Monday, January 17, 2011

Wake-Up Call

Two souls pondering all that happened in 2010 and what might be waiting for us in 2011.
Venice, Florida - December, 2010

I have been totally sidelined since last Friday with a monster of a sinus infection.   This is nothing new for me.  Overall, I am an extremely healthy person with stats (other than my weight) most people envy, but I do have two chronic health conditions which have plagued me most of my adult life.  Extreme sinus and allergy problems is one of them - the other I will write about in an upcoming post.  I did not see this sinus infection coming although I suspect it might have been triggered by our having a constant fire going in our fireplace during the three days we were snowed in early last week.  But I truly believe it's the WORST one I've ever had and I can't wait to talk to my doctor this morning and get some real drugs!  On the other hand, I despise taking antibiotics because it means no sleep for me and a host of other problems throughout the duration.  However, it's also the only thing that works when it gets this bad.   I began feeling a tiny bit better late yesterday afternoon and am hoping to get this post written before the headache and dizzy's kick back in this morning!

Things are about to change in a big way.  We can all write about our "wake-up calls!"  But for me, I had the biggest one of my life a couple of days ago.  It won't seem like such a big deal to you, but trust me, it took my breath away and then I literally fell apart with remorse.  

Here's is a short summary of where I am right now.   I've struggled mightily since last August.  The holidays were not kind to me.  I have gained weight since the new year.  Yes, I've been on a voyage of discovery and made great progress.  But with the "wake-up" call, I determined that the voyage of discovery AND a set plan for consistent weight loss progress can and must co-exist peacefully.   For me, they cannot be mutually exclusive.  In other words, I can't wait until I have all the emotional issues worked out in a practical way before I "start" losing weight again.  In doing that, working on the emotional side of it becomes just another excuse.  And excuses was what I was making when the "wake-up" call happened!

Mr. B, whom I could not love any more than I do and who loves me unconditionally, has lived with me and my weight issues for 35 1/2 years (33 1/2 married, 2 dating) now.  NEVER has he been critical of my weight or my constant obsession with it.  He has loved me when I've been depressed over it and he has beamed with pride when I've been at goal.  He has tried his best to understand  something that his "normal" eating mind simply can't fathom and he has supported me no matter what ridiculous idea for losing weight I come up with next!  But Friday evening, that all changed with a quiet simple statement that rocked my world.  

We were sitting in the den following a delicious healthy dinner that he had prepared.  I already knew I was sick,  but that didn't stop me from craving one of my trigger foods (microwave kettle popcorn) that was in the pantry where it never should've been to start with.  It talked to me and talked to me until finally I got up, fixed it and walked back in the den with the whole bag.  This was probably less than 30 minutes after a delicious dinner - I couldn't POSSIBLY have been hungry.   This was also after an incident Thursday evening where we ate dinner out and I refused to go where he wanted to eat because "I can't stay on plan" there.  When I walked back into the den with the bag of popcorn, he looked at me and said, "I'm not there yet, but I'm getting very close to being sick and tired of your inconsistency."  Let me tell you, in all those years, I don't think he's ever said or done a single thing that hurt more. Because you better believe that for him to have even said it meant that he most certainly WAS there!  And it was the "wake-up" call I needed.

Bottom line is:  you can wallow around in discovery, emotional eating, mindfulness, intuition, yada, yada, yada, from now on, but the fact remains that there HAS to be a plan for consistent weight loss.  And that plan has to include some guidelines that work for you.  And you can't wait until all the "issues" are settled before working the plan.  So while I continue reading and soaking up and working really hard on the "issues" (and there are many!!), here is the plan!

Today is Mr. B's birthday.  What better gift can I give to him than the promise of "no more inconsistency."  My birthday is July 30.  On my birthday, he and I will celebrate the fact that I have reached goal weight.  This is easily doable with an average loss of five pounds or less per month.  I will do it in the way that has always worked for me.  Counting calories, tracking my food intake and walking/hiking/biking as my primary form of exercise.

