Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Little Honesty For Encouragement

Being overweight is not easy. It takes a toll physically, mentally and emotionally. You may be tired all the time, or have health problems related to your weight, such as a bad back, or diabetes, or high blood pressure. Your physical state affects your mental state; you may have negative feelings about yourself, and negative feelings can feed bad habits, such as eating to feel good. It affects you emotionally, because people are often cruel or dismissive of overweight people; this is especially true among children, who often bully the "fat kid" on the play ground. This is even true among "health professionals", who very often have "fat blinders": whenever an overweight person arrives in their office, those blinders go down over their eyes, and they can't see you for anything other than those extra kilos you carry.

I was that "fat kid". I am that overweight adult being patronized by her doctor. I have been shamed for my extra weight. I have eaten to make myself feel better. I have been depressed and pessimistic because of my health and my size. I have hated people for their cruelty and rudeness.

But my sassy nature finally came through for me: my response to those people was to essentially give them a middle finger salute and go do my own thing.

How did I do that? I found like-minded people with similar problems, and I listened to them. I read books, I looked up information. I did my research, and said "Well, it won't hurt to try." 

Back in January sometime I developed a bit of a freaky health problem that I went to a doctor to address. I won't bore you with too many details, but that was when I started encountering those "fat blinders". In fact, those fat blinders are so prominent, that I'm still stuck going back to the doctor in order to chivvy them along to figure out the actual complaint I came in with is, because all they do is look at me, pat me on the head, and say that I'll be fine when I lose some weight.

I dunno about you, but that is so NOT okay to me. I go to the doc when I have a problem I want figured out, not to be judged on my weight. I know I'm overweight, and I'm doing my best to change that. I don't need you to tell me that.

But I digress.

Back around the beginning of the year, I decided that I needed to do something about my weight. Going on some good advice, I went low carb. I kept a food diary, tracked the carbs I was eating, drank a lot of water, etc. But you know what? Keeping track of everything is hard work, and it sucks. Being the ADD Adult that I am, I did it for a while, diligently, and then moved on to other things. I managed to lose a couple kilos, but for the most part, I noticed no change in my weight.

Then I got a brilliant book from the library. Wheat Belly opened my eyes to the possibility of other problems causing my weight gain, as well as a variety of skin issues I'd been plagued with for years (eczema, psoriasis, etc). So I went wheat/gluten free.

When the weight started coming off a little quicker, AND my skin issues started clearing up, I became encouraged to stick with it just a little more. Sure I had cravings, and naughty moments, and fell off the wagon, but the important fact is that I stuck with it, and didn't give up. I moved on to cutting out sugary things, like fruit juice and soda, upping my healthy fats intake, and getting just a bit more exercise than I normally would get. And I kept on going.

So what is my point? You can do it too.

I started this journey at 145kg (319lbs). When I checked my weight yesterday, I was 133kg (293lbs). That's a 12 kilo (26 pounds) drop! Granted, it took me several months to get this far, but I did it nonetheless, and I intend to keep going with my low carb high fat lifestyle until I reach my goal weight of 70kg (154lbs).

This is not an advertisement for any diet. It's me, an overweight person jaded by society, trying to lose weight, telling everyone else who is discouraged about it that it's possible. I'm telling the world that I can do it, that you can do it, and that we most definitely don't need the rest of ignorant society to tell us what they think about it or us. Do your research, talk to to like-minded people, and do what works for you, but never give up, and don't feel bad or bully yourself if you lapse. Just get up, dust yourself off, and get back on that horse.

So here's to our weight loss journeys, and the encouragement we can provide each other, and may we all look at the patronizing, bullying jerks in the world, and give them our middle finger salutes.