Friday, February 24, 2012

Rantings of a Loser

Warning this post is a bit of a rant. My husband says controversy equals readers, but I don't want to offend people. I'm going to share the story of my own struggles after my rant, so either read it all or read nothing. You have been warned!

Lately I've been noticing that, on the weight watchers board, a lot of people seem to be struggling with their weight loss journeys and seem to complain about lacking motivation and being stuck at a plateau for so long. It's gotten to the point where everyday at least one person is complaining about it, and I'm almost at the point where I want to stop going to the boards because I get so frustrated by these posts. Honestly, I'm just sick and tired of all the whining. I know motivation is a very unique thing for each person but seriously people, come on! If you're not losing weight it's because you are not trying hard enough, or you are lying to yourself about how hard you're working out or how good you're eating. I don't want to make anyone feel bad because honestly I've been there!

The amount of work I have to put into my weight loss is crazy, but I do it, week after week after week, with two small children at home! Yes packaged food is easy, but home cooked is healthy, so I buy fresh and cook everything myself, and I do mean everything. Sure the couch is comfy but running makes me fit, so I run, A LOT and now attend boot camp. Yes chocolate, ice cream, cookies, chips, etc.. are super yummy, so I don't buy them and if I do I don't eat the whole bag in one shot. I've got ice cream in the freezer that I've only eaten 2 tbsp out of since I bought it for a dinner party. Yes 2 tbsp went into my coffee on the weekend for a treat. I've just hit the point where I get tired of people whining about how 'hard' they are working and how 'good' they are eating and how it just isn't working. The fact is if you work hard and eat well, you lose weight.
Me at 225lbs in grade 13.

You want to know the sad truth? If the weight isn't coming off, you're not working hard enough! So either suck it up and put the work in or stop whining about it! Now before you all hate me and call me a lot of mean names, I am going to share my story with you. And I don't just mean the story about how I became a fit and fabulous running mama, but rather the one of how I struggled to lose weight my whole life before I had Lillian, starting in high school when I topped the scale at 225lbs (purple dress to the left).

Shortly after I met Steve in 2003 (190-195lbs)
I come from a heavy family, on both sides but was thin until high school. I spent a few summers working away from my mom (who always monitored my weight more closely than anyone) and dealt with a few bad breakups and just watched the weight pile on. By my prom I topped out at 225lbs. I tried Herbal Magic but they didn't work (a scam that starves you in my opinion). In first year I managed to lose and gain the same bit of weight. I signed up at health services to try and learn to eat better, more responsibily but my residence meal plan and lots of late night snacking (which Steve called my 2nd dinner) kept me in the 190's for my first year or two of school.

On my Honeymoon - Nov 2006, 175lbs
By third year of university I joined a gym, was trying WW for the first time (online of course) and walking a lot. While I worked for the summer I did 8:30-11, lunch, 1-5, 6-10 most days and would hit the gym for 30-60 minutes during lunch and then work some more but it didn't do much. I know that sounds crazy but I wasn't in the right mind set. Even while trying to lose weight for my wedding, I wasn't working as hard as I needed to. At that time I would have told you my food was PERFECT and I worked my butt off every day but I can tell you now, working the way I do, that it was all a load of CRAP. I ate processed garbage instead of real fresh fruit. A granola bar was my snack, not an apple or carrot. I walked on the treadmill and did machines that worked 1 muscle group while I sat down. So much for keeping my heart rate up. It took me over a year to just get down to 175 for my wedding and honestly with how pathetic my effort at the time was, I'm amazed I even made it. I hate to admit it but my dress didn't fit me right, and I wish today that I could have been more confident in myself at the time and ordered the correct size and not the one I wanted to be so that I would have looked nicer in my photos, but that is too late. So brides reading this, take that lesson.

Due date with Lillian - 217lbs
After the wedding I yoyo-ed. I would go into the 190s and work hard, get into the mid-170's plateau, and give up. Slowly it would creep up and before I knew it hello 190's again. In August of 2008 we were traveling across the west coast of Canada and on the way home we took the photos off the camera to make room for more and I wanted to cry. I felt fat, and unattractive and hated all the photos of me. It was bad. So I decided there and then that I needed to lose weight so I could have a healthy pregnancy and if we wanted to try in 2009 I needed to do it now. I signed up for WW again and Steve agreed to support me and do it too. I managed to get from the 190's down to 174 when I became pregnant with Lillian. I switched to maintenance for my first trimester and then did my best to eat healthy. On her due date, I tipped the scales at 217lbs. That was a number I could have lived without! But she arrived healthy and safely so it was worth it.

