Why doctors shouldn’t treat themselves…

June 20, 2012

…And why Weight Loss Coaches shouldn’t coach themselves. Last night I had a glorious meal. I sat down with 9 other women at NYC’s Momofuku Ssam Bar for the Korean family style meal “Ssam” which is an entire pork shoulder, slow roasted for a million years until it falls off the bone with the most delicious skin you’ll ever have. The participants then make their own lettuce wraps of the meat, with a bit of white rice, some condiments and topped with an oyster. Yep an oyster. 10 women. 3 bottles of wine. 1 pig. Guess who came out on top in this battle? Pig 1, Women 0. Not a chance we were finishing that thing. As we all sat there, bloated and with distended bellies I had an odd feeling of accomplishment. I was at a place in my life where I could sit down at a fat meal, eat until stuffed and not feel at all like an outsider or any pangs of guilt. I thought this was something I should be proud of knowing that I was still going to be under my calories for the day and that I would not eat this way the next day. I was in complete control over my food for the first time in my life.  Or was I?

On the long walk home (I walk at least 2 – 3 miles after a meal like that) I text a picture I took of the carnage to my Personal Trainer/Gym buddy (who was a friend before he was my trainer) thinking he would think it was funny. Especially with my propensity to exaggerate and be dramatic for comedic purposes. I sent the picture with the caption “I’m going to have a pork baby” I thought that was pretty damn funny. His response was “Way to practice what you preach Killer”. Whoa. I did NOT see that coming. Immediately my fat girl defenses went up. I listed my calories for the day, defended my choice by listing how many times per week I work out and telling him flat out I had earned this meal. I had EARNED feeling stuffed like a Christmas goose. Then I pulled out the skinny girl card…”If you didn’t know I had lost 100lbs would you even question me or would you say ‘wow, didn’t know a girl your size could put it away’ and think it was cute?” I asked him. I kept walking thinking HA! I had won this battle! Check. I assumed he would be marinading on the deep “fat girl vs. skinny girl you’re a shallow asshat” arargument I had thrust upon him. Then my phone bleeped with his reply: “No, because I don’t care either way about your calories or about how much weight you’ve lost. You’re not where you say you want to be so if you tell me you just stuffed yourself with pork I’m going to question it”  It was about my words vs. my actions. Not about calories in vs. calories out. Check and mate.

In the long run it can’t be about what I have earned or what I deserve. That pulls up and justifies a past I can’t change. It needs to be about today and every day I have moving forward. I still say that when faced with a lifelong challenge with food addiction and obesity there needs to be moments where I forget I have these issues. Where I can sit down at a table with my friends and eat with perceived abandon. It makes the lifelong big picture journey easier on the soul. But yesterday morning someone sent me a note that said “Today is not the first day of your life. Today is all there is of your life.” If yesterday was all there was of my life I had starved myself so I could gorge on pig. I’m not sure that’s how I want to be remembered.

 

The Definition of Insanity…

June 14, 2012

Yes, we all know from any number of movies what the definition of insanity is. If you don’t, please allow me to direct you to the Googles. How many times have I said to myself “this time it will be different!” and then proceed to do the exact same thing to the exact same results. Epic failure. I have no idea why my stubbornness has me in a vice-like grip that keeps me stuck in a place where I think the same behavior will hail different results. Today, I removed an additional 240lbs from my life. Only I don’t feel lighter. I feel heavier and sad. The sadness doesn’t come from knowing that I’ll no longer have that 240lbs in my life because quite frankly, it was, he was, a cancer. I’m sad because of all the possibilities that I placed on that 240lbs that are now gone. Much like my 100lb weight loss, losing this 240lbs was fraught with ups and downs, highs and lows, gains and losses. But mostly it was filled with gut wrenching disappointment and let down. Why was it so hard to let go of the food? To let go of the man? Both making me sicker on a daily basis. Bad food, bad men: both symptoms of the same disease. When do I start to feel deserving? I have worked so fucking hard to come to this place where I’m supposed to feel like I can own this life but I’m still the fat girl. At least right now in my teeny tiny tank top and cammo pants that are literally falling off of me I still feel like the fat girl begging a man to love me. And I want to eat. Holy crap I want to eat.

