Impulse control (or lack thereof)

I’m back to 120kgs. The good news: I’m not gaining weight beyond this point. The bad news: I’m not losing any either.

Thanks to feeling sickly, I’ve been slacking on my daily routine. I’m sleeping in until past noon, I’m not eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at appropriate times, sometimes I am not hungry enough to eat a full meal. Then a couple of hours later I get so ravenous that my desire to put food into my mouth overrides all my common sense and I just keep shoveling until I can’t anymore.

That’s doing a number on my blood sugar levels too, naturally. :/Ā There’s no real excuse for it, I should step up my game and be better about it. I think it all comes back to routine; food is much easier to control when you control the rest of your day. The moment the rest of your day is in shambles, structure wise, there’s no rhyme or reason to meals anymore either. So my main point of focus, right now, is to get my routine back under control, and then tackle my eating habits.

I’m feeling a bit better but still very sluggish. Hopefully when my court date is over tomorrow, things will smooth out a bit more.

On another note, I’m fighting really hard not to cast on anything new until these socks are done. I want to cast on my sweater next, but the nice old lady who got knitted knockers from me before is still waiting for a new pair, so those have priority this coming week. My mental mantra comes down to “First socks, then boobs, then sweaters”!

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Your shoe won’t fit my foot.

I weighed in at 118.3 kgs the other day. It’s a new milestone! I haven’t been this light in years. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve lost 7 kilograms. It may not seem like much, but here’s the thing: I’m going and I’m not stopping, so it doesn’t matter how slow it goes. My weight fluctuates a lot, but there’s a steady downward trend and that’s the most important thing. šŸ™‚ The best pat is I’m not on an actual weight loss diet. There are no obligations, no reprimanding myself for ‘cheating’, no stress over not having lost that pound I set as my goal this week etc. It’s what killed all my previous attempts at losing weight, I’m sure. At some point the weight loss takes over your life and becomes a burden that you cannot carry forever. At some point counting calories is going to take the fun out of enjoying your meals. When you start thinking that frying your food is the worst thing that you can do because it means you MUST do three times as much exercise, you have a problem with your relationship with food. So you stop dieting, you feel like a failure for not being able to stick with it, and you pack on twice as much weight as you lost.

Dieting worksĀ for some people, but it just doesn’t for me. It took me so long to realize that small changes in my daily life can be incorporated without obsessing over my weight, and even longer to feelĀ that is absolutely okay. It’s why I gave up on weight loss communities — everyone just tries to one-up one another and makes you feel like shit when there’s yet another thing in your life you can’t seem to get done. People always telling you what you should and shouldn’t do without realizing that everyone is different and their methods may not work for you. Inspire, don’t dictate!

So, yes. I’m doing well! My birth control implant is also working well, my period came but it’s so light I only need to wear pantyliners. My periods used to be crippling with heavy bleeding, cramps that wouldn’t allow me to sit up and extreme fatigue. If I can have periods like this for 3 years, I won’t even mind having periods. Though there’s hope that they’ll go away entirely, too.

I’m still going strong with my bento boxes. Even when I don’t go out, I prepare them. It helps me to prepare nutritious meals and my increased protein intake also makes it easier to have smaller portions for dinner. Ergo, I’m full longer. A bento’s traditional formula is pretty brilliant in that aspect.

What have you been achieving as of late? What’s your latest food craze?

Bring Zen into my life

I’m finally catching my breath again after a couple of weeks of utter madness. I’ve spent many days without power because electricians were fixing a very dangerous electrical situation in my apartment complex, which meant no computer, no opening of my fridge or freezer, no music, no tv and no chores until the work days were over. There is only so much reading I can do on my tablet before I need to recharge it or get bored, so I spent copious amounts of my time at my friends’ or my parents’ being bored to death. I got behind on some of the work I had to do for my friend, but as soon as the electricians left and the power was back on, I had to stuff a day’s worth of things into a few hours before I had to go back to bed because these guys show up bright and early at 8am the next day.

