My post about weight and exercise

I just read this post by Schmutzie about a victory she had yesterday in her quest to quit smoking.  She’s been cancer-stick free for a month and half and yesterday she found 2 old, forgotten cigarettes in her purse.  In her post, she wrote about the emotions and struggles that she felt while looking at those cigarettes and how her husband disposed of them for her because she simply did not have the strength to do it herself.

It’s a great post.  I’ve never smoked, never had an addition to chemical substances or alcohol or anything like that,but it made me think.

Is my weight issue an addiction issue?

It seems both ridiculous and right.  I don’t know.  I’m writing this and working it out as I go.  I mean, I know I have a weight problem.  By all scientific counts, I’m obese.  I’m not gross or anything, but I have a greater than 30 body mass index and a greater than 40% body fat percentage.  Clinically, that means I’m obese.  Because that makes me cry, I just go with “fat”, on bad days, and “heavy” on all the rest.

It’s not something that happened overnight.  It’s something I’ve been doing for a while, obviously, because unless there’s something chemically wrong with your body, weight like this isn’t accidental.  Oops!  I just picked up another 5 pounds.  Dang it!  It’s stuck on!  No Stain Stick is going to get this mess out.

I figured it was just laziness.  I’d rather come home, curl up with a book or a TV show or something relaxing like that than push my heavy bones down the street doing cardiovascular work.  Ugh.  No, thank you.  I’ll sit here in my chair, covered by my comforter, and type on my computer.  Oh, and cookies?!  Sure!  I’d love some!

I’m sure a lot of it is still laziness.  I’m sure a lot of it is not watching what I eat very carefully.  But am I addicted to food?

Justin and I signed me up for the gym on Friday.  He won a drawing and we didn’t understand what he had won, and while it wasn’t what we expected (we thought he had a free membership for a year or a waived membership fee, but what he actually won was one free month) they did offer us a reduced fee that was quite pleasant.  I’ve been three times now, once for a yoga class, once to meet with a personal trainer for an hour (a part of the sign-up process), and once on my own to do the work-out taught to me by the trainer.  I am SO excited about this membership.  I’m going back to the yoga class on Saturday and I hope to catch a class on Monday and the trainer I worked with chatted with me when I was there on Wednesday and wants to keep up with my progress as I go.  We’re going to get together in a month and see how my numbers have changed–I’m actually not supposed to weigh myself until then, in order to avoid the discouragement.

I wrote a piece several months ago that I never posted.  I looked all over for it today but I still haven’t managed to find it.  In it, though, I went on and on about how I am so sick of this.  I’m tired of being fat.  I’m tired of this flab.  I’m tired of my low energy and low self-esteem and I don’t know why I can’t just get over this, get thin, and stay thin.  We’re looking at more than 10 years of this.  And I just can’t stop.

But I want to.

I have an exercise plan.  I have confidence in this plan because it was given to me by a certified professional trainer and it seems like that ought to mean something.  If it doesn’t scientifically, at least it does mentally.  I BELIEVE in this.  I’m supposed to do this weights work-out 2-3 times a week and cardio 4-5 times a week (same day for cardio and weights, in case you were wondering how I fit 8 days into my week).

The challenge will be to keep it up and not get so LAZY again.  But since we’re paying good money for me to have access to this gym, I have financial reasons, as well as mental and physical.  If there was a Bible study happening at the gym, then I’d have all corners covered.

The other half of the coin is the food issue.

I’ve been writing down what I’ve been eating in one of my journals.  I’m enjoying that, by the way.  I have all these journals and I’m finding ways to use them.  It’s great!  On one page I write down what I’m eating (it shouldn’t go onto more than one page!) and on another page I’m writing my thoughts.  Sometimes, like today, it’s more than one page, but that’s okay.  So I’m writing it down and just the act of writing it down means that I bypass the candy bowl and I measure portions a little more carefully.

But I have to get back logging again.  I know, know it so well, that I lose weight when I track my intake.  I’m better about balancing my diet, better about portion control, better about sodium and saturated fats.  It’s just so HARD.  And food is so good!

So maybe I’m more addicted to simple laziness?

I don’t know.  But I’ve been babbling like a crazy lady for a while now and I should go to bed.  It’s food (heh) for thought, though.  And some of you might have been curious to know how things were going with me on that front.  When I talk with my family, we almost always talk about food and diets and struggles and frustrations all around the same issue.  Why is this such a battle for us?  My whole life, knowing that I should exercise more and eat less and not wanting to do it because exercise is hard and the bad food is so yummy!

But I don’t want to be there anymore.  I want to be slender and fit and healthy and want to eat right and all those things that I hear skinny people do.  I’ve never been one, so I have no idea.

So tomorrow I’m going to the gym again.  I’ve been taking it slow this week because my muscles have really ached.  But I’m going tomorrow, and yoga on Saturday.  And I’ll write down my food.  And I’ll just set it out that one of my weekend goals is to go log some of that online.  If I can get started, it’ll be easier to keep on going.  It’s just starting that’s so hard.

3 thoughts on “My post about weight and exercise”

  1. I am learning that some of us like food more than others.In our weight control class here at work (not Weight Watchers, but the other one), some of the people were saying that they don’t really like to eat. I don’t know if they are telling the truth, or if they mean they don’t like to eat real meals, but they like to snack, because, really, if they didn’t like to eat, how did they get so fat?
    Anyway, I had to say that I love to eat. Love to eat. The other night I was trying to decide which emotion I was satisfying by eating the little candy corns that I shouldn’t have been eating, and I came to the conclusion that I was eating them because I like them. Same with the Ande’s Mints.
    So my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers has been about being more aware of what I’m eating and just telling myself “No, you can’t have that.” Not really trying to figure out why I want it. Just saying no. It is about really ramping up the amount of “free” food (e.g. vegetables) I fit into the day, particularly as part of meals, so I feel that I’ve had a real meal, when I really haven’t eaten many calories. It is about learnng to defer my eating enjoyment. Like every Thursday after choir in Rice Lake I stop by Culvers. So the rest of the week, I tell myself, “Just wait until Thursday and you can go to Culvers.” Then that day, I cut back on my other eating to save points for Culvers. So it is in the plan, yet it is a deferred enjoyment that I can look forward to.
    But I’ve also had to come to terms with not eating buns and cookies and sweet rolls and candy bars except on very rare occasions. I know that when I get to my goal I’ll be able to have them a little more often, but I had to just get over them. Also pizza and burritos and a lot of things, really. But when I see the weight coming off, and when I find other healthy things to eat, I find that I can actually live without those fattening things. I’m much more aware of why they are fattening, of all the fat and sugar in them. So they are easier to resist.
    Yes, it is almost an addiction. The brain actually responds to food cravings much the same as to cravings for certain drugs. An addiction is defined as when you physically can’t go without it, so food usually is an intense craving and not an addiction, but you certainly know how compelling those cravings can be. But the good news is that they do go away when you totally avoid those foods for a while.
    So find some healthy things you absolutely love and fill your day with them. To begin with, it doesn’t even matter if it is a balanced diet, just as long as they are healthy things. So what if you eat fat free yogurt with mandarin oranges or low calorie English muffins with fat free cream cheese twice a day? Just begin to discover those fun foods that won’t pack on the pounds. It is a process, but eventually you will have totally changed your daily eating and you will reap the rewards.
    Keep up the good work!

    Love,
    Mom

  2. This is exactly how I have been feeling, just so fed up with how I am right now. I really appreciated your perspective, and your honesty. We should talk, I can’t wait to see you at Christmas.

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