Just wanted to introduce myself (it's long !!)

  • (Wow - this got really long, as I just kept typing and typing. I guess I think I'm pretty fascinating. I can understand if everyone else doesn't share that opinion !! I am sure my story isn't all that unique ...)

    Hi everyone ... I'm new to these forums & discussion boards (though not new to weight loss attempts and BFL challenges and the like) so I thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself. It seemed rude to just come crashing in, commenting on people's posts and offering my advice and opinions without at least a little backgrouind and chitchat ! So here's my story .... fascinating stuff:

    I'm a 40 year old female, about 30 pounds overweight, and that's because I love food and behave like a petulant 4 year old when I'm around it. I want what I want, consequences be damned, and I have a .... shall we say "hearty" appetite ? I just love to eat. I've been blessed with pretty good genetics and a decent metabolism, so for years I got away with this unhealthy eating, only adding a pound or so here and there, and hiding it pretty well on a well-proportioned frame. No one particular area of my body stuck out and looked hideously overweight, so I just slid by as the weight snuck up on me.

    You know how some people have "body dysmorphia," where they are in fact slim, or even underweight, but when they look in the mirror they see a fat, chunky person ? At its extreme, this would be anorexia. But I'm just talking about the average woman who is her own worst critic and only sees the worst in her figure. Well, I am my own worst enabler, I have whatever the opposite of that would be, and for the longest time, even though the number on the scale was creeping up from a respectable 135 towards 140 ... and 145 ... and up to 150, I couldn't see where the weight was going. I thought I looked okay ! And I certainly didn't look horrible, which is kind of a weird situation to be in - no one supports you when you say you want to lose weight. Instead, you hear, "What for ? You look fine !" I am sure the other option is worse - to have some look at you with a sympathetic glance, thinking, " Well, it's about time !" when you announce that you're going on a diet - that probably doesn't feel so good either - but at least your peers are encouraging you.

    Anyway, I was last thin & happy with my body about ten years ago, and unfortuantely it wasn't the result of any sort of healthy plan. I had recently been dumped, was heartbroken, didn't eat much, and dropped about 12 pounds without even trying. I was miserable, but looked great. Well, of course that didn't last - as soon as my heart healed, so did my appetite and I not only went back to my previous weight - which was about 145 pounds, and was actually pretty good - but I kept on going. Somehow I just kept gaining, slowly, until before I knew it my "normal" weight was more like 155. Then 160.

    I felt pudgy and chubby and had a muffin top and had to buy new pants. I was embarrassed to be in a two piece bathing suit, though I didn't want to admit defeat and get a one piece just yet. I was still young ! Barely into my 30s ! I knew I had some good years left to wear sexy clothes and lounge by the pool and earn some appreciative glances. (Before I became the embarrassing old woman who, no matter what her figure, really should know better.)

    But it kept going .... soon my weight was aruond 165, and about 2 years ago I settled in at 168. That's now the "normal" number I see on the scale. And I hate it !!

    Over the past ten years, I have tried (and failed at) just about every diet out there: Jenny Craig, Nutri System, Atkins, The Master Cleanse, South Beach, Slim Fast, the Abs Diet, the Blood Type diet, ... I even tried to start a BFL Challenge several times, but I always let myself down and petered out after a few weeks. The common thread in all those adventures wasn't that the plan didn't work - any plan where you burn more calories than you consume will result in weight loss - the common denominator was my own inability to commit and follow through. I was, quite simply, addicted to food, I'd eat junk out of habit, and I didn't want the results badly enough to put in the work required to get them.

    Wow - I just summed it up in that last sentence. Of course I wanted to be thin, fit, attractive in my designer jeans or bikini ... I'd think about it a lot, but when it came time to "put my money where my mouth was" it was more likely pizza finding its way to my mouth ! I was all about instant gratification, starting over tomorrow, just finishing off that pint of ice cream because, well, it was already there anyway. It took a long time for me to recognize that my behavior with food was no different that a drug addict's behavior with their drug of choice: the consequences of using were negative, my body would feel bad the next day, I'd be wracked with guilt, it was a waste of money ... I'd do it home, alone, where no one could see me, I'd hide the evidence, and once I was done, I'd promise myself a fresh start, to never do it again, to "be good" from now on. I was disgusted by this realization ... I come across people in my line of work who are addicted to heroin, meth and cocaine and I would think, "How can you do this ? Why would you destroy your body and your life ? Just stop." The realiztion that I was doing the same thing with food - in my case out of laziness and lack of self control, rather than true physiological addiction - humbled and embarrassed me.

    Wow - I am really babbling on here. But maybe someone out there can relate.

    Anyway, there's no lack of knowledge in my head when it comes to diet topics. I don't hold any sort of degree, but I've picked up some knowledge and facts along the way and I hope to now apply them and share here on the forum, when I can. (Always prefacing my input with the admission that I'm just a layperson, of course) and I hope that now, recognizing what my crappy eating habits and childish behavior and lack of self discipline have led me to .... being a 40 something overweight woman (walking stereotype anyone ?) I hope to make some serious changes.

