My Shame of Being Fat ~ Up to 200lbs 23.7% fat.
Here We Go Again
The truth is that 200.8lbs and 23.7% bodyfat is not the worst I have been. I have been much worse. It is hard to believe that I have been even 50 pounds more than I am today. Nevertheless, I feel so much shame and guilt that I have not been able to maintain my low weight of 175lb which I had acheived as recently as 6 months ago. In the span of 6 months, I have gained now 25lbs.
I feel so weak and out of control that I have not been able to socialize like a ‘normal’ human being. Is it my fault? Why do I face such cravings just from a slice of bread that it leads to a weight gain of 25lbs in 6 months, basically erasing a third of the achievements I had made over the course of a year. I know people, who have been the same weight their entire life, maybe fluctuating a few pounds up or down over the course of a lifetime.
To me, that is nothing short of miraculous. I see that they can eat a piece of cake, have a drink, even an M&M without it being a major trigger to put on the weight of a one year old baby.
Alright, enough, I am not going to spend the rest of these words beating myself up. I have done that since I am a kid. I was watching a Kobe Bryant interview today where he spoke about knowing that his goal in life was to play basketball from the time that he was 2 years old. And he wants to be remembered for maximizing his talent in his passion. I have had many goals, but frankly, from a very young age, I have not been in control enough physically to focus on other passions. Is it possible that this is my purpose, my passion, to find a way to become fit and stay fit? On one hand, it seems vapid, inane, ridiculous almost. On the other hand, it is the foundation of leading a good life. How can I appreciate everything that I have been blessed with if I continue to struggle with weight. We all know that gaining and losing weight continually is a major stressor on the body.
I have plenty of challenges outside of weight. Food though is something that we have to deal with every day. Yes, I was on a great roll months ago. I want to partake in being social with others, but I believe that , no, I have to finally accept that for whatever reason, whether it is low levels of dopamine in my brain, or how my brain has been wired over the course of my life to process junk food, whatever the reason is, every time that I attempt to have ‘normal’ food like bread, pasta, even oatmeal, quinoa, even beans, I end up moving towards heavier stimulating foods with even less nutrition than the whole grain product that I convince myself must be good for me.
Yes, I am so exhausted from the cycle that I have been riding since I can remember. My goal at 2 was not to be a basketball player, my goal from the first meal that I remember having, and I really do not recall what age, but I will never forget the meal, an english muffin with american cheese, ketchup and oregano on top, my goal was to eat that weight watcher ‘pizza’ and lose weight, be slim, like my parents were doing. And from that point on, food, being good with food, meaning not eating too much, being slim, or being bad with food, like I have been for months now, has been both the achievement when slim and full of shame and guilt when fat.
So, I have to make an end to this. I have to set up a boundary. I have to create a new room.
I have written before about the idea of expanding my home metaphorically, and there is no reason that I cannot apply this concept to my room of diet confusion and fear of being fat.
I am writing this now today, despite my disappointment in order to gain some clarity and hopefully support, from myself, from anyone else who can relate to the yo yo cycle of losing and gaining throughout their lives.
I am also writing today to put a stake in the ground, to declare that I am going to build this new room for once and for all, this is it. I am not going to put up pictures today of my progress, but I am taking them, and when I am not as mortified by them as I am today, I am going to post them with every one of these posts. I want to document the changes from 23.7% fat down to my goal of 10%. I know that is an aggressive number, but this is an adventure, this is the new room that I want to build. I am weary of living in the room of endless diet confusion, and in the room of not acknowledging that I just cannot handle foods that other people can, and it has been like this for many years. I have vascillated between 140lbs and 275lbs for way too long. I am going to lock the door of this room and not go back in. I will have to learn to say “No” to offers of cake, cookies, pasta, bread, sugar, alcohol, everything that I know will trigger me back into that room. Those are the so called foods, which are the keys to going back into this room of endless pain. These ‘foods’ are not my friends. Even if others can eat them with no reaction, I cannot. It is time to accept the truth and live it.
Of course, I can say, hey, what do you want from me, or what do I want from me, I am 56, why should I not enjoy these little pearls of pleasure, just do it in moderation. I am totally for moderation, but I am not the physical specimen that can do moderation with a snickers bar and what ensues after. I am grateful for others who can, but I have to accept that I cannot, and as a result, I have to create a new home that is free of the substances that wreck me physically and emotionally.
