Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And the scale inches along....

This weekend I took some time off from my normal exercise routine and spent the weekend walking around Cedar Point with my husband and some friends. Had a BLAST! I decided to take some time off of "obsessing" over my diet as well because I just seem to get so hyper focused that I tend to not really ENJOY my life when it comes to food. I tend to look at food as the enemy. I like great food, have a chef for a brother, bake and cook as much as I can, and I love to enjoy it with friends. However, when we have a family breakfast or dinner I find myself stressing over how every tiny bite will make me fatter instead of enjoying the time with the people around me as much as I really want to be. Holidays are bad too because I want to make all these yummy and creative desserts and beverages but then I just start thinking of how HUGE I already am and that those things will just make me worse. I know this is normal to a degree and that everyone has those thoughts and stresses.

I worried that in "forgetting" about my diet (though I didn't completely throw it out the window), and not being anally committed to my workout and instead spent the time walking and taking lots of stairs, that I would see a gain on the scale yet again...because let's face it, that is usually how life goes for me. If I work my hardest, no "cheating", all the right workouts, tons of water..... I gain a pound to two or I stay the same. If I throw my "diet" and workout out the window and drink all sorts of other beverages then I gain 2-4 pounds or stay the same......either way I either gain or I stay the same. I could LOOK at a piece of pie and gain weight. My husband could eat a whole pizza and I would gain 5 pounds. SERIOUSLY it is discouraging.....but I promised myself I would make healthy choices but not fixate this weekend and just enjoy the time.

I got on the scale this morning to find that I had lost a pound! I broke through the plateau I was at and actually lost a pound. I know it is possible (and in all honesty fairly likely) that I will gain that pound back.....but as long as I am sticking to making healthy choices and keeping my body moving then even if the scale doesn't move in the direction it "should" then I am doing things right. I DID put on a pair of pants today that I wore to my grandfather's funeral back in February which were tight and I had to wear some girdle undies and they were STILL uncomfortably tight.....and they fit......without the girdle panties. :) Which  made me feel better about my progress. :)

I feel like I am seeing some positive changes in my life. I know that I just don't view myself in a healthy way, and try as I might to just shut that off I know that it will be a long time (if ever) before I can look at myself without picking myself apart. It is a process and some of us just have to spend our lives battling that inner voice and shutting up the negative "fat girl" on the inside. I think I beat myself up for being so heavy because I feel like I failed. I "used to be" thinner, I "used to be" cute, I "used to be" curvy in a sexy way not a lumpy way, I "used to be" , I "used to be", I "used to be".... There will come a point where I no longer feel the need to say "I used to be", but I'm just not there yet.

 I know that a lot of my friends don't think I have as much to lose as I do. They seem to believe that my goals are just too extreme. The truth is that I have ALWAYS weighed more than I looked like I do. It is just how my body is. I am "lucky" to carry my weight well and my large chest well. It is a blessing and a curse. Telling me I'm crazy for saying I have at least another 90 pounds to lose might seem like a "nice" thing to say, but really it just ends up feeling like sabotage. Contrary to what people seem to think (because they SAY it to me), I will NOT look anorexic or be "too skinny". I have a muscular, thicker, curvier body type with strong, toned, full curves over VERY petite, almost child sized bones. Just because you THINK you are paying someone a compliment by saying that they don't look like they need to lose what they need to lose, doesn't mean you are helping. You are actually HURTING their success because you aren't being very supportive of their efforts and the long journey they have ahead of them. I didn't set my goal for myself, it was set by my doctors after knowing my bone structure, type, density, muscular build, height, age....etc.

I will get there, the journey is long, hard and full of setbacks. But the important thing is that I am ON the journey and sticking to it...learning along the way that I AM worth it, I DO deserve it, and the work will be worth the pay off at the end of my journey...though my journey never really ends. lol

Every day I remind myself:

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A "Non number" success: looking at the positives

So I have been trying to look at those successes that have nothing to do with the scale. Weight for me is difficult to lose, more so than the "average" person. Because of that I really spend a lot of my time fixated on what ISN'T happening with my weight loss and fitness journey. We all do it. We all look at that one pound gain and beat ourselves up. We fee like we failed, and like it is hopeless and pointless doing all this work for NO reward. For me it is a dangerous place to be in. I tend to go to extremes to get a quick result, I feel like I failed, and feel like others judge me because they see no success and therefore think that I must be lying about what I'm doing, or that I'm doing it wrong. It often seems that way with things people say. People try to tell me how to do it, tell me I need to do what it working for them etc. I know everyone means well but it just starts to get really aggravating because I AM doing it right. I am following my doctors' orders, checking my nutrition, getting my exercise and fixing the way I view myself. In all honesty, I might never "love" myself the way that I *should*, I might never see myself the way that my wonderful husband, amazing family and close friends see me....and you know what? I am ok with that. I am a work in progress. I will always be a work in progress. The important thing is that I'm WORKING on me.

