Slow and Steady…

You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!

King Lear, Act II, Scene iv.

I love Shakespeare. I know many people don’t, but I love it…watching it, that is. Shakespeare is meant to be watched, not read, that’s the huge mistake that the education system has made. But I digress.

I did a Shakespeare acting class a few years ago and one of my classmates was given King Lear’s monologue from that scene to perform. I could not quote the rest of the speech, nor anyone else’s, for that matter, but I remember that one line because it speaks of that which eludes me…patience.

I have a really hard time waiting for things. “I want what I want when I want it” is something that I find myself saying a lot. I think that’s probably the reason why I am such a control freak perfectionist, I want things done exactly how I want, exactly when I want, and I dislike waiting for things that I want. Weight loss is a biggie.

I have spent many, many years trying to lose weight. Almost 20, in fact. I would bet that I have tried to lose weight hundreds of times over the years, in many ways: the cabbage soup diet, the all-fruit diet, Atkins, Whole 30, no sugar, no carbs, no gluten…so many. In high school, I alternated between killing myself on the treadmill every night to going without food almost all day to try and lose weight. Did some of them work? Sure. For a short period of time. But none of those lasted, nor did the results. None. Why? Because I wanted a quick fix. I wanted to lose 20 lbs a week. I wanted to “be skinny” by such and such date and so I didn’t want to wait, I wanted results NOW. Had I been patient, had I worked out consistently (and at a reasonable pace) and slowly changed my eating habits, maybe I wouldn’t be here now. But I am, so I’m trying to learn patience.

Flexibility is another, as I am a perfectionist. I never expect perfection from others. In fact, I would say that I am very forgiving of others’ mistakes. But mine? No way. So sometimes I give up. I can’t do it perfectly, so I just stop doing it. I can’t tell you how many times I have vowed to exercise for 30 days in a row or 6 days a week for 60 minutes at a time and then I failed…so I got frustrated and quit. I’m not proud of it, but that’s the reality that I have to deal with.

The biggest thing that I have learned along this journey is not about calories or exercise or weight loss or health. It is to be kind, to be patient and to be forgiving…of myself. I am trying to work out at least 5 days a week and to make the best possible food choices I can, I really am. But am I going to beat myself up if I skip a workout? No. Am I going to starve myself the next day if I “slip up” and eat a burger or a cupcake? No. Because this has to be a realistic change. There is no way that I will be able to go the rest of my life without drinking a Coke or having cake and ice cream or eating french fries and a cheeseburger. No way. There is also no way that I will be able to work out 7 days a week for 60 minutes for every single week of my life. I certainly want to live a healthy lifestyle, but I also want to have children. If I workout 7 days a week for 2 hours a day, no doubt I will lose weight, but can I do that with a baby? No. Could I do that if I decided to go to graduate school? Probably not. Maybe some people could do that forever, but not me.

I have had a lot of problems with anxiety lately, so I’ve started seeing a therapist to help me work out my problems. One of the issues that has come up is my perfectionism. I hold myself to an unattainable standard, meaning that I am constantly disappointing myself, leading to depression and even more anxiety. I have started to learn how to take care of myself when this happens: reading a good book, watching a funny tv show, snuggling with my cat…all that stuff. Taking care of myself also means that I forgive myself when I “slip up”: miss a workout, have a “treat” more often than I should…all that. It’s hard. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Loving yourself, treating yourself with kindness…it sounds easy.  But for me, it’s really not. I’ve spent so many years hating myself, being mean to myself and holding myself to unrealistic expectations that it’s become a habit…and habits are hard to break.

So, I say again…”You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!”

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Progress Update – as of February 6 and 13, 2016

Height: 5’7″

February 6, 2016
Current Weight: 311.8 lbs
Gain: 1.2 lbs
Current BMI: 48.8
Gain: 0.2
Bust: 52 inches
Waist: 57.5 inches (+ 1.5 inches)
Hips: 56 inches

February 13, 2016
Current Weight: 313.0 lbs
Gain: 1.2 lbs
Current BMI: 49.0
Gain: 0.2

So, I’m up again. I’m not surprised, this week I was so incredibly busy, I feel like I didn’t have a second to myself. I had commitments every single night, several of which included dinners. I didn’t really cook at all this week, I bought my lunch a lot because I got home so late every night, so it’s completely my fault. Oh well.

I supposedly added 1.5 inches to my waist, but I’m not entirely sure if I believe my measurements, I find it’s very difficult to hold the actual measuring tape the same way every time, so for that small a different, I’m not worried.

I had a good and bad week this week. I was still feeling pretty lost and down in the dumps, but a friend of mine did a tarot card reading for me on Monday. I don’t really believe in any of that stuff, but it was still kind of fun. She has been through depression too and she keeps trying to remind me, whenever I’m feeling down, to banish the negative self-talk. It’s something that I’ve done for years, so it’s very difficult to do, but I am trying.

I also had a really wonderful talk with a friend of mine. He got angry with me the other day for being so negative about myself, so he asked me to come over so we could talk about it, which was so nice. He wanted me to know that he was there for me and that I’m not alone and that just because this one man rejected me doesn’t mean that I have nothing to offer or that I am not worthy of love. It seems obvious, but sometimes it’s really hard to believe that I am a person of worth.

I’m not going to list my goals on here anymore, I think I was putting too much pressure on myself to change too many things at once. I mentioned this in my last post, but I’m a very “all for nothing” kind of person and I find it really hard to forgive myself when I make mistakes. So I’m just going for the simple approach this week and doing my best to live a healthy lifestyle: drinking water, eating as healthy as I can, trying to get in 10,000 steps a day and trying to get lots of sleep. And, most importantly, learning to forgive myself!

Cheers, happy losing!

 

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!