Saturday, July 15, 2006

So That...?

um, oops. i accidentally removed this post when i went in to edit it.

It was a Wednesday in August -- the first Wednesday in August, I believe -- in 1994.

My first year of college had been rather horrible. When the first semester (which I'll write about when I find the fortitude* to relive those awful, awful days) ended, I was grateful…and also maybe a little heavier than when it had started. The second semester, however, was even worse on my self-esteem, and I packed on more weight. I know it’s fairly common to put on the Freshman 15, but I think it’s usually because of late-night partying and binge-drinking and not, as was my case, out of misery.

By the time summer came around, I was unhappy, unhealthy, and felt incredibly stuck. College had proven an enormous disappointment and I had no back-up plan. Adolescence, high school, teenager-dom in general had sucked. And I had expected college to provide a great relief from the banality of it all. Instead, I found it had simply mutated, and into something far worse: banality with a beer bong.

I remember thinking, "If college is supposed to reflect 'the real world' then I am totally fucked." But more on this later.

The point is, the people I'd grown up and graduated with – not so much my “friends” anymore – all seemed to be doing cool things. Everyone had had a great freshman year, made more fun by spending their first collegiate summer traveling, working in fun places, visiting new college friends, and partying at night.

And then there was me: I had dropped out of school after the first semester and was taking a couple classes at a local campus. I had no idea what I wanted to do or where to do it. I hoped I'd figure it out eventually, but “eventually” seemed impossibly far away. Especially when summer started to drift away and I realized that everyone was preparing to return to school for their second year while I...well, while I wasn't.

That summer I had only one good friend who lived nearby and who had a schedule like mine ( = some part-time work and a LOT of watching Comedy Central and surfing the internet). We spent much of our time together bemoaning our respective lots in life, wondering how it was we were STILL such losers. We were both attractive, smart, clever, talented...How could it be, we would wonder, that we have no lives?

When my friend realized he would soon be returning to college with nothing to show for his summer at home, he decided that he needed to do something. He decided he would start going to the gym. And that I would go with him.

Of course, I said no. I had no school to return to, so I had no one to impress. I felt hopelessly de-motivated in general, and working out did NOT seem like the remedy to my I-have-no-idea-what-to-do-with-my-life mopings.

But that fateful morning in August, sometime before 10 a.m., he called me, knowing full well that I was at home, asleep, and that he would be waking me.

"I'm going to the Y. You're coming with me. I'm picking you up in 15 minutes," was about the extent of our conversation, and I knew better than to argue. Mike was going to show up at my house and in the end, it was going to be easier to go with him than to try and get him to leave my house without me.

And that was how it all started.


*Go figure. I was able to write about my divorce and even my mom, probably because, while they were terrible, they weren't all about me feeling bad about myself. My first year of college was the darkest time for me in my whole life self-esteem-wise, and it's hard to dredge that back up. Ugh.

* * * * * *

Over the next nine or so months, I lost 50 pounds, got into great shape, and changed my life forever. In many more ways than physical.

* * * * * *

All frustrations and bitching aside, I believe I am aware of my biggest problem, and none of us are really talking about it. In fact, now that I'm thinking of it, it's almost notably absent from all this weight loss and diet discussion. And that is the issue of priorities and motivation.

Pyewacket is clearly well intentioned and coming from a knowledgeable place, but I found myself disagreeing with this statement:

"...when you say that that something 'worked' but you gained the weight back, itdidn't really work. Really."

I understand, but here's why I disagree.

I didn't jump in haphazardly, or go on some crash diet that I then abandoned when it was "over." I was dedicated to making lasting changes. (Actually, I was practically obsessed.) I was focused on becoming a better person, determined to become healthy inside and out. I made real, good, whole lifestyle changes.

Except you know what happened?

My lifestyle changed.

The methods and changes I made to my life, to my view of food, to why/when/how/what I ate totally worked when I was 19 and in college. But when I graduated, got a full-time job, had totally different hours, money, responsibilities, and also a full-time fiance/husband -- those changes couldn't hold. Or at least, I didn't want them to.

Don't get me wrong, I wanted to stay slim. But it was no longer my number one priority. THAT changed.

* * * * * *

So right, priorities and motivation.

