What makes ME fat

My close friend runs an amazing personal training business. She’s smart, funny and in the best shape of her life, which I can honestly say since I’ve known her for nearly 20 years! She recently put up a post that got me really thinking about being defeated before we even begin to get in shape, and these are my thoughts, my “fat story”, my reasoning on the matter…I really want to get to the bottom of things, because as she says in her blog, losing the weight is great but you need to figure out how you ended up in this spot to avoid it in the future.

So, on that note…meet the teenage me.

Me, when I was 16

As you can see for yourself, I obviously never struggled with a weight problem. Here I was probably at 120 at the most. I was young, active, and didn’t have to work hard to stay in shape. In fact, at that point, I thought eating healthy was only a step up from ripping your nails out as far as fun ways to spend Saturday nights go, and I never worked out unless you count horseback riding once in a while. I was a size small and didn’t think twice about it. But, with all of that said, the truth is I still didn’t like my body. I had a tiny bit of belly bulge that upset me, and I never wore shorts or skirts above the knee because my legs were “ugly and jiggly” (I can still remember saying that over and over). I was so worried that my arms would end up being ugly when I got older, because I already hated their shape.

I gained a little bit of weight over the next few years due to heavy drinking and less activity and more eating. When I got married in 2000, I was 19 and weighed about 130 pounds. I decided to lose weight after the wedding.

I lost weight alright…I got pregnant in June of that year. I ended up with a pregnancy disease called HG and within a matter of three weeks went from 140 to 117 pounds and a hospital bed. A week later I was down to 98 and in a nearly comatose state. When the HG finally went away, I was thrilled, but something had been triggered by being so close to death and out of control. It was the trigger that knocked on my emotional disorder’s door and brought it to the forefront. I covered a lot of this, including my exact diagnosis, in this blog, so there’s no need to go through it all again right here. But the fact was, my mental health totally overrode all of my physical health concerns. There were days when I absolutely could not force any food down, and if I did, it didn’t stay down; there were other days when I overate and over drank to the point where I almost couldn’t move! That, added to the different medications the doctors were trying me on to see what would be the most beneficial to my condition, sent me on a tailspin that brought on a huge weight gain.

At this moment I weigh 170 pounds. I gained most of that weight during the first year after my panic attacks and anxiety disorder started.

So now, I’m feeling really stuck and resentful of this body. I still take medicine to help maintain a level chemical balance, and have been in therapy for close to seven years, which has helped tremendously. One of the things I’ve realized through all of that is that I do like being heavy. To me, it’s a protection. I don’t want to deal with people. Sometimes I don’t want to deal with life in general. It’s easier to disappear if you’re considered an outsider, and being fat usually makes you an outsider. I also don’t have a healthy relationship with food or working out- I tend to either over or under do them both, and use them as punishments instead of fuel and help to feel good and be happier.

I have all of these reasons why I got in this spot, and even a basic understanding of why I’m having so much trouble sticking to this clean eating plan and healthy working out plan. but I just can’t seem to give myself that push I need to get started again. I’m terrified of failing at this – again – and also terrified of succeeding and “coming out of hiding”! So what’s the answer?

The answer is simple but complicated. I have got to change my thinking. About myself, my body, being skinny, being fat. I need to take out the negative thinking (All fat people are lazy, and I’m fat, so I’m lazy of course) and learn to have realistic expectations (I’ll be so happy when I can fit into a size 3 again, I’ll never have another panic attack or depressed day again!) I’m an all or nothing person, so I have to learn to be balanced about this.

It’s going to take time, but the best way to get started is to just do it. So I’m setting goals. Rather than going by a week or monthly schedule, I’m going to do a 21 day goal. I read somewhere that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. I’m not sure if that’s scientifically accurate, but I like that length of time – doable, long enough to allow for beginner’s burnout, short enough to not forget the urgency of the situation and keep focused.

My goals for the next 21 days:
A half hour of cardio a day
Arms and chest once a week with the weights
Eat two healthy meals and three snacks every day.

That leaves me room for improvement during the next 21 days but gives me something attainable now.

Anyone else want to set some 21 day goals? IF I can do it, you can do it…just jump in and start!