Monday, March 11, 2013
How many times have you said "No" today? Last week? Last month?
It's a powerful word, but we tend to live in a "Yes" society and I can bet that most people here have a bit of a "Yes" problem. I know I do. I have guilt, I don't like to close doors, I feel like I'm going to miss out, like someone might be mad at me, like I'm obligated to participate, like I won't be asked again if I say "No".
And so I "Yes" all over the place. "Yes" to work, "Yes" to fun, "Yes" to social obligations and volunteer jobs and food. Oh man, I "YES" to food all the time.
But what happens when you try "NO" on for size? What REALLY happens when you "No" to some of these things? For me, it makes me feel powerful. Just for a split second, but it's there. I'm in control of myself. I don't have to "Yes" to everything. I can say "No" and people will find someone else to do that, or go there, or get this, or eat that. And you know what? They won't think twice about it. Because me saying "No" to something isn't really going to ruin their day. Really it's not. But saying "Yes" to something MIGHT just ruin mine.
Food for thought, but it just occurred to me recently that I get almost as much satisfaction out of saying "No" to myself and following up with the reason WHY I'm saying "No" as I do saying "Yes". When I say "Yes" it's usually to a binge. I'm saying "Yes" because I deserve it - and I do. I deserve to be full and fed and to meet my own needs. But how many times would saying "No" meet those needs just as well as saying "Yes"? The answer to that question is - A LOT. The more I say "No" and carve out my own space for myself and get what I REALLY want out of a situation, the less I need to say "Yes" to make up for feeling used and abused and put out all the time. I end up having to say "Yes" more to myself when I say "Yes" more to other people.
But what about the worrying? What about the guilt and the feeling that saying "No" means that people won't like you? Well - think about the last time that someone said "No" to you. Did you hold it over their head? Did you pass them up the next time something fun came along? Were you angry at them? Probably not. So why do we constantly assume that people won't respect our personal boundaries? Because we don't respect our own.
I'm delving into the world of "No". And that doesn't mean that I'm going to become a negative person. Just the opposite. "No" means that I am respecting my personal boundaries. It means that I am fully contemplating what to take in and take on. I'm making the BEST choices for myself, not just accepting the first thing that comes along. It's going to take some getting used to - but I'm optimistic. Because saying "YES" to a healthier me means knowing how and when to use my "No".
Friday, March 01, 2013
I'm not proud. I said that I would NEVER EVER EVER again see a 2 in front of my weight. Currently I weigh 206.6 pounds. I need to fix that.
First goal is to get back to Onederland.
Second goal is to stop feeling like a sausage in my clothing.
Achievement of first goal will likely help the second.
I don't have time today for a long blog - my parents are in town and I'm going bike shopping for my Tri bike. Time to get back out there.
Today is Day 1...
Thursday, February 07, 2013
I've gained a solid ten pounds since running the Marathon in October.
This happened in a myriad of ways - injury prevented me from running or zumba, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, a month without drinking for December made me into a drinking fiend for January to make up for it, my schedule has been a nightmare leaving zero time for planning, cooking, or exercise, and to tell you the honest truth - eating like a glutton feels really good...until it doesn't.
Last week I had to go out and buy jeans in a Size 14, because there was just no more lying to myself and squeezing every roll of my fat ass into the 10s I was wearing before Christmas anymore. I'm trying not to be mean to myself. It's not working very well. Forgiveness doesn't come easily to me because it feels too much like an excuse and permission to continue the behaviours that have gotten me here.
I'm also torn about even writing this blog. People here tend to be of the "rah rah" variety and don't react well to struggle or set-backs. You're only liked when you're on the downward swing pound-wise or doing something amazing like training for the Iron Man, so the times when we need the most love and support are the times when friends are few and far between. And I know this because I'm guilty of it as well. There's an expectation here that at least half of your Spark Buddies are going to fail. I've seen it happen to far too many people myself, and I can't say that I haven't thought "told you so" too many times when people drop off my radar. But it takes one to know one, and now I'm sorry that I haven't been more supportive to others during these times.
