Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Losing Weight II

Back in October I wrote a post about our weight loss. I don't want to harp on it. It's not the biggest thing in our lives. But I've been amassing thoughts on the subject, and it's time to put them on paper, so to speak. Here they are.
Reflecting on fat people -- I find myself looking at fat people and wondering what's in their heads. I've been there. Honestly, I'm still there. I have at least 30 lbs. to go, to reach a reasonable weight for me. But I look at fat people in public and I wonder what's stopping them from getting their act together, realizing they have a big problem, and doing something about it.
And then I think, "How would I have felt if someone had thought that about me, 22 lbs. ago?" Would I have felt hurt? Angry? Indifferent? Indignant?
These days, judging people is definitely OUT. It's the mantra of the young generation now: "Don't judge me!" It's socially unacceptable to look at anyone and make any judgment about their condition, their behavior, their choices. Basically, everyone is just fine as he is, and nobody has to change, unless he's a child molester or something that offensive.
What does that say about fat people, about being overweight? There's quite a push these days to look at fat people as perfectly normal. They're just as attractive, just as active, just as healthy as anyone else. There's nothing abnormal about them. We are supposed to overlook the extra 200 lbs. as if it weren't there. The weight doesn't alter them at all -- at all -- from what they would be if they didn't have those 200 lbs.

Except, of course, that it's a lie. The weight makes a huge difference in all aspects of life. How they view themselves. How others view them. What they can do physically. What they can do emotionally. Their relationships of all kinds. Their health. All aspects of their lifestyle -- how they sleep, how they walk, how they breathe, even whether they have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Yep.

Being fat impacts your whole life, but it's so painful and so horrible (because it's inside you ... it is you) that you quickly enter into a permanent state of denial. You tell yourself lies. Here are a few I told myself:
1. I can't run or walk anymore because I broke my foot 13 years ago.
2. I shouldn't drink anything in the evenings because it makes me get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
3. Blue jeans are uncomfortable; why does anybody like wearing them? Crazy people.
4. I'm not an over-eater. I stop when I'm full. I don't really snack much. I can stop eating anytime I want.
5. I know exactly how much food I need to live, and that's really all I'm eating.
6. The aches and pains I'm feeling are natural for a woman my age. I'm getting older. I shouldn't expect to do what I used to do.
And on, and on. Since losing 22 lbs (and I have more than that to go!), I can now walk around town. My foot doesn't hurt. My legs and knees don't hurt either. It was only my fat that caused those pains. It was my fat that necessitated getting up in the middle of the night, or in the middle of a movie, to go to the bathroom. Just fat. You want to hear some of Adam's lies? They're even funnier:
1. He lost 2" of height because of degenerative bones and bad joints. He thought he'd diminished from 5'11" to 5'9". Until the doctor told him he was still 5'11".  Why did he think he'd lost 2 inches? Because he was wearing pants with 2 inches less inseam ... because he was wearing his pants so much lower ... because his belly was so big .... Yep. It was easier for him to believe he had lost 2" of height, than to admit that his weight was changing how he was wearing his pants.
2. Arthritis and bad rotator cuffs were giving him severe pain in knees, hips, and shoulders. He thought. Until he lost weight. As he lost weight, he noticed that these pains diminished. Now he can throw a pine cone for Sandy to chase, over and over. His shoulder doesn't hurt. He used to sleep on the floor because he had to take the pressure off his bad shoulder. Now he's back to sleeping in the bed -- the pain came, not from the shoulder, but from the excess weight he carried around.

100 extra pounds does horrible things to your body, and the sooner we all admit that to ourselves and each other, the sooner people will begin doing something about it! Guys, it's not about beauty really; it's about health. It's a life or death issue! How many physical conditions that plague people would be eliminated if they determined to lose weight? Adam and I wish we could tell couples how much it enhances your intimacy, when you remove 75 lbs. of fat that's between you -- but you can't tell that to people because it's too personal. But it's important!

Adam is going from 274 lbs. to 165 lbs., Lord willing. He's currently at 219.6 lbs. I started at (gulp ... I hate to say it in public) 224 lbs. Yep. I was that fat. They told me I carried it well, which is just another enabling comment, I'm sorry to say. My goal? I don't know. I'm currently at 202.4 lbs. First goal is to get under 200. Second goal is to hit 170. After that, it's all gravy. I'd like to get to 159. That's a healthy weight for me. If I'm feeling so much better now, I can't imagine how fabulous I'll feel then.

