Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: weight

The pain of my weight

fuuuuuuck!
Itme begging for mercy.

Still having birthday thoughts (not thought about my birthday, but thoughts stemming from it being my birthday), and since today is Wellness day, let’s talk about health.

Currently, my back is giving me hell. Let me clarify: My back always gives me hell one way or the other. I store my tension in my back (and my shoulders), and I didn’t feel it for a few decades because I froze out my entire body. My taiji teacher has a saying that she got from her teacher–the first sign of relaxation is when you notice the tension. Most of us are so tense all the time, we don’t realize it any longer. We kinda block it out until something reminds us.

I’ve been working diligently on my back issues, and it’s much better than it used to be. However, I still had a problem in which I have a lower back spasm that came maybe a dozen times a week. It wasn’t too bad–it basically just caused me to clench up for a brief second, then it’d go away. I do a bunch of stretches every morning that are solely to help my back. They’ve kept the pain at bay–mostly.

Then, last night, I got up from the couch (I sit sideways so my legs are out in front of me. Shadow likes to perch on my legs as I type) and my back spasmed so hard, I screamed out loud. Not grunted. Not a ladylike yelp, but a full-body scream. Like I’m a cheerleader in a horror movie scream. I wasn’t *trying* to scream like that–it was ripped from the back of my throat. Every time I shifted, it would happen. I screamed so much, I scared my cat.

I don’t feel regular pain. I trained myself to block it out when I was a child. This pain was unblockable, and it was intense. I did not want to move at all because it hurt so much. When I was changing pants and standing on my right leg, the leg buckled as my back spasmed again. I almost fell to the ground but managed to stop in time. The pain was literally breathtaking, and I found myself moving much more slowly because I didn’t want to feel it again.

It was a warning sign to me that I had to change the way I sit. Right now, I am sitting the proper way on the couch with both my feet on the ground. Shadow is sitting to the right of me, gently thumping his tail. He tried to sit on my chest, but he didn’t have as much purchase as he would if I were lying down. I don’t think he’s mad at me, but I feel guilty, anyway.

This morning, I woke up to the same spasms. They were quite as bad as they were last night, but still caused me to double over. I did the series of back-stretching I do every other day (because I don’t love it), and the pain went away. Not completely, but roughly 80% gone. It truly was a miracle, and now, I’m going to do these exercises every day. I may do them several times a day. It truly feels like a miracle. I was not looking forward to another day of spasming and crabbing my way along, and it feels good. I still have the smaller spasms, but I can deal with that. I’m determined to make changes so I’ll never have to feel that kind of pain again.

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When ‘Fat’ Feels Like a Four-Letter Word

this is a meal, isn't it?
Measuring my self worth

I am fat. I’m not fluffy or padded or zaftig; I’m fat. I’m not saying this to slag on myself; I’m simply stating a fact.  I don’t like that I’m fat, but I’m at a loss what to do about it. Oh, I know the usual advice. Eat less (and more healthily) and exercise more. This is the twin mantra of anyone serious about losing weight. The problem is, I’ve dealt with eating disorders for most of my life, and any time I try to diet, I slip into disordered thinking. The two times I lost an appreciable amount of weight, I ended up being anorexic/bulimic both times. The first time, I just dove straight into anorexia with the bulimia evolving later as a chaser. The second time, I was determined to lose weight sensibly, only to find myself passed out on a the floor of First Avenue because I hadn’t eaten all day and had two drinks within half an hour of arriving. I don’t drink much which accounted for part of the problem, but the bigger issue was my refusal to eat in order for me to have those two drinks. That night, I realized if I kept going on the way I was, I would die. I had a 23-inch waist and was eating roughly 1,500 calories a day. A woman my height needs to ingest 1,200 to 1,300 calories a day just to survive. At that time, I was working out for 2 to 2 1/2 hours per day, which means I should have been eating almost twice as much as I was. True to my nature, I quit everything cold turkey. I stopped watching what I was eating and all the exercise. In those days, I didn’t do anything in half measures. If I couldn’t be OCD about losing weight, then I wasn’t going to do it at all. I’m not proud of this mentality nor am I saying it’s healthy, but I can’t deny that’s how I thought. I tend to be a person of extremes, and while I’m better at it now than I was then, I fear that if I started dieting again, I’d be back to square one.

I know, you’re saying why don’t I just make lifestyle changes instead of dieting? I am doing that, but it’s very slow-going. I’ve cut out baked goods such as muffins (which I love), chips (except Lay’s had their name the chips contest, and I had to try the final four because I’ve done it every year for the past few years), and cheese–for the most part. I’m slowly adding back fruits and vegetables. My mom used to make me and my brother eat them several times a day when we were kids, so I rebelled against them when I hit my thirties. It’s a shame because I like fruits and vegetables, so I’m making a conscious effort to put them back in my diet. I eat an orange every day, partly because my taiji teacher told me they’re good for removing lactic build up (which is why you ache after a workout), and I’m trying to eat more salads. I’m also trying to cut back on my Coke Zero consumption, but that has not been easy this summer. The minute it’s eighty out, I’m mainlining that shit. My eating habits are pretty atrocious when I’m in my overeating phase, and this current ‘phase’ has lasted almost twenty years.

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