Thursday, November 3, 2011

To Better Things

And onward I move - growth being an important part of this process and all. ;)

I am overweight. Technically, on a bloated day, I am obese.

I have struggled with my weight since I was 9 years old. I remember paying a man in a Vegas casino $2 to guess my weight. I remember he guessed I weighed somewhere south of 65 pounds. I remember the clunk the carnivalesque scale made as I settled my chunky frame into the spotlight. I remember his loud and enthusiastic holler as he shouted, "Mama?! Whoooo-eee! How much turkey you been feedin' this girl? Dang! Ninety pounds! Whoo! I was waaaaay off! Pick your prize, princess!"

Tears in my eyes - I remember selecting a creepy clown doll. She had a porcelain face and a stiff bean-filled body. She had a pointy hat with a small pompom on top. I hated her. I got off the scale and told my mom I was never eating turkey again.

That lasted an hour, I'm sure. Come dinner time, I was at the front of the buffet line - belgian waffles and sausages. Cream-filled pastries and scrambled eggs with cheese. A glass of orange juice and a glass of chocolate milk. A trip to the ice cream bar and a trip to the dessert cart.

What was I like before the age of nine? I was a healthy weight for my height. I ate food when I was hungry and I stopped eating when I was full. I have memories of pizza and rootbeer and not wondering if one of my brothers got a bigger slice than I did.

Years of therapy (group, family, marriage, personal) and not a one ever put together that something might have happened to trigger my sudden desire to stuff my face. I mentioned in every first-session that I ever had that my only traumas worthy of note are:
My parents are divorced - and happily remarried.
My grandmother died less than a month after I spent a summer vacation with her. Just me and her.
One time, I woke to find my mom's boyfriend's hand between my legs and his response was "I was just checking to see if you wet the bed."

I can't count how many times I've recounted the boyfriend bit to a mental health professional. Each one has replied - wow! It sounds like you dodged a real bullet there. Tell me about your life after your parents remarried.

My present-day therapist slammed the car into park and said -
Tell me more about the boyfriend.

Thing is? I didn't remember much. I shrugged and said that I must be lucky - think of what might have happened!

Through months of counseling, I have uncovered enough fragmented memories to conclude that the boyfriend was coming into my room while I slept and trespassing on my privacy. Because my mind has done a fabulous job of burying these subconscious encounters, I struggle to come to a definite conclusion of what went on.

Suffice it to say - I was affected by whatever happened. It doesn't matter what happened. It only matters that I was and am affected.

Is my weight problem directly caused by this trauma? Probably not.

I subscribe to Dr. Simeon's theory that some are born genetically pre-disposed to being overweight. I believe that our life experiences influence whether we have the willpower to fight against those genes our whole lives.

My weight loss experience (and it is vast, mind you) has led me to this conclusion:
It does not matter what I do to reach a weight loss goal. I will inevitably have to fight to hold the ground I've conquered.

I have been - at my lowest adult weight - 131 pounds. I ran several miles a day (giving myself breaks on the weekends) and engaged in cardio workouts and lifted weights. I ate 19 Weight Watchers points per day and 35 extra points per week. I fought for weeks to achieve my goal of 130 pounds - and the scale never budged from 131. On the old Weight Watchers plan, 19 points equaled about 800 calories. Figuring in the weekly points, I was consuming 800-1000 calories per day. Calories in, calories out? My flabby ass.

The very moment I gave up (7 weeks total of ass-kicking and craving-killing with my weight remaining steady at 131), I ate what my healthy-weight husband ate for dinner one night and I gained 5 pounds the next day. I steadily gained from then on without much effort.

I subscribe to Dr. Simeon's other theory that our bodies hold a "set weight." I trusted his theory so much that I put it to the test. For one entire week, if I thought about it, I ate it. I consumed between 4,000 and 10,000 calories PER DAY for an entire week.

My weight never EVER went above 175. Ever.

My weight is set between 170 and 175, allowing for water retention and full intestines. ;)

Check the charts, folks - I'm obese.

I will admit my skepticism when I first heard my Mom tell me about Dr. Simeon's HCG diet plan.

At 500 calories a day, surely you risk mistaking your husband for a hotdog and devouring him whole in your sleep.

At 500 calories a day, certainly you risk gnawing on your own leg to get by between meals.

At 500 calories a day, a sudden death was definitely in your near future.

Mom? Seriously? 500 calories? I half-listened, but mostly silently waited for her to admit to being abducted by aliens. I was nursing at the time, husky as ever, and knew that this wasn't even an option for me. As is my custom, I have a difficult time faking enthusiasm. I'm sad to say I missed out on many of my mom's triumphs due to my ignorance.

Luckily, she is my mom. She knows I never mean harm when I disengage. When I let my mind wander to things I care about and can discuss without having to muster fake enthusiasm.

Now, not nursing and fully able to participate in weight loss, I am at the beginning of my own HCG weight loss journey.

I began Weight Watchers in December 2010. I began weighing 168 pounds. I weigh 172 today... So... THAT didn't work for me.

But, being fat doesn't work for me either.


Ever the helpful mommy, she pointed me in the right direction. And like a rocket-ship with a final destination on the navigation, I took off.

I could hash out the hows and whys - but that is for another time. This post has gotten rather wordsy - seems I've been bottling up a few too many things - and there will be plenty of time for explanations on other sleepless nights.

For now - know that I have done my research. I know of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright horrifying (do NOT google "colon cleanse" and expect to retain your midnight snack!). And yet - I persist. Doesn't it kind of make you wonder why?