Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Re-Focusing Time

Firstly, I'd like to apologize for going completely MIA on you all.  I've just been so insanely busy with work and working out, I have almost no downtime to update my blog.  The downtime I do have is dedicated to my guilty pleasures, also known as, reality TV (and documentaries, movies, TV series).  But my boss is gone all week long, so I have a week of relaxation and almost zero work.  Let's all say Hallelujah at once.  (To set the record straight, my boss is awesome, but you know what they say: You have two vacations a year.  Yours, and your boss's.)


So I will get right into the basics.  After my eleventh week in the program, I'm down a total of 39.6 pounds.  I'm super annoyed that I couldn't just get to 40 even, that was my soft goal, but next week I'll see that number, and hopefully more.  Also, my blood work is completely normal!  Triglycerides, liver function, kidney function, everything!  That is a huge, huge relief because nobody wants to hear any blood work being abnormal.  I guess all this working out I'm doing is helping me out, who woulda thought?

That brings me to my second point, and pretty much the whole reason for this post existing.  I've been bad.  Like, really bad.  I'm talking polish hot dogs, barbecued chicken, garlic bread, and day drinking.  I'm also talking meatloaf sandwiches, garlic fries, chips and salsa, and popcorn.  After what I consider an unsuccessful week, only having lost 1 pound, I realized that all my choices contributed to the disappointment.  I can work out as much as I want, but I'm kidding myself if I expect to lose 3-4 pounds in a week when that is what I am ingesting.  So, I need to refocus.  Regroup.  Get myself back on track.

It's easier said than done.  Even when I start the day dedicated to sticking to my diet, by the end of the day my will-power is at an all time low.  I just don't get it.  I believe when people talk about being overweight as a disease of the body, and also of the mind.  The problem I have is that it isn't rational.  If I have the ability to make smart choices in all other aspects of my life, why is this one area nearly impossible to conquer?  Why can't I just say no to food?  Even knowing that I should say no, I still reach for it, telling myself no the entire time it moves to my mouth, and yet I still open my lips and chew it.  It's crazy.


So, that brings me to what we discussed in our weight loss meeting last night: Self-Control.  The counselor, who I have mixed feelings about already, began to pound in our minds that if we derail from the program and eat, gasp, food, we don't have self-control.

I was astounded.  To me, they really need to reevaluate their program, because it's just plain unrealistic and wrong to equate eating a meal with lacking self-control.  I realize that I've committed myself to this program, which means abstaining from all food and eating the shakes/soups as replacements, and that requires an extreme amount of self-control.  If I veer off, or have weeks where I eat, it doesn't mean that I lack self-control.  Because while I admit to have eaten a Polish Dog, I also paid my rent.  I didn't turn into a human food tornado, blowing rent on Big-Macs and Milkshakes and Pizza and Burritos.  I ate a f**king Polish Dog.  While I did veer off the program, my self-control is still very much intact.  With her logic, once I eat one morsel of food, all hope is lost, and I may as well go crazy with everything in my life.  Screw rent, let's inhale pasta.  Work?  Nah, that's for people with self-control, which apparently, I do not have.  Ugh.


Instead of blowing up when she asked me about my self-control, which I easily could have, I chose to be real and explain it politely.  In summary, I told her that my self-control is totally dependent on the day.  I know that emotions and food go hand in hand, at least for me.  I'm in the midst of an extremely painful and traumatic time, still going through the motions of grief having lost my Dad a year and a half ago.  Emotionally, it may as well have happened yesterday, because that's how fresh it feels to me.  And to be blunt, in grief, the absolute last thing that I care about is opting for a shake over a polish dog, so that I can demonstrate self-control and lose 3 pounds by next Tuesday's weigh in.  I just want to feel better, so I go to comfort food.  It may be a poor habit, but that is why the term "comfort food" exists. It comforts.