It doesn’t change my friends, or at least it hasn’t changed yet. The place where I put myself before the food because the food is there, it doesn’t judge, or lie or reject or use. It’s there strictly for me to enjoy and there’s more of it tomorrow. It doesn’t tell me it will be there and not show up, or tell me a story about why it wasn’t in the fridge or in the restaurant or that it’s all good because it’s leaving its fucking wife.

I have lost 240lbs a million times in the past 2 years. But I always gained it back. Please god, let it stay off this time. Haven’t I earned this? Haven’t I earned the right to be happy for more than 5 fucking minutes?

Freedom and Gelato

June 11, 2012

As a fat person I would never eat sweets in public. To be fair, as a fat person sweets weren’t my drug of choice anyway. I’m not sure if my subconscious had a limit to how much public humiliation it could allow me to endure (but it would allow me to swim in all my clothes in summer camp to avoid wearing a bathing suit – a story for another day) or if they just didn’t call to me. Regardless, if it was sugar you weren’t going to see me put it in my mouth.

When I was a fat person and out to eat I would judge violently the other fat people who were eating sugar in public. “At least I was trying!” I’d say to myself. I needed someone to judge. Someone who was worse than me. Someone who clearly did not have their eating under control. It validated that I didn’t have an eating disorder. I could control myself. They were disgusting. I was different. I was better than them. They were gluttonous, lazy slobs. I was just a victim of my thyroid. Allow me to let you in on a secret. If you get to be 120lbs overweight you have lost control of the situation somewhere my friends. Thyroid or not. I was a self hating Fat, committing  mental “Fat on Fat” crimes. I’m also not sure that my hatred wasn’t, in fact, jealousy. I was “restricting” myself (remember, I was “in control”) and I was still fat! How come they got to eat whatever they wanted and not care as I “struggled” to get thin yet never did!?

I say this because on my long walk from Chinatown after dinner I passed by a group of people standing outside Eataly (Super Chef Mario Batali’s Itallian mega food court) eating gelato. I thought to myself “what a beautiful night to walk the streets of NYC with a delicious gelato.” And I almost walked past. Almost. With assurance that not one person was looking at me and judging me for eating I stood in line, tasted the salted caramel gelato, stopped, thought about it, asked to try the hazelnut which I immediately deemed superior, ordered a small cup with a teeny tiny spoon and walked another 10 blocks savoring every last spoonful. As I walked it occurred to me that the men who passed by were enjoying watching me run the spoon around the edges of the dainty cup filled with cold, creamy divinity. They stared as I put the spoon in my mouth and licked it clean. Eating gelato in the street was sexy! But not when you’re 260lbs. I wondered what they would have thought about my caressing the gelato while wearing a size 24 pant? Probably what I used to think of overweight people who dared to enjoy their food in public. And this post was born. And I am humbled.

Dear brothers and sisters. I’m so sorry for every cruel thought I had for you that I meant for myself. Please know at the end of the the rainbow, when you approach whatever goal you’ve set for yourself, there’s more than a pot of gold. There’s freedom. And a cup of the best fucking gelato you’ve ever had.

Right this very second…

June 11, 2012

Woke up late, tough to motivate. I can’t pretend I gave it 110% today. More like a solid 75%. I changed my Xpressline work out today. Both of my PT’s have put me on the same sort of routine now. Heavier weight, lower reps. Doing sets of 12,10,8 & 6. But I skipped abs this morning. Asshat (see asshat in previous tweet/post) seemed to follow me wherever I went and I just didn’t have it in me to wait for him to get off the machine. Could I have gone on the mat and done abs manually. Absolutely. Did I? No. Am I proud of myself because of this? Not entirely. I am proud of myself for getting my ass out of bed though. The past 2 weeks were weekday morning workout fails. Lets see if I can do it again tomorrow for 5K training.

