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!”

The time has come…

…the walrus said, to talk of many things.

Well. It’s been a long time. How long? A very long time.

Many months ago, I decided to end this blog. 2016 was, to be frank, the worst year of my life. Issues with work, with friends, a broken heart, family issues, my father’s health, my own health…it all just became too much.

But now I’m back, from outer space. I am on a new journey of weight loss. I no longer weigh myself, as I decided that the scale is not my friend and the number is not important. I no longer have a goal weight. Rather, I am going on how I feel. I have learned to love exercise and I am currently working on making it a habit, thanks to my gym buddy, my brother. I quit my job and went back to school, pursuing a career that I love. And I am much, much kinder to myself than I once was.

I picked, long ago, an arbitrary number that was “ideal” for me. This number was based partially on the outdated and inaccurate method of BMI. I no longer believe that my life should be ruled by a number. As long as I am healthy and fit and I feel good about myself, I no longer care what that number is and I refuse to let it dictate my happiness and my self-worth any longer. I will need to be weighed occasionally, like at the doctor or if I were to have surgery, but I do not want to know that number ever again.

I WILL be tracking my measurements, but mostly just for my own curiosity, to see my progress. I do not have any “goal” measurements, I just want to reduce my body fat percentage, increase my fitness and feel better, both physically and mentally.

Here we go friends…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 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!

Progress Update – as of March 12, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 312.1 lbs
Loss: 2.5 lbs
Current BMI: 48.9
Loss: 0.4

Yay, we’re down again! Truthfully, I think this is likely because I was sick and not through much effort on my part, but hey, it’s all good.

I have some VERY exciting news to share! I recently went for my annual physical (although it’s not quite annual since I haven’t had one since 2014) and my doctor expressed concern that my weight had gone up since she last saw me. Since I have a chronic disease called poly-cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS for short) and it can become worse with weight gain (as well as cause weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight, hurray!) she wanted to address it.

She put me on a program through my healthcare system that pairs me up with a nurse who specializes in weight management. When I met with this nurse, Julie, the next week, she explained it to me. Basically, it’s a program that’s designed to be completed in six months. In those six months, I will attend sessions about things like emotional eating, nutrition, managing cravings, how to cut down on sugar etc. AND I will also be assigned a trainer who I will meet with once a week for 12 weeks to develop an exercise regimen. And, best of all, it’s FREE. (Thank you Canadian healthcare!)

I’m so excited. I had been toying with the idea of getting a trainer for a long time but I balked at the cost. I had no idea this program even existed, so the idea that I can get such incredible, professional support and help for free is just amazing to me.

I feel like I’ve fallen off track, spiritually. I was bogged down by anxiety and depression and I worried too much about what other people think about me, I invested so many time and energy into their emotions and feelings that I left nothing for myself, so I was unhappy and very drained. But I’ve decided, it’s time for ME. I’m young, I have no dependents, so now is the best time for me to reconnect with myself and focus on my own needs. I have enrolled in yoga, meditation and knitting classes, I’m planning a trip to Asia in May and now I’m starting this new weight loss program and I am unbelievably excited! 2016 is shaping up to be pretty wonderful!

Cheers, happy losing!

Progress Update – as of March 5, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 314.6 lbs
Gain: 2.0 lbs
Current BMI: 49.3
Gain: 0.3
Bust: 53 inches
Gain: 1.0 inches
Waist: 56 inches
Loss: 1.5 inches
Hips: 56 inches

I feel like I’m living on a roller coaster, emotionally and physically. I’m up in pounds, but down in measurements, apparently. Although I generally take the measurements with a grain of salt, since I can never be sure if I’m measuring in the exact same spot every single time.

I am feeling really depressed and I can’t seem to snap out of it. I think I know why, though. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Here we go…

When I was 20, I was sexually assaulted at a party by someone that I knew, someone that I thought was my friend. It wasn’t rape, but there are other things you can do to someone. I was so shocked and scared that I didn’t know what to do, so as soon as he was done I just left the party and got in my car and cried.

I never told anyone. Not for 6 whole years. I pretended like it never happened. I blamed myself. “I shouldn’t have been alone with him. I should have been more clear that I didn’t want it. I should…I should…I should…” So many excuses. I made excuses for him: he didn’t know what he was doing, he must have thought I wanted it, he was really drunk. But it was not my fault. I did nothing to make him believe that I wanted his sexual attention and being drunk is not an excuse to take advantage of someone, especially when that person is clearly trying to get away from you.

I saw him, for the first time in 6 years, last August. I had succeeded in putting it out of my brain, for the most part (although my relationships with men have always been awful, which should have been a clue) but when I saw him, it all came flooding back. I started having nightmares and crying all the time and I think now I’m realizing that most of my weirdness has to do with the fact that I’ve never properly dealt with it.

