Thursday, October 30, 2008

New to me

This whole weight loss thing? Fairly new to me. And the idea of my losing weight right now? Well, I think that Jade and some of my coworkers summed it up best. "Why?" Actually it was that look that my "favorite pest" gave me as he walked into the midst of my conversation with a couple of female coworkers about weight loss yesterday. He looked me up and down several times like I had completely lost my mind.

Why? Because as I said previously, I camouflage exceedingly well. I haven't worn anything truly fitted since my mother asked me earlier this year when her grandchild was due. Because my build is from my dad's side of the family. And we gain the majority of our weight around the middle. Nowhere else.

My dad's older sister who has been staying with him since early September understands. The other day she announced to me that since she has been in California, she has gained 15 pounds. This aunt has always been the reminder to me of what can happen. She's probably about a size 12 or 14 these days -- thanks mostly to her midsection. Nowadays she doesn't wear dresses much but I remember when she still did. You'd see a size 12 dress hanging over some size 4 legs. And her legs seemed so tiny compared to the rest of her. I told my mother back then that I had no problem with gaining weight; I just wanted it to be proportionate. And since I know that it would not be, I vowed to fight it every step of the way.

My dad would be the tallest one in the first photo. Check out the gut. That's what I have been hiding under the loose clothing. And if you're saying to yourself, "That's not that bad," look at the lower part of the photo. Check out his legs. Do those legs go with the rest of him? I say not. Oh, and the other end of the photo? One brother hiding his gut behind another brother. And that brother, the one in blue, is the one I hope to be like. Because he is so chill. He goes through life without anything upsetting him. Except the death of his younger sister back in July. It was the only time I saw him lose it. I use this as a point of reference for folks. If my uncle who is so Zen loses it, then what do you expect from me? Reminds me that once I've pared down the stack of books to read, I really must get around to The Art of War.

But let's talk about the second photo now. The photo in which my dad kind of hides his gut with proper clothing selection. The one that makes me scream, "Why can't my stomach look like that now?" Because the photo was taken only eight years ago. And at this point in my life that feels like yesterday. Yes, in my mind I'd love to be that size again but I am now settling on five pounds heavier than that.

That said, I've never really had to try to lose weight. I mean I've tried to lose weight in the past, and was pretty successful at it, but I didn't need to back then. That was just my twisted mind at work. The mind that told me that at 5'10" and 120 pounds that I was fat. OK. Back then I had a modeling agent tell me that I could stand to lose about five pounds or so. When I was 21, I managed to get down to 110 pounds. As I pointed out in comments the other day, I'm currently somewhere between 135 and 140. So those of y'all who have met me try to imagine that. Because even though I was told that I was really thin in some of those photos I posted on my birthday, I wasn't that skinny.

Yesterday I remembered all of this. I have an obsessive personality. This is why I don't own a scale. If I did, I'd weigh myself at least twice a day. So years ago I gave up owning a scale and started to rely upon how my clothes felt, how I felt -- without the definition of a number.

I've been eating over these last few months because the other end of the spectrum is still frightening to me. I realized in wanting to drop ten pounds or so, this obsessive part of me has now kicked in. I am completely addicted to Calorie Count. Before I eat something, I now enter it into my food log to see what the calorie impact will be. (This is how I was able to substitute a cup of yogurt for some goat cheese yesterday.) I look each morning to see what the calorie count from the previous day was and tear it apart to see where I can eat less.

The first day of the log, Monday, I ate about 1700 calories. For Tuesday I was able to drop it down to 1500. Yesterday was a 1250 day. Yesterday was also the first day during which I actually felt hungry for a bit. But I'm good at ignoring that voice. Because until I started playing around with some of the other foods in my diet, I was starting to think that I would have to give up meat to reach that calorie level.

The other fun on Calorie Count is that they have a quiz to discover what kind of eater you are. Shocker. Apparently I am an emotional eater. Yes, I have an emotional connection with food. It's just that in years past, I would get upset and not eat. Thus the rapid weight loss.

All this week, I kept thinking that the idea of calorie control was foreign to me. Last night it dawned on me that it wasn't. At least since I was in high school, my mother has tried out a number of diets. When she was given choices, she would hand the reading material over to me. My job? Plan a week of meals that stuck to the guidelines yet gave her some variety. I realized that this is why it was so easy for me to know what I needed to eat during this week. I thought it was all new to me when in fact I'm an old hat.

So yes, I honestly believe in my mind that I need to drop a few pounds. I just need to be aware when my old habits start to come back -- the ones that told me that being skinny were worth any cost. Or I could just go out and invest in a body shaper and say, "Screw it all."

Oh and on a different note, since I'm up early enough to see those few moments during which MTV actually plays videos, I must admit that I am kind of addicted to this one. (Sorry. Would have embedded it if I could have.) "You say I'm crazy. I've got your crazy." Or "Lollipop. Must mistake me for a sucker."

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