Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hey Fat Arse!

That's what they should be yelling when I saunter or should I say, stomp, down the road.

I was really doing great before I left for Canada, a mere 3 kilos shy of my goal weight, partly spurred on by the pending trip and having to face the critical eyes of relatives (or at least my paranoia at them). And then, Canada. And Kraft Dinner and endless bowls of Party Mix and Nacho Dip and alcohol and well, Kraft Dinner. All of my comfort foods back to say "Hey, it's the holidays. Devour me. Worry later."

Hubby put up a snapshot of the two of us taken New Year's Eve, after spending 5 days grazing with my family, and I realized how pouffy my face looked. Great for camouflaging the wrinkes. But not so great at hiding "pleasantly plumpy". That photo, although a nice one, stares at me every day from the mirror in my bedroom.

I came back from Canada and for awhile there I was back to eating "normally", which for me includes avoiding carbs at almost all costs. I could feel the excess baggage dropping off. Week #2...Just completed the however-many-km walk to son's school and we're on the bus back home. Gotta stop at the grocery store for stuff. And those trips (about half the time, cuz I'm not THAT bad) involve filling up a small bag of candy for the little guy. "Hey, why not throw in a few for Mommy?" For two weeks, those few turned into like half the bag.

And there's something about me and sugar or nasty amounts of carbs. Once I get a taste, it's game over. Seriously. I cannot stop at one cookie. That cookie leads to 20 pringles, leads to another 2 cookies and before you know it, my spoon is in the ice cream container. DAMN IT!

I've always been a Bigger Girl, never grossly overweight, but "she could stand to lose a few pounds" (like 15-20) kinda girl. And then after the baby was born and I began working out almost daily and wasn't losing the kind of weight I felt I shoulda been for all that effort, I tried Atkins. And a few months later, I was the smallest I had ever been in my entire life...like a size 8...right bang on my healthy weight. To my credit, I stayed that way for 2 years. I was free.

Let me explain. All my grown-up life, I had been preoccupied by weight. Trying and failing to lose pounds. Constantly focusing on camouflaging the problem areas. Always wondering what people were thinking. Always comparing. Always wishing and longing.

But in those 2 years, I was seriously free. I started to enjoy shopping for clothes. My average size meant I could wear "almost" anything without fear of "looking fat". I could even wear flat shoes. Oh and high boots actually went up my calves! I could zip them up without going sock-less or lubing my legs with oil (not that I ever did the latter). Fashion suddenly became even more interesting. I was wearing make-up more, paying more attention to my hair and personal appearance. I was having sex with the lights on, parading around in my skivvies...oh the joy (primarily my husband's!)

I spent days on the beach with hot young bodies surrounding me and I didn't have to suck anything in, nor was I self-conscious. Ok, I still had a little bit of a stomach but NOTHING to complain about really. When my husband's camera went to snap a photo, I wasn't thinking, "Hold your arms out slightly to avoid the appearance of fat arms. Stick your neck out a bit so as to avoid double-chin. Suck in. Clench, etc." No more check-list! And then there were all the compliments from those who saw me when I was pregnant and the few months after. Those were nice.

I thought about normal things. All this space to just be happy being me. I was, like I said, free. But the free-est part was not worrying about food. I knew what I could eat. I ate it. I felt full. I didn't crave the bad stuff and somehow had mentally programmed myself not to "go there". For the first time in my life, I ate for pure nourishment. Not for comfort or out of boredom or to be social.

So exercise: I was out and about a lot. I walked everywhere. Nothing crazy. Just getting up and going and moving. At one point I had decided to focus on the little gut and began my own little exercise regime. This part is the brutal part for me.

And somehow, though I can't pinpoint exactly when, I started to revert back. And now, I'm out of control again and back in my self-imposed prison. I so desperately want to escape. I thought that maybe by sharing this story, here, in public, it would give me the kickstart I really need to get back on my path to freedom once again.

