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Rational Numbers/Irrational Numbers

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The hatred of the scale is going around Spark these days!

For me, I was 262 yesterday morning. 262 at the doctor's office yesterday evening. (!!!) Usually I weigh more, sometimes a LOT more, at night, so I was pretty happy with that. Even though I'd so rather be 250 and dropping...

I got some other numbers yesterday, though. BETTER numbers!

It's been years since my last annual physical (leading to me joking about going in for my "semi-decadal" physical...). So I had my cholesterol tested then, and the last couple of times I gave blood, which I also can't remember but were at least a few years ago.

Last physical: Cholesterol (total) around 190-200
not high, but could be lower.

Giving blood: after losing some weight? or starting to eat better? I forget which? 180

Yesterday, the numbers from my blood draw the week before: 165


I knew my blood pressure had gotten better (from 140/80 to 120/70 to 114/70) from my annual gyn appointments. That change happened as I started working out more. My resting pulse has also gone down.

But this is the first time since I really started getting healthier that I've had my cholesterol checked. I was all worried about my bloodwork for a couple of reason:

1) I'm coming off a few months of on-and-off as far as healthy eating goes, and what feels like ages of crap eating, which I know was really only a week.

2) I have this weird thing for the past couple of years where I can't eat as much sweet stuff/carbs or it makes me feel lightheaded. I used to love pancakes or waffles for dinner, with lots of syrup! Starting a couple of years ago, if I had pancakes or a waffle as my dinner, I would start to feel lightheaded or even nauseous afterwards. I started getting eggs on the side for protein, getting a single waffle instead of a stack of pancakes, only eating half, and putting on less syrup. Healthier overall! But mostly to avoid that awful "dying of sugar" feeling. That feeling made me scared! I was starting to think maybe I was pre-diabetic or even diabetic.

Anyway. My blood sugar was fine. Should be 65-99, mine was 90, which is on the high end, but not over. So even more incentive for me to eat healthy & exercise to keep it there!

Also, boring story even more boring, my last physical a few years ago + a coworker once commented that my thyroid looked enlarged. Blood test shows it's fine. Yay!

Basically everything looks good. So I may have one number I'm not happy with (weight!) but all my other numbers look good. I may be fat, but I am healthy! I'd to stay that way, though, so more healthy foods & workouts! Less grouchiness and crappy snacks!

Additional incentive - my total cholesterol & triglycerides are good (triglycerides are kind of awesome - 57!!!! that DEFINITELY used to be much higher!), but my LDL could be lower (111, could be less than 100) & my HDL could be higher (43, over 60 is better). Neither are bad, just not "ideal." But I bet I can improve them even further with more veggies & more sweating!

Partially related update - we got air conditioning last week!!! (ductless, but way better than window units!) so I can have my morning living room dates with Jillian more easily now. Muahahaha. and ow. she hurts me. LOL.

Yep. Way more fun than the scale. This is where I see my hard work of the past year and a half, not the scale or the pants size.

To help me break free from scale related grouchiness, I am rereading one of my favorite blog posts of all time (hence the title of my post!). Here is a sample to entice you to read the whole thing!

"If you were trying to learn Spanish, you’d understand that your progress was best measured by looking at a variety of factors, right? Your vocabulary, your reading comprehension, your ability to speak and be understood? You wouldn’t stand there tracking the number of words you understood on the Spanish-language news broadcast that night and do all the math, and if you understood 46.7 percent tonight as compared to 47.2 percent last night, you wouldn’t conclude that all your efforts were in vain and the enterprise was best abandoned, right? And you wouldn’t conclude that you needed to spend $500 on Spanish immersion classes, right?

And yet.

I don’t know how it works in other places, but Weight Watchers measures weights in 0.2 pound increments. So they’ll tell you you’re up 1.2, or down 2.4, or down 0.4, or whatever. It used to be, of course, that nobody tried to get any trickier than a half pound. No more. Someday, I’m sure, scales will go to four decimal places, so that they’ll be able to tell you, “Congratulations, you lost 2.4337 pounds this week!” And I can equally guarantee you that someone will react to that development by saying, “But last week, I lost 2.4339 pounds! Why are my losses getting smaller? Why? WHY, WHY?”

And they won’t want to hear the answer, which will be, “Because the underwear you wore this week was more linty.” "

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 7/16/2014 9:38PM

    I love your blog. We can do this.

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POMATOJUICE 7/8/2014 9:02AM

    Hooray doctor's visit!!

I used to dread them, because my doc would just tell me to lose weight, but wouldn't actually tell me how to do it. It's like "Duh, thanks! But HOW????"

My triglycerides were very very high, even though most of my other cholesterol was ok. They were talking about putting me on medication or it, and that was something that initially spurred me to get more serious about my health.

So, I'm very happy to hear that your bloodwork got better! If you keep it up, I'm sure the blood sugar will come down even more :D

I know that "UGHH BLAH GROSS" feeling. I get it from eating too much sugar/ too many processed foods. I get it a lot from... pringles. :x Pringles are an abomination to God, but they taste good :( Seriously, one measured serving makes me feel like I'm dying. I noticed that those Special K popchips do it, too. I tried them once when they first came out, because I really thought they'd help with my weight loss. They just made me feel sick. Just goes to show how much "diet" food is unhealthy and bad for you!!

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LISAN0415 7/8/2014 12:02AM

    NON SCALE VICTORIES are very exciting- especially when we see our health improving. We only get 1 body, we need to take care of it!

Great work! Keep it up! Results are coming!


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SENIMMO 7/4/2014 8:26PM

    SO. Now that the two teens I now have think I am totally insane for laughing like a maniac, I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July.