Calorie intake will be 1200-1500 daily with most days closer to 1200.   I will use (thanks, Tish) to track my nutrition totals and I will walk at least 10,000 steps per day at a pace which burns calories.  As soon as our weather breaks and I get over this horrid sinus infection, I will hope to hike at least once a week.  For accountability, I would like to tell you what I've eaten each day and record the stats.  I'll probably start another page to do that as I have too many other things I want to write about to use the main posting page.  Using another page gives you the option of looking at it if you want or not!  

Here's the other thing that I will do and I hope this will reflect how important this is to me because I think every one of you know how much I DON"T want to do this.  If this plan does not work and I remain unfocused and inconsistent, I will pull the blog at least temporarily.  I have put it all out there and made myself accountable.  If that isn't enough to keep me focused, then my reason for starting the blog no longer exists and it's time to stop.

My reward:  Well, the look on Mr. B's face will be more than enough.  But in the event I need something else, I would LOVE to attend a blog conference and meet some of the people I've come to hold in such high esteem.  Plus, the list of workshops and seminars at some of these conferences look so fun and exciting.  

So there you have it.  I've suspected for a while that Mr. B had somewhat lost interest in the blog and now I think I know why!  But as soon as he gets up this morning, I'll sing Happy Birthday to him and ask him to read this post.  And then I'll begin my six month and fifteen day odyssey to goal weight!

Help me, BlogWorld friends!   I'm going to need you!

O.K.  now my head is pounding, the room is spinning and my teeth hurt again.  Time to call the doctor, beg for drugs and head back to the couch.   


  1. Thanks for the comment on my post. I hope you feel better soon!!

    Being single and living by myself, I don't have this relationship you have with Mr. B with anyone. I can see how it would be frustrating to them, but how it could also help keep me accountable. It is a hard balance to hit. Happy birthday to him, and I hope you find something that works for both of you!!

  2. So sorry you are not feeling well. How did you manage to write such an amazing post with your head filled?!

    Yes, consistency is key. I don't have it either. I read this and thought back to my own eating. I could go on and on about it, now that you bring it up. But, let's just say I am behind you 100 percent.

    Have I already shared with you that I also thought about posting what I eat? I actually was going to set up a separate blog for just that but got derailed when the name I wanted was taken. Hmm. Excuses. I think you putting it on another page on here is a great idea.

    I hope you know I am here for you and you can reach out any time!

  3. You know sometimes it just takes an outside voice (as opposed to the noise in our heads) to shine a light on reality--a voice that we can't dismiss or rationalize. That light is rarely pleasant--but a kinder deed could not be done.

    I have only one caution--you can only control what you DO. You cannot control how your body responds to what you do.

    Goals are good and a number to aim for can be focusing (I have a date and number myself right now--July 4th.), but don't let it be stress-inducing. I know you know that; I just needed to say it.

    Some of the feeling behind what you've written here is also in a few of my recent posts. I totally understand the "It's time to get this done!" feeling. Do I ever!

    Hugs and prayers!


  4. A wonderful post. I, too, have lived with my hubby who has listened to me rant about this "struggle" and make plans and get there & gain it back, ugh, ugh, ugh ... it would be a great gift to him also! And his birthday is JULY! I'm here with you! Don't know if I'll reach my goal my July, but certainly a good place to aim at!
    Hope you feel better soon! I have the flu. Ugh.

  5. I agree with the needing a plan, and the working on the emotional stuff being an excuse to overeat (it was at least partly for me.)

    I love what Deb wrote. I would add my two cents and say that its important to keep in mind that what you are eating is going to be a change forever. In other words, you can eat Smart Ones, and count those calories, and lose weight. You can't eat Smart Ones forever. No one can. They don't taste good enough. That's just an example that I think of frequently because I have a friend that does that over and over...

