start and stop

I wrote this last week. Last week sucked so I got back to it to actually post it. Here it is. A lot has happened since then.

This week I decided not to eat any sugar and much less bread, to lower the amount of sugar and starches that I’ve been eating from the high of the holidays.  My skin has been looking awful and I ‘m feeling bloated and I just wanted a clean slate.

I was not crazy with it. If a little slice of bread came with the soup I ate it (if it was good).  I ate dark chocolate. I do feel better, even though I ate dessert at a True Blood watching last night and I got high on sugar and caffeine this morning because I didn’t get to bed until 1am and I still woke up at 5:30.  I’ll eat dessert and bread tomorrow as well (have friends coming over for dinner) and maybe even Sunday.

My goal is to not eat sugar and bread every single day. This is doable. I’m not sure how I didn’t eat any sugar or bread for two whole months when I first tried a low carb diet.  I was so entranced with how much I was losing that I just didn’t, I guess. But I have to admit, the second I stopped losing I stopped the diet. We’re so trained to think of diets for weight loss that if we go on a diet and we don’t lose weight, we stop it even though we feel much better, and in my case, my skin was so flawless. (I didn’t realize how much I wanted flawless skin until I had it for a couple of months.)

But dieting to lose weight is just no longer an option.  Now I’m at a place where I think, life is too short not to enjoy the lovely bread I make or dessert or anything else (non-food) for that matter.  If I’m fat, I’m fat. For those who say, I’m shortening my life by eating this way… you’re morons.  I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

I will exercise moderately (well actually I love vigorous workouts) 3-4 times a week but that’s all I can promise. And when I say promise I mean promise myself. I’m tired of lying to myself so I can make someone else feel better about me.

Would I like to drop 50lbs? Sure. Is that likely to happen? No. Am I going to beat myself up when it doesn’t? Probably. That’s being honest.

Advertisements

January 21, 2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

New Year, Old Me

I’ve spent the last year gaining weight. It started with Holiday Season ’08, when I did my usual overeating of sweets and I stopped going to yoga 4 times a week because I got pissed at one of my teachers. I decided to branch out to other teachers, which has been awesome and enlightening, but I only went to yoga 2-3 times a week.

I haven’t gained tons of weight, just the usual 25-30 pounds, that range between 175 and 200-205 that I’ve been bouncing between for the last 25 years. I just wrote over on my other blog that I’m sick of making the same new year’s resolution to lose weight, but it’s always there whether I make it officially or not.

Dieting sucks, and it just feels like a futile act because I know I’ll be doing the same thing a year or two or three years from now, wondering how I can get even smaller if I haven’t gained back the weight, or how to lose it again if I have. Exercising for hours a day takes up too much time and exercising for 30 minutes does nothing for me. Really. I’ve tried it. I might a well just watch TV.

I made a delicious New Year’s Day dinner yesterday (yeah, I know it was January 2nd): Pork, greens, black eyed peas, rice, and cornbread, with ice cream sandwiches made with molasses cookies for dessert. Yum!! Cooking it made me happy. Eating it with friends I’d invited over made me happy. Am I supposed to ignore this happiness for some unknown, slimmer happiness? Why am I not supposed to be happy with this?

So this is my dilemma. I know I’m supposed to be all fat acceptance-y, but I don’t feel good.  I feel weak and tired a lot, just bloated. My knees will not stop hurting and my hips and lower back are starting to get into the act. My skin is all broken out. And my boobs are just huge. (I realize that some may not consider this a bad thing, but carrying 10 pounds on your chest 24/7 is exhausting).

If I’d lost the use of my legs for example, I wonder if I would understand self acceptance better and know that I would never walk again. That would suck, but I would have to deal with it as it is.  But weight is different. I can lose weight. Can’t I? I have lost weight. But it’s interesting, no matter what the diet, I can never get below about 170. Any diet I’ve ever been on just stalls there, even when I’m still on track. So maybe I should say there’s the illusion that I can lose weight and re-gain the use of my metaphoric limbs.

