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Weigh-In Nos. 5 and 6

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272.6 (01/05/15)
272.5 (07/06/15)

Last week was crazy, so I didn’t get a chance to blog. By some miracle, I haven’t gained any weight over the past week or so. I haven’t been eating as well as I’d like, but this time, it’s just a matter of eating whatever everyone else is having, as opposed to taking the initiative to buy unhealthy food.

This is real life. I won’t always have time to go to the gym, and I won’t eat perfectly every day, but the important thing is to not turn back. Usually, at this stage, I give up entirely. I believe I’m surprising myself.

One day at a time…

Weigh-In No. 4

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272.5 (25/05/15)
Previous weight: 274

Numbers aside, I’m starting to see a difference in the size of my stomcach. I doubt it’s obvious to others around me, but it’s progress. I’m also trying to go to the gym more often, but I haven’t really been committed. Classes are great and all, and they’re good enough for now, but I haven’t been to the gym for a workout of my own in ages. I can also see where some of my old eating habits are creeping back in. I might write about that soon.

This is very much a journey, and making backward steps can be frustrating, but I have to keep going. I know this works, so it doesn’t make sense to give up. I didn’t even want to do this, but the small changes are becoming a part of me. I’m no longer fighting myself to go to the gym. It’s not aways compatible with my schedule, but it’s almost automatic now.

I could have made it to the gym four times last week, but I went shopping instead. There was a really good sale, and I wanted to get some stuff for my family. Three out of four wasn’t too bad, though. 🙂 I’ll keep that challenege until I complete it.

This week hasn’t been going great so far, and I need to cook, but I honestly can’t be bothered. We’ll see how it goes.

Weigh-In No. 3 (And Challenge Accepted)

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274 (18/05/15)
Previous weight: 277

I didn’t make it to the gym last week, and I didn’t eat perfectly. This just reinforces how important consistency is. I won’t pretend I eat clean all the time, but I try, and that was how I made my 1% goal. Last week was interesting. I had white rice on Thursday, movie theatre nachos and popcorn (my friend and I shared) on Friday, and Chinese food on Saturday. I really thought I had blown it, so I tried to keep up my hydration…just so I could make my goal. I learned two things from that.

1. I have to be on guard so it doesn’t become about the numbers. I know how my body works, especially at this weight. I know how it responds to water and to certain foods. I want to keep losing weight, since it’s a natural part of getting healthier for someone my size, but I don’t want that to be my goal. My weight loss has to be about healthy eating and exercise, not playing some numbers game.

2. Results come through consistency. This works with positive and negative behaviours. Three meals didn’t have the power to undo weeks of basically clean eating. In the same way, if I return to consistently making poor food choices, my weight will increase and I will become more unhealthy.

That said, I doubt I will continue to lose weight at this rate if I don’t work out. Even if I do, I don’t necessarily want a smaller body. I want a healthier body, and that means improving my fitness, strength, and endurance. That means going to the gym I’m paying for each month. I don’t have a choice in whether I pay, and I need to make exercise as steady a part of my routine.

So, this week’s challenge: Go to the gym four times. One down, three to go. I went to a muscle mix class this morning, and then embarrassed myself in Zumba.  I should listen to myself, and not go again (I said so last time).

Image source: spurlingtrainingsystems.com

Weight Loss Mystery Solved…Part 1

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Last week was such a pensive time, and I think I’ve made a breakthrough. Somehow, I understand why I’ve never been able to embrace weight loss as a separate entity, why I’ve never felt whatever it is that compels people to try to lose weight. Of course, I see the need for weight loss, as part of a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, but that doesn’t change my aversion. So, my epiphany, if you will…

No matter how strong you are, even if you think you’re unaffected by things people say, you build resistance. I’ve had perfect strangers ask me if I didn’t see I was too fat (because, apparently, I don’t have either working eyes or a mirror), had people who hadn’t seen me in a long time not even greet me properly, but make a comment about my size. I won’t go into how the average person becomes a nutritionist or something–all the lovely ‘concerned’ questions about my health. I took it all in stride, often laughed and responded politely to people who were downright obnoxious, but I can no longer deny its impact.

I’ve absorbed, without realising it, so much of the negativity aimed at me because of my size. I’ve never hated myself or my body, but I think I transitioned into no longer actively loving myself, as if I didn’t have that right, simply because I had let myself go. Even the love I had for myself became ‘in spite of’, as if I had to defend my right to love myself–or not hate myself.

People have suggested something must be fundamentally wrong with me, just by looking at me. In the same breath, I knew being fat didn’t make me less of a person, or unworthy of love. Because of that, I feel the need to protect myself…to protect my fat self.

Trying to lose weight feels like giving in to everyone who has made my size feel unacceptable…to the random people on sidewalks who told me I should stop eating, to family members who’ve reduced my portions or flat-out told me I shouldn’t eat something (things they didn’t do for others), to those who have celebrated my smaller self as if accidentally (or deliberately) losing weight made me a better person–as if I would finally be worthy of my spot on the planet if I lose enough weight. I oppose that idea so strongly that trying to lose weight feels like a betrayal of my very self.

