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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Word I've Always Avoided Using About Myself

I'm fat.

There. I said it. It's out there, and I can't take it back unless I do something to change it.

When I was a kid, I was "chubby" or I told people I hadn't lost my baby fat. As a teenager, I was "fluffy," or I think that was the term we tended to use at the time. As a twenty-something, I tended to go with "curvy" as the term of choice. When my thirties hit, I started to use terms more like "overweight" or "plus-size."

But none of those really get to the heart of the matter. They're words that I used to make myself feel better about  myself, when I didn't really feel all that good about myself. They were supposed to make it less painful to face the truth, I guess, but they really just glossed over the truth.

Because the truth is I'm fat. Obese works, as well. Neither of those are terms that seek to hide the facts.

In other areas of my life, I've never been shy to call a spade a spade. If something needs to change, I either change it myself, or I point it out to someone who can make the change. I'm not one to bite my tongue. But for some reason, in this area of my life, I've never been willing or able to face the facts, to admit to the truth. One thing I've learned in life, though, is that until we come face to face with reality, we'll never change.

So I'm facing the truth today. I'm fat. I'm obese. I'm not just curvy or fluffy or plus-sized. I'm the writer who sits behind the computer screen all day, drowning myself with coffee and eating all sorts of things that are bad for me, until one day I get on an airplane and almost can't fasten the seat belt because I'm too fat. I'm the aunt who can't run after a kite with my nephew because I'm too fat and out of shape, so I have to be sure someone else is with us who can run with him, or who can't take him on rides at the amusement park because I don't fit.  I'm the diner at the restaurant who insists on a table and not a booth, because I never know if I'll be able to fit between the table and the bench.

But that doesn't mean that's how I have to stay.

I recently decided to lose weight, and I joined Weight Watchers. I think I'm going to join a gym, too, because if I spend the money on it I'm far more likely to use it and actually work out.

I don't think I want to change the statement at the beginning of this blog post to "I'm skinny" or anything like that. I don't think I'll ever be skinny. But I do want to be able to someday, in the not too distant future, say "I'm healthy." That'd be nice.

Are there any words you've avoided using about yourself that maybe you should start using? Are you willing to make a change and get healthy with me?

15 comments:

  1. Oh, Catherine, good for you for getting healthy! I had started at Curves this past December, because I'm also about 50lbs overweight, and promptly screwed my back up. It took weeks to get back to normal and then I got sick, then my family got sick! It seems like it's one thing after another, but the worst is that I always tell myself "Well, I can eat THIS, but tomorrow I'll start eating better." It's sad and I get so angry at myself for doing it.
    I can't afford to join WW right now, with you and Erin, but I'm going to make a commitment also to get healthy again. I was actually just thinking it was time to call and re-instate my Curves membership this morning. I'm going to go do that RIGHT NOW.
    Hugs!

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    1. Yay! I'm glad you're going to get your Curves membership back, Olivia. We can all do this together. BTW, if you want a program that is similar to WW but free, you should check out SparkPeople.com. The thing that I've found about both of them is that it is all in tracking what you eat, and they've got a great platform for tracking.

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  2. Catherine,

    Good for you! You are one of the most determined people and I know you can do it. I did Weight Watchers in the past and had success. I think the best part was how good I felt. I wasn't tired all of the time and I felt in control. Writing can take a toll on the body. I've definitely put on weight over the last year. "Does this book make my butt look big?" Why,yes! It does.

    Thanks for being an inspiration. I have to get back to tracking points. At least I went to the grocery store and filled the house with healthy foods yesterday. That should make it a little easier. Let's all do it together!

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    1. Yay for having healthy foods in the house, Samantha. That makes it immensely easier to eat right. My next step is to get all the unhealthy foods OUT of the house. Easier said than done, when considering the fact that I live with my dad. Still, he's going to have to deal with it.

