Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Time to face the music

It started slowly. A pair of pants with a snap that wouldn't stay done up, a little tightness here, a gaping button there. I wasn't going to the gym regularly. I was eating out too much. I was snacking too much (on the wrong things) at home. I knew all these things, but I was in denial that it was actually making that big a difference. Then I went shopping with my friend D this weekend. And everything I bought had to be a size larger than the last time I went clothes shopping. And this morning, I got on the scale, for the first time in months. And had to come face to face with the knowledge that I have gained 15 pounds in the last year, and am now officially at my heaviest weight ever.


So I can no longer ignore or deny the facts. I know what happened and why. I know what I need to do to start fixing it (eat less, move more -- it's not rocket science). But it's easier said than done, of course. Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight knows that. One of my biggest issues with losing weight is that a lot of my identity is tied up in the weight. I'm the fat girl. It provides me with excuses, it provides me with justifications, it provides me with reasons for behaviours and attitudes. I think about it every day. It's always with me, every time I look in the mirror. I've been big for so long, I don't know who I am without the weight. So as much as I'd like to lose it, I always find myself sabotaging efforts to do so, because it's about more than the weight. It's about who I am, and who I want to be.

So we start small. Change one thing at a time, Serdic tells me. I have a couple of goals in mind -- we leave in six weeks (yay!) for our visit with PetDoc and Noise, and I want to be in better shape by then. I want to be able to climb hills in Edinburgh without needing half an hour to recover after each one (I am informed that Edinburgh is very hilly). So I am taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, and going for a walk at lunch time. I bought some exercise equipment so I can do light work outs at home in the evenings (getting back to the gym regularly is not something that is going to happen right now, but it is in my long term plan once some other things settle down). My other more long term goal is a hypothetical totally-not-being-planned-yet happy event that might happen sometime in the not too distant future. I want to enjoy that time, and feel and look my best. I know I will no matter what weight and size I am, but it's something to think about.

I'll never be skinny. I'm not built that way, and I enjoy food too much to count every calorie that goes in my mouth. But I make a lot of unhealthy choices, and I need to make fewer of them. Break some of those habits and form new ones. That's really want it boils down to. Skinny is not my goal. Healthy is.


Alex said...

Well put, Singer! You're so smart - I love your approach. I wish more people were as intelligent about health/weight loss as you are.

Your plan sounds great and I would love to offer a suggestion. Take it or leave it, it's your choice BUT I woud highly, highly reccomend the Walking Clinics at the Running Room. They're great because they start small (5k Walking Clinic), they give you a fabulous group of people to go out with and they motivate you to get out three days a week. Much, MUCH more fun then the gym. And there's always room to move up (10k Walk, 1/2 Marathon, MARATHON walk, or start running clinics).

Just a suggestion. And they go on 365 days a year so if you don't have time to sign up now (which it sounds like you don't) you can always make it a goal for the future.

This has NOT been a paid advertisement, I just love clinics. Please feel free to email me if you want to talk about it more.


You Look Like A Nail said...

Agreed with Alex. I go with martial arts for my exercise, but it's the same idea -- something organized that you do with people, to keep it interesting and keep you motivated. Much easier to stick with than going to the gym, I find.

Jay said...

I think a walking clinic would be a great idea! Low tech and structured, something built into your daily life is the way to go

Kiy said...

I love your plan, and it's something I desperately need to do too. I carry far too much weight myself and know I need to do something. But like you, easier said than done. Hopefully you will motivate me. I am going to start making small changes, today! Thanks for the push in the right direction. :)

Oh, and those walking clinics sound great. Doubt we have them here though.



Darklight said...

Having gone through this myself, and having previously always been the fat girl, it is amazing how much of your identity really is tied up in your weight. I am no longer the fat girl (or so I'm told), but I still feel like I am. I went shopping last weekend, at the plus size stores of course, because I can't believe I belong anywhere else, and when I asked whether they had the pants I tried on in a smaller size, I was informed (nicely), that they "don't have pants for skinny people here". I am far, far from skinny, but it was still nice to hear. Even if I find it hard to believe.

On the recommendations front, the one I like is Paul McKenna's "I Can Make You Thin" book/TV series. Very, very common sense approach which I like a whole lot more than anything else out there, and I've tried almost everything. Some of it seems like magic, but all in all, I think it makes a lot of sense.

I wish you the best in your efforts.