Week 29 and Reclaiming the Power in Numbers

Having been a fat person for my entire life, I’ve had the pleasure of discussing my weight with a number of people. Not necessarily sharing the actual number but listening to people guess my weight, hearing them guess the weight of other people, or having them tell me what they weigh. It’s almost always a very enlightening and interesting conversation.

It seems like weight, or the size of a person, or what a person looks like creeps into a conversation more often than people even realize. Think of when you’re out at a restaurant and a larger person walks in, do you notice, do you comment, do you make snide remarks when you see a dessert being carried to their table? Or when the smallest person at the table makes a comment about how fat they look or feel that day, and everyone else speaks up and says, No you’re not. Or when you talk about your diet, and how you need to lose 20 lbs or you wish you could go back to the size you were before you had kids. These thoughts, and conversations are always happening. Usually not in a malicious way, but they are happening.

It’s these conversations that bring that horrible number to mind. Hearing people comment on weight or what someone weighs and knowing that they aren’t even remotely close drives me crazy. How do I know that? Because in all these years, and all these moments, no one has ever come close to guessing what I weigh. I’ve always wondered if they were just trying to be polite, so they said a lower number, so today I put that theory to the test.

I shared my before picture with my Facebook friends and family and asked the question, What do you think I weigh in this picture? The results have been very enlightening.

There was a spread of over 145 lbs in all the guesses. They ranged from 210 pounds to 355 pounds, which, thankfully, has proved the point that I was hoping to make.

THE NUMBER DOESN’T MEAN DIDDLY SQUAT.

It is almost impossible for a person to look at you and actually know what you weigh, yet we get so caught up in that number that it can consume us. It becomes this literal weight that holds us down or limits us from believing we can ever change. It becomes this thing that we hate or a measurement that determines our worth on a day-to-day basis.

For example, look at this picture. All of these ladies weigh the exact same, and yet none of them are shaped like another one. And in fact, we would probably guess all of theirs weights at something different just by looking at them.

   Image Source

We cannot get so caught up in what the scale is yelling at us as it’s nothing more than a number. We have to stop worrying what people think or see when they look at us because their eyes see what they want to anyways. We need to look at our friends and family and see them as our loved ones and not as a shape. We need to not assume that we know what’s going on inside someone’s body or head or heart based on what they look like. We need to read this and recognize that we have no idea sometimes, and then just leave it at that.

And as for me, well, no one guessed my weight correctly. So here it is friends … how far off were you??

As I look at these numbers, I can say with certainty that I will keep working on losing weight and getting myself to a lower number on the scale. But what I won’t be doing is letting that stupid number tell me or anyone else that I’m not good enough, that I have to be something better, or that I am not worthy.

Instead, I will focus on being healthy and happy and no longer worry about how much space I take up in the world. I will look at the number on the scale and use it as a measurement to keep myself on track and not allow it to be anything more that that. I own that number now, it no longer owns me.

I may still have a number attached to me, but don’t you dare use that number to try and sum me up. Guaranteed my value is at least triple what the scale is saying. Never forget that.

What did this week bring me?

  • The entrance into the 200’s, a number range that I haven’t visited in a long time.
  • A fabulous weekend of fun with my husband celebrating our 24th Wedding Anniversary
  • The realization and acceptance that I do, in fact, need to go buy pants.

 

WANT TO JOIN ME ON THIS JOURNEY? The best way to learn more about the Ideal Protein plan  is to register for a free information session.  They will be held every Wednesday at 630 pm during November at The Medicine Shoppe in Sherwood Park.  Anyone attending the info session will earn a voucher for 1/2 the registration fee should you choose to join the program. And if you mention that you learned about them by reading my blog, you will also earn a special welcome bonus. You can reach out to the Coach here.

Week 28 and Finding Joy in the VEEERRRY Long Journey

I’ve been feeling a little whiny and annoyed this week with this whole, stupid weightloss journey.

I’ve been having massive cravings for cake frosting, not cake, just frosting. I’m starting to get a hate on for water and cucumbers and celery. Well, celery is an eternal hatred but its getting stronger. I feel like going out for a big fancy fondue meal would be pretty much the most perfect thing ever, but only the bread and cheese and chocolate and cheesecake part of the meal. And pumpkin spice lattes, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m hating Fall at the moment. Not the season but my lack of #PSL goodness.

It’s taking FOREVER to reach the end of this journey, which I’m fairly confident will be a forever one, which is a whole other kind of scary. I don’t feel like I’ve changed all that much. I bounce between being okay with being fat and wanting to not be. I get mad at myself for letting it get as bad as it did, and then not really caring all that much that it did. Overall, my head is fairly messed up and upside down at the moment.

