Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas at 265 pounds

My weight fluctuated around the 265 pound mark over the holidays. I want to capture a couple of things before the new year gets underway and I forget.

I wrote about my hopes for Christmas 2011 in this post. To be honest, most of the things I hoped to accomplish did not happen. I did eat crappy, packaged, processed treats throughout the month. Yet I am certain that without keeping records on this blog and making something of an effort, I would have done far worse (eaten far more junk, and likely every day).

I did put on a nice Christmas for my family, including a lovely meal and homemade cookies and eggnog. The house looked nice. But I want to be honest here: my ankles and back hurt like hell from standing in the kitchen. At this weight, I have very little stamina and my body aches when I exert myself more than usual. I also wore lounging clothes and the apron I cooked in during Christmas dinner because I didn't have the energy to fix myself up. I don't say these things to berate myself, but to get real. I tend to look at pictures of the cute little cookies I made and forget the rest of the story--that I looked and felt miserable making them. Others enjoyed them, but was it worth it to mess with sugar and eat scraps of damaged cookies and taste test and generally hurt my health? I'm not so sure.

The day after Christmas, I took my guests grocery shopping to stock up for the rest of their visit. They threw TONS of packaged junk into the cart: cheap ice cream bars, brownies, snack cakes, spice cake, sugar cookies. I'm not used to having that amount of stuff in my house and I'm trying to give that crap up for good, so I'm ashamed to say I ate more of it than anyone else. I have more difficulty than they do eating it moderately; for whatever reason, it's more stimulating to me. When they left a few days later, I did pack what was feasible for their road trip and threw the rest away. But not the remaining ice cream bars. Those I ate, when the house was finally quiet and I was alone. I did it to de-stress and promptly felt sick and depressed the rest of the day.

On the Wednesday after Christmas, I took them sightseeing and was hobbling by the end of our tour. Walking and standing for several hours in the cold caused me to be stiff for most of the next day as well. So stiff, in fact, that I couldn't walk down the stairs normally. It's frightening. Getting 70 pounds off my joints (i.e. getting down to 200 pounds) would be a massive favor to my body, wouldn't it?

My dad's addiction to cigarettes really saddened me on the day of our sightseeing tour. He wasn't able to truly enjoy himself because he was constantly focused on when he'd next get to smoke. I couldn't help seeing the parallels to my own food/sugar addiction. I understand the feeling of "IF I DON'T GET MY FIX RIGHT NOW I'M GOING TO LOSE IT", and I know I've failed to appreciate many interesting and beautiful things on trips (and during everyday life, too) because I'm too distracted by my addiction. I want better for myself, and I want to be a better example to others. I also want better dental health than he's got in his middle age; smoking has done a number on his teeth, but how can constant sugar intake be much better for the teeth and gums?

Last thing...I did not complain when people wanted to take pictures and videos of me during these activities, but I know they will be hard to look at. And if I have to watch video footage at some subsequent family gathering in the company of others --even the very people that were there with me, in person-- I know I will feel mortified. I kept telling myself "these are your 'before' photos, this will be your 'before' video too", just to get through it.

My home scale now shows something closer to 270 pounds. It's a basic analog scale that I have trouble reading; I rely on the gym's digital scale for official records. I'm eager to move on and start shedding this weight in earnest. I've got some ideas and plans for 2012 that I will write about soon. I know next Christmas doesn't have to be this way.

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