Sunday, November 21, 2010

What I Want

There is a disconnect between the things I truly want for myself and the reality of what IS, or what is even possible. I've struggled for the past few days and I am probably going to be doing more introspective writing *instead* of turning to food, in order to turn things around this week. Some of what I write might not make a lot of sense to some people, I understand that. But I am really having a hard time right now, so this week is going to be more writing what *I* need to write without a whole lot of consideration for what might or might not make sense to others. I'm sure most of you get that. But for those who get annoyed when I "overthink" or "dwell on the past," you may want to take a break from my blog this week. Just saying.

What I want:
I want to NOT want junky food. I want to have a desire for healthy, whole foods and a revulsion for overly processed, "nasty" greasy crap foods like potato chips, candy bars, Little Debbie cakes, and fast food. I mean really. In my MIND I think "yuck" because I know what's in them and how bad they are for me. I know they are cheap crap and a real peach or some homemade soup *should* taste far better. I want to turn up my nose at those junky foods. I want to say my taste buds have changed so much that Dominoes pizza tastes nasty to me.
What Is:
Sometimes, in fact most of the time, I do not crave old junk. Most of the time it doesn't appeal to me. Usually I do want freshly cooked healthy stuff instead. But sometimes, maybe 1/4 of the time, I still WANT junk and actually, if junk food had the same nutritional value as whole foods I think I would choose junk about half the time. Little Debbie cakes still taste good to me. Potato chips are yummy to me, even though they are greasy and salty. I still WANT hot dogs and fried chicken even though the thought of it sort of grosses me out. I still want to eat candy and cookies and cakes.

What I want:
I want to feel full after a reasonable amount of food. I want to stop when I am full and eat when I am hungry and not obsess about food. I want to be ABLE to have one cookie if I feel like it and not go insane.
What Is:
Most of the time... 80% of the time... I DO stop when I am beginning to get full. Most of the time I don't obsess anymore. There has been a LOT of progress. But, yes, sometimes, rarely, I WANT to eat until I feel almost sick. Sometimes I want to eat, then eat again, and again, and again. Sometimes, I can have one piece of chocolate or one cookie or one taste of something off plan and be fine with that. But every once in awhile, that one bite or one cookie throws me into some kind of chaotic state. I feel like I am flung into a frenzy of eating where I CANNOT stop thinking about food and I CANNOT stop eating more and more and more. And it is very, very hard to break out of that. And it is very difficult for me to say "never" to anything. "Never" is a very long time, and if I say I will "never" eat cheesecake again, it just makes me want cheesecake more than anything in the world, and I am, in fact, likely to bake and eat an entire cheesecake because, after all, I will "never" have it again, so I better enjoy it one last time. I can't do "nevers."

What I want:
I want to be able to run or jog or do aerobics classes. I want to do squats and lunges. I want to do a lot more exercise and feel great about my body.
What Is:
I am physically INCAPABLE of doing these things. And it makes me really upset when people keep telling me to "take up running" or "do an hour a day of aerobics" because hello, I *want* to but I cannot! How would you feel if you had two broken arms and people kept telling you that you needed to do 30 pull ups every day? Seriously, it is so frustrating. You can bet that if I could run or do aerobics for an hour a day I would do it. Part of what hinders me is frustration with my ability to *do* the amount and types of exercise I want to do. My knees are shredded. Seriously. My orthopedic surgeon says the ONLY reason I have not needed surgery YET is the weight loss, and that I will still need total knee replacements in the future at a pretty young age. I have almost no cartilage in my knees. I have severe degenerative arthritis, a torn meniscus, and bone spurs. I used to be in pain every single day just from walking around the house, but with weight loss I am now able to walk up to 2 miles a day. However, my doctor, future surgeon, and the physical therapist say:
NO running or jogging, ever
NO weight bearing exercise such as an "aerobics" class or step class where I am actively working and on my feet for long periods
NO elliptical
NO regular biking... recumbent only
NO walking on a treadmill (something about the surface and the angle and unnatural pacing being damaging to my knees)
NO squats, lunges, seated knee-bending or -straightening exercises

The only things I am allowed to do right now are riding my recumbent exercise bike (indoors, since I don't have an outdoor recumbent), swimming, or walking. Also weight training my upper body and any lower body exercises that do not involve the knee joint (such as straight leg lifts).

I have tried swim aerobics twice and had severe pain afterwards. I can do swimming without pain only if I do not involve my legs much. I can walk up to 2 miles outside but am somewhat restricted when it gets frigid out unless someone is available to watch my daughter.

