Sunday, March 6, 2011

Perspective

I've been told that as we age our perspective changes, but I never much bought into it until recently.

In 2003, I'd gained a bit of weight and decided it needed to come off; after all, I weighed 139# when I gave birth to Monster and had ballooned up to 152#.  I hit the gym, hired a personal trainer and went ape-shit trying to lose weight.  After eight weeks with the trainer and doing two-a-days on my own, I had lost exactly 2/10 of a percent of body fat.  I was the fittest I'd been since high school, but I was still, in my opinion, fat.  According to the BMI charts, I was borderline obese.

I went to my doctor and armed with my record of working out and non-weight loss and she started me on phentermine in order to give my metabolism a "kick start".  It worked beautifully.  I continued at the gym with the trainer and two-a-days and added in soccer.  I'd taken up soccer when I was thirty, but really got into it in 2004, playing on three indoor teams and two outdoor teams.  The weight melted off, in what seemed to be no time, I was down to 124#.  I felt great - I hadn't been a size four since high school.  I went off the phentermine and held that weight for six months or so on my own, but it came with a cost.  It took six days a week at the gym, for an hour and a half each day, plus hours of soccer to maintain that weight.  On Sundays  - the one day I didn't go to the gym - alone, I played almost three hours of soccer; an outdoor game near home and another in Denver.  For over a year, I was able to maintain that grueling schedule of gym and soccer.  In the summer, I added in working at the livery, grooming, tacking, riding, and feeding.

Then I got laid off from the family practice I was working at - suddenly my work hours changed drastically and I was working when normally I'd be at the gym.  I was teaching full-time, which mean very long days - not that I hadn't been working long days before - but a different type of long day.  I was no longer moving non-stop eight to nine hours a day at work; it was the end of the tourist season, so I was no longer doing physical labor three days a week at the livery either.  I had to suddenly quit playing soccer, since I was teaching nights until 10 pm, there wasn't time for me to play any more.  I added weight slowly.

I knew I was gaining weight, but it seemed to be manageable.  In 2008, when RCC and I met face-to-face, I wasn't pleased with my weight - I was back up to 152#.  Once we started dating and took up dance lessons, I dropped quickly to 141#.  I felt good again.  I had gotten the call from Heidi that I was to be a part of the cast of Horse Master with Julie Goodnight, so I felt extra pressure to lose more weight.  I felt the extra pressure, but lacked the extra time.  I could give up time with RCC to work out or I could continue to with our relationship.  Honestly, I've been able to not look my weight my whole life.  Even at 141#, I didn't necessarily look it - I was still wavering between a size six and eight.  I could wear a six, but an eight was much more comfortable, which was what I ended up wearing on TV.

I got back from shooting Horse Master and got engaged the same weekend I returned.  That started an in-ernest round of meeting each other's families and getting to know all of the future in-laws.  My weight ballooned; by 2009, I had gained twenty pounds, so that on my wedding day, I was over 160#.  Yikes.  And it didn't stop, the pounds just kept coming. 

I hit my all-time high of 189# in July of last year, before I got control of my portions.  Working as a crew member for Horse Master, I lost five pounds in the five days we were shooting just because I was up and moving all the time again.  I was thrilled and got control of my portions.  People are actually surprised at how little I eat.  A child's portion is often too much for me.  One take-out meal can feed me for three days.  That's also when I bought the Soda Stream and vowed to quit buying Coke for the house.  I still drink Coke, but it's a lot harder to do when there isn't any handy.

At the beginning of the year, RCC and I both decided we had to lose the weight we gained.  We gained it side-by-side, almost to the pound.  Since he had previously lost 82#, it was important to him to get back to his pre-me weight, just like I wanted to get back to my pre-him weight.

I started 2011 at 183.5# and continued to change my diet and portions.  In January, I lost four freaking pounds, getting down to 179.5#.  In February, I hired a personal trainer and started hitting the gym again.  I gained back a pound.  I eat carefully, stopping when I'm full.  I take my vitamins.  I attend my training sessions even when I'm sick.  I still drink Coke, but rarely finish one.  Two, three drinks and that's all I need.

Throughout this whole thing, RCC has changed his diet.  He's cut out soda completely, and now solely drinks water.  He's very controlled in what he eats.  A bowl of cereal for breakfast, a salad with protein on top for lunch and god-knows-what for dinner.  He's cheffing at a dining hall - his choices are endless, so he never gets bored with his menu.  He also never eats after 7:00 pm. 

