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Posts Tagged ‘weight’

If you’re not one of the lucky, naturally-thin folks out there who is blessed with a metabolism that leaves you actually wishing you could gain weight, then most likely some form of weight management needs to become a part of your life forever. Unless of course you want to “accept” fatness as a facet of your identity ala the Fat Acceptance Movement. That’s fine and dandy to me. I certainly have my personal issues with the movement, but if people choose and want to stay fat, that’s their choice. For those of us who don’t wish to accept a fat body and would like to maintain a healthy weight, we have to accept that there is no magic fix to weight management and that it’s going to be a lifelong process.

This is why I’ve personally chosen to embrace a life of health and fitness. It’s hard to get fat if the only reasons I miss a workout are being sick or injured, and if I watch what I eat 99% of the time. I make allowance for special occasions and times for treats, but I know that maintaining a healthy weight is within my reach. My attitude before I began this journey was one of defeat. I had sort of decided that while I knew I needed to lose weight, I loved my food too much. I also thought I was eating “healthy” most of the time and that my job was enough exercise. Then, like most of us, I had my wakeup call. The back injury and the crippling and excruciating pain that came after. I can’t remember exactly the day that I started, but there was one day that I decided I was going to eat the way I normally ate for a day, but write it all down. I was astonished to find that I was eating enough calories for 2 days – doubling up.

Some of you may not know this, but I actually managed to lose a good chunk of weight back in 2001-2002. I started out healthy, then got unhealthy as I turned essentially to drugs to help “rev my metabolism” – it’s so embarrassing to think that at one point in my youth I thought that would actually work. It did kind of work, yes, but I felt like crap and looked like crap, too. I also didn’t build any muscle – in fact I’m pretty sure a lot of the weight I lost was muscle. Either way, for some reason my old habits came back and as I got comfortable in my life situation at the time (a new relationship), I stopped watching what I ate, stopped regularly exercising, yet for some crazy reason I didn’t expect to gain back the weight I lost. But I did, with a vengeance.

I’ve vowed “never again” especially after the pain I went through. My petite frame was not meant to carry that much extra weight, especially since I tend to be “top heavy” when I put on weight – no wonder my back went out! I was carrying around the equivalent of several bulk bags of rice on my body. No way do I ever want to go back! But the key mentality to have if you ever lose weight is that unless you stick to what works for GOOD, the weight can, and most likely will, come back.

I mostly bring up this point because a lot of people see weight loss methods as only a means to an end that they’ll get to stop one day, and then just go back to normal, yet not put the weight back on. Or some people slim down quick for an event, say a wedding, then after that they decide that they no longer need to work on it. Also, a lot of these diets focus on omitting an entire food group from your diet instead of working on ways you can permanently change your habits for good health, changes you can live with for life. I’ll pick on the low-carb diets for a second…I don’t think I could live on a low-carb diet for life. I don’t think anyone really could. Also, a lot of people don’t stick with exercise for life. They see it as yet another means to an end, just like they view their diet.

The fact is, watching what you eat and daily exercise are not only good for weight loss or maintaining healthy weight for a lifetime, they are also just generally good for your health. I’m just wondering who wouldn’t want to do all they can to enhance their quality of life into old age? I’ll cite the example of my grandmother who did live a long life, but she was very unhealthy. Sure, she lived to be 86. But she was miserable and sick for the last 15 years of that life. She smoked, was an alcoholic, did not exercise and did not watch her diet – she basically lived on TV dinners from the mid-80’s until she was placed in a retirement home in the late 90’s. She wasn’t fat, but she was very unhealthy. She had emphysema, stroke, and heart disease. I’m wondering if she may have possibly also had liver problems due to her drinking, which she didn’t quit until she was checked into a retirement home. My family found her stash as they were moving her! And my family kept a close watch on her and took turns caring for her each day, she just hid the booze that well! We never found out who was buying it for her because at that point she was no longer driving. Anyway, my point is that people have this mentality for some reason that they will “die anyway, so why bother?” Well, of course we’ll all expire eventually. Healthy people die every day, too. But to me it just seems downright foolhardy not to at least try and maintain good health anyway. When I’m in old age, I want to still have my faculties about me, I want to still be able to move around and go do things. I do NOT want to be sitting on the couch watching television all day when I’m old. I want to be interacting with others. As long as I’m physically able, I’d like to do volunteer work when I’m old. I’d like to still be exercising every day. I’d still like to do a lot of fun things as well. I don’t expect to be hanging ten on a surfboard when I’m 80, but being able to walk and even possibly run at 80 sounds amazing and very doable if I were to continue taking good care of myself. Plus if I have kids, I feel like I would owe it to them to take good care of myself, to lessen the burden on them with my care when I do get really old. Other case in point, my own parents. They’re already experiencing some frailties in their 50’s. I grit my teeth at what it’s going to be like to care for them when they’re older. It’s always hard to care for elder parents even if they are very healthy, but my parents are not as healthy as they could be. The main thing is their smoking, although they’re both putting on weight as older adults.