0-100 in 3.5 years

June 10, 2012

I’ve decided to revive this blog instead of starting a new one. My last post on here was late 2010 but I believe has some accurate snapshots of  who I am.

I think before I tell my “story” I need to sit back and be amazed that I have a story. What’s even more amazing is that people want to hear it.  How do I tell the story of what is truly a lifetime in a few paragraphs that will keep everyone’s attention, inform them and honor the friends and strangers who say I have inspired them? I don’t think I can.  I can tell you this: If you stay with me and read these posts I will give you the god’s honest truth about who I am, where I’ve been, and how I’ve gotten here. “Here” is a moving target.  And I suspect the final “here” will be when I’m dead. For now, I’m alive. I’m alive because I’m moving. And “here” is no more than one millisecond in the future and can change in the blink of an eye.

For now, here are some stats. Here is who I am. My name is Janet. I live in NYC with my 2 cats. I’m 44 years old. I left my husband approximately 2 years ago. I’m single and not exactly “loving it”. My mother passed away at age 72. My father re-married and lives in Indiana. My stepmother passed away in 2010. I have 2 brothers and 2 step sisters.  At my heaviest I weighed 260+ lbs. As of June 8, 2012 I weigh 159 lbs.  It’s taken me about 3 years to lose 100lbs. Over the past 30 or so years I have probably gained and lost a metric ton.

For now, here are some parameters. Here is who I’m not.  I’m not someone who had a “light bulb” moment, said “ok, today is the day I start my journey!” went out on a run and came back 100lbs lighter.  I’m not someone who has done it the right way 100% of the time. My motivation for doing what I’ve done has not always been about me feeling deserving or worthy or even remotely giving a shit about myself. I still don’t feel good enough most days. I’m not a thin person. I am a fat person living in a thin person’s body with all the mind fuck that goes with that.

If you’re reading this for advice or inspiration you may or may not like what you read all the time. This is real life weight loss and it’s not always pretty. But it is honest. The first bit of truth I can give you is this. We are imperfect.  Own your imperfection. If you think you can be perfect you are setting yourself up for failure. You are imperfect. And within that imperfection, you are perfect.

Chew on that. (zero calories)

I blog, therefore I am.

November 30, 2010

Wowza! What a couple of days. I’m finishing my 2nd full day on program (Weight Watchers for anyone just joining) and I don’t know if it’s just psychological but I feel fucking FANTASTIC! I’ve been more productive at work in the past 2 days then I have in the past 4 months. It’s funny, I feel like I’m biting the hand that feeds me a little bit by sort of “Band Trashing” right now because lets face it, I doubt that I could have lost 90lbs on Weight Watchers. I just don’t think I have the discipline. And again, let’s face it, I STILL have the band inside me. It’s STILL somewhat restrictive. It’s STILL tricking my metabolism into being higher than it would be without the band. But let me tell you what it WOULDN’T do when it was working on full blast. It wouldn’t allow me to eat raw vegetables, I COULDN’T eat fruit. The heartburn and the reflux would kill me. I’ve eaten more fruit and vegetables in the past 2.5 days then I have in MONTHS. And I crave more. Finally, because of the reflux I COULDN’T drink nearly enough fluid to keep me healthy and hydrated. I think I’ve put more healthy liquid in my body in the past 2.5 days than I have in the past 2 years. I swear, I don’t know if the damage I did to my body is worse than what the weight was doing to me. But, the past has been written. Nothing to be done about it except learn from my mistakes and build a better future. Perhaps because I find myself open and I’ve given the reigns of my life to the Universe it’s once again provided me with exactly what I need for this portion of my story. A limited stomach capacity, an understanding that I have an eating disorder, and the moment when I looked in the mirror after having my fingers down my throat that shook me enough to say “HEY! your body is breaking! YOU ARE BREAKING! Everything YOU did that is positive at the beginning of the year has turned to SHIT and it’s no one’s fault but your own.” Right now I have the capacity and the tools to change and grow. I’m leaving the people and things that are my self imposed burdens and replacing them with people and things that are part of a better future. But I gotta tell you, all the veggies are making me a little gassy. The past may be written, but the future? That’s there to blog about.

