I need to lean.

by

I eat to punish myself.

It feels that way lately. Not just cause I’m tired, or lonely, or hungry, or bored. Not because I’m stressed.

Because I feel angry at myself, and I’m not sure why. Because I want to sabotage myself.

I think I am afraid of success. Not just in this one area, but in many. But if you look at the way I am dealing with my recovery/weight loss, it certainly follows all my patterns.

I know I have it within me to lose this weight. I’m pretty certain that if I lost this weight, my pain levels would drop down, down, down. My life would be a lot easier. Now, I’m not trying to say curvy girls aren’t hot or happy. Just that this curvy mama is walking slower, creaking in agony, lumbering and sweating. Mama no likey.

But to stop myself from succeeding, I eat. And think mean thoughts at myself while I do it.

I lost 60 pounds before. See? Here’s a semi-obnoxious picture of when I was doing Weight Watchers:

Still not a skinny minnie, but about 7,000 pounds lighter than I had been. Oh, okay, you caught me. This is 60 pounds lighter than I had been. I was so amazingly sure of my almost-being-ordinary-ness that I dared to wear a bikini on our honeymoon:

I don’t need to be the thinnest person in the room. Hell, I don’t want that.Ā  I like curves.

But what I do want? I want to lose all this excess baggage – physical and emotional – that is holding me back from being as active as my children need me to be.

When I lost 60 pounds last time, I did it primarily through modifying my eating habits. I did not exercise any more than I was already doing in daily life – which was essentially just a bucketload of walking for work, and living in the hilliest fucking place on earth.

This time I don’t think modifying my food is necessarily going to be The Way Forward. I think activity will have to play more of a part. We simply don’t have time to plan out neat meal menus for a week at a time, to organize everything precisely. I don’t have the money to attend Weight Watchers. I’m not in therapy this time.

I need your help. I need people to keep me going. Somehow I just don’t think I can do it all alone. I think that’s where part of my self-anger comes from, from being lonely and sort of trapped in a hell of my own making.

But it was worth it. I gained 60 pounds in pregnancy (after gaining a bit post-WW and a bit more during IVF) because it was important. Because weight gain, especially in the first 24 weeks, in a multiples pregnancy is clinically shown to be linked to positive outcomes like healthy birth weights.

Lots of things are worth it at the time. Survival skills we learned to make it through childhood, for instance. But a lot of these things that used to be helpful? As we grow up, they become hurtful. Obstacles.

That is what my weight has become.

I do not regret my lovely, softer stomach. My lovely stretch marks. I do not regret my gigantic boobs. Those are things that I accomplished, that my children helped me accomplish, and I do not wish them away.

I know when (if) (when) I lose this weight, my twin skin will really kick in. Somehow, I don’t care too much about that.

I want to feel freer, lighter. I want to be able to walk without the awkward cowboy shuffle that SPD/PGP causes on bad days.

I want more good days than bad. I don’t know how you can help, but I know I need help. Will you be there?

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14 Responses to “I need to lean.”

  1. mrsljhall Says:

    You’ve done it before (and looked great in a bikini) therefore you KNOW that you can do it again. As you said yourself you gained weight for a good reason so don’t feel bad about it or regret it or feel negatively about yourself for it.

    Now you just need to tell yourself that you don’t need that weight anymore, you don’t need to eat excess calories. You can treat yourself to healthier food rather than punish yourself with bad.

    You can do it and you will do it!

    x

  2. Jen Says:

    I totally understand what you are feeling! After having my weight loss surgery in 2002 and losing 140 lbs, I felt amazing. I have gained about 60 lbs of that back and I feel like crap about myself and that I am a complete and utter failure.

    How about we do this together? It’s always easier when you have someone standing by you. šŸ™‚

  3. Secret friend Says:

    I am totally with you – can empathise with all that you say above. Let’s help each other?

  4. The Barreness Says:

    I used to weigh… Hell I don’t know. What I do know is I was too big for standard women’s jeans and had to buy guys jeans, and I’m only 5’4″. A combination of tastebuds that won’t quit and the freedom of being out of my parents’ house when I started Uni got me that way. The only way I got back down over a period of 3-4 years was through exercise, and meaningful eating. Meaning, thinking carefully about what I ate, planning my day ahead, not eating anything I didn’t plan to eat and measuring everything until I could learn to estimate it. It’s not always fun, and it feels unfair – but I do like being able to fit standard clothing now. I’ve been stable (apart from pregnancy) at around 61-2kg now and aiming for high 50s, and I KNOW it can be done. But you do need support some times, which is why WW is great if that’s your thing. I also follow a nutrition/fitness writer called Leigh Peele. And I keep a pair of those men’s jeans around just to remind me how what progress I have made – which makes it easier to keep going. You know you can do it too.

  5. Pam Says:

    This post really touches me. I hate seeing women that go through this kind of thing. I did it for a couple years when I started a desk job and then snapped out of it.

