Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Funny enough, no doctor I have ever been to has ever said anything about my weight.  And I really wonder why this is.  Is it such a taboo subject that a doctor won't even broach it?  Do they know that my weight gain is caused by the pills they prescribed?  Or is it something else?

Maybe because I never brought it up, they didn't feel the need to...

I'm very bitter towards doctors, and I really doubt this attitude will ever change.  I can't believe that no doctor ever bothered to connect my ever-increasing weight to the pills.  They prescribed pills that could cause weight gain, but they never bothered to monitor it.  Never once did they ask if there was anything in my lifestyle that could cause weight gain.  And now I'm 271.8 pounds and off the meds and have nowhere to turn.

I've tried everything I know how to do and I still can't lose the weight.  I'm eating less than an average person (maybe 2 meals a day), but I'm still not losing.  I'm working out once or twice a week, and not losing an ounce.

I'm so angry at the doctors who watched me gain weight for six years and never once said anything about it.  Who watched me become obese and never once said, why don't we try a different medication.  Never once asked if I was eating healthy or working out.

Did they just assume I was making the wrong food choices?  Did they assume I was binging?  Did they think I never went to the gym?  All of the above?

I know as the patient, it is my responsibility to bring up issues of concern to my doctors.  But as a teenager, battling everything I am challenged with, when your doctor doesn't mention your weight gain you think, Maybe this isn't so bad...  Maybe I'm really not gaining as much weight as I think I am.  Which isn't true.

I have gained over 100 pounds since I was 15; pre-Tourette's.  I gained 50 pounds in 9 months of anti-depressants, and the rest I have gradually put on since then.  I have gained 30 pounds since this time last year; due to medication.

And in the 7 months since I got off all the prescription meds, I've only gained 10 pounds.  All of which happened between April and July.

For the last 4 months my weight has been stable.

That is something I have never been able to say.

I'm so frustrated at myself for not wanting to face this sooner, but I'm more frustrated with the doctors for not being willing to broach this topic with me.  For not being willing to admit that maybe a pill they gave me was causing my weight gain as opposed to a lifestyle choice.

This isn't me.  This isn't who I am.  I am not a "fat girl".  The pills made me this way, but now it is my job to try and change this. 

I am seeing an endocrinologist in January and I am praying (literally) that he will have something to offer me other than the customary, I'm sorry.  Because if this doesn't work...  I have no other choices.

I'm eating healthy.  I'm working out.  Weight loss surgery wouldn't help me because I'm not an over-eater.  I'm simply somebody whose metabolism doesn't work.  Because once upon a time, doctors thought it was more important to be doped out of my mind than to be overweight.  They thought that it was better to expose my body to all of these poisons than to have Tourette's.  They wanted to fix a part of me that doesn't need fixing.  That part of who I am will never be fixed.  But this... my weight...  needs to be fixed. 

And I find it excruciatingly ironic that I now have to rely on doctors to help me when the doctors are the ones who gave me the pills that put me in this position in the first place.  Lovely.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving Forward

I'm trying to move forward.  Move on with my life.  Stop hating myself; stop hating everytime I have to look in a mirror or watch videos from our behavioral lab.  And it's hard.

I'm becoming more honest with myself about what I have to live with.  I am healthy.  I am eating balanced meals and getting a good amount of fruits and veggies.  I am seriously decreasing the number of carbs I eat; and the ones I do are whole-grains.  And yet, my weight doesn't change.  This is the hardest part.  If I were to see just a tiny, miniscule, change on the scale, I might not feel so forlorn.  So I'm trying not to be; I'm trying to feel comforted by seeing the same number over and over on the scale.  That means I'm not gaining weight.  That is a good thing. 

I'm finding a balance.  I'm not going overboard and spending hours upon hours at the gym every week.  I'm working out once or twice a week.  And when I do I'm able to keep up and get a good workout without huffing and puffing.  This is a change from a few months ago.

I'm eating healthier meals and bringing lunches to school instead of buying something for lunch.  This means I eat at better times too; instead of waiting until I am starving at 3:00 in the afternoon, I'm munching on healthy snacks for lunch at a normal lunch time.

But I'm also having small amounts of (good) ice cream after dinner when I want it.  I'm having the occasional latte from Starbucks.  I'm going out with friends and ordering what sounds good to me and eating until I'm full; instead of finding what looks to be the healthiest thing on the menu and not enjoying it.

This balance will be important for when I am finally able to start losing weight.  And at least I know once all my weight is lost, I will be able to maintain it.  Because, apparently I am very good at maintaining.

I weighed in at 272.8 this weekend; so absolutely no change.

October goals review...

