Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Girl America's dying... don't stop believing, my Girl America

[Girl America, Mat Kearney]

I'm totally starting to get into this fitness thing.

Do you ever apply limits and labels to yourself and believe them so fiercely that you simply couldn't imagine them not being a part of your life? Do you ever let them begin to define you, even if they're negative?

I've always been overweight. Even as an elementary school child I was the cute, mildly plump one. It got to be a little bit more and more by high school, and by the time I graduated I was 220 pounds, and about a size 18.

Then, in college, it got worse. By the end of my junior year I was 290. I went to China for a summer and came back at 260. I could fit into a 22, the first time in years. I spent most of college a solid 24.

Slowly I gained the China weight back, and then some. By the time I left for TFA I was 330, a solid 26. Then, two winters ago (so 2005-2006, my first year in TFA) I got up to about 360. That's my estimate... the only comfortable pants were a 28. By last fall I was down to 320 (I'm honestly not sure how I lost it... I didn't even really try, to be truthful. It just slipped off.). With some serious effort I got down to about 310 by January of this year. Then I gained some back, and at my last doctor appointment I was 323.

I realized I had to get serious. I mean, I want to have babies with Jason. First of all, the rate of miscarriages in women with a BMI over 25 increases sharply. My BMI at 323 would be a50.6. Ouch. We don't plan on children for about 3 years, but still.

I'm blessed that I don't have any real complications yet. My cholesterol is normal, blood pressure in healthy limits, etc. But I hate being the fattest person on the plane, in the restaurant, in the room, in the building.

Still... I often cling to my identity as the fat girl. I mean, you'd think I'd hate it- and I do- but a painful truth hit me recently:

I can't imagine a fit Tami.

I just can't. I can't see myself as one of those people who snacks on raw veggies and works out because it feels good. I can see myself gorging on 12 Oreos and a half a gallon of milk and ordering enough fast food for two people. You know what's sad? I've only bought Oreos maybe twice in the last year, and I honestly eat fast food maybe 1-2 times a month. I actually probably eat raw veggies and work out more than either of those things. Yet I define myself as the "fat girl".

It's easy in some ways to be her. I could always blame problems on her. When I had unrequited love spells, I could blame it on being too fat. If people rejected me I could always assume they just couldn't get close to me because of my stature. I accepted being friendliest and having the best laugh in high school because of course I'd never be most attractive. I overcompensated with personality, clinging to it as needing to be overly funny and fun because I hated fat people more than anyone, so why should people love me unless I was so lovable that they- and I- had no choice but to overlook the obesity that was me.

So... I have had to wrestle this demon, recently. The one that rejects God's truths (My body is a temple... Eat, drink, whatver I do, do it as unto the Lord... don't gorge on anything other than God's Holy Spirit (and His Word)... love myself... I am a beautiful daughter of the King... on and on...) and instead clings to lies about my unworthiness and definition being the uncontrolled, unhealthy habits formed in eating over the last 20 years.

Funny how the demon is far harder to deal with than the actual sinful acts. I can eat 1,500 calories in a day, work out like a fiend, and consciously surrender my desires to binge (and, sadly, I won't deny having purged- aka vomiting- in the past) and still feel like I'll always just be the fat girl.

God simply won't let me rest. He won't let me feel sorry for myself. He urges me onto health, to Himself. God loves me just as I am, but He loves me far too much to let me settle in comfortably and stay this way.

Praise Him for that!

So... the skinny (the fat?) is this: I weighed 323 pounds at the beginning of June. This is the second day of the second week of eating under 1,800 calories a day (I've been averaging around 1,500, methinks, and I was even careful enough to stay under 2,500 even during the crazy Memorial Day weeekend festivities) and exercising basically daily. My scale only goes up to 300 pounds, so I'm not sure where I am now, but pants are already feeling far more loose than two weeks ago.

This is humbling, but this time it's real. I've never posted my weight because... well, it embarrasses me and it would be far easier to say how much I USED to weigh when I weigh way less :)

I've got a solid accountability pair that I e-mail daily with what I ate that day and my work out status, and I'm serious this time. My life is changing. Not just to look a little better in a wedding dress- it's time to be bare before you (most of my readers are my good friends, so public as a medium as this may be, you're still my core group) and just lay all of my goods out on the table.

I'll let you know when I get under the 300 mark. I cannot WAIT to say good-bye to the 300's forever. No surgery, no gimmicky diets, just eating thoughtfully and exercising to save a life-- my own.

Hope you enjoy the ride-- I promise to write about more than just this, though. And... I'll be straight with you-- encouragement really helps so please, if you feel led to lend an encouraging word or five, don't hesitate.

PS My car hit 250,000 miles today; I watched the numbers change and happened to have Jas on the phone when it happened!

I loves me my Ac! Goldie has been so good to me- I pray she lasts a long time more for Jas since he'll take her over eventually when we get me something a little newer. Still- this is the shameless Acura plug- they rock! Get one if ever you can :) Mine is faithful and true and doesn't even burn enough oil to need to put in a quart between changes every 3-4 months. Boo-yah!