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Archive for the ‘my weight loss’ Category

I’ve touched on this topic as it pertains to my weight loss before, but people have known me as a fat girl since probably 1996. I’m 26 now and that was 13 years ago, so I’ve been fat roughly half my life. I am completely qualified to talk about all things related to fat people, as I’m a highly credible source of fat facts of life. Yet some of my (always the thin who are thin without *trying* mind-you) friends feel the need to tell me that I shouldn’t worry about my weight *at all.* Sure, they’re willing to tell me how good I look by comparison to my biggest size, because I’m actually at the weight I was in my freshman year of high school. I’ve been much fatter, and so by comparison I look “thin” in their eyes. BUT, I’m still fat. And the fat I have, by the very nature of how it’s distributed on my body, is very annoying for me to deal with.

By “deal with” I’m talking about the unpleasantness associated with having fat in certain areas of your body, and how it effects your ability to live a normal life. I only have some 30-ish pounds of fat left to lose before I’m comfortable with the amount of space my posterior takes up in relation to other objects. Believe me, it’s a huge relief to have 50 lbs. of that excess gone. But 30 lbs. excess is still physically uncomfortable to lug around, especially on someone as short as I am. I’m only 5 feet tall, so I’m still rather round, especially since almost all my extra fat is on my abdomen, back, and arms now. Top-heavy hurts, especially if you have scoliosis as I do. It’s very slight scoliosis, I don’t have to wear any crazy back braces at all times (although I do use a lumbar support band when I need to lift heavy things and I have inserts for my shoes to keep me in alignment), but even 10 lbs. too much fat in the wrong place on your body, pulling down at your back, really HURTS.

I think people assume I want to lose those last 30 lbs. for vanity alone. But this is not the case. There are some grosser reasons I want the fat gone. People who’ve never had a weight problem don’t really understand how difficult it can be to live a normal, low-maintainence life as a fat person. I usually wear clothes that are flattering enough to hide the fat rolls and just kind of flow over them. I will wear a waist sincher or bodysuit if I’m really dressed up so my clothes look as good as possible, so people don’t always see the fat ROLLS and creases. They are much smaller now, some of them have dissapeared, but at 30 lbs. overweight I still have enough of them to cause me discomfort. The sweat in the summertime is gross. I feel like I have to bathe more frequently and I use baby powder to ease the discomfort of the sweating. The area between the thighs is another bone of contention for fat people. The way my fat distributes it causes a pouch of belly fat right over my “area,” which can cause uncomfortable chafing. I use baby powder to ease this, but really that’s pretty inconvenient, and I’d rather just skip that. That’s why being a normal size for my height would be such a huge relief in the way I live my life. It’s NOT just about VANITY.

But so what if some of it IS about vanity? The aesthetic I prefer is that of a lean physique when I’m talking pure, physical attraction. I am put off a little physically by overweight and obese men – and as a fat girl I would be almost expected to date a fat man. Therefore I feel I’d be a total hypocrite if I expected to have a man match that physique if I couldn’t also maintain such a physique. But the looks aspect isn’t all it is to me and my primary motivation is my health. Looking better is a part of it, but it’s not the whole thing. But dammit, if I feel good about looking better, I feel like I’ve earned that right. I feel like celebrating with a new, sexy or flirty outfit that fits my smaller body and being proud is not something I should feel shallow about doing.

But I digress…my entire point I think is that I have a few friends who have always been thin without actually working out or eating right/watching portions. Some of them eat like shit, actually, but they have that freakish metabolism that I’ve never had. Sometimes I think those friends of mine take their uber-metabolisms for granted, not really realizing that a person in my position really *is not* able to eat like that and have the physique I want (lean and muscular). I had to choose being healthy, happy, and leaner over the decadent foods in big portions. Also I don’t think those people really get how pathological and disordered my overeating was. I was good at projecting the “funny fat girl” image when really I was very depressed and fucked up inside. Essentially I was sick. But I guess some people did see me as “fat and happy.” Maybe that’s why it’s weird to them when I turn down certain foods offered to me these days, or just take a tiny bite of something decadent instead of eating the whole thing, or turn down going out drinking because I want to get up early and work out the next day. The only reason I get kind of miffled is that I get comments like, “you look fine NOW, don’t lose any more weight!” or “what you look like shouldn’t matter,” when it’s NOT ALL ABOUT MY LOOKS. IT’S ALSO ABOUT HOW I FEEL. I also have people tell me I’m not fat. I wonder if these people must think I’m stupid or blind. I’m not AS fat, but I’m still FAT. And I hate being fat. Why wouldn’t people be more happy for me? Ugh. I’ve also had a couple of people tell me that I was “being too hard on myself” for wanting to lose more weight than I already have. WTF? So does that mean I should never try too hard for anything and live an existence I feel is mediocre, just because a goal isn’t easy to obtain? Those same people would never say, “you shouldn’t try to get the best grades you can in school,” or “you shouldn’t try to get that promotion at work,” but they will say, “you shouldn’t get all the way down to a healthy weight that you’d feel really comfortable at – the bare minimum is fine!” BLAH. OK, rant over.