I have also been roller skating once or twice a month *against* the advice of my doctor. It is something I want so badly that life without it seems just unbearable (I know that sounds dramatic, but I want to skate SO BAD). So I carefully skate for an hour at a time, slowly, hoping against all hope that I can build up to real skating someday. I know full well that if I fall I am in deep trouble, but I have no pain after an hour of skating so I am willing to risk it.

So reality is what I am ABLE to do in addition to what I am already doing, is bike. I have struggled A LOT with adding this back in. If you've been around long you may recall how I have ended up with severe foot pain when I go beyond 30 minutes on the bike. You may remember my trying various shoe types and inserts and pedaling different ways, but when I'd injure a foot I could not bike for WEEKS until it healed. Very discouraging. And I have never (yet) been able to bike for more than 35-40 minutes without having knee pain that prevents me from biking again for several days. So it sucks, and it is not as simple as some people might think it is. And if you think I am making excuses then I hope you never have to live with this kind of physical issue, because it truly does suck to WANT to exercise and be physically unable.

So yes, I am sort of depressed about the whole exercise thing. Yes I could start biking again. I am just hesitant because in my mental state if I end up with an injury I think it will be a really bad thing to throw on top of the struggle I am having. And yes I could start lifting weights (upper body), I have everything set up to do so but honestly I just am so discouraged because of what I CANNOT do and feel like doing a bunch of biceps curls is not going to make a difference. I am wrong about that... I know in my HEAD it would help but my emotions are saying "screw it" right now.

What I want:
To not be fat anymore.
What is:
I lost over 100 pounds and I am still fat. I was in the tub last night and while my upper body looks great and even "average sized," the amount of fat on my belly and thighs is, frankly, disturbing. I am not talking vanity here. I am talking large handfuls of fat. My lower body is in horrendous condition and if I posted a picture of it you would not believe I am not obese anymore. It looks well over 200 pounds. Well over. And that is messing with my head. However it is within my power and control to lose more weight, so I guess what I should do is DO that instead of moping about my body.

That's all for now.

38 comments:

Charlotte K said...

I am just starting on my weight loss journey. What you have already lost is so so impressive. I think you should stick with the walking as exercise. Dr. Andrew Weil has a quote I wrote down to keep in mind because I too have arthritis and other physical issues with my knees. It sounds sort of mundane, but it can help you remember that you don't need to be an athlete to lose weight:

"I have seen very obese people reach their optimal weights in several months by walking every day in combination with sensible dietary modification."

If we are going to keep off weight for our entire lives we have to find a way to do it without extraordinary means. When you are an 85 year old lady, you will still be getting a nice workout walking around the block when other people have blown out their knees & feet.

I can't advise on cravings because I don't have them but my favorite low cal treat is 1/2 cup of fat free yogurt with a couple of teaspoons of high quality jam. It's something the French eat, full of sweetness & flavor but very few calories and no fat. YUM.

LN said...

I hear you!

Jenn said...

I've read your blog for a couple of years now and I'm very impressed with what you've been able to accomplish. I also like how you journal your struggle "warts and all" for the blog world to follow. I know the last couple of winters you've sat in front of a light box to help lift your mood. Have you tried that yet this winter? It might help.

Keep up the good work! I know you can do it.

Twiggy said...

I have been reading for quite a while and I wanted to delurk to cheer you on today. You said it yourself in a previous post that the secret is to NEVER GIVE UP! I know you're not giving up, but you sound a little bit rattled. Hang in there, you are worth it!

Leslie said...

Lyn, I could have written this post. Your juxtaposing reality against earnest desires is excellent, and I may bootleg the idea from you and do the same. Learning to truly accept ourselves and "what IS" is a tall order.

With the condition of both my knees, I have at last given up the idea that I will ever be able to jog again. I used to run 20 miles/week years ago - even when I was beginning to gain weight. It's been my dream to return to that, but with these knees it isn't going to happen. So I do what you do - walk. I often can go at a good clip for 4-6 miles, but sometimes can only do 20-30 minutes at a slower pace. I'm gong to drop my gym membership as soon as my contract runs out in March because I can't do much of the leg stuff they ask. And now my elbows are both screwed up from years of tennis, so even upper body movement is compromised!

Anyway - You continue to set such a good example of putting it all out there, and help so many people in the process, including me.

Diana said...

Lyn, I read your posts every single day. I feel like I know you.

I'm sorry you're going through this. You sound just like me. The struggles with wanting to eat and overeat, and the body image issues.

