Challenges

Growing up, I was skinny. Always. I danced a lot and did musical theater through high school, and didn’t top 100lbs til the end of my Junior year. Then, things changed. Big time.  In 2006, I went to college, still at a decent (albeit not great) weight. Then came a combination of crappy food in dining commons, depression, a boyfriend who ate at chipotle and was addicted to diet coke, beer, a breakup, a move to Boston, and the longest winter in 20 years.
I moved back to CA almost a year ago, and I’ve really been struggling with my weight — and more, my body image and self-confidence — ever since. I used to be one of those girls, when I’d complain about my size or body type, people would say “shut up, you’re so skinny!” Now, well, I try not to talk about it because I’m embarrassed, and shame does nasty things to my internal monologue. Whether or not other people see me as “fat,” I don’t know… but as many of you know, it’s what I’m telling myself that has the biggest and worst impact on my self-confidence and overall well-being.

Intellectually, I know how to lose weight: eat better, exercise, get out of my apartment. But in reality, doing it? So.damn.hard. Living alone, working from home… it’s an isolated existence. I try to get out and be social, but often feel like that either a) doesn’t happen or b) is centered around “grabbing brunch/lunch/dinner” with a friend- which is great, but man, food issues! Last week, I went to my Dr. for a followup exam after ~6 weeks of weight watchers and trying a new medicine to help jumpstart my metabolism. And you know what? I didn’t lose a single pound. I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that was to see. And the fact that he’s got me on a new short-term medication that’s used to “manage obesity” (according to the package insert)? I’m really trying hard to get my brain past that and focus instead on the fact that if it works for obese people, then it should work for me to start losing some weight too. I’m back tracking my food via Weight Watchers points again- which isn’t so bad except that I find myself underestimating point values and in effect sabotaging myself. And the other 2 challenges (making up the self-sabotage trifecta) are that I’m an incredibly picky eater when it comes to veggies and that I loathe working out alone. Re: the former? I have no idea where it came from, I think it’s a weird texture issue/OCD thing, perhaps. About the latter: I need encouragement and someone to be accountable to. I guess the presence of someone else there makes me feel like 1) I can do it, and 2) someone in the flesh is supporting me, not just my internet friends (though I don’t know what I’d do without you all… it’s just not the same as someone dragging you to the gym).

So, those are some pretty big hurdles to overcome, but I’m also wondering how much of this is really a mentality thing too. Convincing myself that I can do this, that it is possible for me to get out and exercise and not die, and that it can become a part of my lifestyle. Oh, and the biggies: that I’m worth it and that I deserve it. Those of you who’ve lost weight- what did it for you? What was the “sticking point” that helped you get started and continue on with the process? And anyone want to come to the gym with me? I joined LA fitness last week… workout buddy wanted!

 

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0 thoughts on “Challenges”

  1. Girl. You got this. It’s not an uphill battle, it’s just a long one, with both hills and valleys. I am totally down to help you be accountable AND be a cheerleader, I wish I was closer to be a workout buddy too… they really do make all the difference in the world. My exercising routine vanished when mine moved to WA last fall… 
    A high five for making the move towards actively healthy decisions and an giant hug for being willing to address your issues and being so brave to blog about it. 

    1. Thank you SO much. I so appreciate the support! Did you see that i hit the gym yesterday? Minor miracle, right? Seriously though, I wish you were closer too. Let’s make an effort to hang out this month, yeah?

  2. Aww, honey. I’m so sorry you’re struggling. I put on quite a bit of weight after HS and the first semester of college. I had a completely different body than I was used to and it was so damn hard to break that habit. What really eventually helped me get on the road to getting back to a size I like (and I still struggle with if I’m there or not) was one day, randomly and completely out of the blue, deciding I wanted to train for and run a marathon. Granted, I signed up with Scott at the time, but we never trained together because he runs much faster than me. I met a great group who held me accountable in my pace group, though, and that was the beginning of the turn around. Of course, if I’m completely honest, the weight never really did start to fall off until my lifestyle changed. I had a baby, and could no longer do the tapas happy hours with a pitcher of Sangria 2 times a week. 
    Have you ever though of signing up for a Team In Training event? You could even train for a half marathon or a bike ride. It’s inspirational, forces you to push yourself, and you’re guaranteed to meet other people who will hold you accountable. Plus, you get the awesome benefit of running for an amazing cause. 

