Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How I'm Just Like Gwyneth Paltrow and Other Lies

I watched the Oprah show the other day with Ms. Gwyneth Paltrow. Now, I like Ms. Paltrow and her tall self, her children's names, and her sweet performance in Emma. 

What I found really interesting on this show was this quote about why she simply can't diet. 

I love Ms. Paltrow but I also want to spit in her eye. It seems interminably easy to me for someone who is stick thin as she is to talk glibly about eating whatever they want and exercising a little more so she doesn't blow up to "300 pounds." I hurt for you. I ache for you. You need better security guards. Because right now, honey, you've put a bounty on your head--a bounty that ever sane fat girl in America is going to try to redeem.

And I am one of them. 

I like to believe I'm not bugged by people who are thin and have body issues. I recognize your body issues are real. I just am mired in mine so they feel more real at this time. I'm sorry you gain 5 pounds every time you gorge on chocolate cookies for six days. I only gain 30 pounds in such an instance. I'm sorry that hips were a bit big after childbirth. Mine are double your "fat" size and I've never given birth. I know you once wore a fat suit and were appalled at how poorly you were treated. I don't wear a fat suit and I survive that treatment every day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Day the Diet Died

After three weeks and lots of hard work, the second (or is it third or fourth?) attempt at the allergy-free diet just died an ignominious death at the hands of carbohydrates. And dairy. And chocolate. And anything else I've been craving.

It was sad ending to the most progress I've made in that direction so far.  

Let the pity party begin and the eating subside and then let's get the hard work going again. 


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weigh-In for Saturday, September 6, 2008

This whole weigh in thing I've really got to watch. One of my downfalls in 2004/2005 was an obsession with the scale. I would weigh every day. sometimes twice a day, in my great push to LOSE weight. I had started losing weight because I wanted to feel better but it quickly turned into "how many pounds can I lose and how quickly can I lose them?" scenario. I was constantly calculating where I would be in a month or six months or a year. It was nonstop for me.

Then came my big KABOOM experience in 2005 and I went from losing about 15 pounds a month to gaining 30 pounds in 4 weeks. It didn't stop there. Within NINE months I had gained 130 pounds and I wanted to DIE.

So, I'm only weighing once a month to mark my progress. There will be no daily weigh-ins. No nonstop tabulations. No twice-daily readings on the scale. This is the not the thing to determine my happiness or my health. It is only a marker, a note to progress, an acknowledgement of effort. It is not the sum of my existence, the reason for my smile, the last clinging hope of my faith.

It is a just a scale. And regardless of what I lose on the scale, I am more than that number. Always and forever.

Let that be my mantra, no matter the monthly weigh-in and its highs and lows.

Weight: 336.1
Waist: 51.25
Hips: 56.75

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fat Girl Moment #9,382

I went to an absolutely BEAUTIFUL garden party tonight. Lovely, lovely, lovely in every sense of the word. It was such a sweet party, everyone in dresses and hats, gorgeous flowers surrounding us, a fountain trickling in the background. And the food, too gorgeous to be believed. Seven courses: two appetizers, soup, salad, double entree of steak and chicken, and creme brulee for dessert. 

It was a perfect, delectable evening. We were housed in a secret garden, fed on china by an extraordinary chef and dear friends surrounding each table. It was all nearly too beautiful to be believed. 

Unless you are the fat girl. 

I was caught up in the moment and the evening and the fun until I caught sight of our sweet and prettily decorated tables. With tiny white chairs. 

The kind of chairs made for dolls and munchkins and gorgeously arrayed women to sit on in elegant, outdoor dinner parties. The kind of chairs that snap in two when heaving under the weight of a fat girl. This fat girl. 

This fat girl who terrified took her place last at the table and sat gingerly on the edge of a chair that barely sustained her. This fat girl who tensed every muscle in her body hoping against hope that the chair would outlast her weight and that her leg muscles would survive the two-hour, seven-course meal. This fat girl who took every excuse to arise from said chair to give it a break. Who wandered the garden with a neighbor's baby to relieve her aching thigh muscles. Who wished against wish and hoped against hope that she wouldn't have to return to the little white chair that was ruining the magic of this lovely, lovely party. 

The chair survived. So did I. 

But I don't want to live the rest of my life fearing tiny white chairs at beautiful garden parties. Because either I will quit going to parties or I will have to have every such party's loveliness marred by my desperate attempts to keep my excessive poundage from eclipsing the joy of the evening. 

And that is not the life I want to be living. 