Priorities

The simple, frightening truth of the matter, for me, is this: when I have successfully lost weight, weight loss and working out have been TOP priorities in my life. I FOCUS on them every day. I write about them. I talk about them. I work my day around them.

When I'm losing weight, I'm thinking about losing weight CONSTANTLY.

If I'm working on portion control, and going through the nagging pains of being-hungry-until-my-body-adjusts, then I am thinking about food. (It is hard not to think about food when your body is telling you it's hungry, even if your body is lying.)

If I decide to mostly eat in? Well, that requires planning (and regularity of planning) -- from shopping to preparation. Think about how much mental energy it takes to plan, prepare, and eat homemade meals twice a day, say six days a week.

When I was single and in college, I had the time and flexibility to eat and work out the way I wanted to because I was my only responsibility. My body was easy as a priority -- and not hard to work into my busy (but solitary) life.

But after I became part of a living-together couple, my focus shifted. Of course my body was still a priority, but not the way it had been. Frankly, I cared more about spending time with my fiance than I did spending time at the gym. I cared more about going to a nice place with him -- because it was romantic, because we could afford it -- than I did about worrying about calories.

But also...

Motivation

In all this talk about diets and weight and exercise and and and, we have not discussed the "Why." I think mostly we all take it at face value -- of course everyone wants to have a gorgeous body -- and leave it at that.

But if you don't know Why -- if you don't really, clearly know Why and believe in that Why and hold that Why sacred -- then it becomes pretty easy to ignore it and just have another piece of goddamned cake. Because Wwhy not?

If you can't identify the prize, if you don't believe it the end point completely, then what's going to stop you from giving in to temptation when you're worn down?

"I want to have a great body" is not, at least for me, a Why. It's not good enough.

"So that WHAT?" I need to ask.

And I need to answer. And I'm not sure what that is yet.

"I want to lose weight and have a healthy body so that..." ???

* * * * *

By that summer of 1994 my life looked completely, utterly unremarkable. I was only 19, sure, but I had expected to be on some path by then. And if I couldn't be on a clear path (school --> job --> dating --> marriage --> money, house, kids...) then at least I thought I should be having fun. And I wasn't doing that, either.

So one day, sparked by my friend Mike, I decided that I was going to change everything. There was no reason, no reason, not to be in great shape and look beautiful. And...

...well, I thought that if I could lose weight and look great, that everything else would fall into place. That if I could control my body, I could control everything else in my life, too.

I put so so SO much stock in my losing weight, I linked my entire future happiness to my ability to succeed. And let me tell you, it is a LOT easier not to eat that piece of cake, not to drink, not to eat more than 800 calories most days, and not to indulge in a sedentary lifestyle when you believe that if you do, you will return to your life as a fat, lonely, ugly, unsuccessful, unwanted girl.

It is a LOT easier to stay motivated and focused when you think that you will become more popular, have awesome dating prospects, get better job offers, and be able to make the most of your college experience if you stick to your weight loss plan.

In fact, it is almost EASY to lose weight when you know that every pound lost, every ounce shed is a step closer to being able to walk past that boy named Charles who made fun of you behind your back and made whale sounds to imitate you in an intimate moment, of being able to see the look of sheer envy on your vile roommate's face, of being able to strut past every guy who ever felt sorry for you and be able to say, "Not only do I look great now, but I'm also STILL the sweet, smart, clever, funny, driven person I used to be, too, before I let you convince me I was worthy of pity. Oh yes, I am quite possibly the most complete package you will ever meet. And no, you can't have me now. You can't have me ever."

My point here is this: when I was in college I was damn well motivated to lose weight. I believed that my entire future was at stake. So I lost weight. I got in shape. I looked great.

And the result?

Did everything else change, too? Was I able to exact my "revenge" on the world? Was my life suddenly everything I wanted it to look like?

Yep.

* * * * * *

So okay, let's fast-forward to my life NOW in San Francisco.

Years and heartbreak and life-changes and all sorts of perspective later, I no longer wrap my life or esteem or worth or value or success up in what I look like. Maybe because I moved, maybe because I grew up, or most likely both, I do not believe that I need to be thin to be successful.

Instead, I believe I need to be thin in order to...

