Ode to March

MarchCal

Today was my last weigh-in for March, and what a comeback! Two weeks ago I was only down half a pound for the month. I tried something new with my daily eating routine and it didn’t work out so well for me. (This is why we should all fear change, change is bad!!) Switched back to the way I was working the Weight Watchers program for the last 6 months and lost 4.5 pounds over the last two weeks. (See, told ya change is bad. If you want more details, read my entry Conversations and Pet-Peeves.) The first few months I was losing about 6.5 to 7 pounds a month. I am averaging about 5 pounds a month now; same as some, slower than others. I am not complaining though because at the end of the year that will be 60 more pounds gone!

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As of today, I am officially 45 pounds down. 45 POUNDS folks, that’s just over 1/3 of the way to goal. This is exciting for me because when I started I honestly thought I wouldn’t make it this far. I have two things working against me and weight loss; Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS for short) and a thyroid problem. All the doctors and all the reading confirmed that I was screwed in the weight loss department. This really started as a “see I told ya so” to my husband, but I am nothing if not thorough! I figured I should give it my all so that I really could be sassy to him when it didn’t work (yep, I commit when I am being a brat). Turns out I found the problem (sugar) and I am really doing well this time. (He’s a bigger person than me and doesn’t use it against me that he was right… this time. I could really learn something from him and grow as a person, but it’s more fun being sassy and bratty.)

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Me, a size 16!! Don’t mind the mess…I have a toddler.

The other excitement this month, I went down to a size 16. I started this journey as a size 22 and now I am down to a 16! As much as I tell myself I am getting healthy for all the right reasons, about 20% is vanity. Getting down to a 16 was my first bigger goal. It marks the size that I can start shopping in a lot of the non-plus size departments. When I go shopping with friends, I can shop the same racks they are. (Of course the only girlfriend I really go shopping with just got a killer new job out of state and is moving in two weeks, but in theory I can find new friends and shop with them in any department!)

So March really turned around for me (and my scale); whatever was up March’s butt worked its way out and we ended on friendly terms. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a couple pieces of veggie pizza.

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Haters Gonna Blog

The other night, I was sipping a glass wine and reading other blog post about weight loss journeys…like you do when you have a few smart points left over. I typed in my key words and let the inspiration of others pour over me like sweet nectar. Except an alarming number of blogs were not the ambrosia of motivation I was hoping for. They were actually borderline hate blogs about those who are losing weight by those who do not want to lose weight. All under the facade of the authors being “body positive” and those of us losing weight as sell outs to conventional beauty.  What the What?!?!?!

The premise of the blogs were “love yourself” and to be “fat and proud”. They argued that those of us that are overweight  obese (as were they based on profile pictures) should not have to adapt to the notion that we are only beautiful people if we have a thigh gap. So far, not a problem, I agree that people should love themselves. I agree that people should be comfortable in their own skin regardless of the size of their jeans. I agree I will never have a thigh gap! Then these blogs went on to continue the argument that those of us losing weight are not comfortable with our bodies and that we are letting mainstream society lower our self-esteems. These blogs were presenting a bastardized version of what body positive movement is. Being body positive is living life to your fullest, not relying on others to reinforce your self-worth, and being kind to yourself.

If someone is 75, 90, or 100+ pounds overweight living life to the fullest is a tall order.  I am a gamer; being this overweight doesn’t cut into enjoying that! I can also binge watch Netflix like a gold medalist, body size does not slow me down there! However, I also love the outdoors. I love camping, hiking, and exploring nature. At my highest weight I was 275 pounds! It is hard to enjoy an active lifestyle when you are carrying around that much weight on your joints. Those who are not obese, picture for a moment how hard it would be to walk up a hill carrying a backpack that weighed 100+ pounds. Unless you’re super fit, you would get tired…FAST! When I was younger I could also go horse-back riding and I loved that! At the weight I was it wouldn’t be fair to the horse (not to mention most ranches have a 250 pound weight limit). I have always wanted to go zip lining through a forest (because I like to fantasize that I don’t have a crippling fear of heights), but again at my former weight I would have been beyond the weight limit.  I realized that I was not living my life to its fullest at 275 pounds. To be able to do half the things I enjoy, I would need to lose weight.

I love hiking, but it’s hard for me. I have to stick to the easy trails or paved paths. The one time I did a bigger hike, I broke my ankle because I couldn’t support my weight on a hill (upper left picture was just after I broke my ankle, still had to hike down the moutain 2 miles!). Part of my motivation is to be able to do higher and bigger hikes!

I used to worry about what others thought about me and my body. Up until I was about 20 I was actually thin. Because of PCOS my metabolism came to a screeching halt about that time. I never had a doctor sit down and tell me to be careful because it would be easier for me to gain weight but harder to lose it then other women…until I was already 100 pounds overweight that is. In my mind I heard that as I was obese because of PCOS. To add a few sprinkles of lemon and salt to that wound, I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis six years ago. So these were my excuses for being overweight, all the while being envious of all those skinny girls out there. Then I realized PCOS and my thyroid problem only made it easier to be where I was, but food made me obese, or rather too much food. More specifically the crappy food I was eating. I started being honest with myself, I started forgiving myself. I started liking myself. That like turned into loving myself, and that resulted into me losing weight. When I stopped looking at how others saw me and focused on how I saw me, I realized I was hurting myself by treating my body the way I was. I try to keep a firm policy of not hurting the ones I love, including myself.