It's hard. What do you really say to someone besides "chin up Charlie"? Cause the last thing I need to hear right now is "chin up Charlie" - it actually pisses me off. What I really want is someone to cry with me. Get down in the dirt with me. Wallow in self pity with me. Feel with me - because you know you've been there before and you know how tough this is for me right now. Don't tell me it's going to get better. Because the truth is, it's NOT going to get better unless I make it better. No one else can do this for me. So tell me how much you KNOW that life sucks when you feel like this. Because THAT it does - life pretty much sucks when you're not at the top of your "A" game. And when you know how much you are capable of because you have accomplished SO much in the not-so-distant past. But I feel like that was forever ago, and like I am so down and out of shape that I can't even run a block anymore, let alone a marathon. How did everything go downhill so fast?
My life is a series of pendulum swings right now. I'll do something great for myself like spend 30 minutes running on the treadmill, or getting back in the pool like I did last night. And I realize when I do those things that I'm not as out of shape as I feel and that I've still got it - deep down there. And I'll feel awesome, for about an hour. And then I'll come home and binge eat an entire bag of Reese's mini-cups, or chocolate cake, or pita chips (if it's there, I'll eat it...all of it). I wake up every morning with a sugar/carb hangover that is so bad, I resolve to fix it immediately. My intentions are all good, until I'm in line at Starbucks and ordering my regular breakfast AND an extra croissant. Why? Cause I deserve it. Because I did get my butt on the treadmill. Because I'm working so hard right now. Because I'm stressed to the absolute maximum of my capabilities. Because I hate my day job and it's a chore just to report for work in the morning. So damn well if I don't deserve a treat. Except I'm treating myself 4-5 times a day, and it's taking its toll on my stomach and my bank account. And I'm terrified that the habits that got me to 300lbs in the first place are gonna put me right back there if I don't get a handle on this now. I'm actually embarrassed when people ask me if I've lost more weight recently. And believe it or not, this has happened more in the last 2 weeks than in the last year. Maybe it's because I am finally wearing clothes that fit me - even though they're bigger, I'm not spilling over my jeans anymore. But I sure as hell have NOT lost any more weight. And that is just so totally depressing to me.
So here are a bunch of things that I would LIKE to do for myself. I'm not promising to do them right now. I'm too fragile to be my own drill sergeant for the time being. But maybe if I write them down and can refer to them, I might be able to convince myself to try a few times a week to be a little healthier, for myself, to get my healthy life back.
Rules for a Healthy Life
- Love Yourself. Remember how good it feels to sweat. How accomplished running and swimming makes you feel.
- Clean out the closet. Drag out the exercise gear and make sure it's on top.
- The crockpot is your friend. Find some new recipes or get what you need for the old ones you love.
- Bring your lunch. Eat the lunch you brought. Trust me. Just do it. At the end of the day, you will feel better for it. Of course Jimmy John's looks temptingly good, but it's just food, and the stuff you make has more value for you in your life.
- Get off the coffee & soda & sugar. This REALLY worked for you before, and it's essential to make this work again. Tea. Water. And after this 10 pounds comes off, you get a soda stream as a treat for fizzy lime & lemon water.
- Program a reminder in your computer to get up and stretch and get more water and use the bathroom every 2 hours. Your butt is permanently affixed to your chair and that's dumb. Get up!
- Ween yourself off fake sugars too. You think that they might be causing the over-eating spells, and you're probably right. That will be easier when you get off the soda as well.
- Remember - IT'S JUST FOOD. Eating out with friends doesn't mean you have to go crazy. No one cares or will remember what you ordered. Get picky. Remember how much you enjoyed the last time you ordered something lighter off the menu. You won't be deprived, and you'll feel better about your choices. Double win.