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Amy Tracks Her Progress is my new blog. It’s more or less an online archive/back-up of my spankin’ new food/exercise journaling/progress tracking program I designed for myself by tweaking a food/exercise journal template I found on The Balanced Weight Management site . Go to my new blog and you’ll learn of how I tailored my new journaling system to work just for me (although it may help others as well). I’ll be keeping a Weekly Assessment page (which is also in spreadsheet form on my PC), as well as my journal entries (which are also saved as Word documents on my PC). It will differ from this blog in the sense that it’ll focus mainly on my personal weight tracking and thoughts regarding weight, whereas this blog’s topics have strayed all over the place (not that there’s anything wrong w/ that).

Also, I have a page on there with pics of myself at various stages of weight gain and loss since 2001. I’ve blocked out my face, as a personal safety and privacy measure (I only show un-masked photos on more “private” venues online where only people I know can see them), but it gives a bit of a visual representation of my battle of the bulge. It also helps me, because sometimes the number on the scale isn’t always the whole story.

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Well, it’s been a long time since I posted. I realize that there are going to be infinitely stupid things said and thought about weight loss and healthy lifestyles in general, so it might not be the end of my desire to post on here. I’ve had many unfortunate things happen in my personal life in recent months. My friend passed away, both me and my housemate lost our jobs (he was laid off, I was fired). I’ve luckily landed a job, but it doesn’t start until next week so things are tight financially. But either way, it’s been a rough go.

I am not perfect. My weight loss has come to a standstill, and it’s because I haven’t been 100% with my diet and exercise. I tend to cycle through stages where I’m gung-ho and into it, and stages when I’m not. Luckily with diet, I never tend to overeat enough to gain any weight back…but I’m steadily maintaining. I haven’t been into working out lately, either. I’ve definitely had times where I’ve fallen off the wagon with this whole thing, but I’m still walking every day and keeping tabs on my weight. It’s not always easy, especially when I get depressed about things I tend to want to be isolated from people. Ugh, it’s like a battle of wills with myself. But as long as I don’t backslide, I’m not terribly worried. The difference between now and my past is my awareness of this tendency within myself to stagnate. Also, I actually own a bathroom scale and check my weight frequently enough to be aware of it. It’s a manual scale as opposed to digital so I can’t use the “battery died” excuse.

There is definitely more to life than weight, but at the same time I have to remember that my weight is somewhat of a manifestation of my emotional issues. It’s a symbol of falling down and staying down (to me), of stagnating, of not moving forward. I also admit that maybe a small part of me is still afraid to experience the life of a thinner person. I’ve never been a slim adult. Social attitudes and expectations are slightly different for thin people, by my observations.

Old habits die hard. I still feel proud, however, of the fact that I have never given up on this goal, even if I have “taken breaks” from actually really working towards it. I’m still around 30-ish pounds overweight. I used to be around 80 lbs. overweight. That’s definitely nothing to sneeze at, but at the same time if I had been stronger in my will over the last 2 years, I’d have reached my goal long ago.

I think posting in this blog might help me get motivated again. I hope so!