So, I turned to the place of knowledge and opinions, ie. Facebook, for some encouragement and found exactly what I needed. Many of my friends and acquaintances have lost weight so I asked them to share their milestones and celebrations from their weightloss journey’s. Their words opened my eyes and helped me to see things a little bit clearer.

Here’s some of their stories.

My SIL Charlene loved feeling comfortable with her shirt tucked into her jeans after her 40lb loss.

Being able to cross my legs – Jennifer

Stacey was thrilled to be able to shop in a store that wasn’t for plus sizes.

Zita was encouraged by milestones, like 10lbs, 20lbs, 40lbs, but achieving a 100lb loss was her mind blowing moment.

A few people shared that it was their progress pics that helped them keep going.

My brother Colin was thrilled to be able to do 25 sit-ups in a row.

When Sarah hit a healthy BMI and entered One-derland on the scale.

These were just some of their a-ha moments, and I’ve experienced quite a few of them. But after some thought, I’ve come up with a few more of my own.

I’m now able to sit in the chairs in waiting rooms, without feeling like the chair is about 17 times too small for my butt and that I’m going to be stuck in it forever.

When I go out for dinner, to eat my salads, I can fit in a booth without the table touching me.

I can see my feet, and I have ankles. Oh, and my size 11 feet seem to be shrinking. Hallelujah.

I have less of me in the way when I pick things up off the floor or tie my shoes.

It’s these moments that I need to take note of. Not the way off in the distance end results that I’m aiming for. Not the things that I’ve given up. Not the things that I’m craving. It’s these things that remind me of why I began and how far I’ve come. How far all of us on this journey have come.

It’s about Baby Steps people. Baby Steps.

What did this week bring me?

New pants that were FOUR sizes smaller.

5 people in my house got the Flu, and I DIDN’T! That is a massively big thing as I used to get sick at the drop of a hat.

I tried a bunch of new types of food … some were nasty, some were good. But I tried them, so that’s a success.

 

WANT TO JOIN ME ON THIS JOURNEY? As always, remember that if you mention that you read my blog when you head into The Medicine Shoppe in Sherwood Park, they’ll take 50% off of your registration costs. Great savings!! If you want more info, send me a message and I’ll help you on your journey. Or you can reach out to the Coach here.

 

 

 

Week 27 – The Week of Results with Pictures. Gah.

Well … I’m about half way through my year long journey and figured that it was time to share some pics and stats. I’m not overly thrilled about sharing because well, I’m not a fan of pictures of myself, but it’s time.

We’ll start with Weightloss, Measurements and some other numbers.

I HAVE LOST:

54lbs

5.75″ off my chest

2.75″ off my bicep

7″ off my waist

5.25″ off my hips

3.75″ off my thigh

BMI is down 5.8 points

Body Fat is down 6.59%

Blood Pressure went from 153/72 to 125/72

I have completely come off of Iron supplementation and daily pain medicine. I can walk up and down my stairs without getting winded. I can kinda/sorta paint my own toenails, if I wanted to but that’s what salons are for. I can’t wear pants without a belt, but I haven’t bought a belt yet, so I spend a lot of time hiking my pants back up when I walk. I can see my feet.

And now for pics … at first I didn’t see too much of a difference, and then I realized that I could see more of the white cabinet behind me, so I’m calling that a win.

There you go, half way in and a long way from the finish line, but I’m still going and that’s better than I usually do.  🙂 Woot, Woot.

Thanks for following my journey and encouraging me along the way … this is ridiculously hard to do, and you’ve all helped me in some way or another. High-Five Friends. xoxoxo

 

If you’re considering joining me on this journey, the next info session will be held on October 11th. Yes, I will be there sharing again. Woot. Woot. If you have any questions, it’s the perfect time to come check it out. Sign up HERE.

 

The Smirk.

She’s sitting there, looking at me with eyes filled with tears and a smug grin that just will not leave her face. It’s this grin that is almost always my undoing. It’s not the screaming, or yelling or foot stomping, it’s the smirk.

The kicker is that I know it doesn’t actually mean anything, she’s not actually laughing at me or trying to be disrespectful. It’s just what she does when she’s upset and nervous, but I still have a hard time ignoring it.

It truly isn’t her issue, it’s mine. It’s me letting a look control my behaviour and that’s the real problem here. I’m letting the situation best me, and I’m the one losing out.

