Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

The motivation behind fat shaming

There’s a saying I love – You can’t hate people for their own good.

FatOne of the most widely accepted forms of judgment is fat shaming. I’ve written about this before – bits and pieces here and there. I’ve written about how you’d be hard-pressed to watch more than 15 minutes of television without hearing a fat joke. And just forget about social media. I wrote about how I apologize for being fat all the time because I need to get it out there first. I need people to know that I know I’m fat because then maybe I can avoid their opinions on it.

Fat shaming is accepted because society claims they want to help fat people. We have campaigns that want to combat childhood obesity by displaying posters and billboards and videos of fat kids and stating facts about how unhealthy they are. We have people who think it’s okay to dispense dieting tips to perfect strangers, people who defend the bullying of overweight people because “maybe it will motivate them,” people who honestly believe that you can know all you need to about a person just by looking at his or her size.

It’s okay to tell a fat person that she’s eating unhealthy food. It’s okay to tell her to put back the ice cream or lay off the McDonald’s because you’re just trying to help. But guess what. A fast food double cheeseburger isn’t a healthy choice for anyone, whether that person is 110 pounds or 410 pounds. But we don’t tell thin people to stop eating unhealthy food. We don’t care if thin people are unhealthy because at least they’re more visually appealing.

It’s okay to tell a fat person that he needs to exercise more. We can tell him to hit the gym, go for a walk, or quite simply, to get off his ass. I know a lot of “lazy” thin people, but nobody tells them to hit the gym, go for a walk, or to get off their asses. Exercise is healthy for everyone, not just fat people, but fat people are more likely to visually offend us, so it’s okay to call them out “for their own good.”

I watch Man vs. Food from time to time. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s pretty much a glorification of overeating anything that’s chock full of grease and fat. Adam Richman, the show’s host, goes from town to town checking out their glutton-inducing menu items. He ends each show with a food challenge, which usually has him shoveling a ton of food down his throat in a short period of time. It can be oddly entertaining and also incredibly disturbing.

When Adam visits each establishment, he talks to the locals. In almost every episode, he chats up a cute (and usually thin) female and she comments on how much she can eat. And he swoons. Something about thin women who can eat a lot is deemed incredible sexy and admirable.

As a teen, I fluctuated between 160 lbs. and 200 lbs. In hindsight, I was incredibly healthy – perfect blood pressure, no cholesterol, I walked everywhere . . . on the weekends, I would do the 8-mile walk around the river just for fun. Even with stopping at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to have a cigarette and run up the Rocky steps, I finished the walk in less than 2 hours. Yet every doctor I went to told me how I needed to lose weight. So, that’s what I tried to do.

It didn’t seem to matter how many salads I ate or if I only drank water or how much I worked out, I always struggled to lose those extra pounds. I did what many teenage girls do in that situation. I started loading my body with every diet pill I could find. I took laxatives. I puked after meals. I stopped eating all together.

I also listened to the boys talk at school. I read teen magazines that interviewed boys and asked them what kind of girls they liked. And I watched TV shows and movies that showed boys and girls dating. There was a theme that came up pretty frequently. “I want to date a girl who eats real food, not just rabbit food.”

One more example of the sexiness of thin girls with big appetites.

There was shame in being fat, not shame in being unhealthy.

There seems to be this idea that a fat person is not a complete person, and it has nothing to do with unhealthy eating or poor exercise habits. It has to do with an assault on what we find appropriately attractive. “She’d be beautiful, if she just lost the weight.” “She looks great now that she’s lost so much weight.” And so on and so forth.

I have a few very dear friends who have lost massive amounts of weight. They’re incredible. I am truly inspired by what they have accomplished. They are beautiful and amazing women. And they were beautiful and amazing women when they were 300+ lbs. Their weight loss has affected each of them in their own ways, but their stories belong to them. I do not and will not ever invalidate what they have done, but I will also never act is if the people they are now only exist because they are thin.

I am striving to lose weight, to get healthier, to make positive changes in my life. I’m doing it for me. I’m doing it because I don’t like where I am right now. And I will reach my goals. And I am sure the journey will impact the person I am, but I will still be me.

And whether I am 150 lbs. or 300+ lbs., I am a valid human being who is so much more than a number on a scale or someone else’s opinion of my physical appearance.

Photo Credit

Today is another new day

Third time’s a charm, right?

I’m starting brand new today. I’m not exactly thrilled with the updated ticker, but that’s okay.

