Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Screwed Up Body Image Life --Lurkers , please speak out

I would like to name this "Panniculus" but that is another post for another day. If you've ever lost 100 pounds and are over 40 you know what I'm talking about. This IS a TMI post.

I have always known my body image is screwed up. I have also been on the chubby to overweight to obese scale since childhood. I remember feeling fat when I was 5, but pictures tell me otherwise. (that avatar picture I use is I swear me--I just don't know how Hallmark got a hold of it.) I was fat in elementary school but not as fat as I felt with my best friend being super tiny. I'm talking her weight was in the 80 pound range even after high school and she was not anorexic and she was a normal eater except she was my after school rice and gravy or brownies binge friend.

My definition of screwed up body image is this: I have no concept of what my actual size is. I always feel smaller or larger than I truly am. I look at other people's bodies that are walking beside or in front of me and can not tell how similar in size we are.

I look at myself in the mirror and I look fat but the reality is that I'm much bigger that I realize. Crazy ass mirror? probably not. Looking at pictures of myself is always a shock. Even when I hit the 135 pound loss mark in 2011 which was my lowest weight since high school, I thought I was smaller than I truly was AND I thought I was bigger. I could run a 5K and I felt athletic and I focused on that as my progress and self image.

BUT/AND I thought I was bigger than I actually was. I couldn't get used to buying clothes in the normal sized area. I still gravitated to the Plus sized section. I would still wear clothes too large for me because I wasn't comfortable with my curves showing. I took a selfie of myself in the mirror at Kohls wearing a correctly sized dress and I still can't fathom that it was me.

To be really clear here, this kind of thing has probably a lot (but not all) to do with why I only stayed at that lowest weight in 25 years for a week or so and then started gaining weight again. Extra weight is somehow a crazy way of hiding or protecting ourselves. I've been friends with true anorexics I met in eating disorder therapy and I get screwed up body image more than most. I get the wearing bigger clothes to hide yourself mindset. And black clothes.

Therapy , blogging, working on it -it's still work in progress for me. After the holidays and my week of travel for work in January where I ate out more in one week than I usually do in months, I decided it was best to just wait and weigh on Feb 1. I also have been sick most of January and can't exercise at my usual level. Exercise seems to exacerbate my wheezing / cough. About weighing too, I really beat up on myself and can tend to have a cycle of restrict and binge after a disappointing weight. Not weighing frequently is a healthier way for me and not weighing at all was often the recommendation from ED therapists.

Gravity is in charge. My body is getting older. When I can exercise, it helps to wear mega support. Sometimes my belly hurts and it helps to wear an abdominal binder. My 55 pound weight gain over the last 4 years is showing up all over my body, but feels like it is settling with my belly in an apron like fashion. There was a photo taken on our recent work trip and I couldn't believe how big I looked in comparison to the weight I am. Maybe it's because I haven't worked out 8 hours a week in a long time? Or even 4 hours a week as I did in the fall.

Then, My husband asked me if I'd weighed lately in a sweet way, but it set my brain a'buzzin. He always says "Don't fear the scale" and he always encourages me. I told him I think my weight was shifting and my belly was fatter and hanging more and he hesitated but said he thought so too.

For a day or so , I imagined I weighed over 300 pounds again.

But my clothes fit? But my belly is fatter. My arms seem bigger. How do I stop it? Do I need to wear a bra and Spanx 24/7 to keep gravity at bay. Are there Spanx for arms? Can I invent them? Can I invent support panties to sleep in or that have no elastic in the crotch ...........told ya TMI!

So I weighed without looking and had my husband look and tell me ONLY if it was over 275. I guess I thought if I hit 275 I would do something drastic (and stupid like Nutrisystem -again even though it didn't work) I haven't weighed 275 in over 7 years but still....screwed up body image.

I accidentally saw the weight--We both screamed and laughed . All that effort to not look. BUT Whew!? How can this be? I'm only up about 8 pounds since December and no where near 275. I still am within that 55 pound gain range. It sucks that I gained back weight I worked to lose in the last few months. Considering holiday/travel eating and decreased exercise, I see that as not that bad and something that is changing for the better already. My eating is considerably improved since December and I'm doing a little more in the exercise way each day as my lungs will allow.

But that is how crazy this is ! I thought I gained back in to the 300's even though my clothes fit fine, even some (not all) of the
clothes I bought 4 years ago at the lowest weight still look fine.

