Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I've lied to myself... a lot.

My folks and I spent the last few days in Colorado with my brother and his family.  We had a lovely trip, for the most part, including a trip to the zoo, a cog wheel train ride to the summit of Pike's Peak, a quick look at Garden of the Gods, and a 3rd birthday party for my niece, Bekka.

But we're not here to talk about my mini vacay, so let's get on with it.

I've lied to myself… a lot.

I’m sure that’s normal.  We probably all have truths about ourselves we don’t want to face.  My lie, of course, is that I want to lose weight just to be healthy.  And sure, that’s part of it.  But really, I want to be skinny so I can stop thinking I’m ugly. 

Ok, ok.  I know I’m not ugly.  The rational, sane, unemotional part of me knows that I’m not completely unattractive.  I think I can be classified as cute.  Add in my winning personality and I might just be pretty.  But I hang out with a group of gorgeous ladies.   Gorgeous ladies who are just as smart and just as funny as I am, so my inner beauty gets lost in the abundance of their outer beauty and I feel like the ugly duckling of the group. 

I just want to take a minute right here and directly say that I’m not looking for sympathy or fishing for compliments.  I’m not writing this so that I’ll get comments telling me how beautiful I am.  I’m truly not.  I’m just trying to be completely honest, with both myself, and with you.  With me so that I can get to the root of why I eat the way I do and with you so that you can either get a look at the psyche of a someone who struggles with weight or you can see that you’re not alone.  Ok.  There’s my disclaimer.  Back to what I was saying.  What was I saying?

So yeah, my friends are all stunningly gorgeous.  And sometimes when we go out, I let it get to me.  I watch them get asked to dance and approached by men (both cute and creepy) as I get ignored.  I mean, I've literally stood there as the girl on my right turns down a dance, watched the guy look me over, and then ask the girl on my left to dance.   That hurts.  That really hurts.  And I’m convinced that it’s because I’m the biggest in my group.

So I guess, as shallow as it sounds, I want to lose weight so that men will talk to me.  I wish that wasn’t the case.  I wish I could find someone who likes me in this body, but how can I expect someone else to like me when I don’t like me?

That statement, “I don’t like me,” is misleading.  I like myself.  I really do.  I think I’m smart, funny, loyal, a good friend, rational, driven, adventurous, and a bit daring.  I like me.  I just don’t like my physical form.  Actually, it’s not even that.  I just dislike my belly.  And my double chin. 

So because I don’t want to seem like a shallow, boy crazy female,  I tell myself that I’m doing this (working out, eating better, etc…) just for the health benefits, but let’s get real.  I’m doing it because if I don’t,  I’m scared I’ll end up alone for the rest of my life.  Good times.

This photo of a tree in a field of rocks was taken on the way up to Pike's Peak.  It's amazing how resilient plants (animals, people) can be when faced with less than optimal conditions.  I love this little tree.  I hate to be corny and say it represents me, but... 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Eating makes me feel guilty

It doesn’t seem to matter what I eat, or how much I eat, nine times out of ten I feel guilty afterwards.  Unless it’s something that is undeniably healthy like an apple or something, I’m going to feel guilty for cramming it down my gullet.  Unfortunately, the guilt doesn’t set in until I’ve already eaten it.  It would be much more helpful if my healthy food conscience would stop me before I went through the drive through.

I’ve heard the term “Food Addict” thrown around a few times (fine, I heard it on Oprah, whatevs,)  but I wasn’t really sure if it’s a real thing or if it’s just something fat people with no will power claim to be.  So I did what anyone with a question and a Wi-Fi connection would do; I Googled it. 

Blog shout-outs make Oprah happy.
Apparently it’s real.  Very real.  12 Step Program real.  Huh, who knew?  The website is foodaddictsanonymous.com and their mission statement is, “Recovering together one day at a time from the biochemical disease of food addiction.”  Biochemical disease of food addiction.  Ok then.

I started browsing the website wondering if I’m a food addict.  It would be kinda awesome if I was.  That way I could blame my lack of self-control on a disease. An addiction.  How can I be upset with myself if my food consumption is beyond my control?  My “addiction” could be my scapegoat and my lack of will power can finally be left alone. 

