Sunday, March 28, 2010

heavy things

I'm fat. In fact, for my height I'm borderline obese according to those fun and fancy charts.

me. I'm usually the one behind the camera, so there are few pictures of me, and even fewer full body ones, so this is what ya get! This was from Christmas this year.

I'm sick to death of thinking about my weight. I'm sick of talking about it. I'm sick of hearing it in my head and in my mouth.

But, I'm going to talk about it here - now, anyway.

Once upon a time I was skinny. I was skinny before I had my oldest child. I gained 70 pounds with him, lost it all and more. I was even skinnier after I had him.

And I know that was a fluke. I'm not built to be a size 0. I was, for a short period of time. But my body isn't made to be like that. I was raising a toddler, being a single mom, going to school full time and working almost full time and carrying around someone elses secret. It wasn't healthy thin. I looked and felt best between a size 4 and a 6.

I got pregnant with my youngest and gained 80 pounds. I didn't worry for a second - though I used to leave my awful, horrible doctors crying after they teased me about it. I walked a ton, I had quit smoking, I gained a lot with a previous pregnancy and lost it. I was not overly concerned. I was also young and invincible. And craved vanilla soft serve ice cream daily.

Man, if I only I knew then. I would have eaten way less ice cream. And changed doctors. I still hate that place. Hmph.

So, almost 7 years have gone by since my youngest was born. Since then I have bounced between a size 8 and 14.

I've smoked and quit and smoked and quit which doesn't help the weight bounce. I've been (for the most part) smoke free for 18 months now.

I used to mod a Love Your Belly group. I'm way into body acceptance. I really am. I wish I hadn't unintentionally deleted that group when I left myspace. There were so many beautiful thoughts and images and people in there.

But as much as I preach 'loving your belly' I have the hardest time doing it with myself. Even when I was itty bitty tiny, I used to pinch at the skin on my stomach and claim fat. :sigh: If only I knew what I had then.

I could go on about media and societal standards and blah blah blah. But I won't. Not because I don't think all that's true - it is.

But, I am also going on 30. I know all the rules of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle. I can't say I'm brainwashed by unrealistic expectations of beauty. I don't think I am.

I just don't feel good in this skin. I haven't in 7 years. I've done the weight watchers. I've run. I've worked out with Jillian Micheals in my living room. I hike. I walk. I've done low fat, I've dabbled in low carb.

I think part of it is my job. After I had Colin I started working at a desk job. I sit 10-12 hours 4 days a week. Before, I was on my feet 6-10 hours a day.

Before, I lived off fast food, cigarettes and coffee. I was not healthy. Not even a little bit. I was sleep deprived and nutritionally deprived. But I was skinny! Hooray!

So yeah, a big part of the problem is I just don't move enough. I try. I'm walking in the mornings. I'm walking on my lunch. I pace the halls at work at night. I've been hiking the hill behind my house a few days a week.

But the bigger problem is I've grown to love food. I love growing it. I love going to the farmers market and selecting it. I love finding recipes and preparing food. And of course, I love eating food.

And I eat too much food. I was raised a member of the clean plate club, and to this day if there is food in front of me - I'll keep eating it. That's a hard habit to break.

Oh, and wine. I love wine. Lots of wine. That's not so good for the waist line either.

I was talking with The Husband about this the other day. (He's put on a few pounds of his own!) And he says at least it's a different kind of weight. It's a healthier weight than a fast food lifestyle weight. And I can see that.

But in the end it's still excess weight. And I still don't like it.

But damn, it's hard to lose.

Another thing I realized recently is that I am carb addict. I eat entirely way too many. I am not a fan of restricting carbs - but eating the correct amount is not restricting. Do you know what I packed for work today (a 12 hour shift)? This is actually embarrassing. Yogurt and frozen berries. A half a grapefruit and an orange. Leftover homemade pizza and bread sticks from last night (two of each), leftover spaghetti with a bacon and roasted red pepper sauce (from Evans night to cook).

I wanted to pack a couple slices of homemade bread and jam too - but I was looking -  and pizza, bread sticks and spaghetti? No wonder I can't lose weight, huh?