I'm sure the tiny white chair can appreciate my resolution. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Matter of Exercise

I went walking last night. The first time in several days or weeks. I had great plans for this summer to be full of walking. Well, maybe the fall will be full walking. Or at least some kind of exercise--weights, flexibility, cardio. Something.

What I do know is that in changing my lifestyle, one of the biggest benefits I am looking for is relief and healing from insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I read a series of articles at regarding metabolic syndrome, diabetes and PCOS. They all said what I believe--that diet and exercise greatly impact these diseases and that with the right diet and exercise we can be healed from these diseases. That is what I believe as well. I loved this quote from this article,

Nutrition — our food talks to our genes. If I had to pick the gold star in preventing diabetes, it would be food. What you eat can prevent and even control type 2 diabetes.

I believe that. That is why I'm doing what I'm doing. I'm trying to get back on the train eating right and exercising for my health. I want to lose weight but I don't want to be obsessed with how I look in the process. I don't want to be obsessed with the pounds. That is such an easy, easy trap for me to fall into and what it resulted in last time was an emotional explosion. The likes of which left debris raining down on my head for months and months and months.

Another great quote from the article about how certain types of food affect our blood sugar,

Insulin control is strongly affected by the glycemic index of the foods you eat. The glycemic index of a food is a measure for how quickly insulin rises in response to the amount of glucose entering your blood stream after you eat it. Foods high in
protein tend to have a lower glycemic index than carbohydrates. Simple carbs, like white flour and sugar, have a higher glycemic index than complex carbs like whole grains and fresh fruits. Simple carbs can overload your insulin receptors
and make insulin resistance more likely to develop.

That is one of the reasons I'm so strongly persuaded to try this allergy-free diet that I'm doing. It is not only an allergy-free diet, it is also a low-glycemic diet. I'm convinced that eating this way will help me overcome my own insulin resistance and PCOS.

I've already been doing the allergy thing now for two weeks. Granted not to perfection, but I've been doing it. Some of the benefits are: my skin has improved, I've lost about 8 pounds, I've lost 2-3 inches off my waist, and I have more energy. Granted yesterday was the 3rd day of my period and I was in a pretty deep funk that day as well as Monday. I feel like I kind of popped out of it last night though.

Like I said, I went for a walk last night. I had eaten some GREAT food and I went for a walk. That entire day and the day before I could barely move. It was so hard to get going, to feed myself, to imagine doing anything other than sitting. I think that is a byproduct of the depression that accompanies PCOS and that I always feel the first few days of my period. It is the time that I think I just can't go on. My life is devoid of purpose, meaning and joy. It is a terrible, empty, awful feeling.

But then tonight after great food and after walking, my body started to hum. I love that hum. It is the hum of good health. The hum of happiness. The hum of a body working and doing and being in a state of joy and bliss. 

That's why I'm on this journey. I want that sense of nirvana every day. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What Am I Doing?

The more I write on this blog, the more I'm forced to consider what I'm really doing here. 

I've felt confused, lazy and mixed up about the next step in my life. And now I want out of the confusion. I want out of this 200 lbs. that I allow to hold me back every day, every hour, every minute. I want out of the mire of muck that pulls down my energy, my light, my radiance. 

I want my tomorrows to not be enslaved by my present. I want my joys to be richer and my fuller and my life to be broader and deeper. I want avoidance out and confrontation in. I want to look life square in the eye and give NO MORE EXCUSES. 

This is my life. Now. 

Discouragement, Despair and Depression Visit Me

Today was the kind of day that I wished I could wake up and be SOMEONE ELSE. Anyone else. Someone who didn't have my life or my problems or my gaping, gigantic weaknesses. "Get me out of this life" was the thought that predominated. I didn't want to clean my house, go to work, take a shower, make my bed, or do any of the number of things that need to be done around here.

And I wanted food.

Different food. More food. Other food. Just not my food. Not anything that I had on hand.

I was late to work as usual and made myself a couple of eggs before I left. Ate them with nothing on them--that's how uninspired I was.

Then I took the time to make some coconut macaroons too. Just because I wanted a treat.

My brain was on low control today. I could not get focused. I could not produce. I could not organize. I just was a mess from the get go this morning.

That isn't to say that is how the day ended though.

I went to work and did a few things and then I started obsessing about food. Food. What I could eat. What I could not eat. What I wanted to eat. What would I ever be able to eat? And I wanted yummy, messy, delicious food. Something like nachos with loads of cheese and guacamole and sour cream and tomatoes. Or steak and bbq chicken wings. Or Thai chili chicken with messy noodles.

