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.

Okay-ish News

So the good news is I didn’t gain any weight; of course this statement implies that there is bad news, which is that I also did not lose any weight. Perfectly broke even on the scale this week. I expected it. I am actually surprised that there has been no change on the scale. Two weeks ago I ate like crap (and by crap I mean my new normal of crappy eating, not the kind of crappy eating that put me in this whole mess to begin with), but still managed to lose a pound. Last week I ate like crap again and drank more than normal. (Now before you go thinking I am a total lush who doesn’t realize she is far too old to be doing Irish car bombs on the weekend; by drinking more than normal I mean I had three beers at a Super Bowl party in addition to the bottle of wine I typically sip throughout the week. I am a mom of a toddler, wine is mandatory to my survival.) So I will take my number with pride this week!

Now in the game of weight loss, there are always going to be ups and downs. Did they seriously have to hit right before I hit my 40lb mark though? I am at 37lbs now, but I have been having what feels like an epic slow down and I seem to be crawling towards that 40 pound mark at a turtle carrying a snail speed! At the end of the day my weight loss is consistent; I lost 20 pounds in my first three months, and I am on track to lose close to 20 by the end of six months (February 19th). Because I am anxious to get to the big 40 (in weight loss only, not age, so back off father time!), it seems like this is taking fffooorrrrrreeeevvveeerrr.  (Was that obnoxious enough to get my point across?) I feel like the kid who is waiting for Christmas morning, and every day I wake up only to be told “not yet!”

I have to go now and strategize for yet another party tomorrow (for the world’s biggest introvert, I seem to be the social unicorn this month). The plus side of this party is the health nuts and weight watchers* outweigh the others so it should be waist line friendly! May the sugar free cocktails be ever in my favor!

 

*Yes, I did use weight watchers as an adjective here and not as a plural noun for all you English snobs out there!

Game Face

So I haven’t written in a few days because life and toddlers get in the way sometimes. I am excited and a pinch proud though and have to brag on myself a little bit. Total NSV yesterday (for those not in the weight loss realm that means non-scale victory), went to a super bowl party and didn’t fall of the food wagon. I am always reading “you can do it” articles about how to survive whatever life is going to toss at you. (Much like Pinterest, I look and fantasize about being the person these articles tell me I should be, but rarely follow through on things.) This time I actually followed the advice in an article. (Hey, it’s known to happen once in a while! I have a very cute Halloween wreath that I found on Pinterest that I actually got around to making too…see I can be THAT person if I want, but I digress.) The article talked about having a game plan (see what I did there!) that can help you not consume a million and two calories. So I made a plan. Step one; fill up on good for me food at home. Step two; bring healthy food to the potluck style party. Step three; don’t overdo it on booze (our friend loves to host parties and has a fully stock bar and I seem to like to get my drink on at their parties… it’s easy to do there!). Easy plan I know, but the success is in the simplistic sometimes. I managed to only go over my points by 1SP yesterday sticking to that plan.

I had a Premier Shake here at home before going over, and made my awesome mojito fruit salad to bring along. Since I knew they were getting a sandwich platter, I decided fruit and a sandwich would be enough food.  I was only going to have two beers, but it turned out I had enough points for three beers, so I went all kinds of cray cray and drank three whole beers (mommy knows how to P-A-R-T-Y). Here’s the best part, because I didn’t go over hungry,  I wasn’t tempted by cheesecake, pigs in a blanket, or chips and homemade bean dip. Ok, I am lying about that last one, I was ALL kinds of tempted by it! I was full though so it was easy to not indulge.

It’s easy to go to a party (holiday, sports, or BBQ) and just say “To H E double hockey sticks with this sugar, I am going to tear this party up!” (Let me translate that out of toddler friendly talk “To hell with this shit, I am going to tear this party up!”) I also discovered it is just as easy to have a plan, enjoy yourself, and still not go off the rails. Realistically, the pound or two that I would have gained can easily come off; setting me back only a week or two. For me it is more than the gained weight. I have a hard time indulging and not wanting to continue the food party the next day…and next day after that. That’s the curse of the food addict!

 

In case you were curious about my mojito fruit salad:

4 cups of watermelon

1 cup of blueberries

1 cup of raspberries

1 lb. of strawberries

6 medium kiwis

1 oz. fresh mint, chopped

¼ cup of fresh lime juice (about two limes)

1 tbsp. of honey

  1. Cut the watermelon into one inch cubes. Peel and slice kiwis. Wash and slice strawberries. Wash remainder berries.
  2. Toss all fruit and chopped mint together in a bowl. Put in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Mix lime juice and honey together in separate bowl. Put the lime glaze on about 10 minutes prior to serving.

The fruit salad is 0SP for one cup (more than a cup does start having a point value due to honey), this recipe makes about 10 one cup servings.

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!

