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What’s Clutter Got to do with Fitness/Weight Loss? March 11, 2010

A lot, in my opinion. See my guest post on this topic over at MizFitOnline!!

An excerpt:

It took me a very long while for my healthy bodily habits to become ingrained and “automatic.” And I am suspecting it will take an equally long while (if not longer) to become an “automatically” organized person. If ever.

Here are a few things I’ve observed that are true in both cases.

Procrastination is the devil.

How many times did I used to say, “I’ll go to the Farmers’ Market… later,” or “I’ll go to the gym… later,” or whatever? And “later” stretched into never. I realize that I am the same way about picking up random crap in my house.

I always tell myself, “I’ll do it LATER.” But later, the pile always grows, it always gets bigger, stuff gets lost more easily, and it’s just a hundred times more awful and messy to deal with it later. Same with being overweight. The longer you wait, the more there is to deal with.

Read more here.

 

Putting On the Brakes June 18, 2009

I don’t want to make it seem like I am complaining about something great that I have been hoping for, but this post is about the weird/unsettling side of losing weight, which I don’t see written about very often.  At the risk of seeming complainy or ungrateful, I want to write about some of the more unnerving parts of weight loss.

Today I went through my closet (again) and tried on a bunch of clothes.  I have a fun party for one of my closest friends coming up this weekend, and I thought, YAY I can wear something cute! Remember my nifty Cleopatra dress? I just bought that in April. When I tried it on this morning, it hung on me like a loose sack. The armholes are huge and it just doesn’t look right anymore. The only way I can wear it is if I get it professionally altered, which is what I guess I am going to have to do. I know, maybe some of you are saying POOR BABY, I WISH I HAD YOUR PROBLEMS! but this was the first time in my weight loss that I have felt weird and unsettled. It made me feel sad and suddenly like everything was shifting and that I was somehow not holding on to my image, or something. It’s hard to explain.

I feel in a way like things are moving more quickly than my psyche can keep up with. It’s like every few weeks I am a different size and while on one hand this is very exciting, it’s also strange. Like the ground is made of jello.

After I tried on the dress, I went to the kitchen and ate a little leftover bowl of mac and cheese that my daughter made a few days ago. I have not eaten any mac and cheese since January- it was my one go-to comfort food, and it just has a tinge of danger for me. But in that moment I was feeling like I needed to be grounded in something familiar, and I thought, I need to put on the brakes.

Let me say right out. I am not “skinny” by any stretch. I’m not like falling into anorexia or anything. I’m just venturing into a physical territory where I have not been in probably 20 years and that is disorienting and strange. Like I’m in some sort of Alice in Wonderland funny mirror shapeshifting place.

I do think it is time for me to halt the loss and maintain for a while. Maybe a LONG while. I need to get used to this, and stay here for some time. I can’t be buying new clothes every four weeks.

(NOTE: I almost deleted this post. I don’t want people getting mad at me for a “problem” they WISH they had. But I’m going to keep it up.)

This reminds me of many writer friends of mine, published writers who get flak for expressing a hard time they might have in the publication process – it’s lonely and hard to be on book tour. There’s “too much” attention. They have to deal with book reviews or readers who might not like their book.

The thing is, with any success there also comes some kind of loss: a loss of identity that has been familiar for a very long time. For a long time, I have comfortably lived in the role of Overweight Person. (as well as Unpublished Novelist, but that’s a different story) Even though I didn’t like much about it, I was USED to it. I am not used to this. I feel like I am stepping into the big unknown – exciting but also terrifying on some level.

BTW, it was good to have that little foray into the mac and cheese. It gave me a stomach ache, and didn’t really help me feel any better. A good reminder.

 

The Dreaded “Before” Picture March 19, 2009

Filed under: body image,emotions,weight — Susan @ 9:51 pm
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I’ve been looking around for something to use for my “before” picture, and boy did I find it. Last spring we were in Hawaii and my daughter took a picture of me from the beach, while I was bouncing around in the beautiful turquoise water. In the photo, I am a little speck and didn’t think much of it. But we happen to have a very powerful camera and when I cropped myself and zoomed in, I was… stunned.

You know how anorexics who weigh 85 lbs look in the mirror and see themselves as fat? I feel like I’ve had an opposite sort of distorted body image; I looked in the mirror and thought, “That’s not so bad.” I bought bigger and bigger clothes and as long as they were baggy and I was sort of swimming around in them, I felt comfortable because they were loose. I really had NO CONCEPT of how fat I had gotten.

I’m actually dying to show these two photos side by side: one of me, a week or so before giving birth. My face is pretty slender, my arms and legs are skinny but I have this huge bowling-ball belly. Then the one of me in the water in Hawaii. SAME EXACT WEIGHT, except in the second one, those extra pounds are in my face, my chin(s), my hamhock arms, and my torso. Aghhh!

It is really interesting to me, how I managed to get so overweight and didn’t really know it. On one level. Of course on another level I totally knew it and it made me miserable. But I tried to say “I don’t care.” Like this interesting post I read today.

Anyway, for now I am just using the Before pic as a personal reminder. When I look at it, Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again” pops into my head, very Pavlovian like. No, no, no, no…

 

All The Weights Of My Life January 26, 2009

Filed under: body image,weight — Susan @ 2:38 pm
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We are on vacation now, which means I can’t be stepping on a scale every day. This is admittedly making me a little nervous. I’m of mixed feelings re the scale. Some people say you should never weigh yourself but just judge things on how you feel, your clothes fit, etc. Some people say you should not weigh yourself more than once a week because weights fluctuate so much daily, and you can go crazy from the miniscule ups and downs. And then others say you should weigh yourself daily so that you can adjust your behavior based on the feedback you get on the scale, but not more than once a day.

I’ve found that when I go long periods without weighing myself, it’s because I am afraid of the scale. I know it’s going to give me bad news so I avoid it. And if that goes on for too long, the news just gets worse and worse. So for me, I think it’s important to do that reality check.

Right now, I think (if I am the same as when I left home on Saturday), I am at what I call “normal overweight.” Meaning I’m still about 20 lbs overweight according to my BMI, but it’s also the weight that my body has defaulted to over the past 5-10 years.

I get alarmed when I’m at “high overweight.” This is when I begin creeping towards, or sometimes even surpassing, my All Time High. Which is what I weighed the day before I gave birth to my daughter.  I’ve been in touching distance of that weight, and even passed it, a few times this year and last. NOT a good feeling, especially when I look at pics of myself at nine months pregnant.

It’s pretty sick? that I can remember exactly how much I have weighed at various points in my life. I remember how distraught I was in middle school when I passed 100 lbs and many of my friends were still in the 80s and 90s.  When I was in high school and running on the track team, I was probably at my all time low for this height. I weighed more in my latter years of high school and then in college.  Then it started creeping up. When I was 27 I went on a trip to southeast Asia and lost 26 lbs after two months of trekking 8 hours a day and not eating very much.  I know exactly what I weighed the day I got married.

Getting pregnant and having kids put me in a permanently higher bracket. First, I got pregnant and we lost that baby after six months. I’m a person who eats when in grief, not the kind who loses weight when in grief. Then I got pregnant again, had that baby, and three years later did it again. I did have gestational diabetes with the 2nd pregnancy and did a LOT of exercise and food monitoring during those months. After I had the baby I was at one of my all time lows again.

So here I am at normal overweight again. All I want is to get into that normal BMI range. The highest BMI # is fine with me. It feels like a long way off.

I’m trying to just focus on avoiding the simple carbs, exercising every day and not getting overfull this week. It will be interesting to see what the scale says when I get home.

 

 
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