Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1, 2008: 234 Pounds

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.


HollyALP said...

I am the queen of excuses, and its not just on weight control, either. It's funny because I look at it as a way of protecting/taking care of myself, like "I can't handle that right now, I'm not emotionally THERE" and yet it's always a bad choice I'm rationalizing when I do it... Sometimes though it just feels like if I push myself farther than I already get pushed throughout the day, I'll explode or something. I've got to stop seeing exercise as a "push" and start seeing it as a gift to myself. Thank you for your post!

MizFit said...

sometimes is ISNT SIMPLE AT ALL, huh?


see you soon!


Lyn said...

Reading your post just makes me want to hug you and I'm not a huggy person. I'm in the same boat as you. I make excuses. I'm done. Thanks for your post today.

~TMcGee~ said...

*raises hand* I'm guilty of using excuses....This was a good post, it's very honest and blunt (which is why I'm a big fan of your blog). You know, this has made want to try something. I'm always "too tired to work out in the evening", so...*deep breath* I'm going to commit to 1 week of getting up 30 mins earlier and exercise in the morning. I'm scared I will fail and make excuses but here I am putting it on your comments section to hold myself accountable.
While you may feel like you are failing in escaping from obesity, you are not. Maybe the bricks of your "prison" started to go back up, but you for sure taking them down. Slow and steady wins the race,'ll get there!


Once Upon A Dieter said...

I make a ton of excuses.I also have the bad knees (almost inevitable after 20+ years of obesity, I think) and the other chronic health issues. I'm spending a fortune--no shit, a fortune--because it was get a trainer and do it safely or not do it, pretty much. And I was desperate to feel better. So, there goes a bunch of our savings for me to try and get fit.

I am sick of my own weakness and excuses. I think of I don't turn it around soon, that I may never turn it around at all, which is why I'm still daily keeping at something, even if I'm maintaining . I know that if I let vigilance down, I will regain. I will. It takes NO effort in my part to regain, and every effort to stay put, and a herculean effort to lose.


Baby, you just keep at it. You are still well in the loss category, and you will be there again. It's a hump. You'll get over it.

the Princess

bbubblyb said...

It sounds like we all know what you are going through. I think for you too you've been through a lot in the past several months and you're just tired and have a lot on your mind. Maybe start thinking about exercise like brushing your teeth, just something you do daily. We all make excuses so don't beat yourself up. I know for me the first thing is awareness which you are. Hang in there you'll make it. *hug*

Anonymous said...

I am in the same boat. Since 8/11/08 I gained 15 lbs. Of 45. OMG. How does that happen? Two things seem to be happening. First, I legitimately can't seem to lose weight as well. I mean I am on for a few days and I don't see the scale move at all. Not even water! Then there is something wrong with my mind. My mind is broken somehow. Like a lack of faith or mini depression. Making me easier to jump off the diet. I don't know the solution but I am determined to find out. I have been here so many times before, THIS is the challenge. Everyone thinks it is losing weight but this is it.

Lynne said...

"DO or DO NOT" Yoda.

I too am queen of excuses. I once had someone tell me that unless i treat exercise like a daily shower I would (will) never be thin(ner), and she was absolutely right. Exercise has to be right up there with brushing your teeth. You wouldn't dream of going days without doing it... regardless of how little time you have... It's a stuggle I share with you Lyn, but it doesn't mean we are lazy or anything but REAL people. Thanks for being REAL. Now, go get on your bike!!

Kathleen said...

I can relate to not being able to lose weight easily, with one pound seemingly taking forever to come off. Sometimes it seems like it will never happen.

But I did want to let you know that lately I have had some success with developing a better exercise habit and wanted to share how I have approached it. My problem was that have sporadically exercised but have not continuously exercised (which seems to be one of the keys both to weight loss and to overall health). I made the choice to pick a time in the day (morning), during the work week (5 days). I decided that in my exercise time, I wasn't going to try to do a specific amount or anything in particular, but I needed to do something. I decided that it was more important to do it continuously than to try to keep to a certain routine. So some days I do 4 minutes of jump-roping. That's it. Some days I do 15 minutes of jump-roping and 30 minutes of pilates. But I don't give myself the excuse of not doing it, and I do it at the same time each day. It has helped me develop the habit, and I know that I can keep it up, since I am not forcing myself to keep to a routine that might not be right for me on a particular day.

It occurred to me to tell you this because I thought developing a routine like this might work for you, given that you might not feel as well on some days as others. Plus I thought that perhaps your little daughter might (in time) might get used to your exercise time as part of her day. Maybe she can get a little bike too and ride around, or it is a time that she gets to watch a cartoon she likes -- and it becomes a little ritual for her too.

Just a thought. Good luck to you!

moonduster said...

I haven't been letting myself make excuses. I have 6 kids; my younger three are ages 6, 3 and 2. I am over 37 weeks pregnant with my 7th. I have developed SPD which causes excruciating pain in my hip/pelvic area. But I am spending 60 to 80 minutes a day on my elliptical crosstrainer anyway.

And yes, my older kids sometimes help by watching the younger kids for me. What's more important? Their convenience, or me being healthy enough to stick around for them in the years to come?

Other times, I make up a play area for the two youngest to play in safely while I work out.

Yes, it's hard. But is it important to you?

You really can do this!

earnie said...

Exercise with your kids. Use them as weights to lift. Any place you would use a dumbbell, use a kid instead. Race across the floor on your stomach or on your back with them. Make it fun for your kids to exercise with you. Hula hoop? Sit ups. Lots you can do if you try.

Best of luck.

Dinah Soar said...

Give yourself some credit Lyn--you are trying to figure it all out--it's a process and it takes time.

You don't have the luxury that a lot of others have--that is alone time to yourself. So you have to be creative.

I'm thinking,that unless your 3 year old has some special problem, she should be learning to play alone, without mommy's ongoing attention. My suggestion is to go into the room with the bike, take her and some of her toys, and shut the door. Tell her that you are going to ride your bike and that she must play alone until you are finished. Then follow through. Let her cry, throw a fit--whatever. Eventually she'll understand you mean it and she will play alone. If your bike is not in a room with a door, then what about putting her in a playpen--although I imagine at her age she'd just crawl out--lol.

If you can walk in your neighborhood and have a stroller, put her in it and go...or do as my friend did--put her in a child carrier that you strap on your back--my friend did this until her child was age 4..the extra weight causes you to burn more calories.

All that being said, I do know it is hard, even with solutions, to work that daily exercise in--I have the same problem. I always find other stuff that needs doing. It's a case of the urgent taking priority over the important. I guess we have to let something go or wait while we put our health first. I'm still learning to do that, and my children are grown and gone and I'm a full-time housewife--and I have a place to walk. I have some minor physical issues, but even when I didn't, it was hard to do the daily walk. Once I got a few days under my belt then I was enthused and continued...but getting going...hard stuff.

As to your gain--it's likely fluid. Almost without fail when I lost the 50 doing WW, I'd always show a gain then a big loss--like 3 pounds. Otherwise it was a measly 1/2 pound loss. So, my guess it that you will drop a good number of pounds soon. You have been doing well with your eating.

If you don't show a good loss, my "wonder" is are you eating enough? I was told that many times at WW, that maybe I didn't lose because I needed to eat more!! Go figure.

You are on the road--still working out the kinks...but you're going to get there!

Lela said...

Thank you for your encouragement. If you check out my blog ( you'll see that my month holds some fitness challenges of it's own! I appreciate knowing I'm not the only one who struggles with "I can" vs. "I can't". It's been a couple months of "I can't", so I guess it's time to turn things around!