I know that exercising 8 hours a week at high intensity is not doable for my body any more. How much injury and pain does it take to realize this? I know that eating less than 1400 calories a day is not a long term way of life for me. I know what a healthy diet is and I strive to eat it. I know that gravity and ageing are inevitable. The more weight that I've lost equals more hanging flesh and skin and I work to accept this. I don't know for sure that I would ever pursue surgery which is the only way to reverse that. I also fear losing control and gaining back all of my weight. I also have this history of eating disordered thinking since childhood that I have to work with and face reality with and modify my behavior with for the rest of my life.

I would love to hear more about body image in blog world. I read everything I can on it. I'm probably going to work with a specific therapist in the next few months to learn how to really work with this. Just wanted to put this out there folks. It is hard to be this revealing so please be respectful.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fat TV

fat and Fabulous

How do you like it? Do you watch? I usually don't. I became a "Biggest Loser" fan back in the 'Jillian is a bad ass' days but I can't even watch it now. That show with Chris Powell "Extreme Weight Loss" I do like and if I lived in Arizona or wherever he lives I think I would reach out. I downloaded one of his books on Kindle on carb cycling because it was like $3 , but I had difficulty reading his enthusiastic style of writing.

I watched "Ruby" when it was on but that was hard because.....well, if you watched that you know she had some ways of speaking and acting that started to grate. But the excuses and the fears and the trials that she worked to overcome-I was familiar with. She had cool friends too. I watched the Dancing show that was on for one season for obese people and I enjoyed that. I've seen a few bits of a new show but I don't know where it is but it is about Big women dating..or something. Not in to that.

But what is the deal with TLC and obesity. "My 600 pound Life". I do not watch this. I get sad during the commercials. I get scared during the commercials and I check myself. Do I want to be this way? Hell to the NO! I've taken care of these people as a nurse and I sometimes coordinate care for them now. I hear what doctors and nurses and social workers often say and I just ...It is hard. I remain neutral and sympathetic and don't buy in to some of the talk and get defensive sometimes.

I ran across a new show "My Big Fat Fabulous Life " on Tuesday after the train wreck "Kate Plus eight". I think this was premier night for both shows. I immediately started watching the first episode already ON DEMAND on my cable plan. This girl is funny and pretty and 380 pounds and can dance. She can really dance and had some 'fat girl dancing ' videos on You tube that bought her claim to fame/tlc show. She gets hate mail and love mail on this and explores it on the show. She laughs at it , but it's gotta hurt. She is anti fat shaming and has a program for this--maybe a website too.

Now, I have some issues with things she says and does and that is not my place to talk about here. I push past that. I watched the first episode and saw myself reflected there: Big girl with all her gay male friends, 30 years old but acting and living much younger. And close to home, a first and only date with a gorgeous guy that she met online who turned out to be very VERY into big women physically. She turned him down which I give Kudos to but also kind of questioned. He was kind of hot. I dated, very briefly , a very tall and handsome scientist (I'm talking movie star handsome) but he was really just into the size/ physical thing. That was my first experience with this type of guy and I had no idea it was a fetish. My husband is the total package but he loves all of me -body and soul (and he is pretty darn handsome too).

So do I recommend watch it? up to you . I've watched it and will probably watch the whole series. When someone driving by yells at her- something along the lines of 'they let Shamu (whale) out of Sea World' , I was right there with her . Had the same thing yelled at me. Also had someone yell "moo" at me once. It's painful, and I don't know if her show will do anything to reduce that behavior in society. But, she is very entertaining and her parents and friends are a real hoot. The mom is just priceless and I would watch the show for her alone.

photo from TLC site

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 's Fridge Clean AND BOGO SHOP ( 01/17/15 )--Steps to Health and Frugality

Yesterday, I watched the morning news shows with their healthy living suggestions, I read blogs, I tooled around the healthy living section of Huffington post and Women's Health and even stopped in on Dr. OZ...he just gets more unbelievable with time... and contradictory. I came away with a few things. I rolled my eyes at a few things. I had a little self talk "You know all this stuff....You just gotta do some of it". I found myself doing some of it. I also didn't do some of it. I've gotta a little inner struggle going on . Don't we all sometimes?

My Angel dog and I walked around the neighborhood. Our first walk in a while considering my coughing. More today--we go to the lake and I'm picking up limbs and dragging to the burn pile. Or I'm going to try. Angel usually lays on the screened in porch and watches. Monday I plan to hit the gym for the first time in the New Year--I'm off for MLK day.

I've mentioned my husband is going back to school. First week done--his books cost more than $700. OMG! So much for replacing our busted 50 inch TV. We'll wait until my work bonus comes in.

Living more frugally AND healthy is a goal here , so I started with the basics.

I checked out the Publix ad looking for BOGO (buy one get one free)...I looked at the Fridge packed full of nightmares and stickey ooze piles. I thought about meals I can plan for the week--2 birds with one stone. Cheap health.