Something, anything different. And I wanted CHOCOLATE CAKE.

So, I called my favorite steak place and was going to order bbq chicken wings and steak tips when I suddenly realized that I had all the makings for a far better bbq sauce at home and I could make a steak just as great as anyone else can if I just bought a steak and tried it out.

But I didn't buy a steak.

On the way home, I started daydreaming about what else I could make at my house. I had cashew milk and fruit--instant smoothie. I had all the ingredients for Asian chili chicken which looked like it could be a real winner. I could make my favorite bbq sauce and grill up some chicken with it. And for a super-fast dish, I could mash up some albacore tuna with my canola mayo, and put on top of spinach, add some toasted almonds and bury it in that fabulous Green Goddess dressing I made on Sunday.

So, I drove home. Made a peach and raspberry cashew milk smoothie. Then tuna spinach salad.

And I sit here: fat, sassy, and full.

And unwilling to believe that how my day began is the way it has to end.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Laboring Over Food Choices

The downward spiral continues in my life. I could not for the life of me organize myself this morning to get anything accomplished. I tried. I wanted to get so much accomplished. I had so many plans. It was just one of those days where time passes so quickly and it is suddenly 1:00 pm and I've been in the same position for the last 6 hours and unwilling to believe that my life will ever get better than this.

It is called "depression." And it hits me particularly hard the first few days of my cycle. Or my wildly inaccurate cycle. The one that has been giving me fits and starts for a long time. Suffice it to say that when Aunt Flo comes for a visit, I'm turn into the dark. I can't believe in these moments that my life will ever improve. That I will ever hope again. That beauty and functionality will return to my life.

Fortunately, I've suffered from these same feelings long enough that I know that they will pass. That I will come out on the other side of them. That whatever truths these feelings have to teach me will be heard. They must be heard. Because I am not allowed out of the clutches of these feelings until I begin to hear them.

I know I need to get back on my fish oil and Vitamin D pills again. Especially when I am feeling this bad.

So, I did try to celebrate the holiday today. The family gathered for a light supper and movie night. We usually go swimming at the pool and have a barbecue but the weather was pretty horrific with a steady downpour and then chilly air after that. So the movie night worked out well.

But the food did not. I took a veggie platter. I even made hummus. But I knew most people wouldn't like it so I bought some organic sour cream and an organic ranch dip and made that as well. Lots of the veggies were eaten. Many of them by me. I poked my way into the sour cream dip as well (even though no dairy is allowed). I was struggling big time with the food thing. So, I ate a handful of potato chips. Then a bunch of rice crackers. Then some 7-layer Mexican dip. All of it good. None of it what I needed.

When I went home later that night I had a familiar feeling in my stomach. I felt kind of bloated. Large. Uncomfortable. My stomach hurt. But I think it is a feeling I'm so very, very used to that it was familiar. And sometimes familiar seems better than the other choice.

The other choice right now for me involves being HUNGRY. Not that I haven't bought enough food in the last five days. (Around $200 worth of food). It just seems that I have to work extra hard to make sure that this food hits all the right notes on the hunger train. And that takes time. Takes cooking. Takes planning.

None of it was what I wanted to be preoccupied with at the moment.

Eating this way, it is very, very hard to eat out. Salads are about the only thing I can eat and most of them have some kind of seasoning, preservative, or sugar either on the protein or the dressing. I can barely eat at family dinner on Sunday. Not that I want anyone making anything special for me. But I do have to make special things for myself.

I made the salad yesterday for Sunday dinner. I wanted to make it because I wanted there to be at least ONE food I could eat at Sunday dinner. And I wanted it to be a killer food. So, I filled a huge platter with romaine lettuce and I added hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon (nitrate-free), toasted almond slices, tomatoes and cucumbers. Then I doused it in Green Goddess dressing--made with olive oil, avocados, lemon juice, etc. It was SO GOOD. I think I might have been able to polish off the entire platter myself. Several other people liked the salad too though. Which made me very, very happy.

So, success one day and failure the next. I'm two weeks into this allergy-free diet now and I still haven't got it all down pat. I can see it is going to take time and planning. Much much more of that.

I'm learning. Slowly but surely I'm learning

This is not about deprivation. This is a short-term experiment. When the experiment is over, I will decide what foods I will include again in my diet and how often. This is certainly not about lifelong deprivation either. I have to keep reminding myself about that.

Or I just might go a bit cuckooo!


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