PFG has Twitter

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter as well as on here, my username (or is it a “handle”? I’m not cool enough for this) is @thatpfg. I will of course be posting on here still, but I’ll also be tweeting and probably retweeting some of the things that the health and fitness folks I’m following talk about.

Update and something embarrassing

Weighed myself this morning: 301.8 lbs

So I’m up again, but I’m not sweating it. I enjoyed myself over the holidays and I don’t regret it, I would rather have an extra 3 pounds to lose than not let myself indulge in things like eggnog, gingerbread etc. that I don’t normally have. It’s all good.

Now, for the embarrassing thing.

I used to frequent Denny’s at night A LOT. I went through a period of unemployment and in that time, I got up later in the morning and I wouldn’t usually eat until late afternoon, by which time I was starving. (Terrible habit, I know.) SO, because of that, I would be too full to eat supper at the normal time, so I would get really hungry late at night. I didn’t really want to dirty a bunch of dishes by cooking at that late hour, so I would often take my favourite book and head to Denny’s.

After I got a job and had to stick to a schedule, I stopped going. However, I recently left my job because I am moving to another city (in another country!) so until I go, the only schedule I have to stick to is my packing one, which I determine myself. Last night I was out at a friend’s until late and when I left her place I was starving. I had a book with me, so I pulled into trusty old Denny’s for something to eat. (I know I shouldn’t have, as Denny’s is literally one of the least healthy places to eat on the planet, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.)

I went in and the waitress said “Well hello there, haven’t seen you in awhile!” and showed me to my table etc. etc. At the end of the night, she gave me my bill and I noticed that she hadn’t charged me for my Coke. When I mentioned this to her, she said “Oh, I know. You’re a regular, I never charge regulars for drinks.”

Maybe embarrassing is too strong a word, but it certainly made me think about my life choices. She doesn’t know me outside of Denny’s, nor does she know my name, but she knows me by sight well enough that she can recognize me after months of being away. And she considers me to have frequented Denny’s enough, despite not having set foot in the place for months, to deserve a free drink for my good business.

I’m thinking I should stop going there…

The Battle of the Bulge – Christmas Edition and an Update

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. I love the lights, the music, the snow, the decorations, the colours and spending time with my family, it makes me so happy. BUT…there’s also the food. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the food. Pecan pie, ice cream, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, candied carrots, gingerbread, sugar cookies, shortbread, cranberry sauce, butter tarts, rum balls, pumpkin pie and, of course, CHOCOLATE. So good.
But, of course, when you’re trying to lose weight, it can be difficult! I do want to make good choices, but Christmas does only come once a year so I feel like splurging a little is okay…right?

I haven’t been exercising at all, Christmas kind of took over my life, what with shopping and decorating and baking and wrapping and trying to balance work and the like. But Christmas is over, (most of) the junk food has been eaten and I don’t have to worry about shopping for presents for another year, so we can get back to working out! 

Also, last weight (as of December 23, 2013): 298.4 lbs. So I’m up, but it’s okay! I just dread what it’ll be next week…

Statistics – As of December 16, 2013

Previously, I have been weighing myself on Wednesdays, but I thought that I would change that to Mondays instead, just because it seems to make more sense. Monday, to me, is the start of a new week and weighing myself on Monday mornings gives me a place to start.

So, as of Monday December 16, 2013, my height was 5’7″ and my weight was 297.4 lbs.

Since I started on the 5th, I have lost 5.8 lbs. While this seems like a really good loss, I haven’t truly done a lot to make it happen. I have been too busy to exercise (and if I’m not too busy, too tired) but I have been trying to make better food choices. However, I have also been sick lately, so I’m sure that surviving on chicken noodle soup for a couple of days made a dent. And, as I mentioned before, my weight fluctuates a couple of pounds regularly.

BUT at least it’s down and not up, right?

Being Healthy Shouldn’t Be So Hard

I have been trying, for the last little while, to omit processed food and added sugar from my diet and to exercise more. Simple, right? Sort of. I have some pretty bad habits and so trying to cut back on certain things I love most has proven difficult. But at least it’s clear cut.

But IS it that clear cut? Food and nutrition are a hot issue, apparently. I have done a lot of research on health over the last few years and let me tell you, wading through all of the differing opinions is so difficult.