It's funny (well, sort of funny) because we weigh the same now, 175, and we're the same height, 5' 6". We even have similar body types. My hips and thighs are my worst nightmare. I hate them. I curse them every day. My upper body, I like it. I love my shoulders and my strong arms. Yet my lower body totally dictates how I feel about myself. Because I hate that part of my body, I often say horrible things to myself.

Now here's the funny part. When you posted your latest set of pictures of you at 175 I thought to myself...why does she look so drop dead sexy at the same weight and height as me and I look like shit? Seriously Lyn, that's exactly what I thought. I was jealous of you because you have a hot little body. The only thing I could think was well, she must be built differently than me. Obviously she doesn't have big, fat thighs like me and big, wide hips with saddle bags hanging off of them. I thought your body looked tiny. I just didn't get why you looked like you do at the same weight and height at me, and I look, well, gross.

I guess it's all about perception. I think you look beautiful and sexy. I think what you think about your body is distorted. For some reason you can't see what the rest of us see. I get that because I seem to have the very same issue. I look at pictures of myself 20 pounds ago at 155 and think, oh my God, look at those thighs! They look like I have on a fat suit!

Yes, I think we're the same person. :)

Take care my dear. You'll get past this. It's rough and hard work, but you'll do it.

David Crowell said...

Regarding still being a "fat person": You *have* lost 100lbs. Even if you never lose another pound, you made a huge difference. Your body will thank you in the long-term. Nothing wrong with losing more, but don't consider your effort a failure, you've already succeeded.

Knees: I mostly agree with your doctor, except the no cycling part. Riding a bike (real bike or exercise bike) is good for bad knees as long as the extension is right. If you're not almost fully extending your knees at the bottom of the stroke, adjust the saddle. Oh, and recumbents are a blast too! Cycling is often recommended for therapy after a knee replacement. Keep that in mind for the future.

Exercise: Running is out due to your knees. Many other things are not. You can do 5 minutes of cardio as long as you don't hurt parts of your body that are damaged. Right? After a while 5 minutes becomes 10, becomes 20, and so on. You are walking now. They may be all you need to stay healthy and fit. That is more exercise than most of the general population. Again, you have succeeded.

Skating: If you love skating and it doesn't cause you pain, that sounds perfect. Listen to your body, even more than your doctor. Your doctor hasn't lived in your body.

Lisa said...

It's great that you're writing these feelings out. I think that by wanting healthy, whole foods *most* of the time, and walking, and eating only till you're full *most* of the time, you're doing a fabulous job! Imagine if you were seeing the same behaviors and thoughts, including the dissatisfaction with body, from one of your children, or a close friend -- would you be so critical of them? I doubt it. Celebrate yourself instead, because you are awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, this may sound more rude than I mean it, but potato chips taste good. Junk food will not lose its power because you eat more healthy; it's addictive stuff. I have been eating healthy for 20 years, and I still love the fried potatos and the fried corn chips. I LIKE a good vegetable tart and salad, too - but a lot of it is what you let yourself think about, the part of you that says "this will sit like a rock in my stomach so I can't sleep" or "this will give me energy and brain power to help my kids". If I really do the taste comparison in my head, gourmet pizza wins out over dominos. Gourmet anything wins out, though. I don't eat little debbie, but I still eat chocolate - a 60 calorie Lindt truffle has the same flavor, same cost. Or you can make pumpkin brownies (brownie mix plus can of pumpkin instead of oil). I add cocoa to a lot of things to give a chocolate flavor with NO calories. Fat-free ricotta, plus hazelnut syrup (sf) and raspberries - you don't even have to cook it, it still tastes great. If you pit chicken/broccoli against junk food, junk food will win. But there's all kinds of middle ground.

Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry that you are so angry right now. I suggested a learn to run group. Only trying to be positive. I broke my neck 3 years ago...I wish I could run the 1/2 marathons I used to do...but I still have friendships I made there and I can still walk (3 years post surgery), I can control my bladder, so I figure life is good. I could revel in what goals I had, but i have learned to choose to keep moving. So I can never run again (and I loved running) but I can still walk. I was being nice but now here is the hard truth....STOP WHINING! YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE YOUR BODY EVERY DAY! YOU HAVE A CHOICE! Get over yourself and move! I know that sounds harsh, but I think right now you are looking for someone to enable you...

Anonymous said...

