Archive for the ‘I want’ Category

Ghhhaaa! Bleck! Bad Day!

November 29, 2012

Today is not a good mental health day. I’ve been teetering on the edge of this 202.8 lbs = no longer obese milestone for days now. I went down a little bit, then more, then back up, and up and up again. No real progress in over a week.

I’m getting better at talking myself through the bad days. Reminding myself that some days I lose a pound and some days I do not and that is good because my body needs to adjust. That it’s not all about the numbers on the scale it’s about how I feel.

Today I feel bloated, cramped, back aches, hip hurts there’s a new pain in my knee and I feel emotionally miserable. And, the scale went up again. There’s no reason I can identify as to why. I’ve been sticking to paleo, I have not gone over on my calories, but still… no progress.

Here is the choice: I can give up, throw the towel in go get a large bag of chips with sour cream and wallow in my perceived failure. Or, I can stick it out another day and a day after that and the day after that and know that I am doing the right thing and eventually the weight will come off, but only if I keep trying.

I don’t need to do anything different yet, it feels like a long time right now but in the span of success this time round it’s a short time and in the span of time I have tried to lose weight it is an extremely short time.

So, I feel crappy today. I don’t feel like giving myself a pep talk and I do feel like eating crap just to validate my current mind set that this will never work, but there is enough of something inside me to know that I will not do this. I will make it through this day and look forward to better days.

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Mini-Goal: 21 lbs!

August 9, 2012

I’m mid-way through my eating out week. I have my lunches out and the cottage weekend to go. However, so far so good. I just hit my 21 lb loss mini-goal and the first mini-goal in my second 20 lb goal.

I have earned myself a rental from apple TV. I still need to get a new top and have my hair trimmed from my last 20 lbs, but I did do the pedicure yesterday.

I have planned out my food for the cottage so I am hoping I can stay healthy and stick to my eating plan because I know that there will be real health consequences, not just weight gain, if I do not. And, I would of course prefer to spend my cottage weekend having fun, not chained to the bathroom (yeah TMI – sorry).

Eating Out

August 2, 2012

Eating out and trying to maintain a diet or food restrictions has always been a problem for me. I used to allow myself to be exempt from my diet when I ate in restaurants or at friends houses. That didn’t work. I then tried to guess calories and meticulously log everything I put in my mouth to the best of my ability. That was frustrating and also didn’t work.

I have a lot of anxiety around this week since I am rarely eating at home.

Saturday – Dinner out
Sunday – Lunch out & Dinner out
Monday – Lunch out & Dinner out
Tuesday – Dinner out
Wednesday – Lunch out
Thursday – Lunch out
Friday – Monday – All meals out (cottage)

My basic plan is to try to stick to the weird paleo restrictions when eating out. This will limit what I put in my body and will hopefully keep me to reasonable portion sizes, if I am careful.

My nemesis, especially on the cottage weekend will be too much alcohol, which can also lead to diving off the paleo diet.

The glimmer of hope is that I’m more than a month into doing paleo and so far it is working incredibly well for me. I do have more energy. I am losing weight without any other efforts like calorie counting or exercising. I am not full-full but I am content-full and not feeling hungry and jealous of other people’s food. This will, of course, be difficult on cottage weekend when I will be surrounded by tempting carbs and more carbs all weekend.

Wish me luck!

Food Acceptance and Food Allergies

May 10, 2012

When I first started thinking about this journey again the biggest question in my mind was what can I do differently this time that will help me succeed when I have failed so many times before. It was at this point that I came across the Fat Nutritionist. A friend of mine who also struggles with personal health and fitness issues introduced me to the blog via Facebook and I was hooked.

Instead of talking about what food you should and should not eat, she starts with going back to the basics of teaching yourself to eat again. Her main theory is that people who are over or under weight, have at some point, developed an unhealthy relationship with food. We have disconnected food from our body’s signals. We are no longer able to intuitively manage our relationship with food in a healthy way. So, instead of staring from a place of discussing what you should eat (and shouldn’t) she starts with instilling good eating habits.