Unsurprisingly I do fit the profile of a food addict.  Shocking.   Apparently a food addict is anyone who yo-yo diets, has a legit eating disorder (bulimia, anorexia,) feels depressed or ashamed about their weight/eating, uses food as a reward or comforter, or avoids social outing because of feeling too unattractive to attend.  That’s me.  I can check off all of those except the eating disorder. 

Ok.  So I’m a food addict.  Now I just need to follow the FAA (Food Addicts Anonymous) eating guide, go through the 12 steps, and get a sponsor, then I’ll be thinner, more spiritually balanced, and happier than I’ve been in years!  Problem solved!

Too bad I don’t really believe in “food addiction” or in any way think it’s a genuine disease.   Sure, their eating guide looks spot on, and it’s always good to have someone keeping you accountable, but I think calling it a food addiction is taking the easy way out.  Like I said, I’d love to say, “Oh it’s not my fault I ate Taco Bell.  I have a disease,” but come on.  Just man up and say, “I ate something I shouldn’t have and I’m going to suffer the consequences.  I’ll try not to do it again.”  Accept responsibility for yourself and take care of your problems.

Of course, like most pieces of advice, that’s easier said than done.  Especially in this society where there’s an excuse for every perceived shortcoming out there.  There’s an addiction, a syndrome, a condition, a chemical imbalance for every aspect of your personality you don’t like.  And of course, most of them are legit.  But, a lot of them aren’t.  Food addiction is one that isn’t. 

Take that, Oprah.
No one goes against The Oprah!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Oh food, you and I have had our problems...

I have serious issues with food. 

I think my main problem is that I’m way, way too picky.  And, at times, a vegetarian.  Do know how many options there are for picky vegetarians?  Not many.

Two things I wish I liked are tofu and mushrooms.  The staples in any good vegetarian’s diet are mushrooms and tofu.  They’re used primarily as meet substitutes (they are really good protein sources) and can be molded into just about any food type.  Seriously.  Chicken, beef, turkey, pork, and seafood can all be replicated using tofu or mushrooms. But I can't handle the texture.  The... squishiness makes my stomach turn.  I just can't eat it.  
  I’m also not a big fan of a lot of vegetables.  The aforementioned mushroom, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, squash, zucchini, beets, parsnips, radishes…  Now some of these I can tolerate inside of something else, but they have to be pretty well hidden for me to eat them.  Oh! Olives.  Don’t like olives. 

You know what I do like?  Potatoes.  Baked, mashed or fried, I like ‘em.   I also like cheese.  Melt it, throw in some jalapenos, and serve it with a bowl of chips and I’ll love you for life.   Pizza is good as long as it’s not covered with the vegetable mentioned above.  Or sausage or peperoni.   Refried beans are good, so are black beans.  Actually, just about any Mexican food item is ok in my book.  And of course I like chips, chocolate milk, those little chocolate donut things, cookies and cream ice cream sandwiches, Pepsi, Taco Bell, chili cheese fries, Chinese food, and breakfast tacos (Maria’s Taco Express on S. Lamar in Austin TX has the absolute best breakfast tacos, hands down; I used to live across the street.  If that’s not a match made in Heaven, I don’t know what is.)

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives featuring Maria's Taco Express, Austin TX

And I do like some veggies – carrots, cucumber, celery, spinach (raw, not cooked,) tomato, bell pepper, corn, lettuce (Romaine, preferably.  Iceberg lettuce has absolutely no nutritional value,) peas, green beans, asparagus, okra, sweet potato, uh, maybe a few others.  And I like a lot of fruits. Bananas, apples, grapes, oranges, various melons, and the rest of your every day produce section.

You know, looking over this list I realize that maybe I’m not a picky eater, maybe I’m just not an adventurous eater.  I don’t know.  All I really know is that the worse it is for me, the more I like it.  No joke.  And I’m sure that most people are like that.   Add in the fact that I have very little self-control and you end up with me weighing as much as a small elephant. 

Ohhh, food.  It’s a love hate relationship.  I love it, but it hates me.  Actually, maybe it loves me too, that’s why it sticks around so long.  Huh?  Food for thought? Pun intended.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I fell off the wagon...

and I fell hard.

