Monday, March 7, 2011

Size Matters

Did you read that title as SIZE matters, or size MATTERS?  Either way...

My pants are getting tight.  I'm just saying.  I know I haven't been writing much about this lately, but I needed to say it out loud.

Not that I'm trying to hide anything because you know, fat isn't anything that can be hidden.  It hangs out right where everyone can see it.

In the last two weeks since my doctor appointment in which she told me my thyroid is wack and that weight loss would be a crap shoot for me right now, I have to admit I've felt defeated. Like no matter what I do I'll never be where I want to be weight wise and I may never feel good again.  Because this extra weight, well, it does weigh me down.

Body parts hurt that probably wouldn't otherwise.  Going up and down stairs leaves me winded.  Running is definitely much harder - and slower.  I don't know if I can even express how many times I had the thought, "If you weighed 20 lbs. less you wouldn't be having such a hard time hauling your ass up these hills!" during my half marathon last Saturday.

Yet I remain stumped as to what to do about this because I am trying to do what my doctor said to do:  no dieting, but rather eat healthfully 90% of the time, watch portion sizes, and get some regular exericse.

Still the problem remains: my pants are getting tight.  Not good because that means when I pull out spring clothing in (hopefully) a few weeks, nothing will fit.  Not to mention I think I am already wearing the largest size of Muay Thai Boxing shorts that is made for women.  So, an additional problem there.

Driving home the other night I saw this sticker on the back of a pickup truck:

I was immediately so infuriated that I wanted to ram that truck.  But then I thought, "Why is this upsetting you so much?  Is it because it's truly offensive, or is it because it hits too close to home?"

I watched Eat, Pray, Love over the weekend.  I actually liked the movie more than the book, which is unusual for me. There was a bit of dialogue that caught my attention to the point that when the movie was over, I went back to the scene so I could write it down.  (The scene: Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert is in Naples eating pizza and her friend won't eat it because she's worried about weight she's gained and gaining more.)

"I'm so tired of saying no, and then waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before.  Counting every calorie I consumed so I know exactly how much self loathing to take into the shower.  I'm going for it.  I have no interest in being obese, I'm just through with the guilt."

Oh man.  I want to be there.  I want to be that woman.  I want to go for it.  But it's hard.  Because my pants are getting tight.  I'm just saying.


  1. That's a quote I can totally relate too. Haven't seen the movie yet, want to see it. Didn't finish the book, found it very very boring :blush:

    My pants are getting tight too. I justify that I eat more these days with saying to myself I deserve it because I'm running more miles. But the truth is that it's just crap telling myself that. I often wonder during a run if I would be faster if I lose those last lbs I need to lose.

    But no way I'm going back on a diet, I'm 42 years old, enough is enough.

    So let's make a deal: let's both stick to that 90% healthy eating and regular exercise. I'm sure one day we'll get there.

  2. Sometimes we just cannot be as lean as we want to be without making sacrifices that would make you unhappy to keep. Especially when your body has changed to make it more difficult.

    I think weighing the cost of how it feels to be heavier with the cost of what it takes to lose and stay lower and which choice you feel more comfortable living with.

    Now might be a good time to start experimenting with different ways of eating. If your body has changed (thyroid wise, age wise, etc), then maybe the foods need to change,too.

    And that truck bumper sticker? It pisses me off, too, because I envision the driver to be some idiot with a big pot belly and a hunk of chew in his gums with a KFC double down in one hand.

  3. So are you a hyper or a hypo like I am? Thyroid problems can really mess a woman up in so many ways. At one time I read that soy products affected the absorption of thyroid medication although I don't know if this is still the case. Either way, I sympathize with you, Helen. I really do but we just do the best we can do, unless we want to be one of those people who is all-consuming about exercise to where it takes over their existence. I'd love the body, but literally would hate the life.

  4. Oh honey. I'm there too. But, I've decided to just let myself have what I want...with discipline.

  5. Oh Helen, I can't write better than what Lori wrote. I hope you take it to heart.

    And regarding the getting out of breath climbing the stairs? I think its just like any other exercise--the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. I started doing the stairs at work (a long time ago) and it made my hills a lot easier to climb!

    That said, I do get the frustration of the clothes getting tighter. Can you say thrift store LOL? And that quote from the movie--probably the only line I really loved!

  6. So sorry to hear your thyroid is still wacked, Helen. Talk about a double whammy for weight loss - like it isn't hard enough without the freaking endocrine system putting its .02 in. One thing - you are so fit, and your workout ethic is fantastic. I think there really comes a point when striving for acceptance of what is becomes a noble goal. Of course you are careful and do the best possible, but finding acceptance with reality is the first step to finding peace...and not easy when reality bites.

    Lori's words were great.

  7. The same thought run through my mind when I am on the treadmill running - if I were just 20 pounds lighter think of how much faster I could run! I was a sprinter and I'd like to run fast again while I still can!

    I don't think I mentioned this in any of my posts, but when I went to my diabetes doctor a week and a half ago, he was like "you are such a controlled diabetic, I wish I could get you to control your weight." Sigh.

  8. Ugh! That bumper sticker is so shitty. Yeah probably because it hits close to home, but I know that if I were a size 0 with no weight problems, I would never date someone with a sticker like that on his car.

