Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Week

I thought exercise was supposed to make you swell up with endorphins that made you happy and sunshine to everyone. Since starting this adventure (One week today!) I've watched what I ate for the most part and worked out four times.
I am CRABBY. Like, Lucy from Peanuts crabby. One step above Gargamel from the Smurfs, One step below Ahab from Moby Dick. I am in a bad, bad mood. Last night I felt like crying for no reason, and then a friend called and I DID. Mortifying. I'm not a cryer by nature. Usually if I'm crying, my friends and family are freaking out. It could be the third sign of the apocalypse, Right after me waking up before the sun comes up and running low on coffee in the morning.
Is this Normal? Mood swings, Bad mood swings, irrational behavior? Dieting is worse than PMS! When do these so called 'endorphins' kick in? Because right now, they're about as real for me as Purple Unicorns.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

All By MySelf... :(

Friday I had orientation at the Boise State Arbiter. They're talking about printing versions of my scattered thoughts on weight loss and other stuff (tattoos!) for the paper. The meeting was at 2, and my sister and I were supposed to be at the pool at 3. The meeting ran late, so my sister wound up having to go without me. I knew I still had to go, but procrastinated... ran errands... sat in my car playing with my new phone. Checking my facebook on my phone, I saw my sister had posted a new status "Did my lap-swimming today with a total lack of motivation and an abundance of low self esteem." Which was EXACTLY how I felt.
I gathered up my stuff, and went in the gym where I then procrastinated more, by renting a locker and paying for my fitness assessment. My ID card wasn't opening the turnstyle which was a pain in the ass and a little embarrassing. The front desk girl kept saying 'just swipe it really fast, sometimes you have to do it a few times..." etc etc, while I held people up. Finally, I let everyone behind me go in first, and my ID STILL wasn't working. The front desk girl took it, and then got a really confused look on her face, wrote down my ID number and let me in the swing gate. Really? I was ready to quit right then.
Walking into the locker rooms, I found my locker, took off the lock and moved myself over to the day lockers by the pool. I put on my swimsuit, swim cap, goggles, and towel.
Again, I was surprised at how few people there were in the pool. I gave myself the goal of 15 laps, which took me a long time, but I finished. I kept thinking that if my sister did it, I didn't want to fall behind, or seem like I wasn't as serious about it as she was.
Going into the locker room, there were two younger girls. They were athletic and skinny and weighing themselves. The taller one said something like "I need to lose 15 pounds" and in my mind I asked "from where?!" But then she looked at me and asked if I had dyed my hair recently. I had forgotten all about my stupid bleeding hair!! I probably looked terrible! And then she surprised me. She smiled and gave me some advice about putting conditioner on my hair before putting on the swim cap and that would help with the bleed off.
I felt like a total jerk. I had prejudged her based on her looks and her attitude about weight and weight loss, but she was nice to me. Maybe my insecurities are affecting my perceptions of others. Lesson Learned.

Keep your Damn Tofu

I’ve been told I have to rethink the way I think about food. It’s merely fuel for our bodies, calories in, calories out. But for me, it is so much more than that! I love food! I love the way it tastes, I love the way it smells, I love the many ways it can be prepared! I love that you can cook chicken five different ways, and it tastes different everytime. I love that putting bleu cheese on a steak makes that steak MORE delicious. Speaking of cheese... YUM! I love the way food brings people together and how it brings comfort and happiness into our lives. I get the worst food cravings. I will have a yen for cheesecake and nothing else I put in my mouth is satisfying until I am eating cheesecake. The cravings happen most often with my mother’s cooking. She makes the best vegetable lasagna, the best enchilada casserole and the most delicious ricotta stuffed shells. It's a problem when I'm not living near her because she never writes down any of her recipes and so there's no way to make those dishes. I've tried, but its never the same. I have no doubt that self restraint with food is going to be my greatest challenge in losing weight. I love to eat! I love to eat food other people have prepared!

