Progress Update – as of January 2, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 305.9
Loss: 3.0 lbs
Current BMI: 47.9
Loss: 0.5
Bust: 52 inches
Waist: 56 inches
Hips: 56 inches

Well, what a great start to the new year! To be honest, I am a bit surprised that I lost so much, I wasn’t that great about exercising or eating but HEY, I will take it!

I’ve been feeling pretty good these last few days. My mood has been all over the place for the last few months, but recently I’ve become interested in the Body Positive movement. If you haven’t ever heard of that, it’s basically the idea that you should love yourself, no matter what you look like or where you are in your journey, and that your weight shouldn’t control your life. Some people think that the movement “glorifies obesity”, but I don’t think so. It’s ridiculous to pretend that being overweight automatically makes someone incredibly unhealthy or means they can’t be fit, and overweight people should not be made to feel ashamed of themselves. I think that’s something that’s taken me a long time to realize, that just because I am overweight doesn’t mean that I have to hate myself or that I don’t deserve happiness or self-acceptance. 

It seems ridiculously simple, but it’s not. We are conditioned to believe that fat is bad and that being overweight somehow makes us bad people and that we should be ashamed of being fat. But I’m tired of being ashamed. Have I made some bad choices that have led me down that path? Of course. Is the lifestyle that I lead healthy? Not really, I don’t get enough exercise or sleep or eat enough good food. Do I want to lose weight? Yes. But why should I be made to feel that I don’t deserve to live a full and happy life because I don’t (currently) fit what society has deemed attractive? My health is my business and, aside from being physically unfit, I am in perfect health: my blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect, my eyesight is excellent, my bones are in good shape, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs etc. Not all skinny people can say that.

So, this year, I am trying to love myself. I used to have an “ideal” weight that I wanted to achieve, but now I don’t have a specific number in mind, I just want to feel good. The body positive movement shows beautiful and amazing people of all shapes and sizes and it made me realize that I do not have to match a number on the scale to feel good about myself. I do want to become fitter, which I know will result in weight loss, but I no longer feel that I need to be skinny or fit into a certain size dress to be beautiful and awesome and wonderful. There are so many incredibly stunning and amazingly talented people who are not super skinny and I am so happy to finally realize this. I have a personal instagram, but I’m also considering making a PrettyFatGirl instagram account where I can post photos of my progress as well as photos/quotes etc. that I find inspiring. Stay tuned!

Week 1 Goal: Get 150 minutes of exercise this week

Cheers, happy losing!

 

Progress Update – as of December 26, 2015

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 308.9 lbs
Loss: 1.2 lbs
Current BMI: 48.4
Loss: 0.2

Last weigh-in of 2015, wahoo! Here’s to a great 2016!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, I certainly did! I’m honestly very surprised that I lost anything this past week, given all of the mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, chocolate, sparkling apple juice (so good!) and pavlova (a traditional New Zealand meringue dish, served with whip cream and fruit) that I consumed. Not going to lie, I did not eat very well at all. I’m assuming it’s water weight, because I didn’t exercise at all either. Ah well, down is better than up!

It’s the time to make New Year’s Resolutions once again. I always make a million of these, but I rarely stick to them. I think my problem is that I try to start them all at the same time – less sugar, more water, daily exercise, more sleep, more green tea, daily yoga – and I overwhelm myself. So this year, instead, I’m going to try to do one new thing a week. Week 1, maybe I’ll try to get in 150 minutes of exercise over the course of the week. Week 2, maybe I’ll drink more water. And so forth!

I’m planning to list these weekly goals on each of my posts, so I can keep myself accountable and can update you all on my progress!

Cheers, Happy New Year!

Progress Update – as of December 19, 2015

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 310.1 lbs
Gain: 8.9 lbs
Current BMI: 48.6
Gain: 1.4

So, I’m up again. And I haven’t updated in ages! I’m not surprised, I’ve been so incredibly busy the last few weeks it seems like I haven’t had a moment to breathe.

