Curvy motivations

OH EM GEE! What is happening?!
I grabbed a pair of dress pants today…they look like I’m wearing leggings! When did this happen? Where was I?

So it’s official…I’ve fallen off the bandwagon completely…in fact I think the wagon left me and is currently in Timbuktu. So since my last post about leading a sugar free diet and working towards my goals, I have had a birthday celebration which was pretty low key in terms of my sugar intake. Then I went on vacation for a few weeks for mom’s cooking. This was also overall sugar free vacation. But what has happened in my mean time is that my food portions have grown along with the unhealthiness  of my food. I pretty much ate fried foods for 3 weeks and didn’t keep up with my usually intense exercise regimen. I slept quite a bit…well I was on vacation and it didn’t take long for me to see the heaviness in my face and everywhere else.

The plan to lose it soon as I got back has flown out the window because something is different this time around…I have become more self-conscious.
Weight loss is great for improving self-esteem and making us feel good when we can fit into our clothes, healthy benefits etc, but it can also come at the expense of certain things to which we have become accustomed. Recently we have seen pictures of people’s real post-weight loss pictures, showing excess skin hanging from various parts of their body. For me, I realized that I did not have my curves. In fact, I posted a picture on Facebook and while folks said, oooh good job, a friend noticeably commented “nooooo, what happened to the boobs?!” Yup all gone.
I did not realize just how much I was attached to my curves and how it oriented me as a woman. During this past year I had decided that not carrying around a pot belly trumped curves and was willing to look like a pre-pubescent 15 year old boy if it meant I found six-pack abs! And I was headed there. The abs did start to show; and when I lost fat, I lost it everywhere. I often had to pep talk myself when I would see in the mirror that my booty was looking mighty flat. I mean my clothes were fitting so much better and my overall health had improved, so what did I really have to complain about?
But now that fried foods have led me to remember my curvy body, it has become completely hard to let it go and work towards my goals. In the last few months I’ve tried to get back into the groove, watching my calories and working out, but am soon reminded of new weight and ah well, just let me be.

So I find myself at the end of the year, 10 lbs heavier than I was same time last year. This time around I know exactly what to do to work it off, but completely unmotivated, or rather highly motivated by my curves.

I have spoken to many others who have this same fear, of not feeling sexy enough after weight loss. In fact, I often hear folks being told they have lost too much weight and need to eat...thereby sending them into reverse mode and slowly undoing all their work.

I'm not entirely sure how to proceed; I want to be a healthy, meaning no excess visceral (stomach area) fat, fit, with a BMI in the "normal" range. But I also want to look in the mirror and see a hollow version of myself. How have you dealt with the challenges of weight loss? What have you done to motivate yourself to get back with the plan? 

 Half-stepping diva


Holiday bulk

The holidays are upon us! Regardless of where you live or your religion, the end of the year is a time of celebration which means a lot of care-free eating! Those who are ludicrous enough to start a new diet plan at the beginning of December are soon met with tempting treats everywhere, big dinner celebrations and goading from relatives to just relax and enjoy! I myself have attempted many times not to end the year on the wrong side of the scale by becoming ultra-disciplined in the month of December. But it doesn't take very long to unwrap my resolve when I find myself surrounded by tins and tins and more tins of cookies, caramel popcorn (chocolate-covered too) and more cake than anyone knows what to do with.
Indeed for most of us, celebration starts with food. Get a new promotion, food! a new baby, food! engagement, food, win the lottery....well I'm sure food is right up there with lots of extra spending. And we have been conditioned that a salad just doesn't make for a celebratory lunch, we need fried foods and lots of it, sugar, pastries, bread, etc. Which is why for many of us, weight loss becomes a resolution in January!
So here we are again in December with opportunity to indulge and overeat. Here are a few tips to avoid or at least reduce the holiday bulge:
Focus on what matters
The holidays can be filled with social events and time spent with loved ones. But for many, the holidays can be very depressing. While it's great to see family and other friends, it can be a reminder of what you have not accomplished. Many find themselves isolated, either because they do not have loved ones around, are estranged from loved ones or find it easier just to be by themselves. This time of the year can also be a reminder of loved ones who are no longer living. And for those of us far away from the equator, the lack of sun can make us just downright sad. Whatever the reason for depression, it becomes even easier to sit behind a TV and just eat. Holiday blues are very difficult to overcome. If you notice yourself slipping into it, become intentional about what you can do to make yourself feel better...not just temporarily. For me, I've noticed that during these blue moments it helps for me to step out of my comfort zone and accept an invitation I would usually decline. I am also intentional about staying in touch with friends and family even if it's by phone. It's also important to focus on all the positive things in my life currently: life, good health, loved ones, etc.
Plan ahead
There is no doubt that December is filled with lots of goodies and treats. Plan for these moments by determining what treats you don't need this season. I myself have given up chocolate (yes, again!). Yeah, I tried the whole one piece only thing....it's not working and my tight pants are the proof! I'll also be avoiding caramel popcorn which I so love, not just because of the high sugar content but also because of the root canal I had to endure from cracking blah blah blah.
Eat/ snack before heading to that party
We often run around from house to house, or from store to store looking for the perfect gift. Which means that by the time we get to the first dinner party of the night we are famished! As important as it is to get that gift or get to that party, we must also nourish our bodies properly. Have a snack before heading out. Make sure it's a snack that has a lot of protein and not so much sugar (so no ice cream sandwiches!) This will ensure that "your eyes are not bigger than your stomach" when you see that big platter of extra crispy extra fried anything!
Talk more / Eat slowly
It's quite impolite to talk and eat at the same time. The holidays are a time of socializing and spending time with people we don't often see. It's also a great time to catch up. By talking more, we are more likely to slow down our eating so that we can finish telling that story. By slowing down we tend to eat less because our brains get a chance to tell us that our belly is full.
Reduce stress
Every year without fail, the holidays are a time of full-on stress. For some, the idea of facing family is stressful. During my retail days I often encountered customers in the middle of a complete meltdown because they could not get the perfect gift, or had waited until the last minute to find a gift and the store was closing, or my favorite, could not fit into the dress they wanted to wear to the holiday party. The pressures of the holidays span from our perception of our family's opinion about ourselves to realizing how much we have not accomplished by the end of the year. When we are stressed out, we often comfort ourselves with food/drinking and make allowances for overindulging. Find stress-relieving techniques that work for you. I like to journal because I am able to process my thoughts and not get so obsessive. Other techniques include exercising, spending quality time with loved ones, breathing exercises, chamomile tea, etc. It is also good to recognize when you are stressed so that you make conscious effort not to overeat just because your cousin is making fun of your new recipe right in front of everyone.
Watch what you sip
Fruit juices, soda, cocktails, beer, something something mocha latte...all of them are filled with calories. It's easy to lose track of how many drinks we have especially during this season. Be mindful of what you’re sipping. Request on the rocks when you can; it slows you down a bit. Alternate between water and your drink of choice and when you can water down your beverage. Take your time with each drink, nurse it for as long as possible and don’t forget to stay hydrated…with water. Water has been shown to boost metabolism, promote weight loss and boost overall general health.
So this season, I hope you eat, drink and be merry! while considering your body, your health and your life.
Season's Greetings!
Half-stepping diva