Monday, March 26, 2012

being the fat kid

Overall I had a pretty active weekend. I got outside did some workouts. It felt good. Sad to say but I can’t remember the last time I was active and worked out on both a Saturday and a Sunday.

My main motivation for going to the gym Saturday morning was to weight myself. I was good with Weight Watchers all week long (tracked my food Monday through Saturday) and wanted to see if I had any results to input on my actual weight loss. I’m down to 188. Not good. But not bad, as it is a loss. I’ve lost 3 pounds. And am slowly becoming more strict with myself and the food that goes in my mouth.

Friday night Chris and I ate out on the patio, and he asked if I wanted a drink. I said no. He asked why, and I let him know I didn’t want to drink the calories. He then asked “So does this mean no more wine?” I said “Yes, for a while. But that just because I’m not drinking it doesn’t mean you can’t.” He stated “But if I want a drink of wine, it’s because I want to share wine with you.” Drinking is such a social thing. And even though I don’t want this diet to affect him, I can’t help that it will. He’s stated that there is nothing wrong with him being healthy too, but he isn’t over weight. Has never been over weight, and in general has never really been around overweight people. This is where Chris and I differ. He can’t sympathize with where I’ve been, or where I am currently. And I don’t expect him to. It’s just different.

Anyways after a short 35 minute jog/walk on the treadmill Saturday morning, Chris and I drove to Boulder to go on a hike. I’m happy to know that even though I can’t get Chris in the gym, I can get him outdoors and on a hike (plus a couple of walks around the neighborhood we’ve been on recently). I’ve always wanted to check out Chautauqua Park. So that’s where we went. This is a very popular place! Lots of people hiking around, including toddlers and seniors (easily 60+). Seeing such a broad range of hikers, helped in my confidence and got me thinking “if they can do it, I certainly can too”). The park itself offers lots of trails which cover every level of difficulty. We initially started off on the basic Chautauqua trail which has a pretty big jump in incline and definitely got me breathing heavy. Once we got to the second break-off point we decided to make our decent. The trail we didn’t take is the Royal Arch Trail. I’ve heard of this trail on numerous times, and this a summertime goal for Chris and I. I’ve heard it’s definitely more strenuous to get to, but that the view is well worth the trek. I’m anxious to give this hike a go later in the summer. Round trip our hike was only an hour, but it was fun with Chris, and brought back some uncomfortable childhood memories.

I’m really not comfortable with any sort of physical activity. Growing up as a fat kid, whenever physical activity was brought up or PE at school, I immediately would get nervous and anxious. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of blocking it out but I know I was teased mercifully as a kid. Especially during recess and PE, when being active is the main activity.

Once on a field trip in elementary school we went on a hike. The whole time I was so nervous. And so slow. Scared to fall, scared of being noticed. On this specific field trip my mom was with me (which was a rare occasion) and we were at the end of the hike, going down the mountain. Everyone was ahead of me, and I was (of course) last. As I was trying to catch up with everybody, I fell. Hard. Got the wind knocked out of me. I lost my breath completely, was facing up at the blue sky, and scared out of my mind. My mom came to my rescue, and an old truck came and picked us up. Take my fear of physical activity and add getting the wind knocked out of me, and I pretty much fear going down a mountain, even to this day.

So while on our way down on this hike Saturday morning, Chris is giving me a hard time about going so slow. When I tell him the above story. Which gets me thinking about this fear that I have. And that it hasn’t gone away and that it probably never will. That even though I’m active now (although not as active as I was prior to meeting Chris) that I’m still pretty active. But how with every race that I’ve done I’m always so nervous. I’m scared I’m going to be last, that I’m going to fall, I’ll hurt myself.

I think that this fear will always be with me. In general I do feel comfortable in the gym. I don’t mind being up front in the group fitness classes that I take. I’m most comfortable on the elliptical just because that machine as always been my go-to piece of equipment regardless of what shape I’m in. And the machine that I was comfortable on when I was 250+ pounds. I’m still not super comfortable on the treadmill, or with most of the weights.

I think for the most part my fear comes with the outdoors. I hate the elements. Too hot, too windy, too cold. The bugs, the dirt, other people around me and observing me.

Is this weird? I suppose so. But growing up the fat kid, this is the complex I know have as a adult, trying to get rid of this person.

