Indecisions of Greatness

 

I don’t think I’m alone in hating decisions. They’re hard. They suck up your life energy.  Before I make a decision, I feel like my stomach is going to fall through my asshole.  Immediately afterwards, I feel like a wet rag and my brain hurts.

I’m working on getting better at making decisions. I’m meditating, thinking, and trying my best to generally chill the fuck out.

But until then, I’ll be making indecisions. Specifically, indecisions of greatness.

Indecisions of greatness happen when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, but at least you’re doing something that’s good for yourself. Or at least less bad for yourself than something you might otherwise do.

Example 1. I’m stressed about something that comes up with work.   I don’t know what to do. Normally, I might procrastinate and eat a delicious bagel filled with all of my favorite things. Today, I’ll procrastinate by going for 10 minute walk.

Why is this good?: I’m still procrastinating, so I suck. But maybe by channeling my procrastination in a slightly better way, I’ll feel slightly better about myself in general, therefore slightly less anxious, and therefore slightly less likely to continue procrastinating. I’ll probably continue to procrastinate, but at least I’ve improved my odds.

Example 2. I don’t know what’s going on with my life, and I’m sad. Sundays in particular make me sad.  I really want to light up a bowl and become one with my couch.  Instead, I will make an indecision of greatness. Maybe I’ll still light up a bowl, but I’ll tune into a Continuing Legal Education course instead of succumbing to another season of Hoarders.  And maybe I’ll take notes. And maybe I won’t light up that bowl after all.

Why is this good?: I’m still self-medicating and sloppy, but at least I’m not watching Hoarders. I’ll become a better lawyer (and arguably BETTER at being lazy).  Maybe that course will help me get better at helping someone else someday. Maybe I’ll forget the whole thing.  But if I’m using my sloppy Sunday for even .001% self-improvement, I’m making an indecision of greatness. And that is OK.

Indecisions are not good. But indecisions of greatness are better than indecisions of sorrow. They might not be a step forward, but at least they are not a step backward.

You can’t always be on the ball. Because the ball is round, legs are not good at standing on balls, and learning balance takes practice.

unspecified-72011

Advertisements

Four Ways to Fight Apathy

dieta

When I reached my highest weight, I felt nothing but apathy. It was as if every day was a cold rainy day, and I just didn’t want to get out of bed. At that time:

  • Getting into even decent shape seemed so far away that it felt more like a fantasy than an achievable goal; and
  • Getting into great shape was completely outside of the realm of possibilities.

The result? 

  • I fell into a complete state of apathy. And if things had gone a little differently, I might still be there today.
  • I wasted precious time dreaming of a fantasy transformation instead of slowly beginning to introduce the small changes that my body actually needed and wanted.

When does apathy strike?: 

Apathy tends to strike when the place where you WANT TO BE seems too far away from the place where you CURRENTLY ARE.

So naturally, you need to find ways to trick your brain into feeling:

  • that the road ahead of you isn’t so bad; AND
  • that you’re closer to where you want to be than you actually are.

Four Ways to Fight Apathy:

  1. Reduce your ambition. This seems counterintuitive, but it works. Try the “do one thing” rule
  2. Set SMALL Behavioral Goals. You can never control outcomes, but you can ALWAYS control behaviors. What is one SMALL behavior you can change every day for this entire week? Examples: have salad for lunch every day; do 50 crunches before bed; eat one probiotic food every day.
  3. Increase your motivation. See here.
  4. Chop up your outcome-based goals. To the extent you do focus on outcome-based goals, cut them up into bite sized chunks. This is important! See my post on Aiming for Eight.

What are some ways that you fight apathy?

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

And/or keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

Holiday Recovery

12931267_10153650662138246_377568220441701485_n.jpg

Full disclosure: I’m Jewish. So while Christ doth not arise in my home, I recognize that he did visit many of my friends this weekend.

And when Christ arises, calories arise. So now it’s time for confession.