Where is the line between self acceptance and trying to change myself to feel better?  How do I love myself as I am, fat, yet try to lose weight so that I feel better physically. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

January 3, 2010. Tags: , , . fat acceptance. 3 comments.

getting fatter, getting better

I’m in the middle of a move, so I haven’t had time to go to yoga, only stretching some at home, mostly in bed, trying to figure my way around the new place, letting go of the old.  When I finally did go to a yoga class, I was shocked that my chaturangas were solid and strong, and my Vasisthasana was two-legged instead of my usual top leg forward for support. I was amazed. Again. In terms of asana, I’m a better yogi now than when I was smaller and practiced harder.

I’ve been amazed at my practice in the past few months because I’ve gained about 30lbs in the last nine months (honestly, much of that weight came between November and January. The holidays were fun!). But my practice has improved, a lot, since last summer when I was practicing pretty vigorously 5-6 times a week during teacher training. And I was 30lbs lighter.

I want to make sure everyone understands this is not “muscle weight”. I gained fat. My breasts are huge, my belly doughy, my hips and thighs can’t get into favorite skirts and jeans. I always think: “My practice would be so much better if I were smaller. If I were skinnier I’d be able to wrap myself around… myself, better.”  Would binds be easier if I had less to go around? Yes. No doubt. You can’t wrap 2 feet around 3 feet.

I also seem to improve when I limit my vigorous practices to maybe 2 to 3 times a week. I always have this desire to exercise hard, all the time, truth be told hoping to lose weight, even though I know from years of experience now, I won’t.  But maybe my body just needs more time to repair itself, to grow stronger. I’m starting to think that’s not really uncommon, especially the older you get. The older I get.

According to conventional wisdom, my practice should be getting worse. I should be getting weaker not stronger, less flexible not more. But I’m not. I notice my palm finding the floor in twists, not just my finger tips, not on a block. My core is stronger than I think it is. I try to trust my breath to lift me up when I think my muscles can’t. And I can tell you for a fact that I couldn’t do more than one chaturanga last summer, but now I can. And I can push up from it too. Well a few at least.

In terms of asana, I’m a better yogi now than when I was smaller and practiced harder.

September 4, 2009. Tags: , , . yoga. Leave a comment.

Getting Past ‘No’

Diets don’t work.

But I know that I feel better physically when I cut out carbs, especially sugar. My skin is clearer, my digestion/elimination is better, my sugar crashes aren’t… aren’t, and I don’t get the wicked headaches I used to get all the time (maybe I destroyed my liver with all the ibuprofen?). I’ve learned that when I do eat too much sugar, like during the holidays, a piece of bacon will settle my stomach. Bacon!  I’m trying to eat this way, for my health, without the focus being on losing weight.

But it feels like a weight loss diet. It has the same texture and pattern, one that insists absolute fealty and obedience to the Diet God (it’s so not a goddess), or in this case maybe it’s the Health God. I feel deprived and bitter and put upon. I feel like I’m holding myself back on every level, weighting for some perfect state of health that’s not going to come. I feel trapped, torn between giving up dieting for weight loss, and eating in a way that works for my body, which is dieting!

Then I read something like this from gluten free girl:

When I found out it was celiac disease, and all I had to do was stop eating gluten to find my health again, I never thought of all the foods I had to live without. I thought only, yes. Yes to being alive. Yes to all the foods that do not contain gluten that I can eat. Yes to food and being awake and my body healing. Yes to all of this.

And I feel small, horribly, horribly small. In spirit, not size.

If I found out I had celiac disease would I be this happy? I doubt it seriously.  I would weep at the thought of never having bread again. I make awesome bread. I have a huge framed poster of bread in my kitchen. I doubt I could look forward to a life without bread and not feel I was being punished for something, I know not what. Because that’s what dieting for any reason feels like, like punishment for unknown and made-up crimes.  But not to gluten free girl. She’s just happy as a clam without bread. And not to anyone who sees a huge restriction as an opportunity to create something new.

I want to let this trapped feeling go but I’m so used to it, it’s all I know. I’m not sure what’s there without it. How do I make the switch from focusing on what I can have instead of what I can’t. How do I say YES to life, when NO has been shrieking at me constantly for so long? How do I drown NO and resuscitate YES?

If you have any ideas, let me know. Alright?

August 15, 2009. Tags: , , , , . diet. Leave a comment.