Tag Archives: goal weight

The Madre Effect (AKA The Battle…Vol. 5)

I am ashamed and disappointed to have to announce this but…*sigh*…I have gained weight.

I should have expected this. I should have prepared to counteract this. But, since moving back in with my parents just over a week ago, I have actually put a few pounds back on. Not so much that I can’t bounce back with some will power and the ability to tune out people around me, but still. I’m less than pleased with myself.

You see, here under this roof, lives the one person that can at once make me feel grotesquely obese and yet completely undermine my desire to be healthy: my mother. Yup, dear old mum acts as if she approves of my weight loss goals, even seems perturbed that it isn’t easier for me to drop poundage; yet at any given moment she is suggesting we go out to get a Frosty, or noting that Breyer’s ice  cream is on sale at the nearby grocery store, or saying, “Oh, just try one bite of this [insert random sugar/carb-laden food item here]. It’s SO good.”

I call this The Madre Effect: I feel fatter than ever and yet cannot help but act in such a way that will only exacerbate the problem.

So here I am, mere days away from the deadline of my weight loss quest, and I know I won’t be able to reach it, because I’ve actually backslid. I feel…well, I feel many things right now. First, I feel frustrated with myself. I knew that being in her proximity all the time would cause me to lean towards food more, and towards the wrong foods, but I have been so determined to be good to my body for the last few months, I should not have let her influence me like this. And I am also a bit angry with her. I’m upset that she isn’t more supportive of my wellness plan. She is well aware that I don’t want to eat sugar and grains, and she knows that I sometimes struggle with overeating and even binge-eating; she could be a fantastic tool for me, guiding me away from my problem-foods without pressure or judgment. But, alas, that’s not the role she chooses to play. Either she is looking disdainfully at my meal as if to say, “Really? You’re gonna eat that?” or she’s brushing aside the fact that I am unhappy with my body and trying to drown my body-image issues with sweet frozen dairy products.

I can’t win, here. I really can’t.

I scolded her today for letting us fall into our old habit: food is an activity for us, eating is something to look forward to, something to do together. But I–well, we, both of us really–are trying to change that relationship. We want to eat to live, not live to eat, but that change will never happen if we keep undermining ourselves, and each other. The thing is, she already looks great. Too thin, even. But me, a pound or two extra means my pants fit uncomfortably. And my self-esteem plummets. And I have way more food issues than just liking to eat more than I should. So I told her she needs to get on board with my lifestyle changes, because I can’t keep gaining weight, and I definitely can’t keep resenting her for making me fat.

I mean, it’s not her fault–I know that–and I can accept 95% of the blame. But she’s my mom. I’m sorry, she’s going to influence me whether I want her to or not. When she’s so wonderfully taken me back in and refuses to let me pay any rent or chip in for groceries I need to do something to pay her back. So when she looks at me with her big hopeful eyes asking if I want to have a treat with her, the least I can do is comply. If it’s going to make her happy, just me and her drinking milkshakes, no matter how much I know I will regret it later, I’ll give her those few minutes of mother-daughter junk food time.

But it ends today. I made her promise to let me eat only good healthful foods, and to not undermine my will-power. She even said she’d go off sweets with me until the end of the month when we go on vacation. With any luck, I’ll recover from this momentary lapse this week, get my weight back down to what it was when I moved in here, and then drop those last few pounds soon thereafter. It may be a few days or weeks late, but I am going to make it to my goal weight, even with the dread Madre Effect looming in the corner.

The next three days as I re-withdrawal from sugar are going to SUCK. Wish me luck.

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Seeing and Believing

What I see when I look in the mirror and what I imagine myself to look like in my mind’s eye have never been one in the same. Never ever ever.

This is not always a bad thing. There are days when, for whatever reason, I feel very good about myself: maybe I had a hard workout the day before and I am sore in that way that tells me I did something good for myself; maybe I listened to really great music on my morning car ride that got me going on a path of positivity; maybe I just had a good sex dream and started my day with an imaginary ego boost. WHATEVER. The point is, on these blessed days when Pamela likes Pamela, I could have frizzy hair, no make-up, dark circles under my eyes, and be retaining approximately 7 gallons of water, but I’ll think that I look fabulous. I have found myself strutting–fucking strutting–in the mall, confidently making eye contact with strangers like I’m just the shit, and then walked past a window and scared myself because the face I am seeing is grotesque compared to the one I thought I had. But while that might be a little embarrassing, the fact of the matter is, I’d much prefer to look like a troll but walk like royalty rather than look like I’m worth a million dollars but feel like the cheapest trash on the block.

But usually, my body image issues manifest themselves in the usual feminine-beauty-dilemma fashion: I’m not “fat,” per se, but I see myself as a total cow. Now, for most of my life, could I have used to lose a few pounds? Sure. But even at my heaviest, I was never even medically speaking “overweight.” My BMI was always technically in the healthy range, I just found myself drifting towards the higher end of that spectrum. But right now, I am as close to my happy weight as I have ever been in my whole existence. And if I look in the mirror and try to see myself for what is actually in front of me, I can say that I look pretty good. On certain days I might even wager that I’m hot. But so often, I don’t see that version of myself in my mind.