Sunday, Football and a reality check.

November 28, 2010

I did it. I joined Weight Watchers online. There are no meetings by work and realistically I’d rather spend the time in the evening taking my long walk than trying to race to get to a meeting that’s not really convenient to get to. It’s all about knowing myself right now and setting myself up for success. I know that I need something that is convenient. If I run into roadblocks online then maybe I’ll look for a meeting. Strategically, however, I made a pretty big mistake. I joined in the evening and listed “Sunday” as my weigh in day. Welcome to my reality check. What I thought was a decent day had not only used up my “points” for the day but it ate away about 1/4 of my “flex” points! For those of you who are not familiar with the Weight Watchers system basically they give you a certain amount of “points” you can eat in a day based on your height, weight, and age.  Points are based on calories vs. fat vs. fiber. For example. Celery is 0 points, an apple is 1 point, macaroni and cheese is 9 points. In addition to your daily point allowance you also get 35 additional points for the week that you get to play with and add on where necessary. It allows for spontaneity and emergency situations. My daily point allowance is 22. I had used 31. And I didn’t have dinner yet. I just assumed that I’m was going to have to “eat away” more flex points (not a great decision) or not have dinner (really bad decision). Neither one showed any fortitude or creativity when faced with a food challenge. So I took a peek around WW.com and got quasi inspired. Most vegetables are 0 points (unless they’re starchy). I remembered I had grape tomatoes, mushrooms, stringbeans, and fresh garlic. I had to make a bin of salad for the week anyway so while I put my food processor to work chopping veggies for the salad I pulled some aside and tossed them into a pseudo-wok and viola! Dinner! A tiny bit of olive oil, fresh sliced garlic and sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes and stringbeans with sea salt and pepper was DELICIOUS! Listen, am I ever going to prefer that to a vegetable samosa with mango chutney? Probably not. But to have a filling tasty meal that took 10 minutes to make and had zero points? I’ll take that in an emergency any time! So this is how I’m going to end my day. On a positive note. I may make myself another cup of tea as I watch Chargers/Colts. But I’m full and happy and just a little proud of myself.

Thanks for reading friends. See you tomorrow!
xo
Janet

Time to put my money where my ass is.

November 28, 2010

Good Morning and a 174.4lbs to you all. I know, WTF? It’s a scale/time anomaly. I weighed myself when I got up (about 11am…hey, don’t judge, HOLIDAY WEEKEND) and the scale told me 174.4. If I had weighed myself when I usually get up (about 7:30am) the scale would have most likely said something like 176.4, which still in and of itself would have shocked the hell out of me. This is why programs like OA tell you NOT to weigh yourself every day. The ups and downs can be mental deal breakers and foster a new obsession. Weigh yourself once a week, same time, same place and accept the loss or the gain as a culmination of your week. When the LAP Band was in 5th gear I was loosing weight fast and furious. Getting on the scale every morning was what I lived to do. I would strip naked, pee, then jump on the scale (Those of you who are constantly battling your weight know how important the peeing is!) I would laugh and smile and create a new milestone. Funny thing about milestones though. The more I planned to hit one the more it eluded me. The more I made an “effort” to lose the weight so I had control over it the more my body would boomerang and I’d plateau or gain. The milestones of 249,239,229,219,209,199,189,179,169,159 were always in view at one point. (Right now the tease is 169) and in my head I would prepare for the joy of hitting that number. But even when hitting that number the joy wouldn’t last. I had to make sure I STAYED at that number or was consistently 2lbs below it in order to officially mark it as a “milestone” weight loss. When I had hit 169 and stayed between that and 165ish I counted myself as losing 90lbs. So, why do milestones elude me? I don’t know. Too much mental pressure, too much obsession? I found that when I just chilled out and became GRATEFUL for what the Universe had given me that the milestones would come. So, what does this say? That I shouldn’t have milestones or goals? Pish tosh. We all need milestones. But I think the lesson may be of balance with a smattering of “The Tortoise and the Hare”. Life will happen around you whether or not you’re eating only lettuce or only pasta. Understanding and having a healthy relationship with food is part of the yarn that makes up the blanket of our lives. It may be the central pattern but it is only a portion of what makes us who we are. When we are in better balance then things will naturally align. I’ve seen it happen for myself time and time again. The Universe provides. Just show up and let go.