Get an appointment with an endocrinologist (something my psychologist and I feel is necessary to determine what is actually going on with my metabolism).
Done!  I will be seeing an endocrinologist who specializes in metabolism problems in December.  And fingers crossed, he is able to figure out why my body refuses to lose weight.

Acquire a tape measurer and take my measurements.  Post said measurements so that I can't lose them.
Yeah... this one didn't happen.  Again.  I'm putting it on the back burner for a month or so.  Once I know I can lose weight and I pick back up at the gym, I will worry about this.

Stop getting on the scale once or twice a day.  Once a week is good.
I actually did this consciously, instead of simply forgetting to weigh myself because I was so tired.  Yay!

No more than four fast-food meals this month (this accounts for the nights I have late classes and don't want to think about cooking a healthy meal at 8:30 at night). 
Done!  This is something I will continually make a goal, but I won't worry so much about it this month as I seem to have broken the fast-food-dinner-every-night trend I had going in September.

November goals:

Get back to my vitamin/supplement regimen (green tea supplements, multi-vitamin, vitamin-D, B-complex, glucosamine).  I stopped taking them when I got sick in September and I oscilated between taking everything, taking some of them, and taking none of the aforementioned supplements last month.  I added each of them to my diet for a reason, now it's time to start taking them again.

Eat breakfast.  Every morning.  (Ugh.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sucky September

Ugh.  273.8

September sucked.

I honestly don't even remember the beginning of September.  To tell you the truth, I barely remember what happened last week.  I got to Friday and not only could I not recall what had happened all week, I couldn't believe it was already time to go back to the stable (Saturdays) and prep for Sunday school.  I really don't know where September went.

But I do know that I'm happy to see it go.

I have been in chronic pain all month.  All.  Month.  I really don't think there was a single day in which I didn't have (1) a concussion, (2) severe muscle cramps, (3) a migraine or migraine symptoms (photo-sensitivity or pain places it shouldn't be without the headache), or (4) a damn cold.  I have had days where I have coughed so hard I threw up.  Days where I thought I was going to the ER if the pain in my arm got any worse (pinched nerve).  Days where I couldn't walk because my calves seized every time I took a step.  Nights where I didn't sleep because my legs charlie horsed so severely that I woke up every hour.  Days where I wanted to pull one of my teeth out of my mouth because it had a pulse and was causing severe pain.  And multiple days where I wanted to gouge out my eyes because that would hurt less than the pain I was experiencing.

Right now my skull feels two sizes too small but ironically, pressure relieves the pain.  And this is dangerous.  Because this is how my self-injurious tics started and are maintained.  Because if gradual pressure on my forehead and temples helps, then a sharp *pop* to my head is better.  The pain is so intense inside my head, that bashing my fists into my skull actually hurts less.  And it's all I can do to not bash my fists into my head right now.

So no, September did not go well on the weight loss front.


September goals review...

Acquire a tape measurer and take my measurements.  Post said measurements so that I can't lose them.
Yeah... getting a tape measurer would have actually required me to go into a store.  So, no. 

Stop getting on the scale once or twice a day.  Once a week is good.
So, actually did this one.  But not because I was thinking about it, because I was running late almost every morning and I felt like crap.  But we'll still count it as a win.  And keep it on the goal list for next month.

No more than four fast-food meals this month (this accounts for the nights I have late classes and don't want to think about cooking a healthy meal at 8:30 at night).
Hmmm...  Yeah, my migraine totally threw this one off track.  There are some nights that I don't even want to consider dinner.  Or mornings where I can't even consider packing a lunch.  I think I ate 8 fast food meals this month.  This definitely stays on the list for next month.

October goals:

Get an appointment with an endocrinologist (something my psychologist and I feel is necessary to determine what is actually going on with my metabolism).

Acquire a tape measurer and take my measurements.  Post said measurements so that I can't lose them.

Stop getting on the scale once or twice a day.  Once a week is good.

No more than four fast-food meals this month (this accounts for the nights I have late classes and don't want to think about cooking a healthy meal at 8:30 at night).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I'm a few days late blogging, but I did weigh myself on the first of the month.


Which means that in August I lost a whopping 4 pounds.  Which is a start.  I guess?  I had a pretty decent-sized meltdown the last week of August.  I had been killing myself at the gym, and had not lost a single pound.  Now, I know you're thinking, but I said I lost 4 pounds.  My weight fluxuates drastically from day-to-day and I haven't gotten back on the scale since 9/1 and I have no idea if 268 is where I am, or if I've boomeranged back up.  I don't really want to know (I also baked a little bit - and sampled - this weekend, so there is that).

I am noticing a tighter tummy and muscles in my legs, so I know all is not for naught.  I had grand plans the other day to take measurements, so that I can see that change in addition to the scale, but for the life of me I could not find my tape measurer (even though I know there is one in my apartment).  So I'm either going to buy one or find mine...  And with my track history, I'll be much better off if I just purchase a new one.

