Sunday, May 26, 2013

why people are overweight

This one could get ugly, muffins.  I'm warning you right now.  I've included some nice little pictures with inspirational quotes to break it up and make you feel warm and fuzzy along the way. 

Let's talk about something we all wish we knew but hate to acknowledge: 

Why are people overweight?

Being "fat" has gotten a lot of negative attention over the years.  For some reason, it has become perfectly acceptable for a person's value to be tied to the number on the scale and the size on the tag.  Entire industries have been built on telling people they are not thin enough to be considered attractive or worthy of attention, and what happens?  People become depressed.  What do depressed people tend to do? Eat their feelings.  Vicious (delicious?) downward shame spiral ensues, and we are left with a situation where way too many people are facing serious health concerns and crippling unhappiness with their current situation.  I may sound a little nonchalant about all this - been there, done that, bought the XXL t-shirt and ate the cookies.

I found myself having this conversation with someone a couple years ago, talking about how people end up on shows like The Biggest Loser and "why can't they just do it at home?" Fat people are well aware they are fat - don't even worry about that.  They get snickered at and mocked and judged on a regular basis, and there is plenty of negative motivation to go around.  Is weight loss a difficult concept? Not really.  Clearly there is other stuff getting in the way.  

I really see weight issues as a symptom of low self-esteem and low self-worth.  We come by it honestly, with all the shit that gets shoveled on us through the media.  Unfortunately, this means that we tend to see our goals as worthless and unattainable (leading to the shame spiral again.  Hello, tequila, we meet again!)  

Let's look at this another way:  If you have 29 things to accomplish in a day, and you are pretty sure you're only going to have the time and energy to get to 14 of them, and you're already suffering from "I'm a fat piece of crap"-itis, chances are you're not going to feel motivated to go work out or think up a delicious salad idea.  This is usually where companies like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig come in: "We'll make losing weight effortless! All you have to do is eat our frozen pre-packaged crap or count points and you'll lose weight! It's simple!" Let's be realistic: if you're not making a healthy lifestyle a focus in your life, chances are you're not working on what got you into your position in the first place, and WW/JC are not going to cut it.  

That's why you need to do a little soul-searching.  What the hell is keeping you from losing the weight? What are the benefits you are getting from keeping it on?  
I find I have a hard time losing weight if I don't have a goal I'm working towards.  It's something I'm struggling with right now, post-6 week challenge.  For me, it's not good enough to say "I want to lose weight." I work best under pressure.  Maybe you do too.  More on this another time.

If you've identified that are you fed up with things the way they are, and you are needing a giant boot in the ass, here ya go.  (It's pom-pom time, bitches!)

You are the only one that can decide you're worth it, and you're going to have to be your biggest cheerleader.  You can't rely on other people noticing the changes you're making (some of them will even try to sabotage you, those bastards).  You have to be satisfied that you have done all you can at the end of the day to make yourself proud and happy, and you can't beat yourself up when you slip up.  

Start being selfish.  Or rather, start giving yourself what you deserve.  You are allowed to be happy. You are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to eat chocolate if you want.  You are allowed to let someone else figure out dinner while you go for a run.  Start making the time and doing this shit for you, because no one is going to offer it up.  

If not now, then when? Life is too fucking short to spend it unhappy.

You are overweight for a reason, but that doesn't mean it can't be changed and you're damaged goods.  Get your shit togetherYou can do this.


Monday, May 13, 2013

drop me a line

I just realized that I offer up my advice, but I maybe haven't made myself totally accessible.  Sorry about that, muffins! 

I also wanted to let you know I have a big post in the works.  I want to hear your thoughts and start a conversation about it all.  Here's how you can reach me:

One of my two Instagram photos.
It's vintage, in case you couldn't tell from the filter.
A whole 57 weeks old.

I'd put my cell number up on here, but I feel like that's just asking for trouble.  And syphilis. If you want to text me, email me and I'll give you my number, as long as you promise not to write it on bathroom walls of disreputable places.  Reputable places would be acceptable. (I really don't want syphilis.)

