I know how you feel. I've never been fat, but I have to watch what I eat and keep my body moving or I'll gain weight. I only needed to loose about 15 Lbs and about 1/3 of the way there.
Where my frustration comes from is with my wife. I love her honest, but at times I could just scream at the defeatist atitude I get from her. "Oh it comes so easy for you" is one of the manny little jabs she thows at me. I made a commitment about 13 months ago to myself that I have to get healthier and be a good role model to our 7 year old daughter. I want to be able to go on a 30 mile ride with her, even if whe is riding the co-pilot for now and only rides solo close to home. I don't care. The time we all spend outside enjoying nature is an amazing stress reliever.
Back to my wife...she was never skinny, and I didn't care one bit. After child birth she packed on quite a few lbs. She appeared to be fine until about 9 months out, and then major post partum depression set in. There are demons in her past she is learning to deal with and slowly she is improving. I have been trying to be very supportive now for about 6 years, but it can be very hard. As her weight went up her general motivation went down. It becomes a VERY bad negative feedback loop. What bothers me most is how often we can's do something physical as a family or else she will not be able to keep up. I don't want to exclude her and hurt her feelings, because that will not be helpful. I am not talkign about running a marathon, but a few vacations have been cut short because some simple physical activity caused her to have an asthma attach. I swear there have been a few times where I feel she has pushed her self on-purpose... for what reason I can not tell.
As various posters pointed out you can only lead a horse to water. She knows she should eat better. She know she needs activity. She tells me all the time how she wants to go riding and do more activities I would LOVE to see her go riding more often. I just know that if she got out in the sunshine every day for 30 minutes and rode nice and easy, she would feel so much better. Every arguement she makes I have tried to address. Comfy saddle, proper adjustment, nice weather (I can't control that, but this Spring has been very nice), etc. She just won't get out there even on a nice day and just will riding on her own. Time is not a limiting factor, but motivation is. For three years I kept her membership at the gym. Every year she was the one to tell me that we HAD to renew because she was going to use it. Every year she would go a few times and then stop coming. It is very sad to know that I can't do much more other than to be supportive everytime she makes smart choices. It is very hard to see someone you are so much about constantly make poor choices when the good ones are not hard to make. The good news is that the cheap tandem I bought is working. I've gotten us all out for some nice 10 mile rides taking it very easy and making a fun stop around the mid way point. I know some of the rides were to the local icecream joint, but at least I get her out moving and enjoying the outside. My dauther finds it a blast being hooked up to our tandem with her Co-Pilot. Things are SLOWLY moving in the right direction, but as I stated, it is very hard to watch someone stuggle so much and be ready with so many excuses why they can't do something.
I have never been depressed so I truly can not understand what is happening in her head. I decided last year that I don't care what she says about my personal progress I am not going to stop and wait for her to catch up anymore. I still continue to be as supportive as I can. I try as best as I can to ignore the little jabs she throws at me any time she temporarily falls off the bandwagon and feels the need to stike out. When she is serious about wanting to live a long and healthy life, it will be her choice. I hope she wants to go that route, because the alternative it not pretty.
Last edited by kellyjdrummer; 05-14-08 at 02:48 PM.
Merry Christmas Bob...
I"m going to through in my 2cents.
I've thought about and struggled with my weight/health for a very long time now. The hardest thing for me(and many others, from what I have read about it) is that loosing weight and becoming healthy isn't a week long journey. It is not a month or a year long journey. Its a journey that you have to fight at for the rest of your life. Think about that for a moment...
That thought is so daunting to me that it frightens me to the bone. Its taken me well over a year to come to terms with the fact I will, forever; have to count the calories of what I eat, ride/weight lift every single day, and eat way more salad that I currently would like to eat. I don't believe there are a lot of people that are willing to make that choice, and it is a choice!
And to the dirty looks you may be getting, I would almost certainly chock that up to jealousy & envy. That is unless you are running around yelling..."OH YA! LOOK HOW THIN AND SEXY I AM BABY!!!"
"If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals"
Leo Tolstoy 1828-1910
"What they do speaks so loudly I can hardly hear what they say." Michael Mihalik(Debt is Slavery...)
“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities”
- Ayn Rand.
Yep, it seems so easy to people that have never had a serious problem with their weight, and yet...the recitivism rate for obesity is higher than it is for quitting cigarettes, heroin, meth, or cocain. Those are the cold, hard facts. And you have to go more out of your way to obtain illicit drugs, than you do to eat a few extra portions of carb and fat rich foods every day.
My father passed in 2002 from symptoms related to a 17 year bout with Parkinson's Disease. His only choice in *living* was medication. His passing taught me what in my life I could control. Some do it easier than others. My sister is grappling with a severe weight problem and is making slow progress in losing her weight. She also has Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy. That she cannot control. What she can control is consumption of chips and soda, two of many foodstuffs that, when excised from one's diet, perpetuate weight loss.
