Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Cost of Obesity

According to a recent study by George Washington University the annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for an obese woman and $2,646 for an obese man.

My jaw dropped when I read that.

I am shocked.

And more than just a little dismayed.

I am not happy being obese for many reasons. I don’t like that I can’t move as well as I used to. I don’t like that people think its okay to snicker behind my back. I don’t like that my thighs rub together and get chaffed in the summer if I wear shorts. I don’t like that I have to shop in the Plus size department where there might be only one or two things that are actually cute and they are buried in a mountain of shapeless shifts with animal prints and bedazzling jewels encrusted upon them.

Now I find out that I’m paying just under 5 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR for the privilege of being fat.

Quite frankly- I can’t afford that anymore.

There are much better things I can think to spend $5,000 a year on. I could go on an all inclusive trip to the Caribbean every year. I could buy new furniture for my apartment. I could put it away to buy a house with a yard so my son could have a puppy. I could send my child to a fancy special education preschool for all his therapies. I could turn the pay channels back on my cable. I could pay off my debt.

I don’t care how good that cheesecake in the kitchen looks. It’s not worth 5 grand!

I had a similar wakeup call when I finally decided to quit smoking. At the time I figured I spent a little over a thousand dollars a year on cigarettes. That figure finally motivated me to quit once and for all. It was more motivating to me than all the medical reasons I was familiar with.

Will reading this do the same for my motivation to lose weight? Hell Yeah!

If my boss came to me and said she would give me a $5,000 a year raise if I got my BMI under 25 you can bet the farm that I would do whatever it takes to do it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Budget this!

So it looks like the challenge that the good Lord is sending my way is to learn how to Budget myself better. Of course this mean money, since Hubby's unemplyment checks just ram out and there is still no job in sight. (He even applied for an hourly position at Target and no call back yet.) So I've devised a monthly accounting for all of our set bills, rent, electric, gas, carpayments etc. We can make it on my salary alone, but it will be tight. I'll have to live within my budgeted allotments because we have very little wiggle room.

I'm also trying to budget my time more. SAK is missing his mommy a bit these days. I think he got used to me being home between the labor day holiday and taking my vacation and then the time I took off for my Grandparents funerals. I think this is the first full week I"ve worked in a month or so. So I want to give SAK as much mommy time as I can this weekend. After all he's only little like this for such a short time.

And finally I'm budgeting my food more. Or at least I'm going to try really hard to budget my food better. I have a tendency to not eat much in the first part of the day but then I get HUNGRY right around 4pm and eat eat eat until I'm stuffed. Then the guilties settle in and I get down on myself and swear to do better tomorrow and start off really strinct until.... well you get the picture. So I'm giving myself a food "budget" and will try to spread it out over the day so I'm not desperate to stuff my face as fast as I can late in the day.

This is going to be a challenge for me. I am not a creature of restraint. I prefer to just wing things. I don't even balance my checkbook. I just check my balance online periodically to make sure it's not too low and that there aren't any unusual charges. So actually planning a weeks meals in advance and going to the store with a list is going to be novel for me. I'm trying to remain optomistic about it, hoping that in the end this new found dicipline makes me a better person. We'll see.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

No more excuses

So I did it! Yesterday evening I finally got around to taking my first set of progress pics. I’m thinking of these as my before picture. (Even though it’s after losing about 30 pounds. )

I was sitting in from of the computer after I put SAK to bed and reading all of your wonderful, motivational posts and jumped from my seat and made my husband take my picture.

Me: I want you to take my picutre for my blog, I need fat pictures to compare as I'm loosing weight...

Him: Right now? (he was trying to watch the Yankees game)

Me: Yes because if I don’t do it right now I’ll chicken out….besides there’s a rain delay what else have you got to do?

Him: I'm not sure I want your face on the internet...

Me: Too late, already out there. So are you and SAK by the way....Don't worry though I'm not using names

Him: How far back should I go?

Me. Just get my whole body in the shot.

Him: Are you sure? I don't think it will fit...(smart ass)

he starts backing up farther and farther....

Me: Turn the camera sideways...

He turns the camera and snaps the picture, shows it to me

Him: Is this okay?

Me (completely disgusted by it): yeah that's fine. One more sideways....

It took me so long to finally get up the courage to do it. Mostly I think it’s because my own mental projection of “me” doesn’t look anything like that. I look at myself in the mirror every day. But I don’t see myself. Until I see a picture. A photograph. Why is it different? I don’t know. It’s weird. I know I’m not alone in this, I’ve heard others across the blogosphere mentioning the same phenomenon.