I've been... pretty good about the gym since I last posted.  Not great.  I had a concussion last week and so I skimped on some workouts and skipped others.  The good news is that when I didn't feel up to working out, I didn't feel up to eating either.  School started last week and I'm working on finding a balance between school, homework, working out, and work (which starts this weekend).  I've also volunteered at a local therapeutic riding center one day a week, and that starts this weekend. 

September goals:

Acquire a tape measurer and take my measurements.  Post said measurements so that I can't lose them.

Stop getting on the scale once or twice a day.  Once a week is good.

No more than four fast-food meals this month (this accounts for the nights I have late classes and don't want to think about cooking a healthy meal at 8:30 at night).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

8/22: 1 hour step, 1 hour zumba
8/23: 1 hour body conditioning, 1 hour kickboxing
8/27: 1 hour step
8/28: 1 hour elliptical
8/29: 1 hour step
8/31: 30 mins elliptical
9/1: 1 hour body conditioning

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


A few weeks ago I was posting why I was embarrassed.  So, today, I thought I would write the things I'm proud about.

I am proud that I can now do a 30-second plank on my knees without getting all shaky and wobbly, collapsing to the ground, and wanting to throw up.  Next step, plank on my toes.

I am really freaking proud that I am waking up at 7:30 on Saturdays to get to the gym for an 8:30 body conditioning class and 9:30 Zumba.  And the funny thing is I feel pretty awake once I start working out; though, I'm ready for a nap around 2:00 in the afternoon now.

I am proud that I am lifting 5-pound and 6-pound weights.  A few weeks ago I started with the 3-pound weights; I am trying to increase one pound a week for a little while right now.

I am proud that I manage to go the right way (almost) all the time in Zumba and kickboxing; and before you laugh, this is a big accomplishment for me.

On the same thread, I am proud that I've only hauled off and punched myself once in kickboxing.  And I have not kicked, hit, or run into anybody in my classes, even when I am going the right way and they are not.  (Seriously, people?! Go the right way or stay away!)

I am proud of the fact that I can use the step for the entirety of the step class; when I started I ended up on the floor doing the same motions as the rest of the class for about 30 minutes and for a good long while, I just marched.  Now, I can keep up with the class on the step, and when I miss a move it's because I have no clue what they're doing, not because I'm too huffy and puffy.  (And I've only really fallen off the step once, so I'm proud of that!)  Yes, my step is flat on the ground without risers, but I'm planning to add those soon (once I stop falling and tripping on the step).

I am shocked proud that I am concerned about my plan for working out in a few weeks when my gym is closed for renovations (I'm not sure which classes will be cancelled, and which won't be).

I am proud of the way I can feel my body changing, even if all I feel are sore muscles.  I am noticing muscles developing, and even if I can't see them, I know once I lose the padding, the muscles will be there.

I am proud that I can keep up for not one, not two, but three hours of exercise.  Even if my brain doesn't think I can, my body is strong enough to do it.

And I am proud that I am doing this for me.  I want my body to get as healthy as I can get it; I'm losing the weight for me.  Not because of pressure from anybody else.  And this is the first time that this is really about me, and I am very proud of that.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

8/20: 1 hour Zumba
8/21: 1 hour body conditioning, 1 hour kickboxing, 1 hour Zumba

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Food Thoughts

I'm dealing with a lot of service dog drama right now which I'll talk about on my main blog later this week once I figure everything out, but suffice it to say I'm not going to be receiving my dog in September.  It will likely be November or December of this year.  And I'm really working hard not to eat my feelings.

I am an emotional-eater.  There is a difference between emotional eating, and binge eating.  I've done both.  I have always been an emotional eater; my entire life eating has been something relating to comfort and happy occasions.  I was a binge-eater when I was clinically depressed though.  When I binge-ate, it didn't matter what I was eating.  It only mattered that I ate.  I would cruise through the cabinets and freezer and refrigerator and eat anything and everything.  It didn't matter if it was a food I liked or hated; low-calorie/low-fat or full-everything, I ate it.  This stopped when I got the depression under control.

Now, I am just an emotional-eater.  I eat to feel happy.  To feel comforted.  I don't know if this mindset will ever change, so I'm trying to set myself up for success.  Keeping lots of fruit in the apartment to snack on.  Drinking a lot of water; sometimes up to 3 liters a day (when you drink this much water, you stay so full that the thought of eating doesn't even cross your mind).

I am also making smart(er) choices when I choose to eat for emotional reasons.  Sometimes, fruit and water don't cut it.  I don't buy"healthy" ice cream or other things like that; I buy the regular stuff.  When I need my ice cream fix (which is one of my "red-light" foods), I don't want the low-cal stuff.  Honestly, I'll end up eating more because I'm still looking to get that "fix" than if I start with the real ice cream to begin with.  So, instead of grabbing the tub of ice cream and a spoon and sitting on the couch, I'm making myself put ice cream into a mug so that there is a finite amount I can eat.  I won't go back and refill the coffee mug with ice cream, but I can sit and polish off an entire pint (or more) of ice cream without noticing.

So Friday night, after I had gotten "The News", I sat down with my mug of ice cream and then Saturday morning I got up early and worked out.  I'm refusing to let one bad day of eating or one slip-up force me into the "I-screwed-up" mentality that can derail the progress I'm making.  I'm going to work on getting my measurements soon so I can track my progress working out; but I'm already noticing muscles where they weren't before.  Which is really encouraging considering it's been two weeks of really hitting the gym hard; I was working out before that, but not at the same level.

Here's my workout tip: do classes!!!  I have no spacial awareness, no coordination, and I started with no stamina.  If I can make it through a Zumba or body conditioning class, anybody can.  And trust me, you won't be the worst person there; and even if you are, so what?  Nobody cares what anybody else looks like, they're all too worried about how they look.  And I don't go to the gym to look cool, I go to get healthy.  So instead of being upset that everybody in the class is lifting weights bigger than me, I'm excited because (depending on the exercise) I have already increased the amount I'm using 2-3 pounds.  And I'm planning on increasing my weight again this week.  Instead of being miffed that everybody in the step class has two-risers under their step, and my step is flat on the floor, I'm proud of the fact that I can stay on the step the entire class instead of a few months ago when I spent half the class huffing and puffing through the motions on the floor, ignoring the step all together.  (And step class is where my muscles are coming from; super hard quads and glutes already!  Totally recommend this class if you can find one.)

Here's the real reason behind going to a class though; you are obligated to stay.  If I don't feel well, or I get really tired working out on a treadmill or some other piece of equipment on the floor, I won't push myself as hard or I'll bail half-way through my workout.  In a class, if I put a foot in the door, I'm stuck in that class.  And I'm going to push myself as hard as I can to keep up.  And (I promise) that if you don't stare at the clock, time goes by really fast.

Case in point: Thursday I was running late to a 5:30 body conditioning class (the first one of the evening) and I showed up at 5:31 after they had already started.  This wouldn't matter to me, except that the class was full.  I couldn't see any room peeking in; but, I had been caught peeking in the room.  So I sucked it up, wormed my way into the back row, and I did the class.  If I had been trying to use an elliptical and they were all full, it would have just been "oh well".  But, because people in the class saw me (and recognized me as I'm starting to recognize the people who do the same classes I do), I had to go.  And once I drag my butt to the next class, I have to stay for that too.  It's being accountable to my workout in a different way, and I think I may have become a Y-junkie for life.

That being said, school starts in a week and I know some of my workouts are going to have to be at the gym on campus.  So I'm going to have to do it on my own; but as long as I have the same time blocked out and treat it like a real workout, I think I'll be okay 2 days a week.  I'm also going to look into maybe scheduling some personal training sessions at the Y when school starts if I'm struggling to keep up with my workouts; that way they can be very time-efficient and I will be very accountable to a trainer to show up on time and I won't be able to slack off.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

8/9: 1 hour Cardio Intervals/Core, 1 hour Yoga (last time in yoga; my body fought me the entire time, I was in pain, and there were tears shed)
8/10: 1 hour Zumba
8/11: 1 hour Zumba
8/13: 1 hour Zumba (ha! notice a trend?)
8/14: 1 hour body conditioning, 1 hour kickboxing, 1 hour Zumba
8/15: 1 hour step, 1 hour Zumba
8/16: 1 hour body conditioning, 1 hour kickboxing, 1 hour Zumba
8/18: 1 hour body conditioning, 1 hour Zumba

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I have gained weight.  13 pounds to be exact.  And I am horribly embarrassed to write that.  I wanted to not write it.  To keep it secret.  But this blog is my way of being accountable (even though nobody is actually reading it yet) and so here I am.  Being accountable?  Accounted?  Regardless; my weight on August 1 was 272 and some change (I don't remember).

And that was scary.  For the first time I was scared that I could let my weight creep up to 300.  I gain weight *really* fast; I hear other people talking about gaining two or three pounds; I gain ten or fifteen.  Like that.  Without even trying.  Or noticing.  Or whatever it is that you do when you don't notice a lot of weight gain.  That, in less than a month I gained 13 pounds was scary.

