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 breathe...you'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. BUT....it'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 bodies...like 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.
1. THE END OF OVEREATING book
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 going...do 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 tomorrow...be well...