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So I thought about this. Once I reach my goal weight (31 more pounds to go!), I’ll have to change the name of this blog to, “Amy Lost and Won,” or something like that. Or I could just change it to a name that reflects the topics I like to focus on, which are not limited to simply weight loss or the fatness of our society. I’m not sure. I suppose I have 31 more pounds of time to think about it, though. 🙂

More people keep noticing how small I’m getting. I’m still asked the dreaded, “what have you been doing?” question, as if my answer is going to be a magic, easy solution. I’m tempted to start saying, “I’ve been doing the ‘Don’t Be A Dumbass’ diet,” just to see how people would react. I’ll have to replace the word “dumbass” with something more PC if I’m to use this response while I’m at work. It’s really liberating, though, to admit that I ate too much. People always want to tiptoe around that fact with fat people, the fact that they eat too much and usually the wrong things for a human body to be able to process.

So the economy is shit-tastic, and people are getting angrier and angrier that the things that happened to create this crisis (like huge bonuses to executives who are already sickeningly rich) are still happening. People are also going to start cutting back and being more frugal. Some people may even be eating healthier by default, and having less purchasing power they’ll be eating less. Will the one positive side effect of this horrible financial crisis be less obesity? It sucks that it has to come to this for people to stop being so fat. Actually, no, the other positive effects I hope will happen is that people will start to re-evaluate their personal ethics and values, and maybe become less greedy. The fat-cats on Wall Street will most likely remain greedy scumfucks, but the rest of us I think will hopefully learn that values like love and respect for other people trumps the desire for the newest car or the biggest house. Hopefully people will slow down and relax more with their families and have more quality time with people they love, and learn to be rich in other ways besides financially.

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I hate it when people try a certain type of approach to diet, then decide that since it worked for them it must ultimately work for others and then they get all dogmatic about it. Who’s to say one style of eating is right for everyone?

There are so many approaches out there: South Beach, the Schwarzbein Principles, the Paleolithic diet, Atkins, the Zone, and the list goes on and one. But here’s my take on it: Why not just eat HUMAN FOOD? Why sink your money into books and other implements of a prescribed program (which they claim you have to buy in order to get the benefits) when you could just eat good, plain, whole foods?

To me, this means eating good, unadulterated fats (non-hydrogenated) from mostly plant sources, complex carbs, no added sugar, lean protein, and lots of veggies and fruits. Avoid high fructose corn syrup, avoid white-flour based carbs, and reserve sweets for special occasions. Get your fats mainly from things like olive oil, avocados, flax seeds, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil (refined coconut oil is hydrogenated – don’t eat it!), hemp seeds (so rich in omegas), fatty fish like salmon, nuts, etc.

I stopped eating soy and my hypothyroidism disappeared, by the way. Anecdotal evidence FTW! I don’t think soy is all that great for us.

Lately I have been indulging in too many refined carbs, and I can definitely feel it. For one, you lose the fiber and the nutrition. Two, it sends your body into sugar-crash mode. I always feel more fatigued and less “peppy” when I eat these things. But at the same time, I know for the rest of my life I’ll encounter them. It’s going to be my willpower’s strength that will determine how much I indulge. I’m attending a birthday party tonight with desserts involved. I made homemade, from-scratch chocolate chip cookies to take. I plan on eating a good dinner beforehand so I don’t arrive hungry, but I’ve decided to take one bite of the main desserts. Luckily the girls will also be providing fruit salad.

After tonight, I plan on cutting down my sugar intake drastically. I always allow myself a weekly “sweet treat” usually on the weekend, but lately I’m finding that I go a little too overboard with that, so I’m going to modify my allowance and make that “sweet treat” some unsweetened, dried fruit. I love dried fruit, especially mangoes! And we sell them at work, so I can buy a few of the dried mango slices in bulk, and have that be my treat instead. I’m also going to be mindful of avoiding things with high fructose corn syrup. It sucks because HFCS is added to so many things, even things like bread! Luckily I know how to bake my own 🙂 Also I find the less wheat I eat the better I feel anyway. When I’m eating mostly cooked whole grains like rice or quinoa, I feel like those carbs “work” for me better than wheat (I think the gluten is the problem).

People might laugh at me for this, but one thing that’s worked for me in the past with avoiding too many sweets is pretending that the cookies or whatnot have been poisoned and if I eat them, it’ll lead to my demise. This is a partial truth, of course, because you pay for eating too many sugary things with your health.

I don’t want to be super dogmatic, but at the same time I think sugar is the biggest problem for me. It’s a trigger, too. If I eat too much sugar it sends me into binge eating mode. It’s crazy. I’ve got to pretty much all but give it up I feel.