Post Lillian - start of journey 192lbs
After the baby weight stopped coming off in January 2010, I made a choice to get healthy, finally for real. This time something had changed. This time was very different. I almost felt as if there was a switch hit in my brain. I didn't have any excuses, I needed to be healthy for my daughter. I needed to set a good example for her, so she would never feel the pain, the embarrassment or the shame that I did and do about my body. The big motivator was the first hand experience of losing a mother. While I was 5 months pregnant with Lillian, my mother-in-law passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. She wasn't healthy for a while, but that didn't lesson the pain of losing her. I saw what that did to my husband and I never want my daughters to fell that pain, especially at the young age of 30 like my husband. I took it very seriously and changed my whole life around, and surprise it worked.

Thinnest before Katrina - 148lbs
To the left is a photo taken the week after I suspect I became pregnant with Katrina and just was unaware of it. This is what I will be again once I'm done my weight loss this time around. I find a lot of people struggling to get healthy, to find the time, to lose the weight, to put the work in, and the fact is that if it matters to you, you will do it. Everyone seems to find time to watch their favourite TV show, the only difference is I do it on the treadmill in my basement. I listen to my music on my runs. I also make sure that I don't fall into the mistake of underestimating my food. I weigh things, to make sure it's accurate (I can get 28g of cheese exactly 75% of the time) and I underestimate my activity. I think that is something a lot of people get wrong. I know when I was working out I would have sworn it was maximum effort, but in reality it was minimal. That and calorie information on machines is NOT ACCURATE! Lies all of it! Now my maximum effort is my speed and tempo runs, ONLY, the rest of my runs are extreme in the sense that I do 2+ hour long runs, but that pushes my body in other ways. When I track them, I call it walking, not running. That way I will never fall into the trap of thinking I burned 1000 calories, and eating 600 so I'll be safe, but actually only burning 450. Do the math, that will build up over time.

I have had bad days, and frustrated moments on this journey, but my motivation has stayed strong. I need to do this for my family, regardless of how difficult it is and how unpleasant it can be at times. There are a lot of things about losing weight successfully that really suck and no one talks about but here are a few I really hate but deal with so that I can be healthy.
  1. Fresh fruit and veggies give you SERIOUSLY BAD gas (sorry sweetie). 
  2. I poop far more than I ever thought was humanly possible thanks to my over dose of daily fibre.
  3. I spend a lot of time (2-3 hours) in my kitchen, prepping, cooking and cleaning up from the other two. Some days I feel that if I didn't have an open concept main floor I would never see my kids.
  4. I don't like running early in the morning, but guess what I have to start doing, once boot camp is over now that Lillian has decided naps are not really her thing anymore.
  5. Running in cold or heat is crappy.
  6. Running far away from home and needing the um, loo is both embarrassing and dangerous - I'm allergic to poison ivy really badly but so far haven't had a problem.
  7. I am very paranoid about what I eat - I can't and won't eat anything without knowing the points first and will avoid these unknown foods.
  8. I will say no to an invite or event if I don't think the food is going to be what I consider appropriate for me or the whole event is about stuffing your face. I just don't feel the need to put myself in those positions.
  9. I have not had a piece of clothing fit properly since 2008.
  10. I get cranky when I don't lose what I want to just like everyone else.
My recent hot me photo - 165lbs
So now I spend an average of 4 hours a week running and 2 hours at boot camp. Once boot camp ends it'll become 6 hours a week running, and after I hit marathon training that will go up by a lot I suspect. In addition to that, I spend at least 12 hours preparing and cooking from scratch food, everything from soup to bread to pasta to baby food for Katrina. And while many of you laugh and say wait till I go back to work, I did it all while I was at work and pregnant with Katrina. It won't change. I adjust my hours so I can cook dinner at home every night and my daycare is on the other side of my office parking lot. I am a planner and will adjust things in my life to make things better for my kids. I put the work in because my health is important to me. It's easy to spout excuses and claim it's too hard with little kids, or that you don't have the time or that you're too tired at the end of the day, but if you really want it then you will make it a priority.

So next time you find yourself wondering why the weight isn't coming off take a long, hard look around. If your house is full of junk and you're sitting on the couch covered in cookie crumbs, you know why your pants don't fit. But if you are eating healthy, and exercising look closer at the numbers. Weight loss is all about more calories burned than eaten, and if you're not losing the math is not adding up, so either you are eating more than you think or exercising less than you think or both.

Good luck to everyone on their journey, and please don't hate me for what I said, I just needed to express my frustration and this is how I do that.

1 comment:

  1. Here, here! I love this post.

    I read once, in the context of my career, that what got you the job won't get you the promotion. You have to work harder and harder every day - because it doesn't get easier, it gets harder...unless you want to stay in exactly the same place, and then sure, it does get easier!

    But who wants that?

    I think this applies to weight loss, too - and pretty much every other goal one might be working towards. I think that a lot of us - myself included - are afraid of hard work. We might not think we are, but sometimes when I look closer at my actions, I know it to be true. You aren't, Alice, and that's why you're such an inspiration. Thanks for kicking me into gear when I need it ;)

    ReplyDelete