I firmly believe you cannot love yourself, honestly love yourself, when you are hurting yourself being so overweight. I love myself now, but I am also reminded that I am not healthy or fit anymore whenever I look in the mirror. I am reminded of a time I didn’t like myself and stopped taking care of myself. Yes, I know people can be healthy and overweight, and that some people naturally have bigger bodies. This is valid to a point! I believe you can be healthy if you are 20 or 40 pounds overweight. I believe you can still be fit 20 or 40 pounds overweight. What I don’t believe is that you can be healthy at 75+ pounds overweight. All my numbers are where they need to be (well my blood pressure is starting to make a slow creep), but that is because medically speaking I am still relatively young. In another 5 or 10 years the weight will start to take effect though. It will show up as diabetes, as heart problems, as breathing problems and many other medically problems that I will have a greater chance of having because I am extremely overweight. Sure, I could be at the perfect BMI and body fat percentage and still get these diseases (as pointed out in a few of the blogs I read), but the more I lose and the more I move, the harder I am making it for that future outcome.   At that weight, I was not being kind to myself.

I don’t advocate that everyone who is obese go out and make the choices I am making. This is what is right for me at this point in my life. If someone is not ready to make changes, change is not going to happen. I get it, I have been there. I had fear in the past. Fear of failure (hell, I didn’t even start telling people of my journey this time until I had lost 30 pounds), fear of change, and fear of honesty. I do ask those who are writing about their journey to be honest with themselves though, truly honest. It is my experience that when someone bashes someone else, it is generally because they are reminded of what they see as their own short comings. For those that are body positive, why does it offend you that I am doing what I feel is best for me and my life? You ask to not be judged, but repay that by judging me.  I am not doing this to be a Victoria Secret model, land of the cover of a swimsuit issue of a magazine, or to even get a thigh gap. I am not doing this so that some guy looks at me and thinks “DAMN she is hawt!” (I am too old and too married to care what some unknown guy thinks of me). Most importantly I am not doing this so I fill the mold of conventional beauty. I am doing this so I can increase my odds of living a longer life with my husband and son. I am doing this so I can start doing the things I love to do again. I am doing this for myself. So next time you want to bash on someone for being kind to themselves, reinvest that time and energy into finding who you are really mad at.

Liar, Liar, Googly Eyes on Fire

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June 2016 vs February 2017

Scales are little liars! There I said it. You do everything right; you eat healthy, stay on track, get all that activity in. Then poof! You gain weight or stay the same.  Ok, maybe the scale isn’t lying (I mean mine does once in a while, but I have a sassy scale) but it’s not telling you what you want to hear. You step on, scale rolls her eyes, and says “not this week missy”. (No? Yours doesn’t roll its eyes? Am I the only one sticking googly eyes on the scale? Don’t read this like I am a weirdo, googly eyes make everything better.) In the past, I have listened to my scales negativity. I have busted my butt to not see that number budge at all! It is really hard to maintain momentum and motivation when that happens too; especially when you are a wee bit of a perfectionist and expect the rules of losing weight to apply flawlessly. So you stop the progress, halt all steps forward, and just fall back into the old routine that caused the problem to begin with.

Then you do research and find out that because you have both PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that losing weight is a slow process for you. That when you are a total couch potato and start working out, your body can freak out and weight loss is stalled for a bit. You read, and read, and read and see all the ways that the scale lies to you. So what do you do when the scale lies? Find other ways to monitor progress. Now I take measurements and compile photographic evidence of my journey.  Most scales aren’t trying to be jerks (), but for the most part they are just trying to tell you the facts. It is up to us to become detectives in our journey. We need more than one witness to success. If you can’t keep your momentum looking at the scale, then don’t use that as your primary way to observe progress. I find pictures are beneficial for me because I see side by side how far I have come. It makes it harder for me to throw in the towel when I have visual proof that my hard work is paying off.  Part of the journey is finding what keeps you motivated day after day; so gather all the facts you can and show yourself without a shadow of a doubt that you are making great leaps in the right direction!

The Push

Last June was my son’s 1st birthday, and we decided to celebrate with my in-laws in Florida. We also decided that, for the one birthday he is guaranteed not to remember, we should take him to Disney World. We bought the photo package as proof to him one day that we are awesome parents because like I already mentioned, at one year, his memory is not at its peak! Now I know I am over weight, and I know that over the past couple years another 25 pounds creeped* onto my already heavy frame. Knowing this and seeing this are two very different things.  I had a grand plan to blow these pictures up, put them on canvas, and display them all over the house. When I saw the pictures I realized this was not the body I wanted to blow up, put on canvas and display anywhere!

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Distraught, I went to my husband and suggested  strongly suggested demanded weight loss surgery. He is very pro surgery, but only when it is medically necessary and there is no other alternative. I pointed out that I was going to die without weight loss surgery (hence medically necessary). We proceeded to have a pretty big fight over this; not our biggest, but top 10. Once I calmed down (and realized I wasn’t as terminal as the diva side of me claimed to be), I negotiated with my very logical husband. If I lost at  50 pounds it would put my BMI under 40, and weight loss surgery would no longer be covered by my insurance (since I am surprising healthy aside from the weight). The deal was that if I could not lose 50 pounds naturally (and really try) before we could save the money needed for the copay, I would get the surgery. I have PCOS and a thyroid condition making weight loss a SLOW process, so I honestly thought I had this in the bag. That was five months ago in August, 8/19 to be exact. As of today I have lost 35 pounds, and I am so glad my husband had faith in me to start! I have decided that even though I am not at the 50 pound mark, I am not going to pursue surgery. I still have a LONG way to go (about 100 pounds), but I have confidence in myself that I can do this!

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*Spellcheck says this isn’t a word, but this is my blog and I say it is a word. My blog, my rules spellcheck!

**No, my Christmas tree is not still almost half way through January, the current picture was actually taken on New Year’s Day.