OK.  So I've badly neglected my blog.  I know, I know.  Honestly, I'm embarrassed and disappointed. I thought that this blog would make me feel as though I was being held accountable, but it didn't make me feel that way at all.

For those of you reading who have read each posting, please don't take this personally:  The reason I didn't feel like I was being held accountable is because very few people were reading.  And that bothered me.  No matter how much I told myself that I didn't need big numbers, I still felt a little... stranded each week when I saw fewer readers than the week before.  I felt like people didn't really care about my struggle.  Then I'd mentally smack myself in the face telling myself to stop being so self involved.  Why should they care about my weight issues?  I'm the one who got fat; it's not the fault of my friends and family.  Why should they be punished for my failures?   But ultimately the sulking (overly sensitive) part of my ego won out, and when I got hurt I just quit writing.

Last weekend I went to the beach with a lovely group of girls and made some new friends.  One new friend advertised her blog* on fb tonight, so I checked it out.  One of her recent entries is a brutally honest and detailed account of how much she hates her body.  I was shocked.  This girl is gorgeous.  And it made me sad to see how she sees herself.  It also renewed my interest in this blog.   So I'm back.  TA-DA!

I think the last time I wrote, I'd just run a full 3 miles without stopping.  I'd gone to the track with my mom, started walking at a good pace, gotten shin splints, and decided to run instead.  Next thing I know 45 minutes have passed and I'm completing the last lap of 3 miles.  I finished (at a pace slower than a normal walk, I'm sure) and then stumbled my way over to my mom to celebrate with her.   2 days later I did it again.  This time I ran in circles through our living room, office, dining room, and kitchen wearing a pedometer.  By the time I got done with the full three miles, I couldn't put any weight on my foot.

At first I thought I'd simply burst a blood vessel (I do that often) but it still hurt the next day.  So I pulled out the walking cast and the crutches and resigned myself to getting through yet another injury.  I wore the boot everyday for a month or so taking it off only to sleep, shower, and pass a physical for the new job.  During that time, I pretty much didn't workout.  I did a couple of seated upper body weight/cardio workouts, but that's it.  And I continued to eat.  Gradually I started gaining weight  And I do mean gradually.

I kinda wish I'd gained it all back over the course of three days so that I could look in the mirror and say, "Gross.  Get your stuff together girl."  Instead, I've put on 10 pounds over the course of two months.   And with gradual weight gain, you can kid yourself into thinking it's not there.  You look in the mirror and think, "Nope.  Nothing's changed."  The you head to the kitchen and eat.  It's not until you realize that you can't button your jeans anymore that you accept the fact that you've gained weight.

Right now, I hate my body.  HATE it.  I don't have a pair of jeans that fit, I had to buy shorts 2 sizes bigger than the ones I bought 3 months ago, my boobs are back to their out-of-control size, and I feel absolutely disgusting.  And any self consciousness I'd lost is now back with a vengeance.

I mentioned my trip to the beach last weekend.  And while I had a really, really lovely time with the girls, not for one second did I forget that I was the biggest girl there.  They wore bikinis on the beach, I wore shorts and a tank top.  They got hit on when we went out, I sulked in the corner (just the first night, the 2nd night I said, "Screw it," and had a much better time - still didn't get hit on.)  They wore cute little shorts and shirts while I wore either a tent disguised to look like a dress or workout shorts (elastic waste bands.)

So here we go again.  Back to square one.  I have 16 days until I leave for Hawaii.  I'm not crazy enough to think that things will be dramatically different by then, but I'm going to workout and eat like they will be.  I'm also going to write more than once a week.  I have a lot of dangerous emotions and thoughts right now, so I'm going to get them out.  Not dangerous like suicidal dangerous, but dangerous as in getting discouraged in my workout dangerous.

I'm not going to promise that I won't feel like I did before.  But I am going to try to rely on "reader support" a bit less and not be so sensitive about how many people read.  In general, I'm just going to try to be a little bit less ridiculous.

No promises.