    The thing is you're right about things being easier if you lost 20 lbs. That's just physically true. I used to not even want to bend down to paint my toenails and would hate going up stairs because I'd be obviously out of breath. But if you find a plan that works for you, you can lose those 20 lbs and you'll feel like you have a new lease on life. I've been doing Weight Watchers and its the best program in my opinion because it lets you eat whatever you want, in moderation, and its almost fool proof.

  9. Yeah I would have wanted to ram that truck as well.

    Haven't seen the movie yet, read the book tho. I did buy the movie a long time ago but haven't had enough "ME" time to sit down and watch it.

    Two peas in a pod we are :)

    Vacation... bathing suit... hmmmm... don't know what to do from here other than I'm stopping the diet. I think I'm eating too low of calories and my body is protesting by hanging onto things. However, I am taking your suggestion to heart and will go get my thyroid checked out.

    I'm tired of thinking about it all the time, I'm tired of working so hard and not getting anywhere. Some part of me thinks I over think it all and if I just thought like a "thin" person, then I wouldn't be where I am today. I think "thin" folks don't think about how many calories they've eaten in a day or much to do about food at all. I think they eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. That's it.
    Me thinks I think too much.... :)

  10. That movie scene was great! This entire weight thing is so mind boggling! There are no easy answers.

    I am so sorry you have the added struggle of a crazy thyroid.

    You are the most disciplined exercise person I know!

    I think once the weather is warmer and I am out moving and enjoying outdoor activities I will feel better about myself. I hope you will too.

  11. That bumper sticker is ridiculous!!! So sorry things are a bit of a struggle. Hang in there, I hope you feel better soon. Have a good day.

  12. Helen...dear Helen...

    In response, I am excerpting from the guest post I wrote for MizFit (these are just disjointed bits and pieces:

    The paradoxical theory of states: “change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not. Change does not take place through a coercive attempt by the individual or by another person to change him, but it does take place if one takes the time and effort to be what he is -- to be fully invested in his current positions. By rejecting the role of change agent, we make meaningful and orderly change possible.”

    And Carl Jung stated: “We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”

    What if being sick makes you fat and not the other way around? And what it the reason you “eat too much” or “can’t control yourself” or “feel hungry all the time” has nothing to do (at least not directly) with emotions and is not a character flaw (like so many of us were brought up to believe)? Or what if the reason you can’t lose weight and keep it off without a struggle has to do with a physical imbalance?

    The naturopathic approach takes into account “mind” and “spirit,” in addition to “body.” The main difference between it and traditional medicine is a willingness to seek out and address root causes, not just symptoms. It’s about getting a body to work as optimally as possible and to look at the reasons why it isn’t. It’s about coming from a place of love and acceptance, not fear or blame.

    I’ll give you one example as to how and why my being sick caused me to gain weight, or at the very least, made it difficult for me to lose weight:

    Although I had myriad issues, let’s look at the Lyme disease (which I am guessing I had for years and which was hiding in my body). My naturopath told me that Lyme neurotoxins block cell receptor sites, so metabolic processes do not work optimally. Hormones (including thyroid), which also help control metabolic processes, can also be affected by Lyme disease.

    My thyroid was slightly “off” but still “in range,” my adrenal system was “labored,” and my stomach was not absorbing necessary vitamins and nutrients. And although it wasn’t obvious to me at the time, I didn’t feel good.

    I didn’t notice “not feeling good” right away. There’s obvious “not feeling good” like having a bad stomachache or sore throat, and there’s subtle “not feeling good” (for example, being slightly tired, having achy joints, or being prone to headaches). It was only when Dr. Groves spent two hours with me and specifically asked about…everything…that I realized, “hey, maybe I don’t feel good.”

    I had chalked it up to being old and fat…mostly fat. It was a character flaw.

    And so what about emotional eating, bingeing, and cravings? How can that be connected? Because my body wasn’t able to get the nutrients it needed and I wasn’t feeling well in that subtle-yet-acceptable way, I turned to food – especially carbohydrates, which release endorphins (natural tranquilizers) – in order to feel better. That’s the coping mechanism I developed as a child. And so one cookie, one small dish of ice cream, one serving of potato chips was never enough…and I was hungry all the time. I felt out of control and pathetic. I was stressed and desperate.

    And so the cycle continued.

    Although the treatments were unconventional and slower than the traditional approaches, and even though I felt worse before I felt better, I can only come to one conclusion: a holistic approach – which combined my own willingness to accept myself right where I was, naturopathic medicine, and traditional medicine – brought my body into balance.

    And as a result, I started losing weight without struggling, without having to “control” myself, without having to count calories, without having lists of “good” and “bad” foods, and without having to exercise to excess. I enjoy all kinds of food. I find pleasure in eating, not guilt. I am relaxed around food. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

  13. I'll be brief. It's not that you want life to be EASY, per se, you just don't want every stinking thing to be so damn difficult. I feel your frustration, I really do.

  14. All I know is that you try harder than lots of other people I know. Give yourself credit for that. In other news, I have no words of advice or comfort. I am just listening.

  15. I don't have a huge comment other than, I hear you, and you are still the wonderful Helen that I have grown to know, admire and love.

  16. reading thinking recalling KARENS POST and only then seeing that she excepted here.
    she's a wisewise woman.