And I'm not stupid; I know how it happened.  The short version is I got Touretter-sick; meaning not contagious/virus sick but migraine/pinched nerve/anxiety sick.  I spent a week really under the weather; and then had to play catch-up to finish out the last two weeks of school.  I was at school or work all day long, eating multiple meals on-the-go, and sitting in front of a computer all day.  I didn't have the time to go to the gym or cook healthy meals.  I didn't feel good and I just wanted to get my schoolwork done up to my standards.  So I ate a lot of fast-food (and I justify it because some fast food is "better" than others.  Yeah, right.) and I sat around all day.  Then, school ended and I got Touretter-sick again; same thing.  Plus some serious food-intolerance issues; no clue why, but I couldn't keep anything down.  The only thing that sounded good was carbs; bread, mashed potatoes, and pasta.  And not the healthy stuff, the super-refined, no-nutritional-value, stuff.  And that was all I ate for a week or so.  While I was sitting on my couch, watching Lifetime movies, and not working out.  And then, I started feeling better and I got on the scale.  Yikes!

So, like any mentally-healthy person would do (ha!), I got seriously depressed about my weight.  I was angry about the medications and the weight gain and the doctors.  I was frustrated with my metabolism and everything else wrong in my body that is stopping me from loosing weight.  Including my own crappy attitude.  And to have more to feel sorry about, I was grumpy about my Tourette's and how it plays into my weight.  (Read the funk-i-tude in it's entirety here.)

It's a week or so after that post now and I'm in a better head-space.  I'm not perfect by any means.  But I'm getting there.  I'm closer to being mentally-healthy than I was two weeks ago, and I'm working out again.  Yesterday I weighed 268 pounds; my first goal is to lose that 13 pounds I gained, so I can be back down to 259.  And then I'll slowly start chipping away to my first *big* goal: 199 pounds.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Workouts this week so far include:

8/7: 50 mins Body Conditioning (legs, arms, abs, ouch!), 50 mins Kickboxing, 50 mins Pilates (my first and last time in a pilates class; it wasn't taught by an instructor who knew what they were doing - she referred to magazine photocopies the entire class - and not only could I not do any of it, I giggled the whole way through and then had a BIG tic attack afterwards.  So, no more pilates for me.) :D
8/8: 50 mins Step, 50 mins Zumba

The plan for tomorrow: 1 hour Cardio Intervals/Core (sounds... daunting), and 1 hour yoga

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I want...

...to be able to buy clothes at the mall in a "regular" person store.  Instead of online because stores don't sell plus-size clothing in the actual store (Old Navy I'm looking at you) or in plus-size stores.

I want to be able to be comfortable when teaching; which in the lower elementary special education world means being comfortable kneeling, squatting, chasing, and everything in between.

I want to be able to walk Owen without feeling disgusting or (worse) getting tired too early.

I want to sit in an airplane seat without the arm-rests digging into my hips and feeling as though I'm encroaching on the person next to me (more than my tics already do).

I want to be able to look at pictures of myself without hating what I see.

I want to be able to ride a horse again; any horse I want without fear that I'm going to hurt them because I weigh too much.  I want to dance through dressage moves and fly over jumps and not be self-conscious about how I look.

I want to be able to buy cute clothes.  And wear dresses.  I have no fashion sense, but all the same, I want to look cute instead of wearing things that disguise my weight and blend into the background.

I want to be able to walk up more than one flight of stairs without feeling out of breath.

I want to be healthy.  My body is failing on so many levels; it is a matter of time before I get something like arthritis or permanently damage a joint that needs surgery to fix.  I don't want to be sitting in a doctor's office (ugh) having them telling me I'm pre-diabetic or that my cholesterol is too high or any one of the things that I could face.

I want to wear bright colors and not be self conscious.

I want to be able to sit down in jeans and not be uncomfortable because the waist band digs into my stomach.

I want to feel confident in my body.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My "not-a-vision" Board

Because I have historically laughed at people who use vision boards (I'm a terrible person, I know).  But...  it was suggested by my psychologist that I give it a try because there is basically no other motivation intrinsic or extrinsic that makes me want to exercise.

And when you look at it from a behaviorist standpoint - which I am wont to do, because I am after all, a behaviorist - it makes sense.  I have had 6 years of shaping because of those damn pills.  Six years where nothing I did made a difference, so what was supposed to be intrinsically motivation (I work out, I lose weight) suddenly wasn't.  And there wasn't an extrinsic motivator strong enough to get me to work out consistently.

But, I think I have finally found an extrinsic motivator strong enough to convince me to work out until the intrinsic motivation kicks in.

Can you figure out what the motivator is?

