Saturday, July 28, 2012

I found the fat people

The fat people were grocery shopping this afternoon at my local supermarket. In fact, we looked like we were at a fat people convention.

I went straight from the gym to the grocery store (and yes, I was a hot, sweaty and very unattractive mess...more on that later). I don't remember the last time I shopped on a Saturday afternoon. There were a lot of extremely overweight people there today, and my heart broke a little for each and every one of them. I know first-hand how much this hurts, physically and mentally.

I'd guess the average BMI was 40+. There were a lot of people that appeared to be 250 to 300 pounds (and they weren't seven feet tall!). I'm a pretty good judge of weight. I'm 213 pounds, 5' 6", and I was probably one of the thinner of the fat people.

I really try not to pass judgement on overweight people for buying junk food:  a.) it's none of my business and b.) I've been there. Yet, I couldn't help  myself as I peeked into their grocery baskets. I didn't see anyone even attempting to eat healthy. Mostly processed foods, frozen or canned, and a lot of chips, bakery goods, cookies and candy, and similar unhealthy choices. I wonder how many times someone has looked at my food choices and thought 'oh my goodness, she shouldn't be eating that food...she's already too fat!'.

In an odd way, it actually helped me make really healthy choices. First of all, I'd just come from the gym which is the absolute best time for me to shop for food. When I've just worked out really hard and had a great workout, I truly have no desire to eat junk. Today I was thinking maybe that's the only time I should go grocery shopping, after a workout. Then I saw so many people in my situation, struggling with obesity, it just reinforced what I was already feeling about food. Make healthy choices.

About the gym
I posted a few days ago about how much I dislike my gym, L.A. Fitness. It's filled with young, healthy people. Now, I have nothing against being young or being healthy. I was just having a problem with being the oldest, most unfit person at my gym. The close quarters of the free weights area, filled with young, muscular men, was the most annoying aspect of it. I love working out with free weights, but I was really feeling intimidated by the men.

I found a solution! Today I did most of my free weights in the group class area that was empty. It's a huge room, mirrors on three sides, high ceiling and cooler (temperature) than the rest of the gym. Someone had left a set of 15-pound dumbbells and a 25-pound plate weight. Perfect for three of my upper body exercises. Then I used the 8-pound weights for some deltoids exercises, add in three machines for lats and delts, and I had a great weight workout. I was the only person in there, except for one young woman that came in and did some crunches. I checked the class schedule and there aren't any classes in there Monday, Wednesday and Friday until 8:30am. Perfect!

Of course, there are some bench free weight exercises I still need to do, so I'll have fight for a bench and deal with the all-guy area (that's how I've come to think of it). I'll manage, and like some of you said, I have just as much to be there as they do. 

I also faced the StairMaster today. I've been avoiding it with the logic I'm too fat for the StairMaster. Well, you're never to fat for the StairMaster! I was definitely slower than the guy next to me (yes, he was young and thin), but my average heart rate was 132, and I burned 236 calories in 30 minutes. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected, and a lot more "fun" than the elliptical. More of a challenge and you can't cheat.

Food has been nearly perfect today. This is the fourth day in a row of eating healthy and exercising. It feels good to be back.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where are all the fat people?

I took the day off from work. It was going to be a sort of mental health day for me, and catching up on chores. That idea ended quickly when my husband called as he was on his way to work and said his sister had texted him that their dad's blood pressure was less than 60/40 and the machine couldn't even read it. This is one of the signs that death is near.

My husband rushed home, we made a conference call to the hospice and his dad is doing "okay", and could hang on for days or weeks. He was asking for his Coke so they took that as a sign he's got a little life left in him. Plus he's still flirting with the young nurse, Ashley. She looks a lot like my mother-in-law did when she was young, absolutely gorgeous (they're divorced). Ashely calls my father-in-law her Romeo. He always wants a  hug and kiss from her. Guess he's not dead yet.

The hospice urged us to make arrangements for cremation, which we were suppose to do Monday, but my husband is really having a hard time dealing with everything. I called a few cremation services in Denver and made the arrangements. My husband headed back to work at noon.

I'm not close to my father-in-law, but watching my husband being torn apart over this is hard. In addition, he just started a new job two months ago so he can't really take time off and sit by his dad's bedside waiting for him to die.

