Monday, August 30, 2010

"If You Look At Me Like I'm Fat I'm Going To Kick You In The _____"

Any big butted girls out there? Oh, there you are reading this, arm in the air? No, no, put the cream cheese bagel down and let's have a soul to soul.

I was rereading some old blog posts and much to my... kind of horror/shock, there is A LOT of anger about diets, dieting and well, my mother the Olympic champion dieter/denier of food who somehow has always stayed the same teeny-tiny size.

Must be all that dieting advice and mailing jump ropes to her daughters that burns off those unwanted calories! (See ANGER. There is is again!)

I don't know what I gained when I was going through the worst turmoil ever and isn't that when we gain it? TV and movies tell us we hole up with a carton of ice cream and never ending pizza delivery and sit around in our eating pants. (Okay, I did sit around in my eating pants, i.e., I don't think I wore anything but sweat pants for two years).

For me, it was not that reckless. I just ate things that I call "slow down" food, you know, food that slows you down, gives you no energy, goes directly to your buttocks but you can't really tell 'cause you're wearing "eating pants" the great denier of weight gain! Sometimes it was bagels and cream cheese and maybe I'll have pasta for dinner. I just didn't care. A pastry from 7-11 was about as fancy as going to Paris' Café des Deux Magots because hey, I GOT OUT OF BED. It was monumental! But not the right thing to eat...

Not if you are going to lead the sedentary lifestyle of a hibernating bear. Which I was. And very well, by the way. If Kennedy Center Honors had an award for "Excellence While Lying in Bed" then certainly, I would be front and center, flanked by fellow honorees Chita Rivera and James Earl Jones. Though, instead of evening wear, I would be donning a Snuggie as this is already way past my bed time.

I am about to share some deep truth with you now. Thirty pounds, that's all I wanted off. I think I might have lost 10 or 12 or 15 at some point, but after I fell down the hill and busted up my shoulder... I didn't care. It was back to bed for me. Not caring, not eating right, certainly not exercising. And being in a brace, in a hospital gown that I could not get out of because said brace was strapped OVER it for three weeks and just all in all hopped up on happy pills made me not care what I was eating.

I was, in fact, just eating whatever neighbors and friends brought to my door. Someone brought a cake. What??? But kind of brilliant. I had cake for lunch for about ten days. (Yes, I know, I'm ridiculous!)

So what made it all click? What was the turning point? How did I lose thirty pounds? Why am I procrastinating telling you when I turned a corner and "got it" and started eating right and going back to the gym?

Because I wish it came from me. Some inner fire from me to be healthy to want to be strong to love myself more. Or even Oprah, it could have come from Oprah and I would be walking tall instead of feeling ashamed and a bit like a cliche.

It was because I saw my ex. Bumped into him. And he was kind and gracious and sweet and very worried about my fall. He didn't look at me like I was hideous. That might be because, I had a feeling I might see him and emailed him, "Listen, I've gained a lot of weight since I last saw you and if you look at me like I'm fat, I'm going to kick you in the balls."

Really. I sent that email. That's me, using my humor to get out of something I thought would be deeply humiliating. Only I can confess to you guys how I tried to cover up my "fattage" with some kind of voluminous cardigan and a spray tan and maybe if the boobs are up and out, he won't notice so much.

Honestly: I don't want him back, I don't. I broke up with him and all those reasons are never going to change. But seeing him symbolized my deep desire to stay away from people I hadn't seen in a while because of having grown an extra ass. And not only that, but I want to date and makeout with someone and have them find me attractive as I want to find them attractive.

So maybe this all this started four or five months ago. I thought about calling this piece: "Why Diets Suck." Because I truly believe they do. I believe diets are so wrong and so self-punishing and so restrictive that I, me, you, someone we know, only needs to be on one for 3 days before she's hoarding "Ding Dongs" in the bathroom.

