It’s Hard Out Here for a Wimp

It is HOT being fat. I don’t mean just hard, it’s HOT.

I am one of those unfortunate people who turns beet red and sweats profusely during pretty much any physical activity. When I was kid, it was only soccer that really made that happen, but these days, it’s just about anything. It is especially bad if it’s hot outside.

I just got off the bus and walked 10 minutes…not a hard walk, but when you are carrying around 300 lbs and it’s 28 degrees out (Celsius, that’s 82.4 F for the Americans), it’s HOT.

For some of you who may live more south, that probably doesn’t seem that hot, but let me remind you that this is Canada. Where I live, it can easily get to -40 C (-40 F) in the winter, so going from -40 C to 30 C is a HUGE change that usually happens very, very quickly. Just in April it was cold, wet and snowy…now it’s suddenly sunny and 30 C. I have never been good in the heat anyway, as I have super fair skin that burns with no provocation, but being overweight makes it 100 times worse.

Let’s also mention the clothes. Overweight people are made to feel that they cannot wear shorts, sleeveless tops or (god forbid) bathing suits in public. I think the last time I wore shorts or a sleeveless top in public was probably 15 or so years ago. As a result? I suffer. I sit, drenched in sweat, dying, because I am too self-conscious to wear shorts or sleeveless tops or even a bathing suit in public.

It’s something that I’m working on, caring less about what other people think, but it is, to say the least, very difficult.

Onwards and upwards.

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!”

Progress Update – as of June 4, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 309.4 lbs
Loss: 7.3 lbs
Current BMI: 48.5
Loss: 1.1

Bust: 52 inches
Waist: 57 inches
Loss: 1 inch
Hips: 55 inches
Loss: 1 inch

Wahoo! That is what I’m talking about. We are TEN POUNDS AWAY from the 200s people! TEN POUNDS! I don’t really look any different (yet) but who cares? That’s an accomplishment!

So, I did something the other day that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time: I renewed my gym membership! The “gym” that I’m referring to is a little different because it’s not actually a gym, it’s a recreation centre in my hometown. There are weight machines, treadmills, rowing machines, bikes, free weights, a track, a swimming pool, a skating rink, ellipticals and stair steppers, plus other equipment like resistance bands, foam rollers etc. What’s also nice about it is that this rec centre has an agreement with the other ones in the area, meaning that I can go hiking, cross-country skiing, swimming (at a different pool), ice skating or that I can utilize other gyms in the area, should I choose.

I don’t really know what I’m doing on the weight machines and I am intimidated by the other people there. However, I got one of the personal trainers who works/supervises there to give me a little tutorial of the gym and what the machines do, so I feel more comfortable. I am intimidated because everybody who was there when I was there was SO FIT. Huge muscles, people who obviously work out all the time. I just feel like a big fat slob next to those people. I know I shouldn’t, I know that I should be proud of myself for trying to better my life and that, truthfully, they’re likely not even paying attention to me at all, but I can’t help feel like they’re sitting there, laughing at that fat girl in the corner who doesn’t know what she’s doing.

But WHO CARES. I’m trying to think that way. I’m at the gym for me, to get healthy and change my life, so I really shouldn’t care.

Cheers, happy losing!

Progress Update – May 28, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 316.7 lbs
Gain: 4.2 lbs
Current BMI: 49.6
Gain: 0.7

I won’t lie, I’m extremely disappointed this week. More than I have been in a long time.

I really thought that I would lose weight in New York. We started our days at 9:00 am and didn’t get back to the hotel until 9:00 each night, sometimes later. We walked almost the entire time we were there, the only time we really sat down was to eat lunch or have coffee or for the occasional break when my feet just couldn’t take it anymore. So, needless to say, I’m surprised.

I really thought I tried to watch what I ate this week. For sure, I indulged in some things (NY cheesecake was a highlight!) and I didn’t eat as many vegetables or fruits as I normally would, but I don’t think that I went crazy, so I’m really confused. I thought I would at least maintain, if not lose, so I’m really quite baffled that I gained so much.

Maybe some of it’s muscle? Water retention? I don’t know. Bodies are sometimes weird. Anyway, I’ll try not to stress about it.

I think I mentioned awhile ago that I signed up for a weight-loss program that my doctor referred me to. I am supposed to start sessions with a personal trainer in a couple of weeks (1.5 hours a week for 12 weeks), so I’m looking forward to that! I would like to use the machines at the gym but I don’t know how any of them work and I’m afraid that I’ll look stupid. I know that’s dumb, but I find those athletic types very intimidating and I feel like they’re judging me for being there, like I don’t belong. I’m sure they’re not thinking anything of the sort and that they’re concentrating on their own workouts, but I can’t help but feel self-conscious.

Hopefully this week is better, onwards and upwards! Cheers, happy losing!

Progress Update – as of May 14, 2016

 

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 312.5 lbs
Loss: 1.0 lbs
Current BMI: 48.9
Loss: 0.2

Bust: 52 inches
Waist: 58 inches
Gain: 1 inch
Hips: 56 inches
Loss: 1 inch

So, not a lot of change, but down is better than up! Although I’m a little confused about how my waist can be bigger. Bloating, perhaps?

