Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: weight

Fat, health, and what lies between

I want to lose weight. I got weighed at the doctor’s office and yeah not happy with the number. Even though the rest of the numbers are fine. It doesn’t help that the doctor, much like most doctors, is focused on that one number to the exclusion of the other numbers. I know I’ve been steadily gaining weight in the past several years, even when giving up gluten and dairy. Part of the problem is that many of the substitutes for dairy are full of fat themselves–which I didn’t really think about but was reminded of this week.

I will be painfully honest. I could say that I’m concerned about my weight for health reasons, but it’s not true. It’s all about looks and the fact that as much as I’ve become neutral about being fat, I still would prefer not to be. I know that it sounds like I’m splitting hairs, but it really is a different mindset.

Side Note: It’s similar to when I took the depression survey. I garnered a total of twelve and anything over six is considered worrisome. However, I was sure that I scored fifteen to twenty before (which my doctor ignored), which meant that I was in a much better place than before. That meant nothing to the doctor as she was focused on the 12. I understand from her point of view, but she didn’t even try to see it from mine.

It’s the same with my body. I used to hate it with the heat of a thousand suns. I worked on deescalating that hatred for many years and now I’m mostly neutral about it. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it the way I once did. I don’t actively want to beat it into submission, for example. Because of taiji weapons, I now like my biceps and my ass. That’s an improvement.

Goddamn it. It’s too hot and I’m wilting like a delicate flower. It’s been 90 to 110 in the past few days, which is way out of my comfort zone.

Weight of my world

I’ve been wanting to lose weight for quite some time. Pretty much my whole life, actually.  My mom put me on a diet when I was seven, saying that I had ‘such a pretty face’ that it was too bad I was so fat. Those might not have been the exact words, but that was the underlying sentiment. For the next quarter of a century, that was something that came up all the goddamn fucking time. She rattled on and on about my weight, and she couldn’t even pretend it was about my health. Well, she could try, but I was smart enough to notice that when I was in my anorexic phases, the only comments she made were of jealousy–such that I had a smaller waist than she did. It was very easy to see that it wasn’t about health–it was solely about looks and weight. I had to tell her in explicit terms in my…wanna say early thirties that she was not to mention my weight at all. She did not take kindly to that, but I didn’t care.

In the past few years, I’ve become painfully cognizant of how fat I am. I mean, I know I’m fat. It’s not a surprise. As much as I try not to look in the mirror, I still catch myself on occasion. Most of the time, I quickly look away. However, once in a while, I stare in horror before looking away again. I hate the way I look except for my hair. Love my hair. Which is still growing. It’s a hoot and an amazement given that it didn’t grow for two decades.

I will state that I don’t give a shit about my health. Well, not overtly, anyway. It’s a big by-product of doing taiji, but I never paid it no mind. I only cared about the martial arts aspect, and if it was good for my health and mental health, well, then that was an added bonus.

Anyway, I’m trying to cut down on meat as I mentioned in my previous post. I used to eat two to three servings a day, and I’m down to one or two. My ideal is two to three a week for now, but it’s still early days yet. I just had the last of the Beyond Italian Sausages, and I’m sad that I don’t have any more. They were so incredibly juicy and had a nice spice to them. They tasted exactly like Italian sausages, and I would gladly sub them for meat any day of the week. I have a package of ground ‘beef’ (also Beyond) in the freezer that I’ll fry up later in the week.


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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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