Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why Can't I Lose Weight - Pre Work

Since we've determined that the problem with my weight is 'in my head' I'm going to take a look at some of the tools I've purchased over the years that are designed to help me with this. One is a program called, "I've I'm so smart, why can't I lose weight?"

I'll be posting my thoughts on the questions in this program here to save and refer back to later... and so, without further ado. Here's my thoughts from the 'pre-work' chapter.

My Story

How much do you weigh right now?

as of this morning, I weighed 209.6

Why do you weigh this amount? What is your story on how you gained this weight?

I first remember being aware of my weight my freshman year in high school. I weighed 125lbs and thought I was fat. I believe part of this feeling came from growing up around my mother and her sisters who were all 5'1" and 110 lbs or smaller. I always felt like a big clumsy giant around them. Then there was just the overall 'anorexic' mentality of the 80's to deal with.

It was sometime in my freshman year when I started dieting. I remember going to lunch and having nothing but bullion and dieters tea to eat. I probably ate 700 to 900 calories a day, none of them 'good'. Luckily I was never able to keep my calories that low for long but I believe the 'damage' had already begun.

I ignored my weight as much as possible after that, but I continued to gain. My mom would put the whole family on super restrictive diets (Macrobiotic) that had me spending all my lunch money on candy and junk food. By the end of my Sophomore year, I was up to 145.

I moved away from home and into my Grandparent's house that summer. I gained 20 more pounds along the way and then kept at 165 until I graduated high school and then, three days later, got married.

I got pregnant immediately and the pounds piled on. I was also desperately unhappy. Getting married at 18 was a HUGE mistake, but being pregnant (and defying my family when I got married) made me feel 'stuck'. When my daughter was born 8.5 months later, I was at 185 lbs.

From that point on, my life has been a yo-yo of weight loss and gain, and there's hardly a program or gimmick I haven't tried.

I believe weight watchers was the first. I did it after my son was born and dropped from 207 to 185. Between the positive attention this got me from men, and the negative attention from my husband, I believe I panicked. One 'cheat' became two cheats, and two cheats became days of being off plan.

The weight came back, and stayed. Then I got pregnant with my third... It was a rough pregnancy and I was on bed rest for a great deal of it. I got used to 'laying around' and got really good at conserving energy. After my daughter was born, my weight climbed up and up and up and before I knew it I was at 230 lbs.

It was at this time that I discovered Susan Powter. Low fat and exercise became my weight loss tools. Until my gall bladder complained and I had to have it removed.

Then is was 'Opra's trainer's' diet, and atkins and carb adicts. I would lose a few lbs, then gain them again, never really seeing real success.

Then I found weight loss workshop through my church. For the first time ever, I learned that my issue was probably not just the food I was eating but reasons I was eating it! I learned about emotional eating and other issues along those lines.

Unfortunately, knowing was only 1/2 the battle. I still wasn't finding lasting weight loss.

Then, 13 years after getting married I finally took the steps and got a divorce. It was stressful and exciting and frightening and thrilling all at the same time. I didn't think about my weight or food or anything like that. For some reason I ate when I wanted, what I wanted and lost weight. I looked and felt great. No, I didn't get to my 'goal' but I maintained at 185 for about a year.

Strangely enough, shortly after meeting someone new and falling in love, and starting a new job with a 2 our commute, my weight started to creep back up. I fought it - I bought books and tried one diet after another. Still, I managed to creep back up over 200!

Then, my commute shortened and I found Body for Life. By following the guidelines, and exercising daily I managed to get down to 180lbs! The lowest of my adult life! Then, things changed at my job. I started having a 2 hour commute again. The weight came back slowly, but it still came back. I couldn't seem to get back into the rhythm of food and exercise. I tried other things - burn the fat feed the muscle - and nearly every other thing I could get my hands on!

But it took a wedding for me to really find my motivation - my own. I was marrying the love of my life and I found leanness lifestyle. I payed an incredible amount of money to be part of the 'elite' program with one on one coaching -- I was going to finally breath through all these barriers and reach my goal. I went from 214 to 169 by my wedding!

I felt amazing and was happy beyond belief.

But, once I got home, job stress got the better of me. I started skipping workouts and eating off plan. A death in the family gave me the excuse to drop my coach and the weight started to come back again.

for some reason I couldn't seem to stop it. I read books, I tried programs, but could't seem to stick to any of them for more then a week or two. I did the Food Adicts program and Diets to go... The gain continued... higher and higher until I reached a frightening and sobering 240lbs! I was at my heaviest ever.

I was approaching my 40th birthday fat and miserable. So, in an attempt to motivate myself I joined Team in Training and signed up to do a triathlon. I trained for months and months. Miles and miles of running and biking and yet, still, I managed to eat enough to keep up with the burn. 5 months after signing up and month after my 40th I was still at 240 lbs.