- Throw it out. Since this is such a HUGE challenge for you, we need to figure out how to make this work. Give it to a homeless person if you can't bear to toss it in the trash, but if there is food that makes it into your life that you can't handle or you know shouldn't be in your house, don't let it stay there.
- Find something else to ward off binge behaviour. No idea what this is right now because nothing feels as good as eating, but there IS something out there that you can do if you're feeling antsy. Just figure it out.
- Stay away from "Free Food" - there is no such thing as "free" food. Because all food comes with a price, and typically, the less you pay for it, the higher the calorie price. Work for what you eat. Know what you eat.
- Get back to tracking if you think it's going to help. But lose the attitude that comes with tracking. Don't let it deprive you or psych you out. If it does, don't do it. This is about a healthy lifestyle, not killing yourself to stick to the numbers.
- Stay off the scale until March.
- Run. Swim. Research the bike. Training season will be on us before you know it. Don't be a chub by the time you get there. Prepare yourself now and renew your love in it again. Look forward to the races you have on the books. Don't dread them. Bottle that marathon feeling and remember it. Dream about it. Savour the way a long run made you feel. You will have that back again. Go after it.
- Just try. Try every day. It sucks, but it's the reality. You're in for a lifetime of trying, and that's all that anyone can ask of you. But trying is better than not trying.
This is your Ten Pound Warning. Trying is better than not trying.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
It's been almost a month since my last WEIGHTY blog. Didn't mean to leave anyone hanging, but you know how it is - things be busy yo!
A short update: my boyfriend and I are fine, the parties haven't stopped - but my attitude towards them is a little different than it was previously, and I'm trying - ever so hard - to forgive myself and just live with it and through it, as hard as it is on a daily basis.
That last blog lead to some of the longest and most supportive responses from you guys I've ever gotten - so THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me and sharing the love. We all know this isn't easy. And it's even harder to admit defeat sometimes, but knowing that everyone goes to that dark place every once in a while helps. We're not in this alone. And we often think the same things, even if we don't talk about them or write those feelings down for the world to see.
What I have discovered about myself is my avoidance to admit that healthy feels good. I don't know why it's so hard to say that. Possibly because food also feels good, but not in the same way. There's a disconnect in the brain - food hits a certain "feel good" trigger that I have relied on for SO many years. It's been my crutch for so long that I have convinced myself to believe that it's the way I am and that it, and being fat because of it, is what I am destined to. But my newer, healthier brain, knows that's a bunch of bull. It's just REALLY hard to call myself on my own bull. I got to it a bit in my last blog, but the healthy me still feels fake in a way. She's SO new that she's not "real" yet. It's like when I started running and was loathe to call myself a runner. I've run a marathon and I'm STILL loathe to call myself a runner. And that's ridiculous. But it's the same thing with my overall health. I still identify with the fat girl. And why shouldn't I? I was her for 25 years of my life. That's A LOT of tradition to break. I've only been healthy for 2.5 years. Fat me still thinks that's not enough time to call it true. So I am resigned to the fact that it's just going to take TIME, and lots of it, to convince myself that I really am healthy.
The tricky bit is that a healthy life is harder to live. And don't we all know it! In this world it takes CONSTANT work to be healthy. Fast food is just that - fast, convenient. Cooking and planning and shopping takes time and energy. Sitting in front of the boob tube is easy. Going out for a run or a walk requires motivation. HEALTHY LIVING IS HARD! But... it's worth it - right?
The thing that I now know that is still so hard to say is this: Living Healthy makes me feel good. In a different way than chocolate cake makes me feel good.
Unfortunately, chocolate cake makes me feel good like a kick to the gut. It's there, it's quick and it's very, very present. Living healthy makes me feel good all day. But it's not immediately evident. I have to really think about it. It's no big shot of adrenaline (or a sugar rush) - it's a constant, distant, and still very faint feeling. But it's there. And my only hope and wish is that over time it will get stronger. A building hum, from that distant buzz.
