Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Big Girl's War On Obesity

The Big Girl Chronicles:  The Big Girl’s War On Obesity

The Big Girl was among the millions who included weight loss on the list of New Year Resolutions.  My vision was to become a new and improved, leaner version of myself, and I was a blazing inferno at the onset of the year, having dropped just over 10 lbs at my leanest.  At my mid-year goal check, I find that I now hold a place among the millions who have also fizzled out and reestablished a relationship with my former fat body and the extra pound she made friends with while I was away.  Oh, well.  I’ve pushed that cute little outfit I rewarded myself with to the back of the closet.  Not wanting my failure to be considered a total loss, I’ve decided to describe it instead as a pause – which is really the best way to explain it as weight is an ongoing struggle for anyone who aspires to manage it responsibly.  And in pausing, I have to retrace the series of events that led my plump behind in this circle.  This is what I’ve discovered about myself and my perceptions. 

Reality.  Check.

Once I made up my mind that I wanted to shed some weight, I began exercising and researching meal plans that I could tolerate to meet my goals.  Knowing that weighing myself would cause disappointment, I relied more on how my clothing fit than to be bothered with actual pounds as read by a scale.  As I noticed more room I became so excited thinking I’d at least dropped one pant or dress size with all the leeway I seemed to have in my current size.  Imagine how shocked I was to discover that I hadn’t lost quite enough to drop a size at all!  I was thinking that this couldn’t possibly be accurate.  So I had to take another look at my clothes and what I learned blew my mind.  I’d been buying elastic waist pants, skirts and clothing that didn’t give an actual number as a size.  “So what?” you’re probably thinking.  It turns out that I was actually delusional about what my exact size really is!  What I’d been doing  - for exactly how long I’m not sure – is stuffing myself into “a size.”  As I slimmed down, I imagine  I finally actually fit correctly into “a size” I refused to accept was actually too small to start with.  I’m laughing hilariously at myself while I’m typing this, but I’m also so much more empathetic of others who struggle with weight.  This has been quite an eye-opening experience.

I’ve been taking myself for granted.

There was a time when I had uber high adrenaline and could eat all those unhealthy and calorie packed goodies like pizza and cheeseburgers (my temptation – don’t forget the fries), not to mention all those super calorie-rich desserts, without much consideration for weight gain and health concerns.  That was before children and real life.  Now I have to constantly wrestle with those temptations.  Yet, this was one area where I was taking for granted that I’d continue my routines at the level of intensity and dedication I had when the pounds were dropping.  I would cheat on my meal plans more often than I care to think about because I had lost “x” amount of pounds and was going to hit the gym each day.  Now in hindsight I realize that had I have been more disciplined and stuck with my meal plan honestly, eating properly would be more of a habit now.   Had I have planned (there’s that word again) for those times I’d be unable to get to the gym as faithfully because of other responsibilities,  perhaps there would be a lot less gain also.  I’d decided it wasn’t necessary to become a calorie-counting obsessed maniac to lose weight and enjoyed a “eat at your own risk” ethic in dieting to my detriment. 

In January I posted The Big Girl’s Guide to Fitness Motivation and mentioned a strategy for adhering to an exercise regimen and healthy diet. One of the things that keeps The Big Girl from growing into what I consider an ideal woman is that I don’t discipline myself to do the things I know are necessary to maintain the level of responsibility that accompanies womanhood.  With regard to my trek to lose weight, I’m once again at a standstill with 20/20 hindsight.  It’s one thing to recycle information of which we’re all aware.  It’s a completely different thing to actually put that information into use and do so consistently and successfully.  

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