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,