I have a bloggy friend, Hyacynth, who has two small boys and also happens find the time to own a Curves and help others achieve their fitness goals. Wish we lived closer because I would soooooo lug my expanding buttocks over there and beg her to whip me into shape. But alas, exercise-avoiding, carb enjoying me is sitting on my posterior writing instead of DOING. But maybe after THIS, that will change. Love, SJ


Mon said...

You might be shocked to see me hun, I've put on tons of weight.

But as you know, I'm a new place of freedom - not feeling crap about myself, Now THAT is liberating.

However, I'm not physically comfortable, things are squishing and pinching.

Not sure how to do it though. At the moment I'm needing my comfort carbs, so I'm not denying them to myself as I know what a horrid place that is - delf-denial.
and I need to balance losing fat without feeling any deprivation. I'm thinking that moving house will help. You know, shifts a psychological something and skakes up the routine.... dunno.

With the girl-child walking now, I can't do the babywearing exercise, or the pushing the stroller exercise. Now it's slow leisurely walks. *shrug*

I'm thinking my focus has got to be exercise, to just get moving. That will take care of any needs for (over) restricting my diet.

SwedishJenn said...

Hey Mon. Thanks for commenting and sharing. It was weird really, I didn't feel like I was denying myself when I was in that coveted place. I guess I brainwashed myself because now, I'm thinking "Well how come I can't be like those glorious people with awesome metabolisms who can eat anything they damn well please...pass the candy!" ha! The "dieting" thing for me was relatively easy...then. It's the exercise part that will be real hard. Carving out time to jump around. I am sooo not a "going to the gym" person. But maybe I need to brainwash myself there too. Urghhhhh...went to the store again today...this time I only had like 5 pieces of candy. I think I'll start by forcing myself to walk to Joe's school 3x/week. And tomorrow morning, I will force myself to have breakfast...back to the eggs it is! My not-feeling-crap-about-myself is currently co-dependent on my waist size...sigh.

septembermom said...

I'm not eating right at all these days. I was in an exercise kick for a while, but I've fallen off that wagon. I look forward to walking more in the spring.

Den said...

I'm with you on the Atkins diet - it really worked for me. Reading this post I was trying to remember the last time I felt good about my body (totally get what you say about feeling 'free'!!!) and honestly it was when I was in the UK doing some consultancy work to keep our dream alive out here. I left Steve in Monte & stayed with an acquaintance for 3 months. I got discounted gym membership with the company I consulted for & swam every morning before work. I had NOTHING ELSE TO DO but exercise & eat carefully! I didn't have to think about cooking for hubby (1 non-carb meal & 1 with carbs is a faff) I didn't really socialise with anyone else so no eating out temptations or dinner at friends of cooked pasta & other forbidden food. I had money & opportunity (i.e. not living in behind-the-times Monte) to buy 'expensive' food like really great gluten free bread & fresh salmon...
So - in 3 months I was skinny BUT I was lonely, missed my man & my friends & Monte. I too miss the freedom you talk of but if I had to make a choice of 'Skinny Norma No Mates' and me now, I know which one I'd 'plump' for!!
PS: Remember hun, you are SOOO much more than your 'alleged' fat arse!

SwedishJenn said...

Thanks for sharing Den and you're right..I am so much more than a number on the scale or a jean size. it's just that well, I'd feel like so much more if I could just do this for myself.

I found maintaining my healthy weight in Monty was SO MUCH EASIER than it is here. Because of the lack of food choices over there (especially of the fast food variety), I was able to avoid coming face-to-face with temptation a lot more than I am here. I found I cooked more whole foods and relied less on packaged crap (well because there was so little variety in the latter). But alas, here are am in a developed country, one where physical activity is a norm and I'm still struggling. You have that business of yours keeping you fit. I can only imagine the muscles a week after shoveling that much mud. See you this summer! xoxo

Hyacynth said...