I was honestly laughing so hard I had to grab my inhaler. Wonder how many calories that burned? emoticon

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_MOBII_ 7/3/2014 9:56AM

    Boo for linty underwear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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SHARBEAR100 7/2/2014 4:24PM

    emoticon You're doing great, and that quote from the blog post is awesome! Just a tip, if you want to increase your good cholesterol try taking fish oil capsules. I've been taking it for years because of a condition I have. It will increase your good cholesterol, which helps remove bad cholesterol from your body, so it's a win/win. Or you could just increase the amount of fatty fish you eat too if you don't like supplements.
emoticon emoticon

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MINEA999 7/2/2014 1:19PM

    Nice numbers lady!
My numbers in that realm are all good. It's just this damn scale number that rattled me this week.

I'm SO glad you're still here. I just don't know what I'd do without your rambling blog entries. LOL

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RENLLY 7/2/2014 12:16PM

    Hee hee - I am sure that I have had weeks where "linty underwear" was the reason I went up 0.2. I will have to tell my WW meeting leader about that, lol.

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ADARKARA 7/2/2014 11:13AM

    And they won’t want to hear the answer, which will be, “Because the underwear you wore this week was more linty.”

This made me lol, seriously. It really is true though! There are SO many factors to weight loss that a gain just isn't worth worrying about unless you're trending up over time. So many people just see a gain and FLIP OUT!

I'm so glad you're feeling better this week, and your numbers prove you HAVE improved your health.

(BTW, you not having air conditioning for a while could definitely have contributed to a water weight gain. Especially in the Jersey humidity. Is it AWFUL up where you are today, too?!)

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

My last cranky post, when I was feeling stressed and unmotivated and like a failure?

That was my 2nd Sparkiversary. TO THE DAY.


I missed my first Sparkiversary. I think it fell in the middle of a long streak of not tracking. I remember thinking a few weeks ago "I should pay attention and do something on my Sparkiversary this year." Well, I did something. I gained weight and crabbed about it. Hahahaha.

I had a week of... I don't know. Rebellion? I didn't, like, madly binge on everything in sight or anything. But I didn't track either. I guess I was feeling like "I can't get anywhere so why bother."

This weekend we were in the car all day Thursday and half of Friday (NJ to OH Thurs, then OH to MI Fri). Hang out with my grandma (Yay!!) Saturday & Sunday, and in the car Sunday evening MI to OH. Then drive to NJ on Monday. So it was a lot of just sitting in the car.

It was great to see family!

The worst part (besides the traffic yesterday... shut up, NJ.) was putting on my size 18 jeans at my grandma's one day when it was cool, and they were uncomfortably tight.

So I've gone from my 16s being uncomfortably tight, which didn't take much because I'd only just gotten into them, to my 18s being uncomfortable!




So yeah. July is going to be some kind of recommittment. I don't know how yet... putting pressure on myself to be awesome and re-lose a bunch of what I've gained TOTALLY BACKFIRED in June so I'm sort of not sure what to do with myself right now.

But I don't want to be back in my size 20s!

It's weird... I'm sure it was hard work at the time, but looking back? That first 7 months on Spark when I lost the bulk of that first 50lbs (40-44 or so) must have been easy, relatively speaking. Or something has changed in me, biochemically or physiologically. I really didn't work out that much, either. The small changes made a much bigger difference then! Now it feels like... unless I am PERFECT - 10 servings of veggies 10 cups of water no bread lots of protein, etc, and workout 6 days a week, I lose NOTHING. Those first 30 lbs??? pffft. Please. Right now it feels like IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. And by "it" I mean losing another pound ever again. Which is probably at least part of my problem...

Anyway. I was 262 this morning. So I didn't gain anything since last week's grumpout. But if I keep not tracking I probably will gain more.

To answer your comment, ADARKARA, I mostly do weigh every day! Lately it's been making me grouchy as h3ll, but for the first long chunk of my Spark journey I absolutely did it! I didn't log my weight into Spark every day, but I at least step on the scale & look at it. It didn't bother me either, I was just kind of keeping an eye on it. Maybe I need to start logging it in excel again so I can see if there is any trend. It doesn't **seem** to have any rhyme or reason or anything to do with TOM. When I was doing great for those 2 weeks (week before last & the one before that) It was like... trending down by 0.1 or 0.2 every day, and then suddenly jump up. Other times it goes down 0.2 down 0.5 up 2 down 1 up 1 down 0.4.... it's totally senseless.

But maybe charting it will help, maybe there's some kind of pattern I can find so I know when to ignore it...

Either way... Gonna do some serious thinking about how to tackle July.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 7/16/2014 9:33PM

    You can do it. I have the same problem right now I don't know why it felt so much easier before but it doesn't feel easy any more. But I know we can do it.

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SENIMMO 7/4/2014 8:21PM

    Totally get it. The weight I lost came off easier right after the knee replacements when I was in all that pain! Now? yeah. It's my own fault for gaining so much of it back, but still. WHY SO HARD THIS TIME????

Yeah. it stinks. But we can do this!!!

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AHTRAP 7/1/2014 1:02PM

    Know exactly what you mean about the first few pounds feeling like they were freebies, the first time around. Back when I jumped in on this site, the first ten came off easy, I had to work for the next ten, and the last ten+ I earned. And now that I've put near the entire amount back on in the past 15 months or so, I'm a little haunted by the statement I put on my spark page saying "1st 20 pounds came off relatively easily, guess it was extra excess weight". Now, it feels like I'm trying to go the wrong way down a fast moving up escalator.

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ADARKARA 7/1/2014 10:14AM


I know you can do it! Don't make any lofty goals, make small ones. Remember: as long as you're moving in the right direction, you're a success, no matter how slow!

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NANCYPAT1 7/1/2014 10:07AM

    You can make this happen for YOU. You are worth the effort and the time to make it right for you.

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Opposite day!

Monday, June 23, 2014

This weekend was the opposite of last weekend.

More stress. Less productivity. No workouts. and UGH, the FOOD.

I'm letting it go, just want to process first.