It frustrates me, much like the OP, to see people who have obvious changes that are easy to implement right in front of them, but choose not to do so. I myself had high BP, cholesterol over 300 and the doc wanted to medicate me. That was all I needed to hear in order to cut out dairy (cheese, eggs, whole milk) and eat more fish and rice for a year. I also quit drinking and smoking - cold turkey. I went from 240 to 195, my BP regulated and my cholesterol is now at 200 - without meds. All this while riding the bicycle as often as possible. Combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle.
I understand my sister cannot be as active as I am able to be, but diet is well within one's control. I encourage her often in a direction that leads to a healthier 'her' in the autumn of her life.
Well, I'm new here and I have read through this post several times thinking hard about whether or not to reply. Mostly because I didn't know if I should give my history because almost anything I can say is an excuse. I realize this is the case, but at the same token it might help me to verbalize it, and, in the process of doing so, help me identify how to change things. So, I decided to reply with some of my own experiences and they can be construed as excuses if anyone wishes to view them that way. I know I do sometimes.
I've struggled with weight almost as long as I can remember despite being a very active child. I rode my bike every day from spring through the first snow, and was either at the pool everyday (I was on the swim team), or I was camping, fishing, hiking, or swimming at a lake with my Dad. I did have some poor eating habits (mostly to much of the wrong things), and though my Mom was a stay-at-home type she mostly made my sister and I cook dinner while she slept, or read books and smoked cigarretts. Fast forward to teenage years and the not so unique story of parents divorce, lack of money, etc. etc, and troubled teen to boot, and I became very depressed and angry. This came to a peak of problems when I was about 19. I had just started a new job as a dispatcher (sit down jobs are death to your health by the way), and my Mom's health was deteriorating rapidly. She was trying to get on disability, and in the meantime expected me to hand over 90% of my paychecks from my $5.50hr job to help her. I ended up moving out into my own apartment, and I spent the next 2 years or so working 60-80hrs a week at a sit down desk job to pay for my $300.00/month apartment. I then went back to community college at 21, and went to school full time, and contiued to work maybe 40-50hrs a week at the same time. This continued for about 3 years when I became to exhausted to continue the gruelling schedule any longer.
So, basically time was an issue. When could I find the time to excercise? When could I find the time (or money at this point) to eat a decent meal?
I decided at this point to take a year or so off from school and I also decided I wanted to re-locate from Washington state to the east coast and work with kids. So, I got a job as a nanny. I worked for the same family for about 3.5yrs and during this time I did learn to eat better as I had to cook healthy meals for the boys, and I started excercising more. I would ride bikes with the youngest boy, and sometimes play tennis with them and their friends.
Towards the end of the time I worked with them I was at the lowest weight I have been in my adult life (about 225lbs), and I met my husband. I got pregnant, and, of course, gained back all the weight I had lost. After my daughter was born I stayed home with her for about the first 1.5 year of her life mostly because I could not get a job that would even cover daycare with my current training. The first several months, in retrospect, I think I had some post-partem depression, and I was caring for her almost soley on my own as my husband was busy working to support us. When she was about 9-10 months old I got a memebership to a gym and started working out nearly everyday for about 2 hours and watching what I ate. I got down to about 228lbs.
Then I went back to school. So, now we live really far away from almost everything because it's the best area we can afford to live in for our daughter, but it means my commute for the last 3years or so has averaged 3hours a day. So, my day starts at around 5am usually and I go and push myself mentally all day long, come home make dinner (again back to whatever is fast and easy because I'm exhausted), bath my daughter, get her ready for bed, and now it's about 7pm and I am ready to pass out. But, I have to study, so I'm up until 9-10 doing that, or cleaning the house or whatever. Then pass out and wake up and repeat.
So, my challenges have been lack of money, time, and, frankly, mental/physical energy to shove anything else into my day. However, this is all an excuse. I comfort myself that's it's at least a slightly good one, but it is none-the-less and excuse. In another 6 days I will have finished my first year of nursing school, and then I will be staying home with my daughter for the summer. She got a bike for her birthday, I got one for Mother's day, and my husband just picked one up for himself last night. So, hopefully this summer I can spend some time with my daughter riding, and if we can get a babysitter (yet another challenge) my husband and I can ride together.
So, that's my list of excuses. I know my trouble areas, as stated above, and have been frozen with what to do about them. However, I know I need to find the time for my health/sanity both for myself, and for my daughter.
I shall take a deep breath and push on, and on, and on......
Also, it's tiring to see your accomplishment made the centerpiece of conversations time and again. I'm actually slightly pleased to have stopped losing and had a small weight gain, only because people stop talking about the 140 pounds and start accepting me as an ordinary guy. Again, perhaps Ben in Nebraska is dealing with the same problem.
BTW, I'm up 20-25 pounds from last year, so perhaps I'm one of the guys Ben is criticizing.
2006 Trek Pilot 1.0
2005 Trek Navigator 300
Thank you for sharing your story, and in your case, those are not excuses but reasons. The folks that I refer to, well, they have absolutely no reason not to be able to lose weight. They all have enough money for both the fad diet of the week, and the cursory membership to the gym of the month. They all also have the time to fit in exercise, they just chose not to. Finally, they all have the ability as they have proven in the past that they can lose weight, and big amounts of it. They just make excuses, and it gets a little hard to deal with.