Oh, Jenn, if you were here, I would, no question, welcome you at our club with open arms. (So take that into consideration next time you think about moving. lol!!)
I can totally relate your health journey. I had struggled with food and weight up until I joined Curves ... which obviously worked so well it made me a believer who just had to buy her beloved club when it went up for sale. lol.
See, our Western Society has told us so many health lies -- eat salad and run; then you'll be healthy and thin. But it's just not true! We need protein and we need strength training combined with cardio to effectively build a healthy body and shed pounds. (Example: Five pounds of muscle burns an additional 250 calories per day while at rest; can't say that for five pounds of fat.)
Also, you are onto something when you talk about sugar addiction. Research has shown that sugar is as addictive as alcohol. I have some links for really stellar studies regarding sugar posted on my health coach blog. www.grayslakecurves.com
OK, novel over! But in short, I'd love to help long distance if we can make something work. :)

SwedishJenn said...

Hyacynth..thanks so much for the info and support. I really don't know where to start and have started by taking back control over my diet. Right now I'm off with the little guy to go looking for bears (code for: walk in the woods while pulling him on a sled). Gotta kick this sedentary lifestyle in the butt. Wanna show the man we can be an active family. I'll be in touch :-). Thanks so much! Jenn

LostInTraslation...Literally said...

wow jen. you have no idea how much this post spoke to me. you're weight journey was like my exact experienece. i too had 2 years where i was my smallest, completely comfortable and never having a " checklist" of ways to looks skinner, every little thing you mentioned, i have experienced.
I was a size 6 when i first came to Sweden, and somehow. I managed to go up an unimaginable amount of sizes without even noticing. and i noticed when it was too late.

at one point i started exercising everyday, lots 2 sizes, but gained all of it back somehow.
I can completely relate to your frustration(remember my post about not being able to find pants that fit properly) :(

If I was in canada, my weight would not be as big of a deal as it is right now, mostly because I would feel a little average in canada. In sweden, it's a different story, all the girls are stick figures.
Sometimes when I'm walking behind one, I always imagine myself sitting on top of them and breaking them. hahahahaha (out of vain)

I'm trying to limit the amount of carbs I'm consuming, which is going to be difficult since all I know how to cook is basically spaghetti and sandwiches, hahahah.

how post had me laughing, and becoming nostalgic. and at one point hating my self for letting my determination swivelled like that. you, and I have to get our edge back!

Thank you so much for writing this post <3

SwedishJenn said...

@ Lost: I will be starting a "Weigh-in-Wednesday" this week as motivation. I figure if I put the number on the scale out in the blogosphere it'll serve as some motivation to get that number DOWN. Am I looking forward to it? Not on your life. So join me will you? Not everyone is motivated by the number and some say it's not the number that counts but for me, it sure gets things kickstarted. I have 6 kilos to lose...that's like 12 or more pounds. I could go for 8, but I'm gonna try to be realistic. My other motivation is this summer where I'll be headed to Montenegro and forced to wear a bikini every day. There is NO WAY in hell I would dare put one on in public right now.

LostInTraslation...Literally said...

@ swedish jenn

oh. dear. god.... I might scare away the blog population... oh god. . . I'm to scared to say " yes" because Im scared that once i weigh myself I'll back out. hahahahaah
It is a fantastic idea though.

and I need to fit into all the summer outfits ill be wearing
im sick of everyone telling me " ohhh... you've gained weight! :D"
"well, its nice to see you to.. bitch."

It's on! :)

Hyacynth said...

I'll weigh in with you, too. :) Love the extra motivation around this place!

SwedishJenn said...

@LOST: Are you serious? People actually TELL YOU you've gained weight?? The most I get is, "Oh Jenn, your face looks smaller. When you first got back from Canada, your face was much rounder. You had gained weight. But you've lost some, good for you!" So they tell me AFTER THE FACT. Oh and then there are the quick up and down looks. Those suck. It's Wednesday. But I'm gonna keep my post up on the discipline issues in hopes of getting some more comments before I post Weigh in Wednesday. Damn...off to the scale I trudge (and like the master I am, I'm doing it on an empty stomach). Oh and I was doing so great and then yesterday was semla day here and so...I had a semla. For those who are unawares, Semla is a yummy bun filled with whipped cream and almond paste and Swedes have a day out of the year to celebrate them.