Well, I mean, so that I can...

Of course I want to be healthy and have longevity, but other than vague standards of 'wellness' (such as normal cholesterol, blood pressure, and resting heart rate, which I have) I should lose lots of weight because...

...um...

* * * * * *

In the end, I need to figure out why I want this.

I used to think that I'd have to be thin to "get" the kind of guy who would be good enough for me, but even that seems not to be the case.

I could lose weight "for me" but what the fuck does that mean? "Do it for yourself!" people tell me all the time. But for myself what? What exactly am I doing for me?

I'm not being facetious and I am not looking for shrill responses. I am simply saying that I don't know that I believe in the intrinsic, inherent value of thin for thin's sake.

Oh, I know if I lose weight that I'll be more attractive to people, that I'll fit into clothes better, that I'll feel less clunky...

...but those things alone aren't enough.

Just what is it I will have/get/achieve from going through this that I can't have/get/achieve now?

I obviously don't know. But I can assure you the weight will start melting away as soon as I do.

34 comments:

  1. Society in general is not forgiving of overweight people. So, even though you may want to lose the weight for yourself, in the end it does seem more like something you do to be accepted. So, is it for yourself? Is it for everyone else? Why does it have to be for one or the other? It seems to me that it would be both.

    Either way, it certainly is a struggle. Too bad loosing weight isn't as easy as putting it on in the first place.

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  2. Could it be that you are beautiful and wonderful just as you are?

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  3. AMEN SISTER!!! that's all i can say. amen. you rock!

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  4. Okay, I make lame comments, but here's my personal stance...

    I am fine the way I am. Yes, I am overweight. I am a size 16. But, I carry it evenly and I have big boobies and I look fine. My husband likes me. My friends like me. Nobody in my life gives a rat’s ass what I weigh, I am loved and respected for myself and I am lucky to have people in my life that don't care about things cellulite.

    But me? I HATE when I bend and my stomach touches something it wouldn't touch if I were thinner. This is a hard concept to explain to anyone that hasn't felt it. It's like, sometimes, when I bend sideways for some reason, I can literally FEEL my back fat bend and fold. And, (here's me making a huge embarrassing admission) when I sit on the couch with my feet up and my boobs rest on my stomach. It's horrible, and it makes me want to get my stomach stapled and SOMEBODY PLEASE TAKE THE BEER AND CHIPS AWAY FROM ME.

    Today I joined a gym. Never really did that before, and I am "jazzed." My entire motivation right now is my own comfort level. I don't want to feel my stomach anymore. I want to save that feeling for when/if I am ever pregnant.

    And by November, when I flash my boobies at Peyton Manning during a game in the Cowboys Stadium, hopefully they won't be resting on my stomach. (So maybe I have one alternate motive.)

    This is a ridiculously long comment. My point is, we all have our absolutely obscene motives for losing weight. So if you really want to, you can find one. Even if it is just a football player, and your stomach cellulite. (Not to say you have that, but you know.)

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  5. I think that being fat is a weakness you wear for everyone to see. It is indicative of someone who has lost control of their life. Nothing more unattractive than that, really. Even if you are super fantastic in every way, a success of a person wholly, there is still that nagging suspicion that judgments abound. The silent wonderings of why you are broken.
    At least I felt broken and completely revealed when I was heavy. It was awful.

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  6. I was actually at my lowest after losing a lot of weight (80 pounds). Like you, I expected everything to immediately change. Except it didn't.

    I was expecting so much out of the change that I was constantly disappointed. I stuck it out and again learned to let things come to me, but those first few months were some of my most difficult.

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  7. Kiki,

    Have you ever read Why Women Hate Their Bodies (can't remember the author)...silly title, great book. I think you should check it out, I think it'll help you in your search for understanding.

    Be good to yourself. You've gone through a shitload of emotional stuff recently, it's really easy to redirect all our emotional energy about the tough stuff inward and just focus on our bodies. I know I fall into that trap often.

    Good Luck!

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  8. Ok - enough navel gazing already! Lose weight, don't lose weight - there are other things in life. Can you write about those for a while?

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  9. Kirin,

    I appreciate your sentiments (as always), but in truth the whole reason I started this blog was to chronicle my weight loss. Obviously, I've meandered and the blog has become something else, but right now losing weight is a focus for me in life and thus, it's a focus for me here.