Now, I don't want to be a size 0 again. Not even a 4 (though I did keep one pair of 5's that I would love to get in again). I don't even know if I have a size in mind. I just want to feel good. I want to feel strong. I want to feel healthy. I want to feel comfortable in my own body.

But in the meantime, this is the body I have. And I want to like it. I want to love it. Loving my belly, my body doesn't mean I have to love being unhealthy. But it's not doing me any good to spend years of my life wishing it was another way.

Maybe I'm getting there. I gained 10 pounds in February (whiskey!), putting me up to (gawd, I can't believe I'm admitting this!) 160.5 pounds. I'm 5'3, so that's a lot of weight on a short frame.

That's close to my post pregnancy high of 172 when I quit smoking last year (my highest was exactly 200 when I gave birth). I don't even know how much I weighed at my thinnest. I never cared. I know I was about 130 as a size 7, so I always estimate about 115-120 at my smallest.

Anyway. So I'm fat. But I don't feel 160. I don't know if that's a good thing or a delusional thing. I don't feel thin - for sure. But I don't feel bad. Maybe it's the additional walking.

So, I don't know. I don't know what to do from here. Everything I've been doing isn't working. I do know when I switched to full fat foods in September I lost 10 pounds. I had spent the summer dieting and running and didn't lose an ounce - but once I stopped and switched to full fat I was melting off weight. So there's something.

I know what I want to do. My eating is healthy enough. Real foods, whole foods. I just eat too much. I know that. But I stink at tracking calories. Cause it's a pain in butt. Plus - who wants to spend their life tracking what they eat? I just want to enjoy what I eat. There has to be a balance. There has to be a way to lose weight (and not gain it back!) and eat real food! I mean it seems common sense, right? Drink less wine (no!) eat less food (wah!) less bread, more veggies (did you notice I didn't pack a single vegetable today?! I do have some green beans in the freezer at work though). It sounds easy. It should be easy. Eat less, move more. Why do we pay people for diet programs when it's common sense? I don't know. I just know it's never as easy as I think it will be.

Well, this is a whole long self indulgent post about nothing. I don't know how anyone reads this crap (but thanks, if you do!)

I don't know. Maybe it's like the Dear Friend letter. Like a thousand other things I've posted on here (some of which work, many of which don't!) - maybe just saying - just getting it out there, will help with change.

I mean, can I really make changes when I whisper my weight - when I don't even admit to my husband what the scale says?

Maybe I should just throw out my scale?

I wonder what I would feel like, if I didn't know how much I weighed? All the diet programs say that you should weigh yourself weekly. Some say daily. The research says doing that keeps weight from creeping back on. But I wonder if the scale doesn't keep some people down, concentrating on a number or goal instead of how they feel? Maybe I'll put the scale away for a month, and see what I come back to when I'm not working towards number?

ps - most of those images? Hilda - discovered her several years ago. Love her.


This Little Family said...

I feel the same as you...I don't "FEEL" fat. I look it though. I hate looking at myself in the mirror. I am the same size as you, height and weight. When I got pregnant, I was in a size 5 and weighed 120 lbs. I've never looked or felt so good in my life. Too bad we don't live by each other, I'd be total game for a workout buddy. lol

Fleecenik Farm said...

You should throw out your scale!

I think the goal should not be a number on a scale but a goal towards good health. Giving up smoking is more important at this point than that darn number and you have achieved that ...GOOD FOR YOU!

I am older than you by a over a decade and I had my second child late in life. My first at 26. The difference between the two was vast. I gained so much weight with my second and have yet to lose it all ( if I ever will). But I eat really well and when I put my food on my plate I take just a little less than I really want. It probably comes down to a few bites. And every day I try to get some sorta exercise even if it is hauling compost in a wheel barrel a few times ad ...ugh...20 sit ups...somedays it is more, sometimes it is less. But i gave up looking at that number because it really can be defeating, discouraging and bad for my psyche.

Valkyrie said...

Well, I read every word with interest, and you know why. :-) This is something I've been struggling with for a few years myself.

I have mixed feelings about the scale. I am pretty sure that I would not have gained the amount of weight I gained if I had been weighing myself all along. So now I kind of feel like it is best to keep track. Not obsessing over every pound, but having a range that you are comfortable in.