Maybe that's really what "Spark" means. At the beginning of this journey I was sparked. The smoke became a flame and then a blazing fire. I burned strong for a year and a half, lost 130 pounds, was a bright, shining star. But then the fire fades. The embers are still warm, and every so often, someone or something comes along to stoke the fire and the blaze comes back for a bit. But it's the embers that stay warm, and any fan of campfires knows that these embers are the best time to make smores :) It takes patience to get here and then to stay here. Without enough fuel, the fire will go out. But with enough time and energy, you can keep those embers glowing long and strong for days. And that's what I have to do. Live in the glow.
So for December I have taken on two challenges - neither of which are the least bit easy. The hard-ass in me gets more pleasure out of making a challenge ridiculously hard because the reward is bigger in the end. But in the flavour of the above realization, the true goal of both of these challenges is that I KNOW they will make me feel good.
Challenge #1 is the "21 Days of Fitness, 12 Days of Christmas and a New Year's Eve" Challenge. It involves walking or running ONE MILE every day for 21 days leading up to Christmas. It started on November 28th and goes to December 18th. Then from December 19th-30th (the twelve days of Christmas) you need to continue that good habit and add one additional healthy thing every day - be that drinking all your water, adding in another exercise, counting calories, avoiding sweets - just one more thing each day. By the time New Year's Eve rolls around, I'll be ready to celebrate in a gorgeous dress that I've already purchased. And the hopes are that I look even better in it than when I bought it! So far I'm going strong. I've gotten my butt out there and put in my time every day. Sometimes I have to drag myself to walk the mile, other days I've been able to run a few miles without issue. The thing is just to DO IT. Every day. It's not easy, but I feel better about myself for doing it. It was a good way to get out of the rut that I've been in.
Challenge #2 is that I've gone dry for the month of December. After polishing off the last of the wine on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend for no good reason I said enough is enough. Fact is fact - when I drink, I binge eat. And I don't need to drink to have fun. It sucks, because I would like to be able to have A glass of wine or a cocktail here or there over the holidays and with all the parties, but I just know that I lose control after that cocktail and end up eating the entire plate of hors d'ouevres that goes with it. So I'm the DD for the month. Works for me. And again - I KNOW I will feel better about myself physically and mentally for making this decision. It's not an easy decision to make, but I'm doing this for myself and for my health. And if I can make it through December, I can do anything! I'm not gonna lie - I miss it. And I think I'm craving it more because I can't have it. But I'll get over it. Alcohol is NOT an essential food group. It's empty calories and an inhibition zapper and this month especially, I need my inhibitions! So it's soda water and lime in a wine glass for me. And then I can be free to enjoy a few extras off the buffet table, be able to taste them for what they really are, and move on once I'm full.
And finally - there's nothing to feel bad about for choosing to be healthy. This holiday season, I will love MYSELF for making the best decisions for HEALTHY ME. I will not be guilted into eating extra helpings because someone else worked hard to make it. I have worked even harder for this life. And I need to prove to Fat Me that she is not my destiny and that her traditions are not my traditions anymore. My 2.5 years of hard work so far is worth more to me now than her 25 years of being unhealthy. What is in the past is in the past. It's time to look long and hard at the present and what I have earned for myself. THIS IS ME NOW. I am leaner, fitter, stronger and destined for a long and healthy life ahead of me. Living in the glow.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
If I were a hermit I would be skinny.
Seriously - if all I had to think about was myself, my daily caloric intake and expenditure and had zero distractions from the outside world, this whole thing would be a piece of cake (or piece of reduced fat, sugar free banana bread).
But we all know that's not normal, and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to live IN THE MIDDLE. I'm either on the wagon or off the wagon and for a whopping 10 days in a row now (or more), I've been OH SO OFF.
Why? Because I have friends. And a boyfriend. And work. All the things that NORMAL people have, but who are ruining my life. Well - my skinny life.
