Sep 302014
 

A friend posted this article on Facebook and I clicked over to read the article–expecting something else entirely. What I read was the complete opposite of what I was expecting and I found myself saying “YES! I feel the same way, too!” several times. Here is that article: 5 Things I Miss About Weighing More Than 300 Pounds. Take a look because it’s a really well-written post.

She listed a few of the things she missed about weighing over 300 pounds. The first was power. I had to laugh because I could relate to that as well. When I was 250+ pounds I, too, was stronger in a lot of ways. My girth made my calves and quads pretty strong because it was supporting my weight but like this author, I could also move heavy furniture or help people move heavy things and it was no big deal.

“Being fat gave me natural physical strength. As a thin person, I have to go out of my way to be strong. Despite daily strength training I’m nowhere near as powerful as I used to be. Once upon a time I could confidently lift a couch into and out of a moving truck (a U-Haul, not a truck in motion — being fat never did give me super powers). Today, I labor under the weight of heavy things.”

I lift weights and I do what I can to build up my strength. While I’ve made leaps and bounds, I’d be lying if I said a really really strong wind couldn’t knock me over. If someone pushed me as a joke, I would seriously stumble and possibly fall (and have a few times) which is such a huge difference from when I was 250 pounds and couldn’t be pushed over. It’s a very strange idea to suddenly feel like you are “frail.”

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This next observation hit really close to home for me, especially right now with trying to lose the last few pounds before my wedding. It’s about weight fluctuations:

“When I was fat I understood that most weight changes are fleeting and insignificant. At 300 pounds, I wore clothes forgiving enough to accommodate ten pounds lost or gained, so I didn’t think much of it. Sadly, going from a size 6 to an 8 makes me nuts in a way that going from a size 26 to a 28 just never did. I miss the freedom I once had from noticing and obsessing over Every. Single. Pound.”

I admit, I teared up a little bit with that one. She expressed just how I feel (often) and it’s hard for people to understand who haven’t been obese. When the scale starts to tick up and I feel a little down because of those few extra pounds, most people don’t understand why I feel stressed or depressed about it. They say, but you’ve lost so much, it’s not a big deal. Or they say, you can lose that weight in no time! Not true, losing weight at this stage is much harder and WAY slower than it ever was when I was overweight. It takes twice the amount of work and diligence to see even 1 pound gone on the scale.

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I would also add this to what the author said–clothes fit differently now. When I was over 200 pounds I wore bigger clothes because I was bigger, obviously, but “plus” sized clothing is just built differently. It’s baggier. It’s usually got some elastic in the waist. So you don’t always notice when you go up a bit. Now? When my size 6 jeans start to feel a little tight I feel it immediately. Clothes that I buy at this weight are obviously smaller and form-fitting. When that pesky 5 pounds appears you can see and feel it!

What about this one?

“When I’m lying on my side, the feeling of knee bone on knee bone is enough to keep me up all night. I could write a whole post about how awful it feels to sit on a hard surface with a bony butt. Tail bones and hard seats: never the two should meet. “

Yep, yep, yep. I am so freakin’ bony. Seriously, I thought I was the only one that felt this way and reading that this woman experienced the same exact thing made me sigh with relief a little. I wasn’t alone. When I lay in bed at night, on my side, my knees bug me because they feel like just two knobs rubbing against each other. Russian Twists? Forget about it. I can’t do that exercise unless I have a little padding under my butt (be it a towel or pad at the gym) because it hurts my tailbone so much.

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This last observation is something I’ve written about in the past. I had a few surprising twists with friendships and relationships as I was losing my weight. But you don’t expect that it will actually happen…

“Starting and maintaining friendships was easier when I was fat. Women rarely saw me as a rival and were less self-conscious than they are around me today.”

I dated someone who tried to sabotage my weight loss every chance he got. I lost a few friends along the way that just couldn’t be happy for me, for whatever reason. The good news? I also found out just how encouraging and how supportive friends and family can be. They helped me reach my goal and gave me positive feedback that kept me going when it was really hard.

Something else I’d add to this topic…One of the things I miss about 250 pounds is being unaware. I have no idea anymore what it feels like to be carefree, worry-free and easy going when it comes to food. It’s too late to turn back. I already know how many calories are in most foods. I can take a look at something and while the Demon on my shoulder is saying Oh that looks so great EAT THAT! The Angel on my shoulder is reminding me how hard I worked to lose the weight and just how many calories are in that. It kind of takes ALL THE FUN OUT OF IT.

