Fat as Hell…

and not going to take it anymore!

WordPress is Being a Bugger

I’ve been trying for about 30 minutes now to upload my recent pedometer challenge pictures, but WP doesn’t want to cooperate. Nonetheless, here are my numbers:

Monday: 10,409
Tuesday: 15,199
Wednesday: 15,178

I’ll try to post the “proof” tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m struggling with keeping up with all the different aspects of my weightloss program (for lack of a better term). When everything is running smoothly, and there’s enough hours in the day for me to complete everything, here is what I do: Count calories and try to remain under 1300 each day.

  1. Post said calories and all food eaten on my food diary.
  2. Exercise according to a weekly plan
  3. Post weekly exercise plan and…
  4. Post exercise progress throughout the week.
  5. Write/Reflect/Post other bits of flotsam related to my quest to lose weight.
  6. Maintain records of all of the above on calendar/spreadsheet for the month

I guess it’s important to note that there *never* seems to be enough hours in the day and right now, I’m really only accomplishing 1, 3 and sometimes 5 with any success. The others are falling by the wayside. And when I write it all down, it doesn’t seem like a huge amount of stuff to do, but currently, I feel like I’m being bogged down by the administrivia of it all. And frankly, if I do take the time, that is to say, force myself to do the other things on my list, something else will have to give… namley the time I currently put into exercising each day. And well… that just doesn’t seem so smart.

But I don’t know.

On the one hand, it seems smarter to be actually *doing* something about my weight than simply sitting around recording all of the things that I should be doing. But, on the other hand, I know too that writing it down and posting that information makes you more open to public scrutiny and, in that way, holds you to a higher level of accountability.

*shrugs*

A part of me feels like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.
Another part just feels like I just need to prioritize.
And still another part wishes I had some chocolate.

Do any of you ever feel overwhelmed by how much work it is?
How you do balance it all?

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April 30, 2008 Posted by | pedometer challenge | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Pedometer Challenge: Week 1 Wrap Up

I don’t know how other people are doing this, but here are my week 1 numbers in FBM’s Pedometer Challenge:

Let’s start out with Saturday and Sunday’s numbers (respectively):

SaturdaySunday

So… that makes my averages look something like this:

Weekly total (I’m not including today in the weekly total): 80,996 steps
Bonus steps (FBM let us include any steps we took prior to the official start): 12,966
Total including bonus steps: 93,962
Daily Average (not including bonus steps): 11,570 steps

Gosh… I have to admit, that’s a lot more steps than I would have guessed that I was capable of when all of this began. And I know it’s a bit cliche to say, but I truly feel as though I’ve already won, even if everyone else in the challenge is outstepping me. Right now, I feel like a rock star.

That said, I realize too that I’m starting week 2 a bit on the low side, (this is the first day that I have *not* topped 10k steps), but I don’t feel terribly guilty about it because despite the lack of actual steps taken today, this was a very busy day for me. In addition to the mountain of housework that I got done this afternoon, my husband and I also stood in line for about 2 hours to see Hillary Clinton speak tonight. Additionally, once we were “in” we then stood for another hour waiting for her to take the stage and then for the entirety of her nearly 3 hour long speech.

I mention this only because I can remember, as a kid, before this crazy internet thing, standing in line for hours and hours and hours on end to get concert tickets… and then standing in line again on the night of the show in order to get the best seat, not to mention the long hours standing up while the band performed. Furthermore, I can also remember leaving those events *not* feeling as though my hips were about the crack in half. Alas, those days might be close to being over, though. I mean… seriously, standing for that long tonight really wore me out. I was *so* glad to walk the 15 or so blocks back to our car tonight, just to get some blood pumping in my tired little legs.

On the drive home I asked my husband when I’d gotten this old.
He didn’t seem to know.

He did, however, challenge me to imagine how standing for that long would have felt eight months ago when I was carrying around an additional 65lbs.

Honestly, it’s tough to imagine, and frankly, that’s a little scary to me. I mean, I really, really don’t want to forget what it was like to be that girl. I want to remember her because I’m pretty sure that forgetting about her would be a mistake for a couple of reasons. First of all, forgetting how it felt to be that fat would probably only make it that much easier to become that fat again. And secondly, how am I supposed to fully appreciate being healthy (and relatively thin) if I can’t remember what it was like to be, well… not.

