Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 50 of Phase 5: Where I Rant About My Defective Body and Early Envy of the Healthy, and Where I Progress to Make Peace and Vow to Good Stewardship of This Temple...and Where I Answer My Own Question about 3 Tips and Gift Basket For Obese Loved Ones/Friends Wanting to Lose Weight...

No scale today.

Asthma is acting up (yes, it began with 2 weeks of stuffier and stuffier nose and allergies and rashes, and now the spring pollen and mold assault has encroached on the bronchii). Pilates was tough, but we kept the pace slow enough that I didn't go into all-out attack. Sucks. But..hey, as long as I can breathe and am alive, I should not kvetch too much.

I think the reason it bothers me is that I exercise, eat beautifully, try to sleep restfully, de-stress my life as much as is possible without being comatose, don't abuse cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or sex. Do what I'm supposed to. But I can't do squat about what is genetically wrong with me.

It vexes me, yes, that this is out of my control. I was born defective; I'll die defective. I'll never EVER EVER know what it feels like to be a really healthy person.

Even as a kid, I was so envious it would drive me to near suicide that other kids could run and didn't have to carry wads of tissues in their pockets and bookbags, which inevitably ran out by lunchtime. Other kids didn't have to make sure they had pockets or purses to carry medicines and hankies. Other kids didn't have to worry when weather or seasonal changes came on. Other kids didn't have to routinely get shot up or hospitalized. Other kids didn't suffer debilitating depressions from age 8 on...though I didn't realize what it was until years and years later, when I understood wanting to kill yourself at age 8 and feeling blue as bruises periodically, in cycles,  for no reason is not  normal.

It pissed me off royally.

And in my teens and twenties and on, I'd get so angry at people who had vibrant health, who didn't worry that they could or could not breathe if they walked too fast or went past someone with strong perfume. Didn't have to sit somewhere else in church to avoid getting sick from residual smoke on a man's suit jacket of too much cologne on a woman's neck.

And when I was in the work force, worrying I'd be fired cause when my lungs took ill, I'd be out 2 weeks minimum at a stretch and have to bring in medical certification that I wasn't malingering. That I couldn't go camping with relatives. And on and on.

I used to tell healthy folks, who'd wake up and not have to give a care about what item they ate or what meds were in their pockets or what environment they had to avoid or how it was a fine day to just up and run around as much as they wished--don't take it for granted. I'd say that exactly: "you're blessed...don't take it for granted. That you can live without worrying if you'll suddenly seize up and not're blessed."

It made me teeth-grinding furious when people with beautiful faces/bodies and profound health and excellently level moods sans depressive episodes did asinine crap like drunken binges, drug experimentation, promiscuous sex, , etc. How could my friends, these blessed ones, with clear skin, good eyes, fabulous health....risk damaging such a gift with quaaludes or coke or boozefests or one night stands or silly chicken-car-racing....

And there I was...envious and head-shakingly shocked they never understood what they had.....what a treasure.

So, I think part of my self-loathing and disdain of my body--which allowed me to get obese and not much care for ages about doing much about it--came from not being able to trust it. My eyes were bad (glasses at age 12). My skin was bad (rashes, eczema, then acne). My teeth were bad (stained from all those antibiotics in the tooth-formative years). My ankle was bad (severe fracture at age 5). And most of all, my immune system and respiratory system were bad.  My body was not trustworthy, and then I came to hate its weird shape (that was not gracefully feminine like my other sisters, who have different types from paternal side of family).

I am starting to make peace with my defective body. I want to take care of it, nurture it, make it more functional and attractive (though it's got so much irreversible damage, the level I can get to will never be..well...socially lauded). I want to stop damaging and hating it for being an enemy to me in so many ways since infancy. I remind myself it's also been a friend, allowing me to see, no matter how imperfectly, a beautiful world and the faces of the people I love. I can hear. I can walk. I can taste food. I can sing and feel the pleasure of it. I can dream. I can create.

It's nice to have a body.

Until the resurrection...I won't know what it's like to have a body that's completely free of...illnesses. Of defects.'s still entrusted to me, and though it's late in life, I am going to be a better steward.