I've lost three pounds.  He's lost 31#.  And he hasn't stepped foot in a gym.  That's what pisses me off the most.  It helps that his job is much more physical than mine; he's working on his feet ten hours a day, I'm sitting on my arse in an office.  It also helps that he's got an endless choice of food; I'm limited to what's nearby or what I remember to take to work.  My snacks at work consist of one low-fat Laughing Cow cheese and five pretzel crisps (100 calories total) or one string cheese.  I also keep Harvest Bars on hand, but can only eat about 1/3 - 1/2 of one before I'm full.

And, before you all yell that I need to cut out my Coke drinking, I'm just going to say that you all can go fornicate yourselves.  I don't do a whole lot that's bad for my body, leave me alone about my Coke drinking.  Hell, I only have alcohol a few times a year and I don't smoke or do drugs, so excuse me while I indulge in my one bad vice.

So, on Friday, I ended up back in my doctor's office, again armed with my food diary and my work-out plan.  Again, she's put me on phentermine.  The lowest dose, as I want to be able to sleep at night and the higher dose is not conducive to sleep.  I'm hoping that the little boost will be what I need to start seeing results.  At the rate RCC's losing weight, it will only be another two weeks before he weighs less than me, and I can't have that.

I know, you all are asking yourselves what this has to do with perspective, since that is this post's title.  You see, I've been doing a lot of thinking about me and my body in the last eight weeks.  I've even pulled out old pictures from when I was 124#.  I felt great then, and I thought I looked great.  But now when I look back at those pictures, I long to be that weight, but I honestly looked anorexic.  Deejo told me when he saw me for the first time after I'd lost the weight that I'd lost all of my curves.  I can see now that he was right.  I was little more than muscle and bone, and not even well defined muscle.  I wasn't skinny-flabby by any means, but I looked unhealthy.  My trainer at the time had the balls to tell me that I still had nine pounds to lose before my abs would be better defined.  At least I had the good sense to tell him to go to hell; I wasn't going to put the work in it would take to lose another nine pounds.

I look back at the pictures of me on Horse Master and remember how fat I felt, but I don't look bad in the pictures.  I look healthy, even though according to the BMI charts, I was overweight at 141#.

Here I am, at 180.5#.  For the first time in my life, truly fat.  Almost morbidly obese according to the BMI charts (BMI 34), certainly obese enough to qualify for lap-band surgery (which I won't do - ever) and my perspective has changed yet again.

The thought of being a size four or six is tempting, but when I look back at what I looked like as a size four, I think I'll pass.  Besides looking anorexic, it took a lot of time away from home to maintain that.  Six days a week at the gym for an hour and a half; two 90-minute outdoor soccer games; and three 44-minute indoor soccer games, plus travel time to and from Denver for four of the teams.  All in addition to working three to four jobs - the clinic (FT), the college (PT), the gun shop (PT) and, in the summer, the livery (PT).  That adds up to a lot of time away from home.  I understand that when I was doing that, I was hiding from home.  I took the kids with me to all of my soccer games, but home was too stressful, I didn't want to be there.  The real world - where there wasn't enough money to pay the bills and the crushing loneliness of being a single mom and not wanting to face the break-up of what I thought was the most amazing relationship I'd ever been in - waited for me at home and I didn't want to be there.

Now, I want to be home.  I have an amazing husband, great kids, and a job I love.  There's no reason for me to hide out any more, which makes it a little harder to throw myself back into the frenzy I'd maintained before.

In honestly appraising my photographic past, I'll always want to be that skinny little girl of 2004 - 2007, but skinny's not happy.  I want happy, which just happens to be a little chunkier than skinny.

Size eight, here I come!

11 comments:

Vaquerogirl said...

Oh DArlin' you are nevver gonna get to those skinny pics again- hallalujah!Anorexia is highly over rated!! We have what they call ESTROGEN, and after age thirty you gain some ungodly amount of weight, just from breathing! My hubby is still at his 'high school weight' because he is a man- ( and he smokes) I struggle on and on- and at age 55 I haven't stopped caring, but I know that the 'little ol' girl has gone gone gone. Most important is that you are healthy and happy! Keep doing the healthy thing, and stay active and try not to think about the BMI- it LIES!! And drink your one cola a day- I mean , a gal can't give up livin- now can she?

