Sunday, 27 March 2011

Who do you look like?

Has anyone ever told you that you looked like somebody else? Who were you told you looked like? Were you happy about the comparison?

Have you ever told someone they looked like somebody else? If so, who did you tell them they looked like? Do you think that the person was happy about the comparison?

I have been told a few times that I looked like someone else. When I was younger and thinner, the comparisons were somewhat flattering. Someone once told me I looked like Jodie Foster. I didn’t mind that comparison because Jodie Foster is a nice looking lady. But as I have gotten fatter, I have liked the comparisons less and less. And that is because as you get fatter, the people you get compared to are fat. And you feel like some of them don’t really look like you, they just look fat. In other words, it didn’t sound like a compliment to me; it was just annoying to be compared to someone else at that point.

Really, think about it. What’s the point of telling someone they look like someone else? If you feel like the person is not going to receive it as a compliment, should you tell them who you think they look like?

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Excuse me?

Today I had a new core strength workout to do. I had a hard time with a couple of exercices, namely  the swiss ball push-ups and another similar one. My hands just couldn't stabilize on the ball and I was wondering if I was doing something wrong. I asked one the coaches where I train if he could help me try to figure out if I was doing something wrong. When I showed him what I was supposed to do, he simply said "I think this is too much for you". Excuse me??? You don't know me, you have never watched me exercise, you don't know what I can or cannot do. My coach gave me this exercise because she obviously thinks I can do it (right coach?). She knows me much better than you do and you think this is too much for me?? I will admit that I wasn't able to do much of those 2 exercises tonight. But does this mean I will never be able to do them or that I shouldn't even attempt to do them? I wonder what he based his opinion on since he doesn't know me. My weight? The fact that I am a woman? The fact that, as he said, even he finds this exercise hard? Luckily, I'm the kind of girl that uses such comments as extrinsic motivation (yes that word again). So you can bet I will do whatever I can to be able to do those exercices. That'll show him! (I may never actually get to show him, but that's not important). Just try to imagine for a second if he had told this to someone who just believed him and gave up...Choosing your words carefully, it's so important. The good news is he did end up giving me a few tips because he realised that I was just not going to believe him without trying!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Spa day!!

Today was spa day. I spent all afternoon going from sauna to steaming water to freezing water to relaxing on a chair outdoors in a bathing suit. Yes!! Outside in a bathing suit in the middle of March! And it was lovely. It was sunny and beautiful and as we sat in the steaming water we could watch people skiing on the hills in front of us. Lovely I tell you!
It was kind of weird to just have a day of doing absolutely NOTHING, but relax. That sure doesn’t happen very often. Spas are to relax, so you’re not usually supposed to talk. You just sit there thinking of nothing or a few things. I did both. One thing I thought about is how I was one of the rare women who had a one piece bathing suit. And it is a bit loose too (about 4 sizes too loose!). I need to change it; I just don’t have time for shopping much). What’s even more ridiculous is that my bathing suit is white on the top and a bit old, so that the white gets a bit transparent in the water and I have to keep bringing the white back up so that it doesn’t get too low. Anyways...moving on! So as I was sitting there with my one piece bathing suit, I was wondering if I would ever get comfortable enough with my body to wear a two piece suit. I’ve heard people say that if you don’t have a great body you shouldn’t wear a 2 piece bathing suit. I don’t agree. I think that if you feel comfortable enough to wear the 2 piece bathing suit, you should totally wear it and I don’t care what other people think. But, I’m just not there yet. I hope that someday I will be.
On a somewhat related topic, I was also noticing how everybody went behind curtains to change into and out of their bathing suit. Now this is totally different from the place where I do most of my exercise. Whenever you step into the locker room at this place, you’re bound to get face to face with a naked woman at some point. Although I have to admit it feels a bit weird sometimes, I always thought that it was kind of neat that all these women feel so comfortable with their body that they can just walk around naked in the locker room. Even when I was younger and fitter, I didn’t do that. I was too self-conscious of my body even then. I don’t know if I will ever do that, but that is not the point! The point is why is it OK sometimes to just walk around naked in the locker room and at other times you would just look completely weird? Is it because the place where I train is a community center? Is it a cultural thing? And wouldn’t we all be better off if we all had gotten used to going around naked in the locker rooms?

Thursday, 17 March 2011

About the concept of motivation

I would like to speak a bit about the concept of motivation. This is a word that is being used a lot these days, especially as it relates to weight loss. Many theories and studies have been done with regards to the concept of motivation. And everybody has their own notion of what it means, including me. Personally, I dislike this word very much. People come up to me and say “wow, you’re very motivated to be able to lose all that weight”. In the same manner, many think that people don’t lose weight because they are not motivated to lose weight. PLEEASE people! Do you think that overweight people don’t know that being fat is bad for your health? Do you think that they don’t know that it’s hard on your self-esteem? Do you think that they don’t want to bet fit and healthy and look good? Granted, maybe some don’t. But I guarantee you the vast majority does. The vast majority IS motivated to lose weight. They just didn’t figure out the right way to do it.

If I must use that word, then so be it. I HAVE been very motivated to lose weight for many years. I HAVE tried to do so in a variety of ways. I HAVE made many baby steps along the way that have made me change my habits in more ways than one. And there are things that happened that have slowed my efforts down along the way (like this pain in my thigh right now that makes me stay home with my leg elevated and ice around it instead of going to the gym to run). So, don’t you dare tell me or anybody who is fat that they are not motivated enough, that they are not trying hard enough or that they just need to stick with the plan. It is just NOT that simple. And you just don’t know the efforts they have put into it.

