Originally posted 2015-06-20 14:29:47.
Most (though there will be several that wish to add other categories, I am stating “MOST”) people who are obese fall into one of three main categories: genetic, traumatic health change, or simply bad choices. Since I’m really not capable of laying blame on a genetic level due to lack of available information, I will say that in all honesty, it was bad choices on my part. I’ve always been “the fat girl”, and was roughly the same size (save the time near the end in the truck, when I had really packed on a semi’s worth of blubber) from grade 7 (12 years old) all the way through my life. I have only grown an inch and a half since grade 5 (remember, stunted growth due to malnutrition… it is real, and it is not fun).
My bad choices? Once I was independent and responsible for my bills, apartment, groceries, etc. at age 17, I took the learned method of nutrition and ‘ran with it’. “Pre-internet days” does not excuse the fact that there was knowledge available to me if I sought it out. I knew that others were eating “3 square meals a day”, and some were having up to 3 snacks as well and “the Canada’s Guide to Healthy Eating” with the four food groups was also not something I could deny knowing. It was however the mindset at the time that I was young, I had always been that size, and that I was still active. I was going to clubs and dancing. I was going to rallies and protests and walking endless kilometers. I was helping build houses for Habitat for Humanity. What I didn’t realise though was that the damage that had been set into my mind from the start was festering out of control even then.I own the fact that I perpetuated the unhealthy lifestyle. I take full responsibility for my own actions on this. I have over twenty years worth of self-defeating damage to fix, and I am bound and determined to be as proactive as possible.I guess the main point of what I’m getting at here is the fact that I really don’t want someone else to wait as long as I did. Your body is the only one you get. As amazing as science and technology are, they cannot replace the “all” of “you”. Once you’re dead, you’re finished. No do-overs, no re-writes, and definitely no “oops, I flubbed that, can we just start over from ‘x’ point?”Though a large demographic of the world would take one look at me and make a generalized horrifically incorrect assumption about my eating habits, I consciously have to remind myself to eat three meals a day now. The fact that I look like I could easily eat my weight in spam in a single serving doesn’t help that. Fun fact: I’ve never had spam, and have no desire to make its acquaintance ever in the future either, let alone ever eat my weight in anything I do like.I’m not even a ‘binge’ eater when I’ve had no meals throughout a day. I will eat a larger portion than should be consumed in a single serving, but nothing grotesque by any means. Three slices of pizza is my limit, even if I’m starving. That’s the problem though. Until I started this project to get healthy, I was practically always starving.“But you’re obese! How can you be starving?” Let’s just say if my metabolism was trying out for the most sluggish and least productive olympics, it would win gold every day. Sending your body into starvation mode is a detriment. It’s not a positive means of burning calories and especially not an effective means of weight loss. Essentially, I have been a “fat anorexic” for years. Without even trying, I go for days without eating, and when I do eat, my body is so out of whack, that it is craving ‘easy calories’ – carbs, sugars, etc.I will be training my body to learn to eat healthy for years to come. Possibly the rest of my life in fact. Getting used to how things are now, as opposed to how they always have been. The issue generally has been that during times of stress in my life, there is lack of funds (hence the stress) among many other things. Financial stress leads to improper grocery options, which leads to unhealthy eating habits, which leads to insomnia, starvation mode, lack of energy, depression… and we all know that leads to the dark side, where we can’t afford cookies and everyone’s even sadder because no one likes to sit in a cold dark depressing world with no cookies. In times of non-crisis, I’d remember to make healthy choices, and went through several instances where I was losing weight and keeping it off effectively. Now with the options and open communication I have with the hubs (this one is a biochemist who is more than willing, knowledgeable, and content to be supportive as I push myself to do better and be stronger and healthier), it will become second nature to me, as it is important for the adventures ahead that I be as fit as I possibly can be.2014 started a whole new level of stresses, with me being in (now I have to do some simple maths, hold up a moment)… a total of nine different locations. Increased financial constraints gave way to days without food available. Four days was the longest I went last year without a meal, and only drank water. I’m sure there’s a part of your brain that is trying to comprehend what it’s like to go four days without food of any kind. Most people start to have that “hangry” feeling in their system after a few hours if they haven’t eaten. That’s when their blood sugar drops and their body needs to be nourished properly. After the first day, your mind, if it has been trained over decades to forget to eat, slides into the old familiar position. Like a prickly old moth eaten wool blanket that seems to be your only choice to keep you warm during a blizzard because you can’t see ten feet ahead of you, that there is an entire home with a fire in the hearth, and hot cocoa and a soft homemade quilt, you are scared and feel alone and can’t think clearly. I will admit the start of day