Solution Focused vs. Problem Focused

I gotta say, this blog has already been an enlightening, ass-kicking experience already. I haven’t weighed myself so I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost, but I’ve gained several theoretical insight pounds, and that’s great.

I apologize for that metaphor above, that sucked. But the sentiment is true! As I endeavor to communicate my inner struggles with weight/food/exercise/life, I’m realizing a lot of my own cognitive distortions when it comes to how I approach challenges. Let me explain:

I’m starting my journey at 414.8 pounds. You know how it feels to be 414 pounds? It sucks ass. Every day things are hard, like climbing stairs, putting on your shoes, even using certain bathrooms are embarrassingly problematic. My solution to these problems has been to sort of accept that this is my life now. It’s like looking around in a prison that you’ve created, brick by brick, and continue to make with each poor decision you decide to make. And trust me, there have been a lot of poor decisions.

My approach to the problems in my life is often a defeatist one. I try to make things easier for myself, but usually that means taking the easy way out. My feet hurt too much to exercise? Stop exercising. Too big for most chairs? Stop going out. Too tired to plan, cook, and shop for good meals? Eat fast food three times a day.

And again, it’s not one of those things that I consciously decide. “I want to ruin my life and my health by becoming a giant panda!” No, it’s the little decisions that add up to a seemingly wasted life.

Wow, this has been super depressing! I apologize for that. It honestly is helpful to write it out though, while also attempting to be as honest as possible and avoiding self-pity. I think a lot of what got me here is self-pity. Feeling sad for what I’ve been through, or where I am, blah blah blah. Eating my feelings has been infinitely easier than working through them.

But that leads me to what I’m working on now. I’m attempting to shift my focus from being problem-oriented to solution-oriented. A sort of weird realization came to me today: I was sitting in my apartment catching up on Game of Thrones (IT’S SO GOOD!) when my roommate came home. Now, something about my roommate: she has insanely good luck. She wins giveaways, sweepstakes, trips, prizes, ALL THE TIME. She must have some sort of voodoo because this girl is a WINNER.

Anyway, she recently won a few prizes from a local athletic store. One of the prizes was a little package of “Lock Laces”, these little shoe laces that don’t require tying. You just put them on your shoes and voila!, they basically tie themselves. I think it might be magic.

But here’s where the revelation came in: one of the biggest (and most embarrassing) problems with being my size is that tying sneakers is difficult. It’s an ordeal. It shouldn’t be, but it is. There’s bending and stretching and falling over and looking a fool. My solution to this problem was to… stop wearing athletic shoes. Only wear slip-ons. Sure, the slip-ons aggravate my already fucked up feet. I should be wearing supportive shoes, but I instead settle for uncomfortable, painful and problematic flats because it’s just easier (I’m starting to fucking hate that word).

What I’m realizing is, a solutions-based person would have found and bought the damn laces that don’t require tying! They would have figured out a workaround that kept them active and mobile! THAT’S the person I want to be! There’s a problem? Fucking solve it! Without asking, my roommate actually gave me the laces because she “likes tying her shoe”. We’ll see how they work this morning when I go to the gym, but really I think the realization and the lesson is way more valuable than the shoe laces could ever be. And I’m dedicated to finding more solutions to my problems, not excuses.

Falling is easy, getting back up sucks

I’m a very all-or-nothing person. I have been as far as I can remember. I’m either 100% committed to something, or I could care less. Which is a really frustrating way to be. My room is either immaculately clean or nuclear bomb messy. My eating is either PERFECT, with no mistakes or “cheats”, or I’m eating Oreos for every meal.

My thinking when I’m not dieting is this:

  • I’d better stop and get breakfast or I’ll be hungry. I should make breakfast, but I don’t really want to just eat eggs. And what’s the point? Taco Bell tastes better, it’s on my way, and I’m fucking up my diet anyway. What’s one more “bad” meal? I’m going to start my diet over tomorrow. I might as well just have one good last meal.
  • Oh, it’s lunch, what should I make? I have food… but since I’m starting my diet tomorrow anyway I might as well get fast food…

And on and on. And it’s so frustrating because in hindsight or in theory, this thinking is asinine. I waste SO MUCH money and eat SO BADLY, and I know how short-sighted and stupid this thought process is.