I am just startn to read blogs and I love the fact that ur very candid about ur feelings. That's a good thing, at least u recognize it and r exspressn it. Now I feel u 100% u seemed on an overall to still b doing fairly well. Maybe u need to give ur self a lil room and have some of the things u want without goin overboard sometimes. U might b feeln a lil to restricted uv been doin it for a while. Don't stop or give up jus allow urself a little room. You have done an incredible job. I'd kill to way what u way right now. Hang n there and stay hopeful& prayerful!

MargieAnne said...

Don't ever apologise. Your journey is your own and worthy of you. You have put your whole heart into it and have done exceedingly well, better than many including me.

Re exercise. Never, never apologise for not doing what others think you should.

Walking and swimming are adequate. You are moving. You do your household chores and other everyday activities. Maybe more exercise would make it easier to lose weight but so what. This is more about learning to eat healthy and your balance seems pretty good 90% of the time. That's better than most skinny people.

I wish I had some of your strength both in recognising your feelings around food and describing them and in self control.

Congratulations on how far you've come and I know you will go as far as you wish.

jinks1 said...

I know this might not help but keep on keeping on. You have been through so much and I'm really not one to give advice but thank you for all of your posts. The good ones and the not so good ones.

We are all human and we all make mistakes. I mean if we weren't addicted to food then we wouldnt have gotten so large Right? I have been following you for years and look forward to your blog.

Kinda sad that my highlight in my day is reading your blog! :) You make me smile, laugh and cry with you and that means the world to me!

So, take some time... figure it out... I mean you have a lot more going on than most of us and the fact that you have done so much is amazing. Your mind is different now it seems so matter what you will never let yourself get back up again.

You know that ... it's hard to not keep losing, but sometimes your have to take care of your emotional heart too! Praying that you will feel better inside your heart ( that's what truly matters ):)

Theresa said...

Ah, where to start...........
I'll just start with a kind thought and a hug. I'm sorry you are struggling right now. The combination of the time of year, the weather, the issues with your family and of course the fact that the honeymoon is over with the weight loss... all of this stuff has collided at once. Take another deep breath (good job by the way for stopping to do that numerous times already!!) give yourself permission to forgive yourself that your meals/eating were not great. Most of all move on and take today for all it's worth. You've got lots of things you can't change....... but some things you can change. I hope you have a good day today and remember there are many people who care and who are here. :)

Anonymous said...

Not trying to sound harsh, but do you think you are trying to find a way to excuse your eating for the winter and the "eating" holiday season? This sounds like you want to give up until New Year's, which I know you will hate the results of if you do it.

There are ways to sit and exercise, even if you just sit in a chair you can still move your body and burn up some calories. At the Y that I go to there are lots of people who hobble in with canes and even wheelchairs, and they hoist themselves onto the machines. I couldn't believe it when I first started going, but they are exercising.

Please don't give up.

PaulaM

Anonymous said...

{{{Hugs}}} from someone you have never met. I totally get it and I think you need to overthink things (as I do) so you really understand why you came to be overweight in the first place. I am inspired by you and am losing weight, but I totally get the sitting in the tub thing seeing handfuls of hanging fat. There are days I think, "Was it worth it when the sagging skin with dimples sometimes looks worse than the solid filled up wrinkles and fat?" YES!! YES!! Think about how your heart is happier having to pump so much less! Think about amusement rides. Think about your energy level. Think about how sometimes with Spanx, you look awesome. I look at your "After" picture and think you look marvelous. My husband is not overweight and has lost 30 lbs. and is young but he also has bad knees since Grade 3. Same with our daughters....it's hereditary and even with proper shoes, they get sore knees and can't do things. BUT they can still do lots of other things. Try not to get down!! You are a special person inspiring to many. I appreciate you being REAL!!!! I sometimes get down when I see my small Weight Watchers leader with her biologically small hips. Even when I was skinny, I had a large dimpled butt and thighs. LOL!! Blessings to you,
Rose

Anonymous said...

You are being WAY too hard on yourself. Nobody's perfect. I am still tempted by junk food although I know the kind of food that's healhy. And I now eat that way too 90% of the time. But you know what? You're HUMAN. You ARE allowed to have a donut every once in a while. It's okay. You just work out a little more or eat a little less at the next meal and it will even out. Don't think in terms of "never". Think "today I plan to eat healthy." If you slip up, don't beat yourself up. Say, "Oh well. I will eat less and exercise a little more and it will even out." Amy

Lauren said...