PSA

This is primarily a blog about my weight loss journey. Up until now all you have read about me is my effort to strive for a healthier me. That’s not the whole of me though; important, but not the whole picture. As my bio states I am also a wife, a mother, a geek, and a gamer, and sarcastic AF bitches! (I’m sorry, I am sure you are not bitches but very lovely people.) From time to time you may read a post that has nothing to do with weight loss but just me going off on a diatribe about my life. It is all connected; the struggles I face in life are probably similar to the struggles everyone faces. Those of us who struggle with food addiction can understand how those labors of life play a major role in weight loss or gain; success or failure. If the efforts of finding a balance between being me, being the wife, and being the mother aren’t bad enough, I also struggle with anxiety and panic disorder. All of these things can, at times, weigh heavy on me (see what I did there?!), and sometimes I look to food to take it away…or I did up until 5 months ago.

So if I go off on a tangent about my husband not putting the silverware away correctly (seriously B? separate the small spoons from the big spoons; my mouth is to freakishly small for the bigger spoons!!!) or that I feel I am rocking this mom thing (first kid, and most days I am faking it till I make it) don’t think I am not staying true to the nature of this blog. I just feel to get an accurate picture of my journey, you have to know all of me too.

Dear Food…

Dear Food,

We have had a good run together, you and I. For 3(mumble) years we have been BFF’s. When I am down you comforted me. When I feel like celebrating you have celebrated with me (well you and booze). You have even hung out with me when I have been bored. We have had some good times! To many good times.

I don’t know if you have noticed or not but I haven’t been coming around much lately. I wish I could tell you I was sorry about that, but I am not. See Food, while you and I were palling around, you were hurting me. I know you didn’t mean to. I know your first instinct is to nourish me and actually keep me strong, but we have become codependent on one another.  Our relationship went from something good to something bad. I don’t know how to let you down easy, but I am spending more time with Health now. Trust me Food; it’s not you it’s me. I don’t know how to control myself around you sometimes, and I overindulge more often than not. It’s not your fault entirely; it is really about me and my lack of self-control around you.

I honestly can’t live without you Food, so this is not good bye. I just can’t come around when you’re bad. There are a lot of good things you can bring to the relationship. I need those things! You do, however, have a lot of negatives as well. When you’re feeling sugary, greasy, or overly salty I have to stay away. I can’t be around you when you are like that; it is too hard to be with you during those times.

This should break my heart, but it doesn’t; Health just gives me so much more right now! Maybe Health, you, and I can all come to a harmonious place together. One day we can all be the friends we were meant to be. For now, I have to back off of our friendship and not spend so much time with you. One day Food, you will realize this was for the better. Until that time, remember, it’s not goodbye…not really.

Raine

Barbell Blues

The gym and I have a love hate relationship. They love to take my money and I hate to visit. The first, most obvious reason is that I am a couch potato. Second, I am a homebody. I don’t like to get out much. The perfect day for me consists of anything that requires me to stay home, preferably without company (ahhh the life of the introvert). Third, I have a toddler, and the state of Nevada frowns on leaving them home alone for an hour while you go work out. Lastly, and this one is kind of important, I have pretty bad anxieties. It is part of the reason I am such an introvert. It is stressful for me to be around people, which is pretty common for people with anxiety disorders. Add to the stress and anxiousness of being out and around strangers (guess the inner kid in me never outgrew stranger danger) is the even bigger stress that I am out of shape. It is hard for people without anxieties to understand how easily a panic attack can be triggered and for the most ridiculous reasons too! Sometimes when I work out, I can feel like I have overdone it. For the normal brain, that just means cooling off and relaxing for the rest of the day. For the anxiety brain, that means I am going to die. (Ok, so that is the diva coming out. It’s not that bad, but in that ballpark.) I am actually a pretty logical person so I am constantly in an argument with myself. Honestly, it can be like a boxing match in my head sometimes; aaannddd in this corner weighing the issue with rationality and reason is logical Raine…. aaannnd in this corner weighing in with terror and trepidation it is anxious Raine.  After this happens enough times, I start to dread the gym.

At this point I am heavily considering a home workout routine. Right now, the weather is perfect, and I live next to a nature preserve with loads of trails to hike. I live adjacent to hell though, so in about three or four months it will be 100 and eff that outside. Five to six months out of the year it is too hot to do anything but melt. I mean, I see those crazy sorts out running at like six in the morning; that’s a big nope from me! I don’t like the heat, and I fry in the desert sun. So if I do go the home workout way, I will be stuck doing jazzercise videos in my living room all summer.

This hasn’t kept me from working out yet since I haven’t hit that milestone in my journey. When I started, my weight caused pain in my joints, so I bargained with myself to focus on losing first. I decided that I would give it six months of just losing weight before I started focusing on fitness (folks that means I have been paying for a gym membership for over six months that I haven’t used). That six month mark is three weeks away (eeeekkkk). This means it’s time to figure out an action plan, time to figure out a way to get me off the couch and out to the gym! It is not enough to lose the weight, but I want to be fit too. For me they are the two sides of the healthy living coin.