First of all, I often still feel like the grade 10 version of myself: a girl with bad skin, who had yet to grow into her Polish nose, and who thought a frizzy bob made her look cute when it really just made her look dweeby. I can’t seem to completely shake that mindset. I once ran into some boys from high school in a bar in Canada, and I literally watched jaws drop. It was a fantastic feeling. But I felt wrong standing in their presence: I was Pam Wall, nerd, weirdo, unattractive, unwanted loser and they were the popular boys that were mean to me but that I still always sort of liked, or at least found *does Valley Girl voice* totally and completely dreamy. And now three years after that experience, I still sometimes wonder why anyone would want to look at me EVER. I know that’s such an obnoxious thing to say–it’s the sort of thing I would try to slap other girls for–but it’s true. Sometimes I remember that my skin is clear, I did grow into my nose, and my hair is now long and soft and age-appropriate, and then I think I’m a decent sight to behold. But most days I’m still just 16 and invisible.

I also have serious problems seeing my body clearly. I found myself this evening coveting the legs of middle-aged women on my mother’s soccer team. Now, I may not love my thighs, but they ain’t enormous. And yet I’m looking at these mothers thinking, “I wish I had her quads.” How fucked up is that? I had to step back and say, “Uh, hello? That lady is 30 pounds heavier than you. And probably wears Mom Jeans. What are you thinking?!” (Not to criticize these Soccer Moms, because they all look amazing for their ages. And kudos to them for being active and fit when society still expects them to drop their every want and need for their families.) I had to go in the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror, I had to literally look at the size tag on my jeans, just to get my thoughts back to a healthy place. It was a frightening moment, there.

What causes this disconnect between what is and what we believe to be?  I know I am not the only woman who has ever seen herself in a completely different light than the one others see her in. Most if not all women (and plenty of men) struggle with body image, I’m sure. But I’m not asking, scientifically, why does this happen? I’m more asking, as a gender, as a people, as a community of humans just trying to better themselves, why do we allow this to happen? Yes, images of beauty and fitness and thinness and perfection are thrust upon us from the moment we exit the womb, so that naturally is going to screw with our views of ourselves, others, and the world at large. But why do we keep letting it? At what point do those of us working towards wellness and self-improvement not only say, “I can’t compare myself to her or to him or to you. I am an island, and I can only determine what’s right by me on terms of me,” but truly believe it and act accordingly. I tell myself every single day that my happy weight shouldn’t be determined by a number on the scale, it should be determined by how I feel. But then I catch an episode of Top Model where they mention that some chick is 5’11” and 116 pounds or something sick like that, and I can’t help but find myself drifting casually towards the bathroom to weigh myself.

I hate myself sometimes, I really do. I want to be better than this. I want to be the woman who stands up and tells others that you can look at yourself and love what you see and feel truly at home in that body. I want to be the one who encourages others to aim for  nothing more and nothing less than to be as healthy as possible, and fuck what you look like. But I’m not that girl. I want to have slender thighs just as much as the next girl, if not more so. I want to walk past a mirror and scare myself, not because I’m so hideous, but because I’m so nauseatingly pretty that I am taken pleasantly taken aback by my own face. I am not proud of these desires, but I would be doing myself and my readers a disservice if I didn’t put these thoughts out there because, damn it, I know I’m not alone.

And I would give anything to be alone in this struggle. I would love if I could save every other poor soul from being plagued by these nagging hopes and dreams by accepting all of your struggles as my own. I would hate every inch of my body for every second of every minute of FOREVER if it meant you and you and you could love yours.

But, unfortunately, we’re all in this together.

A little elf in my favorite Christmas movie once said, “Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing.” Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

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Two Weeks and Counting (AKA The Battle…Vol. 4)

Two weeks from today I shall turn 23 years old, so I feel it’s time for another Get Fit Quest 2011 update.

I’ve been sorta struggling to get over the health fence recently. I’m trying, really trying, to be good, to avoid sugar, to blaze the Paleo trail, but it’s been a bumpy road. I keep finding reasons to give in to my addiction, even though they are piss poor reasons: “But it’s my cousin’s 1st communion!”; “But I started my period today!”; “But I really want that chocolate!”

All that said, the scale tells me I’m succeeding still. I guess even though what I’m eating isn’t ideal, how much I’m eating seems to be acceptable, and those 3-mile walks I’ve been taking with my dog are doing their job. My jeans, even the new pairs I’ve bought for my smaller hips, are falling down, my bras are fitting loosely–though not loose enough to drop a cup size :/ –and I’m seeing parts of my body that have been hidden for a decade: my triceps, my hip bones, my abs. It’s pretty awesome.