Secondly, the loss of my Dad is a very present reminder that life is fragile.  Tomorrow is not promised, even for someone young like me.  If my family or friends are having a gathering, I'm going to enjoy it with them, the way I would normally.  I wont go crazy, but I wont deny myself completely.  If I were to depart from Earth tomorrow, I would like to know that my last day wasn't spend having a mental tug-of-war between eating a shake or a hot dog and a couple beers.  It has nothing to do with self-control, it's a conscious choice, and I don't mind owning that choice.  Will my weight loss be as rapid?  No.  Will I be a happier person?  Duh.

Where I could have demonstrated self-control, is with what I chose to eat.  Did I need the polish dog?  Absolutely not.  I could have enjoyably had carrots with salsa, and THAT, to me, is demonstrating self-control.  If I want to lead a healthy life, it means making sacrifices, but it doesn't mean denying yourself.  Even then, there will be moments where you can specifically choose the unhealthier option.  As my goal is to lose a significant amount of weight, I have to have the strength and self control to stick with it, and if I veer, veer in a healthy manner.

Life is not all about the number on the scale.  Life is much more than that, and I have to remember that.  It's coping with the ups and downs, it's enjoying the moment, it's living healthy.  Right now, I started reverting back to the old me, but I have to remind myself that the end goal is what will be worth it.  I want to learn to deal with my pain in a different way, but it wont happen overnight, and I'm cutting myself some slack for that.  I want to learn to have the power to chose the right thing over the wrong thing, even in social situations.  And lastly, I want to learn how to value my health, so the first two things will come naturally.

I'm still a work in progress, and I will be for some time, but I just have to regroup and refocus and get back on track.  The best quote I've read thus far is, "NOTHING tastes as good as healthy feels."  It's true, and I cant wait to taste healthy. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Falling In Love with Myself

Well people, I've hit a milestone.  9 weeks have come and passed, and I've learned so much about myself throughout.  I suppose I'll start with the best news ever.  I've lost a grand total of 34.4 pounds!  Here are some before weight loss and after.  Sorry they are only head shots, but I really did try to avoid using my "angle", so it isn't false advertisement.  I'll work on some body shots later.  Click on the picture for a larger version.

 So yeah, it's working?  It's funny when you look at yourself, you can't really see the changes on a day to day basis.  It takes looking at before and after pictures for you to finally admit to yourself that there is a change, no matter how small.  I will come to the defense of myself on the far left picture, it was a seriously horrible day that day.  And the two right pictures, it was a decent day, so chalk some of the difference up to that.  Then again, maybe it was a decent day because of the weight loss, who really knows.

Since I don't have the body shots now, I can describe what I'm seeing as far as change goes.  My stomach, which was my most loathed nemesis, has definitely decreased in size.  My legs seem stronger than ever, to the point where they pretty much only feel like muscle.  I never really had a huge problem with my legs, though.  My elbows seem a little more pointy, and my ankles look a little slimmer, but most of the change that needs to happen is with my stomach, and there is definite improvement in that area.  I can see my collar bones poking through, which is a HUGE victory to me.  Who woulda thought, collar bones?

The biggest thing I can see with myself is my face.  Overall, I look less swollen.  Looking back on pictures and videos, I look like I was about to burst at the seams.  It's strange to think that about yourself, because while I knew I was overweight, I really didn't think I looked too heinous, nor did I think I looked "puffy".  But now, it's almost painful to see myself that heavy.  Don't even get me into the self loathing that intrudes in my mind.  I really hate that I let myself get heavy, so heavy even I don't like looking at pictures of me.  While I am such a beautiful person on the inside, my outside really didn't reflect it, because not only was it hard to look at myself physically, it's easy to see that I wasn't taking care of myself, and that is as ugly as it gets.

I'm the last person to say that just because you are carrying some extra padding, it equates ugliness, that's just how I see myself as an individual.  I know that some people could have found me physically attractive, but I didn't see myself like that.  It's sad to reflect on.  Now that I've lost almost 35 pounds, I am falling in love with myself, but not in a weird, arrogant sort of way.  It's hard to dislike yourself when you put so much effort into something that is extraordinarily difficult.  I'm proud I have taken the steps to better my life, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  I am learning to be happy with who I see in the mirror, because while she is not physically perfect, she's on her way to being "perfect".

