Monday, February 26, 2007

Reality Check

I updated my stats on my sidebar to show a gain of 2.5 kilo's (113-115.5). I think this happened a few weeks ago, but I have been avoiding the scales for a while and living in that lovely place called Denial.

To be honest, it is not as bad as I thought it would be. I thought I might have gone back up to about 118.5 kilo's because my body seems to sit at that weight quite easily. Every time I get lax with my eating, my weight seems to head straight to 118.5 and stay there.

In light of recent events (see my last post) I am really focused on being healthy, rather then losing weight. I want to feed my body with good, nutritious food and just be kind to it. I feel like I have put my body through a lot; binging, starving, too much exercise, not enough exercise... My body has put up with a lot and it is about time I re-paid it with a bit of kindness.

I did grocery shopping yesterday and bought lots of luscious fruit, fish and veggies. I had a lovely ravioli for tea tonight filled with my favourite Mersey Valley cheese, topped with a zucchini and tomato pasta sauce. Tomorrow night I am making a chili bean con carne (minus the carne) and I can't wait. Yum!

Whenever I try to eat healthy I always tend to eat foods I don't like very much. I seem to equate healthy eating with dry, tasteless food. So from now on I am going to find the balance between eating healthy and eating the foods I love. They might not have the lowest fat or calorie count, but if they are nutritious and tasty, then I am going to eat them. The pasta I chose for tea tonight was not the lowest fat choice I could have made, but it was reasonably healthy and it was something I actually wanted to eat.

Now, speaking of people who starve their bodies of nutrients, I am going to watch the Oscars.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Comfort Food?

I had some sad news during the week that a very close friend's father had passed away from cancer. He was only 56 and it was a short illness. I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off work and travelled the 4 and a half hours to his home town to be with him and his family.

During the last week when it became apparent that the situation had escalated I was feeling quite anxious, depressed and incredibly sad. Amazingly the last thing I wanted to do was eat. I have had no appetite all week and have barely eaten anything. I find this strange because I thought I was a 'comfort eater', but when a situation arises where I really needed comfort, I realised food was no comfort at all.

When I think back at the triggers I use to eat, genuine times of sorrow, anxiety or stress do not lead me to the fridge. Yet when I am stressed about more superficial things, such as work or homework, what to wear or troubles with guys, I use that as an excuse to eat.

An example of this was when a few months ago I was walking home after work on a Friday with a colleague and I was already mentally preparing myself to try and avoid my usual Friday night take-away food binge. We were stopped at a stoplight waiting to cross the road when a car load of guys drove past and yelled out the window "whale" at me. It was an embarrassing situation that was made mortifying by the presence of my work colleague. She was gracious enough to ignore the comment and pretend it didn't happen, but nonetheless I was humiliated. The first thing I thought of was:
"screw this, I am going to go home and gorge myself on pizza and chocolate!"

And I did.

Deep down I think I was grateful that the excuse to binge had been handed to me on a platter.

So through this incredibly difficult time I have learnt something about myself. I do not need to use food to comfort myself. I need to stop trying to find excuses to overeat.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Suddenly Skinny

I noticed in the tv guide last week that Oprah had an episode on called "Suddenly Skinny". Over here Oprah is on during the working day so I thought I would tape this episode because I am addicted to watching anything about weightloss. I thought it would be an inspiring show filled with women who have lost hundreds of pounds and changed their lives.

I watched it yesterday and it was very interesting, but not at all what I expected. It was about women who have gastric bypass surgery and lose weight very quickly, without first dealing with the reason they overeat. They then replace the eating addiction with another addiction: sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.

I have a friend that had a gastric bypass and went from 125 kilos to 55 kilos. She also dyed her hair blond, got contact lenses and had breast implants. So she had a pretty huge transformation and she looks stunning. Unfortunately she didn't put quite as much work into her personality or understanding why she was so overweight in the first place.

Whenever I see her or talk to her, she just exudes bitterness and negativity. She is 35 and has spent her whole life being miserable because of her weight, then she lost the weight and didn't suddenly become happy. She doesn't have more friends, a boyfriend or a better job now that she has lost weight. She now spends her weekends getting very drunk, sleeping with random men and then passing out. In the past she blamed all her unhappiness on her weight and now she is thin she can't understand why she isn't happy.

