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01 April 2009

Planning to Fail


It has been said that "Failure to plan is planning to fail." And so, in a lot of ways i've been living as if i was planning to fail. (The funny thing is that i really enjoy planning, can spend hours on it, but the discipline to carry out the plan is most often lacking.) I can talk about that in a lot of different areas of my life, but the one i need to focus on now is food & weight loss.

I do have a target. In 9 weeks & 1 day we will get on a plane & travel to Nashville. Then we will rent a car & drive 2 hours north to my parent's place in KY. They are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary that weekend, & the following weekend my oldest niece will be getting married in GA.

During that time we will be seeing lots of family we've not seen in years. (Mother is from 11 children, Daddy from 8; i have LOTS of cousins!) I'm not happy with my weight, tho it has been much higher in the past. I would like to be a comfortable weight by then, & also be able to fit into some pretty clothes. Also, if we do hope to ever have a baby (i'm pretty discouraged about that right now) losing weight might help, maybe.

The truth is, losing weight in a balanced way has never been something i've managed. With the exception of losing 15 pounds while doing a candida cleanse almost 2 years ago, the ONLY way i have ever lost weight is thru anorexia. That said, it is obvious i have a problem with food. To me anorexia is a coin of which the flip side is out of control eating. I know each person is different, but for me anorexia is total control of food intake, not doing that is total out of control & i haven't much experience with a balanced relationship with food. My current weight has been stable for the last year, tho, so i'm not too "out of control," just not very in control.

I wrote about this a little before, in that planning & creating meals is entirely foreign to me & my husband & i are both horrible at recognizing a need to eat until we are starving. Also, because i find the whole meal-planning thing rather overwhelming, my brain freezes & i find it almost impossible to plan, carry out, or even determine what a "good" meal would be.

Ok, i'm facing a few challenges. I've tried to handle this before, & i might manage a few days before "losing it" & kind of giving up.

I have another challenge as well. I think i've mentioned it before, but have not talked about it in any great detail. I have chronic fatigue issues. In some ways it is not severe, i know folks who have it much worse. In other ways it is very debilitating. And i can find it very difficult to know boundaries & balance. Last Saturday, inspired by other bloggers' "Friday Blitz" i worked on the kitchen. Fifty-five minutes the first go, a rest, then forty-five the second. I was so very pleased with how it looked so much better & felt fine at the time but it tipped me over for doing anything on Sunday (& Monday, & Tuesday). This means that i can plan meals, & do the shopping, but by the time i get home i may be too exhausted to put the food away, much less cook. Or if i do cook, i don't have the energy to clean up, & so the following day there are cleaning issues before i even start to make a meal.

My dear friend Dawn has this more severely than i, & so she is very wise in her advice. By her recommendations, i need to probably limit myself (to 1 hour?), split into 15 minute segments with rest in between.

On a side issue, i've been dealing with the chronic fatigue for many, many years. When i was 15 my mother said to me, "It's not fair that you are always too tired to do things." She didn't mean this is a kind way, or even a "sucks to be you" way. She meant, buck up, cover up, & do what you have to. And i have spent most of my life this way. Folks meeting me would never know i have these issues. In fact, i'm often complimented on my rosy cheeks (rosacea) & apparent good health. And i'm embarrassed at how little energy i have, & i put all my energy into appearing "normal" when i'm around other folks. I know this sounds kind of stupid, but i have been doing it for so long now that it is second nature to me, i don't even think about it most of the time. And even tho i suppose it is being dishonest in some ways, it would feel much worse to me to do otherwise. In general, Duane's family doesn't know about this at all. Recently i have told my MIL a little bit about it, so she "knows" but until you live with it you can't really KNOW. And she sees me with apparent good enough energy. And she herself, at 20 years older than i, has more energy than just about anyone else i know.

I have a couple of other challenges, as well. Maybe because of the anorexia off & on for years, i never seem to feel full. My body doesn't recognize "fullness" or "satiated."

Also, Duane rarely seems to like what i cook, unless it is a heavy-calorie meal.

He also doesn't help with meal planning, creation, or cleaning up. So i'm on my own.

I don't buy into the low-fat push by many of today's (nutritionally uneducated) MDs, but i also don't believe high calorie meals are the best either. Many of the meals i make are already cheese-heavy. I would love to live on ricotta-filled manicotti (made gluten-free of course) & organic gluten-free breads & sweet breads, but i doubt that would do what i'm seeking. So the fact is i'm not sure how to even plan healthy meals that will satisfy both Duane & myself.

So, i need simple meals that will not wear me out too much, meals that are nutritious & taste good & are not too difficult to make.

And, of course they say that weight loss is limited with out significant exercise, but i'm very limited in what i can do in that area.

Now, it may sound like i'm trying to set myself up to fail from the beginning with all these things that sound like excuses. That is not my intent. I am trying to be realistic about my personal challenges & limitations. But i DO very much want to do this. So, if you are reading this, i'd really appreciate your prayers if i cross your mind in the next few weeks.

And, in order to be accountable (which i hate!) i'm going to post actual numbers here, & report - briefly (in contrast to most of my other posts) - on those numbers on Thursday every week. It is said that 2 pounds a week is a reasonable, healthy, conservative number of pounds to lose. So, here goes. My current weight is 172. At 2 pounds a week for 9 weeks, my goal is to lose 18 pounds, bringing my weight to 154 by 4 June. If i am actually able to accomplish this, i want to keep going & get to 134 by say, 1 September. That is still a ways from my weight of 118 when i was 24, but i think it is more reasonable & do-able.

There, i've written it, people will know. AAAArrrrrgggg! It kind of scares me.

I'm considering hiring a friend to come in a couple of times in the beginning & helping me with making large meals that i can then freeze.

(Want to know something to really be jealous of? Megan was within 3 pounds of her pre-pregnancy weight 4 weeks after Meredith was born. Wow. She truly has good genes, her mama was the same way. I am not her. I am me. I have to work with what i have.)

One thing i am truly grateful for: God made me as i am. He doesn't compare me to others. And even tho i very much want to lose the weight & be healthier, what i do or don't do doesn't change his love for me. :)

Edit: Someone else i follow created a "baby blog" about their trying to conceive because she didn't want all that on her regular, every day blog. I'm going to do similarly. I already have a (boring) blog of lists, & i'm going to use it to list a number of things on this losing weight thing. I'll still post numbers here on Thursdays, but will write about it & keep lists of things on the other one. If you want to follow it (it will probably be very boring) My Blog of Lists is listed in my sidebar.


1 comment:

KCShipe said...

Wow. It sounds like you are really struggling with a lot of things right now. I subscribed to your blog & I will pray for you regularly, Kathryn. I can't wait to see the incredible masterpiece God is turning you into on His potter's wheel :)