Part of the problem I think is that for generations people were told that total decay and frailty is just a part of getting old. Losing your memory, losing your faculties, losing your ability to care for yourself, were all seen as inevitable. I think the baby boomers were also told that, which is why I think my parents never really considered their health when they were younger. Right now I’ve made a conscious decision to not repeat the same mistake. I refuse to accept health problems as inevitable things that can’t be prevented. Yes, I acknowledge that there are cases where a person was very healthy and still got sick. But I’m still not willing to gamble and just lie down and accept it. I’ll be proactive.

Which brings me back to weight loss. I’ve made a promise to myself that once I do reach my goal weight, I will remain on a maintainence plan. Part of that plan includes weighing myself once a month. If I start to creep over a certain weight, I will look into why and change my habits. I am not one of those people who has a fast metabolism – I accept that if I want to be a certain weight I’ll always have to watch it. I’d much rather do that than end up unhealthy and unhappy like I was. Plus, I’m young now and it’s easier to deal with this now than it is when a person gets older. I’d so rather get a handle on it and master the good habits now than wait until my 40’s to be proactive.

Some links that help strengthen my point: http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-exercise13-2009jul13,0,6577878.story
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/03/us/exercise-and-longevity-a-little-goes-a-long-way.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/hq01676
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10074

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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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Hello, everyone, my name is Amy. I created this blog out of a desire to both share my progress with my weight loss and fitness goals, and to rant and rave about things that piss me off in general. I have a personal blog on Livejournal that I’ve been keeping since 2003, which is more intended for those close to me to read about my life. This is more of a public blog. I will be sharing things about my personal life, of course, but I’ll be a little more guarded than I would be on my Livejournal. Furthermore, this blog will be primarily focused on fatness and the getting rid of said fatness, and also issues surrounding the problem of obesity. Since obesity has touched my life, I feel like it has a place in my life and thusly I feel I need a place to share my thoughts about it.

My history with my weight problem:

So for many years (since junior high school) on and off I’ve struggled with my weight. I feel like I’ve finally gotten to a place where it’s going to be permanent. Before, I’d lose weight really fast for an event or (shameful for me to admit) to impress someone I liked. When I was in my teens and early 20’s, I did both healthy and stupid things to lose weight. For the first six months or so of losing a major amount of weight in 2001 (end of my senior year of h.s.) I started exercising and decreasing my portion sizes and eating healthy. Then I got impatient with how long it was taking and started using those jankey gas station Stacker pills and basically speeded all the rest of the weight off. Then I met my most recent ex. We fell in love and got comfy in a steady relationship and moved in together. I was still making efforts to live healthy and had stopped taking the crazy diet pills (I also finally stopped hanging out with the friend who originally got me into the diet pills/stimulant abuse).

I’ve not really opened up about my stimulant use back in the day because I am ashamed of it. I just was too focused on the external and not enough on the internal at that time in my life. I wanted fast results and I didn’t want to be patient. I was also working a few night shifts at my old job and the stimulants helped me stay up all night and perform my job, and the side effect was weight loss. But when I look at pics of myself from that time, I looked thin, but I also had really sallow looking skin, and bags under my eyes. I didn’t look pretty then, I looked strung out. So as soon as I realized the damage I was doing, I quit those things and haven’t gone back.

When I got with my most recent ex, I was thin, but not super thin. He and I got really comfy together, especially after we started living together. He cooked yummy, but decadent food. He is the “naturally thin” type who has the freakishly fast metabolism and can eat large quantities of food without gaining. I knew what healthy food was, but I for some reason was just too distracted and ate his cooking anyway, and started matching his portions. A five foot tall woman should not be eating the same amount as a 6 foot tall man, but I digress…Over 2 years I gained all the weight back. It is not his fault, I am not blaming him. It was just nice to have an s/o cook for me, and I was in love. I didn’t want to turn away his tasty food. It was my fault that I chose to eat large portions and stop my exercise program. I also didn’t assert my needs for healthier fare. He liked the healthier meals I cooked, but it wasn’t until much later that those habits rubbed off on his cooking. I can’t say he didn’t enable me, but I cannot in good conscious blame him or play the victim, either.

