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Motivation

Motivation is a tricky thing.

I started Weight Watchers online under their Flex Points plan back in May of 2005. Tracking food intake was new to me and the online tools like recipe planner and Points calculator were fun to play with. I enjoyed entering all my food and viewing my Points totals. Planning meals to fit into my program was new and interesting. I’m a nerd. The kind of person who loves filling in surveys. This was like a game to me!

And so I lost a whopping ten pounds during the first week. Holy shit, I thought. This really works. I was excited to continue because, of course, success fuels motivation. Week after week I dropped pounds and I kept tracking and planning and adding little paper clips to my weight loss paper clip chain reflecting each pound lost.

But, of course, the weight loss slowed from two pounds a week to one pound a week to a fraction of a pound a week…and horror of all horrors – sometimes the scale even showed a gain. There became months when I didn’t lose anything at all. Suddenly tracking my food became a chore. I balked at preparing my lunches and planning my meals. I cursed the scale. But I persevered and eventually hit the 100 lbs lost mark.

I was proud and excited – I could list numerous “non-scale victories” that I’d enjoyed along the way. Somebody on the WW online community posted their congratulations, and more than 100 people added theirs. I printed off that thread and still have it to this day. My mum sent me a card. I felt great – even at 220 lbs, most of the time I was no longer the fattest person in the room.

But I was so tired of tracking and watching everything I ate all. the. time. I had lost 100 lbs, but I still wasn’t light enough to go sky diving, and I was too heavy for my then-boyfriend to belay me while rock climbing. I still had so far to go, and god was that ever depressing. I started to let some things slip. Tracking was first to go. Bringing lunch to work went out the window shortly afterwards. The number on the scale began to climb, and I was so furious at myself that I began to binge again.

Monday has always been my weigh-in day, and every Monday I would be determined to get myself on track again. But it never lasted more than the day – if that. I’d plan to have chicken and salad for supper, but by the time I left work, I’d compromised by stopping at Wendy’s for a chilli and salad. By the time I was in the drive-through line, I’d talked myself into a couple of full sized burger meals and maybe even a side of chicken fingers. And a Frosty. Or two. I’d take it home, shovel it into my gullet, and then hate myself for doing it.

As I gained back more and more weight, I was desperate to find that motivation again. What the hell had happened? For more than a year I had done so well, and now I was so far off the rails that I couldn’t even see them. I wanted to be eating healthily. I wanted to be losing weight. But when it came down to making nutritional choices, I chose very poorly every time.

Within a year I’d gained back about 60 pounds. Within another year, another 60 went on. Eventually I was 40 pounds heavier than I’d started back in 2005.

On the WW message boards we all talk about being on track, finding our mojos, being in the right head space, staying on plan. Whatever we call it, it’s motivation to make good nutritional choices. And often, regardless of how much we want to be living healthily, we find ourselves making unhealthy choices. Why does this happen?

cluelessI’ve tried and tried to figure it out, but I just can’t. I can’t seem to correlate my motivation to life events, or to how busy my life is. I do recognize that I have a problem with post-vacation blues, but even though my nutrition tanks during those times, it tanks plenty of other times too. I just don’t get it. Why is it that from 2005 to 2007 I was able to make good choices most of the time, but from 2008 to 2015 I couldn’t get it together?

Last year I found my motivation again and was able to make some excellent changes in both nutrition and fitness. Once again I was losing weight and feeling good about myself. But I was scared to death of the day when the motivation would disappear. When I’d go off the rails. Lose my mojo. Be unable to get my head back into the game. Because I knew one thing – that day would come. It was inevitable.

This time, though, I had support. I was seeing a weight loss doctor and a psychologist. We spent a lot of time discussing this inevitability and why I was so scared of it. My doctor told me about a lecture she’d attended by Dr. Michael Vallis from the Behaviour Change Institute who believes that it takes at least three years to be successful with making significant life changes. Within three years we’ll typically go through abnormal phases that we have to manage, major life events, holidays. It’s how we deal in these situations that determines our success, and if each time we encounter a difficulty we’re able to manage it just a little bit better, then that’s a success.

I began to wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t be focusing so much on preventing these incidents where I lose motivation, but changing my perspective when they happen. Typically when I binge (or, as my doctor prefers to say, “overeat”), I get angry and call myself a fat ugly lazy bitch. But the truth is – everybody overeats. What that looks like for me is different than what it looks like for you or anybody else – but we all do it. It doesn’t make me a fat ugly bitch (well, it contributes to my being fat, but let’s just remove the negativity). It just makes me normal.

