Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weight Loss

Oh boy. Srsly? Yes. It has to be. I have to do it. For me, of course. There seems to be a long process to getting started. Many days of thinking and thinking and thinking. I've been wallowing for too long. It's time. Summer is coming. I have some money to spend on clothes that's burning a hole - not just in my pocket - but in my side. Ouch!

I hope that I don't get to ranting too much. I apologize in advance if I do. This is an emotionally charged topic, after all.

Let's start with food. I llllluuuuuurrrrvvvvvvvvvvvv food. I remember when I was about 15 or 16, my mom had made something for dinner that was fantastic and I was on my second or third helping. Just in love with the whole process of burying myself in the food. When my Dad interrupted my stupor by pointing out that there are a lot of people in our family who love to eat and I should be careful. I was cute then. Little backend, flat stomach. Cute. Are you kidding, I thought? I can eat whatever I want. And, yes. Then I could. You see, somehow food makes me feel REALLY good. I love the texture, the action of chewing, the flavors. I get a lot of satisfaction (that's an understatement) out of making or getting my hands on something I rate as a favorite and eating it. Like my beloved Costa Vida Sweet Pork Salad. Or, my chocolate chip cookies. My point is that these things are far too connected to my emotional well-being. They hold me together when I'm feeling a little (or a lot) fractured. Wow. That's a little profound, isn't it?

I stayed pretty cute until I was about 19. I put on a little extra weight that year and it surprised me. Through some very unhealthy means, I lost a ton of weight the next year. I was thinner at 20 and 21 then I'd ever been - or have been since. 130 pounds of skinny. Almost a size 8. But see, even as a near-skeleton I'm still a size 8. I just have those bones.

Anyway, I got married at 22 and between that and some serious emotional things I was working through, I found myself wearing a size 16. Holy cow. I know.

With the first baby, I gained 50 lbs. After he was born, I'd only lost about 13. I'd been told that nursing would eek off a ton of weight. Whatever. I was just as hungry nursing as I had been pregnant and I didn't lose weight. In fact, it started going up again.

With the second baby, I gained 55 lbs. I tried really hard. I'd actually lost 8 in the first couple of months because I felt so gross and I was excited to be ahead of the game. By the time I'd made it to 20 weeks, I'd only gained that 8 back and was still even! But then, in the last 20 weeks I gained all of that 55 pounds. It was amazing. After baby number 2, I experienced a very serious bout of post-pardom that didn't really get bad until 6-8 months after he was born. Once I got medicated enough to start functioning again, I began walking. Then going to the gym. Then it just naturally began to affect my appetite and over the course of a year, I lost 75 lbs. I had muscle tone. I looked fantastic. Honey wouldn't leave me alone. I remember being really annoyed that a group of our friends absolutely never (not once) made a single comment or reference to the fact that I had lost a whopping 75 lbs. It wasn't a subtle change. The bastards.

Anyway.....here's a before and after.

Is that really my belly?


Brian was constantly taking pictures of me after the weight came off. Duh. Of course he was.

This is me with all of my sisters and my mom. Oh boy - I MISS you guys. In order, left to right; Gretchen, Me, Martha, Mom, Jacque, Sara and Jessica. This was an awesome girls reunion in Red Lodge, MT over the 4th of July.

So....looking those over was fun.

We moved to a new house, new neighborhood, new ward. I tried to keep up with my gym routine. I lulled myself into believing that I'd made it and didn't have to work at it anymore. Then I got lazy. Then I went into complete denial and it was all downhill from there. The closer we got to getting pregnant with baby number 3, the more I allowed myself to be lazy and just figured I would take care of it after she was born.

This is right before the c-section (three of those, you know. That has a lot to do with the inability to acquire a flat stomach now - and that's not denial. That's fact). Uh...why did I let him take this picture?

Christmas morning. Sassy was 2-3 wks old.

I decided to join a group of friends and train to run my first half marathon. That's 13.1 miles, in case you were wondering. It was also 16 weeks of training. Running. Running. Running. Gradually working up to 10 miles a couple of weeks before the race and then pulling the 13.1 on the day. It was supposed to help me get jump-started. Supposed to help me lose some weight. Gize, I didn't lose a single pound. Here's me at the finish line.