It dawned on me when I graduated in May, that in a year (plus a little bit) I will be an employed individual, hopefully as a teacher and living somewhere with a relatively low cost of living where I won't be totally struggling to make ends meet.  And even if I am, so what?  I have been a horse rider nearly all of my life, only stopping during college because of study requirements and lack of money to spend on lessons.  I tried to keep it up, but never did.  And, I am my heaviest now after 4 years of no riding.  Coincidence?  I'll let you decide.

I love off-the-track-Thoroughbreds and would love nothing more than to be able to buy one once I start working.  They are my absolute favorite to work with and I do dressage and jumping.  But I can't do any of that unless I'm in shape (yes, my riding muscles are gone and there's only one way to get those back, but I'm talking about the rest of me).  So, I figured that if I start working out and getting in shape now, in one year I will be where I want to be.  And, coincidentally, in one year I will be an employed adult capable of purchasing a horse.  Funny how things like that work out...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My workouts for the last week:

6/20: 50 mins step class, 50 mins zumba class, 50 mins cycle class
6/22: 30 mins elliptical at home (I couldn't make it to the early classes and I didn't want to work out at night)
6/23: 50 mins body conditioning (Ow!), 30 mins blitz cycle
6/25: 50 mins step, 50 mins zumba, 50 mins cycle

And I'm planning on a long day at the gym tomorrow both before and after working in the clinic at school!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Today's the day...

...my life begins.

Okay, so it was yesterday.  But I'm a huge Grey's Anatomy fan and I was watching a super super sad really good episode the other day in which a car full of soon-to-be college graduates crashes and *spoiler alert* the only one who ends up surviving is the valedictorian and that's how she starts her speech (which she gives to the doctors because she's stuck in the hospital and all her friends are dead).

Today's the day my life begins.

I joined my YMCA earlier this week, which considering it's all of 1 minute's drive from my apartment and is brand new and super nice looking, probably should have happened a long time ago.  But regardless, I am officially a member of the YMCA.  I have a card with my picture on it and everything.

Yesterday I actually went into the gym for the first time, as opposed to just staying in the entrance by the customer service desk.  And I may have gone a little overboard, but I'm still able to walk today so I guess it could have been worse.  I did a step class, a zumba class and a cycle class.  Three hours of back-to-back exercise when the most I've done in a year has been going up the stairs to my apartment and walking around campus.  It was brutal.

I made a calculated error in the step class, which was totally my fault.  If you've never done a step class, they're mildly torturous highly engaging and a good work out.  The last time I did a step class I was a freshman or sophomore and in considerably better shape.  But, nevertheless because it was the first class of the night and I wasn't in mortal agony tired yet, I thought it was a good idea to put one riser under my step.  Really good people do two or (yikes!) more, but I thought one was playing it safe.  Was I ever wrong!  I'm going back to the class because it is an insanely good work out, but I'm dropping down to just the step on the floor.  Because, not only are you up and down the step a gazillion times in an hour, but they have you crossing your feet over it, doing flying leaps over it and acrobatics.  At least that's how it looked to me, who could barely get the basic step and the turning down.  Forget "horse shoeing" and "L-stomps".

And I'd like to say I think I'll get better at the steps used in the class, but I really doubt I will.  All I'm going to hope for is to not look like a complete and utter fool.  Which, coming from the girl who is literally left and right dyslexic - I know which hand is which but the second I'm doing a task, forget it - that's about as good as it's going to get.

Knowing that about my coordination, or more appropriately lack-thereof, I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions as to how zumba went.

I haven't weighed in this week, and I'm going to give working out a week or so to sink in before I do.  I think I'm going to post photographs of my progress starting next month and then post a photo on the first of every month thereafter.  I was reading (on pinterest) the other night something one of my friends had pinned that said...

It takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing.  It takes 8 weeks for friends and family.  And it takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world.

I figure that by putting up photographs it will help me to see a visual of how my body is changing (hopefully) if I struggle seeing it day-to-day.  Since this is a brand new idea I don't have a photo for this month (seeing as it's almost July and how much change are you going to notice in one week), so here's a photo from my graduation weekend of me with my dad.  This was... the middle of May, but close enough.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Absentee Blogger

So I'm apparently as terrible a blogger for this blog as I am for my other one.  And I'm also a coward.  True story.  You see, I talk a big game; I was so brave I typed my weight and put it out there for all the world to see.  And what do I do?  Nothing.

I don't promote this blog one bit.  So I guess I'm not really all that brave after all.

