I've read several posts about body acceptance and large women and losing weight, etc over the last few days in other people's journals because people pointed me at them.
This one, or this one, for example.
It's got me thinking about my weight issues again.
I want to be thinner. I gave up a long time ago on the idea of being skinny. I will never be my mental picture of what I want to be because genetics alone prevent it even if I were thin. But I would like to lose weight to feel better over all.
I find the subject really baffling, though. I know that I could try eating less. My general intake is pretty healthy overall and more healthy by far, usually than Joel's for example, and he just has a little tummy, and from less healthy foods. There isn't a ton of fat to cut out or binges of entire frozen pizzas and other things I read about in other people's lives. So, that pretty much leaves amount as negotiable. But if I pay attention at all to being hungry or when I feel full, that's pretty much impossible to do much with. I generally eat when I'm hungry at this point. I do generally have the question "Am I really hungry or is this a reaction to something else?" cued up in my brain just to be sure, but usually I really am hungry when I think "Hungry". I have read suggestions to the effect of eating excrutiatingly slowly so that you will get the signal that you're full before you've consumed everything on your plate, essentially. I've tried this. I can't tell that it seems to make any difference. If I'm tired of something, I stop. If I feel full I stop. The amount doesn't seem to vary even if I take three hours to eat dinner.
I've gone through periods of time where I was too busy or too broke to eat. I usually lost weight during those times, to some degree, but at the expense of feeling like crap, having no energy, being depressed, exhausted and cranky.
So that pretty much eliminates anything I can figure out with reguard to the actual intake of food.
The "burn" mechanism of the human body is thus activity or excersize to account for energy taken into the body in the form of food, and is thus the logical other place to look in terms of weight issues. This is pretty straight forward, not really rocket science.
I know I do not get enough activity in my life. I don't have the first clue what to do about it.
I've hated exercise most of my life. Even at points when I have been actually thin, during my childhood, for example, I have loathed most excersize. My mother signed me up for ballet lessons and tap dancing lessons and gymnastics. I was on the second string junior high basket ball team. I had gym classes up through my freshman year in high school. In high school, my job involved hauling shit in and out of parks to set up events, etc and was often strenuous work. It wasn't like I spent my childhood on my ass. I've even done some weight training off and on because my body if vaguly more tollerant of that than aerobics. I just hated all of it even if I liked it for other reasons.
I was always a clutz and still am. I broke 2 toes in junior high by walking into a wall. I've broken a whole variety of bones. If someone would get hit in the head with a stray softball, it would be me. If it was possible to trip over your own feet, I would. Every excersize activity I participated in made me hurt. I don't mean the sore in the morning, my muscles really needed that sort of hurt. I got that from time to time. That wasn't the problem. My feet and knees were often excrutiatingly painful. No matter what I did, I was double jointed enough that I was constantly injured when things twisted wrong and pulled wrong. I spent more time recovering from injuries in gym classes than really succeeding at the sports by a long way.
I also have activity (and allergy) induced asthma which just makes all of it that much less pleasant. I know it helps the asthma to really work out my lungs, but it's goddamned unpleasant. I also have allergies which makes most outdoor activities more of a chore than a joy even if I take antihistamines. I now have orthodics for my shoes which makes my feet and knees at least less excrutiating and less quickly excrutiating (Thanks mom, for all the KMart shoes and telling me to suck it up since you refused to pay more than $10 for anything that went on my feet. Did me tons of good in the long run.).
As far as I am aware, there is no aerobic activity that I do not find actively unpleasant. Some are more unpleasant than others. Jogging would probably give me black eyes on top of everything else whereas walking is just painful in my legs and back alone. Even low levels of exertion have always made me sweat like a pig, which is really unpleasant as sensations go (I've never been all that worried about smelling bad like some large women, but I hate the sensation of sweating), so swimming is at least more pleasant in that you don't notice the sweat, but that leaves me with migrains the next day from the strain on shoulders and neck muscles and this doesn't seem to fade even if I do it for many days in a row.