Step 1--clean the sucka out. This is always a first step before I buckle down to live healthier.
Oldest and scariest items thrown out:
-- Cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. Apple Cider from pre Christmas party when I was on a Mulled cider and Mulled wine kick
-- Yogurt dated back to 10/07/14. I did eat the yogurt dated 12//17/2014.
-- A plum from probably ..I can't admit it. I threw that in the yard for the critters.
-- A veggie tray that had some sticky ooze on the side. Probably from around Christmas week.
-- A pickle jar with pickle juice and sliced cucumbers that I made in November.

Shelves clean . Items organized. Lots of room for my bogo stash. Lots of room for the healthier stuff to be at eye view (Women's Health suggestion)

(Champagne from honeymoon circa 1998 still chillin'. Waiting for 2018. But what will it taste like?)

Step 2 Meal plans-Checked out the bogo ads first. I have some of this at home already.
-- Stir fry of veggies, brown rice, and Walnuts. Actually , this is awesome and was all I ate for periods of time recommended by a dietician .
-- Mexican night-
-- Veggie lasagna, salad, garlic bread
-- Pumpkin cottage cheese nut breakfast or lunch
-- Oatmeal, fruit and nut breakfasts
-- Apples, oranges, cherries, carrots ( red and colorful veggies and fruit are very good for us according to one of the sources above)
-- sandwich thin breakfast and lunch sandwiches
-- Soup I made from the freezer ( chicken stew, chili, veggie)

Step 3 BOGO shopping
-- Lots of chopped fresh veggies and apples were not bogo but cheap. $1.29 per pound.
-- BOGOS: Fresh Express Salads. Oatmeal. Almonds. Smart balance Butter spray. Bagel thins for sandwiches and cinnamon raisin for breakfast. Aunt Jemima French toast (ok, this is processed BAD crack food in our house andwe love it and I have it once or twice a week as a treat and this comes to less than $1.50 for a box of 6 toasts) Frozen veggies. Chopped tomatoes. Corn Tortilla Chips. Weight Watchers Cheese.
--- You can also buy just one of the bogo items at half price. This is now the only way I buy certain things that are expensive that we usually have. I have enough Finish Dishwashing tablets to get me to May.

I'm not bragging. I don't have it all together, obviously. I read your blogs and copy your stuff. But...... Other things were bought that brought shame to the steps to healthy part of me. The struggle ..the struggle. But I think I got that out of my system .

I'm keeping on keepin on . One day at a timein. Progress not perfectionin'. Had my planned little breakfast today Clementines, Aunt Jemima french toast crack and Morning star sausage ( we buy in bulk.) And it's all good. Ready for trompin' around in the woods at the lake.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January so far...not very far

January so Far

--First book read for the year "Just Kids" by Patti Smith . Patti the poet , punk rocker of the 70's. A library freebie downloaded to my Kindle. If you like the history of rock n roll, life in the 70's in the art and rock world, and little stories about the Warhol days in New York, then this is a book for you. Excellent writing. She is still going strong.

---Sick. I've drunk most of a bottle of cough medicine and I'm still having little coughing spells where it just takes over. I know it's in the final stages. I'm not a fan of taking antibiotics unless I really have an infection which I don't think this is an infection. Exercise-ain't happening. Cleaning the kitchen counters causes a coughing spell. Talking-coughing. Leaning over -coughing. That I have to use a cpap doesn't make it better. I finish work , granted it's a desk job, but most of the nights this week I've finished work and taken a 2 hour nap before having dinner and watching tv and blog reading, and then to bed early.

---Christmas in decay...the tree will come down ..soon.

--Pit Bull and Parolees. I'm addicted. I really want to adopt one of these dogs. My husband is not liking the pitbull idea and says I'm just 'falling for the marketing'. We have our one dog Angel who is currently in remission from a cancer like condition . She likes to be the queen, so we are not ready to adopt anyway.

If you have a home and loving heart check out the Villalobos rescue site. adopt--donate- please. I am ordering the 2015 calendar to provide just a little support. I can't watch the ASPCA commercials , but this show I can do.

--Calendars--I'm a geek for them. I haven't had time to buy one yet. I've been given one from my friend in Canada of rural Canada-she gets them free from her grocery store. My work sent me one about being healthy. But I like a calendar in almost every room. So the Pit bull calendar for sure and I'll go shopping for discounts later.

--Diet -food plan stuff. I'm following a great one between 8 am and 6 pm, but then things get less 'clean', 'in control', you get the picture. My January diet start-restart-fresh start may be tomorrow or next week or in February. It's a work in progress, but I'm not working hard enough. I admit it.

