Archive for February, 2010

Scaling Back

As most everyone knows I have been battling my weight most of my life. Taking part in the Subway Get Fit Challenge is one of the best opportunities for me. I have already lost “some” weight. Although even a one pound weight loss is technically “successful”, I can’t bring myself to celebrate it. I have too far to go and a celebration has not been earned yet.

In all of my frustrations with weight loss, I still have one enemy that seems to be enjoying my pain. I see him every morning with what I am convinced is a little smirk on his dark face. He’s taunting me, really. He’s telling me in his own way “come on, I dare you to keep your motivation”. Every day I sacrifice the cookie for the apple. I forgo the soda for the water.

My enemy doesn’t care. All he wants to do is remind me that I still have so much further to go. Every morning we greet each other in the same fashion. I look at him. He looks back. I glare. He smirks. I turn my head. He still smirks. I know he is there. He knows I want to go over to him. I am determined to win this showdown. I am determined to win our battle. My enemy seems just as determined.

Finally, I give in. I walk over to him. In full hopes of seeing the numbers decreasing, I stand firmly on my enemy. And with his little smirk, he reveals…a one pound weight loss. ONE POUND!! ONE FREAKIN’ POUND??? ARE YOU KIDDING??? IS THIS A JOKE?? AM I BEING PUNKED?? I could have had the piece of cake I wanted and lost one pound! I could have put real sugar in my coffee and lost one pound!!

I can only conclude that the scale is wrong. It must be the batteries. I dig through the junk drawer (my other enemy) to find two new batteries and quickly put them in the scale. Surely all of my digging in the junk drawer burned another couple pounds at least. I patiently (in a hurried fashion) wait for the scale to reset itself. Finally complete, I jump aboard. And without fail…the same reading!

COME ON!!!

Okay, the only reasonable explanation now is that the scale is broken. I yell for my husband, Tony. I tell him that I think the scale is broken. He tells me that he doesn’t think so. After some coaxing(okay, I had temper tantrum, but what-ever), he reluctantly gets on the scale. With all of the Dr. Pepper and double cheeseburgers in his recent past I know that the scale is about to become his enemy as well. After a couple seconds, Tony gets his reading. He smiles and says “look babe, I lost 10 pounds!”

Oh FOR THE LOVE OF…AAAAHHH!

I can hears Lisa already “GET OFF THE SCALE!!”. She has told me about water weight, muscle mass, and all the other wonderful ways our bodies can hold on to weight. She has told me to stop weighing myself every day. Well, now I concede. I will not weigh myself anymore on a daily basis. Mostly because Lisa is right. Partially because I threw the scale and it shattered. But still, it’s mostly because Lisa is right.

Blah

It’s been a rough week.    I’d be lying if I said otherwise. 

I’ve had a case of the “blahs” all week.  I am chalking it up to lack of sunshine and hormonal woman issues, but I really want it to be over with.  I don’t like the gray cloud hanging over my head.   It makes it harder to go to the gym.  It makes staying on task more difficult. 

The “blahs” started last week when I attempted to try a spinning class.  Talk about not being a match for me!!  I know there are many people that swear by spinning.  I am clearly NOT one of those people.  It was painful, but not a good painful.  My rear end hurt from sitting on the seat.  Which, ironically, when my cousin found out that I was going to a spinning class, her first question to me was “do you have padded shorts?”  I thought, “Um, yes…my shorts are always padded which is why I am going to spinning…to lose some of the “padding”!!.  Apparently, she was trying to tell me that the seat is not comfortable on the bike.   Don’t misunderstand.  I don’t expect to be able to sit in a cushy recliner and still lose weight.  However, I refuse to workout so hard that my bones hurt.  My tailbone HURT!!  There was no position that I could sit in that wasn’t causing me pain.   That is not the “hurt” that I was going for. 

I also don’t like when I am not the best at something.  If I decide to do anything, I have to be the best.  I was not the best at spinning.  It’s very discouraging to me.  I went into the class with hopes of loving to spin.   After  about 3 minutes, I knew “loving” spinning was no longer an option.  I began to hope I would like it.  By the time I left, I detested it!!    

Maybe I am just not the type of person that can be in a class to workout.  Maybe I need to work out by myself.  Maybe.  I will be trying Zumba tonight to find out for sure.  I’m going into this hoping that I love it.  We’ll see.  Wish me luck!!

Enthusiastic Me

This week has been somewhat of a fog for me. There have been a lot of changes in my life, and while I am so grateful for each one, it is still causing a bit of anxiety. Obvious changes are that I am eating better and exercising regularly. My husband (he’s such a trooper!) has joined me in making better food choices. We have traded in our red meat for turkey and chicken. We are eating vegetables with every meal. We have cleaned out all of the comfort snacks from every cabinet in the house and the freezer (good bye Ben, best wishes Jerry!). However, I believe that the most important switch we have made is giving up fast food. There aren’t drive thru menus on our weekly meal plan any longer. Initially, it was difficult. One of the conveniences of life that we have learned to rely on heavily is no more. As “life altering” as this small change seemed to be, I am fairly certain heart disease would be a much bigger life altering event!