    A few thoughts with lessons I have learned from being on a program (before I got pregnant) that combined diet and aggressive training to achieve weight loss (lost 29lbs and 7.5% body fat in 10 weeks). No, you can’t afford a trainer, but if I can suggest you find local groups/communities or build your own with others just as determined to make something work as you? Talk amongst the group to come up with a solid plan (consider outdoor exercise that is nearby and easy to access, either with or without your children) and solid committment to stick to the activities. And maybe set up a phone/online support team so that you can use each other for encouragement…

    Now, onto the activities. To truly lose weight and keep it off, you need to switch up the workouts, and involve balance elements into everything. Adding a little ‘off-balance’ to any action quickly jumpstarts your heartrate and you will burn more calories immediately. Very effective!

    So, some cardio is good (like getting out with the stroller, for instance, but consider working in lunges here and there). Play parks and structures offer the opportunity to do chin-ups on one leg and many other fun exercises. If you have some light hand-held dumbells, you can do squats while lifting the dumbells up in a wide arch to the top of head. It feels really uncomfortable, but is great for core strength etc. There are a myriad of creative movements you can come up with. Even hopscotch on one leg with dumbell arm curls is great!

    Food. Well, the first thing I learned was that you eat a LOT. Small, grazing meals and quick snacks of veggies, lean protein and omega-rich foods and oils, and drink water continuously throughout the day. Protein, protein, protein is essential. Builds the muscle, which burns the fat. Almost everyone gets too little protein in their diets…

    Fruits and bright-coloured veggies are best to eat before 3pm. That is because they contain a lot of natural sugars and as the day comes to a close, your body starts to store sugar as fat for energy another day. Pastas, rices, breads should all be multi-grain if you can tolerate it, and be limited in quantity (one portion of pasta for one of the small meals would fit in the palm of your hand). Think you will be hungry? You won’t if you eat little bits all day long and maintain your blood sugar as a result. If you eat before you become too hungry, the cravings go away. It DOES work. It needs committment, but holy crap does it work.

    Think the food has to all be hideously bland? I came up with small meals like pesto pizza on small whole wheat pitas with spinach, goat cheese crumble, shrimp and other veggies, and it was delish.

    Oh, and one thing you CAN do is have ONE glass of red wine a day. It’s good for you, and it opens up your arteries and increases your heartrate and burns more calories than it gives you through sugars. Only red wine, though, and ONLY one glass. Anything more starts getting stored as sugar.

    Those are some of the things I have learned. If you spend even just an hour on the weekend quickly preparing cut veggies, and have easy to grab items like light cheese etc. on hand, then you can pull it off.

    I don’t know if any of this helps. I did it before, so I know it can be done, but then, with little kids around, it is a lot more challenging. Support from your partner or friends, and especially the committment of the community you put together to succeed will be necessary.

    Oh, and if you allow yourself to cheat once in a while, please don’t kill yourself. And please, dish out your cheat in a small portion and put away the rest. Try, after the cheat, to let it settle before going back for more. And drink lots of water. Helps suppress the appetite.

    Good luck….and you can do it!

  6. Lara Says:

    Hey,
    it’s HARD to find the time and the will to do things right – I eat for the most ridiculous reasons…. because I’m totally and completely addicted to food.

    Have you seen the new blog we started. You’re not in Ottawa but you totally don’t need to be to follow along (www.losingitottawa.com)

    Also, I’ve been using myfitnesspal.com and if you add me as a friend I’ll totally be your cheerleader if you’re tracking food or logging exercise.

    And Facebook – there are groups on facebook that will help cheer you along.

    I’ve lost 11 lbs in 5 weeks since we started the blog and I totally credit the support network that formed up around me online. Come play with us! šŸ™‚

  7. Katie B. Says:

    Moderation in all things, including moderation.

    My weight issues tend to be more about keeping enough on, rather than losing extra, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not there for my friends who have the more standard need. (It does help that you’re not like amgI’mso faaaaat!!!!, which I find really triggery…)

    BTW.. that bikini pic? Totally hot. But that dream I had was with you with twin curves. ;)~~~

  8. Natasha Says:

    I just want wrap you up in a cuddle after reading that! I’ve struggled with my weight and bad eating habbits most of my life. When I was just 14 / 15 I was morbidly obese. By 17 I was starving myself, and addicted to exercise. I’d eat a handful of shreddies or an apple a day. And a handful of ice cubes if I felt like a treat. I ran 30 miles a day, then cycled an extra 30 miles. After that I still ached to do more. To run further, to burn more fat. To get the RELIEF. I started CBT at just turned 18 and by the time I got pregnant with Anna I was getting better. I had a much more normal relationship with food and was eating more. When I was pregnant with Anna I was terrified of getting stretchmarks and starved myself. I lived on a pot noodle a day. I didn’t gain any weight and my bump was tiny. Anna was poorly and small at birth so I think you are very right about weight gain for mum in pregnancy being related to healthy weight for the baby at birth. If I could go back and change things, I would. When I had Anna, a switch clicked and I felt ‘normal’ for once. I was happy! I felt better so I left CBT and I began to behave normally. I ate 3 meals a day and enjoyed food again! And I didnt’ get obese either!