So I bet you're wondering about the title of this post, "Where are all the fat people?". Well, I just back from the gym. I realized today why I hate my gym so much. I am the fattest and oldest person there, by at least 80 pounds and at least 20+ years. Everyone is height, weight proportionate, muscled or toned and they all appear to be under 30. I can't figure our what happened to all the fat, out-of-shape people that went to my old Ballys before they closed. I miss them!

My favorite thing at the gym, lifting free weights, isn't very fun anymore. First of all the free weight area is really tiny at L.A. Fitness compared to my old Ballys (it had three weight rooms). Then there are always young, twenty-something guys lifting extremely heavy free weights or cute young girls lifting five and ten-pound weights.

I know I need to get over this, and I belong there as much as they do, but I feel awkward and out of place. I never felt like this at Ballys. It's not going to stop me, and I'll keep going. I really don't have any other choice. I'm not disciplined enough to work out on my own at home, and it's the only gym in the area. Guess I'll just have to deal with being the fattest and the oldest person at the gym.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You made me made me cry and you made me smile

Tonight I finally took a few minutes to read through the comments on my post "Hitting Rock Bottom". I was stunned and amazed at your heartfelt support, and really surprised that anyone even reads my posts these days.

As I read each comment, I started to cry. I'm just so overwhelmed with the love and support from so many of you when I've failed so miserably at the task of losing weight. Each comment was written with kindness and careful thought. They were written to lift me up and help me find my way.

I don't know what to say, other than thank you from the bottom of my heart. You make a difference in my life. I am forever grateful for each of your comments.

I will take your suggestions and put them into action as part of my plan to get my weight loss back on track. Your words of support will be with me as I continue the struggle.

Thank you again my dear friends.


Back from hell

I'm back from Denver. Where my husband, his sister and I moved his 73-year old dad into The Denver Hospice. My father-in-law was transported by ambulance since he can't walk. The hospice is a beautiful, new facility, but sadly, it's filled with death and the grieving. Definitely not the happiest place on earth.

Of course everyone was talking about the shootings in Aurora. The hospital where my father-in-law had been staying, and the hospice and our hotel were all within a couple miles of the theater where the shootings occurred. There was an extreme amount of sadness in Denver. It was also 98 degrees which was almost unbearable.

I've never been happier to be home and can't wait to get back to my job and normalcy. There's a lot to be said for normal.

On the weight loss front, I actually have good news. I made it a point to eat as healthy as possible. Whether it was hospital cafeteria food, fast food or a sit-down restaurant, I made healthy choices. I also guzzled ice water. I was 221.0 last Wednesday. Today I'm 213.2. I feel back in control.

Now it's off to work and my regular life, which I appreciate so much more after the last three days!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hanging in there with life...and death

I had a great, happy, upbeat and cheerful post all ready to post on Friday, but I wanted to proof-read it before posting it and as a result, I never posted it. Then things happened and it seemed unimportant..

I'd had a good night food-wise on Thursday, went to the gym Friday morning and worked out like a maniac. The first 15 minutes were pure hell. I won't lie. I HATED every sweating, hurt pumping, painful second. I wanted to leave, not walk, but run out the front door. I stayed for an hour and a half. It changed my entire attitude for the rest of the day and even for the next day. Now I remember why exercised is an essential part of the weight loss plan. Losing weight is really about what's going on in my head.

Yesterday morning I took my sister to see a movie, The Dark Knight Rises. No reviews on that movie. You'll have to make your own mind up on that one. After I dropped off my sister at her home I drove to the airport to catch the 5:40pm flight to Denver, with my husband. It's now Sunday morning, 6:30am. I'm in a hotel in Aurora, Colorado.

We're here to say our final final goodbyes to my father-in-law. He's in the final stages of emphysema (from smoking) and is going to be moved into hospice care this afternoon. He requested that everyone come see him now since he probably only has a week or two left. He has a multitude of health issues, one of which is receiving blood transfusions every other day massive bleeding ulcers.  He's down to 98 pounds.

Although I'm not close to my father-in-law (we've never lived in the same state), my heart weeps for my husband. He's never lost anyone in his life, other than his grandmother. I lost parents many years ago. I know it hurts like hell to lose someone you love so much.