Many vegans and vegetarians maintain that animal fats are BAD and that eating too much red meat will cause heart disease. Okay, I can accept that to some degree. Saturated fats are bad for you and eating too much of anything is probably not very good at all. But wait, now there’s someone else saying that animal fats are good for you and that you should eat lots of full-fat milk and butter and cheese, but only if it’s raw and unpasteurized. But then somebody else says hang on, pasteurization is a good thing because drinking unpasteurized milk can make you very sick. So then somebody else says okay, drink pasteurized milk, but only drink fat-free because butter and milk fat are bad for you. So you should use vegetable oil instead. But then vegetable oil will actually kill you and cause you to grow horns, so you should only use olive oil. But wait actually olive oil has a really low smoke point and should never be used for cooking and also most olive oil is fake, so use lard instead. But wait lard is full of saturated fat, so use coconut oil. But coconut oil has saturated fat but actually wait it’s a good kind, so don’t worry about it. You should eat lots of coconut oil, but actually don’t eat grains because grains are toxic and they cause autism and gastro-intestinal disease and cancer. But actually wait eat grains, just don’t eat oatmeal because it has phytic acid in it and it will rot your teeth. If you do eat grains, then you should only use baking soda on your teeth because all commercial toothpastes are toxic. But baking soda will ruin the enamel on your teeth, so you should brush with clay instead. But actually, flouride is the best thing to prevent tooth decay. But wait a second, flouride will KILL YOU and dentists are only after money, so avoid flouride and just eat lots of fat-soluble vitamins, like A & D. And also, don’t wear sunscreen because then you can’t absorb vitamin D. But wait actually, do wear sunscreen because you can get skin cancer if you don’t. But actually don’t wear sunscreen because sunscreen causes skin cancer and makes you turn green and your limbs will rot and fall off. And don’t eat fruit because it will rot your teeth. And don’t use cast-iron skillets. And don’t cook your food because you kill the nutrients. But actually do cook it because it will kill you if you don’t. And don’t use metal cooking utensils. And don’t do this. And don’t do that.

Confusing, right? It is impossible to follow everyone’s advice. On the one hand, you have health professionals (doctors, dentists, dermatologists) saying “Do eat this, do that, don’t do that” but then you have people who say that they’re all in it for the money and that “THE MAN” and all the big corporations control everything and CONSUMERISM and BRAINWASHING. But then on the other hand, the people doing the anti-medical thing don’t always have credible evidence to back up their claims.

So it makes you wonder? IS my doctor in it for the money? So should I believe somebody who writes a natural health food column? Or should I be skeptical about what they say because they don’t appear to have done any medical research?

The only thing that is agreed upon on all sides seems to be that vegetables are good for you. So I guess I will just become a rabbit…

Progress Update – as of December 15, 2013

I weighed myself again last Wednesday (the 11th) but haven’t really had much time to update it at the moment. Anyway, as of Wednesday, my stats were as follows:

Height: 5’7″
Weight: 300.2 lbs

So I lost 3 lbs. However, my weight often fluctuates about 5 lbs so I suspect that this is a temporary thing, as I haven’t made a conscious effort this week to work out. I am trying to watch what I eat and make good choices, but I find that I can’t really lose weight until I get exercise in too, so that is my goal for this week.

My Statistics – as of December 5, 2013

In order to accurately keep track of my progress, I am going to weigh myself once a week and post it on this blog along with my measurements, which I will take once a month.

Current Stats – 05/12/2013

Height: 5′ 7″
Weight: 303.2 lbs
BMI: 47.5
Bust: 50 in.
Waist: 56 in.
Hips: 51.5 in.
Pants/Dress Size: 20

The only thing I don’t know is what my body fat percentage is. My BMI is extremely high, obviously, but I also have a lot of muscle on my frame, so I suspect that my body fat percentage is lower than my BMI would suggest. Either way though, it doesn’t matter. I have to lose weight.

How I Am Going to Lose Weight

There are many approaches and theories about how “best” to lose weight: fad diets, fasts, cleanses etc.

I am going to do it the good old-fashioned way, however, and simply eat right and exercise. Here is how I plan to proceed:

1) Weight Watchers: The thing that I love about Weight Watchers is that it does not say no to any one food. It is not saying that you may never eat potato chips or cookies or cake or ice cream again. It is simply saying that you must be accountable for what you eat, via a points system. Foods are assigned a points value based on the protein, fibre, fat and carbohydrates they contain. Foods that are high in fat and sugar (carbs) and low in protein and fibre – such as candy – are going to be given a high points value. Foods like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, vegetables, eggs, fruit, lean protein and low-fat dairy (which are all low in fat and carbs and high in fibre and protein) are given a lower points value because they will keep you full longer and they are better for you.

