Friday, August 13, 2010

Dealing With Perfection

      This week's Weight Watchers meeting topic is about perfection. The definition of perfection is 1)the act of being perfect as freedom from default or defect 2)Flawlessness, 3) the act of being saintly 4) the exemplification of supreme excellence, 4)an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence.  Now I don't know about you, but that sure is not me. There are times however during my struggle with weight that I tried to be perfect. About fifteen years ago, I dieted and exercised my body down to 202 pounds. I was happy and I looked nice. I wanted to be thinner but I had no idea what so ever how to get past that plateau. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know it was a plateau.  The real problem was because I had not become the skinny girl I thought I was becoming and that I could not be perfect, I fell back into the same patterns that helped me gain the weight in the first place.
  Now years later in Weight Watchers I have learned that this is a very long process; something that I could have learned at 24 years old and saved my body from wear and tear. Perfection can be hard on people who are trying to lose weight. We are trying to get to the holy grail - I mean holy goal. We want to be weight losing saints. Holier than all the minions below us. We want to tell people who tsk tsk us in our previous size that we are better than you. But we are very human. We have flaws. And no matter how much we try to stick with the plan, sometimes we fall down and slip on a piece of cake that accidentally falls into our mouth. Or we go to the party where one of our favorite cooks makes our favorite dish in which one serving is worth all of your points for the day. Or maybe you sprained your ankle and have to stay off your feet for a length of time, taking you away from your favorite workout. These tragedies are no reason to throw all of your hard work away.
      Three years ago when I first joined WW, I was going to my meetings every week and following my plan. Although I was losing weight, I knew that I needed to do more. So I started to workout, something my body had not done in a long time. The weight started pouring off. I was so proud of myself that I worked even harder and that was when it happened. I sprained my knee. I assumed all of my progress would stop and I would not lose weight. I stopped going to my meetings waiting for my knee to get better. But my knee did not get better right away. While hobbling around New York with my bad knee I fell down injuring the opposite leg. Now I am hobbling around New York with two bad legs when suddenly my podiatrist tells me I have an ingrown toenail that needs to be removed. In a few months I went from dropping fifteen pounds and walking in place as a workout to nothing at all. Then I started falling back into all of my bad food choice habits . Little by little until I was no longer counting points or working out. before my accident I was down 19 pounds. I gained them right back because 1) I was no longer losing weight faster than fast ( it would have slowed down eventually via a plateau), 2) I was ashamed that even my fellow meeting attendees would see me not losing weight anymore and I would be an outcast. Does anyone else hear how foolish this all sounds? How defeated I was? How ashamed I was all because I was trying to do things perfectly? Through going back to WW meetings almost a year later, I was able to realize that I was hurting myself.
        The problem with Perfection is that we're not perfect. We're human beings. We fall down, make mistakes but you can start all over again.One of the members at my meeting says that when he turns the page in the journal that the slate is clean and it is a brand new day. Every morning, when you wake up, it is a brand new day. Be glad that you're still alive. Stay positive and find positive things about your life.Look back at your old journal and see if there was a time when you were blasting through a plateau. Try someone's suggestion from a meeting and see if you get a good result.  I believe that all of life is a lesson and if you stop learning, it's no longer fun.
           This week was our group's 4th 5K. My sons went along again. If you ever want to walk around the city and exercise too, this is the way to do it. My friend Tamra plans our route and we take pictures and talk to other members about whatever. Then we go to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. This time I had the cup of asparagus soup( to die for) and the half morroccan grilled chicken salad( without date and almonds- just don't like them). This salad had grilled chicken, beets, butternut squash, boiled egg, avocado, romaine lettuce and an exquisite champagne vineagrette dressing. YUM!!! You're a little tired the next day but you feel so accomplished.
            This week I also went to my niece's wedding. I ate plenty but I danced plenty too. I used up quite a few of my bonus points because I wanted to drink bourbon and eat the food and cake. Our group came up with a trippy term for a free for all eating and drinking fest that will only happen once. The word is FEASTIVUS(my own spelling).  Feastivus is what some folks do on weigh-in day after they are weighed because it does not count and it gives your body a chance to recover before the next weigh in. I don't always practice Feastivus. But sometimes on weight in day I will order or cook a heavier meal like burgers or steaks or order chinese food. It was worth it.
           Last week leading to the wedding I had a cold. Although I kept up my weekday morning routine of walking two miles to work, after work I went home and crashed . After gaining weight two weeks in a row (+1.8lbs & then 4.8lbs) , I was sure this week's weigh in was not going to be pretty . And it wasn't. It was super fantastic. I lost 6.4lbs this week. For the first time since joining Weight Watchers I ate all but two of my bonus points.  My current weight is 239.0lbs. I managed to have 34 activity points this week as well.
            Next week I plan to turn the page and greet the new day. Keep working out. Keep journaling every little thing I eat.

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