Mr. Daddy said...

Tel, I am not positive but I think it was Dr. Suess that said:


“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

It sounds like you are on the right track to happiness....

You go girl :o)

Rachel said...

I've been on both sides of that (hey, 14 years of ballet - even when you're skinny, you think you're fat!) and I can tell you (what you already know), that it's MUCH harder to change your perspective than your weight.

You rock.

And I'm glad your life is so much better - balance in all things, no?

Shepherd K said...

As I sit here and type this comment while pondering the fate of my 12 pack abs, I have to say one thing: SHUT UP AND PASS THE CHEESECAKE!!!

Allenspark Lodge said...

I've put on 50 pounds since I was a senior in high school, but at 6' and 120 pounds, I had to load my pockets with rocks on windy days.

As long as you can toss a bail of hay, and your horse doesn't try to bite you when you climb on, you're perfect.

Bill

oregonsunshine said...

You know, I have to agree with Bill. Just because a chart says your BMI is XX, it doesn't really mean a darn tootin' thing. (Yes, I'm channeling Mrs Mom for that phrase!)

That BMI chart doesn't take into consideration your muscle tone, which, as a horse person you have. That has to count for something.

I'd love to be at my fighting weight from 2005-2007. Like you, I've gained weight since Bad Pants and I got married. I'd like it to come off too. However, he loves me as I am. And I am more focused on how my body FEELS rather than what I weigh.

wv: undies- as long as RCC still likes how you look in your undies, I think you're pretty good to go!

Michelle Hoad said...

Please have your thyroid checked. It's the very reason they found my cancer. I wear a size 12 and can't loose weight no matter what I do. I'm hoping that now that I'm on a better dosage after surgery, I can shed a few pounds. Like you, I don't want to be anorexic skinny, just below double digits in pants size.

Tiffany said...

I won't say a thing about your Coke, because I do the same thing with my coffee!

Health and perspective are worth far more than a number on a scale. And, while we are supposed to take care of the body we have been given, we are also not supposed to obsess over it.

And I love Bill's comment - as long as you can do what you need to do, you will be ok.

GunDiva said...

Thanks, all. I'm sitting here, enjoying my one Coke of the day and gearing up for the gym.

I may not be losing any pounds, but I'm feeling better, so that has to count for something. Of course, I feel great now - in a couple of hours once I'm done with my trainer I may not be feeling so good :)

Finding Pam said...

Gun Diva, I can so relate to your story. Honestly, I think I dieted my way to this weight. I have done the gym 6 days a week til I could hardly stand up. Worked with several trainers.

Now add diabetes to this situation and I felt hopeless. I hired a trainer and I have uped the number of days that I work out. I have my food under better control and all of a sudden, I am loosing weight.


I must have had pioneer stock for ancestors because I swear I would have to plow forty acres to loose a pound. The bad news is as we age it becomes harder to loose any weight.

I quite smoking when I was 37 years old. I gained 50 pounds. I stared a program and then I opened my flower shop. For me it has to be a total life style change.

Hang in there I know you can do it.

presious said...

What a battle! I say keep your Coke. It's a small request in this big old life!

When I was married (still friends with my ex), I remember he would loose weight so easily and I would struggle so much. I always thought it was due to men being more "muscle" than women who are more "fatty tissue".

Also, "we" have the kids and our bodies go through tremendous changes during and after delivering a baby. Sometimes our body functions get worse after the baby.

My oldest boy (2nd child of 4 of my kids) sat in my lower back and my left hip when I carried him. To this very day, I have problems with both my lower back and my hips...they seem to lock up from time to time. Doctor said he was too heavy for my 5'4" 105 lb frame (back then...lol)Ater delivery, I went up to about 135 or so.

Immediately going to the gym and getting on a weight loss program, I lost the weight before having our 3rd child, a boy. I exercised all the way up to my 8th month of pregnancy.(Our first child is our daughter).

Upon getting pregnant with our last child, another big boy who is now 16 years old, I've been struggling with my weight ever since....not to mention being much older now too. Metabolism has more than likely slowed down as well.

THough I am not happy with my weight at 160, I have come to be content and not be so hard on myself. I still try to exercise and eat well, but I refuse to beat myself up.

Perhaps, you can get your doctors input. Perhaps there is something medical going on.