It’s Not Always Rainbows and Puppy Dogs

This journey I am on, it isn’t always rainbows and puppy dogs. I don’t wake up every day feeling fantastic and I certainly don’t find my workouts to be easy. Yes, it is getting easier but it is not easy. I struggle, it’s hard, it sucks, and if that hasn’t come across in my blogs I am sorry because the last thing I want to do is give you an incomplete picture of what my life is like. I do try to keep my blogs positive because I am trying to keep a positive attitude myself but I don’t want you to read something and think that I make it sound so easy and then end up disappointed when it isn’t easy for you. I struggle trying to find that balance in my writing between staying positive and still incorporating my struggles and the real, somewhat harsh details.

Lately I have found myself angry about this person I have become; angry that I let it get this far without doing a damn thing to stop it. I got quite upset the other morning when I was taking a shower. Most days I shower on auto-pilot, I have a routine and I always find myself following it step-by-step each day. I don’t really think too much about it, I mean it’s just a shower- what could I possibly have to think about? This time was different though. As I was washing up I noticed something that I do everyday. For me to clean my lady parts I have to literally lift up my stomach in order to get to them, it’s pretty disgusting. It’s embarrassing to admit this and it makes me feel ashamed but on that day all I felt was anger. Anger that I let it progress to that point and anger that it never affected me until that day. Why had it never bothered me? Why did I let my weight spiral out of control? The only logical explanation must be that I completely stopped caring about how I look which in turn means I completely stopped caring about my health.

Paul’s uncle passed away a few months ago due to complications from Type 2 Diabetes. It was heart-breaking. We both loved him dearly and this loss was hard on both of us. I used to get so frustrated that Paul’s uncle couldn’t get his diabetes under control; he didn’t follow his doctor’s guidelines and battled with sticking to his required diet. I would always get upset because he was battling an illness that was completely controllable and he was losing. It broke my heart that he had given up on life; he stopped believing he could overcome it. Well, this was just my misguided viewpoint. Somehow I felt that people who were diagnosed with obesity related illnesses brought it upon themselves and that being faced with a death sentence would make it easier to fight to get your life back on track. I was very naïve. Somehow I thought I was different because I was ‘healthy’ but I was only fooling myself. I was 136 pounds overweight. I was a heart attack waiting to happen, I was probably just a few years away from contracting Type 2 Diabetes. I was digging my own grave and everyone around me had to watch this happen as I did nothing to stop it. The only difference between me and Paul’s uncle was that he was fighting to stay alive and I had given up.  Going through this now I understand how hard it is to fight the battle against obesity and I see that Paul’s uncle never gave up, he just couldn’t win. Because of this I know I have to try harder, I have to fight every day in order to overcome my obesity, and win my battle.

Most of my days are made up of small victories, battling all the crappy problems that come with being obese and trying to get in shape; like jumping rope last Wednesday at my boxing class. I have inadequate sports bras (well not anymore since I just forked out $65 for an Enell sports bra) which leave the girls flopping around when I jump rope. Most days this is annoying but on Wednesday it was down right awful because it was the day before I got my period and my breasts were super sore and tender. Ten minutes of jumping rope felt like hell. It was one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. It literally felt like they were tearing away from my chest that is how bad it hurt. It sucked but I knew the pain was temporary and it would end once we were finished jumping rope. Or like Thursday when I had demon cramps and really bad ‘indigestion’, which I always get on the first day of my period. I felt like shit and wanted to sit on my couch and eat ice cream. Instead I forced myself to go to the gym where I spent an hour on the recumbent bike nearly in tears. Between the cramps, the upset stomach, the broken A/C (the high was 96), the sun beating down on my face, my sore feet and legs (due to taking a kickboxing class Wednesday- which is a whole other story) I didn’t think I was going to make it. It was awful and I found myself questioning whether or not it was even worth the effort. I periodically have days like this, days where I want to quit, days where I don’t feel I am progressing. I feel sad and hopeless and I want to give up but thankfully I don’t. Somehow, I manage to find a way to keep myself going, to work through the pain, to see the light at the end of the tunnel and move on.

I know one thing that helps keep me going is seeing that downward trend on the scale almost every week. Seeing that change helps to keep me motivated through the rough patches. My biggest fear, which is another big motivator, is that I will hit a plateau and not be able to push through it and in turn give up. Although I am doing many different things to work on my physical strength, I am still afraid that mentally I am not strong enough to push through a month or two with no movement on the scale. This is another reason why I push myself so hard. Each week that I see that scale move is another week I can avoid my fear of not losing weight and forever being obese.

Speaking of obesity, I would like you to think about something for a minute. My goal weight is 150 pounds, which is the high-end of the healthy weight range for my height. This means I am currently 110 pounds overweight which is crazy. I am basically carrying around another person’s worth of weight. For those of you who are of average weight, I would like for you to think about your activity level and how it would feel to do basic things like walk, climb stairs, jump rope, ride a bike, with 110 extra pounds on your body. Think about how much more effort and energy your body would require of you to do simple tasks and how much stress these tasks would cause on your body. Every night I go through the rotation of icing my knees, feet, and ankles. My back is sore and most days I smell of tiger balm/icy hot. For those of my reader’s who are overweight/obese; I want you to think about how much easier life would be if you didn’t have to carry around that excess weight. I would assume that this is something that helps to keep you motivated to push towards your goal- it does for me. I often think about how much better life will be with less weight to carry around. In my head, being at a normal, healthy weight must feel like walking on clouds.

I hope that by reading this you were able to understand a little more about my battle with obesity. It’s not pretty. It’s certainly not easy. But I take full responsibility for letting myself get to this point and know I am the only one who can get me back to a healthy, normal weight. I also hope that I did not upset or offend anyone by what I wrote. The only goal of this post was to share with you a more realistic picture of what I am going through, my thoughts and struggles with my weight and how it is impacting my life. I just wanted to put these thoughts out there so you can see a different side of me because my goal of this blog is to be open and honest about this journey with you and with myself. I try to follow the words of the magnificent Dr. Seuss; “be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Thanks for reading!

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June 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Life, obesity.

27 Comments

  1. Jen replied:

    I TOTALLY know how you feel!
    You are so awesome, pushing through pain, staying dedicated to your goals, doing what you can do. I know you are going to make it all the way!!

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you so much Jen! I try because I finally realized how bad the alternative would be; obesity related disease and an early death. Nah, I think I’ll pass!

  2. Simply Sidney replied:

    I’m right there with you Dacia. I’ve been overweight and in and out of the fringes of obesity for just over 10 years. I’ve always considered myself fat, such an ugly word, why was I so mean to myself??? Now of course I know how twisted my mind was in my youth. The fear of failure has always halted previous attempts to get my weight in check. My health is my 1st priority now, not the mirror or how others look at me, or that is what I’m working on anyways 🙂 It is hard and your are very smart to acknowledge it!! Love the quote, here’s one of my favs: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt
    Thanks for the post today, it was a perfect fit for my mindset today!!!

    • Dacia replied:

      I love that quote! Just warning you, It will probably end up in a post! Thanks!

      I may never be skinny or have the perfect body, and I am accepting of that, but I do want to be healthy and live a long, happy life. This battle is far more mentally challenging than physically challenging so I am very thankful for your support. You make it easier knowing I am not alone! Thank you!

  3. amysjourneytohealth replied:

    Girl I am right there with you! I could have written this very post myself. It is so so so so hard some days. Like you, I try to keep my blog positive, but honest. It’s easy to sugar coat things, but when you open up and share what’s really going on, that’s when you are truly inspiring and people know that it’s ok not to be perfect. Keep it up hun! You are doing an amazing job! Bad days will come and go, but as long as you keep trying and doing what you can you WILL succeed! 🙂

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you so much Amy! I really took to heart how open you are on your blog which made me feel comfortable and secure enough to talk about everything, even the crappy stuff. Your support is amazing and I am lucky to have you as a friend. I know we will both be successful on our journeys!

  4. Ginger replied:

    You are doing yourself right by getting angry, believe it or not it is all a part of the process and will keep you on track. I know it seems awful to say being mad at yourself is a good thing, but sometimes we need that self nudge to never want to go back from where we came. You are so brave and strong. You will be so proud of yourself and you should already be feeling proud. You are taking charge of your life and I think that is one of the hardest things to do.
    About carrying that excess weight.. I can remember being in a boot camp class last fall and having to walk the floor holding 2 20 lb dumbbells. They were so heavy and I wanted to give up, then it hit me, that was less than the weight I had lost, I used to carry that weight with me everywhere. That was my angry moment, one that I will never forget and never allow myself to return to.

    • Dacia replied:

      Thanks Ginger! I agree completely, I needed that anger. It was a wake up call and now I can look back on that moment, and how low I felt, and force myself to keep going. I don’t ever want to end up there again.

  5. yerttle replied:

    I’m very proud of you, both for your efforts and for sharing your personal feelings.

    I believe in you, I have faith in you, and I know that someday your outsides will match your insides.

    xxoox
    Yert

    • Dacia replied:

      Thanks Yerttle! You are so kind. It means alot to me to have your support. You never know where our lives might take us, we could end up in the same city and be running buddies!

      • yerttle replied:

        I’d love that! I’ve heard it time and again; “It’s a small Army, after all…it’s a small Army after all….Its a small…”

        Well, you get the idea. (you’re welcome for the annoying tune)

      • Dacia replied:

        Thank you! I had that tune stuck in my head all night!!! Lol!

  6. crustabakes replied:

    It’s really hard to stay positive and motivated when your muscles are screaming in pain as you work out. But hey, no pain, no gain right. But i do believe in moderation too. i stay off the gym when i have period related discomforts. Good luck on your journey, and thanks so much for sharing this. It makes me feel like i am not the only one feeling this way when it comes to working out

    • Dacia replied:

      You are absolutely right- no pain, no gain!

      The one thing that becomes more and more apparent every day is that we are all fighting and struggling and persevering at something. It might not be weight loss, or fitness, but we are all on a journey together trying to better ourselves. Thanks for your support!

  7. kitchentutor replied:

    Thanks for this post! I’m so inspired by you and thankful for you putting everything out there. One of my aha moments came a couple weeks back when my son patted my belly like he was fluffing a pillow before he laid on it. Funny now but I felt so gross and disappointed in myself. I’m glad you’re allowing your anger to urge you on instead of drive you back to where you started.

    • Dacia replied:

      Me too! It is so easy to let the anger turn to defeat and bring us right back to where we started. I am happy it is having the opposite effect. I’ll take anything that helps keep pushing me forward!

  8. jamesandjax replied:

    Anger can save lives! Put it to work for you–let your anger help maintain your motivation. You’re doing so well!

    When I was pregnant and gained 35 pounds, I felt all of those pounds in my bones, in my back, you name it. Sometimes now I think of how that felt and skip the second bowl of ice cream. I wish it motivated me enough to skip the first bowl, too. It’s such a struggle to eat better & work out. Whenever I read your blog, I tell myself I’m worth the effort. So, thanks for posting and for being so honest.

    • Dacia replied:

      You are worth the effort! Its easier said than done, though. I am pretty sure things would be a lot different if I had a 22 month old child. It is easy for me to preach about making time for yourself when I don’t really have any obligations outside of work. For someone in your situation I would think you would have to make small changes that don’t impact your routine as much. That might be the best way to go about change.

      Thank you for all of your support!

  9. jamesandjax replied:

    p.s. Since you began, you’ve lost more weight than Jackson weighs. 🙂 He is 23 pounds. You’ve lost a Jackson and then some! Yay! Soon I’ll be writing that you lost two Jacksons!

    • Dacia replied:

      What! That is crazy! You totally made my day! I can’t believe I lost a Jackson! That’s seems pretty amazing when you put it that way!

  10. kroessman replied:

    Life’s not all “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows”? Leslie Gore LIED TO ME! — http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lesley+gore&aq=f … seriously though, great blog 🙂 Found it after you made a post on mine. Much appreciated!

  11. shrinkingwmn replied:

    hey Dacia, Thank You for this post. I feel like I have so many negative posts and as much as it sucks having those down days, and sharing them isn’t any fun either, knowing other people out there are having hard days makes mine feel…not less hard but, more normal.

    Keep up the hard work, hopefully for every hard day you have an equally awesome day! 🙂

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you so much! I read your blog and you tell the whole story; the good and the bad, the ups and downs and it inspires me to do the same. Because knowing I am not alone in my struggles makes them easier to accept and overcome.

  12. juleen76 replied:

    I was in tears as I read this. I can relate to everything you said! I hate that I just gave up on myself for awhile there. This weekend I was crazy active in ways I haven’t been in several years, and it felt great that I was even able to do it! Thanks for your consistent encouragement and for sharing the WW journey with me!

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you so much Juleen! I love being on this journey with you. You help keep me motivated. It is sad to look back on our decisions and regret some of the choices we made especially when it comes to our health. But that is in the past. The most important thing is what we are doing today to help ourselves be better/healthier and you are kicking butt today!

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