My legal battle is going well. My landlord has dug his own grave and makes feeble attempts to climb out, only to be smacked down my by lawyer every single time. I have the law backing me up without doubt and he’s screwed. I’m grateful all correspondence now goes between my landlord, the real estate agent he hired to take over maintenance and my lawyer though. Not having the responsibility of dealing with letters is a relief!

Therapy is going well. The vacation season is upon us, which means I see my therapists less until the beginning of September, but to be frank I’m feeling good enough to be confident I can bridge that gap without too many issues. I’m doing better at setting my own boundaries and picking up things after I dropped them. I have to start on logging my days again too for my psychologist because all this electrician business interfered and made it hard to get back in, but I’m going to do it.

My weight is dropping very slowly but steadily. I’m down to a solid 119.2kgs and I haven’t gone over 120kgs in a week, so it’s safe to say the weight isĀ off and will stay off. I might go over 120 again when my period hits, but it shouldn’t be by too much.

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On the downside, my blood sugar is all over the damn place. I’m having a blood draw on Tuesday morning to check my cholesterol and we’ll be doing my A1C at the same time. It could be stress, the temperature fluctuations or my pancreas is finally kicking the bucket and we need to up my medication or even switch to insulin. It’s hard to tell when you’re a type 1.5 and it can be frustrating when people who deal with diabetics tell you it’s 100% ‘just the heat’. No, it doesn’tĀ have to be, itĀ could be more serious because I’m not a solid type 1 or 2. I know they mean well but good god at least listen to what the person who has the condition tells you.

I’m looking forward to the end of August. Two of my friends will be flying in and staying with me for a while and I intend on having a really good time with them! My boyfriend got out of the Navy and moved to a different state. He’s applying for college and hopefully can pursue an education in computer science like he’s wanted!

“What’s your secret?”

I weighed in this morning at 121.2kgs. This is the lowest I’ve been this year and it’s awesome! I’m noticing a drastic improvement in my health in numerous areas: my blood sugar is more evened out without awful spikes or dips, my fitness condition has improved (I walked up and down the stairs to my apartment, with groceries,Ā five timesĀ in a row and was only mildly out of breath!), and I’m overall more active. Even my emotional and mental problems seem more manageable than before, although part of it can probably be contributed to having a proper professional support system in place that is willing to work with me instead of pushing me through to the next person.

My neighbors in particular are commenting on this frequently. “You look so much prettier than you did last year!” “You look really sexy now that you lost weight!” “You’re looking so good this year!”

I choose to take theseĀ as compliments rather than insults lest I snap and shove their heads into their filthy pool and drown them. I choose to understand they’re not very intelligent but very shallow people who can’t see past someone’s looks and they don’t know any better. I was pretty and I was awesome when I was heavier too, thank you very much. A couple of days ago, my neighbor’s sister asked me “What’s your secret?” and looked at me with those horribly drug riddled judging eyes, as if I was going to give her the magic button she wanted to get rid of her excess weight.

“There is no secret. I just watch what I eat and focus on my blood sugar levels and try to exercise more.”

“Oh…”

I suppose in hindsight I think thereĀ isĀ some sort of magic button to press, but the downside is that it’s not easy to do so. The upside is that it’s something everyone can do.

Just be honest with yourself. If you do this, you’ll find that your only obstacle to a healthier life is your own dishonesty. It’s the only reason you’re not losing weight, it’s the only reason you’re not becoming healthier and it’s the only reason whatever condition you have isn’t manageable to you.

When I peaked at my top weight, I was lying to myself a lot.Ā I don’t eat that much, it must be medical. I tried to lose weight so often and couldn’t so it must be out of my reach. I don’t have the money to buy healthy foods so I better not try. Exercise isn’t good for me because of my health issues. I won’t get sick from being a bit too heavy anyway.