Another adjustment happened for me on Sunday night. After much prodding from my mom and my husband, I reluctantly decided to seek help for my trouble sleeping. On average, I get about 5 hours of sleep a night. I am always exhausted. Getting up for work can be taxing enough, now I have to dig really deep to find the energy to get to the gym. The sleep study had proven what I feared all along. I do have sleep apnea. I am not at all excited about having to wear a C-PAP mask to sleep at night, but I am thrilled to know that I am going to be getting sleep! I didn’t realize how important sleep is to a healthy lifestyle. I seem to catch myself thinking that I should always do more. Sleeping was laziness and I should be proud that I can function on five hours or less. The truth is I was barely functioning. Through this process, I learned that lack of sleep is a huge contributor to an unhealthy lifestyle. Sleep deprivation actually makes people eat more. Basically, I get to sleep more AND lose weight!! Now tell me being healthy isn’t easy!

I do get asked a lot about my exercise routine. Our mantra for this challenge is very simple, “show up and move”. All I have to do is show up at the gym and move around. It’s seriously THAT easy!! My wonderful trainer, Lisa, is always reminding me to make sure I am pushing myself. No slacking on the workouts!! At the beginning of last week, I could handle being on the elliptical machine for about seven minutes. During those seven minutes I saw brief glimpses of my past flashing before my eyes. My heart rate was as high as it had ever been. I was pushing myself as hard as I thought I could. I had to stop. To be honest, in my head the words were actually “STOP or you WILL die”! However, I had forgotten the most important instruction Lisa had repeatedly given me… “BREATHE!!” By the end of the week, remembering to breathe, I was able to work out for 20 minutes on the elliptical machine!! And, I am sure I could have gone longer if not for the arrival of a migraine. So, what is my workout routine? I show up. I move. I push myself. And I breathe. That’s it.

Finally, the last change this week is also happening with a lot of help from Lisa the Great! She could very easily give me the workout routine and check in with me once a week to make sure I am doing it. She doesn’t just do that. She is so genuinely excited for my success! She encourages me with her “Lisa-ism’s” about emotional strength and self acceptance. Every time I run into her at the gym (side note: I try to make sure she doesn’t see me until I am caked in sweat…ssshhh) she is so happy and excited about all of the changes in my life. If someone who was a complete stranger three weeks ago can be genuinely excited about me, then why can’t I be excited about me? I’ve known me for 32 years. I should have that kind of enthusiasm. I know me and I know how great I can be. Thanks for the reminder Lisa!!

Next week on the agenda is Yoga and Zumba. Given my grace and superior dance skills, I trust one, if not both will be comical. Meet me at the FAC…we can show up and move together!!

The Truth

It’s halfway through week two.  The fear is starting to set in.  Who will I be without the extra weight to keep me hidden from the world?  Who will I be?  What will I think about?  Now when people reject me, I won’t be able to blame it on my weight. 

Each layer of fat that I have put on my body held a purpose.  Mainly it was a shield.  I grew up in an abusive environment.  Mental illness had crept into my family and we suffered from the unknown of it.  I layered on the fat as a means of protection.  I couldn’t be hurt if I was “big”.  The mental illness of this person attacked every part of who I was.  My physical appearance was constantly berated.  I was told how ugly and fat I was.  At six years old I had been called fat more times than I could count.  My intelligence and character were also attacked in the process.  By the time I was a teenager, the person was removed from my life, but by then I was full of rage for anyone and everyone.  I was angry at the injustice of the world.  I was angry at God for not protecting me.  I was angry.  So, I soothed my pain with ice cream that couldn’t judge me. 

My childhood provided me with constant feelings of inadequacy.  I was never good enough for anything.  I wasn’t good enough to be loved.  I couldn’t love myself.  However, I could “protect” myself.  I layered on fat so that I could be hidden inside a body.  I could hide from the world under this mask of fat.  There in my hiding place no one could tell me how dumb I was or that I would never amount to anything.  All they would point out is “fat”.  I silently agreed with them.  As long as “fat” was all that the world would call me, I would allow it.   As long as I wasn’t reminded of any of the other traits about myself that I hated, I would concede to being called “fat”. 

I am 32 years old and I still struggle daily to overcome the demons of my past.  Most people who know me would be surprised to learn how truly insecure I really am.  I hide it pretty well for the most part.  Yet, I live in constant fear of two of my darkest secrets in life ever being told.   The first secret is my childhood.  I don’t want sympathy for it.  I want people to see me as a survivor not a victim.  I hate that word…victim.  Yet, if I am being totally honest with myself, I allowed myself to become a victim.  The abuse has been out of my life for 21 years and I still carry the words that were spoken with me every day.  I utter the words like “failure”, “disappointment”, “fat” in my head.   I want to be free from this fear.  I want to be free from carrying on the abuser’s mission.  I want to wash my hands of being that person’s victim. 

The other secret I fear is for people to know how much I weigh.  There is so much truth in that number.  Truth about bad choices.  Truth about not taking care of myself.  I am 330 pounds.  That is the truth.  I can’t deny it anymore.  It’s out there for everyone to see.  I just hope the world looks quickly because it won’t be that way for long!

I needed to come clean.  I have to be released from chains that held me captive to beliefs that were not truths.  Fat or not, there is nothing wrong with me.  I am strong.  I am capable.  And I am living a better life than I had ever believed possible. 

Thank you all for the constant support!!  I carry your words with me when I need strength.  I love you!