I think part of the reason why it’s difficult for me to remember being 65lbs heavier is because when I look in the mirror each day, I don’t really see much of a difference. I mean… I *know* that I’m losing weight because my clothes fit differently, people tell me that *they* notice and, oh yeah… there’s the scale too. But, mostly, when I look at my face and my body, I just see the same girl I’ve always been… and on many days, I do wonder when the new girl is going to emerge.

Anyway, this coupled with the conversation I had with my husband tonight made me want to look for a picture or two of me 65lbs ago in the hopes that seeing *that* girl would help me appreciate the new one a bit more… so I started going through some photo albums and files on the computer in search of some photographic evidence of my fatness.

And here’s the scary thing: I couldn’t find any. (Well, that’s not *exactly* true… eventually, I did find one, but it seriously took hours to locate. I’ll show it at the end).

Like most families, my husband and I take pictures during key moments of our lives. Holidays, family get togethers, trips, etc. And while we *do* have pictures chronicling those events, it would appear that I’m not in any of them. At first, I found this pretty shocking. I mean… I’m not *always* the photographer during these moments and even though I’m pretty loathe to have my picture taken, I didn’t think I’d managed to successfully dodge every photo opportunity that has ever come my way. Then, while I was sitting here scratching my head in disbelief, I remembered something.

A couple of Christmases ago, I can remember standing around the tree/fireplace at my mother in law’s house while the obligatory family photos were taken. Her camera was not working, so she asked if we could just use ours and then share the pictures among all the family members. We quickly obliged and soon we were all striking poses and putting on our best fake smiles.

This next bit is really hard for me to admit.

Later in the evening as things began to settle down my husband and I grabbed the camera and started looking through the shots. Gosh, even now, I can remember how hot and red my cheeks felt looking at the pictures in which I was included. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so bad about myself. Not only was I fat, but I looked unhappy and ugly. I was mortified and literally had to turn away. But the worst part is that after he set the camera down and went to join the rest of the family, I actually sat there and deleted every picture that *I* was in. In essence, I erased myself from that Christmas.

I wonder how many other family milestones I successfully removed myself from, either by throwing away the pictures or deleting them or by simply refusing to have my picture taken?

I know we’ve all spent time thumbing through old photo albums, reliving memories and revisiting the people and places who are no longer with us. In that way, photographs are not only a documentation of a particular moment in history, but they’re also a physical reminder of the people who come into our lives and help shape who we are. Many of the people in my life don’t have that kind of reminder of me… and it makes me sad and ashamed to think about. But also, it makes me wonder, how much do you have to hate yourself to feel like it’s ok to deprive your own family members, the people who love you no matter how much you weigh, of images of you?

Denying the people that you love, and who love you, pictures of yourself is not only selfish, but it’s also very sad. I know that when I chose to delete my own pictures, it wasn’t because I didn’t care about the people who might want them, it’s because I was so ashamed of who I was, because I couldn’t possibly imagine anyone loving me enough to want those pictures.

Now… 65lbs later, I still don’t like the way I look in pictures, but there’s been a huge shift in my thinking. Not only do I see how wrong it is to remove myself from the photographic story of my family’s life, but I also love myself enough to feel as though I deserve to be included in it.

Anyway… without further ado: Before & During.

If there’s nothing else to notice… I think I look a lot happier now.
And that’s because I am. :)

April 27, 2008 Posted by | losing weight, pedometer challenge | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Pedometer Challenge: Days 5 & 6

Ok. As Kai Ryssdal from Marketplace would say, “let’s do the numbers….”

The last couple of days have been busy, but good. The number of steps I’ve been getting at work each day seems to be dwindling a bit, but that’s just meant that I’ve had to move my ass a little more in the evenings to make up the difference. Of course, I say that so flippantly, as though heading out after dinner in search of 6,000+ more steps is no big deal. (Especially on a Thursday when you’re just plain tired and want nothing more than to go to bed by 7:00pm and cement, once and for all, your status as a senior citizen).