I’m not sure if I should attribute the huge gain to holiday indulgences, way too many alcoholic beverages this past weekend or the fact that I weighed in at the gym, so there was no contending with uneven floors. I’m going with a combination of all three.

But that brings me to my big news for the week. I finally joined the gym! Kes and I signed up yesterday, but went for our first workouts this morning. We had a session with the personal trainer who got us started on a pretty basic routine. I felt really good after leaving. I had some back pain on the treadmill, but being able to hold on to the rails helped alleviate some of it.

We also signed up for their “Biggest Loser” contest. I’ll weigh in every two weeks, which is a great way of helping to keep me accountable. I’d like to win, but that’s not the main purpose. Though first prize is $500 – so how’s that for some motivation?! Second prize is a free membership for a year and third prize is a free month with the personal trainer.

As I mentioned already, I am not thrilled with the weigh-in, but it’s okay because I’m already looking forward to next week’s! I’ve changed my short-term goal. Since my last weigh-in was 315, it’s my new short-term goal to get there.

I’ve eaten really well today – Slim Fast for breakfast, a Lean Cuisine for lunch, salad with tuna for dinner and a few healthy snacks in between.

2011 was my year to quit smoking and come January 19th, I’ll have gone a full year completely cig-free. 2012 is my year for weight loss. This *will* happen because I will make it happen!

An end to the holiday hoopla

It’s been a week of over indulgences, though I doubt that comes as much of a surprise. It wasn’t so much the festivities as it was the lack of time preparing for the festivities, which left me eating like crap.

But it’s a new week and almost a new year and more progress is on its way. I can feel it!

Santa Claus gave the family Just Dance 2 for the Wii. We all started playing yesterday and I definitely think I’ve found a workout I can enjoy. I like that it’s in short bursts, so I can do a song at a time and then take a break when I need to. It makes me sweat and raises my heart rate, but I had very little back pain and no knee pain.

I have no rhythm whatsoever, but it’s all good!

My fridge is fully stocked with veggies, so I’m totally prepared for a healthy week. I’m sure Saturday night will bring a few more indulgences, but that’s okay.

My schedule is pretty much back to normal, with the exception of my daughter being home. I worked off and on today – taking breaks to play Just Dance, Pokémon cards or just hang out with the family.

I’m ignoring the mess in my house . . . why vacuum up pine needles, when they’re just going to litter my floor again tomorrow? I’ll do an all out cleaning next week when the tree is gone.

I also just joined a weight loss support group, which I think will be extremely helpful.

All in all, I’m feeling really good about the upcoming year and the success that will come with it!

***To all those I have not yet responded to, I promise, I am getting there!***

Not-a-diet week something-or-other: Making it happen

When I first started this not-a-diet in August, I had a really pretty plan. I was going to post an update every week, complete with pictures. After I had lost a significant amount of weight, I would be able to scroll through those pictures and actually see the progress. I would have this beautiful, consistent documentation of everything week by week.

But apparently, life is just not quite so neat. Which suits me just fine. I’ve always been an organized chaos kind of person. The organized part is optional, of course.

I’m a part of a group on Facebook that is partaking in a 90 day goal challenge. We’ve each set up daily, weekly, monthly and long-term goals for ourselves. We get points for completing each goal and at the end of 90 days, we’ll see what percentage we’ve completed.

I am just over one week into my challenge, and I’m doing fabulously so far. I have 10 goals every day and have hit 8-9 of them each day. The downside? The 1-2 that I didn’t hit were eating well and exercising. I was uber productive all week long with work, family stuff and household thing, but I was stretched to my limits and had very few spare minutes in my days.

My breakfast this morning: Peppers, onions, asparagus, cucumbers, mushrooms, broccoli, crunched up bacon and a little bit of parmesan cheese

Today, I went grocery shopping. For the first time in weeks, I stocked up on produce, came home and chopped everything up. I now have a fridge fully stocked with veggies that are quick to grab for snacks or cooking. I ate healthy today. However, I also only worked about half of the hours that I usually do – which, of course, is going to cost me money. Still, I think I can make this happen once a week.

I also picked up a dozen or so Lean Cuisine meals. I know that anything processed is not exactly healthy, but I just don’t always (or often) have the time to make healthy meals and I figure this is a lot better than having a mountain dew and chips for breakfast (which was what I did all last week).

Slowly, but surely, I am figuring out what works for me. It’s trial and error . . . and there has been a lot of error . . . But I feel like I’m getting somewhere, so I still call this a success.

