Monday, March 9, 2009

The big first fat post!

I have been talking about (or, sometimes, specifically not talking) about my weight for years. I've struggled with being just a little fat for a long time - since high school. I have been in 'diet mode' that whole time - thinking about the food i eat, about what other people think about the food I eat, and about clothes and body size and mirrors and crap. And, well, I don't want to think about it so much any more. I want to think about eating consciously and healthfully, but I don't want to be thinking about the stomach bulging out over my jeans or out from under my top, or the sausage-casing fit of my pants, or figuring whether I'm the fattest person in the room, when I should be thinking about, well, anything else.

Before I moved to Uganda 5 years ago, i lost about 10 pounds, for about six months, I felt great. That's how i want to feel again. But, after I came back from Uganda 25 pounds heavier, I figured that the weight would 'just drop off'. After all, i was back home again, eating normally, it would just go away! Right? Right.....?

Well, I didn't. I quickly lost about 10 pounds when I came back, gradually lost another 8 pounds over the next year and a half, and thought that would just slowly slowly continue. (Which I was fine with.) But, instead, I started to gain the weight back. In the past month, the re-gaining has accelerated (4 pounds in a month!), and I've now regained 10 of the pounds I'd lost.

So, I started to figure that maybe my weight loss strategy wasn't working. Primarily, my strategy has been:
- Eat healthy meals with proper portion sizes
- Don't snack too much (if at all)
- Remember to eat breakfast and drink water
- Remember that 'hunger is not an emergency' and 'eating out is not an exception'.
- Do it myself, don't talk to anyone about it, and let a smaller body and my own sense of satisfaction be the reward.

I'm pretty sure the first four points are still good ones. (After all, when I do lose weight, that's what I do.) But I'm also pretty sure that the last one - don't talk to anyone, don't let anyone know its an issue, etc - has been my undoing. I need some accountability, and obviously being accountable to only myself isn't working.

The other thing that probably isn't working: Exercise isn't on that list. I used to go to the gym, I liked it. But I haven't worked out, (well, like twice, but that's it), since I quit the gym in favour of the gym in my condo building, about a year and a half ago.

So, in an effort to change things, i did two things today:
- I signed up at a gym!
- I started this blog!

The starting stats for context, and to keep me honest, before i wuss out:

- I am a mere 5'3". So if some of those weight numbers don't look so huge, keep in mind that i'm pretty shrimpy.
- My highest weight ever was 153 pounds, right after I arrived home from Uganda
- My lowest (recent, adulthood) weight: 127 pounds, right before I went to Uganda
- My current weight: 145 pounds.
- My goal weight: 125ish pounds.

I know that this shouldn't be all about the number on the scale: gaining muscle, getting fit, measuring by how my clothes fit are all well and good. I'm a motivated-by-numbers girl. And the number on the scale is the number i've chosen. If you think that's dumb, and that I should just figure out the weight where i feel best, or when my clothes fit, i say this: That method may have worked for you, but that method made me gain weight. And paying attention to the number on the scale motivates me. So that's what I'm doing!

(One final note: Being a little fat means that I don't always feel I have the legitimacy to really call out the need for weight loss. There's too many people saying "but you look great" or "but you can't even tell!" or "just be happy with yourself!", and it really isn't helpful when for any aiming for weight loss goals. So... please don't tell me those things. I'm fat enough, I don't need to get fatter before it becomes politically correct/acceptable for me to care.)