    Also, Sharon, going along with what Deb said, I would urge you to work on that 'being content in whatever state I am in.' Have to admit, it is something that I still have to work at (not contented in the state I am in right now!)

  6. There is nothing worse that the hurting teeth that come with a sinus infection! I hope you are better very, very soon.

    WOW!! The comment from Mr. B rocked my world too. I see so many parallels between the two of us, it makes me wonder what J-boy thinks. It sounds like you've come up with a reasonable plan. You can do it, I have no doubt. We'll cheer each other on.

    Is the semster abroad still in the works?

    Feel better soon.

  7. Sharon, as a fellow chronic-sinus-sufferer, I feel your pain. I grew up in an area with chemical plants and grain mills, and everyone suffered from sinus problems. Now that we've lived away from there for 22 years, I only have one or two episodes per year -- just enough to remind me how miserable I used to be every day of my life. You've probably tried this, but I find it does give me some relief. Run hot water -- hot as you can stand it -- over a washcloth and compress it completely over your face. As soon as it begins to cool, repeat the process. Several minutes of this usual help me. I've tried sinus masks and heating pads, but the hot, wet cloth method works best for me and generally affords me some relief.

    Wow! Did I ever feel your pain as you repeated Mr. B's words. What a risk he took in telling you how he really felt. And how great that instead of getting angry, you accepted it constructively.

    Interestingly, you believe you are giving HIM a gift of "the promise of no more inconsistency." But really, Sharon, if you truly work at this, it is a gift you are giving yourself. And you'll see that it will apply to lots of other life situations, not just weight control.

    The only thing I am worried about for you is that you have set up a definite date by which you want to achieve your success. If you remember from reading my blog, I tried to do this last year and was not able to succeed due to many events out of my control (two 3-week illnesses and several deaths in our family). But, hey! That's life. I didn't quit and you can't either. You made statements that if you don't succeed with this plan you will at least temporarily pull your blog. DON'T YOU DARE!!! You stay up and keep trying, my friend.

    You are all fired up right now with your plan, and I applaud you -- I love determination. But I hope you will change your goal to something like "I'm going to stick to my plan and see how much weight I'm able to lose by my birthday, and then I'll continue to stick to my plan till I take the rest of it off -- and by then I will have developed better habits which will help me keep the weight off for the rest of my life."


    My final word is that no matter how much you think you want to do this for Mr. B, you must ultimately want to do this for yourself. He sounds like a wonderful man who is not going to love you more or less because of a few pounds. YOU are the one suffering over those extra pounds -- losing them will be your gift to yourself. You CAN do this, Sharon.

  8. Happy birthday Mr. B - sung in my best, lyric soprano voice!

    I have learned that consistency is the key to losing and maintaining weight loss as well. It gets us off the crazy cycle of being "on plan" for a few days, blowing it with kettle popcorn and wanting to eat in shame as a result of blowing it. With consistently staying on a healthy eating plan, that cycle is broken and freedom can be found.

    I don't think it's easy, but I think by daily renewing our mind in Christ, daily throwing off our old self as a spiritual discipline, healing is possible.

    We'll get there Sharon...

  9. Dude, what a great present Mr. B gave to YOU! Don't get me wrong, if hubs had said that I would have flown off the handle, thrown a huge hissy fit, stomped my feet, then totally realized he was right. So good for you. What a great spouse and voice of reason. Goal is coming, girlfriend, let's get on that train and get there. I'm pulling for you and will kick you in the ass anytime you want it, not that I am into that sort of thing. ;-)

    Polar's Mom

  10. Hi Sharon,

    Wow - you are giving me lots of encouragement to do better! I know that when I stick to the plan, I always do better. For the last two weeks, I have made a menu (which helps so much!), exercised, written down my goals, and it worked, I lost 3.5 pounds. I still have about 8 pounds to lose to get down to what I was before fault!

    Sounds like you are very determined this time - I hope it works for you. So sorry about the sinus infection, hope you get well quickly.

