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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Where we come from...

I was reading April's Blog this morning... She was talking a little bit about her weight loss progress. And what mental state she was in to get to her highest weight...

There have been so many times over the course of my life that I told myself, "I'll never be as big as her," or "I'll never get over 250lbs, 300lbs, 350lbs." But I never did anything to avoid reaching those weights, those milestones. It was temporary motivation to slow down my eating but never changed my relationship with my food. In a way I was distracted, always too busy... never felt an urgency to change. I had a lot of people try to wake me up, particularly since my whole life has been performance oriented. Those temporary motivations flew out the window when a pizza was in the room, or a candy bar.

I don't think of myself as disabled or fat. I have fat. Fat is a part of me, but I am not fat. I am Nanette. In a way, it's been a good thing. I'm hoping that as the scale goes down and I get healthier I will still be Nanette. I don't want to be thin. I want to be Nanette. On the other hand, it's a bad thing. It's allowed me to entirely dissociate from my body. It helped me ignore the things I couldn't do anymore. I haven't always been okay with being fat. But I wasn't ready to be proactive about it when I was younger... it wasn't something I was interested in. I didn't have the resources. It just wasn't time for it. If I would have started younger, I'm quite positive I would have failed and then continued with a yo-yo dieting mentality.

It also helped that I had the mentality of "dad will always be fatter than me." I love my dad. No matter what size (actually, I liked him more when he was fat. He was less of a curmudgeon.). Not once did I feel like he loved me less because he couldn't play on the floor or chase me around. Dad had a series of health problems. He lost weight. He got down to around my weight... and then I started getting nervous. Dad continued to lose...   At 67 years old, he's now around 240 and if he had his excess skin removed he would be around 200. Watching dad lose weight and get healthier was inspiring, sure. He did it too late though. His skin won't retract. His diabetes is in full swing. He still has muscular problems related to being dormant for so long.

Last fall (2010) dad injured his foot at work. It wouldn't heal. He described going to sleep the day before thanksgiving... he felt his heart slow down... and he started going cold all over. He couldn't move his body. He couldn't shout for help. (mom sleeps upstairs). The next morning, he told mom about it and she took him to the emergency room. His blood sugar was over 400. His foot was severely infected and was not healing due to poor circulation/diabetes. He wound up in the hospital for over a month with staph infection. Antibiotics were pumped directly into his heart.   ALL OF THIS WAS OVER A SMALL CUT ON THE BOTTOM OF HIS FOOT!

He was put on non-weight bearing limitations. This thanksgiving (2011), he hadn't walked in over a year, still waiting for this small cut to heal. He wound up in the emergency room again. He couldn't feel his other leg. Back problems. Blown discs cemented. Still numbness and an inability to move his left leg. pinched nerve. back surgery. bone shave. pins. rods. scars. He's in a nursing home getting physical therapy to help him recover from the back surgery. He's been there since thanksgiving.

All of this could have been prevented with earlier weight loss. All of this, in addition to finishing my degree and needing the next project and the next step to working and living.... it's finally the right time. Dad has had elbows replaced, multiple back surgeries, both knees replaced, cartilage problems. But for some reason... the physical issues that continued after he lost the weight is more effective in inspiring me to get myself moving. Get myself in gear. Prevent that kind of life. Increase the quality of my own.

I'd love to say it was my own idea. I had switched to a new voice teacher over the summer. Like every new voice teacher, she addressed my weight. "This doesn't need to count against you. At auditions people will dismiss you purely on size." FINALLY a teacher that talks truth. "When you come back, I want you to tell me how your practicing went and I want you to tell me what you've done this week to lose weight. It's not to intimidate you, or make you feel bad. It's to hold you accountable." I tried stuff for a couple weeks. I would increase activity, or eat more veggies... but not really keeping tally or a record of progress.

My cousin, Amber, told me about Mir's blogging CDC challenge. I joined up not knowing what I was getting myself into... but making a commitment to myself. Since then I've been researching. I've been tracking. I've been learning about nutrition and exercise. I read an article about motivation... motivation happens in 4 stages...

- the initial spark.
- mentally preparing yourself... thinking yourself through.
- sustained commitment.
- habit/self renewing motivation (the feel good of doing well that inspires you to keep going).