That being said, I have found a few "non scale" successes to focus on. No, the scale hasn't moved much in the last couple months. I lost 3.5 pounds, then gained 2 pounds, lost 1, gained 3, lost 2....lost 1....lol. I have felt like giving up. I have felt like it is hopeless. I felt like everything I was putting in was pointless. The last 2 weeks have been the hardest. I have been SO devoted to being healthy and exercising. I watched my calories, got an hour (at least) of good sweating, heart pounding cardio every day, squats, crunches/leg lifts etc....every day. But that darn scale hardly moved in the direction I NEED it to. I could have stopped eating, I could have done some other dangerous and unhealthy things to get the scale to move....but I didn't. And that is ONE of the non scale successes. I have lost about 4-6 inches in the last 2 weeks, and THAT is a success. No, I haven't really gone down a FULL size just yet, but my clothes are fitting better and I am more "comfortable" in my clothes now. So that is another success. The BIGGEST success for me at this point is that I have STUCK to it. THAT is a bigger success than anything else because even when it is hard, even when we don't *see* results we have to keep going. EVENTUALLY the success that you desire and work for will be obvious.

"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blogging: Why I do it

I have health conditions that make weight slow to come off in the beginning. I know how to work out, I know how to eat right. I coached gymnastics for 8 years, was a figure skater, swimmer, dancer....so this isn't anything new to me. I have many friends who are personal trainers and a nutritionist at my disposal as well. My brother is an amazing chef I can call any time for advice and tips.

I didn't have a major weight issue until I was in my 20's, AFTER I had children and my hormones went awry. As a matter of fact I was always strong, fit, toned, curvy and a size 2-5 depending on the brand of clothes. At 18 I got married to my ex-husband, moved to the other side of the world and lived a very secluded life. He was hard on my self esteem and never allowed me to be as active as I was before, causing some weight gain. Which then in turn started the downward spiral. When he left 6 years later I was a young 20-something with 2 small children, working long hours to support the 3 of us. I lost a lot of weight and kept it off for several years...but it proved more difficult to keep off as I was unable to be as active as my body craved. Still, I was a good 80 pounds overweight when I met my current husband. When we started dating I guess I got "happy" and lost track of my weight for a while as a lot of us do. I gained about 30 pound that first year. I lost nearly 60 pounds in a year for our wedding. I CAN do this again. I only gained my weight back because I got sick, had emergency surgery, moved 2300 miles across the country and had my clinical depression creep back up. I have been battling a lot of health issues which regardless of the amount of work I do, weight will be slow going.

The point of my blog isn't to whine about what isn't going right and get "advice", or to get compliments from others when I'm feeling down. We all feel down at times, feel like we failed, pull ourselves back up and move forward. My POINT in doing this blog is to be HONEST about the feelings we ALL feel when trying to get healthy and change things in our lives that we have allowed to control us. It is about having that space in the world that I am able to simply be honest with myself. I hope that my honesty about how I struggle, find a way to pick myself up, find the motivation in myself and love myself more than I love good food, will speak to others who are on their own journey. I hope that it brings a sense of camaraderie for those who know what to do, know how to do it, have done it before and simply struggle with the motivation in themselves to keep going.

It is about being honest, not getting compliments or people to soothe my bruised ego. I am where I am because of choices I made. I am here because of circumstances out of my control as well, but my choices on how I handle those circumstances put me where I am. I have tried diet plans, workout regimens and having people tell me what I "have" to do to be successful. The truth is, that doesn't work for me. It doesn't work LONG term for most people. I HAVE it in myself. I know my body. I know what works and what doesn't work for me. I think for a lot of us, and most of us who have not always had a weight problem, we know what doesn't work for us. Seeking out someone else to "fix" what is broken in us and "make" us successful isn't the answer. We just have to apply what we know to our lives and not allow anything to derail us.