So when I encountered the holidays, and then the post vacation blues, I did lose my motivation. I was overeating and making terrible nutritional choices. In the past, this would have completely derailed me. Instead, I tried to keep in mind that this period of no motivation would come to an end. Maybe not that very day, maybe not that week. But it would end if I didn’t berate myself and if I kept planning, because one day I’d end up following the plan, feel good about myself, and be able to stick to it another day.

It took a couple of months, but it worked. I did gain about 10 pounds during December and January, but when I began sticking to good choices in February, it came right off. And I was once again motivated.

I know this will happen again – like I said, it’s inevitable. But I’m not so scared of it anymore. Next time, perhaps it won’t take two months to find my motivation again. Next time I’ll be nice to myself, accept that this is just a facet of my life, and tell myself that there is an end in sight.
awesomeperson

Badassery!

Well, hello there. It’s been awhile. Happy New Year.

My last post was at the end of April last year when I was pretty pissed off about gaining back weight and feeling like a complete failure. “I need to fucking do this,” I wrote.

I’m happy to report that I am indeed doing it.

I weighed myself this morning at just over 308 lbs, which is 47 lbs lighter than I was when I wrote the article. I’d be even lighter, except that Christmas happened and I had a bit of a slide into old habits. That’s ok. I’m back on track again now, which is practically a miracle considering that I typically wallow in self loathing and eat everything in sight when I fall off the rails. Train metaphors rock.

So what the hell happened, you wonder?

I really was fed up last April, perhaps more than I’d been in a long time. I mentioned I’d started seeing a new doctor, and his referrals to other support systems were helpful. I also went to England in May, where I spent much of my time walking in Wiltshire with a pair of lovely terriers and cleaning up after two sweet little ponies who, might I add, seemed to crap enough for twelve Clydesdales. I dropped about 10 pounds right there, and with that initial boost, I was pretty much radiating motivation.

The online community support group continued (and still does!) to help me stay focused. My doctor referred me to a weight loss clinic where I’m seeing a weight loss doctor, a psychologist, and a dietitian. I didn’t think the dietitian would help too much as I’m pretty savvy about nutrition, but she made some suggestions that have been critical for me.

I attended a four week program called Craving Change which focused on the emotional side of eating. There wasn’t much that I didn’t already know or consider, but the discussions certainly helped with my motivation.

Finally, I started working with a new trainer whom I absolutely adore. He’s experienced, knowledgeable, and makes me feel as though he cares that I succeed. Even more motivation!

So there we are – I’ve made progress. I still have a long way to go, and I’m struggling a little bit now with maintaining my focus, but I feel very optimistic. Yay me!

Disneyland for Fat People

Note: I wrote this in October, 2014 but forgot to publish it. 

Since I am not yet the badass I had hoped to have become, I am still having to live life as a fatass. It isn’t pleasant, but I’m fed up with letting it prevent me from doing so many things simply because I’m embarrassed about it. News flash – it’s pretty damn obvious that I’m fat. So instead of tiptoeing around this fact to avoid drawing attention to myself, I’m just going to go ahead and do the things I can do, even if it’s a little harder due to my weight.

And DisneyLand was something I could do, for the most part. I went with 5 friends; two who are Disney fanatics (I’m talking lanyards and pins and $175 gold ticket replicas) two who really really love Disney (know all the characters and rides in detail, but no pins!) and one who was being dragged along by his wife. As for me, I wasn’t too excited about it. I don’t really like crowds, I hate line-ups, and usually I’m too big for rides. But I figured if anybody could Disnify me, it was these people. And they did. By the time I came home, I was looking online to see how affordable it would be to take my niece and nephew next year!

But before I went to Disney, I wanted to know what would be feasible and what wouldn’t be feasible for somebody of my size. There wasn’t too much specific information out there, so I figured I would put it out there in case somebody else in my predicament is looking for help.

So – I weigh about 340 pounds, and I carry my weight evenly. I can fit into a standard 16.5 inch airplane seat, but not comfortably. I need a seatbelt extender, and I get bruises on my thighs from the arm rests. You can get a pretty good idea of my size from the pictures.

Let’s get to it! If I don’t have a ride listed, it’s because I didn’t try it, not because I didn’t fit.

Fantasyland

Alice in Wonderland: Like most “storybook” rides, this one just had a bar which pulls down over the knees. There is enough room to share a seat with an average sized person.

Dumbo: I went solo in this one as the seats are very small. The restraint was a bar that came down just fine over my legs.