The hospital my father-in-law is in is about two blocks from the theater where the shootings took place a few days ago at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora. The hotel, also about a block from the hospital, is packed with reporters. I'm not looking forward to this day but I just have to get through it. Of course the hospital has several of the victims there too. Really dreading this day.

We plan on leaving back to Seattle tonight. I just want this day to be over. I'm sure we'll be back here within a couple weeks for the funeral.

Diet nd exercise aren't on the top of my list right now, but I'll do my best to eat right while I'm here. It's going to be 98 degrees today so walking outside isn't really an option. There's a guest fitness room, but since the hotel is packed, I'm sure it will be too. Plus I didn't bring any workout clothes. More important, I really don't care about that right now. I really wish I was home right now.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The hardest thing I've ever done

Tyring to get back into diet and exercise after months of not really "being into it", is a huge struggle for me.

I remember many Weight Watcher meetings where our leader would say, "you know, losing weight isn't rocket science" or "this isn't the hardest thing you've ever done". Then she'd ask things like: Did you graduate college? Did you have a baby? Have you raised a child? Have you ever been married? Have you lost someone you loved?" She always name off several things that every person in the room had experienced, usually not just one of the things, but several of them. Then she would say, compare exercising and eating less to that experience. Then she'd followup with, losing weight is easy in comparison to any of those things. Everyone in the room would nod in agreement.

These days I'm not so sure I'd nod in agreement. I'm really feeling challenged. It feels like the hardest thing I've ever done.

I almost made it through yesterday perfectly. Unfortunately, by the time I got home at 9pm I was too wiped out to care about much of anything, much less myself. It was a long work day of fixing major bugs on one of the most challenging projects I've ever worked on at work, with constantly moving requirements. It had a release date that was originally two months ago and now we don't even have a release date (too many issues to set a firm date yet).

When I got home I needed to work on my most challenging personal project, losing weight. I had nothing left to give to myself. I was exhausted. I had taken my workout clothes to work, with the intention of going to the gym after work since I couldn't force myself to get up early enough to go before work. Of course, at 9pm I didn't go. I was mentally and physically wiped out.

After a healthy breakfast and lunch, dinner was a piece of deli fried chicken, left over from a couple days ago. Two Pomegranate frozen fruit bars for dessert. Then bed. No vegetables and no fruit.

I woke up feeling exhausted. I weighed today, 218.8. Not much of an improvement from the 220 yesterday, but I'll take it. At least I didn't gain another pound.

Today is simple. Eat healthy, count calories, exercise. Exercise...I'm not sure when or how that became such a huge challenge for me. I'm not sure how I managed to exercise almost every day for four years and then totally drop out. It's like nightmare come true. Gaining a ton of weight and becoming sedentary.

I guess it's just one day at a time, as so many bloggers say. There's not much else I can do except to keep trying. Maybe today will be the day I get my act together again. Let's hope so. I really don't want this to be the hardest thing I've ever done.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hitting rock bottom

I think I finally hit rock bottom, and I don't like it here.

1. I tried to pull on a pair of size 16 jeans this morning. I couldn't even get them up over my hips. I had to wear one of the two pairs of size 18's that I bought last week.

2. I don't know how much I weigh. The last time I weighed, last week I think, I was 217. Those size 16 jeans were tight, but at least I could get them on and buttoned.

3. I feel like hell. I get winded walking from my car to my office building and it's a very short walk.

4. Walking up one flight of stairs almost makes me pass out. Three flights almost kills me. How did I managed to climb 69 flights of stairs for the Big Climb last year and I did it in 19 minutes? How could I have let myself go like this?

5. I don't recognize myself in the mirror. In fact, I avoid mirrors if I can.

6. My body aches. I don't like the rolls of fat hanging off my body. I'm very uncomfortable in this body. I don't feel like myself.

7. I haven't been to the gym in over a week. I feel stiff and out of sorts.

I could go on and on with this list. I could write a book about my misery over being fat.

So why don't I do something about it? I know that's what you're thinking. I know it's what I'm thinking almost every minute of the day. I'm obsessed with the question, why can't I fix myself?

I'm perfect all day, then every night I'm so tired, so frustrated with myself, so unhappy about what I've done to myself, that suddenly I don't care about any of it. I'm in a vicious cycle of self-destruction.

