Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bit: or Biting off More than I Want.

Scb is to be applauded for just diving in and beginning. I have been in denial about my own weight issues for about seven years. I have such a precise figure simply because my daughter will be turning eight in less than a week. For the first year after she was born, I promised mysef to lose weight slowly and carefully. And I did--I got down to a weight that is about 50 lbs less than where I am now. That shocks me. See, 50lbs less than I am now was still "fat." I'd wanted to lose another 25-30, but I plateaued. So I gave up.

Of course, that means I have 75 lbs to lose, now. Impossible.

My knees are bad. My back is worse. My right arm has been bothering me for months. My feet, fortunately, seem to have stopped pronating (or whatever it is feet do when the arches "fall.")

And can you believe this? Digging out bushes, sledging concrete and walking, nearly every night for at least 1/2 hour, leisurely, to be sure, but still walking, has done nothing to the scales since we've returned from our trip 8-9 weeks ago now.

I can tell you though, I have lost a significant amount of weight in the past. Yep, about 70 lbs. It took nine months. Nine months of low-impact aerobics at the local Y (eventually I became a certified instructor and taught classes so my membership would be free), nine months of measuring out my food and recording everything I ate on a chart. Nine months of endless carrot sticks and eating (lightly floured) fried (baby beef) liver and onions every friday. Even though that was 20 years ago, I still remember it vividly. I just don't want to do that again.

I grew up in a house where my mother was always trying to lose weight. She always thought she was fat. She was always bemoaning her body. I do not want to continue that legacy. I grew up with absolutely no idea what was "normal" and what wasn't. At 13, I thought I had "fat thighs" and went on my first diet. Fortunately, I haven't dieted much at all, other than those two separate times.

But dieting does require you to focus, focus, focus on your body, your food, your excercise. And I honestly believe that intense focus is not healthy--though the process and the results may be.

So honestly, I don't know what to do.


drwende said...

Here's the thing -- if you're 75 lbs overweight, you're high risk for diabetes. And once you develop diabetes, you will be forced to focus intensely on your food and exercise. The focus required just for survival will be far more demanding, intense, self-centered, and distracting from your duties to others than the focus that would have been needed for prevention.

If you're going to define your life around service to others, you owe it to the "others" to keep the tools (your body and mind) well-maintained. Go read any parable about faithful servants and vineyards... they mostly tend that way.

Forever Chic said...

Wende's right.

Going for a 30 minute walk after dinner each night would be a significant symbolic start.

scb said...

It is quite possible that all that digging out of bushes and sledging concrete has increased your muscle mass, which is a very good thing, but which won't show on the scale because muscle weighs more than fat.

As for joining in on BIT, you don't have to go public with your numbers if you don't want to -- we each do things in our own way. I've probably put way too much information "out there", but that feels like the way I have to tackle this.

I have to focus on my food intake every day of my life anyway, to regulate my blood sugar (and to make sure I don't creep up to diabetes, which is a definite possibility), and weight loss will help alleviate some of the problems that make me have to worry about my health, so I have to focus. That's just how it is. (But there's no way I'm eating liver every Friday, or any day, ever!) Liver is not a necessity to weight loss or weight control -- at least, it better not be!

scb said...

I've had another thought. I can understand that, after watching your mother obsess about her weight all the time, you don't want to get into that, and you definitely don't want to model it for your children.

But you really don't have to go at this with the single-minded intensity that you bring to AT and GT, you know. (Sounds like that nine months of working at losing 70 pounds was very intensive.) Just a little tweaking here and there. You can maybe model to your kids that taking care of one's health and weight shouldn't be an obsession, but is still important.

Just a thought.

Colleen said...

That prior program sounds really intense Alana! I joined WW a couple of years ago to lose some weight for a wedding (I know- bad motivation) and it really worked without making me feel like I was dieting. I actually reactivated my online account a couple of days before SCB started talking BIT so I'll be following along with interest (though I may not talkmuch about it).

As for all the work you've been doing, muscle weighs more than fat so that is probably why you aren't seeing movement on the scale.

drwende said...

If vanity's the concern, there's quite a lot of information out there on Christian weight-loss programs. They're evangelical-slanted, so I can't make the slightest judgment of what's credible and what's not -- but there's certainly support for some weight loss efforts being faith-affirming rather than inappropriately worldly.

scb said...

In the faith-affirming vein, I highly recommend the books "Lose it for Life" and "Lose it for Life Workbook" by Steven Arterburn. They are a sensible look at weight loss from a Christian perspective.

There are some groups that I've heard are too extreme, in my humble opinion, and that lay too much guilt on a person. But I've gone through the book "Lose it for Life", and I found it useful, and faithful.

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