A dessert buffet to someone like me is like handing an alcoholic a whole fifth of Jack Daniels and saying, “here, just have one shot of this, and save the rest for later!” Ugh.

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Oh my freaking gord, I hate it when people notice how much weight I’ve lost and then decide that they should warn me against becoming an anorexic! This pisses me off because to me I take it as people assuming that I’m losing weight for vanity alone, and that I must be a candidate for a mental disorder and that I must have such low self esteem that I could become anorexic from embracing a healthier lifestyle. It also proves that the Fat Acceptance rhetoric has somewhat permeated our culture and that people now view losing excess weight to get healthy as a gateway to anorexia. I usually kind of let this stuff roll off my back when I hear it, but it still pisses me off. It assumes that there are only two extremes and that no one is able to find a middle ground. When I think critically about this, I realize that it’s not the person assuming that I’m so weak that I’d default to anorexia as a result of losing excess fat. What it really is to me is a societal brainwashing. The fact that people are so blindly ignorant of what signifies health and a good body image is proof that Fat Acceptance may be a small movement, but that Americans have adopted much of the misconceptions that the FA movement tries to convince us is true. All that being said, I don’t see myself ever being anorexic. I’m the kind of person who almost always has a healthy appetite, even when I’m sick. The only exceptions to this are when I’m really worried about something or anxious, or if I’m experiencing a stomach-related illness in which vomiting is involved. Otherwise, I’m usually all for eating. I also consider the eating habits that I had before I began this journey to be way more disordered than they are now. That being said, I still have to really watch myself and stay on top of my habits to prevent binges, and I’ll probably be this way for the rest of my life. I’d rather have a handle on it and be healthy than “accept” it as “part of who I am” and be so fat that I have joint and muscle problems and become a candidate for other illnesses down the road. I also feel like being really big messed with my hormones. As a thinner person than I was, my emotions are more stable, I’m able to control my moods better, and I feel more at peace with myself. I’m still a stress-ball and still struggle with panic from time to time. High blood pressure and other heart-related ailments run in my family so I have to work on that mental aspect of myself to stay healthy. But hey, I’m way better than I was 2 years ago.

Also, I hate how someone who is thin but healthy (a good muscle-to-fat ratio, proportionate body size, not starving, just lean) is now considered “too skinny.” Bleh.

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I had 3 different regular customers at work comment on my weight loss yesterday. I think because it has been so slow and gradual over the last 2-odd years that several people who see me frequently are just now starting to really notice a dramatic difference. They always ask me how I did it, as if there’s some magical formula that’s any different than anything they’ve heard before. I am very candid with people about how often I’ve fallen off the wagon and that I just don’t have the metabolism to “eat what I want” and not gain weight, so I have to practice a lot of willpower and self control, which I don’t always have. I also emphasize the importance of being active, much to many people’s chagrin. This is somewhat surprising because I work in a health food store, and most of the people who come in seem relatively healthy, which is why they like to shop where I work. But I still get asked that odd, “so how have you done it?” question. It’s mildly annoying because I’m tired of repeating myself, but I guess it’s just part of our society. People still try and ask to see if maybe I’m the exception to the rules of “eat less/better, move more.” Well, I’m not. But it’s still a nice ego massage when people notice, even if they do ask retarded questions about it..hehe.

For awhile there I was beating myself up over not losing weight fast enough. It’s taken me 2 years to lose 50 lbs. But then I think about my exceptionally short height and how 50 lbs. on me is like 100 lbs. on a taller person. I have fallen off the wagon a lot. There’s a lot of mental weirdness surrounding food for me. I have my “out of control” mode vs. my “in control” mode. I still sometimes binge eat. It’s way less than it used to be, and I’m more capable of catching myself in the act and stopping it before it goes too crazy these days. Any time I do overeat, I feel pretty sick and have digestive side effects that are hard to live with, which is a good deterrent. Keeping my food journal is a great help. Anyway, I’m not perfect. I haven’t lost weight quickly. But I’ve lost it, and I plan on losing more, no matter how long it takes. That being said, I tend to lose a lot of weight when the weather is temperate, which is due to happen in the very near future. I don’t get sick in the spring and summer months, so this year I plan on really utilizing the warm weather to my advantage.

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