I find myself frustrated this morning. If you’ve seen me in person lately, you know that I have to lose some weight. Simply put: I’m fat.
So on Monday, I decided to do something about that. That day, I decided to start walking. I did four miles at an extremely slow pace.
Tuesday night I decided to start tracking calories and almost had a heart attack when I found out that I was just below over for the day. I was going to skip dinner but ended up eating it anyway (after I’d posted about trying to stay under). Myfitnesspal told me I only went over by 38 calories for the day (the reason I decided to eat) because it adjusted and gave me more calories for the day based on my workout. I estimated that I actually went 866 over (since my goal is 1200).
So yesterday I was feeling low about going over the previous day. I decided to make up for some of the overage by staying under 600 calories for the day. I was going to aim for 400 but I thought that was a bit much. I came in at 541 (actually 511 as I entered 2 extra coffees that I ended up not drinking).
This morning I completed my previous day’s entry and got this screen:
As you can see, there are a few problems there. First, they keep adding to my daily calories when I enter my workout. Yesterday’s workout burned 1001 calories so that was added to my goal of 1200. That’s annoying in and of itself.
The exercise is for two reasons. The first is to get healthy. The second is to lose weight. So how exactly would that second reason work out if I eat the entire amount of calories that I burned during my workout? Especially seeing as beyond working out, I’m rather sedentary?
The other problem is the message at the bottom. To explain my feelings on this, I’m going to have to take it back to the past by quite a bit.
When I was a kid, my parents were approached by a few different modeling agencies and agents. Most of the time they said no (when I was too young to give my input). Once I got old enough to voice my opinion, they let me decide. Keep in mind, though I do have a bit of an inflated ego, I know that the main reason for the agencies/agents interest was that I was ‘exotic’ as there weren’t as many mixed kids running around back then.
Twice, I said yes. Once, I did a fashion show. I saw the crowd, panicked, and ran off the catwalk. I was shaking and in tears backstage and vowed to never do it again. My lovely grandpa just shook his head slowly (he did everything slowly) and said, ‘Well, the girl didn’t really want to do it.’ And that was that.
The second time, my parents were more reticent. They’d seen that while I did enjoy being fawned over, I didn’t really grasp what modeling entailed. So they agreed to bring me to the agency to meet the people but didn’t sign anything.
When I went in, adults were everywhere. They had me turning this way and that, showed me all the beautiful clothes I would get to wear, and walked me through the process.
However, this came at a bad time for me. I’d just started to become aware of the differences between myself and the predominately white area in which I lived at the time. My butt was bigger, my lips thicker. So, I equated that to fat.
Now, in retrospect, I was nothing of the sort. Even at the time, everyone would tell me that I was ‘too skinny’ but I blamed that on various reasons and didn’t believe them. How could I be ‘too skinny’ when my friends’ rear ends were flat and mine stuck out like a sore thumb? And my thighs… Don’t get me started.
So as I was turning in front of the badrillion mirrors in the place, there was only one thought on my mind: What if they make me wear a bikini? They’d see my fat thighs, my butt that wouldn’t flatten no matter how long I laid on my back (what can I say? I was a kid).
I freaked out. I stopped turning and the adults working there (probably seeing my distress) quickly tried to distract me with pretty clothes. I pushed through the racks, searching for the dreaded bikini I just knew they were going to put me in. I ended up in tears, insisting that we leave. My parents never agreed to another meeting with any agents or agencies.
Fast forward to my teen years. I still wasn’t fat, not by a long shot. However, I thought I was. Could I ‘pinch an inch’? My eyes told me yes even though my fingers found it hard to grasp more than a fourth of an inch of skin on my waist. I found more ‘problems’ with my body. My shoulders were too broad, my feet too big, my stomach was never concave the way I wanted it to be.