  11. I really have to agree with Marsial. Setting such as specific goal for such a specific date is way too stress inducing.

    I hate to be a "Debby downer" on your blog, but I think 1200 calories is very low and might be hard to maintain. It could also mess with your metabolism and the minute you stray from that number, the pounds will come piling back on.

    Think about a gentler approach to eating. It might take longer, but it's liable to stick better.

    Best of luck and I hope that your sinuses feel better soon. I'm sure you've been asked this before, but have you tried acupuncture? I also find that washing out your sinuses with a "neti pot" (just google it) can be very helpful.

  12. Wow. That really is your One Thing, isn't it? I'm so proud of you for embracing his comment and not getting defensive or laying a whole bunch of guilt on your plate. I'm not sure I'd have done that, but the love you two share...well, it's obvious.

    Not to put pressure on you, but I would hate to see your blog go on hiatus. I think you have a solid plan. Just believe in yourself. The rest of us do!

  13. I hope you're feeling better soon. You're right about a plan being a very necessary accompaniment to whatever eating/food issues you deal with on a more intellectual or spiritual level.

    Try not to be too quick to go on a blog hiatus just because you're struggling through something. Before you do so, be sure to really question for reasons for it. Is it a kind of hiding? Or are you not getting anything out of blogging? If you're getting something out of it -- out of the writing or out of the support -- then consider the option to write about your struggles.

    Prayers and thoughts are with you.

  14. I'm with you! Over the weekend I realized I needed to be consistent for me. I'm happiest when I eat healthiest and am realistic about the weight and health issues that are mine and that I need to own. I went back to Weight Watchers and planned my food and actually got in two miles of walking today. While I work on the emotional issues I still need to keep to a healthy eating focus. I will keep cheering you on...we can and we will take care of our selves.

    I hope you're feeling much better. Sinus and throat issues are a major issue for me, too. Had a mild infection in December and it took a lot out of me.

  15. I am cheering for you, Sharon. Please don't leave us, but do what you must to please yourself. I have thought about stopping my blog (for different reasons) but I do enjoy it, and I know it has been more beneficial for weight loss than anything I have tried.

    I just got over a nasty sinus infection and this year it seemed worse for some reason. Makes me wish for sunny days ahead!

  16. That would have felt like an initial kick in the gut for me, I can tell you. When you've been with someone that long and assume that silence means that everything must be A-OK, only to find out otherwise, it truly IS a wake up call. You can totally do this Sharon. You CAN. Just make sure you are doing it for you (which I know you are, but it's still worth saying). You are a wonderful person and you have as much support as you can carry :) Hugs to you!!

  17. Wow, that comment hurt to read, but my husband, who has been through it all with me might have said the same thing to me at times... I hope you win the battle and finish this up once and for all. However: I completely agree with the person above who said that you will ultimately need to do it for you. But you probably know that already..

  18. I'm sorry you aren't feeling well, and hope the "drugs" make you better fast.

    I totally agree with what you said, about needing to DO even as we work on the issues. A lot of people make the "DO only" mistake, but don't solve the issues, making it a temporary win. So sounds like you have a good balance.

    Yeah, hurts mightily to hear that from the loved one. I suspect, though, that since it came from someone you KNOW loves you, you were more able to receive it. So, like the others have said, he gave you a gift. :-)

    I look forward to celebrating with you when you reach goal.

  19. Just found your blog and love it!! I look forward to reading it and being motivated to lose weight. We CAN do it!!

  20. I am so sorry, Sharon that you are ill with a sinus infection. I have had a few myself and know they are horrible.

    That was a very personal post. I can feel your resolve and I believe you will get there. For me my strength and determination come from my strong desire to do the weight loss and getting fit journey for myself first and others second. It took me a long time to get to that point where it was me that i was caring for first because I am worth this care. I know you love your hubby,but, shouldn't your journey be for you first??