I talk a lot about moderation and not denying myself foods–just being smarter about what I eat and paying attention to portions. But damn, sometimes that SUCKS. Sometimes you do want to eat some ice cream and not regret it!

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Do I regret losing the weight? Hell no. I’m happier and healthier and living a life closer to my values than I ever did before. I cherish what I can do now. I feel proud of the events I’ve participated in and I’m happy that I’ve been able to keep the weight off for 6 years now. The problem is–there’s no manual for weight loss. Not really. No one tells you the changes you’ll go through, the issues you’ll come across. There aren’t any self-help books out there about how to adjust your brain and thinking after losing a massive amount of weight (I know, I’ve looked). It can be very isolating. I am the only person on the planet that feels like this…Yet, this article spoke to me in ways I didn’t even have on my radar. For that I am so grateful. I’d love to hear what experiences other people have had too!

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Sep 242014
 

I have a few pet peeves, don’t we all? Like when you’re trying to get off the bus or train and people getting on crowd the door so you can’t get off? Or how about people who clip their finger nails in public (oh my god I might vomit, do it in the bathroom!)? When it comes to dieting and fitness, I have a few pet peeves I want to share here. I’m pretty sure you can relate, or at least contribute a few of your own pet peeves!

The first annoyance is with cereal. I stopped eating cereal years ago and only eat it once in awhile. I quit because the ones I like are usually the sugary cereals (and not healthy) and more importantly–I wasn’t satisfied after eating cereal for breakfast. I’d be famished within the hour. So I switched my breakfast to a healthier, high protein meal and that has worked well for years.

Recently I had a craving for cereal so I bought some at the store and have been having it with a piece of gluten free toast with breakfast. What’s my pet peeve? Cereal servings. Have you ever really looked at the label on a box of cereal? It’s very discouraging. For a week I was measuring out a serving –which was 3/4 cup– and I used a measuring cup. I thought it was okay.

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Then I noticed on the side of the box that there were 17 SERVINGS in the box. 17?!?! I thought, that can’t be right…

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I felt so mad! I hate that they do that. It’s deceptive. A serving size according to them is ACTUALLY measured by weight, so why do they put the 3/4 cup on there at all? It’s trickery. So I got out the food scale and weighed it. What I’d been measuring out with a cup (3/4 cup) all week was REALLY TWO SERVINGS.

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60 grams was a little over 3/4 of a cup. So if I was measuring out 1 cup of cereal, I was really eating two servings. What a scam. I started taking out some of the cereal to get it down to the 30 grams and then it was just ridiculous. It was like 3 bites of cereal in 30 grams!

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I added a little bit more because seriously, 30 grams wasn’t enough food. I ended up eating 41 grams of the cereal and I adjusted my calories on my app. I was so annoyed and felt cheated and vowed to stop buying cereal!

Another pet peeve is when frozen meals have two servings in them. That is just plain ridiculous. Recently I was buying some frozen Indian food at Trader Joe’s and did a double-take when I saw the label. It was one frozen meal but it had two servings in it–each 400 calories. So in reality, that one meal was 800 calories! I mean really, who eats HALF of a frozen meal?

Here are a few other posts discussing this:

Nutritional Facts and Fauxs

Nutrition: Who to Trust?

It’s deceptive advertising and if you’re not paying close enough attention it’s easy to miss this and that can totally derail your efforts. If the scale isn’t moving and you’re doing everything “right” double check those labels! I’m going to be more mindful. Sure, this was information I knew before, but I wasn’t being diligent.

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As for fitness pet peeves, I have a few. Mostly they are pet peeves about gym etiquette–talking loudly on their cellphones, sitting on machines playing with their phones instead of working out,

Gym Pet Peeves

There Are No Place-Backs At The Gym

Lap Swimming Etiquette

One of the biggest annoyances for me is the people who never wipe down the machines or mats after they use them. It’s just gross. Long ago I started keeping antibacterial handi-wipes in my gym bag and got into the habit of just wiping things down before I use them.

The other pet peeve is the people that go to my yoga class. There is this one woman that is ALWAYS late. At least 10 minutes or sometimes more. Every time she makes a big production, thumping around, putting her mat down, etc. Then she spends the entire class futzing with her phone. Serious. Why are you even here? There have been a few times where other people in the class actually told her to get off the phone because it was distracting. Every time I see her in my class I just groan to myself.

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So what about you? I know you’ve got some annoyances to share!

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