Tag Archives: weightloss

New Blog Post – “Just like riding a bike”

I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot, and what it means to be a blogger. I decided early on that this wasn’t going to be a place for recipes or before and after photos, I thought this would keep me accountable. I assumed that with an audience present, I would stay focused on fat loss because I wouldn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of failure (which as we know is what happens with most diets). But as it turns out, I don’t need this blog to remain accountable. This task hasn’t kept me honest or prevented me from eating donuts. I EAT donuts, but I’ve also lost over 60 pounds since I joined Weight Watchers last December. I’ve done the work, with plenty of difficult, frustrating, and down right bad weeks, but I’ve done the work. So if the blog isn’t about accountability, what is it for?

I do not intend to post reviews of consumer products or other weight loss trends/fads. I’m not a doctor and can’t provide actual health recommendations. I’m just a story teller who can occasionally craft a meaningful (possibly heartfelt) narrative. I can rant and rave and share my point of view. I can yell down a well. So the truth is this blog may only be self-gratifying, a glorified journal of sorts. But it has been an important part of my journey. I’ve written and shared things that I needed to say out loud. I don’t know the responsibility of the blogger and I know there are a bazillion weight loss blogs, possibly of greater substance, but I like it here. So on with the show.

I feel compelled to share a few fears that have come to the forefront of my thoughts recently. The first is that I am afraid to ride a bike. I know HOW to ride, I’m just afraid to ride again. I learned to ride a bike when I was 7 or 8. I remember my parents got me a blue BMX for Christmas and the training wheels came off that same day as I obsessively tried again and again to hold myself upright on the bike. I most certainly lost hours of my childhood to dirt bike adventures and earned my share of scraped knees and punishments for unauthorized ventures beyond my two block riding radius. But now I think I’m just too fat and I won’t have the core strength to maintain my balance. I’m afraid to fall. I’m afraid to try. So what do you do when riding a bike isn’t “just like riding a bike”? What if I fail?

Number two fear – and this one may actually just be ridiculous – running. I am afraid to run. Again, I feel to heavy. Like what if I crush my little leg bones because of all this weight? What if my lungs burst from the burn of exertion? Or what if my heart rate just gets to high and I collapse? My rational self knows these are petty fears. I won’t crush my legs, hell they’ve been carrying me around for a long while now and didn’t cry mercy 60lbs ago, I think they are in it for the long haul. And here’s a really neat trick, if my lungs or heart or ankle or head hurts too much, I can STOP. I can go back to walking, or catch my breath, or text my mom 911.

So I’m actively trying to alleviate this fear. I have started Couch to 5k, and I’m still much closer to the couch than running a 5k, but I’m jogging is spurts and I’m not dead yet. So about this bike riding, I’m trying to imagine the worst that could reasonably happen. Say I fall from the oh so steep height of my bike (and yes I do actually own a bike), that’s only a mere 5 feet 4 inches (my wee little height). I won’t even humor the thought of auto accidents because well that wouldn’t be #winning.

So like when I was 7, what if I just committed to the task until I mastered it and then the figurative training wheels could come off. I think back to starting this blog because I thought I would fail without it, but turned out I didn’t need it for that. And for every bad day or week I’ve had trying to lose weight, I haven’t given in to the fear that I couldn’t ultimately get it done. So I’m prob not gonna drag my bike down a flight of stairs and hop on tonight, but hey I might. But certainly, very soon. The beauty in the revelation of these fears is that I have a desire to conquer them.

Thanks for reading.

I borrowed this from the mode knit blog (http://modeknit.com/2011/09/)

I borrowed this from the mode knit blog (http://modeknit.com/2011/09/)

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The Very Bad Idea of Revenge Weight Loss

So it’s Hulu season. For those wondering what that means, it is the time of year when I dust off my Hulu Plus subscription and continue my love affair with prime time television on my terms (and portable devices). So while I waited for my season premieres to air this week, I snooped around on Hulu to see what, perhaps, I had been missing. I made a huge discovery!

