diet

Lake Michigan is friggin cold

So, fellow triathletes and more specifically, any of you who are larger than a supermodel, or just plain large like myself…..today, in mere hours, I will attempt to (drum-roll) TRY ON A WETSUIT.  Shoot, if you thought fat girls shouldn’t wear pumps, wait till people get a load of this.  

Here is the dilemma.  I am doing a long triathlon this summer.  In the friggin frigid waters of Lake Michigan.  I have avoided and avoided going to any store to shop for a wet suit because….wait, I don’t need to tell YOU why….you already know.  So, I have been on forums, on triathlon web sites, athena/clydesdale websites all looking for a wetsuit.  What I have found is this.  There are some companies out there who make wetsuits for plus size gals.  I am a short 5 ‘ 3″ size  anywhere from 18 – 22.  They make them.  They’ll send you one, have you take some measurements, you send it back, they alter it.  This may be the way I go.  There are, in fact, some on-line merchants that you send your measurements to them and they whip up a wetsuit for you. 

I decided, before I shop online, I need to find out if there is anything here in Chicago.   Here is how my conversation with Mission Bay went:

“Hi, Steve, Um….I’d like to know if you have any plus size wet suits.”

“Um, yes, we do”

“What sizes do those run in?

“Well, I actually need to ask you something that no one feels comfortable asking….how tall are you and what do you weigh”

“5’3″ and 230 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Edvard Munch screamer)

He checked downstairs and in the lockers and tells me….well, we have some men’s suits that might work for you, but really, you are going to need to come into the store to try some on.

So folks, I am on my way there in a few minutes.  I may have to drink heavily afterward, but can you believe it?  I am actually challenging myself to do something that I REALLY DON’T WANT TO DO, but I must.

I figure, even if they don’t have a wetsuit for me, I’ll be able to educate them on the importance of focusing on  the big girls too…….wish me luck…….send me good thoughts……please.

 

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I like ice cream, but I like my husband more

To reiterate what my intention for this blog is….to share with others, my journey in the health at every size revolution.  I choose to call it that, because I believe I am standing out against the grain and am participating in something that might make a difference for others. 

A Revolution is:

1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.
2. Sociology. a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, esp. one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence (on this point, let’s hope not). 
3. a sudden, complete or marked change in something: the present revolution in body size 

Yes, I think I picked the right word. 

That said, I had what I consider a bit of a breakthrough this week.  One of the many things I “work on” every day is to consider the emotions associated with food outside of hunger.  Mouth hunger is what it is called, though I believe that is a little misleading, because sometimes I eat when neither my mouth or stomach are hungry.  I am getting pretty good at figuring out what I am actually hungry for and identifying when I am not hungry but still eat.  I mean, I will sit there with a bag of nuts or chips and tell myself that I am not hungry, I am bored, and still continue to eat.  That is okay though.  I am not supposed to pass judgement on myself at this point in the process….and I hope ever. 

So, here I am talking to my therapist about how I am really getting pretty good creating the right food matches for when I am hungry.  Eating out of hunger.  Where I struggle is with the ice cream.  I mean come on.  We have this great Gelato place down the road that we go to…the bacci is so good.  I begin to explain the ritual that I go through with  my husband when we go out for gelato.  Well…we put the kids to bed, or sometimes the mother in law does that for us and we head out of the house for gelato.  As my very clever therapist sits there eyeballing me with the look of “duh” another piece of the puzzle goes into place in my brain.  Here we both are, very active people just trying to get our shit done.  We barely have three minutes of alone time and I wouldn’t call any conversation we have at home a connection.  When we actually get out of the house, away from it all, we are able to connect on a deeper level.  I KNOW I am a BRAIN surgeon here.  But really, what I am doing to myself is going to eat gelato so that I can talk to my husband. 

Case and point, this week, we couldn’t get away.  I put our son to bed and my husband came home with my very favorite gelato.  When he showed me the brown bag filled with gelato, I actually felt myself getting a little irritated and couldn’t figure out why.  I sit down to eat the gelato while he lays on the sofa watching TV.  I decide to just put the gelato back in the freezer and go to bed.  

After I have this revelation in my revolution, I decide to talk to my husband about my new found wisdom.  Don’t think that I am all of the sudden blaming this lack of communication with hubby for the reason I overeat….that isn’t it.   What I did see is that I really do eat out of emotion….every day.  If I spend a little more time thinking about why, maybe I won’t substitute food for something like communication. 

While the gelato actually might have helped me get to my husband.  It isn’t going to replace him and it certainly isn’t going to talk to me. 

Fat girls can’t wear pumps.

Have you ever played the game Apples to Apples?  Well, around the family game table at Christmas our family was playing.  The premise is this, you get a “hand” of 6 or so cards with something written on it.  It can be noun or verb.  I don’t think adjectives or adverbs…..anyway.  From the six you have to choose the best card–the one card that the person who is “it” would like.  

While I don’t remember the actual cards that were on the table that night, they were something like this:

 barf bag,  high heel shoes, pantyhose, and Hummers

I put the cards into the following order starting with the things I like: 

high heel shoes

pantyhose

barf bag

hummers

So my sister starts challenging the order of the cards, she is thinking I misunderstood or made a mistake.  Like, I should love barf bags more than high heels, or hummers for goodness sake.  My other sister starts defending my love of a little height in the shoe.  She knows I enjoy some lift on occasion.  I was curious about my one sister’s reaction.   At first, I thought it wasn’t okay for anyone to wear pumps, like she is a pump racist or something.  But as the conversation continued, I realized that she feels  “normal size” people can wear them, but it isn’t okay for any fat girl to wear pumps. 