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    2. One thing that helped me was drinking the recommended amount of water. Sometimes I was only thirsty when I thought I was hungry. Also, I always told myself I could have whatever unhealthy food wanted after I ate something healthy like carrots or fruit. Then I would figure up the points after my healthy snack and that almost always changed my mind. :)

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  3. Yay Catherine! I'm so excited to be on this journey with you. Few things feel better in life than looking a problem dead in the eye and saying "I *will* defeat you." I am one hundred percent certain that we can change those labels you used in this post to that wonderful last one: "I'm healthy!" (I insist we use an exclamation point from now on)

    I hope there are others out there who will join us - there are so many of us who point our health on the back burner while we deal with the thousand other things going on in our lives. But no more - from now on it will be a healthy body and mind, then everything else :)

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    1. Thanks for the little kick in the butt to get started on this, Erin. :) I was already thinking something had to change after barely being able to get the seat belt done when I flew out to see you...but then your little invitation to join you doing WW on Twitter was exactly what I needed. So...yes, we're going to be able to say, "I'm healthy!" Maybe with a few exclamation points. :)

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  4. Great post and a great attitude. I decided last year that I wasn't going to worry about getting skinny anymore, but I was sure going to get healthy. An year later, I do still have about 30 pounds to lose, but I can say I'm healthier. I have am starting to have defined muscles. I've started to run. My daughter is starting to ride her bike and I was able to jog along with her and it felt great!

    Wishing you great success!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Cindy! And the best of luck to you on your quest to get healthy. It sounds like you've already made some excellent progress toward your overall goal. I hope I can say the same sometime soon.

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  5. Hi!
    GOOD FOR YOU!!! AND YOU CAN DO IT! You have your own cheering section here!::waves pom pomps:::

    I was at that same point in December, a lot of personal drama had happened in the past two years, and I think I ate my way through it.

    I'm on Sparkpeople too, and I've been bad about logging my activity there. However, my employer sponsors its own weight loss program like WW complete with a Coach. I signed up on my birthday (heck of a time to start a diet), and considered it a present to myself.

    My meal plan isn't bad, and I've lost 10 pounds since then. The trick is to have at least a half a plate of fruit or veggies with each meal, (unbuttered, uncreamed, without sugar..ya know..PLAIN. I know, horrors). The goal is at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies, two meal replacements (either a bar or a TV dinner of less then 300 calories and 700 MG of sodium), and 30 mins of movement/exercise a day.

    Also, having a 'treat' when you reach milestones is a nice motivator. Me, I get a new book for every 5 pounds I lose.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Trish! Congratulations on your weight loss. It sounds like you've got a good system going that is working for you. One of my biggest problems all along is that I'm not really a salad eater. I hate lettuce, loathe tomatoes...so I had a hard time convincing myself to eat the veggies that are so necessary (not to mention filling!) I've recently discovered that I love spinach salad with a bit of homemade balsamic dressing (homemade so I can control how much oil goes into it!), and since then I've had some every single day. That's helped immensely with eating that half-plate of veggies you talked about. I'm already feeling better from it. Good luck to you, and I love your system of earning a reward for each 5 pound loss. I may have to consider doing something similar.

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  6. Catherine Gayle, may I go on your healthy lifestyle quest with you? I have gained weight and I do not exercise like I used to. Between manuscript deadlines, edits and promotion, I now know why so many writers (you all know who you are) could stand to lose more than a few!

    Let's all work at being lighter and healthier this year! ;)

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    1. Jill, I'd be thrilled if you join me. :) Thanks for stopping by. And yes, I know how the deadlines and whatnot can make us crazy, and then we tend to forget all about taking care of ourselves. Time for a change.

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  7. I'm so sorry to come late, Catherine, but I'm in with you! I'll be happy to be your cheerleader and exchange support. Writing is hard on the body, but it's time to get healthy!

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    1. Thanks, Deb! I know one thing--it isn't easy to do alone. Let's all do it. :)

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