So I am obsessed with weight loss reality TV. I suspect I am not alone in this. I find it inspirational, mostly. So I never miss an episode of The Biggest Loser, and though not my favorite, I do also watch Extreme Weight Loss (it’s the skin surgery as reward that sits uneasy with me. Maybe as I get closer to goal, I’ll re-evaluate my position, of course entirely dependent on how much sag I’m sportin’). So I see a show called My Big Fat Revenge, and I think “ok, I’m in.” After the first episode I was so put off I think smoke was coming from my ears. Here’s the premise, the overweight contestant (all female in the handful of episodes I watched (all recon for this post I’ll have you know (cause I owe you thorough research and first hand accounts))) goes away for three months to lose as much weight as they can in order to return and perform an act of revenge on someone who treated them poorly in the past because of their weight (most often an ex boyfriend). So the contestant loses the weight and the sets up this PUNK’D, Candid Camera-esque revenge scenario designed to give the loser in her life a taste of his (mostly, but some of her) own medicine. You know what happened 99% of the time? The callous asshole walks off camera. No apology. No “wow you look great.” Just more of the same douche-baggery as before. So does the contestant really see their nemesis get his comeuppance? Does she feel better? No. Instead she has linked her desired outcome, her hard work to become a healthier, perhaps slimmer, human being to the behavior of a person that she has NO control over. You know what happens when she doesn’t get that apology…the weight comes back on because, well, the thing she thought would win her approval didn’t.

OK, OK. Perhaps there is some awesome motivation to be found in silencing the nay-sayers, in psyching yourself up to feel like the one who got away, in proving that you are not all the negative things anyone ever tried to say you are. Great. Put your ex’s face on a punching bag and get that cardio in if it helps, but here is what I know about assholes, if they don’t love you fat they won’t love you skinny. If they we’re mean, abusive, threatening, manipulative and the like when you were heavy, you being not heavy will not change who they are. I think it a bad bad bad idea to link self-worth to the musings of an idiot. Losing weight to enact revenge has got to be the worst idea ever because you can not get answers or apologies from psychopaths or even mildly pathetic low self-esteem losers who needs to bully others to feel empowered.

Ok, here is another beef with this show and the damage it is doing. We see footage of the contestant at the gym, but we don’t meet or learn anything about their trainer or training methods, we don’t know anything about their diet and exercise routines. All we know is they go away for 90 days and come back having lost up to 25% of their body weight. People at home should know this kind of extreme weight loss, including very low-calorie diets and 6-8 hours of daily exercise, should be medically supervised.

You wanna lose weight? Great! But do it for yourself. To impress yourself, to improve your health, to love who you see in the mirror. Not to prove anything to anyone else. Not to make some foolish boy love you. Or to correct years of bad behavior from an abusive loved one. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m at my goal weight I hope every Negative Nancy and Doubting Thomas get the memo, but my results are not linked to them, because mostly likely they just won’t give an F. After all, the work is its own reward.

The Writing Diet

I can’t believe it has been three months since I have posted. That is absurd. I suppose that is what happens with some dieters, we lose our motivation, or life kicks in gear and focusing on the weight loss isn’t the number one priority. Well I am happy to report, that I am still going strong on my weight loss journey. Down a total of 53.8 pounds after 36 weeks on weight watchers. I am still writing down everything I eat. I am still cursing donuts, french fries, pizza, and ice cream (especially in the form of the oh so innocent milkshake). I’m still wearing two activity monitors all day everyday. But I’m not blogging as intended because honestly I thought I could lose the weight faster. I thought I would be immune to life hacks. I thought I was the rock star of weight loss. In the beginning I set all these arbitrary goals: lose x by this opening night, then x by summer, then another x by this friend’s wedding. And none of them happened.

When I couldn’t meet those little goals I had set for myself, the shame set in. Never mind that I have had 29 losses, because all 36 should have been losses. Never mind that my average weekly loss is 1.5lbs, because I should be miraculously losing 5lbs every week. I stopped blogging because I wanted to show off, and all I had to show was a real life up and down ordinary weight loss struggle-tale.

Struggle-tale, not fairy-tale. No I just ate less and exercised more and viola I am now super skinny and everyone adores me, but a this is the body I live in today and it’s kinda cool because it carried me from 298.2 to 244.4 and fits in a large t-shirt now and my thighs still kiss but I kinda think thighs are meant to kiss and hey there is some extra strap left over on this seat belt on the plane now and wait I think I actually feel full and who the heck knew kale tasted so good or this roasted red pepper humus dip type stuff that you couldn’t have paid me to taste just 38 weeks ago is like magic happening in my mouth kinda tale. An all this while living, working, parenting in three states and two time zones story. A writing, directing, teaching, loving, laughing, crying, starting new, saying good bye to old, losing and longing story. It is not about miracles, it is about possibles. And it is all mine to tell. Sorry to have kept you waiting. More sorry to have kept myself hiding.

So I am still working on a new body, just probably not by tomorrow. Not in time for your wedding or a cousin’s graduation. Not in time for our weekend get-away, or probably even when the next bikini season rolls around. But I’ll get there. In the time it takes.