Every Christian who deforms their body with overeating, drugs, self-mutilation, etc--that person is violating the good stewardship that God expects for all his gifts. Life and our the Earth, is a gift, and we should take care of it. The body is, says the Word, a temple...the temple of God, each of us, individually. If I mistreat it, if I abuse it, God is not pleased.

I want God to be pleased with what I do with regard to my flesh...not just my spirit or mind or soul. I need to work on all of it. :)

Anyway, I had asked my lovely bloggy readers to respond to a question. Read it here in this post if you missed it. The comments were great. Very smart. Very useful. Read them if you are new to dieting/weight loss/fatfighting, and you want to get advice just on how to GET STARTED, get going, toward some success.

And here is how I'd respond:

Question One: 3 Tips for Getting Started
1. COMMIT FULLY AND WHOLEHEARTEDLY:  Commit to the reality and accept the tough but inevitable idea that you WILL HAVE TO GIVE STUFF UP. You will HAVE TO SACRIFICE SOME DEGREE, LARGE AND SMALL, OF FOOD RELATED PLEASURES AND COMFORTS FOR LIFE. It's not a temporary thing. A short-term fix. It's for life. Grasp that idea before embarking on the journey, then begin it with small steps that lead into the bigger steps (and everyone with half a brain knows the steps--eat less, move more, eat cleaner and more sound food, not junk and sugar and crap). But first, make the DECISION...or do what it takes to come to grasp that reality. That's numero uno.

2. BELIEVE FULLY and do what it takes to keep believing: If that means you have to scream affirmations into the morning wind, then do it. If it means tattooing "I Can Do It!"  onto your right forearm: do it. If it means leaving sticky notes all over to encourage you day and night. Do it. You will not keep moving past obstacles and temptations if you do not BELIEVE that you are capable of losing the weight, gaining the muscle, eating less, overcoming emotional eating, overcoming stress eating. BELIEVE YOU CAN DO THIS. Read blogs of successful losers/maintainers until you see yourself in their story. Read books of successful dieters. Read books of successful ANYTHING questers--mountain climbers, around-the-world sailors. DO WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP FAITH AND HOPE ALIVE. Start a blog Join a challenge. Do not, not notnotnotnotnotnotnot lose faith in your ability. 

3. TRACK TO CALORIC LIMIT, THEN STOP EATING: Until you get to goal weight, choose a sane caloric level that will help you lose (and make it a lot less than what got you where you are) and track your food to stay within that level. Every morsel. Use a notepad. Use a computer. Use Sparkpeople. Use FitDay. Use whatever. But use something to account for points/calories. Naturally, then you stop eating when you reach your limit. PEOPLE LIE TO THEMSELVES. If you don't track every bite and spoonful and ounce (and a correlative of tracking is you must measure to know what to log/track), you will tell yourself "I didn't eat that much." Yes, you did. You got fat eating that much. I got fat eating THAT much. Don't lie. Track. It will open your eyes. And the online ones help you track nutrientes, so you know where you fall short (magnesium, iron, etc). And it will be stark evidence that you lean maybe (ahem, most likely, definitely) to unbalanced eating--too little protein, too many carbs, too much salt, not enough fiber,  etc.

If I had more tips to give, I'd move into actual nutrition and exercise tips and stuff. But I am strongly of the mind that if we commit, believe, and track...things will start to happen. Eyes will open. Hearts will fill up with faith.

Now, a gift basket, with at least 3 (or only 3) items to help folks who are morbidly obese on their journey.

I'd include:

2. A printed list of online food trackers, youtube exercise videos, and weight loss sites/blogs with a note about how each can help.
3. A gift certificate for one pair of good walking shoes

If I was going to include more items, maybe a grocery list of "healthful diet staples" with a gift certificate to a farmer's market. Or a book of dieter's affirmations. Or more books I value. Or some good whey protein and recipes for breakfast smoothies. Or toning balls and resistance bands. Or exercise DVDs. Or a free pass for a week at a gym. Or a prepaid appt with a dietitian.

That's what I'd give if I was limited to 3, though. :)

Anyway, if you know someone who needs to and wants to get started, but just feels lost about how to get read those comments and pass along this blog entry. Maybe this is what they need to see/read/do.