The challenge of maintaining healthy eating habits has never been a priority for me. This is especially true during the school semester. I am notorious for staying up late studying and then driving to fast food places to gorge on the tasty deliciousness of hamburgers or burritos and hot salty French fries at freakishly early hours of the morning. I know what time every place opens, and now that I'm living closer to the college, and closer to the 27/7 fast food places that cater to college students, it's going to be more tempting than ever. I know that I am going to need help with this, so I am setting up an appointment with the nutrition and fitness councilors at the Rec center to get a better idea of where my health is, and how to get it to where it needs to be. I’m absolutely certain that cheesecake will not be on the menu, which makes me sad. However, when I think about my mom not taking care of her diabetes and dad talking about death like it's enevitable and SOON, the sacrifice of cheesecake seems totally worth it. As long as I’m still allowed to have chocolate…

Avoiding Harpoons

Ask a Fat person what their greatest fear is, especially around summer time and many will say ‘swimsuit season’. As a woman I am haunted by magazines at checkout counters that tease me with articles titled “Bikini body in two weeks!”, because in my case that would be a miracle. With the opening of the Boise State Aquatic Center, my sister and I have decided to try our hand at swimming. We used to be quite good at it. She was on the water polo team in high school, swimming 2-3 hours a day sometimes. I swam many of my fitness tests when I was in the Navy, because as I've previously stated, I HATE RUNNING. The current problem: Finding an appropriate swimsuit. There are several stores in Boise that sell fitness swimwear but I'm a few sizes larger than many of them offer. My sister and I found our swimsuit grail at Boise Swim and Run, which carry suits in all sizes, including several sizes larger than my own. After purchasing the gear and settling on a time, we were ready to go.

Our first day was Wednesday morning. At the ungoddly hour of 0530, we donned our swimsuits, swim caps and goggles and made our way into the slightly chilly and sparsely populated water of the Boise State pool. Initially, my sister had set the task of 20 laps before us, a number that would have been easy in our youth. I did two laps before I had to take a break. I felt like my heart was about to explode out of my chest. I couldn’t catch my breath. “I can’t be this out of shape!” I thought to myself. My only consolation was that my sister was finding it to be only slightly less difficult than myself. We did two more laps each and rethought our strategy. We swam another two laps and rested, repeating the process a few times before finishing at ten each. The whole time, I couldn't stop thinking that I must look like a Whale, only less graceful. If I had been in the Ocean, I'd have been eaten by a shark perceiving me as a wounded seal.
Another problem was that I dye my hair red and it's a vegetable dye, which washes out very quickly. My hair color started to run, and as I got out of the pool, it looked like I was bleeding. (back to the shark and harpoon refernces, haha), so I don't know what I'm going to do about that.
On Thursday, my whole body was sore. My arms hurt. My thighs ached. My back protested against sitting or standing. I could barely move. "Feeling the Burn", right? It was ridiculous how much pain I was in after just one day of exercise.

Being Fat

I am a fat girl. This has never been an issue for me. I can still buy cute clothes, wear nice makeup and I can still do fun things with my hair. I actually like myself better at this size, a condition diagnosed as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Where you see a fat girl, I see a normal girl. The idea of being able to see my bones through my skin freaks me out. Like super anxiety attacks. The last time I was 'fit' or 'thin', I was so unhappy, so self concious I could barely interact with members of the opposite sex.
I rarely think about my size (18-20), my weight (250…ish) or what I eat. If I want a hamburger, I eat a hamburger. When I want leafy greens, I’ll eat a salad. If you ask me how I feel about myself I would say I’m comfortable the majority of the time, if not completely happy. But I'm happy a lot. When I was growing up my parents placed no emphasis on how I looked beyond making sure I wasn’t trying to wear my ripped jeans out the door. Being nice, funny, smart, artistic and doing well in school were always more important. I got art classes instead of gymnastics. We got books instead of a TV. I can honestly assert that my strengths lean more towards those areas than fitting into a certain clothing size.

The only time that I am aware of my size and shape and weight is when I am at the gym. I’m not in great shape, but I ride my bike to school sometimes and I have been known to go for a swim or jump on the cross trainer. I not saying it happens OFTEN, but I'm not someone opposed to exercise (except running). The awareness starts when I walk through the doors. Observe: The side glance, under the lashes is usually the first. I hit the locker room to change and there the looks become more obvious. Heading out onto the floor I am more acutely aware of how half of the people stare, while the other half are trying too hard not to look. If someone giggles, it always feels directed at me. This may or may not be accurate, that’s just my perception. As a fat person, it is hard enough to scratch together enough motivation to go to the gym, let alone face the reaction of people shocked to see a fat person once there. I imagine it’s what zoo animals feel like.

Two weeks ago, my father was diagnosed with severe high blood pressure. My mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year. At the beginning of the fall semester our family made a pact to lose weight together. It’s actually a contest. If my dad loses 20lbs first, I have to pay to take him to a Boise State Bronco Football game. If I win, we go to the movies together as a family which is something we haven’t done for years. And so on, and so forth until we each of us lose 80 pounds. I'm not heading into this contest with any sort of confidence. I've got tons of baggage holding me back from reaching that goal. This is about my efforts to Try.