I’ve started Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” again (many people know these pages are the key component to Cameron’s The Artist Way program for creative recovery, I am following her similar program called The Writing Diet), so I am writing everyday friends, and I plan to share here more often.

Thanks for reading.

This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine

I haven’t blogged in 3 weeks. Yikes! The upside is that my lack of posts has nothing to do with my stick-to-it-tivy. I’m still working my program and have lost over 40 pounds.

I haven’t blogged because I’ve been busy. Can you imagine? No time to sit and write a little creative non-fiction. At first I thought, “well clearly I haven’t blogged because I’m on top of my shit. I have no issues to unpack, and since I promised no asinine recipes or cray photos, the blog can wait.” Then this happened.

Now I am no where in this photo, but someone on an internet forum said the person on the left (an actor in costume) looked like me. Now that’s some bullshit. But the suggestion caused me to get real with myself about perception. How I perceive myself and to what extent I care how others perceive me.

A co-relative yet independent event happened. In the midst of some non-diet related diversity and inclusion training, I had a breakdown. Now I believe that breakdowns equal breakthroughs (work with me on this one), so I’m thankful.

We worked on this pie chart of privilege and I quickly realized that of race, age, gender, nationality, class, religion, ability, sexual orientation, I experience little privilege. Some, but little. We then did the good ole authority, power, and influence game during which I discovered that I play small.

That made me cry.

So back to the picture…I know I don’t look like the actor in that photo (who happens to be a 20 year old young man). But I often FEEL like I do. So I BEHAVE like I do. You know, the “so you think, so you feel, so you do” adage…

When I meet new people I’m a bit reserved. I tell people I’m shy, an introvert, and those that really know me are like “really?” I get it now, I play small. I try to make myself invisible until I have assessed a situation and ensured that it is “safe.” This safety resting in the ability of my humor, wit, or intelligence to outshine my fear, doubt, and inadequacies.

I don’t didn’t think I am was good enough. EVER. F that ish. Imma play like Viola Davis is in my ear telling me I’m kind and smart.

I hope to maybe blog about other more exciting things like the book recommendations I have received since I’ve started this journey. Or the impact I’ve had on a few friends who have started their own weight loss journeys on the WW plan.

French Fries are the Devil’s work

Ok. I know I’m behind on posting. My bad. So I am crawling toward a 40lb weight loss total. I want it so bad. Intellectually. There is some emotional barrier however that has me dancing w/ old habits. I’m a social eater. While everyone else is boozing it up, I’m ordering wings & things. Today it was French fries (which could have only been invented by a sadist). Last week FroYo and home baked cookies. But here’s the thing, for 3 months I did fine. I said no, or ordered water, or perhaps a salad. So the issue isn’t my will power or even determination. It’s fear.

I’m afraid to have the thing I want most. In large part it’s because I don’t believe I’ll ever be thin. I never have been. Don’t even know if its possible. What if I really am a rare breed – the last big boned girl around? So, if I stop in the middle of the road I don’t have to face the disappointment of getting to the other side and not liking what’s (who’s) there. I know how to be fat. I know how to dress fat, shop fat, eat fat, make jokes fat, be single fat, be career driven fat. I know who I am fat, how to behave in social settings, what others expect of me, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, I know that being fat renders me invisible in the most ironic of ways. And when invisible the stakes are low.

So the more people say to me “wow 40lbs,” the more I stand in the road. The more they see me, the more I am afraid. Afraid that once my amour (read fat) is gone, I still won’t be good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or talented enough. I also won’t have my golden ticket (read excuse) to ride the this is why my life sucks bus. So I’ve been stalled in the middle of the road. The thing is, the road isn’t a safe place to hang out, and I don’t want to be on fat street anymore. So I’m crossing, but it’s some scary shit. I don’t know if I’ll find myself on skinny street or if I’ll barely get out of the medically morbidly obese woods, but I imagine it’d be a joy to sit in a chair with my legs crossed. I figure my friends will appreciate that we can just go to the bar not need to search for the last open kitchen on earth on one of our after hour adventures. And if the truth is that I’m not something or the other enough, then it’s time I got to work on that narrative.

Thanks for reading

Fall Back, Spring Forward

A few years ago, the mysterious powers that be decided that the Daylight Savings period of the year should be longer. This sun worshipping California native with a thing for mood enhancing vitamin D was thrilled. I don’t much follow the science of it, but I know once a year we fall back and once a year we spring forward.