But that’s the joy of parenting teenagers. Getting past their quirks and tough shells while allowing them the freedom to be their own person. It’s allowing them to have an opinion while still maintaining our role of parent and disciplinarian. It’s figuring out how to be their friend but not their best friend. It’s not getting wrapped up in the eye rolls, the nervous giggles and the ridiculous smirk. It’s about picking your battles and recognizing what really matters and that sometimes, what’s important to you may not actually matter to them at all. AND being okay with that. It’s giving them freedom even though it just about kills you. It’s taking that freedom away when they’ve done something so incredibly stupid that you question how they came from your loins. It’s the moments when you see the worst of you being acted out by your child and realizing that, oh crap, I’m looking in a mirror. It’s hormones, training bras and periods and body hair and angst. And the talk. Oh the talks, why do we have to have so many of them, over and over and over again? Why don’t they just get it the first time? It’s watching them change before your eyes and knowing that they’re struggling and that you just have to watch and hope for the best.

It’s being able to shut your mouth and walk away without saying something you’ll regret. It’s hiding in your bathroom to have a good cry when you’ve reached the end of yourself. It’s sitting on the deck with a glass of wine and thanking your lucky stars that they’ve finally gone to bed. It’s calling your best friend on the phone and congratulating each other for surviving another day with a teenager.  It’s learning to let go of the parent you used to be and allowing yourself to become something completely different. And most importantly, it’s recognizing that it’s okay to be a complete and total failure sometimes and STILL be a good Mom.

And just before you’re about to crash, it’s important to refocus your eyes and look past all the crap and SEE your kids. Really see them. They’re changing and turning into something so amazing. They’re becoming adults with opinions and desires and wants. They’re discovering who they are and who they want to be. They say the most hilarious things and make you almost cry with laughter. They’re dumb and ridiculous but they’re so stinking cool at the same time. They are the best of you and the worst of you. They are so smart and understand things that we never will. They are unique and weird. They are sponges soaking up the world around them, and trying to figure out how to filter what they don’t want. They are determined and vigilant and so very brave. They are yours.

Don’t get so caught up in the crap and nonsense that you miss out on all the good stuff. The good and the bad, it’s all a part of their story, and trust me, you don’t want to miss out on any of it.

Don’t let the smirk do you in.

 

Week 26 and a HUGE Reminder

This post is almost a week late because frankly, I didn’t know what to write about. My journey has become fairly boring and predictable, which is a really good thing, but it doesn’t make for a great story.

I was trying to figure out how to skip a week, and then Facebook shared my lovely memories and it hit me. This journey is far from boring, it has saved my life. Literally.

It was one year ago, this week, that I was having my 3rd round of iron infusions. First pic was my blood transfusion and the final pic was my last infusion day.

A year ago, I was pretty much convinced that I was dying. I had zero hope and I felt like death walking. I absolutely needed to change my entire life but had no idea where to even begin, so instead, I just laid on my couch and prayed for the strength to get up and move. It was the most awful and horrible time in my life.

My days were spent either on the couch, at the doctor’s office or at the pharmacy picking up yet another prescription to try to give me some relief from the pain and infections and horribleness that was constantly attacking my body. But the beauty in that is that it was this same pharmacist that pulled me out of the despair. It was his voice that said to me, “are you ready to get better”?

I truly don’t know where I would be today, if I hadn’t listened to him and started on Ideal Protein. I’d like to say that I would’ve figured it out on my own, but that would be a total lie. I needed a guiding and supportive voice and someone who was a whole lot stronger than I was. Suhas was that person.

So, even though my journey isn’t all that exciting anymore, it’s a story of hope renewed. It is my chance to live the life that I deserve to live. I am so grateful that I listened to someone else’s voice and made the leap.

My head was a liar, thankfully I ignored it long enough to actually start over. I’m thankful for my past, and thrilled that I will never visit it again. What an amazing gift.

What did this week bring me:

~ A Weight gain of 0.5lbs – Gah

~ A loss of 2″

~ Pictures that reminded me of where I’ve been and where I refuse to revisit.

If you’re considering joining me on this journey, the next info session will be held on October 11th. Yes, I will be there sharing again. Woot. Woot. If you have any questions, it’s the perfect time to come check it out. Sign up HERE.

Week 25 and Just Trusting the Process.

This week, I had the privilege of speaking to a bunch of people who were considering starting the Ideal Protein journey. It was a good but weird experience for me as there I was, the fat girl, talking about a diet and how great I’m doing on it. It’s a strange thing having people consider you as being successful when you’re not exactly feeling that way yourself. But I do feel it, but I also don’t. Sigh.