Now, here’s where I slip rather big news in casually so it won’t cause a fuss. If you’ve read waaaaay back to the start of this webpage, you just might remember that I had a boyfriend. And if you saw my “About” page before I edited it, you might even know that I lived with him. Well, that, uh, ended. I don’t want to go into it. I could write a whole post (or a series of posts) about it that would probably be very interesting and possibly even helpful to my readers, but I won’t because A) I don’t want to be that person that is defined by her relationship or lackthereof and B) he’s still a wonderful person and I won’t let his life become a link on his ex’s website–that would just be SHITTY. However, I need to mention it simply because it is going to affect me whether I like it or not. He was a part of my life for many years, and that’s going to leave a hole. Or many holes.

So how does this relate to this post about health? Well, as of this moment, one hole his absence has left is my appetite. I have no desire to eat ANYTHING. I nibbled some left over shish kabob this morning because I knew I needed to eat something, and I’ll eat some dinner later tonight. But my tummy is quite empty right now, and I’ll allow it to stay that way. Who know how long this will last, but I’m thinking I will reach my birthday weight goal even if I continue sampling foods I know I shouldn’t.

Aaaaalright, well that’s out of the way.

So, yeah, the Get Fit Quest hasn’t (so far) been the complete lifestyle shift that wakes up my system, but I’m improving. And that’s what’s important, right? I’m working towards a healthier, better version of myself, even if it’s slightly slower going than I had hoped.

Life, after all, is a process. I’m learning that more and more every day.

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The Battle of the Bulg(ing Waistline) Vol. 2

One month from today I will be my 23rd birthday. For whatever reason, I feel like this is a BIG birthday. Like I need to reach some sort of milestone. I don’t think I’ll be landing a career before then, or getting married (which isn’t something I want to do anyway…it’s an EXAMPLE) but I think I know one milestone I might be able to at least  get close to reaching by then: meeting my goal weight.

I’m hoping to be 118 pounds. That is a totally arbitrary number I picked because 120 seemed too high and 115 seemed too low, but there ya have it. My goal weight. The thing is, I’m been very focused on getting there slowly so that I’m less likely to balloon back up once I reach it. I could be tiny if I totally starved myself, but then once it came to maintaining  a weight I’d be fucked. So I’m working my way down the scale slowly and steadily. With that in mind, I make my birthday weight goal.

And as a way to really hold myself to this goal, I will put it out there for all to see:

By June 1, 2011, my 23rd birthday, I would like to be 123 pounds.

OK, I wrote it. Now it’s real.

Yes, I picked that number because of my age. But also I know losing 2 pounds a week is reasonable, and that would mean losing 7 pounds in 4 weeks. So even if I have a bad day or two, this goal is certainly reachable if I stick to my plan.

And what is that plan, you ask?

Well, to put it simply, I want to eat as close to paleo as possible. If I am absolutely clawing my eyes out wanting sugar, I suppose I can have a piece of dark chocolate or stir some honey into my tea, but I’m hoping I won’t get to the eye-clawing point. And really, there’s just no excuse anymore: I need to really skip the grains. They manage to sneak up on me, so I need to be vigilant. I need to just really ask myself before each meal: Is what I’m about to put into my body the best thing for it? If the answer is “NO,” then I need to reconsider that meal. Simple as that.

Now, is it really simple as that? No. When I am really hungry after work, I want fast food. Not “fast food”as in “drive-thru food”; “fast food” as in “food that I can find and ingest quickly.” And usually the first things I find are: candy, granola bars, cereal, roasted peanuts, and cheese. (None of these options are even close to ideal, and you may wonder why I even keep them in the house. The answer to that is simple: the boy.) Now, I suppose I could just try not to let myself ever get to this slightly troubling FEED-ME-FEED-ME-NOW place, but sometimes I just cannot help it. I don’t snack, and when lunch is at 12:30, and then my boss doesn’t roll in until 5:30 and dinner won’t be ready until 6:30, I go a little crazy.

SO, I need to find a solution. I’m thinking every Sunday I will slice up loads of vegetable crudités, as well as grill and slice a bunch of chicken breast that I can pop into my mouth as soon as I walk into the kitchen. (Eating while cooking doesn’t count as snacking, does it?)

The other problem I tend to have is the Call of the Sweets about 30 minutes after dinner. I’m thinking buying lower sugar fruits (berries, citrus, KIWIS) may help to stave off the cravings when that back left molar starts calling for cookies.

I’m sure other issues will creep up, so I will have to think on my overly-hungry feet, but, as long as I keep reminding myself to feed my body, not my appetite, I might just do OK.

And I’ll make sure to document this saga for, you, my readers. Having you rooting for me/holding me accountable will be my greatest motivation. And in return, hopefully I can motivate a few of you to work towards a healthier version of yourself.

And so starts May. Here I go…NOW.

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