What I did... I started making breakfast, that sets off the whole day. If I eat breakfast, I eat less all day. I like eggs. I started adding veggies with everything. The more veggies you eat the fuller you are. So in the morning it wasn't just eggs, it was eggs & spinach or eggs & broccoli. Lunch was just more of the same, trying to make choices that are right and if they are not right, eat half and then have the other half vegetables or fruit (carrots, carrots with hummus, apples, apples with peanut butter, salad, sauteed anything green with garlic).

Dinner - I became a world renowned Michelin 4 star soup maker. Bulked it up with greens. Yum. My sister called my soup, "Life Altering Soup" as in "Can you make some of that "Life Altering Soup?" And this was all just trial and error and having fun with food and could I make lasagna with no pasta and have it be amazing?

Why YES, YES I could.

And the gym, you must move. Though I did not move a lot. Sometimes just 2x a week. I need to start kicking that up a bit. For the jiggly bits.

And it's not like I did not fail sometimes -- fail being a word I hate... let me rephrase, it's not like I was perfect. I had the egg rolls and Mmmm, pizza out with friends and oh my God, how I die for a margarita... or three, and with chips and salsa! Yes! Yes! I don't say no a lot. I just jump back on the next day and say Yes to more of the right things. When you are not beating yourself up, in diets and in life, YOU GET A LOT DONE.

If you have specific questions, ask in the comments section. I want to help if I can. The point is, when I noticed the older posts, I could not believe my anger and I could not believe the amount of blame I was laying or lying at someone else's feet. "You are to blame!"

No, I am to blame. The other thing I want to say is, if you have weight to lose, be kind to yourself. I have never been kind to myself but I am going to start today. If you aren't kind, believe me, you won't be able to let go of things and one of those things is your weight.

So, just know... you can do this, you can do anything you want. I refused to think of it as 30 pounds because it was too overwhelming and probably why I kept putting off starting. I decided to think of it as 5 pounds at a time. That's all. Hmmm, maybe I was kinder to myself than I thought.

There's a lot of, I don't know... shame in talking about weight gain. For me anyway. Because I sort of perceive it as being weak. But I'm just going to see that feeling and let it go. There, it's gone. I am on the right path. The adventures and being happier, I truly believe put me on that path. Yes, seeing an ex, ignited the flame, but being happier is what's kept me on the right path.

How much do you have to lose? What holds you back? And certainly, if you have a success story, I'd love to hear it!



Jamie said...

Curvy Girls Unite!!! ;)
Grrrrl, I needed this today! I was doing soooo well and then got off track. I was doing my Couch to 5k training and actually running. Me??? Running??? Yes, it's true. Then I did my 30 Day Shred challenge and did great for a couple weeks and then just got off track. I'm sure I could share tons of excuses but I'll spare you. I was upset today and had Long John Silvers for lunch...a pile of deep fried fat. I feel even worse now! I just need to get back on track. ASAP. As of right now, I have a total of 64 pounds to lose. After that, I'd still be considered "overweight" but I have always weighed more than I looked (until lately). So my goal is to get there and then reassess.
Anyway, it's just soooo incredibly difficult. Why's it gotta be so hard???? I have SO many reasons to be as healthy as possible and yet I still struggle to get there.
Thanks for sharing this. Much love to you! And I need a t-shirt with that... If you look at me like I'm fat I'm going to kick you in the balls.

Tw!nkleTw!nkle said...

I have 80 lbs to lose. well, 75 now. i gained 60 + lbs because i developed a disease called polycystic ovarian syndrome. but that was 3 years ago and im still carrying this weight around. i've made a lot of changes to my lifestyle - cut out pop, eat only whole grains, eat breakfast every day, sleeping 8 hrs a night, but the weight isnt budging. and thats because i sabotage myself. i restrict myself from things and then when i feel bad about myself, i eat them and ruin all the calories i burned off at the gym. its a work in progress but i feel like i am wearing a fat suit that doesnt belong to me.

for others - is a great resource and helped me lose the first 5 lbs.

AG - i want some SOUP recipes!!

Michelle/MouseDemon said...

