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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fitness Tracking Thoughts

I have been thinking about getting a Fit Bit.  I currently use a free app on my phone, Map My Walk, to track my intentional exercise and I really like it.  But it drains my phone battery and I try to only use WIFI (not data) so there are some delays in syncing the data to My Fitness Pal.  Plus since it is free, there are ads and other annoyances.

I know that I currently am averaging about 7+ intentional miles per day of exercise, through walking, biking, and cardio at the gym.  If 5 miles is 10,000 steps, I think I am getting about 14,000+ intentional steps per day.  I say intentional steps because I do not do any sort of tracking of the unintentional steps that we all take everyday (walking around the house, walking around at work, etc.).  It is there that my desire for the Fit Bit comes in: I would like to know how many steps I am getting.

So I would like some suggestions and information from you guys about the fitness trackers that you use.  What to do have?  Do you like it?  How's the battery life? Does it easily sync to your apps?

But I also kind of see a dark side here.  You may not be shocked to hear that I am kind of compulsive (YOU?!?! Impossible!), especially about exercise, health and fitness.  I don't think it is a real problem in my life (a clinical psychologist once told me that exercise is only an issue if it interferes with one's life in a significant way), but I do think I have the capacity to have it become a problem.

I'm just going to take a moment and list all of the things that I have been compulsive about at various times in my life: food, eating specific foods, counting calories/fat grams/sugar/protein, overeating, not eating, binging, purging, work, exercise, weight loss, relationships, sex, dieting.  There may be more,  but that's all I can think of now.

Moderation is my new life mantra.  All things in moderation:  All foods, the right amount of work, the right amount of exercise, the right amount of relaxation, the right amount of family time. 

But here is the issue: when your brain is a little broken in this regard, how do you know when you're crossing from moderation to a little too much in the wrong direction?  Is it when you buy a Fit Bit tracker to tell you every little step you take so you can enter the number in your daily electronic journal and then post about it on your blog?  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fat Acceptance Movement

I have been reading a fat acceptance blog lately.  It is called Dances With Fat.  One of my Facebook friends, someone I went to junior high with, often posts articles from this blog on Facebook and I've found them really interesting.  They make me question some of my own biases and bring awareness to how acceptable it is in our society to discriminate against people who are overweight.

I believe that each of deserve to be treated with kindness and should be able to live free of discrimination in all areas of life, regardless of size, age, religion, gender, gender identity, race, sexuality or any other status.  I work very hard to be aware of my own biases and I try very hard to be kind at all times, even when people are not kind to me.  I think that discrimination against fat people is insidiously ingrained into our communal psyche and even fat people are guilty of it.

I also believe that fat people are just as smart, worthy, valuable and healthy as their thin counterparts. They deserve the same access to health care.  They deserve the same career opportunities.  They should be portrayed in the media as complete and vibrant human beings.    
I realize that I, and many of you guys, are the exception to the experience most people who are overweight have with weight loss.  I used to weigh 280 lbs. and now I weigh 150 lbs.  But most people, myself included at one point, who are overweight are not successful when they diet to lose weight.  It is not just the majority of dieters who fail to reach a normal weight and maintain the weight loss for any length of time, it is a super-majority.  Only a very small percentage, perhaps as few as 2 in 100, lose weight weight and keep the weight off (1).
This sad statistic should signal that there is a problem with the whole diet-weight loss plan when it comes to treating obesity.  What is even more troubling is that most people who lose weight on a diet will re-gain the weight and then gain additional weight as well.  I suspect that it is this process of losing, re-gaining and gaining more over and over that is a main cause of obesity.

But instead of viewing the dismal failures of diets as a sign that they do not work and a signal that more research should be done into obesity treatment, our society blames the dieter for the failure.  They may be viewed as medically non-compliant by medically professionals, which can effect the type of treatment that they receive.

Having said all of that,  I still want to be thin.  I want to be viewed in a certain way by society: as attractive, fit, healthy, competent.  I want to like what I see when I look in the mirror and I don't think that I could like myself fat.  I sure didn't before.  I did not create the impossible standards by which society judges one another and I try not to perpetuate them toward others, but they still exist in my mind. 

I recognize that my unique set of circumstances that took me from obese to "normal" is a path few others would be able to follow.  Even if they did things exactly as I did, they would probably not experience the same results.  Not because I am exceptional, but because our own individual experiences are just that: individual.  What works for me may not work for you.

So I am curious what you guys think about this.  How can we reconcile the seemingly contradictory ideas about loving ourselves as we are with trying to be the very best version of ourselves that we can be?  

(1) Goodrick GK, Foreyt JP. Why treatments for obesity don't last. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1991;91:1243-1247.

Friday, June 12, 2015

My broken brain

You know that thing where you can't even hardly stand the thought of talking to one more person and you just want to go home and crawl under the covers?  The one where something shitty happened and it's all you can think of all week and it keeps running through your mind and makes you want to cry or scream or quit and run away?  Do you know what I am talking about?

Yeah, that thing.

That things SUCKS. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dear John Letter:

Dear Peanut Butter Trail Mix from the Bulk Bin at ‪#‎Winco‬, I am breaking up with you. Although I love you more than you know, I suspect that you're not really good for me. I want to quit you, but if you're in the house, I just can't.  Trust me, it's not you, it's me. Sincerely, Amanda

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wait, what?

Apparently I do not know how old I am.  I made some changes to my blog and said I was 42 (see above).  I am actually 41.

So, I saw my Lap Band surgeon last week and the band is staying put for a while.  I am okay with this.  Although it has slipped out of position, I am not currently having any complications and I would much rather be banded than bandless BUT...

...I am kind of pissed off at my surgeon.  First of all, the way I found out that the band had slipped was by asking how the UGI came out.  No one got in touch with me until I sent an email asking if everything was okay.  Then they told me it was NOT okay, the band had slipped.  Then they tried to get insurance authorization for the revision to the sleeve, which was denied.  Removing the band was authorized.  So then they call me and make a pre-op appointment.  And then I meet with the surgeon and he acts like I am wasting his time by coming in because I was not currently having symptoms.  He asked why I had the UGI (which his office ordered) and I have to tell him that I was sick for five or sick weeks after the last surgery to which he responds, "Well, maybe you had a virus."  Wait, what?  I had lap band repositioning surgery and was sick every time I ate or drank for three weeks and every time I ate for 5-6 weeks BECAUSE I HAD A VIRUS???  And also he has my UGI results that show the band is out of position, but THAT couldn't have possibly been the problem. 


Since I am not having any problems, I wasn't really planning to have the band removed, but then I learned that insurance would probably never cover a revision unless my BMI increased.  Also my insurance will be changing next month, probably to a crappy cover-nothing policy.  I explained these things to the surgeon and he pretty much ignored me.

So whatever. 

The thing is, I'm really not unhappy to be keeping my band.  The idea of life without it was kind of terrifying. 

This is kind of stupid, but another thing that happened at the surgeon's office that pissed me off was that the resident was talking to me about what was going on and he said I looked great after having lost the 20 lbs. since surgery (I looked great before too, asshat) and he also asked me if I was still working out two or three times a week.  WHAT??? I work out two or three times A DAY, every day and I am sure it is in my chart.  I've always been active, even when I was fat. 

I feel like neither of them, the surgeon or the surgical residence, bothered to do more than skim my file.  They also couldn't show me the films from the UGI, although the surgeon said the slip wasn't bad.