Thursday, February 7, 2013

My brain is still fat

I've been over 200 pounds for most of my adult life and I really thought I was never going to lose weight - though I was desperate to do so. Being fat has occupied more of my waking thoughts than just about anything else in my life for the last 10 or so years. I used to walk into a room and immediately "size up" everyone there to see if I was the biggest. I used to wonder what it was like to not always be thinking about being a big girl and how badly I wanted to be thinner - not even thin, just not fat.

I wasn't always fat. In fact, I was downright skinny back in the day. The fact that I gained weight after those formative high school years led to an interesting dichotomy in my body dysmorphia, one where I would feel so fat and ashamed of myself sometimes and other times like I wasn't overweight at all. The latter definitely contributed to me not losing weight before now. I mean, why not have that 3rd slice of cake? I'm not that fat, right?

While losing weight has been a very positive journey for me, my brain still hasn't caught up. For instance, I have no idea what size I am anymore. I don't mean this just in terms of clothing, just in general. There are days when I feel just as fat as my biggest day and sometimes just walking by a full-length mirror can be a jarring experience. I no longer walk into a room and determine who the biggest person is. I don't feel panicked wondering if the the armrests of a chair are going to dig into my sides. There are just all of these things that, after a DECADE of anxious thoughts, just don't exist anymore.

The unfortunate part about the my brain is that all of these anxious thoughts have just been replaced by new anxious thoughts. When people ask how much weight I've lost and I tell them 50 pounds, they are always astonished and for a moment, I'm damn proud of myself. Unfortunately, on the heels of that pride sits disbelief; it feels like I'm telling a lie because even I don't believe it. It's as if, behind it all, I still feel like I will fail or one day I will just wake up and those 50 pounds will be right back on my ass.

As of today, I still have another 50 pounds I would like to lose and it's just as daunting as the first 50. Some days it feels like I'm just hitting the reset button. I still feel fat, just a new version. I still get as upset about the areas of my body I hate and how they look when I've tried on something too small in the dressing room and how I feel like I will never get to where I want to be with myself. I honestly had no idea that teaching my brain to lose weight would be as hard as teaching my body, but I'm learning.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Here I am and what I've learned

I know you've all been waiting with bated breath for my return, so here I am! Where have I been? You know, just living the dream. Life in the last few months has been interesting, mostly in the 'WTF' kind of way and every time I opened this page to blog, my brain would just shut down like I had opened too many programs on the computer. Fear not, my sarcasm and derby obsession have returned to regale you with my tales of awesome and not-so-awesomeness...

As of today, I am 43lbs down and working hard to knock out another 7 lbs to hit my original goal as well as an important personal goal for myself. Through all 43 of these pounds, its been an adventure of self-discovery.

Being successful at losing weight forces you to get in tune with your body - which, by the way seems like a total contradiction of every weight loss program out there. Calories in versus calories out is the basis of losing weight, duh, but for me its much more about what I need that day and keeping a balance of eating healthy and knowing when your body (and mind!) needs a cheat.

There are days when I eat a cupcake for breakfast, Twizzlers for lunch, and Mexican for dinner and other days where I drink a giant coffee for breakfast and have nothing until I eat grilled fish and vegetables for dinner. Granted, I don't eat nearly as much as I used to, but I still eat plenty of junk. Could I lose weight much faster if I jumped on a treadmill 7 days a week and ate nothing but brown rice and grilled chicken? Of course, but I'd also be the angriest person ever and that would last for a few months at most.

I do have to say that I don't think I could have started losing weight with this method because what I thought I was eating versus how much I was really eating needed to be addressed and counting calories helped me get to that point. Once my body adjusted to eating less and I started losing weight and weighing daily, I began recognizing patterns and using them to my advantage. More about this later :)

For now, I'm feeling good about my progress and getting a little more used to my body every day. Some days I feel like I don't recognize myself. My body feels "pointier" and I'm losing weight in the weirdest places (collarbones?), but not enough in other places (stomach fat, ugh). This is definitely the best thing I have done for myself in a long time.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Phase II - Lose More Weight

Ok, here I am sitting on 34 pounds lost and feeling pretty pleased with my progress so far, but also like I haven't done nearly enough. There are days when I feel like, 'dang, I'm really losing weight!' and then many other times I am like, 'WHY ARE YOU STILL SO FAT, FATTY?!'

When I shop, I still pick up clothes in my old sizes and then think, 'well this one must just be cut big' and am always surprised when the smaller size actually fits ('it must just be cut big?'). The few pairs of cotton panties that I own are all too baggy on me, but I just think, 'well, it must just be old and not holding it's shape'. My brain refuses to catch up to my body and there is a part of me is afraid that if I start actually acknowledging change, I will gain those 34 pounds back instantaneously and never lose again. Because that's logical, right?

