Tuesday, April 26, 2011

That's Heavy

So I think I should start this post with a bit of a disclaimer: We're gonna get deep folks. I'm going to talk about my weight and body image and girlie parts and all of that stuff. I'm also going to share some quite personal information. (Gasp!) So if you're uncomfortable with those topics, best to just skip this one out. Mmmmmmk?

Where should I begin?

It's probably not a secret to anyone who knows me that I struggle with body image. Don't most females? Most women in my life do. Even so, I hesitate to write about the topic of body image and weight because it seems so narcissistic. Although I may feel like I "hate" my body at times, isn't that all in the name of vanity? I mean, to obsess over your body when there are so many other worries in the world, seems so self absorbed.

So with that said, why why why do I obsess over my body? I don't have an answer.

For the past two years I have been going on and off of the South Beach Diet. When I started, I weighed 130 lbs. I immediately lost 10 lbs in the first two weeks of the diet. But the best part was that I really felt healthy, and after the first two weeks I didn't feel deprived of food. I've always been better at diets that cut out types of food rather than diets that focus on portions. This preference is probably because I LOVE FOOD. And I love to eat food until I'm full. No disrespect to portioning food (believe me, I think most restaurants need a lesson in portioning) but those diets aren't for me. At my best, I was weighing something like 115 after about 6 months of South Beach.

So let's get to the reason for this post. Today. Now.

I put on some weight over the winter- nothing new or unexpected- but I've had a bit of trouble losing it this time (even with South Beach). I was running, dieting and practically killing myself obsessing about everything I put in my body, but the weight just wouldn't budge. Not one pound. So I figured, why am I making myself completely unhappy over this. I turned thirty this year, perhaps my body is just changing and I should learn to be O.K. with where I am (and more importantly, who I am). After all, it is just a number and my 140 lbs means nothing in the scheme of the universe when there is REAL suffering all over this planet. Plus, 140 isn't so bad, is it? So just when I decided to learn to love me no matter my weight; after being on South Beach for a couple of years and feeling really good about my body, my attitude towards food and my body image in general- I've been violently hurdled back into an oblivion of self-hate. Why? My Doctor.

I had a Doctor's appointment last week and when I stepped on the scale, I knew what to expect. I didn't even bat a lash. I was O.K. with it. Like I said, 140 isn't so bad, is it?


During my appointment, my doctor suggested that I lose 20 lbs or more. TWENTY POUNDS! Twenty pounds. That's a lot to stomach.... or.. er... un-stomach. That's heavy stuff. (Pun intended.) So I've been depressed all week, feeling defeated. I can't help but think about all of the things that weigh 20 lbs. A tire. Two cats. Eighty sticks of butter. A small child. A car battery. I dunno... a lot of stuff. That's heavy!


louiwinga said...

I just love you!!

Felicia D'Ambrosio said...

Did your doctor give a health reason to lose so much weight? Are you pre-diabetic or something? I'm kind of shocked here.

J3LUNT said...

Try this one out. Seems like great advice.

J3LUNT said...



Heather Wingate said...

Yeah... these doctors are nuts. I live a relatively healthy lifestyle. Now my other Doctor is saying that was bad advice. Bah!

Thanks for the link, Mike.

ver said...

Ever since high school, I've never looked the way I wanted to look. I never put much effort into either. Drinking beer and cheesesteaks every weekend was much more exciting than eating salads. To this day, my college days are still with me. I want the tummy to go away and the abs to see the light of day again. So self absorbed. I, too, have had bad habits of eating until I am full or thinking I need to eat everything the waiter/waitress puts in from of me.

I'm starting to change, but its difficult. A couple of things have helped me.

1. Stay busy. The less time you have to think about food, the less you will want to eat. I'm not intentionally starving myself, I just have less tendency to eat when i'm not doing anything or when i'm bored.

2. Drink fluids, the good ones. For the most part, I have cut out drinking beer and alcohol. I still drink on the special occasions, but I don't need to drink a beer everyday. Also, cut out soda, coffee/tea with sugar and cream. Those extras are loaded with sugar and in the case of soda, total crap.

3. Eat smaller meals, more frequently. Its ok to eat. But when you do, make it count. Eat the write stuff. No chips, fast food, processed junk, etc. Maintain a constant metabolism of fruits, vegetables and proteins everyday.

4. Cardio. The best way to make the scale your friend is to burn the energy stored in your body. Anything cardio is the way to go. Get the heart rate going.

5. Calories count. Not something you need to be obsessed with but understand the weight is not going to disappear unless you burn more than you intake. A walk, run, jog etc are good for you however, the weight will not change unless you are burning more than you are consuming.

Not a nutrition expert but this has what worked for me. Its pretty simple. The hardest part is not giving into past, bad habits.

Heather Wingate said...

Thanks for all of the suggestions, Ver.

I agree that small changes make all the difference. To be honest, I live a VERY healthy lifestyle already, which is why my doctor's suggestion really scared me. Her suggestion meant that I would need to go on an extreme diet... and that's something I'm not comfortable with. By normal standards I actually have a very healthy diet. I walk about 3 miles a day to work and I do yoga about 2-3 days a week. I grew up as a vegetarian, but now eat meat. However I'm naturally more attracted to eating vegetables and healthy food rather than junk. I'm a light drinker- maybe a glass of wine here and there and more on special occasions. I don't drink soda or eat much sugar already because my body has a hard time digesting it....

So you can see why my doctor's suggestion really shocked me and put me in a bad place. I always thought my issues were more psychological and I only "thought" I was fat. I still think that is a big part of it.

At this point I'm going to continue to live my life in the way I already do- as healthy as possible. But I'm also going to learn to love ME.

Lina Budesa said...

I admire all of your strength for putting this up. It takes a lot of courage to do this, but wanted to let you know I was inspired by this, and decided to make a difference in the way I view myself, because the doctors used to tell me I needed to lose the weight even though I was healthy. Like you said, I'm gonna start loving who I am. :)

Heather Wingate said...

Lena! How the heck did you find this? I'm glad you're inspired by it. Now just ignore all my other crazy posts. ha!

Lina Budesa said...

I honestly have no idea, I was just on blogger, and was typing in people names to see if they had blogs, and I found yours. Sorry if you think I'm a stalker, definitely not trying to be at ALL.

Heather Wingate said...

Ha ha... Lina if you were stalking me, that might be the most interesting thing that has ever happened to me. I'm more worried that you're going to think I'm crazy now. Lol.

And P.S. you are awesome and talented and I think it's funny that you are inspired by me because you and all of the other students REALLY inspired me this year. You gals are amazing.

Lina Budesa said...

I definetly don't think you are crazy! I see alot me in you, so your like the older version of me some what. I feel like we have been through alot of the same things especially with doctors. Made me realize that there are others who get the lecture from docs for no reasons, and that we all struggle with body issues, and I shouldnt be afraid, knowing people like you, who i admire, struggle with it.

Aw, thanks :) You're soo sweet, and definetly are one of the most inspirational people I have met, no joke :) You're such an amazing person, and it was such a amazing opportunity to get to know you.

Lina Budesa said...

I finally can say I found my niche, a place where I belong, and don't have to change the person, or make radical changes to be accepted for the person that I am. Pre-College provided me with that, and I am ever so thankful, because it has transformed me from the flower who was scared to bloom, to the flower who has blossomed.