Now that I understand this, I need to find a way to include weight loss in my health and fitness journey, without having it as the point of my journey. Weight loss will be the consequence of my changing lifestyle, not the cause of it. It will give me a sense of how my changes work, how my body responds to those changes, but I will not work for a number. I refuse to be a slave to the scale, or shackle myself to the idea that my weight and worth have any relationship, especially that of inverse proportion. Weight loss, on this journey, will be only a guide, not a goal.

I may still struggle with my aversion to weight loss, and while people may assume I’m working towards losing weight, and may even applaud me for it, I have to remember my goals–health, fitness, and discipline. I am not a thin girl trapped in a fat girl’s body. My body is not a prison, and I refuse to try to escape from it. I will, as I am changing, transform it…see its potential for strength, continue to appreciate its beauty, at every size.

This is my body, and I love it. I am fat, and I love myself. Fat is not my identity, and rooting my identity there, embracing fat as who I am, is no less than destructive than those who would see me as unworthy because of my weight.

I am fat, and I love myself…enough to change.

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Quick Update

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There’s a part of me that wants to delay this until I have better news to impart, but I promised to be honest…with you guys and with myself.

This is still difficult. I’m generally eating better than I have in a long time, I’ve lost a few pounds, and I’ve somewhat improved my gym attendance, but this still does not feel real. I feel as if I am not owning this journey…and I’m not sure how to. I’ve watched so many before-and-after weight loss videos, and all those people were motivated to lose weight. I’m not. Yes, I want to get healthy, but how do I find the drive to go against my fear of losing weight? I’m even beginning to see that that fear goes so much deeper than I think. If losing weight is part of improving my health, and I’m doing it through proper nutrition and exercise, doesn’t that make it a good thing? Why am I afraid of a good thing?

That fear is so toxic. It is what drives me to sabotage myself every time I start to change, and not just as it relates to my health. I know I don’t need to want to do this in order for it to get done, but I have to face the power of my lack of inclination. I really don’t know how this will turn out, but I can’t just allow it to be pushed aside. I need to do this, fear or no fear.

On the plus side, I’m beginning to see some of my patterns of sabotage, see where I’ve developed unhealthy relationships with food. I’m paying attention to what triggers me to tell myself to skip the gym, as I did last week…and today. This has been a long road, and I am far from perfect, but if I’m understanding myself better, it’s all worth it.

What If I Don’t Want To Lose Weight?

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Two things hit me last week: I started this blog almost 2 years ago, and I’m currently the same weight I was the first week I recorded weight loss here–283 pounds.

It’s almost as if nothing has changed in the 8 months since my last post, but so much has. I’ve moved away from home, slight changes to my routine and eating habits caused me to lose a bit of weight since (hence the 283), and I could go on, but there’s one thing that has really hit me: I don’t want to lose weight.

Do I need to lose weight? Definitely. Do I see the health risks, imminent and otherwise? For sure. Am I lazy and unmotivated? No. I do want to be healthy, fit, strong, able to walk to my third-floor room without getting out of breath, and those other boring, everyday things most people at a healthy weight don’t have to worry about. But, I can’t honestly say I hold weight loss as a goal, or have a desire to be smaller. My body isn’t a prison. I’m not dying to wear smaller clothes, be attractive, go on amusement park rides, or any of those other things you come across in these before-and-after stories. Being smaller does not appeal to me, and I think the idea of such a drastic change scares me more than I usually care to admit.

I’m not afraid of working out, and I know I’m strong, with the potential to be even stronger. Fitness appeals to me, even though I still hate cardio. I’ve joined the gym yet again, but I still haven’t voluntarily gone for a workout–been almost a month since I signed up. I think I can’t get past the idea that, in order to get the things I want, it’ll mean the one thing I don’t want: weight loss.

Maybe I’m worried people will look at me, and assume I want to lose weight. Maybe I’m afraid to fail, or concerned that people will wonder why someone my size isn’t working with a trainer. Maybe those things don’t even matter to me, and I’m just trying to legitimise my folly. Whatever the case, I need to make peace with the part of me that is content to hide behind fat. If there were a way to achieve my fitness goals, and somehow not get smaller, I’d be in. But, there isn’t…so, maybe I should just shut up and go to the gym. Or, maybe I should acknowledge that I’m stronger than I think, because I haven’t given in to the idea that being fat deems me worthless; neither am I in the camp of those who think loving oneself means not needing to change. (Don’t think I’ve ever used the word ‘maybe’ so many times in a single paragraph before.)