The first and most important of her habits is permission. She has a few long entries on the subject of permission, I suggest you head over there to read them if you are interested. In a nutshell what it boils down to is the idea that so long as you are punishing yourself for what you are eating you are cultivating a negative relationship to food. Permission means acknowledging that you are giving yourself the permission to have the craving and satisfy the craving. You are not powerless over the chips, and you do not have to punish yourself for eating the chips.

From the concept of permission she works through a number of eating lessons that can help a develop a self-awareness of what I am eating, when I am eating it and why I am eating it.

All of this sounds really good, and I began to implement some of it. Specifically acknowledging and accepting my cravings, trying to be aware of my level of hunger or fullness and scheduling regular meal times.

I was also keenly aware that I fell into many of the traps she identified. Things like “the last supper syndrome” , blaming and shaming my food habits and more. So, I was thinking of joining one of her regular eating groups to get a handle on my eating.

There is however one complication: food allergies.

I have one anaphylaxis allergy – Pork

One long-time food allergy – Dairy

One newly diagnosed food intolerance – Gluten

Avoiding pork has never been much of an issue for me. Even once I started eating meat again after years of being vegan my meat is generally fish, chicken and sometimes beef.

Dairy has been more challenging. Because it is a non-life threatening allergy that generally just comes with a lot of discomfort and some ugly digestive side effects I sometimes allow dairy to slip into my diet. Sometimes cheesecake tastes good enough to take the pain.

A few years ago I was noticing even when I was not including dairy and was specifically avoiding it I was having similar digestive problems. At the worst a bad dairy attack can make me feel like I have a flu for up to 48 hours. And without the dairy I was still feeling the same. I eventually brought it up with my doctor who after some referrals for tests and nutrition tells me I’m also gluten intolerant. This is not good. Bread and Pasta are two of the great loves of my life.

So, I find myself in this odd space between trying to accept my food and food cravings while feeling resentful and limited in what I can actually eat and feel well. Enter the Paleo Diet.

Revisiting the plan

May 3, 2012

Before the grief there was a plan slowly starting to form.

While I am comfortable being a woman of size, I am not happy with my current size and it is beginning to effect my quality of life. I am not interested in becoming stick thin again or inviting the health and psychological problems of trying to get there.

The challenge I had put before myself was to lose weight and size slowly and incrementally. I wanted to do it this way so that I could:

  • Be evaluative of each step and when I felt good and wanted to stop,
  • Ensure that the slow approach would keep the weight that I lost off,
  • Not pressure myself to lose X lbs in Y time frame and beat myself up when that didn’t happen,
  • Truly evaluate what works for my body,
  • Explore what nutrition means to me, what tastes good to eat and what feels good in my body.

There were three main tools I had set up to try to achieve this.

1. Weight loss rewards

I have never been a rewards person, but I think this may have been a mistake. There is part of me that thinks that achieving a goal should be reward enough. However, my track record tells me that this is not enough for me. So, I set up a chart with a goal of a 20 lb weight loss. I set rewards at 1, 2, 5, 10, 15 and 20 lbs. The idea was to keep myself motivated and then evaluate at 20 lbs. Decide if I felt up to going for another 20 or if I wanted to simply try to maintain for some time. In this way the parameters were either weight loss that was not constricted by time, or time for maintenance with no weight loss expectation.

2. Self acceptance monitoring

This is harder to articulate as a tool. Although I am not comfortable with my current size I am comfortable being a woman of size. I like curves, breasts, hips, tummy and softness. I am also generally happy with my life and the parts that I am not happy with I feel that I can do something to change. Part of the slow incremental weight loss needs to be a mindfulness to keep an eye on my positive sense of self.

Wading into the weight loss challenge is a good way to turn negative. To start to degrade my body and my self. Some would see it as self empowerment, but I find this is only true while success is happening. If success is not a straight road – which it rarely is – then it is easy to slide into self depreciation. Once the downward cycle begins then it is hard to appreciate any success. Small success are no longer enough, it becomes a game of the long goal in the distance that is never achieved.

To help with self-acceptance I am making sure that I keep subscribing to Plus Model Magazine, which is where I get many of my images and keep reading size acceptance blogs.

3. Paleo Diet

Through various failed diets I have realized that I do need some guidance for what I put into my body and that guidance has to be more than calorie-based. I came to the idea of trying the paleo diet not from a weight loss perspective but from the ability to help me manage some of my food allergies and still eat a well balanced diet. It also promotes local food and seasonal food as well, and helps me increase my protein intake which I know is needed.

Loving my body

March 15, 2012

I no longer accept that fat equals unhealthy, ugly, lazy or any of the other negative adjectives that are foisted on fat people, and most of all on fat women. Increasingly I also question our perceptions of what is fat. While I don’t deny that I am fat, I am very aware that the social images of “slim” and “fit” are incredibly unhealthy themselves.

At the same time I am coming face to face with the realities that obesity does come with quality of life draw backs that could, if left unattended, become health problems. I am deeply skeptical now of the hysteria around the obesity epidemic, but I do not believe that the concerns about obesity are unfounded.

At my last physical I was given a clean bill of health. Everything is in working order and all of my blood, cholesterol and other levels are appropriate for a woman my age.

This could be a great reason to tell myself that all of my body concerns are in my head. That I am sucumbing to the relentless media drive that fat is bad.

After two years of reading an incredible amount of body size/ body image / feminist / media literacy literature it is difficult to reconcile wanting to lose weight / size with accepting a positive sense of self. What I am coming to terms with is the idea that focusing too much on the size acceptance can be harmful, maybe not as much or in the same way as obsessive dieting, but still harmful.

Recognizing what my body needs is about finding that balance which includes loving my body at the size and shape that it is and still honouring my body when it sends me signals that I need to do something to care for it, which may include losing weight.

Loving my curves!

March 14, 2012

For the past three years I have bounced between 200 to 220 lbs. When I crossed the 200 lb for the first time around 2003 I was horrified. Crossing that mark, I think, sent me into my most unhealthy years since having been hospitalized for anorexia. While anorexia was unarguably unhealthier physically and psychologically, my response to crossing the 200 lb mark and struggles to get back below it have been unhealthy emotionally and intellectually.

I never abused myself emotionally as an anorexic as much as I have now that I am plus sized. Anorexia was very much about control, success, achievement and receiving validation for my efforts… well at least until it almost killed me.

Being fat however, is about failure, guilt, shame, ignorance, laziness, greed, ugliness. I can be made to feel like a pariah, someone not deserving of love, kindness, hope or charity.

Like many plus sized women I have been successful in other areas of my life. I have a good education, I am making progress in my career, I am in a committed relationship of over 10 years, I have strong family connections and close friendships, I have interests and hobbies that keep me busy and entertained. In short, I have a very good life.

So, why was I letting myself get so down about my body size?

I don’t really know.

It is hard to be self-evaluative about media influence, peer pressure, pop-culture medicine and how much all of this does or does not affect self-image. I could claim, as many do, that I am not affected by advertising. But, working in communications, I know that is simply not true.

What I have been able to understand is that my low self-image had less to do with how I felt about myself and more to do with what I thought others were telling me I should feel about myself.

Luckily for me I’m friends with a lot of free thinking women (and men) who are are good at pointing out toxic pop culture trends. I went down the rabbit hole and began to explore fat acceptance. What did it mean? Why would anyone do that? Didn’t they know that fat was unhealthy and unhealthy is bad?

Turns out there’s a lot that I didn’t know. Like epigenetics. Like the role the food industry plays in emphasizing fitness as core component of weight loss. Like the huge changes in the fashion and modeling industry. Like the existence of Photoshop Fluid.

On this journey, I learned to accept my fat body. To even love it. I am more comfortable, as a person in my fat supple soft skin that I ever was with my rib cage and hip bones sticking out. I’m warmer for one, and I have less body hair for another.

My partner who is a wonderful insanely-high-metabolism skinny boy (well not so much a boy anymore at closer to 40 than 30) also helped with this. He met me when I was over 200 lbs. He has seen me at weights ranging from 172 lbs up to 260+ lbs. My weight has never been an issue for him. No… I didn’t believe him either, but I did have to agree with him that after more than 10 years and me having no evidence that he has ever thought my body was not sexy I might have to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

WhenI look at women, the ones I do find attractive certainly fall into the plus sized category. They are round, soft, sassy, charismatic, and wonderfully erotic in a way that I simply do not find the super-skinny models on billboards and magazines to be.