And I haven't started a huge work out regimen either; truth be told...  I've been sleeping.  A lot.  I know that it's been proven that lack of sleep leads to weight problems and if there's one thing I would love to change about my current health it would be the sleep issue.  I'm tired; all the time.  It isn't something that comes and goes, it's something that I've apparently needed two weeks to recover from.  I have these nasty permanent black eyes from lack of sleep, and they've finally been reduced to mere shadows.  I've been sleeping whenever my body tells me to, and I've been sleeping as long as it tells me to (with the exception of a few "early" work mornings).  And I feel better.  But not great.  I certainly don't have enough energy to wake up and jump on my elliptical in the morning and I've been staying away from stimulants lately.  I have a love-hate-love relationship with coffee.  It isn't just a love-hate relationship; it's circular.  I get off the coffee bandwagon and stop drinking it all together.  I get "clean".  Then, I slowly start creeping up again.  One coffee here and there, then a coffee a few mornings a week.  Then a coffee every morning.  Then they become triple-shots at Starbucks.  And then before you know it I'm convincing myself that a double-shot afternoon pick-me-up is just what I need.  So I stop drinking the coffee until the next moment of weakness.  Right now I'm in a no-caffeine no-green tea phase.  It'll end soon I'm sure.

The sleep issue stems from the Tourette's.  I never had any sleep disturbance or insomnia issues until the diagnosis.  You would think that with the amount of moving I do my body would be exhausted by the end of the day, unable to move much less fight sleep (you would also think that I would burn an insane amount of calories but alas, that's what metabolism-killing drugs will do to you).  But you would be wrong.  See... my brain is constantly "ON".  It's like somebody flicked a switch and my brain is always having to be hypervigillant and aware of everything.  I am always blocking tics.  And you get used to it; I am more aware of my subconscious than the majority of the population is.  But that's because I have to be.  I have to stay one step ahead of the tics.  But when it's time to go to sleep I can't just flick the switch to the "OFF" position and rest.  The second I try to turn my brain off I lose control.  I tic.  Uncontrollably.  Two nights ago I came thisclose to throwing myself out of bed and bashing my skull into the night stand.   And it's happened before.  So as soon as that happens I have to turn my brain back on to get control, and then start all over again.  I read a lot at night, the same books over and over and over, trying to get my brain to shut down on its own.  And it works, mostly.  But it also means it takes me over an hour most nights to fall asleep.  I read somewhere it takes the average person 7 minutes (minutes!) to fall asleep.  I about died laughing.  So the sleep thing compounded with the constant movement and constant mental exertion is what does me in and is why I've spent two weeks doing nothing but sleeping a lot.  And I'm not ashamed to admit that.

I'm being mindful about what I eat, only eating when I get hungry and trying not to snack, but I haven't made the best food choices lately.  For now, that's about all I'm capable of doing.  I'm hoping that once my work schedule for the summer starts I'll have to force my body into more of a routine, which will allow me to work working out into my schedule.  I really don't do good with a lot of down time; I'm very bad at convincing myself to do things I need to do.  And it doesn't help that I woke up this morning with only one functioning foot and I haven't slept properly the last few nights.  Zzzzzz....

I have been crocheting like a banshee trying to get enough items amassed to open my etsy store.  So that's helping with my weight loss indirectly.  If both of my hands are busy with yarn I can't eat. :)

I weighed myself yesterday; 256.4 pounds.  And never again.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Losing It

I'm losing it; in pretty much every permutation of the phrase.  But specifically, I'm losing it.  The weight I've put on since I was diagnosed.  The weight gained from six years of metabolism-killing medication.  Six years of not only medications, but of bouts of binge-eating and crappy eating habits.  It seems easy to blame the weight on my disability, that doing that is an easy way out.  Doing so is a half-truth though; not the only reason I am where I am, but a good portion of it.

The weight was gained because of my disability.  I was never overweight before; I was never a small child, but I was healthy and active.  Then I started binging.  I'm an emotional eater, and baker... and then I eat what I bake.  But when I was clinically depressed at 14, I was a binge eater.  It seems soooo overtly cliched, but it's a cliche because it's true.  I ate because it was something I could control in my life.  In a world where you can't control anything except your food intake, you binge.  This went on about a year until I got on medications for the depression and anxiety.  The meds made the depression go away and with it the binging, but on medication I gained 50 pounds in 6 months.

It was during all of this that I was being diagnosed with Tourette's (lucky me).  Then we started the battery of Tourette Syndrome medications; Tenex and Orap then Clonidine and Risperdal.  The anti-psychotics (Orap and Risperdal) were the worst offenders for weight gain, and while I was only on Risperdal for 48-hours, I was on the Orap for months.  Fast-forward again about a year, now I'm off all the Tourette's "treatments", but they put me on Pamelor, an anti-depressant, for my chronic migraines.