I remember 4 years ago (July 2008) I was home attending my 10 year high school reunion. One night I went to dinner with a group of girls, then we all hung out at somebody’s house. I was the fattest person there (an observation I still make to this day), which to be honest was easily done, because this was the time I was around the heaviest I had ever been. And during one of the conversations one of the girls makes a comment by saying “I wasn’t fat in high school. I don’t know why I was so focused on being skinny, because I was skinny.” It was a statement something to that effect, I’m sure you get my point. And immediately all of the other girls agreed. And in my head I was thinking “I have NO idea what these girls are talking.” I was fat in high school and I’m fatter now. The other strong thought in my head was “I’m never going to know what that feels like.”

I guess my point in all of this, is how me being the fat kid is still with me. And is something that not a lot of people can relate to. A lot of people are working to be their “high school skinny” when even though I’m currently still 12 pounds away from my lowest weight, I’m still smaller now that what I was in high school.

rachel, alisha, michelle, angela, melissa, and i

This really struck me while I was on my hike with Chris, and trying to explain to him why I’m moving so slow. All along while chanting in my head "At least I'm going faster than the person sitting on the couch."


Anonymous said...

My Dearest April:

As your mother I hurt, I have always hurt for the struggles you have had and still fight the mental anguish. This picture you post is unbelievable because I know your beauty inside so I don't remember the size you where just the gorgeous angel that you are.
Yes, i am happy that you have lost all that weight because it does make a huge difference for all kinds of reasons. Just be proud because there are all kinds of reasons to be proud.

Always my prayers, hugs kisses and I look forward to hiking with you and Chris and Yes you can tease me when I slow down and am out-of-breath but I will try. And love that your statement "At least I'm going faster than the person sitting on couch" For me, for me that is worth repeating in my head daily. I'll use it. Thank you.


reflections said...

It was my house, and I remember exactly who said that. It's funny what sticks with us (I was 40 pounds heavier in that pic than I am now...) I will never run again because of the broken hip I suffered in high school, which also/ contributed greatly to my needing back surgery. Not because of my back but because it scared the hell out of me, took months to heal from, and I have ENORMOUS anxiety issues. I am SUPER sensitive with any teasing, I was tortured as a kid. We all have scars from our childhoods, just wanted to say I understand. It may not have been excess weight but I had a target on me through elementary school.

Nikki said...

I can understand that past hurts will always be with you, and they have molded your everyday life. As you cousin I couldn't be prouder of the accomplishments you've made. And now knowing how much you overcome with hikes and workouts, every time you go, it makes me even more proud of you.

Emily Foley said...

This post made me so sad. I hate that kids are mean. I hope my kids aren't mean to other kids. We all struggle with something, it's no fair to point out what somebody else is struggling with. I remember the first triathlon I did I had two goals: finish, and not be last. I was second to last, and behind me 70-year-old aunt. It was humiliating. I think that's part of the reason I just don't do anything--the fear of failure. And you were way faster than me, because I did sit on the couch most of the weekend. So good for you. You're awesome. Don't ever let anybody tell you or make you think otherwise.

Jimmy said...

This is a courageous post. And I think you're awesome. Most people are too afraid to fight their inner demons and look at you! You keep fighting. I wish you saw that in yourself because it's incredible!

And I love your last line! Classic.

Rachel P said...

Oh, April. I'm pretty sure it was me that said that. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I never intended to. You are definitely an inspiration and reading your blog was one of the catalysts that started my own weight loss journey. You are beautiful, and I'm so proud of you! Losing weight is not easy, and maintaining the weight loss is even harder. But you're doing it! I'm so sorry people were mean to you. Kids are so mean! I wish I could take away the hurt. It just breaks my heart. You are awesome and beautiful, April, no matter what, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

sarahlove said...

I like Rachel P. I don't know you Rachel, but to own up to something like that is huge and so hard to do! I commend you for stepping up when it would have been so much easier to ignore it. You are a good human.

April, I really hope you left 'the fat kid' out on the mountain. Leave that person in the past and walk/hike away. You are not that kid anymore. You have become something much more powerful than you know. And if you fell down, what would happen? Would you just stay laying there? No. You would simply stand back up and keep going. I hope you know that. I hope you believe that. Go hiking again but this time go without that 'fat kid' in your head and you will never be last!

It's not what you look at, it's what you see.

Tammy said...

You look sooo awesome! You have done a great job. Even in the reunion picture..with you being your were beautiful. I know how it is...I was never thin and am bigger now..though not my biggest. I have a 25 year high school reunion coming up in June and want to lose at least 40 lbs by then. I always go into places...and notice that I'm the biggest person there. I hate that. I think no matter what I weigh..I will have that fat girl mentality.:(