It’s a Small World: It was closed, but I understand it’s going to be more accommodating for heftier people. Edit: I did get to try this ride when I went back to Disneyland for a day. I fit fine, but the ride scarred me for life.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: This was fine – a bar over the legs and room to share with an average sized person

Peter Pan’s Flight: One of my favourites (and everybody else’s, by the length of the line). It’s a bar over the legs and pretty roomy. My sister and I managed this together, and she’s overweight as well.

Pinocchio: A bar over the legs and room to share with an average sized person.

Snow White: A bar over the legs and room to share with an average sized person

Storybook Land Canal Boats: A bench on each side of the boat, so plenty of room.

Matterhorn: I did not attempt this one as I understand these are quite small and difficult to get in and out of. I’d love to hear other peoples’ experiences.

Edit: Commenter Jen rode this one and had this to say: “I was in the front seat, which looked the roomiest. Somehow I kept sliding down in my seat and had to push myself back up. It wasn’t a very comfortable experience and I probably looked oversized for my seat, but it wasn’t awful!”

King Arthur Carousel: No issues – those horses could carry an elephant.

Tea Cups: A bit of a squeeze, but I fit in with another person.

Tomorrowland

Buzz Lightyear: This was a bar, and there was plenty of room for two large people.

Star Tours: I barely squeezed into my seat. Anybody bigger might have had a problem. The seatbelt was fine, though.

Space Mountain: This is individual side-by-side seats for two people in each row, with an individual bar for each person. I fit just fine with a small person beside me, and I probably would have been ok with a larger person beside me too.

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain: I was expecting not to fit in this, but I did. It’s a bar, and I fit ok with an average sized person beside me. This is my favourite roller coaster in the park.

Adventureland

Indiana Jones: There are four seats per row in each jeep, with a seatbelt for each one. The seatbelt was plenty long enough, but the seat was tight. I had a hard time fastening my seatbelt as there wasn’t much room to work with. The arm rests can dig into one’s arse if it’s quite large. I was ok, though, but I don’t think I would have fit had I been much bigger. Fun ride!

Jungle Cruise: The seating isn’t an issue here – it’s bench seating with lots of room. It’s the puns. If you can bear those, you’ll be A-OK.

New Orleans Square

Haunted Mansion: This ride has a bar that pulls down over the legs and can fit two large people comfortably. I just wish it were scarier 🙂

Pirates of the Caribbean: Is there anybody who doesn’t love this ride? There are no restraints at all, and plenty of room. I suggest asking for the front seat!

Critter Country

Winnie the Pooh: This is a storybook ride with a bar, so I fit ok with one average sized person.

Splash Mountain: Single person seats with no restraints. Score 🙂

Bug’s Land

Flik’s Flyers: There are no restraints, but the benches are small. I fit just fine alone on one bench with my friend opposite.

Heimlich: I choose not to remember anything about this ride. I fit fine, but I can’t remember if I was solo or with a friend, or if there were restraints or not. It just drove me nuts.

Buggies: I fit on my own, but the bar was in the way of my steering wheel. I felt and looked ridiculous, but it was still fun.

Hollywood Land

Tower of Terror: I fit, although it’s a bit tight. These seats have seatbelts, which are fine – all seatbelts in the park were more than large enough for me. I would suggest maneuvering yourself into a spot on the aisle as those seats are slightly wider – no arm rest on the outside. I’d also suggest pulling your seatbelt REALLY FUCKING TIGHT. Holy shit. The guy accross the aisle kept saying, “You’ll really like this. You will. You’ll like it.” And then, “Are you liking it yet?” And I was all, “NOOOOOOOO!”. This went on for the entire ride. Heh. Once was enough.

Cars Land

Luigi’s Flying Tires: I went on my own and fit just fine. It’s a very wide seatbelt that’s meant to go across two people.

Radiator Springs Racers: Squee!!! One of my favourite rides! Each car has two rows of three seats, each individual with a seat belt. The seat was tight for me, but I did fit and the seatbelt also fit. This was another ride where I struggled to fasten the seatbelt in time, and always just managed. The only problem with this ride was the waiting time – I would suggest choosing the single rider line, which tends to be more fun anyway as there’s a high chance you’ll be racing against others in your party.

Grizzly Peak

Grizzly River Run: These were individual seats with seat belts. The seats were small, but I did fit into a raft with 7 other people. It would have been tough if they were larger people, that’s for sure. The seat belt was plenty large enough.