I’ve also been absolutely exhausted. I try to go to bed early, but it always seems like there are things going on so that I don’t get into bed until after midnight, then I’m so exhausted the next day that I’ve been falling asleep after work. It’s not good. I don’t think that I’m diabetic, as had been suggested to me, but I do think that I need to go to bed earlier and that I need to exercise. I also kind of wonder if I have sleep apnea, I know it’s very common if you’re overweight – particularly if you have excess belly fat, as I do – but I do not want to have to invest in one of those huge machines, so I’m hoping that with regular exercise and weight loss, the fatigue will disappear.

For the past couple of months, I have been attempting to follow the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program. I like the program in general, my issues with it have been with the way they deal with fat and carbs. Recently, as some of you may know, they overhauled the entire program, it’s now called SmartPoints and they’ve changed the way they calculate food, focusing for the first time on saturated vs. unsaturated fat and carbs vs. sugar. Personally, I am thrilled, I think they’re really encouraging people to make healthy choices, not just things that are low in points, which sometimes weren’t the healthiest. A cup of chocolate milk, for example, used to be as many points as a can of Coca-Cola, because they both had so much sugar. Now, the Coke is more, as it should be, because it has zero nutritional value. I have signed up for this program, so we shall see how that goes.

Hope all of your Christmas plans are coming along nicely! I feel like December has just flown by, I am not even close to being ready for Christmas!

Time’s Fun When You’re Having Flies

Happy Birthday to PFG, happy birthday to PFG, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to PFG!

WordPress has kindly informed me that today marks two years since I started my blog. That’s both good and bad. Good because I’m still keeping up with it, it isn’t collecting dust like so many other projects in my life. Bad because, even though I’ve been doing this sort of regularly for two years, I haven’t made any actual progress.

Hands up, who here is an emotional eater? Me me me me me.

I love food. Who doesn’t? But food, to me, has always been more than just nourishment, more than just something yummy. It’s been a friend. A comfort. A soothing ointment for my wounds. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol to dull the pain of their lives, to fill the holes, to make them forget their misery; I used food. It’s easy to get, much easier for a young bullied kid to get than alcohol or drugs. It’s not suspicious. It’s not illegal. It’s much cheaper. And it’s everywhere, we are bombarded with it.

After he stops drinking, an alcoholic never has to go into a liquor store again. A ex-smoker doesn’t have to see cigarettes. A recovering drug addict can’t walk into a convenience store and buy cocaine or heroin or methamphetamines. But my drug is everywhere.

I can’t watch television without seeing advertisements for it. I can’t drive through town without seeing flashing signs trying to lure me. I can’t buy groceries without being bombarded with cookies, chips, ice cream and every sort of junk food imaginable. I’ve heard lots of people say “Just put down the fork” or equally rude things, but what they don’t understand is that food is something you can never escape from. I believe, wholeheartedly, that food addiction is a real addiction. Recovering addicts never have to smoke or drink or do drugs again. But I have to eat to stay alive, I have to go to grocery stores. I can never get away.

I ate a lot as an unhappy teenager because food never judged. It was always there, it made me happy and never betrayed me or made me feel embarrassed. I have found myself craving very bad things lately, trying to deal with depression and anxiety and I haven’t been eating as well as I should have. But I’m trying, that’s what matters.

Progress Update – as of November 29, 2015

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 301.2 lbs
Loss: 7.0 lbs
Current BMI: 47.2
Loss: 1.1

So, we’re down again! However, this wasn’t really my doing. I got very, very sick this week (tonsillitis!) and I didn’t eat anything but chicken noodle soup for almost 5 days. So, while it’s nice to see the loss, I know that it’s mostly just water.

Obviously, I didn’t work out while I was ill, but now that I am (mostly) better I am hoping to rectify that very soon, because I just moved again and there is an excellent recreation centre very close to my house with very reasonable monthly rates.

While my anxiety and depression is still bothering me, I have made a decision to move out of my apartment and back home with my family. I think that I’ll be able to deal with my struggles in a better way, because when I’m home I’m happy.