The migraines go away... more or less.  But in there place, more and more weight.  I knew the pills could cause weight gain; but I was scared of the migraines.  I didn't just have migraines; I had MIGRAINES.  Migraines so bad I wished I were dead because at least then I wouldn't be in pain; so bad I wanted to bash my head into the floor or into the walls because that pain would take my mind off the migraine for a few moments.  So bad that I would spend days throwing up and unable to eat because I was nauseous or because my teeth were so sensitive it hurt to inhale cold air, much less eat.  I was terrified that if I got off those pills the migraines would be back; and that future was too scary.  And surely the weight gain would stop eventually... I could be happy at 180 pounds.  195.  200.  220...

Except the weight gain didn't stop.  No matter what I did, no matter how well or how badly I ate, I gained weight.  Maybe the weight gain would be slow, maybe it would be quick, but it was always there.  Omnipresent.  So that in 6 years my brain trained itself not to care.

(And now the teacher in me is going to come out for a moment...)  I am a behaviorist; I study behaviors: what leads up to a behavior, what the function of a behavior appears to be, and what the consequence for that behavior is.  I know that I was being punished for trying to get healthy.  Punished, because the consequences (weight gain) were decreasing the likelihood that I would continue trying to be healthy.  In the last six years there have been prolonged times in my life I have tried to get healthy; times I have counted points and calories and worked out regularly.  Times where I have been fit.  And there have been times where I will eat ice cream for dinner and not work out for months at a time.  What I'm saying, is that I've run the gambit in six years for health; but none of it mattered.  I gained weight no matter what because of the pills.

And I'm sure some of you are shaking your heads saying, "but you were healthier".  "That's no reason to stop trying to get healthy".  "Maybe you just didn't try hard enough."  I have been accused of many things, but lazy has never been one of them.  Put yourself in my shoes for a minute; no matter what you do, you get heavier.  Every few months or so you have to go up a pants size.  Even when you're toned, you're still gaining weight.  On top of that you're in chronic pain.  Your body is always exhausted because it moves in ways it's not supposed to; your legs and arms are constantly moving even when you don't want them to.  The mere thought of working out is tiring.  Eventually the "so what" mentality sinks in and you give up.  It's gradual; you have bouts of "this time I can do it" and then you try again for a few weeks or months, until the number on the scale keeps rising and you have to go buy a new wardrobe. 

Today, I weigh 259.6 pounds.  I hemmed and hawed about writing that number and putting it out there.  But, really?  The things I wrote on my other blog are so much more personal than that.  Than a number.  259.6 so what?  It's just a number.  It's nothing to be embarrassed about.  Putting up videos of me losing control of my body and voice?  Embarrassing.  Writing about how out of control I feel and how the only thing keeping me sane during the last week before graduation is medication?  Embarrassing.  Writing how much I weigh?  Not so.

This isn't about me losing weight though; it's about getting healthy.  It's about feeling comfortable in my clothes.  About knowing that even though I'm going to be in constant pain, that I will be giving my body a fighting chance.  That I'll be alleviating unnecessary stress on my joints, hopefully delaying the onset of arthritis and carpal tunnel (which if you saw the way my hands and legs move, you would agree are at this point inevitable).  It's about trying to help my body function as best it can, because truthfully, Tourette Syndrome is just the tip of the ice berg; nothing I have is life-threatening, but it's not good either.

I have all the tools necessary; I am finally once and for all, off the pills.  I'm taking - a butt load of - supplements.  Glucosamine to help my joints; green tea supplements to boost my metabolism and energy; vitamin D because I live where the sun never shines; homeopathic migraine pills...  But nothing that could even remotely cause weight gain.  I'm starting graduate school in a month, and as backwards and stupid as it sounds, I will have more time on my hands then I do now.  And I have motivation.  I'm going to have to be able to keep up with a dog in 5 months.  I'm going to have to make sure that it gets enough exercise on days that I'm not working.  I want to do agility with the dog so that it has time that isn't just about work.  But for this, I need to be healthy.  And I'm going to hold myself accountable to the internet; do I expect anybody to be reading this?  No... not really.  But I'm going to keep posting regardless.

I'm not going to weigh myself again until I am back in Spokane for memorial day weekend.  Not because I'm giving myself a reprieve until then; I'm not planning a huge binge between now and then.  I know though, that if I say I'm going to start now I will fail.  I am barely in a good place with my mental health, I'm still taking anti-anxiety pills to sleep at night and to ward off the YOU'REGOINGTODIE thoughts my brain is so great at producing.  I'm tired of setting myself up for failure; I have all the things in place I need to succeed except my mental health.  And I'm giving myself three weeks to get that in place.  Three weeks to sleep and rest my brain and body.  Three weeks without work and school to stress me out.  Three weeks to eat relatively healthy and be active; but I'm not getting on a scale or doing anything else to gauge my progress.  Because if it goes the wrong direction, I will be discouraged and I will fail again.

259.6 and never again.