Saturday, August 25, 2012

This is not cancer

I recently cut back on the amount I have been exercising because the clinic felt I was doing too much.  It wasn’t just the clinic … the research I had done showed that people on a low calorie program such as Optifast can slow their weight loss way down, or even gain weight, if they exercise too much  while doing the program.  I never realized, until I purposely slowed down my exercise, how much of an important part of my life it had become.  I do look forward to it and my body feels so much better afterwards. 

I started looking through some of my old blog posts, not for anything specific but just to read about where I have been on this journey.  Several new people have contacted me and told me that they found my blog and have read every entry from the very beginning to the present time.  I thought it would be nice for me to do that, too, just to see my growth.  It has been such an insightful experience and I really think that if you have a blog or journal of your own, you should do the same thing.  I could really see how far I’ve come, not only with the tremendous weight loss but the vast changes I’ve been through overall. 
I miss walking three miles every day.  When I looked at my history, I have had times where I had little to no weight loss during the week, although I’ve lost a tremendous amount of inches.  Then there were times were I lost 6, 8, even 9.5 pounds in a week while walking those three miles pretty much every day.  This may be something that I end up going back to because, ultimately, it makes me feel good in so many ways even if it does slow down my weight loss.  I think I will just have to wait and see, pray about it, and I know the answer will come to me.  As I get closer to my goal weight, the rate of loss is going to invariably be less.
The bigger issue here is perspective.  I was most affected during my reading about when I discussed having cancer, melanoma to be specific.  It was just a year ago.  When you are diagnosed with such a condition, the other things in life we worry about seem ridiculous in comparison.  I’m not saying they are, but I have to realize that they might pale in severity and seriousness.  I spent my days battling cancer by putting on a brave front while working and only sharing my inner fears with a few close people.  I would cry in the corner of the shower because I was so scared and didn’t know how to release those feelings.  Yet, I faced those fears.  The surgeries were successful and there’s no sign of cancer in my body today. 
So, I don’t have to worry about the fact that the scale is not showing the weight loss as fast as I would like it to in the past few weeks.  When I think about it, I have lost 169 pounds in the past six months.  Pardon me, but that’s fast!  As I have often said before, this is not a race to the finish line.  If my rate of loss is slowing down, that’s not necessarily a negative thing.  As I get smaller, my rate of loss will be slower.  As I gain muscle, it will be slower.  And, I must remind myself, the amount of inches I’ve lost is totally ridiculous. Every day I am greeted by someone that hasn’t seen me in a long time and they are blown away by the change in me. 
I have just got to relax about that darn scale.  Months ago, I had written a post about the fact that I was weighing myself at home and I had put the scale in my garage so that I wouldn’t weigh on it during the week between sessions at the clinic.  Over time, I brought the scale back into the house and have been weighing myself on it every freaking day.  Now, I really think it is time to let it go.  While the scale may be a tool for some people, right now it is not a safe place for me to be.  I haven’t been living or dying by those numbers necessarily, but right now they seem to be dictating things more than I am comfortable with.  In time, after I go into maintenance, I may get another one or just weigh in on the scale in the health office at work.  But for now, I am committing that as soon as I save this post to my blog, I will go into my bathroom, open the cabinet where the scale is and take it out, unceremoniously, and dump it in the trash.  This is not cancer … it’s just a scale and I think it’s holding too much power over me right now. 


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you've found walking in your life! Even if you cut back for a little while now, you know you can ramp back up as you transition off of product and get even more of that healthy exercise kick. I'm sorry for your knee diagnosis (a number of posts back, but never commented) keeping you from running, but I think you can get just as great of a workout and endorphin kick from the brisk walking you've been doing! Did you know it's even an olympic event? I'm serious! Olympic speedwalking - these guys don't mess around(! Anyway, all olympic swinging hips aside, good luck finding the right balance for you :) - Tessa

Martha Kaiser said...

I have decided that I really really love your blog. I am also now reading back through your entries. I've learned so much. This post caught my attention for 2 reasons... one, I have been exercising very regularly for 1.5 years before starting Optifast but decided to really up my commitment this past week and go to the gym and work really really hard - and I had my smallest weight loss to date. I think I was more perplexed than depressed. I was starting to suspect I must have overdid it. I know one week isn't enough data. I do think though, and especially after reading this, that moderate exercise is very good but putting in a ton of time and sweat is really not guaranteeing a bigger weight loss - and it might be slowing things down. So, I think I'll cut back to my "normal" routine and see what happens.
Secondly, I also have had experience with melanoma. When I was pregnant with my first child, I, on a whim, had a mole removed on my chest because it was changing appearance quickly. Nobody, including my dr. thought it was anything to worry about. Wrong! So at 20 weeks of pregnancy, I had to have wide-excision surgery and I have a huge scar now. So scary. Nothing like being at the oncologist while pregnant! Fortunately I caught it early (thank God because after our daughter was born I'm pretty sure I never would have had the time or energy to have it looked at). I had to spend my first few months of mother-hood getting CAT scans, etc. and worrying about my future. It was incredibly scary - and I've since had another one and wide excision on my forearm (that one was super early - and not a concern) but it definitely changes your perspective on your life and health.

Kathy said...

Hi Martha,

Thanks for reading back on my blog because it made me do the same. I've had quite a few people tell me they have every single one of posts from when I started to the present time. It's amazing to me how I can see the growth I've gone through. It was so eye-opening to see what I was doing with the exercise and I constantly try to remind myself that I need to pull back on that.

I'm so sorry that you went through your own melanoma scare but thankfully you and your child made it through with flying colors. There are times in life when things completely change our perspectives.

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