    (And if losing weight were a matter of just doing it or not doing it, I'd have done it already.)

    Ultimately I'll write about something else.

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  10. Anonymous said...

    I think that being fat is a weakness you wear for everyone to see. It is indicative of someone who has lost control of their life. Nothing more unattractive than that, really. Even if you are super fantastic in every way, a success of a person wholly, there is still that nagging suspicion that judgments abound. The silent wonderings of why you are broken. At least I felt broken and completely revealed when I was heavy. It was awful.


    Thank you for sharing this point of view.

    My big self-realization is that just because I am overweight, I am not, actually, broken. AND I am surrounded by people who don't seem to think I'm broken, either.

    As for the silent wonderings of people...I don't know. I just don't seem to care about them the way I did when I was younger. People might wonder what's wrong with me that I'm overweight, but they might wonder what's wrong with me that I am not married, that I don't have kids, that I drink, that I don't own a car, that I vote Democrat, etc.

    Yes, the weight IS right there for everyone to see, so it IS a very visible "flaw." But if *I* don't feel broken, then it's not the same kind of motivator.

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  11. The question of motivation is a huge one for any change. I remember one of the most useful things I learned in medical school about this point. We were learning about smoking cessation (precontemplation, contemplation, etc. etc. etc.) and how to talk to people who had quit before. My very wise mentor told me, "Don't ask people who quit before why they started smoking again. Ask them what made them quit the first time." The idea being that if they could remember their motivation, it might nudge them towards quitting again. It seems that you are doing all the right things to make this a permanent change for yourself- good luck!

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  12. i don't really understand why you want to lose weight either! your self-esteem and life sound pretty good. it sounds like your health is good (by the measures of cholesterol, etc). it sounds like your weight does not keep you from any activities that you'd otherwise want to do.

    i guess it sounds like the only "problem" with your weight is aesthetic (from your point of view or that of strangers who you don't really care about anyway), and not in a way that has any real impact on your life. as you said, you've got great relationships, a good life, etc.

    so how about this: look at the alternative. can you accept yourself fully as an overweight person? can you agree simply to live your life at your current weight (as long as it does not affect your health negatively, which it really may not)? and, if not, why not? <-- i think that is the most important question.

    it seems to me that part of your self-image is that your "overweightness" is only temporary. because you lost all that weight before, you strongly believe that you can and will lose it again. but could you decide to change that self-image? could you accept that the weight is not temporary and love yourself fully anyway? can you feel good about your body even if you will be "overweight" for the rest of your life? how does it feel even to imagine that?

    if you can't accept yourself completely as an overweight person, if you can't let go of the GOAL of losing weight (whether it's eventually or starting right now), then you probably do need to lose weight. and the reason is simply for your own self-acceptance, so you can feel that your body is the way it is supposed to be. but these are things to question and consider.

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  13. Kristy, I totally could've written this post. I KNOW I need to lose weight, I'm just not sure why I want to do it. And because I don't know WHY, I just can't get motivated.

    And I love your blog. You do state that's why you started it, and if you need to get back to writing about it, I'm here with you. Who knows? Maybe your introspection will help me figure it all out too.

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  14. amen is right. I totally understand exactly where you are coming from. and when you get the answer to WHY? please post it.

    rock on girl.

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  15. Kristy,
    Wow, I just enjoyed this post so much - you really struck a chord. As a woman who has struggled with weight most of her life, I have often been in a similar place. Because the thing is, if you are a person with a lot to offer the world (brains, ambition, a good heart, etc) and you have spent any significant period of your life overweight, one thing you realize after awhile is that it doesn’t affect you the way the movies present it (you know, the stereotypical fat girl who gets walked all over and never gets a date and cries herself to sleep every night… alone) Whether I’ve been thin or fat, I’ve always managed to find some quality guys to date and unfortunately been with the occasional jerk too. I’ve always been successful at every weight, and some of my unhappiest and most lost times were actually when I was my thinnest. There is a book called “When Women Stop Hating their Bodies” that I read recently. It’s actually strongly pro fat acceptance, not a weight loss book. But somehow it really helped me sort through a lot of my feelings (good and bad) about what it means to be fat and what it would mean to my life to stay fat. And the funny thing is, it inspired me to try one more time to lose weight (which has been going extremely well, better than ever before) , even though that’s not the message, because it helped me figure out what being thin really means to me. Anyway, just wanted to compliment you on yet another great post.