When I was really fat (313 pounds of fat on a 5'2" frame) I didn't have a lot of friends. I had a boyfriend for a while, but that relationship was unhealthy in so many ways I lost count. I had the same job, but my coworkers were on health kicks too, so changing my daily Starbucks/Chipotle/Potbelly habit wasn't as hard as it could have been. In short - for the year and a bit that it took me to lose 130 pounds, I pretty much WAS a hermit. I gave up living (fully) to lose weight. And for a year of my life, that was ok. I was fine with that sacrifice. I had Spark, and the people here substituted for "real life" friends. I was fueled by "woohoos" and "way to gos" and by the ever decreasing scale. I wasn't lonely and I wasn't hungry because those things kept me full. I was my own best friend.
But times have changed. Sparkfriends don't show up at your office asking you to go out for dinner with them (mostly because they live in other states!). The scale doesn't follow you to a Saturday night party and tell you you're better off without wine and cheese and puff pastry and candy corn cupcakes. And instead of living just for myself, I am now living for 2 people. I have expanded my sense of who I am again to include my significant other, and that means that I have also "expanded" again.
Here's a common piece of advice that we have all read in about 100 different articles:
When you go to a party, eat ahead of time so you aren't hungry, stick to veggies and other low calorie options and limit your alcoholic beverage consumption to you can maintain control of your inhibitions and your calorie consumption. Concentrate on having fun with your friends and not on the food.
And here's the reality of the situation:
I go to a party at which I know about 2 people in the room. So already my social anxiety is high. How do we deal with that? Alcohol. Lubricates the conversation, and the salivary glands and EVERYONE else is drinking - heavily. This said party is in a TINY one-bedroom apartment, and every single surface is COVERED with food. Not a freaking carrot to be found. Cheese and crackers, pizza, pigs in a blanket, pumpkin bread, cupcakes, pie, coffee cake, candy corn, and SO MUCH ALCOHOL. Everyone at this party (and there have to be about 40 people crammed into this teeny tiny space) has brought both a food item and a bottle of something. There's even coolers of alcohol out on the balcony cause there's no more room in the kitchen. Admittedly, this is a kickin' party. Welcome to socializing in your 30s. We finally have the money and the means and the locations and the friend circles to do it, and do it up good. This is an experience that I have not had many of. I don't go to parties like this, because for my entire life I have been a loner. I don't get invited to these events. My boyfriend does. He makes friends like bees to honey and he has an invitation to somewhere awesome almost every weekend. I am profoundly jealous. So what do I do? I get TRASHED on far too much wine, and eat about half of the cheese and cracker tray and the pumpkin bread by myself. Because even though I followed the advice to eat before, and even though I wasn't hungry, and even though I was only going to have a small amount of wine, I literally went crazy. My brain clicked off, all sense of reason flew off the alcohol laden balcony, and I went into full-on food zombie mode. And this is what happens 98% of the time when I try to involve other people in my life. I lose control, and I become a food zombie. And I KNOW I'm not alone in this confession.
So I need to be a hermit. But that's never going to happen. In losing 130 pounds, I have gained so many things in my life that I never had before. But I know why I can't lose anymore weight right now - it's because I can't handle what I have gained from the last loss.