I wasn't last. Close to last. I think there were 5 or 6 people who finished behind me. My dad asked me jokingly if I'd beat the blind guy with the one leg. I told him that guy passed me.

I went on to train for a second race and did the half in Moab about 6 months later. I'd shaved off 16 lbs by then and spent the entire 13.1 miles of that race visualizing 16 boxes of butter laying on the side of the road. I cut 15 minutes off my time. It was so great! I can't even tell you how good I felt after that race. Extremely sore, but SO good!

So a couple of weeks after, I started pushing myself. I wanted to increase my pace. I ran intervals of sprinting and jogging to get my body used to the faster time. I paid $500 for a 12 week endurance training class at the gym. That worked out to $14 per session (unbelievable cost for being able to work with a personal trainer). Halfway through the course, I had shin pain that I couldn't ignore any longer. After a few weeks of going to the doctor, physical therapy, x-rays and MRI's, I found out that I had Plantar Fasciitis. A problem with the bottom of my feet. Not only that, I had torn my fascia in my right foot. This can lead to foot and ankle pain, shin pain, problems clear up into your back. It's not fun. I had to stop running. I'd just been selected in the lottery for the St. George Marathon. I was seriously going to run 26.2. I was gonna do it. I had to quit. I couldn't. So, I quit. And I rested. And I waited. Then, it came time to start up again so I could do Moab again. I had to go really slow. My feet were still tender and I had to be careful. Then, (isn't this great?) I hurt my back. I picked up my 72 lb son and screwed it up. I was in serious pain for quite a while and it took over three weeks for it to finally subside. I couldn't do Moab either. That spawned an internal tantrum that I think I'm still having. That also led into an emotional down-spiral. I'm having trouble getting pulled out of that one and - of course - I'm using food to make myself feel better. I haven't packed back on all of those boxes of butter, but I'm getting there. And the worse it gets, the more unhappy I become. What a nasty snowball effect that is.

Here I am with Sassy, enjoying some of Honey's wonderful waffles.
Looking chubby. Ge'ez!

You do realize that I'm sharing pictures with you that I don't love. I'm showing you things that I wish didn't exist. I'm standing up and announcing, "My name is _______ and I'm a compulsive weight-packer-onner." Not enough to be on Biggest Loser. But enough that I'm entirely uncomfortable in my clothes and painfully aware of it all at the same time.

You can see how this has led me to this post. Sorry folks. It has to be done. I'm trying to kick my own back end into returning to that post-baby-#2-size. I wasn't only thin, but I was strong and in good shape. Biceps even.

Can I just vent my tantrum tho? Why do I have to work so *(&$#@ hard? The minute I take my eye off the ball - even just for a minute - all weight loss entirely halts and if I drop the ball completely? I gain back everything in a fraction of the time it took to take it off. I'm not exaggerating. I don't know how to reconcile that.

I've been blessed with that genetic gold mine - the big butt gold mine. I was talking with one of my sisters on the phone Sunday while she was getting dressed for church and she said, talking out loud to herself, "Holy big butt!" I laughed and laughed. Holy big butt is right. I couldn't have been more amused by that. Thanks Sis! No offense to my grandmothers, but they were big girls. Most of my aunts are big girls. It's in the blood people and I can't escape. I can run, but I know I won't be able to hide.

So here's my dilemma. I don't enjoy being fat. I don't enjoy gaining weight. I don't enjoy feeling it on myself all the time. It makes me anti-social and grouchy. It makes me eat more. At the same time, I don't enjoy how hard it is to take it off, or how vigilant I have to be to keep it off. It's exhausting. It's ridiculous. Am I really going to spend the rest of my life fighting the genetic code that makes me a big girl? Only to find that someday I'm gonna be a big girl anyway? A round, soft, plumpy grandma.

Ok...who doesn't love a round, soft, plumpy grandma? They give the best hugs.

My point is, when I finally get to be that grandma, am I going to wonder why I spent so much energy and time in trying to avoid the inevitable?

Oh heck. I'm only 34. I can't give up yet. Or I'll be that much rounder when I'm a grandma. How come I find myself wishing I could get the thyroid thing my mom has that makes her thin? How come I wish I had the will power to starve myself? How unhealthy is that? My plan is to see what I can do on my own. If it isn't working, I may just enroll myself into one of those boot camp things at the gym and beg for that scary yelling guy to get me back into shape.