This weightloss – get healthy – change your brain journey is a really hard thing to work your way through. Your head says one thing, your heart says another and your eyes looking at you in the mirror are seeing and most definitely saying something altogether different still. I do believe that I’m now at the place where I just need to press forward and not think. Or as my coach says, you just need to trust the process and protocol.

One of the questions that I wanted to answer when I was talking to everyone was “why”, why did I choose Ideal Protein for this journey. I have a tonne of reasons, like convenience, simplicity, taste, ease of use and help available. Now as I look at it, I stand by all of them, but I’m realizing that the most important part of all of this has been my coach and his coaching team. These people have helped me in ways that they’ll never understand. They’ve kept me healthy, got me back on track when I was sliding off, celebrated with me, consoled me, kicked me in the butt and made me laugh. The Ideal protein plan and food are great, but it’s the support and guidance that comes along with them that has made the difference for me.

I have no problem losing weight, but I have massive problems with changing me and keeping it off. This team of people is helping me get to the other side of myself which is so awesome, because I most certainly cannot do it on my own. I have weight “losses” of close to 400 pounds to verify that fact and I’m SO excited that this journey will be the final chapter in The Road to Skinny book series that I’ve been writing FOREVER.

I’m sure I’ve said that before, but until now, I’ve never really felt it. I’ve never felt like I could be anything but Fat April. I’ve had the will but not the hope, and it took a team of people to really help me feel it. Hope is such a beautiful thing as it brings strength and joy and a will that’s much stronger than my own and as much as I love Fat April, I’m so looking forward to just being April.

This truly has been a lifelong battle, and I know that I will always have to fight and be diligent but I now know that it is a battle that can be won.

And thankfully, there are protein chips for the journey.  🙂

What did this week bring me:

  • A yummy RECIPE that is pretty darned close to my beloved Iced Capps & Frappucinos. Hallelujah.
  • A victory in the laundry room. I’m no longer fearful of my clothes shrinking in the dryer but am now hoping and praying that they actually will.  🙂
  • A new found appreciation and love for my village. I truly have the best team.
  • A loss of 5.5 lbs.

 

 

If you’re considering joining me on this journey, the next info session will be held on October 11th. Yes, I will be there sharing again. Woot. Woot. If you have any questions, it’s the perfect time to come check it out. Sign up HERE.

Week 24 and the things that are said to Fat People.

This past week was great, things are back on track and I’m feeling pretty good about keeping on. But in saying that, this is also the week where my annoyance levels with people have hit an all time high.

My goal in this journey has been to be very open and transparent and to talk about all the nonsense that no one ever wants to talk about. That means that people are also pretty vocal with me and though their intentions are more than likely pure, their words are quite often demeaning or hurtful. So, I’m going to reply to a few of the questions, and statements and comments that have been shared with me. Hopefully, my answers will help you understand me and my chubby friends a little bit better.  🙂

