Aside

Climbing Hills When You’re Fat

The hardest part of riding a bike when you are 80+ pounds overweight and have almost zero muscular strength is not climbing the

My Bike

Simply buying the bike was an act of faith and took courage…

little hills. They are easily overcome with perseverance and making “one more push…six more inches….eight more inches…one more foot” your goal.

Each day you push just one more inch and before you know it, you’ve reached your goal of making it not to the first telephone pole but to the second before you have to hop off, catch your breath, take a drink, and push your bike the rest of the way.

No, the hardest part is passing people as you huff and puff (or when you must take a break and walk your bike up what feels like Mt Everest but is really just a little knoll). The hardest part is ignoring the voices in your head, whispering 5th grade insults; you imagine them saying…“Hey tubbo, get your fat lazy butt on that bike and PUSH….” Or you imagine them snickering about you and saying to one another: “If she’d thought of exercising earlier she wouldn’t be so fat.”

These imaginary voices are so viscous. My neighbor stopped while I was resting to make sure I was all right.  I smiled and assured him I was fine (though my face was so hot I felt like I had a fever). He commended me and told me to keep it up.  I responded: “The hardest part is just riding past people.”

But like the little knolls, the small hills, the big hills: I will overcome.

I must.  I’m only 43 (well OK almost 44). I’m too young to be so at risk for a heart attack or diabetes or any of the other health problems that being obese can cause.  I want to enjoy my Labrador, I want to be here and have a good life with my kids and husband…

…and I hope that with each hill I climb successfully, one more ugly viscous voice will be silenced.

Labrador Retriever

My Labrador Trixie & Me

Put Down the M & M’s. Really.

Do not just put them down.

Throw them out.

I was once svelte and sexy – I weighed about 124-127 lbs all the time.  Rarely did I deviate beyond a few pounds.

Here I am just out of high school, in 1987, with my beloved car:

Sexy Camaro Girl

1987 and Feeling Fine

I remember my fiance telling me “Don’t ever get fat!” before we got married. And I

A Skinny Bride

March 25 1995

laughed at him.  Of course I won’t ever get fat!

That was almost over 17 years ago…we are celebrating our 17th anniversary on March 25th.  And guess what?

I’m fat. 237 lbs fat. My BMI score labels me as “severely obese” which is positive; I was certain I had crossed over into “morbidly obese” range (that’s after a BMI of  40).

Severely Obese

A Rare Photo of All Of Me

If you have known me a while you will know this is not my first post about my weight, and it won’t be my last. I have weighed less than this and declared I was going on a diet.  When I first became horrified of my weight, I weighed about 224 lbs, and was shocked.  I started Weight Watchers and lost about 50 lbs or so, give or take.

Then I got a job as a secretary in a real estate office. I thought it was awesome, as now I could have enough money to go to the gym on a regular basis. Only that didn’t happen, and people trying to get business with our agents kept coming in to the office with Krispy Kreme donuts.

I lost the battle, and caved in…the sugar was too addictive.  Though I was happy to be down into a size 16 jeans and trying for 14…I slowly brought the weight back up.

Then I got tired of achy joints and plantar fasciitis and feeling like a stuffed pig all the time, and I started again. I once again signed up for Weight Watchers.  But my life got too out of control. I was now a real estate agent and on the road a lot.  McDonald’s and Turkey Hill (convenience store like 7-11 with awesome personal pizzas) became my habit.  I drank multiple Coca Colas or Dr Peppers a day on top of tons of coffee to keep “moving.”  I would come home and crash, and reach for sugar cereals like Froot Loops to keep me awake to work on the computer. I wanted to stop.  Get off this crazy merry go round and be healthy, not some walking time bomb.

I made public boasts on Facebook and my blog thinking that would keep me motivated to lose weight. But as time went on, I found myself forgetting…grabbing a pizza, grabbing some fries…coming home to more sugar.  My problem isn’t with craving fats as much as it is craving sugar. When I’m thirsty I want a coke. When I’m hungry, I want sweetened cereals or cookies or cake.

So here I am once again, at 237 lbs.  I am scared.  I don’t like being out of breath simply because I climbed 15 stairs.  I don’t like it that people at the office know  *I* am the one coming upstairs and say “Hi Karen!” before I even show my face…I am the only one I guess who huffs and sounds like a dairy cow plodding up the steps with heavy feet.

Yesterday I looked at a home for sale with a narrow stairway and I realized I could not make it up those stairs without squeezing myself through the passage. That, my friends, is embarrassing and humiliating.  I try to laugh it off and make fun of myself in a lighthearted way, to show others I know I’m obese and that it doesn’t bother me.

But. It does.

I am scared because every day I find it more difficult to get out of bed, out of the house…I want to stay home. I don’t want to “go” anywhere.  I am sad because I am always the one with the camera, or I am hiding behind my children or I crop most pictures to head and shoulders where I don’t look quite so huge.

I have the tools, I have the knowledge.  I want to juice fresh fruits and veggies so I can be healthy and have energy and feel like leaving the house.

Once again, I am going to embark on the journey. Maybe it was the achy feeling I had in my arm yesterday, maybe it was the fact that going upstairs to my bedroom at home or my desk at the office tires me out and makes me lose my breath…maybe it’s the fact that I’m hiding behind my children in almost every recent photo of me…I don’t know. I just know that I want to stop the Fat Train and get off.  I want to be this girl again:

Healthy Happy

Healthy and Happy

Not this one anymore:

Fat Mama Has to Go

Hiding behind my Child

This isn’t about looks really…it’s about my health. I want to enjoy my life, not barely endure it. I don’t care so much about looking “svelte and sexy” anymore…but I do care about diabetes, stroke, heart attacks…ya know?