Tonight I really feel like I've hit bottom. I don't think I can feel much worse than I do right now. Oh, I suppose another 100 pounds might make feel worse, but I'm not sure I would get there because I'm pretty sure the weight I am right now is going to kill me first.

All that being said, I think it's time I made a change. I came home and put all the cookies and praline pecans I bought last night (and ate about half) down the garbage disposal. I wanted the food out of the house, and I wanted to show myself that this food is garbage. This is what makes me feel so awful.

I had a banana for a snack when I came home, with a big glass of water. Dinner is broiled tilapia and roasted Brussels sprouts. Then it's bed, then it's the gym tomorrow morning. I'm even going to set the alarm for 5am. Wish me luck because I'm going to need it to make it through Day 1 and into Day 2.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm just not a caveman

I tried to do the Whole 30 this past week, on and off. Actually, more off than on. I have issues with it. It made me feel awful. Maybe it wasn't the diet, maybe I was coming down with something, but I felt yukky all week.

Deleting entire food groups from my diet didn't feel right. Milk, grains, legumes. Bad for me? The thoughts on how and when to exercise also concern me.

There are good things about eating like a caveman. Eating real food, eating organic when  possible makes sense. Deleting dairy and grains doesn't make sense. 

I know the primal/paleo diet works for a lot of people. I know this because I read it on their blogs. As much as I wanted to embrace the Whole 30, I just don't think it's a good fit for me.

That being said, what is my plan? I don't know. I'm still trying to figure it out. Who knew that at almost 57 years old I still wouldn't have this figured out.

My weight this morning, 216.4. Talk about feeling yukky. As my sister used to say right after her stroke (when she could still talk a little), I--am--mis--er--a--ble.

Today was my first day at making an honest effort of eating carefully, getting in 30 minutes of exercise (walked at lunch and it was painful), and logging my food. Lots of water.

I wore my BodyMedia all day. I was surprised it said I was active one hour and 45 minutes (how did that happen?), and had burned 2471 calories by 8pm. Calorie consumption 1675 (and I weighed and measured everything I ate today).

Well, it's late and I have a book to read for a book club thing I'm doing tomorrow at work. Not sure how I got talked into it, but I said I'd go to the first meeting. Downloaded the book to my Kindle, but guess I actually have to read it now.  Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. No idea what it's about, only that I have to read it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A rough start with Whole 30

I really thought this would be a good weekend to start the Whole 30 plan. My husband was out of town so I had complete control of what I ate. Or did I?

Saturday went pretty well until about 8pm. I spent the day with my sister. First, her two-hour hair appointment (and she looked gorgeous when they were done). Then Magic Mike. Turned out not to be as fun or interesting as I thought. Stupid subplots, didn't like the character The Kid. Hated Matthew McConaughey's character. Now Magic Mike, he was "interesting", but the movie was a lot more raunchy than I expected. I know, what should I have expected, it was a male stripper movie.  Basically, another stupid movie.

It was 6pm after the movie (where I avoided popcorn or diet Coke - a nasty habit I acquired recently). My sister's normal bedtime is 5:30pm. She sleeps 12 hours a night. I read this is normal post-stroke. At least she doesn't take a nap in the afternoon anymore. She was too tired to go out to eat and indicated she wasn't hungry. However, I asked her, "how about some ice cream?" and she smiled and nodded yes. We stopped at Baskin and Robbins. I got her a scoop of Pralines 'n Cream and nothing for me. 

So all had gone well, except I hadn't eaten anything since 11am. I got home at 7pm. I was starving! I still hadn't gone grocery shopping for Whole 30 foods. I had lots of stuff I could eat. Vegetables, fruit, chicken, fish. Dinner was talapia and brussels sprouts, with a cup of blackberries for dessert. I was still starving. I stood in the pantry and spotted a box of Carmel popcorn. The kind you pop in the microwave and then but a slab of caramel on it to melt. I ate both packages.

Sunday was worse. I was exhausted, probably from all the sugar and a bad night of sleeping. I just didn't care. I had major house cleaning to do, so I ate whatever, then slept four more hours. Got up at noon and cleaned like a manic.

So the whole weekend was a bust. No exercise. Bad eating.

Today I'm trying again. My healthy lunch is packed and I have really good intentions (again) today. The goal is to just get through the day. Just one day of eating healthy, whole foods. Certainly I can do one day, right?