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  16. K -

    I wasn't trying to give you a hard time. The spirit of my original comment was really "looks don't matter that much, get on with it. It being the rest of your life." BUT as you pointed out, your blog's original goal was to discuss this, so carry on....I'll just lurk until you post about other things ;)

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  17. This is such a great post, thanks for putting it out there. I'd like to ask myself the same question. Brilliant thing to suss out.

    I had great motivation once to lose weight when I was going to be doing a play where I had to be naked onstage. Talk about a motivator. I'd be like, "Do I feel like going to the gym" and then I'd think "naked onstage" and then I'd instantly be like, "Yep, yep, the gym sounds good. See you there." And I lost the weight. But then that motivator left, and some personal trouble happened, and lots of cake happened, and then a baby happened, and now I'm five feet tall, some 160 pounds and stymied for a motivator.

    And I mean a clear, true, personal motivator with heat to it. I have vague thoughts about how it might feel to have a lithe body that can do more than it can now. I enjoy the sensation of shopping for clothes when I try things on and I feel like I look cuter in them. I know that I'm annoyed when I see my flabby old fatto arms in the mirror. But none of those things seem to light a fire under my large ass.

    So, yeah. This post is great. I look forward to doing some introspection now about WHY REALLY SPECIFICALLY and WHETHER I might want to lose weight. Truth and specificity. Great in acting, a great help in life. Beautiful.

    Thanks for the inspiration, I'll be following your story. Can't wait to hear what you come up with.

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  18. Wow, I've got to say, I feel a little weird about being quoted. And really, all I was pointing out was that your comment about how calorie-counting seemed slow and too simple, because you had had success with South Beach seemed off - because all the research on specific diets have shown that the very problem with them is that they are for most people unsustainable. (And yo-yoing is more dangerous to your health than being a little overweight). That's all I was trying to bring up - in no way was I trying to take away from what you did in the past.

    It's funny - I'm better about cooking at home when I'm cooking for two, not one. But then I love to cook; it makes a difference.

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  19. I know I keep commenting on the weight loss posts, but it's an issue I'm currently dealing with myself, so yeah.

    I, too, am completely and wholly unmotivated to lose weight. I am happy, I have a husband who loves me desperately and thinks I am totally hot just the way I am, I have a great job, and I have wonderful friends. Who needs to be at goal weight, right?

    What helps me is remembering my grandmother. My grandmother was a brilliant woman - Ph.D in History (back in the 40s, when most women weren't doing that), college professor, world traveller. She spent so much time travelling after she retired that I think all of my Christmas presents when I was a kid were from places like Czechoslovkia and Turkey and Russia. She loved being out there in the world learning, and most of all, being independent. She had always been overweight, but she too had a husband who adored her, great kids, great friends - a great life. So who cared about the weight?

    For the last ten years of her life, she couldn't travel at all. By the time she passed away in her late seventies, she could hardly walk. All the years of carrying around the extra weight had destroyed her knees. Her body wasn't meant to carry the amount of weight she'd asked it to her entire life, and they finally just couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't travel, because she couldn't get around. I don't think she ever really recovered from it.

    I am trying to lose weight so that when I'm 90 years old (God willing), I can be walking in all the places she wanted to visit and never got to.

    Sorry to be a downer, but my motivation is the very real strain that being overweight puts on my body long term. It's something that's hard to remember today, right now - but it's a very real concern.

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  20. This was a great post, and as somebody who has lost 50+ lbs and now is struggling to lose the remaining 30... I can totally relate. I already have a great life. I already have friends, family, a boyfriend I love, a good job, a house... there is no "so that I can" or "...because" clause to my "I want to lose another 30 lbs so that..."

    But what I've come to realize is that it's not a conditional statement or an issue of enablement... it's more like "I want to lose another 30 lbs BECAUSE....