Okay, absolute hideous honesty. It isn't going to be pretty.

I have about 100 pounds to lose. I put most of it on in my late teens/early 20s, and I have never managed to get rid of it. (I am 36).

Most of the weight gain is down to some seriously self confidence issues (as well as breaking my knee at 19, and 2 babies.) I know a lot of it stems from my relationship with my father, which has never been that good. However I am also aware that I can only use him as the reason why the weight went on, not why I can't get it off.

Part of the reason though why I can't get it off, I know is because I use my weight as a self-defence mechanism. I use it to push people away, so they just see the happy jolly me, rather than what's underneath. I use it as deflection so the only insults that can thrown at me are that I am fat. Which is true. (Still hurts but not as much as other stuff can.)I wasn't fat as a kid or as a teen, but I hit puberty earlier than my friends so I had boobs and hips and felt like a elephant compared to my skinny friends.

The other darker reason why I can't lose the weight is that I use it as a distancing from men. I use it as an excuse why I am not attractive to men. Except men have found me attractive, even at this weight. I know there is part of me that is afraid that if I do lose the weight I am going to lose that self-control.

Does this even make sense?

It is utterly ridiculous. I am a bright, intelligent woman, but inside there is a silly little 14 year old that wants all the boys to like me!

But one day I will sort the shit out in my head, lose the weight because I know it will make me happier and healthier. Just wish it wasn't taking so long.

Erin said...

I don't have a specific amount of weight to lose, but I do want to be healthier and more fit. So yesterday I rejoined the gym, and I went. And I thought it would be worse than it actually was, and it felt good, even though my legs are like "WTF are you doing to us man?". So while I'll never run a marathon, because well, I can't run, at least I'll be as healthy and fit as I can be. Plus, there's a cute trainer or two to feel up with my eyes. A little extra motivation, right?

Brenda said...

Love this. I love this entry so much, especially the part about shame and starting over after a bad day. Thank you, thank you.

BloodRedRoses said...

Thank you for the bit about being kind to yourself.

I know so many women (and men) who beat themselves up for 'caving in' and eating a slice of cake. Get angry when they don't make it to the gym as much as they'd planned.

We need to start thinking better of ourselves, and believing that yes. We deserve to lead healthier lives. Even if we slip up once and awhile.

Congrats on reaching your goals!

Deanna said...

Oy - you had to do this today???

Truth - before kids, I was about 175 (I'm 5'7"). I only gained about 15 lbs with each pregnancy (both were preemies), and while that weight came off easily, it was the extra 25 (or 50) after that stuck. Everywhere. So, about 100 altogether. Now that the boys are both in school, I am making better choices and strangely enough moving a LOT more... I sense a group motivation/challenge in the making?? : )

JennyM said...

Yes, exactly what I needed this today. I wish I could get all that time back, worrying about weight and diets -- what a waste. I like the part where you talk about adding things rather than taking them away. I just see things in a different light. It makes me more hopeful. I have about ten I would like to take off.

Sherene said...

Fine I'll let you in on the secret - I've lost 10 lbs and several inches. I'm not publicizing it to the people in my life, I'm just going to take off 60lbs slowly and quietly. For me. And oddly enough I'm having fun doing it by choosing activities I truly enjoy that get me moving every day. Sure I've also altered my eating habits for my overall health (much in the same way you have) but it's the bicycling, water skiing, running, gardening, weights, and pilates that has me most appreciating my emerging body.

I hope for all of you struggling with your health to have that moment of honesty when you decide you must do it for you. Because you deserve better out of yourself. I've been there too with the excuses and procrastination - for years - so I know the game is easy to keep playing and so very hard to change. Best of luck to everyone wanting to make better choices for themselves!

Anonymous said...

Love this - passing it on to all my girlfriends. And it doesn't matter who inspired you or what made it click - good for you!


Michele Summerlin said...