It makes me feel like a bit of a loser though, if I’m being honest. I only know a couple of people my age who still live with their parents. I know that it’s really not a big deal, I’m only 26 and it’s not like my mom makes my lunch and does my laundry or whatever, but it still makes me feel like I’m failing as an adult, in a way. BUT, I went to my therapy appointment last week and she tried to help me realize that just because it’s uncommon in North American culture, it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. It works for me and my family, so it doesn’t matter that it’s a bit unconventional. My parents have an enormous house (we live in the country) so it’s not like we’re all on top of each other, and they trust me enough to let me do my own thing. I have my own money and my own car, so if I come home at 2:00 am it’s not like they’re texting me all night, demanding that I come home. I have security and freedom.

I’m also planning to go back to school in September 2016. Tuition is very expensive these days, and not having to pay rent takes a load off. I do still pay for groceries and utilities and car insurance and all of that, of course, but not paying rent saves me a few hundred dollars a month.

I am trying not to feel stupid or embarrassed about it. I’m struggling with mental illness right now and having the safety of my family is going to help me. I just wish that people didn’t stigmatize it so much, I’m afraid of what my friends will think.

Anyway, cheers, stay well!

Progress Update – as of November 22, 2015

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 308.2 lbs
Gain: 3.0 lbs
Current BMI: 48.3
Gain: 0.5
Bust: 49 in.
Loss: 2 in.
Waist: 56 in.
Loss: 1 in.
Hips: 54 in.
Gain: 1 in.

Today was one of the days that I was meant to post photos, but my camera is full and I can’t find the chord to download the photos onto my computer, so bear with me.

I’m up again. I’m not really surprised. This week has been tough, emotionally, and so when that happens, I tend to find that I pay less attention to my eating habits and that I indulge myself more than I should. I also didn’t exercise, as I was too tired and/or unmotivated most of the time. Frustrating.

I find it a little weird that my measurements are down, but I imagine that it’s just because it’s hard to measure oneself in exactly the same way every time, so it’s more likely my error than actual loss. It’s nice to see smaller numbers, but I’ll take it with a grain of salt.

I have an appointment with a counselor tomorrow and I honestly cannot wait. The medication that I’m on has helped some, but I still find my mood fluctuating a lot. I think that some of that has to do with fatigue; I have been trying to get as much sleep as possible, but I find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep sometimes. When I’m tired, it just makes it so much harder to make the right decisions about eating and exercise and it makes everything seem so overwhelming.

I’ve recently discovered the concept of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. Sometimes, even though I know theoretically that I probably have enough time, it seems like it’s too much of a commitment to workout and so I don’t. (Being overwhelmed, again.) HIIT workouts are designed to be extremely short and very intense, so that you can get maximum impact in a short time. You can do them on a bike, a treadmill, a rowing machine, swimming or doing intense things like boxing, burpees etc. I’ve seen several versions, but most of them consist of X number of seconds of going as hard as you can (15 or 3o) then 3X seconds (45 or 90) of rest, where you continue doing the activity but you go at a much slower pace.

I tried it the other day on my rowing machine and I have to say, it felt pretty great. It was difficult, for sure, but it made me feel hopeful. You’re not supposed to do it every day, I think on the days you don’t do it you’re meant to just do some easy cardio, which is fine. We’ll see.

Statistics – as of January 4, 2015

I am starting over. I lost weight and then gained it back (and thensome) over the last couple of months. So, I am just restarting my progress for 2015. Forget about last year, it’s a new year and it’s time to go!

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 310.0 lbs
Current BMI: 48.5
Hips: 55 inches
Waist: 58 inches
Bust: 51 inches

Words cannot express how disheartening it is to see the scale go up when you so badly want it to go down. I mean, it’s not like I was actively working towards losing weight (as I addressed in my last post, life took over) but it’s still depressing.

BUT it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, as the song goes. So here we are, once again, a fresh start.