    ...I am worth it
    ...I don't want my weight to ever make an untrue statement about who I am as a person
    ...I deserve to be satisfied with what I see in the mirror
    ...exercise / healthy eating are the two things in my life where I am totally selfish and put my own needs 100% first, before anybody elses - and that's healthy


    So for me, it's more about "The Because" than anything else.

    Best of luck to you; I've been lurking a while now and I love love love your blog.

    ~jessica

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  21. That "do it for yourself" statement confuses me too. I've been trying to work out what that means for me too. Good luck to us!

    Karynne

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  22. pyewacket, sorry if my quoting you made/makes you uncomfortable -- i wasn't meaning to single you out, other than to take your very good point and use it as a platform for furthering the discussion.

    ex: we know that yo-yo dieting is bad. so we examine why it happens, so that we don't do it. why does it happen? well, it happens because we don't make sustainable changes. thus, we need to make sustainable changes.

    we hear this all the time.

    unfortunately, that's about as far as the discussion usually goes, and the problem i'm trying to get at is deeper.

    we make lifestyle changes and then our lifestyle (and motivation) changes. what worked once might not work now. (and i don't mean this on a macro, "eat better" level, i mean this on the micro, "everyday execution" level). so how do we adjust for these changes? how do we prepare for them?

    for my part, i'm trying to get at the root of my wishy-washy motivation so that i can recalibrate.

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  23. I love this entry, because it speaks about beauty on many levels. I wonder if you would ponder this:

    Perhaps you don't have the motivation to lose weight, because you don't want to fall into the "I'm not beautiful enough" trap? Because, as has been stated here before, you are perfectly beautiful as you are, right now.

    So, if you start to lose weight, and the only reason is for beauty, then you may be thinking of yourself as shallow. You may be thinking, "I don't want to be one of THOSE people, who are obsessed with their looks."

    Perhaps you don't want to appear vain.

    Just some thoughts I had. I may be way off base.

    Another thought: you might focus, instead, on getting fit, instead of losing weight. The grandmother example above is a great one. How much more fun could you have in your spectacular life if you were more fit? Of course, this is coming from someone who was an athlete for the first 22 years of her life. I haven't been athletic for quite a few years now, and since I had my child, that's the part that's been bothering me.

    I want to be able to keep up with her.

    Now, like I said, you might ask yourself about how much more fun you could have if you were fit?

    Also, as a mom, just the luxury of having the meditative time to "walk" on an elliptical trainer for 30 minutes is enough motivation for me. I can't even pee alone anymore. That's potty training for you. :)
    ~Amy

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  24. I can't find it right now, but in one of your recent entries, you talked about how as soon as you start a diet, you start thinking about what you'll get to have *after* the diet.

    I think the sabotage is that we think in terms of "diet" and "after diet". That kind of thinking is a garunteed way to fail and keep doing the yo-yo dieting.

    I think the only long-term success is if you just change your eating habits. That's oversimplified, but at the same time, not. It can't be that you (I mean "generic you" right now) are going to starve yourself or do something so strict with your food choices that you're just waiting for it to be over so that you can eat whatever you want, when you want, how you want. That's how we became overweight in the first place.

    Making the shift to making your own foods would be huge for you (this is specifically to you, K - not the generic you anymore). I understand you think it takes a lot of planning and energy - and that may be true intially. But think if you channel your "I'm going to diet!" energy into cooking for yourself.

    Initially it would be hard, but it's like anything in life - once you start, you get into a rhythym and before you know it, you're used to it, it's easier, and takes less effort than it did in the beginning. And hell, buy pre-fab food like lean cuisine meals. They're actually pretty good, and the portion sizes are right, and it's really no different than letting the guy at the indian restaurant feed you, you know? In fact, it's better, because they're not cooking with lard & msg and all the things that are going to keep you from losing weight.

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  25. Anon 12:44 makes a really good point. When I finally decided to lose weight it was after years of beating myself up for not being thinner. Every day I woke up with some vague plan in my mind to do something to get thinner that day. And every night I went to bed disappointed that I hadn't.

    I just got really sick of it. I got sick of it being an issue. And I felt like a victim of my life and I HATE THAT. So I decided that I either had to accept myself completely as I was, or I had to lose weight. But I could not, under any circumstances, continue what I was doing. (The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome).