Because of the shock I get when I see myself in pictures, I have been avoiding being photographed, which is creating one of the saddest parts of living with obesity for me. I am notably absent from many family photos because I avoid cameras as much as possible.

No more. Now that I’ve broken the ice and taken the picture (and posted it here for all of God’s people to see…) I am going to use this to motivate me for change. I want my picture to look like the mental picture I have of myself.

And it will. I can do this. No more excuses.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My first progress picture...

I have to keep this short and sweet. If I don't I'll chicken out.

This is me today... approximate weight 220. Hopefully by next month I'll look a whole lot better!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ditching an unproductive habit

I think I‘ve decided not to weigh myself for a month.

I need time to focus on “technique” without worrying too much about results. So I’m locking the scale up in the closet and just going full throttle ahead.

People who know me know that this is a HUGE step for me. I weigh myself anywhere from 2 – 4 times a day. I know in my head that is ridiculous, but the crazy OCD part of my brain doesn’t care.

But I sometimes think the weighing can be a real sabotage to what it is I’m trying to do. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a good weigh in or a bad weigh in.

See, I hear voices in my head. The voices of inner demons try to sabotage me at every turn. If I step on the scale and I have lost a significant amount of weight, they start whispering…see you can have this little treat once in awhile. You’re losing so much! One little cheat can’t derail you now ….And if I have a gain or no loss… Well then they start in with… It’s not working, you’re just a fat person, what’s the difference, you’re depriving yourself and it’s not even doing you any good. You should just eat what you want and be happy…

See how completely unhelpful this habit has become?

So starting today- no more scale for one whole month. (at least, if it goes well, maybe longer...) I will measure my success by focusing on how I feel every day. I will mark my progress based on my improved energy and endurance for exercise. I will not succumb to gimmicks to get the scale to start registering a loss again.

And I'm going to take a picture of my body. I love seeing the before and after photos of everyone who does it. Up until now I've always been too chickenshit shy to actually do it. But I kind of want to have a visual record and documentation to get it through to my brain that this is all worth it, and pictures really do show more than a number on a scale, right? That will be tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

From the mouths of babes...


I am completely bloated after having fallen off the wagon entirely for the last two weeks. What can I say. I am a stress eater and I have been stressed out beyond belief the last few months.

I’m torn between wanting to lose more weight…because I was really starting to get proud of myself for doing it…

…And continuing to eat whatever I want when I want to eat it….because it was really tasty and I love to eat.

Last night SAK caught me in my bra and panties while getting ready for bed. No big deal, he’s only 2 and doesn’t really care much. Except last night he says “look! Mommy’s belly.” So I said “That’s right, this is mommy’s belly.”

And then he said-


I wanted to dive under the blankets and hide. I know he’s just learning the concept of big and little and it’s silly to get upset over what a 2 year old says. But he is starting to notice things and make comparisons and I don’t ever want him to be embarrassed or ashamed of me.

So I’m thinking I’m going back to low carb. Yes it is a restrictive lifestyle. Yes I miss brownies and cookies something fierce at times. But- It’s the only diet plan that is simple enough (for me) to be able to eyeball a meal and know if it is something I can eat. Counting calories is too hard for me. You have to measure and weigh everything! And I find it is near impossible to find accurate calorie counts for restaurant foods. At least when low carbing I know I can have just about anything that is meat and vegetables on the menu and I won’t kill my diet. Plus I can't rationalize away a bad food choice as easily. (go ahead, you can eat a small brownie, just don't have anything else tonight...) I have too many demon voices trying to get me to do the wrong thing to leave it ambiguous like that.

As anyone who has fallen off the low carb lifestyle can tell you, It is HARD to get back to it again. I can actually feel myself resisting it already, my mind making excuses, but it has to be done. SO- Starting today I'm pulling the trigger and doing a 2 week induction to flush the bad mojo from my system. Fair warning to all, I'll probably be crabby for the next few days.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Hi there.

So….. Long time no talkie huh?

Have you ever not talked to someone you wanted to talk to for so long that you start to feel slightly awkward and aren’t really sure what to say when you finally do start talking again?

Yeah that’s me.

