Much of my adult life and some of my childhood has been spent with the battle of the bulge raging. Like any war, there are times when battles are heated and times when there is not a lot going on. Times when I am winning, and times when I am losing. It is a tug of war that I consider the thorn in my flesh that the Apostle Paul refers to. There are many reasons that even outside the obvious health concerns, being big sucks. One thing I have learned over the years is I am GOOD at being fat. I am not so good at being thin. This is evidenced by the fact that when I have achieved victory, it is short-lived whereas the plumper times of life endure. The world is not built for larger people. And in a society where people are getting even larger, we push and push the look of anorexia over health. Marilyn Monroe would probably be made fun of in the tabloids for her weight if she had been born 15 years later. People are getting bigger while airplane seats get smaller, theater seats get smaller, cloths are skimpier. On the other hand, in the midst of the battle to overcome obesity in America, go out to eat at any restaurant and the plates are overflowing with carb rich dishes that are big enough to feed a family of four in the 50’s. I remember going to McDonald’s with my parents when I was 4. It was such a treat because going out to eat was not something that happened on a regular basis. We each got a hamburger or cheeseburger, what is now a small fry and a small drink. Dad got a large drink, which was the 16 ouncer. Considered HUGE at the time. He got a McDouble. Now, just to put that in perspective, each of the patties on a McDonald’s Hamburger is 1.6 oz. prior to cooking. There are 10 patties to a pound of burger. So Dad was getting about three oz. of meat. We couldn’t finish ours and maybe dad finished them for us, I cannot remember. But he didn’t get two or three for himself. And the bread he got was the same as us as opposed to a giant bun filled with two 1/4 pound patties. People who battle weight live in a world that tells them how bad they are, yet throws cheap, unhealthy, tasty food at them all day, 24/7/365.
I have blogged before and talked about my sedentary years and massive weight gain and debilitating back pain. Rather than go through all of that again, suffice it to say that after enjoying high school and college years being extremely active in sports and marching band, I sat down and didn’t get up for about 16 years. I would always dream about the things I would do if I could only lose the weight. “When I lose my weight I am going to: Hike, bike again, play ball, kayak, travel, shop more, wear cool cloths and be happy.” That is all I had to do. Some day. Meanwhile I tried every fad diet there was with little to no long term success.
Then it hit me: I did not have to wait until I was “thin” ( whatever that really is) to do those things. After all, I am not dead yet! So I started moving again. Did some 5k walks and bought a Kayak. From 43 to 53 I have done all my hiking, climbing, trekking, kayaking adventures as a big girl. Some times bigger than others, but never at what would be considered anywhere NEAR a healthy weight. I can only imagine the last 10 years without having had that epiphany. Certainly it would have been imminently more difficult to start at 53. But even then, I think I would have. We don’t have to look a certain way or be able to do things at a high level in order to enjoy them, enjoy the health benefits and live our lives. I am slower than the lighter and/or younger folks, but I still finish. I have had people look at me when I say what adventure I am off to next and actually ask if I am doing anything to lose weight before I go. As if those skin flints know at all what it is like to be big and if big people even feel any different from them whilst active. Some just plain look at me in disbelief. You can see the “THIS PERSON IS A B.S.er” sign flash on their foreheads. By the way, did you know Shakespeare invented the word forehead?
Truth is I do try to be healthier these days. Micky D’s and I broke up and I am now an aficionado of the paleo style of eating. Good fats, meat and lots of veggies, nuts and seeds. My beloved bread is gone now and even though I still do struggle with weight, I am healthy. I know this because my doctor monitors my health and she is a great doctor.
Me and Maggie leave for Machu Picchu August 30, 2014. I have not got near as much weight off as I would like, but I am working hard every day eating right and walking at work break, hiking at night. I am not waiting to wake up one day and find that I am suddenly thin. I may never be thin. But each day that passes is one I could have lived more. If I do not make the choice to have fun now, it will pass like a blink of an eye and I will be left with regrets. Don’t sell yourself short. Live now, rest later. 🙂
Planning what I consider to be an epic adventure is not difficult, but keeping motivated along the way is. I am a procrastinator by nature…or habit. By some people’s measuring stick what I do is pretty simplistic. And, really it isn’t brain surgery. But it is pushing my limits and if I am pushing my limits it is just as adventurous as those who fly into space or dive to the bottom of the seas. That is part of what is good about life I can be thrilled by something inert to someone else who can be thrilled by something inert to me. While the Bible tells us there is nothing new under the sun and Mr. Burger taught me in 7th grade science that all mass that exists and ever will exist is here in the universe now, I can search for what parts of the mass which exists that is interesting to me. My Dad, rest his soul, had all the adventure he ever wanted in the Korean War. It changed him and he was not seeking anything really new after that. That was sad. He never understood why in tar-nation I did the things I did. In 6th grade when I went to a gun camp with the Janet Miller on Orcas Island, he was baffled why I would do that. When I went on a summer mission trip to the Philippines in college, he thought I was crazy. When I went to Mt. Everest in 2012 he was just plain worried sick. But he always admired those things after I was home safe. I guess the war just made him think that there was no place like home and everyone ought to be there!
So this upcoming trek is to Machu PIcchu. I watched a documentary called Keep the River to Your Right a few years back and thought it would be fun to go there. That guy is in his 70’s and he is doing just fine. I didn’t know until well after I booked the trek that he had simply taken a train in to the ruins. I will be walking for four days to get there. Will go over a pass at nearly 14,000 feet. Will sleep in tents and eat over a camp kitchen with porters and my friend Maggie. The planning for this began in Earnest about a year ago. That gave me plenty of time to get fit and thin. Or at least lose a good amount of weight.
I was off to a great start, but waned in the middle when I had two surgeries and the doldrums and a special needs puppy. So now I find myself with about 90 days to departure, in fair shape but heavy and mad at myself as I look to crack down for the next 90 days.
To accomplish this I am going to take on workouts and healthy eating not unlike the contestants in shows like The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss. It will take accountability and dedication. I guess the kind a procrastinator musters when the going gets tough, read time is running out. Fast. Really fast. I have a home gym of my own. It is pretty well-appointed and kinda cool. Well, its hot now with temps outside in triple digits. No excuse. I can walk during work but it is hot. No excuse. I can give up sugar and grains and focus on paleo but I like a good desert now and again. No excuse.
I love my adventures. I am sure that the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek changed me in good ways I never would have experienced here in my little desert bubble. I am excited to find out how Peru will change me. What I will hear and see and what I can take back. Not in the way of souvenirs or photographs, but inside. But to even get there, to maximize my experience I will need to do this last leg of preparation like there is no tomorrow.
CrossFit is one of the ways I am trying to get this body ready for my 2012 trek. The gym I started at has dissected and I will be at the grand opening of CrossFit Max Effort today for a workout, to take pictures and to eat some great Paleo food. The owners of Max Effort are Zach and Lindsay. Both total wonderful people and they will push me where I cannot get myself to understand that I can go. So today is going to be GREAT!
It will be hard work and that is what gives the payoff. After my Colorado River paddle of two days ago, my shoulders are still a bit sore, but I am sure that more work, not less, is exactly what they need. Today’s workout is Deadlifts, Burpees and Pullups. Not a bad way to get back into the game!