Paradise Pier

Goofy’s Sky School: This was the only ride I tried where I felt awkward. There is an individual restraint which seemed to pull down over my legs just fine, but when we reached the safety checkpoint, the employee kept getting an alert. We had to stand up and sit down and try again several times. There was no indication that it was my seat, but I imagine it was. After that, I felt like I was unsafe for the entire ride. I would advise skipping this one.

Carousel: Weight won’t be a problem here. Ride an otter. That’s all I can say.

The Little Mermaid: Each shell has a bar that comes down over your legs and plenty of room for two large people.

Toy Story: So. Much. Fun! This is another one with a bar that comes down over the legs. I had lots of space sitting with an average sized person.

California Screamin’: I did not try this ride, but a kind commenter, Diana, did and had no trouble at all at 5’4″ and 319 pounds. Another commenter, Heather, also had no problem even with a larger chest – to which I can relate – heh. So I’ll give it a shot next time!

 

** Seatbelt Tip! On rides such as Indiana Jones, Star tours, Radiator Springs – the belts should be long enough to snap in while you’re still standing or about to sit, thus  allowing you to snap them into place easily without having to root around while snugly seated.

F.A.I.L

10 months later.

Back up to 355 lbs and hardly badass at all.

Well, maybe that’s not true. I’m freakishly strong. That’s pretty badass. However, I am still a fatass. Even more so than I ever was.

I could call this project a failure and be done with it, but I’m not going to do that. It would be akin to giving up my hope for ever losing weight for realsies, and I can’t do that. I won’t.

Of course, just saying “I’ll never give up” and continuing with the same yo-yo habits isn’t much use either. It’s just as bad as not even bothering in the first place. I’m not changing anything, but each time I start working on my health, I expect the result to be different – I expect that this time it will stay off. And it never does.

So what’s that alleged Einstein quote – “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” According to Einstein, I’m indubitable insane (but then again, according to other sources, that quote has falsly been attributed to Einstein so who knows what Einstein would think of me? And who cares, really – major tangent here).

Ultimately, I need to change something. I know what to eat. I know that I need to track. I know that working out will help me become more fit and perhaps keep my lean body mass rather than losing it due to calorie deficit. I know I should drink lots of water and get lots of sleep, that I shouldn’t restrict anything lest I feel deprived, that success breeds motivation and I need to celebrate all of my successes, just like the good little Westjetter that I am.

This time I not only have the help of the GDT (the awesome online community that I’m a part of), but I’ve finally found a GP who is helping me with this. I have never really seen a doctor about weight loss – not officially. Several weeks ago I scheduled an appointment with my new doctor whom I really like so far just to discuss my weight. He seems very enthusiastic about helping me, which motivates me. He’s referred me to a program offered by the healthcare network his clinic is part of. The program is a 4 week workshop that deals with thoughts about eating and how we can change them. Sounds good to me. The only problem is that it’s wait-listed. I’m waiting to hear back from the program coordinator – could be June, could be December. Boo.

I’ve got just two goals for May – track food and track exercise. One of our wise GDT members is incredibly knowledgeable about weight loss and fitness, and pointed out that tracking is a skill that needs to be practiced. Why wait until after my vacation to start?

Such simple concepts. Sometimes I want to punch myself in the face for being so controlled by food.

And the gym? Well, last September my small training group fell apart and my trainer suggested that I attend the small group classes – spin, circuit, TRX & kettlebell etc – as it would be cheaper than PT. She didn’t suggest I do individual PT, or even foist me off on somebody else. I felt this was my only option. But the small group classes are really good, so it was a decent idea anyhow. The only problem is that when I’m accountable to nobody other than myself, I have very little desire to roll out of bed at 5am to get to a 6am class.

I did not go to the gym from October through December.

In January I met with the gym owner and he suggested a plan for me – train with one of the other trainers, DJ, once a week and attend group classes on the side. Of course, I ended up going just once a week for an hour, and not much was happening in terms of progress. Earlier this month I talked to DJ about doing 30 minutes twice a week. I’d work out for the full hour, but he would train me for 30. And then Ron, the owner of the place, suggested I attend spin and circuit twice a week as well. Considering I have to pay in advance according to their new payment model, that adds accountability. It’s been working well for the past couple of weeks. I still love that gym, although I have some issues with it. That’s another post.

So that’s where I am – raring to go and to try and learn something new. I’m hoping my doctor can help me change my thought patterns regarding food. I’m determined to meet my goals for May, even though I’ll be out of town for more than two weeks. I need to fucking do this.

