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 23, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 308.2 lbs
Loss: 1.2 lbs
Current BMI: 48.3
Loss: 0.2

So, we’re down again, hurray! It isn’t really anything to do with me though. I didn’t exercise this week, I was too depressed. I know that exercise is actually one of the best things that you can do for depression, but it’s hard to remember that when you’re lying in bed wishing you could just disappear.

I got a lot of sleep, I guess that’s something. But it’s mostly because, as soon as I got home from work every day, I went to bed. I honestly didn’t feel like doing anything else. I don’t think it was healthy, necessarily, but it’s what I needed this week and I figured I would give myself a few days.

Otherwise, I didn’t really take care of myself. I hardly ate because food made me nauseated and I didn’t exercise or drink enough water and as soon as I got home I was in my pajamas.

I am trying very hard. Unfortunately, though, mental illness is a really difficult thing to handle and sometimes you just need to give yourself permission to do nothing. I don’t think it’s healthy to do that all the time, I think that it’s important to go through the motions until they have meaning again, but for a few days it’s okay to just let yourself do what you need to do. I was able to get up and get dressed and go to work, which I think was a pretty amazing accomplishment, considering how terrible I felt, so at least that’s something.

I’m slowly getting over my heartbreak. It doesn’t physically hurt so much, but it will take a long time to actually get over it. I am proud of myself though, I did not fall back into my terrible emotional eating habits, I really did try to make good choices, despite feeling so crappy. (Well, that is to say I made good choices when I actually ate, which wasn’t all the time.) I’m hoping that getting into an exercise routine will help even more.

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!

 

The Daily Grind

I think that I’m going to start blogging my often. I have generally only used this blog as a weigh-in blog, but I think that’s a mistake.

I am a very emotional, very sensitive person. Despite this, I feel very uncomfortable talking about my feelings much of the time. I feel like I am burdening other people when I do, which is probably why I have struggled with depression for so many years, because I never tell anyone how I am feeling.

Journaling has been recommended to me as a way to deal with anxiety and depression. Truth be told, I hate journaling. Ironically, when I write for myself, I prefer to do so with pen and paper, but with journaling I find physically writing it down to be so tedious. Not to mention that I am hideously disorganized and so I have about a dozen journals scattered around my house and not a clue where they are.

So this will become my journal. I think it’s more interesting anyway, it gives a better picture of my whole journey and me as a person, instead of just someone who weighs in every week.

So cheers friends, I’m looking forward to interacting more with you all.

Progress Update – as of October 25, 2015

Well. I’ve been really bad about updating this blog, haven’t I? Really, really bad. A lot – a LOT – has happened in the past two months.

  1. I moved. It was extremely stressful and, unfortunately, I found myself eating out a lot.
  2. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, put on medication and I started counselling. I have struggling with anxiety and depression for the past 17 years. That’s a long time to struggle, a very long time. I have been in counselling before, but this is my first time on medication. I was reluctant to go on medication, but this move triggered so much anxiety that I’m thankful that I am. Now that I’m not so stressed, hopefully I can get back to focusing on eating healthy and exercising.
  3. I started dance class. Full disclosure: I hate most exercise. Put me on a treadmill for half an hour? Utter torture. But put me in a dance class for three hours, I am happy as a clam. I also love to swim, so I’d like to swim on the days that I don’t dance, but I haven’t done that yet.

The last change, the biggest change, is that I am starting to accept myself as I am. To embrace how I look, right now, and to feel good about myself. I wanted, for a long time, to be a professional actress, but that always seemed like such a faraway goal, due to my weight. I started gaining weight when I was about 12, due to my condition, which is polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause weight gain. Now, I did not gain weight solely because of this condition, I definitely had a hand in it myself, but it certainly didn’t help. So, for years and years, I have hated myself. I have tried so hard to lose weight to achieve this goal of being an actress, but every time I failed, I got so discouraged.

I realized earlier this year that acting is not for me. I’d gone on audition after audition, getting nothing, and I realized one day that I wasn’t having fun anymore. So, I decided to leave that behind and change my entire career. It is incredible how this decision has changed my life. While I still want to lose weight, I no longer feel the need to be Hollywood-skinny. I am happy to lose weight to be healthier and happier, and admittedly, so that I can feel better about how I look, but now I am beginning to appreciate that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and that I do not have to fit into a box to feel confident and attractive and amazing.

Take Adele, for instance. I have no idea how much Adele weighs, but she’s clearly a bigger woman and I think she’s absolutely stunning. She is not skinny, far from it, but she is beautiful and confident. That is what I want, so that’s part of my major goal at this point in my life, to accept myself as I am and feel good about it. Now, let’s crunch numbers:

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 301.1 lbs
Current BMI: 47.2
Bust: 51 inches
Waist: 57 inches
Hips: 53 inches

I’ve also decided to start taking photographs of my progress. I think this will help me, not only to have visual documentation, but also to try to appreciate the way that I look and learn to love myself, no matter what I see in the mirror. It’s scary, but here we go.

October 25, 2015 - Side October 25, 2015 - Arm October 25, 2015 -

Cheers and happy losing!!!

Progress Update – as of August 30, 2015

An’ here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known,
Like a hobo I was born to walk alone
An’ I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time

Whitesnake, anyone? Good song. Relevant, I think, to my life right now.

HOW is it the end of August already? HOW, I tell you?

I did it again, as you may have noticed. I slacked off. I moved, my beloved kitty died (he was 16, so he had a GREAT life, but sad to see him go) and I wrote an exam for a university course that I am taking, so my life the past few weeks has been packing, studying and, sadly, grieving.

It’s just an excuse, though. I know it is. I could make exercise a priority in my life. I think, for most of us, not having enough time is really not true. My life was this: go to work, come home from work, eat supper, study, pack, go to bed. I studied for an hour and packed for an hour every night, if that. So where did all of those other hours go? Sure, there was a little time for me to make supper or to pack my lunch for the next day. But there was also definitely time for me to have squeezed in 30 minutes of exercise. But I didn’t, because I am not accountable for my time. Like most of us, I get sucked into my computer and my phone and before I know it, I’ve spent half an hour looking at some random article that I don’t really even care about.

My life has simplified a lot now, which is nice. I have fewer commitments that I had previously and I’ve moved to a place that is two blocks from a pool (I love swimming, I could swim every day) AND I have signed up to take some dance classes. I hate conventional exercise, I am realizing. I mean, I like going for walks, but the leisurely pace at which I walk isn’t really enough to have a huge impact on my fitness or my weight. And I don’t like feeling like I have to go for a walk, I like walking when I want to get outside and enjoy myself. So here’s to new beginnings!

I think I am going to put photos up. I have been reluctant to do so because it’s embarrassing, but maybe it will keep me accountable. Not my face, just myself.

I have a lot of self-esteem issues. I have recently developed very strong feelings for a friend of mine and I’d like to pursue it  – and I *think* he feels the same way – but I am realizing that the way I feel about myself is holding me back, because I feel like he could never possibly be attracted to someone who looks like me.

I do not want to lose weight for him, so that he would be attracted to me, but I feel this experience has taught me that I need to feel good about myself and love myself before I can let someone else love me. I think that having photos up will not only motivate me, but perhaps taking photographs and really forcing myself to look in the mirror all the time (something I generally avoid) will help me to appreciate who I am and love myself as I am, regardless of whether I fit into society’s idea of beautiful.

Cheers and happy losing!