This is who I am, who I’ve been for as long as I can remember. Maybe I can’t picture myself smaller, because I’ve never had to. I know losing weight doesn’t have to mean losing who I am, because I am more than my size, but that knowledge isn’t helping. Fat may be all I’ve known, but it doesn’t get to be who I am. Not now, when I’m finally in a position to embrace change, even if I don’t want to.

I honestly wish I could say changing my lifestyle is going to be the hardest part of this journey. I’ve been down this road enough times to know what works for me. I just need to follow through, and not let fear hold me back. Honestly, I think my greatest fear is that this just might work, that I might actually stick to something. Guess we’ll see.

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Image source: dietmdhawaii.com

I Dare…Again

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When I blogged this in November, I was scared, but definitely more confident about success than I am now. This is my journey, and owning it is hard. It’s not going so well, but I can’t keep giving up. That’s no way to live. The only words I have are those already expressed…and I need the reminder. Badly.

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November 6, 2013

I DARE…

So, my last post seemed to be right…there will always be something else. Another hectic month, but I’m back.

I turned 28 recently, and I did something revolutionary (by my standards, anyway). I set 28 goals for the coming year. Seven of those goals are health-related. I was talking to a friend last week, pretty much filling her in on life and stuff, and I mentioned that this health thing is something I want to take seriously, but it is so terrifying. She said the coolest thing: “Dare to live, Lori.”

So, I dare.

I dare to believe I can do this…that my goal of losing 100 pounds in one year is achievable, by God’s grace, and if I make the choices I know are within reach. I mean, an average of basically two pounds a week should not be that hard. One of the things I wanted to do was to make sure I wasn’t setting goals that were unlikely to be achieved. Based on my current weight, success means losing an average of close to 1% of my weight each week. If I can’t do that, I have bigger problems than I thought.

I dare to fight, even when that means learning how to. I’m so good at just accepting whatever comes my way. I’m honest and realistic, but I sometimes use that as a crutch…as if admitting I have a problem means I don’t need to work on it. This won’t be easy. So much bigger than weight loss and numbers, this is about getting my life back.

I dare to be weak, because not facing weakness is a surefire way to have it beat you. For too long, I’ve let weakness overcome me, as if I could handle it myself. If it means asking for help, I’ll do it. If it means learning to be vulnerable, I’ll…I’ll work on that one.

I dare to be strong. I’m physically strong, and as I develop discipline, I’ll become strong in other ways. After two months at the gym when I was with my sister last year, I know I can take the pain. The muscles I came home with proved that. It’s so weird for me to even think this, but I am strong. I can’t keep living as if I was meant to be a victim, a casualty of circumstance.

I dare to accept that failure will come. There is no perfect path. I will mess up, I will fall, I will fail. Pretending otherwise will just make it more likely I’ll give up when it happens. But, here’s the best part: I don’t have to be perfect. I just need to do this, and keep doing it.

I dare to share. I’ve spent so much of life in hiding, even from myself. So, I’m committing to being honest on this journey, whether it’s going great or not…even when it’s not going.

I dare to be excited. I never do that. This is going to be all kinds of new and scary…and ugly. But, it’s different. It’s something other than going from day to day with no aim or destination in mind. Man, I should be excited. 😀

I dare to live.

Weigh-In No. 8

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286 (11/05/13)

Know what’s the best thing about weighing in every week? I can’t hide. I can’t wait until I have a convenient number…I just have to face it and be honest about it.

So, I reckon that gain is as a result of terrible hydration until the weekend. I guess the only reason I hydrated so well as it approached the weekend was I didn’t want a terrible weigh-in. I told myself I wouldn’t play the numbers game, and I won’t. I don’t want to make right choices just to satisfy the scale, and weighing in as frequently as I do keeps me from doing that.

If this is going to work, it will require consistency. I’ve been at this for about two months now, and I haven’t been consistent at anything except not working out, especially over the past few weeks. It’s time to get serious. To get deliberate. I doubt I’ll morph into a superstar overnight, but I can decide to exercise every day. I can choose to eat only things I know will be nutritionally beneficial. I can stop fooling around with my life.

So, a couple goals for this week:

  • Exercise at least 4 days…for at least one hour each day
  • Hydrate properly
  • Start that BeFit thing before the end of the week

I should be able to manage that. Even if I don’t, I’ll still have this to look back on and evaluate the way ahead. No more excuses.

All the best for the rest of the week!

Weigh-In No. 5

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286 (20/04/13)

It’s going down again! Can I do better, though? Yeah. I don’t even mean in terms of the numbers, but just in terms of being consistent with exercise and clean eating. I have 5 exercise days (weekends are out), but I skip days all the time…not necessarily on purpose, but I could simply make the time later in the day (when my sister and I don’t get to walk in the mornings).

I think my favourite thing about this health journey is that eating healthy and being active is always beneficial. It always works. Sure, all of us don’t lose weight at the same rate, but if we keep choosing health, it’ll pay off in the long run, scale or no scale.

So, I’ll keep that in mind (and this cool pic I came across).