's Chicken. They have what's called chicken chunks. These whole breast chunks are lightly breaded and fried to a golden brown. I had three chunks, a portion of mashed potatoes with a just a little gravy, and green beans. I didn't eat the roll. I had to draw on my experience with counting fried chicken calories to determine the calories. Each of my chunks were different in size. I had a big one, a medium one, and a small one. I safely determined the big chunk of breast meat was 100, the middle-80, and the small chunk-60. For a total of 240 in breast meat. The mashed potatoes were comparable to other restaurant portions that have calorie counts, and since these tasted slightly better, I added 30 calories to the normal 120 you get down the street, making the potatoes 150, and the green beans were 60. Normally a portion of green beans wouldn't be that high, but these were flavored with bacon and onions, and oh boy they tasted good. For the record I didn't find any bacon pieces in them. I had water to drink and a complete meal calorie count of 450. I enjoyed the dinner, the family, and I was very satisfied. It's funny because eating out always gets blamed for weight gain. “Well, we just eat out too much.” I use to say that all the time, but I've learned, it's not the restaurant or the food, it's the choices we make. You can make any visit to any restaurant a good visit if you make the right choices. I feel like I could call this journey “The Amazing Eating Out Diet” sometimes, because we have had more than our share of restaurant meals in the last 121 days.
The one thing I don't feel anymore is trapped. I often times have felt trapped by my weight. Powerless to the addiction and hopeless for a solution. This is a really bad place to be. If you've ever shed tears over your weight while eating a pint of ice cream or whatever your favorite food may be, then you know what I'm talking about. I know what that feels like. I've had suspicious chest pains right before tearing up a buffet. The pains were probably gas, but I didn't know that for sure, and still I ate it all. It's a horrible feeling to be so addicted and out of control. I don't feel that way now. I feel free from that self-imposed prison sentence. So how did I escape? I decided that I had to do it or die young. But even after that realization, I still wasn't ready. Like Patrice O'Neal says “death isn't enough motivation.” That isn't necessarily true. It is enough motivation, but if you can't figure out where to start, or how to start, then all the motivation in the world isn't going to do it for you. I had to get a plan together. I knew the basic principle of eating less and exercising would work, so I started there. I set a 1,500 calorie per day limit and made myself walk as much as I could. I knew that this would require strict policing of my hand to mouth motions. If you go back and read some of the early entries, like the first two weeks, then you will see that the calorie limit is a constant, the exercise keeps evolving as it gets easier. It's hard to believe that 121 days ago I could barely make it through a quarter mile of walking really slow. I'm finally loving myself enough to do it. I'm worth it and if you're struggling then you need to realize that you're worth it too. Love yourself enough to live. I really want to live, ya know? I want to see what my life could be like as a slim and fit person. I think it could be whatever I want it to be. And I know the only way for me to get there is to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm learning about portions, I'm discovering how exercise makes me feel, I'm changing habits I've had my entire life, and I'm doing it by keeping it very simple. As I approach the first 100 pound goal, I realize that I've got a ways to go. But I'm truly excited about what lies ahead. It's a whole new world of freedom that not long ago seemed so far away.
Saying “you have to love yourself enough to live” is something different for everyone. I'm not a psychiatrist, and I probably don't even know what it is or was deep in my brain that made me so abusive to my body for so long. But I'll tell you something I decided. I decided to focus on the future and how I want it to be. I decided to embrace myself and love me enough to change for the better. This whole “loving yourself” thing is very real. And when that's in place and the changes are beginning to take shape, then everything and everyone around you benefits. How much? I don't know yet, I'm not done. And maybe someday I will lay on a couch and spill everything out and get to the bottom of my past self-destructive nature, but until then I have a strangle hold on anything that attempts to break my stride. And I'm not letting go, it's just too important.
We received a very nice gift this evening from Rachel and Neil. They stopped by the party and dropped off the Richard Simmons “Sweatin' To The Oldies” 20th Anniversary DVD. That was my workout tonight. I can see where this is going to be a real nice thing to have when our schedule prevents a YMCA trip and it's brutally cold outside. After getting past my own macho “I feel goofy” attitude, it really started to make me sweat. I was sweatin' to the oldies by golly! It was a little hard to keep up, because I wasn't familiar with it, but I was moving, and that's what it's all about. We're going to use that DVD often, I gaurantee.
Speaking of exercise, I have an appointment at the YMCA tomorrow at 4:30 for a complete tutorial of the weight training machines. I will not allow anything to crash my schedule this time. I will be there with bells on. Because I have to burn fat and tone! Thank you for reading along this daily journey. Your support is invaluable to me. Good night and...