Don't get me wrong, I did have fun. But I just feel like healthy living everything went to H3LL, and weight has followed.

I need a break from the scale, because it is grouching me out BIG TIME. After two weeks of doing great, working out tons, eating SUPER healthy, I barely lost half a pound. After this weekend, I gained 4lbs. I know, I know, most of that has got to be water weight, but even so. COME ON. I can't lose ONE POUND in two weeks of 950 calorie deficit??? eff off, scale.

I intellectually know this is not true, but today what I am feeling is: I could seriously count every calorie I eat every day, eat nothing but protein shakes and salads and turkey sandwiches, and work out six days a week, and I would STILL bounce between 250 & 260 pounds FOREVER AND EVER. I don't give up on healthy eating and exercise, because I feel better and it's good for me, but I give up on weighing less than 250. And fitting in pants smaller than 18s. Obviously it's just NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. All those other people on Spark who actually lost 100lbs? Those people are MAGIC. They have fairy godmothers and magic metabolism or something. WHATEVER I DON'T CARE.

Friday I don't know what happened to me. Actually, I do - I didn't pack my lunch and snacks! When it came time to go buy lunch from the cafeteria, I was freezing (we have an issue with air conditioning in our office, due to a particular colleague. That's all I'll say about that...) and grouchy, so I got chicken fingers and fries instead of salad. DERRRRRRRRRRRRRP. This knowing full well I was going out to dinner with friends. DOUBLE DERRRRRP, oh well. So after work, I had SO MUCH FUN with people! I just also drank a giant beer and ate a lot. Belgian waffle with eggs & bacon. Eh, it was good. That one I don't really regret. I planned for it all week! Just lunch was... no. No that was bad.

Saturday I couldn't work out because the gym doesn't open until 10am, and we were going to my inlaws to go to the beach. Then we sat in traffic for THREE AND A HALF HOURS. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. I was actually sort of zen about it at the time but Mr. Turtle was a basket case. Spent a whole hour at the beach (whoopee. it was pretty, though) and it was COLD, then went home for dinner.

This is where it gets.... I don't know if it's ME, or what. I can't figure it out. I must have really crappy metabolism, or huge mental problems where what I think I am eating as normal portions is actually insane, or SOMETHING, because no one else there is as fat as me. But I was not going crazy with eating. Sometimes I do go crazy there but I was really not SO bad this time I thought! I ate an extra piece of garlic bread, but otherwise what I thought was a not too bad serving of pasta & no seconds. Some salad. Some fruit with dessert, and a bit of other stuff (2 cookies & a small scoop of ice cream). Just that meal (tracked after the fact, just this morning actually) = 2158 calories. Oh my god, thank god we only went for the day! I just can't eat there. I mean, wtf. This is why I have such huge problems especially when we go there for like a week for a holiday. AHHHHHH.

I thought about packing my own sandwich for lunch (because they always have such crap around) to bring to the beach. It ended up being a moot point because we didn't make it to the beach in time for lunch, but I think in the future I just have to secretly pack a cooler inside my suitcase with my own breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and then... I don't know what to do about dinner. Eat 1/4 portions of everything. I mean god, that's almost 2 days of calories and I thought I was doing okay!

So yeah. That's horrifying.

Sunday I had a huge breakfast for no apparent reason. Went into the city to see a friend perform in a play (yaaaaaaay!). We were early so I wanted to get something to drink - Mr. Turtle got "a sandwich to split" because it was a deli. I ended up not eating my half because I was still full from breakfast. So that was a victory! They passed out candy at the theater but it was all melty. I did eat a piece though. We got dairy queen on the way home - Mr Turtle has this thing where he wants to try every flavor of blizzard before summer is over. ha. Don't ask. Anyway, so far I have been really good - I check my tracker before we go and if I can't "afford" one I don't get one, and I only get the mini size. Last night I got a small, because I'm an idiot. So I pretty much had ice cream for dinner.

Friday Saturday Sunday = 2396, 2768, 2811. I never cracked 3000 calories, but jeez. and sigh. And this morning I was up over 261, which is no big surprise, but also like... I'm so glad I did SO WELL for the last two weeks of eating & exercise so I could go from 257 to 256.6. I mean, wow, talk about effort well spent! (Picture me flipping the bird to the entire universe in general here...)

Nothing to do but move on - today I had my normal healthy breakfast and I have tons of water. I'll probably go to the grocery store in a bit... I didn't pack my lunch & snacks because I'm supposed to be in the field today. But when I got in my coworker was like "oh I have some paperwork so I can't leave til later..." My day is now up in the air and I'm mad I have to pay for food when I have perfectly good food at home, but whatever.

Tomorrow I'm going to the gym early no matter what. I haven't worked out since WEDNESDAY, what. No wonder I am grouchy and feel out of sorts.

People need to stop planning other things for me so I can just work out and eat healthy.

See that? I have still not learned how to not have Fat People habits when I am not 110% in control of my surroundings. This does not bode well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADARKARA 6/25/2014 12:36PM

    I know you're stressed, but "giving up on being under 250 lbs" is not the right attitude. (Maybe you're being sarcastic and I'm reading it wrong.)

Look... not everyone is good all the time, and the scale most certainly behaves badly more often than not. Maybe you were just bloated on weigh-in day! For me, personally, I'm a daily weigher. I notice my body's natural fluctuations and I know what week of the month I should actually pay attention to my weight. Maybe this won't work for you, if you obsess over it. Just trying to help.

But then again, maybe you don't want to hear it from me, since I have a "magic metabolism". emoticon

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SENIMMO 6/23/2014 9:49PM

    Oh MY!

You have as much as stress as I do! You poor thing. I totally get it about the whole thing. I tracked the one day I thought I was "doing ok" and OMG! I about had a heart attack! I was SO over 3k, I don't even want to think about it. But I did it. and I'm dang well not doing it again!!