Tell it to me straight, glutton:

  • Did you have a second helping of ham?
  • Perhaps an extra leg of lamb?
  • A marshmallow pie?? An entire box Peeps?? A Lindt Chocolate bunny?
  • A Cadbury Caramel Egg?!?!
  • ALL OF THE ABOVE?!!!

I think all of those things are great, especially Cadbury Caramel eggs. I also think that holidays are meant to be enjoyed.

Gluttony may be a sin, but not in my book. I think it’s human nature to let yourself go every once in a while.

But now it’s Tuesday and it’s time to get back on track. Here are a few tips:

  1. Get rid of leftover candy. That’s assuming you have any left over 😉
    • I hate throwing out food, even candy.
    • If you don’t want to throw it out, bring it to work or put it in the freezer
    • But really, you should throw it out.
  2. Pencil in an extra workout this week. You don’t have to go crazy. But whatever your normal exercise regimen, add one extra session this week. This can even be moderate exercise – go for a long walk.
  3. Have a hearty salad for lunch for the remainder of the week. 
  4. Try to reduce your carbs by 50% for at least one or two days this week. If you’re still feeling bloated from the weekend, this might help.
  5. If you normally drink alcohol, take a break for the remainder of the week. Your body will thank you.

Remember: you don’t have to go crazy to make up for your “sins.” One or two holiday meals won’t make or break you. Implement one or two small changes from the above list and you should be back to your lent-sized self in no time.

unspecified-7201

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

We’d love to hear about your progress.
Keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook :)

Deprivation Works. And Doesn’t.

dieta

Of course deprivation works!

What does it mean to lose fat? It means to burn fat because:

  • you are starving to death, and
  • you are not giving your body enough fuel to do the functions it needs to do

If you ARE getting enough fuel, then you’re NOT going to burn fat. There’s no magic. You’re just NOT going to burn fat without depriving your body of what it needs – fuel.

..And that’s why losing weight feels shitty. No matter how you do it.

You can lose weight:

  • Slowly, by eating SLIGHTLY LESS than you need over a long period of time;
  • Quickly, by eating FAR LESS than you need over a shorter period of time;  and/or
  • *Optional* by increasing your need for fuel by increasing your energy output (exercise) [slowly or quickly]

You can also:

  • Set yourself up for success by understanding habit formation;
  • Set yourself up for success by removing addictive foods from your diet and life (at least for a short period);
  • Set yourself up for success by understanding how willpower and motivation actually work.
  • Set yourself up for success by understanding the basics of appetite, and also becoming mindful of your appetite.
  • Set yourself up for success by understanding the basics of metabolism

Deprivation works to lose weight, NOT to maintain it.

I CAN’T lose weight slowly.  Healthy or not healthy – I just can’t do it. I spent 20+ years trying. I can’t deprive myself ‘slightly’ day after day for months, hoping to lose 1-2 pounds per week.  I can’t continue to eat a diet of processed foods, while counting calories. It just doesn’t work for me.  I can’t do it, and I won’t do it.

I CAN lose weight quickly through “RESPONSIBLE Deprivation.”  Here is what I CAN do:

  • lose weight (relatively) quickly in spurts, and *IMPORTANTLY* punctuate these periods with periods of maintenance.
  • use methods like intermittent fasting to lose weight
  • cut out processed foods that I find addicting for long periods of time during weight loss periods

I CAN’T maintain my weight through responsible deprivation. I CAN’T maintain my weight through:

  • counting calories,
  • cutting out food groups, and/or
  • dieting.

To me, that’s not a life – it’s too much deprivation. In the end, too much deprivation will cause me to gain weight.   To maintain my weight – I eat a mostly whole foods diet. Here is how I eat. My weight maintains itself:

  • mostly plants, most days (including starchy plants)
  • mostly whole foods, as little processed food as possible
  • watch my alcohol intake
  • never eat unless I’m hungry
  • lot’s of soups and salads

We need to separate “weight loss” from “maintenance.”