I say all of this to put in perspective what I’m going to say. Although I was skinny, I was never skinny enough, in my opinion. I had an aunt who had the type of thyroid disease that equates to being severely underweight. She was fit, a vegan, and did triathlons. I loved her. But because my body type was different (read: I was part black and she was full white), I thought she was fit and I was fat.
In my teen years, I began to hate the nutrition guidelines at school. My teachers would ask me where I went during lunch and question why I never ate. But all I saw was fat. They’d tell me that I should eat a minimum of x calories and I’d think, ‘I’m short. Why should I eat the same amount of calories as the chicks who are a solid five or six inches taller than me?’
And I was right. Because here’s the thing. I’m 5’3 (nearly average height for a woman in America). That means that I don’t have as much body to feed as a model tall woman. Heck, I don’t have as much body to feed as my 13 year old who has started to sprout up above my head.
There is an epidemic of obesity in the U.S. (a statistic to which I right now can add myself) and I think part of this is down to one simple fact: even the agencies who claim to give us the bald facts on nutrition can’t seem to get it right.
As overweight as I am and as short as I am, it makes no sense that my minimum daily calories be within a 200 caloric gap of someone, say, a foot taller. I didn’t starve myself yesterday. I ate a full dinner and drank coffee throughout the day. I ate two olives when I grew hungry after skipping breakfast and lunch.
But fun fact: for most of the day, I simply wasn’t hungry. Oh, at one point I thought that I was. I found myself in the kitchen staring at the contents of the fridge and doing calculations. But then I drank two cups of water and suddenly realized that the feeling I’d thought was hunger was actually thirst.
“Oh no. You just drowned your hunger in water. You actually were hungry.”
But here’s the thing: I wasn’t. If I were truly hungry, after that water had filtered from my belly I should have been back at that fridge, hungry again. Instead, I was fine for hours afterwards.
Because. I’m. Fat.
Like, I think that isn’t given enough weight (no pun intended). I’m not trying to be anorexic. I enjoy food (obviously). I just want to get back to the right size for my body. Even though I put in an estimated pound loss on this site, my goal is really more of a look than anything else. I’ve not only accepted that my butt will never be flat, I’ve embraced it. I realize that my thighs may never have a six inch gap and I’m (pretty much) cool with that.
The message above frustrates me. Because one day I cut my calories to make up for a massive overage the previous day, suddenly I can’t access my goals or trends based on that day.
Do we have an obesity epidemic here in the U.S.? Absolutely. And part of that may be down to the fact that without going to a nutritionist (something I’ve never done so I’m just assuming) we can’t find valid information regarding healthy weight management and loss. Even from sources claiming to cite our governmental agencies.
Now, to pull myself out of this pit of negativity into which I seem to have fallen, let’s talk about today.
I’m ravenous. Well, to be more specific, I was. I went to sleep last night hungrier than a bull and woke with the same empty feeling. I made coffee (with one teaspoon of sugar, bringing it to 15 calories per 16 oz) and have been sipping on that. I made hardboiled eggs that I intended to eat for breakfast but because time gets away from me will end up being for lunch.
I’m no longer as hungry as I was when I woke up. I’m still hungry but it’s more of a background kind of buzz in my brain (and stomach) rather than the overwhelming need to put something in my stomach NOW.
Tonight I plan to do four miles minimum (unless I can talk my workout partner into five as I did yesterday) and I’m going to add in a little ab work.
To properly see my stats (the entire reason I signed up for this site) I am going to aim to eat at least 1000 calories today (but no more than 1200). However, seeing as there is some type of confusion as to how many calories a fat chick like myself needs to eat daily (when I could probably live off of my fat stores for a couple months), I’m not going to be too upset if I don’t hit it.
Instead, I’m going to make myself a little spreadsheet and make my own forecasts. Because there is an obesity epidemic and I’m contributing to it. But I’m trying to change that.
My ‘win’ for today? There are currently 36 cupcakes in the fridge (for my daughter’s party). I didn’t so much as taste the frosting. 🙂