Here's to us getting back to the gym and the pool!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 6/23/2014 9:05PM

    I hear you I have been out of sorts for months. You can do it. We can do it.

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MINEA999 6/23/2014 6:55PM

    Gawd honey I know what it’s like. I’m doing the same between 260 and 270. However, since I have not been on a scale since April, I have felt great! Haha. If I didn’t see the number, I didn’t gain any weight!! Though I have given myself a weigh-in date of July 1st to see where things are at. I don’t think I”ll go back to weekly weigh-ins until I start a new round of BLC.

I’m sensing tension. You need to relax. High cortisol in your system can keep you from losing weight no matter how much you exercise and eat well. You need to take care of yourself mentally and reduce your stress!!!

Hang in there trooper.

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_MOBII_ 6/23/2014 1:18PM

    What a weekend! The part that rings true for me is that you were out of your normal schedule...when I am not doing my normal day to day stuff, my eating is all crazy.

You got yourself on track before and you can do it again, I know it!

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Update; eating habits. bodies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I had a good weekend and didn't eat like a piggy! Sometimes weekends are hard. Getting in some exercise was nice too! I took a nice long swim, then had a late, big breakfast (veggie omelet!) and did some Responsible Adult Things - we ordered some furniture we've been needing for, oh, a year, and went to the bank and stuff like that.

That's my new thing; I am overwhelmed by the list of stuff we want & need to do since buying a house, so instead of curling up on the couch and watching TV because Maybe If I Ignore It It'll Go Away, husby & me pick 1 thing each weekend. Stuff gets done, but I still have time for fun and relaxing, AND I feel accomplished. YAY!

Food has been going well for quite a few days now, I am pleased. I am also trying to really focus on food, not only on what and measuring and tracking, but really thinking about eating. The other night I had watermelon for dessert, because I love it and had just bought some. I piled up a huge pile, like 2c, plus some cherries.

This all fit in my calories for the day, I just had a moment where I was looking at it and going... okay. I've had dinner. I'm not *HUNGRY*. I just like watermelon. How is this any different from cookies? I mean really, 1c would be plenty. So I'm trying to think more about this. I think part of my problem is, when I put food on my plate, make food, buy food, or pack food to bring with me for lunch and snacks, I do so in HUGE VOLUME. It's like I'm terrified I might get hungry. Which.. why? Being hungry for half an hour is not going to kill me. And I definitely overserve myself, even healthy foods. I need to focus on eating more mindfully - ALL THINGS not just "bad" foods. It's just as important for me to learn to eat 1/2c or 1c of watermelon instead of 2-3 as it is to learn to eat just 1 cookie instead of 5. These are both symptoms of the same issue. I think if, over time, I could learn to put reasonable amounts of food on my plate, and eat SLOWER so when eating out I don't eat the whole portion, I will be better off both for losing & for maintaining. So I might as well work on it now.

So far I have been decently, if not extravagantly, productive at work also! I am in a good mood today as far as work goes, so I'm gonna try to get off Spark ASAP & continue the momentum!

I just want to take a few minutes (or, let's be honest, PAGES) to continue with my Why Am I So Fat series. I mean, exhibit A, the huge portions things. But emotionally. Part of the reason I think it has been so hard for me to lose, and so easy to gain, goes beyond availability of fattening foods & poor habits. I actually grew up with very good eating habits. We always had vegetables. We had a lot of baked chicken. Low fat milk. NEVER soda with meals. Sweets were usually homemade, and had for dessert in moderation. We ate together at the table. My parents never mentioned my weight, ever. All the things I have been reading nutritionists say to help your kids develop good eating habits! So WHY AM I SO DAMN FAT?

I developed the put-too-much-on-your-plate, shovel-it-in-your-mouth habit pretty early I think. My dad eats like that so maybe it's actually genetic, I don't know. I'm frustrated because I was reading a lot of Ellyn Satter this week (if you look her up, she's a nutritionist and has recommendations for how to deal with food & eating with kids to help them learn healthy eating habits) and as far as I can tell & remember, my parents did all the stuff she recommends. They never forced us to eat things or clean our plates. They didn't restrict junk to the point that we became obsessed hoarders. So if they did everything "right", how come I got fat?

The other thing that makes me mad reading her stuff is, all this about "accept a child's natural genetic size & shape", that a person, if left alone and not forced to diet or whatever, will eat what they need to get the body they are meant to have. So basically she thinks I must be "meant" to be obese??? That pisses me off.

Granted, I gained a lot of my extra weight in college- I was cooking for myself but never had been really taught how or about portions. I cooked things I had seen my mother cook (so I ended up with meals roughly for a family of four) then I ate too much so I wouldn't have quite so much leftovers. Grad school was a whole different story... that was emotional eating on an epic scale. I think those are separate problems that developed later, but childhood & teen years... I mean, according to Satter I was just supposed to be fat?

She basically recommends you just let your kids do their thing. The problem is, WE DON'T LIVE IN A G-D VACUUM. It was great my mother never badgered me or made me feel bad about my body, but the other little jerk kids I went to school with did!

I have always wondered how much of my weight was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think it's more complicated than that (there's other stuff I'll get into in future blogs) but I wonder if, in part, I let myself get fat because I SAW myself as fat. Everyone called me that. I figured it was inevitable and just how I was "supposed" to be.

I was skinny, almost scrawny, until I was about 7. I got chubby around age 8. I went through puberty pretty young - got my period at just barely turned 11, and probably wore bras starting in fourth grade or so. My first bra? was a C cup.

Kids used to follow me around on the playground singing that godawful song about the baby whale... you know, "Baby Beluga"? God I hate that song to this day. My SIL has it on a kids' songs compilation for my niece. I always turn it off. Baby beluga. Because you're so fat you're like a baby whale. Clever! Not.

After being called fat for more than 6 years of school, I just accepted it as my reality. By high school I pretty much went through life assuming people did not want to be friends with me or be seen with me because I was "uncool," because of my weight. (And also because I got good grades but that's another separate commentary on our messed up broken crap of a society) As a teen I was not really FAT. I was just bigger than everyone else. I had a great body, from an adult perspective, but all the other (cool) girls were willowy little size 0s with no boobs or hips. I couldn't wear "cool" clothes for my age as a 14. Done with puberty, and with a genetically VERY hourglass shape. I looked fatter than I was because I dressed in baggy clothes to hide my curves. It never occurred to me I was fat in the places one is SUPPOSED to be fat. Never occurred to me my huge boobs & hips made me attractive. Why would it? In 4th, 5th, and 6th grades the mean boys used to ask me out as a joke. I never said yes because I could tell just from their faces/voices they didn't mean it. They just wanted me to say yes so they could laugh and go "HA, you thought I was SERIOUS? who would ever go out with YOU??" The girls were mean too - probably because they were jealous I actually had boobs. I didn't entirely get that, but even if I had, that didn't make it any easier...

And you know... maybe if someone had explained to the chubby 8 year old what puberty was and how my body was going to change, I would have been better insulated against all the teasing. Maybe it would have helped to know I was naturally, biologically, supposed to put on extra fat that would later become my Lady Areas. By the time I learned about puberty (5th grade secret hush hush film strip shrouded in shame and misery) I was pretty much done with it! "You're going to get your period, which means..." "thanks, got it a year ago." NOT HELPFUL.

The silence, the discomfort around the topic of bodies & puberty, and the shame, didn't do me one damn bit of good. And high school may have been the beginning of my problems. I never learned how to eat healthier or watch my portion sizes until Spark! So senior year I tried one of those stupid "replace breakfast & lunch with shakes" diets, so I could maybe fit into a cool prom dress.

(I didn't go to prom.)

It didn't do much. Except maybe mess with my metabolism and teach me to be afraid of and start messing up my eating patterns.

I would have been better off learning how to eat more mindfully - put less on my plate, eat slower & listen to my hunger cues, and have "treats" in moderation. Now that I think back, that diet, my very first one, was probably where my "all or nothing" mentality problems began.

I would have been better off taking up some kind of activity I could have built on - like Couch to 5k style running. I also had exercise induced asthma so that was another thing that made me write myself off as "unathletic."

I want to like Ellyn Satter. It goes along with my obsession for reading everything I can so maybe my kids won't have to go through what I've been through. But I can't believe in the body, image, weight obsessed world we live in, you can just model good eating habits, have family dinners, and leave it at that. You have to talk about bodies. You have to talk about weight, and what it means and what it doesn't mean. You have to talk about the bodies you see on TV and in magazines, versus real bodies of the people around you every day. They way other people will react to and treat bodies. Including yours.

I have to talk to myself about all of this stuff, because if I don't understand it, I can't fix it.

Ultimately, does it really matter WHY I got fat? Maybe. I mean I can move forward. I mostly know what to do to lose it. I don't always stick to it. Not because it's impossible, but because these other reasons, issues, and ideas I have been carrying around since I was 8 years old still matter in some way. There are going to be days when no matter how much I WANT to lose weight, there will be an equal an opposite way in which I DON'T want to. Unless I understand that and try to get at the root of it, I will never get all the weight off, and I will certainly not keep it off.

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_MOBII_ 6/21/2014 8:44PM

    And by the way...I also pack a ton of food when I head out to work, one, because I am afraid that my blood sugar will drop and I will be stuck with nothing, and two, I sometimes have to wait for a ride and will be away from the house longer than my actual work time.
I am always glad that I have extra stuff with me because I either end up needing to eat it or I can share it with my co-workers.
I just make sure that I am packing healthy!

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_MOBII_ 6/21/2014 8:41PM

    I think that this Ellen Satter whats-her-face-woman, isn't thinking this all the way through.
I don't know when she came up with that crap idea...sounds like the line in one of the Jurrasic Park movies...'they can't manufacture lysine, so they are eating lysine rich foods.'

Our bodies and minds may have worked that way in the days of the caveman, when all they HAD was natural foods, or even today in some of the hidden tribes...they eat a healthy paleo diet. But in today's society, at least in most of the developed world, we have access to a sh!tton of junk and processed foods, our bodies may crave 'x'-ingredient or vitamin, but we end up following the mindset of eat-while-you-can-in-case-of-lean-t
imes and end up stuffing ourselves with garbage.
Its not so much a matter of naturally eating what your body needs, as a screwing yourself over because you eat what is available.

As long as my blood sugar stay stable, I give myself permission to have nice sized (ok, giant) portions of fruits and veggies. Watermelon is pretty healthy, and since it has a lot of water, I don't mind filling up on it.
As a matter of fact, I don't think I have EVER had a 1 cup serving of watermelon!

As to why we got fat, I think if we don't deal with the emotional side of things and understand why, it will be twice as hard to lose and keep the weight off. Heaven knows, my blogs are full of my dealing with these things! You just gotta do whatever you need to take care of you.

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MINEA999 6/20/2014 1:42PM

    So, first of all, it took me two days to read this blog. I literally had to take a break and come back later. It’s like a novel.

Okay – now on food volume and watermelon etc. F*ck that. I’m all about the volume. I still eat big portions of the good stuff and small of the bad, but I don’t cut anything out (this is when I’m not in a binge cycle that is, hey, no one’s perfect right?)

I like high volume low impact foods – big salads, mounds of watermelon. It’s watermelon for gawd’s sake! Not Cheetos! BUT each to their own I think.

I think that this Ellyn Satter is just plain wrong. There’s no ‘meant to be fat’ (unless there some sort of medical issue etc.) Kids are molded by their surroundings and are especially vulnerable to body issues and eating habits starting around the age of 6. So okay, once you were an adult you had to take responsibility for your actions but the inherited beliefs and habits that you picked up as a child (and NOT just from your parents, but also from your siblings, your friends (the other little jerk kids as you say), your aunt, your grandparents – you were at an age where you were absorbing other people’s habits and how they dealt with things in the world, how they treated others, things they said, beliefs they had) but they were just that – inherited, usually not consciously. And you can’t blame yourself.

Gawd I could have written half of what you said myself. Same with the bra and OMG that f’ing Baby Beluga song!!! I was tortured with it too and STILL hate it to this day. And yes to the self-fulfilling prophecy part – but unlike you, in high school I just kept gaining and gaining. I think I was probably a size 26 by the time I graduated high school. Oh and as for your hourglass shape – yeah I don’t have that. So I’m jealous of you there. :)

And you are totally right – modelling good eating and exercise patterns for children is not enough. You DO have to talk about bodies, weight, what it means. And you have to make sure that children do not grow up thinking discriminating or fat shaming is acceptable or okay or that there is anything wrong with anyone’s body.
Anyway, it’s a big issue and nothing can be solved or perfected but awareness is a start! Isn’t all this introspection damn hard?!

Love ya!

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JUMPINJULIE 6/18/2014 9:53PM

    Reading your blog is like reading my entire 4 through 6 grades years. I just wish I had the info I have now. But we can do this and we will have those crappy days but we can do this.

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SENIMMO 6/18/2014 5:15PM

    We need a bigger boat. Not because we are big, mind you. We need it because we have a LOT of people in it!!!

My dear, you are NOT alone in any of this. Get it, got it, did it, yep.

Figuring out your "why" may or may not help you. I know my "why" and it really doesn't make it any easier. I'm still fat. I am not as fat as I WAS, but I am still fatter than I WILL BE.

Eventually, I will get there. And the thing about kids? Love them unconditionally and do your best. It's not like they come with instruction manuals!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHRINKING_SARA 6/18/2014 10:26AM

    I had a similar patter... super skinny until about 7 -- then plump -- then bigger -- then fat by high school. My parents didn't watch what I ate. We always had fruit and veggies, and fried chicken and cream sauces, and bread and pasta and soda and kool-aide...

I don't know what I'm going to do with my kids, but I am going to try to be healthier with them and watch portions. My parents made us clean our plates -- not doing that. My parents let me cook my own food = fried foods -- as soon as I was tall enough and old enough to be safe = not doing that.

I was an emotional eater to deal with a lot of stuff my parents were going through... no one thought to see what was wrong with my coping mechanisms. I'm going to try to be more proactive.

What kills me is my mom always says "I don't know what I did wrong... you were so skinny when you were little. Then..."

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ADARKARA 6/17/2014 12:46PM

    As usual, you are hitting right at the core of it.

I was also not fat in high school. I was heavier than I am now, but I was not fat. I wore a size 12. I was constantly called "the big girl" and when I would get angry at that, people would say "it's because you're tall". Uh huh. Even at 16 I could smell bull hockey. I wasn't athletic either, but I rode my bike and walked a LOT.

I know for a fact my weight gain was a portion control problem. My dad had a super fast metabolism until he was in his 40s, and never stopped eating seconds and thirds. It wound up killing him, I think. I saw him eat seconds and thirds at every meal, and grew up thinking this was okay.

Like you, we ALWAYS had veggies and lean meats. We just had a lot of it. I was, however, a snack cake hoarder. Tastykakes were my thing. I'd eat them and hide the wrappers. Never once did my dad tell me I was fat or that I should stop eating so much. The only thing he ever complained about was me drinking too much soda.

And, like you, I have had to educate MYSELF about diet and nutrition, because I sure as hell didn't get any classes in that in high school. Almost everything I know about nutrition and portion control I learned on the internet. (I most certainly didn't watch one documentary and believe everything it said, like some people on this site.)

Research, research, research, plus a little trial and error. =)

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Workouts; desk; musings

Friday, June 13, 2014

I've been mixing it up this week! I bought some workout DVDs for mornings I don't feel like or don't have time to go to the gym. I'm trying to combat my old "all or nothing" ruts I get into. Sometimes if I don't feel like I have time or energy for an hour workout, I just don't do anything. Which is silly. Some activity is better than none!

So far this week I have:

1) swam for 45 minutes. Pushed myself and got my HR up, burned more calories!
2) did the Spark "500 calorie treadmill workout" - highly modified! Whoa! I read it, and thought "oh that won't be so hard" even though I am JUST getting back into running. Nope! I had to modify quite a bit. I'll keep working at it, it will be good for my fitness & endurance.
3) quick weight lifting (I just did some random machines, whatever I "felt like", and 1-2 free weight things. Nothing like NROL or anything like that. Then swam for 25 min.
4) 30 Day Shred!

Hahaha. Same experience with 30DS. It's hard! I had to modify some, and I rested in a couple of spots even though Jillian was like "no rest!! You don't get to rest during a 20min workout!!" She can't see me, so.... emoticon I liked it though, I think it's a good thing to have in the mix.

About Jillian... It's funny, it seems a lot of people don't like her, from reading reviews online. They think she is mean, or "yelling". She does have a loud voice, she is obviously projecting, but I didn't find her to be mean. I kind of like her explanations, it's this vibe of "yes, you are uncomfortable, but that's because we can't change our bodies without stressing them a little bit. You can handle it." That makes a lot of sense, and is true! It wasn't tough love exactly, just no nonsense. I love the way she calls the girls who are demonstrating the moves "buddy," and I giggled when she was joking about not being flexible during the stretching part. I'm sure some of the patter will get old over time (I was thinking about making a drinking game where you take a shot of water or sports drink every time she says "no injuries!" "we don't want that!") but the music is not annoying and it's definitely a workout that challenges me, so I'm happy with the purchase.

So that is all very positive, I'm looking forward to getting in some "easy" workouts over the weekend - maybe a long leisurely walk to the farmer's market tomorrow morning, and a lazy swim on Sunday, we'll see.

I feel better and less stressed when I'm more active, and I'm also coming around to the idea that if I really want to get this weight off, I'm going to have to be active most days. Not "WORKOUT" as in work super hard until I almost pass out, burn 600 calories EVERY DAY, work out every day, but have some kind of activity beyond my general walking around, stairs, whatever. I can't "WORKOUT" 2 days a week, 3 if I get around to it/feel like it, and get all this weight off. And anyway, I'll be healthier in the long run! So I want to mix in more short workouts, walks, stuff like that, and also have some be "easy" days so they're my active rest between tougher workouts. I can do that.

As part of trying to increase my activity and feel better, I was obsessing over sitting so much this week. I have a lot of office work days over the next few weeks, which is good! I need the time, I have tons to do. But it's less active than my running around days when I'm offsite, or on the daily runaround schedule. I've also found it leads to me feeling kind of bonkers which makes me procrastinate more. Also with my large chest, I have bad posture and either way - trying to sit up correctly, or slouching, BOTH lead to back pain. So I read a bit about standing desks and wanted to try it.

Problem? "real" ones are expensive and I'd need work permission etc. I didn't want to do the hack where people do all this crazy modification to an IKEA coffee table or whatever... I looked at my workspace and was like... I could probably just use a frame + a flat piece that lifts my computer up enough to stand at it. Nothing fancy.

I have a bunch of random PVC around from a work project so I built myself a quick prototype:

(LOL at my coworker eating a banana in the background...)

I loved it! I stood, except for a meeting and eating my lunch, from about noon yesterday. It was great! My back feels better and I'm probably burning more calories that way, too.

It was distracting to have all my coworkers passing by be like "... what are you DOING?" "why are you standing?" "oh that's cool!" "what's wrong, do you have back problems?" etc etc etc. hahaha. Eh, they'll get used to it...

Yesterday's was made out of rando pieces of PVC; on the way home I bought some actual long pieces to make a real one, which I'll do as soon as my morning shift is over (I'm emergency backup for people offsite, so I have to wait until they're at their sites in case I'm needed). The platform yesterday was the lid from a plastic storage bin; for the real thing I got some coroplast (corrugated plastic, like the stuff temporary yard signs are made out of) so it's light. I'm going to tape 2 pieces together so I can fold it when I'm not using it. I'll post photos! emoticon

As for musings, I'm thinking about doing some blogs where I try to think more about the mental parts of all this. I mean I talk a bit about my thought processes when I've overeaten, or when I'm trying to talk myself into tracking or whatever, but I think there's more than that. And also will hopefully be less boring than my "hey, here's what I ate/did yesterday!" dumb blogs I've been doing lately.... LOL.

I think for a lot of us, especially if we have been fat (or even "fat") for most of our lives, there's a lot more mental and emotional baggage we have to work through. I was kind of inspired by what MINEA posted a while ago about forgiving herself, and different stuff she's thinking through, to think maybe I should unpack some of my mental baggage.

I have a lot of stuff I carry around with me - resentment over being fat, but I also think resentment over things and people I feel like helped "make me" fat, and maybe digging through all of that could be helpful. Plus, I have thought a lot about the fears I have about losing, but maybe saying them "out loud" in the blog will help - this is stuff that has the potential to KEEP me fat, if I leave it unexamined too much.

This is already long, so I'll just start my first topic with a post I made over a year ago (2 years??) on a different forum, when I was first doing Couch to 5k and before I got more active on Spark People.

"I always hated PE. It didn't teach me how to make my body healthier or like athletics, it just taught me that some people are naturally good at athletic things, and I am not one of those people and never will be, and therefore I will always be unpopular. I wish when I was a child someone had taught me to build up my skills and endurance slowly, and compare myself against my personal best instead of against everyone else. I might have been active throughout my life and never had a weight problem in the first place, but alas. I can't go back in time, I can only go forward on a different path!"

That's very positive at the end there, and it is what I'm trying to do, but honestly? There is a lot of resentment there. My family was not that active in the "oh let's all take a walk together" sort of way. I rode my bike a lot as a small kid, but as a teen? I really had no activity. And it was not encouraged either. There was the general stuff they tell you in health class and PE but no one was really like "Every single person needs to be active, and by active we mean ___________, every day." And no one taught me how to get BETTER. It was just like, oh you can't run. Implied - you won't make it around the bases in baseball. Which is fine because you're uncoordinated and can't hit the ball anyway. Team sports are super important, but if you aren't good at them you never will be. I got a lot of "keep your eye on the ball," and then my teachers would just kind of throw up their hands when that didn't make me better. That was it. That's all that matters - if you can already hit the ball, and well, you are special and good and cool. If you can't... HUGE PUT UPON SIGH, you are a waste of our time and energy and space.

My 7th grade gym teacher (a very fit bodybuilder type man) gave me a "band aid" award at the end of the year, as the person who got hit with the ball (regardless of sport) the most. I mean... guy? Go %$&* yourself. Sorry, but that's how I feel. Your stupid, resoundingly mocked by society job, was to teach me to be more athletic and healthy and YOU FAILED. Not only did you fail at your job, but you OPENLY MOCKED an awkward embarrassed 13 year old GIRL in front of all of her classmates. You're a crappy human being and have no business in a school at all, let alone that most impressionable and painful of transitional times, a MIDDLE SCHOOL.

All I took away from phys ed and sports, as a kid and a teenager, was that I was an "unathletic" person, which meant I shouldn't try. It didn't occur to me that I was out of shape, and had the ability to GET IN shape.

Is this why I ended up morbidly obese? Not entirely, but it sure as $%*& didn't HELP. I try to let it go, but I do wonder what I might have been like if I had had something like Couch to 5k as a teen. I could have enjoyed exercise, bettered myself, been healthier, not "wasted" 20 years of my life.... Obsessing about it isn't helpful, this is true, but all those feelings are there. I'm just trying to acknowledge them.

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SHARBEAR100 6/27/2014 5:03PM

    Yes, yes and yes! Good for you all the way around! They didn't even have women's sports when I was in school, except maybe track, but I don't remember anyone ever talking about it. And you're right, PE should be about teaching kids and empowering them. Not a showcase for the athletic kids and knocking the others down.

I also love your desk emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 6/18/2014 9:43PM

    Love your desk. I should try that more often. Anyway I hate teachers like that I have had many. And just like really who died and made you judge of what my abilities are. Your job is to teach me not judge. I like your idea of doing blogs about your inner self. I feel that is what I'm missing I guess I forgot to work on that part but we can do it.

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LISAN0415 6/17/2014 12:18AM

    Yes I agree P.E. could have been a much better program if it was taught by people on sparkpeople. teaching people about fueling their bodies and making workouts challenging but fun.

I am sorry that man hurt your feelings and embarrassed you, its happened to all of us, I don't know if this makes you feel any better or not, but I truly believe those people don't mean to hurt our feelings, sometimes knowing that someone was being "ignorant" but not purposely mean, makes it easier for me to forgive them. Like when someone has said something in the past like "oh you look good as a big girl..." or "you wear extra weight well" That has hurt me too, and made me feel self concious, but in a way, that person is trying to pay me a compliment. I guess their moms/dads never taught them tact.

I know in my life I have said things that I wish I could take back, and I didn't mean to be rude or hurtful either.

Anyways, it sounds like you have your activity down pat, keep up with your food tracking and you'll have some great results this next week!

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_MOBII_ 6/16/2014 10:27AM

    First off...yay for the banana for scale! Hehe!

While I am of the general mindset that not everyone should get a trophy...I also think it is terrible for a child, or teen, or anyone for that matter, to be singled out for not achieving something.

I also hated PE in school...even though I rode my bike a LOT during the summer, the reason for and the correct way to stretch was never explained. In jr. high, we started to jog a mile during PE as a 'test', like a midterm exam but for gym class. There was never any warmup that I can remember, just a command to run 2x around the school on the path and then 2x around the field which was equal to a mile.
Never any cool down after and no encouragement other than being timed. Even the times were not encouraged....just a statement of what your time was.

Also, as part of our exams, we had to lift weights, climb the rope, climb the pegboard, and other assorted crapola.

By the time I was in 5th grade, I was convinced that climbing a rope was something only boys could do. Don't get me wrong, I still cannot climb a rope and really have no desire to ever do so, but a little bit of actual 'teaching' might have went a long way!

OMG, apparently, PE is a sensitive subject for me too, lol....I just might have to blog about it myself!

Anyways...keep going chicky! Hang in there, because you are awesome!

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SENIMMO 6/14/2014 9:48PM

    Can you tell we all have more in common than we ever could have imagined? It's a hard road, recovering from stupid people. You can do it. If I can (and I AM), then you certainly can!!


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POMATOJUICE 6/13/2014 10:47PM

    I joined band to avoid PE, since Marching band fullfilled all PE requirements. I liked how structured it was. Everyone knew where they were supposed to walk& stand, and there wasn't really "good" or "bad." If you didn't hit your mark, you tried again until you did! It was so much better than middle school PE middle school PE is hell!!

I agree that there are many contributing factors that make us who we are. It's good to write about whatever YOU feel is relevant because it is!! Mi always kind of wished I had a real nutrition class in middle school. Something that taught the basics... What is a calorie, how do they work, what macronutrients are, etc. honestly, though, my middle school butt would probably just found it boring as hell though :p

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MINEA999 6/13/2014 5:45PM

    Sigh. I could have written so much of this myself. Except that part where you can't hit a ball. I was a really good softball player in terms of hitting and catching and throwing. But running was another story - if I didn't hit it hard enough to basically get a home run, I was lucky if I got to first base. (and sadly that situation can be used a euphemism for other areas of my life)

High school gym was a joke. It had a lot of team sports and runs etc. that just were not areas that not only could I not excel at but made me feel like such a loser. I did, however, have one female gym teacher in grade 10 that took me aside and told me she wanted to see me excel at what I can excel at and that was comparing my progress to myself and not to anyone else. So she set me up on an exercise circuit with certain heart rate goals and resistance goals and she actually graded me on my progress. Only year I ever got a B in gym class. I have to give her credit for trying.

Oh and that grade 7 teacher? What a douche. It's sh*t like that that scars us for life (hence why you still remember it and carry it with you years later as do I for many situations like that).

Now, as for addressing the mental stuff behind all this I completely agree that it's totally important but be warned that it is SO hard to do. As you recognize and address your deep seeded feelings it can bring back binge tendencies and other crap. My therapist noted that the reason I may be struggling the last several months with keeping a steady keel of food and exercise is because I'm also trying to address the mental aspect and once you add that third element it becomes very difficult to balance all three. So just be warned, it may be a step-back to take two steps forward thing. I'm doing group and individual therapy for the first time in my life and although I haven't had a particularly dramatic past there's still a lot of crap to sift through.

One thing you might be interested in is a workbook called 'Why Weight', it has a series of exercises that you journal and work on your issues. It's not intended to be done in one sitting or a week or month, but to slowly work through it as you work through issues and stages. I'm just starting it myself.

Anyway, now that my answer is as long as your blog entry, I'm going to stop.

You rock the casbah, keep up the good work!!

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ADARKARA 6/13/2014 12:12PM

    I so totally get you about gym class. We got graded on how many laps we could run around the track in 20 minutes. I got a D. They don't train you to do anything, or teach you how, they just expect you to do it. I think gym class is the only mandatory high school class that doesn't dumb itself down to the lowest common denominator. I like your idea of personal improvement. It's way better than dodgeball and being picked last.

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