It reminds me of what the goddesses of fat fashion say about dress buying.  (click there cause her talk of hiding the fatty bits here and there will make you laugh.)

I am so confused about this philosophy of “you are too big to wear ______”.  Okay, so I choose not to wear a mini skirt and bikini top to work.  But a pair of shoes?  How are shoes too flashy for the fat girl?  I have nice biker girl legs, I feel taller in them which gives me very good posture (of course I often fear walking on any newly polished surface, but that is another issue)  Frankly, I can’t wear Birkenstocks and Keens every day to work.  I try to be a professional some of the time and come on, slacks and Keens aren’t business attire.

I thought I would put it out there as a topic for discussion, and even let the sister know I have this blog so she can speak for herself.   Comments welcome  wanted.

Response from the fat friendly doctor

This is what the doctor had to say to my e-mail from a few days ago.  What a great sign that once I get comfortable talking about who I am and how I struggle,  I will find people out there willing to help.

 

thank you for the email and it is great how much exercise you have been doing. you do not have to be weighed when you come in: please tell my assistant when she brings you back that you spoke to me and I said you do not need to be weighed (hopefully they will not give you a hard time. I will tell my assistant now, but there is a chance someone else will bring you back that day, so please just let them know). please mention again when we are talking that you do not want to discuss your weight and I will not (but instead congratulate you on all of your exercise!). it is great you have the strength to discuss this. keep up the good work. see you soon ee

 

 

Letter to my size friendly doctor

I sat down with my counselor a few weeks ago struggling with the idea that I really need to get into my doctor’s office for a physical.  The last time I was there I was down 15 pounds from the previous visit, but still had higher than desired blood pressure.  On top of that, I believe I have actually put some weight on since then.  My counselor sort of put me in check by stating the obvious contradiction….I need to get to the office to check on the status of my health, but I won’t go to the office because I am afraid I am not healthy enough.  Of course after thinking about this, I realize the absurdity of it all.  So, armed with some encouragement from her and a damn good sample of a letter to a doctor from Hanne Blank I was armed with tools to write the following letter:

I have been doing a lot of personal growth work lately…not to sound too Oprahish. I continue to work out 5 – 6 times a week, I completed 2 triathlons last summer, this summer I am registered for two more and perhaps a mini marathon by the years end. However, I am about 4 months overdue on my annual physical. It is baggage that I have been carrying with me for a while now. The reason I have delayed the appointment month after month is my concern that I have not lost enough weight to actually put a dent in my blood pressure levels. In fact, the reason I can’t muster the courage to come into your office is because I am still fat and I don’t want to discuss my weight.

In February I decided I needed to talk to someone about my issues with eating. I have been seeing a counselor at the Family Institute for a few months now who has me questioning a lot about health, weight and food. She has introduced me to a movement called Health at Every Size. It is an approach to health that focuses on intuitive eating and physical activity rather than dieting or weight loss. That said, I need to come in for an appointment, to get a general check up and to get some blood work done for sugars, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Before I make my appointment though, I wanted to say that I prefer NOT to be weighed when I come into the office. I spent most of my childhood and teenaged years completely focused on my weight. I had to be weighed weekly and was punished when I didn’t lose enough weight in a given timeframe. The whole weigh in experience is traumatic, very depressing and I feel like crap for weeks afterward. If there is a pressing medical reason that I should be weighed, please talk to me about it….

I‘d like to hear what you think about this. You motivated me to quit smoking…now I’d like to have you as partner in my quest for self acceptance, increased physical activity and normalized eating (without dieting).

So, stay tuned for the response from the doctor….

How would you have handled this?

Do you have any resources with lists of doctors who are size friendly??

 

Man oh man can I relate to that

I’m embarrassed that I didn’t say more than before.  Mara D brought up so many good points and questions that really ping my heart.  I am humbled.  I do know the drills you refer to, I remember being “grounded” as a child if I didn’t lose enough weight by the end of the week.  It is a brutal brutal world that complicates clouds.

I am new to HAES, perhaps still in the honeymoon phase, but I am LOVING it.  The day I was told I could stop counting calories, getting on the scale and limiting what I was eating has been HUGELY liberating.  I struggle with the self acceptance piece, which is the cornerstone of the whole process.  Not even sure though, if one can actually feel that way all of the time (perhaps another discussion at another time.)  I am a part time resident of the negative spiral.

I have also used the opportunity to respond to comments by saying “I am focusing on getting my health back in order at the moment. I’d prefer not to discuss dieting/weight loss, please.” I find it shocks people a little and they tend to get defensive.  The challenge is to get to a place where I can tailor my message enough to not offend them while telling to step the heck off the bus.  It isn’t their business what i am doing to my body.  This is my body, my life and while I hope to treat it well, it is not their business.  It think the place that re-frames the vision of beauty, health and a joyful life sounds wonderful. 

In terms of the eating choices, piece, I am not there yet, I am eating what I want and loving it.  I do work out nearly every day.  I do this simply out of pleasure, but what got me here is a journey outside of HAES.  I had to find a passion in sport.  Something I really enjoyed….and a group of women I love to do it with.  More to come.  I love this dialogue.

Virgin Comments

I am new to blogging.  I feel compelled to share these feelings and thoughts.  I didn’t know if anyone would actually read what I am writing.  I am completely pleased to see that there are actually people who read what I wrote.  Thank you thank you.  Not only that, but posed some really interesting questions…some that I am dealing with at different times as well. 

Is this movement a “thinly veiled diet”?   I hope not, but will enjoy the thinking this comment inspires.

 I want to be happy with my body/myself as I am right now.  What I am in the future, is irrelevant.  Therefore weight loss…or god forbid weight gain is a non issue.