Just wanted to give you a bit of hope about the still looking fat thing...I was the exact same way when I was where you are in my weight loss. I had a great toned upper body, and my lower body was strong and in shape. It just looked horrible with the same handfuls of fat you are talking about. I had to get down even lower for that to start slimming up. (I'm considerably shorter than you, so I won't give you a weight since it wouldn't equal out, but I was a size 10 when I had my "I've worked so hard, but I'm still so FAT" moment. If you continue to lose, you will see results in your lower body. It was ALOT of work for me to drop enough weight so that I was happier with how my lower body looked. I'm still trying to determine if I can keep it up, and if it's even worth it to try. But just knowing it could be done really helped me mentally.

Sweeter than Sugar said...

Blogging is a weird thing really. There is a whole bunch of people out there who feel like they know you now and yet you have no idea why they are. I am one of those people. Your blog is usually the first one I read or sometimes I'll leave it till last as a sort of treat. You write so well, everything you describe seem to come alive. And sometimes it's so personal it makes me ache with you. However I hope that you always remember that it's *your* blog and don't feel that you have to apologize for writing whatever you want or need to write. If you want to devote a whole post to elastic bands and how brilliant you think they are you should do so and don't worry about your readers! Worry about yourself.

I don't have a lot of advice for you (apart from the one above..eh); do you like getting advice anyway? Often I have the feeling people in general enjoy giving them much more than receiving them.. Although I do have one snack tip for you if you like apples and cinnamon?

Just peel an apple, cut it into pieces and microwave them for about a minute or until they get a consistency that you like and then sprinkle some cinnamon over. They give me a bit of the feeling of having apple pie or apple cake of some sort but without the guilt!

/Sending good thoughts your way

mog said...

I just wanted to say that I really sympathise with not being able to work out how you want to due to your knees. Mine are not quite as bad, but have really limited me and I get frustrated when people just expect you to power through it.

On the off chance that these ideas might be useful to you - have you tried using a kick board to do laps of your pool? You kick from the hip, not the knee as you would for overarm stoke, and it should be pretty easy on your knees. Scissor kicks might also work for you as you would for side stroke.

Hip flexor machines are AWESOME fun and very easy on the knees and still give your quads/glutes/hamstrings a big work out. Also hamstrings curls on a fitball. Your knees may never know you have done anything, but the rest of you will know ALL about it.

And have you tried 'walk aerobics' for something to do at home? The steps are all based on walking and anything that aggravates your knee you can adjust down till it suits you.

I got a lot of these tips and ideas when working with my personal trainer who tailored programs for me AROUND my dodgy knees, maybe some of them will help you.

Do you have plans to get your knees done? I will mostly likely have to as a result of a motorbike accident and obesity.

Lynna said...

With a progressive neuromuscular disease, I can relate to the sense of not wanting to do the things that were still left to me... I was stuck in mourning the losses. Sedentary and eating to numb the pain, I gained 100 pounds. (I've lost 50 in the past 6 months, tho.)

Something clicked in me, tho, and I decided that I wanted to be a super fit wheelchair user. My goal is to be lithe, sexy, muscular and athletic. All I can do is ride a seated recumbent exercise machine called a Nustep and use resistance bands for upper body... but I am getting fit and seeing muscles appearing is more of a rush than any food, however delicious, has ever satified.

I think it's essential to mourn the losses, and then to embrace with gusto that which is still left. For me, the things that are still left are all the more precious and provide more satisfaction than when I was able to do everything when I was able-bodied. (I appreciate the privelege of being able to ride my Nustep instead of mourning that I can't go outdoors and jog. alot of this is in our minds and in the attitudes that we choose.)

Lyn said...

Jenn~

I will get the light box out tonight for tomorrow morning. Thanks for the reminder. I know the light box helps.

Diana~

How funny, I remember looking at YOUR pictures and thinking, "why does she look so good and I am still fat?" LOL! I guess we have a hard time seeing our own bodies in a positive light. I am getting better at it though, just NOT in the bath tub!!

Anonymous (who said chips taste good)~

True. I have read a lot of bloggers, though, who claim that they lost their taste for junk. Who say chips taste nasty, too salty, and greasy. I keep waiting for that to happen to me. I admit I have tasted things that I used to like and now they are too sweet, so I guess that is progress.

Lyn said...

mog~

My knee surgery plan is to wait as long as possible. My reasoning is that as years go by, surgery techniques improve. So the longer I can put it off (within reason) the more likely I will have some new, less invasive, successful procedure! Hoping to wait 5-10 years.

Lyn said...

Anonymous (the one who told me to stop whining)~

This is my blog. My introspection and examination of my feelings is not whining. It is the reason I was able to lose 100 pounds in the first place, and will be a key if I am going to keep it off. So if my blog is too "whiny" for you then don't read it. YOU have a choice.