So, I literally just stumbled upon your blog and...LOVE IT. Therefore, before I reach Major Stalker on your status counter, I thought it best to drop you a line telling you I'll be hanging out for awhile. Your posts are awesome and just what I need right now. I may have to start at the beginning and make my way through to now. Wishing you continued peace and love...

Trisha said...

I have twenty to go. This is kind of the kick in the butt I needed. I really liked the part about being kind to yourself - man, if I spent all the time I do beating myself up, eating right or on an exercise bike... but I'll stop thing about that and just be kind to myself.

Babbalou said...

I too am a big believer in thinking positively about what I eat and never thinking of it as a diet - the very word makes me obsess about salty crunchy treats and sweets. Instead I too focus on vegetables at every meal - I live on lean proteins, vegetables, small amounts of fruit and the occasional whole grain (I have learned over the years that the only way I can lose weight is to limit carbs). I have lost 30 pounds, very slowly, which isn't all that easy when you're rapidly approaching 60. I exercise (mostly walking, an hour or two a day and working out a little with weights and stretching or yoga when I think about it) I make roasted vegetables nearly every night for dinner - usually three kinds so the plate is full and colorful and I don't feel like I'm missing anything even though there is no rice or potato on my plate - just lovely vegetables and lean protein. And a glass of wine of course. I've been eating this way for the last three years, it's the way I eat and not a diet - I enjoy my meals and feel great.

Anonymous said...

Loving this. Congrats to you. You continue to be this great example in my life. And yes, what am I waiting for?


Quix said...

Not so secret confession: I want to lose 12 more lbs. I work out like a madwoman because I love it. I eat like an idiot because I love it. I know I need to be a little better with the amount of food going in my trap but its *whine* HARD *whine*. If I could only put the effort I put into my workout into my eating...

However, before I became a crazy person I lost 110 lbs simply by counting calories. Nothing was off limits, and alcohol was consumed every weekend. It was just give and take - if there was lots of food and alcohol there was also lots of gym. Love that you found your way too, and guilt and shame is for the birds, I refuse to go there anymore. ;)

Lanie said...

Everyone's stories here are so inspiring and I really feel like I'm not alone. I have 40 pounds to lose. I love the idea of breaking it down to 5 pounds at a time... and being kind to yourself. You always write about things that are on my mind.


adventure grrl said...

Your comments and honesty blow me AWAY! Love this. Love that someone wrote they feel less alone. That breaks and comforts my heart at the same time.

TwinkleTwinkle - Life Altering Soup - okay first of all, I have to admit I take a package of one of Trader Joe's soup in a bowl and throw out the rice noodles. Then I add frozen broccoli, snap peas, sprouts, spinach, edamame, just any veggie you like (carrots? onions? mushrooms?) then I add chicken or shrimp as the protein.

The other idea is sautee your veggies in some olive oil with your protein. Then add Veggie or Chicken stock (or cubes). Add spicy Chinese oil (this is the magic ingredient that I love in the TJ's soup).

I would also look at some recipes online. The point is not to load up on pasta and noodles but instead, a ton of veggies and a protein.

Bitten Usagi said...

Dear gods how I wish I had a success story. (yeah I know, don't wish just do it) I did however start to get one... using the Wii Fit Plus. I shit you not. I lost a good 7 lbs or so. And as I write this I feel like a total dope for not keeping up with it. It was easy. Well not really but it sounds easy. "I lost 7 lbs playing a video game". Who wouldn't love to tell that story to everyone they meet on the street right? *sigh*

*thinking I should steal the TV/Wii for an hour tonight*

dreamgypsie said...

I have been talking about losing weight forever. I put it on in puberty and have been using it as a crutch ever since. I don't date because I'm fat, this of course turned into I'm just lazy. Which is a horrible excuse and a cop out.(I believe that we are what we think and my thoughts need to change.)It became convenient. And it was other peoples fault instead of my own. I know what needs to be done, and I know that it starts and ends with me. It's the act of doing that seems the hardest I guess. Like looking at a dirty room and not knowing where to begin.
You constantly inspire me.
Thank you so much for being so great!