Here's another example:
After a series of very bad days that all ended with me on my couch with the bucket of leftover Halloween candy, consuming at lightning pace mini bar after mini bar after mini bar, I jumped back on the wagon yesterday morning. Mondays are good for "dieters" - Mondays are always fresh starts because they're built that way. Clean slate. Here we go. I had a great breakfast, great lunch, snacks were on schedule, and then my friend Jess called. Jess is a great girl. We're just in the baby stages of something that I felt could have been a really lovely friendship. It's like dating. We're still figuring each other out, but times with her are good times and I had high hopes. And then she found out she's moving to Michigan. This week. And my hopes were instantly dashed. It's not like we aren't going to ever talk again, but I am so desperate for a really great girlfriend in the city, I feel like I've been kicked. Things were going so well. So when she called me up to have dinner with her last night, there was no way I was going to refuse just so I could go home and have me pre-planned pumpkin and carrot smoothie. Add insult to injury, the restaurant we chose comped us strawberry mango bubble teas and an order of coconut shrimp IN ADDITION to our order. I am the type of person who feels like I'm being rude if I refuse food that has been given to me, for free. That's a issue. So I ate it. All of it. Plus half of my regular order. And half of the appetizer that Jess ordered "for both of us". And then I was so upset over being off the wagon again, I went home and consumed the rest of the Halloween candy.
I woke up this morning with a salt & sugar hangover. My head is still pounding. And I feel like I can't win. I can EITHER be skinny or have a life. Apparently I have no idea how to do both.
And the icing on the cake: Nikhil and I are not speaking right now because he caught me with my lover...the bowl of Halloween candy, right in the middle of a binge. I tried to cover it up, tried to laugh it off, but the truth of the matter is that I was so naked, so exposed, and so embarrassed by the incident that I blamed him for surprising me. I blamed him for a sweet and perfectly innocent and kind gesture(a gesture that I have complained he doesn't do enough of in the past) because I was so upset over what he had walked into that I went crazy. The fight about him "barging in on my personal time" escalated to the point that I asked him to leave my house. Which he did. In a very, very angry huff. And now we're not speaking because he is so hurt over something that I caused. But my own pride was so hurt, my own dirty little secret so precious to me, that I am at a loss for how to explain this to him in words that he will understand.
I am disgusted by myself. But I know I cannot heal from this until I can accept it. I'm just not there yet. Acceptance right now feels too much like an excuse for bad behaviour. And the longer I continue to berate myself for these actions, the harder I'm going to fight against it and the more I'm going to eat and binge. It's a horrible, terrible, awful cycle - and I know I'm not the only one out there who feels like this.
But how do you learn to love? How do you accept these hurtful things that you know about yourself and forgive the years and years of self-hatred? How do you drag yourself out from under the image of gluttony and sloth that is so red hot in your mind and smooth that over into something that you can find acceptable? I don't have the answers yet. I'm still in a place that feels FAKE when I say that I miss running. I won't allow myself to be that healthy person who can say things like that because for so many years I have fought so hard against that image. Fat Me is not gone yet. She's hanging on for dear life and she's an ugly bitch when she's angry. I'm living with the monster every single day and I don't know how to shake her loose. She is trying SO hard to rebuild and refortify the parts of her that I got rid of. She is the one that needs the fat - the fat is her fortress - the barrier against the outside world of "others" that might try to break me down. I don't know how to be exposed without the fat fortress. Because when people don't like me or get upset with me or cut me down or aren't what I expect when I'm fat, it's the fat's fault - not mine. But when I don't have the fat, when I'm just a regular person with nothing else to blame for my shortcomings, they are MY shortcomings. And I guess maybe I'm not ready to admit to all the things that I don't really like about myself yet. I'm really good at picking apart the things that I don't like in other people, but I can't accept those things in me. It's just so much easier to hide behind the fat. And Halloween candy tastes good. So it's too much positive reinforcement in negative actions right now for my good reason to fight. I feel like I'm losing the battle and I don't know what to do. And when I'm angry all the time, I'm leaving a path of destruction in my wake - Fat Me is trying to destroy the new things I have painstakingly built for myself - my health, my relationships, my sense of self.
If there's one thing I do know it is this: I don't need to be a hermit in real life to be skinny. Friends and events and work are all positive things that we need in our lives to feel normal and fulfilled. But I do need to get rid of the monster that lives inside me every day. This is not her territory anymore. But the death match going on in my head is exhausting, and there are times when I really don't know who is going to win.
Get An Email Alert Each Time KITHKINCAID Posts