Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Day Before The Day Before

Hi. My name is Erin. I am 30 years old, and I am fat. No, really.

I wasn't always fat, and I think I have spent considerable time and energy convincing myself that I didn't look that bad. After a while I think I got in the habit of only looking at myself from the chest up, never looking at my upper arms, looking in a full length mirror from way far away, and convincing myself that I was still thin. Well, maybe not thin, but just a little...thick. Not thin, but just a little fat. Ok, a bit fat, but not really fat. Ok, fuck you, I'm fat, but I'm not REALLY fat. Right?

I eat what I want, and sometimes I eat when I don't really want to. Ok, a lot of times I eat more than I want to. I eat when I'm upset, angry, frustrated, bored. I eat to reward myself, to make myself feel better, to celebrate, to do all kinds of things. Meanwhile, I don't like being active. I like to think of myself as graceful and physically lovely in a fleeting deer kind of way. Except I can't bound and leap like a deer. And I don't like to run (I have never been built for either speed or distance). I fantasize about being able to move, to run, to do active things, but in reality I've come to the point where it is getting hard to get around. I can totally go up stairs and down stairs, get in and out of cars and stuff like that, but running around with my two-year old is a lesson in humility (or humiliation). It's hard to be an involved parent when your kid wants to run around and play and you peter out after about 10 yards. I can feel my body moving in all sorts of ways that don't mean fitness. You know, kind of like your body keeps moving after you stop. Ooooh yeah.

So I am going to try--no wait, I am going to DO something about it. I have tried things in the past, and that was all basically bullshit. I have tried Weight Watchers, the Zone, going vegetarian, LA Fitness, more Weight Watchers, chitosan, metabolife (and these were taken back in the day when ephedra was still in them--wasn't that a wild ride.), smoking, even taking laxatives or epsom salts a few times (if you are curious, don't bother wasting your time on such a horrible thing to do to yourself), and even more things that I can vaguely recall. All of this experimentation started when I was in my early 20s. I put on a few pounds, I tried various things to get them off, basically everything except eating less and exercising more. I gave up on those pounds and acquired more. I started to get big when I was about 23, and have grown even more since then.

Right now, I am 5'5", and I weight 190 pounds.

I recently went on vacation with my fiance and our son, to visit my parents. No, my mom never said a word, but our vacation pictures sure said a lot. They said: HOLY SHIT, HONEY, YOU ARE FAT. At least, that's what I saw.

A while back (in another lifetime, but I digress), I tried Body-for-LIFE. I made it to the two-month mark before I gave up in one day because I woke up exhausted from running on empty the day before. I had worked hard, lifting weights, eating carefully prepared meals, and I had been really seeing results, but I blew it off after one bad night when I couldn't eat when I needed to, and woke up feeling like hammered crap the next day, and decided the best cure was to order a pizza. I remember that day vividly, for some reason. I also remember before that day, when my friends and co-workers remarked on my toned arms. I want to try it again, and really complete it this time. That's what this is all about.

The first time I did BFL, I didn't take a proper before picture. As I type this, I am squeezed into a torn up sports bra and a pair of jogging shorts, waiting for Steve (my fiance) to get off the phone so he can take my before pictures. I am going to do this. I am putting it all out there. If I can't do a 12 week program to get my body back in order, to love and care for myself like I try my hardest to love and care for my son and my fiance, then--well, no, there just is NO other option. 12 weeks are going to go by, whether or not I do this. Do I really want to have done nothing in this time when I feel so horrible about my body, about what I've done to myself?

I am afraid to talk too much about food in front of other people, in case they are thinking about what a fatty I am.

Clothes are running tight on me, even my big ones.

I nicknamed Andrew (my son), "green bean", and when I call him that, I wonder if people think that all I think about is food.

When I eat in front of other people, I berate myself and imagine them berating me as well for thinking I could eat when I am the size of a house.

I am so afraid someone will call me fat when I cross the street in public.

I work at the local YMCA, and I feel like such a hypocrite for working there and being so big.

I compare myself (always unfavorably) with other women, especially other mothers who aren't big, like me.

I'm scared to be active and moving in front of others, in case I look like a rabid water buffalo.

And on and on, ad nauseum.

So, as part of my being accountable to myself, I am starting the Body-for-LIFE for women plan this Monday, August 17th. I wrote up a contract for myself, like the book suggests (thank you, Pamela Peeke), I have done the written exercises as I have come across them. I just came back from the grocery store for my first food run for this new lifestyle. Ground up turkey (hmmm, ok), fruit, smaller potatoes (it's going to take some getting use to with these smaller, correct-sized portions), cottage cheese, and on and on. I also went to Play-It-Again Sports and purchased some adjustable dumbells to work out with--I'm terrified to try lifting weights at the local Y, when I would need the pictures in the book to learn how to lift, and I'd be slow, and, well, I'd be more comfortable starting out here at home, on my own, at first.

I am also going to write about my hard work and exercise, my eating, my thinking, and whatever else. Right here, and also in a journal I bought for the occasion. It is on like Donkey Kong, honey. If I don't do this, if I don't do this NOW, I am in deep shit. Really.

Pre Body-for-LIFE measurements

bust: 43"
upper arm: 13.5"
waist: 43" (!)
abdomen: 44.5"
butt: 45.5" (shit, Jennifer Lopez ain't got nothin' on me)
thigh: 28"
calf: 15.5"

Before picture coming tomorrow. In a weird, sick, morbid way, I am off to have a last night of debauchery and sick-mindedness, with a 20 ouncer of Coke and a bag of Dove milk chocolate bars, in front of some Battlestar Galactica (kick ass show, by the way). I feel like if I really wallow in this nasty way of eating that I have been living in for the past 10 or so years, then I will feel gnarly and will be even more willing to engage in this new way of life. That, and there's a little whisper of panic in my gutt at the all the upheaval and change. Yeah, part of this accountability bit is going to be about being honest, even when it's not pretty. Especially when it's not pretty.

I'm coming back here tomorrow with some before pictures. This will be real. It won't be pretty, and I'm (for once) not going to apologize about it. See you tomorrow.

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