    1. Jill- first off, thank you for the support. I’m so sad that I won’t be seeing you this year at blogher 🙁 You’re right- lifestyle changes are huge. For me, I think it’s just going to be getting off my ass/the computer and getting out!
      I’ve never done a Team in Training thing, have you? It seems so damn intimidating for someone who probably couldn’t even run half a mile right now, ha.

  3. Lindsay,
    You are not alone.  I wrote about this on my blog recently.  I never talked about my weight until then but it bothers me.  And so I pretend to be someone else when I go on stage to give a keynote, and then I retreat back to the real world where I’m tempted to order a pizza because it is easier than taking time away from my job to actually make a dinner for me and my girl.  I work 70 hours a week and am so passionate about what I do yet when it comes to actually exercising, I lose.  

    I’m happy to help hold you accountable but only if you do the same for me.  Working from home is so damn great but it is so damn hard at the same time.  

    Jessica 

    1. Accountability buddies for the win! And plus, you keeping me gainfully(ish) employed means I can actually AFFORD a gym membership, so thank you for that <3 And kudos on not ordering the pizza on the day i wrote this post… it's the small victories!

  4. when i do lose weight, it’s a really slow, steady process. i’m not a pro at it. weight watchers didn’t work for me, because i was too obsessed with what i was eating. sometimes i don’t want to work out. it’s hard, absolutely, but i think you touched on two important things:
    1. you are worth it
    2. you deserve it

    don’t beat yourself up – you can do this, it might just take time to find what works for your body. i think having a positive attitude about it, and realizing it can be a while before you see change, can really help. it’s so much more mental than physical, i think. if you ever need someone to talk to, i am always happy to listen – i have been (and sometimes am in!) this state myself and it is always nice just to know someone out there feels the same! xo

  5. I was skinny. then I was fat. then skinny again. and now? fat…..if I told you how much this CONSUMES me you wouldn’t even believe it. I know the pain. I know the preoccupation with it. I know the paralyzing factor too. I know HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT but I just cant seem to do it. I have nothing good to say here huh? Just that- I understand. I totally virtual hug you. And I don’t hug anyone. Cuz you know- with my back fat issues and all 🙂 hang in there. You will either lose weight or you wont. Either way you are still awesome

    1. Dude. You’re such a badass. Thank you for being so honest about your own challenges… makes this feel a little less awful, you know? And I’m here for YOU, too! And I will hug you, smooshy fat on me and all.

  6. Robin @ The Balanced Life

    Just discovered your blog thanks to Twitter 🙂 I love honest posts like this because you are NOT ALONE. There are so many of us who can relate to your challenge and it’s not easy. Not even close to easy. I can relate on a lot of levels. I started my business for this very reason – you may enjoy my website – I focus a lot on health perspective when it comes to health and fitness. Thank you for being honest and open. So many women keep this sort of thing private which often makes it worse.
    You CAN do this 🙂

    1. Well first off, WELCOME! And secondly, thank you. It’s so personal and tough, but at the same time so stigmatized, so I’m glad people feel like they can talk about it, at least on here. I’ll definitely check out your site!

  7. This sounds exactly like me <3 I know just what you're going through. I never talk about it either, because everyone *knows* I'm not thin, they can see it, but I don't want to bring it up still. I'm not making enough cash for a gym membership but golly do I want one. 

  8. I really wish I could go to the gym with you.  But I can barely get out of the house these days.  However after four kids I need a workout routine like nobody’s business.  So maybe cyber workout buddies?  I’d be happy to pester you online….

    1. Works for me! I tweeted from the gym yesterday… it’s good motivation to tweet while feeling like i’m going to die; twitter friends are good motivators 🙂 Hopefully I’ll make it again tomorrow, so you can follow (ok, laugh) along while I suffer through. And you’re welcome to tweet me any time about your own workouts!

  9. Oh you gorgeous-face!!!! Ok, so this weekend I went through this crazy transformation at Lightning in a Bottle. I started in such a negative place [hating my body, my appearance, my clothing, my relationship, my friends, etc] and ended up in radical self love and acceptance. 
    I was so so so so so unhappy and was sitting there bawling to my husband Logan. I was like “I just don’t know how to not be miserable!” and he said “why don’t you just give it a try?” I said “what?” and he said “not being miserable.” And that kinda shut me up. I shifted my feelings of lacking into feelings of gratitude for him, for being able to buy a ticket to the festival, for my friends, etc. And eventually I thought about myself and realized “oh…I guess I should be grateful for the ME that I am right now.”