Weight loss is hard! Somewhere along the line, something got messed up and now you need to fix it. The only way to do that is by giving your body less fuel than it needs. And that’s fucking hard! Your body thinks it’s dying. So it’s best not to gain weight in the first place!  (duh!). 

..but once you do find yourself in a position where you need to lose weight, then forget the weight loss myths. Lose weight however you can, and forget the lies. Just be careful of the following:

  • don’t give yourself nutritional deficiencies
  • don’t give yourself electrolyte imbalances
  • don’t physically exert yourself while suddenly eating less
  • listen to your body

Weight maintenance should NOT be hard! 

Why? Because if weight maintenance is hard, you’ll gain the weight back. You can’t deprive yourself forever. You can only do it for short periods.

If maintaining weight is hard, that means you’re eating the wrong things. What are “wrong things”? “Wrong things” = foods meant to addict you aka processed foods.

Being Fit in an Unfit World

This post is largely an oversimplification.

But my point is this: many of the things you hear about weight loss are myths and fantasies.

When it comes to weight loss, do whatever you CAN do. Because weight loss is hard, and you need to fight this uphill battle in whatever way works for you. Just be careful not to hurt yourself, and be smart.

And once you lose weight, be mindful! You can’t deprive yourself forever, so you need a system for success.

My system is sticking (mostly) to foods that human beings are suppose to eat. This means avoiding things that come out of boxes, but enjoying these things in moderation to whatever extent I find reasonable.

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

We’d love to hear about your progress.
Keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

A Diet Pill State of Mind

Between the ages of 12 and 16, my friends and I use to hunt down 18 year old boys in the mall. And not because we wanted their AOL screen names. We needed someone with I.D. to buy us diet pills.

I suppose eighteen year old boys like prepubescent girls, because we scored plenty of pills. In all fairness, I got my first period by age 10, so by 13, I easily looked 45.

400011_715097427104_1068172078_n.jpg

me, aged 13

..Those poor chumps probably thought they were helping out some nice MILF or widow.

Specifically, I recall:

  • Stackers;
  • Stacker II’s; and
  • Slim Quick (aka “slim death.”)

The ingredient I sought most = ephedra. Especially when stacked with caffeine.

Even at that age, we knew that most diet pills were BS. We had experience, and we had the beginnings of the internet.

DNA helix inside pill capsules

“No snake oil pills for me, my friend. I have dial-up.” 

Stacker II (with ephedra) was my jam. It was the only real pill. You could tell by the involuntary hand tremors and headaches. And also by how quickly it was pulled of the market.

…No worries – you could still score travel size bottles of the original formula at unscrupulous news stands for about a year after it was pulled.

At some point during this time…

I’m in the car with my mom on a warm Spring day. We’re driving past the recreation center, and I’m telling her about these new chips I bought at CVS.  They’re called Lays WOW! Chips and they have so few calories that I’ll probably eat a few bags.

Mom tries one. They DO taste good. “Can you get me these if you see them at Sam’s Club?” I ask.

Lays Wow! Chips contained a magical ingredient called Olestra (aka Olean). Olestra is a fat substitute that adds zero calories to foods. Zero ! ZERO !!!!!!

 

Doritos_WOW_chips.jpg

90’s Kids – do you remember these chips? 

Olestra.jpg

You might recognize them from the warning on the bag..

In exchange for zero calories, Olestra blocks essential vitamins and minerals from entering you. Essentially, eating these chips will give you malabsorption.

For optimists, this is excellent news. Why wait 30+ years to develop IBS, Chrohns, or bowel cancer? ..You can experience painful bloody stool within hours, no strings attached. In related news, here are Lays Wow! Chips topping off a list of Five Foods that Cause Anal Leakage. Arguably, this is not a list that any major food product should aspire to…

Let’s not miss the silver linings here. Low calories = good. Fatty taste = awesome. And while anal leakage sucks, it might contribute to even more weight loss!