Anyone who has struggled with their weight will know what I am talking about. I hereby close the door on that room of ‘losing weight’, ‘struggling with weight’, ‘what do I eat’, ‘How can I eat like everyone else and not end up fat?’. It is an old ass room and I am sick of it. I am not going to lounge in that room on my couch watching other athletes play football, baseball, Kobe playing basketball, while I am noshing on pretzels! If I did, I guess I do have somewhat of an excuse, because why should I bother, why not just enjoy whatever I want to without much care.
The answer is because I want to maximize my talent every day as well. The answer is because I want to be the healthiest that I can be for myself and for those who care about me. The answer is because I am grateful that I woke up today and that I have the opportunity to even close the door on a room that is not working for me and to build a new home that will. The answer is because if I can build a new home, where the foods that I eat make me healthier, make me function better, make me happier and wiser, not only is that good for me, but it is also good for the people out there who struggle with the same problem.
We all have different physiologies, and perhaps there are people who can do the exalted cheat meal or cheat day without terrible fallout, but I accept, I cannot! Which is better, to continue in that same room roller coaster of lose weight today, gain tomorrow, lose weight over 9 months, put it back on, try to be like everyone else, have a drink here and there, have a roll, have a slice of cake in honor of myself or another. No, there is no honor in that room for me so I am locking the door.
This new room looks like this, It is brand new, clean, I am really excited to start decorating it, it is a new home, the only foods that I am going to allow into this new temple of mine are those that I know are going to make me stronger and healthier. Number one food will be vegetables, is there anyone out there that disagrees about vegetables? Maybe macrobiotics who say that eggplant and tomatoes are not health supporting because they are from the nightshade family, but for the most part, I think every person on earth will say, yep, vegetables are the best source of nutrition for us humans. Everyone says, or let me say that every Nutrition expert that I have read in the past, Dr. Mcdougall, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Cordain, etc etc, whether they promote vegan, vegetarian, pesco vegetarian, fasting, fruit juicing, body building, paleo, eat to live Dr. Fuhrman, they all agree on vegetables, yay! whew, at least no one will argue on that.
So, my food pyramid will be vegetables number one, fruits number two, I can use fruits for a snack and vegetables are the cornerstone of my meals.
Next, I believe that everyone is in agreement on nuts, they are okay in moderation for sure. Have a few nuts here and there, perhaps for a snack with a fruit they are just fine.
Next, what about beans, legumes? Those are tricky for me personally. I know that they are supposed to have great fiber, slow burning carbs and protein, but I also know that they never digest well for me and are a constant source of heartburn. So, for me, I am going to write them off. I can still get fiber from vegetables, and protein from vegetables, nuts and protein.
What about protein? Since I have been a teenager, when I first read ‘Diet for a Small Planet’, I have been reluctant to have animal protein, originally for environmental and animal cruelty reasons, as well as being terrified by cholesterol and all of the other pernicious diseases that are associated with high animal food intake. On the other hand, when I have vegetarian processed proteins, like morningstar veggie burgers, boca soy burgers, tofu smart dogs, frankly, I feel like crap. Is the processed veggie protein a better alternative than an organic egg? I am not a Doctor, so I have no right to express my opinion for others, but for myself, I know that I feel better from an egg than from a veggie burger and in this new home of mine, that is good enough for me. So the idea is go big on vegetables for meals, have some fruits and nuts for snack and a little protein with the meals. Protein fortunately is not something that I am going to binge on. Do you? Have you ever seen anyone really bingeing on eggs? Who binges on eggs? We go crazy for donuts, not eggs. So in the case of protein, that seems very possible to be moderate.
Now, what about dairy? Well, I know how I feel after dairy, fat, bloated, lethargic as well as a trigger for bronchitis, mucus, pneumonia. Is it in my imagination? No. This is how my body reacts so I have to accept it and accept a life without dairy, leave my milk and ice cream locked in that old room.
And of course, I have to leave all of my favorite nosh and alcoholic beverages, coke, diet pepsi, chips, pretzels, ben and jerry, all of you snacks in that room and lock it up.
You think I am extreme? I do not care! I think that 23.7% bodyfat is extreme, even at 56. I think being fat is extreme. I think being uncomfortable in my own body is very extreme and not kind to me. So I am not on a mission to be extreme, just the opposite, I am on a mission to be kind to myself. I hope that this room turns out to be the one, a home that I can live in comfortably, share with others and provide enough peace of mind that I will have enough bandwith now to really focus on my mission in life. Maybe it is to build this home and showcase it for others who have suffered in their own rooms of weight loss rollercoaster, maybe it is something else, but at least I will be able to think about it and find out!
Your comments and/or your own experiences and/or support are greatly appreciated!