Yo.

Ok, let’s just get it out there – I suck.

I’d lost more than 40 pounds when I last posted in March, but now I’m back up another 20. Or 25. What the fuck happened, you ask? I wish I knew. I just started binge-eating again, and eating take-out. If it weren’t for my consistent workout regiment, I’d probably have gained back the entire 40. Or more. Yay for yo-yo dieting. That’s my entire life.

So there is that.

In March my trainer quit. Or she was let go. The official word is that she quit, so I guess we’ll go with that. So I was transferred to another trainer – kickass former pro basketball player, Marianna. I’ve wanted to work with Marianna since I read her bio on the gym’s webpage, so that part is ok, except I loved working with Julie and was devastated about that.

Also, I went from individual training to group training. There are four of us in the group, but usually it’s only 3. It’s fine. I don’t get quite the focused attention that I got with Julie, but I don’t need it so much anymore. We do quite a bit more conditioning work too, which I need. Less upper body, which I miss. But it’s good. And cheaper.

Next, my spin instructor quit. Or she was let go. The official word is that she quit, so I guess we’ll go with that too. It happened while I was away for a couple of weeks, so I didn’t even know until I tried to sign up for her class and it didn’t exist anymore. It was curious timing because there is now a new spin guy who is an avid cycler and races and all that shit. He’s good. I like him. But I miss Kat.

So now I’m training twice a week and going to spin & circuit on Saturdays, and often one more spin class with the new dude (Ashley) during the week. At 6am. Because that actually is a time of day, believe it or not. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen it with my own eyes.

I also purchased a bike. A real one with wheels. And a bell, which is way too much fun to ring. I thought that all my spin training would make biking easy, but it doesn’t. On the other hand, it would probably be even harder if I hadn’t been working out, so I suppose there’s that too. I’ve been enjoying riding it, although I worry that I’ll get somewhere and be too tired to ride back. But I’ll deal.

This week I’ve been back on track with nutrition, which is probably why I’m posting. I’m feeling pretty positive again. I think it’s important to track my food intake, even if I go off track. I’ll try that. I really will.

But I’m sick of trying and failing, you know?

Anyhow, that’s where I am right now.

The Indignities of the Gym

Spin class has just finished, and you’re on the gym mats rolling out your calves, iliacus, and piriformis as your trustry trainer has insisted you do regularly. Your spin buddy is sitting next to you on the mats, and you’re chatting away happily. You lie down to do some leg lifts and one of the other trainers comes by and kindly suggests a correction. You bend your idle knee as per his instruction, and that’s when it happens. You don’t even know it’s coming – it takes you completely by surprise, and there’s no stopping it. It’s determined. And it’s explosive. And despite your desperate prayers to the contrary, there is no way in hell that the hard rock music was loud enough to cover the blast.

You farted.

It takes you a moment to realize what happened, and then there’s a split second that seems to last forever during which you try to decide what to do. Do you just say “Excuse me” and continue with your leg lifts? Do you make a joke? Do you pretend it didn’t happen?

The entire situation is completely humiliating.

What did I do when this happened to me? I pretended it didn’t happen. The trainer went away, but to this day I believe he thinks of me as “The Farter” and every time I see him, I wonder if this is true. My friend didn’t say anything, but she wouldn’t. She’s the most polite person I know.

The gym is a den of idignity. To kick it all off, workout clothes are not particularly flattering on many body types. I would never wear pants without back pockets in public; they show off every lump that graces my ass, and it’s impossible to disguise any droopiness. I wear t-shirts, but when I’m doing shoulder presses the bottom rises up so that my stomach is sometimes hanging out. When I do dumbell rows, the front gapes so that anybody could look down at my boobs. Which are bound tightly with a sports bra that makes my chest look like one big mono-boob.

The trainers, of course, look fantastic in their workout gear. But they have bodies that I drool over.

Last week I was bench pressing. I’m about to push my personal best. One rep. Two. Three. Julie helps me a little with the fourth. “Come on,” she encourages before the fifth. “Big push!” And so I use every iota of energy and strength in my body to push. And with that push comes the most obnoxious grunt I’ve ever heard. From me. I think everybody in the gym turned to look.

But I did succeed in a personal best. At least there’s that.

Every personal training session starts with rolling out muscles with a lacrosse ball or some other hard item. And this means rubbing my chest or hips against the wall, lifting my leg to roll my thighs against a barbell, or thrusting my arse against the floor. It’s obscene! Although it is amusing when I’m doing chest smashes against the wall, and somebody is humping their hips next to me, and we’re carrying on a polite conversation at the same time. Only at the gym, right?