    Now, after years of being at a healthier weight, I can't stand the way I feel in my body when I gain weight. I love being able to do anything physical at the drop of a hat because I'm in shape. Also, as a single mom to one adolescent boy, two dogs and two cats, I feel I have an obligation to those I love to stay in the best health I can. So my motivation has changed over the years.

    Of course, I could have gone a different way all those years ago, and would maybe have equally good reasons for not losing weight now.

    I only say this because I hear your disappointment in yourself sometimes around this issue. I think you are asking exactly the right questions: why should I do this? what are the alternatives?

    Keep asking. The answer will come in the form of that voice inside you. After all, you've shared with us so much of the wisdom that voice has dropped throughout your life!

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  26. groovy, you definitely touch on something with the vanity concept. i think PART of my issue is that i don't care *enough* about vanity part to have it be my sole motivator. i'm vain in some ways, but not in that one. regardless of how i seem, if i cared MORE about it, i could probably do more about it.

    as for the point about how much more fun i'd have if i were fit...i really don't know what i'm not doing now that i could do if i were in better shape. probably my definition of "fun" is different from yours, though. :) (i just don't like sports, and am not a big fan of exercise. i can do it, and do do it, and will do it, but i just don't like it.) so pretty much other than being a little "bendier" in bed, i don't know what i'm missing out on.

    i don't say this to be defensive, i say this honestly because i'm trying to figure out what i'm missing.

    * * * * *

    serre, i hear you, and actually referenced the "diet" and "after diet" concepts in that very context. i was saying that refuse to do anything that i feel is too restrictive because when/if i do, i start waiting until it's over. which makes it inherently unsustainable.

    the bigger problem, and maybe i'm just being stubborn, is that i want to find a course of action that will fit with my lifestyle. i am willing to change my eating habits, but i don't want to feel like i have to change my living habits. maybe i'm being naieve, but maybe i know myself too well.

    i eat out a lot. a LOT. and i love it. many of you (incl. serre here) have suggested that i should eat out less and cook at home more.

    but i feel like this is asking me to fit my life around my eating, not fit my eating around my life. and it's one of those things where if i start to cook at home several nights a week, i will not be happy about it. i don't mind cooking at home occassionally. i'm a good cook. i enjoy it now and then, just not all the time.

    so if i force myself into staying in more, i will feel deprived. i will start to wait until that period is "over" and i can "go back to living my life." whereas if i simply made consistently better choices when eating out, i wouldn't feel so strongly like i was giving something up.

    in the end, i know that i will have to feel deprived in some ways, to some extent. i still need to get at why that sense of deprivation is worth it.

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  27. leigh, i wrote a long comment to anon 12:44 and accidentally lost it. but the thought was, there are basically three courses of action:
    1. accept my body as-is and finally be at peace with it
    2. not accpet my body as-is and not do anything to lose weight
    3. not accept my body as-is and do something to lose weight

    2. seems ridiculous, and yet that's where i've been living for quite some time now. if 1. is impossible, then 3. it must be. right?

    so what the f is my problem?

    siiiiiiiigh...

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  28. K-

    your "bendier" comment caught my attention... have you ever tried yoga?

    before my car accident, I was in the best shape of my life, and it had nothing to do with "real" workouts, playing soccer, swimming, hiking or doing triathlons.

    I had been going to yoga class twice a week to help motivate my mom to stay more flexible. and I can't wait to be able to do all those yoga poses again.

    yoga's best benefit? toning your muscles. all of them. you get more flexibility, more strength, and more bendiness!

    I've always been athletic. I've also always been somewhere between slightly and a bit too overweight. but I felt my best/looked my best when I was doing yoga. so here's just a friendly suggestion to give it a try... and also, give it a couple weeks. for me, it took a while to get into fully.

    also, thanks for this post. the why is something I've been struggling with myself. you helped me to remember it's the feeling great about myself part. I haven't cared that much what others thought of my appearance since college... but I do care that my arms are a little sore after playing airplane with my niece, that my back still hurts when I don't try to do something active everyday. so really and sincerely, thanks, K!