My main problem is not that I don’t eat enough healthy food. It’s that I eat too much of everything, period. Pasta is only good for you if you eat 1 cup at a time, not 5. Cookies have a low points value if you only have 2, not 12. So that is, and always has been, my problem: my portions of everything, healthy and non-healthy, are far too big.

Weight Watchers assigns points values based also on serving size. There is no eyeballing your portions, you must measure them out to get an accurate points rating. I don’t know that I will stick with Weight Watchers forever, but the idea of eating proper portions is something that will help me on my way to success.

2) Exercise: I happen to actually like exercise. Sometimes I curse it – like the plank – but I like how it makes me feel. My problem, though, is that I have too many excuses for not doing it and I get in my own way. I want to make exercise a priority in my life, to schedule workouts like doctor’s appointments. I wouldn’t skip going to the dentist or taking medication, so I shouldn’t skip exercise.

3) Eating Late at Night: I have a bad habit of eating really late at night. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with eating late at night. There is a myth that your metabolism slows down when you are sleeping, but that simply isn’t true. However, my problem is that I am not eating cottage cheese and carrots late at night; I am eating burgers, fries, frozen pizza, ice cream, etc. etc. All junk. I plan to solve this problem by going to bed earlier. Not only will it prevent me from 2 am binges, but I will also get more sleep. I have a bad habit of not getting enough sleep, so I am hoping that going to bed earlier will not only prevent my late-night binges but it will also help me to feel better and more refreshed for the day and to feel more energized for my workouts.

4) Fast food: This is one of my weak spots. I love fast food. I love eating out. When I get home from work and I am very hungry, I have often found myself pulling into a drive-thru because the thought of having to cook while I’m so hungry is unappealing. However, this leads to 2 things: overeating and overspending. Fast food is expensive, in the long run. A $10 meal bought 5 times a week is suddenly $200 a month, in addition to grocery expenses for lunch and breakfast and supper on the weekends. I can cook healthier, cheaper meals myself, meals that aren’t full of fat and sugar that will make me hungry again in 5 minutes. In order to avoid this, I am relying on two things: having healthy snacks at work so that I am not so hungry when I drive home and cooking easy, quick, delicious meals so that I am not too tired and hungry to cook for myself when I get home.

5) Inspiration: Maybe this is cheesy, but I made myself an inspiration poster, full of inspiring quotes and pictures of women who I think look gorgeous and healthy. When I am feeling down or discouraged, I want to be able to look at that poster and remember to stay on track.

I leave you with a quote that I love: “Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.

Why I Want to Lose Weight

People have a million reasons to lose weight. They might be for health, they might be for confidence or happiness, they might be simply about appearance. Here are mine (I’m sure there are many more, but these are the ones that came into my head just at this moment):

1. To feel good about myself. I think that, in general, I am a pretty confident person. However, there is always a little part of me that holds back because I am afraid that people will judge me. Amongst my friends I am comfortable, but when meeting new people I can be really shy because I am scared that they’re thinking “Oh, look at that fat girl.” It would be nice to have that fear go away.

2. To become fit. I love sports. Always have. It bugs me that I cannot run and play like I used to because I simply do not have the fitness level anymore. I would love to be able to join a sports team without being worried that I will embarrass myself or let the team down because of my abysmal fitness level.

3. To make moving easier. I cannot move the way that I used to due to my extra weight. I mean, I can run and stuff, but I cannot jump very high anymore and it is very difficult for me to get up from sitting on the ground. Squatting and jumping put too much pressure on my knees. I also work in retail and my feet, ankles and calves kill me at the end of the day. I would love to be able to come home from work and not be in pain.

4. I am tired of being told “You have such a pretty face.” I know what that means. “You’re pretty…but you’re fat. What a shame.”

5. I want to be able to wear anything from any store, not just plus-size ones. It would be nice to be able to go to the mall with my friends and actually be able to fit into clothing in the nice stores, not just the ones for plus-sized women. I know they’re just clothes, but whenever I go shopping with my sister or my friends, who are all very slim, I get jealous that they can find their sizes in any store they go to. I want that.

6. I’d love to stop getting looks from clerks in those stores. It’s like they look at me and say “You don’t belong here. You’re fat.” Thanks. I know.