But, when breakfast (or lunch, or snacks, or dinner) roll around, it goes back to that same thinking. Should I do what’s best or should I do what I want to do right now in this moment? Guess which one usually wins.

BUT what’s also weird, is when I’m on my “diet” (Whole 30 lifestyle), I can do incredibly well. If I’m strict with myself I don’t make exceptions or cheat or try and justify my choices. Why can’t I let this thinking dictate all of my actions instead of just when I’m being “good”?

I like the quote, “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up”. But does this quote work for people who are “all or nothing”? Can you ever realistically “stop giving up”? Sometimes life happens. I guess it all comes back to balance, but how do you find balance if, like me, you’ve been so unbalanced your whole life?

Way to go, Fat Bitch! 

Can we just say congrats to me for a second? Because my ass got through Day #1 of getting back on track with the Whole 30. Some people (e.g. haters) might say that day 1 is the easiest of all the days. But not for me. Day 1 is affirmation that I’m on the right path, that I’m ready to crush this weight loss shit. Day 1 is hard for me to accomplish.

I’m not a self-directed person. I was homeschooled from 6th grade until starting college, so you’d think I would be self-directed. You’d be wrong! I just never learned anything and played video games all day. I am not a good role model for children, because I graduated from college after technically never really learning fractions. So, take that, education system!

Anyway, being un-self-directed is not a good trait for somebody attempting to lose as much weight as I am. I want people to tell me what to eat, when to eat it, and how much, and then I want them to cook it for me and pay for it. Buuut it turns out, shit like that does not happen in the real world. In fact, I think that sort of hand-holding stops after childhood, unless you’re super rich and have people to do all that stuff for you. Unfortunately, as far as I’m aware, I’m neither a baby nor a rich person, so the responsibility of keeping myself alive falls solely and tragically to me.

Hence, my pride in Day 1. Day 1 of making all of my own food, managing my intense cravings during a social engagement, ignoring the siren song of the Taco Bell right fucking next to my house, as well as the even louder and more violent siren song of the pumpkin spice syrup at Starbucks. I live for PSL. I’m trying to lose 200 pounds just so I can drink PSL as my primary source of caloric intake without dying.

But, I got to 414 pounds by having my (pumpkin spiced) cake and eating it, too. And it sucks, because I want it’s syrupy deliciousness more than I want most things, but less than I want diabetes. Soooo, in the mean time, we’re going to celebrate the ever-living fuck out of DAY ONE! Go me!

A Confession

I have a confession to make, private blog that nobody reads. I, Kate, am a garbage person. I am not to be trusted with even the most basic of things. Here’s a short list of the things with which I should not be entrusted:

  • Anything
  • Things
  • Important things
  • Basic things
  • All things

Most especially of all these things, I should not be trusted to use my best judgment in terms of food. Since the inception of this blog, I decided to take a “common sense” approach to eating and health, which has been utter bullshit past few days because my “common sense” has included cake, ice cream, french fries, and other bad, awful foods.

You know what’s frustrating? Knowing what you should do, and absolutely refusing to do it. I know what I should do. I should go to the gym, and work out, and eat healthy foods. But I’m not. and I’m angry at myself. And I’m angry that all of my “in the moment” decisions are bad decisions.

Here’s a Case-In-Point for you: yesterday I went to pub quiz with some friends. It was fun. I ordered a steak salad. It was delicious and healthy(ish). But then, on the way home, my ass stops for ice cream. You know why? I. Can. Not. Be. Trusted.

Which is why I’m outlining my food criteria here on this blog for all of my readers (just me) to see. The only diet that has ever worked for me in the past was the Whole 30 diet. I lost 21 pounds in 30 days. And I think the only reason it worked was because my roommate was doing it with me and keeping me accountable. But you know what? My roommate is a skinny bitch who don’t need to diet because she’s like 25 pounds, so I have to do this shit on my own. Which is fine. Because I have all my readers (me).

