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Back to square one

Monday, January 23, 2012

True confessions time. This is the end of my personal 12 week challenge to get back on track. I had lost 8 lb by the end of week 8, and was still at 8 by week 10. I felt that I HAD taken back control. However, in the last two weeks I've gained all 8 lb back. I know, it will go almost as quickly. The real issue is that it is now the dead of winter, and I am in my annual funk.

I would have been happy to lose 8 lb in 12 weeks -- extrapolated, that would have been more than 30 in the course of a year .... I would be truly grateful to lose 20 lb a year (for a number of years, of course:)) Until recently, I had kept 20 of the 25 lbs I lost last year off.

One thing I've learned is that my small area of exercise is crucial. When I walk, I lose. When I don't, I gain. It's that simple.

Excuses time. Neither the dog nor I like to walk in icy/rainy conditions. The dog's worse. You haven't seen funny till you've seen a dog trying to raise two paws. One front and one back, in case you were wondering. I have a great sense of guilt when I walk without him, so much so that I only walk with him. ... When he stays in, I stay in. My husband has promised to walk the dog at night, if I promise to venture out during the day -- with the dog on good days, and without him on bad.

I do have a Rebounder (good quality mini-trampoline), a cheap (but good enough) elliptical and a very old but very good quality stair climber. At my current weight, all of these hurt my knees, so walking is my safe movement.

I receive many kind, helpful and supportive comments. My sparkly friends are wonderful. This community is a lifesaver.

I have a painful memory of three years ago. There was about an inch of snow over a thick layer of ice on all the roads. I fell three times that day. ( I used to play a lot of volleyball, and it is easy to roll out of these falls back to a standing position, and without injury).The last time I fell -- I fell hard -- it was in front of two women walking toward me. They pretended they didn't see me. I told myself they were afraid of the dog, but in truth I think they were mortified for the fat lady falling. I ask you if you would ignore someone -- anyone -- if they fell in front of you? 'Cuz I would not. This was a very disturbing moment for me. It took days for me to grasp that someone would not help ... because I was overweight. I felt very alone, and that is not my normal state of mind. I have always felt part of the huge and powerful energy that is humanity. That moment was the first time I felt that I was written off because of my appearance. It is a strange thing. I think they were embarrassed for me, and then paralyzed about responding. Did they think I was responsible for my downfall ... because I was fat? Who knows. But for the record, the absolute least courtesy that I should have been able to expect from them was a query as to whether I was alright.

On the same subject, my husband saw a very, very heavy woman stumble and roll down the steep entrance to one of our downtown hotels, and no one ran to help her except him. Can you imagine? David Granger, editor in chief of the US Esquire magazine, wrote in a recent editorial about personal generosity that we all think we try hard. "We need to recognize that is probably true of other people. And act like it" -- Be generous to your fellow man. I think that is as strong a thought as any with which to end my blog.

Be generous to your fellow man. And find a way to exercise. The funk will go. It always does.

Thank you for listening:)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Dear Deirdre,
    I am sorry that you were ignored. I have fallen a lot and wished I had the muscle memory to roll out of a fall and minimize damages. I remember falling down in front of two teenager girls and they just looked so annoyed that I might have ruined their day by falling down and blocking their path. They showed no concern at all if I was okay from falling, especially since it wasn't a little stumble. I thought it was because of their age that they haven't been taught to know any better. It is sad and you wonder why these women acted this way.

    It made me think have I ever been in a situation where I didn't respond and ignored someone? I know there have been times when I have seen people in wheelchairs and wanted to help them open a door or something, but always hesitated if they would be angry and think I am treating them like an invalid. I changed my mind after I had a bad fall down a flight of stairs and dislocated my kneecap. I had to limp around the UA campus on crutches for two weeks. I found it very eye opening how difficult and time consuming it was to get around a "handicap accessible" campus. Now when I see someone in a wheelchair at a door, I open it without hesitation. If they get mad, I won't take it personally. So far, everyone has been surprised and thank me. I guess they could manage, but its nice nice to receive a little courtesy.
    Thinking about you,
    2279 days ago
    That was JUST NOT RIGHT that no one came to help you up when you fell. I don't know that it was because of your weight though. Perhaps these bystanders don't help anybody - they may be self-absorbed or too embarrassed about themselves or may be in a hurry to get somewhere...Of course there are some who may indeed be discriminatory but I think such non-helping behavior also happens when thinner people are on the fallen end too. I know when I was on the skinny side - way back many moons ago - I was wearing 4-inch heel sandals and slipped on a sidewalk crack and there were 3 women walking towards me and none of them helped me up. A little boy ran across the street to help.

    I personally would have immediately helped out anyone who fell and made sure they weren't severely injured... Gosh, recently I even helped pick up the oranges when a woman accidentally dropped her grocery bag and the oranges went rolling down the hill! Envision this, if you will, me chasing after tumbling oranges? LOL

    Like you, I feel that I'm back at square one. Everytime I get below 130 lbs, I somehow sabotage myself and not exercise/eat more. I then end up bouncing up and down from that mark. But I know we both can do this! We may need some external motivators though. Can your hubby/friends do exercises with you?

    emoticon You deserve to be fit & healthy!

    2315 days ago
  • KATHY024
    I keep coming back to your thoughts on the shocking attitude that a lot of people have toward anyone who is overweight. It happens all too often in the current society where people think that they can do and say anything to anyone with no thought to the carnage of spirit they are leaving in their wake. I am sorry that you had to be on the receiving end of what is actually a "hate crime".

    I'll leave you with this story: I had an appointment with an allergist at the Stanford Clinic and after he finished talking about allergies and available treatments he said to me, "You know that you are overweight don't you?" Of course I felt hurt by his attitude and I replied, "yes I do have a mirror at home". It was a couple of seconds later that the hurt left and the anger came so I then asked him, "You know you are Chinese don't you?" I'm sure he will always remember me. emoticon
    2318 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/13/2012 11:23:30 PM
    I am amazed that people would not stop to help you or the other woman. Or maybe I shouldn't be amazed, society in general seems to be becoming more and more disconnected from the sense of communal good. I keep thinking of the Chinese toddler that was run over a few months ago and no one did anything so the poor baby was actually run over twice before someone had enough moral integrity to help the child.

    The good news is winter is now half over and you're not back at square one. You already know what to do and how to do it so you're really at square 2!
    2322 days ago
    How are you doing, dear friend? I enjoyed reading this blog very much. I too have fallen away from my healthy choices lately, and gained back weight in the process, so I can truly relate. emoticon I have decided to look at this past year as my training year - and now I am ready to step up and really rock it. I marvel at the folks who actually lose, say 70 lbs in one year, with no back sliding.... Well, I guess I am a slow learner, and that is OK (it will have to be, right?)
    So have you been able to incorporate more walking into your day? I know what you are saying - I don't think I could bring myself to walk while leaving Trevor home, but he is an all weather dog who has no problem in sunshine, rain or snow - it's all the same to him. The comments on your blog here are wise and insightful - you are most definitely a well-loved member of our Spark Family! Thank you for sharing this. emoticon
    2326 days ago
    Deirdre, You know what you need to do. You have had success. We all get off course and backslide or have health issues or weather related issues but there is always something that can be done. I'm walking around the inside of my house during commercials when I watch tv in the evenings. I have one show that is 30min. and I walk in place the whole time it is on. You can work up a good sweat if you're really into it. When I talk to my Mom, I pace the floors because I usually talk to her for a while. Be'll figure out something that will work for you. Just stay consistent.

    On a different note, I have a cocker spaniel who hates the rain. She sticks her head out the door and if she smells rain or snow, she puts the brakes on and you can't get her out the door.(without dragging or picking up. =) ) she tickles me. I love the image of your dog with oppisite paws up. lol

    I'm sorry for you're painful memory of your fall. It's bad enough that you fell and bruised your backside but for someone to pretend that they don't see you and not to even inquire as to whether you were hurt or not, just really infuriates me!!!
    I don't think it was because of your weight...maybe they felt you were embarressed and didn't wish to make it worse....but it is still inexcusable! Today people are insisitive to their neighbors and have no manners or compassion for their fellow man. It has nothing to do with you, my lovely friend. It is all on them as to what kind of human being they are.
    What a wonderful husband you have to help his fellow man or woman.
    Stay positive and keep sparking! You're emoticon
    2334 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/28/2012 6:41:29 PM
    Thanks for posting your feelings. I think most of us at Spark feel the same and many have experienced similar things. People do discriminate against fat people. Unfortunately I believe that is true. As for my weight loss, I fluctuate a lot and also seem to hit many plateaus. I have not been exercising regularly and I now see how very important that piece of the process is. Just keep on, enter your food in the trackers and walk when you can. It will come off a little at a time- be patient. Good luck.
    2336 days ago
  • JENNA54
    Thanks for sharing this Deirdre. First of all, I really admire your openness and honesty about your weight loss journey. When I read your blog I felt a great affinity with you and your struggle. I also felt I'm not alone in this anymore, which says everything about the wonderful people I have met through SP. I too have lost 8 lbs since Jan 1, but it is as if the scales have seized up and are now absolutely stuck, refusing to budge. I feel like I am trying really hard, and while it is tempting to throw all the toys out of the cot and have a tantrum, I know I just have to hang in there a bit longer. I have learnt quite a bit about my body this past year on SP - I tend to gain weight just before I lose it. I can go for ages stuck at the same number, then one day it actually goes up a bit, but then the day after that it will drop (as long as I don't lose the plot and seek solace in the pantry). Weird or what?

    The other thing I'd like to say is how utterly appalled I was at your story about your fall, and I have to say that I couldn't stop thinking about it for ages. Sometimes I just cannot imagine what goes on in people's minds. How anyone can behave like that to another person whatever their shape/size is beyond me. I had a similar thing happen to me. I worked at the University here and of course was surrounded by young svelte 18-20 year olds a lot of time. I was in the Library where I worked and I was carrying a pile of books up the mezzanine stairway. I was actually pleased with myself for taking the stairs. Anyway I had on sandal type shoes and I accidentally caught the tip of the one shoe on the next step (going up thank goodness, not down) and fell over, probably displaying all my nether regions to the young girls coming up the steps behind me. They completely ignored the fact that I had bleeding shins from scraping my legs on the metal stair strips, and just giggled and said "How embarrassing!" before walking around me. I was embarrassed beyond words, and immediately staggered to my feet trying to act as if nothing had happened, and looked accusingly at the stairs as if they were the problem, and not me! I was mortified, and I guess I did feel their attitude was because I was no slim jim. I can laugh about it now, but it hurt at the time.

    So we carry on, do the best we can to be the best we can be. We're not perfect, but the important thing is to keep trying, not to give up. And to remember that everyone has feelings, and what we do and say can hurt. I love your statement about generosity of spirit - what a beautiful sentiment, that we should hold dear in our hearts.
    In NZ there is a Maori saying "He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata! which translates as
    What is the most important thing in the world?
    It is people! It is people! It is people!

    Spark people for me!

    2336 days ago
  • SHARON2018
    Sorry for your bad experience! But I am glad you are trying again. My experience has been similar, lots of success, then backsliding, then stagnation. I also don't like to walk without my Aussie, and like your weather, it is cold and icy here as well. My motto is REBOOT! So that's where we both are right now. Let's do it together!! emoticon
    2338 days ago
    I read your post and was in awe how one person can see things one way and the other person can see something so very different. "That moment was the first time I felt that I was written off because of my appearance."
    When I look at your pictures and the main one on your blog I see someone who, if walking toward me...fell...I would rush to...(voice raised) telling them not to move or go slow so they didn't get hurt worse, getting to them and seeing their eyes which show such caring and love of others, it seems to flow outward through them (not everyone has that ability) then looking them over carefully seeing if they were hurt and to try to (after they told me they were just really shook up) smile just to see them smile because, as I came toward them... I saw it... just a glimps of a face, that when light up, seemed to warm a heart to its very depths. (again not something many people have or are able to give another by just smiling) ... I could go on and on but when I see you I see so much more even if you had fallen...and were shook up to your core.
    You are so much more then you were lead to believe that day! We all see through your
    e excerise will come of course as will the 20 pounds a year without a doubt. Most importantly you ARE SO MUCH MORE then what you felt that day. emoticon
    2338 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/24/2012 6:49:09 PM
    Dear Deirdre-
    Am not sure what was going on with those two women on your walk, but I am truly sorry for their treatment of you. That was so thoughtless of them and I agree, it was not an indictment of you, your size, who you are, etc. You are a lovely woman who always has a kind, encouraging word for others. Please let us be that for you. You can make the right choices and begin today. Little things do add up to be big things and every little action that you make for good choices will make a difference. Every choice can bring you closer to what you are really after!
    Your friend,
    2338 days ago
    Oh Deirdre, my heart broke when I read your blog. I am so sorry you experienced this! It is a trauma. I think it would take me a long time to get over such nastiness and egoism.
    And I can relate about losing weight and then gaining it back in a small amount of time... Don't get discouraged, Deirdre!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2338 days ago
  • DEBRA0818
    I have a small suggestion that might help you during inclement weather: walk the house! I got my husband walking around our small apartment during commercials when we're watching TV and discovered it can be quite a workout even if you're going in a very small circle. This was very valuable to me when we lived in Chicago because the weather was rarely just right for walking (too hot, too cold, too humid, raining, snowing, etc.).

    In regard to your fall -- I am also appalled that no one offered to help you or that other woman, but I hesitate to attribute the lack of help to weight. I do think people are, in general, becoming less helpful to strangers and I don't know why -- fear of involvement, fear of offending the person who needs help, whatever. It is a trend that others have noticed on a wider scale and not applying just to overweight people.

    However, I also feel very sympathetic to the suspicion that my weight is causing others to dismiss, ignore or insult me. It is one of the most painful aspects of being overweight. However, I have been persuaded over time that these feelings stem from my own mistaken attributions. People act the way they do because of who they are, not because of who I am. Even if they are treating me differently because I'm overweight, it is still about them and the prejudices they carry. My problem continues to be occasionally projecting my own antipathy onto other people's motivations.

    I hope you find a way to get back on track -- struggling more than occasionally myself, I know how hard it is to get back and how easy it is to slip off. Maybe we can be an encouragement to each other? I just found out that the emergency surgery I had a couple of years ago has resulted in my kidneys no longer processing protein properly and I have to change my diet all around again. Ugh!

    emoticon emoticon
    2339 days ago
    I'm so sorry you had this painful experience. I totally feel your pain and it hits a sore note in so many areas of the isolation we feel as overweight people. It was their failing not yours. You are valuable and important no matter where you are in the journey. It's hard enough to tell ourselves that and believe it so when someone reinforces with their cruel behavior the opposite it is a setback but here on SP we all remind each other of the truth. YOU ARE WORTH IT!!! Keep logging in and don't forget it sister emoticon
    2339 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Well, I am appalled. You do realize, right, that those women's failure to act was a failure on their part, and not an indictment of you? Here is my theory: they were projecting. THEY would have been embarrassed had they fallen. THEY would have wanted someone to pretend not to notice. This was about THEM, not you. Having said that, the more you move, the more you will want to move. I know the deal of the dog and guilt but you are charged with taking care of the dog, the dog is not in charge of taking care of you so, therefore, you are also in charge of taking care of you so that means moving, whether he is in the mood, or not. I like Sarah's suggestion of the Leslie Sansone DVD. I have never done this but I have sure read a lot of positive comments about her program, and because your exercise of choice is walking, and because weather is an issue, it sounds like a great solution to get yourself moving again. Okay, enough out of me. Walk on, Miss Deirdre, walk on.
    2339 days ago
    Oh I feel for you! I live in North Dakota and walking outside is not an option. I really really love Walk Away the Pounds, it's walking inside safe and comfy in your own home, I truly credit it for getting me moving and losing weight. I love how honest you are, thank you for sharing not only your set back but also your story, I wish I could have been there that day to help you back up again. But know that you have so many Sparkers with you now, you CAN do this. Try try again. Let me know if there is ANYTHING that I can do to help you in the journey. emoticon
    2339 days ago
    Hats off to you Dood. You are the most honest and articulate person i know, and I am proud to know you! You are going to make it to your goals, stumbles and all. You will find the straw one day, that something that clicks inside and you will make it happen. You are so strong.

    Those ladies who saw you fall could have been enmeshed in their own conversation, and not even have "seen" you, though whatever their motivation, their behavior was appalling. That's on them, not you.
    Love you Dood, and just keep at it!
    2339 days ago
    It's a pretty bad memory to have - of feeling humiliated, criticized, maybe blamed for being overweight. We don't know what those women were thinking, but you know what you were thinking they were thinking. I feel for you. I also know how "easy" it is to regain weight that we struggle so hard to take off. My feeling about it is: It's not our fault!!! Unless we are stuffing our faces all day long with junk food - well, then it is our fault. But a lot of us are within very normal behavior but it's really hard for us to find the level of activity we need in order to drop the pounds. It's a big struggle for me so I understand. I guess the most important thing is that we don't give up, right? It's good that you shared this story!
    2339 days ago
    How's about steps? Walking at the mall? I can't BELIEVE those ladies just watched you fall and not do/say anything! They are SO not worth your time! People can be so rude. Be kind to yourself...recognizing that you're in a funk is a first big step. Make sure you have plenty of lights on at night and try to get some sun during the day. That will help. Oh...and maybe a bubble bath! Hang in there! You really are doing good!
    emoticon emoticon
    2339 days ago
    You are still healthier even with the regained weight BECAUSE you know what you need to do!

    Try walking 15 minutes a day and then add on to it - can you find a place to swim GREAT non-weight bearing cardio!!! GOOD for all of you!!!

    Hang in there - you can do this!

    2339 days ago
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