I’m kind of in the middle of a personal struggle. I’m not really sure what the best way to handle this is. Okay- first let me catch you all up on the details of what’s been going on since my last post. My Grandmother passed away on September 5th. 5 weeks to the day of my Grandfather passing. It was very sad, but expected and in this case I truly do believe that it was the best thing for her (and my mother) despite the fact that we will miss her deeply.

The problem is my father. I ran into him while doing some grocery shopping for my mom after Pop’s death and then he called me when he read about my Grandmother passing in the paper. He wants to get together with me. To talk.

I don’t want to.

My father and I have been estranged for a very long time. Growing up my sisters and I were always thought of as his “other” children. He felt he was paying child support and that was all we needed him to give us as kids. My step brother and half sister would be doted upon and we got what was left over. I remember him offering to give me my step brother’s old computer because he bought him a new one. I remember my step brother getting his car when we turned 17. I remember him telling me that he would not pay for my college education because he had to pay for my step-brother. I remember him refusing to cosign for a car loan when I needed to get one for a really good job offer I received (I had the money, I just needed him to sign). I remember being stranded on Virginia and calling him to beg for help to get me home to New Jersey and him refusing to help me. I remember him telling us that he would not see us at Christmas because his wife was too tired. I remember that he never asked us to spend a weekend with him. I remember how he refused to take my youngest sister with us for visitation because he didn’t want to deal with a baby. I remember how she would cry and hold onto my leg because she didn’t want me to leave her alone. He never even showed up to my sister’s college graduation. He didn’t call her on her wedding day. He doesn’t know she’s expecting her first child and he’s never met my son.

My grandfather who just passed was more of a dad to me than my biological father was. It was my Grandfather who told me how proud he was of me when I graduated high school and then college. It was my Grandfather who bragged about me to all of his friends. It was my Grandfather who told me I was pretty when I got dressed up for my first date. It was my Grandfather who cried on my wedding day. It was my grandfather who held my son in his big hands and loved us both with his whole heart.

Not my father.

My father has seen me on purpose exactly twice in 13 years. And he lives in the same town as my mom.

He wasn’t abusive, at least not physically. But he did hurt me and my sisters deeply. And when he calls I feel a lump of bile form in the pit of my stomach and I want to run and hide under something. It’s not like this is the first time he’s tried to reconcile. We’ve done this dance at least a half dozen times. The most recent attempt was when he showed up unexpectedly at my wedding. I tried being gracious and accepted the olive branch he extended. But then it all blew up again and he was gone. Again.

Do I wish things were different? Yeah sure. Of course I do. What daughter doesn’t want a father to love her? But my father does not love me. It isn’t love that prompts these moments of sorrow and desire for reconciliation on his part. It is guilt, and fear, and regret, and shame.

I don’t want to do it again. I don’t want to go through it all again. I don’t want to involve my son and husband in this mind game of his. I have already forgiven him and let go of any hate I used to feel for him. I just want it to be over. The man who was my dad all my life passed away 6 weeks ago. I don’t want or need a replacement.

I know that there will be readers who think I’m being terribly cruel, that I should give him a chance. Some might believe that I will regret it someday… These were all the reasons that I forced myself to give him a chance the last time this happened. I’m done now. I don’t have it in me. And maybe I will regret it someday. I’ve prayed on it and God has told me that he is okay with my decision.

Of all the signs I could have been given today as I struggled with this I came across a commentary that someone had written about the story of Lot’s wife. Now, I’m no bible thumper. I’ve read the good book but I don’t read it daily or weekly, or even monthly. I’ve never participated in a bible study group…I’m Catholic. We don’t do that. We go to church on Easter and Christmas and the occasional Sunday and pray when we feel like it and skip meat on Fridays during lent. Our God is a lenient God who understands that sometimes praying during the last 5 minutes of the Giant’s game on Sunday might be all the worship He’ll get that week and He’s okay with that. This blog I read though was about how Lot and his wife were brought out of sin and depravity by God’s grace but she looked back and became a pillar of salt. Her sin was longing for what might have been. For not taking the blessing that God had given her, but instead dwelling on the past. What she had before was not good, but she longed for the dream that it might have been good. And because she could not simply look ahead to all the good things that God had promised her for the future, she became salt. Where something is salted nothing will grow. Weird sign, and not exactly the bible story I would have come up with on my own to comfort myself… but it’s what God gave me and strangely enough, it’s allowed me to feel at peace with my decision to flee. I have decided not to look back, I want to look to the future now and allow the good things promised to me to grow.

"Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!" Genesis 19:12