Everyone has vices that aren’t necessarily good for them. Most of the time, even when we know they are bad, we still take part, i.e. obesity. My dad, although he has a small stature, he makes up for it with his bigger than life personality. If you ever what to know where I get it from, it comes from my daddy! Well, he has a vice that isn’t very healthy, and he hasn’t cared to change for anyone, and that includes his wife of 35 years.
My daughter is doing well; however, when we were not sure about so many things, we simply chose not to travel. We wanted to stay close to her doctors. But, my husband and I knew that we needed to get the two of them together and soon, so we flew him out. It had been long overdue, and life was calmer, and pretty gosh darn good; there was no need in us keeping all of this happiness to ourselves.
About a month, before he had arrived, I had begun to start working on my vice, which was food. He was here for three days, and then we took him to the beach, for the rest of his stay. He said he wanted to see some girls in ‘kinis, and I wanted to make it happen. By gosh, it would be his first time seeing the ocean, in his 65 years! What’s a girl to do? I love my daddy!
Well, after he flew back to Arkansas. He called and said, “I love my grand baby! She sure is pretty! I think she looks like me! Baby, I am going to work on me, and start to do better. Can I come back for her second birthday?”
I said, “sure why not! We would love to have you, and we can do Christmas and New Years together, and this time only go to the Biltmore Estates, which isn’t far from us.”
He said, “Good! I’ve seen enough ‘kinis that drive isn’t worth seeing anymore.”
Now, I do not like my dad’s vice, but I also feel that it isn’t going to get better, until he decides to do better. Everyone chastise him about it, except me. I just want him to eat everyday, at least three times a day. I know that he wants to tell his granddaughter about the evils of the world, and the danger in boys, like he told me, and to make sure she doesn’t date until she is 25. He is very old-fashioned and a sharp dart, when it comes to his girls.
About two weeks later, he called and said, “Baby, I haven’t had a drink in a week. I am going to the doctor to make sure everything is working right, so I am there for my grandbaby.” Shocking, right?
Of course, I wasn’t sure how serious he was, so I called my mom to check. She confirmed, but was skeptical. We didn’t know how long this was going to last, but we were going to support him how ever long he needed. And this will be my dad’s first visit to a doctor in 10 years. He was finally ready to hear what the doctor had to say.
To make it interesting, since we both are clearly going through a life transformation, I made him a part of my weight loss journey. I call and talk to him about my wins and fails. Then one day I said to him, “Pops, if you keep fixing yourself, and I keep working on me, we can support each other, which pretty much guarantees that my baby will have the both of us for a long, long time, at least until God feels otherwise. You can have the fat I am shedding!” He thought it was funny, but rapidly agreed. I will shed some weight, he will gain some weight, and do as his doctors have advised. We have a plan. Although, we have fun, we both know that it isn’t going to be easy, and there will always be an obstacle; however, we know that we will walk this journey together! For God’s sake, my baby needs us!
I have such a long row to hoe, on my weight loss journey. I do not like associating my lifestyle transformation to a diet. With a lifestyle change, I can accept that every day is not picture perfect. There are days, such as Monday, where I want to indulge on chocolates throughout the day. I accept that, but I also know that I cannot do that every day.
I have made a conscious decision to not allow cheat days either, because they are so restrictive. I eat what I want, for the most part. There isn’t anything stricken from my food choices; however, I have modified tremendously how much of it and how often I will indulge. Macaroni, for example, is a favorite food. Yet, because it is 10 points, on the Weight Watcher scale system for 1 cup, I will eat it only once a month. 10 points for one measuring cup of macaroni is absurd. I really enjoy snacking on peanut butter and Ritz crackers. Sometimes, I just want some peanut butter, and this is typically how I would consume it. What I had no idea of was how easily those points add up, if consumed carelessly. If I need a peanut butter fix, I will just make me a peanut butter/jelly sandwich. One tablespoon is enough to spread on one slice of bread; it is 200 calories or 5 points for 2 tablespoons; I just need one. I still do not eat it as often as I use to, but have found a better/lighter way of getting my fix.
To quench my sugar fix, I have found balance with cookies, smaller portions of cake, 1 cup of orange sherbet, or fresh fruit. We are in the season of watermelons! I love watermelon, although it is difficult finding the seeded ones I love so much. I can indulge on a big bowl of strawberries or a sweet banana. I also really like grapefruits and oranges. At any given time, I always have a huge array of fresh fruits, in my home. I still haven’t given up my sweets. I have just modified the type of sweets I eat, primarily. If I want a slice of chocolate cake, I will eat it. I am simply thinking about my food, and the difference this makes is amazing.
Finding a balance is so important for me. I also do not give my daughter horrible sweets. She loves bananas, mangos, and watermelon. I try to give her as much fresh fruit as possible. She is so young, but I am responsible for shaping how she views food.
I am no expert, but this has worked for me. I do not want to live in the gym, so my option is controlling my food, and I have found success.
I’ve lost another 1.8 pounds this week. I feel fantastic. I was just reading a blog that was so inspiring. She said, “Since I’ve lost, I gained a life”. How true that statement is. Now that I am on this path of discovery, I have not considered the endless life changes that I will experience. If I felt that my life was pretty good before, I am on the road to greatness!
I have already noticed changes with my sleep, mood, and energy levels. It really is truly a transformation. My goal is to not get a head of myself, and appreciate the steps that I am making, on a day-to-day basis. One thing I have done to avoid overwhelming myself is to place my weight loss goals in small 20 pound increments. Overwhelming myself is a real possibility, if I took on an insurmountable goal; my task would seem more daunting and frightening.
20 pounds is easier to digest than 80 or 100 pounds. At the end of each 20 pound victories, I do something nice for myself, and I start all over again, as if it is day one! I hope I am not making it seem that the 20 pounds are easy to shed, because they are not, but it is a real conclusion. Moving past what our society and environment expects is the tough part, because there is not a quick fix to transforming a lifestyle. Sure, I could explore the options that are available, such as gastric bypass or Phentermine or Orlistat (weight loss medications). However, are these things going to change my behavior; my mental thoughts of food; decrease my ignorance on good and bad foods? No, it is not.
These things are quick fixes and temporary. The Mayo Clinic found that ” it’s common to regain weight no matter what obesity treatment methods you try. ” This means that all the work that should have been done, in the beginning, still has to take place, to keep up the weight loss. One way or another, a behavioral change has to take place, or the weight will come back.
So, I am settling in to my 20 pounds at a time, while I walk into a better life, one day at a time.
Mayo Clinic (2012). Treatments and drugs. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/ds00314/dsection=treatments-and-drugs