This is why I think it is really important that I change my life ad my way of thinking before I lose weight. For years I have put my life on hold, telling myself that "when I lose weight" I will do this or that. I believed that I couldn't or didn't deserve to be happy because I was fat. This obviously didn't help me lose weight and I lived a pretty empty life.

This time last year I started to change the way I thought and realised if I hate mysef and hate my life, I am never ging to lose weight. In the past I would always vow to lose 10 kilos before I could do anything. Of course I didn't lose the weight and I became increasingly unhappy. So I stopped putting my life on hold and started living life. I got a great job, a great apartment, I spend money on myself and I go out and enjoy spending time with friends and family. OK, I am not exactly a weightloss success story, but I am happy and that is what really counts. I know the only way I can lose weight and be healthy for life is to work on living a full life and understand the triggers for my overeating.

My relationship with my friend is now a bit strained. I am not sure if it is that she is jealous of me or angry at me that I am happy and live a fulfilling life, even though I am overweight. She makes me feel like I should be embarrassed of myself for living my life while I am still overweight. She is clearly very insecure and I really hope that she will start to love herself more and not put all her worth into the way she looks. I guess the reason I feel so sorry for her is because I see so much of mysef in her and I see what my life could have been if I didn't change my attitude.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It's Getting Hot In Here

It has been another steaming hot week here and I am sick of it. Currently inside my apartment it is 30.5 degrees and much hotter outside. My cooler broke down a few weeks back and as I don't drive or have a car I haven't been able to get it fixed. I haven't slept very well for a few days because it has just been so hot all day and night. I can't really open up my apartment at night for fresh air because I live right in the middle of a busy street in an inner city suburb of Melbourne that is one of the trendy/rough areas. So I am surrounded by expensive townhouses (OK, I live in one too) and in juxtaposition to this, the commission flats (cheap council housing).

All sorts of crazy things happen in this area, a couple of months back I was watching TV in bed when outside my bedroom window I hear a bit of a kerfuffle then "This is the police, drop the gun and put your hands up". Last Saturday night I was walking home and got caught up in a vicious street brawl outside the flats, I tried to cross the road to get away, but then the brawl crossed over the road at the same time, only ending when one of the guys was knocked unconscious, at which point I made a dash for home. When I walk to work at 7.30am, the drunks are waiting shakily outside the pubs for the 8am openings, the pay phones are always occupied by people yelling into them and the street corners have groups of guys with no shirts on them selling drugs.

I don't have a problem with this, I enjoy the diversity of the people, but without a screen door, I don't feel safe leaving my front door open. There are more good people here then anywhere, but unfortunately there are a few troubled people too and I need to be careful. Don't get me wrong, I am not judgemental of the people in this area, my family came from a similar area before we moved to the country when I was young and my mum and gran live happily in one of the roughest suburbs of Melbourne. My family grew up very poor and at one stage we had our names down for council housing, though the waiting list was too long so we had to find other arrangements.

So what does all this to do with dieting? Nothing. I am just avoiding the topic... It has not been a terrible week, but it has not been a good week. It has been too hot to do any exercise, apart from walking to and from work. I haven't really cared because it has been a bit of a tough week. My closest friend's father is dying from cancer and it has been heartbreaking to watch. I have been working really long hours at work to make up for the time I will need to take off to go and stay with them over the next week or so. I am right in the middle of the busiest time of the year at work, a time that I am not supposed to take any annual leave, but these things happen.

Dieting has not been a priority, but I have managed to stick to my "No Takeaway" rule. Last Friday was the first Friday I did not order a takeaway for dinner for months! It doesn't sound like much, but that was a big achievement. I have been trying to break that bad habit for ages and have been unsuccessful.

Anyway, it is too hot to sit at this computer for a second longer, I am going to have another icy cold shower and then go and lay on the couch and watch a movie and try and keep cool.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Marshmallow's Clothes Post

A while back veteran slimming blogger Marshmallow wrote a great post about clothes and growing up that really resonated with me and I have been thinking about it for a while. Stay tuned for her to post part 2!