I'm the fattest person in our little E2E challenge. I also have the advantage of being the youngest person in this challenge. I know I can do this. I work out 3x a week or more. I struggle to keep my diet in line. But I DO. If I can haul my fat ass off of the couch or out of bed and go jogging, you can too. I can do high impact aerobics without hurting myself. I can modify. I can bear all 320 of my pounds. Bones get stronger with weight bearing exercise. Be smart. But if you don't push yourself, you don't grow.

If you get used to moving your body and working out at your current weight, it will only get EASIER as that number goes down... and believe me, it will.

Big Fat Fattest Challenger Love,
Nanette

7 comments:

  1. It's a complete change of mindset. We don't have to take this anymore. We caused it and now we must fix it. We can't just do this in our minds and blogging is no substitute for doing it. Many use their blogs as a way to validate what they do - good or bad. Many will comment that it's OK to mess up and give you all kinds of affirmations for slipping up. Don't do that to others either. Don't let that lull you into a feeling of helplessness and resign yourself to "just this once" and "I'm OK with that" and "I'm not going to beat myself up over it". We just can't do that anymore. This post is full of your "why". You are going to have to exercise when you would rather skip it. You are going to have to bear some hunger. You are going to have to drink more water whether you want to or not. You are not going to be able to whine about what you can't have. No more "poor me". I have done all these things and you are getting serious younger than I did so you will have more years of health to enjoy life. Don't let anything get in the way. It's only food.

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    1. Exactly! It is only food. Funny how we know exactly what we have to do and exactly what we have to eat. Gotta flex that motivation muscle and that determination muscle to actually DO it though.

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  2. My dad died due to congestive heart failure secondary to diabetes. He was only 58. I was a diabetic for 14 years before I finally decided to do something about my weight. It is always better late than never so good for your dad for trying. I was thinking you are about the same age as my daughter, Bethany, who is also in the challenge. She is 24. She married fairly young and had two children and she hasn't been able to lose the weight she gained from her pregnancies. She is working on hard it now but it is difficult when you have insulin issues like she does. Once we get her colon problems worked out though, I'm going to get her on a diet that will help her digestive tract and also help her lose some weight. Hang in there, Nanette. :)

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    1. Well hey! I guess I'm not the youngest! I'm 25 now. I hope Bethany's health improves. I think of her a lot these days.

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  3. As usual, you've written something really thought provoking and affirming! Your body love post is one of my favorite posts ever. I read April's post and didn't really think much about it, other than noting that she's (and you!) are "getting" it much younger than I did. I spent SO many years feeling helpless but still stuffing my face before I "got" it last fall. Yeah, I want pizza and I'm going to have it. But I'm not falling face first into an entire pie these days. I have a small portion and take care of myself in more positive ways. Including big exercise. Yay us!

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  4. You are on a wonderful journey. I am so glad you have dove into the blogging community and are committed to making healthy choices for your life.

    It is hard to see your dad go through his challenges, but you are providing a future for yourself by changing today. I know the feeling of comparing weights (with your dad). I think I have done that internally with my sisters, and guess what... now my older sister weighs less than me! I commend her for her hard work and dedication, but it still means I need to stay on track and get back to a healthy weight.

    Do you remember coming to Boise last May when all the cousins got together at Gmas? That night was my break through night. I had been attempting to lose weight since January and I had only lost 5-6 lbs. I had a secret desire to sneek into the kitchen and eat all of Karen't mint brownies. In fact, I did sneak into the kitchen and eat a bunch of brownies. The next day I got things moving and started my blog and found a challenge to join (Slimmer This Summer).

    I still battle my desire to sneak away and eat goodies, when you post about your healthy choices I am inspired to make a better choice. It has been a hard week, now I need to step left and move forward. Keep doing good, and I will lean on you a bit for inspiration!!!!

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  5. Wow, I can't believe what your father has been through. I'm so sorry to hear that he is still in a nursing home. Can you tell me - was it his health that inspired him to lose weight? I am always in hope that my mother will lose her weight (she is about 400 pounds and is 73 years old) and hearing that your father lost it at such an age makes me hopeful that there's still time for my mother. I thought she had a lot of obesity related health problems (she's on about 20 medications) but she can still walk and hasn't had any operations believe it or not. She's developed diabetes in the last few years but looks after it religiously.

    I am glad that these things have come together for you in such a way that you are ready to lose weight. It sounds like just the right time for you.

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