When I said last week that I had a pot belly I need to get rid of, I really wasn’t kidding. This is what I look like in my “skinny jeans” with a close-fitting tee. I weighed in at 152 pounds this morning, which is close to the heaviest I’ve ever been. (I’m about 5’7″-ish.) While I am well aware that other people struggle with far worse weight problems, I am nevertheless utterly horrified at myself. I don’t like looking like this. Now, to be fair, I don’t look quite this awful when I’m wearing clothes that fit properly; the jeans are exaggerating the spare tire. But I want to be able to wear this outfit and get away with it, dammit. That’s my goal. I mean I could say that I know that abdominal fat puts me at higher risk for heart disease etc., but really, I don’t care. I just want to look hot. Yeah, I’m that vain.
So getting rid of this spare tire is going to require a multi-pronged approach. No crash dieting, that’s for sure; slow and steady wins the race here. I have a lot of bad habits that have contributed to me looking like this. I’ll be talking about these “issues” of mine in the weeks to come, and what I plan to do to change them.
My first issue is my tendency to run on a sleep deficit. I stay up too late (like I’m doing now) instead of going to bed in good time to be up with Sam at 6:30 a.m. I’ve always been a night owl; I like the wee hours. But I have got to get into the habit of being asleep at a reasonable hour if I’m going to win the battle of the bulge. All the weight loss research indicates that people who don’t sleep enough tend to weigh more, probably due to a more sluggish metabolism combined with a tendency to consume more food, especially sugar, to fight off daytime sleepiness. What’s more, if I don’t break this bad habit of not sleeping enough, I’m going to be dead on my feet when I go back to work. And although I admit it is vanity that is driving my health kick here, I know damn well it’s far more important that I be alert and energetic for Sam’s sake. He deserves no less.
Toward that goal, I will be posting a sleep diary each week, indicating what time I went to bed each night, and whether I wore my CPAP mask. (I suffer from sleep apnea.) I haven’t been diligent about putting it on lately because it’s cumbersome and tends to dry out my throat a bit, but I feel so much better in the mornings when I have slept with it on. Enough already. Feel free to scold me if I stay up past midnight more than one night a week, or don’t wear my CPAP.
I hesitated before posting this, I really did. I took the picture with my Blackberry on purpose… I wanted a tiny bit of forgiving low-resolution blurriness, as I couldn’t quite bear to see a sharper image of the current state of affairs. Putting it up here for the world to see… ay ay ay. But if I’m going to change my body, I not only need to be honest with myself, I need to be accountable, and hopefully get some support. Last week you saw the good; this week you’re seeing the bad and the ugly.
Which leads me to today’s Link of the Day: A. J. Jacobs’s article, “I Think You’re Fat.” I recently picked up his book, Guinea Pig: My Life as an Experiment, in the bargain books at Chapters. It’s quite an entertaining read so far. This essay in particular was very thought-provoking (and funny). I can tell you now, no matter how frank you think I’ve been in this post, there’s no way I’m going to be taking up Radical Honesty anytime soon. Blurting out everything I think, unfiltered? No thank you. Polite white lies are a cornerstone of our civil society, and I for one will continue to tell them. And some things will never, ever be discussed here on ye olde blog; a girl has to keep some secrets…