And in case you haven't noticed, I don't need some random stranger on the Internet to "enable" me. I binge when I binge and it has nothing to do with anyone's approval or disapproval.

(sorry folks, I am just *so over* this kind of ridiculous comment.)

Anonymous (PaulaM)~

I don't take your comment as harsh, because you have been here with me a long time and have always tried to be helpful. So thank you for that.

I already decided not to make many of the usual things I make for Thanksgiving, like homemade stuffing or pies, because I know it will be too much temptation. I totally do not want to eat through the holidays... the thought makes me feel really stressed out. I'd be back over 200 pounds again if I did that, and I am not willing to go there.

Don't worry, I am far from giving up. I am still walking when I can. I skate every other week. And I am trying reaaaaaaaaaally hard to force myself back on that bike sometime soon. I am not just sitting around, if I gave that impression. I spent probably 4 hours raking the yard this week alone. Broke a good sweat too.

I really really want to thank everyone for the good thoughts who *gets* what I am saying (or even if you don't get it, but try to be supportive anyway). I admit I am in a very bad mood today from sugar withdrawal headaches, although I am not bingeing.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, so sorry about the "stop whining" comment. It never helps me, at all, to think how much worse my life could be if I broke my neck, was a quadraplegic, etc. (Tony Robbins does a motivational talk showing a quadraplegic to help people see how good their lives are. Yeah, fine, we all have our crosses to bear.) If you haven't seen it, Mark Bittman has a lovely selection of healthy t-day recipes on the nytimes site.

Another healthy-adjustment anecdote: After a few years eating a low-fat, low-sugar diet, I went on a 3 day backpacking trip where I ate VERY clean, as in oatmeal, dried fruit, rehydrated beans and rice; when we got back to civilization we all went to eat pizza, which was fine (and has never lost its appeal either), but then the next day we ate fast food on the drive home. I got the bean chili (with meat) and was nauseous within half an hour because my body just couldn't handle that much whatever - fat, meat, something.

I do think you can train yourself, psychologically (NLP) to hate potato chips or fried chicken, but I don't think you lose the ability to digest it the way i did that chili.

Lynna said...

I am about to leave a comment that may be extremely poor blog etiquette... that is to say, I want to respond to somebody who posted on your comments.

To the anonymous writer who talked about not being inspired by the idea of the quadriplegic who has it so much worse... I want to say: I know alot of quads who have it SO much better than most able-bodied people I know because they have learned to love their bodies just the way they are and to embrace life. When I read about people hating their bodies, I want to weep. Even paralyzed from the hips down, it is possible to love and to honor the parts of our bodies that we used to despise.

Give it a try. Tell your dimpled thighs or sagging belly how beautiful they are. Show honor to the "defective" parts and watch what happens! Fall in love with your bodies.

Marilyn said...

Thank you so much for all your blogs - I've been following you daily for the past couple months and am SO impressed with all the topics you raise and your awareness of where you're at, as well as your insights into where you're going. I've dropped 75 pounds myself and am flabbergast at how fat I STILL am - it's not depressing so much as astonishing that I carried THAT much extra weight for SO many years without addressing the situation - but I truly believe I was doing the best I could to survive through that time in my life.

Re. exercise - my knees, ankles and feet can't take the abuse, even though I DID jog off 60 pounds in the mid-1980s. Instead, I've been doing a bounce-&-shake exercise I learned through John Gray (Mars & Venus books) for 5 minutes, 2x/day this past week and it's helping move my lymph without wearing out my still-painful feet. It's much less arduous than lunges or squats, which I couldn't do if my life depended on it!

Someday I may lose my appetite for Little Debbies, etc. - but it sure hasn't happened yet!! Stay the course, Lyn - and please keep blogging! You have no idea how many people you are helping besides yourself!!

XOXO - M

Anonymous said...

I read you because you write my life. How is that possible? It just is. I will say this, though, about the very end of your post. The "after" photo you've got up there belies your concern about lower body. You look fine, balanced, and normal. Your head is messing with you.
kathyA

Lyn said...

Anonymous (kathyA)~

Thank you. I too look at the pictures, or even myself in the mirror and go, "hey wow I look great!" In clothes, I do. I guess the fat compresses well or something, lol. No clothes, and omg I feel honestly like I am still very, very obese. I geuss it takes awhile for the head to catch up with the weight loss.

Anonymous said...