With the start of the home team season getting ever closer and another weekend of outdoor team fun and poolside activities on the horizon, I have plenty of dates to use for goal setting.

Independence Day (duh) - To have lost 36 lbs
Rat City Bout (August 10th) - To have lost 46 lbs
Scare Force One Death Camp (August 25) - To have lost 55 lbs
Season Opener (mid October?) - To have lost 65 lbs
My Birthday (mid January) - To be at my goal weight - TBA!

I'm sure you've noticed that my goals have gotten a bit more conservative than in the beginning. Sometimes it's easy for me to lose and sometimes I just cannot get my mind and body in the same place. I've also gotten a little complacent about tracking, but am still paying attention to what I eat. In fact, my last 5 lbs lost was with little to no tracking at all.

One thing I have learned about my body and food is that if I pay attention to what makes my body feel good, I will lose weight. I still have super cravings and I still indulge them, but the difference is that my mind has figured out how not to go overboard. If I wake up and want ice cream for breakfast, I have it, but I don't get crazy with it and I know I will need to compensate with healthy options later (most of the time this actually happens). I don't beat myself up about poor food choices, I just commit to better ones at the next meal.

Even though when it comes to clothes and my body image, my brain doesn't want to acknowledge that I have lost weight, when I put my skates on, my body can tell the difference. It's incredible how such a seemingly small change in weight has made me feel like there are actually wheels on the bottom of my feet and not cinder blocks. I know my speed has improved, my agility has improved, and I feel like with every pound lost, I'm a better player and for once, I don't even think it's all in my mind.

Losing weight has been such a complex journey and it seems never-ending. It may well end up being the hardest, most mental challenge I have ever encountered other than derby and here I am trying to do both simultaneously while attempting to live life in general. With anything, if you let yourself get overwhelmed about how far you have to go, it seems insurmountable.

Remember that every avalanche once was once a bunch of snowflakes. Put your head down, push forward, and take the little victories as they come. Build your own avalanche.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ECDX Recap

Holy shit ECDX was incredible. I don't tend to get excited about a lot and in fact, I'm pretty sure my face probably only let on that I was a smidge above bored, but on the inside - SENSORY OVERLOAD. From the minute we pulled up, it was like I was transported to some kind of Disney show based on a derby girl boarding school crossed with Girls Gone Moderately Wild. Oh hi chatting with Suzy Hotrod at check in... Oh hi jam coaching IM Pain... Oh hi being told by Miss Fortune to "stay relevant in the pack". At the pool sipping a beer at 3pm... watching high-level derby at 3:02. All in a days work, right?

If you ever start to feel your derby spark wane, a trip to ECDX is what the doctor ordered and if that doesn't do it, just quit now. Something about being around all of those incredible skaters makes you want to put on your skates and not take them off the whole weekend. It sends you back home with your fire stoked and your foot primed for kicking ass. For me, it reminded me how much I have come to love this game in such a little time. I hope that the excitement I brought back translates into energy that I can put into co-captaining my incredible team because it takes that love of the sport to keep going.

Along the weekend I picked up a few more derby idols because, can one have too many?

Vicious Van GoGo (R)
All rights reserved by Dave Wood Photography
#1 Vicious Van GoGo (Texacutioners) - At first I wanted to hate on Texas because I really like Montreal, but Vicious Van GoGo has won my derby heart with her incredible footwork and ability to find holes in the pack. She has zero hesitation when she needs to move fast and infinite patience when she needs to let her blockers do some work. Also, she smiles the entire time, people.

#2 Soulfearic Acid (Wheels of Justice) - Like everyone I was ridiculously excited to watch Rose City take on Gotham. I was also really bummed when Scald Eagle went out with an injury her very first time taking the track because I think it would have been a very different game - not that Scald Eagle is that incredible (I mean, she is), but because that WoJ jammer rotation is ridiculous. Soulfearic held it down against Gotham. I'm pretty sure the girl never even got winded despite jamming 3/5 jams. How often to you see Gotham attempt to make huge hits and completely miss? Hardly.
Smack Daddy (L) & Lil Mama (R)
All rights reserved by Frightmare DCRG

#3 All of Wheels of Justice - See above. Watch bout. See score. "Peg-assist".

#4 Smack Daddy (Montreal Roller Derby) - Ok, I feel like a cheater for this one because she never even had skates on the whole weekend, but wow. I heart Smack Daddy. She could have her own "hey girl, meme".