"When given the opportunity to wear our 'normal clothes', everyone would go wild with glee. I would quietly go into a state of panic. I had no normal clothes. Whenever I went home after school, I would stay in my uniform until bedtime (driving my mother nuts)..."

My mum used to get so frustrated at me too because I would never take my uniform off. Even if we went out to dinner in the evening I would stay in my uniform. I remember applying for my first job in the local supermarket and going to the interview in my school uniform because I didn't have anything respectable to wear!

I hate to think back on all the experiences that I missed out on because I didn't have the 'right' clothes. I grew up in the country and at that time there were no shops at all that catered for plus sized girls or women. Thank god things are (slowly) changing now!

My mum tried to help out by lending me her clothes, making me clothes (unfortunately mum wasn't the best sewer...) or buying me clothes on her trips to Melbourne. She did her best, but I was never able to fit in with the other kids.

Even having a school uniform didn't make life much easier. In summer we wore sleeveless (!) pink dresses. I was so self conscious of my arms that I would wear my jumper all through the long hot summers. It barely ever got below 35 degrees and got as hot as 45 degrees in the summer where I grew up and I was asked by about 30 people a day "aren't you hot?". Of course I was hot, some days I felt like I would pass out, but my self consciouness won that battle. I also tried to wear bike shorts under my flimsy dress to hide my wobbly thighs, but I was forbidden from doing this because it was not part of the school uniform.

Winter wasn't much better as I had to wear the same skirt from years 7-12. By the time I was in year 12 the skirt was so tight that I had scarring around my waist from where it dug in and made me bleed. The school uniform shop didn't make uniforms in plus sizes and I had to wear a stiff blazer that was 3 sizes too small and a generic red polo t-shirt for sport, rather then the school logo emblazoned polo shirt because they didn't make it in my size.

One year I forgot it was school photo's and I turned up for school in my sport clothes (because I took every opportunity not to wear my skin tight skirt). The school made me go to the lost property box and find a uniform to wear from that. Obviously everything there was 12 sizes too small for me and I looked ridiculous. Then an hour later a girl from my class demanded we re-take the photo (her dad was vice principal) because she was late and had missed out, so I had to go and put the uniform on again and re-live the whole humiliating experience.

I was so self conscious that I didn't have trendy clothes that during high school I didn't go to any parties, school socials, do my deb ball, and I skipped school on casual clothes day and jeans for genes day and didn't go on excursions where you had to wear casual clothes. I made up all manner of excuses for this, but everyone could see through me and my lies and I know that even my good friends were laughing at me behind my back.

Even now at work I feel slightly panicked when we have to wear casual clothes. All the girls at my work complain that we don't have casual Fridays, but I am secretly relieved. Occasionally we are 'treated' to a casual clothes day and the familiar feeling of dread washes over me. I am much more comfortable in my professional work shirts and pants then trying to kep up with the girls in their tight tops and designer jeans.

I have come a long way though, I no longer feel like I have to have the 'right' clothes to fit in and I don't let myself feel judged by others because of what I wear.

I try not to live my life with regrets or to hold on to negitivity, but if I could do anything, it would be to go back and tell my 14 year-old self that I am ok and to just be myself.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Backing Out

I am pulling out my Get Out Of Jail Free Card tomorrow and I'm not going to weigh in. I have a feeling it won't be pretty.

Some days you need to face up to that number and deal with it, some days seeing that number will bring you down. The way I have been feeling lately, I don't think seeing the weight gain will help me.

Enough is enough though, my numbers will be going down soon. I can feel every ounce of fat I have put on and I feel incredibly uncomfortable.

I have managed to cut out the drive thru, now my next goal is to stop eating take aways. No more pizza, Indian, Chinese or hamburgers for 1 month. If I feel like a pizza, I will have to make it myself, which will hopefully be a lot healthier and cheaper!

I Have To Get This Off My Chest

I removed this non-weight loss related post because it is concerning someone I work with and I don't feel comfortable about it.

Sorry! Trust me, it wasn't that interesting...