I have to go work on some fiction judging...see you guys well...


Karen Butler Ogle said...

Hang in there with the allergies, Princess. Did you ever try the allergy injections? You know, where they mix a cocktail of injection just for your particular allergies and then give them too you to lower your reaction to the allergens? My daughter had these when she was young and by the time she reached puberty, her asthma was gone. They really worked for you. I hope you get some relief soon.

Princess Dieter said...

Yep. Twice. In my late teens to early twenties. Then again at age 39 to 40. It made me SICKER. TUrns our I'm one of those who should not get allergy shots. My autoimmune issues makes me react WORSE, rather than minimize symptoms. All that money down the drain....Brother and sister were in same boat. No help at all...well, I tried. :)

Kelly said...

My brother had terrible asthma. I konw it bothered him that he couldn't do sports like the other guys. Also bad allergies and had to have an injection every day. It was terrible. But I never thought of him as defective.

But I know what you mean. Even with this insulin resistance crap I tell my hubby that I feel defective. I laugh about it but there is a grain of truth there. But I'm also very very happy to be me. And you should too. You're so pretty! really. And I love your personality that shines through your posts. WIsh I could meet you in person. :)

Suzan said...

I didn't get real sick until I was in my thirties. I can relate somewhat to some of the things you said, though. I always felt envious of those who were petite, graceful, or athletic. I always wanted to be those things. No matter how I tried though, I couldn't be like them. My skeletal frame is large - I'm the big-boned one in the family, even though I'm only 5'5"And even when I weighed 105, I didn't look skinny. And of course,it didn't help to have a mom who made fun of me because I was a "klutz." (Undiagnosed scoliosis and arthritis can screw up a person's balance.)

Living with chronic pain and fatigue for many years has tempered me somewhat. I no longer long to be petite and graceful. I'm grateful just to make it through Pilates class without tearing my body apart, lol. The older I get, the more I realize that God and my hubby love me just the way I am, and always will. So I think that I have accepted I will always feel like a big boned girl, even when I get this weight off. But I don't live by my feelings. I know that God sees me quite differently, and that reality is the true truth of the matter, not how I feel. Yes, we should take care of the bodies that God gave us. I wish more Christians would consider that and stop trying to ply food on people all the time. That drives me nuts.

I can't wait till we get to heaven and we get our new bodies, Mir. I'll catch your eye and give you a "thumbs up" on that fine day. :-)

Mike said...

Inspired. Your post made me feel blessed for the health that I do have. I can not imagine the added effort it would take to lose the weight I am losing right now with medical issues I had no control over fighting me the whole way. Thank you for helping me realize those blessings.

We are not physical beings who have spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings here having a physical experience. One of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes is:

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go."

Thanks for the great post.

Starting At 500 Pounds

Food Freak said...

Mike, what a delightful quote from Dr. Seuss. He's so good for kids, but also adults, too.

Princess Dieter, this was a sweet and lovely blog entry. I need to think about it some to let it filter down into my confused head. I like what you're putting in the gift basket for your friend, even if it's a tad more than three things, lol.

Thanks for making me think, as usual.

Food Freak said...

Oh! Also, thank you for sharing the physical problems you have and have had since childhood. I hate the word defective, though. You have a problematic body. It's not defective. Just because someone has depression, or another mental illness, doesn't mean their brains or minds are defective. They might be difficult to deal with, but that's not the same thing.

Please be kind to yourself.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

What a great post! I just wrote a comment on someones blog answering the question, "What is your motivation for getting healthy and losing weight". I answered similar about God. The bible warns against so many things, including gluttony but it is such a "touchy" subject that we don't hear about it during talks and at meetings. I KNOW that I cannot be pleasing God by allowing myself to get this big.

I've never had breathing and respiratory problems but I have similar childhood issues and feelings. I seriously thought that I was the only one who had "all those problems". It's carried through to adulthood and is really a horrible feeling. I'm going back to look at your last post. Sorry, I don't get to all the blogs as often as I want to so I miss things.

Race you to the finish line! :-)