On to my money and my ass. I have too much of one and not enough of the other! Regardless all this whining about my mommy/daddy/food issues should start to culminate into something other than me whining about my mommy/daddy/food issues, so I issue a “challenge” to myself and to any readers who wish to join in. Christmas is approximately 4 weeks away. I am setting a goal to lose 10 lbs. We all know by now that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Here is how I will change things:

1. I will not weigh myself every day.
2. I CAN’T do this by myself. Tomorrow I will join Weight Watchers so I can actively keep track of my food.
3. I will NOT “Boot Camp” exercise. For now, it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t like to exercise and doing too much to fast will sabotage me. What I will do is go back to my nightly walk from the office to a specific subway stop which is about 2.5 miles.
4. I will “Show up and let go”. There are just some things that we have no control over. I know that when I ask for the Universe to take the reigns and I stop trying to wrestle control for my life that wonderful things happen.
5. I will not use the excuse that I’m a Jew for failure in my Christmas challenge ;)

PLEASE if you feel up to a “Christmas challenge” Please join in and share your thoughts and experiences. It doesn’t have to be about weight loss, it can be about anything in your life that you find is debilitating you, preventing you from being the person you want to be. No need to share specifics or statistics or anything you don’t feel comfortable saying out loud. We can all be here for each other. No judgment, just love :).

 

Saturday Night, the end of a chest cold, and a nice cup of tea.

November 28, 2010

Like the title says, it’s Saturday night, I’ve got the end of a chest cold and I’m about to sip a nice cup of tea. Today’s food wasn’t bad:
coffee w half/half
corn muffin w Nun jam
bowl of butternut squash soup
one of my newly put together “Thanksgiving TV Dinners” (Turns out these should probably be two meals)
corn muffin (Yeah, I think I’d better ditch the rest of these. Calorically not the best and way to easy to “tag on to any meal”)
a little home made whipped cream
a nice cup of tea

It’s late at night and I really want to snack. I ate a little too much again today, especially for such a sedentary day. But I’m awake and my natural propensity is to put food in my mouth. The solution? A nice cup of tea. It’s amazing to me to even have this option again. While the Band was tight and causing the reflux and heartburn having liquid this late at night would be impossible. I would be choking on it in a matter of hours. And again, if I was going to be throwing up no matter what I put down my throat I would skip the tea and shove as much of whatever was in the fridge in my pie hole. But now I have options. Since throwing up would be purely optional I’m choosing to have a nice cup of tea to “snack” on. It’s warm, soothing, and I won’t choke on it.

So there’s not really anything left to wax poetic about today. Being able to write my thoughts has done some good today.  As a whole, today wasn’t great but I’m not entirely sure it was a step backwards. I can’t take back any actions from the past but I can change what I do right now. Right now I think I’m going to finish my cup of tea and go to sleep. Tomorrow, with an organized fridge I’ve re-armed myself in the battle between me and all things edible. And by the way, Saturday Night Live is AWFUL.

Good night friends, Thanks for reading :)
J.

 

Thanksgiving in February, and March, and April….

November 27, 2010

Just a quick one. I did it! I made “TV dinners” Thanksgiving style. From Turkey to Pie, a taste of everything ready to be heated up for a quick dinner. Here’s a photo history of Chaos to Cosmos and the removal of binging temptation.

The spread

The Weapons

The Battle Won

The Caualties


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