All lies and twisted truths that I had convinced myself of to be my reality because actually making changesĀ is really, really hardĀ when you’re dishonest. It wasn’t until I started counting calories and couldn’t deny seeing right there in front of me what I knew deep down to be true, that I was confronted with my dishonesty.Ā I eatĀ too much. I can lose weight but I just didn’t really try that hard and gave up too quickly. If I do my best I can at least eat partially healthy and cut down on bad foods with the little money I have. I can do exercises if I pace myself properly and don’t overdo it. I did get sick from being too heavy.

Bam. My whole life turned around just because of this. Don’t get me wrong, it was tough as shit to admit my faults to myself, but once I did it everything else got easier. Eating healthy when you’re in denial about your diet affecting your health negatively is much more difficult than making the right choices when you take your health seriously and approach it with honesty. You don’t have to give up everything you love, but you do have to make compromises and stick to them. Exercising when you put effort into finding something that works for you is pretty easy to do despite the discomfort it gives you, as long as you admit to yourself that sitting down and doing nothing is worse than getting up and walking up and down your apartment 20 times. If you put effort into planning for your shopping, you can replace half of your bad, fattening junk food meals with healthy ones without fucking up your budget. You may not be able to get there 100%, but hell, you turned around 50% of your diet. That’s 50% more health right there!

Some illnesses are unpreventable (such as type 1 diabetes and PCOS) and they come with disheartening consequences. But here too, admitting you’re sick and that’s just how it is instead of feeling sorry for yourself or even denying it’s serious makes all the difference. You’re not a lost cause just because you’re sick and your life doesn’t have to suck because you need to cut out foods that make your condition worse. You canĀ choose to just accept that’s how it is, and you canĀ choose to find alternatives that taste good. It won’t be easy, but itĀ is possible.

When people spoke of unhealthy people being too lazy, I got offended and tried to deny it. But if that’s how you respond to such statements, that by itself is an indication that deep down inside yourself you know it to be true. If someone tells me now I’m fat because I don’t even try, it makes me feel… exactly nothing. I’m no longer lying to myself. I know what I eat, I know what I can do and what I actually do. I know that, sure, maybe I COULD go that extra mile and be the best of the best, but I’m healthier now than I’ve ever been. There’s nothing deep down inside of me cringing because someone’s words revealed a painful truth I tried to deny. I just know their statement doesn’t apply to me and therefore it doesn’t offend me. So if you take offense in what I wrote, just take a step back and look inside yourself. There’s probably a good reason as to why you’re offended.

Every time I try to think of the magic fix to be healthier, I always come back around to honesty. I got fat because I lied to myself about what I put in my mouth. I got fat because I lied to myself about the exercise I did and didn’t do. I got sicker than I had to be because I denied that something was wrong when initial tests came back pre-diabetic. I continued to be on a bad diet because I lied to myself about the possibilities of changing what I bought from the store. When I became honest, I became healthier. That’s the only magic button there is.

Health comes first

It has been a lifelong struggle to get my weight under control. When I was a child, I was always taller than my peers. This led to being heavier and needing larger clothes (naturally), but also a lot of bullying because I was ‘fat’. I believed that I was too heavy, especially because my younger sister has always been stick thin naturally.

When I look back to my childhood pictures, I now know that I wasn’t fat. I just had a different build than my sister and was tall, which warped my perception of myself. Unfortunately, my low self image encouraged bad behaviors. I wasn’t physically capable of being petite, I was told nobody would ever find me attractive and I believed it to the point where I just ate whatever. Why bother watching what I eat when my ‘dream self’ is unattainable?

Combine this with a less than ideal natural metabolism and tall genes, and by early 2012 I was at my highest weight. I’m not sure how heavy I was, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was 300lbs or more. When my depression maxed out in that same year, I stopped eating and lost weight due to starvation. When I did eat, my weight fluctuated dramatically upwards. I was a mess, emotionally and physically!