So here’s my diet. Starting right now (well, technically 10:55 PM yesterday) I will eat nothing but:

  • meat
  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • certain nuts
  • limited dairy

So basically Whole 30 plus some dairy. I’ve done it before. It was hard! I can do it again! I’m harder.

I guess growing as a person requires learning what does and doesn’t work for me. I realize that using my “best judgment” in the moment isn’t working for me. Whole 30 has worked for me in the past. No accountability doesn’t work for me. Maybe this blog will act as accountability, and that might work for me. I’ll report back tomorrow!

Ups and Downs

So today was a pretty stressful day. It started out okay, despite some residual negativity from the past two weeks attempting to mentally drag me down, but I! Didn’t! Let it! Except for a little bit I did, but whatever.

Anyway, I went grocery shopping! To buy healthy foods! One of the biggest pitfalls I have with healthy eating is grocery shopping. I hate it so much. Plus, one of the fun things about living in Alaska is that almost all of our produce is already wilted and molding in the store. So half of the grocery time is spent wading through spoiled vegetables, and the other half is deciding which organ you’re going to sell in order to afford the healthy foods. The appendix isn’t really necessary, right? I could survive with out it. Plus, I would already be closer to my goal weight without all of that unnecessary appendix weight dragging me down.

Anyway, I get home and throw on some Game of Thrones while I’m cooking. I just started season 3, which I hear is so intense from everybody. I decided to make beef mixed with pearl onions, garlic and zucchini. Now, mind you, cooking is not my forte. In fact, up until recently, I’ve never really cooked. I’m afraid of raw meat, and I have a tendency to turn all of my meat products into jerky in an attempt at not getting salmonella. Nothing says “I hate cooking, this is stupid, I’m ordering pizza” quite like shriveled chicken breasts that have taken on the texture (and taste) of old drywall. Following instructions also isn’t my forte, and I have a tendency to double cooking times. “These pork chops say 350 degrees for 20 minutes? How about ALL OF THE DEGREES for AN HOUR?” That, and I get distracted, leaving most of my food to burn.

Which is absolutely what happened today. I managed to simultaneously burn and undercook my meal. Between getting absorbed into Westeros drama and my poor timing, I had tough chewy beef and undercooked zucchini. Whatever, it still tasted good (and by that I mean, it still tasted like garlic).

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I added a filter to make this meal look less disgusting. It didn’t work!

Any ways, weight loss is a process, right? I’m trying, and not every meal will be great. But at least I’m trying. However, speaking of trying, I had a really trying day at work (see what I did there?). I had packaged up half of my charcoal beef-n-raw zucchini concoction to take to work. But after I got to work, I realized that I stupidly left my food. So that left me alone for eight hours with no food. And on top of that, work turned out to be really fucking stressful, so I succumbed to the siren song of the chocolate muffin. I ate a fucking chocolate muffin, and I started to eat a small bag of Fritos but then I was like, FUCK THESE FRITOS! FRITOS TASTE LIKE SHIT! And I threw those little crunchy assholes in the garbage! And I let out a warrior yell as I did it, but it was a really quiet warrior yell because I was at work and you can’t just warrior yell all the time and expect people to take you seriously as a professional.

Fat Bitch Book Review – 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

This is Review #1 of my ongoing series of book reviews regarding health and weight-related books. I started this series just now, so that’s exciting. My plan is to go through and review fiction and non-fiction books related to weight, weight issues, body-positivity, etc. I’m a giant book nerd anyway (pun absolutely intended), and this blog now gives me an outlet to scream my reviews into the void. LEZ GO!

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad has been on my iPad’s iBook app for a while now. I had heard about it on… Goodreads, I think? I don’t know exactly how I first heard of it, but I’d vaguely tried reading it once, got through the first page and was like, nah, this is boring. I tend to react to things like that on a pretty much daily basis because my attention span isn’t great.