And how about the exercises? Have you ever done calf/cow, where you get down on all fours and then arch your back, then sink it? What about adductor/abductors where you’re spreading your legs to show off your crotch in all its glory? Doing glute bridges, where you’re thrusting your hips up like an 80s breakdancer?

Undignified.

And finally, circling back to the farts. During my last session, Julie decided to have me do back extensions by hoisting myself face down on some kind of apparatus, holding onto a plate at the back (think, superman pose), and lifting my legs up and down from the hips. The first time I did it, I farted. How could I not? The apparatus was digging right into my intestines. This time I did excuse myself and make some sort of lame joke, but it’s not exactly classy to fart all the time.

So with the grunting, the wall humping, the farting, and the workout gear, the gym is the least dignified environment I’ve ever spent time in. But I think I can suffer through it, because if I do I’ll end up looking smokin’ hot in my gym clothes and I’ll feel so strong that little things like grunts and gas won’t bother me at all.

Becoming A Warrior – Step 1

Last year I decided to build a home gym in my basement.

That story in itself is actually kind of epic, so I’ll save that for later. But today I have a 12′ x 9′ space in my basement that has been wired for electricity, been drywalled and semi-mudded, and has a nice black industrial-type ceiling and rubber flooring tiles. The rest of my basement is completely unfinished, which of course leads to dusty foot and paw prints on my lovely tiles.

However, it’s a pretty nice space, and will be much nicer once the entire basement has been finished. I’ve got my recumbent bike down there, a weight bench, various dumbbells (not just barbie ones, either!), a BOSU ball, lacrosse balls, and kickass speakers. My treadmill is still trapped in a bedroom upstairs. I’m not sure how it’ll get down. It’ll never fit through the door, and it took four of us to carry it upstairs in pieces. No exaggeration. Sadly.

So this is great, right? I have enough equipment to get good workouts in at home on days when I don’t have personal training sessions booked. And that certainly has been the plan. But I haven’t been using it at all! It’s ridiculous! I’m ridiculous! I’m setting myself up for sheer badassery, and I’m not following through.

Complainypants excuses:

“I’m tiiiiiiired. I just want to relax and read tonight.”

“It’s to cooooooooold. I don’t want to change out of my nice warm pajamas.”

“I have too many other things to do today.”

That is FatAss Me talking again. She’s so annoying. Where’s Sarah Connor Me when I need her? She was building that warrior bod in a mental institution. I live in the lap of luxury, and I can’t even find time to do thirty minutes of weight lifting.

I’m basically approaching this quest the way I approach everything else – half assedly. Doing the bare minimum to get by. I’ll never become a warrior with this attitude. So consider this the first step in becoming a warrior – working out every day!

I’m thinking that perhaps I need to create a plan, and I just won’t deviate from it. I get up at 5:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I see my personal trainer – perhaps I should get up at 5:45 on the other days and work out in my own gym!

And thus, I commit myself to the following schedule, allowing one day off per week as circumstances require:

Monday – lower body
Tuesday – PT
Wednesday – treadmill running
Thursday – PT
Friday – upper body
Saturday – spin
Sunday – treadmill running

Yep, I think that’ll slap FAM in the face quite nicely. GO SCM!!

Sarah Connor Me vs FatAss Me

I’m going to be completely honest here. I have serious issues with food. Now, you may be thinking, “Duh – obviously all fatasses have some kind of issue with food” and maybe you’re right. But my food problems run so deep that I don’t think I will ever have complete control over them.

Do you ever find yourself able to justify doing something that you don’t want to do? That’s how it is with me and eating. I can justify anything to myself. Sarah Connor Me is thinking, “Are you fucking kidding? You don’t want to make popcorn with a half cup of butter on it. You’ll be fat forever, although forever isn’t even that long because you are going to have a heart attack right now if you eat that shit!” And then FatAss Me is thinking, “I really want popcorn right now. Popcorn isn’t that bad for me. It could be worse. And I won’t eat anything else tonight, so the calories will probably balance out. Mmmm butter.”

And so I’ll make the popcorn, coat it with butter and salt, cram it in my piehole and have binger’s remorse afterwards. I’ll feel physically ill from all the butter, and I’ll hate myself for giving in. So I’ll grab a bowl of frozen yogurt. A big bowl. Because FatAss Me is saying, “Well, you’ve blown it now. Might as well eat that frozen yogurt so you’re not tempted to eat it tomorrow and derail yourself when you’re on track.” At this point, Sarah Connor Me is banging her head against the door repeatedly and has nothing left to say.