five, I did take a package of ramen noodles (dry) and a box of sweet and salty peanut butter bars back to my room and slowly consumed them, crying and feeling horrifically guilty for my theft. Later that day, I received what would be the first of many care packages from my friends from around the world. They don’t know that those care packages fed me for days. Another friend managed to force me to explain my situation, and during another bought of four days without food, sent me money in order to buy groceries. I won’t ever forget that kindness, nor will I let them forget my incredibly deep gratitude for their selflessness.Homeless, broke, hungry, lonely, and depressed leaves little time to think about things like making sure that I’m being physically active enough during a day. Had it not been for those kindnesses, and the loving emotional and financial support from my (now) husband, I would have remained homeless, et al. “Just get through today” was added to my “it has to be better tomorrow” mantra. You learn to exist until you can get to something better.I found a job, pitifully scheduled however, but enough for me to be grateful nonetheless. Even three hours a day, twice a week was a chance to procure a meal from the mall food kiosk. It was so horribly staffed however, I’d be doing it an injustice naming it, even as crappy as the food being served is for people.My depression hit a whole new level, when in September, I was led to believe certain situations were going to change rapidly (eventually I’m likely to explain that to you). I took a rental place for a couple months, with the intention of things being finalized; what happened was I ended up leaving the apartment once during that whole month. I bought groceries, more than enough for at least two weeks, though was shocked to see that almost 95% of them had been consumed within the first three days of my bringing them into the apartment by others while I slept.Not eating properly leads to a host of new issues. The energy level is non-existent. Insomnia takes over. October was only better in the fact that I left the apartment to get groceries and look for a new place to live. Thankfully in September, I had taken a girlfriend’s advice, and during a moment of “yay, I have a bit of money!” I bought Minecraft for myself. The best $34 well spent, I guarantee that. It introduced me to a community that didn’t even realise what they were doing for me. They were my connection to the world, while a roommate went on insane drug induced benders and would rage and keep me awake for hours on end into the wee hours, shoot a hockey puck at my locked bedroom door, and a host of other rotten situations. The GMMC community gave me hope during other stressful situations as well that I have yet to even allude to for you. Soon you’ll hear about them no doubt though.November and December were better for mobility, but the damage of the previous two months had already been set. Depression was now matched with a level of hibernation that confused my body. I ran through what I can guess in retrospect was at least three infections at once, a severe cold, breathing problems, and several other issues, including a growing sleep apnea condition. “When you get to him, it will be okay” joined the other two chants in the day’s mind conversation. My eyes were barely able to open. I couldn’t walk more than 50 steps without being completely winded and needing to sit down (I assure you, it wasn’t even that many probably, as my bedroom door was 16 steps from the stairs, and 12 stairs up to the main floor, and roughly another dozen (gah! maths again! 24 and 16… 0, 30 carry the one, so 40 steps and yes, you just saw how I do the maths) to the first chair. 40 steps. today I did 2014 and was barely winded. In better shoes, I can go further. On a cooler day, or going slower, I could double that now easily.From January to April (of 2015), I was still in the “holding pattern” knowing and biding my time to get to where I am currently. In February though, I wanted to start being proactive about things, as I knew the hubs would be horror struck to see me in my (then) current condition. As it was, by the time he saw me in the flesh again (though we skyped/facetimed regularly, cameras can be set at different angles, and yes, he did realise that I had gained some weight), he was convinced I was very unhealthy, to the point that I may have even started smoking again because I was so ashen and sickly looking, along with the weight.So this #100days is about me fixing things internally, externally, mentally, emotionally, physically, futuristically, and most importantly: permanently.I am training my body to appreciate consistency, stability, love, kindness, and healthiness. No matter what, it will get used to three meals (at least) a day. I won’t let myself go without now for any reason. The seemingly easier part for everyone else: when you get hungry, you fill your pie hole with sustenance. Hmmmm, pie. Focus, Sera. (Pecan by the way if you’re wondering what my pie of choice is.)Forty years to undo the habits of “how not to eat.”Twenty eight days to set a new habit.#100days to make this a lifestyle choice I am proud of.What did I learn in Week 3?Something I’m going to focus on for next week’s review actually: JUST KEEP WALKING. This seems oh so simple, right? *scoffs* Oh, if only it were that simple. I see the results and I want to do more, do better, go further, and faster. But. Oh that BUT. It is a brutal and heartless careless creature indeed. That BUT is the pestering nag of doubt and yesterday’s depressive mindset.Week 3 Reward:Bicycle Steampunk Cthulhu & Steampunk Pirates playing cards – though I have yet to even open them because they are so cool looking in the wrapper!!
Happily stumbling sideways through life, always hoping for a better tomorrow.