Monday, January 24, 2011

I Could Be Fatter

I could be fatter.  I tell myself this because someone once informed me that if I don’t love myself the way I am now, how do I expect to love myself once I have reached my goal?  Precisely.  Things could definitely be worse for me.  I have to stay positive or I will fail, it’s really as simple as that.  Being positive about everything as much as possible will help me to find the motivation I need to carry on and continue, even when things are stacked against me.  Being positive in the face of adversity and challenge is true determination.  Making the hard choice and not the easy choice will mean the difference between success and failure for me.  I can’t choose to go the easy route in this journey…ever.  Nothing about this path I have chosen for myself is meant to be easy.  Simple, yes…easy, no.

I have had a modicum of success already.  Even though I took the easy road yesterday and ate a whopper and french fries instead of maybe a salad with grilled chicken, I have still lost 3 pounds in the last week.  I was still able to buy a size smaller jeans when I went shopping this morning and not have those jeans be super tight and constrictive.  My success won’t be measured rapidly.  It will be the tortoise’s pace that wins this race and guarantees that my success isn’t short lived and easily reversed.  This journey is about self-discovery and self-improvement.  I must discover a healthy way of eating that works for me.  Sure, there will be the occasional fast food meal or juicy hamburger, but that won’t be part of my regular daily food intake. 

I tried the South Beach Diet a couple months ago.  I experienced a good amount of weight loss during the first phase of the diet, the phase that restricts carbs.  Once I moved on to the second phase and introduced the healthy carbs back into my diet, I plateaued almost instantly.  And then, much to my horror and disbelief, I began to gain the weight back while not varying from the diet in the slightest.  I became frustrated and began to indulge with ice cream or tacos or pie.  I had failed.  But it wasn’t a failure that I was going to let keep me down.  After a little re-evaluation, I determined I needed a diet that wasn’t a diet, so to speak.  And I sincerely hope this one works out better for me.  I’m eating a bowl of cereal or slow cooked oatmeal for breakfast and a healthy, portion-controlled tv dinner for lunch and dinner with small healthy snacks between meals.  I have to admit that I am using diet pills to help give myself an extra edge, but those are only for the initial weight loss. 

I have scheduled myself a simple exercise plan that fits well within what I am capable of doing physically and doesn’t harm my lower back further.  The more I do it, the more I will work toward actually enjoying my workouts.  Right now, they are an incredible chore for me.  Also, I haven’t been able to fully stick to what I’ve set out for me to do.  I have it worked out so I do 3 days of cardio and weights a week, but I always only manage to complete once or twice a week so far.  The other 4 days of the week, I want to walk the dog for an hour each day.  Or at the very least, 3 of those 4 days I want to walk the dog.

But you don’t really want to know all the mechanics of what I’m doing.  Or, maybe you do?  Would it interest you to know just how much I struggle with staying on track every single day?  Would it be worth knowing that I get stressed out just thinking about how surmountable this task is that is laid before me?  You know what, if you’re reading this, then it is of interest and it is worth knowing, so therefore, it is worth me telling it.  I won’t leave you out of any thought or decision that happens in regards to this path I have set myself upon. 

Every day is a struggle for me.  Every day I wrestle with the question of whether or not this is worth all the effort or if I should just consign myself to being fat from now on.  But when I think like that, I get depressed and I don’t like feeling depressed.  So, I don’t entertain those thoughts for very long.  Thankfully, I don’t have the attention span to entertain them for very long.  Ha! 

When I think about my goal to lose weight, I think about how skinny feels to me.  I wrap my hands around my wrists and feel the bones under the skin and imagine how it would look if there wasn’t so much padding in between the bone and my skin.  I look at myself in the mirror before and after my shower and look at how my stomach pooch kind of hangs there now instead of just pooching out a little bit like it used to.  I look at how much my inner thighs touch each other and remember when there used to be a little sliver of space at the tops of them.  I flap my arm wings and think of how gross that is.  I glance at my thick neck, not so much a double chin though.  I briefly wonder what it would be like to get liposuction and a tummy tuck and be rid of all my weight problems with just a simple surgery…how it would be like to do things the easy way.  But I wouldn’t appreciate it if I took the easy route.  I wouldn’t respect my weight loss, just like I won’t respect my money unless I find a way to stop spending it like my wallet is an artery that has been severed.  I have to lose weight the “old fashioned” way.  I have to go through the motions of exercising and eating responsibly and LEARN from the process, from the journey.  I know there’s a skinny person hiding under all my physical “fluff,” I just have to be patient because apparently, she’s a little shy and needs some coaxing before she’ll reveal herself.  Once I reach my weight loss goals, I will be so proud of myself and my new found body.  I won’t every take it for granted again.  I won’t ever toss my physical or emotional health to the wayside again like I’ve done.  I won’t let myself suffer like I’ve caused myself to suffer with this weight gain.  It has done so much to break me down that it is a true journey to build myself up again.

I long for the day that I can wear a swimsuit without shame again.  And by “swimsuit without shame,” I mean a bikini.  Really, I don’t want my thighs to be seen in public either, so I won’t be flouncing around in a once-piece swimsuit either anytime soon.  One of my plans is to buy a kayak and I really don’t want to have to buy a wetsuit to wear while using it.  I’d really like to be able to go out bikini clad onto the lake with my kayak and my dog.  That’s right; the dog will be on the kayak with me.  She’ll get her very own doggy-sized life jacket too.  Once I’ve gotten the kayak and the weather is consistently nice and sunny out, I’d really like to try to go kayaking once a week.  It’s a great upper body workout and a great way to destress and get away from it all.