SCM is not badass enough to overcome FAM. I’m at a bit of a loss right now as to how to change things so that whenever FAM pipes up, SCM can tell her to shut up and sit down. And maybe even punch her in the face. Because if there’s anything FAM needs, it’s a punch in the face.

I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago. I go to a walk-in clinic because, when I moved to Calgary 12 years ago, family doctors accepting new patients were impossible to find. So I just went to the walk-in and never bothered to try again when things looked up. Usually the walk-in clinic is fine. The doctor wants to get you out of there as soon as possible, which suits me fine as he or she will give me whatever I ask for. Seriously, if you want drugs, just go to a walk-in and ask for them. But I digress. This doctor I saw two weeks ago was new at the clinic, and seriously hot. As in beautiful. With an Australian (or New Zealand? South Africa? I’m ashamed that I can’t tell the difference) accent.

This guy actually sat down to talk to me. When the subject of my weight came up, he asked me, “Why do you think you binge?” I so appreciated the time he was actually taking with me. Really I did. But if I knew *why* I binge, I imagine a solution could be found. Figuring out why I binge is pretty much a lost cause. I don’t know. I just don’t!

My trainer asked the same thing this morning when we were talking about how my eating was going. I said I tend to go off the rails in the evenings and lately on weekends. She asked why I thought that was. Bleah. I. Don’t. Know. She, like the doctor, is awesome and is trying to help. But I just don’t know.

I’m kind of stuck in this place where I’m trying so hard for SCM to beat the bejeezus out of FAM, but she’s swinging and missing. But at least she’s swinging, right? I mean, in the past, she wasn’t even around.

So that’s where I am – I’m struggling to get control so that I can continue to lose weight and expose the badass body that I’m building under all this fat.

2014

I guess it’s time for a progress update, eh?

I’m still very much a fatass, but I wasn’t exactly expecting to lose 200lbs in four months. My ass is quite a bit less fat than it was, so that’s a plus. I’ve lost 30 lbs since I started this project (it was more than 35, but then Christmas happened along with about six batches of fudge that didn’t manage to get distributed as planned). So it’s 30 lbs, or almost 40 down from this time last year.

On the fitness side, I’m seeing lots of improvements. I look more toned. I’ve actually continued to go to spin class every week, and I can usually get through the entire program, even if I don’t dial in as much as others do. I’m bench pressing about 85lbs and deadlifting over 100 lbs. Over the Christmas holiday, I actually encouraged my mum to join her community gym and then stole all her guest passes. Hah. We went and worked out together most days, and even attended a spin class.

Oh, and get this – I went to a dance aerobics class with my sister. 3 times. And if you’ve never skipped and grapevined freely around a gymnasium to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I highly recommend it. Seriously bizarre. That aside, I’m not one for aerobics classes at all, but I didn’t mind this one. And I could do most of it.

I should really take some photographs this weekend of myself at this weight. I took some at 365lbs and I can’t find them. Boo! I’d like the comparisons.

But yeah, that’s where I am. Still truckin. I’m no badass yet, but I’ll get there.

Spin

“Have you ever considered trying a spin class?” my trainer asks me casually.

HA.

Of course I’ve never considered trying a spin class. I’m a fatass, remember? My gigantic butt probably couldn’t even fit on the seat, and the bike itself would groan and possibly collapse if I deigned to try. Seriously, isn’t spin class for smaller people? Shouldn’t I start conditioning with things like walking?

bike-room

The awesome new indoor cycling room at my gym.

It’s September and my gym has just opened its indoor cycling studio. There’s a promo online that was filmed for Shaw TV, and I giggle as I watch it – their full class of participants is composed of employees of the gym. But ultimately, it looks nuts. All these bikes standing close together, with people on them pedalling furiously with smiles on their faces as big as my ass.

So obviously the gym employees have been asked to push the class, right? Hence Julie asking me if I want to try spin.

“I don’t think I’m ready for that,” I reply cautiously.

“Why not?” she replies cheerfully. “You can take it at your own pace.”

One thing I love about Julie is that while she’s a nice person and incredibly motivating, she’s not the bubbly cheerleader type of trainer. So when she brings the saccharine out for this occasion, I know she means business.

Crap.

“I’ll do it with you,” she promises. “How’s Saturday morning?”