#5 The Pool - Even for those who capital L-O-V-E derby, sometimes you need a little break. At ECDX? No problem. Exit rink two, walk out door, cross parking lot, jump in pool. It's like magic, people. Twenty minutes out by the pool and you are ready for 3 more hours of derby watching. It's that simple.

The pool at the Sportsplex at ECDX. Not unlike being in an episode of The L Word.
So I'll see you next year, right?

p.(mfing)s. I managed to lose another pound before ECDX so I failed just a little bit less.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So much stuff.

To the eight or so people who care, I have SO MUCH TO TELL YOU.

First, where the hell have I been?! Well, life kicked me in the teeth and shanked me while I was down. Things in the personal world have basically sucked and all of that suckiness lead to a mental meltdown that allowed me to start 27 blog postings, but not finish one. My brain convinced me that I suck at life so bad, that what the hell is the point? I'm not sad, y'all. Just telling you how it is.

Moving on... I failed. Yes, the dreaded failure. I did not make my goal of 50lbs lost by ECDX (insert wahhh wahhh wahhh noise), but did however make it to 33 and I am damn proud and still going. Thirty three pounds lost puts me .8 pounds lower than the lowest weight I have seen on the scale since I was about 18. Even more importantly than the fact that I finally broke through this godawful plateau, is the fact that I did it while facing some tough life challenges - a time when I would usually eat for comfort and I didn't! You could piss directly in my Cheerios today and I wouldn't even care.

Lastly - and maybe most importantly - I was asked to be co-captain of my team. ME! Me of only skating one year! Though let's be honest, I'm pretty certain this has less to do with my track skills and more to do with my passion for derby, my big mouth, and propensity to run shit. I just hope I do a good job for my team because I love them hoes!

Ok, enough updates for now. Tomorrow I head off to my very first ECDX with stars in my eyes and skates in my bag. I somehow managed to snag a spot on the Antiks v Riedell team AND become captain. If you'll be at ECDX and you see me wandering around or shouting trackside, please come say 'hi'. I only bite if you want me to.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ready, set, SPRINT!

Because nothing I do ever gets done any sooner than seconds before the the last possible minute, I don't know why I ever thought weight loss would be any different. Let's evaluate, shall we?

Goals Set on Day 66
Goal #1 - To have lost 35lbs by Championships (5/12) FAIL!
Goal #2 - To have lost 45lbs by our Deja Bruise Ball (6/16) PROBABLY FAIL!
Goal #3 - To have lost 50lbs by ECDX (6/22) MIGHT FAIL!

Due to the abrupt return to real life I experienced post-championships, I ended up on an unscheduled vacation from skating and most exercise, although I've still been eating well for the most part. I've decided, however, that tomorrow will be my full-time return to getting back in shape.

If you remember my last post about goals, I should be around the 35-38ish pounds lost range, but yet here I am at only 29lbs lost which leaves 2.5 short weeks to lose 16 pounds and 3.5 weeks to lose 21. Things are looking bleak, people.

Don't worry though, I'm no quitter. On the agenda for this week is gym time, getting back on skates, helping teach at Derby 101 and back at normal practice on Saturday morning. Basically I'm just going to kick ass. A lot of it.

Stay tuned, I'm about to make my flabby arms and thunder thighs my bitches.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Never enough

28 pounds and 6 months
Photo (left) courtesy of James Calder Photography
I'm still riding pretty high on this season's victory, but looming ever closer are thoughts about next season and what part I will play. Of course, I want to be faster, stronger, and a more dependable partner on the track. I want to be thinner and healthier. I want to juke better, plow on a dime, be aware of everything on the track...

In short, I want to be awesome. You know, like every other derby girl out there.

To date I've lost 28 pounds and have been bobbing at this same weight for a couple weeks now. I feel like I have come so far and yet also like I've hardly made any progress. I wonder if it's common to feel simultaneously proud of yourself and frustrated that you haven't gotten farther?

The fact that I feel like I can never be content has been both a blessing and a curse in my life. In relationships I've been accused of never being happy, but I swear that's not the case. It's more like a need, a necessity, to do better, have better, be better. The fear that someone is nipping at my heels, ready to eclipse my success or that someone doesn't trust my ability to do something feels like it may as well be fatal sometimes. The good part that comes from this sense of urgency is that I have become good at a lot of things and been a "go-to" person in many parts of my life.

In a way, it feels like now is the real start of my derby career. Most of the newbie-ness is gone and I can no longer use the excuse that I am a rookie. For me it's not I will I be better next season, but how much better will I be? I guess time will tell. Until then, full speed ahead!