*I don't know if my friend wants her blog advertised, so I'm not linking it.  LSL, if you're reading this, feel free to put a link in the comments section.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Days 71 - 81

Oh my.  I totally forgot to update last week.  I apologize.  It just completely slipped my mind.  Probably because I've been laid up with a bum foot.  It's getting better though, so hopefully I can get back to running and working out.  I wanted to go for a run tomorrow, but my father doesn't want me to.  He doesn't want me pushing it and running too soon and ending up too hurt to start with Norwegian.  He's a smart guy, so I'm going to listen to him.  Grudgingly.  Cause seriously you guys, I want to run!

I was really, really, really worried about gaining weight because of this whole foot debacle, but I don't think it's been an issue.  I had a full physical last Wednesday and I'd actually lost weight.  Probably from dragging this stupid boot through malls and grocery stores.  After about 30 minutes or so it starts to weigh about 35 pounds, give or take.  

And once again, I was told by a close friend to chill out and stop obsessing. I was telling her how I don't understand not losing weight after working out 5 - 6 days a week.  She told me that I'm stressing myself out and need to stop worrying about it.  So that's what I'm trying to do.  Stop worrying about it. 

Which ultimately is what needs to happen.  I need to learn to be happy with myself no matter what a scale says.  Here's the thing.  I don't think I'm hideously ugly. What I hate are the restrictions being this size puts on my me.  I just hate getting winded walking up a fight of stairs.  I hate my stomach getting in the way.  I hate how my thighs rub together when I wear a skirt.  That's what I'm trying to change.  

So yes, I've been trying not to obsess.  I haven't weighed myself since I got hurt because if I can't workout I'm not going to punish myself for weight gained.  I've kept the same eating habits and not deprived myself of anything just because I'm not going running.  

Ok. That's where I am right now.  Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the swing of things later this week.  And I'll try not to forget to update on Thursday.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Days 63 - 70

Hello, all.  I'm posting early today because I'm going to Austin tonight and don't feel like taking my computer. Since it's just early afternoon, I won't be using the normal format talking about my food and workout and whatnot simply because the day is not over.

I've picked up a few new accessories recently.  Normally there's nothing I like more than a new bag or shoes or earrings. But I can definitely do without these new items.

I got this lovely boot (just the one, though)

And these two... Ok.  I don't know what in the accessory world these suckers resemble.

Here's the story.  Last Friday my mom and I headed to the local high school to do some walking on the track. We were just a couple hundred yards into what we planned on being a 3 mile walk when my shin splints (when the muscle pulls away from the bone causing pain, in my case, up the side of my lower leg) started acting up.  I stopped to stretch my calves while my mom continued on.  I stretched for a minute, then continued.  Another 300 or so yards and I had to stretch again.  Not wanting to stop and stretch every lap, I decided to run because it doesn't hurt for some reason.  Cut to an hour later and I'd run 3 miles.  Longest distance I've ever run (yay!).  

I woke up the next morning with my knee killing me.  I've had knee problems since I was in 5th grade when my first orthopedic surgeon diagnosed me with Osgood Slaughter's disease.  Osgood is a condition defined by the tendons on either side of the kneecap being different lengths.  In my case, the tendons on the inside are significantly shorter than the ones on the outside causing my kneecaps to point inward.  I grew up wearing knee braces and patella stabilizers and, for a short period of time, using medical tape to pull my kneecaps into place.  Adding to the knee problems, I developed tendinitis during my sophomore year of high school and it has not gone away.  The area directly below my right kneecap has been swollen for about 15 years now.  Good times.  So, knowing how bad my knees are, if I'd planned on running 3 miles I would have worn a brace or wrap chosen from the plethora stored in my house.

But I didn't, so I spent that Saturday hobbling around.  By that evening my knee was feeling much better, but my right foot had begun to ache, I thought from the added stress of limping.  I did an upper body workout sitting on an exercise ball putting absolutely no weight on my feet.  The next day, the pain in my foot was almost unbearable.  The pain was coming from the outer edge up toward the ankle bone.  Walking on my toe was no problem, so I just concentrated on keeping weight off my heal and went about my day.  That was Sunday.  By Monday evening the pain was barely noticeable, so I did the Jillian Michael's video making sure that at no time did all of my weight rest on my right foot.  I made it through most of the video and felt pretty satisfied.  Tuesday morning my foot was fine.  I spent the day walking normally and decided that another run was in order.  Here's where I become an idiot.