And this is how I wind up walking into the gym on Saturday morning with my stomach in knots. I’ve asked my trusty Weight Watchers Canada community what I should expect, and received all kinds of tips and encouragement from spinners – even a couple of instructors. I’m prepared, but terrified. I’m supposed to be transforming into a warrior, right? But I’m trembling in my hot pink Nike sneakers.

The gym owner, Ron, sees me walk through the door and chirps, “Hi Deborah! Julie’s upstairs waiting for you.”

I force my lips into a smile, but I’m sure it comes across as more of a grimace. “Great!” I say. “I’m pretty terrified.”

Ron assures me that I’ll do fine, and that the first class is just figuring out what it’s all about and I’ll know what I’m doing by the second class. Second class? That’s a fucking joke. I’m here because I want to be willing to try anything, not because I plan to become a spinner. And also? Because I’m a sucker who can’t say no.spin_cartoon

I trudge upstairs to the spin room and tentatively open the door. I’m disoriented as I walk inside. The lights are low, the music is loud, and all I can see is a blur of yellow Livestrong spin bikes. There are about four participants already in the class, pedalling lightly as they wait for it to start. Julie is there, and she greets me. I manage to smile back, and decide to head for a bike in the back of the class. I can’t fit between the ones in the front. It’s embarrassing. I have to tilt the bike to squeeze past, and I bump another participant as I do so. “Sorry,” I mumble, wishing like hell I hadn’t agreed to come. This is going to SUCK.

The instructor bounces over to me. Her name is Kat, and she’s blonde and bubbly, but she’s so very sweet as she helps me set up my bike. I sit on the seat and it disappears between my bountiful buttocks. Holy shit, it’s uncomfortable. I continue to pedal slowly as a couple of other people enter the room and set themselves up on bikes. By the time Kat closes the door and hops on her own bike, there are eight people in the class, including me. I’m already exhausted. And my butt hurts like hell. I want to leave.

Kat starts her playlist and turns the lights down even further, and explains the basics. That I need to listen to my body first, and then her. That I should push myself, because it’s Saturday morning and I came to the gym, or something like that. I’m not listening too much because I hurt. My ass hurts. My quads hurt. My feet are starting to hurt. I do pay attention when Kat explains how the tension works, and where it needs to be when we do standing climbs. That sounds brutal. I don’t think I’ll be doing any standing climbs.

I’m feeling pretty beat when the song changes and Kat brightly announces that we’ll start the warm up. Whaaaaaat? We haven’t officially started yet? I shift on my seat, trying to balance on one cheek to give the other a break. I’m already sweating. Thank God I chose a bike in the back – I don’t want anybody to see me like this.

Kat tells us to up the tension to prepare for a standing climb. I do what she says because, even if my legs fall off, I’m getting the hell off that seat. I hoist myself up when instructed, leaning forward and gripping the handlebars for dear life. My knees bump against the handlebars, and the pedalling motion feels jerky. I sit down quickly. I choose ass pain.

I struggle through the class, adjusting tension as I’m told, but mostly sitting in my seat. My feet are completely numb. My butt is so sore that I vow never to sit down again once I’m allowed off this demonic device. My thighs are on fire. I’m dripping sweat onto the laminate floor. And finally Kat assures us, “Just one more song!” I internally chant, “Almost done. Almost done. Almost done.” as the rest of the class climbs their imaginary mountains. The song is miraculously short. I slump back in relief. Holy shit, I actually made it.

exhausted-cyclist

We do some stretching (most of which I don’t even attempt) and then I practically fall off the bike. I can’t remember when I’ve felt so relieved. Julie asks me how I found the class, and I just laugh and complain about my ass. She laughs too. Another gym employee helpfully suggests I use a gel seat cover next time. I briefly consider strangling her for not telling me before the class started that seat covers are available…but I’m too exhausted to even lift my arms. Julie suggests that I rent proper cycling shoes next time. And Kat comes over to tell me how well I did, and how I’ll do even better next time.

Next time. These two words seem to be hammered over my head with astonishing speed. Next time next time next time next time. There will BE no next time, unless there are copious amounts of drugs involved. These people are crazy.

For two days I can barely walk, and my ass is sore for several days after that. I report back to my Weight Watchers friends that it was hell, and that my feet hurt, and that my knees knocked against the handlebars. They assure me that my ass will get used to the seat and I’ll barely notice it after awhile. They tell me that I should move my seat back a bit, use a higher tension, and try proper cycling shoes.

Next time, I tell them, I’ll do that.

I really am a sucker.