A Diet Pill State of Mind

Why have I shared these two anecdotes together in one post? 

Well, riddle me this…

..In the epic quest for weight loss, does it really MATTER  whether you rely on death pills as opposed to POTATO CHIPS THAT OPENLY MAKE YOUR ASS BLEED?!

Really, these two stories are the same. They illustrate the 26 years I spent searching for a magical weight loss solution. And yet all of that time, beautiful, delicious, colorful whole foods were right under my nose.

The Diet Pill Mindset

These stories reflect what I call the “Diet Pill State of Mind.”
..And in my experience, it’s not a helpful mindset to have.

Does this mean that you absolutely MUST take a 100% whole foods based approach to weight loss? No! …It doesn’t mean anything.

I think you can lose weight fast, OR you can lose weight slow. You can lose weight:

  • doing paleo
  • doing weight watchers
  • drinking slim fast shakes
  • eating nothing but pickles
  • drinking your own urine
  • doing isogenix
  • eating nothing but three pretzels all day long for 17 days straight

I don’t know what the right thing is for you. Because:

  • I don’t know where you are starting,
  • I don’t know HOW you became overweight in the first place; AND
  • I don’t know what your goals are

I also believe that weight loss is very different from weight maintenance.

When it comes to weight loss, I say do what works for you. Who cares how crazy or stupid  it is, provided that:

  • it doesn’t give you nutritional deficiencies; and
  • it doesn’t give you an electrolyte imbalance ; and
  • it doesn’t kill you

BUT! When it comes to maintenance, you MUST get onto whole foods. You can’t waste your beautiful life dieting. You need to (mostly) eat foods that come from the earth.

Another Thing I know

As you can see, I don’t know much. But what I DO know is this: a diet pill state of mind was NOT helpful for me.

..I needed to get on to whole foods in order to experience what I believe humans beings are meant to experience when it comes to food and satiety.

Slowly ridding myself of processed foods was the ONLY thing that worked for me. And I hope you find what works for you.

Here are a few articles that might help:

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

We’d love to hear about your progress.
Keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

Reading with Your Ears

Books are such a gift. Aside from that chocolate crispy layer of an ice cream cake, there is NOTHING better on this planet than listening to a great book while going for a nice walk.

It doesn’t hurt that this is my view:

Screenshot 2016-03-20 13.23.22.png

Audiobooks and Podcasts

Audiobooks and podcasts are FANTASTIC tools when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. This is especially true if you’re not the biggest fan of exercise. For more details on why, check out my post on Temptation Bundling and also my Serial Challenge for Gym Haters.

You don’t have to suffer while you exercise. If you keep a healthy diet, a nice walk with a book is just fine to keep you in shape.

Additional benefits:

  • For awkward people – You’ll always have new things to talk about
  • For premature geriatrics – Music is loud
  • For people who hate exercise – A compelling book means a 30 minute walk becomes two hours
  • For people who want to impress other people – Your friends will wonder how you got so fit AND so smart

Pro-Tips

Pro-tip: If you’re buying from Audible.com, listen to a sample first. Make sure you like the narration.

Pro-pro-tip: Audiobooks are expensive. Many local libraries provide free remote access to a wide variety of audiobooks.  Call your library to find out if they offer this service.

Here is my audio-reading list from the past few months:

  • “Bold” by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler
  • “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan
  • “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan
  • “Go Wild” by John Ratey & David Perlmutter
  • “Thinking in Pictures” by Temple Grandin
  • “The Autistic Brain” by Temple Grandin

I highly recommend any of the books from this list. I especially enjoyed the Temple Grandin books.

If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear.  My preference is non-fiction, but I’m open.

And now, for my walk 🙂

Happy “reading”!