I was about half way into the first mile when my foot started hurting again.  But I ignored it.  I've always had a high tolerance for pain (it's not that I don't feel pain, I'm just seemingly able to deal with it longer than others) so I kept running.  I did stop for about 15 seconds when I felt a stabbing pain in the sole of my foot, but that passed quickly, so I picked it back up.  By the time I'd finished the 3 miles (for the second time!) I couldn't put any weight on my foot at all.  Now, 2 days later, it has not improved in the least.  And tomorrow I have my physical for Norwegian Cruise Line.  So in a bid to improve my foot before 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, I've pulled out the boot and the crutches.  The boot to keep the foot positioned properly and the crutches to keep every ounce of weight off of it.  

Yes.  This is my life.

I've been accident prone my entire life; probably why I have such a high tolerance for pain.  The trainer in my high school used to call my brothers and I his job security.  As long as at least one of us was on campus, there was a need for him.  Here's a quick rundown on my high school injuries: multiple concussions, broken zyphoid process (something my doctor nor any of his colleagues had ever seen, leave it to me), multiple broken toes, various fractures, and multiple pulled muscles.  I've had every sort of x-ray, MRI, cat scan, and body scan there is.  I've even had electroshock  therapy and ultrasound therapy.   I've gone through three orthopedic surgeons, the first was also the trainer for the Spurs.  So yeah.  I've spent some time injured.  

Because I've been hurt so much, I like to self medicate.  I've been treated so much that I feel like I can recognize the cause of the pain and take care of it on my own.  The fact that I don't have health insurance helps that belief.  

So that's where I am today.  Like I said, I'm going to Austin for the night, so I probably won't workout at all.  And I'll be eating out too, so I'll gain some weight, I'm sure.  Yay. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Days 55 - 62

Hey guys.  Guess it's that time again.  Stats first.

Day 62 Weight: I forgot to weigh today, but yesterday I was at 184.5.  So lets assume that I lost half a pound or so and say that today I would have been at 184.  That's 2 more pounds this week, so I'm on track.

Day 62 Food:
Breakfast - Woke up late again and didn't eat breakfast
Lunch - Burrito with beans, cheese, salsa, lettuce, and sour cream.
Dinner - PB & J and one of those lunch box size packets of Cheetos.
Dessert - Cinnamon apple sauce

Day 62 Workout: Today I did some walking.  Walked 2 miles in 32 minutes.  I purely walked those two miles; no running.  So my time has picked up a bit. I didn't run because I went with my folks.  The idea was for the three of us to stay together and go the same pace - that didn't happen.  My dad wanted to look at the river and my mom wanted to read the new historical markers at the courthouse (we have the 28th oldest courthouse in the state of Texas, FYI).  Not gonna lie, felt a tiny bit like a kindergarten teacher trying to keep track of her class during a museum field trip.  So eventually I just let them go their own pace and picked mine up. I guess if I'd been alone I would have clocked an even faster time.  Eh.  Next time.

So this last week went well.  Didn't eat too horribly (even at my cousin's bridal shower) and worked out a bit.  Most of the workouts consisted of a mute Jillian Michaels.  Feeling pretty good.

Oh!  Wanted to day.  When I first began this weight loss journey I had to wear two sports bras to control the... blessings God gave me, even when power walking.  Tonight, I forgot to change bras.  I realized when I got home that I'd just worked out while wearing  a normal, everyday bra!  Yay for boobies shrinking!  Hopefully the rest of me will follow.

I'm leaving you with a short clip of Hal from  Malcolm in the Middle.  I never got too into the show, but my walk tonight made me think of an episode where Hal, the father (the best part of the show), gets into competitive speed walking.  He ends up in head to toe spandex and an aerodynamic helmet that had a tail.  Seriously funny stuff.  I can't find a clip of it online, but I still wanted to include Hal in thanks for the comedic inspiration he gave me during my walk tonight.

Still don't have a sign off, so this is what you're getting.  You can thank Ron Burgundy.

Stay classy San Diego!