Monday, January 21, 2008

A Midwinter's Tale

This is one of those posts I've contemplated repeatedly, then discarded in favor of stories more fun to tell. But the time has come, I suppose, for a little self-disclosure. I don't write a lot of heart-wrenching personal journey stuff because I feel like there's plenty out there that is more compelling and better written. But this is a big part of who I am, so here we are.
I need to lose weight. I've probably needed to lose weight since I was eight years old, though the amount and proportion has changed over time. When I was in high school I was mocked for my size, though looking back at the pictures I am puzzled, since I wasn't particularly grotesque, but random cruelty is a reality of high school that a lot of people experienced in one form or another so, whatever. I will mention, though, that the table of former jocks and beautiful people at my 10th high school reunion somehow got invaded with a handful of paunchy almost-thirty-year-olds with thinning hair. The karma train always runs on time, kids.
So anyway, with the weight loss thing. I've had a lot of stops and starts, some success and eventual return to old habits, but I'm staring down the barrel at 40 and realize that family heredity is dealing some cards to me that I do not want to double down. So its time to stop with the grand plans and make some practical progress.
Most of my help comes from Sparkpeople, a very useful site that is a mashup of every self help book you ever read, a warehouse of cookbooks, trackers, and calculators, and MySpace. Just go there and be mindboggled. I've been a member nearly a year, recently serious about it, and making progress. There are teams, and challenges, and encouraging and fun things you can do with other people that are nothing at all like the humiliating flag football games in 8th Grade. I promise.
I started by eliminating the closest thing to drug abuse I've ever engaged in; eating fast food. I realized that it was one of those things I couldn't bargain with, couldn't rationalize as a 'once in a while' deal; I simply had to not go there anymore period ever for any reason even if it was cold and wolves were chasing me. I've managed to live a whole month so far without any discernible evil befalling me for not going there.
I have committed to some pretty cool goals for 2008, most of them involve moving more and being smaller and I won't bore you with all the details, but I may check in now and again and talk about how its going. Because a lot of it sucks and schadenfreude being what it is, it should make for some humorous reading material. Once I get a little ways down the road, I'll give you some stats so you know where I actually started. Or you can join Sparkpeople and look for SHIELDMAIDEN96 and you'll see it unfold in all its messy glory.
And the flying squirrel? I've adopted it as my mascot because its probably what I'll look like when I'm done. I'm okay with that. I may even get me some aviator goggles.


Beware: Social Worker on the edge said...

Good luck with your journey hon. I am in the same boat and it almost sounds like you are writing my

I joined sparkle too, but have yet to do much with it other than reading.

I am Taylor over there.


Tricia said...

Wow I can so relate! To every single thing you said - even looking at pictures from junior high when I was just slightly pudgy and wondering why I was tortured for that when I'd LOVE to be that thin today. I am also on Sparkpeople think my ID is TriciaR1970 but I've not been that active there - I should get back to it. I am also facing family hereditary diseases knocking on my door - my blood pressure is high (treated to keep it lower) and diabetes is looming if I don't do something. So for me too 2008 is it. Doesn't hurt that we may put together a 20th reunion for the class of 1988 sometime later in the year and I don't want to look like this. :)

Tricia said...

oh and because I'm new to this whole blogging thing (in my 3rd week now) and I got tagged with a meme (still trying to figure out wtf that is) and I don't have very many blog friends and I like reading your posts I am tagging you! Do with it what you will! :)

You've been tagged!

ProblemWithCaring said...

For me eliminating fast food, frozen foods and snack foods (chips, candy, juice) was 75% of the battle.

It meant i had to pay SO much attention to myself, my body, my moods and and my needs, something I was trained (most women are) to feel horrible about doing.

Good luck.

Diesel said...

Good luck! I've got me one of them fast metabolisms, but it's starting to slow down. I had to stop drinking soda altogether a few years ago, because I couldn't make myself cut down.

Jonny's Mommy said...

You're going to do great on this program. IT is a good support system. See you on the blogs and the pages if not ever in person!

the frogster said...

I exercise just about every day. It's the 7-11 coffee rolls that kill me. If I got rid of those, that would probably be worth at least 10 lbs over the course of a year.

Aviator goggles make anyone look cool.

Jocelyn said...

I am completely the right reader for this writing. Weight is my life-long plague. I exercise like hell, but I eat even bigger. And it's always the plague.

I am completely empathetic and cheering you for your efforts.