In this way, the pedometer challenge has been such a good thing for me. I’ll tell you, on Thursday, after dinner when my number was just barely touching 4,000 steps, I’d all but decided that I was just going to chalk it off to a “bad day,” post my picture and go to bed… but there’s something about that little plastic box… staring up at you, daring you to take just one more step, and then another and another. Finally, I gave in and went for a walk, convinced that while I might only bump it up a thousand or so more steps, that at least *that* was better than nothing. But in the end I just kept walking until finally I’d topped that magic 10k number. Gosh it felt good.

This coupled with John’s recent post on the subject has gotten me thinking about inspiration. I read a lot of weight loss blogs and I see people talking about the things that inspire them. And it’s interesting to me, because (like John) I often find that I am *not* inspired by what other people find incredibly motivating. I’m not all that interested in having my body look like what the media holds up as beautiful, I don’t have a “vision board” filled with pictures of slender girls in the hopes that one day I’ll look like them. I don’t draw incredible inspiration from television shows like the Biggest Loser and I don’t read diet books filled with the inspirational stories of those who have already lost all of their weight and want to pass on their secrets to the rest of us chubbies. Sometimes those things can be interesting, but none of them make me want to jog 10 miles or gnaw on a celery stalk.

Rather, for me, I think a lot of what inspires me is the challenge of all of this. It’s important to note here that I’m *not* talking about competition. This isn’t a race and nobody gets a gold medal at the end. This is, however, a challenge — a fight — a struggle. And what’s more, it’s one in which every last one of us is the underdog. The odds are stacked against us, folks. Hundreds or thousands of people “go on diets” every day and the vast majority of them throw in the towel, or lose the weight, only to gain it back. And as strange as that may seem, in some ways, I draw a great deal of inspiration from knowing that I’m the “long shot” in all of this. I love the notion of beating the odds, of throwing a monkey wrench in the statistic, and especially of proving all those people who say it can’t be done, wrong.

Like most fat people, I was fat for a long, long, (long) time before I finally decided that it was time to do something about it. It wasn’t like I was living in a funhouse where every mirror was distorted such that, even at 300+ pounds, I always appeared willowy and svelte. No. I knew I was fat. And I wanted to lose weight, sure. But for years and years I went about my business simply not caring enough about it, or perhaps myself, to actually do something that would facilitate taking off the pounds. So what changed?

People started giving up on me.

I know I’ve told the story here before about the fateful doctor’s appointment wherein my health care professional said a) you’re going to die and b) you have start taking medication to keep from dying because c) you’ll never lose enough weight to keep from dying on your own. I can still remember going home that afternoon so pissed off. Pissed at everyone and everything: the doctor, myself, my mother (why not??) and feeling like I’d been dealt a terrible injustice. Then, to make matters worse, when I got home I told my husband about the whole story and even though he tried to be supportive, I could see that he too believed that the doctor was right… that I was too far gone.

That was the turning point for me.

That was when I knew I had to do something. And yes, a huge part of it had to do with not wanting to die, but I’m not ashamed to admit that a massive amount of my inspiration came from wanting to prove everyone wrong. How dare they give up on me??? At the time, I felt betrayed and abandoned. But now I’m so thankful that I hit that low… because if I hadn’t, I’d have never felt the need to start climbing my way back up.

My husband (and mother, by the way) are fond of telling me that I am probably the most stubborn person that they know. And perhaps stubbornness isn’t the attribute that I sometimes like to think it is… but in this case, I think my stubborn streak may deserve at least some of the credit for saving my life. I don’t know where the rest of you draw your inspiration, (though I wouldn’t mind hearing about it), but I know that for me, a great deal of my motivation comes from my desire to always do and be a bit of the unexpected.

And perhaps that’s why this pedometer challenge has been such a good thing for me. Right now, I’m so determined to get those 10,000 steps in each day that I’ll do just about anything to make it there… including move on nights when I might have otherwise decided that it was ok to take the night off. And again, it’s not about winning, per say, it’s more about wiping that smug look of my pedometer’s face when the sun’s going down and I’m only at 5,000 steps. It’s about knowing that someone in my physical condition isn’t supposed to be able to move quite this much. It’s about proving that I *can* do it… especially to those who said I couldn’t.

Anyway, here’s Friday’s number, folks. And with that I’m off to start my Saturday.

April 26, 2008 Posted by | losing weight, motivation, pedometer challenge | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments