Photo inspiration: 10 years of yo-yo dieting

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I’ve been working on a food photo collage for our kitchen and yesterday decided to print a few inspirational photos of myself – both at my heavier and lighter weights. This was the most inspiring exercise I’ve done to-date. I couldn’t believe how much I’ve fluctuated in weight over the years!! The picture of the “thinner me” looked to me like what I should look like. I don’t see someone that’s too thin. I see someone that looks “right.” I see my bone structure. I see my smile. It looks like it should (in contract to pictures of a thinner Adam, who’s fluctuated in weight by the same amount, that just looks too skinny to me… interesting). The pictures of the “heavier me” instantly bring tears to my eyes. I am unfortunately getting too close to that weight and I refuse to get there. I will not let myself go like that again!!

These are pictures going back to 2002 in no particular order.

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Katy, Allison and me in NYC

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[Toy gun for Halloween Smile ]

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This is me today:

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I actually think this picture hides well all of the weight gain but I’m reversing this trend starting TODAY.

Here is my plan:

  • Start P90Xas soon as I get better (I’m nursing a cold). I’m hoping this will give me good structure with my exercise which I’ve definitely been missing lately.
  • Eat (mostly healthy eats) when hungry. Stop when I’m full.
  • Limit the amount of dessert I eat. I refuse to put myself on a diet and limit my caloric intake (I’ve dieted nearly my entire life and these pictures show that it just doesn’t work in the long term). But indulgent meals need to be limited. I’ve been in denial about my food. No more living in la-la land. It’s time to buckle down!!

What motivates you to stay (or become) fit and healthy?

Make weight loss into a game

I’ve been tracking my food for the past week and it’s been eye opening but also… well kind of intimidating. With every “bad” food choice, my weekly allowance grew negative faster and faster to the point where this afternoon when I sat in front of my computer at work, logging in my breakfast and lunch, –51 weekly allowance points stared back at me (yes, that’s negative 51!!). I calculated that I could run a half marathon today and it would still not cover the damage I’ve done over the past week. And I wanted to give up. And maybe cry.

When I get into my head like that, it’s really hard to get out. I play the victim game. Why can’t I just have a normal relationship with food? I’ve done it before (actually more than once… hmm) and it wasn’t this hard. Whyyyyyyyyy? Today my amazing husband came up with a game plan for me. Literally. We decided to make weight loss into a game. I’m super excited!!

Motivation

We’re going to Vegas in May 2011 and I told Adam that while he’s gambling with his buddies, I want to lounge by the pool while looking HOT.

This picture is from last time we were in Vegas (October 2006). We were both at our heaviest here (during the time we’ve been together). So the goal is to not look like this. I hate this picture.

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This is Adam and I on our honeymoon at our lowest weight. Also our happiest!

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[From our hike in Cinque Terre]

This is Adam in Vegas in 2004. He looks so young but also kind of jacked. No? I like it Smile

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This is moi in Venice. I still have this dress and there is no way in hell I’d fit into it. I’ve got 20lbs on that girl.

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The Game Rules

So here is how we’re going to make it work. The game rules have 3 parts: accountability, penalties and rewards. I’m a numbers person so it’s no wonder I got this down to an equation. Winking smile

1. The goal is to stay within my weekly Weight Watchers Points Plus. Every time I want something that I know would break the (points) bank, I have to tell Adam about it BEFORE I eat it. I promise I will not lie to him (or omit certain things). He will keep me accountable and remind me why this is important to me. Oh, and I get 1 free pass for dinner out with him. We have to have a little fun without calorie/points counting. Open-mouthed smile

2. For every week I go over my weekly points allowance, I will pay $20 into a special account. This comes out of my personal shopping money and it’s actually a really hard amount to swallow… especially if I do it more than once a month (we’re really trying to save so I don’t get a lot of “play money”). When I get to my goal weight (set at 140lbs for the purpose of this game), we can take all the penalty money and treat ourselves to something fun. Hopefully that envelope is empty but if not, at least we’ll turn something negative into something positive… but only if I reach my goal!!

3. For every 5lbs I lose, I get $100!!!! This will go towards the Vegas shopping fund. :lol: [This would be SWEET.] Adam will also get $100 for every 5lbs he loses. This will go towards his Vegas gambling money.

We will buy a giant calendar this weekend that will hang in our bedroom closet where we’ll track all the points, weight, “prize money.” Honestly the most important part of this is Adam keeping me accountable. I promised him I will not cheat. This is really key. The money part just makes this into a fun game. Hopefully I’ll be a little richer come May Winking smile

What do you think of this plan? Do you sometimes have to play games with yourself?

The scale dilemma

Today is Thursday, also known as weigh-in day. I’ve had some ups and downs over the past few weeks and decided that I need to get my food and head in order before I start really worrying about the scale.

Actually last week I knew I gained weight and I knew that I couldn’t handle seeing a higher number yet again. So I opted out of weighing in that morning, in my bathroom, and then signed in at my Weight Watchers meeting that afternoon without weighing in as well (btw, Weight Watchers leaders get paid based on how many people show up, so I always make sure to sign-in even if I don’t want to weigh-in… my leader is motivating and I want her to keep coming back!!).

This week, as mentioned in my challenges and solutions post, I’ve been observant of my behavior. The first part of the week was good. I had no sweets in the house and seemed to be doing well. I didn’t track my points but I was happy with how I was eating. Then the quosi-bingeing began which I nipped in the bud after the said post. Two days ago I got back on track and yesterday I actually tracked my points and stayed within my allowance. I was back to really following the program and very happy about it!

Last night I had no intention of weighing in. I always think it’s important to focus on what you’re doing (or not doing) rather than what the scale reflects… because that to an extent is out of your control… and it will catch up eventually with your actions, either way.

And then curiosity got the best of me and this morning, like a zombie, I went into the bathroom and turned that baby on. And I was crushed. CRUSHED. [157.2lbs]

After coffee and breakfast and reflecting through blogging (thank you for being my therapists Winking smile ) now I’m just trying to figure out whether I stick to my plan of weighing in only once a month and focusing on just following the program or whether these weekly reminders (good or bad) are a necessary part of the progress. Now that I’m over the shock, I think I’m actually more motivated than say, 3 days ago (when I let myself comfort myself with food). There is that unsettling feeling nonetheless. Motivation and defeat are competing for my attention!

How do you feel about the scale? If you were ever in weight-loss mode, how often did you weigh-in? A few years ago I actually weighed myself every day! Don't tell anyone smile

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