I am beyond annoyed with my weight right now. Having to post another monthly GAIN is really making me cringe. Granted, this time it is "only" a 3 pound gain for the month, rather than the 6 or 10 pound gains of the last TWO months. But excuse me, am I mistaken or is the point to ESCAPE obesity?? I don't want to rename my blog, "Return to Obesity." And to be fair, I hit a high of 237 pounds this month so I am actually down 3 pounds right now. And I have a feeling I am bloated a bit from some salty foods over the last few days since I WAS 231 pounds for most of last week. So I suppose I am heading in the right direction. Sort of.
Sometimes I think I am just being lazy, or making excuses. Which rings back to the Fat Haters post, because frankly, I have been TOLD I was lazy or making excuses the entire time I have been fat. Not by people who know me... people who matter. Not by people who love me. But by strangers who barely know me, or people who have some kind of issue with me to begin with. Ten years ago when I was going up the hell scale on my way to 278 pounds, I was rather newly divorced. My ex-husband had taken our children out for a visit, and they went to a little gift shop on their trip. The kids were still pretty young at the time. They were looking at all the little collector spoons in the gift shop, when their father held up a small silver spoon with a large hole in the center. It was labeled, "Dieter's Spoon." He said to the kids, "hey, we should get this for your mother." My kids told me about it later. I was so embarrassed. I think that was the first time I realized that PEOPLE were really noticing my weight gain. Then there are the strangers who take it upon themselves to advise me how to lose weight, and conclude I am just lazy. I should know better than to take their comments to heart. And I don't, at the time. Even when I have talked to nutritionists in the past, or doctors, they have told me to "just eat less and exercise" and the weight will come off. Well meaning (?) acquaintances always want to point out to me the changes I need to make. "Stop indulging yourself," they say, "stop making excuses and just do it." And while there IS a point to that, it is just not that simple. But it does look like excuses, doesn't it?
Them: Just go out and walk a couple of miles every day.
Me: I can't do that. My knees are shot. I have degenerative arthritis, a torn meniscus, and bone spurs in my knees.
Them: Then swim.
Me: I don't have access to a pool. I tried a free 2-week gym membership but when I swam or did water aerobics, it hurt my knees so badly that I was hobbling around for days.
Them: so get a treadmill.
Me: I have an exercise bike. It's the only exercise my orthopedic surgeon recommends for me. I want to use it more often, but I have a 3-year-old...
Them: So just get someone to watch her.
Me: I don't have anyone to watch her.
Them: that's an excuse. Find someone. You have older kids, let them watch her. Get a relative to do it. Or your husband.
Me: I have no relatives. My husband isn't living with me right now, he is 1000 miles away. My older kids watch her enough already, when I am cooking or cleaning or going to teacher conferences...
Them: then I guess exercising isn't that important to you.
Uh... hmmm. Maybe they are right. I've always said "if you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen. If not, you'll make excuses." But do people really understand the difficulty in just getting in some movement for me? Yeah, I have a 'reason' for not being able to do just about anything you suggest. In my mind they are real. They are barriers. My knee issues are not made up. I am going to need a total knee replacement in both knees! I am pretty limited in what I can do. But then how was I able to hike 1.8 miles up steep terrain this summer, when I can't even walk a mile in the city without being in agony for days afterwards?? I dunno. I don't get it. I already lean on my few reliable friends enough to watch my kids when I am taking one of my children for medical procedures. I don't have anyone to watch her on a daily basis while I bike. When it comes to exercise, it's been "I don't have time, I can't afford it, I have a kid to watch, I am in too much pain, I can't, I can't, I can't!!!"
But I DID. I did it last year. I rode that bike every day. I did it when my husband was watching her (and he is not here now). I did it when she was napping, with a monitor so I could hear her (she doesn't nap anymore). So I barely bike anymore. But even I can see that it is a matter of not wanting it badly enough, because I have yet to try setting up a cool play area for her near my bike, with things to entertain her. I haven't even TRIED to do that! That's why I think, yeah, I am the queen of excuses lately. And even if I "couldn't" bike, I could walk her to the park every day, I could lift weights in the living room while she plays (because I can easily stop between sets to play with her or help her or get her out of mischief). And I could stop eating so many calories, huh? That might help.
I guess my point is, depending on your mindset, you either "can" do it or you "can't"... and no matter what you believe, you're right. If you have bought into the "you are lazy and make excuses" mindset then you will see yourself as fat, lazy, incompetent, unable to fix your life. Is that you? Think about it. It's me, sometimes. But I also know I am strong, and capable, and I want to change. I know I CAN make my life into what I desire. You can too, if you believe in yourself. Shake off the excuses. Yes, we have REASONS it is hard. It really IS hard having bad knees and being in pain and limited in my activity. It IS hard trying to take care of the kids by myself. I can't just hop on the bike at will and ride for however long I want. I have to make an effort and plan it. I wonder sometimes if I can keep this up for the rest of my life... the eating right, the hyper-awareness of my calories, the daily exercising. But all I have is today. All I can do is step out of my comfort zone, throw out the excuses and do what needs to be done TODAY. And let the future take care of itself.
It's a new month. Change your life into what YOU want it to be. No more excuses.