Why is weight so hard anyway? You are like me--you love good food and wine. How can that be bad?? There has to be a balance between enjoying life and enjoying your body. We don't really need to go by charts or scales or sizes or other people's standards, but rather, like you said, the place you feel good. And you know what that is. For a long time, I didn't see myself the way I really looked. I wasn't really motivated until I just started feeling *heavy*. I mean, I could feel it physically--the heaviness. I could feel it in my knees and my shins and how it was harder to do simple things like bend over and tie my shoes.

I am still ~20 pounds heavier than I want to be, but I actually feel pretty good right now--so much lighter than I was. I don't want to feel *too* comfortable here though. I want to get out of what is the "danger zone" for me. Never more than five pounds from where I want to be.

The diet that has worked for me is not a diet so much as a new way of eating for life. But it's full fat, and I've lost 30 pounds eating full fat, butter, olive oil, avocados. I haven't had to sacrifice anything except simple carbs--white flour and sugar. It's what has worked with me. When I did WW I was miserable. I was starving all the time because I was saving up my points for wine. Hahahaahaa! Bad!

You really don't look fat in that picture at all. I'm not just saying that. You really don't. But I do hope you get to that place where you feel happy in your skin. That's important.

And that spaghetti with bacon and pepper sauce sounds divine! Mmmmmmmmmmm

Missy AKA Little Messy Missy said...

I understand how you feel...

Sparkless said...

Oh goodness you don't look overweight at all! You look just fine.

gardenofsimple said...

I put the scale away. I'm planning on pulling it out in a month, just to see. But maybe not.

That picture is deceiving! I'll admit I don't look too big there. But it's the only full body picture I had handy. I'll have to dig up one from summer from my home computer. I was about 150 in that picture, so around 10 pounds lighter than today.

I just feel very fleshy and squishy.

Valk, I'll have to try and remember to type up that recipe to share with you. It's not at all healthy - and nothing I would have picked on my own, but it was SO good!

I was miserable on WW too. Hungry! Same as you I saved points for wine! :D They've changed it a bit with their core program (emphasis on whole foods and portion control) but I have OCD I'm pretty sure and I would become crazy obsessed with counting points. I couldn't look at food without calculating points. And that's not healthy either!

I sooooo miss the days of eating french fries and cheese with ranch and not blinking at it, and still being tiny! :D

Sara said...

I'm catching up on my reading! You actually don't look heavy in the picture. But when you gave the number and your height, I imagined myself at that weight, cause I'm 5'3" and I could see where you are coming from.

There has to be a balance and I hope you find it. The numbers mean little cause it is how you feel that really matters. I feel like a chub, but my numbers are okay. IDK.

Jodi said...

I hear you. It's difficult. And being comfortable/happy in your skin is important.
I don't really have any advice, but I do have lots of support. :-)

kiki said...

I'm fat too.
But I wish I looked like the fat chick in those pics you posted - that's like PHAT man - lol!
Ya, not quite.

I'm also interested in those sanitized tape worms...

gardenofsimple said...

I know! If I was 'fat' like Hilda, maybe I wouldn't mind it so much!

lol@ tapeworms! Can you imagine?!

Butterflie said...

Oh honey. 160 is my goal. I went over weight problems with my doc during my yearly and had the whole scale tested to see if part of it is my thyroid. Because looking at the symptoms, I have a lot of them. However, they claim I'm ok. Hmph.

I can relate to a lot of it. I really can. I'm trying so hard right now to ignore the large bag of candy people got my child sitting in the kitchen and not eat at night. Even though my subconscious says "But it's so much candy! Just eat a bit to get rid of it!" My subconscious is an evil plotty whore. It happens.

I to know the "If only I knew what I had" before I had my daughter I wasn't tiny by any means, I was still in the smallest sizes in the plus size stores. But I was comfortable in my skin. Now, I randomly catch glimpses of myself when I'm REALLY looking and get shocked. Who is this person looking back at me? What happened to the one I remember from before? I like her more, bring her back.

Sigh. Sorry, that was strangely rambly. I'm overtired.

I get it though, and I'm here if you want to chat!