Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Saying "Help" in my Teeny-Tiniest Voice

I've been contemplating this post for weeks.  No, months.  I even thought about turning it into its own blog, just so that maybe no one would find it?  

Soo....I'm taking a deep breath......and another one......and I'm squeezing my eyes shut......and I'm just going to SAY IT:

My name is Ruth.  I like carbohydrates.  When I look in the mirror, I skip over the parts of me that aren't perfect and tell myself that my eyelashes look amazing.  I had my cholesterol checked for the first time this summer, and it was a little higher than what I imagined it would be.  I climbed a very tall mountain and ran a half marathon in the past six months, but you'd never guess that by looking at me.  I snore--loudly--even after sinus surgery.  There is a really, really cute pair of J. Crew chinos hanging in my closet that I haven't worn yet because I can't button them up.  I weigh 50 pounds more than I did when I got married.
I not only need to lose weight, I want to lose weight, and I want to gain muscle tone and strength.  I also want to develop a healthier attitude about food.  Change is hard for me.  I know from past failures that the only way for me to really be successful at this endeavor is that I am going to have to make LONG-TERM changes.  I also know from experience that I am incredibly motivated when I know people are counting on me to do my best or that they are going to be frequently checking my progress.  

That's where you come in, dear blog readers.  I'm taking you along for the ride, and I'm asking for your support.  Part of my plan for staying motivated involves submitting you a weekly progress report.  (Or submitting you TO a weekly progress report?)  With photos.  (I'm dying, literally dying of embarrassment as I type this.)  Here's my strategy and the reasoning behind it:

I'll be taking photos throughout the week of what I wear during workouts and afterwards, when I'm dressed in my regular clothes.  I've found that I tend to focus on color or fit of my clothing when I look in the mirror, but I ignore my shape and my flaws because it's less painful to ignore the things that bother me than to face them head-on.  When I do see a picture of myself, I am always surprised and horrified.  (That can't be me!  It's certainly not the girl I saw in the mirror this morning!)  On the bright side, apparently I have perfected the art of positive self-talk when I look in the mirror.  On the dark side, that kind of positive self-talk does me absolutely no good when I sit down to eat, because I tend to feed the college student with a over-active metabolism that I still see when I look in the mirror, instead of the woman who has given birth four times and now has the metabolism of a middle-aged adult.  

Documenting my appearance with photos has two interesting benefits:  a) it helps me track my progress towards my goal, and will give me visible evidence of the progress I make  b) knowing that people are going to be looking at my progress photos SHOULD MOTIVATE ME TO ACTUALLY PROGRESS!!!

I'll be posting these photos once a week on this blog.  Not only will I post the photos, but I will record the number on the scale at my weekly weigh-in, and I'll give a summary of what I did for exercise and what worked or didn't work for me that week.  {Cringe, cringe}  From what I hear, journaling is a known contributor to successful weight loss.

And where do you fit into the picture?  Well, it's up to you.  If it were up to me, I'd be most comfortable if we all just pretended Ruth wasn't trying to lose weight and then carried on with the apothecary jars and gingerbread.  But pretending hasn't helped me lose actual inches, so I don't think we should leave it up to me.  Take whatever role you want to in this, but by all means join me if you are so inclined, because misery really does love company.

I'll be linking my progress reports each week to The Pleated Poppy's "What I Wore Wednesday" series. Lyndsey, who blogs about sewing and crafting and mothering (not fashion) gives this explanation for her "What I Wore Wednesday" (WIWW) link-ups: 
 i started wiww because i needed accountability in the general appearance department as a stay/work at home mom.  i would go for days on end without leaving the house and stay in sweats or jammies all day (what was the point in getting dressed for homeschool days?).  but i started taking pictures of myself and i didn’t like what i saw, what my husband saw, or what my kids saw.  and now that i am putting in a little more effort and documenting it here, i feel better about myself, and am ready to head out of the house more often, rather than just going out in my sweats.
Lyndsey's philosophy of accountability and achieving one's personal best are exactly what I'm going for by using a weekly progress post as a motivator.  Knowing that Lyndsey's WIWW link-ups will generate hundreds of additional people checking up on me is also highly motivating. 

As you can see, I'm either very serious about this, or very narcissistic.  Take your pick!    

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  - Confucius

I'll take my first step this Thursday.


  1. I don't believe there's any shame in admitting you're ready to lose weight but I still think it's brave of you to document everything online. I'm sure you're right that journaling and posting about it will help keep you accountable to yourself. I once lost 80 pounds so I know all about the work you have ahead of you but you sound determined to do it. Best of luck to you and know that I'll be following your progress and cheering you on!

  2. I could have written the first few paragraphs of this post. I will be checking in to see how you are doing. I may just join you on this journey. I need to badly. I am encouraged by reading this post.

    Thank you for being so transparent.


  3. Yea Ruth! Me too, me too. But for now, I'll watch and cheer you :) You are amazing! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. It really is a journey. I have recently lost 30 pounds and it takes a lot of work, but you can do it!