Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Monday Project

(Bear with me folks, as this is my first blog and first blog post ever. Bound to be some human error goin' on at some point!.)

So.... I am participating in this great challenge over at The Sisterhood of The Shrinking Jeans, a fantastic site I recently came across. The challenge is called Re-Think Your Shrink. And while we all hear time and time again about the things you need to do in order to lose weight (eat less, move more, yada yada yada..) I know from experience that it's what's inside my head that is most important when it comes to being successful at this.

So here we are. Our Project Monday project was to take a good hard look at what has worked for us in the past and what has not. It was time to face some music and I knew it would not be pretty which is probably why I put it off till now (that and some tech issues)

I am a writer by profession, and work in the newspaper business. I am all about the deadline and procrastination, as I find most writers to be.

Anyway, I am new to the Sisterhood and there is a refreshing feeling in joining a group where I have no "history", no "story." It makes it easier to let it all hang out, so to speak.

Now on to the project and yes, I have tissues handy.

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I remember. I can still picture me doing leg lifts on the floor of my childhood room and following instructions from a Richard Simmons exercise book I got at a yard sale in my teens. I "felt the burn" with Jane Fonda, did step routines with Cher and those wacky leg-swinging moves with Cindy Crawford. I have been a Weight Watchers member off and on since my mid 20s. I a member still today and I will talk more about that later.

I would do well losing weight as long as their was a particular social function in my midst. The weddings of three brothers. A class reunion. You get the idea.

In 2005, it was my own wedding I needed to shred for. Before the wedding, I was at my highest 203. I rejoined WW and got down to 182 and was happy for my success and excited about this new journey of becoming a wife. It was later in life than I ever thought I'd get married - I was almost 38.

Then came a bunch of struggles no newlywed should have to face. It still saddens me every day. I don't want to go into too many details but the bottom line is this: I had (and that is the very first time I have EVER put it in the past tense) a lifelong dream of being a mother. Due to various reasons, that dream is unfulfilled and is not going to happen (again something I have never written out.. just couldn't do it). We had issues in that department and my husband and I are not in agreement about pursing other options. And so, at age 42, to me this door has closed.

Welcome, depression.

The girl who everyone considered to be light and funny and full of life, began seeing a therapist and went on medication (and I have a whole new respect for people who pursue those avenues). I turned to eating as a source for comfort and to fill my grief. Well, hello..nothing fills it. So why should I just continue to do that to myself? It has to stop.

It was depression that I have blamed everything on in the last two years ---all my weight gain(now up to 215 lbs), all my laziness, all my desire to drop out and do the bare minimum in any area of my life. Everything. I am no longer on the medication but I do still have my hard times.

I know how therapeutic exercise is and to me, on the days that I actually MOVE, it does me wonders. After we first got married and I read all about the need to lose weight to prepare for a pregnancy, I used to take long long walks repeating a mantra in my head in rhythm with my steps "getting fit for the baby, getting fit for the baby." It fueled me.

I need a new mantra.

To help myself feel better, I joined a local runners club --they have a great program to train walkers into beginner runners. I set a goal for myself in 2009 to do one 5K a month, just trying to beat my time from month to month and to run a little more and walk a little less. I am proud to say I was able to fit that in all but 3 months. I still can't run a full one, but I am beating my times bit by bit. That was something that worked for me in 2009. I have the same goal for this year.

Other things that worked in 2009:
Organizing a walking club for members of my WW meeting where we would take an hour walk after our weekly meeting.
Giving myself a sticker on the calendar for every day of exercise. I love seeing those stickers filling up the calendar page at month's end. I try to beat my total of stickers from the previous month.

What didn't work:
--- Showing up to WW and using a "no weigh in" pass. This is fine if you do it now and then but weeks in a row? That is money down the drain.

-- Attending WW without being a PARTICIPANT. Yes, I attended WW meetings but I was not following the program, tracking points, exercising.. in other words, I was not DOING Ww. Major note to self: Just because you go to WW meetings and show up and shell out your money does NOT make you a person on Weight Watchers! You actually have to work the program to see results. Just showing up ain't gonna do it. It's what happens BETWEEN the meetings that matters msot.

--- Eating in the car: This was new for me in 2009. Hello, bad habit. I would weigh in and then head to straight to the drive thru at Taco Bell. Can you say self-defeating strategy there?