Okay, that seems a little harsh. So, on a more positive note, what does keep me motivated to keep trying? Remembering how I looked when I was younger and skinnier; Thinking of all the energy I will get if I keep losing more; Thinking that I can do it; Fixing myself goals (like running a 5k in September); Having people around me who notice the work I do and the changes I make; Having role models around me who exercise so much more than I do and who just love it; Thinking positive thoughts; Thinking that the day I give up trying is the day I give up on me; and so much more...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

French or English? English or French?

I was wondering if this blog should be in English or in French. Being francophone, the logical answer would be to write a blog in French. Then again, the blogs I read are mostly in English and most of my blogger friends are anglophones. Yes, but if I want my francophone friends and family to read it, it has to be in French because many of them are not that good in English. So the next logical thing was to wonder if the blog could be bilingual. I'm no expert in blogs so I don't really know how to do a bilingual blog. I looked a few things up on google and basically, they say it depends on who you want your audience to be, but the sites I found don't really explain how to do it except to find a good translator. So who do I want my audience to be? My friends, my family, people I know and maybe other people. The more the better in my opinion. So really, I have no choice but to do a bilingual blog. But how??? The only way I figured out so far is to have an English version and a French version, so this what I will be doing for now. Doing a bilingual blog probably means that I will post less often, that is fine by me. It also means that whichever version I do best will probably be the best because let's face it, I am bilingual, but I am not translator. That being said I will do my best to translate the best I can. So for any of you who want to practice your French skills, the adress for the French version is :

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Celebrating little successes

A couple days ago, I mentionned the importance of celebrating little successes. Here are a few examples of things that I have celebrated recently, sometimes quietly, sometimes by telling a bunch of people around me and sometimes by doing a little happy dance.
·    Being able to cover your entire body with a towel
·    Being able to bring one leg across the other without holding it with your hands
·    Being able to run on a treadmill (without breaking the machine or falling flat on your face)
·    Being able to run up to 21 minutes in a single workout
·    Being able to swim 1250 meters in 45 minutes
·    Being able to do an entire spin class
·    Being able to fit into jeans 4 sizes smaller
·    Being able to fit into x-large t-shirts
·    Needing your pants to be shortened
·    Changing BMI categories and going down
·    Feeling your thighs getting smaller
·    Being told that your neck is smaller
·    Being told that it shows that you lost weight
·    Being told by someone that they didn’t recognize you
·    Being able to run to catch the bus without being out of breath
·    Not taking too much space in the bus
·    Switching second numbers on the scale, for instance from 230 to 229.
·    Being told that you inspire people
·    Discovering that you actually crave foods that you wouldn’t even have considered eating a few years ago because you didn’t like the taste, such as plain yogurt
·    Being able to say no to French fries... most of the time
·    Having up to 10 hours of exercise planned in a single week
·    Losing 30 pounds in 3 months
·    Having the osteopath telling you that your foot is OK and that you can run
·    Going from being an athlete to being a couch potato to becoming an athlete all over again

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Why do people let themselves get so fat?

So I read a comment recently that went something like this : I don't understand why people let themselves get so fat. My answer is "Oh so many ways". I can only speak for myself, but here's a few of my own answers that explain why I got to where I got and that can certainly apply to many others :
  • Attempting to lose weight the wrong way (while thinking you're doing the right thing) and ending up gaining twice as much as you lost.
  • Having low self-esteem.
  • Neglecting to weigh yourself regularly and not realizing (or admitting) how big you are getting.
  • Unconsciously avoiding your fears. Being fat gives you an excuse for not doing what you're afraid of doing.
  • Having thyroid problems.
  • Having erroneous beliefs about exercise and food.
  • Not having role models who exercise because they like it rather than because they have too.
  • Stopping sports and not realizing that you need some exercise to replace it.
  • Thinking that exercise is an option.
  • Not realizing that the more you exercise, the more you can do.
  • Thinking that what you eat is not so bad and not realizing that some foods are stopping you from losing weight.
  • Craving more and more fat and sugar...The more you eat junk, the more your body wants it.
  • Going through life events which end up making you eat your emotions because you haven't figured out better ways to deal with your problems.
Finally, just because you accept that you have a problem doesn't mean that the problem can be solved easily. Gaining weight is a result of many different factors... and losing weight, when you're obese, can only take a lot of work on multiple aspects of your life. It takes time to change a lifestyle. You have to take one step at a time and celebrate little successes.

Friday, 4 March 2011

why skinny pants and why this blog?

First, let me tell you, I am not skinny. In fact, I have had a problem with obesity for a number of years. It hasn't always been like that, but over the years, and because of a variety of reasons, the fat has kept on coming. That being said, I have also tried to get rid of that fat for a numbers of years and lately it has started to pay off. I have lost 30 pounds in 3 months and I know I will keep losing those pounds because I have finally managed to figure out what I needed to lose it.

A few weeks ago, I met my coach (who lives in a different country than I do), and she told me that my jeans were way too large for me and I needed to get some new ones. Oh I new that, I just couldn't find the time, but then I did. When I saw how many sizes I had dropped, I couldn't help myself and just started dancing. After I related the story to my coach, she started calling me "skinny pants", and although I am not skinny yet, I kind of liked it. Hey! I am skinnier than I use to be when I was 75 pounds heavier. And I will only keep getting skinnier. So I chose the name for this blog.

Why this blog? Because I hear a lot of comments and judgments about obesity and losing weight that make me think. Yes, I think a lot! I analyse comments a lot and I do judge too sometimes, but I'm thinking that maybe I can help some people understand how it is really like to be obese, how it gets to that point and how we can help decreasing the problem. I am not going to say that I have all the answers because I don't, I only have my own answers from my own experiences and my own perspective and that's what I will try to convey.

That being said, this blog will not be limited to reflections about obesity and weight loss. It will also be about things that happen to me, things that I reflect upon, things that make me happy and whatever else comes to mind. So there you go. Enjoy!