    That’s part of the key I think – you realize that YES, you can ALWAYS be better. Everyone can be better!! I can be better, Logan can be better, everyone! However, that DOES NOT mean that there is anything wrong with YOU RIGHT NOW!

    You are perfect! You are beautiful! You are kind and you are smart and you have an amazing soul! <3

    Things that have helped me lately:
    – think about alternative forms of exercise – I've been hula hooping and dancing and doing yoga at home and I am LOVING it
    – think about exercise as a chance to get back in touch with your body – we pretty much ignore our bodies all day, just going about our business. Exercise is a chance to explore how your body is feeling and how it feels to move around
    – think about everything your body CAN do – you can run, jump, leap, dance, twirl, spin, bend, stretch, it's already an amazing instrument and you are just fine-tuning it

    Anywho, just sending you TONS of love. If you want to talk ever about this, you know where to find me!
    xx

    1. Love love love this. Tearing up just rereading it! When we finally meet in person, I’m giving you a very big, very smooshy hug, okay? I love your point about thinking about what I CAN do already, not what I can’t do. That’s so huge. Positive thinking ftw! And your hubs sounds like a very smart man 🙂

  10. I don’t have any helpful tips, but I will offer you an internet hug. I’m trying to lose weight, too, and not having much luck at it. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for 4 weeks, and I’ve lost about half a pound. It’s very, very frustrating. I like Space Pirate Queen’s suggestion about doing an exercise class or something. I’ve been trying to do Pilates for a couple of weeks.

    1. Make sure you’re not accidentally sabotaging yourself with WW too- I thought having a tablespoon of pb for protein wasn’t so bad; turns out that’s 3 points PER tablespoon- that ish adds up and I was definitely underestimating points! You can dooooo it- hang in there, and I’ll be along for the ride with ya <3

  11. Hi. Love you.Here’s what worked for me, not that our struggles are exactly the same, but they’re similar enough (and as far as body image issues? Yeah, I have those!)
    1. A cleanse. A really good one that leaves you feeling energized and refreshed. I do a three day one and at the end junk food doesn’t sound as good and I’m slightly more motivated to do better (I’m also a few pounds lighter which helps.)
    2. Sippy cup. I carry one with me everywhere. If I’m bored, I drink water. If I’m hungry? I drink water first. I drink water like it’s my job, and I don’t even like water. It has to be good water, no fridge or tap flavor (I have a fridge filter and a Brita) I’m kind of a water snot, but at least I drink it. I’ve been off soda for two months. Phew!
    3. I was a dancer, I love to dance but making it to a gym or grownup dance classes is a joke with two little kids. So I have Dance Central and Just Dance on my Wii and Kinect (I know, I have both, deal with it, it’s my workout.) Dance Central is really fun, actually feels like dancing and you get to beat yourself and your own score, you have goals! I LIKE HAVING GOALS AND BEING THE BEST! (In the privacy of my own home that is.)
    Not sure if any of that helps, but it’s helped me take tiny baby steps to going back to who I was before….

    1. Hi. Love you back. a LOT.1) what cleanse did you do? I feel like I might be homicidal doing anything longer than 3 days, buuuut i might try it.
      2) been doing this! I refill 2 bottles every night and put em in the fridge/freezer so they’re always cold when I’m wanting them. Seems to be working okay so far. And limiting the diet coke to 1/day (so tough!).
      3. I used to dance and would LOVE to do grownup tap but there aren’t too many classes, sadly. If you ever want to sell your wii/kinect, i’ll buy it from you- that’s been my wishlist item so that i can get dance central… SO much fun! And no one is watching you looking like a fool!

      We’ll talk more but know that you’re awesome and i love you.

  12. I can relate to this completely. Growing up I was the skinny, pretty girl that everyone envied. I started dating someone who gradually started becoming abusive, and it happened so slowly that by the time I realized what was really going on, I had gained over 60 pounds and was totally convinced no one else would ever want me.
    For the next ten years I struggled with the relationship, and also with my self image. I failed at every diet I ever tried. I felt there was no hope for me. I didn’t have friends to support me, and my mother is anything but helpful with my self image. It wasn’t until last year I finally started making progress. I’ve lost enough weight now to be a size 6 and be comforta le wearing skinny jeans.