7. Swimming. I love swimming, but I’m embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit in public. Seeing as how I love to camp at lakes during the summer, this is a bit of a bummer.

8. Quality of life. I am healthy right now, but I am afraid that if I don’t do something about my health, I will be in for a world of joint replacements and heart surgery.

9. I want to feel sexy and beautiful. I think I have a pretty face, but I don’t feel good about my body. I think that heavy can absolutely be sexy and that many women (and men) are suited to carrying some extra weight and they look fabulous. For me, however, not so much. I do not think that my body frame looks good with excess pounds.

10. I deserve it. I deserve the life that I want, filled with love and laughter and happiness. I should not let my weight hold me back.

Hello and welcome! Here is my story…

Hello and welcome to my blog!

This is my journey to losing weight and getting healthy!

I grew up in a household full of real, healthy, delicious food. My mom has degrees in health and nutrition and as such, she did not want to feed us junk food or processed foods full of preservatives. We got chips and pop at birthday parties only, baked goods were always homemade from scratch and trips to McDonald’s were a rarity. My mom made sure that we played outside every day and were involved in sports activities, like swimming lessons and soccer. She also limited the amount of time we spent watching television, preferring us to play and be kids. So, it seems, that I was set for life.

When I was 11, I began to get bullied by a group of kids in my school. They weren’t outright mean to me, like calling me names, but instead they would whisper about me behind my back and exclude me from everything. Nobody in my class talked to me and I began to get very, very lonely. It is horrible to be called names and publicly bullied in that way, but it is just as awful to purposely be excluded and to be told that you are not wanted.

Food became a comfort to me. My junior high school had a million vending machines (stuffed with pop, chips, candy and ice cream) as well as a canteen that sold candy and baked goods, among other things. I didn’t have a job at the time, but I got an allowance, and I found happiness in going to the canteen at lunchtime and eating a brownie by myself in the stairwell.

Soon, my bad habits moved outside the borders of school. I lived within walking distance of a grocery store, so much of my allowance money went there, towards bags of chips, candy, chocolate and packaged snack cakes. I stayed at a relatively steady weight in junior high, despite all the junk food, because I walked to and from school every day, which took about 30 minutes each way.

However, my high school was too far for me to walk and so I had to take a bus. I did not compensate for the missed activity and so I slowly began to put on weight in earnest (not helped by the fact that my allowance was supplemented by part-time job income and that my high school had a cafeteria that sold slurpees, cookies, french fries, chicken nuggets etc.). The more weight I put on, the more self-conscious and depressed I became. The outgoing, loud, bubbly little girl that I once had been became a shy, reserved teenager wracked with self-doubt and trying her hardest to be invisible.

I am now almost 25. I have, happily, shed my depression and shyness and become outgoing and confident once more, but I am still self-conscious about my weight. I have also grown concerned, lately, about the health issues I might be causing by being so heavy. My feet, knees and ankles often ache at night and I suspect that is because of the pressure being put on them by my excess weight. My fitness level is atrocious (practically non-existent) and I would like to get to a point where I can run without having to step every 5 seconds to catch my breath. I have always been strong, and some of my bulk is muscle, so lifting weights and the like is not a problem, but I am also looking to gain flexibility. I have a lot of issues with my shoulders and back, so I am hoping that losing weight, getting fit and becoming more flexible will improve my quality of life that much more.

I also need to address my eating habits. I am a food addict. I am an emotional eater. I have a hard time saying “no” to things that I like or simply sticking to proper portion sizes. It is a battle that I have been trying to win for many, many years but I haven’t conquered it yet. I believe, wholeheartedly, that food addiction is just as serious as an addiction to nicotine or alcohol or narcotics. (There are studies to back this up, if you don’t believe me.) But here’s the problem: you can’t escape food. If you are an alcoholic or a smoker or a substance abuser, once you quit/become sober, you never EVER have to have that thing again. But you have to have food. An alcoholic can avoid alcohol by not setting foot into a liquor store. A food addict cannot never set foot in a grocery store again. It is a problem that I am working hard to overcome, but I know (I KNOW) that I can do it.

If you want to lose weight, conquer your eating habits or simply get fit, I hope you will read this blog and make up your mind to join me. If you don’t want to do any of those things, I hope that you can read this blog and find inspiration from it that you can apply to other parts of your life.

Either way, whatever you take from it, I hope you see something you like and I hope you’ll stay.