Friday, March 28, 2008

She's My Hero

I have found a lot of wonderful people and blogs online in the last few years. One such lady (I use the term loosely) is Rachel Lucas. Her blog is funny, witty, and laced with bad language (though that has lessened in the last few weeks).

She is so down to earth and logical and hits things right on the nail (usually). I don't agree with her 100% but when she makes blog entries like THIS ONE I want to find her and hug her!

Would Marilyn Monroe be a star today? Or would she be too fat? Look at those thighs! But she is gorgeous. And so is the winner of Miss Surrey to the left. She's a size 16.

I watch America's Next Top Model religiously. I love the show. But next week's preview shows the "fat" girl in the group being told that they have no clothes for a size 10 girl. WTH? What kind of message does that send to vulnerable and impressionable girls who have body image issues already? Even adult women seem to get sucked in to this thinking that they should be rail thin like a pre-pubescent boy. Even boys are starting to think it's "attractive" to be super skinny with no muscle (disgusting is what I call it!).

I started a program nearly six weeks ago called Fit Yummy Mummy (yes, it's designed for women who have had kids but it's not exclusive). I haven't blogged about it at all because it's a hard thing for me to do. Making the decision to start the program was HARD. I mean HARD. I had to take a "before" photo and it was one of the most humiliating things ever. Hubby had to take it. And then I had to look at it and shudder.

I had let myself go. Not because I've gained weight - that does tend to happen as one ages. No. I've completely let myself, my whole self, just deteriorate. I had stopped exercising regularly months and months and months (okay over a year) ago. We ate pretty much whatever we felt like it. Pizza? Sure. One for each of us. Ice Cream? No problem. There's a container in the freezer. Actually there's a couple of containers. I could eat an entire box of mac and cheese by myself and still want more.

I was tired all the time. I *might* have had one or two fruits/veggies a week. Not a day. A WEEK. We'd buy them but they'd just sit there and go bad. Pasta was an every night event. Usually with sauce. With some bread. And a dessert. Or I'd swing by the Mexican restaurant.

I cried the night I signed up for FYM. Seriously. I cried! Making the commitment meant admitting that something was very wrong with my lifestyle. It meant accepting and letting go of everything that gave me comfort and safety - everything "normal" and stable.

Grocery shopping has become a very different adventure. No more frozen pizzas. No more ice cream. If we want ice cream so badly we will drive to get it but will not stock it in the house. No more white bread, white pasta, white flour. A veggie with every dinner and lunch. Get rid of the sugar. Avoid processed foods. Of course, I'm still working on it ... change this drastic does not happen overnight. Hubby isn't always as cooperative as I would like. But since I don't buy most of the stuff he used to eat he doesn't have many options at home.

So far I'm down around 10 pounds...the first six melted away very quickly. But it's not just about the weight lost. It's about how I feel about myself. I'm not aiming to be a size 2 like I was in high school (looking back now I looked sickly and anorexic). I do want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without having an asthma attack. And unload my car of groceries without breaking a sweat. It feels good to move through the workouts and find myself progressing.

But I'm not starving myself. In fact, the woman in charge of this program, Holly, will tell people to eat MORE because so many women think that the less they eat the better. That's just not sustainable or healthy.

It's not about meeting some "ideal" body type or looking like a stick figure (Paris Hilton no thank you). It's about being healthy and happy with my body. Even if that means being a size 10 - I'm okay with that. I was a size 14 when I started and if I never lose more than these 10 pounds at least I will be healthier. I'm eating better and exercising. That alone is an improvement. I have more energy (though I think I will always feel "tired" due to other factors) and my cravings for things have decreased dramatically.

I'm not perfect of course. I still love my diet soda but I've gone from drinking 4 caffeinated diet drinks a day to 1 1/2. I'm trying new things and discovered that I really like almonds (which I'd never eaten before) with raisins.

It's a struggle and it doesn't help when people think a Marilyn Monroe body is fat. Health and society's definition of "beauty" don't always coincide.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I really admire your attitude and your commitment. Kudos to you. And there is nothing wrong with being "big". I have been big all my life, the smallest I've ever been is size 10 and that was only for a short period of time. After I had my 2nd child, I gained weight and never lost it, in fact, I'm bigger now that I have ever been. Most of my life I was size 12 and okay with that. Unfortunately, now I'm size 14, but I'm also not so young anymore. I have plans to walk more this spring and summer (our new 2 year old dog should help with that :-)) and hope that the extra walks will help bring me back to size 12 - if not, no big deal, the walks will do me good...
Thanks for the encouragement.

CastoCreations said...

Good for you Joanne! Yes, the dogs will help a lot. lol

Part of my issue is that I was a size 0-2 in high school and have gained at least 80 pounds in the last 10 years. *gulp* A hard thing to get used to. And unhealthy for my frame too.

By the way...I visit your blog all the time but it won't let me leave comments. :(

Monique said...

Most definitely, today Marilyn would be considered fat. Hell, most would call her obese.

My weight has gone up and down, up and down over the years and none of it has ever really bothered me. However, I am ready to start losing again so when I hit 40, I can be the best looking woman in the room :) Not that that isn't already the case. ROFL.

beautifulwomenproject said...

I think that you are an amazing woman - beautiful inside and outside. It takes a great deal of courage to not only decide to make changes, but even more to follow through with the changes and make them a part of your reality. Remember all of the experiences that you have had to this point make you the woman that you are today and the experiences that you have during this stage of your life are also so very important in creating who you are today and tomorrow - it is all of those experiences that make you beautiful. You are Celebrating and Challenging beauty all at the same time.