I grow each day while fighting the urges to "relapse".  Some people may not get that food addiction is just that, an addiction.  No, I'm not stealing money from anyone to get my McDonald's fix, but I'm stealing years of life away from myself with each Double Cheeseburger and McFlurry I ingest, which isn't so different from any other addiction.  The problem with being addicted to food is that you need food to survive; it isn't something you can quit cold turkey.  Food is a constant in everyone's life, while heroine, is not.  With help, drug addicts can quit their habit, and refrain from relapsing for the entirety of their lives.  It's not so simple with food.  As a food addict, you have to make a life long commitment to eat healthy, and exercise your body, but your Achilles Heel will always be present.  Opting for grilled chicken over fried chicken, even though you like fried better; yogurt over ice cream; wheat bread over sour dough; and fruit/veggies over french fries.  As an addict to all of the unhealthy things, this is where the relapsing can be so easy.  It's one choice at a time, and you have to will yourself to be strong enough to make the right one.  It's not easy, it's not fun, but it's for you.  Each time you make the right choice, you will fall a little more in love with yourself.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Death to the E-Thug

So I put the article below on my "Interesting Stuff" page, but I feel like it deserves the attention of a full blown post.  I'm fuming angry, and I just feel like beating this point to death.  Whenever an article like this appears, I instantaneously look at the comment section.  I don't know why I do this to myself, because of course that is where all of the internet trolls (or my personal word E-Thug) live, but I cant help it, and it's like dropping a hornets nest in my heart.  I always have hope that the comments wont be so abhorrent, but that is giving internet humanity far too much credit.  

People so quickly punch the letters on their keyboards to type some of the most disgusting series of words imaginable, because, and only because, they can conceal their real identity.  Would these assholes be able to say such terrible things to someone's face?  Most of the time, no.  But what is the difference of saying it to someone, and typing it online.  Either way, they took time out of their day to belittle someone, and make them feel bad about themselves.  That is pathetic.  I just want to scream, "Don't you have something better to do?"  I mean, who honestly enjoys hurting others?  WHO?!  It's unreal, and I cant wrap my mind around it.  Maybe it's because I'm a nice person, or understanding of the differences between humans beings world wide, oh and also, I'm not an asshole.

Let me be clear.  Being overweight, obese, fat, it isn't a healthy lifestyle, and I get that.  I'm not an advocate of inhaling food and being proud.  I AM an advocate of someone being who they are, and not having to feel bad about themselves because of it.  Most people who are heavy, don't want to be, so I'm not really sure there is a purpose that is served by making nasty comments.  By typing the horrendous verbal diarrhea, or opinions, as they so graciously dub it, they are actively seeking to hurt someone, and it's totally unacceptable to me.  Of course, they always have a shit ton of "data" to support their "opinion", but in reality, they just wanted to be mean.

So, I have to let them be mean.  The bottom line is that they have chosen those words to represent them.  It may be anonymous, but even so, they go to sleep at night knowing they stopped whatever the hell it was they were doing, to punch in some pathetic insult into a comment section, simply to stir the pot.  That is their idea of a good day.  I don't know about you, but I'd rather be 1,000 pounds, and be able to look back on my life knowing I never set out to intentionally hurt someone, via the internet or not.  E-thugs are just e-thugs, they are a dime a dozen.  In reality, by putting others down for something like being "fat", it just shows an insecurity within themselves.  I know that is cliche, but it's the truth.  You could beat them with that sentence for years, and they would never admit to an insecurity, but in reality, a confident, happy, kind, and wise person, wouldn't stop what they are doing during the day and say something like, "Proof that Beluga Whales can live on land."  They just wouldn't, and that is that.

So maybe I am fat, but I'm not lazy.  Maybe I do have one too many rolls, but I don't overeat.  They may see me and compare me to a f**king whale, but they don't know that I've lost 31.8 pounds in two months, and it will keep on coming off.  And once it does, I will be more than happy to belittle them, by simply ignoring their existence, because nobody is more worthless than someone who is an asshole purposefully.