And those are just some of the unpleasantries of my actual physical body. That doesn't include the singlular fat woman in gym full of toned snooty people problems or anything emotionally related to the subject, which there is plenty of. My mother alone would be a great source of eating disorders without the help of anything else. The woman was a raving hypocritical bitch on the subject and wobbled her fat ass up to you while threatening to put pad locks on the fridge to keep you out. She constantly berated us for our sizes, cajoled us into dieting with her, threatened us, ridiculed us, etc. I think weight was her single biggest issue with herself and thus she projected that on all of us. She complemented thin people and behaved ashamed of my little sister during her chuncky years. She constantly had something to say about weight. 8 times out of 10 that I talk to her now she tells me what diet she's on in the hope that I will join her or tells me how dissapointed she is and how she always wanted me to be thin and pretty, etc. (Hm. She wonders why I don't call much...)
It's hard to believe, but for the most part I really don't hear her on the subject anymore. It's just empty noise from a woman who is desperately unhappy with herself. She was cruel with the intention of protecting us from her self hatred and in so doing fostered the same in us. I understand all that. Sometimes I cry about her various forms of abuse. Sometimes I rage. Each subject gets a little less sad and rageful with each venting of it, and will probably never go completely away, but generally I recognize it for what it is and don't give it more power over me than it deserves.
But that doesn't magically make a person thin. It doesn't make my knees not hurt. It doesn't make my arches not collapse. It doesn't make the migrains not exists.
I think part of the problem is that I don't process pain normally. I do not ever seem to get the endorphin rush of "Hey, it's all okay" or "this feels good." I can work out for hours and never hit any point that it isn't just painful in various ways. There is never a place that I don't feel bone grating on bone in my skull it's so intense to me. There is never a point where it feels good to be exhausted.
I think the whole thing has been compounded by some habits and some lack of initiation and consistency skills too. I would go walk with Joel if either of us could manage to remember it or suggest it. Once in a while we do, even though I generally find it pretty unpleasant for all reasons except spending time talking to Joel. But mostly we forget or don't have time or whatever else.
*sigh* I don't have some of the struggles with it that some of my peers do. I know that both of my spouses find me attractive and sexy. I know that it is possible to be so at any size and that it has as much to do with self confidence and attitude as anything else. I spent some time proving all those things to myself miles ago. I know that there are health reasons to change things, but even that is a mixed bag. Trading a higher risk of heart disease for migrains, regular pain and arthritis is just robbing Peter to pay Paul.
So I end in a quandry of no idea where to go from here, really. I suspect part of it is hormone imbalances and I need, at some point here, to reschedule getting a hormone analysis done about, but I doubt that will fix it without an answer to needing more activity that isn't intollerably unpleasant.
The list of things I've found unpleasant is so long it seems almost silly. Walking, running, soccer, basketball, flag football, bicycling, hiking, swimming, tennis, volley ball, aerobics, dance, weight training, nearly anything with a projectile object since it will spend too much time in contact with my head, jump rope, trampolines, climbing, etc, etc, etc. All of it. I cannot think of a single experience of any of it that I would in any way even look neutrally on again, let alone look forward to.
And it is DAMN hard to make yourself do something painful constantly for some potential goal that really seems pretty much unreachable anyway. And that's the case whether the goal is the realisitic ones of feeling more toned and less easily winded that I have these days or the "this is what I would like to look like" goals I've categorized as parent induced self loathing driven goals that I've filed away as irrelevant.
I feel lost for a "move forward" state on the subject. I don't know how to change my pain perception or tollerances. I don't know how to change my genetics. I don't know how to change my diet in any real useful way that is trustworthy beyond listening to what my body thinks it needs, which I already do.
I'm not a sweets person. If anything I flinch at the amount that Deb and Joel like to go to Ice Cream and say no to the idea more than yes. I don't have to have any particular goody. The idea of fried and really high fat foods turns my stomach most of the time at the very idea. The one weakness over the years was sodas because I needed meds for my ADD and caffien was making a remotely functional if very bad for me substitute. Even that though, now, is not all that common. And usually given a choice I pick fruit juice watered down over anything as sweet as a soda. I could cut a few more of those out of my life if we didn't have fast food when no one feels up to cooking, periodically, but it's not enough to make a real difference since I often go weeks without having a soda at all and generally buy them at Joel's request and not otherwise in terms of store runs. Even the fast food, I've been ordering the grilled chicken because I can't stand the fat in the beef a lot of the time.
I can think of a few things that I could cut out of my diet to be a little more "good" but I've done so at various points separately or in combination and it doesn't seem to have any real effect even over time. I'm just stumped about the whole subject anymore, and it's sort of depressing to feel like you need to do something consistently painful to feel better.