Lynna, I don't give a rat's behind about my "dimpled thighs" but I have dealt with abusive work situations and other personal stuff that is horrible in its own way. There are people (some of them my own relatives) living in poverty, there are quadriplegics, there are all kinds of difficulties that people have to bear. Knowing that someone has hit more bad luck than I have does not make my bad fortunes less aggravating or infuriating. I wouldn't tell a quadriplegic to be grateful they aren't a starving child in Ethiopia, because they're still a human being who is struggling with a huge loss. Telling a woman married for 30 years to the love of her life (hypothetical, not me) that her grief pales next to someone who lost their physical limbs (rather than a spouse which feels like spiritual limbs) is, if not rude, then at least misguided.

Cynthia said...

Oh boy! I can totally relate.

On the junk food thing, give it time. Lots of time. I have found that things I used to eat and eat a LOT of, like Doritos, I now find too salty and rarely ever have any. At worst, I might eat a single serving bag. I rarely go after the Little Debbie stuff, when I used to eat it all the time. It just doesn't appeal to me like it used to.

Unfortunately, fast food still does appeal. I'll happily eat my thin crust Pizza Hut pizza. So the reality is that some items, you may always want to some degree.

The good thing is that if I do without my veggies, I start to crave them fairly quickly. I am finding more and more that I prefer to make my own whatever and I rely very little on processed foods. Things DO get better with time. Allow yourself that grace. I'm 53. It has taken QUITE a time, but it HAS gotten better each and every year, even though I still struggle with eating too much!

I think the feeling full thing also gets better with time, but I certainly have days where I am just plain hungry and want to EAT! The good news is that if I just must, I'm usually eating something nutritious. I agree, don't say never to anything... I too rebel like crazy against a never. I hate nevers!

On exercise, you have to work with what your body can do. Try not to dwell on the can'ts too much. I don't expect I'll be able to consider running or jogging ever either. I'm not ordered not to, but after all the injuries to my underpinnings, it's unlikely it would be possible to do without further injury.

I used to love roller skating too... but with the state of my ankles and feet at present, I doubt I could do it. At best, I'd need an old-fashioned pair of skates. Plus a place to skate!

I have one messed up knee, the other sometimes hurts too, because of my weight. I've got messed up feet and ankles. Messed up arms/shoulders thanks to a work related RSI years back. There's something going on still in my left thigh from a bout of squats that hurt me some 15 years ago. I injure easily.

However, I still think you might want to investigate the pool more. If swimming or water aerobics hurts, don't DO that. Consider just walking laps in the pool. The weight will be mostly off your knees and it is still movement and decent exercise, because of the water resistance. I watched an old lady with shredded knees doing it just the other day. She couldn't go quickly, she had to hold the lane lines for support, but she was doing it!

I am fortunate in that I can do a bit more than you, but I'm probably headed towards a knee replacement at some point. It is what it is. I'm hopeful that if I can reach goal, I can manage without. But if I gotta, I'll go bionic and be stronger for it.

On the body issue, I have a feeling I may end up the same way. I have always carried the most weight on my hips and thighs. We've done damage to ourselves and that just has to be faced. I agree it sucks though!

As much as possible, just keep remembering what's good in your life, what you are thankful for. It really does help banish the stuff that sucks a little.

Cynthia said...

One more thought... as you can still walk, have you ever tried a cross country ski machine, i.e. Nordic Track? They are often found cheaply at thrift stores... the Salvation Army store here had a half dozen out in their back lot that I saw once, when donating stuff.

It's similar to a walking motion, but more of a glide, so it is relatively easy on the knees. Balancing is the tricky part when you start, best to first get the leg movement down, then add the arms. It is very good exercise. I don't know if your body could take it or not. Mine still can, in spite of all the underpinning injuries, which is why I thought of it.

If you can find one, there are also such things as arm bikes, believe it or not! My gym in ND had them and I tried one once, quite hard and better exercise than you might think. Even without that, there have to be seated arm and upper body exercises you might could do.

Anything that gets the arms up over the head tends to raise heart rate and burn more calories.

As you can see, I try to focus on my "can do's" as much as my "can't do". It helps. A little. I do mourn a bit for what I can't do, but hope to be able to do more in the future.

Anyway, whatever you can or can't do, just hang tough. Have a great holiday week and know that others are fighting the fat battle alongside of you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

I wanted to comment about the exercise and share my experience about my mom. She started with one knee replaced then she overused her good knee and needed that good knee replaced too.

