Friday, March 6, 2015

If you're crazy and you know it clap your hands...

The problem with knowing you are crazy is knowing you are crazy.

See if you are crazy and don't know it you just live your life like a normal person completely unaware that you are crazy. Life might be different for you, but it's just life.

Once you realize you are crazy and you are aware that you are crazy things shift.

Because intellectually I can explain to you how I am crazy. I've done it before in the pages of this very blog. I can tell you the signs and symptoms of my particular brand of crazy (brands actually since I have two areas of not quite right, but today we are talking about weight). I can theorize with you about why I am crazy, when it first manifested itself, the probable causes of my particular brand of crazy. I can even speak so clearly about it that it really seems like I have a perfectly good handle on it.

But I'm still crazy.

I'm just really aware of it so I can do something about it when it happens. Normally. Sometimes it sneaks up and blindsides me and I have to do the whole hind-site thing to see where things fell apart, but for the most part I have a really good grasp on my crazy. But even with that it doesn't mean I'm not crazy. And it doesn't mean that I'm not slightly terrified of it all.

My BMI puts me at overweight. I know this because I know exactly what I have to weigh to be in the normal range. I also know that I'm not built for the BMI. I'm always going to be heavier than people think I am. I'm solidly built and quite rounded. So I weigh more than you think. And more than I think I should. The funny thing, funny being crazy here, is that I find all sorts of body styles attractive. I have really slim friends and friends who are quite heavy who are all very attractive. I have friends made up of angles, friends made up of curves and combinations of both who are all gorgeous. So I hear you say, "You look great." and I believe that you mean it, and I would mean it too, if it were someone else, but what I think is "Five more pounds." I have great body acceptance. For other people's bodies.

Years ago before the great Oprah leaving of the early 2000s I remember watching a show about weight loss of hers and she was talking about complaining to her trainer Bob Greene that it was all so much harder for her than other people. And he basically told her, So what. It is harder for you. That's not going to change, it just is. So you have to decide if you want to work harder at it or not. It's not going to get easier for you, it's always going to be harder. That's just life. So for her she has to work harder to lose weight and maintain it. For me I have to be careful not to swing too wildly in either direction. So I have systems. And that should be enough. Except it's not.

Even building in all of the crutches and support systems and modifiers and check points and accountability stations... it still happens. And I still deal with it knowing that normal people do not. And as much as I talk about it, I know that I'm not really able to express what it feels like in my head when it's happening. How much it actually scares me. The thought that I might not ever get this right.

I've been fighting this battle since we wore suits made out of plastic and then went jogging in them. I can still remember the joy I felt when I first heard about appetite suppressing pills and then the crushing disappointment I felt when I discovered they didn't completely take away your appetite and if you were living on caffeine and nicotine you were still going to get hungry even with the pills.

I've been trying "new" programs since High Intensity Interval Training was called Module Training. I've been through longer workouts at a lower pace, shorter at higher, Jazzercize to Zumba and everything in between.  I've eaten nothing, everything, smaller more frequent, Zone, Atkins, low fat/no fat, veggie, meat, cabbage soup diets, and followed Weight Watchers, portion control, natural appetite selection and just plain old fashioned calorie tracking.

I view it very much like my insomnia now. I've dealt with it for so long that if there is a solution I've probably tried it. Or at least heard about it.

So we come to this latest round. I started to get heavier than is good for my health. My knees were complaining.  My jeans gave up the ghost and turned the job over to a new size. I knew I really needed to drop weight before I climbed anymore. Ten pounds to start, probably 15 was really where I should go. I went about it in all the right ways. Three months to reach the initial goal. No crazy diet. No extreme exercise plan. Just step up the workouts I was already doing and turn down the calories a touch. Those two things would be fine. And of course, making sure people knew. People who I know would ask questions if things seemed off. Because I know I'm crazy.

The first month went okay, the second did not. And all of sudden I was facing a goal in 5 weeks that was not going to be reachable unless I tweaked even more. Which is fine. It's really fine. I know I said I wasn't going to switch things up until the end of three months, but I was missing a goal. A REALLY EASY FUCKING GOAL so a little tweak would be fine...and a weekend was spent looking at fad diets and exercise programs. Even though the part of me that knows I'm crazy kept saying, "Hey, you are starting to seem a little crazy here, maybe you should...." IF I EAT 1000 CALORIES A DAY AND WORK OUT 2 TIMES A DAY I CAN GET BACK ON TRACK IN A WEEK OR MAYBE TWO AND THEN BE FINE....and still I kept looking.

Then I was talking to C on the phone and telling him how frustrated I was with it and I could hear the brittle edge in my voice. That very fragile tone that means I'm really on the verge of a snap. And worse I heard his very measured calm, "you know this could just be your body telling you that this is where you are supposed to be weight wise. As long as you are healthy this is really fine." And as I heard his calmness I thought..."oh he hears it too."

So yeah, the gremlins were coming to play. So I told Brent that I was going to take a week off. I would still workout, but I would switch up what I was doing a little, more fun driven than fitness, and I was going to half track. Basically I would keep tracking what I was eating but I wasn't going to pay attention to the number so much. And I wasn't going to step on the scale.

I did that for a week and everything sort of calmed down a bit. I even enjoyed the Girl Scout cookies without cutting out actual meals to eat them. Which is totally a thing a crazy person does. We decided to go to Hawaii in a few weeks and I made the joke that maybe I should let the crazy out for a little bit just to be beach ready. It's funny...because I'm crazy.

Anyway...this past week I went back on schedule. Food tracking, workouts stepped back up, and stepped on the scale this morning and basically the same weight as two weeks ago. And the gremlins in my head said, "Three weeks 5.5 pounds, you could easily do this just..."and I stepped off the scale and said, "We're done." So the March goal is off the table. Workouts are back to being for fitness not weight loss. The weight loss might happen but I'm probably not stepping on a scale again for awhile. Food is food is food. I'm not sure how much longer I'll track what I am eating, probably for awhile just to make sure I'm not lying to myself about what I'm doing.

When you are crazy and you know you are crazy it doesn't stop you from being crazy.

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