Being assaulted made my body my enemy. I was overweight before this happened, but between then and now, I have gained 100 lbs. I have never let a man touch me since then. And I grew to hate my body, which is so incredibly sad.

This whole process has made me realize why I am the way I am and how I could get to this weight. I take responsibility for where I am, physically, I know that nobody forced me to eat the way I have, but there is a reason why I did and I think that I probably cannot get into a healthy mindset permanently until I deal with underlying issues.

The moral of the story? Talk about stuff. Don’t hold things inside. Get help.

Cheers, happy losing!

 

Progress Update – as of February 20 and 27, 2016

Height: 5’7″

February 20, 2016
Current Weight: 315.3 lbs
Gain: 2.3 lbs
Current BMI: 49.4
Gain: 0.4

February 27, 2016
Current Weight: 312.6 lbs
Loss: 2.7 lbs
Current BMI: 49.0
Loss: 0.4

Hurray, we’re down again! The past few weeks have been very difficult, emotionally, and the last thing that I’ve wanted to do is work out or eat healthy. I have tried very hard to make good choices as often as possible, but I find that cooking and preparing meals are the first things to go when I’m sad, so I’ve been eating out a lot lately, much more than I should.

One thing that has changed is exercise. I’m still not exercising as much as I probably should be, but I have been going for walks during my lunch hour at work (usually 30 minute walks), and I go down with my coworker every two hours to move her car, so we take the stairs on this little trips instead of the elevator. I’ve also started wearing a pedometer, which I think has made me aware of how little I move during an average day ad how much more I need to be active.

The weather is also helping, it’s been absolutely GORGEOUS where I live. Spring is coming and being outside in the fresh air for those little walks has really made me feel a lot happier. I think I’m going to try to walk outside as often as possible. I need to engage in more intense exercise than walking in order to see real weight loss, I know, but being outside in the fresh air and sunshine makes me feel great and, at the end of the day, going for a walk, even if it’s not intense, is still better than sitting in my office chair all day and on the couch all night.

Cheers, happy losing!

Progress Update – as of January 16, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 309.4 lbs
Gain: 5.2 lbs
Current BMI: 48.5
Gain: 0.9

I’m not going to lie. This has been one of the worst weeks of my life. It was my birthday, but that’s not why, thankfully. My birthday was wonderful, my coworkers took me out for lunch and bought me a birthday cake and a card and then I had a lovely dinner with my family and had birthday cake. That was all fine.

I weighed in on Saturday and gained, obviously. So that was unfortunate. I did indulge myself on my birthday, but I thought that I ate well for the first part of the week to make up for that. I guess not! I didn’t exercise either. I just seemed to have a million and one things to do this week, plus I was nervous about something that I did on Sunday, which I addressed in the latest post.

I told the man that I love how I felt. And was shot down. I thought he liked me, but apparently I read everything he did WAY wrong. So to say that I am upset is the understatement of the year. BUT I refuse to fall back into old habits. In the past, whenever I was upset, what did I do? Eat. I would eat. And not carrot sticks either. Donuts, fast food, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, cake…anything to soothe the pain. It was my drug of choice, just like some people choose alcohol or drugs.

But I’m not going to let that happen. I’m giving myself this week to wallow (which means I’ve been getting a lot of sleep!) but I have been watching what I’m eating and next week I’m hoping to work out my pain with exercise. So hurrah.

Week 1 Goal: Get 150 minutes of exercise this week – UPDATE: I haven’t done this at all, for either of the weeks. 

Week 2 Goal: Eat breakfast every morning – UPDATE: I did very well on this! I think there was only one day where I didn’t eat breakfast. Considering that I never eat breakfast, this was a definite success.

Week 3 Goal: Drink 2L of water every day

Cheers, happy losing!

Progress Update – as of January 9, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 304.2 lbs
Loss: 1.7 lbs
Current BMI: 47.6
Loss: 0.3

Wahoo, another loss! I’m a little surprised, since obviously my ability to exercise has been compromised, but hey, I will take it! I have been trying hard to make good choices about eating and to get lots of sleep and drink more water, which is perhaps what made the difference.

My ankle has been sore, obviously, but it’s feeling a lot better these past few days, since I’ve been resting it. I am hoping to get into an exercise routine this week, perhaps swimming, so we will see how that goes.

Week 1 Goal: Get 150 minutes of exercise this week – UPDATE: So, I obviously didn’t follow through on this, due to the unforeseen circumstances, but this week hopefully I can! 

Week 2 Goal: Eat breakfast every morning

Cheers, happy losing!