My mom is simply amazing. She was overweight for many years, and decided to go to the gym to try to lose weight and get healthier. She lost quite a bit of weight and her legs are a lot stronger now. She can't do a few of the nautilus machines, but she does most of them, and she's quite strong because of it. She got a heck of a lot of muscle from doing that. It was amazing, she's almost as strong as my dad is and my dad is a roofer. Imagine that.

My mom does some cardio on the treadmill but she can't go fast, but she does sweat a bit. She can only walk so far for each workout since she needs some energy to walk around for work. Anyway, I wanted to say that I think being able to go for long walks for exercise is excellent! My mom can't pedal the recumbent bike fast enough to sweat, since her first knee replacement was back in 1974, with old technology and all that. Anyway, my mom told me that using the bike for like 5 min-10 min helps gets the kinks out in her knee.

I also wanted to mention about your future knee replacements, please please do all of the exercises that your physical therapist will assign you after surgery. It will help you a million times to get better. It's unbelievable how those seemingly boring and simple leg lifts, but really they work a lot.

Also about after surgery, my mom told me how when the nurse tells you to move your knee and bend it a little, it seems impossible but by moving your legs and standing up for a few seconds then go back to bed helps a lot. Also my mom does the ABC's with her feet and it helps circulation and by the blood moving around in her legs it helps heal better and smoothly.

Lyn said...

I really appreciate all the suggestions given here. I know you guys care about me. And it means a lot to me to know I am definitely not in this alone! We all struggle.

Rhi said...

It really is so important to take care of your body, and it is good to see you doing that. I tore my meniscus a few months ago and had surgery soon after, so I know how much that part sucks. With how your knees hurt after biking that long, maybe icing afterward would help? It made mine feel better, and they wouldn't ache for long at all. For me, taking ibuprofen about half an hour before doing more strenuous exercise really helped too (although I can understand not wanting to take the medication! It is not right for everyone!). Just some suggestions that worked for me, although I know they may not work for you and your plan though. Stay strong and keep on going!

bbubblyb said...

Lyn, I sooooo get everything you have said here. I really think the struggle with food will be there forever "at times". I think we just have to do our best to work through those times and remind ourselves that we can do ANYTHING we put our minds too. We also have to trust ourselves that we can get right back on the wagon when we fall off. I think only time will help with this. I do think it will get somewhat easier.

As for how you look naked I so know that too. My body is a mess and yes it does still look like a very fat persons body. Yet I see my chest bones and realize that losing more weight isn't really going to help me at this point because I can't just lose 15 lbs off the bottom of me.

As for the exercise, I too have knee issues almost all the same that you have. I do what I can. My doctor has also told me I will need knee replacements eventually. What I've found is with following what the doctor says I have been able to build up my knees greatly. I do strength training that help to build all the muscles around my knees and in the past 2 yrs I have made a ton of progress where my knees are concerned to lesson my pain.

I know sometimes things feel so overwhelming. I say just look at how far you have come. You really have such a short way to go. I say just try to enjoy the new you. Something I've learned is being grateful is really what makes me feel the best emotionally. I know that you are grateful I have read many posts that you are. I also know at times we can't help but fall in a hole.

Anyway, hope you get to feeling better. *hugs*

Diandra said...

#1 - junk food is designed in a way to make our instincts go nuts. I have found out that some brands of chocolate will make me want more and more and more, and others won't. (I only buy the second brand. Even if I want the first one really badly sometimes. They're trying to trick me, and I don't like that.)

#2 - our body is designed to want fat and carbohydrates and everything that makes it last during the long hard winters. Think Several million years of evolution vs. two hundred years of nutritional abundance. You won't change that in your lifetime.

#3 - yes, it's easy for people who are not in your place to say, "Do this" or "do that" or "that's all just an excuse". And it won't change. Don't let them pull you down. You know you are doing what is good for your body, and nothing more. If swimming is all you can do as exercise, swim. If your physicians say any other kind of exercise will severely damage your body, trust them. Don't trust the others who "know better". (They're stupid anyway.)

SeattleRunnerGirl said...

I can't even imagine not being able to do the things I want to because of physical limitations. So with that caveat, I will throw my support & advice into the ring. Do what you can. Start slow. Thank your body for every day; every mile; every bicep curl; every minute on the bike. And when I say start slow, I mean it. I know you are afraid of an injury, and that would terrify me too. I had years where I sprained my ankles at the drop of a hat, until I was walking around slow and cautious like an old lady out of fear of doing it again! How about 5 minutes on the bike every morning for a little while?

In any case, hang in there. Keep writing your feelings and sharing your story. Not only will it benefit you, but it IS benefiting others (as is evident from the comments).