I am not beating up on myself either. one day at a time


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I'm Baack from my trip and , sort of , ready to roll

Hey, there. Southern girl back from the great white north where it did snow and I amused the northern folk with my sheer delight in watching snow fall. The work thing went well and I had good input and held my own with some very strong, aggressive personalities.
I'm working on a little project for one of the big wigs that I got along with very well. Part of me wants to do more things like this and part of me wants to settle back in to my Pjs and work at my little desk at home as before. Part of me that got too wrapped up in another corporate job is also mixed on this. Balance, I want Balance.

Food was provided for breakfast and lunch and that was always healthy . There were little treats and I had little amounts but no more than anyone else. I drank lots of water and less coffee than I normally do. Dinners were eaten out and that was always fun and I always tried to make good choices. I had one cocktail each night, shared desserts at some of those meals but not all, and left food on my plate most of the time. That kills me --at home I could have eaten 2 more meals off of one of those entrees. I tried Sushi -just a bite and it was actually good?!?

There was one moment of mindless eating on the last night, but not a binge. I attribute this to just the overwhelmed feeling of having been through it all. I'd been dealing with a sinus cold all week and all of my symptoms escalated ten fold that last night and next day, so I think I was really trying to keep it together until it was over both food and health wise.

Speaking of being sick , I'm damn sick right now. I'm not getting worse than I was Saturday am on the flight back , but I'm swigging Mucinex dm cough meds and using an inhaler and wheezing left and right. I was paranoid that people on the flight were giving me looks. I wore an infinity scarf and coughed in to that to muffle the sounds.

During the trip we WALKED a lot inside and occasionally outside and stood to work on projects at a board most of the time. Walking up a hill or up stairs brought on some wheezing and coughing. I didn't have the inhaler with me--big mistake. If things don't get better I might have to go to the doc.

After being in that environment with so many different people it really awakened that desire to make the best choices and be healthy and fit and see a loss on the scale even if it's just a slow loss. Not that these things are not there in me all the time, but maybe I feel a little more motivated in those moments when I'm making choices or setting goals. I look forward to being healthy enough to exercise at the gym and get back to a groove of walking daily.

I did say I want Balance , right?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Off to the great white north and the Christmas cookie misshap

I'm off on my work trip today. We had a meeting about the agenda . I didn't know what they were talking about for the most part. It sounded like too much for these few days.

No, that was just day one.

snow predicted every day

southern girl sees snow maybe once a year

I mean, I like snow......but -23 wind chill....Nah

Found a whole bag of sister-made Christmas cookies in the bottom of the gift from my sister that I didn't notice before


Might freeze some. Packed 2 to take on trip. packed oatmeal, fruit, pretzel thins too and will take some cheese and nuts with me

Food is provided except for a couple of meals. My hope is there are healthy options and few treats just because treats will call my name from their place on the table with promises of sweet delights, comfort, joy, feeling groovy.

I will stay accountable by journaling any mishaps.....or maybe blogging it

Best wishes for your week

Sunday, January 4, 2015

January Beat poetry--put on your beret and pour a cup of java....but first

I am preparing for my work trip coming up this week and battling illness and trying to get things done while at the same time wanting to be rested, awake, and alert to watch Downton Abbey--- RETURNS TONIGHT!


(75% of the following was spent with my dog in my lap. I never watched the show Breaking Bad until last week. I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. I also remember many years ago reading in TV Guide about this new show "Big Bang Theory" and said ' it will bomb! I wont quit my day job)

The Poetry? dark room...single mind...

Reading blogs...sweep, clean, Those Kardashians (Like, guilty pleasure ya' ridic)...Library...trip channel....researching plus-sized thermal channel

Gaagh throat sore... gaaagh// channel (obsessed much)...Breaking Bad ....throaaat

Cold-cough-sinus---gahhg throat...-fever at 4 am-chills..starving, channel...blogs...ggaah throat-

..Huffington post..chills....cold meds......water/water/water/tea.....watched "Snow Falling On Cedars" with the sound off so no idea what it was about but there were very beautiful , serene snow channel....gaahhgthroatgaagh

Sleep.....sleep...wads of tissue....check the weather channel.....sneeze..... Halls sugar free honey lemon.......cough.......Patti Smith rock n roll...

Breaking Bad binge....eating smaller amounts more frequently because my sense of hunger and fullness is switched on for some reason..tissue, lots of tissue Bad..... channel...gaaah throat...Loreal hair color.....
....overflowed toilet..clean entire bathroom...Breaking Bad withdrawal..... Walmart for thermals.

dadadada bongos

Snaps fingers

Later, I will be visiting with the Crawley family, after I finish season 2 Breaking Bad.. then no more BB until I return next weekend. poo

punctuation is always creative in my posts