  13. Post cut me off…
    I realized one day I deserve better. I looked at who I am as a person when no one else is affecting my self image, and I really liked ME. I decided to start eating better, but scheduling “treat” days. That way I’m not longing for sugar as often. I promise you that if you stick to it, you will find yourself feeling 100 times better both emotionally and physically, and then it becomes an addiction. I hate how I feel after eating junk now and I mentally don’t even want it. For someone with a major sweet tooth like me, I never thought I could ever say that but it’s true.

    1. God. That reallllly resonates, though mine started in junior high with some bullyass girls who called me fat. I weighed maybe 95 lbs then? But yeah, the process is so awful, and then once you get to the point when you’re actually wanting to make the change, it’s so hard to change your THOUGHTS and like yourself! Love the idea of scheduling treat days. WW gives you 35 “treat” points- while i wouldn’t have those all in one day, that’s still such a good idea. Even skinny cow desserts (mmm, ice cream) would be a good treat.

      1. Definitely! I switched my ice cream to frozen yogurt (wayyy less calories) and satisfied my need without going nuts on sugar. Every teeny little bit helps! BTW, I’m proud of you for your gym excursion the other day! *rah!*

        1. I looove froyo, but the challenge there for me is the toppings (can’t really resist cookie dough). If I had to pick my one biggest everyday challenge, it’s probably the snacking… so trying to avoid getting any sort of full-sized bags of snacks to keep around the house for now. Whee.
          And thanks for being such a fab twitterfriend/cheerleader!

  14. Hi, a little late, but anyway… I totally hear you. And I’ve been there. I run, so the working out part was never really an issue for me but truly believe me when I say I freakin’ LOVE food. Way too much. I did a million ‘fad’ diets, cleanses, WW, atkins, you name it, I did it. The problem is, the common factor between all those diets is what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. I always had trouble understanding the food that I was putting into my body, up until I took a beginners course in nutrition. Until you have a basic understanding of nutrition, the way the body processes certain foods and exactly how calories add up you will always struggle with this.
    Weight loss is as you say, very simply about calories in versus calories out. To a certain degree, your body doesn’t give a hoot what those calories are as long as the in is less than the out, you’ll lose. BUT. Good nutrition is the key to a long and healthy relationship with food! Where WW falls is that it doesn’t care if you eat a big mac and a large fries for breakfast, but you better only eat fruit for the rest of the day! Epic. Weightloss. Fail.

    If you learn the way your body processes protein, say, as opposed to how it processes carbohydrate (aka sugar) you will immediately understand why you feel like crap after drinking that soda/eating those chips/binging on pizza. It WILL make you think twice before you do it. AND you will have the power to know exactly what you’re doing to your body when you make those choices. Knowledge is the key to success, baby. (Of course you can still choose to make those decisions when you’re really craving whatever it may be, but you will at least be making an informed decision!)

    I cannot recommend enough that you step away from Weight Watchers and into a calorie counting/nutrition specific plan. My Fitness Pal is by FAR the best app out there for this, it will calculate your calories burned when you exercise, what nutrients you’re getting and where from, and even track your weight loss so you get a lovely and informative balance sheet to look at daily.

    Your portion control and correct measuring is up to you though, sorry 😉 I can say though, if you truly stick to measuring for about a month you will be surprised how fast you learn to ‘eyeball measure’ things accurately.

    Sorry for the rambling. This topic is so close to my heart!

  15. Such a courageous post, love it. And I know the feeling – it is frustrating. It’s frustrating to not see results. It’s frustrating to see other people eat whatever they want and not gain weight. It’s paralyzing. I can say something I’m working on is distinguishing between thirst vs. hunger, which is important when you are working out. You’ll be a lot more thirsty. I run, so this happens to me. I like to play a game with myself where I say I’m “pre-gaming” for any meal with a big glass of water. It makes it more fun that way 🙂 Then I know I’m eating the amount of food I need to eat because I’m not mistaking thirst for hunger, because I’m not thirsty anymore. I don’t know if that helps but stick with it!! You got this. Hugs!

    1. Sorry for the delay! Makes a LOT of sense on the thirst vs. hunger thing- Ive been drinking carbonated/flavored water (like 15 calories to a liter) and that tends to help a LOT. I’ve lost 5 pounds and hit a plateau, so hopefully getting back into exercising again after being sick will help. You’re lucky that you (seem to) enjoy running… that’s definitely a point in your favor. And seriously girl, you look amazing- you don’t need to lose weight!! <3

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