He became less attracted to me as a result of my weight gain. Other issues came to play in our relationship as well. One of the major things is that we just didn’t communicate. We’d fight, and then do something band-aid the problem instead of really working on a solution. He didn’t tell me his problems with my weight until a couple of weeks before we broke up. At that time, I didn’t really realize how much weight I’d gained. Sure, my bras had gotten super tight and I couldn’t zip up my pants from 2 years ago, but my denial was intense. I reacted with defense instead of realizing that he was right about that one thing. There are a whole host of issues that led to our breakup, but I can’t say that my weight and his resulting lack of attraction wasn’t one of them. He has since said that he had realized he was enabling me, because now he has a better understanding of how the human body works, and knows that there was no way I could regularly have eaten his cooking without gaining some weight. He also admitted since he wasn’t exactly healthy himself at the time (smoked cigs, ate crappy food, etc) he felt like a hypocrite for bringing it up at all, which is why he held out for so long in telling me how he felt about it. He had vices and faults, but mine showed up in the form of fat, while his remained hidden.

We were broken up but remained friends for about 2 years, and now we’re living together again, as roommates. Hey, we make a good team and we’re good at living together without all that romantic crap. We’re just two people who were better destined to be friends in the long run. I actually feel much closer to him now than when we were an “item.” Go figure!

So the last year + of my life I’ve been working on losing in a healthy and moderate way with no diet pills or anything that I refer to as cheating. It’s all being done the “hard way.” I’ve had ups and downs, temptations I should have resisted but didn’t, and other challenges along the way (namely other people trying to get in my way), but I’ve still managed to lose a huge chunk of fat (46 lbs as of today). I feel gross if I don’t get enough exercise or eat too much/the wrong stuff. I love the feeling of being able to fit into smaller things, having more endurance for physical activity, and having less pain. I turn 26 this January 1st (yeah, I know, New Year’s baby). I’ll be able to really, truly enjoy the last part of my 20’s instead of feeling 10 years older than I am! 🙂

I think there is some part of every fat person, though, who chooses to hang on to the weight. Every “cheat” aside from planned indulgences, every skipped workout aside from being very sick, etc. is a little bit of the fat self wanting to stick around. Why? Because in certain ways it is easier to be fat. In our society, it feels like people expect a little less of fat people. Also, fat can help isolate a person. Less people come up and initiate conversations with a fat person, so if you’re very shy, fat can be a handy shield. Being fat gives a person a handy scapegoat to ignore other issues they may have.

I’m very short (five feet tall exactly), so even a little fat gain looks like painfully a lot on me. When I tell people how much weight I’ve lost, they always insist that I’ve lost more. Probably because in proportion to a taller person, it looks like I have. But, I am always honest about my weight.

Losing weight is only one part of my total goal of self improvement. I’ve just recently started seeing a therapist, and she’s been a great help. I enjoy her blunt honesty and she has a sense of humor, which is very important since a lot of how I cope with things is through humor. She sympathizes to a point, but she never coddles me or tells me I’m a victim. She has helped me make great strides in how I think even just over the last month. I’ve done food journaling in the past on and off, but sometimes I let it get away, forgetting to write everything I eat down because I get busy and it’s kind of inconvenient to stop what I’m doing to write down my food. BUT, anything worth doing is worth doing right, and a food journal keeps me from overeating when I’m forced to remember what I’ve eaten through the day (it can be easy to lose track). So, I’m back to full-time food journaling at her encouragement.

As far as my life outside of fitness and weight loss goes, I am a walking databank of music trivia. I sing, play viola, and can do pretty well on a Djembe drum as well. I like to dance, and I’m interested in learning martial arts. I love anything outdoorsy: camping, hiking, rock climbing, etc. I LOVE to cook, and I have a passion for health foods. I have made culinary miracles happen with health food. I love to draw, paint, and make jewelry as well. All that being said, fitness is one of my many passions, and it’s one I’ve only discovered in the past 2 years. I was never an athletic kid, but now that I’m an adult and can have more freedom in choosing my own activities (instead of having a gym teacher scream at me), I find it rather enjoyable and fulfilling. It’s great stress relief to exercise. I also love to read. I tend to really appreciate the more eccentric fiction writers, and I also like reading educational books about a lot of subjects I find fascinating.

My career goal is to obtain a degree in kinesiology and exercise science and to apply that knowledge towards becoming a certified fitness instructor.

OK, enough of the bio stuff. You all know about me now! My next post will highlight what you may expect from this blog, and what you can definitely count on NOT being included. Ciao!

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