In your case, I can understand many of the things you said. You have done very well, and I really encourage you to continue. You sound like you have the right mindset, but I can't imagine the time that is involved with doing what you do. For now, just focus on your family and your school, weight loss can come as slow as needed, or later. Do what you can, when you can, this is a great group for support if you need it(contrary to my ranty post! ). Just keep pushing, never give up, but don't burn yourself out doing it. Family, and school to help your family come first, then find the time for anything else. A wise woman taught me that .
The only way that I've been able to maintain the direction of a real "life change", though, was through a complete change in perspective in how I live in the world and interact with it. I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, by nature, and in the past, if I had a few setbacks, I would throw my hands up and give up. Not because I was lazy, but because I felt like it was useless to try. I used to get stuck in what I did in the past, and feeling worthless and weak (yep, from Animal House), instead of paying attention to what I'm doing right now to change things. I had to convince myself that what I'm doing right now, is more important than what I did in the past, because right now controls the future.
One other piece of advice that I give them, is that they need to find a couple of physical activities that they REALLY like to do, and they should train for them. One of them should be aerobic, but the other can be just about anything from skydiving to playing table tennis. Being active in general is a fantastic motivator, and there is no easier way to stay active than to participate in something that you really like to do. It is a lot easier for me to skip an hour on the treadmill, than it is for me to skip a pretty ride on my bike outside.
Given what I weighed a decade ago I'm a happy camper.(223 vs 267)
I openly admit I have a eating problem..I love to!
It's not eating junk food,(it's been 5 years sence I've had a McDs anything and chips don't exist in my world) it's eating.
It's not 'not exercising', (I'm approaching 600 miles of outdoor walking sence the 1/1 and 600 miles of cycling sence the roads became snow free and I've had the creek boat kayak out a half dozen times so far)it's eating.
It's not bumping the bar up.(I'm averaging 16mph on morning club rides which often exceed 30 miles),it's........eating.
I've a 'if it happens great, if it doesn't I won't stop enjoying what I do' mindset with the weight issue.
The cholesteral is under controll, the blood pressure is 117/74
and I'm 65.
BTW, your story, as outlined above, is mine too.
There are a lot of intelligent responses here, as usual.
Three people I really admire have said things that apply to this situation:
“When you look around at what I call the Mediocre Majority, you'll find that the one thing that appears universal with them is the lack of self-discipline.” - Dan Kennedy
“Belief always trumps logic (and even science). You will never change someone’s mind just because you have facts and results on your side. People will stubbornly cling to a welded-in belief even when it clearly is hurting them.” - John Carlton
And from a cyclist extrordinaire...
“If you want to do something bad enough, even if it's improbably hard and very long, even if you have to do it one tiny piece at a time, stick with it. Don't worry about how long it takes and eventually you'll get there.” - Freddie Hoffman
“Next time you're in your car, at 80 Kilometers per hour, strip down to your underwear and jump out. That's what it's like to crash in a professional bike race.” - Jonathan Vaughters
I think a lot of folks undertake exercise/diet programs that are fundamentally unsustainable for whatever reason. They can work like heck for a while but then burn out in a couple of months or a year. Very few of us can actualize our goals through sheer discipline, will power. This is why I think it is important to find a form of exercise that is genuinely pleasurable. If you hate riding bikes, find something else that is fun. If you hate your diet, adjust it so that it is more reasonable for you.
One of the primary problems is an Aristotelian one in that some folks grow up not finding any physical activity pleasurable at all. This is tough to deal with because the person has to overcome the notion that physical activity isn't pure suffering having had no prior experience with the pleasures of exercise.
I'm 265lbs now and I'm only 26. It's totally my fault and I know it's a result of eating bags of chips and tons of pizza. I used to bbq every weekend and just sit around and watch movies, usually with beer. Sadly, a fairly typical Canadian guy; without the hockey.
Well I started commuting to work by bike about 6 weeks ago. A couple days a week to start, now I'm up to pretty much full-time. On the days it's raining, I usually go for an hour-long ride before work, so I can bus to work and not be soaking wet. Some day I'll just buy some rain gear and commute anyway.
I also completely changed my eating habits 6 weeks ago. No more junk food, no more pizza, beer or pop. I eat pitas, hummus, rice, fish, salads and I'm usually pretty good about not cheating. I discovered the peanuts I snack on at work are horrible for me, so those are out too.
Well, yesterday I seriously couldn't see a difference in the way I look now compared to how I looked when I started. I wanted to give up. After a month and a half, I look the same. I thought that I'm just not one of those people that's going to have a nice body; no matter what.
I feel better though. I used to start sweating and panting about quarter km from my house, now I'm 5kms away before I do. I feel great when I get to work and all cleaned up; energized even. I'm sticking with it. Everybody that's lost the weight they wanted to before me is right; it takes hard work and determination. Nothing truly worth having comes easy. I know some day I'll stand with you guys on the other side and give advice and support to someone that's in my position now. I love cycling around and hopefully it'll be the path to my success.