But, somehow completing that triathlon did something for me. I came back from that trip with a focus like I had never had before. I started MediFast and continued to train for triathlons. Suddenly I was on a roll. The weight was falling off and in just a few months I was down almost 60 lbs.

And yet, I couldn't maintain it. I would look at my medifast meal at lunch and would find 1000 reasons not to eat it. One skipped meal turned into two and soon I was off the program completely.

My weight bounced up a little bit afterwords but nothing terrible at first. The weight gain was slow and subtle. Just before my 41st birthday I was just over 200 again. It was then I discovered Paleo. I loved everything I was reading so I gave the program a 30 day trial. I lost 12 lbs. But again I strayed. A Reece's here, a cinnamon roll there and the weight slowly started to come back. Which brings us to today - with me committing to go back to Paleo (or Primal) eating and weighing almost 210 lbs.

Ideas to think about

1. Why did you order this program

I read the book, loved what it had to say and hoped that the program would help me apply the program and finally reach my goal weight. I've started it again because I want to be rid of my food addiction.

2. What to you hope to accomplish within this program?

I want to rid food and weight as being a focal point in my life

3. Do you feel now as if you will succeed at this program?

It's hard to feel positive. I've tried so many things - even this program before and yet I'm still not at a healthy weight.

4. Are you willing to try all the exercises and homework?


5. What is your biggest fear about your weight?

That I will never be a success

10 Major Events

Write down 5 major positive events in your life and 5 major negative events.


1. Meeting Nigel
2. Marrying Nigel
3. Getting promoted to the SWAT team
4. Moving to San Francisco
5. Getting divorced


1. Moving away from Shoshoni
2. My parent's divorce
3. Getting married to 'w'
4. Getting promoted to vCIO
5. Moving to Mountain House

My life would be better if...

My life would be better if I was thin because I wouldn't have to focus on my weight and be worried about how it's effecting my health and fitness.

Being thin is: important - people view you differently if you are thin

Thin people are: just like everyone else - just thinner

If I was thin I would feel: as if I could focus on other goals for once

By body is: fat but fit, but bound to give out on me eventually

My legs are: Ok from the knee down - but disgusting from the knee up

My stomach is: ruined from having kids - it's lumpy, bumpy and yucky

My butt is: Flat, but wide and dimply

My arms are: not too bad, but bigger in real life then I think they are when I look at them.

My face is: getting old - but has a nice jawline and good cheekbones. It manages to look thin despite the weight.

More thought-provoking questions

1. How would you feel if you could never eat sweets again? Deprived - as if life were 'unfair' - and frightened

2. Who do you blame for being overweight? I blame myself Can you forgive them? I've not been good at forgiving myself but I'm willing to try.

3. What would motivate you beyond doubt to lose weight? My instinct is to say "I don't know" because I feel like I have tried everything. Perhaps - enough money to pay off my bills. Or if the life of someone I loved were threatened.

4. Were you happy the last time you were thin? I think so - but then I don't think I was happy 'because' I was thin. It's probably more likely that I was thin because I was happy.

5. Do you enjoy exercise? actually I do, when I do it. It's remembering that an motivating myself to start that's hard.

6. Do you sweat? YES!!! How do you feel about sweat? I feel good as if I've accomplished something.

7. What do you believe your weight says about you? It says that I eat more then I need to

Good for you to know questions

1. What are you willing to sacrifice to lose weight? My 'inner brat' doesn't want to sacrifice anything. and my head says I would sacrifice almost anything (not the people I love or my health) and yet, my inner brat always seems to win.

2. What aren't you willing to sacrifice to lose weight? My health, the people I love

3. Would anyone in your life be upset if you lost weight? My oldest daughter, maybe, since she has a weight issue.

4. On a scale of 1-10 how important is it for you to lose weight? 7?

5. What will happen if you do't lose weight? I'll stay the same size, maybe get bigger. I'll probably get diabetes

Starting point questions

1. When did you first start having an issue with your weight? about 15 (or sooner)

2. What diets have you tried? too many to list (see above)

3. What causes you to overeat? Celebrations, stress, sadness, boredom, cravings, feeling tired

4. What do you think the issues are? I eat for the wrong reasons.

5. What do you struggle with? saying no to my feast beast.

Think about this questions

1. What is the most upsetting issue, other than our weight, pressing on your mind right now? Money!!!!

2. What do you fear about this situation? That I won't be able to pay the bills and that N will find out how EFFED up our finances are right now

3. How do you currently manage stress? I try not to think about the problem - distract myself - or pretend there isn't a problem (and spend money we don't have)

4. How much joy to you currently create in your life? very little

5. What gives your life meaning? At the moment, I don't feel as if my life has much meaning. I often find myself wishing God would just take me off this earth because it's all about stress and worry.

6. Do you believe you are living the life you are meant to live? No. I hate my job and think there is something better out there. I also don't feel as if I live for God the way I should and I feel guilty about that.

7. What do you want other people to know about you? That I am someone who can be counted on for support.