Anyway, the past couple of weeks have been somewhat of a whirlwind, to say the least, which is why I didn’t update.

Firstly, I somehow managed to pull a pelvic ligament. I have no idea how I did it. I went to the doctor because my lower right abdomen was hurting quite badly, so I thought “uh oh…appendicitis?” but, thankfully, it wasn’t that serious. Still, it was annoying!

Secondly, one of my childhood dogs died really suddenly, which was horrifically sad. I honestly have no idea what happened, she was healthy and acted like her normal self right up until she died. My dad found her lying on the ground, trying to get up, but she couldn’t and she passed away very quickly. I’m assuming that it was a heart attack or a stroke or something like that. She was a beautiful dog and I miss her very much, last week was a very sad one.

I won’t be doing an entry this weekend, because I won’t have access to a scale. Why, you ask? Because I’m going to NEW YORK CITY! I’ve never been, but I’m extremely excited! Frankly, life has been a little crazy lately, what with my dog’s death and some drama happening at work (oh, workplace drama!), so I am very happy to get away for a bit. Plus, I’m excited to go to a place where I will get in a lot of activity. The friend that I’m going with is a runner (that crazy woman!), so no doubt we will be hoofing it a lot of places, but that’s good. I’ve been wearing a pedometer pretty consistently for the last month or so, so I’m interested to see just how many steps I can rack up.

I’m also considering going to Philadelphia and/or Washington, D.C. for a day! There is so much history in the U.S., I’m really excited to see some places I’ve never been.

Cheers, happy losing!

Progress Update – as of April 30, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 313.5 lbs
Loss: 6.4 lbs
Current BMI: 49.1
Loss: 1.0

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I actually think last week was a fluke. Normally, I weigh myself in my basement, on the cement floor, because that’s where my exercise equipment is. I recently moved my scale to my bathroom and, when I weighed myself this morning, it initially said 323.6 lbs, which meant another almost 4 lb gain.

I was baffled. I could not understand what was going on and why I was gaining weight like crazy, despite eating well and exercising. However, I noticed the teeniest little wobble on the scale. Following a hunch, I moved it to the kitchen and, lo and behold, the scale revealed 313.5 lbs when I weighed myself. I weighed myself four more times just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. So, I’m guessing that my bathroom floor is just the tiniest bit uneven. I can’t go back in time to weigh myself last week, but I’m assuming that the reported weight gain wasn’t accurate. However, no matter, it’s all fixed now!

I also made an amazing discovery this week. Last Saturday (April 23rd) I went axe throwing with some friends (which is awesome, by the way!) and afterwards, we went out to a restaurant called Boston Pizza to eat. Boston Pizza is a Canadian-only chain, I believe. Anyway, while I love BP’s (as it is affectionately called), there is not a lot on their menu that isn’t extremely high in calories and fat. At least that’s what I thought, until I checked out some of the foods on the Weight Watchers app. (FYI: I recently rejoined Weight Watchers. It’s not a perfect program, by any means, but they have changed it a lot in the past year and I think it’s the best it’s ever been, now it takes more information into account to really help WW members to make the healthiest choices, unlike on the last program, when a can of Coca-Cola and a cup of chocolate milk were the same points value.)

Anyway, there is a pizza from Boston Pizza that I absolutely love, called the Spicy Perogy pizza. It’s basically cheese, sour cream, bacon, green onions and spicy potatoes. I live in Alberta, which has a huge Ukrainian population, so I’ve grown up eating perogies and I’m obsessed. A normal individual-sized one of these pizzas would run you 26 points. To put that in context, I have 54 points per day. So, basically, half of my daily points on one little pizza. However, in the app, I learned that simply by making this pizza thin crust, it suddenly drops down to 15 points. It’s still a lot in the course of a day, sure, but it means that when I go out with my friends to BP’s, as happens often, I have a much healthier choice available to me than almost anything else on the menu, and I can enjoy one of my favourite foods without feeling guilty. That was an amazing feeling.

I’ve been walking a lot (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week usually), which feels great, I am really enjoying it. I’m hoping to start incorporating weights into my routine this week, then swimming, because I adore swimming. It’s been really gorgeous here, Alberta has had a very nice spring, so it’s nice to get outside. I’m feeling good.

Cheers, happy losing!

 

Progress Update – as of April 23, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 319.9 lbs
Gain: 4.3 lbs
Current BMI: 50.1
Gain: 0.7

Well.

I’m baffled, to say the least. I went for a 30 minute walk every single day this week. I wore a pedometer. I made really good food choices.

Could I have gained muscle? It’s possible, I know that’s one reason why someone’s weight can initially go up when they start working out, but it’s not possible to gain almost 5 lbs of muscle, in a week, just by walking. I can only assume that my body just went into shock, since I’ve been sedentary for so long, and tried to hold onto the fat or something like that. Same reason why people plateau.

Anyway, I don’t know, but I’m trying not to worry about it. I was active this week and that is the most important thing.Onwards and upwards.

Cheers, happy losing!