I have recently gotten into yoga. I have been interested in doing it forever, but of course, never made time for it in my schedule. Over the Christmas break, my cousin (an avid yogi) insisted that I tag along with her to a class: it was low-key, done in her friend’s basement (the friend is a certified instructor) and I felt so good afterwards, physically and mentally that I wanted to do it. So, I dusted off my yoga dvds (despite never using them, I have half a dozen) and have started doing it. I’m really not very flexible right now, so half the time I can’t even do the moves, but I do the best that I can and it makes me feel good, so that’s all that matters, I figure.

I have also started the “Buzzfeed Get Fit Challenge”. There has been a lot of research done which suggests that shorter, intense workouts do better in the long run than longer, less intense workouts. I mean, obviously, any exercise is better than nothing, but I figured that I would try this challenge and see if doing intense stuff makes a difference. I still plan on doing my longer workouts, like walking or swimming or skating, but those will be on the mandated “rest” days, just a bit of light exercise because I enjoy doing those things.

Anyway, I am feeling pretty positive about things. Here’s to a great January! Cheers and happy losing!

End of a Long Hiatus

Hello dear readers,

I have to apologize for my long absence from this blog. It was unintentional at first; life has been so busy that the weeks seemed to come and go in a flash. But eventually, after life calmed down a bit, it became intentional. Why? Because I was ashamed and embarrassed. I threw healthy eating and exercise pretty much out the window when I was so busy and I was embarrassed because I gained the weight back. I am exactly where I started almost a year ago, all of the little progress that I made is gone.

I thought that perhaps I could postpone in so that I could lose weight and then come back and pretend like I had just been busy and that I wasn’t frantically trying to get to the weight that I was at last time I posted. Didn’t work.

I am on the road to trying again. Really, really trying to shed this weight and keep it off, but it’s hard. You all know this. Life, as it tends to do, gets in the way. There are checkbooks to balance, houses to clean, appointments to schedule, errands to run, pets to care for and jobs to go to. Not to mention that I am very involved in extracurricular activities, plus I’m often out and about on the weekends with friends or family.

I like being busy, I find that I get restless very easily when I am not busy, but I often bite off more than I can chew in an attempt to fill up my life with things to do. This is what I did just recently, meaning that the “optional” things like exercise, sleep and making my own lunch get thrown away.

And that’s not good. That’s not good at all. I need to rid myself of the attitude that any of those things are optional or are not as important to my health and wellbeing. I need to make time during my day to ensure that I get enough water, enough sleep, that I prepare healthy meals and I exercise. I feel so much better when I do these things and yet, I’m just not consistent. Why is that? Because there’s not enough time.

Except, actually, there is enough time. I just need to find it.

Cheers.

Progress Update – as of August 2, 2014

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 292.2
Gain: 1.9 lbs
Current BMI: 45.8
Gain: 0.3

I almost put “current height”. As if my height fluctuates these days. Haha.

I have also switched my weigh-in day to Saturday, as that is now the day that I attend my Weight Watchers meetings. (Didn’t I say it would change?) It might change again, but for now Saturday is easier for me with my work schedule.

I gained again this week. BUT I think it’s possible that it’s water retention. I have significantly increased my exercise in the past couple of weeks and this past week I was noticing that I felt really dizzy a lot of the time, even when I was sitting down. It seems to have gone away (but of course I’ll watch it to ensure it isn’t a symptom of something more sinister) but I think that I probably wasn’t increasing my water intake to match my exercise. And, as you probably all know, not drinking water can actually cause you to “gain” weight – or at least the number on the scale increases – because your body holds onto the water you do have to try and retain it.

I am hoping that’s what it is. However, I need to get better control of my eating. Exercise has never been a problem for me. I mean, I definitely haven’t done it regularly since I was a kid (excepting the last few months, of course) but I’ve never been someone who hates sports and exercise. I love to dance, swim, bike, rollerblade, horseback ride, run, ski, skate, and play soccer, basketball, volleyball, teenis etc. However, because I have lost flexibility and am carrying more weight, I have found that doing some of these activities (particularly those involving jumping) put a lot more pressure on my joints than they used to and, as a result, I am very prone to injury. (For example, in the past 10 years I have  sprained both ankles several times each, sprained my wrist, crushed my meniscus [a little disk in your knee], sprained toes and broken off a piece of my ankle bone (twice!). Gross.)