I pine for the day that I can look in the mirror before or after my shower and tell myself that I’ve done a great job and that I have succeed at the most important thing I can do for myself.  I will have sculpted myself back into a work of beauty and will be pleasant to look upon again.  I look forward to not having to remind myself that the guys nearby me are not interested in me because I’m not pleasing to the eye.  I look forward to the day when that is completely a moot point and no longer relevant.  Basically, I look forward to being myself again, to being who I am meant to be.  And, at the end of this journey, I will know who that person is and I will love her with all my heart.  I will love her for all that she has gone through and for all that she has become.  I will love her because of her strengths and her weaknesses, know that she cannot be whole without both aspects.

So, it’s completely true that things could be so much more worse than they are now for me.  I could totally be way fatter.  I could have gained so much weight that I wore bigger than just a 2X in clothes.  Hell, I can still manage to look decent if I dress myself right.  And I have this amazing black knit dress that I bought, sure it’s a maternity dress, but that just means it’s meant for a bigger tummy area.  Anyway, the amazing black dress…if I put on one of those belts that is for shirts, the wide belts that go shortly under the breast area, it makes the dress make me look smashing! 

I want to get pictures done in a couple or a few months from now.  I want to be able to be thinner than the last time I got my pictures taken.  I’d like to show a bit of improvement.  I know it won’t be a lot, but maybe in 3 months’ time I can manage to shed about 25 to 30 pounds.  That would make a world of difference in how I look and in how I feel, which will make all the difference in how my pictures turn out.

I must be subconsciously hungry today (as I am having no hunger pangs or rumblings in my tummy, this is purely an educated guess) as things my co-workers are describing sound delicious, or at the very least, appetizing.  For instance, hominy.  I’ve never eaten it before, but they say it tastes like grits.  I love grits!  And then they were talking about some cornmeal type consistency mixed with oil and fried up.  Made me think of falafel.  Oh how I love falafel!  And salmon patties!  I was saying that I had canned salmon and I needed to figure out something to do with it and one of them blurted out “salmon patties!”  So I found a recipe for salmon patties and I think I will make them tomorrow afternoon after work and will eat those for dinner, along with some green peas.

It’s not that I need to get a handle on what I eat, mainly just how much I eat.  I tend to eat when I’m bored, when I’m tired, when I’m hyper, when I’m sad, when I’m happy, when I’m angry.  Basically, I have a tendency to eat and eat and eat.  I won’t even be hungry and I’ll eat.  It’s crazy!  I never used to be like that.  I used to always forget to eat and when I was sad I would abstain from eating.  That was how I stayed trim.  A big part of my problem is that the military taught me a whole new form of eating with a whole crap-ton of calories consumed within a day because we were so physically active.  That wasn’t the problem because, like I said, we were extremely active throughout the day.  The problem comes into play when I was no longer active and yet continued to just shovel food into my face.  The military had completely reprogrammed my eating habits and I never learned how to reset them back to how they were before I entered into the service.  Now I need to do that.  I need to rediscover my respect for food so that I can truly enjoy it.  That’s another thing, I need to not only learn how to respect food again, but how to appreciate it and enjoy it, how to savor it.  Savoring something, being patient.  Two things that are not on a list of things that I do even remotely well. 

Marriage.  There’s a loaded subject for you.  Sometimes, I’m a romantic and strongly believe that there is someone out there for me, someone that I am meant to be with and someone that will love me for me and will stay by my side for the rest of my life.  And then there’s times where I’m extremely sardonic and bitter and set against finding “the one” for me.  In those times, I think that it would just be best to put on a pretty wedding dress and put my cat, Vlad, in a tuxedo and marry him.  I would never have to worry about him letting me down or cheating on me or lying to me or keeping secrets from me like I would with a real husband of the human variety.  Of course, that realization comes with sadness.  While I’ve never been the Barbie doll toting girly-girl, I have wanted nothing more than a decent-sized wedding with me wearing a pretty dress that I designed and sewed myself.  I want a man that I can depend on, but all the men I find are defective it seems.  Maybe that’s just the bitter cynic in me talking, but it feels true.  My hope at finding a good man seem to be in vain because all men seem to be self-absorbed, shallow, inconsiderate jackasses.  And if they’re not insufferable personality wise, then they have some sort of hygiene issue that detracts from their great personality.  And I’m not talking about a hygiene issue that could be fixed by putting on a little deodorant; I’m talking about the sort of issue that is blackened, dead teeth and the smell of “I just ate a sewer rat for lunch” breath. 

Right now, I’d be happy if I could just find a guy that had a job, his own apartment (independent women tend to frown on the situation if you still reside with mommy) and vehicle, and his own set of friends that are completely separate from me.  Of course, I’d also like a larger selection of my own set of friends to be able to be social with.  I find myself bored a lot of the time and therefore watch endless hours of Bones episodes on Netflix and then, when I tire of that, I play me some World of Warcraft to pass the time and break up the monotony.  Of course, the truth of the matter is that I don’t have any intention of dating anyone, so that at least temporarily the problem is resolved and a moot point to even pursue at the moment.  This year is all about me and friends and improving my life and my happiness.  It is not about dating and finding a guy.  That’s the last thing on my list of things not on my list of things I want to do.

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