Thursday, 22 January 2009

Talking Fat Part 2

When I started this whole weight ordeal, I didn’t tell a soul. Some people need the encouragement and support of the world. I needed secrecy. I never went out and announced “Hey! I’m starting a diet on Monday!” This really isn’t a good approach to weight loss – it sort of sets you up for failure in that regard. I also didn’t “start” in the conventional sense. I did not decide on Friday that Monday would be “the” day to begin (which generally means you spend your weekend binging on every bad food that you enjoy!)…I kind of just fell into a beginning.

Ok let me clear something up first – I have started many, many, many diets on Monday. I have also started many diets “tomorrow”. I have fallen off many diets the following day, and decided that I would just finish binging for that 24 hour period and begin again the next day…or the following Monday…or I would just stop for the weekend and start over…and so on…and so forth…

What I am trying to stay is that it doesn’t work.

Here is the other thing. When you decide to start, you have to want it. You can’t just do it because society says so…or because Cosmo wants you to….or because that size 10 dress would look hot on you…You really need to want it. I say that I can’t commit – but the truth is, if you are obese and you want to change your life, this is the hardest of commitments.

I know, if you have never had this battle, you can probably look at it from the health perspective – it’s just plain healthy to eat right, and be thin – uh huh…f*ck off (sorry, that’s Northern Ontario terminology for…f*ck off). Here is my advice to someone who has never gone through this or is a fatist: pick one area of your life and change it completely – undo your programmed regime, and start something new. Not so simple is it?

Now let me make something else clear – I’ve never read a diet book. I have taken no guidance from a dietician. I have not been helped by a personal trainer, watched videos, or participated in fad diets. I belonged to a gym in 2007; I hated it and quit. I never went. I’ve never belonged to Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or any other organization. I haven’t had a support group. I will acknowledge that these options do work for some individuals. Not me. This was a personal struggle.

So let me get back on track. I began this in mid-November of 2007. One day, I got up and decided that I should really start walking again. And so I did. I started off by walking about 2.5 km a day. Being that it was November, I realized that it would be a difficult commitment because I dislike winter, and horrendous temperatures would soon be upon me. But I trudged along…

A week or so later, I realized that walking was great, but generally pointless without changing something else. Hmmm…maybe eating chocolate bars, stopping at Tim Horton’s for donuts, and indulging in a multitude of high calorie junk really wasn’t a good idea….
And so over the course of two weeks, I changed my whole lifestyle. I went from a semi active fat person willing to eat any crap that passed in front of her, to a fairly active fat person who was *trying* to eat healthy.

So…eating healthy…I need to clear something up about that…

Often you hear about people who travel, finding themselves experiencing diarrhea and other maladies thanks to the local cuisine. Likewise, when I decided to clean up my eating habits, I experienced many of the same symptoms. I’m not going to claim that the initial phases of healthy eating are pretty. They aren’t. If you have conditioned your body to living on crap, your body will not positively respond to a sudden change. I didn’t eat vegetables. I did not eat salad on a regular basis. Oh and fruit – I HATED fruit (unless it was mixed with alcohol). I will fully admit that the first 10 pounds I lost were probably the result of being sick as a dog from eating healthy. Don’t get me wrong; it was worth it.

Ok, now here is the other thing. Because I never actually “started” this, I never weighed myself when I started. Remember in the last blog when I said that it was 9.5 years before I weighed myself? Ya. I began changing my habits in November 2007, and it was July 2008 before I stepped onto a scale (we can discuss that ordeal later). Here is what I know…
Based on pictures, on what I have been told, and on what the scale said in July, I began this whole experience weighing in somewhere around 300 pounds. I’m 5’5. I’ve never looked at the BMI of a 5’5 person weighing 300 pounds, but it can’t be good. If you need to visualize…when I sat down at McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s or whichever other fast food restaurant, I wore the table.

But really, what I am trying to point out here is that this was never about a diet. It is about a lifestyle change. On a so-called “diet” you expect to return to your normal routine once you have shed your 15 pounds. Realistically though, if you are truly overweight, you can never return to your former habits. Once you make the commitment to change your lifestyle, you have to hold true to it.

Ok…so that’s it for today…I have to get some stuff done…but in the next entry you can look forward to the food portion of this change ….some days I miss it!


Anonymous said...

You certainly tell it like it is. I don't know how many times I've started a diet "tomorrow" and had a last binge dinner, only to find my will power dwindle after only a few days, or even hours.
It's hard, but every pound lost is worth it.

LCD said...

I've had to convince myself that the donuts will always be there, and so will the curries, and other great foods that I LOVE! It hard to think about things in terms of the longterm though!