    I will be applying ALL of my previous experience and experiments to this current BFL challenge, which I started on Wednesday, August 4th. I took "before" photos, schedules "after" photos with a local professional, stocked up the fridge with appropriate foods, and I am set to FINALLY DO THIS. I hope to find encouragement here and to encourage others, and to find some great online support.

    And if you're entering the contest for 2010 ... watch your back !! ;-) I plan to give everyone a run for their money !!


  • Kristin! WOW, lady...sounds pretty much like me back in December when I decided to start another challenge. I had did a successful one back in 2001, tried to start again after the birth of 3rd child...I got sick of being tired all the time AND I was a PE teacher.

    Everyone said I "carried my weight well" when I told them I weighed 203#! That was the point, I didn't want to carry that excess wt, cause I hated it...so I made the commitment to the challenge and lost 20# the first go around. Kept focused on my goals throughout, then started up again with new goals, kept plugging along and now I'm in my 3rd challenge and probably the best shape of my life (I'm 42). I feel AWESOME!!

    I wish you all the best...sounds like you have everything planned out and you are going to give everyone a run for their money!!

    I enjoyed reading your post btw!! =)

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • I love it.

    I always say that I have body dysmorphia... only its body dysmorphia IN MY FAVOR.


    Well I really hope you complete your challenge! Good Luck.

  • Kristin good for you! I can totally relate!

    @ llpirata the same here :))  love how you put it, dysmorphia in my favor :))

    The thing which woke me up wasn't the little muffin top which i could hide, it was the pictures i took at the beginning of th challenge!

    I am 5 weeks into the program, and ive had ups and downs, but i have one thing set, I am determined to finished, doesn't matter if i have a bad day or a bad WO or 2!!

    We are all in this together and we will do this once and for all!


  • Oh yeah, the "Before" photos are an eye-opener, aren't they ?? I am so thankful that I have a digital camera, and I can just upload them to a photo site and order my prints over the Internet, never having to face a local store clerk who might have peeked at them. I am old enough to remember the days of FILM in a camera, and the neighborhood photo shop or drugstore where your friends and neighbors worked. That would have been horrifying, and possibly enough to discourage me from even doing this in the first place. Thank goodness for Shutterfly, where I ordered my start photos from.

    Of course, when I am declared Grand Master Champion* (dare to dream !!) I will happily provide the BFL people with the full size files of my original pictures and they can blow them up into posters for all I care. I plan to NEVER look this way again.

    My "Body Dismorphia in My Favor" is gone forever, I think. And I am glad others can relate. Those comments made me laugh. (I think what I had is also called "denial.")

    *Please don't think I am arrogant and full of myself when I write things like that. They are meant to be very tongue-in-cheek. I know there are thousands of people out there working just as hard to change their life and become fit & healthy through BFL. And to that I say - Good for us all !! Awesome ! But instead of talking myself down and doing the old "Gosh, it won't be poor little old me" routine and basically planning to fail, I am planning to WIN, for the first time in my life. And I really think that's the way to plan for it, mentally, because even if that plan doesn't work out, here's the WORST case scenario: I get into the best shape of my life, I look and feel great, I'm confident and fit, and I DON'T win $25,000. Oh well ! I'll still be thrilled !!

  • Kristin- loved reading your post.  I always think I look better than I really do!  Plus I happen to have good genes and I am constantly told I look younger than I am (I am 40) so I always (until I took my challenge photos!) have felt a little smug, like, "I look good for 40!"  I was 20 lbs overweight (I thought I carried it well) but learned I was 31% body fat- that was the biggest punch in the gut....uh...muffin top!!

    I am in week 7 and I love this community for support and I LOVE how I feel on this program.  I feel better than I have in my life and I am having FUN with it.  The changes are fun to see, the workouts are fun and the people are fun.  It's even pretty cool to eat all the time- 6 times a day- lol!!

    I wish you all the best!  Thanks for sharing your story!


    If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten!

    My FOURTH Challenge: May 23-Aug. 14, 2011.  Began First BFL Challenge on June 21, 2010

  • Thanks for sharing your story Kristin.

    It makes me wonder, how many of us here, before reading the book and starting the challenge, intellectually KNEW what we SHOULD be eating to eat healthy to maintain body weight. And for how many people the BFL book regarding the nutrition plan was something totally new to them when they read it.

    I know for myself I have know since my 20's as I followed it when I lifted weights regularly. Then I CHOSE to completely ignore it for over a decade in favor of fast food and sweets.

  • Well said, BC Bill. Everyone's path is different - some people truly have no idea what to eat or how to exercise. That's one hill to climb: gaining knowledge.

    I, however, am in the other category: I know exactly what to do, I probably have too much knowledge in my head about nutrition, weight loss, fad diets, training, etc ... some of it good and some of it probably less so, but I certainly know what do to and what NOT to do, on the most basic level) and yet - as you said - I CHOSE not to do those things. For a long time.

