Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The "Aha Moment"

I just caught myself having a silly Aha! Moment and had to write about it so that I don't forget.  I realized that I was thinking about my weight loss as numbers on a computer screen (mostly my blog) and viewing them in a sort of detached way as though they belonged to someone else.  I actually thought the words 'when it starts working for me' and then I suddenly had a flash-back of myself standing on the scale, looking down at the numbers.

That's when the Aha! Moment hit.  It IS working for me!  They're not just numbers I'm posting on my blog they are numbers I'm seeing on the scale and they are actually, truly getting smaller ... and that means that I am actually, truly getting smaller.  I've detached myself from my obesity for so long that, up to this point, I haven't even allowed myself to accept and truly enjoy the knowledge that I am losing weight.  Me!  Me, myself, and I!  I'm doing it!  Not someone else, not just numbers, not a computer character ... ME!

It seems kind of silly now that I put it all down in words but that's really how it happened and, even now, I'm not entirely certain that I've convinced myself of my own small success.  I can do this ... I really can - In fact, I AM doing this.  Wow...I feel like I'm having a head rush or trying to contemplate quantum theory.  I need to ponder this for a moment and let it really sink in still.

On a side-note the cat had another seizure at 4:00 am.  He was laying at the foot of the bed on "Temptation's" side sleeping and just started yowling, coughing, and choking on his tongue.  The dog freaked and hid under the bed, "Temptation" jumped out of the bed and I grabbed the cat and held him so he wouldn't keep bashing his head against the bed and clawing himself.  I knew better than to do it but I stuck my fingers in his mouth to dislodge his tongue and got bit ... big surprise.  Now my left hand is the size of a softball and I can barely move it.  I'm just glad he's had all his shots.  He's tired today, understandably; and very clingy and lovey.  Poor little dude. :(

I went to and created a profile so I could get a second opinion on the caloric burns I've been posting.  I plugged belly dancing into both and, both sites consider my weight to determine burn, and it was an exact match.  Perhaps the burn may seem high to all of us because we are not considering that I weigh 273.5 lbs so everything I do burns more calories than it would for someone who weighs 150 lbs, for example.  Of course this means that as I lose weight burning 300-600 calories a day will become much harder but I will also be in better shape and will be physically capable of doing longer and harder exercises like running at 5.3 mph for 60 minutes on a treadmill. :)  According to both websites, at my weight, maintaining that speed for that long would burn 1,067 calories. also asked me how many pounds I want to lose per week, estimated my caloric intake per day at 1536 but then, when I plugged in my belly dancing my intake went up to 1908 so I suppose it thinks I should eat the calories I burn with exercise on top of my daily goal.  I'm not going to do that because 1600 per day with exercise has been plenty but it is good to know, for future reference, that the experts do consider cals burned and cals eaten to cancel each other out.  I think I will keep aiming for 1600 in and 300-600 out until the sites drop my suggested calories in to 1500 and then I'll start doing 1500 in and 300-600 out.

4 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee with creamer
1/2 a Mimi's Spice Muffin
1 fresh red pear
1 large banana
1 oz pickled beets
4 cucumber slices
1 oz black olives
1 oz mushrooms
3 pickle spears
1 cup steamed veggies

4 oz new york strip steak
1 oz A1 steak sauce
3 brussel sprouts
1 dinner roll
1/2 cup fat free frozen yogurt
1/3 slice sugar-free cheesecake
Daily Caloric Intake: 1441

40 minutes vigorous belly dancing
walked 1 mile in 20 minutes
Daily Caloric Burn: 508


  1. Yep, it's all about you! (no wait, it's all about ME). Keep up the good work on the exercise.

  2. Thanks for the lesson on caloric-burn dependency on a person's mass. When you first mentioned it to me, it felt intuitive -- but this article really drove it home to me.

    It's amazing how many more calories it takes a larger person to do something -- it makes sense, it's just amazing at *how much* of a difference it turns out to be!

    I guess that's good news, though, because that means that even very large people who can barely walk stand a fighting-chance if they will just get up and walk.

    It also means, however, that people like me who are only about 30-50lbs overweight but aren't exactly "fit", are going to have a harder time getting trim since we have to do more to achieve success but it's harder since we haven't already been conditioned to be more fit.

  3. Hey thank you, if you're the one who originally mentioned the 5.3 mile run thingy. Your original comment inspired me to conduct the calorie burn numbers farther rather than taking them at face value and I too learned very valuable information.

    It is true that fewer pounds to lose means it's harder to burn the calories. I think that's a big factor in why so many people plateau. An hour walk works for them at first but, as they lose weight that hour walk isn't as effective but they don't really realize it so they keep walking an hour a day and wondering why they're not getting progress anymore.

    One very positive thing to note for people in your situation with just 30-50 lbs to lose is that every day that you do something outside your normal routine, even if it doesn't result in immediate weight loss, is still building muscle. The more muscle you build the more "conditioned" you become so that, eventually, that marathon session on the treadmill gets easier.

    I had a friend once who was probably a minimum of 50 lbs over weight and, when I was fit, she wanted to join me on a strenuous 9.1 mil hike in Zion National Park. My dad and I both thought she was going to have a hard time at it because of her weight but, in reality, she out-hiked both of us! In spite of her extra weight she had more muscle mass and conditioning than we realized and she both inspired us and put us to shame at the same time.

  4. I just wanted to point something out. Online calorie counters add calories burned to calories to be consumed because it is automatically designed to keep you at your desired calorie level. You SHOULD not eat more just because the calorie counter adds your calories burned to your calories to be consumed. You will only neutralize your exercise efforts and lose less by doing so. You already know this I am assuming because you said you were going to stay around 1600 but I just wanted to confirm that what you are doing (keeping calories the same regardless of calories burned) is greatt!! Keep up the good work!

  5. Yeah I'm with you here Kristen. My brother suggests one day every month or so where I eat a few hundred extra and burn a few hundred extra because he says it will "trick" my body's instinctual reaction to what it perceives as famine (this reaction is often called "stalling out" or "plateauing"). I call these "cave man" days so you may see a post now and again where I eat 1,800 calories but burn 500-800 that same day. Supposedly a reduced calorie diet makes the body think I'm in a famine and it stores everything it can in fat cells so caveman days make it think "famine over!" and it re-programs or something along those lines. Since the burn cancels out the excess I suppose it's worth a shot! :)

  6. okay, just caught up to the last several days of your blog ------ amazing how well you're doing and how well you're hanging in there; you've always been the type of person that once you make your mind up, you go for it full-speed-ahead! Good job. Very interesting to read all the research you've done too, thanks for that info. it helps us ALL. I know you will succeed this time, b/c you are so mindful of this in your everyday/everyminute life and though you don't totally deprive yourself of everything, you are very picky about a "cheat choice". As for "Temptation", he really wants to be supportive and help you be healthier and sexier, BUT -----he loves you and loves to feed you things that have always made you happy -----my "tempter" does this also, so I know very well what's going on. Help him to KNOW that you can feel MORE LOVED in other ways. Keep up the good work, YOU are MY inspiration. YOU will NOT spend your entire life afraid to put on a swimming suite, (like I have).

  7. thanks for the supportive comments mom. How about we both hit the beach in San Diego next summer ... in bikini's? :) Ok ... maybe not bikini's but bathing suits none the less. When we go for my graduation in Phoenix we can hit the hotel pool together too and watch all the men drool over the "Eitner Swing". :)