So, I’ve reached 30, I’ve come into myself as a person, and I have accepted my curves. But, I’m still thinking of losing weight — does that mean I’m a hypocrite?

I know that I don’t know

March 13, 2012

My challenge, when it comes to hopping on and off the diet/weight loss/lifestyle change/nutrition/fitness/healthy body/healthy mind bandwagon(s) is that I really don’t know what is right and what is wrong.

Not knowing what is right and what is wrong is so much more than not knowing how to make the scale go in a downwards direction and then stay there.

As women our identities are so immersed in body size and body shape that it’s difficult to define what is and is not success. Are lower numbers success? If so, how low? What about higher numbers? Like more pay at my job, being able to afford more expensive foods, clothes, entertainment? Is it about numbers at all? What about happiness? Fulfillment? Sense of self? Accomplishment?

Isn’t it better to focus on self acceptance rather than weight and body size? Are the two mutually exclusive? Can fat acceptance exist at the same time as a weight loss plan? Can losing weight be a positive, empowering process or will it always be body-centric and objectifying?

I don’t really know what the answers are to all of these questions. I know what I hope for.

10 Day Results & New Challenge

May 26, 2011

Yesterday was my 10th day of:

– Logging my food
– Taking my weight
– Taking mesaurements
– Doing something active every day.

The results?

Most importantly I do have more energy and I want to continue this weight loss / fitness challenge. I’m sleeping better at night, not sleeping at my desk (as much — some very boring things at work this week) and I don’t feel like I’m dragging myself through my day.

I’m also getting up earlier. 6:00 am was really not something I wanted to commit to during the first week, I mainly planned my exercise after work and only got up early when I absolutely had to. Now I prefer to work our in the mornings and have it done with so that I have my day to myself.

I have lost 4 pounds even and 2.6 centimeters total. Since it is only the first 10 days I know that this kind of weight loss in 10 days is unsustainable and is generally water weight.

This is the next challenge: lose 5 pounds.

Not necessarily 5 pounds of fat (although I hope it will be), but 5 pounds. Doesn’t matter how long I take to do it, if I do it through diet or exercise, but lose 5 pounds.

The only thing I’m not allowed to do is starve it off me. I need to lose it through a good diet and exercise.

Timex: Interval Timer Review

April 16, 2009

As I mentioned in the last post the gadget that I ‘had’ to buy before I could in good conscious start my work out was an interval timer. A count down timer that can time at least two different set times in a row.

In my case I wanted to set a short time interval (10 sec) so that when I hit start it would count down ten seconds and then beep, then count down my recovery time (60 sec) then beep and then I would reset for the next set.

After doing a bunch of online research here is what I found:

1. Stop Watches are not interval timers. The purpose of a stop watch is to allow someone to do an activity (laps in the pool say) and then find out how much time it takes them to do the activity. Almost every single box store and convenience store carries stop watches, they are however useless if you want to tell yourself when to stop, not how long it took you.

2. If you type in interval timers generally into most store searches you will get a large listing of home security, and sprinkler devices.

I was about ready to buy a kids watch with a basic countdown timer when I came across the Timex site and read through some of their women’s sports watches, several of which have interval timers. Thank you Timex!

I got the Women’s 50-Lap Ironman Triathalon Sleek 59201.

Calls to four Zellers stores (3 out of stock) and $60 (CDN) later, I was trying the watch in the car. I figured I’d better find out if it was too difficult to program, beeper works and so on, so that if I had to return it I could do it right then.

It was really easy to program, the instructions were blessedly clear.

The chime was loud enough in the car, so I proceeded to the gym. Testing the timer along the way (bad driver, I know!) and figuring out I could set, hear the two intervals, reset and restart without having to actually look down at the watch once. Bonus!

The only drawback is that in the gym with the music going, it was more difficult to hear. I was really worried about disturbing other people, that will not happen with this timer. However I had to get used to listening for it and in the first few sets missed the 10 second timer.

Overall I’m not sure if it was worth the $60 just for the timer, but keeping in mind that I don’t currently have a watch, it’s got lots of other features, and it was a major barrier in me getting off my butt and into the gym, I think purchase well worth it.