Now it’s mid-2015 and I feel better than I have in a very long time. Doubt is still deeply ingrained in my self-image, but there is an upwards trend in my positive self-image too. I feel more comfortable dressing in shorter skirts. I feel more comfortable with more revealing clothing. Heck, I’ve been catcalled for the first time in my life only recently!

I’m sure that my minimum 30lbs (suspected 40lbs) weight loss has contributed, but I can’t deny that my attitude has improved for the best too. Confidence is sexy, and I feel pretty darn confident a lot of the time now! My boyfriend’s unconditional acceptance of my body – skinny or fat makes no difference to him – has been more encouraging even than people liking me for being big.

I’ve made lifestyle changes that fit me. I stopped listening to what people told me I ‘should do’. I shouldn’t do anything that doesn’t work for me, and it’s really hard to forge your own path when you’re bombarded with ‘But this worked for me! IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS!’ from twenty different directions.

What worked for me is the following:

  • Testing my blood sugar frequently. In an effort to eat right, you need to know how food affects your body.Ā As a diabetic this is doubly important, but food can be deceptive. Seeing a visual in numbers how my body takes to different foods is the best guideline for adapting my lifestyle.
  • Exercising on a stationary bike. Due to my physical limitations, a lot of exercise is off limits or discouraged. Bikes however are low impact if adjusted right and there’s nothing more satisfying than doing 45 minutes on the bike after a meal and seeing your bloodsugar go down to compensate for what you ate.
  • Realizing not all sugars are equal. Honey tends to be a better choice than table sugar, if only for the fructose/glucose balance and the smaller amounts necessary to obtain the same level of sweetness. Agave can be really bad for you if your body is low on insulin production, because it’s mainly fructose which decreases insulin production. On the other hand, it can help lower the insulin output of an overactive pancreas if that’s your problem. Nobody is the same, so what is good for some folks is bad for others.
  • Fats and fibers affect the digestion process and glucose absorption, so I make sure to include both in my diet. Brown rice makes you feel fuller and aids your bowel movements, so you eat less and digest better. (Good) fats have been linked to being satiated quickerĀ and longer, which leads to reduced eating even if the product packs more calories than fat free. (And fat free tends to be stuffed with sugar to compensate!) Both also aid in avoiding a blood sugar spike. This is why using regular milk, or nut milk with added sugars, isn’t so awful when you use it to make your morning oatmeal, and why homemade ice cream with a high heavy cream content can be a diabetic friendly snack despite its sweetness.
  • Making better choices is half the work. If I want a big breakfast, I can easily choose a salad for lunch. If I want to eat fast food, I can as long as I promise myself to do a 45 minute bike ride afterwards. It’s totally fine to eat something unhealthy, as long as I limit my serving size. Want a burger? Have a big salad before the burger and get a small burger. IĀ never have to feel guilty for eating food I enjoy again, and it’s liberating as shit. Not putting restrictions on myself by flat out denying all sorts of foods is the best way for me to stick to a healthy program. If the choice is taken from me, it makes me want what’s bad so much more. Now it’s easy to say “I can have this meat as long as I pick the one that’s not breaded” or “I can have this potato serving as long as I eat the same serving size in vegetables with it” instead of “No meat like that ever” or “You have to remove all potatoes from your diet”.

Although my weight isn’t dropping much at all (though it is slowly and steadily), I can tell that my body is changing in terms of inches and proportions. My abs are developing, so while my gut may not be disappearing as I’d like it to, the muscle definition beneath the fat changes how it looks. That reduces the inches. My legs are becoming stronger and more defined. My overall health is improving because my blood sugar is within the normal ranges now.

I’m no longer doing it for the weight to be honest. Maybe that’s the biggest change and driving factor for my success. Weight is a useless number because it’s just a number, not a representation for health. Skinny people can be unhealthy. Someone as heavy as I am can live healthily without being skinny. What matters is how I treat my body, and I’d like to think I’m treating it just right. Why else would 270lbs look like this?

 

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