  1. Yes, I realized that I was gaining weight over the years, and knew that it was getting worse. I can also tell you that in spite of knowing that, I did look in the mirror one day and really “saw” it and knew it was time to do something about it. Don’t know why or how that happens, but it did. I do think a lot of overweight people, myself included, wear bigger and baggier clothes than our thin counterparts because we don’t want to accentuate ALL of our bumps and lumps. When your shirt is way bigger than it needs to be, it takes quite awhile for it to get tight so the weight gain isn’t immediately obvious. This is something that I’m struggling with now … buying clothes that fit and don’t hang. It’s weird.
  2. No, I can’t just have one bite or one taste or one sip. Sugar and crap food is mine and many other overweight peoples “drug of choice”. No one would dream of offering an alcoholic a drink or a drug addict a line of cocaine, but the second you say, I’ve given up sugar, everyone offers you “just a little bit”. Stop it. Please just stop it. By all means, keep eating and doing whatever you want but if we say, No, it means no.
  3. You have such a pretty face. That’s just a fancy way of saying “you’re fat, but at least you’re not hideous”. If you think I’m pretty, or look good in a particular outfit or if I actually managed to get my hair brushed and looked extra presentable, you can compliment me. But just say, you look great today. Leave the “pretty face” part out. May sound silly, but I can guarantee that a lot of us bigger folks have heard that phrase a million times, and it’s old and tired.
  4. Don’t make a shocked face when you see my incredibly fit and in shape bodybuilder husband. Don’t look at him, and then turn and give me the up and down look-over. Yes, a buff guy can love a fat girl. You would be surprised how often this happens to me and a lot of other couples I know.
  5. “I just stopped drinking pop and fruit juice, and I lost 10 lbs right away”. “Just don’t eat anything after 6:00”. “Just eat more meat and less bread”. “My cousin did that diet where you only eat grapefruits for 2 weeks and she lost so much weight”. “Eat smaller meals, 4-6 times/day”. Unless you are specifically asked by me or someone else for weightless or diet advice, don’t give it. Long term weightloss is about SO MUCH MORE than the food that goes in our mouths, its way more mental, and until a person gets to that place, vegetables and lean meat will accomplish zero. And odds are very good, that by offering it, unsolicited, you are hurting your friend and making them feel even worse about their bodies.
  6. If I call myself fat or fluffy or plump or chubby or whatever other word I choose to use, don’t correct me. “Be quiet, no, you’re not”, just reinforces the statement. Instead say, I think it looks great, or try a different size on. Or, lets figure out another place to sit, or whatever. Fat people know they’re fat, it’s not a secret. And more often than not, it is the reason why we can’t do certain things, fit in certain places, wear certain clothing. It’s not a bad word, it’s a descriptive one. And when it comes to clothes, don’t say, you look great if I actually look horrible. Suggest a different cut or a different size. We want to look nice too, and not like a fat chick stuffed into a skinny girls outfit. **If your friend says this repeatedly and appears to be depressed or really upset about their weight, have a heart to heart discussion with them and ask if you can help them. Speak with love and not pity .. pity does nothing but hold people back. Love & respect is powerful – give them that instead.
  7. If you’re concerned about someone’s diet or plan that they’re following, ASK THEM ABOUT IT. Don’t make assumptions or berate them if you don’t have all the info. And once you know and if you still disagree, and they are adults and able-minded, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Weightloss is a very personal journey and people have to find their own way. Hopefully their plan is more about vegetables than bacon, but if not, just love them and be there when they ASK for help.
  8. Having to lose 10 pounds and having to lose 100 pounds are two VERY DIFFERENT things, please don’t compare them. I will never, ever say that weightloss is easy, even if you only have to lose 10 pounds. But you cannot compare your 10 pound journey to my 100 pound one. If someone is 100 pounds overweight, their issues are WAY bigger than chips and drinking with friends. I have to give up and change almost every single aspect of my life in order to make this a longterm success, and it’s going to take A LONG TIME. I have to wrap my head around years of change and not a week or two. It’s different. 10 pounds is hard, 100 pounds is hard, but the journeys are not the same. There are ways to help and encourage each other – but comparison is not one of them. Instead, let’s go for a walk and share a nice glass of ice water.
  9. Have you had your thyroid checked? Trust me, our thyroids have been checked. We’re fat. Odds are really good that we’ve had our thyroid checked, as well as our blood pressure and if we have diabetes more times than you would even believe.  It’s actually very hard for an overweight person to be taken seriously in the doctor’s office because the first response to most doctors visits is “lose weight, it should fix that”. I was actually told that when my uterus was trying to kill me … yeah, that wasn’t because I was fat. Grrr.
  10.  Pointing out other fat people and commenting on how fat they are when you see them. Besides the fact that you are being an incredibly judgmental cow by doing that, you are calling me, your friend “Fat” in a very derogatory and disrespectful way.

I don’t say all of these things because I’m a whiny baby or because I feel sorry for myself, I’m saying them out of frustration. Overweight people are constantly judged based purely on their looks, and frankly it’s tiring. I was happy fat, I’m happy as I’m getting less fat and one day I’ll hopefully be a happy skinny person. But my weight and whether or not I lose it doesn’t change who I am. Don’t ever assume that it will or that an overweight person wants to be skinny.

Talk to me like a person, or a colleague or a friend and not as the fat version of those things.

We are all struggling and sometimes flailing and I’d love to just be able to not only be myself but be able to ask for help when I need it. Or to have the freedom to be exactly who I am at any given time. Even if I’m fat.

What did this week bring me?

  • A loss of almost 5 pounds.
  • A renewed hatred of celery
  • A clearer vision of what else I need to change to make myself more successful
  • A new kid, a crazier than ever schedule, and the realization that I can now physically do more than I could 6 months ago. Hallelujah.

REMINDER. If you want to check out the Ideal Protein plan and see what I’m doing and why I love it, please come out to an upcoming information night. I’ll be there sharing a bit of my story and answering your questions along with some other fine folks. You’ll get to try some of the products and will receive a discount voucher to use if you decide to join. Follow this link to add your name to the attendance list.

Ideal Protein Information Night in Sherwood Park