Watch for a big, gritty post coming soon.  I'm feeling feisty. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

a collection of small things

I've got lots of things on the go right now, and none of them really seem worthy of a big post so I'll put them altogether for your perusing pleasure.

  • I made cherry chocolate granola today.  I know - what have you done with your life up until this moment?  Probably nothing as awesome as that.  Costco has dried cherries, and you can use chocolate almond milk as your wet stuff. Doooo it.
  • I went shopping yesterday with my challenge winnings and ended up buying shorts.  I have no idea what I was thinking because my legs are still the bane of my existence, but who knows. I might surprise myself and wear them this week.
  • I'm attempting Indian food tonight.  I might (butter) chicken out and buy pre-made sauce to get my feet wet. Har har har. 
  • Thinking of new goals, a tattoo, and guinea-pigging myself for my embarrassment and your entertainment with some new exercise stuff - stay tuned. 
In the meantime, here is a picture that summed up my mood for the better part of my week.  Enjoy.
Go to Hyperbole and a Half. Go down the rabbit hole.

Monday, May 6, 2013

six weeks

A lot can change in six weeks.  
Body by Parks Boot Camp
Holy shit.  

I would highly recommend taking some pictures if you're trying to lose weight.  It makes you feel awesome when you look at them.  Yeah, I still have things I'm not happy with and those thighs are going to be getting a second round of the squat challenge, but damn it feels good to be a gangster.  

Over 6 weeks, I lost 15.8lbs and 11.5 inches. It is not impossible.  You can make huge changes in a short amount of time, but you are going to have to work for it.  Some of the things I think were key to my success were:

  • Extra workouts - any chance to get in extra calorie burn, I damn well took it.  On one day, I got up and did a 1 hr workout with sprints, arms, legs, core and cardio (burning over 800 calories), then I went and ran around a baseball diamond for 2 hours (another 500 calories), and later that night I went for a 90 minute walk (another 300-ish, didn't wear the strap).  And I still felt like I could have done more.  When you start to enjoy exercising and it isn't something you dread, you know you've hit a major milestone.  
  • Cleaned up the eating - I was already eating pretty clean before the competition, but I really focused on it during the challenge (and after).  I cut out my weekday coffee (with the crappy creamer),  salad dressing (try salsa!), and granola bars (so sugary now, blegh).  I upped my protein (hard boiled eggs and canned tuna for the win) and I started chugging 5-7 liters of water every day (sometimes with mint leaves and lime - "health mojito" haha!).  It was not really much of a hardship, and I felt way better for it.
  • Tracking the sh** out of those calories - Weight Loss 101 - calories in < calories out.  My Fitness Pal saved my ass on several occasions.  Do I look like I know how many calories are in an unsweetend green tea lemonade from Starbucks? MFP does.  Love it. 
  • Having fun in non-embarrassing ways - I pretty much stopped drinking alcohol a long while ago (last summer, maybe?), and when your drinking team has a dodgeball problem they like to tend to with beers, it can be a bit of a struggle to stay on track.  I actually spent a weekend out in Kananaskis with them in a hotel, with booze a-flowing.  At one point I did feel a little sheepish with a giant bag of carrots and a bottle of water in my hand, but there are better ways of enjoying myself than ending up puking in a bush. Just sayin'. (It may also make you a better leg wrestler.)
  • Not focusing on the finish line - If I told myself I was only going to clean up my act for six weeks to try and win a prize, I wasn't going to win the prize.  This competition was more about forcing my hand on some last lingering bad habits that I needed to drop, and pushing myself just to prove how far I could be pushed.  
Would I recommend it? In a heartbeat.  That moment when you find out that you effing won is fantastic.  Almost as good as the "getting under 200lbs" moment.  Okay, maybe better.  

What could you have started six weeks ago?  Start now.