On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This is why I'm fat

So, during a lunch break from work today, I got to thinking about why I haven't lost any weight lately.

My fitness level has been improving; that I can tell through any number of assessments.  But my weight has plateaud.  Why is that?

I'm not proud to admit that I'm carrying around extra weight.  A fair bit of it - not enough to get me a spot on next season's The Biggest Loser, but more than I'd like to admit.  That was one of the impetuses for starting this blog, in fact: helping me to get fit and lose weight.

And I'm down with the whole fat acceptance thing.  I truly am.  I know that weight isn't a gauge of one's fitness.  I know that some people can't help it.  But I also know that I can.  Before my first blood clot, I weighed around 25lbs less than I do right now.  Maybe closer to 30lbs.  I was a faster runner, I was a happier person, and I just in general felt better about myself.

After pulmonary embolism one and especially embolism two, I became sedentary.  This was not entirely by choice - breathing hurt.  Like, really hurt.  I was reduced to tears often, and then I couldn't cry, because the desperate breathing of a crying jag set off more intense pain.

And of course, the lovely kicker that is coumadin: not only are there very, very few painkillers that I'm allowed to take, but I had to limit my green vegetables.  At the time of embolism two, I was a vegetarian who doesn't like to cook, living in a small town.  This meant brown meals, every meal: fried foods and pastas and breads.  My weight crept up.

So, I was asking myself today, why is my weight not falling now?  What am I doing wrong, and what can I change?

Then, I looked down, and this is what I saw in front of me.  My lunch:

Yes.  Greasy chicken on top of greasy pasta.  In the cafeteria today, I walked past the salad line, past the fruit, past the sandwiches/wraps, past the yogurt, past the Muscle Milk/meal replacement drinks, and stopped at the hot food chicken/pasta station.

This is why I'm fat.

I'm asking my blog readers (the handful of you out there!) to keep me accountable: I can't keep going like this anymore.  As I try to improve my health, I can't ignore my diet.  I'm poisoning myself with crap food and undoing all the good I do with exercise.

First start: vegetarianism.


  1. Yay Tracy! The food part is the part I suck at too (though my weaknesses are salty snacks and cake-like things...still not good for me). It's tough. Good luck.

    What veggies can't you eat? I don't know how much cooking you want to do, but I could try to find you some recipes that we like. Though I know you've done the veggie thing before. Are you a lentil fan?

  2. I have to limit my vitamin K because of the coumadin. So leafy greens are bad - I can have iceberg lettuce and I'm pretty liberal about foods that are "medium" K content (broccoli, avocados, lighter colored greens), but I can't have, for instance, spinach. Beans are a huge yes!

    How worried should I be about the negative effects of soy?

  3. Soy! I'm actually not overly worried about soy, particularly the minimally-processed versions such as tofu or the actual beans. I've tried to cut down on our intake of soy-based fake meats, because that's where I get sketched out, and I've sometimes replaced my soy milk with rice or almond. But for the most part, if you're only doing a serving or two a day, I'm not worried. I will probably worry if/when I have to worry about being pregnant and eating soy, because that, I think, is actually an issue.