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

We’d love to hear about your progress.
Keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

 

Cover Your Belly

I never in my life felt comfortable in a bikini. Never!

When I finally lost most of the weight, I went out and bought a few. And because I have the self-esteem of Donald Trump, I think they look amazing.

1935265_10100491003901284_2927105653398033014_n.jpg

Who wouldn’t want to hit this?

One of the first times I wore a bikini, I was on a private chartered boat off of Mexico with my parents and family friends.

2015-12-31 10.32.40.jpg
it was awesome!

There was a photographer on the boat.

After snapping a few shots he says to me, “ok now go like this, and cover your belly.

It was weird. I was maybe a 26 BMI (just slightly overweight), 29 inch waist. The picture above is from the same day.  So is this picture:

2015-12-29 07.26.41.jpg
my apologies for the lack of fashion

Yes, I’m standing sideways. But I assure you, my belly isn’t objectively grotesque. Stats:

  • My waist = 29 inches (I have a large frame).
  • My proportions are 39, 29, 39. I’m 5’2.
  • My belly is slightly chubby, but quite flat
  • When I jog in a sports bra, people occasionally ask for my number
  • I have zero stretch marks/loose skin.
  • I feel perfectly comfortable butt ass naked in front of anyone (you can ask my poor rooommate).

Haters is Gonna Hate?

With regards to the photographer’s comment, I’m tempted to say something along the lines of “haters is gonna hate,” or “who drank the haterade?”

But really, this guy is not a hater. He’s just a photographer, and also a product of society. He saw a “flaw” and thought I’d prefer the photograph without it.  I don’t blame him, because in all honesty – he’s probably right.

Imagine his experience. He works on this boat everyday, and snaps photos of scantily clad women for a living. How many times a week does he hear comments like this?:

  • “omg, my thighs.”
  • “Jeez, I really need to go on a diet.”
  • “oh god – after this trip I’m not eating for weeks.”

My guess is many..

And when he hears those comments, how often do they come from women who are MUCH thinner than I am? Women who, from the outside, look perfect?

My guess is often.  Because bitches are never satisfied.  We’re just not capable of it.

I’m not going to lie.

I do want my waist smaller. I really really really do. I want:

  • thigh gap; and
  • collar bones; and
  • bikini bridge.

I also want my backbones to stick out, and I want to fly away if the wind blows too hard. Ideally, I’d like to fit into my own pocket. In sum – I want ALL the messed up things that people with eating disorders want. And so much more.

Do you want raw honesty? When Amy Winehouse was at her thinnest, I look at her and think, wow I want to look like that. May she rest in peace. And may all the girls as fucked up as her (and as fucked up as me) find some comfort in this world.

But unlike many girls, I’m crazy fortunate. Because despite spending my entire life hating my body (and even hating it to this day), I’ve always had a ridiculously high self-confidence. I give incredibly few shits what people think of me. I don’t mind looking like an idiot and/or failing. Perhaps because I admire people who fail and try again.

At an earlier time in my life, I might have been traumatized by the photographer’s comment. But now, I just feel sorry for him.

Because when you feel that people need to fit a certain mold, then you are the one that suffers. And when you ask me to cover my tummy, you end up with a photo like this:

Untitled

We all want perfect everything, but that isn’t what we have.  At least not every day.

When you feel that anyone needs to look a certain way, or be a certain way, you miss out on all the beauty that reality has to offer. Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t work on improving things you want to improve. Just don’t miss the beauty along the way.

I don’t mean to sound cliche, but the beauty really IS in the flaws. And not because the flaws are beautiful, but because overcoming them is beautiful.

And loving yourself in spite of them is beautiful.

So be gentle with yourself. Silly people WILL say stupid things to you, because that’s what silly people do.  If you value your sanity you absolutely CANNOT take those things to heart.

Instead, try your best to see things from their limited point of view.

…I’m still working on it 😛

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.

(We won’t spam you)

And/or follow Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