Sunday, February 3, 2008

In the beginning

Let's start somewhere. Let's start with me, and weight. I have this notion that blogging about all of this will make it... not easier, probably, but maybe more interesting. And it's time to think about this in some different way, like a project, like a new start, not like something that's been a source of shame and anger and a lot of other negative things.

I've always been fat. Or fat-ish... when I look at those childhood pictures, I'm amazed at how much less fat I was than I thought I was. But the last time that someone (including me) wasn't bugging me about my weight, I was 7 years old. I'm 47 now, so, hey, that's 40 years of fat. Impressive. I've been fatter, I've been thinner, but I've never been anything close to what some standard height/weight chart would call normal. I've probably only once felt like my weight was close to ok, and then I was still about 40+ lbs. above the charts. I don't think that at this point in my life, I'm going to get to model-thin... and, hey, the good thing is that don't want to any more. But I do want to be healthier. A lot healthier, and I can see that it's not going to get any easier than it is now. So, no time like the present, right?

And then there's the other motivation, and the love of my life. About 8 years ago now, I met someone who had much more of a physical weight issue than I did, but a hell of a lot less of mental issue... that is, he taught me that it was ok to talk about this, ok to tell someone what my weight was, ok to acknowledge that I weighed something other than normal (funny how we pretend to be average as if no one can see any different). A little less than two years ago we were married. So now, I can talk about this as what it is... just a thing, not something that defines who I am. Something I can change.... or not. Something without the stigma that defined my life.

So now, we're going to lose this weight, and we're going to do it together. We've been trying since we got married... and between us, there's a lot to lose. But, all in all, it hasn't been what you'd call successful. I'll give you some numbers at some point, but I want to check with the other half of this team and see what he feels comfortable with! Anyway, for a year and a half, we ate pretty much exactly what the pyramid folks would recommend. Low-fat, high complex carb, whole foods, limited meat... when the cardiologist's dietician looked at several weeks of food diaries, she couldn't even think of much to recommend, other than to eat more and add some nuts! Were we perfect? No, but we were pretty damn good. Did we lose weight? Ha!

If the calorie charts were right, if a calorie was just a calorie, then my husband should have lost something like 150 lbs. I should have lost maybe half that. He lost... a few pounds. I gained 10 lbs.! There's some idiotic irony there. And my abdominal fat increased greatly. And our collective frustration increased greatly.

Then I started looking for something else, some reason, something that worked, thought about surgery, thought about a lot of things. My friend Jennifer read Gary Taubes' book and recommended it, and I read... well, ok, I read most of it, and I'm still working on it! But I read practically all of the cholesterol part, and it got me started reading the low-carb literature, and here we are. Or I am, anyway. About billion books and blogs later, and convinced that this is the only way to go, and losing a little weight.

It's a start.

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