Thursday, May 24, 2007

On weight loss....and other things not discussed...

A little background....I'm fat. Always have been. Well, actually, I think there was 15 minutes in 8th grade after puberty was in full swing that I was pretty normal sized and people constantly said, "Wow. Are you on a diet?" I always said no, I wasn't...cause I wasn't. The problem was I didn't believe them when they told me I was thin because I had always been a "stout" little girl. For the record, teapots and tree trunks should be stout. Little girls should never be told they are stout.

In high school I guess I just quit trying to be thin. Actually I think that by then I had formed such a skewed image of my body that I didn't GET that I was that fat. Instead, every time that I saw a picture of myself, I was just shocked. I thought, "THAT isn't what I look like!" After all, the camera adds 10 pounds, right? I don't think I weighed myself for at least 10 years and when I stepped on the scales in my mid-20s and saw the little red needle make its way over the 200 lb mark, I knew something had to be done. Unfortunately it wasn't because I was concerned about my health. Instead, it was because I was nearing my 30s and hadn't had a real date in over 5 years. I was simply tired of being alone. I had bought a house thinking that would fix everything and make my life just click into place (it didn't). I told myself I was a woman of the new millenium and that I didn't need a man and while that's true, I still wanted one. And since, generally speaking, men apparently don't like women who are overweight, it was up to me to fit their idea of the perfect woman.

So I joined a gym and I went religiously. I was there at 5 AM 6 days a week for nearly 2 hours a day. I found a special diet program and followed it to the tee. I passed on desserts and ate more grilled chicken and cottage cheese than one person should ever consume. 2 YEARS later, I was finally down 40 pounds. While this was a major accomplishment for me because I had never lost that much weight, it was more than a LITTLE frustrating any time I would see those infomercials touting participants who had dropped 90 lbs in 6 months. If that were it, I think I might have been able to ignore the outside pressure to lose weight faster, but at the same time, my brother, who had graduated from high school weighing 260, had shed roughly 60 lbs in a little over 2 months. By the time I next saw him, I didn't recognize the person who had once been one of my best friends. He no longer eats desserts and, subscribes to Mens Health and runs MILES on regular basis.

At the height of my weight loss glory, I met a great man that I started dating and I think I used that as an excuse to "exhale". His house was like an Eden where all of the foods that were banned from my house resided. His pantry had chips and chocolate, soda and best of cottage cheese! If I worked out every morning of the week, that meant I had to get to bed early and THAT meant I didn't get to spend time with him. Well, that didn't make any sense, did it? After all, why had I been working out if not so that I could attract this man?

Jump ahead 4 years and not only has the 40 pounds come back, but I think there is an additional 10 or so as well. LOVELY! But things are different now. I had an epiphany. With the help of looooong discussions with a professional, I figured out I'm an emotional eater! Who knew? All those Oprah episodes and I never once thought that I was one of THOSE people. I thought that I only ate when I was hungry. WRONG! A toxic cocktail of bad genes, a constant diet of comfort foods and the message that exercise is not any fun and too much work had sent me into a drunken stupor of obesity. This was compounded by the feeling that it's only 1 cookie. (For what it's worth, 1 cookie, once a day, REALLY adds up and only leads to a second or third cookie most often.)

So, to put it bluntly, I'm tired of being FAT! On the inside, I am fun and adventurous and witty and crazy. Essentially, I'm a cherry red convertible. But, on the outside (which is the only part that people seem to care about), I am an 8-year-old tan sedan with a smashed in trunk that is starting to rust with age. I'm something to be avoided (because who knows what that driver is thinking!) or worse yet, something that should be traded in on a better model. After all, what will the neighbors think?

After gaining 8 pounds in 2 1/2 months even though I was working out 3 - 4 times a week again, I got desperate. Desperate times have called for desperate measures. I visited a nutritionist during April and she put me on a fairly strict diet. I can't say it's really low-carb. It's more like low-food. It's close to a 950-calorie diet based on the servings of protein, carbohydrates and fat that I am allowed to have, but I'm allowed to have as many vegetables as I want. I guess it's a good thing I like vegetables, huh? I write down everything I eat in a day and go back to see her about once a month.

When I went back on Monday, I was a bit more than a little worried. After several months of constant weight gain even with exercise and because I hadn't done a stellar job of tracking what I had been eating, I was VERY afraid of what the scales had to say. I had noticed my pants get a bit looser, but that's happened hundreds of times in my life and can't be counted on. I was gonna need a concrete number to back it up. Needless to say I was overjoyed when I stepped on and had actually lost 7 pounds. 7 pounds! For those of you counting, 7 pounds is 24,500 calories. That is 6,125 calories per week! That's more than 34 Hershey's kisses per day for one straight month.

Now that's the kind of love I'm looking for!

1 comment:

kieron said...

Why to go! 7 pounds is nothing to sneeze at!

It's a hard row to hoe...YOU CAN DO IT!


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