But, because of this book review series, I figured, what better way to start a book review for Fat Bitch, than a book that literally has “Fat Girl” in the title? Also, the front page claims this book is a “novel”, so I figured it wasn’t literally a 13-step guide to looking at fat girls. Anyways.

This is one of those books that makes me angry. Like, “what the fuck is going on, I hate this but I’m too far in to look away, what’s happening” angry. The first half of it read like a play-by-play of my life. The overweight, quirky girl with the pretty friends and the fat, dysfunctional mom. The fat girl that lets guys walk all over her, gives way too much of herself and her heart as sort of an apology for her weight. There’s a vignette about a boy who only calls her when he’s wasted, and only because she validates and cares for him more than the woman he’s actually dating, and with whom he’s actually willing to be seen in public.

There are several of these heartbreakingly familiar vignettes. The whole time it felt like I was looking in a mirror, but I also wanted to yell at that girl (me), you’re worth more than this! Don’t be treated like garbage because you feel like that’s all you’re wooorth! But then the book takes a weird turn. The girl loses her weight. She starts dating this guy, and it’s the catalyst she needs to drop, like, half her body weight.

And then the book turns into a giant shitshow. She’s a shell of her former self. Weight is literally all she can talk about, until she’s a sad, old, lonely, kinda skinny lady who has literally zero personality outside of her struggles with her weight. It’s almost like a very specific, pointed descent into madness. Her life is portrayed as this awful, boring, dreadful thing.

I’m guessing the author wanted to satirize those people for whom looks and weight are of the utmost importance, but it misses the mark. Her main character goes from being this dynamic, sad, interesting little weirdo to this Stepford Divorcee Gym Monster who judges everybody and herself incredibly harshly. Even my most athletic, skinny friends manage to have at least some personality outside of their weight. But not this girl. Also, there are parts of the book that are just downright creepy. If you read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Normal people can’t have these thoughts, right? Right? Ladies?

Needless to say, I give this book 6/10. I enjoyed the first half very much. It was so, so, devastatingly relatable. But in the second half I was like, nah girl you gotta get your groove back or something because right now you’re just a sad hot little mess.

The birth of the Fat Bitch Blog

I’ve been wanting to start a weight loss blog for a while because it’s the perfect intersection of my two favorite things: writing and bitching about losing weight! I really want to have a place to vent, share what I’m learning, track progress (or failure), and ultimately connect with a blogging community aimed at losing weight.

I’d like to introduce myself, and I figure the best way to do that is to interview myself.

Who are you?

I’m a 27-year-old Alaskan resident named Kate. I have a super cool dog named Moo and I enjoy reading, writing, and my burgeoning stand-up comedy hobby.

Why are you starting this blog?

Because I recently went to the doctor and my weight was 414.8 pounds. Over 400 fucking pounds! I realize I need to change my life or I’m going to die of a heart attack in like 12 minutes.

Dude, that’s really fat. How did you get that fat? Seriously.

Good question! A combination of eating food and eating more food.

But didn’t you realize how fat you were getting? 

Hmm, you’re kind of a rude interviewer.

Yeah, I’m not getting paid for this. 

I can see that. To answer your question, I did realize how fat I was getting. But that didn’t stop me. Kinda like how the meth addict keeps losing teeth and they’re like, ‘that sucks, better console myself with more meth.’

Did you just compare your love of lemon pound cake to a meth addict? That’s pretty insensitive.

Is it really that different though? Like, addiction is addiction, man. Both substances can kill, right? Okay, fine, meth and food are different. But this is a weight loss blog, not a meth loss blog.

I see why you’re calling this blog “Fat Bitch”. Because you’re kind of a bitch.

Yeah, it’s pretty literal. But my plan is to lose SO. MUCH. WEIGHT. that the blog name is ironic instead of just literal.

We’ll see.

Fuck you! This interview is over.

 

Starting weight: 414.8

Current weight: 398