How apropos that tomorrow we spring forward, when this past week I felt like I fell back. I fell back into a few old habits, I fell back into pizza, mozzarella sticks, hot fudge topping, bread, and Malibu & pineapple juice.

Here’s the thing that will prompt your “ain’t nobody got time for that reflex,” last week I lost 1.4 pounds. On the program I’m on (weight watchers) it’s recommended that we lose between .5-2 pounds a week, so I’m at the higher end. Great! Also WW, being an accountability program, not necessarily a food restricted diet allows me to spend my daily & weekly points pretty much however I choose (the program operates on a point system blah blah blah). I did not end the week in the red. I still had a handful of spare points. But it felt like a close call. I felt like I failed.

All week I felt like I was fighting against myself. Temptation felt ever present and more than once I fell. The weight loss is good…who am I kidding, it’s frickin GREAT! And yeah I did it in a week when I had froyo, booze, fried cheese, and my arch nemesis pizza. That would have made a past version of me so happy, “I can still eat the foods I love…” But I don’t wanna love those foods anymore, I don’t wanna play Russian roulette with the shit that got me to this size in the first place. I just felt like I was somehow beating the system. Like I was cheating and if I didn’t reign it in I would spiral out of control.

I know people say everything in moderation, but for some of us that isn’t true. Some of us have to give up certain things, say goodbye to a vice maybe even a friend. So on my excel spreadsheet last week was a success, but emotionally I fell. It was scary, I was scared, standing in the quick sand of “if I order that second slice…”

I’m tired of feeling out of control or at the mercy of food. So that was my one fall back for the year (positive thinking people). Here’s to springing forward this week.

Thanks for reading

Stay Here

I don’t believe in coincidence. I think everything happens for a reason. Now I often don’t know or understand the reason, but I know there is one. That there is some lesson for me within every circumstance. So to my curent circumstances:

Losing weight is bringing up all sorts of issues. And it isn’t the losing weight – yet – as much as actually trying to deal with the things that have kept me fat (because I still have 123 lbs to go, so for all intents and purposes, I’m still fat – for kids following along at home, I started at 298 and I am trying to get to 145, the last time I was 145 I was 10 years old). I am learning to let go of anger. This is a BIG one. It is hard. I want to be right. ALL THE TIME. I want other people to admit I’m right ALL THE TIME. This is because, I was never the pretty girl, but always the smart one. Always praised for my intelligence, so it’s my point of pride, and if I am wrong then what do I have? You can’t be dumb AND ugly. I must say though, that I am pretty cute. Perhaps one of those “oh you have such a pretty face” type of cutes, but cute none-the-less. The truth is, I am wrong a lot. A lot. Clearly. I didn’t get fat exercising sound judgement. More than anything I have been wrong about myself.

I thought I was low maintenance, didn’t care about my appearance, that I didn’t like wearing dresses, that I was unattractive, that I wasn’t good enough, that I was just meant to be fat…the list really can go on. So as I set out on this journey for the umpteenth time, I am committed to making it the last time. This means I gotta dig a little deeper…so

So I’ve been feeling very emotionally raw lately. Trying to understand, why and how my self-esteem got so low, and how I can have it back without the need for external validation. I am starting to understand the tremendous need for human contact that I have ignored and completely lied to myself about. See when I’m home I can hug my daughter a bazillion times a day. We cuddle and snuggle and it’s great because I am getting affection all the time. Unsolicited. Unconditional. And in large amounts. But right now, I am on my own away from home. I am craving touch. I realize how my body issues (and they are MINE) keep me from human contact. And I’m talking a hug here…don’t even get me started on good ole fashioned S…E…X…

So here I am working hard to have the body I want but also wanting to feel good about the body I have, because 123lbs is a loooong way aways and I don’t want to feel untouchable for one day more. It’s such a conundrum. So on to everything happening for a reason and being in the exact right place at the exact right time in one’s life – here I am working as part of a team developing a new musical. A musical about people dealing with addictions and abnormalities and trying to survive their worse nightmares. And it is all hitting a little to close to home. I feel like a character in this play. One of The Unfortunates:

“I’ve been unfolding, hoping and pleading.

Baring my soul but barely believing

I could be whole”

It’s been eye opening. Therapeutic. And confusing as shit. There is joy and heartache. And I am confronting my own issues on the daily. The Universe knows me so well, because despite all my fears and doubts, the one thing I am sure of is that like the protagonist of our play “I’m done dyin … Lord says he’s got a new skin for me. Gonna fill it up with brand new wine.”

Thanks for reading