Monday, November 7, 2011

Exploring my destination!

Well, here I am! It was a little over six weeks ago that I reached my goal weight of 170 pounds. Now, I am trying to learn how to maintain that weight. So far, so good! I am very happy to announce that I am fluctuating between 168 and 171 pounds and that is a normal range of fluctuation.

WOW! So much has happened in the six weeks that I have been at a functioning weight! I cannot believe how much we have packed into our lives.

"Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories." - Cathy Allen"

Our anniversary is on September 25, and as usual, we made our annual celebration trip. We spent 4 days in Maui, then five days in Kauai, followed up with a 2-day visit with Jack in San Francisco. What an unbelievably wonderful time we had!

We rented a jet ski and played in the warm ocean waters in Maui - then dangled from a cable as we zipped across the canyons in the jungle of Kauai. Yup! We zip lined!

"Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus." - Oprah

We had told ourselves that we were going to "live outside the box" on this trip. And, for these Montana kids who grew up in isolated areas with no water around for miles, it was intimidating to mount a jet ski and go frolicking through the ocean waters. Neither of us swim, so have to depend on the life jackets to hold us afloat in the unlikely event that we were to be thrown off the ski. My mind tells me that "Yes, this little jacket is designed to keep you above water!", but for a non-swimmer, it is a bit (LOT) intimidating. However, we very soon got over the fear and loved the experience of tearing over and through the waves.

As we prepared to go out on the ski, the young man in charge pointed to the life jackets lined up along one side of the docking platform. "The small ones are on the left - medium in the middle - and large on the other end", he announced. I had no idea what size I would take. He looked at us, and said, "You will need a small and he will be a large.". Really? Me? A small? I haven't taken a small anything for as long as I can remember. That in itself was enough to 'buoy' me up.

I had just graduated from the extreme dieting phase of the Ideal Protein program and was able to legally have fruit with my morning meals. Well, I am here to tell you! Nothing has ever tasted as good as the pineapple in Hawaii! I have to confess! I did have a little more than a cup of fruit while there. But, I did follow most of the plan. I am not sure if a mai tai counts as fruit? Suppose? All but one of the restaurants we chose were super supportive of my food needs and I was able to have lots of vegetables that were either steamed or sauteed in olive oil, and lots of fish prepared without sauces and crusts. That was another way in which we ventured out of our comfort zone a little. We have never been known to expand our diets to include anything other than the foods which we have always eaten. Our fish menu included salmon and halibut - and, maybe in a pinch, a piece of tilapia. Well, on this trip, we chose whatever was being served as the "catch of the day". We had marlin, red snapper, mahi mahi, moon fish, ono, and others that I cannot remember the names. They were marvelous. We loved experiencing the new flavors of Island cuisine.

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go." - William Feather

And, then - the zip line. I have to tell you! Walking off that platform while looking down at the ground that was about 100 feet below was an extremely frightening thing to do. I would walk to the edge - back up - walk to the edge again. Finally, our guide told me to just sit down in the harness and gravity would do the rest. Well, that worked - and what exhilaration! It was so much fun! Another in a long list of things that I could not have done a year ago!

Bob shared a thought with me as we sat on the deck of a lounge in Maui. He said, "I cannot remember you when you were fat!" I laughed and joked, "That is probably a good thing!"

But, as I thought about that statement in a bit more depth, I realized that I was pretty much of a non-partner at the weight of 380 pounds. I could not do anything, so we didn't really have any memories of doing fun things together. I am determined to maintain the new me at a level that we can stuff as many experiences into our lives as humanly possible. Maybe a parachute next year?

"The future depends on what we do in the present." - Gandhi

So, what's next? I am on maintenance. I follow program five days a week, splurge on the sixth day, and go back on a phase one day following the splurge. It is harder than I thought it would be. I did master the "splurge", and I realize that without six days of structured maintenance I could gain back weight with no problem. The five days of normal eating aren't really what was normal for me. I am realizing that our diets had way too much fat, and many more carbohydrates than necessary to maintain a normal body weight.

"Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict." - William Ellery Channing

I am coaching the program two days a week when they need an additional person to fill in some of the gaps. I see people at all stages of their weight loss journey. I can truly empathize with the person who, with tears in her eyes, talks about how hard it is to pass up those treats that added the extra pounds. I have sat and cried with clients as I revealed the struggles that I have had with weight. This experience is so much more emotional than I had expected.

Also, as I mentioned in my last post, I have too much left over skin. There is skin that will never be exercised away. I have consulted with a surgeon about removing some of it, and have made the decision to start the surgical process of skin removal in January. I have been very open with you about the steps that I have taken so far, and have decided to share the surgical journey as well. My blog was originally a weekly journal that was intended to help me along the way to my destination. But, it has become so much more. I want it to be a help to others who have the same issues with eating disorders that I have. I want to share the pain, the joy, and the satisfaction that I have experienced along this road.

Until next time - have a safe and happy journey!


  1. This feels like the start of a new book. You've done a good an honest telling of your story. Consider doing it as an ebook.

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey! It is inspiring in every way! I appreciate your transparency and your sense of humor! The quotes are fantastic and really make me think! I began my journey a few weeks ago and have 180 lbs to lose! God Bless you and congratulations!