 I have a friend, I will just call her H, who always had a weight problem. We have been friends our whole lives...literally. We are like sisters, or super close cousins who lived down the street and grew up at each others' houses. She has always been one of the most beautiful people I know. She has the biggest heart, the sweetest spirit, the best laugh and the kindest nature. She was always a little bit bigger than the other girls, taller, larger boned, more muscular and a bit heavier. And then one day she found herself to be obese. She NEVER let others see the pain she was in. Those friends closest to her would hear a little from her about how she didn't like being overweight. H embraced the identity that was assigned to her by the outside world as the "big girl" and had such grace about it. Then she just decided she was DONE with that identity. She just got to that point that she decided she wasn't willing to accept the hole someone else put her in. H worked her butt off....literally. She never let anything get her down or derail her. We would all be hanging out, planning to go see a movie or something but she  would always decline if it was going to force her to skip a workout or reschedule it. No matter how much we prodded, told her it wouldn't kill her to do it later, she would refuse. "I work out at 8pm EVERY day" she would say. Either she had to be home by 7:45 pm or she couldn't leave until 9:30pm to see a movie. (Seeing as I was the only one out of HS at that point, we had to choose the first one unless it was Friday...lol) And you know what? She lost the weight. ALL of it. Years later she found herself back in the same situation. H had gained all the weight back, and then some. But she never gave up. She never complained. She just found a fix, told just a handful of family and really close friends what she was doing and did it. Now, her outsides match her insides again. Now the world sees the beautiful person we have always known she was. :)

So you see, like H would do, I am simply doing what I know works for me. It will be slow going. It always is for me in the beginning. The important thing isn't HOW if I'm healthy about it. It isn't about "getting right in the head" for me. My head is what it is, and even THIN and HEALTHY my head is a pain in the butt with the thoughts. I have major issues with my body, no matter my size. I have a few other friends who have dealt with similar issues with their bodies and have Body Dismorphic Disorder, BDD, and no matter how healthy they are, no matter what people say, or they tell themselves otherwise, they will forever battle the negative thoughts....just like I will. Only those who deal with BDD understand how these thoughts and "voices" never go away. You simply have to manage them. THAT is the reality of my every day life. I have to shut up the thoughts and "voices" by exercising or writing or venting to a close friend....though usually I vent to my Husband. :)

I write because it is therapeutic. It gets it out, allows me to SEE it for what it is and move forward. I recognize, acknowledge, dismiss and move forward. :)

 Because at the end of then day:

No matter how slow you go,  you are still lapping everyone on the couch.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Two steps forward, one step back

I have been really good about getting at least an hour of cardio and 20 minutes of crunches and squats in every day. I have also been great about watching my calories in to calories out. No snacking, no eating out of boredom.....and I have lost some weight. Only go gain some back every couple days. SIGH

I have reached that point in my weight loss where there just isn't any getting past it! I know that once I break that barrier (that perpetual plateau we all hit at various places in our journey) the weight will start to just fall off...until I hit the next perpetual plateau. But MAN is it irritating, frustrating and completely discouraging. I have lost 13 pounds since LAST August. In a year I have managed to lose 13 pounds. SIGH I should be happy for the success, because a loss is a loss and in the face of all I have had to deal with for the last year, I'm lucky I didn't gain 30 pounds. But it is so hard to feel like it is a success. This time last year I weighed the most I have ever weighed. I'm fighting to stay on track. I'm battling an overwhelming feeling of failure. But I'm battling and I guess that is a good thing.

There are times I feel like it is pointless. But I still get on the stationary bike and cycle my first 30 minutes. There are times I feel like it is hopeless. But I still get on the floor and start my crunches and do my squats. There are times I feel like a joke....just the fatty kidding herself into thinking she will ever be pretty. But I get back on that bike for my second 30 minute ride. Some days I want to stay in my PJ's, refuse to eat or just stuff my face all day.....but I FORCE myself to get in my workout clothes. Sometimes that is as far as I get in the morning and it isn't until after lunch that I can force myself to do my workout.... but I force myself knowing that after I'm done I will feel like I accomplished something, even if the scale says I gained the same darned 2 pounds I lost before.

It is discouraging when you KNOW you aren't "cheating", when you KNOW you are getting at least an hour of cardio to burn fat and sometimes push yourself for 2 hours of cardio. It is depressing when you put on clothes that should be too big (you think) now that you have been dedicated for a good month on the workout and diet......and they still fit. :( It is hard to feel attractive when everything out there tells us that being overweight or fat is unattractive. We are told Thin is beautiful and Fat is repulsive. We are taught to find our self-worth in our size....and we scrutinize everyone, holding them up against ourselves to see where we fall in comparison.

 I love fashion, I always have....but it is depressing to look at clothes and imagine yourself wearing cute outfits when you know they won't look  the same on you because you are overweight. Even "plus size" fashion is shown on women who are super tall. So even though they might wear the same size NUMBER as I do, they are tall and therefore have a flat stomach, shapely hips (but not large bulging hips), no double chin or chunky legs or arms. Sure they are "thicker" than skinny waif models but they certainly don't look like the majority of "plus size" women. So I know even THOSE outfits won't look right on me, I have too many areas that bulge and wobble.

All this is discouraging and frustrating, but at least I'm not giving up. I might be taking a step back for every 2 I take forward but at least I'm moving.

"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch."