kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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Dude, I Got Fat, Part II

Reading all the replies to yesterday's blog post about my weight issues had churned my thinking. I want to direct your attention to three posts that you may or may not have seen ... but first I wanted to ask a questions.

Q: Many people responded with stories of a desire to lose weight but lacking the impetus to start and often the finances. With this in mind, would you be interested in contributing to chipin fund to buy a number of starter gym memberships for people motivated to lose weight who for whatever reason don't have the funds?

I know that the results I saw early on spurred me to continue, I'm wondering if we might be able to, collectively, help some people get started. Let me know if you'd be interested, and also we'd need a volunteer coordinator.

If we get ten people willing to help, we'll move ahead with it. Let me know in the comments.

Now, on to the comments --

I wasn't prepared for the outpouring of stories, some of them pages and pages long, of people's battles with weight, with self image, with perception, with acceptance. For many people weight was tied to abuse, for another group weight seems to have been strongly tied to gender issues. Throughout this, I saw as I read on and on, many people persevered, overcome, but many people still felt trapped. My mailbox flooded with people who didn't want to share their stories publicly. One was from a woman who had lost 350 pounds. Lost. She sent before and after photos and suddenly my own problems seemed trivial. I am astounded by how far some people have fought this battle.

I know that when I looked in the mirror I was unhappy with the person looking back, but I also know that I had a tremendous advantage going in -- I don't have children to take care of, I have access to a gym, I have access to healthy food which is nearby ... a lot of people don't have these things.

There were a lot of posts yesterday and I wanted to share a couple of them -- perhaps you have advice, solutions, or perhaps you'll be inspired.

sistersolace posted very eloquently about a) the difficulty of finding the time to work out and the types of workouts one can do as a full time mom who can't join a gym and b), another extremely important issue -- healthy food is expensive Ramin noodles, the staple of the college diet are super cheap and super bad for you, fresh broccoli on the other hand is great for you but really expensive. What are some ways that people can get fruits and vegetables on a budget?

I read this when you first posted it, and I've been lurking in the comments and mulling it over since.

Here's the deal: I'm only about 25 pounds overweight, and my body shape/wizardry with clothing makes that easy to disguise, so I feel a little weird posting. But my body has been a terrible struggle for the past 20 years, so I figured I'd go ahead and weigh in.

I have a gentleman caller coming to visit me from the far away east coast in a week. Today I looked in the mirror before my shower and kind of sighed, thinking that I'd meant to look better naked by now. I'd taken up running for a while in the summer, I'd been eating healthier, I'd been toning up and getting stronger (which is really way more important to me than what I weigh), and I was on track. Awesome, right?

And then I had to make a quick move out of an increasingly scary living situation a couple of months ago. Now I bring in about $100 less per month than I spend on bills alone. My food budget is literally negative numbers. I recently started a job but I don't know if it will pad my budget before my savings run out. Also? I'm a full-time student and a single mom with two growing boys who live with me 1/2 time.

I can't run when the kids are here, because there's no one to watch them. Even when they aren't here, I'm neck-deep in projects and papers. I try to motivate myself to go for a run, but it's difficult when I've been walking all day (to and from the train, to and from classes) and it's 9pm and I have 45 more thumbnail sketches due tomorrow. Sometimes I manage some yoga with a few push ups and crunches. Sometimes I just draw all the things and go to sleep.

I love, love, love fresh fruits and vegetables and would eat them all day long, but damn they're expensive. Noodles, rice, beans, potatoes, all those terrible pitfalls of dieting are cheap. The kids eat like a locust plague and they love fruits and veggies as much as I do. We go through a bag of carrots almost as soon as it comes in the door. I buy what I can on sale, but when there's no sale...

In the spring I'll try to grow my own veggies and the like, if my landlord will allow it. But it's Colorado, and it's winter, and I don't have the room to grow any plants inside.

If I so much as breathe a word about my weight, my desire to be healthier, or my increasingly-tighter wardrobe, my friends are quick to either tell me to stop whining ("you look FINE") or suggest a bunch of crazy fad diets that are expensive, time-consuming, or both.

I've yo-yoed between 120 and 180 most of my adult life. When I cut out sodas and fast food from my weekly intake, started drinking water like it was my job, and started walking everywhere it became a smaller swing from 130 to 150. Right now, though, I'm sitting at 150 and I'm not sure if it's going to stop there. The stress, the lack of sleep, the not-terribly-great food, the lack of real exercise... they're all catching up with me, and I don't see any of this changing in the next year or more. Honestly, I'm too tired to care, most times.

This post made me care, though.

I guess what I'm saying here is that I'm in a place where I'm really frustrated with the whole thing, but it's so good to see you kicking ass and taking names. I can't alter my diet too much and I can't join a gym, but maybe I'll knock these sketches out this afternoon, grab my shoes, and go for a run after my night class. You know, just to keep you company a little.

wroughtirony is in a spiral of depression which triggers weight gain. This was a not infrequent story -- how do you get motivated to start and keep at it?

I'm an overweight chef with some problems with depression and OCD.

It's so easy for me to see what's wrong with me, and what I need to do is very clear.

But I can't seem to strike a balance between ignoring the problem and obsessively over-managing my diet and exercise regimen. When I think about working out, my internal dialogue is "you're a disgusting fat slob. You're fat because you're weak and stupid. All you have to do is eat 1500 calories a day, no simple carbs few fats and zero dairy. Even a trained monkey can do 45 min of intense cardio 6 times a week plus weight training 3 times a week, minimum. You must give up alcohol, naps, caffeine, sorbet, bread, pasta, butter, pretty much all the other foods you like, and snacks. Fail to do any of this and you're a disgusting loser who deserves to be fat."

So when I think like that, I get depressed.

And when I'm depressed, the OCD gets worse.

Two years ago, I managed to lose about thirty pounds by just letting myself become obsessed with the whole process. With the help of a dietitian, I had my diet down to 1000kcal/day (my metabolism is very slow.) What I ate was managed down to within ten calories. I worked out all the time. This allowed me to lose a little over a pound per week for about nine months. Needless to say, I put it all back on over the course of two years.

I've got all the knowledge I need, I just can't seem to get my head in the right place.

lady_isis talks about a spouse who is verbally supportive but often suggests eating out or brings calorie-loaded foods home. How do you fight this on your own, or how do you tell your s.o. what kind of support you need from them?

I did really well for awhile. Was going to the gym 5-6 days a week. I started to work with a nutritionist who gave me a meal plan and I saw once a week (he was amazingly supportive). I was doing really well.
Then I moved in with my now husband. He is supportive. But, he was used to eating whatever he wanted, was never taught to cook. We were lazy and ate out alot. I did not cook because I was tired. I stopped going to the gym because I had to clean the apartment.
Those excuses still apply now (but now it is a house). He never says I am fat and always says I am beautiful. I know he means it. He gets take out because he does not want me to have to cook. I know he is trying to help, but...I keep gaining weight. I am older now, it is going to be harder to do.
I know what I need to do. I have the information in my head. For some reason that I have not been able to figure entirely out, I can't do it..yet.
I am not happy with my body or my health. I want and know I deserve to be healthy.

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    trillian_stars said that when I met him, I had to call him Chevalier Van Peebles because he'd been knighted in France. And he…

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