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  29. Ericha2@comcast.net12:17 PM, July 18, 2006

    K-

    This is just one option but there are tons of companies online that will deliver prepared diet specific meals to your door. All you do is heat them up. If you prefer not to cook for yourself, this might be a better option than eating out every night (or most nights) and it would probably cost you about the same as you are paying to eat out each week.

    http://www.diettogo.com/01/

    Check it out, definitely worth a look.

    Also wanted to say thank you for this post. I've only recently come to terms with why I want to lose the weight. Aside from the fact that I want to be able to shop at more stores than just Lane Bryant, I want to have children sometime in the next 5 years and I want to be healthier and more fit before I do that. It's really hard, especially if you aren't motivated. I am in a loving relationship but I know there are parts of my body that my SO isn't happy with. Or would be happier with if they were smaller. And he is significantly smaller than me so there is the social pressure as well. *sigh* So much to deal with!

    Anyway, good luck finding your motivation!

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  30. shewhomustnotbenamed12:34 PM, July 18, 2006

    Learning to accept your body the way it is sounds like a good idea. Whether or not you lose weight, it's still a good thing to recognize that your happiness doesn't depend being a certain weight, and that being thin won't really change anything. (What would really change in your life if you were a size 5, besides your clothes?)

    That said, being healthy is a good thing to do for yourself, and that may mean that you want to make some changes anyway. (I don't mean to imply that you are unhealthy now, just that everyone has to think about this stuff, especially after 30.) I think small changes are better, because you're going to have to make them part of your life for good, and if something is making you miserable, you're not going to stick to it.

    I'll add my unasked for advice to the others by offering you this 3-point plan, based on your life:

    1. Forget the gym-- take your Ipod and sneakers and
    walk home from BART every day. It won't take that
    much longer than MUNI, and honestly? More pleasant
    than being jammed into a bus.

    2. Don't eat so much restaurant food. Trust me, you
    would not believe how much fat is in there, even
    things that seem safe. Go ahead and eat out on your
    date nights-- otherwise, make something at home
    and just be reasonable about what it is and how much
    you eat.

    3. When you're drinking, stick to wine.


    If you do those things, you'll probably lose weight anyway, slowly, but you won't feel like you're on some kind of horrible restrictive "diet".

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  31. Skip Cunningham1:42 PM, July 18, 2006

    Ok, you know me, so you know where I sit. Here's what I think--my paunch (probably too kind a description) is, I think, a wall, probably to intimacy. But remember I told you I've been going to the gym? I'm going so I can be hot and not have anything to do with people who are unkind to me now. I know, it's fucked up. What I mean is, I think I'm doing it for myself (i.e., trying not to be in #2 above), trying to make it easier to get in and out of cars, stand for a long time on movie sets, go up stairs more easily. Do what you need to do. You charm me already.

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  32. Hi Kristy,

    I have to tell you how much I enjoy your blog because I relate so much. I also struggle with my weight. And in the last few years have put on a lot. After back surgery and divorce it is hard. For years I worked out 7 days a week and was in the best shape of my life but still it wasn't good enough for my husband. I think I keep the weight on as my sheild. I don't ever want to get hurt like that again. I hate it so much, it's like a double edge sword. I want to lose weight, but yet, I don't want to get hurt. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I know for me, it helps me figure out my own thoughts about weight.

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  33. oh. my. ~insert deity of choice~.

    I'm a new reader and this could have been a mirror image of my life and my struggle with my weight.

    I have recently found out that I am hypothyroid which is the reason I have always had so much trouble losing weight.

    But now I know the reason and as massive a relief as that was (an emotional experience I cannot begin to describe) and now I am on the medication I am searching for the motivation to lose the weight ....even though I know it will be easier than it ever has been before.

    And yes - things were better during those times that I did manage to lose weight (usually by having to go to the most ridiculous extremes...eg. in 1996 I lived on 2 museli bars a day for 6 months)

    But now I have a wonderful partner, a great job and my health is A1 - my doctor said that if he could he'd find a bookie to put money that I won't be developing coronary disease (all those years of obsessively watching what i ate and madly exercising have meant that whilst I am still fat due to the thyroid condition I have text book perfect blood pressure and cholesterol. Go figure)

    So what do I use as my motivator now???? If you find yours, please let me know cos I need one too.

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