---All or nothing thinking when it comes to exercise.

Today was a NEW DAY!
I went to WW and faced the music of my holiday weight gain. I didn't use that friggin no-weigh in pass.
I made a pact with a friend there that she and I will email eachother our menu plans each day
I tracked my points today
I skipped the drive thru and went grocery shopping to make a zero point crock pot soup.
I started the blog today.
And.... I sat down to write my Project Monday which I am also calling Project Me.

I want my life back. I want the me back who I used to know and really like. She was funny! The more I work at re-thinking my shrink, the more I KNOW she will emerge --yes still an ache in her heart, always an ache in her heart for what might have been -- but someone who can still find the joy in this great world.

Another step, and another....

Thank you for reading!


  1. I like that you have a runners club where you live, that sounds really cool. I think it is awesome that you did a 5k 9 months in 2009, that is great. I am sorry for your depression, but it sounds like you are on the right track. You can do it and welcome to the sisterhood.

  2. Thanks for the comment on my blog. I look forward to reading yours!!

    I understand so much of what you are saying on alot of these things!!

    Great job on the 5K's.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. I am so sorry for what has happened on your journey to motherhood, I can't imagine what you must've gone through. *hugs* I am glad you were able to talk to someone. It must have taken so much courage for you to write about your struggles here, I am so glad you have and that you joined us at the Sisterhood. I found myself saying "hooray!" when I saw your goals for 2009, the running group you joined and the 5ks you've completed, that's awesome and amazing!! That's an awesome plan! You are well on your journey and I know you can do this!! (Have you considered joining our Team In Training Team -- a whole bunch of us are doing a half-marathon in June. Some of us are walking it. It's totally doable. I think you should think about it. We're all meeting up in San Diego. Come on. Think about it.)
    I'm proud of you, and I am so glad you're taking us along on your amazing journey!!

  4. For different reasons, I, too struggle with depression. It's something that led me to gaining weight and being in denial that I was overweight.

    That said, I've done it. If I can, you can. I know it!

    I'm so glad you've joined us! Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Congratulations on your new blog!

    Reading your story made me remember my early years. I also struggled with being the overweight child, got to know Richard, Jane, and Cindy with her crazy leg lifts, too. It was so hard, physically and emotionally. I struggled with depression in my early 20s because of it. Finally, at the age of 30, with the support of online friends and WW online, I took control and have been on this journey for 4 years. I've lost 53 pounds! When I started the Sisterhood, my hope was to give others the amazing support I had received. Others just like you! I'm so glad you found us and so glad you're ready to do this got YOU! You are worth it and you can do it!

    I'm sorry your dream to be a mother did not come true. I know that has to be hard, and my heart hurts for you.

    Thank you for being a Sister. I look forward to cheering you on as you realize all of goals, and acheive all of your successes this year!

    (also, please excuse the run-ons and any typos! I typed this on my phone and don't want you to think I'm a moron!!)

  6. First, welcome to the Sisterhood - we're so glad you're here.
    Now, on to your post. Wow. Your early years sound so much like mine. Uh, yeah, I too contorted and kicked to Cindy Crawford, trying to will my body to be something it wasn't. And Jane Fonda. All this by the ripe old age of 12. Scary to be obsessing that young!
    I'm so sorry for all your struggles, but I think that you are doing an amazing thing by facing everything. And you are so honest. Bravo.
    Can't wait to see you do amazing things!

  7. Thanks for the comments everyone!! I'm very touched by each of them!

    I look forward to getting to know you all and in sharing in our SUCCESSES!

    Christie O. --What an amazing thing to be doing the Team In Training!I have received postcards for that in the mail before and ushered them rather quickly to the recycling bin, thinking there is no way I could ever do that. But who knows? I bet I could! I will read somemore about the Sisterhood's team and think about it. What a great goal that would be.

  8. Good for you! Taking control of your health is a huge step... signing up for a 5K already! Wow! I can't wait to hear how you progress.


  9. My true sister - what can I say? I can not be any more proud of you for putting these things in writing, for continuing to pursue your goal. You are an absolute inspiration and you are one of the strongest women I know. I love you. I'm always there for you. You can do this! Now for my first posted blog comment, here I go. I guess I just click the "post comment" button....-sb