My friend posted a list of questions she'd asked her kids. Question #15 was 'What makes you proud of your mom?' One of her kids answered,

"That you're not fat like a lot of moms."

(pause for effect)

That right there is motivation enough to decide that I'm not going to accept my genetic big butt gold mine. It won't be easy, at all. It's just sitting there in the back of my mind, waiting for it's turn to take over, and it's way too distracting.

Maybe I'll put it up for sale on Craig's List.


Landee said...

A) I love that you posted those pre/post baby pics. Can you believe what these kids do to us??

B) You look fabulous. If you don't like how you feel, that is one thing, but I think you look great!

C) The body sux. End of story. The fact that it takes a week of eating right and exercising to take off ONE pound and then one night at the Cheesecake Factory to put it back on is maddening.

D) Austin's quote.... oh my.

Memzy said...

I don't know if you wanna listen to ^^^ cuz she's one if those teeny tiny hardly does anything people, as you may have noticed. Always has been.

You know Stands, I love this post. Cuz it's very real and up front and I really like that about you. Next time I visit Landee in Denver I'm demanding you hang out with us.

Weight/image/self-esteem are a woman's trial. I'm convinced.

Markie23 said...

This is a fav topic of mine right now because I've lost 25 pound in the last 13 weeks. I have been around 250 lbs for like the last 15 years at least. That put me squarely in the middle of the obese category on the BMI chart. On Jan 1st I decided to start tracking EVERYTHING I eat using TheDailyPlate. I also started playing racquetball with my honey (She's lost about 12 pounds) several times a week. On the days we don't play I try and spend at least 20 min. on the exercise bike.
My original goal was to just get out of the obese category, but now I plan to go ahead and just keep going, through the Overweight category, and into the Normal range. That means I still have over 40 pounds to lose. It's not easy, but TheDailyPlate is a great tool. I feel like I am the one in charge of my weight loss, as opposed to following somebody's diet plan. I think there is a whole psychological thing at work here having to do with entering the calories myself, and watching them add up, and seeing how many calories I have left for the day. To enter food you have to click a big button that says "I ATE THIS", and that in itself makes me think twice before I stuff something in my mouth. It also provides great incentive to exercise because I can see visually how adding exercise lets me eat more, and I WANT to eat MORE! I think watching The Biggest Loser has also helped motivate me. The first weeks were the hardest while my body got used to eating less, and got over the chocolate withdrawals (not that I've given up chocolate completely... I just have to account for it now so I eat a LOT less of it). Anyway, enough rambling. Hope that provided a little inspiration or something, and wasn't just a way for me to brag about my weight loss. I am really proud of myself though ;o) I'll cheer you on... even though I agree with Landee's B) above.

danandcami said...

Can I just say amen to your post!! I have some of the same blood in my veins, darn those welchs! I love ya Ann and I know it is not easy but I am trying to jump on the band wagon with you!! I keep thinking "think of how much weight you could lose in 2 years and surprise everyone at home" Somehow in the 2 months I've been here I haven't made much progress. Love ya tons and keep your chin up. Your a GREAT person no matter your weight. But I know we don't tell ourselves that!!

The McLaughlin's said...

Oh.My.Gosh. You have no idea how many things I have to say in reply to this post...someday we will talk privately. I would like to say that I DO weigh enough for Biggest Loser (I think) and if I didn't have to sign away my life and inevitably my soul to be on reality tv...I would so be there!

StandsMom said...

Landee, I love ya.

Memzy, Yay! I can't wait!

Markie, I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't have to say you hope you aren't bragging when it comes to losing weight. I'm really happy for you. Really. I know how great that feels and you are doing awesome! Keep it up.

Cami, so happy to hear from you!!! I know. Those Welch genes are a killer. It a lot of ways. Some good, some not so... :) And you look like you've lost weight in your pictures. Hang in there and keep it going.

Marth, we've talked a MILLION GAZILLION times about this topic. You and the sisters are the best people to talk it over with. Now if people like Jessica could stop saying things like, "You can't be in our club because your Gillie is too small." Whatever. ::grinning:: We all rationalize our own misery in one way or another, right? Srsly, I can't WAIT for May. I'm counting the days. If Landee weren't so afraid of TOFW, I'd really be pushing her to come with me. (oh wait...is Landee reading this??? hee hee)

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