    The people who don't know what to do have a good excuse, at least until they are exposed to the knowledge that they need.

    But me ? I have NO EXCUSE except I have been in denial, and than after that I was just plain ... lazy.

    I am really, really looking forward to week 4 or 5, because I think at that point I'll start to really see & feel some changes !! I'll enjoy the journey and building new habits, but I won't lie - I'm impatient and eager to get there !!


  • You bring up a great point about to much knowledge. People an inundated and overwhelmed with mixed messages regarding a healthy life style. So much media stories and so called experts with different fad diets and products.

    While some of the things we hear do have merit, the majority just seems to be shady characters looking to cash in on people struggling with weight and obesity.  Sadly we live in a quick fix world and people seem drawn to looking for the quick weight loss instead of common sense approaches like BFL or Tom Venutos program.

  • Kristin,

    Your post cracked me up. I have often said I had "reverse anorexia" where I look in the mirror and think I am still the slim 29 year old I was ten years ago! I am like 170 ( I can't even believe Im putting this in print) and I am in TOTAL denial!! I have always worked out and eaten healthily, and lost weight easily. Then I had 3 kids. I was running daily after my first daughter, and went down two pants sizes without really even trying! Baby # 2 took a little longer....held onto the extra 10 lbs, but hey, still fitting into the size 8s and 10s ....and everyone kept saying how GREAT I looked after two kids so close together...blah blah blah......here we are after baby #3.....and a full 20lbs heavier than when I had baby #1 but I am still wearing the size 10s, not so much the 8s... and 6s are  a faint memory.  I work out 4-5 times a week, blood work and resting heart rate, etc is all above avg, but I LOOK GROSS IN A BIKINI!! Ugh. So I am totally with ya. I have been lulled into thinking I can still eat carelessly (as long as its healthy.....not!!) because hey, I still wear the same or almost the same size as I used to......and everyone says I look great, right?!!!???  keep me posted on your progress. I started 7-19 but my sister came into town, my husband worked a ton of overtime and my two year old gave up her pacifier.  So needless to say, I ate horribly. Still worked out, but mindlessly ate under stress. ( yes, I binge eat on fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole wheat bread, and all the "good" stuff! oh, and we ate pizza and popcorn too....more than once....and a glass or two - or FIVE- of wine at the pool.....daily.....not good!)

    Tomorrow is a new day. I am starting again. Again. But reading your posts and those of the others here keep me laughing and knowing I am not the only one!!


  • Jennifer - sounds like you and I would make great friends at the pool (a glass or two or FIVE of wine ?? You are my kinda gal !!)

    Everything you wrote in response to my post I could write ... right back at you. I look lumpy and bumpy and dumpy in a bikini, too. I am also 170 pounds, so that shouldn't surprise me at all ! Who would look good at 170 in a bikini ? At 5'5" ?

    It's time to take off those rose colored glasses, stop kidding ourselves and quit with the excuses and the wine and the mindless eating and become RAD.


  • Kristin: I really appreciate your honesty. You have a great story. Although I'm not a female I am over 50 and I know that with dedication and discipline you can truly look 20 years younger. Feel free to check out my pics on my profile. All the best to you on your fitness journey. You will have many dedicated bfler's on this forum that will be happy to walk with you and help you along the way.

    fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"

  • A very nice intro indeed Kristin! Really enjoyed reading it. I am 42 and about to start Challenge #2 (consecutive with active rest week). Its the best feeling to accomplish it and its refreshing to read someone confident (not arrogant at all!!). And you need to be confident that this time you will not let yourself down. Its about doing it and finishing it. Then comes the thrill of doing it again!!

    I didnt enter the challenge so I will be looking to see you win it! But mostly reading your posts as you go thru the journey. This is a great place for support!!

    Best to you every day.

  • Well, today was day 3 of 84, and I feel like I nailed it. I finally got the fridge organized, got my food cooked and packaged for the remainder of the week (for me that's 4 days' worth ... then I go on vacation for a week. THERE'S a major challenge !! More on that later) and I exercised ! My exercise routine isn't necessarily pure BFL every time. but I've been exercising for years - that's not my problem area, FOOD is - and I know that what I am doing works for me. In the final month of this challenge I'll really crank it up and hit the weights harder, but I've been doing that (and overeating) for years so what I really need right now is a "lean" phase. I have been in the "bulking" phase for the past 20 years. No need to panic - I'm not already making excuses and tweaking things, fixing what ain't broke - I have a personal trainer who is helping me, so I'm getting some expert advice.

    I'm also training for a Half Marathon - something I registered for BEFORE I decided to do a BFL challenge, and rather than just flake out on it (as I have done before !!) I'll be working on a hybrid cardio training program, that allows me to do both HIIT and longer distance runs.

    Off to a great start !

  • You are absolutely right about the diet. It is 80-90% of the program.You are far better off missing a workout for a day then you are straying from your diet for a dayl. That has been my experience. Working out and making it to the gym has never been a problem but the whole "clean eating" thing is what I need to focus on.

    fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"