    When I got pregnant with the twins I was determined to do things differently and regardless of that I felt constantly hungry during my pregnancy. I ate like a pig, and I loved every minute of it. I did gain a lot of weight though. I was a size 8 at 8 weeks along, now 9 months post partum I am a size 14 – 16. I got stretchmarks and loose skin with this pregnancy, but it was worth it in my mind because I went into labour at 31 weeks, had my babies at 34 weeks 5 days and they were 4lbs 3 and 4lbs 5! They were healthy! The contrast between them and Anna who had been starved in utero was vast to say the least. It was worth ever lb I gained.

    The only problem is I’ve got back into the habbit of eating constantly. I graze on snack foods all day long. I know I have to stop eating so much to loose weight, but I am here 9 months after having my twins and I am still eating shameful amounts.

    I don’t know why you feel like you deserve punishment from yourself or anyone. You don’t. What you DO deserve, is to be happy and healthy. You DO deserve a body that works for you and which you feel happy and confident within. Furthermore, your babies deserve a mam who is happy and able to chase after them and live without constant pain. If you can’t do this for yourself or you feel you don’t deserve to loose weight, remember that you can do this for your children and they deserve a healthy mama without any shadow of doubt. I say this not to be mean or make you feel guilty or inadequate (please don’t take it that way!) but to perhaps offer some alternative motivation. If you can’t do this for yourself, do it for them!

    I don’t know how I can help you when I can’t even help myself. I can’t seem to stop eating. Even though I know how to loose weight, having lost lbs upon lbs in my teenage years, I’ve never lost weight healthily and something about it scares me. The slowness of loosing weight by healthy eating, the thin line I have to tread between eating one crisp too many and falling into a binge-trap, or eating one meal too little one day and old habits of obsession with starvation and weight loss resurfacing.

    I wish there was some way I could help you. Please let me know if there is. You’re not competative are you? Because I sure am! I was thinking maybe we could do a “Biggest Loser” type thing? See who can loose the most weight between now and Christmas, or the new year?

    Would it help you to post to a blog each day what you eat? Maybe if everybody knew each day what you were eating, it would encourage you not to eat so much? Or even just if you were able to read it back and evaluate what you’ve eaten, you could identify where you were going wrong.

    I agree that getting more active will help the lbs to fall of, so have you considered the possible ways for you to get more exercise? Obviously gym membership isn’t the most practicle option right now…. But could you invest in a wii and commit to an hour of playing active wii games every night? Or a walk on every day that your pelvis allows? You’ll be amazed at the difference that small changes will make.

    But look at me dishing out advice like I’m some sucessful skinny minny! I’ve not managed to stick to any sort of diet or exercise regime and the only time I lost a lot of weight successfully, I did it through illness and starvation. A method I don’t reccomend, by the way.

    All I can really say is, whatever you decide to do, I will support you as well as I can, and if you ever want to talk about it, you know my email address.

    Good luck! x

  9. Natasha Says:

    Again, sorry for typing errors. My laptop died so I’m using a PC. I’m not used to this keyboard, and I have no google spell checker on here.

  10. Winnie Says:

    love love love. I’m with you every step of the way. I’ll be your cheerleader! You can do it!! šŸ™‚

  11. Jenny Says:

    Totally empathise. I lost 4.5 stone about ten years ago (much hard work over years on Slimming World.) Sadly them put on 1 stone TTC and then about 4 during pregnancy (I stopped weighing towards the end.) Am now back to being about 4 stone overweight. I have good intentions but they never last very long – think my willpower has gone to pot. Wish you well on your weight loss journey – hopefully we can both lose our 60 pounds odd of extra weight together!

  12. Shilo Says:

    Thanks for getting inside my head and writing this post for me! Saves me the work. haha But seriously, I can TOTALLY (you see those capitals and that exclamation mark?) relate. I fucking love curves and I so don’t want to be some stick thinny that certainly ain’t me. But a healthy happy confident weight in my healthy BMI would be great. I bought a treadmill a few months ago, I hadn’t gotten on it for 3 weeks before yesterday and I felt like shit for it. I’m going back on the diet home delivered meals I was on before I had the twins and lost 12kgs tomorrow. I just want to say, you are so not alone, and I will be here doing the hard yards with you. x

  13. @TheRealErinHisc Says:

    Totally.
    And… Ditto.

  14. Jennie Says:

    I’ll be here for you. You can be here for me! Scarily, 60lbs would take me into my ‘healthy weight’. I’m taking it a stone at a time at the moment though, and am aiming at a stone by Christmas. x

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