I'm not exercising more. In fact, I'm exercising less because it's winter, rainy, and cold. Adam is walking a lot more. He's losing faster, but he has more to lose. Frankly, all I'm doing is being brutally honest about how much food I put in my mouth, and what I put in there. Here's what I eat, generally:

Breakfast:
4 oz. orange juice
one cup of homemade chai tea
1 egg fried in butter
2 pieces of buttered toast
1 Tbl of cranberry marmalade

Lunch:
a sandwich that consists of 2 pieces of toasted bread, 3 slices of deli turkey, huge amounts of iceberg lettuce, 1 slice of provolone cheese, and more cranberry marmalade

Supper:
Whatever Adam makes for us. He serves the meal on my plate, and I eat only what's on the plate. He usually portions up 3 oz. of protein, 5 oz. of starch, and as much veggie as I can eat. Often there is bread.

I eat apples for a snack, with natural peanut butter slathered on it. Or I might have a cookie (one, not seven), or a piece of toast. I drink water, other than at breakfast. I never drink sodas. We eat vegetarian suppers several times each week. We still cook with butter, drink cream in our tea or coffee, and use sauces and such on our food. I don't consider there to be any food that I "can't" eat.

The crux is this: when I'm tempted to eat something I don't need, I must face myself and realize that I'm being tempted to do something that could kill me, something that damages my body, damages my marriage, damages my children, my church, my relationships, and makes me a poor witness for my Savior. Each time I resist the urge to eat unnecessary food, I strengthen myself for resisting in the future. I'm building habits, behavior, and conquering old, damaging ones. At this stage in my life, eating is something I use only to nourish my body -- a certain number of calories are all I need. Eating is not for pleasure, or comfort, or reward, or entertainment. No excesses allowed.

That menu plan above may not look like much food. It doesn't take much food to live. The extra chips, burgers, leftover pizza, sodas or coffees, "special" meals, massive servings in restaurants -- I now view these as the enemy. If you're fat, they're your enemy too. They're not the pleasures of life; they're killing you.

When I reach 159 lbs., I'll still be over 50, a bit saggy, and no prettier. But I'll be a more fit and energetic wife, mother, daughter, and friend. You can be too. One bite at a time.

8 comments:

  1. Love this!! It's so very real and well written but I wouldn't expect any less from my favorite English teacher!! Congrats on your weight loss & journey to a healthier you!!

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  2. A couple summers ago I threw out white sugar. It changes your tastebuds. I threw out a lot of Christmas goodies because they make me sick to eat them. Kept the dark chocolate.

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  3. Thank you for this....very encouraging. I have been working on weight loss myself, and agree that the self control (portion control) is one of the most basic yet hardest elements! Also, plenty of sleep is so important - the basics.

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  4. You are amazing Mary Katherine and this is a very refreshing and realistic way to look at and talk about weight loss. I love your honesty and you!

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  5. I've struggled with my weight all my life and am currently trying to lose twenty pounds by my 50th birthday in late May. I have mixed feelings about the "fat acceptance" movement, too. On the one hand, as a culture we're insane when it comes to how women should look (an impossibility for most of us), and on the other hand, as you point out, there's nothing healthy about obesity.

    I hope you'll keep sharing about your weight loss efforts. I find these posts inspiring. Good luck to you both!

    frances

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  6. What a great post, MK! You speak the truth. Hubby and I have been on a healthy lifestyle diet for over a year and it's SO worth it. We both feel better, have less aches and pains and more energy.

    I am 51 and I'll never look like I'm 21 (or 41). I don't even care to, but I do want to be healthy for my husband and family and friends.

    Keep up the good fight!

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  7. A brave and very honest post! While you have been going down on the scales, I have been going up:( It's time for me to get back on the exercise/eating carefully routine. You and Adam are inspiring!

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  8. VERY well written!!!!
    Honest, true and very memorable!!! Which reminds me, I must read your book!!! Getting back to school, everything has gone clean out my head!!! X

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