The exercise thing is still an issue. Honestly, I just can’t handle it right now . . . and “can’t” is not a word I use lightly. The pain in my back is unbearable sometimes. And I know that it has a lot to do with the weight. My plan is to just get myself up and moving more frequently – even if it’s just around the block, or hell, around the house a few times, but to mostly focus on diet.

I am damn near positive that once I lose 20-ish pounds, there will be a huge difference in the pain. When I was around 290-295, I worked on my feet for 12+ hours a day and I felt nowhere near the kind of pain I feel now. Realizing this just makes me more determined to reach that 299 short-term goal!

Now let’s see how well I can stick to a healthy food plan AND remain productive in all the other areas!

Today is a new day, again

I’ve struggled with motivation a lot the past several weeks – as I’ve mentioned in previous check-ins. It would be super easy for me give in right now and say screw it. But today is a new day . . . again.

While I was struggling, I was still losing, but the past couple of weeks have been awful. I’ve ordered pizza a few times. I ate glazed donates. I indulged on chocolately goodness. I’ve had a few bottles of Mountain Dew. That all being said, I have been out and about moving A LOT. I may not have had strict workouts, but I consider traveling through the city carrying a half a dozen bags a work out!

Still, I know I’ve gained weight in the past couple of weeks . . . I do not, however, believe that I gained as much as the Wii Fit tells me I did and here’s why –  Up until Saturday, we lived in my bedroom.

By we, I mean my boyfriend, my daughter and myself. And by live, I mean slept (well, my daughter moved back to her bedroom for sleeping when school started), ate, worked, watched TV and well, everything else but go to the bathroom and cook. My bedroom’s the only room in the house with air conditioning so during the summers our only TV, both of our computers and the ferret cage all migrate upstairs.

Week 9: October 3, 2011 --- 326.1 lbs.

On Saturday, we moved back downstairs. Now, first off, my house is slanted. I’m serious. I’m surprised I haven’t written a blog post yet about how screwed up my house is. Then there are the carpets – the upstairs is much different from the downstairs. So, I don’t expect the Wii Fit measurements to be exactly the same from upstairs to downstairs. But, for the sake of record keeping, I will stick with the new weight, which is 326.1 lbs.

It feels as if I’m back where I started two months ago . . . but I’m not. Because all that running around I did these past couple of weeks? I did it without the ridiculous back pain (that’s not to say I’m pain free – just back to the functional pain).

When I started this, I promised to document the ups and the downs, the high points and the low. So, as much as I’d like to hold off on these check-ins until I’m back at a “loss”, I won’t do it.

This morning when I came home from taking Abby to her bus, I did 20 minutes of Tae Bo. I’m hoping to slowly build myself up to the full DVD over the next few weeks. Kes also has a Walk Away the Pounds DVD and I’m planning on buying zumba and step aerobics DVDs. I figure if I can keep it different, I’ll be more likely to stick with it. I get bored easily.

I’m starting my Energy and Mood Journal over because I completely abandoned that. I’ll share it next week when there is actually something to share.

Not a full length pic, but this was from right around the time I met Kes - about 4 years ago - around 250 lbs.

I was reading through old journals last night because I’m trying to gather my poetry. I found some entries from my last super successful diet. The check-in put me around 250 lbs. I said to Kes, “do you realize I was 75 lbs. lighter when we first met?” It’s amazing how you don’t notice so much as the weight is coming on.

The prospect of losing 165+ lbs. is extremely daunting. I’ve decided to set mini goals and rewards for myself. My first goal is 299 lbs. My reward will be a mani/pedi.

So, here is to another new day and another new start! The lesson is that even if you slip up, you can still move forward!

Saturday Sharing: Thieving banks, spammer letters, pit bulls as exercise equipment, and more

Babette at the Passionate Librarian discusses the importance of reading aloud to your children.

How do you conquer self-doubt? Samantha at What Little Things discusses just that.

Tere at Teachable Scotts Tots Homeschooling reviews the children’s book, “Night Night Blessings”.

How do you feel about the education system in America compared to that of developing countries? How about the difference in how student approach education? The Modern Mrs. Darcy discusses all of that in her recent blog post.

Shawna stole a meme from me (after I stole it from Paula) and gave us an insight into her world.

Take a look at Anita’s Desk to discover if your bank is stealing from you.

Irritated by spam messages filling your inbox? Check out Anne’s Dear Larry letter over at Bootless Cries.