So, long story short, I love exercise. But my main problem is, and always has been, eating. I find that when I exercise I sometimes give myself too much of a free pass with my eating. For example, I’ll think “Oh, I can have this donut because I went for a bike ride today”. And while I strongly believe that it’s important to indulge once in awhile, I give myself too much freedom to indulge and thus, fall into a “one step forward, two steps back” kind of pattern. So, I’ve got the exercise thing down (and I’m really enjoying myself!) but it’s time to really focus on the eating.

What I Did Well This Week:
1) Well, I have been exercising almost every day. I used to go about exercise quite the wrong way. I would do the same routine every single day and I think half the reason that I would often fall off that wagon is because I got bored. This time around, I am trying new things. I have been swimming a lot lately, something I love, and I have been riding my bike, something I haven’t done in ages. (Although, to be honest, it is getting a little uncomfortable. I tend to carry the majority of my weight in my mid-section and I actually have a really bony butt for being a big gal, so riding for too long gets a bit uncomfortable!) I dusted off my old rollerblades (although I haven’t used them yet, oops) and I got myself a pair of walking poles so that I can do Nordic walking (similar to cross-country skiing, but walking, but you use the poles to push yourself along and walk your arms). In short, I am enjoying the summer weather immensely (it’s going by far too quickly!!!) and exercising as much as possible outside, enjoying the fresh air.

What I Can Improve On:
1) Eating better, as I said previously, is my main priority. I just need to make smarter choices and to allow myself to indulge less than I’m doing now. I’m trying to cut back on sugar in general, since I eat way too much of it, but I’m finding it very, very difficult. That stuff is addictive. However, one little bit at a time and I will get there.
2) I also need to get more sleep. I average about 6 hours a night. For some people that is probably plenty, but for me it’s just not. I feel really tired a lot of time and the fact that my job is basically completely sedentary doesn’t help my fatigue. The big thing for me is to turn off the screens. I don’t really watch TV (uh, well, except Netflix) but I am a sucker for the internet (Buzzfeed articles, anyone? Addictive.) and so I spend far too much time on here, often at the expense of my sleep. So I’m trying to cut down on my screen time, especially before bed, and do something else like read a book.

How I Feel:
Positive, in general. I am discouraged about the numbers on the scale, but at least I know where it’s coming from, it’s not as though I’ve been perfect and am not seeing any progress. I know that I am making really good steps with my exercise and I know where I have to go from here.

Cheers, happy losing!

(Also, I have just finished Breaking Bad [oh man, so good] and now I’ve moved onto Orange is the New Black and I’m obsessed. Anyone else?)

Progress Update – as of July 10, 2014

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 288.6 lbs
Loss: 0.6 lbs
Current BMI: 45.2
Loss: 0.1

So this week I lost a little bit, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped. Oh well…

What I Did Well This Week:
1) I exercised every day for at least 30 minutes. The difference in how I feel when I exercise is astronomical: I sleep better, I feel happier, my skin looks better etc. etc. I’m not at the point where it’s an automatic habit yet, but I am working on it!
2) I ate really well and tracked my choices as much as I could, I think I did a pretty good job. 

What I Can Improve On:
1) Eating less sugar. Even though I am eating healthier, I still eat too much sugar, definitely. 
2) Getting more sleep. I usually only get 5 hours a night, which is not enough. I am really going to try hard to get at least 7.5 hours every night this week and to get as much as possible before midnight. 
3) I also need to cut down on my screentime. I find it so easy to sit down after work and get sucked into the internet or television or whatever, I am going to try to limit my time watching television or surfing the internet and increase the time I spend outside, enjoying the summer. 

How I Feel:
A little discouraged, I can’t lie. I had really thought I would have a bigger loss this week. But I am not discouraged enough to stop or quit, no worries, I am going to keep plugging away at this and keep going! 

Happy losing!