People have a severe stigma to being overweight. As one of those who are deemed 'obese', even 'morbidly obese' (what does that really mean anyways?), I am subject to ridicule, whether the people are aware of it or not. I am frequently afraid to go out in this body of mine because I see the looks of heavy judgment. Overweight people are considered either unwilling or unable to fend for themselves properly. They either "don't know" how to cook healthy foods or are "too lazy" to do so (thank you, Oprah, for further enabling this mindset, you tramp). Both are severely unflattering attitudes towards the overweight.
When I had my second kidney transplant, I was 114 pounds. You see now that it didn't last. I recovered from my illness and without getting into the habit of eating healthy, my weight returned and I became heavier than I have ever been in my life. But it didn't happen overnight. Soon after I recovered from my transplant, I began swimming because it was an easier form of exertion than walking, which I still did nightly (until that vicious dog bit me, then I was a little more hesitant). Fat people do not get that way overnight. It is NOT a conscious decision. Those who do not bear that burden of obesity do not seem to realize this. I did not wake up from the operating table thinking "Glad that's over with, I'm going to go to McDonalds now and order one of everything off the menu with double fries!"
Many overweight people also have very slow metabolisms. I am burdened with that as well, thanks to medication that keep me alive and healthy. My darling sister has a metabolism like a roaring wildfire in the middle of summer whereas mine is like a soggy log.
And then there are the pernicious habits. One of the ones I'm trying to overcome is eating after dinner. I get hungry after 9 or 10, but it's not an appetite sort of hungry, it's a nibbly, snacky sort of hunger. I also have gained the habit while reading and, well, it's been a very read-y sort of week, what with Harry Potter (which I haven't finished yet, so hush) and all and you know, grapes are only so appetizing until my body rebels against whatever it is in fruit that makes it go like a bullet through the system. Ugh.
So, give the overweight a chance. Do not dismiss or judge. They are neither less intelligent, nor less ambitious than anyone else. They *are* resentful, however. They deal with a lot of abuse. I've had to endure talks from people who think that they know my circumstances intimately. I've heard insults from doctors and friends. I tolerate it because I realize that they *don't* know, but it doesn't hurt any less.
I've broke (however weakly) through the 180 mark! And the nice thing is that I've started going to the Weight Watchers Meetings. The big thing I learned this morning was:
You have to eat all of your points to lose weight. The teacher (Elysabeth? Elyzabeth? She had an interesting spelling to her name that my brain didn't catch) said that some people would approach the scale and say something about eating fewer points than allotted and would be surprised that they either gained or stayed the same. You need to eat to satisfy your body or it slips quite easily into starvation-survival mode. How interesting! Dad also mentioned something (he's a Zone Diet nut) about how you need to feed your body to provide proper energy for metabolism. Definitely something to think about.
The weight I got at the Meeting was 180.4 or something like that but that was with work-out clothes (t-shirt, yoga pants, socks & bra) atop my underwear (I take my weight in the bathroom in nothing but my underwear since that seems more accurate). Still, not a bad weight.
My 10% goal is 162. I wondered how they reached that until I realized that it's 10% of your current body weight, not 10% of the weight you intend to lose.
The goal for exercise is to do up to 28 points a week. 28/7 = 4. If I walk on that treadmill twice a day, if I treadmill and weight-lift, if I treadmill and walk the dog twice...each scenario is 4 points. That isn't hard to do at all! It's being consistent that is the trick. I need to work on that.
So, this week, I'm going to work up to 28 points of exercise.
I will also eat all 24 of my points, which requires a lot more faithful point-watching. But that's possible, too.
It's all possible.
Things I've noticed:
My arms are getting toned to the point that my Dad noticed. Dad wouldn't notice if I pulled a Tonks and dyed my hair a violent pink but last night he looked down (at my left arm, it's not the bumpier one) and said "Oh wow, you're really getting buff!".
My stomach is getting flatter, too. The rolls are disappearing.
Yeah, I'm starting to feel pretty good about this. I'm sleeping better, too.
As of last Monday, I have gained 0.8 pounds. It's not so terrible but if I want to be of a healthy weight and size by the time I'm 30, I need to do better than that.
And I have been. I walked on the treadmill Monday and today. The worst of my menses was yesterday so I took it easy. When there's little blood flowing, you don't want to overtax yourself.
This whole weight loss has really emphasized the fact that this is NOT about how I look. Being 'thin' is a bonus but this is about Recovery. I feel like I am actually getting over being very ill. And I know what it's like to be very ill. I am feeling better, I'm sure my kidney thanks me for all of this and I have more energy. My latest menses has not knocked me over like it normally does. Walking 3 mph on my treadmill is getting to be too slow for me. I've been really focusing on eating carefully. I feel a lot more sharp for doing this, a little less sleepy and a little more aware.
You know, I saw the video of the girl who was obese talking about how she was going to take a stand, she would not lose weight, ever, because she resented all those thin skeletons walking around and I am sad for her. Losing weight to 'look good' is awful, but gaining or remaining obese to 'show them' is just as bad. We are not designed to be over or underweight. Too underweight and our bones become brittle, they need the resistance that comes with healthy weight on them. Too overweight and we really tax our internal organs. There has to be a middle ground! For someone as small as I am but for my weight, I am doing no favors for my liver, my heart, my kidney. Instead, I am violating my warranty.
Life is beautiful. There are wonderful people out there to meet, amazing things I still want to see. And now I'm giving myself the chance to experience this.