Jen’s lovely pit bulls have some advice for those who need to up their exercise routine over at Wiggling Worms and Wagging Tails.

Do you blog for yourself or for others? And if you blog for yourself, what does that mean? Paula at The Geeky Shopaholic gives her explanation.

What brings you “closer to fine”? Are you an “all or nothing” personality or are you content with the small improvements? Alexandra at talleygilly provides her insight.

Remember when all of those baby items started to stock pile in your living room . . . and your bedroom . . . and well, everywhere! Or maybe you’re just discovering how much space one wee little baby can occupy like this new mom at Mommy Needs Crack is.

Today is Sharon’s 28th birthday and she takes a moment to say good-bye to 27 on her blog at The Real Sharon.

My weekly check in, just a little bit late

Week 4: August 29, 2011 --- 319 lbs.

I’ve done really well this week food-wise. I’ve started to get a routine down with my produce. I go shopping every Monday or Tuesday and cut everything up as soon as I get home. My fridge is full of containers of fruits and veggies, so it’s easy for me to make a quick salad, grill up some vegetables or just munch on some carrots or cucumbers.

I have realized, however, that I need to eat more often. Most days, I only eat twice a day. I’ve noticed a decrease in my energy levels, which I am sure is just partly my body adjusting, but I also think more frequent meals and a bit more protein will help. Maybe a multi-vitamin as well.

I’ve been rather lax on the exercise thing this past week . . . mostly due to the lack of energy I mentioned above. This is the last week of summer vacation. Abby starts school next week and I believe that will help me get into and stick to a routine. I’m really, really good at writing out a schedule . . . following it is a whole nother story!

My freshman year of college, about 180 lbs. . . . Yes, that's me with Kevin Smith :-)

Focusing on the weight is a bit of an issue for me. I am, of course, happy for any loss, but with how much weight I have to lose, the pound a week thing is driving me crazy. I know that I should not just look at numbers, but it’s difficult when I have around 160 lbs. to lose. I think I’ll feel better when I weigh less than 300 lbs.

On a more positive note, I am continuously noticing a difference in how my body feels. The fact that my pain is lessening is huge!

Every day is a new day

Every day is a new day and a chance to start over. Today, I made the choice to change my life. Today, I made the choice not to kill myself with food. I’ve dieted before . . . more times than I care to count . . . the difference today is that for the first time in my life I fully believe that if I continue as I am, I will die. And I’m not ready to die . . .

I explained quite a bit of my past issues with weight in previous blogs.

My senior prom. I was 165 lbs and wore a size 12. I thought I was SO fat! My ultimate goal is to fit into that dress again.

Barbie Doll
Keep the BMI Away from Me and My Child
I am not my fat.

But I’m not worried about all of that now because today is a new day. Today, I get to start all over.

Today, I am tired of my swollen feet. I am tired of my back and knee pains. I am tired of losing my breath after dancing with my daughter to one song. Today, I am just plain tired.

Today, I have high blood pressure and am at risk for diabetes.

Today, I weigh 326.7 lbs.

But today, today is a new day.

Today, I woke up and turned on the Wii Fit. I love the Wii Fit! I know that it won’t work nearly as well as a “real” daily workout routine, but for all of my issues, it’s perfect. I like the step aerobics, the obstacle course and the boxing . . . I can definitely feel those. When my back starts to hurt, I slow down and do the balance exercises. When my knee starts to hurt, I do the stillness “exercise” . . . you literally just sit still for 3 minutes. Then I go back to the step aerobics, obstacle course and boxing.

Week 1: August 8, 2011 --- 326.7 lbs.

Here’s why that works for me — In a “real” workout, I would start to feel pain and just give up. I’d stop. With the Wii Fit, I keep going. They may not be the best exercises, but it’s more a state of mind thing. I’m still moving. I’m still in workout mode . . . even when I need a small break.

I worked out for a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes today, burning 460 calories. I’ve eaten really well all day . . . Lunch was a giant bowl of spinach and onions :) I’m going to hit the farmer’s market tomorrow and load up on veggies.

Because today, I’ve made the decision that I am not ready to die.

***It kind of kills me to post my actual weight. Which I think is kind of silly. I mean, you can look at me and see that I’m fat, but to actually have people know how much I weight is horrifying. But it’s there for a reason. I will post updates on this journey every Monday, including my actual weigh in numbers and a picture. I need to hold myself accountable and this is how I am going to do it!***

Every day is a new day. What changes are you going to make today?

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