Injury Whinge

Gees I have been slack this week! The good news is that I picked up me exercise bike from my mum's, so this week I am going to get on it no less then 3 times. I have said it out loud, so now I have to do it!

I really need to do some weight supportive exercise because my Achilles tendinitis is really bad, I can barely walk some days. I went to the Physio a few months back, but he just said the normal, stretch it, ice it, rest it. I have already been doing that for 2 years and there has been no improvement, so that was a waste of $60. I am going to go to the podiatrist, I just have to wait until I get paid (I hate monthly pay cycles!).

I actually hurt it four years ago when a trainer at the gym pushed me too hard on the treadmill with the incline right up and I was too scared to say that it hurt. I don't think she knew anything about training obese and unfit people, I don't even think she had seen anyone as fat as me because she did not hid her shock when she weighed me and the scale said 116 kilo's. Then of course I didn't seek treatment for four years because I was too embarrassed because of my weight, I thought the doctor would just say it was because I am fat (plenty of times that has happened to me at the doctors), so I just persevered with the pain.

My dad used to be a trainer with a football club, so he is trained in sports injuries and he thinks that it is now chronic and might need surgery. I am pretty scared that he might be right and scared of how much that will cost me $$$. I just have to do some thing though because it is impacting on my life and stopping me from being able to walk and do the things I want to do, walking to work is extremely painful and even grocery shopping is almost impossible.

So my plans for exercise over the next few months will be to use the exercise bike, swim, do weights and ab work, all things that shouldn't hurt my heel. I still haven't bought any bathers, so that won't be happening for a few weeks (once again, I am waiting to be paid), but I can do the other stuff.

I am aiming to do 30 minutes of exercise 5 times this week. I'll check in this time next week and hopefully I will have stuck to it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lazy Sunday Ramblings

I am still incredibly sore from helping my brother move Thursday night. We were working at it until 11.00pm and then got up at 6.00am to finish it off Friday morning before work. My shoulders and forearms are particularly sore, I can barely lift a bottle of water without groaning in pain! I have been pretty stuffed this weekend, so I have taken it easy and just been laying about the house, doing all the little things like cleaning, washing and shopping. I have a busy week next week, so I am trying to revitalise myself and lift my mood.

The apartment my brother moved into has a heated pool, so I really want to use that as an opportunity to start swimming. I have a pretty bad achilles tendon injury, so I really need to do some weight supportive exercises and swimming will be perfect. I have been searching the net for some bathers and I can't really find what I want. I was really hoping to get two piece (no not a bikini!) of shorts and a singlet top. I know that no matter what I wear I am still going to weigh 113 kilo's, but I am very self conscious of my legs. A side effect of my PCOS means that I have extremely hairy legs and there is no way I could cope with baring them in public. I epilate the lower half of my legs, but it is too much to do all of my legs and I can't shave because the hair grows back every day and it is coarse and irritating. So I wanted some shorts to cover that, but I can't find anything in my size. If anyone reads this and has any suggestions, please let me know!

I am looking forward to watching the Australian series of The Biggest Loser (TBL) that starts tonight. It is on every night, so I might use that 30 minutes as a time to exercise while I watch it. While I know that the weight loss on TBL is a bit extreme, it is still inspirational to watch. The one thing I hate is that every week someone gets eliminated. I don't know why they have to eliminate anyone, I would much prefer to see everyone have the chance to stay and lose weight. It seems very cruel to use these desperate people as entertainment and then kick them off just to make the show more interesting. I personally think it would be more interesting to keep all the contestants on the show and give them an equal chance to lose weight and compete for the prize money, but I don't have a very competitive nature so that might just be me.

Anyway, the show goes for 12 weeks I think, so that might be a good time frame for me to step it up and try and make some progress along with the contestants. I figure that in 12 weeks time I will be sitting on the couch watching the finale of TBL and I can either be the same weight (or heavier) then I am now or I can push myself and be a thinner, fitter and healthier person. I want to be sitting here watching the dramatic transformation of the contestants on TBL in 12 weeks and feel proud of myself, knowing that I made a positive change as well.